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A Year In Pictures

18 Jul

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That’s how fast it’s all gone by anyhow.

Since last year, I’ve student taught, “for real” taught Intervention and am now about to be a teacher in a class with kids with moderate to severe disabilities (my dream job).

The husband’s family has grown with the addition of an already beloved niece that I make more things for than necessary. Many of my dear friends are also growing their families, keeping me creating a constant supply of burp cloths and small blankets.

Our little house continues to be a place of joy and warmth and I continue to fill every corner with as much beauty as I can. Our creatures continue to fill our little house with as much dog hair as they can.

I’ve spent this summer cleaning and organizing and creating and cooking. And welcoming friends over. I’d say life is pretty grand…

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A Word on My Sabbatical

17 Jun

Well, hello Internets!

Since last I typed a post, we’ve had a whirlwind of activity in our world.

I got a part-time job that’s become full-time for a while. And it’s working with kids. And I love it. So far this summer, I’ve: tie-dyed, created paper-mache, made homemade soda and ice cream, taken field trips to children’s theater and a pizza joint, and played uncountable games of “Land and Sea.” It’s a blast.

Also, we’ve been out, visiting family. Loving this as well.

So that’s why I haven’t been at the computer.

Oh, and also this one more small thing:

Where we'll be moving.

We bought a house.

After weeks and weeks looking in the breaks between my work schedule, Andy and I were inspired by this little 1925 two bedroom bungalow in a historic “inner-loop” neighborhood (i.e. close to downtown). We are so excited.

Husband’s 2010 Christmas Quilt

30 Mar

Before we were married, husband’s mother gave me A LOT of a very special fabric. It’s green and yellow and orange and brown. Triangles. The fabric is special because husband’s grandmother picked it out for him a long time ago (hence the color scheme). Unfortunately, she became ill and passed away before she could make anything for her grandson out of the fabric.

You can see the fabric here, on top:

Fabric laid out.

So, last October, I picked out some coordinating fabric to make a small lap quilt (see that laid out below the special fabric, above). I decided to follow Crazy Mom Quilt‘s tutorial on How to Make a Zig-Zag Quilt Without Piecing Triangles on the Bee Square Blog. I followed the directions there (really great directions!) and made a quilt top in time to wrap up and present to husband for Christmas.

Then I had to make the back, the quilt sandwich, hand-quilt, and hand-sew the binding. And today, ta-da!, all done:

All finished!

I’m pleased with it.

I’ve hand-quilted baby quilts another person sewed, and I’ve made a lap quilt that I tied, but this is the largest quilt that I’ve created entirely from start to finish by myself. I made a lot of mistakes, but I think I solved most of them. And I learned a whole lot.

There’s tons of special fabric left to make something else out of.

And, stroke of luck, there’s a cold front moving through today, so we’ll stay a little chilly. Maybe husband can actually make use of his quilt for a night or two before we have to pack it away for the hot Texas summer.

Until he gets home, Roxie has been testing out its warming potential:

Roxie cuddles in the quilt.

(In a little while, I’ll get up the courage to wash this. And then I’ll take more pictures when it’s poofy and soft from the dryer. In a little while…)

Herb Pots: The Beginning

24 Mar

I am not a plant-lover. (Except in the eating department, in which I love plants. A lot.) Plants and I have some difficulty communicating. Plants do not speak loud enough when they need to be fertilized. Or brought in out of the cold. Or brought in out of the heat. Or watered.

I have one plant that I’ve kept alive for a couple of years. This is because she is an ivy that lives in a mason jar by the kitchen sink. So I can really see when she needs water. And she doesn’t seem to mind when her water levels get very low before I notice…

So, it’s been a complete shock to myself that I have been wanting a garden. I want to grow something and eat it. I had a similar feeling a few years ago when I started knitting and quilting–I wanted to make something that people could use. There’s just something deeply satisfying about seeing something that you’ve created keeping someone warm and comforted. I think it would be similarly satisfying to see something you’ve grown being consumed by someone.

I grew up on a farm, in fact. We spent most of the summer and a lot of the winter eating things that my stepfather had grown. An amazing gift. I should know more about plants because of this. Unfortunately, I spent most of my home time in a tree, reading. Or painting a mural on the garden shed. Or sitting on the back of the tractor, dropping in okra seeds (wait! look! I did do something for the garden!). My stepfather had all the knowledge and did all the work.

Fortunately for the plants I admired, there is no full sun on our balcony. No full sun anywhere outside our little apartment. Except on a teensy windowsill.

So I’ve invested in an herb garden kit.

Here they are!

Wish them, and me, luck. I did everything I could to give them a good little start!

Sprout, little seeds! I want to eat you!

Spring Buds in the Morning

21 Mar

A 12″x48″ painting for our living room:

A painting I did.

(Acrylic on canvas. By me!)

Choo-Choo Chair

11 Mar

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

We have two dogs, two people, and one couch. For most people, this wouldn’t be a problem. These people do not have our dogs. Our dogs have their own pillow, but our dogs do not like each other that much. They’d really prefer that only one dog was on the pillow at any given time. First dog on the pillow, gets the pillow. The other dog gets the couch.

And that’s where the problem comes in. You see, our dogs are not really the kind of dogs that curl up in a little ball to sleep. They’re more of the lounging type. The large dog can take up two full couch cushions without even stretching out her back legs. We need more seating.

(Please don’t say anything about disciplining the dogs. I don’t tell you to dust more often. Maybe our dogs need more couch space. You don’t know them. )

Thus, I have been after a chair for our living room. I’ve plagued Husband with dozens of pictures over the past few weeks. Conversations have gone like this:

me: Can I show you a few pictures of chair possibilities?

husband: I’ll look at 2.

me: But I have 6 to show you!

husband: Reduce your list to 2.

So I’d reduce. Husband would veto both. I’d start another list. But then, I got cleverer–er, um, more clever.

And I found a train chair. That happens to be a wing-back (my top choices were usually wing-backs). Trains are sacred in our home because Husband’s father is a train engineer. (Isn’t that cool?!?) So this chair was worth checking out. And bringing home.

So, after a trip across town, scaring a neighbor (I swore that the address was 1024–!), walking through what looked like a home straight from an episode of Hoarding, Buried Alive, $45 on a pretty good chair, 30 minutes of swearing as we gently wrestled the chair into my Civic, 10 minutes swearing as we roughly wrestled the chair out of the Civic, an hour scrubbing the chair with carpet cleaner, and a day drying in the sun on the balcony, I give you our new chair:

Roxie sits in the train chair.

The big dog made an appearance to demonstrate scale (she is about 70 pounds).

As I write this, the little dog is napping in the chair, the big dog is napping on the dog pillow, and Husband and I are lounging on the couch. Having another chair is great. The added bonus that Husband and I both agree on and like the chair just makes me smile…

And our decorate-as-we-go style continues…