Saturday, August 29, 2009


Also, I want to say thanks for the lovely comments on my back to school posts.
Blogger doesn't always email me the comments that people leave, so I can't answer them individually, but I really appreciate you all taking the time to say something.

Party Party Party!

This week turned out to be full of fun and excitement.
Thursday the Hug-a-Bugs and myself went to an awesome fire-fighter-themed birthday party.
My friend went all out.
There was a fire-fighter trainee obstacle course around the backyard, everyone got a hat and a badge, and then we toured an actual fire station!

Parties always require appropriate attire.
It's a good thing that fire fighters are used to the heat, because it was about 95 degrees in that station and he is about to put on a wool hood.
The Younger Hug-a-Bug asked to use the camera, and if you enlarge this you can see that he got himself, the firetruck and the Elder Hug-a-Bug reflected in the hub cap. He's clearly a genius.

Then yesterday we spent the day at the Minnesota State Fair.
It was a beautiful day.
We spent most of our time at the Kidway, I think we went on at least 10 rides between the three of us (the Younger Hug-a-Bug isn't quite to the line for many of the rides, so I got to go along). I made the ill-advised decision to ride the Tilt-a-Whirl, and my stomach wasn't quite the same for the remainder of the day.

There were mini-donuts (which were eaten too quickly to be photographed) and fresh-squeezed lemonade.

There was Irish dancing, and a band who played an instrumental cover of Bohemian Rhapsody.

In the arcade I saw a whole row of photo-booths.
So we took some family portraits.

The best part of the whole day was that the Elder Hug-a-Bug won a prize in the midway.
She won the game where you fill up a balloon with water until it pops.
I can tell you, she was over the moon.
The camera was nearly out of batteries by the end of the day (why I didn't recharge in anticipation of the fair, I don't know) so I didn't get a shot of her with her major award, but she was almost in shock.
Even with the sleepy-boy tantrum on the way to the car it was a terrific day and I can't wait for next year.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

School Clothes, part 5

O.K. the title is a little misleading, as the 4th installment wasn't really clothes, but whatever, this is my space to do with what I will.
I finished the latest item in the fall collection yesterday.
I had a dickens of a time taking a good photo of this little sweater so I had to wait til today to post. The pics I took in the sun are still not stellar.
The buttons are a really light aqua, and mostly they read as white against the red whenever I try to take a photo of it.

It is still damp from blocking, but it does have buttons so that's something.

I added a loop at the top for hanging, I don't know if that's a good idea or not yet.
My goal was to avoid stretching out the sweater with a little poky outy part at the neck.
I measured the sweater and I measured the girl, and they seem like they will be compatible.
Here's hoping.
I hope you all have a wonderful last couple of weeks of Summer.
The FAIR starts tomorrow, so I plan on spending Friday covered head to toe in mini donuts and fresh squeezed lemonade.
See you there if you're local and loyal!

Good Loaf

I don't know if it's the rainy weather we've been having, or the feeling that with the end of Summer and the coming of school, Fall is near, but I am in the midst of 14 hours of bread-baking frenzy.
Last night at 8:30 (why? I don't know) I made up a loaf of wheat bread from the recipe on the back of the King Arthur Flour bag, as well as throwing together the ingredients for no-knead bread.

I didn't end up baking the wheat long enough (who'd a thunk that at 10:45 PM I wouldn't have the best judgment about baking times) and I had a big dead spot in the center of the loaf.

Well, if life gives you underdone bread, make croutons.

Long, long ago I was a bread baker at Cafe Latte and we would use the day-old bread to make croutons for the salads and soups.
I tried to remember the recipe, here's what I could come up with after 9 years-

I sliced the bread, sprinkled a little olive oil, added a little kosher salt, onion powder and oregano and baked them in a low oven, 250 degrees or so, for about 20 minutes.

Since the bread was fresh it took a little longer to dry out fully, but I think these will be quite tasty on a salad for dinner tonight.

The no-knead just came out of the oven and it is questionable whether this will make it to dinner tonight.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to School part 4

Even though it looks like I am spending all my creative energy on supplying the Elder Hug-a-Bug with school stuff, I did manage to make the Younger a new backpack for school.
His old backpack is gone.
I left it at the park after school one day and it got moved to the lost and found.
From there it was either thrown out or someone took it home.
I hope that it is the latter, though I don't know why anyone would take home a backpack with someone's name and phone number in it along with a change of clothes for a 3-year-old boy.

It's probably for the best, as the flannel it was made of was starting to pill anyway.

So, here is his new backpack-I used the same pattern as before, Butterick 5054. and it is a super quick and easy one.
The pattern is for a young adult sized backpack, but what looks cute and kicky on a young adult is the perfect scale for a really, really young adult.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

School Clothes, part 3

Well, I just couldn't leave well enough alone.
The Elder Hug-a-Bug picked out yarn for a sweater months ago when I thought I might knit her Sylvi.
I don't think I have it in me right now to tackle that particular project.
But maybe if it was for me...
Anyway, I decided to whip up a school sweater for her from the yarn.
I think it'll go well with the Cherry Outfit.
The original sweater was going to be a little red riding hood situation, and I think I will go that direction with this one.
I plan to continue the cables up the hood, though there might be some difficulty with the top of the hood as the cables are opposite one another.
Guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
This has been a super quick knit, I began this sweater on Thursday.
The yarn is Cascade 220.
Great yarn, superb color selection, nice to knit, not itchy.
I am making up the pattern as I go, but I am taking notes so I may post the pattern someday.
I have been speaking and writing in short declarative sentences lately.
The words are not flowing.
Maybe that's a sign that I should really be knitting.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

School Clothes, Part 2

I finished the dress from the previous School Clothes post, and it's o.k., I wouldn't enter it in the Fair or anything, but it'll be cute on my lovely lass.
Today I got a little obsessed and finished a couple of skirts and a matching tee for one of the skirts.

When I finished this skirt, she tried it on and said yes it fits and even said "This baby will last a long time!"
The pattern is tiny cherries all over and I wanted to make something to go with it, so I appliqued some cherries on a plain white t-shirt that I got at Target.

One of our favorite activities this Summer has been visiting the butterfly house at the zoo.
Each time we go, the Elder Hug-a-Bug is desperate to have a butterfly land on her.
When I showed her this skirt
she immediately put it on and asked if we could go to the Butterfly House tomorrow, and maybe she'd dribble a little juice on the skirt and the Butterflies would come and land on her.

I think this might be it for the School Clothes sewing for the Elder.
I might make a matching t-shirt for the butterfly skirt too, it all depends on how well I can draw a butterfly.
I think she does need a cardigan or two to get her through the Fall, but I think I should finish my current knitting project first.
Have a relaxing evening,

Monday, August 17, 2009

School Clothes, part 1

I have begun my sewing surge of the summer.
Time to make some school clothes for the big Kindergarten year.
The first item in the fall Bandelin collection is this Birthday Party Dress from Oliver + S.
I used some wonderful cotton from Lecien the My Folklore collection.
I didn't have quite enough so I used the same contrast as the tab on the facings.
I was going to bring the kids to the fabric store this morning to get some matching thread, but the Elder Hug-a-Bug said "No. I want red, not matching"
So that's what I did.
Now, truly, this post is a little premature, there are no buttons or buttonholes on the back yet, but that is no reason to delay talking about new fun sewing!

A Weekend Away


Mary Beth at Salt and Chocolate posted a meme this morning and it has been a while since I did one, so here I am tagging myself.

What's your current obsession?

Photography, no wait, sewing, no, knitting, well, I guess I can't really decide.

What are you wearing today?
Shirt made of a lovely lightweight lawn, linen pants, no shoes.

What's for dinner?
Good question. I need to check the fridge.

What would you eat for your last meal?
I would eat a big helping of all the things I am allergic to.
Nice big piece of Pecan Pie, fine assorted cheeses, and a hot fudge malt.

What's the last thing you bought?
A hairbrush. My husband and I took a weekend away and I forgot to pack one.

What are you listening to right now?
I am listening to my 3-year-old talking about his toy underwater diver from the bath.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
The ocean, doesn't matter where, as long as I can be there without a coat.

Which language do you want to learn?
German. I spent a couple of weeks in Germany last year and I was able to use my high-school German a little. I wish I would have continued language studies in College. I also took French in high school, I wish I would have continued with that as well.
I suppose I should learn Spanish. I live in an area which is rich in latin american culture, and if I spoke more Spanish I would be able to get to know some of my neighbors better.
I guess the question should be which language don't I want to learn. I like to know stuff. I would like to learn Hmong, and Somali too.

What do you love most about where you currently live?
I love our neighborhood. We live within easy driving distance of anything we would want to do, zoos, beaches, children's museum, gardens, but where we live is relatively quiet. We also have stunning views of downtown Saint Paul about a block away.

What is your favorite color?
I go back and forth between red and green.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
In the Summer I like to wear loose-fitting clothes, so my favorites right now are a couple of shirts that make me look pregnant, but are really comfy so I wear them anyway, and my linen overalls which probably make me look ridiculous, but are also really comfy so I wear them anyway too.

Chocolate or vanilla?

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was 3 days married and starting a new job as a baker at Cafe Latte in Saint Paul.

If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
Probably something frivolous like taking the kids to lunch and a movie. Not that we would use it all on that date, maybe we'd go to the bookstore and blow the rest of it there.

What are you going to do after this?
Try to get the Younger Hug-a-Bug to wear pants.

What are your favorite films?
This is a toughy.
Return to Me, Empire Strikes Back, Star Trek First Contact, Toy Story, Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth, of course)

What inspires you?
The internet is a gateway to a lot of inspiration for me.
I love blogs. I love to be invited into someone's life and learn what they know about being a parent, or a crafty person, or gardener, or chef.

Your favorite books?
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Harry Potter and the Prisoner from Azkaban

Do you collect anything?
I used to collect everything- ceramic crocks, lunch boxes, books, egg cups, but I don't collect much now beyond sheet music, yarn, fabric and dust.

What makes you follow a blog?
Good pictures, high craft content, activities for kids.

What was the most enjoyable thing you did today?
Slept until 8.

What is on the top of your to-do list?
Figuring out the final details of Caritas' schedule and concert order with my colleagues.

What's your favorite time of day and why?
9-12 AM. This is our usual time for outings and I get to go to the beach or a zoo or to a museum with a couple of energetic, curious, lovely people.

The rules:
1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, add one more question of your own.
2. Tag eight other people.

Please tag yourself if you are interested and let me know when you publish your answers.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Night-time necessaries?





Time for a trip to the Grandparents for the children, and a celebratory 10th! anniversary weekend away for us.
See you on Monday.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Watching Them Grow

During our trip to the Minnesota Zoo today I was struck with a little deja vu.

The green dress pictures were taken March 2008 and the others taken today.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I have been trying to take a photo a day this year.

For one thing, it's kind of great to see the year in pictures.
For a second thing, I feel like it can only do my photos good if I practice every day (or close to it).

I haven't spoken about it here because by Jan 5 or so I had already missed a day.
Is this a symptom of my life-long failure to complete big projects?
Oh well, I have been feeling lately like I should let go of the past and accept my faults and others' so I might as well start with my flickr 365 project.

One side effect of wanting to take a photo every day is that I often come home after work and realize that I haven't taken any yet.
This leads to underlit

or hastily taken photos.
I took the last one out of the car window at a stoplight.
I am coming to see the beauty in these photos.
Maybe just so I can justify adding them to the group...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mostly Marvelous Ms. Rabbit

A couple of weeks ago, Annie from Bird and Little Bird had a giveaway of her new pattern Mostly Marvelous Ms. Rabbit.
I got one, and I am loving Ms. Rabbit very much!
I was a little worried that her face might not come out very well, but as Annie says in her pattern
"Don't worry about making the nose and mouth perfect. Part of the charm of Ms. Rabbit is the fact that she is Mostly Marvelous. Why be perfect when you can have character?"

I apologize for the gloomy photos, it was raining and the one I took with a flash was horrible.
The only thing I will do differently when I make this again, which I most certainly will, is add an ease stitch to the back of the head. It didn't come together quite as nicely as I would have liked and there are a couple of puckers back there.

This was a quick project, I began it yesterday and added the felt flowers today, I didn't have a pair of scissors that could handle the felt last night or I would have been finished before that.
I would definitely recommend this pattern if any of you out there are looking for a fun, instant gratification project.

It's gonna be a hot one in the Twin Cities tomorrow.
Here's hoping you have an air conditioner, or a cool adult beverage close at hand.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

New Fun

There was a new book at the Yarnery last Saturday and I had to have it, it was love at first sight.
I want to make almost everything in this book. Even as I type, the Elder Hug-a-Bug is going through it telling me what she wants, and it is every item on every page.
So far we have some baconan apple wedge(the elder was able to help with the seeds)
and a couple of tomatoes for the soon to come falafel sandwich.Also on the menu will be a salami sandwich,

and pancakes.
Seriously people, this book is awesome.
The directions are very clear, and the variety of foods is dizzying.
There are many different fruits and veggies along with cakes, ice cream and pizza.
I am looking forward to clearing out my stash of one ball each of dozens of worsted weight colors that have been waiting for a project.