30 June 2008

of babies, tents, & tutorials

** edited to say that blogger is clearly drunk tonight. not only are they taking away spaces between paragraphs, now they're adding extras! drunkards.**

would you just look at that face? i cannot show all of her; as she's not mine to share; but that tiny glimpse is enough to send any heart soaring. hi baby!
my dearest friend spryte brought this teeny babe into the world on thursday, making me the most happiest, honorary auntie that ever there was.
sadly for me, they live a zillion miles away - lucky for her though, because were they nearby, i'd steal the babe for my very own.
* * *

photo :: property of eihr.com
tearing the belfry apart has been put on temporary hold. we had friends over for the weekend to camp in our backyard, (that's a glimpse inside my tent by the way,) & the next week or so shall be crazy with sewing for the freaky number of july birthdays. i know what all you people were doing in october! tsk tsk.
to be honest, i'm grateful for the break. it's been hard work, & there's still so much left to do. having a reason not created in my imagination to stop for a bit is a welcome thing. of course by the time i'm done sewing the freaky number of gifts you'll find me ready to get back to tearing the house apart.
* * *
in my quest to learn to embroider, i've found another helpful tutorial over at craftstylish.

photo :: property of jennifer stern

i need to finish the patch for my secret project, so i'll definitely give this trick a try. do you have any embroidery tutorials you'd like to share?

time to get to reading... go have a lovely night.

~peace. (sweet dreams tiny baby!)

26 June 2008

coffee break sans coffee

how wonderful to sit! i've been balancing my day between the house overhaul, & playing with thehobbit. finding balance is not something i am naturally good at, so today has me worn to a frazzle - & it's still hours yet until bed. it's not thehobbit wearing me down, but my struggle to stay focused on my goals.

here is a photo of a few recent projects:

the little bits of fabric are patches i'm working on for bags, or aprons, or whatever else needs one. i suppose i should have ironed thehobbit's asthma sucks patch before i took the photo, but i hate the iron & the iron hates me. the red heart is part of a secret project for a dear friend.

the bag is from martha's show. i made it in a hurry, to wear out last week, so didn't take the time to make it reversible. it was an easy project, & i'll definitely make another one day. if you're looking for a little summer purse, give it a try.

* sigh *

my break has come to an end - back to my balancing act.

have any balance tips you'd like to share?

25 June 2008

in which i got distracted & stabbed, then loved a book

i had this long story to share with you; with a great lead-in, suspense, & a dramatic climax. i brewed a mug of soycreamy coffee goodness, & sat down to write.

not long in, thehobbit decided he couldn't live one moment longer without telling me what he'd just read about the diplodocus. it was only a few minutes later that he came to tell me about the torosaur. he had been out of the room for a few seconds, when he reappeared to ask me how tall 80 feet was. (i resisted answering that it was 80 feet - but oh how tempted was i.)

i; having already garnered the worst mama of the year award; decided today i'd go for the seemingly very interested no matter how many times you show or tell me this same thing mama of the year. a much more difficult award to secure. (btw - thehobbit is back to adoring all things dino, due to watching a documentary on how they made the dinos for this.)

having been utterly distracted, i found myself unable to continue. drat me & my quest for yet another mama-award. the short version of my rivoting tale?

whilst cleaning compartments in bella, i managed to stab myself with a quilting pin on the tip of my pointer finger. it took manlyman 2 tries to get it out as it was in deep. it was so far & firmly in that i wondered after if it had struck bone. blood gushing, horrid pain, i may or may not have been screaming at the top of my lungs - i made for quite the entertainment in the front drive.
today it throbs if i so much as whisper near it, so my plans of sewing this morning; before tearing into another room; have been thrust to the wayside.

pity me my one & only reader, please do. i am wounded & unable to craft, but fully able to clean another room. little in life is as unfair as this. (she jests)

before i leave, i want to let you know there are new books listed over there <--------. read along with us, & let me know what you think of the books. which reminds me: did you ever read here be monsters? what did you think? we loved it beyond words. ok, i'm off. see you later!


23 June 2008

i feel shopish, how about you?

what is it about museum shops that make me drool so? i know they carry wonderful books, toys, reproductions, & art kits; but i also know i can find those things less pricey elsewhere. perhaps it's an illness? museumshopitis? that's it! i'm not to blame, it's the museumshopitis that forces me to buy a small roll of wrapping paper printed with an antique map of paris for $4 stuff.

after a book club brunch yesterday, we went to a festival at the getty. it was hot, but crafts, music, friends, & occasional breezes made it worth sweating in places a girl ought not.

photo :: property of getty.edu
the above photo is thehobbit's favorite spot at this museum. the labyrinth in water is beautiful in person. bring coins for tossing!
if you are planning a trip there, read some books before you go. knowing the history of a place adds much to the going. here is a great one for kids. i haven't read all of these, but can vouch for many.
speaking of fun things in shops: thehobbit wants these remote control jousters, & i definitely need this.
as much as i love shopping chatting with you, i must get out of my jams, & on my way. my personal assistant is imaginary, so i'll have to run errands for myself today.
what fun/silly/cool items do you like to window shop for?
* can anyone please tell me please please, why blogger keeps removing spaces randomly from my posts? *

22 June 2008

hot pants

i would have written yesterday, but i was busy complaining about the weather to anyone who'd listen. when people started ignoring me; i just kept on mumbling to myself.

it is rarely horrendously hot on my little hill. our first 4th of july we were in parkas once the sun went down - & that is not my usual exaggeration for drama's sake. yesterday was foul. foul, wretched, horrid, & hot hot hot!

the kind of hot where you tell your loved ones to stop touching you, & suggest they sit farther away, because their heat is touching you.
we finally traded in bella & tallulah for these lovely camels. when in rome...

i have no crafting loveliness to share with you today. we're in the middle of ripping the house apart, one room at a time. my idea had been to tackle one room a day, but this heat has made that impossible. we're having to do it in bits, taking many breaks to cool down. you can imagine this leaves little time to craft. ah well - in the end i'll have a clean, clutter-free, peaceful belfry.

one of the rooms already hit, was thehobbit's. we do the family bedroom for sleeping, but he has his own space for all else. in cleaning out his dresser, i found a pair of pants that he can no longer wear. well i found many, but these brought tears to my eyes. they are a size 6, but we found them at a thrift shop when he was 3.5. he just had to have them, & wore them with a belt, & the legs rolled up 4 times. it was very cute. over the years the belt no longer was needed, & we slowly rolled less & less. 2 years ago they had to be cut into clam diggers, & recently he split the crotch trying to squeeze into them.

until last year he was quite short for his age. it's allowed him to wear clothing for eons. that's no longer the case, & he's not thrilled to grow out of things as rapidly as his friends. usually by the time he's outgrown something, i'm sick of looking at it. because these pants had been a part of his wardrobe for 6 years, removing them with the other outgrown clothes was a bit sad.

thehobbit proved he is my spawn, & asked if we could cut them into squares for patches. brilliant! he said i could use them for whatever i wanted, but could he please have one patch with a peace sign embroidered on it. of course sweet hobbity boy, of course.

i hope your weather is as you like it.


19 June 2008

free entertainment

it was late in the night, & i was getting ready to go to sleep. i saw thehobbit on his stomach in his bed, but raised up on his elbows, staring at the wall.

k: hobbit? are you ok?

th: *nods sleepily*

k: do you need something?

th: * silence *

k: what are you doing?

th: i'm watching the parade.

k: ah. ok. time to lay back down.

th: ok. zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

sleep-walkers are fun.

17 June 2008

drip, drip, squish, squish

yesterday we got up at the crack of dawn, & went off to spend the day at disneyland. it was rough getting up & moving so early in the day, but it was worth it. getting there before the crowds put us in a relaxed mood for when the hordes did arrive. & oh did they ever! the sound of all those people in one place made me think of the roar of a giant waterfall.

photo :: property of flyingfingers.com

speaking of waterfalls: yesterday's adventure included more 1sts. for those new to the belfry, we've been trying to see/experience parts of disneyland that we had yet to. this trip we played on the island, rowed the canoes, & popped over to california adventure to try this!!

thehobbit was wary, because he does not like rollercoasters. we watched from a bridge for a good while, & he was sold. he loved every moment of it, especially the part where we got wet. did i say wet? sorry. i meant soaking, dripping wet. imagine if you will, someone pouring a large barrel of water onto your lap. did i mention you were wearing a skirt? ahh well that just adds to the fun. then imagine another person pours a bucket of water down your back whilst you're leaning forward to cover your girls (having just realized your shirt will be see-through if you don't.) make sure you're wearing canvas shoes, so you squish squish when you walk out of the park. yes i said 'out' - we were bone weary by then, & as much fun as the ride had been, i couldn't imagine enjoying dripping the day away.
it truly was a lovely day, & a fabulous fare-thee-well to disneyland for the season.

i forgot to share my latest treasure! i found this basket (mine is about 2ft tall) in perfect condition, with the straps intact, & no signs that it had ever been used. it was $5 at a thrift shop!! it is gorgeous, & i have no idea what i'll do with it :-)
time to get ready for hogwarts. i hope you have a lovely day. oh... that photo of the van was not meant to go with anything written about - i just thought it was funny.
**ps: why does blogger take away spaces here & there?**

15 June 2008

hey daddy-o

we love you!
photo:: property of daddy records
happy fathers' day!

13 June 2008

what fun!

why didn't you tell me that a give-away would be such fun? i wanted to extend the deadline, to give more one & onlies a chance at winning, but the suspense of just a few days was too much for this instant-gratification girl.

thehobbit wanted to do the drawing this morning, but we had a beach clean-up with r&s. after we arrived home:

k: pick your favorite number between 1 & 8.

th: none of those are my favorite numbers.

k: that's ok. just pick one that you like - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, or 8.

th: i don't want to. i'm crocheting.

k: i thought you wanted to help with the drawing.

th: no. i'm crocheting.

k: you can do both. *silence* may i borrow your top hat then?

th: sure. i can't get it for you though, cuz i'm -

k: yes i know, you're crocheting.

i assigned you numbers, wrote them on dinky pieces of paper, & tossed them all into the fancy top hat. i was about to reach in, when thehobbit ran across the room:

th: waaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! wait for meeeeeeeee!

k: i thought you were crocheting.

th: i'm done.

k: *sigh*

the winner of the first ever official kats in the belfry give-away is... wait for it....

wait for it.....

congrats to comment number 3- enchanted musing on winning the little peace bag!!!!! those of you who've been visiting for a while will recognize that blogger as auntie paper herself.

i loved reading all the answers in your comments. what beautiful ways you all find peace, & what lovely things you said to me personally. thank you so much for making my first give-away such great fun. by the way - manlyman read your answers, & commented that 'coffee' factored into many of them. yay coffee!

to my one & only readers who visited too late: i plan on many drawings in the future, so check back!


11 June 2008

sharing the joy

hello my one & only reader. i am in an oh so fantabulistic (real word) mood. would you like to know why? of course you would!

i am filled with joy, because today is wednesday! we all know what that means... tonight is tu-wednesday crafting with the mamas (& the monthly classics book club meeting.) oh joy of joys!

i want you to feel a bit of this happiness, so i thought i would hold a give-away! my first ever official kats in the belfry give-away.

the prezzie is a small bag, with a peace sign embroidered on the front. it's pictured here. i'm sorry i haven't a better photo of it. the bag is made from a pant leg, & has french seams, so the interior is nice & neat.

all you need do is leave me a comment, telling me something that brings you peace. is it a place, a smell, an activity? what brings you peace?

to give my one & only reader in other time zones a chance, i will not choose the winner until i don't know what time friday. yes, i could be more random, watch: i don't know how i'll pick the winner yet. it could be by numbers, i could pull a name out of a fancy top hat, or i could just let thehobbit pick his favorite. we'll see.

i look forward to reading your comments!
~peace. *edited to add: this contest has ended*

09 June 2008

bubbles & memories

today was our 3rd annual bubblefest. thehobbit had fun getting slimed, & running wild with the shorties. i love that at 10yo he is still mad for blowing bubbles. we were only able to stay 2 hours, which meant less time for me to chat with the mamas. i was bummed, but i knew that coffee was at the other end of our errands. coffee is good.

after errands; & coffee; i popped online to start working on an article. i needed a photo from last year, & soon found myself lost in memories. isn't amazing how much we forget? not that we went here or there, but all the little details of a day that are quickly replaced by all the little details of another day. wild.

photo :: thehobbit & minisoap @ the getty villa
i was taken aback by how much thehobbit's face has changed. the difference between 9 & 10 is great. for starters, he's the owner of a full mouth of teeth. his face has matured a little as well; in a way different from the usual getting biggerdom. now he's showing signs of a face to come. does that make sense?

photo :: thehobbit & minipaper @ the huntington

it was a lovely stroll through thehobbit's past adventures - even more lovely was seeing the same shorties growing bigger through the adventures with him. a little crew of shorties; so cool.



08 June 2008

some ruddy bird named errol

at the start of the term last autumn, thehobbit received regular owls from his professors at hogwarts. occasionally his owl post box contained something fun like a trinket, or copy of the daily prophet.

during the winter holidays the owls came less frequently, with the last one arriving just after the dawning of the new year. he checked daily, & asked constantly where his owls were. i gave every excuse i could come up with, & eventually he stopped asking - about the same time that i ran out of reasons to explain my laziness the mysterious lack of post.

he was sad. i knew this, & kept meaning to arrange more owls, but i was so lazy busy. plus i was vying for 'worst mama of the year', & knew that not doing something simple; that gave him such pleasure; would surely win me that title.

not to be outdone, the other mamas decided they too must win 'worst mama of the year', & promptly gave up owls. they both claim they got too busy as well, but i know better. they are a sneaky, diabolical lot. i digress.

we had an official meeting (that's code for 'putting down our teacups',) & decided that for the summer term we'd not create potterfied hand-outs for each lesson, & focus that energy on owl post instead. we are nothing if not brilliant.

last night i printed thehobbit's hogwarts homeschool acceptance letter, & snuck outside to put it into the owl post box. when he woke today:

k: (oh so casually) you know, this tuesday is the start of summer term at hogwarts.

th: yay! (jumping out of bed to do the happy dance) i haven't had hogwarts in forever! (2 weeks)

k: did your letter arrive yet?

th: (saddest face ever) no mama. remember i don't get owls anymore.

k: about that - i finally learned why you stopped getting them.

th: why?

k: it turns out the owl that was assigned to us was trained by errol.

th: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. (nodding as if to say 'say no more')

k: it's all sorted out, & the school has assigned us a new owl.

th: what is his name?

k: (oops)

th: mama?

k: i didn't ask, but i will. (quickly changes the subject) so you should start checking your owl post box daily.

th: (runs out of the bedroom, then out onto the front porch) (squealing...) mama! mama! post! there's post! it's my acceptance letter!

k: (damn. i think i just lost my chance at winning that title.)


*note: if you have yet to read the harry potter books, then this post has confused you beyond measure. a) sorry about that, & 2) get reading!*

** edited to add: before i get any emails of concern about thehobbit:he knows that owls aren't actually delivering mail from hogwarts. he knows that the aunties & i are responsible. he is 10 after all. he has a freakyhuge imagination, & a strong desire to believe. so i just keep acting as though it is all real, & he happily makes believe. occasionally i get an eye-roll or two, but they stop once i ask if he wants to stop having hogwarts. thanks in advance for your concern.**

06 June 2008

do i have to unpack?

can't i just leave all the gear in bella? do i really need room for people groceries & the like? it would be so much easier to leave it there, & go about my days. we'll camp again eventually, so it wouldn't be as if all that gear was needlessly taking up space.

the campout was great fun! we had one scary night with freakystrong winds, but other than that it was fabulous. the camp was on a bluff above the ocean, so we had the most amazing view. from our camp we saw a great many pelicans flying & diving - or perhaps it was one flock that we saw a great many times. hmm. either way, they were fun to watch. wednesday morning we were thrilled to see a sea lion, & a pod of dolphins. i wish we had been down on the beach for that, but they were close enough to the shore to be seen clearly from on high.

i enjoyed spending time with my friends, & even managed a bit of knitting. thehobbit had such a wonderful time, that more than once he wouldn't leave playing to chat with daddyo on the cell! now that is something.

as much as i love camping; & am bummed when a trip ends; i must say that i'm glad to be home. i would be more glad were house elves to suddenly appear, finish my unpacking, clean my filthy house, & cook my dinner. does anyone have a spare house elf they can send my way?

that's all for today. i just wanted to pop in, & say hello.

01 June 2008

we're off!

assuming all hobbity glands are back down to a normal size; we're leaving tomorrow for our first campout of the year.

this is where we'll be sleeping all week. in my imagination at any rate. reality; cold mistress that she is; will find us in our trusty little tent. nothing between us & the raccoons bears, but a thin layer of fabric. i do love the zzzzzzip! sound of the tent door though.
whilst i'm away i expect you to be on your best behavior. i'll miss you!!!!! (manlyman said i cannot bring the laptop camping, because he is mean.)
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