30 July 2008

mickey mouse at the expo, eating fried food?

only 2 days until we leave for the homeschool expo! i've been rushing about like a mad woman, trying to get everything ready for the hogwarts homeschool session i'm co-teaching. i must admit i'm a little overwhelmed by all there is left to do.

the dragonfly artisans are donating a basket to the expo's raffle. paper is teaching a disney schooling session, so asked if we could use that as our theme. i finished my contribution this morning:

a mickey drink sling! what do you think? as usual, the sling is made mostly from recycled fabric: pants, skirts, drapes, & my nana's kitchen curtains. i hope whomever wins the raffle enjoys it.


no time for a proper chat today; i have to get ready for a field trip to the county fair. notice i didn't say 'we' - thehobbit has been dressed for hours already. cows mama! & pigs mama! & fried artichoke hearts mama! no wait, that list bit was mine.


27 July 2008

hogwarts homeschool

hogwarts homeschool is finally live. i haven't gotten anywhere near what i'd hoped to have on the site by now, but as i was the only one in a rush to get it completed, i imagine it's not that big a deal.
right now there are a few reviews, & links to great books & websites. down the road the place will be a one-stop shop for recreating the hogwarts experience with your kids. it's geared toward homeschoolers, but in-schoolers will find loads of fun things to do as well. eventually.
that's thehobbit's pet owl pig (short for pigwidgeon) by the way. he went with us on a field trip, & loves having his photo taken.
so take a look at the site, & make sure to visit there again. my goal is to have it completed by the beginning of school term. when all is as it should be, we'll celebrate with a give-away. hh (hogwarts homeschool) has a generous benefactor, who has donated some wicked prizes to the cause. i'll keep you posted!
we're making these, get out your glue gun, & make some along with us! would you come back & let me know how it went? leave links to your photos in the comments section please, so we can all see!
** edited to say: i am so tired of blogger removing spaces! i apologize for it looking like one giant, rambling paragraph. **

24 July 2008

thumbs (& bums) up

the piratey swimming trunks were a huge success. i never did find a jolly roger, so i dug out my very last page of transfer paper, & set about piratificating (real word) the crud out of the trunks. a huge skull on one leg, pirates rule! in a gothic font on the other, a cargo pocket for no reason whatsoever, & the ribbon trim he asked for = one damn cute pair of piratey swim trunks.

he absolutely loved them; aside from the few times they slid down his bum in the pool; & asked if i would sew him bunches more. now i wish i'd made a paper pattern, instead of just tracing directly onto the fabric. oops.

have you heard about this site? you list your unwanted books, & people request them. you then ship your books out, which in turn earns you credit. with credit you can request books from others, & they'll ship them to you. for each book you ship, you pay the cost (about $2.50) - but others are paying to ship books to you. this is how i see it: i get rid of books i would take to a thrift shop, & in return i get books that i want - all of this for about $2.50 a book. it's pretty dang cool.
i've already received my first book, & today shipped 9 books out. as soon as they receive them, i'll have credit to get 9 more books. if you've got books you no longer need, sign up, & join the fun. list me as a referral (moongloe) please, so i earn credits; thanks. when you've signed up, come back here & tell me what your first request was.
here are 2 of the patchie totes for sale. i'm tinkering with where to take photos of the bags. i have a lot of items that will photograph well in nature, but i'm not yet sure about the bags. what do you think? too busy with the foliage, or nice?

the patchwork is made from drapery sample books. no 2 are alike, including the backsides of those pictured.

they are lined with a sheer, off-white fabric. i need to ask rubelin what the actual name of the fabric is, because i haven't a clue. i am having difficulty parting with the bottom tote. the colors are so rich in person. i may have, sort of, accidentally, possibly forgotten to pack it for the last show. perhaps. it is for sale though, so let me know if you are interested.
time for me to go. i have a date with a new book!

23 July 2008

& the winner is.....

me! without too much effort, i won the most horrid mama that ever there was award!

for those of you who couldn't be at the ceremony, i have the transcript for your reading pleasure.
mc: kat, you have won yet another award! with your busy schedule, how do you find the time to compete?
k: well mr. mc i don't really know. i suppose i'm just naturally gifted in time-management. i must admit that this award was more difficult to secure than the last. i had to let the house get quite filthy so i would have extra time to train.
mc: the competition for this award was high. i'm sure everyone would love to hear how you pulled it off.
k: i knew i needed an edge, & that's when i decided to come down with a raging migraine.
mc: brilliant!
k: thanks. from that point on, i knew i had only to let the migraine take over, & the trophy would be mine.
mc: can you tell us what you did to win?
k: sure. i began by snapping at my child during dinner, & added a little anger whilst he was getting ready for bed. an hour after he was tucked in, he came out to tell us he didn't feel well. i knew this would be the edge i needed: i snapped at him again, & sent him back to bed.
mc: i'm sorry to interrupt here, but snapping & anger are nothing special, & isn't your son known for his nightly stalling at bedtime?
k: yes he is, & quite good at it.
mc: how then did this cause you to win the competition?
k: well you see, when he came out to tell us he felt ill, i didn't bother getting up. i just treated him as though he was pulling a stall, & nastily sent him back to bed.
mc: horrid indeed, but most horrid? surely you had something up your sleeve.
k: well, as you said, the competition was high. i knew if i were to win, i would have to do something the other mamas were unwilling to do.
mc: please kat, don't keep us in suspense - what did you have to do?
k: i had to make sure he was actually sick.
mc: he really was sick, & you treated him as though he was pulling a stall? once again, i say 'brilliant!'
k: thank you. of course i didn't know he was sick last night, but to win you have to be willing to take risks.
mc: that risk paid off. you've one the award - what shall you do to celebrate?
k: i'm going to disneyland!
mc: but isn't your child sick?
k: yes but - oh wait! my passes are blacked-out until mid-august. damn.
mc: well there you have it ladies, & gentleman: 2008's most horrid mama that ever there was! look out mamas of 2009, it looks like our champion is already in training.

20 July 2008

bats & kats in belfries, plus pirates in swim trunks

since choosing the name of my bizzie, & of this blog, people have been asking - why kats in the belfry? i've explained that it comes from one of my favorite childhood cartoons; more specifically the song in the cartoon. the thing is, nobody remembers the cartoon.

it was a short of 3 bats in a belfry, with the smallest being silly, & oh so cute. every time they came to the part of the song, "we're bats in the belfry" the little one would hiccup. i don't know what it was about the cartoon that i loved, or why it stuck with me for so long.

when i announced my bizzie's name, thehobbit said "oh like the bats in the belfry hiccup song you always sing." i hadn't even realized until that moment that i'd sung it around him, & often enough for him to recognize the connection.

i had searched on & off for the cartoon, so i could show the menfolk, but i never could find it. until now...


watching it made me realize 2 things: that cartoons were violent, & that i still like the littlest bat & his hiccups. for the record: i was not a child when this cartoon was made, so no oldie cracks. in fact, my father was a baby, & my mother not yet born. so there.


did you know that thehobbit is a victorian lady? he has developed a weird thing about his knees; he cannot, must not, shall not have them showing. all his shorts are clam diggers, & recently he declared his swim trunks much too short. don't think that i've been sending my poor boy out into the world wearing grape smugglers boy bikinis, the child wears knee-length board shorts for goodness sake. well, wore at any rate. too risque now.

i dreaded the search for a new pair of trunks that not only covered his bony knees, but were also affordable, & to his liking. don't forget that for all his victorian-lady-weirdness, he is nothing if not all about fashion. for some strange reason all his trunks have been pirate-punk-rockish. he's like a miniature superhero -- bow ties & sweater vests by land, punk by sea. he's victorianladypiratepunkerman! hahahaha. i digress. & apparently have had too much coffee.

rather than waste my week looking for the perfect pair of swim trunks, i decided to sew them myself. without. a. pattern. yup i'm wild & crazy that way. it was stressy, but i did it! i took a pair of jams that he loves, & used those as my pattern. some black fabric, elastic, & a few dates with my seam ripper, & thehobbit now is the proud owner of a pair of mid-calf length swim trunks any punker victorian pirate would be proud to wear. he wants me to trim the leg hems with my hallowe'en ribbon; it's black with white spider webs. we're also going to buy a small pirate flag to sew on one of the legs. both his ideas. that's not bragging btw, that's me making sure you know i had nothing to do with the flag/ribbon um, thing.

i'm off to wish i had an ice cream sundae. what cartoons did you love as a child?


19 July 2008

sir, there's a penguin in my fridge.

for the past month we've been reading mr. popper's penguins with one of our book/craft groups. i don't know if it was written for younger kids, or if it's just that kids were kids longer in the early 20th century. the writing is simple, perhaps too simple to interest a 10yo of today, but the story is sweet. thehobbit has enjoyed listening to it, & that makes me glad. i know i've said it before, but i really think it's important to read to kids well past their being able to read alone.

i was searching around for penguin-crafting inspiration, when i found this site. & look!...

chocolate penguin poop! assuming this is pure chocolate, & not in fact actual penguin poop, dipped in chocolate -- i think i may have to order a jar.


in the story mr. popper is given a penguin, & he decides it can live in their fridge. that ended up being the inspiration for our craft. i made a penguin out of an acorn, clay, & paint, & thehobbit made the fridge out of those horrid, nasty teeny legos. i took many photos of the process, but still am unable to load photos onto elvie. you have an amazing imagination; i've seen some of your blogs; so you'll have to call upon that until elvie is photouploadable (real word.)


a pet peeve of mine is having kids make crap-crafts that do nothing but take up space, & collect dust; until you eventually have to sneak them away, & throw them out. a few years ago i snapped, & decreed there would be no more crap-crafts at the belfry. occasionally i've had to give in, but for the most part we've managed to be crap-craftless.

because of this, the penguin was made small enough to live in the borrowers' house. i'm told they should like having a pet very much - do not forget that toys come to life during the night. there was no way he was going to allow his precious legos to stay forever as a fridge, (the poor, deprived boy has very few of them) so i made a back-up fridge from clay, in which the penguin can sleep. i have no intention of telling you how long i played with clay after he was through with his fridge, & had left the room.

it's officially tomorrow, so i am off to bed. i hope you have pleasant dreams - may none of yours feature penguins, & all of mine feature orlando bloom.


18 July 2008

hogwarts everywhere

have you ever noticed that when you focus on something it seems that everyone around you is doing the same? the last few weeks there have been a lot of hogwarts goings-on at the belfry. i'm busy getting things ready for the hogwarts homeschool session we'll be teaching, & we've begun the chatting stage for this year's hogwarts hallowe'en bash.

the past 2 weeks thehobbit has been talking more than usual about his hogwarts classes, & dug out an unused kit. then last night i was looking for a non-hogwartsy image on google, & a hermione lego toy was one of the first results.

this morning, whilst watching chitty chitty bang bang, thehobbit brought up these hats. when i asked him why he mentioned them, he shrugged, & went back to watching his movie. i've wanted to make a school hat for some years, perhaps now i will. one for thehobbit as well i suppose.

today we have a few errands, then a playdate with an old hag friends (pardon the inside joke.) we're looking forward to the day; minus the errand bit; but i'm having a hard time getting into the groove of things. do you know what i think would be lovely? mandatory naps after rising from bed each morning. how would one go about getting that on the ballot?
ok enough stalling. i'm off to drag my dirt-encrusted self into the shower. i'll leave you with what thehobbit is currently blaring on his cd player. you're welcome :-)

17 July 2008

oohs, aahs, & ohs - deux

manlyman is home, & in charge of hobbit-wrangling, so we can continue yesterday's chat. not a moment too soon either. how can time fly so quickly, yet individual days take forever?

thehobbit was in a sweet mood all day, it's just that he seemed to need a lot more one-on-one than usual. to be honest i could have used a little less - i'll have a suite of my very own in hell one day for sure.

so back to my treasures:
soap gave me this book. i read it the other night, & i enjoyed it very much. it's nice once in awhile to read something light, & fun.

another treasure was found at the 99c store. a 6-pack of coke. yes, i know - eww. i rarely drink it, & when i do i always feel oogie after. but look!

the bottles are replicas of the 1889 bottles! see?!?! how on earth could i pass up such fun bottles? they're embossed on the front with property of coca-cola bottling co., & are the faint green of recycled glass. now i need only to figure out what i'm going to do with them, & i'll be set.


last night was tu-wednesday craft night. i finished embroidering the last of the birthday crowns, managed a few more rows on manlyman's washcloth, & organized my travel sewing basket. i think i do the last one at every craft night. i don't know what is with me & that basket, but i just cannot seem to keep it in order. do you have a craft bin that you cannot keep tidy? please, please say you do!

the night ended with paper knocking a mojito into my lap - the lengths to which some will go to try to get me out of my jeans. ha!

that's all the sharing i have in me tonight. as i said at the beginning, it's been a long day. i think i'll snuggle with a hot, soycreamy cup of coffee, pop in ear plugs, & just be. or maybe i'll kick manlyman's arse at guitar hero 3.


16 July 2008

oohs, aahs, & ohs

i know it's only wednesday, but i have to tell you that i'm having a really lovely week. in addition to spending a wonderful day with my menfolk, & an impromptu coffee shop crafting with good friends, i'm finding treasures everywhere.

photo :: property of pyrexlove.com

this gorgeous set of pyrex does not belong to me. it belongs to the fabulous site pyrexlove. one of the treasures i found was the second bowl from the bottom; only $1 at a thrift shop! it's 2.5 quarts, so will get quite a bit of use. i love utilitarian, vintage kitchen things. look at me referring to something made within my lifetime as vintage - i must start drinking earlier in the day.

another treasure from the thrift shop was a 6ft fold-up table. it's old school: brown, heavy, faux bois surface - but it was only $20, & now i have my very own table for shows. i like that after the legs collapse, the whole table folds in half. it will make storing & hauling much easier. as long as i have someone with me who can actually lift it.


before visiting the coffee shop yesterday, we popped into the japanese dollar store. i'll have you know i mostly behaved myself - you would have been impressed at my willpower. oh how i do love the japanese dollar store. as usual i bought art supplies, some bento boxes, & something dinky for thehobbit's faerie village. my favorite treasure from this visit was the set of thimbles. i know! something so mundane, but i cannot wait to use them. envy me not this thrilling life of mine.


there were more things i wanted to share, but i was just informed that i have "been on the computer for 100 hours at least." i'm not sure who elected thehobbit keeper of the highly exaggerated time, but there you have it. before you go, tell me what you most look for at thrift shops. what do you collect? leave it in the comments section, so everyone can play.


14 July 2008

photographic evidence!

yesterday was minipom2's 3rd birthday party. i am forever amazed that my tiny baby is a lanky, smelly 10 years old now; but what really blows my mind is watching my friends' kids grow. i imagine it's more bizarre since i'm not with their kids 24 sometimes quite long hours a day.

it was a lovely, relaxing party at one of those tucked out of the way parks. thehobbit had a wonderful time, & ran more than a child just coming off a week-long pestilence should. it's ok though, he needed it - needed to work the cobwebs out of his muscles, & get really tired. what he didn't need was someone; who may or may not have been me; forgetting his floppy hat. he came home one pink-faced little hobbit.


as i write this, said hobbit is listening to his elvis presley xmas cd. i love holiday music as much as the next person, but do i really need to have this in my head? all. day. long? in july? i suppose the fault is mine. i did say that i would love to no longer hear this constantly running through my mind. ask & you shall receive.


so what's with all the gnomes you ask? well these are some of the dinkie gnomies made for minipom2's birthday party. my dear pom was kind enough to send me the photos she took after hiding them for the gnomie hunt. i still haven't the space to put my photos onto my computer; not that i remembered to actually bring the camera; so i'm grateful.

i think they look fabulous out in the wild. this pink one was created especially for the birthday girl. i don't usually make them in non-earthy colors. yes, i am a gnome-snob. what i won't do for my friends. *dramatic, long-suffering sigh*

& on that note, i'm off. we have errands galore to run today, & the public may not want to see me unwashed, wearing stained jams.

11 July 2008

in which i cannot focus

today our r&s group went to see the jane goodall exhibit at muzeo. i don't know how to explain what an amazing experience it was. hearing dr. jane speak back in 2006, was life-changing for my family. thehobbit heard what she had to say, & her words touched his heart. since then dr. jane has been the inspiration for much in his life, & in mine as well.

getting to be in a building filled with photos, belongings, & old films of the woman who rocked our world was, well it was inspirational. i saw my group laugh in the interactive areas, & sit transfixed watching film of her early days at gombe. i also saw my hobbit occasionally slip back to that day in 2006, it was beautiful to see. he also slipped into a 'tude to match an angry chimp's, not nearly as beautiful, but life is rough when one is ten getting over the pestilence.

if you are in the area, i recommend you visit the museum. you will never be the same again.

before the pestilence hit, we went to a matinee. we had to sell all our personal belongings to go, but it was worth it. i risk admitting my alleged age when i tell you that movies were $2 when i was a child.
if you've yet to see wall-e, go as soon as you're finished reading this post. the posters & trailers were so adorable, that i was half afraid the actual movie would be a let-down.
this was one of those rare times when the movie was actually better than we'd hoped. even if you haven't any children you will be glad you went. also if you haven't any children, can i stay at your home awhile? i imagine your tables aren't coated in a layer of sticky, nor are all your surfaces piled with junk treasures. *sigh*

lastly i want to know how to add fonts to my blogger template. i've managed a few hacks, but i have yet to find a hack for this - that i can understand.

this is the font i will be using for my new labels, & i'd like to incorporate it here. not for all the text mind you, just for titles. i'd like to add other fonts as well, so if anyone out there knows how to do this, please help a poor techno-illiterate out.


i'm off to watch brit-coms, & drink a steamy cup of soycreamy goodness. i hope you have a lovely night.


09 July 2008

interesting couch babble

children are strange interesting. there are days i believe my child shall one day be crowned king of the strange interesting.

i opened the new post page, ready to compose what would have been the most brilliant piece of literature history has ever known.

that is difficult to do when at the very moment you put pen to paper, (work with me) your progeny walks by, starkers but for a top hat, & a few mardi gras necklaces. not with a goofy smile; as if to say look how utterly silly i am; but as calmly as if he were wearing say... normal people who aren't living in an all male, nude circus , clothing. or merely clothing.


thehobbit's been hit by a mild pestilence, so we've been at home the last few days. it's entirely possible that he's watched more movies than he usually watches in a string of months. don't get me wrong, i am not complaining - the week has been quiet, & mellow, & i've gotten quite a bit of sewing, reading, & snuggling done. that said; i would like to get this song out of my head - you're welcome :-)

i managed 1 birthday crown, a crochet bag, & a few dinkie gnomies. add to that finally finishing the prezzie for paper, & i am about halfway done with the july birthdays. perhaps the rest of the birthday boys & girls would like my ever-lasting love instead of actual prezzies?


last night we had our wednesday night craft, & our monthly book club meeting. we had to switch this week due to today being minipaper's birthday. happy birthday minip! it was, as always, a lovely evening. do you get bored hearing me say that? perhaps one week i shall come to tell you that the night was dull, & those attending were a bunch of gits - just to keep it fresh.

i didn't craft as much as i ought, but i did manage to work on a custom order before succumbing to the lure of the cozy couch pillows. i blame oddsox, as she treated us to delicious indian food. plus they were her cozy couch pillows. it all smacks of treachery to me; she is trying to keep me from getting my to-dos to-done.

if you're reading along with us, our next book is edmund spenser's the faerie queene. don't be alarmed; we'll be reading this one for 2 months.


that brings tonight's installment of babble from the belfry to a close. have a wonderful night - clothing, top hats, & mardis gras beads optional.


07 July 2008

gnome toilet gnome

of all the blogs in blogland, i have the most wonderful readers. there aren't many of you; but what you lack in numbers, you make up for in fabulomazingness (real word.)

your comments, & emails were much appreciated - i thank you, & my toilet thanks you. ellen wins coolest reader i don't know in person, because i loved her "yuk & damn" comment. that pretty much summed up the whole food poisoning experience for me.

update: i am well, & back to normal toilet um... usage.


in non-toilet news: i received my first order from casey's today. their products are wonderful, the prices amazing, & the package arrived when they said it would. check them out, then come back & tell me what you ordered :-)

the site was recommended by mushroom villagers. instead of painting the people, i'm going to use them for larger gnomies - they must wait until all the july birthdays have been sewn for though. you & i both know what that means: gnomies will get made, & some prezzies will be late.

the gnomies (of all sizes) are slated for two waldorf fairs, but i will make enough to sell online. which reminds me: anything you've seen i can sell to you directly. one of these days i will get my etsy shop open - stop laughing - i will! until then, just ask me.


that is all the babble i have today. thehobbit's asleep, manlyman is exercising, & i am off to look at craft sites get some work done.


06 July 2008


i celebrate manlyman's birthday by coming down with food poisoning. that's right - i dare to be different. i march to the beat of my own drummer. i take the path less travelled.

i wish you the happiest of birthdays my beautiful husband! i love you from here, to the moon, & back again.... if you need me, i'll be in the bathroom


03 July 2008

calling all embroiderers!

is that even a word? i'm sure it is, but it really does not look like it should be.

do you have a favorite embroidery site? know where all the cool patterns hang out? how about tutorials? please! send them my way. i would like to expand my repertoire beyond 3 stitches.

i've already found the tutorials over at the purl bee, as well as the fun collection of patterns at sublime stitching. look at their cute little camping trailer!

image :: property of sublime stitching

any patterns you adore would be welcome. i like seeing what others are into. i am interested in the following:

elizabethan, medieval, retro, herbals, alphabets, dark (skulls etc,) fantasy (as in gnomes, not naughty,) nature, & scroll/curls/whatisthewordi'mlookingfor.


** blogger is messing with my spaces again **

last night we had a special tu-wednesday craft in honor of paper's upcoming birthday. everyone lavished her with prezzies - well most everyone. a certain person; who may or may not be me; has yet to finish sewing hers. there was also a decadent chocolate cake, & absinthe. it was my first taste of the previously forbidden drink. who knew something so beautiful would be that strong? i can now breathe fire.


that's all the babble for today. i'm off to paint birthday cards with thehobbit - for a certain gorgeous man's birthday.

go have a slice of cake (after you send me your embroidery sites please.)


02 July 2008

cross your fingers!!

** edited to add: the tests came back normal, & the doc proclaimed the items in question 'perfect & healthy.' !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you for your thoughts. **

i am leaving in a few minutes for a doctor's appointment. i don't feel comfortable sharing too much of my personal life, but i would love if those of you reading would think healthy thoughts for me.

do not freak, they are just going to check something a little more in-depth than my regular doc was able.

so please cross your fingers that all is well.
& if you are related to me, i need to ask that you keep this to yourself. i don't want to risk it getting back to my parents, & worrying them needlessly.
~peace & thanks.

01 July 2008

dreaming of drawing

i was lucky to grow up in a home that placed great importance on art, & even luckier to have had an amazing artist to guide & encourage me. that artist was my gramma. of the many things she taught me, the 2 that stand foremost in my mind are 1) never stop, & b) live a beautiful life.
the latter means that in everything you do; no matter how small, or mundane a task; you find a way to do it with beauty. what she meant by never stop encompasses too much to discuss in a single post.

i mention it today because i find i've been thinking a great deal about drawing for some time now. i haven't done much of it the last few years; & it has begun to take its toll. i am rusty to be sure, but i know that is easily fixed by time spent filling up sketch books. it's that imaginary wall that is cause for concern. the wall of insecurity, of creative block, of time. i feel stuck behind it; unable to push through, or climb over. so i do nothing instead. never stop doing something you love, my gramma would say - i'm sure this is one of the reasons why.

* * *
some of thehobbit's most favorite books have been calling to me of late. the stories themselves are wonderful, but it is their illustrations that pop into my head through the day, & sometimes in my dreams.

illustration :: property of spiderwick chronicles
as with most people, i like more than one style of illustration. they are usually similar in genre though - fantasy, or nature.

illustration :: property of dragonology

that isn't to say that i don't enjoy illustrations of other things, those are just the ones that most appeal to me.

illustration :: property of here be monsters
if the books in thehobbit's library are any indication, he shares the same preferences: both in style, & in genre. how much of that preference comes from growing up in my home, i wonder? i suppose time will tell - he'll either continue loving what he now loves, or will one day declare it utter rubbish, & line his own home's walls with modern art. cruel imaginary future son!

illustration :: property of arthur spiderwick's field guide

his drawings show only that he is a nutter with a short attention span. thehobbit draws everything from houses & robots, to faeries & dragons. he is talented though, that much is obvious.

not one to chat about drawing, he has mentioned a few times recently that he wants to draw better. i told him if that is true, then he needs to never stop drawing. i wonder if he & i are on the same path? perhaps he is my key to unlocking that wall...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...