30 May 2011

in the moments between the madness


this year thehobbit took a weekly middle school english class. they read many books, worked on poetry, essays, dialogues, & so much more. since september his love of reading & writing has flourished. i could go on & on about his extraordinary teacher, the fun he's had in the class, & how his writing has developed & matured. but this post isn't about any of that - it's about what i (in between bites of lunch) made for his teacher.

i haven't much time to create these days, between one bit of madness, & another. but i did manage to make this set. do you like them? they are shakespeareanificated (real word) clothespins! i used the same portion of a midsummer night's dream that i use on my shakespeare people. my plan had been to back them with magnets, so she could use them on the fridge, but i couldn't find them in my mess of a studio changed my mind. instead the backs are papered in more of the same.

they are more squat than the average pins; slightly thicker, & about half the length. i sealed both sides with a matte sealer. though they would have been fine left without.

i have one that i use to hold papers, to keep open a book with pesky pages, to hold back a curtain in my sewing nook, & once to hold back hair that was getting in my way. that last was not a fashion statement. i had been sewing & was too lazy to get up for a barrette.

here is mine, decorating the privet:

what about you? what would you use them for?

sets will be available in theshop, um, eventually.

28 May 2011

blah blah blogs


i am a creature of habit. once i find something i love, i stick with it for all time. or, in the case of a few beloved restaurants, until they shut down. the same is true of the blogs i read. i have a handful of favorites, & rarely do more than a cursory glance elsewhere.

recently i decided to behave out of character, to see if the world would come to an end where that would lead me. wow. there are so many fabulous blogs out there! i have stumbled upon craft blogs, cooking blogs, design blogs, fashion blogs, & even vintage blogs.

here are just a few:

adore vintage

enchanted serenity of period films


buckets of burlap

this experiment in pushing beyond my comfort zone turned out to be a positive one. perhaps i'll push a bit in other parts of my life. see what adventures i can stumble into...


27 May 2011

hobbitses are useful


would you look at that clean bathtub. who knew thirteen year old hobbits were so talented? people, i have scrubbed my last tub. hooray for hobbitses!


23 May 2011

(not on) thursday things - homeschooling


this week's thursday things (ha! do you see how i act as though it's been going on weekly all this time?) is about homeschooling. specifically, things that have enhanced thehobbit's experience this past year. by the way, i'm writing this post on a monday for 2 reasons: 1) i am going to be too busy this thursday, & b) because. 

* murderous maths are amazing books! there are some of them, pictured above. they are clever, silly, & ofttimes obnoxious - perfect for my hobbity teen. we get ours from this website, which also sells the horrible histories  (likewise fabulous for homeschooling). i should say here that thehobbit loathes math, yet still enjoys these books.

* brain pop is a great resource for learning all manner of things. i ate too much, so am too sleepy to explain how it works. i'll let them instead (from their website), "brain pop creates animated, curriculum-based content that engages students, supports educators, and bolsters achievement.". to access the majority of their lessons, you do have to pay an annual fee. that said? there are still enough free lessons to make visiting worth your while. 

* netflix. no, seriously! the site is overflowing with documentaries, plays, & educational television series. just spend some time poking around, & you'll see what i mean.

* google earth blows my mind. it's one thing to read about the annex in which anne frank lived, it is entirely another thing to see it, & be able to scroll your view around however you like. we were able to see the gum, on the sidewalk, in front of the building. touristy gum! don't ask me why this thrilled us so.

which reminds me, you can use a few of these together to create a fabulous experience. an example: thehobbit read the diary of anne frank, watched the bbc's version on netflix, looked up the places she mentioned on google earth, then ended with the brain pop lessons (anne frank, adolf  hitler, holocaust). 

of course this way of teaching may not be your cuppa. or you may not be homeschooling. or have children. or like children. however, if you do have (& like) homeschooled children, & this style appeals to you, give some of these a try. let me know in what adventures you find yourself!


22 May 2011

spools behave better


my attempt to take photos for a daddyo-day project ended in failure. the models would simply not cooperate. one was unable to remove all traces of teen angst from his otherwise beautiful face, & the other decided that every photo should show him smiling like an escapee from a looney bin who had spent the past 48 hours ingesting nothing but sugar.

i eventually gave up, sent them off to play, then took photos of my spools instead. well, you didn't think i'd waste the lovely misty light, did you?

i found the spools when going through my mom's studio last year, & knew i would have to have them. empty no longer, they now keep my bits of vintage lace & trim from becoming a great tangled mess. pretty & functional, with the addition of reminding me of my mom each time i walk past them. win, win, & win :)

this trim is my favorite of the laces. i love its dainty discoloredness. or would that be discoloredocity? discoloredification? (all real words)

so i still have photos to take of the boys, but that will have to wait for another day. until then, we can stare at my pretty spools :)

i hope your day is one of loveliness.

21 May 2011

free toy in every package!


to say that elfling loves corks would be an understatement of the utmost kind. for quite some time he has been obsessed. he carries them, keeps them in pockets, plays with them, throws them, rolls them, stacks them, & even kisses them.

at first we were very careful when he played with corks, never letting him have more than 2 at a time, & making sure he kept them out of his mouth. now that he's been a cork addict for such a long while older, & doesn't put things in his mouth, we're much more relaxed about things.

what you see pictured above is his cauldron of corks. he's got a few stashed in various baskets that he can play with whenever he likes, but the mother-lode he needs to ask for. it's not that i don't trust him with that many at once, i just don't want to slip on dozens of corks all the live long day.

if you are looking for something fun for your toddler, i highly recommend collecting corks. we both know you're drinking anyway, so why not do something with the evidence?

many hours can be spent moving corks from one container to another. they can be lined up, stacked, rolled across the floor or down a ramp. your wee one could even involve them in water play! corks do float you know. (please do not put them in the bath. google bath toys bacteria if you don't know why. can anyone say poop soup?)

some of our corks now sport faces & go for rides in a little wooden car. others have become the stuff which is dumped from a dump truck. elfing seems to never run out of ways to use his beloved corks. though, i have to say that lately he most often will tip over the cauldron, & throw the corks, one after the other. yep. we've entered the throwing phase.

who needs expensive toys when you can booze it up instead?


ps :: elfling's vast collection of corks is not the work of any one person. he is blessed to have a few lushes aunties & uncles working on his behalf.

pps :: corks are small enough to pose a choking hazard, & bits are easily picked off. please keep these things in mind when deciding to give your toddler a cork collection of his/her own.

17 May 2011

what would you do?


i bought this summer blouse at a thrift shop a few months ago. originally i was going to alter it to fit, but now i'm not so sure. if i removed the top bit, the rest would make an oh-so-kat skirt.

here is another view of the blouse. look at the gorgeously faded fabric! the ruffles! the embroidery! swoon.

well? what would you do?


16 May 2011

in which i misbehave

on the way home from a long day of homeschooling adventures, i announced that i would be sewing whilst the menfolk (all three) indulged in a nap. we arrived home, snacks were had, a diaper was changed, & off they went. 

i walked into my sewing nook & faced the basket of long-overdue mending. 

& the overflowing back-up basket of mending.

i stood for quite some time, if truth be told.

then i thought screw this, & made myself a new pouch instead.

the damask came from a textile swatch book, the lining from a torn skirt, & the bow from my box of saved ribbons. i love creating new things from old. 

the pouch i use for a wallet had seen better days, so it's not as though i didn't need to make a new one. i just didn't need it today. ah well. the mending will just have to wait for another day. perhaps a day in which i feel more like behaving ;)


14 May 2011

return of the wayward girl


let us pretend, if you will, i was unable to post because i was on extended holiday in the south of france. there was no internet access at my chateau, & had there been i don't know that i'd have been able to get online much.

you see, the lazing about by the pool, the many garden parties thrown in my honor, the daily naps in my hammock - it all left me little time for much else. as it was, the governess had to track me down every so often, so the children would not forget what i looked like. i'm sure you understand.

now that i have returned, i look forward to chatting with you on a regular basis. i must admit, my one & only reader, that i have missed you.

ps. the above photo is unrelated. i know how you pout when you see photoless posts, so pulled one from the archives. i have been having camera/laptop woes - of which i'll spare you.
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