Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Messy Kitchen

Do you know why I post close-ups of my favorite things (like this polka dotted cup, the circus bowl....garlic and avocados)?
Because I'm messy.

Oh, didn't you know?
I'm an ENFP...the kind of person who can survive in her car for weeks, because there are so many survival tools in leftover food, umbrellas, coats...extra shoes...oh, is that a can opener? Yep. I'm that kind of person.

You've seen my collage wall...but how often have you seen the dining area in a full picture?
Well, here's one:
I'll go ahead and answer the anticipated questions.
Yes, my Middlest Son is wearing sunglasses in the house while he does his schoolwork. Yes, this is typical for him. No, I haven't cleaned that mirror in weeks...maybe months. Yep, my sewing machine is on the kitchen table. During school time. And, no, I hadn't used it in a few days. That pile of stuff on the floor? It's my fabric, stuffing, and buttons. All necessary stuff. For the kitchen floor. Yes, one blind is closed and the others are open. Because that is how my daughter likes it when she's working at the table. Oh, and there is indeed straw paper trash on the floor. One of the boys must've shot it over there and I simply didn't notice until I examined the photo. Seems someone also stuck a little toy up on the curtain pull-back thing. Oh, well.

The thing is-- I love this room. Messy and all. The stuff doesn't bother me (most of the time...there is that one week each month...) Actually, I don't even notice it most of the time. My Man? Nah, he doesn't care. In fact, he's the most likely one to throw his hat/lunch/keys on the table along with the other stuff. Do we eat at the table together? Yep. I just set the sewing machine on the floor temporarily.
It is clean, if not free of clutter.

Most important to me, it is happy.

We find joy here.
It doesn't need to be perfect to be beautiful (I love Nester.)
Turn around and you'll see the kitchen counters. Aaaaaand, you guessed it, those are usually covered in goodies, too. Here I must say that I try to keep the counters cleared off. I TRY. But these counters are just magnets, I tell you. Everyone loves to draw here, build Legos, balance the checkbook, you name it.

Plus I like to keep the fresh fruit right out in the open, easy to grab for a healthy snack (Fred, I'm talking to you!!)

Closer? Okay:

Papers- check. Legos- yep. Fruit falling off the platter- uh huh. Notebooks and a folder under the Legos? You bet.

But isn't it all pretty? The colors. Yes. Legos? Yes, yes, they're adorable and I love them (except underfoot!) The flowers and chalkboard? I'm smiling. And, yes, I just took the picture...I keep strings of lights up in the hallway year round. Because I like them, and for no other reason. They make me smile. They make me want to dance down the dark string-lit hall at night.

And dishes....oh, I try to keep up with dishes...

at least the ones left out are adorable. So cute.

I mean, who needs to make sure every glass is in the dishwasher, when I have crayon glasses?? Right?
I thought so.

Surprisingly, perhaps, I'm one of those refrigerator-stays-cleared-off kind of people. Only the side of the fridge can be covered in photos and coupons and notes. Otherwise you can imagine the fridge chaos that would result. I stick to one or two current pieces of art to highlight on the front. Here is the latest, and I LOVE it. From Mr.T....the Middlest, sunglass-boy.

This first grader has been practicing those bubble letters. ;)

Mess and all, I love this place!

(Okay, now here's the really crazy thing...I went to get Nester's link copied since I mentioned her and all...and she's doing a link-up of imperfectness right now. Seriously, she posted it this week. Bah...crazy. Wow.

I'll call that a God-thing. He shows me such sympathy...or I should call it grace. Such grace for my imperfections. I'm not alone.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

the small things

This was another uber-easy project, while I was recovering. Too ill to go jogging, scrub floors... but I could sew!

This was simply a matter of tracing the stencil letter-outline, then filling it in, and sewing it up. I used a bright gingham backer, to tie the colors together.

I mentioned games in a previous post. We played Richard Scary's Busytown over and over...
and over and over and over...

Sure, it's as cute as can be but, by the end of the weekend, I was soooo tired of searching for umbrellas and kites. Still, it's my Littlest 'Un's current favorite game so I mustered all the excitement I could, and grabbed my little orange magnifying glass. Beautiful games make repetition bearable.

All in all, the time spent sick was well worth it.
Little home touches were completed, slowly but surely, and we spent a LOT of time just hanging out and relaxing together.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hand-sewn homes

I've been sick for about two weeks now, and have felt worse lately than I did at the beginning. Ugh. All this after I gave my husband "a talk" about his health, how I'd like to transition our family away from white flour entirely, etc. Then I get sick. And there goes my point ~~poof~~ up in smoke. I'd like to think that my diet/habits have caused it to be less severe than it could've been.

Anyhow, I've had to say no to numerous fun social events and have spent a lot of time just playing cards with the kids, watching family movies, sewing. All in all, a welcome change from our sometimes-fast-paced-lifestyle.

Here are some hand-sewn homes I did this past week. The edges are left raw, and sprayed with "no fray." I like the raw look, and figure they won't require much washing.

Each home is about 12-18 inches tall. The fabric comes from the collection I inherited from Mimi.

Home is where your heart is, yes.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Art that Teaches, Lifting the Bleh

No, I still haven't gotten my camera back. Or shipped it off.
Well, why send it off until I have the money to get it fixed, right? That's how we poor folks stay outta debt. You don't have it, you don't spend it.
So, my Mom has been letting me borrow her little Powershot. :) Thanks!
I'm throwing some things out there, trying to get my groove back. Drawin' a little here and there because I know it helps my funk, even if I don't feel the effects right away.

This past weekend I suddenly felt the irresistible urge to paint, which is a wonderful sign for me. Our family's lingering sickness is finally lifting. My S.A.D. coupled with my parents' divorce issues...I feel those emotional burdens lifting.

I want to paint again! (insert fantastical music here and a rainbow forming or something)

We're planning for spring...our animals studies, our garden plans. All of that feels good to me. I even ordered some neat seeds with unique names, and I'm aching to get going on all of that.

Good things, good things. It's a colorless post, but I feel very bright and light inside, and want to get back to the daily happiness and enjoyment of it all.

(Still working on keeping my sarcastic inner voice at bay, though. Heh. Life would be easier without the idiots, no? Okay, okay.)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sewn Valentine's Day Card

I watched my 4-year old niece this past week, in addition to my four little ones. She did school with us, and easily followed along in our schedule. In the afternoons, we focused on arts & crafts, as usual.
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, we started on our family cards (the ones they'll mail to grandparents, give to cousins, etc)

My little guy (also 4-years old) has sewn before, but this was my niece's first time. I simply made white dots with a crayon, on their black paper, to show where they would need to poke in the needle. Of course, at this age, they needed constant supervision, and a little help when it got tangled. For the most part, though, they completed these solo!

This was one of the finished products. Impressive, yes? :D

They're very happy with their work, plus it's a great fine motor activity for little ones.

This little guy also made Valentine's cards, but was more interested in showing off his favorite toy, Bob.

He's my ham, the silly goofy one of the bunch, and lately he's taken to wearing a fedora. Every morning he asks me to paint his mustache on.

How can I resist this face?

His art even reflects his love for Bob. Lovelovelove it.

I'm in love with the little gangsta'!

I'd say my 1st grader is a pretty good artist!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

more melted crayon art

Dancing in the Rain

Like my other crayon art here , we just peeled crayons and ran them straight through our mini glue gun. It's so fast and easy!

On Wednesday evening, we had our often-celebrated Sister Night. After doing some shopping together, we dined at The Pressroom.

YUM. The food and wine were so very delicious.

We did a little posing, too. ;)

me and Julie

The three of us were all born within 3 1/2 years. I know that must've been hard for my parents when we were little, but it sure is nice now!

Amy and me

I love my sisters!