Friday, April 29, 2011

this moment

joining SouleMama for this Friday tradition...

please leave a link to your own "moment" from the week if you wish!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

a ball for Felix

I was eager to try out my new work space last night, so as soon as the babies were in bed I started a little project. (Thanks to Dan for playing with Henry while I sewed!)

It's a kit I got from A Child's Dream, and it turned out to be easy to make and also pretty fast (I think it took about an hour with a few interruptions). It's a wonderful feeling to be able to make something start to finish in one evening!

The ball is made from plant-dyed wool felt and stuffed with wool. I added a bell because a ball with a bell is better than a ball without a bell, in my opinion.

Finished! I think this would make a wonderful new baby or first birthday gift.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

corners of my home : a new desk

Welcome to my new favorite spot!

To give you an idea of what an amazing transformation this is, here is the space before:

I know, big change, right? What made this all possible was my other incredible find at the thrift store last Wednesday (is it possible that I found something more wonderful than that dollhouse?! Yes, it is). I spied this white desk with my little eyes and fell in love. Seriously, if I were to design my "dream desk," this is exactly what it would look like. It's so cute and compact but has tons of storage space in the drawers for all my bills, work stuff, and stationery, and just enough space on the desktop for computing and crafting to my heart's content. Plus, the fact that it's vintage, solid wood, and has claw feet doesn't hurt either.

The silver pitcher and the blue glass vase both belonged to my Grams, and I love thinking of her when I look at them.

I've been trying to find a new location for this blue chair for months and it's finally found its home! It fit perfectly in between the desk and bookcase as though it was always meant to be there. It's great for nursing (this room doubles as my studio and the playroom - all the toys are in a bookcase on the opposite wall, so it's nice to have a comfy nursing spot near where the big boys are playing, as well as for friends when they come over - hint, hint!) or lounging next to someone as they're working at the desk, as Dan is doing now.

I love the handles on the drawers:

And of course, the claw feet (now if I can only get that claw foot bathtub someday...)

Henry helped me take down the old desk and once I set up the new one was eager to try it out. Here he is writing a letter to his friend L.

Even Felix was excited about it!

The space still needs some more art on the wall and a good lamp, but it's getting there! I'm so excited about all the dreaming, wishing, planning, making, finding, exploring, learning, and growing I'm going to do in this space. (Yes, I've been using Nikki McClure's Things to Make and Do a lot already!)

I would love to hear from you - what is your current favorite spot in your home?

(corners of my home is inspired by SouleMama)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Sunday : Jude's first Communion

Yesterday was a big deal not only for the obvious reason that it was Easter Sunday, but for us it was also Jude's first communion. Fr. W always offers him the bread but he's never chosen to take it...until yesterday! I think it's so special that it happened on Easter, and I will always remember that. I know he's only 20 months old, but I believe he was aware at least to some extent of the significance of the day yesterday in church. He was really observant, more than ever before, of everything the priest and servers were doing. I intentionally seated us right next to where the Gospel reading would be, and he left the pew (something Fr. W is comfortable with) and approached Henry and Dan, looking at the thurible and touching the spoon in the boat. Usually Fr. W is not phased by this, as in the past Jude has done any number of humorous things such as running across the front of the church, trying to get to Dan and Henry in the sacristy, playing around Fr. W's feet while he's delivering the sermon...but for whatever reason, on this day Fr. W found Jude's actions to be hilarious and he was just laughing out loud. I didn't think he was going to be able to compose himself for the Gospel reading!

Obviously I wasn't able to capture Jude taking the bread for the first time on camera, but here he is hunting for eggs in the garden with Dan after the service:

Also of note was that Dan and Henry served as Thurifer and Boatbearer for the service. I wish I had a better picture of them in their cassocks, but this is the only one (thanks S!)
And here is our Easter family photo. We were all hot and tired, as you can clearly see:
This one would be great if I didn't have my eyes closed:

I can honestly say that my favorite part of the day yesterday was being at church. I felt our whole family really participated in the church community, and that makes me so happy. The rest of the stuff like having the easter egg hunt, making a fancy dinner, and all that I find a bit stressful and tiresome. Nonetheless, I did the best I could (I probably should have checked the weather forecast to see that it was going to be in the mid-80's before planning to make a beef brisket that needed to cook for 3 hours!!)

On our Easter table was the eggs Henry and I dyed together on Saturday:

Also on the table was a salad from our very own garden:

I really wanted to give the boys something handmade yesterday, so I made these little chicks in the afternoon:
I used the pattern from Handmade Beginnings and stuffed them with wool batting and a bell.
While I was making the chicks, Henry decided to make a mobile for Jude (he's been really into making mobiles ever since he learned about Alexander Calder at the National Gallery):

And Jude enjoyed playing with the extra bells:

I admit that I may have overextended myself a bit with the undertaking of this project, which resulted in dinner being late and me being cranky about that...but I'm still trying to integrate these types of creative projects into an already full life. I definitely plan to do it further ahead next time (as in not the day of!) In any case, I think they turned out pretty cute:

Here are our "Easter flowers" with one of my current favorite books and a quilt square I got in the mail last week. I think I'll make it into a pillow, but for now I'm enjoying just moving it around the house, looking at it, thinking about the person who made it...
And finally, some flowers that Henry picked for me outside:

Happy Easter, everyone!

I would love to hear from you - please post a favorite or special moment from your Easter below!

Easter eggs, hard-boiled

It seems that natural egg-dyeing is all the rage this year, and I totally jumped on the bandwagon. I read several blogs, articles, and tutorials and then decided to go for it. We used cranberries for red, blueberries for blue, and a combo of chamomile tea/curry powder/chili powder for yellow. I'm really pleased with how the blue and yellow turned out, but I think I'll try beets next year instead of cranberries. I have to admit it was really fun using actual food, spices, and tea, and seeing what colors they yielded.

I loved Soulemama's idea of dyeing muslin along with the eggs for a Maypole. I ended up using ours as part of the centerpiece, placing the eggs on top of the muslin. I'm really pleased with all the colors I was able to get, especially the darkest purple. Here they are drying:

And here is the centerpiece on our Easter table:

Easter Egg Hunt 2011

The boys had a total of THREE Easter egg hunts in the morning, another at church after the service, and a third in the afternoon right before dinner. The one pictured here is the one in the morning, which was Jude's first-ever Easter egg hunt. (I don't know why we don't have any pictures of the one in the afternoon, I think by then we were all hot and tired!)

Later this evening (after the boys are all in bed) I'll post about our whole Easter weekend. There were just so many photos of the hunt that I wanted to post this separately.