April 25, 2011

New York Weekend

April 22, 2011

Lunch at the Kimmel

We had a totally great little visit to the Kimmel Center for their International Festival lunchtime concert series. The Eiffel Tower looks really great - even though we didn't get to see it lit up - and the moving trains, blimps, and airplanes were a huge hit with the small people, even if they remained unconvinced that the old-timey biplanes were actually planes and not helicopters (but what about that giant propeller!). Added bonus - we managed to sneakily evade a well-meaning but strict docent and make our way to the rooftop garden to check out the suspended vehicles from up close - definitely worth it.

During the concert, Jakey plopped himself down on a patch of carpet, clapped avidly in between songs, and talked loudly during the actual music.

Lara, meanwhile, was so embarrassed about his uncouth conduct that she went off by herself to listen in peace. She has a really high threshold for the proper amount of respect that needs to be shown to performers. It's kind of great, actually - we just went to see "Mary Poppins", and she shushed my whispered, "Do you like it?"

Back at home, there was a new sheriff in town, however. Oh, and the open mouth? He's yelling "Lara! Laraaaaaa!"

April 16, 2011

Quilt Bottom

Thanks so much for the quilt-back explanations, guys! I never would have thought of how the quilting seams need to line up. But I do have a follow-up question - it feels like a lot of quilts these days are quilted freehand, with those loopy random swirls and whirls. That kind of pattern doesn't really need a plain back, does it? Anyway, in my case, I probably should have mentioned that I'm not planning to quilt this thing - the inside is going to be an old down comforter and I'm guessing those feathers would make for way more broken needles than I want to deal with (how many do I want to deal with, you ask? Um, zero.). So instead I'm taking the lazy coward's way out - I'm going to tie this baby.

Flannel polka dot quilt bottom

Oh, and no, I totally didn't prewash - again, for laziness reasons. Last time I prewashed, the fabric went totally out of square and added an extra layer of annoying to the cutting out. I like to take the easy way out and use the fabric hems as guides. Also, since a lot of these flannels are polka dotted, I was basically cutting along the dotted lines much of the time, rather than laboriously measuring everything out. In my defense, I am still somewhat traumatized by the amount of time this thing took.

April 15, 2011

Newest Art

Lara's become a drawing fiend all of a sudden - which is completely wonderful, since she will sit and draw perfectly happily entertained for quite a while. Which... well, we all need a parenting break every now and again and this way I don't have TV guilt. What's even better is that Jakey, who only wants to do whatever his big sister is doing, will equally happily scribble next to her for almost as long as she is drawing. Two kids playing together! Without me as entertainment! And it's good for the old noodle, too! Boom. Winning.

Anyway, here are some recent favorites:

This is Arthur riding a surfboard in the ocean (which is complete with sand, seaweed, and rocks on the ocean floor), while an alligator is coming to eat him. I hope he gets away!

And this is a lovely house with some hammocks in the yard. Mmmm... Vacation...

April 13, 2011

Humming Along

Polka dot flannel quilt top

Voila - a new quilt is half-done, now that the top is assembled. It's all flannels, and I'm going to do a design something similar, but in different colors, for the back. I've discovered that I like having the ability to flip the thing over and change the decor of the room - and also that there's not really any reason to have a quilt back just be one solid color or pattern (or is there? Is there some secret reason for the fact that that's how most of them are made?).

I'm doubly excited for this one, because I'm going to use it to cover our existing drab-gray hideous comforter. Yay bed!

April 10, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

Spring Twig Bouquet

It's been really awesome to watch Lara go from sort of going along with craft projects to suggesting and executing her own ones. I guess it makes sense - you kind of have to know what the possibilities of materials and tools are before you can figure out ways to use them in some creative fashion. Nevertheless, awesome.

We've been looking at the blooms and buds on the trees a lot around here, mostly because I find this specific sign of spring endlessly delightful and keep pointing it out every time we see a tree. Which is often. I may be somewhat annoying. But on the walk home from school the other day, Lara and I started picking up interesting branches. I was just imagining a stick bouquet, but she came up with the cute idea of making our own blossoms to decorate them! How cute are these flowers? I love that she made different sizes, and also how well she spaced them out, aesthetics-wise. Man, I just love that amazing kid.

April 8, 2011

Short Pants

Toddler mid-calf pants from women's shorts

Short pants because they fall mid-calf on Jakey... and short pants because they were made from a pair of women's shorts! Oh, I am a clever one indeed .

Seriously, though, I always feel like I can never have enough tiny Jakey pants. Even though I'm already planning to cut the ones he's been wearing this winter shorter for spring/summer weather (well, at least the lighter weight ones, or the ones where I can cut out the lining as well), I wanted to make some new ones too.

This was a fairly easy recon. I basically just cut out the middle of the shorts (because I wanted to save the pocket detail), and used the existing hem as the hem. Then I re-cut the middle into little-kid-pant-pattern, just eyeballing it and comparing with a pair of existing pants.

April 7, 2011

Tank Girl

So, this is apropos of nothing, but when I was in high school, the movie version of the comic book "Tank Girl" came out. Do you remember it? It apparently bombed big time, and probably killed off Lori Petty's career. But I saw it in the theater and LOVED IT. I had no idea it was based on anything (and really, that wouldn't have helped - I recently checked out the books and... um... it's a slightly different vision, shall we say). I just loved the devil-may-care 'tude, the wackadoo clothes, the raunchy wise-cracks. What can I say? I was a really obedient, good kid, and this was probably just about much vicarious rebellion as I could handle.

Oh, were you expecting a point to this story? Sorry, this one just has a beginning and a middle.

But hey, speaking of tanks, I reconned one a blingy one from my mom for Lara the other day. I don't have a before picture, so just picture a normal, no frills tank - and then feast your eyes on this baby!

green tank top with ruffle and sparkles 2

And here is the girl herself, modeling up a storm:

green tank top with ruffle and sparkles

Love it!

April 6, 2011

While I Was Out...

... I was lucky enough to be featured in a page of cool kid kitchens in the New York Daily News!

I love the punny "Tot Chef" title, especially since I was glued to this past season like I have been to every other one. Thanks, Daily News!

April 5, 2011

You Guys!!!

I'm totally still here! Thank you so much for the comments of concern!

Ok, so I could probably offer up excuses and explanations - we were traveling, and then were sequentially felled by some kind of beastly stomach flu from the depths of the ninth circle of hell (you know, the level reserved for acts of treachery, which this thing certainly was totally guilty of, what with its randomly changing incubation period and symptom order and duration. Overdramatic much? Maybe, but I earned it with our 2-time ER visit week.)

Anyhoodle, luckily the kids got off comparatively lightly and were back in the saddle in no time.

And by the saddle, I of course mean, the big mommy-and-daddy bed, which is perfect for some sibling bouncing action.