Friday, April 18, 2014

Family Friday, 4.18.14

Just a couple of instagram pics for today's Family Friday, a couple of rediscovered "relics" from my dad and my daughter.

Sister's wedding bouquet from May 3, 2008.

And my dad's drafting tools from high school-1958.
Sorry such a short post. We're moving this weekend! And it's kicking-my-butt overwhelming at this point.
If I'm able to move at all on Sunday, I'll post some Easter Sunday Scenes :) 

Have a great weekend!  Juli

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Scenes, 4.13.14

A few scenes from my Sunday :

I started the day by watching this on Radiolab.org- a story about a baby born at 23 weeks and 6 days. I listened to the hour long radio version yesterday and they mentioned that they had made a short video as well. Such a great story.

Trying to enjoy our last few days in our little house on a big hill in the woods. Oh, man...that sounds so nice, doesn't it? Well, it is. But, I'm really ready to get out of here! I'm ready for not having to slide down the driveway to my car when it snows, less space to clean, no yard work, food delivery and visitors :)  But I will miss our trees.
We are now officially at the point of being between the old house and the new house. Boxes are everywhere at both places. Here, on the left, you see my makeshift coffee table- two stacked wine boxes and a wooden tray. haha! Classy, huh?! And the picture on the bottom right shows all of my art and sewing supplies and my Etsy inventory. I really have no idea where I'm going to put all of this, but I'm thinking that our kitchen pantry will have to serve as an art closet. Two people (sometimes three) don't really need that much food storage space, anyway, right?     

And some more spiffing up at the cross. Sister is so good at making sure it looks nice for every season or holiday and updating the photos on a regular basis.  The blue butterflies are what she had me add today. I think it's looking pretty springy!
And, at this moment,  I'm typing (obviously!), having a cup of tea, waiting for the chicken to finish baking, and waiting for two of my favorite shows (which are on back to back tonight!) Call the Midwife and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
I'm glad to be taking a little break from the moving and packing- but now I have a box of grading staring me in the face. Oh, my. 

Have a great week!  Juli

Friday, April 11, 2014

Family Friday- A place for Peanut, 4.11.14

Today's Family Friday isn't so much about a particular person, but making a space for a particular person. In our new place, that is. Peanut has always had his own room in the house we're in now. Before he was born, I repainted the room a light gray-blue, hung a personalized banner, filled it with old and new toys, shelves of books, etc. He had his own bed, a tv and dvd player for his movies and his own little drawing area with a chalkboard and vintage school chair. It quickly became my favorite room in the house. I just liked to sit in there! And, most importantly, I think he liked it, too.

So, not having a space like that is really the only down side to moving to a smaller place. It has really been bugging me that he won't have that anymore when he comes to Bibi's house. But then, I came across this room on a blog that I follow called The Handmade Home. The blogger home schools her kids and needed a place just for "school", so she converted her dining room to a home school room. I love it! But, I won't have a dining room, either. Dang! But... we do have a loft that will be our family room and I think that room will be perfect for this type of setup. We'll put the sofa sleeper  in there, so it will be a sofa for our tv/movie nights and it will be a sleeper when Peanut stays overnight.  I'll keep the theme the same as his old room- vintage toys, but combine that with vintage "school". I'm excited about trying to incorporate some of the ideas shown in the pictures below :

Love the chalkboard, old style chairs and the globes.

And will definitely be trying this. Great way to organize markers, chalk, crayons, pencils, etc.


Yep, love this room! All of it. Even the rug that looks like notebook paper :)


This image is not from The Handmade Home, but I was unable to find the source. (If someone knows, please let me know!) Anywho, I LOVE the red chair! I think I'll try this with the chair shown below. I love the blue sofa in the picture above, but I'm too much of a chicken to purchase a brightly colored sofa, so a brightly colored side chair will be my compromise.  ( I also love the Vermeer painting/print on the wall!)


This is the most comfortable chair for rocking. I know it doesn't look one bit comfortable. And it doesn't look like a rocker. But it is! It rocks slightly (with a kind of spring system underneath) and since we took the wheels off, it sits closer to the floor and is perfect for rocking a baby :)

This is one of Asher's favorite spots at my house, so I'll be setting it up the same way at the new place. He loves to sit in his chair, look at his books and write on his chalkboard :)
Well, I better get back to packing. Have a great weekend!  Juli

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Scenes, 4.6.14

Well, I have to admit that I'm cheating a little bit, here. These first few scenes are actually from last Sunday. A nasty stomach virus was spending some time at Sister's house this weekend, so I didn't get to see her or Peanut. But we had a great time last Sunday :)

Spiffing up the cross again. We added some metal flowers this time instead of the artificial ones. It still looks pretty drab in this picture, but in person it looks much better than before.                
Peanut has no idea that he has a little brother lurking right behind his head!

Beautiful day for the park last weekend :)

This is the same park I used to take my kids when they were little.
And here they are, in that same park. Little Man was 'full time' back then. If two people were not holding his hands, he was off and running! Gotta love those little overalls :)
Okay, another cheat. This is actually a Saturday Scene! I had a great time at my niece's bridal shower yesterday.

Loved the little favors- take-out style containers filled with chocolate and a personalized lip balm. Cute!
And on the making front:
Trying to brush up on my watercolor skills. I'm not gonna lie- it's not going well. haha! Oh, well. More practice is good, right?


And I received a request for a custom onesie. This is what it looked like before stitching. I write or draw out what I want on paper, then flip the paper over, hold it up to a window, (I have to hold it up to the window to see through it since I don't have a light table...yet!) and trace over it with an iron-on transfer pen.
And this is the finished product. Pretty easy one- finished in less than an hour :)
And I completely forgot to list this pillow. I put it in the box with all of my other Etsy items, and forgot all about it. It's now listed :)
And I was pretty excited to use my new twill tape labels.
On the townhouse front, not much excitement happening, other than the fact that it is now officially ready to be inhabited. Yay!
Last step, before moving in- our new icebox. Exciting, huh?! I am pretty excited about it, actually,  as it seems twice as big as the one I have been stuck with for the past 8 1/2 years. Ready to fill it with food and cook our first meal there. That's when it officially feels like home :)
Till next time ~ Juli

Thursday, April 3, 2014

An early bird Family Friday: My mom, 4.3.14

This week's Family Friday is dedicated to my mom. I really don't think my mom  is aware of the impact she has had on me and my desire to be a maker and, I think, even more importantly, to be a good homemaker. Just the other day, Little Man had a pair of golf pants that needed to be mended. So, I borrowed Sister's mini sewing kit, found thread that almost matched and within a few minutes, his pants were repaired. I handed them over to him and he said 'Wow! You're good!". My response, "I learned from the pro over there" and glanced over at my mom across the room. Her response, "Me??! I don't think I taught you how to sew!". Uhmm...yes, mom, you did! She says that she didn't really teach me, that I just always wanted to watch what she was doing when she had a needle and thread in her hands. (I had a lot of opportunities, since she made a lot of our clothes herself).

My mom- then.



My mom- now. And my dad, too! This was on their 50th wedding anniversary in 2008. (Yes, they were very young when they got married!)




But what she probably doesn't know is how much I noticed all of the other things that made her an awesome mom. The everyday things, like:

How she always had a great meal on the table for us every morning and every night.

How she spent her days making our home really nice (even though we had very little money) by rearranging the furniture so it often seemed new even though it was just the same old stuff.

Sometimes spending entire afternoons polishing the paneling (of all things!) so it wouldn't look dull.

How she taught me how to iron while we watched Days of Our Lives together.

How she would prepare some kind of desert every single night for us all to enjoy while we watched our shows together (my favorite- popcorn, Pepsi, apple slices and Hershey bars!).

And the little ways that she showed her love for my dad. For example, every day she would finish making supper, then go into her bedroom to carefully apply her lipstick before my dad got home. And in the summer, she would sit and visit with my dad while he did yard work- continually moving her chair around the yard every time he moved on to a new chore.

There are obviously many more things that she did for us. Things that made me want to be the kind of mom that she was. And I think the fact that she took so much pride in her home, her family and herself  is really what made me want to give that to my own family.

The trusty, old sewing machine. This is the machine that my mom used for many years. I learned how to sew on this machine (once, sewing right over my finger as part of that learning process!). It's part of my early inheritance :) I recently had it refurbished and will never get rid of it. Ever.

The flower-girl dress my mom made for me for a family member's wedding. Uhmmm...can you tell it was made in 1970?! haha

And this must have been what started it all. My mom said I would just sit and watch her as she hand smocked this dress for me to wear to my aunt's wedding. Now I want to go smock something!



So, back to the sewing and the making. As I mentioned before, my mom made a lot of my sister's and my clothing. (What I loved about that is that I was actually getting something new for myself, not a hand-me-down from my sister!) We still have a few of the things she made for us and since I'm closing in on the big "5-0", I'm going to go ahead and call them "vintage" heirlooms :)  Having these heirlooms is a big part of what makes me want to make things. Things- whether those things are paintings or onesies or blankets or pillows. It doesn't really matter. What matters is that the people who end up with the things that I make, consider those things to be thoughtful and carefully crafted. And that they will, hopefully,  end up in that baby box or hope chest for the next generation to discover, enjoy and maybe even reminisce about. (I'm a hopeless reminiscer!) 

Thank You, Mom!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Scenes, 3.23.14

Scenes from my Sunday:

Sunday morning was spent at the new place, spiffing up the front porch.

I've never, ever had a beige front door (really not my style), so I thought this cute little arrangement would add some color.  This came from the the Wooden Door, a great little shop in Wentzville.

And a Martha Stewart welcome mat from good ol' Home Depot.

Home again for an afternoon of packing boxes and working on tests for school this week. I will really miss this scene- deer in my front yard to greet me as I pull up to the house. It's really pretty cool.
Packing boxes is already getting old and I really haven't even made a dent in it yet!
And little Olive is a bit out of sorts. Not only does she sense something is going on, but her bangs are way too long :)

 Marty McFly is just too cool to be stressed. After two months spent hiding under a chair when Roxy (our trial dog) was here, moving, in Little Man's words, "ain't no big thang".
But it is a big "thang" to me. So I'm keeping some of my favorite things in place until the very last minute. Like this little vignette of my favorite people in the world. And my cute little bunny couple that M. couldn't resist buying for me last week :)
Not much making going on around here, due to the move. But things are in the works, as soon as we get settled. Until then, I hope you don't mind my moving (as in "motion", not "emotion"!) stories.

Have a great week!  Juli

Friday, March 21, 2014

Family Friday- M. 3.21.14



A couple of my favorite photos of M.- before and after tractor pics!


This Family Friday is dedicated to my husband, M.- my strongest supporter, cheerleader and source of encouragement. He is the one I run ideas by for my projects, paintings and posts for this blog (although he doesn't know about this one!). He is the calm in this stormy head of mine.  He is the one who made me realize that independence (yes, even if you're married) is a good thing. He believes in me more than I believe in myself. And for all of these things, I will be forever grateful.

But, I'm not gonna lie, many times along our sometimes rocky road over the last 10 years I find myself remembering a quote from the movie "Indecent Proposal", when Demi Moore tells Robert Redford, "From where we started, we've got nowhere to go". Yes, our beginning wasn't your typical beginning. Definitely not ideal. And when the road is rocky, I have sometimes thought, "There is nowhere to go". But when the road is smooth, I remember why we're here in this life together.

One of our two wedding pictures. Yes, two!


From the very beginning we were aware of our many shared interests- our love for and interest in art, wine, good food and good movies and our views on some very fundamental issues like religion and education. We always have something to talk about. The conversations may become heated debates sometimes, but, hey, we're having a conversation. In my book,  that is huge!

I'm sure when people see us together, though, they wonder what actually did bring us together. We are probably more opposite than any two people could be. On the surface, that is. He's 62. I'm 48. He's quiet and even tempered. I am not so quiet and have a very short temper. He thinks before he speaks. I speak before I think. He's very secure and outspoken about his opinions. I'm always afraid of offending someone with mine.  He usually looks grumpy, when he's really "smiling on the inside". I usually have a smile on my face, even though much of the time there is a cloud over my head. I really could go on and on about our differences! But, I won't :)

I think some of our differences, though, are really what makes us appreciate each other. I think I've always needed a no-nonsense, calm "presence" in my life. These last two years (since the death of Ruben J) have been proof of that. M. is my calm presence. He really could not be or have been more understanding about my struggle.

And I think he needed a "talker" in his life. (I'm not sure if he agrees with me on this one!) He tends to bottle things up when something is bothering him. I have to get things out in the open. Explain everything. Ask a ton of questions. So, when he starts to shut down, I get completely vocal. Oh, my, do I get vocal! haha! But, I've noticed that he doesn't just shut down like he used to. And that is a good thing.

So, yeah, the road has not been completely smooth. But, really, I think the bumps are what ultimately make us realize that, yes, we do have somewhere to go.


Have a great weekend. I'll be back here on Sunday :)   Juli




*P.S. I struggled about whether or not I should include this, so I "P.S."d it!  :

I've mentioned several times on this space that I'm not a religious person, but... I do believe in people having a "6th sense". I believe in "signs". And I believe that some things happen "for a reason".   M. lost his mom when he was just 13 years old in the same (almost exactly the same) way that my kids lost their dad. One would think that is just a coincidence. But I'm taking it as another sign or maybe a 6th sense on my part. Maybe M. was placed in my life or I was lead to him for a specific reason- for me, yes, but also so that my kids would have a living example of someone who went through exactly what they have gone through and survived it. And even thrived, in spite of it. If that is just a coincidence- it's a huge one.