Monday, January 25, 2010

Bird Update

Baby Olivia saw Dr. Hofman today for her 15-month checkup, so I thought I'd post a little update.

Dr. Hofman said that, "She's the best one out there!" and said that I could share that.

So there. He DOES think she's the best baby ever (but probably after his own kids and grandkids, naturally--though he didn't clarify that...).

She's taller than the average 2-year-old. And not quite that heavy, but close enough. He gave her a clean bill of health.

On the home front, she has become a very busy girl: walking, almost-running, playing with her toys, playing with Daddy, playing with the doggie, dancing, trying to talk, etc.

Here's what she's been up to.

Hanging with JB:

Channeling her inner Axl Rose:

Reading (she dons all these headpieces on her own):

And shaking' her booty (she prefers to dance w/o audiences, so I had to sneak up on her):

My Mom says she gets those moves from her, and I believe her. Because I didn't teach her any of this, and she's never seen it on TV.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


When I got on the internets this morning (in lieu of going to church, as O has a cold and I cannot let her share her germs and snot with the other babies at church) I had intended to post about my sewing endeavors.

But then CNN and a few of my fellow bloggers have dissuaded me.

I am very, very sad about the situation in Haiti.

Yes, catastrophes happen all the time, all over the world. The world is FULL of suffering EVERY DAY.

But Haiti was already full of people who were suffering, and now they've got a double serving. And what really makes me sad is the children and orphans who are there. The children and orphans who do not even have clean water to drink. An adult who finds himself without water can at least understand why, and maybe even take steps to get water. But kids don't understand. They just know that they're thirsty and hungry and they don't feel good. They did not ask to be born into such abject poverty or uncleanliness. They were just happily playing in their scrappy surroundings when one day the earth shakes, and now they have nothing.

Then this morning I read about 10 children still trapped in the rubble of a home as of Saturday. Kids! Trapped underneath rubble for DAYS. The workers could still hear their voices in there, faint as they were getting.

Yesterday NPR aired an interview with a man who was trapped with his colleagues under a collapsed building for 50 hours. I thought to myself, "50 hours??? I would have lost my mind by then." But 50 hours is lucky compared to those kids in the house.

And then there are the families in the U.S. who are adopting children from Haiti. Some of them do not know if their children are still alive. What if baby Olivia had been born and living in Haiti, and we finally got to pick her out for our own and just had to wait, and then the earth shakes and we have no idea if she's alive? Or worse yet, we hear from the orphanage that she is alive, but there is no food or water. And she's hungry and thirsty and sad. And we can't do anything to help her. She's just walking around that orphanage listlessly, looking for a drink, when there is none.

So any of you big-rollers, please give cashola to help the Haitians. Red Cross is a good place. Or pick from this list.

And you praying types, pray for Haiti and those kids. Well, pray however the Spirit leads you. But I feel really sad for all the baby Olivia's over there right now.

Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world.

(Please pray for my baby friends in Haiti!)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Guess who?

Tonight as I was searching for something else I stumbled upon this photo:

Holy crap! Either my Mom got some botox done, or Olivia went back in time to 1979! I look so cute I want to hug me! It is sooo weird to see my likeness in someone else.

Here is an actual photo of Mom and Olivia. Yep, O has my hair (and my Mom's)--sorry, O!

And Marian and Olivia, where you can see the side profile likeness.

On a related note, my mom saw this photo in an album that my cousin Bonnie made for Granny for Christmas. Mom said, "How did you get that photo of me and April??"

(To give her credit, back in the day she did have a shirt exactly like this one...)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wool Felt Goodness

As I've already posted, I made a lot of stuff to give as Christmas presents this year.

Two things I made that I now have photographs of are a Spring table runner for Marian, and a felt tea cosy for Marian's birthday on New Year's Eve.

The table runner was designed by JB, so I'm very proud to showcase it here, because I think that JB is very talented and was thrilled that he was inspired to do this. It took two months from start to finish, and it felt good to complete it. It is all handsewn and creating the pattern with proper dimensions took some time. The flower stems themselves took three hours to sew, if you want an idea of how long it took. So no, I will not make one for you, no matter who you are! :) It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing (famous last words), but I may make the pattern printable/sharable. I may even try to sell the pattern, but really, who wants to spend nearly two months sewing a runner?? It's worth a try:

We even got really creative and made the tongues be the dirt, with the bulb flowers having bulbs, and the other flowers having roots:

Earlier this year Marian saw a cool wool Jan Constantine tea cosy in a British magazine (love that British style!) and I tore that magazine page out, thinking I could make her one. I mean, I could have bought her one: for $164!!! No, not sixty four. ONE HUNDRED and sixty four dollars. But that's a little out of my price range.

I checked out her website and JB was really interested in her Americana ones, so we did a hybrid version of two of hers and came up with this (we didn't use pure wool, because that's where part of the $164 comes from):

which Marian loved.

And then demonstrated how it is not a hat, contrary to the popular story!

So now I'm kicking around making things to sell on Etsy, such as cool felt tea cosies. But not this one. Because it's probably considered a Jan Constantine rip off and if she can charge $164 for one tea cosy, she probably has enough bankroll to fly her lawyer across the ocean to pay me a visit.

I have one original pattern idea up my sleeve. However, I have also declared this year to take my "crafting sabbatical." Not Quilting sabbatical (because who in their right mind would give that up?) but Crafting. So the only sewing I wish to do this year will revolve around quilts. This means no homemade Christmas presents. Sorry, guys. Mama's tired.

This means that I'm not sure when I'll make these tea cosies for Etsy. But one day, when my faithful unemployment runs out, it may just happen...

Christmas Part III

After our Berkley Bonanza we hiked north to Mayberry for our part of Teague Christmas. I was pumped to give my family all my homemade gifts. JB was tired. Olivia was FLIPPED.

We got there ahead of the other car of Teagues, so it was just Aunt Annie and us for a little bit. Which was perfect for Olivia, who loves Aunt Annie, and who also needed some quiet times. So Annie changed O and put her in her jams and the little girl started to feel a little better.

Then we opened presents. I made something for everyone this year except for Dad, who got fishing gear. I cannot make fishing gear. Though I did give him and Mom a copy of the Les Cheneaux calendar that I'm in. So that was kind of homemade.

Anyway, I did not take photos of everything, but here are some of the things that I made:

Okay, so I didn't make the French drawing on the left that Annie got. But I did dig it out of a pile of art at an estate sale and took the time to go back the next day when everything was 50% off. I think my favorite thing I made for Teagues was Tommy's MSU Vernor's picture in the middle there. I self-matted a double mat for that sucker. And I like it so much I'm going to make one for myself! I also made Mom an upholstered cushion for her kitchen bench, and matted for Krystal a photo I took of our beloved pet, Reba.

Present breakdown: Again, too much to name, but most memorable gifts were a mega-giftcard from Tommy to my favorite quilting shop, Smith-Owen. He was sneaky and picked it up when he was in Grand Rapids a few weeks ago. I had no idea he did that. V. cool! K embroidered each of us a pillowcase that she (er, MOM) made. K does beautiful embroidery. And since my old purse was dead (I bought it over six years ago when I was in Nashville for cousin Sarah's wedding!), JB and Annie put their dollars (and Anne's Macy's discount) together and got me this:

(Note also the new MSU shirt, and the cool Christmas tree that we picked out of Mom and Dad's front yard a few weeks ago. I think it was a Norwegan Pine. Very good branches for hanging ornaments.)

After presents were opened and Olivia went to bed, it was game time. Our last game of the night was Apples to Apples, which by that time, our Czechoslavakian maid, Rachel, was there to play.

Some quotes:

Krystal : "I think Abraham Lincoln was ugly!"
Tommy, looking at K: "People have told me that I look like Abraham Lincoln."

"If you pick Broadway, the terrorists win!"

"I did not tie a couch to my back!! It was a (upholstered) chair!" (True Story.)

And of course, as many family conversations tend to do, the talk came around to bodily functions. Don't everyone's family conversations do this?

So a few hilarious stories were told, causing tears to come to our eyes.

Then it was my turn to pull out a card for people to choose a definition for: Nasty.

The entries were thrown into the middle of the table and I picked them up and flipped them over, revealing two "fill-in-the-blank" cards. Anne shouted out, "FECES!" for her entry. Tommy couldn't top that one, I thought. But I didn't give him enough credit, as he said, "Dad's horseshoe-shaped turd!"

No contest.

"Tommy's feces wins!" I said.

Hope you all had a wonderful, horseshoe-shaped-turdless Christmas!