And So, Alas, My Son’s Mullet Is Gone (but at least my mom is the one who cut it off!)

As Nik liked to say, Mark’s hair was “business in the front and party in the back!” for many months.  We trimmed his hair a bit in April but Mark really hadn’t ever had a real hair cut.  And, as you may have noticed, it was really long, so long, in fact, that he had started to ask for a clip (like Ellie) so that he could keep his hair out of his eyes.

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Here, you can see for yourself how long it was (and hear him assert himself as the almost-two-year-old that he is):

We were just up in Alaska for a week, visiting my family and so I asked my mother to cut Mark’s hair.  I had been dreading this haircut for a long time (hence the mullet) because Mark absolutely hates to have his hair touched.  But, as it turns out, he’s addicted to the television screen and a little video was all it took to keep him mesmerized while Nana cut his hair.

IMG_0380 (1280x854) IMG_0381 (1280x960) IMG_0384 (1280x960)so much hair everywhere!

IMG_0392 (1280x854)They had a lovely time together! :)

IMG_0387 (1280x852)And now, my boy looks so grown up!  (I’m not sure if I should put a smiley face or a sad face at the end of this sentence.  I’m a bit conflicted about it.)

IMG_0396 (1280x853)IMG_0412 (1280x855)showing off his new haircut and his cousins’ silly glasses

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A New Thanksgiving Tradition

We certainly have some Thanksgiving traditions in our family.  I always make these pumpkin orange rolls, of course we eat cranbrosia, and we (for three years running now) braise our turkey for the most incredibly delicious and moist turkey you’ve ever had.

So the food, for me, is the easy part about hosting Thanksgiving.  What I haven’t managed to figure out is decorating.  Our table is large and I don’t have a table cloth to fit. (I do feel compelled to confess that I do have the fabric to make one and it’s been two Thanksgiving now where I haven’t managed to make it!) Just before Thanksgiving this year, I heard/read an idea to use brown paper to cover your holiday table and I thought, “This I can do! I have a enormous roll of brown paper!”

So I “wrapped” our table with brown paper, added some folded fabric for a faux-runner (yet another project on my “will it ever get made?” sewing list), pumpkins, and apples, and ta da!  A decorated table!

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What I didn’t anticipate was all the fun we had drawing on the table after the meal was over!  It was a great way to help Ellie and Mark sit with us a bit longer and the adults had fun too!

007 (800x533) (3)In the picture of us above, note the “Pilgrim boats” place cards on the plates, which Ellie and Yiaya made.  Our friend, Lisa, arranged them on this little map! :)

011 (800x533) (3)Mark’s contribution

010 (800x533) (2)Ellie is really into filling up space right now!

009 (800x533) (3) 008 (800x533) (2)I love these moose! Particularly the one too full to stand up!! Thanks Lisa!

Also unexpected was how easy it was to clean up the table – just roll up and recycle!  It feels odd to say this because we avoid almost all paper products in our household but this may just be one thing that becomes part of our Thanksgiving from here on out! :) (And would let me shirk my tablecloth sewing for a few more years.)

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Poor Neglected Second Child

He’s forced to use a bag for a backpack because I haven’t gotten around to sewing him one.

001 (800x800)For the record, even though I did sew one for his sister, she seems to prefer a bag too.

002 (799x800)Silly kids! :)


dropping consonants means backpack becomes, “ack ack”!

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A Pre-Thanksgiving Blessing For You

May your turkey be flavorful and delicious.

May your conversation be peaceful and fun.

May your travel be safe and easy.

And may your almost-two year old not be left unattended with the pumpkin pie.

003 (800x800)That was a squirrel eating an acorn, Ellie’s idea because “that’s what they do in real life, Mama!” (And does anyone know how to blind bake a pie crust? Because clearly I can’t.)

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So We Went to the Zoo in Short Sleeves on Monday and Played in the Snow Today – WEIRD

It was so warm on Monday that we just had to make a trek to the zoo to take advantage of the warm weather.  (It was at least 70 by the afternoon.)

We saw the kookaburra again! The zoo volunteer told us the bird had been really quiet all morning so we were glad to hear at least a bit of its song!

IMG_0259 (800x600)rhinos, eating grass, as Mark had fun telling us about all day and at dinner, to our great amusement! (Mark frequently leaves off the first consonant sounds of his words so I’ll let you work out that joke for yourself!)

IMG_0262 (800x600)Ellie with her friend L, checking out the chimps

Today, it’s down near freezing with snow/rain coming down.  Ellie begged to go out to play so even though it’s pretty nasty out there, we ventured out for a few minutes.  Our snowballs were really more like snow/leaf balls but it was fun to be outside.

IMG_0274 (800x600)Poor guy – I’ve got to get him some boots!

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It’s been the weirdest three days of weather that I can remember in a long time!

P.S. It feels a bit strange to me to be posting this fun, cheery post when my heart is so sad for the people of Ferguson, sad about the clear lack of racial reconciliation, justice, and equity that still exists in our country, and sad for all those who have lost loved ones to brutality of any kind.  Lord, bring us your peace.

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September/November Sewing: Corn! In Sacks!

(I’ve fallen pretty far behind on my sewing posts over the past few months.  So look for a bunch over the next few days!)

If it wasn’t for corn sacks, Nik and I probably would have gotten rid of our microwave long ago.  But we just can’t make it through the winter without having that steady source of portable warmth available at all times!  For those uninitiated in the joys of a corn sack, it’s just a bag filled with feed corn that you heat up in the microwave.  Especially when thrown under the covers at your feet in bed, it stays warm for a long time and makes going to bed in a cold house a much nicer prospect!

In September, I made one for my friend’s mother as a commission.  I was told that she “liked blue” but that was it.  So, applying that broadly, I designed this little yellow and blue case to go with the blue sack of corn.

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In November, I sewed this corn sack as a thank to a neighbor friend of ours who oh so generously gave us four blueberry bushes and four pots of rhubarb.  I didn’t know her tastes in fabric but figured that you can’t go wrong with green and leaves for a gardener, right?

007 (800x533) 002 (800x533) (2)003 (800x533)Why single-stitch when you can triple-stitch, right?

Corn sacks are something that I’ve been contemplating making to sell.  Let me know if you’d be interested in buying one!

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November Sewing: A Bag for A Dear Friend

One of my friends from church is currently recovering from hip replacement surgery.  A week or so before her surgery, she asked me if I could come up with something to hang on her walker so that she could move small items with her from room to room in her recovery time.  I set out intending to just make a really simple bag but I love making bags so much and rarely have a chance to make them.  I couldn’t help myself and ended up making a super cute one that now I want to make more of!

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The strap needed to be split in the middle in order to  be able to be strapped onto the walker.  I used two pieces of Velcro, hoping that would be strong enough for her phone, water bottle, etc.009 (800x533)

And, just for fun, I densely quilted the straps and the accent strip at the top.  010 (800x533)

I love that blue/green color combination.  I used the blue fabric in my sister-in-law’s Christmas present two years ago and was glad to find the perfect project to use up the leftovers!

I hope this bright little bag makes the next few weeks just a little bit easier for my dear friend as she pushes herself through physical therapy and on towards an easier life with a new hip.  Anyone else need a bag for a walker?  I have fun making them.  I could even take some commissions! :)

*I used the dimensions from the medium bag of the Oh Fransson “Little Shopping Bag” tutorial. I can’t find the blog post on her site now but the PDF still seems to exist.  These were the bags (along with the Buttercup bag) that introduced me to the fun of sewing bags.  Outside of the dimensions, the rest of the design is my own.

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