Thursday, July 29, 2010

Big Screen Smile

While working on projects I need to watch movies that inspire me. Some people listen to music in the same way. The movies I pick are artsy, have a plot, make me smile, and are a bit quirky. My all time favorite movie is Amelie. Every time it comes on I need to watch it. My dear hubby bought the special addition DVD for me as a birthday present awhile back (which I will never lend to anyone) because of the smile it creates on my face. It's a foreign film with subtitles and music that is unmistakable. The colors are vivid, the characters have charm, the scenes make you want to be French, and Audrey Tautou (she plays Amelie) is breathtakingly beautiful. My favorite quotes in life come from this movies "you will never be a vegetable because even artichokes have hearts" and "it's better to help people than a garden gnome". If this doesn't make you want to run out and watch this movie I don't know what will. 


Another one of my favorites is 500 Days of Summer, and not only because it stars Zoey Deschanel of whom I am huge fan of, but because it tells you upfront that it's NOT a love story. Sappy chick flick movies are okay once in awhile but I don't watch Dirty Dancing or Beaches every time it comes on, and it's okay if you do, that's just not me. I do, however, watch this movie. Again the music in the movie speaks to me and I would love to get the soundtrack. It's plot is deeper than I think most people get. How someone can see potential in you even if you can't see it yourself or the fact that someone who breaks your heart can move you in the right direction. 

(500 Day of Summer)

So what movies move you? What big screen films make you smile and you watch over and over thanking god we have DVD now and not VCR tapes you have to rewind? 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shabby Chic or Cottage Chic

Decorating has all that has been on my mind lately. A quiz recently stated that my style is cottage chic, I think it pegged me right. Any thing vintage, a little shabby, whitewashed, retro, or has charm I love. Everyone goes through decorating phases in their life. 

For awhile I liked bright colors and mosaic pieces. I have never been afraid of color and even painted a couple rooms smurf blue. Thankfully (that is what my husband says) I got over my bright color phase and moved on to earth tones. One of my previous jobs I worked in (an imports store) made it hard to resist the exotic pieces that came in on a daily basis. My living room is filled with dark furniture, warm reds, earthy greens, and antique golds. In the winter the living room is the place to be all cozied up but in the summer it makes it feel really dark and hot. 

Now that it's a time of change, with the move right around the corner, it's perfect for a decorating change. A more shabby cottage chic style throughout. Our plan is to do one room at a time, making the changes as we go. Old large kid hazardous coffee table is out, new rustic vintage coffee table in (found at flea market for $20) and our current TV cabinet is getting a face lift with paint and new hardware.

My crafting has been trending more on the cottage chic style with lighter colors and vintage finds like the kusudama flower ball in these pictures. It was not on my list of things to get done but I couldn't resist. Having gone to auctions with my mom in the past couple of months I picked up a bunch of old Farmers Almanacs. If you have ever flipped through one you will realize that woman had too much time on their hands and created really weird recipes like tuna pineapple salad sandwiches (YUCK) but that there are really neat advertisements and drawings. The original idea was for these to be framed and  to hang my neat finds, leaving a lot of unused vintage paper. Instead I was able to create this kusudama flower ball,  made with the left overs, and some vintage buttons I had stashed away for later use. Isn't this shabby cottage chic wonderfulness?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Crochet Along Coming Along

I have been trying to stay true to my previous post about not starting any new projects until the ones I have started are completed. This has not been easy! The day dreaming of the new house situation has helped. 
I also found out that crochet and embroidery are the easiest things to do when you have 3 children running around. My sewing projects have kinda taken a side seat for now till I can have a permanent place for the sewing machine, which I am sorry to say, is sitting on top of my dresser right now surround with a lot of other junk. 
Aries dream quilt is so close to being complete (only needs bias around the edge) and I have completed several dishtowels that will be featured in the dishtowel parade. They will then end up in my Etsy shop, a blog giveaway, and down the road into a customers quaint cottage.
For now I have been working on the Crochet Along Quilt. I must confess that this is the first thing I have ever crocheted in my life and I am not following a pattern, instead I am creating one. A notebook has been sitting by my side, pen in hand, and notes have been jotted down as to exactly what I have been doing so I can do it again. 
Since this is the first thing I have ever crocheted before I have been using the yarn I had. When I bought the yarn I thought it would just be a practice yarn ,having no idea what I was buying or how much to buy for a project, I only bought one white ball. I ran out of this said white yarn ball the other day and needed more, but what kind did I buy? I couldn't remember.
I ran out to the store with the last of what I had in my pocket, a small 4 inch strand, and started comparing. Now I  know some of you out there are cringing at me. I know this from the look of other yarn lovers that were at the store, staring at me with a confused look as I held up my piece of yarn to other yarns in the store. Oh, I studied yarn yesterday. Some yarn has a softer texture which I noticed is called baby yarn and had cute little pictures of babies on their labels, so this is what I am calling it. Other yarns were fatter and stronger (felt more like wool than yarn to me) and I quickly bi-passed these. I picked out what I thought was the closest thing to what I had before and started working on my quilt again (it is not the same thing as the one I had was softer but the strand size is the same). This little shopping trip has made me realize that I still have a lot to learn about crochet and also I will make sure to buy enough of what I need the first time. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Wait

Some people call it anxiety. Some call it a journey. Some call it patience. The reality is that it's something you want now but know that you can't have it right away. I call it the Veruca Salt syndrome!

The pregnant woman who is past her due date, the young child sitting at his desk listening for the school bell, the patient sitting in the doctors office are all feeling it. I have the Veruca Salt syndrome right now. 

I am spying, pacing, pulling my hair out waiting for the people who are currently in our new house to exit so that I can start painting, decorating, and cleaning. As the time is ticking down it is only getting worse. I feel a lack of ambition on our current residence. There are boxes to be packed, windows to be cleaned, bags to go to the thrift store and instead I sit here dreaming. 

I am reminded daily that my constant whining and nagging will not make the time go any faster. When I saw the truck this weekend a glimmer of hope ran through my body. Lots of activity this Friday but none today and hopefully the most tomorrow ( I told you I was spying - I have no shame). So for now I sit here and ............WAIT!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

To My Husband

It doesn't feel like we have been married for four years or together for nine.

We have a true marriage, one that I know will last for years. A marriage and love that our great grandchildren will talk about, like my grandfathers love for my grandmother.

When I was younger I imagined a husband who would stand by my side, no matter what life would throw at us. A man that would be hands on with our children and a proud father. Someone who would make me laugh so hard it would take my breath away. You are all these things and more.

You are a man who works hard everyday to provide for his family. Family is number one in your book and you would gladly choose a night at home with us than anything else.

Nothing can come between us not even that ketchup bottle that is often left out overnight on the counter by accident (this drives me crazy).You often tease me because for some unknown reason I always think our anniversary is on the 23rd. "What husband knows his anniversary date and his wife forgets it?", is the question you always ask me. My reply to this is the best husband a wife could ever ask for!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Word Math = YUM!

I have been working on a couple of dishtowels to put in my shop (opening very shortly).
The cupcake features a vintage button on top and is hand embroidered.

I really like this one and I am thinking of making it in several colors.
Once more dishtowels are complete there will be a dishtowel parade!

I am also thinking of doing a blog giveaway featuring one of the dishtowels.
Make sure to become a follower of my blog so you don't miss this YUMMY giveaway!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Little Man's First Haircut

So today, while Odyn's blonde baby curls were damp with sweat, I realized that I have been putting off cutting his hair. I decided today was the day. It was little selfish on my part why I didn't want to cut his hair. The excuses of not cutting his hair included he was too little, it wasn't THAT long, and (my personal favorite) that I was going to dress him up as a cherub for Halloween and needed his hair to be kinda long and curly.
Yes folks I was delusional. My son's hair was so long in the front it looked like a toupee, making him the youngest Donald Trump impersonator. At bath time washing his hair was almost like washing Aries hair. I was making my little man a girly man!
(Don't mind my cookie face or my toupee)
The real reason I didn't want to cut his hair is because once those tiny curls were on the floor he wouldn't look like a baby anymore but a toddler. The sad thing is he does. I know I can't keep him a baby forever but can my kids please stop growing and slow down a bit.
On another note, doesn't he just look handsome?  I don't know what I was so freaked out about, after all it's not the last first haircut in this house ..... Aries still has never had her hair cut :).
(My little man)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book Barn

I had fun yesterday with Miss Melissa. We went to The Book Barn, since we are both avid readers. It's a great feeling to run your hands down rows of books, looking for the one you want to read and take home with you. I sometimes make lists when I go book searching, but mostly I let the books find me. We both agreed that we do judge books by their covers.

It was very humid and muggy yesterday, making some of the barns a little hard to be in. They were moving books around and reorganizing (which I am all for, except when it's everything I am looking for that is being reorganized). I realized that I don't really have favorite authors, but more favorite books.

I did find two books Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping and Katherine Hannigan's Ida B. I had a small list with me, mostly books that other bloggers mentioned or suggested. One of my favorite bloggers Alicia P. always mentions the book Little, Big by John Crowley and I was shocked when I couldn't find it.

If you have ever been to The Book Barn you would be shocked as well if you can't find a book. They have five large barns filled to the brim with books, this doesn't include all the bins, small carts, and sheds. After having our fill of books and the heat we decided lunch was in order. We were thinking about stopping at the beach but Rob had to work that day and I had to get home to save him from the monkeys (kids).

 The beach was literally right down the road from The Book Barn, something I didn't realize. Before Rob and I moved to our town we lived in Springfield, Massachusetts and before that Northern Connecticut, so this part of Connecticut is new to us. Yes, I was aware that Rhode Island is about 45 minutes to an hour away and this is where we usually go to the beach.

Using Melissa's GPS we found a cute little restaurant The Main Street Grille that had a nice view of the ocean and more importantly air conditioning. It was a great day and we already have a beach day planned for the future.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Better than Martha

I had a great birthday. Birthdays always seem to last for a couple of days, one day is spent with family, another day is a trip with a friend or two. This year my mom gave me a book I have been wanting for a very long time, Julia Child's Mastering The Art of French Cooking. I have already bookmarked several recipes I want to try and I am sure once Rob looks through it I will have even more to try.

As if this wasn't enough, I awoke the other day to this beautiful basket filled with homemade pickles, cucumbers from the garden, summer squash, and other goodies, in my front hall. It was dropped off by my mom, who in my opinion is better than Martha

The first thought that went through my head was no one is going to believe how awesome a basket of veggies can be (even reading this I am thinking Uh Huh sure). so I grabbed my camera and took pictures. My mom grew all these in her wonderful garden and made the pickles (Friday night has been declared pickle night at her home). 

Today is another birthday day for me. I am going to the Book Barn in Niantic with one of my best friends, Melissa! Books are the best, don't you think?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Birthday Wishes

Today is my birthday! I feel so lucky in life to have so many people wishing me a happy birthday.

♥ Thank you ♥

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Aries Dream Quilt

It's almost finished. I am at the last lap.
 This quilt is just the right thickness - great for layering on cold winter nights and just right for chilly spring and fall.
I find that safety pins really hold all the pieces together. I know there are other techniques but this one suits me. The backing is soft and cuddly just right for dreaming under.
 Aries wanted to help pin it all together today. The quilt was stretched out on our queen bed, pins ready to go into each square, and there was Aries putting her little legs under the quilt. She was getting my pillow ready to take a nap (well imaginary nap). I don't think this was helping much and she wasn't happy when she was asked to leave the room. One question was asked before she left "This blanket for me?" When informed it was, the joy in her little voice would have melted your heart. Instantly she wrapped her arms around my neck and said " Oh thank you mom!"

 I love that about her . What other three year old would be so happy with a quilt their mom was making for them?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Craft Attention Deficit Disorder: Update #1

Happy 4th of July! 

Updates on the Crochet Along Quilt

It's going to be different and I can't wait to share it!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Craft Attention Deficit Disorder

I think I am going to start a self help group for everyone with craft ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). I will start.... Hi my name is Amanda and currently I have more crafts started and not finished in my home than I can count on one hand. The first and longest one I have been working on is this quilt. Aries was still is excited to someday see it on her bed.

Where is the quilt now? How far did I get before I went "oooohhh you know what I should make!" Currently the top is almost done. I do have the fill and the backing and vow to have this done before we move at the end of August ( I am too ashamed to tell you how long I have been working on this project... so lets move on).
Next came the idea to make Aries a dress. I got the fabric very cheap, at the thrift store, and the pattern as well. I started this project about 2 months ago. As you can tell from the picture I cut out the pattern and fabric. As I stated I cut out the pattern and fabric... What did you expect me to actually sew it?!

My latest idea has been to get over my crochet envy. Lately I have been stopping myself from saying " I can never " or " I wish", basically any sentence that is not starting off positively. One thing I have said a billion times is " I wish I could crochet". Well I stopped making my dish towels and started to pick up the crochet thing-a-ma-bobs. A family friend helped show me some stitches ( Thanks Melanie!!!), which helped get me going. I have not stopped since, ripping out stitches, starting over, trying to count stitches with 3 children in the room, and stopping to focus my eyes. I do need to give my hands a rest soon though, they feel like when your driving in a snow storm and your gripping the steering wheel too tight.

This is my craft list, which I plan to update with new posts and come back to cross them off the list!
Aries Quilt of Dreams
Modern Forest Dress
Farmer's Market Bags
Whooo's Cooking Owl Dishtowels
Applique-ing my way t-shirts
Crochet Along Quilt