Monday, December 17, 2012


I've been meaning to tell you that couple weeks ago my big brother left for Sierra Leone, or 'Salone', as the natives call it. (Link to map and info just in case you're not *quite* sure which country that is...). He is there under the auspices of the Village Bicycle Project for a year, and the good news for us here is that he is blogging about it:

He has a knack for expressing the pith of the matter that I think you may enjoy, it's a country with a fascinating history. Please go check it out, and since he is providing for his own living expenses while there, donate a bit if the spirit moves you. As you will read, he can live quite cheaply, so even the smallest amounts are helpful.

I'm very excited for him, and jealous since Africa has been a dream of mine ever since I was a kid and read Beryl Markham's 'West With the Night'. (I highly recommend the read if you have ever had any interest in Africa, racehorses, bush piloting, adventuring, or exciting tales. I mean, who isn't?)

Good luck, big brother, and happy adventuring!


This may not be as exciting for you as it is for me, but we spent the weekend rearranging the house, making this studio/office space for me to edit photos and craft. I haven't had my own workspace in...ever, and I am so relieved, happy, excited, pleased, and on and on! This used to be the place where we had the baby bureau and baskets, which was sweet beyond compare and she loved being able to look out at the chickens standing on their house while getting dressed. But we moved her into brother's room and now I get to have ALL that natural light to work by. And non-eating tabletops to spread out on. And keep (almost) everything in one place. As you can see it is a pretty wee little place, but is larger than the couch cushion that used to be my regular home, and so much more out of the way than the kitchen floor. Ahem.




It's so cute and peaceful it would almost be a shame to disturb it. Almost.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

{6 again, big years}

Six years ago today, this started. Get ready, it's a lot of photos, because six years is a lot of growing.







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Happy birthday to my dear, sweet boy. To my adventure partner, helper, drawer of animals real and imagined,  sous chef, arguer, wrestling partner, giver of gifts, snuggler, and teller of tall tales and dubiously funny jokes, these have been my favorite six years. Let's do it again. Love, me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012



A big day today, for all of us. The boy lost his second tooth (no photos yet), directly below and a whole year apart from his first one. The miss turned half a year old, and wore her new cap that I made yesterday, flaunting my new sewing ambitions all over the place. The cap, incidentally, was supposed to be larger and for someone else, and I will swear by my cutting and seam allowances, so I blame the pattern. No huge mishap, though, since it looks so smart on Anaiah. Six months. Boy howdy.

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She has eaten her way through this last month, I think, adding apple, pear, sweet potato, avocado, yogurt and mango to her repertoire. Her favorites are the cereal (we graduated to the multigrain version today, which she tucked into with even greater gusto), apple and mango, but she has to be pret-ty dang hungry for sweet potato to look worth eating. She makes her preferences known with a certain panache, does our girl, pulling faces and hacking and gagging before becoming sedulously attentive to her napkin until the offending substance is removed from the menu.



She is truly like the little bird we named her for, quick and bright and rapidly attentive. She is on a bird's schedule, too, up and down with the sun, and if nothing hampers her rhythm she attends to both with equal cheerfulness (thanks be). I read back through my other baby posts and was chagrined to realize that in every one of them I talk about the same old stuff (hello, boring mom brain), bath time and brother time, etc. etc. I'll spare you, and let's just assume that all that was true before is true now only more so, because there is more of her. And how! I wasn't kidding when I said she has eaten her way through the month, she is getting to be quite a sturdy lass (as an older Welsh woman once described me), and has taken to exercising her voice along with her body. Her magnum opus is 'Ode to a Spoon', to which we are treated almost nightly. It involves much dramatic raising of said object and prostrations before it, with mighty and thunderous homage to its benevolence. At least, we can only assume. 'Ode to a Washcloth' comes in a close second.



With my Great Dane of a son turning six years old this weekend, this hurried passage of time comes a bit hard. I try to soak the moments through my eyes, ears, nose, pores...and it is, it's just like sand. But the future is promising, too, so I can't complain. I like this just fine.


Friday, November 30, 2012


Content has been rather baby-heavy around here for a while. I make no apologies, since the same is true of my life, but maybe some other things do happen occasionally.

I recently acquired an adorable little coat at a secondhand shop that had once fit a toddler until it met a sad fate in the hands of a washing machine. (Pardon the photo, I broke all my own rules out of sheer impatience.)


Its once-proud woolen sleeves and hood were reduced to the ridiculous. But I loved the idea of the coat (wool sleeves and hood, soft velour body, kitten-soft fleece lining, double-breasted, neutral colors), so I took it home. I had vague plans for copying the original idea and knitting new components and attaching them in the proper parts, but I didn't really know how I wanted to do that and I had no undyed yarn hanging around anyway. And then I happened to go to the Pendleton Wool Mill Store with a friend of mine and picked up many generously-sized pieces of blanket header for a song. Less than a song, maybe a hackneyed whistle, it was stunning. I felt very clever for being there, and for scooping it up. This fabric is far softer and lighter than the average Pendleton blanket fare, and those large expanses of undyed wool beckoned to me...


Let me preface all this by saying that I am not, by an stretch of the imagination, a sewer. One Who Sews, or seams or whatnot. I do own a machine, which has been mainly employed for the Sewing On of Patches in Male Pants. I happen to have a bevy of friends who are extremely gifted in this realm, however, and they make it look so easy...Plus, as a veteran(ish) knitter, I flatter myself that I know a thing or two about garment construction.

I ripped off the Lilliputian sleeves and hood, pondered for a bit, and decided to just sort of jump in.


I busted out a paper bag, got to drawing shapes on it, said some quick prayers, and merrily hacked away at my beautiful new cloth. Then it was just a matter of putting pieces in place. 




Once I had the hood mostly assembled, I paused. It was so plain, it just begged for some applique. I love applique, just ask my poor friend Heidi how often I have abused our friendship (and her sewing skills) because of my love of applique. I found some buff wool fabric scraps, and cut out a bunny, because an adorable, soft little coat needs a bunny.



I am busting my buttons over here, folks. This came out way better and was so much easier than I had dared to dream, and it was so FAST! And with any luck, it will fit for the cold months next year, as well.




I put some pleats in the hood so that it could be extra deep, and with the sleeves rolled up now it's a nice trench coat for the Little, so I am optimistic. I think I may add another row of buttons, just the two leaves it kind of breezy about the legs.

(Ahahaha! This kills me.)

Stand back, folks, I'm getting all kinds of cocky and ambitious. I've even done some knitting, as I said before, but I have to hold my son down and take some more photos before you get to see. 

Also, totally unrelated, but my friend Alex had this on her blog for a contest, and it was bewildering and hilarious, so in case you have been dying to find out what your steampunk name is, die no more: Steampunk Name Creator. You're welcome. (Somehow mine is 'Her Royal Highness Amelia Bucket'. What?!)

Sunday, November 11, 2012


That was a whole month, wasn't it. Cripes. So much happened that was blog-worthy, too! I can't wait to show you! Well, apparently I can, but don't take it personally. It's not you, it's me.


Today Anaiah turned five months old, so we're feeling pretty solid about this babydom business. I do laundry incessantly, but mainly because I (perversely) enjoy it. It makes me feel productive, I suppose, and also allows me to dress my children (and possibly myself) in the same four outfits over and over. Thanks to some wonderful friends, Anaiah has more clothes than she could even wear before outgrowing them, yet laundry I do. Perhaps because the same cannot be said of my wardrobe.

I did not in any way intend to open with an exegesis on housework.


Five months! So we made a birthday cake out of rice cereal and milk, thus introducing her to a lifetime of comestible earthly delights. And folks, she has been ready for ages, so this was a banner day for her. One of the internet mumbo-jumbos I came across at some point said that you can tell your baby is ready to start solids when they exhibit a number of signs, most notably 'eager eyes'.

"Eager (somewhat-crossed-in-intense-focus) Eyes." Check.



Anatole was never very into the rice cereal, he didn't get too excited about food until he met his first avocado. But for Anaiah, this stuff was ambrosia (food of the gods, not the strange Jell-O confection).





She was very put out when the bowl was empty since I had (I thought) frugally started with only a couple tablespoon of the stuff. And brother was so adorably and outrageously excited that he can FINALLY have some part in the feeding of her! This kid. If he could make milk for his sister, he would, joyfully and abundantly. It slays me how much she adores him, he just lights up her world and can make her laugh like nobody else. This is why siblings are so important, my friends, I just think they give you something that no one else can.


So what else has transpired for our Littlest during this month...She rolls over! Exciting! She is wicked good at grabbing things, putting toes in her mouth, stealing all the crinkly bits (haha, her first food *almost* wound up being a chocolate donut with rainbow sprinkles when brother thought he had put it and its crinkly bag out of her reach and then turned away...), and mimicking sounds.  I swear she has said 'Hi' dozens of times, and even 'Hello' at least twice (in no way are we approaching real first word material since she does not yet greet people spontaneously, but she is trying hard), and she tries to make chicken sounds when she sees them. She's really bad at chicken sounds, but her version is way cuter and more harmless, so she gets the win there. She learned that tubs are for splashing! She is kind of a maniac in the water, but in a tiny way, a tempest in a teacup. Or a thimble.

I'll stop there with the baby stuff, if anyone is still out there because this used to be a fiber blog, I have news for you: I actually knit some things this month! But I'm going to wait for another post to tell you about them. It's late, I have a baby to wake up to tomorrow. Cheers!

Friday, October 12, 2012


What a month. What a summer. What a year! Changes are afoot, my friends. Next week I will be a whole year older than I am now (I hear that's not really how it works, but I refuse to believe it), and embarking on the final year of my third decade. That means it's real, now. It's on: I'm an adult. Whoops. Is this when I'm supposed to stop eating so much butter? No can do, I'm afraid.

But enough about me, plenty of time for these existential meanderings next week. Today is about another little someone, who, I must say, is aging very gracefully.

Happy Four Months, Little Little!




She loves her feet! And who wouldn't, with cashmere blend Tiny Shoes to put on them? These buttons are my favorite. They will have to get recycled onto something else, since these shoes have just about had their run (har), it's getting hard to squeeze those growing feet into them anymore. All knitwear here gifted by the incomparable Star, I can't remember what the sweater pattern will have to go over and ask her.

Anaiah gets told a lot that she looks like her big brother. For comparison's sake, here's Anatole at the same age (with Polaroid!):



Anyhoo, Anaiah loves ::
:: grabbing things and putting them in her mouth (she has gotten downright predatory, watching her sometimes is like watching a chicken go after a fat fly...)
:: smiles. Hers, yours, the world is her oyster, and it's grinning.
:: her big brother.


:: my knees. No joke. They are her juicy fly, it can be a bit disconcerting, but she loves to gum my kneecaps. What up, Little?
:: pretty sounds! Things that make music are the living end!
:: Sophie la girafe
:: food, glorious food! She has had a rather monotonous diet so far and she is ready to experiment. I have to be pretty nimble with my dinner plate, see predatory chicken comment above. She has yet to actually EAT anything, though once I put just the whisper of a drop of my very minty Spry mouthwash on her tongue, ahahaha, it was hilarious. I highly recommend it if you are in a bit of a rut in your day.
:: bouncing up and down. Sorry, 'jumping'. If brother is there to jump, too, it is the best of times.
:: showers, sensible little peapod. (Baths, too, but showers are better.)
:: telling really long stories with apparently no real plot to them. We are working on this.
:: songs about her.
:: doing her calisthenics. She can almost sit up by herself! I tried to take some pictures of this in action:


(she's on my lap, I'm awkwardly trying to hold the camera as far away as possible and point it in the proper direction without dropping anything...she was much safer than my camera throughout this maneuver because she is such a rock star at sitting herself up with a little structural support.)
:: all the other usual stuff, like snuggles and my milk works. She often hums while she nurses, it cracks me up, it's like the chef bustling about the kitchen and humming while crafting her oeuvre.

Sigh. All things good.

Oh, and Anaiah hates ::
:: the car.

Ah well, nobody's perfect. But apparently she is also sometimes a troll when I'm not looking. Which is about as cool as you can get. (also a bug. Anatole came over and put these flowers behind her ears and took the pictures, we laughed ourselves silly when we saw them.)



But most often, this is her, to a T.


Ready to fly.