My First Sewing Class

Yesterday afternoon, as part of a fundraiser for E's pre-school, I taught a class on how to sew a simple ribbon-hemmed skirt and matching headband.

It was so. much. fun. To be a teacher again. To feel like I have some (even if very little) expertise on some topic again. To share the joy of making something, the accomplishment of creating something unique for your child. To spend the afternoon with three other moms just working and talking, (mostly) uninterrupted by children.

I hope to do it again. Soon.

If you're interested in making one yourself, you can find a tutorial for a similar skirt here.

Those Transitions...

The dresses are starting to pile up. I have very ambitious production goals for this upcoming fair but some changes in circumstances may actually make them doable! I'm hoping for dresses, bibs, skirts, and some fun little family home decor additions.

Now for those changes in circumstances. And the huge transition I alluded to here:

This week, The Dad gave notice at his job. Two and a half weeks notice. To be followed by two weeks of vacation, which will double as totally rearranging the house so that he can work from home.

Ahhh, yes. I said work at home.

He's thinking "Hey! Nooners!" I'm thinking "Hooray! I can shower every day!" But really, we are both incredibly realistic in regards to imagining a life where he works upstairs in a house with 2 rambunctious pre-schoolers that always want to be thisclosetoyou.

So, before we begin the transition of actually working at home, we do the physical transition of moving the playroom downstairs (and no longer in spitting distance of the office) and the den upstairs. I see this as a great opportunity for some fun and new decorating!

Anyway, my hope is that while The Dad is 'on vacation', between arranging these new spaces and moving furniture, I will be able to get some solid, consecutive hours at the sewing machine. And have everything done when he heads (upstairs) to work on May 26th.

Outside Art Idea

E's pre-school added a new art element to the grounds last weekend. They took a large piece of plexiglass (actually salvaged from The Dad's old office when they changed locations) and bolted it to the fence to create a backdrop for painting.

The clothespins can hang paper over top, but I think kids could just as easily paint right onto the plexiglass. I'm trying to figure out how we can add something like this to our own yard instead of dragging the easel in and out on nice days...

Things Are Changing

I think our life is definitely characterized by 'ebb and flow'. Things periodically get stressful and overwhelming and then calm down and even out for a while. Our kids' development, our patience with them, our finances and time management. And yet thing always seem to work out. We look at our life and remark on how incredibly lucky we are. And then we delve deeper and discuss how we make most of our luck - with planning, lots of hard work, and multiple back-up plans.

Last week was one of those more stressful ones. This week is looking smoother already. We're heading into some big transitions over the next couple weeks. I'll share more details as soon as I can. Thanks for joining us on the ride.

The Start of a Nature Table

It's been gray here. And rainy. With some spurts of sun. We've turned the heat off. And on again. And off again. And on again...

We've had O's real birthday (he thinks he turned 3 at his birthday party the week before) and Easter. We've had family visiting. I've been sewing. And the house is a mess.

When my parents were here, they brought the kids some really beautiful small glass eggs. I also found some great wooden Haba eggs at a local toy store. Total impulse buy at the counter. The eggs have reinvigorated my latent desire for some sort of nature table in our house.

My kids are always bringing (or trying to bring) thing from outside in. Sticks, stones, flowers, weeds... And I would love to have a designated spot for them, to mix these outside things with seasonal tidbits from inside.

With O still in the stage where nothing stays set up for long, I think it will take some time to figure it out, but I also constantly underestimate my children.

So, yesterday I went to the toy store and purchased some clay (Crayola Model Magic) to try to do this activity with the kids. They had a blast finding sticks and then gathering grass (very strong smelling onion grass, I might add) and mixing them with the clay. So we have some nests for the nature table. With eggs and grass. Now I just need to figure out where the table will be...

YouTube Tuesday: Frozen Grand Central

This is another one that I found a while ago and love. How cool would it be to actually be in the middle of that?

I was accepted for my first big outdoor fair this week.

Art Star Craft Bazaar is the fun and funky 'not your grandma's craft show' at Penn's Landing in Philly. I'm really excited but have a lot of work to do. Will try to post regular pictures on here as I build up my inventory for the show.

The show will be the last weekend of May. Really hoping for nice weather. Live music, tents full of crafty goodness... Mark your calendar if you're in the area! And be sure to stop by to say Hi!

YouTube Tuesday: Centraal Station Antwerpen gaat uit zijn dak!

I love having cool friends who find things like this and put them on Facebook. Thanks!

Signs of the Season

We put away winter clothes this weekend and pulled from the "summer bucket" as things warmed up around here. While you can tell by the blooming of the flowers and trees that Spring has arrived and Summer is coming, I could tell even more by the sudden appearance of little bare arms and legs.

Other signs of the seasons changing:

Bucket hats,

reclaiming our sun porch as a playspace,

and the joy of peeing outside - over and over again.

The Fire Truck Birthday Party

I am so impressed with the performance of our local fire department. They showed up with a water truck and not only let the kids explore inside, they also let them try turning the hose on and off!

They did a fabulous job of weaving in a little fire safety lesson with the 'entertainment', showing the kids what a firefighter looked like in full gear so that if they saw one in their room in the middle of the night they wouldn't be scared. They also told the kids a couple times that if there ever is a fire in their house and they can't get out that they should go to the closest window and make as much noise as possible, banging on the glass and yelling - NOT hide somewhere like under the bed or in a closet, even if they are scared.

While I am getting a little better at the frosting of cupcakes, mastering the swirl a little more with each one, the chocolate cupcake recipe I tried this weekend is not what I am looking for. This one from the Whimsical Bakehouse was light and a little dry. I am looking for dark and moist - any suggestions??

The Preparations Begin

O requested a Fire Truck Party for his 3rd birthday.

Since party stores in general give me hives, I did some searching online a while ago and found some cool stuff here. I was especially excited about the fire truck favor boxes and the fire hydrant cups, though they do look a little... um... maternal without their straws..

I pre-washed the cups today and we started filling the favor boxes this afternoon.

While many events pass us by without us realizing then that it is 'the last time we...', we are aware that this is the last party for us where we invite whole families. With E this year and O next year, we begin just inviting their friends. I think realizing it ahead of time and knowing it in the moment will make us appreciate this celebration even more, if we have a moment to stop and think amongst the chaos.