Yarn Bombing - Cold Comfort at the Schuylkill Center

We've been watching Melissa Maddonni Haims's installation of Cold Comfort take shape over the last couple weeks at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. I love yarnbombing.  The kids do, too.  There have been some great patches of this downtown and a couple around our neighborhood.  It is so fun to see something handmade (and colorful) like this crop up on parking meters, telephone poles, and bike racks.  But in the woods?  It is magical.

It's been amazing to watch her progress.  Tree by tree.  We ran into her one afternoon as she was wrapping up and the kids were fascinated.  We were able to see one of the 'sweaters' all rolled up and ready to go before it was stitched onto a tree.  It was massive. She told us she was aiming to do 30 trees.  30 trees!  It's like a fairy tale forest.

 They are just incredible.  One more thing to make me want to crochet.  Or knit.  Or do something with yarn.

And to watch which ones the kids were drawn to.
(It looks like recycled plastic bags were mixed into that one)

 So cool.

Candyland Lessons

In September of 1997, when I was 23 years old (woah...), I started my first Child Life Internship on the Neuroscience Unit at Boston Children's Hospital.  To begin, my job was to simply see what it was like to be a child in the hospital.  Meet the kids, play with them, get a feel for their experience...

I remember spending a morning with one child playing Candyland.  Opening the box.  Setting up the game.  "What are these picture cards?"  "This game has changed since I was a kid..."  "No", their mother told me.  "They have always been part of the game..."  Hmmm.

I went home that night and called my mom.  "When I was little and we played Candyland," - for I do remember playing Candyland. a lot. - "were there picture cards that jumped you forward and backward on the board?"

My mom was quiet for a moment.  And then laughed.  Yes, there were evidently picture card even way back in the seventies.  My mother took them out of our game and hid them.  They made the game last way too long, she told me.  As an early twenty-something, I was a little appalled. 

Fast forward fifteen years or so.  Ollie has finally discovered (and loves) Candyland.  It is out on our living room floor more often than not.  And those picture cards drive me nuts.  You see, my almost six year old is not a gracious loser.  And those picture cards?  They incite crying, whining, and board clearing swipes.  We don't even make it to the end to see who wins.  Just the anticipation of losing brings on the tears.  Oh dear, I drew Princess Frostina again.  I'm sorry!

So, I have recently thought about taking the picture cards out of our deck.  Ollie has even asked me to do so - at least he is self-aware, right?  But we keep them in.  Because there are lessons being learned here, right?  Instead, we talk about being a gracious loser.  And how Candyland is a game of chance.  And how you really don't know who is going to win until the very end.  And we take deep breaths.  And draw another card.  And hope that really that game of chance won't let me win for a third time in a row...

A Quilt

I am so happy to be back in the Studio right now - or more accurately on the living room floor...

Ollie's Kindergarten class has been studying fabric in Science - with the unit culminating in a class quilt.  Each child (and teacher) brought in an old T-Shirt from home and decorated a white quilt square.  I get to put them together into a quilt that will travel home with each kid for a night or two and be journaled about.  I love the meaning behind the fabric passing through my hands and under my iron right now.

The quilt is bigger than I have done before and has me motivated to do more after this.  Especially since my scrap pile is about three feet high.  The T-Shirts weren't as difficult to stitch as I thought they would be, thanks to Johanna at Cloth and Bobbin who reminded me that they each needed to be interfaced!  Exactly why I prefer to buy my fabric at a local shop...

So the quilt has been pieced and embroidered.  Next up, I need to make the back and then sandwich the quilt.  The quilting I have planned is a little non-traditional, I think.  Each of the white squares the kids used actually came from a kit made for tying the squares together instead of stitching them.  This means that all four corners of each square have holes cut into them.  My plan is to applique little squares over each intersection, quilting the quilt and covering the holes at the same time.  Let's hope the quilt will all fit through my machine!

Is It Really February Already?

So, somehow, January flew.  And now at the beginning of February, we are having Spring-like weather and everyone is a little confused.

But, my bedroom is coming along!  And there are some new projects coming down the pike.  While I had hoped that my room would be finished at this point, I underestimated how long the painting would really take.  Back before we had kids, I remember painting a room in a weekend.  But this room?  Oh, my, the woodwork.  Previously painted a darker color than I realized.  Three hours per coat.  One coat of primer (that should have been two) and then three coats of white paint (I told you there should have been 2 coats of primer).  But I love the look of it.

It's interesting - all of the natural light in the room actually makes it very difficult to photograph mid-day.  The color is actually this, Benjamin Moore's Serenata.

There just a little touch up to be done (I've learned to sand out the drips in between coats next time) and another coat of paint needed on the radiator cover and then I will be able to clear out all of the painting paraphernalia. 

Today I head out looking for curtains and curtain rods.  The big debate - Single rods with a heavier curtain?  Or double rods with drapes and shears.  It's that darn streetlight that shines right onto The Dad's face when we are sleeping...