Monday, December 24, 2007

merry christmas to all...

after nibbling santa cookies and stuffing santa stockings, and doing all other sorts of santa things (not the least of which was stitching up one christmas-y, jingle bell-y, special collar/necklace for one best friend of the bean's named puppa), i am off to bed.

...and to all a good night.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

cookie elves.

we have finally gotten into the holiday spirit! things have been a bit crazy around here, but finally i'm getting into it. i finished the matching (cheesy, i know) aprons i made for the bean, my mom, and myself just in time for our marathon cookie-making days. we are squeezing a ridiculous amount of baking into just 3 days. (normally we bake for weeks ahead.)

i love how they turned out... i can't get the bean to stand still these days with the amount of christmas excitement and cookies in her system, but this photo shows the apron off the best...

i've also had just a fantastic end of year in the shop . i had some small goals for myself by year's end and i doubled each and every one. so thanks! i'll be saying thanks in a special way starting the day after christmas in the shop, so stop in when you can.

i'm down to my last bit of christmas making, just a few more presents, including a tutu for the bean, a pin for my gram, and a couple other bits. i'm finally starting to relax... come on, christmas!

i hope you all are in the same spot - happy making & baking!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

could it be?

i saw the preview i've been waiting for while watching the Grinch (the original) with the bean last night... Sweeney Todd. i am quite swoony over it, and am desperately hoping that it will be as good as i want it to be. i can't wait!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

woo hoo!

i am so excited about this!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


we say that a lot around here, because we're pirates.

but this time i'm referring to my annoyance with the weather. it's been raining or foggy or dismal each and every time i get a moment to take some pictures of the stuff i'v been making. oh, well, maybe i'll get those photo lights i asked for for christmas.

as soon as we get some sun around here, i'll have a bunch of pictures to post!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

i heart mail.

i've been doing all of my christmas shopping so far this year on etsy... due to the bean's unwillingness to shop. period. i will hit a bunch of my favorite stores in hampden one afternoon, where i typically do the majority of my shopping, but for the most part, christmas this year is coming through the mail.

every day when the mail person, or ups person, even drives past our house, pippi - our fierce dachshund warrior - goes crazy barking. this causes the bean to start shrieking in excitement and running around the living room, hoping that maybe it's a package from her grandma in cincinnati. (packages = candy) even i am a little disappointed when the delivery truck drives by without stopping.

anyway, the problem is is that i may have issues that harken back to pen pal days, when i couldn't wait to get the mail. i'm sure that i will feel some sort of loss after the packages stop coming... either that or i will have developed an even bigger etsy habit than i have now. hmm, i wonder what will come in the mail today?

Monday, November 5, 2007

the stitching hour.

ok, i know that's a cheesy title... but i LOVE when we get that extra hour. i know it's silly, but i feel like i got so much accomplished - 6 new things in my shop in one weekend! now if only all the other days could have an etra hour...

ah, christmas... i am really excited this year, because it's the first one where i think the bean will really know what's happening... i'm all a-twitter to get decorating... i'm almost willing to skip thanksgiving!

Friday, November 2, 2007

the morning after...

ok, so when halloween is over, for me, it is just about the same kind of let-down as the day after christmas. i have traditionally done a bit of indoor decorating early in october, and then saved the outdoor bit as a surprise, so our trick-or-treaters see it for the first time when they come up our walk. the bean slowed down the progress outdoors this year, but we managed.

this year we had a werewolf-ish pumpkin, a cat pumpkin, and a pirate pumpkin. oh, and the bean decided at the last minute that she was not going to wear the jojo costume i made for her, and instead wanted to be a pirate. (could it have been that her dad was singing - yoho, yoho, a pirate's life for me- at dinner? hmm...)

i only managed to just barely decorate inside this year, due to the increasing insanity of my schedule right now... but i did love my mantle, thanks to a few lovely additions to my collection... that wonderful little skeleton and my glittery halloween banner. the skeleton couple is out all of the time - it was a wedding gift from my friend kristy, who makes wonderful marionettes and sculptures. oh, and that clock? roger wood... who makes my favorite clocks and is just one of my favorite people.

the oddest thing this year about halloween was that after the bean went to bed, and rick and i were sitting watching a scary movie, i was sitting making christmas creations for my etsy shop...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

don't worry, martha...

no one here is going to be taking your place. over the weekend i made spider cupcakes for a halloween given by my oldest friend, based on the ones from the martha stewart halloween magazine. i searched high and low for the black sugar they used, and after having no luck even finding an empty space where black sugar should be, i settled on chocolate sprinkles. i left the icing white because i still shudder at the way i turned the mouths an entire birthday party gray because of the amount of black dye i had to use to get the raven (bird, not football team) dark enough. i did love that cake, but everyone still remembers the mouths.

ah well, not exactly martha. but the kids liked them and i do love the way they cast a shadow... ick!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

unfinished business.

well, these last few weeks i just bit off more than i could metaphorically chew. it really hit me tonight after i fell asleep on the sofa, sitting up, clutching toys in my hands which only moments before i had been using to entertain the bean. time to go to sleep. i've got about 26 half-finished projects to finish up tomorrow...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

a night at the movies.

the husband and i and our two good friends went to dinner and a movie last night, while the bean had a sleepover at her gigi and poppy's house. we've only been out a handful of times since she was born, and it was so nice to get out.

i used to go to the movies often, it was one of my absolute favorite things to do. sometimes, in the dead of august when it was so hot that i couldn't bear to sit in my un air-conditioned apartment, i would go to the movies every night after work that i didn't have plans.

i've seen three movies in the theatre in two years, now, and last night we saw across the universe, a movie i'd been waiting for since i first heard it was being made. i have been a huge fan of julie taymor's work since my friend kristy and i went to see her show at the women's museum in dc six or seven years ago. i really loved the movie, although visually i thought it was a bit disjointed, but it was inspiring and actually kept me awake half of the night even though we didn't get home until 1 am, well past my usual bedtime. (the only other movie that ever had that effect was the science of sleep. - especially the "making of" - the director spent three months in his backyard doing all of the stop-motion scenes!)

the funny thing was that i remembered how much i liked going to the movies alone... i mean, i loved seeing the movies with friends and the husband, but it was at times such an odd movie that i kept worrying if everyone was enjoying it. the great thing about going by myself is that i didn't have to care...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

more ideas than time.

fall is coming quickly, and like every year, i am nesting like crazy. every magazine on the newsstands shows yet another gorgeous house with a beautifully decorated autumnal front porch. one day, i will have a porch!

i went a little shopping nuts last week, both on etsy (more on that later) and on fabric websites. i received a gorgeous order from purl, having bought about 20 yards of fabric in order to make a new duvet cover for my bed. the bean ripped it open and before i could even look she and the dog were happily building a tent with it and generally creating chaos.

the next day i received my order from reprodepot, which i waited to open until the bean was asleep notice the difference!) i love fresh, folded fabrics. it's almost a shame to wash them. these are some halloween fabrics, some fabrics i decided i needed for projects and the apple corduroy will hopefully magically become a skirt. either that or i will be holding off on sleeping for a few weeks...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

hindsight has rose colored glasses.

or something like that. i doubt the cakes my mom made for me for my birthdays growing up were anything like i remember them. in fact, i don't really remember them at all except for one holly hobbie cake and a fuzzy memory of a yellow care bears cake. (did i just give my age away?) but i thought it was amazing that she made them and no one else had a cake like it.

so, the bean's 2nd birthday was last week and of course, i had to make her cake. she is currently obsessed with jojo's circus, in fact, of the very little tv we watch, it's what she always requests. i decided to make her a jojo cake. oh, what it looked like in my head - it was amazing. it was going to be colorful and oddly proportioned and was going to make the whole party. well, i made a few unfortunate decisions: 1) to bake the cakes at 11pm, then 2) to have purchased one pan when my intention was to make two cakes 3) to make the batters one after another. I ended up taking a hot cake out of a pan and putting it on the only surface i had that was large enough, a platter which oddly enough turned out to be more like a bowl than a platter. the cake, being hot, immediately adhered itself to the platter, so i was committed.

luckily, my mom came over the next day to help ice it. i used an obscene amount of red dye to get red, and i didn't release just how terrible this caused my homemade icing to taste until the bean tested it and said "yuck." (a two year old turning down butter and suger? unheard of.) we forged on... and while i couldn't help thinking i needed to fix bits here and there - i placed no less than 7 wooden skewers in it, covered it with plastic wrap, and barricaded it in the corner away from cats, husbands, and toddlers. i felt really bad about using all that plastic wrap, but i would have felt worse if it had become a cat trampoline.

the bean thought it was great, but me, i still can't help thinking of all the ways in which it does not look like i planned it. i just hope she has the same kind of memory as her mom...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

so maybe i am really going to like this.

maybe it's just the fact that i spent an extraordinary amount of time alone today, but i think i've been waiting to write this stuff down for awhile. all day today, i felt like will ferrel in that movie where he's a character in a book.
it's a bit rainy and cooler today, and i am so excited for fall that i wore my fantastic new skirt today, which i bought on etsy. i've spent a little more time than i should there, but i think this christmas we're going for an all-handmade gift theme. (i did that two years ago, all handmade by me, with a four month old baby sitting in a babyseat on the worktable next to my sewing machine! what can i say? i was a little nuts.) so, really, i have every reason to be looking around, right?
since the bean was up with a cold last night, i'm heading off to dreamland early. sleep tight.

Monday, September 10, 2007

dipping my foot in.

here i am, probably the billionth person to start a blog when there are just about a billion left who don't have one. right in the middle. i have kind of a love-hate relationship with the whole blogging phenomenon, and yet here i am... just how do you start a blog anyway?

hi, my name is jen. i am foremost a mom, which is something i'm still adjusting to even after 2 years. i left a wonderful job in the american craft industry to (mostly) stay at home, although i do work just a bit to help pay the bills. i live in the suburbs just at the end of the city, in a pretty normal house, with my husband, daughter, two cats, and a dog. normal. it wasn't always this way. after being one of eight in a class, yes eight, "jens" (jennys, jennies, jennifers) through most of school, i went to a large college and did my own thing. i had fun. lots of fun. i traveled, had interesting friends, a few really cool jobs, and then i met my to-be husband, and had more fun, traveled lots more, met more interesting people. we were always out and about.

then my daughter, the bean, was born, and suddenly our idea of a big night was spending it at the playground. as anyone with children knows, it's a big adjustment. for me, it's the biggest. she is the greatest thing going, but i often wonder where that old me is. (my guess is prague.)

i guess this blog is going to be about coming to terms with all the really wonderful aspects of just being average. afternoons spent blowing bubbles, the hidden potential of crayons, and whatever of my own interests i can squeeze in. all in all, it's pretty great being normal.