Monday, November 29, 2010

Long Weekend at the Beach

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent it at the coast. I'm a little tired, but also that kind of rejuvenated that I only ever get from being near the ocean. So beautiful. Things have gone crazy in our little family, major changes ahead, so it promises to be an exciting but at times stressful holiday season. A few days of quiet walks and wave watching was just what I needed. Did anyone else have Thanksgiving weekend adventures?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!!!

Beckett's preschool had a potluck Thanksgiving feast today. You all know I'm a lousy cook. But for the preschoolers and their families I wanted to put together something fun, despite my utter lack of skills. This is what I came up with. Turkey tail fruit kebabs. These were a big hit with kids, parents and teachers alike. The kebabs were pineapple, strawberries, cantaloupe and grapes on bamboo skewers. The skewers were then pushed into half of an apple. The turkey head was cut from brown paper,then I added the wobble and beak with colored paper. Balance was an issue, but not a huge one. This really didn't take any time at all, so if you find yourselves with a little extra time and fruit in your preparations for tomorrow's festivities, maybe try one of these out. Just for fun.Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Have a great long weekend!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Winter Weaving

Ever since I wrote my post about not knitting, yarn is all I have wanted to work with. Funny how that happens. And of course the chilly hot-cocoa-and-scarf weather hasn't helped. This weekend, while digging out winter clothes and decorations etc, I stumbled upon this great vintage children's loom I picked up at a thrift store last year. It's very basic, but it has a turner, which acts like a primitive heddle (for those of you not into weaving please disregard the preceding nerdiness.)

So hey, I started weaving. It's not knitting, I won't be able to weave any hats or sweaters, but I love the way these yarns are looking woven together. It's sort of elegant. It's a solid gray bamboo/ cotton blend and a fine mottled mohair in taupes and aqua. It completely satisfies my yarn cravings. And, as an added bonus, check out the awesome vintage packaging my mini loom came in.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

...In the Lane Snow is Glistenin'...

Winter in the Northwest is usually much more gray than white, but last night we were treated to an early snow. It's beautiful. Beckett and I crept out this morning while the biggest and littlest of our family were still sleeping. We had a snowball fight, found a perfect tree fort, made snow angels and fell a lot. Then we brought home donuts and hot drinks, warmed ourselves up and waited for our clothes to dry so we could go play again. Clearly the roof needed a snowman.More snow is predicted over the next few days, which means I better clear off my sewing table and make something uber warm and fleecy for little Jonesie. Though I have to admit that I loved having my big boy all to myself in the Winter wonderland today.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pipe Dreams... or Needle Dreams

Everything has come to a grinding halt around here. The baby has needed near constant walking and the big boy has decided that 3am is his new wake up time. It's frustrating to say the least. I'm almost jittery with an "idle hands" kind of feeling. This too shall pass, right? In the mean time I've been day dreaming of an alternate universe in which I am (and have time to be) an adept knitter. All of my yarns and needles are stored and untouched, but here are a few of the things that alternate Claire is working on this winter in front of her fireplace. Because she has a fireplace. Obviously.

Hat with Anime Character
(Hello Totoro!)

Baby Sophisticate Sweater

Vine Yoke Cardigan


Meret (Mystery Beret)

It's a lovely dream, anyway. The weather up here is providing enough excitement for now, I suppose. I was photographed by the local paper this morning. Most likely because I looked so ridiculous carting my 2 bundled up kids through the bluster. Happy Windsday everyone!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Favorite Neighbor

This handsome fellow was perched on the neighboring building's chimney this morning, just posing for my camera and completely ignoring the mob of angry crows around him. Pretty cool. I like to think that each of our hawk visitors has actually just been the same one - the one that came in the window- all grown up. He's reached near mythological status around here. But whether this is the same bird or not, he's lovely and I was happy to have his early morning visit.

I'm feeling that post-Halloween pre-holidays eye of the storm buzz. Like the tension is building. So I've been working on little things here and there, but it's nothing I can post without spoiling surprises. Weird. But I have to say that feeling girly and glamorous last weekend has made it a little harder to go back to my lounge pants and grandpa sweater norm. So I'm getting back to sewing this weekend. I'm wanting to make more of my much loved basics and maybe throw in a few statement pieces. Maybe even work from a pattern.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Music for Moderns

Last night was the Music for Moderns benefit. What an incredible event. The American Museum of Radio and Electricity is a phenomenal place, full of gadgets and curiosities and technological history. Once a year they turn it into one swell scene. I got all ginned up, cut a rug and had a ball.
There was a live Big Band and a Tesla coil demo. A multi-generational crowd dressed to the nines in era garb and a polaroid photo booth. Champagne, dancing and a theremin for all to play. It was the cat's meow, kids. And I have to say my Goodwill revamp skirt was perfect. My tailoring skills are vastly improving. It fit like a glove and was comfortable to boot.
I had so much fun putting this whole look together. As much as I love costumes, I've never dressed up as a fashionable person from another decade. So hair and makeup have never been involved. So fun. I even called my grandma for advice, I hope I did her proud.I felt lovely and stylish and couldn't have asked for a better night out with friends. The fact that it benefited this phenomenal museum was icing. Can you believe it? More pictures of me on mothandsparrow! What's the world coming to?

Friday, November 5, 2010

As Time Goes By

Tomorrow night I'm going to this party, in support of this crazy cool museum across the street that provides us with this, our favorite radio station. It's a 1940s theme USO style party. The timing is a little unfortunate, since I've been so busy with Halloween etc that I couldn't really devote myself to this costume.

Still, I had a number of era appropriate blouses in my closet, and I picked up this skirt at Goodwill last night. It was way too big and meant to be worn lower around the waist, but 2 quick seams up the sides (with some help from my french curve) turned it into a fairly good 40's daywear skirt. I'm excited about it. It's cute and flattering. Of course, styling is everything, so I'm off to go youtube some 40s hairstyle tutorials. Here's looking at you, kid.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mr. Fox Takes a Walk

After last year's glaring costume failure - B refused to wear the darn thing, after hours of frustrating, teary eyed and occasionally bloody sewing on my part, he ended up just wearing this- I wanted to make him a hoodie and separate pants for this year, figuring I could coax him into the hoodie at least if not both. Turns out, not a concern. He loves this costume so much that he asked to wear on our walk through the park yesterday. The weather was unseasonably beautiful so I thought I'd post these photos instead of the flash-heavy trick-or-treating ones.I'm thinking about making him a few more creature hoodies. Maybe for Christmas. He might need a walrus, but for now he's happy "foxing around" in the leaves.

Shadow Monsters

My parent's house has been the big neighborhood haunted house for 30 years. My dad goes all out and I'm right there with him. We try to add new things here and there and this year Beckett wanted shadowy creatures like the ones in The Princess and the Frog. This is what I came up with for him.They're cardboard silhouettes spray painted black. So simple and pretty cool. Maybe more stylish than scary, but they were darn effective in the dark. I kinda wish I was a 14 year old goth girl so I could have these in my bedroom.

I still have to post the boy's costumes, and then it'll be on to more November appropriate posts. And a new header, because the old one was all kinds of tired.

Monday, November 1, 2010

... Gnashed Their Terrible Teeth and Rolled Their Terrible Eyes...

I hate pictures of myself, hence my usual faceless mystique here on mothandsparrow, but I'm so proud of our Where the Wild Things Are costumes I was hoping you all would permit me to post a few more photos. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday and this year was particularly wonderful, so I think I'll drag it out for a few more days.My costume was a giant fleece hooded onesie. I traced the pattern pieces from a pair of pj pants and a hooded sweatshirt pinned together. Plus some claws, ears, tail and whiskers. Zion's Wild Thing was a big fur hood attached to a dyed, redyed and overdyed striped tee shirt. The mask is an illustration from the book blown up and tweaked a little. He also had claws, horns and big furry tail. We had plans for fur pants, but time, money and overheating concerns won out. Easily the coziest costumes we've ever worn, and they were perfectly appropriate for both Saturday night's grown up festivities and for Sunday night's trick or treating. Oh so fun. Beckett was more into it than ever and I think he was proud of his silly parents.