Thursday, August 31, 2006

Corners of Our Home 21

my mom arrives tomorrow. she will stay in our "spare room" which also doubles as our office and may someday have to revert to being a bedroom (who knows?).

in any case. the desk needs to be organized/cleaned by 6:45 p.m. tomorrow. when the bugs and i will head to the airport to pick-up "grammy".


the desk belonged to d's dad. we repainted it and put a new top on it. d built me the cubbies/inspiration board long ago. or at least it seems long ago. before the bugs. when we lived in a big warehouse in mid-city. and i had a "real" office for "my business". it came from plans here.

i have plans to redo this room sometime soon. would like a longer, maybe L-shaped, built in desk. room for my sewing machine. the room has access to the backyard which we would like to take more advantage of. (right now there is a sofa-bed in front of the sliding door which no longer slides.) paint it white and crowd it with d's unframed landscapes of the southbay (glimpsed here).

but first i just need to clean off that desk - wish me luck!

more corners here

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

hockney at lacma

first time to post twice in one day.

but just returned from the david hockney show - which closes on monday - and had to tell any who have thought about going but haven't, to go. go. go.


i may be old school. but i think he is genius.

detail from Hockney's Ann and David, March 10, 2005, 2005

thank you

you are all very kind. very kind.

i'm still not convinced i can live with the guitar tee the way it is. but my mom is arriving on friday and i have a lot of preparing to do. so it will sit and wait. if cooler temps arrive before i get around to revisiting it, then the little bug will likely be sporting it this fall. will let you know!

on another note - any Blogger bloggers out there upgraded to beta? curious to hear some reviews... going through that whole typepad vs. blogger thang again...


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

wrong note

do you ever have the exact image of how you want something to happen and then it doesn't even come close?

happened last night.


i put it back into my work pile only to have the big bug bring it to my attention at 630 this a.m. to tell me that she wanted her sister to wear it today. thankfully* it is 100 degrees here and i told her that it was more of a sundress kind of day.

will try try again tonight...

*and i am never ever thankful that it is 100 degrees!

Monday, August 28, 2006

jammin' through...

ok. who took our weekend? even em, this morning, asked me, "how can it be monday already mama?" and we had taken an extra day.

it was full. (that is likely part of it.) but full in the beautiful spend-time-with-really-great-people kind of full. and i did get a couple of things done.

thursday night we met up with d's mom, sister and husband and three of their girls + a fiancee for a little sushi. i have one niece off to portland to explore new pastures with aforementioned fiancee, and one heading to israel for a year, to explore her passion. this was likely the last night we would see these two for a while. (the third is off to high school this year - and i know we will be seeing more of her. my girls will make sure of that!) we will miss them greatly.

friday we all slept in, swam, ate, swam, then headed over to our neighbors' for dinner. they have a little almost 1 year old who is fascinated by ours. and they put on a kick-ass bbq. good company and good food. yum.

saturday. a little thrift with a very good friend and one of her boys. back in the pool. and a quiet evening just us. well maybe not quiet. (we had quite a family jam, complete with shoebox guitar and pasta shakers.) but definitely just us.


sunday. breakfast out with friends and news of a new baby on the way. always good news! another niece. another birthday party. 4 year olds cosmic bowling. the big bug loved it. the little bug not so sure. i will reserve my comment. no naps. much crankiness. but the big bug did take some quiet time and was even inspired to organize her books. the little bug, not so quiet. back in the pool. then early to bed for all. (well, except me - i revelled in the dark, quiet house and got a little crafting and organizing of my own done. i'll save that for later.)

oh and my superbuzzy order arrived! mariko and kelly - i cannot tell you how impressed i am with it all! thank you! great quality. great selection. great service. feeling inspired...

em also reminded me this morning that here are only 8 more sleeps 'til kindergarten. she told me to try and not be too sad. (i smiled and told her i was really excited too. arms stretched out excited. thumb and pointer-finger about 1/2 an inch apart sad.) we really are jammin' through. hope to take them as slowly as we can.

happy monday all.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

thursday for friday


oh how i love the longer, cooler nights... c'mon autumn... i am so so ready. tho it looks like we have another month or so of summer left down here. (guess i've gotta get that beach bag finished first!)

i am taking tomorrow off. no work. no computer. just some time with the girls. kindergarten will be starting soon and i am trying to squeeze as much out of these days as i can.

some weekend inspiration

(ok - the first link is to get me more organized, the second to keep me moving with the back-to-school clothes sewing - and that last link is just to remind me to have fun!)

hope you have a lovely one!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


oh where to begin?...

what is today, wednesday? then it was monday when i came home to a package. i had been expecting it.

when i saw this appear, i so wanted it for the big bug and decided it would be an end-of-summer / back-to-school / almost 5 gift. it seemed perfect for her. summing up a lot we have been thinking about in our house these past months. "take care of a piece of the earth". i carefully opened the package to find not one, but four enclosed. and one was for me! i stashed the gifts for the girls into the cupboard and carefully opened mine. i was so pleasantly surprised to find this


with a beautiful inscription on the back.

i met shanna through her blog. her mom passed away on the 4 year anniversary of my own dad's death. it rang loudly for me. her words rekindling all i went through those short years ago. all i still go through. although i didn't know her i felt a connection.

the more i came to know her through her blog and email, the more i learned of her generosity of spirit and love for the world. her strength gave her the courage to go after her dreams. i admire that greatly. i admire her greatly.

the painting will hang in my office - when it is renovated. but for now hangs outside our bedroom door. where i will look at it everyday. where it will remind me of all i want to be. of the kindness of someone i am beginning to know. of new friendships. and of the gifts my dad gave me. be kind. smile at people you pass by. always lend a helping hand.

and then there was a message from shanna yesterday. concern that em's smock may not fit. so i pulled it off the high shelf and let the bug try it on. it fit perfectly. it is so beautifully made. and she refused to take it off. wearing it again today. ("mama, i want to wear the 'grow strong' dress again that someone made for me.")


i should add about the other 2 bits in the package, that shanna also included a little something for the little bug. as well as a birthday gift that i will save for em's day...

oh grow strong...

thank you so much shanna...

Monday, August 21, 2006

6 minus 2 plus 1

2 of the tasks are off the list... (and i had very very little to do with it!)

the big bug is finished her swimming lessons for the summer. she was a star. she really made a commitment to it and tried to push herself a little everyday. i am so proud of her. and even better, she is proud of herself.

d's mom turned 73 on saturday. she had 16 of her brood (kids and grandkids) and 3 of her closest friends over to our place for a swim, bbq, and cake (perfect perfect cake - have i mentioned my sister-in-law is a pastry chef? we are soooo lucky!) we did miss the 5 grandkids who couldn't join us but were happy to be with those who could.

so with 4 tasks remaining, i didn't do any of them, but instead was asked very sweetly to finish a skirt i started so long ago. how could i refuse? she has worn it for the last 2 days so i guess it came out ok! it was originally inspired by this, which credited a 3peas tutorial which now i can not place (help?)... it is a great and easy pattern and i would encourage anyone looking to make a peasant skirt to try it (not you of course karen!) i'm thinking corduroy next?

she really didn't want to stand still for her picture

man, will that bedsheet never run out??

Friday, August 18, 2006

to do


- attend the big bug's last swim lesson of the summer

- mail out pile of long overdue packages sitting on my desk (recipients,you know who you are and i apologize!)

- decide on lunch-box strategy and make some cloth napkins/cutlery rolls to go with it (inspired by these)

- finish up terry beach bag before summer is over! (though with triple digit temps forecasted for next week, autumn still seems a long way off...)

- find shoes to go with the big bug's first-day-of-school outfit (which she chose last week from a bag of lovely hand-me-downs from her big 6 yr old cousin)

- celebrate my mother-in-law's 73rd bday in style! (pool party anyone?)

happy weekend!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

lunch to go

so know that i have some ideas of what to pack in the big bug's lunch this fall, i am left with deciding what to pack it in.

we have been using a small hard-shell igloo-type cooler - easy to keep clean, insulates well, very durable, may be covered with stickers, lead-free... but, the big bug tells me, too heavy. (maybe i could find a smaller size?)

then i came across these. a little more than i thought i would spend. but sound pretty good. pvc and lead-free. and machine washable. (i like the laptoplunches approach but worry about the wipe-clean instructions for the bag - split milk seems to need a good wash-out... and at that price i want something that is going to last a long while.)

and this looks fun too... how well do you think it would insulate with a coldpack?

what do you think? any tips?

update - this just found - will need to consult with the bug...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

he has legs. but can't stand. and a tail. but it doesn't really wag.

so though small, the big bug seems very happy with these improvements!

and i am happy just to finish something.

(more detail pics here)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

family i love you

the big bug came home with this folded up in her lunchbox. she told me that it is our island cottage. it will have stairs and we will all be together when we are there.

we almost had an island cottage this week. but as these deals sometimes do, it moved sideways instead of forwards and we moved on. i am a little sad. a little disappointed. but honestly i think that it just wasn't meant to be. and that something else is waiting for us. we are charmed by this island i swear, and will be there more permanently some day!

we had a quiet but productive weekend. did a lot of weeding at our new garden plot. (i forgot my camera but the big bug had hers so hopefully she got some good shots.) a lot of weeding! (will have to return this week to see if any of the weeds have returned.) we found a praying mantis, ladybugs, lots of dragonflies, and a big fat caterpillar. and have started to plan our winter harvest. i can't wait!

the water mysteriously escaped giselle's pond. we thought at first there was a leak but tested it and found there wasn't. we are now suspecting some animal paid her a visit and pushed down the side of the pool, allowing the water to run out. hmmmmm... she seems fine. we will keep an eye on things.

and the little bug is consistently using the potty! yay! now to get rid of all the diaper paraphernalia and think about redoing the girls' room. (i had been putting it off until the changing table / dresser was on its way out...)

oh, and i didn't sew a stitch! though did make some plans for back-to-school gear...

how was your weekend?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

because i said i would

this post some sewing - really

my latest stuffie foray.

and proof that i am still finding a bit of time to sew. this summer has flown by. little hot doggie has been sitting around the whole time waiting for legs. and a tail.

this morning the big bug picked him up and told me "it's ok mom. it doesn't really look like a dog. but it's ok. i can tell you've tried your best."

i guess all those pep talks i have been giving her have been sinking in!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

further to my last post

zinnia pop

these ideas so appeal to me right now.

and further to our quest for a "simplified life" i am running with em's passion for gardening (the zinnia is all her doing) and we are taking on a community garden plot with our nieghbors. we are very excited and anxious to start on our winter seedlings. and to transplant some pumpkins that are flowering in pots (does anyone know if this will work?).

i know that we are a long (long!) way off from meeting the ideals. but the little steps feel really very good.

oh, and isn't this the perfect dress?

ok - next post - some sewing... really...

Monday, August 07, 2006


that i cannot get everything done in the weekend that i hope for

that we will miss our aging neighbors who have moved on to more manageable accomodations (and left us some vintage treasures including the pictured book to remember them by)

that it can be very very hard to grow old

that family is so very very important

that it doesn't really matter if i get everything done in the weekend that i hoped for

but that it does matter that we spend time together

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Corners of Our Home 20 (and WIP a day early)


progress has been made from where it was. but it still seems to be moving so slow. we (ok, d really) are doing the work ourselves. with cooler temps on the way it will be much easier to finish the mudding. and get that tile up!

right now we are bathing using the new tub and an impromptu one-faucet set-up that requires the hotwater tank to be adjusted to the desired temperature before filling... most of us don't mind the extra work at all!


i'll use this as a double post - knocking out Corners of Our Home thursday and WIP friday in one blow. (there is a bit of craft in a remodel, no?!) have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


a few bits that have been on my mind...

i have been meaning to mention the mail we came home to. where do the days go? have we really been home for a week now? i guess so, since the laundry pile has disappeared (thanks d!)

besides the regular, expected piles of magazines and billing statements, there were not one, but two unexpected packages waiting for us. the first was big with exciting looking foreign stamps on it. kristina! i had been wondering what you were up to! (she is occasionally getting caught-up via her brother's computer!) it contained some wonderful danish design magazines (we have chosen a summer home out of one!) and lots of treats for us all. the packaging was a big hit with the girls - as were the contents. there was some chocolate and marzipan too, but for some reason that disappeared very quickly. (ahem.) there was also a long, (gasp!) handwritten letter from kristina. sounds like she may be back on-line soon. and that she is having a wonderful wonderful summer with her family. thank you so much kristina!

from Denmark, with love

then there was a package from the shack house. there were two CDs - the result of her contribution to the kids' CD swap. fun, fun and mellow fun. they are great. perfect mix of kid and adult music that has our whole van dancing! (i need to get the playlist from your carol - some of these voices i can't place and i need to hear more!) thanks carol!

and while in an ideal world i would do more sewing and find more thrifting, the reality is i often end up at target. and i am loving the tees i picked-up from their paul and joe line. don't think i will have the time to check it out here. but it looks very cool. also, for those in l.a., the paul frank store on 3rd is closing down and everything is 50% off until the end of the month. deals to be had!

feeling very inspired by these to get the big bug ready for school and her venture into kindergarten. ah, kindergarten. i never mentioned but on the drive home from our holiday i had a call from the charter school we had so hoped to get into months ago. that our number (43!) was next on the waiting list and that there was a space if we wanted it. we had 24 hours to make the decision. and a rough 24 it was. i know i have talked about this over and over but talking about the girls education just brings out this desire to work to save the public school system and to stress the importance of our community to the girls. so we turned them down. and will continue on the path we set out once we believed that our local school was our only real choice. i am feeling brave. and reassured. and strong. i can't wait to walk her home from school and ask her how her day went, instead of eyeing her in the rear-view mirror while negotiating l.a. traffic. and e is so excited too. we have made the right decision for us.

speaking of back-to-school - i'll be packing lunches. any tried and true favorites out there?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

in the swim

i loved steph's post on swimming lessons. so apt. so timely. so big bug.

we tried private lessons earlier this summer - our neighbor offered them up in exchange for babysitting their 6 month old (how could i refuse those sweet baby smiles??) - but it didn't really take. coercion required to get her off the pool steps. i even heard gummy bear bribes being offered. it didn't work. she needs the comfort her peer group brings her. she needs to see that others can do it, so in turn, so can she. the group lessons we started last week offer that. and off she goes...

i love how proud she is when she learns something new. proud of her accomplishments. that look of confidence as she surveys the pool after class and watches the "big kids" start their lessons.

"i'll be doing that soon mama"

"yes you will my love"