Friday, April 30, 2010

Kansas Garden Guide

We all know that K-State is awesome. It's a wonderful place to go to school, and we love our teams, but there is more. The extension service is amazing. I don't think there's anything like it anywhere else, and it's there for you!

Anyhoo-I ordered this Kansas Garden Guide a couple of weeks ago. You can access it online, but I like to have something to hold in my hands, so I bought one (here's a link to the order form). I think it was somewhere around $6.

I LOVE this book. Sometimes when reading other garden books, I wonder if I REALLY have to do all of that, or buy all of that, etc. The information in this book all seemed reasonable and practical, and included advice about things specific to our part of the world, like how the garden responds to wind, how to keep things from blowing away, how to make things out of stuff you might have around.

There's even a section on container gardening, and a great chart in the back which shows planting and harvesting times for all of the different crops.

Happy Planting!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spanish Podcast

After I listened to ALL of the old Craftsanity podcasts (insanity!) I was searching around for something else to listen to obsessively and I've found a new favorite.

Notes in Spanish Advanced (they also have beginner and intermediate) from itunes has short (10 minutes) conversations at a lovely pace between Marina, who is from Spain, and Ben, who is from England, but who speaks very well. Every so often she will correct something he says, which is a nice way to call attention to the sorts of errors that non-native speakers tend to make. I've listened to about 10 of them so far, and learned lots of interesting things about Spain, and I'm sure I'm picking up phrases and vocabulary too.

On their website there are some worksheets and some free videos. They haven't put out a new podcast in quite a while, but there are 96 available on itunes, so that ought to keep me busy for a couple of weeks anyway. :)

Hasta Pronto!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kansas Sampler Festival May 1-2

This weekend is the Kansas Sampler Festival!!

It's in Leavenworth this year, which is pretty far from GC, but I'm considering taking some sort of trip anyway, just for fun, and to participate in the Kansas spirit. :)

But some of you are close-so go! It's fun and worth it. It'll open your eyes and inspire you to be a local tourist. If you go, say Hi to Marci for me!

Yay Kansas!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad!

When my Dad was Anna's age, this song was in the top 20. Enjoy!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Little Girl Cousins

It was quite a task to get three little girls in good lighting and happy for a picture. Or 400.

There were some tears.

Some grew weary.
Some made funny faces.

And sometimes we caught the right moment.

Thanks for helping a crazy girl see her random idea to fruition.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Shakespeare's Birthday!

Go ahead, say it along with him...

What? Your Dad didn't make you memorize it?


To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. - Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.

Happy Birthday, Shakey!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sheet Dresses!

A couple of weeks ago I had this crazy idea. New baby girl cousin ELO was coming to visit, and I could make dresses for all three of the young girl cousins! Out of an old sheet!

The night before she got here I finally got started. I made a newborn dress

and a toddler dress from Butterick B5017
and one for Anna

from Butterick B3762 (I wished I could find something with a tiered skirt for Anna, I'm just not quite brave enough to go it on my own, and I was disappointed with the number of patterns I found online. Shouldn't there be more than 25 in girls/boys?)
This afternoon we're taking pictures! Should be great fun.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

32 years resolution

I want to dress like this more often.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I do not have a good picture of this cute little apron I made for Sarah. I used this tutorial-it was so easy and quick! I found the tablecloth at Goodwill a while ago, not big enough for my table and mildly stained, so I thought it was the perfect thing to cut up and re-use. When it came down to it, it took me a long time to muster up the courage to cut into it. I'm glad I took a little extra time to think about it, and got those flowers centered.

For the ties I used ribbon that Jeanette sent me. I have a whole GIANT roll of that red and white stripe now, isn't that thrilling?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Handmade love

I got two more special surprises for my birthday this year.

A hand-woven belt...I have a great idea for this...I think. I love it, it's beautiful and the thought of the amount of time and thrills and awes me. Thank you so much, Linda!

And Sara sent me this crochet hook holder! My crochet hooks have been living in a plastic sack their whole lives. And not even a ziploc, at that! This is crocheted and then felted, a very cool look. I've never done any of that.

Don't they look happy? And...why do I have so many? If anyone needs a hook, I have many multiples.
From teeny steel hooks all the way to that crazy S hook, I love looking at them.

What a happy day!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Birthday Quilt!

Just before my birthday, I got a box. The first fun thing was that it had a note on it!

My friend Tim works at the Post Office in Manhattan. It was a special birthday treat.

Then I had to wait two days before I could open this beauty from my friend Sarah, who JUST started quilting.

I know! Isn't it gorgeous?

Even the back is lovely.
And once I put it in it's place over the arm of my red chair, it became glaringly obvious that what the living room has always needed is a spot of pink. It makes me smile 20-30 times a day, and is the perfect size for my lap.
Thank you. :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Birthday Fun

On Friday night we went to town to try out the new Mexican place close to Dad's house; Mr. Torta. So delicious!

Then we came home and I stayed up late working on a project. Perfect way to ring in my birthday. On Saturday morning Anna set the table with everything special for my birthday. Flamingo cups, pink plate, she was very proud.

Matthew made chocolate chip pancakes and special syrup. Mmmm....
Then I opened presents. A composter! I think Matthew was a little surprised by the level of excitement over that one. I'm really excited about it.

Also a tortilla press, and a serger! The serger's still in the box. I'm watching the instructional DVD carefully, and reading my Serger ABC book that Susan gave me last year. I feel like I need a special vacation to have time to play with all of my new toys.

On Sunday after Alsop Easter we celebrated my birthday again. I got this spool rack, which I promptly filled up with thread. Isn't it pretty? I am such a lucky girl. It was a great birthday.

Handmade gifts tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday Poem

I listen to a couple of poetry podcasts, (Poetry Off the Shelf and Essential American Poets) and I always love them. I probably ought to add another to the rotation. Heard this poem last week and really liked it.

Life Cycle of Common Man
Howard Nemerov

Roughly figured, this man of moderate habits,
This average consumer of the middle class,
Consumed in the course of his average life span
Just under half a million cigarettes,
Four thousand fifths of gin and about
A quarter as much vermouth; he drank
Maybe a hundred thousand cups of coffee,
And counting his parents’ share it cost
Something like half a million dollars
To put him through life. How many beasts
Died to provide him with meat, belt and shoes
Cannot be certainly said."
But anyhow,
It is in this way that a man travels through time,
Leaving behind him a lengthening trail
Of empty bottles and bones, of broken shoes,
Frayed collars and worn out or outgrown
Diapers and dinnerjackets, silk ties and slickers.

Given the energy and security thus achieved,
He did . . . ? What? The usual things, of course,
The eating, dreaming, drinking and begetting,
And he worked for the money which was to pay
For the eating, et cetera, which were necessary
If he were to go on working for the money, et cetera,
But chiefly he talked. As the bottles and bones
Accumulated behind him, the words proceeded
Steadily from the front of his face as he
Advanced into the silence and made it verbal.
Who can tally the tale of his words? A lifetime
Would barely suffice for their repetition;
If you merely printed all his commas the result
Would be a very large volume, and the number of times
He said “thank you” or “very little sugar, please,”
Would stagger the imagination. There were also
Witticisms, platitudes, and statements beginning
“It seems to me” or “As I always say.”
Consider the courage in all that, and behold the man
Walking into deep silence, with the ectoplastic
Cartoon’s balloon of speech proceeding
Steadily out of the front of his face, the words
Borne along on the breath which is his spirit
Telling the numberless tale of his untold Word
Which makes the world his apple, and forces him to eat.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bunny Pin

On the Saturday before Easter I had a little time to make things, so I made Anna this sweet little bunny pin from allsorts.

Fast, easy, cute! Perfect.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Friday, April 09, 2010

Jelly Bean Bags

Saturday morning Anna and I sat down to make something for Easter.

We looked through lots of ideas in the One Pretty Thing archives, and together picked out something that looked fun and easy to make; Bag of Beans! from the purl bee.

I got out our box of felt and we picked out as many different colors as we could find. I traced the beans and cut them out, and Anna pinned the pieces together. (I'm hoping by starting her early on pinning, she won't hate it like I do. And then maybe she'll do mine for me. And she'll be a better seamstress and stuff.)

I stitched them up, we turned them inside out and filled them with beans (I'm glad I bought the giant too big bag of beans when we made the beanbags for Valentines Day-it's fun to have extra beans on hand)

Then I looked in my box of canvas scraps and remembered I had some jelly bean canvas! I made a little drawstring bag to keep them in. It was a great morning. The only problem was that I didn't have very many colors of felt, and the acrylic felt starts to feel icky after you work with it for maybe...someone should get me some of this for my Birthday? (scroll down to the bottom for the pretty multi packs) :)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Spring Shoes

It's Spring!

Time to dig out the summer things and paint my toes and order a swim suit and play in the garden...

Have I ever mentioned mohop shoes? They're very cool. Handmade shoes.

(pic stolen from Mohop shoes)

You can order custom shoes on her website, or get a few ready made pairs from Etsy... like these... oh! in my size!

Happy Birthday to me?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Another Photo Shoot

Last week as I was tidying the house, I noticed that we still had Poppa Marion's nice camera. Anna was looking cute, and I thought it might be a good idea to get some pictures of her as she normally looks, wild hair and all. I threw a blanket over the door and convinced her to pose for a few minutes.

I'm not sure where the muscle pose came from. Must be those boy cousins.

This one is definitely Aunt Abby's influence. I have it on my computer now, it cracks me up.

It's always fun to take pictures...anyone want to get me this for my birthday?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Songs I can't teach

I love this song- Sin ti, sin mi by Ricardo Arjona, and I think it would make some fantastic lessons, but not until I teach at the college level. :)

So, for now, ya'll can enjoy it. The lyrics on this video have some spelling errors, but I thought you might like to be able to read the lyrics as he sings.

What's your favorite line?

And...anyone want to get me this for my Birthday? :)

Monday, April 05, 2010

Molly G's Quilt!

I've been thinking about this one for over a year, it's been almost a year since I told her I'd make it for her, and for just about that long I've had the fabric sitting on my table. It felt really good to get it done and in the mail. I like these colors, and how the pattern is sort of lattice-y, like the flowers are climbing on it.

I used the quilting machine at the quilt shop, and, feeling a little more brave, did something slightly fancier than last time. See the little heart? This pattern is loops and hearts all over.

Maybe it's easier to see here.

I'm really enjoying the quilting machine. Anyone want to get me one for my birthday? :)

Friday, April 02, 2010

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Easter Mantel

For Easter, I just put all the baskets up on the mantel. Don't we look like a big family up there?

We're celebrating with Lobmeyers this weekend, and Alsops next weekend. Easter is one of my favorite holidays, so I'm especially excited about getting an extra dinner. :)