Wednesday, March 26, 2008

There's An Elephant In The Room

It takes a long time to make an elephant... 22 months if you want the real thing. 2 1/2 days if you'd like a silhouetted cross-stitched version. (I think they're both worth the wait.) Recently, I watched the Unforgettable Elephants documentary. They really are amazing animals. Intelligent. Caring. Strong. Tender. I mean, a person knows they have witnessed something remarkable when they see a baby elephant running, trumpeting or nuzzling mum.

It got me thinking to one of my favorite childhood stories. The Saggy Baggy Elephant. I grew up in the days of records. Real vinyl records. Most of my records came in read-along books. In my room, the record player would give a dramatic voice to the storybook in my little hands. As I followed along, a chime would sound when it was time to turn the page. It was magical. And while, as I would say it, "The Saaag-gy Baaag-gy El-fa-nunt" is no longer available in the 45 rpm form, it is the classic story of a dancing elephant. In high school, anytime I wore nylons (ugh) and they bunched up at my ankles (double ugh), I immediately mumbled to myself through pursed lips, "...saggy baggy elephant, Diane."

As a child, that elephant story kept me company many afternoons. Now, I have a sweet curly- trunked, stitch-y version. For you, I wish that there will always be an elephant in your room.

Monday, March 24, 2008

All Things Blue

Here are the latest editions to my hair accessories. All are handmade by me. (F.Y.I - felt ponies are $3 a piece and bobbies are $4 a pair.)

This color of blue has been on my mind. It's such a bright happy color. But, also peaceful. I couldn't resist the white bird of peace as the latest to my birdie collection. The picture may not do the color justice as it's more of a bright turquoise than a royal blue, but you get the idea. And a girl can't have too many bobbie pins, right?

Actually, there are a lot of things blue that make me happy. Just to name a few: blueberries... smurfs... and sapphires. What blue things make you happy?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

When The Moon Hits Your Eye... a big pizza pie, that's amore. And I do, as much as one can, love this pizza. We took our basic salad recipe and put it on a crust. Here's the recipe:

Basic pizza crust (whole wheat if we can find it)

spread out a pesto base (your basic basil, garlic, olive oil, etc.)

layer on feta cheese

next, fresh baby spinach

sprinkle on mozzarella (not too much, this pizza doesn't need it)

top with pine nuts

Cook as crust directions instruct (we do 350 degrees for 8 minutes)


Monday, March 17, 2008

Studio Sweet Studio

I've been hard at work: creating. Creating a space where I can create. The kitchen table was my craft studio. With three people in a 900-square-foot home, there wasn't much choice. Or so I thought.

Careful consideration goes into how our space at home is used. In fact, I have found great inspiration to do more with less, after seeing these amazing houses from the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. So much can be accomplished in small spaces. But, the kitchen table was a creative mess. With a dreamy thought bubble over my head, I wondered, "It would be so nice to have a whole room as a craft studio. But do I really need it?"

We have one linen closet and with husband's "O.K.", I decided to give it a redesign. Out came the sheets, towels, boxes and one shelf. In went containers of little goodies, spools of ribbon, command hooks (love those!), yarn, grandma's sewing machine, fabric, felt, thread, glues, papers and a mini upholstered seat. Voila! Instant craft studio.

It would have been much more dramatic to take a "before" picture, but sometimes good ideas come too late. It may be small, but it's mine, all mine. And we can eat dinner at the table again. Hooray! Now, what do I do with all the towels??

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Darling, Danke Schoen

Since being bitten by the cross stitching bug, I knew I had to do this. (Trace Germany, pin to fabric, divide into thirds, stitch!) It's for my husband (H). Since he loves all things german, and he has recently returned to relearning german, (I think I frequently do that repetetive similar sound thing, only it's not on purpose - consciously) I thought that he might like this. (He does.) Memories were awakened about living in Germany as a child, earning metals on volksmarches and enjoying schnitzel.
* sigh* Gift complete.

In my mind, this silhouette of Germany could not remain all black... well, it would just look like a psychotherapist's ink blot. No good. So, what better way to identify Deutschland than with it's flag? More country silhouettes must be on the way because I can't keep my hands off atlases. Oh the colors, shapes and travel destinations!

Can anyone tell me what that rhyming repetitive language sound thing-y is called? (So eloquent.) Hopefully, because it's unconsciously done, it won't require deciphering from a therapist.

(Edit: rhyming, repetetive language thing-y is alliteration. Thanks everyone!)

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Awake with ideas again. Sat down at the computer to make a list, surf, be inspired, clear my head and eventually go back to bed. Not quite sure how I ended up at this blog, but I laughed until I cried. (Please click on the link and read the above yellow "To-Do In What's Left Of This Lifetime". No it's not mine.)

See, I've always been a list maker. My first memories of being "found out" were in high school. I created a new to-do list every day. It included things such as eat dinner, ask mom about shopping this weekend, record song from radio and set out clothes for tomorrow. I'm not sure why I felt I might forget to eat dinner (since we ate as a family) or that I might wake up panicked in the morning without a pre-planned outfit, but I did. My friend caught me mid-list-writing and asked me what the heck I was doing. Frozen, my eyes were like saucers. Didn't everyone make lists?? I started a Christmas list... in May. I had a list on my closet door of the clothes that I hoped to purchase (including a green suede skirt - it was the 80's.) And believe me, I loved crossing things off of a list. For us hopeless listmakers, there is a huge sense of accomplishment when something gets crossed off that list. If it's not crossed off, it can become a dreaded "carry over".

Mini journal. That's how lists are described. Since I never really get around to journaling, (although it always makes the list) I suppose it is a way to keep track of life happenings. Routine or not. I had a list of 'Things To Do In This Lifetime' when I was in college. All I can remember now was "shear a sheep". Which I still haven't done. But, I'm pretty sure that I need to make a new list.

I no longer write every mundane detail in my lists. And now sometimes I forget to eat.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I have always thought of myself as someone who loves colors. And I guess I do, they just happen to be black and white. February was "flu month" at our house and so crafting took a back seat to getting everyone well. But, I did manage to turn out a little cross stitch pear silhouette. (Pears are yummy.) It was then that I realized there is a silhouette trend in my home. First, there was the sketch I made a few years ago of my scottish terrier named Silhouette. (It is inspired by Picasso's "The Dog".) Secondly, last year I cut a silhouette of my 4 month old daughter, Charlotte. A great deal of help was received from this book by Kathryn Flocken. Lastly, I have returned to cross stitching. Only, I didn't want any of those kits. It had to be original... and apparently black and white. (I have more in the works.) Now that I know I have a collection, I'm going to have to add to it. And sometimes things really are just black and white.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Wake Up Call

This evening, I caught part of "The Royal Family" tv special. Fascinating. I learned that when the Queen of England stays at Balmoral, her alarm clock is a bagpiper who strolls the grounds playing his tune at 9 a.m. sharp. Sign me up!

If I was Queen, surely, wires would get crossed and I'd be shocked out of slumber with bagpipes blaring next to my bed. The piper would sense the dismay due to my chest clasping and labored breathing. He'd respond promptly with, "Oh, was this supposed to be outside? My bad." He'd get away with it though because everything sounds better with a scottish accent. True. We have a family friend from Scotland and I could listen to her read aloud my cell phone manual. The whole thing. And I'd be smiling.

Maybe I'll just aim for a bagpipe album in my cd/alarm clock. Perfect way to start the day. That and a spot of tea.
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