Posts Tagged ‘everyday’

Growing Pants

August 30th, 2011 by zoe 1 Comment

The big storm brought in cool fall air, last night we put on longer layers and jackets, gasp.

We are busy getting ready for the first day of school and realizing – the little ones around here aren’t so little anymore. They have sprouted up this summer and ALL their pants are too short!  I got to thinking, who says I can’t just add length to those piles of pants in their dresser… I got to experimenting and this is what I came up with.

On the first pair I added jean cuffs to the bottom. We tricked them out with some funky matching patches. I have some  green zebra fabric left over from making some new pillows … loving the pillows, loving the green zebra print!

The second pair of pants I cut just under the knees. I then took 4″ slices out of the sleeves of an old adult sweatshirt and sewed them in. It worked perfectly – I didn’t even have to alter the seams, or deal with a new hem.  Oliver demanded his pair have a dinosaur on them so I cut out a little Brontosaurus felt patch and stitched it on. Now he is requesting a palm tree on the other side, oh the demands!

The pants are not insanely expensive or some fantastic fancy brand, they are just plain old pants.   But they kids really still like them and they still fit in the waist.  It’s about trying to use what we have, not buy more than we need & reduce our consumption.  Plus I am a big fan of kids in funky handmade clothes. Oh, and I am a big fan of green zebra print too!



Fair Days

August 26th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

We had a grand country fair day -

Sheep dogs herding ducks right through the crowd.

Extra large horses happy to say hello.

Whirling rides providing happy dizzying fun.

Show animals lined up clean as any farm animal could be.

Winning a ribbon in the cross-cut saw competition, oh my!

Oh how we love these country fairs!


Mellow Yellow

August 19th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Feeling all groovy for yellow lately. Painting things saffron and daffodil!

Not so much mellow, just gaga for yellow.

Things get a bit wild and wonky for us this time of year. I havent been able to work in my studio for weeks and it makes me a bit CRANKY, I just want to start my fall stitching. My main craft fair is only 7 weeks away and I am still deciding WHAT to MAKE, let alone ordering supplies and actually producing all the work!!! Yikes.

The Mr. is back to school readying for a 100 student preorientaion camping trip – that’s a whole lotta GORP, sleeping bags and tents! Hustling it all together while planning for the new school year …. makes him a bit CRANKY.

Oh, and the children are sick of me and my bag of tricks. They would like to spend their days with Mary Poppins or Samantha from Bewitched or anyone who can wave a wand or wink to make all their demands and wishes instantly come true!! And they are children, so of course, they are CRANKY.

The washing machine is also feeling a bit CRANKY. Apparently overwhelmed by the onslaught of laundry, and in need of a vacation, it has begun to make a noise that sounds like a 747 preparing for take off.

Washing machines that WORK are mighty nice. I have taken it apart and it appears to need a new “bouncy, shock type thingy” that holds up the drum. The appliance repair man said this particular brand will not sell parts to appliance repairmen and he can not help me fix it. I must call the corporate headquarters to arrange a service.  Note to self – NEVER BUY this particular brand (LG) AGAIN!

I am feeling all groovy for yellow, but could use a little more mellow!


Vermont Views

August 10th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

We are …

Filling up on Summer Sun.

Learning to keep afloat.

Breathing the freshest air.

Swimming till our lips are blue.

Soaking in green country views.

Loving the late blooming flowers.


Soon enough fall will roll in but for now,

we are loving lake life in Vermont.

Make Kids Berry Baskets

August 6th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

As a child I always loved the story Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. I fancied myself as Sal.

Out past the blue gate we have quite a large patch of wild blueberries, high bush and low bush berries grow all over the hillside. Some years the harvest is large and we can freeze enough to eat our very own berries through the winter. This year has been slim but the boys love to take a break from playing and pick a snack right out of the yard.

Yesterday as we headed out to the pasture I was looking for containers for my little guys to collect berries in and I got this quick idea.

It a hands free berry basket made from an orange juice container with a belt made from some braided strips of old t-shirts. Off we went berry picking. Kerplink, kerplunk, kerplop went the berries into their little baskets. Gobble gobble went those berries into their little mouths. And sure enough they clambered up to my basket and tried to scoop them all up. In fact every time I looked over at Oliver he was shoving piles into him mouth – yum!

Pretty simple, we cut the containers with a high back and used a hole punch to make holes to thread our braided rope through. We punched some holes and added a rubber band so we could fold the top over and secure it shut. The boys were pretty happy to be able to use both hands to pick and we spent A LOT more time out in the field because they were tickled by their “berry belts”. Luckily there were no bears to get all mixed up with!

Magic Inventions

August 5th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

My mind likes to think of inventions. Sometimes they are practical ideas for simple things and sometimes they are wholly improbable, but amusing none the less. For instance today I was wishing I could invent a ….

CLEAN HOUSE RETENTION FORCE FIELD - You know how it is, you clean the house and it only lasts…. um…. 15 MINUTES! If you install THE CLEAN HOUSE RETENTION FORCE FIELD it will guarantee a clean house will last at least 48 hours. Amaze-ZING!

The RELAXA-BUCKLE-UP-ORAMA would be another fabulous invention. This lovely contraption would freeze time as children dilly dally while getting into the car. Rather than grinding their teeth or shouting adults would be frozen in a calm and dreamy state while children…ever so slowly….complete the task of GETTING IN THEIR @#$%^! SEATS!

The other day the kids were asking me how some very complicated technologies worked. I had to tell them, I didn’t know! We would have to learn about them together.

It got me thinking about two inventors, Albert Einstein and Philo T. Farnsworth.  I told them what I remembered about the story of Philo T. Farnsworth as he was depicted series The American Experience, Big Dream, Small Screen. Have you heard of him, heard his story??

As a boy, of 14, he was struck by the patterns in the soil made by the disk harrow. It gave him the glimmer of an idea that he followed through his life to eventually invent television. The boys were wild about the idea that a kid could be an inventor. I am wild about the idea that a boy could show so much focus, determination, persistence and follow through. Qualities any mother would hold in high esteem!

When you start each day with children who ask lots of questions you never know where you will wind up! Society has a lot to say about what you should teach children and sometimes it’s easy to get all tangled up in it. But hell, if they want to learn about electrical engineering but are not the least interested by what letter comes after C in the alphabet I sure as heck will do my best to oblige. I will leave that pile of dishes in the sink and hope that we can invent my clean house force field SOON,it would make a lovely birthday gift!

I have no illusions that they will be great minds. I simply hope they find the discovery of new knowledge to be as cool as I do. I hope they never give up being curious about life.

Albert Einstein held firm in the belief that knowledge and imagination together create true genius. When in doubt just go with Einstein!

I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.
- Albert Einstein

A bit of a downplay on your brainpower there Albert, but, I love the passionately curious part!