Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Maggie on a scooter in the park

A few nights ago we went to the park close to dinner time.  We took the Lightning McQueen scooter, which I guess belongs to Patrick, but heaven forbid if Maggie lets him have it.  And neither one of them have mastered 'sharing' yet.
He tried to chase her and forcefully take his scooter back.

When retrieving his scooter didn't work, he helplessly stood and screamed at his sister as she scooted away fast.

Look how happy she is on his scooter.

But don't let that smile fool you.  She can be just as angry as her brother you saw a couple of pictures above.  I asked her to give Patrick his scooter back and to thank him for sharing it with her, and this is the face she gave me.

And  then she said to me: mom look at the moon?  She pointed, and it wasn't a full moon, although in my household it feels like a full moon every night. 

And then I asked her again if she would give Patrick his scooter back.  This time she stopped to think about it. Hmmmmmmm

And she still didn't give him his scooter.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Maggie's studio

I have two Maggies, and although I almost always talk about my daughter Maggie, this time I want to talk about my friend Maggie.
Maggie lives in my very own town.  How lucky I am.  And Maggie is a master in all things sewing, repurposing and altering.  She found my name in the magazine I got published.  I was so delighted.  We met a few weeks ago when Maggie came over to my house and shared her creations.  This last week we met at her house and her studio is so inspiring, organized, so well put together, so bright, and colorful that you can get inspired just by being there.
Here she is in her studio.

My camera really doesn't do it justice, it's just my phone camera.  I told Maggie that with workspace like hers, she really should be in one of the inspiring magazines by Stampington, called Where Women Create.

Maggie is helping me alter a dress that my husband got some time ago for a photo shoot, and I don't think he ever used it.  It's several sizes too big on me, but I liked the fabric, it's sort of business-y looking.  I had this idea of incorporating a man's tie as a way to tighten it just under the bust, and Maggie suggested I use it as a belt.  So after doing some fitting to the dress, I made some belt loops, I need to take some length off of it and it's not ready yet, but it's going to be.
Here is a before picture:

And you will have to be patient and come back to check on the AFTER picture soon, I hope.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mouse traps

Here is an inspiration straight from one of my crafty sites that I visit.  Magnets made out of mouse traps.  I was dying to make these, I had all kinds of ideas for decorating them.  A trip to the dollar store made it cheap fun.  This is always good, because one thing that has made me a sort of a 'late bloomer' in these artsy and crafty things was the fear of making mistakes and having something go to waste.  I can waste a dollar and no one will suffer.  The least not an innocent mouse looking for food.
So I gathered Mod Podge, some paint (I could only find green, someone took  my paints), stamps and wrapping paper for decorating and here they are, my personal mouse traps magnets.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blast from the past!

A friend at work received a box of 80's style gum and candy from his sister.  And he was kind to share.  I couldn't help but share some pictures with you, whoever you are that may be reading this non sense I call my blog.
Bazooka, oh it tasted so good, and the little comic strip bonus....

Hubba Bubba in a 'tape' dispenser.  Oh man, my kids were going crazy over it.  I don't think I've ever given them gum.  I made the mistake of leaving all this gum out when I went to work, and Hubba Bubba was gone.

The Big League Chew, now I've never seen that one, but that's because I didn't live here in the 80's.  This was a real treat to chew on.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bird affair

I've had a pet bird almost my entire life.  A different one at different times.  My first pet bird I had was named Miki.  He was a little parakeet.  My parents got him for me when I was 6 or 7.  It was the only pet I was allowed to have, no cat or a dog.  Miki was a white parakeet, but shortly after I got him he got ill.  My dad said he will take him to the vet.  On the day of Miki's vet visit I came home from school to find Miki a bit discolored.  He was still white, but had some gray stripes.  Odd - I thought.  But my parents had a reasonable explanation for a 7 year old.  They said to me that Miki was given medicine that caused him to get stripes.  I believed them!!  At some point, years later I knew that the original Miki had died on that day he supposedly went to the vet.  But a lot of time had past for me to 'grieve'.  Besides the striped Miki and I were inseparable.  Miki talked, he would also sit on my shoulder and sometimes he'd eat out of my mouth (yeah gross).  I would also give him baths by cupping my hands in a nest shape and holding them under a slow stream of water in the bathroom sink, while he'd bathe himself.  I'd arrange mirrors and toys on the ground where he would walk and talk to himself in the mirror and interact with the little toys I had out for him.

We were great pals.  I loved Miki.  I had him a long time, some 8-9 years.  He was still alive when I left home in 1995 to be an exchange student for a year.  And when I returned home in the summer of 1996, Miki had changed colors again.  I was angry at my parents for not telling me when he died, they didn't want to upset me especially when I was far away from home anyways.  They'd gotten a purple bird to replace him.  I couldn't connect with this bird, although I did care for it.

When I came back to the states, Terri got me a set of birds, a boy and a girl, Tommy and Cookie.  Cookie died, I can't remember the circumstances, and I had Tommy for a long time.  I still had Tommy when I got married, and at some point he died before I moved to Arizona.  I buried him under a tree at the house we used to live at that time in Bellevue, NE.

At some point during the first year I lived in Arizona, sometime in 2002, my husband got me a set of birds, Goku and ChiChi (we started naming our pets after TV/cartoon characters).  ChiChi died one summer during a time my mother-in-law was visiting.  I buried her under a tree in our back yard.  Goku was around for a long long time.  However, the sad part is that because of other pets we had (cats/dogs) I could never let Goku out of his cage.  I didn't have the opportunity to connect and interact the way I had with Miki.  So Goku spent his entire life in a cage mostly.  His death was by far the most tragic.  Last June (2010) I was sitting on the couch with my kids one morning.  I could hear some type of a bird noise, but a strange bird noise.  I though it was coming from the outside, so I tried to listen.  It was very unusual, and I got up to investigate.  A minute later I found Goku's cage broken.  It was suspended from the ceiling, at least 6ft high, and at least that many feet away from any high surface.  The cat had managed to get the bottom of the cage off and so Goku must have fallen out.  When I found him, the the cat was eating him, he was still alive.  I picked him up and held him in my hands.  He was biting me at first, trying to defend himself.  But he stopped.  I held him for the next hour and talked to him as he died in my hands.

I have no birds now, and I don't think I am going to get one.  They are not meant to live in a cage.  There are many birds in our back yard and I hear them chirping in the morning.  I see them hide in our trees, hang out with their bird buddies on the electrical wires, flying away free as they should be.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The lego architecht

This is another post where the parent (me) praises her child (Patrick) because the parent simply thinks their child is the best and a genius.  I am going too far, I know.
My son loves legos.  A lot of kids and non-kids do.  What I like about Patrick is that he is able to follow the instructions to build the particular set.  And when he is done, a day later he 'disassembles' the set and builds a variation of it.  And another day later all the legos end up disassembled and in a big lego container box, and then the imagination goes.
Here he was building what he called 'his house'.

And then he built this vehicle, which I mistakenly called a car, he corrected me it's a 'plane car'.  'Forgive me for not making a big deal out of those wings son.'  This may be the next and first new car I buy, when my son actually is old enough and designs a real one for his mom.

And naturally here is the 'plane car' parked in front of his 'house'.  I love that arch, he must have gotten the idea from Paolo Soleri

But what cracked me up the most, was not his architechtual or engineering imaginations, but it was him building Slimer from Ghost Busters with legos.  My kids have been watching Ghost Busters lately, I even heard them trying to talk to some kids in the park about Ghost Busters, but the kids couldn't figure out what my kids were talking about.
Anyway....I present you Slimer.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Handmade Valentines

Sometime I think I create more work for myself than I need to.  Raising two kids and working full time, I hardly have time to keep up with our house being clean and tidy, so why in the world will I make handmade Valentine cards for my kids to exchange in school on Valentine's day?  Because I want to.  Because handmade gifts are the best.  Because very few people make homemade of anything.  Because we live in a world where our food comes in a can or a box, and everything else is Made in China.
Now I am sure 3 and 5 year olds receiving handmade cards will not even know the difference, but it doesn't matter. 

And because it makes me happy making things from scratch.  So there...

PS. I did not make the candy.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Maggie's first mural

The paper on Maggie's easel was already painted on, and I had forgotten to put in blank paper.  So she moved on the the wall.  I didn't mind.  I now have a mural in my craft room.
It's difficult to see on the pictures I took of her handy work, but here is a peek.

I think it's supposed to be a turtle.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Dreaming of Overland Expeditions

A few years ago Katya Nikolskaya who at the time lived in Alaska told me about an unusual vehicle she spotted somewhere around Fairbanks.  She gave me the web site of the company operating this vehicle and since then I've been checking out their web site off and on, and dreaming that one day I will have enough time off and money to go on one of the awesome expeditions this company opeates.  They are called Exploratory Overland Expeditons and are based in the UK.