28 February 2007

Millinery woe

I’ve been working on this cursed hat for the past thirty-six hours.



I’d whipped up a confection of a portrait ensemble—all white, vintage linens, chenille, and crocheted lace—which was almost divine. Almost. It just needed a hat.

Way back seventeen months ago when I started sewing children’s couture I designed a simple cloche, but could I just modify that pattern? Could I possibly take the sensible route? Let’s not be ridiculous. I couldn’t.

I had to, instead, study and modify a downloaded pattern that was pure crap (which would probably explain the free-ness of it), draft and alter a new pattern several dozen times, and rip out seams like the star of a horror movie. Nic the Ripper. That’s me. Incidentally, how many calories do you think one burns per hour ripping seams? My right wrist seems twice as muscular as its counterpart, what with all the deft flicks of each pulled stitch.

But back to my misery. I’m now on the twenty-something-ith version of the crown, and the ninth version of the brim. But each attempt is closer to the shape I’m pining for, and with a bit o’ luck, I just might have this completed and photographed by tomorrow evening.

I shall keep you posted. If I don't have a coronary first.

26 February 2007

So this is the part of the show

...where I transcribe that bit of who my kids are today.

Zee's* got a heart of the most tender variety. On February 14th, he crafted a valentine from newsprint, complete with a fold-out secret message, and he galloped across the living room to hand it to me. When he smiles, his eyes are a lambent blue.

At the supermarket, Em wanted to be sure Daddy wasn't getting the juice that "makes [his] mouth hot." Apparently orange pulp is not his thing.

Our oldest son is our in-house comedian. At dinner, he was showcasing his invisible bee and Joe, the imaginary guy who was about to be stung. Hmmmn. I vote he gets it from his father.

Sometimes when I'm reading, Elle will wriggle her little self between the flannel sheets. She finds it secretly hilarious to be stealing Daddy's spot, lying on his pillow. She threads my hair through her tubby hands and sings a rendition of Barney's we-all-love-each-other song that's fourteen types of adorable.

I'm blessed.

23 February 2007

Do you have a red nine?

We're a household with fervent appreciation for a good game.

Maybe it stems from our innate competitive drives, or the need for an indoor diversion on the ninetieth day of winter. Or perhaps it's a simple case of liking each other, liking to be together.

Whatever the cause, I've picked a few of our faves to share with you. Enjoy!




1. A Day at the Zoo play scene by mudpuppy (vinyl-stickering fun!).

2. Life on Earth matching game (memory) by eeBoo.

3. Pass the Buck by Haba (sweet rendition of Old Maid--plus, you get to color freckles on the loser's non-winner's face).

4. Geomag: the original magnetic construction toy.

5. Pictorial Charades by Haba.

6. Fractiles-7.

7. Magnetic Slides and Ladders travel game by eeBoo.

8. Magnetic Baseball travel game by eeBoo (aka "The Game that Never Ends" in our house...but our boys LOVE this one).

9. Storefront Bingo by eeBoo.

10. Twinis Memo (which I'm guessing translates to something like "Twins Memory") by beleduc/HaPe International (gorgeous wooden squares depicting girl/boy twins from a wide spread of cultures).

PS Yes, these are children's games, but I suspect I enjoy them more than the kids do. Give 'em a try. :)

21 February 2007

I have 6,478,298 photos of Elle



But only one that looks exactly like this.

18 February 2007

13 February 2007

Nic's Dictionary

bliz·zard (blĭz'ərd)
n.
1. Cause for school and work to close, resulting in everyone sitting about and making each other a wee bit crazy
2. Rattling of windows, icing of tree limbs, waist-high drifting of snow
3. Reason to hole up in the house with board games, classic Disney movies, blankets, books, and hot chocolate with bitty marshmallows

06 February 2007

afternoon flakes

They began fat and feathery (my favorite kind), then tapered into a fine shower of powder.



Now the snow drops like white ashes, but heavier: half-frozen, half-wet.

The street is hazy, out-of-focus, a backdrop to the airy dance of a million tiny crystals.

05 February 2007

I'd say brrr but my vocal cords are frozen

Today it is negative four degrees with a predicted high of six. This is why the cost of living is so reasonable in the Midwest.

Happy Monday to us.