Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Getting Closer

We have officially finished our Dossier and went yesterday to have our fingerprints done (they have a security checkpoint at the USCIS office that we had to go to, like at an airport!) So now we are at the sit and wait part of the adoption process. We had to go to Milwaukee to get the fingerprints done, so we left the girls with a friend and spent a nice day together. After fingerprints, we headed to the Mitchell Park Domes and then went for some lunch. Here are a couple of shots from the domes.

I want my back yard to look like this... Ok?

I have been super busy in the garden and doing some Spring cleaning (or trying), so the posting will be even less than usual. I am trying to get a photo of the crazy robins in my yard, they aren't afraid of me and get super close. I will post that and a story to go with it when I get a chance. I hope you all are having a wonderful Spring. I finally feel semi-confident that Spring is actually here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lovely Quilts

I went to a quilt show with my aunt on Monday night and thought I would share some of my favorites. I walk around these things in kind of a haze with a silly grin on my face taking lots of close up pictures of quilts that I either find stunning or inspire me for future quilty projects. As posting pictures on Blogger can be sort of a pain in the rump, I am only posting a handful of my favorites. You can click to make them bigger. The picture quality is clearly not my best ever, but the lighting was lacking and carrying a tripod around to make the camera steady enough really is not so convenient. Also, if you have ever been to a quilt show, you know how pushy those quilt ladies can get, and if you haven't then believe me, you take your picture and get the heck out of the way!
This entire quilt was done with fabric selvages (the edge pieces that you usually cut off and often contain the name of the fabric manufacturer, fabric line and designer). They are all about 1" wide strips. Crazy!
For Mandy. She based the design off a picture she had taken. Lots of layers of fabric on top of each other to get the shading on the trunk. For the leaves she used actual leaves as templates and traced them onto fabric.

I love old quilts. This quilt is a new one made from some old parts. The mother of the lady who made it found a stack of Dresden plates unfinished at a flea market for $.75. They ripped them apart and made them into fans. Added some more pieces and added the black background blocks. She added the appliqued vines and her mother embroidered in the solid black blocks. I love the wavy border and think the black just really makes the whole thing. I have a few Dresden plates that I might attempt a smaller version of something like this with.

The flash really washed this out, but I loved the fabrics in this also. There were repeated fabrics, but it had very "eye spy" quality to it. I have not been brave enough to do anything with these angles yet, but this inspired me.
The quilt on the rack is approx. 100 years old. The quilt hanging is a reproduction of the same quilt. Amazing hand quilting and wonderful job recreating the original quilt.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Personalities Shine Through

The girls practiced their spelling words on the refrigerator with magnet letters yesterday. Abi went first and I had suggested that we arrange the magnet letters on the floor in alphabetical order. She responded "Oh no, color order is much better," and proceeded to arrange them in color order. She happily spelled each word I gave her and used her "scope" to find each letter as seen below.
Emma did her list second and as you can see she prefers no order what so ever to most things in life. Also, spelling is always much better done with a ballet slipper on your hand, your hair in your face and a ballet leotard on your body (better than the naked we were dealing with this morning). I was in the living room reading with Abi while she was working on her list and I could hear her talking while she was spelling so I came to check on her. As she needed a letter she would call out "N, can you please come to the front. N to the front please. You are needed next." Or something rather similar. For each letter. I love her creative mind (most days).
This is just a small sampling of their personalities showing through. If I am asked why we home school, I almost always answer that it is mainly because we do not want them to lose their love of learning. I am trying, as much as possible to honor their personalities and learning styles and help them to grow up accepting who they are. Some days that is easier than others.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Facial Expressions

One of the first trips to the park this Spring and I actually brought my camera. I was using the drive mode to take multiple pictures back to back thinking I would just get some cute shots. Instead I found myself laughing at the facial expressions that my kids and husband were making while playing intensely. These are my favorites.


I am not a big fan of April Fool's Day. I do not like to be surprised or tricked, so the day really holds no big draw for me. However, I am married to someone who LOVES that kind of stuff and have 2 little girls who think surprises are great fun. So yesterday we did some minor surprises and just silly things. We did breakfast at lunch which was pancakes. I snuck some raisins in them and we made a big deal about there being bugs in the pancakes. Then I told everyone we were having desert for supper. I found this recipe on the Family Fun website. They are basically meat loaf cupcakes with mashed potato frosting. As you can see by the second picture, they looked totally real. Curt knew something was up, but wasn't sure what. Good fun all around.

This past weekend, I went to a quilt retreat with 12 other ladies. This was part of my Christmas present from my mom. We had a great time and got a lot done but not a lot of sleep. Still feeling it. I spent a big chunk of time machine quilting a quilt that my sister had put together using an IKEA shower curtains and an old sheet... good recycling hey? (You can click the pictures to make them bigger if you want).
This is the aftermath of my quilting weekend. Now I am so far behind on cleaning and the yard is finally thawing enough to do some outside work. It feels overwhelming, but I am trying to just take it all in little chunks. At least this pile is a pretty mess.
Overall, just thankful that it is April and maybe, just maybe the weather will improve and with it my mood.