Friday, March 25, 2011

projects here, projects there, projects everywhere

I find myself often in the middle of projects, some fun and some not so fun.  Today we're juggling birthdays, Kindergarten testing, rainy afternoons, cake making, packing for our Spring Break trip, paying bills, wrapping presents and laundry.  

But really, all I'd like to do is sit down, enjoy a glass of San Pellegrino with oranges and finish this project.  

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be so lucky.

Maybe I should throw it in the car to give my hands (and my brain) something to do on our nine hour car trip tomorrow.  Wish us luck!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Little Western Love

In what was supposed to be a moment of organization and cleaning, I came across my Sunset magazine from October 2010.  

And, like any good procrastinator, I sat down to peruse it again.  

I was reminded of all the many reasons why I love living in the West, the list below is just the tip of the iceberg.  We've lived in a handful of different places, and traveled to many more, but there is just something about the West that is home to us.

I'm sure you all feel the same about the places you call home.  An indescribable feeling of being home.

Take a gander of some of the things that Sunset mag listed as the Top 100 trends shaping the West:  urban wineries; gourmet jams and chocolates; ease of biking; chicken coops (sign me up, please!); cocktail catering......

Pretty great, right?

Now, back to getting organized.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring, Spring

"Dear beautiful Spring weather, I miss you.  Was it something I said?"  ~ Kim Corbin

Really, we miss you Spring.  Where have you gone?  We're waiting and watching, not so patiently, for our buds to come on the trees and bushes, for our Spring bulbs to grow like they mean it, and to be able to go outside without wearing a heavy jacket and hat.  But, alas we're met with wind, cold temps and even snow.  *Sigh*

I guess it is fitting that St. Patrick's day falls in March.  It reminds us of the greenness of Ireland which really embodies the ideal of Spring-time.

{Image via whimsicalities}

Don't you just want to knock on the door and sit by the fire for a cup of tea?  Or, go down to the pub and have a pint with the locals?  I know I do.

On a side note:  is it wrong that one of our kids' new favorite CDs is an Irish CD featuring pub songs?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Geography Is Cool

One of the best things we have sitting in our family room is a globe.

Originally, I just wanted an old-fashioned globe.  One that spins around and around and allows us the chance to see all the countries moving by, helping all of us to keep in perspective where we are in the world.  My two oldest kids are now seven and five and always want to know where places are that they've read and heard about in books, or where we've traveled and lived (pre-kids).

For Christmas we were given the Oregon Scientific Smart Globe.
Oregon Scientific PR18SC-09 Smart Globe Deluxe Edition with AC Adapter

I typically have an aversion to electronic gadgets and games.  All the distracting chimes, dings and noises drives me bonkers.  

But, this.  This is different.  

It really has been such a fun (and educational..gasp!) addition to our family life.  It can be updated with world news - and, through that my kids have learned a lot about the quake in Haiti, the changes in the Middle East, and, most recently, the tragedies in Japan.

There are geography challenges; facts about each country and individual U.S. state; distances between locations, etc.  It even plays the national anthems to the different countries.  My kids love to hit that option and dance around the room to the different countries' anthems.

Along those same lines of geography, and wanting to continue to instill in our kids the awareness of the world outside our front door, I found this great project on Design Sponge.  I think it would make a great addition to a wall in my kids' shared bedroom (girl/boy sharing a room...deserves a post of its' own).

Check this out:

So fun.  I think we'll mark it with the places that all of our relatives live - that should cover quite a bit of the country.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Why Did I Wait So Long?

We've had this set of six Danish Modern kitchen chairs from the 1950's for a couple of years.  They are in excellent shape and I love the clean shape of their lines and what they bring into the room.  However, their vinyl seat coverings leave much to be desired.  It is the original fabric, and is in quite excellent condition for the age of it.  I have always chosen to ignore the fabric, reasoning that since we have small children the vinyl aspect is great for wipe-downs and general wear.  

But, finally I could take it no more.  

I found my fabric - a beautiful laminated pattern by Annette Tatum.

I dug out our staple gun, a little extra padding (I used low-loft quilt batting), and got to work.  

In no time at all, our six chairs had been turned from this:

to this:

Such a quick, easy and transformational project it made me wonder why I waited so long.  What about you, is there some quick project around the house that could be done to get a jump-start on Spring?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Preschool Art

I am an Art History major and am in love with art created by children.  Love it.  I so enjoy their freedom to create what they see without being inhibited; or worried about messing up; or slipping into the comparison mode that adults often find themselves in.  Just their ability to purely create and enjoy the given medium.

I came across the blog, Pineapple Paintbrush through Desgin Mom.  Dani, of Pineapple Paintbrush, has an upcoming online art course for preschoolers.  I couldn't be more excited about it!  This is exactly the sort of thing that I have been wanting to provide for my youngest children who are still at home during the day.  It's like Dani read my mind.  The course begins March 14 (next Monday).  I've got our supplies all ready and our space prepped.

Check out Dani's blog:  Pineapple Paintbrush if you want to follow along too!

Unplanned Fabric Purchase...Is There Any Other Kind?

A day last week found me in a new-to-me fabric store.  It was sensory overload.  Because I'm a mama of three young children, my shopping is usually limited to online stores.  My adoration for online shopping deserves a post of it's own:  the ease!  the time saved!  the endless stores!

However, last week it was a treat to enter into a store and actually touch the fabric and see things with my very own eyes.  To be able to see the colors in person, the patterns, the textures.  What a treat!

Of course, I had stopped in only to purchase some brown wool felt for a project.  But, that didn't stop me from picking up this pattern:

... and these fabrics:

Normally, I'm not a huge floral fan but something about the happy geraniums and the gorgeous coral and aqua colors drew me in.  I just stitched up the bag last night, and I'm happy to report that it is a great Mama Bag.  It easily carried the sippy cups, snacks, money, phone, and keys - with lots of room to spare - this morning on our errands.

Thank you, Brick and Mortar Fabric Store for providing me with a spirit-lifting project.  And, that toy table you had in the store was genius.  Kids were occupied - mama shopped.  Pure genius.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Stripey Stripes

I have a penchant for stripes - particularly navy and white stripes interspersed with red.  I also like, in small doses, nautical-inspired designs.  Maybe it's because I grew up near the ocean.  Maybe it's a nod to something else.  Whatever the case, navy/white stripes have a special draw for me.

 {Image from pinkandgreenowl}
Don't these red boots just make the picture?  It seems such a fitting picture for a day like today:  rain, snow, rain again, and sun.  Also, I would love a pair of those tights for my seven year old!

{Bag by BAGGU}
One of these packable bags from BAGGU would be a welcome gift for any busy mom.  I always try to keep at least one packable bag stashed in my purse and/or car for those times when we've collected too many pinecones at the park, or stopped for fresh fruit at the market, or any myriad of times when our hands runneth over.

{Top from Anthropologie}
Love this top Anthropologie.  I can almost feel the sand between my toes.
And, these shoes.  Well, how sweet are they?  'Nuff said.

See, don't you love a little navy/white stripe and red too?  Doesn't it make you feel like going to the beach?  If you want to bring a little something special home, check out this treasury created by an Etsy seller (also features one of my nautical-inspired anchor pillows!).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spring Hasn't Sprung

As I sent off this pillow today, it got me wishfully thinking of warm, sunny weather.  The pillow is headed to Australia.  Lucky pillow.

 {Enjoy your life in Australia, pillow.}

We are slowly, painfully working our way through our Idaho winter.

Today marks March 1.  Now, I feel I'm justified when I say: "No more chilly winds, please";  "No more grey skies, thank you very much".

Just be pleasant, Weather.  And, if you must make the wind blow, make it a gentle, happy breeze with hints of warmth. 

That's all I ask.

That, and put a few flowers in bloom.


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