Monday, March 28

A wedding dress.

I was thinking about my wedding dress the other night, discussing with a friend the idea of making it into a keepsake quilt and we got on the subject of handmade dresses.

My mom and dad were married in New Hampshire, in either 1979 or 1980, I can't remember. They are no longer together and haven't been for about 23 years, so that is the reason I don't know their marriage year. Anyway, I've had my mom's handmade wedding dress for most of my life. I don't know why she let me have it or what I will do with it, but every time I come across it again I'm happy it's here and this time I want to share it with you.

My mom is really talented- pretty much anything she tries she excels at, especially if it is art/craft related. She made her own dress, down to the little button loops on the sleeves and back. 

The lace flowers and vines are painstakingly hand-sewn onto their sheer base and along the full hem of the dress.

I love the creamy buttery color of the fabric and the tone-on-tone flowers woven throughout. I used to put this on (I think the last time was when I was 12- I then grew out of it!) and I thought it was the dreamiest dress I'd ever seen. I still think so, partly because of nostalgia, but at this point I know the work that went into it and I'm ever so thankful to have grownup around this handiwork and to have been inspired to grow up and create my own handiwork someday. It's a dream within a dress.

Thursday, March 24

Spring is here!

 ....As evidenced by my bright green hens & chickens :)

And while playing today I noticed J is in dire need for pants that fit (that aren't jeans). Guess I better get to sewing!

Tuesday, March 22

My son is amazing.

(My attempt to placate J during our trip to the Dortmund Creativia show)

We had a very long weekend and I put little Javi (this is what his 'aunt' Brenda calls him) through the ringer when all was said and done. Traveling with a toddler is not easy, although he is one of the most amazing traveling toddlers ever (not that I've traveled with many, but I imagine this to be true!).

Being with such a little person for so many hours in the day really puts things into perspective. It wears you out as well, emotionally and physically. By dinner time on Saturday I was ready to give up. By 10 p.m. I was hoping, wishing, dreaming that he would just go to sleep already. By 5 a.m. I. Was. Done.

And then he went to sleep. Glorious, quiet, restful sleep- for both him and I.

Three hours later I was ready to cuddle him up all over again and take on the new day, which was equally as long, as it turned out. I did learn that holding and walking with an over-tired boy while someone pushes his new bike in a stroller ahead of us really doesn't get us very far in his eyes. He will want that bike- RIGHT NOW.

But really, it all just enforces what I think to be truest in parenting so far. Don't wear your kid out and everything will be fine. Wearing your kid out also wears you out (about 150x's faster) and the negative/drained energy just multiplies from there. Who needs that?

I had a lot of fun this weekend and will go on that trip again (and many more) but I will plan around my son a lot more. His needs, even as a one year old, are above mine (and really, can I list a 'need' as walking around ogling fabric for 6 hours?). I kick myself for knowing his schedule and knowing his habits and ignoring them, hoping he'll just adjust. Next time we will go to the zoo and he will sign kitty or elephant at every animal and run around for hours before I stuff him back into the car for even more hours!

He is amazing for teaching me how to be a better, more compassionate parent every day. I can't imagine how I was ever fully human before him.

Thursday, March 17

Setting the wheel of truth rolling.

I did this a few months back for a friend, finally remembered to ask him to take a photo of it :) It's one of the symbols of Buddhism, the deer, and the first sermon that was spoken in the deer park.

Also, today I learned a fun photography trick, no photoshop needed. Check out 'freelensing' on Flickr to see some really cool photos!
Here are some pussy-willows I picked last week (while thinking of the pussy-willows my grandmother always picks out of my great-grandmother's yard each winter):

I've never seen this plant here, I was excited and did a little jump. I'm sure Chris thought I was crazy.

Tuesday, March 15


The one medium I've never really used in art is water colors. I find them tricky and intimidating.  I figured it was time to learn them, and here is project #1:

I do like how clean they are to work with!

Also, I feel like a numbskull. We've lived twenty minutes from the European Academy of Fine Arts all these years and I've never known or taken advantage of it :( While driving around Trier this past weekend I saw a sign and flipped! I just looked it up and registration is first come first serve, by the class or the semester, I'm thinking I'll be signing up for a class soon :)

Wednesday, March 9

I did it!

I have art prints for sale!

Well, AN art print, haha...

Check out the 'Buy Art Prints' tab above :)

I will be working on some more paintings soon!

Grab this link and share it with EVERYONE!


Monday, March 7

Growing our family (with adoption).

This is an abnormal post as of late. I haven't gotten into any of our hopes and dreams since before Johnny was born, we've been living so much in the moment that thinking past the next year is pretty far-fetched.

Before I got pregnant we had the paperwork for adopting in Europe, we started to fill it out and then it got tossed aside as our family unexpectedly grew. Adoption is something I've thought about for over 12 years, it's something that has been a part of me since I was a teenager and it didn't feel unnatural at all to begin that process. It does feel unnatural to stop now that our son is here.

We do want more kids, biological or not (or both?). I am not betting on ever getting pregnant again after the span of time it took for J to get here, so we've been talking about starting the adoption process again. It's a long, slow process if you have money, if you don't it's doubly so. We don't, so now my mind is starting in a different place than it did the first time and I'm trying to have a realistic take on this whole thing. The first time I was just ready to jump in and see where it would have taken us. Well, it would have been a big fat dead end.

Without money it just won't happen. My husband is a mid-level military guy and I'm a stay at home mom, we have no delusions of grander. We have normal debts and normal dreams and there's not much wiggle room to go off and simply adopt a child. So, what do we do?

The internet suggests good ol' fashioned fundraising. Bake sales, rummage sales, you know, the kind of things you do in Jr. High for your drama or band class. This seems weird and brilliant to me at the same time. I saw a family on the internet selling coloring books they created to raise money for the adoption of a Russian girl, in fact I bought one. I love, love that idea and think I may try to work something up like that.

Even more so, though, I was thinking about the Cupcake Barn and the cupcakes I've been making lately. Selling cupcakes isn't a career choice, I was really just trying to think of something that I could do here at home that would be fun and easy, and now it seems to be getting me out of the house every so often with craft fairs and tasting parties, which is a great thing as well!

I'm thinking the Cupcake Barn, along with various other options, could be our ticket to adoption; a happy surprise side-effect to wanting to eat cupcakes!

There are also grants that we can apply for that I am looking into now. There are actually a lot of options, it seems that people really want to unite kids with families. :)

I truly hope that someday we will be one of those families!

Sh-sh-sh-sugar high!

Fasching was this weekend! It's the equivalent of Carnival in Italy, or Mardi Gras in the States, although a bit more child-friendly than Mardi Gras.

So Megan and Miss Elli and I packed up the kids and toted them to the town center and watched the goofballs come out! 

Everyone dresses up like it's Halloween (I even saw Harry Potter!) even the adults, and then they all line up along the parade route and scramble for candy and/ or alcohol that is thrown into the crowd. Mom's fight over little goodies for their kids and older women fight over little liquor bottles. 

This is easily the most adorable thing I've ever seen, it's the local playgroup kids and their parents:

A pretty good Italian Karaoke float:

A REALLY cool train!

And the prince himself with his loyal (and a little drunk) attendee:

The boys got to eat all the candy they could find, which turned out to be a lot once people just started dumping handfuls of it into their wagon!!

Thursday, March 3

Homegrown children.

Something I'm working on:

More details later ;}

Doing a wordless Wednesday...

...because this is just too cute ;)