Advent Time Again


… and this year I finally have the advent wreath I’ve been wanting.


Trick or Treat

Padmé Amidala

Anakin Skywalker

I convinced the urchins to choose costumes that went together this year. First time ever! And the real reason was because my niece and nephew were also being Star Wars characters and the nerd in me needed this portrait to happen:

Skywalker Family Portrait

Princess Leia Organa, Padmé Amidala, Anakin Skywalker, and Luke Skywalker

I hope you and your family had a very Happy Halloween. You can see our previous Halloweens here:

First Day of School

First Grade and Fourth Grade

First grade and fourth grade, it’s really hard to believe.

Popping In


Hello there! Just popping in here to say hello and let you know we just got back from an incredible trip to Bavaria with Papa’s family. I also wanted to mention that Kathie has an interview of me up today in her I Eat Local because I Can series. Don’t forget to check out my canning blog, putting by. It’s been pretty quiet over there too since we’ve been traveling but I expect the canning pot will be bubbling on the stove before we know it.

If You Build It…..

Over the weekend we had a little party because….

Tristan 6th Birthday

And Mr. Soon-to-be-Six decided this year he wanted to have a lego birthday party. So that photo was the front of the invitation with the party details on the back. I’ve been keeping a Pinterest board to keep track of all the great ideas for lego parties on the web. When the kids arrived we had them work on some lego coloring sheets and dot-to-dots I printed from the lego site. I had a few different ones so they could do more than one while the other guests arrived.


After everyone arrived we had lunch. Tristan requested mini hamburgers (sliders) and those tiny hot dogs wrapped in bread (pigs in a blanket). We also had pirate’s booty and mini cheese crackers. I used a plastic green tablecloth from the party store and a runner of bubble wrap painted green to look like lego baseplate. The only other decoration on the table was the giant lego minifigure head. I had been wanting to get one and amazingly I found one at Target the day before the party, on sale even. In the sweets department we had an awesome lego cake that Papa made by making a really big sheet cake and topping it with six cupcakes to look like a giant yellow lego. Candy legos from the store were in a lego pick-a-brick container and we also had lego chocolates we made in a silicone mold.


After lunch we split the kids among three tables and had them start building. I had purchased bags of bulk legos from the lego store. First we asked them to build a house and awarded prizes — series 5 minifigures — to the best house at each table. Then we asked them to build boats and did the same thing with the prizes. After that we had them each build an animal and they got to keep the animal they built.

Lego Cake

Then it was time for Happy Birthday and cake! After everyone finished their cake we let them go back to building until their parents arrived to pick them up. As his friends left Tristan gave each of them a favor that consisted of a small lego building set — that I also got on sale — sugar cookies I made to look like legos packaged in a cute lego box, and two chocolate minifigures that Papa made using silicone molds. I found a lego font to use for the tags.


Retreat – Emphasis on the Treat

Last weekend I was lucky enough to head to Colorado again to hang out with Tara and Amanda for Amanda’s annual quilting retreat. Even though I hadn’t seen them in two years we just picked up where we left off. I cannot express how much I love sitting with friends and sewing. I swear Amanda can get me to try just about anything — she’s the one who first got me sewing triangles — and this time she finally got me free-motion quilting. Amanda’s sample quilt is so inspiring and mine is really coming together, I hope to show you some of it soon.

Red Roof Mini Quilt

There were lots of great women at the retreat and I was lucky enough to sit next to Penny who I have decided I want to be when I grow up even though I think we’re almost the same age. I took no decent photographs, the good camera stayed at home so I could take the sewing machine. That little quilt up there was my contribution to the mini quilt swap, I’m calling it Red Roof since the red triangle in the top left log cabin looks like a little roof on a blue house. It went home to live with Amanda and that makes me very happy. An Amanda made pillow came home to live with me.

Now it’s back to regular programming except that I have a crazy busy week and Tristan’s birthday party on Saturday. Thanksgiving is next week — how did that happen?!? We have company headed into town and lots to do. I just love this time of year, and it’s even better with the possibility of a finished quilt on the horizon.

Trick or Treat

I think we’ve reached a point — and I don’t say this to brag — where no one believes the urchin costumes are homemade anymore. We got tons of comments last night about how great they were but I got the sense that most people thought we spent a lot of money on them. Then again, I spent the weekend chronicling on Facebook my costume progress so my friends knew I made them. Really though, what difference does it make anyway? The whole homemade costume requirement lives in my head, it’s not like it’s a real rule. Rambling aside, I present to you the 2011 Urchin Costume Collection, an Ewok and an Owl:

Wicket the Ewok
An Owl

I hope you and your family had a very Happy Halloween. You can see our previous Halloweens here:

Back to School

First Day of School

Hey there! Happy September! Did you all have a nice summer? We did although it was a short one that seemed to have a lot of commitments. All that snow we’ve been getting the last few years prompted our county to start school a bit earlier this year so the urchins have been back at it for a week already. We have a third grader and a kindergartener, I can hardly believe it. I know better to make promises but maybe, just maybe my blogging mojo will come back with the school year.

Early Summer Garden

Well, the end of the school year has come and gone. I had a sinus infection and then strep throat — not supposed to get that with no tonsils — Katie had two big dance performances, Tristan rode his first mountain bike race, Papa keeps working and the garden keeps growing. Here it is, newly planted, on May 14:

two new boxes

On the left there are two tomato plants, three hot pepper plants, and a lemon verbena. In the empty space in the middle of the left box there are 64 onion sets. In the right box are two more tomatoes, two more hot peppers, two basil, two eggplants, and two nasturtiums. We added the two boxes this year so we could plant a pumpkin patch inside the fence. You can also see we took the gate off the fence. We still are pet-less so we don’t really have need of the gate, especially since it doesn’t deter the rabbits. Here is a shot of the garden on June 13:


I moved the potato bins over between the blueberry bushes and the tops had really started to wilt and fade — they’re totally faded now, time to harvest. The plastic is up inside the fence since we had planted the pumpkin and squash in those beds that morning. Now you can see all those onions growing in the left bed and obviously everything has gotten much bigger. That photo was taken two weeks ago and everything is even bigger now. In fact this morning I picked the first two sungold tomatoes. All the squash seeds germinated but some of the pumpkin did not so I think we’ll re-seed, maybe even today.




Wow, talk about a blogging break. I’ve been meaning to get back here but I guess I really needed the break. Blogging isn’t what it used to be, you know? But I do miss this space and chatting with all of you. And the making continues even though I haven’t been talking about it here. You can see some of what’s been finished
on flickr but I have to admit I’ve taken a bit of a break from there as well.

Easter Dress

But like I said, I’d like to hang out here a bit more so I’m jumping back in with the Kids Clothing Week Challenge that is going on this week. And for a little inspiration the photo above is of Katrina’s Easter dress. I made it in on the Saturday before Easter — although we had planned it out and gotten the fabrics long before — and it turned out so well. It’s actually separates which worked out much better than a one piece dress would have. It was inspired by a dress we saw on Etsy. Her headband is from Lisa’s Mini Mad Hattery who was great to work with. I have no intention of making anything this complicated for the KCWC, we’re starting today with nightgowns.

flickr photos

Mama Urchin. Get yours at

With Friends…