How much do you love this??????? My love for vintage patterns really has no bounds... I am going to have to do something crafty with this image.. but what???

Between Eggnog and Ginger Snaps

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Christmas. As usual we got up and spent time opening gifts one at a time, youngest to oldest. No grabby free-for-all here at chez Kertay. Long ago I realised that if the kids were only going to get three gifts each that the whole process would be over in mere minutes without some sort of timing intervention. So thus was born the *taking turns approach* and we have done it that way ever since. It's quite nice to watch each in turn open a gift, appreciate it and thank the giver.. I think it gives more meaning and gives me time to actually snap some photographs that are more than paper and bows being flung about.

The afternoon was dedicated to another long held tradition... a family movie. For years we have enjoyed a family movie on Christmas Day and obviously this is getting to be a more popular idea around here since at today's showing of National Treasure II it was a full house and that was on two screens at the same time!

So now we are back home and gearing up for the last tradition of the day... Christmas night is for Roast Beef hash served with a fried egg on top. Yes, it's a bit odd but another of those things that the kids hold dear and it makes for a nice relaxing dinner time that is not bogged down in pomp and circumstance. A nice break indeed.

It's a break I need since in the net day or so I swing into what might be my most productive time of the year. .. ORGANIZING SEASON... yep.. It's the time I clean, purge, and put right the house in the vain hope of starting off the year on some note of organization. I haunt the Container Store website looking for just the right products and make my annual pilgrimage to the store in Atlanta to pick them up. I dust, I fluff and if you are not careful I fold your underwear into tidy Origami shapes!

Oddly enough I LOVE this time.. it totally brings out the "Martha" in me. While it would be hard to tell looking around my very busy home. I love things tidy to the point of OCD but I don't live that way and honestly don't think it's healthy in the big picture. When my house is totally spic and span you can be sure I am not spending at much time with my kids as I should. So for 11.5 months of the year I live to live and tidy as I can but for two weeks all bets are off. I shall post up some photos as I go :)

Everyone in the Domestic Anarchy household wishes you and yours a swanky holiday and most joyous New Year! See you in about a week with rock'n stuff and fun to-do projects.

With this much crafting you know my house must be a mess!

Tooooo cute.. I am loving the time I have spent crafting and the stuff I have made. I had to be up early this morning to take Doc to the airport so thought I would steal some early morning hours to craft alone. That did not really work out since 9 year old son got up and wanted to work on a project and be with me. This was really ok and he worked on a new Christmas stocking while I worked on this very cute bib for a rockin little baby of a sweet friend of mine. ( So if you happen to petite, cute, have a baby girl and a husband who is a doctor drop by some time.. I have a bib for your sweet baby!) The bib is made from some of my vintage sheets and was fast and easy to make and I might just have to make a few more!

The rest of our day was spent hanging with my " sister of the heart" ( Hi Kay!) and her wonderful kids. It's never enough time and I totally understand the kids when they whine that "we just got started" even when we have been together for 4 hours!

The evening went by quick and more crafting was taken on with one fatal flaw being that I have run out of crafting funds! *pan to quick shot of Maddie with hands on cheeks in OH NO! ~ala, Home Alone pose*. Yes, dear reader Maddie has blown the December/holiday crafting budget and is now firmly in the *shop at home* zone. This is not the worse thing that could happen and anyone who knows what sort of crafting supply stash I have knows that I am not exactly sitting on my last spool of thread or anything but geesh!..

So in the *Use What-cha Got* spirit I pulled out a pack of charm squares ( don't know what a Charm pack is?... well.. A charm square is a square piece of fabric; it can be any size, but is usually 2 to 6 inches. A Charm Square Pack is a bunch of charm squares. Currently, charm packs from the fabric manufacturer are popular. The packs include a square of fabric from each material in a fabric line. For example, Moda's Chocolat line has 50 prints, so the charm pack includes a 5 inch square of each print. It is an easy way to get variety in your projects. If you love a fabric line, it's a great way to get a little piece of all of it. )
This charm pack happened to have 42 prints in it and had been resting on my shelf for the better part of a year just waiting till it was called into action. Well tonight was the night and I started making some very cool retro-looking drink coasters. This of course meant I needed something to line them so once again I drove back into my wreckage of a studio and came up with some heavy flannel that had been there so long that I *think* it might have been some of the flannel I had used to sew hourglass diapers for the boys. ... For those handy with the math that means that this flannel was quite possibly 18 years old!.. but still looking good it was pressed into the service to be the lining of my coasters. They turned out great and I even took some shots along the way so I can put together a quick tutorial if I can find some time the the next few days.

But now the hour draws late and my pillow calls to me... good night sweet friend and crafters... we shall meet again tomorrow!

A Peek into my Studio

If you have not noticed I finally got my new camera. It's not the one of my dreams but then it was not 1/2 the cost of my house payment either so given the price I paid I am quite happy with it. Mind you I have NO idea what most of it does and am carefully making my way through the instruction manual. But given that the manual regularly assumes I know my @ss from anything else I am thinking that I need to get a "Digital Cameras for Dummies" sort of book.
In any case the photo to your right was shot with the new camera while I was looking at the mess I call my studio. I was just struck by the various blues in the composition and thought I would share it with you. The canister is from a vintage set of 4 and I keep sewing notions in them. That one happens to hold pins. The ginger jar holds my bias tape and in the back ground you can see my studio wall color and some of my framed paper doll prints. Just sharin, that's all.

Getting closer

The all day craft-o-rama was divine but as always I did not get near as much done as I wanted to do. It was not a "wash" by any means but I always think I can get so much more done than what I end up accomplishing. And the really worst part is that I can't show most of it to you since SOME people who read this blog will be getting some of the items I finished up yesterday.

What i can show you is a project that has been languishing for a while but that I can now cross off my " I will do that someday" list. It's my Oh-so-very retro yardstick holder. This project was a real low key affair but ever since I found this piece of needle point at the thrift I have wanted to make it into something useful but cute. It finally occurred to me that it's shape was perfect for making a yardstick holder very much like the one my mom had in her kitchen for years. Of course mom's was made of burlap with little ceramic mushrooms down the front. Just give it time.. it will also come back in style.

This piece has a very Japanese craft book feel to the design but alas it was never finished and over time it has taken on a very serious wonk to the shape. But never mind.. I paired it up with some nifty quiting cotton and zipped it together and hung it up. I then went and dug up a yard stick and we will call this project done!

All Day Sew-0-Rama!

Today is for sewing and crafting and nothing else. No errands, no visits, no cleaning and if I can get away with it no cooking!... So far I have finished gifts for two adorable little girls in my life and one for my bestest bud. I am trying to sneak in doing some stuff for the boys so I think that might mean a quick trip to the movie store so that they will be entranced in front of the tube so I can get that done. Otherwise I will do those tonight after they go to bed.
I am almost giddy... all day sewing and crafting.. yeh me!... talk to you later!

Fun with circles!

I am not sure that I am suppose to have this much fun with a simple 3 inch circle punch...but wow.. I really am. This shows how lame I really am but I really am having quite a nice time working out a few fun crafts that take advantage of using the punch.
Right now I have been crafting it up with the making of garlands out of old holiday cards. I am totally rockin' on the old cards you can find at the thrift.. the 1970's seemed to be a ripe time from some great graphics and some "out-there" versions of holiday cheer.
With the 3 inch punch I am able to punch a nice chunk of the card and get the most important part of the image or color composition. Although I am not a real traditionalist I really like this vision of the Christ child and parents at the manger. Look at the sweet little head!
Sorry for the AWFUL shot.. it's what you get when you try to shoot a quick shot before packing up a gift that is leaving at 7 am with your husband. An expanded version of the garland can be seen over on my Craftyhomeschooler blog if you are interested.

Rock'n it at any size

Ok.. I admit I did blather on a bit about water weight and my cycle so please forgive me. It's really not a size thing.. with that much water it's a comfort thing but it's only for 2-3 days a month and it's why God invented elastic waist pants.

This whole thing with Nigella Lawson is a whole "nuther" plate of pancakes! WHO in their right mind would think that Nigella is "letting herself go" or ... a 'Porker". I can only bet it was a very bitter woman who said this since I would challenge you to find a man who at the first offer would not lick that woman from top toe and then work their way back in the other direction. Honestly I see very few men who actually consider weight when looking at a woman or if they find her sexual or exciting. Hell Queen Latifa is a size 18+ and she is gorgeous!.. or maybe Kathy Najimy, also a so called "plus size" person and once again.. hot hot hot.
It's not your body, it's your confidence. It's knowing that you are bright, funny, sexy and being willing to show that. Not hiding behind who you are "suppose" to be if you are wider than a pixie-stick. Rock those curves, you will be happier and so will everyone else in your life.

Warm and Cozy

Weather is back to balmy here in Tennessee but last week it was nice and nippy and the cats took some time from stealing yarn and nibbling on the Gingerbread house to take a sweet nap in my favorite chair. Granted, the chair is not much to look at but it's very comfortable. All the animals in our house must agree since if I ever want to sit in it I have to move over some sort of furry beast to find room!

Button news

Due to my dismal readership it's a neck and neck race between A Wee-bit-wonky and Coffee-mom for the button stash... so I have decided since both we so nice as to play that if they feel so inclided as to tell me where to send them I shall send them both some cool vintage buttons and a nice stash of the covered buttons!..

So write me ladies!

The Venus of Willendorf has nothing on me!

As I age the changes in my body and it's mechanics have been less than enjoyable. Over all I honestly don't mind aging and am looking forward to me 40th Birthday in a few weeks. What has not been so fun is the headaches, water weight gain and all the other details that have to do with "being a girl".

While it's commonly thought that the small statue known as The Venus of Wilendorf was a tribute to the feminine divine I personally hold the theory that this was a woman 2 day before her cycle. Two water logged cranky days. She is naked because not even her loin cloth fit since she was retaining more water than the Fertile Crescent during flood season and she just could not take it anymore. I feel for you sister!

Make Mine Warm!

Last night was "date night' here at Chez Kertay so that means that the Doc and I headed out for 2 hours of kid free eating. This means we are also free from poop jokes, nose harp playing and all the other joys of our usual family dinner time.

Normally we are not too adventurous and stick to a very nice local Thai place or a lovely restaurant down town. It's not that we don't like to eat, in fact we pick both of those places since the food is always good and it's QUIET. Most restaurants these days are so loud that you can't even hear yourself think. For this reason we avoid most chain restaurants. Last night was the exception. We had two hours within which to eat and to do two errands and make it back to pick up our fencer from practise. This meant that we needed to eat on the side of town where the errands were to be run.

This put us out in the mall area. Now anyone who knows me knows that I would rather chew off my left arm than to go into the mall, I will avoid it at all costs no matter the season and the holidays makes it ten times worse. Needless to say I held out little hope for the mall area restaurants but PF Changs did not look too busy. Now this was odd. Since the moment this massive restaurant opened it's been packed to the gills with 1-2 hour waits at a minimum. I will not wait that long to give birth so I sure an not going to wait that long for food not matter how they mix my "Chang sauce"

As blessings would have it is was awful out last night. Cold, wettish and windy. With just enough of all three to make you really want to stay home. So I guess that is what people did since there was NO wait. We walked in and were seated in less than 1 minute. This was my first time at "The Chang" as my teens call it. Yes, I know. I might be the last person on earth to have eaten there. Please refer back to my "mall issues" and "noisy restaurant issues" for further clarification on the matter.

Once seated a very nice waitress greeted us promptly, got our drink orders and was back in a proper amount of time. This was a nice change from my typical experience in a large chain restaurant ( insert horrid flashback to Cheescake Factory meal of two years ago). It was loud but honestly I will chalk that up to the dinners around us. WHY OH WHY people must you talk on your cell phone while eating dinner??.. I looked around and there was not a table where somebody was not conversing into a borg like appendage hooked to their ear or crooking their neck to pin their phone between ear and shoulder so that they could stuff their face at the same time. WHY ??????????????????

Anywhooooooo.. I was not overly hungry but the fried dumplings were calling my name so I got those with some nice brown rice. I had forgotten how much I love brown rice on a cold wet day. I mean it's fine on any day but a hot bowl of brown rice when it's cold and wet... heaven! Les got one of their flat breads stuffed and then grilled... Asian soft taco anyone?.. and some Calamari. Everything was hot, well presented and the night made for some interesting people watching and a bit of conversation when things died down to a a dull roar. The restaurant was only half full so I can't imagine how noisy it is on a full night and hope to never find out. But I do hope to go back some time soon. I will just have to watch for another miserable weather night to have my best shot at getting a seat!

Holiday porn... but only the best kind.

Oh my lawrd! ( I do live in the South you know!)... How cute are these??????????? march thy self straight over to THE SMALL OBJECT and ogle what she has created, download the pdf. and then leave her a wonderful thankyou note for the marvy download. Then run over and see what Jane's Apron said about them... swoon!The trees picutred are from Jane's blog... I am totally rockin on her color combos! Funny the trees totaly remind me of the little trees in THIS post. You wll now excuse me while I have to make a quick run to get some iron-on interfacing so I can make some of my own!

Button Button, I've got the Button(s)

And I want to share them with you!

Here is the deal. I would like to increase web traffic at both this site and my crafty Homeschooler site in preparation for some cool stuff that is getting ready to happen. ( uh yeh I am a big tease but i don't want to jinx it either!)

Last week I stumbled on the mother load of fabric covered buttons. Most are covered in white fabric but there are some in navy blue linen. I suspect that these were from a clothing mill of some sort and used for...ummm women's sailor type dresses? They are size 36 or 45's so between a nickle and a quarter in size. They are shank backed and quite nice to sew on. I sewed a small owl on one last night and have some other ideas for today. These are great for those who want to do embroidered buttons but don't like to futz with covering those little metal buttons to get the job done!

It will work this way. Each week I will take all the names from the comments and use them for a drawing at the end of each week. You can comment 1 time per day the if you refer someone to the blog and they leave a comment AND your name both of you will get double entries into the the draw of names. And on and on. The prize each week will be a small stash (10) of the covered buttons and a carded sampling of my other vintage buttons. Good luck!!!


I am in need of some resources for pre dyed wool roving suitable for needle felting small creatures. There are many many many sites on the web but I am looking for personal recommendations!!

Maddie trys again.....

In this episode we once again see Maddie trying with valiant effort to get her life with 5 kids, 1 husband, 2 Great Danes and 5 cats under control.

There is something about Fall when the cold really gets going that turns me into this person who wants to put stuff in boxes, use my label machine and make things neat and tidy. It makes me look lustfully towards the Container Store website and have erotic dreams featuring this as my *porn* of choice. Right now I am all over the idea that all my china needs to be in its own little padded boxes with custom felt rounds between each dish. Not to even mention my obsession about cleaning stuff with Mrs. Meyers products. Clearly I need some sort of intervention.
Of course the irony of all this is that my house looks like an even bigger disaster than before!.. In this manic fit of Fall-ness I have decided to rearrange the livingroom to better fit the 10 foot tall tree we put up each year. So this means that I had to clean out the different cabinets since I was then inspired as to a *better* way to do things that would of course make out lives run OH so much smoother. Well then of course I could not leave well enough alone so had to line the shelves in the cabinets in a total fit of Marthaesque behavior. So of course I had to tear up the house looking for that just perfect roll of lining paper I had bought last year on clearance.
Dang, I am just tired typing it! If you have ever read If you Give a Mouse a Cookie you can see where this is all going, and I once again can put on my *been there~done that~ t-shirt.
I really should know better.

On the other hand my hcildren seem to think it's time to undo each thing I do as soon as I do it.


Well, it's gone for another year... the church eat-a-thon 2007 has come to a close and it was once again a huge success. While it might not be traditional each year we spend Thanksgiving with our *church family*. Each family makes a wonderful side dish or two and our Minister and his loverly wife make the turkeys. It's a relaxing way to spend time with some good friends and eat a whole bunch of good food without having to clean up my own home... you can't beat that!

If you will excuse me know I am going to roll myself into my craft room and hope that magic pixies were working on all my projects while I was snarking back turkey and some nice wine.

It never works quite the way you think....

You want to lose weight and eat like a bird for a week and gain two pounds.
Try for a romantic night with the husband and end up with a stomach bug.
Think you are going to create a *less stressful* holiday by taking the handmade pledge and end up in a quandary of anxiety that you are not making stuff that is *nice enough*
In here some where is a cosmic message but it feels more like telegram from Monty Python.

Christmas eye-candy

So... think I can fit in this project?.. what a CUTE red and white advent idea! It's from ALLSORTS, she has a wonderful print out so you can do it too!

Ok, here we go.........

Today starts my count down to getting all things Christmas done. One of the first projects on my list is my take on this wonderful Robot Sweater. This is from the most wonderful designer Betz White ( see my side bar for her link).. go visit, buy her book and be on the look out for her next book very soon.
I haunted my big local thrift looking for just the right little boy sweater...BINGO.. and for only $2.49.. perfect condition, GAP and the right colors. I must be living right. Next was a small ~cough~ retail purchase of some wool felt. My personal stock of felt does not include many *boy* colors so this was sort of a *have-to* to make this project a go. This is one of the projects that is what I call a *lamp-light* project since I can only work on it after Sam goes to bed at night.
While at the thrift I also scored three dresses for my loverly teen daughter. It was green tag day so they were only $1.48 each. All were vintage and each more cool than the other. Ah, to be so young and so small as to be able to easily wear many vintage things!

It's not like I didn't know.....

I was totally gob-smacked today to pull into the grocery store and see them setting up a literal forest of 6ft tall pine trees. I mean it's not like I did not know that the holidays were on their way. Heck I signed up to bring my covered dish to the church Thanksgiving. Hell, I have even been sewing holiday gifts and yet I swear my reaction was that of bug-eyed dismay mixed with two parts panic.
I am not ready for this! I thought I was ready, hell I was even a bit smug about it all. But the truth be told is that I am not ready and there is a very good chance that I might not be ready till sometime after the New Year rings in. This of course makes it all a bit LATE, or veeerrrrryyy early for next year depending on how you want to look at it....yehhh that's the ticket..ugh.

A bird on the wing...

As an off-shoot of our study of Darwin we have been creating a bird sanctuary, studying about birds and today we are doing art and poetry having to do with birds. We are using two great books as a resource. For the poetry we are using Eric Carle's Animals Animals which is a rich colorful book that is filled with a variety of Carle's art and poetry from a variety of verbal artists.

To do the art we are using another awesome resource filled with some of Eric's best tissue papers all bound up and ready for use in many many many craft projects. We have had this book of tissue paper for at least 6 years and are just now running it dry, but I hope to find another one very soon. Some of my favorite kids art work has been created with this tissue paper. Above are two of today's collage treasures, wonderful, no??

A little more timer talk

The ever charming Bitter Betty asked about what I use my timer for. The better question would be what I don't use it for.
I don't use it to time how long it takes us to eat dinner, or race the kids through their school work, but past that I use it a whole lot. I use it to remind me when a load of laundry is due to be switched out or when When brownies are ready to be removed from the oven and to keep track of when it's time to get out the door to yet another event. But most of all it lets me break down some of my biggest chores into manageable chunks that don't seem overwhelming or burdensome.
It let's me accomplish things that people wonder how I get done in the midst of everything else in my life. It lets me prep and paint the dinning room hutch or sew curtains for the kitchen. It lets me build the new water closet or work on the design for the new master bedroom. Setting my timer for 15 or 30 minute increments lets me take little bites out of projects till I am able to say that they are done. That feels very good.

Something extra with every pot-holder!

It's been rather charming around here in the Domestic Anarchy workroom. I have been teaching the little boys all sorts of needle arts. We have done, knitting, crochet, and now embroidery. It's been wonderful and the little boys have been doing some great work with inspiration from Sublime Stitching and Jenny Hart. They toss around words like feather stitch and embroidery hoop with the skill of needle pros. Of course this only makes what happened even funnier.

Tonight I spent some time working on the the pot holders of previous mention, and spent even more time fussing at the bias tape I was trying to sew around the borders. This was not going well for a variety of reasons and in the end I decided to hand sew the second side for a smother finish.

Now this was ok with me since I happen to be one of those rare birds that really enjoys handsewing. I find it oddly relaxing so did not see the need of doing so as a burden. My exit from my seat in front of the machine into my *comfy chair* was questioned by my youngest budding stitcher-man and I explained that I was going to sew the backs of each of the *new-vintage* potholders by hand. Young stitcher-man seemed to satisfied and went off to find his brother and inform him of my change of plans. Soon I hear him talking with his brother explaining that I was doing a ~hand job~ on each of the potholders to make them nicer for all my friends.

Yes my dear friends.. here at Domestic Anarchy there shall be no pot-holder without a ~hand job~ and that's the way we like it!

Sew be it

Not much time to post today. Loonnnggg day at church and then home and quick run out to Michael's to score on the 50% off coupon. Not a run out I wanted to make but to pick up one of the kid's gifts for half off made it worth it.

Now.. the sun is setting, I am pulling on a sweater, some woolly socks, lighting some candles... yes... you know what's coming... SEWING!... Hopefully some grand photos to show soon.. I am forcing the kids into action to buy my new camera this week..I miss it soooooooo.


All things Cath Kidson, Thrift and the Holidays

Have you been to Cath Kidson? Do you even know who she is?... if not let us just say that her designs are all things bright and wonderful about the world. Vintage but fresh, soothing but very happy no matter the day or weather. They are also one more thing.. EXPENSIVE, but oh so worth it.

Alas right now my budget has little room for Cath-stuff so I have to make do with things that feel Cath-ish. Today I scored very big at my local thrift. A vintage twin sized bed spread in a very cath-esque pattern printed on white quilted cotton. I had been eyeing this beauty for a few weeks but the $6.88 price tag kept me away ( yeh I know ..what a laugh, me who use to drop money like water) so I watched and waited knowing that is was a *blue* tag item and that this week it would go 70% off. Oh yes... SCORE!.. I could only find one small spot on it.. the top is all of quilted fabric and there are yards an yards of fabric in the 2 foot deep ruffle around the sides.

But you ask...what are you going to do with it?.... so glad you asked! This year I have taken the Handmade Holiday pledge-lite and am doing my best to craft most of my non-kid gifts from vintage goods. My plan is to make useful beautiful items and not blow my budget in the process. This bedcover will net me plenty of fabric to make multiple pot holders and oven mitts... I think they are going to be beautiful!
Right now the bedcover is taking a spin in "Mr. Washy" but very soon my dears I shall be in crafting heaven and I might even be in the mood to share a bit of the booty when I am done!... you will have to check back to see.

My timer is my friend

Oh where of where has my timer gone?...oh where of where can it be?

To say that I am a wee bit distractable is an understatement, so while being shackled to a silly little digital box is not my idea of high style I really do get so much more done, feel better and am more productive that it's really is my *have to have* accessory for any season. But alas it's missing..gone.. I cannot find it! Oh course I am making due with the kitchen timer but I cannot hear that from all parts of the house and this means I am going to have to go buy another. Of course this also chaps my hide to no end since the MINUTE I buy another one the lost little bugger is going to show up in some odd but evident place. This is the game I play with the universe, and right now the universe is winning.

The BrocanteHome Puttery Treats Challenge

Have you been here yet?, scamper off but then come right back...

Divine, is it not? such a devotion to home and how it feels.... I could just read this sort of stuff all day...and even beter she is having a wee bit of a contest!.. For the contest I chose this *puttery treat*

Subtly change the signature scent your house wears to something a little less fresh than that you chose in the summer. Add amber, musk, orange, eucalyptus, pine, cinnamon or other spices to your base fragrance (mines lavender and I use amber, musk and cinnamon) to gently mark the change of season. Bake thin slices of fruit for hours at a time to fragrance the house for a special occasion, or burn incense for the sheer smoky scent of it.

It really was the best of timing since I had just pulled out one of my favorite Fall/Winter home scents. Claire Burke Original home scent , how to describe.... it's how everything Fall should smell when I conjure up *home* in my mind. I really enjoy the timeless scent of roses, lavender and spice blended with patchouli and vetiver. Heck I don't even know what vetiver is but's really working in this combination.

I think that BrocanteHome is right on the money when she suggests that a home should have different scents for different seasons. Of course no scent can be above that of a clean home, but past clean is the feeling that a warm glowing scent gives a home. So while I might not be able to bake bread all day everyday and the dog ate the lavender sachets that I hid under the sofa cushions. I can count on this little bit of oil on a light ring to bring a soothing touch to my home during these colder months.

The Gods of Thrift

Well it's hard to believe that the Gods of thrift were shinning down on me once again but WOW... I could not be more happy, in fact I think you could even use the word giddy and be pretty safe that it would fit. .. For quite a while now I have needed a new rain coat. Actually by saying *new* I might give you the impression that I have an *old* rain coat.. that would be wrong. I have no coat for when water falls from the sky. I do have an all weather violent orange emergency poncho in the safety kit in my car but I don't think that counts. But now... I have a coat and what a coat it is!
Here again dearies I am vexed by the lack of a camera to show you all it's beauty but I did find one on line that is similar.... ~ please direct your eyes to the left and behold.~ Mine is the same brand, Harve Bernard and is brand spakin new... so at the $15 thrift shop price is a nice savings over the $129 they go for at the mall. The only diff. in mine is that mine is more of a mod-print with some swirls and the inferance of 70's drug use. Otherwise.. spot on! Nice hu???? Dare I wear my cupcake rain boots with it?
As for the rest of my day. Well it's 12 noon and we are done with schooling for the day. Another lite day given that the little boys are human snot fountains but we did have a nice time reading about Erasmus Darwin and the Lunar Society, and add him to their folders. A bit of math, a sprinkling of vowels and we called it a day.
Of course this leaves the whole afternoon open. I must admit that my heart quickens at the thought but at the same time quivers at all the choices. I have so many things that I enjoy doing that I want to try that the idea of some open time just about puts me over the edge but then I stand in frozen fear of making the right choice!... bet you had no idea that i was such a head-case hu?
I have this cool idea of something to do to some jeans but need to score a pair of thrift store jeans to make this happen. You see I have exactly two pairs of jeans that fit.. they are size 14 and just right ( on any day not starting with PMS) so needless to say I don't want to mess them up in a possibly hair brained idea.. so... YES!... a trip to the thrift it is.... back in a while!

We meet again!

Welcome back, but don't be to hopeful since this is going to be one short little entry. Three of the five kids have colds. Les is soon to follow, and it's really starting to feel like that Agatha Christy story where one by one the guests in the mansion get taken out by a mystery killer.

Me?... well I have decided to have a good time anyway. So some snuggly reading on the the sofa with the drippy nose boys, then a few loads of laundry, finish up the painted hutch.. new handles!... ( it's looking great!)... made some bread, read with the boys some more, did some math with Chris, worked on some embroidery and even snuck in some knitting. For a bad day it does not get much better than that!

Back in the saddle again

Hello all!... yes after long last I am getting back to my blogging. I love it so much but can't seem to find the time unless I give up some extras like sleep or eating. But in my love for it I am going to take a shot at it again.

Alas this will be a photo-free post since my teens broke my was an accident and they are buying me another one but for now it means that you will have to use your imagination when I tell you about all the swell things going on here in the Domestic Anarchy workroom. ...uhh Ok..that would be a lie.. I have gotten so little done that it's not even funny and in many ways it throws me into a fit of depression that I am doing my best to crawl back out of.

For me crafting/creating it life blood and to have days and days pass when I have no time for it makes me sad. But never fear I do have some fun times on the horizon since I am hosting an embroidery workshop next week and am taking a card crafting demo in the same week. I have high hopes that these two things will help boost my crafting soul at least a bit.

It's all not to say that I have not gotten anything done. In fact after 5 years of serious hate I finally painted the Oak hutch in my dinning room. Now I will be the first to say that there was nothing *wrong* with the hutch as it was except for the fact that is was Oak.. I hate oak.. in fact I pretty much dislike all natural woods. I am much more Swedish in my tastes and prefer to have my wood swathed in a nice coat of creamy paint. ** we will now take a moment for all tree huggers to cancel their feeds to my blog due to this revelation **.. ok!..

Now that is' just us paint-luvin folk I will let you know that I painted it a very pale gray that has some serious purple undertones to match a small striped in the curtins of the room. Now before you gasp... as I did when first painting it on... it actually has come out looking quite swank... after the paint I distressed it, and then buffed the whole thing with tinted glazed. I must have done pretty good since my 17 year old said that I should consider doing that *stuff* for a living.. high praise from him! I promise photos soon as my rug rats cough up a new camera for me!!!... Next...the table!!!!

What do we tell the children?

I recently ran into a post on a home education forum that dealt with a mother's dissatisfaction with a simple and charming book about Pioneer life for one family. She was looking for a book suggestion that showed no negative behavior on the part of the characters in the book. The book she objected to is called A Pioneer Sampler and it was written by Barbara Greenwood. This is a book we have in our collection and in fact I have used it with 4 of my 5 homeschoolers since 1996. Our copy is well worn and well loved.

Of course I will now have to go back and reread the book since I am unable to think of anything that would ever raise an eyebrow in this book. And yet it seems the posting mother took offense to the fact that one of the children was sassy and the other rolled his eyes at his mother.

Oh shock... sassy pioneer children!... Honestly this seems pretty honest to me. I have a hard time thinking that pioneer children actually lead the sanitized life that we were fed in the form of Little House on the Prairie. I am sure that over the course of history thousands of pioneer children mouthed off, slacked on their chores and had a moment or two of sassy mouthed behavior. To say they didn't and edit it out of history all together is just another form of the white-washing of American history and this does little good for our children or for ourselves.

For our children the removal of any traits that involve negative actions makes these characters so far removed from their life that it makes them difficult to relate to or to learn from. I mean if little Sally pioneer never whimpered a tear even after a rabid raccoon bites her how is the average child to feel when they fall and skin their knee and feel the need to sob about it for a bit?. Are they less than that little girl of *oh so fine Pioneer stock* who is reported to be stoic beyond measure and just fine with helping pa plow the back 40 with just a simple bandage to stem the flow of blood? Of course this is an exaggeration but there is truth hidden in my snide commentary and when children are exposed over and over again to overly perfected characters they are not bettered for it. Better we should see little Sally work through her problems, cry a little, perhaps even say a sassy word or two then work through to a more realistic answer to her problems.

For mothers I think the subject is even more complex and even deeper and darker for those who homeschool and spend their time reading to their sometimes sassy mouthed children about children who never do wrong. It's subtle, but soon after reading to much of white washed childhoods you start to wonder why your kid grumbles when asked to take of the trash when young "Jeth" in the book you are reading to the kids can spend 5 hours chopping wood with nary a complaint. Why are your kids begging for yet another transformer, Lego set, water gun while acting like they are dying when young Pioneer children were happy with just an orange and a new pair of socks at Christmas? Well is obvious your children are ungrateful, spoiled and you yearn to go live in the woods and teach them a lesson!!

Let's get real, Pioneer children bitched, they ditched, and at times I am sure they rolled their eyes and had a sassy mouth. It's what children learn from our response to these expressions that shapes them into the people they become. And I am sure the same was true to pioneer children.

The beginging and the end all at once!

June first was my personal deadline for getting next year's schooling all worked out and by the skin of my teeth I made it and placed my orders with the exception of my Math u see ( since I totally need an excuse to go to the convention) and Claire's Highschool stuff. ( For those who are wondering, for the most part Grant is done and only lacking 2.5 credits which we are going to pick up this Summer)

Building on the parts we loved from last year ( literature based learning) and removing the drudgery and adding tons of hands one stuff we are going with WinterPromise Sea and Sky. Adding the expansion packs for younger and older kids I will be able to do, Sam, Greg and Chris with tons of stuff that appeals to each kid. Gregory is beside himself with excitement about this program and I will totally cop to the fact that it's a very * boy* centered program with lots about boats and planes. Lucky for me this program already uses the Language arts we already have and blends well with quite a few of our on hand resources.

It was not cheap but three kids worth of stuff, including 63 books, guides, and a few computer CD's came in a bit under $800 so about $275 per kid for the year... oh yeh.. then add on 1 MUS book... so about $300 per kid for the year.

Claire is another ball of wax and we are sitting down to look at her college prep course credit sheet and work on how she is going to fill it. She has decided on an accelerated pace and then adding some courses at Chatt state into the mix starting in the Fall. She is going to do 3 credit hours this Summer with Economics, (using the book * What ever happened to Penny Candy as the spine of that course.) English II, survey of modern American writers, and an Elective, Clothing construction 101June July and August will make up our Summer but I suspect we will dive back into a bit of schooling in August. I am sure that they younger one's would like to start back earlier but the mom needs a break and some time to get some work done around the house.

Begining with the end in mind

I knew what I wanted it to look like and had 5 days to make it happen. Not that anything bad would have happened if it had taken longer but since Les was going to be out of town that would give me time to work late into the nights to get it done.

The project at hand was building out the master bedroom water closet. Not a huge space, but one packed with all sorts of challenges. I started with a place looking pretty much like this, slanted ceiling, wonky walls and tons of potential.
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The next step was the inspiration. It came from a quilt I had gotten for our bed. Very sweet and very summery with just the right vintage tones and patterns.
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Then 30ish hours of work later with a little help from the cats
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I bring to you the water closet of our new masterbathroom!
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Please step inside, sorry there is not much room in here.. but it's a one seater as they say. Points of interest are....
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My too cute toilet paper holder, which began it's life at HomeGoods as a piece of garden statuary I scored it for $20 since it had a small chip out of the back. And while you are looking this way please notice the curtains made out of a white quilted vintage bedspread that I picked up at the local thrift store for a steal of a deal.

Look a bit to your left... see that door in the wall?
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Can you guess what that is???
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Why yes, it's a place to hide all of those things that nobody needs to see in the bathroom. The Hy-dit was very easy to install and I am going to put one in each of our bathrooms as soon as I get a chance. They are made as a product that goes in AFTER the drywall.. making it an easy project for anybody but the most fearful DIYER.

The biggest compromise of the project was the flooring. In a perfect world I would have wanted ceramic tile on the floor but given the subtle movement of our old house that would not have been an easy option. So I picked out a very high quality (thick) vinyl in 12x12 size. It went it well, looks good and will be easy to keep clean...what more can you ask?
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Of course the pay off in any building project is getting to put in the fun accessories. Which of course means a whirl wind shopping trip to my local Antique/junk haunts and of course Homegoods and TJ Maxx!
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The ceramic compote was won in a silent auction at a local charity event but the Potpourri came from Homegoods. The metal locker basket (seen furtherback) full of TP came from a local Antique place and I scored it for 75% off!.. Anybody who collects those knows they are getting hard to find and even harder to afford!
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The black urn with roses was from Tj Maxx and the little nest was a sweet little bit from on top of a gift I got last year.

As a last peek I leave you with a shot of the ceiling and one of the roses that is making a break for it!
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Because life should always be fun.

You light up my life

A few days ago I mentioned the milkglass lamp base that I found.. The Milkglass was in great shape the but the brass? stem was totally rusted as were all the fittings and the wiring.. well lets just say that * I* personally was not brave enough to plug it in! So I pulled the whole thing apart and gave tossed the old wires and scrubbed down the metal parts with some steel wool and then shot them with some baby yellow spray paint. After that a quick run to the hardware store netted me a simple lamp re-wire kit.
I had seen the ~great~ Martha more than once rewire a lamp so I knew it was not going to be very hard and it wasn't. Can YOU say Underwriters Knot? This left me with needing to do something with the shade. It was in good physical condition but not cosmetic.. So I ripped of all the binding and extras and decided that it would be a wonderful way to use some of my favorite fabrics.
I am going to post the photos up that I took and pray that Blogger keeps them in order.. otherwise you are on your own!
First step was to produce a pattern off of one section of the ribs of the lamp.. I used some craft paper and just rubbed a section of crayon over it to made a rubbing of the metal ribs. I then cut this out with a bit of a seam allowance. (seems Blogger wants to play games .. the photos will be going from top to bottom i see!)
Second I traced the pattern onto 6 of my favorite fabrics and cut them out, then played with them to arrange a pleasing but hopefully random looking sequence... got to love that.. planned randomness.... yes the irony is not lost on me.
I also picked out a bit of bling in the form of little beaded fringe since at heart I really have all the subtleties of Dolly Parton!
I used the super sticky red two-sided craft to hold the sewn up shade slipcover to the old shade. Oooops... yes.. i sewed up the sections and kept adjusting for just a nice tight fit. To finish the top opening I also added a bit of flash with the blue rick rack... since who would not smile to find blue rick-rack inside a lamp shade?
A bit of the beaded fridge to the inside of the shade ( more red craft tape) and I was done!..
How cut is this?? I just adore it and it makes me smile each time I walk into my kitchen :) Better yet I did the whole thing, including the cost of the lamp for $15


Oh, oh oh.... I want things to slow down and I want to slow down with them. I want to go work in the garden and to sit in the sun ( over course with SPF 30 slathered on!).. but my day gave me time for neither and once again I am back to the place of figuring out what to adjust or cut out of my life to make some time for my life! ~sigh~
One thing that is going to have to go is my 6am Pilates class. I LOVE.. LOVE LOVE the instructor but the 6am is killing me. I am one of those people who MUST have 8 hours sleep to function. Bedtime here at Chez Kertay rarely happens before midnight for the Mommy and Daddy people ( little kids are in bed at 8 pm). Five hours of sleep is just not cutting it. Today I almost feel asleep while driving.. yeh just like those truck drivers! So hopefully my darling instructor will be doing an afternoon class at some time but until then you can now find me under the covers till 8 am every morning. I am sure there are other things and even to the point I think I will have regular blogging days like Tue/Thur or something like that.. that way i can get in a bit of what I like to do with all I need to do!
In news that is much more fun I have been working on my personal *Living with Vintage* pledge. I know so many people who have wonderful vintage things but save them up on a high shelf for no one to touch or use. I want to fully embrace life and use all of my treasures. So as a start we are now using our Vintage drink caddy for afternoon drinks on the porch and for pink lemonaid with Summer BBQ dinners. As our offical kick off to the pledge I got some of those super cute little paper drink umbrellas that amused the children to an extent that might not be normal but it sure made it fun!
In homeschooling news we have been all about the Hotair balloon and have constructed many versions over the past few days. Alas none have floated and most have died a death more like the Hindenberg ( a zeplin) but lots of fun has been had in the process
As promised, my new Hair Cut... I am very happy with it even if the crap-tastic self portrait does not revel the fact!
Now let us all pray, Blogger is acting very odd and will not spell check my post, I am going to publish and hope for the best... see you all on the otherside!

All the news that is fit to print!

Ever feel like your life is in hyper drive and slow motion all at once?.. Things here are like that and I am trying to get a grip on all of it. So... since we last chatted:

Greg had a great birthday and raised $165 for Heifer International with the donations that were brought by all of his awesome friends. He is still high on the fact that he is going to be able to by a mating pair of goats for some family and that simple act will give them the best chance they have ever had at a stable life. Just think.. if each kid dedicated only of birthday to such an event like Greg did what sort of powerful change would that bring about?

We have just about nailed down the plans for the new pool. This inground pool stuff is complicated business and is taking quite a bit of time but I think will be well worth it. Last step is choosing a slide.. Cha-ching!

I got my hair cut ~ yes I know ~ I very much needed a cut but was having a hard time finding time but knew that it was a code red when I saw that last shot of myself looking a wee bit haggard and split-endy. So envision if you will.. 6 inches less hair and me looking about 5 years younger. It's a good thing! Photos as soon as my little photographer gets up in the morning.

The puppy is growing by leaps and bounds and is now 22 pounds and quite full of himself... at the moment he is running hells-bells around the room gathering all the shoes and taking them back to his cage... pardon me a moment while I go fetch my foot wear!

A bit of thrifting has been happening and I will shoot photos tomorrow... but since I am a tease, think vintage buttercup yellow rick rack, sweet little millinary birds, tatted pillow cases and milk glass in multiple forms!... ha!.. betcha come back to see that!

On the DIY front today was productive but not overwhelming. I hung two windows worth of wooden plantation blinds, installed the Hy-dit in our masterbathroom and installed recirculation vents for Claire's bedroom.

So there you go.. you know it all, now you can sleep with a clear mind and pure soul! *grin*

Desperate times

Like most there is little and at the same time much to say about the shootings that have gone on and the pain that has been left in their wake. For me it's yet another reminder that being home and keeping home are important to me. Building a safe secure place to come home to is important work in a time of instability.

So here on the homefront things have been intense but in a domestic sort of way. Stressful yes, but easy to deal with in the light of everything else. Workmen will be here again today and I have high hopes that we will soon be done with the renovations upstairs. Wed. is Greg's b-day and his party and today we are going to a train trip. Some time in there I need to get my hair cut and so does Claire. Seeeeee... I told you.. intense, but blissfully domestic.

As evidence
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I give you the wonderful package from Sharolyn... as promised in my last post. I am doing my best to share this photo out of Photobucket since it seems I have no longer welcome to post photos directly in blogger... I have no idea what is wrong!

Here is an upclose and somewhat scary photo of me wearing the great pin that she sent!
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and since we are on a roll the apron I made last week from a tea towel.. modeled by my sweet daughter with the demonic eyes ( yes I know how to fix that, i am just to lazy right now :)
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And yes, my book cases are that awful... I shall have to get to that very soon!