Hello Hello...


Hello to all the folks who may have drifted over here from my Homeschooling blog that is now closed in an effort to gain some control over the obligations in my life. There won't be a whole lot of changes over here but I can't say that I will be blogging here more than 1-2 times a week..
But today I have a great game to share with you that is wonderful for sharpening up the quick adding skills of everyone from toddler to teen to ahem.. some people who might be over 40. It has the added bonus of getting you all up-close and personal with the Greek Gods, thus making it a total winner with my mythology crazy eight year old.
Zeus is Loose is one of many great games from the people at Gamewright. Fast to play and easy to learn this is one of the games that we use in our homeschooling Workboxes to make the most of our " break time". At less than $10 .. and often on sale at Barnes an Noble ( we got ours for $4) this is a great game to pickup for at home and would also make a great gift. - check it out!
Next time- Super easy holiday cheese log!

Something Wicked This Way Comes....

Ah... the season is here and it's time once again to pull out the fall things along with the things for a month long celebration of Halloween that we call Boo-Ween! As you might remember last year I scored really big at the "after-ween" sales. It was so much fun opening up the 4 big containers of stuff.. better yet since I got it all at 90%+ off!! Bit by bit I will share what I have done around the house to.. spook it up a bit! :)

May the Squash-Fest Begin!


Just like cantalopes in the Summer... in the Fall I am all about the squash. Acorn, Hubbard, what have you.. I love fall squash. A quick stop netted me these beauties. So tonight we are going to have chicken curry in roasted Acorn Squash. They are in the oven right now and with just a bit of butter and a sprinkle of Sel De Mer I want to eat them all up right now... but I will wait since I know how great they are going to taste with my chicken curry as their filling.
I will admit to making my quick chicken curry tonight since two kids have events tonight. It goes like this ( Sorry.. no real recipe.. I just wing it each time)
Chopped celery - about 1/2 a bunch.. maybe less.
1 large onion chopped
Saute these until soft.. to this I add in 1 ripped up deli chicken.. white and dark meat but not skin. Saute a bit more and then add cream, milk and mild red curry paste. Stir and let thicken for a bit.. then pour into squash or over basmati rice.. delish!

Back for a bit...


I am back and just in time for Banned Books Week. Each year we celebrate the right to read as we choose and the right to make those choices. This year we stitched out this very cool design that I created just for the occasion! We made book weights to give to our favorite librarians.
We have been doing BBW for a lot of years now and some how I had missed all the fuss about it.. but if you are interested do a Google search about the opposition to literary freedom. Now mind you while I do support out libraries and books stores to carry whatever books they desire I still believe that each parent has a duty to look over what their child is reading since what I consider in line with our personal values might not be the same as yours. Way to many parents have abdicated that responsibility to the schools and other organizations and then demand that the stock the shelves in accordance with their personal beliefs.. that is not how a free society works. We must all do our part and a huge part of that is being an active part of your child's education.
Yes, I know you are busy.. but if I can do this for my big brood.. you can do this too.. it's your job. So grab up a book and celebrate your right to do so!

Blogcation


Just need a little time to get my ducks and ducklings in order.. no worries!

Hex obsession


It might be heading towards the end of Summer but these sunny colors are all about the joy of season for me. I knew the minute I saw this little hexy project on a couple of my favorite blogs that I was going to have to give it a go!.. and what fun it has been. This project is so very easy to tote along when at the park, hanging with friends or just sitting and listening to the kids read to me. 1 zip lock bag, a needle , some thread, woven fabric scraps and the paper templates and you are ready to go. I chose to cut up some vintage sheets I had bought just for crafting and then not be to anal about how I placed them since I wanted it to feel really random.
If you would like to try this yourself read about it here at POSEY and then go here and create some hexagon graph paper for your templates ( choose 1.25 for your hex size).. and then go have some fun!

Lunch time obsession


I have never been a big fan of the store bought corn tortilla... I always found them to be dry and bitter, not to mention that they cracked when you went to roll them up. Well, no longer.. these La tortilla factory tortillas are everything a corn tortilla should be and then some! warmed with a bit of melted cheese of butter.. yuummmm... These are good enough to inspire trying to make our own some time soon. So far I have found this recipe.. with step by step photos... or this one featuring a very cool tortilla press! Do you have a good recipe to share?.. I am thinking that this will be a great project to do with the kids when we study about Mexico!

Counting down....



The days of August are quickly slipping away and before a blink of an eye it's going to be Sept. and time for us to start back to lessons. Today ( or what is left of it) is devoted to getting the kids schooling room up and running and planning out the rest of our school year. My goal is to have all things schooling ready to run by the end of the this week. Photos when I am all done!
In other news you will notice that we have added a new bird to our home.. since what's better with a new born kitten than a bird! ~sigh~. Please meet Athena, she is Sam's new love and she is an rare albino parakeet. Since this photo was taken she has started to turn pink.. much to our confusion. It seems that the little red bits in her food are enough to turn her pink in the same way flamingos turn pink from eating shrimp.. who knew!

How many ways can you spell SUCKER!


Guess what we got? He is looking pretty good here after 3 days of intensive hydration and today is his 1 week anniversary with us. He was part of a litter of 4 kittens that were abandoned at a local park.. They all would have died within hours out in the 100 degree heat , and in the end one did not make it but our family and another really swell guy have taken on their care and the three survivors are doing well. This is Bragg ( he was found at Ft. Bragg Park).. and he is now just a bit under a pound, eating well and has every chance of surviving at this point. So for those who are counting... that means we now have.. 6 cats, 3 dogs and 2 birds

6/9/11 update - The count is now 5 cats, 4 dogs and 1 bird - and still a whole bunch of crazy!

My Guy



Happy Anniversary guy.... you rock my world! 5K run yesterday ( go you!).. wrangling the kids today so I could have some time with the super great mom's who are part of my life.. well... what can I say, you are just the best! Looking forward to a whole lot more years with you!

"Burps" for a new baby


We will soon have a new baby in our homeschooling group so I have been busy making that sweet little bundle some burp cloths from pre-folded cloth diapers. I am totally in love with this little bird design I did. It's part of my new machine embroidery collection ... Sweet Charity over on my Fresh Thread website. No doubt he is a bit quirky... and his personality changes with each different fabric I use for his applique..but best of all he runs in 3 minutes start to finish giving me lots of time to make lots of burp cloths for the new baby!
For those who hand embroider... If you want a pattern copy just let me know and I will get it posted up for a free download!

Isn't she Lovely?

Not sure how I got so lucky to have given birth to a kid who is this beautiful both inside and out. And if you might give me just a moment to brag she is also totally freaking talented.

The hat perched on her head in such a fetching fashion is of her own creation and is for sale on her very own Esty that she runs with her fantastic business partner Abigail. On their Etsy The Blonde Chicks you will find all manner of cool things made and recreated with a flair that is beyond their years.

So..what do you think?



For those of you I have asked to stop by and have a look..thanks for doing so.. I appreciate your time and your thoughts. For those of you who have tripped on this post please also feel free to toss me your thoughts but please be kind ;-)
Gawd!.. I am nervous showing off some of my new work!.. but here it is. These are my new in-the-hoop embroidery designs ( if that means nothing to you don't worry.. ) Over all I am interested in what you think of how they look. As you can see it's a mama doll with an apron pocket sized just right for baby. I realize now that from these photos you you can't tell the scale of these dolls.. the mama doll is 7 inches tall and baby is 3.5.. just right for a little person to take to church or anyplace where they need to have a quite toy to play with. I know that I am going to sell the embroidery files for people with home embroidery machines but I have already had some interest in people buying the dolls already made up.. decisions.. decisions.
So what do you fine people think. The dolls are made of up-cycled fabric and stuffed with 100% wool roving. The doll featured has an apron made of vintage lace but some dolls with have coordinating fabric instead of lace. I am working on a more "boy" version of the doll combo and one with " twin" babies to mix it up a bit. Of course I will be mixing up hair and eye color along with fabric so no two dolls will look the same but mama baby will coordinate in some way each time. Thoughts about price?.. are they worth doing?.. should I pursue a table ( for next year) at our local Sunday market.. just stick with embroidery files?...
Thanks for your time and your feed back.. it means a lot to me! Love, Maddie



Artgasam

Oh...... can I tell you how much I love Artchix ??? Such divine supplies for endless forms of creative expression. Of late I am in love with their faux postage and feel and order coming on any time now. These birds charm the heck out of me and I am thinking that they might make a wonderful front for a journal/notebook kind of thing..what do you think?

Picnic Planning - Eco style




Finding a good eco-friendly way to bring food to a picnic can be a challenge but I have two new ways that are really making things quite easy. The first was scored at my local thrift shop.. it's a old bail style Ball canning car. More than large enough for a family sized portion of my favorite super easy carrot salad. The next is the most super cute set of Weck canning jars. This size if just perfect for individual portions of tabbouleh but I have also used them for portions of pudding or even cold cucumber soup! Of course you could use modern ball canning jars, and if you do.. choose these wide mouth style jars for ease of filling, not to mention they are so cute!
Transporting these jars is easy and the only extra precaution I take is weaving a thin dish towel between the jars to keep them from knocking into each other.
Super easy Carrot Salad:
Matchstick slice 1 bunch of carrots or buy pre-cut carrots if in a hurry. Quickly blanch carrots and then cool over ice. Drain and dry the carrots and then into the cut carrots add 1 generous tablespoon of lemon infused olive oil, a nice pinch of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Pack carrots into a container and let sit in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours before serving ( if you can wait that long!.. these are so yummy!)

A little studio peek


With the exception of flooring things are going pretty darn well in the studio conversion process. But I will say that I am amazed that my stuff has swollen to take up the whole of a room that is 2x as big as it's last room.. very scary!

Paint- done!
Furniture moved - done!
Most stuff put away - done!
Flooring - still killing me!

Wicked Wednesday


Uh... yeh I know it's really Thursday and I am sorry about that.. just to caught up in my week and Wednesday snuck right by me! But as promised here is my interview with the loverly Jennifer of Pole Skivvies. I still have not found a local place to learn to pole but that has not stopped me from wanting to do it! ( The photo is of Yannori from Express the Sensual )



Jennifer, how did you come to pole dancing?
I have belly danced since I was 19 years old, which is something I've always loved. But when I was 39, I found I was getting really bored with it. The music and moves I'd been doing happily for so long, suddenly didn't motivate me at all. It was heading into winter and I was having to really push myself to work out at all, which is not like me. Then, a co-worker's roommate lent me her copy of The S Factor (great book!), and it talked about her exploration of pole dancing and exotic dancing, and how it made her feel so beautiful and sexy and so empowered - like she could finally release the person she had always been deep down inside. And I thought, that's exactly the way I felt when I started belly dancing, so it really resonated with me, and I read it and read it and started getting intrigued by the pole.
That's when it hit - the pole addiction. Ladies, it hits hard. I went from having previously - before reading that book - thought pole was cool, but not my thing, to being obsessed with that book, then Youtube videos of pole dancers, then all the different pole forums (thank god for the internet), and within a week I was so nuts I had ordered my own pole and was stuck to the youtube videos like glue. A few months later I would wind up explaining to my eye doctor that my eyes were sleepy all the time and I couldn't handle glare. He asked how long I was at the computer, and I realized that I had been, for weeks and weeks, coming home from a full day's work at a computer to spending another five hours or so watching pole videos. I'm telling you, pole dancers LOVE pole. :)

What was the first big hurtle you had to over come in order to "see"
yourself as some one who did the pole?
This wasn't a big issue for me. I've belly danced professionally and give one hell of a striptease, so there wasn't a lot of mental stuff to overcome.

Did it feel like the " right" thing for you the minute you did it or did you need to warm up to it?
The first time I saw pole, I remember thinking no one's thighs need to be that strong. But when I revisited it via a book that really spoke to me, I was hooked.

Do you pole more for exercise or amusement ( or someone elses amusement?)
It's a combination for me. I like to stay in shape, but I also love the challenge, and I love the community that comes with it. There are no pole classes in Vermont, so I study with a teacher in Canada via webcam (live, private lessons), but I also chat and email and message with a ton of pole dancers from all over the world. They are really the most amazing group of women - I love them!

How does a shy or fat or clumsy or whatever person even get up the guts to do such a thing?
Well, this I understand, because I got into belly dancing because I was the clutziest, most graceless girl you ever could hope to see. So, if even I could turn into a graceful, sexy dancer, then ANYONE can. As for pole, one of my biggest inspirations is Olivia Shelster, whose youtube videos made me feel I could learn to be a great pole dancer. She is this wonderful young woman, a little on the large size (less so, after a few years on the pole), who just has a natural exuberance when she dances, and comes across just like any cool woman you know. She made me feel anybody could pole and make it beautiful. I still love to watch her videos.

If you have kids...what do they think of you dancing?
I have a stepdaughter (she's ten), and she's not into me poling, but she loves to play on the pole herself. She is very much a girl of her own mind, though, so she does not like lessons. But she loves to twirl and climb and creates the coolest Martha Graham-esque choreographies with my belly dance veils.
What I worried about was what her mom would think, but I am blessed that my boyfriend's ex is a very cool woman and a great mom, and she thinks it's great. My man and I are just moving in together this summer, so when we're all living here, I will likely remove the pole when her friend's come to play, if I get the sense any neighbor would misinterpret it. I don't want my little girl having to get caught in the middle of anything unpleasant just because I pole dance.

How do people normally react when they find out your hobby?
Well, they generally know me, so it doesn't surprise them. :) My boyfriend plays it up to his buddies. "You know my girlfriend the belly dancer? Yeah, she's into pole dancing now - got one set up in the basement."

Do you pole dance for others or with others in social situations?...
or is that just not something that happens in the world of pole dancing?
Well, the weird yet delicious part of my world is that, while Vermont has no pole dance classes, there is a really cool little pub near me that has two poles. Generally I just pole at home, but sometimes I drag the man (or a pole dancing buddy of mine in Montreal, if we can work out our schedules) to the pub. He has a few beers and I pole. It's the funniest little place - totally Vermont. There's a nice sports bar with NASCAR on the screen, some booths if you want something to eat, a pool table, a dance area - and then these two poles. I found out about the place because they had a pole dancing contest when they first put in the poles. I couldn't resist - I had to go! I had a lot of funm but, unfortunately, they had (totally unintentionally) bought some really poor quality poles and the pole came crashing down in the middle of one of my spins. So I spoke to the owner and told him what he should buy, and he replaced them right away. So now I have these gorgeous poles to play with when we go out dancing.
I admit it can be awkward at first, since almost no one else ever poles there, they just grind on the pole when drunk, so I attract a lot of attention - but I live for that kind of thing. The best part, really, is the ladies' room, because whenever I go for a bathroom break, all the women there start asking me to show them moves and where I learned. It's fun!
And if there were more pole dancers in my area, we would go out poling ALL THE TIME. :)

If someone wanted to start but could not find classes in their area what should they do?.. besides hang out at the playground with their kids and goof around with the pole there ( hey.. I am just sayin...)
First, you're lucky to have poles on your playgrounds. Vermont has these weird brackety things everywhere and you can't spin on the street signs or most playground equipment. Very sad.
But you could do what I do - take classes with Alena Downs of www.polejunkies.com. She knows her stuff, is absolutely sweet, and is a great teacher. That's important, because you can injure yourself, even doing simple spins, if you're not sure how to hold yourself in the proper way. Believe me, I know. I self-taught at first and had to take six weeks off due to self-inflicted tendonitis, a broken toe, and shoulder pain.

Does your mom/great aunt/priest know that you are a pole dancer?
My family isn't close, so no, they don't. But everybody else does. From my boyfriend's ex to my boss' boss. Who found out over lunch one day, when, over lunch with a friend, he found out I'd been featured in a local newspaper article on pole.

Tell us a little about your business.... those shorts sure do look comfy!
Thank you. :) I came up with the idea to make better pole shorts because, since I don't have pole buddies locally, I wind up posting pole videos on youtube to share. Well, what you might wear at home is not always the same as what you might wear on youtube, for all the world to see. And the first thing I noticed was that almost all shorts of the "booty short" variety gap in the crotch. I mean GAP. Yowzah! I don't need that much sharing, thank you very much. So I started thinking about all I wanted in a pole short and asking what other pole dancers wanted, and came up with PoleSkivvies, which now carries the Tail Spin Short and - coming soon - the Fireman Tank. They are named after pole moves.
They are wonderful - comfy and the right proportions for pole, but they don't give any unnecessary exposure. As I always say, a girl's bikini wax is her own business.
But, really, the business is more than that - it's about connecting with other women who love pole, and who love the sense of freedom it gives them to explore their own flirtatious and sexual side. I try to post a lot of good information on pole dancing and performance, but general fun stuff, too.
Thank you, Maddie, for this chance to talk to you and all your readers. Great questions!




Thank you Jennifer... I hope lots of people stop by to see you and your great shorts! (uhhh..you know what I mean!) Check out Jennifer struting her stuff with a pole dance burlesque style!


Oh joy!

Sometimes it's the most simple of tools that can make you so very happy. Today I would have to pick the Silent Setter This little guy is a work horse at easily setting small sized eyelets in paper products such as card and tags. If you look carefully you can see the two eyelets I set into the front of the floral card I gave as a gift last week. Simple and easy.. that's the way I like it!

A little garden tour



Since the time we moved into this house I have envisioned it with a large cottage garden.. lush, colorful and very homey. Over the years I made tiny attempts at this but never got very far. Well this year we decided to go whole hog and put in a new driveway and really do the yard up right. So money was discussed, heart meds were taken when bids came back at numbers bigger than sending children to ivy league schools, plans were redrafted and final plans were made.

We had hooked up with a great landscaper but quickly came to understand that we could afford for him to do the hard scape and after that I was going to be my own day labor if I was going to be able to do any planting at all this year. So in went the new driveway and pathways and then I went to work. I was at the local plant nursery so often they knew me by name! This post is photo intense so I downsized the pics...if you want to see better click on the photo to enlarge it.

This is a shot from the left hand side of the driveway looking at the front bed pointing towards the house. It features a couple of rose bushes and multiple perennials and a few annuals for good measure. These photos were taken last week.. already some of them plants are double their size and filling in quite well. I am loving the window boxes but they were a HUGE splurge. They are vintage French hay cribs that I have then lined with coco mat and back filled with soil and plants. They have to be watered each day or they totally wilt.

The front yard is completely bordered in beds that I am filling as I can. There are roses on the fences and lillies in the beds. In total there is almost 200 running feet of bed in the yard.
Looking towards the front of the house and over looking the crushed rock pathway done by the landscapers.
Undone projects lurk in this photos.. the concrete area under the urn still needs to be rocked and the open space still needs a few plants. Over all I am very happy with how everything is coming along and since 90% is perennial I hope for an even bigger show next year! :)

A Tiny Tease for Wicked Wednesday


So..... how about something totally new.. something fun for you.. fun for him...would you be willing to Pole dance? Next week I will be rolling out my interview with the owner of a great new woman owned business.. Pole Skivvies

So what do you think... would you learn to pole dance? Would you, could you on a pole? ( with my apologies to Dr. Seuss)

Pass the Marshmellows!

I had meant to post this up an age ago. For Greg's birthday party he had a camp-out theme and to go with that he made everyone their own personal roasting stick. He used a felled branch from one of our trees from which he stripped the bark and then cut up into hand sized handles. He then lightly sanded them to make sure they were smooth. We then drilled holes in the end into which we inserted 18 inch long heavy gauge wire lengths. This was a nice tight fit and gets even tighter as the branch dries and gets even tighter. WE bend the wires at 90 Degrees at the end to make them a bit safe with the added bonus that it keeps the mellows on a bit better!

Greg then put eye screws into the free end and then added loops of ribbon for hanging. We keep ours out by the fire pit for easy use since I am nothing if not all about the Smore!

BUT... if this is all just TOOOOOO crafty for you.. heads up!.. This week at the TARGET Dollar Spot I spotted telescopic mellow roasters for $1. A sweet deal for a sweet treat!

Notions Winners

Woo hooo... just a few moments and the random generator is going to kick out two numbers ......

The winners are .. comments number 4 and 5!!! so will Rachael and Diane please contact me so that I can get you all notioned up! maddie6@bellsouth.net

No fears if your number did not get chosen.. I still have more vintage goodies to give away so drop you name in the hat again HERE

Playing with Fire

I have no idea where the week has gone.. let's all pretend it's Wednesday ..OK? And being that it's WEDNESDAY I want to introduce you to a hot little secret of mine... soy based massage candles... yes indeed. There is no nicer way to enjoy a bit of "grown up time" than by starting with a massage. And while oil or lotion work well enough there is something really sexy about using the soy candle wax dripped straight from the tin for the start of a good time.

It's easy, burn the candle, blow out the flame and drizzle the melted soy wax on your partner for a sensual massage. Soy melts at a lower temperature so you won’t get burned. Whether you want to soothe, invigorate or ignite your partner’s passion all it takes is one of these babies!

Now don't go off and try this with just any soy candle since many are made with things that might irritate your more private skin.. look to places like Good Vibrations and such for products meant for skin play. Make sure to store your soy candle some place cool and dark when not in use... even strong sun in my bedroom window will start mine to melting. Have fun.. be naughty!

Vintage pillowcase hanger covers

Above is one of my many formal gowns that use to get quite a work out. Just about every month we had one formal charity event or another to go to. And while some people loath these events I found them to be a wonderful time to dress up and go out with the ever so handsome Dr. Anarchy. He in this tux and me in my spanx/formal dress had a wonderful time acting as if we were carefree folk with neither children or a cat with reflux for at least a couple of hours a month. But alas with the financial crisis that has gripped the nation the number of fancy/formal charity events has become almost non existent and my gowns languish in my closet actually developing dust on the shoulders. ( Beleive me when I say I know how serious this is and I do not mean to make light of people who are having a very hard time with all the changes that have taken place over the last year, I count my lucky stars each day and say a prayer for each and every family who has been hurt by these trying financial times)

In an effort to save these gowns from a dusty fate I decided to make some hanger covers in the style that graced my grandmother's closet oh so many years ago.
This is pretty easy but I shot a couple of pictures so you could see what I did. First I took the hanger and traced off a pattern onto the fabric which I doubled and folded in two. In this case I used a vintage pillowcase thus I did not have to hem this quick and easy project ( always thinking!) Notice the little tab at the top.. this gets tucked in thus giving a finished edge to the hanger head opening.


Before sewing the front and back together I added a bit of rick rack for embellishment.. perfect match hu?.. Vintage pillowcase + vintage rick rack = perfect match!
So .. you then sew the front and back together, turn outside out, tuck in the little tab things at the top, give it all a quick press and then slip it over the hanger/ dress for a dust free return to the closet. I miss you fancy dress... hope to see you again real soon!








I Have a Notion....

It's time for a Vintage Notions give away!

While cleaning my studio I have found all sort of odds and ends that need a new home. The above photo gives you just a taste of the sort of stuff I am going to be bagging up into Mystery Notions bags. If you would like a shot at this week's Mystery Notions bag just leave a comment here and I will add your name to the magic hat. I will draw next week for a winner. So far I have enough stuff for about 5 bags so we will do this on and off for the next couple of weeks!

p.s. For those of you looking for Wicked Wednesdays.. never fear, I will be back with some very naughty ideas for nice girls next week!

The Thrift God's Smiled upon me

Some of you might have caught sight of this in my last post. I found it on Monday when I went to my local thrift for a quick run through. I nearly squealed in delight ( actually I might have actually squealed, given the funny looks people were giving me!) as I ran over and snatched up this beauty and hugged it to my chest. I have always wanted one but the price has always been more than I thought right given that I don't exactly have a lot of real uses for an antique baby scale! I ran into a pink one last year that was well over $100 at my local antique shop. This one was priced for $14... THAT was a price that made it mine!

The amazing part is that it was a dead on match for the color I painted my new hutch So obviously it was meant to be. Color me happy!

TaDa!

My body aches and my house looks like there was some sort of home invasion but I have gotten a lot of work done on the new school room and my new studio while the boys were out of town ( they return today!) I will not dwell on what did not get done but instead will show you what did . The above handles reside on my newly made over crafting hutch. To understand what a makeover this was you would have needed to see it in it's original form... First, it's very tall.. 7.5 feet and it's big.. my arm span. Next, it was left here by my MIL when she moved to the nursing home ( she has since passed) It was dark oak, brass hardware, brass and glass shelves and beveled glass inlaid doors. Perfect for a little old lady and her Hummels but not for me!
So, I removed the glass in the doors and the side and the glass shelves, primed the whole thing and then painted it a dusky french blue. I inserted heavy wooden shelves and wooden panels in the side walls where I had removed the glass. I papered the inside with one of my favorites from Waverly ( ouch!.. that was expensive, but very worth it) Then for the front doors I inserted real wire screen for the look of a pie safe. ( honest disclosure here.. I had wanted to do chicken wire but got tired of trying to get it to fit. After the third time it curled back and smacked me in the face with those vicious little barbs I heaved it out onto the front porch and went with the screen!) I could not be more happy with it and it has been well worth my time this week!


You will notice that the walls are not yet painted and the new flooring is no where to be seen so until then a real tour of the room is not forth coming but check back in a day or so and I will show you how the Thrift gods smiled down on me this week! Plus, I will be having a giveaway!


At that point

You know that point in a BIG project when things look OH so much worse than when you started and you start wondering what the heck you were thinking?... yep, I'm there.

But soon photos and tours of the new schooling room, my studio and new home gym! But first.. I need some sleep!

Wooooo hoooo

Is it wrong that this sort of thing gets me going? Yes indeed, 62 new skeins of DMC pearl cotton. Hancocks was having a sale and my stock we quite low so it seemed like the perfect treat given the very nice sale price! I tend to use pearl cotton for just about anything that calls for embroidery floss. With the exception of very small details I really like the way it looks when stitched. It's very lustrous and I don't have that " splitty" problem that I have to floss.

I love the way it looks when hanging so I think I might make the pearl cotton it's own little wall rack in my new - coming this weekend studio! During the move to new digs I am going to be doing some sorting and cleaning out so make sure to keep your eye right here since some nice little giveaways are planned!

Using your Biggest Sex Organ

A girl can't spend all her time between the sheets. Sometimes a book is a nice diversion and this one is as fun as it gets. Once you get over the silly title it's another interesting book from Mary Roach who's previous book, Stiff ( as in dead....not as in... well you know) was a book I found when we went to the somewhat shocking Bodies exhibit when it made it's way to Atlanta a few years ago.

In the same engaging style as Stiff, Mary looks at the world of sexual research with any eye towards the absurd and a flair for the funny. If your brain tends toward your facts with a dose of fun on the side this books makes a nice read and makes it clear that we still have a long way to go when it comes to understanding the interplay between whats between our legs and our largest and best sex organ, our brains.

A Tisket a Tasket, what's in Maddie's Basket?


A couple of people have caught me around and about with my basket in tow and asked what it was all about. So I thought I would spill the beans about the " modern pioneer girl look" I have going on with all this basket business.

In truth my basket is no different than hauling around a tote bag when there is no longer significant real estate in one's purse to hold the load of stuff we need to carry around on a daily basis. Or at least that is how it started ( insert ominous music)

Now the basket has become my faithful companion, you know sort of like a puppy but without the wet nose or lake size piddle puddle on the floor! It goes with me though my day holding all the things I might need at one time or need to drag upstairs with me at night ( cell phone, drink, current book I am reading, small snack, papers to review etc...) or perhaps down stairs to watch the boys in the pool ( bug spray, cell phone, lap top, magazine, drink etc...) or when I go out it acts as an adjunct purse holding all the stuff that I need during my trip out of the house but might not want to carry into every stop ( snacks for the kids, items I need to return, day planner etc...)

So obviously useful... but you ask.. why a basket and not a tote bag? Well.. good question and mostly it's a stupid answer that I am going to share with you anyway. The basket has a flat bottom and open top making it easy to see and retrieve stuff and with the flat bottom it also allows me easily to carry a drink down ( or up with me) without spilling. So no real magic or simplicity movement ideal.. it's just practical :)

** In the basket above you can see part of what I hauled down to the pool with me for the boy's afternoon swim.

1 hammer to fix the support post of the bean trellis down by the pool
1 staple gun to hang trellis netting
1 book Getting Things Done by David Allen
1 can diet root beer, nabbed from the fridge on the way down to the pool
What you cannot see but is in the basket
1 cell phone
1 bag smoked almonds
1 note cards
2-300 Stablio medium fine pens, my be all and end all pen for creative writing.

Happy Polka Dot Day!


Well it took a while and it was a lucky find that is for sure but I finally found some cushions for my new-to-me wicker front porch set. I was getting to the point where I was thinking that I was going to have to make them and really do not have time for that right now. But all I could find were tropical prints or nautical prints, neither of which was right for my front porch. But this.. yes.. pink with polka dots.. just right. I can't wait for Les to get back in town to see it. I am blessed with a husband who does not think that the color pink drains away your manhood and he indulges me in all things pink. I am one lucky girl!

Wicked Wednesday


This week's question from the ever so fantastic Babeland crew is, In what ways does motherhood make us better lovers? I think this is a great question since the assumption right off the bat is that over time we do become better lovers and I do think that can be the truth. The further we venture into motherhood and aging the more we understand about our bodies, our abilities and our responses. Let alone I think we get better at communicating those needs and desires if we work at it.

Maybe it's that so much of our time is no longer our own that we feel the need to get straight to the point ( pardon the pun!) or maybe it's because as mothers be begin to learn ( maybe from our children) that we can only really get what we ask for. So unless we ask directly and frankly for what we want we have little chance of getting anything close to what we need.

Perhaps in our younger pre baby years we make the mistake of thinking that our partners were mind readers and could hear our desperate mental pleas that went unvoiced during sex for "harder", "softer" or " a little to the left" and then we seem so surprised and disappointed when they keep on doing just the opposite! What an unfair expectation to put on a person we love. So to nowbe at the point where we are comfortable enough with a person to express these needs and desires surely makes us better lovers.

But perhaps we are deep into motherhood and still not expressing our true desires in matters sexual. What can we do to find that voice that gets past the sexual shame cast down on us during our childhoods, society or unwelcomed encounter. How do we become more comfortable with our own skin ( stretch marks and all!) enough to flash a bit, or more than a bit to the one we love?

My first choice is some of these fantastic books:

For those dealing with sex after sexual abuse Healing Sex can be a great book to check out. This coupled with the appropriate therapy can really mean regaining a healthy outlook on one of life's greatest pleasures.

Or maybe you skipped out on the sex-ed day in your highschool or worse yet your mom would not sign the permission slip so you are still a little fuzzy about how all your parts work and would like to learn how to rock your own world. If so, Sex for One is really the be all and end all but on the subject and I highly recommend it. Extra points for you if you then give your husband the full tour!

Just want to shake things up between the sheets a little? How about Sex with the Lights on It's casual and comfortable question and answer format makes it an easy and informative read that I really think couples should read together to spice things up.

And of course if you just want to know a bit more on how to handle your man, this book lays it all out there ( ooops.. another pun!)

Have fun!.. be sexy mama!

S'more Party Kits!


Not much time but I did want to post these photos of the S'mores kits that I made up for Greg's birthday a couple of weeks ago. I sure wish the photos were better and much more worthy of the killer products that I ordered from the folks at Garnish. From them I got the very cool trays and the oh so cute little cups with the lids that we used to fill with sprinkles for the s'mores. In the bottom photo you can see the brown and white bakery twine that I also got from them. ( the ribbon was a on a mega sized kit we made up as a hostess gift! You can also see s'more ideas ideas over on the Garnish site. ( hahahah.. I made a pun!, lord I need a life!)

Balls in the air


Once again, NOT a wicked Wednesday post.. and we are all glad based on today's title! But it is true that I am juggling like mad with little time to stop and enjoy the process. For that reason with the exception of the posts I will have to do for Babeland during the rest of May I am going to be taking a little blog-holiday. But before I go I have two more wonderful Stitch a Chocolate Egg Ornament kits to give away from the oh so fantastic Brooke Nolan!
Random Generator spit out the numbers for the last two very lucky folks..
#7 Claudia E bemgelado @ aol . com
and
#124 Mare marexstitch @yahoo.com
Ladies, please contact me so I can get these in the mail to you!!