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    Entries in bunting (4)


    like rain on your (neighbors') wedding day

    Spring around here is a funny thing. It rains; it pours; your carport floods. And then, for one day, it is 62 degrees, bright and warm from the time the sun shows his unfamiliar face until he lays it down in the Sound. And those twelve hours are enough to make you optimistic about the possibility of enjoying outdoor life again, in a sincere way, not a ha-ha, good thing I'm wearing galoshes kind of way.  

    We actually had, like, THREE of those in a row, a week or two ago. And then my poor neighbors who had waited TWENTY FIVE YEARS to get legally married found themselves putting up clear flashing around their gorgeous deck in preparation for a torrential downpour that waterlogged their wedding day. PNW, we can't quit you, but you sure are a jerk sometimes. 

    To console ourselves after we put some measly starts into the garden only to have it frost overnight at 37 degrees and kill our broccoli, George and I decided our raised beds could use some flags to jazz them up a little. Zelda had never potato printed, so we got out some muslin, cookie cutters, a potato, some paint and a paring knife.

    If you don't know how to print with potatoes, there is no shortage of tutorials online that probably give all the details you need, but all I do is press a cookie cutter deep into the freshly-cut side of a potato, then slice into the side of the potato with my paring knife and cut away the excess potato. Not exactly rocket science.

    George and Zelda chose an arrow, a heart, a star and a leaf. One arrow attempt failed, and turned into a bunny. Zelda kind of just tried to eat the potatoes, but George had a good time stamping the strips of muslin I had torn. Speaking of which, I didn't bother hemming these; I just snipped the selvedge edge of the muslin and tore it along the entire width of the fabric, leaving me with strips. 


    I gave George dishes of the paint that came with a paint-your-own wooden car kit. I have no idea what kind of paint it is, but it's labeled non-toxic, and it hasn't yet run. Do I need to tell you how many times it's rained? When the kids were satisfied that they'd eaten enough raw potato and sufficiently stamped the soon-to-be flags, we cleaned up, and let everything dry while we ate lunch.

    While George napped that afternoon, I cut the strips into smaller pieces and sewed a ribbon across the top, bunting-style. We stuck bamboo poles into the ground on each end of the garden and tied on the flags. I love that it helps give the kids some ownership of our garden in these early, boring days of germination and perseverence. 




    a lesson in melted wax 

    Inspired yet again by The Artful Parent, I decided to try to help George a little with his fine motor skills by way of sprinkling, a practice he frequently enjoys, mostly by sprinkling the rice out of his sensory bin onto the dining room floor. I so love all of TAP's "stained glass" activities and felt like our big dining room windows could use a little cheer, since the daylight is getting shorter and considerably less bright. More grey. Pretty, and a welcome change, to be honest, but cheer never hurts. 

    We had some old Stockmar beeswax crayons that didn't mind sacrificing themselves for a good cause. If Nathan cared that I (possibly) ruined the parmesan-specific cheese grater, he hasn't said so. 

    I had to stop myself from saying spread them out, now, George. Don't lump them all in a pile. Distribute them evenly, for godssakes, or all you'll get is a brown wax lake.

    I wanted to say those things. I certainly thought them. I demonstrated my own sprinkling on my own small sheet of wax paper with perhaps a little too much zeal. I couldn't help myself; I'm bossy. I'm a perfectionist. The poor child comes by it honestly when he says with a frown, "But I'm not good at it!" Because I tell him it doesn't matter, that trying is the thing. That everyone is bad at all of it, to start. But I hate it, too, being not good. Alas. There his wax was, in piles. He took a nap and, with the baby in the Ergo, I placed his and mine next to one another between sheets of butcher paper and ironed. 

    Mine is on the bottom, his on the top. My confetti, his painter's dropcloth. 

    Mine boring, measured, neat. His messy, unpredictable, with bubbles and swirls and colors I didn't grate. Colors, actually, that I said to myself as I grated, I wished we had. An olive green would be nice. A sienna or a plum. Something to more accurately reflect the season. Beautiful.

    By contrast, the carefully sprinkled colors on my mine became muted and dull, desaturated as they bled into the milky wax of the paper. I traced and cut triangles and sewed them together to make buntings. I kept the pieces of mine small, but cut George's generously to make a big, bold decoration for our Fall windows. A reminder to me: back off and let the kid do his thing. 

    Pardon all the pictures (and the dirty windows), but it was a sight to behold. 



    an autumn jacket (and a little something extra)

    I've had this pattern sitting on the top of the pile for quite awhile, waiting until I didn't have to scale it to fit George. He's finally a true pattern size 2, and with a few alterations, I had visions of the perfect fall jacket. 

    I'm a sucker for a peter pan collar, and the necessary changes were so easy -- lengthen the sleeves, turn the buttons into toggles. The clincher was a couple of yards of plummy quilted cotton I'd been saving for just the right occasion. I cut it out and decided against the collar, in favor of a generous hood, good for pulling over your knit cap for extra protection against the elements. I had some navy and white striped twill left over from making George the Oliver + S sailboat pants and lined the jacket with that, making it a little more masculine (though, I really consider plum to be a sort of neutral). 

    Well, here's the thing. It turned out adorably and fits like a dream, but despite those facts, it's not exactly what I would call a hit. 

    Alas. Maybe he'll warm up to it? I used some scraps from Nathan's beat-up old laptop bag to make the toggle patches and bought some navy bias tape and cording for the edges and button loops. It's a good crisp weather-weight, and I'm hoping it will fit him in the spring, as well, though that seems unlikely. 

    I had plenty leftover, and another pattern on my mind, so I whipped up a little something for the new baby to wear come February. We were at a total loss, wardrobe-wise, with newborn George when it came time for those refreshing walks around the block immediately following the sequestered period post-birth. We bundled him up as best we could and wore him close, but I'd have liked to put him in something extra snuggly. 

    God, do I hate that synthetic fleece, though. It was admittedly more effort to line the entire thing with cotton chenille, but worth it to know my poor kid won't be feeling the icky slick softness of what was formerly soda bottles. 

    These pictures suck, by the way: no need to point it out. We've entered the part of the year when our house requires lamplight during the day and outside it starts looking like dusk while I'm fixing lunch.

    There it is: cozy-soft and so freaking tiny. It boggles the mind that someone's stretched-out arms will fit inside those sleeves. 

    Since I have such an enormous stash, all I had to buy was the bias tape and the cording to complete both the bunting and the jacket. I can't wait to see them both on my littles. And with any luck, at least one of said bundled-up littles won't be miserable. 


    thrifty sunday: the return

    Oh, hi again. 

    You may (not) have noticed that, actually, along with my whole blog, thrifty Sunday has been on hiatus. We haven't really had any fun money, so I hadn't been shopping, and I was simultaneously losing the battle for free time. I am still losing that battle in a major way; my white flag has been raised for days, but life doesn't seem to care. Soon(ish), I'll write an epic post about Ladyfest, which promises to be a very rewarding timesuck whose benefits will not be reaped until the sun goes down on next weekend. 

    Anyhow, I've picked up some things over the past few weeks, namely when Value Village was having a half-off sale. Without further ado, here are my scores:

    1. A weirdly large homemade bunting, $1.99

    This thing will probably fit a 12 month old, which makes it arguably impractical, both because it will not fit the child I currently have, and because I don't know that a one-year-old would submit to wearing it. Nevermind all that; it's homemade and didn't deserve to languish in the thrift store for a minute longer. 

    2. Awesome farm animal puzzle, $1.50

    There's a small scuff on the front of it, but it's in otherwise perfect shape and any puzzle with all its pieces is still mint as far as our household is concerned. It's also Washington-made, and numbered on the back!

    3. A Mariners jersey. Was $4.99, but half-price, so $2.50!

    Okay, so, this is not the type of thing that anyone in my family usually wears. I am a firm believer, however, in dressing for the occasion, and our Fathers' Day tradition is seeing the Mariners. Nathan loves baseball and George loves "catch," so I'm letting go of a little clothes snobbery, here. It's in great condition and fits perfectly, incidentally, at a size 3T (for my almost 18 month old). 

    4. The main event. The eventual big-winter-holiday-present (Hanukkah? Birthday? Christmas?): Unfinished homemade kit dollhouse, $4.99

    There's more than a little projection going on, here, as I begged my parents for a dollhouse for years and never got one. But this number is right up our alley: a fixer-upper with limitless potential.

    It's sturdy and big, with a floor plan open enough for still-fumbly little hands to maneuver around. I can't wait to paste up wallpaper, crochet a rag rug and cut up a million sandpaper shingles for the roof. 

    I hope it sees many generations of happy Plan and Playmobil families. I'll keep you updated on its progress if you promise not to show George.

    What have you been shopping for lately?