It was a Black Friday impulse purchase. My daughter loves foxes. I had intended on buying a fox oil painting kit and wound up with a fox felting kit in the cart, too. The paints have not been opened.

felted fox

I read something a long time ago about a mom who straightened her daughter’s knitting rows late at night. Friends told her that was cheating — she was robbing her daughter of something she truly made herself. I’ve never forgotten her response. She said evening out the stitches was just a little boost to help her daughter continue falling in love with the craft while she climbed the learning curve.

I think about that a lot. At our local paint-it-yourself store, there’s a sign that discourages parents from helping their children. If they see parents helping too much, they will charge an extra fee. While I appreciate this sentiment, sometimes my child wants help. I am not about to say no if it will help her stay in love with creating.

felted fox

I always offer and I’m mostly turned down, but my daughter knows I’m there if she needs me. Sometimes it’s adding a sharpie outline to Hogwarts crests because details on round surfaces are hard. Other times it’s saving a felted fox from having a football-shaped head.

When we help children over creative speed bumps, we help them learn to love creating. When they see us struggle, and rip apart, and re-felt football-shaped heads, they see even adults don’t always get it right on the first try. Sometimes your idea can inspire them to fix it themselves.

felted fox

Then, when you’re not paying attention, they’re finished with a fox, a mouse, and working on a little chick. They have dug into your into your wool stash and book collection, and they no longer need your help. Well, maybe a little with the chick beak.

felted fox

stash: This is the bag of wool I had in my stash. The mouse and chick patterns are from Kyuuto Japanese Crafts, the Fuzzy Felted Friends book. We upgraded to a better needle when the kit one broke. Little chick photo to come.

Tagged with:
 

country pumpkin

We had never been to a pumpkin patch before living in Nebraska. Our first visit was short and cold. It wasn’t until our daughter was a little older that we discovered all the fun things our local pumpkin place had to offer. It quickly became a tradition with different friends and different levels of play as she got older. This year she decided that she might be too old for tradition, so we came up with something new.

country pumpkin

country pumpkin

On Sunday afternoon we drove west toward Sutton to a little store called the Country Pumpkin. I found out about it from a friend on facebook. We avoided the interstate and played music. We learned you’re not too old to say “cow” and “train” when you see them. We discovered pumpkin soft serve ice cream.

country pumpkin

country pumpkin

The store is small and cute. The trip is long enough to be fun and relaxing without being too much. The squash are out of this world. Upon leaving, our daughter declared, “Let’s do this again next year!” Another tradition is born.

country pumpkin

 

on Instagram: http://ift.tt/2vQiuur

I bought some Pentel Aquash Water Brush Pens before vacation and spent time at the beach trying to learn how they handle. I really don’t know what I’m doing with watercolors — just going with the flow. I like taking pictures along the way. The final piece never turns out how I envision it. Hoping to practice letterforms with these pens soon.

Tagged with:
 

I watched the banking crisis from afar, on my small kitchen television in Nebraska, with a two year old running around. It felt surreal and far away, perhaps how September 11th felt to people outside the Capitol Beltway. This book takes you deep into Wall Street, into the lives of a couple that would be forever changed by the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Two recent college graduates living in a shoebox apartment not even sure if they’re meant to be together deal with some of the most common relationship stresses during extraordinary times. There are secrets, hard decisions, betrayals, and devastating outcomes. Can their relationship survive? I read it in less than 24 hours. It was slow starting and then all the sudden I couldn’t put it down.

The Futures by Anna Pitoniak

 

on Instagram: http://ift.tt/2syFgWL

Tagged with:
 

Me: How are you doing? A little nervous?
Her: Yeah.
Me: Is it because you’ve never been to a march before?
Her: Yeah.
Me: Does it help to know that I haven’t either?
Her: Really?
Me: I never felt like I had to before.

I finished knitting around midnight and put the hat on my head. It looked ridiculous. I figured I’d take it anyway and maybe give it away. The next morning my daughter encouraged me to wear it. Pictures came in from all over the world: a sea of pink. I live in a small blue dot in a very big red state. It feels lonely sometimes. Today it did not.

Lots of people are uncomfortable with the name of this hat. However enough people were comfortable electing a man who uses it to the highest office in our country. I did a quick search on Facebook for the word vulgar. It’s amazing how many Trump supporters did not like women using the word pussy today. I can’t quite figure that out.

This week I heard something on the radio that has stuck with me: marches don’t change policy, but they create a movement, they start a conversation. I like that. And I’m glad I wore my #Pussyhat.

Tagged with:
 

on Instagram: http://ift.tt/2iPFqUe

pussyhatproject.com

Tagged with:
 

on Instagram: http://ift.tt/2cyyo5F

You know what’s weird about skinny jeans? They never look too short. There are long and ankle length. When they really get short, they become capris. You just can’t go wrong. This is good when your daughter is growing like a weed, but only up and not out. 

Temps are getting cooler, so we went through her stash of jeans this weekend. The 10s were a wee bit too short, but fit fine in the waist. The 12s were also a wee bit short, and were way too big in the waist. I decided to do the only logical thing: turn the 10s into skinny jeans. 

Ironically, she has a really nice, brand new pair that she hates. They have a decorative seam down the top center that “feels weird.” They look so great on that I refuse to let them go. I’m convinced she’ll come to love them. In the meantime, they became the perfect pattern for refashioning four other pairs. 

It’s really amazing to see a pair of pants transformed from something that looks like they’re ready for a flood to something cute and trendy. She was particularly happy that I gave new life to her sparkly Jordaches. (I got my first pair of Jordache jeans when I was just a little bit older than she is now. I LOVED them.)

So today was a good day. I watched football, had a Starbucks, and sewed up a storm. Hello, Fall. We’re ready for you!

Tagged with:
 

on Instagram: http://ift.tt/2bP8oky

I have too many peppers. In addition to a crisper full of red and green varieties of varying levels of heat, I have a whole bunch in the deep freeze. Today I got to work tackling the ones in the crisper. 

The reds became a mild hot sauce. It has just a tiny kick. I used this recipe, which was recommended by a friend. There weren’t any habanero in mine (too much heat for me!).

The others got stuffed in a big jar to become pickles. I had some extra room, so I threw in some carrots, too. Here’s the recipe. All I added was a pinch of turmeric. 

I also made a small jar of dill cucumber and green bean pickles. The cucumber was from my garden! 

The peppers in the deep freeze are destined to become jelly, I think. They’ll have to wait for another weekend. I’m done in the kitchen for today. 

Tagged with:
 


on Instagram: http://ift.tt/2cfsiTG

Super lazy recipe screenshot from facebook. I’ve got two CSA eggplants that I’m cooking up today. Sundays are for food prep around here. I don’t always like doing it, but it makes a huge difference during our busy weeks. 

If you enjoy eggplant parmigiana, bake in the oven with tomato sauce and mozzarella. Yum!

Tagged with: