Saturday, December 31, 2011

one of my more shallow resolutions...

In the coming week I plan to write up a whole post with my complete list of New Year's Resolutions... but for now on this early Saturday morning, when I am alone (sans dog) and showered and in clean clothes for a change, I thought it would be fun to be a little frivolous and talk about one of my shallow resolutions- my Wardrobe. I had this idea this past January when I turned 30 and had just finished wearing maternity clothes- a goal to begin to curate my closet with only essential pieces. Ones that are fun yet timeless, well made and would last for many seasons, aging well (as I hope to do!). The sub thesis here is- if I were to live abroad for half a year (or more!) what would I take as my essential pieces, ones that can easily interchange with each other and always look great. I started a board on pinterest with these ideas in mind called NEW WARDROBE. You can find the links to these images and others from my board!

Friday, December 30, 2011

It's a slippery slope into hermit-hood

Think of it as the biggest culture shock of your life... just when you are getting the hang of something and you are beginning to feel normal- the slightest new experience that was once effortless, dare I said mindless, is now a total cluster fuck. It's like you are an amputee trying to navigate a situation that was once so easy and familiar... but the stark difference between your old life and your new life is so startling yet subtle (like a nasty sneaky little bi-atch) that it makes you not want to ever leave the house...

I'll break it down for you. Ie: I'll give you an example without getting into too much trouble. I went "Shopping" with my mom and sister today at the mall. First off, the husbo thought he could watch the baby so i could go baby less meaning it might actually feel like a break dare I say a treat. But late last night he found out he would have to work today so the baby would be our companion. Now I don't want to sound ungrateful here, I'm merely using this scenario as an example for the new-ish mom topic I'm exploring. I do realize there are women who are in refugee camps and in much shittier situations, but this is what I'm drawing from, I'm American after all (eye roll).

First the day starts out with me inventing and scheming new ways to make breakfast fun so she will eat it (which if you know our baby, this is usually a non issue for which I am very grateful) but this morning was a bit more of a challenge... So I manage to feed her and kinda myself and then go get us both ready for our outing. I throw on the outfit I've been wearing for the last three days because it's actually an outfit of sorts and doesn't have snot or food on anything... I manage to brush my teeth- huge score in my book and even remembered to swipe on the underpit stuff and some mascara. poof I'm ready to go! this all happens pretty fast compared to what is about to take place next- getting the baby ready.

Over the past fews months with her increased mobility it's become more of a wrestling match. It's not violent but it has this impromptu choreography of which she is the lead.  So I get her dressed and in the long ass time it's taken me to dress both of us and equip my purse with baby crap- food, diapers, toys, water. My sister was able to actually SHOWER blow dry and flat iron her hair and lord knows what else, solve a cross word puzzle, watch her favorite tv show!?  I don't know but you get my point with the time suck I now live in...  so we get to the mall, my mom goes to her computer Mac class, my sister goes to do her thing while I set up shop at some couches in Nordstrom for snack time- banana and cheerios... Yes my friends, nothing like going  "Shopping" with your mom and sister plus the baby to get a slap in the face with how much your life has changed, i.e.: me alone with the baby and cheerios... it is what it is, and I know you don't believe me but I'm not really complaining so much as delivering the facts. And I'm not heart broken or anything since I go to the mall maybe once or twice a year... but it's because of this rarity that makes this change such a bigger surprise...

and leaving the mall, as nap time LOOMS, the baby is crying and you are that one dragging a crying baby out of a mall... Congratulations you are now that person!!! That's what you got at the mall today, not a new pair of shoes, or a new battery for your watch- you got the reality check that you are now one of THEM.

so what was suppose to be a fun day out turns into a bigger mess than any other typical day, because you now have to take care of an over stimulated and tired baby, who once home goes down pretty easy but only to wake up 45 freaking minutes later!!!!  Hence the sentiment to never leave the house. Why go out and through all that bullshit to only create more crap for yourself when you get home!? Plus the whole time you are out at the mall you no longer feel like yourself, because even if you had the money to buy something nice where would you wear it to, the kitchen? Because after today that's where I'll be.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Links and Such

Wise words, wise words. True about parenting and everything else!

Hey all! Happy Thursday and Happy Links and Such... In case you noticed I took a "few" days off from the blog this week for the holiday. We had a great Christmas and if you celebrate the holiday, I hope you had a great one as well! I didn't get a lot of fantastic pictures from the day, but the few I did snap really capture the baby's perspective and are pretty funny, I'll share them in the next day or so. In the meantime here is this week's Links and Such, short and sweet but here they are! Enjoy!

More added to STUNNING
I want to start knitting socks, and I think this book would be GREAT
amazing Russian dollhouse
can I live here?
beautiful earrings, yes please
pretty wallets and pouches
I want to make this paper bag ensemble dress (pattern)
top ten Sept house tours
have I told you I love this blog?
fun New Year's activities

my diy silhouette ornament tutorial

Saturday, December 24, 2011

DIY Silhouette Ornament

Happy Christmas Eve! Here's the DIY ornament I've been hinting at this week on my blog. It's super easy and very inexpensive. I bought a pack of 6 wooden circles at Michael's. I drilled a tiny hole in the top, and painted both sides with silver paint. Then I took a profile shot of the Little Miss, shrunk it down, printed it out, cut it and the traced it onto the wooden circle. Then I painted it in with black paint!

On the reverse side I painted her initials and the year. I strung the ornament with some red and white yarn, baker's twine would be cute too! And poof ready for the tree!

Here is the little miss on my folks' Christmas Tree!  Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Are those Ornaments on the Ceiling? How my Mother Decorates for Christmas

Happy Christmas Eve - Eve Everybody!!! I thought it would be fun to share a few pictures of how my mom decorates their house for Christmas. It's a real mix of vintage toys with new handmade etsy objects and other decorations from her childhood and those that belonged to my grandmother and great grandmother. Click on the images to view them larger and in more detail. And stay tuned, later today I am going to share a little DIY ornament I made this year.

Above: the mantel display in the library aka family room, has steiff toys with tiny ornaments, glittery christmas trees a glittery pair of deer and matching santa, an ornament garland, quilted decorative stockings with more steiff toys inside!

The Library ceiling with glass ornaments hanging from tiny nails. In true Pinnie fashion, there is actually a chart she drew up to insure proper ornament placement every year! ; )

a slight ironic twist on some antlers- i.e. sort of Rudolph-esque

Her collection of Santas sit atop the player piano.

The front hall, when you enter the house, has a garland on the banister, little mistletoe ball from the light fixture. And the table with paper whites- has another vintage Santa with a little elf and sheep backlit by a illumined Christmas tree. And if you enlarge the picture you might be able to see the two mice atop the clock, one in a green skirt the other in red!

And to the left off of the front hall is the Living room with a little faux Christmas tree sitting atop her sideboard. The tree and below it are decked with vintage toys and new etsy finds!

a little grouping of an old teddy bear and doll.

a bagpiper (my twin brother plays the sheep!)

Very cool old paper and tinsel ornaments, steiff toys, toy gun, and an ornament of set of knit mittens I made her last year on the bottom right. And directly below the tree sits this darling mouse pin by MouseTrapVintage. When my mom isn't wearing it to amuse her grandchildren (and herself) it rests in its trap beneath the tree! ; )

Antique family baby booties, a funny plastic baby jesus, another teddy bear, and vintage Christmas tree.

And last year I blogged about this little Orphan Angel I found on etsy by PaperMoonGallery and my mom was smitten and bought it for her tree. She has since bought a few more of these felted little wonders...

like this little angel!

The mantel in the living room with our hand knit stockings on either side. Knit by my paternal grandmother, who knit 17 of these!!! This is the room where we spend Christmas Morning! I hope you've enjoyed this mini blog Christmas tour! Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Recently Added to My Knitting List

Something happens to me every time this year... I pick up my knitting needles around the end of August and by December I am hooked once again! You see I do knit all year round, but this time of year is when I become mildly addicted to it!  And I found two new to me seaters from Quince & Co that I am adding to my list immediately!

Above the Sophia sweater, a pattern in the Wool Book 2.

and the Danforth Pullover (as in Danforth st Portland Maine).

I also want to knit this Avery Cowl as well!

SO much knitting, so little time! ; )

Links and Such

Happy Thursday and Happy Links and Such! Hard to believe that Christmas is this weekend, but I'm ready it should be really fun with the wee babe toddling around and no doubt more into the wrapping than the gifts! lol. I'm getting a lacquer manicure today, my first manicure in 4 years. As an artist my nails are always taking a hit so it never feels practical... but the lacquer kind should stand up to the Holiday challenge! I'll be sure to report back. And later today (or tomorrow morning) I'll share with you a little DIY ornament tutorial I did this week plus a visual treat of the beautiful vintage way my mom decorates their house for Christmas, we're talking ornaments hung from the ceiling here people!  ABOVE: Martha's DIY snow globes.

mmmm Mushroom Soup Recipe
doodle table cloth you can wash- perfect for the kid's table this year!
bookmark this Hair blog
for your salty bird a lighthouse birdcage 
adorable DIY gift wrap with a cute snowflake garland
digging this sweater, cool knitting inspiration
my guy gift guide
gift guide for Self
I think I can find a place for THIS in our daughter's room
sounds like my kinda book
a navy and pink room
cool for the little one- vintage fisher price

and in case you missed it from MY blog this week:

the tough question about parenting (i.e. the longest thing I've ever written on here)
a blaze with Christmas a local lit up house, including a little video
Handmade Shout Out: the zippered pouch
a DIY bird house night light for under $10

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Blaze with Christmas

Last night my parents and my husband and I took my niece and nephew and our 1 yr old to the big Christmas house in Delaware located at 1900 Prior Rd, Wilmington (off of Silverside rd, if you are local and wanna check it out). It's quite a site to behold. One you can see from the 95 highway heading North and South! You can walk through the elaborate yard starting at 5pm and Santa makes an appearance at 6pm! Here are some pictures from our Christmas adventure.

and a little video of the babe walking around the yard of the house... this was her first real outing since walking, and she really took to it, wet ground and all. At one point we realized this was the first time she had been so far away from us before on her own two feet...

Handmade Shout Out: The zippered pouch

I've been noticing a trend amongst my Etsy Favorites lately- the zippered pouch! There are so many cute ones out there right now and my purse, which let's face it is really a glorified baby diaper, toy, snack carry all, could use a little sacred vessel that houses just things for me. Things like Lip balm, favorite drawing pen, tiny note pad, extra set of earrings for when I foolishly leave the house with naked lobes... etc.  I love how some have the potential to offer a little element of fun to one's more serious and grown up purse. So here is a round up of some of these pouches to inspire your own organization and sacred vessel ownership!

Answering a tough Question about parenthood....

This Holiday season I've had the opportunity to reunite with family and friends who I haven't seen in over a year + i.e.: they haven't seen me since I entered the world of motherhood. (dun dun dun) And so with each encounter comes the question that most childless people ask, "So what's the biggest surprise you've learned or realized since becoming a parent?" um....? is usually my response. I guess I should say something super awesome and mind blowing that will inspire even the biggest pessimist to join in on the fun and procreate to their heart's content...?!

But truthfully I can't think straight most of the time... I'm lucky if I remember to drink enough water during the day, so answering a question like that feels like really hard math, under pressure hard math, like stop this bomb before it explodes pressure.  So far I've copped out by responding with, "um, well it's been surprising how little time you have!?" SOOOoooo freaking cliche, and I always scramble and add something like- "but she's really great and makes everything worth it!". I sound like those parents I met when I was pregnant who would look at you and say, "Enjoy it NOW, because once the baby is born, say goodbye to your life!" Who the hell wants to hear that!? But more importantly that's not how I've viewed parenthood. The husbo and I decided that having children would granted be a sacrifice, but that it wouldn't limited us and we would fold this new family member into our lives, adapting and evolving our lives to accommodate this new little one.  After all, as one friend mentioned to me, you are only a parent of small children for a very short amount of time. Thus- enjoy it as much as you can AND also know there is a light at the end of the tunnel (i.e.- teenagers! wha, wha!).

But the truth of the matter is, in some ways it is no longer "your life" it is your child's life because now they come first, they are the number one priority. This is now their childhood of which you are in charge of helping to shape their experiences and memories that they will hopefully happily quote and reflect upon when they are grown adults. I feel like modern technology, the ease of life- the constant connection and availability to our own personal shit has made us weak to take on the task of being a parent. Of understanding the sacrifice that needs to take place... The husbo and I have talked about the concept of "me time" many a time. Although it should never be completely forgotten, at the end of the day (literally when the baby is in bed and you have free time) that free time is still such a luxury to most of the world, so get over yourself, it is enough time. ; )

But let's get back to really answering this question. (pardon my stream of consciousness rantings)

You see it can't be summed up with one answer, which is why I am often left speechless. I wish I had the ability to let you download- in some movie montage of fast clips of light, sound, emotion, dare I add smell... the feeling the complex essence of this new endeavor. But instead just bear with me if you like...

I am now a member of this new sect, I wouldn't call it a group, since that signifies a sense of community. This is not to say that there isn't a mom or parent community, but it can be rather isolating and mostly because you are just so focused on your own journey, on staying afloat, that it's hard to even process let alone remember what just happened this morning or harder yet last week, or worse when she was 6 months old... so when a dear friend asks you to remember back to any 6 month mile stones you draw a blank. You promised yourself you wouldn't but there it is a foggy hot mess.

Because think of it this way- I am now a parent. I'm still wrapping my head around being pregnant, around the birth, around everything... but you don't really have time to sit back and process much. There is this new person in your life that you are completely in charge of, this person is not a peer, they are constantly changing and growing, no other time in your life until now have you had someone so new to you, so dependent... someone who will be so different this time next year. Your siblings, your spouse all slowly change over time but there is a comfort in that you are changing together at a similar pace... but not so with this little one. The baby that you know and love right now will be so different in 4 years, let alone 10 (shit). So there's that mind fuck. The way I love is being tested in a sense, more is being asked of it... I'm going to love this baby through it all.

THEN there is the constant analyzing that takes place every single second of the day, a routine that even the most chill of parents finds themselves in (I hope I'm not alone in this!). At times it can be very subtle while at other times it's a constant flow of questions that demand an answer. "What should she eat for lunch? Do I have a back up if for some strange reason she hates pasta today? why is she acting this way? Do I have a toy or better yet a piece of trash for her to play with so I can rinse out her cloth diaper with out her literally pulling down my elastic pj pants? Should I buy a pair of suspenders!?" and on and on. Your are constantly analyzing the choreography of parenting, navigating the smallest detail to foresee and avoid an iceberg. This is why when you see a parent be they a seasoned veteran, or a newbie don't ask too many questions of them because they are asking enough questions of themselves all dam day.

However the right questions are: May I help!? no, scratch that, our pride will say no. So instead just come up and do something for us... and this brings me to another point I've been musing about. Having a baby is a lot like loosing a family member (hear me out!) At the beginning everyone stops by brings flowers, food, helps out in some form, and then slowly as the weeks tick by people stop calling or emailing, the food has run out and your house is a war zone. And like with grief, it's the 6 month or year mark that also needs to be recognized... because unlike grief having a baby gets harder as they get older, more mobile, more demanding... and I'm not going to call. I'm not. I wish I could but I would call and have what to say!? Friend: "So what did you do today?" Me: "Not much, when I went to clean out a dirty diaper by dumping it in the toilet, I hadn't calculated the physics of the turd and it dropped from such a height that is splashed out dirty toilet bowl water all over my hand and pants."

See no one wants to hear that! That's not good "tweet" material... that and at night when she is asleep I've become possessive of my free time. This will change but for now this is the way it is... and some days I just sit there and do nothing, while other nights I run around like I'm trying out for the game show Super Market sweep! (remember that!?).

On top of all the nitty gritty there is the bigger picture stuff that your mind is now blown wide open to... since becoming a parent I have a greater perspective on generations, on history. Essentially I feel more connected to those that lived in the 17th century, for example. Because there is a universal-bonding element- thing about parenthood that connects you with life, with man...dare I say I feel more? I'm more in tune...? in a tripping out in your friend's basement sort of way... which perhaps is why the movies Tree of Life and Cave of Forgotten Dreams have resonated with me so...

And yet as magical and mind blowing as this journey is... I still feel that it's not for everyone, without judgment I sincerely think not everyone has to have this experience...

So in summary of my midnight ranting...

perhaps the best answer to the question - What's the biggest surprise since becoming a parent?

"I feel more connected to my fellow man, to those that came before and to those that will follow."


"That if not executed properly a poop when dropped from a certain height will splash toilet bowl water on your hand, so make sure there aint no "yellow mellow" happening before said turd is dumped in the toilet."

and please don't ask a new parent this question, I will try and do the same.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DIY Bird House Night Light

I made this little bird house night light for our daughter's bedroom this fall! The total cost was less than $10 and the total time was under a few hours (counting paint drying!). The result is a fun and magical little night light that looks like a harvest moon late at night. Click below for the full tutorial and to see pictures of the night light illuminating her room at night!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Knit Pig Review and Final Pictures, plus a new addition to the babe's room...

Here it is, the knit pig I made this weekend as a stocking stuffer for the Little Miss! It was a very fast project (the best kind these days!). I think it took 6 hours...? I knit the pig on a set of size 6 needles and held two strands of the same pink yarn together since the yarn was a varied hand spun I wanted the pig's skin to be thick enough so you couldn't see the stuffing, and on its own one single strand of yarn would have been to frail and transparent. I stuffed it with an old messed up hat I knit from the same yarn a few years back, which was the perfect filling, very dense with more weight to it than poly fill, giving the pig a robust solidness to its stout physique. The finished measurements: he is 5 inches tall and 8 inches long. It's going to look so cute sticking out of the top of her stocking on Christmas morning! (pictures were taken at dusk hence their yellow-ness... the pig is a nice pale pink!)

The little face with brown eyes.

The little i-cord cork screw tail.

And a new addition to her room, a Sharon Montrose print of a little lamb.

So darling. I love the idea of having a little sheep above her crib (counting sheep, etc). Plus this little pale faced cutie reminds me of our little one, so curious and fair.

Now every wall has artwork! Done and Done! Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog when I will share a little DIY about the bird house nightlight I made for her room. It's so cute and looks like a harvest moon at night, you'll see!


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