Thursday, November 20, 2014

Xmas DIY



I have been hauling around a metal wreath frame for way too long.  So after seeing a wreath on Pinterest and then seeing some dirt cheap sparkly roping at the Metro this weekend, I knew what I had to do.  I think this could also be made using a homemade wreath frame out of cardboard.  Also, every single post we have been at sells this sparkle stuff.  Slightly tacky but I am hoping it looks modern simple….

It is lying on top of this holiday's Girl Scout quilt.  What is a Girl Scout quilt you ask?  A simple block quilt so my 9 year old Girl Scout will have a keepsake to sew all her extra patches on.  At least that is the plan.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A quickie



We have a cat, a very bad cranky cat.  He is a Tonkanise variety street cat from Malaysia.  He is not my favorite cat, but he is our cat.  A few weeks ago he and his bad case of pica conspired to try and kill him.  What?  Why?  How?  He got a bad case of string gut.  Yes, it is a thing.  This foul tempered beast lives with a knitter and likes nothing better than to eat hand knit items.  Wool is his preferred snack of choice.  If it is all locked up tight Fort Knox style, he will open dresser drawers and eat sweat socks.

This morning we discovered he had eaten holes in not one, but two, of my daughters hats.  So, today I am knitting up a quickie hat.  Yarn is some KFI Cashereno I have had since Beijing days and pattern is Purl.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

more with the $$$ felt



I hate felt.  H-A-T-E felt.  Or I thought I did.  Until I bought some big $ 100% wool felt for these a couple of years ago.  My craft life changed.  Or it didn't.  But at least I thought about making things with felt.  Enter this crazy (good) Mmmcrafts lady.  Next up in the line up are these snow birds.

Also, I found this blog the other day.  TH is good for something besides stupid complaining sometimes I guess?  This woman can sew!  Way better than me!  It is always so exciting to find another crafty FS type in blog land.

an exhausting but great week



My best pal from Beijing days came to visit this past week.  She left at 3 am Friday morning and I have a terrible cold and am exhausted, both signs of a good visit?!  We went all over town and then we took the fast train and went all over St Pete.  We bonded in Beijing over knitting.  And we continued in Russia.  It was good.  Also, according to her, the famous deli with the mechanical puppets out front, has the best macaroons in Russia.  She is an expert and flew home with a dozen passionfruit flavored ones in her purse.

Things have been looking up all around.  The husband got his handshake, and I think it checks some boxes for me - a stand alone house with a yard, smaller schools, but still Europe.  The middle one had his first sleepover a couple weekends ago.  Yes, he is 11 and has never had a sleepover or been invited to one.   I think it went okay.  The guest was a mild mannered boy his age.  Mine craft was played, goofy you tube videos were shared.  Frankly it was way more low key that girl sleepovers we have hosted.  Less shrill perhaps?

Now off to haul down our air purifier, we have had a thing here this week….

Sunday, November 2, 2014

it was too much



I had a bit of a fit a month or so ago at our travel arrangers office.  For three years every single time I got wind of a performance of 'Peter and the Wolf' I went to get tickets and they were sold out. So I had a fit and got special guest of the director tickets.
Yesterday we went to the Stan and Dan theatre to see said performance.  It was too…um, Russian for my taste.  The orchestra was fine.  Russian oboists helpfully sound like actual ducks.  Last chair violists sit and pick their nails and a cellist could not stop yawning.  I get it, this is not the piece to end all pieces.  But the musicians were fine.
The MC however drove me nuts.  She was at least a pack a day smoker.  And seemed to be only wearing a bra under her suit jacket, which to me, seemed an odd choice for a children's performance.  She was good, I guess? at her job of being over theatrical about everything.  But the whole taking small children from the audience and having them perform was weird.  As was the dancing and running in circles by all the children, except my two.  I think I will stick to boring conservatory concerts from now on.  No dancing, no running.  No theatrics.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Denmark makes everything better



Ah, Denmark.  My favorite European vacation so far.  I made the family drive all the way to the North Sea.  Where there were all kinds of cute little cottages with turf roofs.




This does not look like a giant hill, but it is.  Huge sand dunes all up and down the coast where we were.




This is not actually a dreamy scene in Copenhagen, but rather Lego Land.  That was why we went…it was fine.  And not too big….



And these are the dreamy cottages at LaLandia.  It is a water park place across the street from Lego Land and across a different street from Lego headquarters ad factory.  The cottages are great.  All Ikea. And they come with candle holders - and the mini mart sells candles - I guess the Danes need the hygge even when on vacation?  Really nice though.



And since I actually HATE indoor water parks, the cottages helped make up for that and so did these goats.  Baby goats.  In a field between our cottage and Water Land.  There were signs that said "Do Not Pick up the Baby Goats" after a few minutes in there with them - I totally see why.  And since we were in Denmark - we did what the Danes do and let our kids roam alone.  They spent hours alone with those baby goats.

Did I mention I love Denmark?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

breaking my heart

This has been a bad weekend for my middle kid.  Actually a bad two years.  A very bad two years.  We live in a closed neighborhood, which for some kids is great - built in friends and everyone knows everyone.  However, if your a kid who has been treated unkindly by children from a couple families, then those kids will tell all the new kids whatever they want and you never catch a break.

This morning I actually sat and listened to my 11 year old calmly outline some ways he could try and avoid the mean kids - he is always going to look through the peephole on our door and only open it to adults.  He is never going to the gym again, except for his gym lessons. He will only go to the store before the school bus arrives.  He probably can only go to the playground if a couple of particular kids are staying after school.  Sob!  Me, not him.  He is pretty matter of fact about it now.

Sadly these kids won't ever bother to know that my 11 year old is smart, and funny.  He has a lot of free time now so he designs Minecraft mods, although I understand most 6th graders think Minecraft is stupid.  He is a Boy Scout and working hard on his merit badges even though he doesn't always love the work.  He still plays with Legos and likes Star Wars.  He doesn't like team sports. He wants to move back to Canada where all the kids are nice.  And they are.  But he has a kind heart and is always hoping for the best in people….like when that boy rang the door bell yesterday, he really believed that finally they asked him to play.