Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yard Art

After that downer of a knitting post, it's time for a pick me up. In fact, it's the perfect time to tell you about the yard art place.
I've been wanting some sort of random animal to stick in the yard for a long time now. It all comes from when we were in school and John and I would be driving back to Columbia after a weekend of visiting the upstate. Right after we got past malfunction junction, there was a house that was right off the interstate. Their back yard faced the road. And on the roof of their shed, facing the road, was a big concrete pig. It was always painted some new, bright colors -- flourescent orange, striped, polka dotted... It made me happy. I called it Neon Pig.
I've wanted my own version of Neon Pig since then.
So anyway, this year for Mother's Day, we decided that it was time to go look for our animal at the yard art place that's next to the state farmer's market. And boy howdy, did they have everything.
I knew they would have a bunch of cool stuff, because right outside the front gates are these huge giraffes.

biggiraffe.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

They're huge. Seriously somewhere around 10 feet tall. I would love to have one. Spring said to imagine how easy it would be to give directions to my place? "Turn left at the giant giraffe." But he was way out of my league, and anyway the guy who does the casting said he's not ready to say goodbye anyway. :)
I'd thought about having a hippo before we went, and sure enough they had them.
hippos.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
But the big ones looked mean with their mouths all open like that, and the smaller ones just looked strange. Like hippos on X, or whatever drug it is that would make a person all crazy-eyed. Sorry, I'm not all up on what drugs do what.
We saw Elvis.
elvis.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
And a Yoda or two.
yodas.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
And a Barney that didn't look so "I love you"-ey as the regular Barney does...
barney.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
And of course, the mailbox homie that I talked about earlier. I still think we need to go back and get him. Maybe someday...
But anyway, we had a great time on a hot, hot day, and came home with a new friend for the yard.

giraffe.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
There are possibilities with knitting, and painting. He has yet to be named, and I need to figure out where to put him, but isn't he cool? I have a giraffe for my yard!

*******ADDED DECEMBER 12, 2010*******

I've had a number of people email me about this place, especially about the Yodas. So I looked up an article about it to pass on.

It says they don't ship, though. So if you're not within driving distance to Raleigh you may be out of luck.


neverendingdone.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Famous last words

So, way back, a long time ago, maybe February? I don't know... Jessica asked me if I'd knit some britches for her twins. I said, "sure!" because, yay itty bitty twin pants! Yay!
She also asked if I could make a pair for her toddler, more for next fall than for right now. I said sure to that one, too.
So then I found a pair of mostly finished britches in my basket. I asked her what size she'd need. They were about that same size. They were actually pants that I'd been making for Niall when he decided that he was going to start using the potty, and pants made of yarn were for babies. I emailed her a picture, she said that they looked great. And then I said it...

It was so stupid of me.

I said, "And these won't take long at all, because they're almost done!"

Some of you are wondering what's so wrong with that, but some of you - those of you who knit - are slapping your foreheads and saying, "Good Lord, woman. What's wrong with you? Are you INSANE?"

The first problem was when I knit the second leg on the wrong size needles, and had to go back and rip it out. You see the date on that? Feb.

I put them in time out. I finished the twin pants and sent them on, because the babies were going to be born and they needed their pants. I redid the leg, and pestered Jessica for the waist measurement.

And then, when I was putting the elastic in the waist, A GREAT GAPING HOLE appeared.
hole-1.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
As near as I could figure, the blue had had a knot in it, and I ignored it because at that point I was making them for personal use and I wasn't going to fiddle with that. NEVER again.

I tried to darn it. I was not darnable. I ran a lifeline and cut off the waistband and knit on a ribbed band. I had to take that off because it made the rise way too big. I knit a waistband and tried to graft it on. That didn't work either, because the yarn was getting felty and I'm too stupid to do a graft that is 100ish stitches long. Okay, maybe I'm not too stupid, but I don't get enough alone time to do a graft that long and if I don't chant to myself while I do it then I lose my place.

They went back in time out. I felt guilty. So, so, so guilty. I put aside all my own knitting. I could not work on anything that was for us when I wasn't getting this done! But I couldn't do it. I just. couldn't. do it.

For the first time in a long time, I wasn't knitting. At all. And I felt like crap. But what was I going to do?

I worried it and worried it and finally figured out a way. I picked up stitches along my lifeline edge and knit up. I folded it over. and I used yarn to stitch it down. It actually looks pretty good. I'm impressed with myself. I took pictures at one point, but what I was trying didn't work out so many times I just quit doing it.

But it had taken so long, that I needed to do a penance piece. Do you see where this is going? I bet you do.

I thought I'd knit a pair of shorties. I chose some pretty yarn. I knit a waistband in a contrasting color. I joined the yarn. There was a break. I fixed it and knit. There was another break. and another. and another. and another. It was a bad ball. I threw the whole thing away. I never do that, but I did this time. I chucked it in the can and I did not look back.

I got out more yarn, but it had been even longer. Was it worth it to keep her pants here (even though it's too hot to wear them now. We do live in the South after all) just so I could make myself feel better by making something extra?

I found some wool crepe fabric that I had planned to make some shorties with. I made a pair. They were too big. I got another pattern and make another pair. They were nice. And then I decided to dye them.

Why I hadn't learned, I will never know.

I am not good at dying fabric. I can dye yarn because I paint it. Fabric is an adventure.

So now, my sink looks like an autopsy, and the shorts are a color that I would call reddy brownish strange. They are in the wash now. I hope they are dry by tomorrow so I can send them. I hope Jessica likes them. I need this to be over. I need to sit down with something nice and easy to knit, like a dishcloth.

Party pictures

While I have a quick minute...

And that was the birthday party.

Yes I have pictures. No they are not up yet

They aren't even off the camera yet.
Why? Because there is a little person here who has decided that sleep is for the weak.
And yet, if she is left to her own devices, she starts meowing.
So I'm trying to be there for her and/or get her to go to sleep already for pete's sake.
You'll notice the time. It seems that skimping on your naps means that we get to have a midnight party, too.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Party Recap

In John's words - the birthday party. Pictures to come. I have to get them off the camera and process them for posting, and I'm a bit tired at the moment.

We had a whirlwind cleanup and preparation on the living room, kitchen,
bathroom, and back yard. The shed is moved now, but there is a rough
patch of dirt, leaves, random varmint holes and vines where it used to
be, which was a potential hazard. Milli painted dog faces on the kids.
We set up an impromptu obstacle course (like the show dogs do) with
tubes they had to crawl through and cones they had to weave through...
but mostly, they ran around going nuts on each other and playing in
the sandbox and swinging. The new swingset is so very worth it. Niall
will spend hours out there by himself in that sandbox. We made
"pupcakes" which are pink cupcakes with white frosting. We had the
kids put the dog faces on them using:

Chocolate Chips - eyes
Large marshmallows cut diagonally - nose
Strawberry Starburst, rolled out flat and cut to shape - tongue (with
the line added using a toothpick)
Tootsie Roll, rolled flat and cut to shape -- ears
Black frosting - spot on the end of the marshmallow for the nose.

I'm not sure how much they got out of it, but they did build them and
promptly destroyed them with their gaping maws. We had chips,
Cheetoh's, juice boxes, some candy from goody bags, and some Pop-Ice
popsicles. There were about 5 kids from his school that came. Two of
the mothers stayed, and a couple of others were present for the last
30 minutes of it. Some of our friends came with their kids, including
two other mothers. And some of the neighborhood kids were there as
well. So about 15+ kids, one toddler, and one baby. And Loki, who was
quite entertained and entertaining. She is now sacked out on the
couch. Rowan got a few flying plane things, some Lego kits and a large
watergun. He had a grand time being the center of attention. Niall
snuck off and consumed all of the unused "tongues" and most of the
remaining "ears." He likely ate some eyes and noses as well, I'm not

After the party was over, we set them loose in the culdesac where they
had some sprinkler time with the neighbors. We grilled hamburgers for
dinner. I'm exhausted and I smell like sweat, artificial fruit
flavoring and charred meat. The boys are over at the neighbor's house
watching a movie or playing a video game or whatever. I don't care.
It's time for them to go to bed. I still don't care.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

and another day

What happened? I have no idea where the day went. No clue. I spent a lot of time nursing the baby. I took zyrtek today so my brain turned off.
Trying to dig a garden without a tiller is HARD.
Fran, we got the mabel dress. It's way cute. I have pictures somewhere. I have to find my brain to figure out how to make them appear online.Oh look. I can do something right.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

7 years old, already?

Today, I had a baby.
cuddle.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

Oh, wait. I guess he looks like this now.
r7crown.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
How in the world did that happen?
You can read my sentimental claptrap here.
Other than that, have some pictures.
rowan7wii.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
rowan7truck.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
rowan7lego.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
rowan7cake.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
rowan7lickcandle.jpg picture by sweetteasoakersrowan7niall.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
rowan7fingers.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
His actual party is Saturday. Stay tuned for another picture blitz.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

stereotype much?

We went to the yard art place today. I've been wanting to go for FOREVER, and it was my treat for Mother's Day this year. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. It was way fun, even though it was 90 degrees.
But I wanted to go ahead and post this little gem. He was there among the concrete animals and bird baths, just chillin'. We were laughing hard at the details. I almost want to go back and get him and give him a home next to the mailbox. Doesn't everyone need a mailbox homie?
stereotype.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
peace out.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Friday Flick - Derailed

Whatcha doing, Mom?
Are you taking a video?
A picture?
Can I see?
Can I look?
I'm hungry.
Is it about me?
Is it about Eleri?
Do you need me to sing?
Can I have a snack?
I have to pee.
Where are we going?
Can we go outside?
Want to take a video of me and Eleri outside?
Can we go to the store?
Can we go get a hotwheels car?
I'm hungry.
Whatcha doing?
whatchadoing.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

When the rest of the world has gone crazy

When all the news is about swine flu, the economy, banks and the auto industry, storms, budgets, war, calamity...
There's a lot to be said for the simpler pleasures.
A cold creek on a hot day. A few minnows and a bucket.
Whatever else I may do wrong, at least I've managed to provide this basic joy to my boys.
And that, in my opinion, is a lot.
creekboys.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

Look what she can do!

We have achieved another milestone!
esit.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
Life is so much more interesting now. Sitting opens up a lot of doors. There are things to pat, grab, and squeeze. Bathtime is awesome with the splashing.
esittoys.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
Toys are so much cooler when you can see a bunch of them in front of you and fling them around.
esitfall.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
Most of our sitting time is still on the big bed because of moments like this. Sitting is so exciting, it's hard to remember how to keep it going sometimes! One little kick and over we go!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Another blog

I've been trying to get some things done around here, and set up a new blog as well. Something has to give, and for the past couple of days it's been this blog.
But the new one is up and running now.

All updates craniofacial will be there.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Niall sings to Eleri

I've been trying to get video of Niall playing with Eleri for ages. He's so sweet with her, but every time he sees the camera he goes for the overkill and ends up being too rough. So I just asked him to sing to her so you can get an idea of the sweetness.