Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ramblings from a Recovering Preschool Teacher*...

Well, it's sinking in, people...

Yesterday morning, as the Scheckster and I were sending Bubba off to work (would it be wrong to interject a Nelson-from-"The Simpsons" style laugh here??), he turned to me and asked "Are you and Scheck ready to start the first day of your summer?"
And I stated, somewhat dramatically (for effect), "My summer? My dear, I am ready to start the first day of the rest of my life!" Then I dissolved into hysterical giggles**...

But really, it's kind of true. The last several summers I've always known that in X number of weeks, I would be returning to work. Now, it's kind of open ended. Which is very exciting...

I have found myself, the last few days, checking out what it is that people do and wondering "I wonder if I would like that?" Hopefully, this is just a phase, as this could get old, fast.
Yesterday, Scheck and I went to a storytime at the local BigChainBookstore (we just happened to wander by at the right time on our way to Target.) The reader was not particularly good, and I found myself thinking "I wonder what it would be like to work here?" Then today, when we stopped by the pharmacy to pick up some more vitamins (our preferred brand being on good sale this week) I found myself eying the pharmacy tech and thinking "I wonder if she likes her job?"

Isn't it interesting that I am not pondering going back to law school, or med-school - or trying to score a high level executive position? I'm eyeballing basically slightly-better-than-minimum-wage jobs. I would say that my days of stress and striving and trying to dazzle you with my greatness are gone, Daddy, gone! Viva le Average!

When I am not imagining myself in another person's job, we're taking it pretty easy around here.
We've been to the pool twice this week (which is actually good for us, some years we only manage to go 3 times all season!), and we've run a few little errands each day.
I've done a ton of reading, but nothing really great (largely best-sellery/thrillery/beach booky kind of stuff), a little bit of knitting, and I am trying to see just how long I can ignore that increasingly scary tower of laundry before:
A). Someone gets hurt when the laundry avalanche occurs
B). We have to venture out in public wearing nothing but paper bags and a few strategically placed leaves to cover our nakedness because nothing else in the house is clean....

*This being the other snotty way I have been referring to myself as of late. ("Trophy Wife" being the first....)

**Which is understandable - I stayed up past my bedtime last night to see my boyfriend. It wasn't the best episode I've ever seen, and it was probably very confusing to new viewers, but I do think that it kicks off a very promising season...
Also, I was delighted to see commercials for Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days documentary series, and the comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Both shows are returning and should begin new episodes in the upcoming month. I had forgotten how much I enjoy the F/X network....

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My BoyFriend's Back....

...and he's in all kinds of trouble. Hey Now, Hey Now, my boyfriend's back!*

That's right, my boyfriend, Tommy Gavin, is back tonight.
It's the season premiere of Rescue Me.

What's that you say? He's a troubled, tortured alcoholic with known relationship issues and he sees dead people? Well, to that I reply "No one's perfect".

Plus that's the beauty of the imaginary boyfriend...
you don't actually have to put up with all their baggage.

If you are not watching this show, well... you should be. It's not always the easiest show to watch, (OK, sometimes it is downright painful... ) but it really is some of the best stuff on television. Really strong writing, dialog that has you in stitches one minute, in tears in the next.

Tonight, 10 pm. On F/X.
Don't call me, I won't be answering the phone...

*Although this is the song that I have chosen to title this post, it is not the song that I have been singing all day. That would be the Von Bondie's "C'mon C'mon."
I've been humming it mindlessly all day....

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day...

This weekend I have spent time reflecting, and knitting some tiny sweaters for

Please check out this site, and read more about the idea behind the project....

And for those of you in the US, I hope you are having a lovely Memorial Day! If you are out on the roads, please travel safely....

Saturday, May 27, 2006

What a Girl Needs...

Sometimes it's OK to wallow in self pity.

For a short bit. Then you need to hoist yourself up (and give yourself a good swift kick in the pants if necessary) and begin to get over it.

So - as part of the getting over it, I present you with a few nibbly things that caught my attention/made me happy today....

  • I got my toenails done today. Woo Hoo!
    And, I found a new color that I think I love. For the last several years, the toenails have been all about the "Chick Flick Cherry". Seriously, I've had bright red CFC toes for at least three years....
    Today, I decided to go to the nail place, and as usual I took along my own bottle of the aforementioned favorite color. But when I got there, I decided "to heck with it, I need a change". So I picked out a new color - "Lincoln Park After Dark". I think I love it. A disclaimer, though - it is not nearly so purple on, in fact it's almost a blackish color, somewhat Goth, kind of like Chanel's "Vamp" that was all the rage a while back. Anyhoo, it is quite a departure for me. Sometimes a change is good....

  • The clever and witty Potlikker introduced me to a new project - - the concept is simple, there is an artist in San Francisco who is decorating a tree with mini red sweaters, each one to represent an American soldier casualty in the Iraq war. Which appears to be, at the time of this writing an unforgivable 2,476. Although, sadly, this seems to be a difficult number to pin down....
    I think that I will be creating some mini sweaters in the upcoming days....

  • You go, Creative Little Daisy!
    I have long been in awe of your mad sewing skills, your crazy flair for interior design, as well as the way you rock those blond highlights! And now, you're a quadruple threat, adding most excellent breakfast night skills to your already impressive resume. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day - and you've cooked up a fine one!
    Oh, and of course, don't let me forget to mention how much I enjoy your "Gratitude Fridays" - you always seem to have a good attitude, no matter what the situation. Hopefully, you're a good influence, and some of that will rub off on me!

I think I am going to go off to bed, stupidly early. I've been self-medicating today with a combination of margaritas and gummy bears (don't knock it 'til you've tried it!), and this girl has now run out of steam....

WT??? is wrong with Blogger these days - both yesterday and today it has taken me exponentially longer to post my post than it did to write it (and in the case of yesterday's missive, that is not an unsubstantial amount of time!)

C'mon Blogger, what gives with all the connection errors???

Friday, May 26, 2006

End of an Era...

Well, it is official. The end of the school year. And I am now no longer employed...

I suspect that I may be guilty of composing a meandering, introspective, navel-gazing post here. So you may want to skip this one and come back later for the usual.
(I finished a scarf and a new freezer paper stencil that I'll share soon, honest.)

Still with me? Don't say you weren't warned....

I've known that this has been coming for a long time - I knew that I would not be returning to the preschool where I have worked for 4 years. Also - I had every chance to put together a resume and apply other places. Heck, I even had an unsolicited job offer to teach, to which I said "Thank you for thinking of me, but No Thank You" to.
So even though returning to my former employer was not an option, the only thing stopping me from seeking other employment was me. And I chose not to.
So why do I feel so untethered?

Is it because I've pretty much always worked? Ever since I was 16 and old enough to get my first job, I've always been employed in one way or another.

And I'll admit - I used to be the biggest workoholic.
Somewhere in college, I became that girl. You know, the one who is just driven, driven, driven? Who joins any and every activity that interests her, burning the candle at both ends with little regard to emotional or social wellbeing? Who eagerly accepted any and all responsibilities, and will kill herself to do the best possible job?
Then I graduated, and came to Atlanta. I was hired right out of school and entered into a v. large corporation's "Executive Training Program" and was determined that I would climb further and faster and higher than anyone. And I did a pretty good job of it, and managed to get my "dream job" within the company - Training Manager - in less than 18 months. Which was unheard of. I kept that job until the company went spectacularly bankrupt, and eliminated the Training Department. All the other trainers were "let go" - I managed to wrangle a promotion out of it, to Personnel Manager. Which I hated - whereas in Training, you always got to the be the "good guy", it seemed like in Personnel, you were pretty much the bad one. No one seemed to remember that you were the one who hired them, just that you were the one who could fire them.

So I decided that teaching was really where my heart was - and I left to become a Computer Software Trainer. And pretty much carved out a new path there, as well. I managed to get on a track to become certified by Lotus, and killed myself to get all kinds of levels of achievement. I could bore you, but I won't. Suffice to say that once again, I threw myself into it and worked all the freaking time. No time for friends, social activities, a life. Good thing that Bubba loves me - I don't know that I would have put up with my schedule/priorities.

I left that job after Schecky was born - much to everyone's surprise. I was so career-oriented, etc. that everyone expected me to go right back to work, and honestly, I kind of expected to, as well. However, getting put on bed-rest for 19 weeks while pregnant with the Scheckster was a real eye opener. It turns out that I do not get pregnant easily. And once I do get pregnant, it's even harder for me to stay pregnant. Hence, the 19 weeks on the couch.
Which was an eye-opener. I realized that I just wasn't happy. I really didn't have any friends - and why should I have? I didn't make time for anyone, or anything, that wasn't work. Some revamping was in order...

So, I stayed home with the Scheckster. But I always had a little something something on the side. Maybe some freelance training, maybe some website development. Once he started school, I started teaching there - and stayed even after he left. Even though my priorities had changed, my husband and my child came first, and I no longer allowed work to define me.

Or so I thought? Is it possible that my dinky 2 1/2 day a week job did define me somewhat? It was something that gave my week definition - I am not happy with too many choices in life, or too much wide open time. It makes me restless and scares me to a degree.... I was good at it, or at least I felt like I was good at it. And I felt like what I did was important, although many would disagree. I do recognize that many in our society see teachers as they do the postman or the garbage carrier - a deliverer of a necessary service, nothing more.

And society doesn't know quite what to make of you if you are not employed - I've already sensed this just in the past month or so when it was determined that I would not be coming back.* People have been asking me what am I going to do - and their reactions are almost comical. If I try to tell any version of the truth - I'm not sure, I want to take some time to figure out what I want to do before I jump into the next thing, I want to spend more time on the house, etc. - their eyes glaze over and they immediately begin searching for another companion with whom to talk. Men and women alike are guilty of this. It's very frustrating....
Although, to be fair, maybe it's just me. My uncertainty may be the turnoff, I don't know....

I'm come up with a smart-alec answer, and now reply "I'm beginning my new career as trophy wife" - which usually elicits a chuckle, but at least it's not a conversation killer.

And is it so wrong that I don't know? Is it so wrong that my days of needing to set the world afire are beyond me? I'm not nearly as impressive, but I am a lot more placid, and yes, I think happier. And whereas I might have been more fun to talk to for 5 minutes at a cocktail party (if I could have been bothered to go) because we could talk shop then, I think that now I am a much better listener and definitely a better friend.

Is it bad that I have gotten to a place in my life where I am happy to just be an Indian, I don't have to be the chief? And if that is politically incorrect, I apologize...
My needing-to-lead days are over. I don't need to overwhelm or impress you anymore. I just need you to know that I am every bit as intelligent, and a reliable as always. I'll be on the darn PTA, I just don't need to be the president. I'll make the cupcakes for the class party, I just don't want to be the room mom... And now, I will always have time for you, I'll be there as a friend when you need me, and I'll understand when I don't hear from you for long spells at a time, because you are out there setting the world on fire...

This really is what I think I want for right now....and I want some time to figure out what I want long term. For the longest time, I have thought that I would love, love, love to be a librarian. Is that weird to have librarian envy? And now is some time to contemplate that...

So why, why, why is that so weird? Why are people so dismissive? And why, even though I say that it is not going to bother me, is it obviously weighing on me???

* * * * *

Oh my word - I took a break from proof-reading this (and yes, I occasionally proofread - surprising, I know, given my uneasy grasp on the English language and basic writing skills) and I found that Geeky Mom** was talking about this very sort of thing! Only far more eloquently than me, as usual! I do love me some Geeky Mom
Let's hear it for Average!!!!!
It may not be exciting, but it's pleasant.
and what the hell is wrong with that???

< /ranting and raving>
< / indecisive whingeing >
< more yarn-y things will come, I promise>
< enjoy your long weekend>
< kisses >
< my word this was a long post - if you made it all the way though, you deserve a drink! >

*I just realized that this sounds all mysterious - like "What the heck happened????" Long story short, the director of the school where I worked decided that one-year-olds should not be in preschool programs. The biggest motivator being money - the class doesn't make a lot of it. So my two-day-a-week position was eliminated. I was offered a different job at the school, five days, but that is not in the best interest of me or my family, so I declined....

**You may need to scroll down the page to "Wednesday, May 24th -- Average".

Monday, May 22, 2006

An Embarrassing Richness of Many Small Good Things...

Ah - the weather here is lovely, albeit starting to really warm up, and life is generally all-around good. Nothing big, nothing majorly exciting... but the past few days have been exceedingly pleasant.
I'll take it....

  • Bubba had a birthday this weekend! 39! He's been having a hellaciously busy work schedule lately, so he really just wanted to kick back and relax this weekend. So we did.
    Bubba is a man of simple needs - he is passionately interested in a few specific things, and therefore is quite easy to shop for. For his birthday, Schecky and I got him the first season of Lost on DVD, this book about Lost, this other book about Lost, and this book which was featured on Lost. Sense a theme there? Guess what we'll be watching Wednesday night....
    He also is going to buy some piece of music software for his MIDI setup that I don't understand, but he seems excited by it all...

  • We went to see Over the Hedge with Schecky. I somehow did not know anything about this movie going into it - must have missed every preview, trailer and commercial... Anyhow - we all loved it!
    When we got in, and I realized it was a DreamWorks animation film, I did not have high hopes. I know that I am in the minority on this, but I didn't love Shrek. And I really didn't like Shrek 2. And whereas I actually enjoyed the penguin parts of Madagascar, I acknowledge that that was a pretty lame movie at best. And Sharktale...well, that movie just sucked. So I thought "Oh well, at least I have Twizzlers," and settled in for what I thought would be a pretty mediocre movie.

    I was wrong - it was funny, it was clever, the animation was amazing. The story was really quite good*, and everything fit together neatly. In addition to Garry Shandling, whom I love, there were at least a dozen big "names" doing the voice work, but this enhanced rather than overshadowed the movie. That's a pet peeve of mine, when you get a celeb to voice a character, and all you can think the entire time is "Well, that's Eddie Murphy".

    I would recommend this for elementary age kids - there are a few tense parts with an exterminator who is trying to eradicate the critters - voiced by the very funny Thomas Hayden Church - which might be a bit much for little guys. However, Schecky, who often does not do well with scary parts in movies, did just fine with this.

    A final note as to why I give this movie high marks - it is a very funny kids' movie that does not resort to pee and poop and fart jokes for cheap laughs. Yes, there is a skunk, and there are some jokes about skunk smell. But when bodily function jokes seem to be the norm in kid movies these days, it was a delight to go to a movie that got laughs the hard way - with clever writing and good setups. We gave this movie six thumbs-up. And I would go see it again...

  • I got to read the new Augusten Burroughs book, Possible Side Effects, and I enjoyed it immensely, despite some unusually savage reviews of it at Amazon.
    Unlike the nay-sayers at Amazon, I did not find this to be B-sides or rejected material. I thought it to be exactly what I expect from Augusten - biting and funny and observant.

    If you like Augusten, you'll thoroughly enjoy this book. If you don't like him, this isn't going to change your mind. If you've never read him - start with Running With Scissors - it's a good litmus test as to whether or not your going to like his style.

  • Last, but certainly not least, I got a cool new Adult Swim jacket from an acquaintance at Schecky's school. She had been wearing a jacket like this earlier in the week, and I complemented her on it. Her son and Schecky got together for a playdate this weekend, and when I went to pick Schecky up, she gave me a jacket of my very own! I love, love, love it, and have been trying to wear it whenever possible - which is proving difficult, since summer is wanting to appear. How long is it until October????

Like I said - nothing huge or earth-shattering, but just a nice, nice weekend. And we needed one of those!
Hope everyone out there had exactly the kind of weekend that you wanted!

*And for those of you who like a social commentary with your cartoons, Over the Hedge has a really rather pointed message about our American tendency to consume too much of everything. And how unnecessary it all is....

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Because, once again, sometimes my pictures are better than my words....

We got a wee bit o' sunshine this afternoon, so I managed to get a few better pictures before I had to deliver all the little bears.*


O is for Oliver

N is for Naomi

F is for Frankie

Bo & Naomi...

A is for Ava (with Naomi)

*And delivering them was really gratifying - the little ones seemed to really like them. One little guy was cranky and tired and on the verge of a total meltdown. When I gave him the bag with his bear it in, he paused...pulled his bear out of the bag...and then just beamed! Waterworks over, a ten-thousand watt smile crossed his face. He grabbed the little bear to his chest and hugged furiously. Then he threw himself at me and I got the sweetest hug and kiss, albeit a fairly soggy one...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

At last....

...the little bear army is finished!*
(and they all have limbs!)

From left to right, they are:
  • A is for Ava
  • B is for Bo
  • F is for Frankie
  • O is for Oliver
  • N is for Naomi

I modified the Jess Hutch pattern in a few teeny ways - the limbs are a little shorter, and I didn't do the increases for more hand/foot definition. Also - I gave everyone long sleeves. As if long sleeves are going to compensate for the fact that they are not wearing pants.**

I did some experimenting, too. Different ear placements, different arm placements... You can really see this if you look at the arms of F, O, and N!
I just wanted to try a few things and working in bulk really gave me the ability to compare and contrast.

Also, everyone has a very different expression (which doesn't really show in this photo) which I tried to match to the personality of the child. Oliver is very solemn and doesn't talk much. Naomi is so very outgoing and engaging...
I do hope that everyone will love their bear.

*and the picture quality is dubious. It's icky and rainy and the light is bad today.
Hopefully, I'll be able to get a better shot or two before I have to give them all away tomorrow...
I was just so pleased to have them done, and I wanted to share!

**I'm not sure what it is with me and the pantsless bears. I just like them this way... Besides - Pooh, Yogi, BooBoo - none of the greats wear pants....

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!*

A gift from Schecky
Those smiley clouds make me ridiculously happy!
A big Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow moms out there - and to everyone who was good to his/her mom today, I say "Thank You!"

*Is it strange that I despise Valentine's Day, and do my darnedest not to celebrate/recognize it in anyway - claiming it is "a made up, stupid, commercial holiday designed to encourage people to buy unnecessary gifts" - and yet I revel in Mother's Day? (I also love Father's Day, too - I give the guys their props!) I mean, Mother's Day/Father's Day are probably every bit the made up, stupid commercial holidays too, aren't they? A paradox....

Oh well, call me a hypocrite and bring me breakfast in bed (a cliche, but a sweet one) and some homemade goodies!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Jake Ryan

Everyone in my house is taking such good care of me - even TiVo recorded Sixteen Candles* for me today, and I managed to stay awake for 2 straight hours to watch it.


Then I found this article at The Washington Post which outlines just why we love Jake Ryan so.

Sigh somemore....

*Which in a way was kind of eerie. Earlier in the afternoon, I decided to move my base of operations to the couch and watch a movie. I was looking at our meager DVD collection, and I considered "Pretty in Pink". I decided against it, and thought 'what I really feel like watching is "Sixteen Candles." '
Since I don't have that DVD, I went back to bed. When I woke up and lurched into the living room, the little red TiVo light was on, and when I looked to see what it was recording, it was "Sixteen Candles!"

How do it know???
My TiVo is psychic, maybe? Love that TiVo...


My head feels like this.
Gapingly open.
And with pointy things sticking out.
that's what time I woke up this morning.
Or should that be afternoon?
I have not slept this late in, oh say, eight years.

"Why?" - you might very well be asking yourself - is this an early Mother's Day celebration? Or just a random celebration of sloth?

I wish.

I have a raging fever (which is weird, because as a rule I never run a fever) and the world's sorest throat. And my head is gunked up with cotton wool or something else that should not be there.


Fortunately, this is the first weekend we've had in a bit that has not been jam-packed with a dozen different things that we had to do. This, however, is not how I was planning on spending it.

Bubba and Schecky have been such champs. They let me sleep, and then they went to Publix and got me soup, and pink Jello and Ginger Ale, also pink.
How cute is that - that they thought that largely pink foods would help "feel Mommy better," as Schecky says?
But they may be onto something. The pink foods do seem to have strangely restorative properties....

I'm climbing back into bed now.
*Actually, it was a little bit closer to noon-thirty... if I didn't feel so cruddy, I would be reveling in the decadence of it....

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Perfect Blue Sky*...

I'll admit that it might be possible to conjure up a more perfect springlike day....

But for the life of me, I can not image a more gorgeous day than the one we had today.

A few more pictures may be found at flickr.

*and Thank you, Robert Smith and Junkie XL, for providing the soundtrack to this day...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ack! Help, Please!

All right - can someone smarter than me* help me with any/all of the below???

  • Can anyone help me slow down time?

  • Or at least go back in time far enough back that I could convince all these crazy people who are loading up the end-of-the school year with too many activities that maybe we should space them out?
    I understand that "end of the year" picnic needs to be at the end of the year.
    I get that, OK.
    But "Lin-a-palooza" (a huge schoolwide talent show), a Roman Feast, Teacher Appreciation Week, a Field Day Parade (followed the next day by the actual Field Day), an Art Show and Picnic, a Graduation Ceremony (OK - obviously this one needs to be at the end of the year, too...), a family Fun Feast, and a Schoolwide Book Swap - all of which need a great deal of parental involvement and volunteering - did we have to cram all of these things into the last 21 days of school?

  • Can you help me keep my resolve?
    I have been asked to help run, coordinate, or at the very least volunteer for every single one of these events.
    And I am proud of myself, because I have actually said "No" to a few of the requests. Probably not as many as I should have declined, but saying no has always been very difficult for me in situations like this, so that fact that I've been able to turn any of these down is HUGE! However, I'm worried that I might waiver - some of these people keep coming at you, and coming at you. Sigh
OK - I'm pretty much on my own for these, aren't I?
How 'bout one last plea for help, and I bet someone can help with this one....


I want to have that cool side bar, that lists all the people that I like to visit, and that I think you should be visiting too - because all these people are clever and thought-provoking and talented.

So I went to, created an account, and BlogRolled you, and you, and you, and you, and you, and you, and you, and you, and you, and you, and of course, you too, Scarecrow!

And I see where I can get the code - but then what do I do with it? I know, I know - I ought to be able to figure this out. But with all the ElementarySchoolHighJinx scheduled for the next few weeks - it's gonna take me a while to muck through it.
I need some instant gratification - so anyone got some good advice?

*and right now, trust me, that's pretty much every single one of you!
My regular readers, that goes without saying, naturally - but right now, as thinly spread and over-committed as I am, I'm betting even the weird pervy people who stumble across here from bizarro Google searches could probably whoop my behind in an IQ point cage match...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Thoughts on Sweeps Month...

How much did Grey's Anatomy make me cry last night?

Buckets. Absolute uncontrollable buckets.
(Oh, and by the way, this guy* was much funnier when I last saw him in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.)

And whereas nothing has had me sobbing quite so hard as Grey's, I must admit that several of my shows have been rocking lately.

Of course, I remembered as I began typing this entry that it's no coincidence - it's May "sweeps". Which is always kind of fun to have all good episodes of your favorite shows, but then it is also a little frustrating too. I mean, why can't the writing, etc. be this good all the time?

Anyway - I can not wait to see what happens this week on Gilmore Girls. The season finale.... and I know that they are going to leave me with a huge unanswered cliff-hanger. Or two. I'm already anxious....

And OMG, do I even need to tell you how much I am anticipating this week's Lost??? I'm still reeling from last week's revelations.....

*John Cho.
And I thought he did an excellent job. In both H&K and last night's Grey's Anatomy...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

New Fun Thing...

Freezer Paper Stencils!

Like everyone else in the universe, I was smitten by Angry Chicken's cool little elf shirt. I followed her links for the instructions at Craftster - and thought that I might try my hand at it someday.
Then Michael's put t-shirts on sale this week for $2.50 each, and I figured that this was a sign that I needed to try it now!

But first...what to do???

Schecky has been taking a class on Saturdays called "How to Draw Your Own Comics".* And he's been cranking out lots of product, a great deal of which I am just smitten by! Admittedly, I am biased...

So I selected one of the more simple drawings - this little cranky jellyfish guy- just in case this project proved to be more difficult than advertised....

Pleasantly enough, it was all pretty straightforward...
I reproduced his drawing by just redrawing it on the freezer paper's rough side (so it's not an exact copy of his) and then I cut it out with an X-acto knife. However, if I were to do it over again, I would use a copier and copy his exactly. I was just too lazy and too eager to start to take the time to take this and copy it. Also, you can supposedly use freezer paper in your printer.

Then I ironed the freezer paper to the shirt, and then applied the fabric paint. Voila!

The original image Freezer Paper Stencil - Materials

Things I did that were good:
The big thing is that, like Angry Chicken, I ironed a second piece of freezer paper on the inside of the shirt to help stabilize it all. Also, I did a careful thin coat of paint, then let it dry and did a second - I think that this really helped prevent "bleeding" of the ink.

Things I did that I would do differently next time:
After searching through the Craftster archives for additional information about this project, I decided to apply a layer of packing tape over the freezer paper before cutting it out. The idea behind this was to make a more sturdy stencil, and provide for more precise cutting. It did add sturdiness, but when I went to iron it on, I found that it made it more bulky and it wanted to buckle and wrinkle. Plus, I had to use a pressing cloth so the packing tape did not melt - and this made it more difficult to iron the freezer paper on. I would not bother with this step again.
Additionally, I think I would just use regular scissors to cut out most of the design - I would have had more control over curves etc. than I had with the X-acto.

In short - I don't think this is perfect, but I can live with it. Particularly given how quickly I whipped it out! Schecky, on the other hand, thinks it's wonderful and has already stated that he's wearing it to school tomorrow....

*No, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Bubba is so proud he could burst!


Or more accurately, I suppose, baby!

Check it out...

*Thank you, Phil! (lymi!)
My friends are far kinder to me, and indulge my whims, way more than I deserve....

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Happy Free Comic Book Day!

May 6th is Free Comic Book day!

This event is exactly what it sounds like - free comics! This is a great opportunity for anyone who wonders "what all the fuss is about comics" or for anyone who has children - 'cuz kids love comics!

You can find a store in your area that is participating in this event by entering your zip code at the Free Comic Book Day 2006 website.

There are a few rules - you can't just walk in and take any old book you want; stores have selected books that are available as part of this promotion. Some stores have a limit on how many books you can have; however, I personally endorse a "Speed Limit: Two" policy.
Of course, I'm lucky enough to live in an area with a whole slew of shops, so I can take Schecky to more than one if there are multiple books that we just have to have.

I'm thrilled, because one of the participating authors is Andy Runton, author of Owly.
And you know just how much I love Owly....

*Sorry to have been so quiet as of late, I'll be back later this weekend with a few miscellaneous nibbly bits to share - but I wanted to spread the word about FCBD so that you can join in the fun!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Good Color Day -

May is too darn busy - and if I get more than 2.3 minutes to sit down in front of the computer, I'll tell you all about it sometime!

In the meantime - I need to sing the praises of a couple of people:

Jessica at Salon Red - she keeps me blonde* and today she was on fire. My hair only ever hangs this straight/looks this shiny once she's done with it. But I'm so happy with my new highlights, that I thought I'd share.

The nice people at - On Monday afternoon, I found myself in a situation. I was out of Oatmeal-colored wool and I've got 3 little bears who still need ears! (and maybe limbs. Depends on how pressed for time I get!)
I called the three yarn stores in my area which carry this particular yarn, but no avail. No one had it. At the last store I spoke with, the yarn lady told me to try, but to not tell her boss that she told me that. Seems she's been recommending it to too many customers, and her store's customers are defecting.

I went to the website, and saw that they had the yarn - but wasn't sure how long it would take to ship it to me. I really need it by the weekend, as I am planning an all ears/arms/legs knitting extravaganza. I noticed that their phone number was prominently displayed on a banner on their site. So I decided to call.

The phone was answered immediately, by a human being - and a lovely one at that. She was personable and helpful, and even went back into their storehouse area to see if she could match my dye lot. She found my yarn and said she could get it to me by the weekend. I said great, and gave her a credit card number. She then said that she'd go grab my yarn personally and get it out ASAP.

That was Monday afternoon. Guess what showed up before lunch today? The nice people at rock!

I am all for supporting your local yarn shop, whenever possible. But if you need an Internet alternative - my experience with was a great one...

*no easy task.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My Friend Phil...

My friend, Phil - of Digital LandPhil fame - is amazing. He can paint, he takes wonderful pictures, and has some of the most clever illustrations around.

One of his latest creations is this great little robot - the WinkBot. People responded so positively to the WinkBot, that Phil created a girlfriend for him. She's also a cutie.

So why am I bringing this to your attention? First of all, I think that the WinkBot could brighten anyone's day! You owe it to yourself to go visit the WinkBot.

Secondly - I want to enlist your help in a guerilla warfare campaign...
(insert evil laugh here....)

I think that the WinkBot and his girl ought to propagate! That's right, Robo-Babies! So far, Phil is ignoring my plaintive cries for offspring.

Won't you please go visit Phil, and leave him a comment expressing your desire to see WinkBot tots????

Thank You!

Monday, May 01, 2006

10 Things...

I've been tagged twice now - and I am grateful for it. There are a few things that I've been meaning to share, and this got me together enough to do it. Also, it's always nice to take some time out and reflect on what makes you happy - and this is something that I am bad about doing - taking the time to just be still. And to be happy for what you have. And to just be.

(So, thank you Autum and Capello!)

And so, I present in no particular order...


  1. Reading
    I honestly don't know what I'd do with myself if I did not love to read. We have more bookshelves in our house than chairs.

  2. Knitting
    I am really enjoying rediscovering knitting after a hiatus of several years; and I am particularly grateful for the inspiration of Jess Hutch.
    As you can see, I am knitting an army that has taken up residence on top of the piano. Although, it's hard to be an intimidating army when most of you don't have arms and legs....

  3. Building "Nests"
    The concept of the nest is a big one at our house. Particularly with me and the Little Guy, but Bubba will get in on the act now and then. We like to get all the feather pillows and blankets and surround ourselves as much as possible and settle in - to read, to watch movies, to just snuggle.

  4. Lip Balm
    I suspect that I have a fetish here. I don't really wear much makeup to begin with - I'm not a earth mother, I'm just lazy. And somewhat intimidated by it all - but there's always time for lip balm!
    I've got several favorites, and they actually get called into service for different occasions, times of day, etc. For example, the Cherry Chapstick is very much a bedtime lip balm.
    Just imagine how smart I'd be if the lip balm portion of my brain were freed up for some other, more lofty use... Cancer might be cured! We might be colonizing Mars! But I can't help because I'm too preoccupied with lip balm....

  5. Gummy Vitamins
    I've had the whole raging internal debate about how it is so wrong to blur the line between medicine and candy, etc. But what can I say, I love them!

  6. Finding "Finds"
    You know, the unexpected serendipitous thing that just makes your heart happy?
    Like this tea towel that I found at a booth set up for our neighborhood festival's street market. The vendor had a chair sitting on top of a bureau, and to keep the top of the bureau from getting scratched up, they had old towels crumpled under the legs of the chair. This was one of the "rags".
    I thought that the embroidery was just wonderful (it's all done by hand!), so I asked if it were for sale. The vendor was amused - to him it was just a rag to protect his tabletop - but he let me have it for $2.
    I just love how one man's "trash" was this girl's treasure. I've got this hanging over the back of a chair, and everytime I look at it, it makes me smile.
    I could insert some "Flea Market Find"...$2, "Unexplainable Bursts of Happiness....priceless blather here, but I'll refrain.

  7. Cupcakes
    Do I really need to elaborate?

  8. When the Mail Arrives
    I don't know if this is a throwback to summer camps and college, when the mail was so pivotal to whether you had a good day or not, but I love when the mail gets here. I look forward to it far more than the occasion warrants....

  9. My "Pet" Carpenter Bee
    Don't even bother to tell me how weird I am - both Bubba and Schecky have told me plenty often enough over this, trust me...
    Long story short: I discovered that a carpenter bee had bored a hole in this piece of landscaping wood that has been propped up against the porch (for far too long! It's left over from a long since forgotten landscaping project...)
    Anyway, I've become attached to the bee. I don't know why - he's not particularly endearing. In fact, if he bothers to notice me at all, he's not really happy to see me, as evidenced by the fact that I couldn't even get him to come out of his perfect little hole for the picture. But you don't have to love me back to have my devotion...
    And I know, I know - they're destructive, etc. My cranky little bee still makes me happy....

  10. Bare Feet on Freshly Mopped Floors
    And if you have clean sheets on the bed, that's the ultimate - padding across a squeaky clean floor and getting into a freshly made bed... And a nice new pedicure doesn't hurt either.
    Please forgive my Fred Flintstone feet. They're not pretty, but they get me where I need to go

  11. "Bowtie" Occasions
    We got this bowtie for Schecky when he was just a little PotPie. The occasion was my sister's wedding, and it was pretty swank, and we all got dolled up to the teeth. Schecky now equates his bowtie with good times, and whenever he gets invited to attend a grownup party, or wedding type of thing, he'll always ask "Is it a bowtie party???" And he gets so happy when it is, because "bowtie parties" usually have cake. And dancing. And people to make a fuss over you. In short, good times....

And there you have it, my list**! I'm not going to come out and tag anyone in particular, as I don't want to put anyone on the spot. Although, I must say that I really I enjoyed thinking about this, and would love to see your list, too!

So if you do choose to play along, please be sure to let me know ...

*And I am grateful to my friend, Geeky Mom, for pointing me in the direction of how to embed this cool slideshow! Blogger was giving me fits today, and I was getting way cranky. And then I learned this trick from Geeky, which I think is pretty darn cool.....

**Oh, and of course I ended up with 11 items on my list. A little trick I learned from This Is Spinal Tap. A movie which might not deserve to be on a list entitled simple pleasures, but certainly deserves to be on the list of guilty ones!