Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Yoga mat hop scotch

I got a new, thick, yoga mat for Christmas.  So I recycled my now-older one into an indoor hop-scotch for the kids with a sharpie, a square book (to trace around) and a huge bowl (for the end cap).

I think it turned out pretty well, and the kids have already used it lots.

Friday, December 27, 2013

More coming?

I see that I've done a big fat TWO posts all year long.  Is it time to resurrect this blog?  I'm not sure.  I do want to get back to journaling, and I'm not doing a good job of it on any medium.  Hmmm...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Kid Quotes 5/18/2013

Josephine (7), while throwing a pity party:  "I've been meaning to write a book on how I feel about chores..."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Working From Home (my Office needs help)

Last Spring I made a big jump:  I changed jobs.  The new job has lots of perks: better pay, super flexible hours, a terrific CEO and manager, and a super short commute.

In fact, the commute is about 15 seconds, right down the stairs.

That's right, I'm working from my basement.  There's lots of good things to working at home.  I get to join my family for lunch.  If I have a brilliant idea for my work in the evening, I can just hop downstairs to try it.  I can work over my kids nap-times on my day off.  I'm still working just 20 hours per week, and we're still living on just the half-time income.  We find it rather do-able, and love being able to share

But I thought I'd show you the one bad thing about working from home.

My office is messy!

Yes, this is the real thing today.  I didn't messy it up for the picture, it's really this cluttered.  It started out nice, neat and organized - very efficient for working.  It became a dumping place for any and everything.

On one wall is the piano and music stuff.

On the next wall is my work desk.

To the left of that, all the stuff related to Children's Ministry at my church, then a box of home-canned goods that I couldn't find space for elsewhere.

In the middle is a box of clothes that needs sorted so that it will fit back in the box (then put away in the next room).   The window has a nice view of the neighbor's tree, but it's frame is unfinished.  It has nice wood floors, covered by a rug that got left here.  All in all: too much stuff, not enough organization.

Perhaps Mandi can help?

Here's the things I love about this space:

Hand-drawn pictures from Paris.

Hand-drawn pictures from my kids.

Yes, all my favorite things are handmade in one way or another.  Even the piano, the action of which I rebuilt myself while I was expecting our oldest child.

Oh, and maybe my favorite thing about my home office:

The door. It's salvaged from an old hotel - room 308.  It closes and locks, making my home office a place where I can concentrate and work while I'm at work.

I love working from home.  I love being so near my family during the day.  With an office-space spruce-up, it would be a slice of heaven down there.  Here's the slice-of-heaven view out of my unfinished window.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


A good friend gave us a pack of canvases for Christmas - nice, square ones that we could paint.  There was one for each of us.

So the other day we broke out the acrylic paints and went to town.  I showed the kids some "inspiration" beforehand, but each came up with their own ideas.

Bennet did this one.  I think he was inspired a bit by Kandinsky

Lisel did this one, she was going for something like Kandinsky too.

Josephine did this one, she painted exactly what she wanted - no inspiration necessary.

Matthias did this one.  He was inspired by Josephine's.

And Tommy's was really neat looking, but then he kept painting over and over with new colors of wet paint.  We like it just the same.

And I did this one.  It was sort of inspired by Georgia Okeefe - but I didn't manage to get the flower huge enough.  The background was the most fun to paint.  Now I just want to paint abstract repeating patterns all over :)

I think this the first time painting canvas for us all -- and we had a blast!

Isn't that a terrific gift?!

Oh, and I started a new blog.  It's over here.  Each week I challenge myself to set aside a bit of time to create something with a theme, and invite others to join it.   This week's theme is to create something inspired by an Artist or a work of art.  So I'm entering this on my other blog. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

On beyond colors

Not that I've figured out the color thing.  Au contraire.  But I have made a good deal of progress in otherwise defining my style.   (In reality, I've made good progress in figuring out color too, I'm just still a good ways away....)  And I wanted to take the time to share with you a checklist that I found really helpful.

She does a terrific job in the video and in the post (which is long), defining style with eight parameters (none of which are colors, though one is number-of-colors).  I'm not going to re-iterate her definitions, as I think hers are clearer than I could write them.

But I've been thinking about them, and I think they've really helped me define "my" style.  Or at least some idea of what I'm comfortable in.  It's also helped me identify ways to push the envelope style-wise, if I choose to do so.

Please, read the article and let me know what your style choices are in these categories!
(And if you opt not to read the article, the rest of this post probably won't make much sense to you, because I'm just responding to her material).

Silhouette:  I like my shoulders to fit at the shoulders, and my tops to be somewhat fitted on top (i.e. not too baggy around my bust, but not tight either).  I like extra room around my flabby tummy, but not so much at my hips.  I like my pants to not be too slim at the bottom (to balance out my larger top).  I often like my tops long (tunics, almost).  But I've found that I like a short cardigan really well, at least sometimes -- something that hits just at the bottom of my rib cage, where I'm actually slim.  I like puffy shoulders, but it's not a "must", and I don't know why I like them, since I'm already top-heavy. 

Color: I usually wear solids.  I feel the most sophisticated in a monochromatic outfit with an accent.  My favorite outfits are same (or similar) color top and pants with a second color (maybe even a print) accent.  I also like two solid colors with a print accent.  I like my colors quite warm, or very saturated if they're cool (navy blue, aqua and even some purples).  I find that my usual colors (when I feel sophisticated anyway), are near each other on the color wheel, but if I wear a print as an accent, then it must have my monochrome color in it, and usually has the opposite color in it too.

Prints:  I like small to mid scale prints for accents.  I don't think I own a single large scale print, but I don't know why.  Maybe I should try some?

I do like detail: interesting drapes, pleats, a few ruffles, pin tucks.  For me, these really jazz up a solid color. 

Drape:  I generally like my clothes drapey best.  But I don't mind crisp clothes if they don't wrinkle easily.  All the crisp clothes I have do, and I go out feeling all spiffy and professional in them.  But when I catch a mirror later, I'm just a big sloppy mess of wrinkles.  I haven't found a way to do fitted, crisp and not-wrinkly.  Am I missing something?  Anyway, because of the wrinkles, I think I prefer drapey.  I'm a little worried that it adds pounds though.  I'm not sure.  I really do wish I knew how to do crisp without wrinkling.

Texture:  I really am attracted to rough textures (tweeds, knobby, chunky knits).  To me, these are almost a "detail", and I like to only wear one interesting texture, having the rest be rather smooth and matte.

Style References:  Hmm... In the past, I often made Indian or African style references.  Now I almost never do.  My current mental style icon is Kate Middleton.  Elegant and Classic.  I think I probably reference French style a bit.

Accessories: I rarely accessorize, though I dream of one day wearing funky necklaces and/or gorgeous scarves.  I would start, but it's intimidating to me.  My shoes are very functional, hardly interesting in the least.  I would wear a bracelet, maybe, but not big rings.

Since this is already long, I'm saving my "How this all plays out" for another post, on another day.

For the one or two of you that read my musings here, how does your style fit in these categories?