Monday, January 25, 2010


Rarw (again)
Originally uploaded by Handy Crafts

On Saturday, we took Viv to the Museum of Natural History. It's under considerable construction right now, so much of the museum is not open, but we still had a blast. The museum cafeteria is closed, so we had lunch at the Frysmith truck outside (sweet potato fries w/chicken, tamarind sauce, garlic & cheese--incredible!).

The main dinosaur exhibit is closed for major renovations (to open next year), but Viv still loved seeing the couple of dinosaurs that were visible. The museum has a fantastic life-size triceratops puppet that they use in a show a couple of times a day (also a T-Rex puppet, but we didn't see that one). Viv was super excited, even if she held my hands over her eyes for much of the show.

She was feeling a bit under the weather, so we left a bit early, but I think we'll definitely be back.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Daddy fairy & baby fairy

Daddy fairy & baby fairy
Originally uploaded by Handy Crafts

Vivian loves dress up, and--thanks to Bridget, and her daughter Samantha, who has outgrown a lot of princess attire--she now has lots of fabulous pink & frothy things. These sequin mouse ears are my favorite (or they were, until the headband broke because Vivian's head is too big). Rich is the good sport who also put on a pair of fairy wings when Viv asked him to.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


I just remembered one addition to my New Year's resolutions: make yeast bread. For some reason, it's one of those cooking tasks that seems so intimidating that I've been dragging my feet. But I'm going to do it this year. If I can successfully can jam (and no reported cases of botulism yet!), then I can do it.

Day 4/365

I'm going to try to take a photo every day this year. This one is a little celebration of small steps -- into potty training. It's the balloon that Vivian earned at preschool for successfully utilizing the "facilities."

Monday, January 04, 2010

It's a New Day

This is not a blog post in which I apologize about not posting. This is not a blog post in which I whine about not having any money and/or about being depressed about that said lack of money.

This is not one of those.

Instead, this is a post about reviewing the previous year and looking forward to the new one.

My resolutions last year were pretty in-depth, and my progress on them, while not completed 100%, was still considerable. Here we go, in review:

2009 Craft-Related Resolutions

1. RIIIPPPIIITT! I pledge to actually frog those projects that are unflattering, undesirable or otherwise unwearable. I will reclaim the yarn, and therefore cut down on the need for stash enhancement. Did some of this, although not as much as I had planned, due to the Great Moth Invasion of Early 2009.

2. Reorganize the Craft Closet. I have a lovely walk-in closet that I have designated for my craft supplies and sewing machine, but it has become so cluttered that I can’t find anything and can barely weave my way back to the sewing machine. This will change. Have implemented Phase 1 of the Great ReOrg, thanks to the fabulous shelves my mom bought for my birthday. My fabric stash is now visible and organized by color. Next step is to bring out the patterns and magazines, and put in a new table/shelf to place my new serger! (thanks again Mom!)

3. Get back to sewing more of my clothes. I used to sew about 50% of my wardrobe, but pregnancy, having a small child and the craft closet disorganization (see above) have stymied my efforts. I have a huge fabric stash, and I need to get back to using it. Hmm, still haven't sewn many clothes for me, but I did get back to sewing more, including most of my Christmas gifts to others, including 4 aprons, two wrap skirts, and a stuffed kitty.

4. Finally finish knitting Richard’s sweater (started in Nov. 2005 and lying dormant ever since). It’s the Baseball sweater from Knitty’s Man issue, and I have the back and 1 sleeve done. He wants an intarsia picture of Elvis Costello worked on the front. I have the chart worked out, but I just need to get up the courage to do it. Oh dear god. Um, nope, no progress made.

General Life Resolutions

1. Exercise. I’m not going to focus on losing weight, but I just want to have more energy. So whether it’s taking a walk after work every day or hitting the gym, I’m going to exercise. Does chasing after a toddler at the zoo/park/home count? Probably not, but my mom's scale said I'm now 6 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight, so I'm counting it as a win.

2. Better organize Vivian’s nursery. I’ve seen great tips on the ikea hacks blog, and I want to copy some of them for her room, such as using a CD shelf to store diapers. This we actually did, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Yay me!

3. Cook dinner at least 3 nights a week. I was doing pretty good on this already before, but the holidays made it difficult to be consistent. Amazing how a severely constrained budget will motivate you (me) to cook at home more!

4. Start a college fund for Vivian. I think we're going to open a 529 account for her, even just with $50 a month. My goal is to have enough saved for her to pay for undergraduate at a state school – if she wants to go private or grad school, that’s what loans are for. Um, yeah, not so much. But I just have to keep working at my current place of employment for 13 1/2 more years, and Viv has a free ride to college! That's do-able, right?

All in all, a respectable achievement, especially given life's ups and downs. And of course, my biggest achievement of the year--learning to can jam--wasn't even on the list. So now I'm thinking about 2010, and what I'd like to do in the 361 days left.

Resolutions for 2010

1. Can savory things, like pickles and chutneys. My first dip into savory canning was a cranberry-apple jam with balsamic vinegar that I did for Thanksgiving. It turned out so well that I'm ready for more, and hope to make the most of spring and summer veggies!

2. Engage Phase 2 of the Great Craft Closet ReOrg!

3. Knit more socks. I completed two whole pairs of socks in 2009 (one crocheted, one knitted) and I'm excited to keep going. I have several skeins of sock yarn in my stash and hope to make a considerable hole in it.

4. Support independent pattern designers. I don't currently have a lot of disposable cash on hand (and don't see that changing anytime soon), but if I do, I am going to use it to support independent designers. Some of those I hope to continue or begin to support include Hotpatterns, Stitch Diva, Colette Patterns and EvaDress.

5. Volunteer. I'm planning to attend a volunteer training at Heritage Square Museum in February, and am excited about the possibilities.

I have some longer range plans, more in line with my 40x40 list (which I plan to add to soon). But I think these goals are a good start for now.

Happy new year!