Friday, January 30, 2009

"Falling in love again...

...What am I to do? I can't help it."
A few months ago my brilliant friend, Heidi, described reading a good book as being held captive in a story-house. Where your only vistas are of the narrative's settings, your only interactions are with the characters, your only sustenance is doled out page by page, your only concern is to reach the end, to hear the story-door unlock and discover whether or not your relationships, your job and your person are still intact after your release from thralldom. Upon said release, however, you generally find yourself clawing at siding and windows to be let back in.

Yesterday I discovered that this clever analogy applies to more than just books. I currently find myself trapped inside the knitting-house. Thanks, as usual, to Shirley Bear I now know the most rudimentary elements of knitting. My edges are atrocious and my rhythm is stilted at best, but I'm determined to crank out a few sampler potholders and then dive right in to something like this. Don't bother trying to talk me out of it, as I've already mentioned, I'm crazy and a little masochistic. Plus I have this beautiful basket of yarns that have been doing nothing more than adorning my bedside table since I grew bored (again) with crocheting a few years ago.

I'm a fickle mistress, I admit, and this may not bode well for a life-long knitting hobby, but as long as I'm locked away in its house, I expect to see some dynamic results. And I do mean dynamic, I'm making no claims as to the quality of this work, just to the frenetic motion with which I'll accomplish it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Birthday finger puppets and their residences

I also made a set of 10 felt woodland finger puppets and their pocketed tree home for the birthday. This was something I had planned for his last birthday (yes as in a year ago - yes I'm that bad) but I just kept pushing it back. It's all for the best, especially given that now he makes up little stories and voices for them, and that last year they probably would have been felted down, baby mouth style, to slobbered woolly masses.
For the most part they live in their happy little tree, each with a pocket of its own. All except for Mr. Skunk, who is the sole resident of B's new tree house. On occasion Mr. Fox comes by for "a breakfast party" and Mr. Beaver seems to be the preferred landscaper for the vegetable garden, but only Mr. Skunk gets to call it home. Actually I have a plan for a finger puppet theater for all of these guys and plans for a family of skunks to live in the tree house, but for now, provided Mr. Skunk isn't corrupted by his current elevated status, it's a pretty happy arrangement.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Baby is a Giant

Beckett had his 2 year old well baby check yesterday. He's in the 90th percentile for weight (meaning he's heavier than 90% of kids his age) and he's off the charts for height. I'm so proud, but having "Baby Cousin Ella" around last week gave me a sneaky impression that I'd been cheated out of a few more months of tiny person cuddles. Not to mention that boy's clothes, once they outgrow infant sizes, lack any sense of whimsy. At least that part I can do something about, but that's a post for another day.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mushyoom Boy

Here's the mushroom beret that was driving me to distraction way back when. It and the toolbelt made up my frantic 11th hour sewing session. It's wool felt lined with fleece. I literally traced the largest mixing bowl in my house and a cereal bowl that most closely approximated the circumference of my son's head. I wish it was a little bigger. By that I mean I wish my mixing bowl measurement was bigger, the cereal bowl actually worked out pretty well. It's pretty cute if I do say so myself.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Return and the Birthday Toolbelt

New baby visiting + sick kids + an inopportunely placed computer = a neglected Moth and Sparrow. We just returned from a week at my parents house in which the sole computer sits at the foot of their bed. When, as a mom, the bulk of your writing time is after nigh-nights, and, as a writer, you require solitude, that particular set up is not so conducive to blogging. Plus B is miserably sick, and quite VOCAL about it, and my sister brought my niece (and new best friend) Ella up from California to meet us. I could barely take my eyes off of her, let alone put her down long enough to post anything worthwhile. But I'm back, so here goes!
Here's the first birthday project. The toolbelt. The fabric is from superbuzzy from at least a year ago. It's fairly indicative of my fabric buying ritual, covet, purchase, then horde for untold months. It was ridiculously simple to conceive, two pockets on one side, one on the other, absurdly simple to assemble, however, I managed to break 4 machine needles in the actual construction. Shirley will swear she had some wonky threading gumming up the works, but I know it was just the old Claire-Sits-at-a-Sewing-Machine-Curse. It's a historically documented case, or at least it should be. Happily, the birthday boy loves it. He ardently refuses to carry any of his tools in it, but he just as ardently refuses to take the thing off. He almost bathed with it tonight.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Beckett!

There's a video of my 2nd birthday buried in a drawer somewhere, that features a ruffled party dress, thick mop top bangs, and a little me weeping with her head on the table while her family sings "Happy Birthday" to her. To this day I'm a terrible sport about that particular birthday tradition, and usually find myself swallowing hard against a tear-lump in my throat and wiping at the corners of my eyes. So, naturally I was nervous for my boy when the singing time came, but he grinned wide, showing off his dimples, and his big dark eyes literally twinkled. I found myself swallowing a tear-lump of an entirely different nature.
We had 2 parties in 2 days for a 2 year old boy. We're exhausted from the festivities, the droves of people who adore this child and the sheer wonder of time's passage. The woodland party went off without a hitch, and with all sorts of theme appropriate cuisine thanks to Shirley. Honestly, she was a force of event coordinating nature. The woman is amazing.The second party was hosted by another truly amazing woman, my mom. With little planning and a suddenly exploding guest list, she took 30 minutes and a fleet of toy trucks and turned them into a magazine worthy gathering. It was pure alchemy, I'm telling you, it happened before my very eyes.

I have a few punctually completed birthday projects that I'll post this week, (including, believe it or not, the mushroom beret) plus a few tardy birthday WIPs. I'm still buzzing with inspiration and hope to get these out of the nest to make room in my life, and on my desk, for some fresh ideas. But tonight I just wanted to celebrate my son, the illuminating 2 years I've shared with him, and the incredible person he's become in that time. Here's looking at you, kid.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Miss Isabelle and other happy distractions

I love her, she's the singer of the group and my preferred dish doing soundtrack. She whistles while I work. This morning was busy, or maybe BUSY and birdsongs and certain happy child made it all rather enjoyable, but still when nap time rolled around I was in need of a little diversion. One of my favorites is I subscribe to the Word of the Day which, kind of like my finches, brings me huge amounts of daily joy and requires little to no effort on my part. And I have whittled away many hours finding anagrams of my name and others'. My husband's name, as if "Zion" isn't sexy enough, can be rearranged to Bronze Wire. Seriously, I get a few butterflies at the sound of it.

My maiden name produced a litany of undesirable phrases, most notably "Anal Corn Desire," but my married name has transformed me into Cerebral Wire. Isn't that lovely? It gives us, as a pair, the appearance of the brains and the brawn. In reality, Zion wins on both counts, but at least in the anagram world our gifts are balanced.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mushroom Boy

Beckett got this little Playmobil guy for Christmas and is in love. He calls it his "mushyoom boy" and spends hours (okay minutes but in toddler time it's hours) helping the shy mushroom boy hide from the other creatures by covering his face with his toadstool hat. It kills me.

Why is this worth sharing? Because I have a 3 page to-do list and no self control, and after a grueling bedtime battle, I find the only idea that's firing me up is making B a toadstool birthday beret. Even the tool belt pieces that require nothing more from me than a 15 minute quickie with the sewing machine are taking a backseat tonight. Did I mention his birthday is the day after tomorrow? Did I mention I'm crazy, a little masochistic, and the wimpiest kind of adrenaline junky? Oh yes, I live for danger... of missing deadlines.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Something I forgot to say

Hey guys! Thanks for fixing my car... again!
These pictures are from September 2007. I can't believe my baby is about to turn 2. But also, with his dad's seriousness and my stubbornness, I can't believe he's NOT about to turn 40.

Also it certainly didn't dampen my mood to bring these in red home from my little scenic drive! Hooray for retail therapy. I'm still convinced that I have a vitamin D deficiency that propelled my recent decrepitude, and though fast driving is more fun than supplements, I'm afraid it'd also be a rather expensive cure for the common January (particularly if I kept bringing boots home). Omega-3 fish oil here I come!

Now I'm off to plan a woodland birthday party. Wish me luck!

It's Alive!!

My post-holiday malaise has been epic this year, threatening the very existence of this blog, and encroaching on my son's 2nd birthday festivities. I've been a puddle. Despite the avid encouragement of the formidable Shirley, and midnight sympathies of the effervescent Amelia, I've been immune to inspiration and have spent my time altering the shape of my couch cushions to perfectly cup my ass. Until today, that is.

The Brewer family car is an old Mercedes we bought for pocket change from some sort of automotive sadist. My husband has spent many Saturday hours undoing the "custom" damage done by this Dr. Frankenstein, not to mention fighting the normal aging process. The result is a temperamental monster with creamy handling, lusty acceleration, and a tendency to leave me stranded. I shouldn't be surprised, I always fall for the dangerous ones. At any rate, the extreme weather events this winter in the Northwest coupled with the latest breakdown has meant very little driving for me the last two months.

Today I drove. I took a little 100 mile round trip through sun pierced fog coiling off bare branches, red tailed hawks tipping their dusky hats, stark black trees anchored by russet winter grasses, and flood plane field-lakes turned Tchaikovsky by a flock of migrating snow geese. My synapses fired, my internal alternator buzzed to life. I am inspired.