Monday, February 28, 2011

Two Great Vintage Patterns

Hi all. While adjusting to the new surroundings has been less bumpy than anticipated, I've found it almost impossible to get any time to myself. I miss my sewing machine! I thought by now we'd be up to our old tricks, partners in crime once again. No such luck. But that hasn't stopped me from stealing a minute here and there to seek out online inspirado.
Recently I found these two awesome vintage wrap patterns. Simple construction, elegant result and style versatility. Who could ask for anything more? If you and your sewing machine are currently thick as theives maybe give one a try. I'd love to see one finished and on a real contemporary person. Get them here and here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ilsa's Alpine Adventure

For someone who's spent most of her life (childhood and adulthood alike) dressed like some vintage Dale of Norway advert, it's pretty astounding that I've never set foot on a ski slope. Never. I love snow, I love mountains, but life and kids and cost prohibitive lift tickets make it extra daunting for an adult beginner. Yesterday my husband sprung me from my tower of housework (why does moving generate so much laundry?!?) and we took a drive to the mountains. No winter sports, as such, but we had snowball fights, built a snowman and had hot cocoa at the lodge. Take that doldrums! AND it had the added bonus of giving two of our recently thrifted sweaters picture perfect Nordic backgrounds. Next winter I'll get on a chairlift. I'd love to try it out, especially if Beckett and I can learn together. But for now it was worth the 30 minute drive just to get out of the house, spend a little time with my boys and to validate my recent thrift therapy sessions.This tall drink of water can take me home any time he likes. Though he says I should expect an official take-down notice for having posted his image on my blog. Ha!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Post-Valentine Romantic Tutorial Roundup

Every year I get swept up in the paper and felt cuteness of Valentine's Day. Especially now that I have kids, I'm all about red hearts, pink treats and home made cards for grandparents (see above). Invariably, though, a few days later I'm hit with a wave of regret for having let an opportunity for a little romance slip by. So, I gathered a few tutorials filled with ruffles and lace and diaphanous materials, because isn't romance even more delightful when it's not calendar sanctioned?

Doily Drink Parasols from papermash

The Madeleine Mini Bloomers from Colette Patterns

Upcycled Ruffle Shirt from Tea Rose Home

The Layer Cake Crinoline from Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing

Vintage Lace Necklace from Grosgrain


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mexican Folk Art Bathroom

Serendipity strikes at will. I have a small but growing collection of Mexican folk art that I've used as bathroom decor for years. It all started with a single coconut mask given to me by one of my favorite families, who also keep their coconut masks and dolls in the bathroom. Following suit just seemed like the thing to do. Fast forward to now, a new place with all kinds of very grown up tan walls. While we do have the freedom to paint, the bathroom is not a priority. So up went the bright and strange coconut masks, the muertos and sugar skulls.
And the coolest thing happened. This oh-so-neutral tan, which would have been swapped out for a lime or sage or marigold if I had a few hours and a large pot of coffee, ended up looking really nice. It made my funky stuff look like a grown up's folk art collection. Even as toilet decor, it looks kinda fancy. I love it.
Having lived in a white-walled rental for so long, we used all kinds of bright, colorful things to brighten up our space. Bright red couch, jalapeno green dresser, etc. The great irony is that now that I can paint the walls most colors would look ridiculous with our belongings. Suddenly neutral walls are my best friends. Or maybe I'm just becoming a grown up. Maybe.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Getting Settled

Slow and steady, right? I had hoped that within a week we'd be well settled in an aesthetically pleasing home. A place for everything and everything in its place, or the like. NOT the case. I'll be lucky if we're all unpacked within a month. Not only is there still a giant box mound in our dining area, but now the laundry has piled up in, on and around it. Good grief.

Certain things are unpacked- our kitchen is fully functional, for example - and I keep chipping away at the piles, daydreaming of my upcoming Ikea trip. It's going to be glorious, my friends. Glorious.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bellingham Preschool of the Arts

"It's the best one and I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE IT. That's what you should write on the computer" -Beckett, when asked what I should say about his school.Our life in Bellingham is a lot to say goodbye to. We have amazing friends, favorite walks, restaurants and shops and bakeries that I'll miss and each is irreplaceable in its own way, but the one thing I'm the most reluctant (and the most emotional) to leave is the Bellingham Preschool of the Arts. I wish I could pack up the whole place with everyone in it and move them all with us. Especially after interviewing with many lackluster schools near our new home.

Teacher Tina is phenomenal. Almost supernatural with her abilities with children. She's that rare person who is passionate about both individual children and about early childhood education in general. She continues to learn and research and refine her own techniques and strives to create the best possible environment for growth. I just can't say enough about her and the program she's creating at BPOTA.She emanates calm and joy, has seemingly endless patience and a vibrant sense of humor. She has this wonderful way of emphasizing kindness and gentleness without demonizing occasional playful wildness. And she supports the unique quirks of each child. I would know, my kid has a lot of them.

For example, for Beckett's birthday celebration at school he said he wasn't into making a crown (the norm for the birthday kids.) So she had me work with him at home on his own special birthday hat and made it "Funny Hat Day" at school. All the kids made crowns and hats, Tina wore her own silly hat and she brought in books, songs and dances, all related to hats. She came up with the whole idea and threw it together in just a few hours. My boy felt special without feeling singled out and his 1st ever class birthday was hugely memorable. In fact it'll be pretty tough to beat.

The program emphasizes the Arts, which just means that in addition to circle time, books, playtime, puzzles and manipulatives, there's always access to a variety of art supplies as well as directed art projects and a special weekly music class. Teacher Johanna is the assistant teacher and she brings her vast knowledge as a working artist, art teacher and mother to the mix. She also speaks Spanish with the kids and has an infectious enthusiasm for visual art and expression. She's a little more fiery than Teacher Tina, and they make a great team.My only original hesitation about the school was the space. It's in an old downtown building with big windows and daylight galore, but it has no outdoor recreational area. This was a concern of mine when we first signed up, but I've hardly thought of it since. They've opened up the BAAY theater space for large motor activities for the preschoolers with trikes and slides etc. The class takes walks and has field trips to local businesses and honestly I haven't given the lack of a play yard a single thought since September.I'm happy to hear that BPOTA is expanding their program for the next academic year. I wish so much that we could be a part of it. It's been an overwhelmingly positive experience for our family and I am so grateful for our time there. Thanks to everyone for making my cautious, sensitive child's first school experience so lovely. I wish everyone the best! We will miss you!!!