Sunday, May 31, 2009

Got Goat?

We educate our girls at home--i.e. we home school. We have for a few years.

While homeschooling has gained greater popularity and acceptance, homeschooling special needs kiddos is still considered at best misguided and at worst criminal. Put away the lock and keys. My girls are thriving at home.

Case in point: Sparkle, deaf, has just finished her math book and yet another of her readers. Wahoo! She has taken first grade by storm. Here at the No Dumb Bunnies Home School Sparkle is able to get the one-on-one attention she needs. If she were in a classroom, that girl would be faking it big time. She hates to be noticed as different so she just slides right under that radar. At home, she gets busted when she's not getting the concepts. As a result, she's doing great. She is one smart cookie. All my girls are.

Just tonight I found out that our home school experience is sadly, perhaps even criminally lacking. A very reputable source informs me that we are supposed to own a goat. I had no freaking idea. Hello?! Was this in some handbook I'm supposed to own? Was it covered in Home Schooling 101? Did I miss that day? What else are we missing? Hand loom? Oxen? I hope someone tells us because the last thing we want is to be arrested for Home Schooling Without a Goat.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Where I Live

Road trips can be very bad. Consider four girls trapped in a moving tin can for about six hours. Yes, the fights, boredom and tears pour out in droves.

But road trips can also be very good because sooner or later all the above mentioned angels fall asleep or zone out or simply give up and drift into silence. At those moments Head Honcho and I can finally have a conversation. You know--the kind where you make a statement, he hears it, you do not have to shout and repeat yourself 20 times, no one interrupts, he replies, you can hear his reply quickly without misunderstanding "I think so too" as "You stink, you're poo." Conversation.

And so, while cruising the roads of Indiana, I timidly (I know it's hard to imagine me as timid but this was a icky subject) brought up how things are going with Stinkerbell. Or maybe how things aren't going. As in she's now 3.5 years old and not talking.

Here's the deal: I am blessed and encouraged when people say "she's fine" "She'll be fine" "my brother was a late talker" "she's going to take off any day now" "they can do so much with this sort of disability now". I appreciate the way everyone cares and wants to be positive. I really do.

But the cold hard facts are I just need to know where we are and admit it. Head Honcho felt the same way. We needed to say to each other: this kid is not talking, there is something seriously wrong, this kid maybe--probably--could never talk. There! Said! We both needed to name where we are living.

We are living with a little girl who is smart in many ways and then shockingly behind in others. We call her our swiss cheese girl--holes here, holes there. She does not talk. Sometimes, she says complete phrases. They appear out of the blue: correctly pronounced, understandable, in the right context. Perfect. And then we never hear them again. Augh. And she could have some other cognitive problems--like not being able to read or write. The specialists have warned us.

It's not that we aren't going to work and fight for the best possible outcome. And I'm not losing hope. I believe Stinkerbelle is capable of great things. But I need to admit to myself, Head Honcho and I needed to admit to each other, this is big...and scary....and it isn't just going to resolve itself....and we need to figure out how we are going to live with it. Change of address: we have a daughter who may never be able to live independently. There, said it.

Because that's where we live.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Drops of Gold

It's rainy, it's cold (for summer), it's grey. Blah!

But check out these little nuggets of sunshine:

Amigurumi kitty for my very last swap. Wahoo. She's winging her way east to new home right now.

The first of my SSS goodies. SSS: Summer Sidewalk Series featuring the fun-loving Suey. Spudly is helping me think of other pictures to do. Isn't it funny how it isn't until you look at a picture of your sewing that you see all the wonky stitches. Oh well.

And check this out: Let's say you had a couple of hearing impaired kids. And the entire family needed to keep learning new signs. And you just happened to order these awesome images from here. And you created cool sign language vocab cards which will be laminated by tomorrow. How totally sunny would that be? I've also got a cool game in mine. Hopefully, you can check that out tomorrow right here.

And last I leave you with Cookie, the Monkey, who came to me in the mail from Ontario yesterday. Poor guy. I hope he didn't think by heading south it was going to be warmer. We just might have to make some cookies for Cookie--to welcome him and all.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Illustration Friday: Cracked

The theme for this week's Illustration Friday: cracked

That's what the polar ice is.

Monday, May 25, 2009


I'm trying not to add soap to this post but it's so tempting. Okay, I'm giving in.

What is it with all the blonde, blue-eyed dolls? Walk down an aisle at Walmart and every single blessed doll is orange. (Orange being the colour that my beautiful oldest daughter from India calls "white people." And let's face it, we ain't white. We are orange.) Geesh louise. Enough with the northern European complexion complex America. Wake up!

This world is full of beautiful brown girls. Beeeee uuuuu tiful! Can't we have a few dolls in luscious shades of mocha? Hmmmm????

Therefore, I was delighted to see the call for brown skinned, black haired dolls over at Craft Hope. The dolls are going to Casa Bernabe Orphanage in Nicargua, one of those places with gorgeous brown skinned kiddos.

And so with glee--I'm telling you there was enough glee in me to fuel16 Glee Clubs--I designed and crafted this little cutie. I'm very pleased with her. I plan to make more.

Cause Brown is Beautiful!

Memorial Day

I'm not an overly patriotic person but I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to all those who have risked their lives for the safety of others. For the sacrifices you have made, we remember.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dishing the Dirt

There are two seasons at my house. Not baseball, hockey, basketball, bowling, badminton. No, it's either gardening season or planning the garden season.

We don't have a giant garden. We have two medium size patches and some outliers. But the gardens get bigger each year.

Yesterday, I put in 25 tomato plants and helped the girls plant five banana peppers. Dang! That would have been a perfect post title: Five Little Peppers and How They Grew. I'll have to try to remember that title for later in the summer.

Anyway, it is gardening season here. Usually, I try to put the garden in by Victoria Day because I like to live on the edge. Yes, while the other gardeners in the frozen north wait until Memorial Day I plant an entire week earlier. Don't hate me for my daring.

I still have all the seeds to plant. I am so late! When summer only lasts three days you've really got to make the most of it.

These softies are more Ugly Dolls, not my own creations. They were out looking for plants of particular interest: POPI. POPI include the cocoa plant, of course, as well as the whip topping plant, the ice cream bush and the much beloved hamburger vine. What will they do when all we get are beans, zucchini and peppers?

Remembering Softie Style

The theme for this week's Words and Pictures is Remembering. I am not going to touch the subject of how fast my girls are growing, remembering them first home, first steps, etc because I don't have time to admit myself to a mental hospital this week. They are growing up too fast (although the moments when they are fighting I do find myself wishing they'd grow up faster--baaaaad mummy.)

Instead, I'm giving you a rare glimpse at a fellow who helped shape who I am. My love for him predicted all which would come later. I speak of: Ruff Ruff, the giant stuffed dog. Ruff Ruff came to live with me the Christmas I was 12, a gift from my mother. My estimation of my mother shot up given the fact that she was always complaining I had too many stuffed animals and then she bought me a giant one. Wahoo!

Ruff Ruff was the only giant stuffed animal I had. He was great. He laid on my bed eating cookies and reading all day until I got home from school. He went to university with me where he majored in aerospace engineering. He flew helicopters. After university he went to live with my parents. Small apartments never suited a dog who likes living large.

He is still living with my parents. I give him a big hug and snuggle as soon as I arrive. But now he's got a whole new gang of co-conspirators. My girls love Ruff. And so do I.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Owls and Oranges

Today is brought to you by the letter O

I am an owl. I am! I'm a Brown Owl to be exact. The Brown Owls are a group of nice women who get together to craft nicely. It's the brainchild of the lovely, effervescent Pip from Meet Me At Mike's fame.

The main group of Brown Owls meet in Melbourne, Australia. (See previous post about those crafty Aussies.) I long thought I could never be a part, seeing as the travel to Melbourne was a bit out of my league. (Okay Honey, I'm off to my crafting meeting. Meals for the next four days are in the fridge.) But then I saw that there are international memberships.

I can join! I joined! I'm in! I'm a Brown Owl. See the nifty badge on the sidebar? It says I'm a Brown Owl. And I've just completed my very first project. I submit this crocheted potholder for my crochet badge. Judges please convene.

While the judges are looking over my handiwork let me tell you about this fine potholder. It's made with cotton "sugar and cream" yarn, a g hook, crocheted in the round following this pattern. It is indeed an orange. Doesn't it make you think of summer? Summer in the 1970s? Ahhhh....I love it. There's nothing like making something you really love.

So sit right back, grab some OJ and we'll wait to see if the troop leader says I get my first badge.

It All Settled South

When God was spreading around talent He was fairly even with His sprinkling--a little here, a dash there. But when it came to crafting, and especially softie making, He poured it all out Down Under. Fair Dinkum. Australians are ace.

Case in point: One Red Robin, Dear Fii, Two Little Banshees and Meet Me at Mike's. I've read them--drooled over them--for years. And that's just a sample of the eye-popping craftiness on Australian blogs. I bet they could even make fishing lures look cute.

All that said I only own one softie from Down Under, a little monster made for me in a swap. Maybe one day I'll be able to add to my collection. Maybe one day I can even make a crafting tour circuit through Oz. Can you imagine? "Sheila, there's a ripper stuffie maker outside. Crimey! She's got a seam ripper."(Apologies to all real Australians for my terrible impersonation attempt.) Seriously, I'd be headed all over Australia, looking in shops, going to houses, saying "show me your softies". Of course, I'd soon be deported, perhaps even for not being crafty enough, but probably just for being weird. But I'm sure even as they deported me the Aussies would be very kind and friendly.

In the meantime, all I can do is dream and...become an owl. More about that in the next post.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Monkeying Around

You didn't really think I was going to talk about dolls today, did you?

Today, the topic is monkeys.

I was at the nursery last night getting plants for the garden. All of a sudden, a monkey popped out of a plant. Hmmmm.... A little later the same monkey jumped up again. And again. Finally, I asked the Monkey her name: Splendid. Which she is. She promises she knows a lot about gardening. I noticed she was mainly interested in the banana peppers I was buying though. She promises she will help me in the garden. But she only asked where I was planting the banana peppers. I brought her home. I don't think she knows the difference between cucumbers and clover but she is enthusiastic and I think she had worn out her welcome at the nursery.

Actually, Splendid is a "Once Again" softie. Stinkerbell is the last of the tribe. The plan is that we are done adopting, done increasing the family (except for softies.) So I'm constantly going through the girls' clothes, getting rid of the too small sizes. The things which are still in good shape go to thrift stores. The stuff with stains on them--which is a fair amount--get cut up either for rags or to make softies out of. I call them "Once Again"s.

Splendid is made from a 12m onesie and a 12m t-shirt. I didn't realize the onesie material was so thin, a real challenge to sew because it kept stretching. Also, I cut out the pattern freehand so Splendid has a bit of a long neck. I think she's one of those Long Necked Monkeys from Laredo. Something like that anyway.

And speaking of monkeys, I ran across this project last night. They send sock monkeys to communities ravaged by AIDS in South Africa. You know I believe that laughter is very good medicine (me, who is always very serious.) so I knew I was game to make a monkey or two. Anyone else a dab hand with a bit of thread and a sock? Geesh, there's no end to all this monkey business.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Take Wing

We are back from our vacation. Slides to follow at a later date. (Is anyone else old enough to remember seeing vacation slide shows? Did anyone else nod off at the sound of the projector engine?)

While riding back and forth across Indiana I worked on some free form embroidery. I took my blue washable ink pen, drew a picture, stitched it and then wondered what they heck to do with it. And wondered....

Here is project number one. I totally cheated. I saw the idea here but actually here first. And I thought "how cool is that." So I grabbed some fabric I bought two weeks ago at the "Fabric Department at Walmart is going out of business sale." 50% off. How not cool that our local Walmart will no longer sell fabric. Anyway, I put this all together: free form embroidery pattern, fabric, idea and got this:

An embroidery sketch book where I can try out new stitches, new patterns and create new embroidery which I will have no idea what to do with. (Yes, I ended that sentence in a preposition. Go ahead and report me to the grammar police.) Hopefully, I'll find new ideas on all the creative blogs. And how cool is that.

Tomorrow I talk about dolls...unless I forget or something else occurs to me. I leave you with a picture, which will be sewn on her school bag, of Spudly holding a dinosaur bone.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tripping Over The Falls

Sorry--there's no Illustration Friday this week because we are going on a ......wait for it.....wait.....road trip. Yes, four kids, two adults and roughly 6,000 stuffed animals packed in a minivan for two states. Wahooo! Did I remember to pack my Prozac? Got to go find that.

Okay, so Spudly, being a wonderful mature girl of eight years old, is getting to stay at her grandparents by herself. Just her and 2000 stuffed animals. Grandma and Grandpa will spoil her rotten. I've heard whispers of horse farm, ice cream, park, lunch out. I suspect the stuffed animal population will have increased by the time we pick her up.

The rest of us are headed to Clifty Falls State Park on the beautiful and probably fairly extensively polluted Ohio River. T-Rex is excited because her favourite book in the universe is Johnny Appleseed. And the book goes: "Who is that walking beside the Ohio?" Yes, T-Rex is off on a Johnny Appleseed scouting expedition. If she finds him, I hope she doesn't tell me seeing as he has been dead for a hundred years or so. Spudly ask if he was in a car accident. I think we'll do a unit study on Old Johnny when we get back.

Now, here is the, not how to stay sane on the ride down and back. No, not what to do when one of my kids falls over the falls. No, not how to cram all those stuffed animals back into the van.

The problem is for me, the crafter: which of my many projects do I take with me? Mother Bear Project? Redwork quilt top which I started two years ago? Granny squares for A Granny A Day? yarn to make amigurumis for The Toy Society? cotton yarn to make more dish cloths for Knit-Together? Should I make another afghan for Project Night Night? What about clothes for Lilly-Jane?

Van time is work time for me. You should have seen the year I tried to scrapbook in the van. I've since given up scrap-booking, perhaps because of that very episode. The girls are strapped in, restrained--and it's not even against the law. I've got the length of time we're on the road to work. The only constraint is space. Those stuffed animals take up a lot of room--not much space for fiber fill and bolts of cloth.

So today is packing day--clothes, diapers, cochlear implant kit, meds, books, stuffed animals and crafting supplies...but which crafting supplies.......

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's All Good

and if it's not...well, there's chocolate.


Mother's Day threw T-Rex for a loop. She's disregulated. That's tech speak for she made a bleeping terror out of herself at the nursery this afternoon. Nursery as in place to buy plants. Because she could not live if she didn't buy me flowers today.

Head Honcho and I both paid for the flowers--in different ways. But it's worth it because this kid is gold. She is. There might be a load of prickly crap on top of it but she's gold.

Besides, T-Rex was hardly the only one making life difficult. Stinkerbelle was making a fuss because she has a yet another ear infection and Spudly is trying out being an opinionated teenager with attitude. (Let's just say I'm about to cancel her performance for lack of interest.) Sparkle was perfect. I'm sure her day is coming. :-D

I love my kids. I love being a mother. I'm serious. And I love chocolate...especially on days like this. Happy Mother's Day Everyone!!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

She's HERE

It's my new Blythe doll. It's my only Blythe doll. It will always be my only Blythe doll.

Four kids, six special needs and one salary does not equal spending cash for a $300 doll. Not even a $150 doll fits in our budget. I knew I'd never be able to have one of the full size Blythes. That's okay. I think the petites are cuter--with a nicer smile. A petite will fit in my camera bag. A petite is in my budget..or at least this one was.

Meet my $20 doll (including shipping from Hong Kong.) Happy Mother's Day to me! I am so excited.

Her official name is Running Deer. She came in Native American garb.

She is now Lilly-Jane, with slightly shorter hair and a new wardrobe thanks to the kindness of the little brat dolls. Okay, so the little brat dolls did not want to share. I'm bigger than they are. And I don't take attitude. Well, maybe a little attitude--from Lilly-Jane.

Head Honcho thinks I'm crazy. He says Lilly-Jane looks possessed and needs prozac. He also calls her mini-me, says she looks just like me. (She's a few dress sizes smaller though.) What does that mean?

Oh well. I'm happy. Lilly-Jane is happy. Happy Mother's Day to all of you too!

Not Pretty

I like pretty things--pretty flowers, pretty little girls, pretty fabric, pretty chocolates. And I want my blog to be pretty--at least that's the idea.

But there is one ugly truth lurking around here. Trust me, it is not pretty. And it's time to pull it out of the corner, name it and then show it the door.

The truth is: HIV-AIDS scares me. I don't want my girls to hang out with another child who has aids. I don't want to know someone who has aids. I don't want them in my house, at my table. The U.S. government used to prohibit families from adopting children who tested positive to HIV-AIDS. And rightly so I would say. Ugly had a nice corner chair at my house.

I went on the AIDS walk, I raised money to support the cause, I spouted all the right phrases about being tolerant and loving. I listened to Bono. I joined One. I cried for the children of Africa. I prayed for the people suffering. But I wasn't going to have an HIV positive person in my house. Nope.

And then my friend Chantelle started talking about HIV-AIDS....about the desolation this disease causes...about the children who need to be adopted. Knowing Chantelle, I knew where this was going. Yep. Soon she announced she was adopting an HIV positive child. I wanted to say "Get a grip Chantelle. This is a bad idea. Stop before it is too late." But something changed.

I think my heart just got sick and tired of living with Ugly.

So I didn't tell Chantelle to get a grip. It wouldn't help anyway. She's that kind of person. :-D Instead, I read her blog. I read and read and read about AIDS. I started to rethink and relearn. AIDS doesn't spread through the air, it doesn't pass by touch. It's not a death sentence. It's a disease that most people, with the proper care, live with just fine for a very long life. Hmmmm....

It started reminding me of attachment disorder: the child who has done nothing to deserve the condition, who needs proper help, who can live a normal life....who people don't want at their dinner table. We have been told many times that T-Rex is not a party, a dinner, an event...because she has attachment disorder. Now that's monstrous. Not the attachment disorder......Not the AIDS. Hmmmmm....

Take a hike Ugly. You don't live here anymore.

Am I going to adopt a child who is HIV positive? I don't think so. You can never tell for sure but I think we are done adopting any more children. Am I going to cheer Chantelle on? And try to think of ways to help her and others who are adopting these wonderful kiddos? Absolutely. And should Chantelle and her new daughter come to town...the light's on, come on in.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Take It Out On The Lawn

Okay, so as I mentioned here, I got these awesome embroidery patterns from WildOlive. Unique and witty art deserves an unusual execution. Not execution as in "off with her head" but execution as in use of.

Basically, I wanted to do something different with these--different from the usual embroidered napkins, tea towel or pillowcase.

One of the three patterns I ordered from Wildolive is called The Stuff of Fairy Tales. This pattern pays tribute to the stuff that never gets it's moment in the spotlight, that same stuff that makes the fairy tale. I'm talking about the beans from Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella's shoe, the Three Bear's porridge bowl, Aladdin's lamp, the Emperor and His New Clothes' clothes hanger, Red Riding Hood's picnic basket, the pea and mattress featured in The Princess and the Pea. Isn't that hysterical? And unique? I knew this was where I was starting.

At the same time Head Honcho has asked that we refrain from fast-fooding so much. Yes, that is a verb. Yes, I did coin it. Yes, I do expect fame and fortune--or maybe just a few emails from irate school teachers and Prince Charles. We (our family, not Prince Charles) make a lot of road trips to doctors' appointments and to see my family down in Louisville. Fast-fooding expends cash resources while increasing both fat deposits in the adult family members and plastic junk hording in the juvenile family members. Fat and junk are not good.

He suggested we should take our own picnic more often. Hahahahaha. Oh yes. I did laugh. My girls...picnicking. Well, Head Honcho was serious and picnicking is also good for the environment, especially if we had our very own picnic kit.

Voila! The "Stuff of Fairy Tales" embroidery patterns made their way onto a picnic blanket. I thought it was fitting. I found some super cute vintage looking material for the coordinating fabric. And I discovered that the whole thing had even more zing when I added some buttons in funky citrus colours. I bought some inexpensive plastic dishes to fill the coordinating tote bag. All I need is a waterproof drop cloth and the kit is complete.

As far as the embroidery, I used number three thread--that really big, thick stuff that I swear could be used for ship rope. I thought it would show up better and wear longer on this hardworking blanket. It was hard going, especially for this fair maiden who is used to the ease of regular embroidery thread. I used a running stitch on everything. And I swore a little.

I think the whole thing turned out great. So no more fast-fooding for us. From now on, it's lunch on the lawn using our super cool, very unique, incredibly witty picnic kit.

How Cool Is That Friday

I think I'm supposed to be doing some other theme for of the trade? homemade? I don't know. Frankly, I have never been organized and the likelihood that I will start now is very slim. So, at least for today, let's play "How Cool Is That."

I'll say something or add a picture and then you say "How Cool Is That." Got it? Okay.

Yesterday, I got bonanza mail. First, I got my order from WildOlive. I had already received my embroidery patterns via the modern miracle of pdf. In my next post I will talk more about the terrific patterns and what weird and dangerous things I'm doing with them. Not really dangerous but I thought if I said that you'd be more likely to check back later. Snail mail brought me the "recycle" fashion pins that everyone who is anyone is wearing these days. I also got two of WildOlive's awesome remade, recycled notebooks. I love them. She threw in some cute freebies plus look at this cut-out?

How cool is that????!!!

In addition, I received the nicest thank you note from the Mother Bear Project. They liked my bears and they invited me to make more. Don't you love the picture of the African boy holding his bear? I am so in love with this project--sharing the love, sharing the bears!

Okay, all together now: How cool is that!

Second, last night while shopping for a broom I discovered these cute packets of colour coordinated buttons. Do not ask what buttons have to do with brooms. Let's just pretend that my local WalMart is organized alphabetically with all the "b" items on one aisle. Anyway, I fell in love with a packet of blue-greens. Yes, love. All last night I wondered what I could do with them. There's not a lot of things I can think of which call for roughly 130 buttons. Then I thought "bracelet." Clearly, it was a b sort of day. This morning I made this cute bracelet that I absolutely love. The whole thing costs less than $2 and took me less than 20 minutes. It's love. Ahhhh. So the rest of you are free to fight over the Hope Diamond while I hang out with my button bracelet.

And they all said "How cool is that."

Finally, spring has arrived but good. The trees are gor-geeee---ous this year. Dang! Of course, the grass is high and the dandelions are popping up but look at my crabapple tree. Stunning!

And "how cool is that."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Weak in the knees

There's an adulterous relationship going on here: going out on me, causing me pain, refusing to cooperate and now the final stroke...seeing other people.

No, it's not Head Honcho. He's solid as a rock--the same rock I would bury him under if he weren't...but he is. It's my knees. Yes, betrayed by my very own body.

It started last summer. By Christmas I could not deny it. Three weeks ago I went to the doctor for help. I can't remember what the official diagnosis is. I'll just call it Adultery of the Knees.

The x-rays showed no abnormalities so it's off to PT for me. I've got a lovely therapist who didn't even blink when I whipped out my camera and starting taking snaps of Eileen. That tells you a lot right there. Really.

So my knees are taped, I get to work out on some scary looking devices which actually aren't so bad, and I'm determined to get these knees back on the straight and narrow.

(Eileen is a KittyPinkyStar Sock Creature all the way from England. Head Honcho gave her to me for my birthday last year. She came with me to therapy this morning because it is Monsters on Thursday!)

Photo Captions:
1) Alex getting an x-ray. 2) Here we go!
3) Eileen in the coat rack--I tried to tell her that was not exercise equipment. She never listens. 4) Eileen is really on the ball. Of course, someone else needed it and she wouldn't get off. 5) And Eileen telling the therapist all about her addiction to crisps. I kept telling her the PT isn't "That Kind" of therapist but Eileen never listens....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Smell This

Hyacinth--I can't spell the name but I sure love the way they smell. Mmmmmmm.....

Random facts about the H Flowers:

1) They originated in the Mediterranean. Yep, the things popping up in my lawn are pretty much as close as I'm ever getting to Club Med. It makes me feel like a world traveler just smelling their perfume.

2) Botanists used to think they were in the lily family but they're in a class all their own. Or a strata or a family or species or whatever.

3) There is a Saint Hyacinth--he's from Poland.

4) The coolest name for a town is: Saint-Hyacinthe. It's NE of Montreal, Quebec. (Canada does have the coolest town names in the world.) If you know any French, think about how Saint-Hyacinthe is said. It sounds pretty much like san a san. Oh, how I loved to hear the weather reported out of Saint-Hyacinthe in the sweet days of my youth. The weather was probably always fairly lousy--Montreal gets a lot of snow--but just to hear that name.... it warmed me by several degrees. I could almost imagine the Meditterean....

Which way is up?

My work for Illustration Friday, Theme: Hierarchy.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


First and foremost, I want to say that I cannot imagine the pain and grief of those who have lost family members to the recent swine flu--n1h1. My sympathy is with them.

Second, I would like to go on the record as believing it's much better to be prepared for something that never happens than to be caught by surprise.

However, I have gone just about crazy with all this swine flu news. Good grief. How many people die per year, per month in Mexico from the drug wars? How many people died in a millisecond after the tsunami? How many people will die this week from malaria? (Small aside--I suspect that we Westerners don't care much about how many people will die this week from malaria because we know it won't be us.)

And what about all the little piggies of the world--misrepresented, misjudged, and maligned? I have just read that the pigs are now getting flu from us humans instead of us getting flu from them. Shocking!

So I coped in the only way I know: first, I ate chocolate. Then, I made a softie. Meet Primrose, the petite pig. Did I ever mention I love alliteration? Isn't she great?

I made her from a couple of shirts Stinkerbell could no longer wear--and I've still got fabric left over. Now to keep an eye on her and make sure she stays well.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

It's a Boy!

Despite numerous, vocal protests by the girls, a boy monster has been created at our home. We're not certain about a name yet. Fred seems like a good possibility.

What we do know is that he is a nice guy, on the quiet side, with an interest in horticulture--or at least playing in the dirt. (Technical specs: this crocheted softie is crafted from worst weight yarn, stuffed with poly-fill. He is 100% baby-safe and has been approved by my girls for huggability and fun. He is a one -of-a-kind currently, but I might make more.)

In other news: April showers did indeed bring May flowers. The tulips are up and about.

If you are keeping track, the score for this week is:
4 bears sent to Mother Bear Project
1 afghan (+ purchased stuffie and book) sent to Project Night Night
3 swaps completed and mailed (which means I have almost completed all my obligations on Swap-Bot)
1 cotton wash clothe completed for Knit-Together
1 monster

Which leaves me with only 4,562,841 projects to complete. Wahoo!