Berna and Kui and their daughter Danielle, who we met for breakfast and some playground fun this morning. We met Berna and Kui five years ago when were on Kauai for the first time, and helped them get Mariners tickets for an upcoming honeymoon trip to Seattle. We've both since had little girls of almost the same age. It was really wonderful to see them again!
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
We're spending the first three days until my sister arrives over in Waimea, on the west edge of Kauai, at a place we stayed four or five years ago called Waimea Plantation Cottages. We have a little five room cottage to ourselves, just a few hundred yards from a black sand beach. It's not this one -- this one is bigger and fancier -- but it's basically a smaller, more compact version of this style:
The beach is a nonswimming one (dangerous elements present, according to the sign, include: a) sharp coral b) sharp currents and c) sharp teeth on various "dangerous sea animals"), but it's still great for wading in the edges of the surf, and when Miss Sofie got up at six a.m. on her first morning in Hawaii that's exactly what we did.
There's NOTHING in this world as exciting as a two year old's first interaction with the ocean.
Unless it's chickens. Kauai is afloat in wild chickens, all descended from a few hundred birds, freed by a hurricane sometime in the last two decades. Now there are thousands, and they are EVERYWHERE. Including our front yard. And our back yard. And the parking lot of the grocery store. And the back of parked pickup trucks, sometimes.
And Miss Sofie, she loves herself some chickens.
Picture from ParadiseKauai.net
She's all but gone hoarse screaming "Cluck! CLUCK!" and racing out the front door trying to catch them, but these are wiley, wild Hawaiian chickens and they have no interest in meeting little girls. They take off on their long, skinny legs and outrace her by a mile.
She's delighted with our little house and we're going to have a wonderful time. We're here until Monday, when we drive up to Anini to meet my sister and her fiance in the house we rented up there. More (including pictures, as soon as we take some) soon!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Sofie and cousin Matthew cuddle up to Uncle Ira before bed:
Sofie in Joshua and Matthew's push car:
Joshua, in full Patriots gear (and Sofie, way in the background):
Me and the boys:
Matthew kind of likes to put things on his head:
Sofie checks out the fish:
Grandpa, Sofie, me, and the boys:
So here's a quick summary of some of the newer things going on in our lives:
- We got back from Jacksonville as planned, getting out a few hours before the hurricane hit, and are now getting ready for our next trip, to Hawaii for my sister's wedding, this Friday. These trips are pretty close together for our tastes, which is always stress-inducing. Add in the stress of the fact that Sofie was unbelievably crazy (five tantrums!!!!) on the flights home and we're really dreading this Friday's flight. But once we get there it'll be very relaxing.
- In addition to the wonderful party Aunt Kim threw for Sofie last week in Florida, we had her official birthday party here on Sunday, which we kept really small this year with just a few playgroup friends and (of course!) Grandma and Grandpa. She had a fantastic time, and even blew out her own candle!! I have so many wonderful pictures from this that I need to get processed and posted. I'll work on that today.
- After a long dry spell, interesting working opportunities are just falling from the sky right now! In addition to the editing work I was already doing, I got a second freelance gig doing five hours a week of research for a local filmmaker, which has been great, and then I also landed a spot as a product reviewer for an online parent magazine called Peekaboo Picks! I'm super excited about that - I'll get to do about three reviews a month of baby and toddler products. Nothing posted yet from me but I should be getting my first round of products in a week or two.
- I'm still working on inventory for my etsy shop, which is sort of open but not really open for another couple weeks. I'll post an opening announcement very soon, but first I want to get samples of my toddler shirt line together. I'm working on those now and they're coming out really cute!
I also just maybe got an opportunity to put together and sell some patterns or kits in the real-world shop of a friend who's opening a quilting store in Maine, which is exciting, but it'll be a few months before I can really work on that.
- Frantically cleaning the house because we're having a housesitter come to stay here while we're gone, which we don't usually do, but with Phoenix being sick and the Hawaii trip being a ten day vacation, we decided we'd feel better having someone who could spend more time here than our usual cat feeders. But that means someone living here who probably doesn't want to see our usual level of mess! So today Sofie went to the neighbors to play while I'm speeding around the house scrubbing and mopping and moving mattresses to get the dustbunnies out from under the bed... Yikes. I really should do this stuff more often. I keep the main floor pretty clean but the rest of it waits a lot longer than it should.
- Did I mention my sister is getting married? Yes, I did. :) Did I also mention how much we like her fiance, Kevin? Such a great guy, and we're so happy for them. The wedding is on September 5th, on a beach. Sofie is nominally the flower girl, although I'm not expecting a lot from her on that front and will be happy if she just stands still for a few minutes and lets me watch the ceremony. It's very small and informal - just us and them - so this should be fine. We all rented a house together and I'm really looking forward to the whole trip! We've been wanting to vacation together for years but have never managed to pull it off before now. Everyone say congratulations to Dana and Kevin!
I know there's more but that's going to have to do it for now!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Here's the picture I mentioned of the three cousins in their New England Patriots gear -- how cute is this? That's Joshua on the left and Matthew on the right (with the ball on his head.)
I wasn't sure how Sofie would do getting her picture taken by a stranger -- she's a little mercurial these days -- but as you can tell from this shot, she had a fantastic time and in fact wanted them to keep going long after they had finished.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Ira and Kim are wonderful about this, never seeming the least bit phased, having guided their two boys through this stage a few years back. It's nice to not feel embarrassed or like you're putting everyone out when your two year old is hanging sideways out of her highchair at lunch, screaming bloody murder and producing an impressive stream of snot and tears because the salami you gave her for lunch is "Different! Salami!" from what she gets at home.
In between these episodes, she's having the most wonderful time of her life playing with her cousins, exploring all of their excellent and new-to-her toys, and swimming in their heated, saltwater pool. This has been one of the most fun parts for me, watching her finally learn to relax a little in the water and just play and have fun. Usually she clings onto me for dear life with all four limbs, like a monkey baby clinging to its mama's tummy, but here she's loosened up enough to just hold on with one arm and kick and splash. "Cousins. Watch." she intones, watching them jump and dive and swim underwater.
We took the three of them to a photography place yesterday and got the most AWESOME picture taken of all of them in their New England Patriots gear with footballs and helmets for the boys and the world's goofiest smile on Sofie's face. I can't wait to post it but it's going to have to wait until I get home to my scanner before I can share it with everyone. As will all the pictures I should be adding to this post because I forgot to pack the card reader. Oh well.
Today we had a little birthday party for Sofie with a cake shaped like a fish and ice cream and two new puzzles and a doll. She seemed to have a good grasp on the whole idea of a birthday party, running happily to the kitchen to take part when I told her it was time and eagerly demanding cake and trying to blow out her candles. I think she remembered from watching Grandpa Shult blow out his candles a couple weeks ago. She also did a pretty good job opening her presents and seemed genuinely delighted to see her new toys!
So, we're having a wonderful time and enjoying the relaxed, calm pace here. We're back home late Tuesday night, flying out about twelve hours before Hurricane Fay is supposed to hit here. Although I hear that's not really a big deal, I'm just as happy to miss it.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
I don't normally like the big, realistic animal genre but this is pretty cool - I love the blue and orange:
All sorts of dresden plates:
My favorite sky blue background:
You can't see it so well here but the texture on this was astonishing -- the quilter made these tiny stipples on the white wall that look just like plaster and intricate lines resembling wood grain in the door. So cool...
A closeup of part of the house shown above in the first pic:
All black, white, and gray, and all reverse (cutaway) applique:
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I went to the Pacific Northwest Quiltfest this weekend at the convention center here in Seattle. It was a small show (at least compared to Sisters) but really nice. Because it's a juried show, the workmanship was of an amazing level of quality and I took some great pictures, which I'll try to get posted soon. But what I was almost more excited about were all the vendors; I bought a few things here and there but really scored, to my mind, at a little booth selling vintage fabrics from the 1880s up to the 1950s. I got about four pieces here, all of which are in line with the look and feel of things I'm working with right now. Here's one, a really cool 1950s textured cotton in aqua and lime green:
And I got a couple of old feedsack pieces from the 40s:
So a few people have asked about what I'm going to be selling on Etsy. I'm working on home textiles and children's accessories, all with a botanical theme. My main products, at least initially, are going to be things I'm already good at making -- placemats, coasters, and table runners, potholders, napkins and napkin rings, and maybe the occasional small quilt, although I'm not planning to focus much on that because they're too labor intensive to produce a lot of. On the kids side, I'm going to make more applique tees for little girls and keep putting out my flower hairclips that many of Sofie's friends have been wearing for the last year. Everything will have flowers or fruit or leaves on it, and all the home textile stuff will be quilted.
I'm sewing like mad, of course. Today during Sofie's nap (incidentally the first good one she's taken in a long long time), I hit a zone and made ten coasters, four placemats, and four potholders. They're cut, assembled, turned right-side out, ironed, and just need to be edged and quilted. And oooo, they're pretty. :) Especially that Swell line I mentioned before, by Urban Chicks. Click here for my new favorite fabric: http://www.sewmamasew.com/ccp0-prodshow/UCROGA.html.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
That and I can't find my camera. Which is mystifying. It's not small and should be relatively easy to spot on a random walkthough of the house. Of which I've done several rounds. But with the camera missing, I can't a) photograph my sewing projects or b) post some really cute committee pics that have been sitting there for a while. Photo posts are my fallback whenever I'm too busy to do a lot of writing here, so I'm feeling that loss a lot. It'll turn up, though, and hopefully soon.
So what have I been doing?
1) Running -- still running every other day, most of the time, and starting to notice more improvement. The other day Sofie and I ran 1.5+ miles down to a park by the zoo, nonstop, played for a while, and then when I turned around to do my usual run-every-other-block-on-the-way-home routine, I ended up running nearly all the way back without stopping too! I think I did over 2.5 miles that day. Woo hoo! Maybe I'll give the 5K thing a try this fall.
2) Watching Sofie grow up. She'll be two in twenty-something days. Last night she said her first sentence. "Mommy do it!" in response to her father's attempt to sing her to sleep. He was both insulted (what's wrong with my singing?) and proud (first sentence!) I was just amused that her first sentence was a command. Of course. She's been a funny, funny girl lately, all smiles and private jokes.
Here she is eating pancakes a week or so ago:
3) Plotting and planning. I've got a big, big project underway -- in brief, I'm looking into opening an online shop on Etsy this fall, and I've been feverishly working on some opening inventory. And reading everything I can find on succeeding on Etsy. And coming up with a name for my business and a profile and shop policies and a marketing plan. And figuring out costs and prices. And doing more reading. And planning. And making inventory. Did I mention planning?
So this is probably where my should-be-posting-on-the-blog time is going. Every day during naptime I spend at least an hour or two sewing and then any computer time I find is usually taken up by some IE window I opened earlier with ten tabs of articles I want to read about Etsy or the craft business. My bloglines account is overflowing with blogs I haven't had time to read lately.
This all started as a random conversation with Brett and then rapidly became something I've gotten very serious about. I'm shooting to have it open by November 1st. So stay tuned for more on that!