24 January 2010

Papa's dream

When Doodle was little, maybe less than a year old, we bought her some kid-sized cross country skis. J learned to x-c ski when he was very little, and has always dreamed of teaching his kids to ski. Well, it seems this is the year. We've tried to get Doodle on her skis before, but she hasn't been interested. Until we tried this weekend...

...she loves it! Okay, sometimes she loves it - if she's well fed, it's not too cold, and especially if she's going downhill between Papa's legs. Fast = fun for this three year old.
She was laughing hysterically with every fall, and falling that much more. But she was having fun, and we all got outside for a couple of snow outings this weekend. I think we're going to make this a regular thing...
...much to one Papa's delight.

20 January 2010

Crafting like crazy.

I'm on a crafty kick. Being home with the kiddos all day is giving me the opportunity to think about craft projects I've had in the works for a while but haven't gotten to. I recently agreed to make the jewelry for my bellydance troupe's new costumes, which got me back into beading. While I was playing with those beads I pulled out what I already had, and found some near-complete projects that I just finished. Here they are:

I just got this pendant. Disassembled an old necklace I'd made and never worn, and used those beads for this. I love it.

Had these beads forever. Couldn't commit to a single color scheme. Finally I decided I'd rather wear them for a while then disassemble them and start over instead of just having the beads in my bead box forever. So ta-da! New earrings.

The big project - troupe jewelry. I made this necklace as the prototype, and will show my troupemates tonight. If they like it I'll make 8 more (plus earrings, not pictured) before March.

I'm also on a bit of a sewing kick, but it's still in the design stage. I have an idea for a quilt (full size!), a jumper for Doodle, birthday banners to give away/sell(?), and skirts for me.

One question for my crafty friends: what would you do with *cough*4 yards*cough* of this?

It's polyester, I think... the printed side is smooth and slippery, and the reverse is soft, almost fuzzy, and sticks to itself. Ideas other than a giant mumu? I'm thinking a full, flirty fluffy skirt, but don't know where to start. Help!

12 January 2010

Resolutionish goals revisited

Last year I only made one true Resolution: to finish my thesis. Check. Done.

But I also made a little list of things I'd like to do in 2009 that I never shared. It simply sat in a little text file on my computer where I'd glance at it periodically. Care to see how I did on my unmentioned goals last year?

1) Do at least 1 solo bellydance performance - Yes! I did a sword solo at Springfest. Yay me.

2) More improv bellydance performances - not really. Life, thesis and pregnancy took priority over additional performance opportunities.

3) Go downhill skiing at least 1x - Yes. I went twice last winter, which is more than I had gone in years.

4) Go snowboarding at least 1x - Nope. Still haven't. Some day...

5) Master a pie crust - I tried. I wouldn't say I've mastered any yet, but I am feeling more confident with both my oil and lard-based crusts, and can occasionally make one that's actually pretty! (Shocking, I know.) I'm still working on this.

6) Broaden my culinary knowledge - Umm, vague? I think I did okay at this. I've experimented more, making bagels, english muffins, marshmallows, gingerbread cookies, black bean soup, wontons, potstickers... it's mostly been from recipes, but I'm expanding my repertoire which is good.

7) Can at least as much as in 2008 - I think I succeeded. I canned more pickles (though no more relish - we still have a bunch), way more apricots, about even on tomatoes and salsa. Didn't do much pressure canning this year, but that's okay. My only 2009 caning regret: not getting around to the peaches.

8) Exercise more regularly (more pull-ups especially) - Ha! Totally didn't happen. I kept dancing 2x a week up until 5 days before Little's birth, which I felt great about. But pregnancy and weight gain are great deterrents from working on pull-ups. Maybe this year?

9) visit at least 2 new National Parks (Yellowstone+1) - * sigh * Nope. Again, thesis and life got in the way. We did take 2 roadtrips this summer, visiting Cali and WA relatives, plus a few trips up to the City of Rocks. We just didn't get out as much as we'd hoped.

10) Learn to sew a buttonhole - 50% accomplished. J and I together figured out and sewed one buttonhole last year. I didn't have any other buttonhole-y projects, so I never tried it again. Thus I'm not at all confident in my (ability to figure out my sewing machine's) buttonholing skillz, but I know it is possible.

I'll try to think of goals for 2010, and may actually share them sooner this time. We'll see.

11 January 2010

Xmas PJs

This year I started what I hope will be a tradition for a while: Christmas Eve pajamas for the kiddos. I'd heard of friends giving their kids each a new set of pajamas on Christmas Eve as something special to wake up and open presents in the next morning. I liked the idea, and decided to try my hand at sewing a pair for Doodle. (Little was too small for the pattern this time around, but will get some mama-made PJs next year.)

This was my first time using a pattern in YEARS but it went really well. The pattern is the kimono pajamas from Oliver+S. I think it's really cute. I used some purple fabric (her favorite) that I had left over from a batch of girly skirts this summer. She thinks they're great. I think it's a tradition worth continuing. Yay!

Another Christmas-related sewing project shown: gift bags. The gift bag at her feet was one of many that we made this year. We started sewing gift bags as an alternative Christmas present wrapping method a few years ago. It cuts way down on the paper waste, is reusable, and is pretty to boot. I usually but Christmas-y fabrics in January when they're on clearance, then we make the bags in December once we know the sizes we need. It works great and I love it. Our families have even taken to keeping the bags and reusing them in subsequent years. Hooray!