Thursday, October 31, 2013

It's hard to believe we're related

mardi gras girl


More sad clown than zombie?

... and The Beast.

zombie hunter

Zombie Hunter

Traffic cone

... and Safety Gnome.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Game on

Don't forget to stretch. ...


Staying limber is important.


Size up the situation ... but don't worry about the competition. We like to keep things friendly.


Don't jump the gun.


Get the best angle.


Even if it hurts.


Don't be afraid to sink your teeth into it.

Friday, October 18, 2013










Sunday, October 06, 2013

A bicycle (bag) built for two

bikebasket  bikergirl

Annabel has been wanting a basket for her bike ever since the training wheels came off. When we couldn't find anything that suited her "style" she decided I could make one with our sewing machine.

I procrastinated for a while, but then I had an idea. I could quilt one using scrap fabrics and a length of high-loft batting I had found in a remnant bin.

I pieced together the top to fit the width of the batting, basted it to the batting and quilted it along the seam lines. Next, I pinned in place the backing, attached a homemade bias tape to the edges and stitched all the way around. Folding the quilted side together so that about four inches remained unmatched, I sewed the long edges and turned it inside out to form the bag. I toyed with the idea of boxing the corners (as might notice in the picture) but I decided to keep it simple.

I top stitched along the back of the top edge to made a crease in the flap for easier folding. Finally I cut two 12" strips of grosgrain ribbon and stitched them to the outside edge of the flap (three inches from each side of center) so the basket could be tied to the handlebars.

It was such a success that Silas demanded one for his bike.

messangerbasket   BASKET

Of course I was out of batting  ... and he wasn't really keen on the pretty quilted look (he wanted man-eating sharks on his basket)... So I procrastinated again.

Until today, when I found some olive-drab twill at the local junk shop (three yards for $6) and thought it would make a nice temporary "bike basket" that I could put on my bike if he didn't want it. 

I used the same basic design as before -- two rectangles of fabric (outer and lining) but without the interfacing or batting. I made the exterior of the bag first, leaving a four-inch section at the top for a flap and then sewed the lining. I boxed the corners for both bags before inserting the lining, turning the bag inside out and stitching around the opening. I then stitched the bias tape around the flap and opening. Finally, I stitched the straps (ribbons that I'd saved from some of our wedding gifts, actually) to the back of the bag. 

Silas took one look at the bag I was now coveting, and decided he didn't care about sharks after all.

Just my luck.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Abandonment issues

Creepy cat.

Someone mentioned that today was the 26th anniversary of the famous October snow storm that took out power in the northeast for about a week.

I couldn't believe it. It seemed like a lifetime had passed. I was in college (first year) and realizing for the first time I had options. Namely, a friend who lived in the city (with power) who would let me crash on her couch while I went to school.

My parents might have had some nostalgic hopes of being together as a family through the hardship.

But I jumped at the chance to abandoned them.

Who wouldn't pick hot showers and late-night-television marathons with friends over studying by candlelight with the parental units as they tried to cook dinner over a Coleman stove?

Turns out I'm more of an opportunist than a survivalist.

These things don't change.

I struggle with what to write here, especially with so much going on in the corner of the Earth that I call my own.

Do I tell you that I worry? Or that I'm not sure I'm happy? Do I tell you I feel anxious and ineffective? That I miss my mother? That I hate feeling any comfort at all that the woman who took her place is delightful. It makes me feel disloyal to the woman she was.

It makes me feel like I've abandoned her again.

Do I tell you that I am not prepared for the future?

I try to push it out of my mind. Think about cheerful things.

The kids are fine and growing like weeds.

Silas went from 32 pounds on his birthday in June to 39 pounds just this past week. It's making me sad that I have trouble hefting the former flyweight.

Annabel is practically a teenager, and acting like one (in the pre-teen positive sense) as she cares about the condition of her clothes and the state of her hair. Tangles are becoming a thing of the past as are mismatched colors and prints.

More often than not, I find I can't recognize either one of them when I search across the soccer field. She's taller than I remember. Her hair is longer. She plays with more assuredness. He is just as fast as the other boys and nearly as tall.

Soon they will be going to high school … and college …

The bus won't drop them here at the end of the day.

Too soon, their homecomings will be brief visits. They will have their own homes elsewhere.

I feel guilty. Like I have abandoned them too, as I spin off into the future where the ground is uncertain.

I need to stop jumping ahead. I need to stay put in the here and now.