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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Sewing Club, week 1 results

Tonight is our second week of sewing club, so I figured it was time to post about the results of week one (if only to show that sewing club involves more than just drinking wine). The project for week one was inspired by these ornaments from anthropologie. To make them I used old felted sweaters and layers of quilt batting. I made a paper template that I pinned to a sandwich of sweater + batting + sweater. I stitched around the paper template and then cut away the excess sweater and batting after it was all stitched. This made them nice and pillow-y (stuffing the ornaments would have been difficult as they are skinny and the results would have been lumpy). After trimming I used embroidery floss to whip stitch around the edges for a nice finish. The separate letters led me to think about what would happen if I combined letters in one template and before I knew it I was making the annual ornament for the Underground Knitters (the UK, for short).

The UK began in 2005 and I’ve tried to make an ornament commemorating each year of knitting happiness. I can do this because our knitting circle is only four people. And most years I neglect to make one for myself, so I end up only making three ornaments. Which is why I only have an ornament from 2009 and now, 2011, to display on my tree. Perhaps I could go back and recreate some of the earlier ornaments. Hmmm. That seems like cheating. Anyway. Back to sewing club…

Tonight we’ll be making yarn wrapped letters and bottles, neither of which require any sewing. Odd. Very odd.

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Stained glass candy, 2011 edition

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Following 51 years of family tradition, we cooked up some stained glass candy this weekend.  And following my own inadvertent tradition of blogging about it on odd-numbered years (20092007), here’s a post.

This is the first year that Tea was able to help cut the candy into bite-sized pieces using scissors.  This is a rite of passage in my family, and he was very proud.  I have vivid memories of cutting candy in my grandmother’s basement (I feel honored that the candy supplies live at my house now).  At Tea’s age, I’d manage to cut just enough to stick in my mouth before darting off to play with my cousins.  But Tea took it very seriously and I think he helped with nearly all 16 pans we made.

It wasn’t all work for Tea, though.  We discovered that he was squirreling away exactly one piece from each batch we made into the pocket of his apron.  He tried the different flavors over the course of the day and there was only one he didn’t like: “It was red or blue or green.  I don’t remember.”

Not surprisingly, Pea was in on the action, too.  Not old enough to touch it yet, but interested enough to cart his chair between cutting locations to watch.  He also had the pleasure of making mischief with his cousin, just like we used to do.

My grandma kept us on our toes, sending pans from the stove sometimes faster than we would’ve liked.  And don’t you dare try to make the flavors out of their traditional order, or you’ll (I’ll) get scolded.  I can say this because she doesn’t read my blog and because she loves it when I tease her.  😉

Making candy is one of my favorite things to do during the holidays – it’s a great excuse to get together with family.

Cousin!

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Hooray!  Tea and Pea have a brand new cousin!  They got to meet her when she was only 6 hours old.  I was too nervous to hold her, but Tea was all about it, after he relaxed about being in the hospital.

Many thanks to Kyle’s brother and our sister-in-law for allowing a squirmy but happy 4 year old hold their precious new girl.  Tea is so excited to “be a good cousin” and “teach her how to grow up”.

Pea seemed to be mostly intersted in poking her cheeks.  I promise we’ll work on that.

Congratulations, B&C!  We’re so excited for you guys.  I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble our kids get into together.

Thanksgiving, modified

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Poor Pea woke up vomiting on Thanksgiving morning, so our plans to head to my sister’s place for dinner evaporated.  We made Pea a nest in the bathroom and did lots of laundry.  Tea did his part by donning his firefighter/doctor outfit and sitting silently outside the bathroom door to watch Pea sleep.  He wanted to be ready in the event that Pea needed his help (any kind of help at all, including dousing after spontaneous combustion, apparently).

For all of the times they bicker over toys or try to irritate each other, there are as many times that they are heart-meltingly sweet with one another.

Thankfully, Pea seemed mended (although a bit sleepy) after only 3 hours, so we just had a quiet day at home.  I ran to the store so we could have turkey sandwiches, cheesy potatoes, and Brussels sprouts (my favorite vegetable), and I made a pumpkin pie.  It was sad to miss hanging out with my family, but we managed an okay Thanksgiving dinner on short notice.  And we’ve had leftover cheesy potatoes for 5 meals in a row  (Kyle and I have different opinions about the level of awesomeness of this).  Things could be worse.  My family even dropped off leftovers today so I won’t miss out of the cornbread stuffing or the fresh cranberry compote.  Mmmm.

Happy Thanksgiving

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I finally put one of my pins into action – the boys made construction paper turkeys and I wrote what they were thankful for on the feathers.  Pea hasn’t mastered the scissors yet so he just did the gluing for his project, but Tea didn’t need much help.

Nope, I can't spell "gluing". Why don't pens have spell check?

It was interesting to take dictation for the feathers.  Tea didn’t hesitate – I was writing as fast as I could as he rattled off his list:

  • hugging
  • hands
  • kissing my mama and dad
  • my friends playing with me and hugging me goodbye
  • my mama and dad take care of me and hug me
  • my school friends and my teacher

There was a bit of a hugging theme.  Can you tell he likes to snuggle?

Getting a list from Pea proved a little more challenging.  He was so focused on the joy of making the turkey, his first 12 answers were all about the bird.  I had to  ask him what else made him happy, what else did he love (thankful isn’t in his vocabulary yet).  I liked his answers, too:

  • the turkey – the legs, the beak
  • gluing things
  • my foster family
  • my (Dorae)mon costume
  • breakfast
  • my “Tea”
  • my daddy
  • my mama
I was about to hang them up when Tea insisted the turkeys needed hearts that said “love”.  Good  idea.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Pancakes, fries, and cupcakes

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Tea’s 4K class welcomed their families to join them for a “feast of favorites” this morning.  Each child brought in whatever they wanted to share.  There was a lot of awesome sugar in that room.

At Tea’s request, we brought sticky rice with bananas in coconut sauce.  The adults polished off a triple batch.  The kids?  Well, lets just say the fries and pancakes were a big hit.

I feel like I now need to gnaw on some lettuce and brocolli.  I’m twitching.

More tea

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The park and rec program that runs Tea’s dance lessons held a short recital at a local senior center this weekend.  The theme was the Nutcracker, although it was a bit of a loose interpretation of the original.  Each class performed one dance using music from the classic ballet, although some used jazz or hip hop versions of the songs to suit their class format.

Tea’s class performed the Chinese Tea dance.  They were all adorable and I was proud of them for remembering their dance in front of a very packed audience.  By the time he got his celebratory milkshake, Tea’s nerves were gone and he was asking to sign up for dance again.

We’re sad that his dance instructor is graduating from college after this semester – she did a fantastic job of making sure the kids had fun.  She’s moving on to open her own studio in another state and I know she’ll do well – she has a real gift for working with kids.  We’re going to miss her, but I’m grateful his first experience with an extracurricular activity was such a positive one.

For the grandparents, here’s the video: