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happy: coffee filter snowball

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Days like this are too few and far between. Pia woke up happy and agreeable and we spent the morning bouncing between projects, games and silliness. Usually there are two to three meltdowns before noon. Today, zero. Happy. After lunch she was seized by the idea that she wanted to learn how to skateboard (inside, of course) and now she is making a kite. I think she is ready for spring.

We made the snowball (above) by attaching coffee filters to a styrofoam ball with t-pins. There were many squeals of delight as we were making it. Most of them were mine. I love projects like this that are super cool and super easy. I want to make a dozen more.

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sister synching, part 2

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A snowy day. A ‘new’ Bruce Springsteen album on repeat. The discovery of a ‘hidden’ track on said album. Two happy cats following me around the house as I putter and clean. A mocha and a bavarian creme donut on the table, surprises from my husband this morning. This day lends itself well to being reflective. So reflective I shall be.

Since Robin has left the wormhole for solo blogging adventures, I asked my sister, Bethney, if she would be up for blogging with me. Happily, she said yes. When we were kids Bethney and I had elaborate plans to live next door to one another when we grew up. Not only would be be next door neighbors, but the houses would be connected via a bridge. Sadly, as grown-ups, we live 56 miles apart… a bit too far for a bridge. For the time being the wormhole is as good as it will get. Hopefully it will serve as a route for me to virtually pad into her kitchen in my slippers on a snowy morning and share a cup of coffee with her.

To kick off this new version of the wormhole, Bethney and I need to synch up. Over the next week we are going to attempt to post the happiest moment from each day.  My friend, Kristin, shared this great article about parenting and seizing the moment, or, rather, not seizing the moment. I think it is a great read for anyone parenting little kids, like we are. Finding those kairos moments, that’s what these next few posts will hopefully be about. Hopefully they will inspire you to find the kairos moments in your days, too.

knitting nancys

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I got it into my head the other day that I wanted to make a knitting spool for Pia and after poking around on the internet I found a tutorial for making a knitting ned (the male version of a knitting nancy, of course) at zencrafting.  This version called for popsicle sticks and toilet paper tubes rather than wooden spools and nails, which I thought would be much easier for little hands. Now Pia and I can knit together while Jim reads books to us. It is lovely.

On a trip to Knitch (our local yarn store) this weekend I noticed a new yarn by Berroco called Link which looks like it was made on a knitting nancy. Presumably a knitting nancy machine, but still. And it got me to thinking about what I could do with a long, long chain of yarn. Something like this, perhaps?  So I’m thinking that I will be trading in my needles for a knitting nancy, too. At least for a while. Who knew toilet paper tubes and popsicle sticks could add up to so much fun?

can you ever have too many games?

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Yes. You can. And we do. Because every time I go to St. Vinny’s we end up getting a game. Or two. Because they are $1. So on New Year’s Eve I made a stack of all the games we own and declared that we must play every game in the house, top to bottom. If ‘someone’ says they don’t want to play a game then it goes back to St. Vinny’s. And not surprisingly, it appears that all you really need are 15 really good games. The rest just take up space and aren’t played with all that often. Our top 10? In no particular order:

  • Tier auf Tier
  • Scrabble for Juniors
  • Sorry!
  • Cadoo
  • The Allowance Game
  • Candy Land
  • Checkers
  • I Never Forget a Face (a memory-style game)
  • Silly Socks
  • Busy Town

Of course this doesn’t include card games. That’s a completely different list.

little green riding hood

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A friend asked me to make a cape for her daughter who was cast as Little Green Riding Hood in a play at school. The only criteria were that it had to be green and that it had to have some sort of closures on the front in order to hide the “Wildlife Defender” t-shirt that is to be worn underneath (or at least hidden until the appropriate point in the play, I presume). Using this pattern at Fleece Fun, I substituted jersey knit for the fleece (because I had it on hand) and used basic quilting cotton for the lining. I also sandwiched a layer of felt in the hood to make it less droopy. Now I just need to find out the details of the play. I’m guessing it is this one, where the wolf is a vegetarian and the grandma is a rabbit hunter. Very funny, indeed.

drink, wrap in yarn, display, recycle

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I saw the idea of wrapping bottles in yarn on pinterest and was intrigued enough to try it. So, one evening during sewing club I busted out the elmers, scrap yarn and clean beer bottles. It was very fun to do and I was all excited about the finished project until I noticed the raised eyebrows of the other stitchers that evening. Maybe the idea wasn’t as cool as I had thought. This happens quite a bit as the creative side of my brain doesn’t have much of a filter.  Nonetheless I gave them to my mother-in-law this weekend as a birthday present, saying that she could enjoy them for a while and then recycle them when she was tired of them. I think. Meribeth, can I get a ruling on this? Surely glass bottles can still be recycled even if they’ve been wrapped in yarn, no? The yarn would burn off in the melting process just as paper labels would, I presume. But now I’m concerned that I just made a recyclable item non-recyclable. Please advise.

in lieu of real snow, may i introduce frosty the pancake

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One of our advent activities this year was to make snowman pancakes with daddy. Most of the advent activities I plan go over like lead balloons (make an ornament for our new neighbor? no. make a present for grandma? sigh. put out treats for the birds? blah.) so when one is actually embraced with enthusiasm I get really excited. As was the case with the snowman pancakes that Jim cooked and Pia and her friend decorated.

After dusting their snoman-cakes with powdered sugar the girls decorated them with chocolate chips (regular and mini) and tiny carrot noses. Oddly, the one thing Pia kept eating wasn’t the chocolate chips but the carrot noses. I think I ended up cutting three dozen noses before they made it onto the snowmen. Kids are funny.

Of course, eating pancakes for dinner is always a treat, so maybe that was part of the allure. As for the perennial favorite of the advent activities? Hands down, the candy cane hunt.