Thursday, February 13, 2020

Five on Friday

1. The Great Clothes Heap Challenge.  Okay. I haven't made a ton of progress. I did mend a few things. However, the most important progress was in getting the sewing area semi-organized. Also, the piles of stuff surrounding the shelves are now sorted into different totes-- one for mending and one for items to be re-purposed. Three garbage bags of my mother's clothes went to Loaves & Fishes (my favorite thrift store). Progress, not perfection.


That stuff on the floor has found new homes.

2. Snow. In early January we got a small amount of snow. It was maybe enough for the children to play in, but they didn't because they were sick. They were not sick enough that they didn't notice a neat "gingerbread house" effect on the gutter that we'd not ever seen before. One child said, "So that's why the make gingerbread houses look like that!"



3. Not Christmas Cookies.  My kids always like frosting sugar cookies at Christmas; I do, too, to be honest. We'd been waiting since our "Big Trip Out West" to use the cookie cutters we'd bought my mother at Yellowstone National Park. Unfortunately, the chance to use them with her never came, but I'd promised we'd use them soon. However, this year at Christmas, we were sick, so cookies didn't happen. 

So, our "Christmas cookies" fun came a little late this year. Over the last few years, I'd been storing up inspiration from The Frugal Girl's cookie guessing game. This year I even invested in candy eyes! And they were almost everything I'd hoped for, except when I put them in a little dish for fingers to easily grab, they got a little wet and smudged. This did not ruin my fun.

Tree and maybe Elton John


Wonder Woman, obviously


Three colorful fish and Tyrone (from Backyardigans)

Absolutely no clue what this one is

4. Spring Has Sprung (Maybe. I Hope Not). On the first of January, I cut spinach. On the last day of January, I took this picture. My daffodils were peeping out of the ground. This weather has been so strange.

Silly daffodils

5. Pride and Prejudice. I read it again. Folks, if you like a good romance, this is it.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Kid-Created, Mother-Approved

One of our little girls started doodling this all over church bulletins.


We thought it was just too cute and asked one of the (barely) teenagers to scan it and digitize it and fix it up so it could be printed out (because evidently crayon doesn't scan and print well). He did, and I just uploaded it to our Etsy shop as an instant download to print

It's not made by a professional graphic designer, but we're pretty proud of their youthful collaboration. 

Recently we found more of her lovely doodles when we were cleaning her room, so big brother is working on them. However, they actually are on church bulletins and overlap with some of the words, so it will be a little more challenging of a project.

At the beginning of our homeschool journey, I was worried about teaching the children technology, but I've found that the children teach themselves. I certainly don't know how to do what my son is doing with all the digit image manipulation. 

Anyway, if you know somebody who likes this sort of thing, send them a link!



Wednesday, January 15, 2020

I Completely Forgot (Coupon)

I decided to try a different sale each month or so on my Etsy shop (Sideling View Crafts), and this month is a coupon for 25% off all of our vintage puzzles because National Puzzle Day is January 29th. If you know somebody who is a puzzle-lover, pass this code along (PUZZLE2020); it is good until the end of January.


Monday, January 6, 2020

It Happens Every Time

Today was our first day back to school work, and it happened.


The kids love to giggle at Mom's mistakes.


Also, does anybody else have an Epiphany tree this year? 






Friday, January 3, 2020

Five on Friday

1.  Christmas Reading.  I've been wanting to post more about books I'm reading, so here goes. Over Christmas I was able to read two books.

My Christmas reading

Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences by Kitty Burns Florey was a gift my husband gave me for Christmas because I picked it up in the used bookstore and said, "Get me this for Christmas, please!" He obliged after commenting that I was the only person who would want to read a book like that. 

Well, both of my teenage sons picked it up and read it before I did. All on their own. Then I picked it up and read it in one evening. I loved it. Florey meanders through a bit of the history of grammar instruction in the United States, falls into the old argument between language descriptivists and language prescriptivists, and lands somewhere in the middle with me. 

This book made me want to look up my 7th and 8th grade grammar teacher, Mr. Kite, and recommend it to him. Maybe I will.

The second book is Kim by Rudyard Kipling. I recently happened upon a comment somewhere online comparing this book to The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye. I read Kaye's lengthy novel when I was a teenager and reread it a few years ago, appreciating the historical aspect of it more the second time around. I was curious about Kim, and it didn't disappoint me.

Except the ending. The ending was disappointing to me. I wanted more, more, more. But the ending made me think, think, think about why Kipling chose it. In the end, I'm still thinking about it, and I think I like the ending better now. Have you read it? What did you think of the ending?

2. A Portrait of Me.  I'm glad I didn't get one with Mommy NOT "waering clohes," right?

Portrait of me by a dear child

3. Facebook.  I've ventured into Facebook land. Last night I created a Facebook page for Sideling View Crafts. I'm still not going to be active with my personal profile because I know I'd enter that rabbit hole and never return, but I do want to grow my business a little bit. Check out the page and like it or share it or whatever-- I'm still so confused about all of it! Feel free to leave a comment giving me some advice. 

4. What I'm Listening To. (Or, after reading Sister Bernadette, should it be "That To Which I Am Listening"?)  In either case, the children have been listening to this album the last few days; that means I am listening to it also. I'm okay with that because it's Snoopy, and who doesn't love Snoopy?



5. Great Clothes Heap Challenge Update. I haven't forgotten this challenge. I even moved a few bags around and begged my husband's help. 

Have a great relaxing (or, if you prefer, productive) first weekend of 2020!



Wednesday, January 1, 2020

. . . In with the New

Can you guess what I was doing today on this first day of a new year? Well, I'll bet you won't guess that I was cutting some spinach and lettuce from a raised bed. We've had a few good spells of freezing weather, but these greens are still growing!

January spinach and lettuce

Other than taking care of sick children and trying to keep the regular house work going, I've been thinking a lot about the new year. I have a lot of accumulated stuff in this house because I always see a use for something. However, after bringing to our home lots of similar stuff my mother felt the same way about, I have realized the time to deal with the stuff is now. 

The easy way out of this stuff conundrum would be to donate or throw away. But I still see the use in the stuff. I've decided to tackle one issue at a time. First is the pile of clothes/unfinished projects in my sewing space. Now, don't you think for a second there aren't other piles elsewhere! One baby step at a time for me.


First clothes heap to tackle


So, starting today, January 1, 2019, I'm attempting to make myself accountable by beginning my Great Clothes Heap Challenge. What is in that great clothes heap? Well, some of my mother's clothes, some materials for specific projects, and a whole lot of clothes that were piled up for mending (but were never mended). 

My challenge is to keep up with my regular daily housework and homeschooling AND, little by little, make my way through this heap of stuff. Some things will be donated, some will be mended, and I'm hoping a fair amount will be used in projects for my family and some upcycling of items to sell on Etsy.


Additional stuff which has overflowed into the game closet

If you'd like to come along for the ride, I'll be attempting to keep myself accountable by posting updates every week or so. If it's been a while, send me a nasty comment to keep me motivated to get this space cleaned up and organized so it's more fun to use and prettier to look at.


Out with the Old. . .

It is New Year's Day, and I'm already behind. I need to clear out some pictures from 2019 (which, by the way, was not my favorite year). First, I need to finish out the birthday cakes. For her 8th birthday, my dear daughter wanted me to make an elephant cake because elephants are her favorite. I've made this cake before (twice), and it's easy and fun.


Elephant cake with circus peanuts

Elephant cake with circus peanuts and Ellie the Elephant


As for Christmas baking, that didn't happen. Instead of singing Christmas carols this year, we took turns serenading each other with a chorus of coughing. We have been sick (in a staggered pattern) since December 11th or so. Instead of cookies and family get-togethers, we've had fevers and home remedies and doctor visits. In short, very little of our normal Christmas fun happened. 

However, a lovely lady from church gave us a pre-made gingerbread house kit. We pulled it out a couple of days ago and got to work on it.


See that large crack? I just don't think that bodes well, do you?


Notice how those windows and the door kind of look like a sad face?


I think it's because this gingerbread house had a premonition concerning its fate. Below you can see the serious effort going on to hold that house together. I think it collapsed maybe a minute after it was all "finished." 


We were not in top form (remember we have been sick and sleep-deprived) and failed to completely read the instructions.


See that part about waiting 15 minutes until icing is dry prior to decorating the house? We didn't do that. Oh, well. It still tasted fine. I guess the architectural collapse saved us the guilt of tearing it down.