Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tote Bag Frenzy # 2.

Well, this is my second post of the day, as I tried to get better photos of these tote bags for you ... but I am not sure whether I was successful ... Anyway, here they are ...

And I also made some very sweet VW baby bibs to post on Etsy soon. Aren't they darling?



Tote Bag Frenzy.

After years of quilting, I only just discovered how to make tote bags. Now, a tote bag is a walk in the park compared to a Queen-size quilt, but I previously felt daunted by sewing anything other than a flat, blanket-like object. Sure, tote bags are "flat", but they have to be made to hold 3-dimensional objects, and they must have handles, and liners, etc... So, I never made one ... until now. And NOW, I can't stop!

Also, I have just discovered embroidery (can you believe it took me this long?). So, a few of my bags have trendy little embroidery patches on them. And I love it. I want to keep them all ... but many will wind up for sale or trade.

Here are a few:
(please excuse the terrible photography, I was in a rush to get these on here. I will take better photos for Etsy).

Thanks for looking!



Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Memorial Day Photos.

What a wonderful Memorial Day weekend we had! I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend than hanging out at the homestead with family and friends ... relaxing, playing, eating and chatting. This is what life is about.

I already shared the amazing experience that I had witnessing my Mom thoroughly enjoy Isaac on Sunday. And now I shall share the rest ...

After my parents left late Sunday afternoon, we all took a ride on our ATVs. Here is Isaac sporting his helmet (it's a hockey helmet). What a cool guy, eh?

The following morning (Memorial Day), Halis and Meaghan went out riding through the woods. They spent 3 hours jaunting through the mud and having a great time of it! Here is Meaghan - quite proud of her muddy four-wheeler....

Then at 1pm, our good friends came over for a cookout.... Melissa, Devon, Sydney, Jeannie, Vince, Minguin, Mincess, and Lilianna. Halis did the grill cooking ... and was a sport about wearing one of my vintage, "thrifted" aprons ...

We ate. We talked. We ate again. And the kids had a great time playing with eachother and especially with the chickens ...

Meanwhile, Halis continued painting our new porch (he never relaxes for long) ...

Later in the day, at Devon's request, Halis took the older kids down to the pond for some fishing (though Isaac did not go with them, he insisted on posing in the photograph).

And much later, after a long day of enjoying the outdoors, the kids all gathered on our bed to enjoy a movie. I am wild for this picture of all the kids peacefully and lovingly hanging out with one another...

And the more comfortable they got, the more they cuddled with one another. Isn't this wonderful??? ...

Thank God for times like these. These are the moments that we cherish and that our kids will remember fondly.

I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend!



Monday, May 28, 2007

Simplicity is Wonderful and Grandmas are Divine.

Yesterday, we had my parents over for a cookout ... just a simple gathering of the five of us ... some food ... some music ... and absolutely gorgeous weather. It was so lovely. We ate, played cards, enjoyed Isaac, ate again and just plain relaxed. (However, truth be told, Halis spent much of his time painting the new front porch - though he did so at a "leisurely" pace).

But as simple and uneventful as this leisurely cookout may have seemed, I will always remember it as being particularly momentous. This was the day that I first saw my Mother "play". I cannot fully express to you how moving and gratifying it was to watch her enjoy my son - and herself. This is not something that my Mom usually does. Though she absolutely adores my son, she has never been one to sit down and play with children. Throughout my childhood, I always knew that she loved me, but I had never known her to play with my brother and I, read us books, or engage with us on our level. So, to see her do these things as "Grandma" gives me such pleasure ... mostly because I know how good it must feel for her, too.

My Mom has always been one to enjoy chaos over simplicity. She works several jobs, always keeps more than one television going in the house, collects more indoor pets than anyone I know (that all require various degrees of attention), consistently has some reconstruction job going on at her house, etc...etc... I mean, I grew up with this woman vacuuming our bedrooms at 6am! She never stops cleaning! And when she is not cleaning, she is working, and when she is not working, she is out buying more stuff to clean ... and she always wants more stuff ... so she feels she has to work more to get all the stuff she wants. Aaaagghhhh.... it is a vicious cycle that would make me insane!

I am always suggesting to her that she needs to slow down and enjoy her life. That life is going to pass her by, (yadda yadda yadda)... We even have this running conversation where I ask her, "Mom, on your death bed, are you really going to be happy for all the money you have made, stuff you have accumulated, television shows you have watched, and for how clean your house was?" To which she usually replies something like, "Yes, I will be proud of the hard-working person I was and for all the episodes of Matlock that I was able to watch." To each their own, I guess. And I do love my Mom just the way she is. Still, I have always wanted her to just fully experience the simple joys of life.

Yesterday, I watched her do just that! And it was so amazing to me.

She played, she laughed, she cuddled ... and she just joyfully watched as Isaac did the same. And from where I sat, it looked like it felt really good for both of them. What a blessing.

Isaac really loves his Grandma "Bobo" ... and I am so thankful. And my Mom is totally smitten by her special Grandbaby.... enough for her to slow down and really "see" him and enjoy him in a new way. I hope she continues to fully embrace the simple pleasure in tossing rocks back and forth to him, playing in the sand, and just watching him as he dances around the yard.

Life is good.



Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Good Life.

Isaac and I enjoyed an incredibly lovely day here in Maine. The sun was shining, with a gentle breeze, and the sweet scent of flowering crab apple trees filled the air. Ahhh... the good life. We just hung out here ... with the chickens and the ducks... playing with pinecones ... watching birds fly overhead ... and enjoying every moment of our day together.

So, not much else got done :)


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Random Thoughts.

I just can't seem to come up with a unifying theme for today's post ... so I have decided to rattle off some random thoughts that just so happen to come with matching photographs :)

First, I am so in love with my blooming crab apple tree! I wanted to show you all how beautiful it is but I just can't seem to get a clear photo of it ...

Secondly, I made this fun tote bag for myself a couple weeks ago but haven't shown it here because it doesn't photograph well. I plan to make another one tomorrow ... with birds flying across it ... for my Cousin's high school graduation. I especially love this design because it has LONG straps. I created it that way so that it would hang at my hips when carried over my shoulder. Again, the photo doesn't do the bag any justice as the fabric is gorgeous.

Also, we just found out that Jack's "date" with Sydney proved fruitful and she is pregnant! So, we will have a puppy running around our house very soon. Hooray! And just to put a photograph to this little random thought ... here is Isaac feeding his breakfast cereal to his best buddy Jack (the new Dad) ....

Lastly, my husband has been coming home with various childhood treasures from his Mom's house. These are items that were either his from childhood, that he inherited, or that he and his siblings wish to place on Ebay (I am doing the Ebay postings for the estate). This weekend he brought the following item home ...

Apparently this is worth over $100 on Ebay. Hmmm... okay. So that I do not offend any KISS fans who may read my blog, I will simply decline to comment.

Good day & May all your random thoughts be lovely ones!

~ Jodi

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Country Living.

First off, I had to show you all this picture of Isaac taken right before we left for a day of thrifting in Bangor. Is he not the coolest kid you've ever seen (besides your own)? That hat ... well, he kept it on all day! He loves it. Every where he goes he gets compliments on it, so he figures it is worth wearing. I am just *crazy* for this picture. It reflects his personality ... very self-assured, gregarious and oh so good-looking. What a little man! Ahhh... I could stare at him all day... and sometimes do :)

Anyway, on to our topic ... "Country Living". As most of you know, we live in a very rural part of Maine. And though I am hoping to move to the "city" sometime soon, I am still so in love with the slow and steady pace of the country. We have created a peaceful life out here that I think many kids are sorely lacking. And my son enjoys all the animals that can be found here ... along with the rocks, trees, and big sky. The other day, instead of bringing toys to bed with him (as he often does), he brought a handful of sticks ... which was a little unnerving for Mommy and Daddy as we all co-sleep but thankfully no one poked an eye out. Anyway, he enjoys nature so much, that he takes it to bed with him. And I LOVE that. So, we still have a lot of thinking to do about where we ultimately want to raise our kids.

This weekend, we asked our neighbor if we could drop by to see some of her animals. She has SO many sweet and spoiled critters ... and the kids just love to get close to them. Sandy, and her husband, Rob, are living the country life that they had always dreamed of. They moved up here from Southern New England to buy a farm, raise animals, ride tractors, and enjoy "the good life". Their farm is wonderful and we are glad to have them here.

Here are some pictures from our morning spent walking over to the neighbor's house ...

Also, later the same day, Meg, Isaac and I all attended our friend Rose's Birthday party ... which I will blog about here very soon. Rose lives across the street from a horse farm. We often visit these horses to bring them carrots and apples, but we are very rarely there when the farmer is feeding them. On this day, not only was the farmer there, but he also allowed us to get very close to the horses. So, here is a photo of Meg ... completely enthralled by the majestic horse...

Of course, Meaghan was thrilled. And like every 10-year old girl on the planet .... it took her less than two minutes to start the discussion of getting her own horse "someday" (which means: "Can I please have one tomorrow?").

Anyway, "Country Living" is good ... and we may enjoy it for a while longer before relocating elsewhere. But who knows? I may change my mind tomorrow :)



Thursday, May 17, 2007

Birds & Buds.

Well, my creative juices are still flowing, and I continue to sketch some really fun designs for kids clothing. I have been inspired by my budding apple trees as well as the birds that are creating nests throughout my yard.

So, here is the debut of a couple of new designs:

I have sketched out many more designs, but have not sewn them onto clothing yet. I am headed out to do some yard sale & thrift store shopping tomorrow in an effort to get some bargain clothing to sew my designs onto. I can't wait! This has become so much fun. Isaac and Meaghan have a funky, chic new wardrobe. Now, if only I could get up the guts to create my own clothing :) That day will come.



Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New Recycled Threads Themes.

I have spent the day designing some new applique themes for beautifying recycled kids clothes. I love the idea of this singing bird ... and have worked on some variations of the theme. I am also drawing up some owls, dogs, cats and other sweet things. The above singing bird was appliqued to a short-sleeve, v-neck, t-shirt for Meaghan ... just because.

Anyway, I have all sorts of ideas floating around and just need the time to put them to paper and fabric. I welcome any other creative ideas!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Red Rubber Boots on a Rainy Afternoon.

Isaac and I went thrifting this afternoon and found these fabulous red rubber boots. They are no where near his size, but that doesn't stop him from totally enjoying them. In fact, he won't take them off. I chased him around the porch trying to capture his joy in wearing these through the lens of my camera ... and I think I did...

Aahhh... the simple joys of life. Nothing is better. Thanks for the lesson, Isaac!



Monday, May 14, 2007

"Opening" Day of Yard Sale Season.

I think my favorite part of the spring/summer season is scouring yard sales for all sorts of goodies. This past Saturday was my "opening day" for the yard sale season. And it was a great one! Not only did I find all sorts of yummy things for our home, the kids, Ebay, etc. but I also was able to venture out alone (without the kiddos). And that is pretty remarkable as you can probably count the number of hours I have spent apart from Isaac using your fingers and toes.

So, here are the greatest finds of the day...

I found this sweet VIBERT MAINE pottery platter for just $2! That was an insane bargain. I just loved the piece and fully intended to find a place for it in my home ... but when I looked it up online, I discovered that it is worth at least $120 on Ebay ... so I guess it won't be staying here after all!

I also found this gorgeous Loon Wall Planter piece of pottery. It is wonderfully made. The previous owner said that she received it as a gift from a friend in Idaho (I think). It is stamped, but I can't make out who the potter is. Anyway, I think I may keep this. It was another incredible bargain at only $3!

And then, my Dad spotted this picture for me at a yard sale that we saw each other at (my parents are yard salers too). I am very passionate about trees ... so he thought I might like this framed photograph - and I do. It was $4. When I brought it home, I noticed that it was hand signed by the photographer. When I looked him up, I found that this piece originally sold for about $400! Wow ... another incredible bargain. I think this piece will go in my new sewing room (as soon as I can get working on it).

And finally, my incredibly sexy and industrious husband has completed the renovation of our side porch ... and I LOVE it! All it needs is a paint job and some shrubbery and it will be perfect. My husband is amazing and I have come to the fabulous realization that I am incredibly spoiled. And AMEN for that!

(Halis, you are wonderful and I am thankful for you every moment of every day ... even on the "rough" days. You amaze me. Thanks for the porch and for the gorgeous Mother's Day gifts.)



Sunday, May 13, 2007


The day I became a Mother ... May 10, 2006.

To every mother, and to every child of a mother, I offer you this poem today. It is among my favorites, and is best read outloud with a joyful heart and a smile on your face. Enjoy ...

the lanyard
The other day as I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room
bouncing from typewriter to piano
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
I found myself in the "L" section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word, Lanyard.
No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one more suddenly into the past.
A past where I sat at a workbench
at a camp by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid thin plastic strips into a lanyard.
A gift for my mother.
I had never seen anyone use a lanyard.
Or wear one, if that’s what you did with them.
But that did not keep me from crossing strand over strand
again and again until I had made a boxy, red and white lanyard for my mother.
She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted teaspoons of medicine to my lips,
set cold facecloths on my forehead
then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim and I in turn presented her with a lanyard.
"Here are thousands of meals" she said,
"and here is clothing and a good education."
"And here is your lanyard," I replied,
"which I made with a little help from a counselor."
"Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth and two clear eyes to read the world."
she whispered.
"And here," I said, "is the lanyard I made at camp."
"And here," I wish to say to her now,
"is a smaller gift. Not the archaic truth,
that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took the two-toned lanyard from my hands,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless worthless thing I wove out of boredom
would be enough to make us even."
(billy collins)


Saturday, May 12, 2007

And so it begins...

... the simple, carefree, joyful days of summer. Ahhhh.... the beginning of the summer season is filled with such hope and promise. We, who want to enjoy and savor every moment of it, begin to scheme and plan for day trips, parties, vacations, and beach combing (not to mention plenty of yard sales).

Just yesterday it was already 94 degrees here in the Bangor area. Spring??? I think we missed it entirely. But we are not complaining.

And although we have lots of plans for a lovely, fun-filled summer ... I think we are all most interested in just relaxing around the homestead. And some of us can be found doing just that already ...

Oh...and speaking of yard sales, please stay tuned for some of my incredible finds from today's excursion. What fun!

Also, for those who are as giddy about fabrics as I am, please see this website.

Enjoy :)

Though I do plan to post tomorrow, I wish EVERY MOTHER the happiest Mother's Day!