Friday, July 29, 2011

Mommy Hobbies on Etsy!

Yes, I finally did it.  Set my fear on the back burner and went for it.  I now have an etsy shop showcasing my cute little Punk Monkeys.  If you have the occasion, stop by and help a mother out.  Favorite me, share the link, post it on your blog.  I love making these little guys and hope to share the handmade goodness with more than just a few close friends and family folk.

Also, just a little bit of a teaser here... I will be hosting another giveaway soon.  More handmade yummies coming your way from a good friend of mine.  You really don't want to miss this one.  The giveaway will be in about two weeks time.  Spread the word!  Give yourself a head start and publicly follow my blog by clicking this button on the right side of my blog (if you don't already).

I just might do another Punk Monkey giveaway to celebrate the opening of my new shop, too!  Anyone in?? 

Punk Monkey: Peace, Love and Socks

This is Divine.

She is going to be a gift for a sweet young girl named, Serenity. 

How appropriate, peace signs and Serenity.  It's a perfect love match.

Hug her tight.

Snuggle and have fun, my dear...

Want one of your own?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Photography: Simplicity

I was doing dishes the other morning and this beautiful little creature floated beneath my window...

Now, I'm not much for nature photography.  It takes a certain eye. But this was just too perfect.  A beautiful butterfly sitting in my tiger lilies. 

I love simple things and nature has a simple quality about it.  It's just a butterfly on a flower, but it's so beautiful it makes you stop, smile and think.

I love that.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Running: We were a motely crew...

Roma. Getting ready for our run. Later, she ditched the cap. Too hot
 My son is amazing.  He is five, but does things and has ideas that I don't think a five year old should do or have.  I don't mean bad things, just things.  Like the other day as we were driving back to the house he kept pestering me to stop the van.  Finally, I did.  Slightly irritated I turned and asked him, "What? Do you want to walk to the house?"  His face got a little red and he said, "Yes.  Can I have your phone?"  What??  Well, it was for him to call me, of course, to tell me to slow down as I followed him in the van.  I stared at him open mouth and a little buggy-eyed. 
Shoes of choice. chucks. pumas. watersocks.
 Finally, we settled on him running ahead and me following behind in the van.  He wasn't kidding.  He wanted to run the rest of the way to the house.  A full half mile without stopping.  At one point, I pulled up beside him and he said, "Mom, I HAVE to make it all the way home."
Ok, baby boy, you do that...I'm right here.  Afterward, there was much hand clapping and high-fiving.  He did amazing.  Then, he told me we needed to do it again, but this time I had to run WITH him.  We set out on a three mile run/walk.  It was very hard, but he finished it.  A little tears and frustration but he wanted to try it again in a couple of days.
Yes, I am running and photographing.
 At one point, I let him push the stroller, and he did.  Right down a very steep embankment and into the bushes.  Roma was stunned, sitting face flush in the bush, Cylas was petrified and apologizing, kissing his baby sister and I was breathless worried that my baby girl was going to catapult headlong into that mess.  She was fine.
It took some elbow grease to get her up and out of there though.
Seconds before Cylas loses control of the stroller...into that thicket.
They say children imitate how their parents are.  If papa and mama pump iron, the little ones are more likely to gain an interest for that or for fitness, but if papa and mama are sitting, sedentary, munching chips gulping soda, and clicking on the keyboard all day long....well, hello, we all know what happens.  Too many children struggle with obesity, are pre-diabetic or have a multitude of health problems due to their weight.  A lot of parents are in denial or get too frustrated to try and change all the bad habits that have been created in the home.  
We aren't the perfect, healthy eaters but we eat very well-rounded.  We educate our children on which foods are good or bad and the effects it can have on the body.  Ask my five year old about McDonald's....he'll tell you why you shouldn't be eating it.  Seriously. 
He picked me a flower toward the last part of our run. He called it a sunflower because it was bright yellow.
This little running adventure gave me such a boost of confidence, that I AM doing the right thing and my children want to be healthy eaters and physically active like their papa and me. 

Silent cheerleaders, what are you doing with your children?  Have any cool habits or activities that you would like to share??

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sewing: Attachments

Did something a little different yesterday.  I stepped out of my comfort zone of sock monkeys and kid's clothing and sewed for a big person.  Other than myself. 
She was looking to add some fabric onto a dress and couldn't really decide whether she wanted to add a big block of bright pink or cream to the bottom.  I suggested black. Knowing how hard it is to match blacks I figured tulle would cover a multitude of sins.

My client needed eight extra inches and I wanted to make sure that the new addition wasn't too EXtremely obvious.

After painstakingly folding and cutting, I found that the tulle wasn't going to go completely around.  Working with a three or so inch gap, I had to cut an extra bit of tulle to overlap. 
It turned out pretty nice!

As bizarre as this sounds, almost as soon as the last stitch was made on this dress I got a phone call from one of my Sunday school students.  She needed a couple of her skirts fixed.  Bam.  My yesterday afternoon was full of new surprises.  I'd never done anything like that before either, but I had an idea as to how I was going to do it.  Most people use a cotton fabric, that has no stretch.  And they use fabrics that, in my opinion, are gaudy or tacky.  (how is that for my *honest* opinion?)  That wasn't going to be the case with me.  I dug around in my stash of jersey and pulled out three versatile pieces and set to work.
The first skirt.  All I did was sew it about an inch up from the bottom.  I didn't want it to be flush with the bottom of the skirt.  Basically, I started sewing at the hem, so as to leave a little extra gap.

The second skirt.  The slit was in the front and I used some of my stretchiest jersey to give her a little extra leg room when she sat down.  A pretty fuschia.  When standing, it isn't but barely visible.  And that's just how I wanted it.

The third skirt.  The slit was on the side and I figured stripes would be cute. (*sigh* me and my undying love for stripes) She was so happy about them all and I managed to make each skirt with a discreet jersey panel that was agreeably cute.  In all three skirts, I either sewed directly over the current stitch, so as to blend, or I sewed next to it creating a double stitch. (like in the skirt below).  I matched the thread colors as closely as possible so it wouldn't be too obvious there was a new addition. 


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Photography: Meet the baby

I know I haven't posted much on here concerning photography.  But I promise.  I love it.  Over the weekend, I had the privilege of shooting a wonderful gathering for a little baby boy. 
This is baby C

I got to spend three hours watching guests filter in and give a warm welcome to this 7 week old baby boy.

This shoot was merely to record these special moments.  No posing.

Just sweet seconds in time captured...

Baby C won't always be this small.

Baby's mom had a teacher there from her third grade year, a piano teacher and people who knew her from knee-high to a grasshopper.  But I have to say one of the most touching moments was when the lady pictured below was handed Baby C and started to cry softly to herself.  Enjoying the innocence of him and letting love take over.

After the food

I took them outside to catch a few, slightly organized family photos.

I'm not much for posing, but I do like to get people in the general area and position I'm looking for and then just shoot away.

You don't capture shots like this sitting on your laurels.

The K family was such a delight to shoot.  I love doing things like this.

The End

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Running: Catch the skirt

Ran a 5k yesterday.  Felt like a million bucks.  There were well over 500 racers participating.  The biggest race I've run in, yet.

I was shoved toward the back, nestled in with a good friend named Crystal.  

Like always, my stomach was in knots, trying to tell me that it didn't want to run.  "It's just another run, it's just another run".  My mantra.  As soon as the race started, I began edging through the crowd trying to find my "pace group".  A little difficult.   Finally, I pulled out and started getting a groove.  I determined that I was going to really push myself.  After all, it is only a 3 mile race.  My first 5k, I came in at a little over 26 minutes.  For this race I had already talked myself into a challenge.  BEAT YOUR LAST RACE TIME.  I did.

Official race time: 
 25 min :27 sec 158th out of 500-something runners and 5th in my age/gender group.

When I first signed up for this race, word on the street was "watch out for the killer hill".  A half mile long and totally unforgiving.  I met that hill with open arms, just like I do every hill.  
And even with "the hill", I managed to keep a fabulous per mile pace of roughly: 8min 15sec
I can live with that.

What I'm starting to enjoy more and more about these races is the fact that there are people of all shapes and sizes

builds and stature

And a lot of people with their own stories.  There was a man running who had gone blind from a hunting accident.  They acknowledged him and the team of people he would be running with.  It was very moving.  There is so much inspiration to be found in every race.  Love it.

I finished my race strong, running so hard, a smile on my face and fist pumping myself, knowing I had beat my own PR (personal record).

But what made me even more happy was a random racer congratulating me on a "great race".  I thanked him and he followed up his congratulations with, "you were fast, I couldn't catch the skirt."  I laughed and laughed.  Such a cool comment and totally made my day.  I run in a skirt.  Yes, yes, I do.

Silent Cheerleaders.  Catch The Skirt!