Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This one's been a long time a-comin'!

Well, maybe it wouldn't have been so long if I hadn't procrastinated on it so much. ;) We started it a few weeks ago... on Courtney's birthday, in fact... February 1st. I first thought of making it FOR her, as a birthday gift, since the pattern I ordered for the doll clothes was taking so long to arrive. But then on second thought, I figured it might be more fun to have her help make the choices for it. So we worked on it together. Here is my little pin-helper as we're figuring out our layout:

Any guesses as to what we're making?

Josie always insisted on being nearby. But I guess she eventually found the project rather boring.

Okay, here are some clues as to what it is. I sewed those bigger pieces of felt onto a hunk of brushed denim. Then we cut some smaller pieces to represent various things, and Courtney helped glue them on by squeezing the glue bottle for me. ;) Uh, yeah... a bit messy, but fun.

Figure it out yet? Keep going....

Okay, I'll tell you. It's a play mat! It's mainly for her Little Pet Shop pets to play on, but since she didn't have them along this next day we worked on it, we substituted some farm animals and fences.

The mat still had a long way to go, though... and I kept thinking of all the little pieces I had to cut... and all that glueing... and how I really didn't want to keep doing it. :) I knew it'd be a real pain to keep using the fabric glue, so I invested in my first ever glue gun! And then one day when Courtney wasn't here, I made myself buckle down and finally get at it, determined to finish it.

And I did! Once I got going and glueing, it actually got to be pretty fun. And here it is:

Click on it to get a much bigger look at all the little things. There's a garden, a pasture, a cat area complete with bed and litter box, a dog area, a pond, pens and animal feed and water in the zoo, etc., etc. You figure it out. :) Don't be afraid to ask questions if you need explanations. (Just don't any of you farmers out there give me grief on my fence-building!)

I did think, though, that you might wonder about the pink area. That's the spa. :) Courtney'd gotten a little spa set for her pets for Christmas, and she had that along this past Tuesday so I could get pics. Sweet, huh?

Bathtub, shower, vanity, and all sorts of little necessities like soap, shower cap, lotion, etc. Everything pets need, y'know?

Here's Courtney busy brushing the teeth on one of her pets, I believe. :)

And a cute addition was some teeny blankets that Auntie Kris knitted for the pets. Here they are in use. And as usual, all of Courtney's pets, babies, grandparents, etc., must sleep face down. That's so she can pat them on the back to help them go to sleep, like they do at her real daycare. :)

I can't take credit for the design of the play mat! I came across one here, on A Girl and a Glue Gun's blog. So thanks, Kimbo! :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Caption, please?

Monday, March 28, 2011

View from the sewing room window

I had some peeping toms on Saturday. Well, two toms and two girls. Here are my youngest kittens, brother and sister Boots and Tippy:

Lovely background, right? Yeah, it's still there. Just ignore it. I do. I try, anyway... hoping it'll go away.... but it sure is slow at melting.


Tuffy the Mouse Eater was there, too, for a while. I was talking to them through the closed window, so they stayed pretty close. When I ran upstairs for the camera, Tuffy disappeared. I guess he had better things to attend to. Scoot showed up shortly after, though.

(Click to enlarge.)

At least the snow has melted back from the window quite a ways, and the dianthus is even looking a little green. Maybe there's hope!

Here's a little peeping in action (ignore also the dirty streaks they - and a 'coon? - put on the window):

Did you notice Scoot's nose? Funny markings seem to run in the family. Here's a closer look:

And her sister Josie's nose:

That's Josie's professional portrait (which I may have shown you before) done by Jess at Thanksgiving. Lovely, isn't it?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Meanwhile, back at the daycare....

Sometimes when parents bring their kids, they're not adequately dressed for the conditions. So as a good daycare provider, ya do what ya gotta do. Even if it means loaning your own clothes to the kids. And you do it happily!

It can get really busy at times. Extra equipment can be very helpful if you need to be taking care of two kids at the same time, or if you want to take them on a little outing together.

Of course first there's the wrestling match of getting them into your clothes:

Umm... no, she's not strangling the baby (even though she might feel like it at times!). Inspector Josie is making sure all is above board.

Zippers can be a challenge, especially on a wiggly, uncooperative child.

Almost ready.

Okay. All set. Let's get up off this floor and go!

Have a great day, everyone! And may your little ones (kids, cats, problems... whatever) not give you too much trouble! (Spoken after cleaning up the half cup of coffee that Inspector Josie spilled everywhere BUT the keyboard this morning.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

At least the sun is shining

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

I refuse to take any pics of what's on the ground. It's not a lot, but it's white. And it covers up all the small patches of grass that were finally showing up. And it was only 15° when I got up.

C'mon, sun... do your thing!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Now that the days have gotten warmer, the cats have been making their way to the house again. It's been nice seeing them out and about after such a long, miserable winter. I happened to have the camera outside a few days ago when Mama (Josie's mother) was out by the garage. She graciously posed for a very nice picture. Someday maybe she'll even let me pet her when she's by the house. I can pet her anytime inside the machine shed, but that's all. It's a major improvement, though, considering that she was very fearful and I couldn't even get anywhere near her when she first arrived here a few years ago!

She's so pretty, and is a great cat... a good mother and hunter. She actually has a very slim face, but the black on her neck makes her head look round. :)

Here's Mama with the rest of my crew:

I did lose a couple over the winter. Skinny Minnie and Blackie were just too much 'loners' and wouldn't snuggle up to the others for warmth. The rest are in great shape, though... not even so much as a frost-nipped ear.

Since there remain 5 females, I suspect we'll be having LOTS of kittens to play with and show you this summer. Oh, dear..... ;)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hair and faces

I love this head of hair (as well as the little body it's attached to)! That natural curl is just delightful! Last Tuesday I washed it and then French braided part of it again.

The rest of it just fell into such nice soft curls.

Here's a better look at the pretty hair piece, made by Auntie Kris. It was kinda hard to get a good shot of it, what with that little head wiggling (note she's playing on my iPad again... her favorite "toy" at Grandma's house!). And the colors looked a little washed out from the flash, but trust me, it was very pretty!

Did you know Courtney can make a happy face and a mad face at the same time? (Can you?) Here's what it looks like:

And from there she turned into Little Miss Funny Face again!

(Click to enlarge.)

As I type this, she's playing on my iPad again. You never know what kind of adventures we'll have today.... but you'll likely see them in a future post!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Super moon!

Did you get a chance to see the moon the last couple of nights? I didn't, because it was cloudy here. I was disappointed. It was not only a full moon but a super "perigree moon". It is closer to the earth now than it has been for nearly 20 years, so it looks as much as 14% bigger than other full moons we see. Since I'm not a scientist, I'll let you get a better explanation from the NASA site here.

When I got up this morning, however, I was quite pleased to notice that the moon was still in the sky. And indeed, it did appear to be a little bigger (isn't that an oxymoron?) than usual to me. These aren't the greatest pics, but the best I could get. Take a look to see what you think.

(Click on any photo to enlarge.)

Kinda hard with nothing to compare it to, right? But pretty, nonetheless.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy first day of SPRING!!

It got here! FINALLY!! Just look at the calendar. And... there are signs. Definite signs that spring is here. I showed you the robins last Thursday. Better yet, the snow is MELTING!! Just look:

What's that you say? There's an awful lot of snow there? Yep, you've got that right! But there was MORE before (gotta look on the bright side here, folks!) (use your imagination... I'm not posting those UGLY pics). It's been going steadily down with the nice temps we've had this past week. Just look at how far it's come away from the house.

Oops. A little problem here:

And that poor "miniature" lilac bush really caught it again this year (not to mention our evergreen trees... uffda!).

But look what I also saw:

Tulips... hurray! A sure sign of spring if there ever was one!

And as of this moment, this is all that's left of the 3-4' snowbank that was on our deck:

So it's official. IT'S SPRING!! Enjoy! (And just ignore the 's' word that's in the forecast for Wednesday.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

About that lanyard

One of my very observant commentors (heheh) on this post noticed that Courtney was wearing a "fabulous chapstick lanyard". Yes, she was, and it was very special! Let me tell you all about it.

Courtney loves "chapsticks". But sometimes they get lost. And sometimes she doesn't have a good place to put them... like if her outfit doesn't have pockets, for example. In my blog browsing one day, I happened to come across this idea. Although that blog author has tons of great ideas and tutorials, this one happened to be thought up by one of her young daughters. Necessity is the mother of invention, right? Perfect! And just what Courtney needed. I showed it to her and she loved it!

So I was going to make one, and let Courtney pick out the fabric she wanted for it. BUT.... we were lacking the "chapsticks" with clips on the ends to put on it. I looked in our little town for some, but alas, none were to be found.

Meanwhile, Auntie Jess had designed some super cute new ribbons. Courtney saw them one day when I was... ahem... doing some more blog browsing. She pointed out that she liked the pink one the best. I later mentioned this to Jess and also hinted that I'd like to get my hands on some of those ribbons. (The mother of the designer has that privilege, y'know!)

Jess later emailed with an idea of something she could make for Courtney out of that pink ribbon. I sorta nixxed that idea for practical reasons, but then I mentioned the lanyard idea. Voila! In the mail last Monday came the completed lanyard, and along with it 3 brand new Lip Smacker "chapsticks". Just in time for Courtney's sleepover here on Monday night. She was delighted with it. Here she is wearing it first thing Tuesday morning, still in her jammies (which just happened to be a perfect match for the lanyard):

She was already chewing some gum she'd brought along, thus the funny mouth. (It was okay, Mommy... she'd had some breakfast first!)

She wore the lanyard all day long, of course. Have a closer look at her treasures:

We decided we like the watermelon one the best, so every little while during the day, she offered me a sniff of it. :-)

Here's another pic... just because it was so cute. And if you look closely, you can see the wad of gum in her cheek.

Thanks, Auntie Jess!! (Also for the extra lengths of the other ribbons you included!!) We love you!!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Robin invasion!

Our yard was full of robins this morning! I don't think I've ever seen so many at one time before! It's gotta mean SPRING, right? Sure made for a great start to my day, anyway. Here are some of them for you to enjoy, too... and click the pics to enlarge them if you want.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Yeah, finally another post. But better yet, I finally got the dress done that goes with the baby's tights! Here it is, made out of some of the fabric I won way back in October.

It turned out pretty well, but next time I think I'd put some elastic in the cuffs.

Courtney took a picture of the baby with her camera, too!

And of course she had to pose with the baby herself. I'm not sure what kind of a face that is.

More baby outfits in the future, but first I have to finish up a couple other things I've started with more of that fabric I won. I'll show you whenever I get 'em done!