Friday, November 9, 2012

It's Friday. The sun is shining. I'm Alive.

I mean what more could I ask for.

I'm almost ready for my show tomorrow.  It is a little one in my home town.  Actually I think it is really the first time I've ever shown my work here in Ellington.

I've done 24, 18, and 12 inch decorated trees.  I've made lots of candles and greens in clay pots. I've made wooden wall birdhouses with Cardinals. Add to that lots of mice and lots and lots of wooden ornaments.  I have some beautiful wall pieces: swags and wreaths and baskets left from my last show.

I need to make some nice BIG price signs.  I need to find the table cover.

So...I am almost ready.

I ALWAYS get the biggest case of nerves before a show.

Here's hoping the customers will be kind...you just NEVER KNOW.

Happy weekend everyone.  Stay warm and hopeful.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

First Snow

On November 7th before noon the flakes began to fall.

What is it about that first snowfall?  The beautiful flakes gather and coat all the brown of fall.

Everything looks so white, so clean, so beautiful.

When we first came to 18 Hayes Avenue there was not even one evergreen tree.  I was so  disappointed.  Why?  Because at our last house at 10 Hayes Avenue (yep, that's a whole other story) we had the most wonderful cardinal couple that visited us every year.  Cardinals love evergreens. No evergreens...no cardinals.  So... I had to visit a local farm where you could dig up evergreens at a very reasonable price and plant them in your yard.  I dug up a DOZEN.  That was the easy part.
Digging the holes for the trees in our yard was a CHORE.

Thank godness I was in my late 30's at the time. I still had energy.  The result?  Yep. The cardinals have come back EVERY year since and they brought friends.  Now I get to watch THREE couples.

After the snow fell it was so much easier to spot these beautiful male birds and their somewhat less easy to spot mates. I love it when they land on a wispy feathery branch and a bit of the snow falls off.

As so much of my life is still in chaos I am trying to concentrate on the beautiful things in life that are free and joyful.  I know there are so many.  Each day I am trying to find one.

Look for joy today.  It's out there and some of it is free.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Discouraged

I enjoy reading blogs.
Reading them make me feel happy.
I am always amazed at those blogs that have continuity.
You know.
Bloggers blog EVERY darn day or so.
They blog when they are happy.
They blog when they are sad.
They blog whether or not they can pay the mortgage.
They blog whether or not they have family problems.
I wonder.
I wonder how they do it.
I admire them.
Then I begin to wonder what is wrong with me.
Why do I want to hide when things aren't going well.
Where did my courage go.
Do I need to visit the Wizard?
I am just baffled.
Do you ever get baffled?
How do you get "unbaffled"?
Are you willing to share?
I love reading blogs.
They make me feel happy.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Patch Article

Today a really lovely article was written about my business.  I am overwhelmed. I'd love to show it to you but I have NO IDEA how to do that.  So I am simply going to give you the link and hope you get to use it and enjoy the article.  If you do, please leave a comment at the bottom of the article.

http://ellington-somers.patch.com/articles/making-mice-turns-into-full-time-business

Thanks to all my lovely supporters.  I'm very grateful for each and every one of you.

Linda

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Bit of Primitive Plundering

The Old Farmhouse Gathering Team on Etsy is having a bit of fun doing some Primitive Plundering.

You all must know what Primitive Plundering is of course...well if you don't it is simply visiting our members shops and seeking out wonderful "Prims" for your home or gift giving.

I'd like to show you just a few of the prims I found to feature in my Etsy Treasury:



To see the entire Treasury Please go here: 

http://www.etsy.com/treasury/NTI2MDgxM3wyNzIwNTU1MjM5/did-you-get-the-memo-halloween-starts-in?index=0

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm Gonna "Tattle"

There are so many wonderful shops on ETSY.  Sometimes it is difficult to find what you are looking for.  One way to help you find a particular "look" is to go to a Team.  I am a super happy member of
a team called Old Farmhouse Gathering.  If you LOVE the primitive look you will LOVE OFG.  All you have to do is go to the window and type in OFG and all of the items from all of the shops will come up or you can limit it a bit by typing in OFG Halloween...and you'll be in Halloween Heaven.

Let me introduce you to two wonderful shops.  The first shop is FirecrackerKid Primitives.  Tim and Carol are the talented couple who together make up FirecrackerKid. Together they make the neatest primitive wooden items.  Everything from a simple candle sconce to an entire wall of cubbies. Tim is the man behind the saw and Carol is the finisher.  She offers so many authentic colors and finishes. Your wish is truly their command.  They are always open to special orders.

Let's take a look at some of Tim and Carol's items:

Rolling Pin, Bowl and Paper Towel Holder






Wooden Hotel Key Cubbie
Candle Sconce
These are just three of the 75 items you will find my typing FirecrackerKid into your window.


The second shop I'd like to introduce you to is BasketsbyRose of Farmington, Michigan.  Rose is the wife of a veteran and her son's are both currently serving our nation in the military...and I don't mean state side.  Rose is proud of her military men.  She is equally proud of her Etsy shop and the baskets that fill it.

Rose's baskets are unbelievably useful..yes I said it...useful.  There is a "Crayon Basket" made with primary color trim that is so perfect for children's coloring books and crayon container.  Rose also makes the best "Stair Basket" made to set on the bottom stair with items to be brought upstairs...now I'm not promising someone will come along and actually bring it upstairs but it sure will look beautiful while it sits there. Another basket I love is the "Watermelon Basket".  Yes Rose actually paints a beautiful slic of watermelon on the inside bottom of the basket.  Rose is a one person wonder.

It's time to show you some of Rose's Baskets:

Crayon Baskets
Watermelon Basket

Stair Baket



Visit BasketsbyRose at your earliest convenience.  I promise you some fun browsing.

Well that's it for today.  Hope you enjoy the two shops I've "Tattled" about today.

L





 


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Mice Have Made it to YOU TUBE

I know you are simply NOT going to believe this one...but it is true.

Those little mice from Ellington, CT have made an appearance on YOU TUBE.

Would you like to see?

OK.  Here is where you should go.....




Now I am counting on EVERYone to spread the word...wouldn't it be amazing if they ran away with themselves...Hee Hee..just kiddin.

The Gift Giver




Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cheeky Nattie

Remember a while back I told you I was knitting a pair of fingerless "mitts" for my Piper girl. She is a rainbow lover and so I did them in rainbow colors and crocheted a long narrow scarf to go with the mitts.

You see Piper has a scooter which is rarely not under one of her sneakers...she loves it.  The thought of watching her scoot up her street wearing her rainbow mitts and scarf just made me happy.

I can never bring myself to send a handmade item to just one of the California ladies so I had to make something for  my Cheeky Nattie...I did.  I made her a little blue Swedish sweater and did a bit of trim on the bottom and sleeve edges.


I wrapped each gift in hot pink tissue and into the mailer bag they went.
On the day the envelope arrived Miss Piper was at a play date so Nattie got to see the gifts first.  Needless to say she decided to try EVERYthing on.




As I mentioned yesterday we are on our way to see Ms Piper and Ms Natalie this coming Sunday.

I have decided that Cheeky Nattie needs her OWN mitts and scarf so I am doing them both in her favorite lime green.  You see in the girls' world everyone must have a favorite color..and Nattie's is
G-R-E-E-N.

I mean...look at that face....tell me you wouldn't count the days to see it in person..

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hello Again and Christmas in July on ETSY!!

Yes. It certainly has been a long long time since I posted.

My husband Rick and I will be leaving for Cape Cod this coming Sunday.  Our daughter and her family from San Carlos, CA will be spending two weeks in Chatham and we've been invited to visit them there.  Miss Piper and Miss Natalie will be the main attraction. We simply can not wait. Once or twice a year is not enough time to be with these two little ones....  I've been purchasing and packing for weeks. There was a small wading pool and some boats and pontoon planes to go in it to purchase. Then of course there were art supplies in case of a raining day to round up. I've also made the girls some special "Grammie" gifts which I hope they will love.  I promise to take as many pictures as they will allow..and yes..I will of course share them with you.


Caroler

BUT...before I leave for this blissful little visit I wanted to tell you about my FIRST SALE EVER.
Yes...that is correct.  I will be offering a 15% Discount on each of my Christmas Ornament Mice from the 14th of July until the end of the month.  They will be in their usual place under the CHRISTMAS Section in my Etsy Shop:  http://www.Warmth.Etsy.Com.

Just think you can get some of your "gift giving" and "tree trimming" out of the way early this year and save a little so you might treat yourself to a few items on Etsy for yourself!
Gift Giver
Skier
On a Trike
Christmas Cookie Baker

Just a few of the many
   Mice on Sale from
 
          July 14 -31

Monday, April 16, 2012

We Have A WINNER!!

The Winner of the Bringing Home the Tree Ornament is:  (Drum Roll Please!!)

                      Valerie of Yorkies Primitives



Congratulations Valerie....I'm happy he will be on your tree this year..

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Little Dresses for Africa

I have been blessed in so many ways.  I always feel as though I need to give back. Recently my dear friend Jacky decided the same thing.  She read of an organization here in Connecticut that was very involved in trying to clothe little girls in Africa.  The organization asks for donations of pillow cases so that simple dresses can be made from them and sent to Africa.

"Little Dresses for Africa is a non-profit 501c3 organization, which provides relief to the children of Africa.  Simple dresses are made out of pillow cases, and distributed through the orphanages, churches and school in Africa to plant in the hearts of little girls that they are worthy!"  So reads the first paragraph of their blog:  http://littledressesforaftrica.org/blog/

If you take a moment you can learn about this wonderful organization and about all the ways you might help.  Can you just imagine the face of a tiny girl who is given her very first dress.  I can and that's why I feel so strongly about this mission of hope and love.  It is one small step but it fills my heart with joy.

The pattern for the little dresses can be found here:

 www.nancysnotions.com/text/pdf/LittleDressesforAfrica_pattern.pdf



Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tree Shopper Mouse Give Away

Bringing Home the Tree

As many of you know I lost my older brother last week.  He owned a tree service and I wanted to have a give away to say farewell.

My Tree Chopper (Bringing Home the Tree) is the most popular male mouse I have ever created.  He wins out each and every year. I think he reminds family's of that time of year when they go in search of that perfect tree to trim.

I am giving him away to someone who leaves a comment below. .  If you would like to have him for your tree this year simply leave a comment and an email address where I can reach you.  Of course I'd love to have you follow me but certainly not just to win this mouse.  I write this blog simply to share something with each of you...not necessarily always a tutorial or pattern, sometimes I post just to share my happiness or sorrow.  Take a look at some of my previous postings and if you have enjoyed then definitely sign up to follow me. This blog, however,  might not be your cup of tea.


I will select a winner on April 15th.
Good luck.



Simple Sunday


It's not sunny here today.  It is not warm.  I should be complaining about the lack of both...but I am not. I am happy with the day just as it is.

A good friend asked me to breakfast.  I mean how many days has it been since you had a pancake stuffed with whip cream, peaches,and strawberries?  It had been a very long time for me.  I guess that's why it tasted so yummy.  The conversation and decaf were excellent as well.

Next came a visit from my granddaughter Phoebe who wanted to show me her new toy.  It was probably the last toy I would have selected for her.  It was a toy SHE selected all by herself.  If  Phoebe had an alternate name it would be "all by myself".  She has been the most independent of all of my grandchildren since the day she was born.  As soon as she could walk she completely dressed herself...I mean you should have seen some of the "unique" combinations of clothing Phoebe came up with.  Well you are probably wondering just what the toy was that Phoebe selected.  It was a doll's head with platinum blond hair and four tubes of coloring with which to "paint" her hair...including one to put sparkles in as well. My first thought was to say "Yuck".  But I didn't I just thought it while I happily helped Phoebe cut all those awful wires and tape that held the "head" securely in the packaging. I smiled. I complimented her choice and I simply shared her joy. I surrendered my "judgement" and what joy I was able to feel.

Try this strategy out sometime.....I wish you the same joy I felt.

                           I'll be back tomorrow with a fun post...I promise you.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Happier Day

At 6'4"David Ernest Moody, Sr  was a bit of a Mountain Man.  I was born on August 9.  David's birthday was August 16th.  When he was 12 he received a bike and I was his early birthday present. My parents raised sheep and my father built a little wooden wagon to be attached to the sheep with a tiny seat so David could lead the sheep around and give me a ride.  Later he taught be how to ride the bicycle that my father made me out of plumbing pipe - I always blamed that bike for my big calves!! He went to school to be a machinist but that position was not for him.  He needed to be outdoors. After he married he worked construction and landscaping. When his children were grown he started two businesses. One was a welding business.  The other was a tree service.  He excelled at both and worked at both until he was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer on Christmas Day of 2011.

As the  years passed each of the four children in my family of origin went their separate ways.  I hadn't seen him since the execution of my father's will in 2006...6 years ago.  He had decided he didn't want to continue a relationship with his siblings.  Sad.

I received word of his passing on Thursday evening.  I won't get to go to a wake or a funeral.  My friends won't be able to gather and comfort me.  I am sad about that.  I will honor David's wishes though.



Today I needed to comfort myself by writing these words and publishing these pictures of a happier day.  David gave me away at our September 16, 1972 wedding.   It was a happier day.





Yes I crocheted my gown.


Rest in Peace David

August 16, 1937 - March 27, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Today Was A Sad Day

...but there is tomorrow to look forward to.  Be back then.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cross Stitch Help

4 things every cross stitcher should know
As seen in Cross Stitcher
Cross stitching, like everything else, is a learning curve. We've asked some pro stitchers to tell us the clever tricks they've picked up over the years. Read on to discover what they wish they'd known before they first picked up a needle. Prepare to be inspired!
Even with all the good advice in the world it's impossible to get things perfect first time, and it can take a lot of trial and error to work out the best methods for you. But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy ourselves along the way! Half the fun of stitching is experimenting with different techniques and ways of doing things,
• "Always use an embroidery hoop or frame even if your project is very small. Your stitching tension will be so much better and you'll have something firm to hold on to as you work, meaning you don't need to handle the fabric with your fingers so much.”
Debbie Cripps, designer
• "I wish I'd known sooner about the 'using three strands when working on coloured fabric' rule. I didn't realise how much intense-coloured fabrics suck the colour out of your threads. Three strands makes all the difference!”
Emily Peacock, designer
• “I've learned to always work in really good light and use a thread sorter if possible. This is important with designs that have similar shades of one colour. I know I've come back to my stitching the morning after on a few occasions only to find that parts have been stitched in the wrong shade! A thread sorter saves a lot of unpicking.”
Joanne Sanderson, designer 
• “I wish I'd known more about handling metallic threads. I've found that knotting them to your needle really helps. Loop the thread and pass the ends through the eye of your needle and back through the loop. It makes everything stress-free!”
Nina Jackson, stitched


I adore Cross Stitcher Magazine ....that is the one that is always encased in a plastic slip so you canNOT look through it before you purchase it (Yuck!), it is published in GB and it is really pricey. Many times I simply do not have the price !


The Making Spot however is an online arm of Cross Stitcher that is emailed to you and  gives you the opportunity to purchase individual projects found in Cross Stitcher.  Sometimes it even gives you FREE advice.  That is what I have reposted above.  I hope there is a tip there that will help you...I found TWO that will help me. Who knew to use 3 strands on colored backgrounds?  Not me.


Oh and one more thing before I go:





This is the MOST INCREDIBLE story you will ever read.
It is available for pre-order now at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
It is also available for Kindle and The Nook or any E Reader.
It will be available on April 3.
I have been reading the NieNieDialogues.com now for 5 years. I never miss a day.
Stephanie Aurora Nielson is an inspiration for me.



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Unusual Tuesday

I was planning to Spring Clean yet another room today but........a knock at the door gave me a reprieve. My eldest grandson, Connor  (13) arrived unexpectedly.

This is Spring Break at the children's school.  The children's "other Gram" had taken all three children to our local roller skating rink this morning.  While there she fell and BROKE her left wrist. Ouch.  The rink sent her to the hospital via ambulance and the children went home with her partner, Michael.  Luckily we live less than a mile away from each other and Connor decided to "take a walk" to our home and let me know what was up. NOTE: I have U-Verse which means more TV channels at my house and they do not have TV at their home.  Needless to say I told Connor to tell Michael to bring them all over to my home (hub was at work and we only have one car so I couldn't go to get them) so he could go be with Susan at the hospital!

Within an hour I had all three.  Ask me how excited I was!!

I took the following picture in the dining room after we colored.  Notice the bike mitts and scarf Phoebe
modeled for me.  If you go back a couple of posts you will read about the pattern.  Aren't they adorable??


Riley (9) and Phoebe (5)


Since their coats were being held hostage in their "other Gram's" car at the rink I found some fleece sweatshirts (adult size unfortunately) and away they went to climb their favorite hemlock tree.


Riley helping Phoebe zip up



AND...



                                                    
Not Birds...Grandchildren!!!


The BEST role of my life is being 
a Grandmother*



*I highly recommend it to EVERY woman
                                               

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Very SPECIAL Sunday


As you can tell this blog is a "newbie".  For some starting a blog is so easy...they just decide to make one and Voila! it's online.  Not so with me.  It took me a long while to get up the courage and even longer to figure things out.

I've been a blog reader for a long time.  So many blog simply amaze me, others teach me, most inspire me, several awe me.  Mostly I just want mine to become a "soft place to land".

Today I want to take a moment to say a HUGE thank you to a member of the Old Farmhouse Gathering Team on Etsy.  Her name is Becky and she is from the amazing state of Maine. The name of her shop is CountryLaneFolkArt.

I was really struggling with how to add some of CraftCults widgets (Etsy Slide and Blog Roll) to this blog so that I could participate in the weekend Blog Linking Parties.  I put a post on OFG's message board and sweet Becky answered my plea for help.  She called me and within fifteen minutes she had me completely straightened out and on my way.  I was really touched by her kindness and I wanted to take this opportunity to show you some of her amazing work:




I hope you will visit Becky's Shop, Facebook Page, and Blog soon.



http://countrylanefolkart.blogspot.com/
http://www.countrylanefolkart.com
http://www.countrylanefolkart.etsy.com
http://www.facebook.com/countrylanefolkart



                     

      



Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rainbow Scarf and Mitts

Despite the sunshine and record high temperature today wasn't the happiest of days for me.  I keep myself in check by reciting, "this too shall pass".  One way I try to brighten my day is to go to my long - and getting longer every week - list of blogs.  There is no end to the creation I find on these blogs. There are so many incredibly gifted sewers, stitchers, embroiderers, knitters, etc., etc.  AND there are so many tutorials.  Today I'd like to introduce to one of my favorites: Green Dragon Fly on Wordpress. Here is her address: https://thegreendragonfly.wordpress.com.

When I was in California recently my sweet Piper girl was constantly drawing and coloring Rainbows. Rainbows are currently her favorite subject.  So...when I saw this tutorial today I nearly jumped for joy:

https://thegreendragonfly.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/rainbow-scarf-tutorial


                             
                                             Rainbow Scarf and Mitts

I have maybe two hours of housework to do in the am and then I am going to plunk myself down with my cotton yarn supply, watch The View, and make Miss Piper a set.  Did I say JUST Miss Piper...well I could try that BUT  Miss Natalie would feel VERY left behind so I will start with one set and then proceed to make a second, slightly more petite set for Natalie L (as she likes to me called).

Have I told you recently how much I adore my little California granddaughter...I have?  Oh well it never hurts to emphasize things right?
                                                                        The End


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Cleaning !



Trying so hard to just take it one room at a time...but that NEVER works out..I mean you start to clean one room and then that leads to another and then suddenly you are way over your head and you have to just say "Hault! I need a rest. 

So...during one of those rest periods I made a new mouse..her name is Emma (after what my children called my Mom instead of Gramma).  She is different because she wears a straw bonnet instead of a stuffed fabric hat.





                                   Emma: A Country Shopper




Emma has filled her tiny basket full of today's freshest brown and white eggs, a lovely twisted bread and of course a wedge of cheese.  In her hand she carries another wedge of cheese.  I'm wondering if that wedge is really going to make it home or if by chance it will be nibbled upon before she gets there!


                                               Be back soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Old Farmhouse Give Away


The Old Farmhouse Gathering is a wonderful Etsy team which I am proud to be a member of.

Today is the first day of our Spring Give Away called Friends are Flowers in the Garden of Life.

On March 24 one winner will receive all sixteen items donated by the members of OFG.  The value of this giveaway is $216.00.  The winner will be chosen by random from all of the comments left.

All you have to do is go to Etsy, Click on Treasury and then FAFOFG, visit some of the shops and then leave a comment.  For two chances to win you just need to "favorite" the treasury.

This is the mouse that I donated:


Rosie the Gardener

A new member of the adorable handmade Warmth Collection of Mice, Rosie has been dreaming of the perfect rose garden. Dressed in brick Sturbridge Plaid she has been reading and re-reading the Jackson Perkins catalog all winter dreaming of Spring and a new rose plant. She is 3" tall, made of 100% wool felt, with a suede tail. She carries a porcelain fully open yellow rose and a tiny silver watering can.

The other mice have welcomed her to their meadow but she'd love to be a member of your family.



Monday, March 12, 2012

"Kelly O'Mouse"




I promised you a new 11" mouse and here she is:



Kelly O'Mouse


For so many years people have told me that I should make "bigger mice".  Originally my mice were made for the Christmas tree...that is why they are the size they are... I mean who wants a huge ornament?   There are, however, many things I cannot do on such a teenie tiny mouse and so I have given in and started designing larger mice.  Kelly is just the fourth of a series.  She is named after my husband's sister's daughter Kelly O'Donnell Hartzog. Now I ask you how much more Irish could Kelly be with a name like Kelly O'Donnell?

I tried to combine three other elements that I love in this piece: hearts, quilting and cross stitch. I pieced together three different "Irish" fabrics to make the heart and then cross stitched on the "Erin Go Bragh".
Fun..fun..and more fun.

I hope you like the finished product.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Pillow for Each Little Lady

I love to crochet and as you probably already know I adore my little "far away" Granddaughters Piper and Natalie.... What I thought would be almost as good as a snuggle....how about a soft crocheted pillow just the right size for a little head!

This is what I came up with:



The yellow one is Piper's and the brown and pink is Natalie's.  This is how I did them:

I purchased two 12"x16" "Travel Pillows" at WalMart
I used Worsted Weight Yarn and a size G Crochet Hook
I chained 60 and then simply single crocheted back and forth.
At the end of each row I chained one.
I kept holding the work up to the pillow until I felt it would cover one half.
Next I simple made another piece exactly the same except I put a scalloped edge around it.
I attached the yarn with a slip stitch to one corner. Next I skipped one space and into the next space I crocheted five double crochets. Next I skipped a stitch and single crocheted into the next stitch, skipped one space and made five double crochets in the next space and repeated until I was around all four corners.  When that was complete I put the two pieces, wrong sides together and whip stitched three sides together, slipped in the pillow and whip stitched the last side.


                                              Close up of Scalloped Edge


This project is simple and fun.  I thought of the girls with each stitch I made.  I hope they love their Grammie Made pillows...they are filled with love.

                                                                       The  End

                                                                     


Easter Bunny Cross Stitched Pendant Necklace-Perfect Spring/Easter Gift by Warmth - $26.00

I've cross stitched a tiny beige bunny from behind. Gotta love those adorable Bunny Butts!!! Along side of him I've cross stitched his favorite snack - teenie tiny carrots fresh from the garden. The pendant that I've used is not sterling - it is metal coated with a silver finish. The chain is silver coated as well and is 18" long.



This pendant is perfect for the a "Bunny Lover&qu...

Click Here to Visit My Etsy Shop!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Two Little Mailboxes

I've just returned from a lovely visit with two of my little granddaughters who live in California.  I loved every minute of the visit. The girls are so busy and so much fun. Both love their schools and I was given the privilege of visiting both of them.  On Friday Piper's Kindergarten Class celebrated her sixth birthday.  As we arrived the birthday flag was flying. At the start of each day Mrs. Mecchi does "the calendar". However on "Birthday Days" the child whose birthday it is has that honor. Piper was just terrific. Poised, confident, and so proud. Not only did she perform flawlessly but she serenaded the classroom afterward with two songs.  Her classmates were spellbound.  You see when the year began Piper was so shy she hardly ever spoke at all.

When her performance was over we left her class to finish their day and we went to Natalie's school. It is called Little Hands Pre School and is held in an Episcopal Church in San Carlos. There is a long slanting walkway up to the entrance. The speed of the 36" tall Natalie as she raced up it to the entrance just amazed me.  She simply could NOT wait to get in.  As we went through the gate you could hear her classmates calling out their Hello's to her....and then the race was really on.  What a fabulous facility. The structure was daunting.  The children were actually helping and encouraging one another.  The chatter was remarkable. All I could think was, "what are their parents feeding them???"  At one point little Natalie was washing her "baby" along with several other little ones at the water table.  Along came some boys and dumped the rocks they had collected in the upper "digging area" into the water table.  Well that did not please Miss Natalie L (there are two Natalies you see Natalie L and Natalie K).  She raised one of her pointer fingers, put a frown on her little face that would have scared off a robber and raised her voice and said, "No!"  I tell you those boys ran.  Then she proceeded to use the "net" and picked up all the rocks and returned them to the digging area.  I thought then of how my daughter Jess had told me that she didn't ever worry about Natalie defending herself.   Apparently before she toned it down a bit Jess described her as a Soccer Hooligan!  Let me tell you by the time her class day came to an end at 11:30 those 3 year olds had me beat!!

The next challenge for me came on Saturday. I played with the girls while their Dad attended class and Jess left to select a dress and shoes for the Big Auction Date.  That was a breeze but my "BIG" challenge was yet to come.   I was to care for the girls from 5pm to 11pm or so while their parents attended a large auction that was raising money for the entire school district.  This was a huge affair with lots of fun activities and Jess and Peter were as excited as if they were going to a prom. They don't have too much time to socialize between Peter working full time and attending  UCal Berkeley for his MBA, parenting the girls and finding time to both study and sleep a bit.  Jessika has also been organizing two other fundraisers for SPNS and Little Hands.  Her background in non-profit fundraising has really benefited the children's schools.  Between shuttling the girls to school, working at Little Hands once a week and SPNS once a week, keeping the house going and cooking special Nut-free and Gluten-free meals three times a day she is constantly beat.

I have to admit I was silently totally panic stricken working in a kitchen I knew little about on a gas stove (terrified of those) and making a dinner for two very discriminating children I'm lucky if I see twice a year!!  But I have to tell you the super duper hot dogs and fries (actually tiny potatoes rolled in EVOO and course salt and baked in the oven) were a huge success.  Little Natalie put away 2 dogs.
Like my two grandson's would say, "she is a goat, she'll eat ANYthing".  Even Piper finished completely.  Next it was on to books and bed.  Well it was supposed to be books and bed.  It ended up being lots of Dora, twelve (yep, I'm easy) and no bed.  Finally at 10pm Piper said, "I'm beat. Let's go to sleep."  Of course both girls wanted me to be with them so we had to all congregate in J and P's room. Piper in her sleeping bag on the floor was delighted. Natalie I got to sleep "where Mommy sleeps" and she thought she was "Queen of the Night".  It took approx. 3 minutes and both were out cold.  Sigh....

The next day was another horse race with Jess finishing "Eloise's skirt" and she and I going to pick up the cupcakes for the party..purchasing buttons and last minute items at JoAnns.  Daddy had taken the girls to their favorite place: Happy Hollows (a children's amusement park in San Jose) with a huge wooden brand new play scape. Let's just say he had a bit of a head ache.  You see he sang Karaoke the night before at the Auction. If you know Peter you know his reserve would not allow that unless a bit of alcohol was involved.  Yes  apparently he did "a mean Neil Diamond".

While J was in the nearby party store purchasing a number six balloon I thought I should try to keep the scorching hot car cool so I turned on the A/C.  WRONG MOVE.  Little did I know that the car and it's battery were over six years old and the last time Natalie left the backseat lights on and AAA had to come to "jump" the car they told Jess that only a new battery would start the car the next time it died. Oh I just wanted to die myself!!!  Jess just laughed and said it was long overdue and AAA would come quickly. In the meantime with the car scorching hot and $120 worth of nut-free cupcakes in the back seat Jess texted Peter and on his way back from Happy Hollows he picked up the cupcakes while we waiting on AAA.  Just about the time of transfer the huge number six balloon popped, Jess screamed, Piper cried, and I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  Could this drama go on much longer???

AAA was wonderful. The battery is guaranteed for 6 years....and off we went rushing back to the house to put the buttons and snaps on the Eloise Skirt for that evening's birthday party.

Balloons:check, cupcakes:check,bouncy house:check,arts and crafts supplies:check, pizza delivery: check.  Oh Lord let all the kids come, let the food be good, let no one get hurt in the bouncy house and most important of all let Piper have a wonderful time at her party.

The children came, the food was fabulous, the staff at the Youth Center were endearing, the parents of the children were such good sports, the children hugged and ate and played and jumped and were the sweetest bunch of children ever....all from Room 4 of Brittan Acres School in San Carlos, California.

Another day over. What a wonderful, fun filled day. Hectic and exciting and WONDERFUL.

After the party which was held from 6-8pm (the only available time all weekend due to an athletic event) the children put on their pajamas and it was time for Piper to open her gifts.  I honestly have to say that it was really touching to watch a little six year old as excited by the hand drawn and written cards and notes that accompanied the gifts as the gifts themselves.  Some of the notes just tugged at your heart: "Piper, you are so COOL"  "Piper you are my BFF"  It just made me feel so happy for her that she had so many friends.  This was a very happy, confident, loved little girl.  What more could a Grammie want?

Well all of this dialog leads up to the thank you gift that I sent the girls today.  It was because of their love of sending each other (Piper and her friends, AND Piper and Natalie) little hand written notes.
"Be Good"  "Hi" "Come Over", etc. that I thought of making each girl their very own mailbox.  There was never going to be a more appropriate time.

I was able to find two little mailboxes at JoAnns. $4.95 each. They are made of tin, beautifully painted Hot Pink, Blue, or White.  I think I found the only two left in the State of Connecticut: one blue, one white. They can, however be ordered from JoAnn.com.  Then I went to the scrapbook section and purchased some puffy pin-dotted press apply letters ($3.95 each color) and put the girls names on the front and the word "mail" on the flags.  (Yes, I know I made a mistake on Natalie's...but I did correct it before I mailed it!)

Here are a few pictures:





Friday evening is Video Night at the Levinson's.    In Natalie's Mailbox
I put a dual copy of Lady and the Tramp.
This Friday will be a special night with Mom's Popcorn and "The Tramp".

The End

Monday, March 5, 2012

I AM SIX


What a fun party. Eloise (opps, I mean Piper) had the BEST time ever.  Nearly all of her Room 4 friends were there.  There was a bouncy castle, arts and crafts, pizza, and cupcakes topped with bows and the number 6 and even the outfit that Eloise always wears.  After all of that there was free play in the huge gym at the Youth Center of San Carlos.

Miss P greeted all arriving guests with the biggest wave and Hi......... and from that point on was just the sweetest hostess, making sure each of her guests had the best time at her Plaza.


Piper...nearly "Eloise".....as Mommy makes last minute adjustments...yes Mommy did make the outfit..


"Eloise" pulling her favorite friend "Johnny" from SPNS Pre School.


Oh Yummm..Natalie loves her some Chocolate Cupcake!!




Can you believe these adorable cupcakes with Eloise's outfit on them?




"Eloise" and her Mommy consult....

 

Sitting on the bleachers at the end of a lots of athletic play...three tired ladies!!

Of course her little sister Natalie was in attendance and kept right up there with all the almost and newly sixes.  There seems little that this child cannot do..and do well.  She is a total delight and was so happy for her Big sister.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gracious I Almost Forgot!!!

The Old Farmhouse Gathering Group has a Luck of the Irish Challenge going on thru the 26th.

Hope you will drop by and vote for your favorite:


                200x200px

A New Year A New Look

I have really neglected this blog up until now.  I am going to try to not let that happen again in 2012.
So many new designs are swirling around in my head and I'm going to try to highlight them here.

In the coming days I will be introducing you to new mice.  They are approximately 11" tall and come standing on wooden painted bases....no tipping for them!   The first one is for St. Patrick's Day and she is a beauty.

Miss Piper Jolie Welcome Levinson


I will be visiting my granddaughter Piper in California next week. I leave on 1 March and return on 6 March.   She turns six on 4 March and she will be having an "Eloise" Party. I can not wait to see her and her little sister Natalie. We are going to have so much fun together...

When I return I'll have some fun pictures to show you.

Until then stay focused on the soon to come Spring,

Linda


the Mousemaker