He plays Guitar, She plays Cello

Steve plays guitar. I play cello. But not like this.
Someday he'll shave his head, I'll dye pink streaks in my hair, and we will play duets like this.


Reverse Engineering

There are a lot of engineers in our family. Lots. My grandpa and father are both inventers of sorts. You could say figuring out how things are put together kind of runs in my blood. Usually this means taking things apart (how fun!) in order to understand how they're put together in the first place. I even had a summer job as a teen where I spent all my time taking apart the armrest/floor console units you find between the front seats of cars.

I'm still love a good creative challenge, especially figuring out how something was done. A friend asked if I could reproduce a knitted bunny she saw. Look at a 3D object, then figure out how to make it 2 dimensionally and sew it up so it's a recognizable 3D form. Hmmm. So far, so good, but the feet are stumping me. I thank my Mechanical Drawing teacher in high school very much (he even had a mechanical arm with a CLAW! I've never seen a room full of high school football jocks show such respect - and fear).
Then I saw a blanket I liked, so I went home and wrote down what I remembered. Here it is, in progress, about 98% accurate to the orginial.


"Seeds, Start Growing!"

This favorite line from a "Frog & Toad" book was repeated several times after my future farmers of America finished planting this year's garden seeds. We started them in peat pellets, and after only a few days we can see little sprouts!

The kids really got into it this year, making their own garden markers from plastic knives. We figured out the plastic dome wouldn't fit over the knives, so they were pulled out and saved for later. My daughter made a map so we can remember what was planted where in our little greenhouse. Once we get things growing, spelling will be next to master.


Shakespeare on Music

"When gripping griefs the heart doth wound
And doleful dumps the mind oppress
Then music with her silver sound
With speedy help doth lend redress."

Romeo and Juliet, Act IV, Scene V


Bathroom Redo

My parents came a week ago and helped us update our "chicken bathroom." We reused the beadboard ceiling from our dining room (about 15% was damaged from our washing machine leak around Christmas). It was definitely a "fambly projeckt!"

before the renovation: too many patterns and visual distractions for a tiny bathroom

tearing off paneling and wallpaper is just what little boys love to do

painting set up in the garage

Grandpa wears our little guy's favorite letter and wins a constant shadow and helper!

nailing in the last trim piece (note the signature tongue sticking out - a KVO trademark)

finished! no more ugly water valves showing, but still accessible through a handy panel

we even had a ribbon (TP) cutting ceremony, but decided against celebrating with Tootsie Rolls


Texas Tragedy

Please pray for two Texas girls, 10 and 3 years old, whose mother was shot dead in her kitchen while they watched a few days ago. They attend a CREC church there. See here for news write up and video, under the name Barnhill.


Color in Life

I hear lots of comments from people who express their lack of confidence in choosing colors, from coordinating suits and ties to painting living rooms. We live with color every day, and I think it's a shame to default to cream for lack of confidence! (What 5 yr old has been content to color with just white on white paper?) So I point you to this excellent discussion of color schemes over at Oh Fransson. Go read it now.

Finished? Your assignment is to find someway to experiment with monochromatic, analogous, and complimentary color schemes. Think floral arrangments, napkins/table settings, outfits you wear, etc. Let me know what you discover! I'd love to see pictures, too!


In the Creativity Corner

Someone pointed out that my sidebar list of projects was sorely out of date. So it's now current, and I thought I'd share some pics of what I've been working on lately. It seems that most of my projects have a few loose ends to tie up! I think it's a case of crafting infidelity.

flannel nightgown for daughter, with lots of room to grow (needs 3 buttons)
socks for hubby's b-day, long overdue (only 1/3 of a sock to go!)

yes, I made a new ironing board cover (from thrift store fabric, DONE!)

working on reverse engineering a bunny for a friend (legs and dress to come)

one big fat fern lace afghan (picture shows about how much is done)

American girl doll socks for niece's birthday (DONE!)

And one spring jumper for my daughter, with no picture yet (DONE!)


Tin ceiling completed

We finally have our dining room ceiling finished! Working with the tin was a bit fiddly at times (especially when our clear finish coat reacted with the paint underneath and we had to sand it off and repaint spots) but I like the overall effect it gives. Of course, getting a proper light fixture in the room will change the look a bit too. The carpet comes tomorrow, then I'll have my dining room back! Hooray!

Mom helps us prepare the panels during her visit late February

sorry for the glare - taking photos in dark rooms of shiny items is a challenge!