Saturday, May 30, 2009

brookgreen gardens sculptures

Okay, I still have some pictures from our trip to the beach that I really want to share. Brookgreen Gardens is such a beautiful place to visit and I absolutely loved it. The sculptures throughout the gardens are so wonderful and I tried to capture their beauty. I don't know the names of the sculptures but they are breathtakingly amazing. This first grouping of sculptures was called The Dancers.
This next collage has some of my favorites. The sculptures have so much detail...stunning, really.
This last collage was spread out along a trail through the old slave quarters on the plantation. They are very large sculptures and I'm afraid my pictures didn't really capture the full effect among the moss draped oaks.
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The are more sculptures to see. I'll share those another day.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Japanese sewing book is in the house

My Japanese sewing book finally arrived! Remember I entered a giveaway at the beginning of the month...and I won! Remember that? Well, it's here and what a wonderful treat it is! When the mailman stood on our steps for several minutes looking at my mail I just knew the book was here. We don't get much mail all the way from New Zealand in these parts! Let me just say to Jacqui from the blog Hazelnuts...Thank you for hosting such a great giveaway...and thank you for sending this fabulous book to the other side of the globe. I can hardly wait to get sewing.
Here are a few shots I took as soon as the mail arrived. First, the mailing envelope is so fabulous. That would be super-cute as a fabric print. Second, the cover of the book and the sweet note from Jacqui on that wonderful paper with orange flowers...loving the orange. The next three shots are pictures of finished products in the book. Everything is written in Japanese except for the word -detail- in a box pointing to a close-up shot of the sleeve. A little more words in English would be nice...but oh, well. I'm up for the challenge. I tend to get frustrated when reading the instructions anyway, so just using the illustrations should be great!
Thankfully the illustrations are very clear. Here are a few shots of the actual sewing instructions. First to accurately measure yourself. Nothing is left out...head circumference, hand width, even the length from the waist to hip in the seated position! Secondly, pattern piece descriptions and how to wear cute Japanese clothes while cutting out your fabric :o) The last two pictures are just some shots of some amazingly detailed illustrations.

I'm pretty excited about making some of the clothes from this book. It really has some beautiful clothes and with each pattern there are variations so the possibilities are endless.
Thanks again Jacqui--you made my day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

you gotta see this

I saw this video clip over at Rebekah's blog and being that The Sound of Music is my all time favorite movie...I just had to share it with you. If it's not your favorite movie you might just want to skip this post. But seriously though, who doesn't love The Sound of Music?

Okay, be honest...did you sing along? :o)

The comments option isn't showing up today...trying to figure that out. If you want to comment just do so on the previous post and I'll get it.
Oh, I think I fixed it.

Monday, May 25, 2009


I thought I'd squeeze in a quick note between vacation posts. Yes, there are more to come...fewer beach pictures though. We did go to a few other places. Anyway, this was the longest 3 day weekend ever. Threes. Oh, how things happen in threes sometimes.

cooking: 1. Friday for dinner I baked some chicken seasoned with a few different things to mix it up a little. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the best cook in the world but I've come a long way and it's been a while since I made noticeable mistakes. So, the seasoning...too salty.2. Saturday I made some fresh hummus. I used the same fabulous recipe that I've used many times but this time I used way too much cilantro. Now, we love cilantro but there is a line that should not be crossed. I crossed it. It's still edible, but I'll carefully measure next time.3. Sunday I made a crockpot full of navy beans. Again, I used my favorite recipe and I followed it like I always do. After the beans had cooked for several hours Tim wanted to try some. I tasted them and something was definitely missing...duh, the hunk of smoked ham. How could I forget the most important flavoring ingredient? Okay, I had plenty of time left to add it in and it turned out great, but sheesh, enough with the mistakes already. I had a lot going on Sunday, but really, there's no excuse. So since I made three cooking mistakes three days in a row I'm really hoping that's over.
gardening: 1. Saturday we bought some seeds and some young plants to get our garden growing. Yes, I know it's kind of late to get started, but I don't mind. 2.Today we planted our tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, and cucumber plants. We also planted some seeds...sugar snap peas, beets, and around the edge of our little garden spot we planted marigolds and poppies. 3. Also today, Tim got me a fancy new soaker hose so watering the garden will be more effective and beneficial.
enjoying: 1.Tim found a great hammock on clearance. Bought it. Hung it. Relaxed in it. Niiiiiiiice. 2.Tim made a lot of progress working on the back yard while I worked on the garden. It's going to be a great space to play and relax before we know it. 3.We had a small family gathering to celebrate the birthday of my little one. Take one little girl add a few family members, a pile of presents, some big balloons, and a gluten-free princess crown birthday cake and you've got a whole lot of fun. (this should probably go without saying...but pictures to come)
Sorry for the post sans photos. I promise to make it up to you. And I certainly hope this post is a collection of cohesive, coherent thoughts because I am dog tired. Happy Memorial Day.

day trips at the beach

While we were in South Carolina at Myrtle Beach we decided to take a drive to Brookgreen Gardens. Tim and I went there while on our honeymoon almost 15 years ago and we hadn't been back since. Let me just say, if you are ever near Brookgreen Gardens you need to go there, with your camera, and some lunch, and be prepared to spend all day. There is so much to see...with two small kids it made for a long day, but with free stroller usage and lots of shady places they did a great job. There were so many sculptures and flowers and fountains to see. There's an aviary to walk through and a small lowcountry zoo. There is also a children's sculpture garden and a children's discovery room, and so much more. Too much to even explain. So, to start off this series of Brookgreen Gardens posts, here is a sampling of the beautiful flowers and trees that were in bloom.
Can I just say, I love Spanish moss.
That fabulous purple flower is a passion fruit flower. They also grow in Virginia. Tim and I saw one for the first time while we were walking along the river a few years ago.
After seeing the pink water lilies and their reflections I could see why Monet chose to capture such a beautiful sight on canvas. If only I had that talent.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

sights at the beach

Here are a few more pictures from our trip to the beach. Some things we came across are common sights to most adults, but when I went for a walk down the beach with my girls they were amazed by some of the simplest things. I find it amazing how I tend to overlook things because I've seen them a million times. I've been missing some pretty cool stuff.
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1)a big, but simple sandcastle with the best moat ever! 2)a couple getting married as the sun beautiful 3)the standard beachy fence with sea oats blowing in the breeze...I just love that 4)a funny little seagull that miss E chased down the beach 5)you know I had to include a shot of Tim and the girls...they were hunting for shells and shark teeth on our final walk down the beach 6)a tiny hermit crab in a tide pool that had taken over a snail shell...we watched in amazement as it crawled cautiously around our feet then hid when we picked it up...lots of entertainment from such a small, yet amazing creature 7)the longest line of pelicans we had ever seen...I didn't all fit in the frame 8)seaweed...the girls weren't afraid to touch it, but they did not like it when I threw it at them:o) 9)a zoomed in shot of the, eh?
Well, are you tiring of beach pics yet? We did go to a few other places than the beach. I'll share some of those soon. We've been enjoying some nice warm weather this week as we get back into our beloved routine. Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

girls on the beach

Oh, I'm sorry. Have you been waiting for pictures of my girls on the beach. Well, my dear friends, the time has come.

Sisters playing together in the tide pools. Gotta love the tide pools...the waves still close enough to cover you with a spray of salty water but far enough away to enjoy playing in the water without getting scared.

Okay, this next collage is all miss E. Silly, serious, sleepy, curious, confident, and downright cute. Am I right or am I right?

Now for the collage of miss O. Energetic, excited, exhausted, artful, amusing, and certainly adorable. Am I right or am I right?

Seriously, can they get any cuter? They had so much fun playing together...which just makes me all mushy on the inside. On our last evening on the beach they played with another little girl...a local girl playing with her grandfather...and they had so much fun but when it was time to go they happily waved goodbye to the little girl and continued hopping through the tidal pools all the way back to the condo.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

days on the beach

Dolphins at play...
okay it was probably feeding time, but playing is the rated E for Everyone explanation. There were so many dophins out there...too many to count. They are such beautiful animals. What a sight to see!
It was quite cloudy most mornings at the beach, but thankfully there were a few beautiful sunrises to enjoy. On those clear, sunny mornings I went for an early run before everyone else was awake and I got to enjoy seeing the sun rise. (Shocking I know, but I did get up and run...those stinkin' birds were so loud I was awake anyway, so why not run?)Of course, that meant that I didn't get to capture the most beautiful shots on film my camera. It's kinda hard to run and take pictures...ha, have you seen the movie Yes Man? Maybe I should have given jogging photography a try :o) Anyway, these are the images I captured when I got back inside...not too shabby, eh?

Okay, these shots are just because I can't stop taking pictures. They never turn out as beautiful as it is in real life, but the sparkling that I captured that...and the fog rolling over the beach...loving that too.

Okay, that's 12 pictures...only 415 to go! hehe! Now if only you could feel that warm breeze and smell the salty air....aaaaahhhhhhhhhh!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

how's that possible?

The entire drive to the beach and the entire ride back home from the beach neither of my girls fell asleep! How's that possible? If I'm in the car for more than 40 minutes I'm out cold, only to wake up if there's a change in the speed at which we are going or if we hit a bump in the road. Normally my girls are talkers...for reals, like non-stop...but thanks to the wonderful, sanity-containing, portable DVD players all I have to do is put on a movie and the only sounds I hear are coming from the movie. Note to self: be sure to take movies that the kids will enjoy but will also not annoy the crap out of the adults who have to listen to aforementioned movies. Yes, I know that the portable DVD players have headphone girls aren't big fans of the headphones...yet.
I was at the beach for 7 days and I took 427 pictures! How's that possible? Tim asked me the same question except he meant it in a different way. He in the world did you manage to take 427 pictures in a week?! I meant it like...I had a whole week of vacation, how did I manage to take only 427 pictures. I confess, I didn't take my camera with me where ever I went. It rained some...didn't want water damage, and it was super windy on the beach a few days...didn't want sand messing things up. Although my legs were nice and smooth from being exfoliated while I looked for shells...and shark teeth. (This tiny collection is from our walk on the beach as soon as we arrived....there are many more shells and many, many more shark teeth.)
Miss E got her first black eye from two different people that did the same exact thing! How's that possible? Well, she's at that height where if she stands really close to you, you can't see her...also, she's in the "let's see how quiet I can be and sneak up on people" phase. The first assault was by dear ol' dad who was standing in a doorway. He took a step back, stepped on her foot and in an effort to not completely fall on her his elbow caught her right below the eye. Yikes! The next day the assault came from Pop. He was playing with miss O, miss E wanted in on the fun and came up behind him and his elbow caught her right above the eyebrow...same eye! Double yikes! She only cried for a minute with each one. Playing with ice cubes helped her forget the pain.
While at the beach I took some yarn and some hooks. I managed to complete three little projects! How's that possible? Well, although it's nice to have cable tv to enjoy while on vacation it is sadly apparent that there isn't really much to watch. So while I sat and listened to and half watched shows like MythBusters and the occasional MMA match (which I do enjoy, by the way...weird, I know) I also crocheted. I made two spa washcloths with some of my yummy new yarn and by request I made our beloved Tallulah doll a pretty blue dress. The pattern for the wash cloths I found here and the doll dress pattern I found here. There are obviously some mistakes in the doll pattern so after about 6 or 7 rows I pulled it all out and started over changing some rows of DC to SC. It all worked out in the end. It looks like a dress, it fits Tallulah, and the girls are happy with the result. Now I just need to add a button and a loop to finish it off.

As I mentioned before, I took 427 pictures and I didn't put any beach shots in this post. How's that possible? Don't worry my friends, I'm working on it. I hope you all had a great week. It's nice to be home.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

back home

She's like an old friend that I haven't seen in months.
In a matter of minutes it was like we had never been apart.
Posing for pictures together like silly little girls, just like we do every time.
It's always hard to part ways but she's always game for one more shot early in the morning. Nothing fancy, just her natural beauty shining through.

Monday, May 11, 2009

beach thoughts and giveaway updates

  • I am loving how E says "she shells", "bathing soups", and "sun scream" so cute, every time
  • With a little fear O approaches the water's edge, the waves break and roll across the sand just reaching her toes then the fear is replaced with excitement and wonder.
  • There have been many dolphins frolicking in the close breaking's really amazing to watch them. Jellyfish are amazing, too, but slimy and gross :o)
  • We went to Brook Green Gardens today...beautiful, amazing, awe inspiring. I can hardly wait to share some pictures with you.
  • oh, the sun, the salty air, the sand....I do love the beach, really I do.
On a non-beach note: Adrienne received the flowers she won from my giveaway. You can see them here. If only you could smell them.
Also, I entered a giveaway at a blog I found called Hazelnuts. It's a great read. Jacqui is an archaeologist with a PhD in New Zealand and she's super right? Anyway, I won her giveaway. What did I win? Oh, a Japanese sewing book. Go here to see some pictures from the book. I am so excited!
That's all I've got for now. I promise to share pictures when we get back!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

more rain?

It's been raining for days. Yes, I know we need it. I do. But when the sun shines bright and warm we find so many things to explore outside, ya know, where there's fresh air and open spaces.
We've been missing these little guys. I mean really, can you ever catch and hold too many caterpillars?
We've been missing all varieties of stinging creatures. Okay, maybe not missing them, because even at the sound of their buzzing the girls squeal and run in the opposite direction--or run and hide behind me (while I try to be cool about the stinging ones flying around me) but we sure do like watching them search for nectar in the azalea bushes. We also miss the little creatures that we surprisingly find when we're not even searching for anything. This azalea in all of it's beauty, that the girls thought I should capture, had a little spider hiding way down in the center.

Yea, we miss the sun. It'll be shining here again, soon. And if not...we'll be heading to the beach next week to find it. Because maybe, just maybe, the sun enjoys the sand and sea, too!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

spring top:: time to vote

Spring Top Week has come to a close. Now comes the fun part!

There were 100 tops made and entered during the week and now it's time to pick the top 10!

Click HERE to go vote. My top is Group 9 Top A. There are so many beautiful tops to choose from so vote for your favorite, but just remember mine is group 9 top pressure:o) Okay, really, vote for your favorite. Really, I mean it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

what can YOU get with 75 cents?

I went to a couple of yard sales...big church basements...and I really hit the mother load!
First up: two huge balls of yarn...I'm pretty sure it's 100%'s not variegated...each strand is a different color...oooooohhhhh, nice! Price: 50 cents!!! I know! Crazy!
Second: I found this lone, vintage, sweet pillow case...white with pink and yellow flowers. I've been thinking about trying a pillow case dress for my girls like this, but since I only have one pillow case, maybe I'll make a skirt for is May(d) for Me time after all. I saw a really cute one in this book that was submitted by Regina of Creative Kismet. Oh, the price of the pillow case? A whopping 25 cents! Okay, that was my 75 cents. But there's so much more for you to see. What? How can that be? ask. Well, my dear vintage pattern lovers, I really REALLY hit it big!!!! The patterns I'm about to share with you were...........FREE!!!!! Yes, free. I walked into the church basement and before I even entered the room with all the goods I saw a little table with a box of patterns on it. I asked a very sweet elderly lady how much they were and she said oh, take as many as you like, they're free. Be still my heart! I was very cool about it....calm and casual, you see, for I didn't want to make a scene. I had it all under control, that is, until my big 6 year old said in her most excitedly loud voice "Whoa! My mom loves to sew and she loves patterns!" Ahem, yes these are lovely, I said in a nonchalant voice. Then again the lady said take them, I was going to throw them in the trash so take as many as you'd like. Trash? What? I had to rescue was the right thing to do! Wanna see what I got? Do ya? Oh good, I'd thought you'd say yes. So feast your eyes on these.

Simple dresses and tops. Definitely some stash busters there.

Oh, and these. Three pieces and that's it?! Those should be a quick sew. And the one that makes you look slimmer! Who wouldn't want that?
And my personal fave...the western style shirt. It's a kids pattern...I should be able to shrink it down for my girls or make it bigger for me. With some great fabric these would be to die for! Am I right or am I right? I'm right, right?

Surprise! Two more dresses. I'm loving the two tone dress with the matching shoes. Oh, and the long pink one with the matching head wrap...I really love that. With some light and airy fabric that would be perfect for summer! I've got some sewing to do.

hear ye! hear ye!

Today's the day! The exciting day!

Someone has won the Mother's Day Giveaway!






Adrienne is from the wonderful blog Some of a Kind. She's got all kinds of great, creative things going on over there. You should drop by and check it out. She is also the driving force behind May(d) for Me! So join in! Sew something just for you!