Monday, August 31, 2009

within sight

Here are some pictures that seem to capture daily life here at the Clothesline.
A huge, yet beautiful spider web strategically built on the swing set. I misted it so I could capture it's beauty, but otherwise this picture is SOOC. The girls tried really hard to avoid the swings that day. No, not because they were scared of the spider, but because they didn't want to ruin such a beautiful web. So, Mr. Arachnid, you can thank Charlotte for that. But next time could you leave the girls a message because that would be really cool!
Ah, this lovely shot was taken as the sun was setting. I had gone outside to take the trash out and the orange glow was amazing! I went in to grab my camera and the girls thought I was crazy for wanting to take a picture of the trash. After they saw the shot they understood...I just can't resist the orange. Plus, the jar flies were singing so loudly it was as if they were singing just for me.

Now, does it get any better than this. Miss E was very quiet one morning...very serious about her art. No one was to see her picture until it was done. It was certainly worth the wait, no? Her first family portrait.

Here by the back door I caught my little ones enjoying the sun spot with Shadow, our lovely cat. I enjoy a good sunny day myself, so it's no wonder that my girls and even our cat just can't stay away when it shines in on us.

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So that's just a little peek of what is within sight of the Clothesline.
Happy Wednesday! xo ANG

handmade gifts galore

I guess it's been quite a while since I've been here. Sorry about that. Home school planning, outdoor playing, and ya know, general wife-mom-crafter stuff has been filling up the days. But, I am here and that's what counts, right? Now, just so you know, this post has lots of pictures because I want to share with you the things I have been working on lately. Okay, do you remember that this is the year of handmade gifts in my little corner of the world? Well, it is and I have really been enjoying it. Making things, it's nice. Creating things, it's nice. Sharing this joy with my girls, it's really nice. So here's where this project begins...the gift bag. I had this perfect brown bag but it had a store logo on it..not good. The girls and I decided to break out the paints, naturally we started with pink. One wide column of pink down the center to cover the logo then some white paint on the sides to frame it...cute. After the paint dried I took our favorite scented marker...chocolate brown...and drew some flowers around the happy birthday part.
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Here's to whole kit and caboodle of the handmade loot...four washcloths, one headband, two lip balm cozies. All made of Sugar n Cream yarn...so yummy.
First, let me tell you about the gift tags though. While the girls and I had the paints out we decided to cut up a cereal box and painted the printed side...pink, of course. Then on each tag I wrote the name of the crochet pattern I used. The girls enjoyed the paint and glue...a sticky pink mess, but oh, so fun. Now for the close up of the goodies. First up, the Vanilla Grit Stitch washcloth...my new favorite.
Next the Bark Sedge Stitch washcloth. Such great texture.
The Basket Weave washcloth, a great one. It turned out great, but small so I added a row of double crochet around the outside.
My original favorite, such a unique look and a wonderful feel...the Rub-a-dub Scrub Spa washcloth. Okay, maybe this is still my favorite.
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This is a headband. Great for holding your hair out of your face while you wash it with a soothingly soft washcloth. I just did a couple of double crochet rows with single crochet around the outside, some decreases on each end then a nice chain to tie it up with. Hmmm, maybe I should have written that pattern down. I'll make another and write as I go so I can share it with you.
These are the lip balm cozies. Cute, simple, quick. On my Christmas gift list, for sure. They just need a key ring attached.
Oh, and this. This is a narrower headband for me. Cute, no?
All of these will be going in the Crochet-Along Flickr group. Have you crocheted anything to add to the group? I've got to start working on the Christmas gifts soon. I've still got a few birthdays to cover, but after that it's all Christmas gift making. Okay, maybe some just for fun projects too. Happy Monday. xoANG

Thursday, August 27, 2009

before the sun?

I don't know how your morning began...but here's the play-by-play of my morning.
6AM-awakened by scratching sound-Our cat tends to scratch at the sides of his litter box instead of scraping the litter over his, well ya know. I guess he doesn't want to get his feet dirty but then he wonders why the smell won't go away and keeps on scratching. It's maddening really, at 6am.
6:15AM-after finally drifting off I am awakened again by a loud whispering of mom, mom, mommmm! - I get up only to discover that loud whispering child can't find one beloved stuffed owl in all the covers on her bed.
Oh, forget it, let's just get up. Both girls are magically wide awake instead of the usual and because I didn't make my rounds opeing all the blinds before I went in their room it was still dark, so they ran around searching for the now hiding cat. They loudly and cheerfully planned out how they could find him by searching for his glowing eyes. Now, don't get me wrong, we normally get up at 6:30am so this isn't really too early, but I like to be awakened by a softly playing radio then I like to hit the snooze button at least once. Not today. So here I am. Everyone has been fed, dressed, beds made, and hair is being brushed. I've had coffee, checked email, fed cat, and cleaned out aforementioned litter box and it's not even 8am yet.
....to be continued.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

for the love of all things apron-y

Yes. That's right. I made another apron. I couldn't help myself. I had all of that cheery plaid just begging to be used. Plus, I realized that I had some lovely coordinating orange fabric and I just had to make something. So what kind of apron did I make? A clothespin apron, naturally. Here's my sketch.
Oh, yes. Grandiose plans, indeed. In my mind it always seems to work. Cutting and sewing are often another story entirely. My idea did, however, come together nicely, but I reversed it because I wanted the pocket on the right side since I'm right handed. Oh, believe me, having the pocket on the correct side makes a huge difference. Anyway, wanna see it? Well, if you insist! Okay..here it is.

Do you not absolutely love it? Oh the orange just screams cheerfulness doesn't it. I mean, really, who doesn't want some extra cheeriness on laundry day?! So how did I make it? Well, thanks to my pack-ratting middle school math teacher days I have a huge roll of one-inch grid paper. Perfect for making patterns. I just measured and drew the apron design, actual size, on the paper then I cut out each piece and pinned it to the chosen fabric then pieced it together like a quilt. Worked like a charm!

There are only two things that I would do differently. One, I would make the waist band using the plaid on the bias...so much cuter that way. Ya know, like on my Key West Kilt Apron. I'm just saying, if I'm gonna do housework I may as well be cute, right? And two, I'd make the bias tape trim on the pocket differently. It worked great and I actually sewed it on there just perfectly. My mistake was that I didn't cut the strip of fabric on the bias so it didn't want to curve around the pocket easily. It's a little puckered around the outer edge...oh well. At least I learned something new in the process.
Well, all of the laundry has been washed and hung and hopefully it'll be dry soon. I see some afternoon storm clouds rolling in. xo ANG

Monday, August 24, 2009

eric carle's muse

The other day I noticed a few little nibbles on my potted tomato plants. The next day I noticed several small green tomatoes missing. Then, I was amazed to see lots of branches gnawed all the way to the main stem and several tomatoes with the unmistakable holes.



Then I saw him. Oh yes, the very hungry caterpillar!

Creepy but beautiful.


Just look at that design. He's going to be a beauty with wings!
I wish I had put my hand in that picture to give it some perspective. He was as long as my index finger but bigger around. I tried to find him later on that day but he was either very good at hiding or he went to munch on the tomato plants in the garden. Thank goodness the growing season is almost over and we already ate our weight in tomatoes. :o) Here's a little video clip of this amazing creature chowing down on my cherry tomato plant. Check out that mouth!

video

Oh, happy Monday!!! xo ANG

Sunday, August 23, 2009

the hood, the lad, and the jugly

a.k.a....when rhyming goes awry.


Quick story. I love the phase in learning that has children rhyming all the time. It's fun. It teaches phonetic rules. It reinforces letter sounds. My girls and I rhyme things all the time. In fact sometimes we have contests to see who can come up with the most real words that rhyme. Oh sure, it's easy to rhyme things if you don't have to worry about the words being actual words so I try to keep it real. Most of the time it works out great, but there are times when fake words are disputed, for example zip, sip, lip, dip, hip, ...bip? Wait a minute, bip isn't a word. Well, it is if you're a robot. Hmmmm. Anyway, even when we're not playing the game I can hear the girls spouting off lists of rhyming words while they're playing with the doll house, playing with the cat, or swinging on the monkey bars. Sooner or later things are bound to take a turn for the worst.

So my little one, she's 4 years old, was playing with Shadow...our kitty. It went something like...Oh what a good kitty...a pretty kitty...an itty bitty kitty...a **itty kitty. Aaack! Let's not say that one....change subject, distract, hope that doesn't happen again. Then there's my big girl, she's 6 years old, and a master of rhyming. She and her grandfather were playing with puppets. More specifically a cute, yellow, quacking duck. Need I say more? There aren't many words to fit that one and as they made a rhyme about the duck she tried to help out with a name for him. Oh my ears...the shock! the horror! How can such words come from such sweet innocent girls?

Just look at them. So sweet and innocent. I know they've never heard those words in my house. Well, unless you count the time when we had our windows opened and the neighbor was standing outside in his yard arguing with his daughter. I guess we'll just chalk it up to a most unfortunate rhyming incident. Sheesh!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

apron love

Okay. You know that I have a thing for aprons. I do love them. I wear them while I'm cooking and cleaning....cuz I'm messy, not so much to be cute. Although, there is a certain degree of cuteness added when wearing an apron no matter what work is being done. Anyway I found the blog Tie One On through Amy Karol's Angry Chicken blog. You know Amy Karol, right? She wrote Bend-the-Rules Sewing and her new book Bend-the-Rules with Fabric is coming soon. So she loves aprons, too. Because of that she has an apron making contest every few months. This time around the theme is plaid. It doesn't matter how much plaid or what type of apron is created...as long as there is some plaid included. I told you last week that I didn't have any stuff in my stash for this contest but my mom came through with the plaid that I showed you here.


Now, I don't know about you, but when I think of plaid, I think kilts. So here is what I was thinking...with the hopes that it would come out right. Yes, I know, kilts are made of tartan plaid, and my fabric, well, it's far from Tartan. But I can still make an apron that's like a kilt, right?

RIGHT!



Summery colors, no? They remind me of Florida...so I have decided to call this... THE KEY WEST KILT APRON
I absolutely love the way it turned out. I added a little hand sewing and crocheting and it worked out just the way I had planned. Don't you just love it when that happens?! I sure do!

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Just a couple more pictures. I know you could probably do without seeing more, but my Mom is dying to see this and show it to my Grandma and since she gave me the plaid fabric I owe her some serious photos!


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So there you have it...my finished apron. My KEY WEST KILT APRON!
I know, two posts in one day...crazy! Happy Thursday xo ANG

short story with a vintage ending

One sunny afternoon we went for a lovely walk in our neighborhood.

There were many sights to see.


A sidewalk lined with spiderweb-y bushes were cool and creepy.


There was a flag waving in the breeze as we rocked on the front porch with a dear friend.
Then along came Charlie. What a cute and curious little squirrel. Our friend likes to feed Charlie and since we were relaxing on the porch with her Charlie thought it was snack time. Sorry Charlie...we were all out of nuts. But wait, he found one that he missed the day before.

Just look at that smile. He's as happy as a clam! (go ahead, click on that piccture to see it bigger...he is smiling!)We didn't leave empty handed. My girls are seriously spoiled. Our dear friend found this wonderful set of paper dolls that had belonged to her daughter when she was little. Well, her daughter is now a grandmother, so needless to say, these paper dolls are vintage...1974 is the year on the box.

The box is worn out but the paper dolls and all of the outfits are in great shape. Unbelievable! I love them. Just look at those outfits. Check out the mom's clothes...she wears aprons a lot.
So that's my story. I hope you enjoyed it. It's nice to be back here. It's been kind of busy but I have lots to share. xo ANG

Saturday, August 15, 2009

run, kim, run

Remember last year when I ran in a couple of 5K races? Okay, well if you don't remember you'll have to trust me, I did...in the rain.....both times. Anyway, I ran in those races with my friends Kim and Heather.
(soaked after racing in the rain...that's Kim in the middle)
Since that time we have all continued to run...yes, even during the winter-crazy, I know. Anyway, Kim took it one step further and began training for a half-marathon. Seriously, I have no desire to run that far all at one time. But Kim...she's one determined, self-motivated, goal-oriented girl! She's been running, and training, and getting her times better this whole time. It's quite amazing. Well, today was the half-marathon and she did a great job. I don't know her exact time but I know that it was good and she beat the goal she set for herself!
Congratulations Kim!

Friday, August 14, 2009

yarn love

When my mom came for a visit on Tuesday not only did she bring me the lovely plaid fabric for my Tie One On apron, she also brought me some yarn. More than a skein...a cone. I'm not sure of the content...wool? acrylic? some type of blend? I don't know. What I do know is that it's a lot of yarn and it will look lovely in the form of a Starling Handbag (from Futuregirl). Lined with some fabric from my stash and maybe embroidered a little, it will be so cute. I can see it...can you see it? I just need to master that darn foundation single crochet (fsc). I've been practicing and it just keep curling up on me. Grrrr! Anyway, I wonder what else I can make with this yarn because I know I'll have plenty left over. There's a lot of yarn on that cone. Here's a picture of my big girl holding it just to give you some perspective.

Yes, I know....it's huge! And the best part...my mom got it while thrifting for only $2.00!! The original Bargain Bird (cheap cheap), that's what she is! I have learned from the master! Thanks Mama :o) Happy Friday...now I've got some plaid to sew. xo ANG

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

creative juices

My creative juices seemed to have dried up in this summer heat that finally arrived. It makes me feel fidgety and stifled. It's not that I haven't been productive because I have been. Our nice oasis of a yard is great and we've been enjoying it every day. My summer garden is just about finished and the fall planting time is coming soon. I've got some lettuce, spinach, and snow peas ready to go. Sheesh, I've even done some housework and homeschool planning. So why do I feel so ...blah? I have been crocheting in the evenings and that is so nice. The texture of the yarn, working my way through some new patterns, learning new techniques...it's all soothing at the end of a long, hot day. But still ...blah. I think I figured it out. I haven't been sewing. I've got so many ideas floating around in my head, I've seen so many wonderful projects that are inspiring, yet there just hasn't been any time to sit and sew. I miss it. Well, the other day I visited Tie One On, an apron-y blog by Amy Karol, and I just knew that the current apron challenge was for me. The theme this time around is plaid. Yep, that's it...just make sure plaid is included. Okay, when I think plaid I immediately think blue, red, or green...dark, heavy material that's itchy. Hmmm, not really good for aprons. Nonetheless, I dug through my stash in search of some random scrap of that very thing. I had nothing of the sort. So I called my mom to see if she had any plaid in her stash and she did! And here it is.

It's kind of cloudy today so the colors aren't exactly right. It's a bit more teal, but I am loving the orange. I already had some shimmery cream fabric and some nice big buttons to coordinate and tone down the brightness of the plaid, but I may have to find something in my stash to bring out that orange. I do love orange, ya know. And I think something bright and cheery is exactly what I need right now. I've got a plan in my head and a sketch on paper of how this apron is going to look when it's all said sewn and done. So now that my creative juices are beginning to flow again I hope to have more to share with you...sooner rather than later.
Happy Wednesday! xo ANG

Saturday, August 8, 2009

ecostore USA giveaway winner

Okay, today is the big day. First, let me just thank you all for joining in on the giveaway. I wish you could all win, but alas, I can only give away one gift certificate. Are you ready?
We are ready to pick a winner!
The winner

of the Ecostore USA


$25 Gift Certificate giveaway is....

Saph @ Walk With Me!!!!

Congratulations!!!

Send an email to me (clotheslinechronicles(at)gmail(dot)com) with your full name and the email address to which you would like your gift certificate sent. You'll receive your gift certificate soon and you'll be able to go right on over to Ecostore USA and start shopping!

I hope you all have a great weekend. xo ANG

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

garden love

First things first. Remember that bizarre, swirly, macro picture from the previous post? Well, there it is in front of my water bottle. It's the exposed part of an oak tree root. Pretty cool, eh?
Now, let me share some garden lovelies with you. I've got a small garden. When I say small -I mean small. But with the help of some great books about organic gardening and gardening in small spaces I crammed a lot of veggies in there and now it's time to enjoy.


Here's a little bit of my goodies growing. I've got some lemon cucumbers...round, yellow, and a little prickly, but good. Also, some 'maters. Yes, even after the deer incident the plants recovered and are thriving. So nanny-nanny-boo-boo Mr. Deer... I get to eat tomatoes anyway! Anyway, here is the spread with our dinner last night.
Vine-ripened, home-grown, and mmmm-mmmm delicious. Lemon Boy and Better Boy. Both are very good producers and hearty. The Lemon Boy has a mild flavor...so good. The Better Boy has a great taste...perfect for burgers.

And there is more. Crisp and fresh green bell peppers and some sliced lemon cucumbers. As you can see the cucumbers are very seedy...they'd be great pickled, but they have a great taste and with some fresh cherry tomatoes they are divine. Oh, I don't have any pictures of the cherry tomatoes...we ate the ripened ones already before I could grab the camera. But just so you know I have a Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato plant...small, sweet and way more than 100! I also have a Husky Cherry Red Tomato plant...big, great flavor, and lots of tomatoes. One day I'll have more space, more veggies, more garden love. xo ANG
P.S. Don't forget to go here to enter the Ecostore USA giveaway.