Sunday, November 29, 2009

art you should see

I received my copy of Craft Leftovers Monthly in the mail yesterday. It's chocked full of so much fun stuff. There are recipes for food, recipes for tea, recipes for salts and scrubs! There's a crochet project, knitting project, an embroidery pattern, and even a paper snowflake template...ya know, for inspiration so the entire house can be filled with snowflakes. I suppose it's time to break out the scissors...closely monitored scissors, of course. What? I know my girls are almost 7 and 4 1/2 but there is a lot of fabric and yarn lying around and very tempting long locks of hair. We've never had a scissor incident and I'd like to keep it that way.
Now, I won my copy of Craft Leftovers Monthly from Regina. She was hosting a giveaway over at her wonderful blog Creative Kismet. If you've never been there you should pop over there and check it out. But be prepared...there's lots of crafty inspiration over there. Regina is a wonderfully talented artist. She paints and sews and creates wonderful mixed media pieces all the time. A while back she was even on the Martha Stewart Show! Anyway, Regina has an Etsy shop called Creative Kismet Studios with lots of great stuff in it. You'll find something irresistible there, I know you will! Her prices are great and her products are wonderful. She's got lots of prints for sale, tea wallets, stationary, ornaments, and pin cushions. Regina is offering free shipping on selected items until December31st, so shop now before it's too late!
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

happy thanksgiving

I'm just popping in this morning before the Thanksgiving Day Parade comes on t.v. to share with you some things that I am thankful for today.

*an amazing family
*good health
*a cozy home
* this little girl that is intense and mellow...and funny

*wonderful friends


*this little girl that is thoughtful and sweet...and funny

*a merciful and gracious God who loves His children

*the ability to stay home with my children

*and last, but certainly not least, this wonderful husband of mine who is smart and sensitive, a provider and a Daddy, and so, so funny! Now you can see where the girls get their sense of humor :o)

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Have a wonderful Thanksgiving...and remember to give thanks. xo ANG

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

a winner*

Okay, today is the big day! I am ready to announce the ecostore USA giveaway winner! Are you ready? we go!
The winner

of the $25 gift certificate

to ecostore USA is...

Rebekah of Sunnybrook Farm Designs!

Congratulations Rebekah! Enjoy the natural goodness that is ecostore USA. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment.

*Just so you know, there is exactly one month until Christmas. I don't know about you, but my handmade gift list is freaking me out. I need to get busy! Sew, knit, crochet, embroider, but most importantly relax, enjoy, reflect, and appreciate all of the blessings in my life. Happy Wednesday. xo ANG

Saturday, November 21, 2009

a supreme day

Today is Tim's birthday!
A supremely special day here in the Clothesline household.
I am supremely blessed to have a wonderful, funny, supportive, intelligent, patient husband. The girls are supremely blessed to have an energetic, fun, caring, attentive daddy. Here's a little something I made for him. The lighting wasn't so great so the color is off. The scarf is charcoal gray. It is supremely warm and soft (Patons Classic Wool). I used this pattern, which is free, and I've got some matching, manly fingerless gloves on the hook right now. Hopefully they'll be done before Thanksgiving.
And because making a cute card together is so important, here is the supremely cute card that the girls and I made for him. Together we put the toppings on the pizza. Then I gave them each a white triangle of card stock for their individual messages. They asked that I write their message, then they got to draw and color. I then glued the layers together and viola! A supremely cute card for a supreme dad!
Enjoy your weekend! xo ANG

Friday, November 20, 2009

literal translation

This old box that we used when we moved was brought down from the attic to carry some stuff to our homeschool co-op today. It was obviously used for some type of delicious pastries at one time but the only thing that the girls read on the box were the words on the blue label. All they wanted to know was why someone would have so many cats and why would they put cat number 48 in the freezer! hehe! Now, see if you can spend the rest of your weekend with that smile on your face! Happy Friday! xo ANG
also, in other happy news...I won a copy of the Craft Leftovers Monthly from Regina's (of Creative Kismet fame) giveaway! Woot! Woot!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

practice makes pie

I must admit that although I have baked many a turkey for Thanksgiving I have never in my life made a pumpkin pie. I know it's not difficult. This is America after all and all I have to do is go buy a ready made crust and a can of pie mush. Okay, I could make a crust and buy the can of mush but my previous experiences with homemade pie crust were not so great. My solution...just avoid making pie. I do love me some pumpkin pie so I would eat it if someone else made it...I just wasn't making it. I make other delicious treats for the holiday season, so believe me, we are not deprived of yummy treats. And now, in our state of gluten free living I have the perfect out when it comes to making pie....or so I thought. Recently, two things have happened. First, we went for our annual fall fun day at the pumpkin patch with our friends. The girls got to choose cute little pumpkins and paint them then they were off to play and climb and jump. Oh, it was a fun day...see?
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But then, once again we had two little pumpkins whose paint came right off when it rained. Sure we could have painted them again, but why? They were just going to sit there and rot. Hmmm, I bet those would make a great, fresh, pumpkin pie. Oh, but the crust is an issue. But wait!...and here's the second thing...I found a gluten free pie crust mix made by Gluten Free Pantry. I've been pleased with many of their products so maybe I should give their crust a try. It is called "perfect" pie crust it must be good, right? Well, I took those little pumpkins (after building up the excitement of having pumpkin pie long before Thanksgiving) and baked them in the oven just like an acorn squash. I scooped it all out and gave it a whirl with my mixer to make it smooth and I tell you...perfect.
And yes, I bought the crust mix. It was a quick and easy mix. It smelled like regular crust. It felt like regular crust. It even rolled like regular crust. Our hopes were high for a delicious tasting crust and a delicious tasting freshly made pumpkin pie. The aroma of freshly baked pumpkin pie filled the house. It came out beautiful. Just look at it. Hungry?
Thankfully I made it during the day so by the time we were ready for dessert after dinner the pie was ready to be devoured. The girls could hardly contain their excitement. Okay, I was excited, too. How could I not be? It was all working out just I had made a billion pumpkin pies before. Then I sliced it and ....

we couldn't eat it fast enough! It turned out so good. The crust was a little thick for some...I like it that way though...but it was flaky and buttery and oh so yummy. My first pumpkin pie. Delicious!
Oh, and just the other day in all of the bleakness as the trees shed their leaves, my azalea wanted to show off a little more before it got too cold. The brightness of the one purple bloom amongst the dark, dried up leaves was beautiful. Too beautiful to leave outside. The bloom was quickly rescued and brought into the house for a drink of water.
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Thanksgiving is right around the corner so remember to give thanks. Today as the cold rain comes down and extra layers are worn I am thankful for my little house in the city. It's warm and cozy and we are all in good health. Happy Thursday. xo ANG
Don't forget to go here to enter my giveaway.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

ecostore usa giveaway time!

Recently, I was given the opportunity to try a couple of products from ecostore USA and write up a review. First let me share some information about the company.

The team at ecostore USA loves making a difference in people’s lives. ecostore USA does not compromise on performance, so customers can be assured of the efficacy of the products - they truly work. We offer more than 100 products, each one meeting the most stringent environmental and sustainability standards. The guiding principle of every formulation is and will always be that the end product must not only be good for the user, but good for the planet.

As a general rule I like to use items that are as close to completely natural as possible. These days there are so many chemicals in everything it's just down right refreshing to have natural and safe alternatives. Here are the two products I tried...Manuka & Sandalwood Shampoo and Manuka Honey and Kelp Soap.

Let's start with the shampoo. The smell is wonderful, yet light. This shampoo lathers well so only a small amount is needed which makes it last so much longer. When I use this shampoo my hair feels super clean. I wish I had asked for the matching conditioner as well because my naturally curly, dry hair didn't feel moisturized after using this shampoo. Clean, yes. Great scent, yes. But because I already have dry hair a conditioner is still necessary. However, if you have naturally oily hair this may be the perfect shampoo for you. The soap, on the other hand, I absolutely love. The scent is great and it leaves my skin feeling super clean. It doesn't dry my skin out and it doesn't leave a soapy film either. The soap also has a wonderful texture which gently exfoliates! So, I have been enjoying both products and would highly recommend both.

Now, the generous folks at ecostore USA have allowed me to host a giveaway for a $25 Gift Certificate to their online store. This is perfect! Just in time for the holidays! Order an ecostore USA product to give as a gift or just treat yourself to something. It's all up to you. Their only request is that you either sign up for the ecostore USA newsletter, follow them on twitter or be their fan on facebook. Quick and simple. Now just leave me a comment on this post and you're in the running. You have until midnight next Tuesday, November 24th, to enter and I'll post the winner on the 25th.
Good Luck! xo ANG

Sunday, November 15, 2009

old germs, new books

Hey there! We're still alive and kickin' here at the Clothesline. Tim is on the mend and for now the girls and I are still healthy. It's amazing that the old germs from Tim didn't spread and multiply in our house. Lots of prayer and Lysol and hand sanitizer...a miracle, really. It's been a long, hard, tiring week and I wasn't even the one who was sick. Tim hasn't had as much as a cold in over a year so to be out of commission for a whole week is bizarre and stressful. Add on top of that 3-4 days of cold, cloudy, rainy flood conditions and you've got some serious cabin fever.

(flip-flop clad girls trying to feed the cat some grass through the screen, happy laundry, seriously white leg with fall leaves and blooming lavender)
Thankfully we've had our air purifier going the whole time. It helps, it really does. Also, Friday afternoon, all day yesterday, and all day today we have had some warm sunshine. Oh man, there's nothing like fresh air and warmer temperatures to make everyone feel a little better.
So, now on to some new books. New from the library, that is. Let me just say that reserving books online and being able to just walk in and pick them up without having to search the entire library for them is soooooo great! Keep in mind the "if you think I'm weird, just say so" posts when you see my selections. First up, crochet and knitting books. I'm feeling a little more confident in my crocheting now...probably because I feel so inept at knitting, but whatever. I am enjoying knitting a lot but I am still so new at it that I really don't have any skills to speak of yet. That doesn't stop me from looking at projects and patterns though. One day I'll be able to create something wearable (besides a scarf or hat) out of some scrumptious yarn.

Next up...some bee keeping books. Remember when we got to meet a beekeeper a while back? Well, we'd been interested in the idea of having our own honey for a while and talking to an actual bee keeper with tons of experience just fanned that flame. Don't get me wrong, I still don't like bees around me, but I think I'll get over it eventually. After all, I have grown. I don't scream like a girl and run anymore when they fly around me...I just move quickly and quietly. Tim will be the one in the suit smoking out the bees anyway. I'll just be a helper. One day, when we have some land, or at least don't live in the city, we'll have a hive or two. So to be prepared I thought I'd read up on all the details. I like to have a game plan so when the time is right the decision making will be easier and based on well researched knowledge. I know, weird.

Last but not least, some animal books. There is so much that I need to know before I actually own chickens or goats. So to prepare myself for that undertaking (which I know is off in the future..but still) I found these great books. Since I took this picture I have gotten a few more about raising dairy goats and one on building different types of animal housing. What? Animals need housing and if there isn't a barn or something then why not already have the knowledge to building something? Go ahead...just say it....weird.
Anyway, there are so many choices when it comes to goats and chickens. Who knew? Okay, lots of people probably, but now I know, too. Let me just say, there are some pretty chickens out there but the pretty ones aren't always the best layers...which is what we want. The girls have been enjoying looking at all the chickens and choosing their favorites. There are also some adorable ducks in there, too. Maybe if we have a pond one day. We've decided that there's really no need for an ostrich though, but the eggs are huge! Yes, we had fun with the poultry book. Goats, that's another story. There are several types that are good milkers, but a calm, friendly type would be perfect. The book about raising dairy goats is really much more helpful with that decision.
What can I say, I like to be informed and prepared. So what if it makes me a little weird. Okay, a lot weird. But when you've got days and days of rain it's nice to have books to look through and build dreams upon.
How about you? Any big dreams out there? Happy, healthy Sunday! xo ANG

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

november understands

Over the past week we have gone from sweatshirts and fingerless gloves to shorts and flip flops. We have experienced cold nights in the low thirties and some warm days in the high seventies. I must say, I thought the chance of having warm days was over. I had conceded. The season had won and I was surrounding myself with nice warm knitting and crochet projects. But November understands. November understands that a few more days of the warm sun shining down on us not only helps us shake off the chill of fall and the reality that winter is coming, but it also helps us remember that we thoroughly enjoyed our summer and we should appreciate and enjoy to the fullest every warm day we are given. And believe me we did! We played outside for hours. I opened the windows and invited November in for the day. We raked leaves. We played at the playground. Scooters and sidewalk chalk were brought out and enjoyed a little longer. All the while my dear hubby has been sick. He did sit out in the sun to shake of the chills and get some fresh air. But he spent the entire weekend trying to get better. So far the girls and I have managed to stay well and if we can make it another day or two I think we'll be in the clear. So if you're thinking about it, say a little prayer for Tim to feel better soon and a little prayer for me and the girls that we can escape this one. Remember...wash your hands, don't touch your face, take your vitamins, get enough rest, cover your cough, and love the ones you're with. Today it is cooler again...and raining. I understand, November. You can't make it feel like summer for too long, it just wouldn't be right.
Sorry no pictures today. I'll make it up to you. Promise.
Happy Tuesday. xo ANG

Saturday, November 7, 2009

they don't call it fall for nothin'

Right now my neighbor's maple tree looks like this. Gorgeous, right? The other day as the sun was setting the tree looked like it was aflame. The colors are beautiful. It's one of the prettiest trees on our street in the fall.

However, most of the leaves end up in our yard so we do a lot of raking. I don't really mind raking up the leaves, but it would be nice if the neighbor would rake the leaves in his yard, too so they don't eventually end up in mine after I've already raked about a gazillion times. I guess it's not all bad though...raking burns calories. Plus, the girls really like to help with the raking.
Because, after all, the bigger the pile, the bigger the fun! There is always some jumping in, running through, rolling on, hiding beneath, and the most wonderful of all, throwing them high in the air and watching them fall back down again every time we get a nice big pile raked into the middle of the yard. After a few million times of raking and re-raking the same leaves it's time to get out the old leaf vac though. Not to worry. This is just the beginning of fall leaf fun. The oak tree likes to hold out until mid-December before letting us rake enjoy it's leaves.
Enjoy this season for it will soon be gone.
Happy Saturday! xo ANG

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

let there be art

Not a day goes by where there isn't some drawing going on in my house. Now this drawing could be on paper, in a sketchbook, on my grocery list, or on a magnadoodle, but most of the time the dry erase board is the coveted spot to be creative. The only problem is it has to be erased to draw another picture. Thank goodness I take pictures of everything all the time. Okay, so I don't take pictures of everything they draw, but when it's a super special, most spectacular, colorful feast for the eyes and they want to save it for Dad to see I just take a picture so we can share it with the world! Here are some of the more recent drawings. After I took these pictures I was asked to post them on my blog so the whole wide world could see them. So, whole wide world...I hope you enjoy these drawings!
If you have any doubt, we have a black and white cat named Shadow. In the above picture he is a super hero capturing the bad cats. His little orange kitty friend helped to hang the wanted posters. Miss O was the artist.
Cats News was quite the treat. Miss O worked long and hard thinking of each headline. Of course Shadow was featured in every story. He is super after all.
Here, little miss E was using every square inch available on the board. Obviously we've been working on letters and a few tricky numbers. Of course, a lovely striped cat had to be added for extra cuteness.

Miss E again with a picture of her and her big sister as princesses with many sparkles around them. I'm not really sure why all of her people have cat eyes now, but dang, they're cute!
It is apparent that miss O is longing for warmer, sunnier days in this picture. A beautiful rainbow, a kitty chasing a butterfly, kids playing in the sprinkler, a pony, and a mom watering flowers...hmmm...warm sunny days sure are nice. Oh, and I was told to explain that the sun is light green because we don't have a yellow marker.
And last but not least, another super fancy, pink princess with sparkles and curly hair ( mine), a dress for the ball (that doesn't conceal her wide hips..certainly not mine) and a fancied up cat with curly whiskers and all!
So what art is happening in your house these days? Leave a stack of paper and some crayons in view of the little ones and let there be art!
Happy Tuesday! xo ANG