Thursday, December 31, 2009

a year

I cannot believe that this is the last day of the year! Our Christmas was wonderful and I hope that yours was, too. I managed to survive the snowy, crazy days leading up to Christmas without incident. Christmas and some time relaxing with family was quickly followed by and still is followed by the flurry of excitement leading up to my big girl's seventh birthday. SEVEN! Her birthday is Saturday and we've got big plans. I only secretly wish that her birthday was on Tuesday this year so she could say "I'll be seven on Tuesday" like Marta in The Sound of Music. I know...crazy. Anyhoo, I thought I'd make a collage of my crafty accomplishments over the past 12 months.
I must confess right now that most of the sewing was done in the first 7 months of the year. After school started this year I had a difficult time trying to balance school, home, cooking, and crafting was the first to go. My sewing machine got a nice long break and it's a good thing because she got quite the workout for Christmas. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of all of the finished products. Grrrrr! There were also a few things sprinkled here and there that were sewn or crocheted for friends that weren't captured on film. Oh well. You'll just have to trust me that each item was made with love and received with much gratitude.
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2009::A good year for the Clothesline family.
2010::We welcome you with open arms and high expectations!
Happy New Year! xo ANG

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


We've been enjoying the snow every single day. We layer up and head out for a few hours of frosty fun. It's been staying pretty darn cold so the snow isn't melting. We've shoveled our way out and the roads are clear, but our yard is still piled high of wonderful, white, wintry snow. I refilled our bird feeder so the poor little guys can have some seeds. The girls and the cat enjoy watching our feathered friends come for a treat every few minutes.
The snow is so deep that is difficult for my 4 year old to trek around the yard. She does it...slowly...with falling down many times. She reminds me of Ralphie's little brother Randy, in the movie A Christmas Story. Often times she can't get back up once she's down in the snow. However, instead of screaming and crying she usually just rolls around and gathers up snowballs. Now, my big girl, who will be seven-YES SEVEN-next week, is mastering the art of making snowballs. We just need to work on her aim. There have been too many shots to the head!

Ah, yes, our masterpiece. Pretty cute,eh? He was fun to make but it was hard work. We did it over a two day period so we could get him just right. And yes, he's holding snowballs ready to defend his creators.
Merry Christmas from my home to yours. xo ANG

Saturday, December 19, 2009

winter wonderland

Yesterday it started snowing. It.has.not.stopped. When we went to bed last night we probably only had 2 or 3 inches. The girls were excited and started planning what they would build in the snow today. When we got up this morning we already had almost 8 inches. The excitement continues! And the snow still falls. We're easily at 10 or 11 inches by now. Here's a little glimpse.
Before the snow took the spotlight we did manage to squeeze in some wonderful Christmas fun. We made a gingerbread house. Fun...and yummy. The spearmint leaves were the biggest hit!
Salt dough ornaments got our creative juices flowing. Not only did we use the traditional Christmas cookie ornaments, but we used our ocean theme cookie cutters, too. The cat seemed to like the taste. The painting and glittering and spraying with acrylic sealer have been done in stages. Soon they'll be wrapped and gifted to many friends and family members.
And a new favorite...paper snowflakes! I have found that plain old coffee filters are perfect. They're already round and because they're thinner than paper they are easier to cut. So much fun!
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Now, the only thing left is to bundle up and head out in the snow!
I hope your day, whether filled with piles of snow or rays of sunshine, is wonderful!
xo ANG

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

what i learned

I was watching tv last night after my girls went to bed and I realized that commercials are sometimes completely ridiculous! Here is what I learned:

*Companies think that gross things should be animated in order to sell their products. Mucus? Toenail fungus? Really? That's disgusting.

*The side effects of some sleep medications are so horrendous that I'd rather stay awake. And how is it possible for insomnia to be a side effect for a sleep aid? Huh?

*Okay, I know everyone loves a giant plate of spicy hot wings every once in a while. However, if they're boneless hot wings...they're just chicken nuggets. I will not be fooled.

*If there is a super special, once a year, can't miss it one day sale at your favorite store and there is a preview day on the day before the big one day sale then really it's a two day sale. Just sayin'.

I know. I know. This post is a little weird, but my brain is in overdrive right now. Trying to round out a wonderful year of handmade gifts with only 10, yes I said 10, days left until Christmas is just freaking me out. I'm trying to stay cool though. I've got time. I've got fabric. I've even got some seriously cute little helpers. Okay, the furry one is more of a hindrance when spools of thread and piles of fabric come out, so he doesn't count. But we'll have fun and we'll get it all done. And just so you know, I have found that blaring the Christmas music while crafting is really quite helpful! Happy Tuesday. xo ANG

Sunday, December 13, 2009


A few days ago my family and I went to visit my grandparents for Christmas. There used to be a huge family gathering there on the actual day of Christmas with cousins, aunts, and uncles. But over the years as our family has grown larger and my grandparents have grown older the gatherings themselves have grown smaller. It's nice to have more individual time at the farm even if we don't get to see everyone all at once. The festivities of the season are nicely spread out and enjoyed over a few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas which makes it a little less overwhelming for my grandparents. The Farm, our destination, draws me in and makes me want to stay forever. When we reached the bottom of the hill and turned onto the driveway I saw it, like I do every time, my hill. My most favorite spot on the farm. I chose my hill a long time ago. It's beautiful. It's lined with trees on one side and has the creek on the other. This time though it was covered with snow. We drove slowly up the driveway passing my hill and when we reached the creek three beautifully magnificent deer crossed our path, leaped over the pasture fence and followed the creek to the tree line on the other side. How can you not love the farm? I only wish I had treasured it when I was younger like I do now. I guess that's normal, appreciating things more after they have been a part of your life for so long. We didn't visit for a really long time, it was long enough to spend some sweet time together and to devour a big ol' hunk of my grandma's fruitcake. Yes, fruitcake. I love it...and I'm not ashamed to admit it. In fact, I love it so much I might try my hand at a gluten free version. But I digress. The farm was covered in a blanket of snow and so was the tractor. Yes, that old blue one up at the top. I can't even count the number of hours I spent riding on the side while PopPop fed the cows, cut the hay, plowed the fields, or just drove around for purely for my enjoyment. It's a beaut! And you know what? That shade of blue is the same color as PopPop's eyes...bright blue! He's doing quite well still. Yes, his TIA's have affected how fast his thoughts actually come out as words, but he was always a man of few words so it was okay. He is weaker in body but strong in mind. He was having a great day when we were there. He was freshly shaved and smelled so good...old spice and all. His eyes lit up when we came in and he just smiled and focused on my girls a lot. They were shy around him but smiled and giggled which was great for him and my Grandma. Grandma, now she's still quite the pistol with her beautiful silver hair. She's a mere 50 years older than me and a woman of vast knowledge and opinion. She won't sit still for a minute...unless she's crocheting or playing scrabble, otherwise she's on the move.

Today, Sunday, December 13th is PopPop's birthday! He is 89 years old! Happy Birthday!
xo ANG

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

toy test::A+

It's that time of year again. Gift giving. I love it. I love to see the wonderful expressions on the faces of my children when they open gifts. And although this is my year of handmade gifts, there are some things that I just can't make. So what to do? Picking toys is not easy, however, there is a toy website called ebeanstalk, dedicated to selecting good, safe baby toys and kids toys. BUT they need help from moms like me to help pick the toys. Naturally I offered to be a toy tester...I've got a great little panel of judges here to help me out. The toy they sent to the Clothesline family is called Play Foam, one of their many learning toys . Here is the deal on this toy… my girls love it! It came with six great colors. Play Foam is made of foam beads that stick together but aren't really sticky. It's true. You can mold and mash this stuff into any shape you want and it will keep it's shape but not stick to the table or your hands. It doesn't have a scent or leave any colorful residue behind like some moldable stuff. To me it feels like pulling apart a rice crispy treat but with less stickiness. The girls squeezed and pulled and spread out the play foam for hours. No kidding! We had several days of rain and Play Foam was a great way to spend some creative time. After making several different shapes the girls ended up mixing it all together. I'm not usually one to condone the mixing of any moldable stuff, but after all of the colors were mixed it was pretty and it lead to even more fun.
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The girls got out their toy pots and pans and cups and saucers and started fixing up a grand feast for their dolls and stuffed animals. There is no limit on how much fun you can have with Play Foam...just let your imagination take over! It holds it's shape and it doesn't dry out and there was not messy to clean up!

If you want to check out this and other great toys at ebeanstalk just click the following links.
baby toys
kids toys
learning toys

Have a great day. xo ANG

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Just the other day it was warm enough for a nice walk down at the river. The sun was warm and the river was crystal clear.
Even yesterday was warm enough (low 50's) to play with friends at the playground before lunch. But as the day progressed the temperature steadily dropped. Then, this morning when I left to go grocery shopping it was raining. When I was finished shopping the snow was coming down! The girls were thrilled! I supposed all the crazy snow that Houston had has finally reached us here in Virginia. It won't even be enough to play in and as I write this the snow is slowing down and melting as it hits the ground. But man, it sure it pretty to see.
xo ANG

Thursday, December 3, 2009

a birthday wish

Happy Birthday to a special friend!
Here's a virtual card especially for you!
Peas in a pod, these two.

I am so thankful that you are such a sweet and special friend to my girls. I hope your birthday is out of this world!