Sunday, January 31, 2010

it's not groundhog day yet...

so why does it feel like I've been through this winter storm already? Seriously, there is more than a foot of snow on the ground...again. This time though, it's much colder. I did brave the unbelievably cold temperatures this morning to grab the Sunday paper. I had to dig my way out then carefully trudge down the front walk to retrieve it and man, oh, man, it was cold! But it was so beautiful I asked Tim to grab my camera for me. So if you heard anyone saying, "Who's that crazy lady taking pictures of the snow -in her bathrobe and boots-when it's only ONE degree outside?" Oh, well, that would be me :o) I couldn't help it, the morning sun was sparkling on the snow. Here are some shots from yesterday while it was still snowing. We spent time inside, warm and cozy. There were dolls, dress-up clothes, and play food everywhere! We also managed to do some reading and cookie making.
We did make our way out into the snow yesterday while it was still snowing. It's a fluffy snow this time. The girls made snow angels, cleaned off the slide and see saw and played on those. We managed to tolerate it for about an was only 16 degrees and the wind was blowing. Then we came in and enjoyed some hot chocolate with marshmallows. Mmmmmm.
Just one more picture for you. Our front porch rocker...yes, the screened in porch has several inches of snow inside because of the wind. And our chairs on the back porch are full of snow. I just sat out there in the sunshine the other day and did a little crocheting. Boy, this weather is crazy. I am ready for warm weather. Ready, I tell ya!
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Today after the temperature rises considerably we'll probably make our way out into the snow again. But there will be much enjoying of the cozy warmth of the house, too.
I am so thankful for shelter and heat and safety and family. Please don't forget about the needs in Haiti. If you want to help just click on one of the links up at the top left of the page. xo ANG

Friday, January 29, 2010

you capture::color

There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice. ~John Calvin
The other day I came across the I Should Be Folding Laundry blog with a great challenge called You Capture. It's a picture challenge...perfect practice for my goal. This week's challenge is COLOR. During these long weeks of overcast, wintry weather it's fun to look for bursts of color, especially if you can find some color outside when everything is so bleak. The other day I captured these little overachievers pushing their way up through the ground just reaching for the sky on a warm and sunny 50 degree day.
(f-stop 6.3~exposure time 1/200 second~iso 200)
Hopefully these Dutch Irises are strong-willed and deeply rooted because there's another winter storm coming tonight!
Just a reminder...Haiti is still in need. If you can and want to help just click on one of those links up there on the left. The need is still great. xo ANG

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


When it's cold and too windy to tolerate the bone-chilling temperatures, this is how we spend our time inside.

Drawing new, especially fancy, characters with big sparkling eyes and the rosiest of cheeks. Entertaining each other with cabbage leaf silliness while dinner is cooking. Sorting the laundry in the dining room beside the nice warm ceramic heater...hey, it's gotta get done so I might as well be warm and toasty.

When we have a gem of a day in the midst of January and the temperatures reach the low 60's we spend our time a little differently...outside.

We take walks to visit dear friends. We enjoy the bright blue sky and the neighbor's very cool tree.

The neighborhood playground gets a visit, too. A couple of scooters and a couple of friends make the warm day even better.

Inside or outside, just remember to enjoy it all. We are very blessed. And even though Haiti is fading from the news, please remember that they are still in need. If you want to help please click one of the links up there on the top left. xo ANG

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

macro monday...umm, i mean tuesday

I'd like to start by reminding you about the needs of Haiti. My missionary friends have been doing great things and have seen great things happen, but more help is still needed. There are two buttons over there on the left...see 'em? If you'd like to help...those are great places to go.
Now, I'd like to try something new here at the Clothesline...macro monday. Okay, I see that Monday got away from me and today is actually Tuesday but you'll cut me some slack, right? Okay, so here's what I'm thinking...I'd like to learn how to use all of the features on my camera to the best of my ability. That's right, I plan on getting books and doing some research so I can take better quality even more pictures. My favorite feature is macro (okay, really, super macro) and I use it a lot during the spring and summer--outside--in the natural light--when the sun is blazing hot. No problem. However, taking macro pictures without good, natural light is a problem . They're fuzzy or grainy...noise, it's called. Well, I don't like it, not one bit, so I plan on learning how to use my camera and the knowledge that I gather to reduce the noise. Here is a picture I took last week when the sun peeked out for a few minutes.

(f-stop 3.2~ exposure time 1/100 second~ iso 1600)

I was trying to photograph (in my bedroom with the sun shining through the window) a project that I am working on, but Shadow was so interested in my camera that I decided to capture him instead. Just look at those cute little white whiskers! They cleverly distract you from his insanely sharp teeth...I digress. This is what I know...the higher the iso, the more noise will be in your picture. He was standing in the sunshine pouring through the window so the noise isn't as bad as it could be. However, that is the highest iso number on my camera and usually the noise is so much worse. The massive amounts of natural lighting really helped this shot. When taking this picture I controlled the f-stop but everything else was automatically set by the camera. Next time I need to manually lower the iso and the exposure time to let more light in because as it looks here in Virginia it'll be cloudy-rainy-icy for a while. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, my wonderful husband got me a snazzy little tripod for Christmas so when I want to take really good pictures in less-than-perfect lighting I can do so with ease...after all, the slightest movement will mess up the whole thing.
Any thoughts or helpful tips on taking better pictures will be welcomed, absorbed, and applied! Happy macro, I mean tuesday. xoANG

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

haiti and craft hope

a country in need
rising from the rubble, hope
pray for miracles

I have been struggling lately with wanting to post on my blog. With all that is happening in Haiti right now it just seems that sharing projects and stories from my daily routine is so trivial. My dear friends in Haiti are safe and well, yes even after the huge 6.1 aftershock this morning. They have been working around the clock and helping out at the Mission hospital in Fermathe since the earthquake happened, as well as, driving the treacherous roads down to Port au Prince many times to distribute what they have and to pick up more things from the airport. I do ask that you continue to pray. Not just for my friends of the Baptist Haiti Mission, but for all of the other volunteers, missionaries, doctors, and nurses that are there for the sole (soul) purpose of serving and helping the people of Haiti. In the news there are so many negative stories and I am not naive...I do know that terrible, horrific, unimagineable things have happened, but great things are happening, too: people are being rescued, food and water is being distributed, medical procedures are being performed, children are being cared for, and God continues to show His sovereignty in this island nation that needs our prayers. So please pray. And if you can give, then give. If you can help, then help. If you go to the Baptist Haiti Mission site you can donate online.

Okay, I've been meaning to post about Craft Hope for a while and it seems now is the time. It's a faith-based project that takes the love of crafting and uses it to help those less fortunate. They have had 5 very successful projects so far and are in the midst of project six. I have decided to participate in project six which is the Orphan Foundation of America's Red Scarf Project. With my limited, yet growing, crochet skills I have decided to make a scarf. Here's a peek.

After I decided to contribute to project six I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the Orphan Foundation of America is based right here in Virginia! So if you've got crochet or knitting skills feel free to join in. Craft Hope has also started an Etsy shop :: Craft Hope for Haiti :: to raise money for Doctors Without Borders. All of the items in the shop were donated by very talented crafters so every penny from every sale will be given to help Haiti.
Do what you can...pray, help, give, donate, support.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

baptist haiti mission--earthquake

(from the BHM website)

Major Earthquake Wrecks Havoc on Haiti
Tuesday, 12 January 2010 22:00
A 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti today just south and west of Port-au-Prince. Aftershocks were still following at the time of writing this update. The havoc is widespread, reaching far into the mountains.

Phone and electricity outages have severely limited our communication with the missionaries on the field, but we were able to receive an email from them confirming some of the damage.

All of the BHM missionaries are safe and accounted for, but the BHM headquarters have suffered structural damage. No doubt, many of the rural schools and churches we work with will have been severely damaged or leveled by the quake.

Our Fermathe Hospital, the only hospital serving the rural communities around the BHM headquarters, is overflowing. Volunteers are arriving to help the doctors and nurses who have been overwhelmed by the massive need.

Families have lost everything -- their livestock, homes, and entire livelihoods. We need your help to respond to the tremendous need.

Please donate today to provide emergency relief for devastated families and help us jump start the rebuilding of churches and schools. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Some very dear friends of ours are missionaries in Haiti with the Baptist Haiti Mission. We also sponsor a child through the 4C program. So when we heard about the earthquake yesterday we were very concerned. We were glad to hear that all of the missionaries are safe and are working to help everyone and anyone who is in need. However, there is no way, at this point, to know the status of each sponsored child. So I ask you to please pray for the children and their families, and if you can, please donate to the emergency relief fund or sponsor a child. xo ANG

Sunday, January 10, 2010


It's been so cold here lately. Everywhere in the US, I guess. But man, so cold, so windy. The leftover snow on the ground is now absolutely solid ice. The oh-so-cute snowman that we built before Christmas is headless and lacking buttons--poor little guy. One nice warm day of 40 degrees would surely finish melting all the snow. Maybe sometime next week we'll have some normal winter temperatures and we'll be able to venture out...outside...fresh air...sunshine. Meanwhile, we've been spending a lot of time inside playing with all of the wonderful new dolls, games, dress-up clothes, and toys from Christmas and birthday as well as some old favorites. There's some great new books and coloring books being enjoyed as well. All of this time inside has given me time to think about what I want to accomplish in 2010. Not necessarily resolutions, but rather just little changes here and there that over time will benefit my family.
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(Things change fast here...and turning 7 was like a turbo boost into the year!)
First, a regularly scheduled time of Bible study for me other than what we cover in our school routine...I need more. Second, back to a more regular exercise schedule. Yep, it's time to get back to the ol' treadmill and exercise well as actually running outside with my running buddy. It's hard to keep it up during the winter, since I loathe being cold and this is by far the coldest it's been in years, but I think I may have figured out how to make it work. Plus with a spring 5k this year will really help me get it into gear. Also this year, continued healthy, gluten free cooking..and adding more meals and freshly baked goods to my repertoire for more variety and well-rounded pallets. I'm getting pretty good at taking a regular recipe and making it gluten free with clever ingredient substitutions but I need to branch out and learn more. Also, I've got some crafting ideas, grandiose ideas in face, that I'd like to learn, try, and possibly master over the next year. And because I love to be organized (not that I am all the time, but I'd like to be) and I love to make lists so I can see the tangible evidence that things are being crossed off and accomplished I have made some lists. Oh, yes...lists. Categorized crafting lists, of course. At first the lists seem daunting, but when you spread it out over 12 months it doesn't seem so bad. Well here, take a look.
crochet/knit: *hat *scarf * cat toy *slippers *socks *afghan *purse *sweater/cardigan *spring garland *nesting baskets *cowl
sew: *skirts *shirts *purse *reusable shopping bags *18" doll clothes *floor pillows *softies *dining chair covers
homemade/natural creations: *soap *hand lotion *lip balm *deodorant *laundry detergent *wood floor cleaner *dryer sheets *fizzy bath bombs

Crocheting I can do, but I want to learn more, challenge myself, and make useful things. Knitting is still new to me...and challenging already. I'd like to learn a few more essentials so I can continually practice and create.

Sewing things is such a nice way to be creative. I'd like to make gifts and fun things for my family and friends...and maybe a few things for myself. I've got some clothes that I'd like to deconstruct and make more stylish. Yeah, I know, I'm not oozing with style...all the more reason to deconstruct, right?

I've been doing a lot of reading about essential oils and natural products and I really want to try my hand at making some things for my family and home. With allergies and sensitive skin in the house it certainly can't hurt to eliminate some chemically filled products and replace them with things that are natural. I started with making my own deodorant and it works great. Now I want to learn more and try some other things.

As I find patterns, tutorials, and recipes for the things on my lists I'll link to them so you can try some new things, too. 2010 looks to be a great year. xo ANG

Friday, January 8, 2010

a new year haiku

big plans have been made
i'll teach and be teachable
i'm ready, are you?

Monday, January 4, 2010

well, hello kitty!

Yes, Hello Kitty was the chosen theme this year for the all important event of turning the grand old age of seven. Seven is a big deal. I mean after all, she'll be ten soon...or so I've been told. :-) So here's the cake.

This is my best cake yet! I can't take all the credit though. My dear friend Theresa shared with me some very, very, wonderful cake decorating tips and man, oh man, that cake came out better than I could have even imagined. Theresa, you're a cake genius! Even Tim was impressed with the results...and the birthday girl? Well, she squealed with absolute delight!
I also managed to finish the traditional birthday outfit. Sometimes it's a dress sometimes a skirt. This year I made a fabulously twirly skirt using this tutorial (version2) and I found the perfect sparkly shirt at Target and simply appliqued some kitties on the front using some of the skirt fabric. Wanna see?
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Now in other important birthday news...pierced ears! That's right, the birthday girl kept her word and got her ears pierced. You see, last year when she was a mere six years old she promised that when she turned seven she would get her ears pierced. Last week she reminded me of that promise. There was a little fear, angst, worry, excitement, eagerness, anxiousness, and jubilation leading up to the big day. Well, here...see for yourself.
There were also lots of kitty presents, balloons, banners, family, friends, food, and fun. Okay, a tissue paper ball fight, too. Overall, I think seven turned out pretty darn good for my special girl.

Yes, there was a special little sister in the mix who was torn between excitement and jealousy...happiness and selfishness...being four is hard when someone else is seven. Thank goodness turning five is coming soon.
Thanks to all of our family and friends that made this a special day for both of my girls. xo ANG

Saturday, January 2, 2010

a day to celebrate

Well folks, today is a special day in the Clothesline household. Today we celebrate a very special girl who is SEVEN years old. It seems like only yesterday that we were blessed with our first beautiful, healthy, baby girl. Only yesterday that I joined a wonderful group of women know as mothers. What a wonderful gift and a tremendous blessing she is to our family.
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(to save your from another picture heavy post i opted for a collage -top row::1yr old, 6yrs old, a few hours old, 5yrs old - bottom row::3yrs old, 4yrs old, 2yrs old, 7yrs old)

::a loving daughter::a sweet sister::a caring friend::an avid reader::a talented artist::a creative storyteller::a hilarious joke maker-upper::a serious thinker::a shy singer::a graceful dancer::an eager learner::a great helper::a gift from God::

Happy Birthday my sweet girl! I love you!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 in pictures













It was hard to choose a picture for each month but it was fun to look back over the whole year. We had a lot of fun together. We are very blessed.
May 2010 be just as wonderful!
xo ANG