Saturday, February 27, 2010

wanted::skills, mad skills

...and time. and yarn. and maybe some more skills.
Yes, that's what I need to make these gorgeous things. I saw a fabulous crocheted sweater on an American Idol contestant and I went on the hunt for it's pattern or something similar over at Ravelry. I didn't find what I was looking for...I found something better! Three somethings actually. The first is knitting...yikes! But the other two are crochet. Anyhoo, take a looksee.
Juliana by Berroco Design Team
Layering Cardi by Elena Malo published in Crochet Today!/jan/feb2009
China Doll by Doris Chan published in Interweave Crochet/spring 2008

(picture of finished project by Laura Goodman on Ravelry)

After I grabbed these pictures...all from Ravelry, of course...I realized that a pattern had emerged. Lovely colors, no? I am leaning heavily toward the layering cardi. It's so great. That fabulous belt peeking out doesn't hurt the look either. Although the Juliana is quite fabulous. You've got to go check it out and see the other pics. The china doll rekindled my love of Asian inspired clothes. So yes, I'm torn, but still leaning toward the layering cardi. What do you think? happy saturday xoANG

Thursday, February 25, 2010

you capture::shapes

You know you've seen a shirt, a sticker, or a button that says..."What? I'm in shape. Round is a shape." Well, for this week's assignment I decided to capture round things that I've been using to help me keep from being just that.Ah yes, the ol' ball. My first one, quite the steal on the clearance rack actually, but it's not my friend yet. Plus it's not easy to try push-ups or anything else when the girls are tickling my feet or the cat is attacking my hands..or the ball.
Next, my all important pilates mat. Well, there's two. The blue one is mine, the gray one is for the girls. Let me tell you, there is nothing cuter than my two girls trying to do the hundred with me.
Now, because the girls have been the subject of my You Capture pictures before they are under the impression that the assignments should always include them. So for the shape assignment this week they worked on being round for me. They squirmed and wiggled and posed. I took many pictures until I got one that they approved of...not too shabby, eh? And for a more artistic approach I thought I'd try this shot.
And because we were using a bracelet that Shadow loves to play with he thought he should be in on the fun, too.I know I started this post by saying these were round things that keep me from being just that, and you know what? The girls do fit in that category. Not only do I want to be healthy so I can play and have fun with them, but playing with them does keep me healthy. We're an active little bunch. The cat? Well, he's just furry and cute.
See more shapes at I Should Be Folding Laundry-You Capture:Shapes xo ANG

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

handmade book exchange

A while back I signed the girls up for the Handmade Book Exchange hosted by Annie of Bird and Little Bird. Since drawing and storytelling go hand in hand I thought this was the perfect snowed-in-again-so-let's-get-those-creative-juices-flowing solution to the days when we've had more than enough time playing in the snow. Each day there were new ideas discussed, pictures drawn and colored, and story lines revised. I am happy to announce that the books are finished and in the mail to our Handmade Book Exchange partners in Oregon. Here's a peek at the books with the very proud author/illustrators!

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Of course, both girls spent time enjoying each other's books as well as their own before we mailed them off to their new owners. Now the excitement is building as they wait for the books being mailed to them.

***before I could even hit the publish button their Handmade Book Exchange books came in the mail!***

The books arrived! The excitement was almost uncontainable! The package was snatched from my hand and paraded around the house! Once I opened the envelope the books were read and reread.
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The pictures were admired and studied and discussed. Then they traded and did the same thing. What fun! Perfect for a cold, wintry day. A grand idea...and the start of a grand, little, bookmaking factory...right here at the Clothesline. I think next we'll try Regina's book idea because I love, I mean, they love it! :o) happy wednesday xo ang

Monday, February 22, 2010

macro monday::gluten free edition

(f-stop 7.1~exposure time 1/8 second~iso1600)

This here is the best cookie I have ever made. Ever. Really. It was not originally a gluten free recipe, but once we (and by we, I mean Tim) saw the picture of the cookies we knew they had to be baked...and soon. Last week my mom gave me a stack of magazines to enjoy and on one of the back covers was an ad for Ghirardelli chocolate with a recipe for Ghirardelli's Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies. So, thanks Mama. Hopefully there will be some left when you visit next time. Hmm, I doubt it, so I'll just have to make more. It was such an easy recipe that the girls did most of the work, even the egg cracking! I only changed two things: one-I replaced the 1/3 cup all-purpose flour with 1/3 cup of Pamela's Gluten Free Baking and Pancake Mix, and two: I didn't even try to make tubes of dough by gingerly placing the dough on plastic wrap to chill in the fridge. Yeah, no, not going to do that. Instead I just stuck the bowl of dough in the fridge and chilled it that way for an hour, then used a small ice cream scooper to make consistently sized cookies. That's it. It was so easy and man, oh man, are they good! Don't ask about the calories or fat because I don't know and I'd like to keep it that way. It's all in moderation, my dear. I've been good so far because a little chocolate goes a long way.
Happy Monday! xo ANG

Thursday, February 18, 2010

you capture::kisses

This week's challenge was, well, a challenge. My girls don't really sit still long enough for me to capture a good candid shot. In fact, when they hear my camera turn on they usually start posing or hiding. My original thought was to look through all of my pictures to see if there were any cute baby pictures with the girls kissing. I found two. Then I had a great idea...reenact it...they love posing right? Well, this is what I've got...
collage one:: June 7, 2005...At 2 1/2 years old Miss O was being so gentle with her new baby sister by kissing her amazingly tiny hand. E was only 11 days old but the bond was already there. Fast forward to February 17, 2010...I now have two big girls with big personalities and an even stronger bond. Can you see it? Just look at those eyes.
collage two:: July 25, 2005...E has a little more baby fat now at 2 months old and O is really embracing her role as big sister. There was a lot of snuggling and even more Eskimo kisses going on back then. Fast forward to February 17, 2010...The girls haven't given each other an Eskimo kiss in a long time so there were lots of little giggles and big belly laughs while they tried to reenact this one. I love it. The look, the adoration, the bond, the love.

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So there you have it. My girls. Then and now.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

simple equations

two sneaky, giggling sisters + one cleverly tied jump rope + six swiped clothespins = laundry day for the dolls
more snow on the ground + thirty minutes before dinner is ready + the quest for the perfect shot = fun for the whole family (yes, even the cat)

one artistic girl + the family pet for inspiration + a few art supplies = a super idea for training cats

( poster reads:: Cat School...learn to be good and more! Do's and Dont's- Do: sit sill - Don't: lick your toes in class - Do: listen to the teacher - Don't: bite other cats)

one free pattern + yummy cotton yarn + three tassels = my new third-time's-a-charm hat

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Some days it all just adds up! Happy Tuesday! xoANG

Monday, February 15, 2010

macro monday-valentine's edition

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you had a wonderful day with the ones you love. We, here at the Clothesline, had a lovely time. I didn't want to overdo it with candy and craziness. Instead, I spent some time making some lovely little love notes for my girls. Okay, there was a little chocolate...I just couldn't resist.
There was a little scroll with an acrostic poem made from their names, a tiny love note in a specially addressed envelope, and the small pink package is filled with tiny kisses.

Here's a little peek at the contents.

Oh yes, and since it is macro monday here's my weekly macro shot to show you the actual size of these tiny treasures. About those kisses...well they were gone before I could capture them. I took some chocolate chips and wrapped them in aluminum foil and put a tiny sliver of white tissue paper peeking out.

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(f-stop 2.7~exposure time 1/50 second~iso 200)
I had so much fun creating these little gifts and the girls were thrilled to receive them. Just a reminder that good things often do come in small packages. On a side's pouring down snow again. Yes, again. But instead of complaining I will remind myself to be thankful for heat, warm coats, woolly mittens, and shovels. xoANG

Thursday, February 11, 2010

you capture::work

She works with her hands in delight. Proverbs 31:13b

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23

Does it count as work if it's something you enjoy? Does it count as work if it is a blessing to you and others around you? Does it count as work if you are delighting in it?

So here's my work:

sitting down and scouring through books, new and old, planning this year's garden...our biggest (yet still small) and most efficiently planted garden
getting packages and cards ready for some special people, making sure to drink more water, getting my lesson plans written (in pencil because we're flexible around here), and exercising my brain by trying to finish the crossword puzzle without Tim's help
making a little something for me, one stitch, one row at a time...following, and I mean really following, the pattern...the whole pattern
shoveling snow, shoveling snow, chipping away at the ice, and shoveling more snow...this probably felt the most like work but I sill had fun tossing shovelfuls of snow towards the girls as dodged some and threw some back at really?
Being a wife and a mom is work-the work that God has entrusted me with. Wonderful, cherished, blessed work. I am so thankful for every single moment that I am given. Okay maybe putting away the clean, folded laundry feels like work work, but having clean, folded laundry with it's nice sweet aroma reminds me all the more of how blessed I am.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

a remedy

...for cabin fever, that is.
After getting our fill of playing in the snow, drawing, playing games, dancing to loud music, and reading books sometimes you have to create your own cure for cabin fever. with camera. I tried to capture jumps at their highest point by using the sports setting on my camera. Still blurry, no flash, but fun...and energy burning because you know I had to try over and over and over to capture a good shot.

Oh yes, Dad couldn't resist joining in on the fun. Impressive, no?
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Once I captured a couple of good shots, although blurry, I just kept on snapping photos...with a flash...oh what fun!
I am a very blessed wife to have a husband who is not afraid to have some fun....
even when he knows I'll probably blog it.
My girls are so blessed to have a Daddy that loves to be a kid...and will let me take pictures until I get the perfect shot.
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Yep, we're cured. What's you're favorite cabin fever reducer? I'd love to hear how you fight cabin fever. xo ANG
Please don't forget about Haiti. They're not on the front pages anymore. They're not a major story on the evening news anymore. But they are still in need. The two buttons at the top left will lead you to a place where you can help.

Monday, February 8, 2010

macro monday...on monday!

It's Monday. We have been spending our time digging ourselves out of the snow for the third time. There was a little more ice this time around which makes for really heavy shoveling. Nevertheless, I did manage to take my camera out and capture some cool shots. In this first one I played with focusing on the ice on my windshield with the tree reflection blurry and blurry ice with focused trees. I chose to share the trees in focus and the ice blurry because it was, well, cooler!
(f-stop 4~exposure time 1/80 second~iso-80)

This second shot here is of some ice melting on the back porch. We scraped and shoveled and piled it high in the yard, but when the sun peeked out everything started getting slushy.

(f-stop 4~exposure time 1/160 second~iso 80)

So at this point all of the slightly slushy snow has been frozen into solid ice. Perfect for penguins...but not so much for us humans. We are preparing for the next winter storm due on Tuesday. I'd love to take pictures of non-frozen things but that's just not going to happen any time soon. Brrrrr! I am, however, so very thankful for our cozy little house and hot showers...oh, and hot tea and fleece pajamas. Stay warm! xoANG

Sunday, February 7, 2010


inside::keeping warm by learning a new skill on my new ukulele since the girls took over my old one...using my massive roll of contact paper left over from my classroom days to make these awesome exercise routines more accessible (and hopefully usable)...finishing up my Craft Hope project...making myself a new hat that unfortunately doesn't fit, so although it's cute, it'll be frogged and I'll make a different one.
inside::keeping warm and active by working on their drawing and storytelling skills. Noses are a challenge when drawing and are usually avoided...but not now...many attempts have been made.
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outside::keeping warm by snuggling inside the snow cave that was made by Dad.
outside::keeping warm by climbing up and sliding down the snow cave turned snow mountain.
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Are you keeping warm? I sure hope so. Now we're settling in for the evening and gearing up for the Super Bowl. Which team is the favorite in the Clothesline house? Well, I think the hot wings win out over the guacamole every time!
Just a gets busy and fun and comfortable even in the midst of winter storms...please remember Haiti. xo ANG

Friday, February 5, 2010

more is...more

Winter storm number three. Yes, more snow...with a little sleet mixed in for good measure. So far today we have 4 or 5 more inches of snow on top of the 8 or 9 remaining inches from the 13 we got last weekend. More to come next week on Tuesday and Friday?

Bring it on, winter! We might as well break some records! Besides, shoveling snow burns lots of calories and we've got warm brownies from the oven that are calling my name.

I hope you're staying warm and cozy. Now I better go. There are puzzles to piece together, pictures to color, dolls to dress and redress, and oh, brownies to eat.

happy friday xo ANG