Sunday, January 30, 2011

monumental milestone

In the Clothesline household getting your very own library card is a HUGE deal. My big kid got her own library card a couple of years ago and now my little kid finally has hers. Going to the library is a special part of our weekly routine. We've been going nearly every week since the girls were infants. So when the time comes to get a library card it is very exciting. I'm excited, they're excited, the librarians are excited. The writing practice involved is taken very seriously. We have a long last name, eleven letters, so practicing spelling it correctly without any help and writing it very tiny so it will fit on the back of the card is key. When the big day finally arrived we got to the library when it opened, got our papers to fill out and got the card signed. Yippee! Another special thing we do is purchase the new card holder their very own library bag. Remember when the big kid got hers? Pretty exciting stuff! Well, I know you want to see the newest card holder, right?

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Here she is with our most favorite librarian. Mrs. L is so awesome that she even came to our house to teach me to knit one day. Like I said, awesome. Happy with card in hand and new purple library bag, she could hardly wait to fill it up. Do you notice anything wrong with the picture? (besides the non-matching ensemble my girl is wearing) Yeah, even holding up the straps of her new bag, it drags the ground. When my big girl got her bag they had drawstring backpacks. Not anymore. Only tote bags now and they are made of the material like reusable shopping bags. Great for the fact that they are made of recycled material, but not great in the sturdy department. Throw in a half dozen books and a couple of dvd's, add to that the fact that it's too long to keep off the ground and the probability that there will be a hole punctured through the corner before we get home goes through the roof.
Hmmm, I feel a makeover tutorial coming on. Do come back soon.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

craft book challenge - january

At the beginning of the month I came across a blog called Liesl Made. She makes some beautiful things and takes equally beautiful pictures of her creations. What I found there was a challenge called Craft Book Challenge.

Liesl pointed out that we sewing people have a tendency to collect books full of ideas, inspiration, and patterns but then just put them on a shelf and admire their beauty. Well, the challenge is to actually use those books. Create something from those thing each month, to be precise. That's a great challenge. One thing a month, I can do that. I'd enjoy that. It will motivate me to be creative even when I feel too busy or uninspired. The problem for me is that I don't have an extensive collection of craft/sewing books...yet. I have a couple of books with plenty of things that I can and will make over the course of this year. However, my library has lots of craft/sewing books that I check out all the time so I'll include those books in my own personal challenge. One book that I continually check out, and should probably just buy, is Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. Oh, the things in this book are beautiful. Her fabric designs are beautiful. I've got lots of plans for this book. So to start off my Craft Book Challenge I made some lounge pants for Tim. In the book, the pattern is called Pajamas for Everyone. The pattern has sizes for children as well as for adults.
They are easy to make and super comfy. I made the girls matching owl lounge pants at the beginning of the month and those gray and black ones pictured above, I made for Tim. Ideally the pattern would be vertical but I didn't quite have enough yardage for that, so horizontal it is. Men don't care about horizontal patterns and stripes so it works out great. They are made of super soft flannel, perfect for lounging in after a long, cold day at work.
One of these days I'll make a pair for myself...she says with a smile and a fabric store coupon.

So, are you up for the challenge?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

rudi's gluten free bakery

About a week ago I received a lovely package from the UPS man. When I opened the box this is what I found. An adorably packaged gift from Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery. Perhaps you have heard of Rudi's Bakery before. Well, recently they started baking gluten-free sandwich breads. They have original, multi-grain, and cinnamon raisin. Now, I have tried many gluten-free breads since we began our new lifestyle without wheat, rye, or barley and I must say each of those experiences left us all wanting something better. Something more like "real" bread. So when I received this package with a loaf of gluten-free multi-grain bread I wasn't sure what to expect. I had visited Rudi's site and blog. I had read the ingredients and the customer reviews. They were glowing reviews, but still I was a little unsure. I mean, how good can a loaf of gluten-free bread really be? Well, hopefully you can tell by the above picture that it was good. The loaf was almost entirely consumed by eager and happy gluten free sandwich eaters before I could get a picture of the bread. It was good. They really captured the texture of regular bread....light and airy, soft and flavorful. I've made my own gluten-free breads. They're good, soft, and flavorful, but light and airy like regular bread...not so much. Rudi's Gluten-Free Bread is delightful. The whole Clothesline family agrees.

In the cute box, along with the yummy bread, I also received some other goodies...a fridge magnet, sticky notes, several coupons, and a nice little sandwich box perfect for lunch on the go or a play date. So if you need to be gluten-free or just want to reduce the amount of gluten in your diet but you don't want to give up having a good ol' sandwich, then I highly recommend trying Rudi's Gluten -Free Bread.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

birthday post...super late

I've been meaning to write a post about the recent birthday celebration and share pictures. It was super fun. The chosen theme, as I mentioned before, was a detective party. For the annual birthday outfit, I made a detective cloak of gray and black hounds tooth check that is lined with some adorable, tiny pink floral cotton and trimmed it all with black bias tape. I also made a matching a-line skirt, which was also trimmed with black bias tape. I found the pattern for the cloak over at Martha Stewart. Really, though, I only used the pattern for the collar. I kinda just winged it with the skirt and thankfully it fit just right.
I made the cake per request. Thankfully the birthday girl knew exactly what she wanted...a magnifying glass. No problem. She still wanted the final product to be a surprise so I made it after she went to bed. It's not my best cake work, but she was thrilled and that's really all that mattered.

There were many wonderful detective themed gifts. She also received some adorable clothes and toys and girly lip gloss. Besides wearing her cloak often, the gift that has gotten the most use is Scrabble Flash. Everyone that enters the house can't help but play it for a few minutes. If you love playing regular Scrabble, you'll love Scrabble Flash. Seriously. Oh, her most favorite gift, much to the cat's dismay, was a cat training kit.Oh yes, she's been training the cat. Although, as time goes by and I hear the excitement about him learning new things and being rewarded with treats, it occurred to me that our little fur ball is quite clever as it seems, from where I'm sitting at least, that he is the one training her to give him more and more treats. Either way, they're both happy.
Also, to make the day even better, my mom, my sister, and my niece all came to the party as well. It was really fun to have them here.

So there you have it. Finally, some photographic proof that someone special in the Clothesline house turned 8 years old!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

you capture::doorways

I haven't participated in You Capture for several months. Just busy, I guess. The theme for this week was doorways. Perfect. I chose to capture our new daily ritual of reading a chapter from the Chronicles of Narnia. Well, sometimes it's two chapters because it's just so interesting the girls don't want me to stop reading. We are on chapter 9 of book two already. The girls are loving it, so am I, so is Tim. He reads chapters to them as well. In fact, he started the ritual while on Christmas break. The best part about all of this is not the family time we have together enjoying this story. The best part is not the excitement that is evoked when I reach for the book. The best part is not the anticipation I hear in their voices when they talk about what might happen next. The best part isn't even how much they are loving a wonderful piece of classic literature...the teacher in me really loves that part.
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The best part is, however, the unintentional learning, the endless enjoyment, the creative imagination, the intense interest, the earnest listening, and the growing love of literature that all comes through the doorway of an open book.
See more captures here. Happy Thursday xoANG

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

one year ago...

Haiti was in the news for the massive earthquake that destroyed almost everything. Now Haiti is in the news because of the widespread devastation caused by cholera. I just wanted to share with you again the organization that I support because I have dear friends that are missionaries there. It's called Baptist Haiti Mission. There's a button there on the left that will take you directly to their website if you'd like to learn more, make a donation, or sponsor a child. We, here at the Clothesline, sponsor a child, a little girl, named Ferlandie. She is 9 years old now and is so beautiful. Through our financial support she is guaranteed that she can go to school, have a school uniform, a couple of nutritious meals every day, medical care, and financial relief for her family. She is blessed to have both parents and all of her many siblings even after all of the devistation that they have been through. So as you go about your day today, please remember the people of Haiti. They need prayer. They need support. They need hope. They need to know that they are not forgotten.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


It's a new year. I always seem to get a desire to create things at the beginning of every year. This year I would like to try some new things and I have just the place to start. Ellen over at The Long Thread has recently posted the Top 100 Tutorials of 2010! Here's a photo sample I snagged from her blog.
(photo from The Long Thread)

Just from the picture I see five things I want to make...and there are 91 other things on the list. Oh my! Of course if you can't find anything to inspire you from the 2010 collection you can always check out The Long Thread's Top 100 Tutorials from 2009 or the Top 100 Tutorials from 2008. I know. It's a lot, right? Make sure you have time to peruse the lists because you will get sucked in and spend many hours in front of your computer. There are some amazing tutorials out there. Lots of inspiration...I promise.

I feel like I can breathe now and spend some time sewing or something just because it's fun, not because I have a deadline. I love the holiday season...celebrating with family and friends, decorating, baking and eating and eating and eating, taking a break from the regular schedule, having fun...but all of that can be exhausting. I am a creature of habit. So this week we got back into our school routine. It started off a little rocky, as is to be expected. I mean, I taught middle school, so believe me I know how hard it can be to go back to school after a vacation. But by Friday the girls and I were in the school groove. Learning is happening...learning with joy, in fact. After their lessons were over yesterday they played dress-up. I could hear them deciding which things to wear and giggling at the outfits they had created. Which reminds me, I still need to share a birthday post so you can see the cake and the outfit to go with the detective theme. That will be coming soon. Happy weekend xoANG

Thursday, January 6, 2011

the last of 2010

On the very last day of 2010 the weather warmed up a the low 50' we decided to head for the trails. Our very much anticipated goal was to go geocaching. I'd read several magazine articles and blog posts about geocaching and we've got some friends that have done some geocaching as well. The more I heard about it the more fun it sounded. Tim was very excited about it because he loves hiking and the girls were thrilled because there is nothing more fun than going on a treasure hunt. I mean, come on, getting exercise and fresh air and not even realizing it. How great is that? For Christmas, we got the girls a geomate jr. It's a very affordable, kid-friendly, handheld GPS. They couldn't wait to use it. So, like I said, we headed for the trails. We followed the GPS, did a little off-trail hill climbing, some searching around for the cache and we found it! Our first find!
Since we were already on the trail we decided to find the next one. The second one took us much farther down the main path then off into the woods on a bike trail. We went down some hills, crossed the creek a couple of times, climbed back up the hill then off the trail we went. Through the woods we searched and finally found our second cache. It was very well hidden, which made it even more exciting to find.

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We all had a great time. We got some great hiking in and had a blast. Since then the temperatures have dropped to down-right freezing. We'll have to wait for a more tolerable hiking temperature for the next geocaching day. In the meantime though, I have been commissioned by the girls to create a satchel of some sort in which to carry our geomate, our trinkets for putting in the cache, our geocaching journal and pen, and possibly some snacks for the more treacherous of hikes. Since the temps are creeping lower and lower this week it seems that I may have some sewing time really soon. A birthday update will be coming soon. Happy Thursday. xoANG

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Eight years ago, eight days after Christmas she arrived. She was over due and I was huge. Huge, I tell you. January first came and went and still no baby. But before the end of January second we finally welcomed our first baby into the world. The best gift in the world, my new baby, me - becoming a mom, our family growing. It's hard to believe that it all began eight years ago. My, how time flies.
As you can see from the following pictures, she loves to dress up still...and in the same purple dress she got when she was just two years old. Now it's more like a tutu. When I told her to strike a pose for the newest picture in that dress she posed very much like a favorite Degas sculpture of mine.
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Today we celebrated! It's been a whirlwind of a day. This year's chosen birthday theme was a detective party. There were cloaks and magnifying glasses and clues to follow in order to find the birthday gifts. She had a blast! Tomorrow I have a feeling we'll be spied on and probably get fingerprinted. I'll share more after we all come down off of our sugar high. Until then...I hope your new year has had a wonderful beginning, much like ours. xoANG