Sunday, October 26, 2008

Birthday Fezzes

Collin, Dan
Originally uploaded by spillarke
I will never forget the afternoon my parents and I spent trying to figure out how to make a fez. One afternoon Collin and I were playing on the floor with his plush Sassy stacking cups. I loved the bold colors and geometric designs and thought something like, Hmmm, this would make a cool birthday fez. Once I said it out loud, my Dad was on it. he sat down at the kitchen table with an old newspaper and started trying to figure out a pattern for a fez. Mom and I joined him and we cut and wrapped and taped and laughed. We figured it out and I went immediately to Michael's and bought supplies. We soon had a dozen fezzes in a variety of colors and themes. I love them--they are fun to wear and fun to make. When my girlfriend, Beth's daughter turned 1, I was surprised (and delighted) when she asked me to make Hope birthday fezzes. Her daughter, Hope, enjoyed all things fuffy and soft (feather boas and velvet trims) and so for her first birthday she got some totally tricked out birthday fezzes.

Guess what?

People are selling party hats on Esty. Birthday hats! Perusing the web this morning, I came across a cool blog, Sweet Mady's Paper and was taken in by the birthday finds posting. This just makes me think more and more about the whimsy shop I want to open on Etsy... we'll see.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Want to Play?

I'm not much of a gamer. My rounds of Pac-Man in a neighborhood Pizza Hut probably would never qualify me as a top scorer, but I used to enjoy it. I have almost no idea how to work the controls on Collin's PlayStation; truth be told some of the graphics are too fast for me. I think they might even give me a headache. So, I don't play videogames much. Through my twitter network, I happened upon Jumbli last week. (I love learning from my PLN!)
Have you played it yet? It's like scrabble, but with floating letters that look like lotto balls. You create a word and text it to the Jumbli number, 87884. Once it receives your word it remakes it on the screen. Eventually, you "go live" and the words you send in flash on the Jumbli billboard in Times Square. Collin and I played over the weekend. Okay, I kept saying I would let him text the word, but I never actually handed over the phone. Sheesh, let me try it was what I was thinking. Next time I'll do a better job of sharing. It's a fun game and one that I could see using in class for word play. Of course then we'd have to acknowledge that our cell phones can be tools for learning, right?

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Okay, so closets are not the bane of my existence, but they certainly could be described as a surly sticking point. I'm too busy to organize closets. Who isn't? I would always rather do something else! Cluttered and jumbled, many of the closets in our house probably function as dust bunny habitats. A few weeks ago, Rick and I reorganized the master closet. I painted; he added shelves. It came out well and it's so nice to go in there in the morning and actually find clothes that fit me. I even have a step stool--definitely recommended for the vertically challenged.

Today I decided to tackle the office/studio closet. I filled 3 contractor grade garbage bags with stuff. Junk I hadn't used or looked at in who knows how long. My motto today? Just pitch it! Thought I'd take a picture and share, since the doors are off you can really see all the cleeeaan space! I don't think I've seen the floor in that closet for three yearsCollin and I keep a word wall on the doors, but the sticky notes were falling off, so I painted the doors with magnetic paint. They will be ready to rehang tomorrow perhaps.

The guest room closet is next.Beware, it's pretty ugly! My goal? Clear the floor!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Spiritual Things

This past week was at the St. Luke's womens' retreat in St. August, we talked about "living intentionally" and shared a few favorite verses.

I have a few verses marked in my Bible, but I haven't committed to any. I do have a favorite hymn from my childhood--from Sundays spent in Catholic Mass, the refrain goes something like this: "Be not afraid. I go before you always. Come follow me, and I will give you rest." It's a reminder to me, that things will work out and that someone has always gone before me--that I am never alone. As a woman I fight that--the following along kind of thing. I want to be in control. I want to make my own plan. I want to be in charge or demanding like the speaker in this poem...

Rick Armstrong shared this clip with us at the womens' retreat. Rather striking I thought.


(click the picture to see the details; it's pencil)

My son has been making voting posters--unprompted posters mind you. We do watch the morning news each day, but Rick and I don't talk much politics with or in front of Collin. The other day I was working on something before school when he came into my office/studio and said "Look Mom I made a 'don't vote for McCain' poster!" In typical Collin style, he featured a stick man mid page with scribble-scrabble messy hair. Above the figure he wrote: "Don't vote for McCain!" (spelled mecain) Then he noted that McCain would raise taxes by many, many dollars (he kept upping the amount actually as we talked about it, erasing and rewriting). He got into the sling thing by writing "Not nice. So mean. So very mean." and such in the left margin and pointing arrows at the stick McCain. When I asked him why he didn't like McCain he said he didn't think he was very nice because he wants to keep the war going and we have to pay for his health insurance. I tried to reasoning him into more specfics but we got hung up on health insurance. Definitely a hearty issue. Seven year old wisdom for sure, but it certainly sounds like he's been listening to someone or something.

Collin's voting posters (he's since made one promoting Obama) reminded me of friend Kelly's post featuring the Don't Vote video from YouTube--thought I'd include it here in case you missed it.

her blog last week: Don't Vote. Don't miss it--it's one to get you thinking.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cock Fight

Our two roosters got into it the other day in the coop, so I had to let one loose. now Old Salty is hanging out in the yard with Clovis. Poor Clovis was nearly hen pecked bald-headed. Sometimes it seems like the chickens are showing me a thing or two about relationships. Wish I were a faster learner.