Posts in stray posts
lulu's cafe, closed for business

I knew the day was coming. First she wanted the training wheels off, then she stopped asking for everything pink, she's also asking to have her canopy removed, but I'm ignoring that request for a while.

I noticed the past couple of months that the cafe was becoming a repository for things that had no other home.  Things like little buckets of pencils and ceramics from art camp would show up and she would say "Oh, I'll keep this in my cafe."

While I'm excited to gain some space in the dining room, it's a bit sad to see it go.

Lulu first set up shop when we were living in Minnesota, but with the move to Iowa, she gained enough space that it became her cafe.  She would draw up menus in the morning and serve meals all day long, most with a side of bacon.  When I learned how to knit, she offered up a spot at her table to work while she served up all sorts of treats topped with cream and sprinkles.  Everything came with strawberry tea (also served with cream and sprinkles).  If you didn't have any money, she would gladly pull some from her till and you could keep the change.  (of course I always left it as a tip)  One day, she mixed a little cake and baked it in her microwave and when it was all done, she took pictures with her toy camera just as any good blogger should.

Every time I said to the spouse "and someday that won't be there" waving my hand in the direction of the cafe, trying to find a bit more space in the cottage, he wouldn't say a word.  He just did that look with the chin down and eyebrows up.  "I know," I would say, "I take it all back because I'll be so sad to see it go."

and I was...

stray postsmybricole
ages 10 and up

last week was birthdays week at the cottage this guy


now looks more like this

He still asks for the same chocolate cake that he had on his very first birthday, but this year it was an R2D2 version.

Besides droids, he also loves owls.  I made this little one for him, which he named Eglantine after the little owl in the Guardians of Ga'Hoole.

I celebrated my birthday with some antique time.

Here's my cake

It was a cream cheese frosting over a vanilla cake that I dyed purple.

We ended the week with some bowling.

lulu and I took a moment to admire our cool shoes.


dishes also done by hand

Here's the thing... I've never had much luck with dishwashers.  They etch my glasses, they permanently bond any left over food  on to my plates, they are rough on my vintage dishes, and they are noisy.  I'm told that new ones are better about all of those things but when I have enough extra money lying around to buy one, I'm going to use that money to buy something fun like fabric or a new water heater.  I also adore my galley kitchen.  Everything is right there where I need it, when I need it, but baking can be a bit pan intensive.  I was keeping all my baking pans on a shelf in the basement.

but then, the dishwasher was removed -

shelves were made and rigorously tested -

once the paint cured, I loaded them with serving pieces -

I was able to hide all my cake and bread pans in the cupboard where the serving pieces used to sit.  My favorite part though is the muffin papers in the jar (that part was lulu's job).

before hooked on phonics

I picked these up at last year's antiques extravaganza.  They came in a box labeled, A Basal Set of Phonetic Word Drill Cards, for use with any system of reading.  They've been resting in the basement for a while now.  Monday, I spied them on the shelf as I was carrying up a load of laundry and realized I had the perfect place to show them off.

The next morning I walked into the living room to find the spouse and the kids rearranging a bit.

decorating meets education

snow day

So here we are, trapped with colds and coughs in the cold and snow.

My plan is to hide in the house and eat big pieces of this cinnamon streusel pound cake

I did manage to get a few things done before the storm hit.  Cj has started his recorder unit for school so I made a new case for my old recorder.  I used some of the leftover echino from the quilt I'm working on.

I also finished up some patchwork pot holders for a friend's birthday.


I made this advent calendar a couple of years ago.  I love it, but I'm always at a loss for what to put in it.

Yesterday as I was digging through all the decorations, it hit me, why not a kids tree?

Each day has an ornament that the kids can put on their own little tree, so by Christmas they will have fully decorated tree.

how i spent my summer vacation

so summer is over - at least by the looks of my schedule - the kids are back to school and the aspen trees are almost empty so fall must be lurking around so here I sit in peace and quiet ready to get back into the swing of things

We did manage to get some great things done in August -

I mastered the granny -

This bit of charred pork was transformed in to some serious South Carolina style pulled pork

We took the kids to tour the museum I worked at while I was in college...

where I learned that aluminum is no longer in style...

this would be less of an issue if I didn't have the same cake carrier in red in my house.

I decided that next party I throw will be a tea and scissors party

We also managed to sneak in some swimming lessons.


became this...which means I'm one step closer to a workshop

and yes that pun was totally intended.

summer break

The little people are on summer break so I have a ton of extra help around the house. They are in charge of things such as making sure snack is served on time and making sure lunch is served on time.  Shortly after lunch they start asking what's for supper so that I don't fall behind schedule on that either.

I did get a chance to take part in Creativity Bootcamp led by Maegan of Madeline Bea - Life set to Words.  I chose photography for my medium since it would allow for quick turn around so I could complete the assignments each day.

Here's a little slide show of my photos inspired by the bootcamp process.


As a sort of continuing education, Maegan will be leading the Sunday Creative over at Life set to Words.  I'm looking forward to having an entire week to consider her prompts.

sunday improv

While out running our errands, lulu decided she wanted to try raspberries because "they are dad's favorite".  I grabbed them without thinking what I would do with them.  Sunday dessert rolled around, I whipped up the leftover cream (from the on the fly pasta and peas with bacon), added the raspberries and topped it off with a couple of speculoos cookies that my, oh so kind, cousin sent to me as a mother's day treat. Lulu voted it a success.