Archive for December, 2008

I could do without the formstone, but…

Posted in Baltimore love, life in general, musings on December 31, 2008 by askthesky

…you can’t have everything. 

Please excuse my absence over here these days.  We did have a lovely Christmas, and now it’s New Year’s Eve already, and some things are normal and just as they should be.  Unfortunately, other things are quite amiss. 

We have to move, and we have to move by the 15th of January.  Luckily, I started looking for a new house right after the house we’re currently living in, and have been renting for the past year and a half, went back to the bank’s ownership in a foreclosure, so I’ve signed a lease (only about 6 blocks from our current address), and we should be all set. 

We will be all set, as soon as the whole house is packed, all the address changes are made, and on and on and o n a n d o nnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.  I will say that my community of friends and family have been so supportive- lending their time, dropping off tape and boxes, buying restaurant gift cards, donating their packing skillz and happily babysitting.  It’s been quite the outpouring, and it’s humbling.  You really can tell, as the old saying goes, who your true friends are when you are in serious need.  So, if you’ve helped and you’re reading this now, please know how grateful I am, for you. 

Bear with me these next few weeks.  I won’t have a shop update until after the 20th at the earliest, because setting up the kids’  part of the home is frankly more important than my studio. 

Send me your wishes if you’re far away, all your positive energies, good mojo, or whatevs.  I will need them. 

Back to packing… I’ll leave you with the last photo that will be seen from our current house, taken by my friend Drew, after we got back from the lights.  Happy 2009, may it be peaceful.  

kids by you.


somewhere in middle america…

Posted in musings on December 17, 2008 by askthesky

I’m listening to the Counting Crows- Omaha – right now, and taking a really short break from making my last few custom orders of the year to ask you for a favor. 

I don’t have time to properly explain, but Juliet, Rachel, Shannon, and etsy have all explained it really well.  Please read about the law that goes into effect very soon, that will put lots of makers of children’s items out of business, including me, although to be honest, I would just have to stop making children’s items and stick to my “adult” lines (sounds dirty, eh?).  But, many, many, many of my friends would have to literally shut down their operations, not to mention all those out there all over the country, in Omaha, for example.  If you have kids, or if you know kids, help keep quality, safe handmade objects  for them a reality.  We need your voice! 

Please sign the petition( you don’t have to donate, although it looks that way after you sign- you can click “back” on your browser, then click the “signatures” tab to see all the signatures, and comments).  Learn more about what you can do.  Help us make a difference.  And, if you should happen to run into your favorite small-time maker of children’s handmade awesomeness, who is likely to be sweating profusely and mumbling quietly to them self in a corner, buy them a cup of coffee.  They’re gonna need it. 

Thank you.

Help Save Handmade Toys from the CPSIA

34th Street, 2008

Posted in musings on December 16, 2008 by askthesky

It’s a tradition in our neighborhood to visit 34th street, to see the miracle of tons of electrified Christmas joy.  This year, we scored a hand-me-down wagon from some friends at church, and chose the warmest possible night to go.  Not even the light rain could deter us.  Sage sang and laughed the entire ride down, and lo, there was much rejoicing. 

This was my favorite house, the blue light house of Peace and Diversity. 

dec 08 001 by you.

low-light kiddos:

dec 08 016 by you.

dec 08 003 by you.

Happy Christmas Prep, I’ve got to get back to mine…

…in which I ramble…

Posted in musings on December 11, 2008 by askthesky

Hello there!  You’re looking a bit damp, as is my basement.  Come, sit, dry off and listen to the ramblings of a woman who jumps from topic to topic with no regard for continuity of theme.  No regard, I tell you! 

Today on my Google Calendar, at noon, was listed:  Sanity Break- go watch funnies on YouTube.  Well, friends, YouTube is down, or at least it’s down for me, so there will be no Power Thirst, nor Winnebago Man today.  (If you’ve not seen those videos, go find them when YouTube returns, but watch at home, without children around, and skip them if you’re offended by gratuitous profanity.) So, instead, we have a blog post o’ randomness, my favorite kind. 

Last night, I found a can in the pantry that was in serious danger of becoming the can you find when you move out of your house.  You know, the one that’s so old, it’s become one with the shelf on which it’s been sitting for decades*.  This particular can was filled with Baked Beans, from Wegmans.  I assume that I came across this can in the store, and thought, “hey, I like beans, the kids like beans, this is very close to being  a prepared food is actually safe for us to eat… sign me up.”  I think I picked up 40 cans.  Or so. 

Well, you guessed it, the kids wouldn’t touch them.  Z wasn’t even interested in the cut up hot dogs nestled among the saucy beans.  Hot dogs, which to this child are usually the HOLY GRAIL of all things food.  How was I to use these baked beans?  I’m glad you’re wondering.  I made them into chili.  It was darn good, too, and so easy, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried it before. 

Brown some ground beef, throw in a giant onion, tons (as in, 6-7 cloves) rough chopped garlic, cook those down a bit, drain if needed, then add in a double can of diced tomatoes, a can of plain pinto beans, some frozen corn, and the baked beans (the one I had was a big double can).  Cook that for a bit (5 mintues or so), then throw in some herbs.  I used cilantro, pepper, and a little chili powder.  You’re done!  It doesn’t need to cook down and meld like chili usually does, the bean-y sauce is enough to make it sweet and un-tomatoe-y.  MMMM, it’s even better the next day for lunch with Fritos.  Especially when you’re soaked through from delivering Meals of Wheels in the rain. 

In other news, the rain is supposedly turning to snow overnight, giving us an inch of accumulation, then melting later in the day.  My kids had better have school tomorrow.  Just sayin.  Mental Health Wednesday got pushed into Mental Health Friday this week, and Snow Day Friday and Mental Health Friday do not mix, my friends, they do not mix.  <crosses every crossable part of body>

The new class schedule is up at Lovelyarns, check it out if you’ve ever wanted to make a granny square project that didn’t bore you to tears, or make you want to run over “granny” with your car.  I think people have some strong feelings about granny squares, or perhaps not.   There’s also some amazing yarn (maybe, you should hurry though) that came in last week, including Malabrigo, which is really the best yarn ever.  Leave some for me, please, K? 


*The can I found was only a few months old.   I did find a can once when I moved during college that expired in the 80’s.  It was creamed corn, probably inherited from my Grnadmommy’s pantry when she passed away.  And no, I didn’t eat it.  Eeew.

Local Gems

Posted in Baltimore love, charm city craft mafia, crafting on December 8, 2008 by askthesky

I love the Shop Local feature on Etsy- here’s some of my favorite picks from some local Baltimore area Etsy artists… (just click on the photo to be taken to the item listing over at Etsy)

Baltimore Rat Christmas Cards

HOLIDAY LIMITED EDITION peace dove necklace

folksy shapes supper clutch


Kids Listen to Records Print

I’m working on some custom orders today, two hats, three cuffs, and one barrette doll.   I’m thinking I’ll officially close up shop for Christmas next Monday.  For those following our personal housing saga, the house auction on the courthouse steps is next Thursday.  I don’t exactly know what that means, except that someone different might be asking us to leave sometime in the near future.  Fingers crossed…

My to do list for today

Posted in musings on December 6, 2008 by askthesky
  • Watch Veggie Tales with Sage
  • Cut out 55 paper stars for Christmas Dinner tomorrow at church
  • REST
  • Package orders from this week (my best week ever on etsy!)
  • fix garbage disposal
  • listen to my favorite This American Life so far (it re-aired today)

Things that weren’t on my list, but popped up, demanding to be done:

  • snuggle time with Zander
  • import all Christmas CD’s into iTUnes
  • Continue researching this and this
  • Buy Frank’s Christmas Album, once and for all
  • do three loads of laundry
  • more snuggling

Cyber Monday Special Offer…

Posted in musings on December 1, 2008 by askthesky

Visit the shop today to enjoy free shipping on your order!  Just make your purchase, choose PayPal as your payment method, and enter the code “FREEDEC1BLOG” in the notes to seller section.  You’ll be refunded shipping costs. 

Here’s some things that I think would make smashing gifts (click on the photo to be taken to the listing)…

For the little girl with lots of hair accessories…

CUSTOM Amigurumi Barrette Doll

For the crocheter who loves the cute…

Crochet Kit- Make Your Own Amigurumi Friend

For the friend with eclectic style who you’d like to treat to something as unique as she-

Freeform Crocheted Cuff

Happy shopping!