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When Erin and Blair announced the Kids ATC Swap, I signed up immediately.  On behalf of my children, of course.  As Valentine’s Day approached, I remembered that crafting with my children stresses me out.  It’s just that we often have divergent opinions about what the end result should look like.  Ok, fine.  I’m a bit of a control freak.  Good Lord, what had I done?

It was another lesson in letting go.  I gave them the cards, set out a small selection of new supplies and kept my distance.  They loved the array of colors of the oil pastels.  They had fun with the crayon resist technique.  The Dong-A Creamy Crayons were a big hit.  Unfortunately, they didn’t learn quickly enough that you should use a very light hand with those.  The cards they made with those have a very thick layer of color.  In fact, I’m still wiping up a trail of red from a chunk that adhered to someone’s sock.  Good thing they are washable.

The results?  Even I can’t argue with these:



Sarah isn’t old enough to participate in the swap, but she sure loved making her own cards.


I was able to keep my hands off the cards.  At least until it was time to mail them.


I packaged them in glassine envelopes with a seal.  The cards are 100% kid-made.  The packaging is my little fingerprint.  In case you are wondering, I didn’t let the kids put the stickers on.  The stickers needed to be in the right place.

There are limits to my ability to let go.


Jen of Painted Fish Studio tagged me to “open the 6th picture folder on your computer, open the 6th photo and blog it. write something about it. then tag 6 more people to do the same.”


This picture was taken in October 2004. Our first year at Applebutter weekend, a friend’s longstanding family tradition of making applebutter over an open fire in a huge copper pot. We were one of around 6 families there for the weekend. The weekend went something like this:

  • Arrived Friday night to peel, core and chop bushels upon bushels of apples.
  • Woke up Saturday morning to start the fire and get the pot on.
  • Sat by fire and took turns stirring.
  • Enjoyed a lovely fall day outside.
  • More stirring.
  • Let kids and dogs frolic and run until they fell into a heap.
  • Canned applebutter in a mad dash assembly line.
  • Ate, drank and were very merry!

A fantastic weekend was had by all. Lizzie was 4 1/2 and Joshua was 2. They both look so little in this picture. Joshua was so blond! On a day like today, when it feels like they will never grow out of the needy, whiny, or sassy stages, it is good to be reminded that they really do grow up so fast.

Thanks, Jen, for prompting this little stroll down memory lane.

Now, it’s your turn:

Cloth. Paper. String.

Jenean Morrison

Bridgman Pottery

Prickly Pear Bloom



I have the feeling a couple of you may have already done this, but I’m forgetful and too lazy to check. If so, please disregard.

Oops.  I forgot to announce the winner of the shameless ploy:  #7 Sarah (Lewis)!  Don’t start checking the mail just yet.  I have a couple ideas that I need to hammer out first.  I think you’ll like it.

My days have been filled with lots of non-crafty things lately.  Work.  Reading.  Exercising.  Baking.  Chickens.

What?  You don’t think about chickens?  We have been talking about getting chickens for well over a year.  Now, it’s serious.  A friend is placing her order for chicks and we have claimed 6 of them.  Meanwhile, we need to get our permit process going (including getting signatures from neighbors) and get the coop built.  Just a couple minor details.


A couple of weeks ago, I tried the Light Wheat Bread from Smitten Kitchen and now we are hooked.  We’d been making no-knead bread for so long, that it was kind of an adjustment.  You mean I have to knead this?  I’ve decided that kneading bread dough for 10 minutes can count as exercise.  It makes such a lovely (and tasty) loaf of bread that it has become our standard sandwich bread.


Although progress on Mr. Greenjeans feels slow, I did start on the first sleeve the other day.  Good thing we’ve got plenty of winter left around these parts.  Definitely enough time to finish and use a new sweater.

Most of the time I am grateful for my kids being in a small school for the personal attention it allows, the low student-teacher ratio, etc.  This week, I am grateful for the fact that they only have to bring 11 Valentine cards each.  Much more than that I would surely go insane.

I didn’t give much thought or planning to the Valentine card making process.  This is both a blessing and a curse.  If I had planned and set up specific expectations, I am sure the stress would have been too much for all of us.  Instead, I cut some cardstock to size, tossed some supplies on the table and let them go at it.  Now, when the stress of results that don’t meet my standards gets too much for me, I just step out of the fray.


In the end, the kids get to give out truly original Valentine cards and I get to practice letting go.

I am currently fighting my way out of a post-Christmas creativity slump. I foolishly jumped on the 365 photo a day bandwagon. Taking a photo a day is usually not my problem. No, the problem is taking at least one photo a day that isn’t total crap. I’ve already missed a day due to the fact that I was traveling to California for a funeral. Only 331 days to go. Fabulous.

Despite the lack of craft mojo, I did cast on for a new sweater recently. With a gift certificate I’d received for Christmas burning a hole in my pocket, I got myself over to Borealis to pick out yarn for Mr. Greenjeans. I was seriously considering another FLS, but decided to try something different. I was planning to splurge, but the yarn that called to me was Cascade 220. It may seem dull, but I can’t argue with getting enough yarn for a sweater and having money leftover. I was making decent progress until I realized that I wasn’t following the cable pattern correctly. So yesterday I went from this:


to this:


With surprisingly little angst, I just yanked the needles out and started to unravel. Must be a sign that I’m maturing as a knitter that I can do that without panicking. It’s all back on the needles and I’m back in the saddle.  I guess sometimes it is a good idea to read the pattern.

Lest we forget, January 20, 2009 was a truly historic day in America. The 2nd anniversary of my blog, of course! Leave a comment before President’s Day (February 16th) and I’ll draw a name or two for a little gift.