togbean's place

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Girls, girls, girls

The birthday party today was great! The girls had such fun with their former school mates, spashing in the wading pool, digging in the sand, chowing down on watermelon, cake and icecream, tearing up the playground, and all the presents. The flower hair ties were a hit! Well, who wouldn't want such pretties in their hair? Here is a pic of the girls - BOTH - in their pillowcase dresses - see the bathing suits peeking out.
I can't wait for the Grumble's birthday party in 2 weeks. I can't believe she's going to be 4.

If You're Going to San Francisco...

The heat has broken and after a few hours of air-conditioned bliss at work I felt a little creative. Of course it helps that we have a birthday party tomorrow and we need to bring a gift. One of the girls school mates has a big picnic party tomorrow and I have a bit of a reputation for handmade stuff.

I whipped these up after I got home tonight, while I was catching up with the Hubby on his day. They are simple felt flowers stitched over elastic bands. So easy, so cute. I think I might make some for me :)

Please forgive the color discrepency. I just couldn't get a good pic in focus with the flash on for the close up of the backs. The first pic is much truer to the colors.

Friday, July 28, 2006

10cent wings

I wish I could fly to the beach - or the mountains, anywhere cooler than the Valley. I have a killer low-grade headache today and it's to damned hot to actually work on anything. Maybe you'd like to see things I could be working on?

It is WIP Friday and I have a pile of stuff in various stages of progress, not all of which I will picture here. The little mermaid merb is finished, last night I added a little ribbon fin around her waist. The Cinderella Babe is knit and stuffed, she has hair but no face and I have cut out fabric and felt for two outfits - scullery maid and ball gown.

I have also started a sweater for my nephew for the holidays, nice bulky pumpkin orange color. He's kind of a picky bugger but I threw together a swatch with the yarn and he liked it. Hmph. I have also started a stash sweater for the Bean, you'll remember the Circus Sweater I made for the Grumble.

So i'm using - *gasp* - ACRYLIC. I'm not that much of a yarn snob but I do want to stop having to look at the gobs of acrylic filling my stash bins. Besides, she's 5, she's messy, she loves cardigans(tries to wear them in 95 degreee heat), and acrylic is totally washable. Nyah.

Pictured here we have a toolbox shaped knitting bag that I'm making for a friend - pre-felting, attached i-cord for firmer edges, and post felting. I need to shave the bag - HAR! - give it a skeleton with some plastic canvas and line it with some cute button mushroom fabric I have. I might even stitch a few matching shrooms on the bag. Last is a 10"x10" cotton fleece square for a super secret baby blanket project for Weds night Noho group. I'm not sure which side of the pattern I like better.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Branching Out

Thought I'd take a moment to share the munchikin's sculpture garden with you. They have "planted" these trees for me and have embarked on a leaf-making-project so, "...the trees won't feel so naked until they grow their own."

Plus, I finally figured how to add a links section to my sidebar. I asked the Hubby about this weeks ago but he's busy building his own website, where all this will one day move to :) So, check out all the fun places to go over on your left and let me know if you like what you find!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Time To Go

This was one of my favorite things that came out of my writing class last semester. It's a rework of bits that I wrote a few years ago. Enjoy

Time To Go

Daddy had gone to work. I know because I heard his boots squeaking on the wet pavement outside my room. It was raining and still dark outside. I heard him close the trunk after he put his bag inside; I heard the engine start and I listened as the sound of the car faded away down the road. The big black birds were cawing outside. Mommy calls them crows but I know what their real names are. Just then the clock in the living room chimed softly five times. All these things meant it was a day to go, so I climbed out of bed.

I crept into Mommy and Daddy’s room to see the little brown man sitting on the bed at Mommy’s feet. I heard the small words he said to Mommy to make her have happy sleep, and then I watched him climb down. His skin was now a color like a chocolate bar and his clothes were made from the fallen leaves, all oranges, reds and browns, even his little hat. The last time I had seen him he was all green, his skin had been almost blue and he’d had a wreath of flowers on his head, but he always smelled like Mommy’s garden when we plant the seeds. He smiled at me and I saw his eyes crinkle and his little white teeth. He took my hand and we walked back into my room so he could say the small words to my baby sister. It was time to go.

We walked outside using the small door in the kitchen that was only there when the little man came. We spent a few minutes in Mommy’s garden while he passed his hands over each of the plants and the last few flowers; he sang a quiet song I didn’t understand. It reminded me of the songs that mommy sang to sissy and me at bedtime. Then we walked around all the trees in the yard. He continued to sing his song and we hugged each of the trees in turn. The big black birds stopped making all their noise just as he finished his song. It was time to go.

The little man and I settled down under the big tree next to the garden and he covered us over with all the fallen leaves. He began to sing another song and I settled into his hug like I had all the other times. Under a snow bank, in Mommies favorite patch of Lily of the Valley, once under Daddy’s tomato plants. Wherever we settled when he began that song I grew sleepy and knew I would awake in the other place. It was warm and dry under the leaves and it smelled like trick or treat night. I heaved a great sigh and was soon fast asleep. When I woke up it was because the little man was chuckling and tickling me under the chin. The sun was shining bright and we were sitting under our mushroom. It was time to go.

We crossed a field of squishy green moss and headed for the cave. She was waiting inside, she was now brown too, and wearing the leaf clothes. She was just settling in for a breakfast of nuts, oatmeal and warm applesauce. The little man hugged me and gave me a smile. I knew I would see him when my day with her was done but for now, it was his time to go.

I hopped up on my seat and dug my spoon right into the applesauce, it was my favorite.
I talked to her about all the things I had done with my family since the last time I saw her and she told me all about her own adventures. She asked if I remembered the things I had learned the last time I was there. I wasn’t sure so she promised to take me out after breakfast to practice the names of everything. We walked in the forest naming all the plants and animals that I could remember and learning new ones. We swam in the pond, naming the fish and frogs, and ate lunch in a meadow full of tiny blue flowers. We made wreaths of them to wear in our hair, and they smelled like summertime. After lunch we took naps in the tall grass because our bellies were so full of nuts and berries that we had gathered on our walk, and bread with sweet butter that she had packed in her basket. The buzzing bees woke us up just as the sun was starting to hide behind the great trees. It was time to go

We sang all sorts of songs on the way back to the cave, she taught me some and I taught her my new favorites that Mommy sang with me at home. I helped set the table for supper and we ate nice hot soup with carrots and potatoes we had gathered on our walk. When supper was finished and I had helped to clear all the dishes, we settled down in front of the fire for a story. It was a wonderful story about a little bear that got lost but was found. It was my favorite, especially the part about all the berries he found along the way. Just as the story finished I heard the little man laugh at the door to the cave. She gave me a big hug and promised that we would go find the little bear’s berry patch the next time I came. I kissed her goodbye and promised that I would practice and try to remember more next time and I would learn new songs to share. It was time to go.

The little man and I made our way back to our mushroom and I was so sleepy from a long and busy day that I don’t remember if he sang his song to me but I do remember his hug and quiet laughter.

“Sweetie. Wake up sweetheart. You‘ll be late for school. I made warm applesauce for you, and your sister is all ready. Let’s get dressed and eat breakfast.” Mommy was waking me up. I was snuggled under my blanket in my sunny yellow room and it smelled like yummy applesauce. I got dressed in my favorite yellow sweater and pants and ate all my breakfast. I looked out the window and I could see all the big black birds sitting in the tree next to the garden. They were quiet now, they had done their job. I would tell you what their real names are but Mommy is putting on my shoes and picking up Sissy, “We don’t want to be late for school.” It’s time to go.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pillow Talk

I can't seem to keep the Bean in her dress long enough to get a pic but here is the Grumble. The Bean's is pale blue and has a green trim ribbon and side patch pockets. The solemn face is because I just cut a nice hank of hair near her left ear to get gum out of it. Hmmmm, no more gum on a car ride where I think she might fall asleep and let the gum drop into her hair where it will be forgotten and turn into the quickest dredlock you have ever seen. Yeah, no more of that.

Peep Show

Here is a pic of the Bean on the night she learned to knit. Incidentally I'm using some of the same orange yarnon another project.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

After Midnight

I was looking for a particular photo in the archives, oh who am I kidding! I was trolling through the "we dump every photo type thing here" file and I came across the photos from last Halloween. No one should live a life without seeing this shit! Here we have the Bean as Princess Ariel, she is obsessed with the little mermaid after all, and The Grumble as Cinderella. Now let me explain, please. Wait, wait... Ah God let me wipe the tears out of my eyes, its still so ridiculous. Har!

My Mom used to work for The Weathervane waaaay back when they still sold clothes for women and not just crap for tweens. When they got rid of their manikins she nabbed two of the wigs, a red and a blonde. These lent themselves quite nicely to Reba McIntyre and Hippie costumes for myself and my sis in High School. So here we were all set for the two perfect princess costumes, right?! Right, except that come All Hallow's Eve Mom couldn't find the blonde one. Some quick creative thinking later and we have one glorious Cinderella with a chair pad for hair.

I will laugh about this for the rest of my life!! I had tears streaming down my face all the way up and down Mom's street as the munchikins did their trick-or-treat thing.
I just had to share.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Let Them Eat Pie

The berry patch has fulfilled its destiny! Har!
The fam all trooped down to the end of the yard today for some pickin. The Grumble soon lost interest and gained a new fear of prickers but the Bean did great. She picked almost as much as myself and the Hubby. 3 cups altogether after only 15 minutes or so and we should have an equal yield next weekend. Not bad for a patch thats only about 15'x15'. This afternoon we are headed off to the Hubby's parents house for a small family birthday party for Hubby's middle brother. So we decided to make a pie for the bro. We needed five cups of berries for my favorite spicy berry pie so we substituted 2 cups of nice sweet Gala apples. We quick sliced the apples and let the kids chop em' up to berry sized pieces. I know I promised pics of the two little embroidered tops but they are in the wash at the moment so you'll just have to wait ;P

Oh and here is a good reason not to get too caught up in roaming blogland and showing your husband all of the cute little robots over at Hillary's place:
I'm not worried. It'll still be super yummylicious. Mmmmmmm, pie.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Take It To the Limit

Just for fun:
Say hi to Monty, at least I'm pretty sure that's what his name is.
Why? Did he tell you different?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Strangely, I have seen two movies with Oliver Reed this week, Gladiator and Oliver. I think I have talked about this with my husband and maybe my mother before but I think this man is why I am married to The Hubby. Look at him! I had the biggest 8 year-old crush on him in this character. Dashing good looks, devil-may-care attitude(even in the way he's standing)and flopsy mopsy hair. Who wouldn't have been in love with his guy in 1973?! Alright so I probably saw The Three Musketeers for the first time on a Saturday afternoon on WPIX 11 some time in the 80's but still...
Those of you that know us can see the similarities I'm sure.

This may also be why I have such a thing for pirate mustaches - hee hee

Monday, July 10, 2006

Ahh, Summer

To be a kid again

Friday, July 07, 2006


OMG! The berries are here!

Black Raspberries to be more precise and you can bet yer britches that little hands were itching to get ahold of these as I implored them to wait while I snapped these pics. I think there was a sonic boom as they moved in for the snack! WHoosh...

This is what was left for me. BOOM!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Set Your Monkey Free

I'm entering the Craftster Sock Monkey Challenge.
This is my friend Sarah.

And this is Sarah as a Monkey

Road To Nowhere

I think I have mentioned before that The Hubby geocaches. This is the new logbook for the cache that he placed up on The Quabbin. It got flooded out this past Spring and he is on his was up there now to replace it. This is the new logbook that we made together for it. Road to Nowhere is a hybrid - it also functions as a letterbox. We don't letterbox but lots'o folks do and the view from this cache is superb.

The paper for the log book was purchased at one of the shops in Thorne's Market about four years ago to be used as invitations to the 1st Annual Sqeal and Peel - our ribs and shrimp BB-Q extravaganza - but it was never used. SO here it is, finally in use:)
The Hubby collated the papers, clamped and drilled away. I stitched it's lovelyness together and he decorated the cover - he even made the stamp!

HA! Now I make books, too! When does it end?!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Love Potion No. 9

I thought I would celebrate the holiday early with a look at some of the beauties in the garden. The first Daisy and these beautiful stalk flowers (they are ALL over the garden ).

And here is the glorious berry patch that is set to yield its first kickin harvest in years! WooHoo
Happy Weekend