Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine

We've been very busy, here at Garage Mahal. The children are studying, and immersing themselves in seasonal magic... singing carols, tracking down favorite ornaments and decorations, faithfully counting the days 'til Christmas one chocolate at a time. Max and Alex are mostly healthy, though Alex seems to suffer while in the new classrooms at school (it's very fume-ish in the new building.) William cleverly skipped all the colds and coughs.. smart boy.

Today Maria had her well visit at the doctor's. She is well, and small. People insist she looks big for her age, but her height and weight are well below average. Hearing is good. Vision is good. And she has plenty of sweet skills. Good. Good. Good.

Geoff is immersed too... in work, so we see less of him. He and I share funny 3 a.m. exchanges, where I tell him what the kids were up to and he asks me to remind him to do this or to please check such and such. I don't know how much of these conversations we actually retain.

Me? I'm juggling. Domestic goddess. Queen of the Winter Wonderland. Tutor, plumber, medic, chauffeur, cook and baker, dishwasher, manager, voice of wisdom... it never ends. I improvise and fake it. I relish the successes, and I deflate just a bit every time I realize I've left the house without brushing my hair, again. Two steps forward. Five steps backward. Covering old ground, making new tracks. 'Tis the season to feel pulled in every direction.

Do you know what's been fun? Sewing.

Stitching, snipping, cutting and playing. I've been making little things, like this super gratifying soft tree, which looks oh so cute in seasonal colors and prints. Quick and easy is my theme, because time is precious, and my machine is less than reliable on larger projects. So, I've made scarves, and a sleep mask, and I even finished some WIPs that were years in the making, like the cubes I started a year and a half ago.

I also finished Max's quilt... the one he designed. I couldn't resist hand quilting it and also adding appliqued frogs, so of course it took a bit longer to finish than I had hoped. Oh, but it was so worthwhile... Max loves it and sleeps entwined in it every night.

Do you know what else has been fun? Packages, surprises and bloggy generosity. Amazing. Really, really amazing. Tami, of "Lemon Tree Tales", is a doll maker and an illustrator. In September she introduced a new fairy to "101 Fairy Lane" and she invited readers to name her.

Just for participating in the fun she sent me an ATC -Artist Trading Card- of Valerienne Rose. Both "Lemon Tree Tales" and "101 Fairy Lane" are full of examples of Tami's talents in illustration, story telling, and sewing, and it's an honor to receive a sample of her beautiful work. Thank you Tami.

And there's more! I've been hanging around and soaking up the fun at "Spring Bean Things" Missy is a mom, and she sews and she's funny and she blogs and she's a mom... what can I say? We can relate. Us bloggers love our milestones, so Missy was happy to share her happiness about reaching 50 posts by having a prize drawing. Prizes? Free handmade items from a talented woman? Yes! Sign me up! If you haven't figured out that bloggers are kind, talented and generous, then you are missing out. I was very lucky to have my name drawn from the hat, by her very cute 3 year old daughter. And today, I got to open a very big package from the talented Missy. An apron! Love it! Maria is wild about the pockets and can't stop commenting about them. A kitty cat tissue holder! Very handy, especially lately. And a dress, a very extra special addition she slipped in for Maria. Does Maria's expression say enough? She L.O.V.E.S. this dress. Loves it. And honestly, she got compliments for her dress all day. It was so sweet how many people commented on her "cute dress," her "pretty dress" and even, "Oh, did you get your Christmas picture taken today in your pretty dress?" Thank you Missy.

What did I write about for my 50th post? Let's see August 23rd, 2002... oh dear... nothing too dignified. I was doing battle with my arch nemesis the Clogged Toilet. Pardon me. Hey, you can count on me to keep it real, right? Well, now I am about to celebrate my 1,000 post, and when I do I hope you will come by and take a chance at winning something good. I've been thinking about some of my favorite things in the kitchen... and other things I love and want to share with a lucky someone.


Julie said...

We seem to be in the same mood in regards to getting things done (or not).

Miss Maria looks adorable in her new dress. I ordered fabric-covered notebooks from Missy but wish I had a girl so I could buy a dress. Her work is impeccable.

Tracy said...

Such goodness here--just bursting with goodies! Love those little trees, and Max's quilt is fabulous--wonderful and so playful color and the borders. Maria is a sweetie, she looks so pretty in her dress. I could bite her dear cheek, she's such an apple! Glad she got a good bill of health :o) Looking forward to seeing what this other goodness you're hinting at will be...I'll be back to find out. Happy Days to you all ((HUGS))

Lesley said...

So you've been sewing too! It must be the lovely feelings of calm it induces in us! Love your projects, especially the trees and the elephant. Wow! And Maria looks gorgeous in her holly dress.

nikkipolani said...

Ah, yes, I remember Max's creation. I think frogs are a terrific way to finish it off. Happy 999th!

Missy said...

You are so very very welcome Natalie. Maria is a total doll face!

Love all your crafty items you're whipping up.

Happy 999th! Clogged toilets, intriguing, I need to go back and read that one :-)

calamitykim said...

Ever since I took everything out of my sewing room to paint I have been finding bags and piles and boxes of half completed wips and stashes of stuff I forgot I even started! I am trying to get some things of my own finished up. love lemon tree and her beautiful work and Maria looks lovely in her dress! keep stitching and happy almost 1,000. you rock, chicken girl!

tea time and roses said...

Wow, so much goodness I do not know where to start!! But I must say the fairy is the cutest!! I must visit that site. You and your family continue to enjoy the season!



Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

Wow Natalie, you're the one who's so kind and generous with stories of your lovely family. Thank you, and I'm glad that you liked the little ATC.

Felicia said...

Oh my gosh, I'm tuckered out just reading that post. You've been busy! Beautiful Christmas trees and I love those little animal pillows :)

Tarie said...

I love the cubes. I love the appliqued frogs. And I love Maria's dress!

Magpie Sue said...

Maria is a LIVING DOLL!
And I have to go check out Tami's stuff - that fairy she sent you is wonderful.

I have to tell my daughter about your blog. I think she'd really enjoy it, having small children of her own and basically being a single parent in the same way you seem to be (her husband is in the Navy and currently deployed).