Tuesday, September 30, 2008

True Colors

The True Colors Dyer's Charity Challenge auctions start today! So many amazing items for such wonderful causes. I am donating the proceeds of my auction to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. This cause is dear to my heart as we lost my mother in law to breast cancer, and my best friend is living with breast cancer now as well. Bid generously as all of the charities involved can use our donations.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Stocking tonight at Tree of Life

I have a little bit of a compulsive buying issue when it comes to embroidery designs ... there are SO many! They are instant gratification - I can find one and have it stitching out in 2 minutes flat! And they're reusable - what more could you possibly ask for?

These are my current favorite designs. I have decided that i need to embroider Finnigan on the leg of my jeans. I adore foxes, and pumpkins are my favorite thing ever. I just can't decide if he is too childish for my jeans ...

Finnigan Fox

Holden Hedgehog

Sullivan Squirrel

Maisy Mouse

Bridgit Bunny

I also have a semi-custom slot up for Carleigh Chickadee

You pick size, finishing style (T&T or serged), snap color, serging color if applicable, and core placement.

The stocking tonight is at 9:30, at Tree of Life

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Meg tagged me with 7 things meme, so here it is :)

The rules:

1. Post the rules on your blog.

2. Write 7 random things about yourself.

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post.

4. Pass on the tag.

Ahhhh ... 7 random things about myself ...
1 - I love chocolate, the darker the better. I think dark chocolate should have its own Recommended Daily Allowance

2 - I went on my first first date 2 weeks ago, the first first date I have had since I was 16. It was one of those experiences where I felt like I was an alien trying to pretend to be human like everyone else.

3 - I am what you can call a bipolar chef. I go through spurts where I don't want to cook anything and I wish everyone would eat cereal for dinner for a week, then I go though spurts when I cook everything that is not nailed down. I had one of those spurts this week. On Tuesday, I decided to make chicken ala king from scratch, a crock pot of Italian chicken soup, a batch of homemade honey rye rolls, 9 mini turkey and onion cheeseburgers, a dozen chicken fingers, tomato and mozzarella salad and stuffed peppers. Why? I have no idea. Thankfully some friends came over Thursday night for dinner to help us eat some of it. My freezer is teeny tiny and every time I opened it, turkey burgers would fall out on me.

4 - I read obsessively. I tend to pick a genre and read everything I can find in it then move on. I think I have read every book on parenting in general, and attachment parenting specifically, in our local libraries. Homeschooling books too. I have moved on to forensic murder mystery type novels now. I frequently will start a novel around midnight when I stop sewing, read half of it, fall asleep then finish the rest of it before getting out of bed in the morning. I just did that a few days ago with James Patterson's "When the Wind Blows". I am currently reading both James Patteson's "Big Bad Wolf" and J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit". somehow I made it out of high school English without ever reading The Hobbit or the LOTR Trilogy. I am remedying that now ;)

5 - I love to go picking. Pick your own farms are my friend :) Even prior to having kids, I went every chance I could get. Pumpkins are my favorite thing to pick, but basically I will pick anything anyone will let me pick. My dream is to one day have my own farm. And goats. I have always wanted a bunch of pygmy goats. And sheep. Gotta have sheep so I can spin the wool to knit.

6 - I am ridiculously shy and awkward in real life. It always makes me laugh to hear online friends describe me as friendly because in real life, I am the person you would vote least likely to speak to anyone. I just keep to myself. Get me on the internet though and I just talk and talk ;)

7 - My musical taste is mostly stuck in a time warp. I am partial to 80s heavy metal and 90s alternative. I also have a soft spot for 50s Do-Wop music. You will find me most often listening to Tori Amos, Nine Inch Nails, Queensryche, Rush, Stu Hamm, Joe Satriani, Prong and anything else from that time period with a rally good bass line. I have recently decided that I like Nickelback, so maybe I am coming into the 00s.

Ok, so who am I tagging?
We'll start with Karma and Anna friends and business partners from K&F
Amy, an awesome knitter and owner of Crankypants
Meri, another fab knitter, who also spins the most amazingly beautiful yarns
Suzanne, the amazing Goodmama mama
Jess, photographer extraordinaire
Julie, amazing knitter and hand embroiderer


Well, it is a controlled chaos ;) It's T minus 9 days and counting ... I have 65 diapers to make in 9 days or less. Think I can do it?? I think I can do it. Yesterday and today, I finished my prep work, which was started in early September (lots of embroidery!), so all the diapers are cut and snapped, embroidered and have all the layers cut out, all the cores sewn in. I have not started on the soakers yet, but I think I will just do all those up at once at the end.

So what are all these diapers for? The majority are for my current co-op. Then there are Rounds 16 and 17 from the "No Stalk BedBug" database, as well as instock for tomorrow at Tree of Life and one diaper for the True Colors charity dyers challenge.

As I look at this huge, enormous pile on my bed (which is a queen size, by the way, for reference as to how large that pile actually is) , I think to myself that I probably should be feeling overwhelmed and nervous. But the reality is that I love it - I thrive on chaos, on having far too many things to do in a short period of time. I don't know how to just sit and do nothing. I always have to be doing at least one thing - I can't watch a movie or tv show unless I am knitting or swing or cutting fabric, or at the very least, have something on the embroidery machine. I take my knitting to the beach and the park to work on while the kids play. Having nothing to do would make me nervous. I think that is when I woudl start to freak out!

Sound for today, courtesy of Holden, age 4 1/2:
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells away
So much fun it is to ride,
So much fun it is - Hurray!

(sung over and over and over and over!)

Watching while I work: House, season 2

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Apparently I took too long uploading picture here

and didn't get the kids their snack in time (yes, I know it is after 10 pm, but they both napped today and wanted a "midnight snack") ... because Kenna just came in and asked me if she could have a "beef lick". ??? What on earth is that??? Well, she had been shuffling around in the cabinet and found beef bullion cubes leftover from making french onion soup a while back and she though that would make a *perfect* snack. So i go out to see what the other one is doing ... Holden took out a fruit leather and spread jelly all down the length of it and it was hanging off he dining room table. Thankfully, both the fruit leather and jelly (which he doesn't even eat, by the way; he will ask me for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without jelly all the time!) were sticky enough that it all held together ;)

Joke of the day, courtesy of Holden, 4 1/2:
Why did the people cross the road?
Because the peanut butter jar was on that side!

Embroidery work for the current co-op

I finished up the embroidery work early this week, but have subsequently fallen asleep at 9 pm while putting Holden to bed every night this week. Ugh! While I am feeling unusually rested, lol, I am not getting enough work time in and am behind in posting pics and in my emails. If you have an email out to me this week and haven't heard back, please email me again because chances are it got buried in he huge pile of things I have to answer!

Anyway, on to the pictures :) It is pitch black here now so I had to use indoor lighting, which is not capturing colors (especially anything with pink or red in it) very well, so keep that in mind while browsing ;) This is not everything, just a bunch, I think I pulled out at least one from everyone's order to photograph -- except Natalie because she told me to surprise her so I am not telling which one I did!!




Helen - it's really red and not orange!




Lucy S - the color is really bad on this. It is on a light pink background, but I can't get it to photograph:






Sunday, September 21, 2008


I love making AI2s (All-In-Twos, diapers that have a waterproof layer and do not require a cover). I love the cute prints and how quickly they seem to go together, in comparison to sewing BedBugs and DreamScapes. We have 7 instock tonight at Tree of Life for the "Retro" stocking at 9:30 pm est.

Joke for the day, courtesy of McKenna, age 8:
Question: What do you call a sea urchin with a sprained ankle?
Answer: A limpet!

I thought that one was particularly good!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Favorite!

It's that time again, time for another Friday Favorite! I had a hard time this week, because I got two amazing packages in the mail today. Since I showcased yarn last week though I decided to go with something a little different this week. Our new caramel apples and sea turtle hatchling from Wool Food Market. We have an entire play kitchen full of wool foods that we have accumulated over the past few years from Katie at Wool Food Market. Each piece is a treasure, and each piece is absolutely perfect. the sea turtle will be a stocking stuffer for Holden for Christmas. I am thinking the caramel apples will make a nice Autumn Equinox gift for the kids on Monday, that is, if I can wait that long to give them to them ;) I love that the caramel comes off the apples so that the kids can play at making up caramel apples for each other in the restaurant they like to create. We recently picked quite a few pounds of apples and have been meaning to make up some fresh caramel to make caramel apples ... it is now looking like Monday will be caramel apple day!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Somewhere over the rainbow ...

... butterflies fly ...

I got the embroidery machine working again and dove back into the embroidery for the co-op. This is the front of Louise's DreamScape. I had to make three rainbows to get the right size for the nappy, but i am really happy with the way it turned out :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Boo! Part 2

More spooky colors for Friday's K&F Halloween stocking. To the left is Halloween Night, a M/L bamboo velour BedBug, dyed in Low Water Immersion style in black, rust, orange, brown, gray and a little bit or turquoise. Perfect Halloween night colors! To the right is Haunted House, another low Water Immersion style dyed bamboo velour Bedbug, this time toddler sized, in grays, oranges and again a little turquoise. I have had a lot of fun with these Halloween themed dyes, and am happy that i still have one more Halloween stocking to work on for Tree of Life, so I can play with some more colors i have in my head!

Soundtrack today: Queensryche: Operation Mindcrime

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I love Halloween! it is my favorite holiday, falling in my favorite season. My embroidery machine is in need of a part (why is it that every time I do a co-op, it breaks? I had to replace the machine during the last co-op! Thankfully this time it is only a part and an easy fix), so since I had to put my embroidery on hold. I started working on some Halloween items. The pumpkin butt diapers i had embroidered to use last year and never got around to sewing them up, so I am glad to have had the chance to use them this year! I have to get photos of the candy corn bamboo velour pants and candy corn wool pants as well. Our theme is "Halloween" at K&F this Friday at noon, so look for these there :)

Soundtrack - Tori Amos, various albums and B sides

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like

Fall!! Hot of the machines tonight, a set of 3 custom Tri-Tones in crimson, marigold and pumpkin, some of my favorite colors! You should see my hands. They started out today normal colored but since I won't wear gloves when I dye (I hate the feeling of gloves!) they are now quite crimson. I look like the creature from the red lagoon.

Soundtrack: Nine Inch Nails, Nickelback and Queensryche (old school, of course!)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Favorite - Dashing Dachs

This week's favorite is a long time favorite of mine, Dashing Dachs. Hillary always manages to dye my absolute favorite colorways - goldfish, pumpkinhead, caramel apple, the moors, owlie ... I could go on and on. Hillary is a master with color, and has an eye for colors that will look absolutely stunning together. I have enjoyed buying yarn from Hillary since Dashing Dachs opened in 2004, and hope to continue to buy her fabulous fibers for years to come!

Hillary and I actually have a collaboration going up on Sunday night - an auction for 8 ounces of "Pumpkinhead", which is my new favorite colorway, and I have some sitting right here waiting for me to knit it up, along with a made-to-match Tri-Tone fitted bamboo velour diaper.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Getting back in the groove

The homeschooling groove, that is. We are mostly unschoolers, and I have been comfortable with that for the past few years. But as the kids are getting older (8 and 4 1/2 now), I am feeling the need for more structure (though not too much, I am not a fan of schedules or following anyone else's time tables). So this year is going to be a transition for us, moving from our more unschoolerish ways of the past, to having a little more structure, a little more planning, and, dare I say it, maybe even a little teensy bit of schedule?

For those of you who don't know, in addition to Holden's Landing, I also write the Earth*School curricula. So even though we don't follow a schedule, Earth*School basically is the way we just *are*. we looked at some units today to decide what we wanted to work on this month, and we have settled on An Alphabet of Storybooks, Unbe"leaf"able Leaves, Fall in the Forest and Happy Harvest. We will, of course, pull out Halloween is Here once October starts! Halloween is my all time favorite holiday!

So today was a "ease into things" sort of day. After our usual Monday morning cleaning frenzy, we pulled out the Fall Box. Since, pre-kids, I was a kindergarten teacher who spent a couple thousand dollars every year on her classroom supplies (with a $100/year budget), I have amassed quite the collection of children's books, games, puzzles, etc. I have them all sorted into themed boxes (those huge rubbermaid totes), stored in my parents' basement. It is like Christmas whenever we pull a new one out - new books, games, decorations, puzzles, cassettes, videos, magazines, etc. We spent about 45 minutes looking through the box today, sorting everything out and putting it away in the drawer under Holden's nature table. That drawer tells the story of what we will be doing this month -- apples, pumpkins, scarecrows, leaves, acorns, squirrels, nocturnal animals.

Kenna read us a book (Clifford: Picking Apples and Pumpkins), and I read one of our all time favorites, Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree". We moved onto Kathi Appelt's "Bats around the Clock", which I had hoped would spur some time telling discussion after we finished, as Kenna is very interested in telling time, but not *quite* able to tell time other than on the hour and half hour, but the kids had other plans. instead, we had to go on you tube and look up videos of the different dances the bats were doing in the book. We watched some jitterbug competitions, swing dancing, fast swing dancing (amazing! I wish I had that stamina!) and watched Chubby Checker and Elvis do the twist.

We then turned on Pinocchio, our homeschool freebie of the day. The kids colored some pictures of Pinocchio while listening, but gave this particular version of the story a definitive thumbs down. I couldn't help picturing Bugs Bunny talking to Gipetto and the Blue Fairy (Mel Blanc was Pinoccio). We left Pinocchio to check out our daily chart (which I made all new wording for while they listened to Pinocchio), and put up the date, weather and activities we had for today (stay home day). We also put a new word wall on the wall behind the dining room table, and put up two word cards for this month - garden and beach. Kenna spent sometime quizzing Holden on what the words said; he told her "plants" and "sun" :)

Off to the Post Office to mail a slew of packages. Then once back home, Holden and I started some homemade rolls (Monday is bread making day in the Vontz house, and Holden loves to help me cook) that we will have partly as breakfast tomorrow (rolls under the broiler with butter - yum!!), then the kids sat down with their workbooks and did their pages while I made dinner. Kenna had been working on a second grade book last year that she hated, so near the end of the year, we found a new one that she liked a lot better, and picked that up, so she is still working through that (about 1/4 through it now, should be done in January), and then we will start the third grade book after that. Holden is working in a bunch of preschool books - prewriting, premath, mazes and things like that. After dinner (and homemade cookies for dessert!) Holden is playing on the computer and Kenna is waiting for me to finish this message so she can start her Time 4 Learning on my computer ;) She is working on 3rd grade history, math and science, and 2nd grade spelling/language on there.

All in all - a pretty good first day getting back into the swing of things!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Stocking tonight at Tree of Life

Tree of Life

Eggplant Bedbug

Pumpkin Patch Bedbug

Indian Corn Tri-Tone

Pumpkin Tri-Tone

Woodland Fall Dreamscape