Friday, January 30, 2009

Remember the skirt?

Begins to twirl

Going faster now, skirt starting to come around...

And there we have the purpose of the 90 inchs of fabric made into 1 size 7 pleated skirt! Because who WOULDNT want their skirt to do this?

Um, hmmm, maybe start all over?

Nah, just pose with your terrible hair do from twirling!


Middle of Tads backwards flip, which involved landing on his hands in a second, then of course the backwards handstand, landing then again on his hands. He often falls during this act, but this one was nice! She has good jump volume behind him. They have their webkinz on the trampoline with them, so they can jump also.

once again, good height on Nathalies jump.

And once again, Nathalie. Tad is at the end of a handstand that failed here...

We bought this tricycle in Germany, right before Nathalie was born. It has been ridden and loved by countless children, and survived being thrown about by a tornado. Both of my kids use it still and my God daughter Willow named it a "dirn dirn." Pronounced durn... And loved it so this summer!

And lastly, this is a carrot. Nathalie took a shower last night and afterwards dressed in orange wool interlock, her pants, Tads long sleeve wooly which he shares more often with her than himself. (he has other woolies, as does she) As I was walking by their room last night she said, "Mom, if I put my green afgan on my head I will be a carrot." I stared at her as though she had a new growth on her forehead and came into the living room to keep working and shortly, here she came. Struggling to not walk into door frames (yes I was laughin at her), and I took a picture of the carrot.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Nathalie needs clothes. I thought I made her enough but she loves dirt, mud, water, snow, paint, washing babies in the sink, she makes bread, she makes soup, she does laundry. All of these things and many others please her endlessly and are not things I object to, matter of fact I support them. Thus, we end up with not enough clothes by laundry day and her change of build (just this yr) to so much more girly, prevents her from wearing Tads clothes. They are same size, but just dif build now. He is a boys boy, and she is girly and curvy. So she asked for a "pretty skirt." She picked the fabric and said, full and twirly and below knees, just below. So here we go. Curved front and back yokes, 36 inchs before elastic is added. Then the pleated skirt attached to this yoke, is, here we go, 90 INCHES OF FABRIC IN 20 PLEATS!!! It was 45 " wide corduroy and I used 2 lengths of it. Front and back are the same. The pleat pinning to make them accurate side to side and front to back took about 45 min but the skirt otherwise was fast. I thought the hem would never end! I serge the bottom to make it look professional when wrong side out, then I turned it up 1" pinned it and did a hem with a double needle. Took forever!
It actually didnt look good on, looked too big. Like maybe I should have 75 " for pleats than 90 " or something bc it looks, for lack of better word, "dowdy." The fix to this will be some cute fitted knee socks and a very fitted long sleeve t rather than a looser fit. The skirt should come up over the shirt, as in shirt tucked in and then the fullness will be accentuate and center pc of outfit rather than being dowdy.
Now I am deciding on a cream colored shirt, or a harvest orange. They both match, but the harvest will stain less easily... guess I will make both! Easier than making a decision.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Our day

This picture just looks like a mess right? Well its not, other than the duct tape I can explain. Okay fine I dont know why Tads jacket is there...
The 2 white boards are what we use largly instead of paper. Saves the earth and what am I supposed to do with all that paper anyways? Burn? Recycle? Save it for years to make myself a more attentive mother? The wipe off boards are great! Used for math drills and other assignments such as copying (in nice handwriting) ones address and phone number several times a wk in order to commit them to memory, oh and handwriting skills are needed.
Next, the cut outs from card stock are our nomenclature. Some of it, we have more. The 2 we did today were months and days. There is a card cut out that says "Days" and one that says "Months" and then all the days and the months are written on their own card. They have to be put in order beneath their word and then said in order and must be spelled out on the white boards on the next day.
You also can see 100 easy lessons, Nathalie is flying through this and reading so well! Easily on a 1st grade level with little struggle and good blending. Love this book... Last but not least you can see a bible, I dont know whom it belongs to. Each child's looks the same but we read a chapter from one of them and pray before starting. This morning, Tad read while I cleaned the kitchen and then we talked, and moved onto school.
Then we were off during break to take in recycling and run a few errands, our garage was impassable, completely. Sorry no before pics!

I have my burner that a very good friend (Bridget) gave me as a gift before leaving Sc. This tart burner made it through the tornado in a room where everything was literally broken and destroyed, God knew that I needed something to hold and look at in that room and feel the comfort of my friend... I have lemon E oil burning in this to help the garage smell nice again!

This is our recycle area, we last took recycle in september. We can wait a long time bc the recycled things are rinsed, or are just cardboard and we have the space. We separate plastic, glass, aluminum, metal cans, cardboard and magazines (junk mail.)

The poor camaro, there are still boxes there. 1 is needing to be unpacked, 1 is documents we have to keep for at least 7 yrs, the big bin and one big box are mil items and the small box are more mil items that didnt fit. The rest of the "stuff" sitting in that area is waiting to be carted to its area (our bins that go to the dump when full, the only items we can recycle) and goodwill. You can see Tad's Wagon, my grandfather made that. He is a carpenter, Tad loves his wagon so much and it is WELL used here. Fridge is open for defrost, we have a fridge inside and in the garage and a full sized freezer. We simply didnt need all 3 so this one was emptied, the foods put into the outdoor freezer (to the right of it a bit) and defrosted.

A further back picture, you see this big neat spot? It was litterally covered with around 70 boxes and lots of stuff mixed in. Non recycleable plastics from x mas gift wrappings, smaller boxes that needed to be sorted, bags of things from "cleaning" out the car, 6 more boxes (now gone) that we unpacked and sorted proper, oh and cat poop under those steps... I mean a lot of it! And 2 bags of trash that had been torn up by barn cats that ended up locked in garage. We dont put food in trash bags, we put it all out to the heap bc something eats it each night but somehow at x mas time, food garbage was put into the bag and then the bag put into garage bc it was dark and cold... So garage was poopy, rotten food, filled with unbroken down boxes, recycle, unpacked boxes, just a general filthy mess. It took the children and me (yes me bc you wouldnt say it took I) 3.5 hrs to clean it! Tad broke down boxes with a razor knife for 2 hrs and flattened/stacked them in larger box. Nathalie and I did the rest of this stuff, and then we had the sorting jobs. Then we swept. Now there are boxes next to the freezer, one for kindling that the kids collect and were dumping in garage floor, one for newspaper and other good fire starter and the other for things we cant recycle but we can burn. When it fills, it goes into the wagon, goes down and gets dumped in burn pit and then box brought back! It was fun and exhausting and wonderful to have it done and so very very nice to be organized again.
Our cat wont use her kitty door bc she gets her butt kicked by barn cats, so we put her out several times a day and let her back in (thus still getting her butt kicked). Yet at night, she either poops downstairs in a corner, on new carpet, or poops in bathtub. Both are gross. So at night, she sleeps in garage and poops under the steps (part of what I was cleaning). I dont get out there every day to clean it up and its nasty, stinky and unsanitary. We dont know what to do with litter, since we dont do garbage in our trash bins, and we dont have trash pick up(very little trash with the recycle and burn, is cheaper to go to dump once every 4 mo at 10 $ a load rather than 40 a mo to waste pickup) we have to carry the litter way out back to dump over the fence. A long walk each day when we are already overwhelmed by getting all of our jobs done. So nathalie fixed this by filling Evil's (cat for anyone new) litter box with dirt. This is easier to dump, or just bury somewhere in corner of yard. She promises to scoop... Hopefully evil will take the bait and poop in this at night as this is where she resides at night. It will make my life easier! Tonight her blanket is clean (I wash it weekly when we do linen wash and she sleeps in camaro) and she has a place to poop! Lucky cat... Oh AND her garage smells fresh!
So that was a long long post on our day, we did school, errands and a huge job weighing on my mind. Now I am off to proofread franks homework (he is in college) and start on custom orders I have from this wk. We are missing daddy terribly, each child is dealing with it the best way possible and prayer helps Nathalie the most. For anyone who knows us, and those who dont, please keep Nathalie in your prayers as she struggles with the loss of her daddy dearly. As does Tad, but he seems to be able to deal with it better. He spends time helping her through it, and seems to be okay but she is really struggling. Many of you know this and have had her in your prayers and I thank you for it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pictures for custom

From top left: green stripe, green transportation, blue transportation, barnyard (at end but covers both rows bc long)
Bottom row left: blue camo, yellow stripe, wild animals lt blue (all flannel prints)

Top row left to right:Wild animals dark blue, dragonflies blue, crabs
Bottom row left to right: abc, dark blue bugs, cookies (all flannel prints)

Top row left to right: green firetrucks, lt blue whales, tan barnyard, white bugs, aliens(all flannel prints)

Top left to right: Blue barnyard, african animals, white dogs, bacon eggs
Bottom row left to right: blue trains, starfish, lizards on green (all flannel prints)

This is my knit picture, all the rest of the pictures are flannel. This one has both boy and girl prints, will list from top left and go to right then next row down etc to last one. Not all are avail anymore and this will be noted
Spiders, orange stripe, purple flower, stretch terry baby bottles, blue bubbles, pink strawberries, aliens (not avail), (2nd row) airplanes, construction, horses (not avail), rodeo, blue construction, flowers, purple stripe, tiny trains (not sure if enough, will have to check so pick alternate please if this is the one you love!), (3rd row) spiders again, later gator, green turtles and flowers, robots, army trucks on blue.

This post is for a lady who is custom ordering a diaper and I was having trouble attaching pictures in email so she could choose. Please feel free to email me if anyone else needs a custom from these or other items! Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I forgot to post this funny x mas picture. This is my brother in law. His sock is wet, and his foot was cold. You cant see the flames, I dont know why, the photo just doesnt show them up but there is a fire in the fireplace. So he is drying his sock, this did work, and warming his foot. Imagine the leg cramp!


Tad found a spot behind the recliner to plug in his nintendo and ignore us. He was playing indiana jones, which is obvious due to the hat. My hat.

Nathalie found some mud and she had a WONDERFUL time. Nathalie has been more anxious than usual and missed Frank so terribly the last few wks. She has again started separating from me, she wasnt for this few wks, and playing alone or with Tad. I was so pleased to see her playing happily that I didnt even mind the mud! This required her coat to be washed, but she had a great time.

Today we are going to the alpaca farm about 2 miles from here. I am hoping to find a trade with the owner of the farm. She has a lot of goats and other animals and she is who taught Frank quite a bit about goat care. I want to offer spring help for stall mucking and other spring cleaning if she will babysit my goats for a wk, I want to go visit my mom!

We have had a lot going on and thus havent blogged much, will be back on track this wk!


Oh look, look at my mess! Look at my cut out partially finished clothes. I will show you pictures of them later, they are avail in my store now for a few more wks. My pattern books, my messy sewing table. My thousands of yards of fabric downstairs, us buying a bigger house for my business.
Our discussions of possibly Frank working with me when he retires from the military. Just one family, and look what we will lose. What will I do with myself??? Thank you CPSIA for killing billions of American dreams!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Do you know what the CPSIA is? Its a bill, consumer product safety improvment act. Its a bill that will shut down small businesses all over America. Its a bill that is going to stomp on the American dream for many and is going to add to the numbing sensation you dont realize you have. That feeling that you will realize later is inside of you that says you dont get to make many decisions. That feeling that you will later wish you could have done something about.

I have talked to a lot of people about this. I have had many reactions, I have the "this is good for children because we are trying to keep them safe." I have had the "this is absolutely horrible and its killing our freedom, AGAIN! Like many of the laws, rules and bills we now live with." I have been told more than once that because I am a woman, I am overemotional. I have been told that this is for the greater good, you know what? I am the greater good, so are you, so are your offspring.

This bill will make businesses that sell goods for children under the age of 12 have to meet new testing requirements. Testing requirements that are near impossible, even for big businesses. We have to test our baby gowns, our books, our wooden toys, our cloth diapers, anything for a child under the age of 12. We cannot just have component testing, certifications showing that each part of the product is lead and pthalate free, we have to have unit testing. Which of course destroys the unit. Unit testing for every size and color offered, and each part must be tested and yes you pay for each part. Not the unit.

I sell these goods, cloth diapers, baby clothes, baby accessories. The things that I sell very likely dont include lead. They probably dont include any chemicals that are going to kill or injure a baby or child. Its very unlikely. On the off chance, I wouldnt mind component testing. I am not trying to be difficult. But this bill makes it impossible for a small business to afford the testing required.

There are people working to acheive exceptions. I am not trying to be negative, but its pretty unlikely. There is hope, but then thats because people need hope. Hope that their democratic government wont really make a move that kills even more of our struggling economy.

If they do? Forget about handmade, one of a kind items. Give up etsy and hyena cart. Know that there are many mamas and papas who are now struggling even more than before. The individuals who make up the greater good are struggling already. Add this to the list, and make it big. Because it is. Remember that numbing sensation? Can you feel it yet? Dont worry. You will.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tads pictures

I needed to take some pictures of my milking stand for my friend in Ca to see. I forgot to carry down the camera, 2 mornings in a row... yesterday I said I needed to run back down to take these pics. Tad says, "I can do it mommy, I can take pictures carefully." I thought about this. Who would send their 8 yr old who likes to stand on his hands without warning across 3 acres with 2 huge goats to bump into with a 500$ camera? Well me. He only took 2, then somehow he decided the battery died which it didnt but he did fine! You can see pepsi standing at the back window.

He was trying to get the bolts at the bottom so we can show Amanda how Frank attached the head portion for the goats while they eat grain and I milk.
The camera bag is on the stand, he had to carry down the camera in the bag and upon opening the bag, put the camera strap around his neck before taking it out of the bag. He has used my camera before, both children have, but this time it wasnt with me. He probably did better! He did take one of the milk shed roof, neither he or the goat can explain the point in that one.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Christmas present

This isnt a wonderful picture but it is a picture of what Frank sent to me for christmas. Mom took the picture after telling me to "look nicer." Apparently I wasnt smiling nicely enough... I miss my husband more today than yesterday, I talked to a friend and her husband and he is home from Iraq and it made me miss Frank so much. Her husband was gone for 15 months, I am grateful our deployment isnt as long.
Even from Iraq, my wonderful husband bought me things I wanted the most. This is an australian bush hat and he bought it from Australia! He says it is made of kangaroo leather. It is supposed to be able to be folded up and shoved into a pocket and pop back out proper! I havent tried this yet...
This hat doesnt guarantee that the children and are will stop wearing his hat, as a matter of fact, I am sure we will still wear his hat and then put it back in the same spot he left it at the day he left. On top of the TV speaker. When a visiting child wore this hat a wk after he left, my children panicked. The childs mother asked her to replace it, when frank was home she wore his hat. I am sure my children will become comfortable sharing it again, or maybe not. At any rate, they love for it to hang where he left it and now they wear MINE around the house as I wear it outside.
I know I will miss him desperately every second that he is gone and count down the days until he returns, and then loathe the knowledge that he will leave again. But even while I miss him, he continues to show me what I have to miss.

Joli's Art

Monday, January 5, 2009

more pictures

These pictures are out of sync, this one should have come 3rd in this row. I have the sunset and the moon in the picture and at bottom right (your right) is Tad in shadow.

This picture and the next happened within moments of each other. First the sky turns pastel colors and then orange and fiery and last it turns the color of lava or coals. The whole event takes a few minutes and its easy to miss.

The color on this one isnt as good as it is when looking at it. This is a beautiful place to live! The sky is amazing in the morning, it wakes me up as I dont bother with curtains. We live in the country and my bedroom is 2nd floor anyways. The sun is burning through my windows by 7 (yes I can roll over and go back to sleep) and will stay shining in my bedroom through 9-10 every morning warming the bed, thus the cats favorite spot.
In the evening, the sun sets out our front windows and its amazing to see! mom and I froze several evenings as we had to witness this event from the lawn rather than the couch indoors.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Moms pictures

More of moms pictures, I took some beautiful sunset pictures myself this wk as well but these were moms. She is always camera ready and took some nice fixer upper ks home pictures that I will post later.

Our skies are beautiful here, they get more bright and beautiful through the sunset which lasts about 30 minutes.

A picture that Tad doesnt like, he was so upset about being close to Nathalie that she snuck up close to him a second before mom snapped the picture. Mom says that Tad doesnt match, camo pants and horse print western shirt but when do my children match? I made his pants and my mom made the western shirt for my brother Grayson when he was 9. He is now 23, nearly 24 and is 6 ft tall... This shirt doesnt look as if it could have fit him!


This is my mom and my son, mom in my hat and Tad in Franks hat. I think Nathalie took this picture and the next one.

Mom giving Tad corner eyes, yes I know I look just like her and I cant tell you how nice it is to know I may look that good when I am 50!

Mom and Nathalie on the front fence, Tad took this picture.

Nathalie doing an impressive handstand, with the sunset behind her.

Tads handstand, note that he has the majority of his weight on his left hand. He is getting better at one handed handstands!