Friday, May 21, 2010

The latest fad

No, the latest fad that I'm talking about isn't this punch needle piece. I still need to finish the piece and finish the hornbook. Since the weather will be so warm this weekend, it might be a good project to complete. Andrew and Matt are going on a scout campout to the Indiana Dunes ~ couldn't ask for nicer weather! Rachel and James each have activities tomorrow, so I might have a few hours of quiet around here. :-)

The latest fad that has officially hit our area is rubber band bracelets. Not just ordinary rubber bands, but ones shapes as animals, dinosaurs, submarines, guitars, and many other. I had to get James a package this week, so that he wouldn't be left off the latest craze.

I just received my first bracelet today - a yellow duck. I better get myself a package or two so that I can trade with the kids at lunch. I'm sure teachers just "love" having all the kids play with their bracelets all day during school! :-) Now we need to find the store that carries the ones shaped like tanks and submarines. I don't know why they are the latest fad, but they are.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Moving on out

I haven't seen our foxes since the big rain last week. I think the pups were big enough and are on their own. It will now be difficult to see the grown ups, as they mainly come out at night. It sure was fun watching them for a few days! I'm hoping next year, we'll have more.

I started some more candle mats for a change of pace. Instead of using coffee and vanilla to distress them, I'm going to try something different and use walnut ink. I still need to finish 2 more, then age them all at once. I'm also using pearl cotton on the button hole edging for something different. In the past I've used 3 strands of floss, but the pearl cotton gives it a bit more texture.

Last Friday the kids had a half day of school. We took a drive to my parent's house to deliver a late Mother's Day flower. Since they live in Mt. Prospect, I wasn't sure if we could get there. It was Lee DeWyze's hometown stop for American Idol. We had to drive past Arlington Park Race Track along the way, where he gave a concert to the lucky 41,000 people. These are the stands hours ahead of time, as the horse racing finished. I couldn't go to the parade, as my youngest had baseball practice. But we saw the hi-lights on the news. Now to watch the show tomorrow night to see if my niece is shown. She managed to get tickets to the concert and was close up to the stage.

Only 9 days left of work until the end of school, and then the school is closing. I'm keeping my eyes open for part time employment, but the market isn't too good without driving far. I have sent my resume to several places, but no calls yet. I'm wondering how many hundreds of applicants they get for each job posting. But for now, I'll try to get more crafts done. I still need to finish a punch project that will be adhered to a hornbook. The punch part is completed, I just need to sand and paint the hornbook. Maybe that will be a good project, as I have the day off tomorrow! :-)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Saturday photos

Here's some photos from today's viewing. This morning, the foxes were out, and we saw 4 pups! I couldn't get all 4 at the same time, as they were running around the yard. This is the smallest one. He has more black markings on his legs than the others. I wish I could keep him as a pet (but I won't, as it's a wild animal. I won't feed them, either).
This guy came out from under the shed with something in it's mouth. You can click on any of the photos (then click on it again to really supersize it). It sure looks like a chipmunk for lunch!
Here he is walking away with it still in it's mouth. I cropped the photo, and it looks like it's two chipmunks.

Needless to say, I didn't get much punching done today. I spent more time in the cold outdoors taking photos and video. I also spent 2 hours outside at James' baseball game. It only felt like 37 degrees - brrrr! His team got creamed, but no one seemed to mind. I think they all wanted to go home and keep warm. :-)

Friday, May 7, 2010


No, I'm not talking about my 14 yr old triplets. I was grabbing my coat on the way to work today, and glanced out the back patio door when I saw something moving. The foxes were playing on my patio! At first I saw 3 of them: 2 adults and 1 pup.

Then I saw movement under the shed, and I saw all 3 pups! It's triplets! Aren't they just adorable??? :-)

I kept taking photos of them playing in our yard and the 2 adjoining yards, until they went back under the shed. It's going to be fun watching for them as they venture out this spring!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Experimenting with finishes

I've been experimenting with finishes of punch pieces this week. I like the blue and white stripe hanger on the last piece that I did, so I used it again for this one. The floral graphic is from a rug hooking pattern and I'm using as a punch piece. I tried to get as many colors as possible for the flowers. Many are small sections of overdyed floss. I find it's so much easier to use overdyed floss than to keep changing colors while punching. It does take a while to dye and dry the floss, but I like the look, so it's worth the extra time to dye.
To pick up the pale blue flowers on the front, I used a small section of a vintage, tattered quilt for the backing. It makes it very folk art and primitive looking.

I didn't experiment with the backing on this one. I did experiment with a bit of color on the front, though. I love the look of the cranberry buds, but wanted to do something other than white or ecru for the small flowers. I used a flesh/peach/pink color. The photos don't do this one justice, as it's pale, and much prettier in person. I highlighted the leaves using an overdyed green floss. Having 2 shades of green brings some depth and definition to the piece. I love the idea of using quilt blocks for punching, so my next pieces will be doing that. I'm using an applique quilt block pattern from my giveaway win to create a punch piece. I'm hoping it turns out how I envision!

Andrew (on the right) got a haircut, which is big news. He's always had it long, but found out it's too hard to take care of. Plus, it drove him nuts when he went shooting, and he couldn't see the sight/target. He's on a shooting team and has excelled at it. He just got his friend from down the street to join, too.

Last week I was browsing through ads for trumpets. I've been dreading the idea of renting trumpet for Matt for band next year, but didn't want to spend over $1000 for a new instrument. I stumbled across an ad for a Getzen and bought it. I did replace the strap on the bag, and will need to clean up some of the spots on the trumpet. I've read so many different opinions of whether to remove the rust or not. I'm thinking I might try, as we didn't pay a lot for it. If he ever decided to keep going and needs to upgrade, it might be better to get another trumpet. He doesn't start until August, so we still have time to get it ready. At least it works, and he has time to practice and remember how to play.

Have a great week!