Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins!

 I know, I know, that's technically not a nice thing to say, but it's such a FUN thing to say!  And it's what I think of when I see the final outcome of my little apron project for Micah.  It was supposed to be a birthday present (in November) but I just couldn't get my act together or's always something.  But here we are, almost at Christmas and it's those long, red-and-white-striped ties that get me...they look like elf stockings next to that green apron.  Come to think of it, add a furry hat and Micah would fit right in at the Northern Workshop, eh?

 Pockets!  I love pockets!

 The brown courderoy is from a pair of Taylor's old pants.

 This ended up really long, but by the time I was finished I didn't care anymore, I just wanted to be DONE!  The neck is adjustable too, so now Micah can wear this until he's in college.

And as per usual, once I get this old Singer singing, I can't stop there...what else can I make with these scraps of fabric I snagged from the IKEA scrap bin?



Well, Korah was just whining on about her pencil case and how the cheap dollar store kind I bought her before school has since fallen apart wah wah wah, sooo....
...Christmas present for Korah!!

 This might be a weird shot, but I wanted to show how it has a handle.
(left over from Micah's apron)

 And do you see that...?  VELCRO!
I didn't plan well and had to sew one of those by hand [phew!]
I love velcro.

Sewing's so fun making stuff!  Even if it's not complicated stuff, it's still really cool to create and form and craft with the hands!

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Official...

Thank you to everyone who weighed in on an Etsy shop name for me!  I ignored all of you and went with something completely different!  Ahhahaha......but isn't that how think tanks work?  I was surprised to count up TWELVE friends who contributed suggestions and helped me think it through.  That blows me away and I'd like to send each of you a little goodie for spending your time with me!  Thank you for your encouragement!

I settled on Chroma Aquatic because I love Paul Simon's song, "Kodachrome". It was written the year before I was born and when I hear that tune all the fun parts of childhood pass before my eyes, ending with the time I got confused about what gear my Pinto Wagon was in and I ran into the Kodak photo booth in the Standard Brand's parking lot.  Ahh, sweet memories.

This weekend I am selling some real, honest-to-goodness greeting cards at the Domestic Bias Holiday Open House, so I've had to put my arse in gear and paint, print, decide on a bunch of things and I'm overwhelmed and totally loving all of it!  I officially have an Etsy shop but there's nothing in it, so don't even go over there.  If you want to know when it's up and running, email me at  (See what I did there?  I gots me an officially business email address!)

I'll let you know how the open house goes...I'm trying to stop being so pessimistic about it myself (about my own stuff-- all the other stuff is undoubtedly awesome), but if nothing else, it is a lot of fun!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Karma Bites Back And It Tastes Like Chocolate

The backstory:

Last night I went grocery shopping after the kids went to bed.  I got home late and tired so I threw the cold stuff in the fridge and went to sleep.  This morning, I had to drag myself out of bed at the crack of dawn to take the dog to get neutered.  Then I meet Dave at school, we switch cars, he goes to work and I go home...

I'm in one of those snobby-mom moods (you probably don't know what I'm talking about because I'm the only one who has these, I'm sure) and I'm realizing I had some helpers putting away the rest of the groceries this morning while I was away, and they obviously weren't aware of my brilliant master plans on how such things are done to maximize efficiency, stewardship and space conservation!  The Control Freak Locomotive has leaped the tracks!

And this is the thought that grumbles out of my mouth:
"No one does my job right."
Since my thoughts are synonymous with Facebook status updates I immediately drop what I'm doing and head to the computer to immortalize my bitter narcissism.  Facebook, my computer, or maybe God himself thinks this is a bad idea and saves me from myself; it won't post.  So I get up, turn around and take 3 steps to the kitchen to find this:

And then he started to rub his eyes... as I type this, it's still oozing out of his nose and tear ducts...

It looks like I don't do my job that well, either!

Keepin' it real,

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I am not paying for braces for you, buddy.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

...And More Birthdays!

With three birthdays back to back and Halloween in the middle, October and November are one big sugar rush.  What are we to do?

Morgen's birthday comes first.  She turned seven, which is a pretty big milestone.  You are all grown up at seven, you know.  I, for one, am pretty excited to push her out of the nest a little so to speak, let her spread her wings and see what she can do.  She is fully embracing friendships (especially the Sleepover) and practically worships her first grade teacher, always gifting her with little found treasures.  She's apparently an artistic genius (which I desperately need to foster more) and has a great imagination.  And something I take for granted most of the time: this girl puts herself together every morning, and has for years.  Her outfits are awesome, even when they are colorfully layered creations, and complete --socks and shoes and jacket-- and she'll brush her hair and even put it in a perfect ponytail.  I'm sad she doesn't need or want me to do her hair, so sometimes she obliges me and lets me brush and braid.  Morgen is a unique member of our family in that she is so capable and practical and easy-going.  Her biggest complaint is that we don't scratch her back enough.  Or feed her box mac 'n cheese every meal.  But mostly she's very low-maintenance and a totally amazing little girl.  I often wonder what she'll be when she grows up, because when you're content and capable, isn't the world your oyster?  (I read a blog that pointed out that oysters are nasty, shouldn't it be "isn't the world your pancake breakfast" or something NOT a slimy oyster?  So true!)

And by the way, that's what we had for Morgen's birthday breakfast: pancakes with whipped cream and fruit toppings and bacon (emphasis on bacon)...

 Taylor always makes very meaningful cards that he works for two days on.  He reads it to Morgen: "You are my favorite little sister.  You play with me a lot and you are so fun to play with.  I picked to do this [a magazine picture collage] because I know you like it.  Love, Taylor"

 Then we proceeded to have the funnest birthday day!  We started off at Michael's doing Halloween crafts. The girls were partners and the boys were partners.

 Love this.  Totally sisters.

 Heh. Google-eyed goofball.

 This is very serious.  It was sweet to see them work together.

 "OooOOOoooh!"  Noble is so much fun to discover with!

 Then we went to the toy store because Morgen and Micah had this epic plan to buy Barbies.  They've been saving up for about a year.  We go to the toy store like...NEVER so this was a blast for all of us.

 Then we had lunch at our favorite sandwich shop.  I'm so thankful for big brothers and sisters who help with our little handful Noble.  That kid just never stops moving and it's great to have extra hands helping, extra silly faces to entertain him.

Then we went to the mall so Morgen could get her ears pierced!  SeewhatImean?  All growed up! 

 This is what boys have to do in the girly accessories store.

 Her big sister, her cheerleader, her ear-care coach, her...bunny ears?
Morgen took the opportunity to snuggle with the teddy bear, who got her off the hook for wearing the Birthday Crown.

 SO trepidation at all.  Some watery eyes, but that's it!
"Now can we get ice cream?"

 And then, of course, the free sundae at the 50's diner.  These kids love a free sundae.  It's what they've got comin' to them, right?  It's your DAY, shouldn't everything be free??  People everywhere should just be handing you gifts as you walk through the mall!

 The whole lot of us!

 What a sparkly, pretty girl!

Then we blinked twice and Noble turned TWO!  Noble is a riot.  Like I said, he doesn't sit still...unless he's eating.  But even then, he doesn't have time to finish his last few bites before standing up and mumbling "all done!"  He's got things to do!  He's a total baller...he's been dribbling a ball since he could walk.  And I mean dribbling.  He practices like 10 minutes a day and he's getting pretty good.  He can run and kick, catch, throw across the room, and toss a frisbee too.  It's insane.  He wants to be right there in the middle of everything, and tries wholeheartedly to ride the dog, holding on as long as possible while Blue carefully gets up and walks away.  He has been overcome with the show-and-tell stage of life and is constantly demanding we observe his mad skillz.  Usually it's jumping: off the stool, off the couch, on one foot (that one's funny).  Even though he can say "Dada" he relentlessly addresses both of his parents as "MAMA!  MAMA!  MAMA!"  He fiercely protects his exclusive right to his parent's laps.  He knows he has to yell above the rest to be heard and has perfected the use of "MY BALL!"  He has no idea that we can't understand what he says and tells us all about everything.  Dang, this kid is a precious little ham.

We started him off right with his special gluten-free pancake breakfast.  Fancy pancakes:

  Rainbowy GF cupcakes, yum!
(So Port-landish!)

  The best gift for Noble: the big kids blew up a bunch of balloons and dumped them all on him and he was so excited!  Fun for DAYS, I tell you!  What more does this little guy need?  Nothing!

Micah's birthday was full of fun adventures too, but wouldn't you know it, the camera ran out of batteries and I didn't get to immortalize it at all!  But in a way, that's ok...sometimes it's good to just put the camera down and enjoy the moments!  I did manage to get these photos of his birthday celebration in his kindergarten class:

 His teacher tells a beautiful story about how Micah was waiting in heaven and we were waiting on Earth and how he was chosen to come to us at just the right time.  I blinked back tears as "his guardian angel came to Micah's parents and whispered 'Micah' and that was what he was called."  If there's anything that makes your heart swell with love for your child, it's the story of how they were chosen for you, and you for them.  And her Brazilian accent just makes it all the more magical!

Then I got to tell one thing about Micah for every year he's been alive, and he blew out the candle for this year.  He got a little book with picture from each of his classmates, and Micah shared a special snack with them.  He truly is a wonderful little boy with a contagious, happy joy!

In the evening, we all ran up to McMenamins to see Despicable Me (hilarious!) and then took our gifts over to "Red Robins" for Micah's traditional birthday sundae!  I think he's the only one who has a "tradition" like that, it's just worked out that way.  Again, Taylor's card, replete with tic-tac-toe game boards and a little pocket holding a candy (SO exciting!), was as sweet as can be: "Dear Micah, I love you and I like how you wresle with me and you play with me.  You are very kind to me and everybody.  I also think you are funny.  Love, Taylor"

Be still my heart; I am a lucky mama indeed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We Have Birthdays...

This one and the next one are for the grandmas and aunties out there who wish I would post more timely pictures of our birthday celebrations...

You'd think we would be having birthday parties all the time, right?  But really, they're kind of all at once...or twice.  Three in April/May.  Three in October/November.  Dave gets spoiled with the August birthday that doesn't compete with anyone else's, and it's usually a good excuse for a last hurrah before school starts.

Waaaay back in May, Korah turned eleven.  I keep expecting to feel shocked or nostalgic about her getting older, but I mostly love it so much it's hard to be sad.  She was an awesome baby and toddler, but she's so cool now, too. She's growing into a beautiful young lady (and now I sound like my grandma) and I don't know how it's happening.  It has nothing to do with me, that's for sure.

We started the day with a scavenger hunt for presents, a clue on each one that led to the next one.  See, this is how she is: a little frustrated that she had to water all the plants before opening her presents, but swallowing her complaints, obliging nonetheless.

Look!  There's something else up there!
Birthdays are never without a captive audience here.
"Noble wants you to read to him!"
There's even one in the fridge!
...the shower...?
She loves it!

Later, we had a fun little skate meet-up ("we'll be there, you should come too!  And by the way, it's my birthday and that's why I'm going skating!"  That is what you say when you can't pull off a huge birthday party.  You get all the friends and fun without any of the pointy party hats.  Those things can poke an eye out!).  It was so much fun; Korah and her friends decided they had to dress oldies 80's:

She is funny and creative and loyal and smart...

...and I love her!!!  We all do!  The kids looked great and we had so much fun!  I always seem to forget how much I love-love-LOVE the roller rink.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KORAH!

Sixty-four wheels = a ton of FUN!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Flaxen Waxen I Am Not

I got tired of hearing my own voice say over and over again:


So I cut it all off.


I really don't have time for hair.

And when I look in the mirror, I don't see the back anyway.
What I don't know won't hurt me.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thank You

Thank you to everyone who chimed in on the Etsy shop name so far!  I love all your suggestions.  I'm also realizing (and maybe it's just from my vantage point) that I'm not really liking the sound of "Vonder" in relation to what I do (watercolor).  It just sounds heavy and harsh compared to the light, watery medium.  I'm also thinking that if this is a business, I might want it to be totally autonomous from my family life, my kids, my name.  Hmm... considering more about what I love in association with watercolor, I came up with this:


Whaddya think?  Any combo of those catch your eye?  Anything similar come to mind?  I'm thinking I'm at least narrowing down what my eventual tattoo will be :)

For now I will leave you with this disturbing image which --literally-- gave me nightmares last night.  Maybe you had to be there... but oh, the weirdness that is the Vonderhizzles...

Making a scene in the grocery store on our way to a Pumpkin Carving Party.

Friday, October 15, 2010

And Your Name Is...?

Hello friends and interwebs!

Due in part to your generous words of affirmation, and in part to the need for cash to burn I have decided to finally get the Etsy ball rolling!

So I will paint.  Somehow, somewhere, in an epic battle for space and time, I will find a way to paint.

Then I realized the really hard part: deciding on a shop name!  I wasn't expecting to do that right away....doesn't that take months of deep contemplation and market research or something?  I can't wait that long!  Not that I'm impatient or anything... but c'mon, this is just the first step!  I wanna get this ball rolling, people...before I lose my nerve!

I need your help!  I need your insight and your brilliant ideas and your creativity... if ever there was a time to be loquacious in the comments, it is now!

Here are the specs:
  • I will be selling hand-painted, watercolor and ink greeting cards
  • I like nostalgia, the ocean, and shapes that have movement
  • I liken zee Deutsch.  Our name is German.  I like to brand things with Vonder---, like Vonderhizzle!  (How does Von Sieben Haus sound??  A little too German?  It means House of Seven, 'cause that's what we are.  How about Aquarellfarbe?  It means Watercolor...)
  • I'm kinda silly and I have a bunch of silly children.
Let's make it a contest!
If I choose your suggestion or I'm inspired the most by your idea, you will be the first recipient of a set of 5 hand-painted cards!  Hooray!

So put your thinking caps on and... shoot, my thinking cap just got blown off as the aforementioned battle for space and time rages on around me... gotta go!

Thanks for your help!!