Monday, June 29, 2009

Blogging

I have learned a little about blogging in the last few months. I'm sure I still don't know enough to actually have a blog, but here I am.

I'm not sure what I thought a blog was. An online diary? Not for me. I guess I didn't realize that it could be whatever I wanted it to be. I tried Facebook but I don't think I need what it provides. I'm not in need of a social connection.

In the last two months, I have found two ways that I can use this blog to improve my life. Yes, I do think it has improved my life.

This blog has become a place for me to document the childhoods of Anna Jane, Wilson, and Henry. I have had a camera full of digital photos and no tangible sign of a first step, holiday, or latest sewing project. I never printed the photos. So the number of photos that I took decreased drastically. Now I photograph everything. Big things and everyday things. My family and friends know what we are doing. And if they don't, it doesn't take much to get caught up.

I have also learned how willing people are to share on their blogs. Sharing makes the world a better place. I have read blogs where people share their recipes, their patterns for sewing projects, their decorating advice...I love to share. I have fabulous recipes. I can't stand when people refuse to share their recipes. Like it's taking something away from them for someone else to make salsa as yummy as they can! Good food makes the world go 'round. I'll help it spin a little faster.

My favorite discovery since hitting the blog scene is the tutorial. What a generous gift!!! You might already know this, but a tutorial is when someone has crafted or sewn or handmade something worth sharing. As they make it, they painstakingly photograph every step and post the photos, along with specific instructions on how to make it. Then you can make it yourself!! I don't know why this tickles me so! And I haven't even made anything from a tutorial yet! But I have a stack of them waiting for me to finish painting the hideous 1970s paneling in the den!

If you know me (at least the adult me), then you know that I love to sew.
Love it.
Love it.
I have been making the kids' clothes since before Anna Jane was born. I have always bought very fine fabric and used lots of quality patterns for both heirloom sewing and everyday playclothes sewing. Now that Anna Jane is 5, the heirloom sewing window has closed, and she only has a year or so left to wear smocked outfits. So my sewing is changing. I am still making clothes for all three of the kids, but less (or no) embroidery and embelishments. And I'm beginning to make things for myself...things for around the house especially. There just might be a tutorial from my blog around the corner!

I realize that if you are only here to catch up on the kids, this post was of no interest to you. But it might explain why recipes and tutorials start popping up more frequently. I'm sharing with you.

And you can share with me by letting me know you are here! Unless you comment, I can't see you!!

The Band of Oz

Sunday night we traveled to Davidson for Concerts on the Lawn. We go to see the Band of Oz every year. They play on the large lawn in front of the Davidson College Library.

Surprisingly enough, food is not the number one reason that we have a great time. It's the dancing! The Band of Oz is a great beach music band. My mom and sister were visiting cousin Will in Alabama, so Anna Jane got dance-partner-Papa all to herself!

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This is at the very beginning of the show. As the crowd loosened up, the dance floor was packed!

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The boys were not quite sure about dancing smack dab in between the band and a large crowd of people, though Henry had his bounce down pat.

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Once we got back to our picnic blanket, Wilson picked up his air guitar and started rocking out.

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The show is always a blast, but this year was very exciting for me. My good friend Heather and her new husband Brad joined us. Here is one of 15 shots of Heather that Anna Jane took with my camera.

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And here is Brad.

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No, wait. Here is Brad.

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But really, either one of these men would be a great catch. Brad was very sweet and Dave and I both liked him a lot.

And the 92 year old dancing in the first photo danced all night long. And at the end of the show as we were all lugging our coolers back to our cars, he looked much less worn out than the rest of us did!

And now to the food!! Papa produced a fabulous portable picnic table and I covered it with snacks.

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Henry enjoyed spinach dip on the end of a breadstick.

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And lots of fruit.

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Wilson carved the watermelon.

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And Anna Jane caught up on business while the band took a little break.

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Just kidding.

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By the end of the night we were all full of food and singing and dancing. Great memories.

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Can't wait till next year! In the meantime, keep rockin!

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My dad's fraternity buddy, Bill Bowman, sponsors the show every year. And since he told me that he loves the blog, I had to include a pic!

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Full

My head is full of all of the things that have happened in our lives since I lasted posted on this page. I will attempt to recap the most important. Or at least the ones that I can remember.

Certainly the most important thing that happened was that summer started. That means late nights, campouts on the crouton, and the swimming pool.

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Clearly, Henry is the only one who is still going to bed on time.

We have a list of projects a mile long for the summer. Dave has braved the jungle of the front yard and stirred up all sorts of wildlife...

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We have also spent time with deer in the backyard. And they ate Anna Jane's cherry tomatoes and sunflowers in the frontyard. Dave's parents have had coyotes and a copperhead, and my sister Emily came home to a scorpion yesterday, so I guess we're lucky.

We went to Charlie Middlebrooks' graduation party. I forgot my camera. Gil, send pics. Charlie is an Eagle Scout and smart kid, but he's going to the wrong Carolina.

We had a great Father's Day that lasted for three whole days! We had barbecue on Saturday with Dave's dad and fam. On Sunday we went to Hanging Rock for our annual Father's Day Picnic. We go to different places each year, and we are always looking for new spots. If you have a great picnic place, let us know...we don't mind a drive.

Here is our annual disaster of a Father's Day photo.

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We chose another mountain to climb to celebrate my dad's day. We drove to Shatley Springs for lunch and a visit to the lake.

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In the past few weeks, we have learned how much Henry loves water. He prefers to walk right in, seemingly not aware of the possibility of drowning.

He took Papa straight to the lake.

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Can you see these cheekbones? They're grinning. Can you see these pants? They're falling down.

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Nana saves the day...if Mommy hadn't had the camera stuck to her face, she could have rescued Henry after he ran into the lake.

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Drying out.

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Next year we will need a bigger bench to hold Punkin Duncan!

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Oh yeah. The Monday after Father's Day was our 7 year anniversary. My parents kept the kids while Dave and I had our once-a-year dinner out. When we got home Wilson had puked ALL OVER THE PLACE. Including Papa. No photos available...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not Mine

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I hope you read the title of the post before you examined the photo. Again...NOT MINE.

My little sister is going to have a Punkin. Punkin Duncan, as named by proud Nana and Papa. She is due in the middle of January. We are so excited and can't wait for a new cousin. Emily is surviving most of her pregnant summer in Athens, while Todd is interning in Birmingham. She does plan on bringing her tired self to the beach, so we will catch up with her then.

I can't wait for baby showers and a teeny-weeny to sew for again!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Please Read and Respond!!

I had great plans to surprise you all with a dramatically different French Wingback chair, only vaguely reminiscent of the sneak peak I showed last week.

Reminder:

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Unfortunately, I need help with a decision which will ruin the surprise (isn't it cute the way I imply that there is anyone actually reading this? other than my parents).

So here is the chair in progress (and if you don't like the fabric, keep it to yourself because
i love it).

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I dreamed of trimming the chair in shiny finishing tacks, all around the edges. But then I introduced Mr Dream to Mr We Don't Have Time For That.
After dismissing several other options, I decided on ivory trim. Then I found dark coral trim. I never thought I would find anything other than ivory. So now I have to make a decision.

As I said, ivory was my first choice (when I thought I had no other choices). It is also the trim that most of my upholstery classmates preferred. But I think I like the coral better. It lets the eye focus on the wood, instead of the trim. I feel like the ivory looks like a stripe and takes all of the attention away from the beautiful wood. Here are more pics...

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Might be overkill, but a couple more shots....

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Okay. If you have made it to the end of this post, then you truly are my friend. Or my mom or dad. I would really appreciate feedback on these two options. I know, I know, it's my chair, so it's really only my opinion that matters...blah, blah, blah. I would like to know if the chair looks better with the ivory trim. So please leave a comment and tell me what you think looks best. Ivory trim or coral trim.

Decorating on a Dime

Our budget for the deck did not include furniture. Or lighting. Or decorations. Or big, fluffy pillows covered in indoor/outdoor fabric. Or those new plasticky rugs that withstand all weather. Or a new gas grill. Or planters filled to the rim with flowers and ferns.

What I really wanted was an outdoor room. Like this:


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What I got was a $100 table and chair set from Roses Discount Store. Like this:

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Certainly the Smith and Hawken outdoor furniture shown above is not worth the almost $5000 price tag (on sale). But this furniture that I bought (the least expensive I could find. anywhere.) leaves a lot to be desired.

So I went to World Market to see if their very cute and slightly pricey outdoor cushions were on sale. And they were!! The cheapest I have seen anywhere. But still too high. I think $29 for one pillow is ridiculous. And Target didn't have them any less expensive.

But what Target did have is a couple of shower curtains. Problem solved.

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One covers the table, folded under and attached with binder clips (see lower left corner). I hate scooting up to a table and getting my legs stuck in the tablecloth. I guess it's more of a table-top-cover. It's made of vinyl, so it can be wiped down or stuck in the washing machine. Another tablecloth was cut into squares and sewn into poofy pillows.

Beautifully cheap.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Levering Orchard

This weekend we spent a day in Virginia with my Aunt Elizabeth, Uncle Kent, and cousin Philip (godfather to Henry). We met them at Levering Orchard to pick...

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Or in case you can't decipher the sign...

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I have wanted to visit this orchard for several years. Elizabeth and Kent have been before, and for some reason it's always easier to do things when someone else suggests it. Especially if they like your kids and will help you keep control of them on a cherry farm.

We started out pretty low to the ground and close to the road.

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Our only opinion of the ladder was that it was in the way.

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Until...

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The best cherries were way up high. Daddy ate just as many as he put in the bucket.

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This was a great all-ages activity.

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Got one!!

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We were all pink and sticky in a matter of minutes.

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On the way down the road for more fun. The shorts were slowing him down.

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Don't tell anyone, but the yellow wax cherries are 50 times better than the dark reds. We had to fill up more buckets!

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We probably ate as many as we tossed in the bucket...

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We wrapped up the day at the farm. Kent grilled burgers.

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The kids talked Philip into a tractor ride. Then he talked them into waashing his car!

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We had a great time. And yummy cherry pies to show for it!

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Thanks for the great weekend!