Blasphemy, children, christmas, Embroidery, Holidays, home life, Homesteading, painting, sewing, single parenting, Winter, Yule

The road so far

Yesterday morning woke up to a chicken torn apart in our back yard. That kinda sucked 😦 goodbye sweet Chicka!  Had a quick little burial under the plum tree.

So it’s December! It’s actually 5 days in to December. I got my good old fake tree up before thanksgiving but I honestly have not had the time to get it decorated. (I like to use fake trees because I think murdering trees sucks. Even if they were specifically grown for it I still don’t like it.) I wanted to decorate our tree multiple times already but I can’t find those dang ornament hooks. The little kids have been begging me to go through the boxes of ornaments to find them but I am not looking forward to a sea of breakables across the floor while I search. Valentino isn’t the gentlest of baby’s. Actually, he is quite the turd!
Though, I do have other areas of holiday goodness.oh you beautiful, beautiful lamp you! It’s a Major Award!! This baby is in the front parlor window. The tree got demoted to the back family room this year so my beautiful lamp could take center stage. Ginger kitty wanted to be in the photo too. Don’t mind the laundry piles and the baby clothes I’m working on embroidering on the chairs there!our naked tree. I’m hoping to find those ornament hooks or I just may break down and go spend the $1.50 to buy a new bunch of them. I just hate to do it because I already have like 3 boxes of the things from previous years.

More messy! Need to get rid of those pumpkins still! Haha! Threw some candles and some lights in the front window and call it good. It actually looks a little different now though, I cut out a bunch of stars from white computer paper and taped them up on the top half of the window.I bought a wreath and some garland from Costco so I can enjoy a little bit of that fresh tree smell.put up a string of lights in the dining room window.. ahh the ambiance. The kids keep knocking it down somehow. Plus it got stretched out a bit as time went on.
I love these star lanterns, but these are actually a year round lamp I keep up in the front parlor.

I was able to find some of our winter/xmas books in the boxes yet to be unpacked and get them arranged with some nutcrackers on our lonely shelf. I need like 5 more of those things to hold all of our books!

And although I am not a follower of the christian persuasion, I did put up my moms old chreche above the computer desk. I just think it’s pretty.. And peaceful.. And I love images of Mary with her baby. I’m a sucker for babies 😉 I also like it because it was my moms.

Some people may be aghast to learn of this, but I fondly recall childhood memories of my middle younger brother and I hanging baby Jesus every year from the rafter above with a noose I lovingly hand crafted from speaker wire. My mom would get so mad. I still hang the noose on my tree every year. I try to put it next to the ornament said brother gave me a few years ago of a stately Santa figure stuffing a small child into his red sack. That child must have been naughty! 

Hung up some of our old advent calendars, just for decoration. That big Santa face one is from 2002 when Ophelia was just 1 1/2 and we had our very first apartment together. Our collection grows every year! Especially now with 6 kids and sometimes each kid getting their own calendar. We don’t reuse the calendars though, I don’t want the cardboard getting weak and the little doors falling off. We never buy the chocolate ones, yuck. Eventually I want to get around to making a reusable advent calendar.. let me just add that to the list!


We just had to get a new fridge the other day, the old black one was on the fritz. So again, please don’t mind the mess! But here are our cupboards dressed up for winter. I put lace on the inside of the glass cupboard doors so I didn’t have to look into our messy cup cupboards all the time! Damn my realistic unmatching cups! Damn them to fake hell! Sweet little Persephone again!old black fridge. It went with the other appliances better. Oh well, I’d rather have unspoiled food!close up of the kitchen wreaths. I bought them at Michaels when they were having 50% off all fake goodness sale. It isn’t really called that. I liked the holly leaves and berries in these ones. Plus, sparkle! I had to use my own ribbon though. These ones came with a tiny red hanger.

So, some of the things I’m working on for my shoppy poo. I decided to move all my painted signs to their own shop, Painted Lady Signs at http://www.etsy.com/shop/PaintedLadySigns Some of the lighting isn’t great. Sorry!

I also make those mobiles in many colors in my original shopmade a silver and gold version of the reindeer names in honor of Yukon Cornelius! 

I just finished up these Joy signs this morning.
I am still in the process of moving all my signs from the original shop Mary, Mary Quite Contrary at http://www.etsy.com/shop/MaryEGuad but there is a lot more signs posted on both shop sites. These are just the holiday ones I’ve been working on lately..  as for other items I’ve been working on in the original shop..

I always have some classic Pooh or Peter Rabbit thing to work on! So $&@%* precious!!

Some Holly and Mistletoe baby gowns. I love gowns. They are so convenient when baby’s are first born!

Little stag/Reindeer head gownand I even converted a couple Reindeer heads into Rudolph with a little red nose 😊

Some cozy flannel baby blankets. They are about 42″ square. I love these blankets. I made them for all my kids and they get used for so many things!

Sweet Persephone modeling for me ❤️ This one is my favorite! I kept one of these for Valentino. I am also planning on making all 4 of the little kids matching pajamas out of this flannel. It’s so cute and cozy! Hopefully I can get to that before the solstice as I want to gift each of my kiddos new jammies! I would make the 2 big kids the same pajamas but I need to find a pattern for their size too. I wish Oliver and S patterns made teen sizes!
So there we have it, for now. My list of things to accomplish or clean is never ending. 

And here is a mug I bought for myself so I can sip hot cocoa out of something cute for a change.

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children, divorce, home life, Ikea, journal, painting, single parenting, Uncategorized, Visitation

I’m Wide Awake

It’s the middle of the night and I should be sleeping in my warm bed with my children.  The past couple of weeks I’ve had all 4 little ones in the bed with me.  Besides my king size bed I have a set of bunk beds in my room.  Fiammetta usually sleeps in her own bed on the top bunk but lately she has been coming up with different reasons why she should sleep with us.. Mostly it’s because she’s scared of one thing or another. I’m ok with it.. I love having them all squished in there with me.  I think it’s most uncomfortable for her and Sal.  I keep me and the baby separated from the rest with a pillow between us.  That way the kids won’t roll over and accidentaly squish him.  I’ve been having trouble sleeping this past month.  I seem to fall asleep great, and some nights I can even stay asleep for the whole night.. (as much as one can while breastfeeding a 4 month old) But then other nights I wake up around 3 or 4 am and my mind is racing, jumping from one thought process to the next.  Tonight seems to be one of those nights. I think it may be because I have been falling asleep with the kids around 7 or 8 pm so by 3 or 4 am I’ve already had about 8 hours of sleep!
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Messy heap of blankets and babies

This past weekend the husband came down to visit with the kids.  He rented a hotel with a pool so the little ones would get to swim.  All three of them ended up staying over both nights with him.  That was a bit weird and sad.  I’m not used to sleeping with out them.  That was the only time besides when Valentino was born that Persephone has not slept with me.  I missed her tiny little body next to mine.  Every night she falls asleep holding my hand or putting her tiny chubby hands on my arms.  She’s very snuggly.  Last night I had her little hands on my arm and Salvatore fell asleep, next to Persephone, with his arm draped across her to hold my hand.  When I do wake up in the middle of the night I love hearing all of their soft breathing. They all have been sleeping pretty calmly.  It seems that if there is less of them in the bed that is when the wilder sleeping happens, when I will wake up with Percy upside down or laying sideways, to a little whimper, a sudden crazy scream, and less frequently there have been kicks or punches to the face from a dreaming little one 🙂  The latter three I can definitely live without!

So this Friday Alex came by to pick up the kids and take them out to dinner and they all decided they wanted to stay over night with him at the hotel.  So I packed them all up a bag and kissed and hugged my babes goodbye.  This is definitely not the way I wanted or imagined my family to be!  I knew it would be good for them, and for Alex, but it’s hard for me to let them go.  Saturday I was taking Settimio out for his early birthday date.  He wanted to go see Deadpool and I wasn’t sure it would still be out in the theatre at his real birthday a month later so we decided to go now when Alex would have the little kiddos.. Settimio and I went out to eat lunch at Anelia’s in La Conner, a Polish restaurant that two of my younger brothers work at; one as the Chef and the other as a waiter and prep cook. We had the brunch, Timio had the Joe breakfast hoagie made from french toast with bacon and home made sausage, I had a super delicious veggie omlete.  Ophelia stayed home and we took the baby with us, he had the breastmilk. After brunch before heading in to the movie we met up with Alex and the other kids at the mall.  He agreed to watch the baby for the 2 hours so I could watch the movie with Settimio.  At Salvatore’s birthday movie date in January we went to see the new star wars movie and I had to stand the whole time so the baby wouldn’t cry.  I really did not want a repeat of that so I asked Alex to watch Valentino for me so I could sit this time!  The 4 little ones and dad hung out at the mall playground for a couple hours.   The movie was pretty sweet.  Settimio covered his eyes a couple times during the less kid friendly parts 🙂 There was one sex scene, one strip club scene with boobs, a lot of crude humor and some pretty gruesome killing bits, way more than in the other superhero movies but Settimio is almost 12 so it wasn’t too terrible.  Definitely not a movie I would let the younger kids see. Overall we both enjoyed it!  After the movie I got Valentino, Salvatore and Settimio and we went home,  Alex was taking the girls to the daddy daughter dance that night!  This was his and Fiammetta’s 3rd and Persephone’s first time attending.  Little Percy has been so excited to go!  All year since the last one she’s been talking about going to the Daddy Daughter Dance.  They went out for dinner at Anthony’s, a seafood restaurant in town, one of Fiammetta’s favorite places.  After the dance they came by and got Sally so he could spend the night with them too.

I knew Sunday would be a long day!  My mom and I had plans to go to Ikea while Alex had the kids.  I suppose that is one good thing about the little ones being gone for the day, I can get a bit more stuff done!  Driving to Ikea from where I live takes about an hour and a half to two hours.  My mom drove down my brother’s empty van and I drove down my van with all seats but the the two front and the baby’s removed.  Ophelia and Settimio stayed home but we took Little V with us.  I was going down to get a couch, a rug, a bookcase and a bed frame.  We walked around and checked stuff out..It was crazy packed. I got all the crap I came for and we left.  That is the brief version because in reality that journey took all day!!  We got home just after dark and I had to unload all that heavy, heavy from the van.  Had the older two help while my mom held the baby.  It all ended up fitting in my brothers van so mine was empty.  No reason to have taken out my seats, but I’m glad I was prepared just in case!  Would have totally sucked if I didn’t take out the seats and ended up needing the room.  After we got every thing unloaded from the van and carried down the stairs into my house I realized that we grabbed the wrong size bed frame.. wah wah..  So this Saturday I will be making another lovely trip to Ikea to exchange the queen size bed for the proper king that I need.  I may buy a few candles that I passed up the first time.  When we got home Alex had already dropped the littles off and headed back up to the B’ham.  They were all watching t.v. when we arrived.  Good way to keep them preoccupied while unloading the loot.  I got the rug layed out  and the couch put together then headed to bed.. I was exhausted and my feet hurt from walking around all day on the concrete floor.

The past few days I have been getting stuff put together and painted.  I spray painted the shelf I bought a fancy gold.
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 I also did the same lovely gold treatment to some letter fridge magnets I have, classin’ up the place a bit.
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 The couch is in our upstairs living room.  I bought two white slipcovers for it.  That way when one is dirty, and I know it will be with my children, I can throw it in the wash and put the other one on.  I suppose we didn’t need a couch up here but I was tired of sitting on the chairs we have.
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My old “couch” wasn’t cuttin’ it.. though I did paint and reupholster those babies right after Persephone was born.

They weren’t too comfortable to sit in while trying to nurse The Newborn.  That’s what all the little kids call Valentino, I hope that remains his nickname until he’s an old man!!  We still call my little Joey brother Fetus, his nickname from babyhood.
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The new and improved version.. don’t mind all those canvases back there.. the gold shelf drying, the new rug nice and soft for fresh crawling baby knees, when that happens..

So now it is almost 5 in the morning.. hopefully I can fall back asleep and not feel too much like crap in the morning when I have to get up in one more hour to get the kids ready for school..

Goodnight world.  xoxo

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home life, painting, sewing

In which she accomplishes something..

I feel so accomplished this morning.. I got around 2,000 – 3,000 photos off my phone.. some of which have been on there since 2013ish..  And I erased them from my phone so now I have tons of space!  woo hoo.. more space = more photos to take..   A lot of them were pictures that Miss O has taken of herself.  Making stupid faces, of course.

I also got the little squids finger nails and toe nails cut.  Which is a good thing because last night Persephone scratched my face while she was sleeping.. not a pleasant thing to wake up to.  She and Salvatore are sleeping with me in our tiny full sized bed.  It will get more and more uncomfortable as my belly grows.  As it is now, I’m on the edge of the bed!

My two elementary kids, Settimio and Fifi, missed the bus this morning so I had to drive them to school as well.  Thankfully it is just a 2 minute drive up the big hill..  We would walk but it’s a kind of dangerous, curvy, uphill road with no sidewalks.. (we live outside of city limits so it’s a bit more country) So the bus is safer.

I thought I would write a bit and post some photos (if I can figure how to, which doesn’t seem hard) of some of the stuff I’ve been doing lately..

A few months ago, or sometime last year I picked up a few pallets from my sis in law’s work with the intent on making something out of them.. I dismantled them right away.  That was sort of a pain in the butt until I figured out a system with the hammer..  Initially I was using a hand saw. It was pretty hot out so it was probably last summer some time.  The dismantled pallet wood stood under my bedroom window for a long time being used as ugly wall decoration and pretend skateboards and magic carpets when the little kids would go out front to play..  So, the other day I decided I would nail some pieces together and stain it to make a sign for the Chicken coop area.. The wood actually looks pretty nice now that it’s stained but it’s pretty huge and not really what I was going for.. so it’s sitting back under my bedroom window, for now, looking a little more put together and pretty.

here it is looking all pretty

Front of the stained pallet wood

Front of the stained pallet wood

I still want to make some thing out of the stained pallet wood, I just haven’t decided what yet.

But here is the sign I decided to go with for our chicken coop..

The Chicken Coop sign in it's beginning stages.  Just the under black layer and the wording.  Still have to paint the white layer and paint on the words

The Chicken Coop sign in it’s beginning stages. Just the under black layer and the wording. Still have to paint the white layer and paint on the words

I still need to get some little eye hooks to get it all put together.. But I was going to finish the painting first.

The Chicken Coop title board.. all painted up white, getting it's letters written on.

The Chicken Coop title board.. all painted up white, getting it’s letters written on.

Here is what it looks like with the white paint over top the black.. getting it’s letters put on.  I started painting it but it’s really hard to do with the crappy brushes I have so I need to head into Michael’s or someplace and pick up some smaller more defined brushes.  Recently I’ve been using crappy kid paint brushes we had left over from some of their old homeschooling projects.  I was using black chalk board paint and the white paint is Annie Sloan chalk paint in Old White.. The letters will just be done in black acrylics. I am almost out of the chalk board paint so I think when I get the paintbrushes I will probably pick up some flat black paint to use instead.. buying the flat black is a bit cheaper and it will give the same result I need for the signs/canvases I’ve been doing.  I’m just using the black for the under layer anyway.

Here are some of the signs I’ve been doing the past week or so..

I love you to the moon and back

I love you to the moon and back

I see the moon

I see the moon

Those two were done with the black chalk paint..

Wicked Witch of the East Death Certificate

Wicked Witch of the East Death Certificate

Getting some signs ready for the Holiday Market in November.

Kringles Bed and Breakfast in Red Chalk paint with White lettering

Kringles Bed and Breakfast in Red Chalk paint with White lettering

Some of the xmas signs on my ironing board

Some of the xmas signs on my ironing board

Mrs. Kringles Kitchen sign done with Annie Sloan white chalk paint and red acrylic

Mrs. Kringles Kitchen sign done with Annie Sloan white chalk paint and red acrylic

I need to get some more canvas as well when I head in to get the paint brushes..

All my signs I have available for purchase on my esty account and I will be selling them at the Farmer’s Market when I go back in July.  The holiday ones I will be saving for the Holiday Farmer’s Market in November..  The weekend before Thanksgiving if you happen to be in Anacortes, WA and want to come check it out.  This year will be my first!  I’m excited, but I will also have a newborn with me as this little bean is due October 25.  I’ve gone as a shopper the past two years and it was a lot of fun.  There is lots of cool things to check out.  It’s over a pier so you can see the water through the cracks in the floor.  The kids got a kick out of that!

But today I want to finish up, or rather start sewing, the dresses I am making for the little girls.  I got the pattern pieces printed and all taped together yesterday.

Here is the pattern all taped together hanging on the sliding glass door in the dining room.

Here is the pattern all taped together hanging on the sliding glass door in the dining room.

It actually wasn’t bad putting it together.  A little time consuming.  More so than buying a pre-made paper pattern.  But buying the e-file was nice because I didn’t have to wait for it to come in the mail to get started on my project.  I bought the pattern from http://www.sensibility.com.  It’s the girls Regency Dress Pattern.  I’m so excited to start.  I still need to trace the correct size pattern pieces onto my interfacing to make the reusable pattern.  I’m going to make the 2 little girls the short sleeved version.  Fifi is excited.  She loves dresses.  Persephone could probably care less and probably will ask to take it off once I actually put it on her.. She’s not a dress girl.  But sometimes you just gotta make them!  At least when she’s little.  I’m hoping to get sewing today.  Maybe I’ll even finish a dress, or both.. it is Friday so I can just do pizza and a movie night for the squids.  Holy poop, I can’t believe the school year is almost out.. I can’t freakin wait!

So I guess I will go clear another place on the living room floor (something I have to do multiple times a day with Sally and Percy making messes all the time!) and get to tracing out my pattern pieces.. get the fabric ironed, and cut.  And hopefully get to sewing!

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