Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Slinking, Sneaky Vegetable

At first we thought the plant sprouting in the flower garden must be a sunflower from a seed scattered by birds. Then it grew sideways, not up, and we thought, poor thing, it snapped untimely, but let it be and perhaps new stems will grow from the stump. It put on wide leaves, and we thought it might be a cucumber. Then it made its first blossom, amidst now enormous leaves, and we thought, aha, squash. Then it tendriled up from the ground and slunk across the deck, and we thought, well, it's a hybrid: it's producing nothing. Then we left for vacation.

Not a hybrid. The theory yesterday, a watermelon, given the longish ovoid shape, and we did spit watermelon seeds that direction last summer.

Yes, spit them. I am an honest girl.

The theory now that I examine it again: pumpkin. That stalk, that shape, those stripes. The boys did leave their Halloween pumpkins near until just after a proper burial was due.

It's teasing us with dozens of blooms and lurches nightly towards far side of the deck and the fence, in the neighbor's direction.

I've not planted such a thing on purpose before, and acquainted I may be with misc. mesclun greens, gherkins, tomatoes, collards, cotton, peanuts, carrots, potatoes, arugula, lettuces and radishes, yet this beast is making me nervous. Not like the other sudden plant next the side of the house, cherrily bearing cherry tomatoes and so obligingly set by a messy chipmunk.

What is he, please?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Winner! Simplicity "Civil War" Patterns Giveaway

The boys pick a winner.
The twins say, "We have a winner!" This morning they wrote numbers on individual slips of paper, folded them up, and put them in a wooden box belonging to their blocks. I mixed up the slips, one boy drew out a slip, the other opened it, and they held up #10 for all to see.

So Jessie Schaefer-Winters, you have won the drawing! Please send your snailmail to me at L a d y b u g M i s s B l u e b e r r y M u f f i n at Gmail and I will send off the patterns in a bit.

Thank all of you for putting in your names, and for your kind comments. If only I had more of these patterns to share.
Congratulations again. I hope the patterns will be fun to make up, and I am so glad that they are going to a good home.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Another Giveaway: Simplicity "Civil War" Patterns, Designed by Martha McCain and Kay Gnagey

The cleanout continues. This time it's a batch of five Simplicity patterns for 1860s wear: chemises, corsets, hoops, dresses, apron. Four by Martha McCain, one by Kay Gnagey, which means they are well researched.

All the patterns are complete, never used.

Why are they going? The American Civil War is just too close for comfort. Our house is built on part of Henry Clay's former farm, Ashland (part of the estate is saved, thank goodness), and very close to here men fought each other and wounded and killed one another. Family members all over town argued and battled with each other because they took different sides in the conflict in this border state. People were bought and sold at Cheapside just downtown. Imagine the suffering. No, no, it's just too emotionally close; I cannot manage to evoke any sense of those years without sadness. I've tried, but just cannot do it.

Let me pass these on then, to someone who can enjoy this era to its fullest!

The patterns:
  • 7212, size RR (14, 16, 18, 20, EUR 40-46)
  • 9769, size RR (ditto)
  • 9764, size RR (ditto)
  • 7215, size RR (ditto)
  • 2887, size US 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 (EUR 42-52) 
If you'd like this set of patterns, please leave me a comment with your name either in the body of the comment or in your name line. On Friday, June 15, at 8:00 p.m. I will pick a random name and announce the winner over the weekend.

Please spread the word: I want these patterns, and those that will follow, gone to good homes.

Very best, Natalie

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Giveaway Winners: Maternity Patterns!

Since just two readers were interested in the maternity patterns and the embroidery kit, I felt sad just flipping a coin and only having one winner. Mrs. C. and Kerry, I have patterns for both of you!

I'll split up the patterns I have randomly between you, and add some buttons that would be fun to add to children's clothes! Again, I had meant to use these for wee toddler clothes, but never got around to making them. The ones to the far left are ceramic, and the ones to the far right are actually wrapped like leather buttons, but the "leather" is certainly ersatz. Still, that means it's useful in the wet :}

Edited 06/11/12: Thank you, Mrs. C! I now have your address and can mail you the patterns! Kerry, if you're still interested, please leave a comment and we will arrange to get your address.
May the patterns give lots of pleasure and happiness!

Next up, a set of five Simplicity 1860s patterns...four from Martha McCain and one from Kay Gnagey!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Giveaway: Children's and Maternity Patterns!

Christopher got not only a new bed, but a new, bigger room. That meant that I had to move the guest room to the smallest bedroom, and make it an office, too. That meant cleaning out the closet. That meant parting with items I no longer need or use.

What does that mean, in turn? Paying it forward, and giveways for you... I've not done a giveaway before, and it's fun to finally have an opportunity.

The first giveaway has to do with childhood and motherhood:  a set of four patterns and a DMC kit for embroidered sprigs.

(To see the image above full size, click on it. On the slideshow screen, right-click on the image again, and from the pop-up menu, choose Properties. Cut and paste the URL into a fresh browser or browser tab, and you will get the giant photo.)
Our tots in their little bear hats.
Top left: a DMC cotton floss kit with sprig patterns for napkins. Frankly, I think they'd look sweet on dresses or on bibs.

Top middle: cowboy and Indian costumes, size 2: they fit our three year olds, but can size up easily. The cowboy pattern has been used, but all pieces are there.

Top right: baby snuggies. I loved this pattern, though I only used the cap. It made such cute little bear hats for Noah and Christopher! Can't recall, but I might have made up the ears myself, and certainly made up the little bear paw mitts.

John-Johns in action, on Christopher, at right.
Bottom left: John-Johns! Some of the easiest-to-wear boy clothes ever. My boys wore them during summertime almost exclusively through their third year. John-Johns don't bind a boy's waist, so he can run and move unimpeded, and there's no shirt to get in the way, either. It's just about pure freedom for the boy, and pure adorableness for me. Checks! Stripes! Cute animals on the front! We had people stopping us all the time complementing us on how nice the boys looked, for they were fresh and trim and happy in them, even if up close you could see sweet potato stains. Yup, I am a big believer in John-Johns, and was delighted when dear friend Johnny gave me this pattern. However, I was so busy just raising those twins I never was able to make my own. Perhaps you will have more time than I will.

Wee cowboys.
Bottom right: maternity wardrobe, size 18-22 (bust 40, waist 32, hip 42) - (bust 44, waist 37, hip 46). Classic and good looking. From this pattern I developed my own, waistless dress pattern, simply by raising the "waistline" and gathering the skirt, but the base patterns are nice too. Alas, no pictures exist anymore of my favorite, brown and green spotted dress.

If you'd like this set of patterns, please leave me a comment with your name either in the body of the comment or in your name line. On Friday, June 8, at 8:00 p.m. I will pick a random name and announce the winner over the weekend!

Their Fifth Birthday: New Beds

Big-boy beds to celebrate a milestone. Five years old. Phooooo. Both climb into my lap as naturally as babies; Christopher's cheeks are still rounded and stained with that ephemeral young-child pink. Noah still says "Wes" for "yes", and I hope he will say so, to me, for years and years and years.

Yet they wrestle and bicker and Noah builds complex structures with Legos -- they have delicate pieces, he says -- and Christopher is mezmerized by baseball and can catch decently already and imitates the throwing position well enough to give me pause, as well as to make me giggle. They are boys saying goodbye to early childhood.

I love them so. They tell me that they will always be my babies and make baby noises just to please me. Before pinching one another just to annoy everyone in earshot. Hahhhhh.

Here they come, back from a bike ride with Daddy. They bang on the door!