Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More Birds for Baby

I often get asked if I'm going to paint a mural in the nursery. Surprisingly enough, I'm not really a mural type of gal. Just not my style. 

BUT, we do have two walls in the room that are slanted and just so happen to be perfect for at least a little something.  

Although I squirm at the idea of too-themed of a room, we do seem to have a lot of birds around, so I decided to do a make a couple of bird stencils to add a little interest to these big blank walls.

Making your own stencils is simple. I simply drew a few sketches on acetate and then carefully cut them out with an x-acto knife. I taped it to the wall, painted it over with a little white paint, and voila!

The nursery is almost done... the big reveal is coming soon! 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Thou hast given so much to me

Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, - a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.
~George Herbert

- Brian taking care of a sick little squirrel on the patio and texting me updates.
- Salem walks
- a new shirt
- being sick together
- kid smiles
- air conditioners in
- haircuts
- July drawing nigh
- an almost schedule-less weekend to rest and recuperate
- the long weekend

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sea Kettle Studios - First Landscapes

The students at Sea Kettle Studios have finished their first watercolor landscapes.  As always, they blew me away. Next, we'll tackle the still life!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nursery Rocker

Fine grain sandpaper - $2
 1 small can of white satin paint - $8
Lots of elbow grease - a big hug for Daddy
A full night of painting - a big hug for Mommy
A comfy rocking chair pad - $7

Being able to rock our babies to sleep in the
same chair that their Daddy was rocked in?


(Thanks Mom and Dad James!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Summer List - 2011

Just finished this year's list of hopes and dreams for our summer...

Monday, May 23, 2011


Some thanks this week...

- sanding and painting time
- dinner good chats with my BFF
-quiet purrs, late at night
-brothers talking quietly downstairs
- lots of graduates
-the rain
- a beautiful saturday after a week of rain
- a big old family BBQ for the graduates
- the obligatory baby name discussion at every family gathering
- getting dressed, only to find that you are perfectly matching your sweet husband...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Dresser for the Babe

This week's big project was finding a home for the baby's clothes.  On Saturday, we found an old-well-made-in-need-of-a-little-love dresser on craigslist for $50. After a good sanding job, a few coats of sunbeam-yellow paint and finding some amazing new knobs, we soon had ourselves the perfect cheery baby bureau. Now to fill it!
my trusty work mates..
We had such fun picking out cute dresser knobs at Anthropology. Brian insists that these little "curiosities" will be deeply rooted in the psychologies of the James kids forever. :)
"What? A new perch for my bedroom? You shouldn't have!"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nana's Book Show

For the first time in many years, my Nana participated in a book show.  She has always been a book enthusiast and very early on this turned into a business where she sells antique and out-of-print books. She used to have a little book shop in town, but as I was growing up, she sold most of her books by appointment, on the internet and at various book shows. I have so many wonderful memories tagging along with Nana on her various book-finding and book-selling trips and helping to man the booths so I couldn't pass up a chance to visit her back in her old haunts... 
So if you are ever looking for an old, out-of-print book, she's the one to ask! She specializes in children's books, so if you've always wanted to find that book you used to read as a kid, send her a note and she'll probably be able to find it for you. (You can email her at booksone@comcast.net.)  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kitty and Baby

We've been wondering recently whether Dmitri has some sort of weird cat intuition that knows that there is a baby coming. As I've gotten more and more pregnant he's started following me around everywhere, being generally more needy than ever, kneading on my belly and crying when I go outside to the garden or even into the bathroom without him.  Am I going to have to deal with "sibling" jealousy with a cat?! 

Oh, and he's gonna have a rude awakening when he finds out his comfy new bed is actually a crib for the baby...poor kitty. 

Monday, May 16, 2011


I'm thankful....

-for warm, spring weather
- for new growth in the garden
- Kimmie home for the summer
- my Nana sharing her car, while we look for a new one
- a shiny new (old) car!
- for small group prayers
- for a student's daily smile and enthusiastic question "How's that baby?!"
- for our huge and yummy teacher appreciation lunch
- for Brian, and his sympathy belly (and his humor)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Baby Leg Warmers... maybe

One of the knitting projects I brought with me on our road trip was for baby leg warmers.  It was an easy pattern that I didn't really have to think much about (not a lot of counting) which was great since Brian and I were busy listening to the first two Harry Potter audiobooks.  I thought I had bought a pretty gender neutral yarn, but Brian says that if he has a son he will NOT be wearing these leg warmers...so here's to hoping that at some point I have a girl. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


A lovely Mother's Day treat from my baby-daddy...

..given with a kiss and a card with a sweet little poem...

My favorite lines from the poem:

..Another mother wraps her baby
up in patterned sheets.
But my baby naps up under
your pearly bead of rounded wheat*.

*I'm told that the "wheat" metaphor references the following verse, "..your belly is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies.Song of Solomon 7:2* 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day Gifts - Bird's Nest Necklaces

After seeing one of these lovely necklaces worn by a friend at work, I tucked the idea away for the perfect occasion. I needed a good project for my students for Mother's Day and thought that this might be the perfect thing. 
I read this tutorial, then just experimented and adjusted as needed for my 5th and 6th graders. We used silver wire, pretty robin's-egg-blue beads, imitation leather cord and some standard jewelry crimps and clasps. 
The kids really enjoyed making these, and everyone put the same number of eggs as there are kids in their family.  From what I hear from the kids, their Moms LOVED them. Apparently there were even tears shed!
So, I had to make one for my own Mom, too..
Katie, with Mom donning her new necklace on Mother's Day..

Monday, May 9, 2011

Multitude Monday

Giving thanks, this week, for...

- all of the Mothers in my life
- a calm and therapeutic watercolor lesson after a long, hard day
- finally moving the kids to our new school!
- a beautiful saturday, new plants from Rachel
- visiting Nana at her book show
- first family BBQ of the year
- breakfast at Beech Street
- Brian's spring romance
- Mother's Day cards, from the most thoughtful of friends, the sweetest of sisters and best-est of husbands...

Friday, May 6, 2011

This Moment - Spring Hearth

(I especially enjoyed this moment, due to the fact that 10 minutes later, a neighbor called the fire department and 3 firemen promptly came over to hose our humble little fire out! At least it was an exciting way to learn about our city's "no open flame" rule and I'm happy to report that the Salem Fire Department was nothing but kind and apologetic for ruining our fun.)

{this moment} - A Friday ritual
Joining with SouleMama

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Hand-Knit from Great-Grandma

On Easter, my very lovely and very crafty Grandma (and soon to be Great-Grandma!) gave us a beautiful hand-knit blanket for the baby.  I hear she's been up to even more hand-knit goodness and I'm looking forward to cuddling the wee one up in every bit of it, just like I was when I was a baby.