I've forever been a picture person. I can't remember a time that I wasn't taking photos. A few years ago, I even scanned every single negative and photo in my family's and my in-law's possession. I can (and sometimes do) just stare at an image, new or old, for a ridiculous amount of time soaking it all in, letting memories flood over me, emotions take hold, and gratefulness grow. I love photos.
I'd like to take some time here and there to focus on one photo and document what passes through my mind. New and old. For my first, one from last weekend of the kid and me.
The night before I'd gone out with my best friend to sing some karaoke (we're obsessed) and awoke in the most grand mood, singing, dancing, and reliving the night before. We'd run a few errands as a family and returned home in great spirits. Happiness filled our little house as we tidied up, made each other laugh, and enjoyed a gorgeous day with nothing planned. Unusual for us, we decided to make our lunch the big meal of the day. Rio wasn't down with our meal so I made her the classic PB&J, her absolute favorite at the moment. She deconstructs her sandwiches as she eats them. I spy that sandwich in this shot. Brent was wiring a light out of frame and I was grilling our lunch. I would walk back and forth making faces at the kid while our lunch cooked and during one of those trips, we aligned perfectly. We both stood for a minute, long enough for me to fall in love with that moment. She looked proud, grown, strong. I felt proud, grown, and strong. It was symbolic to me, and beautifully so. We are one, yet our own beings. She is such a piece of me, and I will always be a piece of her. It's overwhelming in a peaceful, amazing way.
Last weekend I took a trip back to my childhood. At the beginning of the year, I decided to join the Tulsa Modern Quilting Guild. It's been a good experience and I've certainly learned a lot through my involvement. When I heard that they would be hosting a fall retreat, I was all about it. I've attended a few crafting retreats over the past few years and I absolutely love them. There's always great camaraderie that occurs, I'm always able to bust out several projects, and since becoming a mother, they're always a nice break from my every day norm.
So what does this have to do with my childhood? The retreat was held at Camp Egan, the church camp that I spent many summers at growing up! While I don't subscribe to organized religion as an adult, I look back on my summers spent at that camp as peaceful, trans-formative, positive experiences. It had been 18 years since I had been there! So much had changed and so much was the same. Immediately after I unloaded stuff, I took off to walk around the grounds and process my return there. It was wonderful taking it all in again.
After I had reacquainted myself with the camp, I finally got to sewing! I shared space with my Owl & Drum ladies and sewed all things cats. I started a large cat pillow but lost steam on that after a while and switched over to my paper pieced cats! One of these days they'll be in a finished quilt for Rio. :)
Watching everyone's projects come together was a treat in itself. I love watching creativity unfold and be executed!
Oh yes, we ate in the cafeteria! Not the cafeteria I grew up eating in but a cafeteria nonetheless!
I was super stoked about our retreat swap - a mug rug swap! If we wanted to participate, we could make a mug rug which is more or less a tiny quilt. We were asked to also include a covered drink holder of some sort as well. I didn't know if I'd participate or not but I ended up finding a spare moment to whip one up! I just grabbed some scraps and used heat-resistant batting on the inside for the first time. I'm considering mine a double-mug-rug/trivet/pot holder. Mini quilts are fun! Below is mine in action, taken by its recipient.
We exchanged mug rugs through some Dirty Santa playing and I ended up with quite the work of art!
Unfortunately, I was double booked that weekend so I was only able to stay at the retreat for one night before needing to head back into town for a wedding of one of my favorite crafty ladies!
Once I got back home, I quickly got dudded up, grabbed my hunky husband, and headed to Cains for some nuptials! We actually ended up getting a room and had a date with our own town. It was fantastic and much needed.
This weekend I have absolutely nothing planned and I'm soooooo looking forward to it! The past few weeks have been whirlwinds so I'm ready for a little break. ¡Hasta luego!
The kid turned three. I have no idea where all that time went but somehow, time progressed and our baby turned into a little person who articulates thoughts, has strong opinions, and makes us laugh constantly. Her wonderful existence required that we celebrate with our family and friends!
Just like with her second birthday, we kept things mega simple. No theme, no fancy anythings, just quality time with good folks. It was perfect.
I updated her birthday banner with a huge 3, we made some burgers and sausages for our guests, and we set up the backyard to host a gaggle of kiddos. Neighbors stopped in, the sun shone bright, and gleeful screams filled the air. The huge bruise Rio acquired the night before from couch hopping slowed her down not a bit, thankfully. Her dollhouse was well received which thrilled me, of course. This was the first year that she understood that a birthday was a special day; her special day.
Three. Just doesn't seem possible. Can't imagine life without my little sidekick.
While it feels like my birthday was forever ago, it was just three weeks ago! To celebrate, I really wanted to hit the road and go somewhere. We only had a big enough window for a day trip so we chose to visit the uh-mazing Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. I had been once before but only had literally 45 minutes to see as much as I could. If you've been to CB before, you know that that short amount of time is not nearly long enough to take in all the museum has to offer.
We loaded up my new car for its first big-ish road trip and off we went! I drove there and back and serenaded my lucky passengers the entire way. During our drive, I realized that this was Rio's first time out of the state! Unreal! I also had a moment where I realized how cool it will be to have many birthday adventures with her in the future since our birthdays are exactly one week apart. :)
We had a wonderful time and it was great to slip away from the norm, even if it was for just a day. The weather was ideal, the installations were amazing (hello, Warhol!), and the company was superb. I was a little saddened that the Frank Lloyd Wright house wasn't yet open to the public but that gives me one more reason to return in the near future.
Upon our return home, we were invited to a friend's house for dinner which we happily accepted. It was the icing on the cake.
I've been wanting to find Rio a dollhouse for quite some time now. Of course I didn't just want to source something new from Amazon so I've been keeping my eyes open while out and about. As luck would have it, I found one during my last Kanokla trip in an antique store in Independence, Kansas!
Actually, I found TWO of the exact same houses in the same shop. I knew one of them would be coming home with me. The first I came across wasn't in great exterior shape but the interior looked a bit better. No furniture was included and the asking price was $50. I kept on going through the shop and audibly gasped when I glanced up high just across the aisle and saw the twin house. My stumpy arms couldn't reach it so I quickly found my dad to fetch it down for me. He's known about my dollhouse quest for a while so he was happy to oblige. Inside of the house was a ziploc bag FILLED with the original furniture. That made me do an internal happy dance. The exterior was in much better shape than the first one and the interior was in fair condition. The price? $25 in a booth with a sale going on. This was the house going home with me. I ended up paying right around $20, which I was quite pleased with. It was my biggest purchase of the weekend and the pick of the trip!
Naturally when I returned home, I spent a good amount of time with my best friend Google researching my find. This house was made by Wolverine in the early 60s. There were a large amount of these houses made but of many different variations. I'm actually quite surprised that I found two of the same style in the same location! The holy grail of these houses are ones with a fall out shelter in them! No, no fall out shelter in this one. :) Sometimes the furniture is worth more than the house and finding the people is even more rare. I'm fairly certain that all of the furniture is included with this house!
My dollhouse interest has been present for several years but only accelerated recently with a toddler in the house. I've been reading this miniatures blog for many years which is filled with so much tiny eye-candy and then I got to follow along on this dollhouse rehab project which is quite amazing! Give yourself time to enjoy both!
We'll be gifting our find to Rio on Sunday so I took some time last night to clean things up. The house is made of tin so the rusty-looking spots are there to stay. I did light scrubbing with warm water and Dawn; I didn't want to use anything too abrasive. The window frames cleaned up beautifully, as did the furniture. After I got everything cleaned up, I had to place the furniture in the house. I had no choice, ya know? :) There are so many things that amaze me about it - the tiny toilet, the removable sinks, the MCM table lamp, the permanent wall art...it's all perfect in my eyes.
Fingers crossed that she'll like it (as much as I do!) and that it will be played with once again for many more years! I've heard several say that they had a dollhouse like this during their childhood. Did you?!
A week ago today, I turned thirty-six! Today we're celebrating Rio's third birthday, but more about that in a future post. :)
I had already decided to take the day off to play around town with the kid when I found out that our International Fashion Show at school was scheduled for the same day! What a wonderful birthday surprise! The fashion show is only held once a year and is one of my absolute favorite days of the year. The majority of our students dress in modern clothing so seeing them in their traditional clothing for a day is a true treat. The textiles, the colors, the stories, and the pride exuded make it a notable event that I always cherish.
For the past two years, the kid has participated in the fashion show with me but this year, she stole the show! We were given a vintage kimono a while back that Rio wore and I sported a salwar kameez that I had made while in India ten years ago. Rio wasn't too keen on leaving the stage after our turn was up so she pretty much remained up there for the rest of the show! The crowd loved her. It made her day. It made my day.
Later that evening, we joined my folks for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and witnessed a stunning sunset that I swear was made just for me, as evidenced below.
Thirty-six. Doesn't seem possible. I'm finding smile lines around my eyes and mouth, age spots have been spotted, and my internal alarm clock keeps setting itself earlier and earlier but I'm doing my best to embrace this strange aging process. My thirty-six years have been filled with adventure, love, sadness, laughter, and so much more. I will forever celebrate making it another year.