August 31, 2011

Old News, part II: Lincoln's birthday party!

In addition to the little celebration that we had in Chelan for Lincoln's birthday, we also celebrated again with family and friends once we were back on the west side. I mentioned before that I found some paper treat buckets featuring the Cat in the Hat in the dollar section at Target, and then stumbled upon some punch out letters at JoAnn. And voila, it's a Cat in the Hat party!

David designed the invites to coordinate. Aren't they cute?

Other than that, we didn't really do anything to reinforce the theme. I taped up some of the letters to the mantle to make a happy birthday sign, and I used them a few other places to label the food and drink locations, but forgot to take any photos.

My favorite touch: the platters of cupcakes made with a boxed mix leftover from the fourth of July (shhhh!!!). The red, white, and blue palette matched the theme perfectly and they were freshly baked that morning, so it's not like they were old. Right?

A few bamboo skewers and some scotch tape and we had an adorable cupcake centerpiece for the boy to make his second birthday wish on.

And this year he totally understood the presents, too. He was more than happy to dig in!

Look at that oooooh face! He was a happy boy. Thanks to everyone who joined in on the birthday celebrations for our sweet boy, on both sides of the mountains. Lincoln is so lucky to have such amazing family and friends, and we are too! Much love.

And once again, a few more photos here on flickr, if you're so inclined.

August 30, 2011

Old News, part I: we went on vacation!

As you may recall, we went to sunny and gorgeous Lake Chelan for a week at the beginning of August. It was a long-awaited trip and the first time we've been on a vacation for a whole week anywhere since our weddingmoon in New Orleans. It was high time, and it was perfection!

It was seven days of playing in the sand and the crystal-clear lake, and soaking up some sun in our pasty white Pacific-Northwesterner skin. It was sleeping in (as late as Lincoln would allow, which was miraculously an hour later than usual), and spending the morning doing not much of anything and getting organized by lunchtime to venture into town or to visit our friends or family. Perfect vacation.

I used to think the brown hills of Eastern Washington were so ugly and depressing, but I find them so picturesque and striking now. Weird how our impressions change as we get older. Or maybe it's all the extra Vitamin D we get while we're there.

My big boy turned two during our stay, and we celebrated with BBQ and chocolate cake at Lake Chelan Winery with a small group of family and friends. It was a great night with delicious food and wonderful people. There were no decorations and the cake was from the grocery store, but it was a perfect party for my lucky kiddo in the middle of our getaway.

And I really wanted to take some family photos while we were there, but as usual, we took 4-bazillion pictures and nearly every one is of Lincoln alone. Guess we'll have to go back! A few more photos here on flickr. (Not all 4-bazillion, I promise!)

August 24, 2011

Back! With a tour!

So yeah- it's been so long since I've posted here that there are a million different things that I want to write about and I don't even know where to start. So instead of trying to decide what OLD stuff to share, I decided to post some ground-breaking, of-the-minute, and frankly startling news instead.


It's practically a miracle, so I decided that before I set foot in there to start one more project, I would take some photos to document the conditions in there right now. It's not likely to last, so this way there is solid proof that at least for one day, the place was mostly clean and presentable.

And in case you need a refresher, here's the horrid state of the room as of the last thorough photo tour. That was way back in April, 2010, and A LOT has changed in the meantime. And even after changing things drastically many months ago, it took some serious living and working in the space to determine what final tweaks were needed to make the room really function the way that I needed it to. And I think I might finally be there. At least for now!

Behold! A space to cut fabric that doesn't require shifting a giant, teetering pile of junk off to one side or the use of a chair to hold the bolt off the floor while you cut! It's truly an amazing day here at the James residence.

This table was formerly the computer desk in our downstairs living area. It was really much too large for our needs though, and just served as a dumping ground for lots of other stuff to pile up. Thanks to the adjustable legs, we're able to give it a new home as a standing-height table in my sewing room and it's the perfect size for cutting and assembling projects.

My former employer gave me tons of beautiful Midori giftwrap samples. It's gorgeous heavy paper that comes in a 21" x 29" sheet. I originally wanted to store it flat, but there's just no reasonable way to do that, so Hubby came up with this solution for me and built it with parts from Home Depot. The space also became ribbon storage, and a place to store rolls of wrapping and kraft paper too. This is a highly functional corner with no footprint. Gotta love that!

This is where all the magic happens! My beloved Brother sewing/embroidery machine sits alongside her brother, the Brother serger. This table also holds my industrial snap press, a box of works-in-progress, and a riser holds sewing tools like pins, bobbins, machine feet, and assorted other bits on a lazy susan to keep everything close at hand. The box below the riser is a drawer organizer that is full of rick-rack, bias tapes, and thread.

Those are my favorite corners, but there's more! To see more photos of the space along with a few notes about specific items, you can check out the flickr set here.

Alright- off to go mess everything up! But at least now I have witnesses. It WAS clean for a morning, at least. Back soon with some of the aforementioned "old stuff" to share.

August 2, 2011

Lincoln's Plum

In honor of our little man's fast-approaching second birthday, we planted a tree in the back yard and placed his placenta underneath. Yes, that means that we've had Lincoln's placenta lying around (in the freezer) for two years and yes, we're complete procrastinators. But see how I made it seem like we did it specifically for his second birthday, and not just two years late? That's a half-full glass for you.

We chose a combo plum tree because we love the idea of having fruit in our back yard, and because how cool is it that five different varieties will grow on a single tree? Seriously cool. And since there are different varieties, it's magically self-pollinating, so we don't need to have more than one tree. Which is good, because I don't know that we really even have room for one but we planted it anyway. The tree will someday produce Green Gage, Beauty, Brooks, Blue Damson, and Shiro plums. And someday Lincoln will climb those limbs and throw Mama a ripe juicy plum like a good little boy. Can't wait!

And if you're interested and/or have a strong stomach, I've posted some photos of the placenta in it's un-frozen and relatively freshly birthed state. Our midwife was happy to give us a tour of the organ after we brought it home, and it's really kind of fascinating and amazing if you're into that kind of thing. I recognize that not everyone is, so I made a private, invitation-only Flickr set that can only be accessed by clicking here. You won't stumble upon these photos by accident while browsing mixer covers, don't worry! And there's only three, so it's hardly a fully scientific and in-depth tour, but interesting nonetheless. However, I stress: CLICK AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!