Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Born to Knit

If you read this blog at all, you know I love to knit. I have had a few knitting ah-ha moments this week that caused pause. The first was Christmas morning. My family has been in transition in the last few years. My parents recently divorced, my sisters and I have fully entered into adulthood and two of us into parenthood. So, there have been some traditions that have been blown from here to there. Imagine my surprise when my childhood Christmas stocking ended up as one of my sisters dogs stocking.......REALLY?! Toward the end of the morning my sister asked me if I would like to keep this stocking. Sure, I replied. Then and only then did I notice what was pictured on it....a lady knitting. I have looked at this so many times and for some reason, I never really thought about it. I was so excited. I was truly born to knit.

Then we were in Sunday school talking about New Year's Resolutions. I have never been big on resolutions, but last year was different. I decided to make a couple. One successful.......one, not so much. The less successful of the two was to Blog everyday. You of all people know this was a struggle to say the least. The other resolution was to only knit with patterns.......this was a result of the boredom I was feeling from almost two years of garter stitch. I am happy to say I have kept this one and this is the result.I made this shawl to wear at the one formal Holiday Party we go to every year. It made my night. I love how it turned out. I even learned to crochet the border.With that, I leave you with this from Lime N Violet....

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, except for my spouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

“They’ll have toes by morning!” was all she’d declare.

The children were all snuggled with afghans in their beds,

While visions of amigurumi danced in their heads.

Mama knit Sara’s kerchief, and then Bob’s cap,

While I exhorted her to take a nap.

When down from the basement, there arose such a clatter,

I jumped from the sofa, to see what was the matter.

Away to the door, I flew like a flash,

I knew it was the cats, and I’d settle their hash.

The light under the stairs gave off such a glow,

And the noise that arose, caused me a gasket to blow.

What to my wondering eyes should appear,

But three Brother knitting machines, all going in full gear!

There Grandma stood, so lively and fast,

I knew in a moment, all gift worries were past.

As I watched in amazement, her fingers did fly,

and was jerked from my trance with a rousing cry!

“Now Lion Brand! Now Koigu! Now Fleece Artist and Louet!

On Yarn Pirate! On Mimknits! On Noro and Scout!

To the end of the row, now shape that shoulder!

Faster, and faster, those colors need to be bolder!”

As tangles arose like cobwebs in fall,

Grandma twitched each yarn, and saved them all.

Down she dipt in her basket, and snatched up a ball,

Nary a stitch was missed, she’d finish them all!

As I watched in amazement, I heard a metallic “tink.”

And watched as Grandma plucked her crochet hook from the floor with a wink.

She set to binding off everything with such flair,

I thought the sweaters were appearing out of air!

Grandma sewed, and seamed,

Wove ends in and steamed.

Found buttons and zippers, and grafted those toes,

And came out from all of it, smelling like a rose.

The gifts were all wrapped, and under the tree,

So Grandma turned, and blew a kiss to me.

The words drifted down to me, as she went up the stairs and out of sight:

“Merry Knitmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Friday, December 26, 2008

Take a Deep Breath

The holiday season is coming to an end and I am ready to take a deep breath.  Many of you know that one of the many reasons I blog is to have a place to report on all of the beauty and blessings in my life.  This is important to me because I spend a good part of most of my days dealing with a family member who is very sick.  This Christmas season was not much different than the ones I remember as a child.  Up and down, in and out, around and around.  The difference this year is that I think this might be the last roller coaster Christmas.  I rarely share this part of my life on this blog, but I feel like I owe a bit of an explanation to those of you who read with such loyalty this and have questioned my absence.  I am still here.  I am taking a deep breath and I will be back with a lot of great creative stuff in 2009.  With that.......Merry Christmas.  

By the way.....my awesome Sister In Law gave me Anna Maria Horner's new book, Seams to Me. It is as wonderful as I thought it would be.  She also made me a great bag....but that is for a future post.  Thanks Michelle.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Merry Little Christmas

We hosted our annual Sunday school Christmas party. This year, being the good Methodist I have become :), I thought we should have more than just food and drink. So, the youth director in me said.....GAMES. I know, cheesy, but it was a lot of fun. Everyone wore their ugliest sweater and we gave awards to the top three. We played dirty Santa with ornaments and we played the bell game. All in all a great night.

Monday, December 8, 2008

An Awesome Giveaway

I have a couple of dozen blogs that I frequently read....and try to comment on. One of my favorites is Confessions of a Craft Addict. She has such wonderful ideas and has provided me with a lot of inspiration. She is currently hosting a HUGE GIVEAWAY. Check it out! Let me know if you sign up.....I am curious how many I send her way.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I just led a lesson at Mom's Group on Hurry Less Worry Less at Christmas and this is all I have done of the boy's handmade Christmas. I can't believe it is December 2nd.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Playdates is having a Sale

A few years ago I decided that I would get all of my mall Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving.  This, along with making many of my gifts, has changed the feel of the Holiday season for the better.  I have never really liked crowds and I really don't like being pushed around or "fighting" over the last whatever.  So, you can see why the mall around Christmas is not for me.....even with the great sales.  (Lucky for me many of the sales begin around Halloween.) 

For those of you who will be avoiding the mall on Black Friday, I have a deal for you.  EVERYTHING at Playdates Without Pigtails will be 40% off.  (Midnight to Midnight, Central Time)  Shop, enjoy and I will mail out these orders on Saturday so you should have them by the next week.  

Time to get going....I have one more trip to the mall before tomorrow.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lunch with Carol

I was talking with a friend yesterday and it came up that a mutual friend had died. This was not a huge surprise because she had been very ill for quite some time. The surprise for me was that I had not found out until almost a month after the fact.

I met Carol at the church where I served as the Children and Youth Minister. I had a lot of experience with youth and hardly any with children. Carol's son was in the 5 year old class. She was intriguing to me for several reasons but most of all I was impressed with her love for her child and her commitment to surround him with the love of a church family. It was several months before I realized that Carol was married. Her husband did not usually attend church with them. This was surprising to me because she was so involved....I don't remember a time that I worshiped when she was not singing in the choir.

Carol and I became very close after she shared with me the struggles she had with her "family of origin" much like the ones I was experiencing. She was the person who helped me see that I could be whole again and that I could be a good mother if I decided to have children. We met several times and discussed these issues at length. I remember confiding in her the trouble I was having getting pregnant and wondering if this was God telling me I would not be a good mother. She basically laughed...........somehow this assured me that things would be okay. I remember meeting up with her for lunch, sitting in the window at Cheevers, telling her I was expecting. I think I was more excited to tell her than my own family because I knew how excited she would be. I remember sitting in the same restaurant several months later with my oldest, just a few weeks old, tucked away at our feet while we ate and admired him. She gave me the confidence I needed to know that I would be a good mother.

I loved to hear stories about her son. He was in elementary school by now and it made me realize how fast time flies. She told me stories of her husband and the highs and lows of starting his own business. It was so obvious how much she loved her family. It was also obvious to me what a strong figure she was in that family. Strong but not over-bearing. This struck me I am sure because I tend to have a strong presence in most situations and not always for the better. Carole also helped me figure out the role I wanted my career to play in my life. She was a brillient attorney that had experience all over the country, but she did not want to be identified as such. She wanted to be a mom. Law was what she did but not who she was. At the end of the day she was a mom and a wife.

Our relationship grew and eventually became very comfortable although I never took it for granted. I knew that much of the happiness and wholeness I felt with my own family came from these meetings with her. Three years ago this New Year's Eve I saw Carol and her husband. It was a beautiful evening...not too cold. We had taken our oldest to the OKC downtown celebration. I saw her from a distance and ran up to say "Happy New Year!" When she turned around, I knew something was wrong. She told me that she had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. There were not words to express my sorrow and saddness. We hugged, went on, and she spent the next three years fighting for every minute she had with her family.

I will never forget Carol, her smile, her laugh, her voice in the choir. I truly believe God puts certain people in our lives to show us how to love and to be more like the person God created us to be. Carol is one of these people for me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Girlie Show was SUCCESSFUL

Friday night I volunteered and then attended the Girlie Show. It was awesome. I found numerous things to buy, but being a "good girl" I narrowed it down and bought my favorite....a robot clutch by RINK Frivolous Accessories.

There were several vendors that I LOVED....here are a few:
Curly Q Mosaics
Samantha Lamb
Robot Lizz
The HyperBunny

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My First Order and a New Hat

What a great week. I sold and filled my first big order. I did not realize how rewarding it would be not just to sell some items that I created from nothing, but to hear all of the positive feedback. Thank you to all of you who have visited my Etsy shop and left me such kind words.

I have also been enjoying the hat I knit for myself on vacation. I love it. It is hand dyed and hand spun yarn from Madelinetosh. I love her stuff. Check it out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Results from a Mom

November 5th is here and it seems like yesterday that I thought that this day would never get here.  We now know the next leader of our country.  I went in to tell my children goodnight one last time before I went to bed and it hit me.  We are in for a change.  I am not sure how that change will be received or how it will effect my family, but change is coming.  I hope the new leadership can serve as an example to my children of what it means to be compassionate and value life.  

It is strange to be a parent during such a big election.  My perspective has changed so drastically. I no longer take it for granted that things will just work themselves out.  I know how formative each year is for these little guys and now we have a new leader for the next four.  
Last night I watched CNN and ABC (national and local) coverage.  I also live blogged on Gather with a group led by Birdie.  That was so much fun.  A lot has changed since I used to vote in my elementary school. I voted for Regan.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Signs Around My Neighborhood

If you have pictures of signs around your neighborhood, leave the link in the comments!

For Whom to Vote?

I often am conflicted…..not necessarily for what candidate for whom to vote, but from whose perspective to vote. I used to believe that if everyone looked at the issues and voted for the candidate who most met their individual needs, we would have "the best candidate" for our country. Now, as a white middle class 30 year old stay at home mom living in middle America with a Master's degree and an equally educated, professional husband, things do not seem so black and white. Do I vote for the candidate who would be best for me or for my children? Is this the same candidate? Does it even matter?

I have also been raised in the Bible Belt and I have my Master's Degree in Religion. What role does my faith play? Do I vote for the candidate that most meets my needs or do I vote for the candidate that most meets the needs of my "neighbor"?

Here are a few things for which I am certain:
It does matter!
It is not black and white!
We are all children of God!
We are called by God to serve God's people.
It cannot be just about me and my children!

Best Laid Plans

I am sitting here at my first stop, The Red Cup. This is by far my favorite Coffee Shop in OKC, but today, of all days, it is not going well. The floor has been rotting in the bathrooms ever since I started to frequent this place and apparently they picked today to replace it. All I can hear is the sound of hammering and drilling.

To make matters worse their internet connection is down. I feel like I might as well be on Mars. No campaign talk or news. As soon as I scarf down my favorite, the #2, I am out of here…..skillet cookie and all.

Go Vote

Today is Election Day.  It almost feels like Christmas to me.  I love that so many people are thinking about the future of our children.  These are issues that plague my mind everyday.  It is a little discouraging, to me, that Oklahoma has been left off the list of swing states.....here is my crazy optimism speaking......but, I want to give a little credit to the people who live in the heart of Oklahoma who are working hard for a change that will impact the lives of my children and grandchildren.  I live just north of downtown OKC....my neighborhood is littered with campaign signs.  The good news is.....this year it is mixed Red and Blue.  

So, inspired by Birdie, I am planning to sit in a couple of coffee shops and live blog the thoughts and discussions taking place.  My hope is that some of my out of state readers will see that Oklahoma is in this election too.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Grand Opening -- Playdates Without Pigtails

I am excited to announce that I have opened an Etsy Shop.  This is something I have been dreaming of for quite a while.  I have always appreciated art, but never saw myself as all that creative.  Wow have things changed!  In the past 5 years I have been dealing with the illness of my mother and had two children.  I found myself looking inward and needing a vehicle to express myself outwardly.  It didn't hurt that I lived on the most creative street in OKC.  Erin is one of the founders of the Girlie Show, and the other Erin volunteers with OVAC, works with the annual 12X12 art show and teaches art classes at the Oklahoma City Art Museum.  JD is a wonderful photographer.  This was enough inspiration to even get me going.  

I have also been inspired by the Creative Mom Podcast.  Amy Cowen is a talented artist and also a mom to two little boys.  She motivated me to "do art" in a way that would enhance the lives of my children.  I love the CMP because it has a great community of people from across the country who share their work and encourage everyone else.  

I began this journey knitting.  I signed up for a knitting class and the rest is history.  Then, I was inspired by one of the Erin's to design birthday invitations for the boys that reflect their individuality.  Meanwhile I had been sketching.  At first my sketches were rough.....I hesitate to call them sketches or even doodles, but I kept going and before I knew it I was getting better. 

Last Christmas was emotionally challenging due to the side effects of my mother's illness, so I decided to do an experiment.  I made almost all of the gifts I gave.  This was the best thing I have ever done.  I got so much joy from coming up with the ideas and seeing them come to fruition.  It helped my knitting too.  (I knit four hours a night for about 6 weeks.)  The gifts turned out awesome and everyone loved them....even my sister's boyfriend who received a halfway finished gift.  

I turned the corner with my art this summer when I began designing a robot card for the oldest's birthday invitation.  I couldn't find a robot I liked  so I drew one.  I loved it.  

This began my dream of an Etsy shop, Playdates Without Pigtails, to share these items with others.  Right now I only have some paper goods.  All of the illustrations are original and digitally colored.  I hope to have some knitted items, fabric gifts, and original art.....that will all come.  I am very excited and I look forward to sharing this adventure with all of my readers.  

The name, Playdates Without Pigtails, came from the fact that I have two boys and two nephew's....I have since had a niece.  Anyway, it often seems that all of my friends have boys and there are rarely girls at our playdates.  I wanted a general name so I would not have to focus on just one thing.  What is important to me, is to create handmade items to share with all of our children with the hope that they will inspire the creativity that lies in all of us.   Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Missional Extreme Makeover

Rev. Edward Paup began as the new top executive of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries.  He officially started his new position September after serving as a Global Ministries director for the past four years.  

During the board's October annual meeting, Paup said, "we have the responsibility to work toward the kind of world where poverty can be eliminated."

Like other United Methodist agencies, the General Board of Global ministries will be guided by the denomination's four areas of ministry focus -- leadership development, church growth, global health and ministry with the poor -- over the next four years.

Making the most of "The Studio"

How I Roll
Originally uploaded by UpNAdam
One of the best things about moving to a new house is that I have a studio above the garage. I love it, but I have not been utilizing it like I thought I would. So, yesterday I got organized and I am LOVING it. It is awesome to spread out and I feel so productive.

Big Boy begs to come out here. That has not worked out.....for every minute he spends "doing art" I spend 10 cleaning up. I need to work on that.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Finley Ela

I am thrilled to announce the arrival of my first and only niece, Finley Ela.  She was born October 23rd at 7:13 am weighing 6 pounds 10 ounces and 20 inches long.  She is just adorable. Recognize the hat?  I am here to see she has only hand knit garments on that sweet head of hers.  Congratulations to her mom and dad!  We love you.  

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I love coming into town on Sunday's when I am here in Las Vegas.  It is so peaceful.  Almost everyone is with their family enjoying the day.  For some reason it just doesn't feel this way in OKC.  The hustle and bustle never ends.  Sundays are one of the busiest days of the week for us.  I love sitting here at the Spic and Span, drinking my coffee, and listening to the unforgettable voices of all the people.  Life seems simple.  

I am sure this says more about me and my crazy life than it does the locals.

Loving Las Vegas

We are finally here. Our annual family vacation in the mountains outside of Las Vegas, New Mexico. That is not to say it was easy, but we are here. The little guy was sick last week with some kind of stomach bug and surprise, surprise.....it followed us here via the big boy. This was only discovered after we spent one day in the car and the next in Santa Fe (our usualy OU/Texas venue). He was acting a little fussy on the way back to the cabin, but it was storming and hailing and he had limited sleep. On I-35 almost halfway back, we hear a noise followed by projectile YUCK...really it hit the windshield and everything and everyone in between. Lovely.

We made it back to the cabin, gave the boys a bath, fed them dinner and put them down. Just as I was about to sit down and pull out my knitting....the lights flickered.....then I hear the boys wail. The power was out. Did I mention that the highlight of our Santa Fe trip was not the yarn shop but Whole Foods where I spent quite a chunk of change on meat and produce. Now we have no power. The boys joined us in the portel and fell asleep while we ate in front of the fire place. We finally went to bed....all of us in the master bedroom......stomach flu and all. We slept in the dark until one of the children would wake up scared of the dark and then we would rush to turn on the one remaining flashlight we could find. Adam would get sick. We would clean everything up and then back to sleep for a couple of hours. Luckily, the power did come on along with every light in the cabin sometime in the middle of the night.

I will never have to worry if the boys will remember our family vacations. Stomach ailments and bad wiring tend to follow us wherever we go. It is just a matter of keeping them all straight.

The up side is that it is BEAUTIFUL here. Last year our lives brought us here in September. It was still warm, but we got to see the Ladybugs up on Johnson's Mesa. This year is the latest we have been here as a family. The aspen are beautiful. It is a little warm for me and a little overcast, but generally it is awesome. Here are a few teasers:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

FALLing for Oklahoma

What a great weekend! Friday afternoon we went out to the Parkhurst Pumpkin Patch in Arcadia. It was beautiful. It reminded me of time I spent out at the Frantz ranch growing up. It was open and flat and vast.....well, vast for a 8 year old. The weather in Oklahoma has been absolutely beautiful. It has been sunny and cool. Some years we don't get much more than one or two cool days before the blustering winter takes over. This year is a treasure. It looks like we may have a few more good weeks. Oklahoma is known for going from 100's to 50's in a matter of days. The boys got to run around and play on the hay bales.

We got lost in the corn maze....there should really be a warning sign for mothers with young children who decide to do the maze alone.
As evening approached....a little early I might add, we headed down the road to meet up with some friends at Pops. It was perfect. We sat outside so the kids could run around and we enjoyed our burgers. Of course, I had a diet coke....I know, 300 to choose from and I get the Diet
Coke, but it was good. Adam had his first pop....Grape Soda.
The next morning we woke up bright and early do do the Race for a Cure. More awesome weather and it was so much fun to see the entire city come out for such a great cause. Our family raised over $150.

We had brunch at the Skirvin Hotel. Also great and the boys did so well.

Finally, we headed out to the Head of the Oklahoma, the OCU Regatta.

What a great weekend!

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's Hard to Believe

Last night I went to my oldest son's first school Open House. The whole family attended.....mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, and even little brother. We walked in to a lot of overwhelmed three year olds, but my son held his head high and took us to the "pool," an area where he had been telling me he napped. When I looked around, I realized why he was drawn to this spot.....it was the reading area. He has always loved books.

Next, we did a scavenger hunt that led us through all of the things he has been learning. I was very impressed. He showed me the life cycle of a catepillar, some yoga poses, sign language, and how he could find specific letters and count. I was most impressed when he took me over to a book and read it to me...with a little help. I almost cried. The idea that he can read at all and some day will be able to enjoy the written word as much as I do. It was amazing.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pretty in Pink

In just a few short weeks I will have two sweet boys, two nephews and a brand new NEICE.  Can you tell I am excited?  I can't wait.  I am not really a "girly girl", but let's face it...I grew up in a house of girls and it is just what I know.  My sweet sister in law is due November 5th, but I think she will be here on the first.  Last weekend we had a baby shower.  These are a couple of the gifts I was so excited to give the little sweetie.  The dress was my great grandmother Mary's.  We found several as we were going through my parent's house in preparation to sell.  This was one of my favorites.  I love the lace and ruffles and, of course, the eyelet flowers.  I think it is precious.  I framed it with Pink Polka Dots to match the nursery.  

I also made a few little knitted items.  The coordinating hat and booties are made from baby alpaca.  They turned out so sweet.  I also mad the little pink hat as one of many for her tiny little head.  
The only thing that even comes close to as wonderful as having two precious boys is having a NEICE.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Let the Countdown Begin

I am excited to announce that my inconsistent blogging is not in vain.  I have been spending every available minute working on a new project.  Yes, there is another one.  I was a crazy work-a-holic before kids....so, I figure why not do that as a SAHM.  I have had this dream since I had the boys that someday I would contribute to the wonderful handmade art and craft that I have found so refreshing.  I have spent hours looking at blogs and Etsy looking for handmade items to surround my children in with the idea that the less commercial the better.  

I was first inspired by a friend that threw the most wonderful birthday parties for her boys.  From the invitation to the thank you notes and everything in between, you could see the personality of the individual child and the family that loved him.  I began this tradition with my boys and......well...the rest is history.  The more I created, the more inspired I became.  One thing led to another and now we are collaborating to open an Etsy Shop.  Playdates Without Pigtails will be open in one month, November 1st.  We plan to use this venue as a way to share our little inspirations (4 boys between us) and encourage others to think creative and unique when mailing out cards, invitations, announcements, gifts, and much more.  

I look forward to sharing this shop with all of my readers.   

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Oklahoma Live

I have a confession to make. I am a little ashamed to say this, but I went to the State Fair. I have to say I have watched Martha Stewart enough to say that I fantasize about going to the Fair. People gathered from all over the state to celebrate each others craft, livestock, produce, and even eccentricities. But, for some reason when I go to the fair all I see are the machine made stuffed animals. You too can win these commercial goodies if you spend upwards of $100 on a pop the balloon game. Then you get to the fried everything booths.....yuck! Finally, still looking for the City Arts Building I pass the vendors that sell the T-Shirts and car decals that I always wondered where one would buy such a thing. By now I feel like a total elitist and my interest in all things handmade and home grown is slipping away with the smell of the stale beer at 10:00 in the morning. Not to mention as sure as the sun comes up each morning when the Fair moves into Oklahoma, so does the rain and this day the weather did not disappoint.
Nevertheless, I finally found what I was looking for and stayed long enough to forget the adventure getting there. First I checked out the children and hobby artists exhibition in the City Arts Building. It was really wonderful. I was inspired not just by the wonderful art, but the teachers who inspired many of these young artists. I loved the variety of mediums and the simplicity of many of the pieces.

Next, I headed over to find the fiber goods. I was a little disappointed to find them behind glass, but there were some wonderful pieces. My favorite was this little girl set. There were many pieces that reminded me of pieces my grandmother had around her house growing up. I loved it. Then I found some hand dyed yarn....also lovely. I never found any hand spun although I think some of the hand dyed was also hand spun. Finally, I checked out the canned goods. I did not know you could can such a variety of food. All in all a pretty good day to the trip. Unfortunately as I walked out among the "eccentricities" I quickly forgot the beauty of the handmade. Luckily I took pictures.