Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving You the Bird...

And the winner is (drumroll please)....

Entry #5 - Crystal

I will contact you soon with details, color preferences, etc.!

Congratulations on "getting the bird"!
Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter...

Keep spreading the word - you never know when I'll throw another one of these up for grabs!

(Number randomly selected by generator at

Friday, November 19, 2010

The more I am in a mainstream environment the more I want to retreat back to my little cabin in the woods. Retreat may be too passive - run like heck is likely more appropriate. And Pensacola has not failed me yet, it has me wanting to lace up my running shoes.

This is what I saw as I was driving to my gran's house the other day, complete with a photo of beautifully sculpted (and airbrushed I'm sure) abs of a presumed "mommy":

I almost forgot to go when the light turned green.

I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, be disgusted, confused, angry, sad, judgmental, self conscious... and the list goes on.

I didn't know whether to feel these things for the "mommies" who are lured into the web, the doctors who profit from the self-concious, the marketing team who thought this was a good idea, or the society that has blasted the messages that superficial flaws are unacceptable and imperfect.

So I did a little research on the website of this fine institution offering this beauty by botulism. These are the first words in their attempt to win you over:
"Children add limitless joy to a woman’s life, and there’s not much a mother wouldn’t sacrifice for the sake of her children. But not all sacrifices are truly necessary."

So if this is the accepted truth, that mama's would do anything for their babes because the little ones provide more pure and constant joy than one could imagine, remind me again why I need to butcher my belongings - the only thing that is truly mine?

I am not opposed to one taking care of themselves, desiring to have their pre-baby figure back - obviously - but then there are some things that are just absurd. In a country that is supposedly recessing and struggling, it sure does seem that these sorts of options are more and more widely available and even sadder, accepted. And ever sadder, utilized. If you want your shape back, get your butt in the gym, hire a personal trainer, play with your kids, go outside, take a hike, ride a bike, eat better, choose a healthier lifestyle...

But alas, why put forth the effort when there's the instant gratification of a little slit here, tuck there, and voila! good as new...

It's called labor because it's painful and it's work. And I am proud of my battle wounds. When I work just as hard to get my body back as I did those ten months and one day, I'll be just as proud as my new battle marks.

And if my baby brings me endless joy - what else matters?

And I, too, will sacrifice almost everything for my son - but I think I'll hold on to my dignity, thanks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Handgrown Goodness


I am a little late in the game discovering this year's hullabaloo about a growing movement for handmade goodness for the holidays, but I have to say, it's about time, folks! Welcome to the eternally joyful world of gifts of labor and love.

We (the Bowens and Fords) have been doing something similar the past few years for Christmas exchanges - local products from your respective local markets - and a lot of times, but not always, these items lend themselves to handmade goodness ranging from produce to music to state flags. And we (C & me) have loved every single gift we have received and given.

Here are a few other folks who think this is a trend worth trying, not like the "wear faux fur with a military jacket" (or something like that) that will be over next week (we handmakers hope, anyway - and even if the trend dwindles, we will still be making and giving - so there):
  • Love, Lizzie - mostly kid-minded but she could make anything, I tell ya: skirts, capes, soft toys, bags, etc.
  • Plain and Joyful Living - simple family abundantly gifted in handworks.
  • Sew Liberated - great ideas and patterns for little ones and around-the-house items - and she talks about her cute kids, too
  • Made by Rae - Big Butt Baby Pants - enough said. - and she's putting together a "Celebrate the Boy" month in February
Check these folks out for ideas and items to buy. The second link has a remarkable list of folks participating in Handmade Holiday 2010.

I won't launch into a shpiel atop my soap box of why you should, why it's better, who it's good for, I will simply say this:
  • Value is not just monetary.
  • Mother Earth will rejoice in singing.
  • Life lessons gently implied.
  • Gifts that keep on giving.
  • Usable and/or consumable.
  • Gentler eco-footprint.
  • Local economy.
The end. Preaching over.

If you want to talk about any of the above topics in more detail, I'd be glad to indulge.

Felt So Good

In the midst of Christmas crafting my fanny off, I visited Living Felt in preparation to resupply my stock very soon (hint on gifts - still act surprised - thanks) and lo and behold I found something that makes me want to dance. I went to the "Testimonials" tab and found this:

Thank you !!

...first project: a sweet bird mobile for a new baby... I got myself to Joann's as hurriedly as I could and nearly fell out at how expensive a quarter of an ounce of roving was going to cost, and I needed a lot more than that. I was a bit discouraged that my new hobby was over before it began because I couldn't afford it. Sad day in the life of a stay-at-home-crafting-to-keep-sane-because-I-live-in-the-woods-and-camp-is-starting-mama. And now I wouldn't be able to make my mobile.

I pulled myself out of that close call with defeat and went home to do some more research online...And that's when I found these fine folks, Living Felt. I quickly and easily found what I wanted and needed to get started at extremely fair prices. I spent about $30 and got a lot of variety of wool and colors...where at J's it would have cost me almost three times that for the same amount.

Not to mention my order was shipped that same day with a sweet hand-written note from the company.

then, just today, I got an email from them checking in to make sure I am enjoying my order and lending their assistance if I have any questions. They are good people, making sure they provide folks with the best product from humane practices... I will definitely continue to order from them...

Holy Guacamole! I am so stinking honored! Not only published in craft but in word as well - and a link to the blog to boot (maybe I should pick up the pace around here)... I am very encouraged.

And because all of this crazy excitement, I am going to give away some felting goodness. Yes, that's right, tell all of your friends. If a little one (or one to be) in your life needs to have a custom-color "Tweet Dreams" mobile hanging about their nursery, leave a comment here (one per day) and I will draw one week from today - so next Tuesday (11/23). Your mobile will be handcrafted and sent to you after the Thanksgiving holidays.

Spread the word. Get the bird.

Oh, you can also boost your possibilities if you get your friends to comment FOR you - just ask them to leave your name in the comment.

Thanks to Living Felt for proudly displaying my very first project, that now adorns my sweet new cousin's nursery.

If you aren't giving handmade for Christmas this year, think about it. Handmade or local - it's the new black. (More on that later...)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cabin Fever

Here at Casa de Ford we get a little something called Cabin Fever.

It's highly contagious with symptoms of cranky pants, fussy faces, and pains in your - well, everywhere.

The cure?

Get the heck out of dodge before the steam bellows out of your ears.

And so we did just that yesterday. Most folks will likely scratch their heads at the thought that we ventured off of camp property to have some outside peace, but your backyard is your backyard - sometimes you need to hop
the fence. We hopped about two miles down the road to the little playground at the Methodist Church - but made sure we vacated before they made us stay for Wednesday night church.

We weren't sure how Noah would like or interact with the play things considering he's just now taking steps on his own, but I'll let you decide:
In the spirit of Abigail: "Nunnels!"
The BIG slide with daddy...
Look, mama is on the slide and in front of the camera...
And for obvious reasons, this one is my favorite.
So the park - it's good for our feverish souls. I just hope winter holds off a little longer - like until next December.

Double Down

Yes, please. I'll have two of those.Pacis, I mean.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

::beep beep beep beep beeeeeeep::

This just in: We have a walker.
Hold on to your hats, drinks, snacks, daughters,
and anything else in a 2ft tall grabbing radius.

Alright, kid. You've proven your point.
You're big, growing, turning into a kid before out very eyes.
Now quit it. Let my heart catch up with the fleeting moments.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ship(ping) Happens

Let me just start with this little insight into my simpleton ways: The joy I get when I open my inbox to find a "Your order has shipped" subject line that wasn't there before makes me want to jump on the desk and do a little song and dance. Most of the time even more so than those "fwd:fwd:fwd My BFF says this really works, send it to 6,347,774 people and your dreams will come true and you can follow/like them on facebook and win $5,465..."

Ridiculous, I am aware.

And because I am a giving person, I would like to give the opportunity for others to share in my joy, only they aren't being shipped to you, just me. I am very giving like that:

"produced locally" clothing labels
courtesy of Miss Label

Theoretically, they can be shipped to you - just buy something from my shop (more things are being added bit by bit) - and you will find one in your handmade goodie. Or have a cute kid/be pregnant and I will likely make them something - I am a softy for baby bumps and cute babes.

Some folks may think this is a little bit of putting the cart before the horse, considering my shop is slow going and my stuff isn't exactly flying off the shelf, so to speak.

A girl can dream - and be legal.

It was brought to my attention by my fellow sewing mama,
Liz, that the government frowns upon sketchy children's clothing/items - go figure - so they made some rules. One of them is that your items that you sell must possess the company name, place it was made, and when - along with the consumer must be provided with the material and a batch number in the packaging. This is all to protect the buyer as well as the seller - translated: label your junk so you don't get sued for faulty materials and such.

Thanks, China.

So my labels are coming! Woo hoo! It will take me a while to go through these, but I am hoping that before the Farmer's Market starts up again, I can come up with a fun logo and print some more. But for now, these will put a large pep in my step. And I may just dance on the desk (or whatever tall surface is around - counter, changing table, couch) when Chris brings them to me in the mail.


I don't like goodbyes. Frankly, they stink.
But if this was the routine I got every time I had to participate, well, I might leave more often:

Sorry for the fuzziness,
a moving target is a tough specimen.
Let me narrate, from top left to bottom right:
  1. This is the chasing face - him chasing you, you chasing him, him chasing his shadow. This one in particular was Chris chasing him to tell him bye-bye this morning - though we see it morning, noon, and night. And I love it. I mean, who wouldn't?
  2. Blowing kisses - despite the grimace - it's a kiss. Complete with the tiny smacking noise.
  3. (and 4) Bye-Bye! See his little mouth, he's saying it, too! So funny.
Most times when Chris leaves Noah will stand at the screen door once he's realized he's gone and say "dah-dee buh-bye" over and over again. Makes my heart fill with pride and googly-goop. You know the stuff.

Come see us - you might just get this song and dance. And if you don't, well, you'll just have to come back.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Penny-Four

Some days I wish I could lock myself in a room with endless amounts of fabric and sewing notions and craft until my fingers are numb - but alas, there are other things that consume my time like dishes, laundry, diapers,playing outside, teaching, debating politics and why I don't vote, and the two-and-a-smidge foot tall fella who has me in the palm of his little hand. (Happy Voting Day to all of you responsible, patriotic Americans - my mother would be proud of you.) Every now and again I do get to zone out and create things for people I do or don't know, and here is what I've just completed:

The Penny-Four
(This will be it's name until the first little girl wears it,
then it will be named for her.)

I love it. Absolutely adore it. If it were my size, I would wear it today, but I think 4T is a little small. It's a bit hard to tell from the photo, but this is not a dress - it's smock-like and ties in the back, perfect to wear over a t-shirt and jeans in the cool weather and maybe just a pair of shorts in the warm weather. I believe multi-season pieces are a ideal for little ones - they grow so fast and kids clothes can be expensive, so let's make them last more than a couple of months.

I wish I had a little person to try this on, but I don't think Chris would be too keen on playing dress up with Noah. Maybe I will have to try when he's not looking...

I will be posting this one for sale on Etsy this afternoon - but if you or someone you know might like to have this one, let me know. I will be putting more together (different fabs) in the next week or so.

And a random thought to ponder: In order for things to change, they must stay the same for a while.