January 21, 2010

Ethiopian Boy Talking to Friends over Skype

I thought this video was so cute. Holt referred to it in an email about how important it is to keep contact with orphanage friends. Especially older children.


I love hearing him talk in Amharic and how he is so excited to talk to his friend. You can hear him say, "America... America" and it's just too cute.

January 17, 2010

Can I Shave?

It's one of the funniest questions around here lately. Right before bedtime the request comes, "Mom, can I shave?" I have to think twice about what he is asking because it's so funny to hear.

Landon got this shaving kit for Christmas and it is still a hit!

So serious about it too...

So proud...

Like the wallpaper in the kids bathroom? Yeah, that's a project in the waiting.

January 16, 2010

Craft Hope Does More Good - for Haiti

Craft Hope, which I wrote about here, is at it again. This time they have created an Etsy shop and will donate all proceeds to Doctors Without Borders to benefit their relief effort in Haiti.

All items have been donated by crafters in the blogging community. There are some beautiful items and I think I may just go purchase something. I am particular to this item to store some crafting supplies for Etame. But the price is just out of my reach. Good idea though.

adorable decoupaged suitcase by Pixiegenne

I am so saddened by all that I am seeing in the news about Haiti. I know many adoptive parents are waiting to pick up their children from orphanages and are wondering if they are okay or even alive. It's beyond words to think of what is happening there right now.

Visit it here >> Craft Hope Etsy Shop.

Christmas Videos!

I switched back to the old editor of Blogger and for some reason the "add video" button was there. Anyhow, here are the videos from Christmas morning.

This is one where Etame and I were waiting for the boys to wake up already:

Here is Landon flying around excited to see if Santa came:

We had such a good time relaxing and reading and enjoying our gifts.

January 15, 2010

Christmas Videos - attempt

I wanted to post a couple Christmas videos but now I can't remember how to do it.  Ugh.  My brain is getting tired from Calvin being gone for 2 weeks!

Anyone know how to post videos in Blogger?  Thanks!

January 14, 2010


I just bought my first Groupon!  A wine tasting and fondue package at a local winery.

I heard about Groupon from a national news story a few months ago.  Basically, they package deals and then sell them at a group rate.  They have a daily deal in certain areas.  Everything from bus tours to car washes to local restaurants.  Kind of fun and interesting to do something new and this may be just the way to do it.

Go see if there are any in your area - Groupon.com

January 7, 2010

Craft Hope

This is one of my favorite blogs, as of late:  Craft Hope - Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time.

Every couple months they choose a project such as sock monkeys and a organization such as an orphanage in India, and they ask crafters all over the world to send in their own creation with a note attached.  Then they ship all of the items to the location (or hand deliver them if local) and post pictures of the children receiving all the love from people like you and me.  Their next project is to make red scarves for The Orphan Foundation of America's Red Scarf Project.  If I enjoyed knitting or had time, I would make one.  I would rather sew some of the projects I have lined up though.  Maybe next project!

I love that they do good through their crafting, sending packages of hundred of dolls, dresses, scarves, and more all around the world.  What a great idea!  It does remind me of our project for making 100 sundresses for the Holt Children's Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which I delivered.  They cried when they received them all and it felt good, so so good.  Thank you to everyone who helped with that by the way!  It was a massive project.  Here is a picture - they covered our 5x7 kitchen table!

January 4, 2010

Chair Mini-Makeover

Remember this chair from my "before" picture of our family room?  We have had these chairs for over 3 years and I bought them with the intention of recovering them.  I paid $150 for the two identical wing back chairs on Craigslist shortly after we moved to Baltimore.  Then I didn't do anything with them. Recovering is expensive, and although I could attempt it myself, it looks pretty difficult on these.

So instead I recovered the seat cushions.  I had purchased a lovely creamy yellow over Thanksgiving at my favorite fabric store, A Fabric Place, when my mom was here.  I finally got around to making them yesterday and finished them today!

Here is the after shot:

Here is a close-up:

Thrilling, right?   I think so!  Even though it's not a permanent solution, I do feel good that I reused the zippers from the old cushions and the foam/batting too after bleaching and washing them very well.  I'm inspired lately by a book my mom Santa sent for Christmas, A Handmade Home, that encourages reusing items already in your home.  It's a great book - one of those that you could look through again and again and again and find ideas.  That is my favorite type of gift.

January 1, 2010

Birthday Present and Travel Gift

I have been working on two projects this week.  The first is a long-overdue birthday present for my good friend Cecile.  A summer tunic from this book, that has an Anthropologie feel to it (one of my favorite stores).

I bought this fabric at a flea market in PA when we moved to Maryland.  It is very good quality and washed so well that it didn''t even need ironing, and it is 100% cotton.  The button is also vintage, one of many that I purchased from a friend in book club at the Locust Point yard sale a couple years ago.

I love this shirt and can't wait to give it to Cecile.

The second project that I quickly whipped up this morning was a case for Calvin's new Kindle, a birthday present I got him.  He wanted something to keep his new toy from getting scratched and I offered to make a case for him.  Surprisingly, he agreed.  So I made a flannel-lined envelope with button closure...

The flannel has different manly drinks pictured all over, such as this - "Scotch - on the rocks".  I found it humurous and manly at the same time.  I purchased this fabric at Knittin' Kitten, a vintage fabrics store in Portland, OR, which is a regular stop of mine when I visit.

The button is a special find all the way from Ethiopia which has special meaning to us.  It is from an old army uniform, as the person at the little shop told us.

Now onto more projects - cushions for the wing-back chairs!