Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just a busy Momma!

Finally, after waiting all winter, the weather has turned nice!  Which means we are outdoors alot!  There are many beautiful parks and walks right here in the city.  To say nothing of little fairy tale houses you may stumble upon!

Here is a photo from a slightly hazy day - but you can see that the city is ringed with mountains.  I have heard that there are many trails out there that are just waiting for us to discover.  Soon - we will pack a picnic and make a day of it.

Last week we were given tickets for a small circus in town - so we went.  My son had never been to a circus before and we made it almost all the way through.  He is VERY sensitive to noise and I didn't have any of those yellow ear plug things with me.  We ended up moving our seats all the way up on to the back bleachers to get away from the speakers and that was tolerable.  His favorite things - the clowns and horses.  But really, he is happiest outside. 
It is school vacation week here and my DH and I got him a pair of roller blades.  After just 4 days on skates, he is doing really well!  The wrist guards are a bit scratched up, but that is what they are for!

We go to the park every day.  When you live in the city you can't just tell your child to go play outside.  You must bring them to the park!  Sometimes we go 2X a day.  Today we were there for 4 hours.  I am so happy that we got the skates because he really loves going up and the walkways!  He is getting good at manuevering the city sidewalks and even wore them when we popped into the grocery store today.  After vacation he will probably skate to school - it is a 20 minute walk so that will give him good practice.
Sewing wise - I made up this top (Simplicity 2415).  I am very annoyed because it looks nothing at all like the pattern photo.  Look at that ease!  Look at those sleeves!  So, I've taken it apart and will re-draft it and re-sew it.  The fabric is left-over from my homespun ocean waves quilt!  Here's what it looked like before I took my seam ripper to it.

And this is what it was supposed to look like (the SHORT sleeved version!):
I've also made a tank top and a gored skirt - have to take photos though.  And, I am making myself a pair of pants - I basted them and tried them on a few days ago and they are perfect! I am over the moon happy with them - just have to get interfacing and the zipper so I can do the zip and waistband.  The pattern is from a German magazine called Moden Diana - I am so happy I was able to figure it out without being able to read the German instructions!  I don't think I will ever buy a pair of pants again, honest.  I hemmed some pants for my husband, but after seeing my pair he wants me to try to make him a pair too.  And my son needs at least 3 pairs of summer pants too, so I guess I will be busy in the pants department for a bit.
Which reminds me - I pre-washed this fabric in February... I ALWAYS pre-wash my fabric.  Usually it doesn't bleed and I wonder why I bother... but every once in awhile I get a bleeder.  This one wins a prize for bleeding!  A little vinegar in the water helps.

So - we are all doing fine - just really busy!  All that fresh air makes me tired.  Plus the birds are very excited that it is spring and they make a racket at 4 am.  4 am!  Really!  So - I am usually up at 5 am having my tea, which means I go to bed earlier - and that is usually when I try to update my blog.  Not only that - the last few times I've tried to update, Blogger wouldn't let me add any photos.  And what fun is a photo-less blog?  Even if it just a bathtub full of blue water!  LOL!

Signing off for now... but I will be back with more updates.... soon, hopefully!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quick March Update

My Ocean Waves is coming along - I am now up to adding the plain borders and then the pieced borders.  All the fabrics are homespun - yikes!  Lots of stretchy triangles but I am in the homestretch now.
I figured out a German sewing pattern!  Yes, I did.  It is from a pattern magazine called Moden Diana.  Now, I don't know if I "followed" the directions because I couldn't understand them - but I think the dress turned out pretty good!  It actually took me longer to find all the supplies to trace the pattern (I needed a pronged wheelie-thingy and I use gift wrap for paper).  Here is a photo before I put the final hem in - it is now hemmed and I fixed that the back was slightly longer than the front.  I tried the dress on to check the hem and then my son and I were playing with the self-timer.  I love this photo of us - look how much he is growing!!!

Here is a little line-diagram of the dress so you can see the details.  I did top-stitch all the seams - especially where the skirt joins the bodice to help hold it all down.  I am getting ready for warmer weather!
I've gone with my son's class 2X for iceskating lessons.  There are no school buses here so that involves walking 20 kids down the busy city sidewalks and waiting for the tram - getting them all on and off the tram, etc.  The kids had alot of fun, but it was very hard on me being outside for so long - my lungs are still very sensive to cold air.  Here they are (about 1/2 the group) - lined up for some sort of relay thing.
The kids all have rigid backpack/bookbags which are much different than the backpacks the kids use in North America.  But the bags are bulky, especially on the crowded trams, so the kids also have very small snack backpacks or messenger bags for class outings.  Oh, how my son really wanted this red plaid messenger bag featuring Felix the Bunny.  So, this is his snack bag now.  Just the right size for a few snacks and his water bottle.  He has younger cousins we can pass it on down to when he outgrows the theme, but right now he is pleased as punch with this bag!

They didn't go this week because all week at school they had a special study of Africa and Friday they put on a concert/show for the parents.  Lots of bongo drumming!  My son really enjoyed the week which included food, dancing, singing and decorating t-shirts with wood blocks, plus all the stuff they learned.  I thought it was a nice change of pace for the kids mid-winter.
We have also been to the opera house to see a special program that was being put on for children.  We got a tour of opera house which was more like a 45 minute lecture and all the kids really had to suffer through it after losing interest in about 15 minutes.  But, we did see some interesting stuff back-stage.  The show we saw was 80 Days Around the World, which was good, but again - a bit long for the kids.  All in all though it was a nice activity for a cold Saturday.  I will have to go back another day to take photos of the outside, but here is a photo of the inside that I took during the tour.

So, I am trying to stay busy - but let me tell you - I am tired of winter!  We had ONE nice day and I got all excited and washed up the winter coats and gear and had my DH carry the boots down to our storage area in the basement - and don't you know - it turned cold and snowed alot a few days later.  The nerve!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Stone Church in Thal

Those horses want the carrot - but there is an electrical fence there that they don't want to touch!  Meet Rio (he is on the right).  This is a cousin's new horse and on Sunday we went outside the city (Thal, a little town just outisde of Graz) and got to meet him.  I found out that there is a bus that goes directly from downtown Graz out to a lake with walking trails in Thal, so I expect a return visit with a picnic some weekend when the weather is nicer.  We also enjoyed a very nice family dinner out - at a very traditional Austrian food restaurant.  I always order food that I can split with my son so we had frittan soup (crepes cut very thin in broth) and weinerschnitzel with rice.  My DH and I split the salad which was huge and fileld with things like potato salad, sauerkrat with fennel seeds, cucumbers, tomatoes, shredded carrots, large beans similar to kidney beans all topped with salad.  For dessert I had icecream with hazelnut "speghetti" and chocolate sauce.  I am going to have to learn how to make that "speghetti" because it was a very interesting dessert garnish!
There is a very interesting church out there...
Right away, from the outside you know it is something unique!  Take a closer look...
The outside is decorated with lots of stone mosiacs.  And so is the inside!
Have you ever seen stone pews?  Neither have I - so here are some photos.
Even the floors are all stones.  And the back of the pews too.
All in all, it was a nice day!  I am sure we will go visit Rio again someday.  There are many horses at this stable so who knows - we might even go riding.  I learned something new about my DH from my sister-in-law  - he used to be an excellent rider when he was younger and had riding clothes to die for.  Hummm.  Who would have guessed?  Maybe the horses - they seem to have knowing eyes!