Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lighten up world....Really!

This morning on the Today Show, there was a clip about the uproar over this Sesame Street clip, set to debut this week on the new season of the decades old kids' show:

Parents across the country came out in protest of this clip, stating it was "inappropriate", "seductive", and "provocative", and demanding the clip be pulled off the show. I watched the clip this morning. Seriously????? Katy Perry is a controversial mega-star right now. Her upbeat music does have provocative lyrics...I've found myself on more than one occasion belting out the lyrics in the car to one of her songs, catching myself when I realize what I'm singing about. But in this case, she's tuned it way down, changing up the words to be completely innocent. She's obviously dressing up, she admits it. Yes, a little cleavage is showing. But have you walked down the street lately? Preschool teachers dress more provocatively than this.

As a longtime fan of Sesame Street, I've watched them struggle in recent years to keep up with more enticing programming like Dora, Diego, Imagination Movers, and the like. Grant has never been a big fan of Sesame Street - it's not exciting enough for him. I've tried endless tactics to get him to watch the show, to no avail. However, he's a huge fan of Katy Perry (censored, of course), and knows some of her songs by heart. Putting more clips like this on the show would most certainly garnish his viewing vote. For pete's's a kids show. And 3–5 year olds will most certainly not get the wrong impression watching this. Lighten up world!!!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Creating...A Balance

This is how I have been feeling lately. Too many balls in the air, and my feet starting to slip. I have many commitments and responsibilities, all of which add value to life. But, finding a balance where I don't feel overwhelmed is a challenge.

This past weekend, Steve was away on his annual guys golf trip. I decided that it was time for me to "get away" as well. Three kids made it tough to actually get away...but I put all my "to dos" aside, and decided to spend the weekend doing something I love.

My good friend Kayla came for the weekend, along with her daughter Cassidy (Olivia's best bud since birth). She brought her sewing machine and some unfinished projects. For almost 48 hours straight, we holed up in my project room and stitched away.

My goal was to use up some of the fabric that has been sitting in my closet for far too long. I finished a few projects, and started several more.

I finished 4 baby blankets. I have three more cut and ready to sew.

This cutey was an afterthought. Kayla made one, had some leftover fabric, and offered to share. I finished it and it's now sitting on my dining room table, ready for the rest of the Halloween decorations to come out!

I cut out and started 8 fall place mats.

I pieced 12 Christmas place mats. Now they need to be quilted and bound.

We came across a cool cutting technique online, and I just had to give it a try. The result? A holiday table runner that now needs to be quilted and bound.

When she left Sunday afternoon, we challenged each other to finish this weekend's projects by October 16 -that's 4 weeks away. We each have roughly 28 things left to finish, so it should be doable if we spend just an hour a day. We promised a nightly check in, and are holding each other accountable for this goal.

When I woke up this morning, I felt renewed. Also, a little exhausted...but I attribute that to staying up past midnight 3 nights in a row. But mostly, I felt ready to tackle my day and face my "list" head on.

Commitments are a part of life. Some of us have a few, some of us have too many. But finding a balance between responsibilities and the fun stuff is important. Hobbies and personal interests not only build our skills and talents, but they also provide a much needed respite from the busyness of every day life. Looking at this pile of projects that I need to finish in the next month is a little overwhelming...but it also motivates me to set some time aside each day to let my creativity emerge and evolve. And that is pretty exciting!

Stay tuned for the progress updates!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Taking shape

The last several months have been filled with the chaos that surrounds moving. LOTS of home improvement projects, both inside and out. While our house is only 10 years old, very little was done to maintain it during those 10 years—which translates into a whole lot of weekends for us spent working on it!

We've (well, actually Steve, but that rhymes with we've) tackled many of the essentials, like getting sprinklers back working, fixing water leaks, and other necessary repairs. Now we're on to the cosmetic projects, like patching holes in the walls, painting, etc. It can be overwhelming, but we really are trying to take it one step at a time.

Over the weekend, Steve decided to take a shot at reshaping the topiaries in our front yard. We knew they were there, but they really had no distinct shape and it was hard to know what they were originally intended to be.

Steve got out his electric saw/trimmer thing and went to work on the big one at first. Keep in mind, he's had no formal artistic training in topiary shaping.

Before long, there was a pile of trimmings on the ground, and this friend gracing our front yard:

The littler one was a bit more challenging to identify. At first, we thought it was a rabbit.

But as Steve worked on it, and worked on it, and worked on it some more, he found this:

The baby deer is a bit bare right now, it will take some time and work to get him filled in and plumped up a bit.

Now if we could just find a way to keep the REAL deer from eating all the bushes in the front yard, we'd really be in business!