Monkey Business

Last night I found some embroidery I had made and decided to sew up a little dress. Maybe it is because I don’t have a daughter, but in any case, this morning my older son, Emil, quickly seized the dress for his brother’s stuffed monkey (maybe it is because he doesn’t have a little sister he can torture instead). He looked so cute but I am sure he will hate me when he is a teenager for sharing this photo. I wish I could share another recent photo I snapped of Emil in the little boys room and Esben sitting by the door while they play cards. He usually just stands outside holding his nose while they continue talking incessantly - when they are together they never seem to run out of things to talk about. In fact Tim and I are lucky if we can get a word in around the dinner table ...

Art Class

On Sunday’s I teach an art class to Emil, Esben and three of my friends’ kids, Karina, Rachel and Lauren. There is a big age span from 5-12 years, so finding suitable assignments isn’t always easy. The older kids are able to learn a bit of technique, while I want the younger kids to just draw or paint whatever they are inspired to do. Last week we made sculptures from aluminum foil, a great way to get them into sculpting without all the mess of clay – and with five kids and a distracted art teacher that has to be a consideration. While the kids get into it, we mommies sit around and commiserate to a glass of wine. We are all European women married to Taiwanese men. We would probably commiserate even if we were married to European men … Tim wisely goes and spends time with his second wife, his computer:-)

Watercolor Paper

I have set up my painting studio in the brightest corner of our home with linen curtains filtering the light. A little while back I was in a real bind because I could not find the paper I use for watercolor painting anywhere here.

I use Windsor & Newton Hot Press, 300 lb sheets, because the ultra fine smooth surface is best suited for scanning the images I use in the flash animated ecards. Tim frantically called a long list of stores, but each store said the distributor had stopped carrying the paper. Finally he convinced an employee at the distributor to go and dig around in the stock room. Low and behold he found 200 sheets! Yeah, we bought it all, and stuffed it under our bed. I would have been better to have all the money we paid for it stuffed into the mattress, but hey, at least the paper should last a few years I hope …

I refuse to be practical

Yesterday I finally got around to sewing an apron (after ruining several shirts while cooking). I admit it turned out slightly fanciful – Tim’s exact words were "myyyyy, it is sooooo girly", but hey, who says aprons have to be purely practical – with this apron I might actually get in the right mood to cook more often and look pretty darn cute doing it :) Since I didn’t have a pattern available I just started with a two square pieces of fabric, that were stitched together to make the front and back of the apron. I then rutched the top hem and the waist to give the apron some shape.

The result is a fully reversible apron - hey that IS practical come to think of it - the other side being made entirely from the blue fabric used for the contrasting edges and strings on the "front" of the apron. Tim took some snaps as the sun was quickly setting this evening – the pictures don’t reveal how hot and humid it actually was.

I had used the same blue fabric a little while back to make a hem for our mosquito net and had a little left for use on the apron. After we bought our poster bed, I realized it was impossible to find a net that was the right size, so I made one from silk chiffon. But the chiffon is so light that without a heavier weight hem, it flutters too easily with every tiny breeze.

While the net might be purely cosmetic in some places, here it is a must. So now we can lie in our little cocoon, looking at the world veiled in silk chiffon and imagine the university right next door did not start building a huge ugly monster of a concrete building, obscuring the beautiful view of the cow farm we originally had from our balcony. The alternative was that the city would seize the land using eminent domain to build a highway. We are very happy we merely have to put up with a little temporary construction for the building instead. On weekends the kids still come into our bed, not so much for a cuddle anymore as they are too busy reading comics.

I am FINALLY blogging

I have been meaning to write this blog for a really long time, but I guess there is no time like the present!

After some back and forth experimentation and almost two days of work I have settled on a new look for the homepage of the site. I wanted to update the information and the look, make it slightly more compact, without altering it so much that our members might not recognize it. I haven’t decided which of these last two options I like best, but I guess you will find out soon, because Tim wants it ready pronto.

I am in a creative phase (read: driving my husband crazy, making a creative mess, forgetting to eat and pretty much being unable to fall asleep at night because I am still not finished with whatever project I started at 10 pm).

It Costs More to Send Mail in US

Starting Monday May 11, 2009, First-class mail will now cost 44 cents for the first ounce. Large envelopes cost 88 cents. Mailing a postcard will cost 28 cents.

The Postal Service said the price increase, announced in February, is necessary because of rising production costs.

Enjoy your Day, A New Mother's Day eCard

I have just put the finishing touches on my latest card, created with Mother's Day in mind. Being a mother of two active boys, I know that sometimes it is hard to find a moment to just put your feet up and enjoy the view, so my inspiration for the card was my very own "castle in the sky" place that makes for the perfect quick escape.

Cats on the other hand seem to have the right idea, they won't be hurried or distracted by the demands of motherhood or anything else for that matter - even a whole litter of kittens! Pots of fragrant lavender, terracotta rooftops and rolling green hills - I know if I could be there right now, that is where I would want to be ...


Enjoy and have a great Mother's Day!