She still sews sometimes.

I uploaded these onto Flickr a while ago and never posted them here, so it might be that everyone who reads this blog has seen them already. Sorry! Half-finished projects are the name of the game right now.

These are the Christmas scarves that I told you about a while ago…all of them are made from thrifted & felted wool sweaters and/or an Army blanket. So I guess I think of this as a recycling project of sorts. I had five girls and one guy on my list, and I tried to come up with something unique for each one.

(Please excuse the strange pensive expressions. It is very hard to know how to look when you’re trying to take pictures of yourself.)

The ruched scarf.

The Ruched Scarf.

The Victorian scarf.

The Victorian.

The kelp scarf.

The Kelp Scarf.

The double helix scarf.

The Double Helix. (You can’t tell, but the ends do twist just like DNA.)

The boy scarf.

The Boy Scarf.

The tree nymph scarf.

The Tree Nymph.

I tried to make all of the designs my own except for the last one, which is based on the fabulous scarf on the cover of Sewing Green.

I think I mentioned that I also did a lot of baby/child-present sewing. I made nine softies in all; seven of them were based off of this pattern by Wee Wonderfuls, and two were little robots that I forgot to take a photo of before they left the house. They were all very fun to make, but after doing so many I was (and still am) ready to take a break from softies. Those little arms and legs are hard to turn out and stuff.

For Catherine.

For Catherine.

For Ransom.

For Ransom.

For Ellie.

For Ellie.

For Etta.

For Etta.

For Samantha.

For Samantha.

My friend Nathalie and I have begun a little experiment where we get together every other week, pen the babies in my kitchen, and try to get some sewing done. Our inagural session went really well: my baby was fascinated by her baby and her baby was fascinated by the dog, so everyone had something to look at. The babies stayed up way to long due too the excitement and then crashed and took long naps, so we actually got something done! I finished a diaper holder for my purse that’s very handy but looks so-so since I didn’t plan my seam allowances well enough, so I don’t really want to show it here. There are a plethora of projects on my to-sew list, however, so I’m sure that something else will make the cut. (I reorganized a few closets the other day and put my sewing things in the kitchen closet, so I’m hoping I can whip out the sewing machine a little more often in the future.)

To be honest, my head has been exploding with ideas lately and my body just can’t keep up the pace. I have big projects in the works for the now-closed Etsy shop, another possible art/design adventure, some local consignment opportunities, lots of sewing and re-decorating for the apartment…it just goes on and on. I feel like half-finished projects and ideas are littered all around me at the moment. All I need is a lot of time. Oh, and money. Both of which are in short supply. Sometimes I wish that Good Ideas came at regular intervals instead of alternating between none and an avalanche.

On the baby front, Camilla has been growing like a (very pretty) weed and sprouted two teeth last week. Or was it the week before? I’ve already lost track. The teeth did not come quietly and I found myself plumbing the depths of sleep deprivation yet again. Sheesh, I think it was as bad as the newborn days. This combined with some bad sleep habits led me to believe that we needed to set some napping and nighttime goals and actually stick with them. I started a long post about this but quit because I don’t think we’ve gotten far enough for me to make any profound observations. After considering and briefly trying a variety of methods, we have landed somewhere in between Drs. Ferber and Sears…my goal is to find a sleep solution that isn’t full of crying but which leaves her in the crib. And while we have come a long way, I am REALLY looking forward to that wonderful, blissful night which must surely be in my future somewhere when I get 8 hours of sleep. In a row.

Until then, I am nodding my head a little as I watch the child roll happily around the living room. I think crawling is just around the corner, but I’ve thought that since December. Who knows…

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A snippet.

We don’t own a camcorder, which a number of people have told us is a mistake since we will undoubtedly want to see videos of Camilla’s baby whatsits in the future. However, I have tried to make up for this by simply taking gratuitous amounts of photos of little snippets of our daily life.

These ones are from her new high chair, which has been declared a very satisfactory perch from which to play with toys and watch silly mom try to do a few things in the kitchen. I do wish that I could post an accompanying soundtrack…based on her current volume level I think she’s going to be a chatty little thing when she gets bigger, which would please us to no end.

Enjoy!

The new high chair.

The Georgia Aquarium.

After our pre-baby trips to Ikea had been concluded, husband and I discovered that the largest aquarium in the world is in Atlanta. It took some self-control, but we managed to wait until Christmas break to drive back and see it.

Entering the aquarium.

I was initially a little scared of what the trip might entail, seeing as it’s about 6.5 hours of driving each way and a lot of city driving in the middle. But Camilla slept about 3/4 of the time in the car and, apart from some pretty spectacular poo blowouts, was good as gold while she was awake.

We decided to spend two evenings in Atlanta so we didn’t have to rush the aquarium. Thanks to Camilla’s early-rising habits, we went not long after it opened in the morning and the timing was perfect — the baby alternated naps and happiness and there weren’t too many people for the first hour or two.  If you are planning to go, I suggest doing the same: arrive between 8:00 and 8:45 and leave by noon…by the time we left, the smaller exhibits were getting quite crowded and the parking garage was a zoo. (Or should I say, an overstuffed aquarium?)

One of the main attractions at the Georgia Aquarium is the Ocean Voyager exhibit, which has the single largest fish tank in the world.

The Ocean Voyager exhibit.

It’s so big that it’s split into two main sections with an underwater tunnel in between. As you walk slowly down the tunnel, all manner of fish swim over your head.

Rays + sharks!

We never saw the hammerhead sharks, but we did see the other two main attractions: whale sharks and manta rays.

A regular shark and a whale shark.

That big guy at the top is a whale shark and the one underneath is a regular small shark. It’s hard to tell because of the perspective, but a whale shark is BIG. Very big. These are the only ones in the US, and I think there’s only one or two other aquariums in Asia that have them. They shipped them to Georgia by UPS…I guess they have better luck with the delivery guy than I do. At least, I’m imagining that the package wasn’t left outside the front door.

Inside the tunnel.

You might think that the wonders of a bunch of fish might be lost on a 6 month old, but you’d be surprised how interested she was.

Admiring the fishes.

The movement and colors made for a pretty spectacular show, even by baby standards.

There's a lot of stuff to see at stroller-height.

And when she tired of the stroller, there was always mum or dah to give her a little lift.

Baby's first aquarium visit!

(See the whale shark in the background?)

While the tunnel was great, the big viewing room really took the cake. It has one of the biggest pieces of acrylic in the world as a window…you would not believe how huge it is and how much you can see.

One of the whale sharks.

Since the big crowds hadn’t arrived yet, we stood there for ages just watching those giants swim by.

The largest fish tank in the world.

When Camilla saw something particularly exciting, she would flap her arms like a little bird.

Getting excited.

She has also started making a little bob-bob-bob sound where she puffs her cheeks that I like to think is fish-inspired.

A manta ray.

My photos don’t do justice to the manta rays. One of them liked to swim up to the glass and do a flip, showing us his strange smiling underbelly. He did this over and over and over, like a circus performer. I like to think that he knew he had an appreciative audience.

A fisheye view.

Ocean Voyager isn’t the only exhibit, of course. There is also a coldwater section with some really awesome Japanese spiny crabs.

Spiny crabs.

I don’t remember what these were, but they had really big mouths.

We also discovered Australian sea dragons, which are considerably more colorful and interesting than sea horses.

Sea dragons.

(Sorry sea horse fans, but it’s true. Can you believe how weird and amazing these things are?)

We had really been looking forward to the beluga whales, but the exhibit was under some sort of maintenance and they weren’t there. Which begs the question, where do you put the beluga whales when they’re not swimming in their gigantic tank? It’s not like one of the employees can take them home for the weekend.

Amazonian fish.

After the Ocean Voyager exhibit, I think that the Amazon River one was my favorite. Considering that the Amazon is a really muddy and kind of gross looking river, the fish are spectacular. I think they look like living jewels.

There was even a tank full of those super-colorful, super-poisonous Amazonian frogs.

Those poisonous tropical frogs.

And some really weird looking electric things. I think this is a catfish of some kind.

A razor fish(?).

And these are electric eels. (I start humming a variation of “Electric Feel” by MGMT whenever I think about them.)

Electric eels.

Oh, and let’s not forget the tank of pirhanas. I don’t know why anyone would go swimming in the Amazon unless they absolutely had to.

Pirhanas.

I didn’t get very many good photos from the coral reef section since there were a lot more people by that time. Plus, it’s always a trade-off between trying to experience the exhibit and get a good photo and I’m not always very good at doing both at once. This is one of the giant reef tanks.

A tropical reef.

And this was another.

Another tropical tank.

Fortunately, it was a little easier to get close to the jellyfish.

We had been really looking forward to seeing this exhibit and were not at all disappointed.

Glowing.

(I can’t wait until Camilla is big enough to put her hands on the glass like that!)

The jellies are so mesmerizing, with their strange blue ballet.

The jellyfish ballet.

There was also a pretty amazing tank of lionfish.

An amazing pride of lionfish.

The final exhibit featured species native to Georgia, including this friendly turtle.

The polite turtle.

Some of the lumpiest, ugliest catfish I’ve ever seen turned out to live in the Mississippi River. Ugh. I guess you don’t need to be beautiful if no one can see what you look like. These silver guys live in the Atlantic and are much more attractive.

A very fast silver fish.

So, that’s a little taste of our visit to the Georgia Aquarium. I still have a soft spot in my heart for the Monterey Bay and Seattle Aquariums, but this one had some of the most spectacular underwater views that I’ve ever seen. I took a lot of photos because I want Camilla to “remember” what her first visit was like, but I look forward to taking her back as often as we can afford to.

(Plus, it will give me a good excuse to buy one of those adorable little plush whale shark toys. I just couldn’t justify it this time around, but I think that next year mommy Camilla will want one.)

The Christmas Feast.

Husband really likes to take photos when we cook a big meal together, so here are some belated ones from our Christmas dinner. The menu was:

Goose rubbed with citrus and 5 spice and stuffed with sage, apples and onions
Crispy potatoes with white cheddar
Chesnut stuffing
Brussel sprouts with bacon and chesnuts
Christmas pudding

Everything turned out quite well except the potatoes, which were not as crispy as we wanted and better upon reheating. It was quite a bit of food for two people, but we invited friends over the next day to help us finish the leftovers and made a nice goose noodle soup after that. It turns out that goose is delicious and surprisingly versatile…I guess we’ll have to have it next Christmas as well!

Making our Christmas dinner.

Orange zest for the rub.

Apples and fresh sage.

Stuffng the goose.

The goose!

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

The stuffing begins.

Chesnuts.

Brussel sprouts with bacon and chesnuts.

'Taters.

Carving the goose.

The feast.

Christmas pud.

The pudding aflame.