Dec 28, 2007

broadcasting live from honduras

charlie and pal

Well hello there! Here we are - communing with the birds and skipping in the sand. Warmest wishes for a Happy New Year from our family to yours!

toucan eating a peanut

scarlet macaws

Dec 20, 2007

planes, trains, and automobiles

watching an airplane go by
Watching an airplane go by

Needless to say, I've lost that innocent wonder of those large, metal bird-ish machines. Or perhaps it's not the bird-ish things themselves, but the bureaucracies that tame them.

You've seen Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, right? I think it's about time for a sequel, starring Aeromexico as the main antagonist.

Back in July, we purchased tickets to fly to Roatan, Honduras tomorrow. Last night, Aeromexico called us and told us that our flight had been canceled. What?!? You're telling us this 30 hours before we were planning to leave for the airport? Oh yes. We'll fly you there tomorrow instead. All you have to do is beam yourselves to Mexico City within the next 7 hours. WE LIVE FOUR HOURS FROM THE AIRPORT, AND THE LAST FLIGHT TO MEXICO CITY HAS ALREADY LEFT!!! Oh. Well then. We'll see if we can get you on a flight on Saturday. Let me see (type type type type ... endless typing ...) No, we're sorry, that flight is full. You need to get us to Honduras! Both of our families will be there and, without us, it's sure to become a tropical version of National Lampoon's Christmas vacation! Type type type ... okay, we can fly you to another city in Honduras on Sunday. Oh, why thank you, benevolent ones. Okay. You're all set, you just need to pay us now. WE ALREADY PAID YOU ... !@^($!@#%@#!!!!! Oh no. You just reserved. We had your complete credit card information but we just didn't run your card. WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?!? Oh - by the way, this flight was canceled on September 21st and we just never told you. IF DANTE COULD CREATE A MORE NEFARIOUS CIRCLE OF HELL ... Okay, because I realize that my life would most certainly be in danger if I were talking to you in person, I will not charge you extra money for this ticket. We think we should get a discount, because you are, after all, eating away our vacation days, you unfeeling bureaucratic automaton. The same price. Whatever.

Meanwhile, the beleaguered soon-to-be-travelers call up a Honduran regional airline to buy more flights from this "new" destination, Tegucigalpa, to the island of Roatan. Content to actually be arriving in Roatan on Sunday, the aforementioned future travelers retreat to their bedchamber, weary and $250 poorer.

Calling Aeromexico this afternoon: Um, hi ... we just wanted to verify that we have a flight from Mexico City to Tegucigalpa on Sunday. That's not possible. We don't have a flight that day to Tegucigalpa. !@^#(@#^$!!!! YOU AUTOMATONS ARE INSANE!!! WHO CREATED YOU?? No, the flight you are reserved on is going to San Pedro Sula (the original city.) Oh my. Oh my my my. Okay, thank you, you ever-so-helpful and cheerful bureaucrat.

That's where our story (hopefully) ends. We were able to get the regional airline to change our tickets and fly us to Roatan out of San Pedro Sula instead.

Must. Lay. On. Beach. I just hope that come this weekend, no more flights have been canceled!

Dec 16, 2007


posada 2007 021

One of the most notable Christmas traditions in Mexico is the reenactment of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, when they were denied rooms at various inns and finally found shelter in a stable.

posada 2007 027

During the Posada, a group with candles (representing Mary and Joseph) go from door to door singing a little tune and being "refused" until they come to the end of the pageant - the final home - where they are finally offered a place to stay.

Nowadays, the word Posada is synonymous with "Christmas Party." Perhaps the most important part of the party (for the children) is the breaking of the piƱata and the ensuing sugar-fest.

posada 2007 100

posada 2007 173

posada 2007 199

posada 2007 chocolate mouth

Feliz Navidad a todos!

Dec 12, 2007

wishing you

Photo by Allison Toth, from the Holiday Traditions Exchange 2007 Flickr group

Did you hear my sigh of contentment? The pattern layouts are done, the house is clean, and the etsy gift shopping is done. I finally had a chance to leisurely peruse all of the lovely photos you've been uploading to the Holiday Traditions Exchange flickr group - and I have to say, you went all out! What lovely decorations, and what incredible packaging! Check out this one from Christie:

Christmas Traditions Swap

Can you see the wax seal on that envelope? Brilliant! And the child's apron? Too adorable. Thanks to all who have shared photos of your creations.

Speaking of your creations - for those of you who have made Reading Pillows or Mei Tais, please upload your photos to the Montessori By Hand Patterns flickr group! It's a fantastic resource for others who are making the patterns - your use of fabrics, etc. can serve as great inspiration. I know tons of you have purchased one or both of the patterns, but the group looks a little sparse right now - let's spiff it up and send some love its way!

Ahhh ... I'm still sighing. The winds of this happy sigh are carrying me to the kitchen, where something sweet will emerge in about an hour.

Christmas music? Check. Emmeline Apron version #1? Check. All is good.


Dec 10, 2007

on being soggy

mischievous gnome bag in red

Dear me. I just about need galoshes so I can puddle-jump from one room to another. Notice the water dripping down the back of the chair? Just one of many dribbly areas. If only the rain would turn to snow .... there's no precipitation like snow, you know?

Lest you fear I'm drowning in a soggy torpor - here's a glance at a bit of behind-the-scenes work that's been going on here during the whole pattern-making process. Miss Emmeline has been sent out to my wonderfully generous testers, and the Mischievous Gnome Messenger Bag is in the works.

My apologies for being such an apron-donning bag lady, but it seems as though that's what my life is all about nowadays. What else is a girl to do when she can't go outside to play? Write patterns, you say? Okay! (Although it's so tempting to just curl up with a good book and wave adieu to the real world ... )

A warm and cozy Monday to all,

Dec 7, 2007

loving those latkes

hanukkah - grating potatoes for latkes

As part of my effort to diversify the winter holiday experience for my children, today we prepared and enjoyed latkes, lit a "menorah", and learned a few traditional Jewish songs.

hanukkah - preparing the latkes

Latkes are very simple to make. Check out this site for recipe ideas.

hanukkah - lighting the "menorah"

Here's the lot of them not noticing that I'm taking their picture. ;) For the menorah, I used what I had available - eight tea lights.

Speaking of holiday traditions, the Holiday Traditions Exchange shipping deadline is this coming Monday! Also, don't forget to share any photos of swap packages (both sent and received) by uploading them to the flickr group.

Here's to a lovely (and productive?) weekend! Wish me luck as I do the layout for the new patterns!

Dec 6, 2007

monsieur, madame gnome

mr. gnome outside

From the aptly named wee wonderfuls pattern collection, it's my pleasure to introduce to you Monsieur and Madame Gnome - an absolute delight to sew, and an even greater delight to look at.
mr. and mrs. outside

Holiday decorations? I think I'll have a hard time packing these away come January. Plus, if M. & M. Gnome stick around, Amelie and Timoun will have others on which to blame their daily mischief.

amelie and timoun

"Amelie, why are all of the pistachios on the floor, and why are some of them half-eaten?"
Amelie responds, "Oh - that. It was Monsieur Gnome. It must have been yet another of his gravity experiments. And, well, you know how it goes ... once something is on the floor, it should be tasted."

Uh huh.

By the way, thanks to all of you who left comments telling me of your love for the Emmeline Apron! For those of you who expressed interest in testing the pattern - stay tuned. Once I have the pattern ready, I will be putting out another call, and will be outlining the requirements and my time frame (it needs to be a somewhat quick turn around, as I want to have these ready to send to the printer before Christmas.) I will only need 3 testers for each pattern - the apron and the messenger bag. You all are awesome - thanks for your enthusiastic response!


Dec 3, 2007

the emmeline apron

emmeline apron front tie
EDIT: Pattern is now available here!

I've been bursting at the seams to show you this new pattern design, which will be available in January! After weeks of muslin mayhem in my crafting corner, I've finally come up with this little lovely: completely reversible, ties in the front or back, and flattering for all body types. I hope you all love Miss Emmeline as much as I do!

emmeline apron reverse side with tie in back

emmeline apron 008

I'm so glad I have to wear aprons every day to work. I'm gathering quite a little collection, and I'm sure I'll be making many more 2-in-1 Emmelines to spruce up my schoolmarm-ishness. If you can't wait to have your own cute apron or if you are looking to purchase one for a gift, I highly suggest that you be-bop over to Jamie Christina's Etsy shop and take a look at her gorgeous aprons!

This post was my one valiant effort for the day - I'm home sick with a really crummy cough. Really, now. How many times can one person be sick in the span of three months? I'm going to submit myself for the Guinness Book of World Records. I'm off to rest with a cup of hot something rather. As soon as I'm feeling better, I will be doing the pattern layouts for both the Gnome Messenger Bag and the Emmeline Apron (the instructions are already written!) Then I'll be looking for some pattern testers. ***Thank you for your interest - I've found my pattern testers for the Emmeline Apron!***