Month: January 2014

Working The Acoustic Skills

My daughter Lenore has been trying to sharpen her acoustic skills. She does really well on electric, and can hold her own with big riffs and somewhat complicated songs.

Her weakness is acoustic. It always has been, and that’s why she’s working on it. This Thursday, she is opening for a couple of local bands for Open Mic. Normally Open Mic means anyone can get up and perform, but at this particular location you have to slot in your time in advance. The guys in the bands are super nice, and let Lenore do her thing before them and the crowd is always supportive.

She needs to work on timing and voice stuff right now. It will come. I just want to show what she has learned in under 2 weeks. She’ll get better in time with practice. Wish her luck this Thursday.

Have a great weekend.

Animals Are So Boring

My husband and I took Evangeline to the zoo yesterday. I wish I could say she was enthralled with the experience, and I captured the sweet look of wonder and amazement on her little face as she “Ooooed and Aaaahhed” at the animals. I would like to say that, but I can’t. She was more interested in her feet.

These toe-things are more fun than the giraffe.
These toe-things are more fun than the giraffe.

…..And eating her feet.

Mmmmm, toes.
Mmmmm, toes.

The monkeys were amusing, but not enough for her to crack a smile. She watched with a look of boredom as the monkeys swung from the ropes and did cute monkey stuff.

DSC00757
So that’s a monkey…yawn.

I think I put too much emphasis on “the first visit”. I had this image in my head about how the day would go, and well…my kid doesn’t care about my image. In the end, she was happy just to have Daddy carry her around all day.

I just want Daddy. (You have great taste, kiddo.)
They are totally making me sit here. Not cool.
They are totally making me sit here. Not cool.

Lenore took a friend, and they ran around like kid’s should. It was exhausting to watch. She took about 2 minutes to sit, (because we made her do it) and then dashed off with her buddy to the next exhibit. She lives for the zoo. I should have taken more pictures of her reactions to the animals- that would have been more exciting. 🙂

Fine. I'll sit here, but I won't like it.
Fine. I’ll sit here, but I won’t like it.

I did manage to put the camera away, and enjoy the day with my family. Jon was getting annoyed and giving me the “knock-it-off-already” look. So yeah…I needed him to remind me of what was important. But before I go, I just want to share one more shot.  She really did like watching the hippos be gross. Who doesn’t?

Hippos are disgusting! I love them.
Hippos are disgusting! I love them.

Baby’s Birthday Sunrise Shell

This is Evangeline’s Sunrise Shell for her Baby Luau necklace. Still needs polish, setting and a little shine, but I love it.

Evangeline is going to turn 1 this coming Feb. Slowly, I am making preparations for her birthday party. Usually out here families have a Baby Luau for the first birthday. It’s huge. We have been to some super-amazing-extravagant Baby Luaus.

We’re not going that route. Honestly, we just can’t afford it. BUT, I’m having fun planning a quaint little beach gathering. “Quaint” is code-word for cheap. 🙂 All kidding aside, it will be beautiful and special..

I was so happy to find this shell. It’s about the size of a quarter, and is much prettier in person. It’s going to make a lovely keepsake necklace.

So have great week, and I’ll post a picture of the finished product. There’s some work to be done here.

Bye!

Big Sister Love On The Beach

Evangeline is frightened of the waves, but Raven is talking her through it.
Evangeline is frightened of the waves, but Raven talks her through it.

We took Evangeline to the beach yesterday. I don’t really need tons o’words to communicate what happened here. The pictures and captions are enough. She is so lucky to have her big sisters.

She patiently showed the baby the waves as they rolled in.

She patiently showed the baby the waves as they rolled in.
It worked! You can see the Evangeline is a bit anxious, but feels safe with Raven.
It worked! You can see the Evangeline is a bit anxious, but feels safe with Raven.
After watching the waves, they decided to stroll.
After watching the waves, they decided to stroll.
Big Sister helped her along.
Big Sister helped her along.
Best friends forever.
Best friends forever.
Sisters are awesome. Evangeline is very lucky to have Raven and the others.
Sisters are awesome. Evangeline is very lucky to have Raven and the others.

Here are a couple more shots of our great day.

For The Love of Hobbes

Hobbes the Tiger, made from an "Instructables" pattern.
Hobbes the Tiger, made from an “Instructables” pattern.

This past Christmas was Evangeline’s first. We didn’t go big with the presents this year. Some years we do, others…not so much. This year was one of the latter. We’re not one of those families who denounces lots of Christmas presents under the tree as “consumer-commercialism”. We get the meaning of Christmas, thank-you-very-much. But we like stuff too. Nothing wrong with that, and those who get on their soapbox about how they don’t NEED many presents under the tree , and those who go all out with the cheer are really just compensating because the true meaning of Christmas is lost on them make me lose it. Life is short and hard enough without the sanctimonious pricks coming out of the woodwork around the holidays.

So although we didn’t go big this time around, I wanted Evangeline to have something special from me anyway. It’s tough to compete with the sheer wonder that is– piles of wrapping paper on the floor, but I did my best.  I found a sewing pattern to make a stuffed Hobbes tiger. 

She LOVES this guy!
She LOVES this guy!

How cute is this!? I’ve never met him, but I think I have an internet crush on the guy who put it together. He is informative. It must have taken him forever to draft this, and then he just gives it away freely for all to use. There are so many time I have found a wonderful pattern on Etsy only to read the ridiculous copyright that states you can only use the pattern for gifts or personal use. Normally that is my intention anyway, but screw that! I don’t buy from people who take it upon themselves to tell me what I can or cannot do with a pattern I legally purchased. I can understand not wanting people to copy a pattern and sell it themselves…but restrictions on the finished product? No thanks.

"MY turn!'
“MY turn!’

So yeah…who does all this work drafting an incredible pattern and then gives it away for free? Awesome people, that’s who.

Hello.
Hello.

As you can see from the photos, Evangeline loves her new Hobbes Tiger. It took too many hours to sew those strips, as you have to do it by hand…but totally worth the time. The only recommendation I would make is to use something other than fleece. The fleece, even the anti-pill stuff, is not going to stand the test of time. I have already begun another tiger for a dear friend, and I found a lovely corduroy. It is much more durable.

Thanks mom!
Thanks mom!

I plan to write on that guy’s Instructable page to thank him. There are lots of others like myself who used this pattern and left a kind note. He made so many people happy. Our Evangeline is just one more satisfied customer. Thanks guy!

Good times.
Good times.

We may not have gone big with the Christmas gifts this year, but you can’t tell by looking at this kid’s face.

That's one happy kid!
That’s one happy kid!

Sunrise Shells Are Hard Work

Because we live in Hawaii, my girls have been exposed to Sunrise Shells. In the event that I do in fact have a reader out there, and I’m not just talking to myself here’s a link to an article which explains what they are.

Lenore has always been fascinated with shells, so it was no surprise she wanted a Sunrise Shell once she discovered them. I don’t blame her. They are quite lovely, but expensive. Damned expensive!

I want one too, but I don’t have the means to buy a shell. Lenore does, though. She used her own money.

Hard work pays off. Lenore’s Sunrise Shell.

Lenore works hard. She does Extra and Stand-In work for various movies and television shows out here in the island. It’s not an easy job. She has dabbled in print-ads and once had a small part on network television. She’s built a reputation among those who count on set as being a reliable kid who works hard, and demonstrates an amazing amount of professionalism. We’re very proud of her.

Every time she does a job, she is allowed to spend a portion of her earnings on whatever she likes. Sometimes she buys presents for her siblings, and other times she treats herself. This shell was a treat to herself. It has a flaw on the front, but she loves it anyway. I think it will make a lovely necklace, and I doubt she’ll take it off once complete.

It’s important to let kids work for an allowance or paycheck within moderation. Lenore certainly knows the value of hard work, and will appreciate this necklace all the more because she earned it. I should point out there was no way I was going to buy it for her, so yeah…this is how it had to happen.

Good job my beautiful girl! Dad and I are proud of you.

Mason Jars And Stabby-Straws

Reading at the coffee shop.
Reading at the coffee shop.

I took Evangeline to a local coffee shop the other day. I thought it would be fun to try out a few of the many functions on the new camera in a “cool hipster’ setting. Coffee shops aren’t usually my thing. The only time I’m in one is when Lenore performs for Open Mic Night. Even then, I usually just order the same boring hot green tea. I never know what to order, and there are always so many options on those cute little hand-written chalkboard menus. It just gets confusing.

Ransom shot of my baby because I like  it.
Evangeline in a ‘stare contest’ with a helper dog. The dog won.

This time was no different. Usually when I go to one of these places, I have some cash on hand. This time around I had my Debit card. So I place my order for a small Chai…thing. The guy behind the register tells me that he’s very sorry, but they don’t let people use Debits unless the order is over $5.

Me: No problem…just make it a larger Chai thing. 

Register Guy: Sorry..that still comes up short. Do you want me to add some extra spice, and cream?

Me: Wow these drinks are really reasonable. (laugh). Dude. Whatever you have to do. Just light it up like Christmas. (I really wanted to get out of the ever-growing line).

Register Guy: No problem. I’ll make it happen. That will be $5.75. (This guy was awesome.)

While we waited for Register Guy to make my special drink, Evangeline found a cute baby to play.
While we waited for Register Guy to make my “Debit Card Worthy” drink, Evangeline found a cute baby to play.

When my order came up, the guy handed me this gigantic MASON JAR filled to the top. I’m not kidding, this drink was served in something my grandma uses when she cans tomato’s for the winter.  It tasted great, but I wasn’t keen to manage Evangeline, the camera, her baby bag, and a huge canning jar full of whatever.

Not content with her toys, she gravitated toward my straw.
She loved this straw, but she got “stabby” with it, so I had to take it away.

I did get some cute shots, but I didn’t even get close to playing with the different camera settings. Evangeline is a typical busy baby, and it was all I could do to keep her quite and on the chair.  There was a nice group of college kids on holiday in the shop and they decided to help me hold her attention while I clicked out some pictures. Nice kids…great sense of humor. Thanks kids!

MOM!! You took my straw! Lots of luck with the photos now.
MOM!! You took my straw! Lots of luck with the photos now.

By the time all was done, I had some fun shots of the adventure and talked to some nice people. I couldn’t finish my drink, but who could?  Next time I’ll be more prepared, but I consider this a win. Below are some of the pictures I managed to take with the help of the other patrons in the shop. Again, thank you college kids! I was so grateful for your help, and your parents should be proud.