Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

I like the new year. It may not be the islamic new year but like that one it marks a change in pace. Holidays are over, and it's nice to settle in and get cozy for the rest of winter.

I've been busy over here. My husband had a week off work (rare!) and since it's too cold to go anywhere i decided to get this house organized and the rest of the way unpacked (those boxes that i've ignored for months). It feels so much better. There's still more to do because i'm going through lots of old stuff and getting rid of whatever i can. Lots of trash bags full, boxes for charity, etc. Feels good to purge.

Not a fun way to spend vacation time but it's the only way this stuff was getting done. We did have a fun day yesterday taking LD to brunch and the train station for a ride on the train and just to watch them come and go from New York. I need to take him on a weekday morning when it's super busy. He loves it.

Hope you have a blessed year a year filled with love and peace.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

NYC at Christmastime

A few weeks ago we went to NYC to see the lights and windows decorations. It was fun. Cold but we all had a good time bundled up walking around. A bonus was going to the Japanese bookstore and getting Japanese craft books which i had been drooling over all over blogland. Here's a few of the pictures we took.

There are some amazing window decorations this time of year.

Friday, December 21, 2007

what a difference an hour makes!

Yesterday LD didn't take a nap and stayed up till 8. He's been skipping naps lately which isn't good for me. Anyway, he always wakes up at 6 or 6:30, sometimes on school mornings he sleeps till 8 - i guess to get out of it. But last night hubby was out of town so he went to bed right at 8, i had a hard time falling asleep so he kept shifting in his sleep. Well that and he kept saying his name while sleeping and laughing which made me crack up. I never heard him talking in his sleep before. Then he woke up at 5 am, i got his milk and laid down and pretended to go right back to sleep. He went with me and he's still sleeping! It's 8:36 - he's officially 6 minutes late for school but i'm okay with that. The boy never sleeps. He sleeps on average 8 hours a day which just isn't good for his age.

So what did i do in that hour i had to myself:

unloaded dishwasher
loaded dishwasher
made breakfast
put load of laundry in
got ready
watched the news while cleaning up and having a cup of coffee
and now blogging!

I wish he'd sleep till 8:30 every morning!

Oop, there he is. Bout time!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Eid mubarak

Tomorrow is Eid for us so will say Eid Mubarak now. I think a lot of people celebrated today anyhow. Going to cozy up indoors and do special projects and open the xmas gifts my family sent Little Dude. We're calling them eid presents. :-) What does he know. He now says Kabah and Hajj. Cute.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Here it is!

first quilt
Originally uploaded by wayfarer
I know it's not perfect and i've learned several things but i must say i really do like it - with all it's imperfect glory. I stuck to fall colors as i interpret them and red squares tying it all together because i read somewhere that red is the heart of the home in quilts so there should always be red in the center.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

can i get an alhamdulillah?

I finished the quilt top! Hubby put LD to sleep and fell asleep himself. Snoring competition bigtime. Sigh. ANYWAY, I got the quilt top done. My back feels like it's broken. I have never sewed anything that big or used a whole spool of thread and three refilled bobbins of thread on one project - and one that is only a quarter of the way done. Whenever i see quilt tops that haven't yet been quilted listed on ebay i always wondered why didn't they quilt it? It's so pretty. Why do all that work and not finish it? Sometimes an old lady will have 5 unfinished ones. How??? Now i know. Because it's backbreaking, eyebending, exhausting work. And that's just the quilt top...apparently, the easy part. I'm scared to death of the quilting part because a) my machine sucks b) i don't have a long arm and i don't think it's gonna fit c) i'm scared to death i'm gonna screw it up and all that previous work is gone d) it's gonnna take foooorever i just know it.

It sure ain't perfect but i love it anyway. While sewing it i was thinking about where this quilt will end up. Will it end up at my estate sale? Will it end up under a table at a rummage sale? Will my kids want it or will they forget that it was my first one, that even though i've sewn many more, that was the first one i made. Will they care? It sure will be sad if it ends up at my estate sale and somebody like me comes along and buys it to finish. Or does it? It's just a thing right? A thing only has meaning if you give it to it right? A quilt is just a quilt. Are you kidding me? This thing has meaning and i'm going to wear it out just so it can't live past this family dang it. It's beautiful. I was smart to choose fall colors because really, how bad can it look being fall colors? I know one thing, this quilt will get finished, it will not go to the quilt-top-never-to-be-finished graveyard. I can't wait. Well except for the basting, the quilting and the binding part. I'll take a picture tomorrow.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Handmade warmth

homemade slippers
Originally uploaded by wayfarer
As the temperature dropped and i refused to leave my warm house, i made these for the little dude. I just took fleece and made little moccassin style slippers, put bias tape around the edge and then on the bottoms i put 3D fabric paint to stop the skidding because he was running around here as though he was on a skating rink.

I've made so much lately. Need to post some pics of handmade xmas stuff and other fun things. Half done with the ramadan calendar too. Working on getting kits together. I know it's a little hard to decide now but would anyone be interested in buying them or would rather have the calendar premade? I will offer both but am wondering which would be better. I like the idea of kits myself and that's what i would order if they were available. Anyhow, will post a picture soon of the one i'm working on.

OH. And I'm almost finished with my quilt top! My first quilt isn't so scary now. I'm just piecing the big chunks together so it should be done next naptime and then it's hand quilting and binding at night. It's a mess (corners aren't aligned just right but hey i'm learning). Can i say i'm totally loving it though and think it's just gorgeous. I wanted to do a fall theme...things that remind me of fall and colors of fall. I wanted it done in the fall too but hey it's getting there. Can't wait to start quilting it though. Will post pictures of all this tomorrow. Today has been too crazy.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I just read that Titanic (the movie) is turning 10 years old. Oh dear God...i knew i was getting old but i didn't realize that i AM old. Sigh. I remember that movie well because i watched it twice in the theater. I was engaged to a major jerk, i was a production manager for a software company and I swore that I'd never have kids - that was for other people to do. I wanted to travel and experience life and then write a book. I thought stay at home moms were lazy and ate bon bons all day. Boy do i wish both of those things were true. I just can't believe 10 years have gone by so fast. I'm freaking out. Time to buy a mozaratti or something.

Friday, December 14, 2007

beauty all around

Originally uploaded by wayfarer

Well i just shipped off the xmas presents for my nieces and nephews. Homemade everything. And now Christmas is done. Yipeee. I can focus on some home sewing projects and the eid calendar and eid project stuff. Yesterday we had an intense storm. It was raining ice and it covered the ground completely so it looked like snow but it was dense ice. I didn't go out in it because it looked frigid and downright dangerous. Speaking of which, our hill is apparently the cool hill and everytime it snows our yard gets filled with a kazillion tweens and their snowboards. Kind of annoying but i don't want to ruin their fun. Yesterday one of them slid all the way down into the woods. It was kind of funny.

Today when i went out it was intense. Unbelievably beautiful trip to the post office, literally 2 minutes from my house. I wish i weren't so tired i would have drove all over today but since my son has kept me up for three nights in a row and i've only been getting three hours a sleep a night i decided to head home. Enjoy more of the beauty here.

Originally uploaded by wayfarer

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Eid-ul-Adha crafts

Here are some crafts I found online for Eid-ul-Adha. I'm working on compiling a bunch of ideas, some found and given credit and some of my own orginal creations for a book to sell at soon to be opening shop. It's going to be cheap...just enough to cover paper and ink and a little bit for time. I'm working on the design for the Ramadan countdown calendar too. It's going great i think. Can't wait to unveil it.

I think this year I'll just work on getting him to say the word and be able to point out Kabah, reading a bit from his children's Nahjul Balagha and making a set of prayer beads.

Projects for Eid ul Adha:

Here is a link to a kabah connect the dots project.

There is this coloring book about the Kabah.

Or these free coloring pages online.

There's also a bunch of links here for various projects.


mini tree
Originally uploaded by wayfarer

I haven't celebrated Christmas in a long while it seems but old traditions keep coming back. I don't have a lot of happy family memories to fall back on but the ones i do have are when we got a tree a few days before Christmas but kept it up until Easter and actually hid easter eggs in it. Okay, so those aren't the warm and fuzzy ones. My mom loved Christmas, i say loved because now that she's sick and lives in Mexico a good portion of the year, Christmas isn't the same to her. Before she was sick she would decorate her entire house. Not a single thing was left undecorated. 8 years ago or something she gave me some of her Christmas ornaments and I never used them because i never had a tree...i always figured i'd do that with my own family but not as a single.

Then I converted to Islam... Anyway long story short I feel like a chunk of me is missing these last years and this year it got me. I want to share some of my family traditions with my son so after going back and forth on the issue with my husband we decided not to get a tree not that either of us are opposed to Christmas - just don't want to send mixed signals to LD and I also didn't want him getting caught up in a holiday that is really about marketing...even the advent of Christmas - the church sold the holiday to the masses by saying "we can celebrate this pagan holiday (solstice) but let's celebrate it as the birth of Christ even though he was born in the Spring". Okay, so we didn't want that.

But then i was walking through rite aid and the trees were on sale and just that morning i saw my mom's decoration box sitting here and i felt sad. I love my mom, i'm losing my mom, and i never spent a christmas with her. I bought a tree and some lights for it for i think $7 which included raisinettes, little dude's candy of choice. I couldn't pass it up and came home, pulled my mom's decorations, many which are handmade,

mom's crocheted ice skates
Originally uploaded by wayfarer

and decorated the little tree with my son and felt happy. I will teach him about Christmas and tell him the truth about everything and why we celebrate Christmas - just a little bit. I will tell him that Christmas to me is warm memories of my family, of my loving to make things and decorate things... I decorate our table for each season. Right now there are walnuts, a candle and a branch with berries on it. What are those called? The smell of baking is all around, a table of cookies, breads, candy and treats for my family. I will teach him about Jesus in the Muslim tradition and why as Muslims we don't celebrate Christmas the same way the Christians do.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

more mail news!

I love real mail. I would stalk the post man if i could. I miss getting cards and letters in the mail. The internet messed that up but good! I love personal packages best. They are rare but boy when you get em they are good! I got my Green Swap package and LOVE the contents. Look at the awesome knitted bag (we all know i stink at knitting but by winter's end i won't...that's my goal anyhow! anyway, nice to have a knitted bag and not having to make it! Love it!). Also love the bag from a pillowcase. That fabric is so me! So fun and funky but not loud and showy. It is seriously just right for me. She made the bag by basing it off of a plastic bag. Pretty cool. She done good! Oh, and we mustn't forget the yummy extras. Check this out...see that paper with the caterpillars? Okay, you hardly can and i'm too lazy to do a second picture and upload but look real good and you can probably see. Now look at what i just embroidered with felt the other night on a pair of shoes i'm making as a baby gift...

from the book in the previous post. Speaking of those poor baby shoes. My sewing machine was really messing up. Baby's are born and the presents are going out way's never too late to receive goodies though is it?

My sewing machine made the green swap hard for me to finish too. I couldn't understand why my machine was jamming so bad and then the other day i son had turned the tension dial to 0. It normally is around 4. Duh. Only took me a week to figure it out after cursing, ripping, starting over, repeat. repeat. repeat.

Wanna hear another duh moment? I was needing some bias tape the other day and couldn't find anything that would work so i asked the lady what she recommended. She said "Make some." I said, "Well how do you get it stretchy?" She said "you cut it on the bias." I said excitedly like i just discovered plutonium, um i mean japanese crafting books! "THAT'S WHY THEY CALL IT BIAS TAPE!" Yeah, i'm a real dork in the snobby quilting store. They are getting used to me. Bias. Tape. Bias tape. Duh. Motherhood has really taken a toll on my brain.

Thanks so much for my awesome package Ummhana!!! Now I can't wait to see what my swap partner thinks of mine!

Lookey what i got!

lookey what i got!
Originally uploaded by wayfarer
This is the package I got the other day from Japan.

Will you look at the packaging tape and try not to have a kaniption fit...

packing tape!
Originally uploaded by wayfarer

Yeah. I couldn't either.

The goods...and the yummy extras. (tissue which LD cutely pronounces "teeshoo" and cute little bags)

yummy japanese goods
Originally uploaded by wayfarer

look at the yummy paper covering this lovely book....the star of this shipment...and much used already might i add for baby gifts i've been working on...

Originally uploaded by wayfarer

Look at the lovely trim.

yummy japanese trim
Originally uploaded by wayfarer

I have no clue what to do with the french numbers but the speck of french in me and my love of the language couldn't say no.

Leslie's shop is great and her blog too.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I meant it!

Thanks everyone that's posted comments on the ideas. Please keep them up! In other news, today is National Cookie Day. Like we really need one of those! Bake some cookies. I am. And then vote on your favorite bag. One of them is mine but i can't tell you which. I can't wait to see which one I'm getting! All of them are great.

I was serious about making stuff for Eid. I just spent naptime doing exactly that. I wish i knew how many of these to make. I've got some great ideas mulling and one in action. Please keep up the ideas.

no more distractions

I originally wanted to learn to sew and open a store so i could sell cool Muslim items because there's not much out there for us. We are left off the calendars. Stores stock eid cards at christmas time. Nothing is marketed to Muslims and i'm tired of it. I want my house decorated for Eid and for our holidays to be special at home. I also want my kid to have Muslim things.

I've been a bit distracted from my original plan but that's changing today. I have some original ideas for things i want to make and sell. I'm working on a few right now. I am keeping it quiet until i open the store but i want to know from you...what types of things would you like to buy geared that way? I'm talking things you can't get anywhere else. I know something i've dreamed of making is a quilt with a mosque and minaret with a night scene and a moon and star. The five prayers mentioned around it etc. I can see it and i want it but i can't buy it anywhere. What would you like for yourself or your children that you can't buy? Please share it with me.

I would also like it if some other crafty sisters wanted to get involved. We could work out details later. But a commitment to make something for the shop. I know things i'm definately making are eid decorations and project kits for kids, hijabs (i'd like someone to do hijab pins), prayer shawls will be there, totes with favorite hadith and islamic themes. I wanted to do blocks for kids (like a is for asr, b is for bilal, etc and keep it very mainstream not sect oriented). Stuff like that...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Snow again!

Woke up to an early snow. It was cold at 5 am! By noon, tween snowboarders took over our hill. That's a weird thing about this neighborhood. There aren't fences so you will come across kids just hanging out in your yard. They are harmless but it's weird. We do have a great hill and went sledding down it ourselves today. Fun fun fun. Haven't done that since i was 13 or so.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Originally uploaded by wayfarer
So I can breathe after getting my book review done and sewing i needed done. Now, I just need to get to the eye doctor for a new prescription and new glasses and i think contacts this time too. I haven't worn them in a while but feel like it again. The glasses are necessary because you know the other day when I said i was fighting with Little Dude, he got very upset with me for not reading a kazillionth book. I love that he loves to read and i love reading to him BUT this boy has a TEMPER. I know where he gets it but I don't have a temper with him and I hate it when he acts out like this.

Here was the scenario that started our horrid day together... I was changing him and asked if he was hungry and he said "yes please" (i have a polite kid...a good thing he gets from his momma) and then i handed him his favorite book he hasn't seen in a while to occupy him while i changed him. When i picked him up he said "read read!". All I said is "After we e-" and smack. He slapped me and tore off my glasses bending them and then breaking them for the 3rd time. This time they were unfixable by me and I'm walking around like a nerd with tape on my glasses. The rest of the day didn't get much better.

The next day was better....this picture was midday. I'm so glad he's eating soup now. Gives me a ton more options for lunches which i was quickly running out of ideas for. I love eating soup with him...his slurping is so darn cute and him trying to get the spoon in. He's eaten with our size silverware for some time now but the spoon full of liquid is a new obstable. He has fed himself since he was a year...quite stubbornly too - meaning i can't help and if he wants a bite of something i'm eating, he points to his plate and says "here" but won't take a bite of mine. Mom is not allowed to help. Ever. boy all growing up.

In the picture is the first picture he has ever told me what it is. He pointed to it sitting in the window and said "Dolphin." Mash'Allah...what a first named painting. I'm keeping this one but the next one he names will go to his grandma/dadi who is an artist (painter). I'll frame it and she will love it and probably hang it amongst her own. It'll be cute.

Funny, just like a couple, after a big fight, the next day is extra nice. Maybe that stuff just has to come out.