Thursday, January 31, 2008


Wow, it's been a week since my last post. Bad blogger! No comments! Let's see, what have I been up to? Picking up toys mostly. Sometimes it seems that's all I ever do. That, and nursing the baby. I know it's supposed to be a magical bonding experience and all but sometimes I just want her to hurry it up and let go so we can get on with things. She's cute though, and I love her. You know who else is cute? Our kitty. I think we picked a winner.

I've also been doing some much-needed updating to my website. I added some needlepoint bags that I made last fall - a Water Lady tote, a Butterfly bag, and a Sunroom tote, plus some sundresses I made for the winter shows - ones with a Peter Rabbit print from 1971, more RetroGirl dresses and one with a vintage Mickey Mouse print. Tonight I added three new Friendly Monsters - Harwol, Spot, and Mitch. Keep checking back for more updates. It's 2008 already! Out with the old and in with the new!

As if I needed any more projects in my life, I've also been working on a floor mosaic and a patchwork zodiac. More on that in blog posts to come.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Speaking of cute. . .

We got a kitty!

We named her Bella.

She's a rescue kitty from the Los Angeles East Valley Animal Shelter. Sage picked her out. She's two years old, has swirly and stripedy grey markings and gorgeous green eyes.

And a long tongue too.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Made by Monday - Personalized stuff.

After a couple months break, I'm once again taking personalized orders. I have a list of names on my "to do" board in my sewing room and it never fails that when I finally cross a couple off, more names soon get added. I could probably build my whole business around doing personalized commissions, but I think I'd get bored. I like making a purse, pillow, sundress, or monster every now and then just to shake things up.

Goal for next week: A purse, pillow, sundress, or monster just to shake things up.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

We like to hike.

Today we hiked around Topanga Canyon.

All the way up to Eagle Rock overlooking the valleys and all the way out to the sea. Six miles.

Friday, January 18, 2008

My Cult Following:

Ha! I found this when I Googled "kokoleo" the other day. Years ago I discovered there's a West African song called Kokoleo-Ko about a "chicken crowing for day." Maybe this is it? Or maybe these people just really love my friendly monsters and needlepoint totes.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thrift Thursday - Containers

I feel like I'm always on a quest to find the perfect thing to contain all our other things. I'm picky too because I know how much it sucks when you pick the wrong thing and have to live with it. I've done that with cars, couches, curtains, etc. The best feeling is the day you find that perfect thing you've been looking for. Last Friday I found this:

A storage bench. A huge handmade seating area with enough space to hold almost all our instruments. Nevermind all the papers taped to the wall and all that wood (we're eventually going to paint over it). At least now the nook is more inviting, no?

And baby-proofed. I called Erik from the thrift store when I saw the bench and said, "This is it! I found it! Come home soon and help me get it! It's only $50!" Look how much it holds:

Amps, a keyboard, trombone, and a billion little instruments Sage likes to play. Sometimes we get them out and have band practice (translation: make noise). Erik thinks if I show pictures like this we'll get robbed. I doubt any of you would rob us, but if you do, remember that the amps are in the storage bench.

Speaking of storage, I also got this last Thursday:

I think I'll use it for sewing notions.

Sage found this, a container of sorts for his arms and torso:

It's a vintage houndstooth jacket that zips up the side. He actually asked me please if he could have it. With his new crewcut he looks straight out of 1962.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Teach your children well

It never fails, after about a year of being away from teaching I start thinking about going back. I don't know what it is. When I was in Shepherdstown I saw a few of my former students and started thinking about the school I started there. In 2004 a few moms in Shepherdstown asked me start a school for their homeschooled kids. We met M-W-F from 9-3. Our classroom was a converted dining room and I had 7 kids ranging in grades K-8. Looking back, I don't know how I did it but somehow it worked.

This was our classroom. The kids were pretending they were always this sweet and well-behaved. Ha! they were usually silly and rambunctious. But I loved them anyway and somehow managed to teach things like nouns and verbs and U.S. history and art and growing beans and raising butterflies.

It was a fun time. I sometimes wonder what it would have grown into if we were still living there. I'm happy to hear that the kids are all growing into fine respectable citizens and that they remember their time with me fondly.

Speaking of out-of-the-box endeavors originating in Shepherdstown, my friend Karen (mom of 3 girls, two of whom were my students) sent me a link to her new website Check it out, it's an awesome resource for sustainable living. It links to sites where you can eat, dress, drive, decorate, work, party, have pets, and raise kids in ways that help, instead of hurt the environment. Right on!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Made by Monday

I thought after the holidays that I'd have all this time to make all new things for kokoleo. We've been back for two weeks now and I have little to show for it. Where does the time go? The time goes to the grocery store and to and from kindergarten and to the car repair shop. Time has to pick up toys and vacuum and do laundry and nurse a baby. Sometimes though, the stars align and time finds a chance to slip into the studio and sew. Here's what I had time to make this week:

For me!

A sewing machine cover made out of neckties. I was working on another project and laid a bunch of ties on top of my machine and then got the idea to do this. I'm mad at that machine right now anyway and this makes it nicer to look at.

I have a whole slew of personalized pieces in the works right now, mostly for my friends who are breeding like rabbits. These two are for a customer:

Goals for this week: Finish banners, clean up website.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

only in Hollywood. . .

I was all psyched to go to this garage sale I found on Craigslist last night:

HOLLYWOOD COSTUME DESIGNER clearing out her garage...... collection of memorabilia from the TV show THE FACTS OF LIFE, plus many other TV and stage shows, including huge collection of costume jewelry, purses, hats, scarves, sewing supplies galore, vintage clothing, antique and modern laces (a few 100 years old), fabrics, beaded trims, laces, dress form, 1970's Bernina sewing machine, still works perfectly Sat 9-1 ONLY

I mapped it out and even ventured beyond my usual proximity and took the freeway to get there. Unfortunately, it was a bust. I got a few spools of thread and some bias tape, but no Facts of Life stuff. It turns out I'm just not a fan of gaudy 80s jewelry, even if Blair or Tootie wore it. Oh well, you take the good, you take the bad.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I've been tagged. . .

I've noticed this tag thing going around blogs but up until now I've never participated. Jennifer from Textile Fetish tagged me last week to list 7 random and/or weird things about myself. Here goes:

1. The name on my birth certificate and drivers license is actually Karen Elizabeth, but the only people who have ever call me that are doctors, nurses, police officers, and teachers on the first day of school. My parents and friends always called me Karebeth growing up (you take the "n" off of Karen and the "Eliza" off Elizabeth and then put what's left together) and reserved "KarenElizabeth!" for when I was in trouble. Consequently I hate being called Karen. Do you know how infuriating it is, in the middle of labor, to hear a nurse say, "Push Karen! Push!" Grrr. Everyone was always misspelling and mispronouncing Karebeth (not Karabeth) so in college I started going by KB. Still, when I tell people my name, they usually say, "Nice to meet you, Katie."

2. I have a very long tongue. Sometimes I pull it out at parties and people gasp and take pictures.

3. In junior high and high school I played ice hockey (defense), soccer (defense), ran track (hurdles), and was on the swimming (backstroke) and diving teams. I didn't consider myself a jock though. I preferred hanging out with the hippies. Also, I have zero interest in watching sports on t.v.

4. In 1999 I started posting on the Jane Magazine message boards. My screen name was Savannah because that's where I was living at the time. I made some great friends through that board, some whom I've met in real life and many who I consider to be some of my best friends since I "talk" (type?) to them almost every day. A few years ago we had a mass exodus (or did they kick us off?) from the magazine's message board (about the time Jane Pratt left) and started other smaller boards. We talk about celebrities and sucky jobs and our kids and what we're wearing. We've supported one another through marriages, births, new jobs, new houses, deaths, divorces. . . you name it. Damn, we're getting old. I sometimes wonder if we'll all still be whootin' it up on the internet when we're in nursing homes.

5. I hate following patterns. Usually when I sew, I make the pattern up as I go. If I like it, I make a copy of it out of cardstock to use again. The tissue paper that comes with store-bought patterns drives me mental. Also, I have no patience when it comes to following directions. Hmmm, that must be where Sage gets it.

6. I'm a bad cook. You know how some blogs have beautiful photographs of fancy meals that the blogger whipped up? You won't see many of those from me. If I don't add all the wrong spices, I overcook things, undercook things, burn things and generally just make ugly food. Occasionally, I put together a decent meal and everyone remarks what a novelty it is. Luckily, Erik is an awesome and adventurous chef, so we don't starve.

7. I won a tractor from our local news station when we lived in West Virginia. They put me on a commercial and everything. We used it for a year and then sold it and used the money to get across the country when we moved to California.

There. Now you know everything about me.

Now it's my turn to tag some people.
For the tagged, The rules are as follows:
Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
Share 7 random and/or weird things about yourself.
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Saucy Trollop
West Coast Crafty
Indie Shopper
Sweet Inspiration

more later, maybe.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sage's scissor mischief

Sage likes to cut things up with scissors. He's seen me working with them so much it's no wonder he wants to use them too. I figure it helps hand-eye coordination and whatnot so I gave him his own scissors and generally encourage his crafty snippery. Often though, this means I'm left to pick paper snowflake parts out of the carpet. The other day he was cutting up paper and getting glue all over the table and chair. I was just about to scoop up the mess and toss it in the trash when he stopped me and beamed, "Look what I made for you!"

Awww. For those of you who can't read paper scraps, it says "I Love You." That's sweet. My boy is getting pretty creative with the scissors. Check out his latest experiment:

Not so sweet. He hacked his bangs away and even managed to chop some off the top a la Alfalfa from the Little Rascals. I thought he was too old to do this. I thought he learned his lesson after the whisker incident of 2006

when he got a major timeout and lost his scissor privileges for months.

(Yes, I am one of those terrible moms who does not hold her child's hand every waking moment. Sue me. I don't, however allow him to play with knives and power tools.)

So here he was tonight getting the shortest haircut of his life:

Afterward he looked in the mirror and cried. Poor guy. I suppose this will be one of those stories we tell around the Thanksgiving table. Now he just looks like he'd headed for boot camp.

Friday, January 04, 2008

What I did on my Christmas vacation by KB VanHorn

Long time, no blog. It's been so long it seems I've forgotten how to do it (blog, that is). Let's see, where was I when I last posted an entry? Ah yes, the holidays. We spent ours back east visiting family and friends in Ohio and West Virginia. Yes, we braved an airplane with a 5 year old and a 4 month old and we survived. Not only that, but we managed to spend Christmas morning with my parents and brother, then drive to West Virginia to Erik's parents house and spend Christmas dinner with them.

I have to say that I didn't grow up in Ohio. My parents moved there when I was in college. I just had to make that fact known. Viva la West Virginia! Moving on.

Sage got to play with his cousins:

Along the way we saw TREES glorious TREES. I miss trees like these. We would have loved to see snow on these trees, but Mother Nature didn't come through in that department.

We couldn't leave West Virginia without doing two things - first, go to Gabriel's (one of Appalachia's best kept fashion secrets), and next, go to Shepherdstown (decked out in our fancy new Gabe's clothes, of course.)

How can I adequately express my love for Shepherdstown? Everyone should be so lucky to know a place like Shepherdstown and have the kind of friends we have there. As much as L.A. has to offer, this is what I miss more than anything. Our friends threw two, yes two, big parties for us complete with good food and drink and breakfast in the mornings.

Scooter and Kelly made an awesome dinner.

We introduced everyone to McKenna.

Luca introduced herself to Erik's crotch.

The next morning we walked to the monument.

And ate at the Blue Moon.

Our progeny.

We met Jessie and Todd's new baby Mable.

Kendra came over to see us. We lived together in college. She has a boy and a girl now too.

Sage and Una. Their mom's have the same tattoo. We got them in New Orleans (the tattoos, not the kids).

We had dinner at the Yellow Brick Bank.

Then Steve and Maureen had a big hairy party for us at their house. Unfortunately my camera was m.i.a. for most of it, but I did get this picture of all our kids having a party of their own.

The morning after.

On the way out we got M.T.Os at Sheetz.

And visited some of our old houses.

Then we drove 6 hours back to Columbus where on Sunday, my dad baptized McKenna. (He's an Episcopal bishop so he can do that. They don't let just anyone baptize babies.) One Monday we celebrated New Years with a rousing game of Scrabble with my parents:

and On New Years Day we flew home. Whew, what a trip.

Now, we're all caught up.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...