Our weekend with the stepkids was unusually educational. On Friday, we went to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. It is such an amazing place to explore and learn, and the creatures that live there are unbelievably beautiful. Here is a photo of my expedition team in the tropical rainforest:
Let me assure that Emily was not as unhappy as she looks. I think that is the standard age 13 female response to a parent's camera. We wouldn't want any photographic evidence of her having a good time with the old dorks, right? She looks like that in every picture. Louie, on the other hand, probably really was miserable. He absolutely REFUSED to leave his coat in the locker. After winning that battle, he insisted on wearing the thing like a big sweaty trophy for the rest of the day.
On Saturday, we went down to D.C. to visit the Smithsonian Institution. In keeping with our biological theme, we decided to go to the National Museum of Natural History. We managed to cruise through most of the animal-related wings, but we ended up lingering in the rock and mineral collection. The Hope Diamond is the big attraction, of course, but there so many other incredible stones on display.
On the way home, Emily asked if I could help her make a Christmas present for her mom. We had gotten an early start, so there were still plenty of sewing hours left in the day. I let her chose the pattern and fabric from my stash, and I did most of sewing. She helped out by ironing, picking up pins, and grabbing things off shelves. Here is what we made:
The pattern is the LadyBug Shoulder Bag by Sew Spoiled. It is a great size, and I love the cute shape. I think Emily made awesome fabric choices, too. The yellow striped fabric is something I bought to make curtains in my last house (never happened, obviously). The vintage pink floral was a yard sale score. The two together give a very sweet "shabby chic" look to the bag. We embellished the top band with pink ribbon roses and glass leaf beads.
I'm back to working on my gift list today. Del is driving the kids home to upstate NY. The roads are icy, so I'm of course fretting. Del grew up in that type of weather, and he assures me that he will take his time and will be fine. Hopefully he will get there and back without incident, and I will get some sewing knocked out today.