lovelies in the mail

I received a package on Friday full of lovely goodies in the mail from Rachael  who was my  partner in the potholder swap.

potholder swap goodies

She went above and beyond the call of duty by making not just one potholder, but two!!

potholders potholders

Included in the package were a ton of other items not just for me...

potholder swap for mummy

potholder swap for the kids

but for family times and my kids...

The boys were incredibly excited when they saw a present marked with their names.  They love the paper airplanes and played all day with them.  The girls also enjoyed their package, especially the little wash cloths which they are currently using to wash their babies with.  I've been enjoying reading the MS Good Things for the kitchen "91 short cuts & smart ideas" while snacking on liquorice.  It's a Good Thing.

Rachael your package was incredible, thank you so much for everything. I hope you are enjoying your warm holiday.


apple a day...

keeps the doctor away.

At least that's what they used to say.  I don't think it worked in this case.  After weeks of feeling fatigued and generally not well I finally made a trip to the doctor today.  It's really strange actually because I was just starting to feel better last Friday through to Monday and then it hit me all over again.  The tightness/heaviness in my chest like there was a brick on me; the fatigue and feverish feeling; and then the cough that seemed to never get worse but not that great either.  I haven't been to a doctor in years for a "sickness" which means I haven't taken antibiotics in years either.  That all ends today as I start my 10 day course of antibiotics.  I had better up my active bacterial cultures as all that is good is about to die along with this bacteria growing inside me.  The doctor ended up diagnosing Bronchitis & Sinusitis, a double whammy which would explain why I am feeling so horrible. 

On the upside, the antibiotics should kick in over the next 48 hours and hopefully in about a weeks time I will feel really great for the first time in over a month. 

here little puppy...

On a recent thrift store outting I managed to snag up this cute little vintage puppy.  I still can't believe it was sitting there on the shelf and not snatched up sooner.  She is so adorable.

vintage kitty

I found this japanese beverage pot at the same store.  I just love it.  There is a hairline crack in the lid, but other than that it is gorgeous.  I am currently using it to water my plants.  It is so pretty that I can just keep it out on my counter and everytime I look at it I remember to water my plants.  It's a win, win for the plants and for me.

new to me


cookies & clutter

Last night after dinner I made some cookies with my ds B.  He was feeling a bit out of sorts about life and I thought maybe a little "mummy time" would help him out.  We made sugar cookies.  We baked them and when they cooled iced them.

Of course you can't make cookies without eating them.  The rest of the kidlets joined in for that exercise and before you know it, we had completely missed bedtime and everyone was still wide awake at 10:00 pm.  That would probably explain why Miss A & J are a wee bit grumpy with each other today.   They probably need a good nap to catch up.

Come to think of it, I could use a nap too!  I stayed up really late last night, I think it was 3:00 am when I finally crawled into bed.  I needed to re-organize the craft room.  The girls have been spending more time in the room with me and they desperately needed a place to color and call their own.  We set up a make shift table for them originally, but that was just taking up too much room.  Instead I cleared a table for them, covered it in brown paper because they love coloring on surfaces as much as in coloring books.

Notice the high tech surroundings.  In the evenings after the girls are in bed my oldest ds often joins me in the room.  He brings his art work in and sits at the table and crafts along with me.  We usually put an episode of Little House (on the Prairie) on & watch/listen while we work.  That's my cluttered work station opposite the kids table.


slow days and fur balls

It's a "Slow Day" and no one sings it better than Raffi on his Bananaphone album.

The day is passing rather un-spectacularly as I make efforts at house cleaning and try to shrink the on-going laundry pile.  The girls are awake from their nap and coloring beside me as I type.

This week I felted an angora sweater that I picked up at the thrift shop.

I cut up the sweater into small pieces. I'm planning on sewing them together to make a felted bunny.

If the angora doesn't kill me first.  I felt so itchy after I cut it.  The fibers seemed to cling to my nose & clothes.  I feel like I could spit up a fur ball.  If I do, I promise to take pictures.   I may have to do this project completely by hand as the loose fibers will kill my sewing machine.  Or maybe I should throw the pieces in the dryer for a bit with a towel to catch the loose fibers?  *cough* *sneeze* *cough* I'll keep you posted.


Corner of my home

So to speak that is.  Our stairwell as the sun illuminates it.

hallway sun

February is a really cold month where I live and true to form we have been locked in a deep freeze.  We have become accustomed to consoling ourselves with the fact that though it is cold, it is also very sunny here.   It is ironic to me that though the sun is bright, you really can't enjoy it unless you are wrapped in multiple snowsuit layers. But this week I did my best to get the most of the sun from the indoors.

My kitchen has south exposure, I'd have taken a picture of how the sun cascades through the window and lights up the room so brightly, but dh didn't clean the windows before  winter so let's just say that isn't going to happen.  I did stand in my kitchen with my face pressed against the glass trying to "suck up" the sun's goodness.  My kids thought it looked very weird and I was really hoping that nobody was taking a stroll through the back roads.  I even opened the patio door and put my head out to get the sun on my face, but had to quickly close it as the - 30 degree exterior was telling me that it still isn't summer.

I tried another approach, I laid down on the floor of my sons' room and like a cat I let the warmth of the sun bathe my entire being.  Pretty soon I had 4 little ones laying down beside me trying to figure out what mum was doing.  It was peaceful but it didn't last long.  Before long the girls couldn't resist crawling on me and out of necessity I got up.  My quiet lay-in-the sun time ended up becoming "read a book to the girls" or I won't survive the mauling.

One thing the sun did help me with the most is the realization that summer is just around the corner.  The days are getting longer and soon our indoor living will become a thing of the past as I turn my craft to my outdoor garden one where the fabric backdrop is rich with soil and greenery,  & flowers.  I can hardly wait.

Enjoy your weekend everyone.


blankets are done

I sewed up the blankets for Miss J & Miss A's babies while they napped yesterday afternoon. They were very straightforward and other than fussing with the very narrow bias tape everything went off without a hitch. I'm up for doing more projects from this pattern, I just need to decide on what fabrics.

baby doll blanket complete!

The girls were very happy that their babies don't have to be cold anymore. Miss J said her baby isn't "crynin" (crying) anymore and proceeded to nurse her baby. How very earth mumma-ish, I guess the AP parenting has paid off...even her baby is smiling.

baby doll happy

I should mention here that Miss A's favorite "baby" in the entire world is plush puppy her big brother J gave her. When she found the blanket she took her doll out and had me wrap her puppy up, to each his own I guess. I still need to get a photo of her puppy in the blanket as she was very reluctant to release it for a picture once she saw how cuddy & cozy puppy was all wrapped up.


my labor of love today is a WIP

For the past two days Miss J has been obsessed with having an appropriate sized blanket for her "baby." The problem is that other than tea towels, I really don't have any tiny blankets for a 10" baby. I've put off sewing these little items because frankly, the girls never seemed interested in it, until now... The first thing I did was go through my pattern  stash to see if I had a pattern. Turns out I have a great pattern for such things. I think I purchased this pattern back in 1996 or 1997 when I was expecting my first wee one. (I really should start dating my patterns, that way I know when I purchased it.) I spent the latter part of last evening cutting out the pattern while watching a flick with dh and then looked through my remnant fabrics for something cute & blanket worthy.

labor of love

This fabric also dates back to around the same time I purchased the pattern. It was originally used to recover a second hand carseat and now looks very Valentine appropriate with all the hearts & cuddly bears.

So this is my "labor of love" on Valentine's Day, crafting for my kids or with my kids.  Hope you are enjoying your day too!


Phew, busy day...

The day got away from me and I'm finally getting a few minutes to sit down at the computer.  Bedtime is around the corner for my kids so I'd better make this quick. 
My dh goes into work late on Mondays so today I was able to sneak out of the house to do a bit of thrifting while the girls napped.   I snatched up some great vintage fabrics that I will make into totes, though I think the first fabric on the left is calling out "skirt".  The fabric colors are so vibrant and alive. 
Vintage fabric 1
In this next batch, the colors are not so vibrant, but they will sew up nicely as sun dresses or tank tops for the girls this summer.  The rick rack should also help liven things up too. 
Vintage fabric 2
Isn't this a beautiful vintage table cloth? It is a bit too short for my kitchen table, what to do? what to do?
Vintage tablecloth
I also picked up some old wooly sweaters that I'm going to felt, I didn't get pics of those items yet but will take some later.  I'm not totally sure yet what to do with them.  It all depends on how they felt.  I was thinking of making some stuffed toys, but who knows maybe slippers or a bag will work too.

Gotta run...


the scene is set

Our brave soldiers battled endlessly without stop today.   Tired and warn out from battle still they forge ahead conquering all evil that stands in their way.

Playmobil brave soldiers

The kingdom is safe for another day!

Playmobil castle


friends can really brighten your day

I received some flowers the other day from some very dear friends of mine.  The bouquet was so beautiful and fresh.  I took a few pictures and the one that stood out to me was the one of Lily (I named her).  Isn't she a gorgeous flower?  She pails in comparison to the kindness of friends. 



february blahs

The February Blahs have hit.  It all starts with the endless bitter cold of winter and then the questions start flowing "why don't we move?"; "the west coast would be a warmer winter"; "do you think we could handle the rain instead of the snow?"; "would it be sunny?"   While the dh and I become very contemplative about life, the children are creating their own solution to the endless days of indoor play.  Take a bunk bed set, many blankets, a kitchen chair or two...

what to do, what to do...

throw in 4 rambunctious children & the family dog... 

when you have the february blues


treats from Holland

My dh was in the Netherlands over the weekend.  He left for his trip on Thursday and arrived in Amsterdam on Friday morning which is 7 hours ahead of our current time.  His plane arrived home yesterday afternoon.  He is like a celebrity when he walks through the front door with 4 children screaming his name "daddy" while pulling on him to give him a hug & a kiss. 

It didn't even occur to me that he would bring anything back.  But I'm sure glad he did!  Here is a glimpse of some of the goodies that he brought back.

dutch treats

*T-shirts for the boys,
*Adorable plush slippers for the girls, fashioned like dutch wooden clogs,
*A toque for himself,
*4 tiles handpainted with windmills for me, 
*Dutch liquorice (I love that stuff, very addicting), candies, sprinkles, waffle cookies and a huge ball of Edam cheese that we couldn't resist cutting into. 

yum, yum! 


un-cooperative toddlers

Miss A & Miss J decided that neither of them were interested in modelling the legwarmer I had knit for them. I barely got Miss A to try it on before she burst into tears. Miss J wasn't much better. At least I know it fits even if they hate it.  I've started on the second one though I find myself asking the question "why bother..." Who knows, in the end they may like wearing them better when there is one for each leg. In the meantime our large Winnie the Pooh plush lent his leg for my picture. 

any leg will do

I tried a different finish on the end of the leg warmer. It is ruffle finish (a simple increase in stitches), it should sit quite nicely on the girls' shoes but on Pooh it looks a bit wonky.
Maybe after a nice wash the ruffle will settle down.

such flair



Potholder Swap

You can visit HappyZombie to learn more details.  I put my name in the swap and will find out who I am sending my item to by Feb 6th. Maybe I should crochet a potholder? hmmm... In the past I would referred to myself as "crochet challenged" I've had a mental block when it came to reading the pattern and figuring out how to translate into the practical. But things change and  I'm starting to get the hang of it and I can't believe how fast it goes. 

Here's what I've come up with so far. The completed potholder is in single crochet. The one I'm working on is half double crochet. Pot holders are a great way to practice stitches. 

crochet practice

Next stitch to learn is the double crochet. Maybe I'll do that in the green or the variegated wool. 

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