making dough

homemade playdough

I've never been much for buying things I can make.  Especially things that can be ingested by my kids. Play dough is just one of those things that always gave me the willies when my first babe was little.  I was fairly determined to make something that he could play with that would have a few "better" features than the store bought variety.  I wanted the dough to be more pliable and easier to work with, for small hands still in motor development stages.  I wanted it to be fairly odourless.  I wanted it to be non-toxic as I was pretty certain that some of it would end up in my little guy's mouth. 

homemade playdough

I stumbled upon a homemade play dough recipe about 9 years ago and have been making it ever since.  I've tried to remember the original source of the recipe over the years but I only draw blanks.  I'm not even sure how close to the original our recipe has remained as I've tweaked it over the years, out of necessity I might add, as I haven't had a stellar memory in remembering ingredients. 

homemade playdough

Well here it is for you to give a whirl.

Homemade Play dough

1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of salt
2 TBSP of cream of tartar
1 cup of water
1 TBSP of vegetable oil
a few drops of food coloring (or cake decorating pigment)

Whisk dry ingredients together in a saucepan then add the wet ingredients.  With a wooden spoon, stir and cook on medium heat until mixture becomes thick and pulls away from the sides of pot.  Remove the dough from the pot and let it cool; then kneed it a few times to give it a smooth consistency.  This stage also helps to set the colors of you are using the cake decorating pigments.   I prefer the cake decorating pigments because the colors are more vibrant.

homemade playdough

As for storing, I use plastic zip bags and then an airtight container.
The dough lasts forever and I usually don't have to make more until the
kidlets have mixed all the colors and it resembles army green. If you decide to make this drop a comment and let me know how it goes.   

homemade playdough

*On a side note: Thank you to those who left comments and sent emails wishing us well.  We are safely home from our sad little road trip.  My brother in law, who just retired last year, passed away after a very quick 'bout with cancer.  Life can really suck sometimes. 




We had sad news over the weekend that has us heading out of town.   Be back soon. 



dog sweater

The sweater is complete.  When I originally posted about this wip, I said something to the effect that the "recipient wouldn't probably care that much"....  I'm sure that is still true on the part of my puppy but one thing that made me happy was that he didn't go all crazy in it and try to rip, or bite it off.  He actually doesn't seem to mind it too much at all.  Good dog! 

dog sweater

I may just knit for him again, perhaps booties his poor paws are just freezing in this cold spell.  Brrr...


self portrait :: still hiding

hiding self

Yeah, that's me and I'm still hiding.  The funk has not completely lifted yet but I'm starting to feel a bit better.   


I spent the day behind the camera doing some photo shoots of the kids.  Between that and spending time in my sons' very sunny room soaking up some rays, life is looking better.

self puppy love.

My amazing 7 year old son took this last picture and that is his shadow in the background. 


cold spell

I'm in a bit of a funk right now.  The weather has turned miserably cold and it is keeping us indoors.  Winter is just way too long a season for me and it's that time of year when I dream of living everywhere else but here.  Let's face it, some places the grass is greener...  I mean some places actually have grass right now during their winter.    The best recipe for this soul right now is not so much typing but "In Between Dreams" by Jack Johnson and photos that I took of the kids last week before the cold snap.  Enjoy!

outdoors set

outdoors set

outdoors set

outdoors set

Oops and the B-meister was missing that day so here's one for good measure, randomly indoors.

random indoors set



Look what I found sniffing around my flowers all done and ready for pictures.

butterfly watching

It's not the normal time of year for butterflies around these parts but this little beauty was more than welcomed into the arms of his new owner.

january butterfly

Made with 100 % wool felt and Kaffe Fassett fabric, both were inspiring to work with. I never tire of the gorgeous designs and brilliant colors of this fabric.  

january butterfly

The B-meister originally had no idea that this was going to be his when I first asked him what his favorite fabric was from my pile.  He was ecstatic when it was complete.  Especially since his original creation is in need of repair or replacement from excesses loving.

Happy Monday everyone, it's a happy day in the neighbourhood.


I've been think a lot about the times that I carried life inside of
me.  I'm sure it is spurred on by the excitement of friends recently
having babies. 

I am so grateful that I've been able to experience the joys of bringing
wee ones into the world.  To hold them close nurture them in body and
in spirit.  Creating life is such a wonderful privilege and gift. 
I've grown as a woman and have been thoroughly blessed to be drawn into
motherhood along with generations of women before me and those yet to

I think this a great way to start the spring break week, don't you?   

This might just be one of those posts you have to pass over but for me it is a quiet celebration of tears.  A huge part of the last decade for me has been about creating life.  I have given of my body and soul to each wee one that the creator has entrusted into my care.  I've grown as a woman and have been thoroughly blessed to be drawn into motherhood along with generations of women before me and those yet to come.  A big part of the care giving has been unseen when each wee wonder began their journey as a tiny set of cells, carefully growing each hour of each day to include all that makes them who they are today.  And after the momentous arrival from my womb to the world they now inhabit, they were nourished once again by my body, my breasts.

I started out my nursing experience with the hope that I would be able to nurse my first babe for the first 6 months of his life.   It seemed like a reasonable amount of time.   Six months came and then it went, as did that idea.  My son was not only enjoying the benefits of breastfeeding, I too was greatly satisfied by the love and care that this relationship was allowing me to experience.  Soon after a year arrived and it too, came and went.  I was learning quickly that children don't necessarily follow the guidelines of textbooks and experts.  It was around this time that many of those close to me started to ask me when I was going to wean my dear son.  I wasn't sure how to answer this question.  I didn't have a plan.  I had given up on specific time frames and decided that the best way for me to proceed was to follow my child's lead.  I don't think  I would ever have guessed that by following my babe's lead that it would have ended up taking us well beyond the "acceptable" length of time for breastfeeding.  My eldest was just over 3 years old when this stage of our relationship changed.  I admit by the end I hurried the time along as I was finding the tandem nursing a difficult process and I longed to hold my second son exclusively in my arms for longurious minutes upon minutes of solitary mummy & baby nursing.  This relationship lasted another 3 + years. 

Another year passed before I began another nursing relationship with my twin daughters.  The first couple of days I tried to nurse the girls individually but I soon realized that it was far more efficient to nurse two at the same time.  There was a huge learning curve getting two newborns to suckle at the same time, but once we go the hang of it there was no stopping us.   Now here we are and the girls are almost 3 1/2 years old  and I am savoring the moments left in our nursing relationship.  They come to me once or twice a week to have "awa"   After a minute or two they announce "the milk is gone".  It is bittersweet to hear those words spoken.  They tell of the work my body has done over the last decade producing milk for the nourishment of both my children's' bodies and souls.   I am acutely aware that unless we have more children that this is not only the end of a momentous season for me.  And though I may never have life grow within me, nor nourish a babe from my breasts I celebrate my children who have taught me so much and still have so much more love to absorb and give, of a different kind. 

ard to let this part of our relationship go but the timing seemed right and though I

I was nervously filled with joy to discover that I was pregnant with my first child in 1996.  As we planned and dreamed during that special time our hopes were quickly dashes to pieces when we discovered that our excitement would never come to be.  At 36 + weeks we were told our daughter had a rare chromosome defect and should not be expected to live.  We were devastated.  A week later she was born; and we lived a life of love in one very short hour. 

A couple of months during this very dark season we were over-joyed and oh so tenderly cautious to realize that another little life was growing inside me.  I don't think I've ever prayed so much in my life as much as I prayed for that wee one.   Right on his due date and very punctual we welcomed our first son into our lives, Big J.  He was and still is a 10 year old wonder to behold.   

A year and a half passed and we felt the tugging in our hearts to walk the path of pregnancy again.  Once again we welcomed a beautiful, happy baby boy into our lives, the B-meister.  He arrived late and sleepy and to this day he still arrives in that fashion, all 7+ years of himself. 

We happily went along life growing into the parenting grace and caring for our 2 dear sons.  We simplified, philosophized and enjoyed each moment.  Often our hearts would turn back to our first child and though we are still broken over the babe we did not know, we were feeling the healing that comes from the love of our other children. 

Pretty soon we began to have thoughts of expanding our small unit of 4 to allow for another child.  My rule of thumb was "even numbers".  I thought really it would only be fair that if we were going to have one more, we should really plan to have another quickly follow so that they have each other. 

In January 2004 I had a terrible flu that I couldn't shake.  After a few weeks of agony I went to see the doctor to find out why I couldn't get rid of this "bug".  After a thorough examination my doctor suggested I pee on a stick to rule out a pregnancy.  Ridiculous I thought.  Not so ridiculous did I think after my results showed that indeed my "bug" would leave in about 7 - 8 more months.  I was pregnant. 

During that pregnancy I was under the care of a mid-wife.  I was planning on having my first home birth  after a series of high risk pregnancies.  Plans altered again when a 21 week ultrasound revealed that I was carrying 2 babies, twins!  For a few weeks I kept psyching myself up for the possibility of being a mother of 4 sons until a fetal assessment revealed the wee ones that were growing in my womb were two little girlie babes.  The joy of knowing that we were going to again have the chance to raise little girls was unbelievable.   

I think, I fear that time for me is over.  I


mixing it up

What do you do when you are trying to re-establish a routine post holidays?  Why bake cookies of course!


I don't think we are quite ready to detox from our sugary sweet Christmas and the kids were more than happy to participate.  Miss A is working the whisk here.   


Mixing is one thing, but getting that dough dropped on the sheets was quite another.  They eventually go the hang of it. 


What could be better than a chocolaty rainbow chip cookie?


Happy Weekend Everyone.  Thank you for stopping by and for all your encouraging words via comments and emails.  :)


thank you


A big thank you to those of you who purchased items from my shop.  Your items are in the post.   

girlie totes

I'll be running my 25 % off Valentine's Day sale a bit longer: My etsy shop


a little extra christmas

I ordered some Kaffe Fasset fabric from here that arrived before Christmas.  They had a great "free shipping" deal on which is always nice when they include Canadians, eh?

kaffe fasset fabric

I love this fabric.  The colors, the design, they are so right.  It has taken loads of will power not to order sooner but I finally broke down during the merry season solely motivated by the shipping deal.  Though you are are clearly seeing my weakness, believe it or not I didn't open the package until after Christmas because I was afraid I would get too distracted from my current projects.

kaffe fassett wip

Last week I took the plunge and opened the goods.  They quickly went into the washing machine for a quickie wash and as you can tell I'm already in the midst of a crafty project.  The reveal isn't too far off, but so far it's looking cute :)

kaffe fassett friend

In the meantime I have a sale going on in my etsy shop, everything is 25 % off.   Check it out!


for the littlest guy

Knit a row, purl a row, change colors mid row, multiples times....ACK!  what was I thinking? 

for the littlest guy in my life

I think I had a weak moment and too many balls of left over yarn.  Needless to say this one has been real interesting to knit up.  I wouldn't describe the work as difficult, rather tedious.  I'm almost finished it so I'll save the "who it is for," for another day.  I sure hope the recipient is grateful, though secretly I'm thinking he really won't give a darn. 

We had some really fabulous weather over the weekend which kept us outdoors a great deal.  It was very wet but oh so wonderful for January.  Today we are back into the swing of regular life.  Our tree is down and most of the Christmas decorations have been packed away.  I have oodles of pictures to sort through from the holidays but right now that seems too daunting a task.  I think I will take things a bit slow for now as I ease out of party mode.  It has been a really lovely holiday season for us but I'm ready to move
on and get back to a bit of a regular schedule, especially my sleep.  Have a lovely day. 



I spent a wee bit of time outdoors yesterday with my camera taking some new photos.  I've been meaning to change my banner for a quite a few weeks now.   Since the snow has arrived everything is blanketed with white.  In some ways it is a beautiful image to photograph, in other ways it makes taking photos very challenging.  Depth and perception get lost in the one color scheme but when it does work it really is lovely.

bird house

I would love to make a postcard out of the next photo.  This purple martin condo occupies our backyard.  Though we have never actually seen a purple martin use the dwelling, we have seen other species.   The bird house is actually too close in proximity to our dwelling to ever entice the purple martin.  Makes for a lovely photo though.

birdie condo

It's been really cold lately but I'm hoping to get outside again this weekend and take in some more of the winter freshness.   Have a good one.   


au revoir

As I write this post, I am sitting in my warm comfy pajamas with a steaming cup of coffee nearby for mid-morning clarity. I am happy to be indoors this morning on this cold winter day. I am grateful and happy for my family. We have been rather "busy making merry" (as Dickens would say) over the past week giving every effort to stretching out the holidays as long as possible. It has been especially nice to have my hubby home and off work for two weeks, I feel spoiled.

hard at work

Tonight we will say goodbye to another year and welcome, with anticipation, a new one. I always feel excited heading into a new year. One never does know what wonderful things lie ahead and discovering them and participating as life unfolds new adventures is what I am looking forward to this upcoming year.


I'm not one for verbal resolutions as they always give me the impression that somehow the experiences of the past year are something of regret. Rather, I like to approach life as a journey. A journey which encompasses living in the now which is filled with moments of both peace and chaos. Really, how can one exist without the other?

hockey night in canada

Children seem to encompass this idea best for me. They are so full of life and innocently wear their hearts on their sleeve. They swing the pendulum from peace to the antithesis: chaos, and they do so without apology. Their innocence and fervor for every stage of life both exhilarates and challenges every facet of my being and for that I am grateful to be reminded that life is worth living in the moment. That each moment becomes a part of the journey and our journey is what brings meaning to our existence.

And so I leave you with a prayer and a wish for the new year, that both you and I will be able to see our world, our environment with the clarity of a child and while we participate in this journey of life; may we embrace all that each day has for us. Happy New Year and many blessings to you in 2008. xoxo

peace love joy

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