3 years later...

Question: when you've been absent from your own blog for over three years, does that make you a visitor of your own blog? Ha! Yes, I've have been very absent from this space. I have no particular reason. Life has continued on. I still sew, knit and make the crafts things. I'm still homeschooing, I still have 4 children at home, that I'm still raising/guiding with my husband of almost 25 years. We still live in the same house that we've been slowly renovating over the past 10 years. I'm not sure that ever ends?!

Some things have changed in the past 3 years. We've said goodbye to our beloved family in 2016 - Spencer. We welcomed new pets into our home - 2 lop-eared house buns that live free range in my daughters' bedroom; and one very obnoxiously, delightful puppy that joined our family in the spring of 2017.

Over the years I've contemplated deleting this space. But I get immobilized by the countless memories preserved in these virtual pages that I can't seem to let go of. So many of the early years consists of posts and images of my children when they were young. It's definitely a beautiful scrapbook of our lives since my kids aren't signing up to have their images taken anymore, let alone published on a blog. Things change right?

*photo of kids from a few years back*

If you managed to keep up with me at all, most of my social media activity for the past few years has taken place on instagram. But since the fall of 2017 I've noticed my productivity on that medium waining. Honestly, I'm starting to feel like instagram has run its course. While the snapshot photos provide a quick view into your life, they lack a certain personal interaction that you could get with the blog. Can I gripe for a minute and tell you how strongly I dislike how instagram has messed up people's feeds, I think the inability to see the feed chronologically keeps me feeling even more disconnected from friends I follow. And don't get me started on the endless, irrelevant ads... Egads! I suppose when things starting to swing that way, I found myself losing interest. I'm probably not alone. I don't know what today's answer is to instagram, which seemed to replace the good ol' blog for many.

So where does that leave me today? I'm busier now and that generally that keeps me from posting on this space or instagram.  I mentioned that I'm still homeschooling (some of) my kids - 17 years now actually. My oldest son is in university. My second son has just completed his final year of high school and has some tentative plans for post secondary education in the fall of 2018. I'm down to my last two homeschoolers, my twin girls, we are finishing up grade 8 this year. Homeschooling has been a big part of my life and making sure my kids have lots of opportunity for extracurricular activities takes up a huge chunk of my time. When I'm not homeschooling I work half-time outside of the home, and I'm pretty disciplined about fitness, so really that leaves me a few hours in the week to create/make things and sometimes I don't even manage even that. Have I mentioned sleep and age yet?  I noticed this strange correlation between my age and late night productivity. The older I get, the less productive I am after 9 pm. When I was younger, those were my best creative hours. Now after 9 pm, the yawning starts and I find myself heading towards all things bed. Sleep has become so very important to me now that I am getting ready to head into my 5th decade. Wow! I can't believe that is around the corner. Someone pinch me!!


felted dog bed

I have two dogs that have made their appearance in my blog (& instagram) from time to time. Well last year we had to break them of the sleep on furniture habit as we purchased new couches for both our living & family rooms. I couldn't let my pampered pooches make them become glorified dog beds this time around. Yeah sure, once in a while in the family room is okay, but not on a daily basis and never if we aren't around. It was a hard learned lesson for my pups but I think we have succeeded in getting the message across.

Enter the new dog bed. My dogs are pretty simple creatures. Most days they want an old pillow or a crumpled up blanket to sleep on. That's when I remembered seeing this post on apartment therapy.

Back in my hard core thrifting days I managed to amass a nice selection of sweaters for felting, no doubt for some great craft idea that has come and gone. It was back in the days when I made a couple of felted bunnies for my wee girlies. I hung onto the sweaters in hopes that I would be re-inspired to use them and I can say that this is probably one of the first times that has actually worked. I set to work cutting up the felted sweaters into various sized squares. Sewed them back up in a patchwork style. The final product needed to be large enough to cover an old pillow front to back. Next I sewed the one long edge (the other long edge is folded) and short end. I left an opening on the opposite short end for the pillow to be inserted, and I sewed a strip of velcro on the short end for ease of opening and closing in case I need to add a new pillow or things need to be washed. (Best part about the washing thing is you can easily use hot water with no fear of shrinkage as it is already felted). Check out the apartment therapy post as it has step-by-step instructions.

Really super easy project start to finish. And I think it might be a wee bit more attractive than seeing an old white, naked pillow laying on the floor. It is Lily approved too! Now to get busy on the second one.


somewhere far, far, away...

Have I ever told you how much I love Heather Ross' fabric? I mean love. I have quite a few of her fabric lines sitting in my fabric stash. They are just waiting for the perfect project - crazy right? I know it. I totally realize how ocd that is and I'm trying to curb that tendency to hoard save fabric. I mean for gosh darn sake, it's only fabric right? (I really want to think that way. I mean what is the point of buying fabric if you aren't going to use it?)

I have long realized that collecting fabric, for me, is just as much fun as sewing the fabric. But after a while collecting without using can also become a burden... and burdens tend to be life sucking. So in the interest of fun, I finally cut into my precious Heather Ross Far Far Away II fabric. 

A bit about the fabric: it was originally printed by Kokka fabrics and I'm hoping it will be re-printed - like the princess and the pea was - in quilters cotton. I'm sure I'll be all over that line if it comes again, but I digress. The fabric is a hefty 80% linen/20% cotton blend which tells me off the hop that is is going to be sturdy. Nice for some crafty functional projects.

First thing I needed was that perfect project *cough, cough. Since my girls have been in need of pouches for their pencils, erasers and such, I thought this would be a good jump off point. This usually starts with a quick drawing in my sketch book and then onto prototype stage made from my endless vintage sheet supply.

Once I tweaked the project I was all set. Armed with my rotary cutter and a new "use it up" attitude, I took a deep breath and cut into my stash. And you know it wasn't too painful. The fabric, both the fabulous art and weight were a great choice for my girls' pouches.

Miss A's pouch: front


Miss J's pouch: front



mini quilt swap = mini swoon

Block 1: mini swoon for the #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap #miniquilt Block 2: mini swoon for the #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap #miniquilt
Last year I participated in round 2 of the schnitzel & boo mini quilt swap. It was a good distraction before the dreaded house remodeling started and it got me dusting off my sewing machine. Anything to get me sewing is always good in my books.

I was given a bit information about who I would be sewing for, their fabric likes/dislikes, designers they admire, pattern likes, etc. Armed with that information I choose Camille Ross Kelley's mini swoon quilt pattern. I've been crushing on her big swoon pattern for quite a while now and thought my foray into the swoon world via a mini would be a good place to start.  Block 3: mini swoon for the #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap #miniquilt #swoonminiquilt Block 4: mini swoon for the #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap #miniquilt #swoonminiquilt
My partner favoured cool, neutral colours. The fabric was an easy selection for me as I too am partial to the cool neutrals. I used Denyse Schmidt Hope Valley fabrics paired with Robert Kaufman's Essesx in flax. It was my first time sewing with the Essex. It was definitely easier than sewing with straight linen but pairing it up with Hope Valley - quilting cotton - in a mini quilt made getting points perfect a bit challenging. I think the weight of Essex might lend itself to larger projects but I'll have to confirm that when I attempt that next.
Scrappy binding for the #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap #miniquilt #swoonminiquilt #makeaquiltmakeafriend Mini swoon finished. Hope it works out for you secret partner :) #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap #makeaquiltmakeafriend #swoonminiquilt #miniquilt
quilt stats:

fabric: Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidt, Essex (flax) Robert Kaufman
backing: (not visible) Hope Valley
pattern: Mini Swoon by Thimble Blossoms
quilting: straight crisscross lines by me.
dimensions: approx. 22" x 22"
gifted to: Sarah of duck egg threads