Hello blog. How are you? I've been thinking about visiting you lately and dusting off the keyboard in an attempt to write out a post. It's been 4 1/2 years since my last update and life has been rolling along at break-neck speed. Somedays I feel as though I've been hanging on to a life preserver and other days I've found myself drowning in all the change. 

I suppose it is good to recognize when you don't like change, my hand is raised at the moment. It's not a place I thrive in. I don't like reinvention. I'm not a great at it. I mostly just want to live a quiet simple life, with days blending into one another and a predictability that comes from all things stable and calm. 

Maybe that's why the idea of blogging never fully leaves me. It represents a time in my life when things felt really good. When I could count on my days being mostly the same and creativity thrived, however these past few years I have felt very challenged in the latter. Change will do that and when I feel challenged by my circumstances I can get pretty quiet. Like hold-all-my-cards so tightly against my chest that I forget that I have to still play the game. It's not a good scenario all around.

So, blogging may just be the thing needed. A requirement of sorts to show up. To write and create and at the very least it will give me a chance to clean up this space a bit. When I moved it from typepad to a free blog hosting, the formatting went wildly wacky. I'm not even sure if blogger is adequate, but for now it will have to do.

I think I'd like to keep things pretty simple here, posts will be projects I'm currently working on, maybe some cool things I'm cooking up in the kitchen, creative stuff like that. The days of posting about my kids & homeschooling are behind me as they are onto the next chapter in their own lives. You'll have to be satisfied with photos of my four-legged furry kids. They are the companions that stick to me like glue these days. Oh and I have no idea how often a post will happen as I'm terribly out of practice with blogging skills - photography & writing posts, etc. But I do want a place to catalogue my creative endeavours and maybe one day find a small community of creatives who are doing the same. In the meantime, I may be the only one reading my own posts, and that is fine too. But let's give this thing a roll shall we?!  


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