a spring growl


If there comes a little thaw,
Still the air is chill and raw,
Here and there a patch of snow,
Dirtier than the ground below,
Dribbles down a marshy flood;
Ankle-deep you stick in mud
In the meadows while you sing,
"This is Spring."

Christopher Pearce Cranch


I saw something beautiful today and knew that at last spring had returned.  I was coming off an overpass and stopped on the side of the road to grab a couple of pictures. 
Perhaps not an exciting site for you, but to me it means the world.  It means that the Canada Goose has deemed this part of the world fit for return.  That green grass, long walks late into the evening and summers at the beach are on their way.  As well as gardening and outdoor living, soon to be a reality.   Ah...I'm soaking it in already.


Even the little bit of water amidst a very dirty city looked so beautiful and peaceful.  Nature is breathing again and soon she will be full of wondrous little creatures.  I am ready.



bunny love...

So here is the "rabbit" with clothing.  I made him brown cords with a purple & yellow striped reproduction print fabric for his top.  The buttons are cute yellow cars left over from another project long ago.

I'm still not sure if he is totally complete, but for now he will have to do.  I can't detach him from Miss J's arms, not even to brush her teeth.  He does have a very contented look on his face. 

He is a part of her world now whether I intended him to be or not. 
Both girls seem to intrigued by the new addition...

...and so it goes I will be making another bunny in the very near future for Miss A.
Perhaps a girl rabbit to keep our boy company :)   At the very least it should provide inspiration in the naming department.


nakedness in post, reader beware...

Remember my post about a thrifted & then felted angora sweater that I cut into pieces that would one day be sewn into a rabbit?  Well, I decided to start working on it over the weekend.  Here is how he turned out, but be warned, he is naked.

He is a boy, though not anatomically correct, but a boy none the less.  I have yet to name him and I do think he needs some trousers.  I did end up doing all the sewing by hand.  I gave him button eyes and an embroidered nose/mouth.  He is cute, but I already see room for improvement in the design.  I think he is a bit wide in the body, I'd like to thin him down a bit.  You'd think on a diet of primarily carrots and lettuce that a bunny wouldn't be so wide?!  Then again, he does have that vintage feel to him.  He looks like he has been loved for many years.  Speaking of which, oh my, when Miss J saw him, she cuddled him and wouldn't put him down.  I managed to sneak him away for a quick picture and he is now sitting in my office waiting to be clothed. 


oh spring, oh spring...

Where for art thou, oh spring...

Winter seems to be delaying it's leaving and so if you can't beat it, join it.  We spent a bit of time outside the other day, it was mild and the air was lovely, so fresh & pure.   I love outdoor pictures, the clarity and crispness of them make even my little ol' camera look good.   In honor of winter's last hoorah I've changed my banner for a wee while to my little loves all bundled & snug, until warmer days set in. 

Sorry, no other pictures today.  We are off to a homeschooling conference and are currently scurrying about getting ready & trying to find a sitter (where has my mum been all week *worry*).  We may even tempt mayhem by taking the brood with us.

Oy, I just read the fine print... "Children under 13 - Please understand that ***** loves children; it
is for their well-being and future we exist. This conference, however,
is intended for parent enrichment, and we are unable to accomodate
.  Nursing babies are welcome."   

What kind of homeschooling conference doesn't allow children??  I guess one of us will stay home with the kids. I'll provide an update after I process it all.


my little seal


This badge is a beautiful site for my eyes.  My eldest ds J, after 4 years of swimming lesson dislike, many tears on his part, & long talks about water safety being non-negotiable, has embraced the water and has graduated to the next swimming level.  He is no longer an Otter but is now a Seal.  I am very proud of this humongous accomplishment and find it very blog worthy *clap, clap, clap*   A celebration is in order for this great feat.  He persevered and pushed through and now in his words: "loves swimming."   I am so happy for him.    


good intentions

I've been meaning to post that my swap partner Rachael received the goodies I sent her in the mail. That is good news as the thought did cross my mind that perhaps it got lost in the post. Rachael was kind enough to email me to let me know she did get it. From the looks of her blog, she has been on the receiving end of lots of packages lately. As for the item I made for her, it was a potholder using the log cabin quilt block.

The easy part was choosing the fabric, cutting things out and organizing the strips. At first when I started to sew it together, it was looking a bit odd, but as I progressed, it became clear that I was heading in the right direction. I hand quilted the remainder of the potholder. This little project definitely gave me the quilting bug. One day soon... It's times like these that I wish I had a rich heritage in handmade creations where grandmother passess her knowledge down to mother, who in turn passes her skill to daughter. Alas, I will have to become the grandmother who does the passing, though that won't be for quite a while.


goodness in the mail

That's the best description as to what arrived in my post yesterday. 

I found a must have Mom & Girl Natural Clothes & Goods Japanese craft book on eBay last month, it's on the right hand side of the picture.  I was also looking for the handmade cafe book (see picture on left) which the seller was able to locate for me with no problem.  I can't wait to try out a few items, in due time of course as I need to tackle a few projects on my list.  Just what I needed more distractions ;)
I'm loving the look of these outfits:


Everything is so fresh and summer like, simple and beautiful.   

Hope your weekend is full of simple, beautiful things too. 


my list grows longer

I have a list of projects to do (in my head) that seems to grow longer each day.  I'm hoping to start checking off a few items, but I get so distracted throughout the day with the wee ones.  Days when I have an hour to tackle a project or two, end up falling prey to child-like requests "mum, can you make some cookies?"  or "mum, can we read this..." or "mum, can we..."   It's all good, and they are so very hard to say "no" to at times.

But for commitment sake, I want to start tackling some of the immediate things on my list before they aren't needed anymore.  In no particular order:

*make the girls' spring jackets;
*make the girls' dresses;
*make my skirt;
*finish the remaining smocks (March 18th - one down :)
*I really want to make my mum some new pillow covers for her couch (she doesn't like the ones it came with).  I'm liking the feel of this retro fabric, and for contrast these stripes, or  this and maybe this, maybe even a bit of it all.  She would definately dig the brightness of all.  While I'm at it I should make her some matching placemats for her coffee tables.  Her birthday is in April so I had better order some fabric tout de suite.

Phew, now that those items are off my brain, perhaps I can start working on them. 


oh the thinks you can think

My eldest son J had his production round up last night with his theatre group.  They did 4 small plays which were about 8 minutes each.  This years focus has been Dr.Seuss and specifically they looked to this book for inspiration for their short skits.  The kids are involved in the entire dramatical production from inspiration to writing to acting.  J had been really nervous all week about the impending production, but he pushed through and did a great job along with the other children involved.  Here he is in action. 

New crafty/creative endeavors on my part have had to take a back seat in order to calm nerves & help J get ready for his big debut by finding appropriate costume attire.  I did however happen upon a few minutes to look at old photos of J & B when the boys were babes, the very best of my creative efforts :)   I've forgotten how small they were. 

It's hard to believe that they have changed so much, especially in the hair department.


organized chaos

That is what it is like trying to re-organize and re-order the playroom with 4 kids running around and wide awake way past their bedtime.   Finally after much game playing and laughter our work was complete.

Of course it won't stay this way for long, but it doesn't stop me from
entering their toy zone every few months to "clean it."  It's actually
a good time to sort through their toys and see what is broken or what
they have outgrown, etc.
The other side of kid world is pretty sparse except for some activity areas where the kids can slide & swing, etc. 

It's a long cold winter here (did I mention that already) and we spend a good 3 months indoors.  I won't start whining about that as I'm sure the solutions are obvious. 
At the end of the night the kids were having such a blast with the slide that they slowed down long enough for a picture. 
ETA: picture removed
I'm laughing because my eldest son J's hair looks way-crazy.  Between the actual craziness of his hair and the shadow behind, he looks like someone who just time travelled from the 70's.  Poor kid, he goes to the same hair dresser as his father. 


what do you need when you turn 40?

Was the question I kept asking myself for a friend whose party was around the corner.  In my mind I was thinking practical yet pretty. She recently told me she had started knitting and the first thing that came to my mind was a tote. The next decision was the choice of fabrics. Here is the outside of tote assembled, the darker fabric was getting ready to be morphed into the lining.


After a few trials and errors of ripping a seam out here and there, the tote was finished:


I used interfacing on the exterior fabric for a bit more durability.  The tote has a light weight batting and to make things secure I stitched in the ditch.  I love the fancy vintage button that I thrifted recently and the tote was perfect project and reason to use it.  I top stitched the handles, which incidentally also have interfacing and light batting, with a cute stith from my machine.  It takes tons of thread, but really makes things pretty.

Tote_vintage_button   Tote_fancy_stitching

I lined the bag with the same wine colored fabric as the handles.


I think I feel inspired to pick up a book or two on bag making. 


weekend widow wants waffles

Okay the title is bizarre I admit but I'll explain.  My dh travels at least once a month and it usually happens over the weekend.  This weekend he was in Fargo with a couple of friends talking over some business ideas.  I don't have many details, I'm not sure I want any.  I like him to just do what he needs to do with minimal interference from me.  Perhaps I like it that way because that is the same freedom I thrive in.  Anyway, Sunday is waffle day and true to form the kids woke me up with one request "we want waffles for breakfast."  I love making homemade waffles, I pretty much love homemade anything, but homemade waffles, hot and fresh off the grill are the best.  Yummy. 

The kids love them too.  Once they tasted homemade versus store bought they were instant converts.

As for the rest of day, my dh is now safely home (he left Friday) and we are heading out to our friends 40th birthday party.  I spent yesterday evening busily working on her gift.  These are the fabrics I chose for the tote I made for her.

I'll put pics up of the finished product later when I get the chance.  It turned out really nice.  Until then, have a great day!


winter's popsicle

During the winter if my dh doesn't clear the snow off the roof fast enough our quaint character home ends up with icicles hanging from it.  We were pretty much icicle free up until last week when it snowed again and again.   The icicles are very pretty and if it were up to me I would just let them hang, but the weight of the hanging ice really isn't great for our new eaves troughs that we had installed last year.  Before my dh got a chance to break off the ice, I thought I would bring a couple into the house for the girls to explore. 

At first I'm not sure they knew what to make of these icicles.  The combination of extreme wet and cold in their hands was very odd.  Miss J seemed very happy while Miss A was seriously examining this cool item.
I wonder what these things taste like?

I remember breaking icicles off as a child and doing the same thing, licking the water goodness from them.  I don't even want to think about what else went into that icicle from the structure it was hanging off of  *yuck*    But kids don't think about those sorts of things, thankfully.  They've got plenty of years ahead to become paranoid  & worried about the environment.  As a parent though, I couldn't watch the girls lick the icicles for long until I encouraged them to put them in a container to "watch" what happened next.  I made a decent trade with them offering them freezies to suck on instead of icicles.  They couldn't have been more happy. 




I made a smock, well actually three smocks out of the lime green, green, green fabric from a couple of posts back. It's amazing how many completed projects one can squeeze out of itsy bitsy fabric. That would also explain why I have a terribly hard time throwing out any small bits of fabric.


They turned out really cute. They are open on the sides but have ties to keep them closed. I added two pockets which the girls love to carry crayons in.  I just barely managed to get a photo of Miss A wearing hers. I prefer taking photos of them in a more natural pose, when they are busy doing what it is that they do. However Miss A had other ideas, she kept trying to "pose," but couldn't seem to hold still long enough for that so the picture is blurry. Ah well, such is life.


behind in my posting

Where did the time go since my last post? My busy weekend started with a day to myself on Friday where I spent a couple of hours sitting in a coffee shop with my big sister, before I headed to a fabric store to pick out some lovely fabrics that will turn themselves into spring dresses for the girls and a matching skirt for me, at least that is the plan for now. Saturday & Sunday were spent doing things with the kids and celebrating my nephew's 15th birthday. I was hoping to make some headway in getting over this bronchitis this weekend, but I am still feeling bouts of fatigue. After a weekend full of activity I was feeling pretty low all day yesterday. Perhaps this week will bring refreshed health & new energy.

On Thursday evening I did manage to start the projects I was planning with the whimsical fabric from my last post. I knew exactly what I wanted to make and that is always helpful. My 6 yr old ds B loves to help.  He loves being directed and being involved. Often when I am preparing lunch or dinner, he will come into the kitchen to be with me. It's a tricky thing having kids "help." I don't mind the involvement, it's the safety issues that get me. What age is a good age to get them cook over a hot stove, handle knives and other sharp objects? We aren't talking about making cookies here.  Time for mumma to let the wee ones take on more responsibility and trust that things will go well for them. So B has been cutting up vegetables for our salads. To help him play the part he needs the attire. A kitchen apron, made to fit and active boy approved.

He even has a couple of helpers hanging around him. Do you think they are gleaning & learning? Or just stealing the red peppers that he cuts up?

Once the pattern was created and the boys measured up, it was an easy sew. The most time consuming part was making bias tape with the fabric. The one thing I'm very glad I added was an elastic into the strap that goes around the neck.

That way the boys don't have to worry about the apron untying when they are wearing it, or having to tie it up for that matter.

As for the other fabric, I still have to take photos and see if Miss A & Miss J are up to trying their surprise on...did I say to much? You guessed it, the next project was for them.


surprise finds

I took a quick jaunt over to the fabric store the other day. I was looking for some particular fabric which I couldn't find :( While there I took a peek at the remant bin and found these cute little bits begging to come home with me. It was not a day of big spending, a few dollars later and I was on my way.

The first fabrics are so sweet, fruity and lime green, green, green. The other fabric looks very boy-ish & non-feminine; all about the play. I know exactly what I'm going to make, but I'll keep that a secret until I complete the projects which will hopefully be tonight. First I have to create the patterns.

I didn't end up getting much done yesterday, I spent my free moments curled up in a chair with a hot cup of tea & my cozy throw reading. That's where my hubby left me when he went to work and that's where he found me when he returned. What a treat, something I don't do very often, but once in a while it is so nice to just sit and do nothing but read. Especially when dinner is well taken care of cooking slowly in the crock pot, the kidlets are busy playing with each other and no one notices that mumma's lap is empty, except the dog. Have I introduced you yet to my shadow? He follows me day and night, room to room. He is half shitzu, half lhasa apso. His name is Spencer and he has been a member of our home for the past 3 years.

My dh purchased our cute little boy back in January 2004. We thought the timing was perfect, the boys were 6 & 4 years old, no longer babies they would be a great help in the care of our new pet. Little did I know that Spencer was not the only new baby in our house. It was only a week and a half later that I found out I was pregnant! Of course once you purchased a puppy, it is very hard to return a puppy. Especially when you have two boys excited and attached to the newest member of the family. I admit I was pretty attached too! So Spencer remained and grew up along side my ever growing belly, though it wasn't until many months later that I found out my one baby was actually two babies. But I'll save that story for another time.

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