falling off the grid

No I haven't, really. I'm just peeking my head in here to let you know we've been busy celebrating birthdays (2 nephews over the weekend) and one graduation - my niece. It wasn't that long ago when she was just a wee thing and now here she is on her graduation day holding my two girls. I'm so proud of you Ash, way to go!

Grad girl

My hubby's parents also arrived in town for a few weeks so the family time is sure to continue. And finally since I mentioned that day last week I've been on a bit of obsessive reading schedule. The rain over the weekend kept it going strong and well now I can not seem to put the books down. I think I'll just flow with it until life draws me away again, it always does. How's your week going?


plain old brown no more

new cuff

Brown is one of my favorite neutrals to wear.  It works well for me and treats me kindly.  Last year I purchased a brown blouse.  It was comfy and did a fine job of hiding that mumma belly I earned thanks to multiple pregnancies, including a multiples pregnancy.  At the time I purchased the blouse it fit slightly tight in the bicep, more than I'm accustomed to.  I purchased the top anyway with the notion that I'd lose a centimeter or two off the arms and all would be well.  My intentions were good but let's just say that a long winter and these lovely kettle chips from Costco did not help me get there.

new ties

Well I've come a long way baby and there is no point in looking back at what I didn't do.  I really like that shirt and I'm not going to let a little muscular bicep *cough* stand in the way of me and my brown top.  I did what any desperate thinking woman would do.  I gathered my stitch ripper and some katie jump rope fabric and went straight at it.  The old brown arm cuff was removed, as were the ties that did up in the back, they were way to thin anyway.  I attached a slightly wider cuff to the arm sleeve and fresh ties.  After I completed the shirt I tried it on and felt like something was missing, a focal point.  The neck line seemed a good place to start since the pleats were high needs.  I wasn't willing to take the seam apart  so I did some magical fixing with the fabric over the existing pleats and top stitched everything in place.  I love simplicity.

it works

I actually the like the top more now with a bit of fabric contrast then when it was completely brown.  So much so, that I put an order in to one of my favorite etsy sellers for more katie jump rope - geranium fabric so I can make a matching skirt! I think I might be onto something here, closet be warned!


the day

it was that bad...

the kind of day where you have to give yourself over to it and lay down expectations because while in it, there is no reprieve.  Stay strong, stay steady I tell myself.  Not a mantra I've held to since the two of them joined our pack over 4 years ago.  How many times have I given in out of sheer exhaustion.  When you are outnumbered 4 to 1 choose your battles, so naturally I choose no battles.  In some ways I pay the price for that now.  Her will is like iron.  The 3rd of 4, she never lets go, ever.  But yesterday was one of those moments when I had to step up to the plate.

willfully sad

And so her favorite rabbit spent some time on top of the fridge.  I don't know who it hurt more, her or me as she nagged, whined, begged me to give her bunny back.  After awhile I began to lose sight of the original offense.  I felt myself wavering...  Oh my girl.  I love her so.  Even her strong willed ways can't shake how I feel about her.  She is all that entails loveliness and sweetness for her tender years.  And that strong will, it will save her in years to come and in time she will learn when to let it go.

take me away

At the end of a long night I sat down, spent, but thoughtful about the day.  When I'm ready I'll reach for a  good book and a glass of shiraz to wash it all away.  We will survive, make it through another day and revisit this place of wills another day. 


summer loving

We have been living outdoors for the past week enjoying the summer heat.  There is lots of playing and fun going on while mumma and daddy plug away at a few grueling summer tasks on our to-do list.  More on that later but let's just say that my muscles are all awake and aching. 

taking a break

On the spontaneity side, a new gazebo founds it's way to our backyard deck.  Many thanks to the hubby who works tirelessly on this house even when he is feeling sick, xoxo.    We used to keep the girl's playhouse on the deck but now that things are a bit more settled we wanted to take time to enjoy the fantastic view that this backyard affords us.  The girl's play house is now on the ground and we are enjoying breaks from the afternoon heat in a shady, almost bug free zone.  Oh yeah, that's the most important part, bug free.  The mosquitoes here are relentless and once dusk hits you are walking vile of blood for those critters.   scratch, scratch.   Don't get me started about wasp season {{shudder}} those things are just mean. 

board games keep them from being bored

Apparently the kids are really loving it.  I was a bit surprised to see how much.  If they aren't outside running around they are on the deck playing board games and cooling off with summer treats like popsicles.  I know what we will be stocking up on over the next couple of months.  It's so hard to say no to the little people when the heat beats down on them.  What does your family do to keep cool during the summer? 

summer treat

I think there is going to be a whole lot of summer loving going on this year.   


I've got the bug


I completed my vintage quilt over the weekend and I'm tickled pink with how it turned out.

vintage sheets

This quilt is made entirely of thrifted cotton sheets on the front and the back.  The batting and thread are the only items that I purchased new for this quilt.  Haven't quite wrapped my mind around how one would thrift those items.

vintage sheets

I was planning on stippling this quilt but after basting it I went in a different direction.  I quilted with lines to play up the diamond shapes in the pattern.  Painter's tape was used as a guide and it was quilted it in the following pattern: quilted 1 line then leave a space, quilt 3 lines then skipped a section, and back to quilting 1 line.  If you look at the back of the quilt you can see the quilted pattern a bit clearer.


The quilt is by no means the queen size in the original design.  The final measurements are 56" x 45", a perfect lap quilt size.  The B-meister is currently trying to convince me to give him the quilt.   So far I'm undecided only because I have some fabulous Amy Schimler fabrics that are going to become a quilt for his bed sometime this summer.  Then again, can a child ever have too many quilts?


One more photo only because clothing lines by a lake only make quilts look prettier.

vintage quilt


not so ugly


When we first moved to this house there were two trees on the property that I really wanted to remove.  The trees were rather ugly and I was having a really difficult time imagining anything good about them.  It didn't help that they were terribly overgrown and neglected.  They weren't alone, it seems most of the trees and shrubs on the property were.

ornamental crabapple ?

But being a third time homeowner and new to the property we like to wait a bit to see how the vegetation will transform itself during the first year or so.  Surprisingly enough our "ugly" trees have turned themselves into something completely gorgeous making the case for removal a moot point.  Umm, it sure wasn't flowering when we moved in. 

a thing of beauty

I think I'll just have to deal with the ill-placed trees in favor of gorgeous pink blossoms and bring in an arborist to help me cut this baby back.  The tree looks like a malus variety (ornamental crabapple).  Do you have any ideas?  Remember your guess has to be within garden zone 3, for hardy vegetation. 


300th post!

I spent my weekend working on the quilt, driving the hubby & B-meister to a hockey game, then off to Fusion for all of us and finally outside all day yesterday keeping all manner of family happy in the hot sun that has finally arrived.  Oh the joy of water play and wet dog.  I can't seem to keep him from jumping in on the fun.  Who can blame him, I love summer fun too!

backyard fun

I also love giveaways and since it's my 300th post there really should be a giveaway, shouldn't there?  I recently entered a wee giveaway myself and won a lovely handmade bag and pin cushion, a big thank you to Kristina for all her hard work
and generous spirit. 

backyard fun.

In the meantime, let me think on that giveaway for a wee bit.  I will definitely have
one, just not sure what will be up for grabs so stay tuned. I promise it won't contain a wet dog ;)


fusion friday...

Just a reminder about tomorrow night...I hope to see you locals there. 



taking the time

Are you a pre-washer when you sew?  I am.  I wash all my fabrics and then iron them out before I begin my task.  It's a time sucker, I know, but it's sort of like making a swatch before knitting up the real thing.  Have you ever purchased an item from the store and after washing it once you just know the item has shrunk changed from it's original state?  Be it clothing or items for the home, it makes me a little more than crazy.

ready, set,

The other day I was reading on Oh Fransson's blog and it made my heart leap for joy I tell ya when she talked about how she's a pre-washer, including her batting.  Oh yes, I do this too, but I've always hand washed it and hung it to dry.  Not Elizabeth, she throws it in the machine and then in the dryer...gasp!!  Of course it's important to note we are talking about the needle punched cotton batting and not the desintegrating polyester fluffy stuff.  Well, I did it.  I crossed my fingers, toes and eyes and threw my batting in washer on a gentle cycle and since I was already in deep, I dove a little further and threw it in the dryer.  And you know what?  It turned out beautifully.  It was easy, peasy and without incident.  I think this has just made my quilting prep. speed up quite dramatically.  Yay, I'm all for that.


Are you a convert yet?  I am, and after all that excitement, I pin basted my vintage number with my freshly washed batting and today I'm gearing up to quilt it.  Wish me luck.  :)


chromatic fun

you choose

A good friend invited me to participate in an artisan's sale with her and other creative folk.  The sale will encompass a large genre of items, with a few of us sharing (a table) together with a specific focus.  The idea is to create something with babies or kids in mind.  No problem right?  I have kids, I know how this is done.  Umm yeah, why is it that when you are under a deadline and something that comes so naturally to you, ie. sewing and sewing for kids, you draw a blank?  I'd really like to understand this.

vintage buttons & linen

Well after a fair amount of procrastinating, I do that well you know, I decided to make a few crayon rolls.  Chromatic crayon rolls to be exact.  I'd been wanting to make these for a long while since I have four kids who love "arting" (as we call it).  They are so portable and with a few sheets of blank paper we're all set.  I don't know how many times we've been out for a quick stop at a friends or a restaurant and I wish I had something for the kids to do.  It would have saved me from pulling my hair out on a few occasions.

chromatic coloring

While the crayon rolls, with their large chunky crayons, are great for the girls (they've already claimed their rolls), I'm sure the boys would appreciate ones to fit pencil crayons or markers.  Hmm I guess I'll be back to the drawing board for some pattern tweaking and maybe eventually get a few in my new etsy shop.

crayon rolls


Lunch: tomato, cucumbers & poached eggs.  Do you eat them? How do you like yours?  I prefer mine omelet style or poached - hard, none of that runny stuff. Hmm, good. 

poached with veggies on the side


things I'm loving

mumma goose

The constant inflow of nature in our backyard.  All the animals seem twitter-pated right now and we are in the midst of it all, there are babies everywhere!! 

baby goose

teenager goose

I think one of the loveliest aspects of being an observer is being able to witness the growth cycle.  It's so quickly in nature.  Of course it has to be, it's a matter of survival.  The small wee goslings and ducklings must grow so they can be ready to take flight in another 5 months.   We've already noticed that our goslings are now resembling teenagers.  They have more winglike projections and have begun to sprout up taller.  Their baby fur is changing slightly to what looks to be feathers and they even got that awkward thing going on. 

mumma ducky

As for the ducks, the latest new arrivals on the scene are the ducklings.  Oh my these little guys are so cute.  Shh, don't tell the B-meister, but this mumma thinks they may be even cuter than the goslings.  Or maybe it's just that they are so tiny and completely adorable. 

baby duckling

I mentioned to the hubby how nice it would be if we could make a duck house near the water for the birds.  In keeping with Field of Dreams, "if you build it they will come".  I think that would rock this girl's world completely.  

mumma duck and ducklings

Full circle right?  After all, this is the ducky house.  :)  


fusion friday

It's that time again:


The first fusion was held this past March and was a great success.  The next Fusion is on June 13 with a focus on water and sanitation.  The following is a fundraising email that I received:

Did you know that the equivalent of 10 jumbo jets, full of children under age five, crashed today?

nearly 1 billion people, a sixth of the world’s population, do not have
access to safe drinking water. More than 2.5 billion people are without
basic sanitation.

Lack of safe water and adequate sanitation is
the world’s single largest cause of sickness. At any one time, half of
the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from water
and sanitation- related diseases!

The fight against global
poverty begins here. With access to clean water, basic sanitation, and
hygiene education, the cycle of poverty and disease can be broken.

us on June 13 as we take our stand in this fight against poverty.
FUSION is a benefit concert where every cent of our ticket sales
proceeds will go to help bring clean water to our world.

We are supporting:

For more information please go to: www.musicforjustice.com

So you know where I'll be on June 13, why don't you locals come on out and support the cause.  Hope to see you there. 

Happy Weekend. 


first day

first beach day '09

We did it and I can't believe it.  We ventured out for our first beach day of the season.  The kids have been pleading with me to go to the beach and I've been waiting for a day that didn't include crazy winds or rain.  Today was that day. 

first beach day '09

Before we left home I warned the kids that the water would still be quite cold since it really has had no time to warm up.  My words didn't matter to my brave little crew who decided they wanted full beach experience, bathing suits and all.  Brrr.  I wimped out and chose layers to keep me warm.  It also helped to have a hot cup of tea as my companion. 

first beach day '09

first beach day '09

It was still cool outside when we arrived, with a slight warm breeze.  The dark clouds gave a foreboding of possible rain but none of that mattered.  We came for some serious play business.  There has been months
of pent up beach angst in all of us, waiting and wanting to be in touch
with the sand and water, free from our heavy winter clothing restraints.  It was lovely.  It was hopeful.  It made my heart leap seeing the kids run back and forth through the sand and water.  They alternated between their play and coming back for a towel to warm themselves.  The coolness in the air did not let up. 

first beach day '09

first beach day '09

With my camera happily affixed to my neck I clicked and sipped my tea until my book drew my attention away.  Did I mention that we were the only souls actually near the water.  There were a few walkers, taking in the trails but other than that we owned the beach.  So unlike how it will be in a couple of short weeks when the rest of the city joins us to play in the sand. 

first beach day '09

We stayed until the clouds gave way to a light spitting and returned home to warm bubble baths for all.  A fine finish to a fun day.  I can hardly wait for our next trek to the water, I have a feeling we will be enjoying many more warmer days. 


flower making...

...should always follow a rainy day.  Don't you agree? 

making flowers - step 7

Instructions available in picture description at flickr.  Click on photo for further details.

making flowers - step 1

making flowers - step 2

making flowers - step 3

making flowers - step 4

making flowers - step 5

making flowers - step 6

I'm still working on my laundry pile.  Seems there is always a basket or two lurking in the corners waiting to be done.  But things turned out much better the next day, as expected  Fresh start right?  Love that I can go to dream land at night and wake up with a whole new perspective.  This little trick has also saved hubby and I from many a late night argument.  Sleep it off I say, sleep it off.   


rainy day

It was a rainy day yesterday.  Well not completely but at least the latter part of it.  I was also having one of those Mondays, "off and confusing".  It started with a sleep-in much later than usual.  When I finally got up my hair was standing on end.  Serves me right for going to bed with wet hair.  That was followed by a door bell ring from my post man who was delivering a package to me filled to the brim with fabric.  I quickly threw a hat on my head so I wouldn't subject him to the ultimate bed head.  And no, I have no pictures.  Gotta draw a line somewhere. 


Sometime around 1:10 pm I remembered that we had soccer.  Oops, that one wasn't going to work out either as I had not yet made lunch for everyone.  Now that I had the whole afternoon ahead of me I went to work at the dreaded clothing switch over.  Umm, is there a chore more chore-like than this?  I really do not, never have, and never will enjoy the seasonal clothing switch.  It literally takes forever to figure out who fits what, what is going to be used again, goodwilled, hand-me-downed to family, etc.  The boys dread it just as much.  I usually have to psyche myself up with a good cuppa to get me through the whole experience.  The bright side?  The 4 kids and I are all ready for summer.  We are ready for you summer.  You can show up now, anytime...please...   Winter clothing is almost all packed away in bins until October.  Freshly washed clothing is strewn about the house, hanging dry.  All in all it took about 7 hours of my day to unpack, sort, pack, launder, etc.   Not exactly the way I planned the day, but necessary none the less. 


The evening was just as awry. Dinner was being brought home at 6:50 pm by the hubby who realized the type of day I was having.  Hungry children were whining, the B-meister was crying because he felt tired and emotional.  I was feeling a bit unglued myself.  My hair was still standing on end.  I missed my 7:30 pottery class.  Nothing went terribly wrong today and nothing went terribly right. It is 12:15 am.  The house is quiet.  I can hear the hum of the dryer in the distance as it works overtime keeping up with the extra laundry I created today.  It really was a bizarre sort of day.  I feel a bit like I was living in someone else's body.  I think I'm going to call it quits and just let the day rest.  Let my body and mind rest.   Tomorrow when I awake things will start anew, it's another day to look forward to and I do think it will have a bit of sewing in it.  

ps, I couldn't post without pictures...even if it is of my crazy laundry day. 

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