I need a distraction

It's cold here. really cold. the kind of cold that makes me want to stay under the covers all day, drink hot chocolate and eat sugary sweets so I can lay down belly fat to get through the rest of winter. Since none of those options are happening, I have to find other ways to keep myself distracted happy: yarn!

sirdar montana

Knitting does the trick in a pinch. Pick up a project, pull it out for a 1/2 hour here and there, take it with you when you do have to go out. It's the ultimate busy mum's companion. In my last post about knitting I was getting very close to finishing a vest that I have spent tons of time picking up and putting down. That vest is all finished (here's a sneak peek), except for the yarn that needs to be weaved in. Would I be a bad crafter if I said that I wore the vest the other day and just tucked those threads in? don't judge me :/

Sneak peek: lazaro vest completed. #mirasolcollection #hachoyarn #knitting #thistookforever

Shopping for yarn is almost as fun as knitting. I really could be a yarn stash hog. I'm already a fabric one. don't judge me.  I tried out a new to me knitting store: loveknitting.com and I have to say they had me at "free shipping" over $50. For us Canadians that only happens if someone lives in the same town as you. On top of it I ordered during their January sale so the yarn was super-priced! The yarn arrived in the cutest organza bags all snug like bugs in a rug. Great packaging! FYI, the January sale is ending soon so if you need some yarn, you still have a couple of days to stock up.

New yarn, new to me store from loveknitting.com #loveknitting #crafty

I ordered the Sirdar montana yarn. It's an economical acrylic/wool blend, as sometimes I don't want to spend eyons of dollars on a sweater that I know is not going to fit in one years time. Which means I was planning on using this yarn for my girlies. I still haven't completely decided on what I will be making yet. I'm currently loving on these: olearia, bulle and paprika. I have to make the final decision soon as my fingers are itching to get knitting. Are you a knitter? If so, what are you working on?


chalkboard calendar

Just over a week ago I was eyeing the very sad calendar page pinned to my fridge. The calendar is both sad and small, easy to ignore and unremarkable. Then my son missed his orthodontist appointment because sad, small calendar is not only unremarkable but also hard to read with it's small print.

Something needed to be done. It had to be dramatic and noticeable, it had to be easy. And so came the chalkboard calendar idea. I googled the concept and found lots of inspiration. This particular one caught my eye, it's less permanent which can be a good thing if you don't want to mark up your walls. However I'm a mix-it & paint girl so I went the route of paint.

Because I really needed a chalkboard wall calendar in the kitchen. #chalkboard #painted #calendar

Chalkpaint to be exact. I used Rustoleums black chalkpaint - available at Home Depot. Next I marked my spaces with 1/4 inch tape to delineate the squares of a chalkboard and wider tape to set a boundary. From here it was pretty fast and easy. I painted a coat of the black chalkboard paint, waited for it to dry and then re-coated (4 hours later).

Still wet but the tape is off. #chalkboard #painted #calendar

The next day when I checked my wall it looked a bit rough and uneven. I sanded the chalkpaint down to make the walls a bit smoother, wiped the whole surface down lightly and painted a 3rd and final coat. If it wasn't for the sanding I would say that the whole process was completely painless.

girls prepping the chalkboard calendar

Make sure to let the chalkboard cure for 3 days with no writing, etc. Once it is cured you have to condition the chalkboard by using a piece of chalk on it's side to cover the black. It helps to have minions do this part for you. Finally use a chalkboard brush to dry clean the board and you are good to go. After 7 days you can wipe the board down with a cloth. But as you can tell that won't be happening until the last day of January when I get ready to fill in the next month.

chalkboard calendar

Give it a whirl, and if your aren't brave enough to paint your wall then remember you could always buy the wall decals linked earlier.

disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by Rustoleum or Home Depot Canada. I paid for the chalkboard paint all by myself :)


fox and shop

Thanks for the mudroom love, I'm still delighted with that space and happy to have another project crossed off my list.

This winter we have had a backyard visitor. He comes a couple of times a week around mid-morning. He has comes very close to my backdoors and thankfully our dogs have not seen him yet. I'm not sure what the attraction is, as we do not feed him. But we do back on a lake so our yard is highly accessible.

I know it is mating season for foxes. I sure hope he finds what he is looking for. I'm so tempted to sit him down and explain that the city is probably not the best place to find a mrs. foxy fox but since he is here, my logic is irrelevant.

Isn't he lovely?


Onto other things... It's shop upate time and I have some gorgeous new vintage sheets that I've listed. I've actually listed over 20 new prints, so go check them out. Vintage sheets are like sunshine wrapped up in a blanket and I'm sure most of us could use a little reminder this time of year  :)

flower power in pink & orange

pink polkadots & blooming roses

trellis roses in pink

wedding bouquet in blue

blue plaid

I do want this blog to be filled with eclectic bits of my life (foxes, fabric, etc) and part of that will include etsy shop updates. Hope you don't mind (In the rhetorical sense).
Well, I am off and running out the door. Have a fabulous Friday, xo.


mudroom finished

If you have been reading this blog for any period of time, you know that mr. duckyhouse and I have been renovating our home for quite a while now. These days the renovations have changed from utter chaos - we aren't moving walls around any more like we did when we first moved into the duckyhouse. Rather our projects are more about finishing our space and making it more useful. Since we homeschool and are in our space 24/7, one can not underestimate the value of organization.

mudroom finished #mudroom #renovation

Frankly I function better when "there is a place for everything and everything is in it's place". This has been the most challenging aspect of renovating while living in our home, but as I've said already most of the big projects are behind us (for now) and we are free to add the finishing touches to existing spaces.

bench cushions  #benchcushions #mudroom #sewing

With four kids, this mudroom project was much needed. Living in a climate with four distinctive seasons, we have tons of (seasonal) paraphernalia. Our closet at the front door doesn't come close to housing all the jackets and boots 7 people can generate, and since my kidlets are content on growing bigger each year, (as you can imagine) so does their clothing.

mudroom angle #mudroom #renovation

When we originally built the wall in the hallway, I created a design for a small mudroom by the backyard doors. I do the drawings, mr. duckyhouse provides the measurements, markings and brute labour. It's the way we roll.

mudroom plans

More hooks and jackets spill down the hallway off the mudroom out of necessity, and also to provide instant pick up zones for hoodies, bags, etc.

mudroom hallway #mudroom #renovation

The sewing part came at the end with custom bench cushions, which have since become glorified dog beds. Spencer, our 10 year old shih tzu/lhasa apso, has proven that there is no cushion he will not sleep on. (:

mudroom dresser #Ikea #hemnes #mudroom #renovation

We also added an Ikea Hemnes dresser opposite wall from the mudroom bench. With one drawer for each kid it holds at least 8 pairs of shoes. Artwork is complements of my girlies.

mudroom artwork #mudroom #renovation #children'sart

I must say, kind of nice to close the door on this post one year later.


taking care of business

In January of last year (2013) I left you hanging with a post that promised a reveal about some sewing I was working on. Indeed I did complete that project but just never got around to discuss it here. You can return to this post for clarification on my absence, for those of you who have not read it yet. 

bench cushions

My mudroom has cushions! Now you might be thinking "no big deal", however sewing something, like a set of bench cushions, means that the mudroom area is finished. fineto. all done.

bench cushions

I realize it isn't all that fair to post cushion pictures without revealing the whole mudroom so stay tuned for a follow-up mudroom post.  

bench cushions


Knit 4, purl 2...repeat

Last year I started a vest knitting project that is taking me forever to complete. It didn't help that I completed it and then frogged it because it was too large. Ugh!

Latest fix: #hacho #mirasol #yarn #knitting

The pattern is called Lazarao and it is from the Mirasol Collection book 1. The yarn I'm knitting with is called Hacho in the colourway Jade Sapphire. I think the yarn may have been discontinued but I love knitting with it. It handles nicely, the colours are fabulous and it has so much texture!

On the couch: working on a knitting project started ages ago while watching what appears to be a cheesy 80's netflix movie #cozyindoors #notgoingoutside

I'm almost finished the darn thing but am having a bit of a time trying to re-work the edging on the sleeveless arms. It seems most of the comments on this pattern have been that people are too crazy about how the sleeves ruffle. Hmm, not really a ruffles girl so I've been trying to reduce the number of stitches to resolve this issue. Hopefully that will be a good fix and I will have a knitty project to show you soon.

In any case, have a lovely Monday, xo.


shop update

One of the things I did manage to keep up with the past year was the duckyhouse etsy shop. I didn't manage any handmade goods in the shop this past year, rather I kept it stocked with vintage goodies like these:

spring posies

mint green stripes

stripes in purple

blooms in purple

You can hop over to my shop for a peek and check back as I will be listing more this week.

Happy Monday, xo.


2014 - hello world, I'm back... I think.

I can't promise in what capacity but I am here today and that is an excellent start. So where have I been for almost the past year? Well, I've been here at home, just not online in this space.

sunshine means really cold in winter.

Nothing tragic or dramatic happened, just life getting in the way and me being a practical girl, something had to give.

Top finished: stained glass zigzag quilt #amyschimler prints

side view #knitting #cables #debbiebliss

Last year around the same time as my last post, the family computer died and since necessity is the mother of invention I gave my Mac *sniffle, over to the kidlets for their needs. This was a scary adventure in sharing, but ever so needed. After all, minecraft can't be put off!!

Boys headboard in progress. Other side is identical, but in reverse.

I also gave them my creative space as I wasn't getting much done in that arena due to ongoing house projects & exhaustion from a low iron health problem that my doctor and I were having a difficult time getting on top of. I'm pretty sure working two part time jobs while continuing to homeschool my crew, didn't help said iron troubles.

Pinned and ready for quilting #straightlines #hexagonquilt #babyquilt

So how are things today? For me personally I have been slowly building my iron levels back up and am starting to see a resemblance of my old-self and I'm feeling those crafty urges again.

B&W selfie

On the job front, I have resigned from my part time jobs and am now currently unemployed as of mid-December 2013. I admit I feel the odd pang of worry about not working but with homeschooling the crew I think it might be for the best for our family, for now.

The built in boys beds #diy #gettingitdone

As for computer sharing, after months of research and deliberations we finally decided to purchase a (couple of) gaming pc's for the kids. It was hard to go back to the pc world, as we are mainly apple-friendly, however we just felt that Mac products were a waste for what our kids' computer use (school & minecraft). So, under the Christmas tree last month sat a couple of extra special "shared" gifts that the kidlets were so patiently waiting for. Of course I now have my Mac back, which appears to be working fine.

Harvesting dinner: baby romaine, green beans, carrots & kale.

Fyi, the photos in this post are from my instagram account. One photo for each month. If you want to see more, hop over to my instagram account - duckyhouse- to catch up on my life and of course you can always check out my flickr account.

progress: lighting, drywall, and 2nd layer of taping done. Nothing like waiting for plaster to dry during the damp season. Estimated finishing time is Tuesday. #renovations

The everything room: the messy part is finished, time to decorate :) #familyroom #happy #anotherprojectcompleted #diywife&hubby

I suspect this blog will either undergo some physical changes in the near future or perhaps it will discombobulate and become something different all together. I haven't worked out those details yet and I'm sure there will be a learning curve along the way. For now lets leave this long post with a Happy New Year 2014 and next post will have details about the photo below

The hubby's brainchild: go watch the trailer: wfp.to/windcity #windcitytv #cutandpaste

Earlier today: making ornaments with my girlies #christmas #crafty #vintage

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