Knitting Goals

So far my knitting has been pretty basic, nothing that involves putting sleeves in, or turning heels, but I want to change that this year. I have definitely been nervous about knitting cardigans and socks, but I really want to, so I’m going to jump in and just do it. This Christmas, my family got me a set of these needles, and I am loving them. I can’t tell you how nice it is to just be able to change out the cables and have a completely new set of needles tailored to the size that I need. They are light and wonderful to work with, and the points are nice and pointy, no dull needles for me. I just finished up a wrap for myself, hoping to get decent pics this weekend, and now onto a cardi for the babe. I figured I’d break myself in easy with the whole sleeve thing. It’s a bit of a fingers crossed project, this, as I am going to have barely enough yarn and I’m working from a French pattern. More details to follow, providing I don’t make a complete mess of it, that is.

family, knitting • Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 • 3 Comments »

Fun Learning

I love finding fun ways to learn and/or reinforce learning for my kids. Games are always a popular way to spend time, especially in the dark and dreary winter when it’s too cold and windy to play outside. Here are some of the games that my kids love, and I love too. Multiplication War is a great one. The stack of cards gets divided between two kids and they each turn one card over at a time. They then have to quickly work the multiplication problem in their head and the child with the greater amount wins both cards. There is a cheat sheet card in the game which my six year old uses when she plays with her oldest brother. She is picking up a surprising amount of multiplication just by playing this way. The Alphabet Puzzle by Eeboo is also a great game, especially for the babe. She likes to sit for quite a while and pair up all of the letters and numbers. The cards are very sturdy and stand up well to little hands playing with them. They are beautifully designed, I really love their products. Blink is another fantastic game. My six year old loves this game, and she’s really fast too. Again the stack is divided into two and one card is flipped over in the middle of the players. Each player then needs to discard all of their stack of cards by matching either colour, shape, or number of shapes on the card. It is seriously fast paced and loads of fun. So these are a few of our favourite educational games, do you have any that you love?

family, homeschooling • Monday, February 28th, 2011 • 2 Comments »

Christmas in February

I can’t believe we’re already at the end of February, here it is the 25th, and it’s Christmas here, well at least for planning purposes. In the eleven years we’ve been married, we’ve never had a tree skirt for our Christmas tree. I’ve always used a Christmassy blanket and just kind of shoved it around the base of the tree, but as a blanket, it never fit just right and despite my plans for sewing a skirt, by the time December comes around it is one of the projects that gets left in the dust as there are more important things to do. With my new plan this year to do one small thing each month in order to have a less hectic Christmas, I am already feeling less stressed. Last month I started a notebook with ideas and lists of things I wanted to get done, and this month I made a tree skirt. It was fairly easy, just cut a large circle with a small circle in the middle to go around the base of the tree. Cut from the outside to the inside, ew on some coordinating bias tape and voila, a new tree skirt. This Christmas every month of the year really is only meant to simplify Christmas, so if you want to join along I’d love to see what you’re working on. No pressure or added stress, no extra projects, just little steps to be prepared so that December is calmer, with more time for spending time with loved ones. We’re getting snowed on here, haven’t actually had too much snow this year, just lots of bitterly cold, windy days that have been far too cold for it to actually snow. So if it’s cold where you are, stay warm and know that spring will eventually come, and if it’s turning the corner into spring now, enjoy it for us. Have a great Friday everyone!

home, sewing • Friday, February 25th, 2011 • 8 Comments »

One Piece Sundress

I’m normally slightly behind when it comes to getting ahead of the game. I find myself with lots of plans to make the kids clothes for summer and by the time the weather gets hot I haven’t made a thing. This year I was determined to make the girls some dresses before the weather got warm. I wanted to make a few different dresses for both of them, but I knew I wanted some quick, easy to sew patterns so that I would be able to get them done. Pardon the wrinkles, I thought I had got them all out. I picked up this one piece sundress pattern and picked out some fabric and got to work. It’s a great pattern, only one piece for each side, which also makes it reversible. It is super easy to cut out and sew and makes such a cute dress. I will have to tweak sizes a bit as even though the babe is in 3T in storebought clothes, the 3T pattern was a bit big around her body and shoulders, it actually fit my six year old perfectly through the torso and shoulders, though it was too short. She is so tall and thin it’s hard to fit her anyway, so I will just have to go down to 2T for the babe and add some length for big sister. So, I’m slightly ahead of the game with one dress for one girl, but I’ve got three more dresses in this pattern to make and then another pattern to start on. My goal is to have them done before this time next month, fingers crossed. Does anyone have any recommendations for easy, cute, simple patterns for summer clothes for girls? Edited to add: Project Love Kristina My hubby told me that a fellow web designer is trying to help out his sister whose house burned to the ground yesterday. They have five children and she is nine months pregnant. Most of her children were sleeping and sick and she was able to get them all out of the burning house. They are all fine, but they have lost everything. Rogie has written a blog post with a list of the families’ clothing sizes and a Paypal button for donations if you are able and inclined to help. I can only imagine the stress level of the whole family but especially his sister, being so late in a pregnancy with a family to take care of and now effectively homeless. They have family who will look after them but it would be really great if our online communities could band together to help bring some peace of mind and monetary help to a family in need.

sewing • Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 • 4 Comments »

Knitting Pattern Binder

One of my goals for this year was to get more organized, to have a place for everything and have everything in it’s place. Up to now my knitting patterns have been kept in several places, a folder on the shelf, a stack on the end table by the chair. When my mom surprised me with this binder, I knew exactly what I would use it for. She had the binder cover made with one of my Great Grandmother’s tablecloths and I absolutely adore it. It is perfect for storing my patterns all in one place, a front pocket for colourbooks and yarncards, even a little slot for a pencil or pen.Now all of my patterns are tucked away in this beautiful binder and it only take me a couple of seconds to find what I am looking for. Next, I need to go through my sewing patterns and figure out which ones I want to keep and find a great way to store them as well. This is what I really love, a beautiful, yet functional item that makes me smile every time I use it, thanks Mom! Have a great weekend everybody!

family, gifts, home, knitting, sewing • Saturday, February 19th, 2011 • 7 Comments »

Ordinary Moments

books, family, gardening, home, homeschooling, knitting, nature, Ordinary Moments • Thursday, February 17th, 2011 • 3 Comments »

Strawberry Barley Scones

Sorry to have disappeared for a bit. Last week I got a migraine that lasted almost three days before it started turning into a regular headache. Then the next few days were spent catching up on housework, laundry etc. Over the weekend we had to take our computer back to Denver to have a part replaced, so it has been a busy, and definitely not normal week. This week is off to a much better start. Yesterday we made these Strawberry Barley Scones from the book Good to the Grain. She does a great job of describing the unique flavours of the different kinds of flours out there, and I am really excited to make more from this book. These scones were really, really good. Since we first got married, every Valentines Day Hubby and I have always cooked together after the kids have gone to bed. It started out as a way to celebrate without spending a lot of money on eating out when we didn’t have any extra cash and it has remained our tradition whether times were lean or not. I love to cook with him and it’s nice to make a meal without any distractions. Last night we made this Sausage and Kale Soup. Absolutely delicious and another plus is that it made a rather large pot, so I don’t have to double the recipe to feed all of us. I wasn’t able to take any photos, but trust me, if you like delicious, hearty soups, try it. Well, the wind has been atrocious around here, but we have had a few warmer days, perhaps spring is on it’s way. Hope everyone has a fantastic day.

books, family, food • Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 • 10 Comments »

Weekend Refresher

A weekend at the cabin was just what we needed. Some beautiful scenery… With a growing love of reading, some time spent curled up in bed… Drying gloves and warming toes after hours spent hiking and playing in the snow… and plenty of card games as well. I hope everyone is feeling a bit rested and ready to hit the new week running. Not too sure I feel rested, but refreshed I do. Lots of plans this week, we’ll see how life cooperates. Have a great Monday everybody.

books, family, food, home, nature, travelling • Monday, February 7th, 2011 • 3 Comments »

Springy Pots

We should be moving closer to spring, but so far in February we have had the coldest weather this year. The other day it got down to -34 degrees (with the wind chill) and it was freezing, well actually 68 degrees below freezing to be exact. It’s too cold to snow, so it’s just cold and dead and brown outside. I needed some springtime hope, so it took the form of store bought hyacinths. I had recently seen a great idea in Lotta Jansdotter’s Handmade Living. She made little fabric sleeves to cover the little plastic pots her plants came in. Since I was in no way going to bother going to the shed to dig out pots in this weather, I really liked the idea of using some fabric scraps to make some cute covers to brighten my windowsill up. They were very easy to make, I just measured the height and circumference of the pot added a little bit extra for seam allowances and grabbed some thin elastic. I didn’t even bother to make casings, I just took a length of elastic about 2/3 of the length of the fabric and stretched it out to the full length while I sewed it on. I did this on both long sides and then sewed the short ends together. Voila, two cute little pot covers in less than 10 minutes. So I hope wherever you are, whether you are covered in snow or just freezing temperatures or even baking in the hot summer sun, I hope you get a little relief with the weather and are able to enjoy some springiness of your own.

gardening, gifts, green, home, sewing • Friday, February 4th, 2011 • 5 Comments »

Valentine Garland Winners!

I do love a good giveaway and as I made three heart garlands I figured I’d better give them all away. The winners are: Elizabeth- Raspberry, Sage and Cornflower Garland Rachel- Red Garland Emma-Mustard, Turqouise and Charcoal Garland. I will e-mail the winners in just a minute, please reply with your address and I will get these in the mail. Thanks everybody for playing along. I’ll be back tomorrow with a quick, easy springy project. See you then!

crochet, green, home • Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 • 2 Comments »