Snail Mail Swap with Mousy Brown

I was so very excited to be part of Mousy Brown’s Snail Mail Swap and so now I can show you what I was working on for the last few months. We decided to make something to wear and I chose this shawl to make for her. It reminded me of Cornwall and as she grew up there and we went on holiday there when I was a girl living in England I wanted to capture those memories for both of us. The colour more closely matches up to this photo. I had such a great time working on this shawl and it was the first complicated pattern I ever used. I am so pleased with how it turned out, and I think Emily is as well. In return, Emily sent me the most delicious mittens. They are adorned in the sweetest embroidery and are toasty warm, I can’t wait for a day chilly enough to wear them. This little scarf is probably the softest thing you will ever feel, made out of her hand dyed angora yarn. It’s absolutely scrumptious and I love them both. Emily, thank you so much for the treats, I will treasure them. It was so much fun participating in this swap, thanks Mousy Brown for coming up with such a great idea.

crochet, gifts • Thursday, October 14th, 2010 • 8 Comments »

Books and Audiobooks

We love books, and they are a massive part of our learning around here. Our eldest can read well and reads part of his chosen book every day. He also reads other books, but I showed him a handful of books that I wanted him to read this year and he can pick which order he reads them in. My seven year old is doing pretty well with reading, but still needs a little help on bigger words. The girls and I read together, in fact we all read together, a lot. Each child has their own book that we are working on, and then we work on some together as a family. We have shelves of books, baskets of books, and quite often books all over the floor. We learn from nature books, historical books and biographies and even cookbooks (got to love learning measurements and fractions by baking cakes). We also love audiobooks. Everyday the kids have a quiet “resting” time where they play in their rooms and listen to stories. We also listen to them on car trips, as I get motion sick from reading while we are moving. Often when the kids are working on art projects we put one on as well. Here are some of the audiobooks we are loving at the moment. The boys are really enjoying The Chronicles of Narnia, and seriously who wouldn’t like to listen to Kenneth Branagh read tales of amazing far away places. Next up on the boys’ list is Our Island Story (I did get this one cheaper at Audible.com). They all enjoy Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, again with Judi Dench and Stephen Fry reading, what’s not to love. The girls are also loving A Bear Called Paddington and More About Paddington also read by Stephen Fry. So, these are the audiobooks that are in heavy rotation these days and I look forward to sharing more of the titles in our audiobook library in the future. These are some great stories, even if you don’t have kids. Do you listen to audiobooks, and if so, what are some of your favourite audiobooks?

books, family, homeschooling • Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 • 5 Comments »

A Blanket, Trousers, and New Shoes

Last year I came across a crib sized duvet cover at the thrift store. It is the perfect size to snuggle up under in the winter so I snapped it up for $1. I needed something to fill it with so I also grabbed a comforter for another $1. I cut out two pieces of the comforter and serged them together to fit the duvet cover. It’s wonderfully soft and cozy and the perfect price at about $1.50. Here are some trousers I made for my older daughter when she was two. I had forgotten all about them until I dug them out for the babe. I used an old denim skirt of mine and used the existing leg seam and hems for the legs. I have skinny babies and skinny kids and this is one of my favourite waistbands to make. I took a strip of knit fabric measured to fit their little waists and serge the short ends together. Next you fold it in half lengthwise and serge the cut ends to the waist of the actual trousers. Very easy, and a very comfortable, custom fit. The babe needed some new shoes so we stopped at a little children’s boutique store on our way home from the cabin and found these delicious shoes. She loves her “ballet-rina” shoes and wears them every waking minute. Well, I have lots more to show you guys, several projects I have been working on and some different things we use in our homeschooling. I’ll get to that next week, but in the meantime have a wonderful, and hopefully restful, weekend.

gifts, green, home, sewing, thrift store finds • Friday, October 8th, 2010 • 6 Comments »

At The Cabin

Going to the cabin was just what we needed. Good doses of fresh air to help the kids recover from illness and plenty of nature to get stuck into. I started a new Claudia Scarf for myself while sitting in front of a fire early in the morning. I love the sound of the river rushing by, it is so calming to me. Watching the clouds roll by through the mountains… Finding triplet peanuts as you are feeding the stellar jay’s and chipmunks… Seeing all of the beauty of nature around you… I think the babe ate more peanuts than the animals. We had a great, albeit short, weekend up in the mountains. The sounds of the water, the fresh air, the good time spent with family was as restorative as I thought it would be. Now, just to catch up on the laundry, dishes, etc….

crochet, family, nature, travelling • Monday, October 4th, 2010 • 6 Comments »

Not Exactly a Success

Now that it’s October, we are starting to get quite a bit of produce, ah such weird weather here. Anyway, we were able to grow a nice pot of spring onions, which I love. They were quick and easy to grow and we will definitely grow them again. Our three kind of pathetic looking tomato plants are really starting to produce. We are collecting large handfuls almost every day, and the orange ones are my favourite. There are two cantaloupes on our plant. This is the first to ripen, it looks great, it smells divine, though I wouldn’t exactly call it a success…. just look how big it is, and I have small hands. We haven’t cut into it yet, probably for snack today, though I’m not sure it could qualify as a snack for six of us, ha ha. This week has been crazy and busy. All four of the kids have come down with combinations of cold/flu/and pinkeye. No two children have the same symptoms and we got the babe’s pinkeye cleared up before anybody else picked it up, a minor miracle as it’s so catchy. I think it’s safe to say that everyone is on the mend, so we are off to the mountains for the weekend, to take a quick relaxing, restorative break. What are you all up to this weekend?

food, gardening, green • Friday, October 1st, 2010 • 5 Comments »

Claudia Scarf

As the summer is ever so slowly winding down, I have really been enjoying sitting and crocheting in the evenings. I’ve been working on this scarf for a little bit and I love how it turned out. After Dawn had completed a couple of these gorgeous scarves, I knew I had to jump in and try some as well. This first one is for the kid’s swimming teacher. I have no idea what her personal tastes are as far as clothing as I only ever see her in a bathing suit and cap, but she has dark hair and I think it will go well with her complexion. It’s a pretty bold colour, so I hope that she likes it. Everybody could use one bright, bold scarf, right? I really loved this pattern, the repeats are super easy to remember which made it perfect for picking up and putting it down, a definite must with four kids and plenty more interruptions. I promise, I have been doing more than just crochet, but I wanted to show this to you all before I give it away. Hope everyone is doing well, don’t you just love the chill in the air?

crochet, gifts • Saturday, September 25th, 2010 • 23 Comments »

Late Summer Days

As the summer winds down we have been enjoying the last of the summer sun. We’ve had a few chilly days, which I must admit felt really nice to be able to snuggle up with a blanket and a cup of tea. The occasional wildflower picked by my eldest son, tomato sandwiches and plenty of mud cakes. I’ve had several posts running through my head, but I just haven’t had the time/energy to sit down and write them. Life is a tad chaotic around here at the moment. Busy work schedule for Hubby, swimming lessons several times a week, ballet on the weekend, sorting through all of my boys baby clothes to pass along to my soon to be born very first nephew. The house is a mess, the girls haven’t been sleeping well, which of course means mama hasn’t been sleeping well, but life is good. We are all healthy, and happy, and I am looking forward to the (hopefully) slow down of the fall. One of my favourite things about fall is the chill in the air and being able to throw a sweater on and finally not be so hot. What is your favourite thing about this season?

family, food, gifts • Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 • 8 Comments »

Felted Crochet Slippers

I’ve had several projects on the go that I had to keep under wraps as they were for gifts, but now that these slippers have been received, I can show them to you all. I really do love to crochet, and I love the look of crocheted items, but it is nice every now and then to crochet something that doesn’t look crocheted, if you get what I mean. These slippers are a great example of that. They were crocheted and then felted and I am really pleased with how they turned out. The pattern is brilliant and fairly straightforward. They are crocheted in one piece (the strap is separate) and then felted. A few stitches to attach the strap is the only sewing required. I used some thrifted cover-your-own buttons from the sixties and the babe helped me make them. I love the earthy colours, perfect for transitioning into the fall weather. If you are in need of a good gift idea for the holidays, then may I highly suggest these slippers. One slipper can easily be done in an evening and if you are making several pairs, you can just save them all up to felt when you are finished crocheting. There are so many fun colours of wool out there and tons of brilliant buttons, you can customize these to your hearts content.

crochet, family, gifts • Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 • 19 Comments »

One Year Later

This is the first ripe raspberry on our bush for this season. I had an odd sense of deja vu and after a few seconds of thinking about it, realized that almost exactly a year ago, I started this blog with our first raspberry ever. It’s been quite the year. There have been challenges a plenty, but also many, many good times. My family has grown a little older, I have gotten quite a few grey hairs myself. I’ve loved blogging, though I had to adjust my schedule slightly as at this point blogging every day was getting to be a tad too much. I’ve met some new good friends, and been able to read about so many other people’s lives, which is just fascinating. Being a stay-at-home mom who homeschools, it’s been wonderful to have this online community where I can be inspired by the many other amazingly talented women out there. I can’t thank you enough for stopping by this little place and making me feel so welcome. I truly appreciate the comments and the friendships I have made. Here’s to another year!

family • Saturday, September 11th, 2010 • 11 Comments »

Coconut Lime Cookies

These are one of the yummiest cookies I have ever had. The flavour is so complex yet subtle, they are absolutely scrumptious. They were gone in a flash, a definite favourite with the family. Mind you, they are rich and very buttery, so it is probably a good thing that there are six of us, fewer left to hang around and tempt me. This past couple of weeks has been crazy and we are still trying to get into a new fallish routine so I haven’t been doing much extra lately. We’ve had swimming lessons, a different work schedule with Hubby to get used to and just general business.Things should smooth out here soon but in the meantime, we are enjoying the occasional cool day, lots of reading and snuggling and dreaming about the future. If you like cookies, and who doesn’t, you should definitely give these coconut lime cookies a try, you won’t regret it.

food • Thursday, September 9th, 2010 • 4 Comments »