Thursday, May 28, 2009

summer holidays

can you believe this was a pig shed? wouldn't you love to rest here for a week or two? well, you can. this is just one of the lovely rooms at french farmhouse holidays. i worked with marianne at riesco & lapres interior design. she is a very accomplished and talented woman. she and her friend caitlin have worked hard to make their dream come true and i really admire them for following their passion.

our summer vacation doesn't really start until august 1st when my husband finishes up the day camp he runs in july. our only firm plan for a getaway is a few days at harrison hot springs with our kids and their paternal grandparents. the rest of the time we will find our entertainment locally. vancouver has a ton of fun and economical things to do - weather permitting.
me, i will be working hard on some projects - knitting, gardening, sewing, and starting a couple of new businesses... but i plan to make time for plenty of beer drinking and bbq.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

making mojo

I finally have my 'making mojo' back. the catalyst was reading 'Little House on the Prairie' for maybe the tenth time. something about a family who makes everything they need - gets me in the mood to make.
there are always old sewing patterns at the local thrift stores. but lately most of the patterns seem to be from the 1980's and i'm just not willing to go back to shoulder pads and flourescent geometric patterns. not good then and not good now. one of the best places to find era-specific patterns is Lazy Susan's at 3647 Main Street, Vancouver. they also carry a ton of cute jewelry and unique gift items - all very reasonably priced. sorry, no link.

i was too ill to go to work on sunday and the grandparents took the kids to the beach for the day. when i woke up from my nap i got right to work. i had every intention of drafting a dress from a japanese craft book i bought in san francisco but then remembered I had this pattern from 1967. even had enough black and white small check cotton and the correct length of zipper in my stash. the crazy thing with old patterns is the sizing - i mean seriously, who has the measurements of 36-24-38 these days? or any day for that matter. i'm on the slim side (some might say stick like) but i haven't had a 24 inch waist since i was eleven. but this basic shift required no alterations and i wore it the next day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

one of my top three handmades

this little person looks awfully suspicious. is he just gauging how much he can potentially get away with? or is he thinking: YOU are my mom? for reals? you can barely handle the other two and where will i sleep in that tiny house? you realize you will be driving a minivan forever right? are you sure about this?

making this guy was certainly one of the best things we've ever done.
mr. handsomey turns two tomorrow. despite his best efforts to do damage to himself every day, he is still very much alive. he is the most energetic of our three kids. he can scream louder than anyone and has quite a throw. he climbs onto everything and wants nothing more than to run into traffic. he is wearing me out. that being said, he is so sweet and loving. he adores his brother and sister (and they him) and absolutely worships his dad. he loves cars and balls and eats anything (including things he shouldn't - enough with the pennies little dude). i can't wait for him to talk - his vocabulary is limited to: Daddy, Mommy, Blue, ball, bubble, bottle, bath, poo poo, and doot doot (for any vehicle). so yeah, he can get pretty frustrated. but he is my baby, the last i'll ever have, and time seems to be quickly passing. on the other hand, i can't wait to be finished with diapers.
Happy Birthday Webber Luke! we love you.

super masculine boy dolly made with wee wonderfuls
archie pattern - go get one

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

garden plan 2009

big plans for the garden this year. i've sifted the soil and sprayed the chickweed with enviro-friendly weed killer. added compost and more topsoil. made a paver brick border and added a little brick patio. built a bamboo lattice on the south facing side of the tool shed (yed it is still hideous). bought more planters and pots and put in the tomato and bell pepper seedlings. planted herbs and veggies and flowers. if this house wasn't a rental i would have the front yard planted with berries and raised beds for more veggies.
i've just read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. he really makes a strong argument for being concious of where your food comes from. i would love to keep a couple of laying hens but i think my toddler would terrorize them. we can't afford to buy everything organic (milk at $10 for 4 litres - ouch!) but we do go to the farmer's markets, buy organic eggs, make our own bread and our meals are made from scratch. we are trying to eat less meat and go to the butcher rather than the big supermarket. i can't wait to walk out the back door and pick our own vegetables. you can't eat much more local than that.

Monday, May 11, 2009

mama's day

these kind peeps (and their super dad) gave me a wonderful mother's day. this pic is almost two years old - they have all grown so much since that wee boy was born. i slept in and then went off to work. when i got home i had a very cozy nap and then we had a fantastic dinner - all homemade - enchiladas, caesar salad a la Julia Child, spanish rice followed by angel food cake topped with strawberries and whipped cream. beautiful handmade cards and lots of hugs and kisses.

sadly, my mom called me to say that my aunt Joyce had died early on Mother's Day after a very brief battle with cancer. i barely knew her (big family spread out over a big country) but she was a legend around our house. my oldest son got to visit them in sudbury last summer and he still tells us about how well she fed him. no meal was complete without her setting out every condiment on the table and asking if he wanted more toast. Joyce was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother and did it all in a cheerful way. to honour her i am going to step back from the computer for a bit and try to find a better balance in order to spend more time just playing with my kids. they are little for only so long.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

mom - spoiler alert - close your eyes

here are the socks for my mom. they are made from Fleece Artist Sea Wool but I can't remember the colour way. the yarn is made from 70% wool and 30% sea cell. Fleece Artist is by far my favourite sock yarn - so luxurious and colourful and Canadian. the merino sock yarn kit makes a beautiful pair of socks with enough left over to make a pair of baby socks. i have a basket of little balls that i have been hoarding and plans to make a scarf of little mitred squares. then again it is nice to just dig in with both hands and feel all the squishy goodness.

knitting socks is another one of my tactics to beat the blahs. i find that i can mindlessly knit while watching tv after the kids go to bed. having a little stock of gifts for birthdays and christmas takes away a little pressure when i've run out of time to make a more custom gift. and socks wear out so there's always a need for more.

Monday, May 4, 2009


gotta bad case of the housefrau blues - must be hungover from my mini vacation. (which was fantastic by the way). my tried and true recovery formula for me is list making (after a bit of wallowing, a good cry, and some serious house scouring). it sounds like a sure way to fail by setting up too many expectations and opportunities for guilt. however, my current list is pretty long but it does not have any due dates. i'm trying to get one thing done a day and i make sure to add a few easy ones. like make the bed or put a load of laundry in the washer. it's sluggish, uninspired times like these that i appreciate having made a stash of handknit socks to send off to my mom and mother-in-law. the pressure of mother's day could put me over the edge...