Wednesday 30 September 2015

A Creative Update

It has been an unbelievably long time since I have talked about anything creative here. Too long.

Time for a little creative update, if you will:

I put my Cozy Stripe Blanket aside before we went on our holiday and have not gotten back to it yet...soon though, after all I did declare that I wanted it done by Christmas.
On the weekend, I sat myself down for a well overdue scrapbooking session. Fueled by tea and Kacey Musgraves, I made some headway and should have some finished layouts to show you soon.
I started making a huge shawl; this is what I took with me on our holiday. I am very close to being done; maybe this weekend? Then it needs to get a little colder (never thought I would say that) so that I can wear it.
Here is the shawl I started about a month ago. Not much progress, though I am eager to get back to this, the pattern is so pretty.
I have also collected all the materials that I need to crochet a toy monkey for my sister who is expecting a baby in the new year. I really need to get cracking on this as these small crochet toys take a lot more time to make than you would think.

Now that we are settled into a new school year and a new routine, I am hoping to do more crafting on a more regular basis.

Just writing this list makes me feel a little better; that indeed there is creativity and making in my days and I am not just running here and there all the time.

Hope you are finding some time to be creative too.

I'm joining in with the Winter Project Link Party at Thistlebear

Monday 28 September 2015

Random Thoughts

  • The weather is changing. I need a light coat in the morning, the afternoons are warm, and the crisp evenings are perfect for opening the windows. We have a tree in our front yard, and one of my favorite things is falling asleep with the bedroom window open, listening to the wind blowing through its leaves.
  • I make banana chocolate chip muffins a lot. So much in fact, that I may be a little sick of them. So this week I think I will bake a pumpkin loaf instead - perfect for autumn.
  • I went on a rampage a few weeks ago and ruthlessly cleaned out my closet....which felt great. Things are sparse in there now, but in a good way...what remains are clothes that fit my life, things that I will actually wear. That being said, I bought a new dress the other day.....and I have absolutely no idea where or when I will wear it.
  • Coffee is one of my favorite things. I will never understand people who do not drink coffee; how on earth do they function?
Just a few random thoughts....have a great day!

Saturday 26 September 2015


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Claire: Her face just radiates happiness; she was so happy to finally make contact between her racket and the birdie while playing badminton.

Bridget: When she is completely absorbed in reading a book, I need to say her name at least half a dozen times before she even hears me. 

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Our Summer Holiday - Part 2

After our time in Prince Edward Island we headed across the water to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

We stayed right downtown and spent an entire day walking around exploring the city. It was very much in contrast to what we had been doing a few days before - wandering on sandbars and collecting hermit crabs - but it was good. One of the best things about this entire trip is that it was a good mix of seeing things and relaxing, city and country, driving and walking...we got the balance just right.

The waterfront in Halifax was a bustling place full of restaurants (so many) and shops. There was also this huge playground which the girls loved and which we visited several times during our time in the city. 
A visit to Pier 21 - the historical point of immigration for those coming to Canada - was more emotional for me than I thought it would be. My grandfather came to Canada through Pier 21 over 50 years ago and as I wandered through the museum, reading the words of the immigrants who came to this country looking for a better life for themselves and their families, and hearing about the loss they felt having to leave their home country and life behind, I felt thankful and honored....and very proud to be a Canadian.
One of the things on our 'to do' list for this trip was to have fish and chips on the Halifax pier....which we did in the company of many aggressive pigeons and seagulls.
And no trip to Halifax would be complete without a visit to Alexander Keith's Brewery. The brewery tour was incredibly animated which the girls loved, and I love this picture of them in the tasting room. Fear not, they are drinking lemonade not beer, just out of beer steins, for a more authentic pub experience.
On our second day in Nova Scotia we visited the world famous lighthouse at Peggy's Cove.
Again the weather was incredible and we spent hours climbing over the rocks, staring at the sea, listening to the waves, and taking an insane amount of pictures.
The girls absolutely loved scampering over the rocks, Bridget preferring to find the most difficult path that involved the most climbing. I'll be honest, I was a little nervous watching them on the rocks and had to take a deep breath to relax, telling myself to just let them go and explore. And we almost made it through the entire day without someone falling until Claire tripped on the way back to the car and did a number on her knee, poor thing.
We walked around the village too, which is quite small and full of fishing paraphernalia. There was this one little shop that had vertebrae and the jawbone from a whale....weird, but very interesting to see.
Leaving Nova Scotia, we headed to New Brunswick where we visited the Bay of Fundy, home of the highest tides in the world.
Walking on the muddy ocean floor at low tide was absolutely incredible - there were caves to explore and rocks to climb on - not a rock could be passed by without someone climbing on it.
But what was even more incredible was seeing the tides come in, and knowing that only a few short hours before we were standing where there was now several meters of water. There are stairs you go down to walk on the ocean floor at low tide, and here is us posing for a picture at the base of those stairs at high tide, the water splashing aggressively against the rocks, the amazing power of nature on display.
And then it was time to head home. Steve drove, the girls drew pictures and read comic books, and I crocheted. We listened to the soundtrack from the Anne of Green Gables musical (Taylor Swift had been banned due to extreme over-playing on the drive out), stopped for gas, coffee and Timbits (so many Timbits were eaten on this trip, I am certain we are done with those for a while)....and touched down again at home with some incredible family memories we'll treasure forever.

Thanks so much for reading another very long post. Hope you enjoyed it. 

Head here to read about the first half of our holiday.

Monday 21 September 2015


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Another day at the zoo, the second time this year. Bridget brought her notebook to take some 'research notes' about the animals we were seeing. Claire declared in the car on the way home that she is going to own a zoo when she grows up: The Crazy Claire Zoo.  

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.

Thursday 17 September 2015

Our Summer Holiday - Part 1

We spent the last two weeks of the summer on an incredible family holiday to the east coast of Canada where we toured around Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It was a holiday of togetherness and exploration; each day, after we had slept in and lingered over our morning coffee, we headed out to experience something or someplace new together.

We took almost 2000 pictures on this trip (I'm excited to scrap everything though a little overwhelmed at the sheer volume of pictures to go through) and want to share quite a few photos here so I am going to split my story into two posts.

I'll begin with Prince Edward Island, where we spent most of our time. After eighteen hours in the car we arrived on the island which is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen. I said many times as we stood on yet another seashore and tired to take in the beauty all around us, that everywhere we looked was like a picture, though a picture would never do it justice because you could not capture the breeze, the smell of the air, the sense of calm....
It was exactly as I imagined it would be - the sea, the red cliffs, the sand.

We visited the northern most point of the island, and while you can not see it here, there were seals bobbing up and down in the water. It poured the entire time we were driving to the point, but as soon as we arrived, it tapered off to a drizzle before becoming a beautiful sunny afternoon. There was an old wooden bench on the top of this cliff, and I could have sat there for hours just breathing in my surroundings....
One thing that I was most looking forward to on this holiday was the beaches, and they did not disappoint. On our first morning there we walked for kilometers along the shore collecting huge, beautiful seashells. Of all the beaches we went to, we never found as many undamaged shells as we did at this particular beach, and even when we returned later in the week, there were no where near as many large shells on the sand as there had been that first morning...we must have been there at the exact right time for excellent shell collecting.

Watching the girls collect shells, it was funny to see how differently they approached it - Bridget was very selective while Claire threw absolutely everything into her bucket.
At yet another beach, the girls waded in the warm tidal pools nestled at the base of the red cliffs: exploring the shallow waters for shells and crabs, jumping out of the way as the waves washed over the rocks, laughing, and excitedly showing things to each other. I was so happy to see my girls enjoying the natural beauty of this seashore with such curiosity and wonder.
On our last afternoon at the seashore, we wandered on the sandbars together as the tide went out, saw a starfish on the ocean floor, and Bridget found five hermit crabs, which she kept in a bucket and reluctantly returned to the water at the end of the day.
I absolutely love the ocean and being on the beach. Gosh, I could have stayed on these beaches forever, laying on the sand, feeling the wind on my face and the sand between my toes, listening to the waves on the shore, feeling the sun on my calm and restorative...and beautiful. Take me to the ocean anytime, please.

Washing the sand off our feet, we also spent some time at Green Gables where we had the pleasure of meeting Anne herself and touring her home. In Anne's room we saw the slate and the dress with puffed sleeves exactly as it was described in the book. As a little girl, I loved Anne of Green Gables and always wanted to visit here, so this was a bit of a childhood dream-come-true for me. Having watched the movie with the girls, they were excited to see the "the real Green Gables" and loved running (and shouting) through the forests around the home.
To round out our Anne of Green Gables experience we took in the musical one afternoon, a fantastic show with great songs that the girls are still singing..

No trip to Prince Edward Island would be complete without a lobster dinner, and we enjoyed one right on a lobster boat. Bridget was very skeptical when she saw the lobster's eyes looking up at her from her plate, but she gave it a good try before declaring that she was "not too keen about lobster". We ordered chicken for Claire, because we knew there was no way she would eat lobster. Myself, I can't say I love lobster, but I did enjoy the authenticity of eating it on a boat anchored in the Charlottetown harbor.
Five days on the island was more than enough time for us to fall in love with this beautiful place; we had not even driven back across the bridge and we were already talking about when we will come back.
One thing I absolutely loved on the island was the handmade culture. As we drove, we saw so many signs for galleries and artist shops, and every gift shop we went into had a large selection of handmade items; the lady working at the gift shop at the north point of the island was even crocheting behind the counter. As a maker myself I was so excited and inspired to see this.....

Prince Edward Island was also where I had the best fish and chips (Kensington Pub, Kensington, PEI) and seafood chowder (The Olde Dublin Pub, Charlottetown, PEI) of the trip, and perhaps ever. Believe me, I tried a lot of fish and chips and chowders to come to this conclusion.

And that brings me to the end of my story about beautiful Prince Edward Island. Thanks for sticking with me, this has been a very long post. I'll be back soon to share with you about the rest of our trip.

Monday 14 September 2015

I Thought of You Today & Smiled

Hello Friends!

It has been a while, but I am back. We spent the last weeks of the summer on an incredible family holiday (more to come on that, I need to sort through almost 2000 pictures) and then hit the ground running on our return home with the start of school. Last week was a busy one, but I feel like I have my feet under me and my ducks in a row as we head into the autumn and the return of routine.

Today I am just popping in to share with you a card I made for the latest installment of Make it Monday over at The Memory Nest.

Here is the sketch - another clean and simple one, my favorite:
And this is the card that I made:
More great design work based on this sketch can be seen over at The Memory Nest.

I'll be back soon to share stories from our holiday and some of the crafty things I have been working on. Talk soon.

Sunday 13 September 2015


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2015."

The first day of school.

Claire was a little apprehensive about grade one, not too sure what to expect though still excited; there were a few tears when it was time to say goodbye.

Bridget walked into the school full of confidence, ready for the adventures that await her in grade four; she didn't even look back at me.

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.

Sunday 6 September 2015


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Pausing for a moment to watch the sea after hours spent climbing and scampering over the rocks at Peggy's Cove.

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.