Sunday 27 March 2016


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

Am I surprised that even though the Easter Bunny brought you each a book and some Lego, you spent most of the morning playing with the plastic eggs you found on our Easter Egg Hunt, pretending that they were tarts that you made in your bakery? Absolutely not. Some things never change; imaginative play always comes first with you two.

(That being said, I am sure the new Lego will be played with, and I'll have to pry those books out of your hands come bedtime.)

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project

Friday 25 March 2016

Now is Now

For the last two days the weather has been miserable: ice on the trees, torrential downpours, high winds....just terrible and definitely not at all like spring.
So I have stayed inside and worked on this, my granny square project:
I've smiled every time I walked past the pile of crochet blankets in the living room. Notice my Cozy Stripe Blanket on top of this pile...oh, I just love crochet blankets, they are so cozy.
And I've spent some time in the kitchen preparing food for our family Easter gathering tomorrow.

It felt great to just enjoy my time at home. To savor my time in the kitchen, to linger on the couch crocheting just a little longer, to drink my tea while it is hot, and to just have the time and space to slow down and relax. I could use more days like the last two, though maybe with a little less ice and wind and a lot more sunshine.  

Have a wonderful Easter, friends.

(My focus for this year is: Now is Now. Read more about it here)

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Cozy Stripe Blanket Ta-Dah

It was Wednesday night around midnight. While the rest of my family was tucked in bed sleeping, I was perched on the edge of the sofa, butterflies in my stomach, the end in sight. I finished off the last round of the edge, darned in the last few ends, and I was finished. Excitedly, I laid my Cozy Stripe Blanket out on the living room floor, feeling my breath catch in my throat when I saw how beautiful it was. My Cozy Stripe Blanket was finished.
I began this blanket way back in January 2015. I worked on it diligently through the winter while the snow fell and the wind howled outside, took a little break during the summer as the gardening took more of my time and the weather turned warmer (which makes working on a large blanket while it covers my lap most uncomfortable) and then got back at it in earnest come the fall.

I had hoped to finish my blanket by Christmas - an image of myself curled up under my blanket in the glow of the Christmas tree lights had lodged itself in my mind - but after dealing with all the ends that I did not darn in as I went along, and running out of the yarn colors that I needed for the edge (major panic), that did not happen.

Finally, last week, I decided to get down to business and work the edge - a brilliant pattern, simple and perfect - and now my blanket is finished. And I absolutely love it!
But friends, as much as I love my blanket, I am also a little sad that it is finished. Working on this blanket was such a calming journey for me. It was always there on the edge of the sofa, waiting for me to pick it up and crochet a few rows. My blanket became a sort of fixture in my days, bringing me so much happiness when I was working on it, and when I knew it was sitting there waiting for me to work on it. Maybe this is why I was reluctant to get going on the edge and finish it up even though the additional yarn I ordered arrived in early January - because I didn't want 'working on my blanket' to be gone from my days? Does this seem completely crazy? For me, making a blanket really is a journey, and it does weave itself into my life, so I guess it makes sense that I am sad to see it end, though oh so happy at the gorgeous outcome.

Anyways, enough blabbering on, are you ready to see my Cozy Stripe Blanket:
Oh it is gorgeous, isn't it?

Colorful stripes of crochet make me so happy. I am really quite proud of this blanket.

It was a beautiful journey and I have a gorgeous blanket, I could not be happier.

(The pattern is available at Attic 24 - for the blanket and the edge)

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

Sunday 20 March 2016


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

After an afternoon spent sewing, and a quick trip to the fabric store for twill tape, you girls had made your own bags. Teaching you to sew is such a joy and I love that you are both so interested to learn. I hope you remember these afternoons together as fondly as I do.

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project

Friday 18 March 2016

Now is Now

This week was spring break and I was at home with my girls! I'm so glad that I had a little time off work. This week was just what I needed - a time to recharge, relax and play catch up on a few things.

Here are some of the happy moments from my week:
  • Having breakfast with the girls. I start work very early in the morning so it is only on days off that I have breakfast with my sweeties
  • Watching The Sound of Music with the girls. I love this movie and I love that watching it together has become a spring break tradition
  • Cooking salmon for dinner - certainly not an economical meal, but gosh it was delicious
  • Finishing my Cozy Stripe Blanket! Yes, you heard me right. Wednesday night, around midnight, was super exciting as I darned in the last end and laid out my gorgeous blanket on the living room floor.
  • Drinking many cups of green tea
  • Watching in wonder as the paper toy collection in my house grew even more
  • Sewing colorful bags with the girls 
  • Rock climbing as a family 
  • Baking a lemon poppy seed loaf
  • Sleeping later than 6am 
  • Making progress on my granny square project 
  • Finishing the mending and sewing the Girl Guide badges onto the sash - it felt really good to stroke these tasks from the list
  • A kitchen table strewn with craft supplies left there by two crafty girls
  • A little summer planning 
  • Spending a day with my Mom
  • Feeling at ease, at peace, as I moved through my days
  • Celebrating my grandparents' birthdays
  • Doing some much needed clothes shopping 
  • Noticing a little more green in the garden
  • Staying up late to work on projects
It was a great week and I am really looking forward to the weekend. We have a little trip to IKEA planned for tomorrow, which is always fun and full of inspiration.

(My focus for this year is: Now is Now. Read more about it here)

Sunday 13 March 2016


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

Bridget: always creating.

Claire: singing along with every word.

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.

Friday 11 March 2016

Now is Now

Simple joys from my week:
  • Spring has arrived. The snow has melted, the birds have returned, and the sun and wind are noticeably warmer.
  • This book arriving on my doorstep - so much inspiration
  • Eating dinners from the freezer, making meal time a little simpler this week
  • Cleaning out the closets - it is so freeing to get rid of the excess (why I still have receiving blankets is beyond me?)
  • More garden plans
  • Reading this book - one of the most inspiring books I have ever read
  • Free coffee day at the coffee shop
  • Wearing t-shirts
  • Putting the winter boots away in the closet
  • Baking muffins
  • Opening the windows to let a little spring air in
  • Burning my lilac candle  
  • Strawberry wine

(My focus for this year is: Now is Now. Read more about it here)

Thursday 10 March 2016

Paper Toys

My girls have toys, not tons of toys, but they have toys: Lego, dolls, puzzles, dishes, play food, dress up clothes...

But given the opportunity, left to their own devices as to how to fill an afternoon, they will always turn to crafting, specifically making paper toys.

With meticulous detail they draw girls and cut them out. They then draw various outfits for their girls: skirts, dresses, purses, shoes, coats...all incredibly detailed, carefully colored, and cut out.
Claire's Creations
 Bridget's Creations

They play with these creations for hours, making more accessories as needed: if their girls are on an adventure and need a dragon to escape an evil fairy, a dragon is drawn, colored, cut out, and added to the paper toy world. 

So many paper toys exist in our house, that I would not be surprised if they outnumber the actual toys.

It is world of imagination and creation inhabited by my two happy little girls.
It was always my hope that my girls would be creative and have active imaginations; I think we are good.  

Tuesday 8 March 2016

My Shawl is Too Small

When I think back over all the things that I have crocheted, there are only a few that have not worked out. Of course when this happens I am frustrated, mostly by the time and effort that went into a failed project, but if I am honest with myself, I always learn a very important lesson from these blunders. Lessons such as: stitch markers are very helpful when crocheting in the round; the difference between a US treble and a UK treble is quite important to the final size of a granny square; dye lot matters. All very important lessons, and an important part of my creative practice.

This weekend I finished my Harlequin Shawl and when I tried it on I discovered that it is too small for me. It barely comes together in the front and it is too short in the back. If I am not holding onto it, it falls right off my shoulders. 
Such a shame, especially since this was a very finicky pattern - I ripped out multiple rows multiple times before I got it just right, which is not always fun. Plus, the edging finally worked out and it is so pretty.
But alas, a too small shawl that doesn't stay on is not really practical or useful; my shawl is just one of my projects that did not work out.
I could rip the edging completely out and make the shawl bigger, but I just don't have it in me, mainly because this was not the most fun pattern to work with and I don't really want to do it again. When I think about what might have gone wrong, I am sure it has something to do with the gauge. I am almost certain that I checked my gauge when I began this project, but truthfully that was so long ago that I can not exactly remember. Maybe I skipped this very important step - the finished too-small-shawl certainly hints at that - who knows? Lesson learned: check gauge.

What will become of my shawl....well, I am going to give it to my girls to put in the dress-up bin. It will work perfectly as fairy wings, a royal cape, a skirt, princess hair, a dragon harness...or whatever else their imaginations conjure up.

What projects of yours did not work out? What did you learn from your blunder?

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

Sunday 6 March 2016


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

When you wake up in the morning you play together. You meet on the playground at school and play together. You are not home from school for more than ten minutes and you are already off and playing together. You are the best of friends and I am so glad that you have each other.

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.