Monday, 24 July 2017

30/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

So excited for our annual family camping trip....and climbing a tree, just for fun...

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

29/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

A few months ago, Bridget came to me after Claire was in bed to talk about a birthday gift idea that she had for her sister: matching pajamas for Claire and her doll, Willow. Her face, as she told me this idea, was just wide with excitement and love, so sure that this was a perfect gift for her sister. So together we ordered the pajamas online, waited for them to arrive, and then waited even longer for Claire's birthday to come. And it was was worth it, so worth it. Claire opened up Bridget's present first and there were a lot of hugs, kisses, and "I love yous", followed by a desperate need to try on pajamas - both herself and Willow - despite the heat of the day. The love between you girls is a beautiful thing to see.  

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Olive the Owl

I've found over the years, that my crocheting changes when summer arrives. In the heat and humidity, I am less inclined to crochet blankets that are uncomfortably hot in my lap while I'm working on them (it's better to leave those for autumn when I can curl up underneath my project) and I opt for smaller, simpler projects. I also find that I crochet less in the summer. With the longer days, I am outside more - working in the garden, walking, biking - and so there is less hooky time. It's not a bad thing, just something I've noticed, a sort of ebb and flow to my crafting.

That all being said, my most recent summer-appropriate project was an owl, Olive.
I've made this pattern twice before, for the girls, but this one is for me. And learning from my experience crocheting the chemistry set, I made a little bean bag for the bottom of my owl; Olive stands so well on her own as a result. I quite like her.
I have really rekindled my love of amigurumi lately. Back when the girls were babies and toddlers, I did so much of it until my enthusiasm dwindled and I took a little break. But now I have countless sticky notes in my pattern books, marking which patterns I want to make next, and I am back to buying crochet cotton (my yarn of choice for amigurumi) with fervor....it is an incredible feeling, I'm telling you!

What are you crocheting?

Pattern: Daisy Cottage Designs
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton
Needed in Your Life: Absolutely 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

I'll Meet You in the Lab

I recently had the opportunity to test a crochet pattern for the very talented Lauren at A Menagerie of Stitches. Lauren designed an incredible chemistry set where the beakers, test tubes, and flasks have cute smiles and loads of personality.
The pattern was well written, with loads of helpful photos and tips. One of my favorite tips was to make a little bean bag to put in the bottom of the beaker and the flasks before stuffing them to help them stand up; a brilliant idea that would have come in very handy for some of my previous amigurumi makes, and one that I will definitely be using for future projects.
There are way more pieces to the pattern than I had time to make....more test tubes, bigger beakers and flasks, a Bunsen burner, and even instructions to make stands to really create the whole lab bench.....I just may keep going and make a few more pieces..

In the meantime, my girls are really enjoying playing "Scientist".

This pattern was so much fun to make. Thanks again to Lauren for the opportunity to test her pattern. 

Pattern: A Menagerie of Stitches
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton
Cuteness Factor: 100%

Monday, 10 July 2017

28/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Ready for the beach.....

The wind was a little cool coming off the lake, but that did not stop you from going swimming. And because it was so windy, there were huge waves rolling onto the shore. Over the sound of the waves and the wind, all I could hear was you girls screaming and laughing as you jumped in the water, letting the waves knock you down again and again....

I know I've said this so many times, but my favorite thing is seeing you girls take so much joy and happiness from the simplest things.....and I hope you do that forever and always.

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

27/52

 "A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Claire: Your little hands carefully and gently holding a robin's egg shell that you found in the backyard; a great treasure for you, our little bird watching enthusiast.

Bridget: just before bed....goodnight sweetheart and thanks for the great day....

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity. 

Friday, 30 June 2017

Taking Stock

Today is the first day of summer vacation for the girls. I had great plans to spend the day outside, but it is rainy and gloomy so I guess we are having an indoor day....not all bad. Seems like the perfect time to sit down for a moment and take stock....

Making: garlic scape pesto (this afternoon)
Cooking: from what came in my produce box
Drinking: cucumber mint tea
Reading: nothing, I need to pick up my library holds 
Looking: out the window at the flowers and the vegetable garden
Deciding: vacation plans
Hoping: for nice weather on the weekend
Enjoying: all the crochet projects I have on the go
Liking: the sound of my girls playing together
Loving: not having to make school lunches for a while
Pondering: my next challenge...
Listening: to podcasts - quite possibly the greatest thing ever
Considering: a trip to the farmers market tomorrow
Buying: nothing but groceries
Browsing: cookbooks, especially this one
Wishing: for a day free of responsibility
Wondering: how much more madness the world can take?
Marveling: at my daisies about to burst into bloom
Waiting: for the washing machine to finish
Cringing: at my dirty windows
Needing: a good conversation
Wanting: to decorate my bedroom, 10 years of blah is more than I can take
Smelling: a weird smell from my neighbor's yard
Wearing: leggings and a tunic
Noticing: that something ate my dill plant in the garden
Knowing: summer is going to fly by, it always does
Prioritizing: calm
Sorting: through the girls' clothes
Thinking: about what to declutter next (decluttering is truly addictive)
Celebrating: the end of school, the beginning of summer
Disliking: that my one eggplant plant has died...
Feeling: drained, but hopeful
Hearing: the strangest bird call
Embracing: the ordinary, or at least trying to

(writing prompts courtesy of Pip)

Monday, 26 June 2017

26/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Claire: off to Brownie camp for two nights...so excited!!!

Bridget: practicing cartwheels

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

25/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

With Daddy on Father's Day....so much love.

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity. 

Thursday, 15 June 2017

An Apple and a Little Worm

Well, I finished a little crochet project and remembered to take some pictures of it.....
I made this apple with a little worm for Claire's teacher as an end of the year gift. At one point in the year Claire had written in her school journal that she likes to crochet and her teacher shared that she too is a crocheter, so with that in mind, I thought a crochet gift would be the perfect gift for her.

And an apple for a teacher also seems fitting.

Pattern: Amigurumi World: Seriously Cute Crochet
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton
Time to Make: A few hours

Monday, 12 June 2017

Lately....

Lately it's been especially busy on the home front. I honestly do not know where the evenings go...before I know it I am looking at the clock and thinking I really should get to bed.

I've spent many evenings of late, until the sun sets at almost 9pm (love that about the summer), in the garden. Our original plan this summer was to rebuild the garden along the side of the deck, to put a better edging around it and add a bit more soil, but a few not-so-fun and unexpected expenses (brakes, tires, water softener) ransacked the budget for that so we have had to make do with what we have. I've weeded and transplanted some flowers and I am happy with how things are looking. There are still a few plants that I am hoping will recover after being chewed down by the resident rabbits, so we'll see how that goes.
On the weekend I weeded the vegetable garden and planted some radish seeds. It makes me so happy to look out the kitchen window at the veggie garden growing so well; I love growing vegetables in the backyard.
I've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen as well. I've made several recipes from my new favorite cookbook, Dishing Up the Dirt, which focuses on seasonal eating and is incredibly down to earth and approachable. I've loved each and every recipe that I've tried and have many more earmarked.
I have also been doing a little crocheting. I have a finished project to show you, I just need to remember to take some photos, and I'm working on a little owl friend for myself.
So there you have it, a little life update. With all the expenses of late, it feels great to just hunker down at home and tend to the garden, cook good meals in the kitchen (with my helpers at my side), and do a little crafting. Simple pleasures to fill the days.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

24/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Two silly girls, off to school....only a few weeks left.

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Friday, 9 June 2017

23/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Claire: "I'm a happy person. I'm an optimist"

Bridget: Seeing you so disappointed, and knowing there was nothing I could do to fix it, broke my heart. You learned a hard lesson, cried some hard tears, and then (rather quickly) devised a plan to do better next time...

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Veggie Garden: Planted

It took some reorganizing of schedules and a race against the rain, but we got the vegetable garden planted. I've been reading all about the vegetables we planted, little tips and tricks to help them thrive, and I am so excited to work in the garden this year and reap the harvest.

In our one garden we have: onions, eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, chard and arugula. The marigolds are there to attract the bees, and to look pretty.
In this other garden we have: black kale, curly kale, red beets, yellow beets, strawberries and radishes(we are growing these from seed).
As usual, things look pretty sparse to begin with, but as we know, it will all fill in.

If everything goes well, we will be dining on fresh veggies all summer long. I can not wait.

Aside from all the veggies, I also planted some Gerber Daisies. I've had these growing on the deck every summer for as long as I can remember and this years' flowers are absolutely gorgeous. 
Veggies and flowers, sunshine and rain....the garden is off to a good start this year.

Monday, 29 May 2017

22/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Seeing you girls come through the door after school, smiling and full of stories, is my favorite part of the day.....

And this may be my favorite photograph of you two this year....

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Not Crocheting, but Gardening

I have not touched a crochet hook or any yarn in the last three weeks, and truth be told I am getting a little twitchy, missing the calm and peace I get when I crochet. My problem is that I am at a loss of what to crochet. I started a blanket a while back but do not like how it is coming along and am a little stumped with what to do with it. I've been collecting patterns - I recently purchased this book with some birthday money, and this e-book on a whim one Friday night - but can still not decide what to make...

But all is not lost because instead of crocheting, I have been gardening.

This past weekend was a holiday weekend, with an extra day off work, so I was able to focus a little creative energy on the garden. The girls and I planted pots for on the deck and I planted all my herbs. There is nothing like fresh herbs right outside the back door, and I look forward to using them all summer long.
I also mulched the front garden and planted three yellow begonias. Our front garden is fairly low maintenance, but after a few years more mulch was definitely needed. I'm telling you, putting down mulch under some well established and large plants is not easy (maybe a little torturous) and my legs are still in agony today, four days later. (Let's not talk about what that may indicate about my physical stamina, okay?).
Never the less, the front garden looks amazing and the flowers and green herbs on the deck make me smile each time I look out the kitchen window. Next on the list is the vegetable garden which we should get planted this week....

I'm also determined to get a little crochet project going,  a little something small, just to get back into it....

A week with some gardening and crochet in the mix, should be a good one...

Monday, 22 May 2017

21/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Hanging out in the backyard making soup - with water, leaves, grass, maple keys, birdseed and flower petals. Using what is around to make a fun game for yourselves - an everyday activity for you girls.

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity. 

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

20/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

My two little Star Wars fans! (and Daddy could not be prouder)

While waiting in line to board the cable car in San Fransisco we spotted a display in the window of the Gap showcasing their latest collection, a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Star Wars. Of course, t-shirts needed to be purchased...there was really no question about it...you two are such huge fans....

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Taking Stock

Hello Friends. It's been a while, I know.

We were on holidays in San Francisco for a week (I shared some photos in my 52 Weeks Post) and had the most amazing time, one of our best vacations ever. We've been home for two weeks now and I am not too sure where the time has gone. Anyways, I hope to be back to posting more regularly again, to sharing some creative things with you. In the meantime, I thought I'd take stock....

Making: crochet pineapples, I'm not exactly sure why
Cooking: plant based meals
Drinking: water
Reading: At Home in the World
Looking: at photos from our vacation
Deciding: which herbs to plant in the garden
Hoping: it is warm on the weekend so I can wear a dress for Mother's Day
Enjoying: my decluttered house
Waiting: for too many things
Liking: the evening light
Loving: the scrapbooks the girls made of our trip
Pondering: what to do with the cards I made that are sitting in the cupboard
Listening: to podcasts - so many - and learning so much
Considering: another wardrobe purge
Buying: shoes for the girls
Browsing: my crochet book collection  
Wishing: for a night out alone with Steve
Wondering: what to do with the crochet blanket I started, but don't like
Marveling: at the swan I see every morning on my drive to work
Cringing: at the amount of yard work that needs to be done
Needing: a good conversation
Smelling: my blackberry candle burning on the kitchen counter
Wearing: leggings, always
Noticing: that my weekends are not very restful
Knowing: that there are some things I just do not want to do anymore
Prioritizing: healthy eating, though it is a lot of work
Sorting: through my forsaken scrapbooking supplies
Thinking: about what to bring to our Mother's Day BBQ
Getting: excited about another Loft Box season
Celebrating: the continued survival of all my houseplants
Disliking: how expensive life is
Opening: the windows, every chance I can
Feeling: a little anxious
Hearing: the bus drive by
Embracing: stolen moments to myself

(writing prompts courtesy of Pip)

Sunday, 7 May 2017

19/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Bridget: big smiles and a little stretching before running in the 3 kilometer Mud Puppy Chase...

Claire: the most enthusiastic baker

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

18/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Bridget: "I want to enjoy everything in my life."

Claire: Sitting in bed, crocheting, and listening to Miranda Lambert....

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Friday, 28 April 2017

17/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Sailing around the Bay and under the Golden Gate Bridge...

Dipping our toes into the freezing cold Pacific Ocean....

Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge....

And riding the historic cable car....

Just a few of the wonderful memories from our week in San Fransisco.

Of course, as you girls would say, the best thing was being together as a family...and you would be right...

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.