Monday 27 February 2017


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

Bridget: "The best thing is biking as fast as possible."

Claire: "Here I come, Mommy! I'm going to practice riding my bike a lot. My goal is to get rid of these training wheels."

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Friday 24 February 2017

My Wreath

Sometimes you just need to get on with it when it comes to certain projects. After months of my wreath sitting in a basket in the corner of the living room, I pulled it out and declared that I was going to 'get it done', not in a hurried or frustrated sort of way, but more 'I need to stop overthinking this and just get going with it'. Because I had been overthinking it. A lot. Specifically I was not sure how full or empty I wanted my wreath to be and as a result I did nothing with it. It just sat there...silly, silly, silly....

The first thing I decided was that I needed a focal point. So I made a bower bird using the wonderfully written and very photo-heavy tutorial from Attic24.  I especially love the embroidery stitches and how they add a little kitschy detail to my bird.
Okay, so once my focal point was decided on, I made a second triple layer flower, (I made my first back when I first began working on my wreath), as well as a collection of leaves in various shades and combinations of green. Patterns for the triple layer flower and the leaves can be found at Attic24.
You'll notice that I used the same colors for all my decorative embellishments, simply changing the order of them. I wanted everything to coordinate together, but not be too matchy-matchy.

And then it was time to arrange things on my wreath. I positioned my flowers on either side of the wreath with my bower bird nestled in a bunch of leaves at the bottom. I considered making a few more flowers, but I really liked the simplicity of what I had created. It was then that I decided that a less-full wreath was what I was making; while decoration laden wreaths are gorgeous, clean and simple is much more my style. Sewing everything on to my wreath was not easy, there were some tense moments, but in the end all the things were secured. I spent a few days glancing at my wreath, second guessing my decision to stay simple, but in the end I stuck to my guns. 

Simple, symmetrical, and colorful...and I love it. My wreath was undoubtedly inspired by the gorgeous and breathtaking wreaths over at Attic24, and I loved taking various elements from those creations to make a wreath that is all my own.

Joining in with the Winter Project Link Party at Thistlebear

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Taking Stock

Making: avocado toast for lunch
Cooking: nothing, I'm off-duty for the next few weeks
Drinking: tea, coffee, and lemon water
Reading: "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" and laughing out loud
Looking: for things to purge from the house
Deciding: to make another crochet blanket
Wishing: spring was here to stay, but I know better
Enjoying: quiet mornings working on my cross stitch picture
Waiting: for some new books to arrive in the mail
Liking: my daily walks, I feel stronger every day
Loving: having breakfast with my family in the morning
Pondering: how much more crazy this world can take?
Listening: to The Minimalists Podcast
Considering: painting my toenails; in winter, I am crazy
Buying: not much
Watching: the squirrels at the bird feeder
Wondering: what the girls are doing at school right now
Marveling: at how unseasonable the weather has been lately
Cringing: at all my grey hairs; so many more recently it seems.
Needing: to get dressed
Smelling: my beeswax candle burning on the kitchen counter
Wearing: my pajamas, I did not sleep well last night
Noticing: how comfy and calm my home makes me feel
Knowing: how lucky I am
Prioritizing: self-care
Thinking: about what to put on the grocery list
Getting: some craft projects finished, finally
Celebrating: my girls' incredible report cards
Disliking: Easter decorations in the shops already (!!??)
Opening: windows for a little fresh air
Feeling: more relaxed than I have in a very long time
Hearing: quiet
Embracing: my break wholeheartedly

(writing prompts courtesy of Pip)

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Crochet Succulents in an Elephant

It is one of the best things ever when you have a creative idea and then it turns out exactly as you had envisioned. What I am showing you today is just that.

After seeing this pattern for crochet succulents in tiny mason jars, I was reminded of an adorable elephant planter that I got from my sister-in-law for Christmas a few years ago. It had been sitting in the back of a closet, empty, because while I knew succulents would look great growing inside it, I seem to be a little handicapped when it comes to growing them. I know they are supposed to be foolproof to grow, but mine always die - read into that what you will. But crochet succulents! Well those don't die, and so last week, camped out on the sofa, I made a few for my planter. To say I am pleased would be an understatement....I love it!
I used scraps of Stylecraft yarn in two shades of green for the succulents. Then I filled the planter with polyester stuffing and crocheted a rectangle out of a copper color to cover the opening; I pushed this into the planter, wrapping it down the sides a bit to make sure that the stuffing was all hidden. Sewing the succulents to the copper rectangle was a little finicky, I'll be honest, but not too bad.
Isn't it adorable? I love it. I've put it in my living room which does not get the best light and it not all that hospitable to real plants but quite welcoming to the crochet variety.

Joining in with the Winter Project Link Party at Thistlebear.

Sunday 19 February 2017


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

Skipping in the sunshine and taking advantage of some very unseasonable weather (spring in February?).

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Friday 17 February 2017

An Unusual Week

This has been an unusual week: I've spent the week at home, drinking tea, crafting from morning to night, camped out on the couch in my comfy pants and my big sweater. It has been great.

Of course what got me here was a little surgery last Friday - nothing serious and hopefully life-changing - and I came home from that with a doctor's note ordering me to "relax and heal", which I have interpreted quite clearly as "sit down and do some serious crafting". Doctors should not be argued with when they are giving such advice.

I am very happy to say that I am on the mend physically and am, as per my doctor's orders, immersing myself completely in creative pursuits. I've finished some craft projects that have been lurking about in various stages of incompleteness for far to long. I've started a cross stitch picture, returning to this craft after many years. I've dreamed about and planned for projects that I am going to do next week. I've even sorted through and organized my recipes.

I am really enjoying my little crafty retreat, and very happy that my physical recovery is going so well.

I should have lots of crafty things to show you in the next while (I'll be at home for a bit), and I can not begin to tell you how happy that makes me. My creative side has needed to shine a little brighter for a while now and I am taking this opportunity to make that happen.

Thursday 16 February 2017


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

Bridget: your recorder came home this week, with much excitement; "Hot Cross Buns" is on repeat, and with each play through there are fewer and fewer squeaky notes.....

Claire: reading, and then re-reading, your new favorite book (very seriously)......

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.

Thursday 9 February 2017


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

Claire: You walked home from school by yourself for the first time this week. As you burst through the door you announced to me "I like walking home by myself, it makes me feel like a big girl." You are a big girl sweetie, and I am so proud of you.

Bridget: You have grown so much in the last month (not that I'm surprised based on how much you eat). I was hoping we would not have to buy more clothes this season, but it does not look like that is going to happen....please slow down a bit...

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.

P.S. I've been taking pictures with my camera set to manual and have learned so much.

Friday 3 February 2017

An Autumn Doily

Hooray for two crafty posts in one week!

Today I am excited to show you my Autumn Doily. I began this shortly after I made my two new mandalas back in October, stashing it away in my crochet corner and working on it a bit at a time over the last few months. It was a bit tricky, this pattern, and required some serious counting and concentration, so I found that I could only work on it when I was certain I would not be interrupted.
Now this doily is quite large, a lot larger than I thought it was going to be (it measures 20 cm across). I currently have it sitting in the middle of the kitchen table and have tried placing a plant in the center but since that covers up where most of the colors are, I've decided I like how it looks without better. I may give it a more permanent home elsewhere in the house since we are always moving it on and off the table when we want to eat, do homework, craft etc. and that is becoming a little cumbersome.
My favorite thing about my doily is how the stitches and rounds work together to look like pretty.
As for my yarn choices, I only used yarn from my stash for this project. Between this project and my other stash busting creations, I have made a considerable dent in the amount of yarn I have in my cupboard. In fact I noticed yesterday that if I am going to do any more crocheting with cotton I am going to need to replenish my supplies...yarn levels are at an all time low and there is a severe shortage of color options.

You know, its funny, I never thought I would crochet a doily. I used to think they were old-fashioned and unnecessary, but my opinion has certainly changed after making this gorgeous one. It adds a little cozy to the room, a little handmade, and I love everything about that. And while I used mostly autumn colors this time, I think this pattern would work up beautifully in bright, cheerful, summer colors.