Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Valentine

In the past it hasn't been a really important date, but this year I must have seen about 1000 hand drawn hearts around the house. So I couldn't help making Valentine's a little extra special this year.

These are the beaded hanging hearts we hung on the kitchen light.

I made a garland like one that I had seen on Crafty Crow, but is no longer on the Web site.

And I embellished a couple t-shirts with felt Love Bugs that were inspired by the Martha Stewart Show Love Bug cookies.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Summer of Food

I think that what I have been doing lately can be summed up by two book recommendations from my summer reading.

I have long believed in healthier eating and home baking and generally knowing where our food comes from, but this past spring and summer I really made a plan to find what staples are locally produced and buy those items rather than relying on the grocery store for everything. I will say it was time consuming mainly because it involves really nailing down what we eat, and finding places to buy it, and a bit of driving. But now that I have a system in place for getting what we need it has become habit and therefore a lot easier.

One book that reassured me that it is all worth while is Apples to Oysters by Margaret Webb. This is an every person's alternative to Michael Pollan (whom I also enjoyed reading this summer). The stories are warm and make you want to thank your local farmer.

Aside from food, my eldest daughter has started school and that has thrown me head first into the next phase of my life, PTA mom/volunteer. Is it just me or does it get a little more hectic around the house when the first school days hit? It has been cool to see what my youngest is like when she is alone to shine. It has also been cool/scary to see the affect that school has on a little one. She loves it and I had no doubt she would be just fine, but it as been like a minefield mitigating all the outward influences that come from other students.

When she is not in school we like to do a lot of crafts, and practice scissors skills, which I had not realized as such an important skill until I witnessed 6 kindergartners wielding sharp implements in close quarters. A friend told me about The Creative Family, by Amanda Blake-Soule. This is a beautiful book to leaf through and we are looking forward to our own family art nights during the long cold evenings in winter.

Lately I am hoping for an upturn in the financial markets and peace and prosperity for all. Sounds a little Dickensian, but if Santa can wrap it I will take some under the tree this year.

Monday, November 03, 2008

If I could, I would

I have been following the U.S. campaign. I have two words for it--Barack Obama. Wow! He has the presence of a great leader at a time when the U.S. (and the world) needs it most. He is cool under pressure, he is thoughtful, intelligent and respectful. And believe me, he is impressive to people who don't live in your fine country. I am hopeful that he will be the next U.S. president. I wish I could vote for him.

My message to all of you is vote! Bring a friend, bring two. Have a tailgate party.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Earth Hour

Maybe you have already heard about this, but if not on March 29 World Wildlife Fund wants you to join the movement to turn off the lights for one hour to reduce energy consumption. My city is participating in the challenge too, though this is a global effort that started in Australia. Check out the Earth Hour site to see if you can participate in the challenge too. In fact, why don't we have a little competition between ourselves to see who can rely on the fewest resources during that one hour. Bragging rights are at stake here. Of course how hard will it be for me not to wash the dishes or do the laundry at that hour—not very? No, the hardest part for me will be shutting off the t.v. and PVR.

Friday, February 29, 2008

And the winner is...

Sabrina, SMF Sporty Chic

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who played along. Let's just say that there was such a variety of collections. I was very impressed. Collections varied from pearls to recipes, dust (yup, we all have that one) to horseshoes, bottles to Playboys.

My collection is hand made pottery. I love that they are mini pieces of art with a practical application. When I tried throwing a few years ago I grew to appreciate the effort that goes into making a piece of pottery even more. So that brings me to the prize. Sabrina will get a gifty of some of my favourite things: a box of Stash Morroccan Mint tea, chai lip balm from Moonsnail Soapworks, and a mug for tea (artist to be determined).

Please check out everyone's fabulous collections. I posted links below:

Kristin, A Few Things to Say
Suzanne, Yarnhog
Leslie, A Friend to Knit With
Sabrina, SMF Sporty Chick
Sonya, Knitting Issewes
Mellow Being
Meg—Vintage hankies
Kim, Chronic Ennui
Lydee, Thoughts of a Sometimes Stay at Home Mom
Sophanne, Becky Knits Too
Valerie, Wandering Cat
Clara, Bloomize
Romi, Rosemary-Go-Round
Patty, Fibreholic
Senja, Senja Knits,
Temperance, Cookie cutters and Tea Pots.

Good night!

Monday, February 25, 2008

It's a Contest Baby!

I am excitedly "collecting" items for my (first eva) contest prize. Bring on the entries, I will draw names after the contest closes Feb.29. If you are really stuck on ideas here's one—and I might add that this is very embarassing for me and I am very glad I do not have a photo of it—when I was about 7 I collected eraser shavings. Seriously. Not a highlight of my youth, but I blame it on a particularly non-attentive second grade teacher. She was not very engaging. To put a positive spin on it I will call it my deconstructionist period. Since I don't have a photo of that very early collection I will leave you with an image from Brita Hansen's crayfish collection.

Please note: I (almost absolutely) guarantee there will be no eraser shavings in your prize (probably definitely.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Stitch in Time and a First For Me

There is history in every stitch. I can't help but think of my Nana and my mother when I am sewing with this machine. I feel a connection to them—maybe the excitement over a new project, the monotony of an ordinary mend, the feeling of accomplishment over a job well done or just plain finishing another item on the to-do list. I wonder about the things on their minds as they worked away—foot to pedal, hand to fabric—maybe we shared some common thoughts. It gives me a feeling of past meets present meets future,

I finished the apron with a large front pocket perfect for hiding the collections gathered by young children. Photo number two is of snack bags I made, inspired by A Friend to Knit With, though I made a pillow fold as a closure instead of a zipper. Truth be told I have already ripped them out and re-sewn them since this picture was taken but they aren't nearly as nice now as they were before my adjustments "to make them better."

The idea of a collection has got me inspired to hold my first-ever contest. Anyone game can post an image of their special collection, or the collection of someone near and dear to them. My example is a collection my daughter put together of found objects near the cottage we stayed at last fall. I will assemble a "collection" of items as a surprise and draw names for the winner. Please post your images on your blogs and let me know in my comment box that you have participated by midnight Friday, February 29, I will post the outcome of the draw Saturday, March 1 (not February 29). I can't wait to see them.