Saturday, June 22, 2013

Friday Things That Made Me Happy

Being able to peg clothes out to dry.

Installing new shelves in the closet of doom.  Now that the kids are tall enough to reach a regular height bar, I was able to get rid of the hodge-podge closet organizers and put the bar back where it should go. Now I have extra room up top for storage and can take some pressure off of a bursting closet in the basement.

My new cookbook.

Getting our latest (and largest!) souvenir from France hung up on a rod.  Though I took this picture at an angle, it really is straight and level.  I'm usually not so great in that department, so it was a good day.

Watching 'Madmen' and working on my much neglected ripple blanket.

Finding out some family members are dry and safe in flood-stricken southern Alberta.  My heart just aches for those who are not so lucky.

Have a great weekend:)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Moon Phases

I am really trying to figure out when my most productive times of the month are.  I got a necklace for my birthday, and the card enclosed said that since I was born during a last quarter moon, my best days are the ones just before and after the new moon.  Could be a little New Age, but I was careful to watch during those times to see if I really was more productive.  I shouldn't say more productive, because I think I am almost always busy, but it's more of finding out which times are the best to start projects and having a greater success rate of finishing them in a timely fashion.  I can tell you that right now is not one of those times!  I have quite a few little projects sitting around that I started off with great enthusiasm, but are now just sitting there, waiting to be finished and quickly losing their appeal.

I'm trying not be too much of a slug during this time, so I have been doing a lot of nesting.  I have been cleaning closets, washing windows, doing some baking; the sort of things that I can look at at the end of the day and feel good about.  Like most people I don't like waiting, especially waiting for my 'successful' creative times to come back, but I am trying to look at these times in a different way.  I read somewhere that when we are waiting, it's like tending the home fires for others to come to.  You're not doing nothing, you're just not doing everything for yourself at the moment.  Waiting, or tending, is important, whether you feel it is or not.  I kind of like thinking it of that way - perhaps because it speaks deeply to my domestic side.

In between my purging-organizing-hearth tending moments I did a quickie make-over to My Favourite Boy's room.  Last summer I painted his walls but never did find a coordinating bedspread.  I lucked out at the thrift store a few weeks ago and found four curtain panels that had the colours I was going for.

  I shortened two of the panels for shorter curtains and stitched the other two together for the bed.  I was originally going to make a duvet-type cover for his existing quilt, but in the end I just stitched the fabric to the top of it. I just need to make a pillow case with what's left, but that will have to wait - you know, for the new moon phase:)
      I was sad to take his old nautical room decorations to the thrift store to donate, but I have to keep telling myself don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened.  He's growing up, and I am grateful for what I had and what is yet to come.

I also took a knitting class:

I'm not sure if I will continue with this or not. I'm finding it so fiddly and time consuming. I'm sure I must have felt the same way about learning crochet, but there was a deep drive to succeed there that I don't feel here. I think I could get by with just knowing knit and purl, and only make things that have 90 degree angles like scarves and square pillows. I just don't know. I probably should have taken the class closer to a new moon!

I have had an insane amount of luck finding vintage treasures.  You have seen a few already, but the best find by far was this:

 Can you believe I got this for $20 at a garage sale?  It's not working, but I don't really care.  Perhaps later I will look into getting it going again since my initial "investment" was so small.  For now I'm just content to look at it.  I really don't have any room to spare for this and right now it's sitting in the kitchen until I decide where it will live (and what will have to go to make room for it).  This location is growing on me though: when it's open and I see it as I am doing stuff in the kitchen it always brings a smile to my face.

 Based on the Egyptian style motifs I believe it was made in the 1920's.

So far the most use it has gotten - other than just looking pretty - has been as a torture device for Lego people.  My Favourite Boy has had a grand old time taping them to the wheel and pumping the treadle as fast as it will go.

  Not the most exciting update in the world, but that's what's going on in my space.  
Only six and a half more days of school until summer holidays.  I'm looking forward to it because lunch making has become the biggest drag in the world at this point.  I don't even care if the kids have homework or not; I just want them to hang up their stuff at the end of the day and play outside.  Bring on summer - and the new moon:)

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Good Kind of Day

 I was up early this morning so made myself a cup of tea and finished a little project that's been hanging around for a while.  This is inspired by a similar one at Heartmade: she makes really beautiful stuff.  I thought this might look nice hanging from the door handle of my French bathroom.

I gave my deck pots their annual spray of colour.  This year I chose bright blue with a mixture of flowers.  The deck is looking good - if only it would warm up/stop raining we could spend more than ten minutes out there.

I baked some lemon-cranberry scones.

I admired my garden and decided to cut the grass to make it all look good.  The peach iris are truly gorgeous.  The next batch set to bloom are light purple I think, and they should be out any day now.

I gave this thrift store clock a make-over.  I found it last week on a stellar thrifting trip.  How could I pass it up for $5.99?  Unfortunately whoever had it last was a smoker, so it was pretty stinky.  I removed the cross stitch (after a heart stopping moment when I realized I would have to break the frame apart to get it out) and soaked it in OxyClean for a few hours.  I scrubbed everything else that wasn't fabric and used up my last bit of baby blue spray paint for the frame.  I am totally in love with it and it looks perfect in my craft space.

I had no intention of being so productive today and yet I was.  I even managed to get four loads of laundry done and make a roast chicken for dinner!  
Maybe that's the key: have no expectations and just let the day unfold.  Oh to have days like this everyday.  Bliss.  Domestic Bliss.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

April and May

Tonight I'm stuck home with a lousy cold bug while the family gets to eat with good friends.  I figured I could catch up here, instead of rattling around the empty house wondering what to do.  This spring seemed to go by remarkably fast; I'm not sure if it was because it felt so busy (it was) or if because we hardly seemed to have any spring like weather so we just sort of missed the whole thing by waiting for it to come.
I bumped around a lot these past two months and managed to fit some crafting time in between packing suitcases and tying up last minute details.  Back in February I started on a spring flower crocheted tea cozy and finally got it off the hook in April.  Unfortunately with all of my 'busyness' I didn't get around to taking a finished photo of it.  Here it is as a work in progess:  you can see it's made up of spring flowers.

I also added some purple bluebell type flowers to it that I designed myself.  I ended up being quite proud of it, but it didn't stay in my hands long as it was a gift for my Mum.

I decided to stretch my crochet capabilities and make a little baby cardigan.  I used Debbie Bliss yarn and it was such a treat to work with.  Here it is just waiting for some little buttons.  I found out that our neighbours across the road who are expecting a baby this month just found out they are having a little girl.  Perfect!

I made myself some crocheted Mary Jane slippers too.  I put leather on the bottom so these should last longer than the last pair did.  I love that they look like ballet slippers: sadly my own ballet slippers have become quite neglected and I'm getting the waistline to prove it:(

The slippers came in really handy on all three trips I took this spring, but they were especially welcome on the tile floors at the house in France we went to for three weeks!

(This isn't actually the house we stayed in, but we did visit it!)

For a couple of years I have been on the look-out for a crocheted purse that I could personalize with flowers.  I finally found this navy blue one, and in between trips I added a new lining to brighten it up and added some roses to the side.  I'm still deciding when to step out with it.

I didn't realize what a crochet heavy post this would be!  My cross stitching has been sadly neglected of late, but hopefully not for too long.

Last night I made a new decoration for our front door.  I wanted a lavender wreath but could only find two small bushes of it at the craft store.  It's a bit sparse, but it's simple like I wanted and reminds me of France.

I am liking these new smaller door decorations; not only because they are lighter, but they are much easier to store.
 I am currently all into things that store well as I have been cleaning and organizing like mad since we got back from France.  I have been away for so much this spring that it makes me so happy every day to be home and just be a domestic.  Everything about being here makes me happy: getting the carpets cleaned; baking something nice for everybody; hanging my laundry outside... It really is the best place on earth.

You Might Also Like

You Might Also Like