one day, two dates, three boys

I was a very lucky mama yesterday, I got to go on two whole dates! I never go on any dates, so two in one day is kind of a big deal for me. My first date was with this handsome gentleman here…

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Or should I say slightly grubby gentleman who is looking kind of annoyed with me because he hadn’t even got out of his work truck before I started snapping pictures of him for this post.

Yesterday morning Jason broke down at work so he was home in time to go back to bed. When we got up Grandpa was called and he and I took ourselves on a little trip across the border to the casino in Bonners Ferry. Gambling isn’t really my thing but Jason likes it so we pretty much set a limit for him and I sit at a penny machine and don’t even get through twenty dollars before he is done. I really can not get my head around the whole excitement of *almost* winning, I look more at the definitely lost part of the equation. I guess it isn’t for everyone.

Then we went for lunch at the restaurant in the casino…if you can ignore the terrible décor that looks like the worst part of the 90s *even though I think it was done later* they have decent food, the french fries are super yummy and there is beautiful view overlooking the Kootenay River.

After lunch we ran a few errands, I stopped at the quilting store, Alley Fabric Nook, to buy a new quilting ruler and may or may not have bought a little bit of fabric. This might be sitting on my sewing table at the moment waiting for me. I am pretty sure that I have heard it whisper my name more than once today. Then we zoomed back to Canada, stopped to pick up the kids and were home in time for Jason to go to bed at 2.

I know it doesn’t sound very romantic or exciting, but sometimes even just a few hours with Jason away from the kids is just what I need.

My second date of the day was with him…

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and him…

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We took ourselves on a little trip to the theater while daddy was sleeping to see Mr. Peabody and Sherman. Popcorn was eaten, a giant root beer was shared and everyone had a good time.

When we got home it had rained and outside just smelled delicious.

I didn’t really think that this was quite worthy of a whole post, but sometimes it is just nice to reflect on a good day. On days that my boys are driving me insane I can look back on this and remind myself of how lucky I am.

A Blogpost in Black and White.

dreamcatcher

I was wandering around the grocery store this morning. By myself, which these days is a bit of a luxury. Anyways, being by myself I had time to ponder while I wandered and suddenly a realization hit me. The kind of realization that stops you in your tracks and a very nice elderly old man has to try to reach around you to get to his nutritional shake type drinks because you are standing there like a mong. I realized that I have become one of *those* people. The people who have a fully stocked pantry. The people who never run out of mustard because as soon as they put one bottle out they pick up a new one. The people who are prepared for an emergency.

camo hatted boys

Now I’m not saying that being a prepared type of person is a bad thing to be. Because it is actually a very good thing. And I have very good reasons to want to be prepared. It is just that I never saw myself as being one of those people. I get a certain comfort and sense of security from knowing that my pantry and freezer are full, that every year I do my best to preserve what I can. It is a nice to know that even if for whatever reason we aren’t able to purchase groceries, we don’t have to. We have what we need to last us quite a while. And right now if something comes on sale I will keep stocking up. Especially on Cadbury Mini Eggs. They are on the shelves right now you know, we are on our third bag :)

dog in gray

I like knowing that I have my crafty skills. I know that if push comes to shove I can crochet a blanket, knit a sweater or sew a pair of pants. I also have a rather large stockpile of the materials needed to do these things. Plus I like to do it, and I love to see my family decked out in handmade or wrapped up in one of my blankets. And I like pretty decorative things, because who doesn’t.

cat in gray

It also bothers me that I have one area where I know that I definitely lack the skills that I want to have, which is gardening. I am working on it though. This year I am planning to start with some small steps. Last year I was all about going big with the garden and it really didn’t work for me. At all. It was a pretty spectacular fail.

cookies

So what are you? Are you all out prepared for the end of civilization as we know it? Or do you go about your day, buying only what you need? Is it a space thing? If you have enough room to start collecting food do you just do it because you can? Is it something to do with small children and never wanting them to go without? Or is it just something you do for no reason? Is having too much something to be avoided? I really want to know because this seems to be this totally unexpected trait that I have found in myself and I am curious.

driftwood

I have watched/listened to Frozen about 4 times in the last 24 hours. Who knew boys would like it so much too, I mostly bought it for myself.

Tonight dinner menu is ham, scalloped potatoes and caesar salad. Yum!

Still working away on joining Raidens blanket.

There is mud EVERYWHERE and today was not a good day to wear new shoes.

I have a giant pile of denim waiting to be cut up into squares and I can’t wait to dig into it, but I seem to have misplaces my quilting ruler. Have you seen it?

Alexis, your package is on its way.

Banana-oat-chocolate chip-fruit cookies. Need I say more? 3 bananas from the freezer used up!

Don’t look to closely at this next picture or you will see evidence of my terrible photoshop skills.

colors in the yard copy

Somewhat of a mission…

kata blanket wip

Seriously though, I really am on a mission to finish this blanket! All the squares are done so it is just joining time and then the border. I was really good at weaving in my ends as I went along while making the squares but now I am just so excited to see what this blanket is going to look like when it is finished that I am just crocheting like mad and pretending that ends do not exist. I will pay for that later. I know.

blanket arrangement

I kind of got to a point in this project where I didn’t really want to work on it because I wasn’t sure that it would turn out quite the way that I saw it in my head but It was too late to rip it out. It was a kind of annoying because I made myself a little rule that I couldn’t start any of the million sewing projects that have been bouncing around in my head until I finished this blanket so I just wasn’t doing anything at all. Well that’s a lie, I was cooking and baking lots. But now all is well, the squares are done and I think this is going to turn out nicely and then Raiden will be happy and I will be on to other things.

sys picture

Speaking of other things…we have been on the weirdest schedule here, caused by two things. Or three maybe. 1: Raiden is on spring break for two weeks so no school. 2: Jason is working super long night shifts so he leaves the house at 9:30 and gets home around noon the next day. 3: I am only working one day a week at the moment. Friday to be exact.

So here is the breakdown of our day. Me and the boys wake up in the morning whenever we feel like. Strangely I have been waking up before them and just kind of hang out quietly until they wake up. I think I am doing this out of necessity,  because this is about the only time I am getting to myself these days. They boys get up and then things such as breakfast and arguing with Raiden about the X-Box and coloring occur. We have lunch and then Jason gets home and we get him for an hour or two, depending on the time and he goes to bed at about 2 o’clock. Then me and the boys hang out some more, have a late snack and maybe watch a movie and then I have dinner ready for 8 o’clock when Jason gets up. The boys get to hang out with him for another hour. There is usually a temper tantrum thrown by one or both of them about how they want to go to work with daddy. He leaves and we all pile into bed and go to sleep and the next day it starts all over again.

stacks

I don’t really mean to complain it’s just that in that whole little routine there is about an hour *maybe* that I get to myself. I just needed to get it out there. Really I know it is a good thing that Jason is working lots right now since it is almost time for him to go on break up and then he won’t be working at all so I will just suck it up and shut up now.

I ripped down the wallpaper in my entry way!

After I finish this post I am going to get started on some bread dough.

I am looking for a way to use up the stockpile of frozen overripe bananas in my freezer. Every time I make banana muffins I am the only one who eats them.

The sun is SHINING today and when I went outside to take a picture of my blanket I found some green things poking up in my flowerbeds.

But we are still using the woodstove.

I am debating if I should apply for another part time job…the deadline for applications is the 28th so I will think on it for a few days.

Or maybe I should get down to making things and have a stall at the farmers market again this summer.

I am babysitting my niece today *she’s the same age as Sylas* and she brought waffle batter and cantaloupe with her for  breakfast.

Have a great weekend everyone!

It’s the first day of Spring! We all win! (Also I picked a winner.)

plant and bowl

I knew I could find an appropriate container of names holding thingy for my giveaway! Or a little orange pot as I shall refer to it.

There was a little bit of a argument as to who got to do the actually drawing of the name between my two boys and my niece, but in the end Sylas just went for it and grabbed a name. I was barely able to get an action shot.

action shot

And the winner is….

*pause for anticipation*

winner heart

Congratulations Alexis! She said “I have twin boys who just love caribiners!”

I had a peek through her blog Cob Cottage Craft and I have to say I am extremely impressed by her lace knitting skills and also very very jealous of her lovely spinning wheel! Everyone should go look immediately.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my giveaway and Alexis, you can be expecting an email from me shortly!

 

Gift of Giving Giveaway!

At the very end of my last post you may have noticed I snuck in the word giveaway. I meant to put this up sooner… I took the pictures for it a week ago but first I was sick and then I was drunk and then I was hungover and then I was lazy and then I was overcome by a sudden urge to remove wallpaper and then I thought that after all that hard work I deserved a day of shopping out of town. All those things have happened since I said giveaway, and finally here I am and here it is!

So what is up for grabs here today? Have I ever mentioned that I have been known to do a bit of beadwork when the mood strikes?

Item number one: A largish carabiner keychain (about 2″ long) custom beaded by me.

Beaded Keychain 1

Item number two (and three): Two mini carabiners (about 1″ long), both also custom beaded by me.

beaded keychain 2

A note about how I make these keychains. The area where they are going to be beaded is first wrapped in hockey tape so that the beads have something to grip to. I coat my thread in bees wax before beading with it to increase the strength of the thread and the ends are woven in several different directions before being snipped and glued in place so there is little chance of them unraveling. These all said “do not use for climbing”, but I covered that up with beads so please don’t try to scale any mountains using these. They won’t help you.

Alright so here is how this giveaway is going to work. The winner of this giveaway will receive all three keychains, one for keeping and two for giving. That’s right… I would like to see the winner keep the largish keychain (or one of the smaller if you prefer) and give away the other ones to two lucky recipients of their choosing. To enter this giveaway just leave me a comment saying who you would give the two keychains to. Your kids? A neighbor? Random strangers? Let me know and in a week I will pop all the names in a hat…or bowl…or some kind of device that is capable of holding little scraps of paper and I will chose the lucky winner! Good luck!

beaded keychain 3

March 20, 2014 – Comments for this giveaway are now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered.

Random snapshots from the clean corners of my home.

Canyon Sign

Yarn Basket

Spoons

Chickens

Fruit Basket

Bench!

Blankets

Sulley

The other day I was driving through town and in front of the used furniture store I saw something that I just had to have. The next day after persuading my friend who has a hatchback and flippy down seats to accompany me to the store I went to check it out. The item that I had in mind was right out in front of the store again but the price tag and I did not agree. Upon closer inspection I saw that it was a well used item, with a few tears and paint stains, so I went to barter. The lady in the store agreed with my that the price was much to high and upon checking her notes she saw that the marked price was what the price would be after the volunteers had reupholstered this particular item. What?!?! So we agreed upon a price that was half of the price on the tag and much closer to the amount of money that I had in my wallet. And into the back of my friends car we loaded my brand new turquoise bench.

This bench, I decided, was to become the centerpiece, so to speak, of my boot room/entryway/ mud room/whatever you call it. For this post lets go with entryway, because that sounds much less booty or muddy. At the point in time that I brought my bench home the centerpiece of my entryway happened to be my deepfreeze. I made myself a mental to do list and got to it. The deepfreeze was emptied, defrosted, cleaned and moved to the laundry room, where it is now doing double duty as a wonderful folding table. The entry way was swept, mopped, the bench was installed in its new place of honor, and I called it done.

Except that looking at my new bench in my old entryway I started thinking. My house is my home and I love it dearly. My family is here, my stuff is here, my life is here and it definitely feels like my home, but does is look like my home? When we bought this place I had a million plans for making it ours, but none of that has really happened. I guess once you move in to a place and start living there somehow you just start to concentrate on making things work more than making things better. Back to the entryway. The weird horse shoe and lantern light fixture, the log cabin looking cupboards, the tacky floral wallpaper, none of it is really me. Inspired, I made a resolution. One room at a time I am going to make my house me. Starting with the entry way and working my way through the house. Nothing huge, but things like tearing down wallpaper, painting, replacing light fixtures, making new curtains… all of these things I can easily do. And I will.

So between cooking, cleaning, working, crafting, snuggling I have now added renovating to my mommy to do list. Like I needed anything else, but I think that this is going to make me very happy. And since I am feeling quite happy I am thinking that my next post might be a giveaway post, so check back!

 

 

Pinterest…FAIL

pot'o'wash

So I am sure that I am not the only one who is addicted to pinterest. And who wouldn’t be? Pinterest is awesome. Extremely addicting. Especially when you have it on your phone. You can take it with you anywhere! I have made a point lately to try and replace a lot of our household products with diy stuff that I have found on…wait for it…PINTEREST! It cuts out a lot of chemicals, most of the stuff isn’t too hard or time consuming, the ingredients are usually pretty easy to find and best of all it is a great way to save money. Raise your hand if you like to save money!

All of the pins I have tried so far have worked out great! Steam clean the microwave with water and vinegar? Yup. *here* Cleaning the bathtub with an awesome vinegar/baking soda/dawn combo? You should see that baby shine! *here* Homemade dishwasher detergent? Like a boss. *here* But today I tried something new. Something different. Today I tried to make bodywash out of a bar of soap.

Okay, that sounds super simple. One key point is that I did not have any liquid glycerine on hand, nor did I want to go buy any. So I researched a bunch of recipes and they are all pretty much the same. Water + grated soap + liquid glycerine + heating then cooling = lovely body wash. I had this thought that if I used not very much water with a lot of soap it would work out.  It did not. I do not reccomend that you try it.

Bar of Soap

I was so enthusiastic. Look at that picture up there, all focused object on a white background and whatnot. I was going to photograph this process. I was going to document it. It was going to be epic.

Grated Soap

So I pretty much filled the two bottles that  I had with water and dumped them in a pot so that I could make just the right amount. I grated up this yummy smelling bar of soap that my little sister got me for Christmas. I risked dropping the shavings all over the house as I carried them on a piece of paper to the living room so I could put them on a giant cat tower toy to take a picture of them. Follow the light, right? I added an extra dwollop of coconut oil to the pot for moisturizing power. I cooked it over low heat until everything was dissolved. I took the pot outside so that it would cool faster. I don’t really have that much patience with stuff like this and it was about -5ºC, so it was really like putting it in a giant freezer. I waited and made some pretty labels for the bottle that was going to be hand soap. I waited some more and then went outside to discover that I had not made body wash. I had made soapy orangy water.

Epic Fail. Take a depressing picture on a background of black sadness. Use flash. No body wash for me.

Bottled

For now my soapy water is going to hang out in its bottles until I get a chance to pick up some glycerine and try to make this stuff set a bit.

Have you ever failed at pinterest?

Live. Love. Life. Blog?

Snow Tree

Rainbow

Sandy Beach

Green Forest

Gloomy Lake

Cloudy Mountain

So. Lately I have been thinking a lot about where I am going with this blog. Obviously I want people to read it, otherwise what is the point of writing it really, but I am not sure who is reading it. I am to much of a shy person to post comments on other peoples blogs and on forums and such to direct people to my blog. I did that for a while and it did seem to work. I definitely had more visitors to my site at the time, but I kind of fell away from blogging and commenting and I just can’t seem to bring myself to start doing that again. I would like people to read my blog because somehow they found their way to my little corner of the internet and liked what they saw.

Another question I am mulling over is what kind of blog this will be? I obviously started it as a craft blog, but I find that a blog that is all about *look at what I made*look at what I’m making*look at what I am going to make next* is not really for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read those kinds of blogs, but for them to be successful you really need to be creating at a much faster pace than what I usually do. Sometimes life works out that I don’t pick up a project for a week at a time. I might be too busy or *as in the case of my current project* I might be avoiding a certain step that I don’t like but need to finish before I can move on. *cough weaving in ends cough*

My very favorite type of blogs to read are crafters who are life bloggers. Blogs that show peoples everyday life. They use their pictures and words to convey through internet particles *no such thing, I know* their love for their life, their craft, their home, their food, their pets…just everything. And I know that it while reading about their lives I am looking through blog colored lenses, but sometimes that is nice. I know that my life isn’t perfect. My floors need to be swept and mopped, I have a large bookshelf in the middle of my dining room that I need to find a place for, and you can’t actually see the floor of the boys bedroom right now. True story. But if I want to take a moment to see what the sun looks like shining through the leaves of my plants, or how yummy my dinner looks, or how much I am in love with the new project that I just started, then why shouldn’t I? Any why shouldn’t they? If everyone took a moment to appreciate and document the bits of beauty around them before getting to work on all the dull everyday stuff wouldn’t the world be a better place?

So…I kind of went all philosophical for a moment there, but that is what I am going to try to do. Live my life, love my life and *hopefully* blog my life.

What kind of blog do you have? How do you get people to visit it? How do you present yourself to the world through your blog?

Note: All the pictures in this post were taken within 50km of my home. They were all taken by me and are all unedited except for  being resized so that they are more internet friendly.

Working with what you’ve got.

bowlofvalentines

macrohearts

jacketbefore

bagafter

So one of my goals this year is to work with what I have instead of going out and buying new things. I’m not going to start a lecture about how we have such a throw-away society, I will just say that I am aware of it. I  will also say that I am a very lucky person because I am in possession of a few skills that can allow me to avoid throwing so much away.

My crocheted heart valentines were an example of this. Besides avoiding a trip to town, why should I go out and buy paper valentines packaged in cardboard boxes with stickers and candy which the kids don’t really need anyways. I would much prefer to take a little bit of my time to make something that maybe one of the little girls will hang as a decoration in their room, or the boys will give to their mothers. In a class of 18 Raiden was the only one who had handmade valentines this year. Which is sad, when I was in school I remember getting a mix of half handmade and half store bought. Also yes, I did get a little macro happy with my camera when I was photographing these. It is the color way of the yarn…I can’t decide if I love it or if I think it is hideous.

So another area that I am trying to “make and made do” is my wardrobe and accessories. I have decided that this year if I need to add to my wardrobe it will only be things that I have refashioned or purchased from the thrift store. With the exception of undergarments…

I will be the first to admit that I have a bit of a bag and wallet fetish, and when I decided that I needed a new purse instead of looking for a new one I looked to my *rather large* pile of thrifted clothes that are destined to become something else and came up with this epic acid wash jean jacket from the 80s. That thing was awesome and if I could have squeezed into it I would have worn it every day, but it was tiny and I am not. So instead I get to carry it around with me and everyone is happy. Well  mostly me. Jason thinks I am weird.

I didn’t really use a pattern for this, I just kind of winged it, working to incorporate the original zipper and pockets, so the construction of it is rather odd. I used the band from around the bottom of the jacket at the strap. I really love this bag but I am not quite sure that it is complete, it needs some sort of embellishment. I am thinking embroidery on the pockets or something.

I am thinking that I need a new wallet to go with my new purse, I got a couple of super neat…cravats I think you would call them that are just the right size for a wallet so that might be my next sewing project.

And I am still chugging away at Raidens blanket. Three color sets left to go!

Three Things

Things

One: This cowl that I made with my Christmas yarn. Ravelled here. Do you like my wonderful photoshop job? I suck at editing my pictures unless it involves the quick edit buttons and a resize. But the sun finally peeked out from behind the clouds today so I was all like “Yay! Picture time!” By the time I got outside it was all dreary again and my pictures turned out kind of bleh, so I figured why not mess with this one a bit.

jf

Two: This beautiful needlework tapestry that I found at the gleaners the other day that is being sat on by the cat. Who looks sort of insane, which…he is. Seriously. That cat is crazy. I am thinking that this would look amazing as a tote bag, but I am worried that the stitches in the needlework are too long so they might catch on things and the whole thing would be ruined really quickly. I guess I could find a frame for it and hang it on the wall. Hmm. Decisions.

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Three: I was reminded (by a class list in Raidens backpack today) that Valentines Day is coming up so he needs valentines for his class. Now…we live 10 minutes out of town, and I know that to some people that doesn’t seem like a very far drive, but to me it means that I try to plan every trip into town and driving into town just for valentines between now and Friday is just not going to happen. So I decided to make them. Twenty little hearts with twenty little tags and then I will be done. So I am taking a break from my blanket to work on these. Right now I have three. Therefore this is item number three on my list of three today.

And I’m done.