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New Year New Cheer? Beer? Tear? (i wish i could rhyme like dr. seuss)

Hello little blog that I haven’t posted to in 9 months. Hello anyone who is out there still reading. So this is me jumping on the new years bandwagon. Kinda. Would you believe that I write blog posts in my head all the time. I just never really get around to actually blogging them. So…this is whats what!
Inspired by Jodi over at Practicing Simplicity I am going to be starting a 52 week project documenting my boys. Probably to be made into some sort of book when it’s finished. You have to keep the grandparents happy you know? This project will be helped along with my awesome new birthday camera! Jason bought me a Canon Rebel T5 for my birthday. I have no idea how to really use it, but I know that I absolutly love looking through a viewfinder to take a picture, and zooming by turning your lens…yay! So I am thinking that Thursdays will be the day that I force the internet to look at how awesome my kids are.

This month I am doing a 31 Day Financial Boot Camp Course over at Live Like You are Rich. It is a free course that sends you an email every day with a challenge of the finance related type. We would really like to start being more financially accountable and pay down some of our debt, so I thought that this would be a good place to start.

I need to take some pictures, but I am working on a baby blanket, a cardigan, a bag, another bag and I have a whole bunch of sewing planned as well.

Also, have I mentioned the overwhelming need that I am feeling to give my whole house a makeover? There is that too. Look for paint splatters in the future!

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

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!

 

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.

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.

This post is brought to you by the letter J.

J, of course, is for juice.

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That is what we have been doing lately. Juicing. And it is so much fun coming up with all the different combinations. Some of them are amazingly delicious and some of them are not so great. I got a copy of The Juicing Bible in the mail today, I can’t wait to try a some of the recipes and see how they compare to what I have just been randomly throwing together.

 Ok, quick back story. Jason loves to watch documentaries on Netflix. Recently we watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, which is a documentary about a man who goes on a 60 day juice fast. After watching this Jason thought it would be a good idea for us to go on our own juice fast. I don’t know about you, but I live in a house full of boys, and when one of them  voluntarily decides to do something healthy I generally go with it. So the juicer was purchased and we started juicing.

The whole juice fast thing kind of turned into one juice a day, but that is okay with me! Right now I am drinking 2 meals a day and planning to do a 3 day fast over the weekend. Jason is taking one huge jug of juice with him in the morning and the boys have some of my juice whenever they like what I have made. So more vitamins for all of us and I feel great! This particular juice is orange-grapefruit and it is super yummy.

If you look on the windowsill to the right of my lovely canning jar o’ juice there is another canning jar. Can you see it?

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Yup, you are seeing that right. Homemade citrus cleaner in the works. This is one of the things that between facebook and pinterest I think everyone has seen. And thought it was a great idea. I know I did, so I took all the peels from my oranges and grapefruit, stuffed them in a jar and covered them with vinegar. I’m going to let them sit for…I don’t know…a week? Two? This also happens to be one of those things that I was like “oh neat!” skimmed it over and then forgot to actually bookmark. Does anyone else do that? I’ll probably google it in a bit.

P.S. The Christmas craft fair was last weekend and I got myself a yarn bowl. YAY! I always go to those things with the best of intentions and plan on getting lots of gift shopping done, and then I just buy myself a bunch of stuff…

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P.P.S. I am taking an online course on building wordpress sites right now, so hopefully there will be some improvements to the blog in the near future.

P.P.P.S. That yarn in the bowl, it is meant to be a hitchhiker, but the edged were really messy and I couldn’t figure out why. I was about halfway through it when I realized that I was doing my yarn overs like I would if I was crocheting… which is the wrong way for knitting and apparently creates messy edges.

P.P.P.P.S. I went to Catching Fire tonight and it was really good. And there was lots of super awesome yarny apparel in it. I know everyone is talking about the Katniss cowl, but I really liked the sweater that looked like it was made of doilies that Effie is wearing in the beginning.

Ramblings ♥

To start with, I have been shamefully neglectful lately, not just about writing in my blog, but I haven’t been commenting on any either.  In case you are wondering I have been quietly watching.  That is just the kind of place I have been in lately.

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This was my view of the sunset from my front porch a couple weeks ago.  Beautiful isn’t it?  We are having somewhat of a debate if we should cut down that willow tree right now.  Looking at this picture I think I have just made up my mind up, it’s staying!

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Aren’t these the prettiest little leaves?  The previous owners of our house were quite old and weren’t able to keep up with all the yard work, and I thought I was going to have to dig this shrub up, there was so much dead wood.  But me and a pair of pruning shears persevered and after cutting away about twice as much as was left I saved it! It looks so happy now :)

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I built up the rock wall around my flower bed, got rid of a few plants and added a few.

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Grape Hyacinths… Sylas loves to pull these apart.  Well he loves to pull any flower apart really, but these are especially fun!  I do try to keep him out of the flowerbeds and am teaching him not to touch the flowers, but it is an uphill road.

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My Bleeding Heart is going to bloom soon! This is one of my favorite flowers, and I have 3 plants now!

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Tulips in my backyard flowerbed.  They are all yellow and blooming except for one lonely red tulip which you can see is still a bud.  I am amazed that these have escaped the deer, I guess Ariel is earning her dog food.

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The cherry trees have just starting to bloom, it is only three more weeks until the Blossom Festival here.  Here’s a fun fact: The main industries of the Creston Valley include agriculture, forestry and Kokanee beer. lol.

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Also, the gnomes have come out of hibernation.  This little fellow lives in my willow tree.  If I could live in any kind of tree I think it would be a weeping willow. What about you?

Wow.  I really am rambling today.  And I know what you are thinking, this is supposed to be a craft blog, not a gardening blog.  But truth be told, I have been so busy with yard work that I haven’t had much time for craftiness.

I bought a new sewing desk and a big plastic set of drawers to store yarn in so I can get my sewing/crafting/laundry room in order and be somewhat more productive, but it takes time.

I did finish up my Granny Zig-Zag Scarf and I am quite pleased with it.  It makes me think of lilacs. Here it is!

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We just got a new picnic table and I ended up with stain for it that I really didn’t want, I just wasn’t paying attention in the store. I do have to say it is great for photographing though!

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This turned out to be about seven feet long!  It is cosy, but since spring has finally decided to arrive I think it is just going to have to look pretty until next fall when it can start being useful.

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Attempt at an action shot.  I hate pictures of me though so I cropped most of it out and this is all you get.

Well that is enough for today I suppose… Right now it is absolutely gorgeous out here, but it was so yucky this morning that we lit our woodstove!  What’s the weather like where you are?

I Knit A Sweater!

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I am feeling quite proud of myself! And Raiden loves it! This was another test knit and I am really happy that I did it.  I like this pattern so much that I am thinking about casting on another one for Sylas right away.  The only thing is that I am not sure if I got the button placement quite right, or else it needs a snap or something in the space between the top button and the first button spike.  It gapes a little bit.

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He is really not too pleased about posing for these pictures, all he really wants to do is drive around in his John Deere Gator.  Just seconds before I took this picture his little brother almost drove it into the ditch and he figured that he needed to take over.

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We have been working like crazy around the house.  Raking, pruning, weeding, burning, tilling, planning, and we have finally unpacked a bunch of stuff from the garage that should have been  brought into the house a long time ago.

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All we really have left to do is deal with our vegetable garden….which we may be somewhat avoiding.  We probably won’t get to it next weekend, since it is Easter and all, but the weekend after I hope.  We just picked up a bunch of seed starter trays so we can start growing tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, and I don’t know what else.  We also would like to find time to have a garage sale at some point.

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I think one of my favorite parts of this sweater is the mismatched buttons.  When Raiden told me that he wanted to use this as a work sweater I cringed, and then decided that there was know way I was going out to buy buttons for it, so he gets what he gets.

Tomorrow I have to start washing a bunch of the stuff that we unpacked, it is pretty musty.  Any big plans??