Friday, January 30, 2015


"This is the life," he says.  And I have to agree.

If something left an impression on you this week, feel free to share it here.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Making Time to Make

My sister-in-law sent me this funny clipping about women sewing in the fifties.  They would roll over in their graves if they saw what condition my house was in, what condition I was in when I sat down to sew.  This picture above is one view of my laundry/sewing room.  I wouldn't want to share what the other views look like.  In all fairness, it is a laundry room and by definition laundry rooms tend to be somewhat dirty.  

But it's not just my sewing space that isn't entirely put together when I begin a project.  Dismissing the makeup comment entirely, I regularly forego a shower when I know I have some sewing to do. There are days that I don't change out of my pajamas to sew.  I can guarantee you there is a sink of dirty dishes and a handful of unmade beds when I get the itch to sew--just one more excuse to procrastinate housework.  Honestly, there's only a certain number of hours in the day and if I spend most of those on showering, getting dressed, putting make-up on, doing my hair, cleaning the house, caring for children and preparing meals, well, there simple is no time to sew.  

But I'm not cool with that.  Sewing is a priority to me.  It lets me feel a sense of accomplishment.  It helps me to explore my creative side.  It is exciting and fun, and it allows me to dress my children in cute unique clothing.  With this desire to sew regularly, other things just have to take a back seat.  As with any hobby, sewing, knitting or otherwise creating things take time and that means sacrificing other things.  It may be a shower (and hair and makeup).  It may be a tidy and organized home.  I have a suspicion that disorganization and messiness are not prerequisites of being creative, but rather a side effect of creative people putting their time and priorities elsewhere, hence not having the time to clean.  They are making time to make things and getting to the other stuff--later.  

I know there needs to be a balance.  I'm constantly working on that.  But I'm satisfied that when I get the urge to sew I don't have to have all my dishes done nor be as attractive as possible in case of a visitor or heaven forbid, my own husband walks in on me.  

Here are a couple of new dresses I made for Georgia and Beatrice last week.  It's the Adele pattern from Citronille.  I wanted a sleeveless dress specifically for the Ice Cream Sundae shrugs I finished up a couple of weeks ago.  I think they work well together.  The fabric is by Lotta Janssdotter.  I love her stuff.  And those boots again!  See why I spent hours and hours looking for that missing boot--they go with everything.  

Linking up with Frontier Dreams.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Yarn Along

I left my knitting bag at my mom's in Salt Lake after Sunday dinner.  I know I should be annoyed that I can't work on my existing projects until next Sunday when I pick up my bag.  But I'm not.  It was the perfect excuse for me to cast on a new project.  I've been wanting a cowl for myself all winter long.  I've gone back and forth between patterns.  But I swung by an off the beaten path yarn store last week and wandered into the clearance section.  I found some super chunky brown yarn that I figured would make a huge soft squishy cowl and it reminded me of the Gaptastic pattern my friend had recently made for her daughter.  I'm about half way through.  It's mindless but pretty boring knitting.  I was feeling under the weather yesterday and it was the perfect project to work on while watching a couple of movies with Nate who also wasn't feeling well.

And I just started reading a book to Louisa.  I spotted it at Savers a few weeks back and figured it was past time for me to give her some special one on one attention.  She mostly listens to all the books I read aloud for our book club.  But most of them are a little old for her and a little boring for her.  This book is just right.  It's full of five to ten minute stories from around the world.  They are really sweet and really keep her attention.  I think we'll read one a day.  I'm looking forward to that time with her.
Linking up with Ginny

Monday, January 26, 2015

Cat and Mouse

You know that post a couple weeks back about the missing puzzle piece.  Well, here's the thing--it wasn't really about a puzzle piece, although that's still missing and it still bugs me.  But not nearly to the extent that the missing gray leather boot of one of the twins was bugging me.  If I added up the hours that I spent looking for that boot, and then added the hours I forced, bribed and begged the older kids to look for this boot, you'd be astounded--so much time!

I hate to lose things.  I have a hard time giving up and letting go when I can't find something.  I often think of the knowledge I'll gain in heaven--a lot of it regarding the details about where all the things I've lost ended up.  I still sometimes wonder where that stuffed elephant is, or that cream shirt from junior high--ooh, or that really expensive remote control.  Though if you took a look at the frequent disorder of our home you'd be tempted to say that I have no right to get all worked up about losing things.  I bring it on myself you'd claim.  But is it really all my fault?  I have five little people living here who not only create most of this disorder but are really really good at putting things in strange places.

After a week when it didn't just turn up on its own, I knew it was going to be tough.  Knowing the two people who most likely touched the shoe last, I knew it could be anywhere.  Last week I watched as Georgia and Beatrice picked potato peels out of the garbage and stuck them to the refrigerator like stickers.  They have no regard for keeping things in their proper place I tell you.

We looked everywhere--the puppet bin, where I happened to find a different shoe (one of Louisa's summer shoes which we hadn't yet discovered was missing).  We looked in the Lego's, the dress-ups, the tinker toys, under beds and couches.  Every few days the reward increased.  I checked clean and dirty laundry, close to the ground drawers and in between couch cushions.  It was interesting how many other things we found.  I'm afraid I yelled at the kids after hearing one too many times "Look what I found!" only to discover that it was a missing Bionicle piece or a CTR ring or all kinds of other unimportant nonsense.  "Stop saying that unless you actually found the boot!" I roared.  We were up to twenty dollars and a trip to the dollar store!  But not one was even interested in looking anymore.  We had looked inside things, under things, on top of things, behind things--on every level of the house.  It was no where.

And then, after even I had given up and resigned myself to the fact that it had been tossed into a giveaway bag--or the trash, I found it.  I--I found it.  I don't need to pay up, right?  The kids are insisting that they deserve something for all of their looking--that wasn't part of the deal, however. Byrdie and Louisa were with me in their room as I was putting away doll clothes in the doll clothes drawer.  I'm certain that drawer was checked at least three times--but there it was, sitting under a pile of doll clothes.  Not the strangest place I had imagined it to be, but certainly not where it was supposed to be.  At any rate--it's found!  I feel such a sense of relief.  Now there's just a small part of me that hopes for some cold icky weather just a little bit longer so that Georgia and Beatrice can get some more wear out of the boots.

So, after this long rant--here are the boots--all four of them together--at last--paired with some new handmade duds.  Last week I made these fun cat and mouse dresses for Georgia and Beatrice.  I used the "Pin Tuck" dress pattern from Happy Homemade.  The pin tucks add such a sweet finish and I love the pockets. The vest was made using this pattern.  It was kind of hard for me to buy such a simple pattern but I didn't want to botch it and waste the soft furry fleece fabric I had bought specifically for these vests. The cat and mouse fabric is by Lizzy House.  The cat dress went appropriately to Georgia who is a little more feisty than Beatrice.  I really like how the dresses turned out--but the boots!  Look at those boots!  They make me so happy.

Friday, January 23, 2015


Looking for color wherever I can find it.

If something left an impression on you this week, feel free to share it here.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Another Day on the Slopes

I'm not sure how excited Nate is with this new adventure that Byrdie, Oliver and I are embarking on that is not only expensive but that also has potential to be dangerous which can make it very very expensive (remember when Oliver broke his femur skiing when he was seven?)  Yes, we all remember it very well indeed--and the bill that accompanied it--life flight and all.

But I'm doing my best to keep both the cost and the danger at bay.  I discovered that a half day skiing on the bunny hill at Snowbasin is an affordable twenty one dollars.  And for now, the bunny run is all the three of us need.  There, that helps with both danger and expense.  In addition, with some expert advice, I was able to outfit the three of us at Savers and another used equipment store (my skis cost only six dollars and were approved of by a pretty picky ski gear guy).  Thanks so much for your help Monte and Syrina!

We may not have the latest and greatest gear, but I'm excited that something that seemed so out of our budget is looking a little more doable.  And I'm excited to have something fun to do with my two older kids.  We had a great time this last Monday.  I hope we can continue to get up there now and then.  Next on our list of gear needed--helmets.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Two Ice Cream Sundaes

I finished the Ice Cream Sundaes for Georgia and Beatrice.  They turned out great in the end though there were some pretty ugly parts of the process--mostly the one where I ripped out a totally finished shrug so that I could knit it again using larger needles to loosen up the fabric.  Really this project was an experiment in combining a yarn and a pattern that really weren't meant to go together.  The pattern called for DK yarn on size 5 needles.  I had a heavy worsted weight yarn that, although I shouldn't have, I insisted on making work for the pattern.  Surely I'm not the only one who does this.  In addition to that obstacle, I had only one skein of yarn per shrug.

It all came together, however.  I knit the size One shrug using size seven needles for the collar and changing to size eight needles for the body and sleeves.  The fabric felt nice and loose and I had enough yarn (just barely) when I sized down to size One.  There is a little bit of rolling at the hem line that bothers me but maybe some additional blocking will help that out.  And once again, Boden came through for me as these little bloomers and tights arrived in the mail last week and perfectly matched the colors of my hand dyed Jill Draper Whindam yarn!  I loved knitting with this soft merino wool yarn.  The variegated colors make for an interesting finished project.  And the great vintage buttons are from my late mother-in-laws collection.  I love it when I can find buttons from her that work.

Linking up with Ginny in her Yarn Along.