Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stitching, Sketching, Scrapping Sunday

Good morning!

I hope that you had a wonderful week and had some time to get some craft work done. Did you finish something up or start something new? Maybe you and your children worked on something together this week (as this this my homeschooling/parenting blog) those projets might be interesting, too.

This week, as I thought it would be, was still all about hats. I actually didn't get as many done as I had hoped I would because I had a very much in arms baby this week. My needle for knitting in the round also broke and I could not find one as small as the store. I'm not looking forward to knitting the whole hat on double point needles. I always only use them just as much as necessary.

Here's a couple pictures of this weeks creations (not finished as my tapestry needles is jammed into a drawer I cannot currently get open).

Newborn beanie. I hope to find a rainbow ribbon to thread through and tie.

Top of beanie.

Ruadhán in a bit bigger of a hat and loving it!

I also made a bear hat but didn't take a picture as the ears are not attached yet. It looks really tiny so I think it would only work for a preemie baby. Then again my chidren were all born with massive heads so maybe I am not a good judge, so I am asking you, what circumference would you make hats for the newest newborns (say that you want to fit for the first couple weeks)? Let me know in the comments section and please link up with your projects from the week!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Faves-June 25th

It's that time again! What were your favorite moments, things, places this week. Please join me at Living to Tell the Story and share!

1. Having my beautiful son cook me breakfast almost all my himself. Liam's Delisio Restaurant has been keeping me busy helping him choose recipes and overseeing the kitchen but I wouldn't change it for the world. He is happiest when he is in the kitchen and that makes me happy, too!

2. Having my daughter feel ill on Wednesday morning. Yes, this is a strange fave to have, but it really gave us all time to relax and spend time together. I think that we'll need to schedule a pyjama day at least once a month.

3. Having above said illness be short lived and hopefully only hitting the wee girl. Knock on wood. I do NOT handle the "ickies" well (though, I think I am getting much better) and really hope that this is the end of this round of illness.

4. Getting to know the neighbours more and more. I'm quite painfully shy and in my year and a half here I've hardly met any. I resolved myself to get out there in the world and I think it has given me more of an approachable aura because withuot effore I've met the lady from across the street AND another Mama to two children that lives just down the road.

5. Having our first salad of greens from our garden for supper tonight. YUMMY!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What's Going on in my Garden Wednesday

Well, since I no longer have a baby belly to update about weekly, I've decided to update on my other little project, the square foot garden. I've been quite impressed with it's growth. I think the mix of warm days and on and off showers has done wonders for it.

The only think we planted from seeds were bean bush and they have popped their heads above ground in the past couple of days. The cucumbers are doing well and so is the leaf lettuce (already being enjoyed in our sandwiches). I wish the chard was doing more but it is still early in the season. I'm anxious to eat it and a sure I will be sick of it come fall!

Strawberries are indeed trying to take over the beats and new year we will definitely give them their own container! My Cauliflower looks really good but we had no success with it last year so I'm up for any advice on how to keep the heads from going to flowers so easily. There's a row of tomatoes along the top as well and they are the smallest I have but I have hope!

These are my peppers and Tiny Tim tomato plants. The pepper plants have buds not and the Tiny Tim's are starting to flower so there will little fruits there soon enough!

My Scotia tomatoes and some Romaine lettuce doing will. There is a lone pepper plant looking a little sad and I think cucumbers and carrots as well.

My yummy and successful spinach! We've been eating up the baby leaves and have some maturing quite nicely as well. There's also three pepper plant being taken over by carrot tops and some leeks that I am no so sure about. I'm hoping to actually get some heads of iceburg lettice this year but didn't have success with them last year.

My herbs are doing well but I won't post pictures as they won't change much from week to week with us using them.

I hope you all have beautiful gardens as well!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Introducing my TOS Homeschool Crew Mini-Crew

I was honoured to be selected this spring to come back for a second term on the TOS Homeschool Crew. As a proud first mate (just a fancy term for someone that is returning for a second or third consecutive voyage) we've been assigned several other new crew members in order to make their early days on the voyage as calm as possible. I've had a great time getting to know my mini crew through e-mails and their blogs and I am looking forward to introducing them to you all.

I give you, The Virtuous Vessels: Carrying you Towards Quality Homeschooling Products!

First up we have Holli-Marie at Taylor's Mark Orthodox Academy. I've enjoyed visiting her blog and reading about the different activities her 4 lovely children are involved in. She certainly keeps herself busy!

Next is Lisa over at Homeschool Circus (don't you love that name?). She is also the Mama of 4 children. I've enjoyed her blog and am hoping to implement the chore chart and allowance guidelines she uses in her house with my own children. Thank you!

Then we have Sweetie over at Life in the Tribe. This Mama of 7 seems to always have time to write on her blog! I'm enjoying her writing style and her photos.

Finally, we have Tea and Tomes (two of my favorite things!). This Mama of of 4 shares the ABCs of parenting in her About Teas and Tomes section of her blog and I have to agree with her, the ABCs are never boring! Go check them out for yourself!

I look forward to getting to know these wonderful women more and more over the year and I hope that you will visit their blogs from time to time to read up on the products that we will have the priveledge of reviewing for you this year.

Bonne Voyage, my friends, we are ready to set sail!

Finding Uses for Unused Things-Wax Crayons

This looks familiar, doesn't it?

If you have young kids at home then you most likely have broken up crayons. Not only are they broken up but they are never used. They are just sitting on the shelf taking up space. In an effort to organize and simplify my life, I decided that the crayons MUST go. Not wanting to just toss them I did the whole, not so creative idea, of melting them in a mini muffin tin. Morgaine stayed occupied for the better part of an hour peeling the crayons and loved the final results.

She loved them so much that she's using them for the first time in over a year, and actually putting them away when she is done with them. No more stepping on stray crayons trying to make a get away!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Stitching, Sketching, Scrapping Sunday - June 20


Secondly, thank you all so much for making the second week of my meme successful. 5 links sure beats the single, solitary post from me the first week! I've enjoyed all your posts! Some creative girls out there!

This week has been all about HATS! I made hats for my Ruadhán when he was tucked nice and cozy on the inside but he, of course, decided to be born with the most massive head (90%) so all the hats fit for about a week before helping to grow Moragaine's doll hat collection!

Her dolls appreciate all my effort I'm sure!

However, I had a friend request some hats for her new photography business and I couldn't resist. Well, actually, I offered my help. I've only gotten one knit up so far. She only sent the patterns to me yesterday and there are a few I'm itching to try, but first I had to knit up a blueberry.

Of course, we have to model it for you. I know that you all like a good baby picture from time to time.

Too bad I'm supposed to be making newborn hats! I'm anxious for the children to head to be tonight because I hope to get a smaller, bluer blue berry knit up this evening. I hope to have several more hats to share next week.

What crafty things have you been up to lately? Let us know by checking in below!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Faves- June 18th

It's time to share your top 5's from the past week! Head on over to Living to Tell the Story and let us know what you especially enjoyed this week.

My favorites include:

1. Lots of smiles from my little guy.
This is the first week that Ruadhán has been really expressive and smiling in reaction to the world around him. Sure, he'd had the occasional smile before but when you'd try to make him smile again he'd totally refuse!

2. Taking the family out for lunch to celebrate Liam's promotion to Grade 2 (and Grade 3 in math, he won't let us forget). We'll continue to school through the summer but it was a nice day and I wanted to mark the end of one year and the start of another so we found a restaurant where we could eat outside and enjoyed the afternoon.

3. The moment when the older two finally fall asleep and the house is quiet. Their behaviour has been trying and I have to say it has been nice to be able to relax in the evening.

4. Getting to know my mini-crew for the TOS Homeschool Crew 2010-2011 voyage. There's some good things coming and I look for to sharing with you all again this year.

5. Tim Horton's English Toffee Cappuccino. I would not have gotten through the week without it.

I'm off to make myself a nice Cap' now....have a great weekend, all!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Square Foot Garden Update

We've managed to get our gardens planted!

I'm amazed at how much stuff one can cram into a square foot! I had no idea how much we'd be able to cram in those little beds. We probably would have been just fine with four beds but we did fill up all six. I think we were a little ambitious but square foot gardens are supposed to be pretty easy to care for so hopefully we'll be okay!

We've planted:

  • 3 varieties of lettuce (Romaine, iceburg, and red leaf)

  • lots of spinach (though it isn't looking too was HOT the day I planted it)

  • carrots

  • tomatoes (Tiny Tim and Scotia varieties)

  • zucchini

  • cucumbers

  • Herbs (sweet basil, spicy globe basil, rosemary, chives, marjoram, sage,  feverfew, Italian parsley, frilly parsley, savory, bee balm, etc)

  • Swiss chard

  • sweet corn

  • bean bush

  • sweet peppers

  • onions

  • leeks

  • strawberries

  • broccoli

  • cabbage

All in all, we spent a little under 100 dollars for the plants (and were given a few leftovers from a friend and if we get a good turn out we'll easily make that back (plus we won't have to worry about our food being covered in pesticides). Some of the herbs and the strawberries should grow back again next year so we'll be able to enjoy then for years to come!

I'm a little terrified that certain plants (cucumbers, zukes, and strawberries) as going to take over the garden and I likely should have given them a box of their own. I honestly didn't have a clue what I was doing so I'll be happy with whatever we get. It will be a good learning experience.

If there are any others out there that have planted a square foot garden this year I would love to see them (share your link in the comments section) and hear how they progress over the summer.

I will keep you updated on ours as well!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Stitcking, Sketching, Scraping Sunday-June 13th

This week was pretty slow in terms of crafting or pretty much anything in my house. Wee baby was going through a major growth spurt (almost 2 pounds in less than a week) and as a result I was one handed for much of the week. I've been meaning to share a Mei Tai carrier that I designed and made for Ruadhán but being one handing I didn't get around to blogging this week either!

As my children tend to be quite attached, carriers are a must. When Morgaine was a baby my favorite carrier was a Mei Tai but it was only borrowed from a friend. I found that I could very easily do everything I needed to do with a that type of carrier. This time around, the only carrier I had was a ring sling and I didn't find that it allowed me as much motion as my Mei Tai. I spent a couple weeks procrastinating because I wasn't sure it I had the skills required to sew one. As crocheting has been my thing the last little while I figured I would give crocheting a Mei Tai a go instead.

I searched and I searched but I could not find a crocheted Mei Tai pattern anywhere (I wonder if there is a reason I don't know about). I think it turned out fairly well but we've only been using it for the past two weeks or so and I haven't washed it yet so I am hoping it will keep it's shape. I purposely used cheap acrylic yarn to prevent shrinking. I kind of winged it with a combination of single and double chains. The main body is double chained as I felt that it would be too stiff all in single chains and along each side there is a single chained border for support. This border is also reinforced with an additional layer of single chains that I sewed into the body and then extended up to become the straps of the carrier. I did the same along the bottom where it ties. Additional features include wide shoulder straps than narrow so that there isn't so much bulk where the carrier ties in front. I also added a black single chained border around the whole carrier to hide where the reinforced sides were sown together. The only problem I can see is that the carrier is perhaps a little stretchy. With extended wear I find myself having to pull the carrier up and retying the straps. I may add a single chain band up the middle of the body of the carrier to see if that helps but it really is a minor thing. If I were to make it again I would likely do the entire carrier with single chains because the stiffness I was trying to avoid is probably a good thing in a a baby carrier.

Ruadhán seems to enjoy the carrier and I know that I can get a lot more done when he is in there so I would have to say that this has been a success!

What have you been working on? Any success (or even failures) to report? Below is your Mr. Linky (remember you must click the image to post your link and view other people's links as well).

Share away!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Last of my Personal least for now!

I started the second part of my post from last week but have decided to let it go. I sounded whiny and pathetic and well, that just isn't appealing. My main point was that I often let other influence me and decide what direction my life is going to take. In doing so I am giving other the power, some cases where it isn't deserved and other cases where the power isn't wanted. This is not fair to me or others. In doing what I think will make others happy, I am robbing myself. I don't get a chance to find out what a wonderful person I can be in my own right.

It's been relatively easy to let others make my choices for me. Making my own decisions means I am taking responsibility for my happiness. If things don't turn out as I hope, I cannot look to others. It is a little terrifying. I have plans for the future now, that are my own. They are plans, though, that will likely be hard on the family. They are plans that will require support of those around me. They might require me to be away from my family for extended periods of time, or at odd hours of night. They are plans that I am not even sure will lead me to where I am hoping to go (with the way things are in Canada at the moment in terms of midwifery care). There isn't an easy path to follow.

I do know, however, that if I don't try my hardest, then I will kick myself for letting my life pass me by without giving this goal of becoming a midwife a good shot. It means pushing myself in directions that I am not particularly comfortable going (AKA speaking in public). It's fine to be calm and quiet (and I think it serves me well in certain cases and I have a host of doula clients that appreciate my presence/support because it is non-obtrusive) but really, the state of patient care in Canada requires that we make a little noise. That we work to further things, that we NOT sit idle.

My first mission, is to talk to my neighbours! Yes, I've let myself become so concerned over what others might think of me that I don't make first contact with anyone. It's a shame as I am sure that there are a wonderful group of people out here in Cape Breton that won't bite me. I plan to look at people and smile more! I've always been able to work really well with people but it's always been up to them to make the first contact. After that I am good to go, but sometimes it's hard to get that first contact initiated so I'm going to try hard on my end as well.

Watch out world, here I come!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Good Morning,

This will be pretty quick as we are getting ready to head off to church and no one is at all ready.

I've set up my first Mr. Linky (unfortunately, with Wordpress, you don't get the cool Mr. Linky that you normally do on other sites). I'd love for you to share your crafty blog posts/pictures, etc. Ideally, we'll use this Meme to share what were done over the week but for now, to get things going, I'd love if you'd share anything crafty you've posted about and we can get motivated to start new things as we get going! As the official name is something along the lines of Stitching, Sketching, Scraping Sundays I'm looking for your needle work projects, your art/drawing projects, and your scrapbooking projects. You can share pretty much ANYTHING related to those topics.

To use Mr. Linky click the image below and you will be taken to a new window where you will put in your name and link directly to your post. To see other people's links you'll also have to click on the Mr. Linky image.

Okay, this isn't going so quickly......

I started this project while we were down at the cottage waiting for the baby to arrive. When it was clear that we were going to be going out site seeing or hiking because we were just too sick, I stocked up on wool to make a blanket for the baby. Well, my head wasn't into anything complicated so I ended up with a blanket made entirely with single and double chains. No fancy pattern whatsoever.

The thing is, it is quite stiff and not very cuddly so it has morphed into what Morgaine likes to call the "baby carpet". I haven't been working on it much since being home as I figured I had MONTHS to go before Ruadhán would be laying on the floor. Well, to my shock, Mike lay him on the floor on Thursday and the kid LOVED that point of view!

I'd better get crocheting!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Calling All Weekend (or Anytime) Crafters

Hmm, crafters? Is that a word?

Anyways, I'm calling all of you that like to knit, crochet, sew, embroider, scrapbook, draw, paint, etc, etc, etc to join my new weekly Meme. Starting on tomorrow, and every Sunday thereafter, I am inviting you to share your hobbies with the world. I should get a weekly post up where you can link to your own blog posts about whatever project you are working on (and I am not picky, you are more than welcome to link to a post about a past project instead). I know that I love to see what other people are doing and I don't always have time to search around. I think that seeing what everyone else is up to will serve as inspiration. I hope that some of you will choose to take part in this new weekly feature on my blog (know that it is my first Meme and I don't really have a clue what I am doing so please bare with me!)

I also figured that I could add photos (and a little blurb of whatever you'd like to say) of other people's work in my blog post as well for anyone that might like to share that do not have their own blog. If anyone is interested in that then you can e-mail me at Cookie5765 @ (no spaces!)

Memes are a great way to get your page views up and I've enjoyed sharing in the ones I participate somewhat regularly in. It's fun to see what everyone else is up to.

I look forward to seeing all your crafty projects!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Fav Five-June 4th

Here are my favorites from the week. Be sure to visit Living to Tell the Story to share your favorites from the past week.

1. Starting the week up with a phone call from my dear friend, Shannon.
We live far away from each other now and it was really nice to catch up a little bit!

2. This video from last night on So You Think You Can Dance. So inspiring!

3. The song from the above video.
I find it catchy and I've enjoyed it from the first time I heard it on the radio. Most stuff on the radio these days does not appeal to me so it is always nice when something new comes out that I actually like.

4. Getting my above ground vegetable beds ready for planting. All we need now is soil and seeds!

5. Tortilla chips and Salsa. Yes, I've really enjoyed snacking on the tortilla chips and salsa (that we got on sale this week). Salsa has to be my favorite food EVER. I could just eat it by the spoonful. Looking forward to my tomatoes in the fall when I can make my salsa fresh. YUMMY!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Who am I? (Part 1....with children these things don't get written in one sitting)

I might ramble on and on in here for the next little while (you know, I'm bored because there are no reviews to do for the whole month on June). Seriously, this is my space and while I've made it public I hope that I can just write on here as I work on making changes and opening up new possibilities. I'd journal but my hands cannot keep up with my head and at least here my fingers have a chance!


A couple weeks ago, after attending a seminar as part of the TOS Expo, I started writing a post on being real. The speaker really motivated me to "get real" but at the same time the thought was terrifying. His whole point of view was that we, as (homeschooling) women, expect too much of ourselves and always think that Jane, over there with the perfect house/children/husband, is so much better than us. That we'd be shocked to find out that Jane thinks exactly the same thing of us and it is by being real with each other that friendships can grow. That people aren't going to run away screaming if they knew what we were really like. Nice to know! I vowed to be more authentic and let people in. Terrifying thought.

Even more terrifying, though, was realizing that after many years of being what I figured everyone else wanted me to be I had NO IDEA who I actually was. Mike and I had been talking about passions a few weeks earlier and he said he missed the person he'd started going out with that had passions/wanted to do things. Well, even 10 years ago my passions weren't my own. One lady told me that she thought that I had a lot of compassion and that I would make a wonderful nurse, so I went to nursing school. Once I started school, I got of recognition for being really good at what I did. I could be shown a technique once and then be able to demonstrate it to the rest of the class. Everyone wanted to be in my group because I would take the time to teach them. The teachers praised me and I thought, that's who I am, a nurse. It seemed like I had passion, I dedicated myself to learning above and beyond what was needed because I needed that acknowledgment in class to feel like I was someone. I didn't feel a passion for the work. All the nurses looked totally beat as they started their shifts at the hospital and they didn't get near enough time to actually interact and be with the clients. But I was good at it, so I stuck with it, despite already not having my heart in the work.

After a year and a half of nursing school, a teacher was walking me as I doodled in my notebook sitting at a table in the cafeteria and said, "Oh, a fine arts student. You are very good." Well, I wasn't a fine arts student but thought, well, maybe I should be. I never really wanted to be a nurse, anyways. I'd felt a strong interest in art therapy but thought that was a silly idea and people kind of laughed when I was planning to go into psychology in university. I'd gone into nursing instead because people seemed to think that was a good idea. I was sure to find my passion in art, right? Well, I quit nursing and started fine arts only to find out that I was just a mediocre arts student. There wasn't much praise for my work. The most I got was, "well, you have your own style." (which I took as criticism and not a compliment). When I'd tell people that I was taking fine arts to build a portfolio in order to become an art therapist, I'd get strange looks, like what on earth is "art therapy?" Despite really wanting to be an art therapist, I decided to drop out because I felt like a no one in the art world of college. That same day, a mentor, friend, and woman I really looked up to e-mailed me and told me that I would make a fine art therapist and that she was really proud of me as she'd been an art therapist before she'd decided to teach. I cursed myself for letting my dream go because I'd felt like without praise/acknowledgment I was no one.

For a while I was lost. I had no idea what to do next. No one was telling me I was good at anything so I bummed around the house, watched TV and played video games. It was my, I've reached my 20ies and don't have a clue what I want crisis. Then, having been unusually tired, dizzy and moody, I realized that there was something else going on besides my little crisis. I was PREGNANT. Well, there you go. I'd be a mother by default. Not planned, by certainly not unwanted, I was thrown into motherhood. Well, being pregnant and a new mother I certainly was someone again. People take notice of the pregnant lady. They talk to the pregnant lady. Then when there's a new baby, they talk about the new baby and poof, I was the lady who made gorgeous babies. Well, babies only stay "gorgeous" (in the eyes of others) for a short time and frankly a lot of motherhood/homemaking is without reward. There isn't a lot of acknowledgment. We don't get praise for cleaning poopy bums. No one says anything when the house is spotless (those few times that it is). Mothers don't get praise. In fact, these days, they are more likely to get asked when they are going back to work. There isn't much value put on staying home to raise a family....

(my family calls and I seem to be loosing my train of thought a little, anyways....I'll be back!)

Wordless Wednesday-June 2nd

As seen driving along a rural Nova Scotia route.....