Tuesday, March 31, 2009
So last night, the laptop was brought to our dinner table. I read through my entire blog post, then started reading Nate your comments. I especially chuckled reading him things like...
"Oh dear Nate..." (Ok, the Oh dear part still has me chuckling).
As he packed up to head to the gym last night he said "You have to post my rebuttal, tell them WHY I don't like hand knit socks" I half contemplated he should post his own rebuttal - lol.
On his return from the gym, I was sitting on our sofa, knitting, and he said "See, I'd like socks like those!" I raised an eyebrow, given I was sitting knitting the 'Rose is a Rogue' pattern. Roses, in pink yarn. Mmhhhh, you'd like these??? And here came his rebuttal:
His Aunt made them all hand knit socks one year. He was probably a young teen (this is my guess). He says they were fluffly, baby blue, made of wool and INCREDIBLY itchy. He hated them. But, he says he would like my pink rose socks (do you think I should knit them for him and see if they fit?) lol. Just kidding. I shouldn't rib him so hard. But, I do now see this as a challenge to knit him some nice, sportweight, non itchy socks. I think he will be sold.
All your comments yesterday really highlighted why handmade is just so wonderful. And also laid out some unspoken "rules".
- Chose who you give to and what you give to them carefully. Some people will never appreciate the work and the cost that goes into handmade gifts.
- I get really attached to the things I make and I want other people to love what I make. The thing is, someone else may not love it as much as I do, and that's o.k.
- I only give handmade to people who I think are worth the effort! It takes time and money to give handmade gifts.
- I think what it boils down to is - what are you giving and to whom. Need to pick your battles I guess.
- I don't feel insecure about giving handmade because it is sincere and genuine and from the heart. If the recepiant flinches or seems unimpressed, that is their issue - not mine. Why do we need to be so hung up on price tags and labels? Oh sadness... (I completely agree)
The last little nuggets of advice?
- there is more pleasure in giving than receiving, and if giving handmade feels good and right to you, gift on sister.
- forge ahead. It's all good!
- don't obsess...
Final note that Nate would like to place a comment - on dolls. He agrees with those of you who have said that giving stuffies, robots, dinosaurs, etc. are OK. He just has an issue with dolls. Dolls that look like, well, dolls. Anyone have a dinosaur pattern?
Wow, this is a long post! Now for the great doll reveal. Here is my first Wee Wonderful. At first I thought she looked like an Irene. Now I'm thinking Lucy. In anycase, I'm glad I gave her, and I will selectively gift on! Thank you sage readers!
Monday, March 30, 2009
I started to question myself "Is this really ok?" "Are they going to be pleased with it?" "Am I going to be seen as ridiculous?" (I believe that it is our society's culture of consumerism that had me questioning myself).
The gift was given yesterday, and I believe the recipients were pleased, but ack, still questioning myself. I said to Nate last night "Was that a smart thing to do?" "Should I just buy the rest of the kids Mr. Potato heads?" Not to my surprise, Nate had some rules on homemade (he said he could be my moral compass)
1. Don't give people handmade socks
2. Boys shouldn't be given dolls. They will be ridiculed in school.
3. Grace shouldn't be sent to school in homemade clothes (see #2).
Other than that, he said my homemade gift giving is just fine, and that after the gift is given, I shouldn't worry about how it is received. But alas, I have a soft heart, and I do worry! Alot of time and love is put into each gift!
So, all you out there who are experienced handmade givers - was taking that first step to go handmade hard? Did you question when stepping away from commercialism? Am I just crazy and over thinking the entire thing (ok, yes, I do realize I am doing that a little).
But your thoughts on giving handmade would be appreciated. Good or bad? Which side of the camp do you fall into?
Friday, March 27, 2009
I have mine hanging just inside our front door. I showed Grace this morning and she said "Beans???" "No honey, those are eggs."
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Last night, after dinner, we took Grace to see the "trains". (In non Grace speak this means taking her to our local bookstore where in the kids area there is a train table set up). This just makes her giddy with glee. It also makes it hard to leave.
Nate and I were successful last night getting her to go, asking her to say bye to the trains, until we saw a red wagon on the way out and she REALLY wanted to get in for a ride. "No sorry honey, not tonight" She started to cry, not a tantrum, just alot of tears. Nate scooped her up and we continued out the store. I have found the key to crying, or a tantrum, is a distraction. Sitting on an easter display table was a stuffed duck, wearing rabbit ears. So I got their attention and asked Grace "What would a duck rabbit say?" Perhaps "Quack, Quack, Sniff Sniff?" I think Nate was pretty sure he hoped nobody was listening to me, and kept walking, while I kept talking. But Grace did stop crying.
The point of that story? I was on Soule Mama this morning, saw the link to this book, and it reminded me of the video below. Strangely coinciding with the weird duck rabbit episode from last night.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I watch her in amazement lately. Her hair becoming curlier every day, how she now plays pretend with her toys. Her starting to ask to go to toilet, and the rejoicement that follows when something actually happens whilst on said toilet. I remember approaching her first birthday and feeling that I was letting something go. Now I look back at her one year photos and think how small she was. I realize that as she approaches three I will feel that two was so small, and I will marvel over everything a three year old can do. Time just seems to fly.
All this reminiscing came about reading this post today. It's a good read, but grab a coffee. Takes a bit to get through it all. One part says that most people don't have any recollection of their childhood under the age of 3. I know I don't. My earliest memory is from Kindergarten. I would have been 5.
I still have a horrible memory and am shocked about stories that friends tell me. I can't believe I was apart of some of them they seem so unreal. I was really apart of that?
As I watch everything that Grace is learning and taking in, I can hardly fathom she won't remember any of it. I have watched her go from a little person who couldn't remember what happened the day before, to someone who could remember the week prior. I can easily say now I think she can recall everything - at least the people, places, and things that she holds dear.
What were your earliest memories? Were they before the age of 3?
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
A couple of weeks back, I whipped up this rabbit, testing a pattern by Tacha. I think my favorite part about him are his ears. Or perhaps his belly which can be stuffed with goodness.
I had full intention of hiding him, and putting him away for Grace for Easter, but alas he was mistakingly left out and was discovered by Grace the next morning. She was ECSTATIC, and the rabbit quickly joined her stash of favorite toys.
I was a little concerned about the zipper and the lining, being new to sewing either of those, but Tacha's instructions were really clear, making this a cinch to create. Thanks for picking me!
I have also been busy starting to make my collection of dolls for the many upcoming birthdays this Spring. Not to give her fully away, here is a glimpse of my first. I am seriously in love with the fabric I found for them, and plan to switch up the three fabrics so each doll looks slightly different (ie the shoe fabric may the shirt fabric on the next doll etc.)
A big thank you to all who responded to my embroidery help post yesterday. This little lady is going to get a face tonight thanks to you :) I have decided she looks like an 'Irene' to me. She will be revealed by the end of March!
Check out the other W.I.P.'sters here :)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
When you have a finished doll, or stuffie and you are ready to embroider the face, what type of knot do you tie with your floss? Do you tie one? My biggest question though is where do you hide the knot so that everything looks streamlined?
I can understand doing it before assembly so the floss can be on the wrong side, but what when it's finished?
(and thanks) :)
How beautiful is that? I have watched it at least a dozen times since first seeing it posted on Maribeth's site. It speaks to my soul and makes me long to pick up a paintbrush again.
I first discovered art when I was going into Grade 12. I had some free time where I could take another course, submitted some of my work and got accepted into Art AP. That year changed my life. I went from applying to a University to being a teacher to applying to an Art College. I have heard alot of nasty things about my Bachelor of Fine Arts. And for a long time, my head would dip a little bit lower and I'd think "maybe these people are right, maybe this degree is worthless".
Some 7 years after having graduated University, and after 6 years of working in a completely different field, my perception has changed. I am proud of my degree. I LOVE the things I learned. I miss having my paintings put up in galleries for others to enjoy. I miss the feeling of paint on my hands. And strangely I miss preparing a canvas with Gesso.
Despite that I thought I no longer "painted", I realize I have never been able to strip it out of my life (not that I'd want to!). I've been knitting, sewing, doing craft painting. As a young girl I did craft shows with my Mom and made origami bird earrings and fleece mittens. I think it is part of my genetic make up. To create.
There is a quote that a friend gave me in Grade 12 about art. It goes something like "As young children we are geared to want to create, to explore with textures, to be artists. And then the world tells us it isn't acceptable, and we walk away thinking we are no good at it, and never go back and pick up a pencil to colour with on a blank page." That breaks my heart.
I hope to raise my kids to love to be creative. Whether that means that they will be creative in the way they think about sending an astronaut to space, or creative about the materials they use on a canvas for a piece of art they are displaying in a gallery in New York (lofty thoughts heh? lol).
Now go watch that video again. SO beautiful. It makes my heart sing.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Grace with her Auntie Alicia - 8 months old
11 months at the Zoo Easter Egg Hunt. Checking out a Cadbury Cream Egg!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I'm in sock heaven. Which is good, because I have a new challenge ahead of me. It actually fills me with a bit of fright, which I suppose is good, because then it will be given the respect it deserves. I signed up for the Rockin Sock Club '09. GULP. Since I am signing up late, I will get the January yarn, and March together I suspect. The bonus? I didn't have to pay for it (insert a very happy dance here). Our work gave us an extra amount of money for things like hobbies, sports fees, medical bills our benefits don't cover. Part of mine, is now being devoted to socks. All year round. I'm a very happy lady. I'm extremely grateful for this gift.
Here is another great thing. It was -30C earlier this week, and today, it was +5. Spring may be on it's way.
*If I new how to create my own award button, I would. Jumbleberry Jam has the most blogs on her reader out of everyone that posted! Stop on over, say hello to her so she will have even more to check out ;) lol
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Upon my continuing search to come up with the perfect Advent Calendar pattern, I stumbled upon these three blogs.
If you are looking for some crafty inspiration today, these will surely fit the bill. I hope you enjoy my new blog finds as much as me!
Pink Chalk Studio
Allsorts *This one is seriously awesome. Even the colours of the webpage make me giggle with delight!
How many blogs do you have on your list?
I will be back, late tonight, with my W.I.P. In the meantime, check out the other W.I.P.'sters here!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
First, let's visit with Mrs. Spit. Her post relates to Mom's who have lost their babies, but this part really resonated with me:
"Here's the thing about grieving - it's individual. It's your story, your show. You are here because your baby is dead. How you handle your baby's death, well, it's how you handle it. There's no right, and there's no wrong. You grieve how you grieve. There's no exam, and no one's marking you. (And if you are marking others, knock it off.) I assure you, there are no medals for grieving properly, and no one is going to hold you up as an example of how to do it well. No prizes, no models, no best-practices. There's no great way to do this. Do what you can, with what you have. Tell your story."
I had an Uncle pass away a year and a bit ago in a hospice, from brain cancer. As we watched Paul suffer for two years with his disease, I became hard. Calloused against death if that is possible. And, I will finally state it, that I turned from the church (and only partly my faith). I was angry. I still am. With my Aunts passing this weekend, I have said things like "I wasn't that close to her" "She isn't suffering anymore" "She's in a better place". Last night, while not able to sleep (see the next post) I thought - ALOT. And the truth is... I have lost someone. I am going to miss her. I am angry. I hate death. It all seems so unfair. And I probably appear calloused, or uncaring. I'm just numb from all the loss our family has seen these past few years. Death can you give us a break please? Just one year, without any loss. One filled with more joy, than tears.
Next up - Maribeth.
"I'm not so tired anymore, but I went through a long stretch of time (years) during which I felt tired a lot. This was when I had my babies, and when I was also working as a midwife. Being tired can become a way of life, but not a very good or productive one. For me, being tired is like treading water. You've got your head up, but there is no more energy left for swimming or graceful dives.
When I was tired, I had little room for creative thinking or doing. And I was not always as generous or kind to my family as I wanted to be. I've thought a lot about whether becoming a mother should automatically mean becoming exhausted. Has it always been this way, in all times and places?"
I smiled when I read this post this morning. Grace has been having trouble going to sleep in her crib. It usually takes an hour with hysterical crying. Last night (not typical) she woke up at 2 am and we were up until 4 am. I think being a Mom does involve years of being sleep deprived. But everytime I end up in the rocking chair in her room, with her face nuzzled into my shoulder, and her feet dangling off my lap, I tell myself that this time is so precious, and soon she won't fit in my lap. When I'm really tired, I remind myself that this time when they are little doesn't last so long. And I rock her a little longer.
And lastly, this link from Soule Mama. Those are some delightful hats. I might have to knit them all.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Thank you all for your prayers for my extended family. Funeral arrangments have been made for this coming Saturday, with a prayer service on Friday night.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
I lost an Aunt.
A Mother lost her Daughter.
A husband lost his wife of 45 years.
Three men lost their mother.
Eight kids lost their Grandma.
One daughter, welcomed her Mother home.
There is a long road ahead for those left grieving. If you could keep my Uncle and his family in your prayers, it would be appreciated. There is a long road ahead and as many hands holding his and my extended family as possible may help lighten the load.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Here is a conversation I had with Nate the other night:
Me - I'm thinking of making all of the kids with upcoming birthdays something homemade
Nate - That's great (insert loads of enthusiasm here)
Me - I'm thinking of making them all a doll
Nate - (insert an eyebrow raised look) Boys don't play with dolls.
Me - Why not?
Nate - They play with trucks and blocks (insert a stern tone here).
Me - I see them play with stuffies. Dolls are stuffed (see my humour?)
Nate - That is NOT the same (more sterness).
Sigh. So, what do I make for some two year old boys? Any ideas? Second question... why can't boys play with dolls? I'd make them boy dolls....
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Isn't it great! And I was tickled pink about the embroidered names on it. Being so new to embroidery myself, I'm in awe. We are very lucky quilt recipients!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
In March of 2007 I was 34 weeks pregnant with Grace. I had started maternity leave on March 15th and was enjoying being at home getting ready for our little arrival. Yes, that photo is JUST 34 weeks. Grace was delivered on her due date - I still had a full 6 weeks of belly growing to do!
Monday, March 2, 2009
I wasn't sure such a thing existed so was surprised Google turned up so many possibilities. I stuck with this one, but made a few changes (listed in purple).
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used Non-Dairy Chips)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together, and set aside.
Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Mix in the mashed bananas. Add the flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.
Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes. (Mine only needed 8 minutes).
Yes, one cookie in the photo is half eaten...
The batter seemed 'gooier' than that of banana bread, and I was concerned they wouldn't bake properly. I was pleasantly surprised that they turned out like muffin tops! I have one of these tins and think I will probably use that instead of a cookie sheet next time. They aren't quite as banana flavored as bread would be, which aids in them seeming more like a cookie. Overall, I think they are delicious and I'm sure they will be devoured in no time!
On Today's Date to come tomorrow!