Saturday, January 31, 2015

On The Craft Table - January 31st

I have been busy, busy, busy crafting.  Since my last craft post, I was invited to be a part of a craft 3 weeks.  Yikes!!  This is my first craft show ever.  I am excited and nervous all at the same time.  I have been spending every possible moment I can adding to my stock pile of crochet goodies.

Since this will be right before valentines day, I have been making lots of hearts and red flowers.  I have been so busy making, that I keep forgetting to take pictures.  Honestly my house has just been filled with various piles of yarn and finished projects.

Not even my bed has been safe from the madness.  Here I am looking through one of my favorite books, 100 flowers to Knit & Crochet.  I love this book for inspiration.  I am not too good at following the patterns in the book, but it has given me some great ideas.

I may start out with a particular pattern and somewhere along the way, I change it.  Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.  Like this flower below which was supposed to be a "six petaled cornflower", but is now a "three petaled I have no idea what it is, but I really like it" flower.  Mainly I love the techniques she teaches, like how to make the loop stitch in the middle of the flower.  That was a new one for me this week.

I am sure there are many others out there who have the same issues as me with following patterns.  With only one week away, I am certainly not trying anything new.  Right now, I am finishing everything that I have been madly making over the past two weeks.  Lots of buttons to sew on, ends to clip and leaves to attach.

I will be posting pictures from the craft show along with everything I made next week.

Farmer For a Week

One bright but frigid morning, I rose myself out of bed and donned my "barn clothes" as I had been calling them.  At this point they had a bit of an "earthy" smell to them and a few strands of hay clung to the outsides. I don't mind, I wear it kind of like a badge of honor.  I called for the children to grab their coats and as soon as the car windshield was defrosted we were off to carry out my job as farmer of the week.

Upon entering the barn, I was quickly greeted by the mammoth of a dog named Henry.  His usual greeting of course is jumping up and laying his front paws on my shoulder and smothering my face and coat in drool.  "Good Morning to you too, Henry."

In the background I hear the mewing of a cat.  I like to think that he is crying out in excitement over seeing me again here, and maybe even asking for a few warm pats of the hand.  But I'm pretty sure it was the cat food in my hands that he was most concerned about.  I'm sure I will get my official kitty greeting later, after breakfast.

The ladies of course are waiting patiently for their food, which I oblige.  I need to keep a careful lookout to make sure the ladies don't get to interested in the cats food.  All it takes is one look from the chicken and the cat runs away.

On to the baby of the barn.  This little fellow literally runs through the barn while kicking his heals up in the air.  The other alpacas completely ignore him, being way more focused on the food in front of them.

That is of course until the food is all gone, at which point mama gets real curious about this strange creature all dressed in blue, and standing in her barn.  Luckily, my son seems to have gotten over his fear of larger animals and lets her get real close.  The rabbits look on in approval.

Everyone is fed and watered as well as sufficiently petted.  Off to home I go, knowing I'll be back again tonight.  How my friend does this every day, I don't know, but it may just be worth it for having such loving creatures in ones life.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Week....

Blah Blah Blah Blah.............thats almost what I want to write.  Every time I sit down, I've got that same old to write just the perfect sentence.  How to properly convey the exact emotion of a moment.  And what comes out of my brain....Blah blah blah....  yep thats it.  So I have accepted there will be no eloquence this week.  No profound moment to expound on.  Just me and my week.  Now, with that out of the way, I can write about my week.

To be honest it was kind of a blah week.  We had  a bad case of grumpies this week, which included everyone.  I din't snap many pictures since most of my time was spent calming tempers and regulating attitudes.  Sigh, I'm ready for spring.

But I did catch a few shots of some of our happier moments this week...

A good friend gifted my children with puzzles, which we put together one afternoon.  This led to excitement later when it got dark because the puzzle glowed.  Pretty cool.

I went crafting crazy. Another good friend filled me in on  a local craft show next month.  (Thank God for Good Friends!)  I have always had a desire to sell my handmade goods.  It is taking longer than expected to get myself up and running on etsy and due to circumstances I couldn't vend at my farmers market last summer.  But this craft show will be my first opportunity to bring my wares to the public.  I am excited and nervous at the same time.  We'll see how it goes.

We had a snowman army in our front yard.  My children along with our neighbors built several snowmen in our yard.  Then they went across the street and built more in their yard.  It was fun having this army guarding our house.  It even made the UPS guy smile, so thats something.

And finally we got some new music and danced wildly to it.  Which of course leads to blurry pictures but happy children.  I have learned that music can be a great tool in bringing joy into the home.  We will certainly be doing more this week.

Well...once I got the blahs out, it turns out I did have alot to say. 

Have a great day!

Monday, January 19, 2015

These Moments

While on my quest for more joy in my home, it has led me already down long forgotten paths.  Routines and activities that for one reason or another have been left out of our lives.  One of these is playing games.  If your house is anything like ours, then stashed on closet shelves or tucked away in closed corners you have boxes of board games.  I will admit for the first time in my life, I may be a board game addict.  Not that I am addicted to playing them, mind you.  But that I like to collect them.  And although having a nice collection of unique and fun games is nice, if all they do is take up space and collect dust whats the point right?

Each and every game was bought with the intention of bringing my family together around the table for a bit of fun and possibly some learning.  As I placed each box in my cart I imagined my family drawing just a bit closer to each other and having some time where we were all focused on each other and not on the other things in life.  I saw each small sacrifice of money as well spent since I was exchanging it for an opportunity to better my family.

Insert face palm with the faint sound of a mom shaking her head slowly side to side as she realizes that one great tool to help her in her quest of joy for her family has been hiding unused in the closet this entire time!  Sigh....

Well, enough with the regret.....lets play some games!

This week we played GEO BEE CHALLENGE.  (you need to say it with a deep announcers voice to make it right.)

I know it seems like an odd choice for our first game in a while, but we have been studying world geography in school and I thought the kids might get excited about the knowledge they now have.  And, I was right!  My daughter seemed surprised at herself at how many she got right.  I was quite proud of her.

The night was a success, and everyone seemed more at peace as we made our way towards bed time.  It is important for us as a family to stay connected, even if that means playing a silly board game to do it.  Now to dust off some more games....

Friday, January 16, 2015

On The Craft Table - January 16th

I had an amazing Christmas break filled with all sorts of creativity and inspiration.  Its amazing how creative I felt while we were away.  It was also wonderful to have unbroken hours to just craft at my leisure.  This post is about my creations that sprouted from over my Christmas break.  It took me a while to write this only because I was trying to get the right pictures, but alas, I couldn't get the pictures right, so I decided to write this post anyway.

First is my winter wreath.  I have been following the blog of Attic24 for over a year now and I am in LOVE with all of Lucy's creations and her creativity.  She made these beautiful wreaths for summer, spring and fall and I knew I wanted to make one.  ( She just posted about this very thing the day after I finished my wreath, check it out here) I put it off for almost a year, but no longer.  I really dislike having to take down Christmas decorations and how bare the house looks afterwards so I decided to make some winter decorations, including a wreath.

I decided to wrap the wreath with yarn instead of crocheting a cover.  It took surprisingly more patience and time than I thought.  I will try the crochet way next time.  My daughter also liked the idea of only partially covering the wreath, although my son just doesn't get it. "It doesn't go all the way around mommy!)  Here it is a little closer.  I love the colors!

I also made a banner to go with it.  I have a bank of four windows in the living room.  I don't have curtains on them but them seemed a little bare so I thought this might help.  Unfortunately the light from the windows made it hard to take pictures.  But you get the idea.

It says Let It Snow all in crochet handwork..  It needs a little work.  I want to spread the words out a bit more, and my daughter insists it needs an exclamation point. Hoping next week to fix that. Do you like my son's window penguins? It almost looks like they are going for a stroll on my back deck!

I have refined my pattern for making headbands and ear warmers.  Been needing these babies here lately.  It hasn't been above 10 degrees for a while.  I have given several of these away already and I know there are some happy ears out there.

 My mother also got me hooked on arm knitting.  I had heard about it but hadn't tried it.  I love it for making these scarfs.  Its so fast and easy and has a great effect.

Its funny but I hadn't noticed until I had all the pictures together that I seem to be in a blue and grey faze.  Must just be the winter.  Stay warm everyone!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Climate Change

In the spirit of the new year, and new years resolutions and all that, I have been thinking about what other changes I want to make.  I think for the remainder of the month I want to focus on changing the climate.  No, not the outside weather kind of climate, but the underlying "vibe" which seems to flow through my home.

Upon our return home from Christmas away, it became very clear to me that there was very little joy in our house.  In fact there seemed to be a downright gloomy atmosphere all through the house.  It is noticed in the way we speak to each other, the comments we make about our day and even the looks upon all our faces.  I know its winter and the winter blues can be a part of this, but it really is more to do with our mind set.  And I want to change it.

So...where to begin.  How does one go about changing the entire mindset of a family?

Honestly I am daunted by the enormity of the task.  So far, what I have been doing is trying to be super aware of everyone's tone when speaking and trying to gently (ok maybe sometimes not so gently) reminding everyone that we love each other and our voices should reflect that.  I also realize that as the stay at home, homeschooling mom, I set up the tone for the day during the week when my husband is at work.  I know if I am grouchy, then certainly my children will start to reflect that as well.

I think I will have to ponder this for a bit.  I think I will call this Operation Joy, because ultimately, that is what I want my home to be filled with.

More to come...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Quiet Moment

So I didn't quite reach my goal of getting up before the kids in the morning, but I did at least sit down with my pot of tea twice this week.  Of course it was at three in the afternoon but hey, who's keeping track right? When I did actually sit down it felt good to take a moment and regroup myself. We have been away from home for almost three weeks and there was much to get caught up on. First order of business was to figure out a meal plan and a grocery list. Being gone so long meant an empty fridge. It was the perfect chance for me to try out my new tea pot.

Isn't it adorable! Home Goods can be a dangerous place for anyone who likes to decorate their home.

Even though I didn't accomplish exactly what I set out to do I will say it was a good productive week and there is always next week to reach my goal.

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Years Resolution

I am not one who usually makes New Years Resolutions.  Honestly it seems to be a never ending set of resolutions all year long to eat better, exercise more and spend more quality time with my family.  But this year, I think I will make a resolution.  a very specific one in fact.  That probably has been my problem in the past is that I was not specific enough in my goal setting for my self.  I have always had a sense of what I wanted to change lingering in the recesses of my brain, but have never put pen to paper and made specific plans with exact details on how to pull it off.  That is....until now.

I guess you can say my first official resolution is to make specific plans for things I want to change.  That sounds like a resolution doesn't it.

So my second resolution is to wake up in the morning before the kids (I can hear my husband laughing right now), to make a pot of tea and take the quiet moment to ready myself for the day.  Now, if you know me at all, you would know that what I have just written will be a pretty tall order to pull off.  Lately, I am am entirely embarrassed to say that I haven't been getting out of bed until after 9 am. 

I can just hear the gasps of astonishment escaping the mouths of anyone who is daring to read this blog right now.  Dare I push it further and say that sometimes I don't change out of my pajamas until after lunch.  Crazy, right?  I can say it is one of the upsides to homeschooling, I can pretty much set my own schedule. 

The downside to this lovely habit I seem to have developed is that I lose a good part of my day and I never really feel focusssed or some times even prepared for the happenings of the day.  This leads to disorder, lots of unfinished goals, and occasionally a very disgruntled mom who may or may not become short with the children, or the husband, or really anyone who dares to come into my vicinity.

So, as you can see, I really do need to change. And change I will.  Some how, some way I will make this change. I am not sure yet exactly what I will do during this early morning, tea drinking time of focus. I guess I will have to ponder that in morning....if I actually get up that is.

Pray for a miracle won't you?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

I Choose to be a Writer

Up until just today I would not have considered my self to be a writer.  I have been told that I write well.  I (obviously) have a desire to write a blog.  But when it comes time to actually sit down and write the words, I freeze.  I freak out.  I stumble. Which all of course leads to silence.  It easier to say nothing than to say the wrong thing....right?  The reality is no, its not easier because that nagging desire to share is always tugging at the back of my brain and I just go on feeling unfulfilled because I'm not doing this thing which part of me desires to do.  Like that's never happened to anyone else...right?

And then came the book.  Actually the book was a gift for my mother which I just happened to read the back cover of...then the introduction....then the first chapter....yeah, the book is coming home with me.

So this all powerful book which seems to have maybe gotten me past my writing dilemma is called "The Right to Write" by Julia Cameron.  I could write more about the specifics of the book right now, but honestly, I don't want to.  I can do that later.  Right now I want to revel in the fact that I am actually enjoying the process of writing.  See, before "the book" I would have felt compelled to give a detailed description of the book complete with a picture linked up to a web page with more information.  But you know what, I don't have to.  If anyone wants to learn more about the book, they can look it up.  I know I am sounding a bit on the borderline of being almost rude, and believe me I know it, but right now, this blog is for me.  If someone else wants to come along and read my ramblings, then I say Welcome!  I may not be user friendly right now, but I'm a work in progress and I am sure I will get there someday.  But right now, I just want to write.  I want to dig down into my creative self and release the thoughts and desires and dreams and who know what else has been locked up in this blocked brain.  I want to experience the joy of sharing and writing with nothing else getting in the way.

I do have to say, it feels good.    Real good.

So, with a little help from my friend Julia and her book, I have become a writer.  And I can say that with a smile on my face and a lightness in my heart.  I simply am a writer because I write.  It may not be perfect or eloquent or even right, but it is me, on paper (or screen as it may be) and that's all I need.