Friday, December 30, 2011

revolutionary resolution revelations

...well, perhaps less than 'revolutionary', but how could I pass up a dandy alliteration like that? How!

I'm currently on the cusp of the new year. It's early in the morning on the 31st (like, 12:15am, not 5am or anything; that's just crazy), and I'm feeling thoughtful. Later on today, we'll celebrate the end of 2011, and bring on in 2012, and maybe this year I'll make a resolution or two. I don't normally, but when better to take a look at life and decide if I like where I've been and where I'm going (well, 12:15am may not be the ideal time, but whatever).

I'll spare you the inner workings of my mind and simply say that I am surprised to report that I am happy with my life. Simple, but profound. To be happy isn't always an easy thing for me, not when there's something I could be worrying about, but increasingly, as I settle into my life who I've grown up to be, understanding what it is to be a wife and a mother, that's where I'm finding, that I'm happy.

So on that note, I'll pledge to better organize my time, lose weight, keep my house clean, be more productive and go to bed on time (oops), and when if I fail to achieve these goals and 2012 turns out to be pretty much a repeat of 2011, I'll be ok with that.

So thank you to my marvelous family, my amazing children and wonderful husband for filling my cozy little life with such joy.

(incidently, it's been 5 years)

God bless and have a fabulous 2012!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


as a brief update on doughnuts; yes, they turned out wonderful and yummy, but not particularly photogenic (plus they didn't last long enough to photograph). So many more attempts to follow and hopefully some will turn out pretty enough to turn up here.

The rest of the story involves and order from spoonflower (yay yay yay yay yay! I'll have more to say once it arrive), and christmas decorations. Ho Ho Ho! Well, today is Christmas Shopping Day, so I'm off.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Less an update and more a promise, because sadly we have yet to attempt to make a batch in our snazzy new doughnut baking pan. We picked it up a week or so ago. Well, actually, my Dad found it and being whimsical and thinking it would be fun to do with Bugaboo (and that 'Doughnut-es' are our little boy's favourite thing ever) we went for it! I have found new motivation to give this a whirl because once again, have posted parallel to my own goings on.

In other news, for our cold Canadian winter months, Bugaboo and I have moved our gardening aspirations to the indoor-type variety. We tried to sprout an avocado seed, you know, suspended in a glass of water by toothpicks. Well, attempt once was fail, so after our next grocery trip and more avocados are eaten (yum yum guacamole!) we will try again. I think we might have had it upside down.

Oh and finally, Halloweening with my two babies was a blast! I try to make their costumes, but this year (new baby and all) that was out of the question. Actually, for Bugaboo, we couldn't even find a costume to buy. However, Grammy came to the rescue suggesting that his snazzy Chef's attire (and he totally wears the hat when we cook) would fit the bill. He looked great, had a blast, knocked on every door and refused to say 'Trick-or-Treat" to any house but our own. I love Halloween; doubly so now that I have kids!

Friday, October 21, 2011

fall, fall, glorious fall! oh, and an octopus

Best Season Ever!

Even out here in the ever so slightly drab west coast, it makes me so happy! So a new baby and a new house make it a lot of fun (and a lot of work, but it's fun work, so that's great!).

Due to the craziness of life in general, I'm keeping things short (never know when a 4 week old little girl is going to wake up from her nap).

House=a long way to go before any exciting progress can be reported.

Knitting=looky what I made! (I'm referring here to the knitting, not the baby, allthough, yeah, I made that too)

This is what I'm calling my Octopus Sleep Sac. It's based on the Owlie Sleep Sac pattern found on Ravelry, but when I looked at my yarn options, I saw octopus, not owl, so that's what I did.

I had been wanting to try making a pattern, and with my mom here, she was able to guide me through how to knit it up once it was made. I think I've found a whole new element of knitting to become addicted to, and am scheming of many more intarsia patterns to come (um, once I get a bit more time on my hands though). All I did was draw the octopus I wanted, and then traced over it by blocking out which squares I wanted orange and which were to be blue. Feel free to use the x&o pattern here (if you can see it well enough), but I am planning on making a nice and proper one to post on Ravelry, so you could wait for that too.

Oh, and celebrating fall, we went to the local pumpkin patch for some fun.

And fun was had!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

a baby of the fairy-princess-tea-party variety

We had a baby! A girl-type baby no less! She was three days late and clocked in at 7lbs 6oz. And she's absolutely gorgeous!

Bugaboo is already playing the role of 'World's Best Big Brother' and is adoring our new little baby along with the rest of us!

Anyhow, this is just a brief update while Grammy is entertaining Bugaboo downstairs and our new little angel is sleeping.

PS Moving day is this week, so hopefully I should have some interesting developments to share there as well, however I doubt I'll be able to post anything in a manner even remotely related to punctual. Meh.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

snugly bugly rugly

Ok baby, I'm ready!

Well, I've actually been ready for a while, however, I have happily completed both a girl sweater and a boy sweater, meaning that my knitting is in order and you can be born anytime now. Please!

In all honesty, I finished the little boy sweater a week or so ago, but have had no energy for photographing it, and so it waited. But Costco had sheepskin rugs on sale (I've wanted one forever) and I magically found inspiration for a few snugly photos. In other news, Bugaboo approves of the sheepskin for snuggle purposes. We'll have to find a nice central spot in the new house where it can be readily available for snuggles whenever.

Back to the sweater. I found it on Ravelry; 'Knitted Jacket with Raglan Sleeves and Cables' by DROPS design. The pattern is fabulous, but the way it's written is horrendous. Literally, I had to decode it every step of the way. I'm honestly thinking of organizing all my notes and posting a user friendly version. The biggest issue I had, was most of the pattern seemed to be nonsense until you tried it, failed, realized what they had meant, and then did it again. For example, the cables are all from charts. The key to the charts are on a separate page. I was within an inch of the end when I realized that I had been doing them upside down all along (no big deal though). The decrease pattern at the end was similar, however I did do it right. I think if I try this one again (which I think I will now that I have it deciphered) I'll decrease a lot more though, because the neck is really big. We'll see how it looks on the baby (if he's a boy).

Anyhow, it's lovely and soft and warm and I'm really pleased with how it came out, mistakes and all.

Oh, and for the record, Mom did all they tying in of the loose ends for me. :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

summer sweater knit along - finally finished


I never did tie in all the annoying little loose ends.

However, for all intensive purposes this baby (referring to the sweater here, still waiting on the other one) is DONE!

It was for the wonderful fun Summer Sweater Knit Along hosted by luvinthemommyhood. I had already been planning on making this, and actually had all the materials just awaiting my knitting pleasure! It's called the 'One Button Wonder' from Sirdar's 'Big Softie Knits for Beginners' book. Super easy and fast to knit up, which is just perfect for a busy mommy who doesn't have hours a day to spend knitting.

I do have to apologise for the photos though. Our house has no clear spot with ok lighting, and so by the time we made out it into the yard I had been wearing the sweater for about 10 minutes and it was really very hot (and it doesn't take much to make a pregnant woman cranky).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

bun in the oven

...well, bread to be precise. You see, during my previous pregnancy I had no cravings whatsoever. From time to time a specific food would be rather appealing, but nothing out of the ordinary and nothing I couldn't do without. This time has been similar, nothing I couldn't live without, but there have been a few occasions where something a little odd would pop into my head. Now, I am a rather picky eater, preferring bland and simple foods, so any sort of food combination automatically counts as unusual for my tastes, safe though they may seem.

The first was early in my pregnancy, where the idea of apple pizza was simply awesome. Just think of a nice thin crust dough with an apple bbq sauce (like they do at Montana's) some yummy pulled pork and mozza to top it off. No wait actually with a few very thinly sliced pieces of apple to top it off; perfect! Still waiting on this one.

Then, for a while I decided that fried plantain coins would be the perfect place for some pulled pork in bbq sauce. Turns out they are! Hopefully this one is still as appealing after the baby because it really is a very lovely snack.

Finally, a friend of mine mentioned a bakery by her house a few weeks ago and instantly I could see the perfect loaf of bread. Blueberry Cinnamon Bread. Yum. It has to be bread, not like a cake loaf, but it should be sweet. I eventually came around to realizing that a cinnamon raisin loaf (raisins substituted for blueberries, obviously) would suffice.

Anyhow, with my little one due in just a few days, my mom has been visiting and pretty much taking care of us. And it just so happens that she is a fabulous bread baker. Sure enough, even with the help of my little chef-Bugaboo, in no time she had a few loaves of bread, a loaf of pumpkin-spice bread, and a blueberry-cinnamon loaf baking merrily in the oven. So they now sit on the cooling racks, the scent wafting through the house, making it a beautiful relaxing afternoon.

It turned out perfectly!

Friday, September 9, 2011

feeling good about growing

So I'm due in two weeks. I'm sad that I haven't had it in me to post anything and have no solace in knowing that it will get worse before it gets better. However, life is exciting and it's becoming even more so as the few remaining days pass before I get to meet my new little darling.

And if a new baby isn't exciting enough, we've finally been offered a bigger house so a move will be in the works over the next month too. Whew.

The end of September and our new baby has been something I've been excited about for such a long time, that as it approaches I'm reminded of all the other things I love about fall! All the beautiful leaves (which we don't actually get here, but I think of them and I'm happy), the cool weather, the harvest and all the fun celebrations that go with it.

Now, with a new baby, and a move on Thanksgiving weekend (who thought that was a good idea?), it will be a meek and mild harvest-time party round these parts, but one little feature will make it more special than ever. This year at our big dinner, my little man and I will be able to share the literal fruits of our labour; food from our garden! The snow peas have been saved and the squash has been picked and will be ready to join the feast. I haven't quite worked in how to incorporate the tiny tomatoes, but they're coming out of the garden by the bowlful and will make an appearance somehow. So yeah, the onions and watermelon, although they didn't exactly die, didn't work for us this time, but I am thrilled that we were able to share this whole experience and that our hard work rewarded us with treats to share and a deep satisfaction of growing a garden. A simple thing, but it connects us with a simpler time, with anyone else who's gardened for a lively hood or just for the love of it, and it is something I'm finding to be profound.

My two year old probably doesn't get the depth I've found in this little garden of ours, but it's an experience we can share year after year (and I intend to), and a passion I hope he will find on his own. And to make me feel even better about myself, I stumbled on a little project encouraging people to garden for the benefit of themselves and the environment, which made me say "yay! I did that!" So as I grow (and grow and grow) I'm also feeling pretty darn pleased about the growing my little Bugaboo and I have done this summer too!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Special Delivery - August

Here I am, ambitious as ever, and have told my Special Delivery Group that I'd be good for August and September. Ok, see the baby isn't due until the end of September, so I figure if I get them both done now, I'm covered. I just know that it'll be next to impossible to get anything done once baby is here, but I just hate missing out on the fun crafting-swappy-goodness. Well, fortunately my August partner has little kiddies, and I have a mostly finished Picnic Pack (remember the one I started and then decided I didn't like the fabric)...see where I'm going.

Oh the cleverness of me! Well it took about an hour to dig up all the parts and finish it, and I'm really liking it!

I think the reason I never finished it (other than getting different fabric for Bugaboo's pack) was because I didn't have any fabric for the straps and wasn't sure what I wanted to use. Well, I have a bunch of orange and yellow scraps from a Princess Daisy costume I made years ago (and yes, I made a Princess Peach one for my friend, and our husbands were Mario and Luigi; it was a pretty sweet Halloween) and they turned out just dandy.

I'm really liking the primary colour combos here. Added bonus: she has a little girl and a baby boy, so this can be passed down no problem. I'm really hoping she likes this!

It's not as clear, but instead of grommets this time, I sewed button holes. They worked fine, but I'm curious so hear how they compare over time. It's got a layer of water proofing fabric too, so it can be put down on the ground and eaten off of.

Well, I know what I want to make for my September SD, so I'm gonna try and get on it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

train brain

An impromptu shopping spree this weekend has brought back my latest obsession; which oddly enough is Thomas the Tank Engine. To be fair (to me) I do have a two year old, so it's not too far of a stretch. It's just that they're so classy and cute, and he loves them. LOVES!

Anyway, I do recognize that they're obscenely overpriced, but I have been planning and scheming and I want to save all my wonderful surprises (and cool tales) until everything is put together, but I will spill the beans on 'The Plan'. Simply, that my genius husband who has mad-sweet carpentry skills will build a train table for our little guy. We just need to decide on the track layout...

So here I be, scouring the interwebs for the ideal track that doesn't have too many pieces outside of what we've already scavenged, but will be the most fun because we're nailing them babies down (I'm not a big fan of having to constantly re-set the track, and Bugaboo gets extremely frustrated when it all comes apart). I did find the track layout blueprint archive, but it doesn't have either the set I currently have or the one I've set my sights on, but it has got me thinking.

This is my favourite so far:

It's far better than just a straight loop (oxymoron; awesome), but we actually already have most of the pieces (not the crane and stuff, but the track pieces and the bridges).

I think I have my husband convinced to go pick up the lumber tonight, and one of our awesome neighbors has already offered to help (not that he needs it, but now he has no excuse for delay). I've kind of been nagging at him to get on this, because Bugaboo will need a good distraction (and a bit of a treat) when the baby gets here, which leaves us with only a month to finish things. Wish us luck!

PS (aug 16th): interestingly enough, one of my favourite sites, Ohdeedoh, just posted and article about train layouts and their discovery of an entire site dedicated to them. Perhaps we are on the same wavelength?

Monday, August 8, 2011

my babies

I still haven't grasped the idea that there will be two soon. TWO! Not soon enough (and I'm sure there will be times in the very near future where I wish one (or both) of them were back safely inside my belly, but for the moment, I just want to meet my little one!).

Anyhow, to help me stand the wait, I've been trying to keep busy, but it seems the only thing I can really get into that doesn't wear me out, is knitting. Not that I mind though, I have about a billion projects I want to do, and I know how much time you get to sit with both hands free after a new baby (zero), so I'm in it. Now, as previously mentioned, our local hospital won't tell you you baby's gender and we ain't forking over the money for a 3d ultrasound when we can just wait a while and find out on our own, so I'm happily stitching up an outfit for a girl, and a boy. With the completion of this:

I have finished my little baby girl ensemble (remember the booties from this post here, they go with this). My super snugly baby-boy get-up is on the needles, but is moving much much more slowly (cables, man I was feeling ambitious). I'm using the same yarn because I couldn't find another soft, sock-type yarn that I liked as much as my leftovers. It really is beautiful stuff.

Oh, and for my bigger baby, I have a sweater in the works as well. I'm using my grey wool from Briggs & Little, so it's not so soft, but man is it gonna be warm. I hope it will be nice for him this winter. I also hope I have it finished by this winter. I'm probably biting off more than I can chew, what with season sensitive clothes and them kiddies growing out of them so fast, but that's just how I am.

And biting off more than I can chew brings me to my next thought, although it wasn't really my fault. You see, my little man just turned two. It was the first birthday party I was hosting. I had dreamed of hosting birthday parties (and still do) for my kids at all ages, and years ago, I thought that the perfect theme for a two year old party would be a Teddy Bear Picnic! Plus, there's a little clearing just beside a small woods out back of our houses that would have been perfect. Well, without getting into too much, me being pregnant cut my schemes (and decorations and cooking, etc) in about half and the weather made us decide the morning of (I really didn't want to have to make the call) that we would have to host the dozen kids plus mommies and daddies in our teensy tiny house.

I'd say it was a HUGE success (on the grounds that Bugaboo, who is pretty into birthday parties already, had the time of his life)! Everyone was super kind about not mentioning how crowded and psycho it was, the kids were playing really well with each other, watching out for the few little guys crawling amidst the chaos, all my baking that I got around to actually doing (cookies, tarts and of course cupcakes) got eaten and it was a lot of fun. My original big plan was dwindled down to just a cute little picnic-treat spread and then the cupcakes. And from there we just bought a 1/4 lb bag of balloons from Walmart and filled the house. Best party ever! Bugaboo is still talking about it (and still singing 'happy birthday to ME!').

Oh, and for his actual birthday, my husband (aka super daddy) took the day off work and we just did things we knew Bugaboo liked, like go down to the marina and play.

Rocking some dance moves he picked up from Grampy.

Practicing his giraffe walk.

Yay Family! (the colour-coordination was purely a fluke, I promise)

So yeah, we've been having fun and time has been moving just a little bit faster. Still can't wait though...

Friday, August 5, 2011

sunshiney blues

It's a beautiful day, but we're stuck inside because I'm large, overheated, and out of breath. Being pregnant in the summertime is no fair for a two year old. However, it is Friday, and that means that daddy has a weekend, and maybe we can make better use of that time. I'll just have to endeavor to persevere with happier summer thoughts like this one:

I do have some other fun projects to share, but they can wait until next time. Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, August 1, 2011

happy civic holiday!

What a silly day. Not that I'm complaining about a day off because that's awesome, but one that's different for every Provence? Oh well, yay BC-Day!

In other news, my husband has been using our camera and has put it somewhere, so what I wanted to post will wait a few days, and instead I'll bring you and update on my dandy knitting projects. Ok, so still not finished that sweater for the Sew Along. No excuse really, other than I don't like finishing and tucking all the little ends in. However, I did finish a beautiful pair of little baby slippers!

Now, I don't actually know the gender of our baby, so I'm knitting a few things for a girl, and have a few pieces for a boy lined up too. These little sandals from Debbie Bliss's 'blankets, bears and booties' book were too cute and I really wanted the challenge. Challenge me they did and still I prevailed! There was definitely a point where they looked pretty mangled, but finish them up and stuff them each with a weeble (because I don't have any little toesies for them yet) and they turned out lovely!

I'm on the final sleeve of the matching sweater, so back to knitting I go!

PS. These were done in the fabulous sock-wool I picked up at the Belfast Fibre mill. My little guy keeps picking up my work-in-progress or the ball of wool and just stroking it, so I hope new-baby finds it as snuggly too!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

for the love of wool

I'll preface this post with an invitation and a helpful piece of information. Firstly, Ravelry; check it out. My account name is Qalupilluit if you're ever interested what I'm currently working on. Secondly, when packing your knitting project away, try storing it with the needles point up (unless you're worried about safety, such as someone falling on them). The reason is so that if little grabby hands pull out the needle, all your work doesn't slide off of it. I found this one out the lucky way. Ok, now down to business...

Almost immediately after I picked up knitting last summer, I also found the joy and wonder of wandering around a cozy local yarn shop. So many colours, and textures and fibres with unlimited potential, I love it. However, it was shortly after my first few projects that I realized that different fibres knit up differently, and that I had a lot to learn about yarn.

With no real place to start, I stuck to cottons and synthetic blends, but would always snuggle the beautiful poufs of wool I'd find (before putting them back and buying a yarn I could handle). Plus, you don't have to know much of anything to see that some wools are extremely expensive, while seemingly comparable others aren't. I needed to know more, so when I spotted Clara Parks' 'The Knitters Book of Wool', I was ecstatic. This was another example of where my husband just couldn't understand my excitement (I get the same way when I bring home my books about bee-keeping).

I tore through the tome and was well rewarded. While I still fall far from knowledgeable, I had a basic understanding of this wonderful fibre. In addition, about half of the (slightly daunting in size) book is patterns selected to best illustrate how each characteristic of the different wools can be put to best use, such as the wispy fine wools for lacy shawls and easily washed super soft wool for baby clothes. Anyhow, armed with this small piece of knowledge and a few patterns I wanted to try, I then waited for our vacation back east because not far from our home town of Fredericton lies the wonderful Briggs and Little Woolen Mill. Awesome; I know.

Also awesome was that a whole crew of us wanted to make the trip down to see it. Now sadly, the mill itself was closed for the season, but the store was open and that was good enough for me. Without getting into too much detail, it was wonderful. Even my cousin's 3 year old had fun.

I will admit a slight pang of disappointment though, not in the trip or the store of the bags of beautiful wool we bought, but simply in the in-opportunity to wield my new found knowledge. You see, the mill (it is a small town operation at heart) buys it wool as many do, in large bushels. This is fine, but it is normally a mixture of fibres from different sheep, losing any specific qualities that had been bread into the animal. Briggs and Little's quality and variance of selection comes from the milling process, not the wool.

My husband, son and I were travelling to PEI the following week and my aunt, unknowing of my unfulfilled woolly-dreams mentioned another mill she had stumbled upon there. And this brings us to the second half of our journey, the Belfast Mini Mills and Fibre Store (and tea room; which really is the best possible thing to pair with knitting). Hours out of our way, my generous, supporting husband happily (well, like, without too much begging) agreed that we could check it out. And to be honest, even he was glad that we did (what?!).

It was marvelous! Better than I imagined. We bumped down the long driveway, past fields and barns, around to a small dirt parking lot edged by fenced in herds of goats, llamas and alpacas. Down past the pretty little tea house was the store. Opening the door my eyes hardly had time to adjust from the sunshine before the lady behind the desk welcomed us to their little store. Seeing that it was our first visit, she called a girl from the back room (later we found it to be the loom room; more on that to follow) to give us a tour around the mill. I wasn't sure my husband and son would be interested, so I was shocked when he quickly told her we'd love to.

It started with the chickens. Bugaboo was most impressed, especially with the chickies tripping over one another, bustling around their mama. Then she introduced us to some alpaca and pointed out their llamas and goats as well (it may have been the other way around, I don't really know llamas from alpacas, although, they're both fun to say). Inside was a blur of machines and fibres whirring and spinning madly. A few workers were in among them, but it was hard to tell which machines they were working on and which were churning out the various stages of wool on their own.

And then, believe it or not, it got even better. The batch they were currently working on was a fibre called qivuit. Now, Ms Parks, in her book had called qiviut her favourite wool, hands down, and had mentioned though that it was pretty pricey, it was worth it. So obviously, I was madly curious about the fibre, especially because it's not from sheep, but rather muskox. Well, I won't go into too much detail other than we were able to see it in all steps of processing, and feel it at the various stages. It is famous for being eight times warmer than wool and still being softer than cashmere; it is.

We eventually made it back to the store, after stopping to meet a very friendly mama cow and calf. The store itself is divided into a front section where shelves of the most gorgeous and often time curious fibres lay in a rainbow of gentle to vibrant colours, all awaiting my perusal. Then there was the back room. Again, I'm restraining from going on too much, but it was set up with a series of looms so anyone interesting in weaving could come and work on projects there. It was just incredible.
Eventually we made our purchases (even Bugaboo and my husband found some treasures; a jar of honey from the bees they keep just out back of the store, and a felted wool ball) and made our way to the tea room passing yet another critter they make their yarns from.


(if you can't see the lable, it says '30% Golden Retriever')

So as a penultimate note to my eccentric new love of wool, I have mostly finished my sweater for luvingthemummyhood's Summer Sweater Knit Along, I just need to set it and sew in the ends. Also, I've been playing away with my beautiful wool. I'm in the middle of a baby sweater from the wool book, and have been knitting up a few quick projects just so I could feel it.

It's a wonderful new obsession of mine and it has leagues and leagues of room to grow and thing for me to learn, so I guess this is a little warning that there may be a lot of talk abut wool in the near future. Oh, and as a final note, I couldn't extend my turn with the wool book from the library because it was already being requested by other folks, but I didn't mind because I know next chance I get, I'm picking up a copy for myself (to read and re-read, because I'm insane).

Now, back to knitting!

Friday, July 22, 2011

garden jungle update

So while we were away on vacation, a friend of mine came over to water my garden for me. Assumably she also danced around it witch-doctor style or performed top secret botanical experiments because I left her to care for this:

And she somehow turned it into this:

By the way, this is not me complaining; it's fantastic! I've (as previously mentioned) never had a garden or even grown anything successfully ever! I to have a commendable track record for keeping cacti alive, and that's where it ends, but not this time. Just look!

Snow Peas!


Holy squash batman!

Even the watermelons that were dead when I left have come back to life!

And while the garden is a great joy for me, seeing it bursting out of it's little wooden confines, fussing in it in the cool morning while Bugaboo plays in the yard, showing him how the little plants grow; it's nothing compared to the joy and pride I get in feeding my little man yummy treats we grew together, picked fresh off the plant. It's absolutely wonderful!