Friday, November 23, 2012

radio silence, and a jar

Man, where have I been.  Parenting I guess.  It's been a busy busy time with two little ones about.  To be honest, a one year old and a three year old are a handful. However, we're still finding time to have fun (although, not so much time for crafts and mommy fun stuff).  I would like to post from the kids birthdays, and a few little knitting projects I have on the go, but today, what I am working on, is parenting.

We're at a point (with our three year old) where it seems that everything we say to him is either a threat or a bribe.  We can't just ask him to do anything, because he just won't listen if he doesn't have an incentive.  Whether it's something important, or something as simple as getting dressed.  Everyday, a battle.  The flip side to this is I just don't know which way to go with him.  I'm not opposed to changing my strategy.  I just don't know where to go.  He has grown into an extremely strong willed individual, so I never know whether I need to be more patient, or more strict.

In short, I've decided to try something different.  Not usually my style, but like I said, I'm willing to change.  Simply, we picked up a few packages of bingo chips and a jar.  Blue for good, and yellow for bad.  Every time he does something good, a blue one goes into the jar, and every time he misbehaves or doesn't listen, a yellow.  The idea is that we don't threaten with them, or bribe with them, they just happen.

"Time to get dressed bud," "No!" - Yellow.
"Please can I have some crackers?" "Sure thing, nice manners bud" - Blue

The point, is that when he then is asking for treats or to watch TV or something else special, we can look at the jar, and he knows that if there are more yellows than blues, the answer is going to be 'no'.

That's the general outline.  My other hope is that it will help us be more consistent, not having to always threaten things we don't really want to have to follow through with ("be good or we're going home" is the worst).  We've started this tonight (oh, and the jar gets emptied out in he evening, fresh start to every day) and hopefully it will last the week.

And on that note, I have a little hooligan to put to bed.  Night night.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

order up!

Check me out!  I've just got my knitpicks order in and am ready to go.  To be honest, I really just bought some nice fun cotton for dish cloths, but I've found some great patterns and am pumped!  Who knows, maybe these will even inspire me to actually do some dishes (ha ha ha).  Anyhow, here's what I'm working with.

Oooh, and because I can't just get dishcloth yarn, here's a project I have lined up for my little guy.

  If it turns out I've already got the yarn picked out to do one for our little girlie too.  What fun!  Now I just need to find some time...

Monday, June 11, 2012

time travel, oooooo!

While life continues to be crazy, I seem to have fallen off the creative-wagon.  However, never to be defeated, here I am today with not one but two cute little projects to show you.  How, might you ask, can this be?  Um, well, to be honest, these are things that I made quite a while ago but never got around to photographing.  Now that you know my secrets, may as well get along to the good stuff.

Firstly, I bring you a little piece I like to call my Peony Sweater Dress!

(in actuality, it's the sweater from the Sweetie-Pie Kit)

It was something I had my eye on ever since I first stumbled across it on Pickles website.  They do this fantastic thing where they offer one free version of their patterns, and it just so happened that this was available for a 6 month old, and I knew it was meant to be.

Ok, so while I was knitting it up and stumbling over the fisherman's rib, I was a little less certain, but eventually I opened my eyes and really read the pattern (for any interested parties, you have to alternate between knit one, knit one below and purl, knit one below when knitting it in a round, silly me) and BAM, there I had a lovely little sweater dress.

Man, that's one cute baby, eh?

Oh, and to take you even farther back in time, back to the days when I didn't even know if I was having a little baby girl or a little baby boy, behold, the Stripey Baby Lap Blanket!

Now, to anyone wanting to knit up a fast simple and well loved gift, I highly recommend one of these.  A lady at our church gave us one for Bugaboo when he was born, and it was the most useful thing.  The trick is, that it's the right size to cover a baby's lap when their in the car seat or stroller.  It may seem small, but you see, if it's any bigger and covers their hands, they pull it up over their face (or at least my little monsters do) or you have to fold it in half, which gets bulky.  Oh, or sometimes it dangles over the sides (this is again, if it's too big) and then gets caught in stroller wheels or car doors, or drags on the ground and gets dirty... really I think you can see my point here.

Project-wise it's a breeze.  I don't really remember the dimensions; I just kind of cast on enough stitches to make it look about right, and then garter stitched away until it was the size I wanted.  Couldn't be simpler.

Not bad eh?

Oh, and if you promise not to tell anyone on ravelry, the glow-bug is actually covering a tiny little hole where I dropped a stitch.  tsk tsk.

Alright then, now maybe I can get something new put together.   Maybe.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

experimentation with french cookies

So right now I have a bit of a love/hate feeling towards the current trendy-cookie, Parisian Macarons.  Firstly, I am not a big fan of trendy things to begin with.  Plus these border on the pretentious, being the latest trend for those of the snootier tastes in sweets.  And to top it all off, the name.  They are nothing like what most North Americans know to be macaroons, which probably came after their French counterpart, and once again, 'Parisian Macarons' just sound sooo pompous.

However, that's all surface stuff; a name and a reputation, and anyone who has been exposed to pretty much any type of children's programing knows that that's not the stuff to base opinions on.
Besides, you only have to look at the pretty little things to see what the fuss is all about.

They start as a plain almond meringue type cookie.  From there, they can take on just about any type of flavour or colour.  So I finally decided to see if they were really as special as everyone seems to think.  My local bakery does them in chocolate, which suits me just fine, and let me tell you, they are marvelous!  A crisp shell enveloping a soft centre wrapped around the icing, all layers of light chocolaty sweetness.  They are fabulous!  But man, do they ever come with a price tag.  Ok, so nothing break-the-bank-worthy, but $2.50 for a cookie makes me a feel a little guilty.

So, the natural progression for a crafty-schmafty such as myself: I can make some!  I had heard of the difficulties involved, how it's a delicate recipe with tricky little steps like not closing the oven door all the way when they cook, but I was willing to give it a try.  I found this recipe from Martha Stewart, and checked the reviews.  Some positive and some negative, I figured it was a safe place to start.  Most the ingredients are stuff I had around the house anyways, so it wasn't too far out of my comfort zone.

Well, to skip to the end, my results were twofold, which I'll explin later.

My batter worked well, but I made a mess when trying to pipe out the cookies.  Some comments complained that the recipe didn't allow the cookies to set long enough before baking, so I left them for a while longer to be on the safe side.  The recipe doesn't say where in the oven to cook them (it should be in the centre, if they're too close to either element they rise to fast and this cracks the shell).  When I took out the ones on the bottom that were cracking, I forgot to put the spoon back into the door to hold it open so I lost the little feet that were forming on the good ones.  And a few in the middle didn't quite cook through and wouldn't come off the sheet.  So yeah, they're pretty delicate.

Here'a what I got out of this: success, in a sense.  From a recipe that was for a dozen cookies, I had six turn out, which is not to bad all things considering.  The recipe took six egg whites (although it made way to much icing so some could be cut back there).  I didn't realize that the cracked macaron shells would just crumble (I figured I'd just use them anyway, but couldn't).  Plus, having to bake with the oven open means that the kids have to be elsewhere.  So with the cost of half a dozen eggs (with leftover yolks), a few hours of your time, finding someone to watch the kids, and all the wasted food, yes, you can make your own macarons, but $2.50 at the bakery is a better deal.  Besides, they don't really last well and even six macarons is a lot to eat in just a few days.

So, I will continue to love the little French cookies, and knowing me, yes, I will try to make them again, even in different flavors, but I certainly won't feel guilty about treating myself to a perfectly formed, just the right mix of crisp and soft, chocolaty, light and crumbly delight from the bakery.


PS: I avoided using any silly French phrases on purpose, and yes, it was hard.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

click click clicketty click

That, for the unknowing, is the sound of my knitting needle clicking away. It's taking an alarming amount of time and effort to ease back into creating things again. I blame tv.

However, despite the urge to do otherwise, I am finishing up a project that I had meant to give a friend at her baby shower last weekend (whoops). I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

...apologies and snuggles

where have I been?!
It's been nearly two months since I've last blogged. Man, time goes fast with two little kids. It seems like I've only just woken up and it's already time to be getting supper ready and then the kids are already going to bed. It's crazy times 'round these parts, I tells ya (Oh, and a brief disclaimer about the supper bit: my husbandito is the one who actually does most the cooking).
Well, I'll ease back into things. Ok, not that I exactly have a boat load of projects to unload, but I'll pace myself regardless.
Here's something that I'm especially proud of
Can you tell what it is?
Bits and pieces of it are rather disjointed,
but it's my quilt!
Well, actually it's the quilt I made for my baby daughter, but it's my very first quilt and I made it mostly by myself (under the expert supervision of my mother and with a good deal of assistance from her and my aunt).
*Blogger (or maybe just my compy; I don't know) is a little twitchy right now and I can't select so I can't make any fancy little links, like to Spoonflower, where I got most of the fabric, but I mentioned my quilt in my last post (here:, so check it out if you want any additional info. Also, sorry about the spacing between paragraphs. I can't seem to get that to work for me either right now.
It's getting a lot of use.
I hand quilted it, which was a lot easier than I expected. Anyone wanting to try it, I definitely recommend starting with a baby quilt (or a lap quilt for those without kidlets), because it's a reasonable challenge (believe me, because I'm prone to give up when I take on something that's too challenging). I also love the crazy colours and mix-matched patterns. They really suit my little girl; a little girly, but mostly bright, fun and energetic. Like I said, I am really proud of this project!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

ribbit and also choo-chooo

For those not in the know, the process of ripping out a knitting project is called "frogging" (because, you 'rip-it'...see where I'm going). This just goes to show that knitters are really as peculiar as they seem at first glance (present company included).

My point being that while I have a new baby and am on vacation and my creations are slow by any means to begin with, I'm also finding that I am having to go back a re-do a lot.

Firstly Baby's sweater dress, on take 3 and am trucking along well (finally). It will be fabulous.

Secondly, Baby's quilt. Well, while it's not called frogging when you rip a quilt, yeah it's in the same boat. I hodge-podge mashed a wild selection of prints together...wait, I'll start further back. I ordered a bunch of fabric off of Spoonflower. You can have too much of a good thing. With so many beautiful and wild fabrics to choose between, I eventually settled for just taking whatever I wanted instead of trying to co-ordinate it. Interestingly enough, A fair amount of the fabric worked, so I went down to fabricville and found a few pieces to tie it together. I'm using the Speedy Baby-2 from Quilt Taffy (which works really well with a handful of fat quarters). However, as I placed the last panels in place, I decided they were too much (too bright and crazy and colourful), so I've ripped them off and am putting in plain grey panels that match the little elephants instead.

Lastly, I realize that I've never properly shown off our train table. We finished it this summer. Every time anyone comes to the house Bugaboo takes them over to show it to them saying "My daddy maked me that". It's fabulous. We do have plans to expand and better paint the scenery and add a big red H for a heli-pad. I also want to state that the only things we paid full price for was the train 'Emily'. All the other trains were bought second hand from value village, or on sale, or were birthday gifts. The tracks were also found at value village ($5) except for the bridge which was also on sale. It's not fine art, but it's very fun.

(nice hat eh?)

Well, my little girl is hungry, so I'm off to do some mothering. :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

snuggly warm in 2012

the Pirate scarf is done!

Huzzah, how's that for staying on top of things in the New Year (well, I actually finished a day or two ago, but shhhhhh).

I'm onto a sweater-dress for my little girlie, so back to work for me!

Happy New Years!