Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The results

Now that I have finally given the blanket to it's recipient I can share it with you(I have another one to share but can't put it up yet.) I absolutly loved working on this blanket and was happy with how it turned out. I didn't want to give it away! This blanket it made from wool sweaters that have be felted(or fulled) in the wash. This binds up the wool and makes it thick, dense, and strong, but leaves the wool a nice texture. I used this book as a guide, Warm Fuzzies 30 Sweet Felted Projects
It was made from 4 sweaters, and I still have some pieces left for other projects. I just noticed that the green sweater pieces look brown here. They are actually a moss green.

Here is the full thing laid out. I didn't think to measure it, but it's bigger than a baby blanket but smaller than crib size I think. I made it longer than the book suggested. It will be able to be used for quite awhile.

I added a B to the pocket, that was the babies first initial, but I guess it could also stand for Baby. It's far from centered, I think next time I'll sketch the design that I want on first then felt on top of that instead of free handing.

I dry felted the B directly onto the wool using wool roving(carded but unspun wool). You use a special needle to poke at it until it blends with the wool backing and becomes firm. It was great fun, I see more dry felting in my future!

Close up of the leaf and little x embellishment I put on. I just sewed a simple x with embroidery thread. The backing is flannel which I found in my stash. I totally lucked out with that because I was so excited to get going all of a sudden I realized I didn't know what I was putting on the back and it was the night before the shower! I don't have much for flannel, or boy suitable fabric in general. I do think the pattern of the flannel works with this blanket though because it's all wintery, I think that suites a wool blanket perfectly!

On the weekend is my Niece's 1st birthday party, so today I am busy scheming up something I can make for her! And I am also starting on the girls Halloween costumes, an advent calendar, and various Christmas gifts! It's going to be a busy 3 months! OIY! ONLY 3 MONTHS! Smile! I love it!

Friday, September 26, 2008


I've been having trouble finding balance lately. It's not a new thing for me, I think it has something to do with not being very organized. I have days when I get tons done at home but feel I didn't spend enough quality time with the girls. And days when I spend tons of quality time with the girls and make sure we get outside time, and we all get enough creative time(which is as important for me as it is for them), but then my household duties get neglected and I get frustrated with myself. I'm sure there is a happy medium that will work for us I just can't seem to find it.
I know I am a person who thrives on routine, yet I rebel against structure. Or at least the idea of structured routine. I want my days to be fluid, to be able to embrace a sudden change of plan. But I know I need more routine than I have, and I really know that Payton does. She is a go go go-er, whose first question in the morning is "So what are we doing today?" And if I know, I answer and she'll respond with "how about after that?" or "what are we eating?". She really is a kid who thrives on routine.

I have been researching online what works for other families and trying to decide what I want to try with ours. I need some sort of menu plan, I'm always frustrated when it comes to deciding what to eat because I've waited until it's time to start to decide what to have. I'm also horribly bored with what we've been eating, which leaves me uninspired when it comes to cooking. So a menu plan, and shopping list is on the list.

Also I need a plan of attack when it comes to housework. Something easy to maintain. It's not important to me to have a spotless house all the time. I mean lets be realistic, I have 2 small children. If spotless was a priority then something else(like playing with my kids) would have to suffer. But I do like things neat with things in their "homes" when not in use. I've done a lot of decluttering and that has certainly helped. And I don't want to spend hours upon hours everyday on housework either. I've been trying to decide what would work as far as a basic housework schedule goes. Certain things on certain days? A general list with so many things to be done each day and I pick according to what I feel like doing? Setting aside a specific hour each day instead of just doing things when I decide to? Don't know, but there has to be something that is easy to maintain.

I need to work in time spent outdoors everyday, I've been feeling a little low the last few days and I really believe it's due to the grey rainy weather that we've been having. So I really need to grab some sunshine when I can, and if it's not sunny some fresh air at least. I always feel uplifted after soaking in some of God's great outdoors.

Other things that I know will make me feel more balance(whether I am or aren't lol) are getting enough rest and exercising. I've turned into a horrible night owl and need to concentrate on getting to bed before midnight on a regular basis. Early I don't think is realistic for me but I think in bed by 11 is reasonable.

Simple Mom has been very helpful for me, if you haven't checked out her site you should. She had a great series lately entitled How to be disorganized and unproductive at home, which I will be re-reading. I also downloaded her ebook, Spring Cleaning for normal people. Which looks great, I've printed it out and am going to give it a good read. I'm hoping to find some solid inspiration there.

So what works for everyone out there? What helps you keep balance in your lives? Cleaning schedules? Meal plans? Share any words of wisdom you have for me, as well as any websites/links you've found helpful. I think this will be a continuing topic for me until I get this figured out!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My helper

I was talking to a friend yesterday about how Payton likes to wash the floor, which reminded me I had taken pictures of the last time and thought I would share.

My Payton likes to help. And anyone with a 4 year old knows how much "help" they can be! But I really want to encourage helping and make her feel like she's making a contribution not that I'm going to re-do it after she's done. So when she wanted to help me wash the floor(one of her favorite things to help with, I think it's all about the bubbles) I help her get started, remind her that the carpet is not to get wet, and that the floor needs to be dry when done(she creates a bit of a flood), and let her go at it.

She and the floor get oh so wet(biting tongue).

But things do get washed.

Including toes.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Because I'm crazy

I decided sometime last week to make a blanket for a baby shower on Sun. Then I decided I would do it out of recycled wool sweaters, from Warm Fuzzies 30 Sweet Felted Projects Nothing like a last minute project that you've never tried before. So last night I decided which sweaters to use(didn't get before pictures, Darn!) and felted them up in the washer. So far today the pieces are cut and ready to sew. Now I need to feed my kids and get them in bed so I can sew. What do you think? Am I getting any sleep tonight? I'm not sure. Lol!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

This one is for Kay

Kaylyn just loves mushrooms. Just ask her!

I thought I would share a little something that has been making me smile. Isn't he cute? It's a tin I found at toys r us, filled with....yes....mushroom shaped candies. Payton thinks I brought it home for her. Not so. I claimed him first.

Thought he looked a little lonely.

Much better. He usually sits on my entertainment unit, surrounded by pine-cones, acorns, leaves, and whatever else takes our fancy.

Acorns are another thing I've become enamored with recently. Gotta love a nut that comes with a hat. So fun!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Today feels heavy. No big catastrophe, just a series of small things with a cherry on top. Just enough to throw me off balance and hit the floor. Thankfully I know that when I hit the floor not to jump and try to run again, it's a subtle reminder to spend some time down there, on my knees.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I've got a couple blog posts brewing but not ready so I thought I would share some pics of my favorite girls in the world. I just love the affection they have for each other already. Of course it's not always friendly around here, but I find that more often than not they are piling on the love for each other. One of the favorite games of late has been sitting in bins, different sizes and different activities but apparently there is something special about bins.

Friday, September 12, 2008


It's amazing how quickly we can lose sight of priorities. I'm going on a ladies retreat this weekend, and am so excited to get away for a couple days. Somehow I decided that I needed to get a bunch of things done today before I could go. I think because I knew I wasn't going to be able to do them this weekend. So as my daughter was asking to play a game with me I heard myself saying I couldn't that I was to busy. A little later I realized that I didn't want to wash my floors, vacuum, or empty the dishwasher, and that it didn't matter if they got done either. I wanted to play with my kid. And that's what I did. Some things are just to important to put off. Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Paytons First Day of Preschool(2nd year). Alternative title: I'm such a poser

This is what happened right after I said "Let's get some pictures of your first day!"

"How about a smile?"

Payton says "ROAR!"

After "Why don't you put your head down by your sister and I'll take a picture of you together."

Sam thought it was all very amusing.

After I asked if she was excited.

I would say that was a yes.

Pay's squishy smile that is seen commonly in pictures these days.

Sam's still amused.

The only shot that she's standing still in. After all that work to get her to stand still I like the others better, this just doesn't show her personality!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Who dresses that kid? Why Spider-Sam.

We spent some time outside enjoying the sunshine today.

There were chalk roads to build, with houses, forests, and a happy Sun. A ball house to play in, and babies to be cared for. Oh yes, and a very hungry horse family.

I've been learning a lot about my second born as she gets older. She's fiercely independent and so so stubborn for someone so small.

"Would you please stop calling me, I will look at you when I'm good and ready."

I love our little fenced courtyard. Sam on the other hand is not so fond of the fence.

"Somebody, please let me out. I'm cute. And I want to take my baby for a walk."

"Anybody?" Doesn't the diaper tu-tu bum just kill you? I love it. I must have taken 20 pictures of her back side today.

I must add of course that I did not do this to my child. She did it herself. Yes folks she's 18 months old and is already taking charge of her fashion. She brought me Pay's dance costume and was trying to get it over her head and was very pleased when I helped her get it on. Then was twirling in the living room(I think Rod got pics of that). Later she was helping me do laundry by taking everything out of the laundry basket and handing the odd thing to me. I thought she handed me the Spiderman jammy shirt to wash but she objected rather loudly until I helped her put it on. Then she was as pleased as punch. She added the binoculars at some point and spent the rest of the afternoon like that. Who am I to object? I think she looks fabulous!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A few books I've been enjoying

I'm a little grumpy today so instead of boring you with the details of PMS I thought I'd share some books I have really enjoyed lately.

The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections by Amanda Blake Soule. I actually first found her blog and loved it, then discovered she wrote a book and promptly went and ordered it. I ate it up. I just love how she incorporates creativity into her life, and stresses that not only do the kids need it but she does too. That really resonates with me right now as I've discovered that the creative process is really an integral part of me. If I ignore it or squish it down I am not content. Anyways I really am not doing it justice, I love this book and will refer to it time and time again. Check out her blog here.

Warm Fuzzies 30 Sweet Felted Projects by Betz White. This book has so many amazing projects that I'm itching to try. They all use wool sweaters which are then felted(or fulled) and sewn into something else. I just love that these projects recycle old objects into new ones. The problem I've been having is finding wool sweaters, I've scored a few at local thrift stores but I'm not finding the much for a variety of colours or kid type patterns. So my local friends and family if you find wool sweaters at a thrift store or garage sale(or in your own donation bag) scoop them up for me please! Betz White also has a blog you can check out here.

Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects by Sally Mavor. Payton and I can't wait to get started on making these cute little people. Payton has asked if we can start with the fairies. I just need the wooden balls for the heads. There are variations for the kids to make, and the instructions are very clear. This is going to be a fun rainy day project!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

That's one cute baby

Here is one of the things I was working on. A blanket for a new little one. I have to admit that I have to dig for boy suitable fabric in my stash. I have lots of girly prints, not so much for the boyish prints. I wonder why that would be lol!

I kept it really simple, I didn't have much time. It's just 2 layers, the 3 prints(4 stripes) on one side, and the fuzzy super soft dotted blue on the other. I want to give quilting a try, machine quilting not hand, but I want a walking foot for my machine before I attempt that. I'm thinking it won't be until after Christmas as I have so many other things on my list before that.

I just love the texture of the bumps. Little hands just love it.

And of course a couple pics of the blanket it action.

Isn't he a cutie?