Monthly Archives: February 2011

cabin fever…quite literally

We have been dreaming of our house in the country for some time now and it would seem that having your house for sale makes time go markedly slower.  Our real estate agent described the process perfectly in a word: unnerving.  The constant cleaning and waiting mixed with the February blahs is making us edgy to say the least.
We popped into view the house we have been fantasizing about for weeks now and were not disappointed by its character, history, and charm.  Not to mention its surprising functionality as a family home!
Some of our favourite things include the 3.5 acres and free use of the surrounding 75 wooded acres with 20 acre pond, the 134 year old log cabin section with redone floors and foundation, the berries and fruit trees planted on the property.  I also love that there is a site on the property upon which there were First Nations healing ceremonies preformed, three tame wolves were buried by a previous owner with a bison skull to protect them, and a trail called “Poppy’s Trail” on the adjoining acreage.
apron strings

I haven’t done this since little school!

::Poppy’s birthday treasures::
Sea Pottery from Rome, a chunk of amethyst + the Geode Dada couldn’t crack open despite his best efforts.

Her eyes lit up at the amethyst and sun-catcher
We made her birthday necklace together
I found a handmade wooden barn at the local thrift store for $8.00 which inspired the gift of all these detailed and realistic farm animals which she ADORES.

::My favourite thrifted Pyrex bowl + wooden spoon::
Sending positive energy out into the Universe.
go gently + be wonderful
e.
Posted in celebration, family, homesteading, life, our cabin | 8 Comments

thrifty joy

::  large vintage quilt  $2.00::
:: wooden bowls $1.49 each ::
I am a simple woman with simple pleasures.
I am also an inefficient sewer and an even less productive knitter so it thrills me when I find brand new or lightly used handmade items for a song at our local thrift shops.
No one seems to value these crafts anymore.
I have been searching for wooden bowls and utensils online for months now, but just couldn’t justify the price tag (not that the items aren’t worth it).  I was quite pleased to find these beautiful, made in Canada, wooden bowls for $1.49 each.  A perfect, toddler proof plastic alternative!
Oh, and this quilt.
I have been wanting a wonderfully worn patchwork quilt for years now.  One made out of practicality rather than beauty.  I couldn’t believe my luck when I stumbled upon this $2.00 beauty at the Salvation Army this morning.
It’s the small triumphs that make this girl happy.
go gently + be wonderful
e.

Posted in frugal living, life | 10 Comments

my bearded valentine

Sometimes, between the bathing and reading and playing and soothing we forget to make eye contact.  
We move like a well oiled machine most days.
Like the wheels on a train.
we’re connected;
in unison;
with the same destination;
yet parallel.
But sometimes, like when we’re dancing in the kitchen or sharing a joke, you catch my eye and 
my heart skips a beat.
You still make me weak in the knees.
Today I am remembering the crazy cute couple behind the crazy cute kids
and the small empire my bearded Valentine and I have built with 
good 
old fashioned
 love.
Just as is engraved on the wedding bands we never wear:
:: the spirit in me honours the spirit in you ::
e.
Posted in celebration, family, life, the anchor | 4 Comments

what i hope to remember…

Arr Captain

be still my heart.
looks like someone is telling a tall-tale

Poppy reading aloud to us while I tidy for another showing

a snack in the sun

I do believe that a bad case of cabin fever has hit the house of the bird + gnome.  
The days are long and we are running out of indoor activities to occupy our time.  
Our feet long to play in the warm green grass
plant treasures in the garden
feel the friendly sun on our shoulders
let the wind braid our hair.
But I don’t want to wish our time away so today I will record some of the little things that may be forgotten by the time the windows snap open and spring hops over the windowsill to shake us awake…
Poppy

She was slow to speak our language though fluent in her own, but in the last 2 or 3 months has been braver with her words and has made old words fun again.  Here are some of our favourites:
joots = juice
chico = silas
bitch = fish
belk = milk
chin-choo = thank you
gogo = yogurt
not to be confused with:
goga = yoga
mamatay = namaste
unch = lunch or bread
gock = clock
eeyoeeyoeeyo = eeyore
rat = rabbit
It would appear that she just realized she is, in fact, this Poppy person everyone keeps talking about.  She points to herself with raised eyebrows and exclaims “Poppy!”
She builds her blocks up to her chin and then wants Silas to knock them over.
She loves asking us to draw apples, honey, pooh, dada, mama, baby, apple, owl, banana, and kitty on her chalkboard or paper over and over again.
She has known the colours of the rainbow {and then some} for months now, but likes to say them now and happily names the colours around the house and on our clothes.
Many times per day she will run into the kitchen and point at the ipod exclaiming “ay” “ay” meaning she wants to dance.  And when she wants to dance it has to be Lady Gaga and it has to be loud {her favourite being telephone}.
She loves to watch Wheel of Fortune and yells out the letters with us and the contestants.  She repeats the alphabet and numbers 1 to 10, but her favourite letter appears to be “J”.
She loves to put a blanket over her head and wander around saying “where Poppy?”
She says “bye owl” when I close my baking cupboard where a ceramic owl holding the oats lives.
She knows her animals quite well but refuses to believe her rocking horse is anything other than a dow {cow} who says moo.
Silas
Silas is our happy sensitive boy who has been known to cry at sudden sneezes and funny sounds, but is getting more accustomed to the noises of this strange world.  I can’t decide if he is an old soul or a new one, but he is a gentle little man either way.  He bats his eyelashes and has a grin that melts hearts though he rarely smiles for the camera.
He is sitting up quite well now and topples over a little less everyday.
He has been waking 5 to 8 times every night since he was born 5 1/2 months ago and seems to wake more now than when he was brand new.  We introduced foods and he is willing, but not eager, to go for it like Poppy who took the spoon right out of my hand on her first try.
He adores everyone in his little family, and is quite taken with his firecracker sister who smooshes and squats him and gives lots of hugs and kisses {when not rifling a book or other hard object at his head.  Oy.}
The days are long, but thank God for that.
her first family portrait {minus herself} which I labelled with her direction
go gently + be wonderful
e.
Posted in family, life | 3 Comments

a room of my own

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All this crafty sewing joy has made my mind wander and dream about a craft room of my very own.  A functional pretty place with a door.

My current set up is lame.  I was inspired to make our back room off the kitchen into a functional work space after seeing a picture of Soule Mama’s bright turquoise walls.  I loved the colour so much I went out and matched it to the photo in the magazine.  It didn’t quite translate as well in my little room.

That was about two years ago and it remains uninspired and lacking that come hither vibe.  The floor is cold and the light is never right.  As it stands, whenever I want to make something I find myself digging out supplies from random drawers and cupboards around the house and carting the sewing machine et al to the kitchen table.  I quickly spread out {as is necessary for proper creative juices to flow} and either have to finish my project before we make and eat a meal, order takeout, or put it all back in its nooks and crannies from which it came.  So, you see, I am often thoroughly frustrated by the time I have everything gathered and am always missing my seam ripper and left wondering where I may have stashed that pattern or pretty vintage piece of fabric I was hoping to use.

I may have mentioned before that our house is for sale and though I am inspired today to take one last stab at making that space calm, warm and functional it seems like it may be a waste of time.  I suppose it could help with the appeal to sell the house, but it does sound like a large amount of work when we are hoping to move sooner rather than later.  I would also rather put time and money into our next house than this one…unless it makes this house sell faster.  On the other hand I have an unused can of the same verdigris blue I used on the living room walls.  I have always wanted to paint the nasty plywood floor in the adjoining laundry room white and the walls a soft blue so it didn’t feel like punishment going in there.

Oh my.  Now I am dreaming about laundry rooms.

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Here are a few photos I just snapped of the craft room and laundry area.  In case you’re wondering we don’t leave mountains of dirty clothes on the floor {for the last showing I crammed it all into the dryer and washing machine}, and I hung white curtains to divide the two rooms.

Poppy admiring her handy work.
This is the view from the kitchen into the craft room.

::Behind curtain number one::
Eep.

::Behind curtain number two::

What would you do?

P.S. We just got a call with feedback from our very first showing yesterday and it was all good news with the exception that they are hoping to have a basement {no amount of paint will change that there is no basement}.  So that is a great start!

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

little boys + bow ties

More adventures in simple sewing brought me to this retro bow tie pattern for little boys.  It was the simplest thing to cut, sew and put together, but I found you do have to hold your mouth just right when tying it up.  But after a few choice words and about 13 attempts I did finally get it just right.  

Now anyone who knows me, knows I am a firm believer in the bow tie revolution (as well as the tutu revolution, but that is another story for another day).  In order to do my part in supporting said revolution I will happily be selling these sweet things in my etsy shop in two sizes.

Posted in craft, recipes, tutorials + DIY | 7 Comments

gretta grundle

I would like you to meet Gretta Grundle.  Over the recent holidays I became a little braver in my sewing adventures after a fairly successful venture into some simple quilts for the bird + gnome this Christmas (more on that project later) .  As I mentioned before, I would like to re-open my little Etsy shop someday soon and am hoping to carry some more unique handmade items.  I found the pattern in this shop.    Other items I am looking at are fabric shoes and slippers, the prayer pillow, and some other items still in the design process.
As soon as Poppy saw the finished Grundle she exclaimed “rat!” (which is rabbit in Poppy speak) and ran off with her happily. Silas is quite taken with her floppy arms, legs and ears which are perfect for chubby baby hands to grasp and pull and all the better for chewing.
It would appear that something has indeed broken open inside of me.  The fog is lifting and I feel a creative fire warming me from the inside out.  I am still a newbie sewer and am often painstakingly slow as I work through a pattern and learn the inner workings of my new sewing machine, but I press forward.

I suddenly feel as though I have so much to say and share with you again.  Recipes,  photos, projects, choices and thoughts.  The transition to two has been tough, but I feel my feet planted firmly beneath me again.  Now to find my stride.  There will always be transitions to navigate as a wife and mama, but at the end of every day I feel as though I have learned something more about the gentle warrior within.
A woman’s power lies in her gentleness.
We are all warriors in our own right.
So that is Gretta Grundle and the lesson I learned in the process of making her.
go gently + be wonderful
e.
Posted in craft, photography + writing, recipes, tutorials + DIY | 14 Comments

a marshmallow day

The house groans and yawns under the weight of thick snow and I am happy to have my little family together safe under one roof. I dream of warm spring days and wonder if we will be in our dream house by then, but for now I am content and happy in this little house in which we began our journey into a family. The home that has held us safe and warm for four and a half years. She is friendly and familiar though flawed.

Yes, I wander into thereness but surrender to today’s hereness. Today the snow is glorious and winter is welcome to stay for just a little while longer.

pancakes
sewing (just a glimpse today, but full details tomorrow)
peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
letters of of gratitude
toys in the water dish
mismatched socks
a sleeping gnome
bouncy bird
yummy fabric
lentil soup
plaid jammie pants
the waltons

a good day in the house of the bird and gnome indeed.

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Posted in celebration, family, life, our cabin | 5 Comments

she carried them in her basket…

 

 Many years ago I was in a little store with my aunt when I came upon a little yellow tin that once held Erinmore Tobacco flakes.  It was a little bit rusty, a little bit scratched and perfect in every way.  As I tried to figure out a use for my found treasure, my aunt exclaimed that it should be my “God Box” and then happily explained its purpose to me.  It was simple; write your prayers on a piece of paper, fold it with love, place it in your pillowcase and let go + let god.
I am not what you would call a religious person, but I do believe in the power of prayer and this little tin has remained a meaningful part of my life.  It comes and goes and I will go months without knowing its whereabouts until I find it nestled between the wall and mattress, dust-covered, but still holding my last note of importance. Over the years, I have filled it with feathers and perfume oil; prayers and fears; letters and wishes and I have never been able to deny the sense of peace that washes over me once I surrender my folded notes to its rusted interior.
Now the only issue with having a tin in one’s pillowcase is, well, having a tin in one’s pillowcase.  So I came up with a softer solution which may just be to pretty to be stuffed into a pillowcase and may even earn a place of honour on a nightstand or dresser.
Lavender filled prayer pillows will be available in my soon to be re-opened etsy shop because everyone should have one of these pretties.
go gently + be wonderful
e.
Posted in craft, photography + writing, recipes, tutorials + DIY | 8 Comments