Friday, February 27, 2015


Bug taggie toy

Finished the bug/bird taggie toy this week.

Made of scraps except for the ribbon, which I bought at Len's Mills. Embroidered the eyes and along the edges of the wings. Good practice but I wish I were better at it. Used a cereal bag in the wings to make it crinkle.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Balancing our house

balance by Sara Lando

When we first moved into our house, I started to get the feeling that I would slide out of it, right into the river. Not because of any issues with its construction, but because we spent so much of our time in the back half of the house. I felt like my energy was directed out over our upper backyard, down the hill tumbling 20 feet down to a lower back yard, where the dirt path through the Ponderosa gates slopes down to the Nith.

But the moment I had put our daughter to bed in her own room for the first time, the energy in the house shifted. I felt like we occupied it in a new way. A room in the front of the house was used. It was as though all 15 pounds of her anchored the north east corner of the building down. I shut the door to her room suddenly aware that she would live in it for years to come.

I felt newly aware of the front of our house. The cars passing on the street. The untended section of garden underneath her window. The snake that I saw slip into a crack between the bricks. And with this new feeling comes the knowledge that her growing energy will contribute to the balance of this house.

Pumpkin scones

Made these pumpkin scones today. I had a can of pumpkin open after attempting to make the pumpkin nut muffins they used to make at the Cocoa Bean, and wanted to try a different pumpkin recipe. I didn't double-glaze these as the recipe suggests. Just one glaze is enough. I grew up on plain scones with raisins in them. One glaze already feels like I'm cheating.
I am trying to figure out whether I should grow pie pumpkins this year; I grew regular pumpkins with some success in one particular bed and would like to switch them out for something more practical. So I am experimenting with baked goods just to see how practical I can make pie pumpkins.
I have eaten more of these than is healthy for one day.

Monday, February 23, 2015

WIP - bug crinkle taggie toy

In the crafting and knitting world, WIP refers to a work-in-progress, or a stalled project. Finishing things has never been my strong suit. I have many works-in-progress. I also have a high level of comfort with wearing and using half-finished items.

This is why my baby plays with a partially finished taggie thing.

After seeing her grasping at the short tags on some of her toys, I decided to make a taggie blanket. After looking at pics online for inspiration (so many cute ones, but this cloud and this circle made me smile) , I decided to make a much cooler taggie toy. But I wanted crinkle in it too, so I decided adding wings would be good. I think it was at this point that the project got bigger than a one-hour Saturday night sewing.

Everything is properly secured, but I only managed to sew on one wing, and no face, before I got sick of it. So instead of a character, the toy is really just a thing. Goal this week? To finish the toy.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Reading ABC

In January of 2014 I started reading alphabetically. I chose titles by the author's last name, proceeding through the alphabet one letter at a time. I had a goal in mind: instead of buying a membership card at the much larger library in Brantford, I would try to methodically go through the collection at my local branch. They had more books than I could ever want to read, but I found myself walking around and around through the stacks, unable to find a good title.

my bookshelfI have a lot of unread books on my own shelves as well. I figured this approach would have the additional bonus of giving some focus to tackling my own library.

I'll skip to the ending: I didn't make it through the alphabet. I contend that I was doing fairly well until I got to a non-fiction "P," even though it was late in the year and I had already skipped J and K (Joyce when I was 9 months pregnant? I don't think so). However, I enjoyed the process. And choosing books so intentionally allowed me to notice threads and themes that carried from one book to the next.

My plan is to try and put some reviews up on Bibliocommons, the library catalogue that the Brantford Public Library uses. However, here was my reading list for 2014.

Adams, Richard. Watership Down
Boyden, Joseph. Through black spruce
Coupland, Douglas. Worst. Person. Ever.
DeBerniers, Louis. Birds without wings
Eco, Umberto. In the name of the rose
Franco, James. Actors Anonymous *
Gross, Lauren. The monsters of Templeton
Hay, Elizabeth. Late nights on air
Izanni, Frances. Deafening
Larsson, Steig. The girl with the dragon tattoo
Murakami, Haruki. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage.
Niffenegger, Audrey. The time traveler`s wife
Ozeki, Ruth. A tale for the time being

While my plan is to put some reviews up on Bibliocommons, I must mention here that Actors Anonymous was horrible. I`m embarrassed that it appears on this list. When I was heading to the library my husband joked that "maybe James Franco has written a book," so when I saw he had I couldn't resist. While I don`t like to endorse books without some sort of reader engagement, I feel comfortable recommending quite blindly that people NOT read this book.