Friday, 25 December 2015

Running out of time....and Merry Merry!

So there's a week left in this year... it looks like #15in2015 is in jeopardy. That being said, I'm going to make a valiant try over the next week. We'll see what happens. 

In the mean time, I have #8, 9, and 10 to report. Yes, I'm being quite lax in my definition of a fibre project but at this point, one has to be a little forgiving. 

So first #8 which is a second Viking's a pic of both of them on their recipients. They actually wore them for quite a while!

And I'm going to cheat big time on these next items. I'm taking credit for two of them, the third was made by Smidgie. Not that much work, but technically still fibre. Fun, anyway. They will be gifted to family tomorrow. 

So 5 projects to go in a week. Obviously unlikely. But I think I have at least one that hasn't yet been reported, but is actually finito! And there's one that I do think is feasible to finish in a week. Considering the year it's been, I'm okay with admitting imperfection on the goal. 

And with that I will wish you all a Merry Christmas! I hope you have some time to enjoy some fibre fun in your time off. All the best. :)

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

#7...did you doubt me?

I can't blame you if you doubted whether you would see another item completed in 2015. It's been rather a busy year, to say the least. 

But I've at least made it to #7. And I can say that #8 is in the works. Another piece is underway but I know that it won't be done in 2015, so I won't even count it as #9 because that would be reckless. 

Without further adieu, I introduce you to the Viking Hat*. Rather a random item, one might say. On Rocketman's side of the family there are mild jokes about Viking roots, so I thought a couple of these for the toddlers in the family might be kind of fun. 

So this one is done...and you guessed it, #8 is another Viking Hat. You're very swift, putting two and two together like that. 

Not the greatest photos because I'm never home in daylight, and really it seems there's really been no daylight for weeks. I guess there is, but with the fog and grey skies it seems otherwise. So, sorry you get dull photos, but hopefully they give you the general idea. :) Fun, yes?

*Pattern purchased from Mamachee on Etsy. 

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Multiple Passions

Long time no chat. So sorry about that. I have something interesting to share with you today. I have had an "aha" moment in the last short while and I feel that I have found my people! Truly, though that may sound weird and cliché. 

As you may have done from time to time, I was stumbling around the internet from one thing to another, which I mention to say that I'm not sure how I got to each of these but wow, I'm so glad that I found each and every one of them. 

Essentially what I've found is advocacy for having more than one passion and more than one focus in life. There are other people like me! I've always felt that I was the only one, or one of few, that had so many interests that I didn't know what to focus on. And I always felt like such a failure for it. 

Aha! I'm a Multipotentialite. Or so says Emilie Wapnick. Her TEDTalk started me down the road to this epiphany.

Then I read Mark Manson's post entitled "Screw Your Passion" which is a bit of a different message, but also resonated loud and clear. Yes! 

Watching a webinar from the When I Grow Up Coach, Michelle Ward, I found out about Elizabeth Gilbert's SuperSoul Session and well, wow. 

So suffice it to say, you don't need to read or watch any of this if you've always had that one true passion in life that has steered you from day one and is still the focus of your life today. 

But if you're like me, with so many interests, hobbies, and careers that have made up your life and you've always wondered why, then these resources will resonate loud and clear. 

And now I know why I never have time to blog. ;)

Chat soon. 

Thursday, 5 November 2015

43,632 signs

Do you ever find yourself hesitating to make a big life decision (we’re talking monumental here, truly life-changing), waiting for that one sign that brings a much needed “aha” moment? You know the one, with fireworks and a choir singing and the greatest mental clarity at the same time that the voices in your head are saying “yes, do it!”? No, I didn’t think so. That never happens, though don’t many of us hold out hope that we’ll have such a moment of clarity?

What about thinking of family members that have passed sending messages from above? Have you listened hard enough to hear them? Would they really send that message you’re thinking of?

Just one more sign…despite the daily “aha” moments we’ve already had. No, that’s not quite enough, I need to sit on the fence just a little bit longer. If I could just have one more undeniable sign….. If dad could look down and make the cat nod his head to tell me that I should go ahead….. "Why won’t someone just tell me what to do with my life, I’d do it for them!", you lament.

The stripped-down, back-to-basics truth is that we all have to make our own decisions. We can get all the advice in the world, but ultimately it comes down to each one us making that all important call on what to do. 

So what are you hung up on today? 

Thursday, 29 October 2015

I wanna be a cave woman

Sometimes it seems like life would be simpler if we went back to the cave-dwelling days. Do you know what I mean? Sure, they had real concerns like where the next meal was coming from and whether that mastodon* was going to plow them down, but at the same time there were far fewer concerns to bog down the brain. Don’t believe me? Consider this.

Cave women did not have to worry about:
  1. Commuter traffic;
  2. Cellulite, wrinkles and general droopiness of various parts;
  3. Facing the mirror each morning;
  4. The inevitable splash on the backside after pooping in a toilet;
  5. Pumping her own gas in -30C with gale force winds;
  6. Dusting and vacuuming;
  7. Wonky wheels on a grocery cart; 
  8. After school activities ( school. Hence no "after school"); 
  9. climbing the corporate ladder;
  10. keeping up with fashion trends, or attempting to do so;
  11. and so much more. I know you can think of a few, yes?

So here's to cave women....maybe I'll come back as one next time around. ;) 

*No, I don’t specifically know if the time mastodons spent on earth correlated with the time of cave people. I don’t have time for that level of research. But they did live in North America and became extinct due to pressure from human hunting. 


I have consistently been running into (not literally, obviously) articles, songs, videos, podcasts, books and more that seem to have the same message: live your life to the fullest, make sure you are passionate about what you're doing and not letting the precious days of this short time on earth slip away. 

All that culminates in me taking a good, long look at where I am in life. I have a big birthday coming in 2016, one that gives one pause. What am I doing? How am I living? What do I want to do with my remaining years (please, make them decades)? So on top of everything else on my plate these days, I've been asking myself the difficult questions and being honest with myself (ouch!). 

Is this an excuse? Dang right it is! Nothing creative has been able to make its way into my life. I'm holding out hope that it will change soon. 

In the mean time, my "room to create" has been overrun by a certain 9-year-old that's bound and determined to develop the best possible diorama of Aztec life. Given that the project is due in a few days, I hope to re-gain entry and order in my room soon. 

Have you seen the work of Max Wanger? Or how about Yacmii


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

It just goes to show....

Apologies for my absence. Life, she's been a wee bit busy, shall we say. And it ain't over yet. Not life, thankfully, but also not the busyness. 

So I thought I'd just zoom in here to share a few neat things for you to enjoy. 

Love this artist and her media, Lindsay Madden. Go through her Galleries and see her work. Brilliant, that's all I can say. 

Feeling Stitchy: a site for anyone that loves surface embroidery. An interesting array of work is featured. Definitely a fun place to poke around. 

Million Little Stitches: another blog full of stitching. 

And if you happen to not yet know Monika Kinner-Whalen of My Sweet Prairie, then feed your eyes and soul with her work. Also, don't forget to read her blog. 

That's it for me for today. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Next Up

#7 and #8in2015 have come to completion! Insert happy dance emoticon here (I'm assuming there is such a thing, there seems to be an emoticon for everything). The long awaited second baby quilt is complete. And in case you might think I'd be cheating by showing you the same quilt (after all, they are very similar), I've included pictures of both baby quilts together, just to be clear. 

And since one of the babies has a big brother that's still wee himself, I made him a Big Boy quilt to take to kindergarten this fall for quiet time. I made one similar to this for my daughter five years ago (gulp, where did that time go?) when I wanted her to have something all her own to enjoy at school. After all, some of the kindies have a bit of a nap and I would like to think there's something between their wee heads and the school floor. Pushing away gross images from my mind as I speak.

So here you have them, #7 and #8 completed in the same weekend. Ta-da!   

Thursday, 13 August 2015

To Be

There’s an overwhelming need to ‘be’ in our society today. Guilty as charged. I’m trying to figure out how this has happened to me, and to so many of us. It’s not that I want to be famous or rich or particularly notorious for any reason, but of course there are others preoccupied with all of those. For some it’s a need to be somebody, to be known or to be seen. For me, it’s a need to feel like I matter, and that my time here on earth means something.

Being on the shy side as a kid, I’ve since come out my shell somewhat as an adult but am still definitely on the introvert side of the scale. Though in the perfect circumstances I can certainly be more extroverted, I find that I tend to go through life unnoticed. Never the life of the party, I’m the one whose presence isn’t really spotted one way or another. I read somewhere that we need to learn to embrace being ‘small’. Leave others to be grandiose and hold on to all that makes your life small, allowing you to breathe in and absorb all that is good.

I wonder if it’s because in this modern era we have so much, that we want more. Or because we’re not preoccupied with having to hunt or grow every meal, fend off foes and keep our families from becoming prey, that we have time to focus on ‘me, myself and I’ perhaps to a point of ridiculousness. So many have gone before us with essentially unrecognized lives and are remembered only as names on a long forgotten family tree.

Soul-searching is an almost constant occupation for me these days. But I like this new thought of staying ‘small’ and keeping my life ‘small’ and manageable. Focusing on what truly matters will in the end lead to the truest, most fulfilling life.

Perhaps as Shakespeare said, we are all contemplating the question whether “to be or not to be”, and it just depends on what kind of being we want to be. 

Thursday, 30 July 2015


This week I’m especially thankful for air conditioning. I know that sounds spoiled and shallow, but with a three-day migraine (Sunday to Tuesday), it was really tough to tolerate the heat outside.

That being said, I’m thankful for the sunshine and the incredible rate at which our garden is growing. We’ve enjoyed salads every night for weeks with our garden providing herbs, lettuce, spinach, carrots and tomatoes so far.

I’m thankful for plenty of water during these hot days and realize how privileged we are to have it easily at hand without having to worry where the next drink will come from.

I’m thankful for the incredible bloggers that I follow and the creative inspiration I find online. However, signing up for two online courses this week was probably overextending myself considering what I already have on my plate. But these are creative courses, so they’ll feed my spirit and that’s important.

I’m thankful for the trails, gorges, rivers, lakes, ocean and mountains that have been a part of our July. What an amazing country, both near to home and far away.

And finally, I’m thankful for my small little family and the simple pleasures we’ve had together recently. Camping, cycling, hiking, exploring…..we do love our time together. 

Do have yourself a fantastic mid-summer weekend!

Monday, 27 July 2015


When we take time to relax and get away, we find sources of inspiration everywhere. My recent vacation to the East Coast is a good example. Also inspired by Karen's post of Marzipan Road, I thought I would share some of those inspiring shots with you today. 

And moments like this made all the planning and all the driving worthwhile. The pure joy of a kid enjoying the ocean. aaaahhh. 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015


So what was previously project # 6 has been demoted, and this now becomes #6. Confused yet? I certainly am. 

I decided that I wanted a lighter look to my kitchen window treatment for summertime...perhaps for more than just summer time. And I also had a cotton print that I thought would be ideal. Fits with my unfounded love for roosters. I've had this fabric for quite some time, saving it as fabric hoarders do. No, actually, that's not fair. I'm not a fabric hoarder. I've seen what some people keep and I don't hold a candle to them. 

On with the show...... Exhibit A; previously purchased valance being used for kitchen window. 

Exhibit B: available fabric with aforementioned roosters. 

The process. I've made many a very simple curtain before, so I used rudimentary skills and design to whip something up. 

And apparently all the "in progress" photos are here is the final product. Difficult to see the colours, but you can see that more light is let in without actually blinding the dishwasher with the setting sun in the summer months. 


Monday, 20 July 2015


My mom always knit the same baby sweater for anyone she knew that was having a baby. If she didn't even know you but knew of you, you got one (like people that worked with my dad, or someone in the community). If you were a close family relative, you got four! All the same sweater, but in different colours. She even usually kept a few neutral coloured sweaters on hand to have at the ready, just in case. She knit this same pattern for babies for decades. It was a simple cozy sweater that could take a lot of wear. People seemed to love them. 

The irony? By the time I had my own baby, she had quit knitting and my own child never had the pleasure of wearing a sweater knit by granny. I still have the pattern she used to use, but haven't made one myself. Someday.....

I have my own tradition, started many years back now. If I know you and you're having a get an I Spy quilt. Smidgie was given one by a couple of quilting friends, and she still sleeps with it regularly. 

So, I present to you #5in2015 fibre projects..... an I Spy quilt for a classmate of mine expecting in October. Yes, it's shocking, I've completed it with much time to spare. That's because there are two more in the pipeline required for September. Logic seems backwards, I assure you it's not. 

Behold, the I Spy for Baby I. 

Can' wait until you arrive, Baby I! 

Thursday, 16 July 2015


The Rocketman, Smidge and I were away recently....this is my summary. 

4,857 kilometres driven;
11 days; 
3 provinces and 1 state; 
2 islands and 1 peninsula; 
8 whales, a handful of porpoises, a couple dozen seals, and too many lobsters, crabs and mussels to count; 
beach after beach after beach; 
3 different boats and 4 boat trips; 
2 amazing travelling buddies; 
1 fantastically beautiful country!!

I should add that Rocketman is now known as Slingshot for the way he drove the switchbacks on mountains in Québec. Suffice it to say that I made sure to do at least half of the driving. ;)

And one more figure....780 photos! 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015


It seems that lately, life is about re-connecting to those we haven't been in touch with of late. There is a group of women that I consider friends, none of whom I've ever met. We are all quilters that met online. That sounds like a very normal story, but we recently realized that we've been chatting, sharing pictures, helping each other out through quilt-related and life problems for about 20 years. Yikes! We hail from all different areas of Canada and our group has changed over the years with members coming and going, but there's a core of us that have remained the same. It's nice to know there are "strangers" out there that share your interests and really do care about you, despite never having met you face-to-face (a caveat, a couple of the ladies have met each other). 

There have been other re-connections. Within the family, June is a time of graduation and celebration, of freedom for kids and thoughts of the future. It's a time we all probably step back and say "ah, how is life going?". So I hope the answer you give yourself is "grand, life is indeed grand"! 

With that said, I feel that I have now re-connected with you as well. Here's to the summer of 2015 - may it be enjoyed, soaked up and glorious. Let's not rush it, but rather relish it as we sloooooooowly make our way through this experience we call "life". 

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Checking in on #15in2015

Well it's been a long while since I even whispered #15in2015, and longer still since I actually made progress - ha! With the current schedule and responsibilities, there has been zero, zilch, nada time for those activities that I most love. Weird how that goes, isn't it? 

Firstly, I have done the ever so difficult and daunting task of pulling whipping yarn out for the mermaids. Yep, it was taxing but I got through it. And here they sit, with their yarn......hhhhmmmm, I wonder how long this will take. I got them out because I had a moment of guilt when in the Smidge's bathroom the other day and realized she has art for her walls, it's just not ready to hang. #MomGuilt

And the progress on project #4. At least I believe it's project #4. Here's a sneak peek, intentionally hiding the full rug, because there's gotta be something to reveal at the end, right? In my defense, this is a fairly large rug and I'm not all that enthused. At one point, I didn't pull a single loop in a six week period. So it's taking a while.

So because there's not really enough to do (ahem), I've started working on two, not one, I-Spy quilts for classmates that are expecting babies in the fall (these then are officially fibre projects #5 and 6). Can't have a baby entering the scene without an I-Spy quilt to get them started in this life. The squares are all cut and I've started laying them out (this is not the final pattern shown below). Sewing, sandwiching, quilting, binding to go x 2. Ha! Due date: late September (not the babies' due date, but when I'll be seeing the moms to deliver the quilts). No problem (insert nervous laughter here). 

Now don't be expecting an update for a while, because that would mean that I'm badly procrastinating on schoolwork which would be highly irresponsible of me, right? And yes, since you insist that I admit it, #15in2015 is looking dicey. 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Go-To Recipes

I really enjoy cooking for my family, friends or a crowd, and I love to bake! I have a bazillion (true, I counted) recipes that are printed or ear-marked to try. I'm proud of myself because I now throw out any recipe that's less than fantastic. Life's too short to keep so-so recipes on hand. 

In the spirit of sharing, I thought I would share a few with you that are now what I consider go-to recipes. Those that have served me well and pleased many palates. 

If you've had a meal at my house in the summertime, you've probably had Spicy Chicken Taco Salad. This is a fun, and incredibly delicious summer meal. Jeanine Friesen has her own successful blog ( and is a cookbook author, but this meal she posted when guest-blogging. Head on over and be sure to try it out.  

Some time ago, the Smidge and I stumbled on this amazing recipe for chocolate chip cookies and have never looked back. There's a small difference in the recipe that distinguishes it from others - the preparation of the baking soda in hot water. It makes a big difference with the cookies, and one that we love! Try out these Best Chocolate Chip Cookies - makes a big batch of yumminess! 

You'll think I like chocolate, and I can not lie. I was looking for a chocolate chip muffin recipe to make for a neighbour, and because I've never made that flavour before I needed a recipe. Sally's recipe is incredibly well explained which I found very educational. The muffins were as promised. If I had to criticize them I'd perhaps say there's too much chocolate - I know, a big problem to have! One note: I know my oven is hot but these muffins were done more than 8 minutes faster than they were supposed to be, so keep a close eye. Otherwise, a gold star for Sally's Baking Addiction Chocolate Chip Muffins

Finally, you may very well have heard of no-knead bread already, but I can attest to the ease of making this bread. If you're needing (not kneading) homemade bread, and haven't tried the recipe, do so. 

That's it for today, but I'll most likely have more to share in the future! 

Enjoy. :)

Friday, 15 May 2015

To Blog or Not to Blog

Aaaah, that is the question. I'm feeling rather Shakespearean of late, not because I've read any or even seen a Shakespeare play, but simply because I was in Stratford last week. Influences of Shakespeare everywhere, including the town named for him. I think I'm holding on to the memory because it was the most perfect of days. A mom-daughter day with perfect weather and a fantastic experience seeing The Sound of Music at the Festival Theatre. If you can go, and you're a SOTM fan, you simply must go. It was incredibly. Kudos to all involved on a job very well done. 

Really got off topic there, my apologies. 

Though I haven't had two seconds to rub together, I haven't forgotten about my dear blog. What to say, what to tell you. So little to share when I'm up to my eyeballs in school work. It seems blogging is everywhere these days, so one is acutely aware of how much blogs have become a part of our culture. Even my daughter's musical at school last night, which was about summer camp, was centered on a character who was writing a blog about the experience. It's hard to believe the word traces its roots back to "web log" coined less than 20 years ago. Now, for some of us, blogs are a regular, (almost) daily part of life. 

There are many blogs that I read regularly, that I really miss if I'm not caught up on. One thing that's not fun about summer is that many bloggers wane with their postings in the summer months. Makes for some boredom. 

You may ask how I have time to read blogs. You're right, technically I don't, and shouldn't. But with the ease of reading them, and how quickly one can zip through a post, it seems like not much of a drain of time. 

So, alas, I leave you with not much to report. I have may a teensy bit of headway on my current hooking project, but with so little time to hook, I am apparently left with nothing to blog about but blogging itself.....

Ain't that a corker!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Random Thoughts

I hate to be (not really) a typical Canadian, but the weather is really getting to me lately. Hail, sleet, snow, and ice – we’ve seen it all in the last day or two. Not the end of the world, but we’d certainly like to see some sustained sunlight and warmth.

I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I have hooked a total of one strip into my rug in the last six weeks. This school thing is really taking up a lot of time, which of course it should. And it’s worth it. Truly. But boy oh boy does the relaxation time go flying out the window.  So with that said, you know why I have nothing to show you.

I’ve also been busy cleaning up the town with wee Brownies and such. Still working on some other projects as well. Booking summer camps and summer holidays. Celebrating extended family birthdays and accomplishments. Helping the in-laws move next week. So much going on in this life, which is all great.

Hoping that wherever you are, there’s evidence of spring peeking its face around the corner.  We planted a wee little lilac tree that will have glorious blooms one day – looking forward to that. If there are any this year, I’ll be sure to share. Meanwhile, the magnolia is still curled up tight. 

Friday, 10 April 2015

Tickling the Ivories

When I was about 5 years old, I joined the rest of my family (except mom) in taking piano lessons and practicing daily. Being the youngest, I was itchin' to start of course, to be like my big sisters. I don't know how long it took, but probably about a half-year in I was not enjoying myself. But in my day, it was forced upon us. Thou shalt play the piano and take lessons until you complete your grade 8 Royal Conservatory of Music exam. And so, I did. 

Over the years since, I've barely played at all because I'm not naturally talented. My dad was. He could play anything anyone requested, if they could sing him the tune to get him started. Or he could play anything he'd ever learned by heart and with flourish. He would segue from one piece to another with his own invented little bits. He was incredible. He used to thrill small children with his rendition of "Teddy Bears' Picnic". It still brings a tear to my eye when I remember it. 

As an adult, I occasionally wished I had a piano to play, but the urge wasn't so strong that I wanted to get one. I had the family piano at one point in time, but passed it on to my sister when she had kids and they were taking lessons. It's still with them now. I can say I had a teensy part in helping my one niece become the incredible musician she is today, in fact. But that's another story. 

Enter Rocketman and the Smidge and the opportunity to have a hand-me-down electric keyboard. Sounded good, it'll be fun. Well the Smidge took to it immediately. I gave her a few short lessons, and truly she ran with it. She's been teaching herself new pieces, sight reading with almost no problem and playing almost daily with little to no encouragement.

So I asked her one day, would you like to play a real piano (sorry folks, when you're brought up with a traditional piano, the electric keyboard just doesn't cut it)? She said she would....emphatically. And so, the Rocketman and I discussed it,  hmmmmed and hawed. Lo and behold, I explored Kijiji one day and there was a piano available in our very own small neighbourhood in our very own small town. It was fate. 

We hesitated still, but when I heard back from the family that they just wanted it to go to a good home, and be used and well cared for.....well we crumbled. 

The kid loves it, and apparently so does the cat. Who knew? 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

My pint-sized hero

For the second time in her less than nine years on this planet, the Smidge got her hair cut last week. Of course, that's not counting the quick snip-snip to her bangs that is done hastily by mom (moi) now and then when she looks like an Old English sheepdog. 

The first haircut was almost two years ago. She cut 12" off that time, and donated it to Angel Hair for Kids.

Then she went about growing her hair out again. It took almost 2 years, but she was finally at a point that she could spare 12" again, so off we went to the salon and voilà.....another 12" donation. So Smidgie is sporting a short bob again. The bonus is that it's easier to take care of, which she's enjoying for now. Until it starts to grow out again for the next donation. 

My kid is my hero! 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

GiST for Early April

Today I'm acknowledging the grace found in these small things: 

  • My lunch of leftovers was delicious.
  • Great memories of Easter celebrations with lots of family.
  • Listening to a book during my commute that makes me smirk, cry and LOL.
  • Small town living – everywhere you go you’re likely to know someone.
  • A new piano free from a neighbour that’s moving many many miles away.
 Joining in with others that are also finding Grace in Small Things