Sunday, August 29, 2010

Busy bee

Here we find ourselves...on the verge of seasonal changes. I have been busy getting organized for my upcoming fall classes that will be run at Wabi-Sabi. Thankfully the samples are mostly done now that the crazy heat has returned...nothing like working with felted wool when its hot!

A bodum cozy....a necessity in the days to come, because the heat will not be around to keep the coffee warm. Especially in an old, leaky home like ours. Come to think of it, maybe we could insulate our attic with all the wool blankets stashed throughout the house. I'll get back to you on that one. Maybe a course for next year (Heehee).

A mobile....possibly my favorite thing to make in the whole world. I do realize that I say that a whole lot, but this time I mean it. I love them. Their simplicity, their color, their texture....the whole shebang.

What is going on in your homes these there a hint of fall anywhere?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

This moment

NB - These were not required attire yet, we were just seeing how it felt to wear wool again. As you were...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This time last year.

I am not sure who I can contact about such things, but does anyone know who is in charge of time dashing by at lightening speed? I need to talk to someone about this....I have some issues. An information desk? Can I take a number? Can I wait on hold?
How can summer possibly be nearing its end already? It's not that we haven't done most of the things we set out to do....
1. Reading...lots of reading - check
2. Enjoy the days without time constraints or watches - happily check
3. Build sandcastles, lots of sandcastles - check and check.
I suppose endless fun (once the major heatwave passed!) is part of the reason for it going so fast. I am thankful for our days.
As I am sometimes prone to do, I was reminiscing today about this time last year. We were bracing ourselves for some pretty big milestones....Hazel leaving us in the mornings for school, Raine starting her first year of middle school, and Abbey not being a "minor niner" anymore and growing into her Grade ten-ness. To take our minds off these things, we went on a hike at the Estate of Mackenzie King in Chelsea, Quebec. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this man, he was the tenth Prime Minister of Canada, and his face now graces the 50 dollar bill....not that I would have any idea what one of THOSE looks like.
Spread out throughout the property are grand gardens, as well as interesting bits of stone architecture that he collected and had shipped and rebuilt here from various parts of the globe.

A very cool way to spend a day. And of course, the views Gatineau Park are stunning from wherever you look.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My feet

Here I stand side by side with my sewing machine and some happy fabric. The end result? A curtain to replace a very much flawed and hideous hollow core closet door in Raine's bedroom. What kind of door doesn't even open all the way?! My feet then carried me up to my master list of household "to-do's" and held me up while I actually checked something off the list.

Monday, August 23, 2010


This time of year brings on such mixed emotions for me. And it is a recurring theme as I look back on last year around this time, and an email I sent out about that very thing. Another year, marching ever forward toward the finish line....
Last fall I made the decision to leave my carpentry job in order to be home with Hazel in the afternoons after she was done at morning junior kindergarten. Included in that decision was that I would spend my days in the company of two little friends in order to financially allow me to be around for Hazel (and the big girls too). It was an easy choice for me to make, and I committed myself to this path at least until full day school was our reality....a mere two years.
Now, after a wonderful summer with my girls and boy, I find myself not wanting my full days with Hazel to end. I find myself wishing I was brave enough and believed in myself enough to take on her teaching myself. It makes me feel unsure of my path....
I enjoy my time with the littles and I feel like I am good at taking care as well as teaching them....but for some reason that feeling does not extend to Hazel and her learning. Hmmmmm.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We love the things that summer brings

I can't remember a time when we have taken our summer holidays all in a row. In the past we tended to approach the planning of holidays by strategically figuring out when the long weekends fall, and booking time around them. While these types of holidays are great for providing some basic rest and relaxation, this years provided us with the soul and mind replenishing rest we didn't even know we were missing. If I have my way and the fates will allow, this years scenario will be our new norm.
As you may know, we spent week 1 visiting our family in Sault Ste. Marie. And a great holiday it was. There are piles of rocks and driftwood plopped around the house to remind us.
Week 2 was a different sort of holiday...for me anyhow. Week 2 brought me closure on a number of things that have been plaguing my "to-do" list for many a long month. While papa and Hazel spent time doing what they love to do best (visiting museums of different sorts), I was given the chance to finally put the finishing touches on Abbey's room. You see, last fall was spent insulating the exterior wall in her bedroom. As these things usually go when I am involved, they are brought to the point where they are usable and pretty, but the finishing details get cast aside....only to turn over in my mind at 4:00 in the morning when I can't sleep. So, I took a good chunk of a day and finished the trim around the window as well as around the closets...painting, cutting, installing and then painting again. Her room is complete, except for the new curtains that need to go up. Isn't it a pretty room for a teenager? (Or possibly the sewing room of a mama who has a daughter in university...not that I am wishing for that!).

I also found some time to finally sew some new cushions for our couch. Fall inspired for sure, but not surprising since I love autumn and all it stands for. And it is around the corner....I am sneaking peaks of it everywhere. Most notably in the perfectly perfect night-time sleeping temperatures.

With all this free brain space what will I do next summer?

Monday, August 16, 2010

No words required.

Are there any words needed to describe this???? Well, maybe.
She has a goofy side that pops out every once in awhile...taking us all by surprise.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The first of it's kind

A few days back...actually, I guess it is now a few weeks back, I mentioned the H word. HOLIDAYS.
I have jumped into the making of gifts whole-heartedly, including a gift for myself. That's okay isn't it?!
Not only is this a first in the knitting department, but also that I am actually making something for me and only me.
And it feels great...not the least bit scroogish.
My greatest knitting achievement of the past year was to master knitting in the round, so I made a few hats for various little ones in my life. Then I attempted to learn how to make socks, and let me tell you that it was the most mortifying thing I have done in awhile...walking out of the class because I just couldn't wrap my head around it. So, there I was needing something more than a hat but less than a pair of socks. Enter, the Tea Leaves cardigan by Madeleine Tosh, and a new shipment of Berocco Ultra Alpaca at my favorite local knitting store. And my knitting world is right again. HoHoHo.

Wandering Wednesday

Here I stand in Lake Superior. On holiday. Away from it all. Enjoying every moment. Now glad to be home.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Random beauty

Although it may not appear so in this shot, this lovely old cookstove is the most wonderful shade of yellow. Also, it was made in Renfrew, Ontario...which for those of you who don't know, is almost 10 hours away from Sault Ste. Marie. How did this big, heavy stove make it all the way up north? I suppose that woodstoves are kind of in the same predicament as one time our country produced lots of both but as society became more modern these became not so important to the mainstream.

Pretty old books gracing the equally pretty bookshelves. Some of the books have been on the shelves as long as the shelves have been there. And is there a more perfect game in the world than Pictionary? I doubt it.

Good old Lake Superior. As one Canadian songster once said "Superior they said never gives up her dead when the skies of November turn gloomy". To me, this photo gives me that eerie feeling, so perfectly.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

It is a source of wonder to me, how big this province of mine is. It boggles my mind how one can cross Quebec and Nova Scotia in less time than it takes to drive through the province of Ontario. Granted, my experience driving north has been limited to Kenora (24 hours drive) once and Sault Ste. Marie on three occasions (11 hours). The size and scope of it leads my mind to wondering how on earth the land get did anyone tackle crossing the territory without the benefit of automated did the farms get established after what must have been an exhausting journey? Like I said, it boggles my mind.
While it is a long drive, the view from the window of the car is a thing of beauty. Rocks, trees, wildflowers, wildlife for hours and hours. Plus, with audio books and knitting to pass the time, I would venture to say it was a pleasant drive there, and only slightly less so on the way home (we were feeling the pull).
We spent time both in town and at the family camp ( it seems as though those in Northern Ontario prefer the term "camp" to cottage) on Batchawana Bay which is part of Lake Superior. The beaches are so unlike any we see here in Southern Ontario. It is a rock collectors dream, and I found myself poking around along the shore doing just that. I brought back only one bag of rocks and driftwood though.
We hung out with family, explored St. Joe's Island and ate and drank more than we should have....a wonderful week of holidays.
Now we are back, and slowly returning ourselves to our everyday lives. It does feel good to be home.