Are you in the midst of endless winter like we are? Argh! I really don't mind winter and having grown up in the Canadian Prairies I'm a big season fan, but this winter is trying my patience. *so. much. cold. so. much. snow.* Proof you say? Well here is my son who is 5'9" shovelling snow at the back door. It's getting hard to know what to do with the white stuff.
It hasn't helped that our crew is sick yet again. Hence my absence from the computer. We are taking it all in stride and doing our best to keep our spirits up. Even if that means mid day basking in the sun from the indoors. For a brief moment it gives me the illusion that everything is green and growing outside. Yes I'm a dreamer.
As for crafty goings on, I'm knitting. On of my projects is the Sothia shawl. I love the feel of finger weight yarn, so light and airy.
The other project which has taken over most of my knitting time is something I'm making for my mum. She's had this chunky yard sitting in her closet for 17 years! Yes, you read that right, 17 years!! She was hoping she would pick up knitting but alas, I don't think it is her thing, ya think? I talked her into letting me knit up a cardigan and she obliged once I reminded her of when she purchased it (I'm playing the bad daughter/good daughter card). The pattern I'm using is from Sirdar, the yarn is Beehive Shetland Chunky, long since discontinued.
And since the majority of our time has been laying low the past month, I took some time to teach the girlies how to do some basic knitting. They picked up on it really fast and have been enjoying making little scarves for their plush babies.
Speaking of babies, isn't this little guy just the cutest? He came and stayed for us for a week while his family went on a vacation to California. We couldn't resist putting a few doll clothes on the little guy - hope that doesn't mess with his masculinity. Haha.
Well I think I've updated you on our happenings. Until next week. xo
They arrived! A sweet package from minted.
I ordered Thank You/New Year cards last month for those who attended a big famiy birthday party that we had in late 2013. Besides the "thank you" portion, I owe family & friends updated photos of my growing crew.
I've been waiting to get them all addressed and sent out before I committed to this post. No sense in spoiling the snail mail surprise for the recipients who are reading my blog.
My thoughts: The photo is 5 x 7 in size with a nice matte finish. It will be easy for people to frame later on, if so desired. I ordered 25 cards plus envelopes and I didn't bother with their proof reading service so that saved me a bit extra cash. Shipping to Canada was via FedEx and cost $9.95, great for over the border.
Overall, the process was simple and delivery was quick. I really enjoyed my minted experience and I will definitely be ordering from them again.
I started sewing a project last week, that I cut in December. It's been sitting on my desk in a pile waiting to be constructed. It was supposed to be a hexagon quilt following this tutorial, but I ran into a snag and now it is an accidental adaptation of jaybird's hexagon quilt.
I say accidental because after cutting out a 1/4 of my triangles, I realized that I was cutting them wrong. Duh! I'd like to blame it on the very high fever I had before Christmas while we were all down with the flu. yuck! Sadly though, my only defense is that my brain was on some other wave length. Unexplainable but good for me.
You see normally my perfectionist side would have righted that wrong by starting again. However these days my time is precious and sometimes to complete a project you have to forge through and embrace the detour.
I won't end up with the result that I was hoping for when I started the hexagon quilt, instead I am now on my way to completing a jewel quilt. No matter which way, they are both sweet.
It's cold here. really cold. the kind of cold that makes me want to stay under the covers all day, drink hot chocolate and eat sugary sweets so I can lay down belly fat to get through the rest of winter. Since none of those options are happening, I have to find other ways to keep myself distracted happy: yarn!
Knitting does the trick in a pinch. Pick up a project, pull it out for a 1/2 hour here and there, take it with you when you do have to go out. It's the ultimate busy mum's companion. In my last post about knitting I was getting very close to finishing a vest that I have spent tons of time picking up and putting down. That vest is all finished (here's a sneak peek), except for the yarn that needs to be weaved in. Would I be a bad crafter if I said that I wore the vest the other day and just tucked those threads in? don't judge me :/
Shopping for yarn is almost as fun as knitting. I really could be a yarn stash hog. I'm already a fabric one. don't judge me :/ I recently tried out a new to me knitting store: loveknitting.com and I have to say they had me at "free shipping" over $50. For us Canadians that only happens if someone lives in the same town as you. On top of it I ordered during their January sale so the yarn was super-priced! The yarn arrived in the cutest organza bags all snug like bugs in a rug. Great packaging! FYI, the January sale is ending soon so if you need some yarn, you still have a couple of days to stock up.
I ordered the Sirdar montana yarn. It's an economical acrylic/wool blend, as sometimes I don't want to spend eyons of dollars on a sweater that I know is not going to fit in one years time. Which means I was planning on using this yarn for my girlies. I still haven't completely decided on what I will be making yet. I'm currently loving on these: olearia, bulle and paprika. I have to make the final decision soon as my fingers are itching to get knitting. Are you a knitter? If so, what are you working on?
Just over a week ago I was eyeing the very sad calendar page pinned to my fridge. The calendar is both sad and small, easy to ignore and unremarkable. Then my son missed his orthodontist appointment because sad, small calendar is not only unremarkable but also hard to read with it's small print.
Something needed to be done. It had to be dramatic and noticeable, it had to be easy. And so came the chalkboard calendar idea. I googled the concept and found lots of inspiration. This particular one caught my eye, it's less permanent which can be a good thing if you don't want to mark up your walls. However I'm a mix-it & paint girl so I went the route of paint.
Chalkpaint to be exact. I used Rustoleums black chalkpaint - available at Home Depot. Next I marked my spaces with 1/4 inch tape to delineate the squares of a chalkboard and wider tape to set a boundary. From here it was pretty fast and easy. I painted a coat of the black chalkboard paint, waited for it to dry and then re-coated (4 hours later).
The next day when I checked my wall it looked a bit rough and uneven. I sanded the chalkpaint down to make the walls a bit smoother, wiped the whole surface down lightly and painted a 3rd and final coat. If it wasn't for the sanding I would say that the whole process was completely painless.
Make sure to let the chalkboard cure for 3 days with no writing, etc. Once it is cured you have to condition the chalkboard by using a piece of chalk on it's side to cover the black. It helps to have minions do this part for you. Finally use a chalkboard brush to dry clean the board and you are good to go. After 7 days you can wipe the board down with a cloth. But as you can tell that won't be happening until the last day of January when I get ready to fill in the next month.
Give it a whirl, and if your aren't brave enough to paint your wall then remember you could always buy the wall decals linked earlier.
disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by Rustoleum or Home Depot Canada. I paid for the chalkboard paint all by myself :)
Thanks for the mudroom love, I'm still delighted with that space and happy to have another project crossed off my list.
This winter we have had a backyard visitor. He comes a couple of times a week around mid-morning. He has comes very close to my backdoors and thankfully our dogs have not seen him yet. I'm not sure what the attraction is, as we do not feed him. But we do back on a lake so our yard is highly accessible.
I know it is mating season for foxes. I sure hope he finds what he is looking for. I'm so tempted to sit him down and explain that the city is probably not the best place to find a mrs. foxy fox but since he is here, my logic is irrelevant.
Isn't he lovely?
Onto other things... It's shop upate time and I have some gorgeous new vintage sheets that I've listed. I've actually listed over 20 new prints, so go check them out. Vintage sheets are like sunshine wrapped up in a blanket and I'm sure most of us could use a little reminder this time of year :)
I do want this blog to be filled with eclectic bits of my life (foxes, fabric, etc) and part of that will include etsy shop updates. Hope you don't mind (In the rhetorical sense).
Well, I am off and running out the door. Have a fabulous Friday, xo.
If you have been reading this blog for any period of time, you know that mr. duckyhouse and I have been renovating our home for quite a while now. These days the renovations have changed from utter chaos - we aren't moving walls around any more like we did when we first moved into the duckyhouse. Rather our projects are more about finishing our space and making it more useful. Since we homeschool and are in our space 24/7, one can not underestimate the value of organization.
Frankly I function better when "there is a place for everything and everything is in it's place". This has been the most challenging aspect of renovating while living in our home, but as I've said already most of the big projects are behind us (for now) and we are free to add the finishing touches to existing spaces.
With four kids, this mudroom project was much needed. Living in a climate with four distinctive seasons, we have tons of (seasonal) paraphernalia. Our closet at the front door doesn't come close to housing all the jackets and boots 7 people can generate, and since my kidlets are content on growing bigger each year, (as you can imagine) so does their clothing.
When we originally built the wall in the hallway, I created a design for a small mudroom by the backyard doors. I do the drawings, mr. duckyhouse provides the measurements, markings and brute labour. It's the way we roll.
More hooks and jackets spill down the hallway off the mudroom out of necessity, and also to provide instant pick up zones for hoodies, bags, etc.
The sewing part came at the end with custom bench cushions, which have since become glorified dog beds. Spencer, our 10 year old shih tzu/lhasa apso, has proven that there is no cushion he will not sleep on. (:
We also added an Ikea Hemnes dresser opposite wall from the mudroom bench. With one drawer for each kid it holds at least 8 pairs of shoes. Artwork is complements of my girlies.
I must say, kind of nice to close the door on this post one year later.
In January of last year (2013) I left you hanging with a post that promised a reveal about some sewing I was working on. Indeed I did complete that project but just never got around to discuss it here. You can return to this post for clarification on my absence, for those of you who have not read it yet.
My mudroom has cushions! Now you might be thinking "no big deal", however sewing something, like a set of bench cushions, means that the mudroom area is finished. fineto. all done.
I realize it isn't all that fair to post cushion pictures without revealing the whole mudroom so stay tuned for a follow-up mudroom post.
Last year I started a vest knitting project that is taking me forever to complete. It didn't help that I completed it and then frogged it because it was too large. Ugh!
The pattern is called Lazarao and it is from the Mirasol Collection book 1. The yarn I'm knitting with is called Hacho in the colourway Jade Sapphire. I think the yarn may have been discontinued but I love knitting with it. It handles nicely, the colours are fabulous and it has so much texture!
I'm almost finished the darn thing but am having a bit of a time trying to re-work the edging on the sleeveless arms. It seems most of the comments on this pattern have been that people are too crazy about how the sleeves ruffle. Hmm, not really a ruffles girl so I've been trying to reduce the number of stitches to resolve this issue. Hopefully that will be a good fix and I will have a knitty project to show you soon.
In any case, have a lovely Monday, xo.