Thursday, January 30, 2014

pretty things.

Oh, how I love pretty things!  Here are some of my favourites.

This lovely package that arrived over Christmas from the amazing Svetlana of S.O.T.A.K. Handmade.  These hexies are to die for!!  I am trying to figure out how to use them best, and am thinking a mini quilt may be in order. Thank you, Svetlana!

This incredible Christmas/birthday bundle from my bestie Samantha in Toronto makes me weep with joy.  LIBERTY fabric, a Liberty book, personalized stationary, the best tea mug ever which I use daily, and a hand knit cowl!  Spoiled.

Pretty yarns, everywhere I look.  I seem to have a bit of knitting ADD and have multiple projects on the go.  Since I have a hard time finding a chunk of time to pull out my sewing machine lately,  I have turned to knitting as my primary happy creative outlet.  I love that I can pick it up easily for a few minutes here and there, and its portability for this mom-on-the-go is THE BEST.

I finished up my Coolbreeze sweater (photos to follow, someday) that I have been working on forever, and have promptly started a new pullover with some gorgeous Tanis Fiber Arts yarn in shadow (above right).  Lord knows we have had more than our fair share of wool sweater weather here lately!

(See?  Portable.  Here I am knitting while at a dental conference.  Made it MUCH more interesting!)

And I did finish up a Northern Loop cowl using TFA iris yarn recently which I absolutely LOVE.  So cozy.  More details on my Ravelry page here.

It has been a popular companion for me these past couple weeks.  Cheers!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Funny things my kids say: loud voices in a quiet auditorium edition

Well, Big G is getting close to middle school, so we have been attending some school open houses to decide what is the best fit for him and our family.  This past weekend, as we sat in the auditorium awaiting the presentation, a family sat next to us.  The father was the OBGYN who had delivered LBNL six and a half years ago.  We struck up some conversation and introduced LBNL to the doctor, telling her that he was in fact the first person to ever see her, even before Mommy or Daddy.

"He told us, 'It's a girl!'", I said, "and Daddy and I were both so happy!"

"But how did he know I was a girl?" LBNL asked.

"Well," I replied, "Girls have vaginas and boys have penises. You had a vagina so he knew you were a girl."

"SO YOU MEAN I WAS NAKED WHEN I WAS BORN, AND HE SAW MY PRIVATES???" she announced in her 100 decibel voice, standing and pointing at the doctor.

Umm.  Yah.  Annnnnd I pretty much shrivelled up and died at that point!

Monday, January 27, 2014

forty. bring it!

The day has arrived, folks!  The transition has been made.  I am the Big 4-0!

It happened over the weekend.  I have to say, it was painless.  Pleasant, even.  It turns out I am well suited to being thoroughly spoiled.  I quite enjoyed it all, really.

For my last "big" birthday, 30, I had just given birth to Big G ten days prior.  So I was sitting on a donut pillow, bleeding out of my boobies and sleep deprived.  The Hubs and I attempted a brief dinner out ,but I lactated through my shirt about 40 minutes in, so it was anything but glamourous.

But fast forward 10 years, 3 babies, new home, cottage, career partnership and many more notables later, and dang, I think I did it up right!  So far, in my books, forty is pretty AWESOME!

The fun began last week.  The awesome staff at my office punked me, and they did it good.  As you may or may not know, I am a dentist.  So, as is often the case, I had a new patient booked before lunch who had a toothache.  I brought him in and introduced myself and reviewed the chart.  Some history of drugs, lived in a rough area of town...this should be interesting.  But again, I have seen "interesting" before.  Over the course of the 15 minute appointment, the patient swore constantly and was generally neurotic (again, nothing new). Things escalated until, at the end of the appointment, when I told him I could find nothing wrong with his tooth, he starting yelling at me, calling me a quack that didn't know anything, and then he got up and basically forced me into the chair.  By now I was FREAKING OUT inside.  He was fumbling in his pockets, and I was thinking, "Please don't stab me or flash me today." Instead, he pulled out a small cake, candle and lighter, and burst into a song, all about me!!  Yes, he got me good.  Maybe I should have noticed his name was Jack Goff and caught on earlier?  But I fell for it hook, line and sinker!  I have never laughed so hard.  This was followed up with flowers, lunch and lovely thoughtful gifts from my staff.  It was wonderful, and totally ME.

The fun continued with a surprise evening out planned by The Hubs.

A HUGE Hummer limo came to pick us up, and then stopped to collect six other couples, the people in my life that I love (as crazy as they may be).

My outfit was embellished by some necessary additions...

We headed to a restaurant in town to enjoy incredible food and wine, and of course, cake.  Then more wine at the piano bar before we headed home.  Again, spoiled with the gifts.  Wine, jewelry, gag gifts, flowers.  One of my favourites was this gift from my sister- a huge mason jar filled with 40 candies, each with a tag attached- "40 reasons why I love you and am thankful you are my sister."  So precious.  I am happily munching my way through them all :)

From The Hubs and my kids, a very special gift and surprise- a custom family portrait by none other than HEATHER ROSS!!!  Yes, this is a thing.  She does ten per year, and I will be the lucky recipient of one!  So, I will get to WORK WITH HEATHER to plan a hand drawn personal portrait that captures my family at this amazing and special time in our lives.  Eeeeppp!!!  Could life be any sweeter!?!

(photo from Heather's web site)

Friday, January 17, 2014

snowfling toque

The love affair with my Snowfling mitts continues.  I love them so hard.  So I decided I needed the fun to continue with a matching hat!

I improvised the pattern and design, starting with a basic Norwegian Star pattern chart and adding rows of other designs and motifs inspired by the mittens.  I had soooo much fun watching this take shape over Christmas break when we were out at the lake!  Nothing like putting your feet up and knitting fireside as the cold winds blow :)

The pom pom, for me, is kind of like the cherry on top of a sundae.  Actually not at all….I hate those things….but it is the crowning touch of Canadian winter whimsey.  I can totally pull that look off ;)

(Yes, my hair is actually frozen. Baby, it's cold outside!)

I once again used the matching Tanis Fiber Arts yarns, this time in Green label/aran weight.  I may sew a fleece lining in here yet for extra warmth, but so far it is snowshoeing-on-frozen-lake-at-sunset approved :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

le bun hat

My sister tends to get attached to a hairstyle.  In the 90s, it was the perm and big bangs, of course. In the new millennium it evolved to big loose curls with the sides and bangs clipped up.  She got a good 10 years out of that one.  But for the past few years, it is "Le Bun."  I get it, it is quick and fuss free.  And she looks great in it!  But when Last But Not Least started drawing aunty with a circle on her head, some sisterly ribbing was in order.

Enter: Le Bun Hat.  A Winterpeg-suitable toque with a hole in the top, just perfect for the bun! I adapted it from this free pattern on Ravelry.

I gave this to my sis as a snarky little Christmas gift.  She was properly amused :)

And she has even put it to good use the past few weeks with the crazy cold snap we had here ("had"….hoping that is indeed the end of it!).

I gotta say….I think I may need one for myself!  Babes of the Buns unite!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"think positive" quilt

I am a little behind on blogging about Christmas gifts made, and in fact I forgot to take photos of some altogether!  But today I will share my favourite, a quilt 2 years overdue.

I promised my sister and her husband a quilt when they were redecorating their t.v. room.  My sister is not much of a "quilty person", so I wanted her input on the design and colours. A year passed and I finally got a top made.  I decided on an improv cross/plus design, for several reasons- 1. their faith, 2. my sister is a chartered accountant, and 3. at the time, my sister and brother in law had been in the midst of a long, difficult struggle with infertility and adoption.  I called the top "think positive" and…again it sat in the closet for months.

And then- a baby.  A baby!  My sweet little niece. It all came out positive after all!   And then the top sat longer because, of course, a baby quilt took precedence :)

All of a sudden it was Christmas again.  Doh!  So I basted and did some wonky grid quilting, and did some of the WORST machine binding of my life (not sure what the heck happened there), but hey, done is better than perfect, right? And they seemed to like it regardless.

And seeing as it has been -30 degrees Celsius for much of December and January, I hear this has already been put to good use!

Monday, January 13, 2014

perfect ten.

I am trying to wrap my head around the fact that, today, I am the mother of a ten year old.

Hitting the double digits seems pretty substantial to me.  A decade!  While the baby days for the girls are a bit of a blur in my mind to be honest, I remember them so clearly with Big G.  How he used to lay his head on my shoulder and suck his thumb through the sleeve of my t-shirt.  How he used to scrunch up his face to make me laugh.  How he would come crawling at the speed of light from anywhere in the house to the t.v. if he heard the "Sex and the City" theme song, and proceed to boogie down.

And now, here he is, all knees and elbows, getting dangerously close to my height, smelly hockey bag, becoming more aloof and "cool".

But yet….still moments where he crawls into bed with us to cuddle or folds into my lap to watch t.v.  Eyes lit up with the magic of Christmas, running to bed before Santa arrives. 
An army of stuffed animals in his bed.  
Still sleeping under the hockey quilt I made him and insisting the label is at the top (so he can hug it).

Big G is a complicated kid- he still struggles with social interactions, and as such, the sweetness within him is often not on display for others to see.  So I feel extra privileged that, sometimes, he shares those pieces of himself with his dad and me- those glimpses are all the more a precious gift.

Happy 10th birthday to my sweet, smart, sensitive boy.  No matter how big you get, you will always be my baby.  xoxo