Saturday, January 24, 2009

Super Stash Sunday

I know, its not Sunday yet. But tomorrow is Aaron's little birthday party, so I imagine I'll be busy and then tired afterwords. So here it is, all nice and early:

Got the Blue Olive Rose as an extra blender that I don't need in a quilt I've been hired to do. Got the Yellow Katie Jump Rope on sale!

I think mugs might be my new obsession. I've been coveting the bottom print for a long time.

Doing a Few Things Well.

I have decided that this is going to be the year of doing a few things well. You see, there are all kinds of things I would like to try doing: opening and etsy store, staring a parenting blog, getting a table at a flea market or craft fair to sell my wares, training for a triathalon, to name a few.

But the reality is that I am pretty overwhelmed with just trying to care for my kids and my husband, do my youth leader job, do some fun sewing and swaps, keep my house up, and take care of myself. I am not really getting all those things done well. I still haven't sewn curtains or hung up my new shelf and bulletin board in my kitchen. My own son still does no have his mamma made quilt on his bed. I still don't consistently get a newsletter out every month for youth group. And I have not been keeping up with exercise now that I can't just drag the kids around in a wagon for 30 min - 1 hr a few times a week.

What I really need to do is do a few things well. I need to remember that I am at an inward stage of life. For now I need to focus most of my energy on my family. There will be time later, when my boys are less needy and my husband is not new at his job when I can pursue more time consuming pursuits of my own.

So, for this year I have decided that I am not going to start any new major ventures. I will instead try to do the things that I am doing well, and see what comes of it. I will focus on nurturing myself and my family, and enjoying sewing for myself and the swaps that I love to participate in. And that is enough. It is going to be a year of just being. Being content. Being creative. Being healthy. Being a good wife and mom. Being just who I am, right now.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Making, making, making . . .

I was a busy little bee between Christmas and New Years (when we left of our vacation). I even managed to make something while we were gone.

I hand stitched this little doll quilt for my niece, to go with a doll that I forgot to photograph. I cut and sewed the strips, then I actually quilted the strips to the batting and backing as I attached them together on the front. Fun, easy little project, and Kaylee loved it.

Last Minute Fabric And Patchwork coasters for my Sister in Law:

And this was another one of my "Hey, you know what I really need to sew before I go on vacation?"moments, like the picnic quilt this summer . I decided that Aaron needed a carry on bag to match Andrew's, so ON THE DAY WE WERE LEAVING, I stitched one up for him. I tell you, I used every shortcut I could think of on this bag.
Next time, I must remember to sew the straps closer together. I may take them off and re-sew them. The idea was that each boy would have his own bag with his own stuff for the plane ride that he would carry on his own back. The reality was that we had two extra little bags to lug around the airport full of things that were not nearly as interesting as the in flight tv service, or as pulling your brother's headphones out of the plug, or staring at the passengers behind you, or walking up and down the aisle of the plane . . . still cute. And Aaron insisted on wearing it to and from playgroup on Wednesday.

And I also whipped up this quilt. Actually, I hired a babysitter for four hours while I stitched the rows together and quilted it. The great thing about this monkey fabric is that it is hard to go wrong with it, becuase it is so cute. And Andrew had a fit when he found out I was giving someone else the spaceship fabric. In his head it was his, I guess.

I found with this quilt that quilting on the diagonal through the squares can hide the fact that you didn't quite line all the rows up properly. It gives it the illusion of symmetry. Oh well, Seth is only 3 months old, so I don't think he'll notice.

I just noticed that my vacation photos ended up posted on the day I first uploaded them, instead of today, when I actually published them. Silly blogger. Scroll down if you want the vacation report.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Still here

Hi. No worries, I made it safely back from Ontario. Just feeling really unmotivated to post about my trip or about anything else. I'm sure I"ll get back to it in a few days. Just going through the post-holiday blahs. Dave had to fly back to do a funeral in the middle of our holiday, then he did another one last Saturday (yeah, we got back late Wed. night), then he's doing another one this Friday . . . it seems endless. I'm back to the reality of "oh yeah, I have to entertain my kids all day with no car and no other kids or adults around again today and keep the house sane and myself somewhat sane at the same time. Hooray.".

This is the thing: I'm kind of bored. I am not the sort of person who handles boredom well -- I either make up things to be upset about because it gives me something to do, or I come up with some crazy unrealistic plan that swings me from boredom to frantic activity. Its the routine that kills me. The making-three-meals-a-day and exercising-four-times-a-week and sweeping-the-floor-for-the-tenth-time-today and breaking-up-the-fifth-fight-about-the-coveted-object-of-the-day just doesn't really stimulate my mind. Yet all the ideas I come up with for things I would like to do just frustrate me later when I realize I don't have the time or resources to do them. But all the things I should be doing are things I've been doing for a long time now, so they have lost their interest for me. So instead I mope around on the computer and read too many magazines looking for something to brighten my day, instead of playing with the kids, or working on some sewing or reading a real book or getting outside -- all of which would, in actual fact brighten my day.

One of the things my parents used to say to me all the time when I was growing up was "Boredom and routine are a part of life. Get used to them and do things even when they are boring." So I guess I'm off to drudge away. Time to get some good parenting books to inspire me (like the ones on the list Mia provided me in my last funk) and get my exercise, sleep and eating back on track so I'm feeling like I have the energy and mindfulness to do things well again. And remind myself tomorrow, when I play "Hide and Seek"for the five hundredth time, that this is building something important later on in my children's lives. Can't seem to think what right now, but something.

You'll be glad to know I have photos of my vacation, and all the crazy things I made the week between Christmas and going on holidays, and if anyone's interested I might do a tutorial for those capes I made for the boys, since I'm making some more later this week. Or I might just do a tutorial even if no one's interested, just because I'm interested.

Have a good day, all. Stay tuned -- I promise I'll get my blogging mojo back soon.

Okay, so our vacation.

Here is the promised vacation round up. This trip was less perilous than the typical Chapman adventures. No outdoor music festivals in the pouring rain. No driving for 6 hours solo with two children under three. No getting stuck by the side of the road in the middle of winter. We simply flew to Toronto, stayed with Dave's brother in Cambridge for two weeks, and flew back.

As you can tell, Andrew took to flying right away. Just give me my headphones and let me watch three hours of treehouse when I should be sleeping. What's that -- you want to give me juice and cookies, too? Okay.
This was the new years dinner we had the day we got there. We look a bit bedraggled becuase our luggage did not make the exchange in Edmonton when we did, so we went a day without clean clothes.

Andrew was a big hit with his little cousin, Seth. He loved to listen to Andrew's stories, the more shooting and flying sound effects, the better. It was really sweet to see Andrew enjoying his little cousin.

Aaron and Kaylee spent two weeks being partners in crime. Kay is a few months older than Aaron, and they played and fought together non-stop. They loved to grab a random object and start yelling "Mine!" "Mine!" back and forth at each other. My favorite moment was when we were driving in the van and Kaylee was a full row back from Aaron and she called out, "Aaron hit me!"

We went to Chuck E Cheese. We visit the little cars in our little mall, but I never put money in them. The multitude of arcade games and motorized cars was a really fun treat for the boys.

Uncle Steve was also a big hit. Not only is he a police officer, but he plows several parking lots in his spare time. They had to rent a skid steer and clear snow at the church while we were there. Aaron got a ride, and Andrew got to drive.

Trampolines are still fun on a mild winter day. We enjoyed the warmer winter temperatures while we were there. It was just cold enough to be snowy and fun.

Why is it that you can only get fries like this East of Sudbury? Does there need to be a certain Francophone influence for people to get chips just right? Anyway, this is Poutine, which is even better. Chips with gravy and cheese curd. Yum.

We were only in Toronto for three hours, unfortunately. But we did get to see dinosoars and armour while we were there. And, of course, the CN Tower from afar.

All in all, it was a pretty fun trip. The boys had a blast with their cousins and grandparents and aunt and uncle. And we had fun too.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Super Stash Sunday

I've joined this little thing called "Super Stash Sunday" where you show off some of your stash for other fabric lovers every week. Sorry to sign up and then go on holidays, but I'm back now. It was started by 1/4 of an inch . I saw the photos popping up on Flikr and after drooling over katy's photos I had to join. I shall see how long I can maintain it for.

These are some Tina Givens lovelies that I have vague plans to make into something rich and strange. I love browns and oranges right now, and I'm probably one of the few people in the universe who is happy to see them back in style. The one on the far right is one of my favorite Garden Party prints.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hi, from Starbucks

Yep, we have no internet at our host's house, and a very small baby and two active two year olds who are best frenemies and a four year old who is absolutely idolizing his Uncle Steve. So times are busy, but its been a nice chance. I haven't got half the things I wanted to get done, done. And believe it or not I haven't visited a single fabric shop this trip (I do have a bunch of fabric waiting for me at the post office, however), so I'm feeling partially virtuous and partially sensorily deprived after two weeks with no fabric to sift through.

Just thought I'd pop in and say hi, and share this funny experience. So, I'm at Starbucks. I have an hour and a half to myself before I have to get back so Dave can go out somewhere. I check my email, I check my Flikr, then I go to check my Bloglines. Usually I check it every evening and read the eight or ten new posts I find. Today, almost every blog on there has at least one, if not six or eight, new posts. I love so many of the blogs I read that I couldn't choose just one or two to read. So I just laughed, and decided to say hi to all of you who read MY blog instead. So hi. Missing you all out in the blogosphere. I have lots of great photos to share soon. And hopefully, if I can get there before they sell out, a really fantastic pair of shoes. Off to see if they still have the most fantastic suede Mary Janes in my size. TTFN!