Thursday, August 26, 2010

We're Here and Finally Connected!

Hi, everyone! Well, we arrived safe and sound and not too worse for wear. Its been the last week of moving in and shed building that has really been the killer. Presently we are all sick with colds, the shed is almost finished, two rooms are painted and everything except the boys' room is still half in boxes. Whew!

On the bright side, Montreal is AMAZING. So much beautiful brick and architecture. So much history. Everyone seems so relaxed and friendly. So much inspiration everywhere I turn. Really, really amazing.

The boys are a little intimidated, and mostly just want to stay home most days. I think this is partially because they're sick, and partially because the city is pretty overwhelming for little boys who have always know where they are and who everyone around them is. We've had some grieving for our friends, and some sadness that we're not going to the schools / playschools we expected. But I'm sure they'll make it through.

Once I have my house more together, I'll give you all a "tour", but right now it would just be like, "So this is where the white Ikea bookshelf will be and I hope all my sewing stuff will fit on it, . . .

Hmm . . . someone is putting a foot in front of my screen. Do you think that means its time to put the kids to bed? I think so. More to come, friends. Thanks for hanging in with me.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Hi, You've Reached the Life and Times of Jill . . .

I'm not in right now, I'm busy trying to move half way across this huge country of Canada. Feel free to look around or leave a message.

I'll be back at the end of August to show you our new home and tell you about our fledgeling new life in Montreal. Wish us luck. See you then.


Picnic in the Park

We had a picnic in the park yesterday. Most of the women I have been friends with while I have been in Saskatchewan managed to come for a picnic and a play at the park with their kids over the course of a couple of hours. It was lovely to see the women who have passed in and out of my life in the last few years gathered in one place. We have shared breakfast and coffee and sunday school classes and playgroups and chance meetings at the park. We have watched our children grow from babies into school aged kids over the last five years. We have talked over worries about diapers, walking and talking, hitting and biting, sharing, play fighting, socializing, school and home care, as well as sharing stories about our lives as mothers, and our "past lives" before babies, or even before we moved to this town. These are the women who have made my life interesting and rich in the last five years. And now I will leave them behind with memories (and a few quilts) to continue their rounds of parks and playgroups and eventually parent teacher meetings and soccer games. And of course, because we are of the generation we are, we will have lots of emails and Facebook posts and (since I'll tell them about my blog now as I leave) blog comments to keep us in touch over the next years.

It was a bittersweet picnic. Lovely to see so many friends (and remember the few that were away and couldn't make it). Sad to say goodbye for now.

Scrappy Pincushion Swap

Well, despite my intention not to do any swaps for the next while (what with moving and babies and all), I did do one little swap last month. All I can say is that when you get an invite from Ms. Chickenfoot for a quick, easy little swap, how can you refuse?

So, this was a fun, short swap. We were given blind swap partners, and a month to make a pincushion and send it off with no extras. So this was the pinnie that I sent to my partner, tangledthreads, who identified herself as liking traditional-ish things in pinks, aquas, light greens, etc. Her mosaic had lots of pictures of lovely lace and buttons, so here is what I came up with:

I stuffed it with wool roving, which I think needed to be played with a bit more before I put it into the pincushion, as it turned out pretty lumpy. Apparently, according to the pincushion obsessed girls over in the swap group, crushed up lizard litter is the best material to use to get a nice, heavy pincushion. I didn't think I could find any in town, however, and I wasn't sure if they would let it through the border, so I settled for a little bit of lumpiness and a pincushion that would not be ripped open by a suspicious customs officer.

I recieved this adorable pincushion from sewdeerlyloved. She was kind enough to send it with a fat quarter from her shop, as well. (Speaking of which, if you're looking for some sweet fabric, you should check out her etsy shop ). The words are in Sweedish, apparently, which is funny because the fabric is Japanese. Anyway, it is adorable and will be well used in my new sewing space in Montreal.

So, that was a bit of fun. If you have a spare hour or so, you might want to check out some of the other lovely pinnies made in the swap.

Moving and Life Review

When people know they are about to die, they and their family often go through a process called "Life Review", where they talk over the high and low points of their life and reflect on them. As both a chaplain and priest, Dave has had the privilige of hearing many people's final reflections.

I find that moving often leads to a similar process, as I find and sort through things that are precious to me. Here's a few examples:
Items found in my messy bathroom "stuff" drawer: Heart Shaped Box (purposely referring to the Nirvanna song) given to me for my wedding by my friend Maya, Aaron's baby hair, Dave's Grandmother's necklace in the original Woodward's box, my Grandfather's carpenter tool from the 1920's or 30's, a metal box my friend Kym brought back from Korea, and Emma's newborn hospital bracelet.

It was funny, because as I was rummaging through this drawer seperating these treasures out from bits of magazine articles, empty tubes of lipstick and stray buttons, Andrew kept asking me, "What's that Mom? What about this? Where did you get this from?". I wanted to just send him away (and I did several times), but then I realized that this was a valuable moment to pass down some pieces of myself and my family history to my son. So I took some deep breaths, slowed down and let him carefully handle each object while I told him the story behind it.

On the other hand, I also packed up my sewing area, including my sewing machine. As I packed up the sewing machine, the motion felt almost automatic. It reminded me of my old houses and appartments in B.C. when I stored my machine in its box, and only took it out to stitch myself the occasional dress or blouse (commercial ones never fit me properly). This reminded me of all the times we moved around in those early years, and how this sewing machine had travelled with me through all those places, to this house, where it had become my consolation and entertainment.

Packing up your stuff and letting go of your present life, while preparing for a fresh start is a big undertaking. I'm glad I have the space and time to do it myself.