Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My full, full life

Well, it has been a busy few months! I have been a little overwhelmed by some of the hard and just busy things in life this year. My job as a youth leader is fantastic - I love my volunteers and my students, but it is 20 hrs a week, fit in around full time parenting most of the time, with some help from Dave. And I still have Owen home all the time, so the days are busy, busy. Then there was winter - a long, hard, cold, ice filled winter. My boys weren't allowed outside for recess for three weeks straight because the school yard was sheer ice. And then there was this Lent - sometimes I have one idea about what I'm giving up for Lent, and then God has his own plans for winter pruning and winnowing. God's plans are better, but much harder than the ones I have for myself.

In any case, our cold Easter came with snow still on the ground, but bunnies for the younger two kids anyways. I made Owen a hipster / barber shop quartet bunny, which was more fun for me, and he loves him. Emma's is sweeter and more traditional, but still bright and fun.

With the long cold Spring we have been doing LOTS of crafts. I refilled our kids' stamp pad with blue ink from the stationary store - not glamourous, but the clearest ink we've had to work with in a long time. The cigar boxes, which look cool on our open kitchen shelves, are courtesy of Dave's hobby.

And this is one single image that captures why my house is ALWAYS messy. See that bin of stuff I had just picked up off the floor 5 min. ago, all ready to be put away in its proper places? Ha. Owen 537-Mom 0
I have really gotten into knitting lately. This is a fortunately / unfortunately kind of thing. Fortunately, knitting is portable and can be taken to sit on the floor while the toddler plays, of taken to the 30 Hour Famine overnight trip. Unfortunately, I don't have a knitting stash so my fabric all sits, calling out to me, while I ignore it and skrimp and save to buy yarn instead of quilt batting.
These leg warmers were mostly just for the texture - this in Noro yarn from Japan and I loved the subtle colour variations. They are great for cool spring mornings, when you know it will be shorts weather in an hour, but its still too cold to walk to the park right NOW.
These were fun, too (thank you 30 Hr famine and the last season of Dr Who). I have a sweatshirt with 3/4 length sleeves that is the perfect weight for early spring and late fall. So, funky arm warmers. These are one of the few things I actually get comments on in Montreal (most things I make, no matter how funky, are still within the range of normal here, or they could be bought at some cool store on the Plateau).
My next project is a chunky pullover sweater for me. I know, I've only been knitting for 2 years, but I really started knitting because I can never find sweaters I like. So, onto my true knitting scheme -  building myself a great stack of sweaters and cardigans and vests.
I am terrible at keeping track of rows and what abbreviations mean, even on the 40th time doing the same increase, so I always make a ton of notes. You would think I would remember eventually, but I just can't keep those kinds of things in my head - they fall out as soon as a new thought comes along.
You might have seen this quilt before, maybe? Like, for the last three years! My last piece of batting is sandwiched between the finished windmill quilt top and some lovely Anna Maria Horner (plus a favorite Erin McMorris print and something else from long, long ago that was languishing in my stash).
This quilt is kind of like my last few years - I had great ambitions and plans and dreams for it, but right now it is wonky (in some places on purpose, in others by accident), bumpy, most of the corners are cut off and the quilting is a bit of a disaster. But it is done, it is colourful and fun and the backing fabric is beautiful. It is not at all what I planned on it being, but it is good in its own way.

That would have been a lovely way to end, wouldn't it. But wait, there's more! One of my favorite spring ambitions (that rarely ever lasts through the whole summer)  - to have a beautiful-ish back yard. This year we bought lots of colourful flowers and planted them up in the pots we tried growing veggies in last year. Hopefully the toddler will be kind to them and I will remember to water them, and they will bring lots of joy and cheer to our back yard.
Aaron loves doing anything with his hands, and planting flowers is no exception - he took over almost all the baskets and wouldn't let me plant a thing!

I had one of those "real" Montrealer moments yesterday - I picked this great little shelf up off the side of the road. It is perfect to give Owen his own corner for his toys. The poor boy needs his own spot somewhere in the house, after all!

Finally, I am hopeful that I will get at least a quilt top done for Dave before his 40th birthday in June. I'm going to do a simple 4X8 rectangle grid (because NDG = bricks) in colours I know he likes. Fortunately, the colours he likes rolled back into style just in the nick of time. Whew.
So that is a little life and creativity summary. I hope I get more time to blog this summer, but I'm not counting on it. I almost have a working smartphone ( a story for another day when I don't have kids to put to bed), so I might be on Instagram soon.

Okay, off you go to read about all the cool kids who got to go to Quilt Market!