Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Another year older.  But I prefer to think of it as another year better....  Although, the wonderful gifts I received remind me that I'm also another year even less mature than the last - and proud of it!

It's tradition to do family supper for birthdays but since I am already too busy during the week to even write this post (but I'm doing it anyway), we gathered Sunday night to celebrate.

Reason #847 that my Seester is awesome:
If you were a fan of Arrested Development, you already know that Annyong is Korean for "hello."  If you missed the "You had me at hello" reference, to you I say, "Seriously, you've never seen Jerry Maguire???" (Sidebar:  apparently, the clerk at the t-shirt place had never heard of either as the shirt my sister gave her came back reading "You had me at annoying." That shirt has now been relegated to pyjamas or for wearing on Dadaism Tuesdays.)

With a birthday celebrated two days in advance, there was, of course, debate whether or not presents would be given or kept until the actual day.

Mum:  Well, I already gave her one so...
Dad: Oooh, can I give her mine today?
Mum:  Yours?  It's from both of us...
Dad:  Yeah, but I bought it.
                At this point in the conversation, Mother gives Father an incredible death glare that translates as "shut up or she'll figure out what it is!"

Curiosity piqued!  Father picked out my gift? Whatever could it be?  I certainly didn't think it would be this:


If you read this weblog regularly, you've likely figured out I'm a *bit* of a hockey fan.  A sweater was needed, wanted and is oh so appreciated... I've always had a soft spot for goalies.  Also, while the smallest size they had, it's big on me and, wearing it, I feel about the same size as I was when Father took me to my first game oh so many years ago.  The feeling has a sweet nostalgia to it that reminds me why I treasure my family and am thankful for moments, both small and large.

Dad:  I almost got you a Leafs jersey...
Me:  That would've been pretty cool, too.
Dad: ...but I couldn't think of a player in Toronto that anyone's heard of.

I almost fell off my chair laughing.  Sad, but true.  I love Boston for the feel-good times and old-time's sake, and Toronto because they keep me humble. Perpetually.

Great birthday.  Hope you had a great un-birthday (or birthday, as the case may be!)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

No campfire? No problem!

Toothpick.  Mini marshmallows.  Candle.  Patience.

Freshly roasted marshmallow goodness.

Please note:  this is a natural beeswax candle - no colours or perfumes, with an undyed cotton wick.  I wouldn't recommend trying this with a scented or petroleum-based candle with graphite/cotton wick....  I prefer my burnt sugar to be as chemical-free as possible. :-)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Two years and I've only got this far...

Two years ago, I saw a spiderweb quilt.  I thought, "Hmmm, that's interesting."

Then I saw THIS ONE.  And I fell in love with it.  So then I had to make one.  I wanted scraps, I wanted two sizes of webs, and I wanted the background to change somehow.  

Remember this pencil sketch from last spring?  Of course not.  I haven't mentioned it since then.  Why would you?  :-)  I did background calculations, I cut lopsided foundations kites and paper triangles and spent an entire evening last fall gluing them together.
The lighter greenish grey is French General "Rouenneries" from my stash which it almost pained me to cut into but that's what it's for, right?  The darker colour is actually an old pair of dress pants that belonged to my dad.  Now, it's kites.  How it's going to wash? No idea...  The cream is a muslin of unremembered origin.

That was a year ago.  As it was on my to-do list for the summer, I felt it nagging at me that I hadn't touched it and I was heading into one of the busiest periods of my life and leaving it again. Alone.  Neglected.  So on Saturday night, I took to the machine! (Exciting Saturday, I know...) I haven't really done much sewing this summer.  When your sewing room is the living room coffee table, and weekends are family time, it's tough to negotiate...  Knitting is quieter and far more social so I've knit my hands into gnarled knots instead.
Sew. Iron.  Sew. Iron.  Trim.  And there you have it - thirty triangles tackled.  And it felt wonderful!  

Stay tuned for when I sew more triangles (probably summer of 2012 with a completion date sometime before Buck Rodgers starts exploring the stars... I hope.)

I also finished the toque this weekend but haven't got the pictures yet.  It's difficult to photograph tricky colours. Especially on your own head. With an iPhone.  So I asked a friend.  Photos forthcoming.  :-)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Progress before the Onslaught

I've been trying to get some post nuggets started so I don't completely disappear this fall.  What do you suppose the chances are I'll succeed at not disappearing?? [Laughs. Sighs.  Wipes tear. Laughs again.]  

Orientation for internship was today and signals the winding down of free time and the ability to watch football games without feeling guilty.  Before I get lost in the stacks of lesson plans and extra-curricular activities, I thought I would post some progress on projects.  You know, before I abandon them in the oblivion that is education.
 My scrappy afghan - panel 3 of 5 (or 6).  It's coming along and laying siege to scads of leftover mitten yarn.  The stash is taking up less room and three folded knit panels now sit in its place.  Much tidier.
 I took some of my back-to-school clothing budget and invested in a toque.  Or rather the beginnings of one. While reading a favourite blog, I spotted the hat and instantly needed the pattern.  Then I had to wait patiently for some Madeline Tosh Vintage to arrive.  The colour is murder to photograph.  Basically, it's an emeraldy-tealy sort of green with a bit of inky black for depth.  They call it Cousteau.
I should have the toque knit by the end of the weekend.  But no matter how busy I get, there is one project I'll never finish and always have time for:
...catching a little bonding time with Nephew.

And his giant baby feet.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Last Weekend

Our student council headed to the lake to plan for the upcoming year and to get some good solid bonding time.

Mission accomplished. Complete with thunderstorm, swimming, and campfires. Minus makeup.  Full of smores and fresh air.

Hope your weekend is a great as my last one.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Link doesn't dissolve with Marriage and Children

My sister and I have always been able to communicate entire thought waves with very few or even a single word.  Kinda like zipping a file before sending an email. But then she got married and had a baby and I started to wonder if we were losing our mojo... The other day, a rapid-fire conversation took place.

Seester:  That commercial always reminds me of that dojo.... (snaps fingers in attempt to remember)
Me:  Cobra-Kai.
Seester:  YES! See, I love that I can just say 'dojo' and you know exactly what I'm talking about...
Me:  What other dojo could you possibly mean?  
Seester:  Mmm.  True.

Mum:  *...*  What just happened?
Bro:  I have no idea...

Just because she's married doesn't mean I don't *get* her anymore and vice versa.  Sisterhood; such a wonderful and strange phenomenon...

PS.  She was referring to the evil instructor and his dojo in The Karate Kid.  The classic one.  Pat Morita, not Jackie Chan.  I still love Jackie Chan but he's not as easily incorporated into our familial nostalgia...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A little bit happy, a little bit sad

This summer, my cousin and his wife were expecting twin girls, but they arrived very early and one of them couldn't stay.  

I began these quilts after they were born, with a couple of Sherbet Pips charm packs.  Sometimes, I think charm packs are lazy, but I can't argue that they are just about perfect for baby quilts.  And Aneela Hoey's Sherbet Pips was perfect for these ones.  I wanted feminine but not girly, blue to balance out the pink, and red, since it's lucky....  I also wanted them to match but not exactly; even twins want to be individuals.
They're backed in a simple Kona grey (Slate, I think). The border/binding fabrics I found to coordinate have wonderfully inspiring words on them:  life, hope, grow, sprout... All the the wonderful things I wish for babies, especially those that arrive before they're ready.
I finished the binding in the new "room" that has become the family hub this summer - a screened gazebo with wide comfy rockers and a low coffee table that is perfect for holding spools of thread or glasses of wine.  While stitching away, a red dragonfly, which I take to be a good omen, alit on brother-in-law's hand and stayed with him for five or ten minutes.  I'd like to say we stayed in the awe of the moment but instead we drifted into conversation about radioactive critters and what a superhero named Dragonfly would have as superpowers...

Then, I made Seester and Bro hold quilts.  But they needed to protect their secret identities.

This week, the quilt on the right will be delivered to its owner.  The one on the left will be donated to the Crisis Nursery or NICU, based on her parents' choice.  With luck, it will warm a very special babe in loving memory of another.