this moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual (inspired by soulemama). A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Wishing you all a peaceful and beautiful weekend.

-April

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Owen’s garden

Spring is soon on its way and so I was inspired to start up a little garden with our little Kai that we could later transplant into the outside garden. Owen was so excited about this project, mostly because it involved water, but I’m sure once flowers begin to bloom he will be excited about that as well. We chose to plant sunflower seeds, daisy’s, and strawberries. So far the strawberries have not grown at all but somehow they keep soaking up all the water. Every morning when we go check the plants the two strawberry pots are completely dry but the daisy and sunflower pots are still moist and growing rapidly. Hopefully the strawberry seeds we got weren’t bad. I just love the feeling of springs arrival, the sweet sound of spring birds in the air, beautiful blossoms upon trees, and the return of warm summers air. All of this always gets me excited about getting my hands deep in to cool soil to plant a new years arrangement of flowers, herbs and veggies. Last year we did not have enough sun coming into our yard so most of the things we planted did not make it very long. This year however we are planning on re-modeling the back fence in hopes that this will let in more sunshine for our garden. I am really excited about the thoughts of having a large bright and delicious garden which we could eat from. Here’s hoping!


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glue batik for a new babe

Inspired again by the blog The Artful Parent I made these adorable little onesies. I’ve always had such a hard time finding cute baby onesies that don’t cost a fortune, because lets face it they outgrow them faster than you can blink and more than half of them are faced with blow outs. So to make these I picked up a few white onsies from the consignment shop, a bottle of Elmer’s blue gel glue, and used some acrylic paints I already had on hand. This is such an easy and fun project that you can even get older kids to take part in. Owen unfortunately is too little to take part in this art project but he did have fun simply watching me do it and watching them hang to dry outside.  First you begin by drawing on to your fabric using the Elmer’s blue gel glue, let dry, then paint with watered down acrylics, let dry, soak in hot water to remove the glue, and dry once again. It requires waiting time so I did the whole process over the course of three days, but it is very easy. I can’t wait to make some more for Owen, I’ve just been having a hard time finding plain white shirts his size, any suggestions?

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fresh off the needles

Before I embark on a whole new set of projects, I thought I should post a few of the ones I just completed. I still have to share the rest of my christmas gifts which I finally can now that they are all given out… and yes it took me a while to do that! This big lace scarf was hard for me to ignore once I realized I had the right wool in my stash. I kept reading about how fast it was for everyone but I found it just the opposite. Maybe it was because it was my first time lace knitting or because big needles are kind of awkward, but it took me maybe double the time suggested. Once I got to the end I felt like the scarf was just too small in length so I ripped it out and started over with 14 stitches. Now I like it much better and i’m hoping someone else out there will too ; )

I also fell in love with Soulemama’s recent pattern, “The Rosa Hat”. I love the idea of fake cables so I used this azapa from araucania and knit up a tiny newborn hat. The pattern is for adults and kids so I just guessed (based on my gauge) and cast on 60 stitches and only did 3 rounds of the rosa. This is the first hat I’ve officially finished for my baby pile. The whole reason I started knitting was to make clothes for my own kids ahead of time and have been so busy gifting that i’ve never gotten around to starting. I love how little and cute this hat is and will definitely be making more baby rosa’s. Actually, i’ve already cast on for another since. P.S. no i’m not pregnant.

For another ‘first’, I decided to knit myself a hat using the malabrigo worsted I found downstairs in Knotty by Nature and just couldn’t resist. I think i’ve since bought two more skeins of this colour just because i’m afraid of them running out of stock! The pattern I used is Jane Richmond’s “Autumn”. She is actually a local designer from the island which is pretty cool. This hat is supposed to be made with a chunkier yarn, so again I knit up a swatch and decided to go with 88 stitches. I also mixed up the rib and knit 2×2 instead of the actual pattern.. I guess I was reading too quickly. After the rib was done I also just added one stitch using the backwards loop method, so that I could just knit one purl one continuously. I did love how she cast off for this hat and I think it finished nicely. I made it with the intention of wearing it this week while we’re in Whistler.

And lastly, a pair of mens fingerless mitts for my friend Huy who just moved to the pacific northwest, and will be needing some working gloves.. at least I hope he needs them. Technically these were his Christmas gift but again it took me so long that it seemed more like a birthday present i’m sure. For these I used the earth collection homestead from diamond yarns which I also got from Knotty by Nature. I’ve a few more projects on the go and just got home with a purse full of freshly wound balls of yarn to work on this week, so more to come as always!! : ) My ravelry project page can be found here.

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paper hearts

Inspired by the blog The Artful Parent written by Jean, a mama of two young girls whom I just love to read her blog. Reading her blog helps me find new and creative ways to incorperate art into my life now as a mama of a young toddler. Art has always been a large part of my life and once our lil’ Kai entered our lives I was excited and certain that bringing art into his life would be seemless and enjoyable. However, it has shown itself to be a bit more challenging than I had anticipated. I started art projects with Owen at an early age, letting him explore with finger paints, or simply having him exposed to watching his mama painting, felting or whatever else I seemed in the mood for. Unfortunately he never demonstrated a huge interest in any of these activities, leaving this artsy mama a bit sad that maybe she would not be able to share this passion of hers with her son. This past weekend however when introducing this water color project he was thrilled and ended up painting at least 10 of these coffee filter hearts. Even after painting to his hearts content and deciding to go outside for some play time with our bunny’s he came back inside not too long after and asked for more painting! I couldn’t have been happier to see my lil’ Kai so excited about art. Anyway, enough of my rambling, and back to the art project itself. You will need coffee filters, scissors, brushes and water colors. I first cut out the hearts from the coffee filters by folding them in half as our lil guy is not yet old enough to take part in this activity. I then set out 3 different colors of paint along with 3 large natural bristle paintbrushes. I covered up his little table with some paper and we were off. The first minute or two he spent exploring the tools and not doing any actual painting but as soon as I started making my own heart right next to him he was off. This was most definitely a successful and toddler friendly art project. The water colors were easy to clean up after and the hearts made a great decoration for our glass door. I think they would also make great homemade valentines or cards for any occasion.


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no-knead bread round two

As promised, I attempted to make the no knead bread yet again. This time I used all spelt flour, and half a teaspoon of active dry yeast as opposed to a quarter of a teaspoon. The dough was so pretty and smelt so great. The actual bread? Well that came out looking a little crispy. Next time I think I won’t bake the bread for as long after the cover is removed. I’ve been doing that for 15 minutes as suggested but I’m guessing my oven might be a bit hotter than 500 degrees. I also don’t have the proper pot for baking this in, so the bread seems to spread out a bit wider than I’d like it. I will have to go in search of a good bread making pot and see if it doesn’t help the bread rise a bit more instead of spreading.

As for the taste? Delicious! The rye version from last night was so tasty and worked perfectly with all the cheese that everyone brought! Like today’s loaf, it was a bit crispy on the outside and we were all joking about the brick of a loaf I had brought… but to my delight the inside was fluffy and soft. I will definitely be making this bread a lot and hopefully with the right baking device i’ll finally get the shape i’m looking for!

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no-knead bread

Recently while searching for the perfect sweater pattern (i’ve decided to knit my first sweater) I found Elly’s blog. She recently posted bread that she had made using Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread recipe. No Knead? Sounds good enough to me! I decided to try making it yesterday only to realize you need to leave the dough for 10-8 hours, so I waited until the evening and threw together the dough and left it overnight. This afternoon I went through the rest of the steps and made a beautiful loaf using half rye and half regular flour. As you may already know Victoria is a rainy city and some days are not the brightest. By the time the bread was out of the oven it was so dark I could barely take any pictures. After holding my breath and using a painfully slow shutter, I bring you my first no-knead loaf. Listening to the advice on Elly’s blog, I watched this video to help me through the process, not that it was too hard. I didn’t have any bran or cornmeal on hand which they suggest using, so instead I covered my dough with seven-grain. I’d love to tell you that it tastes delicious but I have yet to taste the loaf! I’m taking it with me to a ‘bring your own cheese and wine night’. The host is a bread expert so i’m hoping for some future bread making advice. Fingers crossed that there won’t be much of this loaf left after the evening, so i’ll be starting up another batch of dough tonight to bake again tomorrow!

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this moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual (inspired by soulemama). A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Wishing you all a peaceful and beautiful weekend.

-April

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knitting for two

I want to share with you the beautiful new skeins of wool I accquirired this past weekend to finish off the super easy baby blanket I’ve been working on. I just love the new colors I got! They are 100% Peruvian Highland wool by Cascade Yarns in Seattle, WA. I really don’t think the photograph I took captures the true colors of the yarn but that’s probably because I took this in the early morning with the sun shinning in on them (Jenna my love this is where you come in!). And why may I be knitting a baby blanket you ask? Nope, not for Owen, this blanket would be much too small for him. We actually will be welcoming the fourth member to our family come this September! Hence why I’ve been MIA for the last few weeks as this pregnancy has been a lot harder on me than my last so far. I’ve basically spent the last few weeks sleeping, but in the last couple days I’ve regained a bit of energy and I’m definitely getting exciting about knitting our new little one some warm, cozy, handmade gifts.

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