Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Second Birthday.

Yesterday was the Imp's second birthday. It's hard to believe that he's only been a part of our family for two years. But here he is, eighteen pounds heavier and much more mobile. And still my sweet little monkey.

Rainy weather kept us from our playground plans. Instead we followed an adventurous little boy through the mall and later all over the library. For lunch we treated ourselves to pizza and pasta at a little pizzeria we discovered recently. To my surprise, the Imp even ate a fair amount.

A few (mostly ignored) gifts were given. I did not manage to make a special dessert (he doesn't really care for cake) nor did I manage a special beeswax birthday candle. I waited too long to get started on these things. It doesn't help that the Imp doesn't yet understand birthdays. He honestly had no idea that yesterday was special in any way. B, my husband, doesn't celebrate birthdays much. He'll go along with what I plan but in truth he thinks it's all silly and pointless. I won't lie and tell you that it doesn't hurt, because it does. It's just one of those things that we don't see eye to eye on. I try to tell myself that it's because he didn't carry this life for nine months. I tell myself that if he'd been on my side of the birthing, maybe it would be more significant to him instead of viewing it as a merely "physical process" as he does.

But no matter. Starting now, I'm going to celebrate birthdays the way I choose to (with the kids' wishes taken into consideration, of course). I will knit birthday crowns and decorate birthday candles. And I will not let the ambivalence of anyone drag me down. I grew these kids, I labored to bring them into this world, and I will celebrate that.

On a less ranty note, here is the knitted doll I made for the Imp. He doesn't care much as yet, but yesterday was a big day for him - lots of activity and a missed nap.

I made it using this pattern just as I did the smaller doll. This one was the twelve inch doll - though I haven't measured it to see if that is accurate. It did take more than one skein of yarn, though. I used smaller needles than it wanted because I felt that there were too many gaps in the stitches of the smaller doll (that could have been user error, I admit). I have plans to make a hat for it.

My seams still need work. This one looks better than the small doll at least.

Friday, September 24, 2010

{this moment} - in which I cheat

A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment to pause, savor and remember.

These two moments were nigh simultaneous.

(The Beast tries to suck his thumb and nurse at the same time. It's adorable. And completely counterproductive.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Knitted dolls

Thanks to the great folks at Wee Folk Art I was able to fulfill a deep desire to knit a toy for my kids. I used their instructions to make a five inch doll.

I probably should have stuffed it more. And I've learned some things about sewing knitted pieces and following patterns. I've also learned that I shouldn't knit in the car while talking to my husband - I sometimes forget to pay attention to whether I should be knitting or purling.

Of course, that hasn't stopped me from starting a twelve inch doll for the Imp's second birthday (in just one week!). The above photo is just one leg of the doll. It's going to be a tight fit on these needles.

Friday, September 17, 2010

{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 to pause, savor and remember.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First Knitting Project.

We've all been a bit "under the weather" here. And it's a shame because the weather has been beautiful. It's finally cooling down here in North Florida (hey, it's only been in the low 90's!). Between bouts of nose-blowing and toddler soothing I managed to finish up my first knitting project over the weekend. I recall there being some small interest on how I was going to turn a rectangle into a bowl, so I thought I'd document it. I can't say that it turned out exactly how I envision. But what ever does?

After a month or two of knitting (it's not easy when the toddler *really* wants your needles) I managed a rectangle. It's imperfect, but so am I.

With a tapestry needle I sewed it into a tube.

And then gathered one end.

This made a fairly impressive (and gigantic) bohemian hat. There was much playing for the rest of the night.

The next morning I tried my hand at felting in the washing machine. I'm not sure that I felted it enough and it definitely needs a shave.

It's furry, uneven, and has a hole in the bottom.

And yet it still makes a fairly impressive hat!

All in all it was an adventure. Despite the hole I think it'll serve it's purpose (to hold toys) well enough. My next bowl will be knit on circular needles. I may even attempt to follow a pattern!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Giveaway winner!

I meant to post this earlier but a house of sick little monsters (to speak nothing of the sick mama) has made that difficult. Not sure if there will be a {this moment} today, though.

The winner of the teeny stump and mushroom house is... Momma Rae! I'll be sending you an email soon to get your mailing address.

Thank you to everyone that entered. I look forward to hosting more giveaways in the future!

Also, just an update - Cynddl, our dog, is going to be okay. He doesn't even need one of those Victorian collars. They shaved him, though. So now our flat-coat (read: fluffy) lab-mix looks like a "normal" black lab!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The past twenty-four hours have not been so great. The Beast is unhappy due to immunizations (not to start a controversy here). Our dog, Cynddl, has an extremely serious infection and is at the vet right now. Things have just been... crazy.

On the up-side, I did get to relax for an hour yesterday. After the Beast's appointment he slept in the car while I knitted. We had an hour to kill before the breastfeeding support group started. It was quiet and so very, very nice.

But today that hour seems so far away. To cheer myself up I thought I'd post about the blocks we've finally started making for the Imp's birthday (can it really be just eighteen days away?). B used our new jigsaw while the Beast and I snapped photos from the window.

So here they are. We need a longer blade, possibly. And a more stable way to cut the thicker branches. We've been discussing vices and clamps. We're not power tool savvy, so there's a defiite learning curve here. I've only peeled and sanded the one block. But I think it looks handsome all polished up next to it's unfinished kin.

And don't forget to enter my giveaway if you haven't already. I'll be picking a winner after midnight - preferably in the morning after I've had some coffee!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Window Stars.

For my step-mother's birthday I decided to try my hand at making Waldorf-style window stars. We don't have any kite paper, so we just used tissue paper. I wanted the Elf to try it out. He did, but it wasn't fun for him. Too fiddly. He doesn't have a great deal of patience. I hope to try this again with him, though - maybe it'll help him.

I used three tutorials to base our experiments on: GardenMama's, Duo Fiberworks, and Twig and Toadstool. I also looked at a whole mess of images on flickr.

Here are the ones we gave her.

The multi-colored one was folded by the Elf, though he asked me to glue it for him. I'm going to make some more for us to hang in our windows. I suspect they will look quite nice.

Friday, September 3, 2010

{this moment} and a giveaway!

A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment to pause, savor and remember.

I've been talking about a giveaway for a while. Well, I think I'm finally ready for it. Lately I have been fortunate enough to win several giveaways and this is my way of repaying that luck and kindness.

The mushroom house is about five inches tall and about five inches wide. It is hollow with no floor and the roof comes off. The roof is covered in one of my favorite dyeing mistakes. I was aiming for brown and ended up with a gorgeous burnt orange (my favorite color!). The details are done in yarn from a surprise box (well, actually bits from two boxes) I purchased from Farm Fresh Fibers.

The scale is off, obviously. Unless it's a world with super-huge mushrooms.. or really tiny trees.

The brown wool on the stump was purchased from Smoky Mountain Fibers. She was great with helping me decide which shade of brown would be perfect for needle felting a tree. She even went so far as to let me combine two shades in one purchase. Yippie! The stump is about one and a half inches tall and three inches wide at the widest point. Warning: all meaurements were done based on a piece of paper I'm fairly certain is four inches long - spatial relations is not my specialty.

So here's the skinny. These two needle felted creations want a new home. It doesn't matter where you live or whether you follow this blog. Just leave a comment between now and midnight on September 9th. I'll announce the winner on Friday the 10th. Please make sure I have some way to contact you either in your comment or on your profile. Thanks and good luck!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wandering Wednesday (eventually).

I don't think I ever posted about it here. In fact, I think it was before I really started writing in this blog. The original post is here. The short version is that I made a doll - one of those little star teether dolls for the Imp and he didn't much care for it.

Well, the Beast loves it! So there!

Stephanie posted about her experiences with co sleeping. I was thinking about her post while changing the sheets on our "family" bed(s) and decided to take this photograph. Four of us sleep here.

And finally, today is the last Wandering Wednesday over at GardenMama's blog. Read about it here.

Here I sit with my three little ones. It amazes me how every day they become more and more special to me.

Links and a Nursing Update.

Just a few links for now. I'm hoping to find the time to write a meaningful post today. We'll see if the little ones can manage to nap at the same time.

Rhythm of the Home has posted their Autumn edition. I haven't gotten to look through it yet. I plan to savour it in pieces. I can't tell you home much I adore RotH.

Mama and baby Love is hosting Itsy Bitsy yoga classes again! I really want to to take the Beast and/or the Imp to her sessions. Unfortunately, even the reasonably priced $10 a class is just way too much for us right now. She is giving away a five class pass on her blog. You can enter here.

I seem to have won a copy of this month's Herbal Roots from MamaRoots. I'm super excited about it. I love flipping through the issues and setting aside ideas for the Elf. I'm going to buckle down and find the time to try and engage him in more herbalism.

Having won that giveaway, I feel even more that I need to host another giveaway of my own. I made that little tree stump but didn't think it was quite enough. A teeny mushroom house is in the works. I hope to finish it up in the next day or two so that I can post it.

And an update on the toddler breastfeeding issues I was having (because the older two are playing happily and the Beast is sleeping). I remember reading somewhere once that around two years of age a child's jaw starts to change to accommodate the growth of larger, adult teeth. The Imp (who will be two in 26 days!) has been chewing on his fingers a lot and exhibiting a lot of teething signs. So I'm thinking that maybe was causing a weird latch. It wasn't painful, just uncomfortable. It seems to have passed. But there's more to it, I think.

I've been very, very stressed out. A lot of it is me. I let things get to me. Things that shouldn't make me blink seem to make me completely insane. So I've been working on calming down. It isn't easy. I'm a very tightly wound person. But I'm working on it. Deep breathing and many reality checks. I've come to realize that I expect too much from my kids, but that's a post I don't have time to write at the moment.

Nursing the Imp doesn't bother me so much now. It's frustrating when he has to have it and can't wait a minute or two. But I don't get those terrible (and scary) feelings of complete resentment. I know that a lot of it is stress and feeling overwhelmed. I know this because if things start to get hectic while I'm nursing the Imp, those feeling begin to surface. It's a warning that I need to step back, ask for peace, and breathe for a minute to let the tension drain.

Right. This post was a bit longer than I'd planned. Hopefully, though, there will be more (and pictures!) later today.