Thursday, June 30, 2011

Feeling a Little Lighter

Quick question:  Is anyone else feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff around them?

I am.  Everywhere I go in the house, piles of stuff are staring back at me.

Daring me to walk to the window without experiencing stabbing pain in the soles of my feet.

Taunting me and my less than perfect housekeeping skills.

I can't seem to focus.  I feel frazzled and frustrated.  Lately, the only place in the house where I feel calm is here.

Yesterday, enjoying coffee at this table with a good friend, I realized why I like this space so much.  The trees, the sun and the perspective are a given.  It is also the lack of stuff.  A table, couple of chairs and some plants.  That's it.  That is all we need when we are in this space which got me to thinking that there are so many other places in the house where we don't need as much as we have.

So I am setting to work today, on this the last day of the school year.  I won't get it all done today but it's a start.  And when our summer officially begins this afternoon at 2:10, I will feel a little lighter.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Countdown

As much as I wish I could move at a much more leisurely pace this morning,  I'm afraid that is not quite possible.  I'm off with Keegan's class for the last field trip of the school year.  The countdown has begun.  Four more days.  That's it.  Then I can move as slowly as this little guy.  Heck, some mornings, this little guy will be leaving me in his dust (or slime).  And that will be just fine with me.

Happy Monday, all!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Expanding My World

I thought I would share some pictures from the last craft show I did on Saturday.  Due to a smaller table at this show, I had to change my display slightly and make it a little more vertical.  Here is the whole table.

Now for some close ups.

A good friend very generously donated the two iron shelving units and they worked out great.  Lots of space to display the soap and yet you still have the feeling like you are rummaging through your mother's or grandmother's dresser.  Not that I would recommend such behaviour but who among us hasn't done that at some point in our childhood.  It is an unexpected consequence of doing craft shows but one which I am fully appreciating.

I am still determined to keep the costs as low as possible while still displaying my soaps in an aesthetically pleasing manner, hopefully.  I found the silver dish below at the thrift store last week and love how the bubble bars look.

Beer soaps and other bath goodies

And now for the tiniest detail on the table but one of which I am very proud.  I needed something to hold the price signs with a minimum of cost.  As I have said before, I am . . . frugal.  Did some research, did some thinking but had no ideas.  Then, the day before the sale, I was doing a mock set-up and I had a genius moment.  (Okay, "genius" is an exaggeration but forgive me.  My days are made up of the little triumphs sometimes.)  Look.

I know it is only a toothpick stuck in a chunk of soap but there is something about it that I love.

As for the sale itself, it was a quiet day but still a good day.  First and foremost, I sent a little more of my love for hand made soap out into the world.  Secondly, each show is always such a learning experience and I have yet to end a show feeling like my day was wasted.  And finally, these craft shows are expanding my sense of community in the hand made world.  I knew that such a community existed but I guess I didn't really think it existed in my hometown.  Just as the blog world has introduced me to a more global hand made world, these shows have introduced me to a more local hand made world.  No longer do I feel that I may be the only person in my corner of the world who enjoys making things.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tea with the Ladies

My mother is one of eight sisters and as a result, I spent most of my formative years surrounded by women.   (I did not know my maternal grandfather but have been told he was a gentle, quiet man.  Living with nine women, I sometimes think he didn't have much choice.)  When I think of those years, the picture in my head is of my mother, grandmother and me in the middle with my seven aunts rotating around us.  Kind of like the sun and the planets.  Does that make the men in our lives the moons?  Interesting because up until the moment I wrote those words I have always associated women with the moon.  Hmm.  Different circumstances, I guess.

Geography meant I saw some of my aunts more often than others.  Whether in a small group or all together at the same time, I have never known a group of people to laugh as much as my mother's sisters.  As a quiet child, i would simply sit at the kitchen table with these women, listening, laughing along, sometimes without really understanding the joke but laughing anyways.  They were a good group of moons to have rotating around my little world.

Two days ago, I joined my mother, three of my aunts and my cousin for afternoon tea.

Tea.  Scones with cream and homemade jam.  Sorry.  No picture of the scone.  It was too good and I had eaten it even before taking a picture entered my mind.

Laughter.  This picture has convinced that I think I'll stop wearing my hair back in a ponytail.

Having our tea leaves read at the table.  Entertaining.

To continue the tea drinking theme, I thought I would show you my new necklace.

Pretty cute, huh?  I just noticed that it matches my tea cup from the tea room.  The necklace was made by the lovely Shawne of Necks to Nature .  I had the pleasure of meeting her at my second craft show and have since been admiring her jewellery.  I like the jewellery maker as much as I like her jewellery and that seems to make the necklace that much more special.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

An Invitation

Lavender scented bubble bars

Busy, busy, busy today as I prepare for another show in two days.

Yesterday the very sweet Michele invited me to be a guest blog at Tierra Verde.  Michele makes beautiful handmade soaps and I feel pretty honoured that she invited me into her space.  Thanks, Michele.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Must Sleep

I'm feeling a little bleary eyed lately from lack of sleep.  Red eyes.  Oh-so attractive bags under the eyes.  Falling asleep while reading books to Quinn in the afternoon.  (This is not so unusual actually.  I seem to have a lull in energy mid-afternoon, usually when they boys feel like relaxing themselves with some books.  Well, reading out loud at this time of the day just knocks me out and I literally fall asleep while reading.  Yep, eyes closed, head nodding, the whole thing.  That in itself is not so strange.  The strange thing is that I keep reading out loud but since my eyes are closed and thus not able to read the words, my brain makes up words to continue the story.  It cracks Mike and the boys up.  Keegan eagerly awaits for it to happen but unfortunately, it's not a trick I can perform on demand.  Giggles due to the arrival of seven dancing ballerinas in one of their books once woke me from a pleasant afternoon nap.  Not surprisingly, I also fall asleep in bed at night while reading only to be harshly woken up by  a book falling squarely on the bridge of my nose.  Sorry.  I digress.)   I wish I could blame my recent tiredness on someone or something but I have only myself to blame.  Wait.  Not true.  I blame Claire and Jamie.

I started reading this series in January and I have been whole-heartedly sucked into it.  I can't seem to put each book down until I finish it at which point I quickly pick up the next book in the series.  It goes everywhere with me on the slim chance that I may have a few minutes to read.  And as you may have guessed, I have been staying up far too late the last few nights reading about the adventures of Claire and Jamie.  I don't think I need to tell you that I am enjoying the books.  I only wish I had fewer obligations during the day so I could read in daylight and then get a decent sleep that night.  Must sleep.  Honestly, I don't foresee that happening tonight.  I am so close to the end.  Also, is it wrong to feel that I would leave my husband for a fictional character if said character just happened to step directly out of the book,  thick Scottish accent, kilt and all?  That's completely normal, right?  Right?

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Good Start

It's a PD (Professional Development) Day here so no school for the boys today.  I slept in a wee bit, got up, made coffee and climbed back into bed with coffee mug in one hand and my book in the other.  I was soon joined by the boys.  While I read my book, Keegan read out loud to Quinn.  Sip, read, glance over, give a little hug.

Late breakfast of pancakes and maple syrup.

The sun is showing itself.  Later we will head out to the farmer's market for fresh veggies and strawberries, along with the kettle corn to which Quinn and I seem to be developing an addiction.  Also heard there is a tea lady there on Fridays.

Looks like it's going to be a good day.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Embracing My Inner Pippi

Is 40 too old for pigtails?  Maybe.  Perhaps.  More than likely.  Oh well.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Knitting Mojo

Knitters will know what I am talking about.  You are working on one project only to see another pattern that you would like to knit, then another and perhaps another.  It seems there is just not enough time to knit all those sweaters, hats, mittens and scarves to keep loved ones warm in the cold months.  It's a good feeling.  And then all of a sudden it's gone.  The knitting mojo.  Gone.

It happened a few months ago when I decided to take a break from knitting for my Etsy shop.  As much as I enjoyed knitting for the shop, I was excited about knitting something from the mental list in my head that had been getting longer and longer.  But where to begin?  I quickly cast on for a sweater  that I had wanted to knit for a year but ended up being a bulky green mistake.  I think that sweater was responsible for sucking away my knitting mojo.  Or maybe all my creative mojo was being directed toward my new passion, soap making.  I couldn't seem to keep up with all the ideas for soap.  A balance of sorts, I guess.  Either way, after that green seater, I didn't want to knit much of anything. So I worked on a pair of socks, the occasional face cloth and I was bored.  Bored by knitting.  

Then Saturday afternoon happened.  A rainy Saturday afternoon when I found myself with a few free hours.  Yes, that's right.  Lego had provided me with a whole afternoon to browse knitting patterns at my leisure.  And it came back.  The knitting mojo returned.

I now look forward to sitting down with my knitting in the evening.  It is relaxing, that clickity clacking of the needles.  But far from boring.  I am already planning my next project.  Welcome back, knitting mojo.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

For One Short Evening

For one short evening we had the world's biggest sandbox in our backyard.

And with the kind permission of the workers, the boys played like only boys can play.  I believe a squeal of delight was heard when Mike threw the bag of sand toys down into the pit formerly known as our backyard.

Let's not worry about the dirt.  It is easily washed away and swept up.  And sweep I did.

And don't forget about the mighty machines left to rest for the following day.  The workers suggested the boys climb in.  Such nice men but the boys didn't need the invitation.

Keegan: "Can we keep it like this?" Us: "No."  Keegan:  "Well, then can we do this once a year?"  Us:  "That's funny. . . No."