Friday, May 18, 2012

Status quo ... is not quo.

So, I'm trying to make small changes. And then we'll see where the quo can go.

1) Craft Hope - Aprons for Haiti

Ok, I'll be honest...I'm not sure about this one. The principle of the project is to make aprons for women in Haiti, something pretty that's just for them. It's not quite as useful (imo) as the previous project that made birthing kits for Haitian women and their newborns. But. Craft Hope is one of those online communal exercises that I really like supporting. So, I do.

aprons for haiti

Mostly made up the pattern on the fly. Love the snap that secures the pocket together.

2) Comfort Blanket for T

Ok, this one is another group effort. One of the moderators for the swap group that I'm part of on Ravelry is going through a crappy time of things. Crappy as in she asked her husband to leave because he's been doing hard drugs for a year on the sneak...and she now makes too much to qualify for food stamps, even though it's just her and three kids now. Yeah. That kind of crappy.

Honestly, I truly wanted to help her. But was at a loss. Until it was suggested that maybe making a blanket out of squares made by people who love and support her might be a nice thing to do.


So, I solicited the group members for squares. And set to putting my mediocre crochet skills to work. One giant granny square later, the squares from the others are starting to trickle in. I'm very excited, and hope that we get enough to make a large border of contributed squares.


3) KOL quilting bee

Ok, this one is a little more selfish. I wanted to do a quilting bee. But. I'm a shy geek who doesn't really know how to put that out there into the void of the Interwebs. So, I cheated. I asked members of my local knitting group if they'd be interested in doing a quilting bee. Had no idea what to expect. Managed to get 10 more people (!) - which surprised the hell out of me.

Set up a monthly schedule, and away we went. I'm going first, as it just seemed to work out that way. Have received some pictures of the lovely blocks so far. Am crossing my fingers that we all last the year-long commitment. Wish me luck.

4) And in other craftiness - there was some spinning


Red Merino with SO MUCH SPARKLE


and some socks knit for some swaps.



Even a pair for a SIL.

womansocks v. 1.2

Next on the to-do list? Making the most epic Star Wars dice bag ever. After all, what else are long weekends for?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

In the woods, there was a little house...

Where there lived a little mouse.

And this mouse is pretty damn happy right now. I've finally found a place to make into a home, not just a house. It's been awhile since I wrote, as the last time that I had a space moment to breathe, I spent it renovating one thing or another. Honestly, it's been wild. Carpets in, hardwood out. New stairs, paint everywhere, office built from the studs out, drywall, bathrooms gutted, tilework, and the list goes on and on. All done in two months, give or take a little.

And now?

Things are finally settling into place and calming down. My room is finally complete, and I'd love to show it to you. It used to be the house's dining room...but we really didn't have a need for a formal eating area. And I did need a space of my own.


This is my desk. When I look out of my window when I'm writing, I can see our (very long) driveway, trees and garden gnomes that my kids keep moving on me. At least I hope it's the kids. Under the cutting table, there's a lot of clutter - but at least the clutter is sorted clutter. All of the bags are holding yarn scraps, one bag for one weight of yarn. And the big box is filled with "to do" mending and projects in progress. I really should get to that.


This is the other half of the room, as taken from my chair. Funny that it didn't make it into the picture, but there's a piano against the wall there. And yes, I do have a lot of fabric. I know. When the zombie apocalypse hits, at least we'll all be warm.

Everything in this room is what makes me ... me. My sais are on the shelf above my head, and I'm still thinking about what I should put on the walls for decoration. But other than that, I'm done.

I'm home.

Friday, February 17, 2012

And in sum...

Ok, I totally intended to be good and post more about our travels. But time got away from me, and it's just not going to happen. A very fast pictorially illustrated summary. During our time in Spain we went to Carcassonne.


Spent lots of time on boats.



(Kitchener stitching a sock)

Visited the Val de Nuria


and took a funicular to the top.


Went to Barcelona for the day on a date with just my sweetie. No munchkins.


Visited the local cathedral in Castello de Empuries, which dates from the 14th Century.


Visited the Fortress of Roses, which managed to compress almost of all of Spain's history into less than 3 square kilometers. Definite must see if you're in the area.


Had a few date nights with just my Mister, thanks to the generous babysitting of the in-laws. We went to Roses, which is where you'll find El Bulli. We strolled the pedestrian area and ate in a restaurant that was filled with just native Catalan speakers for three dates in a row.


And ate LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of chocolate croissants. Oh, they were divine. Best chocolate croissants ever. Seriously.


Once we landed in mid-October, we had six weeks at home. During which we bought a new house. Whirlwind much? Yeah. I'm still catching my breath.

In December, we flew to Toronto for the holidays. After an epic New Year's party at a good friend's house (I haven't passed out during a party and then woken up and rejoined the party at 3 am in a looooong time), the Mister and I flew to Maui. For his work, and also to celebrate our ten year anniversary.


It was pretty. But a definite once in a lifetime place to visit.

And now?

I'm elbow deep in renovations. We gutted the master bathroom, ripped out the carpet, painted every room in the house, and we carved out an office for the Mister in the basement. And we're still not finished. Phew. But I think that it'll be worth it. Want to meet my new neighbors?


A very small herd of deer.

In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller - Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. Myself, I intend to go mad quite happily in the new house. I'll be the crazy lady sitting on her dock, playing her cello to the birds and bees. How've you all been?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dali is weird.

Another direct quote from Mr. Munchkin.

One of the very few days that there was rain (and it stayed mostly on the Plain, while we were in Spain - sorry, couldn't resist), we decided to go to Figueres and visit the Theatre-Museum Dali.

It was the theatre in Dali's hometown. He and his wife bought it after it had been turned into ruins during the Spanish Civil War, and they turned it into a museum to house some of Dali's works. And Dali, too ... eventually. His tomb is in the basement, surrounded by incredible jewels of Dali's design.


The outside of the building is covered in what looks like little golden nuggets. But it turns out that they are supposed to be the local meat pies. Yeah. It gets weirder.

The place is covered in HUGE murals, filled with installations specifically made for the museum, and the sounds of Dali's clanking, unfolding, mechanical pieces fill the air.


While I thoroughly enjoyed myself (and spent more than a few euros just to see the coin operated mechanical pieces unfold) ... I think that it was eventually too much sensory overload for everyone. Eventually, we escaped back into the rain, and ran away from the headless dolls and tortured sculptures that lurched over the balconies of the Museum.

The town of Figueres is charmingly decrepit...but even that wasn't enough to erase some of the nightmare images conjured up by Dali.


In the end, I watched the storm clouds roll away at the end of the day, while perched on the balcony. Perfect antidote to the too much-i-ness of Dali.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sand between my toes...

On the Costa Brava of Spain.

We spent a month of total decadence in Spain. It was ... heavenly. Most of the days blended together in a haze of good food, cheap Cava and lots of swimming in the pool. Our daily routine mostly went something like this: homeschooling Mr. Munchkin in the morning, followed by escapades in the afternoon. I'll be showing you some of the highlights in the next few posts.

One of the first adventures was trekking down to some local Roman era ruins in Empuries. (Geeky factoid - the Spanish highway that we travelled on was the II. It still retains part of its Roman name - the II Augusta - as it was one of the primary roads to Ancient Rome.)


The town started as a Greek/Eutruscan trading port, and then the Romans took over and really built the city into a major stop on the Roman highway. It was fascinating seeing the construction techniques that the Greeks used initially. As you continue walking further through the site, you get to see how the Romans later dramatically improved on the Greek techniques.

There's only about 1/5th of the city that's been uncovered. And since the site isn't swarming with tourists, many of the original mosaics have simply been left where they were found. And you can walk right up to most of them.


There were three domus (houses) that were fully uncovered in the Roman town. Here's my favourite. The mosaic floor on the left is a HUGE banquet room. Since the site was only minimally cordoned off, we were able to walk around the house (except on the mosaics), and were left alone to dream a little.


Apart from a forum, arena and the requisite baths, there was also a small museum housing some of the finds from the digsite.



The top picture is of a very detailed mosaic showing the sacrifice of Iphigenia. I found the bronze bust of the woman to be particularly interesting, as its eyes follow you as you walk around. I didn't get a picture of the magnificent marble statue of Aesculapius, but here's a link. He was the patron god of the town, and there's a replica statute standing in the remains of his temple in the city.

And the best part of the day?

Moonrise on the beach afterwards.


Thursday, December 8, 2011


Or to be more precise, Legoland.


This part of the trip was notable for two reasons.

One, we car camped. And it was AWESOME. I may have to "acquire" a VW camper just for this purpose. Never done it before, will definitely do it again.



First roller coaster ever for Mr. Munchkin. And his very own Driver's License.


Lego pony ride for Miss E. (See this ride? I took her on it 23 times in a row. And there were squawking German marionettes everywhere. Never say that I don't love my kids.)


Two days was not enough, I could have stayed for a week. But the siren call of Spain's Costa Brava was whispering in my ear...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Yadda yadda yadda...

Ok, last little bit of Iceland. Glacier fields are fun, as long as you keep the toddler away from the mile deep crevasses.


and reconstructed longboats are even better.


And that's about it. (Yes, even I'm getting bored with all the stunning scenery. Time to move on.)

Germany was much the same old, same old.



This one's haunted! And for good measure, had a display of chastity belts


weaponry and seige engines.


Hokey but fun.

Here's Mr. Munchin's journal entry for the day: (Direct quote, I swear.)

August 25

I woke up and ate breakfast. Then we went to a castle called Burg Berwatstein. The knights became robbers. We went around the castle. For lunch I had scrambled eggs.

The fact that we drove from Germany to France to have lunch was totally lost on him.


The Alsace region may just be my favourite part of France. Ever. Especially because they're the ones who invented flammkuchen. Yum.

Oh, we also went to a few medieval/Celtic festivals. Guess you're wondering how the Viking costumes turned out?




No pictures of me, as I refused to wear mine out of fear of death of heatstroke. I kid you not. UN retrospect, I should have used matching coloured thread in my serger. I had no idea that the seams would show up as often as they did. But I'll know better for next time.