Monday, July 22, 2013

A Rainbow Dress

This pattern is a favorite of mine. It looks so lovely and it is very forgiving so it can be worn for much longer than most dresses. It is a combination of the Bloom dress and Rainbow dress both by Tiki Knits. I made a similar dress for April last year than she can still wear as a tunic now.

This time I used the most gorgeous, luscious yarn I could find. It was time to treat myself. I bought hand dyed merino wool/silk blend yarn from Saltspring Island. The colors remind me of the rainbow you see in bubbles, they just glisten. It was a dream to knit with, so soft and silky. It turned out to be the perfect yarn for a garment like this.

Last time I used a fan and feather edge but this time I decided to try the diamond lace pattern for the hem. It was more challenging than I expected. I had to frog the hem twice because I simply lost track of what stitch I was on. It's very hard to keep track of how many times you have slipped one when you have more than 200 stitches. I stuck with it though and it looks lovely.

Thanks to the soft and stretchy yarn and the practical ribbing in the bodice I think this dress will be worn well into next year. I plan on making this pattern again but I'm excited to try yet another hem design and perhaps another special yarn.

Friday, July 19, 2013

This Moment

A Friday ritual. 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.

Inspired by SouleMama

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Taking the Train

Over the weekend we made another trip up to the BC Forest Discovery Centre to ride the train and visit with some friends. It had been a long time since we've seen our friends and it was fun for all of us to catch up and take the train together.

It was a gorgeous day. Passing over the trestle we saw people out fishing as well as birds taking advantage of the summer weather. It all made for a wonderful time of sharing snack, good conversation, laughter and lots of play for the children. Bringing bubbles along proved to be a very popular idea.

Although I think some of the historical wonder was lost on the younger ones, we adults certainly enjoyed watching the train fill up with water and continue to steam along to the station. Once there the children were lucky enough to be able to hop aboard the engine and check out the coal burning away and all the bells and whistles.

April obviously had so much fun as she fell asleep on the way home. Sun and activity are certainly the recipe for a good nap. Jon and I both commented on the way home how much fun we had. Our visits to the trains is almost always for April's pleasure but this was a visit we all enjoyed.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Backyard Time

Today we are on backyard time. We are taking the time to appreciate the sun and garden, smell the roses, listen to the hum of the bees, build sandcastles, lounge around with the cat and pick lunch straight from the plant. Such simple pleasures found just feet from my back door. It is a wonderful gift to be able to sit with my daughter in the shade of the pear tree and eat a lunch of peas, carrots, raspberries and blueberries all picked only moments before sitting down. I think we all need a little more backyard time.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

At Abkhazi

Yesterday we took a walk through Abkhazi Gardens. April calls it the jungle. It's a small garden but diverse and beautifully designed. We were marveling at the colors as we walked. All the pinks, yellows, purples, reds, blues and greens. Sadly we missed the rhododendron bloom this year but we will definitely put that on our list for next spring.

By far April's favorite part of our visit was the turtles. Ahkhazi has a beautiful pond and a three turtles that live in it. April could have spent all day sitting with them, talking to them and "checking" on them. Whenever I would ask if we could walk more she would tell me she just needed one minute to check her turtles. Lucky for April the turtle pond was filled with water lillies (which might just be my favorite flower) so I was happy to snap pictures while she chatted away with her turtles.

If you are in the area, Abkhazi is worth the visit. I honestly like it better than Butchart Gardens which is the bigger attraction here. They have a lovely patio that overlooks the ponds and gardens where you can have tea and snacks. We will be going back. There is nothing more rhythmic in our lives than watching how a garden changes through the seasons.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

At the Lake

We have been having a bit of a heat wave around here for the past week or so and for those of you who don't live on the west coast we are used to more mild weather. It's been uncomfortable trying to sleep, we've been avoiding going outside when the sun is high and we have been trying anything to get cool. One night we decided to brave the crowds at the lake and have a picnic. We were barely there 20 minutes before April had to go in the water. I was more than happy to follow her in. It was so refreshing.

I honestly don't have many pictures from our time at the lake because I was in the water. I was splashing and playing with my daughter. Jon and I would swing her back and forth while she would laugh at the big splashes she made. As the sun went down we could not convince April to leave. She was tired but I sensed that like the rest of us, she wasn't looking forward to returning to our hot hot house. The swim did her good though, she fell asleep in the car on the way home.

We've gone back whenever we can. It is a wonderful way to relax. As Jon and April build sand castles, I float on my back way off from shore. It's peaceful, it's freeing. I love watching the birds fly past and the wind dance with the birch trees. I find myself wishing for more hot days so my family and I can return to the lake again and again.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fast and Furious

Things in the garden are going fast and furious. It feels like there is barely time to keep up. We finally are having some of the heat that the garden craves and it has made all the difference. The peas are noticeable taller every time I go out there. We have harvested almost all of our soft neck garlic and are in the process of braiding them for storage. I have harvested 3 heads of cauliflower, beautiful kale leaves, scapes, lettuce, peas, radish and lots of berries.

I'm always a bit surprised by how many raspberries we manage to get from our small berry corner. I've already picked 2 pints off and that doesn't include the handfuls April east straight from the vine. I think I will need to do some planning for next year however. They are getting rather dense so it's hard to pick the berries at the back and they are toppling over. I might try to move a few canes and add some lattice. Luckily I have some time to give it a lot of thought.

My cucumber is not doing well. It is small with no flowers and some have even turned white. I might just need to give up on cucumbers this year. I hope I can buy some bags of pickling cucumbers at the market. In contrast, the squash seems to be thriving in this heat. They had a slow start but they are well on their way to being heathly, bushy plants.

My herbs are also doing well however I need to be more mindful of keeping them well watered in this hot weather. I am looking forward to my second crop of chamomile, fresh flowers make the sweetest tea. I'm also planning on harvesting some calendula for soap making. It's about time I made some soap with herbs from my garden.

Many more harvests are on the horizon and I am looking forward to trying new recipes and simply eat food that was picked only seconds ago. This is my favorite part of summer.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Canada Day

Yesterday we took a break from the daily grind and celebrated Canada Day. We played in the sun, cooked a meal to share with friends with goodies from our garden, donned patriotic tattoos and just had a simple, lovely day. I hope all my Canadian friends had a lovely day too.