Monday, July 28, 2014

A Summer Cardi

I started this little sweater months ago but got sidetracked by new hobbies. I noticed it in my knitting basket and the yarn was just to gorgeous to let sit any longer. I finished it just in time too, it barely fits. I needed to modify the pattern a little bit however. I started this in the winter and long sleeves and full buttons seemed a bit too much now that is it summer.

I used the Garter Yoke Baby Cardi pattern with the gorgeous Blue Moon Socks that Rock yarn in Hobbit Garden. I decided to make it short sleeved and added only three button holes. Button plackets are not my forte, they never look quite right. It was definitely the case here. My cast off edge was too tight and I think I picked up the stitches backwards. Luckily this colorway is very forgiving and you can't really notice once it is on.

Don't these colors suit my blue-eyed boy? I feels really good to finish something for him. I haven't made him anything since he was born. I think it's time to change that. So very many ideas whirling around in my head. Let's hope at least a few of them come to fruition. This little cardi was definitely a good place to start.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

For the Fairies

We've been learning about fairies lately. It all began with a Sparkle Stories podcast about fairies. Then another fairy audiobook. Then we were reading Flower Fairies books and Elsa Beskow books. We were watching for fairies in the forest and checking flowers for hiding fairies. We decided that those elusive fairies might come out more often if we built them a lovely home. So off to Pinterest we went. April and I spent some time pinning pictures of the things we wanted to include in our home. Finally we collected our supplies and enlisted the help of daddy to complete the first of several fairy homes we planned to place around our property.

The house is on the small side I will admit but we saw it on the shelf at Michael's Craft Supplies and decided we could make it into a magical house. We added a coat of paint, some pinecone shingles to the roof and some lichen to attic windows. April collected some special green acorns on a nature walk and decided they were for the fairies. We left them in a pot by the door for the fairies to admire.

Next we visited the local garden store and picked out a nice plant to add to the garden. Because we put this just under a window near our house we can't really plant anything here but we did put it in a pot. I made a couple twig chairs for the fairies to sit and watch the butterflies and hummingbirds visit our garden. We made sure to add a sign so the fairies knew this was made for them.

Fairies are sure to be hungry when they drop by so we picked up at few gardening tools and put out a small garden plot for them to grow some snacks. Their little basket is already full with tomatoes and peppers. In the spring we will plant some small flowers around the edge of the garden. Maybe the fairies will surprise us by bringing some seeds of their own.

Finally, since fairies are such playful creatures, we added a little playground for them. Daddy made them such a lovely see-saw and April and I made a tire swing out of an old toy tire. This is April's favorite part. She loves to swing the tire back and forth, imagining the fairies doing just that when they come to visit. It has been so magical making this with her. She checks every morning for signs of fairy visitors. We are already planning another home in the backyard under the apple tree.

For more Fairy Gardens and to enter the Fairy Garden Contest at the Magic Onion click here.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tiny Dancer

This year was April's first year of ballet at our local community centre. It was a class she had specifically asked to take after we watched "The Nutcracker" at Christmas. I managed to enroll her with the dance school that I attended as a child. She even got to dance the same dance number I did at her end of year recital. This dance class really brought out a new shimmer to April's personality. She came alive in that class.
She was also lucky to find a new friend in her class. They were completely thrilled to see each other every class.

These pictures were from her spring class but she has been continuing with ballet through the summer. This particular class gives them a lot of freedom to express themselves through movement. There is some structured dances and stretches but each class allows for plenty of free-dancing. It's pretty perfect for this age group. We are looking forward to exploring more dance in the fall (even if it's not ballet) as this has been a very positive experience for us all.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

It's Growing

We have been so lucky to be soaking in sunshine lately. The garden has been blooming and ripening in the sunlight. We do need to be very vigilant about watering when the days are so hot but we also got a day or two of rain to give us a day off.

We are busy harvesting carrots (look at those carrots! It's probably been our best year for carrots.), peas, chard, beets, kale, garlic, strawberries, a few raspberries and herbs. I had hoped for a better year for our herbs since my stores of dried herbs are almost gone but the heat got to a few of my pots before I could. We also lost several chili seedlings during a failed attempt to harden them off last month. I suppose that's the thing about gardening; there are always new challenges.

This is my favorite part of growing our own food. Standing in the garden eating fresh peas, planning meals by looking out my window, eating as fresh as possible and finding a renewed gratitude in nature for the nourishment it gives.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Canada Day Together


It was clear, sunny and hot this Canada Day. It was our first as a family of four so we made sure to spend it together. We got up early and drove to Sidney for some family friendly celebrations. We could not have asked for better conditions. We were lucky to get the last parking spot near the parade, found a spot to watch in the shade, were joined by my aunt and April scored plenty of goodies. Though I must admit I find parades disappointing these days. Hardly any bands and almost none of the fancy floats we used to see when I was a child. Still, April seemed to really enjoy it.

Once the parade was over and the crowds began to clear we took a walk along the sea wall to visit a park down the way. At this point however it was mid-day and almost unbearably hot. The weather always seems warm though when you have a small person wrapped to your body. The views were stunning. There were light wisps of clouds in the sky that took on rainbow colors as the sun hit them. It was clear enough to see the Olympic mountain range and Mt. Baker.

April certainly got her fill of fun. She got to visit a new park she had never been to, play with her aunt for a while, race another child in an inflatable obstacle course and finally cool off at the water park. I wasn't expecting to find a water park so I was not at all prepared but being that she is still only a preschooler I though she could pull off panties and an undershirt. It was so hot that day she had practically dried by the time we got back to our car.

We ended our day with a backyard barbeque with friends and ice cream. And a little bit of aloe for our sunburns. Happy Canada Day indeed!