{ This moment }

{ 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.

 If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by SouleMama.

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Posted in Family Life, { This moment } | Tagged , | 25 Comments

Slowly closing up shop

My husband is on vacation today and tomorrow. Which means, he will probably be more tired come the week-end than he would have been if he would have gone to work. There is usually one thing that makes my husband take time off in fall, and that is closing down the house and yard for winter. The weather has been nice some days, but also brutal on other days here this fall, it already feels like late November out there. So the window coverings are going up, the pool has been tarped up, the flower beds have been given a good shave and new dirt, compost, newspaper and leaves are being spread lasagna style over our fall cover crops, filling our beds to start building our soil for next spring.

That being said, I’m inside. *grunts and growls* I usually love to get my hands dirty. I love working outdoors. But of course, this year, it is not possible with my arm still busted. So I’ve started the more delicate and meticulous job this season brings : Drying the last of our herbs and flowers and collecting seeds for next year’s bountiful harvest!

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Taken last August

Agastache (also known as Anise Hyssop or Bee Balm) has to be one of my favorite herbs. Growing it attracts so many pollinators (hence the name) and to make tea with it is simply divine. As I type this, my fingers smell of anise and I’m already daydreaming of hands wrapped around a warm cup of tea as the snow falls outside.

I use to buy it, not realizing that it was not only perennial, but very happy in our cold climate. So I planted my first stand which gave me just enough to fill my 4 tray dehydrator and to collect enough seeds to quadruple my stands next year. Not to mention that the stands already in place will most likely double if not triple come spring.

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It amazes me how this life we’ve chosen can be equally hard and simple all at once. Some of it truly his the hardest work we’ve ever done. Bodies sometimes aching, staying up late into the night or up before dawn, ensuring we seize every opportunity the earth gives us. But the processes themselves, the rhythm of the seasons, the cycle of life we are truly apart of makes it seem all okay somehow. Better than okay. It gives what we do and who we are meaning.

So as I sit at the table with tweezers, coaxing the seeds out of their delicate and fragile pods, I smile. Knowing I hold life in my hands. Not only the seed itself, but our very existence.

Have a wonderful day everyone and stay warm!

Posted in Family Life, Homesteading, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Thoughts and struggle concerning time

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You may have noticed that I’m still not very active on my blog these days. Honestly, I can’t blame my arm anymore. Although there is still some healing to do, it’s feeling much better and I’ve recovered a wide range of movement I had struggled with the last few months.

No.

If I was to blame something (although, I’m never big on blaming), I would have to point the finger at time : fleeting, escaping, running away with it time.

Ever since I became a stay-at-home mom, I’ve been trying to find the right balance in my life : Between kids and home, cleaning and playing, me time and family time, outdoor and indoor… The process of introspection I’ve been on about my schedule has been constant, if not a bit overwhelming at times. How to best spend my time, how to best use my time, how to insure I’m giving all the different parts of my life the appropriate amount of time and most importantly, what am I DOING with my time that I feel I have so little of it?

I think that last question rings the closest right now because of this nagging feeling I have that I’m always over scheduled and running. You know that feeling you have that you are forgetting something? That is me 23 hours out of 24 and I never thought I would feel this way after stopping working.

I’ve recently come to understand that a lot of the pain in my elbow, arm and shoulder, although truly physical, may have an emotional catalyst. Yes, I’m actually putting this out there for the world to see : I think part of my pain is in my head!

This past Sunday, my husband and I were blessed to get together with a group of Tao practitioners like ourselves and participate in a day of learning about Chinese energetics in Traditional Chinese Medecine (TCM). We learned all about the 5 elements and how they are associated with everything in our lives from seasons to food to major organs in our bodies. But what especially rang true was the negative emotions associated with these elements and how they affect us physically. I wouldn’t feel knowledgeable enough to give the information here, but lets just say I saw a lot of links between the way I’ve been feeling and parts of my body that have been feeling less than “up to par”. And at the base of it all, stress was a major factor.

So how do I solve this? How do I take better care of myself while addressing the REAL problem (my level of stress) instead of the symptom of the problem (the pain in my arm)? Quite frankly, I’m not sure. Little things I guess :

  • Learning to say NO. That is a HUGE one for me. I love to make people happy. I mean, who doesn’t right? But along with loving to make people happy, I have a sometimes unhealthy attachment to my fear of making people unhappy. And if that wasn’t enough, when I do muster up the courage to say “no”, I usually end up feeling guilty about it, which negates the whole effort anyway. So this, evidently, is a huge one for me.
  • Start creating more. That is a given. I need to not only carve out time for creation, but not feel like it should be last on my list all the time. Everything always ends up coming first, that comes with being a mom and I’m sure many of you can relate. But I need to stop brushing it off as “non important”.
  • Continuing with our decluttering efforts. As I feel winter approaching and the indoors calling us in, I’m starting to feel claustrophobic again. We’ve made very huge progress in our home organization, but with us starting to board up windows and fully shutting closed doors, I feel the urge to clean and organize all the time. This means we still have too much stuff. We have become stagnant again. It seems no matter what we donate or get rid of, there is still too much. The more I feel the need to clean, the less I feel like I’m using my time properly. Vicious circle right? So the way I see it, the less we have, the less we have to clean, the less I’ll feel like I’m wasting time.
  • Getting back in shape. I’m tired of feeling tired. Something needs to change. It’s easy to feel like you are getting exercise when you are running after a little 2 legged tornado all day long. But that is NOT exercising and I need to stop relying on it to keep me healthy.

Okay, now that I’ve actually said these things out loud, they don’t seem so small. But I think they need to happen. So I’m starting today. Baby steps right? A drawer here, a sit-up there, a quilt square and a plan-free week-end is in the air. Didn’t mean to rhyme. LOL! Wish me luck and thanks for listening. xo

Posted in Cultivation, Family Life, Life, Simplicity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

{ This moment }

{ 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.

 If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by SouleMama.

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Posted in Crafting, Quilting, Sewing, { This moment } | Tagged , , , , | 45 Comments

Learning a new stitch – a beginner’s dilemma

So, knitting is something I love to do, but honestly, I never really put any real effort into it. The poor friend that thought me how had to re-teach me how to purl about 5 times before it stuck. I love knitting mostly because it is the most portable of my crafts. Although I did pick up some EPP (English Paper Piecing) skills, even that requires papers, thread, needle, scissors, fabric… But with knitting, the whole thing fits in my diaper bag. I’m a happy camper.

Wash cloths and dish towels are my thing. I always make the joke that if it’s square  or rectangle and mostly made with the knit stitch, I’m good to go. But this year, I wanted to try something new. Not that I was going to make much more than wash cloths and scarves, but I wanted to try new stitches.

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I found one that I adore : The Horizontal Weave. A quick little you tube video to watch and I was on my way. The fluidity, the ease, it spoke to me. I thought it would be a nice change for a neck warmer I’m making as a Christmas gift. Only here is the thing… The more I knit, the more I like the WRONG SIDE BETTER! Maybe it’s the chunky yarn I used,  but those heavy warm dense ribs, I’m just in love…

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Is that weird? I’m seriously asking because I’ll be putting buttons and button holes in this thing and I wouldn’t want to make a major knitter’s faux-pas here.

I’d love to hear from all my amazing knitting readers and friends…

Thanks in advance for your feedback and have a lovely night. xo

Posted in Crafting, Knitting | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Crafty Q & A Blog Hop

So last week, the wonderful Kim from Mothering with Mindfulness tagged me in a Blog Hop Q & A that I’ve been itching to respond to. If you don’t know her blog, you really should! Took me a few days to get some projects started to actually make this fun, so here it goes!

What am I working on?

For the last few months, my “crafts” have been gardening, baking and cooking, food preservation and just enjoying summer and fall as much as I can.  Although we did not get the yield we hoped for in our gardens, we did manage to can and preserve a decent amount of food for the winter months. I’ve also managed to cast on a few knitting projects and started making salves as my oils have been ready. As for quilting, much of my patterns and fabrics have been chosen, I’ve even managed to start sewing a baby quilt and the start of a table runner, but cutting is an issue and I still have to show my husband how to use the rotary cutter. I’ll be trying my hand at little peg people for my daughter for Christmas this year. I have everything I need, just need a few more weeks to get full mobility in my right arm and I’ll be good to go!

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How does my work differ from others?

I would say it doesn’t really. I’m not trying to put my work down, I’m just very new at all the homemade-handmade thing so I’m blessed with very inspirational people who amaze me and guide my creative hand. I guess the only thing would be that my work is very freestyle. I’ve always had a bit of trouble following a “recipe”. So whether it be a pattern, some instructions, unless it is going to completely ruin it or make it unsafe (like with canning food), I tend to get inspired, but then improvise.

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Why do I create what I do?

Mostly because I like to own things with soul. I love handling the raw material in my hand, I love knowing the work that went in it. It is also the reason why I love places like farmer’s markets, fairs, online shops like Etsy. I love having a relationship with the people who give to us through their passions, their life’s work. And that to me is important for my children to learn as well. I make food from scratch because I want to be in control of what goes into my family’s bodies. But I also want my kids to see, smell, feel the ingredients one by one, telling them where they come from, why we use them. It is also about being mindful of the precious nature of handmade-homemade goods. My children watch me knit, watch me sew. They might ask me one day why I spend so much time on a quilt when I could just buy a blanket at the store. And that day I will tell them no matter how much I spend on a blanket in the store, it would never be as filled with my love as the one I made. I don’t want my children thinking it’s okay to break a toy because it came from the store and we can just go get another one. I want them to look at every piece they own and think : Someone made this, someone gave me this, it is worth respect.

How does my creative process work?

I’m ashamed to say that I don’t really have one. I get inspired by just about anything : Something I see, something I hear, something I taste or smell. So many amazing resources out there, it is easy to just get inspired in a few seconds. I am very unorganized because I get so little time to myself that when I do have some time, I need to have something ready to go. Which means, I usually have a million projects started because if I only have 15 minutes, I’ll knit a few rows, but if I have a few hours, I’ll sew a few blocks. When crunch time comes around, I will resort to lists. But I try to steer clear of them in general. But with starting our homestead this year, I’m seeing a lot of my crafting becoming “practical”. Not that it is less fun, but they have become less of a luxury. Time cooking won’t be spent on a single meal, but creating a range of yummy foods for the week for example.

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Thank you so much Kim! This put me in such a great mood and kicked my behind into gear for my fall projects. resting is important, but creating heals the soul!

Now my turn! I would like to invite the following lovely ladies to hop on in :

If you have never visited their spaces, please do. Three amazing ladies, so talented.

Hope everyone had a wonderful week-end!

Posted in Blog Hop, Crafting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Slowly but surely

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I’ve been away and I’m sorry. Trying to do it half way was impossible. I rest my arm while the kiddos nap, but then any progress I make gets undone once they get up. I naively thought for a while that being on the computer wasn’t doing any damage, but it is. Seems my entire radial nerve has been impacted and well, fingers typing away kinda play a large roll in irritating it.

But I missed you all so decided to write a quick hello.

I am getting better. The week has been a slow one filled with snuggles on the couch, Disney movies, quiet play and slow walks when the weather has permitted it. I have been able to knit a bit. Funny enough, reminding myself to NOT tense my fingers around the needles has been a great tension reliever in my wrist and forearm, but I can’t do it for long.

I’ve been making lists (which I never do) because of being so late in my projects. It’s a bit overwhelming, but I’m trying to not let it get to me. One thing I will try out this week-end is to teach my husband how to cut fabric for my quilting. The irony of the situation is that sewing doesn’t hurt, but cutting does… but if I can’t cut my fabric, I can’t sew!  The list that has me the most worried is of course my Christmas presents list. This is the first year that we are making all our presents. That being said, if I don’t start soon, Christmas will come and go. This has been another great motivator for staying quiet and spending the least amount of time on the computer as possible.

So here it is, a short little progress report. I’ll be back this week-end with a post (graciously typed by my wonder-hubby) that I’m excited about : I’ve been invited by Kim from Mothering with mindfulness to participate in a Q&A blog hop and I can’t wait to chime in… just need a few projects actually started if I want to have any kind of pictures to show you. LOL!

Wishing you all a wonderful day and a wonderful week-end. For all my fellow Canadians, happy Thanksgiving week-end. May your lives be filled with gratitude.

Posted in Family Life, Healing | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments