Wednesday, December 31, 2008


This year was a complete blur. There was so much loving and cuddling with Baby C that time sort of stood still (until I look back and realize that its been a full year). We made our biggest move yet and now live again in the small town that we just couldn't stand to be away from. We are still settling in and this is where the nesting in anticipation of the arrival of baby #2 comes in to play (hmmm... a sister or brother for Baby C to play with). I completed my first and second quilts, and oodles of baby blankets for all our friends little bundles. We had a great year and I cannot wait to see what 2009 holds for us.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I've been good

I have been really good about my fabric purchases lately... until I stumbled upon the Olde Crow website and found that my local quilt shop was having a 40% off holiday fabric sale. Now how can you pass that up? They are practically giving it away! So I browsed and bought... and bought... and bought... I am so ready to get started for next years gifts I cannot wait!

Monday, December 29, 2008

What are we doing?

I was horrified when I checked my email this morning and saw a message from a friend clarifying that his son was ok and in fact survived and incident involving his vehicle and a large IED in Afghanistan. It seems that not a day or week goes by that I read of another Canadian, or American, soldier who has lost their life as a result of of this ridiculous war. The reality and devastation truly sets in when it strikes so close to home and I have to ask again (as I have been doing for years) - what are we doing? When will this end, when will enough be enough?

52 Books :: Week 2

I finished Parenting Inc. this weekend and pretty much enjoyed it. I really liked the author's message that its not what is bought for our children but what is done for and with them that truly matters. She goes into a lot of detail about the commodification of parenthood and child rearing which was a much appreciated reminder in this crazy commercialized month of holiday madness. I think this book had a lot of potential and perhaps missed its mark a bit. It read to me like somewhat of a run on sentence and had I not been so deeply interested in the topic, I have to admit I probably would have abandoned it in favour of some knitting. But all in all it was a worthwhile read.

For week 2 I have chosen a fun, quick read:

The Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini (part of the Elm Creek Quilts series). I have read the first two books in the series and am not completely in love with them, but find myself wanting to read more. I can't explain it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

52 books in 52 weeks

I just joined the 52 books in 52 weeks group on Ravelry and I'm pretty sure that I'm not up to the challenge. Maybe 26 books in 52 weeks... but probably not even that would be doable... but I think it will be fun to try. I've always been a bit of a book worm, but with Baby C...and the soon to be new baby, and my beloved (and all too short) crafting time, my reading time has fallen by the way side. I'll try to post on Monday about the book I'm starting that week and hopefully by the following Monday I'll be able to post a new one. With the new baby coming in April this will be slightly comical and I'm curious to see when those Monday morning posts stop coming. I guess I shouldn't set myself up to fail. I'll be positive! I can' do this because I want to... there... if only I could believe myself!

I'm going to cheat and post book #1 already. Whatever... I can bend the rules a bit!

Parenting Inc. by Pamela Paul

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Its done!!!

I had such a fabulous night last night. Mom and I sat around the table, and later together on the couch, tying and binding the memeory quilt for Grandma. It was so nice to hear stories of my grandfather (whom I never really knew), and Grandma and her sisters, and the odd story that Dad would throw in about his childhood. It was a really special way to finish a project so close to my heart. The technique is in no way perfect... but the quilt... it is perfect.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Additcted to Ravelry

Oh no... my invitation to Ravelry arrived today and I just realized how long I have spent on line... and I'm barely a knitter! This could be quite dangerous!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Call to Action

This morning I was disturbed when I came across this link on the Bee Handmade Stuff blog. Basically it talks about a piece of US legislature that will virtually ban handmade toys in an 'effort' to make toys safer for children. I agree that there should be some bans made and some legislation passed regarding children's toys... but focus on the major companies that are putting hundreds of thousands of contaminated toys on the shelves every day! It seems ridiculous to me to be going after small companies and work at home moms who care and take pride in producing a quality, safe, non-toxic toy for themselves and their customers.

I turned to handmade toys as a result of all recalls of lead infested toys. I am not concerned at all that Baby C's Waldorf doll (made of organic sheep's wool) contains lead or other toxins, but I do fear for every other toy she has ever been given.

This is of particular concern to me, as if this legislation is passed it will only be a matter of time before this happens in Canada too.

Lets do what we can to stop this madness!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Not so complete birthday crafting

Well... I was maybe a little too ambitious this year for holiday and birthday crafting... I think if it didn't take me so long to find wool felt (which I did at the Waldorf school store in Guelph) I could have actually completed Baby C's birthday crown. Unfortunately the crown will have to wait for next year but she wasn't completely undecorated. I remembered to snap a picture of her in her birthday bib minutes before she went off to bed (after a few "I'm so tired and sick" tears). Not at all the best picture, but it was all I could get - we were too busy celebrating to remember to take pictures!

Monday, December 15, 2008


Today we are doing a whole lot of celebrating. This sweet little girl is now 1 year old. What can I say about Baby C? She is curious, but cautious. Smart and quick to learn new things (unfortunately she only had to see me open the only cupboard door with no child lock once to figure out that it was fair game). She is quick with her hands and loves to move. She shares a love of music with mama and daddy (and even shares a few favourite bands with us too). She loves to dance and loves to move. She has quite the sense of humour (and shows us this all the time by teasing us with her food), and laughs from her belly. She is a pure joy and I feel so privileged to share my birthday with her - I couldn't have asked for a better gift. Here is to you baby girl!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Project #1... simple and sweet

Mom and I completed project #1 with our new embroidery machine (a Janome 350 E, I'm impressed and I haven't even read the instructions yet!) last night. Its a simple yet sweet bib for Baby C's birthday dinner on Sunday. I can't believe this sweet little babe is actually 1 year old. Some days I never thought I would survive, but I wouldn't have changed a single day. I am blessed to be able to stay home with her and watch as she grows, and discovers and develops into such an amazing little girl.

I still need to finish her birthday crown before the big day but it will get done (and in a more acceptable time frame than some of my more recent projects!).

Making time

Today I am making time for a sick little girl who just wants to cuddle on the couch with mama. No crawling, no walking, no getting into cupboards she shouldn't be... just cuddling on the couch with her snuggy blanket. Its a bit of a nice change of pace, I just wish she didn't have to have such a high fever and feel so terrible to get it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It shouldn't be this hard

I am trying to find wool felt to make Baby C a birthday crown (pattern compliments of Soulemama's book the Creative Family) and do you think that I can find it anywhere in Guelph, or K-W? Not yet. I will be checking out the local Waldorf school's store on Thursday - I know they have wool felt I just don't know what weight it is. Either way it will be better then what I have found. I'm actually quite stoked to check out the store, I've never been there and just found out that they are a lot closer to us then I realized.

I'm beginning to run out of time, Baby C's birthday is on Monday and we had a terrible experience with a party hat on Saturday. Lets just say that she didn't get the concept and nearly ripped her little ears off while she frantically tried to remove the hat after snapping herself in the face with it.... I think her crown will be appreciated by all (and a little safer too!).

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Baby C's first Waldorf Doll

Baby C's first Waldorf doll is here just in time for her first birthday and I am one excited mama. She was made locally by Tanja of Sewfunky and she is absolutely beautiful and wonderfully crafted with such skill. I don't have a picture of her with Baby C yet (her birthday is in 2 weeks and I'm trying to keep her a secret) but here is a sneak peek from Tanja's website.

All I can say is that this is one fabulous doll and I'm a bit jealous that she is not mine!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Knitting.... sort of

I have been saying for years that I am going to learn how to knit... and I finally am (sort of). It truley is difficult picking up something new with an almost 1 year old babe banging at your knees and stealing your knitting needles! I have decided that the only time that would be appropriate to practice my newfound (ahem...) skill is during nap time... but with dreaded teeth numbers 7 and 8 on the verge there is very little nap time in our house these days.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sewing in the Sun

The available sunlight around here has been limited to say the least but I am so happy that when I sit down to sew during Baby C's late afternoon nap I am sewing in the sun. For a few minutes I forget that its cold and snowy outside. What is it about a quilt in progress that makes it look so much better when its enveloped in a bright beam of sun? Magic!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Counting my blessings

Today I am counting my blessings for husbands that do the dishes, and daughters who are so sweet and want to help.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Crochet Baby Blankets

This has definitely been a year of babies for our family and friends. So, like any sane person who has a 11 month old baby, is pregnant, is working, trying to finish a distance ed course, and trying to keep up with the housework (I am not keeping up by the way - thanks to Nick for coming through on that one!) I decided to start a new blanket. There are 2 possible recipients for this particular blanket, and who is goes to really depends on when it gets finished. The first baby is due in January, the other in May. I figure I should have lots of time to finish this for the May baby and start a new one for the January baby... but when I look at my calender I start to doubt myself.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Life in a Snow Globe

The barn we pretend is ours... but its really just behind our backyard

The forest behind the house

The view from our patio door.... breathtaking!

Monday, November 17, 2008


I am so pleased with the progress that was made this weekend. The butterfly curtains are finally done - thanks to mom for some assistance and motivation on that one. I am so in love with these curtains. I think the fabric is just beautiful, and it is so special to me. We used this fabric at our wedding as a backdrop for pictures and to decorate the doorways and stairs of the hall. It has been re purposed so many times (always as curtains for one room or another) and now I am so happy that Baby C has them in her room.

Butterfly Curtains in Charlette's Room

Next was the office. I was horrified when I looked back at this picture and realized what horrible shape the office was in and also how long ago I posted about trying to get this mess under control. Here we are almost 3 months later and with a little help from the men in my life it has been transformed into a functional office, with the added bonus of finally having a place for my crafting supplies. And the best part - I was able to dig out my sewing machine and get it ready for some serious use (none too soon either).

The Office/Studio - now I can finally get some work done!!!

And the memory quilt... The blocks are all cut, the photos have been ironed on and it's on its way. It took quite a while to figure out exactly how I wanted the pattern to work, but I'm happy so far with it and while I planned to start sewing this weekend I will be starting tomorrow. I was afraid that it just wouldn't be finished in time, but I think that I will make it, I'll have to machine quilt it, but it will be finished.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

First Snow

I'm taking a break from all the organizing and projecting to post this beautiful picture from my front yard. Its been raining all day long so imagine my surprise when I stepped out to take Aragon out at 8:00 tonight to find this... So beautiful, clean, and cold!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Hmm... I wonder if this is the nesting talking, or simply the fact that I actually have a weekend off... I will be finishing projects this weekend. In order of importance:

1. Baby C's butterfly curtains
2. Organizing the office
3. The memory quilt top

I also hope to start on the Christmas ornaments and make some serious progress on my course reading.

I'll post back on Monday to check my actual results!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Couldn't find the words

Yesterday I couldn't find the words, and today I still can't but Remembrance Day is a day far too close to my heart to let it go without anything. I was busy yesterday remembering, and praying for the men I know overseas. Praying for their safe return, and the safe return of all the troops. Wondering why we are at war in the first place. Wondering why things have to be the way they are. There truly aren't the words to express my day yesterday, and today, and everyday until we are safely home and reunited.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dust and paper

I'm digging around in the old photo albums today to find photos for the memory quilt and I'm having so much fun. I found this great photo of my grandma, grandpa and dad when he was a baby. Precious!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I am trying...

I am trying so hard to make some real progress on grandma's quilt. So today I sat down at the computer while Baby C was napping, edited the photos, figured out how to mirror image them for printing, and printed the first page... only to realize that I need colour ink. They look like something the first colour printer ever would have created - full of lines, crazy colours and terribly out of focus. I'm glad that I bought some extra photo transfer paper... but not so glad that it is so expensive! Oh well, I'll try again later today if I can make it out to buy more ink and hope that it works.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Memory Quilt

I'm making some progress on the holiday crafting. Last week I went down to the Olde Crow Quiltery in Elora and picked out the fabric for grandma's memory quilt. I'm so excited, every other block will be a picture of her or her family. I'm not too worried about posting about it since at 89 she wont be anywhere near a computer any time soon. I have all the fabric washed and ironed and am almost half way finished cutting out the quilt blocks. Tomorrow I will be going through grandma's old photos for some "early years" shots... and hopefully she wont be too curious as to why I'm borrowing 60 year old photos.

Its hard to find time to get things done during the day (as I am working most nights of the week) between feeding Baby C stars and cheerios, playing with her farm and just being mom. But I love the chaos and wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Holiday Crafting

I will hopefully be starting my holiday crafting within the next few days. Priority #1 is a stocking for Baby C, last year she had a store bought "baby's first Christmas" stocking - I would have loved her to have one that was hand made but she wasn't set to arrive until the next year, and surprised us all by showing up 10 days before Christmas (and what a fabulous Christmas it was with her and I tucked under a warm blanket sitting in front of the tree). Next on the list is a stocking for Nick and I, a photo quilt for grandma and possibly a set of table linens and throw pillows for an unnamed recipient! Off shopping for supplies we go (that would be me and my partner in crime... Baby C!).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jumping In

Our latest and greatest creation is rapidly growing and is now showing. That's right, I now have 2 feet firmly planted in my second trimester and we are slowly preparing for the big day (which suddenly doesn't feel so far off). We feel so blessed and are terribly excited.

Everything else has sort of been put on hold while we try to unpack, organize and set up for the new baby. Also on the list is baby proofing now that Baby C has proven that she is extremely quick and mobile for a baby who has been crawling for about 12 hours. It is so hard for me to believe that in just 6 months my little bean head will be a big sister... and even harder for me to believe when I look at this photo of her from just 10 months ago!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Giving Thanks

Today I am counting my blessings and giving thanks for so many things. My families good health is at the front of my mind this week in light of a friend's recent tragedy (my prayers are with you forever and always C). I am giving thanks for Baby C and Nick, our fabulously supportive parents and my grandmother whom I learn so much from every day. I am thankful for life lessons that remind me to smile and live today like it could be my last (cliche I know, but sometimes I think that cliche is ok when there has been so much heartache, despair and misfortune in such a short period of time).
I am giving thanks for good friends, and great weather. For husbands that do the dishes and love me unconditionally. For a daughter that melts my heart each time she smiles, cries or growls at me (yes, Baby C growls... I like to think its her way of getting ready for Halloween... or for terrorizing the dog). For discovery, and the privilege to watch as she explores the world around her. I am thankful for so much that I cannot even begin to express.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Falling in love with the season

Yesterday was a beautifully charming, wet, cold fall day. Baby C and I went to the old house one last time and snapped up all the fall goodness.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Home is where the heart is

This will be a bittersweet weekend. I am so excited to be helping mom and dad move into their new home but also sad that my childhood home will no longer be "mine". The home I grew up in was a small, old bungalow, but it was situated on a fabulously beautiful yard. Just this spring we had a photo shoot with dad, Nick and Baby C under the crab apples trees when they were full of pink blooms - fabulous. The house itself required a lot of work from mom and dad (as an example the cinder block basement was used by the old owners to grow potatoes - seriously - so mom and dad spent the first few days literally taking truck loads of dirt out of the basement) but no matter how much they did there was always something left for them to do. So today they are the proud owners of a custom built home. They are trading the property for the home. After 21 years dad is ready to have his weekends back from yard work and spend some time playing with grandchildren. I am sad to let the old home go, but I am excited for mom and dad that they will finally have a real basement, a bathtub (mom hasn't had an actual bath for 21 years!) and a home that they can settle into and relax for the first time in their married lives!

Monday, September 22, 2008

crisp... clean.... it must be fall!

Today marks my absolute favourite time of the year, it is the first day of fall. I find something magical about the change to fall, more so than all the other seasons. There is something awe inspiring about watching the maples turn red, orange and yellow, crunching through the leaves and taking a walk on a sunny afternoon that is just crisp enough to be completely refreshing. There aren't a whole lot of fall colours yet, but I know they are coming and Baby C and I will be out walking and looking for them in the weeks to come. I can't wait to see her face the first time she crushes a leaf in her tiny palm.

And as a perfect way to spend a first fall day, Grandma is coming over to teach me her secret tea biscuit recipe. Its not that it is incredibly grand or complicated but it is a family favourite. I admire her so much, at 89 she is still out and about and can whip up an apple pie or a batch of biscuits on a moment's notice. I am honoured to spend the afternoon in the kitchen with her and Baby C , 3 generations of Speers women... Here's to a fabulous day!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Stressful week and no time for stress relieving activities...

What a week, I am glad that its over! It has literally been one thing after another... the most life threatening... finding out that when my car was repaired the mechanics decided to take out my headlights (why???) and not put them back. I only realized this after I pulled onto a street last night that had no street lights... Hey - where'd the road go? Luckily mom was driving behind me and she kindly guided me to the safety of my driveway going about 40 km/hr. Woosh - dodged a bullet there!

On the way to have them fixed today Baby C got into a mad chewing fit in the back seat and choked herself to the point that she puked all over the car and was heaving so bad she couldn't breath. Ask me how fast I pulled off the road, got that 9 month old beauty out of her seat, tossed her upside down and did the Heimlich. Woosh - another bullet.

All I want to do this weekend is sit down and do some good old fashioned crafting... but I have a mommy day/play date to get ready for tomorrow and a birthday party tomorrow night. Looks like staining the deck and baking birthday cake and making icing from scratch will have to do.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Not a complete failure... but not a complete success

Well... my dreams of getting things done last week were dashed when I realized that I had a tonne of baking to do for work and only 1 night to do it.... So I abandoned the half organized office and cut and pinned Baby C curtains (but didn't get around to sewing them) and put on my apron. Out came a double batch of chocolate walnut brownies, oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip cookies. They were an absolute hit (and I can attest to their fabulous taste since I ate twice as many as I sold). So, while I didn't get the things done that I planned, or hoped to do, I still had a very delicious weekend and Nick and my family appreciated all my hard work as they ate the left overs.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Just like her daddy

This is our little Rock Star in training. At least if she wants to be a drummer she can play daddy's electrics! Doesn't she just melt your heart? She melts mine! We had a wonderful weekend of loving, familying it up and playing.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

a little less than...

I have been feeling a little less than inspired these days. I have fabric that needs washing, and cutting, and sewing, a baby blanket that needs finishing, and a house that needs unpacking (on the surface we look unpacked, but we most certainly are NOT unpacked as this lovely and frightening photo of my office shows). Today I'm looking for the motivation to get off my butt and get at least one thing done.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Seriously, this is what I get to see every night

I was scanning through pictures on the camera and became extremely thankful that this is what I get to see from my deck every night. We are truley fortunate!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Baby Quilt

After weeks (months) of deliberating, I finally decided on the fabrics for Baby C's quilt. On Saturday (while we were being rained out of the highland games) Mom, Baby C and I went shopping at the Greenwood Quiltery in Guleph and picked up these goodies. I can't wait to get started, I'll be making a "yellow brick road" quilt which I think is quite fitting!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Up yer kilt mother nature

This is just about my favourite time of year, the Highland Games. We go every year but this year was going to be extra special because it was to be Baby C's first time! BUT mother nature decided to dump rain on us all weekend, and I mean dump it. There was no chance that we could have taken Baby C out in it. At one point when I was driving on Saturday I almost had to pull over because I could barely see the road! I don't think that our little bean head could have taken it - and I wasn't about to experiment.

I didn't completely miss the games, I went to the tattoo on Friday night and saw the sights while Nick and Baby C stayed home (it was so cold!). Seven Nations were back (they haven't been for a few years) which was great and I was so stoked to see them play again! That was definitely the highlight of the weekend (at the games that is)

At least I got a chance to snap a bit of beauty in the form of my flowers!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Lost in bloggy heaven

I know that when Baby C naps I should nap, or work on the unfinished baby blanket on the couch, or I don't know... eat... but instead today I am lost in bloggy heaven. I have just added a blogs I'm reading link on the right mostly because I'm afraid that if I don't I'll lose the links. Last month my computer crashed and I lost about 200 fabulous crafting links that I had saved in my favourites section. I was mildly devastated, then got over it, then realized what I had lost and have been trying to reconstruct the list. So far I have not added a single link that used to be there, but I found a tonne of fabulous others that I hadn't discovered yet.

Dangerous, dangerous, dangerous....

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Butterfly Bedroom

I am getting so excited. I will be fabric shopping this week or next for Sweetpea's butterfly room quilt. We are settled into the new place enough that I can get started on it without too many boxes being in the way. I am grabbing inspiration from this, this, and this. Although I am also completely in love with these Heather Bailey fabrics and am considering abandoning the theme altogether (at least for the quilt)... If I can't decide maybe I'll have to make a few quilts and have 1 for weekends, 1 for during the week and 1 when I get tired of the others... Now there is an idea!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Basking in Baby

I am basking in baby today and so thankful that I have the opportunity to play, discover and watch Baby C learn about the world around her. Today is just a regular day in our house (well almost, she can sit now which makes her quite proud of herself - and tired), the babes and I are keeping occupied with each other, food, and of course her new favourite... her taggy ball. How could you not love those little hands and feet?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

hhmmmm...... stationary!

If you know me, you probably already know that I have always had an unnatural addiction to stationary. Cards, (especially thank you cards or pretty little note cards), writing paper, cute little envelopes, notebooks (notebooks! I have more than I could ever hope to fill).... As a kid I made my mom countless "hand" and "foot" books and she saved a lot of them. At one time or another everyone in our home had a "mailbox" posted outside their
bedroom door so that just before bed I could deposit a hand written love note to them...

The only person I know who could spend 3 hours in a stationary store and be in heaven is Leah. She and I have been writing to each other the snail mail way for the last 10 years and this has only fueled my addiction because she has one too!

In the last few years I have found a much more productive outlet for my love of all things stationary - scrap booking. I think I get it from my mom who is making me the most extravagant wedding scrapbook ever (it has been 3 years in the making and its almost done). I'm going to be starting Baby C's baby book soon and found some fabulous scores while we were out today.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer Eats

I recently made a huge batch of this yummy summer salad for my niece's birthday party. It was a hit and will definitely be a permanent part of our summer menu!
Edit: The recipe for this (not overly impressive, but definitely tasty) salad is:

Diced tomato (seeded), cucumber and red onion mixed with any Greek salad dressing. For the dressing I used 1 tbsp. oregano, 1 tsp. Parsley, 5 tbsp. olive oil 2 to 3 tsp. Vinegar, Garlic powder, Salt and pepper to taste. Then pour the Greek dressing over the veggies and let sit in the fridge over night. If you make it with any variations that are yummy let me know!

Friday, July 25, 2008

For a new babe

I I made this baby blanket for a friend who is expecting her first little boy next month. I started the week before we moved and finished last night. I think it turned out well considering it was my second attempt at crochet! Its the perfect size for a stroller ride on a crisp fall morning. I made it double long so it can be tucked right under to keep those little feet warm.

I think that Baby C needs one too...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Love at first click

Ah.... I am whole again! I can finally take pictures! Poor Baby C , if she thought that I took a lot of photos of her before... Last night the decision was made (not lightly mind you) and I picked up a Nikon D60. It was love at first click (and I am still shooting on automatic for crying out loud!). The pictures speak for themselves.

The view from the deck

Housewarming gift

Late afternoon on the deck

Our first house guests... mama protecting her babes!