Thursday, April 29, 2010

{this moment} - blackberry blossom fairy

{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. See Soulemama to play along.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

'Tis the season (WIP Wed)

What? You mean you don't start Christmas and other holiday knitting in April? Actually last year I started in February so I'm running a little bit behind this year. I have bigger and better plans this year of more handmade under the tree so I'm starting now in hope that I'll get most of my plans done. (Not to mention all of our kids' birthdays fall between Oct and Jan making for a busy 3 months on the celebration front and lots of winter goods to be gifted!)

First up, this scarf that I started a while back, but I'm just now really starting to love. I kind of wish I'd started on bigger needles because I'm definitely going to run out of yarn before it gets to the length I want. The pattern is simply lovely though.

Next up, a very quick knit and great way to get used to the way of sock patterns. I only spent one day on each sock, which was too large for me when finished. Using worsted weight Wool of the Andes, these slippers cost only $3 in materials, which I think is awesome. I intended these to be for Philip, but they shrank quite a bit and are closer to Finn's size. A good thing to know since I intend to make all the boys a pair, maybe as Martinmas gifts? I'm hoping to snaz them up a bit with some cute buttons so I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

I'm also trying to knit some toys as gifts this year. I've seen Philip gazing longingly at this one from World of Knitted Toys. I'll be sure to show you when he's all complete. He's amazingly soft in baby alpaca from Knit Picks so I hope he'll be well-loved.

What are you working on? Anyone else start on their holiday knitting already?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

after the rain

When the skies cleared after the rain, we were given a brand new spring day. A day ripe with opportunity for exploring this exquisite glistening landscape washed anew by the cleansing rain.

Elizabeth relished the opportunity to smell the post-rain air from her spot on the deck while enjoying the latest installment in her favorite series.

And then there were puddles.

Each ripe with new life and new discoveries.

We even discovered a few saplings poking their heads up from the mud.

Oh, the mud. Finn has been newly turned on to the wonder that is mud this week.

He squishily stamps his handprints wherever he can find a clean canvas.

And he mischievously chases his siblings with glee.

But who could deny this little boy the chance to discover what comes after the rain.

Monday, April 26, 2010

the Calder game

"I'm going to play the Calder game, Mom." Elizabeth announced as Finn was taking a nap, Paulie was working on a school project and Philip was building a lego masterpiece. With so many kids announcing things to me at any given time, I unfortunately do not catch everything that flies at me so I didn't pay her much mind until I saw the supplies she was gathering.

"What did you say, Elizabeth?"

"The Calder game. I said I'm going to play the Calder game."

"Ok, just what does that mean?"

"You'll see." came her reply.

She carefully studied the available colors in our box of modeling wax, decided on her shapes, then set to work.

About 45 minutes later, she had a heart, a star, a spiral, a cube and an "E".

"See, Mom! Now I have 5 shapes that are all different to hang from my mobile, just like Alexander Calder."

"I see, Elizabeth."

Then she wanted to hang her mobile up in the sun to see how beautiful the colors were.

Elizabeth used modeling wax and string to make her Calder mobile. We refrigerated her project for a few minutes when it was complete so it wouldn't fall apart before the wax had a chance to harden again. She learned about the Calder game from the book by the same name which her class has been reading at school. I love to see her education and imagination intersect in such an amazing fashion. Let the Calder games begin!

*We're having serious computer issues at the moment, ie. a failed hard drive on our less than 6 month old mac, so my posting may be more sporadic or somewhat dated for the next few days. Eek! Send healthy computer dust our way please!*

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stop Motion Animation

The rainy weekend we're experiencing has forced some renewed creativity in the kids, as being mostly stuck inside often does. One of the popular creative outlets this weekend has been making stop motion animation clips on Paulie's Flip camera. Here are two of Paulie's shorts:

duck walking up steps

growing tree encounters lightning

Friday, April 23, 2010

{this moment} - the earth in her hands

{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. See Soulemama to play along.

~ Elizabeth's modeling wax earth to celebrate Earth Day ~

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

the great outdoors today

The sun came back this afternoon and brushed the dreariness away. Thankfully! The kids wanted to, as usual, spend their outdoor time on their bikes.

Mama, instead, chose to knit out in the sun and spring breezes.

Then we all laid in the grass for a few minutes examining the fluffy white clouds scattered over the amazingly blue sky.

which Finn took as an open invitation to try to run me over.

Elizabeth spied the moon that was already peaking out from behind the clouds and correctly identified it as a first quarter moon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

dreariness & WIP Wednesday

The world is a bit dreary in our corner today. The afternoon brought angry gray skies which made taking any photographs difficult. The afternoon also brought a sad boy who was disappointed that we forgot his class potluck this evening until it was too late. I really hate it when I forget one of the kids' events like this. Since our kids go to 3 different schools, I try to maintain some semblance of control over our schedules, and if I tell them we'll attend an event, we do...unless I forget. Sigh. Never mind that most of the food probably wouldn't be suited to what we generally eat. That kind of comment to a sad boy certainly wouldn't have helped him feel better. Fortunately, an after dinner treat of an ice cream shop run seemed to alleviate some of the sadness.

I guess beauty sometimes shines through even on dreary days.

Did I mention the whole afternoon left me in a bit of a funk? Fortunately, I'm finding the knitting I've been doing very relaxing. Here's to a knit-ful evening!

A gift for Paulie that I worked on late last week: the elf cap from Handknit Holidays. I really love that pattern, and this yarn was a dream to work with as well.

I've been really enjoying working on this project for the last several days...a loose knit scarf for myself. (Something for me? Say it isn't so!) This yarn, so full of texture and deep color, was purchased from Shivaya Naturals to benefit Doctors Without Borders, and the pattern is Faggotting from Lace and Eyelets.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Various Challenges

Blogland seems to be full of challenges lately, and although I'm picky about what I choose to commit to, we've been charging full steam ahead into these 2 challenges. First up, the Green Smoothie Challenge. Green smoothies every day for 2 weeks. Just 2 little weeks. C'mon, you know you want to drink your greens every go right on over to here or here and sign yourself up.

Next up is the Great Outdoor Challenge which I've mentioned a few times already. April is really the perfect month for this challenge, at least in NC. Our weather has been so gorgeous for almost the whole month. Today we spent most of our time outside just playing.

Paulie and Finn's favorite game: Paulie pushes Finn, then walks in front of him,

pretends to get kicked by Finn,

and falls backward dramatically. Boys! I sure hope Finn doesn't laugh if a little kid unintentionally walks in front of him one day...

We did check out our basil which is sprouting up all over the pot. I had the bright idea to buy some organic basil plants (these have already been harvested twice for pesto) and also plant basil seeds in the same pot. As the seeds grow larger, I'll completely harvest the big plants. Yay for extended basil growing season!

We also noticed the crazy amount of new growth on our pine tree this year.

And how tall the golden grasses are growing in the field behind our house.

Whats going on outside where you are right now?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

out in the yard

Today we spent the bulk of the day out working in the yard. I wanted to fill our porch and deck pots with herbs this year, just to see how it goes so I planted some lavender, oregano and mint. If all goes well, an herb garden along the house somewhere might be in the future.

Finn spent his time alternately riding his bikes and helping daddy plant blueberry bushes.

He's already quite a pro with the shovel.

We also transplanted our rosemary bush to the little flower bed by the rock. I hope it does a little better here than in the pot. I feel like I use more rosemary than I was able to comfortably harvest from the potted rosemary. Hopefully, the rosemary will flourish and become a nice little shrub in this spot.

When Elizabeth came home, she and I spent some time in the front yard working on our individual yarn projects. Such a nice way to spend the evening!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

a Saturday morning

On this Saturday morning, Paul, Finn and I found the first strawberries of the season at our farmer's market. I'm sure in the next few weeks we'll have strawberries coming out of our ears, but for now, it was nice to see the early birds.

Following the farmer's market, we hit our favorite local coffee supplier via airstream.

Our next stop for the morning was the Earth Day Fair happening at a local college. We were happy to see some of our favorite haunts, including the above coffee supplier, our favorite used bookshop and our kids' summer camp, had booth representation at the fair. One of our favorite sights was the "veggie dog".

Finn enjoyed meeting and learning a little about the owls.

And the muffin on a stick from Slow Food brought a smile to his face.

By the time he took a turn on the African drums, he was about done for the morning.

But what a fantastic way to spend a Saturday morning!