Wednesday, 31 December 2008

A whole lotta stomping

About a month ago we all watched the DVD Pulse, A Stomp Odyssey. We really enjoyed it and E stomped around afterwards making his own rhythms. We ordered Stomp Out Loud from our library and finally got a chance to watch it last night. Both boys were fascinated - there was nary a peep nor a wiggle during the whole show. They were riveted. I'm a little concerned about the fate of my garbage cans though. I have a feeling when the snow melts the boys will be outside seeing what kind of rhythms and sounds they can create with all manner of things. After watching the DVD I feel inspired to make a little music while I chop my veg too. ;-)I think I'll make a point each day of stopping what we are doing to take a break and say, "Let's make some noise!"

In case you want to see a little bit of it you can check it out here. You'll see what I mean about the veg. ;-)

Friday, 19 December 2008

The crafting elves are busy!

We have been busily preparing for Solstice around here - 2 more days to go! Last night I went into the den and Z said "You can't come in here Mom!" So I went into the living room and sat down and started working on her present. She came in awhile later and I said "Oh, you can't come in here!" There are many little secret projects in the works and the suspense is building!

Here are a couple of the things I've been working on:

This apron is for one of my nieces. It's the first time I've used this pattern and I'm quite pleased with the results.

This is a colored pencil roll for Z.

I found a tutorial for one similar here and then I made this one using that general idea. Well, back to the crafting!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Toy flashback

I have a weakness for toys from the early seventies. The boys and I were out sledding in town the other day and decided to pop into one of our favourite thrift stores. They immediately spotted this - Ringa-majigs.
It is quite similar to the Ji-Gan-Tiks that I bought years ago at a church rummage sale for W.
Do we need more toys in our home? Certainly not. But I love that someone has held onto these toys since the early seventies. I love that they remind me of my own childhood. I love the simple container that they come in - cardboard cylinder with a tin lid. I love that my boys enjoy building all sorts of things with them. And...I love that they were $1. (plus I wanted these old toys to go to a good home - somewhere they would be appreciated. Weird, I know.) ;-)

One thing I notice about all the old toys and games that I have from the sixties and seventies is that the packaging always has pictures of children playing the game or toy. The container for the Ringa-Majigs also says *Teaches Coordination * Stimulates Imagination and Creativity. I always get a kick out of things like that...cuz just having fun isn't good enough? ;-)
This morning we woke up to a winter wonderland. This is what it looks like right now and it is still coming down like crazy. You can see how high the snow is piled on our birdbath. I had to post a picture for Katherine so she could see that, as much as I like to tease her about our good weather, we are actually under a pile of snow right now too. to go play in that snow. ;-)

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Favourite Tiger Butter Recipe

Last year E made tiger butter to give as a gift to some of his favourite males (we always find it easy to think of gifts for the females in our family but the guys prove a bit tougher). He loved making it and has already made one batch this year to give as a birthday gift. It was well received so I thought I would share the recipe here. ( this is in his words as he also wrote it out as a submission for a newsletter)

Tiger Butter
About 1 lb white chocolate pieces ( from the bulk bin in your grocery store)
1/2 c. smooth peanut butter
bit of dark chocolate to make stripes

Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler or very carefully in heavy pot. Add peanut butter and blend until smooth.
Pour white chocolate/peanut butter mixture onto an oiled cookie sheet and spread out a bit. Let set for a bit. While you are doing this start to melt the bit of dark chocolate in a separate pot. Drizzle the melted dark chocolate over the white chocolate/peanut butter mixture in small lines. You are making this look like tiger stripes. Cool in fridge. Break into chunks. Eat, share or give as gifts.

**We are calling it white chocolate here because then people know what we are talking about but in my house we would say that with much scorn in our voices - how can it be called chocolate when it isn't even chocolate??? I like to refer to it as white certainly has its place and it is delightful in this recipe...but chocolate it is Not!!

Monday, 15 December 2008

A brief introduction!

I realized after I just jumped in and added a new post to this blog, that some of you reading this won't know who I am. I thought that maybe a quick introduction is necessary so here goes! My name is Jacqueline and I know Heather, Katherine and Samantha through our homelearning community. I was absolutely delighted when they invited me to join them on this blog. Blogging is something that's been on my "To Do" list for years, so it's fun to be getting my feet wet with some good friends!

I'm a mama to 3 beautiful kids - a 7 year old daughter, and boy/girl twins who will be 2 in April. I'm also blessed to have in my life and in my house; my loving, supportive husband of 9 years (also a great dad) and our live-in nanny from Peru. She is my angel and my sanity saver. She's also given us the gift of Spanish in our home. My oldest daughter has learned an incredible amount of Spanish in the past 11 months, and my babes understand English and Spanish equally well.... such a gift.

Some of my interests include (but are not limited to!) natural parenting, natural living and health, crafting - specifically sewing and felting right now, gardening, and living simply.

If you were to peek into our life at any given moment, you might find us :

* reading (likely something to do with pioneers and Little House on the Prairie)
* working with some delicious fabics in my sewing area
* playing on the floor with babies
* baking bread or cookies, or something else that's yummy!
* cleaning up the never ending messes that come with just living!
* working with felt or wool roving, doing puzzles, drawing, beading
* getting a baby to sleep - sometimes it feels like that's all we do!

I'll leave it at that as we'll get better aquainted as time goes on. I look forward to this new adventure of blogging and to sharing it with you!

Friday, 12 December 2008

An exciting weekend

During these past few months, I've spent almost every spare moment in my sewing room, preparing for Winter Cache - an art and craft sale that took place last weekend. I sewed while my babes were sleeping, or playing happily, while they hung on my leg or sat on my lap. I even sewed a few seams while nursing one of them!

I have been wanting to sell my handmade goods for years, and for different reasons it just hasn't happened. So this weekend was pretty exciting! As the weekend drew nearer, my momentum continued to build and I managed to get a lot done. I realized that I'm so much more productive when I have a deadline. Is everyone that way? I have a hard time pacing myself. I just wait until it's right down to the wire, then I really get busy! But I had fun doing it! I love mixing and matching fabrics and making something beautiful out of a couple of pieces of cloth.

I went in to the sale with no expectations.... I was just happy to be there and was eager to get some feedback on my work. It turned out to be a great weekend! It was fun to be hanging out with other local crafters. I enjoyed talking to the people that came by. I got some really positive feedback and I learned a lot! But the highlight of the weekend was definitely having so many friends and family come by to say hello. I felt really blessed to be surrounded by so much support! A HUGE thanks to all of you! It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces come through the door!

That deadline has come and gone and although there were a few stressful moments, I know I'll do it again. I'm still spending lots of time in my sewing room making solstice and birthday gifts and filling a few orders I got from the show, but it's a much more relaxed pace!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Good movie?

My husband and I watched this movie a year or two ago so I already knew the storyline. I knew full well that watching it would likely mean tears for me. Quite often when I watch movies with S he quietly gets up and goes to get me a roll of TP - he knows, after all these years, that a tissue or two just won't cut.

This time I ended up crying through large chunks of the movie. It became apparent pretty quickly that I would be ending the night with a headache (caused by dehydration from all the tears doncha know) and yet, when my husband asks me with a sort of jokingly sarcastic tone "Good movie?" my answer has to be Yes! I mean after all, if a movie - especially a comedy - can move you to tears then it must be good. Right? ;-)

It is actually quite a fun movie to watch at this time of year, perhaps not your typical choice of holiday movie but still...

Monday, 1 December 2008

Beautiful hand-crafted bags

Women have always amazed me. I find it fascinating to watch just how capable women are. Amongst our many, many talents we give birth to new beings - how much more amazing can we get? ;-)

I am blessed to be surrounded by the most amazing group of women. Last week while visiting my friend, Jacqueline, I had the opportunity to see several of the items that she has been creating for a sale she is in this weekend. I was prepared to be amazed by her things...I've seen some of her quilts and some clothing she has made for her oldest daughter so I knew she was a talented seamstress and designer but Oh My!! I had no idea just how talented. I was floored...and all this while mothering a lovely little girl and twin toddlers. Truly an amazing woman. I'm so excited to see her show this weekend. I took some pictures of just a few of her items so that I could share them here.

Fun skirts for little girls.

Funky bags for girls too. These bags are fully lined and I just love the fun fabrics and the way that Jacqueline combines the colours and patterns. And the aprons...Oh, how I love the aprons! They are all reversible. I've only pictured two aprons below - this one reverses to look like this.And this one
reverses to this.
Aren't they stunning? Definitely Not! your gramma's apron. ;-) I love the fabrics that Jacqueline combines. But my favourite (I think, it really is too hard to decide what my most favourite item is because truly, they are all so gorgeous) are the bags that she makes.These are also fully lined and each and every one is unique. Jacqueline makes each one different - either by style, fabric combinations or added details.She even makes her own covered buttons to match (or contrast) the fabrics.
These are just a few of the items that she has created. For any locals who would like to see more you can check it out in person this weekend. Here are the details of the show - it sounds like a great way to get some holiday shopping done too. ;-)

Event: Winter Cache - an art and craft show and sale

Date: Friday, Dec. 5th, 5pm - 9pm
Saturday, Dec. 6th, 10 am - 5pm

Where: The Kelowna Art Gallery, 1315 Water Street

What: The first of an annual art and craft show and sale, featuring local talent in a variety of creative disciplines - jewelry, textiles (that's her!) art, clothing, accessories, pottery and ceramics, baking, t-shirts, furniture, home accessories.... all new and fresh from local young creators.

Snow day and first snowman of the year

Many of you know that our friend Katherine moved away from us this past Summer. She moved to a somewhat colder climate and so a few weeks ago when it snowed there I, being the kind of friend that I am, thought that I should send her this little clip to tease her a bit about the snow. (Us Okanaganites like to brag relentlessly about our weather, doncha know)

And Katherine, being the much nicer person that she is, wrote back to thank me for a little treat of Elvis. ;-) My teasing didn't phase her one bit. It snowed here on Friday - gorgeous flakes of soft snow that my boys loved. I took some photos to share with Katherine and wondered if she would be sending me a dose of my own back now that we had snow too. I'm not sure that my roses will recover as we have colder temperatures forecasted for this week. All of a sudden it really feels like winter.