Archive for the ‘WIP’ Category
Thursday, December 15th, 2011
birthday sweater update and well, other things…
I’m behind on the birthday sweaters. Honestly, I’m behind on everything in life at the moment. I’ve been sick; sick for a long time now. And I didn’t mention it here because I didn’t want to talk about it or think about it or have it be true. After my bout with Lyme at the very start of the summer, I developed some sort of auto-immune, post-Lyme syndrome. Or at least that’s the best guess of various medical professionals. It’s also possible that the Lyme triggered a re-occurrence of the auto-immune issues that I had previously experienced and worked so hard to heal.
Either way from a practical standpoint, what happened was I went from being the healthiest I’ve been in my adult life and very, very active to, at it’s worst, sleeping for 16-18 hours a day and being too exhausted to do almost anything else in those rare hours when I was awake. I would literally fall asleep, sitting up, in public places. Very embarrassing, that. Thankfully that stage didn’t last long. I’m doing better now, but I’m still not back to being myself again. I don’t have anywhere near the stamina I once had. I still need to go to bed with the kids (and my kids go to bed early) a couple nights a week. I’m still worn out and tired pretty much all the time. But I’m better then I was. I’m up and around and doing things and pretty much living my normal life. Except that I can’t push the way that I used to. My body just gives out when I do. It won’t let me keep going.
While I’m sharing this I might as well come out with it all and say that after working so damn hard, for so many years to heal from chronic illness, it was really devastating beyond words to find myself in this situation again.
So, I’m behind, in everything. And the holiday season really doesn’t feel real to me this year. Probably because I feel like I missed the two seasons leading up to it and all of the preparations that I usually make in that time. Maybe it’s just that there’s no snow.
Back to the sweaters. Màiri Rose will have a sweater for her birthday. It’s now completely done. I’ll post the details, with pictures of her wearing it, once it’s been gifted.
Iain’s is another story. It’s more complicated and a whole lot larger. And he’s much more aware of what I’m working on. I’m getting close now. I’ve finished the body and a sleeve, with the second on needles now. But it also has a big shawl collar and a lot of finish work needed. I just don’t know that I’ll make it in time. So far I’ve managed to keep it a secret, only knitting at night and when he’s not around. Even knitting sitting on a step stool, tub-side while the little ones have their bath (as in the photo above). I hate to give it away at this point, when I’m getting so close, but I might not have a choice. It’s really important to me to finish it. I know it will be important to him too. Maybe it shouldn’t be. I know it’s not my fault and that I can only do what I can do and all of that. But my illness is only a piece of the picture. Of the many big, stressful, time consuming things that have been effecting us all for months now, some for better and some for worse (I’m not quite ready to talk about the rest of it yet). There have been so many things that have been pushed aside, put off, neglected. It’s by necessity, I know, with the decisions being the right ones for the moment. But somehow I just can’t face one more disappointment. One more thing that’s less then what it should be. So, I’m just going to keep trying, and do the best I can. And hoping that everything will work out in the end.
Monday, December 5th, 2011
There was fabric everywhere.
This year it’s wood shavings.
Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
I have been nesting. Not pregnant nesting, but it’s autumn going into what may be a long winter of much time inside, nesting. It’s spring cleaning in autumn. It’s bringing about change by physically making it happen. It’s messy in the midst of it. I probably should have warned you before those startling photos above. This here, is my most favorite project of all. We’re turning our office/random-crafting-storage-place into an actual, fully functional studio. I’m so very excited! But well, right now, it kind of looks like this (which falls more under the category of ‘daunting’ then ‘exciting’). Except that I cleared out a couple more boxes after taking these pictures. Most of the stuff (currently piled on every flat surface in the room) came from those closets in the background. And I should have/would have taken pictures inside them as well, except I’ve already started setting things right in there, so I thought that should wait until the final “finished” unveiling.
In the meantime, I’m slowly working away in here. And daydreaming of what’s to come, occasionally adding things to a little inspiration board that I created just for this project.
Monday, March 14th, 2011
I had this post planned for late last week, but with the devastation in Japan, it seemed entirely inappropriate to post something so trivial in the wake of such tragedy. The little bits of everyday life that I post here seem like a slap in the face when there is obviously things that are so much more important.
I received a comment over the weekend that got me thinking. It was from someone thanking me for creating a haven of warmth and love for her to stop off at in-between reading the heart-rending news reports. I appreciated that. And it also made me realize that there is a place for sharing those everyday moments, even in the face of tragedy.
So, here I am today, very humbly, with my quiet pictures and my quiet life. Still with a heart and head full of thoughts and prayers for people who’ve had “quiet” and “everyday” violently wrenched out from underneath them.
Monday, February 7th, 2011
inside and out
Just a few scenes from the last week or so…
Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
T-minus 10 days and counting…
Last week someone asked me how the Christmas crafting was coming along. I told them that if I had one child, I’d be all set, but since I have four, I’m screwed. Which is still kind of an accurate statement. I have gift and pajamas, all finished, for exactly one child. But somehow I’m feeling more optimistic about it this week. Having that one stack of things, really and truly done, no buttons to sew or anything, but totally complete, is reassuring somehow. I don’t know if it’s that feeling or that I’ve given myself permission to relax about it a little and not get worked up, but I feel ok with things going however they end up going.
I still plan on finishing up pajamas for everyone, and hopefully a few other things. We’ll see how it all works out.
Meanwhile, the elves are at it again…
Next year I think I’m going to make a chart, showing the direct correlation between the number of days from Christmas and the state of my house. As the number of days left goes down, the mess multiplies. I came down from putting the little ones to bed the other night to find my living room looking like this:
No, it did not look anything like this when I went up stairs. And no, as it turns out, our hamper didn’t explode. This is just what the space around Elijah Rain looks like during a creative frenzy. No dirty laundry, honest. Ok, well, the stuff on the drying rack is laundry, but clean laundry. I’m trying hard to stress the importance of taking it one thing at a time. Completely finish with that one thing or one part of a thing and then calmly put it away and move on to the next thing. I wonder where on earth he could have picked up bad habits like this? *ha-hem* doot-dah-doo….
And on the other side of the room was Iain….
working on his own Christmas present.
That Elijah is a tricky one. We’ve been working together on a gift for Iain, but we don’t get enough time alone to make it a complete secret. We finally gave up and started working on it in front of him. At some point Iain asked to help and Elijah consented, while refusing to tell him what it was or who it was for. It’s pretty funny. I think he’s kind of on to us at this point.
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
It must be November….
I’ve got a dryer full of red lint and the tea is flowing. It’s the time of year when I don’t even bother putting the ironing board away anymore. It just sits out, eventually turning into a catch-all for various works in progress.
Like I said, it must be November. These are all sure fire signs.
Only as I sat down to type this, I realized that I only have about a half hour left of November; thirty short minutes, at which point it becomes December. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed how ominous that word sounds before. Oh dear.
December it is then. I’d like to say that I’m ready to welcome it with open arms.
But I’m not.
So I won’t.
Think there’s any chance that my family would appreciate gifts of piles of yarn and stacks of fabric? I know I would…
Because at this point, that I could provide.
I think I’ll keep my fingers crossed on that one….
just in case.
Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
I’m on a mission. My goal is to sleep in the month of December for the first time in, oh, a decade or so. I did pretty well with being prepared two years ago, but what with being nine months pregnant and all, I still didn’t sleep.
I think many people are surprised to learn how far in advance I start thinking about and planning our birthday and holiday celebrations. Honestly, I think about these things all year long. I’m always on the look out for just the right thing. Thoughtful, homemade celebrations can’t just be pulled out of thin air. They take time, planning, patience, perseverance.
I’m sure there are many people who don’t see the point in doing things this way. Not when you can stop in at any old box store the day before and pick up a gift, party favors, decorations, maybe even the cake.
But here is the thing, I want my children to feel cherished. And I think it takes a commitment of time and effort to cultivate that feeling. And I want those special times of joy to reflect our values. I believe in homemade. I believe in hard work. I believe in quality over quantity. I believe in supporting small businesses. I believe in living lightly on the earth. I believe in simplicity. I believe in giving that which will enhance, not detract from one’s health. I believe in beauty and the deep nourishing act of crafting an object out of love.
So, I plan and I think on this a lot. I gather things throughout the year, as inspiration strikes. As the kids get older, it’s getting harder to hide things, but I find that my fabric stash is a pretty convenient place to tuck things away. I think of next year, even while I work on this year.
I have four children now. Half of them share a birthday and that birthday falls 11 days after Christmas. It would be so easy to let it all slide. To make due with whatever can be pulled together quickly and easily. But I cherish these two children of mine. I adore them. So I take the time now, when I have it, for them.
I didn’t know that the birthday sweaters were going to become a tradition, but I think they just might. I found this pendent when I was making necklaces for the boys at Easter, and how could I not get it for my Little Rosebud?
I have a big project in mind for Iain, that I may or may not manage to finish (but I know that at least I will start it).
I’d really like to get him an atlatl. We are friends with a Cherokee chief. We were at a naming ceremony a couple of months ago and after wards Iain got to try throwing darts. The man who showed him how said that he teaches hundreds of people a year and that Iain really had an amazing knack for it. I know the one I want, but it’s more money then I want to spend, so I’m still thinking and looking. Luckily, I have that kind of time.
I have fabric set aside for the Wee Girl’s birthday dress and I’m thinking on whether or not this is the year to make her a birthday crown. I’m keeping an eye out for one of those old radio flyer, ride-on scooters. Iain and Elijah each had one when they were little, and they loved them, but they were contaminated with mold, so we had to get rid of them. I think it would be perfect for her.
And Christmas too. I’ve started gathering gifts, ideas, supplies. I keep a list, a little chart of thoughts as my plans progress, to make sure nothing gets forgotten. There is much to be done, and much to enjoy.
Thursday, February 11th, 2010
A Belated WIP
Because I never got around to posting this yesterday.
Galen’s birthday is in a mere ten days off and if I have any hope of finishing his quilt in time, I really have get to it.
But first, I had to get rid of this:
Because as some of you might remember, Galen’s quilt started out as Elijah’s quilt, only his tastes matured before I managed to get over my fear of quilting. Oh, but it’s a perfect quilt for a 4 year old! In taking it out again, I’m remembering how much I love the colors and the fabrics….which kind of makes me all the more concerned that I might screw it up. I don’t know why it makes me to nervous, I’ve made little quilts before. It’s just that it’s so very big and there are so many ways that it can go wrong.
As it stands now, I’ve pulled out all of the old quilting, cropped out the embroidery on the back and pieced in a new bit of backing. I was having some issues with the backing puckering anyway, so it was no big loss to have to undo it. I got some good advice from a book and the whole thing is currently taped to my living room floor, held together by every safety pin in a ten mile radius, give or take a few. So far, so good. Next comes the quilting. Wish me luck!