I knitted these amazing little gems two weekends ago. They are Lora's Slippers for the Soul and the pattern can be found here on her amazing blog. She has been so generous in offering the pattern for free.
They are a super easy and quick knit. They are done on 10 mm needles with three strands of worsted weight wool held together. This allows to many different colour combinations and therefore maybe everyone needs a pair for christmas! I used Patons Classic Wool and got it on sale at Michaels. After knitting I threw them in the dryer and felted them up and after added the star beads.
When Sam was born we acquired a boxes of clothes from family and friends. In one of these boxes was an orange spring/fall outdoor jumpsuit. It has become the barn suit for toddlers.
All those that come to the farm and need something to wear to play outside has worn it and it has seen many days of play and farm fun.
This spring it fit Lily perfect and it was passed along to her as her barn suit. This weekend it got its first official weekend with Lily and my little girl used it well, as she loves to get right down in the dirt at the farm.
Cleaning/digging in the play house
Sitting by the fire getting warm from the cool wind
Playing in the sand now filled with water box.
After Lily is done with it she will pass in on to the little one that we are waiting to meet in the coming weeks and he will pass it on the next grandchild or those that need a barn suit when they come to visit.
This weekend Sam and Nana took a trip to the Farmer's Market and got a few baby chicks. It is always an exciting time for the kids. Nana always get a few each year to add to the chickens at the farm. It was interesting to see the difference in the kids from one year to the next. Last year Lily was just a little over a year and a little apprehensive of the chicks and Sam followed Nana's directions well. This year both had lots of confidence with the chicks, so much we had to keep a close eye on them so that to not have the chicks squeezed too much or dropped.
I think it is a great experience for the kids to see the chicks grow into hens that lay us eggs. To see the food process and be a part of it. Plus, baby chicks at Easter is really cute as well.
This weekend we had HUGE renovation, cleaning, and moving plans. When we first started it seemed like everything would run smooth. Everyone had duties, jobs, and tasks. We didn't need 4 or 5 people all doing one job so off everyone went to their tasks. The boys had to install the new fans, Mom and Dad were assigned the task of the drywall in the new studio space, I cleaning up the the old studio and keeping the kids out of everyones way.
All seemed good, then the messes got bigger and bigger, kids running around in the way, Daddy's and Mommy's yelling, and kids having longer than normal naps. After a long Saturday we had the new fans up in the living room (no air conditioning makes for a very hot house in the summer and with a new babe coming we want to make it as cool as possible), the studio space moved and somewhat organized and the beginnings of Jon's apartment started. I think everyone was more than half asleep while eating dinner.
The new Studio Space. I still have some organizing to do as well as something fun and exciting to paint on the walls. I am thinking a mural of some kind.
Sunday morning was the start of the new flooring in the kitchen. Now many know that we only rent our house and would think, why would you ever redo the floor. There are many reasons for this. Mainly is the fact that the floor before was so bad that I always had a difficult time cleaning it as it never really looked clean even after a good hands and knees scrub. Because of the heat of the kiln under the kitchen the glue would come through the tiles and made a very sticky mess add that with sticky kid messes and you can only imagine the amount of times our feet stuck to the floor.
The other reason for doing it is that we plan on living here for some time and being able to enjoy the space while we are here is important to us. If we are always living in the temporary what kind of space are we creating for ourselves and the kids.
So early Sunday morning we start in on the kitchen floor. After a full day of working (not finishing until 6:30pm, then my Dad dashed out the door to driving home to Kingston) The flooring is complete and we are so super happy. There is something about having a beautiful floor that makes me want to keep it clean as well as loving the space so much more. Who knew that flooring could make such a difference. I have always been the put a new coat of paint or rug kind of person, but after this I think I could be changing my mind.
As I type that I am still a little unsure exactly how I feel about it.
There are many things that have come from this decision that I am exited about and hopeful for;
Being able to be a part of bedtime with the kids every night, not having to worry twice a week about making a quick and easy dinner as it all had to be eaten and cleaned up before lessons start,
being able to put that part of my brain to sleep for a while, not always thinking about student stuff that is drying too little or too much (firings, mixing glazes, and generally always having a piece of my brain in the studio), after 4 years of teaching I will have my own studio again, and of course being able to give this space to my brother allowing him to have his own space for the first time. To see his excitement about this is so heart warming as I remember the anticipation of my first apartment on my own.
All these things I am excited about and what it is going to create in my life.
On the other hand when I stand downstairs there is this emptiness. Something I didn't anticipate feeling. It was once a creative space that student found safe and comforting and it has now lost that feeling. It now just feels like a room. Nothing safe or creative about it. I will miss some of the students that have been coming for years and are now really a part of our family and the once a week connection.
I am letting go of a major part of my business and I am trying to embrace the idea of transition and change rather than failure. I am not stopping because it wasn't working or successful but because I can't do it all and right now babies and children need me more.
I am going to continue to be the artist that I am creating in my new space and if I end up not teaching again I will know in my heart that for a short time I lived my dream to the fullest running the studio.
With this being the last week of the studio before creating something smaller for me I was really starting to get into the slow motion of things. The cleaning out, organizing and gifting that has been happening over the past few weeks has creating a sense of calm. Then at the last minute I received an order from a long standing and faithful customer.
How I was I going to fill the order? I had been told a few weeks ago from my chiropractor that throwing on the wheel was no longer an option for me. That the position that I needed to sit at the wheel was putting pressure on the pelvis and creating not only the pain I was constantly feeling but also uterine constraint (not good for baby positioning)
So we tried something new. Throwing while standing.
We took the portable wheel and put it on the table and it was just the right height for me to stand at the wheel and throw.
What a strange feeling when I have sat in the same position each and every time I sit down to throw and create. The first few pots I had to think about new positioning and hand movement, but after that I was off to the races.
The order dried in no time and is in the kiln for a bisque fire.
At 30 weeks I am starting to get the creative bug to finish some of those projects that have been sitting there waiting for a creative rush of energy. In the fall I ripped a bunch of sheets for rag rugs. Today I finished up the last ball and the last rug. I was hoping that it would be large enough for the kids play area, but alas it is going to be a bathroom rug instead.
Just a simple granny square crochet pattern with the largest crochet hook.
After a weekend away there was a few grumpies that thought they would visit us. This makes for a very unstructured day as I just let the kids (and myself) do what we need to. Sometimes after some time apart it takes a moment or two to get back into our rhythm together.
This means playing outside in the warm afternoon in our pajama's
Playing and working together learning about colours and memory. (We use a great website called Linked to Learning. All the activities are for preschoolers and Kindergardens)
This even means an afternoon nap with the cutest toddler toes.
This past weekend Paul and I finally had the opportunity to get away for some much needed time away and time together. We had planned on going away in January for our 5 Year Anniversary but the timing wasn't right and it was only recently that all the pieces fell into place.
A few weeks ago Paul surprised my with all the details taken care of for this past weekend. Everything was booked and child care taken care of with a special weekend at Nana's for the kids.
We were booked in at the Delta Sherwood Inn located in the Muskokas. For those of you that don't know this area it is the most beautiful part of Ontario known as the Canadian Shield. While this time of year it is rather muddy and in some places still snow covered, we took in the drive and area knowing the beauty that lay beneath.
Each night they had a campfire outside for us.
The beautiful Main Inn. We had the most amazing gourmet food and large fireplace in the main room.
The panoramic view from the main dock.
The most beautiful trail from the main inn down to what looks like in the summer is an archway for weddings.
We went into town and found a little antique shop and in the back I spotted this blanket. Heavier wool blanket with crochet flowers felted and sewn on with fringe hanging from the flowers. It was truly a piece of artwork.
The view from our room. We had large windows that looked out onto the lake, a fireplace to keep us warm and a large comfy king size bed (I am trying to figure out if a king would fit in our room at home there was so much space it was amazing, but alas, not enough room)
The weekend away together was amazing. Lots of time resting, relaxing, and of course what most parents want and need with small children; SLEEP! We had some special moments as well just being together without worrying about what needs to get done, who is watching who, and feeling lazy for just sitting around all weekend.
It was out first weekend away since out honeymoon and I am sure it will be awhile before we are able to get away again. Now back to the daily routines which I am finding a little more difficult on this Monday morning. I think everyone missed each other and so we are going to continue the relaxation for just one more day! Routines can wait until tomorrow.