Posts filed under ‘building’


despite (or maybe because of) the scoffers and naysayers (aka: my sisters), i have successfully completed my hefty to-do list for the month of january regarding my list of new year’s resolutions.  you can see the full post here, but i’ll summarize below:

  1. bible in a year: on track! loving the bible project app, and totally recommend it. 
  2. stretching after working out:  i started out january with an ankle injury and no time to rest it, but modifying my workouts and stretches has kept me successful with this one.
  3. meal planning: stayed consistent with this.
  4. not wasting food: i was far from perfect on this, but i did order my groceries online as planned, and that definitely cut back big time on the wasted food. also, my freezer is full of jars of veggie stock! room for improvement next month, but also experienced an improvement compared to 2016.
  5. blog once per month: yup.
  6. practice flute 3x per week: i’ve loved being reunited with my flute! fave thing to do: put on some beatles music and play along with it.  i’m in the band!
  7. practice french every week day: finally broke the 40% mark! i’ve been struggling with getting out of the 30s for so long, and that threshold felt reeeaaally good!
  8. knit something: i knit a clapotis scarf out of knit picks chroma, and although it was a boring knit, it was a perfect project to get back into the craft, and the self-striping yarn kept me interested.
  9. home improvement:  i mudded, repaired, and sanded every wall on my main floor, plus the back stairwell that has been neglected for over a decade.  huge task, but what a relief to have it finished even if my house is now covered in drywall dust.
  10. woodworking: this was by far the most intimidating item on my list! it had been too long since i’d built anything, i couldn’t make a decision, and i was honestly just intimidated by the whole process.  odd, considering how comfortable i used to be in a woodshop. time does strange things.  anyway,  i eventually settled on an easy project from to get me back into “it”, and i had a lot of fun! the smell of sawdust will always feel like home to me. 

and now it starts all over again! choosing projects for february and finding time to complete them. i’m definitely enjoying the feeling of productivity that accompanied january, and am looking forward to another big list at the end of this short month.

how are you guys doing with your new year’s resolutions?

February 4, 2017 at 15:55 1 comment

the christmas project parade

i’ve been super-busy since the beginning of november with knitting, crochet, woodwork, and sewing gifts for my family.  i’ve already shown you the hats and kirby plushes that i made for some friends to give to their loved ones as gifts, but i had to keep all of my gifts secret until they were unwrapped on christmas morning.  here’s the lineup:

  1. derek’s birthday hat.  his birthday is at the beginning of december so it qualifies as christmas knitting for me!  this is the hardest piece of intarsia that i’ve ever done, and at one point i had 15 bobbins hanging from my needle at one time!  it was a very time-consuming project, but i consider my time to be part of the gift.   he loves it :)
  2. mommy’s christmas gift this year was a thread spool organizer.  don’t you find parents so difficult to buy for?  i feel like they already have everything they want or need, so i have to get creative at christmas and birthdays.  i found the tutorial here and knew that this was the gift for my über-crafty mama.
  3. remember the beach robes that i made for my kids?  i loved the robes so much that i decided every little niece/nephew needed one as well.  i also decided that white bias tape was boring, so i made my own from some fat quarters which turned out to be the perfect amount for each robe.  the towels that i bought from ikea had hanging loops sewn onto the bottoms of them, so i re-used them at the nape of the neck to make the beach robe easy to hang.  i love this pattern and it’s a great pattern for beginners because EVERY step is photographed!  find it here.
  4. the older nieces and nephews got boring stuff like gift cards, but one of my sisters requested a knit sweater for her daughter’s doll.  time was rapidly running out at this point so i finished the project at the sister sleepover (post coming soon, promise!) and quickly snapped a photo before passing it on.  pattern link here.
  5. with the lebrun christmas out of the way i was able to focus on other gifts that wouldn’t be given away until christmas day.  i thought i wouldn’t have time for this guy, but i’m glad that derek requested that i make an effort because he really wanted his brother to have it.   it was quite well-received, so i’m thankful that i made time for him.  it’s sack boy from little big planet (a video game for playstation), in case you have no idea what you’re looking at!  here’s the pattern
  6. and finally, when i was all done and christmas was just two days away, i looked at all that i had done for other people and felt horrible.  i felt horrible because my kids had seen me working for several weeks and had been told “i can’t, i’m too busy” too many times, and i had nothing for them.  they had several store-bought gifts waiting for them, but as i said earlier about derek’s hat:  my time is a huge part of the gift.  so i picked up some yarn and needles and cast on for the bat plushes that had been catching their eyes for several months.  they’re a quick knit and i love all of the mochimochiland patterns (i’ve made so many!)
    not a stellar photograph, but you can see some great pictures if you click here to get the pattern.

i’m pretty sure that’s all of them!  everyone liked everything that they got and even though it was busy, i was happy to give handmade gifts to the people i love. i received some pretty awesome homemade gifts myself this christmas, and they are among my favourites because i appreciate the sacrifice of time that it takes!  i think that my absolute favourite gift this season was from my mama who used her precious time to type out recipes that were staples around our home while i was growing up.  some of the recipes even go back as far as my great-grandparents, and it is a total treasure.

how did everyone else do over the holidays?  which gifts were you excited to give or receive?


December 28, 2011 at 22:43 Leave a comment

one more checkmark, and a confession

i’m going to just get the confession out of the way now:  i went to bed with a messy house last night.  i’ve been so good all month, but last night i was exhausted to the point of hallucinating and wasn’t willing to take the risk of waking up other people in the house with my noisy cleaning.  i also slept with socks on.  yick.

my schedule is starting to open up a bit as we get closer to christmas and things are getting checked off of my to-do list.  this weekend is christmas with my awesometastic family in niagara, so after that i get to reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelax.  i’ve been staying up really late lately to get done the commissioned projects and to sew the beach robes that i wanted to make for every niece and nephew in my giganticly-enourmous family.  i have 2.5 left to do between now and thursday.  it’s not a lot of time, but it’s pretty much all that i have to focus on now.

i finished these and delivered them yesterday:

another happy client: check!  i love that kids (and adults) are getting stuff that i made this christmas morning!

besides the beach robes, i’m also in the process of knitting a baby sweater for a niece’s doll, and one final commissioned project, and a top-secret gift for my mama that i built today.  it felt so good to head out to the workshop and play with the manly tools.  seriously, the only reason i could learn how to sew was by thinking of the fabric as wood and the sewing machine as a power tool.

while the paint was drying i made sure to invest in the kids for a while.  i’ve been trying to make sure that they don’t feel neglected by their zombie mom who’s always busy.  yesterday we decorated cookies together and then spread christmas cheer as we delivered them to our neighbours.  today i came across a nativity scene printable, which i printed out on cardstock and then we spent some quality time colouring and assembling it together.

click on this link to find your own.  (also, i couldn’t get the download link to work, but clicking on the pictures worked just fine!)

that’s all the update i’ve got for now.  i’ll hopefully be posting pictures of beach robes soon, but the super-secret gift for my mommy won’t be revealed until after christmas because she’s been known to read this here blog.  how’s everyone else doing?  anyone completely ready for christmas yet?

December 14, 2011 at 17:56 2 comments

my life in pics