Sunday, December 6, 2015

Forever and a Day

Hi everyone!
Gosh it's been ages...ridiculous really. I wish I had some harrowing tale to share about why I've been absent from here, but honestly, it's just been the usual. Busy work, busy home life. :) I find that it's easier to snap a picture and post them on Instagram than do much else. But I don't want to abandon my blog either.

So what has been going on since January?

Ont hw work front, it's just been full of projects. I am still working at the museum and love it, though there are plenty of days I come home mentally drained. We are kicking off our big holiday event this weekend, so there has been lots of prep for that. Anyone who thinks working at a museum must be dull...well, I can say that is nowhere near the case in our museum, which is a good thing.

On the home front, the kids are a few months into their new school year. I'm sure just about every parent says this as their children reach markers, but seriously, I can't believe I have a third and fifth grader! Insane! Davin just went to 5th Grade Camp for four days and he had a blast! It was his first time away from home for something like this and he is brimming with stories about his adventures. He is still catching up on sleep but he wouldn't have traded it for the world.

He joined a local swim team this fall and had a great time. It was a learning curve for him and really pushed him. He only really learned to swim this summer so he is still figuring out how his body works for the various strokes, but each class he came out grinning so I call that a win. He was swimming 3-4 days a week and for a kid who is as flat footed as he is, it's great to find a sport that is easy on his feet but still builds strength and endurance. Their fall season is done now, but we are hoping to have him back at it when they resume in January. Soon after, he will also be back into baseball.

Abby is crazy busy with dance. This year she made a pretty big leap in competition, and qualified for 5 comp dances! I am particularly proud of her for making the Lyrical Line team. She is the youngest dancer in the group and while she may not be the most flexible of the kids, I think her spirit and hard work last year has really shown to her teachers. I hope she keeps up the good work. I'm keeping a close eye on her schedule as well...this year, she had to take more technique classes as part of comp so overall she is in 11 classes. She dances 4 days a week (only one 45 minute class on Wednesday though). So far she is handling the extra load well and school isn't suffering. It's definitely a max for us though, and I will have to consider whether we scale it back a little next year.

Speaking of dance, this is also the first time she will have two-piece costumes. I've known the day would be coming, but for me it feels like a small rite of passage. I think it's because I just have seen instances at competition where some very tiny dancers were in very skimpy costumes that just didn't seem necessary. It's definitely the minority though. I trust the teachers at our studio completely, and I know their selection is tasteful and age appropriate. It's a fine line, and perhaps I am overthinking it...I don't want Abby to feel ashamed of her body, but at the same time, she should be allowed to be a little girl. I just don't want her to grow feeling that she has to show lots of skin in order to be considered "beautiful". Ugh...these are the things they never prepare you for when you decide to have kids. Dance parents - do you have these same concerns/issues?

As for me on the personal front, I had to have surgery last month to remove a mass on my ribcage. It was benign, but was fairly large (about the size of a grapefruit). Being a side sleeper, it had just become too uncomfortable so it was time to remove it. It was an outpatient surgery and went well. Recovery was pretty easy, though I was sore for a bit. I'm sporting a pretty fancy scar now, but thankfully bikinis were never my thing, so I'm not worried about it. Honestly though, I don't know that I would really care about that showing. My stretch marks from pregnancy though...I have no desire to show those off. Funny how the mind differentiates between those things.

Andy has been busy as well. He was recently names the school district's Math department head for the secondary ed. He is really enjoying the challenge, and it will mean that at the end of this semester he is stepping down from his position teaching math at night school. I don't mind having him home those two nights, especially with the kids activities. It's always easier when there are two of us doing the running rather than one. :)

As for crafting, I have tried to do a bit of crafting each day. I'm mostly successful, even if it's just a couple of rows on one of the socks I'm working on or a bit of coloring in my planner. There are some days though, that I am so tired the last thing I want to do is work on anything. I always have something in my bag though, so I get some done while I am at the pool or dance studio. I don't mind being "that mom". lol

Anyway, I hope that all is well with you. I hope your 2015 has been a lovely one so far and that you are heading into the holiday season filled with peace and joy. I'll post a photo update soon, showing some of our adventures through pictures. Today I just wanted to get a few words down and say that I haven't completely disappeared. I am always on Instagram, and have even attempted a couple Periscope broadcasts.

Follow me on Bloglovin' to stay updated on what's happening in the nest! Follow on Bloglovin

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Episode 3: Happy 2015!

I know I'm a little late in sending my wishes, but I wanted to say HAPPY 2015!

I've got a little video up and running on YouTube, chatting about the end of the year and sharing a few recent projects. You can check it out here:

Finished projects:
Barley Hat by Tin Can Knits in Vanna's Choice in Eggplant. This is a super cute, easy pattern - great for beginners! Seems that so many bloggers and podcasters were making this hat at the end of the year!

Basic Childrens Mittens by Elizabeth Durand in Vanna's Choice in Eggplant. I knit the medium size (Child 8-10) which fits her really well but still allows for some room to grow.

Bankhead by Susie Gourley in Patons Classic Wool in New Denim. First finished project of 2015! Right after I finished this I found that Dan of the Bakery Bears Podcast was doing an informal "Bankhead-along" and decided to cast on another! This one was knit with some discontinued Schachenmayr Nomotta yarn that came from my grandmothers stash. It's really soft and squishy and as soon as I finished it my husband claimed it as his own!

I also finished a chunky cowl and my first weaving project for my daughter - she has all kinds of goodies to keep her warm! lol

Finally, I finished spinning some yarn! It was fiber from Three Waters Farm in the Surprising Satisfaction colorway. I really like how it turned out, even if my spinning wasn't perfectly consistent. I ended up with about 200 yards and I'm still trying to decide what to make with it that will use all of the yarn. Probably something like a Quaker Yarn Stretcher I think...

Works in Progress:
The socks that never end: These are my husbands Packers socks, knit with Crafts Meow yarn in the Packers Punch colorway. I finally finished the first sock (after ripping them out 3 times over the course of a year!) and have started the second sock. Unfortunately, he won't be able to wear them to cheer on the Packers in the Superbowl, but he'll have them to start the new season off right! Because of the number of stitches and needle size, the yarn has essentially striped. Normally it would pool but I do like the way it has turned out. :)

Spinning: I just started working on a new braid of fiber by Unwind Yarn Co in the Stop & Smell the Poppies colorway. It's my first time working with BFL, and it has a very interesting feel. It feel much denser than my previous fiber, while at the same time drafting quite easily. I'm not planning anything specific with the spin, just letting the fiber do what it wants. Overall, I think it will end up more of a rusty color once the golds and deep reds mix, but it's really too early to tell. It's spinng pretty thin at the moment, so we'll see what kind of yardage I end up with in the end.

Abstract dischloth from Dishcloth Divas. I really like this's been out for a little while and there is also a second book now out as well. If you are looking for some new patterns for the boring old dishcloth, check these books out! I'm knitting it with I Love This Cotton from Hobby's a really soft yarn and could work just as easily for a face cloth as a dishcloth. No progress photo yet - I'm knitting it as a gift so I will post a photo at a later date. :)

That's about it for now! I am still trying to find a good time to record be honest I think I have tried recording this episode at least 5 different times over the past 2 months! I'll get there though! :) Up to date pictures can be found on my Instagram account if you are interested in checking it out (link on the left sidebar of the blog).

I hope that you had a lovely holiday season and wonderful start to the new year! I'm really looking forward to what 2015 will bring!

**Forgot to mention** - the cardigan I am wearing was knit by my grandmother. I have no idea what the pattern name is or even when it was made. My dad and I have begun the process of going through my mom's things and she had a bunch of sweaters in her closet that were made by my grandmother so I took a few. They are a little loose fitting (my mom liked to wear things on the loose side) but it's warm and perfect for a wintry day. :)

Follow me on Bloglovin' to stay updated on what's happening in the nest!
  Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, November 7, 2014

Show notes for Episode 2

Show notes for Episode 2

Finished objects: NONE. Hopefully next episode! :)

Works in Progress:
Hubby Socks - I've made a little progress on his socks since my last episode. Andy remains hopeful that I will have these socks finished before the Packers finish their season. :)

Celestarium - I haven't worked on this shawl in a while, but I do love it! I'm knitting this with Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino Light in the Ink colorway - beautiful!! I'm using 6/0 silver lined clear beads for the stars.

Measure in Love hat - I'm working on this for my son. :) I'm using SMC Select Extra Soft Merino Alpaca yarn - a new purchase!

Halloween Town cross stitch project - I was hoping to have this little project done before Halloween, but it just didn't happen. No worries - next year!

Halloween costumes - I was up to my eyeballs in tulle making Abby;s Queen of Hearts dress and felt making Davin's flame pants! :) She looked pretty stinkin' adorable and Davin looked awesome as a Rocket Man. The kids were troopers, even with the cold, wet weather all night!

I made a some little toppers for baggies to hold the Cub Scout awards for this month's pack night. All supplies by Stampin' Up.

Did a little coloring with my Prismacolor pencils and a Saturated Canary stamp. This will go into my Faix-bonichi journal!

Follow me on Bloglovin' to stay updated on what's happening in the nest! Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, October 10, 2014

Episode 1: Getting my Sea Legs

Alright - the plunge has officially been taken! I hope you enjoy it, and forgive my's very different in front of the camera compared to behind it. :)

Let's jump into the show notes!

Finished Objects 
I have two - woohoo!

Dauphine Hat by Julia Farwell-Clay

Knit with Leading Men Fiber Arts Dramaturg base in "Ain't my First Rodeo" colorway. This was a very easy pattern and I highly recommend it! The yarn is yummy and I can't wait to work with it again in more colors! This particular colorway is a little hard to photgraph...under different lights it looks brown, gray, actually has all of these colors in the yarn as well as a dusty blue, but it's funny how the light affects this particular yarn.

Wurm Hat by Katharina Nopp
Knit with Lana Grossa Meilenweit 6-Fach Special in the "Undied Tweed" colorway. This was from my grandmother's stash and I love when I have an opportunity to work with her yarn! The hat is super slouchy and squishy and I can't wait to use it this winter!

Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes

Knit with Patons Kroy Jacquards in the Rose Fern Jacquard colorway. I love how cherry these stripes are! The Vanilla Latte pattern is a favorite of mine...I've knit three pairs of socks with this pattern! I'm working both socks together in the hopes of avoiding the dreaded "Second Sock Syndrome"!

Hubby Socks - no pattern

Knitting these with CraftsMeow Ice Cream Sundae base in the "Packers Punch" colorway. He has been asking for socks since last football season - oops! In my defense this is my 3rd attempt at these socks...since I had never made socks for him before I just couldn't get the fit right. I think I finally have it this time. I'm not following a particular pattern, but I am pulling elements from some of my favorite patterns. The heel flap, for example is from the Vanilla Latte pattern. Go with what you know, right? :)


Spun with Little Monkey Stitch & Spin fiber in the "Seascape" colorway. It was such a bright, happy batt and I couldn't resist it! I spun it with a very basic spindle which I found at a local museum. You can find it HERE.

Cross Stitch: 
Once Upon a Time Sampler by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
How cute is this??? Each month they release a new square and as you can see I am VERY behind! But I am working on it when I have some time and I really enjoy it. I used to cross stitch a lot when I was younger and had forgotten how much I liked it!

There you go...a peek at the things I have been working on over the last week or so. Please let me know if you have any questions and I hope to see you again very soon! :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

And I'm "Podcasting"!

Hi everyone!
So, I had this crazy idea. Why not start making videos again???

I took a hiatus for quite a while for a couple of reasons.
1. Technology. It was becoming darn near impossible to make videos with my dying Flip Camera. It was even harder to edit those videos with the program I had. I was attempting to make videos in one go, which is challenging for tutorials. Eventually I had to admit defeat.
2. Inspiration. This was linked to reason 1 a bit as well. I was running out of ideas for tutorials I could do in a single take and it was super stressful to get everything perfect in one try.  Also, my crafting interests were starting to shift a bit from exclusively doing paper crafting to including fiber crafts. Some of that also had to do with the next reason...
3. Time. My personal time is limited and therefore, quite precious. The family is getting older and more active, so I spend most nights running the Mom Taxi or helping with homework, trying to keep the house somewhat presentable, etc. Really no different from most people, right? But I just could give up crafting. I just needed to adjust crafting to fit my new lifestyle. I am a slow crafter and I like to have my supplies handy when I work. I started to lean toward fiber crafts because it was a new challenge, but it was also more portable. I can take my project bag with me and work on my socks or other small project while I am on my lunch break, or at my sons game or daughters dance class. I just need yarn and needles or a hook. So much easier than hauling my small paper trimmer, cardstock, stamps, ink, adhesive, Copics or colored pencils. I can do that at home where I can spread it all out in front of me, working at my own pace.

So what now?
I have a new camera - yay! I have played a bit with the editing software that came with my camera, but for now, I will plan on single runs of my videos. I am following the examples of some of the great video podcasters out there and we'll see how this goes.
My thought is to discuss projects I have been working on over the past week or two and show them in whatever stage they are in. That way I don't have to wait until I have something finished before I share it. I may still do tutorials here and there, but for the most part it will be a discussion of the process rather than the product. I may also do some product reviews now and then, depending on what I come across and whether it's something I think might be interesting to you. :) We all love a little enabling, right???
It won't be just knitting/crochet. Granted, it will take up most of what I talk about, because that is mostly what I am crafting these days. But I will still talk about paper crafts. I still make cards and dabble in new adventures like calligraphy and I would love to share that with you. I will also add bits about other things in my I am trying to stay organized, things I am learning with my children, etc.
How often will I podcast? I'm not entirely sure. I will plan on every other week, but I would love to do it weekly if my schedule allows. I just don't know if that will be possible quite yet. My first "episode" is just about ready to be posted to YouTube so once I finish notes here I will publish it.

I hope you join me on this new adventure and enjoy it! I am excited to give this a try. I feel like I have been pretty disconnected lately, and there are so many wonderful people out there who have been so generous and kind to me. Thanks for that, truly. I'm looking forward to being back in the mix again and even meeting some new friends through this crazy little adventure. :)

Follow me on Bloglovin' to stay updated on what's happening in the nest! Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, August 11, 2014

For the Dogs

Today I wanted to share a quick project I finished a few days ago. A while ago I was perusing good ol' Pinterest, and came across a pin that suggested putting a dog bowl in a planter to dress it up a bit. What a great idea! We don't have a dog, but wouldn't it be fun for neighbors who walk their dogs by our house?

I stopped at my local Home Depot to check out their planters. To be honest, I had a little bit of a hard time picking a planter. I was originally planning to get a plastic urn style planter, but I couldn't find what I had in my mind. After walking up and down the aisle a few times deciding between a few other options, I finally landed on a terracotta planter that seemed short enough for most dogs to get their noses into easily and wide enough to hold a bowl.

I then went to the local Petco with my planter in hand to find a bowl to fit. Plus it was a nice excuse to peek at the adoptable animals in the store. My kids were thrilled to see a quartet of kittens in a little tent, sleeping and playing. I nearly needed to buy leashes for the kids to haul them out of the store! :)

Once I decided to use a terracotta planter, I knew it needed to be painted! I used paints I had on hand, because goodness knows I have plenty of craft paint!

I painted the inside of the planter a lighter sky blue about halfway down the inside of the planter. With the bowl inside, there really isn't a need to paint the entire interior, but you certainly could. I then painted the outside of the planter in a dark blue. Once that was dry I added paw prints in white paint around the planter, just to make it clear to the humans what the intended purpose of the bowl is. :)
When everything was dry again, I used a craft varnish on both the outside and inside of the planter. Since I was using craft acrylic paints and it would be outside, I wanted a little extra protection for it.

One more time to dry, then I popped in the bowl, filled it with water and put it in the front yard along the sidewalk. I put it next to our huge tree and while it isn't the prettiest spot, I put it there because I didn't want walkers or bikers to miss it and accidentally knock it over. My husband and I have plans to redo the area around the tree anyway so it will look nicer once that is done.

We've already had some neighborhood pups stop during their walks and get a little refreshment, which just tickles me! Hopefully they continue to enjoy it! :)

Follow me on Bloglovin' to stay updated on what's happening in the nest!
  Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tiny Dancer

As I say far too often, things here are busy. I don't say that as an excuse or to look for sympathy, but really just as a fact. Life is busy. That's ok makes you appreciate the quiet moments more.

One of things that has kept us busy has been Abby's involvement in dance. At the end of last year, I wasn't sure if she was going to want to dance again this year. When we were leaving her recital she told me, "I don't want to go to dance class anymore. I think I'll just go to the recital". :) I decided not to pester her about dance during the summer. It had been another busy year, and for the first time she had taken a full set of the basic classes, that is, ballet, tap and jazz. I think she was just tired. At the end of the summer the sign up notification came in the mail and I asked her what she wanted to do. Thankfully, she was ready to dive back in. Suddenly she wanted to sign up for everything...ballet, tap, jazz, acro, lyrical, hip hop, etc. Yikes! She was also excited because the studio director had decided to create a competitive jazz team for her age group and had asked her to participate. Then it turned out that two of her dance buddies were also going to be in her class at her new school, so it was dance all the time! :)

In the end, we decided to stick with the basic trio (ballet, tap, jazz) and we let her choose between Hip Hop and Lyrical. She decided on Hip Hop. Her flexibility needed a little work, so her teachers also recommended the Acro class. Since she had been doing gymnastics the year before, we decided to keep going along that line and do Acro too. Is your head spinning yet? Do I sound like a crazy dance mom yet? lol Before you think I have become a cast member of "Dance Moms", read on...

It's not that bad really. She is at the studio 3 nights a week, but two of them are only 45 minute classes. The Acro class has really helped her with her flexibility. Her confidence is way up, and she loves her teacher. The Hip Hop class is ok...I think the shine wore off after a bit but she still enjoys it. I think there is just too broad an age group and skill level and she gets a little lost sometimes. It's pretty fast paced.

Her trio classes are on Thursday, back to back. That works out to just over 2 hours. With her energy, she doesn't blink an eye and it gives me some time to work on some knitting or other portable craft project. Her Jazz team has been a blast; she feels so special being part of the Comp Team and there are only 6 girls in the class so they are all really close now. It's been a bit of an eye opener for me in terms of the competition world, but nothing bad. Really, it's more like, "How do these dancers do this for multiple numbers over the course of a weekend?!?!" I'm exhausted after only one number and I'm not dancing! I give them a lot of credit - these dancers are real athletes. The other parents have been really welcoming and really supportive of each other and the kids - they work really hard at making things as easy as possible for them. They coordinate food tables/potluck, help each other's kids with costumes & makeup, create all kinds of fun things to show team spirit and don't let drama play a part in it. The older dancers are assigned a younger dancer as a "buddy" and the buddies give each other little gifts or make signs to cheer each other on. It's a really great program.

So I thought I would share a few pictures of Abby from the past few months to give you a taste of what is happening:
When the competition season started, we had to add a little more "bling" to the costume. After all, it needs to shine on the stage! So the E-6000 tube and I became fast friends. Whew, fumes! :)

And of course their bears needed a little "bling" too! :)
In class and on competition days there is lots of rehearsing! The girls are dancing to "Mr. Sandman" and they start and end the number asleep with their bears. It's such a cute routine and really age appropriate.

Competition done, and smiles all around! The girls have placed 2nd in their age group at each of the three competitions they have attended - not bad for first timers! They have also taken a few special awards - way to go girls! This will also be their Jazz number for the recital in June and I know everyone will love it!

Last but not least, is her studio picture. This is her ballet costume and I just adore it. She loves it too, as she told me there is great "twirlability" with this dress. Her Hip Hop costume,'s not what I would have picked, but I'm not a fan of gold lame' as a general rule. :)

As for me, I leave you with this:

We're having shirts like this made - after all, you just can't take things too seriously, right? :)

Next time, we'll talk baseball season!

Follow me on Bloglovin' to stay updated on what's happening in the nest!

  Follow on Bloglovin