Monday, November 29, 2010

I Love My Mitts

As I write this I realize that my life is in a strange place when I can be this happy over something so rather unimpactful. I feel the need to tone down my rapture over my mitts but then I think, no, I LOVE my mitts! Why should I whisper?

And you know they are so very flawed. Not little flaws that someone would never notice, but flawed in huge Karie-like fashion. I mean the thumb on one of the gloves is on inside out and you can see the sharpie outline (it's permanent you know), on the right side (which is wrong). But like most of my flaws, I'm OK with them. I see them for what they are.

I have been freezing my ass off for a few months now and generally moaning about it to whomever would listen. It occurred to me yesterday when I was on the hunt for some nice new mitts at Idle Hands (and I found some beauts), that I could bloody well make some. I mean I have been hoarding wool sweaters since returning to Canada, felting them, and stockpiling them for some reason? So today after I took Sam to school, I rushed home and whipped up a pair of mitts in just enough time before heading back to grab the kids from school.

The mitts are made from a felted wool sweater and I just traced my hand for the pattern. After I had sewn them up I was going to applique something on and then I remembered that I had some nice roving courtesy of a great kit I bought from my friend Annie so I needle felted instead. I tend to really heavily on my circa kindergarten flower when I need to illustrate something and I did it again, this time with a vow that I have to give the flower a rest - it's been a pillar for so many decades. The next mitt, I needle felted a sun, which I am rather disappointed in as it does not look like the glorious sun I had envisioned (see what happens when I stray from the flower) but rather like my morning sickness puke when I was with child.

And (has anyone ever gone on so long about mittens before), here is why they make me happy. They make me happy because when I am wearing my mitts I am cold. When I look down at my mitts I see a flower and it is like a promise that they exist and when I look at my other mitt, I see the sun (after I think of puking), and I remember that it IS warm and it WILL shine again and I will be warm again, at some point, 5 or so months down the road. I believe my winter blues may be behind me. Love.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Dream and the Reality

Just got home from today's craft sale at McNabb. It was....good for my legs? I stood almost the whole time and I did read somewhere sometime ago that standing (even without movement), actually burns calories and works muscles - so yeah, now my legs are beefcake-like, thank you McNabb Community Centre.

See how well I'm doing at putting positive spins on what life dishes out? I had fantasies of selling enough to take care of what I have budgeted for the whole Christmas affair this year. It was not an unrealistic sum. But alas, that did not happen. The pace in the first hour was totally on and than it died and the remaining 5 hours was a rather slow trickle of browsers.

My friend Annie, who was selling at a different craft show down the road called me mid-day. The following is a soundbite from our conversation:

Annie: You know how stressed out you get before a show? "I need more product. I don't have enough of these. I really wanted to make this but I don't have any time."

Karie: Yeah, totally. I was so disappointed that I didn't get a chance to make a bunch of things I planned on making.

Annie: I want you to remind me next time not to do that.

Karie: Yeah, me too.

So that is my lesson. I will not work myself to the bone preparing for another show. I will work hard and be focused but I'm not going to kill myself over it. I will coordinate the activities of crafting my ass off, preparing nutritious dinners for my beloveds, and maintaining a tidy (for me, which is not that tidy), house. Never again will my dog come up with dustbunnies stuck to his whiskers every time he sniffs the floor or will my children thank me for frozen pizza two nights in a row during a crafting blitz. Having things a bit more balanced, me thinks.

I love making stuff. It makes me happy. I will find venues appropriate for the products I make. I will find customers who appreciate the handmade goodness of what they hold AND will pay for it. I believe this. I'm following my heart and it feels good, wished it paid a little better but all in good time.

And I don't have a single picture of my booth. So I will leave you with a couple pictures of what my kids made me cause they knew I would be sad (!) this weekend while they were at their nanny and grandpa's. Samia's is a picture of her and Jackson and the 1,2,3, is representative of the three days we will be apart! The lovehearts are all the love and kisses she will give me when I see her again. Jackson made me lego. He apologized that it had guns on it and said he would take them off if I wanted. I told him not to touch a thing. I love those little stinkers.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I'd like to share this youtube video about reader feeds. It's all brand new stuff to me but after watching this I am now very happy to have a direct feed to my favourite blogs (different than "following" a blog). It's super easy and I love it when things work because sometimes it does feel like nothing ever does.

And that is all. I felt the need to blog as I enjoy it. But I'm in a shit mood and I have a head cold and all the other paragraphs that I just deleted were whiny and grumpy and who the hell needs that? So, I am going to bed with Sam and Jack tonight and I am going to do absolutely nothing but get a good night's rest and be a chipper, productive, joyous and refreshed being tomorrow.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

SEW...what else is new?

Feels like that is about all I'm doing these last few days. Flaglines, flaglines and more flaglines. I'm pumping it out this week preparing for the McNab Craft Sale on the 27th. Annie just asked me to do another craft sale on the 4th of December. I think I will despite the fact that I wasn't going to take anything on in December as I want to get my own stuff accomplished (make stuff for kids, bake, enjoy the hols!). I think it will be a good one though - it's at the Waldorf school and they are also having their winter festival so the kids will have a good time too.

Eager to put aside the flaglines and start on some other things I'd like to start selling. I have some dress-up kits for kids that I still have to finish off. The themes I have are: scientist (lab coat, safety googles, supergoop, badge), cowboy/cowgirl (vest, bandana, cowboy hat), asian princess (au dai, beaded slippers, fan), princess (tulle skirt, beaded slippers, tiara), superhero (cape, mask, superhero vitamins, power cuff), chef (apron, hair band for girls, bandana for boys, wooden spoon, chef's towel, recipe book), tea party (tea set, fancy hat, boa). They require a bit more thought and a bit of sewing and they will be finished!! The thought requred is how to package them? I'm drawing a bit of a blank - would love it to be reuasble, (or at least not environmentally horrid), cute, inexpensive and/or easy to make...hmmmm.

As for what the kids and I are grateful for (Wednesday), I am grateful for a lovely morning tea with Samia at Wild Oat yesterday plus the added bonus of running into the gorgeous and positively good-for-the-soul, Annie. Love. Samia is grateful for her new ballet skirt she just got for her upcoming recital.

Jackson is grateful for his new library book.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Road trip and laying down the law...

Headed off to my parents Thursday after I picked the kids up from school for a long weekend in Prince Edward County. My dad's 65th birthday was Friday so I was glad to be there to celebrate with him and my mom. Gorgeous weather all three days. Heard on the radio on the way up that this would be the last of it and to get all your outside work done because by the end of this week it would be below zero and to expect snow. Jerk.

Sewed my little heart out on my mom's jazzy machine. It's like butter to margarine when you compare hers with mine. Got heaps done and as always the more you I get done the more it seems there is to do. I am focused now and feeling a bit more disciplined about setting some time aside to work every day. Slowly slowly catchy monkey (don't ask me what that means).

Last night after supper sat the kids down to lay out the house rules. This is something I have been meaning to do for ages as I feel that once we have them down, they will be easier to enforce? Jack was really into it. Here they are and I have added the name of the person who came up with the rule:

1) No waking up Bodhi when he is sleeping (Samia)
2) No eating after last call (me: my kids snack until their eyes close and it drives me kookoo)
3)Treating the memebers of this family with kindness and respect (me)
4) Treating others/guests with kindness and respect (Samia: she can be quite the cow on a playdate)
5)No gross jokes, sounds, words (me: if this sounds uptight try listening to my kids talk about poop and peep all day)
6)No biting, kicking, punching, hitting, spitting, or scratching (me: is this sad that this needs to be a rule?)
7) use your words when you have a problem (me: just to further solidify #6 in some heads)
8) sit properly on furniture (Samia)
9) no tattling (me)
10) no naughty words (Jack)
11) clean up after yourself (me)
12) turn off lights when you leave a room (Samia)

This week we will be working together to establish individual responsibilities and consequences when responsibilities are not met. I feel a bit micro-managerial but I think it may just keep me sane. Please let it keep me sane. Love saneness.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hump Day Gratitude

I have tried over the years, and, at times, been very good at stopping, taking a look around, breathing deeply and reflecting on the things, people, and events that I am grateful for. But lately I have not allowed myself the time to do this and I can feel its effects. My body is tense these days and I am packing in so much that I have neglected to appreciate all that surrounds me. I have been following Nikki over at Nikki and her family are doing a daily gratitude list for the month of November and she has inspired me to kick our gratitude into gear. Once a week, on Hump day, I will share my family's gratitude list for the day. I want to teach my kids to notice and appreciate the small, the wondrous, the simple. I want them to take the time to acknowledge kindness, beauty, and joy. I want their brains to process occurrences rather than just snowballing through life as we all so easily can. As I so often do.

What I am grateful for today: allowing myself the time to stop and write this blog and take a step in the right direction.

Jackson is grateful for his Bakugans. Samia is grateful for her dog.

Oh!! And by golly! I am very grateful for the fact that I just figured out how to place my photos more or less where I want them. Thanks for the tip AB. Love.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Done, Done, and Just Begun

Phhhhewww. I finally finished the advent calendar I have been working on for a friend of a friend. Thought I was done last week but it turns out the thing was huge (I don't know what I was thinking), so I started over again and designed a much more manageable winter solstice advent calendar coming in at 2.1 metres instead of close to 4!! Working on this project reminded me how time consuming creating is and how behind the ball I am on making things for the upcoming McNabb Craft Sale and for my babes and family. Wow. A little overwhelmed.

And because I never did post any photos of the kids for Halloween, here they are now...Took a ton but hardly have any as I have been trying to improve my photography skills by taking photos on Manual instead of Automatic. The problem is, I can never remember to turn my camera back to automatic after I've left it on manual so when the kids are running out the door and I'm trying to snap a few pics I am taking them on manual when what I want is automatic. I don't realize my error until later when I go to look at my photos and they are blurry and shitty. Hot damn!

If anyone can tell me how to place the photos that I import onto my blog that would be appreciated. And by anyone, that means you Annie!!!!! Any thoughts...Love.