Monday, November 29, 2010

Quilting and Creative Space

Our 720 sq. ft. is feeling very tight right now.  I was cleaning our bedroom/office/ creative space today and found the Aug.-Sept. issue of Where Women Create.  The beautiful photos in this publication must leave my house at once.  It is not because I don't enjoy the inspiring photos.  Don't get me wrong,  I love looking and learning about the creative women that grace the pages, but it leaves me feeling very crowded.  At this present moment, the space that we have is what we have, and dreaming too much about a larger space with a creative space is just not healthy.

Do you want this issue?  It is really eye candy at its best.  If so just leave me a note with your address and I will gladly mail it to you.

The hum of my sewing machine has been music to my ears lately.  Here is my latest quilt for my sister and brother in love.   The little guy is fascinated with the swirls and stars.  The connections that toddlers make between objects and real world, star patterns and stars in the sky is magical

I am going to attempt my first stitch in the ditch pattern on this quilt. The hour drive to purchase a waking foot for my machine is delaying progress a bit.  Sigh... advantages and disadvantages to living an hour away from the store.

My son's new beginning quilt is back from my ever so generous artist friend who quilted it for me.  All I need to do is add the border.  I am just in love with it.
I have been enjoying reading about all the creative endeavors of other bloggers.  The cooking, sewing, felting, ..... is just so inspiring.  Hoping to make a blogs I read link soon.  Soon is the key word.  Happy creating.

Friday, November 26, 2010

This Moment

{This moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. An idea from Soulmama.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Designer Trainers

I believe that living a natural life is about doing what you can, and not feeling so bad when a way of life does not fit yours.  I  swore that I would be a cloth diaper gal when we I became a mother.  We came home from Kazakhtan with our son and one of the first things I did was purchase cloth diapers.  The experience was interesting on many levels.  My son's legs are fairly lean. For some reason his cloth diapers tended to leak especially at night.  It was not from not changing him enough.  I think his bladder must be close to a 50 gallon barrel because I am not sure where all the urine came from.  I was working full time, daddy was home, and well, he just never go the hang of keeping up with the diapers. We tried for a few months, then did a hybrid of cloth and disposable, and then we just had to let it go.  I made peace with the fact that between working full time, all the medical that was needed when we returned with our son, and the leaking it was just not a good fit.

Now it is potty training time.  I went yesterday and purchased some cloth training diapers.  I am going to try again.  Who knew that there was a fashion industry around diaper patterns.
Last night.... well, again same problem.  I watched like a hawk, and the first pee of the night was a pajama soaker.  Does anyone have any insight on the cloth diaper use.  Is it possible that my son's Kazak. legs are just not as plump as these American made diapers require?

We are a sheet of ice here in AK.  School was cancelled for the past 3 days because the roads are so bad.  I braved the storm and made it to Anchorage for the little guy's appts.  

Thank you again my delightful cleats.  You make my world a better place.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

360° Of Bliss

I stepped out on our deck yesterday and looked around.  I sometimes forget just how beautiful it is here in our little town.  It was a crisp and somewhat clear day.   I took a 360 ° view with my camera.  Here is what surrounds our 720 sq. ft. house.

A small creek runs next to our house.  It is just about frozen right now, and when it thaws we go into working mode, digging a path for the runoff, and punching a hole so the water that flows on top of the ice actually goes through the culvert instead of in our crawl space.  We actually shovel a luge type path through our back field to connect with the creek.  It helps us not flood and the folks on the street behind us benefit as well.  Time to get strong!

This is the green space that lies next to our house.  If you look carefully trough the frozen trees you will see mountains.  Moose love to eat the willows in this field.
This is the view from our front steps.  Mountains, trees, a dirt road, and of course houses.

This is the view from the back deck.  This is the ski resort that is a few blocks from our house, and a really big, not too pretty blue house that is a rental that sits on the edge of our back field.  We are pretty low on snow right now, but the resort is making lots.  We are close enough to the hill that most mornings there is a dusting on our car from the snow makers.
Inside is a warm fire.  Notice the chain saw "warming" behind the fireplace, and the chain saw bag to the right of the child fence.  Some things I will never get used to, like having such a small house,  and no garage, causing our home to look like a garage at times.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ice Cleats

Ice cleats are an important part of every woman's (and man) life here in Alaska.  Between my husband and I we own about 6 pairs.  I like to have one in my car, one in the child stroller and a few in the house.

My favorite pair of ice cleats are my STABILicers.  They have velcro that straps around your ankle and over the toe. They have never failed me.  Not once.  Not even when my hyper husky would lunge like a maniac at other dogs, or when I put the speed on after seeing a moose up the road.    I highly recommend these.  I would not recommend them for jogging as the sole is a bit stiff, but they are so super sturdy and they work.

Stabilicers Original Ice Cleats

My husbands favorite pair of ice cleats are thesnow ice traction  : Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction SystemKahtoola MICORspikes.
He loves them because he can wear them with his running shoes and jog in the winter when it is super slick.  He has not lost this pair which to me is amazing because he always loses his cleats.  He likes to take them off and hang them on a tree to go hiking and come back for them later.  Weird huh!
Our toddler loves them because the chains rattle.

I also have had some ice cleats that I have not loved.  This ice cleat has a wire similar to a stretched out spring around the webbing on the foot.  I have lost about a 1/2 dozen of these.  They do not stay on your shoe and really do not offer enough traction for me.  Living on an ice sheet for so many months means you just can't mess around.

snow ice traction  : Yaktrax Walkers - Unisex
And then there are the pair I wore today.  They must have fallen off about 5 times so I finally just took them off and hoped my son's Charriot stroller would save me if needed.Due North Everyday Traction Aids at Cabela's
I would go as far as to call these whimpy.

Not sure what compelled me to write about ice cleats, but they are on my mind.  I have a pair that I received from my work that I have not tried yet.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I ❤ Emily Dickinson

There is Another Sky 
by Emily Dickinson
There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields -
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!

Emily Dickinson rocks my world.  I needed some words to remind me that although the long winter is here, there will be green in just 6 very long months.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lots and Lots of Snow

It snowed Sunday night.  I had no idea that it was coming.
But come it did.  I was shoveling at 7:30am and again at 6pm.  I think we got over a foot overnight and then it snowed all day long.  I woke up sore only to find new snow and have to shovel more.  Hubby shoveled too, but he works in town (hr away) so in order to get out of the driveway I had to motivate my weary muscles.
The ski resort has gotten a total of 100" this year.  So glad I am not shoveling that hill.  The little guy is going to hit the slopes this year which means I need to refresh myself on how to ski.  If you live in a warm climate please send me some sun in a box.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Quilting Break

Today I sewed.  It was such a release as I had been wanting to get on my machine all week.  I find it relaxing.  My husband and I are finally getting our groove on to allow us both to have a bit of creative time.  Hubby used his time to harvest firewood, which means that yes a chainsaw can be a creative tool.  When he got home I took some time to catch up on my log cabin quilt.

I love the process of the log cabin quilt.  It is so rewarding and quick.  Each strip increases the size of each block.  Each complete block is an accomplishment.  I need 49 accomplishments for the double quilt I am making.

My theme for this quilt is beauty in imperfection.  I misread the instructions and went out of order on my colors.  Once I let go I realized that I love the colors the way they are.  It is kind of like doing an art project with a toddler.  The process is what is important, let go of the outcome and it becomes beautiful.

I think the this would make a nice banner.
It would sure brighten up our dark wood walls.

I chose a mix of traditional and modern patterns.  I love the way they look together.  The almonds on the left are because I knew that I did not want to stop for lunch.  Creative time only happens once a week at best.  Snack and sew.

Friday, November 5, 2010

This Moment

{This moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. An idea from Soulmama

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Education Podcasts

Part of my job is to find Education Resources for our teachers and homeschool parents.  I recently came upon two great resources for education Podcasts

Harvard just launched  Harvard EdCasts, a weekly series of 15-20 minute conversations on education.  That is a perfect amount of time to listen while doing the dishes or some other multitasking activity.

For those of you interested in Early Childhood Resources the National Association for the Education of Young Children offeres free radio programs.

Titles in clude;

  • Developmentally Appropriate Math for Young Children
  • Creating a Safe Social Emotional Climate for Children
  • Can Digital Media Enhance Learning
  • Why Playful Learning is More Effective
  • Encouraging Creativity in Children

The downloads are free, but in order to listen you need to have ITunes.   Under Blogcast Archives click on subscrive via ITunes.  If you scroll down you can find other ITune pages that relate to education.

 Happy listening!

First snowman.  I just love this guy, my son that is not the snowman.