Jun 262014

What can I say, but life happens. You live it, you take photos, and a little part of you whispers “blog” but you ignore it…I don’t know. Life.

Some pics from the last couple months…

Us lately: Sewing, playing, planting, backyarding, knitting, dyeing, hiking, nesting, learning, spinning. Baton lessons for Lucy.

I’d love to hear about what you have been up to lately! And, happy summer solstice!

Mar 052014

Today I’m joining along with Ginny at Small Things for this week’s yarn along, sharing what I’m knitting and reading.

Life has been a little, well, full lately. I’ve been dealing with a fair amount emotionally, namely a bit of winter depression (which I get every single year, gosh darn it) and my mom’s cancer progression. Chemo has been really hard on her…her hair is starting to fall out, I have to go over to her apartment and help shave her head tomorrow. Anyways, I didn’t really mean to fall off the face of the earth. I’m learning to be easier on myself and sometimes things just have to go for a bit. Not that it’s been all bad, there’s been a lot of good over the last couple months too.

I have, however, been knitting up a storm! Knitting helps keep me centered, I always turn to it more during tough times. I’ve been working on 5 different projects off and on for the last couple of months so I thought I’d just share all of them today.

Follow Your Arrow Mystery Knit-Along Shawl:

That picture makes it look like a hot mess, but it’ll be really nice once it’s finished and blocked. I’m 1 row away from finishing the 4th clue – I got a bit delayed. Almost 80% done. I love the colors. That deep red isn’t something I ever would have chosen normally but I love it with the pearly grey.

Linky’s Stormy Sweater:

Nanook for Me:

Lucy’s Tunic:

My First Entrelac:

My favorites to work on have been the mystery knit along shawl, Lucy’s tunic and Lincoln’s sweater, which I suppose is why they’re the farthest along. I went to the yarn store today and got yarn for 2 more projects, heaven help me!

I’ve been reading The Orchardist; the writing style is really unique. I love that it’s set in the Pacific Northwest and the descriptions of the landscape. It’s been disturbing at times, but I love historical fiction. I just finished The Kitchen House as well. As good as that one was, and as good as this one is so far, I think I need a more cheery/heartwarming read next. Maybe less about the human condition, less dark.
I’d love to hear some recommendations!


Jan 192014

Life’s been so crazy lately that I completely forgot to post photos on here of our new bunny! We got her back in November.

I rehomed my 2 angora bunnies in late October, which was very, very bittersweet. Angoras take A LOT of work. All that grooming, and they weigh 10-12 lbs. When they don’t want you to be doing something to them, they will let you know in no uncertain terms and they are strong. It just got to be too much with Dustin back at work. I missed them so much…I knew right as they were driving (well, riding) away that I had to get another bun – preferably one that Lucy could handle too.

We found this wee ball of fur at the local farm store a few days later and brought her home right away (without consulting Dustin 1st, luckily he has a soft spot for tiny, fluffy bunnies). She was a baby, and probably only weighed a pound.

She fit right into my hands.

Lucy named her Dorothy (she is quite good at naming) and a lot of the time she gets called “Flufflepuff”, “Wufflepuff”, “Wufflypuff”, etc…Lucy decided that Flufflepuff is her middle name.

Quite a bit bigger – she probably weighs around 3 or 4 pounds now – here are some pics from a couple of days ago…

She is the sweetest, most mellow but inquisitive girl.

Nose to nose with our dog in her run (where she goes to play)…

So anyways, meet Dorothy! We just love her.

Jan 152014

Today I’m joining along with Ginny at Small Things for this week’s yarn along, sharing what I’m knitting and reading.

I’m participating in a Waldorf Valentine’s Day swap along with several other mamas for our children, so I decided to knit these necklace pouches. I’ve been working on them over the last week or two.

My Ravelry for these is here. They have wooden buttons, either hearts or branch buttons, and the necklace string & around the top of the pouch is crocheted. Little treasures will be tucked inside, as well. And of course I made extras for Lucy and Lincoln.

3 more to crochet & attach buttons too and I’m all done!

I’ve been reading Seven Times the Sun, which I happily found at a thrift store for 50 cents last week. It’s one that’s been on my “to read” list for a long time and I’m really enjoying it. Tons of useful ideas to help our day at home flow a little better. I also really love all the songs and story suggestions.

I also just finished reading The Shadowy Horses for the second time. Archaeology, history, a Scottish village on the sea, romance, a ghost…*sigh*. I just love that book.

How about you, reading? Knitting?

Jan 012014

First of all, Happy New Year! I hope 2014 has started out well for you. We spent the day working on a few things around the house, did a bit of spring cleaning, made some brownies, dyed some wool…all in all a nice, cozy day.

Today I’m joining along with Ginny at Small Things for this week’s yarn along, sharing what I’m knitting and reading.

I haven’t participated in a yarn along for quite a while! I have a few things I’ve been working on…can’t wait to share over the next couple of weeks.

I’ve been working on these slippers  for Lucy, I really like how they’re turning out! This is my first time doing colorwork, ever, and it’s not really as hard as I imagined it to be. I wish the 2 colors were a bit more high contrast, but I’m trying to use yarn from my stash like a good girl.

Close up of colorwork pattern…

The knitting pattern is by Tin Can Knits. I think to finish them up I’m going to attach a leather sole instead of a knitted one. Maybe. We’ll see. I’d love a pair or two for myself as well.

I’ve been reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,  it’s a lot more interesting than I expected it to be and I am quite enjoying it so far.

How about you, knitting? Reading?

Dec 262013

How was your Christmas? I hope it was really, really good. Ours was very full, of family and food and a bit of general chaos (isn’t everyone’s Christmas like that with kids?). Lincoln had a high unexplained fever over Christmas Eve and Christmas. Still not sure what that was all about. He seems much better today but isn’t eating much. It is nice that his fever’s down, all my “mom flags” aren’t raised anymore and it’s easier to relax about it today, and he’s enjoying his new toys. It’s really nice to see him acting happier.

I like the day after Christmas. Sort of lazy, sort of sad, lots of new playthings to keep the babies busy, no expectations, a fuzzy-hair and pajamas or sweatshirts kind of a day. Coffee…knitting. And ooof, after all that rich food I am craving a salad or some raw veggies like crazy.

My baby bird, my Birdie Lu, broke her little wing on December 10th and has a hot pink full arm cast. It was very rough for all of us learning how to deal with that before the holidays but she can do about anything by herself now. She slipped in her socks in the kitchen playing with our dog and fell on it just right, her humerus broke all the way across near the elbow. Making the drive on solid ice to the ER with her screaming was the worst 15 minutes of my life thus far.

Honestly I am amazed at how fast she’s adapted. She gets her cast off on January 10th and will have to do some physical therapy stuff, I’m not sure exactly what yet. She has been busy all morning playing with her new legos, with her new wind up snow globe in front of her “in case she wants to listen to some music”. I just love my little bird.

I will miss the sparkle of Christmas but am excited to move into a new year, and to do some more crafting. I’m working on an entrelac scarf for the first time (started last night) and can’t wait to see it progress. I got some fun new crafting goodies for Christmas, too!

How are you feeling on the day after Christmas? Relieved? Sad? Lazy? :)

Dec 212013

I really didn’t mean to not write a post for over a month! I’ve been trying to sort some thoughts out and we’ve just been enjoying the holiday season.

Last holiday season, with Armadillo Dreams, we worked way too hard. I mean WAY too hard. We were making items on order and we took orders too close to Christmas, not realizing just how many we had to fill. In December we were staying up until 3am, at least…there was one night that Dustin was in his shop so late, he saw the sun rise – and it was 10 degrees out there. Probably 30-40 degrees in his shop. We were working at least 80-100 hour weeks. We knew that we’d be living off the extra money we made during the holiday season the rest of the year, and the idea of turning down an order when it’s there is really difficult. It’s so hard, in the heat of the moment, to step back and realize that something really isn’t working for your family. This year, I realized that we missed last Christmas. Missed it completely. That is one Christmas we will never get back with our children. We worked so hard to get everyone else’s gifts made for their children that our own beautiful babies missed out, and I still have a really hard time with that.

Dustin got a full time (outside the home) job in September, and oddly enough it’s one of the best things we could have done for ourselves. You may have noticed that our shop inventory has shrunk – we don’t put an item in our shop until it’s ready to ship out now. We’re making them as we are able, without pressure, and when we make our toys, we are truly enjoying making them, and making them because we really want to. We get nights off now. I get to knit, and sew, and search thrift stores, and play with my babies, and focus on homeschooling – all things that suffered before when we didn’t have an income besides Armadillo Dreams.

The “simple life” can be unbelievably hard, when you’re living it. My friend and her husband work really hard on their large CSA garden during the growing season and she would probably be the first to agree with me. I don’t regret any choices we’ve made over the last few years, it was a huge learning experience for us. I am completely grateful for each sale and hope every child who plays with one of our toys enjoys them. I still truly love all of our little wooden animals and people and still love making them…just on my terms. I’m okay not being a small business “success story”, if I can feel like a personal success, a success as a mother and a wife.

I’m trying to figure out where to take this blog – it was supposed to be about documenting our lives as stay at home working parents, so now that we’re taking things in a different direction…I don’t know! If it’s okay, we’ll just be “us” doing what we’re doing, and I’ll write about that.

I hope this post doesn’t sound completely disjointed! I know what’s in my head, it’s just hard getting it out sometimes! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Has there ever been a time in your life something that was supposed to be a positive thing for your family just didn’t quite work out how you thought it would?

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