Shades of Summer

Sometimes I wonder how it is I can find the focus and concentration to continue on with one project and yet not another. I have things I have been working on for years as you all very well know, things that I am so excited about and yet cannot for the life of me finish them.

While other things I start are so addicting to work on that I simply cannot stop

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For instance this Shades of Summer dress. I started less than a month ago, last week I was unsure about the colors matching but continued to go with it. The dress pattern is for sizes 3 months to 6T, hardly big enough for the young one it was intended for. I continued on even when the top seemed like it was going to be too big, fighting the urge to frog the whole thing and start over on smaller needles.

I continued even when I ran on out of the lovely yarn for the skirt color (The yarn is older than the person this dress was intended for and I really am on a yarn ban you know), I simply found a color that would suit.

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Here we are, finished yesterday while the excited 7 year old stood at my shoulder “How many more minutes Auntie?” she would ask. The top was indeed too big but nothing a quick crochet belt couldn’t fix.

Everyone was happy with the outcome and now it is time to move on to a vest for her little brother, orange per his request.

I can’t believe I am saying this but I am glad for melting snow and springs arrival, don’t get me wrong I do love the snow but I am looking forward to the transformation on my craft room. The woodpile for some reason has taken over my place of relaxation this winter and it has really made it a pain to be in there. Lots of things had to be moved and there is clutter everywhere.

When the snow melts and the ground is dry we will be moving the remaining wood outside and moving the makeshift wood holder back into the unused portion of the basement. With that gone I will regain 30 sqft, that is a LOT of room. Pictures can go back up, tables back in their rightful places, the dresser will go now that I have made a huge dent in my yarn stash ( I can see the wall on the yarn shelf you guys!!!). The bookshelf will be moved so I can finally plug in my sewing machine.

Though it wont just be my sewing machine I will be plugging in, I made a purchase this weekend, one that will help with my sewing. I truly hate cutting patterns, I would sew more if I didn’t have to do this, I had the circut air explore 2 but it did not cut non bonded fabric and really was growing dust. So I made the decision to put it up for sale and it was gone quickly. Less than 24 hours later I had upgraded

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Say hello to my new friend. The Maker is what I needed and I have already used it to cut several pieces of fabric. Yes friends, this will help me, as long as the patterns don’t exceed 12″ x 24″ after that well I’ll just pull up my big girl pants and cut away I guess. I don’t mind cutting the big fabric pieces anyway but a million little ones are draining and hmmm I wonder if that is why I lose interest quickly.

Have a great week folks!

 

 

 

Switching over

A majority of my posts are written on an ipad, which would be all fine and dandy if I had a good bluetooth keyboard. Alas, the one we have is old and gross and the keys stick. So it between using the screen keyboard and the battery life, the idea of sitting down and writing a post is sometimes something I dread.

However I have managed to remember my password and now here I am writing to you from Toph’s old work laptop. It’s fast and sleek and I love to hear the clicking of the keys on the keyboard.

I have recently discovered that I am a fan of making things for little ones. While my little ones are now 10 & 13 and no longer fans of moms homemade items, both of my best friends have little ones that still enjoy the knit and crocheted gifts from their auntie.

Recently I made a pair of baby booties and a sweater for the little one my best friend welcomed at the beginning of the year.

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It made me realize quickly that I needed to buy an assortment of wooden buttons, because I will absolutely be making this sweater again. It worked up fast and I’m sure had my husband not introduced me to Stardew Valley well…it would have been finished faster.

The girls have started their own business making soaps, scrubs, and bath bombs. Once a name is settled up I will post an etsy link. Here are a few of the lovely soaps they have recently made

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Last year for home schooling I had them start their own business, with their profit of $85 and a little funding from myself, they put it all into supplies and have already made some money back!

I am still working on the socks Griffin Socks, slowly but surely I am on repeat round 2 of 3 of the chart and I started making a dress for my other best friends 7 year old.

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Here’s hoping the rest of the dress goes smoothly, the patterns had some weird bumps along the way so I switched things up a bit.

 

Have a great weekend folks!

 

And another

Well it is the New Year, not sure what to make of 2020 right now. Things that are happening all over the world, are incredibly scary. If any of you crafters out there are interested there are some groups out there that are in need of items for the animals that have been rescued in Australia

The Animal Rescue Guild has information regarding items that are needed, drop off locations people can send items together so it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and in their files section there are some patterns for items needed.

Heist Jewellery AU also has information regarding patterns and drop off locations as well.

I hope people will consider helping out.

Normally when I mention things like the above I end my post with that, however I’m trying to kick myself in the butt and keep writing and if I don’t write a normal post well, you won’t see anything else for who knows how long.

I wasn’t sure if I intended to post about therapy but I want you to all know what is going on with me right now, as I am struggling with getting better.

Today I started with my new therapist and was given a diagnoses of chronic ptsd. I don’t know what to make of that and I don’t know how much of that I will be sharing to be honest. I’ve sadly witnessed people tear other people down over ptsd before, because when most people think of ptsd they think of a solider in the war. So they assume that if you fighting in a war then you couldn’t have it.

Mine does not come from a war, but rather an abusive childhood. There was a lot of physical, mental, and emotional abuse at the hands of my mother. I had done so well to just “keep calm and carry on” for most of my life, I kept my children away from toxic situations, and helped shield them from things.

However, as previously stated in past blogs, I have not been able to move on from finding out that my dad was not my biological father. Due to this it caused issues with my maternal family, support systems were damaged and everything just fell apart. Now I’m just trying move forward.

I saw this meme and along with release, this is five things I hope will change in 2020.

So exhale now that, THAT is out of the way. Here are a few crafty things I’ve finished, started, and put aside ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜’

I finished a blanket

I started Griffin socks or Dragonโ€™s egg socks as they are listed on Ravelry, though in the book Knitting Wizardry they are referred to as Griffin socks

They have been recently set aside so that I might work on a few items for the group I mentioned above.

I had an idea last month, of how I could pick what pattern to work on. I never know which to choose and I am trying to use up my stash so that all I have left are my own hand spun yarns. I have a variety of tv shows/movies I like to watch and knitting books and magazines to go along with said shows.

So I used the app Spin The Wheel to help me decide what theme I would be going with, from there I spin for a pattern of them theme it lands on above. That way I can work my way through my patterns while watching the shows and movies. I was hoping to add Downton Abbey to the list but I’m having a hard time finding a copy of The Best of Downton Abbey Pattern Collection, it appears to be out of stock everywhere.

Knitting Wizardry

Highland Knits

Once Upon a Knit

Enchanted Knits

Jane Austen Knits

I am hoping this will help me use up my stash and help me branch out when it comes to knitting.

Thank you all for your patience while I’m trying to figure out how to fix my current situation in life.

Have a great evening folks!

Itโ€™s finished

I’ve spent the last few months focusing on kids, mental health, and Christmas presents. I’ve taken a few more steps to feeling better, taking time….more time than I meant but it helped. I’ve made several big changes and I feel lighter, less anxious, I’m not crying nearly as much.

Last week we had a big scare at our house when Leif’s appendix burst. He gets sick often due to his sunken chest, but this time it was different, He had stomach pains, he didn’t complain about them. A trip to the Dr confirmed my suspicions, yet unfortunately in the ten minute drive from the Dr to the hospital his appendix ruptured.

They quickly got him in and out of surgery and we spent six days at the hospital. After the first few days he was in good spirits, but his fever kept spiking. We were able to leave when he was 24 hours fever free.

He has been hanging out at home this week and will be able to return to school in the New Year.

So what did I finish you ask?

The Min Ulla scarf that I started two houses ago. Can you believe it? I am still in shock… though I only just finished it thirty minutes ago. It is now folded in a box, waiting to be wrapped for Christmas.

Here are a few other items I have completed since the last time I posted

Have a great weekend folks!

Iโ€™m here

Thank you for all the kind words, I am back and feeling better. I’ve been able to get my anxiety under control. Still dealing with family situations but I am working through things and plugging along.

I was able to finish the baby blanket for my best friend

And started another present for when baby boy comes along

My best friend and her husband own a bowling alley, I found this to be fitting ๐Ÿ˜‚

I’ve finished spinning up my shades of blue yarn

I started my Halloween costume

cleaned up messes. This was huge for me, I always have a hard time keeping my craft room tidy, I’ve been given a lot of fabric over the years and well I’ve had to put a stop to it. I need to use all of this before I can take anymore.

We’ve started making signs for art class

And finally, after almost two years. I broke out my sewing machine

Its good to be back, it’s good to heal through creativity.

Have a great weekend folks!

Letโ€™s get real

I have been on a journey this year, some of it I mentioned on here this past spring, but I did not go into how much it affected my daily life. I feel like when I talked about it I brushed off the emotions and what I went through and have been mentally going through…I made it sound as if it was all okay.

We are going to get real here, because the anxiety and breakdowns have kept me from writing.

Last March my whole life changed when I found out that my dad wasn’t my birth father, I went from having two half sisters to five half sisters and three half brothers (+three step brothers if I really wanted to make it all crazy ๐Ÿ˜) somedays I am just fine, I can go through my daily life as though nothing has changed…as long as I am busy enough.

When I was working, I was too focused on what was going on at work and that is where my head was, it was perfect. Then summer happened and it was discussed that I was absolutely needed more at home, and while I tried to keep myself busy at home, my mind always wandered.

Kids, gardening, audiobooks, spinning, knitting, crocheting…one would think those things would be easy to keep my brain busy, but it didn’t work. I’ve had many days of being fine and then randomly breaking down and crying, panic and anxiety attacks. My brain never stops thinking about the situation. I worry about my dad, I am sadden that I will never meet my biological dad as he passed years ago.

Aside from the mental and emotional aspect of it, I find myself being shunned by certain members of my maternal family, I have one family member in particular trying to ban me from family events, simply for accidentally finding out the truth.

I didn’t do this test excepting to find out about this, I was trying to continue to build my family tree, get passed road blocks, and as I previously mentioned find out if my third great grandmother came from Spain or New Hampshire.

However, I do feel like I am slowly getting better. My new siblings have welcomed me and I’ve spent many days at the beach with my oldest sister, my niece, and my grand niece and nephew this summer. I’ve found a support group online, full of other people going through the same thing and it has very much helped me.

I’ve also recently joined a group where you heal through creativity and I am hoping that it will help me get up and work on things ( I haven’t touched my sewing machine since finding out). So please bear with me, the lack of posts, and know that I daily I am wanting to come and write, I might just not be emotionally okay I’m those days.

I hope you all have a great weekend, my heart goes out to those affected by the hurricane. Please stay safe.

More fiber goodness

Long have I wanted to see a basket full of yarn that I have spun up myself, thanks to my new wheel I have achieved that goal

I struggled for so long with my old wheel, that I often had to walk away for days or even weeks. I’m proud of my little basket that is quickly filling up.

The latest addition to my basket is my 2019 Tour De Fleece project

Three bobbins, though there was some miscalculation on my part, it didn’t spin up exactly the same as my Take me to the sea color-way, however that turned out to be a good thing.

I am so very happy that I purchased this jumbo flyer, it was more than half full by the time I finished plying the three strands together.

The cake is 506 yards of polworth and silk, the hank of yarn on the right? Well I’m not sure, I was ready to go to bed but I do believe it is at least 200 yards. It was spun up as a two ply after I ran out of yarn on one of the three bobbins, believe it or not I still have one bobbin with yarn left on it.

I recently added to my fiber tool collection

Now I’ve debated on this many times, then I told myself I wasn’t going to purchase a hackle until after our trip when we knew what we were doing.

Well we don’t know and so instead of drooling over pictures and videos, I purchased this 12″ hackle and of course….went right to work using it

It was a bit of a learning process, still working on it actually, but this is 14 different shades of blue blended together

I still haven’t managed to get one continuous long strand, however I went from seven semi long strands of fiber, down to four and you know what?! I will take it!

Have a great weekend folks!

Home

We are home from our trip, still without answers, unsure of what we want to do….not that’s half a lie, I’m pretty sure I want to stay in New Hampshire, I love the seasons, I love the snow, the cool air, this is home. Toph is still unsure, has talked of us going back down with the kid’s, dogs, cat, fish, and ferret and staying for three months to get a feel and then decide.

We will see, it is beautiful down there but too hot at the same time.

On our first full day we arrived in Amish Country PA

Homemade root beer was purchased

We went on a tour and though I haven’t worked with horses for 20 years, I was complimented by a nice Amish man on how well I handled his team. He didn’t seem to believe me when I told how I grew up on a farm, but driving the horses back to the tour area he looked at me and said “Oh wow, you have done this before!”

We stopped at several beautiful shops and me being me, well…

Wool was a must (then I came home to a greater surprise when my friend down the road gifted me with a 55 gallon trash bag full of alpaca.)

On day two we found ourselves in Virginia, we drove on the Skyline Highway

Went on a 7.9 mile hike

Where we made a friend

Virginia is truly a beautiful state

We stopped overnight in Tennessee before heading to North Carolina to stay with family for a night.

We went on another hike and met another friend

This one did not want to leave the trail, didn’t care that we were there (the other deer was a bit skittish).

We headed back to Virginia and toward the destination of the childhood home of the creator of one of my favorite shows

The museum is set up in the former high school in Schuyler Virginia, just down the road you will find the Hamner house and a little further down the road is a shop that is little gift shop where I purchased a book that was (maybe) signed by Earl Hamner Jr.

I very much enjoyed the little town, it was beautiful and the museum was perfect! Everything at the gift shop was beautiful and affordable. I highly recommend visiting.

The last day in Virginia was spent in Swoope, we have previously been here to visit Joel Salatin from Polyface farm, unfortunately we got there right after closing but it was worth the excursion.

My favorite place at the end of the trip was of course home, sitting around the fire, watching the sunset and enjoying the sound of the critters.

Have a great day folks!

Here and there

We’ve been everywhere.

Enjoying violin lessons, today will be our third lesson. We’ve spent countless hours practicing at home.

We went to my favorite place on earth (well because my sheep aren’t here yet, someday ๐Ÿ‘)

I brought home the Christmas version of monopoly and now we all have our own set.

We spent the day at Pine Point in Scarborough Maine last Friday. The water was perfect and the sand just right for building. Our spot on the beach wasn’t overcrowded and the weather was sublime. What felt like an hour was really four and it wasn’t until tummy’s started rumbling for something other than the snacks brought along, did we finally pack up and go in search of dinner…and then ice cream (Bayley’s chocolate raspberry truffle is amazing and highly recommended.)

We’ve been at our own beach where I’ve been working on this ten stitch baby blanket.

For my little nephew due next winter.

And then we have been home

Making chicken sausage from laying hens that went into the freezer last fall, after many failed attempts they were just too hard to eat, so we tried another approach and I must say, they are delicious. I am thankful for this because we had 20+ hens in the freezer and short of feeding them to the dogs, we had no idea what else to do.

Now they will feed us through the winter and continue to keep us from having to rely on the grocery store.

We’ve been in the back pasture moving the 15 remaining laying hens, the rest have found new homes on other farms. We now move our coop on wheels once a week rather than every other day.

What have you been doing to fill your summer days?