Thursday, December 27, 2012

taking it slow

I've been sick with bronchitis for over a week.  While it certainly put a damper on Christmas celebrations it did mean that I wasn't expected to do much.  The worst of it is not being with Berlyn so as not to expose her to these nasty bugs.  I miss her so much!  It's hard to believe that I hadn't even met her at the beginning of the month and she's now such an important part of my life that I can't wait to cuddle her again after a few days of absence.

Anyway, as of today's trip to the doctor I have medication to cure the bronchitis and I should be up and running in time to host our quiet annual New Year's Eve celebrations with family and good friends.  The house is dirty and the dogs desperately need grooming but I don't suppose anyone will hold that against me while we eat pizza and play board games.

Before I got sick, Carmen and I took Berlyn for her first photo shoot at Campbell Girl Photography (on Facebook) whom you may remember I discovered through photos of my cousin's triplets.  It was fascinating to watch Shannon with our lovely little newborn.  Her studio is kept very warm and there are recorded womb sounds playing over speakers so babies are comfortable.  Carmen and I have dubbed her the Baby Whisperer for the way that she kept the baby calm and sleepy while posing her.  As for the photos themselves....... amazing.  

I think this is a stunning mother and baby picture of our beautiful girls!

Monday, December 17, 2012

humour me

One more baby pic from yesterday.  Carmen took this one on her camera with the flash so it's nicer than mine.
Looks like they were having quite the conversation, doesn't it?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

5 days old

We spent a lovely evening at Geoff and Carmen's.  Berlyn is so sweet!  Didn't use the flash for these pictures so as not to bug the baby so the quality isn't the greatest but the content makes up for it.

Berlyn is such a sweet baby!  She accepted a bottle and soother for the first time from nana so I guess that means that mommy and daddy can now go out for supper or to a movie and leave Berlyn with nana and papa ;)

Carmen and Geoff have taken to parenthood like ducks to water!  Every baby should be so lucky to have such a great mommy and daddy!

(Kudos to Jadielady for recognizing the pink froth knitting-in-progress as the Baby Mine pattern.)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

not as beautiful as the new baby but....

very pretty indeed is the new Limited Edition Majacraft Rose that arrived a couple of weeks ago.  I finally had a chance to take a picture of it in good light today.
(And look!  It matches Cooper, the sable sheltie, in the background.)

My wheel is number 21 of 25 wheels produced.  Instead of the usual rose decoration this wheel has Maori engraving on the upright handle, the treadles,

the back of the drive wheel,

and on the bobbin carrier/kate.

If you're looking for one of the 25 LE Roses for yourself, I think Shuttleworks may still have some available.  Mine already has some pretty pink merino/silk fiber on the go.

warm baby

Here are a couple of pics that were taken just before Berlyn and mommy left the hospital.  If you look very, very carefully you will see her homecoming sweater, the Maile cardi, peeking out of all the necessary layers to keep a baby warm in winter in Saskatchewan.

pink froth

In the midst of our joy at Berlyn's birth, we sympathized with our dear friends Rhonda and Al.  Rhonda's mom passed away suddenly last week.  Her funeral was out of town on Thursday.  As we drove there I worked on this bit of pink froth.
Anyone recognize the pattern?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

home now

Baby Berlyn and her mommy are home now with daddy.  They're all tired.  I briefly stopped by to take some food for them and snapped these pics with my phone.  I did a little baby cuddling while I was there, of course.

Sorry for the poor photos; I didn't want to turn the flash on and bother babe.

Notice that she fits on her daddy's forearm.  I wonder how long that will be the case.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

just call me nana

She's here!  Beautiful Berlyn Dawn was born early this morning weighing 6 lbs. 7 oz.  It was a difficult delivery for both mom and baby but Berlyn is out of NICU and with her mom now.

We are so in love!  There couldn't be a more precious gift!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

peas in a pod

"three peas in a pod" was written on the invitation to the baby shower for these tiny triplets.
Beautiful little sweet peas indeed!

Three babies boggles my mind:  three car seats, three cribs, three times as many diapers, etc. but then I realize that there is three times the love and snuggles too.  These lucky babies are much wanted and loved.  And their lucky parents have lots of family to help out too.
Mom and both grandmas are here posing for photos at the shower.

Can you smell their sweet heads just by looking at this picture?  I can.  It won't be long before I have my own sweet grandbaby to cuddle and I can hardly wait.

If you're on Facebook you can take a peek at these little ones on the Campbell Girl Photography page.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

another winter storm

Another storm system rolled through here bringing a lot of rain followed by freezing rain followed by a lot of snow.  What a mess!

As always, though, there is beauty in nature.
I took these pictures last night in the back yard.
Yet another mound of snow on the deck today.

The eaves of the sun room look like they're on a gingerbread house.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

teaching compassion

I was sent a link to this article about teaching young children to be nice to animals and am happy to share it with you.  I feel strongly that children should learn compassion and caring at an early age and interacting with pets is a great way to do it.  We know that children who don't empathize with animals often become teens and adults who are aggressive toward not only animals but people too.

I tried to make my classroom an animal friendly zone so that the children could experience caring for pets even if they didn't have any at home.  Over the years we had a variety of small animals as pets (gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, and birds) and the children had clearly defined responsibility of them (with supervision of course).  I also took my dogs to school on a regular basis (good for the kids and for the socialization of my dogs).  One of my favorite teaching units was based on the incubation and hatching of chicks.  There's something very magical about viewing the chick embryos through the egg shells by holding them up to bright light; it was always a highlight to watch the embryos moving within the shell and see the blood vessels at work.  Once the chicks hatched, the kids would sit in a circle with the chicks in the middle.  They were taught how to hold the chicks safely and they also knew that if chicken poop happened near them, they were responsible for getting wet paper towel to clean it up.  It was a terrific way to teach Family Life Education, Science, and Social Studies in one fell swoop.

For the child in your life, this article has ten great ideas to help you teach compassion and sharing and is worth reading.

The Big Bang Theory Flash mob!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


holy snow, Batman!

The snow finally stopped and this is what my deck looks like.  The sky has cleared allowing cold air to follow the snow storm.  It is -13 C with a windchill of -24 C (-11 F).  Brrr......

Friday, November 09, 2012

snow and then some

We are in the midst of a good old-fashioned snow storm.

I took this picture two days ago on my deck (I'm selling my Majacraft Suzie Pro and the photo shoot was for advertising purposes*).

Here's the same deck now and the forecast is for snow most of the weekend.

Cooper is very, very happy.

The snow is deeper than B is tall.  Good thing he was wearing his little red coat.
As you can see, while the shelties were happy in the snow, Bentley waited patiently at the door to go back into the house.

*If you are interested in the wheel here's a link to my destash page on Ravelry.

Monday, October 29, 2012

loving the outdoors

I have mentioned that Cooper is an outside kind of dog.  When I was working with fiber in the sunroom last week, I looked out the window and noticed this:
fast asleep in the middle of lawn.  He's obviously happy and content out there.

Friday, October 26, 2012

keeping busy

So here it is, almost a month after my last post again.  I have been keeping busy though.

I wove a little blanket for dearest granddaughter as a baby shower* gift.

I think Carmen liked it.
(It was a lovely shower and dearest granddaughter will be a very well-dressed baby!  There were so many adorable gifts.)

I finished spinning two batches of Spunky Eclectic's Little Periwinkles organic Merino fiber.
I wanted long color runs so I spun two separate singles of equal color sequences and plied them together.  They didn't match up completely of course but were pretty close.  I used a semi-worsted spinning draw and lightly fulled the yarn to finish it and I am really happy with how it turned out.  I now have 229 g/593 yds. which should be plenty for a cardi and matching hat and/or socks for our little girl. 

I was scrambling to work through some of my scoured fleece before it got too cold in the sunroom to work there.  A stretch of warm days a couple of weeks ago was enough to finish a good chunk of it (good thing - it's darn chilly out there now.)
 This is a Columbia fleece from Val at Wooly Wool of the West on Etsy.  It is very soft and I enjoyed working with it a lot!

I also finished combing the CVM/Romeldale fleece that I had dyed last year.
I have lots of spinning and knitting ahead of me this winter.

*Carmen's sister hosted the shower and made this adorable diaper "cake".  Those little flowers were made with sockies and the center supports are glass bottles.  How cute is that?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

still summer

We've been riding a heat wave here in sunny Saskatchewan.  It has been very dry and the daytime temps have been into the high 20s (pushing 80 F).  There were a couple of nights in Sept. that we covered some of the garden veggies because of frost warnings but nothing in my yard froze.  The chilly nights made the leaves turn though.  It's been glorious!

The garden is giving us lots of vegetables (there is nothing better than a tomato picked and eaten while it is still warm from the sun) and the flowers think it is still summer.

Cooper spends as much time outside as possible.  He is definitely not an indoor kind of guy.

All of the dogs have been digging at the base of the big willow tree in our yard.  I think that there are mushrooms lurking along the root system and that's what they're after.  The poor lawn is taking a beating in the process.  Dan has been putting grates over the holes but the dogs just push them aside or dig new holes so it's been pretty futile to try to stop them.  I had trouble getting good pictures of the dogs today because they were so busy sniffing and digging.  Bentley, being a hound, has his nose to the ground most of the time.

This picture of Austin is blurry because he wasn't interested in posing; too many better things to do on a lovely afternoon.

I did get a head shot of Robbie though.

According the weather forecast this heat isn't going to last.  By mid-week we will be victims of an Arctic air flow and it will feel like autumn.  Although I really like the fall season I am sorry to say good-bye to summer.

Monday, September 10, 2012

have to share

I know that many of you fiber folks read Yarn Harlot's blog regularly but for those of you who don't, I just have to share her post today of a truly amazing, thoughtful wedding gift for her sister- and brother-in-law.  I've watched the video twice and it gave me goosebumps both times.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

more baby knits

When I posted the pic of the first baby cardi that I made for dearest granddaughter, Marguerite asked how many sweaters this baby was going to have?  The answer, I guess, is as many as I get around to making.  Anyway, here is the latest little knit off the needles.

I started this little cardi before we knew that dearest grandbaby is a girl so used Dream in Color Smooshy yarn in the gender neutral Beach Fog colorway and opted for the cabled version rather than the lace one.  As it wasn't finished before we found out that a little girl would be the recipient, I used the picot hems to make it a bit more feminine.  This is the 6-12 month size so will hopefully get some wear before it is outgrown.  I'm pleased with this knit and the pattern is well-written and very versatile so I highly recommend it!

I pulled out some treasures that had been in storage so that they could be used again.  This blanket was knit for me when I was a baby.  I don't know who made it and will have to look for my baby book to see if mom noted it there.
The pink edging and little rosettes are crocheted.  It's very sweet.  I washed it carefully because there weren't superwash wools widely available in the 1950's and this is definitely wool.  You can see the color difference between the natural white wool and the white acrylic sweater in the next photo.

My mom made this tiny cardi when we were waiting to adopt a baby.
Geoff wore this little outfit home from the hospital.  Well, he actually only wore it for a very short time.  We traveled to Saskatoon for him and stopped for lunch at McDonald's there before hitting the highway for the 2 1/2 hour ride home.  I changed his diaper then and was too new at the parenting-of-a-baby-boy routine (ie: keep it covered) to prevent him from peeing all over the front of his little outfit requiring a change in clothes.  Valuable lesson learned.

Friday, August 31, 2012

August recap

My apologies for not getting my act together to post very much lately.  Here is a quick recap of August in Dog-Lover's land.

The first day of the month was the start of the local exhibition/fair and I demonstrated spinning there every day.  We found out that dearest grandbaby is a girl just hours before I headed to the fair so I quickly dug out some pink fiber to take along.  I'm still working on it so yarn pictures will follow when it's done.  Last year I developed tendonitis in my shoulder from spinning at the fair so this year I made sure that I changed up what I was spinning so that my body would move more.  I spun on my wheel, charkha, drop and support spindles so my shoulder was much happier this year.  It was interesting that I had more interest from men than women; I think they were fascinated by the mechanics of the wheel and charkha.  We were not in a high-traffic area this year so it was pretty quiet for the most part except during a huge storm when the midway was shut down and people were scrambling to stay dry.  I would prefer a busier location next year but it's not in my hands.

Katie and Darcie spent some time spinning there too.  Katie has developed into an extremely good spinner!  It was amazing to see how much better she is now than she was last year.  She hasn't spent much time spinning at home so I guess she's absorbing the skills by osmosis.  I had carded some batts for her and she spun and plied about 300g of them in a couple of days at the fair.  I'm thinking I should be hiring her to spin some of what I have on the go.  She's a lot speedier than I am.

I think she's planning a hat with her yarn.

We had a good assortment of various types of spinning as you can see by our little spinning corner during the supper break.

Other fiber arts being demonstrated in the building included Jean with her rug hooking,

knitters, stitchers, and other needleworkers,

and quilters with some amazing quilts.

In the center of the building a sand sculpture was constructed over the course of the fair.  It was pretty cool.

There was also an interactive mosaic.  People painted tiles and they were assembled like this.
At first I though I was looking at grain elevators from the side then realized that, from a bird's-eye view, there were two combines harvesting the fields.

The day after the fair ended Austin got very sick, poor dog.  After a sleepless night I took him to the vet clinic and they diagnosed an intestinal protozoa as the cause.  By then Bentley was starting to show symptoms too so I got medication for both of them.  You guessed it, a couple of days later the other two dogs also got sick so they needed treatment too.  I was warned that it could be transmitted to people but thankfully I didn't get it.  All I can say is that I'm very thankful for my carpet steam cleaner.  It got a good workout that week.

That was the first half of the month.  Thankfully the rest of the month has been fairly uneventful.  When I got rested up after all the drama I gave all the dogs a bath and started to catch up on tackling everything around the house that had been neglected for those two weeks.

I totally missed getting the annual picture of the first day of sunshine on my kitchen window ledge.  Here is today's view (ignore the cobwebs on the outside of my window; the spiders have been very busy this year).
The days are getting shorter very quickly but it is still decidedly summer according to our weather.  We are riding a heat wave but the nights cool off much more than they did in July.

I will leave you with a photo of the blue moon on this last day of August.