Monday, January 31, 2011

growing boy

It was hard to have Milo move out of our room. I loved watching his sleeping face and being greeted every morning - plus I adore being in bed and don't like having to leave it in the middle of the night. But just as Sadie did (I swear, these kids are carbon copies of one another), he eventually craved some private space and I found two consequences that made me feel better about the whole thing: 1) I got to read again, which has been amazing, and 2) we could have fun putting his room together. Now, this all happened months ago but I took today off work and I'm home alone. The sun was shining and I finally was able to take photos.

It's our smallest bedroom, which used to be our bedroom, but the shape makes furniture layout easy (odd, because it's really hard in the bigger rooms). And by small, I mean this room is under 8' wide by just over 10' long. The sun streams into this room (it's above our kitchen and together they make up the only rooms that ever see natural light) and it has the best radiator in our whole house. It's aqua. It's awesome. So when I moved out my sewing stuff, I needed to paint but I knew I had enough cans in the basement to make it work for free. The result is 3 walls of Creamy White (kitchen paint) and one wall of Stoneware (our bedroom). I bet I would have chosen the same thing even if I could buy paint - it just feels right. Being a toddler, Milo doesn't have too much "stuff" yet, so it's easy to set up his shelves and keep things generally tidy. Jay got the Canadian pennants from Ebay and a little CN train car too so there's a wee bit of an old Canadiana theme going on. It should last until Milo drags his Bob the Builder toys upstairs.

The little bunny wall hanging was made by Jay's mom for Jay, so it's pretty special to have. There are a few special things in here (my Dad's childhood copy of Peter Pan for example) but Milo is so careful and gentle that I don't worry. He's 19 months old now and I keep expecting a rambunctious boy to emerge, yet every day he continues to be like Sadie. Again, it's so strange how alike they are.

I'll post the rest of the photos on Flickr, but I had to include the shot with Glen Miller. He sat ever-so-perfectly for the camera, right next to that rad. And the rocking chair (from my parents, it was in my house growing up) sees a lot of use. Luckily Milo is starting to sleep through most nights even though he isn't completely weaned, but this rocking chair certainly makes the visit more comfortable.

So there it is - a room fit for a growing boy. Sigh.

Friday, January 28, 2011

berry happy

Jay and Sadie make frequent trips to the local Goodwill and Salvation Army because: 1) my thrifting husband believes that frequency results in better finds, and 2) it's basically become their father-and-daughter thing. So although I would never buy merchandised clothing new, lately such stuff has been coming home with them. The story I get is that for $1, it's hard for Daddy to say no. And we're not talking Princess or Dora clothing (phew) but behold one example - a Strawberry Shortcake shirt (and the "after" shot is first, purely for aesthetic reasons).

I don't know about other Dads, but Jay isn't the best for gauging size and Sadie will say anything fits if it means she gets to carry it home. So this shirt was WAY too big and suffering from that unfortunate style of being really wide in the body but also quite short. Using my current shirt pattern for Sadie as a guide, I cut off the sleeves and a good chunk of the sides. Then I inserted new pink sleeves and added black cuffs to match the neck ribbing.  A quick serge of the trimmed bottom and voila - a brand new shirt that actually fits my girl. With an added investment of, oh, less than 50 cents.

The husband is very proud.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

girlie hudson

Hands down, earflaps are a necessity this winter.

As I was finishing Milo's Hudson Hat in November, Sadie decided she wanted a matching version but it actually took me three tries to get the colour combo to work (umm, I may be a wee bit picky about colour). The purple/blue/pink stripe suited Sadie just fine and she kept reminding me to work on the hat even though I had holiday knitting to finish. Eventually I got it done, wove in all the ends, and she has been wearing it ever since. It makes her especially happy when we can convince Milo to wear his too, but being a toddler - this doesn't always happen.

Would it be wrong to make one for Jay next?  I'm already pretty close to unravelling my own (very pink) hat to make an earflap version (basically I heart the Hudson Hat pattern). We've been ice skating a few times every week and the wind masterfully sneaks its way into my ears, so a hat that ties under my chin sounds perfect. An ice-skating family of four wearing matching hats may be a little much though.

Or just about right.

Friday, January 14, 2011

an ode to shawls

So easy to knit. So satisfying to wear. And they look great draped over just about anything.

Sure, sometimes I wonder if I'm dressing old before my time, but I just can't help it. It started with an embroidered shawl I bought from Carriere, and then last winter I knit the Mara shawl. I wear both all the time so when I found two skeins of some lovely gray alpaca/merino/cashmere wool, I figured another shawl was the obvious choice (I had knit my Mom her own Mara shawl in a similar colour, and it was pretty hard to part with).

Stephen West's Boneyard Shawl pattern is perfectly simple. The ridge of purl stitches is just enough detail to make it interesting and the garter border looks so nice in this wool. I don't know that I'll ever have the focus to try a lace shawl, but we'll see. For now I'll probably start another simple shawl (a gift perhaps?) because it is the ideal knitting project for the car. Oh, and I'd like to spread the shawl love around.

Monday, January 10, 2011

movie mania

As the year drew to a close and we cozied up in our wee tiny abode, Jay and I started a movie marathon. Not that we meant to start a marathon, but after 10 straight nights of movies I think we'd have to call it a marathon. Even tonight we have number 11 picked out to the delight of our local video store (which is actually new to us because our beloved Video 99 closed down and we went on a long movie hiatus as the loss sunk in). Let's see if I can remember the list:

3) The Kiterunner (our own, purchased from Video 99 when they were closing)
10) Easy A

Obviously we were catching up on new releases, but there was a clear front-runner for both of us...and it wasn't a new release. The Kiterunner was absolutely excellent and the story - oh, and the characters - stayed with us both for days. The biggest disappointment? Winter's Bone. It got fantastic reviews but we both found we were confused most of the time and the dialogue was hard to make out. And really, wouldn't someone just ask the main character what she wanted? Just one simple question? The others were generally entertaining and Scott Pilgrim holds a special place, but for an unusual reason which I'll save for another time. Overall, a fun way to start the new year. I've needed an escape from thinking because work is weighing heavy on my mind these days and watching movies means popcorn and knitting. Win-win.

And inspired by Soulemama's {this moment} photos, I snapped a few photos from inside this cozy abode. First a glimpse of our wall of art and photos and then Sadie's latest family portrait complete with explanatory note to Daddy. Hibernation certainly has its benefits.