Friday, February 27, 2015

This moment - cards and water play

{this moment} – A Friday ritual from Soule Mama.  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.  If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your “moment” in the comments for all to find and see.



With an extra video:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Masterpieces: My deer for Valentine's Day

More than a month has past with no posts...  Last post was a bit intense and wasn't sure how to follow it up...but thankfully I finished some knitting so let's start there! 

Project details
Ravelry Project link
Pattern: my dear - a deer trophy by Claire Garland
Yarn: Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool in Natural
Cast on: February 3rd, 2015
Finished: February 13th, 2015
Notes: When I saw this pattern, I simply knew I had to knit it for my hubby!  He's a hunter and has been hoping to get a buck so he could get it mounted.  His grandfather has one that is named Buckey and I know it's always been special to my husband.  I figured while he's waiting for his, I would make him this one.  I wasn't sure if he would like it but he loved it!  I was so happy with his reaction and it put him back on the knit list. .He had been put on the no-knit list because of an incident with a hat from Target.  I'm not going to run out and start knitting him a bunch of stuff but he's knit worthy again.
I haven't talked too much about this on the blog but I swear I'm NOT a toy knitter!  I keep repeating this to myself as I seam things together.  I want to love it because they are so cute but I struggle with the stuffing and seaming.  My Christmas secret knitting for the girls is still...well not done!
I had an issue with this one because I overstuffed the head...which I had understuffed the last toy I knit and struggled so I was thinking I was learning from my mistake by making another one.  The head after you knit it on a loose gauge is supposed to shrink down. BUT if you over stuff it...it won't shrink and hence will be slightly too big.  After throwing a small temper tantrum, I'm really happy with how it came out and SO excited that my husband actually hung it on his wall with his other prized stuff.

Hope you like it!

Happy Knitting!

Did you knit your significant other a Valentine's Day gift?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Series of Thoughts: Growing up

This is very random but it's my current series of thoughts.  Enjoy and be kind.

I am 34...34 and in a couple months I'll be 35 but most the time when I visualize myself I still feel like the scared motherless child, who was fighting to find herself in this world.  Then one day I looked up and here I find myself a married woman and mother of 2 little girls. How did that happen?

It's amazing how time and growing up works.  Internally, I feel like I'm a child raising children but I know that I'm not a child.  Did my parent feel like this when they had 5 girls and a boy to raise?  Did they look around them and think that they were children just like those they were raising?  My mother started having kids in her mid 20s...I didn't have my first daughter until I was 30 and yet I don't feel grow up yet.  Will I ever feel grown up? Now the big question...do I want to feel grown up?

Life has a funny way of just moving forward whether you are ready or not.  Thankfully, God knows what he's doing and what you can do with his help because sometimes I look at what I've been through and what I have accomplished and wonder...how did I make it and what was I thinking?  We often move through life from one event to the next but when you are living your day to day life, it feels like you are just passing the time.  How does all this life happen when you are just passing the time?
My mother passed away 28 year ago today and I miss her every day.  It's strange to think that I have lived on this earth 22 years longer without her than with her.  I know she is with me everyday and I'm reminded of her through my sisters and my daughters.  God knew what he was doing when he gave my parents 5 girls.  He knew what he was doing when he gave me daughters.  He knows what we need more than we do because he sees the bigger picture that we do not.

I often struggle with my longing for my mother.  I'm the person I am today because I lost her when I did.  I had to grow up without her and I gained her influences through the lessons and influences she left in those that knew her.  I know her through pictures and stories that others tell me.  I was the youngest of many and I was spoiled rotten before she passed.  After she passed, people came into my life that changed that.

I often wonder if my sisters and I would be so close if we had not lost her when we did.  Would we need each other as much as we do now?  I can't imagine my life without each of my sisters.  We are all so different yet we are all so similar.  We fight like all siblings but there is something different about how we relate.  It's like there is this magnet that pulls us to each other and you can't see it but it's there.  Is that magnet our mother's spirit?  Will my girls have that magnet too?

My husband and I in the last year have talked several times about moving to live near his family up north.  I want to say I could do it because despite how I see myself, I'm not a child and I would pull on my big girl boots and find a new path but when I think about not living near 4 of my 5 sisters...it makes me crumble.  I just can't imagine not being able to see them all the time.  I know that he is close to his mother and sister that live up north too and I know it's hard for them to live apart but I just don't know if I am ready to spread my wings again.

I grew up with my sisters out of the house.  By the time my mother passed away, the youngest of the older sisters was a senior in high school and soon left the nest.  That left my brother and soon my step-sister and step-brother.  I love them and need them but it's different...that magnet isn't there.  When I left home to go to college, the first 2 years I spent in Tampa and spent almost every weekend with my sisters and their families in St. Pete. Then I needed to find myself...so I went off to college in San Fransisco.  I knew nobody and I wasn't were I didn't want to be.  It was 4 and a half years of incredible growth personally.  Then I just missed having family around so much I made my way back here.  It's sort of a long story so we'll just say it took about 9 months for me to finally make my way back to living by my sisters here.

Since then I have been happy living near them.  My pups found me, my husband found me, and we had 2 amazing little girls.  Through it all, my sisters were my rock.  They were my constant.  I know wherever I go they will always be my rock but it's not the same when they are a walk or very short car ride away.  They have helped me in so many ways become the mother I am and are constantly helping me be the person I am whether they know it or not.

I know this has been random but to sum it up.  I feel like a child.  I miss my mother.  My sisters are my rock and I will keep trusting God knows what he's doing and his big plan for us is bigger than I can ever dream of.

Hope you enjoyed this series of thoughts.

Do you feel "grown" up?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Masterpiece: My Hitofude Cardigan

One of my goals this year, as you may have read from yesterday's post is to love my wardrobe. Part of that is to increase the lightweight handknit work appropriate cardigans. My work is pretty loose with what we can wear but I'd like to put more effort into looking nice. Don't get me wrong...there will be days I will still go to work in jeans, flip-flops, and a t-shirt but you get the idea. The first one of these cardigans I already had been knitting...and now it's complete! yay!! 
Project details
Ravelry Project link
Pattern: Hitofude Cardigan by Hiroko Fukatsu
Yarn: The Fiber Seed Sprout Solids in Elephant
Cast on: September 13th, 2014
Finished: January 4th, 2015
Notes: When I first saw this cardigan, I wasn't sure how it would look on my body frame.  I loved it but just couldn't visualize it.  A friend in my knit group happened to finish hers so I asked if I could try it on and instantly fell in love with it!  It fit nicely and I thought would be a great addition to my wardrobe.
The pattern is all knit in one stroke or strand of yarn...so essentially no seaming.  I liked that idea.  The cast on is a bit confusing but you really just have to trust the pattern and it works out.  Same goes for when you are doing the sleeve join.  I read through the pattern completely but I just couldn't see what I was expected to do until I was actually doing that step.  In the end it worked and I'm so happy I knit this up!  I might make another one but using a yarn that has silk in it as I think this will drape nicely!

Happy Knitting!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Natalie 2015: Simplify and Streamline

I love the idea of having a theme to focus on each year.  I am not sure I really follow it throughout the whole year but it's always fun to start of the year with a focus.  I'm also a big fan of lists...so I'm going to combine these for this year's resolutions post.

This year my theme is going to be: Simplify and Streamline.

Not all of my goals below fit nicely into this theme but that's ok with me...
Crafting:
1. Organize my stash so that it's visually pleasing and not just stored away.
2. SPIN MORE!  This is big.  I really want to give Pilar some love this year and spin spin spin!  It's been a while since I spun and I just need to get back to it.
3. Take more classes. This coming year, I hope to take more workshops and crafting classes.  I want to learn more techniques but mostly I want to learn from those teaching.
4. Teach more classes.
5. Travel to a fiber festival!!  This is huge!  I REALLY REALLY want to make it to a festival this year.  We have plans in the works but hope it works out as well as we are planning.

Personal:
1. I'd like to simplify our home by purging all the things that are not used/played with or don't have a place in our home.  This especially goes for clothes that don't fit and trinkets that don't hold emotional attachments or have a place to live.
2. I'd like to purge my wardrobe into a smaller one that only has clothes that I love and make me feel good. Sadly, I still have "maternity" clothes that get worn here and there.  They must all GO!
3. Make it through the construction that is about to begin on our home and really decorate our living room and rest of the house with pictures and more.

Parental:
1. Focus less on bedtime routine and more on enjoying the time with my girls.  NOT saying I'm going to get rid of bedtime routine but often at night I feel like it's this race to get them to bed before it becomes a meltdown battle of over tired girls.  This stresses me out and I end up not enjoying the time we have together as much.  I really would like to focus more on enjoying the time and less on racing through the time.
2. Start having dates with each of my children.  My girls love to be together but I also feel they need some alone time with me.  I would like to start having fun outings with just one of them at a time.  We'll see how this goes.

Relationships:
1. Schedule monthly date nights with my husband.  We are good about doing date nights but we often realize we haven't had one in a while and then plan one.  I would love to do this monthly in the new year.
2. Focus more on what I'm bringing to my marriage than what I'm getting.  I feel this is such a better way to love and helps to curb the tit for tat mentality that can often cause grief.
3. Plan more time with my sisters.  We always love going to brunch together but do not do it often enough.  Downton Abbey is starting soon and we always watch that together on Sunday nights and it's nice to be with them.

And to finish off I would like to cut out the excess in our life and focus on the good and what truly matters.  Focus on our family and our home.  Give our journey to God and know that he has big plans for us and enjoy the ride that he takes us on.

Wishing your family a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Love the Barknknit family!

What are your resolutions/themes for the new year?