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Archive for the ‘Life the Universe and Everything’ Category

… And we couldn’t be happier about it.

It seems that the sun is here more often these days, and we’re doing our best to enjoy it!

So what have we been up to the last weeks?

The boys picked up this book from the library, and we had fun with some of the ‘experiments’, like inflating balloons with baking soda and vinegar, and painting with salt:

 

We have been busy learning new skills…

 

And re-learning old and forgotten ones…

The only thing I remember from my knitting lessons in elementary school, is that I knitted something very vibrant blue. I had no memory what so ever of learning to crochet, until in our latest visit to Israel I found some hooks and yarn, at which point I had a vision of a flimsy, poorly shaped crocheted table cloth. ahhm.

I was very surprised then to learn that while my conscious brain had deleted every memory that had to do with hooks, needles and yarn, something survived. And that while my first attempts to follow written directions failed miserably, If I just let my fingers do their own thing, they did remember – and there they were – stitches miraculously forming on my needles.

Not entirely brain dead then – very good.

I’ve since found some better books, and I’m very slowly practicing what to me seems more like an exercise in relaxation then a new craft. But I do mean that in a good way.

My latest toy:

A vintage singer sewing machine (model 329) found in a thrift store, all metal, nice and clean, with a little note saying “tested- working”.

I couldn’t stop myself. It is indeed working, and even has a manual, extra bobbins and a bunch of feet to match. I never had so many feet to play with before!!! neither did the kids – so everybody is very happy with my new-old machine.

What did you say? using my sewing machines to actually make something?? No – no time for that right now, and some lack of energy too. But in about month from now, my parents will be here, and I’m getting ready for much more sewing time…

BTW – I came across several Japanese craft books dedicated to knitting lately, and since my skills are nowhere near deciphering knitting instructions in Japanese, and my goals for the next couple of years only go as far as knitting some simple scarves, those books went straight to my Etsy shop, where you can still find 3 of them.

Have a great week everyone!

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What can you do when your spring very often looks like this?

Well – if you happen to be under four, and mom isn’t looking, and you just happened to find a bag of chalk…

You paint your own spring colours.  You know – just to give nature a little nudge in the right direction…

Worked like a charm though- we enjoyed a lovely sunny weekend around here. Here’s hoping for more to come!

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It doesn’t feel much like spring or break around this household lately…  With everybody sick again (and again…) we’re mostly staying indoors, and avoiding transferring our precious germs to friends.  The last days were so bad, we even got some medical advice, and now both of our children are heavily drugged. 

Staying at home also means the boys have a lot of fighting over EVERY POSSIBLE THING, so moments of pure joy together are truly appreciated:

 

During little D’s nap time, we are now enjoying Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals, borrowed from the library after reading about it here.  I’m very happy with this book – Its been a long time since Ron was that interested in drawing, and he really enjoys it now.

After drawing the giraffe, he felt confident enough to draw our little space shuttle,

And then both drawings were folded into envelopes and mailed away to grandparents.  They better like them!

Happy Easter everyone, and away you go evil germs!

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Back in the time when I lived in Oslo, I was taught that if your birthday is a beautiful sunny day, it is because you were very good that year. This is what we woke up to this morning:

The boys didn’t mind – no rain means an opportunity to run around outside, fog or no fog.

But by the time our errands were done, It already changed into this:

Have I been good, or what?

We were able to take off our coats, and take a long, very slow and lazy walk outside, taking in every possible bit sunshine. I didn’t even know I missed this so much.

Then a short stop at the thrift store yielded this:

And this:

This was a very good double-sweet-sixteen birthday.

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Did 7 weeks really went by without me posting anything here?

I wish I could blame the kids for making time fly so fast, but I’m painfully aware of the fact that my time management skills weren’t so great to begin with…

So anyway, here’s the short update on how we spent the last weeks:

We went on our annual Christmas season visit to the Burnaby Village Museum, and spent a very nice evening there.

Then we visited Seattle for a short family vacation. The trip was tailored to fit the little ones, and it was really good fun for everyone involved. We visited the Children’s Museum, the Pacific Science Canter, Seattle Aquarium, and even the very child friendly Seattle Art Museum. The fact that we could easily drive to Seattle instead of buying 4 plane tickets, made the whole thing even better, and I think it’s safe to assume we will visit the area again and check out more attractions (like the music/sci-fi museum and the Museum of Flight).

And then there was this silly promise I made to myself, that – since this is a crafty blog – I should actually try to make something before my next post… I did manage to finally craft a new bag for the shop this week, but no more promises of that kind for me!

A teeny tiny fraction of my time also seems to be consumed by a certain someone who needs to demonstrate the fact he has indeed turned two, and also by his older brother who thinks that just because I brought him into this world, I should also actually be parenting him (the nerve!).

Staying indoors does not improve the situation, so we were very happy to have some days of snow play.

Oh, and I also used some of my time to move my sewing room out of the dark, window-deprived basement room, and into the spare bedroom upstairs. Which means that when I do manage to walk in there during the early hours of the morning, the sun and the trees outside might make my wall look like this:

Which I really like, even if it doesn’t magically create more time for me to sew…

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But we missed the first snow of the season when we were away, and now it looks like we’ll have to do with our paper cut flakes:

paper flales

The patterns are from this site, and although not very preschooler friendly – the kids can at least unfold the cut flakes.

And now for some shopping, that was done on the above mentioned trip to Israel. I didn’t buy much, knowing my shelves are already overstuffed, and that my balance is currently heavily tilted towards the buying part in the buying and making equation. So hopefully posting some photos will help me get myself off the chair, and back to the sewing machine.

buttons buttons

These were purchased at the beginning of our trip, in a tiny store dedicated almost entirely to buttons. I remember in the past there were more of them around, but now it’s the only shop I found in my hometown (Netanya), idyllically nestled between the sex-shop and the electronics repair lab…. And I even got a few samples for the kids.

Beside buying buttons, I also found my old buttons box, which contained some older buttons from my mother and grandmother, and received some more buttons from my cousin.

old buttons old buttons

There was also one trip to Nachlat Binyamin in Tel-Aviv, a street known for its MANY fabric stores, and the arts and crafts market taking place twice a week. There was indeed much fabric to be found – every other store sells fabric, with some sewing notions stores to match. luckily I was joined by a good friend, with her 5 month old daughter, so I could only spend a couple of hours there.

I added some more linen to my stash:

fabric

And some printed corduroy too:

fabric

I purchased this ceramic bowl at the craft market:

bowl

And this one is just gorgeous, and is my absolute favourite:

bowl

I might be a little biased here, since it was made by daddy’s cousin, but I think she’s very talented. She also made these:

bowl

I think we have enough photos for one day, non?

Have a good weekend everyone!

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Well then. After a whole week of dealing with two severely jet-legged kids, which means starting our days between 2 to 4 am every day, I think it’s time to face the music: that’s the way it is, that’s the way it will be from now on to eternity, and I might as well get over it and move on to more interesting things.

Like how good our visit to Israel actually was. There was this:

Plenty of sun, even enough to visit the beach, which the kids LOVE. You see, unlike the 4 seasons in Vancouver, Israel has only two: (very) hot summer, and cool summer interrupted by brief periods of rain, which the locals refer to as “winter”. For us this means that, while Israelis put on their sweaters and coats, we can have the beaches all to ourselves. So for a few days we had slightly puzzled taxi drivers take us to play with sand, get our feet wet, collect shells, eat ice cream – all the things we didn’t get enough of due to the very wet summer here.

There was a lot of just playing outside in the sun, often helped by enthusiastic grandparents who were more then happy to take the boys to every playground in sight.

And then there were all the things I don’t have photos to show for: meeting with good friends and family, enjoying some time out sans-kids (did I mention grandparents yet?), celebrating the holidays together, and some shopping to make things even better (more on that next time).

So how can I get upset about a few missing hours of sleep? there are better things to think about, even if they do seem a little blurred at the moment…

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