Monday, September 21, 2015

Year Of Making: Birthday Dress

            Last month when my girly turned six all she wanted was a nightgown- this is something I can do I thought to myself. In my mind I had a fixed image of the nigh gowns my sister and I used to wear in the summer heat- light and airy- slightly old fashioned. It was with this vision firmly planted that I dove into my fabric stash to see what I could come up with- voila a metre of organic cotton from Maiwa was produced as was the perfect antique collar for at the neck.

            When birthday morning rolled around and my newly minted six year old opened her package she was pretty happy and quickly declared that this frock was too pretty to be saved for bed time- and I have to agree. This lightweight, simple shift was perfect for the end days of summer! I took these photos the last time we were in Peachland- the Okanagan sunshine streaming down on our shoulders- catching in her hair as our bare toes sunk into the dewy morning garden.

         One week into our rainy season and we are already missing these easy days of the summer season- no jackets or socks or even shoes were needed. So with cooler days the birthday dress has become a birthday nightgown- sunshine tucked into the seams to keep my girlys heart warm through the rain!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Year Of Making: The Hayward Sweater

           Remember like months ago I started knitting myself a sweater- and it seemed to be taking forever? Even though all the knitting experts surrounding me assured me this is totally normal I couldn't help but think it was slow going- and then I took a ceramics class and the knitting went even slower! Well good news! Seven months after I started on this journey to knit myself a function able sweater that fit me I have completed my task!

           This sweater is a sum of it's journeys- it has traveled with me back and forth to the Okanagan all summer- it has been to the Painted Hills- it has been to Portland. Part of this sweater comes from Victoria! Knit into the fibres of this sweater are my fears- left by the wayside- I have come out the other side warmer and much more confident. Knit into the fibres of this sweater are deep talks on the road with my partner in crime- three seasons of laughter- and a lot of wabi sabi character- I am learning to let go of perfection.

        I will admit I am super proud of my first attempt at a hand knit sweater- I feel I am a bit further down my slow fashion path- this is knit with intention and care- it was not purchased haphazardly off a clearance rack. This sweater was knit by my hands and no other- the fibres traveled a very short distance- this is a sustainable garment- a fact that like knowing where my food comes from is growing increasingly important to me.

      As the days grow dark and rainy- my thoughts turn inward towards nursing my family once again and I am so pleased to be starting yet anther knitting project- this one a bit smaller for Miss Lo. My list of skills keeps growing and something I was once scared of is now like an old friend. Ummm also the yarn- hello new obsession!

         Friends it's Friday again! I know I always act so shocked when Friday rolls around but the fact of the matter lies that these weeks and months fly by just far too fast! This weekend we are staying at the Coast- tucking in and taking it slow. Happiness and Sunshine always dear Friends!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

On Our Bookshelf

          I realized that I have yet to share any summer reads- of which there have been many! A clear favourite is this lovely little story book Miss Lo received from her wee friend for her birthday- this story was clearly chosen just for her & I but the entire family enjoys it. Up In The Garden- Down In The Dirt by Kate Messner is a joy to read as well as just sit and par use the drawings.

          The story covers all of the seasons from planning in the spring to putting the garden to bed in the fall- it shows all the creatures great and small that make a garden such a diverse ecosystem. My Littles can relate to all the story lines in the book- from weather to bugs they dig it all.

        I will admit I want to live in this story- the illustrations are glorious and the words lyrical- plus gardens. A big thank you to our friends for introducing us to a new favourite- you know us so well!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Hike: Hardy Falls

             One hike that every child who is from Peachland does in the fall is the hike up to Hardy Falls to watch the Kokanee salmon spawn. It goes with out saying that this is something I needed to take my own Littles to do. Hardy Falls is a small district park located just off Highway 97 at the Southern end of Peachland- just before the highway turns steeply uphill and heads for Summerland. A small turn off is actually a parking lot and just across the street is a quick and easy little hike.

          When we were kids- in the 80's- we used to hit the many bridges at a full run- jumping and stomping up and down as the adults yelled at us to be careful- the bridges bouncing and swaying barely holding together. These days the park has undergone a dramatic facelift- including all 8 bridges being replaced with sturdy structures that actually have handrails! I wonder if my kids found this as entertaining as we did when we were kids- perhaps another sign of childhood being too safe these days.

           After a peaceful time watching the salmon jump up the ladder we headed back to the car in the warm afternoon sunlight. It was decided when we headed home we should draw salmon which is exactly what they did- granted these are a little flashier than the real deal! The Littles turned their salmon into puppets so they could fly them through the clouds- fancy salmon in grey skies.

          I am so happy to walk the paths of my childhood with my own kids- the same fierce rock walls towering overhead- the echoes of my own friends ringing through from the past. While our reality of course was much less bucolic- plenty of tears when Miss Lo tripped on a rock- me yelling at The Boy to get down off the top run of the bridge our little hike- moments of peace were fought and tucked away. It doesn't matter that we don't live in Peachland- our Littles are as much a part of that town as we ever were.

Friday, September 11, 2015

These Days

            These days we are starting to notice darker days creeping in- that sly fall wind is blowing in from the hills and with it more rain than we have seen in months- the land is happy- the people miss the sunshine! School is back in and the Littles are complaining about new bed times and our old school routines. Recently we spent a final weekend in the Okanagan with the cousins and Grandparents to celebrate the end of Summer- scooting beside the lake that we love and roasting marshmallows and racing through the twilight.

           The garden at my parent's is yielding up the last of the harvest- the tomatoes are in as are the prolific tomatillos. While our family enjoys all this garden has to offer up I still dream of a day that we will have a garden of our own- be able to grow our own groceries. So much beauty to be found down in the garden these days it's impossible to stop looking.

        There is nothing better than watching our babies moving in a pack with their cousins- making the most precious of memories. Watching these kids grow over the past 2 months has been such a joy- watching their relationships evolve- watching them all figure things out. This is what being part of a family is all about.

          While we put this season to bed I reluctant to embrace shorter yet busier days- I will miss swimming in a tepid lake, eating ice cream for dinner and bbqs with friends. This is the stuff Summer is made for and of. What I do look forward to is tucking into our home- turning the heart to the hearth and getting back into the swing of making things. Summer might be over but Fall is peeking right around the corner!

Friends it is Friday- we are headed up to the Okanagan yet again- to the North this time- I am looking forward to tucking into a fine box of wine and playing with some new wool- may your hearts be warm and your feet be dry friends- Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

In The Studio

          These days quite a bit of my studio time has been spent on creating practical items- mostly for the family but specifically for one small girl's 6th birthday. I can't claim at all to have thought up this super great whale of a purse- I snaked the idea from Junkaholique's blog- I thought this was the perfect purse for my girlie's big day. It turned out better than I could have ever imagined!

        Sewn from some gorgeous 100% wool felt, a small scrap of indigo dyed fabric and a neon pink zipper. This is the perfect bag for a girl who isn't precious- a girl who is slightly outside the box when it comes to fashion and attitude. A West Coast whale for my West Coast girl.

        For me there is no sewing more satisfying that sewing for my babies- making something with my hands that I know they will use and love. For me sewing for my family is another form of nourishment- feeding them all the love that they could possibly need.  These days my sewing time is limited which makes little bits and bobs like these all the more special to me. And hopefully to them as well!