Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018 in review...and one more article

I am sneaking away from twins and dogs to post one last time before the end of 2018.

Today this article came out on the CBC:
When it comes to parenting advice, the best tip may be to throw away the books

(There were a lot of good photos in this piece, but here's this is the one that reminds me most of my experiences!)

Since having twins, my work time has been limited.  There isn't time for writer's block or procrastination...because no matter how hard I try, I only have a limited number of hours to fit in everything.  (If it doesn't happen during elementary school hours, it happens at night or when I can slip away for a moment, like right now.)  Despite these challenges, I still love when I get to work: writing, editing and designing.

In 2018, I've written and had 63 articles accepted and published.
I published 4 new knitting designs on Ravelry and on
I helped edit the wrap-up documents for the Kelowna Community Resources “Breastfeeding Art Expo”
I taught a fabulous "Learn to Spin" workshop at the Norwood Knitters' Frolic in January 2018 (while I had pneumonia...don't try that one at home, folks!)

I'm sure there is more to add here, but to be honest, I'm too tired to remember it all. :)  Here's to a productive, happy, and healthy 2019! 
All the best,

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

winter break

Every day, I've been finding time to do a little knitting or spinning...(and sometimes watching other folks checking out my patterns!)
 A friend gave me this fabulous chestnut cream, so I turned it into icing for chocolate zucchini cupcakes and a little brioche shaped cake. I sent the professor and one twin (the healthy one) off in the snow to deliver a brioche shaped chocolate cake, iced with chestnut cream and topped with raspberries, to the friend who gave us the jar.  (ok, the cake was not as well cooked in the middle as it should have been.  I tried hard!)

Sadie the dog went to play at dog daycare on December 24th and ran and played her heart out.  They took this great photo of her. Today (Boxing Day), Sadie and I had a date to a pet shop where we bought her a new crate on sale.  We're hoping this one (her third!) works like a charm. She broke out of her first kennel, her secondhand second one was not in great shape...but she could use it, and we've gotten up to about 2.5 hours in the kennel at a time... so we went for this new hard-sided plastic one, on sale.  Here's hoping it works out!  (she counter surfs when left alone and loose in the house....)
Every day, one (very sniffly kid with a cold) has been practicing his hand writing.  He chooses a sentence or two to practice each day.  Click on the photo to see his work. I promise, I did not tell him to write these! (but I did make chocolate cupcakes with chestnut icing.  A bribe?!) 
I hope you're enjoying warm and cozy days off!

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Monday, December 24, 2018

The gift of your attention

If you're reading this blog, please know that I don't take that for granted!  Thank you for coming to visit with me, keeping up with the doings here, and for all your comments.  I love hearing from you and appreciate you.

Here's my latest article from the CBC, if you'd like to explore more on this topic:

Give the gift of your attention

Wishing you a wonderful winter holiday and happy 2019!  (who knows, I may post again before the end of the year, but it's unpredictable with everyone home at once)
PS: One of my twins has mastered the garter stitch and is very busy knitting on the couch today!  What more could a knitwear designer mommy want?!

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Monday, December 17, 2018

Sunglasses at night?

We're into the really dark days here in Winnipeg.  Although our temperatures have been warm (almost 0C! 32F!), I checked and we are in the period where we get around 8 hours of daylight each day--if we're lucky.  If it's sunny and not cloudy.  Dark.  This accounts for why all my blog snapshots seem so dark.

However, if you need to see crazy amounts of energy and verve, look no further.  Here is a favorite knitwear model, sporting Woolly one of his favorites, as he demonstrates the awesome power of a flashlight, sunglasses and trying to look like an orangutan (his description, not mine.) You can also purchase Woolly here, and buy yarn at the same time...

We returned (almost a week ago) from an enormous family event in Virginia.  Each of us needed multiple dress outfits and everyone was on his best behavior.  It went smoothly, but short version is that we're exhausted... I am still in recovery.  The suitcases have been emptied, everything was washed and put away. I even managed to knit a bit this past weekend.  However, if I didn't have, say, twins in grade 2 and two bird dogs?  I would have just spent a lot of time napping in bed or on the couch.
This is a season for us when nothing much is happening.  What?  Wherever I go, adults around us seem to be in a tizzy.  However, our holiday has passed and what a relief! Now we're now going to take it easy.  I made a simple dinner a few days ago and thought I'd show you it here.  I took leftover cooked potatoes, sliced them, and placed them in an oiled pie pan like a crust.  Cooked in the oven at 350F until the rest of the pie was ready.

I then put down some shredded mozzarella and cheddar I had, on top of the potatoes.  I beat three eggs with about a cup of milk and plain yogurt, combined. (Either kind of dairy works...)  I added some garlic powder, salt, greek herb blend (Italian would also work fine) and poured it on top.  I baked it in the oven again for about 30 minutes.  I served it with a salad and some veggies and everyone seemed very happy.  It would also go well with soup.

A few weeks ago, I made some mitts out of leather scraps as part of my ongoing attempt to keep small hands dry as well as warm. It seemed like a good layer between wool mitts. When you sew mitts out of leather, you have one chance to get them to fit.  I managed to make passable mitts that fit one out of two twins well.  (I tried.)  Even so, this warm and damp weather is perfect for playing in snow, so our radiator is doing overtime as a drying rack. This is what it looks like on the average morning right now.  You may recognize the green and orange mitts?  They are The Hole Inside MittsThere is definitely still time to knit up a pair of these, particularly in the small sizes!

Finally,we came home from Virginia with two gorgeous handknit sweaters made by my mom.  They were also extra long though, and umm, if you have little boys, you may know that this can cause difficulties in the bathroom. :)  However, at least one twin begged to wear the new sweater right now. So, I did a very sneaky thing.  I asked my mom for some of her leftover yarn.
I then folded over the extra fabric on the inside of the sweater, and did an invisible basting stitch.  I buried the ends of the sewing yarn inside the folds, but used no knots at all.  From the front side, you cannot tell I hemmed the sweater at all.

When the kid grows, I will pull out this basting seam, wash the hand knit by grandma sweater---and it will magically grow longer.  A great solution.

My apologies for these poor photos.  It is sunny out right now, but sadly, I seemed to have missed the sunshine when it came time for quick blog photos...soon it will get brighter out, a little more every day!  It does--every year...I have to remember to be patient!

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Sunday, December 09, 2018

New articles and busy days

We are in the midst of a big family weekend event!  I have been very busy with keeping both my twins well-behaved, dressed up in fancy clothes, and smiling at the same time in the family photos. :)

At the same time,this CBC article on the rise of hate crimes went live.  Also, the Jewish Independent in Vancouver ran this piece.

It has been a busy weekend here!  I look forward to posting more soon, but in the meanwhile, if you celebrate Hanukah, I hope you are enjoying the last moments of the holiday!

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Monday, December 03, 2018

Celebrating who we are

Happy first day of Hanukah!  We're having a blast. I hope you are, too--eating lots of doughnuts and latkes? So far, we've done arts and crafts, (note--see sticker mosaics by squinting...) made robot dreidls and heard fun Hanukah music with banjo accompaniment. (yes, really)
It's been great!

Also, this piece ran in the Winnipeg Free Press today:
Recreation facilities often unfit for people with disabilities:
 Everyone pays for recreation facilities, so we should all be able to use them. That includes people with disabilities.

These topics seem to go together, in my's about that phrase "we all have a right." 
...Just as we all should have a right to celebrate religious freedom, all of us, even those with special needs, should have a right to access recreation, like swimming and skating.
This blog is now 13 years old!

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