Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Year in Review

So, yep. I sort of dropped the cheese on just about everything I had set out to do this year especially in regards to keeping up appearances on this blog. I hardly wrote anything at all. I also wasn't as consistent with my resolutions as I would have liked to be. Let's review what I set out to do and how I did with accomplishing said goals, shall we? 


I am happy to report that with only a few minor snaffoos I am on track to finish the entire Bible this year (I am writing this on the 30th but I'm just so darn close, I don't imagine I'll mess this one up). So YAY! 


Ummmm, so yeah. I think I lasted about a week on that one and that lost count. I only wear dresses to work, except on Fridays, so it's safe to say that I do indeed wear dresses frequently, though perhaps not half the year. 


I got up to about 20 before losing count. There were a couple that have made it permanently to our cooking roster. Chicken Tikka Masala - from scratch not a jar. Homemade Buttermilk biscuits - that includes a super trick to getting the wonderful flakiness expectant of the biscuit. And more recently I made an entire traditional English fruitcake complete with homemade marzipan and royal icing. It was a feat, lemme tell ya. I was so super stressed making the marzipan and royal icing I'm pretty sure my husband thought I'd gone completely mental, especially for something that no one really wanted to eat (except me; I LOVE me some fruitcake). But it was so SO worth it and I'll definitely do it again next year ... though I may halve the recipe. 


This, ladies and gentlemen, is where I completely exceeded expectations. I read 36 books this year. Thirty-six!!! And man alive did it feel good! I have been lucky enough to have been part of a book club this year and it's been so wonderful discussing fantastic books and also rereading some of my favorites for myself as well as discovering new ones. I may publish a full list at some point but I want to mention just a couple that I absolutely adore and will read and reread and recommend to anyone who asks. First, kids books. I've always read aloud to my kids, waaaaay before they could talk or hold a book and so this wasn't really a new concept for me except now the girls get to pick some of the books that go in our nightly sessions. We alternate and because of that I've read some wonderful children's books. We read all of the Chronicles of Narnia together and listened to the dramatized version on Audible when we took our long road trip. These stories are just wonderful and I know we'll return to them again and again. Whenever anyone ask me for a good elementary level chapter book my first answer is always and resoundingly FRINDLE! Andrew Clements has written such a compelling and beautiful story in this book and this is another that I will return to again. For a little adventure look no further than The Green Ember Series the second installment was published this year through a Kickstarter campaign and recommend that when the 3rd comes out you all do the same ("my place beside you...."). We read loads of other books too but these ones really resonated. In addition I read a good mix of fiction and nonfiction. Finally read Till We Have Faces and just loved it (I'm pretty positive this will be my pick for my book choice in book club). A co-worker recommend Gilead which was so hauntingly beautiful I added it to my wish-list. And finally, you guys, I read The Hiding Place. Oh my stars. This book. THIS book. I returned my copy to the library and immediately purchased a copy because it is that important that we own this book. Corrie ten Boom's voice is so positive and so strong and despite all the hardships and difficulties she and her family faced remained so hopeful that I can hardly keep from tearing up even now. It was a great book year for me and I hope to continue this trend into 2017. 

The next 7 or so resolutions had to do with SEWING and sadly I did not do much in this area. I have almost completed two cross-stitch projects (almost) and I did almost finish a dress for myself (can't figure out the darn sleeves). But I severely lacked in the sewing department this year. 

Also I fell off the no SODA wagon but will try again. 


I did surprisingly well here and just placed an order for more prints to finish out the year. I'm pretty much completely caught up. Woot woot! (I totally raised the roof there, not gonna lie). 


I bought a desk which was really all that was entailed in the sewing space and I organized everything into a nice big pink bin when we moved so it looks good, even if I was a slacker and didn't do much with it. 


I don't think we did every week consistently, in fact I know we didn't do EVERY week, but we did put the technology and TV away a lot more and spent more quality time with each other playing games. This is also evident in our Christmas purchases to each other - we each got the other a chess set. I bought him a traditional wooden set and he got me Wizard chess (we got A LOT of much appreciated board games this year and have already played most nights since). This is one that I think we'll definitely continue and this year I'm going to beat him at chess! 

And finally MOVE. 

Yep. Definitely did that. In a big way. 

Wow, if you made it this far, you are super! So that was 2016 goals broken down. In addition to those goals a lot else happened. We all had birthdays. I got to travel home to the UK for a week. We all got to travel across the country and moved to a wonderful city. I received full-time employment (it was a bit touchy there). We all get to spend much more time with cousins and extended family. I read A LOT. We added Picket, an English Springer, to the family. And many bumps, bruises, and big smiles all year round. Thanks to you all for reading a little bit about me and my likes here. 

I don't yet have a concrete idea of what I want 2017 to look like. I've been intrigued by the one word year philosophies but I just don't think that's something I can do. I just love making resolutions and having a goal to work toward even if I don't end up doing half of them. Making a list is much more my style. I'll leave you with this cliff hanger and then we'll see where 2017 takes us - Shakespeare and Flannery O'Connor. 

Happy New Year! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Shepherd's Life, read from the Lakes

Our family philosophy is a reading philosophy and I love sharing all the books. In lieu of this philosophy, I want to create a series of posts highlighting books that I would recommend to others because EVERYONE needs good literature. #roseandtoastreads

Over the summer, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to the UK for my granddad's 90th birthday. My whole little external family on his side, would be there for this reunion and it just so happened to be held in the land of my birth. The exact land of my birth,  just a few miles from my old coach house in Lake District. Yes, yes, you should be jealous that I was born in this breathtakingly beautiful country and you should be equally jealous that I got to spend a whole week there this summer; though it is I who is jealous of all the people who get to live there full-time - Like James Rebanks, author of the book The Shepherd's Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape (ps follow him on instagram for all the herdy picts you'll ever need, @herdyshepherd1).

When I was six or seven, I proudly exclaimed from the back seat of Betty Margaret (our little red BMW), that I would be a farmer when I grew up. This occurred while we were paused behind a herd of sheep crossing from one side of the road to the other so I'm sure the accuracy of the statement was fleeting at best. I knew no farmers. I had very little experience with livestock. And no land from which to raise my fleet of sheep and pack of dogs. However, as I grew, that tiny little stubborn girl kept saying, "wouldn't it be awesome to be a shepherd in the Lake District?" and now thanks to James Rebanks I want to quit my life and relocate.

His book is downright beautiful. Not only is it a testimony of the land and the profession, but it is a beautiful memoir of his family, his granddad and dad in particular. The book is divided into seasons, much like his life, and he weaves the history of his family with the history of his profession and his own personal journey providing insight and grit to a long-established, necessary and hardy way-of-life.

He begins with, "There is no beginning, and there is no end. The sun rises, and falls, each day, and the seasons come and go. The days, months, and years alternate through sunshine, rain, hail, wind, snow, and frost. The leaves fall each autumn and burst forth again each spring. The earth spins through the vastness of space. The grass comes and goes with the warmth of the sun. The farms and the flocks endure, bigger than the life of a single person. We are born, live our working lives, and die, passing like the oak leaves that blow across our land in the winter. We are each tiny parts of something enduring, something that feels solid, real, and true." Each aspect of life is connected - the physical changing of the seasons, the routine of managing the sheep, the daily humdrum, and the life well-lived.

Throughout the book, Rebanks moves seamlessly between the past, present, and future within each seasonal section. He explains how his granddad did the job, how he and his dad do the job, and how his children will likely do the job - in the exact same way as the vikings who brought the sheep thousands of years ago. This is no one-time offer of a profession, this is a lifestyle in an era when "lifestyle" has become a catch-phrase, a buzzword, lauding the busy-ness of so many people without actually accomplishing much in the way of living. James and his family are busy folk, but not unnecessarily so. They do what needs done, when it needs doing. Another aspect of life handed down from generation to generation.

I find it particularly interesting that the title is THE Shepherd's Life, instead of "A." Yes, he was alluding to another book of the same name; however, I think it is worth noting that this life is not unique to Rebanks and his family. Quite the contrary. This way of life is lived by hundreds of others around the globe; the ordinary folk who do the necessary jobs. The average Joe who is always so much more than average. Often, he points out the irony of our modern education and way of life, with examples like, "My father can hardly spell common words but has an encyclopedic knowledge of landscape. I think it makes a mockery of the conventional idea of who is and isn't intelligent;" and "modern life is rubbish for so many people. How few choices it gives them. How it lays out in front of them a future that bores most of them so much they can't wait to get smashed [drunk] out of their heads each weekend. How little most people are believed in, and how much it asks of so many people for so little in return." Rebanks describes the community, the camaraderie, and the education required to sustain a life on the land. A life that is filled to the brim of every emotion, including the bad ones, which are necessary to living a full, un-secluded life.

The lives we lead are not led in isolation. There's a meme-y, tumblr-y thing or something similar that's floating around the internet that tells the story of a man who has died and meets God. During this meeting, he, the dead man, is told that he will live again as another person, and that ultimately all the people in all the world that ever lived was this one person. Though religiously I cannot believe this story to be true, I believe it contains elements of truth. And it claims a point that Rebanks reinforces, that is our stories are entwined, "we are, I guess, all of us, built out of stories." Our stories connect us - to our landscape, to our jobs, to our community, and to our people

I could never end this discussion better than he did so I would like to share one last block quote from this tremendous and lovely book: "Working up these mountains is as good as it gets, at least as long as you are not freezing or sodden (though even then you feel alive in ways that I don't in modern life behind glass). There is a thrill in the timelessness up there; I have always like the feeling of carrying on something bigger than me, something that stretches back through other hands and other eyes into the depths of time. To work there is a humbling thing, the opposite of conquering a mountain if you like; it liberates you from any illusion of self-importance."

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Good Earth

Our family philosophy is a reading philosophy and I love sharing all the books. In lieu of this philosophy, I want to create a series of posts highlighting books that I would recommend to others because EVERYONE needs good literature. #roseandtoastreads

One of the seemingly ironic aspects of reading this book was that I was always eating whenever I picked it up. Most commonly, I would take it with me to lunch. This felt like a huge indiscretion considering that for the majority of the first half the main character, Wang Lung, and his family are starving, quite literally, to death. Despite the overwhelming guilt I experienced for continually stuffing my face during the reading of this book, I absolutely loved it!

I fully understand how this is a contemporary classic and I am surprised that I had never read it before, especially given that I was subjected to several courses on contemporary lit, post-modern lit, and post-colonial lit; not once did this book appear on course syllabi during my undergraduate career. In Literature. I find this quite absurd to be honest. Although my rant/soap box on the absurdity of my college literary education is one that those close to me hear on a regular basis, I will spare you, my dear readers, except for this one point: The number of books I was forced to read that had very little to contribute to the Great Conversation has left me feeling rather illiterate. Heck, I read God of Small Things, which wasn't my favorite, several times in several courses and let me tell you, there are only so many times one can read about the orange-ice man and not want to vomit in the sink. Once. The answer is once. But not so with The Good Earth.

The characters were believable - i.e. human, experiencing human problems in a world overrun with other humans experiencing different human problems. Wang Lung exhibited many true-to-life flaws and attributes that led to my rejoicing and sorrowing with him throughout his life. A life that begs to be reread. Pearl S. Buck delivers her message without shoving it down your throat (unlike another previously mentioned author, who I'm sure is a wonderful human being and that her book is probably pretty good, but not one that I will read again in this lifetime). She, Buck, explores the conflicts between romance and responsibility in love; the pros and cons of filial obedience; wealth and poverty; and human progression (or digression) intellectually and morally.

This book doesn't detail much in the way of descriptions of China the country, but instead it focuses on one character his life and his family, but I think the setting is important and that as a farmer Wang Lung is tied to his land, his Chinese soil, and the Chinese way of life. However, the setting isn't isolating. I can enjoy the landscape without having set foot in the country; I can appreciate the trials that the revolution spurred without knowing the whole, vast history.

It was an interesting progression from rural life to city life and back to rural life, and that throughout his life Wang Lung is continually connected to the land, his land, even when he's removed from it. His children don't always (or ever) appreciate the life their father has led or his connection to the land, but isn't that also true to human nature? We cannot truly experience or know the life of another, fellow hooman being. We cannot totally and completely appreciate the choices, the trials, the highs, the lows, the values of another, even one we're blood related to. Luckily we have books to teach us; and Wang Lung teaches us that he feels most at home working in the soil, getting dirty, and smelling like garlic. And who doesn't love the smell of garlic?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Follow the sat nav

Welcome back to my little corner of the internet.

I've missed writing and getting thoughts from my head through my fingers to the page. Things have not gone as planned. Do they ever?

I wrote the first two paragraphs of this post a couple weeks ago and although my sentiments have changed slightly, I would like to keep the authenticity of the original post intact. So they remain just as they were (I've put them in italics for the sake of differentiation).

Originally, I had written a whole slew of welcome back posts complete with all my grand intentions of homeschooling and being a stay-at-home mom, finally. But God had other plans. My religion is very close to my heart and I struggle to put into words what my thoughts and feelings are. I'm still pretty raw and entirely overwhelmed by the blessings and the trials I have experienced in the last two weeks. It hasn't all be bad, not at all, but last week I just about cried for one reason or another every day. But I know the Lord is good. And that whatever plan He has for me and my family is a better plan than I can imagine, though it may not look how I think it should look.

We moved across the country. In our family, a move isn't a move unless it's across the country or the ocean. So we're thousands of miles away from routines and home and all things familiar. I have a terrible, truly terrible, sense of direction so I've been using the sat nav to get everywhere. But isn't that how it goes - on earth as it is in heaven? I'm new here. So I need guidance - temporally and spiritually. When we arrived on earth, tiny and indefensible didn't we need guidance? Our parents did everything for us because we could do very little for ourselves. As we grow, the need for guidance doesn't disappear, it just changes and as a perpetual child of God, I need continual guidance.

Picking up from where I left off all those weeks ago, we moved. And I needed the sat nav. And I made a connection to God's plan through the need for a sat nav. AND now I've taken that sat nav story and run a half marathon with it (a half marathon btw is on my never-bucket list, I am so not a runner). But, please continue...

In the beginning it's quite easy to follow the path that the sat nav tells us because we don't know the way, so we place all our faith in route we are told in direction-by-directionally based pieces. We haven't had the chance to look around and get our own sense of direction including shortcuts, and stop-overs. We aren't distracted by the possibility of other routes. Or Target. As I got more and more comfortable driving, I trusted the sat nav less and less. I have no reason not to trust the machine, although I am warned that the map is out of date, and given my directionally-challenged nature, I should be much more wary of where my brain is telling me I should go rather than the sat nav. However, I found that I would question the directions. I would double check the overview and triple check the address before trusting, having faith that this device would get me where I needed to go.

The scriptures (and if you're LDS, the prophets) are like our sat navs. They are filled, programed (in keeping with the sat nav analogy) with the correct routes for us to follow. The test of our faith is whether we trust their directions and follow them even after we "know" the way.

I have lately realized that not only has my reliance on the sat nav decreased, but also my speed has increased. I started of trepidatious, unsure of what the speed limits were and keeping a close eye on available road signs. As my comfort with the road increased, so did my speed. For one thing the flow of traffic is quicker than I'm used to - and to be fair, there aren't many clearly posted limits. However, this analogy has to do with sin rather than faith. When we're comfortable stretching our limits in one area, it easily transfers to other areas. When I'm lax in my temporal experiences, I am usually being lax in my spiritual upkeep as well and not doing all that I should to follow God's promptings and keep His commandments. Wo, unto those who are at ease in Zion, or something like that. When I'm not paying my full attention - to the road, to my children, to my spouse, or my scriptures - that is when things start to slip through the cracks and the toddler takes a sharpie to the wall.

But what does all this have to do with Rose & Toast? I dunno. But I needed to write them. Things, life, don't always turn out how we plan them and this space is a perfect, world-class, fantastic example of that. It has had so many incarnations with no set direction or organization or consistency other than it's all my writing. I don't know when I'll write again. I don't know what I'll write again. But chances are I'll write. Again and again.

I'll keep writing. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Last night, we had a special Easter presentation at our church. We were moved around different rooms that depicted scenes from Holy Week, Christ's last week. We began waving palm branches and shouting "Hosanna" for His triumphal entry into Jerusalem where He was hailed Messiah; through the Last Supper; the Garden of Gethsemane; His trial, beating, and mocking; the Crucifixion; and finally two of my kiddos helped "roll the stone away" to see that "He is not here." 

It was an incredible visual and my kids all responded to different elements -- the images of Christ, the singing, the stories, etc. It was a long but beautiful night where we gained a clearer understanding of what those days may have felt like. How He suffered. How He lives. The final hymn we sang was "He is Risen" and every time I get a catch in my throat. It's just so incredible to me to know that the Savior died for my sins (and your sins) and that He not only died for us but He lives for us. He Lives!

I love this video for so many reasons, the most important being that it's like a "Where's Waldo" of famous LDS singers. So far I've found Alex Boye, Peter Hollens, and Donny Osmond. David Archuleta has to be in there somewhere, right? Who can you find?

Have a very happy Easter, my friends! Hallelujah! 

Monday, March 7, 2016

For the love...

For the love of what I'm not yet sure, but man alive you guys, I'm super sorry to change everything on you all over again. I just can't bring myself to do it. To write dear, personal things about my kiddos and not feel enormous guilt about the whole thing. They are my life and I want to protect them from all the nonsense that happens which I think includes giving them their privacy. My whole world revolves around them so it's difficult to exclude them from something like this, but I think if I'm going to succeed I need to trust my gut and my prayers. So here's the deal:

Rose & Toast was begun as a crafting blog for me to explore my creative side. It then meandered into a lifestyle/motherhood/nonsense blog. It almost very nearly became a photography blog, but again, privacy monster shouted loud in my ear that plastering their precious faces was not really what I wanted to do. And now, I think I'll return to the crafting (and reading) side. I feel like I need to do something with my hands in the evenings, especially while watching Netflix. I am working on the Pumpkin Passport and am LOVING it so much. It's the cutest thing and I will be hanging it in my girls' room once it's completed. The other day my husband mentioned, yet again how I have not finished his quilt, and I feel horrible about it, so I want to finish. I have a sticky note filled with WIPs and want to cross them out. We are in terrible need of a new quilt/comforter for our bed and I've had a hexie project in the works for over 6 months for one of the boys. I hate that I've started so many things only to let them sit. I want to create a home and no, it doesn't necessarily mean I need to be a sewer, but at the same time, for me it might mean that. My girls still wear their "Thanksgiving dresses" all the time, Wookie especially. They love their quilts and I love the idea of having things we've created on the walls.

Our family motto is "Invenium Viam aut Facium" (it's Latin for "I will discover the way or make one" - my husband is a classicist so it fits). Sewing is hard. Crochet is hard. Stitching is hard. But if I want to create a certain type of home then I need to discover or make a way. So here we go again, Rose & Toast the crafting blog. What this means for the rest of the blog is that I'm going to take down most of the posts that have the kids in them and probably a few of the more personal ones too. I'm going to start taking better pictures of my stuff and really work on finishing things. It just seems like the right thing to do. So sorry again for the whiplash.

PS: I so want to use the gorgeous designs my friend made me as a label, they are too perfect not to use

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Girl on the Train // thoughts on the book

I first heard about this book from a review on Postcards from Purgatory and was intrigued when the reviewer wrote "[the novels discuss] that childlessness - in two very different circumstances -- is a breeding ground for self-hatred and insanity." (The other novel discussed in the quote is The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty, which I haven't read.) Those lines piqued my interest so I placed a hold at the local library, only to stumble upon a sale at a local book store getting four books for $20 and ended up buying it (among others).

It's a pretty quick read and if you're interested in reading more there are summaries abounding all over the web (including in the review I linked to).

Initially, I was intrigued by the idea of childlessness breeding self-hatred and insanity. Having many children myself, and having them for pretty much all of my adult life, I don't really relate to the idea; however, I can see how the opposite can also be true. I feel like sometimes my children bring out the worst in me, or more accurately I show them the worst in me, which brings on the mommy-guilt like nobody's business. I love my children more than almost anything in this world (my husband beats them by just a hair, but he's sworn to me forever and someday, some far away day, my birdies will fly the nest), and I would willingly die to protect them from any harm, but they do drive me crazy sometimes.

Though, childlessness is a prominent theme in the novel, the theme that actually struck me most was how you can never really know a person. I've known this for quite a while now, but was impressed with how the author addressed the issue. The book is divided into character sections. We get snippets from the minds of Rachel, Megan, and Anna. The reader knows their minds but the other characters clearly don't. For example, the main character, Rachel, is struggling with alcoholism, severe alcoholism, and it causes her to act rashly at times, so we get her shame, guilt, and justification for behaving that way, which makes logical sense when reading from her point of view. But when we see the same scene from Anna's point of view, the whole thing looks completely different and often the two interpretations don't quite match up. This is done on purpose. We're supposed to question the motives, intentions, and sanity of these characters. Even or perhaps most especially in marriage.

Anna and Megan are married, to Tom and Scott, respectively. I was fascinated by the portrayal of those relationships. They are so different, yet both draw from the theme that you cannot fully, truly, know another person. Their thoughts. Their motives. Their trustworthiness. In the one instance, Scott is misrepresented in many instances by other characters, but it's his wife who ends up being most misrepresented; in the other instance, everything seems rosy, cozy, and fine, despite what seem like minor inconveniences. We know this because we get to see into the women's minds in a way that their spouses never do. Once events start to overlap, the confusion grows. We spend the most time in Rachel's brain, so we know her the most, but there is a point in the novel where I questioned her honesty with herself. She shatters her own credibility and even she questions herself, forcing us to question: how much can we trust our own selves? 

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for an intriguing mystery.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Roamin' FWQ Week 2

So I have zero finished blocks for this week. I know, I know, I'm totally ashamed. But I did get some cutting done.

I'm working on #26 Cut Glass Dish and it's difficult. The triangles are small (1 1/2 inch) and there are 48 (!!!) of them. I did fussy cut a buffalo, so that's something, right?

I also helped Nins with this Yeti ice pack from Mollie Johanson's book, Stitch Love. So even if I'm not completing my own projects, I'm helping my daughter complete hers. I know it's still a bit of a cop-out and I sincerely apologize. I've totally dropped the ball and it's only the second week. I need to schedule in my sewing time, which makes it seem less fun, but if I want to actually accomplish any of the sewing goals I need to me strict with my time. So next week, I'll have at least one finished. Scouts honor.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Roamin' FWQ Week 1

I'm not going to lie you guys working with this fabric was a little bit stressful. It is a super high thread count and feels a little stiff to work with. I'm not sure if this is how all high thread count fabrics are but it took a bit getting used to.

With that now out of the way, I can get to showing the block. I started with the first letter. In this letter the lovely, Mrs. J. E. F. talks about living in God's open air. I loved that expression. I live pretty darn close to Big Sky Country (Montana) and spent a bit of time up there in my youth and the Big Sky is no joke. I'm not sure how it does it but Montana's sky is bigger than Idaho's, Wyoming's, and Utah's...combined. Being out there, feels all at once infinite and minuscule. Part of the world and detached.

So I based these blocks on the theme of God's open air, which conveniently for me, seems to fit perfectly in the Western and Roam motifs. The first block is #54 Kitchen Wood Box and was the first, and only block, this week. Cutting the fabric was mostly nerve-wrecking and piecing as mentioned above took a bit getting used to (I'm still getting used to it to be honest).

I still plan on doing the second block this weekend, but you know how life gets, so maybe next week, I'll have three. Wishful thinking, but still probable.

I'm thinking I might need to invest in some other template or rethink my strategy of cutting the fabric. Right now, I've got the paper templates and have been gluing them to cardboard as a stabilizer, but found it difficult to maneuver the fabric while keeping the cardboard from rotating too and ended up cutting inaccurately. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

* The legless sheep is a family inside joke, I never actually saw a legless sheep and neither did anyone else in my family (that I'm aware)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Sewing Space

In the evening on New Year's Day, Husband and I sat down to discuss the goals that we were going to try to accomplish for the year. Yep, that's right, you guys knew my goals before he did and yes, we were a bit late in discussing them NYD rather than NYE. He knew most of my goals through passing conversations, but that night we sat down and discussed them in detail, so we would know how to help each other accomplish those goals.

If you read my list, you will remember that "create a sewing space" was number 14 on that list and I am happy to report: Mission Accomplished. 

We needed to go to IKEA to purchase some additional seating -- one love seat for six people just wasn't cutting it anymore. We bought their Poang chair. (Note on the price: Our chair was much cheaper than what is listed, perhaps site prices differ, I'm not sure, but we did not pay that much.) Oh, boy do we love it. It's comfy and it bounces, and I love the darker stain of the wood. We had originally planned on buying a fancy-cushy arm chair but we ended up really liking this one (and the price tag wasn't bad either). Since we had already planned on spending extra money, Husband suggested I get a desk for my sewing machine since it was part of my resolutions to have a designated sewing space. Now, I'm not advocating for spending money unnecessarily. In fact that is one of our family goals for the year, to spend and save wisely. But the timing was so perfect, we went ahead and bought the desk (and still managed to come in under budget).

I've spent the majority of my two sewing years moving between the kitchen table and a little end table and the sofa. It works fine and I was able to sew, but even in one day of having this desk I have finished one project and made headway on another. It's so nice not having to pack everything away because everything is already right there and I can sew in spurts rather than having to carve out a huge chunk of time. The drawers are filled with most of my notions -- pins, scissors, thread, bobbins, etc. -- and the cupboard holds my iron and a few WIPs. I'm still in the living room and have warned the kiddos that this is mama's space so not to touch. We'll see how long it lasts. 

It's not much in the way decorations, but I'll build it up in time. For now, it's nice to have my own little piece-of-a-wall sewing space.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Roamin' Farmer's Wife Quilt

Oh my! I am so so excited to be writing this post. Giddy. Seriously, you should see me, I look like a toddler that's had too much sugar or soda. Either way, it's funny.

My amazing husband got me this book and fabric for Christmas and I immediately set about to making the quilt using these fabrics. I love love love this collection! We live out West (and have for most of our lives) so this color palette really struck a chord. And we need a new queen sized quilt for the bed. Our five-year old duvet is starting to look a little worse for wear. This will be perfect.

And the buffalo. So cute. I once had a close encounter with a buffalo that made them not so cute, but I can almost forgive that large mammal for wanting to visit my mum and I on a snowmobile in Yellowstone when the machines weren't banned (are they still banned? I don't even know). I remarked to husband that this is probably the first year in many that we haven't driven up there only for him to remind me that we've only be once in five years! What the what?!? I used to go every year when Nins was little...okay littler. It seems strange not to have gone when some travel from halfway across the world and we are so close. The last time we were there though definitely left an impression. Wookie was car sick and went through two changes of clothes and was wearing Nins' extra jammies by the time we made it to Old Faithful, which I missed because I was searching for her shoes. I don't know how we lost two hot pink sparkly shoes from the parking lot to the lodge but we managed. So she went barefoot. But we did see buffalo and that's really the whole point.

I love every single thing about this line and am totally terrified that I'll screw it up somehow. It's bound to happen, but I am being extra careful because that's what being invested will do for you. I wish I had toned down the excitement for Wookie's Wee Wander blanket and taken it slow and really done a top notch job, but I really was just so excited (and it was my very first quilt). It's not bad, but knowing what I know now, I think I could do it better. The Cabin Fever quilt turned out pretty well and I took more time with that one, so with that in mind, I want to try to complete two Farmer's Wife squares a week and post on Fridays, but if I only get one square done but done right then, yay! I also plan on writing my thoughts on the corresponding letter because the quilt is only part of this book. The other parts, the letters, are so great and vital to providing context and depth to the quilt.

Farmer's wife Fridays! Has a beautiful ring to it.