Tuesday, 27 August 2013

for babe: deux.

three months to go and i'm getting the urge to nest. i've been making lots of bits and pieces for babe. two knit blankets are in progress. a couple of small jumpers (sweaters) are being finished up in the evenings. and i've got a list a mile long of other things i'd like to get started on - this wee one won't stay 'wee' for long!

i had it in my head that i wanted to make the baby a blanket - something that maybe could be something held on to - enjoyed - for years. it needed to be suitably sophisticated and large enough to transition from baby-sized to child-sized. oh and it needed to be easy.

in my mind i enjoy sewing. in reality i'm a bit of a lazy seamstress. i like sewing just until the end of the project when i get bored and can't be bothered to finish the seams 'just-so' or be super careful about how the binding goes on...needless to say, i'm probably not going to set up an etsy shop filled with hand sewn creations. oh and those drapes i made last year - they are still un-hemmed. i foresee an afternoon sitting under the windows streaming public radio for distraction in my future.

so easy.

but cute.

and long lasting.

oh and gender neutral.

enter - the ten hour quilt. i saw this on pinterest a long time ago. declared it genius and promptly pinned it to my 'secret' baby board.

but just so you know - it's not ten hours. it took me max five. ok eight if you include the washing and drying. but i mean the washing machine did that - PTL for washing machines, can you imagine the days before there were washing machines?

i did not pre-wash the fabrics. the batting is a bamboo-silk-cotton mix that is supposed to shrink about 5%, combined with 100% cotton cloth, a very hot wash and a hot tumble dry leading to the crinkle quilt look. which helpfully covered up the inevitable puckers in the stitched fabric. top recommendation from this experience - save yourself and buy the bias tape pre-made - it was just brilliant to have pre-made bias tape when it came time for binding.

i simply cannot wait to wrap our little one in this for years and years to come. amazing to think that we're only eleven weeks to go!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

thoughtful thursday.

i have had the enormous pleasure of reading this summer. i think god has been giving me an opportunity to indulge in one of my favourite pastimes before the babe comes. what a joy!

two books that have been hugely influential on how i am framing this next season have been margin by richard swenson, and bread & wine by shauna niequist.

margin suggests that we live the moments of our lives right up against the next moments - leaving no space for rest or play or unscheduled 'interruption' but that in actuality, the margin is where god has space to show up and move within our lives. if we are living without margin we are unable to grasp the grace-times the father has waiting for us. if we are always rushing to the next thing we aren't able to stop for a chat on the street with a neighbour, or meet a friend for a spontaneous coffee. we aren't able to rest well or to play well. we are late and 'too busy' and tired. and we lose the space for grace in our lives. further, we lose the space for showing grace to others.

bread and wine is a fabulous you-must-read-this-book-right-now collection of stories about food and faith. about gathering together around a table, breaking bread, sharing wine, doing what jesus did with his friends in the upper room, and engaging in community. on our holiday le boy and i reflected that one thing we have not done as much of in the last six months is open our home and fill our table with friends and food. and while there are good reasons for this - namely the small soul joining our family in november - it has felt a more empty season in our home and is something we hope to press into more as we go forward.

and so what have i done as i think about making space for grace? how do i make space for the sacred around in our lives, around our table, living intentionally in community and being available for the spirit to use me in unexpected ways? how can i live a less busy, more intentional life? i'm sure i'll be puzzling this through for many, many years to come. i imagine this is an area where i might always struggle. but i know what i'd like my life to look like - i know that this is how i'd like to live.

Friday, 16 August 2013

for babe. une.

i can only imagine there will be dozens of these posts so i'm starting a series: for babe.

my handmades for the baby.

i have a feeling i'm getting a winter babe this time around because god knows that this knitting-mama needs to be able to wrap her wee-one in the warmth of a handknit blanket (or cardi, or trousers, or booties, or hat...) and so here's something that's just about to come off the needles. it's been so nice to have this small project - each panel has been completed in a different country - the uk, canada, italy - a little of this babe's travels woven in. hours of sitting on planes and in cars. time available to think and ponder and pray for whomever this small soul will become.

dogwood from tincanknits - a canadian(!) affair - when pieced together i'll post the whole thing for now - the first panel as it was being blocked.

Monday, 12 August 2013

beach vacation by plane

we've arrived home from two weeks of italian babymoon today. it was absolutely fabulous - the food, the sun, the roadtrip, the gelato - all of it - and despite 16 days of constant contact le boy and i never had a fight! pretty good eh?

despite living on an island we seem to take most of our beach vacations abroad (no the irony isn't lost on us either - but the unpredictable nature of UK weather and the quality of beaches in the UK make things a bit more challenging - many UK beaches are stone). so we fly to the beach - which of course brings with it a certain amount of planning. here are my tips:

- pack half the clothes - even if you're heading somewhere trendy - we mainly wore bathing suits everyday

- be prepared to rent beach chairs and an umbrella - your time will be so much more enjoyable! Factor this into your budget. Most places in Italy have been priced at €15-30 a day. We also rented chairs and an umbrella in Hilton Head two years ago.

- bring towels with you or be prepared to also rent those, even at high-end hotel pools! we brought small towels along this time - otherwise it would have been €3 a day / person! I'm going to watch out for deals on packable towels the next time the outdoors stores have a sale!

- bring a lightweight cooler - I brought my BUILT lunch bag - perfect for keeping drinks cool in the heat!

- a handbag/tote for the plane that doubles as a beach bag - I use a le sportsac that is easy to wash and looks good both in the airport and on the beach

- and finally - an e-reader is really useful on such vacations - I bring both my kindle and iPad - I'm much less precious about my kindle so if it gets sandy (or wet) i won't be devastated and the no-glare screen is really the best in sunlight

and finally: a babymoon belly shot. yup. it's getting bigger!