Previous month:
March 2011
Next month:
May 2011

April 2011

our happy place

at the river 1

at the river 4

at the river 2

at the river 3

at the river 5"Let's go to the river." 

All it takes are those words, coming out of one of our mouths, and we get happy. In the back seat, little arms pretend like they're throwing rocks and twigs into the water, accompanied by delighted hoots and hollers. The walk to the little "beach" is long - not as measured by an adult stride, but as measured by the quantity of small objects a toddler can pick up along the way, attempting to throw them into the current.

I thought, briefly, about having a "Throwing-things-into-the-river" themed birthday party for Finn, who will be turning two shortly. Really, what do two year-olds love more than throwing objects into water? Perhaps their mamas. Mamas get extra love-points if they throw things into the water alongside their babes.

I think we'll opt for a laid-back strawberry picking outing instead. After the picking, though, we'll likely end up right back here, next to this river.

It brings out the best in all of us.


lachlan's many faces

lachlan's many faces 10

lachlan's many faces 8

lachlan's many faces 7

lachlan's many faces 4

lachlan's many faces 2

lachlan's many faces 6

lachlan's many faces 3

lachlan's many faces 1

lachlan's many faces 12

lachlan's many faces 13

I wish I could change my expressions every two seconds like a two month-old. Think of the emotional freedom and the face workout. Then again, people would probably raise their eyebrows at me. But boy-oh-boy, are these variable expressions ever so cute on a two month-old! Oh yes. I could eat him up all day long.



dandelion 2

dandelion 3

dandelion 4

'Tis the season.

As we begin this weekend that brings to the forefront the cycle of death and rebirth, we can't help but feel the profound way in which our family has experienced just that.

A baby on heart/lung bypass. A baby who, thirty years ago, would only have lived a few days.

A baby who is alive, and looking forward to more beautiful days ahead. Dandelion blowing included.

A happy Easter to all, however you celebrate it. We will do so minus the eggs and bunnies (what mother of two under two can pull that off? Not me.) But our hearts are oh so thankful.

lachlan on the changing mat

I made something!

baby surprise

baby surprise close up

Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles ... I actually finished a crafting project!

Such sky-high hopes I had of knitting up a storm while we were with Lachlan in the hospital. As it turns out, I had better things to do, like hold a baby and stroke his head when I couldn't hold him. Now, I don't know about you, but I cannot knit with one hand.

While this tiny baby surprise jacket sat curled up in its basket, not getting any bigger, the baby for whom it was originally intended kept on getting bigger and bigger. Why do babies insist on doing that so darn quickly? Deep down in my knitting heart, I knew that the jacket wouldn't be for Lachlan. But I kept knitting here and there. And, low and behold, once I cast off, seamed it up, added buttons, and tried in on the boy, he was bursting out of it in all of his fat-roll splendor.

No worries. Knitting is like that. (Especially when you knit slowly like me.) There's alwasy another cute baby that will come along who will be smaller.

Lesson learned. Knitters procrastinate. Babies don't.

This particular jacket found the perfect home with my dear friend's newborn daughter, who weighed in at 6.5 pounds.


Chubster up there needs something else. Something bigger for this Autumn. Maybe if I start now it will actually get done by the time the weather cools down. If I want to be really realistic, I should plan on knitting something for Finn this Fall. That way, by the time I finish it two years down the road, it will be a perfect fit for Lachlan. Yes, that's what I'll do.

Baby Surprise Jacket in Knitting Workshop by Elizabeth Zimmerman.

Knit with Malabrigo Sock in Primavera and Tosh Sock in Twig.

Buttons here.

six-ish weeks

lachlan at the park

It's been quite a week. So many little smiles, so many kisses, and a handful of tears for good measure, making it a thoroughly human experience.

Daddy has been gone this week, off doing some historical research.

We'll be so happy to have him back tonight. At which time Mima and I will check out and sleep for eighteen hours straight.

Wishing you a lovely weekend!

spring cleaning pattern sale!

TamaraLackey093The Lola Apron


The Huck Finn Cap


The Woodlands Shirt

We're having a big ol' sale on all patterns at the Sew Liberated shop! The necessity of clearing out some space for three new pattern designs coming out in a few weeks, and bit of the "oh-gee-we-have-a-lot-of-medical-bills-to-pay" situation, have combined to bring about our biggest sale ever!

Sew Liberated Spring Cleaning Sale

Up to 40% off all patterns (and the book) thru the end of April

It's a great opportunity to stock up on patterns that have been on your wish list, or grab a few designs to make for holiday gifts (the Reading Pillow and the Messenger Bag make great gifts for a handmade holiday.)

I hope this puts the sewing bug in your bonnets!



Photos by the talented and super-sweet Jessi Blakely

sponsor giveaway :: backwoods mama spring sew camp

 A warm welcome to my newest sponsor, Kathy Stowell - the creative force behind the Backwoods Mama Spring Sew Camp! Read on to learn more about the Kathy, her handcrafting exploits, and the Sew Camp. Leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of one free spot in the Backwoods Mama Sew Camp! Comments will close on Sunday evening and a winner will be drawn and announced on Monday. Good luck!


I'm Kathy Stowell, a bit of a Backwoods Mama living in a quaint mountain village in the interior of BC. On seven acres, my husband, two kids and I grow a big garden, raise chickens and keep a sweet milking cow named Daisy. I homeschool my daughter using a Waldorf approach and in between fairytales I work on my two Etsy shops; While Tangerine Dreams, where I sell my handspun art yarn, and While Jupiter Dreams, where I sell my handmade, sustainable minded clothes.

Backwoods is a state of mind I want to celebrate; a desire to return to basics, make things from scratch, and move closer to self-reliance. This year I decided to bring together for the month of May as many Backwoods Mamas as possible from all over the world to sew a spring wardrobe to both tackle the garden in yet look presentable for town trips once chores are done. We can then share our pretty, little bit country, little bit rock and roll results with each other on a private Flickr group. I call it the Backwoods Mama Spring Sew Camp. The course will include mailed out sewing patterns and private blog access where daily construction instructions, sewing tips and answers to questions will be found via posts and videos. Sign ups close on April 11th. I do hope you can join us!

Here are a few of the clothing items you'll be making in the camp:

The Ruched Dress


Long Bloomers & Knit Top


Thank you, Kathy, and happy Spring sewing!


Comments are now closed! Congratulations to Beth Lehman, who said:

What a wonderful idea and chance!@!! I love the dress - and am fearful of knits.... I'd love to learn how to sew clothing...!!

in the beginning


brothers 2

Dear Boys,

When you first met, one of you squealed with overflowing excitement and touched the other's hand with a big grin. You napped together that afternoon, both of you with your hands above your heads (just like your Daddy.) The days and nights moved along and their rhythmic dance filled our lives with many unforgettable firsts, like the first time you felt a twinge of jealousy, Finn, when I turned my head from you to comfort Lachlan while you nursed to sleep.

Lachlan, your first experiences of brotherhood were in the womb, as you were smooshed and poked by Finn's elbows and toes as he read books in Mama's lap. Your extra-utero experiences are not much different, although they are complimented by the fascinating visual and auditory experience that is your big brother. You gave him a big smile today, and Finn gave you one of many unsolicited smooches on your cheek.

You may smoosh and poke each other on occasion, but you already feel such love, each in his own way.



one little moment

a moment 1

a moment 2

a moment 4

a moment 3

a moment 5

a moment 6

Some moments are just perfect, even if they are messy. Messy moments (both literally and figuratively) offer me insight into my inner life in a way that pristine, perfect moments just don't. I'm really enjoying this book on the subject of mindful parenting. It's provided me with a lot of peace in this new phase of family life.

I must cut this short. One child is loudly and urgently requesting a pickle and the other has just spit up. I'll let you guess who is who.

A pickle can count for lunch, don't you think?


The tabletop easel is from Michael Olaf's Joyful Child catalog - it's nice to have a tiny easel, given that our studio is just a small bedroom and wall space is at a premium. Plus, it's the perfect size for a toddler.



to market

to market 6

to market 7

to market 8

to market 5

to market 1

to market 2

to market 3

to market 4

The Durham farmer's market was Finn's first outing as a wee babe, and it counts among Lachlan's firsts as well. Getting out and walking from booth to booth, dodging spinning children who can't resist moving to the live music, and enjoying my favorite buttermilk donut ... all of these things do a mama good. There's something so normal, so lively, yet so soothing about being at an open-air market.

We're settling in to our new normal around here. Certain truths are making themselves apparent. I now know for certain that when parents outnumber their offspring, anything is possible. Once the score is even-stephen, the likelihood of getting anywhere on time drops by half. If you add the fact that your baby needs to be hooked up to a tube and a feed pump for 45 minutes every three hours, and you factor in the toddler who is interested in all the feed pump buttons, well ... the likelihood that one parent will ever be able to manage both children on her own and get out of the house in one piece drops exponentially.

One day, I'll be able to manage. Oh yes. As I recall, things always seem impossible at first.

In the meantime, I'm really enjoying the help of the grandparents! Here's to finding a new normal, and knowing that, one day, what now seems impossible will be old hat.