Sunday, June 27, 2010

Playtime :: Part One

There are so many things I want to write and say here, but I am finding that every spare moment is taken up in some way and all the impetus that used to be there for blogging is pulled into efforts else where. There has been a lot of work time and play time and garden time...and it is all on the iPhone in pictures here or on the SLR and not uploaded there...and you know me and my incessant posting with corroborating pictures.

But last week has held some lovely things. Early morning drop-in at Disney to avoid crowds, finding an easy walk on and off our favorite rides. Home by noon.
Summer is good

Welcoming wandering Canadians into our home with a nice dinner, moderate to firm bed to rest on and a hot shower. And discovering new friends that may live half a world away but are truly kindred folks.

A day with my best friend and a sewing machine, teaching her the first few steps into the world of making for oneself. And she even made a pillow.
Her first pillow

Jam experiments with plums and jalapenos and discovering a great method for peeling stone fruit (Big pot of boiling water and another of ice water, drop them in, fish them out when they look all peely and slip off the skin).

Time in the park laying in the sun, doing nothing. Watching a softball league team with the boys and rooting them on even though we didn't know them.

And then the inaugural gathering of our new society of women. The name and illustration will give you just a little glimpse into just how twisted our little minds can be.
Any questions?
But it is all in great fun and with the express intent of gathering our real time group much more often to share and teach and laugh and joke and wear mustaches. (Oh my god, I look horrible in a stache. But Lesley doesn't)
Any questions?

I left today's 'trash to treasure' themed afternoon with a brand new summer wardrobe from the lovelies I call friends. And they relieved me of unopened wedding presents and we agreed the next meet up would be all about sewing stuff.

The best part of learning to play more is not feeling lonely. I love my family, my husband and my boys but I tend to stay close to home in more ways than one and stretching these muscles feels really good. It reminds me to stop and look for opportunities to live and play with others in the whole wide bustle of Living.

And that is nothing but Good.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Snaps

The warmer weather is fast approaching and that means Summertime.

O sporting my glasses.
Summer snaps

Mace pointing at the approaching Monorail train at Disneyland.
Summer snaps

Do you love their shits? We do. They say "I LOVE BOOKS" and the boys 'read' the shirts all the time.
(Add :: Er. I meant 'shirts'. But you know that, right? And as Laura said, it is too funny a typo to correct. Note to self : Proof it.)

Hope your summer is shaping up just so. Waiting on some Canadian visitors who will be stopping by for the night, LauraC. Isn't Mondo great?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Clearing the Air

10 days home. In that time we have plunged head first into work, been to Disneyland, refashioned the garden, and contracted a terrible virus of some sort that left me incapacitated for 2 days feeling like someone had taken a tire iron to my femurs and low back. Not cool.

Now, Sunday morning, I am post-yoga, the first class that felt like flowing. And then I came home and looked around. Wow. The house is a mess. We came home with loads of laundry and little focus. And you can see it all over the place. My nesting instinct kicked in and I have been sorting clothes that I cannot deny are too small for the boys, tossing extra outdated paperwork, rifling through the dark spaces to purge purge purge. Accumulation is a bad bad thing. It blocks and breaks and dims the light that should shine through clean and clear windows.
Going green

I am surprisingly current with my work documentation and want this day to be about Clearing. (And Daddy too, of course). So, out came the dried wildflower patch, saving the seed pods to scatter next year.
Making room

In went the melons to feed the boys' insatiable appetite for the fruit.
Making room
(Full disclosure...that is a pumpkin flower. But the melons are in. And we have dozens of tiny pumpkins. Er, well, a dozen. Trying to keep it real here.)

Out go the clothes that don't fit. Clean go the kitchen counters and cupboards. And, ah, it starts to feel good again. I might even be able to unearth the sewing table buried under a month of stacking and piling.
Why all the clearing?

Monday the Dream Lab starts and if you have yet to check it out, please do. And just so you know if you click on the link on the right and then sign up I get a lovely credit towards any future Mondo classes. But don't do it for me. Do it for you.

Life can get boggy, I have found that out in the 10 days home. It can make those days on the road seem dream like and distant, as if they happened to another person. Life can get full and dull and lack luster and seem like obligation after obligation.

But I want to believe that if I clear a space for the dreaming to continue, it can. Let me rephrase that. If I clear a space for the Dreaming, it Will happen. I do believe that.
A Reminder

And a Happy Father's Day to all the men out there that do the role, in all ways and places and spaces in their lives. You rock, Daddies, you rock.

A Little P.S. :: I am still planning on doing a few recap posts about our trip. Any questions on travel with twins/kids? If so, I will mull them over, realize I am not one to give advice but still try to give some feedback. The golden words though?


Enough said.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

From Home

Home for two days now. The boys were practically vibrating with happiness when we pulled into the driveway, evening light just waning. They ran from the car once we released their belts and screamed Mishka’s name, then Oma and Opa. I think they were feeling a little homesick. They played for a few hours before they settled into their own bed for the night and I could feel their utter peace as their sleep swept through the room.

Me? I cannot quite pinpoint how I feel to be home. Some relief, yes. To release the boys into their own environment where they are content to explore and rediscover home. The leaving and return brought a new content and dare I say calm to their behavior here. But for me Home feels like an old favorite pair of shoes. You know they fit, you know you used to love them but they are scuffed and lacking any shiny newness. They were tucked back there in the closet and you took them out and tried to wear them but the fit does not feel right.

We returned to a box full of bills, a backyard in some shambles, a garden in need of attention, a dog much less neurotic than I thought she would be after our abandonment (thank god for small mercies). There were also the pluses of a clean room and all stray laundry washed and gathered, but still, everything felt a little off. We spent the last few days drumming up work, easing back into home and Home, and then tackled the garage and backyard (two places that attract chaos in this multiple generation community home) and now I feel much more centered and settled. The shoes are starting to stretch out and fit a bit better now.

I declared this year the Year of the Gypsy back then, ready for movement and change. So far I have not been disappointed. The time we spent away is already fading back a bit in light of the daily demands but it was precious and it was worth it. As I sit at the kitchen window, looking out at the garden re-established, ready to yield food, at the Sun finally come through, breaking the June gloom and offering us more warmth, there is a click.

Home. We are in it. We are it. We can find it wherever we go if we look. And so we put the shiny patent leather travel shoes away, ready to be taken out for another spin when the opportunity comes. And now I get back to the business of living from this space. All of a sudden it seems like that old favorite pair of shoes fit perfectly. Ah.

Day 29

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

From the Road :: VII

This space had been a bit devoid of craft as there has been considerable less making than I assumed would happen. Something about travel and transitions and taking care of boys, well, it pushed making aside a lot. But I did put up a few pictures of the simple Thorpe inspired hats that I made for the nephews here. It actually felt pleasant to be knitting with 100% wool due to the cooler weather. The design is top down to ear flaps to icord, really simple but so cute. Both came out generously sized but that just insures if they go into the dryer at some point they might come out fitting.

The real road friendly projects have been my stitching. Before we left home I played around with the technique of washing out some of the stenciled fabric. Er, not so pretty, but a start. I also cut a bunch of Mylar stencils to use if the whim struck me (more like if I found the time). One plan was to alter a well made tshirt that sported a seasonal holly leaf. I used a appliqué relief, just cut out the painted flower and stitched it onto the front. It was fairly intricate but rewarding. I practiced beading a bit and fell in love with the technique.

The tshirt fit a little odd so I slashed off the neck line and armbands and find myself the owner of a new favorite. Very nice.
Up-cycled tshirt

I sported it a bit at a festival paired with my skirt. A little much but I love the fit of the clothes I am making lately and it is hard to censor.
Day 24
(I intentionally left this big so you can see the gorgeous-ness that is the creating from my sis and brother in law> So awesome, right? He made all the woodwork, she did all the sewing. If you see something you like, email me or comment, everything you see is for sale.)

And yes, I hit the hula hoops again. This time I had this pair in tow...
Day 24
Day 24
Day 24

and I even hula’d with my niece riding my shoulders. That was an experience, she was loving it the whole time but hula hooping is work.

The last is my favorite. I wanted to make something special for Em for her birthday and this was a little late but came together in time for her to wear to her craft festival.
Summer stitching

It is a stenciled and quilted headband, I used a scrap of stencil and a sharpie and then stitched inside. My favorite part was the rose beading on the edges…a new love.
Summer stitching
I seem to just keep finding them in this medium.

All this stitching prompted me to join a new group, the Slow Summer Stitching group on Flickr here. Jennie, my sister in all this stitching, directed me and now I feel as if it is open season. The quilt that inspired me is calling my name and I love that it is just a square at a time. So, just after I finish this new project, another up-cycle tshirt (they are all I wear, you know)...
Another tshirt
Then, I will start some quilt pieces. Or a piece for my other sister. Or, or, or...just too many possibilities.

If this does not convert you into a hand stitching, jersey wearing fanatic, than reading Natalie’s latest book definitely will. Now go to it and stitch, I sure am.

Friday, June 04, 2010

From the Road :: VII

Ah, how my last post mocks me a bit. That was Saturday past and now here we are at Friday still saturated and almost growing gills from the wet. We have now been in some form of precipitation for 23 days and we actually left North Vancouver days early to escape the horror that is trying to camp and tent with three years olds in soaking wet conditions. One of which has developed unexplained spiking temps.
Day 22
Day 22
Day 22

Monday we headed back to Portland and the rain followed us down. I wanted to apologize to all my lovely blog friends that we missed in Vancouver and Seattle and Portland but when the fever came I did not want to risk exposing any of you and your littles to whatever was lurking in our immune systems. It would not be the greatest of meet ups if we left you sick and miserable, right?

Portland was as lovely as it can be soaked in rain and holding a 30# child constantly. We did get in and out of the house, I did make it to my stunningly good dance class but really, the time was about family. When family is so far away, it is hard to keep cousins connected. The mellow days with my nephews allowed time for play and bonding and just being. I had a special request from the almost grown boys for new knit beanies and those projects came along the road with me. I bound off the second hat Wednesday with plenty of perfect weather still around in which to wear them. Look at these handsome big and ready to become men. One graduates from middle school this year (Congrats, Kyle!!!) the other enters it (Congrats, Austin!!!!).
Day 21
Day 21

The week felt really vulnerable to me, maybe it was my sick child or the weariness from the wet or ovulation or road fatigue or the loss of a young vibrant all made me ache. So much of this trip is in processing mode, deep in and folding and unfolding as I think about what it means to have done this. Last night after a phenomenal West African class, my body in total release, it occurred to me that the Mondo list I wrote in January is spooling out, not checking itself off, but just revealing itself in my life.

But please understand that there is not a lot of glamour to life on the road. It is surprisingly mundane....each day we get up and make brekky and try to find fun and engaging activities to occupy the boys and then try to carve out a little Me time while juggling their needs and ours. The backdrop has been changing frequently but the routine is not very different, except for bedtime which has assumed new hours of lateness in our lives. Each day has held something special and lovely but then each day at home holds moments of this. I am realizing a lot of it is in the lens one looks through. Mine is not rose colored, but I like to think it does haze out some of the rough for a moment or two.
Day 18
Day 9

We are in Arcata, geographically back to the first point of our journey actually. We came back to see my sister Em and brother in law Isaac in their joint effort to bring beauty to the world. Last year I was here alone, my first solo trip since their birth. I remember missing them and wishing that I could bring them next year, to play in the river and see all the fun things in the children's tent area. And here we are.....exactly a year later, all four of us present and ready. Ready for sun, ready to go south, ready to take the journey home.
Day 22

We still have a few more stops along the way, a few more days to revel in the rhythm that is the road. But we are almost back, re-immersion imminent. My plans include posting about the places we have been and the things we can suggest, but also trying to delve deeper into what this actually meant to me, to us. Oh yeah, and working my ass off as we really need to get back to the world of wage earning and paychecks....

One thing I know though, it is a powerful thing to dream. If you are in the market for some delicious dream time, go here now and sign up. It sounds like a wonderful way to keep up this energy and I am signing on with sisters in tow. Any other takers out there? Let me know if you do sign up so we can dream together this summer.

Slainte. (Yeah yeah, I have a beer in hand at 4:30...its been a long week, people).