Saturday, April 28, 2012

What's that you say?

Did you know that European frogs don't say "rib-bit"??

Frog's Amish

I thought I'd pop back and show a quilt ... to appease all my quilting followers.

But even if you're not a quilter ...  there's more to the frog story below ...

I made this many moons ago. The backing is all set to go, just need to baste it and hope my quilting will require no frogging ... but check out those little cuties that will be hopping all over. I always choose a fun busy back for my Amish quilts a) so I'm not stressing about my hand quilting and b) cuz I'm not Amish so intentionally want my quilts to reflect "me!" I probably won't be quilting it soon but it was fun to see it again. Too many other things on the list ahead of this I'm afraid ...

I promise more is coming but in the meantime I pulled out it out just to show you. 

So frogs in Europe ...

they say "kwaark"

... honest they do. 

(Unless you live in Schellebelle .. there we had a neighbour frog that sounded like it was being strangled. Weird, creepy and fascinating all at the same time.)

For many many years Axel would not believe me when I told him frogs said ribbit.
Nope, he was just not going there. 

Until we lived in Everett. 

In the house I grew up in. 

We lay in bed one night and lo and behold ... 
there was the frog chorus 
from my childhood 
playing in the background.

The Backing

Music to my ears! 

Don't ask him what a rooster says ...

Yesterday we headed out for dentist appointments ... again ... thankfully there were no glitches. We left extra early so I could go comfortable walking but suitable for visiting Prague and wearing with skirts shoe shopping (and to avoid the traffic).

Amish with a Kwark
Looking for cute, practical summer shoes to wear with skirts and on our upcoming trip was quite an adventure. I had a certain style and a bit of fun in mind. My husband is very very practical. We kind of met in the middle ... three pairs of shoes later ;)  I'll let you guess if I came home with any of these.

Speaking of skirts I made one on Thursday! Surprisingly rather quickly and it included a zip ... an invisible zip I managed to install without a glitch while talking on the phone. Turned out pretty darn good. Pics soon.
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

All About Frogs

Frogs, frogging, frogged. 


It's been a theme here in our little household for a few days.

Friday afternoon Axel and I both had dentist appointments. In Germany - the little town where we used to live. We set out in time to just reach our destination in the allotted 2-1/2 hours. We would have left sooner but I've learned to make good use of the ladies' before any car journeys. We were counting our lucky stars to be going in our direction as the oncoming traffic was at a stand-still going into Antwerp. Ha! Just after crossing the border with The Netherlands traffic came to a stop and sat still for an hour. Thank goodness for my knitting basket ... Eventually we got turned around and headed home ... leap frogging our way through towns an villages across the countryside to avoid the jam-packed Friday afternoon motorways. Two bad the weather was so crappy and I left the camera at home. We saw some beautiful bits of Belgium by accident ... five hours after our original departure we made it home. We'll try again next Friday but plan to leave in the morning ...

To kill some time during the busiest traffic time we popped into the grocery store and stocked up for the weekend. I convinced the honey that Whisper needed a new "big" toy. We've rotated small squeaky toys in and out but she's had "the pig" for nearly three years.
new toy . best friend
What a hoot! Instant entertainment for the entire family all weekend. Painting our kitchen ceiling was punctuated with many "look at her now"s ... she nudged, whispered, yipped and bounced all around that silly frog all weekend.

Now if I could just apply some frog theory to the rest of my life. 

I've been struggling the last couple of weeks. Which explains some of the quilting slump that I'm in. What's next? I don't know and it's bugging me. I'm normally in a planning and doing mode ... not lately.

If only I could frog the last couple of months and be oh so happy again. 

Or how about a leap frog ahead to see what's in store? I wouldn't have to stay ...
... but a glimpse would be nice ... and comforting ...

In the meantime I've been knitting more. A few things I had started before, frogged and started again. My knitting always includes a fair amount of frogging ... I knit, then frogged this a few weekends ago.


It has since been re-knit (and combined with this) and turned out wonderful but now I'm on the hunt for the perfect yarn to crochet a sweet edge. I can hardly wait to wrap it around my neck next winter.


And I started this about four years ago. It took me two years to get 2/3 through the pattern (bah, made one for my sista in just two weeks! - how is that possible?) Then I realized that my 2nd ball was a very different dye lot. I ripped, ribbit, frogged that thing. Started again, alternating yarns. Made a mistake so frogged again. And again, and again ... gave up on that pattern.  It's now on it's way to becoming a Holden.

Since we're finally painting the kitchen I decided some new dishcloths were in order ... Did you notice the floor under Whisper in the first picture? - that's my kitchen floor! Wild huh? Lots of pattern and busy-ness. Hence the new vanilla walls with green and black accents. But of course I need me some color so dish towels and cloths will just have to do. These are being test driven as we speak.


But knitting (or crocheting) only works up to a point. Like if I have to concentrate really hard on the pattern. Or can watch TV. Anything to keep my mind from wandering. Wandering is not good right now. That's why I'm avoiding my machine sewing ... but it bugs. I want to be sewing. Honest I do!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Shoulders of Yesterday

Jeebers, yesterday was a doozy. And I'm sorry if it felt like it came from no where. To be honest I felt it coming. I felt it last week when walking to the car for a day of errands my eyes welled up. It went away and the day proceeded without a hitch. Some success on the shopping front some not-so. All in all a rather uneventful day.

Last weekend we painted the kitchen. It went along fine and I actually did more than I planned. Axel sat down at the table with the iPad and worked on some tour planning for customers visiting in September and I cut around all the edges and put a first coat on every single wall. A beautiful clean slate - perfect for snapping a pic of these lovely blooms.


Monday .. eh, I worked on taxes. 
I did pretty good. 
But I was tired. 
I haven't been sleeping again.

Tuesday - yesterday - I woke up too early again
From a nightmare. 
And then it all steamrolled. 
Every . single . little . thing made me cry.

I slept better last night and am doing better today.

I know some of it is hormones. 
I know some of it is not knowing. 
I hate feeling this way. 
I have never liked rollercoasters. 

And I miss me. 
I miss my confidence. 
I despise my doubts. 
I am frustrated by everything.

But there are good things afoot too. The house is looking good. I'm putting some of my pointless energy into sprucing it up. It never happened here. We moved in when I was pregnant the first time. Two weeks later I miscarried. This house has never gotten the attention it deserves. And it's time to make it more of a home. One step at a time.

We're also planning a get away. In May. I can hardly wait. Eight nights, nine days away. It will be a lot of driving but we're looking forward to it. I'll tell you more soon. But for now .. have you been here? We'd love any advise!


So to all of you who said a prayer, held us in your thoughts, dropped a line or commented on yesterdays post ~ THANK YOU!

I'll be ok. I promise.

Rest assured. 
There are good days and bad days. 

Most weeks have more good days than bad days.

My favorite part about roller coasters is getting off. I can handle the level parts. Deal with the corners. The highs reveal some wonderful views. But the lows ... oh the lows. Not a fan. The dips I can deal with but the lows physically hurt. So I will do my best to ride this one out. And wait for my turn to get off. I know it will come. With patience. 

Thanks for holding my hand and giving me the courage to ride it out.

I promise to tell you about the frogs soon.

shoulders .. those things you find on either side of something. 
your head, the street, seasons .. you get the idea
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I had planned to tell you all about frogs today.

It's been a theme here in our little household for a few days.

But I can't seem to pull it together.

I'm teetering.

Right on the edge ...

Like I'm going to sink or swim ...

I'd rather sail.

Just sail away.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Each morning this cheeky little fellow greets me with his chick-a-dee-dee-dee
teasing with a come-a-play-with-me-me-me


Oh, how I would ... but I am nibbling away too ... on my taxes. Quarter 1 sales taxes (BTW) will be finished tonight . for both of our businesses . two whole days early. Then it's on to the bigger fish - the yearly tax preparation for the accountant. Ugh.

When, really, all I would like to be doing is playing!

in the garden

with fabric

with my camera



I hope you're doing something enjoyable!

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easter by a Hare

BOM-4010Phew, somehow we did manage to squeeze a bit of Easter in .. or out .. which one is it?

Blessed with a 3 day weekend as Belgium takes Easter Monday as a holiday we knew we could completely chill and take some time to reflect on Sunday but still get a few things done (in preparation) on Saturday and a job or two around the house on Monday.

First a quick down of what we needed ... dinners, sugar cookies!, carrot cake (of course) and hmmm, maybe some chocolate.

Sugar CookiesI wasn't really in the mood but Saturday morning after a reasonable lie-in I headed into the kitchen ... via my computer to skype my neighbour and tell her there would be sugar cookies .. come decorate and take some home. Leah is from Lynden, just a couple hours from where I grew up so whenever I make anything typical "home" I try to remember her. I don't have enough words to explain how much I appreciate Leah and her husband .. they have been so much to us over the last few months and we are extremely grateful for their help and understanding.

Too bad I grabbed the wrong Sugar Cookies recipe but I went ahead, substituted half the flour for whole wheat and threw the dough in the fridge to chill. At first we thought they just turned out "ok" ... but once the icing was set we were happy campers. Especially the ones with sprinkles. Oh animal cookies - I miss you.

Carrot Cake was another almost no-brainer. Except I thought I'd be "smart" and follow my recipe to the letter. I measured the grated carrots and stopped at 3 cups. In the past I just fill my food processor so there's more. Hmmm, definitely like the more a lot better.

Baked Lemon & Lovage ChickenWith all this baking going on and the oven already being hot and all .. I tossed an easy peasy dinner in the oven - my own recipe for a simple Roast Chicken with Lovage and Lemon. You can find the recipe here in the little grey cookbook!

Thank goodness I had the presence of mind to nip into the butchers on my run to the pharmacy the other day. Easter Dinner was lamb chops rubbed with fresh rosemary and served with a pile steamed carrots and broccoli left us too very very happy.

As for chocolate we were both happy each with a mini Chocolate bunny from a friend. 

So Easter was here. It was quiet but busy with prep. Cooking and baking was somewhat enjoyed. And we packed it all in just under the wire. Monday night I came down with something ... and spent the rest of the week feeling generally under the weather ... hence the explanation for this very very late post.

We've spent nearly this entire weekend painting the kitchen ceiling - no mean feat and much too boring for photos. Taxes are on the cards for this week. All work and no play ... although maybe a few evenings to play with scraps of fabric if my eyes are still open and my fingers aren't numb.

Back soon with more exciting things ...

p.s. The applique block you saw above is part of Bunnyhill Designs A Tisket a Tasket BOM. I started two quilts and they're both still in the works but it was the best eastery thing to show you! You can see more of my blocks here.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Happy Easter Pin It Now!

Thursday, April 5, 2012



Sunday is Easter. I feel so unprepared. We have no plans. 

I've been thinking a lot about what I *should* be doing right now. 

The three shoulds that I manage on a daily basis are to get up, showered and dressed. 
I guess putting food on the table counts as a should which is also done daily. 

Beyond that, I'm never quite sure where each day will go. I have a couple of lists. Things I'd *like* to do and things, yes, I *should* do. But at the end of the day being able to tick that box "I survived" is what it's all about. Every day starts fresh and I check in with Axel if there's anything I an do for him. 

Then I do what feels right. Nothing more. Nothing less.

It's become a bit of a balancing act.

Maintain .. us first, then the house.
Some days it's one step forward and quite a few backwards.

Especially when I stop and let myself wander and wonder.
I *should* be nesting.


Memories of my babies punctuate every activity.
Every heartbeat.
Every breath.


is there something you are trying to balance ?
or is there something on your *should* do list?


oh, and the egg cartons? the egg cartons?
I have plans for those.

Can you guess?

Big plans!

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Monday, April 2, 2012

The Lost Month .. in between Stolen Hours

Chatting with a friend (a week or so ago) about a project we want to start in June
it became apparent that an entire month has gone missing. 

I started counting on my fingers, then she pointed out that April was
just two weeks away .. two weeks?!

In the meantime it has arrived. 

No! Um, yep. 

Geez, an entire month has gone by ... it's hard to explain how or where.

But there has been some of this going on ... in between ...

Oma Lena's Flower Garden

Seeds for Oma Lena's Flower Garden

Oma Lena's Flower Garden is an English Paper Piecing BOM I designed years ago is beginning to see the light of day.

In the stolen hours of March I've been working on the pattern - available with it's paper pieces. If you'd like more information just let me know ... I'm working on all the Q & As now. 

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