Tuesday, December 23, 2014

One Last Craft

Squeezing in one last project before Christmas. The idea is that Finn will know/learn that what's on this plate is ok for him to eat. We're still catering to wheat and dairy allergies (along with washing powder and anything out of a tin can) so Momma has been very busy making cookies he *can* have for Christmas.

Momma Made - Finn Approved

wheat-free, dairy-free
gingerbread men
This was a very quick, as in less than 15 minutes to draw with Sharpies on a dinner plate we already had, project. The colors changed drastically during the baking process. I'm not disappointed and actually think it's kind of cool they went all Christmassy on me.

my ridiculous looking
pfefferneuße - not Finn ok
My biggest hope for 2015 is that I can share you some of the things I've made this year. They are not many but I am proud of them. And maybe even get to tell you about how I did some of them. Most are not sewing related but they all made me feel creative and energized. Something else I look forward to being more and having more of in the New Year.

Christmas2014 TLF

And with that, I wish each and every one of you the very Merriest and Blessed of Christmases from our little farm on the outskirts of Gent, Belgium.

xox Jovita

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Heehee haha hoho

I'm a terrible blogger. I know. I'm sorry.

I do miss blogging. And I miss you.

I doubt that is any consolation ...

Slowly, very, very slowly things are coming together around here.

Our little guy keeps me busy.
Our little farm keeps me busy.
My big boy doesn't mean to keep me busy.
But he does.

I was ticked beyond belief to get a half hour to draft and sew.

Between little sleep and a tummy bug, it needed to happen.
Autumn has arrived and it was time for a hat that keeps Finn's little ears warm.

It was absolutely thrilling to walk into my studio and find the perfect fabrics.
Better yet, it matches all three of his shoulder-season jackets  
I tend to put it on like a slouchy hat ... 
But when I picked him up from school today he was sporting a different (but do-able) style 

... and a big fat lip. 

Poor little guy rolled his car. 

*** The title is in reference to a 'Jim Knopf' episode ... Let's pretend the dinosaurs are dragons, ok?

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Monday's are Mine

Yahooooooo ha ha Yipppeeee,
Do you see what I see?

close enough

After a fantastic weekend which included a spontaneous quilting bee with friends I haven't seen in ages on Saturday and Axel coming home earlier from work on Sunday, Monday was as good as if not better than last week.

Call it WAW, WAM 
or just
why not?
thank you MAM!

It was goooooood!

I woke up refreshed and while Finn fed himself breakfast (yes, I know!!!), I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce and stirred together a loaf 100% sourdough rye bread to rise. I had a class in the evening to prep for but first a couple of ladies dropped in to work on our cross-stitch border samplers. I'd show you an update but I haven't taken a pics lately and the lovely light from this morning has been replaced by a lovely light drizzle.

do you see what i see

Last night I taught the next installment of my (in)famous Skills Building class. It was fun, but it does tax my brain to remember everything while concentrating on proper translation at the same time. We're doing ok and I repeat myself a lot. I am make a list of notes / comments / thoughts under the heading 'lost in translation.'

This morning my sewing machine was still set up
on the dining room table so I thought heck. 

put to good use

Why not?

breakfast with patchwork

Finn settled in next to me fed himself toast with peanut butter and I fork-fed almost an entire baked pear to him in between seams. It was lovely. He was closely enough to reach over and touch my shoulder. Which he did often. Peanut butter and all. I was close enough I could lean over and kiss the top of his head. It was lovely. Did I say that already?

oma's (bugel)eisen

So what do you see?

Here's a bit of what you don't see ...
 * I need to figure out this tension issue I've been having with my featherweight
 * Some body(s) are still in their pajamas
 * That seam ripper was put to good use
 * The iron belonged to Finn's great-grandmother
 * This post almost got the title "Close Enough" ... ugh, I struggled with some of my seams but persevered and I'm ok, happy. The pinwheel is better than the multiple goose ...

skills 4A & 5A

And today? Well it's not mine. After that fantastic start, things kind of went to pot. To be honest, I think somebody was playing me. He wouldn't nap. He wouldn't play. He wouldn't eat. He wouldn't drink from a sippy. I finally stepped back. Ate my lunch which got him a bit interested. Put milk in a sippy (instead of water .. we're trying to wean, so this was good!). Then he played before I threw him back in bed. He tried to say NO but momma held out and all is quiet in dream land. For now.

I'm just glad I made such a big pot of spaghetti yesterday. It will be leftovers tonight for sure.

So for now I'm afraid I'll have to leave you. Although the cooking is done, there is still a tad of housework to do. And darn, I should clear my sewing machine of the dining room table. 

BUT .. over the weekend there was another development .. we finally set up a table in my office so hopefully you'll being seeing more !! 

I'd love to give you some more of those Morning Stars.
And I'd really really like to work on my Troost quilt.

Those two .. that's my goal. 

Something for me. 
Something for you.

Oh, and a coat for Finn.

100% rye sourdough

Oh .. and the need for 100% rye bread ??

Finn is allergic .. to wheat, spelt, milk and maybe eggs.
And a little sensitive to salmon.

So until he's done breastfeeding, I'm avoiding all those too.
Bummer but I'm coping and it's good practice for what options we will have to find for him.

At least I'm still ok with chocolate, coffee & peanut butter.
A girl can live on those after all.

... and before I could hit publish, he's awake, again ...
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

{almost} Wordless Wednesday


Finn's chart is growing



RPW rows 2-12


I forgot to buy bacon for my broccoli salad.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Today, I bring you WAM

Wow, What a Monday!

If this is any indication of what this week will be like, bring it on! You know when you wake up refreshed and the sun is shining. And when the baby is in good spirits and naps well, it's all good.

Peek a Boo

Yesterday was incredible.

The sun was shining and gorgeous.

I worked in the garden. Finally planting some of my bulbs that were beginning to sprout.

Finn got a bath, which always takes longer than I think. These days it's really a squeeze to fit in a little play, lunch and a bath between naps. Which is why we do *not* do it every day.

The bonus is that while Finn splashed about I managed to fold a whole load of whites and hang another load of cloth diapers. Reminder to self: the purchase of an old english style from the ceiling drying rack is getting more urgent. Finn splashes about so much in his little bath it would be really handy to mop when he is done without all the drying racks standing in the way.

I ironed at least 6 pieces of clothing, something for everyone in the family.

We had an amazing lunch, leftovers from the previous night's dinner .. it involved a favorite for everyone. Butternut squash for Finn, quinoa for me and spinach for papa with a liberal heap of garlic and leeks to boot. Yes all in one dish. It was Delicious, with a capital D. I'll try to write it down .. man, that's the 3rd thing I want to tell you about kitchen-wise. Must get going on that too.

I ended the day purely in my element ... teaching a class, 
the first in over a year, or maybe even two. 

The first in this house. 
It was fun and wonderful. 
My students are the best!!

It's also one of my best classes, some of you know it 
and love it as much as I do. 

Think old-school with modern tools. 
The ins and outs, whys and what fors. 

Pearl's SKILLS
This photo taken of a few years ago of Pearl's blocks
during a discussion about colors and setting options.

Skills-building ... if you've taken this class I'd love if you'd leave a comment and tell us what you thought, learned and / or enjoyed about it. I'd be over the moon if you sent me a picture of your quilt!

Today wasn't much different. 

Although I feel a tad less accomplished, the weather was gorgeous and I did work in the garden while Finn napped. It's warmer than yesterday which makes me a little sad. 

I'm still hoping for snow. 
I was hoping to see / experience our first snow on This * Little * Farm. 

I was hoping Finn would see his first snow.

He's even dressed (to sleep) like a snowbaby 
and was having a sweet moment with Mr. Snowman ...


That said, I do remember that our worst/best/most snow last year 
was actually after he was born so maybe there is still hope.

Proof positive the sun is shining on This * Little * Farm

It's hard to imagine that we're coming up on a year ago already. 

Axel brought this basket of daffodils to the hospital last year when the boys were born. 

And now .. we're already into February, 
before the month is over 
will turn 1 year old.

I'm maybe a tad in denial. 
A tad sad. 
But ooooh so excited.

Today I took pics of him in his little bed, a beautiful antique loaned from a friend. He really outgrew it a while ago but I love it so much and since he isn't rolling we've stuck to it, but now it's really time.

The gorgeous quilt is a gift from our friend Lisa.


On the left Finn is 2-1/2 months old, on the right 8 months.

Hand projects in the evening are still mainly my Randjes per Week, but I might have to take a break and knit Finn another hat. We're kind of wondering if he's allergic to wool and that cute hat I made him. I would be sooo sad if his is ....
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Friday, January 31, 2014

Innocent until Proven Guilty

I'm just hoping you'll let me off for good behavior ...

1/2" 'peppermint' hexiesWe've been sick around here. Not really really sick. Just that icky yucky feeling that makes you a tad grumpy, impatient and tired. Just the kind that interrupts naps and sending papa to sleep in the babies room so that when he wakes at 10pm after going down at 7:30 and stays up until 1am momma is right there so that when he wakes at 4 coughing ... well you get the picture right.

So in between wiping noses, drinking lots of *peppermint* tea and doing my best to keep the household running

one innocent project lead to another

It started with this 

which lead to this and along with all this talk of peppermint
got me to thinking about this

peppermint candy

and this

turq & red

Then this happened


and then this


I think I might be guilty ..

.. but after awhile it's just fun to take pictures and dream about hexagons

And think of doing a swap / exchange .. of so many types, things and kinds.

But I think that will have to wait .. until I can find the time between wiping noses and
cups of peppermint tea.

In fact somewhere there is a cup with my name on it. I'm off now to follow the strewn tissues in the hopes it leads me to a mugga easily warmed to enjoy before that little guy is awake again.

Ha, spoke to soon! Off to wipe a nose, plant a kiss, change a (cloth) diaper and conjure up some lunch. Maybe even plan dinner. Or order dinner .. it is Friday after all .. and boy am I glad to see Friday.

Candy Canes
Disclaimer: In the writing of this blog post, a candy cane or two may have been dropped into a cuppa or two of coffee purely to aid the writer in staying awake and alert while nursing her obsession with peppermint. Did you know they are impossible to find here? You can occasionally get candy canes, in fact they are becoming more frequent during the holiday period. But they are alarmingly not peppermint flavoured. Strawberry, vanilla and even tasteless we have seen, but no peppermint. Not even at Starbucks .. shame on them, right?  Thankfully I've got a few friends and a cousin who send and/or smuggle peppermint candy canes on a random basis. Special enough that they get their own jar with a ribbon tied around it's neck.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Let it be Peppermint

At least let it be peppermint. 
If you're going to spill tea that is. 

Let it be peppermint.

Yep, all over the end table, between things and on things.

A whole cup. At least it was peppermint.

closeup mini sampler

The mess is cleaned up. And I'm about to boil the kettle and try again. 
But I thought I'd stop by and say a really quick Hello.

Finn is sleeping. 
For the next few minutes at least. 

He's teething. 
So we never know. 

Two more teeth are about to break through. 
Any day now. 

For a total of 6 .. in just a few weeks. 
Momma's tired.

Momma was already tired yesterday.

Then she called the vet.
To talk about our dog. 
It's time to make some decisions. 
Not easy ones.
After the heavy conversation. 
While Finn was sleeping. 
I walked down to the mail box.

There was a card ... telling us that another of 
Axel's college friends had passed away.

During the holidays. 
Just shy of the new year.

So I sat down and buried my head and my sorrow in a bit of stitchery.
Axel came home, we had dinner, Finn was in bed by 7 but there were taxes to do.
Then I stayed up stitching, until the wee hours ... 
ooooh is this the only time mommas get for quiet time and stitching?? 
Please tell me it's not true.

Because ...

mini sampler

... a mini version of this project was just the ticket. 

One strand of DMC 792 stitched over one thread of 28 count 100% linen band that is 2-1/2" wide. I doubt I'll do the entire project, just pick and choose as I go. I'm already not fond of that last row but I'm too stubborn to pick it out.

It fit the bill though. I sat down and stitched. It takes a lot of concentration and/but with every stitch I thought about a lot of things.

There are still decisions to be made about Whisper, but Axel leaves early tomorrow morning by train to attend our friend's funeral in Germany. It would be too hard and long of a drive for Finn so he is going on behalf of all of us. He'll meet up with other college friends and be with them.

I had planned to tell you about our last week of Sundays and visitors and good intentions but that will have to wait. Maybe I'll catch a few minutes to write while papa is away and Finn is sleeping. But maybe not, this momma needs to sleep too. While papa is away this momma plans to sleep when Finn does. Even if the stitching, and the cleaning, blogging and reading have to wait. We'll eat and sleep and hopefully go shopping, since we have the car (yipppeeee!)

In the meantime, hopefully another peppermint tea is involved in my evening. And some quiet time with Axel. And of course some stitching. In the corner, next to where I spilled my tea this morning.

At least it was peppermint and it smells nice.

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

First Finish - Finn Approved

So happy to share a first finish for 2014 with you.

It's Finn's Christmas present, luckily he won't know it was a tad late due to a running out the door mistake (I'll explain in a minute).

If you've been following along on Facebook you'll have heard and / or seen a bit about this project.

It started with this gorgeous gift of a scarf from Finn's Onkel Rolf. I was already working on a new winter hat for him but quickly set it aside for this project. I already had all the right colors .. and more (yes, I'll confess .. in a minute). 


To make a long story short, it's a hat with many trials and errors, but in the end persistence triumphed and I honestly couldn't be happier. Finn wore it to the store tonight and was already getting compliments. As in he, the wearer. Not momma, the maker. But that's ok .. I was (maybe not so secretly) glowing with pride, and besides I know who made him ;) wink!!

I think my favorite part was the pompom. I was so excited to put Finn down for his nap yesterday. Lucky ducky momma me .. he's a dream at naptime and most bedtimes too. Give him a kiss, say g'night, tuck in him and he *sings* himself to sleep. Honestly the sweetest thing you've ever heard. One day I'll get it on tape. All this ... so momma has a few minutes (or TWO hours!!!) to do stuff. Like Make Pom Poms!! I did the math, it's been at least 30 years since I made a pompom. I seriously want to make more.

pompom prep
So .. I gathered all my supplies. And went to town. Just like I remember doing a few donkeys years ago ... my template? The outer measurement the base of a water glass, the inner a large sewing machine bobbin. Done. No compass. No hunting. Just Making a Pompom!!

If you've never made on and / or need a few tips. Google it. There are a lot of people out there who are willing to show you how to make one. I think the most important trick is to wrap and wrap and wrap to fill up that inner hole as much as possible. Then cut between your two layers of cardboard. I know scarey. Just use sharp scissors and go slow. See why I waited until Finn was in bed. Then thread your doubled-thread through and pull very very tight. Voilá!! Last but not least trim to your heart's desire.

I am pleased to report that this pompom was Finn approved.

pompom scrutiny

Nurturing a Critic

hmmm, oh. yes . that confession.

Ugh .. this happened. And I almost left it. 

But then we went for a walk. 

In daylight.

Finn's Ooops Hat

Lesson learned .. before running out the door to spend Finn's first Christmas with friends and family in Germany. Check, double check, re-check your double check and check again that you have the right ball of almost white yarn. You know. The one that is the same as you started with. 

But still, he's adorable, right?
And that scarf!
 He is one very lucky.
Very spoiled. Boy. Indeed.
Thanks again Onkel Rolf, kisses from Finn

And with that I say goodnight. 

And hope that our little friends aren't running fevers tomorrow because we've scheduled our first ever get-together with friends from the NICU. 

At our house. 
On this * little * farm. 
After such a long time.

xox J

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Keeping Track

It's that time of year when you look back at lists .. things you DID do .. like bring a baby home from the hospital!!

And things you DIDn't do .. like, ahem .. finish any projects.

Of course there are always those landmark events too .. like having a baby, celebrating his baptism, recording his first Thanksgiving, remembering his first Christmas ..

I'm also looking foward to new things this year. Finn's birthday is only just around the corner, followed by Easter and then a whole summer of Funn! as I anticipate him learning to walk. Oh boy!!

Axel will tell you I've been driving myself crazy trying to keep notes, records and photographing everything. I know I can't count on my memory. Thank goodness for digital and datestamps on photographs!!

With Finn growing like a weed, I've been looking at ways to record that too. And wow, there are a LOT of ideas out there. I thought I had pinned my favorite growthchart ideas, but alas it must have been done in my sleep because I can't find them. Except for this one that was clearly a frontrunner.

That is until I saw this project designed by Simone of Atelier Soed Idee Annelies featuring cross-stitch borders from Annelies' collection of antique samplers. The patterns are published every Saturday on a blog dedicated to the Randje per Week stitch-a-long. There is also a Facebook group.

I decided this would make the perfect growth chart and be something unique, because what does one DO with their children's growth charts?? I'm thinking this might end up on the back of his wedding quilt. Maybe? 

So I looked all around a fabric options and funnily it wasn't hard at all to choose the black. I ordered my fabric and finally got to start last night. This is how far I got. Eventually there will be 106 rows in the entire pattern. There were three borders this week but I chose to not include the first one. 


Not bad consider that after the baby was in bed, dishes done and a *very* quick tidy up it was already 10pm. Thankfully hubby picked up after that, started the dishwasher and hung a load of laundry on the drying rack.

So the details. I am embroidering over 2 threads on 30 count pure linen using 2 strands of Weeks Dye Works embroidery floss in a variegated dark grey / black called "Kohl" (Coal) #3900. My second color, which I understand does not appear until week (or row?) seven will probably be bright red. I still have to decide how I am going to finish the edges. I have ideas (although they might change) for indicating the "measure" and incorporating his semi-annual height markings.

And NO I did not need another project, but I am quite happy about one that can be finished in an evening or two. Just for me .. and for Finn.

Speaking of Finn, he woke up all rosy posy this morning. A joy for sore eyes (phew, yes .. I am noticing my age after working on that late last night!). I swear his hair grew overnight. The red is sadly gone and the palest whitest blond is quickly filling in.

Rosy Posy Finn

Thankfully his rash / cradle cap is getting better. It's taken us a while to figure out but Finn is allergic to milk and probably wheat. So until we're done breastfeeding that's no cheese for momma .. and boy does she miss it!! I've been lactose intolerant for a few years so had cut back extremely enjoying only goat's milk (fresh, straight from the farm) and cheeses, but NO cheese is killing me. Did I mention I also got a filling without anaesthesia .. yes, that is how much I love this boy!!! 


We're getting close the the one year mark though 
*and* he sprung two teeth last week so it won't be much longer. 

Finn is a dream of a baby. 
A happy chappy. 

His laugh makes my heart smile.

And that DO / DID list, suddenly it doesn't matter nearly as much.

xox J
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Thursday, January 2, 2014

So Many Questions

Ooooooh, where to start?

I am so anxious to create, make, DO something. 
I want to sew, paint, cook and work in the garden, but not clean. 
Never clean.

JPA Jan 2014

So, I have a question for you ...

Considering I hardly posted in 2013, 
what do you want to hear, see and read about?

I'll be honest that quilting time is severely limited.

Are you interested in all the other stuff that goes on around here?

Sewing for Finn?
Decorating our new home?
Setting up our farm?

I do occasionally blog a recipe in the little grey cookbook but haven't as often as I'd like. 
Even though I have tons of great recipes I'd love to share. 
Are pictures critical? 
Or do you trust my salutations / salivations?

Did you enjoy WAW ?
I miss it, but don't want to bore you to death. 
Would you participate?? 
I sure would find that inspiring!

Or just stick to quilting??
Nothing else .. whenever I can ..

Should I change the name of my blog?

Jovita's Patchwork Life ?
Jovita's Patchwork Puzzle ??

So many questions ...

I sure would love your input ...

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ta Da!

Wow, well ... it's another start to another year.
So I thought I better drop in to say hello ...

To be honest, I'm a little sad to see 2013 come to an end.
What an exceptional year it has been for us!!
Personally at least.

Professionally is a whole 'nother kettle of fish 
but honestly, I'm ok with that for now.
There's a new year coming!
And I hope you'll stay tuned.

This is what 2013 brought

January we waited on pins and needles after losing Finn's twin brothers in utero (mid-December) the main goal was to rest, rest and rest.

February started out smooth, hit a bumpy patch and ended ecstatic as we welcomed our little bundle of joy into this big wide world in the wee hours of the 28th day. We had planned to celebrate Saskia & Arne's birthday with cake, but this pretty much topped those plans.

March & April? Well they were tiring, sometimes worrying but wonderful as we watched Finn grow slowly towards his the required take-home weight of 2300grams / 4-1/4 lbs.

May was full. Nine-week-old Finn came home from the hospital, we celebrated part 2 of his christening, papa's birthday and mother's day all the same weekend then we watched the calendar count down to the day he was 'supposed' to arrive.

June, July and August whizzed by in a flurry of summer rain punctuated by an enormous growth spurt and a terrible case of chickenpox. Finn developed sepsis and Momma spent 5 days with him in hospital. 

On August 28th, the day Finn turned 6 months old, we woke up in our new home .. a beautiful little farm on 2-1/2 acres. The potential is immense. The work a little daunting. The peace and quiet breathtaking and inspiring. I promise to tell you more soon.

September was spent getting to know the farm a little better, unpacking and just letting down our hair for awhile.

October and November? Well, honestly, I'm not sure .. I've even checked my Facebook entries, there are *very* few. I do know Finn had his first cold, we took our first studio photos and celebrated his first Thanksgiving with friends. I will also admit I spend a lot of time just watching him grow, play and stretch. He amazes me. Daily. 

December .. wow, another month of celebration. Decorating, baking, visiting and enjoying Finn's first Christmas.

So what are our plans for 2014?

I wish I could tell you
I'm not really sure what they are 

... I'm open to suggestions 
and possibilities ...

I would love to sew, quilt, craft more.
I will put Finn and our family first.

I want to blog, share, converse and connect.

I will enjoy it. To the fullest.
Because this year only comes once.
As does tomorrow.
And I plan to start each new day like it's a new year!

How about you?

I'd love to hear what you have planned ...
Are you choosing one word?

I haven't
I can't
I won't

I am open to everything ...

and in the meantime

we wish you a very very 
Happy New Year

I can't wait to see what 2014 brings ...
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