Update post…

I have not written in such a long time.

Not because there is nothing to say but because my posts seem to build up more and more until I don’t know what to say first and then simply ignore the whole thing. Yeah, I am like that at times. So I thought I would do an update post and go through everything…

We Shine:
An amazing unschooling conference for seasoned unschoolers that takes place in the Catskills in NY. It takes place just before school is let out, so we have the camping grounds to ourselves and we become a unschooling community.
The kids are free and the relationships are deep. There is sharing, there are hugs, there is support, there are laughs and good food and amazing company, dancing and swimming, games and walks full of contemplation, and renewed energy for a lifestyle that is little supported in everyday life.

Simply put… it is an ideal family which I am honoured to be part of.

Here are the kids all packed and ready to go…

I love my 2008 Dodge Caravan with the Swivel N’ Go Feature!
and here is the amazing shining unschooling family!



While we were at Shine I found out that my grandmother’s cancer had returned and was not becoming generalized. It was a shock but then again, we knew that it might happen. We thought we were going to lose her in June because she had a tumor that was blocking her intestine but she is a fighter and though the doctors had said that it was nearly impossible, with Chemo, the tumour shrunk enough to give her a few more month of life. She headed home in July and my mom has been taking care of her since. She has ups and downs but she is not ready to let go yet.

Here are some pictures that I have taken over the summer with her…

With the kids…
Haven’t they grown!!


With Simon and I


Colin and her have a special connection. He was helping her down the hall at the hospital.


My beautiful grandmother…
She is doing Chemo, terminal phase, in palliative care, 90 years old and still looks FABULOUS!


In other news… I have been needle felting and spinning, keeping up with my Etsy shop, doing craft fairs and trying to get my name out there slowly. This summer was pretty relaxed with the craft fair scene but I am going to be quite busy into the fall and Winter season. I also have a fair tomorrow that seemed to pop up unexpectedly. It is definitely not going as fast as I would want but I guess it will just take time…

As for the bus… I will make that into another post!

Needle Felted Giraffe

I get a lot of suggestions when people see my needle felting, and one animal that often comes up is a Giraffe.

I thought about it a lot, and an image kept on coming into mind and finally I had to get it out and I started. When I finished her head last weekend, I realized that she was going to be a lot larger than I originally thought, but I have wanted to make a larger piece, so I kept going.


At first she was yellowish with brown spots and she looked a bit cartoonish and not what I was going for but she had a great body shape.

So I started really looking at images of giraffes even more and found the perfect colours for her in my stash. I covered her with white making the yellow become the core, changed her face, and then started to add her spots… So many spots…

The camera on my iMac is great for getting in action pics…


I finally finished her this morning…

I did not start with a frame, but she does have a bit of wire in her to help her stand and be posed. She is just shy of 2 feet tall and weighs 9oz and is made of 100% Merino wool and is so soft. This is one of my favourite creations to date….

A ctually, I think she is my absolute favourite…

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More off the Wheel…

I haven’t updated on my spinning in a while!

I have been busy with the bus, with felting and with spinning lately. Of course the kids get first dibs on my attention, but the house regrettably has been in dead last position.

So here are some of my yarns since the last time that I posted….

This is the rest a purple single that I had, plied with the rest of that coffee dyed single.


This one I call “Blueberry Cobbler” I have two Skeins like this… One is 226 yards and the other is 255 yards
both are 2 ply – Sport weight.



The next skein turned out SO soft and fluffy! It is an amazing Lilac colour merino and is plied with a thread weight weight merino.

Look how thin this white is!


This is also my largest single skein to date. 670+ yards of Sport weight bordering on Fingering.



And my last skein. This is the last of the Northern lights that I bought when I started to learn how to spin.
Check out what these same fibres looked like when I spun them just 2 months ago!
and here they are now….

428 yards… Sport weight.

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Demolition Done!

We are at a pivotal point in our conversion. The demolition stage is done! Looking on Kijiji last week I found someone that does mobile AC work. I sent him an e-mail and after a few back and forths we settled on a price and took an appointment for him to come Saturday. With his help the last of the luggage racks came out, the freon from the AC (some of which went into our car because we were having AC problems there also) and then the units themselves came out. It was a lot of hard and dirty work but it needed to be done and honestly, we were very happy to have a mechanic to do it! He also loves our project and has offered to help us with some other mechanical stuff that needs to be done. In exchange we gave him the units and he will be able to sell them for pieces or in whole and we will work out other exchanges as time goes by. 20140517_140303

We also had another friend come over on Sunday. Ludovic is a old cadet/high school friend of mine… (I have known him for 25 years! wow!). The last time I saw him he had offered to help us out. He is more into carpentry but having his help on Sunday kept us going and he was a great bit of help to finish dismantling the rest of the AC that was disconnected, getting the last of the floors out, getting the last traces of the luggage racks out and getting the drivers seat out. He also brought his beautiful dog Spot over for the day which the kids absolutely loved!

20140518_145250 What Simon looked like after being under the bus for a while… 20140518_174358 Yesterday, Sunday was cleaning time… in the bus and in the neglected house. There were a few screws left to grind and then all the metal pieces to pick up and find a place for and then we swept the floors. May14-105May14-89 May14-117

All that is left in the Bus now are the heaters that are still connected and the table that holds our tools for now. The rest is done. Today I vacuumed and then washed the floors and suddenly the scent in the bus changed. it doesn’t smell like a bus anymore. I can’t wait until it smells like home.

A Family First…

I have to say that I knew the day would come at one point. Our family’s first broken arm.

On Thursdays I go out to a knitting group (well, I felt while they knit). I left at about 6 and stopped in front of the neighbors to tell the boys that Supper was almost ready and to start heading home and then headed to the group. After the knitting group I stopped at the grocery store and then went to get some take-out supper for Simon and I (sushi for me and Pad Thai for him) and then got home at 9. Right away, Khéna came and told me that he got hurt. Another neighbor asked if they could go hang out with her after supper they headed back home to ask Simon and then headed back to tell her the answer and on the way back there Khéna’s bike slipped in mud or he get the side of the sidewalk or something but he lost control and fell over. He had put his arm out to break his fall and he hurt his wrist. Now this is 3 hours after it happened, he had eaten, had his bath and even picked up his playmobils. The way he was holding his arm to his side and not wanting to move it raised the red flag for me. I wanted to see his hand but it hurt to move. There was no bruise, no swelling or anything but I just knew.
I told Simon that we should go and I hesitated for a few seconds because honestly, I hate the local hospital and I do not trust them. But we got him dressed and we left.
Miraculously, the waiting room was quiet. We took a number and were called right away to triage and the nurse put a splint on it and sent us straight Radiology. As I stood behind the screen with the radiologist, the x-ray popped up on the screen and it was very clear. He had definitely broken his Radius.


We headed to the waiting room and were called right away into a room and waited for  while there. The doctor on duty didn’t even come to see us but a nurse came in and said that we were to come back in the morning to see the orthopedic surgeon and we could just leave him in the splint for the night. So we left the hospital at about 11:15 and needed to come back at 8 the next morning.

I came home and with adrenaline pumping I didn’t fall asleep until about 3am and then had a restless sleep until getting up at about 6 to get ready. I woke up Khéna and Colin and Wilhelmina and left Xavier sleeping as he stayed home while I went to the hospital with the other 3. We got to the hospital at 8 and after waiting for a while we were told that the doctor would not be there until about 9:30. So we waited until he finally arrived at about 10. After looking at the X-ray, he informed me that both the Radius and the Ulna were broken which meant that he would need a full cast and he was looking at up to 8 weeks in a cast. The bone would also need to be set.

He brought him in a room and then they asked me to step out with the kids. It was so hard to step out and it was heartbreaking to see Khéna watch me go but I agreed that it was better that the kids not see it. I went into the waiting room and after about 3-4 minutes I couldn’t stand it anymore and asked a family that was there with us since the morning if they could just keep an eye on Wilhelmina and I went to be with Khéna. I opened the door and asked if I could go in and she smiled and said that he was sitting right next to her. And he was. Already with his cast on. He had tears in the corner of his eyes but he did not shed a tear at all. So brave and so strong. I gave him a big hug and I felt some of his stress release and we headed to the Radiology department again to make sure that the bone was right. We waited for while and again he went inside alone but he knew what to expect and he knew that there was nothing to fear.


With everything alright, they fit him with a sling and then gave us an appointment to head back in 3 weeks for another X-ray. If it is healing well by then, they will take the full cast on and fit him with a smaller one. That is what we hope will happen in any case.

We left the hospital and he requested Sushi so I picked some up on the way home and he of course made the first stain on his cast with soy sauce. Very fitting. Then he watched one of his favourite shows (America’s Funniest Home Videos) on Netflix and fell asleep for a well deserved nap.

Today his energy is back and he is trying to adjust to what he can do with one hand. Luckily he has amazing siblings that are willing to help, along with a little sister that bugs him just like before. So besides a few limits, life goes on as usual.