Wednesday, April 27, 2011

living their dream

When my in-laws decided to move from their cute bungalow on a quarter acre to an older home on a 100 acre farm, I tried to be excited for them...but it was difficult. My mother-in-law was approaching 60, and her husband not too far behind. But they shared a passion for horses, gardening, and the outdoors, and their quarter acre just wasn't cutting it. Their dream was to own a farm.

Being the "worrywart" that I am, I just couldn't help but think of the upkeep,

...the expenses...the long term. I thought it might be too much for them. They decided to take the plunge...and I decided to bite my tongue.

But this Easter...I finally got it. I finally understood why they did what they did.

It is what makes them happy.

And we get to "reap the rewards", too, so to speak. What other families get to do these things at Grandma and Grandpa's on Easter?

Muck around in a long driveway full of mud, and then have your boots washed out using a hand pump.

Go for a long, long walk... a secret spot where Grandpa is building a little cabin from scratch.

Hang out with Auntie while absorbing the beauty and silence of nature.

Pet and ride horses... and explore...

And even use an outhouse. :)

Beautiful memories made. And look how happy they are.

I'm so thankful they had the courage to live their dream.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Presenting the Tried and True, Nutritious and Delicious..."Breakfast Wrap"

If you're like me, you're always scrambling (no pun intended :P) for something to make the kids for breakfast that fills all the criteria...yummy, easy, and good for you!

This recipe was introduced to our family by an Italian bachelor friend (who must have learned how to cook from his "momma"). He was over one time and as the dinner hour approached, I started to panic a little inside. We were having a great conversation...but what the heck was I going to make for dinner? I started to reach for that proverbial "can of beans",but he stopped me, opened the fridge and started rummaging around and grabbing stuff. "Let me show you something", he said. I took a deep breath, swallowed my pride and let him work his magic. The knife was a blur, the hand gestures "a plenty"...and within minutes, a delicious, steaming hot "Breakfast Wrap" was placed before me! Who cares that this wasn't breakfast time...this was delicious, and I didn't have to make it...even better. :) He went ahead to make one for everyone and received rave reviews from even the pickiest members of the household!

This recipe has become a staple in our household. It is great for busy mornings, after school snacks, as well as impromptu "dinner parties". :)

Here's what you need:

1 egg
butter (or olive oil)
any combination of veggies (garlic, onions, mushrooms (I used Portabella), peppers)
grated cheese
*makes one serving

If you have kids like mine, the recipe is even simpler. All you need is 1 egg, butter, grated cheese and one tortilla :)

Here are the steps:

1. Saute veggies in the pan in butter or oil.

2. Lightly beat egg with a fork.

3. Pour into the pan with the veggies and move pan around to spread it out.

4. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the egg.

5. Place tortilla on top and press down firmly (careful not to burn your wrist...I speak from experience!)

6. Roll up and enjoy!

Isn't that easy?! And the beauty of this wrap recipe, as opposed to other ones, is that the egg stays inside the wrap, rather than in a pile on the plate. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Paying it Forward!

I was recently a giveaway winner on a blog. I won a knitting pattern for the slippers you see in the pic above! Winning was awesome...but then came the "unexpected twist"...she featured me and my shop on her wonderful blog! What a nice idea. :) Come check it out...

Here's a link to her shop on Etsy where she sells the most unique and beautiful knitting patterns!

Thanks again, Lise-Anne Michel!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wool Bunny Giveaway Winner!

And the winner of the Wool Bunny in the Sleeping Bay is... (picked by a random number generator at ta dummmm....Tricia Orchard!

Congratulations, Tricia! And thanks to all of you who entered the contest. Hope you all have a very HAPPY and BLESSED Easter!

oxox Rebecca

Thursday, April 21, 2011


In honour of Earth Day, I am hosting a giveaway! To win this little upcycled wool bunny with sleeping bag, please visit my Etsy shop, handmaidencanada and then post a comment here to let me know which of my items for sale are your favourite. For an extra entry, please "like" me on facebook here. The contest closes Saturday, April 23rd at 11:59 pm. Best of luck, everyone. :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

feeling broody

Look what is going on in our hen house!

We have not one...

not two...

but three broody hens!!

I am so excited. I forsee oodles of fuzzy little puffballs marching around our yard in the near future. :)

Except...look is still lingering...

I don't think chickies like snow. I guess we'll just have to see. We've never had chicks hatch before.

The hens weren't the only ones around here who were feeling broody today. I was broody (or should I say moody) too. I spent the whole day, it seems, waiting for Nadia (my 1 year old) to go down for a nap. Do you ever have days like that?

I had a project I needed/wanted to work on and I just couldn't seem to get to it. Nadia is the most darling girl...but oh so busy. She can climb up on chairs now, and a whole new world has opened up to her. I found her on the chair beside my sewing machine, reaching for my sewing scissors and I knew something had to give...and that somONE was me.

So Nadia, Trinity (my four year old) and I got bundled up (it's still a little chilly up here in the Great White North) and went for a walk. When all else fails...a good dose of fresh air and sunshine is sure to chase away the "broody blues".
We walked and talked, and each munched on a nice crunchy apple...oh how I love that perfect, crunchy apple!

Things were looking up. The longer I spent outside...the more sane I felt...the more I stopped obsessing over that silly project, and I could feel everyone's "happiness factor" going up. After all, when momma's happy, everyone's happy, right?

And you know what? Later on, I did also find time to work on that much anticipated project, and got quite a bit done! Here's my progress on my 15 inch and 10 inch Waldorf dollies....

All that broody, moodiness for naught! :P

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

stop waiting for the stars to align

Do you ever catch yourself saying "some day" or "later" to things when you should really be saying "yes, let's do"? I got a phone call yesterday from a dear friend and an email from my sister...both saying "do you want to get together for coffee and crafting tomorrow?" I couldn't help but think of all the things I should be doing instead...laundry, cleaning and de-cluttering, yardwork...the list goes on...and on...and on. You know, it's spring and the cleaning bug is in the air!

But I stopped to think. Does any of that really matter, in the larger scheme of things? That list will always be there. But this opportunity for fellowship with those I love, won't. So I said "Yes, come on over!"

I did what I could, in terms of housework and then I got out my knitting and craft supplies and put on a pot of coffee. Simple.

You know what the amazing thing is? I came away from that afternoon full to the brim with joy, renewed inspiration and ambition. I had been in a "slump" of sorts for the past week or this heart to heart visit with my sister and friend was just what the doctor ordered.

My friends didn't even notice the clean laundry still piled on the back of the couch or the dishes left undone in the sink. My family didn't mind eating dinner a bit later, and I actually was MORE productive with my day rather than less....and I felt better...much more sane.

Living a life of balance can be hard when you are juggling a lot of things...but it is so important. We need to take the time to nurture those relationships with our spouse, children, and friends and not get too caught up in the busyness of our endless "to do" lists.

How many times have I met someone in the grocery store and said "we should get together sometime", but then not followed through? I keep waiting for a day where my housework is caught up, and all my "ducks are in a row". Why do I wait? What is holding me back?

I'll never forget the words from my dad, just weeks before his death..."the only thing that matters, when you get to the end of your life is how much you LOVE and have been LOVED". My dad was a man who loved life and others wholeheartedly. He gave so much of himself to his family and he was the type of person who would always take the time to lend a listening ear, or offer words of advice. He was not stingy with his time.

On the day of his funeral, I was shocked and amazed to see how many people showed up to honour him and his life. There were hundreds and hundreds of people...the large church we belonged to filled to capacity! And so many people stopped me to tell me how much he touched their life...not just touched...but DEEPLY affected. People I had never even seen before.

How do we enter into a life full of purpose? I think it is in saying "YES" to the things that matter. Spending time on each other, rather than on the pursuit of the material.

As a friend of mine said to me the other day...."we need to start living with our hearts and souls, because that is all we are going to take with us when we die".

I need to stop waiting for the perfect day...the day that my house looks like something from a Martha Stewart magazine the day I have cute little desserts all laid out on the counter and fresh cut flowers on every reach out in friendship. I think I'll have to wait a LONG time for those stars to align. :)

I am more than content with a hot cup of coffee, a knitting project, and a sister and friend who are willing to just be here with me where I am and love me just as I am.

P.S. The image at the top of my post is available for purchase from the Etsy shop sixthandmain

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wool Easter Bunny Tutorial

Here's a tutorial for a cute little felted wool bunny rabbit that you can make from that wool sweater that is perhaps a little threadbare in the elbows, or that you've packed into the "giveaway bag" because you didn't get around to wearing it this winter at all....purge purge purge...seems to be the name of the game these days!

1 wool sweater that has been felted (washed in hot water and shrunk...then laid flat to dry)
needle and thread
2 buttons
wool stuffing
embroidery floss
lavender (optional)
small piece of felt (contrasting colour) for ears

1. Print out pattern pieces from here and cut them out.

2. Pin pattern pieces to felted sweater and cut out 2 of each.

3. Sew the inside pieces of the ear to the main ear parts either by hand (using blanket stitch), or by machine (using zig zag stitch).

4. Pin ears to the head like this...

5. Pin front and back pieces together, with the ears sandwiched in between.

6. Sew around outside of bunny using straight stitch, leaving opening in head as indicated for stuffing.
7. Clip seams under the arms and between bottom legs.

8. Turn right side out
9. Stuff with wool stuffing,

10. Add a little lavender (if desired).

9. Stitch opening closed.

10. Sew buttons on for eyes.

11. Embroider nose, mouth and whiskers. I also sewed down his ears to the side of his head for a "lop-eared" look!

Ta da! You did it! Isn't he cute?

Monday, April 4, 2011

the weekend catastrophe

Saturday turned out to be a very eventful day. My husband started to clear out the forested area with hopes to build a little playground for the children under the trees. He was using the the gas trimmer to clear out the brush. The little ones pitched in, putting the smaller branches and twigs into a pile to be used for campfires during the summer months.

Then my husband got out the chain stomach sank. One of the big birch trees was dead and needed to come down. Did he know what he was doing? I wasn't sure. The tree was awfully near the vehicles. I wanted to shout out...but didn't want to interfere...besides the saw was too loud. I motioned for the kids to come to the house.

One cut...then two...crack, bam, boom! Down came the tree...but the wrong way. It was like watching a movie in slow motion. The first part of it hit our school bus (the trusty vehicle that we drove across Canada in) damage done...phew...wait, no...ahhh!!

...the whole top part of the tree fell straight onto my son's girlfriend's car, smashed out the back window and dented in the roof. Yikes. Not good.

The good news is that no one was hurt. The bad news...we're not sure how bad because we haven't gotten the insurance bill. :(