Friends, it has been a great 12 years since I started my first company mamaroots but the time has come for the next step in my little ol home company- hope that you will join me at my new space and new name: www.knitcher.com
I was recently at a craft/knitting gathering and on of the gals said something along the lines of how somethings have a life; i.e. a beginning and an ending. It has been almost 8 years to the day coming up here right around Valentines that I began blogging as mamaroots. My oldest was 6 years old and my home birth baby was almost 2. I have been "mamaroots" since my oldest was about a year old. I was deep in the throws of raising my little ones, a thriving book career, and ebbing and flowing through a crafty, storytelling, toy making world.
Flash forward to 2015 and I have a teenager and my baby is entering double digits and only has about 1 and half years of elementary left. My early mothering is now developed into mothering a teen and pre-teen. It is a different path than pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, storytelling and making. I know that who I am will always be "rooted" in my crafting that became focused for me as a mother, as mamaroots but it has been a big year of transition and I was finally able to name the bubbling and feelings I have been having.
This past year has seen our baby boy become a teenager, a big crazy jump that I took in my career to leave the book industry and to start working with a non-profit youth based foundation. Not to mention the normal changes of cars, pets leaving us earth side, and big house projects. I might as well throw in turning 40 a couple years ago and learning to knit also. Sounds like the recipe for a mid-life crisis right, except I don't really view it as a crisis. Just a time to embrace change.
It is not without irony that I had a moment of knowing in the shower the other morning, (eagerly anticipating the first bath in remodeled bathroom soon) that I realized I am at a crossroads of re-identifiying myself as a crafter. I am excited and inspired to start a new blogging/business path.
There will still be lots of toymaking, thrifting, copious amounts of knitting and general craftiness., but I am hoping to breath a fresh breath of inspiration into it all.
Thanks for all your support and I hope you will join me this spring on my new blog/website- details to come soon!
We are week 3 into a bathroom remodel that has gotten underway in our home. It was done mostly out of necessity. When we bought this little mid-century ranch 12 years ago there was evidence of some water damage in the main upstairs bathroom. We asked the sellers to seal the cracks and over the years have watch the cracks, resealed until this past year it was very evident it would need some attention. We were holding off in case we wanted to incorporate a larger change in the mix. In the end we opted to keep it the same layout and just gut to the bones. DH has been helping our contractor who happens to be in the family and it was crazy how much water damage was there.
We now have new subflooring, new drywall where needed and are actually installing the proper backing board behind the shower tile. I saying goodbye to the 50's, tile that was cracked dull in color and just done for a bright white subway tile. The feature is really going to be the kind of wild mexican ceramic tile that we found for the flooring in a mismatch of 3 different patterns in the same color tone. We are staying modest with a deep porcelain over steel tub, pedestal sink, and upgraded comode. Keeping the space the same is a challenge- it is 5 foot by 6 foot folks!
So all of this has layers of dust in the house and also really still brings us to the place of living in this pretty small little place. Yes this is currently my dining/living room upstairs. Honestly I don't alway love it. I dream of old houses like the one I grew up in- except I like living in the city. I love the craftsman bungelows except I like my yard space that we have which is pretty unique for center of town living.
So we try to make the best of it. When we found this little place it fit most of our critera. It was within our budget, at the end of a quiet street, had a park in the neighborhood, and we could walk and bike to downtown, and a grocery. An added bonus this amazing outside space. We two huge outside decks and tons of woods instead of a neighbor to our west.
So even though we keep an eye out for something different we keep finding that this little home is still pretty sweet. In the meantime we keep trying to maintain where we can in a smart way and within our budget. Heck in the process we are able to swing a small upgrade to the half bath upstairs and I am already eyeing a quick paint and update to the downstairs bathroom with just a couple extra steps.
Believe me, I can't wait to have my bath back- showers are fine for the necessary washing but they don't have anything on a relaxing bath at night. Two more weeks= fingers crossed, and we should hopefully have it all fresh, funky, and ready to go.
So onward ho, keep trying to modestly make it our place to play and rest, where we share and give. Where we play music, knit, and make toys. Where we have messes and hopefully tons more joy before the future when my boys footsteps are less here and more on their own paths. Now I am off to walk to the grocery- check back soon for more pictures.
I do believe I may have found myself a new New Year tradition. You may remember that I began a sky scarf last year. This project is a conceptual knitting project that is the brillant brainchild of Leafcutter Designs. I was not sure if I would follow it all through to be honest- I only made it a few months on the photo a day project a could years ago. But follow it till last new years eve I did and I now have a scarf that creates a beautiful representation of my Missouri skies from 2014.
So I thought I would share some of my strategies I used and what inspired me to take go ahead and cast on for 2015. I learned a couple things in doing the scarf- the most immediate; to take time each day and be outside and look up. Sometimes we get going so fast in our day to day lives that we forget to just stop and look up. Often I would look up multiple times to before I made my final decision on what colors would represent that day. I also learned how much I enjoyed working with Alpaca yarn- lucious!
My fail safe method of knitting with six balls of yarn attached was using a cake pan to everything in. Yes, I am a bit neurotic and used a vintage blue enamelware pan so it was visually appealing to me. After all this was going to be sitting and moving throughout my home for a year. So when I would sit down, it would look like a hot mess, but all I would do it choose my two colors and then untwist each one, bring them together and then wrap and twist around the other 4 strands and twist up the edge.
I also was not too hard on myself. If I got behind a day or two I wrote down my observation in a little notebook I kept in my tray and and then knit it the next time I sat down. I generally was pretty good about knitting each day but when I did sit down and get caught up to knit I found myself remembering things I did either by myself of with the boys based on how I remembered the sky- extra bonus.
There were a couple times, I would call it a midway hump- right around July that I was convinced it would be one and done. I would not cast on again for another sky scarf. But then it was was so pretty that by November I was pretty sure I would do another in 2015. Plus I found that I only needed to add the dark blue, it seemed like a waste of yarn not to do another. I guess in general Missouri has some pretty nice skies.
Each month was a little over 5ish inches and the whole scarf was about 5 and half ish feet long. I am pretty sure I will end up hanging this more like art after I block it, but I am having fun wearing it in the new year so far. I am having fun going back and remembering some of the skies, like that heatwave in July and the blasted grey days in most of December.
Welcome 2015! You may remember last year we discovered the pig as being a part of New Year good luck symbols in Germany. Thanks to my vintage postcard fetish it sent me down a rabbit's hole of discovering many good luck symbols for the New Year. It does not take too much to thrill this girl's heart.
2014 was a great year of change, luck came my way with a very welcomed and sought after career change. I left the book world and pointed myself down a clover lined path to start working with 4-H. I am excited for what 2015 holds for my family.
We are a meat eating family, but we try to bring more and more awareness and counciousness to our food sources. Silas had won a local country cured ham that he shared with his whole family both for Christmas and also for our New Years Hoppin John. My hubby even made us some simple eggs benedict this morning that included our backyard chicken eggs- delish!
I also found some little German marzipan pigs for the boys at our local Lucky's market- yes it is called Lucky's. Silas thought they tasted a bit like paydough!
I wish you all a year full of bouquets of lucky clovers and much crafty joy. To start the new year off I am offering a simple little wood pig- he is made from my stash of maple. To win just leave a comment between now and Sunday at midnight. Let me know one of your favorite good luck symbols.
Not sure about you, but in these parts New Years is all about relaxing and bringing in the New Year with some bubbly and family game time. I tend to revel in a few days coming off not making "things" like a crazy mama right before the holidays. We also are rapidly becoming a game loving crew here. We got the boys monopoly for the holidays which brought on a brutal multi-hour/day game that we sacraficed the dining room table to during Christmas break.
I do enjoy a good game that combines a tiny bit of skill and quite a bit more luck. My sis in law introduced me to "spoons" and I am taken with it! So for a quick little gift for your New Years party and if you feel like giving your hand to metal stamping this is fun little gift, especially for family friendly sparkling nights.
Mind you the first time I tried the metal stamping on spoons I had a pinterest fail, set it aside for a few months and then learned by observation and research. Getting the right hammer and metal block make difference. Otherwise just some tape, sharpie, set of metal stamps, and old spoons is all you need. Michaels store does carry the tools and don't forget your 40% off coupons to help with the savings. Here is a good tutorial.
Combine the lucky spoon with a pack of cards and you have a sweet little lucky New Years game gift. My local favorite makers One Canoe Two has some lovely illustrated cards that I love for the local flavor. Complete with the instructions for the game, you are all set. Here is little image of the instructions that I found courtesy via grandparents.com.
Hope you are lucky enough to enjoy some good crafting, gaming, and family time tomorrow! Happy New Years Eve!
It has been some welcomed days off work, making last minute gifts, monopoly games and family time. And in the midst of it all I was able work in plenty of knitting. In this second year of knitting I was able to make my first shawl, plenty of wash cloths, a scraf or two, my first sweater, and a couple of hats for my boys. I may not be the fastest knitter, but I am pretty excited with the results of my second year of knitting. I was even able to sneak in some color change practice among a sweet candy cane treat here and there! I like to call this short scarf candy cane stripes or "sheep meets alpaca"
I am quite certain that this knitting thing is not a phase. I have learned quite a bit and still have much to learn also. I am happy that I can recognize my stitches and often correct my mistakes, and there are plenty of them.
The sweater was indeed my biggest challenge. I enjoy the craftsy class that Santa gifted me last year. At many times it was dubbed the green beast! Santa must have thought I faired ok with the sweater as this year I was gifted "my first sock" class. I am looking forward to a swifter turn around time as well as incorporating several other fun projects. A knitting tattoo- yep it just might happen in 2015 as well!
Thanks to my knitting friends and supporters on this journey- we are all stitched together loop after loop!
As the magic has been growing all month long I thought I would share how we count down. Our number one way of counting down all of the wonderful holiday traditions we incorporate into our family is with our wood spiral. We mark the days of King Lauren Day ( St. Nicholas Day) with a wood shoe, a starboy for St. Lucia Day, our solstice squirrel for Solstice, and an angel for Christmas Eve. Just a simple little spiral that we move a candle from day to day and light it for dinner.
This season we also discovered this wonderful book The Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits that has a small chapter for each day leading to Dec 25 when the Christmas Tomte visits the rabbit family. It has been quite sweet and a welcome addition to our night time routines. We are quite fond of Mr. Tomten (Tomte) in these parts and the story heritage he has for looking after children and farm critters. This has been a great way to countdown the days. Yes I did knit that tiny little red hat, it has a central part in the story, and I am happy I found my size 2 needles to knit it on!
So for now it is time for mine and hubby's tradition of making something hot to drink and breaking out the cloth bags and time to wrap presents. I wish you all the best this holiday season. I look forward to sharing more with you soon. More calendars will be coming to the shop after a wee rest for this toymaker. Thank you all for your support of the past year. Happy Holidays!
I am quite keen on the "trees on things in mason jars" this season. Let's just go ahead and call it "haulin" crafting shall we! A couple years ago we made our waterless mason snowglobe with some vintage elves and deer. Since my career has taken a lovely ag swing that brings me back to my family roots I made a farm inspired jar for work holiday decor.
Mason jar and tractor came from the antique mall. The tree and glitter from the craft store- all together it was under $25 to make. Tonight I am working up a few more with some matchbox cars- it is a little addicting!
Though we may not have a tractor or really cool old truck to toss our tree on, we do still believe in support our local tree farmers and had a great time getting our tree.