Monday, 28 March 2016

Just a Little of Everything This March Break

This year I was in the mood for a quiet March Break.  We had been travelling quite a bit this winter and I just felt like staying at home, planning some last minute activities and not packing my suitcase. 
It did not turn out as planned but it was better.  
A ride out to the bush is always fun on the back of the truck.
Aunt Margy is reminiscing about when she was a girl growing up here
 and when her own dad was making maple syrup.
 This year we tapped a few trees after taking a break for a few years.  In the past, Ian has tapped many, many trees and made quite a bit of maple syrup.  He found that he would still be finishing up syrup season when he should be working on machinery to get ready for spring planting.  As a result, we had no maple syrup from our own trees for a few years and I understood why but I missed it nonetheless.  This winter I convinced him to just tap a few trees, maybe 40, and just do a little bit for ourselves.  It's hard not to have hundreds of taps when there are so many trees around but we needed it to be manageable so that he wouldn't be over-run with sap.  I love having our own syrup but what I really love is a good reason to spend time outside, in the bush, when winter is disappearing and the sun is getting warmer.  We have had a few visitors out to our bush to which is always a lot of fun including Aunt Margy and Uncle Mark; we had them over for a dinner party at the beginning of March Break. 
At the beginning of the week, the kids and I went on a road trip to St. Anne de la Parade in Quebec with some friends.  Four moms and twelve kids for two nights in a beautiful, old, country home.

Doesn't everyone take a photo in Costco with their kids? 
We were actually mistaken for a class on a school trip!

We love spending time together and this was one of the rare moments we had of peace and quiet.
Photo Credit:  Gemma Robillard
Once we got home, we hosted a small St. Patrick's Day dinner party and the rest of the week was filled with playdates, shopping, sleepovers, birthday parties, and crafting.

The girls love making videos and they have a "fake" YouTube channel where
they talk about all sorts of things: fashion, hair, crafts etc. 
March Break provides time for them to do all things fun!

Thankfully no one has taken my photo with my new toy but during March Break
my new treadmill was delivered to me and Ian took a few hours to put it altogether.

I did find a little bit of time for finishing up a small sewing project but our week was jam-packed and filled with fun.  There are times I worry we are too busy and sometimes we are but I have to step back and be VERY thankful to be blessed with so many friends and family members that include us in their life.  Making connections and memories is what is important and we had a very memorable week!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

On Being A Maker

Over the passed few years I have heard, quite a few times, "I would love to learn to sew."; "Can you teach me to sew?", "I own a sewing machine but I don't know how to use it."...

Many of my friends, in my generation, either did not learn to sew or learned a long time ago in home-ec class but it didn't stick with them.  Quite honestly the idea of home-making was not a focus or even encouraged very much in my generation's time.  We graduated high school and went on to post-secondary education in the hopes of having a successful career while raising a beautiful family of our own.  I believe this is what is called HAVING IT ALL! 

Do you want to know a secret? 

All through my teenage years and early adulthood, I struggled with what I wanted to do with my life.  I was an intelligent person, earned fairly good grades, was highly encouraged to attend university and to have a good career making a good income.  My parents did not live an easy life while they raised a family so they just wanted what they thought was best for us and quite honestly, I agreed with them. 

In the back of my mind though, if I really thought about it, I didn't really want that "typical career".  I dreamed of raising a family, living on a farm and being at home working.  I was always "crafting" and loved the home-making arts of sewing, painting, cooking, preserving and gardening.  I was fortunate enough to marry someone who wanted to farm and we made it a priority to live on one farming income so I could be at home raising our children.  I have always had a large collection of crafting supplies, I learned how to preserve from family and friends and then on my own.  I own two sewing machines and have made many items for my family over the years.  Often I hear people say "How do you find the time?"  "You are always making something!".  My internal response to that is that I make the time.  I have to.  I have no choice because if I didn't make the time to create and make, then I would be a very unhappy person. 

Today I was reminded of those choices my husband and I made.  Our generation is working hard, playing hard and living a very busy life.  Sometimes I wonder if we, as a generation, are missing something.  Most of the time it's less expensive to buy something already made than to make it ourselves but we miss the satisfaction of creating and making and we also lose control over what we get.  I love that when I make something I know what went into it; ingredients, materials, time and above all, the love for what I am doing.  I made that baby quilt from love.  I made that jam because I love to make jam.  I painted that room because.... okay now I am getting carried away... I do not like painting rooms but I do it for other reasons!

I am going to make it a goal of mine to teach more.  I want to provide opportunities for others to learn some of what I already know about being a maker.  Do you have a desire to make anything?  Do you wish you knew how to sew or how to preserve fruit?  If you do and you think I can help you, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I have a few ideas in the works!