Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Knitted spiral scarf

I finally finished knitting the spiral scarf.

Pattern: Lace Spiral Scarf by Gail Owens from 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders
Yarn: 2 skeins of Louisa Harding La Salute

And started knitting Elisa's Nest Tote, but already made few mistakes in the first few rows and will have to re-do everything.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Inspirational book

As parents, we’re given a tremendous opportunity to nurture, support, and encourage children in their early artistic expressions. A beautiful side effect of that effort is that we can nurture, support, and encourage our own artistic expression at the same time, even if we were never supported that way as children.
Amanda Blake Soule “The Creative Family”

Finally my copy of SouleMama’s The Creative Family arrived this week. Just holding the book and looking through the photos made me feel happy: Amanda’s book, like her blog, is so full of love, respect and care for herself, her family and their creative spirit. I’m enjoying slowly reading through it – few pages everyday. The little girl loves looking at the cover of the book, pointing at all the kids and mama in turn. I wish I could show you a photo of her looking at the book, but every time I take my camera out I get this reaction:

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Purple for Julia

Today was a beautifully warm and sunny day. However my poor husband had to work, so Julia volunteered to come over and help us enjoy playing at the local park. Since my order of silver earring findings arrived in the morning, during Cat's nap I made Julia a set of purple earrings

to go with her purple brooch and purple crochet rope bracelet I made for her in February.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

The beaded bead

While looking for something else I stumbled on “Three-dimensional finite point groups and the symmetry of beaded beads” article (pdf) that was written for Journal of Mathematics and the Arts. Isn’t that the best combination possible? I wish I could get some copies, but it looks like it is only available by subscription.

However I got out my copy of Carol Wilcox Wells' The Art & Elegance of Beadweaving book and made a simple beaded spoke bead.
I used some left-over bead from a different project and ended up with too many shades of green. Also the colour of some lighter beads changed due to the dark green thread used - another valuable lesson learned. However now that I know how to make these beads I will try out few different colour combinations that hopefully will look more harmonious.

If you want to see some exquisite beads, head to Bead Infinitum site.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

All along

I don’t seem to have much luck with writing quote of the week posts recently, even though for a change I have plenty of quotes to share with you.

Occasionally I watch some TV and few weeks ago while watching very enjoyable The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency movie, I was struck by how much attention I paid to the beautiful colours of the buildings and clothes and this quote popped into my head:

The world was always
there before,
but where
was I?
Erica Jong The Raspberries in My Driveway

Additionally every time I see an episode of The Great British Menu, I get frustrated at not being able to get a better view of Prue Leith’s necklaces, as I would love to study how they are made. Trying to create simple things and seeing my daughter discover the world lead me to being more aware of my surroundings. Nowadays every time I step outside there is something new to see and to experience: the fascinating knitwear, the unique jewellery pieces, the fresh green of the spring leaves, the bird songs, the feel of the cold wind.

Ah raspberry -
if you are so beautiful
upon my ready tongue,
imagine what wonders
lie in store
for me!
Erica Jong The Raspberries in My Driveway

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Honey drops

Yesterday I made my first set of earrings.
The only other craft project that had any progress in the last two weeks is Lace Spiral Scarf by Gail Owens from 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders.
However at my current speed I may not get a chance to wear it this spring, as I'm still at the half way point.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Various everyday bits

This weekend, after months of trying, I finally managed to photograph my favourite locks in the whole wide world.

Cat’s favourite book at the moment is Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. We read it so many times that two nights in the row my dreams consisted of seeing different objects, pointing at them and saying “I spy …”.

I suspect tonight I’ll be dreaming of trains as I spent most of my free time today trying to figure out the easiest (and cheapest) way to book train tickets from Odessa to Kiev for 8 people. Ukrainian rail doesn’t make it easy for people outside Ukraine. As far as I can tell only Ukrainian travel agencies are allowed to sell the tickets and there aren’t many of them around on the web and some of those only deliver tickets to the addresses inside the Ukraine.

Clive recently stopped spending Sundays working on renovating his investment property, so the three of us get to do something fun together instead. I love all the extra time we have to spend together and enjoy every second of it, but it means that I’m too exhausted to blog on Sunday nights. Therefore I need to figure out a different day for my “quote of the week” post. I’ll try Thursday and/or Friday to see, which one works better for me.

Saturday, 12 April 2008


I disappeared from blogging again, didn’t I (at least the verbal, non photo type one)? I needed to be silent, to think, to adjust to the new life circumstances. I gave myself a week to plan and to finish off few non-urgent chores that were sitting at the bottom of my task list for too long. And somehow one week turned into two and I started to get frustrated at my perceived lack of progress. I have the tendency to focus on things not done slighting my own accomplishments. This leads to the discouragement and disinclination to do anything. However my awareness of this downward spiral helps me to fight it: I wrote down the competed tasks and improvements made (we are certainly eating better and healthier now), I made new task lists, cleaned up (after the house mess reaches a certain point it starts to affect my mood in a very negative way), looked at my finished craft projects and others posts and photos. And today seeing Cumin Cat’s finished crocheted necklace made me want to pick up my crochet hook and instilled into me the new desire to create and communicate, so I thought I’ll say a quick hello to you all today :-). Hope you are having fantastic warm weekend.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Belated quote of the week

Be thankful that there are plates to be washed; that means there was food, that you fed someone, that you’ve lavished care on one or more people, that you cooked and laid the table. Imagine the millions of people at this moment who have absolutely nothing to wash up and no one for whom to lay the table.
Paulo Coelho The Witch of Portobello.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Discovering the world: snow

Insane weather

On Friday we walked outside in long-sleeved t-shirts, today we woke up to this

Saturday, 5 April 2008

About blogging

I was tagged by Driftwood

1. Why did you start your blog?

I blame it on peer – pressure: it felt like all my friends started one and I could no longer resist the temptation. Also it was the easiest (and least time consuming) way for keeping family and friends updated on our everyday life.

2. How did you come up with your blog name?

I don’t really remember. I suspect that while writing this post about motherhood I remembered Ordinary Miracles poem by one of my favourite poets Erica Jong and decided to change the name of the blog.

3. Do your friends and family know about your blog? What do they think of it?

Yes, they do, but I’m not sure how many of them still read it. I suspect that my mum and some of my female friends check it mostly for the baby pictures. I still haven’t figured out why my husband, who sees me everyday, reads it. But recently he started threatening to start his own blog.

4. How do you write posts?

I usually have wonderful perfect posts composed in my mind, but by the time I get to sit in front of the laptop late in the evening all the words disappear (I am considerably more verbal in the mornings). So I start typing in Word whatever snippets are still floating around my brain; then edit, search for ideal words in Thesaurus, occasionally check the exact meanings of words in and edit again. I wish I had someone to proofread my ramblings before I post them.

5. Have you ever had a troll or had to delete unkind comments?

Not yet (I bet I’m going to jinx myself now that I wrote it)

6. Do you check your stats? Do you care how many people read your blog? If you care how do you increase traffic?

I have two counters :-), so I guess I do care. I used to check them everyday, but now I only check ShinyStat one occasionally mainly to see if there were any funny search keywords that lead someone here. I’m still indecisive about increased traffic: on one hand it would be pleasant to get more “Wow, that is lovely thing you made”, on the other I’m shy and get uncomfortable by too much attention.

7. What kind of blogs/posts interest you?

My blogglines are always changing and growing. I usually add and keep blogs that inspire me; make me laugh and cry; help me to keep things in perspective.

I like to read my friend’s blogs; blogs of other mothers with children the same age or slightly older than Cat; blogs that are adoption stories, specially of older kids; blogs with beautiful photos and of course craft blogs.

8. What do you like and dislike about blogging?

I like knowing what happens in my friends’ lives. I love seeing how much goodness and beauty there is in the world, how many people find time and energy to be creative and kind. I like the feeling of belonging I get from it, the discovering of similarities in people, who initially appear totally different from me, and differences in people, who appear the same as me.

I’m not very good with words and often feel that I’m unable to express my feelings and experiences well enough for others to really understand them. But then I stumble on posts, which make me nod my head in agreement, and I know that some people would get what I’m trying to articulate without long explanations because they feel the same or had alike experiences.

I don’t like that I/my friends are less likely to email/call each other because blogging is supposedly keeping us up-to-date. I get frustrated by how long it takes me to write some posts. :-). And my irrational worry of breaking blog etiquette.

I tag Starfish and Rachael. I’m tempted to tag TurningLight just so you’ll click on the link and see the beautiful beads she makes, but she doesn’t read my blog (what’s the etiquette for this situation?). I will be interested to read the answers of others, so please play along if you want to.