Saturday, June 27, 2009


I've been a bit of a slacker lately when it comes to blogging and there is so much to blog about!

I finished Ethan's sweater. I made the largest size (10-12) rather than his own size (6-8) because I was afraid he would be a size 10 by the time I finished it and/or I wanted him to be able to wear it more than just a few times. Of course, it is wool so it has been too warm for him to wear it yet. He was very excited about receiving it and insisted on taking it camping with us, though it didn't get cold enough to wear it there either.
Ethan's Sweater Ethan's Sweater
Ethan's sweater is #24 in the 52 craft challenge, and I'm now 3 weeks behind in my challenge. I have a couple of baby projects coming up, so hopefully that will help me catch up.

Next Post: Our camping trip

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Summertime and some FOs

Summer is definitely underway in our neck of the woods. Our first camping trip of the year is planned for next weekend. I promised Ethan a ferry boat ride this summer, so we decided to combine it with camping and are headed off to Orcas Island.

The weather has been warm and dry (unusually dry for June actually) and Ethan has been participating in all kinds of activities. He just finished PeeWee Baseball and swimming. Next week he starts PeeWee Sports Camp and soon starts tumbling. I'm still trying to find that balance between what he wants to do without over scheduling him, and what our budget will allow. We don't stop school in the summer, but we are taking a slower pace. I also hope to make more time for field trips and special things as the summer weather cooperates, plus camping trips are great learning opportunities!

On to the FOs! The small monthly KAL/CAL I participate in has chosen the Wishy Washy Fishy Tawashi for our June project. This was a quick and easy knit. This is sort of a dish scrubby and I chose cotton rather than acrylic, because wet acrylic just feels gross to me, though it probably has better scrubbing power. This project is item #22 in my 52-craft challenge.
Fishy Tawashi

Item 23 in my 52-craft challenge was another apron for Ethan. This one he will use at home while helping me in the kitchen or working on art projects.
Ethan's Apron
We broke it in on Friday while making Strawberry Ice Cream from The Book of Days, a wonderful book by Stefani at Blue Yonder. The Summer book 1, the first one I purchased, is more than 30 pages full of kid-friendly and family-friendly activities that encourage families to slow down and enjoy their time together. There are recipes, nature activities, art projects, science projects, games, and more. Stefani has done all the work for you, including supplemental resources and ways to expand each activity in the Parent's Field Guide, included in each issue. I can already tell that this book is going to be a great source of fun and adventure, because it is all right in front of me, with minimal planning.

By the way, Stefani hand-illustrates the book (and her website), and the pictures are adorable!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tide pools

Friday I took Ethan on a field trip to Rosario Beach, where there are great tide pools. There we met Adam, the interpretive guide for Deception Pass State Park, who gave us a guided tour of the tide pools.
Here is the pool area of Rosario Beach:
Rosario Beach

We saw a lot of marine life that day, and I hope Ethan enjoyed it as well as learned from it. I'm sure we'll be back often as it is fascinating to see what lives in the pools and its close to home.

The first thing we saw when we got to the park were rabbits. It was late morning, and rabbits are plentiful on this island. They're also pretty fearless... I stayed on the trail and one that we passed didn't run away until I was about 2 feet away from him.

In the tide pools we got to see some cool things that aren't common unless there is a minus tide and you are looking for them.

We saw Red Sea Cucumbers:
Red Sea Cucumber

Tube Worms:
Tube Worms

and Anemone:

We also saw various limpets, chiton, shore crabs, a large rock crab, hermit crabs, barnacles, fish, and finished the trip of with an eagle flying over head.

Ethan finished the morning by throwing rocks in the water and jumping waves.
Ethan playing on the beach

You can see the rest of the photos from our tide pool adventures on Flickr.

Friday, June 5, 2009

52 craft challenge #21 Booga Bag

I have a group of internet friends that I do a monthly knit-along or crochet-along with. Our project for May was the Booga Bag. I decided to modify mine because as the pattern was written, the finished bag is about 4 x 7 x 8 and this just seemed too small for me. So, I made it bigger. I used Plymouth Boku in color "4", which is purple, green, and orange, and just a gorgeous colorway. I had a big problem with this yarn; 4 out of the six skeins had knots. Two of the skeins even had multiple knots. For a 50 gram skein, that is just WAY to many.

Now that it is done, I still LOVE the colors, but I've decided that I like the look of this bag as originally written, taller than it is wide... mine was much wider than it was tall. I just kept knitting until I ran out of yarn, and I bought 6 skeins.

The photo really doesn't do the bag justice... the colors are much more rich. I was having lighting issues when I took it.

Booga bag

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Gift

So my birthday is next month. About a week ago, I mentioned to Cliff that I planned on buying myself a new camera lens for my birthday and showed him which one I wanted. Well, he bought it for me! I know my birthday is still a month away, but he gave it to me now so he wouldn't forget what I wanted or get the wrong one. I got out and played with it a bit in the garden. It is a Canon EF 50 mm 1:1.8 II. From all the research I did, this appears to be a great priced, versatile lens. It is supposed to be great for portraits, but I didn't have a human subject handy, just flowers... so I played with bokeh.

I've not used a fixed lens before, so it was definitely a new experience. Here are some of my first attempts:





I think I LOVE this lens!