Skip to content

It’s That Time of Year part 5

November 13, 2014
by Erin B

A long, LONG time ago, I bought a vintage wooden school desk at a garage sale for about $5.  It had been coloured by the previous child who used it.  I very carefully took it all the way a part and packaged up all the hardware.  I sanded the wood and primed it and then the weekend ended and I packed it away.  In pieces.

Little Girl was barely Toddler Girl back then and the desk was humourously too large for her.  I wasn’t in a  rush.  It wasn’t something i could work on while taking care of her at home when it was just the two of us and it wasn’t pressing enough to make other child care arrangements for me to work on it.

Little girl is suddenly too big for the little antique table and chair that were vintage and second hand when MY mom got them as a child.  So they went down to my sewing room and I spent last week finishing painting and rebuilding the desk.  It turned out well.

No before pictures I’m afraid.

But in order to get it into her room, we had to do a major purge of the crap stuff she is hoarding has in her room.  That took fours hours and some serious negotiation on Saturday.  We ended up with one bag of garbage, one of donation stuff and a big box of “treasures” that we off loaded shared with the mommies from the local mommies group.

Yes, it would have been MUCH faster to just do it while she was at school, but I am not tossing/donating/rehoming her things with out her permission.  Which meant that every scrap of paper, every broken “free” from the grocery store/dentist/who-ever gives-out-this-stuff-to-keep-kids-quite toy, every crayon we have ever gotten at a restaurant and brought home despite them not colouring very well was a negotiation.  And then we vacuumed.



IMG_0565 IMG_0566

IMG_0567We are both really happy with the out come.  I just which I could find the butterfly rug that we had in her “library” under her bed.  My knees are getting to old to climb under there to read books to her without the carpet to soften the floor a little.


It’s That Time of Year part 4

November 12, 2014
by Erin B

Of course, in order to finish C’s socks for her, I needed to take a stalled pair of online socks off the needles.  They went back on the needles last week and I finished they by Saturday.

Honestly, I’m not sure why I keep buying OnLine. I don’t really like the yarn. I like the self patterning. Same thing with Regia. Every ball I say, I’m never buying this again. Then I do. The colourways get me. Until recently, Opal was not available locally. I have a ball of Opal waiting to cast on and I am looking forward to trying it.


Less proud of these ones. I was experimenting with a new toe and I’m not sure I like it. Not a big fan of the feel of the yarn, but they fit perfectly. I now have three pairs of this OnLine Jupiter series socks and one more ball lurking in my stash. I will knit it. It’s pink and orange. Really, though, I would trade for a ball of Sock It To Me in tweed by Estelle or anything Opal in a heart beat.


It’s That Time of Year part 3

November 10, 2014
by Erin B

I finished C’s Rainbow socks.

Fuck, I hate that yarn.


C, I am so, SO Sorry I suggested that yarn.  As in David Tennet, Doctor Who, so, So Sorry.

I talked C into trying to knit socks.  I helped her pick this yarn.  It’s Chroma from Knit Picks.  It’s horribly splitty single.  The colour progression is crazy gorgeous.  Even more so in real life.  They are the first pair of socks I have knit where someone tried to buy them off the needles.  She got mad when I said that they weren’t for sale and for the hours of work they took, even if I charged $200 and I still would not be making minimum wage.

I finished them at the end of October at Fall Conference.


IMG_0560C is trying socks again, this time with some well behaved Paton’s that was a trade with another knitter.

These ones were a plain Two at a time, toe up, but I used the Fish Lips Kiss Heel.  Then I think I bought that pattern for everyone I knew who knit socks.  It was so helpful.  There is no way I would have tried this without the recommendation for how to knit off a foot template.  Go. Buy it.  It’s only a dollar.


It’s That Time of Year part 2

November 9, 2014
by Erin B

Then those socks I started in March of 2012.  It took me a year to finish the first one, then it got lost for a year and I eventually just frogged it and started over.

Round two, took them on a trip to the USA hunting for tractors:







Well, they were done by the beginning of October.  Two At A Time toe up adaptation of Octopus’ Garden, using Cascade Heritage Paints in Aqua Sol, and a Sweet Tomato Heel.


IMG_0543I could happily enter a monogamous relationship with this yarn.  The only thing stopping me is that it isn’t available locally.  That and a brief staff discount at the LYS filled my stash with Alegria, which is even MORE squishy, but I really like the Cascade colours.

It’s That Time of Year

November 8, 2014
by Erin B

It has snowed twice.  This morning the son stuck around until after lunch causing traffic accidents in front of my house and a full blown case of fall cleaning.

Well, winter cleaning, since I follow the agricultural calendar and use cross quarter days to mark my seasons.


I have a full blown case of nesting with a side of what The Yarn Harlot calls “Finish-it-up-itis.”

First, my bathroom:

IMG_0506 IMG_0511 IMG_0509 IMG_0508 IMG_0507 IMG_0505 IMG_0504

My Version of Borscht

October 19, 2014
by Erin B


My mom always made beet soup when I was growing up.  Somehow I never actually got the recipe from her.  Here is my recipe:

1 1/2 cups diced potatoes

2 cups shredded beets – golden or traditional red (use the food processor and save yourself some heart ache)

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 cup shredded carrot

1 cup green beans

1 cup peas

1 Tbsp parsley (dried)

1 Tbsp (at least) dried dill

a couple of grinds of black pepper

1 onion chopped

1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 Tbsp sugar.

1/4 cup butter


Put the potatoes and beets in a your largest stock pot and add enough water to cover, the salt and vinegar, bring to a boil.

Add the carrots, beans, peas, and more water to cover, bring to a boil.

After 15 minutes add herbs, onion celery and tomatoes, boil 30 minutes.

Totally optional, but if you are so inclined you can add a litre of no salt beef stock here if you like.  It doesn’t really need it.

Add sugar and butter to adjust the acid and add body.  Boil another 10 minutes.

Serve with a blob of sour cream to stir in.  Or don’t.  I like mine plain.  Freezes well.



Canadian Thanksgiving Countdown

October 12, 2014
by Erin B

Things to remember this year: Don’t peak at the turkey, just trust the recipe.  Open the windows and turn off the furnace because the house will get hot.

T(urkey) minus 24 h: Brine turkey according to my variation on the Alton Brown Recipe

T minus 18 hours: Spend two hours up with coughing Little Girl, send out sick person in the house warning to everyone who was invited.

T minus 15 hours: T’s turn to be up with sick Little Girl

T minus 9 hours: wonder who scheduled Thanksgiving to coincide with the start of cold and flu season. Try to schedule for food exchange with guest who don’t want to enter Little Girl’s blast radius.  Organize quiet activities for Little Girl to do in her room.

T minus 8 hours: Realize I don’t need to put the turkey in until 2pm, think about what still needs to be done to the bathroom.  Organize hanging baskets for washcloths.

T minus 7 hours 45 minutes: get distracted with blogging, go out to buy hardware for the bathroom

T minus 7 hours: make bacon and eggs for first round of holiday guests leaving before Turkey.

T minus 6 hours: finish bathroom reno.

T minus 5.5 hours: Send Little Girl for a nap in spite of her protests because she is just too crabby.

T minus 5 hours: Watch the latest Doctor Who episode

T minus 3.5 hours: turn oven on to 500F

T minus 3 hours: put bird in oven, start sautéing onions and celery for dressing. Cube bread.

T minus 2.5 hours, turn oven down to 350F.  Pour onion and celery over bread, season with salt, pepper, and sage, drizzle with broth.

T minus 2 hours: put casserole dish (with lid) full of stuffing into oven. Give up on having Little Girl nap and let her watch Day of the Doctor.

T minus 90 minutes: exchange text messages with guests to arrange food exchange.  I swapping a quarter roast turkey and dressing and cranberries and asparagus sautéd in bacon fat for a pie and some lovely cauliflower.  Start the heel on the pair of socks I’m knitting for C.

T minus 30 minutes: turn off the oven, start the potatoes, start the carrots, start the asparagus, realize Little Girl hasn’t coughed all day.  Re-invite the guests.

T minus 10 minutes: Panic, Mash the potatoes, drain the carrots, make the gravy.  Scream in despair. Get responding family to clear and set the table, find out C can make hollandaise sauce.  Tell her to make it so.

T minus 5 minutes: have Little Girl call guests and tell them we are ready.

Eat at 6:15 only 15 minutes later than planned.



Bring Home Pizza

September 18, 2014
by Erin B

This morning, when T was getting ready for work, he told me about the stressful meetings that were on his schedule for today and how he needed the kitchen table tonight because he had a meeting in Australia.

I said that wasn’t a problem because Little Girl and I will be at a thing at her school tonight.  Then I added that I had a fun-filled day of sealing grout and installing bathroom mirrors.

“Bring home pizza,”  I said as he was leaving.

He stopped and turned and looked at me.  “Is that like ‘Come Home With Your Shield Or On It?'” he asked.

We both laughed and I said no, but it would be helpful.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I think I lied.


Update: I was wrong, he is meeting the Australians via his office, not our kitchen.  I’m on my own.  Drat.  Today has not been a good day.

No Bathroom Yet

September 13, 2014
by Erin B

But we are getting closer!

The tile is in.


All the tile.


Even more tile.







Miles of grout.IMG_0450The vanity went in.

A little too close to the tile, but our installer was great and moved it for us.

See? Too close.


That’s better.


Here is the the plan.  We are starting too look like it a bit.  The light fixture is here…. or at least in my car, waiting to be installed.  The medicine cabinet… isn’t like in the picture, but it is in the garage waiting to be painted white.  I also have to instal the latch.


This week in my bathroom

September 6, 2014
by Erin B

Not much happened.

We primed the drywall and had an emergency ceiling repair.  That got it to the white box stage.


Then we used Mapai Aqua Dessents to water proof the shower.  It goes on with a brush and roller.  Here it is as I cut in.


Here is a popcorn-free ceiling shot


First coat of the water proofing.  It officially takes two coats, but it took us three to get it to the thickness the package said we needed.


Floor repairs where we had some damp:

Wednesday we got our floor:


Yesterday they started the tile.

IMG_0424After talking to the tilers, there have been some changes.  Instead of black grout we are going with dark grey and we are adding an extra band of accent tile.  Which I have to go pick up now.  More updates next week.