I Made Things In March

It’s taken me a while to write this because I’d been waiting for a nice sunny day to take the accompanying pictures. For almost two months, that day didn’t come. March and most of April was so cold, dark and grey I just couldn’t finish this post. It’s finally Spring though and I feel alive again and I’m getting things done.

Moppe Ikea Hack

Apparently, Ikea discontinued these for a while but brought them back by customer demand. I actually picked up this one at a thrift store a while ago for about $5. I stained it this chestnut waterbased stain that I already had and then ordered the cardholder/pulls from Etsy.

I’m really happy with how this came out. Eventually, it’s is going to be used for storage in my craft room when I finally clear the junk off the counter. I’ve also got another on deck for refinishing, as my husband wants one now too!

This is what it looked like before (Photo source: Ikea)

Purl Soho Toddler City Gym Shorts

This is another free pattern from Purl Soho. I went with size 4/5 for our almost 3-year old just in case it was a small fit but these seem on the larger side, so they go into storage until next summer. I might try to whip up a smaller pair for this year.

Imperial Striped Afghan

I’ve always wanted a wool HBC point blanket but I’ve never had any luck finding a second-hand one that hasn’t been discoloured or moth-eaten. Obviously, I could buy new but I just can’t bring myself to drop that kind of dough on one. With having had pets (rest in peace, sweet kitties) and now a toddler, we really can’t have nice things.

I’d made a baby sized version of this for Little B, but I’ve had it in the back of my mind to make one for our guest room and since we just bought a new daybed for that space, this was the perfect time to get it done.

Painted Birdhouses

This project did not exactly align with my use what I have initiative. Little B and I were picking up some things at Dollarama when she saw a little birdhouse painting kit. I agreed to buy it for her and then had this vision of my own little village of Wes Anderson style birdhouses. So, I bought some birdhouses for myself too.

There were a few problems with this project. First, the dollar store houses are really poor quality (surprise) and I don’t think they’ll hold up outdoors. Second, I did some reading about birdhouses after the fact and it turns out these are novelty birdhouses and unsafe for birds.

So, these will have to be decorative only and will probably disintegrate during their first rainstorm, but that’s ok because I don’t feel that I really hit the mark with these aesthetically anyway.

As for April, I started several projects but just couldn’t find the motivation to complete anything. Then, spring finally came and I’ve been spending all of my free time cleaning up our patio furniture, weeding and prepping my garden boxes for planting. I am hoping to have some of my April crafts finished this month though. Stay tuned!

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If I could play outside…

So, we’re now in the middle of April and it’s still f*$%ing winter.

I’m beyond my usual seasonal blues. I’m now bitter and angry as we’re hunkered down during what the news is calling a “potentially historic ice storm.” I tired of being cold all the time and I am completely out of ideas as to how to entertain a busy almost 3-year-old inside (she doesn’t like the cold either and loses her shit if you try to get her into a snowsuit).

My seedings in the window yesterday while my daffodils are were getting pelted with ice and snow outside below.

I want to go outside and play in the backyard.

I need sunshine.

I’m withering and wilting!

Right now, all I can do is pin gardening ideas and make plans for better days, if they ever come.

Here are my backyard goals for this summer:

1. Grow more flowers.

Last year I was focused on growing food and will be again this year. I’ve been feeling like we need a bit more colour in our yard though. We don’t have many flower beds that are in full sun so that means I’ll need to cut a bed somewhere in the middle of the yard and I can’t quite decide where to do it.

2. Grow more squash.

I was so excited about my starship squash last summer, I’ve picked up a few more varieties and the seeds are germinating as I write this. I have the same dilemma here as I do with growing sun-loving flowers though. I need to find a sufficiently sunny spot for them. I should also build a structure to grow them vertically too. Maybe something like this arch?

This photo is from Get Busy Gardening)

3. Make our deck cozy and hospitable.

Our deck could be lovely, it’s just unusable at the times we want to be on it. There are three main issues that prevent us from fully enjoying this space.

First, our cushions are usually packed away, either in the garage or somewhere in the house and I’m often too lazy to get them when I want to sit outside. The deck isn’t covered, so I don’t like leaving them exposed to the elements, but we need somewhere to store them on the deck so they’re readily available.

Another problem is our deck is positioned so that the setting sun beats down on it right at dinner time so we can’t enjoy dinner out there. We tried curtains a few years ago but they were destroyed in a windstorm and never replaced. We need something to shield us from the sunset that is sturdy enough to leave out but not permanently in place, as I would like to be able to look out over the yard throughout the rest of the day. I’m currently at a loss as to what I’m going to do there.

This is the deck on a much nicer day than today.

My last barrier to fully enjoying the deck is that when the sun goes down it gets too buggy to sit outside. I’m one of those people with whatever blood type mosquitoes love so I get swarmed at dusk. Aside from planting more repelling herbs and flowers and buying more citronella candles, I’d like to get some kind of a chair that I could cover with mosquito netting at night, if need be, as I want nothing more to than to spend my summer nights reading outside with a glass of wine.

I currently have my eye on this as a solution:

It’s from Wayfair

But for now, all I can do sit inside and sulk.

What are your gardening plans for this summer?

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Public Service Announcements

Here are a few fantastic things you need to know about if you don’t already:

The other day I was scrolling through YouTube trying to find some music to play for Little B. I’m trying to expose her to a variety of songs and genres. Somehow, I stumbled upon a cover of Olivia Newton John’s Physical by Juliana Hatfield. We loved it, and upon further investigation, it turns out she’s made an entire album of Olivia Newton-John songs!

I was such a big fan of Juliana Hatfield in the 90s – remember that time that she played the Christmas angel on My So-Called Life? Ya, that was awesome. Coupled with the fact that as a child I absolutely worshipped Olivia Newton-John, this combination is musical heaven for me.

Speaking of amazing women:

Have you heard the Unladylike podcast?

It’s a wonderfully sensible approach to feminism hosted by two very likeable and relatable women. They tackle a variety of issues and feature real stories from women who have faced adversity. Each episode has left me feeling informed, empowered and slightly outraged.

And, completely unrelated:

Dill pickle crunchy toppers!

A friend recommended these last week and I’m hooked. I guess you’re supposed to put them on burgers or casseroles but I don’t really make either of those things so I’ve just been eating them by the handful. They’re delicious and they’re made with real cucumber!

Seriously though, it always irks me a little when a company has to boast about the fact that a product actually contains the thing for which the foodstuff is named. How is that a selling feature when you’re reminding people that your products are mostly processed crap? Just let me assume I’m eating something akin to food, even if I’m not, thank you very much! Anyway, despite this, I can’t seem to keep my paws out of the container whenever I pass through the kitchen.

What are you excited about this week?

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