I finally took our winter wreath down this week…with the way winter has been hanging on this year I don’t even feel that late! Our front door is definitely in need of a little TLC. Our ancient storm door, with torn screen, and time-worn wooden house door are, without doubt, a work in progress. Without the winter wreath the door really seemed bare.
I had seen some lovely fabric covered wreaths on pinterest, and as I had some fun vintage bedsheet fabric kicking around from another project in the works I thought I could add such a wreath to brighten up the door.
I had wanted a foam core, but the day I was able to get into Michael’s was the day they were out of the smooth rounded wreath form in the size I wanted. On my way out I happened to pass by the straw wreaths, and for half the price they had the size I wanted…so my wreath is a little lumpy? I could compost it if I really wanted to…
I wrapped long strips of fabric around the wreath, the ends of the strips were attached to the back with glue. The strips were folded in half along the length so the raw edges wouldn’t show, but I think I may just make another wreath sometime, this next one with raw edges showing.
It’s a bright spring-y wreath to have on the door, and it makes me smile each time I come home.
Most of the time so far has been spent cleaning up. And with a long winter and two dogs…well, it hasn’t been pretty. I have no pictures. Really, no one wants to see that.
But it does feel so good to be back in the garden again!
I just wanted to bring your attention this morning to a fabulous spring sale that Craftsy is having! If you have never checked out Craftsy before, it is worth a look. The breadth of online courses is incredible, from cake decorating to knitting and quilting to weaving. All centred on handmade.
Other than a simple hat I don’t think that I have ever actually knit something for myself to wear. I have also never knit a shawl. So I thought I would remedy both things and knit myself the Ishbel shawl with some lovely merino wool/tencel blend yarn that Papa had given me for Christmas a couple of years ago.
I quite often find myself choosing earthy browns, rusts, reds, goldens and moss colours for my clothing, so the pale shades of this Ishbel were a bit of a departure for me. But the colours seemed somehow right for an early spring shawl, and with the possibility of us visiting the sea this year I thought the “sand dollar” colourway actually quite perfect. I think it would be a lovely shawl to have on an early summer walk along the New England coast.
That is what’s on my needles this April, what’s on yours?
We experimented a little with natural dyes for our Easter eggs this year…specifically with things we already had in the house.
I had 2/3 of a head of red cabbage left in the fridge from dinner a few days ago. Using all the thicker bits I would normally cut off anyway I cut up half of that and boiled it with vinegar (and unwisely a couple of eggs as well). Red cabbage made a beautiful blue egg. Turmeric turned a brown egg yellow. Turmeric mixed with red cabbage left an egg green, onion skins made 2 red eggs, and turmeric dye mixed with leftover cabbage dye turned another orange-brown.
Did you know that the brown colouring will actually rub off if you boil the egg with any vinegar?
It does. Very odd.
I thought at first that I would boil the eggs in with the red cabbage and a bit of vinegar. But when I took the two brown eggs out, the top layer rubbed right off and I was left with two very pale purple/grey eggs. I popped them back in to a cold dye bath in the fridge and that seemed to do the trick. Then as I was rubbing oil into the blue shells I dropped one…just as well it was hard boiled.
In fact, the only eggs that kept their original brown colouring throughout the dyeing process were the red ones dyed in onion skins. The orange-brown egg also did not have the original brown colouring rub off, but only because I wasvery careful not to rub the egg at all in transfering it from the dye bath to the paper towel to dry. Otherwise I am sure that it too would have ended up like the blue, green and yellow eggs, needing a second soak in the dye.
Easter crafting didn’t just involve chicken eggs here this year. I also made a couple of wet-felted wool surprise eggs for Mausi and Cub. Mausi’s held a couple of chocolate eggs, and Cub’s held a playsilk.
Papa thinks they look like Pacman.
I wet felted wool roving around a plastic egg and once dry I cut them open. To tidy up the edges I added a blanket stitch with cotton embroidery floss.
And just because Easter eggs are such fun, and there are a host of unique ones out there I thought I’d leave you with these two ideas for next year…
Inspired by crochet covered rocks (I had never thought to do this, but what a neat idea) Anne from flax & twine made these lovely crochet covered eggs! If I ever get my hands on some of those lovely blue and speckled heritage breed chicken eggs I will have to try my own hand at this…or maybe just with market eggs next year.
And for some botanically inspired egg lovliness, I will leave you with this stunning picture of a gorgeous blue egg dyed by Ana of Cinnamon & Thyme.
I hope you have all had a wonderful Easter!
I want to draw your attention to 2 of the sponsors of Little Wool Maus; Cubits and Hawthorn Farm. Both specializing in organic and heirloom seeds of vegetables and flowers, Cubits and Hawthorn Farm are two wonderful Canadian sources from which to purchase seeds online.
To add some colour to these cold, grey days…
Cubits :: Clockwise from top left – Organic Microgreens, Reisetomate Heirloom tomato, Chives, Rainbow Swiss Chard and Colourful carrot mix
Hawthorn Farm :: Clockwise from top left – French Marigold, Vates Blue Curled Kale, Larkspur Galilee mix, Scarlet Runner bean, Cascadia Snap pea and Wild Bergamot
Doesn’t that just brighten things up a little?
I knew that this vest would be useful, I just didn’t realize exactly how useful it would be! I think Mausi wears this at least 4 days a week…with everything; over long-sleeved t-shirts, blouses, and dresses dresses and even under overalls. If an extra layer is needed on the outside, this is the vest for the job! So when I was looking for a relatively quick knit for Cub’s first birthday it wasn’t really a question that I would make him a Milo vest as well.
One with owls.
For this one a added a ribbed hem after having had to rip back the garter stitch hem as it felt a bit snug. The ribbed hem certainly makes getting the vest on a squirming toddler (oh my goodness…a toddler already?!) much easier, but it does tend to flip up a bit. Perhaps the ribbed hem would not have done that.
Regardless of flipping hems, this vest is already a staple part of Cub’s wardrobe, and I can see this little owly vest carrying him well into the spring, over long and short-sleeved tees.
Ah the Milo vest…not the last time I will knit this pattern!
We certainly cannot complain of lack of snow this winter! And while I do love the look of trees after a fresh snowfall, when the sun shone down this afternoon and I could hear the sounds of melting snow dripping, I felt so ready for spring!
A new (to me) grow light sits in the basement waiting for seedlings, and I shuffle and reshuffle the seed packets waiting for the right time to start them. Oh, I cannot wait!
This year will see tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, beans, peas, greens, and herbs, and also a handful of flowers. Zinnias, French marigolds, beebalm, cosmos and sunflowers and purpletop vervain (Verbena bonariensis) will come to the garden this year. And just to get me really ready for some sun and warm soil I looked through some pictures from last summer…little Mausi digging away and Cub snug on my back.
I don’t quite believe that we have seen the last snow this winter, but I do believe that spring is around the corner, and I am ready!
Thinking of fun Valentine’s cards to send to preschool with Maus made me think of unique cards of love for big people too. And Etsy, as usual, didn’t disappoint! I love letterpress cards; it’s a tactile thing as much as the visual aesthetic.
Here are 4 of my favourites to send for Valentine’s Day, or even better, on a day when your love least expects it.
When we moved into our little house last year we found ourselves in need of a new ironing board. Ironing on a towel on the floor seemed neither practical for me at 7 months pregnant nor wise of either Papa or myself with a 2 year old running about. I bought one of the least expensive boards I could find, without added bells or whistles, a great deal of padding or for that matter a fancy cover.
Put simply, it was basic…and a little ugly.
Which you wouldn’t think would really matter in an ironing board, as long as it worked. Who, afterall, displays ironing boards? But our house is small, without a suitable closet in which to hide the board, and keeping it in the basement was turning out to be impractical.
So, with an eye to making things useful and pretty I thought I’d recover the board. Or more precisely, just add an extra cover on top.
The fabric is from the Gypsy Carivan line by Amy Butler.
There are myriad tutorials on the web detailing how to recover an ironing board, so I won’t get into it here. Suffice it to say that the whole thing took very little time, and to anyone contemplating recovering an ironing board, stop thinking about it and get sewing! Very satisfying, minimal effort; definitely worth the time.
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