Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I had never seen fireflies until I was 18. I was living in Mexico at the time, working in an orphanage down there. One night, during the rainy season my friend took me outside into the cool damp night. She pointed out all the fireflies glowing around. I have never seen anything like it. It was so magical. We ran back inside and got some make-shift nets and some jars and spent the evening trying to catch the fireflies, running around the wet grass in our barefeet.
I have never seen fireflies since that time, but I miss the magic of them. A few years back, I found a beautiful jar at the hardware store that contained solar-powered fireflies. Not quite the same thing, but beautiful all the same. I knew that I wanted that jar for my future kids (and myself!). This evening I showed it to Kesten while he was in his crib and he was enthralled! He loved watching them pulse and glow in the dark.

A little reminder of the magic that exists in nature.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Alys Fowler

With the cold wind howling outside and temperatures dropping to -20c, it is the perfect time to watch the Edible Garden series with Alys Fowler. Not only do I love her garden, her knowledge, and her presenting style, but her clothes, curly hair, and love for her pets remind me a lot of a friend (the inspiration behind Mary's Merry Wristers).
In this series, Alys grows a garden with her edibles mixed in with her flowers, a concept I have been trying to do in the garden around my chicken coop (which has been my most successful garden
up here). The idea is to have a beautiful garden that is also useful. The scattered placement of your fruit and vegetables also helps to foil garden pests. This series is giving me lots of ideas on how I can improve and expand my chicken coop garden this year.
Enjoy watching this 6-part series! It's a good one!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Day

I started the day with some family cuddles (we slept in until 8am. I realize that at one point of my life, that would sound rather pathetic). Next was breakfast, lounging, reinstalling the car seat, and some computer time where I confirmed that I will be getting 7 Wyandotte eggs in March on our way home from Ontario. Whoo hoo! I'll have a mix of silver laced, gold laced, and blue laced reds. Aren't they pretty birds? After they hatch out, I plan on getting some Australorp eggs to hatch.
 (Both images from
 After some lunch, we headed out for a family ski on the lake. The sun was beating down. The snow was actually pretty terrible for skiing and the tracks had been obliterated by snowmobiles and melting, but we had fun all the same.
After that, it was time for a relaxing bath, family phone calls (well, skype, actually), a little bite of dinner, some Seinfeld, and some crafting!
I made a little teepee for my garden out of willow. Notice the mess. My mother can attest to the fact that I have always been a messy person. When I was a toddler, she would cringe at the sound of the toy basket being dumped right upside down. The older I got, the messier my room became. If anyone was looking for scissors, tape, glue, rulers, etc, they knew to look in my room. I blame it on my creativity. It thrived on that mess. I am improving now that I am an adult, but there are certain closets that should never be opened without taking the proper precautions.

And now that the baby is in bed, it is time to catch up on emails and blog posts, and knit a few more rows of my new project (don't you wish you could see it!). And tomorrow is a new day with new adventures!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Letting My Hair Down

Literally! Last night the band Blackberry Wood  came to Fort St. James to play their funky mix of "alt-country-gypsy-circus music." I went out and danced the night away with some friends, probably for the first time since Kesten was born. I got to wear my hair down, which doesn't happen often, considering that it is almost waist-length now and my little guy likes to pull it. Not to mention the post-pregnancy shedding. Haha. Anyways, I jumped gleefully around the dance floor (you might have even called it dancing), until I was too hot, sweaty, and tired and was probably in bed before 11:30. (Cinderella seems like a wild party-er to me, now that I have a baby. A midnight curfew? And she didn't make it home in time? This lady needs to get a grip!)
(picture is from

In other news, it has been so exciting to see my Year in Temperatures Scarf project take off! Bernat approached me about using the scarf idea for a KAL/CAL. A blogger, Underground Crafter, has made a crochet stitch pattern for the scarf. And a textile teacher from Iceland is writing an article about it in her magazine. So very cool! I feel a little bit famous!

Life around here continues to be wonderful! My little boy is growing so fast! He was 7 months old on Friday. I can't even believe it.
 Here he is, sitting (sitting!) in the bassinet for his monthly "birthday" picture.
I love his beautiful eyes!
 During nap times I have been busy knitting and coming up with a new pattern. I have also been reading through the Harry Potter series again.
Ok, question time: What tasty (and maybe unusual?) things do you like to put on your salads? I have been really craving salads lately and I have been having so much fun trying different combos of toppers. Avocados, apples, feta, olives, tuna, pineapple, cashews, almonds, dried cranberries, cheddar, and tomatoes have all made an appearance at one time or another. So what do you like on your salads?

Monday, January 21, 2013


It's been a little while since I've posted. I've been puttering about in the warm weather that the pineapple express brought and have almost completed a new project. I've constructed a nesting box for the chicken coop out of scraps and I installed it into the side of the coop. The picture above is the logo that I designed and painted onto the side. I also built a flower box which I attached to the side of the nesting box, to add some colour and visual appeal to the coop. I still have a few more finishing details left, so I won't take a picture until it is all done, but it is looking great so far. I think I am getting better at constructing with wood and using my power tools.
Other than that it has been business as usual. It is cold-ish again (although it is supposed to warm up to plus 2c on Thursday). The snow melted a bit during that heat wave and now everything is icy- no good for skiing. But I really enjoyed that mini Spring while it was here. I milked it for all it was worth. We're getting closer to the end of Winter. I think that March is the beginning of Spring, even though we will still have snow, things start to wake up and snow starts to melt. One short month left to make it through, then I can start thinking about hatching out some chicks and starting seeds inside. Oh Spring, my favourite time of year!
What is your favourite season?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Pineapple Express

Warm air from Hawaii has come to heat up this frigid North. After weeks of cold weather (I had to add a dark blue to my temperature scarf) we are in the plus degrees! Yesterday, Kesten and I walked for hours. I was so warm I had to take off my coat. I know some people don't enjoy these warm breaks, as it makes the snow icy and bad for skiing, but I love it. It feels like a little holiday from Winter and a teaser for Spring.
 We've also been enjoying some gorgeous sunsets. I love the crescent moon in this shot and the glowing lights from my neighbours' homes.
 I love the pinky orange light that fills the house when the sun sets like this.
 I've decided to do my temperature scarf in linen stitch now. Linen stitch makes it look like I have been knitting in fair isle. I am really liking this stitch! I bought two yarns to replace my chunky yarns, so they are all the same weight now, making the scarf look much more uniform. And I used black for my border colour from my stash for the same reason-it was the same weight as the others. And do you see that yellow? I got to add yellow yesterday, not even light yellow! Yippee! Warm days!
Our tango classes are going really well. We only have 2 classes left (oops, 3, I can't count) :( We started to get pretty fancy last night, adding in some pivots and learning front ochos and back ochos. I am terrible for back leading (it is the backseat driving of tango). When you are dancing in the follow's position, you have to listen and do what your lead tells you to do, without anticipating. I am always anticipating. I can't shut off my brain. Oops. But is so much fun!

Well, now it is time for us to go out and enjoy another warm day!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Greys and Greens

 I got a new camera as a gift the other day, so I've been trying it out! Here I took a picture of a swatch a linen stitch that I knit up yesterday to try out. I just love the way linen stitch looks like woven fabric! I have another knitting pattern in mind that I am going to create just as soon as that order of yarn comes in!
 When it is -26c outside, it is nice to have new life in the house. My calendula sprouts in the kitchen have burst out. I love growing my calendula in the kitchen every year.
 My geranium from last year is still growing. That green has such a therapeutic effect, doesn't it?
 I have some more buds growing, so hopefully I'll have some bright pink flowers to add more splashes of colour.
Spring had got to be my favourite time of year. Even though it is months away at this point, I confess that when I'm woken up in the middle of the night by my baby, I have a hard time getting back to sleep, dreaming about my garden plans. And my chicken coop plans! I wonder how many of my plans will come to fruition?

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Blues

Those smiley baby blues.
A cold Winter's sunshine lights up my blue glass on my driftwood bench from a local craftsman.

 It was so cold today, I got to add blue to my temperature scarf.

Friday, January 4, 2013


There's a whole lot of Canadiana in this post!

A game of road hockey pauses for a refreshment break, between the cries of "car." They drank pop, not soda.
 A 9am Winter sunrise. Yup, 9am.
 These are our snowbanks. We haven't gotten our usual amount of snow yet this year though...
 Grandpa's homemade maple syrup. We're going East in the Spring to make some with him. Cross your fingers for us that the sap will be running when we get there!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Knitting!: Fur Trader's Toque

Here is a hat pattern that I created, inspired by the Hudson's Bay and fur traders. I live in a small town that was established by the fur trade over 200 years ago and this hat is a throwback to those times.
This hat is knit flat, but can easily be knit in the round if that is what you like best.

Fur Trader's Toque

Yarn: I used Patons Canadiana (how fitting!), since it is itch-free.
Main colour (mc) 10006 Winter White
Contrast Colour 1(cc1) 10110 Navy
CC2 10610 Fool's Gold (I actually ended up switching this colour out for a no-name yarn that was a lighter colour yellow-this one was almost mustard)
CC3 10707 Cardinal
CC4 10708 Leap Frog
Needles: 4.5mm straight needles
Gauge: 9st = 2inches in stockinette st
Measurement: 22inch circumference

cc1-contrast colour 1
cc2-contrast colour 2
cc3-contrast colour 3
cc4-contrast colour 4
k2tog-knit two together
mc-main colour

Cast on 78st in mc.
*K3, p3* repeat to end. Continue in k3, p3 ribbing pattern until hat measures 1.5" from start (around 8 rows).
Switch to cc1 (navy) and work 0.5" in stockinette st. (roughly 3 rows). 
Switch to mc and work 0.5" in stockinette st. (roughly 3 rows). 
Switch to cc2 (yellow) and work 0.5" in stockinette st. (roughly 3 rows). 
Switch to mc and work 0.5" in stockinette st. (roughly 3 rows). 
Switch to cc3 (red) and work 0.5" in stockinette st. (roughly 3 rows). 
Switch to mc and work 0.5" in stockinette st. (roughly 3 rows). 
Switch to cc4 (green) and work 0.5" in stockinette st. (roughly 3 rows). 
Switch to mc and work a further 2" in stockinette st.

Row 1:*k5, k2tog* from end to end
row 2: p
row 3:*k4, k2tog* from end to end
row 4: p
row 5:*k3, k2tog* from end to end
row 6: p
row 7:*k2, k2tog* from end to end
row 8: p
row 9:*k1, k2tog* from end to end
row 10: p
row 11:*k2tog* from end to end

There should be 11st remaining. Break off yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread tail through the remaining loops (pulling them off the needle) and pull tightly in a circle. Fasten. Sew up side, weave in ends. Make a pompom for the top and sew in place. Tada! 

Let me know if you find any mistakes or if you have any questions. I'd love to see your finished toques, so add me on ravelry: honeynutbrown

Knitting!: My Year in Temperatures -Scarf-

This is a conceptual knitting pattern that will look different for everyone who knits it.  In this pattern, you record the day's highest temperature by knitting one row in the colour designated for each temperature. At the end of the year, you will have a visual colourful graph of the temperatures of your area for a whole year.
 Start by casting on 35 stitches in white and knit 5 rows, working in garter stitch. After that, knit one row a day, in the colour you have chosen to represent your temperature groupings.
 Knit two rows in white at the start of each month, if you would like to keep track of the separate months.
At the end of the year, knit another 5 rows in white. Bind off, weave in ends, and you are done! I think this would also look nice in a monochromatic colour scheme. Hmmm, something to try next year? I am excited to see how mine turns out!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goals For 2013

New Years Eve and New Years Day are my very least favourite holidays and days of the year. Not sure why. Maybe it is the feeling that Christmas is over. Maybe I have never really liked the parties. 
Anyways, one thing I do like is making plans and goals for myself. I don't always achieve these goals, but I do love dreaming about them and it is very satisfying to check something off the list.
So, here are my new plans for 2013:

1. Expand the chicken coop and the chicken coop garden. I want a bigger run so that I can have maybe 4 or so chickens this year. More mouths to feed=more eggs needed! Also, I want to expand the garden around it, as it remains the most productive garden in our yard. I like that it is a mixture of flowers and  vegetables and herbs. Edible and ornamental!

2. Hatch some chicks and raise more chickens.
 3. Make some jam again! Last Summer I didn't end up making any, being too busy with our new baby and we have missed it all year! So this year I want to make my annual batch of nectarine jam, plus jams from local wild berries.
 4.  I'd like to try making more dandelion recipes (I just ordered a book, Edible Garden Weeds of Canada !)
 5. Drink some Dandelion Wine. I hope it turns out! I might try making another batch of it this year if it tastes any good!
 6. The big project of the year: Grow some wheat!
 7. Head out East to make some maple syrup. Isn't this a beautiful graphic?
Image here

8. Knit my temperature scarf! (Sorry I can't get the image to flip, it is being very stubborn!) Everyday, I will knit one row in the colour corresponding to the day's high temperature (rounded to the nearest 5 degrees). At the end of the year, I should have a very colourful record of our temperatures. It will be neat to see!

Hmmm, those are all the goals I can think of for now. As always, I will also attempt to try any new craft thing that comes my way. I wonder how many of my goals will be met this time next year? Do you have any new goals you have set for yourself?
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