Family life

Sickness and slowing down

 
Sickness and slowing down || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

 

I've never had one of my kids fall asleep on me before this week, and now it has happened twice!

Cold and flu season has hit us hard, but we are hoping that we are through the worst of it. 

 

If all these sort of disruptions had happened to me last year, I would have been in a sorry state. Frustrated, anxious, and angry that I could not get everything done in a day that I had planned.

Thankfully, a few mom's recommended  this lovely book Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's guide to Unshakeable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie (link to Amazon on left). One of my favorite lines from the book goes, "Rest begins with acceptance, or perhaps more accurately, with surrender." (p.2)

 

I have found this statement to be so true!!! Instead of all those negative thoughts floating around in my head while my daughter napped on me, I was able to enjoy all the extra snuggles!!

#deskie || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

And all was not lost, as I was able to start on a new series of collages! I've been using some more muted cool tones as fits the chilly weather we have going on here in Nebraska. 

What are some books that have really left a lasting impression with you!! Please leave your suggestions in the comments!

 

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Christmas cool down/ knitting recap

*Sigh* As much as I love Christmas, the introvert part of me likes the quiet week following a little more. A return to more healthy eating, a slightly slower pace of doing things and having my family at home. 

Cinnamon rolls by Rachel Loewens

Don't get me wrong, I do love the feasting and drinking that comes with Christmas! It is the one time of year that I make cinnamon rolls, and who doesn't enjoy an extra round of one's favorite adult beverage!

Little Herringbone Cowl || knit by Rachel Loewens

As I promised before, here is a glimpse into this year's knitting presents. I like to pick one pattern that will work for most, if not all, of my recipients and just mix up the color palette.

Small herringbone cowl || knit by Rachel Loewens

This year's pattern is the Big Herringbone Cowl by Purl Soho. It has been wildly popular on Ravelry and it has been in my Queue for quite some time now. 

Little Herringbone Cowl || knit by Rachel Loewens

To make this work with my needs/time restraints/budget, I resized it to require only one skein of yarn. The first several rows I knit with a very tight gauge and then loosened as I went on. This meant that the cowl was close-fitting at the top of the neck and more loose towards the shoulder. 

 

Do you have a method for accomplishing your Christmas knitting list?

Fall nesting

Last week, my daughter had the week off of school for fall break which meant that I had the week off from teaching (my daughter goes to a collaborative school so she is in class two days a week and then has lessons at home with me for two days with Fridays off).

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I took advantage of this time to start my fall nesting routine. Couches are moved and vacummed under, house plants are pruned and brought back inside, and furniture, artwork and other home decorations are shuffled around to make things feel new without anything actually being new.

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This atumnal ritual helps me mentally prepare for the cold season ahead with a positive attitude and feelings of anticipation instead of dread (which had been the case for me for many years).

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Do any of you have similar rythms in your life?

 
 

Trying something new: stencil design

I finally got my Silhouette Cameo machine up and running again and was really excited to use it to make my own mark-making tools and stencils.  Simultaneously, I was reminiscing about my family's summer vacation to New Mexico and all the memories we made while hiking in the mountains. 

Santa Fe National park

(I know everyone says this, but these pictures just don't do it justice)

Hiking in Santa Fe National Park.

Trying to figure out how to convey mountains in a geometric way without being too southwesty (even though we were in the southwest) with my limited computer designing skills took quite a bit of time, but I eventually came up with something I liked!

Stencil make with my Silhouette Cameo.

To get the most mileage out of my time spent in design mode, I cut out stencils in several sizes which also means that I will be able to create multiple layers of pattern. 

Acrylic skin in process.

Here my lovely assistant is holding up an acrylic skin I started using these stencils. I've never made a skin this large so fingers crossed it turns out!!