wayfaringwordhack: (Egypt: Sphinx)
*cue Europe's song* (Oh 80's, what hilarious fashion you witnessed!)

In one year, we will be returning to Europe. This time, excepting any strange and totally unpredictable happening, we'll really be going back to France on 31 July 2017, give or take a day.

This coming year is going to zoom by. O.O

And these wee ones won't be so wee in another year's time.

Ti'Loup will probably even be walking by then, or swimming :P
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: my loves)
Both Junebug and Sprout are pleased with their brother, wanting to hold and caress him at every opportunity. They are both really gentle with him.

And snuggled around the cute babyness, you can see the blanket I made. I'll try to get around to taking a photo of it laid flat.

Baby pics )
I don't know if anyone remembers, but before Sprout was born, we referred to her as "Little Bean." Since "coquille" implies the outer shell to hold something, now that our little one has emerged, I'm going to start calling him Ti'Loup* here, which means "Little Wolf." Just because.

* "Ti" as in petit, pronounced "tee", and the P in loup is silent: tee-lou. If we would have gone with a different first name, we were considering Loup for a middle name.
wayfaringwordhack: (Junebug: Diggin' life)

Here is the hooded jacket on the mini model, who is not so mini any more:

I didn't (haven't) put a pompom on the hood yet because I was pretty fed up and wanted to call it done. What do you think?  Should I add one? If I do, it will be the color of the blue buttons.

wayfaringwordhack: (art - pondering)
While I predicted this past week would be a wash on the creative front, I secretly hoped it would not be so.  I even took the time before our trip to download a scad of reference photos to my hard drive so I could work on my children's book illustrations.  'Twas not to be, though; I only managed one sketching session with Sprout while Junebug napped on our second to last day.

This is a view of a succession of terraces at our hotel as seen from our terrace.  The perspective was so cool that I started to do a very precise sketch with pencil and then realized I wouldn't have time to finish something accurate and detailed. I defaulted to a charcoal stick. Sadly, I had only my "cheap" sketchbook with me; its smooth paper doesn't have any tooth to hold charcoal so it is very smudgy and loose:

I also planned to make headway on Junebug's sweater but I had to rip out the rows I had on the sleeves (again) and start over because I'm sure they will be too small. I still have hopes of finishing it before May, though. :P

Today I did some doodling* with the kids and broke out the sewing machine to fashion some eyeholes in a sleep mask for Sprout, who wanted to pretend she was a Mousquetaire (Musketeer).
* I set it up as a Double Doodle activity, but Sprout soon started doing her own thing. And of course, give a one-year-old markers and "do your own thing" is the de facto name of the game. :P
wayfaringwordhack: (critters: maki - tasty)
I made a galette on Saturday, and it was great.  If I do say so myself. :P

This time there were no leaks, it wasn't too sweet, and the crust rose even more beautifully than last time. I tried a method that called for baking 20 minutes at 180 (Celcius), then 20 min at 160, and 20-40 min at 140.  As you can imagine, with the oven I have, that wasn't really feasible but I did my best to progressively lower the temperature by propping the door open with a wooden spoon, and then turning off the oven toward the end of the baking process.  It takes longer and is a bit more tedious, requiring more attention, but I'll try it for sure when I have a better oven.

I also opted for a freehand design of my own imagining.  I should have thought it out a bit more rather than doing it spur of the moment with a 4-yr-old chattering at me and a crying baby hanging on my leg. :-/ Apart from the few places that I cut a bit too deeply, it turned out all right:




I was thinking of olive branches and a little dove of peace.  I wanted to do several little animals and leaves, but then the kids started in on me, I decided to keep it simple.
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: !!!)
With a big sis like Sprout, Junebug has to learn fast; he has to get mobile!

To that end, this has been a very busy month for him.  The day before we left France (Aug 29), he pushed up onto all fours.  He was moving about then, but only backwards, not having figured out how to advance.

Our first day back in Egyt, he pushed up onto hands and toes. He can take wee "steps" like that, but prefers "the wave." He has mastered an inchworm or seal-flop type motion and gets about really well, following me around the house.

On September 24th, our first day at Anafora, he pushed himself into a sitting position. The 25th he pulled himself onto his feet. He's been practicing every day. Sprout walked at 1 year and 10 days; I think her bro will beat to that milestone by several months if he keeps this up.

In other milestone news, he cut his first tooth today.


He'll be 7 months old in two days.
wayfaringwordhack: (web)
I feel that way about my flist* but a little bit about J and Sprout as well. For the past week or so, I've just wanted J to take Sprout out as much as possible and give me alone time to relax work on projects.  I went to bed last night with plans to send the two of them out so I could work on a nursing top; but before I fell asleep, I changed my mind. I decided instead to spend the day with them, hoping to have a fun family day "just the three of us" before Junebug gets here. I'm really glad I did.

We went out to eat at a club where there was a kid's birthday party going on, so Sprout got to play and participate. She had fun, and we had fun watching her. A good enough day that I won't go to bed praying, "Please Lord, don't let the baby come now."**

Since tomorrow is my due date (not that I think the baby will necessarily come then), I'm going to do a snippet-style post now. This week, I sewed the dress Sprout is wearing in the photo below and crocheted the belt, too. I also made two sheets for Junebug's Moses basket and three mattress covers.

soëlie's dress2soëlie's dress

* In some sense I think I should apologize for this; in other, I know I have a great flist, full of people who understand that I'm not able to give much attention to them right now but who know that I still care what is going on with them...

** Who wants to have her baby after she's felt tired/stressed/pissy all day? Not moi. :P
wayfaringwordhack: (art journal)
I haven't forgotten Snippet Sunday the past two weeks; I just haven't felt like updating. :P I've been busy, as you can imagine, with the countdown really counting down (today we are 39w1d), and I've had my nose to the grindstone fingers to the crochet hook and sewing machine.

I've crocheted two lambs, using this pattern, one for Junebug and one for Sprout, who declared she definitely needed one, too. In fact, I think *I* need one, and in my downtime (cue hysterical laughing), one of these days, I'm going to crochet the ram model for myself using a lot of different colors (probably the leftovers from my hexagon blanket) and he shall be christened Rainbow Ram.

Junebug's lamb is the cream-colored one and the white is Sprout's, same pattern, same size hook, different types of yarn.

lambsJunebug's lambIMG_9795

I also crocheted a border on a fleece blanket, made a jersey knit newborn cap, a cloth diaper (actually more like quick-remove underwear since the point is more warmth and protection for Junebug and not wetness-proofing) converted a tank top into a nursing top, and took in the elastic on my pj pants for after the birth.

In other prep news, I packed the bags for the clinic, washed all the coverings for the car seat and bassinet, made some high-protein snacks (might help with nausea) for the labor, and helped J rearrange the kids' room. Junebug won't move into the room with Sprout until after this summer, but we are going to use a Montessori bed and wanted the space ready because we hope to have the baby nap in there from the start. On Friday, but especially Saturday, I was afraid I had brought about Junebug's "early" arrival by a (unfruitful) shopping trip to IKEA. Almost everything on our to-get list was out-of-stock.  The twinges have subsided, though, leaving me hopeful that Junebug will hang in there a few more days. I'd like to sew Sprout a dress and make a nursing top...
wayfaringwordhack: (art: palmier)
Finished! Um, except for weaving in all the loose ends* (boy, are there a lot of them!) and blocking it, which you'll see the need for in the photos below, but still FINISHED!

"Before" pictures in last week's snippet entry, for those who want to compare.

Pics and story this way )
wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
It's a miracle.

Two for the price of one, pajamas and nursing pillow!

Well, not J's pajama bottoms; he took them to work.  But they are made out of the flannel that you can see on the bottom of the pillow. You'll just have to picture a handsome, well-built guy modeling lounge pants for you. :P

pics )


27 Dec 2013 01:24 pm
wayfaringwordhack: (art: christmas quail)
I had great plans and intentions for the month of December, including doing Advent activities with Sprout every day. Bronchitis laid me low, though, for the first two weeks (Sprout as well, and then J got the flu). The month did not go to plan and we did not do all of the activities, but I just decided to go with the flow and not worry over anything.

What Advent was supposed to look like )

A few photos. Unfortunately, I wasn't very inspired to have a camera in hand most days, what with the ick and all.

Pics this way )

If anyone is interested and to give credit to the pattern-maker, I crocheted that reindeer hat for Sprout using this tutorial.
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: !!!)
Tonight, I was reading some books with Sprout that we picked up at the library. One of them was a Baby Einstein book entitled, Van Gogh's World of Color.

On the first page, she listened to and answered the questions, but on the second page, she pointed to the goat (Vincent Van Goat) and asked, "Why does that goat have a bandage on its ear?"

What do you tell your 3-year-old in response to that? I know why. Is she too young to know or understand why?  Maybe, but a) I want model honesty and helpfulness to my children; b) I don't believe in fielding a child's "why" questions with variations of "just because." "I don't know" is a valid answer, but as I said, in this case, I did know why.

So I gave a very general answer about the painter being a person who wasn't always happy and how he hurt his ear during the one of his very sad times. And she kept asking, "Why does he have a bandage; why was he sad?"

We ended up talking about how some people need to have help when they feel very bad, about how it is important to try to understand and help those who seem to be going through a rough time, about the existence of mental illness, about how her father and I will always be there for her to help her when she needs us. Still she asked about the bandage. I finally pointed out that yes, he has a bandage, but he seems to have found his smile again and is apparently happy now. That satisfied her. She needed it articulated that there could be a happy outcome.

And she was thrilled to discuss doing her birthday painting on Tuesday after looking at the artwork in the book. :D

2nd yr painting
Last year's fun
wayfaringwordhack: (glass ball)
Voilà my progress thus far.

junebug's blanket2

As you can see, I have help. >:}

Junebug's blanket

In other news, J arrives today!  HOORAY. His flight left on schedule from Cairo, and now to see if the Paris-Toulouse flight does the same.  In any case, we'll all be together again tonight. Except, much to Sprout's sadness, N'djema (our cat), who stayed behind in Egypt to keep the apartment safe.  One of J's colleagues is actually house/pet sitting for us, so that is a relief to know she'll have fairly constant company.
wayfaringwordhack: (flora: frangipani)
Masses of colorful bougainvillea and the fragrance for frangipani will forever remind me of the Maldives as that is where I encountered them for the first time.

Walls of jasmine and Rangoon Creeper will always be Mayotte. Although I saw many acacias in Kenya, not until I lived in Mayotte did I learn the texture of their seed pods and fashion their shiny dark seeds into jewelry. In Mayotte, I discovered breadfruit and, strangely enough, tortilla patata. Those smells and flora and tastes are inextricably tied to A Place and A Time for me.

As will certain things bring the Sprout back to Egypt.

S b&w

Just a few )
wayfaringwordhack: (Brio)
This week, I don't even think I touched my book. Nope, can't remember writing a single word.  Too make up for that, I hereby solemnly swear to finish the chapter I'm working on by next Sunday. In the meantime, here is one of the things I *did* work on this week:

S's Easter basket, made from this pattern:

bunny basket

It worked up really quickly and easily. As you can see from the eggs I photographed for scale, it is a wee basket, just right for a toddler, I think.

I can't wait until S sees it, but I'm saving it for the egg hunt. :D After that, she can use it as a little purse/sack.
wayfaringwordhack: (art: bosch flying fish)
I recently blogged about hearing a horse on the street beneath my balcony and had comments asking me to expound on the difference between the sound of a horse or a donkey passing by.

The differences are several.  First is the heavier resonance of the horse's hoof; the bulk of the beast makes a more resounding clop on the asphalt. The donkeys, with their smaller frames and smaller hooves, make lighter taps, and when they are in a hurry the rhythm is smudged between a staccato and a shuffle as they struggle to move their stiff little legs fast enough to suit their drivers. Plenty of drivers allow their donkeys to walk, though, but I cannot think of instance of seeing a horse that was allowed to plod along.  It's as if having a showier creature pulling their carts forces the drivers to put on a show. They hurry their animals down the streets, heedless of how their shod hooves slip, how the speed bumps make them stumble. Speaking of being shod, not all of the donkeys are, so their steps lack the metallic ring of shoes.

Back to the idea of show, I hear more bells and jingles (buckles or trinkets, I don't know) on horse harnesses than on those of donkeys. 

So now you know. May this enlightenment serve you in the future. Or not. :P


Photos of downtown Cairo, courtesy of Julien
wayfaringwordhack: (art: thé)
For weeks now, I've had a particular moment on my mind, moment that centers me and brings me calm. I don't know why it has been my constant mental touchstone of late, but it has.

It comes from a day on our river trip in Madagascar in May 2009. We woke with the dawn, as you tend to do when sleeping in a tent, just in time to see other canoe guides, already free of their passengers, making the return trip against the current. They poled in time to their song, the music barely reaching our ears through the morning mist.

madagascar morning

Of course an imparted memory can't be the same as a lived one, but perhaps someone will find joy in this image, too.

G'night, LJ
wayfaringwordhack: (christmas - machu picchu)
Today is Christmas for Coptic Christians, so I thought I would share some of our decorations, which we've already taken down, by the way; but, wouldn't you know, I haven't uploaded them from the camera yet.  Sheesh.

I'm hopeless.  

It is too late to do it now, so I'll just post one of my little helper.

Christmas 1 in Cairo

Same hat from last year, but she can't fit into the suit any more. :P
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
Sitting on the balcony, having breakfast, I watch people come and go on the street below. The air is cool, and the dusty eucalypts are blurred by a typical morning haze. In the distance, rising above the other street noise, comes the call of "Békia!" Pretty soon, I can hear the click of a bicycle chain, and out from beneath the canopy of flamboyant trees, the cart of a cargo tricycle appears, empty. The tricycle is being pushed, instead of ridden, by a mustached man in stained, baggy clothes that are the exact same greens as the dust-caked flamboyant leaves and the same dark browns as the damp, dirty tarmac. 

"Békia!...Békia!...Békia, békia, békia!" he calls, looking up and around, hopefully.  

He spies a red five-liter jug discarded in the gutter. After checking it for holes, he tosses in the cart and trundles his tricycle down the road, repeating his calls at regular intervals.

We live at a star-shaped crossroads, and the man reappears later, coming from a different direction, going of in another, his call for broken things, unwanted things, any things at all, echoing throughout the neighborhood

In the afternoon, comes another "Békia;" but the accent placed a little differently, a syllable held a little longer, lets me know it is someone else.  Soëlie repeats after the man, saying, "Hékia! Hékia!"** as she leans against the balcony bars.  Soon, the long gray ears of a work-worn donkey peek out from under the tree foliage. This man has had more luck. Or worse, if he has been going at it all day and only has a ratty blanket and an old toilet to show for it.

bekia man

* I don't know how the word is actually spelled.

**We first thought they were saying "hékia," and so that is what we would repeat around the house. "Hékia" reference, for us, comes from a song sung in an awesome video about how all noise is rhythm.  I'll have to ask J the name of the video and see if I can't find something to link to.

ETA:  The video is "Filo; There is no movement without rhythm" 

wayfaringwordhack: (kickin' it island style)
A scene-setting photo of the special spot, a panorama to try to capture some of its geologically-crazy glory:

(click to see larger photo)

All the stuff in between )

sun and moon

Sourdough, surf, sand, swimming, sunsets...a very satisfying Sunday all around.


wayfaringwordhack: (Default)

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