a woven life

a parenting and lifestyle blog


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Photography Styling Challenge|Light

PSC10 Light

 

My home is situated east/west. With so many south facing windows. How lucky we are, to be so engulfed in light.

For this month’s challenge I wanted to capture moments where the light in my home is most warming: morning and evening, east and west.

It was so clever of M, the brains behind this challenge, to utilize light as our theme for April, as Spring is unfurling. Such appropriate timing.

We will begin in the east:

You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.

-Paolo Coehlo

The morning is my favorite time. My husband leaves early for work (before 5am early), and if I can get myself out of bed by 5:30, I am rewarded with restorative alone time. I hydrate, read something inspiring (so hooked on Saint Teresa of Avila) by the light of the laundry room, and wait for the birds to sing. By the time daylight breaks, I am caffeinating, waking baby, and in good shape for the day. If I can’t get myself out of bed, the baby dingo wakes me and we start the morning together. Win win.

Sunsrise Banana

Day break.

Sunrise Grolsch

Sun rising.

 

Sunrise Stones

Mid-morn.

The sun travels the length of our house: kitchen, dining room, living room, porch. Our day follows it. Morning in the kitchen, pre-afternoon playing and chores centered in the dining/sewing room, post-lunch in the living room, afternoon on the porch or in the yard.

The sun sets in the west:

Sunset Buddha

Pouring in.

Sunset Curtains

Enclosed, warm.

It is possible that we spend our days chasing light.

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Photography Styling Challenge|Chaos

PSC January

This month: Chaos. Capital “C”.

I can think of few things more chaotic than the holidays. Maybe a medical emergency or the cooking of a  six course meal tops the holidays in terms of sheer insanity. To pay homage to this month’s photography styling challenge, I had no need to look further than my own floors.

A day or two past Christmas, I got on all fours and gathered every shred of evidence that suggested we had celebrated. It was such an abundant haul that I had to pick and choose.

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A tin candle lid that Oren was using as a mallet. A broken candy cane piece that Oren ripped from the tree; a relic from early December when ornaments adorned the bottom third of the tree. Glittery things that Oren couldn’t help but pull from shelves, jars, bags.

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A length of velvet ribbon. Oren found it tied around a potted plant and couldn’t help but run it over his lips to better sense its lush velvety-goodness. Pine needles. Obviously, everywhere. Still pulling them from my socks.

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A sprig of pine. Who can say if Oren or George (the cat) shook this one from the tree. A pine cone that decorated a paper-cone-tree and deer forest atop a speaker.

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Gift packaging: paper ribbon, assorted yarns, name tags painted by the baby (his first time with a paint brush).

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A snowflake. I believe this found it’s way to the floor of my own accord (“I know exactly where I will hang this snow flake. Oh, tea water is boiling!”). Oren then most likely plucked it from it’s ledge and tucked it away. A twig from the tree.

And all of it, from my floor. The Christmas decorations are snug in their Christmas storage tub. The tree is gone. The needles from the tree are even [mostly] swept up into the bowels of our Oreck. The days are quieter as we burrow in for this Arctic blast. I dare say, I’m almost bored, and I am deeply anticipating next Christmas’ chaos.

For fun, check out everyone else’s chaos:

Redlovinpixie

At the Corner of Happy and Harried

My Food Tapestry

Inge Kathleen Photography 

Pies and Puggles

City Girl Searching

The Delicious World of Chefette Spicy

A Tree Grows in the Bayou

I Live Under a Rock

Hooked on Homes

Signing out,

Nicole


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Ceramics, Books, and Turkeys.

December! December! I am twirling and throwing glitter and singing carols!

Did you survive November, too? It’s good to see you. I don’t much care for November, and instead of feigning creative release through my blog, I gave myself the month off. I am absolutely positive you would have smelled the faux-interest in bringing you snippets of my life. How the tables have turned, though. It is December! I’m lightheaded from the crafting and future crafting and tree decorating and sweets and gift wrapping.

My husband, Mikey (a nickname he does not condone anymore than I do Nikki), has a pretty crazy schedule this week. What with finals to study for and projects to complete and hours to clock at work. So, we sadly do not have a Christmas tree yet. Don’t weep too hard for me. I’ll survive without decorating until Friday. Surely we can craft something before then? The gratitude banner and painted window leaves must come down. I implore you to share with me if you are creating something particularly wonderful this season. I’m a sucker.

I would share with you what I’ve been sewing this past week, but seeing as how I am making gifts it doesn’t seem appropriate to go broadcasting them. I suppose I could share with you a sneak peek of some of Oren’s gifts, but then again, he gets savvier every day. Things he has been up to lately include:

Stacking three mugs. He stood at the counter one morning just begging for me to hand him a mug. So I did. And he scampered off with it, only to return rather immediately to beg for another. Repeat until he acquired four coffee mugs. He proceeded to build this most magnificent structure.

Surely you noticed how he is contemplating that fourth mug? To date he has broken one dish, for those wondering.

Bingo-Pajama has also made fast friends with a pair of dish gloves. I wish you could hear him as he sways about like a drunk around my legs as I wash dishes “this this this this”, except it comes out “diss, diss, diss diss”. There isn’t much he won’t do to handle the dish gloves. He loves to practice putting his hand in one, then he will clasp the other inside of his gloved hand and crawl about the house with such intention, sometimes hysteria. He likes the way they look, the way they feel, the way they sound squeezed together.

There has also been a monstrous appreciation of books in the past month. Dougie will follow me about the house, asking to be read to. At night, after dinner, he curls up with Michael and I, in our laps, and listens to story after story. Currently Llama Llama and The Night Before Christmas are in vogue. Oh, if you could see it. Him stripped down to his tube socks and onesie, before pj’s are put on, head tucked under a chin. He insists upon switching laps based on who is reading the book.

reading

Sometimes he looks so grown up.

couchread

 

 

Thanksgiving was hectic and enjoyable. The Thursday prior to the holiday, Michael and I hosted our first ever Thanksgiving dinner for a few friends. One of whom we will not be seeing again for months as he has headed off to the Antarctic to collect data for climate scientists. We do hope he is safe and warm.

The rest of the holiday was a whirl of travel and dinner-hopping. Relatives visited, toys pushed about, chickens talked about.

In other news, there is little other news. Ogie-bogue and I are off to the park. He could really use a romp outdoors. Our yard doesn’t count because our porch steps are steps of doom. Despite his recent mastery of going down stairs, I still can’t shake my paranoia that he will tumble down them and land squarely on a concrete stepping stone.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood,

Nicole


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Liebster Award

liebsterfinished

Kimmy, whose blog Making Mondays is a true bright spot on my blog reader, has nominated little ol’ me for a Liebster Award! That is right. You did not fail to read that correctly, I have unlocked a new blogging achievement. Take a moment, bask with me. Okay, now that we have it out of our systems (an award!) let’s talk about what this means for everyone involved. It means the following:

Number One: Kimmy enjoys my blog enough to not only read and comment, but to throw me into this cycle of freshman-blogging recognition.

Number Two:  I meet the guidelines for a Liebster Award (>200 followers or up&coming).

Number Three: You get to learn tidbits and fun facts about yours truly.

Number Four: We have a celebratory drink and dance. Honestly, I am really excited about this.

As a stipulation of acceptance, the nominee must:

  • Link back to the blogger who nominated them
  • Answer ten questions asked by the nominator
  • Nominate others (the guideline here is ten, I’m not sure I can conjure so many)
  • Create ten questions for nominees to answer
  • Notify said nominees
  • Acquire an award button

Questions from Kimmy and my responses are as follows:

  • Why did you start blogging? I got into blogging because I suffer from severe and chronic over-sharing. Blogging has provided me with a platform for sharing my life with loved ones and strangers alike. My biggest readers are probably my grandmother and my dad; I really love utilizing this medium as away of keeping them up-to-date with my shenanigans. 
  • Any advice for someone just starting? I don’t know that I’m qualified to answer this. With the sprinkle of experience I have regarding blogging, I would suggest that new bloggers strive for honesty. What I mean is this: blog about what you find meaningful, make it a personal experience. 
  • Tips on blog photography: Learn how to shoot in Manual mode. Replace whatever current toilet literature you are utilizing with your camera’s manual. 
  • Best post you’ve written so far: This one. It is a piece on my son turning one-about my first year as a parent. 
  • What keeps you motivated? If I go too long without a post, I start to hear about it from my grandma. Knowing that there are a few out there who are truly anticipating and looking forward to news on my life is what keeps me writing. Also, it is worth mentioning that if I go too long without purging my life, I get backed up and things get ugly. Share share share. 
  • How do you relax when you feel overwhelmed? Ujayi breathing has saved me in many stressful moments. Also known as the belly breath, yoga breath. This is helpful when you are just in the trenches of stress. To unwind I enjoy a nice dessert (cookie and milk, bowl of ice cream) and some good netflix. To really treat myself, a bath with Aura Cacia’s Lavender soak. Wine. So much wine.
  • Something new you want to learn? How to cook Japanese Ramen Noodles. How to cook a good Tikka Masala. The free-motion setting on my sewing machine. Garment knitting.
  • A goal: Open an Etsy shop.
  • Something that has inspired you today? Oren. Every day. Today he was super-duper-lovey-dovey-cuddle-puddle-pop. He inspired me to be more tender in hard times. He had a flu shot today and I don’t think he felt well afterwards. He is softening my edges.
  • Best thing you’ve actually made yourself? I don’t know that it is fair to have Oren occupy two answers. But, Oren. I made him, with my body. I then used nothing but my body to keep him alive and growing for 6 months before introducing solid foods. I have to give solid food some props, even though he still nurses like a 3-month old. It’s been a total science experiment. But I’m so proud of myself and my family.

I pass the baton on! There is no pressure to carry forward this chain-mail style accolade. But if you are interested, I nominate you!

Through Finger Tips 

Awfully Nice

The Queen Stitch 

Red Lovin’ Pixie

Another Big Bite

My ten questions for you bloggers:

One. What was the last thing you ate? Two. What do you love about your blog? Three. What do you not love about your blog? Four. When do you feel most inspired to blog? Five. Which shoe do you put on first, left or right? Six. What every-day object is out to get you? Seven. Coffee or tea? Eight. What single blogging moment has been most satisfying to you? Nine. What is your guilty pleasure? Ten. What does five-year-old you think of grown-up you?

Yours,

Nicole

 


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Winner winner.

giveaway winner

 

A big thanks to everyone who commented on the giveaway post!

After hand tallying and utilizing colored pompoms to draw a winner (honestly), Michael drew the following commentor as the recipient of the quilted pouch:

lubbygirl comment

 

Congratulations LubbyGirl, for winning my first ever giveaway!

Stay tuned tomorrow for the monthly photography styling challenge post!

Truly yours,

Nicole Van Walleghem


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September is for doing.

As a bit of a introvert, I have been powering through my calendar’s social obligations. Powering. That’s right. As in, pushing through a daunting cardio workout. You come out of it feeling accomplished, but you were hesitant to take on the workout in the first place. Many outings for me are prefaced with a nagging desire to slip into soft clothes and read a book or sew or watch a bit of netflix. Powering through, I am. And pleased as punch to be touching base with so many friends and family members. It is both exhausting and wonderful. The rest of this month is brimming still, but I’ve made it this far.

I picked up Life of Pi this weekend and put it down today, finished. A lovely book. I’ve been reading so much speculative fiction and fantasy these past few years. Every now and then I must surface and quickly tear apart a fiction selection. Life of Pi it was, and it was good. I might even dabble in the film.  I did rather enjoy Ang Lee’s film Ride With the Devil.

Oren is having a hard sleep time. You may choose to read this as: after a weekend chocked full of socializing into the late evening, and finally getting home after eleven two nights in a row, Ogie-Bogue woke at 12:30 pm. This has not happened in ages. Well, being out of our house and staying with the in-laws, I decide to just bring him to bed with me. Awful. Idea. He nursed. Then flopped like a fish all night. Michael was back home one of these nights and I worried that Oren would go right off the edge of the bed because we lacked our other bookend. I think I slept from 3:30 on. Woke at 6:30 to Dingo trying to examine the contents of my skull through my nostrils. Woke to him slapping drum beats off my throbbing forehead. Two nights in a row this happened. I am tired.

You may notice a bat in the above photo. That is the bat that has been terrorizing our front porch with it’s feces all summer. I sweep and sweep and sweep away the guano. Well, Michael finally got radical and lined the top of the window where it has made it’s cave with some lawn trimmings. The bat didn’t seem to appreciate this and has since taken up residence between our half window of winterizing plastic and the window itself. Outside of course. Let me explain the plastic. We didn’t have a ladder to bring it down properly. One spring day I lost my cool and went outside and cut half of the plastic down. It is such an inappropriate fix. But is working well enough that we haven’t thought twice about it. It’s almost winter again anyway, we’ll have a barrier and a half this coming season.

This week is my sister’s birthday. Hey biggirl. This week is my husband’s birthday. Hey poppi. This week a cousin got married. This week a cousin had a third daughter (what luck!). This week I am going to sleep. And socialize. And walk. And garden. We have no fewer than 20 tomatoes on the counter right now. I’m begging you to come by and take three off my hands.

I was at the park this morning, walking Dingo-Pajama-Sandwich for his first nap of the day. Three buzzards were swooping overhead, no more than fifteen feet above us at one point. I thought for sure they were after my stroller-morsel, but they were just scanning the fields and forest. I’ve never seen a buzzard so close. I also saw three fish in a stream, which pleased me to no end. Happy ecosystem. I passed a man walking barefoot, such a jolly walker. We even saw a noble heron take off over water, flying low to the other shore. Pure majestic thing it was. I was so full from this walk that I’ve hardly been able to eat since.

It has been unseasonably sweltering. I am allergic to every pollinating weed this time of year. I sneeze. Dougie covers his mouth with his hand and says “ah”. These walks are mucousy and loud and sweaty but so required in my day. I can feel my blood stagnate on days a long walk does not happen. Tomorrow’s morning walk will be to the post office to drop off a letter. Maybe even a package if I can get it together prior to 9:00 am.

I just wanted to reach across the web and make quick contact.

Because I have missed pouring out my life.

Happy trails to you,

Nicole

 


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Dreaming….

I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with the incredible talent out there in blog land…and intimidated. It seems such a fine line to walk between inspiration and total shut-down. I’ve finally been shaken out of my silly fretting thanks to a wonderful blog of quilting that is so incredibly inspiring that it makes me lose my breath [Cloud CouCou Crafts]. This woman can sew. Her city sampler sew-along has me rearing to start a sew-along. I’m so turned on by her fabric choices that I can hardly catch my breath…it’s that good.

So now I am dreaming about this delicious  fat quarter bundle. For now, my only limitation is my fabric stash. I am slowly working through the fabrics I already possess to create. Fabric is a pricey addiction. But I tell you, a girl needs something. Shoes, clothing, shopping in general, these do not get my blood pressure up. Just walking past Sarah’s in downtown Lawrence makes my brow moist.

And because a post just isn’t complete without a photo, this is my grandmother and her pony. Have you seen a lovelier image?

Thank you for reading while I figure out (rather sloppily, no doubt) what this blog is going to look like.

Truly yours,

Nicole