Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What? Where? When?

Think Chamonix, 


imagine lots of snow...

spectators, athletes,


any guesses?

Tah dah!

The site of the 1st ever Winter Olympic bobsleigh piste!
No longer in use, it's not visible during the winter months, but come the spring you can see it snaking down the mountain in the village of Les Pelerins, just outside Chamonix.
The uphoria of 1924 continued until 1950 when the piste was definitively closed after 6 people lost their lives competing in the French Championships.

Virage des écureuils
1369.88 meters long for 156.29 meters of vertical 'decente' at a maximum recorded speed of 115m!
In the 1960's, the road that leads to the Mont Blanc Tunnel cut the piste in two, ending all future hopes of it's revival.  All that is left today are 19 hand built stone curves, the rusty old 'télécabine' pylons and a few mountain bike jumps that local kids have built. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Yarn Along - Fire Man Sam

Tino continues his obsession with all things Fire Man/Engine/Station and talks endlessly of when he's grown up and is a real fire fighter, with his best friend Logan and Ringo the doggie as part of his team!  He's watched every episode of Fire Man Sam in english and french, is now 'surfing' youtube for the german versions, and delights in telling us the names of the characters in each language.  So no prizes for guessing who this little chap is for...
much quicker to knit that to sew up!!

I've finished and hung up my crochet flower bunting and have added a few motifs to My Favorite Things Infinity Scarf.

After an extremely snowy winter we are experiencing a very warm april.  There's much activity outside in the garden these days - we've sown  onions, garlic and carrots in the ground and corn, beets, squash, peas and basil in the cold frame.  Things have calmed down for Richard at work so he's been busy building me a new table.
Hidden to me in this pile of lumber...

...Richard saw this beautiful table!!

I was even allowed to help - where there were no power tools involved!

So I'm managing only a few pages of  10 Ways To Destroy The Imagination of Your Child each evening before nodding off.  While parts of this book are enthralling, parts of it are a tad too long winded for my liking!
Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along.  What have you been knitting, reading, planting, building etc this week?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Re-cycled pocket seed pocket

Gosh how I loved this hoodie!  
But unfortunately it got washed a little to hot a few to many times.
I intentionally finished off the unintentional felting process and have been using it for various wee projects.

First it got made into these handwarmers, and just recently into a seed pocket for Linda's Seed Swap Party.

I stared by cutting out one of the front pockets, which meant that I had no side seams to sew up!! Rémi made me a wooden button and I used the hood cord for fastening it up.
Then came the hard part - for me anyhow - embroidering a little seed evolution design on the front.
I've never embroidered more that faces on toys so this was a bit of a challenge.  My sister-in-law recommended using simple running and chain stitches.
But I must say, I'm very motivated to learn more!

I even whipped up this handle for my new cast-iron pan, but no pretty flowers on this one.  It's hard enough getting Richard to cook as it is, I don't want to go making the utensils look all 'girly'!!

Linking up with Nicole today for Keep Calm Craft On

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 Link Up - March 2014

only when the last tree has died
and the last river been poisoned
and the last fish been caught
will we realize we cannot eat money
                           - Cree Indian Proverb

 Linking up with Christine for Slow Living Essentials, looking forward to seeing what everyone has to share this month.

Tino, who has always eaten everything and will would try anything, is now claiming that pears, carrot sticks and chick peas are the only things he likes!  It could be worse, but still, why do children get 'difficult' with food like this? Needless to say, I'm currently whisking up batches of hummus left right and centre, he likes it heavy on the garlic and tahin paste.

Oh, and he likes cake too!
According to the 'old folk', drinking 'Séve de Bouleau' aka Birch Sap, helps prepare the body for the change of season!!  Not wanting to fly in the face of tradition we are doing like wise. This year the sap is crystal clear but last spring I remember Richard's uncle trying to convince me to taste something that looked suspiciously like a urine sample!!
Fresh sap lasts 36 hours in the fridge but can be preserved longer by adding cinnamon and cloves.  We are just drinking it when and as it comes.  When the sap has finished rising up the trunk the hole that the tap leaves will need to be plugged up to protect the tree.  By this time the dandelion leaves will be up and ready for harvesting.  Richard's aunty swears by their roots - it's her spring detox program.  Every year I try to eat a few but personally I think they taste foul, no matter how you dress them up!

The boys enjoy going to fetch it...

... and having a little tipple.
Stared off a few seeds in jiffy planters indoors, which I've now put outside in the cold frame that Richard very kindly made for me.  I haven't told him yet but I think it might need an extension.  It's been very warm here the last few days, and at the moment the ground has defrosted.  It's very tempting to put in some potatoes but it's too early, we will get frost again!!

Gone over to homemade dishwasher detergent using a borax free recipe found here.  I use their laundry powder mix also.  Any tips on using essential oils in the washing machine?  I've tried putting mine in the rinse compartment and directly into the washing powder, but my laundry never has any scent when it comes out of the machine.

A local village has just opened a new tourist office with great big publicity windows out front, displaying huge photos of all the fun things to do in the area.  Imagine Richard's surprise when he discovered that he's  the 'face' of mountain biking!! He remembers a photographer taking some pictures of him one day and giving her a business card, but she never contacted him to ask permission to use the images.   He doesn't really mind that much, jokingly remarked that it's good publicity provided you recognize him under all that gear!! (I wouldn't have)
"look it's daddy"
Seems he's 'appearing' everywhere at the moment - I happened to stop by my m.i.l's house in the week and she was watching a film about the famous alpinist Reinhold Messner.  Richard was an extra in the movie and if you know what he was wearing, what scene he is in and you don't blink at that precise instant you get to see him (fleetingly) on the TV!!

Completely at a loss with this one for March so here's a picture of Ringo instead
6 months old now - doesn't time fly when you have a puppy chewing his way through your house!
The kids call him our ecological vacuum cleaner.
Happy crochet flower bunting!  I figured that if I put up some flowers the spring will come - you know like when you are waiting for guests, you switch on the kettle and bingo they turn up!
Also working on a Fire Man doll for Tino, which thankfully is knitting up super quick because he wants it 'now please'!

Been recycling old t-shirts into spaghetti yarn to make a rug, adding a rows as I get given a t-shirts.  A friend just donated a big bag to me so they need to be cut up then I'll be supplied for a little while.

Last summer whilst helping out at the North Face Ultra Trail, I ran into a couple that I hadn't seen since the death of their son, whom I worked with at the time, 10 years ago.  We've since kept in touch and whilst they were recently spending a few weeks in Chamonix they came over for dinner (they insisted on cooking).  Turns out they know my f.i.l (who doesn't) and my s.i.l, so they came over too.  We had a wonderful evening and were never once at a loss for something to say.  Richard built our house 12 years ago and I think they were very touched to find out that their son had actually helped us with parts of it!!

Been having some great times with Richard, the boys and Ringo...

With a bit of luck, this will be my last Slow Living post containing snow for a few months - yippy!!
How was your month of March?