Category: alipyper likes to play

it’s been a busy week

handknit head scarf

It’s been kind of a busy week for me. I made up/adjusted a pattern for a head scarf/bandana/do-rag that the Mr. detests. Yes. Detests. He said to me, “I am really not attracted to you when you’re wearing that thing.” Ouch! Still not sure if I want to proceed to making more of them to sell if he felt that strongly about it. Darn! I thought it was cute and was very proud of myself for my brilliant adaptation.

k at starting line funrun 2014

k wins his grade funrun

{K} ran in his school’s fun run and placed 1st! Way to go buddy!

I spent all day Monday and Tuesday answering emails about fundraising and trying to get paperwork in order for {G}’s trip to China this summer. I have to stay positive that we’re going to raise enough for her to go. We’re going to do it!! We’re going to do it!!

g's quilt

g sewing her quilt

Yesterday, {G} tried to finish the quilt that she’s been working on since last fall for her Young Women in Excellence program. She took a beginning quilting class at Harmony in Provo, taught by the very lovely and talented Holly LeSué, and still hadn’t finished it. But we made great progress this week! She finished the half-square triangle top, chose a border fabric, we chose a back fabric, pinned it all together with the cotton batting, and she’s almost done with the machine quilting! She is SO EXCITED about it! Which makes a momma proud.

We’re gearing up for our Fundraising Garage Sale on Saturday. So many people have been so generous! And I’m teaching the Sunburst Granny Square class at Harmony on Saturday afternoon. I’m so excited for this class! It’s going to be fun.

I think that by Mother’s Day on Sunday, all I’ll want to do is sleep. Because next week is going to be just as busy.

(These pictures came from my Instagram feed. You should follow along!)

lots of pinning going on

alipyper - fall pinterest inspiration 2013

I’m kind of addicted to Pinterest right now. These are a few of my recent pins. I’ve been incredibly busy with lots of different things going on, but the pure joy of spending a half an hour (haha! right!) being inspired by creative and beautiful images is pretty darn fantastic. A happy visceral gut-instinct reaction to images and ideas..that I can file away for when I have time to process them later. Brilliant!

Follow along if you want…

dress / potholder / cowl / lace shirt / baby cardigan / raspberry thumbprints / sweater / knit pattern / rose / slippers / fair isle / quilt / room

learning to surf

We were planning on heading to San Diego for this week, then we weren’t going to go, then we did, but we cut our original plan in half, so we ended up being home in time to celebrate the 4th in Provo (the BEST place in all of America to celebrate Independence Day).

The Mr.’s sister, Susan, and her cute family live about a mile and a half from Pacific Beach. They are always incredibly generous to host us when we come. This year I decided I wanted to try surfing and Susan gave me my first lesson.

alipyper - surf lesson

alipyper - surf lesson

I wished that I had looked more like this…

Go Susan!
Go Susan!

But it mainly looked like this for me…

alipyper - surf lesson

It was a lot of fun – despite the neti pot effect that my wipeouts had on my nasal passages – and I’ll definitely try it again!

On the way down, we made the obligatory stop at Cane’s (definitely our favorite fast food place – best chicken fingers EVER)…

alipyper - Cane's Chicken Fingers - the BEST

drove through Baker, CA on one of the hottest days on record…

alipyper - dash display driving through Baker, CA on Saturday June 29, 2013

and I was able to work on another crocheted handkerchief – this time using my own Eyelet Lace edging pattern – which I finished once we returned to Provo.

alipyper - eyelet lace crocheted handkerchief edging pattern


My supply of hemstitched linen handkerchiefs is getting low and I have yet to find a place that sells exactly what I want at the price I want to pay. We’ll see if I can somehow figure out how to make them myself. Hmmm. Not sure I want to tackle that yet.

Now it’s back to surfing Pinterest

warm weather

The Mr. and I took the kids south for the President’s Day weekend. {K} had a soccer tournament in St. George. It didn’t go so well for {K} and his team, but hey! we all enjoyed the break from work, school and freezing temperatures.

I’m not supposed to point out the fact that the Mr. is wearing his reading glasses on top of his sunglasses so that he can see his fishing line. Oh, it’s so sad to get old!

The Mr. hasn’t been out fishing all year. The poor Mr.! Too busy with work and family. It was pure heaven for him to stand in the sunshine and cast to his hearts content this weekend. It doesn’t bother him if nothing bites, he’s just glad to be outside with a fishing pole in his hand.

It’s interesting to note that {I} is the one that has received the fishing gene from his father and grandfather. He can’t sit still through church or school to save his life, but get him out fishing and he is calm and focused for hours. Magic.

I didn’t want red sand in my yarn so I stayed in the car to wind my skein of MadelineTosh Prairie lace weight yarn the old school way. I’ve been designing a child’s sweater pattern for months now (in betwixt all the distractions of the holidays) and have another sweater pattern swirling around in my head but the thought of bringing either of these projects, which require a tremendous amount of focus and attention, gave me heart palpitations. So I brought the MadelineTosh yarn I purchased at Loop Knit Lounge while in London and I got started on the Swoon sweater pattern found in Juju’s Loops.

Pure bliss.

Ravelry project page here.

cath kidston and the parthenon

What a day I had yesterday! It ended with me being incredibly homesick for my son {I} and wishing desperately that he was with me (I wanted all my children and the Mr. with me, but especially {I} yesterday at the British Museum) to see the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman exhibits. They were spectacular! And the most spectacular thing about it was being so up close and personal to them.

Reading Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson  and the Olympians series made {I} want to learn Greek, live in Greece, go on a mission to Greece, and BE Greek.

I, on the other hand, want to live in a Cath Kidston store. I want to eat, drink, sleep, and speak Cath Kidston. I’m sure it’s very juvenile but it makes me very happy and the Mr. very poor. The Maryleborn High Street store was delightful and I enjoyed every minute of the hour and a half I spent in it agonizing over the fact that I couldn’t just buy the whole store and transport it back with me in my suitcase.

When I’m done living in a Cath Kidston store, I’d like to move down the street a few spots and live in the Rococo Chocolates store. Double yum. I’m taking full advantage of the foreign travel clause in my “no sugar” contract. The best? The sea salt chocolates. Ooh, baby!

Around the  corner and down a ways is V V Rouleaux. Gorgeous ribbons and trims. I wanted to buy their whole selection of velvet ribbon. Why is it so hard to find velvet ribbon in Utah? Why? A great selection of velvet ribbon should just be a given in a craft store, but apparently nobody else thinks so.

Lindsey from Urban Mums {London} wrote about The Button Queen, which is just a hop, skip, and jump away from V V Rouleaux, and made me want to check it out. It’s true! It’s only buttons! And it was all business when I went in to peruse. I think that you could find any kind of button you could ever want there, and some pretty spectacular cuff links too! I loved it.

When I got home after my glorious day of shopping in Marylebone and the amazing visit to the British Museum, I discovered that there was a Scottish Highland Shop RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from the British Museum, where I had JUST BEEN, that had some Wallace plaid items available! Darn! So, I went back today and picked up some ties for my Dad, who gives all his sons-in-law and all his grandsons when they turn 12 a Wallace tie to wear to church. Yay! Success!


Made it over to both the Tate Britain and the Tate Modern today, as well as a fly-by of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Loved the Tate Britain, but pretty much the complete pre-Raphaelite painting collection – which I was dying to see – was gone! It’s on loan in Russia for the rest of the year! I was so disappointed. I did very much enjoy the above painting, Gretchen, which was painted by Joanna Mary Wells in 1861. It made me REALLY miss my daughter, though, and wish that my family was here with me.

St. Paul’s Cathedral, London

Can I admit something quite shocking and old fashioned? I’m not a modern art fan. There are a few pieces here and there that I enjoy, but on the whole I find modern art depressing, dark, angry and narcissistically full of itself. So, I’ll need to go back to the Tate Modern with the Mr., who is able to view and appreciate modern art with a more discerning eye than me.

I loved the heft and solid neo-classical nature of St. Paul’s Cathedral. I didn’t have time to go in and climb to the Whispering Gallery in the dome – which comes highly recommended – but it’s on my list of London things to do when I can come back with my family. That, the Tower of London, and a whole host of other things that just are not going to be possible (nor were they the purpose) on this trip.


The VERY FIRST THING I bought in London was a lemon blueberry cupcake and a rhubarb almond cake topped with meringue from the Nottinghill Ottolenghi. No joke. I wouldn’t joke about such things.

My rapture at these desserts was in NO WAY influenced by the fact that I haven’t eaten any sugar (nothing – no honey, agave, cane sugar, artificial sugar or any other processed sugar!) for the last six months. Well, okay, maybe it was influenced a little. When I started not eating sugar, I reserved the right to have special treats if I was in a foreign country. You know, to make myself feel like it wasn’t a forever thing. At the time I had no travel plans. Lucky me that I’m unexpectedly in London!

Portobello Road Market in Nottinghill on a Saturday afternoon.

Since I’m a complete sugar addict, I will be promptly resuming no sugar when I return to the States. But, oh! Ottolenghi was truly a sublime way to break my fast! I’ll have to check out their cookbooks when I get back and see if I can in some way recreate my treat for my family.

Not only am I a sugar addict, but I’m a toy snob too. I can’t control myself from passing by a good toy shop! Honeyjam was not a disappointment. You can see the shop from Portobello Road and it was like a magnet, pulling me in. I did manage to walk out of the darling store without anything but it was very, very hard!

I only had an hour to sprint down the market road while ballet class was in session. I saw a few shops selling Scottish woolens, but alas, no Wallace plaid was to be found. Lots of stalls selling British china, silverware, antiques, a few crocheted linens, and brik-a-brak. I’m sure that there was a lot that I didn’t see, but it definitely was posh tourist central. No great deals to be found by me.

Except for the glorious Ottolenghi. Worth every pence.

mademoiselle brongniart

Elizabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun: 'Mademoiselle Brongniart'

I only had about an hour at The National Gallery the other day. I’ll have to go back because I did not do the museum justice. I picked the most famous paintings and went directly to them – so touristy of me! As I was rushing between rooms I was stopped in my tracks at this Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. In the turbulent summer of 1789 at the beginning of the French Revolution, Le Brun took refuge in the Brongniart home. I thought how poignant it was for Le Brun to have painted a child with her knitting, perhaps as a way to counter balance the turbulence and horror swirling around her at that time, perhaps as a way to repay the girls parents for their generosity. In any case, I thought it was one if the most personally significant paintings I saw all day. Absolutely lovely.


At the last minute, I had the chance to come to London to be with my dear friend and my god-daughter for a few weeks. Can’t wait to explore my favorites – Liberty, Cath Kidston and the darling Loop Knit Lounge! Will definitely share what I discover!

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