Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Project 52: First Spring Ride

I have decided to participate in Project 52 at Simply Modern Mom. The objective is to take a clean, unedited photograph of my kiddoes, a glimpse into my motherhood. I have a lot of snaps to share and no, this will not be turning into a photo blog but so many of you (hi mom!) always ask for new pictures and yes, I do snap a lot of them (as does Da Man with his BlackBerry but he has yet to get those uploaded onto a shared drive. Oh wait, we are still saving up for that triple mirrored NAS that he wants!) Yes, I have three days a week with just photos and yes, I do have some other stuff craft-wise to show you but I haven't settled on anything yet; I did set up a quasi-schedule, more for me to follow and have something to write about, and this is just a reflection of my flighty, indecisive nature :).

Like a blogger friend of mine said once, "This is my blog and I can do whatever I want." :)

Spring is coming along grudgingly in our part of the world. It melted quite a fair bit last week, with temperatures above zero for most of it. Yesterday, it snowed another 10 cm and much to their joy, it was the heavy, wet stuff our children dream about (as opposed to the light, fluffy, easy-to-shovel stuff we parents beg for with every snowfall). This marks the progression in our calendars too as the "snowman snow" is the harbinger of springtime warmth on the Canadian Shield.

We dusted off last summer's bikes and trikes for a spin around the schoolyard - looks like new bikes are on the horizon as the kiddoes have both sprouted some over the winter.

Project 52: Glimpse Into Motherhood

Monday, March 21, 2011

First. Ever. Giveaway

Happy Monday!

Remember this picture?

First person to comment the correct answer for where we went this weekend will get a sweet surprise in the mail. Anywhere in the world.


I will close it on Sunday March 27, 2011 at midnight Eastern Standard. That's like, a week, people!

I do have some projects I want to show you but I am swamped with work and my other work ;).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wordless weekend

Friday, March 18, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

*** ***

Thursday, March 17, 2011

100% pinch-proof

Happy St Patty's!

To pinch-proof my kiddies, I whipped up these two dresses from some t-shirts and sewed on some quick fleecy shamrocks on the front.

(these are the best pictures I could find that did not show their faces. They were nice and squeaky clean from baths last night and I let them try it on. Camera is on the way out hence grainy pictures)

I am in the midst of drafting up some new clothes for summer and it all started with this:

Da Man's large, comfy Roots t-shirt that he was no longer wearing and hung all sad and lonely in the closet. I applied scissors to it one night and one hour later:

Cute little twirl dress for #1 princess!

I made a mistake on the measurements (forgot it was on the fold) and didn't think the extra inch I was leaving for room to expand was going to cause a four inch increase! Only complaint was: "It's too FAT mummy!"

No worries, Version II were the St Pat's dresses and they seem to be working fine. The shamrocks are only tacked on lightly so that I can take them out tonight and they will have dresses for the rest of the summer. Still have some fidgeting to do with the patterns until I am happy.

For today, they are 25% Irish, 25% English, 35% Chinese, 15% Miscellaneous and... 100% pinch proof!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wordless weekend

Friday, March 11, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

*** ***

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Little jackets for Spring

I had the opportunity to make some jackets for some little girls over the weekend, one set for the christening of Tater's godparents' first child and another set just because. I didn't get a chance to take pics of the set for Baby M but I managed a quick snap of the second set before I packaged it up to leave at work for a colleague's daughter!

Here is the ensemble as modeled by my patient couch:

The jacket is the Wraparound jacket from Ottobre 5/2006. I used leftover quilted broderie anglaise from when I was making sleepsacks for the babies. I lined it with leftover flannel from Girl-chick's first birthday lootbags. They're super-soft with ladybugs in pink, green and yellow colorways. I didn't have enough of any color to make a complete set so I went with not clashing. Here it is as modeled by the back of my couch. The lighting is terrible because we don't have much light in the great room (working on that!).

I missed the February Embroidery Companion Sew Along (yet again!) but I selected the letters from the book to monogram the jackets. I hope this redeems myself! Here is a close-up of the stitching (('m not very good at it and I still see the ink in some spots from when I had to freehand it onto the material but it will wash out):

The little trousers are made with the help of CarlaC's Easy Fit Pants except that the pattern starts from 6 months and the babies were 2.5 months old and almost 6 months old but with an adjusted age of almost 3 months. So I skootched the waist in a bit, shortened the legs and hoped for the best. I did refer to a table of standard measurements to double check!

As soon as I can get my hands on some pics of the babies in them, I'll update the post.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Girl-chick and Tater: Weekend recap - Sunday

Overnight on Saturday, the skies opened up and dumped a whole bunch of the white stuff on us. We really wanted the kiddies to nap as there was a baptism in the afternoon that I needed them to behave at so we threw them out to play in the white stuff. It was, to girl-chick's disappointment, the white stuff of the soft, fluffy variety. Normally by now, we get the wet, heavy, sticky snowman snow. Not yet...

On to the photos!
(I only use a small Canon A710 that is old and starting to display CCD errors so the photos are mostly crappy but for now, at least I have photos right??)

This is what we saw out the front window:

They set to digging out the driveway, maybe about a foot fell...

Soon enough, they had a mound built up on the other half of the driveway (the half we don't use):

And then before you knew it, there were stairs carved into it:

It's for the king of the castle to climb.

We went inside for lunch and this is what we found in the porch:

(abandoned snowsuit, still with boots attached!)

After lunch and a too-brief nap, we got ready to head all the way out to the East end again, further east than yesterday!

The Tater chose sparkly blue, flower-shaped buttons for the placket on her Jump Rope dress. Not a bad choice for a random pop of color.

I am not really loving the way the sash sits on the purple dress. Perhaps the sash was cinched too tight? The dress does look better in one solid fabric rather than a mix of fabrics like the purple dress. That was all the purple flower fabric I had though so needs must.
The rest of the day had no pictures. I was too busy keeping the Girl-chick out of the baptismal font to take pictures. And then, too busy keeping the baby and the dog separate at out friends' house. And then too busy reminding them children not to scratch all the way home. (They're both allergic to animal dander and eggs and we forgot to give them some Aerius beforehand.)

By the time we bathed the kids and put them in bed, Girl-Chick looked like she had gone ten rounds in a boxing match and lost and Tater looked like a bad case of goiter. (Benardyl worked it magic overnight!)

And that was our weekend!

Girl-chick and Tater: Weekend recap - Saturday

This was a very busy weekend and a very busy week to start off so combining posts today...

On Saturday, we skipped our customary rhythmic gymnastics class to get the Girl-Chick down to the dentist for her regular cleaning. While we were waiting, the Tater climbed the steps in the mall.

After the dentist/hygenist, we took advantage of the fact that we were clear across town to go visit the RCMP Musical Ride Open House. Da Man and I have been to watch the actual Musical Ride, before the kiddies came along and when they are done their tour this year and return to Ottawa, we will bring the girls back out to watch too. It's a wild ride!

We met the RCMP Safety Bear whom Girl-Chick was quite happy to shake hands with...

but the Tater wanted no part of it!

There was a lot of information about the RCMP all the way through the hallways - kinda boring for two littles so we forged ahead to the main indoor training yard where other representatives of all the emergency services were on hand to provide demonstrations.

The Girl-Chick had great fun running the mini obstacle course set up by the Army:

There were a lot of horses in the stables, all the same color:

(hi big guys!)

Soon enough, the kids were hungry and needed lunch so we went to hunt for something special.
Girl-Chick demonstrated why her socks were always wet despite really good boots:

We went to our special treat restaurant, St Hubert - special because it is all the way over to the East end and always packed full of people so we never go.

There was an intense study of the menu:

And some pre-lunch art:

And after that, there was a trip home and an afternoon nap.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Scrapbusting: Fabric yo-yos and covered buttons

This is part of a bigger project that I can't reveal just yet until the recipient gets it in the mail but I took advantage of my set of second swap scraps to make some fabric yo-yos and covered buttons.

They're super easy to make.

I found in my stocking over Christmas a "Quick" Yo-yo maker. It was languishing on my pegboard and when I was working on this project and thinking about how to jazz it up with the recipient's requirements in mind, I happened to glance over at the scraps sitting there innocently and pulled a couple of pieces out. In the space of a Saturday morning Dora, I had three of them made and coordinated well with some more scraps from that same stash to make covered buttons.

Melissa, if you are reading this, THANK YOU for your wonderful scraps! I hope you get as much mileage out of the ones I sent you!!!

Here's a bigger picture of the yo-yos (without ruining too much of the surprise for a certain Miss A)...

The stems are leftover chenille from an old project. Love the stuff because you can do all sorts of shapes with it, moisten it down and fluff. The instructions say to use some sort of special product but I just used an old toothbrush that would normally have been thrown out anyway or used to clean nasty cracks in the shower stall.

Would you believe I have never made yo-yos before? I have an old childhood quilt made entirely of yo-yos; I don't know any of the provenance because my grandmother had it and then it was passed to me and I never asked about it. I loved it literally to bits and now it sits abandoned in a packing box many thousands of miles away from where I am now. I used to feel the different bits of fabric and wonder what they came from. My grandmother survived the Japanese occupation of Malaya in the 40s and grew up frugal. Did she salvage those scraps? Did her mother? It was backed with the softest, most luxurious cream flannel that I loved to snuggle under on those cool, rainy mornings in Asia.

But, the simplicity of the making of such a little circle has me thinking.... I should make a new yo-yo quilt (or three!) of my own scraps. I checked out the Clover website and did you know they have these things in odd shapes too? Like a butterfly, a heart,  and a flower! How cool is that? Hmm... oh the thinks I am thinking!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Stripwork Skirt

I made this skirt for a little friend whose birthday is in April (but I have a lot of things on the go and I wanted to clear as much as I could.)

I followed the tutorialrecipe at Moda Bake Shop with a few modifications (of course!).

I made it longer than called for because she is a very tall girl. I was originally going to add a strip of pleats at the bottom but it looked busy enough.

I finished the seams by pinking them, pressing the seams apart and sewing down both sides.

Twin needle action baby!

Here's a cool shot of the finished stitches with the twin needles:

I had meant to add a set nof bows to the sides but got carried away with just making the belting behave. I had to double up on the 1/2 inch belting to make the front stiffer and there is a small strip of elastic at the back to account for ease.

I don't think her mom reads this blog so I am posting the skirt. I have received rave reviews on this skirt already so I am thinking of making more and stocking it for the next market and maybe put some in my (empty) Etsy store.

I think I love this skirt....