Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

For my birthday, I got lots of greetings of Facebook, flowers, take out food, and a walking baby:

A few days later, I had a new friend teach me how to cast on, so I could actually start knitting with the wool and needles I bought for my birthday last year. It has already been totally unravelled by an unsuspecting 3 yr old (after all, who could resist such perfect swords?), but I'm hoping it won't happen again.
I already learnt how to knit when I was about 8 -- my grandmother taught me. It came back without Valerie showing me a single stitch. I just looked at the row of loops and my body remembered what to do. Our muscle memory is truly amazing, isn't it?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

You know you're in a City when . . .

you have to run "Lockdown Drills" while substitute teaching, instead of "Fire Drills"

a car drives into the side window of your local grocery store and it doesn't make the news

you start to recognize the tags of your local graffiti artists

its a surprise to bump into anyone you know on the street

if you can walk there in under 15 minutes, its faster to walk than to drive

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A New Toy and Cake

I got a new toy this week that has helped me just about "finish" my little creative space in the living room. As you can see, I have my teeny tiny design wall and inspiration board hung up (two Ikea magnet boards, one covered with batting), a little clothes line for postcard and photos and such and the upper squares a little more sorted. But check out that sloppy ironing board! Since my original, blue ironing board cover got trashed (when I absent mindedly rotary cut a block on top of it and it became a victim of late night sewing mania), I have been trying to decide what to do with my ironing board. I had it wrapped up in this fabric with some batting underneath for a while, then I had it bare for a while, then I put a well folded old sheet under this fabric and wrapped it up again. The problem is that its not really portable this way. And since this fabric is the same stuff I used on Emma's nursing pillow, Emma got hungry and cranky every time I went to sew because it reminded her of lunch. I finally decided that action had to be taken.
One of the things I love about the city is the ability to just go out and get things. I know this sounds like a no brainer, but when you have lived in a town where you have to check the three local hard ware stores for everything, only to find that none of them stock the product you are looking for and that it will have to be added to the list of "Things for Dave to Get Next Time He's In the City ", it is very exciting. So, I packed the children up into the car, headed down to Reno Depot and found this little darling. Yes, a simple staple gun.
This staple gun has been a very satisfying purchase. For 15.00, I now have the technology. The ironing board is re-covered in this cute orange and yellow Joel Dewberry print that I like, but have never been able to figure out a use for. The orange will match my ridiculous sewing machine cover, should it ever be completed, as well as my soon to come curtains. Hooray.

In other news, I baked a really yummy cake. We were supposed to have guests over for dinner, so I made a nice meal. The guests forgot to show up, but the cake sure is tasty. I used coffee instead of milk in the icing. It kept the kids up late last night (oops) but it is really good. And with no one to share it with, we could have it for breakfast, too.
As you can see, I iced it with my usual style and attention to detail. I baked it too late, so it was still warm, and thus wobbled mid - icing. In other news, the mocha frosting matches my paint, which is definitely to be desired in cake, don't you think? I'll have to see if I can keep up a trend of stylish deserts in the future.

Friday, October 22, 2010

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. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments at for all to find and see.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fancy Pants, Take One

So, when I saw these Quick Change Trousers from Anna Maria Horner's book Handmade Beginnings start popping up around the internet, I knew I had to make some. I bought the book, and  I even bought fabric specifically to make them out of. Then I got distracted (ahem). I decided that fall is the perfect time for these pants, since they have two layers, and so I just didn't buy Emma any fall pants. This has meant that for the last week or so Dave keeps asking me, "Where are all Emma's pants?" whenever he has to change her. I have been sidestepping the question, rather than answering, "I haven't made her any yet." We all know the eye rolling that would cause. So, here is the first pair of several of these ridiculously cute pants.
The main fabric on this side is a print from Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow (I think) collection. It is ridiculously cute, and I had planned to use it as a flower field in a quilt, but I really couldn't resist making it into girl's clothes. I can always cut them apart later when they don't fit her and make them into a quilt after all. So here are more photos than you want to see of Emma doing typical 10 month old baby things in her new pants.

Playing Peek a Boo:
Having a temper tantrum (do all girls start this young, or am I in trouble?):
Practicing her walking:
Oh, did you catch that? These are the same pants, but now they're green. That's because these little darlings are reversible. That's right -- now when Miss Messy decides to crawl through the mud on the way to church or chow down on raspberries just before picture time, I can just flip her pants inside out. How do you know these were designed by a mother of six?
This side is Amy Butler's famous Full Moon Polkadots. I've been hoarding them for about 5 years now, but I've called off all fabric hoarding and my new sewing mantra is, "I did not buy fabric to stay folded up on a shelf". (Not having the income for new fabric helps, too).
I used the helpful cloth diapered bum modification worked out by Meg over at Sew Liberated and it worked beautifully.
This pair is all quilting cotton, and now that its getting cooler I'm planning some corduroy pairs to keep Ems warm when she's walking her big brother to school in the morning.

I conclusion, let me add that it is impossible to just photograph Emma these days. Others want to get into the photos, making silly poses and then demanding that I stop my photo shoot to show them EVERY photo I take of them immediately. I kept asking them to pose, but Aaron kept moving and dancing, so this is the closest we got to what they were imagining their photo should look like.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Finished Stash Busting Bee International Quilt!

So, funny story about this quilt. This is the only quilt I have used before it was finished. It just so happened, that as we were on our cross-canada tour this summer, I had used our quilts to pack assorted fragile things. The only quilts I had kept out were the two I was working on. This quilt, and Clare's Quilt were both being bound at the same time. I started with this quilt, then realized I wasn't going to get it finished in time to also finish the Afternoon Tea Quilt, so I started binding that quilt too, and I was switching back and forth. In any case, I had one side of this bound, but I needed a quilt for us to sit on when we were in Kenora , then I needed a quilt to keep Emma shielded from the sun on the drive, then I needed a quilt for Emma to lie on while we were camping . . you get the idea.

In any case, this quilt was actually finished after it had been used for about two weeks. Then I sat down, finished binding it, and threw it immediately in the wash. Not just because I wanted to see how it would crinkle up, but also because it was really, really dirty from travelling with us. I chose the brown dotted binding, and almost immediately wished I had chosen turquoise instead. I did not wish it enough to rip the whole binding off a week before we moved across Canada, however, so it will stay as it is.
I loved how the hand quilting worked out. Next time I might do smaller stitches, but I love the fact that the turquoise stitches can be seen peeking out through all the hot pink and orange fabrics. Can I ever get enough of high contrast? I don't think so.
Did I ever show you the real back? I decided to boycott Emma's choice of fabric in favour of three of my favorite prints that matched -- the pink butterflies from Wonderland, the big cages from Lantern Bloom, and the blue birds and cages (you can't see them) by Tina Givens. Its a brilliant backing. I love it.
This is the front, and this is one of the places it gets used. Aaron and Emma use this quilt when we're out and about pulling them in the wagon, and Emma uses it for bed time too. Its super snuggly. Thanks so much, ladies from the Stash Busting International Bee. We love our quilt.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Go check out this lovely blog and giveaway

Giveaway over at me and my two guys, one of my bloggy buddies. She writes a lovely blog about crafting and gardening in Australia. Not just any giveaway, but a huge-er than huge, bigger than big giveaway. Go stop by and say hi.