Friday, February 25, 2011

it rarely happens

Yes, it rarely happens that I get this sick but wow. This. is. crappy.

But I do have something fun to do while resting on the couch -- or trying to rest on the couch amidst tending to the kiddos. My birthday is nearing and when my dh asked me what was on my wish list I thought of only one thing.

The Cinnamon Sticks shop on Etsy.

I've been pining for a piece of my own ever since I ordered this little treat for my Mom for Mother's Day. We put her grandchildren's names and birthstones on it.

So here I sit, trying to decide which one I should pick. Every piece is just pretty and unique. What to pick? What would you pick? (here's some of my favourites...)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

monster mash (a tutorial)

No, I'm not going to teach you how to dance. I don't even think I know how to do the Monster Mash, come to think about it... And this is definitely not what I ever envisioned my first tutorial to teach but here we go!

Yesterday we were getting ready for school today: today is 'Wacky Hair/Hat Day" at preschool annnnnd my sons have buzz-cuts-a-la-Dad so we were left with the hat option. I spied a huge bag of old t-shirts in the laundry room and that's where we started.

"Carter, shall we make you a hat like Russel Sheep?"
"Yeah Mom, I want a really long one!"
Mom considers the dangers of a really long sleep hat at preschool and how the teachers might not appreciate such a headdress in the classroom.
"Carter, lets look on the internet for some pictures of silly hats we could make for you."

and we saw this one on Etsy and it received much approval from Carter

We rooted through that big bag of t-shirts and jersey scraps for the perfect colours. You realize now that I'm not getting away with making just one hat, right? Logan needs one too. We started with Carter's, in his favourite colour: orange. Grab your old t's cuz these are fun!

The beauty of using old t's is that you already have a perfect hem done for you when you use the bottom hem of the shirt. So, cut yourself two rectangles (front and back of hat) from the bottom hem of your shirt. Ours was 10 inches wide (the perfect hem side) by 8 inches high. For the width of the hat, measure the circumference of your little one's head, divide by two and add one inch for seam allowance. For the height of the hat, measure over the crown from brow to neck, divide by two and add 1/2 inch for seam allowance. For a floppier hat, add an inch and a half.

cut some tongues out of red jersey -- or pink! anything goes here!

Cut teeth/fangs. This was a 6 inch long strip of white jersey.
Make it as wide as you want your fangs long!

The eyes! I used Heat 'n Bond because I find it difficult to make circles stay put to sew. Head to the spice rack for some perfectly sized circles. Trace three 'white's and three pupils onto the paper side of your HnB and cut out roughly. By roughly, I mean leave a bit of paper around the edges, it's much easier to cut your fabric accurately on your drawn lines later. Take your rough circles and iron onto the wrong/back side of the fabric you chose for the eyes following the instructions for your HnB. Then cut out the fabric circles along your drawn lines above. (don't use your good fabric scissors, just some sharp all purpose scissors so you don't dull your good ones on that HnB paper!)

Ready to assemble! (Notice the tongue has become forked? Carter needed a more aggressive look than what I came up with.) Tack the tongue in place and sew your fangs over top. Any stitch will do. I actually wish I had used a zigzag instead of straight stitch for this. I just think it would have looked better.

Add the eyes: remove the paper backing and iron on first the whites, stitch in place; then the pupils, stitch in place. Stitching is optional if you use HnB but when sewing for my kids, I always go as secure as possible. Easier to stitch in place now than when the hat is assembled.

The horns. You can see I was really using scraps here! Cut four pieces, each 3 inches by 5 inches in any colour combination. Take two, and fold together in thirds lengthwise, as pictured.

Tack your folded horns in place to the front/right side of your hat back piece on a 45 degree angle to the top corner. Repeat with the other horns in the other corner.

Sew the front to the back, right sides together, making sure you don't get your horns stuck in your seams. I sewed a rounded corner at the horns but you could do a right angle too. Finish your seams with a zigzag stitch or use your serger and don't forget to trim that corner! You might also want to fold flat and tack down your seam at the bottom edge for comfort around the ears. You can see this on the blue monster pictured below.

Turn your hat right side out. See how the rounded corner turned out? Cut the folded horns into strips for a fun dangly fringe. Jersey doesn't fray! Hooray!

Add some buttons for the nose and you are done! Neah, huh? The square shape of the hat makes the horns stick out just perfectly when worn.

The orange monster would not let me take his picture but the blue one let me sneak one. (You can see the tacked down seam at the ear on this one.)

Logan wanted to be a happy monster so his fangs were rounded into teeth and he kept the silly tongue. He also decided to have only two eyes on the front and one on the back. Yes, he has an eye on the back of his head. He'll make a good parent, no?

I just couldn't resist placing this face at the end.
Really, she loved the hats and the dangling fringes begging for a pull and a tug!

Inspired? You are only limited by your imagination on this one. Have fun making your hats! Don't forget to send me a picture of your hats!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

tag-up tuesday

Tag-up time!

Yes, it is.

This has been a busy week but not in the sewing department.
I've little to show you but a pile of half-assembled blankies for a new, new item in the shop.

and it's my turn to suffer through the flu.
and I shared it with Paityn.

and with that, I leave you with a link to a little eye candy from the bloggers pillow party on Stitched in Colour

there are some beautiful entries to the February party.
Check it out! I go chase running noses.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

letter "L"

(Logan, March 2009)

Logan is so proud of his monogram. "L" he exclaims. I'm LOGAN!
(it comes out with a bit of an indignant growl to strangers.)

On Saturday morning when Mike asked Logan 'what's his letter', he replied, "L!"

and continued: "O! G! A! N! I'm LOGAN!!!"
(triumphantly, this time.)

We looked at each other. "Did you teach him to spell his name?" "No, did you?" "No."

Oh little man. How you keep us on our toes and surprise us so.
and we love you sooo much!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


That was the word that snapped into my mind when I read about this....

Cute skirt, huh? so very cute. and you can read all about the project here on the Burda website.

You see, this skirt has a 'new lease on life'. It was once a skirt of a different style: hanging, waiting in a thrift shop. hoping for a new wearer. and new closet to reside in. and now here it is. shorter. hipper. with pleated pockets now. beautifully buttoned now. being worn again.

But the best part about THIS project, featured by Burda on their Members Project of the Week page. is that my sister in law, Katie, bought that skirt in that thrift shop and took it home and deconstructed it and resewed it into its beautifulness pictured above. And that's even Katie right there modeling said skirt.

And BURDA featured her fabulous project on their website.

Now that's something to be proud of. and that's talent.

Some of the finer print: the fabulous photos were taken by my brother. also talented. In fact, he has taken the majority of the photos you see in our shop. And yes, Katie models our aprons too. They make a great team, I think.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

princes and a princess

now what could be going on in this quiet room?

Once there was a pretty little damsel who wiggled and giggled herself stuck under her cozy crib and when she cried out, her two handsome and princely brothers came to her rescue.

and there the three happily played for a good half hour while their mother fluffed and folded sweet-smelling laundry.

this is a good life.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

tag-up tuesday

It's Tuesday! and here's my project progress:

One car seat stroller quilt, done. I'm loving it and as usual am having a hard time letting it go. It's going to a good home though and I will see it often. I know there are many waiting to see the finished project, including the baby's mom. The quilt will be delivered this afternoon.

Here it is, done. I'm so happy with the binding fabric!

The baby boy's initials on the reverse.

Fresh from the wash; all nice and crinkly.
And on other fronts:

-flannel had been cut for more blankies. In fact, more flannel has come home with us and not orange. Orange is not to be found. The custom order gal and I have agreed upon one print so far. I'm not sure how far this will go.

-the 'Home Orgainization Journal' is taking off but no photos yet. It's too good not to wait until it's completely done and the entire family has become involved. I know I've piqued your curiosity now.

-Potty training Logan continues... he's a tough one!

-Three HEALTHY children emerged unscathed from their pediatrician appointment last week. They were soooooo goooood! and cooperative. I was a proud mom.

New projects:
ahhhh. let's hold off on that one for a week or two...

Now! tag-up and go!

Monday, February 14, 2011

happy love day!

Valentine's day is nearly done; oh but it was a fun day!

Logan and I made heart-shaped Rice Krispie treats for Carter to take to his Valentine's Day party at school tomorrow. Logan wanted to be the 'crinkle-boy' and took his job very seriously.

Then I had to try this from A Pretty Cool Life. Cheryl had a pretty cool idea -- delicious!

Hope you had a happy Love Day too!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

it's like she knows

This magazine subscription was a gift from my mom and it always arrives just on the day that I need it -- an excuse for a break, that is. It's like she knows, even though she lives so far away.

it arrived today.

Thank you, Mom!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

tag-up tuesday

It's Tuesday already! It's winter break and we are enjoying a week at home without the school routine. I find it's easier to get into projects when I know I can continue on it the next day should I be interrupted.

over the past week:
-a cute birthday gift for Carter's classmate. enter pink ruffled apron and hair ties at left. (just a side note: Snuggles was at the party. Poor guy was wearing a pink and purple satin dress.)

-sorting through outgrown clothes and kids stuff. Now there are four boxes to drop off at the thrift store, six totes to drop off for consignment, four Kijiji ads (posted! and two of those four items are on their way out my door this afternoon.) and a handful of found 'lost items'.

-supplies gathered for the 'Home Organization Journal'. When purchasing the binder, I grabbed another big one and Carter and I put all his school
work in it. He's been paging through it telling me about the projects and is pretty excited to bring home new work to hole punch and add to the binder. If you visit, I'm sure he'll show you his work too. He's quite proud!

-two sales in the shop! and a custom order to fill. If you were oogling them, the dino blankie and the grey dotted blankie are gone. The new owner of the grey dotted blankie requested another in orange which pleased us so -- there is a certain boy (C.) in this household who LOVES all things orange and is quite excited for fabric shopping tomorrow.

-demolition. Not really my project -- it's Mike's but it does involve me too. The first level of our basement (there are two) has been torn apart! Insulation and framing removed, floors being scraped... We're needing some more bedrooms in this house -- especially with it being our turn to host family Christmas this year (hint, hint, family! -- book early, the rooms will go fast.) That being said, it will come to a time when Carter and Logan will no longer want to share a bedroom and our three bedroom house will accommodate when they make that decision. But we do live far from most of our family so I'm most of all happy to have the extra space for visitors.

On the block this
-potty training Logan -- another attempt. It's going well this time. I think we've got it!

-Valentine's Day care packages. I still work casually for King's just helping out with their Student Care Package program. I get to do the fun stuff: creating and delivering care packages. There are 17 care packages waiting to be tied closed with ribbon.

-fabric shopping: some 'warm & natural' to start quilting the little boy's quilt and orange flannel.

-I'm determined to get some more flannel blankies in the shop this week. In fact, I'm hitting the cutting table immediately after this. Okay, immediately after lunch. I'm hungry.

-the 'Home Organization Journal'. This is shaping up well -- I need some help from my DH though, so you'll have to wait a bit to see.

-three check-ups at the doctor's office tomorrow. Should be fun, no? lol! I'm sure there will be a story to share...

that's it! I'm feeling motivated having all of you to keep me accountable to my projects. Thank you! and thank you for reading. now go! get something done!!

Tag Up and GO!

Friday, February 4, 2011


it may be quiet here, but it's not quiet around this house!

there are sick kids, a teething baby, snow melting, ice melting, house cleaning, renovation planning, vacation planning, party attending, sewing and quilting kind of days this week. busy.

looking forward to some catch up over the weekend!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

tag-up tuesday

It's Tag-Up Tuesday again! The day when I check in with you and show you my progress on projects (or lack thereof) and get set for another week of creating. And you feel all inspired because I have waaaay too much on the go and your list is much more attainable.

The nursing aprons and receiving blankets are still two piles of fabric. I'm just not getting to those. hmmn.

Snuggle Down Baby Quilt -- for a girl from the 'thinking' post: not a lot of change here. I can show you the preliminaries: charm squares pieced and fabrics temporarily placed. I think this is how it's going to come together. Those extra squares will be some shabby flowers just like the ones on Paityn's little quilt. It's been bumped for the next project. read on...

The 2nd Snuggle Down Baby Quilt for the brand new little boy -- the fabric was purchased, it's been cut to pieces and I've started putting it back together. I thought I'd try something new and tackled the Disappearing Nine Patch quilt pattern. It's pretty impressive looking without being too complicated to execute. Here's a sample and tutorial (in case you want to try it for yourself) from P.S. I Quilt. Nice, eh. Here's my start:

The nine patches...


The blocks now sit precariously waiting final approval to be sewn into a quilt top. Approval is actually just me walking by the table 200 times along my daily tasks and liking the layout every.single.time. That's all. Truth is I'm so picky about patterns touching each other (they can't!), that these blocks can't be moved at all. Really. I've tried.

A quick project to interlude to this quilt is a little girl's ruffly apron and some nice pony-o's for a birthday party gift (Carter's first school-mate birthday party). It's cut out already and shouldn't take more than an hour to complete.

And the very last project (newly added, I might add) is a Home Organization Journal. Sounds fun, doesn't it? Sounds official and useful too. Sounds like a break from sewing. I do need those sometimes. Check out the fun on A Bowl Full of Lemons. Now, I know I've got projects to do before this journal. I promised myself that this would wait, must wait until next week when we're home all week. Carter has Winter Break from school so there's no need to go out... no reason to go out. And that's a good feeling in the cold, Canadian north. (Yippee!) and we're going to give Logan another try at potty training. (Yipp-- oh. yippee.) It's gonna happen this time though. It will I tell you. It will.

Okay! gather your projects, TAG-UP and GO!


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