Monday, 31 May 2010

Hot Summer Nights at Tawny Bee

Hot summer nights are here. Sitting on a patio sipping some lemonade (spiked hopefully). Hanging out with good friends, BBQ, beers. You find yourself feeling a little hot and sweaty. Perhaps thoughts turn to taking off some of your clothes? Jumping in a lake or running through a sprinkler? Those granny panties and old ratty bra will never do!

Introducing Lingerie Month at Tawny Bee!

All throughout June I will teach you how to make several different cuts of panties from boy-ish ones to thongs (naughty!) I will teach you how to make the perfect bra whether it be a sports one, or a slinky red number *wink* I'll try my crafty hands at sassy camisoles that you won't want to wear underneath (oh la la!). Robes and slippers and bloomers oh my! I might even work up to building my very own bathing suit to wear at my beach wedding after the ceremony.

As always, I'll have plenty of tutorials and tips. So grab your feathers and lace and meet me back here everyday in June! :D

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Our First Adventure as Homeowners

We didn't know the previous owner of our house. I'm not sure we really want to know that much about him. But certain things about his personality are shown to us just by living in his house. Even though we live here now, we are surrounded by the hard work, craftsmanship and love that he put into his house. And this really saved our butts this weekend!

Mother Nature decided to rain, and rain, and rain, and rain, and rain, and rain... and did I mentioned Mother Nature decided to rain?

So it seemed like a good time to stay indoors and catch up with friends that we hadn't seen in a long while. New jobs, promotions, kids and traveling have been keeping all of us very busy and we hadn't had a chance to catch up and visit since Christmas! Yikes!

Josh and Mel came to visit and everything was lovely. I showed Mel the fabulous fabric I had just bought to make bridesmaid outfits out of - she approved! yay! We were enjoying some videogames with Logan, who was so excited about getting to stay up late...

Then it happened - Terry noticed a little bit of water on his foot! It was coming from under the couch. What!??

We all got up to check the laundry room and sure enough, it was flooding!

Here's the aftermath. The water was a few inches deep in places before it started draining again.

And here is the scary water that seeped through and under our couch.

This is where I would like to thank the previous owner of this house - God Bless you and may you rest in peace. Since 2004 when he bought this house, he started some serious work on it. And it wasn't cheaply done or of poor quality. He redid the foundation, replaced the furnace, put in a sump pump and sewage back up valve, redid the electricity, plumbing, painting, installed countertops, carpet, put in a new switch box - etc, etc, the list goes on.

And everything was working and wonderful last night during the flood. The sump pump worked to full capacity. The window wells did excellent and all the water drained where it should. The sewage back up valve held in place and we had no sewage seeping out anywhere.

If only the city would improve their drainage. The storm drains were full! Therefore, no matter how much our house was working to keep water out, there was no hope. :( The water had no place to go.

Thanks to our wonderful neighbor who let us borrow his wet/dry vac while his dad brought over another for him to use on his poor leaking house. It was nice to see the neighborhood come together and help each other out :) I love living here!

Terry and I spent today drying out the carpet with fans, blow dryers, and the vacuum.

Logan even got in on it!

Look at those poor lonesome beers! They had to be removed from our mini fridge and placed on a filing cabinet in order to move the fridge out of the way. They look like they need a good home. Me thinks my tummy will do nicely for that job ... hmm.... maybe next weekend.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Buffet and Short Pants

You know that you sew a lot of pants when you can make two pairs in under an hour. That's just what I did tonight. Lane is in serious need of short pants and the ones I made her the other day were so cute, that I had to make a few more pairs.

One tiny problem: I didn't have anymore girlie fabric to make them out of. So I became creative and cut these two pairs out of Lane's receiving blankets. We got a pile of these when she was born from my mom. Mom sent a bunch of Calvin Klein onesies and the blankets to match. Lane has outgrown the need to be swaddled, so this was perfect. She's just now wearing those onesies, and now she has short pants to match! Adorable. (I'll be sure to snap a few pics of her modeling these new short pants, but for now this picture will have to do because Lane is sound asleep for the night).

We also made Logan's day by taking him to his new favourite restaurant for buffet! As you read in a previous post, Logan is a little obsessed with the buffet. We've had to pretend we're there for a few days (although today he changed it up a bit and I had to pretend to order Crabby Patties all day).

Yum yum, buffet is great for toddlers.

And not too bad for babies either.

But the poor Monsters Inc. Shirt took a beating. Chocolate ice cream all over! I had to take him into the washroom and wash a bit of it out before we left, but the boy was still filthy when we got home. Better go Spray and Wash that mess before it sets!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Summer Sewing: Monsters Inc. T-Shirt

I took a bit of a break form sewing for the past few days. I think I'm suffering from a little bit of burnout. It was a much needed rest. But now back to summer sewing!

Today I dug out my old Monsters Inc. T-Shirt that I got for free when we bought the DVD. Logan has been on a serious Monsters Inc. kick lately, so his eyes lit up when he saw it. He was so happy when I told him that I would make it into a t-shirt for him. Of course, the t-shirt fit me when I was thin, so I didn't have enough for sleeves.

I ended up doing some fancy upcycling. The sleeves are Terry's old t-shirt back (I'm saving the front picture for a new quilt). The neckline is taken from one of Lane's old onesies.

Turned out super cute eh? Or maybe it's just the model that makes it super cute!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Buffet and Whiskey

Last week we took Logan to the Royal Fork in Winnipeg for dinner. Those that don't know, the Royal Fork is a buffet style restaurant.

Well Logan loved it! What kid wouldn't love it really? You get your own tray, utensils and plate and you get to choose the food that you want to eat. There's J-ello, shrimp, and a sundae bar! All of Logan's favourites.

As a result of this trip, we have been playing "buffet" everyday. We get our plastic plates, forks, spoons and cups and pretend to walk around the buffet table choosing whatever we like to eat. Then after we finish that, we have to go back for ice cream. Not really a fun game to play with a curious baby climbing all over everything, but it keeps Logan entertained while it rains, so I don't complain that much.

Here he is sitting at the "table" (his bench) in the "buffet restaurant" (the laundry room).

Does anyone else have a kid that plays these sorts of games?

Oh yes, and an interesting thing happened to us when we went to meet Logan's pre-school teacher tonight. You may remember that last December right before Christmas I made some homemade Irish Cream in our new blender. Well, Logan was busy playing with the nursery school toys while we were sitting down in the tiny chairs to learn about all the things required of parents during the upcoming year. He was playing with a kid blender and came to pour us a drink.

Terry asks Logan, "Is this a banana milkshake?" Since we made banana milkshakes on the weekend, this wasn't a far fetched guess.

Logan looked confused for a minute and said, "No daddy. It's Wicksey."

Come again?

Me to Terry, "Did he just pour us some Whiskey?"

Logan hears this and says, "Yes mommy, Whicksey!"

So now if any of the parents or the teacher heard this little exchange, they all have labeled Logan the poor kid with the alcoholic parents! I swear, we haven't even touched the Whicksey since December. It's been sitting in a cupboard above the fridge where no one can see it since then! Gah!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

I Don't Need Freud To Tell Me....

... that I'm experiencing a little anxiety about letting go of my baby boy for pre-school.

We are going tomorrow to meet Logan's nursery school teacher and check out the classroom and learn all about what our little boy will be doing and learning starting in September this year. Apparently this is too much for my brain to process.

I had the worst dream last night. I dreamt that we missed this important meeting because we decided it was more important to go out to dinner. Then when I finally made it to the classroom, the teacher yelled at me and demanded money. Then Logan showed up out of nowhere and I had to lead him out of the school which all of a sudden had a million obstacles in the way. And I was attached to Logan with a bungee cord! Yeah... I know... umbilical cord anyone?

But then the dream took a weird turn. I remembered that I needed to pick up bread at a convenience store close to our house. I went there and was thinking the whole time I was purchasing the bread that Logan would be old enough in a few years to go with his friends on his bike to pick up this bread. I was feeling proud and excited for him to grow up. What?!!

So I'm terrified of letting him go, and yet I want him to grow up. Isn't this the dichotomy of every mommy experience? *sigh*

Terry tells me that he had a terrible dream last night as well. His was about being late for an exam back in University and me choosing someone else. Yikes!

Me thinks we are under a bit more stress than we realize!

Monday, 24 May 2010

May Long Weekend 2010

We're at the end of a wonderful long weekend here in Winnipeg. Sadly, it was too short - but we had some terrific weather, so I won't complain too much.

I had planned on getting a ton of sewing done this weekend. Then the sun started shining and all of those plans got thrown out the window in favour of family fun!

Here's what I did get done: Two pairs of baby moccasins to match the Pink Owls and Green Garden versions of Laney's Emergency Hat. I'll be listing those separately and as part of a set at Tawny Bee. Check it out if you like!
I also appliqued some pretty cute Goombas onto a tank top for myself and a t-shirt for Logan. I made the Goomba pattern myself, cut it out of felt and hand-sewed it to the shirts while Logan and Terry were playing Super Mario - fitting don't ya think? Mama and kiddo twins - awwwww!

The rest of the weekend was spent shopping, bbq-ing, playing in the yard, Stars N Strollers (we went to see Date Night and it's highly recommended!) and of course the most exciting place of all for little kids - Tinkertown!

Logan's new favourite ride is the swings. Last year he was too small to go on them, but this time around he got to ride twice!

Daddy and Logan rode the train. Mommy stayed on the sidelines with Laney who was having a nap.

Actually I think we both needed a nap! Too much sun!

How was your weekend? I hope you enjoyed the sun (or the rain, wind, cold as the case may be).

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Summer Planting with Kids!

This morning I woke up and got the crazy notion in my head that today would be a great day to plant a bit of a summer garden - with the kids! I know - what was I thinking?

We lugged everything we would need outside to the backyard, including the playpen to contain the whirlwind that is Lane. We dug all the gardening tools out of the shed and went to work on the planter. The planter is a strange object in our yard that doesn't really have a place. We're thinking that we will eventually get rid of it, but until then, might as well try it out.

Well for the next 45 minutes, Laney screamed her little butt off. She cried and yelled and fussed until I could take no more. She wasn't going to be left in the playpen, even if it was near us, and she wouldn't stop shoveling dirt and weeds and sticks and grass into her mouth when she was set free. We ended up stopping our gardening plans and taking her inside for some lunch. When she fell asleep, we brought her back outside to sleep in the playpen while Logan and I had a picnic and got some peas planted.

Here she is sleeping in the playpen while Logan is picnicking on that lovely blanket I made. He even picked out the rocks to fit in the pockets I added to the corners of the blanket so that the wind wouldn't take it away.

We had our work cut out for us. Do you see the weeds in the top part of the planter? That was what we had to dig out of the bottom part. Obviously it hadn't been used in a few years. There were some nasty root systems that we had to dig through. Hopefully our peas will be able to grow in all that. We turned the soil over and pulled most of the roots out, but I'm still worried that our plants will be choked out. Oh well, if we keep trying every year it should get better and better.

Here is Logan watering our little seeds after we planted them. He was awesome at putting the seeds all in a row where mommy told him to place them. And he's very excited about having to water them each and every day.

Just so that you know I was actually out there with the kids, here is a lovely picture that Logan took of me. He's quite the photographer! Looking a little exhausted form being out in the sun with a fussy baby, but I'm OK.

After all that planting (and napping) we all had a little fun in the sprinkler. Lane is fearless. She crawled through the sprinkler several times, getting extremely soaked and was very upset when I pulled her away. She didn't even care that she was getting water all in her face, she just wanted to play with her big brother so much. But the sun was getting a little too hot and even though we all had sun-block on, I had to be a mommy ogre and bring the kids inside before they all got heat stroke. Maybe we'll play again tomorrow.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Summer Sewing - Laney's Huck Finn Pants

Not to be outdone by her brother, Laney had to have summer shorts with a Dora theme too! She is in the middle of learning how to walk, but her main mode of transportation is crawling at top speed around the house. We have wooden floors and a cement floor in the laundry room, so shorts are not such a great idea. Her poor knees turn bright red and she gets discouraged.

Short pants are a terrific idea then. They are still summery, but they have enough fabric to cover her knees when she crawls. I used the pattern for Huck Finn pants in Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. I know - Huck Finn pants are meant for boys - so let's just call them capris shall we?

They are perfect for sitting babies.

And mischief-causing, trouble making babies.

And crawling babies.

And even sweet sleeping babies.

Coming Up: I'm working on a patchwork sundress. Wish me luck!

Lane's First Trip to the Zoo

The weather was perfect for Lane's first trip to the zoo yesterday. We were smart to arrive early, because nearly half of Winnipeg had the same idea. When we were leaving there was a serious line of people waiting to get in!

The sun was a little too bright and this was near the end of our journey, so Laney is being a bit of a fusseroo. But I love this picture of me and the kids.

And we can't forget about daddy and the kids. Awwww....

And check out the apple tree in our backyard. It's growing the sweetest blossoms. I love it! I wish I had some time to sit underneath it and enjoy. Maybe sometime this week when Lane is napping, I can sneak outside and sit while Logan bubble mows around me. Or maybe I can convince Laney to play underneath the tree for awhile without trying to eat the grass, leaves and twigs around here. That would be the life. Ah summer.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Summer Crafting - Nintendo Obsessed

I'm still in my sewing slump, so I decided to work on something easy that didn't involve my sewing machine for awhile. Logan has been completely obsessed with video games lately. Every evening he begs Terry to let him play Wii. Terry is beginning to think that the only thing daddy is good for is to play video games with the boy.

When I was putting away my Nintendo shirt with Toad on it, Logan immediately demanded one of his own. So I printed out a cute image and used some iron-on stuff to transfer it to a t-shirt that I had picked up at the Old Navy awhile ago for $6. It's huge, but he's so happy!

He really didn't want to model his new shirt, so I was forced to snap a picture while he was eating his snack. But you get the idea. And in case you wanted to see the inspiration for this project - below is a pic of me in my Nintendo Toad t-shirt.

In other sewing news, my first attempt at making a summer hat for Logan turned out kinda wonky. It was more of a Fedora shape instead of the fishing hat that Logan favours. I will try again tomorrow!

Until then, here's a few pics of Logan in his favourite summer hats.

This one was taken at Josh and Mel's wedding. Mel said that she was nervous until she looked out in the crowd and saw Logan wearing his old man fishing hat. It made her smile and relax. If that isn't a shining endorsement for me to figure out how to make this style of hat, I don't know what is!

There's my sweetie little baby coming home from the beach sporting another version of his fave fishing hat.

Gotta figure that out!

Coming Up: I will think, think, think and then sew, sew, sew Logan's old man fishing hat!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Summer Sewing - Gardening/Sewing/Market Apron

Let me tell you about my terrible day. It started out OK. The sun was shining - the kids were mostly well-behaved. We went walking to a new park. Logan was having a great time playing at the new park. Laney was napping in the stroller. Nice.

Then Laney woke up. Still, that's OK. We played with her on the baby swings and played on the teeter totter. That's when things got awful. Laney's tummy growled and without much more warning than that, she puked the entire contents of her morning bottle, plus some of her cereal, into my hair, onto my sweater and jeans and even into my shoes! Yuck!

That was a terrible walk home. It took us a half hour to walk home, and I had to walk with squishy shoes and puke all over the front of me. Good thing I come prepared and had some baby wipes and cloths to clean most of it up. Ahhh the life of a mommy.

I should have known things were gonna be bad today. Laney woke me up this morning my smacking me in the face and causing a huge cut with her nails that bled for awhile. Bleh. Hmm so I guess things didn't start out all that well.

Anyway, when we got home, I went into the laundry room to grab some fabric to complete an order I had just received and there was a honking huge bee in there. Sheesh! I closed the door and waited until Terry came home. There was no way I was gonna deal with that as well.

Terry came home early, took care of the bee and watched the kids while I showered baby puke out of my hair. He also BBQ-ed dinner. He's my hero today :)

This week has been pretty much like this everyday. I've been in a crabby slump for a few days. This is why it's taken me 4 days to sew my new gardening/sewing/market apron. Yeah... that's the excuse I'm going with.

It turned out great in spite of my slowness and unwillingness to sew. I really like it. It has already made my life easier. I no longer have to walk back into the laundry room to grab my scissors off the cutting table where I left them. I don't have to walk back to my sewing machine to grab the measuring tape that I left there when I need it at my cutting table. I can haul all my tools along with me. There are tons of pockets for pens, pencils, seam rippers, rulers, scissors. There's a needle catcher for safety pins and sewing needles. There is a pocket with a snap for easy to lose things.

This apron should come in handy at craft shows as well. There's places for money, tape, pens, pencils, business cards and whatever else I might need. And it'll be handy out in the garden, holding stuff like seeds and gardening tools. I can even hang a spray bottle off the side of it. Fabulous!

And don't you just love the fabric? Scissors and bobbins! What else could I have possibly made out of this fabric? And it rolls up and ties for easy transport and storage!

If you want to make one yourself, I used this great tutorial from the Magic Bean blog.

Coming up: Summer Rainy Days = Video Games (at least at our house)

Things I Refuse To Sew

I'm in a bad mood today. I just don't feel like doing anything - even sewing!

Some of you must think by now that I sew almost everything for the kids and myself, and sometimes even Terry. But there are some things that I refuse to sew. Let me tell you about them since I'm just in that kind of negative mood.

1) Overalls or "real" jeans

They are just so tedious and annoying. Too much topstitching and fussy little details to hammer in. And not much reward. Especially when I can buy 2 pairs of jeans for Logan for $30. I upcycle Terry's old jeans into elastic waist "jeans" for Logan, but these are not even close to the real thing with the fly and the fancy details and topstitching. I just refuse to be that fussy when it comes to everyday clothes.

Logan in some overalls that we given to us when he was born (2007)

2) Zippy Jammies

Again, these are amazing creations. I love zippy jammies. The kids couldn't get tangled in them while sleeping and they are easy to put on and comfy. But I refuse to sew them! A long zipper, elastic around the feet, fussy snaps at the top. It's not worth it. I bought Laney 3 pairs the other for $40. I couldn't make them for that price - well I could if I were just talking materials, but the time and energy put into it would make them worth about $50 a pair.

Logan wearing his store-bought Zippy Jammies on Easter morning 2008.

3) Onesies

We got a ton of these given to us when the kids were born. There is just no need for me to make them. And you can buy the plain ones so cheap that I again wouldn't be able to create them at a better price. And who wants to sit in the basement hammering snaps into them all day? I'm a lazy sewist, even snap tape wouldn't make me want to make these things. But I will use the cute ones that were given to us for my upcycling projects :)

Laney wearing a cute Apple Bottoms onesie that was given to her for Christmas 2009

Coming up: Crafty Gardening.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Today is another drizzly day, although the sun in finally poking through now. It's still too wet to play at the park, so we found this how to On Crafts By Amanda and went to work creating some summer ladybugs.

We made them with paper plates! We used sticky backed shiny craft stuff for the dots and head instead of fabric. It was easier for Logan to figure out and stick where he wanted. Awesome!

I bet you can tell which one is Logan's? He's very creative. I always gotta remember when I'm crafting with him to let his creativity shine. I try not to tell him how things should work. Who cares if he puts three eyes on his ladybug or decides the dots go better on the head and body instead of the wings? His turned out like an alien bug from the purple people eater planet! I love it!

Furry Vengeance and Summer Sewing Sports Bra

Now there's a combo that you don't see everyday!

Today was raining so we weren't able to go to the park, and Laney needed some zippy jammies. It was the perfect day to head to the mall!

We arrived at the mall and ate in the food court. Logan loved that. Poutine for lunch - num num. Then we went shopping for a bit, got the jammies and a belt for daddy, and then stopped off for some fun at Play Park.

There were tons of older, bigger kids running around there today, so Logan tired of getting pushed around pretty fast. By 12:45 he was done. What to do for the rest of the afternoon? Well it just so happened to be Monday, and Stars N Strollers is on Monday. So we cruised on over to the movie theatre to see what was playing. I was secretly planning all the ways I was going to explain to Logan that we couldn't actually see the movie because I assumed that there were only going to be boring adult movies playing.

But surprise! Furry Vengeance was playing! Who could pass up taking the toddler to see that movie?

For those of you who don't know what Stars N Strollers is, let me tell you, it's the most marvelous idea to get money out of parents with kids. The theatre opens one afternoon a week to parents with kids. They play a movie with a little bit of lighting on and the sound turned down a tad. They set up change tables outside the theatre and allow you to bring your stroller right on in. This is fabulous! And they don't just play kids movies either. They assume that babies don't really care what's playing, so they play whatever movies the adults want to see.

I'm totally passed the point where I can bring Logan to any movie I choose. He listens to everything and learns all sorts of stuff that I'm not aware of. So when Furry Vengeance is playing, we just had to go!

It was actually kinda cute. Logan was super behaved. He sat in his special toddler seat and ate his popcorn and enjoyed his drink. He watched the entire movie without getting up to walk up and down the stairs or talk and talk with mommy. Laney wasn't as well behaved. She crawled all over the sticky floor, up the stairs, knocked over the popcorn and pulled at my necklace, hair and clothes until I wanted to scream. And then she started in on the screaming. Babies!


Which brings me to the Sports Bra. I upcycled a pink pair of jogging pants into the Heart Healthy Sports Bra the other day. And I was very content to leave the kids with daddy when we all got home and jump into the shower and then into my comfy Sports Bra and jammie pants. I spent a lovely evening free of baby slime in my comfy summer clothes :)

Remember to visit this link from Project Upcycle (February 2010) to get the tutorial to make your own Heart Healthy Sports Bra.

Coming up: Things that I refuse to sew!

Previous Summer Sewing Links: