Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A Not So Creative Week




Before I get into the explanation as to why I haven't had any sewing projects to show you lately, I'll start with some good news :)

Remember earlier this summer when I attempted to plant a small garden in the planter in the backyard? We got about 5 pea pods out of it because Logan dug them up repeatedly to "check on them." But he didn't touch the cherry tomato plants too much. He did decide to slam some sticks into the roots of one of them. We got some little cherries out of them anyway! Here are the three I pulled off today.


There are a bunch more that are almost ready to go. So our garden wasn't a total failure. I would say that next year's will be better, but Lane will be 2 years old and will want her chance to dig everything up as well, so I doubt it. The dandelion was courtesy of Logan who "picked a pretty flower for mommy." :)

Now onto the reason why this blog and my fanpage won't have any sewing content in them this week.

All summer I've been pushing the double stroller all over the place. To the park, to the library, out to Fermor, wherever. Logan sits in the front seat and Lane in the back. Well it's gotten to be too much. My hands are seriously damaged from pushing that front heavy thing around. Both hands are bruised on the palms and halfway down my forearms.




Doesn't look too bad in this pic, but this is after a week of healing. Coming from a girl who doesn't bruise easily, this is a rough situation to be in. My thumbs hurt to move. Even typing this, I can feel my wrists burning. The kids are at the grocery store with Terry tonight and I usually do a workout, but I can't even muster up enough strength to push the handles on the elliptical.

It was a little rough cutting out the stuff needed to make up our wedding thank you cards, so I'm not even going to attempt sewing until my hands feel better.

So you can imagine that I'm looking forward to autumn. No more pushing that monstrosity around and over rough terrain anymore. We've logged a lot of kilometres on that stroller this summer.

I can handle pushing the regular stroller with Lane in it, but Logan is getting too big to be riding on the front of the double. By next summer he should be able to walk the (sorta long) distances that we walk to get to our favourite parks.


Then can I burn the double stroller? I really want to burn it!

I need some heal mommy vibes sent my way. Hopefully I'll be patched up and back to my regularly scheduled sewing soon.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Lower Fort Garry

Today we woke up, ate brunch and spent a whole lotta time trying to decide what to do. While we were deciding, my sister phoned me to let me know that she received her Hopheads or Hop Helmets as she referred to them. She loves them and promises to send me a ridiculous picture of her and her man wearing them.

Well, we hummed and hawed and then finally decided to check out Lower Fort Garry. Neither of us had been there before, so we thought we'd be very Manitoban today and learn some history :)


We had to get some gas in the car first, and Logan did a very good job of cleaning all the windows while daddy was outside at the pump.



I have been to Fort Edmonton (my personal favourite), Heritage Park in Calgary, Fort Whoop Up in Lethbridge and Fort McLeod, but it was a real treat to visit Lower Fort Garry where they signed the very first treaty. My Canadian Studies geek came out in full force today. :)



Lane was dressed in the proper gear. All of the staff were dressed in historical costume and Lane's bonnet fit right in with them. They might have recruited her to hang out and play the "pioneer baby." One nice housekeeper from the governor's house told Lane that her "day cap" was beautiful.


Voyageurs?


OK, so they weren't getting very far, but they looked pretty cute trying to portage around the lawn. :)

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Tawny Bee Clothing Tags

I have had a very creative Saturday afternoon. I've been meaning to come up with some cool Tawny Bee labels for awhile, and I finally got around to making them today.


I usually sew a box into the back of Logan's pants to indicate the back, but I wanted something to place on things that I make to sell. My first test was on Logan's pants. The label is made using a simple non-toxic iron-on transfer (the same sort of material manufacturers sometimes use on their care labels). You can see the thread box that I had already sewn onto these pants through the label - that's how thin it is!


The tag might get rubbed a bit, but the ink should stay put pretty well. I like how they are flat and not actual tags that can get flipped to the outside, or irritate a neck or waistline.



I can even put them on the inside of my handmade bonnets. Awesome!

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Now to continue the creativity, I'm going to make some chicken curry for dinner and then work on Wedding thank you cards. I linked the ones we're using in the previous Saturday Showcase post (in the linky list at the bottom) if you're curious. :)

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I'm linking these tags up with:
Market Yourself Monday - Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Linky Party #22 - Tea Rose Home

Saturday Showcase #1 with Linky List

Welcome to the first ever Saturday Showcase!

A Saturday Showcase is a way for us to let you know the major themes, topics of discussion, likes, dislikes, interests or whatever for the week. We will "showcase" articles, pictures, blogs, food/restaurants, projects, music, TV shows, Movies, etc that we found interesting or noteworthy during the week.

So here's what is floating our boats at Team LT's house this week:

Terry:



This is the view from Terry's office window and a source for much discussion and speculation this week. When Terry went to work last week, there was a building blocking his view, but this week (without much warning) this is what has been happening. Our friend Selena jokes that this is what happens when she sends her man Doug to work downtown everyday. We wouldn't like Doug when he's angry HAHAHAHA!

Logan:

If I watch another episode of Sponge Bob Squarepants, I'm going to .... well... I'll watch it quietly because it keeps Logan occupied ... but seriously, how many episodes of Sponge Bob can this toddler watch without getting bored? The boredom hasn't set in yet and he's watched 67,934 episodes this week alone.

We even put all the episodes on Terry's computer and then created a huge playlist in VLC that we can play on random because we're tired of choosing which ones to watch.

Tawny:




I've been thinking about taking an online creative class called Small Craft. It's a 6-week course with 30 project tutorials. All the projects are things I can make for Children 10 and under. Awesome! Not sure I'll have time for this course though, but there are no deadlines so I can work at my own pace.

Is anyone taking this online class? Does anyone want to take it with me? We could be motivation buddies! If you're in Winnipeg and want to take the class with me, but don't have access to a sewing machine, I'd be happy to let you come on over and use mine.

As you can see, I think motivation is going to be the most difficult part for me. Do you think I should try it anyway? Wanna try it with me?

Lane:



Lane looks forward to breakfast every morning. She can't even wait until 8:00 to start eating. She's been waking up at 6:15 every morning. I bring her downstairs to play so that we can give Logan a little more time in bed in peace and quiet. But this baby won't be deterred. She climbs up the stairs constantly - trying to get to the kitchen.

Finally 8:00 comes and I deem it appropriate time to eat breakfast and wake up Logan. Lane gobbles down her baby cereal and then points to the corner where the Banana Nut Cheerios are. If I bring over the box of Honey Nut Cheerios instead, she looks at me and refuses to eat any of them. She knows what she wants and it's Banana Nut Cheerios or nothing! yum! Her fave snack.

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Now that we've told you what's been making news at our house, it's your turn! What's been happening at your house? What news do you have to share? What should Team LT being paying attention to.

I'm even going to make it easy for you to share with a little link list. Link up your blog, an interesting article or photo. Maybe you have a project you want to share, or a sale in your online shop. Whatever is making news for you this week.

If your news doesn't have an online home, just let me know about it in the comments. Perhaps you have a funny story or joke you heard this week? Or you did something incredible with your family?

Pretty much anything goes, so if you want to promote your blog or your store or your fanpage or whatever is interesting in your world this week, go right ahead. (just remember that this is a family sorta blog, so nothing inappropriate please - I'll just delete it if you try). Well see if this link thing works.... and is worthwhile to continue...

I'll feature my favourite links on the next Saturday Showcase if there's any interest at all :)

Friday, 27 August 2010

Watch Band and Summer Clearance

I took the kids to the park this morning and while they were busy playing I was keeping track of the time. Logan gets really mad if we get home too late to watch a little Sponge Bob before my 1:00 Soap Opera starts.

I was looking down at my watch and ... ewwwww ... my watch band was completely gross.


I had made it a few months ago and since then sweat, sun and kids have taken their toll on this poor band. It was all black and dyed from the sun. I'm pretty sure it had apple juice, chocolate, cereal, jellybean goo, cheese mash and smashed peas congealing on it. Yuck!

Time for a new one!


Ooooh pretty pink birds! That sure brightens up my arm. Very cute.



Such an easy project for a Friday evening too.

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In other news, I've decided to sell off some of my Tawny Bee summer items. It's getting that time of year when I've got to make room for my autumn and winter stock for crafts show season etc.

It's a pain in the butt to have a sale on Etsy, so I've opted for selling a few items "auction style" on eBay. I'll put up one item a week every Friday and see how it goes. If you're looking for a good deal, check out my auction listing for Laney's Emergency Hat - O'Canada version. You could get it as cheap as $5.00! Oh the thrill of the hunt!



The eBay listing
I know it only contains one picture. If you want to see more angles and such, check out the listing in the Tawny Bee Etsy shop.

Of course there is always the option to "buy now" as well. :)

Happy Bidding!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Pre-Schooler Pants

Logan will be starting pre-school in two weeks! ACK!

My control freakishness has kicked into high gear and I've got it into my head that Logan will need autumn- ish pants to wear to school. The days are already getting shorter and the weather will start to be cooler as well. The pants that I made for him last year don't fit very well because he's grown a few inches since he's worn them. And jeans are a bit scary to him - flies and buttons are very stressful to potty trainers.

So I drafted up a pattern for some Tawny Bee Pre-Schooler pants. This is the tester pair.


Cute eh? Flat front pockets with decorative top-stitching.

Easy elastic waist for potty training simplicity. Bottom cuffs with the same top-stitching.


And the best thing? The cuffs can be released and rolled down when Logan grows! If he's anything like his parents, he'll just grow taller and remain stick thin for most of his childhood, so a rolled cuff like this is perfect. His pants will probably wear out before he grows out of them. Yay!


I think I'll try a few more pairs to get the pattern just right. I definitely need to allow more room for the casing and lower the placement of the pockets. I don't really like to sew the casing through the top of the pockets. It's OK this time, because Logan always wears his t-shirts untucked and long. But if he wanted to wear a shorter shirt and tuck in, the pockets will need to be put in lower.

Logan is sleeping right now, so I couldn't get any pictures of him in the Pre-Schooler Pants. I finished them just as he was getting ready for bed, and showed him. His reaction was: "Those pockets are nice for my jellybeans." I guess that means they are a win! I'll get him to try them on in the next few days and post up some cute pics :)

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Linking up with:

Make It Wear It at The Train To Crazy
Sew and Tell - Amy Lou Who
Friday Fun Finds - Kojo Designs
All About the Boy Linky Party - The Nifty Nest
Wardrobe Wednesday - Brown Paper Packages

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Forty-Two

Forty-two is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. (according to The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy).

Indeed, that might be true as I found out today.

I went in for my regularly scheduled pacemaker appointment. Had to make sure my pacer was still being a hardass all over my heart, whipping it when it gets out of line and all that stuff.

Everything was fine as usual. My pacer is still new (only 2 years old), so I wasn't worried about the battery being depleted yet or anything. I've had a pacemaker for 30 years, so the tech usually does a fast test because there isn't all that pesky explaining to do. I know what's going on and would rather just have the test over with and get on with my afternoon.

But this appointment was a little bit special to me. You see, before I had babies, I would go to these tests and they would shut off the pacemaker for a few second to see what natural rhythm my heart had. Always, it would beat at approximately 28 beats per minute. Not bad - but not good either.

A year after Logan was born, they performed this same test, and my heart gave a return of 35 beats per minute! It's been that way ever since I had Logan. Improvement!

Today would be the year after Lane was born test. And today my heart came back at 42 beats per minute! The ultimate answer!!! !!!!!

It would seem that my body, when faced with supporting a life other than just myself, rallies. And it rallies well.

Anyway, does this mean that if I have 2 more kids, I'll have a normal functioning heart? No. My valve would definitely blow out. But I like to think that my kids have strengthened me and my resolve to live well. It may also come from the happiness I have in my heart right now.

Life is good... so neener neener grim reaper, you can't have me yet!


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Anxiety

I had a dream a few nights ago that went like this:

I had dropped Logan off at his first day of nursery school. Somehow in this dream I could see what his first day was like but I wasn't actually present in the room.

The teacher asked the children about body parts. Where is your nose? Where are your knees? etc. Then she went around the room and asked each child to point something out. When she got to Logan, she asked, "What is this?" (pointing to his elbow). Logan didn't know. He was the only child in the entire class that didn't know.

I then came to pick my little man up from his first day and the teacher proceeded to tell me that I hadn't prepared my child enough for pre-school and that I was basically a horrible mother for not working with Logan more on basic knowledge.

What???

OK, so this was a total anxiety dream. I know I'm going to have a ton more before I drop him off at school for the first time. But seriously, this one was on the ridiculous side. Children don't need to be prepared for pre-school, and furthermore, even if they did have to be, Logan is extremely smart and curious and unique and friendly. He's not going to have any trouble at school.


Gah! I just wish I could skip all this anxiety and be on the other side of it all. Everything will be fine.


The boy knows what an elbow is!

Sheesh.

To make matters worse, I have a pacemaker appointment tomorrow. This always gives me a little anxiety even though I know everything is working properly. So I can imagine that my dreams will be out of control tonight.

I'll keep you posted. :)

Monday, 23 August 2010

Acorn Wreath

I had never seen a real life acorn ever until this weekend. And, I freely admit that I am lame because I went nuts over the little things. They were so cute! We were at St. Malo beach for one of our last fun days of summer when I found that acorns had fallen from some of the trees. Logan and I spent awhile collecting them because it was too windy to play in the sand. Terry must have thought we were off our rockers, but he didn't say too much. He knows better than to stop us from collecting craft supplies (especially when they're free).

Of course I had to make something out of these pretty things. I couldn't let a new novelty like acorns escape my crafty radar. So when Lane was having one of her infamous short afternoon naps, Logan and I got to work. We made a sweet little wreath for the front door.



I started with a plain old Ziploc container lid. The container has long since been thrown out, but we still somehow have all the lids. I cut out the middle.

And then wrapped it with green ribbon. Logan picked the ribbon out of all the autumn colours I gave him to choose from.


And then we glued a pile of acorns on the top and decorated with pretty autumn coloured flowers and an orange fall leaf.

We used a pop can tab as the hanger for the back.


Isn't it darling? Logan picked out all the decorations himself and helped me glue the acorns onto the wreath. He's such a great crafter. I can't wait to see the wonderful crafts he brings home when he starts nursery school in September.



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I'm going to share our beautiful acorn wreath with the fine folks at:

Tea Rose Home

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Hopheads!




My sister and her husband are beer aficionados. They brew their own and Mark even wins awards for his blend! So when they asked me for a custom order Hophead, I didn't really think it was out of the ordinary (well.. OK... I thought it was a little weird, but not really out of the ordinary).

You see, for us not in the beer knowledge, a hophead is: Someone who appreciates highly hopped beer. (According to Wikipedia) It's also an early 1900s slang term for a user of Opium (but I don't think they were going for this reference).

They wanted me to create a hat that resembled a beer hop. Hops are the flavouring and stability agent in beer (again according to Wikipedia) Here is a lovely picture of one.


By making a hat that resembles this plant, my sister and her husband will turn themselves into Hopheads. They are actually going to wear these ridonkulous hats at a beer festival in Victoria in September - so if you're there, be on the lookout!

Do you think I look like an appreciator of highly hopped beer?


I even made awesome ear holes so that they are able to hear all the wonderful beer conversation. Because I'm sure that "hophead" is not the only beer related lingo that will be bantered about.


And it's also designed to fit over a ball cap. If you know my brother in law you know that he's always wearing a cap, so the hophead has gotta conform to the fashion. :)


They have Velcro at the chin and are adjustable. Yup, they are awesome!


Aww, his and hers hopheads.


I even used a decorative stitch around every leaf - all 65 of them! Yes, that's 65 leaves per hat! They took a lot of work, but I think they turned out pretty darned good.

If any Hopheads are reading this blog post and would like a fantabulous headpiece of their own, just send me an email (link in my Blogger profile). I'd be happy to work out a custom order so that you too can show off your hopheadery in true fashion!

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I'm totally linking this unique project up with some awesome sewists and crafters:

Sumo Sweet Stuff

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Friday Night Out With the Family

Terry and I have started to become attached to our Friday nights out with the family. Before we had kids, we always went out for dinner (and sometimes a beer) on Friday night after work. After we had Logan, we didn't get to do that as much. I missed it. Terry missed it. So now that we've started up again, it's really a great time!

Going out on Friday night for dinner with the family is our way of rewarding ourselves for making it through the work week. Terry gets up at 5:30 every morning and heads to work while I watch the kids all day. It's exhausting! So it's really nice at the end of a long week to go out and enjoy ourselves.

Last night we took the kids to Montana's for the first time. I think they had a terrific time.



Here is Lane wearing the deer hat that the hostess passes out to all the kids. She didn't really like wearing the hat (you see my arm holding it on for the picture?). She did, however, enjoy a pile of cornbread and BBQ chicken. Yum Yum!


Here is Logan. The thinking man's kinda Moose Hahahaha. He enjoyed all the stuff they had up in the rafters - canoes, ski-dos, a whole truck! He also enjoyed dessert which included two cookies with a gummy worm on them. Num num! Oh - and the bathrooms were satisfactory as well. And as you mommies know, public bathrooms occupy a lot of a toddler's thinking and activity.



Here is Logan's weird face. He's starting to be the kid that doesn't like his picture taken, so he makes faces as Daddy tries to snap a pic on the iPhone.


And Lane once more trying to get that darned hat off her head.

There's mommy watching Lane trying to pull the hat off her head.


And because it wouldn't be a Team LT blog if there wasn't at least one goofy picture, here it is! Unfortunately we didn't get a pic of daddy this time. I should have grabbed the phone away from him and snapped a few. He was wearing the deer hat for most of the meal! hahaha

Do any of you have a family thing that you do every week? Game night? Movie night? etc.
I love our Friday evenings out. Looking forward to the next one already.

Friday, 20 August 2010

How To: Fabric Banana

I saved the best for last. Today I'll show you how to make the fabric banana. Isn't it awesome? I love the scraps of fabric I dug out for the peel.


Sewing Level: Easy (some machine sewing)

Time Needed: About an hour

Supplies Needed:
- Pattern for the banana
- scraps for banana peel
- scraps for banana
- matching thread
- stuffing


Step 1:
- download the free pattern for the banana and cut out the pieces that you'll need. Also included in this pattern is the orange.
- Cut out 2 banana shapes


Step 2:
- With right sides together, sew the two pieces together, leaving a few inches for turning and stuffing
- Turn right side out
- Stuff the banana
(the is the point where your partner might walk in and make several corny banana jokes - try to have patience. Men have such a strange sense of humor sometimes. Although I will admit that I laughed along with him.)
- hand sew the opening closed.


Step 3:
- to make the banana peel, cut out 6 of the banana peel/leaf piece (I called it a leaf on the pattern for some reason, but it is really more of a peel.)
- place two pieces right sides together and sew around the edges, leaving a couple of inches open for turning.
- turn banana peel right side out. Pin the opening closed and topstitch around the entire edge, closing the opening as you go.
- repeat for two more peels


Step 4:
- pin the peels where you would like them on your banana and sew them together by hand. I made mine so that the banana is loose inside the peel in order to be able to separate them. But it would be just as good to sew the peels to the banana as well.


There you have it! The fruit bowl is complete!