Monday, 28 February 2011

Tawny Bee's Oscars Fashion Round Up

Was it just me or was this year's Oscars boring? And I'm not talking about the speeches and the hosting. The fashion was kinda meh as well.

I thought about what I was going to do for best and worst dressed today and couldn't really come up with anything outstanding to say about the dresses.

So instead I'll talk about accessories! Because, oh my, there were some doozies!

Let's start with the best:

1) Natalie! Her baby bump was a pretty cool accessory. But those fringe earrings were awesome! I love!

2) Sandy - you can do no wrong in my book. OK so you're not wearing any accessories. Your sense of humour and awesomeness is enough of an accessory to get on my list. When you called Jeff Bridges "Dude" I peed a little and then making fun of Franco for being on General Hospital. So funny! I'm with half of Twitter in calling for you to host the Oscars next year. Too awesome.


3) Reese - you know how to rock a ponytail! It look like you just chopped off a real horse tail and coiffed it onto your head and make it look spectacular. I'm not a really big fan of blondes (only cuz I'm a brunette and bitter) but you my dear are wearing one of the best accessories of the evening - your beautiful blonde ponytail. Gorgeous little filly.

And to the hideous:


1) Helena - I expect you to be wacky, but seriously ... what is with the Union Jack garter? Yipes!

2) Amy Adams - A necklace over top of your gown? NO!

2) Nicky - why? why the orange shoes? Since we are talking accessories, I won't say anything about that dress - free pass on that hideousness. Let's talk ponytails though. Yours is so sad and limp, darling. I think you need to take a look at Miss Reese (above) as an example of how a ponytail should look.

Of course, I'm not a fashion expert nor am I even remotely fashionable in my real life, so all of my opinions don't matter at all. I'd be permanently on the worst dressed list sitting here in my pajama pants while the kids snooze. :P

What were the highlights of the show for you? Or did you even watch? Any fashions that I should have featured?

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The "Cross My Heart" Top

The top I made for myself can also be called the "Show off my gigantic gash of a scar" top hehehe.

I have caught up on all the sewing I'm going to do before having heart surgery, so I thought I would reward my hard work by making something nice for myself. Actually I'm at the stage before surgery where I get all down on myself and think I'm a loser and that I'm putting too much burden on my family and I hate being weak blah blah blah. I thought I'd nip those feelings in the bud by making something pretty! :D

This top is not only pretty, but it's upcycled too! I made it out of the cuddly wrap that I used to use to carry the kids around in when they were babies. I never really got the hang of tying that thing right and getting the baby to stay in place. My babies were wiggling little people! So I don't have a "before" picture of myself using the wrap. But here is a pretty one from the manufacturer (Peapod)

The fabric was a very strong knit and a beautiful navy blue colour. I chose to use New Look 6572 (View D) - that's the top the model is wearing in the photo.

I didn't change much - just sewed according to the pattern (yeah... you really did read that right - *shock*). I didn't add the bow though and I didn't want to add any fancy trim. I just wanted a nice looking, loose fitting spring top that I could wear after surgery and not have it rub against any of the wrong places. It'll go with almost anything, pants, skirts, capris, whatever.

As you can see, it's fully lined at the top. I didn't have enough cuddly wrap to do the lining in blue as well, so I used some black t-shirt fabric I had. Forgive the terrible picture - the light isn't very nice to photography today and the garment needs a serious pressing. I've been throwing it off and on all afternoon to make sure I get the proper fit. I don't want the girls to be falling out of my new top after all! :P

Logan really needed to be in on all the picture taking. I just used the webcam since Terry was busy cooking dinner upstairs and I didn't want to interrupt and bug him to take photos.

Turned out super nice though. And it's still cuddly!

Coming up: Did I win Oscars Bingo (I have lucky card no. 5)? And my pics for best and worst dressed at the awards. :)


Sharing my afternoon pick me up with:
Sunday Showcase - Under The Table and Dreaming
The More the Merrier Monday #2 - The DIY Home Sweet Home Project
Market Yourself Monday - Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Let's Sew Linky - Whimsy Couture Sewing Blog
Lil' Luna Link Partay #15 - Lil' Luna

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Patching My Anxiety

This week has been a little slow going for me. I've had a brutal cough and so has Logan. Bleh. Terry stayed home on Thursday just to watch Lane so that I could get some rest. But did I get rest?

No... not really...

I was too busy staring at this:

Our little Lane has been learning how to climb up onto our bed all by herself. In the process though, she's been destroying the hand stitched quilt that we have on the bed. She grabs a chunk of the quilt and pulls her entire weight up until she gets where she wants to go.

Some of you remember this quilt. It's the one that I hand stitched for 2 years while I was in university, way back before I knew anything about quilting. It isn't anchored properly to the back (I tied it off with a few knots). Easily destroyed.

But we love it so much. It's made out of a lot of our old clothes and it was the first really huge upcycle project I ever attempted. Very special to us.

I realized that I'd be spending some quality time on this quilt while recovering from heart surgery. And this sad state is going to make my anxiety climax into rage. Better to patch it up now that risk some sort of psychological break later :)

Isn't that better? OK - so it isn't a professional quilt, but it's our very favourite and getting to add some upcycled material from the kid's baby clothes is a huge bonus! Only about 10 more patches to go!

My sanity is saved for yet another day or two.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Potty Training Part Deux

*Sigh* What are we going to do with this girl?

We *just* finished potty training Logan. It took forever! It was rough. I thought we had a bit of a break before starting in on that again. Lane is only 18 months old. So a 6 month buffer at least, right?


Not our girl.

This is what we run into when walking into our bathroom at any given moment during the day.

She's practicing. Well, she thinks she's actually going, but she's not quite there mentally yet.

She watches her brother very intently when he goes. So much in fact that we've made him start closing the door when he's in there. You see, our little baby girl will whip off her pants and stand in front of the toilet and making psssss noises. Oh dear.

As a result of this mixed up message, I'm now leaving the door open and inviting her in when I go. All the while explaining that girls sit when they go.

The other day, Lane pulled off her pants and came over to me chanting, "poop, poop." I told her that she wasn't ready yet. So she went over to the closet where we keep the portable potty and tried to break in. Again I said, "You're not ready." And you know what the little stinker did? She pooped in her diaper, right in front of me, with all the red faces and everything. Gah!

I guess she is ready.

I better go out and get her a Potty Training Achievements poster board.

Let's do this!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

How Emo Is Your Phone?

Both Logan and mommy are sick today :( So this is going to be a short post.

I can't believe I have only had my BlackBerry since the end of November. I totally can't live without it now.

Anyway... it's time to fess up fellow smartphone owners (I'm looking at most of you) - what do you have on your home screen?

Is it a cute photo of your kids? Your husband/wife? I thought about going that route. I love to look at my babies any chance I get. But I'm home with them most of the time, so I can look at them live and in person whenever I want.

What's a girl to do?

Emo up her phone - that's what!

My heart will be patched up very soon, so I think it's appropriate.

And don't you love the jewel case? :)

The heart stays until mine is fixed!

Your turn - fess up... how emo is your phone?

I guess I had better go watch Twilight or something now.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Slip Cover Inspiration

I got a lovely comment on my Dining Room Slip Covers post this morning. Anne wrote that she loves Parsons Chairs but they were so expensive and that mine were a great look for less.

First of all - awesome!

Second - I had no idea what Parsons Chairs were. What?!! I know! I immediately Googled and found a pile of lovely inspiration. These beautiful Parsons chairs were exactly what I had in mind when designing mine. I must have seen them before and just never put a name to what I was trying to "knock off."

Anyway, after spending an unreasonable amount of time on Flickr looking at all these lovelies (and even making my kids watch a Parsons chairs slideshow... or two...) here are some of my favourites.




These lovelies are not to be confused with Jim Parsons sitting on a chair (which I got a lot of when searching Google) hehehe



(This one includes a much better tutorial than mine as well)

Have a put my humble slip covers to shame with all these beautiful pictures?

Maybe, but I'd like to think that mine were made for practical, every day living reasons. The people who live in the sample photos above probably have never had to deal with children laughing so hard that milk spurts out their noses, or a baby who are so obsessed with the taste of ketchup that she needs to spread it in every nook and cranny to save for a snack later. There aren't even buttonholes in which to place child seat fasteners. I call lame! hehehe

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Dining Room Chair Slip Covers - A How To (Sorta)

Aren't my new dining room chair slip covers gorgeous? I know!

I was all set to do a tutorial for how to make your very own. But honestly ... everyone's chairs are different and it took me a ton of tweaking and measuring and math the likes of which I haven't done since university. The how to would be just a mess of gobbly gook that you wouldn't be able to decipher anyway. So I'll just show my process, and you can make an attempt if you dare.

First: measure chairs. Take every possible measurement. And make a pattern. I like to make my patterns out of dollar store wrapping paper. Then they look pretty even though they are messy and written on and pinned through hehehe.

Second: Cut out your pattern. I did one long piece for the backs of the chairs. And halfed it essentially for the front top of the chair. Then I measured the sides and seat and made a pattern piece for those. Ended up with 6 pieces. If you're less adventurous, it might be a good idea to do a muslin copy first. This fabric I bought was super expensive (although I got 40% off) household drapery fabric. It's perfect for our red dining room. And very Canadian as a few people have pointed out!

Three: Start sewing it together. I sewed the back piece to the front top piece first. Measure every step of the way. I had my model chair downstairs in the spare room for quick reference.

Four: I started piecing together the bottom and seat pieces. I used clothes pins to hold them in place to make sure of fit before I sewed them all together and finished the seams.

Five: I made a pretty hem with a bit of an open flap so that when Terry starts swinging his ginormous feet around, he won't break the stitching. The flap will allow for lots of wear and tear.

Six: If you have kids that have all manner of booster chairs to sit on, measure and sew in a button hole. Just put the straps through the button hole and you still have pretty covers for the kids.

Now you may wonder why I needed to make slip covers in the first place? Didn't we just get a new dining room table and chairs? Why yes, we did. But look what Lane has done to her chair already! ACK!

Now she can mess up her chair all she wants and I can just slip off the cover and throw it in the wash. (By the way - we cleaned and scotch guarded all the chairs before we put the covers on this past week).

They are so perfect! I'm so in love with this fabric that if I weren't married already - I would totally marry it.

Oh my gosh, I can't stop looking at them. Love, Love, LOVE!

They even look terrific around our messy dining room table don't they?

Has anyone ever tried making slip covers? I'd love to see the results. Add them to the Tawny Bee Flickr Pool if you'd like to share :)


Sharing my sexy slip covers with some awesome people:
Anything Related - All This Related
Take a Look Tuesday - The Sugar Bee
Show and Tell - Blue Cricket Design
Link Partay #14 - Lil' Luna
Link Party #43 - Tea Rose Home
Let's Sew - Whimsy Couture Sewing
Hoo's Got Talent - Night Owl Crafting
Look What I Made - Creations by Kara
SYS Blog Link Party - Somewhat Simple
Show Off Your Stuff Party #63 - Fireflies and Jellybeans
Who Made What? Weekends! Party #11 - Naturally Me Creations
Fantabulous Friday Link Up - Momma's Kinda Crafty
Feature Friday Link Up - Crystal's Craft Spot

Monday, 21 February 2011

A Non-Holiday

It's supposed to be a holiday today in Manitoba - Louis Riel Day.

Terry works for the Federal Government and it's not a holiday in some provinces. Therefore, it's not a holiday for us either :(


So, I'm not much in a talkative mood. I'll leave you with some questions that I've been pondering.

I want to get an eBook reader to take with me to the hospital and for my recovery. No sense taking a pile of books along when I can load a bunch on one device.

Photo Courtesy of

Kobo or Kindle?

I gotta admit, I'm leaning more towards Kobo right now, but if you have a case for Kindle, let me here it.

Kobo has Canadian support and is in Canadian currency and will ship within 2 days. I've heard they are more lightweight. And now they have wi-fi. They don't have a dictionary, but I can always look up words on my phone. And no keyboard, but I'm not intending to write on it.

Oh.. and ... if anyone wants to help me finance one of these readers, that would be swell! Call it a donation to my "get well soon" fund hehehe

What is everyone up to on this non-holiday?

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Thank You All For the Well Wishes

Ever since I announced that I will be going for surgery, there has been a wonderful response from my friends (real and virtual).

You may remember that my friend Ruth sent me her stashed away macrame books as a show of support. Awesome.

And another friend of mine - Dawn from Sunrise Mosaics just sent me a very cool Scrabble tile necklace with my logo on it! An early get well present.

I'll be wearing this little treasure a lot - especially at all the craft shows I'll be at this year after my recovery downtime.

I've been flooded with comments and emails expressing well wishes from so many family members, friends, blog readers, fans, etc.

I just wanted all of you to know that all of your comments, emails and well wishes are greatly appreciated. I know that all of you are rooting for a quick recovery right along with me - because then we can get on with the macrame revolution right?

Saturday, 19 February 2011

TEDxMB: A Mom's Perspective

I've been trying (unsuccessfully) to wrap up my ideas and experiences from attending TEDxManitoba on Tuesday.

The whole point of gathering 20 amazing speakers and 100 attendees from all walks of life was: Ideas Worth Spreading.

The attendees were chosen very carefully. We each met the criteria that TED looks for and were tasked with the somewhat overwhelming responsibility of taking all these ideas that were thrown at us and running with them.

So - what ideas am I going to spread?

What do I have to contribute to the conversation?

How the hell is this little mommy from Winnipeg going to change the world?


See? Overwhelming responsibility.

Here's what I've got so far:

1) Tell all my nerdy friends (I've got A LOT of them!) that robots are not going to enslave mankind if they ever reach consciousness. The Darwinian Survival of the Fittest instinct in not strong in them.

2) Plant the seed started by Karen Letourneau by harassing... um... I mean.. gently nudging the ultrasound operators that I meet in Edmonton about their standards. Perhaps ask them if they know how to pick out a heart defect in a fetus? The seed might grow into someone asking questions and changing practices for another province or two.

3) Find a way to supplement my children's education by teaching them by doing (or playing) instead of lecture and workbook sort of activities. They will get enough of the latter at school.

4) Sew tighter clothes - then my family will become lean, mean, faster machines. Wait. Maybe not. How about using technology to improve our knowledge and training in the activities we find most interesting. Perfect excuse to buy a knitting machine? Just sayin'

5) Something I've already been doing a lot of, but need to be reminded every now and then - take the kids outside. Show them the life beyond the edge of the screen.

6) The dreams that I think are impossible (because I'm a boring adult) are not impossible. Really listen to my kids when they come up with ideas. Never tell them that their ideas can't be realized. You can 3D print food now for heaven's sake. Anything is possible. And I only have 3 words for you about this: Cheese Shuttle... dude...

I've been told that this logo was 3D printed. I took a 2D pic of it. So if you took this photo and tried to print it - my mind would kerplode!

7) There is such a thing as a "cousin rock" and Caitlyn and Devin shall have one when we next meet.

I didn't just learn from the speakers though. I had tons of inspiring conversations with the attendees as well:

8) Winnipeg as a community needs to stop with their self-deprecating attitude. We live in a wonderful city with amazing, talented people and a rich culture. (Oh and I think I met a future mayor of Winnipeg as well, although he won't admit it).

9) It is possible to be allergic to watermelon, but not the seeds, just the flesh. What? Ground breaking.

10) A sabbatical from your day job (in this case it was computer programming) is the best thing for a person. It leaves you free to pursue your other dreams.


Gosh, I feel like I've just written a "Ten Things I Learned on My Summer Vacation"-type essay.

More thoughts to come as they become realized within the swarming mass of buzzing that is currently my brain.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

How To: Teddy Beds

Awww... super cute storage for all those wayward stuffies!

Want to make one for your kids?

Skill level required:
- machine sewing
- sewing on trim can be tedious

Supplies Needed:
- 1 metre cotton fabric, or netting
- thread
- 0.5 metre of coordinating fabric for trim (or 2 packages of bias tape)
- you will need three hooks to hang your finished Teddy Bed as well

Step One:
- find a suitable corner in your child's room and measure how much room you actually have. The photo above is Lane's room. Notice the window is sorta in the way. I was able to hang her Teddy Bed by putting the hooks above the window rod.

Logan's room was much easier to measure. Basically you want the Teddy Bed to hang in a corner, with one hook in the corner and the other two hooks stretching out along each wall. As in the photo at the beginning of this tutorial.

I decided to make Lane's 34 inches along both sides of the 90 degree angle. Logan's measured 44 inches or the entire width of the fabric I bought.

Step 2:
- Cut out your triangle of main fabric. Since I wanted Logan's to be the largest I could get, I basically just folded the fabric at a 90 degree angle and cut it across. I think cut along the diagonal to make a nice large triangle. You can double the fabric if you want the picture to show up on both sides. I don't find this very necessary because when you hang it, you won't ever see the side that is facing up. You'll have your teddies in there anyway. :)

I used the rest of the fabric to make Lane's a little smaller (34 inches along both sides). I cut along the diagonal that I already had from the leftover fabric after cutting Logan's large one.

Step Three:
- Cut long strips from your coordinating fabric. Make sure you have enough to cover all three sides of your triangle piece, plus several inches to make loops. Press each side in and then press in half to make a bias-tape-like trim. Or you can just use prepackaged bias tape.

I love the look of my own pressed trim. You can use almost any coordinating fabric to make it and create all sorts of new looks. Love, love, love.

Step Four:
- starting at the 90 degree angle corner, start sewing your trim onto the short sides.

Step Five:
- make sure to fold the trim under a little to give the corner a finished look. I use a zig zag stitch to make sure the trim is sewn on nicely. I have sewn on enough trim to know that I'm not the world's greatest at this task. When sewing a straight line, I usually don't catch the underside enough and end up having to redo the whole thing. Zig zag stitch is much more forgiving. And it looks nice too!

Step Six:
- Attach the trim to the diagonal, leaving about 3 or 4 inches of trim on each side to form into loops for hanging the Teddy Bed.

If you run out of trim while sewing, you can just fold the new piece of trim under and attach it where you left off.

Step Seven:
- Turn the extra fabric that you left at the ends of your diagonal under and sew in place to form a loop. You should have one loop at each end of your diagonal.

Step Eight:
- take some of the trim you have leftover and fold it into a loop. Sew it in place at the 90 degree angled corner of your Teddy Bed.

Step Nine:
- Hang your finished Teddy Bed in the corner! And place all your valuable stuffies into their new hammock.

Step Ten:
- Make more Teddy Beds for the other children in your household. Or stack them for maximum storage with a large one close to the ground, a medium sized one halfway up the wall and then a small one at the top. That would look really cool. If only we had the room for something like that.

What do you think? Isn't this an awesome way to store some of those wayward stuffies?

As always, you are free to make as many Teddy Beds as you please from this tutorial. Make them for yourself, your kids, your kids' friends, your friends, your neighbours and acquaintances. Even make them to sell in your shops (although it would be really nice of you to give me some sort of credit in your listings). Do whatever you like with the tutorial in the spirit of a free and happy Internet. :)

If you do try this tutorial out, I would love to see the results. You can link to your finished product in the comment, or email me a finished pic (contact info in my profile). Even better, join my Flickr group and add your finished Teddy Beds there.

And if you don't want to attempt one yourself, but think they would be awesome for your home, you can purchase one at Tawny Bee. The ones pictured below will be listed as soon as there is sufficient light to take beautiful photos. :)

Sharing this tutorial with:

Making It With Allie - What Allie's Making Now
What Little Boys are Made Of #47 - Seven Thirty Three
Who Made What Party #10 - Naturally Me Creations
Feature Yourself Friday - Fingerprints on the Fridge
Feature Yourself Friday - Crystal's Craft Spot
Fantabulous Friday Link Up - Momma's Kinda Crafty
Friday Link Party - Creation Corner
Check Me Out Saturday - A Vision To Remember
Sunday Showcase Party - Under The Table and Dreaming
Market Yourself Monday - Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Get Your Craft On - Today's Creative Blog
Tuesday Tell All - My Craftie Life
Too Cute Tuesday - Funky Polkadot Giraffe
Tickled Pink #41 - 504 Main