Monday, 31 January 2011

It All Started With a Spool of Red Thread

It was Saturday afternoon. I was just getting ready to sew these adorable Spiderman jammies.

Cute eh?

Anyway, I said to myself (I often talk to myself out loud while sewing): "Maybe I should sew these jammies with red thread?"


That's where it started... with this silly spool of red thread...

Terry misheard me and responded with, "You're going to sew in bed?"

Me: "Hehe, I wish I could, but alas no one has figured out how to do that yet."

This is precisely when things got a little goofy. During my heart surgery recovery it would be really handy for me to be able to sew in bed. And not just boring hand-stitched things either. Terry suggested that I should start my Macrame Revolution a little early and learn now. That way I could devise a series of pullies and and a knotted hammock. I could lay in the hammock and have a bunch of pullies - pull on one and my sewing machine comes flying in from the left, pull on another and my pin cushion and other sewing accessories come in from the right.

Yup, there would be me in the middle of a jungle of ropes and knots looking like a mad scientist (or mad sewist if you like), but I'd still be able to get my sewing fix while laid up. If I were any kind of illustrative artist, I would attempt to draw this for you all, but I was not blessed with that talent. The scene would make for an excellent cartoon though don't you think?

Silly red thread - you inspire us to madness.


But aren't these jammies precious?

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Sharing these awesome jammies with:
Too Cute Tuesdays - Funky Polkadot Giraffe
Tuesday Tell All - My Craftie Life
Link Party #41 - Tea Rose Home
Whatever Goes Wednesday - Someday Crafts
Link Partay #11 - L'il Luna
Hoo's Got Talent #37 - Night Owl Crafting
Look What I Made! - Creations by Kara
Idea Sharin' Wednesday - Women Who Do It All

Sunday, 30 January 2011

In The Nick of Time

The temperature on Friday afternoon this past week was a gorgeous -5C. Perfect weather to get the kids outside to play in the massive amounts of snow that we've been getting. In the nick of time too. It's cold out there today!


The snow wasn't cooperating by being nice and sticky, so no snowmen could be created. We did find out that beach toys work really well as snow toys though!

Lane really didn't want to wear her mitts. She kept pulling them off (even the ones that snap on!) So she ended up watching from inside where she wouldn't have to wear her winter gear.


Awww... poor sad little baby.

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

We just got back from the Marble Slab Creamery where we went to get ice cream. I realize that it's -34C outside right now, but we needed to reward our big boy for being pull-ups free all weekend! :D :D :D Blueberry ice cream with gummy bears on top did the trick!

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Tickled Pink - The Link Up - 504 Main

Friday, 28 January 2011

Lane's First Sentence

Oh and what a sentence it is! She uses it rapid fire about a thousand times a day.


video

In case you didn't quite catch that from the video, Lane would like you all to "STOP IT!"

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Wardrobe Wednesday: Lane's New Upcycled Tees

Way back in September, I made some super cute upcycled tees for Lane out of all sorts of old clothes. People really reacted to these t-shirts. Lane got tons of compliments about how cute and original she was (not to mention earth conscious! ... well at least her mommy is earth conscious - she's just cute!)

So when we realized that most of her tops were getting too small, I decided to make her a couple more of these fun upcycled creations.


The first one has my old pajama top for the body. Some of you may recognize it because I wore it almost every evening while living in residence at the university. Then there is the Winnie The Pooh applique that I cut off of the very cute newborn sweater that my friend Jen gave to Lane before she was even born. The bottom and neckline are from Terry's white t-shirt. That man can't keep a white t-shirt to save his life. I had to cut around a rather large coffee stain to get the fabric needed hehehe And the sleeves are from a onesie that used to fit a much smaller Laney.




The next is a little green t-shirt made from another one of my pajama tops. With the rest of Terry's white t-shirt for the neckline and bottom. The sleeves are from a crazy pair of zippered pajamas that Lane had when she was a few months old. Peace baby! And I cut the kitty applique off of a yellow pair of baby jammies that both kids have outgrown. Super cute!


So what do you think? Do they look too pieced together? Sometimes I wonder if people are thinking that I'm dressing my kids in rags because I patchwork so much stuff together. Upcycling seems to be an upcoming trend, so I bet there will be tons of other children wearing these types of fashions in the next few years. Maybe we're just trendy?

Some people have asked if I would make them one of these one of a kind creations for their children. Do you think I should make a few varieties and post them up in the shop? (You can check out the other 3 tess I made for Lane at this link). Lane could always wear them if they don't get a good response... but I'd like to have a bit of a plan before I start the upcycled t-shirt making factory :P


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Sharing this post with:
Wardrobe Wednesday - Brown Paper Packages
Friday Fun Finds - KoJo Designs
Topsy Turvy Tuesdays #27 - I'm Topsy Turvy
Anything Related Tuesday - All Thingz Related
Whatever Goes Wednesday - Someday Crafts

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Inspiration in the Mail

This morning I was down in the dumps. I had to arrive at a CT scan appointment at 7:30. Knowing that this appointment was putting me one step further towards impending heart surgery, I was not happy.

Anyway, the appointment went smoothly and I rewarded myself for being a brave little soul by buying myself some pretty metallic nail polish and a Slurpee on the way home :D

Due to the heart rate lowering drug, the nitro and all the dye they injected into me, I had a massive headache and felt kind of blah all day. But watching two active little people, made for no breaks. At one point this afternoon I decided to carry Lane upstairs just to keep her from destroying her brother. A little separation makes the heart grow fonder, no? So I checked the mail while I was up there.

And what I saw made my day! :D :D :D

Thank you to Ruth, an amazing Winnipeg artisan who recycles computer parts into awesome jewelry. Seriously... geek art is the best! She sent me Macrame books that she had collected and was saving for someone who might be able to use them. Even though I told her that sending them in the mail would be expensive, she still did it anyway. Sneaky! And I really needed this pick-me-up today. I'm so grateful.

What wonderful inspiration!

So many ideas and beautiful, easy, beginner projects to try out. And would you just look at that dress on the front cover? I need that dress! Here's a close up:


This dress is inspiration enough to learn this new-to-me art. It totally reminds me of my neighbour Elaine's style. Oh to be good enough to make this dress - that is my goal. Then I will make one for me and one for Elaine and one for my sister who is a bit of a 70s nut. So beautiful.


I can already think of several housewares-type projects I can create with inspiration from these two books. I love our Chinese lanterns in the diningroom, but it's incredibly difficult to see while eating in the wintertime. I think that making a lamp shade with an Eastern flare might be on the list. :)


And this one will be the most useful. There are plenty of pictures of the basic knots and more complicated ones, plus tips on selecting materials and beginning and finishing off macrame projects. It even has a section on micro-macrame. Yay!


These knotted watchbands blow my goofy fabric ones out of the water. Must learn... must learn...


Thank you again Ruth for all the glorious inspiration. It makes me excited to learn a new craft!

How about you? Do you have a something new that you want to learn this year? Want to join the "bring back Macrame" revolution that I'm gonna start? hehehe

Monday, 24 January 2011

Get Into the Kitchen With Your Sassy Self

About 2 years ago I made myself an apron to wear around the kitchen. I was busy baking bread all the time and I was pregnant, so I was huge and awkward, which made for tons of messes! I didn't like the apron I made though. It was the traditional full apron with big pockets and ruffles. Gah! Too much stuff to worry about. I could never get the straps right and it was too heavy and awful. By the time I figured out how to get the thing on, I didn't feel much like baking.

I finally got around to making one that I think I'll actually use! Yay me!

And it's a little bit sassy! Double yay!






Super cute half apron. No pockets or cumbersome strappy things. Just streamlined and light. And the fabric - oh my goodness - I love this fabric so much! I've been saving it up for something special like this.


A close up of the front. I like the wide belt because I tend to splash the most right there. Originally I had the straps too short to reach around and tie in the front, but I decided to change that. I like the look and the ease with a front tie.



But tying in the back isn't too big a deal either.


Here's a close up of the fabric because I love it so much! Look at those sweet children in the boat. There is some sort of magical frog there too. It's all very magical and dreamlike. Did I mention I love this fabric?

Love it!!!

One last look because it's so sweet and sassy. I only wish I had a dress form to model it for you (like the one in the tutorial - link below). Doesn't it make you want to bake up something sweet and sassy? I'm sure all the food I cook while wearing this apron will automatically be delicious hehehe

I used the tutorial featured on Sewing in No Man's Land - it's called the Sandalwood Apron in case you wanted to make your own :)

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Trained! Phew...



Potty training has been a long difficult battle.

This past weekend, Logan finally went number 2 in the potty! :D

Thank goodness because Terry and I were actually considering forcing him into it by making him sit on the potty until it happened. And we know darn well that tactic would never work with our boy.

They say the smart ones are the most difficult to train. They think about it too much. Work up all that anxiety in their heads until they can't do it.

I'd like to think this was the case with Logan, but it's more than likely our fault that it wasn't done sooner. We were lazy. It was just easier to let him stand on the couch and go #2 in his pull-ups (like he so much enjoyed). That way we would be free to chase Lane around and we'd have 20 minutes of silence from the boy as well! :D

But honestly, how long could that last? Logan couldn't do that sort of thing during kindergarten in September. He certainly can't be doing that when he starts college (heheh I jest, but this could have actually happened given the laziness of his parents - eeep).

Anyway, we were reading the books and trying to figure out all the techniques we could use to move the process along a little faster without permanently scarring our boy for life and decided that a gentle push might help. We had begun telling him that his pull-ups weren't going to fit for much longer. He really likes being called a big boy and now that he's 4, this is especially true. So we told him that 4 year olds don't wear pull-ups and that he would have to at least stand in the bathroom if he had to do a #2.

Instead he decided to try out the small, portable potty that we had bought for him. He got nice and comfortable watching Sponge Bob and all his anxiety was lifted. Voila - we have poopy! :D

And that was the most blessed poopy in all the world!


Our sweet goonie little boy. He posed for this saying that it better look silly. Mission accomplished!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Classing Up The Joint

Terry had place mats when he was a kid. This is something I found out about him just recently. I was a no place mat kind of kid. When Terry requested that I make some place mats like the ones I made for Josh and Mel, I seriously had never even thought about making some for us.

We're classing up the Team LT house!

Well...

About as much as Team LT can stand anyway.

You know us, we don't really have a classy sort of style. As a matter of fact, I took this style quiz to find out what kind of style I actually have in decorating. I got "Unmade Bed." Haha of course! I'm in good company though - other suspected "Unmade Bed" stylists include Tina Fey, Bob Dylan and Woody Allen. Yay!

"A quite you can hear in the snow covered hills. To cook a grand meal in an elegant kitchen is your joy. Build a roaring fire and jump into your cozy bed. Musical lyrics bring to mind life's extraordinary events. Your relaxed table atmosphere is enjoyed by everyone. "Beer is proof that God loves us" Pre-war, upper east side attitude. Casual and relaxed… never insisting on formality." - is what the site uses to describe me :)

Anyway, back to the place mats.


The first two have Sponge Bob on one side and zig zags on the other, with monkeys throwing snowballs as trim.

See? Classy!



The next two were designed by Logan. Spiderman on one side, happy faces on the other and guitars as trim. These are both Logan's and Terry favourite. There is just too much awesome thrown into these place mats. Behold their mighty power!

The next two are made from my IKEA winnings. Much more adult and subdued. They are my favourite. I love the snowy log cabins.


And the last two I call the "Mother in Law" set because they have loons on one side, and what look like peppers (but I think they are actually leaves) on the other side and trim in brown plaid. We'll pull these ones out when grandma visits. She'll be suitably impressed :)

What do you think? Too crazy to fit into our home decor? Or just right for Team LT? What kind of style do you have? Did you take the quiz?

Friday, 21 January 2011

Crafty Friday: Valentine's Day Heart Garland

I know it isn't Crafty Monday yet, but Logan woke up with a hankering to paint. You can't fight that. And I'm never one to turn down getting my craft on!

So we broke out the artist smock and the paints. I cut up 6 big heart from some card stock. And Logan went to work painting them all with pretty colours.


Even Laney helped... well she tried to steal the paints, lost a pile of crayons in my fabric stash somewhere and caused a general amount of mayhem.

We did manage to keep her interested in her own little art desk for awhile though.


Logan is very serious about his painting. He barely gets any paint on his clothes or fingers. What kind of pre-schooler is this? A mama's dream - that's what.

***Notice that my fabric stash in the background is looking a little bare (and surrounded my Laney's mayhem) :( I need to do some serious fabric shopping! ****


We then had a fun time using the hole punch. Logan really likes that little device. I threaded all his hearts onto a long piece of ribbon. And ta da! A beautiful Valentine's Day heart garland.

As always, Logan wanted to hang it in the front window for all to see. We took down the snowflakes that we made a few months ago and replaced the decorations with this fancy garland. So if you're driving by, check it out! Way cool!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Micro Macrame




If you know me, you know that I'm not one to follow the pack. I've always gotta do things a bit differently.

So when I was humming and hawing over whether to learn crochet or knitting - I naturally changed my mind and scrapped both ideas.

Why not learn something a little more off the beaten path? A bit of a lost art perhaps?


Macrame! My mom could do it. Why not me?

Actually I have come to learn that micro-macrame is the new trend within this art. It looks awesome! And of course there are plenty of Etsy sellers who create beautiful jewelry using this technique of mostly knotting and beading.

I created a treasury featuring some of my favourites. Check it out with this link.


Who wants to learn with me? I'll be working on this during my recovery time after my heart surgery (still no definite date for that). Once I start feeling well enough to tackle a small project I will keep all of you up to date. If anyone wants to learn with me (in person or online) I'd certainly welcome the encouragement. We can have macrame evenings in town, or share encouraging criticisms and cheers through email/Flickr/Facebook/Twitter etc.

I'll be ordering a few books that hopefully will help me learn. I will share the titles with you once I check them over. And then I'll let you know what projects I'll be working on. I'd love for you to follow along and attempt some of these with me! :D

And if any of you have some old Macrame books laying around (circa 1972 or so) and you're willing to let me borrow - I'd bake you some cookies or something.

Who's with me? Macrame - eh? eh? Awesome.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Bad Mom Day and Cute Puppies!

Yup - and this is an improvement on the temperature that we really woke up to today. It was -33 and felt like -45 when we woke up. Eeeep!

Now I totally expect this kind of thing. I live in Canada after all. But today I just couldn't take it. My circulation is terrible and no matter how much long winter underwear, sweaters, snowpants I put on, I still can't get my limbs to work in -32.

If I were working, I might have been fine. I would just arrive at work super early and really work on getting the circulation back into my fingers. I wouldn't be able to feel my feet until halfway through the day, but I'd be OK. No kids to lug around.

Being a stay-at-home mom though, this wasn't going to fly today. For my American readers, school is not canceled - EVER - for this type of weather. Buses may refuse to drop the students off at school, but the students are still expected to go. Living only a block away from the school, we're definitely expected to get our kids to school in the morning.

Unfortunately, there was no way my limbs were going to cooperate enough today to get both kids and myself dressed up in all the winter gear required, buckle the baby into the sled, pull that sled to the school, carry the baby in all her winter gear into the classroom, help Logan get his winter gear off, drop him off, and then buckle the baby back into the sled and pull her home.

yeah....

I actually thought about taking the car the block to the school, since we have auto-start and heated seats. But with every parent thinking the same thing, the cars would be parked all the way to where our house is anyway and I'd still have to muster up enough energy in the cold to buckle both kids into their car seats and then unbuckle them both and carry Lane a half block to the school. Bleh ...


These are the days when I actually look forward to my upcoming valve replacement surgery. If I could only have a little bit more circulation then -33 would be my bitch! hehehe

So I'm being a terrible mom and Logan is having a snow day today.


In other news, the puppy-obsessed little girl just added a new prize to her growing list of treasures.

Lane just loves her some puppies. She has puppy posters, puppy books, puppy bibs, puppy t-shirts, and now ...

a puppies blanket!

I made this super cute baby blanket for her on the weekend.


When I saw this fleece at the fabric store on the weekend, I had to buy it! Who could resist?


Aww... and I did not too terrible a job on the blanket binding. Go me!

Does that make up for being a terrible mom today? Probably not, but it's going to be a positively balmy -12 tomorrow - so the boy is getting his butt to school for sure!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Birthday Party Pandemonium

As you know from a previous post, Logan was invited to his first birthday party. At the YMCA!

He was terribly excited about the big event and had a blast.

I was lucky - I convinced Terry to take him to the party where he watched our little boy have a pile of fun with 26 other kids. I stayed at home and spent some quality time with Lane :)

There was a gigantic slide, a jumper, hot dogs, Cheetos, cupcakes, and other fun kid pandemonium.


Terry sent me this picture of our little man enjoying himself. I'm so proud of him. A year ago (actually probably even 2 months ago) Logan would have worked up so much anxiety over the whole thing that it would be a struggle to get him to enjoy himself. But now, since he's been in pre-school, he's so much more social and has less stress about things like this.

He came home and told me that he was going to write all of his friend's names down so that he would remember to go to their birthday parties. :D Awwwww...

I guess that means we'll have to actually plan a birthday party for him when he turns 5 at the end of the year - eeeeps!

And Logan's friend liked his birthday present. Well the kids didn't really pay much attention to the presents, but I have it on good Terry authority that the parents really liked the crayon roll.

At least we know that Logan liked it as well. He insisted that I make one for him too since he had to give one away.

So voila! A SpongeBob crayon roll for my little man!





I totally nailed the placement of the ric rak this time. Patrick and SpongeBob are riding around in boats and the words say "Am I winning yet?" hehe. Kid cool.

Next up: A little girl's obsession with puppies.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Blog Lovin'

Follow my blog with bloglovin

Hi Everyone,

I'm trying out a fun new way to catch up on all my favourite blogs. This way I don't have to be downstairs at my computer reading my feeds. And I don't have to search through the mess I made of Google Reader for my favourites either.

That means I can keep up with everyone when I'm stuck at the hospital (or stuck in bed recovering).

Yay!

You all should check it out for yourself. And follow my blog of course (just click the link at the top of this post or in the side column) :D

Friday, 14 January 2011

Sometimes You Just Need A Little Betty Crocker

Big news today! Or at least it's big news in Logan's world. My little guy woke up this morning and as he was coming down the stairs to greet us, he said: "I'm very happy today because uncle Cory is coming over."

Yup - uncle Cory is coming over for dinner and Logan couldn't be more excited about it. Apparently Cory is in for some fun times - by Pre-schooler standards anyway.

I occupied Logan really easily this morning by getting him to create a picture to give to Cory when he arrived. Then we decided we needed something for dessert. Logan suggested "delicious cupcakes." Hmmm ... they have to be delicious eh?

I wasn't really in the mood to be baking from scratch and I certainly didn't want to go out in this weather with two kids to buy ingredients. So we opted for good ole Betty Crocker. Cherry Chip cupcakes are Terry's fave anyway.





We even had some Betty Crocker cream cheese icing in the cupboard. Bonus!


Logan sprinkled the cupcakes with extra special "love in every sprinkle" sprinkles!

I hope Uncle Cory appreciates the work we go through for him hahahaha :P

All day slaving over a hot stove....

:P

Oh yeah, and in other - still good- news. The How To post from yesterday was my 500th post! Woo! I can't believe I have that much to say. And of course I missed the actual post and didn't realize until today. Oh well.

Do you think I should do something fun to celebrate 500? A giveaway, some sort of week long project? A bloggy link party? Hmmm ... not too sure...

Thursday, 13 January 2011

How To: Cozy Upcycled Fabric Earmuffs




It's cold out there! And it will be for at least another 2 months here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. So I might as well be warm and fashionable, and use up some of my upcycling pile while I'm at it.

These cozy fabric earmuffs are fun and fashionable! And they don't have any of those awful plastic pieces that bite into my head and pull out my hair when I try to take them off.

Wanna make a pair for yourself or perhaps gift a pair to a loved one?

Fit:
Adult size medium. They fit me and they stretch to fit a bigger head with bigger brains too!

Time Needed:
About a half hour.

Skill Needed:
A little tricky with the elastic and sewing the earpieces to the headband. I'd say about medium skill.

Supplies Needed:
- About 0.25 metre of fabric (I recommend fleece for cozy comfort - an old sweater also works wonderfully)
- Scrap of Quilt Batting
- 4 inches of elastic (I use scraps that I pull from various "to be upcycled" clothing)
- matching thread
- 2 safety pins
- free downloadable pattern - located here

Step One:
Download the pattern PDF and print. I apologize for the lightness of the ink. I couldn't find my marker and then I had a whole thing about getting my scanner to work with my new OS. Bleh. If I get in the mood to figure out how to darken it (or find my marker) I'll fix it.
Cut out 1 headband piece (on fold) from chosen fabric
Cut out 4 Ear Pieces from chosen fabric (you can use fleece for inside and decorative fabric on outside if you wish)
Cut out 2 earpieces from quilt batting
Cut out 1 (on fold) of bottom band from chosen fabric
Use the bottom band piece to measure how much elastic you need - this time, don't cut on fold. It should be close to 4 inches.


Step Two:
Fold both the headband piece and the bottom band piece in half lengthwise. Sew along the long edge. Use a safety pin (or your own desired method) to turn both pieces right side out. If you'd like a puffier look to your top headband piece, you can use a piece of quilt batting on the inside as well.


Step Three:
Layer the headband piece, the earpieces and the quilt batting in this order.
One earpiece (right side up) - this would be the piece you intend to be on the inside (touching your ear)
The headband piece with the seam in the middle facing down
One outside earpiece (right side down)
One piece of quilt batting

Repeat for the other side of the headband.

You'll get something similar to the picture below. Make sure everything lines up and that the earpieces are all placed together with the headband piece as shown.


Here's another picture from a different angle to give you a better idea of what you'll have when you pin it together


Step Four:
Starting close to where the headband piece and the earpieces match up (along the bottom of the earpieces) sew carefully around the earpieces, making sure to leave a hole where the headband piece is.

(Don't you just love my quick GIMP work? Hehe, not so good with the paintbrush tool, but you get the idea)


Turn the earpieces right side out using the hole you left in your stitching.


Step Five:
Carefully pin the elastic to one end of the bottom band with a safety pin. With another safety pin inserted at the other end of the elastic, carefully thread the elastic through the bottom band. The bottom band will be longer than the elastic, so be careful not to lose that elastic in there!
Without losing the end of the elastic, pin the bottom band to the bottom of the earpiece (where you left the sewing hole in the above step). Do the same with the other end onto the other other earpiece.
Stitch the hole closed making sure to capture the end of the elastic and the bottom band within the stitching. Do the same for the other ear.





Ta Da! If you can get through all that weird and funky sewing, you will have a cool pair of earmuffs!



And of course, if you don't want to try out all that weird and funky sewing, you can purchase a pair at Tawny Bee. The above purple fleece pair is available here.



I also have a sweet red checkered pair, with red fleece inner ears - available here.



You can also cut out a silly sweater, making sure to get something cool on the ears. This Bear Bottoms one is a little cheeky and super soft and warm - available here.

Corduroy also works as a great outer fabric with a soft velour on the inside of the ears. This pair is available here.

And because I believe is sharing, you can use my pattern in whatever way you see fit. You can make a pair for yourself, a friend, a gift, or make them to sell - of course I won't complain if you'd like to put "Tawny Bee Pattern" on the description of the earmuffs you sell ;) Whatever you like! Enjoy!

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Sharing this tutorial with:
Finished on the 15th for January - FaveCrafts
Market Yourself Monday - Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Link Party No. 39 - Tea Rose Home