Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Ugh ... Make That Double Ugh



I hate my bathroom floor.

Whoever decided on this particular pattern of linoleum was insane.



Every time I walk on it I feel like I'm stepping directly onto an eyeball. Seriously...

Gross.

Look at all of those little grey and brown squiggles. Just like an eyeball.

I made a bathmat that covers most of the floor so I don't have to look at it. I gotta say that I'm seriously thinking about learning how to lay linoleum. Our bathroom is so small that it would only take a piece of remnant to cover.

Anyone know how to do this? Is it easy?

Or am I going to have to wear my socks into the bathroom everyday and suffer? Because it's starting to get to the point where I won't have my precious bare tootsies touch that eyeball anymore. Ewwwww....

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Project Project Runway: Week 5 Workbench


This week's Project Project Runway challenge is to design an outfit to go with Heidi's New Balance Shoes.

Think fashion, don’t think just gym. It could be a dress or a suit. Think classic with a twist. You have to use a fabric used in Heidi’s shoe which are denim and suede. The denim or suede does not have to be the dominate fabric, but it does have to be evident. The designers had to create three outfits because they were in teams of three, since we aren’t in teams we’ll only make one outfit. At least that means no fights in the workroom! (Source: Just Crafty Enough)


OK. So I know from watching the show that all that stuff about a suit is pure bull. The outfit has to go with the shoes and therefore needs to be a bit casual.

I'm thinking this:


Terry (a poor substitute for Tim) says the belt looks a little "karate-ish." Well, this is a sportswear challenge isn't it? It might work.

I'm more worried about the whole outfit sinking into the realm of Madonna's Papa Don't Preach video:


Oh dear...

But I say to the Tim inside my head: At least it looks good with ballet shoes, so running shoes might be fine too.

Anyway, I'm going to rock out my version with a splash of colour primo karate belt hehehe



We have to use denim or suede or both. I opted for the denim. And this green pop of colour for the belt.

Whadya think?

Monday, 29 August 2011

Macrame Monday: The Chinese Braid


The Chinese Braid.

Looks gorgeous don't it? And I conquered it this past weekend! :D

A 16 stranded braid is no easy challenge. I wanted to share the how to with all of you but then realized that this tutorial would be about 16 pages long and as confusing as they come.

So I scoured the ole' internets for you all and found this lovely PDF that shows you - in about a billion steps, how to weave this intricate mess of 16 strands.

The author of this PDF actually cited the same book that I learned from.

The Basic Book of Fingerweaving by Ester Warner Dendel. It was published in 1974 and is now out of print. Anyway - the instructions looked like this...


ACK!

Anyhoo... I promise that once you get going, it's not as difficult as all that.

And you'll have a most splendid result!


Stay tuned to the Tawny Bee shop or the Tawny Bee fanpage in the next couple of days and I'll have a few of these beauties for sale :D

You might be wondering why on earth have I decided to up and leave my spool knitting and learn the Chinese Braid? It will all come together my darlings ;) I plan on using my long strands of spool knitting by Chinese braiding it into a mystery project mwahaha. That's all I'm going to say for now.

Now I'll leave you with beauteous images of the Chinese Braid.




The vest of the bottom of the left hand page and the belt in the middle of the right hand page are both made using the Chinese Braid and featured in the fingerweaving book I learned from.



A fancy jewelry version of the Chinese Braid design. Pretty! Sparkly!

Source: etsy.com via Tawny on Pinterest



This one was sold on Etsy awhile back and is the only version of the Chinese Braid that I could find using actual cords. Finding images of a correct Chinese Braid is almost impossible even with the power of Google. Bleh.




Source: google.ca via Tawny on Pinterest




The red and blue rope (second form the bottom) is also an example. I found this one when I looked up "Karakumi" which isn't quite a Chinese Braid, but it's as close as I can find.

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Sharing this latest accomplishment with:
The More The Merrier Monday - The DIY Home Sweet Home Project
Anything Related - All Thingz Related
Show Off Your Stuff - Fireflies and Jellybeans
Making It With Allie - What Allie's Making Now
Tea Time Thursday - Kreative Korner
Friday Favs - Nap Time Crafters
Tickled Pink - 504 Main
Fantabulous Friday - Momma's Kinda Crafty

Friday, 26 August 2011

Food Friday: Simple Sugar Cookies



Occasionally Logan gets it in his head that he needs to use my rolling pin. I have no idea where this hankering comes from, but he insists until I finally give in.



This sugar cookie recipe is simple and very child friendly. Logan gets to use both the rolling pin and the cookie cutters. Fun!

Ingredients:
1.5 cups of sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2.5 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar



Method:
- pre-heat oven to 350 degrees C. Lightly grease cookie sheets.

- Mix the sugar, butter, egg, vanilla until creamy. Mix in the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Make a ball of dough. Roll it out (or have your son give it a try) until it's about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes (or have your son make some crazy cool dinosaurs and bisons)



- bake for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly golden on the bottoms.

- put your favourite icing on them and let your kids go nuts with the sprinkles!


Do you have a favourite recipe to bake with your kids?

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Project Project Runway: All About Nina Runway


*Sigh* This All About Nina challenge was tough. So tough that I actually thought about forfeiting this week and waiting for the next Project Project Runway challenge. At least you can do that in this version.

But since you can't do that on Project Runway, I decided to stick it out and make it work.

Seriously though, designing for Nina was rough. I would have much rather designed for my favourite fictional magazine employee - Miss Maxie Jones.

Isn't Kirsten Storms adorable? Even when she's trying to be a tough fashionista at Crimson Magazine? Love her. Would have loved to design for her.

And yes, I know she is a fictional character on General Hospital, so I'll stop dreaming now.

Back to the runway.

Here is Aurora wearing my design. And I would actually wear this ensemble! I'm happy with it. And this is the first outfit I've sewn for Project Project Runway that I can get off and on Aurora many times without struggle. I'm getting better at sewing Barbie sized clothes that I can keep for Lane to play with. I used Velcro for the closures this time and it worked perfectly.


The top is a simple black. I was going to add some bling on the shoulders, but I couldn't find any that didn't look tacky. See? I can edit my designs. I hope Nina will see that I'm growing as a designer and have an inner voice that tells me not to bejewel everything I touch.

Nina might decide that this design is a little too simple, but to her I say: "Wear these shoes." (From the Piperlime Accessory Wall)

Sexy! Daring! And yes, my design is a little plain, but at least it's acceptable to wear to work. I don't think plunging necklines and showing a ton of skin is a good idea for any workplace - no offense to the real designers on Project Runway of course ;)



Here is a close up of the pockets just because I really love them (even even they need a little thread trim). They actually work, although Aurora was born with a strange malformation which makes it impossible to bend her elbows enough to put her hands in the pockets. We won't call too much attention to that because she's a little sensitive.

Check out the runways here and here from last week's Stiltwalker challenge if you haven't already.
And follow along with the Project Project Runway designers this week in the Flickr group.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Summertime Plans: Back To School


Trying new things as our summertime plans has worked out pretty well.


I haven't had a chance to try the blind taste test thing out with Logan. I was thinking about doing it today. Note to self: don't try things like this on grocery shopping day. We had nothing in the house to try out for a taste test.


But we have got Logan eating much better. He's already on row three of his eating chart. One of the rewards for completing a row was popcorn.


Yum!


And even Lane has been trying new things. She started eating right at the table instead of using her tray. Such a big girl. She was so proud of herself.


Logan will now eat some new things as well. Yellow Peppers and cooked onions are among the things that we wouldn't have dared try before we started encouraging this behaviour. My aunt had a great suggestion: Tell him what kind of things the particular food will help him with. For example: "Logan, broccoli is a super food. That means that it has a ton of vitamins that will make you into such a strong boy. I bet you'll be able to jump right out of your chair when you are done because you'll have so much good energy." This totally worked.


Even us parents are trying out new things. We decided to take advantage of some of the fun things to do in our wonderful city for free by taking the kids to Free Movie in the Park last Friday. Normally, we stay at home after dinner. This was a terrific family adventure.

And... shock of all shocks - Terry and I left the kids with grandma and went on a date!

We saw this movie.


There were a ton of questions to ponder when it was over. But it was super nice to get out. This is the first time we've left the kids with someone and gone out in 2 years. Lane was only a few months old the last time we went out. And yes, this does include our wedding night, which we spent at home with the kids. Sad? yeah... but it is our life without any family living in the city.

Anyway, onto summertime plans for this week.

It's the last summertime plans that I have for you this year.

And it's all about back to school.

Not only do we have to shop for school shoes, sew up some kindergarten clothes and go to a meet the teacher conference, we also have to learn how to get up at 7:00 every day.

Well, Lane wakes up at 6:45 every morning, so she's good. Logan gets up at 8:30 on average though. Yipes! It's going to be a pain in the bum to wake him up at 7:00. So, starting one week before school begins, I'm going to start waking him up at this dreaded time in an attempt to get him used to it a little bit.




Ooooh it's going to be painful for the both of us. Lane won't notice a difference hehehe.

Do you have any back to school plans?

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Project Project Runway: Week 4 Workbench


This week's Project Project Runway Challenge is all about our favourite fashion judge Nina Garcia.

Create a look Nina can wear to work in the day and then to an industry event in the evening. She tends to wear classic with an edge, clean, stream-lined, tailored silhouettes. She does not like voluminous clothes, pleats, loud colors or load patterns. She does not want to see a bunch of grey garments going down the runway though.
(courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)


Great. No loud colours. No bold prints. Gah.

She hates every. single. thing. I design.

This challenge really makes me want to slap a huge pink bow on her ass just for kicks.

But I'll be a good designer and come up with something boring for Nina.





Again, I apologize for my lack of sketching skills. A streamlined top without too much embellishment and some shiny pants. Yes, Nina didn't say anything about shiny :D And I'm going to try to make pockets on the pants (even though Aurora's arm can't bend to reach into them) and a front closure. Basically I'm keeping it boring, boring boring.




I went to Mood (my scrap pile) and found these two fabrics to work with. Brown and Black. Note: it is extremely difficult to photograph this brown. I tried a plain white background but there was too much glare from the shine. So I'm not actually using the patchwork purple in the photo, just the fabric above it. Hopefully the brown will translate better to the runway. I thought that I had some shiny denim-ish blue fabric in my pile that would have been perfect for this project. It seems that I've used every scrap.

So I'm blaming the lighting in Mood. I could have sworn that I bought blue fabric, but when I got back to the workroom it was brown! ACK! What will I do?

Tim came by and lamented with me over this serious colour mistake. In the end I'll just have to make it work. No worries though, I won't give up and I'll actually defend my choice if confronted. :) Brown is even more Nina than shiny blue anyway.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Macrame Monday: Cording


I have a random thought about macrame to share:

Don't you think that Bear Grylls would be terrific at macrame? That man can tie a knot to save his life! He should learn how to macrame some vines together to make a hammock to keep up off the jungle floor. Or macrame a bunch of parachute rope together to build a ladder. Or macrame some sort of swing in order to get from one cliff to another... or.... well ... you get the idea.

Now onto Macrame Monday!

Today I'll show you the progress on my spool knitting.



Yup, almost the entire skein of yarn is finished :D

You may be wondering what on earth I am going to do with all this knitted "rope."

Well, you might know (or I'll tell you) that finding quality macrame cording is a pain in the butt in 2011. Macrame is a lost art, so they don't really sell supplies at your local craft shop. You can order online, but in Canada the shipping cost alone are not worth the effort. You can buy rope or cords form the hardware store, but there is a sad lack in pretty colours as you would expect.

So, I thought to myself, "what am I going to do for cording?"

Make it of course!

And that is why I have a ton of spool knitted rope. It'll be beautiful and thick and strong to macrame with and give my finished projects an interesting and kinda sexy texture. eh?

When you're busy trying to start a Macrame Revolution, sometimes you gotta improvise and update your materials. I think it'll be a great new twist on an old art.

What do you think?

I'll let you know how it turns out next week. :)

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Sunday Showcase: Creativity For Kids Fashion Headbands


Oh my goodness - way back in June I won the cutest kit for making headbands over at Crystal's Craft Spot.

The headband making kit from Creativity for Kids came in the mail and Lane and I tried it out when the boys were at a movie one afternoon.

I had to do all the gluing, but Lane was the designer. She chose a white headband, with black ribbon and a rose.



What a pretty pretty princess!


The kit comes with everything you need to make 10 headbands. So cool. And the inside of the box is organized so that you can use it as a work station.

Lane only has the attention span for one at a time. But I've found that this is an excellent kit to keep on the shelf and pull out when the kids appear particularly crafty and bored.

Logan made this headband from the kit for Lane's birthday.


Awwww....

And then Lane and I designed the one photographed below while Logan was meticulously going through all the materials and choosing exactly the perfect ones for the headband he was making.




Isn't she the cutest?

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Friday Evening Movie in the Park


Last night we followed a grand Winnipeg tradition:

Flock to the free stuff!


Yup - true Winnipeggers love the free stuff. It was free movie night at Assiniboine Park last night. During August, on Friday evenings, they play a kid's movie at 7:00 and then an adult movie at around 9-ish.

So we went to Montana's for dinner and then headed to the park to see Ice Age (although they really played Ice Age 2, but I'm not complaining. It was free after all).

I know - another picture of Lane with her tongue hanging out. And her tongue is green because she had just finished a green sucker that she got after her dinner.


Logan was a little more laid back. And for those of you friends who are reading this blog and are thinking: "Look at those terrible parents letting Logan sit in the death trap of a Canada chair that I'm pretty sure broke into a pile of twisted metal last time we had a get together," I say: "We bought new ones!" Yay!



As the sun started going down, Lane was getting a little tired and antsy. She watched some of the movie from daddy's knee.

Then...

Both kids decided it would be more fun to hang out on the picnic blanket. By this point, they were only watching some of the interesting parts of the movie (like the squirrel hunting that blasted acorn). They both played peacefully on the blanket and we had a fantastic time. We didn't stay for the second movie (which was Raiders of the Lost Ark :O) The kids were starting to get sleepy. But they were excited enough after their first outdoor movie experience that they stayed awake for the entire ride home.

So, who's in for next Friday? They are playing Monsters vs. Aliens and then Top Gun. :)









Friday, 19 August 2011

Food Friday: Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu Sammiches

I'm calling these sammiches because they are too easy and simple to even be called proper sandwiches.

But they look delicious don't they?


Do you ever have those days when it's around dinner time and you have no idea what to make that the kids will actually eat? You're too tired (and maybe too lazy like me) to look up a recipe or go to the grocery store for ingredients.

That's when we make easy chicken cordon blue sammiches.


You don't even really need a recipe.

Just take some boneless chicken. Fry it up with some seasoning. Take some slices of ham, place them on top of the chicken when it's done cooking. Then melt some Swiss cheese slices on top. Voila!



None of this fancy stuffing the chicken and using toothpicks and all that jazz to make cordon bleu. Nah! I'm wanting a tasty meal that doesn't take a ton of time and fussiness.

We serve ours on kaiser buns with a little dijon mustard or regular mustard.



The kids eat 'em up.




But yeah... sorry to the diehards who wanted a real cordon blue recipe. Maybe I shouldn't even call these sammiches that? Maybe I oughta call them "Tawny's No Fuss Kids Will Eat It and I'm Being a Lazy Bum Sammiches"? Has a nice ring to it doesn't it?

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Linking this quick and easy recipe with:
Tickled Pink - 504 Main

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Project Project Runway: Go Big Or Go Home Challenge


Project Project Runway Challenge Number 3 was to Go Big Or Go Home!

Basically, that meant we had to design for models on stilts. Okaaaaay....

The first hurdle of course was to fashion some sort of facsimile of a pair of stilts in Barbie size.


Thread spools work really well. They are big enough to act as stilts and Aurora can put her pointy toe in the hole for added balance. Perfect. Now onto the designing!

I was really glad that we were pretty much given free reign to design our outfits and choose our fabrics. Finally!


Hmmm ... can't really see my sketch very well in the scan. I came up with a pant suit, loosely inspired by a sailor suit - only updated and not costume-y (since the judges hate costumes). I wanted a bold print for most of the suit and a solid colour for the jacket and wide belt.

Here's what I came up with:


Eeeeeeee! I love it so much! Doesn't Aurora look awesome?



Even the back looks good.

Boy was it difficult to sew a tiny coat for Aurora. I managed pretty well though, and I love that I chose to line it with the pant and tank top material.




Here are the "buttons" I sewed onto the front of the jacket and the wide belt. I like the pop of yellow colour to really bring out that bold print.

And here is Aurora modelling without the jacket. It's a good thing I figured out how to sew a miniature jacket or the judges would have ripped me apart for this simple tank top. Yipes! What do they have against tank tops?

Overall, I think this look is my best so far. I think the judges would be impressed that I made an outfit for a stiltwalker that didn't end up looking too costume-y.

Nina would totally say that it's too Matchy Matchy.
Heidi would say it looks too old.
Michael would just be amazed that I was able to pull off three pieces when I've never sewn a jacket before.

I think I'll be passed through to the next challenge. Although... wait a minute... I saw the previews and it looks like we'll have to design something that Nina would wear.... ack... maybe I change my mind... maybe I should go home now...

Little known fact about my model Aurora:
She was raised in the circus - so she's an incredible stiltwalker. Although she was secretly hoping they would make her do some trapeze routines instead.




You can check out the entire Runway for the "My Pet Project" challenge here.

You can check out all the Project Project Runway works in progress and finished projects on this Flickr Group as well.

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Sharing this new Barbie outfit with:
Show of Your Stuff - Fireflies and Jellybeans
Making It With Allie - What Allie's Making Now
Fantabulous Friday - Momma's Kinda Crafty
Friday Favs - Nap Time Crafters
Friday Fun Finds - Kojo Designs