Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Wednesday Wardrobe: Yoga Pants

I was surrounded by a sea of lycra stretched taut over chubby asses.  Hoodies of every colour - pink, black, grey, yellow - pulled down over grotesque muffin tops. Flips flops or crocs or discount running shoes shoved hastily onto calloused feet.  Hair pulled back into sloppy ponytails - blonde hair, brown hair, red hair all in various states of dye jobs falling out of the flimsy elastic and being blown out of faces.

I was dropping Logan off at school this morning.

And I was a first hand witness to the "Mommy Uniform."

Did that send a shiver down your spine?  Cuz it did mine!  Especially because I was wearing the exact same uniform!


It's not really our fault.  Yoga pants are stretchy.  You can bend and catch all sorts of tiny acts of parental disobedience as they are happening.

Running shoes are comfortable and easy to move in.  Discount ones are the only ones that stay at home mommies can afford. 

The classic ponytail is easy and sometimes even keeps the hair out of our faces so we are free to attack that bathroom that our sons have destroyed by not being able to aim - AT ALL.

The hoodie keeps us warm, but not too warm.  It is light and easy to throw on when your child decides to run outside and straight for the road because the Recycle Truck is coming and he needs to see it right now.

But no more.

I can't take it anymore.

Something needs to be done.

As of this moment my yoga pants are officially retired.

I've had it.  Should I go for a ritual burning of the mommy uniform? 

It was so disheartening today to see this spectacle at the school.  When did I get so "mommy?" Yech...

I resolve to try harder with regards to my wardrobe. 

Maybe I oughta reinstate the summer of no pants again this summer?  That seemed to work last year to get me out of a fashion rut.


Anyway... I also lost the 4 lbs that I gained during my bad week last week.  :D

Monday, 28 May 2012

My Boy Can Read!

Check this out!

And you gotta give my little guy props for being able to read with a crazy little sister beside him.  What exactly is she doing?

Now the big challenge will be to keep this interest in reading going through the summer holidays and into grade one. 

Do you have any suggestions?  So far we have a reading journal that he likes to fill out and place a sticker on each time he reads a book.  I think the reward when he's filled the whole thing out might be to go to the book store and get a new beginner book of his own to read.  Or maybe a trip to the library.  He loves getting new books - especially ones that he can read himself! :D

Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Winner of My Sew Mama Sew Giveaway

Well here it is...

The lucky winner of One Yard Wonders along with as many one metre cuts of fabric I can shove into a box is...

Marilize from South Africa!

Whoa! My package is going far!

Thank you to everyone who entered!  I hope that you'll stick around (I know a few of you won't, but that's OK).  Things to look forward to in case you do want to stick around:
- lots of new projects for Macrame Mondays
- the finish of the big log cabin quilt I'm making for a wedding gift
- I will finally sew and put up curtains in Logan's room (I will! I promise!)
- And all sorts of random crazy summer adventures from Team LT :D

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Secret Mommyhood Confession Saturday #31

Here is a photo of me graduating from the University of Manitoba.  Way back in 2003.

I graduated with a major in Canadian Literature and a Minor in Canadian History.  I also had all of my pre-law requirements.  I graduated in the top 10% of my class and even had a banquet held for me and my fellow go-getters with the highest 10 GPAs in my class.

I was a bit of a smarty pants back then.

I confess: This week has got me wishing that I would have gone on to law school. 

I've had a tired mommy week.  I'm tired of taking Logan back and forth to school.  I'm tired of laundry, making lunches, hoping for naps, cleaning, baking, washing smudges off of everything.

I didn't go back to school for two reasons.  Number one: I ran up a huge student loan just to pay for the first degree.  A loan that I'm still paying off.  Since I'm a stay at home mommy I don't actually make enough money to pay it off, so I'm using my universal child tax benefit checks to pay it off.  (And yes, I'm aware of the fact that I'm using one government department's money to pay off another.)

Number two: way back in 2003 my cardiologist told me that if I wanted to have kids, I needed to start right away.  I needed my heart valve replaced, but couldn't have kids afterwards without serious risk.

I don't really regret the having kids part. although I wish I had known that it would take 2.5 years to get pregnant.  I could have finished law school by then!  OY!

I love my kids and I wanted my kids.  I don't know what my life would be without them.

But having weeks like this makes me wonder ...

- could I have helped my family more as a lawyer? (financially speaking of course! None of us are in trouble with the law. Stop thinking that! hehehe)
- would I have felt like my life meant more if I were contributing a more to society?
- could I be a better mother and woman if I had a profession of my own instead of pouring my life into being mommy?


I'm in a mood aren't I?


And I'm sharing my blahs with all the other cool mommies at All Work and No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something.

The confessional is open.  Join us!


Thursday, 24 May 2012

A Winnipeg Etsy Street Team Giveaway!

Well, this seems to be the week for giveaways!  Not only do I still have my Sew Mama Sew giveaway running, but now I'm participating in the Winnipeg Etsy Street Team (WEST) Summer Promotion! Yay!

Would you like to win all the lovely handmade items in a WEST treasury?

Of course you do!

Let me show you what's up for grabs:

'Win this treasury from WEST' by ToxieDesigns

A Summer time treasury GIVEAWAY! Simply leave a thoughtful comment, be from continental US or Canada and you will be entered. Draw date July 2, 2012. Winner will be contacted here on Etsy. Thoughtful comments, express why you like this treasury.

Reserved for WEST Promo...

RESERVED for W.E.S.T. T...

Spring Flower White Min...

RESERVED for W.E.S.T. T...


Turquoise Pottery Leaf ...

Reserved for Winnipeg T...

Reserved for WEST Promo...

Blissful Nectar agave, ...

RESERVED for WEST Promo...

Reserved for WEST promo...

RESERVED for WEST Promo...

RESERVED for WEST- Recy...

Win Just the Good's...

Reserved for WEST Lock ...

RESERVED - Dainty Simp...

Holy smokes! That's a lot of shwag!

So if you live in Canada or the US and would like to enter, just click on the treasury link above and leave a thoughtful comment below the actual treasury on Etsy.  The contest will be open until July 2nd, so you have a looooong time to enter! **** Please don't comment below on this blog post.  Your comment won't be counted as an entry*****

And if you still haven't entered my Sew Mama Sew giveaway for a copy of One Yard Wonders along with a few "Canadian Yards" (metres) of fabric, then click here and fill out the form.  You only have one more day to enter!

I'd just like to welcome all my new readers as well.  I'm overwhelmed by the response to my little Sew Mama Sew Giveaway.  It's only been 4 days and I have had 496 people enter to win the book and have logged a total of 953 entries (for jumping through various following hoops).  Thank you so much!  I'm kind of a stats nerd this week.  I have gained 102 new Facebook Fans, 162 new Google Connect Reader friends, and 59 new Twitter Followers. I forgot to log how many Pinterest followers I had before, but I now have a pile of new ones! 

EEEEEEEE!!! Insane!  You know I'm totally gonna pack that prize box full of as much fabric as it will hold! I'm so happy to have you all aboard the LT chaos train!

Have you had fun entering the giveaways this week?  Any new blogs I need to hear about? (perhaps yours?)

****Comments Closed. Comment on the treasury for entry into the giveaway.  Tell them Tawny Bee sent ya! That would be awesome hehehe****

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Wednesday Weigh In: A Serious Set Back

I just went through a very anxious week last week.  And my weight is suffering.

I gained 4 lbs last week!


Anxiety is my biggest weight loss foe.  Once I get stressed out about something, I tend to fall back on my comfortable (bad) habits.

So this past week, I found out that I couldn't go to the family reunion in my hometown of Lethbridge, Alberta at the beginning of June.  I was really looking forward to it.  I was going to bring Logan with me (for anxiety buffer) and get to hang out with my aunt and cousins who are the same age as Logan.  We were going to take a trip to Drumheller to see the dinosaur museum.  It was going to be a much needed break from the ordinary.

Logan was pretty upset about not getting to go on an airplane ride.  But I think I was more upset.  And then came the dreaded phone call to Westjet to rearrange my ticket and cancel Logan's.  I hate talking on the phone.  Really A LOT. I suffer more from working up the guts to make the phone call than actually having to go through with it.  Yes, my social anxiety is that bad this year.

Anyway, it got done.  I had to break it to my best friend that I wasn't going to get to try on my dress for her wedding until a few days before said wedding.  Now we're scrambling to find a seamstress that will do quick alterations at the last minute.  I am also going to miss her bridal shower which they put on June 2nd because I was going to be there.  Boourns.  I was so disappointed.

Oh well...

If that weren't enough, my sewing machine has been a royal b*tch! It was snapping threads and breaking needles all over the place last week. 

I broke down and cried several times before I sucked it up and figured out what the problem was this time.  Apparently my cheap little machine is going to cost me more in expensive thread and now expensive needles than it is really worth.  :(  I guess I better start selling more cloth pads and teddy beds so that I can afford a new machine soon.

With all this anxiety plaguing me last week, I took it out on 3 taquitos, a Slurpee everyday (sometimes two!), a bag of chips, fast food, and no exercise or calorie counting.

And I gained 4 lbs!  Waaaah!

Getting this tie dyed dress in the mail was the highlight of my week. I ordered it from this Etsy shop. Isn't it incredible? The heart sunglasses are from this Etsy shop and make the perfect summery accessory for this outfit.

So this week it's all about exercising to get rid of all this stress and getting back to the good ole calorie count.

Phew! That was a rambling, "feeling sorry for myself" sorta post.  Sorry!  Sometimes my anxiety gets the better of me.  I really oughta work on that.

I hope all my readers had a stress free week!   I'll be in a better mood tomorrow.  I promise!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Iron Craft #10 - In Stitches

The challenge this week:

"This week we’d like you to pick up needle and thread and create some stitches of your own." (courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

Oooh some hand sewing.  I can do this!

First I had to decide what I was going to hand sew on.

Ta da!  I admit, I spent most of the challenge time cutting and piecing this pretty petunia quilt block and not much time actually hand stitching.

Oooops!  But I did sew on a button by hand.  I don't think that counts.

And I free handed some pretty stems onto my leaf sections.

That totally counts!

I even got the green to match to that it's a subtle but pretty touch.

Now my question to all of you readers?  What on earth should I make with this block? 

Should I make a few more and make a quilt?
Should I stitch it into a pillow?
Should I make a huge bag out of it?

Any suggestions?

The quilt block is large (18 by 18 inches)


Anyway, go on over to the Iron Craft Flickr group to check out all the wonderful stitching from the other participants.  I'm sure they spent more time on the actual stitching and less time goofing around with what they were gonna stitch on hehehe

Sunday, 20 May 2012

May Giveaway Day with Sew Mama Sew!

****** The Winnipeg Etsy Street Team is having their summer promotion at the same time that I'm having this Sew Mama Sew Giveaway.  So if you'd like to enter to win an entire Etsy treasury full of awesome handmade items (including one of mine!), please click here and leave a thoughtful comment on the treasury (you can tell them that Tawny Bee sent you *wink*). If you want a copy of One Yard Wonders and some fabric, continue reading and fill out the form below*****

It's that time of year again.  The time of year I like to refer to as "Try your luck at a bunch of cool loot" day.

Actually, it's not even really a day anymore!  You will have almost an entire week to enter all the linked up giveaways.


So here we go.

What am I giving away?

A brand spankin' new copy of One-Yard Wonders.

I got it for Christmas this past year from a dear friend who loves to encourage my sewing addictions.  But alas, I already have a copy.

So one lucky winner will benefit by receiving my extra copy.

Of course, you can't get started in on a book like One-Yard Wonders without having some "yards" to work with.

The lucky winner will also receive 3 or 4 or 5 or 10 one metre cuts of fabric from my stash.  Pictured above are the ones that I found at the top of the pile, but there will probably be more!  Ooooh.... Ahhhhhhhhh :D

And yes, I did type 1 metre cuts (which are slightly larger than 1 yard cuts). I'm Canadian and that's how I roll... ummmm... measure.... hehehe

Now what do you hafta do for a chance at winning all this loot?

Here's the ole' list.

I'm lazy this year so I'm letting Google Docs compile all my entries for me.  Awesome.  You should try it! :D

Here are all the details about this giveaway that Sew Mama Sew wants you to know about:
- I will ship internationally
- This giveaway is open until open until May 25 at 5 p.m. PST.
- I will email the winner by May 27th, 2012
- You will have 24 hours to respond before I draw a new winner
- I will ship the book and fabric out by June 1st.

Please visit the Sew Mama Sew link up site to see all of the other participants and enter a few thousand more giveaways (I mean it... there were hundreds last time and there are bound to be near 1000 this time).

Good luck to everyone!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Secret Mommyhood Confession Saturday #30

It was Mother's Day last weekend.  And all the commercials appeared on the radio and TV exulting the "go to" Mother's Day gift that every mama was sure to love.

A day at the spa.

"Get your nails done while peaceful lavender scents are pumped into the room."

"Let our trained masseuse rub away all your worries."

"Our stylist would be happy to create the perfect new hair style for you."

"Forget all your mommy worries and pamper yourself for the day away from your children."


I confess:

I HATE the spa.  NO TOUCHY!

Ugh.  The thought of anyone touching me freaks me out.

I guess this all started because I had the worst circulation and all that rubbing from a massage would bring all of my precious circulation away from the core of my body and make me physically sick.

But it's not just that - I don't like people hugging me. I hated when adults tried to pat me on the head when I was little.  Don't try to lift me in any way.  Give me warning before you try to hold me hand.

"Wow, you have really long, thick hair - mind if I style it for you?"


"Wanna hug it out?"

No Touchy!

"I'm a touchy-feely person who hugs anyone I meet and since you're a perfect stranger whom I've just met, I'm gonna hug you."

No Touchy!

"Those nails could sure use a bit of colour.  Want a manicure?"

No Touchy!

"You're in your best friend's wedding, so I'm gonna make you so pretty with all this goopy make-up."

No Touchy!  (although I'm probably going to have to submit to this one in August - boourns)

"I declare a thumb war!"

No Touchy!

"Eskimo kisses?"

No Touchy!

"Tag! You're it"

No I'm not! No Touchy!


(The No Touchy rule applies to Everyone with the following exceptions:
Sexy times with my husband continues until further notice hehehe.  And I relish hugs and kisses from my children.)


I'm sharing this confession over at All Work and No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something.  Share yours?



Saturday, 12 May 2012

Secret Mommyhood Confession Saturday #29

I can survive for weeks just on the words: "I love you mommy."

Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies out there!


Sharing this short and sweet confession over at All Work and No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Never Have I Been so Glad That The Man Couldn't Find The Hole


I had my first echocardiogram since my new valve was put in. 

I was a raw ball of nerves going to that appointment.  I didn't know what to expect. I have been feeling really good lately, but things don't tend to go perfectly when it comes to my heart.

But this particular appointment was awesome! :D

The technician took the first measurements of my heart post surgery.  It has shrunk back to a normal sized heart!

My heart hasn't been normal sized since.... um... forever!

Then the tech pointed the echo gizmo onto my valve. 

And I admit - I cried like a blubbering baby.

I have never had a working pulmonary valve.  Ever in my life.

This was such an incredible experience.  There was no backwash sounds, no backflow colours.  Everything was so perfect. It was just opening and shutting and opening and shutting.  How I love that picture!

Then the technician moved on to look the hole in my heart.  It has been the size of a quarter since Logan was born.  She looked and looked and jabbed my poor boob and ribs with that echo wand thingie.  Ow!

Hmmm... something was up.  She was very quiet.  About 20 minutes of jabbing later, she decided to get my cardiologist who happened to be reading echos in the next room at that very moment.  He looked and looked at all her measurements and then said he was satisfied. 

My hole is no longer there!

My heart has shrunk so much and so much pressure has been relieved with this new valve that the hole is NO LONGER THERE!

I cried again.  Right in the tech room. 

My heart is now functioning as close to a normal heart as it is ever going to get.

This is the most momentous, awesome, incredible, astounding, insane news I've heard in a long time.

Tawny is normal.

Well... as normal as I'm ever going to get.

And what does my brother say in reaction to my news yesterday?

"It must be all the steroids in the cow-grown organic replacement parts! Haha!  Good to hear, Sis! "


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Iron Craft #9 - Think Inside the Box

For this latest Iron Craft challenge, we were tasked with:

Let’s do a box challenge.
Make something out of a box, pizza box, moving box, cigar box, match box… any box. And make it into anything. Or make a box of your own. (courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)


I thought a lot about all sorts of things I could make out of boxes, but the children wouldn't let me have any of their boxes and seemed personally offended that I would even consider that.

So I guess that left the make a box of my own part of the challenge.

But then that would mean the dreaded paper crafts.  I suck at paper crafts.


My first attempt.  I used plain white paper because I knew I was gonna screw up. A LOT. And didn't want to use my good stuff yet.

What you can't see in the photo above is that this box is about the size of a tiny ring box.  Not big enough to hold anything useful to me.

Next, I tried to make the box bigger and more rectangular.  Terrible photo for a terrible job at folding. :(

So maybe bigger and square might be the answer.  The box I folded above actually looks pretty good.  But what on earth was I gonna put in it?

Back to trying out a rectangular format. Yeah - construction paper does not work for origami AT ALL.

Ta da!  I figured it out.  Not bad eh?  I even started using my good paper.  But could I make a decent lid?


And look - my bracelets fit inside these lovely boxes.  Well, I might have to pack them with a little stuffing, or cut the cards differently. But still.  I think if I can get better at folding these little boxes, they might be a nice handmade touch to all my friendship bracelet packaging.

The second box turned out even better!

Isn't it adorable?  I just used sheets of scrapbook paper that I picked up at the dollar store 4 for a buck. :D

And my bracelets fit better!

PS: I used this wonderful tutorial to learn how to make the folds for a box with a lid.


If you want to check out the other Iron Crafters - and you totally do because they are going to be way more fantastic than this sad attempt at paper crafts, check out the Flickr Group.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Macrame Monday - How To - Macrame Sandals

Ooooh I'm so excited to show you this project.

I made my own Macrame sandals!


Check them out.

Wha?!!! You can make macrame sandals?!!!

You totally can!

Here's how:

Time Needed:
About an hour

Skill Needed:
This project only uses one macrame knot (the square knot) - so knowledge of that is a must.  And that's it! No sewing involved.

Materials Needed:
An old pair of flip flops (or those ones from the dollar store work awesomely too!)
t-shirt yarn (here's a tutorial on how to make t-shirt yarn if you don't have some already)

I used this ball of nylon-esque yarn that I got from the thrift store. It's stretchy and doesn't unravel just like t-shirt yarn.

Step One:
Take the original flip flops apart.  Try to do this carefully so that you don't tear the flip flop too much when taking the plastic toe piece off.

Cut 5 long pieces of t-shirt yarn.  I cut mine at about 4 metres each.

String 4 pieces of the yarn through the middle "toe" hole making sure that the middle of the yarn is in line with the hole.  There should be 4 pieces of yarn sticking out the top of the hole and 4 pieces sticking out the bottom.


 Step Two:
Take the 4 pieces of yarn sticking out the bottom of the flip flop and string two of them through each of the two holes near the back of the flip flip.

Then take the final piece of yarn and string it one end up from the bottom of one hole and the other end up from the bottom of the second hole.  You should now have 4 pieces of yarn poking through the "toe" hole and three pieces each poking through the bottom holes.  The bottom of the flip flop should look like the photo above.

Step Three:
Start knotting a chain of square knots using the four yarn pieces poking out of the top hole.  Use two pieces as the middle filler of the knots and the other two as the actual knotting pieces.

Start knotting a chain of square knots using the three yarn pieces poking out of the bottom holes. These knots will only have one piece as filler.


Step Four:
You can always knot these shoes right onto your foot to make sure the measurements are correct.  I haven't added any measurements because everyone's foot is different.  Keep measuring while you're doing the knotting to get the correct fit for you.

Once you get the top square knot a desired length, split the yarn pieces in half.  Begin square knotting a chain from both halves.  This time you won't have any filler pieces.

Step Five:

Once the back chain and the front chains meet, gather all the yarn strands together and start another chain of knots, this time there will be three filler pieces.  Do this on both sides until the chains reach the middle of you foot near your ankle.


Step Six:

Once both chains reach the middle of your foot, gather them all up into one batch. Begin a large square knot chain using all the yarn.  Do only a few of these knots.  Maybe 5 or 6 of them.


Step Seven:

Again divide the yarn strands into two.  Make sure that two of the longest strands are on each side.  Start making another chain of square knots making sure that the two longest strands are in the centre of the knot as filler.  You will have 3 filler cords, but only two of them have to be the longest ones.  Make a chain long enough to reach the back of your ankle (or until you run out of short strands).  Knot the strands off tightly.  Cut only the shortest strands down, leaving the two longest strands as your sandal ties.  You can use a bit of glue on these  cut off end knots if you like.

Step Eight:

Tie them on! You're done.

If course, every flip flop pair is a bit different, so this is just a rough guide as to how I made mine.  Experiment with other macrame knots that I've been teaching you or add big macrame beads onto your patterns.  I bet whatever you do, it'll be fabulous!

 As always, if you try out this tutorial I would to see your results!  Join and post your photos on the Tawny Bee Flickr Group or email me (link in my profile).

So awesome aren't they?