Thursday, 30 August 2012

Project Project Runway #6 - Fix My Friend

This week's challenge:

"Create a look for one of your friends (it can be someone who you think needs a little fashion help or just someone you’d like to design for). We’d love to see a photo of the friend you are designing for." (courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)


I chose my bestie.  She doesn't really need much fashion help, I just really wanted to design for her.

A little bit about Chelsea:
She works full time in a male centered kinda job.  She's an independent woman who has found her match in a wonderful man whom she married this past month. She's buff!  I mean - really sporty and really takes care of herself. Here is a link to the blog about her engagement photos.  Isn't she beautiful?

I wanted this design to show that part of her.  She tends to wear jeans and other work gear that hides her great bod.  And nothing that reflects the sporty side of her personality.

So I tried...

We all just about fell down in shock when Chelsea actually put on a dress for her wedding.  Not just a dress, but a fancy white dress with bows and crinoline.  EEEEE!!  But I knew that we wouldn't get her into a dress again, so I stuck with pants.

I made the top form fitting and yet comfortable and sporty.

I took a basic yoga type pant and added some cool stretchy tights underneath.  Then I made a cutout around the knees.  The edges being kind of like a faux garter strap.  Sorta sexy, but still comfortable and sporty again.

Hmmm she might actually wear this one.  I've been her friend for 26 years now and I still have no idea what she'll actually wear hehehe.

The outfit was pretty safe this week.  Nothing too out there design wise.  So I'd probably be somewhere in the middle.  At least I used a little colour!

And for your amusement - here is a photo of me, my little sister and Chelsea circa 1987.  We were playing dress up and I happened to dress her up as a sporty cheerleader.  A running theme with me?  Possibly.

To follow all of the Project Project Runway designers this week, click on over to the Flickr Group.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In - The Hell Summer

"Uh Oh - you've gained 14 lbs since your last weigh in."


You never want to see that when you finally get up the nerve to test out the scale after the summer of hell.

But there it is.  I own it.

Having whooping cough for two months didn't help the situation.  I over ate to make myself feel better.  I couldn't exercise because I was the mom who would cough until I puked on the playground when I exerted myself in even the tiniest way.

All I can say about that is, thank you to Dianna Jesse who sent me the most awesome oil cloth purse ever.  Because I hacked and hacked in the corner of the playground (trying to stay away from the general population) and maybe once... OK... maybe twice, I was frantically searching in the lovely oil cloth purse for a Halls to get me to stop being the diseased freak on the playground and accidentally puked inside my bag.  Bleh... but oil cloth is a wonderful invention that made clean up very nice (well as nice as it's gonna get anyway).

I was stressed out and over ate because of the anxiety surrounding being a part of a fancy wedding as well.

But the thing that pushed me over the top. The thing that I blame at least 10 of the 14 lbs I gained on?

To add insult to injury this summer - our air conditioner broke!

Yup... today it is 35C outside and 27C inside.  Too hot to exercise.  Too hot to do anything but veg in the basement.

And it's been like this all summer!  So ever if I wanted to exercise, there is no way I'm going it inside.

I've taken to pushing the big double stroller about 5km a day in the morning when it's still reasonable outside.  But I certainly wasn't doing much of that this summer.  Imagine if I tried.  Walk three steps - stop - hack up left lung - walk a few more steps - hack up right lung.  Bleh.

Enough with the excuses though!  It's time for me to leave this nasty summer behind and get back on track.  I've started up the calorie counter again and have been sticking to it.  I'll be sure to keep you updated.

If you've actually made it to the end of this whiny post - BRAVO!

Here's some photos of my first attempt at creating 1940s victory rolls in my hair the other day.  Pretty!

Definitely more practice needed.  Our grandmothers really had their work cut out for them with this hair style.  Phew!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Iron Craft #17 - Hardware Store - Tin Lanterns

This week's challenge was a tough one:

"Let’s do a materials challenge – with a LOT of latitude – the Hardware Store Challenge. Make something where the prominent material or a bulk of the material come from a hardware store." (courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)


I had a difficult time thinking up something to do with materials from the hardware store.  I love how these challenges make me think outside anything I would normally do. 

And I came up with something really awesome!

Tin Lanterns!

I made them using two mixed nuts tins.  I peeled off the labels and found out that they weren't quite tins, but rather made of a thick cardboard with a tin coating on the inside.

I filled the tins with water and froze them.  The ice inside made it easier to punch holes along the tops of both tins with a hammer and nail (purchased at the hardware store).

Then I painted the tins using the yellow paint I used for our garden bench last year.  (Paint purchased at the hardware store).

Then I got some coloured hemp twine (again, from the hardware store) and a couple of screws.  I screwed the screws into two holes opposite each other and would have fastened them with a nut, but I didn't have one, so I wrapped the ends that were sticking on the inside with duck tape (you guessed it - from the hardware store).  That actually worked really nice because it got rid of the pointy ends.  I took the twine and made a handle out of it by wrapping it around the screws.  I also used some of the twine for a bow on the front.

I then filled the tins with sand (ummm... from the hardware store).  I placed a candle in each. This time the candles were purchased at the grocery store :)

Don't they look fantastic hanging on our front rail?  I went out last night to photograph them in the dark.  They will look so cool lining our steps on Halloween.

I like how you can see the light through the little holes that I punched into the sides.

To follow all of the Iron Crafters Hardware Store projects, visit the Flickr Group.

Monday, 27 August 2012

The Yellow Brick Road Skirt

I decided to take a wee break from sewing Autumn/Christmas season stock for Tawny Bee and make myself a skirt.

Made with the same pattern as the one posted below that I made at the beginning of summer.


This time I used a pretty sunflower yellow for the top tier.  You may remember that I used the same fabric for Laney's yellow bonnet.

The middle tier is Wizard of Oz - Yellow Brick Road fabric.  It features all the characters as they appear in the movie.

The bottom tier is a boring green canvas-ey type fabric that I don't really like but works awesome because it has a little weight to it.  The skirt doesn't fly away as easily as my first prototype does.

It ties at the waist with a drawstring belt that I made out of the brick road fabric. 

PS: I'm well aware that the photo taken from the beginning of summer has me 12 lbs lighter than I am today. Yeah... 12 lbs... :(  I'll get into all that during Wednesday Weigh In.  Stay tuned.

Friday, 24 August 2012

No Punk Ass Whooping Cough is Going To Take Me Out!

I've been meaning to write a post about how I haven't been writing posts much this summer.

But... I just haven't felt like it.

I haven't felt like it all summer.

I haven't felt like creating anything either.

In fact, it was all I could do to get enough energy to work on Logan's garden block, or even tend to the garden at all this summer.

There is a CD curtain in Logan's room that has been in a state of half creation of a month.  My project table is piling up with no energy to tackle it.

Why this blah summer?

Is it because I've been too stressed out about my friend's wedding to do anything?


Is it because the kids are home all summer and have been distracting me with potty training and learning to read?


Nothing like that.


Ya... you read that right.

And in the words of my brother: "People actually get whooping cough in today's society?"


This blog isn't one to point fingers or get into political discussions with quacks on the Internet. But I got this horrible affliction because some parents aren't immunizing their kids against dastardly diseases like this.


So Whooping Cough is on the rise. A baby (related to my brother in law) died.  And people like me with tissue heart valves are being taken out for an entire summer.

The Whooping Cough TOOK ME OUT of commission for most of the summer.

Thankfully (and this is the only time I'll ever say "thankfully" when referring to my anxiety)... thankfully I have social anxiety, so I didn't infect anyone else.  During the time when I was most contagious, I was up near Thompson in a cottage with no one else around except for poor grandma who caught it as well.

Terry must have got it on the bus or at work and gave it to me.  The kids were immunized against it (of course!) and only got mild symptoms. THANK GOD for that.

Basically, my summer was ruined.  My heart valve now has years less on its life than it had before this horrible summer.  And I'll have a lingering barky cough for months more to come.  All because some parents won't immunize their kids.  Are you kidding me?  Thanks a lot.

But as you can see - I'm fine.  I'm always fine.  Somehow I always just fight through it.  For most of this summer I was still taking the kids on long walks, mailing out orders, and just generally plugging away at things all while coughing my freaking lungs out.

I'm not contagious anymore.  In fact, I haven't been contagious for a long time (since the middle of July-ish), so no worries there.

And I'm slowly starting to get back into things.  I have a lot of stock to sew for upcoming fall/Christmas shows and not as much time as I'd like to do it.  Eeep!

Stay tuned for new and awesome craft projects and maybe a few posts about them :D

See I'm fine....

The beanie ball behind me however... I'm not so sure...

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Project Project Runway #5 - It's My Way on the Runway

This week's challenge was:

"This week on Project Runway the designers were asked team up and create a mini collection for the strong, sophisticated, professional woman. The collection had to be editorial but also had to work for work. Since we can’t work in teams here at Project Project Runway, we are going to ask you to join one of the teams from the show and create one workplace friendly outfit that would fit in their collection. You can see pictures of all the looks here. You can chose Team 6 who used blue and black as their main colors or Team 5 who used black and white with touch of purple as theirs.  A magazine-ready photo shoot was also part of this week’s challenge, so have fun with your photos this week." (Courtesy of Just Craft Enough)

Oooops, I pulled an Elena and opted to use a pure white background for my photos.  It's early and I'm tired - sue me heehe

I chose to design for the blue and black group. 

For the top I chose to make a similar collar to that blue dress that Melissa made only a little less dramatic and comfortable. I used a black ribbed material for that.

For the pants, I worked off of that lovely pencil skirt that Sonjia made. I used the same colour and made the pants skinny at the top with a bit of flare at the bottom (to add my style into the mix a bit).

I really like how the sweater turned out. I'm kinda meh about the pants.

And of course I chose this matchy big bag as accessory this week from the accessory wall. Big enough to hold whatever it is that you need to bring to work with you.

I think the outfit and comfortable yet stylish enough to wear at work.

To view all the Project Project Runway designs this week please visit our Flickr Group.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Project Project Runway #4 - Woman on The Go

This week's challenge was:

"The modern woman is on the go and she needs clothing for that lifestyle. Create a look that is stylish, versatile, comfortable and can last the whole day. Of course, show your own design point of view. Textiles are very important in this challenge. It may help to write a scenario of who your woman is and what she is doing during her day." (courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

Here's my scenario:

My woman is a very busy student.  She sits in the class in the morning, heads to an internship in the afternoon.  Out with friends for dinner and then home to do homework and prepare for the next day.

I  kept with my 70s vibe by choosing an earthy print.  I added my favourite orange to the front.  Nina is totally going to freak out about the crookedness of the orange front piece.  It went all wonky on me. ACK! I instructed my model Ariel to walk quickly so that it looked like she was a busy woman and the stripe down the front would naturally move and not look so crooked. :)

Anyway, this dress is part 70s diner uniform and part elegant Asian dress (you know - to class it up a bit).

I like the bling "buttons" down the front. And she can still sit on the bus on the way to her internship and not look too dressed up.

There weren't very many comfortable choices on the Lord and Taylor Accessory wall this week.  So I'm going with a simple boot.  Dressy enough for her internship, but comfortable enough to run across campus to her next class.


Check out all the other Project Project Runway participants in the Flickr Group.  I bet they are awesome since we were allowed to use our own design aesthetic this week! :D

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Quilt Story: Chelsea's Wedding Quilt


Chelsea has been my best friend for 26 years.

So when she announced that she was going to marry Trevor earlier this year and her wedding was going to be in August, I knew that I had to make her something fantastic.

Girls don't really sew their own trousseau anymore.  I knew she was going to order her dress and everything else she needed for her wedding day. But what about household linens?  They are expensive and because Chelsea has owned her house for several years now, she didn't register for anything because her house is already full.

But I can sew! And Chelsea needed something very special in her wedding trousseau from me.

I searched in my quilting books for just the right pattern.  In the end I decided that a tradition log cabin style quilt was going to be perfect.

I chose greens and blues of the same fabric in varying shades and put together all the 48 blocks (16 logs each). Then I sewed them together in a way to emphasize the brownish-blue crosses.  Then I put large "log" edges on in a light blue centred fabric.  The edging is the darkest of all in a dark brown with blue fabric.

I used a thrifted king sized sheet for the backing and surprisingly it matched pretty well!

For the actual quilting I didn't have much time. The book suggested a stitch in the ditch method, so I used that. Quick machine quilting is always nice.  I outlined the blocks using this method.

Some quilty stats for all of you sewing nerds:
Cost of this wedding quilt: $78
Hours taken to sew: 52

Finished Centres: 1.75" by 1.75"
Finished Logs: 1" wide
Number of Blocks: 48
Finished Quilt 92" by 80" (Queen or King sized)

 I love to give handmade gifts for weddings!  Especially for the most dear friend I have ever had.  Congratulations Chelsea!  I am so overcome with happiness for you and wish you all the best always.


Sharing my first log cabin quilting adventure with:
The Crafty Blog Stalker for Blog Stalking Thursday

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Iron Craft #16: Virtual Baby Shower

One of our fearless Iron Crafters is having a baby! :D
Congratulations Jenny!

And so our challenge this week is:

"I thought it would be fun to make this challenge into a virtual baby shower Iron Craft style. Let’s all make something for baby in honor of Jenny’s upcoming little one." (courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)


I was away at a wedding in Alberta for 5 days of this challenge, so I'm afraid I'll get an incomplete this week.

I did however make a pretty good start on a project for baby.

Years ago I won a pattern from Bee Tree Designs for a soft baby book called "There's A Monster On My Bed."

Awesome prize eh?

I just haven't had a chance to crack open this sucker and get started.

That's what I love about Iron Craft - it really makes you think about all those projects you've had in mind for years but haven't had a chance to start yet.

 So I decided to start.  I got the cover of the soft book done. 

There are a bunch more pages of the story that I'll slowly work on.  Since I don't know anyone in real life that is having a baby right now, I have some time before I need to complete it.  But one lucky baby is going to get an awesome present!

ACK! There's a monster on my bed!!!!


To follow along with all the Iron Crafters this week, please visit the Flickr Group.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Vacation... I Wish I Was Still There

Not in the mood to blog yet.  Maybe after I get back from Alberta....

Until then, here are some more pics from our Vacation in Northern Manitoba.

I wish I was still there.