Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Wednesday Weigh In: New Coat


Starting Weight: 174 lbs 09/12/11
Current Weight: 166 lbs 01/30/13
Target Weight: 150 lbs

Weight Change: 8 lbs
Remaining to Lose: 16 lbs
Avg. Lost Per Week: -0.1 lbs 
I've lost 2 lbs in the past 2 weeks, so I'm right on target.
I'm actually surprised at this one.  You've probably heard that it's been cold in Winnipeg.  Like really really cold.
-43C windchill is even a temperature that should exist.
 I try not to complain because we did choose to live in Winterpeg didn't we?
But this is the coldest winter that we've had since I got my new heart valve.  And I didn't realize that the temperature would effect me in this way.  
I used to have a hard time getting Logan to school when the snow drifts were everywhere because I had a difficult time maneuvering around them on the way to school.  Now that I have more circulation since my heart surgery, I can move my fingers and toes enough in the winter to climb over and around all sorts of drifts.   

Now the problem is super cold.  I have more circulation, which means I can feel Every. Single. Joint.  OWEEEYYYYY!

This past week when it got cold, I felt like an arthritic old hag.  I was cranky and my body was popping and aching everywhere.  And then to top all that off, I went to take Logan to school on Monday morning and I must have breathed in too much cold air next to the corkscrew metal I have holding my chest together.  Youch!  It constricted and had me wheezing for most of the morning.

I guess I had better learn to wear a scarf and keep my breath nice and warm out there.

And then my only winter coat broke.  The zipper refused to go down and then the entire thing broke right off.  *sigh*.  So I was busy wearing a sweater with my winter coat kinda snapped onto me.  

It's a wonder I lost any weight with all this happening.  I could barely exercise.

If you're wondering, I have got myself a brand new winter coat (bought from a lovely Canadian seller on eBay).  Check it out:

Now I'm nice and toasty again.  :)

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Iron Craft #2: Orange

This week's challenge:

"We had done a lot of color challenges through the two years of Iron Craft, but we’ve never done the color Orange. So, make something that uses the color orange OR actually uses oranges. It’s such a warm, happy color and I can’t wait to see what you all do with it." (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)


Um.... did someone say orange?


Orange is my favourite colour!


So of course I had no idea where to begin.  *sigh*

I thought about what I wanted to do.  I couldn't come up with anything.  So I thought about what orange materials I could use.  I remembered that in a bag full of gingham from the thrift store, I found a piece of weird 80s orange Hooters fabric of all things.  It must have got stuck in there.

What the heck could I do with this piece of weird fabric?

That is when Terry started complaining about our old creaky side door.  It lets in a pretty goodly amount of cold air.  Bleh.  And since it was super cold these past few weeks in Winnipeg, something needed to be done.

A mighty orange door snake to the rescue!!!!!

I gathered up as much orange fabric as I could and then looked in one of my quilting books for a block that would look sorta like a snake.

I found the Jitterbug block.


Kinda came out looking snakish didn't it?  Even with the Hooter's owls in there hehehe

I made a bunch of these blocks and then sewed them together into the snake tube.  I stuffed it with stuffing and bits of scrap fabric mostly.

And then it went into the place between our outer side door and our inner side door.

We don't use this door in the winter, so it's safe to stay there until summer.  Hopefully it'll do it's job and keep the cold breeze from wafting down our stairs to the rec room where we all hang out.

Do you use door snakes/logs to keep the draft out of your house?  They work wonders for those of us who can't afford a new door.


To see all the the Iron Crafts and their orange creations, please visit the Flickr Group.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Logan's Cat In The Hat Curtains

I finally finished!

Oh it's only been two years since I bought the fabric for Logan's curtains... but who's counting?

They are done!

And they are fabulous!

Taking photos of curtains is a most difficult thing.  I found it way easier to take a few pics when it got dark last night so that the sun wasn't shining in.

Pretty cute eh?

I'm so glad that Logan is still happy with Cat in The Hat.  I was worried that I might have waited too long and he wouldn't want these curtains anymore.

There were three different Cat In The Hat fabric that I ordered.  The Cat in the Hat on a blue background.  The Cat making a mess on a yellow background. And of course we couldn't forget about Thing 1 and Thing 2 on a white background.

I found a large piece of red and white striped fabric at the thrift store awhile ago that I knew would be perfect for this project.  I used it for "filler" after I cut up every inch of Cat in The Hat fabric I had to make the two panels worth of patchwork.


Then I bought the store out of jumbo rick rack in blue, yellow and red and added as much of it as I could to the patchwork seams.

Again, at the thrift store I made an amazing find - a vintage Cat In The Hat bedsheet.  It was the perfect size to cut in half and make as the backing to both panels.

It's even bilingual and features the cat, Sally and Nick with the words "No! No! No!" and "Non! Non! Non!"

I then sewed a strip of bias tape about one inch down from the top. The bias is used to put the curtains hooks in so that they don't ruin the curtains.

The curtains fit on the original track with the original hooks that came in Logan's room when we bought the house.

The new ones are much better eh?  These originals didn't match, and weren't really great for a little boy's room.

Logan really loves these ones.  I know they won't be up forever since he's growing up so fast and they are pretty kid-ish.  But at least for a few years, they will be super cute!

Then maybe when Logan is a teenager he'll let me hang these ones up in my room hehehehe.


This is the first time I'm going to man up and link up at the So I Married a Craft Blogger blog - Heaven help me hehehe

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Work In Progress Wednesday

I've been busy working on lots of projects for the kids this month. I love having a bit of a break from sewing stock for Tawny Bee at the beginning of the year so that I can catch up on all the things my kids need.

Logan needs curtains in his room.  The ones that were in there when we bought the house were definitely not nice for a little boy's room.  I'm going to fix that.

I've been laying out the patchwork and sewing together the panels.

His new curtains are going to be made out of Cat in the Hat fabric, with a vintage Cat in the Hat bed sheet that I found at the Thrift store as backing.  I also found some nice red and white striped fabric that is acting as filler because I don't have quite enough of the Cat in the Hat stuff to complete two full panels.

I'm at a standstill with that project for now because I'd like to sew some ric rac onto the patchwork seams for some added decoration, but I haven't made it out to the fabric store yet.

My joints have been taking a beating this week since the windchill temperature outside has dipped to the -40s C. Bleh.  This is the first time since my surgery that it's gotten this cold and I had no idea that my body would react the way it did.  I have had improved circulation,which is awesome because I can feel things again, but not so awesome when you can feel the chill down in your deepest joints.  I feel like a creaky old man. My wonderful husband has been working from home all week in order to pick up the kids from school, because the minute I step outside, the corkscrew holding my chest together starts hurtin and I start wheezing.  Yuck!

So while I'm waiting for it to warm up enough to drive to the fabric store, I started on a project for Lane. 

The Feliz Party Dress from the book I got for Christmas called Sewing Clothes Kids Love.

Has anyone tried this pattern?  I'm excited to make Lane such a pretty dress.  She has been really big into really girlie things lately and insists on having a dress fit for a princess - in pink of course!

What's everyone working on this week?  Are you catching up on anything?  Both of my kids are going through a growing spurt this week, so I'll be sewing a ton of sew pajamas and pants and tops for both in the near future for sure!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Magic Wands All Around

A little while ago I bought a magic wand from the dollar store for Lane.  She loved how sparkly it was and played with it A LOT.  So of course it broke. 

And not in a way that I could repair.

Poor Lane.

Until mommy broke out a dowel and all the sparkly glittery crap she could find and made a new (stronger) one.

Ta da!

Lane decided that the wand needed to be a butterfly wand this time since her last one was a star.

I got some blue sequins fabrci from Ruth awhile back and haven't figured out what I should do with it yet.  A magic wand was just the thing.  That along with ribbon, sequins trim, pom poms, lace and some plastic heart decorations made quite the glittery explosion. Laney loves it!

And not to be outdone by his sister, Logan totally needed one as well.  I knew that once he got home from school, he would insist on having his very own.

But not as sparkly.

So I made him a boy wand .... or sceptre... since that sounds more manly.

A three eyed, buggy monster sceptre.

With a little glitter in the form of gold sequins, cuz Logan would be upset if it didn't have some sparkle.

And the coveted pom pom trim. Logan has been bugging me to make him something with the left over pom pom trim from all those Christmas quilts since I put it away a month ago.  

Lane has been turning us all into newts ever since that new wand was put into action yesterday.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Macrame Monday: How To Tie a Crown Knot

I have big plans to share another plant hanger pattern with you all.  But first we need to learn a new knot that I've incorporated into the pattern.

So today we are going to learn the crown knot.

This is what a crown knot looks like when it's done.  It's a very useful knot used to make all sorts of strong ropes.

To begin:

1) Hold all cords upside down. Divide into 4 equal groups. Put one group behind your thumb (that would be the red cord in the photo). This is group #1. Number the remaining groups #2, #3, and #4 counter clockwise. In the photo that would make red #1, Green #2, Yellow #3, and Blue #4.

2) Pick up group #1 and lay over #2. Drop group #1 as you pick up #2.
(In the photo above, you can see that I've moved the red cord over the green #2 cord.  I will then pick up the green cord.

3) Lay #2 over #3. Drop #2 and pick up #3.
This means that I have now moved the green #2 cord over top of the yellow #3 cord.  I will now pick up the yellow #3 cord.

4) Lay #3 over #4. Drop #3 and pick up #4. Take #4 over hte top and put down directly through the hold where your thumb is.  Move your thumb and tighten each group separately.

(So basically, we've moved the yellow # 3 over top of the blue #4 cord.  We pick up the blue #4 cord and place it through the hole that the red #1 cord is making around your thumb. Then we tighten it all up.)


A Crown Knot!


If you make a whole row of these knots, you will end up with something that resembles a rope.  

Ta da!

I remember when I was little, my mom would tie a bunch of crown knots in my hair to make a round braid.  I loved it!

And if you would like a handy little print out to bring with you as you're tying your latest macrame project, I just so happened to have made one.

And it features my awesome... er... lovely... er... passable...  hand drawings.  I'm no artist, but I think you will be able to figure it out.

You can either save this image and print it, or download it from DropBox if that's easier.

And you can also admire my fantastic artist renderings.  Yup - I should be famous artist by now hehehe.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Food Friday: Snakey Calzone

This recipe is a really fun one for the kids.

And kinda fun for the adults too.

 Ooooh Snakey Calzone!


  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste

  1. Dissolve the sugar in the warm water in a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water, and let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam. Stir in the oil, salt, and 2 cups of flour, and mix until the mixture forms a wet dough. Add 1 cup of flour, 1/4 cup at a time, and knead until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl into a ball. Knead for 3 to 5 more minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  2. Lightly oil a large bowl, then place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place (80 to 95 degrees F (27 to 35 degrees C)) until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  3. Combine the ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses, basil, and pizza toppings in a large bowl, and set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Punch down the dough, and roll it out into a long, flat strip about 9 inches wide by 30 inches long. Spoon the filling mixture down the center of the dough strip, leaving about 1 inch on all sides for sealing. Pull edges of the dough together; pinch to seal and form a long, filled roll. Place the roll, seam side down, onto the parchment paper in a snakey "S" shape, and tuck the ends underneath to seal. Use the melted butter to brush over the top of the snake dough for a golden brown colour when baking.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the calzone is golden brown.
  7. Decorate the snake however you like with pepperoni strips, olives, mushrooms, pineapple, etc.

Doesn't it look delicious? And the kids love the snake.

Ack! The snake lost it's head.  And as you can see from the photos above, his guts came bursting out during baking, which only makes this snake more badass.  See? Even mistakes can't ruin this fun dinner! :D

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Wednesday Weigh In: Back On The Wagon

Hmmm... soooooo.... how have you been?

I haven't exactly been sticking to a weight loss plan lately as you may have noticed from my lack of Wednesday Weigh In posts.

After getting whooping cough last summer, I kinda fell off the calorie counting wagon. Then there were craft shows to do and a business that was growing, and Christmas to get ready for... and about a thousand other excuses for not following my calorie count.

But no more- I'm back on the wagon.

I haven't done a weigh in since September according to my calorie counter at Everyday Health.  At that time I had gained 10 pounds after losing 20.  *sigh*

For the last few months I have been scared to look at the scale. I feel awful and have been tired and cranky most of the time.

Turns out that it isn't half as bad as I thought.

I gained 4 more pounds only.


Starting Weight: 174 lbs 09/12/11
Current Weight: 168 lbs 01/16/13
Target Weight: 150 lbs

Weight Change: 6 lbs
Remaining to Lose: 18 lbs
Avg. Lost Per Week: -0.1 lbs

So I'm still under where I started a year and a half ago.

But 6 pounds down in a year and a half is a sad thing (especially considering that I was really 20 pounds down and screwed it all up).

And I'm back up over the "overweight" line again.  Boourns.

Back on the wagon, but I'm not making weight loss my New Year's resolution because I never keep those and I intend to at least work slowly toward this goal that I've been working towards since September 2011.

I will keep you posted.

Also - I hurt EVERYWHERE after the first exercise class of the year on Monday. But at least I'm doing it... right?

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Iron Craft #1: Cotton Cafe Curtains

This is the first Iron Craft challenge of a new year!  Yay!

"Welcome to Iron Craft 2013! This is the second anniversary of the start of Iron Craft and since the traditional gift for a second anniversary is cotton, we thought we’d make that our first challenge. Over the next two weeks, your challenge is to make something using cotton…any type of cotton, cotton yarn, cotton balls, cotton fabric, cotton rope…
(You can use items other than cotton in your project, but cotton should be the main material.)" (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

I was so excited about this challenge because it gave me a chance to do something that I've been meaning to do for months.

And it was a serious lesson in patience because I wanted to show you guys what I've been making for two weeks - but I had to wait until today for the big reveal.

I went all out for this challenge.

Check out my new kitchen cafe curtains! SQUEEEEEEE!!!!!

I love love love them so much!

They are now tied up in both of my kitchen windows.

Some stats for you:

Made out of Blend Fabrics Kitchy Kitchen. 100% cotton.

Fabrics included:
Fruit Slices Coral
Vegetable Garden Navy
Wedge Geo Green
Utensils Orange
RicRac Coral

Perfect kitchen fabric.

The backs are made out of gingham in whatever various colours I had.  Photographed is the orange.  There is also red and white, purple and white, green and white for some of the panels.

The cafe curtains leave the top part of the window open so that the fern still gets sunlight and my indoor herb garden (when I finally get it going) will also have light.

Just check out the utensils fabric.  Mixers, whisks, measuring spoons and cups, cutting boards.  I love it!

I made four panels for each window with four rectangles of fabric each and the navy vegetable garden fabric as the trim at the bottom of each panel.

My kitchen is a disaster, but the curtains are oh so cute!

When we bought this house, it had the most awful green paint all over everything int he kitchen.  When it chips off the cupboards because it was painted so badly, there is white underneath and it looks like hell.  But we can't really afford to redo the kitchen at this point in time.  So any craft that takes the focus away from all the green and adds a little pop of oranges and yellows is a good thing.

I'm thinking some sort of valance is required next. :)

I hope you like my first Iron Craft project of the new year.

To follow all the Iron Crafters and their projects using cotton, please visit the Flickr Group.


Sharing my Kitchen Project with:
Too Cute Tuesday - Funky Polkadot Giraffe
Lil' Luna Link Party - Lil' Luna
Hoos' Got Talent? - Night Owl Crafting

Monday, 14 January 2013

Magic Mirrors

There is an old Sailor Moon mirror at Lane's pre-school that she absolutely loves.  She's named it the magic mirror and is always trying to find it when she's at school.  It seems to always be stashed somewhere - in a dress up purse, in the bin with the toy food, in with the blocks.  Lane makes it her mission to find it and play with it whenever she gets a chance.

So when the latest Craft Caravan craft came in the mail, Lane was super pumped.  It contained all the supplies to make a magic mirror for home! EEEEE!!!

In case you don't know about Craft Caravan, here's some info:

Lane and Logan received a kids craft club subscription from their cousins for Christmas.
Each month in the mail there will be an envelope full of crafty goodies just for kids with a theme and instructions on how to make the craft.
Here's their website.
Thank you to Devin and Caitlyn for enrolling the kids in the club.  They love it so much.  Not only do they get mail addressed to them in the box each month, but they get to craft craft craft, which is their very favourite activity! It was a perfect gift.

So back to the magic mirror.

Lane and I sat down and made one this morning.

Dun dun dun... Lane is wielding her new magic mirror.  Watch out!

She is currently using the magic mirror as a magic mirror, a stop and go sign, and a flower (there is a yellow circle of paper on the back that makes it look like a flower). She also has informed me that it's going to school with her tomorrow for show and tell.

Logan came home from school for lunch and insisted that we make his tonight.  The great thing about the supplies package is that there are tons of different shapes and papers for gluing, so that we can make a bit more boy-ish magic mirror for Logan.  There is also a square mirror that we will be making into something fabulous at a later date.  Gotta space the crafting out a little to survive until the next envelope arrives in the mail. :)

Friday, 11 January 2013

Blizzard Giggles

Everyone here in Winnipeg is busy gearing up for a winter blizzard. 

As I was walking the kids to school - actually I had them both hunkered down in the sled and I was dragging the sled to school - I was thinking about this video.

Does Winnipeg really exist?

Could there be such a place that is so cold? Where we have fleets of snow plows on the ready for when that blizzard hits?  Is there such a thing as Winnipeggers?  Why don't they move to a more hospitable place? Surely they can't exist?

Well... Hollywood seems to think so....

Hmmm... OK... Winnipeg might actually exist?

Just a few giggles for those of you hiding in your imaginary cozy homes waiting for an imaginary storm in your imaginary city. :D

Hollywood has just made us up to be a butt of their jokes hehehe.

I'm fine with that.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Strawberry Shortcake is Ready For Winnipeg

This morning, Lane grabbed her newly favourite dolly - Miss Strawberry Shortcake - on the way out the door.  Miss Shortcake accompanies her everywhere, including out in the snow and in the sled.

But Strawberry froze her patooties off every morning out in a Winnipeg winter.

We had to do something about that.

So this afternoon I grabbed my fabric scraps and some sewing needles and got to work.

Now Strawberry Shortcake is ready to survive a Winnipeg kind of winter.

Depending on when you talk to Lane, Strawberry is her best friend or sister. And now she can be a best friend and a sister even when she's out in the cold.

While this outfit may bring all the boys to the yard - it's super freezing in -20C Windchill.

First thing I made her a sturdy pair of snow pants.  Every girl needs these.  They are even held up with suspenders.  Cool.

Then Strawberry needed a hat and Lane insisted that it be a purple hat.  Then pink mitts.  They had to be pink mitts.  I cut a scarf for her while I was at it.  And then I added a cute little pink pom pom on the top of her hat in true Winterpeg fashion.

And yes, those are tiny little ear flaps.  Ear flaps are important if you want to survive winter and still look fashionable of course!