Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Keyboard Cats

Keyboard Cats make me smile.


 Made using the book Microcrafts: Tiny Treasures to Make and Share

Friday, 26 April 2013

Food Friday: The Avenge Me Cheeseball


So I know it's a bit late for International Cheeseball day (April 17th), but I introduced my family to the wonders of the cheeseball last night.

None of them knew what a cheeseball was, or what to expect.

Boy did they get a surprise - of the delicious kind!

As my whole family was munching on the yummy cheeseball I explained that the cheeseball is a staple of the office party.

That's when Terry and I got a little carried away with thinking about the power of the cheeseball at an office party.  This is what came of it:

Hence the name I've given this cheeseball - the Avenge Me Cheeseball.

Yeah... I've got too much time on my hands and not enough drawing skills.

:(

Anyway, here's what the actual cheeseball looked like:


It's really a Bacon/Ranch cheeseball.

And here's the easy recipe:

Ingredients:
- 2 packages cream cheese
- ranch dressing (about 1/3 cup)
- real bacon bits (1 package or make your own)
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Method:
- squish the cream cheese into a mash.  Add the ranch dressing until the cream cheese become more spreadable.  I think I used about 1/3 cup.  Mix in grated cheese.  Form a ball.  Lay the bacon bits out on a plate. Roll the ball in the bacon bits to coat.  Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Spread on crackers and enjoy!

**** Cry near the cheeseball at your own risk.****

*** I am not responsible for any avenging the cheeseball may do on your behalf ****


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Iron Craft #8 - Playtime

This week's challenge:

"Let’s embrace the child in all of us. Make a toy, something using toys, or something inspired by a toy." (courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

-----

So... I did the unthinkable.... the most excruciating thing you can do... the most miserable task in the whole friggin world:

I went into the kids' playroom....

And I cleaned it up!

AAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!

I purged precious art work the kids have been stocking up on. I put precious toys in the donation bin. I tore down the kids' tent in the middle of the room along with all the "things" they had pinned to it, stuffed into it and laying around it.

I know what you're thinking... what on earth would possess me to this unnatural act?

Well, you see, the kids don't play with that tent anymore. Grandma had given them the tent poles and the joint balls for Christmas two years ago. I just placed vintage sheets over top of the tent to make it a truly awesome fort for awhile. But now, the kids have outgrown their attachment to it and have worked around it for the past few months.

Their obsession with tents and forts hasn't diminished though, so I cleaned it all up to make way for this:


Built in one corner of the playroom - a fairy house for Lane.








And in another corner - a forest house for Logan.



 

I used those poles and joints from Grandma's tent present to make the pyramid top. I attached string to the top joint and tied it to the ceiling joints and then put the ceiling tiles back in place. 


I ran to the Thrift Store and picked up any large piece of glittery/gauzy-ish fabric I could find for cheap and draped it over the pyramid tops. I then tacked it all in place with a few carefully placed thread ties. 



You can see that Logan has already put stuff in his forest house. You never know when you might need a few blocks out in the wilderness :P


We then went to the Dollar Store to pick up some plastic vines, flowers and this lovely plastic lizard to finish the effect.

The kids have been happily playing in their new tents all week. And since they are in a corner, there is still an entire room to mess up in between.

And the best part is that when they tire of them, there are only a few thread ties to take out and I can use the fabric for the next project. Yay! 

To see what the other Iron Crafters have been "playing" with this week, check out the Flickr Group.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Exercise Mat and Bag

I started my exercise classes again this season. Normally I only do a Monday evening one and it's in a school gym that has access to exercise mats.  This round though I started a Thursday evening class as well. It's at the kids' school (so close to home - yay!) but doesn't have access to exercise mats.  The janitorial staff is in a state of change and so we are required to bring out own exercise mat.

Now I could have gone out and bought a portable, light, yoga mat for $20+. 

Nah....

I would rather have something one of a kind and not made of cheap foam.

So I made myself one.


I made the top using only scrap fabric. The quilt block pattern is called Lightening Bolt.  I figured that was appropriate enough for exercising. Maybe it will summon up some energy in me after a tough workout.


The kids had some play tents that broke that I scavenged the nylon fabric for the back from. The nylon gives the mat a bit of a stick on the gym floor so it doesn't move around very much.


What I love about it is that it's fully washable unlike those store bought foamy ones (which I'm guessing you'd have to hose down or something after getting it all dusty on some school gym floor?)


And it's easily rolled up and transported to and from classes.

Of course, after I made this mat, I thought "Wouldn't it be nice to have a cool bag to transport it in?"

So I made one of those as well!


Remember my mini duffel?  The one that I've carried around with me for almost two years now? My very favourite purse! Well... I used the pattern for the mini duffel (slightly enlarged) to make this medium duffel. :D

Again, I only used scrap fabric. This time in shades of red.

It's big enough to fit my new exercise mat, my exercise bands, my weights, a water bottle and towel.  Sweet!

I'll definitely be bringing this to class tonight. yay!



Friday, 12 April 2013

Food Friday: Pineapple Upside Down Cake


Logan and I were having a discussion about our favourites fruits at dinner one day. I told him that my favourite was pineapple.  He then mused about putting pineapple in a cake and how delicious it would be. 

That's when I remembered that my mom used to make something that she called Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Now if you know my mother, you might be as skeptical as I was that this was an actual thing and not some crazy delicious thing that she made up one day.

I looked it up. And it really is a thing! And apparently everyone on my Facebook already knew that. 

Anyhoo....

I made one last week!


Ta Da!

It was so simple that I'm not even going to write a recipe out here for you.  I'll just tell you how I did it.

First I went out and bought a box cake mix for yellow cake (or if you consider yourself fancy, you can get the box labelled "golden" cake).

In the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch pan I melted about a 1/4 cup of butter in the oven at 350 degree F (because that's the temp the box told me to put it at).

Then I brushed it along the sides and bottom of the pan and sprinkled about a 1/4 cup of brown sugar in the bottom along the layer of melted butter.

Then lay out some pineapple rings from a can and place a maraschino cherry in the centre of each. I should have probably bought two cans of pineapple because I only ended up with 8 rings which doesn't really cover the bottom of the pan.  Oh well.  Next time.


Mix up the box cake just as the instructions on the back tell you.  Layer the batter on top of your pineapples and bake as the instructions say.

When you take the cake out of the oven all you gotta do is flip it (hence the upside down pineapple part of the title).  I just put a baking sheet over the pan and flipped it out onto the sheet.  Worked like a charm.  I recommend not pulling the pan up right away after you flip it.  Give the caramelized sugar a chance to drizzle all over the cake first.  Nummers!


Voila! Pineapple Upside Down Cake. It was delicious and gone in 2 days at our house.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Iron Craft #7: Ethnic Crafts


This week's challenge:
"For this challenge you are to create something dedicated to, or inspired by, a country other than your own. You have the widest latitude here. It could be a craft from another country: Like Origami. Kirigami or Washi Dolls from Japan; it could be an inspiration based on something popular in another country--like Delft Blue and White from the Netherlands; OR it could be something based on the culture of another country: Mexico's Day of the Dead celebrations." (courtesy of NY Star Cards)

I had a ton of things that I wanted to try but got distracted by making dress up clothes for the kids.  I did, however accept a tiny custom order from a neighbour who wanted a gift for a dear friend of hers.  And the item I came up with just happens to be Asian inspired.

Hmmmmm... you might call that cheating a bit since I am half Chinese.  But it says in the challenge "inspired by a country other than your own," and I am firmly entrenched here in Canada not China ... so....

Anywho, here is what I came up with:


A tiny teardrop handbag.


I have been meaning to make up this pattern for awhile.  Like I was going to make one for myself out of the blue brocade I used to make my wedding dress out of - yeah that long ago. I never did get around to it.  But my neighbour asked me to make a tiny purse to house a charm that she had bought for a friend of hers. Not any cute purse would do for such a special gift. It needed to have character!


The Strawberry Shortcake fabric you may have seen before because I used it to make Lane's spring coat.  It was requested because the gift receiver really loves Strawberry Shortcake (and still sleeps on a pillow case made from this character's themed fabric that she's had since she was little - or so I hear anyway).


It was a strange way to put together a little purse because I had to sew the zipper in sideways in order to make the bag turn into that cute teardrop shape.


The Asian inspired tassel I made myself using some red nylon that I had leftover from tying macrame covered hangers.  I think it adds the perfect touch on the bottom of the bag.

To see what all the other Iron Crafters created for this challenge please check out the Flickr Group.


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Sewing The Boring Stuff

Sometimes you just gotta sew the boring stuff.

Things like this happen when the weather refuses to warm up, the boy refuses to stay one size, and you're got the beginnings of a doozy of a headcold.

Cuz you know... boring sewing motivators come in 3s.

Last year at this time, Logan was starting to move into wearing shorts.

This year... too cold... yet he keeps growing.  I was hoping the current set of cold weather pants would last him until warmer weather peeked in, but it just isn't happening. His ankles are starting to make an appearance at the bottoms of nearly every single pair of his pants. 

So... I sew pants.

Boring ass pants.


They do have the fabric going for them.  This is the last of the fabric I used to make his cool spring jacket. I just eeked out enough to make him a pair of pants.  Couldn't even line up the plaids. But since the boy is still growing and growing and growing, I'm sure he'll only get to wear these a few weeks before warm shorts weather and by the time September rolls around, he won't fit into them anymore anyway.

Transition pants... boring ass transition pants.  That's what I'm calling them hehehe.

I think I may be a little dizzy and ill from all that Sinus medication I'm taking for this headcold.  Boring ass transition headcold.

Hehehehe

:P

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Spring Jackets

As you may have figured from my last "prank" post, I'm in a mean mood.

As any parent who has just been through the final potty training push with their little one can tell you, it puts you in a surly temperament.

But it's done and little Laney is now potty trained fully.  Terry of course is over the moon about this fact because he's the diaper purchaser in this house and he's gonna have a tidy bonus in his pay check now that he doesn't have to buy the money sucking things.

And spring is still not here....

But here are some pretty spring coats that I just finished making for the kids.



I let the kids wear their jackets outside for about 10 minutes in order to snap a few photos, but it's still winter coats and mitts and hats weather around here.



I made both jackets using patterns from my new favourite sewing book: Sewing Clothes Kids Love.


 

 Logan's is the Silver Lake jacket pattern.  It has four pockets along the bottom on the outside and then a media pocket on the sleeve for iPods etc. Terry just got a new cell phone and gave his old iPhone to Logan to play games on.  So there's been plenty of excitement about putting the phone in the media pocket. :)



 The outside is made from plaid suiting and an olive twill.  The inside lining is made from a vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bed sheet.  I was so happy when I found it at the Thrift Store. I couldn't resist adding it to Logan's jacket.



I ordered a large TMNT patch to go on the back of the jacket as well.  Now if it would only warm up a bit. Logan has been bugging me to let him wear it to school to show his friends.  



Lane's spring jacket is the Avalon Jacket pattern.



The pattern had instructions to line the jacket so I went with that.  I used a blue Strawberry Shortcake fabric on the outside and a vintage pink canvassy type Strawberry Shortcake fabric for the inside to give it some weight.



The back is decorated with sparkly pastel lace and yellow pom pom trim.



I opted for Velcro closure so that it's easy for Lane to put on all by herself.  She still has trouble with zippers, buttons or snaps.  I sewed a few strawberry and a few flower buttons on the front as a faux closure.



Lane's such a ham that she just has to pose with her spring jacket on.



And pose with a smile.

 

And pose with the perfect accessories.  Hehehe.



  So hurry up Spring!  The kids are ready!
























Monday, 1 April 2013

Whitehorse


Wow! Has it ever been a whirlwind week for us here at the Team LT household.

At the beginning of last week, Terry found out about a new job opening posted within his government department.  He immediately applied for it.  It was a serious promotion with a serious pay hike.

He prepped for the interview right away.  The position was going to be filled immediately because the person previously in the job was leaving and they had yet to find a suitable replacement. 

There were tons of things we had to discuss and decisions to be made because when Terry got back from his interview - they offered him the job! :D :D :D

So.....

Team LT is moving.

All the way to Whitehorse Yukon.

:O

Did you even know that Canada had an Agriculture position way up there?

Phew....

Just look at this place:


Gorgeous!

I'm excited.  A new place, new surroundings. 

I'm so glad that Tawny Bee is mostly online, so it's easily transportable.  My heart stuff might be a bit of an obstacle.  We'll have to go to Edmonton as it's the closest city with a congential heart clinic, but we'll figure it out.

And with Terry working for the government, of course they are paying for the move.  Yay!

We'll be packing up immediately and moving by the end of the month. I'll miss you all....

___________

Oh my gosh....

Really?

Were you buying any of that?

Did you really think we would move to a place that doesn't have a 7-Eleven?  I can't live without my Slurpees.

Hehehe.

APRIL FOOLS!!!!!

Gotcha! (or not... but at least I amused myself for about 5 minutes).