Monday, 30 June 2014

Crocheted Sunflower Hat

It's raining.

It's been raining and raining and raining.

It could be my fault.

I crocheted this little beauty.

A pretty crocheted sunhat.

I finished it on June 8th. I've only been able to wear it twice since. Cuz it's been raining. EVERY. DAY.

Anyhoo... I used this free pattern for the hat and this free pattern for the flower.

I think it turned out really nice.

Bring on the sunshine!

(The link to my sunflower hat project on Ravelry)

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Team L-T Does Lane's Birthday Party

Soooo.... we had a birthday party for Lane on Tuesday night this week.

What?! You thought that Lane's birthday wasn't until August.

Well ye be correct!

Unfortunately, Lane's birthday falls on the August long weekend and it's in the middle of summer. None of her little friends are around. And even if they were, I have no idea how to get a hold of them to invite them to a party.

We decided to celebrate early so that Lane could pass out invitations at pre-school.

Once again I got myself into a heap of sewing work.

You may remember that I made Angry Birds shirts for Logan's birthday party goers one year. Then the next year, Logan insisted that I make shirts again, so I made minion shirts for the party goers.

Well - Lane was never one to be left out. When we decided that the party was a go, she immediately asked me what kind of shirts I was going to make for her party goers.

Nuts! I was hoping to let this little tradition fall by the wayside. No such luck.

Although for those crafty mamas out there, you'll totally recognize that I chose a relatively easy design this time instead of the intricate minions.

Crowns! With their first initial on each. Simple. So of course I had to jazz them up a bit with some shiny sequins. :D

Notice the one blue prince t-shirt for Logan in the mix as well. He wasn't gonna tolerate any of that pink even for his little sister's princess party.

We had the party at Kid City which is where we had Logan's last birthday party as well. I love this place on a weekday evening. Hardly a soul is there so all the party goers have free reign of the place. The staff cleans up, provides food, drinks, goody bags and the party room. We barely have to lift a finger.

Logan the birthday prince. Despite what he says about the whole affair, he had a good time.

Here is me trying to work the panoramic effect on my phone. Yeah... not so good.

We played birthday pirates. Hats as patches. There were a lot of "Happy barrrrrrthday ye scalawag!" yelled in little girl high pitch.

Lane had to have a special crown to denote that she was the Birthday Princess.

Presents were opened in a burst of girlish squeals. I am not so used to girlish squeals. It's an acquired taste I think. All of the girls got in a line at the top of the Kid City slide and screamed at the top of their lungs all the way down in a chain of little girls. Oh dear... I'm working on getting used to it.

The girls were so precious though. Super adoraprecious! And Lane had the most awesome time. She was so excited days before the party and the anticipation was almost too much for her to bear. At least the party lived up to all that anticipation. Phew!

Group shot!

And again - this time more serious... well as serious as this bunch of party animals can be.

Here's a video of the cake presentation. For some reason I didn't think to take a picture of Lane's pretty pretty Tinkerbell cake. D'oh! But you can kinda see it in this video. Happy 5th birthday my sweet little girl! I love you so much.

Are we gonna have cake on Lane's actual birthday as well? Darn tootin!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Team L-T at the Red River Exhibition 2014

The weather finally cooperated enough to allow us to take in The Red River Exhibition this past weekend.

Fun was had by all (along with spending about a million trillion dollars - oy! that event is pricey!) The food alone is worth every penny though. Not to mention all the smiles from the kids when they won their own toys by playing all those carnival games.

Here are some highlights:

No matter where we are and how much indulgent food there is to gorge upon, Lane always finds her noodles or veggies. And in this case, she found noodles AND veggies - SCORE!

After waiting in line to get into the park for about 45 minutes, Logan chows down on a huge burger. Waiting builds up appetites.

Classic merry go round shot.

Lane remembered these cars from last year. They whip around pretty fast on the edges and she refers to this ride as a "big kid" ride. She insisted that she go on this "big kid" ride right away. I enjoyed the squeals of delight every time they whipped around the corners.

Of course, we couldn't miss a showing of Extreme Dogs. Terry and I forgot what this show was called so all day we were referring to the "Super Dogs," the "Epic Dogs," the "Awesome Dogs." Logan and Lane fell in love with each and every dog that was doing tricks and running through obstacles. I'm sure if they could have convinced us and the dogs' owners, we would have brought them all home with us.


We went to the petting zoo display and checked out all the animals. Logan informed us that the grey owl was the official bird of Manitoba. We were looking at an Emu which is the national bird of Australia apparently. Smart boy! (although I haven't actually fact checked him - hmm.... grey owl sounds plausible).

The kids got piggy ear hats and sat on a plastic cow.

And then we found some frozen yogurt and sat down for a rest before we decided to call it a day.

Actually, right before the kids got frozen yogurt I dragged the family through the quilt show. Oh my gosh you guys! There were some awesome quilts! I strolled through and gawked at them all while the kids rolled their eyes at me and tried to get me to hurry up because they wanted to stick their hands in the hot tubs on display across from the quilts. So no photos because I was already pushing my luck by getting the kids to even let me look when there were so many more exciting things to do.

The kids came home with all manner of prize animals. We had dino, smurfs, a tiger, and 2 big green frogs balloons. Oooh boy! Good times!

I'll chat at you some about the birthday party we had for Lane last night in the next post. Stay tuned. :)

Monday, 23 June 2014

Our Little Pre-School Graduate

Lane is officially done with pre-school!


I'm surprised as you are! Where on earth did the time go?

Seems like just yesterday, we brought little baby girl Laney home with us from the hospital.

And now she's going to start Kindergarten in the fall!??

Time is truly a cruel and unruly bitch.


Let's look at some cute photos shall we?

Our little sunshine got her face painted at the Family Centre year end party earlier this past week. She won't be going to the family centre anymore next year either because it's open in the mornings and she'll be at Kindergarten every morning. *sigh* My baby is such a big girl.

Ice cream at the Family Centre year end party. I spot a stroller from one of the other kids in the background. Yet another device that we haven't used in awhile. We didn't take the stroller to the Red River Ex last weekend... and boy was that strange having to carry all of our stuff instead of sticking it in the stroller basket. Oh well... we're growing and moving onto bigger things, new stages and all that jazz.

Lane insisted that we make a pretty cheese plate for her graduation party. I used a small flower shaped cookie cutter to cut out flower shaped cheese. Pretty!

I bet you can guess where Lane chose to go for her graduation dinner? Hehehe... OK... so maybe things don't change that much after all. ;)

Our little graduate in procession.

Adjusting her cap and gown.

Standing up and announcing that she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.

Can I get a collective "Awwwwwwww."


Friday, 20 June 2014

Winnipeg Railway Museum

In an continuing effort to do fun things that don't cost a lot of money within driving distance on rainy days... er... yeah... we took the kids to the Winnipeg Railway Museum last weekend.

It was pouring, so we couldn't go to the Red River Ex. So we had to entertain the kids in a more low key kinda way.

We had a goodly amount of fun! :D

The Museum is located at the top of the VIA train station in Winnipeg. It looks like it's in an old terminal complete with old baggage elevator shafts and tons of leaks and cracks. There is a wall with a window cut out so that you can see the trains going by. The kids loved looking through there.

You were allowed to climb on most of the trains. Totally cool!  That's one thing we didn't like about the air museum - you weren't allowed to go up and check out the  planes :(

The kids loved playing train conductors.

I loved all of those vintage travel posters. This one was from 1928 I think.

Logan couldn't resist the buttons of course. Gotta press each and every one.

Here are my little dispatchers. I had to show the kids how to work the rotary phone attached to the desk that Lane is at in the above photo. They thought it very complicated and time consuming to phone someone that way! hahaha

I stared at this poster for a long time reading all the funny things on it. Then I noticed it was for sale at the gift shop as well. Might have to go back sometime and get it. I love it so much.

When you get to the top of the stairs to enter the museum you notice a huge model train set up in a big lighted room. Logan and Lane took their spots along the window and watched and watched the trains go by. There were comfortable seats set up for mom and dad to rest on while the kids got their fill of tiny model train sets. Although I have to admit, mommy and daddy had our noses pasted to the glass watching the trains for quite awhile as well.

The visit must have been a hit because the kids dug out their old Thomas The Train rail tracks and some dinosaurs and trees and paper to make their own second track, and boxes to make the terminal and trucks to use as inspection vehicles and Legos to make train crossing signs and ... oh my gosh - our whole rec room was covered in a miniature train town of the kids' own invention. :D

It was awesome!

I love going places that spark the kids' imaginations. We'll definitely add this one to our "stuff to do on rainy/wintry days" list.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Iron Craft #12: Let's Hear It For The Boy

This week's challenge:
"With Father’s Day on the horizon, let’s make this challenge about the guys. Make something manly for this challenge, something a guy (or boy) in your life would like." (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

I like to use Iron Craft as a way to learn a new craft or technique without feeling guilty about spending time on something when I have a list of regular sewing to do. If I have a challenge to complete, then it's OK to take a break from the regular stuff and try something new and cool.

So for this challenge I decided to work on tapestry crochet.

I've seen Kat (the Iron Craft challenge setter) do so many beautiful knitting projects with amazing pictures knitted right in there. I knew that you could do this with crochet as well, but was afraid to try. It looked super difficult to carry all those colours through with the stitches and bring them out at the proper time.

Turns out that if you go really slowly and concentrate on every single stitch, you can make something really cool. This little minion bookmark? keychain? patch? was made in about an hour and a half. Not exactly speed crochet here, but you can actually see the minion in there, so there's that.

My little guy loves this minion. He loves it so much that he's having a hard time deciding what it should be. I think we're going to so with keychain for his bike lock key. I just have to find a key chain ring to add to it.

I used a friendship bracelet stitch pattern to make it and carried all the yarns through with me. It actually worked! As this pattern was pretty easy, I didn't have to learn how to crochet backwards along every second line (although I might try that with a more complicated pattern to make the stitches on the front appear stronger). I edged it with tiny picot stitches.


To see all the other manly crafts this week from the Iron Crafters, check out the Flickr Group.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Throwback Thursday - My Writing From Grade 2

When Logan was born, my mom came to visit and brought a folder with her that she had kept in my hope chest. It was full of my writing and drawings from when I was in grade 2.

Logan is in grade 2 now and so I pulled it out to show him what his mommy was up to when she was 7 years old too.

What I found, however, is startling.

I spent a lot of time in the hospital around doctors and other kids who were experiencing things that no kid should have to experience - sickness, burns, marks of other violence. We were all at the hospital trying our hardest to be normal kids.

But when I look at the main themes of my writing it isn't all princesses and fluff like most little 7 year old girls. My writing was mostly about fear, violence, fire, loneliness.


Bad things were flying up to the sky? Okaaaaayyyyyy....

Fire! I do enjoy my drawing of the play structure at the park though. And this story does have a happy ending. In fact, all of my stories always ended happily (or at least happily enough...)

Yes... you read that right. The witch got stabbed and all lived happily ever after. Wow! And I didn't fail to notice that the dad was the hero of this story and almost every story I ever wrote. :D

Not quite sure if the dog or the girl was shot. Disturbing either way.

This last one makes me the most sad. I can't imagine Logan ever coming up with writing like this. He lives in a happy 7 year old world where kids don't get sick and nothing really terrible happens to anyone. I'm crossing my fingers and toes, praying, hoping and wishing that he stays there for a long time.

So yeah... I bet some child psychologist would love to decipher the meaning in these (and there are about 10 more that I didn't scan to share that are all laced with these same themes). I wonder if a skilled professional would have been able to guess what kind of adult I'd become from these samples from my 7 year old self?

I doubt it.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Lane's First Dance Recital

Lane has been going to ballet/tap class since September and has really been enjoying it.

This past Friday night, all her hard work was rewarded with her very first stage performance.

Our little princess posing with her congratulations flowers outside of the recital. Don't worry - she didn't wear her runners for the performance. Just her goofy mommy took the photo without the proper footwear. D'oh!

A short video of Lane doing some of her ballet performance. She also did a tap dance with a big lollipop prop. Lollipop Prop.... Lollipop Prop... try saying that 10 times fast. Ha!

I have a strong feeling that the next ballet/tap class starting in September will be in our future. Lane is hooked.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Hawaiian Emma

Lane's doll Emma is always in need of new clothes. Lane loves to change her clothes and play all sorts of games with her dolly.

Since I learned how to crochet, I thought I'd try to crochet some cute doll clothes for Emma. Maybe the kind of clothes that would last a long time and that Lane could keep to pass on to her own kids.

I was thinking heirloom.

I was feeling heirloom.

My brain, however, was not ready for the patience required to create heirloom.

Oh my gosh you guys! This project took me so freakin' long!

Me - the queen of one night projects. It took me 2 weeks and one evening of crying and ripping the whole thing out.

Did I mention this was the first crochet project I've attempted that required careful attention to gauge?

Yeah.... so I didn't have the right sized yarn the first time around and Emma's bodysuit turned into a huge sack.


I persevered and ended up with something pretty cute.

Oh boy. The bodysuit was just like lace to make. So small... the yarn and the hook was so small.

The flowers took a half an hour each to make and I made 22 of them.  The pattern called for another 16 to make the lei. But as you can see from the photo below, a lei would be a little much in this scale. Lane said that it looked like a winter scarf. With that and the crown, it would be crazy.

So we decided to use that first "crown" I made as both a crown and a lei as needed.


Doesn't she look fabulous?

Lane has been playing hula with her for a few days now. Adorable!

A link to the pattern I used.

A link to my project on Ravelry.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Birthday Mermaid

Little Lane attended a birthday party over the weekend. This particular birthday party was being held at the swimming pool. The birthday girl is very into swimming.

So when we started looking through patterns for a birthday present, we had a swimming theme in mind.

Lane saw this crocheted mermaid pattern and fell in love.

She chose the colours according the the birthday girl's faves and I went to work making the perfect birthday mermaid.

Purple and pink. Who would have thought a 5 year old girl would like those colours? :P

I used my regular peach coloured yarn (Bernat Handicrafter) to make the mermaid body. This yarn tends to make things a lot larger than the pattern photos. Not really a big deal when it comes to making toys. Although I did notice this mermaid is a little chubbier than the pattern photos. I think it's awesome. Who needs all those super thin Barbie Dolls anyway? I think this mermaid is much more lovable and realistic (bodywise... not mythical creature-wise I guess... although... maybe real mermaids if they exist might be a little chubby. Who knows?)

The crazy amount of pink hair was the most difficult part of this creation. And it really wasn't all that difficult. More time consuming than anything. I sure liked playing with all that hair while mermaid spent her time with us before the party. I braided it, twirled it, made mermaid flip her hair in every direction... hehehe...

I hope this mermaid is appreciated at her new home. I sometimes wonder if kids would rather have more recognizable/popular toys than handmade ones. My kids prefer the toys that I make for them, but they are used to having a mommy that makes stuff. Most likely these handmade toys are more appreciated by the adults at the parties and the kids stick them in a corner in favour of the store bought toys. Oh well... I think this mermaid is neato! I want one - and so does Lane! Any thoughts on handmade gifts?

(A link to my project on Ravelry)