Thursday, 31 July 2014

Project Project Runway 2014 - Episode 1 - The Judges Decide

You read that title correctly. I've been pulled back into Project Project Runway.

And I couldn't be happier. I love making doll clothes! :D

Lane came to me last week and asked if I could make some more clothes for her growing Barbie collection. You might remember that some of the last Project Project Runway creations had to be sewn onto my "models" at the last moment and therefore were unusable as wardrobe clothes when Lane is playing.

This season, I'm going to concentrate on finishing again. All those little details like hems and collars and sleeves that I sometimes don't think about when making on this small scale. I'm also going to try to make the outfits removable so that Lane can use them for all her Barbies in the future.

Phew! That's a tall order! I've stocked up on tiny hooks and eyes, snaps and Velcro for this piddly, tiny little job.

Last Thursday was the season premiere of Project Runway, so today is reveal day for the Project Project Runway designers.

The challenge?

"Challenge - The Judges Decide
The goal of Project Runway is to make it to show at Fashion Week Spring, so show the judges one Spring look you would show if you won." (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

I went in search of a model and found Amber ready and willing to be a model for me again this season. Yay!

I rummaged around in my fabric stash and found a pale pink, light and flowy chiffon-type fabric. I layered it several times so that nothing inappropriate was showing and then got to work creating a springtime dress.

I started with a simple sheath dress and added some interesting sleeve straps. Then I added an overskirt and a belt to tie it all together. As per my promise, I hemmed everything and finished the sleeves and the belt as much as I could. I also made the dress to close at the back with Velcro.

I think this dress looks so cute on Amber. Light and flowy and fun for spring.

I think the belt could have been a little more delicate. I'm not totally sold on the wideness of it (especially how it ties at the back), but Lane needs wide strings in order to be able to tie them with her tiny 5 year old learning fingers. I attached the belt to the dress so that it doesn't get lost.

We were advised to choose from the Aldo Accessory Wall for our runway show.

I chose these pretty Broawen earrings with a touch of pink in them so bring out the pale pink of my dress.

I think the finished look came together very well.

What do you think? Would you like to join in on the Project Project Runway fun? Visit this link to get all the details on how to join.

And check out the Flickr Group for all the Project Project Runway designers new designs.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Project Pikachu

Logan requested that I make him a sewn, stuffed Pikachu. He insisted that Pikachu needed to be as big as Lane's Stuart. I think he was going for a real size Pikachu - well... as real as a made-up character can be.

I thought and thought and thought about how I was going to make this thing.

There were no patterns for a stuffed Pikachu that I could find. So I was on my own with designing one for this project.

I used Logan's Pokemon Index book for a reference as to how Pikachu was structured and then got to work making a pattern. Doesn't that bottom pattern piece look strange? It actually worked! Although I admit I had to size it down quite a bit. Pikachu's face came out looking a little Jay Leno (big chin). Ooops!

You can see from this picture that the bottom might have been a little big for Pikachu's face if I hadn't corrected it.

He's looking OK here with the excess fabric folded underneath. Once I got the head and face done though, it was smooth sailing for making the pattern for the body. Phew!

I think I got Pikachu close to the cartoon. Stripes on the back, a lightening rod tail, cute red electric cheeks.

What do you think? This Pikachu took me just over 6 hours to make from start of making the pattern to finished product. And now I have a pattern to make another if I want - or more like if Logan's friends need one for their birthday presents. It should only take me about 2 hours to make now. Designing the pattern is always the most difficult and time consuming part of the process.

The great thing about Pikachu - other than he's about the size next to Logan of the cartoon character - is that his tail is stuffed so full that it acts as a balance.

Pikachu can stand on his own! :D :D :D

It's really too much. All day yesterday Pikachu was standing behind my computer desk staring at me. Too much fun posing this little guy everywhere in our house!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Iron Craft #15: Embellish

Hmmm... you may have noticed that I missed the last Iron Craft Challenge. Oooops! We were on holiday in Alberta and it was so awesome and rejuvenating (check out the previous posts for proof!). Doing a crafting challenge was the furthest thing from my mind during this time, although we did spend lots of time in nature, which was actually part of the challenge for that week. Oh well... there might be a make-up challenge at the end of the year and I'll definitely catch up then. :D

This week's challenge:
"For this challenge we want you to add a little something extra, a little bling, a ruffle or an iron-on patch. Basically, we want you to take something else and add an embellishment to it. This speaks out to clothing, but you can embellish anything, a dish from the dollar store, a thrifted painting, a roll of boring wrapping paper…" (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

It just so happened that earlier in the week I discovered holes in both soles of my cheap knock off Crocs. Ack! So I went the next day and purchased more. I can't live without these stupid looking things. They are so comfortable and easy to wear while chasing after the kids, or walking the kids to school, or having BBQs out in the backyard or going to the beach, or just about anything that requires footwear aside from running.

I bought a new pair and lamented my lot in life that I love these silly shoes so much, but really hate the look. What a perfect thing to embellish!

Ta da! I simply took some pretty blue yarn and crocheted 5 petals. I sewed them together and then glued on some bling. I left some of the end yarns of the petals and used them to tie the flower onto the shoe through those convenient holes.

A much better look doncha think?

(A link to the Iron Craft Flickr group so that you can check out all the other embellishments the crafters have come up with).

Monday, 28 July 2014

Team LT Goes On Vacation Part 6: Drumheller

For the final day of our Alberta vacation, we checked out of the hotel in Lethbridge, said goodbye to my sister, Mark, my dad and Shai (*sniff*) and headed to Drumheller to see the Dinosaurs!

To get to Drumheller from Lethbridge, you need to drive through Vulcan Alberta. We thought to ourselves as we were driving through, "When are we ever going to be in Vulcan again?" So of course we had to pull over and do some touristy stuff.

Live long and prosper. Can you see Lane and Terry peeking out from 2 of the faces?

Then we posed underneath the Enterprise. I don't think the kids were all that impressed. But the time allowed for them to get out of the car and stretch their legs, so they humoured us.

I tried to get them to make funny faces... but nope... nothing.

The Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller is fantastic! Uncle Davan (my brother) took a photo of the family with a T Rex in the background.

We looked at a display of the sea life that started animal life on earth. Logan and Lane loved the neon colours and the water running down inside the tubes.

Don't look behind you. There seems to be two mischievous dinosaurs following my children.

Stegosaurus. I suddenly have the urge to sing the dinosaur song by the Doodlebops. Stego - Stego - SAURUS!!!!

Somehow I think that the T Rex isn't your biggest problem Terry. There's a Triceratops sneaking up behind you hehehe.

Then we went outside in the heat. Terry and I both recollected about the times we visited this museum when we were kids. We both remembered the horrible heat of this valley. We warned the kids that Drumheller was just scorched earth and the hottest place on earth. And Drumheller didn't disappoint. The most friggin' hottest, driest, craziest temperature awaited us when we arrived.

But look at all the strata in the rocks behind us. Them there hills are filled with dinosaur bones!

Lane refused to wear her hat. Luckily I brought mine and let her borrow my headband to cover that head. So hot!

Unfortunately, we didn't have time to drive down HooDoo trail. :( We had to get in the car and drive down to Medicine Hat so that we'd have a head start on the next day's long trip home.

When we arrived at Medicine Hat, we looked up where the Days Inn was. Terry loves the Days Inn because they have free continental breakfast (remember that story?) We inquired at the desk and they had one room left that would fit our needs - the honeymoon suite! They gave it to us at regular price so we decided to take it. Oh my gosh - we were living fancy for a night. There were basically to parts of the huge room with two TVs so we didn't have to watch cartoons with the kids.

And of course, there was a pool and a waterslide. The kids were in heaven.

In the morning before we headed out for the long drive home, Logan lost his front tooth on the free cookie the Front Desk person gave to him. Bloody!

The kids also charmed the front desk lady so much that she gave them those neon sunglasses as well. Good haul! :D

And that concludes our vacation to Alberta. I'm sorta happy to be back, but I could have used a couple more weeks touring the country with the family in our Ford Focus Wagon. What a fantastic holiday. The weather was good, the kids were good, seeing the family was awesome, everything came up Team LT! :D

Friday, 25 July 2014

Team LT Goes on Vacation Part 5: Mr. Kitty

Logan reacted to the news that we were going on a different vacation then we usually do with his typical apprehension. He asked a lot of questions and had to work through a lot of scenarios in his head before he was on board with a new destination.

Actually... he really didn't want to go at all if it could be helped. I did my best mommy convincing to put him at ease.

Logan: Mom I don't want to go to Alberta. Why can't we just go to Thompson like we usually do?

Me: Because mommy wants to visit her family. Everyone will be there.

(This did nothing to ease his mind and I could see that I was losing him)

... And.... uh... you'll get to see Mr. Kitty.

Logan: (visibly perked up) Oh ... well... if we get to hang out with Mr. Kitty, then maybe it'll be a good holiday.

Mr. Kitty is my sister and her husband's fur baby. He's a big orange cat who is very affectionate and very calm and laid back.

I secretly did a quick prayer that Mr. Kitty was still with us. I don't remember my hearing anything to the contrary, so I figured this sort of incentive might just work.

When we arrived in Lethbridge on Friday afternoon, we weren't sure where we were all meeting but I had a good guess that maybe someone would be home at my sister's house. The kids were on board with that because they were going to get to see Mr. Kitty's house. Not my sister's house, not uncle Mark's house, not even the house I lived in when I was a teenager - nope it was now dubbed Mr. Kitty's house.

As it turns out, Mr. Kitty was the only one home when we arrived and he wasn't sure how to open the door. But the kids had plenty of hanging with Mr. Kitty time during our visit.

Mr. Kitty was indeed an affectionate cat. He would rub up against anyone he deemed worthy of petting him. At first he was totally in with all the attention the kids were paying him. But when a cat decides that's enough, then that's enough. Or at least Mr. Kitty was hoping. Terry and I were chatting with the family on the lower level. Every time we looked up the stairs we would witness a big orange cat running across our view with two children in two and plenty of giggles.

Mr. Kitty thought he could hide under a table, but as you can see from the photos, the kids would just follow him. I really don't think Mr. Kitty minded all that much though. No hisses or scratches occurred and he seemed to enjoy the chase.

We were all in a rowboat with a freakin' mountain surrounding us and tons of picturesque scenery when I asked the kids what their favourite part of our holiday was and both answered right away with, "visiting with Mr. Kitty!"


I hope this cat knows what a celebrity he is with my kids. (Although if he's any sort of a cat, he'll think that he's the centre of everyone's world anyway).

Yup, our holiday wasn't about visiting with family and seeing the sights in Southern Alberta, it was all about visiting Mr. Kitty.


Tomorrow: The dinosaur museum!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Team LT Goes on Vacation Part 4: Waterton

Actually... if I were to tell the truth, this post should be called Cameron Lake. That lake is what everyone is going to remember anyway....

On Monday of our vacation we decided to head to Waterton. Originally, all the family was going to go. Then every single one of them backed out. That left us on our own for the day and we weren't skipping a chance to show the kids the Rocky Mountains!

We started the day with breakfast with my bestie. Oh my gosh! She's about to pop. I can't wait for baby to arrive!

Look at us - best friends for 29 years now.

We headed out to Waterton and did some tourist things. We ate at some sort of theme restaurant (Trappers ... or something like that). Then we went to the candy store. The kids played at the park for awhile and were fascinated with this deer (and her friend) eating peacefully only metres away from where all the kids were running wild at the park.

Then I figured out by memory where the turn was to get to the falls. Damn - I can't believe I still remember some of this stuff.

Maybe not as spectacular or as big as the falls Terry takes us to near Thompson Manitoba, but really cool because it's running down a freakin' mountain!

But nothing will beat the look on Terry's face when he saw Cameron Lake for the first time. I warned him that it was a twisty ride up the edge of a mountain and it would take awhile to get there but it would be worth it.

We actually drove to Waterton in the winter 10 years ago when we came for a visit, but Cameron Lake was closed off and there were ski trails set up. And Terry only got to see the frozen falls. He still thought it was worth it to see the mountains, but I knew that I needed to show him this lake and I vowed that we would return. I'm so happy that I got to keep my promise.

Terry looked a little worried about the drive, but I assured him it was paved and not like he would be driving on the very edge. He still drove slowly, although I think it was more out of awe of his surroundings than by fear. We stopped a couple of times to let faster drivers go past and took in the scenery. All while in the back of my mind I was screaming with anticipation of what Terry would say when he actually sees the lake.

Cameron Lake is a glacier fed lake surrounded on 3 sides by the Rocky Mountains. It technically is on the very corner of Alberta with parts of it hitting the BC and Montana borders. And IT. IS. STUNNING.

Terry was very quiet when we walked out of the parking lot and he got his first view of the lake. A little smile peaked out from the corners of his mouth. I really do think this is the first time in my life that I've seen Terry at a loss for words. He walked out on the dock with the kids and tested the cold water.

Then we saw that you could rent boats and take a row out onto the lake. Well - that had to be done. We rented a row boat for an hour and my woodsman took his family for the boat ride of a lifetime.

This time we had together as a family in a rowboat on a mountain lake makes me so thankful and blessed to be alive and able to see such majesty and inspiration.

As you may have guessed Cameron Lake was mine and Terry's favourite part of our vacation. I left feeling renewed and just fantastic overall.

We rented the rowboat for an hour. So Terry rowed us out pretty far in 20 minutes. Then we decided to turn around and row back so that we wouldn't be late. The rental fee was a little pricey (because... well... look at that lake!) We didn't want to get charged for another hour though. And poor Terry really had to hustle and turn up the juice on his rowing against the breeze to get us back on time. We had four minutes to spare. phew! We might not have made it back into Lethbridge to have dinner with the family, but it was totally worth it.

Our vacation would have been perfect with just this. We sure have packed a lot of stuff into the few days we were in Alberta. But we weren't done yet. Next time I'll tell you about our trip to Drumheller to visit the Royal Tyrell Dinosaur Museum. Yes - there's more! :D

Monday, 21 July 2014

Team LT Goes on Vacation Part 3: Sunday

On Sunday during our vacation we didn't have very much planned. My dad was enjoying a day of golf with my brother in law Mark. My brother Davan was content to hang out in his hotel room and watch the Nascar race. So we were pretty much on our own. We were all feeling a little hyper and cranky due to lack of sleep and sitting in the car so much.

We decided to walk from our hotel over to Henderson lake and take in a day at the park.

They've put in a brand new fancy playpark for the kiddies. Super nice. We also walked around the lake a bit and explored the little islands (connected with bridges).

We sat and relaxed and had some ice cream. I remember many times getting ice cream at this very park when I was little.

Then we went to Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens which is located at one end of the lake. The main building was built in Japan in their puzzle architecture styple (no nails), disassembled and then shipped to Canada where it was rebuilt. The reason they built it with no nails is because in Japan they are faced with tsunamis and wicked wind storms. If a building is put together like a puzzle, the boards may creak and shift or even fall apart, but can easily be reassembled. Rather than the more typical nails holding the boards together, which would cause the wood to tear and crack during a storm and eventually be unusable for a rebuild.

There were are on the bridge over a very peaceful gardens. Each flat rock along the edge of the stream was deliberately chosen and placed to encourage an aura of peace and balance.

The kids rang the friendship bell. My parents rang this bell when they got married in the gardens way back in 1976.

Here are the kids and Terry posing in front of the friendship bell.

Here are some of the flat stones that I mentioned above. Each one chosen and placed by hand. Not an easy task in Lethbridge winds! There was also a raked rock garden outside the main house that resembles the same type of rock gardens maintained by monks in Asia. Very beautiful and intricate. Wish I had taken a photo.

After a relaxing morning at the Lake and Gardens, we were invited to my brother's hotel to partake of the swimming pool. Oh my gosh you guys! When I was younger, I dreamed of finding a reason to stay at the Lethbridge Lodge hotel so that I could swim in that pool. It is nestled in a beautiful atrium full of plants (probably most of them are fake). But the whole scene makes me think of somewhere tropical. It's like a dream.

I can't believe we finally got a chance to swim in this pool. Actually, it didn't exactly live up to all my dreams and desires about it, but the whole family had a good time. And I can say that I finally got a swim in this pool off my list of things I wanted to do.

After the swim, we went to visit my great grandmother in the hospital. My grandma Ethel was such a huge part of my life growing up. She's doing just fine and had lots of stories to tell us about when she lived in Winnipeg when she was a kid. I'm so glad that I got to introduce her to the kids.

We had dinner with everyone together and got back to the hotel at a decent time. Good thing too because Monday was the best day of our holiday! I can't wait to tell you all about it - tomorrow! :D

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Team Lt Goes on Vacation Part 2: Fort Macleod

After a night in Moose Jaw we drove for a few more hours until we arrived at my home town - Lethbridge Alberta.

We stopped for a bathroom break at the Saskatchewan/Alberta border. There was much hoopla and picture taking from all the families driving through there. A nice lady offered to take a family pic in front of the sign. Don't we look adorable? hehehe

We arrived in Lethbridge, checked into the hotel and went out for dinner with my dad and his girlfriend Shai, and my sister and her husband Mark. Then we all walked out to watch my dad cruise along 3rd Ave for the Street Wheelers weekend. I knew there was a motive when dad suggested we visit Lethbridge during that particular weekend! The kids got a little taste of Lethbridge living by experiencing a whole town set up chairs and snacks along the street to watch classic old and fancy new cars cruise like a parade. Too bad no one thought to throw candy out into the crowd.

The next day we all headed out to Fort Macleod to Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump. Here are the kids in front of a Bison.... er... in Alberta they call them Buffalo, but I did a little research and they are indeed the same animal. Since I've adopted Manitoba as my home, I'll be a good Manitoban and refer to these Buffalo as Bison. So... I guess that means we visited Head Smashed In Bison Jump heehehehe :P

There's Logan exercising his legs at the top of the jump.

Laney and Terry walked along the path and checked out the scenery.

We met my brother Davan and his girlfriend Mary (whom I just met and found to be such a lovely person - I wish I had more time to get to know her) at the jump. On the left is my brother in law Mark (who is also a lovely person whom I've gotten to know over these past few years).

We snapped a rather morbid photo of the kids in front of a bunch of Bison skulls. You know, for the weirdness factor.

After the jump, we headed to the Fort in the town of Fort Macleod. It is set up in the style of the original fort. There are all sorts of displays in each room.

Lane took a ride with an Northwest Mounted Police Man.

Then it was Logan's turn. I actually think it was the website for this fort that I looked at to research Logan's Halloween costume last year. Logan was being a real stickler for detail on his costume and this fort has a few different NWMP uniforms on display.

Inside one of the air conditioned rooms, the kids decided to take a rest and do some crafting. My sister was walking through this room with the kids while I got stuck reading a how-to about the beautiful Aboriginal beading projects that were displayed. I'm totally gonna learn how to do that one day! Auntie Tanjie suggested to the kids that they could make some crafts when they saw them set up at the table. Both kids said "no way" until I finally got around to the table. I suggested the same idea of crafting and both of them jumped on board. Poor Auntie Tanjie said the kids must think that she didn't have as many crafting skills as mommy because they weren't into it until I started figuring it out hehehe. Awwww. They ended up making pretty teepees.

We stuck my brother in jail. Although much to our disappointment, he just put his arm through the bars and unlocked himself. Hmph - some wimpy jail eh? I guess they didn't really need a good jail since most of the "prisoners" they would have had at this fort would be drunkards anyway. :D

Lane fed some very fat goats.

Then it was time to witness the musical ride.

The troops line up for inspection and someone from the audience gets to do the honours.  You can't see from this photo, but the horses actually have an intricate Canadian leaf brushed into their hind flanks. Insane!

The ride was very well done and fascinating to watch. I thought the horses were gonna smash into each other more than once. (A short video of the musical ride is at the end of the post).

And on the way back to the hotel we stopped for ice cream. The entire holiday met us with above 30C temperatures. Phew! It was so hot and wonderful the entire time. Loved it!

Tomorrow I'll tell you about our Sunday in Lethbridge. Stay tuned.