Monday, 29 September 2014

Autumn Evenings

There won't be too many more evenings like this for 2014.

I'm enjoying them while they last.

Autumn is my favourite season!

The food! The colours! The fashion!

What is your favourite season?

PS: That bag that Terry is about to pop in Logan's ears in the middle photo actually ended up fizzling before it could scare the bejeezus out of anyone... you know... in case you were wondering ;)

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Project Project Runway Challenge #9: American Girl Doll

This week's challenge:
"Create an age-appropriate, modern and fashionable look for a young model (8 -12 yrs) based on the American Girl Historical Dolls. Chose a doll and use her story, outfit and time period as inspiration." (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

I tried to convince Lane to let me use her as a model for this challenge, but it just came at the wrong time. Lane just got a pile of hand me down clothes that she's been really excited about. So she says, "I already have enough clothes mommy. You should make clothes for Emma."

Emma is Lane's knock off American Girl doll. I'm not sure that American Girl dolls have come to Canada yet (although I seem to remember something about Toys R Us introducing them soon).

Anyhoo... we bought Emma from Michaels and my regular blog readers know Emma from the various clothes (including the Lane and Emma's matching Easter outfits) and spa days we've had with this particular doll. She was a great model for this challenge also because she has the proper little girl proportions unlike Barbie who can be a little... um... womanly.

Here is what I came up with:

Apparently Liberty London fabrics are all the rage with everyone so I chose some of my precious stash to make this outfit.

Adorable I think!

I used to work at a Dry Cleaners before university and spent many an hour hand pressing pleats (this was back in the 90s when those school girl Clueless skirts were so popular so there were many a pleat to press!) So I brushed off my pleating skills and made this top.

I chose the doll that is from the 1970s for my look. I remember that I had this awesome butterfly pleated top when I was a kid back in the 70s and I wanted to make one similar but more modern.

The sleeves poof up a little more than I wanted, but they still look playful. And maybe a little Japanese - I'm getting a huge Asian vibe from this look. I'm sure it's just the fabric.

To complete the 70s inspired look, I made some wide legged palazzo type pants. Fun and easy to wear for little girls who like to run and move.

And even the back looks good. I'm so pleased with this look and am itching to make it in a larger scale for Lane. Although I'm told from Lane that Emma prefers dresses and the colour pink - you know for future reference. *sigh*

To check out the Project Project Runway designers' interpretation of childrens wear click on over to the Flickr Group.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Iron Craft #19: UFO

This week's challenge:

"The year is two-thirds over and we are soon heading into that busiest of crafting seasons, the holidays! If you are like me I bet you have a whole bunch of UFOs (Unfinished Objects) sitting around. Let’s get those babies finished before we find ourselves singing carols." (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

So yeah... I have a few of those kicking around. I decided to go with this project:

It's a 28 strand tied micro-macrame bracelet.

I had the pattern printed out and I even had the colours chosen and the strings cut out. It was just a matter of untangling all the strings and giving myself a pep talk to get motivated to attempt this difficult pattern.

I started tying and had the strings in an absolute mess for the first few rows. But once they started going in a certain order and I could keep track of them it turned out to be easier than I imagined in my head. I even had the confidence to add a pretty bead in there at the correct intervals.

This one was not one of those that I could tie mindlessly while watching TV. I had to keep my eye on the tie pattern the entire time and I'd get lost if I didn't remember which row I was on. There was a lot of frustrating untying of tiny knots with this project. But it's done and it's beautiful!

If you want to see what the tie pattern looks like, check out this link to the pattern I used for this bad boy.

It certainly is pretty and I'm glad I got it done now because it's so autumn-y.

To check out all of the unfinished (now finished) projects by the Iron Crafters this week, please click over to the Flickr Group.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Crocheted Yoga Socks

Earlier this month - I think it was September long weekend actually, we decided to make one last trip to the beach before the season changes.

We discovered Crescent beach at Westhawk Lake recently and decided that was our destination.

It takes about an hour and a bit to drive out there. Perfect time for a crochet project!

Hence the photo of my new yoga sock on the dashboard of our car.


Pretty aren't they?

Oh!? You thought I meant my new yoga socks? No!

I meant my feet of course! :P


(I used this pattern to make my new yoga socks. And here is the link to my project on Ravelry).

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Project Project Runway Challenge #8: Rainway

This week's challenge:

"Create an avant garde look that can stand up to rain. The look needs to be cutting edge and forward thinking. Can your model handle the rain?!" (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

Ooooh I get to work with oilcloth!

I love all my pretty patterned oil cloth and it's the best thing to stand up to rain in my opinion.

So, here's what I came up with:

OK... OK... so it's not very avant garde.

It's really just a pretty dress.

I had the idea to make it into a huge flower looking thing with stems and vines kind of sticking out of it and a huge skirt in the shape of petals. But I just wasn't feeling it. I don't know, I just think that it's been done before and probably better than I could have imagined it. So I admit I played it safe.

It is a really pretty oil cloth dress though. Want a trick for sewing oilcloth? Use all of those fast food napkins that you've collected (you know what I mean, most restaurants put tons of those things in the bag with a take out order). Wrap the seams in the napkins and sew. Your machine will glide without getting gummed up and stuck with the stickiness of the oilcloth. Then when you're done the seam, just pull the napkin off. Easy peasy.

Sea World Barbie was the perfect choice for this special type of Runway show. She didn't mind the rain shower at all.

And the skirt is sparkly and fun. I added sequins in the shape of leaves to the bottom of the hems.

All in all I think the judges will give me a pass. The dress is at least pretty and fun and stands up to rain. It's not really avant garde, but it's shiny so it might distract Heidi at least.


And the back isn't as bad a mess as last week! Yay!

To see all the Rainway designs, check out the Flickr Group.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Snorlax Pokemon Pencil Case

Logan's class didn't include a pencil case this year. I thought it kinda strange, but didn't bother with getting him one if he didn't need it. Some teachers take all the supplies and pt them in a "classroom" container and students draw from it when they need to replenish supplies.

Turns out that the teacher made a mistake and forgot to put a pencil case on the list of supplies. Logan had all of his pencils, pens, etc in a Ziplock bag in his desk since the beginning of the school year.


I got right on making a pencil case for him. I took some boring green canvas and made a zipper pouch. It would do I guess, but it wasn't very special.

So I decided to dig out all of my felt and make something a little better for my little guy.

Here's what I came up with:


Hehehe. I looked through Logan's Pokemon book and decided that Snorlax was easy, recognizable and big enough to fit over the entire pencil case.

I think he turned out pretty cute (although I do admit that those feet kinda look like boobies to me - and a few others I'm sure. ACK! Boobies with claws! NOOOOOOO!)

Anyhoo... Logan took it to school and Snorlax has been busy munching on pencils, pens, markers, erasers, etc. I think it's a good relationship. Snorlax can eat all he wants and Logan has a place to store all his school crap. Yay!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Project Project Runway #7: Priceless Runway

This week's challenge:

"Use a piece of Chopard jewelry as your inspiration for an extravagant evening look that would be worn to a gala or other special event. This is your moment to wow the judges and pull out all the stops." (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

I chose a very difficult fabric to work with at this scale. My goodness! I remember using this fabric for Lane's Christmas dress last year and it was fraying everywhere and such a pain. It's even worse when working in doll size!

But the dress itself turned out rather nice:

I chose this necklace from the Chopard collection.

I think the interesting sleeves "frame" the necklace really well.

And the whole look is shiny and clingy in all the proper places.

Rapunzel has a ton of hair to deal with and it kept getting stuck in the Velcro used to close the neck piece. It shouldn't be such a mess, but I was continually fitting this model and had to keep pulling more hair out of the neck piece :(

I think she looks red carpet ready though. And there is one benefit to her hair being so long - it hides the mess of a back.  I had a little problem with the "zipper". I didn't want to sew her into the dress and the fabric frayed so much that I didn't have much to work with and sew the Velcro to. So her dress ended up being slightly too small. Yipes, I really had to pull her into it!

Oh well. I think the judges will give me a pass because the dress isn't boring. It has an interesting concept with the frame for the jewelry. And it's shiny and clingy. I bet Heidi would want to wear it.

To see all of the red carpet looks the Project Project Runway designers have come up with to show off fancy jewelry, please check out the Flickr Group.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Crocheted Squirtle - From Pokemon

Logan is still obsessed with Pokemon.

In fact, the project list that he has for me to crochet for him is at least 95% Pokemon characters.

So I set to work and made Squirtle.

I think the likeness is there. And he's oh so cute.

I used this pattern that I found on Ravelry.

It took about 2 evenings to make. Logan has been driving Squirtle around on his toy dump truck for days now. I think he likes his new Water Pokemon friend.

A link to my Squirtle project on Ravelry.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Iron Craft #18: "C" Is For....

This week's challenge:

"Let’s do another alphabet challenge! This time you need to create a project based on the letter “C”. That means either the technique, main supply, color or content needs to begin with a “C”. This is an easy one for you guys really…." (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

So... uh... I've been totally in (C)rochet lately. I figured that any project I did with crochet would be the one I did for this Iron Craft Challenge.

But that wouldn't make it much of a challenge now would it?

I still decided to do crochet. But I challenged myself by learning a new stitch - the basket weave stitch.

Here is my Crocheted Barbie Clothes Container

If you follow this blog regularly then you know that I also participate in the Project Project Runway challenge (also brought to you by Just Crafty Enough). Every week during the airing of Project Runway we challenge ourselves to the same design challenges, only in miniature - for Barbie sized dolls.

This season I've challenged myself further by trying to make all of my clothes with all the fasteners and Velcro I can muster to make them reusable. It means that I've got a growing collection of Barbie fashion! I need some place to put all of the fun dresses. When I saw that pattern for this basket, I thought it would be the perfect thing to store all those clothes!

I added a bunch of decorations that kind of went with the theme - a high heeled shoe, a ballerina dress and a pretty girl face. Lane loves this new basket.

The Barbies were placed inside the basket to check out their new closet. They weren't sure their precious clothes should be shoved inside a basket instead of put on display somewhere. But I told them it was either the clothes or them and they changed their minds pretty quickly. ;P

The basket is very large and worked in rounds. I held 2 pieces of yarn together to make a chunky, sturdy look. Actually, you can see that I ran out of the variegated whitish-blue colour at the top and had to switch out for blue. Then I ran out of grey for the handles and had to resort to straight blue. But I think it looks like I might have planned that - so it's OK.

I like the way this turned out. Hopefully I won't find the clothes strewn all over the floor because Lane has found some other use for this basket. But, really, I totally expect that to happen. Might have to make a few more. They would make really cute trash cans as well.

To see all of the Iron Crafters' "C" projects, check out the Flickr Group.

Link to my project on Ravelry - along with the link to the pattern I used in case you wanna learn the basket weave stitch as well.

Monday, 8 September 2014

First Day of Kindergarten and Grade 3 (2014)

My Logan has started grade 3 and my Laney has started Kindergarten.

What the F?

No one told me it was going to be this quick! Well... they said it was going to be quick... like I'd blink and the kids would be grown...

But seriously, I haven't even half blinked and my first baby is in grade 3!?? And my second thinks she's the biggest girl because she gets to go to Kindergarten everyday.

Everyday people! I can't handle everyday! I want my baby home with me everyday.


Just look at this! Such a handsome young man. A barely blink (actually I swear I haven't blinked yet) and he's so big.

And this! Laney stood out in her Kindergarten line until her teacher came. She then waved goodbye to me and skipped - she skipped! - her way into the school.

I cried all the way home.

But I'm going to have to get used to it. My children are so well behaved and smart and creative and they need to share those awesome personalities with the rest of the world. They need to learn things that I can't teach them. They need to have friends and be friends and laugh and tell jokes and run around the gym doing laps and sing in a choir and come home with paint in their hair from an art project their teacher has concocted and tell me about the wonderful books they read and the math problems they can now solve on their own and describe in detail that frogs aren't actually that slimy because they learned it in science class. They need to be kids on their own - without their mommy. *sniff*

And I have to let go - have a life of my own, perhaps get a job that doesn't entail putting bandaids on scraped knees and finding that one Barbie that a child has last seen 7.9 months ago but needs this instant.

A new phase in our lives is starting - just not sure if I'm ready for it yet.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Project Project Runway #6: Rock The Wedding

This week's challenge: "Shake off tradition and create an alternative wedding dress. There are no rules so unleash your creativity, but make sure it is believable for a bride and not a costume.Bonus, also create a reception look that corresponds with the dress. This is optional for PPR because we don’t have teammates to help." (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

I thought about this one for a long time. Maybe I was still a bit shaken from my disaster of a dress last week. I finally decided to make a wedding dress for a good ole country girl.

I gotta say. I think I nailed it this time. I really thought about what a country girl would like to wear for her wedding. Something elegant, yet down home. I went with the beige lace to give it a little vintage feel. I went with a deep wine/purple coloured silk underneath.

A plunging neckline cinched in with a corset belt. I added ties on the outside of the belt for a more country feel without being a huge belt buckle.

I think she would be comfortable wearing her fave pair of cowgirl boots and her cowgirl hat with this dress as accessories.

And for the reception?

She'd be part saloon girl now wouldn't she?

Still using the same fabrics, I changed the look up enough so that you know it's the same girl at the same wedding, but just a little more ready to party.

The judges might not like the artsy craftsy approach I took with this shredded rose on the front, but I think it adds to the country look perfectly. And those same boots and hat she wore to her wedding would look awesome with this dress as well.

I love this! I would totally get married in this - and I'm not even a real country fan.

I think it turned out elegant and classic for the wedding and fun and country saloonish for the reception. And the judges would definitely appreciate the amount of thought I put into designing for a particular girl.

The sewing was a bit difficult for two sizes of models this week, but Lane insisted that Princess Rose needed to marry Ken... like... tomorrow. And Tinkerbell was her maid of honour.


What do you think? Would I be safe this week?

To see all the other bridal wear from the Project Project Runway designers, check out the Flickr group.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Crocheted Hexagonal Baby Blanket Gift with Red Heart's Baby Clouds Yarn

I was at the thrift store checking everything out and found a ton of yarn called Baby Clouds in all different colours. It was super chunky and I got a super awesome price for it. Only problem: I haven't ever crocheted with it and didn't quite know what I would make.

Then a bunch of my friends had babies.

And special handmade gifts were needed - STAT!

Our neighbours had a baby and I needed a gift that would work for either boy or girl as we weren't sure what gender baby they had. We're not that close - but they are still our neighbours and we always try to be ... nice?... neighbourly? ... Tolerable?

So I got together my super awesome cheap baby clouds yarn and made this hexagonal baby blanket.

Cute right?

I used this easy pattern that I found on Ravelry.

And here is the link to my project on Ravelry with all the spicy details of what kind of yarn I used (even though I just told you... like right there... right there... ya... right there) and other such details like the link to the pattern (even though I also told you that just above... yeah... like right there.) Hehehehe.