Friday, June 26, 2015

Olla's

Why, you are wondering, am I sticking my recycling in holes in my garden?


It's my attempt at keeping some moisture in my garden this year. I watched a few YouTube videos about milk jug ollas and gave it a try. The idea is to poke the bottles full of holes, plant them in your garden and fill them up. The water will slowly seep into the lower layers of the soil. The reverse is also true in that it will catch extra rainfall to let seep out later. (Just be sure to keep the caps to prevent mosquitoes!)


On a side note, these are the three kinds of potatoes I planted.



This is my attempt at showing you the water in the bottom.



This sad picture shows the state of my soil. I couldn't dig any deeper than this! (Hence the potatoes.) Hopefully in a year or two I'll be able to bury them to the top. :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Glitter Makeup


Just a quick idea for you on this Monday morning. It's incredibly simple, but it involves glitter so you can't go wrong ;)


The dollar store had both super fine glitter and tubes of clear lip gloss and mascara, and I had my recital coming up...


So not rocket science or anything. Just add the two together. I used my smallest measuring spoon and tapped in a bit at a time. I did it over a baking tray to save my sanity at cleanup time.



The results? I would say that the lip gloss was by far the winner. It distributed nicely and came out evenly when worn. The mascara looks great in the tube but my first attempt (with larger glitter) doesn't make it past the part of the tube that wipes most of the mascara off of your brush very well. The second attempt with super fine glitter ended up detaching that same piece. Because ya, dollar store.

I've given all but one of the lip glosses away but may have to make a second batch (with different colours?) to give as kid gifts. They are super cute on little cheeks :)

Friday, June 19, 2015

How to Soften Scratchy Yarn

I picked up two $1.99 bags of yarn from the thrift store filled with yellows, whites and oranges. They were just too pretty to leave behind :)
Then when I opened them at home I realized why they were so cheap. Ahem.


I really, really can't handle scratchy yarn in my hands while I'm making something. It's like a weird sensory thing for me. So when I found this excellent pin with instructions on how to soften a scratchy afghan, I started one step earlier and washed my yarn pre-project. The good news is that it absolutely worked! I even skipped the softener sheets and every ball I put through is usable now. The bad news? It came out looking like this and it took me a week and a half to untangle it all!
So maybe learn from my mistake and soak the finished garment instead.  :P


I have been in a serious sewing rut lately. I think up just as many new projects but the thought of bringing down my sewing machine does nothing for me. I'm not sure how that's possible with this lovely pile of fabric beside me! (I almost titled this post "Proof that I'm your Grandma" because of my retro floral obsession.) I'm not worried though, I've been pretty prolific on the yarn side of things. I tend to go full tilt at one or the other.



Still in full recital mode over here. Even Sophie's getting excited! I finished all of my costume sewing awhile ago and now I just have to play with my hair and makeup. (Not exactly a hardship.)


For your amusement I'll confess that I definitely walked into the dollar store after class looking like this. I figured I could get away with it since I was buying bobby pins and sequins!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bravery

How often are you brave? Actually uncomfortable or nervous or afraid about something and then doing it anyways?

I have my dance recital coming up so it's been on my mind. (Sorry for the lack of project posts, I've been mostly in costume land and don't want to post what I've been making until after the performance.)  It's got me thinking about a few things. One is that I was so incredibly nervous before my very first recital (3 years ago now!), that I can hardly remember a thing! But I never considered not doing it.

You see, I'm used to feeling that way. Especially in front of people I don't know very well, or when it's personal or about something important to me. Dancing combines all of these things for me, so a part of me wants to keep it in the studio, in the safe little space I've made myself.

But I decided a long time ago that I wasn't that girl. The one who hides silently in the corner because she is afraid. People don't usually think of the shy people in their lives when they picture bravery. Our kind is invisible, because we are just doing the things you do without thinking. But courage adds up, and when it's important you find you're already in the habit.

So now I am the one who hides smiling behind sequins, stepping out from the corner even though I'm afraid. Because I'm going to be uncomfortable anyways. I might as well look fabulous doing it ;)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

ABC's of homeschooling littles

As a homeschooling parent of young children, I'm often second guessing myself, wondering if I am doing enough. It seems like such a daunting task, shaping these little people into well adjusted adults that are fun to be around and are contributors to their families and communities. Am I doing it right? Am I doing enough? Am I pushing them more than I should be? Am I too relaxed with my parenting style? Are my kids happy? The questions are never ending. My husband and I are going to try homeschooling until our last child is old enough for school, after that, we will re evaluate and see if we would like to continue, or if we feel like it isn't a good fit for our family. Since our kids are so young right now, we don't follow a curriculum, nor are we sure we are going to. Our unschooling approach not only raises questions from us, but from other as well. The hardest question to answer is simply, what do you do all day? Today I've decided to answer that with 26 things we may do during the week.

ABC's of Homeschooling Little Ones
A-Airplanes
B-Bike rides
C-Construct
D-Dance
E-Eat
F-Finger paint
G-Garden
H-Hug
I-Investigate
J-Journal
K-Knit
L-Laundry
M-Modelling Clay
N-Nap
O-Observe
P-Puppet theater
Q-Quiet time
R-Read
S-Swim
T-Trampoline
U-Ukulele
V-Vacation
W-Write
X-mail boX
Y-Yoga
Z-Zoo

Some days I feel like all we do is eat and do laundry, but really our days are full of outdoor activities, art and a lot of reading and free play. Hopefully you are now inspired to not be so hard on yourself, even on a bad day, your kids are still learning and growing wonderfully.



Friday, May 22, 2015

Bunny Bread!


Because everything is better cute.


I got the recipe from here and have probably made it four times now. I've had great results and everyone loves it! It also only needs simple pantry ingredients. (I am the queen of wanting to make things RIGHT NOW that I'm missing one ingredient for.) I like to make six smallish loaves with this recipe and freezing all but one or two. They end up being about a day or two's worth of bread for our family and it keeps it tasting fresh.


This time I snipped some bunny ears and tails into our loaves and then let Sophie colour them with out food colouring markers. I'm super in love with how detailed she made the little faces :)

P.s. Like the Siamese bunny triplets in the first photo?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Glimpses of Spring


We FINALLY got our seeds started last week! Three days in we already had little shoots from the sunflower seeds. Sophie is so excited!


We're trying the eggshell method (go free!). The windowsills in our basement apartment are just wide enough to hold an egg carton, and long enough to put three side by side. We may expand operations next year, as we have one more window in the living room. I could double our started seeds if I can convince my husband that a row of soil and water above his computer isn't really that bad of an idea. ;)

P.s. We started sunflowers, pumpkins, tomatoes and cucumbers. I also have some potatoes sprouting under the sink. Everything else I'll direct seed. What do you start early? (I will confess to having plans to sprout sweet potatoes as well, but they went bad on the counter before I got around to it!)