Friday, July 24, 2015

Vintage Pattern Haul!

I want to show you what I got recently, I just couldn't keep the cuteness to myself!

So many... <3

A whole stack of vintage patterns! For free! (Yay Freecycle!) 

They were listed as "older" so I knew I risked getting a bag of 90's crazyness, but I am sooo glad I went for it anyways!!

Not many for the Boo, but what there was is adorable :)

The one thing people kept being surprised by was how short little girl dresses used to be. I'm assuming it's to conserve fabric, but don't quote me on that.

Want to know the only downside? Most of these are size 3 or 6. Sophie is in a 6 now and wouldn't be caught dead in any of them. Or maybe it doesn't matter. She's so skinny that I could probably just lengthen them for the next few years ;)

Or maybe I'll just frame them on the wall of my imaginary sewing room. I mean, look at those little capes and kerchiefs...  <3

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Butterscotch Bonnet

Hello Darling!
I've been very busy lately, want to see some of what I've been up to?

I call this one the butterscotch bonnet because the yarn just looks delicious! This is what started the whole outfit, that and one of my dance ladies expecting a little girl this fall. I used
this free crochet pixie hat pattern as my inspiration. The changes I made were to use single crochet as the main stitch, and making a scalloped edge instead of the fluffy trim. I also threaded some lace through the double crochets instead of a chin strap.

This little top is actually just a shortened version of this baby dress. (Also a free pattern.) The yarn I used is super soft, but has a slight sheen to it so it photographed a little crazy. You can see a slightly better view of the lace pattern below.

I trimmed it in the same cream coloured yarn as the diaper cover. No pattern link for this one. The one I tried following was a disaster, but that's the risk you take with free patterns found randomly on the internet! I just took the basic shapes that worked and free-styled it in the right proportions. I used a ribbon instead of the elastic recommended by the (terrible) pattern because I knew it would show through.

Also, ruffle baby bums! :)

 I have a little confession to add here at the end:
I liked these pieces so much I made them all over again! I never feel very well when I'm pregnant and don't find out the gender of my babies, so I'm lucky if I manage a piece or two of gender neutral clothing before a baby arrives. And we all know how much gets done after... :P 

So my brilliant new plan, is that whenever I make little baby gifts for the people around me I have been doubling them. I did it once before with some little baby pants. (Maybe I'll tell you that story someday...) 

Because really, once you've gone to the trouble of picking a pattern and fabric and getting everything out, cutting out one more pair is hardly a bother. And if I never have another boy/girl? Well I'll have a little stash of pre-made baby shower gifts that I had a ton of fun making :)

p.s. In case you missed it, this was not a pregnancy announcement ;) I just have an obsession with making itty bitty baby things. Because I'm your Grandma.

Friday, June 26, 2015


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


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
B-Bike rides
F-Finger paint
M-Modelling Clay
P-Puppet theater
Q-Quiet time
X-mail boX

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.