Thursday, August 27, 2015

Grownup Birthday Skirts

I felt like making something summery and light for my best friend's birthday. It just so happens I had some pretty vintage florals and a giant bag of lace, so this was the obvious choice!


These are a two layer version of the simple skirt, with the elastic being held between the two layers. One layer is slightly longer than the other, with lace sewn on the hem. Nothing complicated, but still a very pretty effect.



I liked hers so much that I whipped up one of my own to wear to the city to see her!
I see that you are not shocked that it's pink... ;)



Things were a bit crazy when we got there, and we only got to see each other for a quick dinner in a crowded and noisy restaurant (with fabulous dumplings) while herding children who were cranky after a long day and the servers stealing their chopsticks, but it was nice to connect face to face. Maybe I'll take the trip solo next time though :P

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pioneer Unit Study for Kindy

Exciting news, Porty Baby number 4 is on the way! The first trimester was the longest one I've ever had, but it is now officially over and I'm regaining some energy. Enough energy that I decided to do a little unit study with my kiddos, even though they are going to school for the year. Insert sad face here, but this mama needs a break once the new one arrives. Both our family and Kathryn's family have started reading Little House in the Big Woods, the first of the Little House On the Prairie series. My kids are enchanted. I was originally planning on spreading it out for six weeks, but they have me reading it everyday. This means that we are doing an activity nearly every day. Today I wanted to share a list of possible activities to get you started on your own pioneer themed unit study.

Handkerchief dolls
Honey Taffy
Molasses and sugar snow candy
Lincoln Logs
Build covered wagons out of popsicle sticks and paper
Corn husk dolls
"pioneer" games, such as potatoes sack and three legged races
Paper dolls
Make your own quill and ink
Play house outside, using everything nature has to offer, such as leaves, sticks, acorns...

Please feel free to add to my list. So far we have coloured log cabin pictures, played with Lincoln logs and made handkerchief dolls.


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

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!