Monday, March 2, 2015

The Sad Tale of the Popcorn Dress and an Update

I've been MIA for a bit (thanks Jess for posting tons of projects when I had nothing scheduled!) so I'll tell you about a few of the things I've been working on. But first, The Sad Tale of the Popcorn Dress:

I found the cutest, most amazing fabric for Sophie's Christmas dress. It was gray with unicorns and rainbows and was completely fabulous. I couldn't buy it right then because she was with me, so I came back the next day and no one could find it. Anywhere. Ugh. Countdown was on and no fabric. 

In another fabric store a few days later, I go looking for a replacement. Voila! Popcorn print! Sophie LOVES popcorn, she'll be thrilled! Match colours for the bodice, take it home and sew late into the night.

Christmas morning, no real reaction but she gets such a crazy amount of stuff that I'm not worried. Over the next few weeks I  bring it up here and there; "Hey want to wear your popcorn dress today?". No. She does not. We discuss shortening it to a shirt because she's on a dress strike because Papa keeps calling her Princess when she wears one and it upsets her. She agrees but still isn't excited so I put it off. Turns out the entire problem with this dress is that she doesn't like one of the colours of the popcorn. I promptly gave up and had her give it to her cousin. If Katie hates it I don't want to know about it. :P

Epilogue: A friend posted some facebook pictures of a dress in the unicorn fabric not too long ago. I was so excited and it turns out she'd bought it quite recently! I showed Sophie, she liked it and off to the store we went. After a brief repeat of no one being able to find it again, we manage to buy a meter and take it home. A few days later I take it out to brainstorm what to make her out of it and... she doesn't like it anymore. Sewing for 4 year olds is not for the faint of heart.

Wow, super blurry. Sorry I didn't notice when I uploaded it!

 So some of the other things I've been working on are patching the knees of a bunch of size 3 pants I got off of freecycle. Deacon went and outgrew everything recently so I'd better get the other pairs finished!


Here is a mystery picture for you, can you guess what project I've started with these spoons?

I've also been de-cluttering like a crazy person. It feels GREAT. It's both a lot of work and the best stress reliever ever. Seriously, if you're the sentimental or indecisive sort than start sorting something when you're frustrated about the disaster the kids have made of you're house. You'll be wonderfully brutal about what goes! For fun I've been marking how often a grocery bag full of things leave my house. I'm almost at 40 bags! It's really motivating to have the space and makes me want to keep going!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Secret Valentine Exchange 2015

I have so much fun doing the secret valentine exchange <3
I mean really, how often do you get a handmade present in the mail? I'll admit it can be a bit intimidating to make something for someone you don't know but it's definitely worth it. (You can read a bit more about the exchange over at Sanae Ishida ) This is a sneak peak at what I made, hiding under the envelope. I don't know if she's received it yet so no hints beyond this!

This is what I got in the mail though :) Aren't the butterflies sweet? I love the colours too, it just makes me happy!

Here's a peek inside. What you can't see is that it also came with some wool wash (because I'm a knitter) and some boxes of conversation hearts! I have to say that these were either a different brand or an American version because they actually had flavors. Good ones lol! I usually don't care for them here because they all kind of taste the same, bland and sugary. I may need to start importing my Valentines candy after this, I'm spoiled now ;)

This is my "admiring the stitching" shot. In no universe could I do this. Rows and rows of perfectly spaced lines of stitching leave me slightly in awe. I am definitely not a precise sewer, I like curves and winging it. So it was pretty neat getting a handmade item that I couldn't have made :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Yoga Party

We moved back to Ontario last summer, and have loved being close to home. I really miss my friends though, they filled in for the family that was provinces away. CFB Borden, where my husband is now stationed, is a training base, which means that most people that I meet in the area don't stay long. My heart hasn't been ready to make friends with people who will just leave, but the time has come where it is just too lonely for me and the kids without friends. We are going to a birthday party this coming weekend, for a friend who I'd really love to get to know better, even though she won't be here for long. For her little guy's 4th birthday, they are having a yoga themed party. They are the kind of family who love homemade things. For gifts, she requested something yoga themed. What, you may ask, could you possibly make that is yoga themed for a BOY? I asked the same thing. In cases like this, pinterest and google are my friends. This was the outcome :

Harem pants! DJ now wants a pair, I might make him two <3 These were made with a pattern I drafted using a pair of DJ's pants. Next time, I will add a little more room around the crotch, I don't think that they sag quite enough, or have enough room to stretch, but I like them all the same. I used French seams on all of the seams except the cuffs, where I didn't think that it would be necessary. 

DJ was nice enough to model for me. He wears a size four, and I think that the birthday boy is close in size to him, so hopefully they work.
The second part o the gift was mala beads. These are a little more child friendly than "real" ones, but the concept is the same. 108 beads with knots in between and a tassel at the end. Don't know what mala beads are? Neither did I, I suggest that you google it for an answer though, because there is a ton of information on these. Basically they are prayer/ meditation necklaces.

So there you have it, boyish yoga related things. My other ideas were to make head bands, harem shorts or a yoga mat bag.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mr and Mrs Fox

Mr. and Mrs. Fox
There once were two foxes named Mr. and Mrs.
They had a good life full of kisses and stitches
Sadly, they knew that the time would soon come
And Mommy would say "Try not to be glum,
But the day has come where there are no more fixes"
This lovely little pair of foxes were made by Kathryn for Katie's first birthday almost four years ago. She made them without stuffing so that they would easily fit in my suitcase to take home on the airplane. They were the perfect accessory for Katie's Woodland themed bedroom in Cold Lake. They have been loved to the point of stuffed animal abuse and so have spent half of their lives on a shelf waiting to be repaired. Over and over and over and over again. Since commencing KonMari, these little guys have been the hardest thing to part with. They still bring much joy, but I'm afraid that they are now beyond repair. Instead of just telling them how much joy they have brought to our house, I thought that it would be fitting to tell the world instead <3
P.S. I'm sorry if my limerick isn't great

Thursday, February 12, 2015

make ahead freezer meals part one

First of all, I would like to apologize for the month long hiatus. Kathryn let me read the life changing magic of tidying up... so I may have spent a few days on clothing and painting my room... and there is still so much to do. Also, we spent last week soaking up some vitamin D in Cuba. Back to the topic of this post...

I took the plunge and tried make ahead freezer meals awhile back. I had bought a bunch of ground beef and made a ton of hamburger patties, meatballs and Sheppards pies. It was so wonderful to be able to bypass the 'what's for dinner' question.

This time, I decided to make a plan on paper. What I came up with was 6 categories with 5 recipes in each. Since we were in Cuba for the first week of the month, we still had all of our budgeted grocery money from last week, as well as 65$ worth of Sobeys's points to use up, so we decided to do the most expensive category first: Chicken.

My chicken meal list:

1. Chicken pot pies: Although not done yet, I have all the ingredients and plan on making them today. Basically I'm using my apple pie crust and making an easy chicken stew with homemade broth and frozen veggies. I'm hoping to make four meals.

2. Chicken stir fry: Apparently peppers are 2$ a piece right now, so I went a bit easy on them. My stir fry bags contain peppers, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, garlic and carrots, plus a smaller bag with chicken strips. Use whatever veggies your family prefers. We also bought rice noodles and pre made stir fry sauce (I know, shocking, seeing as I make my own salad dressing) to make this a nice and easy meal. I made four of these.

3. Chicken taquitos: I used this recipe for tortillas and this one for the insides, and they are AMAZING! A single batch made me about 16. Next time I would make a double batch, which would give me roughly 4 meals.

4. Chicken Parm: I cut the chicken breast in half because they were huge, coated them in flour, then egg then a mixture of breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and baked them. I froze them four to a bag, giving me four bags. These reheat easily and are great either on a bun, with pasta or just by themselves.

5. Chicken Alfredo: four large bags of chopped broccoli, onion, garlic and mushrooms with a smaller bag of chicken strips in each. We bought four jars of Alfredo sauce to go with them, but forgot to buy the pasta. I guess this just gives me an excuse to try making pasta with my juicer :)

It ended up being a much heftier grocery bill than normal, and my fridge looked pretty empty once I was done, but it did make me 18 freezer meals ( 20 if I were to have doubled the taquito recipe) so I am quite thrilled.

BONUS freezer 'meal'

In Cuba, I had an omelette for breakfast every morning, because I didn't have to make it. I thought that was pretty silly, and since I had recently made all of these freezer meals, I was inspired to pre make my omelettes. Simply pre cut all of the ingredients you would like in your omelette, I used onion, mushrooms, cheese and ham, and divide them into small freezer bags or containers. Take one out the night before, and voilĂ , you have an omelette ready to eat in five minutes.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

KCW Day 1, Refashioned Romper

So what if we had the biggest snowstorm of the season the day I made this? I'm definitely the sort of person who needs to do things the moment when inspiration hits or be doomed forever.

I unearthed this beautiful summer top while organizing my fabric stash. It came in a bag of summer tops that I got for a dollar each. I knew it wouldn't fit me but with those pockets it was destined for something! It would have been a bit short for Sophie as a dress (hence why it had sat so long) but I had just been looking at rompers for another project and... inspiration! You can see below how I cut it. Super simple. Just enough off of the sides to make it fit my daughter and a thin rectangle up the middle as far as the crotch.

I made the straps out of the pieces I cut out of the bodice.  I took care of the big gaps cutting them out had left by gathering the extra material by hand as tightly as I could. This left them sticking out only about 3/4 inch so it was easy to catch when I sewed the side seams.

The next step was to sew up one leg, across the crotch and down the other. Then I flipped the hem under once (it was already finished for the bottom of the shirt, now my legs) and sewed a channel for the elastic. I added elastic, sewed the hole I inserted it in closed, repeated for the other leg and voila! The cutest little romper she's ever had!

I still can't get over those pockets. Think of all of the summertime treasures they will hold!

You know what would have been really nice here? A picture of her wearing it. Not worth the battle though, because she might take it out on the romper and never go near it again.

Know what would have been even nicer? Getting it on her at all so that I could tell if it even fit her... Oh Four year olds :P

Friday, January 30, 2015

Bows and Bowties

Blogging has been frustrating lately. Not because I haven't been making things, but because I can't post about any of it yet! I have gifts that haven't made it to their new owners, things that need unexpected alterations, UFO's and finished projects with pictures languishing on other people's cameras. If all of them showed up photographed on my computer tomorrow I could have a month of posts ready to go! So today I caved. These are technically undelivered gifts but I'm confident enough that the recipients don't read my blog to just go for it. (Notice I'm not sure enough of that statement to tell you who will get them! lol)

These sweet little bow ties are crocheted using this free pattern. I really liked it! It was a quick, easy pattern that gave nice looking results. I had only planned on making one for the youngest boy but I liked it so much that I made another bigger one for his brother. (I am hoping that he's not old enough to think that's lame.) Then I made three more with hair clips instead of straps for little sister! I had matching their Christmas outfits in mind but they could pass for Valentines day at this point right? (Oh dear goodness plague children make parental socializing in the winter special don't they?)

Sophie was especially taken with the fluffy one. I promised her one almost two months ago, so I guess I'd better get on that eh?