Thursday, December 24, 2009


...normally again. Today is a great day because everything is done. I finished my sewing just last night, and any projects I had in mind for tomorrow will just have to wait for another time. After much cursing and tantrum throwing behind my trusty sewing machine, I did finally finish those pernickity houses. If I had started them last year, I probably would have put off finishing them until this year, but I am under a time crunch of sorts. You see My Favorite Girl is seven, and is probably too old for such things, and there is no way I could make it for her when she's eight. I figured it was my last possible year to make it for her, and I have been wanting to make one for her since she was a just a little bean. I think she will be happy; now she has a place to put all her little stuffie felt creatures that we make. I designed three new animals which she was very excited about. So far she only knows them on paper; I have been stitching them up at night after she's asleep. Without further ado, here are the houses and their tenants:

Yesterday we had a craft party at our house. The kids have been out of school since last Friday, and I wanted to do something that would take their mind off the wait...wait...waiting for even just a little while. Altogether there were 9 children here, and it went really well. So well in fact I may do it next year. I had lots of crafts to do, and they all made some bath salts for their mums and chocolate covered spoons for their dads and tiny graham biscuit houses for themselves. Their mums got to stay home and wrap presents or run out and get those last minute groceries, so everyone was happy. I was so busy in the hour and a half they were here I didn't take any pictures of their lovely creations, but they were beautiful! Last night I was exhausted, but it was a good kind of tired.
And now today is mine to just putter and put my feet up and convince the kids it really isn't the longest day of the year.
Have a merry, merry Christmas; and may all your gatherings be as magical as Christmas Eve.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jolly Days?

Despite my intentions I am starting to feel a *little* bit of stress due to Christmas. My fabric houses are not going so well, and I have run out of kid-free sewing days, which means I have to stay up late and sew when I'm tired. Now that Christmas cards are coming in the mail, I'm really aware that I haven't sent out any yet, and those un-sent cards are not the hand-made ones I had planned on making through the year. The chocolate for my truffles is still sitting on the counter, waiting....
Looking on the positive side, I did get my parcels sent off and they should arrive at their destination before Christmas. Going to the post office last week made me realize that the date for international mailing has long passed, so once again friends Down Under will not receive a card in time. (Sorry S. Family!! Expect a letter in the New Year!)
Back to being positive: I did finish a few sewing projects that didn't make me have a tantrum at the sewing machine.
Some strawberry sachets for My Favorite Girl:

A reversible fleece vest for My Favorite Boy:

And some pouches for two marble collections:

Today will be busy, but fun I hope. I am volunteering with the kindergarten for their "Santa's Workshop". We will be spending the morning making crafts, and I always like that.

Have a great day!

Friday, December 11, 2009


We had our first snowfall this week, and those little flakes suddenly made us all very aware that it's almost the middle of December! Time to bake! Time to shop! Time to wrap and get ready!
I've got the shopping done, and have started on the baking. I had a white chocolate day of sorts, and made these goodies:

Chocolate covered pretzels with red and white sugar sprinkles; white chocolate bark with dried cherries and pistachios; chocolate biscuits covered with white chocolate and crushed candy cane. We have been feasting on them every night after supper, and I fear they may all be gone by the time I get the other treats made.

Last night I tried some simpler baking, and am very happy with the shiny, kitsch-y look of my cereal wreaths:
The kids are looking forward to after school time today, since that will be their first taste of them!

This year I made cookie mixes for hostess gifts. I'm really happy with how they turned out:

I used some vintage jars, and made the tags out of paint sample cards.
I spent all of yesterday sewing. I had hoped to be further along by now, but the instructions for this project are just horrible. I made two of these about 15 years ago, and I'm amazed it didn't scar me forever. Here's a sneak peek:

I will be working on it and another one today as well. Wish me luck because I really, really need it for this project!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Meet Jingles

I have had a bit of success on the crochet front. I made a little mouse in single crochet the other night, and he has no obvious bulges, holes or extra bits. OK, maybe he's a bit long in the nose, but he's my first! I had intended he be used as a kitty toy, so I put a little jingle bell inside of him. Once I had him finished I realized he would be too big; in fact he's probably half the size of the cat recipient! He has been christened Jingles and is now part of the menagerie of Our Favorite Boy. Since then I have been doing a bit more in the crochet critter department, and have a list from My Favorite Girl on what she wants. I think the kids saw that these little critters have a much smaller incubation period than other projects they have asked me to make!

I'm not the only one being occupied by Christmas: the kids have been producing ornaments and decorations at a rate that would do any Supervisor Elf proud. There are so many things, it would take forever to try and post them on here. I do love this coffee filter angel, especially her little smiling face.

Kiddie sewing has been done as well, with each of my little elves making a small "stuffie".

Yesterday we went to the last Christmas bazaar of the season, and I picked up this little ornament:

I thought it was just adorable, and something I haven't seen before. Next year I plan on going to this particular bazaar a lot earlier, and with a lot more spare change!
Now that the decorations and tree have been put up, I'm hoping to start my baking and chocolate making. I have grand ideas here in my Crafty World; I'm really hoping for sweet success! Stay tuned...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Holiday Beginnings

We informally kicked off the Christmas season this weekend with a visit to a couple of local Christmas bazaars. I missed all of them last year, so this year I was determined to get to a few.

We started at the lovely Trinity Anglican church; I just love the building itself. Their knitting club always has a good selection of things for sale, for extremely good prices. As I was buying some hats for the kids, I asked if anyone taught crochet. The woman behind the table was good enough to give me her number, and said I could sit in on their knitting club in January and someone could teach me. I'm hoping the timing works out, because I have been dying to learn crochet for quite some time now. Actually I have the basics, but I need the odd instruction here and there from a real person.

I picked up the kitschy Christmas brooch from the jewelry table. I decided that I'm going to wear my brooches on my coat, otherwise they're just looking pretty in my closet.
The two knit animals came from a second bazaar held in another town. We went up there and coincidentally happened on their Santa Claus parade. A happy bonus for two little ones not crazy about bazaars just yet!

I picked up these books at the book stall. The one on the top right is exactly what we had for readers when I was in grade one. I have been looking for such a book for a long time. The pictures in it and the animal stories book are fabulous.

When we got home we put up some Christmas decorations. We will probably put the tree up next weekend.

I also got a big item out of my "Inbox": I finished my quilt!

It's not bed sized, and it's bigger than a lap quilt. It's just right for having on the couch to warm up with. I machine quilted this one because I wanted it finished sooner rather than later.

I call it my Rx for Gloomy Days because the colors are so bright.

For the backing I used this floral I found at Value Village. Now I can snuggle underneath a riot of flowers whenever I need to.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Contest Entry

I decided to enter the Gift of Stitching cross stitch challenge. Totally not something I ever do. However, this time I thought it might get my stitchy fingers going, and if nothing else, I would end up with a completed project. When I saw the design I knew I wanted to make an ornament, and in Christmas colors. I used some Carrie Creations floss I bought last year, called Peppermint; my own hand-dyed evenweave in a bright minty hue; and some red and white stripey beads I bought at the market in Castillon a few years ago. I have been itching to use those ever since!

I wanted to incorporate as much sewing as I could (instead of glue), so I laced the fabric over a juice can lid; stitched it to the backing piece, and sewed the candy cane trim on. I think my finishing stitching could use a little work, but you have to start somewhere don't you?

That's about all I accomplished today, creativity wise. Both kids are in school today so I'm having a hard time deciding on how to use my free time. I think the next hour is going to be spent looking at these:

Have a blissful day!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sweet Morning Work

My Favorite Boy and I have been very productive today. We've been measuring:

...and mixing:

...and shaping: come up with these cute little hedgehog cookies, as seen in Country Woman magazine. I think it was the Sept./Oct. issue. After a taste-sample, they were declared the "best cookies ever". Such comments are always welcome in my kitchen, until the next good thing comes out of the oven!

It was so nice and sunny in our kitchen we didn't stop there. We made some yummy granola
bars, and spread them with left-over melted chocolate. These have a bit more substance than the ones full of rice cereal you buy at the store.

In an attempt to use up some lemons left-over from our bout with 'flu, I made some lemon bars. I really love these, and I only wish I had enough eggs to make a double batch of filling to put over the top. They are so lemon-y and butter-y. Whoever thinks you can use margarine instead is just out to lunch in my opinion!

It was a nice way to spend the morning, my Favorite Boy and I. We will be stocked up on sweets for a few days anyway.

It's a good thing I had this for lunch.

Have a nice day!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Flu World

We certainly got more than we bargained for on Halloween. Mr. Crafty World, Our Favorite Boy and Girl, all came down with 'flu. Is it the dreaded H1N1? I couldn't tell you. They all felt lousy, lousy, lousy. Apparently 99.3% of 'flu cases in our area are H1N1, so that's a good indicator. It kind of takes the pressure off of whether or not to get "the shot", once it becomes available to us again.
For some reason I have escaped the illness, which is totally bizarre as I've been around all three sick people for over a week. Our Favorite Girl even coughed right into my mouth accidentally when we were about to have a hug. The only thing I can think of is that I must have some kind of immunity to it. I don't feel great, but I don't feel like I have 'flu. I did a little bit of internet research, and it turns out the 'flu strain that went around in 1987/88 was a strain of H1N1. I remember having that 'flu, and how sick I was. So, maybe that's why I'm not flat out on my back right now.
While not sick, I am exhausted because I haven't had a full night's sleep in a week, and I'm worried about my kids. I had to take them back to the doctor today, because they are not getting better, and I seriously thought I was going to lose it. It would have been one of those embarrassing, weepy kind of melt downs; all because I was so relieved we only had to wait 10 minutes to see a doctor. Anyway, thankfully that didn't happen, and we procured some antibiotics for the kids so hopefully this will cure what ails them on top of this 'flu virus.

Needless to say there has not been much craftiness going on in my world. I managed to make two Christmas cards and some tags in the space of 2 hours yesterday. Before I got too tired I made the kids some comfy loungy pants, because I knew they would be spending a lot of time on the couch. Last night I had a go at Hardanger, so stay tuned for that because it's turning out well so far.

The weather has warmed up considerably, which is nice considering we had our first snowfall just a few days ago. The kids will most likely be home for this next week as well, so it would be nice if we could get a few short walks in. Everything looks better once you have had some fresh air.
Until next time, stay well!

Friday, October 30, 2009


And so it is, the second to last day of October. This month scurried by for me, and it always disturbs me how quickly the time passes. I'm afraid Halloween preparations didn't fill me with the usual excitement this year. I just felt too busy, too rushed, and I'm looking forward to some time spent at home so I don't feel like Christmas is going to get away from me.
Today My Favorite Boy and I had a Home Day. I really love those days, as long as we get to do something fun. The weather today is blustery and rainy and chilly; perfect for baking something warm, sweet and cosy in our pyjamas. I had lots of candy corn left over from my school party baking, so I used up the rest in these vanilla cookies. Oh my they are good! There is a chocolate version as well, but the two batches I made got snarfelled up by a kindergarten class and the residents of this Crafty World.
I had an idea to make a chocolate cake or brownies and sprinkle Reese's Pieces on it before baking. I found a one-bowl chocolate cake recipe, so with the assistance of my little helper, we made this cake. I am a bit disappointed that the candy pieces came apart while baking, but it still looks kind of Halloween-y/harvest like I think?
It's cooling as I speak, so I can't report on how it turned out. However, can a chocolate-peanut butter anything turn out wrong?
I left the kids to their own devices this year in terms of costumes. I felt a smidge guilty, but when I see the dress up box with some pretty cracking articles in it I'm OK with my decision.
Because today was more relaxed I decided to sew something small; something for Halloween; and came up with this:

I think Our Favorite Girl will be happy. I'm happy to have gotten some sewing therapy in, so it's good all around.

Tomorrow it's back to work cleaning house and moving furniture around. Sometime last week I figured it would be a good idea to have a party after the kids return from trick-or-treating. At this point I just might move every non-essential item against the wall and deal with it after the party!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bits and Pieces

I have composed so many blog posts in my head that it was a bit of a shocker to see I haven't done an actual on in almost three weeks! What have I been doing? Well ,nothing too great or exciting, just life in general.

Fall has changed from it's gorgeous colors to the final grey and brown. It was so cold here for two weeks that we were all convinced we would have snow before Halloween. Thankfully this week has perked up weather-wise, and we might just get away with fall jackets underneath our costumes as opposed to full out winter gear over top.

I was able to take advantage of a sunny afternoon and do some sewing. I have been wanting to make a patchwork valance for the bathroom the kids use most often, and this is what I came up with:

You can see what I mean about grey days as this is the best picture I could get. I wanted colors to coordinate with the shower curtain.
I desperately wanted to put some jumbo white ric-rac on the bottom, but figured it would only be a pain to iron every time I washed it. As I was putting the valance up I realized that in the 70's I had a bedspread that looked like it was made up of patchwork, very similar to what I made, and that it had white ric-rac printed on it. I guess I must have subconsciously tapped into some happy, 1970's memory and that's where the desire came from!
We recently had this bathroom re-done (new floors, tub, toilet and sink), but left the vanity intact. It's a good height for the kids, and to replace a vanity of this size would have cost a pretty penny. I didn't like the vintage '80s melamine cabinets with the oak strip on top, so I did a bit of a thrifty re-do.
I have been reading a few blog posts about beadboard wallpaper, and decided I would try it out. It was certainly cheaper and much easier than installing real beadboard, and the upshot is it's easily removable. So the wallpaper and the knobs cost less than 30 dollars, and I think it looks great. Much fresher and up to date anyway. I still have tons of wallpaper left, so I have been walking around with a critical eye to see what else could use a beadboard treatment...

We have also been on a quick trip to Montreal to aquire some furniture from my down-sizing mother in law. We came home with a pick-up truck loaded down like the Clampets. All we were missing was the rocking chair and Granny. My house is chaos at the moment with furniture in all sorts of places waiting to find the right home. I will show you this though:

Totally useless except to display all my old lady treasures. I didn't notice the squirrel on top until now. I'm not quite sure how My Favorite Boy got him up there, but I guess he thought it was the perfect spot for him!
Reason number 156 Why I Love My Kids: They sat in the car for 6 hours; had nothing to do while we loaded and moved furniture for two days, then sat in the car for another 7 hours to get home. That includes the hour we had to pull off the side of the road and re-tie all the furniture down because the tarp was blowing off. All this without complaining. They are amazing.
Lastly, I did have a bit of luck at the thrift store the other day. I needed a tall-ish table lamp for our living room, and thought I would check out second had first. I saw this lamp, sans shade, for $6. I didn't want to pay that much, so left. Later on I'm at Home Sense to look for something else, when I see all these crystal lamps there, and the exact same one I saw at Value Village. Price? $60!!! So you would be right in assuming that I high-tailed it back to the thrift store and shelled out the $6 for this one. The only difference is that mine is an older one, because it doesn't have a polarized plug. Even if I have to re-wire it, I am totally ahead of the game.

On that note it's time I went through my email that's been filling up my inbox for three weeks. Have a Happy Halloween!

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