Monday, March 30, 2009

Why is it...

... that whenever I make resolutions to get downstairs and get busy sewing/crafting/stitching, I always do something dumb like decide to clean up the basement? Or go through the kids toys? Whenever I do that I create chaos, and my craft space ends up looking like this:

...and this:

Do you see anywhere to work over there? I can hardly even get over to the table with all the bags and bins and boxes in the way. It's like a mid-route bus stop for stuff. At least I have a deadline to clean it up: we're having people over this weekend and there will be about 8 kids running around. Having packed up a multitude of toys to store and/or give away, I certainly don't want my efforts being un-done in some kind of kiddie free-for-all into the boxes. I have learned some things about children after all!

Yesterday while I was cleaning I had to fully admit that a change in my thinking is required. Oh, I really hate those realizations! As we (me and the kids) were going through toys and games, it became so terribly obvious that my expectations so to speak, from way before I had kids were not being met and are never going to be. That doesn't sound like it should. My kids are the best ever, and I wouldn't change a single thing about them. My expectations were selfishly imposed ones from my youth. It's like this: you're young, you say things like, "When I have kids.... (fill in the blank)". In my case I just figured that when I had a little girl, she would be tickled pink to play with all the ponies and Strawberry Shortcake dolls and Cabbage Patch dolls and what-not that I saved and hauled around in Rubbermaid boxes for 20 years. I also assumed that she would just love to have a pretty, store bought toy kitchen to play with and a hamper full of dolls and dollclothes. Don't think I'm totally naive; I know what My Favorite Girl has been like since birth, and I know that she doesn't consider those things so wonderful like I thought she would. I just assumed that she would grow to like what I did. Well, this weekend as we went through all the toys I finally had to admit that I've been spending money on the fantasy and getting frustrated when it didn't turn out.
So, the kitchen is going. It's so lovely though, don't you think? I hope it will find a home at our kindergarten.

And the 25 year old dolls and ponies are going. I can't keep this stuff around in the hopes that one day grandchildren might like to play with it. I'm only 36 years old and grandchildren are a long way off! Besides, I'm such a shopper that if they want to play with "vintage" toys, I'm sure I'll hunt them down with glee. I imagine I'll make someone very happy this week; a total stanger who patrols the thrift stores for vintage toys. It will be like a jackpot for them and I'll consider it a bit of a deposit in my karmic bank.
I am proud of My Favorite Girl though, for not being so sentimental over toys like I apparently am! I hope she doesn't carry around toys and shallow expectations for two decades and can be practical where I'm not. This is just one reason why she's so much better than I could have ever dreamed my daughter could be.
All in all this realization is a good thing; despite it's peeling-off-an old-and-very-sticky-bandaid feeling. We'll all have a bit more space to roam around in; I *should* save a few dollars by not buying stuff I would have loved to play with as a little girl; I'll spend less time picking up toys and just maybe I'll have more time to sew and stitch and do all the stuff I like.
That is, until I decide the furnace room really needs a clear-out...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Back to Stitching

After three dismal tries at crocheting, and some serious cross stitch withdrawal, I finally got motivated to get back to stitching. I pulled this chart from my files and gave it a go last night:

It's a freebie from The Sweetheart Tree. It's missing the heart charm over the bird: I still have to find one small enough. I'm not crazy about the colors, but the important thing was to just get back to stitching! It was so wonderful to pull out the fabric and go through my floss, and I had such a wonderful time putting needle to thread. I really have to make time in my day again for stitching.

It's looking to be a beautiful weekend and we are all in various states of wellness. This time I'm at the bottom of the pile with some weird kind of stomach bug. Another trip to the clinic will be in order on Monday if it doesn't clear up.

My Favorite Boy has been experiencing some health troubles. About six weeks ago he started shaking his head every minute or so, completely involuntarily. We weren't sure what it was, maybe the old carpet in our house as it was soooo gross and dirty. After replacing the carpet he showed no signs of improving. Then he got strep and we wondered if it had something to do with that. The antibiotics he took for that didn't make a difference in the head shaking and throat clearing either. His teachers started commenting on it and we took him to see the doctor again (3rd time) about it. She told Mr. Crafty World we should just ignore it, it's probably something he's doing for attention. Well, anyone who knows our Favorite Boy knows he doesn't suffer from a lack of attention. Now we want to get a referral for an ear, nose and throat specialist, and since it has to be from our family doctor we have to wait two weeks to get in to see her. I'm so frustrated with this clinic we go to; I think our doctor has way too many patients if it takes two weeks to get in to see her. If I mention that I think it's urgent, they tell us to go to the walk-in clinic. However, you can't get a referral at the walk-in clinic, even when it's your own doctor you see on a walk-in basis, because it takes "too much time". So here we are, waiting two weeks to see our doctor for a referral. I also don't understand how some doctors can just dismiss symptoms and say it's all in their (the patient's) head. I understand that doctors can't be expected to know everything, but if you don't know about something then why don't you send the patient to someone who might have a better idea? I spent three hours on the internet last night looking up everything I could about my Favorite Boy's symptoms. From what I researched it looks like it might be an allergy. That made me feel a bit better, as opinions from other people have run from adenoid problems to brain tumors. Being a parent I have of course been imagining all sorts of things, and having to wait two weeks to just get a referral is very hard! I have talked to some friends and they say the longest they have ever had to wait to see their doctor was one week. I do know one thing for sure; we will be finding another doctor for our children soon.

Monday, March 23, 2009

We had a pretty relaxing weekend. I worked on the ballerina quilt, and am pleased to see I only have three ballerinas left to sew. I told My Favorite Girl I would have it done "in the Spring time", and now that spring has officially arrived I had better get it finished. It will be nice to have my dining room table free again anyway.

On Sunday I started a new workout. "Lost 15 pounds!" it says. You have to run and walk at varying intervals and do it for 12 weeks. If I lose 15 pounds that would be nice, but really just to feel a touch lighter is my goal. Oh and be healthy too. So I did the first day and it wasn't too bad. I walked for 2 minutes and ran for 1, four times on the treadmill. I skip today and repeat again tomorrow. I am trying to recruit a friend to do it with me. We talk on the phone three times a week anyway, so perhaps we can multi-task and work out together! I'm not without exercise today however, as it's Monday and therefore I have my Weekly Dose of Humiliation, a.k.a Adult Ballet. Only three more classes to go thank goodness, and I can nurse my ego over the summer. Being a glutton for punishment apparently I probably will sign up for it again in the fall, but I'm hoping that by joining when everyone else does and not mid-year, I won't feel so floppy and un-coordinated. I'm hoping. You can take the muppet to the ballet, but you can't make a ballerina out of a muppet. Oh that's bad...

After my new workout I pulled out the Easter decorations. The kids had a ball putting up the Easter Village. My Favorite Boy especially loves it. I often find "additions" to the village, but it makes me smile.

This year the ducklings have new wheels: a nice shiny red, flatbed truck.

These little ones are ready for school. I found this part of the village last week at a thrift shop.
I was feeling very domestic yesterday and made some chocolate pudding and cinnamon buns. The buns were greedily eaten by all, and the pudding is for tonight. I want to walk to the treat store with My Favorite Boy and pick up some mini-eggs. I think a few of those on top of the puddings will look very sweet.

Now that I see the day is already half over I suppose I should get to it. That's often how it is on Mondays: I put My Favorite Girl on the bus and come home to a day of possibilities. Should I sew or make cards? Work on a long term project or try to finally master crochet? Then I decide to check my favorite blogs while I decide, and what do you know it's already lunch time. That's a Monday for me, every single week. On Tuesdays both kids are in school, so you think I would redeem myself by staying home and working on some of my projects, but nooooo; I'm usually off to the shops by 9 am. Funny how I know my bad habits and yet do nothing to break them.
Have a great day everyone; I hope productivity finds you!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I guess it was a by product of looking at Cath Kidston's book too much. I was completely in that frame of mind to go to the antique barn in Cookstown on Wednesday. No kids along meant I could actually go into every booth and look at everything and find Something Pretty. I looked and looked. There were nice things, but nothing I really had to bring home with me. We went to three stores, and I was actually getting bored of looking at endless teacups and tablecloths and vintage kitchen gadgets. What?! Could this really be me talking, the lover of anything antique? "Antiques" and "Vintage Collectibles" are three of my favorite words! I think I was overstimulated by it all, and disappointed that a place that offered so much of what I like didn't have what I wanted. I found myself thinking that I really did prefer shopping at Value Village, because there is more hunting and digging around to be done, but when a prize is found it is truly enjoyed. Maybe it's because you really have to work at finding something great, and that's why it means so much to you. I'm sure the better prices had a factor in there too! So I came home from Cookstown empty handed, and bound and determined to go thrifting the very next day.

And I did, today. I didn't feel it was a great day for it, because it was really busy and things seemed kind of picked over. I don't think it's worth going thrifting over March Break. The weather was miserable too and I felt that people were in a miserable state of mind. Not a lot of love going around like on a sunny day. The kids weren't happy because they couldn't find any toys that I was willing to let come home with us.
Despite all this I came home with three things: a shawl with cross stitch pansies on it - I just love the colors! They really cheer me up. I think it will be my new blogging shawl.

I almost didn't take the sewing basket, but the inside is in such great shape. It's waiting for a make-over: some kind of vintage, flowery print to be sure. I think a trip to Evelyn's will be in order...

I bought the bangles because I saw some pretty wrapped bracelets in Cookstown that had these as a base. When we got home I pulled out some of my favorite things:

...and set to work. I keep telling Mr. Crafty World I'm like a magpie: I just can't get enough of pretty, sparkly things. Beads fill that desire at a pretty good price point I think. This is my new bracelet:

I couldn't really get a good picture of what I came up with; the light was very bad today. It's much prettier and sparklier in person. My trip to Cookstown was redeemed because it gave me the inspiration for the bracelets. My thrifting adventure redeemed itself once I had a better look at my stuff. And, I got everything for less than the price of one, already-made-by- someone-else, bracelet.

Tomorrow we're off to Ikea for a playdate: the kids get to play in the Fun Forest, and I get to have a playdate in the rest of the store with my friend. Then we're going to try our luck at another Value Village nearby. It always feels like such an adventure to go thrifting in another town...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

And the rest of it

Yesterday was busy! The weather was gorgeous but I was in the kitchen making the final preps for our St. Patrick's Day dinner. The only picture I'm missing is of my clover leaf rolls. They got eaten too quickly I'm afraid. I made the stew in my new crockpot and it turned out great. We ate the whole pot!

I don't have to tell you the cookies and chocolates were a big hit too.

My Favorite Girl made the lovely garland and napkin rings. "What talent and ingenuity!" thinks this proud mum.

Now I can rest for a bit. Thank goodness Easter falls in April this year!

Today Mr. Crafty World and I are going antiquing, without the little ones. I'm very excited.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Getting Ready

These are a few of the things we have made so far. Little Miss Crafty and I have been working on some other things, to be posted tomorrow most likely.

I love the look of bunting, and I see it all the time on European blogs and store sites. It seems we only have it here at car lots! I wanted it to have a bit of a country look, so I used three different calico prints. The pictures don't really do the bunting justice; here they look kind of like Irish Candy corn.

I had an extra piece of pieced fabric, so I made the heart for a friend as a little door decoration. Sadly I won't get to see them tomorrow so it will just hang on my door. Maybe not so sad after all...

Who doesn't love Perler beads for a quick and easy craft? Since we have two big buckets worth, I fully encourage their use! I am hoping to make this up into a little mobile to hang, but they may just be table decorations.

We are having lots of fun getting ready for St. Paddy's day; tomorrow we work on the menu :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

This Weekend Brought:

New toys for a Favorite girl:

And a Favorite boy.

A new perspective on my dining room:

A new toy for me:

I just discovered the blog, "A Year of Crockpotting" and can't wait to get busy. I used my old crock pot a lot last week and am getting hooked now that I'm finding everything doesn't have to taste the same when made in a slow cooker.

...and a trip down Memory Lane:

Remember her? Superstar Barbie! She was my favorite - I'm glad they brought her back!

Great weather and the first wheel rides of the year.

So far March Break is off to a great start. In the next few days I should actually have something crafty to show you; we're getting ready for St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Swan Song

I guess it's to be expected; nothing lasts forever. Especially when it's your favorite frou-frou, and it just happens to be in the way of a game of "fighting stuffed toys". Even though it's in your own bedroom, where there is a "no toys allowed" rule, I should have seen it coming. There was too much laughter; too much giggling, shouting and jumping; one loud cry, and a porcelain swan and flowers brought to me in pieces by two little, sorry hands. It's not fixable, at least in any way that will make it look good. So into the garbage it goes, with a lesson learned by two little ones and one mummy.
This was how I was imagining my dentist appointment to be yesterday. I didn't draw the picture, but I thought my Favorite Girl did a pretty good job of it, never having had a bad dental experience before. I love how the dentist looks like he has metal teeth, kind of like the guy named Jaws in an old James Bond movie. 'For Your Eyes Only' maybe? Not a good advertisement for a dentist. That could be me in the chair, all tense and wild-eyed. I don't freak out at the dentist really, I just really dislike going. You would think that would make me floss my teeth more, but no, it doesn't. Except for my last teeth cleaning visit, which was the first in two years. So this picture is a really good representation of that day. I floss my teeth every day now. And I get to those hard-to-reach places as much as possible. Yesterday wasn't so bad however. My dentist is really nice actually, and all went well yesterday. I just had to put the picture up.
I have been spring cleaning this last week. Since I had to move furniture to clean under it, I just figured why not change everything around? My kids and Mr. Crafty World think I'm crazy when I do it. My kids don't like it at all, and always insist I change it back. Usually I end up doing just that, but I always try to find the perfect fit for everything.
You can't mess with genes, and furniture-rearranging is in my genes. I come from a long line of furniture changers actually, on both sides of the family. How can you live with the same arrangement when you just don't have to? Changing furniture and pictures around creates good energy flow (along with the horrendous mess), and gives you a new perspective on things. Mainly that you have too much stuff and need to get rid of it, but it's nice to look at a view from a new vantage point don't you think? I used to like coming home from school and having my room changed around. Toys looked more interesting when they were stored somewhere new, and the bed always looked cozier. I expected my kids to feel the same way as I do, but they don't. I guess with all the big changes they've had in their little lives they just want a constant. Unfortunately, until I find the best place for each piece of furniture, they are not going to get it. At least not in furniture arrangement anyway.
Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Proud Mummy Day

Yes I am a proud Mummy today. This morning we were off to see Our Favorite Girl get an award at her school. She didn't know we were coming; that made it extra exciting. When she stood at the front, holding her certificate for Excellence in French, I could have burst. Then I looked at her shiny, little girl face and instantly had an image of the same little face on her little toddler body 4 years ago and I turned into a red faced, weepy mess. Time does fly. Sometimes it seems so unfair. For me the only consolation is looking forward to them wow-ing me again and again as they get older. I hope I get to see them amaze me until they are senior citizens. Then I will be happy to go.

Our Favorite Boy and I had a good day running errands and picking up necessities, like these:

The tray was a total gamble. It was all black, and I wasn't sure if there was any silver left on the handles at all. A bit of elbow grease and stinky polish made me happy to have spent the ten dollars on it. I was just telling Mr. Crafty World that I was still hunting for a silver tray with handles to use with our silver tea service. Patience does pay off. Almost 14 years of it to be exact!

I thought the pedestal stand was nice too. I have also been looking for one for a while. It's a bit thick, but then again, do I really want a more fragile one when my kids still have eyes on the end of their finger-tips? I think my birthday cake will look just lovely on it!

As you can see I had my retail therapy early: you just never know if you will feel like shopping after getting a cavity filled or not! Besides, I'm sure my treasures would not have been there tomorrow...

This afternoon my son said to me, "Do you know why I love you Mummy? Because you're so beautiful."

Today I had two reasons to burst with pride and get all red faced and weepy. It doesn't get much better than this Ithink.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I had much grander plans for today. Then I woke up and saw more snow, and just couldn't get out of my pyjamas. If I wasn't taking the kids to the doctor this afternoon I would probably still be in them.

I did get a batch of cinnamon buns made. You make the dough in the breadmaker; wow, what a time saver. I can tell you in all confidence I would never make these if I didn't have a dough setting on my breadmaker. The dough comes out all soft and pillow-y and my hands don't get messy at all. I can enjoy rolling it out and adding lots of sugar and cinnamon. "No raisins next time, OK?" I was told by the youngest members of the household.

Lots of fat, pillow-y cinnamon buns just waiting to rise up. I had every intention of taking another picture of the finished product, but my domestic BFF called and well, you know. I can tell you they tasted really, really good. I had more than just one....

We got our new carpet last week. This is what I have been doing for a week: ripping out terribly stained, 20 year old carpet and crumbly underpadding; humping heavy furniture and boxes downstairs; and vacuuming, vacuuming, vacuuming. However, it was all worth it to have clean, cohesive, berber bliss upstairs. I also got lots of spring cleaning done, so I guess a girl can afford to have a day off.
The carpet place was having a sale on area rugs so we got a new one for our family room. I just love it. It's so soft and it was a nice little preview to getting our new stuff.

Mr. Crafty World was being incredibly generous that day, and took me to Value Village for some treasure hunting. This is what I picked up:

The make-up travel bag has never been used. I don't really need it for travelling, but I thought it could be put to use for stitchy or crafty things. I thought it was pretty, and a darn good bargain for 99 cents. I don't know if I'll stitch anything from the book, but the cover alone was worth the $1.99 I paid for it. I just adore pansies. Lastly, the teacup isn't the best quality bone china, but I couldn't resist the daffodils. It was made in England too, and you don't see that very often.

This is spring cleaning week for me. Luckily I got almost half the house done last week, so I'm hoping it will go smoothly. By that I mean all done by Friday! The only downside is there won't be any time to duck out for a quick thrifting trip. However, I do have to go to the dentist on Thursday, so I may just need a little retail pick-me-up after getting a cavity filled. I'll keep you posted....

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