Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas sewing..

Since I don't get my knitting supplies back until tomorrow I've been spending a little quality time with my sewing machine. Here are some Christmas gifts that are ready for giving!

E is getting a new baby doll for Christmas, and it says on the box: "replacement diapers sold separately." Ha! I don't buy disposable diapers for my baby, so naturally E's will need a cloth diaper stash as well (and let's not forget the cloth wipes!): I used this pattern but adapted it just a little so it will fit more of her babies (longer wings and a piece of velcro so the wings can overlap)
While I was browsing this adorable and crafty blog, I found a post that linked to a bean bag tutorial. They looked easy to make and I had the supplies so I made these for E's stocking. Her name on one side and shapes on the other. I filled them with rice.
And yet again I've made a knitting needle roll from this tutorial that I LOVE. I think this is the 4th one I've made. They are easy but come out looking so professional... a gift that any knitter would love I think!
And Happy Holidays to everyone!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I just realized that today is my blog's first birthday!

One year ago today I had just finished my first knitting project, my baby was only 2 months old, my girl was still nursing and I was on maternity leave... how things have changed!

Christmas is coming!

I did something terrible. I forgot my knitting bag in a different province. No!!! I should have finished my Christmas knitting ages ago, alas.. I didn't! And now my knitting things are separated from me by a 3 hour drive and a bridge toll that costs $42.50. Doh!

Since I haven't had my needles to keep me busy I've been at some other things. E and I are decorating the Christmas tree together this year, we've started by making strands of popcorn and cranberries for garland, and after the holiday we'll string them outside for the birds.

Thankfully I didn't also bring my sewing machine to Prince Edward Island so I can still make E her cloth diaper stash for her babies. This will be her Christmas gift from Mommy. I'm going to make 3 diapers, wipes and a pretend wet bag. I'll post pictures when it's all done. Here's the fabric:

And I also wanted to share my latest knitting projects. E saw this purple yarn in Walmart and she threw it in the cart and declared, "This will be my new hat and mittens Mommy." And so it was:

And G's new winter snuggly:

I can't believe Christmas is only 11 days away!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Late Halloween

I've been terribly neglectful of my blog this fall, but now that the cooler weather is upon us my love for craftiness is reigniting... I think all of the really fun stuff to make is needed in the winter. :)

So as a "Hi blog, I'm back" post, here is one of my recent projects, it took me a week of evenings to complete, but I think they turned out adorable. I bought a simplicity Halloween pattern for a lamb costume, made a few adjustments, winged some bunny paws, and voila, Max and Ruby.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

G's Partywear

I wanted to do a dino themed party for G's first birthday party this Saturday but I couldn't find dinosaur themed things locally. So off I went to pick up some neat fabrics. I'll be making some of the party accessories, including this outfit I finished this evening! I appliqued the front of a store bought shirt and with some simple fleece I made a pair of pants that double as a diaper cover! I hope it looks cute on him. :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gabriel's First Birthday

Today was my "baby's" first birthday

10:53 (ish) September 22nd, 2008

10:53am September 22nd, 2009We marked the big day with his first haircut!

And then we had some cake!
He totally scarfed it! hahaHe was a very happy boy...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dear Tide:

Dear Tide Laundry Detergent.

As my son's first birthday rapidly approaches, I am still angry with you.

Every few nights or so I pull out my favourite nighttime t-shirt. It's a plain gray men's shirt that I bought in the final weeks of pregnancy. I needed something comfy that covered my whole belly. The front reads (faded now), "A little bit of exercise never killed anyone, but why risk it?". This shirt is well worn... and stain free. Here in lies my annoyance.

For birth I decided this shirt made the cut. I wore it the night I went into labour and it stayed on for the duration. My son was born onto this shirt, in all of his newborn gooey-ness. It was a moment I will cherish until my last breath.

It might be gross, but this shirt marinated in a plastic bag for over a week following his birth. I was going to throw it out until I decided it was impossible to part with. It would be the battle-scared trophy from my natural vbac. I would be able to pull it out, look at the stains and remember my son, newly born, taking his first breath.

And so I washed it. I took it from the dryer, and much to my disappointment, all of the stains were gone. I even hollered out my frustration to hubby, and I mention it almost every time I wear that shirt. I guess next time I'll let it stew in a plastic bag for 2 weeks? Maybe I'll just vacuum seal it as is? Anyone have suggestions on laundry detergents that suck?

Darn Tide.

A dissatisfied satisfied customer,


Monday, August 17, 2009

3 Weeks!

3 weeks until my first 5K run! I'll admit that I've been slacking a little lately. I've only ran 3 times in the past 3 weeks, but a great jog/hike with a friend yesterday has re-energized me.

I assumed I haven't lost anymore weight, but I just hopped on the scale and I'm actually 158 pounds! I started this journey a few months ago at 174 so I've lost 16 pounds total! Woot! I went clothes shopping over the weekend and the sizes are showing the difference. Medium shirts have replaced the larges and I fit easily into a size 11/12 pant. Only 3 more pounds until I'm the same size I was when I got married, and that was my first goal.

I'm actually quite happy with the size I am right now, so I'm not focused as much on weight loss as I am on being fit and able to run longer distances. But I know if I keep up the running, my weight will likely keep going down (and I'll have to keep my second job just to pay for new clothing sizes... haha)

So I'm back to running at least 3 times a week in preparation for the 5k... wish me luck!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Garden

Our neighbour and I put in two small gardens this spring and things are starting to look lush and bountiful! I grew up around plenty of gardens as a child, but I've never had much patience for growing things myself... I have, however, had that inner desire to grow my own veggies and I'm shocked that it's actually working!

Some tomatoes:
Lettuce in the middle, zucchini lower right:

The peas are looking terribly spindly but I'm still hopefully they'll produce some goodies for us:
Carrots along the right edge, a tall dill plant (only one grew in the entire row, haha), basil in the centre:
Cucumber lower left, chives upper left (these just grew on their own, someone must have planted it here during a previous year), and some more lettuce lower right:
Beans are the bright green plants, they're just starting to flower:
Peppers. I can't believe how these small, seemingly weak plants hold up these large peppers:
It's so much fun to watch things grow. And it's very nice to share the garden tending with another person, she has done more than her fair share of weeding, I need to kick it up a notch in that department.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Take down those shower curtains!

In my weekly (ahem cough sputter) cleaning of the bathroom, I took down the shower curtain in an attempt to clean off the mineral buildup from the clear liner. I threw it in the washing machine, and as per usual, many hours later it was still in there when I wanted to take a shower.

Drat. I settled for a bath. I shooed the children away to their father, and turned on the tap. I added some bubble bath, grabbed the Twilight book I've been meaning to read all summer long and settled into our neglected soaker style tub. It was a lovely, relaxing moment to myself. So my advice is: take down the shower curtain, "forget" it in the washer, pawn your children off on someone and have a bubble bath. You might even get to shave your legs or read a chapter in a book.

Oh, and lock the door. After 12.6 minutes of bubble bath bliss, a two year old had barged through the door, demanded that I strip off her clothing so she could bath too, and in she hopped. So my alone time quickly became hide and seek underwater with Dora the Explorer, but it was nice while it lasted.

And some recent pictures of the kidlets:

G got himself a new "manly" car seat. (have you ever noticed how much money is spent on places for your child to sit?)
And the car seat box is the most fun of course:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Baby/Toddler Newfie Mittens

I love these mittens. They will keep hands warm, even in Canadian winters, and they are a childhood memory for sure. Less than a year ago my Nanny passed away, and she used to make these mittens like crazy for us grandchildren. I still have some kicking around that she knitted up. There are lots of patterns around for these mittens I've come to discover, but I had trouble finding a toddler sized one, so through trial and error I put this together:

3.25mm double pointed needles (or 3, or 4... it will just make the mitten a little smaller or larger)
tapestry needle
worsted weight yarn, 2 contrasting colours (in the picture I used Patons Classic Merino Wool)

MC: Main Colour
CC: Contrasting Colour

K: knit
P: purl
K2tog: knit 2 together

Size: When using 3.25mm needles and a worsted weight yarn, this pattern creates a mitten that has a 1.75" cuff and the body of the mitten is 3.5". I would guess it's about a 12 month size, but it's easily adjustable by adding more repeats to the pattern, or by using a slightly larger needle.

Using MC, cast on 30 stitches, divide stitches evenly onto 3 double pointed needles and join to knit in the round.

K1P1 ribbing for 15 rounds (or longer if you wish)

Next row: purl
Next row: purl, increasing by 2 stitches on each needle (36 stitches total). It doesn't really matter where you put these increases, just separate them a bit. I use a make-one-back increase and purl it... it's pretty invisible this way.

Now for the patterned section:
Join your CC so that you have both colours still connected to the mitten. You will now use the CC for the next 5 rows, but make sure your MC hangs on the inside of the mitten.

(A): *K4 with CC, slip 2 MC stitches purlwise*, repeat ** to end of row.

Complete (A) 4 more times, for a total of 5 rows.

Pick up MC and using it, purl 2 rows.

(B): K1 with CC, *slip 2 MC stitches purlwise, K4 with CC*, repeat ** to end of row. (you'll actually end the row with 3 knit stitches instead of 4, this is ok)

Complete (B) 4 more times, for a total of 5 rows.

You may now put stitches on a holder for the thumb, or if you're making the mitten larger, you might want to add another (A) section or an (A) and (B), just make sure you alternate sections and separate them by 2 purl rows.

Next Row: Immediately following your last section (A or B, depending on size), where you would normally purl 2 rows: P2, place 5 stitches on a holder, cast on 5 stitches using the backward loop method, purl to end. Purl one row.

(hint: Backward loop method (single cast on): )

Continue alternating sections A and B, separating each by two purl rows. For the 12 month size mitten, I did 4 more sections before starting the decreases.

(you can now break your CC, leaving a end long enough to weave in later)
Using MC:
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: *K4, K2tog*, repeat ** to end of row
Row 3 & 4: Knit
Row 5: *K3, K2tog*, repeat ** to end of row
Row 6: Knit
Row 7: *K2, K2tog*, repeat ** to end of row
Row 8: Knit
Row 9: *K2tog*, repeat ** to end of row.

Break yarn and using a tapestry needle, thread yarn through remaining stitches, pull tight and weave in end on the inside of the mitten.

Using your double pointed needles, pick up the 5 stitches from your holder.
From the body of the mitten, pick up an additional 5-7 stitches. Divide all of these stitches as evenly as possible onto your double points, join your MC and knit in the round for 14 rows (more for a larger size). To end, K2tog for 1 row, break yarn, thread it through remaining stitches with tapestry needle, pull tight and weave in end on the inside of the mitten.

Weave in all remaining ends and repeat pattern for a second mitten (or a third if you lose them a lot).

I like to connect our mittens with a single crochet string and then they live in a jacket until washing is needed... :)

Again, I obviously have not created this concept. I have no idea who is the original "newfie mitt" designer. I'm just sharing my adventure in making a mini-size. :) Enjoy.

Where I shop...

One of my favourite cloth diaper shops here in Canada, she has awesome customer service, a wide selection of products and almost always has some great deals.

I love shopping within Canada. :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Easy Peasy Cheesy Broccoflower

The farmer's market is now filled with beautiful organically grown veggies. There are huge tables of green and orange and red and purple, so fresh you can still smell the earth they were growing from just hours before. Perfect for baby food. ;)

G's supper last night:
1/2 cup of steamed broccoli
1/2 cup of steamed cauliflower
Thumb size chunk of pasteurized cheese. (I used marble)
You can add a tiny bit of water, but the steamed veggies are likely moist enough.
It went for a whirl in my bullet and turned out like this:
G is about 8 months from picky eating due to colour, so he gobbled it right up.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

When a baby is not a baby.

This is how I can tell that my baby is rapidly becoming a toddler. The change table becomes a sewing/craft station. I need some nice lined baskets for the middle shelf and I need to take the change pad off the top... but it's much nicer than the ironing board I was using before... haha. And it's still easily convertable for when baby #3 decides to come along.

And on the theme of diapers - I thought I'd share my diaper laundry/stash.

Fresh out of the dryer:
Ready for a bum. (And yes, my very hip son wears pink. )
And my helpers:

And I can officially run 2 kilometres before a walk break and I've lost 11 pounds. Less than my pre-pregnancy weight! Woohoo for me! And I'm now comfortable wearing some very fitted running clothes.. sure there are some bulges hanging around, but the tight clothing gives me incentive to keep going. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sometimes I'm organized...

This took me a couple of hours to complete but it will save me time in the long run. All of the patterns and tutorials I use are found online and sometimes it's a pain when a computer is not available, or I have to run back and forth from my sewing machine (or knitting chair) to look something up. I have printed things occasionally, but with many tiny hands around, papers get rumpled and lost fairly easily. So here it is folks, this dull and boring three-ring binder:

Is actually Rebecca's Super Cool Book of Patterns N' Stuff:

All of the patterns and tutorials are held inside plastic page protectors and where applicable, the pattern templates are located in the back. An example in the sewing section is shown here:

Each section (sewing and knitting) is divided into categories with coloured tabs:

I included all of the patterns I use most commonly. It's a big binder so there's lots of room to add!I'm quite excited about this project. I've already used it and referred to its pages many times. Perhaps it makes me a geek, but I'm at peace with that. : )

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Birthday Gift

I fell in love with this tutorial back in January. I loved the finished product and have since made one for Rose (my hubby's mom) and I just finished this one for a friend that's in desperate need of some knitting needle organization! (and it's her birthday this week!)

The fabrics were some great "clearance" finds that I adore. (I may even go back to get enough to make myself a skirt!). I crocheted the wrap around tie from some merino wool - this is the only thing I know how to crochet.. ha!

I embellished the inside with some iron-on applique butterflies, neat wooden buttons and a ribbon to hold stitch markers. I just LOVE how it turned out!
Something a little extra... we decided to get a shot of G's favourite nursing position of late. This position is usually accentuated by humming and "singing". He's such a boy.

And another project I just finished up for TataTushies . I ADORE these little pants. I guess the colours are just my taste. I'm going to knit up a second pair for G's fall/winter stash. ;)

And my adorable son playing on Canada Day. I like this picture. :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cinnamon Apple Squash

Now that I'm done work for the summer (well, for the time being anyway..) I already have some extra time to make more-than-basic baby food. So today I pulled a squash and an apple out of the fridge and whipped out my new bullet one shot blender (a lovely mother's day gift from my mother-in-law, great for baby food and perhaps more importantly - margaritas)

So I would normally bake the squash in the oven but it's too darn warm, so into the microwave it went for 9 minutes. Washed, cut in two, seeds removed and placed face down in a dish with 1/4 cup of water...

Once complete, I scoop out the soft guts and place in the blender (if you fill this, it's the perfect amount to fill one ice cube tray!). Also in the picture is a bowl of cut up apples, about 2 tablespoons of water (I don't really measure...) and about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. I cook the apples in the microwave for 2 minutes to soften.
Now a fairly important step... check on the kids to make sure they aren't destroying something or each other...

One is lining up crayons...

The other is making a mess in his sister's closet...
Add apples to the squash and blend away!Taste it to see if it needs a little more cinnamon. Yum!

Freeze in an icecube tray or feed fresh to baby. :)

Supper time update:
The Cinnamon Apple squash was a hit with G.

I was sneaky and put some semi-frozen squash mixture on the toddler's plate. I assumed it was enough like apple sauce that she would be cool with it. I even called it "apple icecream treat". She took a bite with much coaxing and promptly gagged and said, "Oh! That made me very very sick." *eye roll*