Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Decorating our forever house

We moved into a new house a few weeks ago.  Mike and I affectionately refer to it as our 'forever house'.  Our goal is to never move.  If we need to add an addition so be it.  Moving is such a pain especially when you're six months pregnant.  Speaking of being pregnant I think my nesting hormone has been released because I have a burning desire to decorate, organize and generally be settled.  The only problem is that Mike needs to paint and every square foot needs a coat.  In an effort to do what I can I decided to take some vacation time from work.  Today marks the first day of three blessed weeks off.  

This is what I was working with.



As you can see the colors on the walls were hideous.  I'm not sure the picture does it justice. 

The weekend we moved in Mike painted the walls a light grey color but we're finding it a bit too bluey.  The undertone really seems to poke through a bit more than we intended.  It could be that our place has no character and the pot lights are blinding.  We've decided to finish decorating then make the decision to make it darker. 

This is a picture of our lifeless living room at the moment.  It's pretty dark and rainy outside so the lighting is not great.  



I'm playing with the color scheme and thought I wanted shades of grey, blue, white, cream, and a mustardy yellow.  I went to designer fabric outlet today and picked up some swatches and realized that mustard yellow clashes with our couch.  Now I'm on the hunt for another accent color.  Any suggestions?

This week my plan is to complete the drapes, pillows, have some of my photographs printed for the wall and find a television stand.  Finding a television stand has not been easy.  Wish me luck.


 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

29 things to do before I turn 30...

My birthday was last week. I feel like it blew by in a bit of a haze. Mike and I moved into our new forever house so we have been busy setting it up. I call it our 'forever house' because we never want to move again. It's certainly big enough and requires enough work to last us a life time. A few months ago Leslie from good-ness posted a list of things she wanted to do before her next birthday. What a wonderful idea, eh?

Here's my list.

1. Do one sweet surprise for Mike each month.
2. Connect with my brother in person on a monthly basis.
3. Give my parents my undivided attention over the phone once a week.
4. Fix my computer.
5. Use my camera more often.
6. Do a Rosetta class on line.
7. Plan a family trip with the new babe.
8. Make the baby a beautiful quilt.
9. Sell some of my crafty creations.
10. Take at least a minute everyday to breath.
11. Take 10 minutes a day to tidy up.
12. Do the Artist's Way properly.
13. Make art for the baby's room using the book I bought Mike at our wedding.
14. Make king size bedding.
15. Make a roman blind for the kitchen.
16. Strip desk.
17. Practice yoga weekly. Make exercising a daily priority.
18. Participate in a weekend creativity retreat.
19. Blog more --> try twice a week.
20. Be more proactive in completing paperwork and life stuff.
21. Be more frugal.
22. Set up an amazing crafting studio.
23. Make a quilt for our home.
24. Display my photographs at home.
25. Send more handwritten cards.
26. Cook and bake more while trying not to gain weight.
27. Go cherry picking with my brother and the new baby.
28. Finish my Double Wedding Ring Quilt.
29. Make my Mom a quilt.

Wish me luck.

Friday, November 13, 2009

One down - one more to go


This is the first of two commissioned quilts. I've never sold a quilt before so this was particularly exciting.  Excuse the picture quality it rained for a week and every time I was home before or after work the lighting conditions stunk.  The background is that I love making quilts.  Not any old quilt.  I like making quilts with meaning. Ones that honor people, reflect the recipient perfectly pretty much anything that invokes happy memories, nostalgic moments or just makes you feel special every time you look at it. This is why, despite the beauty, I haven't jumped on the modern quilting bandwagon. I can't bring myself to make a quilt for the sake of it.  I need to construct a story and go from there.

After explaining this to my friend and real estate agent, Rachel, she asked me to make a quilt for a friend who was expecting a baby and had lost both her Mom and Dad.  I asked her to explain the girls parents and try her best to get some fabric that belonged to her parents. She contacted the girls Aunts who had a 30 year old polyester mustard napkin and yellow-ish placemat.  After peppering her with questions and finding enough fabric to complement the donated items I decided on neutral colors with cotton shirting material since the napkins were provided by her Mom's side I figured the girls Dad could be represented as well in a traditionally masculine associated dress shirt fabric. Rachel and her friend shared a really special moment once she gave her the quilt and with any luck her bouncing beautiful baby will enjoy the quilt for years to come.  



I really enjoyed this process. If you or someone you know needs a quilt for a sweet little baby I can turn it around within days. Just let me know.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Introducing Miss B and October Blogging


I'm a day late in my commitment to blog everyday in October but I blogged on the 30th so I think I'm safe.  From here on it'll be a post a day.  Why would I want to do this?  I'm glad you asked.  I BOUGHT A NEW (to me) SEWING MACHINE from the workroom.  It's a Bernina 230 - Patchwork Edition.  Forever more known as Miss B.  I'll take a proper in action picture when the light is better tomorrow but until then.  Here is her sister.



Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm back with some news...

Sorry for being away for so long - 15 weeks and 1 day to be exact. Where have I been? Growing a baby. We're pregnant! Pregnant with blessed baby number one. Our Doctor gave us the green light to share the news on Friday. To celebrate I treated myself to gorgeous wool at my local shop to make this beautiful blanket. I made the hat for a friends baby last year but haven't been able to justify such a pricey wool purchase until now. Stay tuned for many more updates as my energy comes back and I get my new sewing machine next week.





Photo courtesy of http://www.knithappens.com/content/view/13/1/.



Friday, July 31, 2009

NKOTB APPLIQUE

My bestfriend since elementary school visited us with her husband and one of her daughters. We found out New Kids on the Block were in town that week and thought it was meant to be. Needless to say we went, had a blast and giggled our heads off. On a serious note we did feel silly walking down the street in our NKOTB t-shirt. I put a sweater on and Tricia followed shortly after.


I appliqu├ęd the letters on the t-shirts and learned a VERY important lesson - if you are stitching something that will stretch attach every single inch of fabric along the outside and start stitching about an 1/8th of an inch from the outside. When you put letters across your ample bosomed chest missed spots are BLATANTLY obvious.

This little one of Tricia's did not make the trip but Mike and I spent sometime at the beach with her. Just look at that little face.



Monday, July 13, 2009

What a fun weekend.

Mike's Aunt and Uncle gave us free reign of their cottage as a wedding present. The cottage was so cozy and fun. It was even more fun that our friends Andy and Krista, who got married within weeks of us, shared the weekend with us.

Some notable highlights were -

the food:



my hubsters mad steak making skills:




the humming bird outside the kitchen window and lastly,


the view:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Katie is Getting Married

One of my favorite friends is getting married this weekend and she's asked me to stand for her. She stood in our wedding last year and I hope, hope, hope I'm half as helpful as she was for me.

I've been working away on a summery dress and finally finished it tonight. I'll post the dress later once I've had a chance to hem it.

This is an apron I made for Kate's bridal shower. She complains about not being a good cook so I hope this will bring her some confidence. The pattern came from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing book.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Blissed out...

I'm having one of those days or even weeks where life seems to be wrapped up in a big blissful ball of excitement and anticipation. I'd apologize for not blogging but I haven't heard any complaints.

My bestfriend since elementary finally came to visit with her lovely little daughter and husband. I spent the entire week seeing the world through a six year olds eyes and stomach. When you hang out with six year olds who are on vacation that entails icecream every single day or just randomly twirling an umbrella for at least an hour at a time.

Just before Tricia, Mark and Ella arrived I made another friend, Jen, a bag for her birthday. Originally I thought she would use it sparingly as a dressy gym bag alternative when she didn't want to lug her cute sporty one around. Oh boy was I wrong - in a very pleasant way. Every time I see her she's wearing it as her regular everyday purse. I'm the type of person who saves things when they are special. Not Jen - no, no, no. She uses the things she loves again and again and then when they start to fade or rip she takes the time or money to fix it and then keeps on reaping mounds of pleasure from it. What a nice way to live your life, eh? If someone asked me what Jen's metaphor for life is it would be - enjoy what you have to the fullest then do something about it when it starts to fade, rip or start to stink. How lucky am I to have a friend who lives her life like this?

This is the bag I made her using fabric she fell in love with and bought four years ago at an outdoor fabric sale. She was going to donate to charity when I asked her for it. Because she's using it so often I'm going to add a pocket and liner for her. Stay tuned for the update.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Baby Quilt for a sweet little babe

Internet have I been busy. In no particular order since my last post I have completed a shirt, pj's, baby blanket, mini-annoying elephant, lunch bag, birthday prezzie bag for Jen, battled with my camera, did a mock up for Jen's Mom's quilt, purchased more fabric than I can admit and lastly organizing a beer drinking, rib eating, boys, boys and more boys birthday party for the hubster. Needless to say I have been B.U.S.Y. So, I will be forcing myself to post. I promise.

Here goes. One of my wellness partners had a precious baby boy named Deven. Pronounced Day-vin and in collaboration with my other wellness peeps we made him a quilt. It's fitting that we made him a quilt because Renu, Gill, Heidi and I spend lots of time comforting one another whether it be personal or professional during weekly lunch dates.




This quilt is loosely based on Denyse Schmidt's designs called Hop, Skip, Jump I think. Unfortunately, I can't find it on the website but you can see how amazing her stuff is.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

She had me at 'letting go'

I can't share what I'm working on this week because both items are presents for friends. I not sure if either person reads my blog so I can't spoil it until the gifts are delivered.

On an unrelated crafting note I found this sweet blog, in hopes of collecting information for an event I'm planning at work, and stumbled upon this post about the author's daughter and letting go.

This blog is not to be out done by my all time favorite food blog - 101 cookbooks.

If you haven't made the cookies below - what are you waiting for?


Andy before you complement me on the photo I can't take credit. It's not mine.

Friday, May 22, 2009

New fabric...



I made reference to the mother load of fabric I acquired while cross border shopping with my parents. Here are some pictures. I washed and ironed each piece. You would think the task would be daunting but it's actually pretty fun to sit and think about all the stuff I plan to make. I have a bit more but I can't post it at this point. Mike's birthday is coming up and I bought him a little something I want to whip up. I'll post the finished product soon though.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Yummmmm - finally!

I finally made this delicious nut and seed biscotti recipe from 101 cookbooks. They are the perfect combination of salty and sweet. When I was little my Dad would put money in my shoe every morning so I could supply my chip habit at school. Obviously those days are O.V.E.R. Now I 'borrow' change from Mike's change cup now and again. But, speaking of my Dad he's diabetic and I always try to find healthy snacks for him. This one scores pretty high on the list. The recipe doesn't look like much but it makes a ton of crackers. I enjoyed some with feta smeared over them with green grapes. Tomorrow


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hump Day + Week Long Holidays = boooo

I'm visiting my parents in another province at the moment and Wednesday ALWAYS marks the last leg of my vacay. This time around I came to help my Dad in his garden, visit friends and family and attend a friends wedding. The wedding was an hour away so I stole my parents car for the evening and hung out with some of my University girlfriends, Ange and Mar, the following day.

Meet Ellie. Ange's daughter. Her words not mine. Ellie is short for Eleanor Roosevelt.


While visiting another friend I had the distinct pleasure of visiting her big beautiful almost bloomed tree. This is Mar proudly posing for me.


The following day brought rain and a quick trip over the border with my parents. Ok, it was far from quick I hit the fabric mother load. My poor parents were forced to rove around the department store, visit other stores in the area while I filled a massive cart with beautiful fabric. I promised myself before leaving that I would only spend the $30 I had left-over from my Costa Rica trip. My parents abandoned me so I coulden't even hit them up to pay for me. I didn't bring my wallet and have no shame when this much fabric is involved. Now I'm kicking myself. I'm coming back in July and plan to make up for the mistake. I'll post pictures of my fabric winnings once I iron them.

When I'm not following my Dad around the garden, visiting friends or eating something delicious my Mom has made I've curled up on the couch and hand quilted this blanket. I think it's destined to be a quillow. A quillow is a quilt which folds into a built in pocket. I still have a long way to go but here it is thus far.


The lighting stinks in this picture because I keep forgetting to take it during the day. I'll add more photos and information tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sneak Peak


Last weekend I, and 10 other gals, took our friend Katie to a cottage in celebration of her wedding. I took a little jaunt with my camera and took the picture above. I love the color combination and knew instantly I would use it to create something for Katie's upcoming shower. I'm going on holiday tomorrow and have been busy collecting my materials. I don't have my sewing machine so most will be done by hand. But, the thought of un-interrupted crafting time while visiting my parents is a bit to much for me to handle.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just working away



Last night I finally tweaked my pajama bottoms and ticked them off of my crafty list of things to do. These were my first attempt at clothing on my own and I love the result. Someone's husband might think the legs are quite balloony BUT I really like them.


Remember my first double wedding ring quilt? I think I mentioned the labour intensive task of hand stitching it. I visited the workroom (I know, I know I go there all the time but it has gorgeous fabric, friendly staff, is beautifully lit and has cookies - why aren't you going?) and asked for the supplies necessary to undertake my task. In a nut shell I unravel some of my hand-dyed thread, run it through the blue box of wax, stick my leather thimble on and....




...try my hardest to make each stitch 1/4 inch long and perfectly straight. I'll keep you updated on my progress but remember how hot it is under this thing?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wanna know what I'm excited about?

This dress AND this fabric. Oooh, I can hardly stand it - seriously.


I'm mad that I can't flip this picture around.

Mike and I went to the AGO this weekend and then I bee lined it over to the Workroom. Remember, the Workroom, my favorite place in Toronto. I bought this fabric and I love, love, love it. I'm scared to cut it but I also feel compelled to wrap it around my body with a pair of kitchen twine. With this fabric you could pull off toga style in the light of day. No?

Speaking of cutting and Mike - last week I whistling away while cutting pajama fabric when Mike helpfully pointed out to measure twice and cut once. The whistling was promptly replaced by obscene swearing. I forgot to add a seam allowance to one leg but not the other -grr. So, tonight my goal is to focus hard. Besides swearing at a work craft night is tickie tackey. I'll post a progress picture tomorrow along with the pajamas, blanket, other pajamas and top I've been working away on.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wellness Partners

I belong to a group. We call ourselves our wellness partners. To belong to the group you need to develop and sign a contract laying out how you can become your best self. Because we work in academia we also grade one another on the previous month. Personal development overkill? Perhaps, but I love every single second of it. We typically meet in one of our offices and giggle about our partners, talk about personal and professional struggles and laugh and laugh and laugh and sometimes we might gossip a little bit. Anyway enough self disclosure, another great thing about our little group is we purchase our new favorite thing under $15.00 for everyone in the group. This is what I came home with last night.



Heidi's the gardner, Gill has good hair and Renu is so pregnant she found the best seamless underware known to man. I bought the girls a bottle of top coat and some eye moisturizer. The eye moisturizer is amazing and can be purchased at Sephora. The regular price is ten times what I paid but they are changing the packaging. Good deal, eh?

Last night we exchanged gifts, got our nails done and had dinner. We typically meet at lunch so last night was a treat. We were hoping Renu would go into labour two weeks early but she didn't. Renu and her hubster Nelson are having a baby boy but she won't tell us his name. I'm CONVINCED it's Dev. She told us the baby would have an Indian name and it starts with a D. My only guesses were Darjeeling (that's a tea I had in India) and Dev. Well Gill guessed Dev but I agree with her. What do you think it is?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Skiing Update

You may have gathered that I returned from our skiing weekend safe and sound. In fact, I loved it and can't wait until I have another opportunity to go. It was so much fun. I took to the bunny hill like a pro and aced my first lesson. I graduated with flying colors and was encouraged to go on greens. Ok, everyone in my class did except for a girl named Benny who saw snow for the first time in her life and Madison a whiny 11 year old who was embarrassed to be in the same class as her Mom.




This is a grainy picture of a cute, cute, cute family that passed me. I was trying to take a close up picture and my camera was out of focus. I think it's far enough away that you can still make out how cute they are.

Monday, April 13, 2009

if it's not one wedding consuming me it's another

** annoying note: my embedded link button isn't working - see long addresses below)


Last year at this time I was sitting down with my friend Katie who was scolded me for not ticking away at my monster to-do list for the wedding. By 'the wedding' I mean my wedding last year. Now I'm having an affair. Well more like a small and short lived all consuming love affair with my double wedding ring quilt. It's a four week course at my favorite place in Toronto called the workroom (www.theworkroom.ca).

These are my fabric selections. It took me weeks of magazine flipping, visits to the workroom and meandering through lots of little shops on Queen St. Then I walked into Macfab and chucked my grand plans in the garbage. I spent twenty minutes in the store and came out with exactly what I was looking for.



A double wedding ring quilt is made up of teenie arcs. Two hundred and thirty something in total.



Insert another ten or twenty-ish hours from this vantage point below and....



you have something that looks like this (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theworkroom/3427490593/in/set-72157613378896406/). It's a photo of my unfinished quilt.

Stay tuned for more posts.

Sorry for being a crappy blogger. Do you know the feeling of diving into a project and feeling so creatively fulfilled nothing else matters? Poor Mike has let me leave meters of fabric all over our house, pins on the floor and simply turns the tv up a little to drown out my old rickety sewing machine.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

When you get nervous do you get sick like me?

I'm in Tremblant just aboit to take a lesson with 8 other adults and feel sick to my stomach.

I always get this way before something new. The last time I skiied it was ten years ago and the bunny hill was one big sheet of ice. Translation I went down once and spent the remainder in the dirty little coffee shop. I successfully pretended that I wasn,t scared until I was faced with getting on the chair lift.

Ok, the angry ski instructor seems to be ready. I'll write more when we get home. I'd ask you to wish me luck but the rental guy told me when they say that it means bad luck around here. Cause that's not scary.

When you get nervous do you get sick like me?

I'm in Tremblant just aboit to take a lesson with 8 other adults and feel sick to my stomach.

I always get this way before something new. The last time I skiied it was ten years ago and the bunny hill was one big sheet of ice. Translation I went down once and spent the remainder in the dirty little coffee shop. I successfully pretended that I wasn,t scared until I was faced with getting on the chair lift.

Ok, the angry ski instructor seems to be ready. I'll write more when we get home. I'd ask you to wish me luck but the rental guy told me when they say that it means bad luck around here. Cause that's not scary.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Why, why, why does this cost so much?


I wish cute summer dresses didn't cost $300.  Look at this one, or this one.  I can't justify paying $300 on a summer dress.  But, I could spend that much making five.  I just need to figure out how to become a dress maker in the next few weeks.  Does anyone have some recommendations for easy dress making patterns?


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Friends come in all shapes and sizes....

PS: I'm over the photo 30 day project. I don't want to post pictures and talk about them all the time. I want to do whatever I feel like. Whether it be sewing, knitting, taking photos or baking a cake. This blog was my opportunity to do something fun on my own time. What I've reduced it to is a B-O-R-I-N-G and uninspired photo assignment project. So if you're interested in photography go to a daily dose of imagery and stay her if you're interested in people, places, things or ideas. A noun if you will. Get it? I just made an English grammar joke. Oh I"m so funny.

Now that we've concluded the photo project is so over. I have something that I made to share. My friend Andrea had an important birthday this year and because I love her I wanted to give her something I thought she would love. Andrea has a blue Roots bag she lugs around everywhere - to Costa Rica, to work, to the gym, to spa weekends, shopping weekends you name it. It's handy and holds everything from her laptop to her gym sneakers. I always tease her about it despite the fact that its functional and cute. I decided to make her a bag that fit her classic look at work (she works for a finance company where she's not allowed to wear jeans) so I chose a feminine, classic and timeless print - like Andrea. This is the bag below. You likey?




I can't take credit for this picture. Like a dirtbag I forgot and had to ask Andrea to take it for me after I gave it to her.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sorry for leaving you in the dust.


Hello Internet (or I should say faithful readers Jen, Andy, Andrea, Krista and hubster) - Happy first day of Spring.  Sorry for leaving you in the dust.  My photography project has taken a major back seat to all things quilting and most recently puppy sitting.  



I promise to say something interesting, post pictures of our new friend Amigo the puppy and be a bit more consistent with my blogging.  


Monday, March 9, 2009

23 of 30 - Inanimate object picture taking competency - check

My unrequited photography goal, until now, has been to play with my camera. During our class in Costa Rica I didn't know enough to even take a good picture let alone play around. However, playtime is on. I'm taking my camera along for the ride more and more for no reason but to play. My goal is to become just as comfortable and confidant taking pictures of people as I am with an inanimate objects.






22 of 30 - Fun with the Ralph's or should I say Gracie..

This little girl belongs to our friends. She has more personality in her pinky finger than most adults I know. In this first picture she's crawling towards me in an effort to steal my camera.




She's still young enough that she doesn't pose or have any desire for attention. She just does what she pleases. And that included eating marshmellows the size of her palm, putting on a princess dress for dinner and discreetly coughing up her dinner onto her plate when hubster didn't cut her steak small enough.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

21 of 30 - Wonderful way to start your day.

This morning started with breakfast at a delicious coffee shop near my house. I met a friend to chat about our progress in the Artist's Way. There is nothing better than starting your day with a tasty coffee, lots of giggling and an impromptu photo session on my your way to said shop. I post the dewy looking branches I took either tonight or tomorrow. I'm making hubster a pie this evening so I may not have time.


20 of 30 - Playing with the light


I was trying hard to make this picture look interesting. In fact I didn't really notice the red peeking through the cracks in the tree. I played with the light and tried to ignore the light meter. The bottom picture was in the middle of the light meter and the one on top was slightly over.


19 of 30 - Can the point of a picture be - just because?

During my photography retreat in Costa Rica our teacher told us over and over and over again you should not take a picture without having a point. I like this picture but I don't have a point.


I'll get back to you if I figure it out. I doubt I will. It's being filed under 'out and about'.