Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking back at 2009

2009 was an exceptional year, it really really was.

:: 2009 brought us our little ladybug... baby S if you will (the unattended home birth was a bit of a shock but just as wonderful as she was!). I didn't think that it was possible to love anyone as much as I love Sweet Pea but my heart surprises me sometimes. Sweet Pea also became a big sister and her own heart and capacity to love at such a young age surprised me, but more than that made me one proud mama.

:: I celebrated 4 years of marriage with my high school sweetheart. Who said puppy love cannot last?

:: I did make those two quilts that I had hoped to... and I have plans for many many more!

:: I reconnected with some lovely friends and wish I could have spent more time with others. Hopefully you all know who you are - I do love you and value your friendship!

:: I finished so many things including my CAPPA course and my dream of working from home became a reality as I opened the virtual doors to beebee buttercup
Here is wishing you and yours a lovely and safe 2010. I am off to make some more memories with my wonderful family!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Traditions Exchange

This year I participated in Meg's Holiday Traditions Exchange and I was really excited to be able to participate - last year I missed the sign up deadline. The idea behind the exchange is to send your partner one handmade holiday decoration, your favourite holiday recipe and a "tutorial" describing your favourite holiday tradition. It is so fun to find out how others celebrate the holidays. I was surprised that my traditions and those of my partner were quite similar! This is what I received, a beautiful crocheted snowflake garland and a recipe for some yummy Magic in the Middle cookies! (I can't wait to bake these)

This is the package that I sent off to my partner a few weeks back:

Included were 2 handmade potholders, some Christmas recipes and a letter describing my families favourite holiday traditions. I'll share the recipes:

Ginger Snaps
¾ cup butter 4 cups flour
¾ cup shortening 2 tspn. Baking soda
2 cups white sugar 2 tspn. Cinnamon
2 eggs 2 tspn. Ginger
½ cup molasses 2 tspn. Cloves
Cream together all ingredients on left side first then slowly add in flower and spices. Mix well. Cool in refrigerator about 1 hours. Roll into balls and dip in sugar. Do not press with a fork. Bake a t 350 for 10 min.

Freezer Cookies
2 tspn. Vanilla 2 cups white sugar
½ cup butter 5 tbspn. Coco
½ cup milk sprinkle of salt
3 cups oatmeal 1 cup coconut
Bring ingredients to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 3 cups oatmeal and 1 cup coconut. Cool slightly then drop onto wax or parchment paper. Let stand for 5 minutes, the freeze.

Oatmeal Cookies
¾ cup butter softened 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar ¾ tspn. Baking soda
½ cup white sugar 1 tspn. Cinnamon
1 egg 3 cups Oatmeal
2 tbspn. Water 1 ½ cups raisins or chocolate chips (optional)
2 tspn. vanilla
Beat the first 6 ingredients with mixer until creamy. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Drop dough by tablespoon onto greased baking sheets. Press flat for crispy cookies or leave mounded for chewy.
Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden (check after 8 minutes).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy - peaceful - holidays

I have had a wonderful couple of days with my little family - and I hope you did as well. Nick and I have been working so much we have hardly connected for the past couple of weeks so I took a little break from everything else (except laundry, cooking, and writing an exam) to soak in the joy of my beautiful babies and my wonderful husband.

I also indulged in a little reading time. I was gifted a copy of Quilting for Peace by Katherine Bell and I have to say I loved every inch of it. I am feeling so completely inspired, I am regretting packing up my sewing machine (it is just temporary - as an incentive for me to finish writing my exam). Not only are the projects lovely, but the way this book is written speaks to me and just sets something off inside of me. I especially love reading about the various grassroots charities that are features in this book. Pure Heaven!

That being said I am going to go enjoy my own little peace of heaven and spend a few more days with my lovely family while we still have some time off together.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Celebrating... again

Today is another day for celebration in our home. First and foremost this is the wonderful day that gave us this man

Photo credit SC Photography

He is a husband, son, father, best friend, and the kindest soul that I know. Happy birthday hun! We had a lovely evening with most of our family last night and tonight will be a much quieter (ha! with 2 babies?) evening spent with our wee family of four. Chocolate pie is on the menu as per his request, I suppose he is tired of birthday cake already? Its only been one week!

Also on the menu are a few projects for the girls that I hope to have finished and under the tree by Friday.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sweet Pea

I am preparing for the launch of the Sweet Pea Collection over at beebee buttercup and here is a little sneak peak at some of the tutu's that will be featured. Unfortunately by the time I can get them out to take pictures, my models are in bed! I expect the Sweet Pea Collection to be available January 2010, and by that time there will be pictures with models!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

26 and 2

Today we are celebrating 2 birthdays. 2 years ago today I went into the hospital being 23 years old and left at 24 with a daughter.... our beautiful Sweet Pea. She is officially no longer a baby, but a full on climbing, talking, attitude giving, beautiful, creative, caring, kind and loving two year old. How does that happen? It gives me so much joy to watch her grown and explore the world around her, she truly is a blessing and I thank the heavens for her every day.

This is her birthday table that she woke up to today. A handmade birthday crown (I used this tutorial and loved it), an embroidered backpack for all those trips to grandma's that an independent two year old can make (grandma only lives 1 km away), and an colouring book made by mama (its really just a pretty cover with a bunch of blank paper that I had bound at the local print shop. On a side note, if I knew that binding was so dirt cheap I would have been making myself books ages ago!).

And while I am on the topic of 2's and things with 2 in them... this is my 200th post! Fitting isn't it? I guess that is also something to celebrate.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Birthday Crafting and some links

I am having a lovely morning, Nick has the littles downstairs playing in front of the fireplace and I am doing some crafting in anticipation of a very special birthday around here.

First on my list is a birthday crown using Refugee Crafter's tutorial here. Aren't they the sweetest crowns? I just LOVE them.

In other news did you see that Nicole aka GardenMama is hosting another fabulous giveaway on her blog? You simply MUST check it out!

I'm off to get back to work and enjoy my Chai Latte compliments of Stephanie - how would I ever get my Starbucks fix if she didn't drive 45 min (both way) once a week to bring it to me? Oh, somedays I do think that my little town could benefit from an Sbucks!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Baking

Last weekend my mom and I undertook one of our largest holiday projects... the great Christmas cookie bake. This is a baking marathon (and I mean MARATHON - we should start training for it) in which we literally bake hundreds of cookies to give (and eat) over the holidays. On the menu this year were gingersnaps, oatmeal, chocolate chip, peanut butter and chocolate freezer cookies. YUM! Usually we do this in a single weekend but its a little hard to find a chunk of uninterrupted time that big these days so we stretched it out over the week.

Sweetpea helped by testing and Baby S stayed close to her mama in the Ergo to make sure I knew what I was doing. What would I do without those two girls?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

For Giving

I just finished this set of holiday potholders using my absolute favourite snowman fabric. I just love the colours. I used this tutorial and tried machine binding again. I was a bit nervous because with this method your stitches are visible on both sides of the binding which is completely new to me and I have to admit a little hard to get used to. Great method, but I think that I need more practice.

All in all they turned out well but the I have decided that I am a hand-binding kind of girl going forwards. It takes a lot longer for sure but its how I was taught and I really appreciate the look of it. Maybe I'll make a compromise on smaller projects and on non 'traditional' quilting projects I may attempt to machine bind again... I'll have to see. Machine binding controversy aside I think they look pretty darn nice! They are a gift and I hope the recipient thinks so as well.

I am hoping that I will be able to pop into this space a little more often in the next few weeks, goodness knows I will have a lot to share - if only I could find the time to take pictures of all of it before it leaves my home!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Can you guess?

This is a project that I finished up last week. Unfortunately it left my house before I got a chance to take a picture of it and I will not have a picture with its new 'owner' until the new year. But in the interest of making amends for abandoning this space for so long, here it is as a work in progress. Can you guess what it is? If not, I guess you will just have to wait until January when I have a good photo!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Where I've been

I haven't been in this space much the last few weeks. This is where I have been

Getting close with my girls (photo credit SC Photography)

Sewing (always sewing)

Baking with Grandma (yummo!). I can finally bake her famous applie pie!

Teaching Sweet Pea and Baby S how fun a laundry basket can be!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A few links and likes

The thought of getting out my camera and downloading pictures in the chaos that has become my life is just a little bit too much, so I thought I'd share some links and likes (back to real blogging with real picture of real projects soon).

* These patterns from Sew Liberated I can absolutely see Sweet Pea and myself wearing the matching Lola/Lolita aprons baking Christmas cookies!

* These photos that my good friend over at SC Photography took for our family a few weeks ago

*The giveaway that Erin over at House on Hill Road is hosting (I must get my hands on a copy of Quilting For Peace - those Owels are just adorable!)

* This magazine - and it's Canadian so that is a bonus!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Holiday Traditions Exchange

I am so excited to have signed up for the Holiday Traditions Exchange that Meg is hosting over at Sew Liberated. Last year I missed the deadline to sign up and I almost missed it again this year! She is accepting only 200 members in the exchange this year but there looks to still be space so go on over and sign up if you haven't already.

I am already brainstorming my favourite family traditions and what I am going to make for my holiday decoration.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

SC Photography

Last March my good friend took some maternity photos for me. She has a photo studio set up in her basement and we took our pictures while the babies were napping. I was thrilled with the results and am so excited to share that she has decided to take this lovely hobby and turn it into a little something more. If you get a chance check out the blog for SC Photography.

Monday, November 9, 2009

For Your Cuppa

I was raised to be a tea drinker. It was not just a Saturday morning thing, or a after dinner thing. Tea in our house was an all-the-time kind of thing. We used to tease my mom when she went out and ordered/accepted a cup of tea that if it wasn't served in a bowl it wouldn't be big enough. Then one day I looked down and realized that my cuppa was looking a little more like a bowl than a cup.
What I'm saying here is that I love my tea. I do not however love it when I go out and cannot get exactly the cup of tea that I'm in the mood for. Maybe I'm in the mood for organic chamomile, or a yummy spiced tea. I'm kind of a picky person and my mood reflects in my choice of tea. And so....
The tea tote was born! It holds 16 tea bags and folds up all cute and tiny for my purse of diaper bag. I am loving the Vintage Cherries fabric from the Farmers Market collection (and the aqua dots at the bottom is the print from Michael Miller that is finding its way into most of the things that I complete these days). These will make their way into quite a few hands for Christmas presents this year and they are also available in my shop

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Are you in?

Since I "opened" the "doors" of beebee buttercup I have been very busy sewing. That plus two teething babies has made blogging a little bit less of a priority but I am hoping to change that soon. In the meantime I have been stealing a few minutes here and there to catch up with some of my favourites from bloggy-land and wanted to share that GardenMama is hosting a fabulous three-part giveaway. You should check it out. I can absolutely see Sweet Pea wearing the dress up clothes from the first picture can't you? A-dor-a-ble!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

beebee buttercup

A while back I mentioned that I was working on a project that I was not quite ready to reveal yet... well it is ready now.

Click on the image to link to:

This project has actually been in the making since before Sadie was born when I made my first nursing cover for myself (and boy have I made a lot of revisions to that nursing cover over the last few months). I decided to turn the idea for this nursing cover and personalized receiving blankets into a business after many happy gift-recipients mentioned that they would love to buy gifts like these for other moms and moms-to-be but found that there were no local retailers selling similar handmade products. I decided to take the plunge about three months ago and began designing and sewing products and my website (which ended up taking a lot longer than I thought - but I think it was worth the wait).

Today is the official launch of my new website and in celebration I am offering one free boo boo pack with any purchase over $30.00! (if you don't know what a boo boo pack is you will just have to visit the site to find out!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

A fact of mama-hood

Spit Happens! We all know it, maybe we all dread it a bit (at least the laundry that it creates). So I'm fighting back (in a totally chic and functional way of course). Introducing the Spit Happens! burp cloth. Made from organic cotton prefold cloth diapers, embellished with designer prints and embroidered with the phrase "Spit Happnes!" I love them, they are big enough to be effective and super absorbent so they are really good to clean up those messes that I wasn't anticipating as well (ahem... remember the extremely car sick toddler? Yeah, I think that Sweet Pea will be requiring these more than Baby S!). I'm going to be keeping a few for myself and there are a few that I'm saving for upcoming baby shower gifts.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

From Apples

Tonight before dinner I decided to make a quick batch of applesauce from some fresh from the orchard Cortland apples... and it is (was) delicious!

To make this ridiculously simple applesauce I washed and quartered the apples (peels on, cores intact)

Cooked until soft

Strained with this hand me down strainer (it has seen a lot of applesauce let me tell you!)

Marveled at how pretty and pink it is

Then handed the spoon over to this adorable toddler.

Easy Peasy!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lemon scones, tea and quilting

I had a fabulous morning. It started out with these lemon scones that I made on Thursday (much better fresh, but still a nice way to start out a Saturday morning). Mmm... so good.

Then I popped over to a friend's house for tea and a little quilting. I recently found out that this friend (an interior designer) has a long arm quilting machine and she agreed to quilt this little quilt for me. After showing me the ropes it was all mine and I had so much fun. I have been stalling on a few other quilting projects because while I love my little Janome machine, it is just that a little machine and there is no way that I could possibly stipple anything other than a baby sized quilt on it. But now that I have access to this long arm there is no stopping me! I just wish that I thought to bring my camera. I had no idea when I went over this morning that I would be doing the quilting!

(I will post a picture of this entire quilt when I get the binding completed)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cozy Nights

I am a bit late posting about this but better late than never. This is the polar fleece/flannel sleep sack that I made for Baby S a few weeks ago. All of a sudden the temperature dropped and the girls rooms have been freezing, even with the heat on! Baby S is at that thrashing and rolling around in her crib stage, with no regard for warmth (until it is too late) so I figured that she needed something that would roll around with her.

She loves it and so do I. I made the shoulder straps attachable with Velcro to make it easier to get her out, and I'm so glad that I did. It is so soft and snuggly and I'm thinking about making one for myself (well, maybe just a flannel lined polar fleece blanket for the bed).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall cleaning

Nick and I decided to take advantage of the holiday today to do some fall cleaning. I had papers (left out from when I was finishing up my course) all over my desk making it increasingly difficult to find room for sewing... so my fabric and notions were beginning to take over our bedroom. I didn't take a before picture of the fabric because honestly, it was terrifying - but this is what my ribbons looked like before I spent a half hour sorting them.

This is the 'after' shot of some of my fabric

And the 'after' shot of my ribbons. Its so beautiful, I just cannot look away!

There really is something to be said for having an organized workspace. It takes so much less time to get the materials needed for a project when you can actually see what you have, and then easily access it. I know this but I am just terrible keeping things organized. I am a great organizer, but I'm also a closet slob... I would much rather get started on the next project then clean up what I was just working on. Terrible way to be I know, but some things I'm afraid just cannot be changed! So for the next little while at least I have a lovely, organized area for my fall crafting.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wee "haping" hands

Almost every night this mama gets a lovely little sewing break before bath time. Nick and the girls come upstairs with me to play and I get to sew. Tonight I just had to take a "too cute" break. I was working away on this project when a little person started pusing at my legs trying to get me out of the way.

I said "Sweet Pea will you play with Baby S?" and she replied "NO, I HAP". Well how could I refuse. So off she went with a ruler and handful of scraps to "HAP" (help) me work. She took them to a safe place (her room), where she is still running them (one at a time) back and forth between a random spot in the middle of her floor, and my sewing machine. I love it when he haps me like that!