Friday, December 31, 2010

Hello 2011

On this, the last day of 2010 I find myself reflecting less on 2010, than looking forward to all that 2011 will bring. Some years I find myself making lists of the preivous year's accomplishments, other years I make a list of goals for the year to come. This year I simply have a few hopes.

:: I hope for health and strength, there are some difficult things that my family is dealing with currently, and will be going through early in 2011 and I hope that somehow we will find the strength to handle whatever comes our way.

:: I hope to spend more time with the people in my life that truly matter. Family and friends who have always, and will always, be a special and important part of my life. These past 3 years we have existed in a bit of a vaccume and I hope to break the seal this year!

:: I hope for creative outlets, both for my children, husband and myself. Sweetpea's current passions are drawing, sewing and cooking, Ladybug is still coming into her own but seems to like water paints. For me, I wish for a little more free sewing time. In 2010 I was so concentrated on my business that I didn't have much of an opportunity to do much personal sewing. This year with better planning I'm sure that I will get that time!

:: I hope to go back to school, but more on that later. (I have a B.A. in Sociology, but ask any sociology major where just a degree gets you...)

:: I hope to laugh. For me there is nothing better than to laugh, and I hope to do a little more of that is 2011.

And I hope that you have a blissful 2011! Wishing you a happy new year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Slow Down

Ah.... it has been a lovely 4 days at home with my family. My husband and I don't usually have a lot of down time together as my work day begins when the girls go to sleep. This is when I teach, sew, or catch up on emails and all that fun administrative stuff that comes from being your own boss. Christmas Eve and Christmas day were blissfully spent with family that we don't often get to see, and those that we see all the time. The only hitch was that my mom came down with what I affectionately dub the plague that we all had a few weeks ago and is catching upon Christmas via photos.

As I mentioned earlier we are very much a baby doll family and the girls have spent the last 3 days rocking their babies to sleep in their new cradles. Ladybug is starting to sing and can often be heard singing at the top of her little lungs"Rock-a-my-baby.. on tree top, my cradle will... ROCK". My heart aches a little.

To be honest I was a little concerned about how the craziness of Christmas morning, a house full of people and lots of new gifts would affect the girls (as in I was afraid of the screaming and tantrums that might result from a 20 month old and 3 year old not quite grasping fully the concept of sharing their new toys) but I was so pleased to find that they naturally shared brilliantly and Sweetpea relished the opportunity to teach her baby sister how to play with her new toys, rock her baby, and stack her new blocks. With the exception of my mom being sick (and she is by the way on the mend) I really couldn't have asked for a more beautiful long weekend with my famliy.

I will be in and out this week enjoying a little more family time, and a little less work time and I hope you can do the same.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Little Christmas Making

I'm not sure when or how it happened but somewhere along the line we became a "baby-doll" family. I mean a hard core, baby-doll family. Since day one I have tried to give the girls well rounded play opportunities: we have lots of books and puzzles, a play kitchen (that has been played with every day since they recieved it) and play tools, arts and craft supplies etc. and baby dolls. One day Sweetpea decided that her baby doll needed to be fed, changed, walked, rocked, sshhhhed and put down for naps (right about the same time that she noticed that I did these things for Ladybug each day) and she has passed this love for the baby doll on to her sister.

The girls have decided that our kitchen wash cloths really make the best blankets for thier babies. They are the right size for napping on the couch, riding in thier strollers, changing their bums (yes, they regularly change thier babies diapers) and cleaning up spit-up. I have noticed that our supply of wash cloths needs a little... attention. ahem (2 babies x 3 years of use = yuck!). So this year for Christmas the girls are getting a fully stocked drawer of new flannel washcloths for thier babies. I will simply switch over the wash cloth drawer and replace the old with the new, I have been aroud these girls long enough to know that if I were to actually gift these as 'baby blankets' they would never be used. I think part of thier fun is emptying the drawer.

Here is the update on Ladybugs quilt. I am piecing the top together tonight and wishing that I had a design wall or a large enough space to be able to lay things out on. I am aware that this photo is garbage but there is no lighting in my bedroom and no where else to lay out the blocks. Oh well.. my dream sewing room will have a design wall! I doubt if it will be ready for Christmas morning because baby girl is cutting teeth and I'm not getting much work time - but she won't noice if its a day or two late, I'm sure of it!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sweetpea's Birthday : Handmade Edition

Unfortunately there was not a lot of making for Sweetpea's birthday this year. I wanted to do more, however I was slammed with last minute Christmas orders for beebee buttercup and it became unrealistic to fit anymore into my already packed days (and our 3 weeks straight of sharing the stomach flu didn't help either!).

She did receive of course the pink princess birthday cake that she requested. I attempted to make somewhat of a copy of her birthday crown oh her cake, and she was quite proud of both of them.

I also made her a monogrammed library bag. I got the idea from this tutorial however I made a few modifications to suit our needs (namely making it square instead of round. I know that aesthetically it is more pleasing as a round bag but I figured that we would have some trouble with the large board books that the girls are so fond of checking out).
We are always misplacing our library books around here, so I wanted her to have a place that she could keep them between library visits. She is also very interested in checking out her own books at the library and now she can be just a little more independent in this by carrying her own books. She was quite excited. (The little pocket at the front can carry her card once she gets old enough to have her own). I made the straps a little long for her because I know that more often than not I will be carrying her bag to and from the library, but she really loves the idea of having her own bag.

I hope to share progress on Ladybug's Christmas quilt this week.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Kobo E-reader: My new best friend

I have wanted an E-reading device since I first was introduced to the Kindle in December of 2009 while watching the Ellen show. Yes I was watching daytime tv, I am pretty sure that I was breastfeeding Ladybug and reading Sweetpea stories at the same time. I researched for the better part of this year and finally decided on the Canadian Kobo E-reader because it was important to me to be able to use my E-reader for library books (a function that the Kindle does not currently allow). I am an avid reader but cannot always get to the library, nor do I have the room in my house (or purse) for any more books so really the Kobo was a great solution.
Here are the facts:

The Kobo uses e-ink technology which basically means that you can read without glare, or the eye strain that is caused by reading from a back-lit computer screen. You can also choose from 5 different font sizes and 2 font styles.

The Kobo comes pre-loaded with 100 free, classic, out of copyright books. This for me was great as I love the classics, and was excited to have Jane Eyre, Little Women, and so many others at my fingertips. It can hold about 1000 e-books on it, but you can also expand the memory up to 10 000 books using a 32GB SD card (love that!)
The newest Kobo features USB and Wifi connectivity (however in my opinion it takes too long to search for books using the Kobo due to the fact that you can only navigate the on screen qwerty key pad using the 4 way directional button. I would rather wait and purchase my books from my computer).

The Kobo supports DRM Epub, PDF, and Adobe DRM files (which is why it is compatible with library books).
Battery life is 10 days or 10 000 page turns (according to the Kobo website)
No shipping/customs fees!!! (If you are in Canada)
The great:

Have I mentioned that I can take out library books??? I love that my Kobo does not limit me to either reading only free, out of copyright books, or purchased books.

Light weight and easy to travel with. I can toss my Kobo in my purse and have all of my books with me so I can read whatever I am in the mood for as opposed to what I brought with me. The convenience of the light weight design also means that I can comfortably read with a baby sleeping in my arms or hands free when I am eating or drinking a tea (without having to creatively prop open the pages of a book).

I love the e-ink technology, I can read for hours (after the girls are in bed for the night of course!) without eye strain, and if my eyes do get tired I can simply enlarge the font size. I can also read in sunlight (outside or in my favourite seat by the window) without a glare.
The not so great:

The Kobo website could use some improvement. I have often been frustrated with slowly loading pages, glitchy sales transactions etc. but all in all it does work - eventually.

I don't know if I really believe the stats on the battery life. In the first 2 weeks I had to charge my Kobo twice, but was around 800 page turns, not 10 000. Perhaps this was because I often left the device in sleep mode (however battery power is only supposed to be required when actually turning pages, or navigating through menus - I also have the wifi turned off). All in all the battery life is good, but I have to keep my eye on it.

My vote:
I love it! Really, I am so happy with my Kobo, the product is great, the customer service has been great and I am pleased with the selection of ebooks. I am confidant that the small glitches with battery life and the website will be resolved soon enough via. upgrades and new firmware downloads and certainly are not enough to make me even consider returning this product!

** please note that this is a non-solicited product review based on my experiences with a Kobo E-reader that I myself purchased in full. This review is based on only my own personal experiences*

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How My Mom Shaped Me

Today we are celebrating a very special day in our home. It is my birthday, but more importantly it is the day that I gave birth to our first daughter Sweetpea. Her birth was chaotic and challenging and a story left for another day but it was an amazing experience to share her birth with my husband and my mom when 24 years earlier my mom was experiencing the exact same thing.

Now Sweetpea is 3 years old and I find myself reflecting on the things that my mom did to shape me into the woman that I am, and hoping that I can do the same for my own daughter.

First and foremost my mom taught me to be kind. Not just say 'please and thank you' but really, truly be kind in actions, words and thoughts. I work on this daily to balance being kind and not being a push over and in the face of frustrations often have to remind myself as often as I remind Sweetpea to be kind.

My mom also taught me to work hard. I saw her from an early age going to night school and doing distance education programs to upgrade her education in the face of changing technologies. Never once did she complain about her workload or how after a full day of work, house keeping and parenting she then 'retired' to the kitchen table to work some more. She always told me that education is facinating, enriching and will take you further than anything else, it will open doors that you didn't even know existed. When I was graduating from highschool and applying to universities I was so worried because I didn't know "what I wanted to do when I grew up" and was afraid of "waising my time" with a program that wouldn't take me there. She always looked at me and said "Bonnie, an education is never a waste." She always encouraged me to follow my heart and my passion and this made me a much more well rounded and confidant person. She went from being a stay at home mom, to teaching at the local college to finding her dream job - and she fought tooth and nail every step of the way. She really has inspired me to do the same.

Most importantly my mom taught me unconditional love. She always kept it real. If I was being a pain in the butt, bossy or 'saucy' she let me know, and then gave me an example of how I could express myself in a more constructive way. She always had a fresh perspective on my problems and could help me work through them in a way that I was finding the answers for myself. And if there were no answers, she let me know that, that was ok - and then she held me while I cried.

There is so much that my mom did for me, and still does and if I can pass on a fraction of her wisdom and heart to my daughters I know they will be strong, capable and lovely women.

Monday, December 13, 2010

52 Books :: 52 Weeks back from Hiatus

I have been conflicted about keeping this blog going the past few months, do I have enough time, do I have anything worth saying etc. but in truth I have missed this blog. Whether I post daily, weekly, or once a month I miss the way this blog serves to keep track of my creative pursuits, the milestones in our family life and the things that are on my mind. With that being said I think that I am ready to give it another go so to speak. I cannot guarantee that I will be posting daily (I can almost assure you that will not be the case), but I will do my best.

On to some blog housework... The initial 52 books in 52 weeks challenge of 2009 wasn't a complete success, but wasn't a complete failure either. I made it to 32 tracked books, but I think there were a few in there that I didn't quite make it to blogging about.

The 52 books in 52 weeks challenge of 2010 however was an epic failure. Did I even track a book? I don't really think that I did. I certainly read in 2010, a lot, but did I keep track of it? No. So what has brought on this renewed interest in the 52 books 52 weeks challenge? I stumbled upon this library where Art Garfunkel has kept track of every book that he has read since 1968. Seriously? That is amazing! It got me thinking, will I remember in 5 years or 10 years what I was reading when I turned 27? Probably not. Literature is such an important part of my life and who I am, The circumstances of my life at any given time are most certainly reflected in the books that I read and how fabulous would it be to be able to look back on my life via. my books? This blog will not be a space where I will do the tracking however I do plan to share those books and authors who I feel a deep connection with.

For 2011 I am going to set myself a different kind of challenge. I want to push myself to leave my reading comfort zone and am going to join the National Book Club on the Everything Mom site. I recently found out about this book club via Devan at Accustomed Chaos and I'm really excited!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mama, can I help you?

Some days when I am in a hurry, stressed out or simply don't have time the words "mama can I help you" can send chills down my spine. This afternoon I was trying to get a little bit of work done for an upcoming show and Sweet Pea decided that she needed to help me. So she came upstairs with me and I thought, ugh, as long as she plays in her room I can still work. A few minutes passed and she wanted to sit on my lap and sew with me. The mama in me melted and wanted nothing but to scoop this precious little bean up and hug her until tomorrow... however I know that I have a deadline and no product equals no sales.

We made a compromise I grabbed a scrap bin and set it up at the foot of my chair (ahem.... remember I do not have a large sewing space so I'm giving up a lot to loose my foot space!) and she decided to use a manual air pump for an exercise ball as her sewing machine. As I was sewing along I realized that we were working together as she happily chirped along about her work, her "fa-bic" and her "hot sewing machine".

This is the reason that I am working so hard to make beebee buttercup and Bumps to Babies successful. This is the point of being a WAHM. She is one of the reasons that I happily sacrifice sleep, free time and reading for pleasure, for working, website maintenance, and administrative duties! These are the kinds of days that I hope she remembers when she grows up.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Find of a lifetime: The Perfect Picnic Basket

I have been on a quest since I was about 6 years old for the perfect picnic basket. It all started with a green, red and yellow plastic basket with decals on the side. I was so in love with this thing. I used to pack a snack and juice box and take the long, downhill walk to sit under the apple trees in my parents back yard. The trip never lasted long because a) my basket didn't hold much and b) I never thought to bring a blanket and didn't like sitting on the ground with squished apples (in my defence I was only 6!).

Now a little older, and hopefully a little wiser, every time I pass a store in the summer I can't help but look to see if they have picnic baskets. I am fully aware that picnic baskets are not hiding out there, and certainly there have been a lot of great contenders but nothing that really fit the bill and met my expectations. Until today.
Lady Bug and I were walking through downtown Fergus after dropping Sweet Pea off at pre-school and there it was sitting in a window all by itself. My perfect, extra-roomy, insulated, canvas picnic basket! Did you notice the matching cloth napkins? Fabulous! I would have loved to put it to use today but as we were walking into the store it started raining... so another day - soon!

Words cannot even express how excited I am about this here little treasure. The 6 year old in me cannot wait to take my girls out (with a blanket to sit on) and enjoy some meals under an apple tree (or pear tree, maple tree or open field).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Setting a Goal

Ok, I know I'm lax at the daily blogging thing. I have offered a few excuses but really - there just aren't enough hours in the day. I am so thankful that I have been busy with both of my businesses lately but it hasn't left time for much else. What is the familiar WAHM saying? Something like "I worked a lot less when I worked out of the home." But I'm not complaining, I love it even if it does mean that most nights I eat peanut butter for dinner after the girls have gone to bed and my wonderful husband does the dishes the cleans the house while I'm sewing, studying, answering emails or putting together class materials.

So in the interest of keeping this blog alive, and of making sure that I still find time each week to be creative and create for myself and my family I have set myself a challenge. When Sweet Pea was about 7 months old I purchased this kit to make her a beautiful crib quilt. Shortly after I purchased it, morning sickness hit and my focus shifted to getting our house ready for our little Ladybug, and unfortunately Sweet Pea's fabric sat untouched. Now at almost 2 1/2 I am making plans for a toddler sized quilt for Sweet Pea's "big girl bed" and am thinking that Ladybug would love the bright colours of this fabric in her own little crib.

My challenge to myself? No matter how busy I am I will devote a little bit of time each week to finishing this quilt. Its a super easy Yellow Brick Road pattern so hopefully it will not take too long. This weeks task? Cutting.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy mamas day!

Here is to wishing all of you wonderful mamas out there a beautiful day. I hope you can take a second and appreciate all you have and be appreciated for all you do.

I had a lovely day that started with Ladybug's Church dedication and ended with a little bit of this:

This was the start of the girls very first handmade mamas day gift. I love how Sweet Pea's hand and Ladybug's foot are the same size!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Delicious day

I'm a little last posting about the pure edible heaven resulted from this chaotic baking session last Friday and I have no excuse... well not a good one. My camera and I just have not been in the same place at the same time these last few weeks and the thought of publishing a post sans photos irks me... but I just cannot seem to find the time to take, edit and post said photos. So here are some lackluster photos... we were more interested in eating than photographing!

Sweet Pea and Ladybug had a friend over for a play date on Friday, which meant that mommy got to have a play date with her favourite cloth diapering, photo taking, sweet-tooth-having friend. In honour of this occasion (which doesn't happen as often as I would like since they live out of town and we have to rely on them to come to us on account of Sweet Pea's incredible car sickness) we decided to make two desserts. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake in the slow cooker from the year of slow cooking blog and Vanilla Bean Scones from the Pioneer Woman Cooks blog. I have to say, that entire blog is dangerous... dangerous. Firstly she loves butter, secondly she loves vanilla beans. I am in heaven!

Peanut Butter Cup Cake in the slow cooker. It tasted better than it looked but not much more!

The Peanut Butter Cup Cake left me wanting... but not more. I couldn't decide if it wanted to be a cake, or a cookie - the texture bothered me. It was ok, but I probably wouldn't make it again. The Vanilla Bean Scones on the other hand? PURE HEAVEN! There are not words to express just how good these were. YUMMM!!! I will definitely be making these again, and often.

Vanilla bean scones... YUM!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Guest Blog Post

I will be travelling through the virtual blogsphere tomorrow to do a guest post at Accustomed Chaos about our journey into cloth diapering. Accustomed Chaos is a great blog find - you can follow Devan a SAHM as she navigates the chaos that comes with raising 3 little ones in a gluten free household.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bloomin Earth

This past weekend I had the pleasure of being a vendor at Bloomin Earth, a seriously fabulous annual event in Kitchener Ontario. Bloomin Earth is a handmade marketplace and eco-fair, there was everything from fibre artists to organic clothing and skin care.

Here is my table:

Here are my snuggle quilts (with Lynn from Patchwork Butterfly in the background)

And my good friend Lynn from Patchwork Butterfly (check out her blog for new dress listings that are available to go home now).

I didn't get a chance to take photos but I also wanted to share the shops of some other great artists. The event's creator, Megan of U ROCK, Jasmin of Ribbonheadz, and .... Stephanie of lealou..

Thank you to everyone who came out and supported KW's growing indie handmade scene!

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Mama and Baby Photo Shoot

My great friend Stephanie over at SC Photography is holding her first ever giveaway on her blog for a free mama-and-baby photo shoot. Fabulous! If you are in the Kitchener area you really should head over, she is wonderful and so great at shooting with children (maybe it is because she herself is mama of 2 adorable little girls, with a 3rd on the way).

You may remember me talking about Stephanie back in November she did some wonderful family photos for us just before Christmas and we couldn't have been happier.

So go on over to her blog, check out the contest and maybe win yourself some great pictures!

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

And the winner is....


Kelly, said you are the one! I'll be in touch to get you your prize. Congratulations!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Apron Love

It has come to my attention that I have never shared any apron love on this here little blog... which is strange considering I am completely smitten with the apron. I love everything about them, their look, thier function... and I just LOVE to wear them. Until recently I have never made one... again... strange.

Last night I was up sewing for Bloomin Earth (it is this Saturday by the way and if you live in the Kitchener area you should definitely check it out) and around 10pm I realized that I really needed (ahem... wanted) some sort of a "vendor's apron" to hold my business cards, change, pens etc. So off I went and the best thing was that I had the perfect amounts of fabric in my stash. My apron is based on this tutorial here by Kitschy Coo. I have seen vendor aprons before that have a bunch of cute looking pockets at the front, but was drawn to the clean look of this one. As Amanda says herself there is nothing worse than pens and cards falling out of those all too cute tiny pockets. This was a super easy sew but I did make a few modifications.

First, I made the actual apron part a little wider, I like to keep an order/reciept book with me and wanted to have room. So instead of making it 18" wide, I cut is 22" wide (I kept the length the same). I also decided against putting in a zipper pocket for change. I like to keep my money on me but don't like to to be zippered into the actual apron, so I will be using a separate zipper pouch for change and bills that will fit nicely in the apron but not be a part of it. Its nearly impossible to see in the picture but the apron part is basically 2 large pockets - which is perfect (nothing worse than a bunch of small pockets that nothing - including your hand - can fit into!).

I used a heavyweight brown linnen/cotton canvas for the backing fabric, my favourite carnival bloom for the front and a super fun coordinating aqua/brown dot fabric for the lining and straps. Speaking of straps, did I mention how much I love these thicker straps? Amanda was right, they really are the most flattering strap for this type of apron. I also love the look, they feel like they should be in a 1950's diner - which is fabulous!

Anyways, I am just in love with my new vendors apron, and am sure it will get a lot of use as a crafting apron as well (how many times can one loose her tape measure, pins and scizzors when sewing?).

I do hope to continue this little bit of apron loving around here... and hope that in the near future I will have a few new aprons to show you!

And don't forget about my give away for a free snack and sandwich saver from beebee buttercup! The contest is on until Sunday night. All you have to do is leave a comment on yesterday's post to be entered.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Giveaway

Happy Earth Day everyone!

It is so important to do as much as we can, no matter how small an action, to promote sustainability. Whether it is cloth diapering, shopping locally, growing our own food, avoiding purchasing pre packaged foods, turning off the TV, walking or riding a bike, or repurposing and using what we have there are so many ways that we can each do our part.

So in honour of Earth Day I am hosting my first ever give away here on "Hands and Home". I am giving away one (1) Snack Saver and one (1) Sandwich Saver in the "Around the World" print (as shown below).

These Snack and Sandwich savers are reusable snack bags. Do away with bulky Tupperware and disposable plastic bags and wrap. Snack Savers are made from 100% cotton fabric and lined with water resistant RipStop Nylon making them the perfect choice for crackers, grapes or other fruit, trail mix, or sandwiches. The Velcro closure makes them easy for even the littlest of hands to use! These are perfect for storing wet washcloths, crayons, diaper creams or medicines you don't want to leak, or anything else that you need to carry with you!
Click here for more information
To enter simply leave a comment on this post. To gain an extra 3 entries mention this give away on your own blog (and mention that you have blogged about it in your comment here). The winner's name will be drawn via. random number selection and the contest closes at 5:00 PM Thursday April 29, 2010. The winner will be contacted via email.

Have a great Earth Day!

**Edited to add. 1 week is so far away, I will be closing the contest Sunday April 25 at 8:00 pm (and then this way the winner should receive thier prize by next Friday at the latest). Thanks for understanding!!

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Next up on the "TO READ" list

If you have followed my blog at all you have probably noticed that I cannot go very long without writing about the latest book on my bookshelf, or on my "to read" list. You have probably also noticed that I am naturally drawn to books about natural childbirth and parenting. Well, Elizabeth Pantley has a new book coming out: The No Cry Separation Anxiety Solution. It will be a welcome addition to the "No Cry... Solution" series and I am particularly excited about it mostly because I am going through some major separation anxiety issues with my little Ladybug. At just 12 months it is positively earth shattering when I dare to leave the room without her, do anything that doesn't directly involve her, or have the audacity to ask someone to hold her for just a second while I... (insert action here). I don't (usually) begrudge her this because I know that soon enough she will not need, let alone want, me to be with her 24/7 - but for now I would love to make it a little easier on the both of us.

A little about the book from the author:


Does it break your heart to leave your crying child at daycare, school, or with a babysitter? Do you worry and wonder how to help?

Nearly all children experience separation anxiety-it's natural-but finding a solution can be frustrating. That's why Elizabeth Pantley, author of the bestselling No-Cry series-developed gentle, effective solutions for every separation situation. Whether your child is a baby, toddler or first grader, these tried and true techniques will help them to:

* Say goodbye at the door - with a smile and a wave-and no more tears.
* Conquer anxiety at daycare, school, parties, trips, and play-dates.
* Go to sleep peacefully-and stay in bed - at naptime and bedtime.
* Feel comfortable with caregivers, babysitters, and new people.
* Explore new places with joy and confidence."

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm still alive... but currently chained to my sewing machine

I think it just needs to be said... I have turned into a very bad blogger lately. Its one part lack of time, one part lack of sleep, one part lack of new projects, and one part lack of having anything remotely interesting or worth while to blog about. But that being said I just thought I'd let you know what I've been up to these past few weeks.

I have been up to my eyeballs in fabric just trying to get read for Bloomin Earth this weekend. I am so stoked for this show I cannot even tell you. I mean, come on 70+ local vendors selling their handmade and/or eco-friendly wares? Um... YES PLEASE! (and it doesn't hurt at all that beebee buttercup is going to be there as well). I promise to have pictures first thing Monday morning.

And here is just a little sneak peak at what I'm working on tonight: Snack and Sandwich savers. A fabulously fun and colourful alternative to wasteful Ziploc bags and bulky Tupperware. More information here.

I doubt I'll get a chance to check in before the big show on Saturday so I'll see you on Monday (and thanks for stopping by even though I've not been over in this space as much as I'd like to).

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The project that took forever (and a day)

I am embarrassed to admit how long ago I started this project. But I will tell you that it was 2009 and there were still leaves on the trees! I decided to make a quilted photo wall hanging for one of my best friends as a house warming gift. She and her boyfriend custom built their first home and moved in the end of October. I had a few challenges to say the least with this project that made it nearly impossible to have it done in time for her housewarming party. Some of it is my own fault, some was as a result of inferior materials and some issues were probably just because this was one of those projects.

Regardless of the issues that I had with this project I still had so much fun making it because the intended recipients are so close to my heart. Sometimes handmade projects take a little longer than expected (in this case 5 months longer) but its the fact that so much love goes into them that makes them special.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Tea for Tutu

I have been busy finishing up on some gifts for my nieces and at the same time getting ready for the launch of the Sweet Pea Tutu over at beebee buttercup.

Luckily for me my nieces loved thier new tutus and had no problem posing for a few pictures. My own little Sweet Pea had to get in on the action as well! Ah... little girls are so sweet aren't they?

I had about as much fun as the girls did taking pictures as they danced around to the "Nutcracker Suite" as hummed by my sister in law. It is such a rare treat that we are all together (they live 6 hours away, and my poor Sweet Pea can't make it 30 minutes in the car - with gravol or any other homeopathic remedy out there - without being sick in the car)... so when we are we make the most of it, heace the dance performance on the deck, the late nights talking, the chaotic swimming at the local pool and shopping trips, and the walks that go on for just a little longer.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Free Childbirth Resources

I know that I usually limit my ramblings on this little blog to crafty bits and topics related to how my family spends our days, but I really want to share these videos with you. I am a huge fan of free resources for education about natural childbirth and natural parenting and really love these videos. They are 6 short videos put out there by Mother's Advocate and Lamaze International. In no way do these videos replace the need for a quality childbirth education series or prenatal care from a qualified health care practitioner but they are an excellent resource and compliment prenatal education.

Check out the Mother's Advocate Videos for Better Birth here

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What do you think about them? Please leave a comment - I would love to hear from you!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

For the Birds

We have been waiting for spring around here, really, really hoping for it. We are getting out when we can and loving the sun! Sweet Pea is still afraid to walk on the "crunchy snow" and I just laugh and try to encourage her to go just one step further into it than yesterday. The fields behind our home are still covered in snow, and at night our windows are bright with the headlights of the snowmobilers enjoying a late night ride, but the animals are slowly but surely starting to show their faces around here again.

Today Poppy gifted the girls a new bird house that he spent the last few days building. They squeal whenever they see a bird (or squirrel... mostly squirrels) from the window where they are perched watching.

I love to see their excitement and anticipation in their eyes as they sit (quietly... ah sweet quiet) and wait for a new friend to come visit.

Isn't it so nice to spend time watching the birds instead of watching the tv?

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Need a snack?

Did you guess right?

We do a lot of snacking over here... I mean a lot. If the girls don't have a piece of fruit, goldfish cracker or something else "yummy" in their hands they are asking for something. Like a lot of moms when I go out I go armed with snacks. Tupperware just doesn't fit in my diaper bag along side cloth diapers and I hate to use and then throw out plastic zipper bags.

I have been wanting to make the girls some fabric snack bags for quite some time but my project wish list just seems so long some days. But yesterday I sat down and did it (my house is a completely disaster as a result but I'm ok with that). This is the first snack saver that I made - it measures aprox 5 x 6.5" and is the perfect size for Sweet Pea to hold and fill with her crackers. Although I can see this as also being her new treasure bag, crayon carrying case, or place to hid mamas stuff. Ahem... like my memory card for my camera. I really love that the RipStop Nylon is waterproof making this perfect for carrots or fruit pieces (or Amish frienship bread... yum!), and the even she can open and close the Velcro.
Tomorrow I will be making a larger size for bread - it really is hard to find any sort of container for homemade bread sandwiches which tend to be larger than those made on wonder bread - and a smaller size for Lady Bug's snacks. Despite the fact that she thinks she is 2, she really is just 11 months old and would probably benefit from having something a little smaller to hold on to.

They are available for sale in my shop

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

My toddler ate my homework... or something like that

I was going to take some pictures of my newest project... however as Sweet Pea (aka toddler tornado) was sitting on my lap she managed to stick the memory card for my camera somewhere in my computer and I cannot find it. Either that or she ate it - and I wouldn't put it past her.

So that being said there will be no pictures until I either a) find the memory card - unlikely or b) buy a new one - more than likely.

I will tell you that this project is a little something that I am making just in time for Bloomin Earth. I have been wanting to make some of these for Sweet Pea for a while now, but for some reason the way to hide the seams was eluding me. This morning I let the girls pull all the clothes out of their dressers to buy me a few minutes of peace to figure it out. A few muslin scraps, and ripped out seams later I'm there! I can't wait to show you the pictures (once I find that memory card).
Any guesses on what I made?

I will leave you with a picture from earlier this week when the girls discovered the pure bliss that can be found while throwing all the clothes from their dressers (an no Sweet Pea was not supposed to have that soother!). After I finished sewing both rooms looked a lot like this - but that's the price you have to pay for a few minutes of free time!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Birth House

There is a lot going on in the crafting part of my world but I have about a million little projects on the go - and you have seen them all before. Right now I am working on making up some stock for a few shows that I will be participating in this spring. I'll give more details later when I have some pictures so share of what I've been doing.

For now I think I'll tell you a little about the other part of my world that is just for me - my bookshelf. I am reading The Birth House by Ami McKay and I am really enjoying it. Without giving too much away it is set in the early 1900s and follows the training and life of a young country midwife struggling against the medicalization of birth, and life in general, by the area's doctor who promotes ether, chloroform, Twilight Sleep, and the doctors best friend - forceps. Ah, such a good read! I'm off to read a few more pages while Lady Bug sleeps and Sweet Pea reads Each Peach Pear Plum (or each plum PEACH! as she calls it) beside me.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blog Facelift

I haven't been feeling overly enthusiastic about blogging as of late. Perhaps it is the flu the keeps running through our house, or the dreary sunless February days, or the drama that unfolded after the pizza delivery guy drove into my car and then tried to drive away. Whatever it is, I needed to change it - and what better way than to give this here blog a face lift! I don't profess to know anything about web design so I went over to the Cutest Blog on the Block and found myself a new banner and background. Aren't they pretty?

How could I not want to spend a bit more time in this space now that it looks so good?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Another Snuggle

Lately all it seems that I can pull off my sewing table is snuggle quilts. I don't mind - I love making them and they are a fairly quick sewing project being 28 x 28 (which is great for the "project" sewist in me). I really must make one for Sweet Pea one of these days, she gets so confused when she sees them but I won't let her have them!

This was a custom order for a sweet baby girl on the day of her baptism. I embroidered her name in the center square and this is entirely made of soft flannels and minkee. It is so soft. I hope she loves it!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Amish Friendship Cake

I don't know if this cake is supposed to win you friends or help you to keep those that you have but it is so good! Yum. I don't know if you have ever had a friendship cake before, I hadn't until last night. Its kind of like a chain letter for baking, but with instant rewards - so maybe its not like a chain letter at all!

10 days ago my Mother in Law gave me a bag of batter, and it kind of freaked me out. I was to leave this batter on the counter for 10 days, squishing it around occasionally and adding some milk, flour and sugar on day 6. 10 days later it was ready to have the final ingredients added, and baked into 2 friendship cakes. There is also enough of the "starter batter" to share with 3 friends and keep one for myself so that we can bake more cake in 10 days... and bake cake we will! I will never be a sceptic again.

I would share the recipe with you but you need a batch of starter batter to make the friendship bread... Guess you will just have to wait for it to circle around your way!

Totally unrelated... doesn't this picture of Sweet Pea just need the caption "You wish you were this cool?" I think so.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I remembered to photograph these ones!

I have been sewing and sending thing out of here faster than I can take pictures. I don't know why I always forget to photograph my work. Ah well... I can add "remember to photograph work" to the list of new years resolutions!

In the spirit of sticking to my resolutions I remembered to photograph this sweet pair of snuggle quilts before they were passed on to their new, very excited, owners. About the only thing sweeter than a snuggly quilt, is a pair of snuggle quilts for sisters! I added in the name embroidery for them in the center square and I think they turned out great!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blog catch up

I didn't get a chance to blog about this sweet snuggle quilt yet. It found its way to its new home about 2 weeks ago and I loved it so much that I will be making another. It really is a soft and cuddly quilt! I used pink minkee, cream flannel, and black fleece. OH to be the babe under this quilt! That being said, I'm pretty sure that in addition to her new blankie that I made her for Christmas (that I have yet to photograph!) I think that ladybug need one of these too!
I have been having so much fun making rag quilts lately, and even more fun since I started using my favourite designer prints, and minkee.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Um, what happened to January? Seriously where did it go?

One thing that did happen in January is that I received my certification as a CAPPA Childbirth Educator! Not only was I awarded certification but I was also given special note for my comprehensive curriculum. Oh yeah! I cannot even express how excited I am that these past 2 years of hard work have paid off.

If you have a second, jump over to my website to learn a little more about my classes, and me! (Click the icon below)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

52 Books :: 52 Weeks

In 2009 I didn't do terribly at my 52 Books :: 52 Weeks attempt, but I didn't reach 52 either. I hit 36, although I think that I only blogged about 32 of them. So far I'm on my third week of January but I'm reading 2 books right now so that might help me make up time. Last year I blogged about each book as I started it, this year I think that I'll blog as I finish it - a little extra incentive if you will, and I might not blog about it but I will add all books to my sidebar and my goodreads account.

So that being said I'd love to be on my way to read, but instead I am going to calm the chaos in my house that is 3 kids under 3 years old (I am babysitting one today).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


We have a lot going on right now and as a result I haven't been in this space much. I just wanted to pop by to make sure you know about the Craft Hope for Hati shop. There are so many beautiful handmade items in this shop donated by artists and craftivists. 100% of the proceeds go to Doctors without Boarders.

Craft Hope for Haiti Shop Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Baby Boy Blues

I can't believe I am posting about baby gifts before I post about Christmas gifts... oh well it all comes down to what has been photographed! I finished this gift set for a little boy about oh, 5 minutes ago. My favourite part is this snuggle quilt. I love the way the aqua from the back brightens up the royal blue and dark olive prints in the front. I actually have a few more of these snuggle quilts to make in the next week or so - here is hoping that I get around to taking pictures before I send them out to their new homes!