Friday, March 27, 2015

Mixed Pattern Dress

I made myself a couple of presents for my birthday last month. This was the first, a t-shirt refashioned into a dress. I wanted something pretty and comfortable that I could just throw on, but that wouldn't be so precious that I couldn't wear it to work.

The bottom is just your standard rectangle-gathered-at-the-top type skirt, I just added some pretty trim from my stash. (It was fate, there was only about 3 inches left over. Does anyone else feel nervous using something "special" from their stash? Isn't that the most irrational feeling ever? I mean really, the only real way to waste it would be to leave it in the drawer right?)

I then cut the t-shirt where I wanted the skirt to start, plus seam allowances. ( Cutting straight lines on striped fabric is oddly satisfying.) Right side to right side, sew around and voila! My only issue is that sewing a gathered woven fabric to a knit makes the seam bulky, hence the belt. Not exactly a huge deal since I was planning to wear it with the belt anyways.

I've had mixed reviews on this dress. The first time I wore it I was complimented on my skirt (because it looks like two pieces). I also has a co-worker ask me if it was some sort of apron. I'm ok with it though, I'm past the phase of wearing what other people think I should be. The feeling of wearing something that makes you smile is worth confusing a few people over ;)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

1$ Birthday Gift for a 1st Birthday

My little girl turned one this morning. One. She is no longer a 'baby', but a 'toddler'. Although, she has really been a toddler for months now, she just had to catch up with the label. One. My how this year flew by. But that's not what I'm here to tell you about. I'm here to show you Hunter's birthday gift, that cost me 1$. The only materials that I had to buy, were two pieces of felt, everything else we had on hand. Except for the box, but that was free from No Frills.

May I present, Hunter's indoor Garden <3 Tutorial found here.
Yesterday, sporting her birthday outfit from Grammy

The garden bed

The veggies

Hunter prefers to sit in the garden bed while planting and harvesting crops.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The begining of the end of my rut.

Basement carpet meets Brown marker

Katie tells me it was DJ

DJ tells me that he only did the body head and legs...DJ can't do his letters yet...
They didn't seem to understand why I wanted them to clean it up... This happened during the first week of March, I had been in a low for awhile and couldn't seem to shake it. You know I'm having a hard time with parenting when there is cereal in my house. Not only did I buy Cheerios, but we had it for supper.  That may not seem like anything serious to you, but for me, it was a sign that I was just done. On this particular day, we had a great morning, and then within ten minutes of being home, they coloured on the carpet downstairs. This man was about 8 feet tall. I was furious. Not just because they had coloured on the carpet, but because Katie came upstairs and told me that DJ coloured on the carpet, denying any involvement in it. I stayed pretty calm, until partway through cleaning it, when they started whining about how they shouldn't have to clean it, and I was even helping them! What put me over the edge though, wasn't the older two, it was the baby who was walking on it while we were trying to clean, and them proceeded to pull my hair really hard when I was in a position where I couldn't do anything about it. It just escalated from there. The baby got a little smack on the leg, and the kids were screamed at because I had just "spanked" the baby and had promised her that I would never ever spank her. I felt horrible.

I posted these pictures to remind me that there are some things that you just look back on and laugh about, but to me this will never be one of them. There was too much negative emotion involved in that hour or two for me to ever laugh about. Instead, I wanted to put this here as a reminder that even though there are bad days, it does get better and I wouldn't change it for anything. This incident just happened to signal the end of my rut. I'm happy and am having fun being a parent again. It's all just part of the roller coaster of life. Every moment, good or bad, helps to shape us into who we want to be.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Diy Laundry Soap

Sorry that this is a picture-less post, but as excited as I get to see my neat little rows of laundry soap bottles, a beautiful photo opportunity they are not!

I have been making my own laundry soap for years,  since before we were married I think. It is by far my favorite "product" to make myself and the only one I diy consistently. Why? Cost for one. I can make an entire batch (eight regular sized bottles of laundry soap) for about $1.50.  Seriously. It's also quite easy. 15 mins one night to make it, then 5 or so the next day to fill the bottles. (And yes, it works just as well as the store bought kind.) I know exactly what's in it and there are no gross chemical fragrances. (Sorry lovers of that fresh laundry smell, nothing personal, I'm just allergic!) It's also gentle enough for baby clothes and cloth diapers.

Sold on my magical laundry soap and want the formula? Well I'm going to have to be a jerk and not post a link. Thing is, I printed off the recipe I use all of those years ago and the original post hasn't survived that long. I don't really feel comfortable linking you to another recipe that I haven't tried, so I will leave you with my ingredients and let you search out your own, they are everywhere these days. I make a liquid soap using washing soda, borax and a grated bar of soap. There are also powder versions if that's your preference.

Happy washing!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Beating the winter blues

Even with a week in Cuba, it's been a long winter with three little ones. Getting four people dressed to go outside sometimes takes all morning, so we often just don't go outside. On the days where we stay inside, I often mope around and turn on the television, ignoring the kids messes for a little while longer. Movies and shows don't help though, and they make the kids even crankier. I have however found one thing that makes them happier and slow down at the same time. POPSICLES! We often enjoy fresh juice and smoothies and I like to freeze the extras into popsicle molds. Katie rarely drinks the juice, but will eat anything in popsicle form. Sneaky mommy...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Geeky Crochet

How's that face to look at first thing in the morning?
So I FINALLY got the last of the Christmas presents dropped off last week. Crazyness! The creeper above was inspired by this photo. I made it for my husband's godson who is crazy about minecraft. Apparently he asked if he could "save" it at bedtime, like in the game.  :D   Mine is much bigger than the original and doesn't have separate legs because his  little brother is still young enough to choke if they rip one off. I also didn't reinforce the sides, which makes the edges a bit less crisp. It would have made him less huggable though, and everybody wants to hug a creeper... right?

This little wonder is a crochet lightsaber! Seriously, the world is better because this pattern exists. It's free and you can find it here. The handle took a little while but nothing impossible. My only problem with it is my wonky stuffing job. I still haven't figured out how to keep things from being lumpy when I stuff them. I'm debating making my kids a pair and throwing out the foam swords. These are shorter and softer if they're going to insist on beating each other with something ;)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Magic Kingdom books

I love books. My kids love them too. They love to use them as roller skates, they love to throw them, eat and rip them. Most of all, they love to read them, especially before bed. 95% of our nights include me reading to the kids. Among our fairly large selection of kids books, they have a few favourite books that we read frequently. These are kept on a shelf out of the baby's reach. Lately however, we have been reading a series of early reader novels called the magic kingdom. Katie adores them. DJ tolerates them because there is usually a picture on every other page.

In light of me getting out of my rut and sort of back to normal, we did a craft!  We made white clay using corn starch baking soda and water. google it for a recipe. i'm not completely out of my rut, and lost mine! after it dried, we painted them with "mommy's special paint" aka acrylic.
the snail and fairy are mine...

this is summer, one of the girls form the book. Katie's creation :)

Katie's snowman

some cookie cutter I's

Katie's caterpillar.
 And then we did another craft! Because I was feeling pretty good for a few days. Go read to your kids! NOW! and then do a craft, or two...or dare I say three??

I doubt that it looks like much to the untrained eye, but to a 3 and 4 year old, it's water falls, snails, pixies and much much more!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Chunky Cowls

Winter warm cushy snugness, in super cute yarn. That's what I made. I love these so much I made six of them! It started with a last minute Christmas present. I grabbed two balls of a lovely red wool,  this fabulous but simple pattern (free) and had one of the nicest presents I made in just one evening. I liked it so much I used the rest of the yarn to make one for myself. Then two kid sized ones in random stash yarns (I kind of winged those ones). Then a blue and grey version for my Mom during a car trip. Then a two-toned purple version for my dance teacher... Then I came to my senses and stopped ;)

Deacon's version. He was pretty excited to see it "up high" on the screen.
Sophie's cowl is from the same yarn as her wrist warmers in my very first post.
This bottom one is mine, fuzzy from almost everyday use :)

Mmmm... warm things. It's been that sort of winter hasn't it? A take-some-of-the-inside-cozyness-out-with-you sort of year. If you have a crochet hook and a movie you've been meaning to watch this pattern is definitely worth making!

P.s. I just realized I've missed my one-year blogging anniversary. I was having too much fun with my real birthday I guess ;)


Monday, March 2, 2015

The Sad Tale of the Popcorn Dress and an Update

I've been MIA for a bit (thanks Jess for posting tons of projects when I had nothing scheduled!) so I'll tell you about a few of the things I've been working on. But first, The Sad Tale of the Popcorn Dress:

I found the cutest, most amazing fabric for Sophie's Christmas dress. It was gray with unicorns and rainbows and was completely fabulous. I couldn't buy it right then because she was with me, so I came back the next day and no one could find it. Anywhere. Ugh. Countdown was on and no fabric. 

In another fabric store a few days later, I go looking for a replacement. Voila! Popcorn print! Sophie LOVES popcorn, she'll be thrilled! Match colours for the bodice, take it home and sew late into the night.

Christmas morning, no real reaction but she gets such a crazy amount of stuff that I'm not worried. Over the next few weeks I  bring it up here and there; "Hey want to wear your popcorn dress today?". No. She does not. We discuss shortening it to a shirt because she's on a dress strike because Papa keeps calling her Princess when she wears one and it upsets her. She agrees but still isn't excited so I put it off. Turns out the entire problem with this dress is that she doesn't like one of the colours of the popcorn. I promptly gave up and had her give it to her cousin. If Katie hates it I don't want to know about it. :P

Epilogue: A friend posted some facebook pictures of a dress in the unicorn fabric not too long ago. I was so excited and it turns out she'd bought it quite recently! I showed Sophie, she liked it and off to the store we went. After a brief repeat of no one being able to find it again, we manage to buy a meter and take it home. A few days later I take it out to brainstorm what to make her out of it and... she doesn't like it anymore. Sewing for 4 year olds is not for the faint of heart.

Wow, super blurry. Sorry I didn't notice when I uploaded it!

 So some of the other things I've been working on are patching the knees of a bunch of size 3 pants I got off of freecycle. Deacon went and outgrew everything recently so I'd better get the other pairs finished!


Here is a mystery picture for you, can you guess what project I've started with these spoons?

I've also been de-cluttering like a crazy person. It feels GREAT. It's both a lot of work and the best stress reliever ever. Seriously, if you're the sentimental or indecisive sort than start sorting something when you're frustrated about the disaster the kids have made of you're house. You'll be wonderfully brutal about what goes! For fun I've been marking how often a grocery bag full of things leave my house. I'm almost at 40 bags! It's really motivating to have the space and makes me want to keep going!