Friday, September 25, 2015

Felted Sweater Mittens

Don't hate me, it is Fall you know. A completely reasonable time to post about some light pairs of mittens. Fall mittens. Don't panic. ;)

Galaxy mittens for Sophie
So I was cleaning out my stash this summer and found a bag of felted sweater scraps left over from making diaper covers when Sophie was a baby. I figured that almost 5 years of taking up space was long enough and it was time to use them up or get rid of them.

Flower mittens for Katie
My yarn stash also happened to have all of these little skeins of coloured wool and so... voila! Little mittens for all of the cousins with embroidered pictures to tell them apart :)

Sea and Sand mittens for DJ
Now obviously embroidery is not my thing, but these were fairly easy. I just traced each kids hand to be sure it would fit, added seam allowances and voila. Instant pattern. (I kind of messed up Deacon's though. He can barely get them on. Oh well, what can you do?)

Little house mittens for Deacon
These would make really cute Christmas presents I think. No sewing machine required and even an older child could make them!

Rain cloud mittens for Hunter
I had just enough left over to make an extra pair in baby size. I figured I might as well while I was at it, instead of throwing the rest out. I'm sure they'll get used eventually.

Leaf mittens
I also wanted to add that the decorative stitches on the outside aren't just for looks. I have tried felted sweater mittens in the past and NOTHING I did would make them curve smoothly when I turned them inside out! I have no idea why, so I just went a different route this time.

One more photo, for your amusement. The secret to my lovely white background. Were you impressed? High tech, I know.  ;)

Oh no, I mentioned Christmas presents! Are you running away now?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Peach Cookies

It's been awhile since I've made these, but I was so proud I had to share! I'm pretty sure these are the most impressive looking things I've made in my entire life!

I will definitely start by saying that I didn't invent these. I saw this beautiful recipe and thought, why not try it? I had a picnic coming up and hadn't made anything fancy in ages, and man do they look like you know what you're doing!

I will also admit that about halfway through (before the dye and sugar). this looks like you are screwing it up.Don't panic though! As long as your little cookies are rounded nicely they will turn out fine. (Cough cough little hands helping haha.)

And then people will think you are a baking rock star. You're welcome.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Grownup Birthday Skirts

I felt like making something summery and light for my best friend's birthday. It just so happens I had some pretty vintage florals and a giant bag of lace, so this was the obvious choice!

These are a two layer version of the simple skirt, with the elastic being held between the two layers. One layer is slightly longer than the other, with lace sewn on the hem. Nothing complicated, but still a very pretty effect.

I liked hers so much that I whipped up one of my own to wear to the city to see her!
I see that you are not shocked that it's pink... ;)

Things were a bit crazy when we got there, and we only got to see each other for a quick dinner in a crowded and noisy restaurant (with fabulous dumplings) while herding children who were cranky after a long day and the servers stealing their chopsticks, but it was nice to connect face to face. Maybe I'll take the trip solo next time though :P

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pioneer Unit Study for Kindy

Exciting news, Porty Baby number 4 is on the way! The first trimester was the longest one I've ever had, but it is now officially over and I'm regaining some energy. Enough energy that I decided to do a little unit study with my kiddos, even though they are going to school for the year. Insert sad face here, but this mama needs a break once the new one arrives. Both our family and Kathryn's family have started reading Little House in the Big Woods, the first of the Little House On the Prairie series. My kids are enchanted. I was originally planning on spreading it out for six weeks, but they have me reading it everyday. This means that we are doing an activity nearly every day. Today I wanted to share a list of possible activities to get you started on your own pioneer themed unit study.

Handkerchief dolls
Honey Taffy
Molasses and sugar snow candy
Lincoln Logs
Build covered wagons out of popsicle sticks and paper
Corn husk dolls
"pioneer" games, such as potatoes sack and three legged races
Paper dolls
Make your own quill and ink
Play house outside, using everything nature has to offer, such as leaves, sticks, acorns...

Please feel free to add to my list. So far we have coloured log cabin pictures, played with Lincoln logs and made handkerchief dolls.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Vintage Pattern Haul!

I want to show you what I got recently, I just couldn't keep the cuteness to myself!

So many... <3

A whole stack of vintage patterns! For free! (Yay Freecycle!) 

They were listed as "older" so I knew I risked getting a bag of 90's crazyness, but I am sooo glad I went for it anyways!!

Not many for the Boo, but what there was is adorable :)

The one thing people kept being surprised by was how short little girl dresses used to be. I'm assuming it's to conserve fabric, but don't quote me on that.

Want to know the only downside? Most of these are size 3 or 6. Sophie is in a 6 now and wouldn't be caught dead in any of them. Or maybe it doesn't matter. She's so skinny that I could probably just lengthen them for the next few years ;)

Or maybe I'll just frame them on the wall of my imaginary sewing room. I mean, look at those little capes and kerchiefs...  <3

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Butterscotch Bonnet

Hello Darling!
I've been very busy lately, want to see some of what I've been up to?

I call this one the butterscotch bonnet because the yarn just looks delicious! This is what started the whole outfit, that and one of my dance ladies expecting a little girl this fall. I used
this free crochet pixie hat pattern as my inspiration. The changes I made were to use single crochet as the main stitch, and making a scalloped edge instead of the fluffy trim. I also threaded some lace through the double crochets instead of a chin strap.

This little top is actually just a shortened version of this baby dress. (Also a free pattern.) The yarn I used is super soft, but has a slight sheen to it so it photographed a little crazy. You can see a slightly better view of the lace pattern below.

I trimmed it in the same cream coloured yarn as the diaper cover. No pattern link for this one. The one I tried following was a disaster, but that's the risk you take with free patterns found randomly on the internet! I just took the basic shapes that worked and free-styled it in the right proportions. I used a ribbon instead of the elastic recommended by the (terrible) pattern because I knew it would show through.

Also, ruffle baby bums! :)

 I have a little confession to add here at the end:
I liked these pieces so much I made them all over again! I never feel very well when I'm pregnant and don't find out the gender of my babies, so I'm lucky if I manage a piece or two of gender neutral clothing before a baby arrives. And we all know how much gets done after... :P 

So my brilliant new plan, is that whenever I make little baby gifts for the people around me I have been doubling them. I did it once before with some little baby pants. (Maybe I'll tell you that story someday...) 

Because really, once you've gone to the trouble of picking a pattern and fabric and getting everything out, cutting out one more pair is hardly a bother. And if I never have another boy/girl? Well I'll have a little stash of pre-made baby shower gifts that I had a ton of fun making :)

p.s. In case you missed it, this was not a pregnancy announcement ;) I just have an obsession with making itty bitty baby things. Because I'm your Grandma.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Why, you are wondering, am I sticking my recycling in holes in my garden?

It's my attempt at keeping some moisture in my garden this year. I watched a few YouTube videos about milk jug ollas and gave it a try. The idea is to poke the bottles full of holes, plant them in your garden and fill them up. The water will slowly seep into the lower layers of the soil. The reverse is also true in that it will catch extra rainfall to let seep out later. (Just be sure to keep the caps to prevent mosquitoes!)

On a side note, these are the three kinds of potatoes I planted.

This is my attempt at showing you the water in the bottom.

This sad picture shows the state of my soil. I couldn't dig any deeper than this! (Hence the potatoes.) Hopefully in a year or two I'll be able to bury them to the top. :)