Friday, December 31, 2010

A Little Crafting and A Lot of Pyrex.

I have been hoping to get some crafting done on my break, inbetween homework breaks of course. When I saw these ornaments by The Sometimes Crafter, I knew they'd be on my list. Mine didn't turn out as pretty as hers, but it was a good first try with teeny tiny patchwork squares.

Unfortunately I did not leave enough room around the edges to finish it properly, but I think I'll just zig-zag stitch around to finish it off. My next try will hopefully be a little nicer!
Earlier that same day, my mom and I decided to pay a visit to some of our favourite Antique Markets. I haven't been since the summer months, so there was so much to take in. Aisles and aisles of Pyrex, oh my!

I did come away with some goodies, though I left wishing they would split up that black/white Gooseberry cinderella bowl set. I'm missing the #441.

Some new dots, golden tulip, friendship, mod kitchen, and golden poinsettias, and a fun day to top it off!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Crafting..

But just a little.
I had plans for many beautiful homemade for Christmas projects this year. It seems I always do. December rolled around and I was so busy with life that I barely had time to breathe let alone craft. Usually my Christmas making/shopping is finished by December 1st, but this year I didn't get started until two weeks after then. I had decided that when my break from school came I would spend a few days relaxing and crafting some of those many Christmas Projects. Maybe even that Ice Skating Afternoon Alicia Paulson kit I've had sitting in my stash for the past two years. Unfortunately the flu knocked me out and those plans were put on hold yet again. It's now the day before Christmas Eve, and I've finally managed to bust out two very simple, but much needed, craft projects.

The first is a little stocking for my dear sweet girls. Pets need stockings too! I had planned on a matching pair for Lola and Charlie and two smaller ones for Rory and Lenore, but one was all I could manage this year. It hangs funny (I'm thinking I should go back and shorten that toe!) and it's a bit lumpy, but I really kind of love it. And that mouse popping up over the cute is that? That little mouse is Charlie's Christmas present this year.

The fleece is from an old sweater I loved dearly for many years but had to let go of after it was singed in an unfortunate dryer incident. I kept it around for the perfect crafting opportunity, which I try not to do too often. I love the ice blue colour. I appliqued a sweet little snow girl cut out from some Christmas fabric (Colorful Christmas by My Mind's Eye for Riley Blake Designs) I bought earlier in the Fall, embroidered some snowflakes with silver thread, and added my favourite pom-pom trim. That stuff makes everything so much better!

The other project was this little thread spool wreath. I saw a mini-version in Michael's a while back, but for $8 I thought reaching into that bag of wooden spools I bought at an antique fair a while back would be the more sensible thing to do. I used some fabric scraps in red and green to wrap around them, and didn't worry about finishing the edges. I added some beads from my stash so the spools wouldn't sit funny against each other. Tiny red rick-rack for hanging, and it was done!

There is one more project I'm hoping to squeeze in before Christmas is through. This one involves a trip to the craft store for some red felt, so it may not happen this year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

An Update That is Long Overdue.

I seem to come in and out of using this blog on a regular basis and I am always trying to change that. I think for now I'm not going to make any promises and will post whenever the opportunity arises.

A new (temporary) home

This past Fall saw a lot of changes. I experienced the passing of my dear 19 year old cat just days before moving to Peterborough to attend the Faculty of Education at Trent University. There was the business of classes and school work during the week, and trips to Toronto on weekends to spend time with my fiance, family, and of course more school work. There was my first 'real' photography gig. There have been new friendships, and new experiences, joys, and challenges with field placements. There were forever homes for the foster cats, including one right here. There has been a little time for new thrift haunts and Pyrex spotting.

some thrift finds
Charlie, our new family member

There has been no less than three car accidents, more than one hospital visit, and some family drama. There was anticipation and excitement with a new pregnancy, and devastation when it came to an end nine weeks later. This Fall was something. As the season changes to Winter I am hopeful for new experiences, and maybe a little less grief. There will also be a knit-a-thon coming up that I am excited to share in this space.

Living by the lake has been nice..

but maybe not so much in the winter.

Right now I am in Toronto for a three week break. I'm not enjoying it yet because I am in bed with the flu. Once I'm feeling better I am hoping to relax and enjoy some 'me' time before getting started on that pile of school work that is waiting for me.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Swing Swing Smock

A while back I had a request from my mom's co-worker for a sweet little apron for her two year old granddaughter. This little girl loves collecting nature treasures out on walks, so grandma thought a nice apron with some big pockets in front for carrying those treasures would be the perfect birthday gift. The big pockets and a velcro closure were the only specifics, otherwise I had free reign.

Instead of a traditional apron, I decided to go with the Swing Swing Smock pattern from Amy Karol's Bend the Rules Sewing. This way it's more like a dress that she can slip over her clothes. After seeing this fabric - Erin McMoris, Wildwood Forest - in a flickr friend's photostream, I knew it was the perfect choice for a little girl who likes pink and flowers. Okay, so they're actually trees and not flowers, but how cute is this fabric? I absolutely hate working with bias tape, but I'm glad I found it in the same colour as the trunks on the trees. I lined the smock in the same fabric in an alternate colourway so it's reversible.

This pattern was really easy to work with and it was a fairly quick sew. The longest part was basting the bias trim. I guess you could pin it, but basting it will hold everything together much better. I made a few adjustments, like the big pocket in front (sewn down the middle to make two), and the velcro closure. The ties in the original pattern are much sweeter, and make the smock flare out nicely, but the velcro means the little one can slip the smock on and off easier. The last touch was this little vintage flower button, sewn on tight and secure.

I hope this special little girl enjoys collecting treasures in her new Swing Swing Smock! I had a wonderful time sewing it for her.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Chairs

I had been searching for the perfect kitchen chairs for my apartment for a long while, but never came across the right ones. Last week I stumbled across this little gem in Value Village..

It is that wonderful mid century style I love and it is a very solid piece, but the fabric was worn and stained and the wood was scratched, and of course there was only one. Still, for $3.99 I couldn't pass it up. With a little effort, it would be just right.

I picked up some wood oil, foam, and chose some wonderful echino fabric from my stash, and got to work.

Pulling off the old foam was quite a chore, but stapling on the new was almost therapeutic.

Then came the fabric..

I am so happy with the result! I decided to keep the chair back in wood. There are some tiny holes from where staples used to be, but they are not very noticeable.

My lonely chair needed a mate. In lieu of a matching mate, I pulled up a wooden chair from my parents' basement that would suffice.

In order to coordinate them a little, I quickly sewed up a seat cushion in the same fabric (you can see the first chair, mid-makeover in the background). I had just enough! It is quite thin, with only three layers of organic cotton batting inside, but it is thick enough to keep bums comfy and warm through the winter months. I am so happy with my mismatched chairs!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Right Now...

There is mama and five four week old kittens, rescued from an awful situation, taking up temporary refuge in our finished basement. There is a lot of nursing, cudding, and playful antics for the kittens, and eating and gaining strength for mama.

There is a lot of reassuring and attention giving to the four permanent animal residents.

There is a lot of harvesting from the garden. Blackberries and tomatoes by the bowlful!

There is a lot of last minute crafting before the big move.

There is a lot of anticipation, preparation, excitement, and some sadness and worry.

And some last minute thrifting.

There are good friends, good food, and summer celebrations.

There are a lot of long days out in the sun, soaking up the last bits of this summer.

And things are good. Yes, they are oh, so good.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Garden Treats.

I deeply enjoy nuturing a garden, seeing a plant from seed to fruit and watching the growth and change from year to year. Being able to pick something from the garden and use it in our meals feels good. Summer is the busiest time for harvesting, but we do get little treats during the Spring and Fall. The very first garden gift we receive in the Spring is Rhubarb. We usually use it to make one of my favourite treats - rhubarb crisp.

The stalks are big and sturdy, bright green with a hint of pink. The leaves are huge! They are nice to have in the garden, away from Lola since they can be poisonous to dogs. We have had the same rhubarb plant for years and years.

To make the crisp we mix our own granola and cut up strawberries and peeled rhubarb. We still have to wait a while for strawberries from our own garden.

Then we add a simple orange custard.

The finished product usually looks a lot nicer, but we put too much rhubarb in the dish and it boiled over. It was still delicious, despite the mess!

Playing with the peelings is optional, but kind of fun.

What is growing in your garden?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The First Photos of May.

Rescued kittens at the Toronto Cat Rescue adoptathon! I was there for eleven hours straight, but we did have a few adoptions which is great.

Moving to Peterborough! I'll be slowly moving in over the summer and will be living there full time starting in September.

My Lily of the Valley are coming up!

A new Pyrex bowl.

April in Photos.

Part two of the 365 photo dump!

March in Photos.

I haven't posted any of my 365 pictures since the beginning of March! I am still doing the project and am going to make a couple posts in order to catch up. Here is March!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fridgie Straps

A while ago we cleared out the Tupperware drawer and started using glass for food storage instead. We find that it's not only safer, but it lasts a lot longer. My vintage Pyrex collection was put to use, especially the refrigerator dishes. They're cute, fun, and great for storage!

In a few months time I'll be living in Peterborough during the week, and I began thinking about food transport since I will often be bringing up leftovers with me. I didn't want to turn back to the Tupperware, but the lids on my fridgies only sit on top. There is nothing to secure them. I decided to sew up some velcro straps to hold them together during transport to avoid food spilling out.

Of course, this only works with solid food. Soups and liquids will still leak out the sides. For those I use mason jars or a thrifted ceramic lunch container with a silicone lid. I've tried some of those glass tupperware containers with the plastic lids, but I've found that most leak too.

The straps were very quick and easy to make. I sewed up the straps just like I'd sew up a purse strap, and then sewed a strip of velcro on each end. The straps for the small and medium fridgies are 18 inches long, with almost 5 inches overlap. The strap for the larger fridgie is 24 inches long with about 5 inches overlap. I used 4 inches of velcro on each strap to ensure a good hold, but less length and velcro could be used. This is a great project for using up those fabric scraps. I ended up with a collection of fabric strips and edges left over from old projects, so I dug into that for this one.

What would be even cuter - vintage fabrics that coordinate with the dishes. I'm picturing one of my flickr friend's vintage fabric collection for this. Amazing.

My mom asked why I didn't just use an elastic band to hold the lids on. I guess I could have done that, but this is a lot more fun!