Sweet Fabric Bird

finished bird.jpgSome weeks it seems as though I don’t have a spare minute to breathe let alone craft, but after going for a while not creating anything, I get a serious itch. I am working on decorating my girl’s room and this is one project for it, a sweet little fabric bird. It was so windy today I had a really difficult time photographing him, he just wanted to fly away, so the picture is not brilliant. He is a sweetie though. I used a vintage sheet I picked up at a thrift store, and some vintage buttons. The wing is made from some fabric from one of the babe’s dresses that she outgrew. He has cute little crochet legs and wooden button feet. I really enjoyed working with vintage fabrics, buttons, cotton yarn, an alpaca blend yarn and hand embroidering as well. I think that is a lot of his charm is that he is a hodgepodge of materials. I’m hoping to have a tutorial up by tomorrow in case anybody wants to make their own cute birdy. UPDATE: The tutorial is now available here.

crochet, home, nature, sewing, thrift store finds • Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 • 10 Comments »

A Date with my Hubby and Art Wires

barn.jpg It’s a very rare time when Hubby and I get a day by ourselves, but my mom generously offered to watch the three bigger kids while we took the babe and went off for the day. As anybody with kids knows, sometimes it is really hard to get an adult conversation in while they are still awake. Since the babe doesn’t talk yet, we were able to spend the whole day talking, while we were actually awake enough to think straight. We drove 40 minutes away to a town that has a few nice things to do. On the way we saw this fantastic barn and some gorgeous trees (most of the ones where we live went straight from green to dead because of all the snow, no autumn colours).orange trees.jpg We walked around the historic downtown for quite a while and stopped at a local brew pub for a quick lunch. It was so nice to be able to get out in the fresh air, it was a gorgeous 70°, and do lots of walking and talking. After some more walking we went to a bookstore where we were able to leisurely browse through some books and magazines until I almost jumped out of my skin as a mouse scurried by my feet. I do not like mice, I do not do well around mice, mice are not my friends. I have an irrational fear of them and seeing this little guy put me on edge. They say that the best way to face your fears is to jump headfirst, right? I’m seriously considering going to a pet shop to hold the mice because I really do not like being controlled (through my fear) by these little guys. Anyway, that’s another story…buffalo.jpgOn the way home we saw a bunch of buffalo, they are truly magnificent creatures. Then we passed one of the windmill farms near us. Some people complain that they are an eyesore, but personally, I think they are beautiful and calming. I often think it would be nice to grab a blanket and a book and sit in the middle of a windmill farm. Not really a possibility, but still.windmills.jpgOh, and on Sunday I tackled one little project. I hung some art wires (well, cotton yarn) for the boys to hang some of their artwork. I’ve been meaning to do this for some time, but I just never got around to it. Now for less than a quarter, the boys have somewhere to arrange their never ending supply of artwork, and it adds some nice colour to their walls as well.art wire.jpgI’ve got lots planned for this week, so it if goes according to plan, I’ll have several fun things to share with you.

family, home, kid's art, nature • Monday, October 26th, 2009 • 7 Comments »

The Prairie Sky

prairie sunsetBear with me while I show you a couple more photos of the sky. I miss a lot of things out here on the prairie, hills, trees, the sea, but one thing I love is the sky. You can see for miles and miles, and the sky seems as though it never ends. This is particularly beautiful when it comes to sunrises and sunsets. I was washing up after supper when I looked out the window, and the sky was pink. I grabbed my camera and went for a quick walk up the road. Isn’t it gorgeous? I just love the sky out here. It only took about ten minutes for the sun to go down, and as I got back to the house I turned around and this is what I saw. tree and moonMy five year old loves the moon, and she can spot it whenever it is out. Well, I’m off tomorrow for a full day “date” with my hubby (and baby) while my mom watches the 3 bigger kids. This is a very rare occasion and I intend to fully enjoy it. Have a great weekend, I’ll see you on Monday.

nature • Saturday, October 24th, 2009 • 5 Comments »

Fresh Air and Sunshine

shoesI’ve decided we don’t walk nearly enough. When I was a girl and we lived in England, we walked all the time. If we could walk instead of drive, we did. We walked to and from school every morning, and I’m pretty sure it was 45 minutes each way. I think we miss so much by not walking more, the fresh air, exercise, and sunshine does the body and mind such good.pebblesYesterday was a bit of a hectic day with normal day to day stuff and then the babe had a well-baby appointment. She was pretty fussy after some vaccinations, so when we got home and had an hour before supper, I bundled everybody up and headed outside.dead flowersMost of what we saw wasn’t anything spectacular, just normal things like rocks on the roadside, flowers that had been wiped out by the snow and frost, yet still remained beautiful in their own way. cracks in the roadCracks in the road and puddles to jump in were next on the walk.puddlesThere was nothing extraordinary about what we saw, but that’s where I think the magic comes in. It was really nice to just be outdoors. The sunshine, crisp cool air, exercise and just every day nature was making everybody feel better. I felt less stressed, the babe calmed down, and the bigger kids had a great time running around and just being themselves.end of the road viewThis view, however, was spectacular. It is what we see at the end of our road, and was the perfect ending to a refreshing, energizing walk. We were able to go home, eat supper, and settle all of the little ones down to bed, where they fell fast asleep, exhausted and content.

family, nature • Friday, October 23rd, 2009 • 13 Comments »

Hankies

kids hankies.jpgOne way that we have tried to consume less and save on the budget is by using hankies. I’ve had lots of fun trying to build up a collection. I have a good start, but if everyone came down with colds at the same time, we might be a tad short. I have some from when we lived in Japan, one from a friend in New Zealand, a couple from my great grandmother, and the rest have been picked up at thrift and antique stores. crocheted edge hankies.jpgI’ve got a couple with some beautifully crocheted edges and several with some gorgeous embroidery. I even found a cute little child’s hanky.embroidered hankies.jpg The other day when I was out birthday shopping with my mom, I found this beautiful smoky brown hand embroidered hanky which would be great for using at more solemn occasions. My new favourite is this hanky with pink and brown houses.brown hankies.jpgThen of course there are plenty of floral hankies as well.floral hankies.jpgI don’t usually pay more than one dollar for a hanky, so over time that is significantly less money than buying boxes of tissues. As far as laundry goes, with the amount of laundry that six people generate, a couple dozen hankies really doesn’t add much. Besides, it’s so much more fun having a colourful hanky in your pocket, and so much softer on your nose. I love collecting them and keeping my eye out wherever I go, hoping to find some new ones. There are so many beautiful hankies out there, but a lot of them are really fragile so I try to only get ones that can handle some serious nose blowing. Using hankies is just one small way we try to consume and discard less.

home, thrift store finds • Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 • 10 Comments »

Chocolate Brown Wrist Warmers

wrist warmersI was really inspired by Lucy’s wrist warmers, so after I saw her post, I went through my stash and found this scrumptiously soft, chocolatey brown yarn leftover from making Christmas stockings last year. I figured it couldn’t be too hard to crochet a rectangle, right? After learning a new stitch, I got these made pretty quickly. I finished making these wrist warmers on our drive up to the mountains last weekend. Well, I say finished, but I had to finish the seam after we stopped the car as looking in the van while driving up really curvy, curvy roads up the mountain was maybe not such a good idea. I love how they turned out, they were so simple to make and so soft and warm to wear. They are especially great when it is chilly at night and I can’t quite get my fingers to crochet well. If I can make these, then anybody can.

crochet • Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 • 8 Comments »

Birthday Goodies

birthday flowersI received some wonderful presents for my birthday, and wanted to share them with you. I got these gorgeous flowers, just perfect to brighten up the kitchen. It makes me smile every time I look at them.birthday bits and bobsSome great new (well, old, really) hankies to add to my collection that I use daily. A beautifully hand crocheted baby bib and some silver baby spoons for the little one, and an old wooden spool which will decorate my studio, one day.how to grow your own food.jpgA new gardening book to hopefully help me figure out what I’m doing.stripey blanket.jpgA pink stripey blanket that is destined to be repurposed as it has a little hole and a couple of stains. I also got two sets of Wee Wonderfuls embroidery patterns, the All Four Seasons Stitchettes, and the All Four Fairy Stitchettes. Last but not least, is a 1- year subscription to the British Country Living magazine, which I’m super, super, super excited about. I had such a great birthday, and got some wonderful things. There is going to be a lot of fun crafting before Christmas and plenty to learn before spring hits with a new garden. Hope you guys are having a great week.

books, gardening, thrift store finds • Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 • 8 Comments »

Birthday Adventures

mountainsIt’s official, I’m one year older. The birthday celebrations have been spread out for a couple of days, lucky me! On Saturday we packed the kids up and enough picnic food for all day, and drove an hour and a half up into the mountains. Let me just say, they were even more beautiful than the pictures could possibly show.mountainsWe walked around part of the massive lake, and saw some beautiful horses.horsesWe also visited the local museum to see a quilt exhibit.quiltquiltsWe had so much fun, the weather was gorgeous, the food was good, and the boys had a ton of fun climbing on every rock imaginable.my guysSunday we went to my mom’s house where she cooked me a wonderful meal, gotta love those traditions. Afterwords, we spent the afternoon doing a little birthday shopping. Can’t wait to show you all some of my goodies tomorrow. Hope you guys had a great weekend too.

family, nature, sewing • Monday, October 19th, 2009 • 8 Comments »

Fall Weather, At Last

mumsme and babyprairie grassesAfter several weeks of freezing temperatures and lots of snow, we are finally having some fall weather. I absolutely love it. Yesterday was warm enough to snuggle the babe up in my sling and bundle up the rest of the kiddos and take a nice little walk after dinner.Unfortunately it started to rain, so we had to cut it short, but it was so nice to be out breathing in that fresh, crisp air. I snapped the photo of the mums before all of the snow, unfortunately they didn’t survive, but I’m hoping they’ll come back next year. I do love the colours of autumn and I am very glad that we now appear to be having some more time before winter hits again. I’m off for a weekend of birthday celebrations, hope you all have a great weekend!

family, nature • Saturday, October 17th, 2009 • 8 Comments »

My Granny Square Laptop Sleeve

granny square laptop sleeve inside laptop sleeveThis is the project that I started on last week, it’s finally finished. I always admire items made with bright colours, but normally stick to my typical muted colour palette. I decided to jump in with a bunch of bright colours and try to make something nice and cheery. I mastered a granny square a couple of weeks ago and though I am working on a blanket, I wanted a quicker project that I could finish much sooner. I decided to make a laptop sleeve for my laptop. So for the details…. I used cotton yarn as I didn’t want the yarn to get fuzzy after being stuffed in and pulled out of a bigger bag. I used fleece to line it so that it would be a little bit more cushioned and look nice and finished on the inside. the bad I do not like the orange in this bag. I think the colours go well together, but something about the orange colour and floral pattern screams 70’s and shag carpet. Maybe it’s just me, but this is what I think now when I look at this sleeve. I also do not care for the border around the front, but quite frankly it wasn’t wide enough to cover the top of the computer, and since I basically was winging it and really had no clue as to what I was doing, there we go. the good I love that I was able to crochet something useful. I love the idea of the granny squares, especially if I had colours that looked good. I’m thrilled with the actual construction, like I said, I had no idea what I was doing and just kind of figured things out as I went along. I’m a little disappointed that after all of that work, I don’t really care for it, but I am very excited that I can tweak what I didn’t like and start from scratch and hopefully produce one that I love. I’m a little stumped on the colour choice though, as it is fairly obvious that my bright colour palette skills are seriously lacking. I guess like with anything, practice makes perfect and hopefully my eye will get better as far as these new colours go. Any suggestions? I was thinking possibly the same blue, red, and adding white instead of the orange.

crochet, sewing • Friday, October 16th, 2009 • 18 Comments »