Monday, November 24, 2008

Art will take you places.

Loved this. Half was through Payton wanted to go "do art".

Originally found here.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween Snapshots

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We love books.

I don't know about you but I love books. I've been reading ferociously for as long as I can remember. I would take books out of the library in stacks, even as a teen. 10-15 novels at a time and have them all finished by the time they were due. Since having kids I have a new obsession, childrens books, oh and craft books:) I thought I would share a few recent favorites. Grrrr...I can't get the link without the button underneath it to work. Sorry about that. I'm not trying to sell you books, I promise. Just show you what we've been enjoying.

Payton's favorite at the moment is The Balloon Tree. It is a library book so eventually we will have to return it, but this one is going on our wish list. The story and illustrations are beautiful. Payton asks for it every night and I really enjoy reading it(which makes it two thumbs up)

Another library favorite at the moment is Lily Browns Paintings. This is a really fun book about a young girl and her art. I love how it encourages kids to paint things however they want. I find so often that kids are encouraged to create only "realistic" things. If their cow is purple, or trees have shoes(as in the book) they are made to feel their creation isn't good because it's not realistic. I try to encourage Payton to use her imagination, and that whatever she wants to draw or create it's fantastic because it's hers. Art is so relative and is different for everyone, I know I hesitate to do things for fear of what other people think and am trying to get over that and just create. I hope I can instill that in my girls.

Fairy Houses is one we own and has been read over and over again. Pay is really into fairies right now, and I have to admit, so is mom!

We just got this book through a school scholastic order and I love it. It's really simple in words and art but what it does say is so big. This may have been a purchase more for mom than the girls as I teared up the first time I read it. I think I may have to get another copy so each child has their own. Payton loved how the baby grew up and had a baby of her own. She loves to talk about how things grow right now, including herself!

This is also a brand new addition, that I haven't actually read to Payton yet but will today. It's really a fun book about livestock that goes on strike. It really made me giggle and I'm sure Payton will enjoy it. Sam may actually sit for this one as well as she loves animals.

I LOVE this book. This is another library book that is going on my wish list, maybe even Christmas list. It is aimed at Children a little older than mine but I think it's a fantastic book. It's 23 different artists writing to children about their artwork, their inspirations, and tips and encouragements for the kids. It's so great for inspiration. Each artist has done a self portrait(in their own style of course), as well as a fold out of more of their artwork. It's a hardcover book that goes for about $22 on with proceeds going to The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. I think it's a good value for this book.

I also got some inspiration in the mail this week, which are not actually books, but thought I would share them anyways :)

I got my new Ottobre Magazine. They are a company from Finland and the magazines are full of childrens fashion(they also have womens fashion) and every outfit comes with pattern and instructions. This is the winter 6/2008 issue and has some wonderful things in it like usual.

I also received some long awaited for patterns from Sandi Henderson over at Portabellopixie. The patterns are just beautiful with full colour detailed instructions. I can't wait to sew up something from these. The link to check out the patterns is here. It does appear though that she's having some website issues at the moment so here are the links to her post about them, Claire, Analise, Gracie, Ruffle Pants, and the Market Bag.

All right, back to real life now. I smell something suspicious.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Yummy Autumn Soup

I've been experimenting a little more with food lately. Trying to break out of the "same olds". Some has been good, some just ok, some very very good! This was one of the very very good ones. SO YUMMY! I didn't even use fresh pumpkin for this and it was still wonderful. The girls were so so about it even though I went light on the curry but Rod and I both agreed this will be added to our make again list.

Pumpkin Curry Soup


* 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
* 1 cup (1 small) chopped onion
* 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
* 3 cups chicken broth
* 1 can (15 oz.) Pumpkin Puree
* 1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk

MELT butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in curry powder, salt and pepper; cook for 1 minute.

ADD broth and pumpkin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in evaporated milk. Transfer mixture to food processor or blender (in batches, if necessary); cover. Blend until smooth. Serve warm.

Originally found here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Apple Fest at the Botanical Garden

I'm feeling a little short on words(and time) today so I will treat you to pictures. We went to the Apple Festival at the Botanical Garden here on campus last weekend. Oma and Opa came too and fun was had by all. I did notice though that somehow I'm short of apple pictures, Hmmmmm.......

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In search of some good pumpkin recipes

We went to the pumpkin patch yesterday and came home with some rather large pumpkins. My hope is to not let the pumpkin go to waste. The seeds of course will be a welcome treat but I want to try some cooking and/or baking with pumpkin. It's something I haven't tried before so I need some suggestion/recipes. I did find a few online that sound good, any suggestions??

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Busy busy and a sewing first.

We've been busy busy around here. In a good way but man has the housework been neglected. For the next couple days I will be in catch-up mode. We took I don't know how many pictures so I have lots of blog posts lined up, which is great for busy days, or days when I can't come up with anything to write about.

Guess what I did(not much of a guess with pictures down below I guess ;) I made clothes. Oh yes I did! I haven't sewn clothes since high school, well anything I finished or want to lay claim to anyways. And I'd never before sewn kids clothes.

It was for my beautiful little baby niece who turned 1 in September. I thought I would break out of my box and try something new for her. I've been wanting to sew for my girls but hit a block I guess. I do that, it's a fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of failure thing. But no more!

I had set backs of course, but nothing I didn't figure out eventually. It took me longer than it should have, but I'm sure I'll get quicker with experience.

I'm not sure you can see in the pictures but it's made from some really nice soft lightweight cord. And the cherries? I LOVE the cherries. I was really hoping they would be appreciated and they seemed to be, so YAY!

They were both patterns from Ottobre, Spring 1/2008. I made the pants a little longer because I was afraid they would be to capri'ish for the winter. I also added belt loops and the belt. I followed directions and sewed the elastic right to the waistband, then regretted it as Sophia is really really tiny and I was afraid the pants would slide right off her. So I just added the belt loops to help her keep them up. I think they ended up being pretty cute.

Can you see the gather detail below that first line of navy? I love little details like that. It was also fun to learn how to put in those detail stripes. I think little details like that make all the difference in the world. My only reservation was that I don't have a serger, I really feel things don't look as nice(on the inside) without it. So I double folded hems wherever possible to make it looked more finished, but I wish I had a serger. I doubt I will make to many outfits to give away until I do. Of course, that is the perfectionist in me coming out. Sigh. But it really was fun and I have a list a mile long of things I want to make for Christmas gifts and this has given me confidence to go for it! But first, I have to finish Pay's Halloween costume!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sewing Lessons

I don't usually sew during the day. The only time I really can is during little ones nap and pulling everything out and putting everything away doesn't leave me much time to actually sew. Let alone all the other things that need doing like household chores(blah), or a 4 year who needs 1-on-1 time and likes to "help"
Well, last week I tried to sew during the day as I had a deadline. I did get some done, but not much. And despite the fact that I let Pay have some much coveted computer time, she was still much more interested in what I was doing. "What are you doing? What are you making? What is it going to look like when it's done? Will you make me one? Can I help? Can I sew?" I finally decided it was time to stop and spend some time with my big girl.

Since she was showing so much interest in sewing(YAY!) I thought we'd start at the beginning and pulled out an embroidery hoop, needle, and thread for her.

She did quite well, only a few tangles I had to help her with, and of course threading the needle with various colours.

She insisted she was sewing a skirt. A skirt for Sophia(her cousin whose birthday it was). But I claimed it, insisting that mama needed to keep her first effort at sewing. I told her she could do more for gifts soon. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. A special pillow? Frame it? All I know is it's much to beautiful to hide away.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This is where I direct you to a sweet give-away

I don't really feel like posting today so I thought I'd direct you over to Pigtails and Snails where there is a give-away in progress for an absolutely beautiful quilt.

Now I'm off to wake Payton who has fallen asleep on the floor.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's voting day!

Just reminding everyone(In Canada) to go and be counted!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving *edited to add Payton's list

As much as I am looking forward to turkey dinner I am so conscious this year of all I have to be thankful for. Even my worst day would be someones best day. I've been making an effort to be thankful everyday, I'm thinking I should have a thankful journal because Thanksgiving should last more than one day a year!

I'm thankful for(in no particular order):

My wonderful husband
My beautiful girls
My Mom
The rest of my family
Close friends
A great place to live
Food on the table
Rod has a job he loves.
My health and the health of my family
That I can stay home with my girls
I live in Canada
I am free to be who I am and believe what I do
A warm place to sleep
The phone and the Internet that keep me connected.
My renewed creative energy
A God that loves me
Faith that gets me through the days I don't feel so thankful.

*Edited to add this*

Payton and I talked about Thanksgiving and I asked her what she was thankful for she said:

Going to see Oma
Sam Sam
Doing art with Mom
The new playground at School
Being with my Family
Falling leaves

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


"O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away."

- Robert Frost, October

I found this Poem posted over at SouleMama and just love it. It describes October so well, I thought I would share it with you as well.

We went for a walk a couple days ago, with no destination in mind. We do that often since we've moved out here, just go and see what we find. I love it. Usually we find something new, have an adventure of some kind. I love exploring. Well this time we hit fun big time when I spied the biggest pile of leaves I have ever seen. You should have seen Pay's face as she looked at us, face shining with excitement, to see if she was allowed to jump in. And jump she did!

Sam wasn't to sure at first, it was her first time being plunked in the middle of a pile of leaves. This was her covering her face when leaves were coming down on her head.

But she figured out this was fun pretty quickly.

I'm thinking this one(below) might make a good Christmas card?

I just love the joy on their faces.

Just to give you a perspective on the size of the pile. Can you spot Sam? That's Pay jumping into the pile.

Taking a break in a bed of leaves. I've decided that the name for Payton's hair colour is now fallen leaves. Or Autumn leaves? She blended right in.

That would be me who had to get in on the fun being tackled.

It was a good day!

Friday, October 10, 2008

So this blanket should have been received by it's recipient by now so I'm going to share it with you. I really love this fabric, when I bought it I had no idea what I was going to use it for(I also bought some cowgirls in flannel for the girls, maybe jammies?). But when a friend of mine moved to Alberta, I teased her about becoming a cowgirl. Then when she had a baby boy I knew where this fabric was headed!
Because there is so much going on in the fabric and just love it the way it is I decided to keep it really simple. Added really soft dotted minky to the back and top stitched in red to finish and ta-da! A cute little cowpoke blankie for a very cute little man!

Is everyone enjoying fall? It's by far my favorite time of year. From Oct through Dec. The gorgeous chill in the air, the tree's putting on their party clothes, being able to wear sweaters(I love sweaters), fuzzy socks, pumpkin patch visits, and so much more. I'm feeling an urge to knit this fall which is really strange since I don't knit, or crochet. It's on my want to learn list but I have so much else to do for now that it will have to wait. I'm thinking after Christmas I'll give it a go. I'll probably be posting for help with that! I guess in the meantime I'll have to settle for some fall/Christmas sewing, of which I have a lot! Oh, I guess I should think about Halloween costumes first!

Is't this little guy with the lasso cute? I think he's my favorite!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The results

Now that I have finally given the blanket to it's recipient I can share it with you(I have another one to share but can't put it up yet.) I absolutly loved working on this blanket and was happy with how it turned out. I didn't want to give it away! This blanket it made from wool sweaters that have be felted(or fulled) in the wash. This binds up the wool and makes it thick, dense, and strong, but leaves the wool a nice texture. I used this book as a guide, Warm Fuzzies 30 Sweet Felted Projects
It was made from 4 sweaters, and I still have some pieces left for other projects. I just noticed that the green sweater pieces look brown here. They are actually a moss green.

Here is the full thing laid out. I didn't think to measure it, but it's bigger than a baby blanket but smaller than crib size I think. I made it longer than the book suggested. It will be able to be used for quite awhile.

I added a B to the pocket, that was the babies first initial, but I guess it could also stand for Baby. It's far from centered, I think next time I'll sketch the design that I want on first then felt on top of that instead of free handing.

I dry felted the B directly onto the wool using wool roving(carded but unspun wool). You use a special needle to poke at it until it blends with the wool backing and becomes firm. It was great fun, I see more dry felting in my future!

Close up of the leaf and little x embellishment I put on. I just sewed a simple x with embroidery thread. The backing is flannel which I found in my stash. I totally lucked out with that because I was so excited to get going all of a sudden I realized I didn't know what I was putting on the back and it was the night before the shower! I don't have much for flannel, or boy suitable fabric in general. I do think the pattern of the flannel works with this blanket though because it's all wintery, I think that suites a wool blanket perfectly!

On the weekend is my Niece's 1st birthday party, so today I am busy scheming up something I can make for her! And I am also starting on the girls Halloween costumes, an advent calendar, and various Christmas gifts! It's going to be a busy 3 months! OIY! ONLY 3 MONTHS! Smile! I love it!

Friday, September 26, 2008


I've been having trouble finding balance lately. It's not a new thing for me, I think it has something to do with not being very organized. I have days when I get tons done at home but feel I didn't spend enough quality time with the girls. And days when I spend tons of quality time with the girls and make sure we get outside time, and we all get enough creative time(which is as important for me as it is for them), but then my household duties get neglected and I get frustrated with myself. I'm sure there is a happy medium that will work for us I just can't seem to find it.
I know I am a person who thrives on routine, yet I rebel against structure. Or at least the idea of structured routine. I want my days to be fluid, to be able to embrace a sudden change of plan. But I know I need more routine than I have, and I really know that Payton does. She is a go go go-er, whose first question in the morning is "So what are we doing today?" And if I know, I answer and she'll respond with "how about after that?" or "what are we eating?". She really is a kid who thrives on routine.

I have been researching online what works for other families and trying to decide what I want to try with ours. I need some sort of menu plan, I'm always frustrated when it comes to deciding what to eat because I've waited until it's time to start to decide what to have. I'm also horribly bored with what we've been eating, which leaves me uninspired when it comes to cooking. So a menu plan, and shopping list is on the list.

Also I need a plan of attack when it comes to housework. Something easy to maintain. It's not important to me to have a spotless house all the time. I mean lets be realistic, I have 2 small children. If spotless was a priority then something else(like playing with my kids) would have to suffer. But I do like things neat with things in their "homes" when not in use. I've done a lot of decluttering and that has certainly helped. And I don't want to spend hours upon hours everyday on housework either. I've been trying to decide what would work as far as a basic housework schedule goes. Certain things on certain days? A general list with so many things to be done each day and I pick according to what I feel like doing? Setting aside a specific hour each day instead of just doing things when I decide to? Don't know, but there has to be something that is easy to maintain.

I need to work in time spent outdoors everyday, I've been feeling a little low the last few days and I really believe it's due to the grey rainy weather that we've been having. So I really need to grab some sunshine when I can, and if it's not sunny some fresh air at least. I always feel uplifted after soaking in some of God's great outdoors.

Other things that I know will make me feel more balance(whether I am or aren't lol) are getting enough rest and exercising. I've turned into a horrible night owl and need to concentrate on getting to bed before midnight on a regular basis. Early I don't think is realistic for me but I think in bed by 11 is reasonable.

Simple Mom has been very helpful for me, if you haven't checked out her site you should. She had a great series lately entitled How to be disorganized and unproductive at home, which I will be re-reading. I also downloaded her ebook, Spring Cleaning for normal people. Which looks great, I've printed it out and am going to give it a good read. I'm hoping to find some solid inspiration there.

So what works for everyone out there? What helps you keep balance in your lives? Cleaning schedules? Meal plans? Share any words of wisdom you have for me, as well as any websites/links you've found helpful. I think this will be a continuing topic for me until I get this figured out!