Saturday, August 6, 2011

Play house...

Wow, I haven't posted in the longest time. Not much crafting has been going on around here. Sleep hasn't been fabulous for a while. It seems as though the kids are sometimes doing a tag team, all night marathon. Just as one goes back to sleep, the other wakes up... so, by the time the kids are asleep, house tidied, etc., I am beat and just want a few moments to relax, before heading to bed myself. There are a few projects that I have completed which I am going to post over the next few days (hopefully!).

So, the playhouse. This was made as a gift for my daughter's first birthday. I first came across the idea of making a playhouse while reading one of my favourite blogs, homemade by jill. Here is a link to her tutorial on how to make a felt playhouse, if you want details. Her house is super amazing. Here is a picture of the one that I made. 

When I first decided to make a playhouse, I thought, 'hey, this should be a quick project'. Well, cutting and sewing the flowers and vegetables was fairly straight forward, but the other parts were much more involved. This was to be solely my creation, however, as her birthday quickly approached (just days remaining), and when it became apparent that this was not a quick project, it was a wee bit more involved than I had anticipated. So, I started recruiting, and soon my husband was on the job. He joined in with enthusiasm (!). He created a (very, difficult to sew) detailed red bird and a beautiful sunflower. I would work away on the sewing machine, while he would cut out various objects for the house.

We had lots of fun working on this project and we were super happy with the finished house. I am not much of a sewer (really), so at times this project, especially the three-dimensional aspect, was quite a challenge for me.

Our daughter continues to enjoy the playhouse, mostly she enjoys going inside for tea parties, and playing peek-a-boo through the window or mailbox. Recently, my cat has adopted this as her new home. She perches on top and bats at anyone who tries to enter the house. She often goes inside and curls up in a corner of her cozy little home. As you can imagine, felt and cats do not go well together.

I really like the interactive parts of the house... you can pick flowers, vegetables from the garden, or pick an apple from the tree. I can't wait until my younger daughter is interested in playing with the house. I am sure there are many more tea parties to be had. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

one skein - two projects

Just before Christmas I was downtown at our local yarn shop and I came across some super chunky thick/thin yarn and I couldn't pass it up. The yarn, Wooly Bully by Estelle, is so super soft, chunky, and the colours are so earthy and warm. I had been wanting to work with a thick/thin yarn for a while, so as an impulse buy I got some. Here is a pic of the yarn, though not in the colour I purchased, just so you can get an idea of its thin-thickness.

With the yarn I was able to knit up two quick projects. As a gift for my sister-in-law I knit up The Instant Gratification Scarf. You can find the pattern here on Ravelry. It took one night to knit this scarf. A great knit for a last minute gift.
When the scarf was roughly six feet long, I cast off. With the remaining yarn I knit up a newborn sized hat for baby Liam. This hat takes a couple of hours to knit. The hat is based on the Trendy Baby Hat pattern, which you can find on Ravelry. The only modification I made was to extend the top the hat into a long tail with an I-cord stitch, rather than finishing off the hat at the crown. I could have kept the tail going, but decided that this was a 'safe' length. The tail of the hat can be tied off into a knot for an umbilical cord look. The beautiful model below is my daughter. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

ready to go....

Hello there. I have to be honest, I have been experiencing the winter blahs the last week or so. I have felt very unmotivated. Knitting has been happening, but not much else. The dinners around here have not been very exciting and the house is a bit chaotic. Getting to writing in this blog got put to the back burner and I had to rethink why I started a blog in the first place. It was feeling a bit odd to be making posts online and not knowing if people were reading it or not. So, I got to thinking about the purpose of this blog. My conclusion is that this will be a space for me to document my crafting. It will be a place that I can look back on in years to come. Hopefully it will act as a motivation tool as well.

Okay, I wrote that last bit a few days ago and I am back. It has warmed up around here and I am feeling much better. The girls and I got out for a walk yesterday. It was sooo great to get outside for a stroll.

Here is my to do list. The many projects that have been swirling around in my mind, and the many projects I have to finish. These projects are not my ideas, but I do hope to make them. I have provided a link for each of the projects, if you click on the image it will take you to the pattern notes.

1) I hope to sew this beautiful pattern, Henny Penny, for J's first birthday. The pattern is by Anna Maria Horner -- love love love it.

2) I plan to make this fold-up Farmhouse for M's Birthday. It is made by UK Lass in US, click here (or on image) for a link to the tutorial.

3) Plans to paint an ornate picture frame to make a chalkboard for the kitchen.

4) Paint craft table for M and J. Table and chairs are from Ikea.

5) Finish February Lady Sweater... just the arms to love love this sweater. I hope mine looks as nice as the one in the picture below.

6) Start February Baby Sweater. This will be for baby Jane.

7) Finish items 5 and 6 so that I can start knitting Shalom for me.

So, that is where I am at. Lots of fun ahead. For today, I have to re-sew the Velcro on Jane's diaper covers. The Velcro has lost its stickiness. No fun!

.... So, I am really not much of a sewer... how does one sew Velcro on a sewing machine? Is there a trick? My thread keeps breaking and I have broken a needle. I finished one diaper, but am going to take a pause until I approach the next one. Not sure why they aren't sewing up smoothly. Sewers out there... help!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Here are stockings that I knit for my daughters. Molly's was knit last year. The details on the pattern can be found on Ravelry. This pattern is available for free

A bit of a short post today. I am exhausted. My little one has been keeping me up at night... need sleep badly...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


A few weeks ago, one of Dave's friends gave him a couple of bottles of beer wrapped together in one piece of fabric. 

Such a great idea! Beautiful and practical. Furoshiki is a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth that was frequently used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods.

I love it! The idea of wrapping items in fabric is fun... so many beautiful fabrics out there. Environmentally friendly. Reusable. 

His friend, John, sent me a file with various other wraps, and a link to many more -- thanks!!! 

Monday, January 3, 2011

DIY: Play Kitchen

I am super excited to share this post with you. Back in September I purchased a bedside table from an add on Kijiji. The table cost $10.  The plan was to create a play kitchen for my girls, as a Christmas present. I had my doubts that the project would actually get finished by Christmas. But, with my dad's help the bulk of the work was finished before December. My mom helped out by scouting around for various items: bowl for the sink, tea towel, rolling pin, etc. 

Thank you to vintage songbird and homemade by Jill for such a great idea. This was a super fun project and I am very happy with the final results.

 Here are the details on the materials: 
- Bedside table: Kijiji $10
- Sink: bowl from a dollar store
- Stove dials and taps: from Michaels
- Faucet: letter 'J' from Michaels
- Curtain: scrap material
- Spoons: IKEA $5
- Burners: CDs painted white 
- Magnum sharpie to draw the burners onto the CDs
- Oven handle: Home Depot ~$5
- Picture frame: parent's basement

The apron was finished off just a few days before Christmas. It was made from two fat quarters. Super quick to make.

Overall, this project cost less than $50. Thank you again to vintage songbird and homemade by Jill for the inspiration.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Years Resolution

I wasn't planning on making a resolution, but after tidying the house today a common theme kept popping up -- ORGANIZATION. Man, our house is so disorganized. So, the plan is to slowly get organized, come up with systems and a bit more of a routine to stay on top of things. I tackled the kitchen dumping ground (corner cupboard) on New Years day and I have to say, it is so much nicer to open a cupboard when everything has a home (rather than just shoving things in). We live in an older home which means there is very little in the way of storage spaces.

So, I made a dish from 'The Family Dinner' yesterday, it was a peanut dish from the kids section. My partner, Dave, after adding quite a bit of hot sauce, seemed to enjoy the meal. This is the first meal I have made from this book and my first cooking post, and sadly I did not like the peanut sauce at all. I found it much too heavy on the peanut butter side. The sauce was made up of pb, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger. It was just too sweet and salty for me. Although I wasn't happy with this dish, I like the idea of a peanut sauce with pasta and various toppings. For now, I will stick to PC Memories of Szechwan.