Archive for the ‘crafting’ Category

Today, I received a copy of Sew Liberated that I had ordered from Interweave back when they had their “Broken and Distressed” book sale.  When I first received my shipment, they had forgotten to include that book.  The order had taken so long in the first place because I had ordered it before the Canada Post mail strike.

So, today, it was a nice surprise to receive it in the mail.  The book consists of different patterns that include patchwork.  There is clothes (a neat skirt, a retro looking apron), household items (patchwork on linens) and fun bags.  The bag that jumped out at me was the market bag.  It’s probably due to the fact that I’ve harvested 9 (yes, 9!) zucchinis from my community garden plot.  I also have lots of cherry tomatoes (although the kids are eating them faster than I can pick them LOL), beans and peas that are ready.  I picked a green pepper and two cucumbers.  I even made some pesto with my basil last week.  Ah, I am in gardening heaven!  If only I had a great market bag to carry those fresh veggies…;)


Now that the warm weather has set in, I am finding it really hard to pick up those knitting needles.  I also have to life-sized dolls that I can dress (aka my kids LOL), so I am having a great time finding sewing websites.  Among my favourites these days are the following:

MADE: There is a great sewing pattern for kids’ shorts.  My son is a slim size 6 so I used her tutorial to adjust the pattern by tracing a pair of his shorts.  I used “scrap” fabric that I had hanging around as a prototype and it worked wonderfully.

Everything Etsy: 101 sewing tutorials for summer – lots and lots of different projects to try!

Ruffles and Stuff: I love the photos and the projects on this site.  Great tutorials on how to make ruffles!

The Craft Blog: From the Canadian Living website, it features all sorts of different projects, not only sewing but also knitting, crocheting and much more.

What are your top picks?

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I receive the FaveCrafts newsletter via email and was surprised to see the subject line: 174 days until Christmas.  As if I didn’t have enough to do, that I have to start worrying about getting things done for Christmas? LOL

I understand that some people go nuts for Christmas.  I even have some friend who have a “Christmas in July” party, complete with a cooked turkey.  I’m not too sure where they find that at this time of year, mind you.  I also can’t imagine cooking a bird in this heat, but idea is fun.

Our summers are so short and mosquito filled that I just want to make the most of being out in the nice weather.  The only creativity I can muster when it hot out is dedicated to sewing summer outfits for me or my kids.   I don’t know about you, but 174 days does not send me into a tailspin.  However, I do have those unfinished knit Christmas stockings I need to get to before December…

Summer is finally upon us.  So far, it’s been a mix of gorgeous sunny days and cold rainy ones.  I anticipate that this is what our summer will look like.  I started thinking about things to keep my kids busy and to get them to stop watching tv.  This may prove to be a challenge seeing my husband is leaving for Africa for a month to attend his sister’s wedding but I figure that if I’m prepared, it should be okay (famous last words – LOL).

Keeping in mind that I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old with different levels of abilities, here are my top picks:

  • playdough
  • helping to bake something
  • drawing, colouring, using stickers
  • “painting” with bingo dabbers
  • painting and decorating rocks with poster paints
  • visiting the library

During my daughter’s naptime, I will have more flexibility to do more involved crafts with my son.  I love picking up craft kits from the dollar store.  I found lots of great ones last year in anticipation of going to the cottage.  He is hooked on making God’s Eyes so I think more of these are in our future. 😉

So what do you do to keep your kids busy on rainy days?



My son was looking for something to do this evening.  He had watched more than enough TV and I sure didn’t want him to get started on the computer. 

He felt like doing a craft.  Seeing as it is a weekday, I didn’t want to get into something messy/complicated, etc. I knew he had popsicle sticks and I have tons and tons of yarn…So we went “retro” and decided to make God’s Eyes.  Boy, was it ever fun! 😀  I hadn’t done this in years, but it came back to me very quickly.

Here’s a quick tutorial: put two popsicle sticks into a cross shape, then tie your yarn around the cross. Twist your yarn around in an X.  To switch yarn colours, I just cut one colour and tied the new yarn to old one and place the knot behind the sticks.  I prefer to start with lighter colours in the middle and darker colours around the edges.

Just like there is a movement toward eating food in season, it feels like there are also seasons to crafting.  It is hard to be motivated to knit with wool when the temperature rises.  Knitting with cotton yarn is not so bad, but these days, I’m more interested than anything else in sewing.

As a child of the late 70’s, my mother sewed all our clothes.  I remember sitting in her sewing room and watching her foot go up and down on the pedal and listening to the whirr of the Singer sewing machine.  She has a beautiful antique sewing table with the metal pedal on the bottom that was used to sew with antique machines.  We used to have great fun pumping it up and down and squishing our hands or feet underneath by accident. 

Later, I remember learning to sew from her and at school.  In our sewing class, we used to get “speeding tickets” if we zoomed through too fast.   I don’t think I ever got one, but then I may have a slightly selective memory…

So, now, I found a few cool patterns on the internet that I tried out.  I made a Pillowcase dress from 3 fat quarters from favecrafts.  I found 3 fat quarters at Walmart for $2 each…not bad for a toddler girl’s sundress!  I even figured out how to make the bias tape that was included in the pattern.   I don’t have a picture of my daughter in her dress but here’s the photo from the website:

Pillowcase Dress

I also made the 5 minute skirt found on Angry Chicken’s blog.  However, when I went to Mitchell Fabrics (a Winnipeg Institution), the staff didn’t seem to know what fold over elastic was…perhaps it is called something else in the sewing world?  So, the skirt is not quite done because I bought underwear elastic that did not do the trick.  I did, however, find a gorgeous African print fabric that even impressed my husband.  🙂

I’ll try to post pictures of my skirt and my daughter’s dress.  In the meantime, I want to make this Girl\’s Braided Dress for my daughter.  I’ll just have to try and find a bit of time…

Girl's Braided Dress

My sister-in-law recently announced that she was getting married.  My husband has not been home for 5 years and is quite excited about going back home to attend the wedding.  Unfortunately, the trip overseas is quite expensive and so we cannot all attend.

I’m pondering what to send as a wedding gift.  I found a tablecloth that I had embroidered that I meant to send to one of his cousins (oops!), so I thought I would send that. 

I was looking at knitting a wedding shawl, however, I’m not sure if I could finish something before he leaves at the end of the month.  Plus, my mother-in-law says it is incredibly hot, so knitwear is probably not a good idea.  LOL

Perhaps I could send a wedding veil?  I’m still looking at different options and ideas.  It has to be something portable and light because space is at a premium.

Any ideas/suggestions are more than welcome;)