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Archive for October, 2011

The Gift of a Blogging Award

Do you see that pretty award?  I was kindly given that award from a friend I met in the blogging world – Andi, from Laundry on the Line.  I have never met her in real life.  I’m not even totally sure how I came across her blog.  I’m so glad I did though.  She inspires me with her creativity and her passion for sewing, gardening and cooking.

Although, it is customary to pass this award on, Andi was nice enough to offer it with no strings attached.  Due to my crazy busy schedule, I think I am going to ‘hold it’ for now.  I have hardly had time to read any blogs lately.

I will do as she did, and tell you 7 things about myself.

1) In my life so far, I have played the piano, clarinet and guitar.  The only one I play decently is the piano.

2) I can sing.  Don’t ask me to sing a beautiful opera piece.  You will be sadly disappointed.  I can carry a tune though.  I have sung as a soloist in a choir, at a friend’s wedding, and at my highschool graduation.  I’ve even written many songs – although none since I’ve had my children.

3) I once took a tatting class and did amazingly well at it.  I didn’t enjoy it though.  It would take forever to make something!  I can hardly believe women used to make lace curtains this way!

4) I’ve traveled across Canada, to Japan and enjoyed many U.S. attractions (including Mt. Rushmore, Cape Canaveral and Yellowstone National Park).  I have yet to see any part of Europe.

5) I have a big brother.

6) I used to spend a huge amount of time doing genealogy.  What a wonderful real life mystery solving game that is!!!  I learnt so much about my family and my ancestors!

7) My favourite sandwich is tomato, avocado, sprouts and cream cheese.  It’s also good with cucumber and red peppers. 🙂

 

Thanks so much for the award, Andi!  It made my day!

What blogs do you all like to read?  Have you been lucky enough to make a new friend through the blogging world?

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Halloween is such a fun holiday to celebrate with your toddler.

Colouring pages are a quick and easy project for a quiet afternoon.  A good selection can be found here.

Some Halloween crafts you can do with your toddler –

Tissue Ghosts – I got my toddler to crumple up a piece of tissue into a ball and then I covered it and made the ghost shape.  I asked her if she wanted the ghost to have a happy face, silly face or scary face and drew them on for her.  She even tried drawing a couple herself!

Halloween Hunt – Cut out some Halloween shapes (ghosts, pumpkins, witches hats) and hide them around the room.  Show your child where a couple are hiding, then encourage them to find more.  This one is a huge hit!

Halloween stories  and rhymes to share –

A paper story to tell – This is one of my favourites and the kids are absolutely amazed by this the first time they see it!  Make sure you have more than one orange paper hanging around!

I love Corduroy stories – this one is no exception.  Great for toddlers, this book talks about all the fun (and not scary) parts of Halloween.

An Adorable lift-the-flap book to introduce your toddler to the traditions of Halloween – from carving pumpkins to trick-or-treating!

I like to do 5 Little Pumpkins as a felt story (rhyme), but thought I would post a video of it for you to enjoy.

This next video I am including because my 2-year-old absolutely loves it!  It might be scary for some children, so please preview it before showing it to your child.

Other activities that can be fun are visiting a pumpkin patch, making a scarecrow and, of course, carving a jack-o-lantern.

Happy Halloween!!

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I took time for some ‘selfish sewing’ recently.  I absolutely love dresses, but wear them so rarely since I had my kids.  Last Christmas, my wonderful little family gave me the book Chic & Simple Sewing.

I immediately fell in love with The Back to School Shift Dress.  It was time to make this lovely dress for myself.

I looked through my stash and found this great grey woven fabric.  It ended up being quite a challenge to sew with as it frayed so easily.  I made the dress using my regular sewing machine, but wished that I had my serger up and running. I am hoping this dress will hold up in the wash.  I love the way it turned out!

I found this dress relatively simple to sew.  In fact, the only hard part was matching up the gathered piece to the neckline band.  I would definitely recommend this pattern to others.  Easy to make in a day if you need something new to wear.

Time to get back to the Christmas sewing!

Have you done any selfish sewing lately?

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Bursting With Creativity!

Have you ever had one of those evenings where you are quite tired and yet you are bursting with creative energy?!  So much so that you can’t start anything?! I feel like I want to sew a million different things, and crochet a few.  All at once.

I think I might take the time to clean up my sewing space.  It’s a mess and hard to create anything the way it is right now.  Probably a good idea.

And maybe I should lay off the caffeine. 😉

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My mom knows how much I love to sew.  She is always on the lookout for great deals on fabric and patterns for me.  She is someone who loves to shop second-hand and it is definitely to my benefit some days!

Here’s some of the latest goodies from my mom ~

Oldies, but lots of great ideas and basic sewing patterns.

Some great basics!

Pretty dresses that can be made more modern for my Fancy Nancy girl.

A trio of vintage goodies!

And my very, very favourite ~

I am soooooooooo in love with this pattern!!!!

In case you missed the best part

Oh, how I love that little jacket!!

Do you have any second-hand goodies that have thrilled you recently?

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My toddler loves being read to.  Some books interest her more than others.  I thought I would share a few of her current favourites today.

This is a hilarious book!  The pigeon spends the entire book trying to convince you ( the reader) that he should be allowed to drive the bus!  I had to tell my toddler to tell him ‘No!’ throughout the book, but after the first time, she gladly shouts ‘no!’ at him!  A great book!  Sure to give your little one the giggles!

This book (and others from this same collection) are so much fun!  This look and find book is a great book to enjoy on a rainy day.  Each page has items to find and the back of the book offers extras for finding.  We read this book every day at our house!

A young boy named Mortimer is put to bed and once alone starts to sing a noisy song.  Everyone comes up and tells him to be quiet and yet he keeps singing!  Although written for more of the preschool age group, my daughter has taken a huge liking to this story and loves singing the song!

What has your toddler been enjoying reading lately?

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We live in a consumer world.

The message we get is to want, want, want and spend, spend, spend.  But we are always left with wanting more.

Sometimes we get stuck in a place where we want more of something, or bigger, better or newer things.  Or even just different things.  It can be hard to quiet the voice in our heads that tells us to get something new.  There are messages everywhere telling us we should have the biggest and best TV, the new iphone, mp3 player, or house!  I think that we don’t always realize it, but I am finding that this creates a lot stress in our lives.  To be always wanting more is not a good place to be.

And so we have to decide that we have enough.

Our TV is good enough.  It works and we can watch the shows we like.  Our phone at home works well. Do we really need a phone that goes with us everywhere, that could ring at any moment, interrupting our quiet space? Do we need a bigger home, a newer one?  Does it really matter that I have a well-built table from the 1970s instead of a cheaply built table that is the latest in furniture fashion?!

Today I am tired of the stress of always wanting more.  Today, I am happy with all that I have and it is good enough.

I got a flyer in the mail today for an amazing sale on fabric.  60 % off quilting cottons! And that was only the beginning!  You know how much I love fabric.  I was ready to race to the store and spend all the money I don’t have on beautiful, glorious fabric!  But then I stopped.  Not only do I not have the money to spend, I have boxes stacked from floor to ceiling of fabric.  Is it not enough?  Can’t I sew my way through some of my stash and take advantage of the sale next year… or the year after?  Yes, I can.  And even if the fabrics I have at home are not my favourites, I get to use my creative energy to make something unique that will make the fabric (hopefully) look amazing!

Yes, today I have enough.  I have everything I need.

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