Merry Christmas!

We are in holiday mode full swing and have already had one Christmas celebration. Next week is jam packed and we head up to the lake at the end of it so not sure if I'll manage another post before then so if I don't I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to you and yours now :)

Thanks so much for stopping by here when you do, I really do appreciate it so much! This blog has brought me much joy this year and I'm blessed to have this outlet and the amazing support of all of you who choose to come and check out what I'm up to.

Moving on from the gushy stuff... Miss Dottie Angel has been doing a series called 12 Days of Joyfullness and that is exactly what it is. Day 2 was a cute little hanging made from a fabric covered hanger and vintage bobbles. I didn't have any appropriate hangers so I thought I'd improvise with a stick.

Then I went back to Dottie Angel's blog whilst constructing mine and found that using a stick for the hanging was her Day 11 project :)

Adorable right?

I made mine at our weekly girly craft night that the English one hosts. It has been such a refreshing time with the girls and I totally love that it's right next door so I can run back home every time I think of something else I need!

Please excuse the pictures. The sun has not shone here for the last 4 days. Like at all. Though it has been crazy warm - as in only 2 below zero. That's like no socks weather for sure in December no less, so I won't complain... except to say that it does nothing for the lighting in my house. I was also too lazy to change my lens and so the pics are not as close up as I'd like. Any who... here's my version.

I was having trouble finding a space for it.

Totally scored on these little deer at the thrift store.

I do quite love my little bobble hanging stick. You can't tell in this pic but it actually looks great there. They are kind of addicting to make. I'm thinking that possibly all of our doors upstairs need winter themed ones (so that I don't have to take them down.)

Blessings this Christmas season!
Let me start this post by saying that I am being forced by the English one to write it.

Well maybe not forced but she put in an official request for the portraits I did of her family to be featured on the blog :)

In my defense (trying to prove that I actually am a good friend) I have always intended to put these pictures up on the blog but as with most of my photo sessions it's usually just a rush to get them processed and proofs uploaded on time that I rarely anymore find the time to blog them.

So... this pretty much counts as one of her Christmas gifts. Merry Christmas!

O.K. All kidding aside (and that is what that was - kidding. In case you couldn't tell. Which is understandable. I'm not naturally very funny... I digress.)

It's a pleasure to share these photos and I kind of like that I get to share all my favourites at once... so you can see the whole journey. Bump to baby.

Matt and Dani (the English one) are dear friends and by an act of God our neighbours. Like right next door neighbours. As in we share a fence. A fence through which we will make a gate in our back yard (or gardens as she likes to call them.)

When they were around 7 months pregnant we did this little shoot. English one made the dress herself. Did I mention she's crafty?

Together we love all things vintagey. 

At closer to 9 months we did another shoot out at the fabulous Johnson farm. They pretty much have a little antique street with multiple buildings on their yard. I could play their for hours.

Love this one... in a mirror in the "bar".

10 days after her due date they welcomed little Finley into the world! Finley-Stephen David Timothy Stobbs-Gallipeau or as I prefer - Finners.

Sorry Matt - this one is just too awesome not to share.


 Ah Fin! So cute! Did I mention that Hanners adores "Finwey"? She is absolutely enamored with him and just wants to hold him and care for him. It's adorable.

Finners you are such a handsome little man and we love you. We are so excited that we get to know you and watch you grow up!

These crochet necklaces were one of the items I used to make for my "grown up lemonade stand" - Pink Lemonade. They are quite simple to make and I think they make great gifts!

If you know how to crochet a chain you can make this necklace.

Start your chain.

Crochet. Crochet some more... and a little more. Make a lot of chain.

Once you've got a nice pile, start wrapping it around your neck in loops that are the length you'd like the necklace to be. If you don't have enough loops, keep crocheting.

The tall one would like me to point out his outstanding photography skills. Nice work husband.

Once you reach a "thickness" or number of loops that you're comfortable with cut your yarn with a good 10 inches of extra. Tie the tail of the start of your chain to the end of the chain. 

 Take the necklace off and then begin wrapping the extra yarn around the section where you've knotted the yarn.

Once you tie it off it should look like this.

For a little bling you can add a broach to the wrapped area.

I'd like to point out that this is my first "self blog portrait" in the mirror. Giggle - I feel like I should make it my facebook profile picture or something - cause that's what the cool kids do right? Anyways... I didn't have much of a choice. It was midnight and I had no one to take the "after" picture and was far too tired to set up a tripod.

You can also wear it without the bling and put the wrapped part to the back. I think it makes it look like a cute cowl. You can could actually make a great cowl if you just kept making more chain loops.

I saw this skirt on Pinterest a while ago. I absolutely adored the little bustle with ruffles peeking out. In Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago I finally found pre-ruffled fabric (to make the girl one ruffle bloomers) and with the left overs I decided to attempt this little peek-a-boo skirt.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a seamstress. I just wing it.. I rarely do anything that I should technically do.

That said, this is how i made the skirt. First off I started with a skirt that currently fits Hanny and used it to make a pattern. This whole making a pattern from existing clothes is very new to me and VERY liberating!

To get the correct sizing stretch out the elastic. You should have a big rectangle. Trace onto to newspaper adding about 3/4 of an inch at the top and a 1/2 inch on the bottom.

Next pin your pattern to the fabric with one edge lining up with a fold (so you're cutting a double thickness of fabric.)

Fold the bottom hem over 1/4 inch, iron and then fold and iron again. Sew the hem in place.

Placing right sides together, sew the sides together so you have a tube. Then fold over your top waistband a 1/4 inch, iron and then fold and iron it over 1/2 inch or however much you need to fit your elastic.

Sew as close as you can to the seam leaving an opening where you'll insert the elastic.

Using a safety pin or this elastic threader (that I didn't know existed until Lori whipped out hers) thread your elastic through the waistband and then sew the ends of the elastic together. Put it back inside the waistband and sew the waistband closed.

Now it's time for the bustle. I gathered the fabric and folded it up three times until I had a drape I liked. Pin it and sew it in place.

With the skirt folded sew that the side seams line up, measure the width of the skirt and the height from the bottom hem to the top of the bustle. Cut a rectangular piece of ruffle fabric. Mine was 15 " x 4".

Pin the fabric in place so that it covers the "opening" and lines up with the bottom hem. Sew the ruffle fabric on by sewing on top of the hem stitching already there.

Turn the skirt inside out and trim all excess ruffle fabric.

And you're done!

Even though I shouldn't allow myself to sew after 9pm as I make way too many dumb mistakes I am quite please with how her skirt turned out.

The boy one needed a bit of camera attention as well. I really need to come up with more things to sew for boys!

Crazy eyes.

Such a doll. 

Back in 2008 we threw our first "Tunetastic" Christmas party. The idea was a simple but a fun one.

On the afternoon of the party all of the men go to one house and all of the women to another. Over the years many children have been added to our families and so we do our best to "evenly distribute" them. Each group is given a CD of possible song choices, a video camera and a Mac... the task? Create a Christmas music video!

Each group has a few hours to pick their song, film the video and then edit and put it all together on iMovie (Mac program). Once everything is finished we all meet at one house, order in supper and reveal our videos to each other. This is by far the best part!

There is usually a bit of friendly competition between the girls and guys but I must admit that the boys are usually more funny. In our defense though, guys can get away with more. For example, it is not funny for girls to show and rub their bellies but for some reason it is with guys. The guys will also inevitably end up partially dressed in the snow even if it's 30 degrees below. Again, funny.

We've been doing Tunetastic for 4 straight years now and it's become a tradition. Last night after watching our new video we also watched all of our previous videos. It was hilarious to watch them, reminisce and see all of our kids grow through the videos as well. I created a DVD after the party of all of our videos up to date. I am SO excited to be able to pass these on to our kids and hope it will be a treasure of memories for them. It would be great if we were still doing these when they become teenagers. Maybe they'll get their own house and compete against their parents!

Yesterday's party fell on a date where a lot of our "regular participants" were out of town and unable to attend so we attempted our first "co-ed" video. It was a lot of fun. We made our first Pop-Up Video. Genius.

Lucky for all of you I have permission from each group member to share our 2011 Tunetastic video with you here!

It's a pretty small version (needed to be to be uploaded here) so it might be hard to read the pop ups.

UPDATE: Here is a link to YouTube to view a larger version!

Sleigh Ride
She & Him
Performed by: The Gallipeaus, The Tregonings and The Willms

I've been trying to figure out what to make some of our family members for Christmas. Last week I saw this pic in my December Country Living Magazine (my FAVOURITE magazine) and thought they looked pretty cute. I think photos on fabric can very easily look tacky or cheesy but being that these were old photos, black and white... I thought they were kind of classy.

It inspired me to make this.

It's a photo I took of my two kids this summer while at Grandma and Grandpa's. They are standing on the corral fence trying to entice the horses and "Mee-Moo" the cow to come over. In the editing program I used the Timeless preset from One Willow Presets for the effect. Then I "washed out" the edges of the picture with a highlight priority.

Did you know that you don't need special fabric for the printer? Nope... you just need... Freezer Paper!

Can you find Freezer Paper in Canada? Not sure... I haven't. But I haven't looked all over Canada :) I grabbed mine at Walmart in Minot, ND.

Cut a piece of freezer paper the size of a 8.5 x 11 piece of computer paper. Then, just iron it on to the back of the fabric that you'd like to print the photo on. Cut the fabric to the size of the freezer paper after it's been ironed on.

UPDATE: I had a reader who commented and then found a solution that you can prepare your fabric with that will "set" the ink so that it's permanent and can be washed in the future. It's called Bubble Jet Set and you can read about how to use it here.
Thanks "Swankygirl109"!

I took my picture and put it on a word document so that I could size it to fill up the most of a regular sheet of paper. Put your freezer papered fabric into the printer so that it will print on just the fabric side (NOT the freezer paper).

Press print and viola!

I wanted to add a little depth to my pillow so I threw on an embroidery hoop and free-handed a little vine and leaf pattern on opposite corners in a dark gray that matched the ink.

Once I finished the embroidery I gently ironed out the kinks made by the hoop.

Pick out a fabric for the backing and then pin the two fabrics right sides facing. Sew all the way around but leave an opening for turning and stuffing. When you've got it turned right side out and have it stuffed to perfection you can use a hidden stitch to close the opening.

And here you'll have a charming, personalized gift.

Another Update:

These pillows were so easy to make and so personal that I ended up making probably 8 for people for Christmas. Foolishly I didn't take pictures of them all but did snag this one of the one I made my dad after he opened it on Christmas morning. My dad is an all around outdoorsman and it was important to him to pass on these things to his grandchildren. He bought my son his first fishing rod and gave it to him this summer. He put a lead weight on the line and taught Kai to cast on the grass and then took us out on the boat and was the one to help him cast in the water - with a real hook.  This picture was from Kai's second fishing outing and where he caught his first fish so it was quite the event.

If you don't want to be restricted to an 8.5 x 11 pillow you can make "photo patches". Check out the "Love Notes" pillow I made for Valentine's Day!