Saturday, April 30, 2011

DIY Easter Gifts

Last year I started a tradition of making some type of game for the kids Easter gifts. Kai's first homemade game was a photo "Memory Game". I Modge Podged pictures of his family and friends on cork coasters (2 of each) and he tries to match them. I started to make Hannah photo blocks but didn't get past cutting them :( I should really get on that.

This year I made them the Bean Bag Toss games that I created for Henry's birthday present. It was great because I was able to use the galvanized metal pails as their actual Easter baskets.

This time I found my adhesive chalkboard paper and used it as labels on the bucket.

Here they are with all the loot!



Thursday afternoon we headed up North the my parents house at Damour Lake. This was the Easter table that awaited us one day at noon. You can see where my gift giving gene comes from :)

The vintage looking bowl of Mom's that I was coveting and she ended up having an extra one for me :)


When I was making Easter gifts for my kids I figured I'd make some for the 2nd cousins as well. A few of my cousins also have kids that are all around my kids age so it's really fun for them to get together at gatherings.

I made all the little boys grey t-shirts with a sewn on green and pink argyle tie and the girls a flower hair clip of the same print as well as ruffled headband. They all looked so cute!

We had such a great time away at Easter. Most of it was spent ripping apart and rebuilding Elsie... there's much more to come on that story :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Anointing

For the past month the Hannah one has been dabbling in walking. She has the full skill set but doesn't seem to be super confident letting go and walking around the house. A couple of weeks ago she walked a few times across the house and we thought she'd be off and running from there, but she took a step back (no pun intended :) and has barely walked on her own since.

This morning I sat down to watch the Royal Wedding that I had PVR'ed (cause there was no way in Safeway I was getting up at 3 am when my kids are up at 6 am!) I just wanted 1/2 an hour to watch ( I fast forwarded lots!) and so I let the kids roam and play at their will. The Hannah one and the Kai one were in the kitchen emptying all my cupboards when the grand procession music started to usher Kate down the aisle to her groom. Just as Kate took her first steps towards becoming a Princess my little Hanny confidently strolled into the room with a tube of lypsol in her mouth and walked three laps around the living room totally unassisted. She was triumphant, at ease and she totally stole the show! She's been walking with no problem all day now! At the time I laughed and congratulated her and God suddenly imparted that this was a symbolic as well as a literal step for Hanny.



To some this may sound weird and kooky but for our family it's been very cool and important to hear what God has created in each of our children. A few months ago I began praying and asking God to show us "who" are children were in the spirit. God spoke very clearly one night and part of what he revealed about Hannah was that she had a "royal anointing". As Christians we are all children of God and therefore heirs with Christ and God spoke that Hannah would walk as a Princess in the spirit, meaning that she would innately know her authority as a daughter of God and walk that out. He also showed us that she would be passionate and fierce (which we totally see already!)

As she grows into the woman God created her to be and we see these things play out in her life I think it will be cool to tell her the story of how confidently she began walking during the Princess's procession.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Campaiging for a Camper

Pinterest has done it again. Planted an idea that I must make a reality. I came across a few shots of vintage camper trailers that have been redone and I swooned. I thought to myself... "Self, you have a vintage camper (stored at the Parentals) and you should make it this cute!"

Said "vintage camper" though is as the tall one would put it "totally not safe to take on the highway and is going to fall apart." Pu-shaw!

So my scheming and campaigning has begun and I'm quite impressed with how far we've come in a matter of days. Henceforth I will refer to the vintage camper as "Elsie" because that's now her name :)

Day 1: Phone my dad at 11pm (cause the parentals are truckers and so someone's always awake to run my cockamamie ideas by) to assess the actual condition of Elsie. Results? Back end needs to be ripped apart to the studs and redone. No problemo - we're a pretty handy/crafty family.

Day 2: Present cockamamie idea to the tall one at midnight while going to sleep. Results? Not so great.

Day 3: Consult with the dad once again. He pulls through. He'll help us rebuild it at their house over Easter (in 4 days!).

Present again to the tall one. He's warming up but gives me the "list" of reasons why it won't work.
a) Needs lots of work done and not a priority for the finances. (But dad's going to help - problem solved!)
b) Our truck doesn't have a hitch.
(Insert me being on the phone/internet all morning tracking down a hitch kit that we can get shipped and here in 2 days. Amazon delivers! Literally - in one day... take that list!)
c) We're staying in Regina for 2 days on the way home at the Delta hotel who does not have space to park a camper.... hmmm.... still working on that one!
d) Where the heck are we going to park it once it's here?
I so have that one covered.... beside the house on the driveway side (there's totally room) or on the street. 2 neighbours have buses parked there 24/7 and my Elsie is much smaller!


Presently the tall one is on board with my craziness and helping make things work. I'm pretty blessed that he loves me so much and goes along with creative whims. He's pretty great.

Elsie's going to be pretty great too. Think of the playing the kids can do in her (kind of like a playhouse), the little weekend trips, and adventures at the lake.... sigh.


Here's some of the inspiration that got me thinking :)

Pretty sure Elsie's going to get some vintage green paint on the outside!
Love the teal and red combo. Polka dots and afgans are also going to be a key decor theme!
So sweet.
Some more red/teal inspiration!
Bunting and polka dots. Need I say more?

Needless to say I'm excited to get started on Elsie. I'm sure you'll see many more pics of her here in the days and weeks to come!

* You can find all the links to the pictures on my pinterest boards found here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

DIY - Bean Bag Game

I really enjoy making gifts for our friends and family. Interestingly enough at this point the majority of kids in our lives are cute little boys. I feel like I have to be extra creative to figure out things to make for boys. Girls are easy... hair clips, clip holders, dresses, skirts, tutus, aprons... the list goes on. Though this last Christmas I made all the boys aprons I can't really make them anything else on the list.

A special little boy was turning one this week and I had yet to come up with something to make him. I love a good "vintage game" and so I came up with this little Numbered Bean Bag Game.

What You'll Need:
- Scraps of fabric at least 9" x 11" (5 pieces of that size)
- 1/4 sheet of felt
- quilting batting
- dried beans (I used approx 700 g for 5 bean bags)
- galvanized metal bucket

Pick out your fabric. I chose to go with 3 coordinating prints.

Draw a rectangle 4.5 " x 5.5 " on a piece of paper and cut out to use as a pattern. Fold your fabric right sides together and pin the pattern along the fold. Cut.
(Repeat for 5 bean bags.)



*Don't have pics for this part* Free hand or stencil the numbers 1-5 onto your felt and cut out. Pin to the center of the right side of each bag and sew in place.

Pin fabric right sides facing and sew a seam 1/4 " all the way around but leave a 2 " opening at the bottom for turning. Reinforce beginning and end stitches well.

Turn them out, poke out the corners and it should look like this. Shape a piece of paper into a cone and use a funnel to add the beans to the bags. Fill them until they are about 3/4 full and then sew them shut.


I purchased a galvanized metal pail to use as the target for the game. It's a bit loud when you chuck the bags into it so I figured I should make a little pillow to soften the landing. To do this, trace the bottom of the pail onto a piece of paper and then pin to 2 pieces of fabric. Cut a 1/2 " around the circle (for seam allowance).

Cut the same size out of the quilting batting. Then layer the exterior fabrics with their right sides facing and pin the batting on top. Sew 1/4 " all the way around and leave a 2 " opening for turning. Trim excess fabric around the seam. When you turn the exterior fabric over the batting it should have it's right side facing up. Sew closed.
Plop it in the bucket to function as the "Mommy Approved Silencer".

So now you'll have cute numbered bean bags that the kids can toss into the bucket!

Have the kids stand at varying distances and practice throwing. Teach them to keep score or add and subtract based on bean bags in the bucket and those that didn't make it... the possibilities are endless!


All in all I'm quite pleased with the way this "boy friendly" gift turned out. My kids loved it and so they'll be getting them for Easter. I'm also going to kill 2 birds with one stone and use the metal bucket as their Easter basket. Stay tuned for pics!

DIY - Spring Umbrella "Wreath"

I feel like I'm becoming slightly addicted to wreaths. This week I even had to come up with a more efficient storage solution for all my wreaths. I used to just have one for each season and really there were only three because I lumped spring and summer into the same wreath. Not so much anymore!

I think one thing that really draws me to them is that they're a quick project (I like immediate satisfaction) and you can be a little quirky or whimsical about what you hang on your door because they're not permanent and you can keep switching them out!

I saw this adorable Umbrella Decoration on where else... Pinterest! It didn't have a link back to the original unfortunately.

I was already at Dollarama last night picking up stuff to finish a little bday present... on a side note, I read a blog today where the woman talked about how she "victimized" family and friends with handmade gifts - that's totally what I do! Anyways... I quickly picked up a few things for the project and completed the entire thing in like 15 min at 11 pm. Easy peasy!

What you'll need:
  • Cute umbrella (Dollarama $2)
  • Sprigs of faux flowers, pussy willow, and Easter eggs on a stick
  • 2 feet of ribbon

Unfasten the umbrella and lay it down how you want it to lay against your door. Then take the top three "sections" (the material between the metal supports) and stuff a plastic bag in them just to puff them out a bit.

Add your sprigs to each of the openings and bend them around until you get the look you want.

When you're happy with your arrangement, slip the ribbon underneath and tie a bow approximately half way down the umbrella. You're done!

(Here it is hanging against my lace curtains at night.)


And here it is on my front door. Perfect for spring - even though we're supposed to get snow this weekend. Ugh.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

DIY - Headboard

This fall we made one of our best purchases ever... a king size bed. That means it's also been since the fall that we haven't had a headboard. In case you're wondering, footboards don't go over very well with tall, dark and handsome one. His 6 foot 6ness won't be confined to just the length of the bed!

The duration we were without a headboard was solely due to my own indecision. I wanted something sort of shabby chic that wouldn't break the bank. Finally I found the perfect inspiration here at Sugar and Charm! A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E!

I had rustic fence boards but not long enough for the king bed so a friend suggested I try to find "Corral Boards" at the lumber yard.

Score! 8 foot boards, perfectly rustic (they even had bark) for $2.30 each! They sat for a while and finally we brought them inside for 24 hours so we could build the headboard this weekend. (Did you know you have to allow wood to acclimate to the indoor temp/humidity? We knew but forgot to do it for the kids play kitchen and the results have not been pretty! Warping and shrinking. So frustrating!)

The tall one slapped (by slapped I mean was very OCD about making things straight and level) this together while I pushed the kids on the swing (making it a joint effort). I then sanded the boards down with 60, 120 and then 220 grit sandpaper cause we don't want splinters in our pillows! Free-handing the text was a little frightening to me but I did it in pencil first. Hint: use a sanding block to erase the pencil lines you don't use AND to slightly erase before you paint a section because it shows through the yellow paint.

And viola - here it is all pretty in our bedroom! I LOVE it! And I love that it only cost about $15!

The room is so cheery and I love being in it. It gets the most afternoon sun and I could lay there for hours. I still have a few more pillows to make but our room is actually almost finished. As I write that I remember my idea to paint the tall one's dresser yellow.... hmmm... not quite finished I guess.

I'm pretty proud of our headboard. I'm excited that every night we get to fall asleep against something that we made and fully enjoyed making together.

Monday, April 11, 2011

ifamily | Food Date

I can’t believe I am actually going to write about this in ifamily but it brings my friends and us such joy that I figure I should share it with the world. It’s a little double date that we call “I Can’t Believe I Ate the Whole Thing.”

It all started 4 or 5 years ago with good friends that have since moved away. During one of our many “family suppers” we started talking about delicious food and how we just wished we didn’t always have to calorie count and worry about what and how much we were eating. It was there we decided to have one night where we could choose a food and eat all of it. No sharing, no holding back, you’re allowed to eat the whole thing.

Half the fun is the anticipation and deciding what you will eat. It’s a pretty important decision. A lot of factors come into play. You want something you’ll enjoy right to the last bite and that won’t make you sick. Preparation for a date like this can last weeks. We did this Sunday night with neighbours and had started our lists of possibilities far in advance. It actually becomes an interesting conversation starter with everyone when you ask what they would choose if the opportunity to eat all of something was presented to them.

My list this go round was short, Sweet and Sour boneless ribs from a certain local establishment. My husband’s list was lengthy and included everything from a bucket of chicken to a bag of double stuff Oreos. Sweet or savory is a tough call that’s why I go with a combination – it’s all a part of the plan!

(Our most recent selections!)

I have admit that most of us “failed” our attempts this last date. I only ate two thirds of my delicious ribs, another only managed 4 of 10 wagon wheels but it was super fun nonetheless. The most epic accomplishment had to have been when one of the co-founder’s ate an entire cheese ball with crackers. She was unstoppable!

(The Gallipeaus and their McCain Deep and Delicious and Wagon Wheels)


(The tall one and I with our S & S Ribs and KFC)


So, there you have it. It’s a pretty cockamamie idea for a double date but it makes us happy and we enjoy doing it and the memories after wards. What would you eat?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Come DIY With Me!

It's time for me to get another "teaching fix" and the Estevan Arts Council is graciously affording me that opportunity. I've taught for them several times in the past... what did I teach? "Cough... ahem... hip hop dance classes... cough cough". What the what?! I know!

Apparently having an Education degree makes you think you can teach anything. This time however I'm slightly more qualified to teach the classes.

I'll be teaching two separate DIY (Do It Yourself) classes and I'm really excited about them! If anything, I'm just super pumped to have a room full of people to craft with!

The first class is "Girl It Up". We'll be making cool stuff for the girls in your life. (And yes Dani, we can make adult sizes.) Actually we can make pretty much any size you want to so don't be put off by all the baby sizes in the pics - it's just cause my girl is a baby :)

Aren't they so cute? The class will run 2 Thursdays (May 5 & 9) from 7-9 pm. Registration is $50 and the deadline is April 27. All the materials are supplied except for a meter of your own fabric! Sweet deal :)

The second class is "For the Home" and we'll make really unique stuff for your house. This class will run for 3 Thursdsys (May 26, June 2 & 9) from 7-9 pm. Registration is $60 and the deadline is also April 27. Again most of the materials are included. You just need your own fabric and an old novel.
(The Embroidery Hoop art is an example pic from Under the Sycamore.)

These classes will be great for seasoned crafters as well as beginners. Age 12 and up is welcome. If you're a seasoned vet come out and enjoy some crafting time with a cool group and if you're a beginner come out and learn a few things!

You can register by calling the Estevan Arts Council at 634-3942 or emailing at estevanartscouncil@sasktel.net. You can also download the class descriptions and a registration form here.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I Sewed My First Dress!

My friend Lori (who I feel like I should mention is my only Mennonite roots friend in the city!) emailed the link to these adorable pillow case dresses a couple weeks back and asked if I wanted to make one for Hanny Pants. She had partnered with a woman in Oxbow who was making them for the fabulous organization Little Dresses for Africa that has volunteers make these dresses and send them as an offering of hope for poverty stricken girls in Africa. I love crafting for a difference and see a "Little Dresses for Africa" sewing party in the near future!

Anyways.. it's always more fun to do a project with someone so Lori and I set a date for me to bring over my stash of fabric and sew a dress for Hanny and of course learn a few new sewing tricks.

I am a "sew by the seat of my pants" kind of girl. I can work my machine, sew a reasonably straight seam and that's about it! Lori is a quilter extraordinaire! You should see her quilting room. Drool. The quilt she made for her bed - gasp!

I snagged this fabric at Hobby Lobby not knowing what I'd make with it but am now quite sure it was always destined to be worn by the Hannah one. See those straps? Lori taught me to make my own bias tape (and how to sew it on... giggle...if only she could have seen how I've tried to sew it on in the past.)

The pom pom trim is probably my favourite part. Hanny's too :)


You can't really see it in this pic but on the back is my "french seam". I didn't know it existed but Lori taught me how to sew one. Very handy as it leave no raw edges to fray in the wash.

Sigh... she is so cute. The dress is a little long and perfect for her to grow into. She'll wear it for a long time as all dresses become tunics and worn with jeans at some point :)

I'm pretty pumped to have made my first dress for my daughter. This one will go in the hope chest and passed on along with the nightgown my mom made her and the pajamas my grandma made her :)

Thanks Lori!

UPDATE: You can also find the pattern at Little Dresses for Africa!