Friday, 22 November 2013

Lately..

Once again we are preparing for a trip.  Over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go...  Thanksgiving is next Thursday and my family is eagerly awaiting our arrival.  However, with snow in the forecast and high winds we may have to be more flexible on our timing.

But even before we celebrate Thanksgiving at home, the Canadians here have begun to prepare for Christmas.  And I guess we have too...


 We were fortunate to attend two Christmas parades this past weekend.


I don't usually have a tree here in Canada because we celebrate in the US but this tree was "found" in our neighbors yard.  He had recently cut it down and we scooped it up!

 My hubby is so sweet;


 
Have you ever dipped fall leaves in beeswax to preserve them?  We did, and then made a garland with the leaves.  It smells wonderful!

 


Our newest family member is a guinea pig named Teeny Little Super Guy.  Named after a Sesame Street Character from the 70s.  We love him...but yesterday he mistook my finger for a carrot and nearly bit it off!  Today, I am unable to do any hand sewing which I had intended to do!


Do you save all your fabric scraps?  Do you ever do anything with them?  I find that when I don't really feel like working on any of the projects I have going, I like to take my tiny crumbs of fabric and sew them together.  Maybe eventually they will make one large quilt!



Baby it's cold outside!  We've been spending most of our time inside lately.  Little girls seem to have a thing against the cold.  At least mine do, I like walks in the cold and they detest it.  I like riding bikes, blowing bubbles, making fairy houses in the cold and they whine.  So I guess we are in hibernation mode...maybe the grandparents will get them out!

 
What have you been up to lately?  Sewing, baking, projects, travel?  Are you ready for the holidays?  If you are celebrating Thanksgiving next week, I wish you happy and safe holiday!


Monday, 18 November 2013

It's a WIP

Christmas is approaching fast!  I've been absent lately because of all the Christmas preparations/sewing to be done.  I'm really not sure what I used to do in the month of November before I learned to sew.  But making gifts is so exciting, I feel just like an elf!

One of the larger projects I'm working on is a quilt for my 17 year old niece.  She'll be heading off to college next year so I wanted her to have something fun for her bed.  It's been raining for ever here so sorry about the pics.


It's moving right along.  I think I will add some large white borders to tone things down a bit.  As you can tell pink is her favorite color.  I just about used up my entire pink stash!
 


I'm a queen for November!  It's pretty exciting really.  So far this month I've only received one block, the others pictured below were all early.  So I should be getting a whole bunch of them any day now.. wink, wink.


I love this lighthouse block.  I don't think I would have been so clever.  Instructions were for any kind of wonky house block and so far they all fit the bill.  They are all wonderful I plan to add things to it such as trees, maybe a park and school.  We'll see.


Other things I'm working on:
  • Glamping pillow for sister's Christmas present
  • Husband requested a handmade tie!  Yikes!  The only thing he wants for Christmas.
  • Two ornament swaps
  • Medallion quilt
  • King size vintage sheet quilt
  • Possibly pj pants and crowns for the girls.
Everyday it seems as though I add more to the list, but it sure is fun.  What are you working on?

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Nature Exchange






 
The girls and I recently stumbled across the blog Mud Puddles to Meteors.  A great blog all about nature from all over the world.  We decided to take part in the nature exchange they had organized.
 
Living in Nova Scotia has had it's pros and cons.  One of the nice things about it is all the nature around us.  Although it is getting much colder so those "treasures" are not as easy to find.  Spending a day at the beach is so much more difficult when it's cold.  So for our nature box we made quick little trips to the beach or woods for our treasures. 
 
We are sending these items off to a family of 10 in Ohio!!  We cannot wait to see what's in our nature box in return. 
 
A bit about the things in our box:
 
Did you know that you can find amethyst on the coast of Nova Scotia?  As well as fossils, even dinosaur fossils?  Here is a great site to check out if you are ever in the area.
 
One of the rocks we included has a speck of semi precious stone found at a beach nearby.
 
We also included a piece of agate.  We've found a lot of it here, it's always so exciting! 
 
 
Mud Puddles to Meteors is currently having a giveaway for a rock collection.  This type of thing really interests my girls....check it out if you have kids!
 


Monday, 4 November 2013

Cashmere upcycle

When I get the opportunity, I really enjoy upcycling materials.  Something I've used and worn out, it makes me feel great to give a piece of material new life!

Today I'll (briefly) show you how to use a sweater to make mittens and/or a winter hat.  I say it will be brief because once you understand the concept and have some basic sewing skills these things are so easy to make.

This sweater was found in someone else's closet and has moth holes up near the neck line...perfect for an upcycle.


 I use the sleeves of sweaters to make the mittens.  The cuff on a sweater makes a perfect mitten cuff and doesn't need to be hemmed.  In the picture below you can see a faint outline.  I use a mitten (that already fits) and lie it on the sleeve so that the cuffs match up.  I use the side seam of the sleeve as the outside edge to the mitten, this way it doesn't need to be sewn.

 
I like to make sure that the mitten pair is fairly even in size.  So after cutting one mitten out I use that as the template for the other mitten on the left over sleeve.

 
As you can see in the picture below the cuff and sides of the mitten don't even need to be sewed.  Turn the mitten inside out to sew.  I use a zig zag stitch to sew from one edge of the mitten all the way up and over the thumb to the other edge.  There shouldn't be any holes left behind!

 
I use a 1/4 inch seam and also clip all the curves on the inside of the mitten so it lies flat and fits well.  It's very important to clip seams around the thumb or it may not be comfortable.


(I forgot to snap a picture of my little girl wearing these, she loves them because they are so cozy)
 
Making the hat is even easier.  I use another hat that fits as a template.  Line up the bottom edge of the template hat with the bottom edge of the sweater and outline.  Pinning the two layers of sweater together helps to achieve a nice even curve on both pieces of the hat.




After the two pieces are cut out, use a zigzag stitch and a 1/4 seam and sew one continuous line of stitches from one bottom edge to the other.
When sewing the hat, make sure right sides are together (so it appears to be inside out).

For the hat above I used the outside edge of the sweater so I had less to sew closed.  I used my two year olds hat as a template.  This one fits her well with some room at the top.

Any questions?  I'm sure people that already know how to sew think this is super easy but for those that don't I hope this inspires you to make your own mittens and hat!

Is there anything that you like to upcycle?  I would love to hear about it!

Friday, 1 November 2013