Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Presents for little ones

I spend last week making up a few gifts for other peoples babies, which I have decided I love doing!   People always really appreciate them, and I just love making them!

I was however slightly sad to realize after reading up on one of my favorite sewing blogs Piccoli Piselli that last week was the Kids Clothing Week Challange (KCWC)  A week where you  pledge to spend at least a hour a day sewing clothes only for kids (be it yours or others), and of course, blog about it :)  I have a bunch of fabric to make stuff for Squiggles and could have used the motivation, but oh well, next year!! and I guess I did a bit, because I did make this cute dress for one of Squiggles girl baby friends (she is less than a day younger than Squiggles and born just down the hall at the same hospital :)

It was super fun to make something from a girl, although I have discovered that making stuff for boys is of course fun too!  This is the Pretty-as-a-picture Dress from Anna Maria Horner's book Handmade Beginnings.  She's a fabric and pattern designer and I'm liking her book.  Next up I hope to make the Baby in the Hood jacker for Squiggles, the fabric is prepped and waiting to be cut and sewed!

I also made two Peek-a-Boo toy sacks a free tutorial on Make it Perfect.  These are awesme, super quick to sew and I think super handy.  This is definitely a staple for future gift giving!  Perfect to hold blocks, legos, or whatever!

This one was also for the same baby girl as above

And this one was for the littlest boy of a friend and co-worker who turned 2!

I'm loving how you can play with the different colour combos on the lining etc.  I have many other ideas for combos in my brain!

That's all the sewing for the next few weeks.  It's serious cleaning time!!  We're having a serious yard sale in less than two weeks!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Birthday Time!

On Saturday we had a little party to celebrate the fact that it was just over a year ago that Squiggles was born.  My how time flies!   And so of course, I wanted to do a few special little crafty things for it.  I had larger plans, but time was definitely not on my side! So I kept it simple.

I made cupcakes (Including some special gluten-free, vegan ones for Squiggles who, due to Mr. Bear having some food sensitivities and asthma, hasn't had gluten or eggs/milk yet).    The cake was good, but my decorating attempts might be considered girly.  I wanted to dye the icing blue for the letters using blueberry juice, but that didn't work, so I resorted to the only food colouring I had in the house, red.  Which, unless you use tons and tons (which I didn't want to), makes pink icing :)   Oh well, I'll plan ahead better next time!

What was more successful were my decorating attempts.  I fancied up some plan old streamers by ruffling them and joining two colours together thanks to this tutorial on MADE.   Cute eh?  I tried to make three colour ones, but gave up.  It was hard wrangling three rolls of streamers, but two was pretty easy!

A bunch of streamers and a few green and blue balloons and voila! Party!

And of course, not to be outdone by the decor, Squiggles needed some decorating too.  So I decided he should wear a bowtie.  A real bowtie you have to tie!  I followed this tutorial.  I think it worked out well!

Next time though, I definitely need to make some sort of way to just attach it pre-tied, (ie velcro or something on the back) rather than hope he sits still long enough to tie it around him!

And lastly, yay to the nice spring weather!  Squiggles loves the grass :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mini cleanse!

So we've been slowly sorting and cleaning our house in our quest for simplification.  It sure is slow going through.  We seem to be making a lot more mess before we will have less!

However we have two small success areas to report on for now, with more to follow very, very soon!

First up: the front entry way.   This is it before more or less.

It was home to just about anything.  The stroller in particular cluttered it up and because I use it very little it tended to more be a holder for bags and junk then actual baby transport.    We did have two boxes to help organize stuff but even when properly used they still looked cluttered (and were mostly full of stuff we don't actually use!  Minimalist Mom had a nice post about baskets you can read here.  Also, you can't see it this photo, but between the outside door and the inside door, there is hooks and a shoe rack, again full of stuff we don't use.  Those got a whipping up too;

Ahh, much nicer!  Just two things to do, one, make a proper cover for the box seat (done actually, just don't have a photo) and get a nicer once piece carpet, rather than or mash of three (which are pretty old and ratty anyways!)  So now our stuff (the stuff we actually use) has a home in the bench box (repurposed from our bedroom were it stored old video tapes, yes old video tapes)  And the stroller is in our back hall folded up to be taken out when needed!

Next up, the back deck.

Before, a huddle of as much stuff as possible under our overhang, whether it needed to be there or not!

Yes, that is old trim and windows you see.  Donations from our lovely neighbours when they replaced theirs.  I'm keeping them as some of ours need replacing, but I want to keep the old windows, and some of his were in better shape to be restored.  And the trim is to put in our bathroom to replace the crappy standard trim a previous owner put in when they haphazardly renovated our bathroom.  I plan to bring back its original glory some day.  I realized stockpiling stuff doesn't mesh so well with our simplifying plans, but I feel it necessary in this case (and cheaper than buying it new later!)

Now it looks like this;

Note that we can actually get in our door now!  I know it still looks like a lot of stuff, but first I'll mention that we have NO garage or shed, so some stuff we use regularly must just live on our deck.  That's our bikes under cover on the right (for the rain0, our bike trailer for Squiggles, some tools (rake, shovel)  Otherwise behind the BBQ is our recycling bins, and in the deck box is small things like small tools, seat pillows etc.  I still want to purge the box, but time ran out! And I'm happy we got it as tidy as we did!

Now if only we could get around to tackling our dreaded office and guest room.  Anyone want to come and stay here? :)

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