Saturday, December 5, 2009

The ultimate cocooning weather

Heavy snow, high winds, slowly dropping temperatures... whiteout conditions, icy and snow covered roads, cars in ditches... we are staying home today. And tomorrow.

I wouldn't go outside at all if I didn't have outdoor animals. The cats are shut in the hay shed. They have lots of blankets, and I bring them out water a couple times a day. To get in the shed, you have to dig out two feet of snow first.

I blanketed my horse. She's wearing a polar fleece blanket with a rainsheet over it. When the wind stops, I'll switch her to a winter blanket. The two ponies are tough and are doing fine despite being full of snow.

About every four hours I go outside. The first challenge is the drift at the back door. I fall through it, up to my thighs. Next, I dig out that 2 feet of snow at the hay shed. I get a load of hay, and climb over the pasture fence. The gate is snowed over. Notice the drift the ponies are standing beside in the picture? It's 5 feet tall. I've NEVER had drifts that big in the 13 years I've lived here. I give them the hay, and check that they are okay. I grab the rubber feed bucket, and go back to the water trough. It's snowed over. I bang on it until the snow and ice cracks, then wet my gloves to pull the 3 inch thick pan of ice and snow out of it. I bring a bucket of water back to the horses. Then, I go back to the hay shed, get the cat's water dish, dump it, and refill it with warm water from the house (climbing over that back door drift again), and take it back to them. Then I get back inside quickly since my wet gloves are starting to freeze!

If you've ever skiied through the snow from a snow making machine, then you know how that wind driven snow feels on my face when I'm out. But animals must be cared for, and in a weird way, it's fun to go outside in such extreme weather.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wool coat face lift

I bought this wool coat from a garage sale for $1. The seller told me she had bought it in Finland/Sweden/one of those little European countries (I can't remember which). I love the style and fit of the coat, plus, as an amazing bonus (besides it's price!), is that the sleeves are actually long enough on me. (And it has all it's buttons, I was too lazy to do them all up for the picture).

Then, my mom commented that it looked good on me, and that my brother has a coat just like it. UGHHH!

I wanted to make the coat NOT look like something my brother would wear, so I went hunting at fabric stores. It took a while, but I eventually found this pink & grey flower trim.

It certainly dresses up the coat, doesn't it!

Close up of the trim - it's kind of hairy, which gives it a soft look, and goes well with the texture of the wool coat.

I have many metres left of this trim, and I'd like to put more on the coat, but I'm not sure where to put it.

A "bracelet" around the sleeves?
Along the bottom hem?
Down the front, as fake princess seams?
Down the edge of the front, but that would be asymmetric?
Along the pockets?
A shape on the back of the coat - like a star, flower, something like that?
Or leave it as good enough?

Please, if you have an idea, post a comment.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Hammies

Eric's friend's hamster had babies... so now we have two girl hamsters.

Eric's hamster is the brown one, named Cinny (short for Cinnamon). Leah's is the white and brown (who has the shape of a Llama on it's back!), named Hamsy.

Cinny is quite the hamster. She knows how to open the door she's sticking out of in the picture. One morning, they were exploring the living room... we thought the cage door was left open. A few days later, I'm watching TV, and Cinny walks by... Hmm, put her away, and watched her open the cage door... I made her do it over and over again, I just couldn't believe it! It's kept shut with an extra clip now!

And the cage, well, I got it from a garage sale, bought from a person I went to school with in junior high! And, for my birthday one year, she gave me a hamster!! Funny, uh?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Boat

Had our first ride in the new boat today. It goes fast. The kids had fun. My eyeballs got cold and dry from the wind. Must bring sunglasses next time.

The kids in the open bow:

Me sitting at the bow:

Caption Stephen:

Our purple dock:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hail damage

There was a severe storm last night with hail. My garden looks like some one chopped it up for salad.

Chopped lettuce:

Oddly trimmed onions with smashed pumpkin plant in background:

Beaten up rhubarb:
I just don't have the energy to go clean up the mess and see what can be salvaged. Maybe tomorrow I can deal with it...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Garden Salad

I love to eat out of the garden.

About to become supper: spinach, chive buds, chives and asparagus. Drizzle with homemade raspberry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil....

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Next Generation / Beach Pants

We were at the cemetery in Sedgewick to bury my Grandmother, and I was struck at beautiful and innocent Leah looked. My Grandmother may be gone, but her blood lives on in this little girl.

The second part of this post is her pants. She refuses to wear jeans, and most other pants or dresses and skirts, leaving her with very limited options! I sewed her these "beach pants" from a knit fabric I found at a thrift store. She loves them, especially the palm trees on her behind, and the pink and purple colours.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring Kittens

It's kitten season. These cuties are 3 weeks old.

Leah with Smudge.

This is "Kitty."

Eric and "Mr. Meowie."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thrift Store Fabric

My favorite thrift store (Mennonite Central Committee) had a half price sale on fabric last week. I had limited time (was shopping in the city while Leah was at playschool), but I still managed to pick out 19.9 METRES of fabric. At 75c per metre, that's a HUGE savings over buying at a store.

I managed to sneak back a few days later, with a little more time on my hands, and picked out another 13.4 metres. That's 33.3m of fabric, for $24. I asked why they had so much fabric (there were boxes and boxes of it - lots of 1980's polyesters), and they said that a church had a fabric sale, and had donated all the leftovers.

That's my 33m+ pile of new fabric, all washed and ready to be sewn. the pieces range in size from .7m to 6.5m. Most are cotton (or blended) knits.

Some highlights:
  • The top 2 fabrics have silver threads through them, and one piece has a flower design, and the second is snakeskin (what the heck am I going to do with those??)
  • the first blue from the top is 4m of a lightweight denim type fabric with a herringbone pattern to it (pants??)
  • the grey/blue/black fabric just under the white knit is a polyester that I plan to make a skirt out of
  • the blue/green fabric directly under it is interesting - it's a fine tulle with a plush pattern of flowers - maybe a princess dress for a little girl (good thing I have one of those!)
  • everything below that is a knit (except for the piece of animal-print polar fleece).
  • the green and blue fabrics will probably be pajamas for DH
  • the blue print (polyester knit) will be a top for me
  • the black is 4-way stretch cotton-lycra and has an interesting crinkled texture to it
  • the very bottom is a thick, soft double knit that really looks like denim and would make lovely pajamas
Since I probably won't have much time for sewing until the fall (it's gardening and horse riding season now!), I might save this pile of fabric for next winter's Stash Contest at Pattern Review.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Draft stops

I put up these purchased curtains to help keep the room warmer. But, cold air flows out from the gap at the bottom.

Leah modeling the draft stoppers (also known as "sausages"). You can see the gap between the curtains and the floor. (If I had hung the curtains lower, the window molding would have shown at the top). The white one is her own personal "sausage" because she insisted that she needed one too. (Oh the fun of trying to sew while little kids are home!)

Sewing the stuffing into a sausage.

The draft stoppers in use.

The green furry fabric came from the thrift store a year ago. I wish I had enough of it to make all 4 draft stoppers since it matches the carpet so well. The burgundy flannel is 7 years old. I stuffed the green draft stoppers with quilt batting picked up at an annual village clean-up (includes a "give and take" area), and the two burgundy flannel are stuffed with fabric scraps. Leah's "sausage" is 1 metre of fun fur rolled up and sewn. The other 4 draft stoppers took 1/2 yard each.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kwik Sew Cat Coat

This coat is based on the "Jacket with zipper, hood and ribbing waistband" from the Kwik Sew's Sewing for Children book.

Satin stitching the cat on the back.

Coat uses 4 different fabrics, all found at the thrift store in the last few years. I might add more of the leopard fun fur to the cuffs and hood, but I need Leah to try it on first, and I won't be giving her the coat until Monday (her birthday!).

I made sure the cat on the back wouldn't be covered by the hood. I did that on a sweater of my own -- the hood covers the horse I stitched on the back (duh!).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jalie 2787 Criss-cross tops

View B top in tie-dye panne velvet.

Size K (7) top for my DD in green crushed panne velvet.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kwik Sew 2678 Leotards and pants

Just the pants from this pattern, which Leah will actually use as tights under skirts and dresses.

Hello Kitty ribbon to mark the back.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Look 6478 Girl's Knit summer dresses

Simple and cute little dresses for Leah this summer.

The yellow one has ribbon bows on the sleeves and front. I also added a fabric rose to the front bow. This is view A.

Close up of the back closure.

I love this fabric! It's one of my better thrift store fabric finds. This is also view A, but I left off the sleeves.

Custom Boy Shorts

Okay, for all the world to look at, here are my underwear. I sewed them. Yes, you can sew underwear. It's easy, cheap, custom fitted and better quality.

The fabric used is mostly the leftovers from other sewing projects. Most are polyester/lycra, perhaps the blue is nylon/lycra, and the fun zig-zag shown below is probably poly with no lycra.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kwik Sew for Children Book

Pajamas, size S, using sweatshirt pattern and no-side seam pants. The dark spot on the pants is the navy grosgrain ribbon I used to mark the back.

I put snaps at one shoulder seam. Fabric age: 8 years.

T-shirt dress, size S. I really don't like how it looks, so I satin stitched a heart on the front with variegated woolly nylon to try to dress it up. Mint fabric is stash aged 3 years, darker green is 7 years.

Tiered skirts, size S. Fabrics are all 2 or 3 years old.

Close up of bunny prints on purple skirt.

Another tiered skirt. The black fabric is a faux suede with a satin like wrong side (about 18m old, thrift store find), and the animal print I believe came from Fabricland about 8 years ago.

Lined plaid straight skirt. Not very happy with how it turned out, but it's cute when Leah is wearing it. She's tired of modeling, photo shoots and being measured, poor girl! Fabric and lining came from my mom about 2 years ago.

Eric in his side-seam pants in stretch denim. Size S, with length added to legs. They are a bit baggy on him, but he did say they were comfortable as soon as he put them on. Fabric is 2 or 3 years old.

Jalie 2682 Girl's tops

I don't look good in purple or yellow, so lucky Leah gets some new tops so I can use up this stash fabric!

"Hello Kitty" top, size J (age 6). Leah is almost 5. It fits her, but she did complain that it's tight. (It's not tight, she's just a complainer!)

I found this Hello Kitty ribbon at Michaels.

Yellow and yellow/red print top. Size L (age 8). Leah can wear this now with the sleeves rolled up.

Purple with fine white stripes, size L (age 8).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Suitability 2600 Western Chaps

I've been wanting to make these chaps for 2 years now, and finally made them!

My bed sheet muslin to check the fit. The bottom is supposed to cover your boot heel.

Laying out the pieces to figure out how the zippers attach.

I don't like how low the front straps attach, so I raised them to the top edge of the chap. This is the before picture.

Cutting the fringe with a clear ruler and rotary cutter.

Success! They fit my leg and they are long enough.



Leah looked at them and commented something about I guess you have to wear pants with them! LOL!