Sunday, 30 May 2010

Toddler Beachcomber Dress

I tried making Juli a dress today.  Specifically, Disney's Beachcomber Dress that she shared at Tea Rose Home this week.  I'm not happy with the result, but I think the main issue is that the knit fabric I used is a lot thinner and stretchier than what Disney used, so it has a different drape.  I'd like to try using a men's undershirt like she did (think Kevin would notice if I stole one?).  Looking at the pictures, I can see that I need to cut the ruffle shorter, and I should try to hem the bottom.  I do love the rope straps and belt, and that the dress looks kind of Roman, in a turquoise knit kind of way.

Knit fabric scares me, despite the fact that the very first thing I sewed in my married life was a long-sleeve t-shirt for Kevin.  I was quite impressed with how that turned out.  (sorry, I don't have any pictures, and the shirt went to goodwill with the last load)

I also think that part of the issue is that when I made this dress, the ground was covered in snow.  The day after tomorrow is June, I have my tomatoes planted in the garden, but we're still getting snow.

I'll have to have Juli try on the dress when we have some sunshine.  Maybe at the beach.

Thursday, 27 May 2010


We're going to BC on holidays again this year (Fairmont, of course). I desperately need a new swimsuit.

(source: Shabby Apple)

When I got married, of course I bought a bikini for the honeymoon, but I really didn't like it. It didn't fit me well. Then later I bought a tankini, but I think it was made to fit someone pre-adolescent. I actually wore that one when I was 7 months pregnant. I got rid of that one when Juli was a baby because I didn't think I'd ever fit into it again.

(source: Lime Ricki)

I visited my sister (also in BC) and forgot my swimsuit. We made a quick trip to Fields to see what was January. To my surprise, they actually had a really cute red, yellow, and pink bikini that did NOT look like something from the 80s. I bought it. It was great. I really liked the bottoms, which is the part I had issues with for my other one. But the top. Well, I had issues with the top. Let's just say I had to be very careful...

(Source: Lime Ricki)

So. I will not be wearing that on our holidays when I have to carry around a one-year-old who likes to grab at anything he can reach!
(Source: Shabby Apple)

I've been looking around online and found a few that I love. I haven't actually been to any stores, since swimsuit shopping is not something I want to do with two kids and a stroller. My list of things to do by myself just keeps getting longer and longer. I need to take a Saturday and just get it all done. Hmm...does Kevin have any plans for this Saturday?

Or I could just win Grosgrain's Giveaway for a Shabby Apple swimsuit.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Blue Dress and Some Chicago Blackhawks Fans

I finally fulfilled my promise to Juliana and made her a dress.  I gave her the pattern envelope and asked her which one she wanted me to make.  She pointed to the blue one and said she wanted that blue dress.  Ok.  I was surprised she didn't pick the pink one this time.  She always wants anything pink, even if she doesn't know what it is.

Luckily, I happened to have some blue fabric.  The pattern is Simplicity 5695, View E (but with different embellishments and an added sash.)  When Juli first put on the dress to try it on, she immediately said "It's too big!"  She was right.  This fabric is stiffer than the pattern was intended for, so it just looked huge on her.  I put on a sash, and now it's just right!

I could not get Juli to put down the camera while I took pictures.  She's going to be a photographer someday.

So have you heard?  The Chicago Blackhawks have made it to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1992!  They haven't won since 1961.  We have some ecstatic Chicago fans over here.


Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Lavender Cookies...the best part of a rough day.

When I did the butterfly centrepieces, I purposely bought a full bag of dried lavender because I love the scent and wanted to try a few things with it.  I tried one of them today (well, I made the dough yesterday and baked it today.)  I found a recipe for Lavender Shortbread Cookies, and since it was my turn to bring snack to our Tuesday moms' group, I decided to give it a try.  I try not to bake much unless I'm giving it away, or unless it is something Kevin likes.  That way I don't have to eat it all myself.  But I love to bake.

The other part of the snack I brought was cut up fruit: watermelon, grapes, and strawberries.  One and a half cookies remained when I packed things up at noon, and the fruit was all gone.  I guess it was a hit!

I'm exhausted today.  We left the house at 9:30 am headed for moms' group.  From there, we went through the McDonald's drive thru (bad mommy!), ate in the van because Nico was sleeping, then drove around the massive park'n'ride at the train station trying to find a space.  There was none.  But church was only 2 blocks from the station, so we drove back there and I called the office to ask permission to park there for a few hours.  I didn't want to be towed.  Then we walked back to the train station.  That was really too far for poor Juli's little legs and I should have taken the bus.  Did I metion that it was 31 degrees celcius today?  Did I also mention that I didn't bring the stroller for Nico?  Oh, and did I mention that he weighs more than 20 pounds?

She perked up once she saw the trains.  She's been begging me to take her on the train ever since the southernmost LRT station opened last month and Kevin started taking the train to work.  (my brother made fun of me yesterday for saying "southernmost".  He called me a nerd.)

We took a nice quick ride to the hospital where my mom is staying after her brain surgery yesterday (she had an enlarged third ventricle that was putting pressure on her brain.  The surgeon needed to poke a hole in it).  After spending a few nice hours with mom and wandering around the hospital (and attempting to help Juli use the potty while holding Nico and trying not to put anything on the gross bathroom floor.  A nice lady helped me out), we made our way back to the train station.  The plan was to wait there for Kevin to come by after work but we got there a little too early and I'd still have to take the bus to get the van so we just got on the train ourselves. 

Juli really didn't want to get off the train.  The only reason she got off without a meltdown (no nap today) was because I told her we were going to go on a bus.  As soon as we got on the bus, Juli spilled half a bottle of water on the seat.  I borrowed some paper towels from the bus driver and the rest of the trip was uneventful.

This should be the end of the story of my day...but as we were driving home, Kevin called.  He had gotten to his car at the park'n'ride, and it wouldn't start.  So I attempted to turn around to go get him.  But--oops!--I got on the freeway going the wrong direction.  That is totally a ditzy thing to do.  (so is that last sentence...just need to add "like" to make it valley-girl style)  I've had a rough couple of days.  I need to go to bed.

We took Kevin to get some gas and oil for his car, which didn't fix it.  By the time we left it there and went back home, Kevin needed to rush back out the door to get to hockey.  I made him a sandwich first.  Then I listened to a solicitor's sales spiel at the door while holding a baby in need of a fresh diaper and shooing the mosquitos away.

I've spent the time between then and now feeding, changing, rocking, reading, rocking, feeding, rocking, feeding...Nico is having a rough time with the heat.

I need to have a nice relaxing bath...with lavender and candles and a good book.

Not going to happen today.  The kitchen needs to be made livable.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Freezer Paper Stenciling is So Cool!

Last night I had a few hours to myself after the kids went to bed.  Nico didn't wake up 10 times in the two hours after I put him to bed!  Yay!.  I've been wanting to try freezer paper stenciling (video tutorial found here).  People have come up with some amazing designs that look like screen printing but without the expensive supplies. 

I bought this blue onesie at a children's consignment store, and decided it would be perfect for my test run.  A while ago I printed the words I wanted, then layered the print out under some freezer paper to cut out my designs.  I did two projects.  The other one will have to wait to be revealed until Fathers' Day.

I am so happy with both shirts!  The edges aren't as crisp as with actual screen printing, but that may just be because I used too much paint.  Maybe I should have done two thin coats of paint instead.  Next time.  Unfortunately Nick is growing so fast that this shirt won't fit him for long.  I need to start buying 18-month size for my 9-month-old.  Yet the doctor says he's only 50th percentile for weight.

Now I have to do something for Juliana, but I can't find plain t-shirts for girls. 

Juliana showing off her new Superstore pyjamas (I love the clothes there), her birthday lollipop, and her daddy's paint-covered shoes.  She shuffled over to me and said "Look Mama, look!  You have to take a picture."

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Butterfly Centrepieces

We had a lovely ladies' dinner at church on Saturday.  Here is what my centrepieces looked like.  Half the pots were purple, and half were green.  Not all the grass grew well, unfortunately (it was wheat grass, which is supposed to do better for this kind of thing than regular grass, but it didn't).  Each pot was wrapped with burlap, ribbon (of course), and rafia.  Around each pot I sprinkled some dried lavender.  This was a fun project to do, and felt like deorating a wedding!

I also made table number cards, which can be used again, and laminated if they choose, and reserved signs.  But I have to redo the reserved signs, because the ones I made were too small to be noticed by some of the older ladies, or so I'm told.  I'm going to make them double-sided too, as suggested by my mom.


Saturday, 8 May 2010

Spring Picnic

Kevin is studying at work today.  His CMA case exam is on Wednesday, and he wouln't get much peace to study if he stayed home.  It is the first fairly nice day since our last snowstorm, so I promised Juli we could go to the park.  But between getting myself ready and getting the kids ready, it was getting close to lunch time before we were ready.  So we brought our lunch and had a picnic!  Why does peanut butter and honey taste so much better when eaten at the park with a few grains of sand stuck to it?

Nico was so tired.  He hadn't had a morning nap, and we took the wagon instead of the stroller.  If he had been in the stroller, I'm sure he would have slept the whole time.  But--selfish me--I wanted him to take a nap at the same time as Juli, so I wouldn't let him sleep.  He did very well even though he was tired.

I can't believe Juli is big enough to climb this thing.  I told her to go ahead and try, sure that she wouldn't be able to do it.  Nope, she made it to the top in no time.

Juli wanted to practice her "stork stand" from gymnastics.

On our way home, I had both kids in the wagon, but Nico kept flopping over.  He was so tired he couldn't even hold his body upright, the poor boy.  So we made a little bed for him and gave him his bottle.  He would have slept in there if it weren't for the constant bumpiness of the muddy construction-zone sidewalks.

PS: I'm thinking of submitting a column idea to a quarterly writers' magazine.  Am I crazy?  I haven't written in weeks, and now I want to make a commitment to something?  Yikes.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

La La Loving this Poster!

I think once Juli's room is finally painted, I want to get this poster for her room:

It also comes in blue and green, both of which would "match" her bedding better, but I think I like the yellow best.  I don't want to be too matchy-matchy, after all.

Of course, by the time Juli's room is actually painted, she'll be thirteen and have her own opinions about the artwork.

Monday, 3 May 2010

I Like Sewing

I've been on a bit of a sewing kick lately, inspired by the baby gifts I made (See the wrapping job above...I'd post the actual gifts but I need to edit some last names out of the pictures first).  Besides the dress, I also made this top a couple of weeks ago.  I took me only about 3 hours over two days, and would have taken less time if the kids didn't interrupt me so often.

I used a tutorial found at Sew Mama Sew.  I definitely will be making more!  I love how cool-feeling it is.  I need more summer shirts that do not require me to wear a tank top underneath.

Next time I make a shirt like this, I need to move the straps in closer.  Apparently I have narrow shoulders.  It's difficult to do the fitting on myself.  I had just 2-inches of the embroidered part of the fabric left over.  This was another of my buy-1-get-4-free bolt ends, so the shirt was basically free.  It's some kind of linen blend.  Either linen-cotton or linen-rayon, I think.  I just love linen fabric!

I promised Juliana that I'll make a dress for her next.


Sunday, 2 May 2010

A Frock by Friday - I mean Sunday

My dress is done!  Did I say it was JUST the zipper and hem that needed to be done?  Well, the hem was the hardest part!  And I had two hems.  I'm still not sure it is straight.  But Kevin didn't notice anything wonky when I asked him.  And then last night and today I hand stitched the facing down.

In all, I really like this dress.  The pattern was easy.  I don't think I've worn anything with the waistline actually at my natural waist for a long time.  I need to figure out how to accessorise.  I really like Jenny's idea of a black sash or belt.  We'll see if I come up with anything.  But feel free to suggest more ideas!  The skirt is also several inches shorter than I usually wear, and it's a nice change.

What I don't like about the dress is the possibly wonky hem, the invisible zipper which is not so invisible (totally my fault, I forgot how to do them properly until I was already done and sick of ripping out stitches.), the neckline that gapes a bit because I had to take it in about four inches at the back, and the back of the skirt that doesn't lie nicely like it should.  If I make this pattern again (which I just might!) it will be better.

Overall, it's pretty good for a dress that only cost as much as the zipper.  To see other dresses from the sew-along, go to Grosgrain's Flikr group.