Monday, 24 October 2011

Seven Things

I just discovered that Paige Kellerman has given me a blog award!


Thanks Paige!  I got to know Paige from Twitter.  She's a writer with one of the funniest blogs I've ever come across.  Go check out There's More Where That Came From.  I think in my case, "versatile" is code for "unable to focus on one thing".

Here are the award rules:

  • Thank the person who shared the award with you by linking back to them in your post.
  • List seven things about yourself.
  • Pass this award on to 15 newly discovered blogs and let them know that you included them in your blog post.


  • So, here's my seven things:
    1. I'm going to Seattle on Thursday!
    2. I'm a little bit terrified about travelling on my own.
    3. I'm 28 years old and I've never done anything on my own.
    4. Sometimes I prefer YA fiction to adult fiction (for example, Patricia C. Wrede)
    5. Speaking of fiction, I need to bring something to read while I'm away.  I will be spending about 2.5 hours total waiting in airports.
    6. I am currently playing The Game.
    7. I am not getting very good scores this time around.

    I'm not sure I have 15 newly discovered blogs since I haven't been browsing much lately, so I'll just post 15 smallish blogs I think you should check out. (in no particular order)

    1. The Koala Bear Writer - I'll be meeting Bonnie while I'm in Seattle.  We're going to the Women of Faith Conference together.
    2. City and Baby
    3. A Pretty Life in the Suburbs - This is my blog doppelganger.  Her name is Jo-Anna, she's Canadian too.
    4. Lemonade Makin' Mama
    5. Buns in My Oven - I recently discovered this blog on Pinterest, and wanted to pin the whole thing.  I'll be making her cream cheese chicken enchiladas for supper tonight.
    6. Five Days...Five Ways
    7. The Happy Book Blog
    8. The Heart of the Home - My friend Jenn is an amazing cook.
    9. Griffintainment - Dustin should get paid to write his movie reviews.
    10. Little Red Hearts
    11. Jillian-Claire Photography
    12. The Real Bliss - Just discovered this one today, and I'm looking forward to having the time to take a closer look.
    13. Papercastle Collective
    14. Heartfelt Devotionals
    15. Patty Froese Ntihemuka


    Wednesday, 19 October 2011

    A Glimpse of Countryside



    I was on my own for my bike ride yesterday.  Kevin was home, so I left him and Juli watching a movie while Nick was sleeping, and headed out. It's amazing how much easier it is to ride when I'm not pulling 100 extra pounds of children and trailer!  I made my way south on 66th street.  I wanted to get to the country.  We live right on the edge of the city, but more and more of the countryside is being eaten up by cookie-cutter subdivisions.  It's depressing.  So, although it was tough biking on gravel, I kept going until all I could see ahead of me was countryside.  No construction.  I came to a field and stopped where a convenient rock marked the entry to a field of golden stubble (right in the centre of the screenshot above, thanks Google Maps!)

    Oh, it was so nice to just sit and let my jelly-like muscles recover for the ride back!  It was warm and sunny, with only a slight breeze setting the treetops swaying...I loved it.  There was a fair amount of traffic on the road--mostly construction vehicles--so I felt too conspicuous to stay long.

    Once I got home I told Kevin where I had gone.  He asked me not to go there again, due to reports of drug deals happening in that area.  That sucks.

    Monday, 17 October 2011

    Fall Art Project

    I think I'm becoming a homeschool mom!  Juli has mastered the alphabet and is now learning her letter sounds, which we review in the van as we drive along with her Wee College memory verses.

    And today we did our first detailed family art project.  I found the project HERE, and decided that I wanted to try it with Juli.  I prepared the background of the pictures last night, one for Nicholas too, although he's only two.


    They make quite a pretty collection of paintings.  Here's mine:  (aren't you proud of me? I mastered a 2nd grade art project!  yay!)


    Here's Juli's: (She did an amazing job, and loved doing it, especially the straw-blowing part to make the branches.)


    And here's Nicks: (He did so well!  He loved blowing with the straw, and when he did his leaves, he said "Pop, pop, pop..." for each one.)


    The background and tree trunks/branches were done with my watercolour paints.  The leaves were done with Juli's tempera paints.  I hung up the pictures using command hooks and binder clips near the back door.  I needed something to put there since I gave away my straw hat (and it's no longer summer), and all my quilted wall-hangings that would fit are wintery.  I suppose I could have just removed the one hook that was there and had an empty wall.



    Sunday, 16 October 2011

    Using what I have: Crochet pouch necklace


    Three years ago, when I was visiting my sister, she made me this crochet pouch necklace.  It was intended to hold a pretty polished stone.

    For the last few weeks, I've needed to use eye drops (for anterior uveitis).  Now, I am horribly forgetful.  If I did not have the eyedrops in my hand, I would forget to put them in.  Every hour wasn't so bad, but every two hours, or every three hours, I cannot remember to do it.

    So I put the little eyedrop bottle into the pouch and tied it closed.  It is perfect!  It swings from my neck as I go about my day, getting in my way just enough to remind me.  Yes, I look like a dork.  But my eye is getting better.

    Sunday, 9 October 2011

    Fall Centrepieces



    I can't believe I haven't yet shared the centrepieces I did for our women's ministries fall dessert night!  We had Cheryl Allen sing and share her story, and Starbucks demonstrated some coffee and dessert pairings (which is apparently all the rage on the west coast)  I must admit that the coffee bean part of the centrepiece was someone else's brilliant idea, while the mason jar idea came from Pinterest.  The driftwood I've had for years, after my mom had it for years, and neither of us ever used it.  Note: most tables had a taper, a votive, and a tealight.  I happened to sit at the one table with two tapers.



    Friday, 7 October 2011

    Monday, 3 October 2011

    In Which I Reveal My Scottish Pride and My Odd Affinity for Historic Clothing


    With some leftover birthday money, I decided to buy myself a necklace that I've been wanting for a while.  Kevin didn't quite take the hint when I sent him the link for it last Christmas.  It is sterling silver and made using the imprint of an antique wax seal.  I ordered it from Englady on etsy.  I absolutely love it!  It's nice and heavy, and the chain is so delicate...I forgot to take a picture of the pearls that accent the clasp, but it's gorgeous.  It all came packaged in a pretty teal box with a white satin ribbon.  I am half Scottish, and I'll wear my thistle with pride!


    On the other hand, I'm about to reveal perhaps a bit more than I ever have before...pictures of me in my underwear...  Right, so it's 200 year old underwear.  I've always wanted to make myself a Regency-Era dress.  But never one to do anything half-way, I figured I needed the proper undergarments first.  It always bothers me that in historical dramas they don't wear period-appropriate underthings.  For example, in the 1980s version of Mansfield park, it is very obvious that Fanny Price and Mary Crawford are not wearing petticoats!  Scandalous!  Perhaps you'd expect it of Mary, but not Fanny!

    I used the Sense and Sensibility Regency Underthings pattern for my Chemise and Short Stays.  The chemise is not actually finished, as I still need to finish flat-felling the side seams (it's really boring when done by hand), and then I need to hem it (also by hand, of course).  I chose to do spiral lacing for my stays, because it is more historically accurate.  Did you know that the cross-lacing we usually envision on corsets wasn't actually used until well into the Victorian era?  So any medieval costume you see with cross lacing isn't correct...unless it's decorative and probably rennaisance anyway.


    I cut out size 12, which was miles too big.  I didn't want to lose any length as I would have if I had recut the pieces in a smaller size.  So I just took it in about an inch total.  I also shortened the straps about half an inch.  I think that made it about size 8, but now that it is complete, I see I should have done size 6.  I can easily lace it all the way closed, but it's supposed to have about a 2 inch gap.


    You would be surprised how comfortable this is.  More so than a modern bra because it doesn't ride up or poke.  It makes me stand straighter too.  I bought zip ties for the boning, and everything else I had on hand.

    interlining: canvas drop cloth fabric, left over from the roman blinds I made.  It's a little too stretchy for corsets, but it'll do for now.  If you use it, zig-zag or serge your edges!  Especially the gussets.  I had to replace two after they frayed.  Other than that, this pattern was so easy.
    lining: white cotton, the same as the chemise fabric
    outer fabric: some kind of synthetic that looks like dupioni silk.
    drawstring and lacing: cotton, I have no idea what it is.  I'll have to ask my mom, since she gave it to me.  It's loosely-woven, yet strong.


    Next up, petticoat and dress!  The petticoat will be made of the same cotton as the chemise, and will button to the stays, since I don't want yet another set of straps over my shoulders.  I may make the dress first, as I have no idea how full to make the petticoat at the moment.  My inspiration for the dress can be seen on my Pinterest board.