Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Christmas Preview

I think it's close enough to the big day that I can show off a few of the gifts without concern that the kids will spoil the surprise.

The first thing is not actually handmade, but was assembled at home. That would be the
kitchen, from Mum & Peter. It's so cool, really sturdy, and weighing in at almost 90lbs, should stand up to whatever abuse they're liable to throw at it. Thanks so much, Mum & Peter - they are going to be so jazzed about it! Toby suggested making some oven mitts to go with it, which I will probably get to soon.
A big thanks to Erik, too, who helped Toby put it up last night - so that I didn't have to!
Next is a little something for Noah - he's so into carrying his tool box around that Toby decided the boy needed a toolbelt. How could I fail to oblige? Found the pattern in this book, and with just a minor tweek here and there, my boy is as handy as they come. And I'm sorry, but I think the mattress ticking fabric is beyond cute.
Finally, that which I must confess to being most excited about. A month or so ago, Toby and I were looking through a slew of kid catalogues together, trying to get some idea of gifts for the kids, and we saw this:

I also saw the price tag, and thought, "Surely, I can make that for a lot less." Then Toby said aloud, "Surely, you can make that for a lot less." So, the challenge was given and received. And I think what I made might even be cooler. (Toot, toot on my own horn)

Half a dozen pockets for all sorts of things, and three embroidered velcro signs: Post, Shop & Cafe. This is my first real go at embroidery, people! How exciting! And though it's probably not the best part, but pretty high up there, is that everything (so far) was free! All scrap fabric from my stash - the only thing that needs buying is the tension rod to hang it with.

So now the kids can sell stuff, dine out or post letters. Looking forward to Christmas morning!

Monday, December 21, 2009

How we spent the weekend

A lot of this, poor man...
No reason why he shouldn't help a little...
And when they got too cold or tired, we did this...
...and this.

It was a good weekend.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


So I woke up Friday morning with an unexplainable compulsion: I must make myself this hat. Now. Ewenique Yarns in Bel Air happily obliged me with a couple skeins of a wool blend and mohair blend, and by evening, I had this soft, warm and sweetly apple-y green hat. Love it.

This was all Providential, as I had no particular need for a hat at the moment, aside from the fact that I didn't have one. I had no clue of the approaching snowstorm, nor any premonition of the couple feet we would get within 24 hours of the knitting urge. I tell ya, folks, the kindness of God is a marvellous thing - He even works through obscure pregnancy urges...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


After a very pleasant Thanksgiving with family, it's been busy and yet quiet around here. Nothing of great significance going on, but we've been making and schooling and doing.

My Singer Athena 2000 (sewing machine - duh) has all but died - definitely on her last legs (or spools). There was a frenzy of comparison shopping and trying to figure out: do I want mechanical or touch pad-face? What speed? How many stitches? How much? At the end of it all, I realized that in spite of the Black Friday sales, if anyone else was to receive a Christmas gift this year, my new machine would have to wait. Enter my sweet friend, Mandie, who has generously provided me with a long-term loaner. And so the business continues...

Business in the form of more hanging pockets, to organize Phoenix card supplies...

... a sewing machine cover for the mini-machine Abigail got for her birthday - after all, all Mommy's machines had them...

...a knitting bag, complete with internal pocket for yarn, external pocket for whatever, and 2 internal loops for knitting needles and/or keys.

Thanks go to Zoanna, who kindly provided all the scrap material I've been able to make stuff with!

Now, time for a market research question: For the crafty among you - what features would the perfect craft-bag have? Regardless of the craftiness in question, every bag I've ever bought had one little thing I didn't like or didn't use or didn't have. What's your must have: long or short straps? Velcro or zipper closing? Small hole for yarn feeding? Plastic pouch for stamps? Reinforced pocket for scissors? Give me some good feedback, and I might be able to come up with something special for you - you never know...