Thursday, July 29, 2010

Projects on Hold

I know there hasn't been much going on here except for necklaces, I'm sure those are getting boring but my sewing machine is in for servicing (not broken, I had a coupon for free maintenance) so the three projects that use it are on hold.  I'm also working on 3 BIG (for me) projects.  They are all a lot of work and a lot of time without a lot of blog posts.  One of them involves the door (finally), and one of them involves paint that I ran out of and am having a hard time finding more of, they all seem to involve endless amounts of priming.  A trip to Calgary this weekend should fix the paint problem and get the door really started.  Hopefully I'll have some real results and some really exciting posts to share with you next week.  Until then you can probably expect some more boring necklaces, it's really the only craft I can do at night now.

If your anything like me you never tire of a new Catie picture so here you go.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Beaded Necklaces

Here are two more additions to my line of Little Girl's Jewelery.  

This necklace is designed to fit a 2-7 yr old but it looks great on Catie.

They're both glass beads, not plastic so they have a nice weight to them.  I love the way both flowers turned out.  These will join my for sale items so if you like them they can be yours for $12 each.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Little Girls Jewlery

It's been a while since I mentioned the Little Girl's Ribbon Necklace but there are a few different pieces.  If you read my comments then you'll see that a friend offered me a corner of her table at a craft show in the fall and I've taken her up on the offer.  It's mostly given me an excuse to make more fun necklaces and it's was a great way to spend my time while watching 6 seasons of Lost in 6 weeks.

Most of the necklaces are really similar to the first one I made but with different ribbon styles.  There are a few different ones and I'm working on some new beaded styles but they're not finished yet.  Here's a peek at what I've been working on.

I loved the little dragon fly charms rather than the flower.  This one looks a little simpler than the original since there is no bow.  I love the polka dots, I do have a thing for polka dots.

I just can't get over how pretty this ribbon is.  Sadly I've run out and I can't find anymore.  The bow and the necklace are different styles, I wish they were the same but I had to make do.  The ribbon on the necklace works so well for this that I'll keep my eyes peeled in hopes I'll be able to make more of these.

I love this ribbon, it's pink but a more muted pink, nothing princess about it. The polka dots make it so girly without being your everyday colour of pink.  The beads are also two different sizes, it makes it a little more unique.

 I don't really enjoy making bracelets as much so I'm a little slower on those but this one will probably have a matching bracelet.

This necklace has a cute heart charm on the side.  I'm loving the sheer-ness of the ribbon.  There will eventually be a matching bracelet for this one too.

This necklace was inspired by one I saw online made by J Crew.  I'm not thrilled with my bows so they'll probably get an update but I love the general idea.  This necklace is definitely less durable than some of the others so it should probably be worn by a 4 year old or older.  Hard to tell in the photo but the little beads have some pretty texturizing on them.

I love the simple wrapped look of this bracelet. (I hadn't clipped my thread yet so you can see it in the photo, that'll be gone eventually).  I slipped this on Catie to try on for size and she immediately pulled it off, so maybe an older girl as well though it looked so cute on Catie.

This last one is my favorite that I've made so far.  Catie has one and she's worn it.  Sadly it was the most difficult to photograph.

The ribbon is blue and sheer with little dark brown polka dots.  The beads are a little larger than I normally use and the combination of the two is just so cute.  I have lots of this ribbon so I imagine I'll be making a bunch of these.

Hopefully I'll have a good stock ready for the craft show and I hope they sell well. I'll probably price the ribbon necklaces and bracelets as $8 for a bracelet, $10 for a necklace and $15 as a set.  The others will need to be priced on an individual basis.  As it gets closer I'll include details to the craft fair and maybe some of you will come see me.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Catie's Curls

On more than one occasion I've casually mentioned to a friend in conversation that I'd love it if Catie had curly hair.  Just about every time I get the same response, "Where would she get curly hair from?"

I'd just like the record to show that she'd get it from me, despite what I've led you to believe my hair is not all that straight.  It was really fine and blonde when I was little.  It's darkened and straightened a little as I've grown up but I still have enough wave to pass to Catie.

So far Catie's is coming in curly and I just hope the extra weight doesn't straighten it out. 
(She was really angry because I wouldn't give her the camera, you've got to love that hair though!)

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Changing the look of a blog is painful.  I know very little about HTML, thankfully Brad knows slightly more.  We muddled through, using This Thrifty House as our really basic template (I love the look of hers, imitation is flattery right?).

There are some obvious problems, like pictures overlapping but we'll get to that.  For now we have an updated look that's at least slightly better than the last one.

Enjoy and keep your eyes peeled for small updates in the future.

Golden Graham Smores

I don't post recipes very often never mind recipes with step by step instructions but that's what you're getting today.

A conversation about Rice Krispy Treats brought back memories of the yummy Golden Graham version so when I needed a treat for a gathering on Monday night I took the opportunity to make some.

Golden Graham Smores
3/4 cup corn syrup
3 tbsp butter
1 pkg chocolate chips
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla
1 pkg (12 oz) Golden Graham cereal

1. Grease 9x13 pan

2. Heat syrup, butter and chocolate chips to boiling, stirring constantly.

Confession, I'm pretty sure I didn't heat to boiling.  I melted it all together called it good.

3. Add marshmallows and stir until mostly melted.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

I thought it would be nice to have some marshmallow pieces so I stirred until it looked like this and then dumped in my cereal.  I'm not sure you actually notice any pieces in the final product but it didn't hurt.

Second confession.  As I was pressing them into the pan I looked up and noticed my bottle of vanilla sitting on the counter, that's right, I forgot to add it.  Oops.

4. Add cereal, stir to coat and using a greased spoon press into pan.  Let cool.

Not the prettiest dessert but so yummy!  Even better than I remembered and they were a big hit.  Be prepared, they are real sweet.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stroller, Carseat and Base for $15!

I have a confession... remember the navy stroller that I recovered and raved about?  That stroller was supposed to be for my sister but a carseat wouldn't clip onto it.  Well it also turned out that the stroller was a piece of crap.  I didn't mean to lie, I thought it was great but the afternoon after I blogged about it I took Catie for a walk in it.  The seat was super long so Catie couldn't lean back comfortably, her neck would crick.  To fix that problem I made a cute pillow that worked really well but it also had a broken piece.  Remember how I talked about the handle that moved back and forth?  One of the pieces that held it in place when pulled forward was broken but with a trip to Home Depot, $5, a drill and some screws Brad and I fixed that problem too.  Two down, one to go.

Sadly the last problem could not be fixed... the bearing on one half of the wheel was not good so the whole stroller pulled to the right.  The wheel and all it's parts were attached by rivets so there was nothing we could do about that problem.  I feel a little bad about trying to sell it but wanted to recover some of my costs.

**Update - a little WD-40 fixed that problem right up (Mom's a genious), it's now in great shape and has a new happy owner!**

After going through that whole process Jenn still needed a stroller.  She needed a carseat too so I looked up Kijiji and found a carseat (with base), stroller combo for $60.  I asked if she'd take $45 and she said yes.  She sent me pictures and it looked pretty rough but since I was going to re-cover it I didn't care.  I made arrangements to go look at the set but before we could meet she contacted me to say that the stroller was no longer available because her cat had kittens in it! (Gross)

I asked how much for just the carseat and she dropped the price to $15 which I thought was not too shabby and figured I'd take the gross stroller anyway if she'd sell it to me for $5.  As stroller, carseat combo for $20 is not to bad and I can get rid of all the gross stroller parts.

I went to see it and the stroller wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, the Bratz saucer chair was worse, I offered her $5 and she told me to just take it.  Score!  (For any safety cautious out there, the carseat is not expired and hasn't been in any accidents.)  I learned from the last stroller so I pushed it a bunch and it rolled really well.

It will be a while before any re-covering happens but I thought I'd give you the before so you can wait in anticipation for the after.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Headbutting to Show Affection

It's possible it's a common developmental stage but I'm choosing to think she's unique.

Catie's favorite way to show she loves me is to headbutt me.  If I'm on the floor with her she'll race towards me and headbutt me on the forehead, or the belly, or the shoulder.  If you're carrying her you may get a headbutt on the chin, usually followed by an affectionate, high pitched squeal.  It's a stage I'm loving and I'll be sad when it ends.

Brad and I are picking up the habit so if you get a headbutt take it as a compliment.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Foam Chair Re-cover

Everyone remember this chair?

I didn't have plans to re-cover it until Catie was much older so it sat in our kitchen but Catie loved it and often went over to play with it.  I decided it was time to tackle this project.

I've now re-covered a bunch of items so I wasn't concerned at all when I started this project, besides, they look so simple right?  Not right.  Foam chairs are difficult.

I started as I usually do by unpicking.  I hadn't unpicked much before I noticed just how many seams there were and how they fit together a bit like a puzzle.  I knew I'd never get them back right if I wasn't really careful so I took a Sharpie and marked each corner where the seams met.  So if there were two seams I would put a star by each of them, then on the next one I'd put a circle using different shapes as I went.

It also didn't take much unpicking before I was real sick of it, they'd used a plastic thread that was really hard to pick through so instead I just cut the thing apart on the seam and then added a seam allowance where necessary.  Definitely the right move.

Here are all my pieces cut apart, you can see my markings on all the corners (I couldn't be bothered to move the pink shoe or the block).

I layed the cut pieces on my fabric and cut them out leaving the old pieces pinned to the new so I wouldn't forget where the markings went.

I had planned to use my serger to sew this back together so I pulled it out, took 20 minutes to thread itproperly, broke 3 hard to find needles and put it away.  I also put the cut pieces away and left them stuffed in a bag.

At least a week later I took out the pieces and could not have been more grateful that I'd left them pinned and marked the corners so well.  There is no way I would have got the chair back together without the markings.

Using my markings I sewed it back together and ended up with this.

Not good (it looks much worse in person).  Not really remembering where the seams went I had started in a random place and ended up with some puckering and I used too much of a seam allowance in some parts so the cover is a little small in places.  These photos don't have the elastic on the bottom to help pull the fabric tight but even without it you can see how poorly this chair turned out.

I'll definitely be unpicking some of these seams but since I have no intention of doing it soon I thought I'd at least post about my failure of a chair.

I guess it's a start and my second attempt should be much better.  Hopefully my third attempt for Michelle will be better still.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blog Envy

I read A LOT of crafty blogs.  I love them all but there is one thing I hate about a bunch of them...

Some of them are really successful, that's not what I hate, I admire that and I'm happy for them.  Some of them are so successful that companies send them free products to test out.

Here's what I hate, when my favorite crafty blog gets a new tool that there's no way I can purchase.  It means they'll start doing all these amazing projects that I can't re-create.  There are two items specifically that I would love to own but never will, one being the Silhouette.  It's a digital cutting tool, you can cut vinyl or make cute fabric transfers, the options are endless.  Make It and Love It got one and keeps making the best looking projects.  She also just got this cool device called an Accuquilt.  I'm not a quilter but this little machine makes me want to become one.  If you are a quilter you may not want to look at this project, the envy will set in.  I can just imagine all the great things she'll do with this.

Lastly is all the blogs that get free canvas prints sent to them.  I love the look of your photos turned into Canvas but it's just so darn pricey.

In general I don't enter giveaways.  The chances of winning are super slim and it does nothing but get my hopes up, these awesome products are good enough that I go ahead and enter and then I'm sad when someone else wins.  Maybe one day I'll be the lucky one.
Catie has recently done some growing so she's reached a new size of clothes.  It's been fun to pull out some new clothes, some of which were gifts at her baby shower.

Here is my favorite new shirt, this was a gift from my Auntie Betty and I'm loving the way it looks.  Still a little big so she can't wear the jeans that go with it but I'm loving the look.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stroller Re-cover, Take 3

I have a sister who's pregnant (hopefully it's common knowledge and I can post about it here), her youngest is old enough that they've long gotten rid of their stroller so she needed a new one.  I happen to be walking through the Salvation Army and saw one that would be perfect to re-cover but I was in a really big hurry so I left and sent Mom over to pick it up.  Sadly by the time she got there the next day the stroller I saw was gone and she came home with a different one.  I took one look and knew we were in trouble.  Here she is after all of my hard work which I'll explain in far more detail than you probably care about.

And how it looked when I got it.

The biggest problem with this beast is that a car seat will not clip onto it.  This is really the only problem that wasn't fixable.  We knew that this wouldn't work for Jenn and I thought we were just out the $20 Mom spent on her.  But then I gave her a push... she moves like a dream!  She has, like every other stroller, 4 wheels but the difference is that all 4 of them rotate.  There's no dragging two wheels while you wait for them to turn the right direction and it moves anywhere you want it to.  I currently have a cheap stroller and the difference was immediately noticeable.  The other feature I fell in love with is the handle, it rotates so your baby is either looking out at the road or looking out at you, I would love this feature.  Catie would have liked walks a lot more if she could have been looking at me.

These two features were enough that I figured I could re-cover it and sell it to hopefully cover our costs.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

There are usually 4 fabric parts to each stroller, a sunshade, a cushion, fabric covered supports for the cushion to sit on and a basket underneath.  My previous two strollers I re-covered the sunshade and the cushion and that was all it needed.  I of course planned on doing the same with this one.  We bought fabric (for 50% off) and then Mom brought me the stroller and I finally got a really good look at it.

She had obviously been kept outside for quite some time.  The fading in the fabric was the first thing I noticed, take a look at the edges of the photo below, nice and dark fabric where it was covered in a seam, the rest is faded from the sun .  No good.

I briefly considered trying to re-dye the fabric but that wouldn't fix the tears or the very worst part of this stroller... having been kept outside there were many remains of spider egg sacks... I know, so gross!  No one wants to put their baby in that so I went back to fabricland, bought more fabric (no longer 50% off) and about 30 heavy duty pound on snaps.

It was also incredibly filthy, there were leaves and rocks underneath the cushion and look at all the sand on the foot rest below.  The original fabric looked bad and felt just as bad.  I stripped it all off the frame (luckily it was all held on with either snaps or velcro) and gave the frame a good wash.

Eventually I ended up with this (this is pre-wash of course).

As usual, I unpicked the pieces, used them as patterns and cut out new fabric then re-assembled using the original binding.  I did make a few style changes, she was built in 1991 and apparently quilting was big back then because there is a very quilted feel to the entire stroller, especially the seat.  I knew I would replace the padded squares.  Because of the changes and my refusal to unpick the quilting I had to use my own quilt batting but I had some on hand.

So I re-sewed, I pounded on a TON of snaps (in the rain, the wind and a very mosquito infested night) and then I re-assembed only to discover that I'd put a piece on upside down.  This led to the post about postponing and after a weekend away I took on the task of unpicking and fixing my mistake.

The difference is staggering and I'm hoping someone will want to own her.  She's now so chic and stylish and just begging to be taken for a trip around the block.

The removal of the ruffle and the quilted squares really updates the look and I love the cheery yellow fabric.

This picture shows the handle in the second position and you can also see the window in the sunshade that closes with velcro.

See the nice big pocket on the back to hold anything you might need?  And the window flap is closed and lovely in this photo.  You can also see how nice and crisp and clean the basket underneath looks.  That would easily hold a diaper bag and a couple toys.

One more before and after.  I'm almost wishing I could keep her.

This is an old Avalon stroller but it's a model they don't make anymore.  Interested in owning?  Let me know and we can talk.

*Update*   The stroller sold and I was thrilled to hand it over to someone new

I'm so excited to be featured