Friday, May 28, 2010

T-shirt fix

I picked up this t-shirt at Walmart on one of those days when my kids would scream whenever I slowed down the cart -- you know the kind of excursions when you should just give up and go home? So yeah, I picked it up without trying it on and it felt like I was wearing a tent. I could have returned it, but that'd mean dragging the kids back to the store and waiting at the service desk. Not fun for anyone.

Anyway, I thought the shirt would look better with a belt, but I hate wearing belts and didn't have anything to match. So a strip of elastic to give the shirt at least a bit of shape was the next option. Pardon the photos...I'm completely unskilled in the art of self-photography.

Before & after:

Now to trim up the under side of the sleeve a little so my underarms won't be on view.

Sewing has been minimal lately. I've been on the hunt for some Toronto Maple Leafs (hockey team) fabric for a sporty quilt top my step-mom asked me to make for her nephew's little boy. It's not the easiest thing to find hockey fabric in late May in a rival team's city. Luckily, I found some semi-appropriate patterns in the Canada Day section of the local fabricland, and along with some blue and white solids, I think I'll be able to make it work. Fingers crossed!

Last thing I've started is a crocheted cotton caterpillar, to be gifted to one of the little people in my life. It's pretty slow going as my arms and wrists get ridiculously sore from crocheting and knitting.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I tanked on the kids sewing challenge...

So I only ended up doing one night of sewing for my kids...not great news for my creative spirit, but the appearance of a huge bag of hand-me-downs from an old neighbour's son made it difficult to justify more clothing when the drawers and closets are already stuffed with garments. I still plan to fulfill the spirit of the challenge, but with a special outfit for each boy instead of more casual clothes. Now to decide what to make!

Since I wasn't sewing for the boys, I started knitting a cuddly afghan for a friend's new baby, and finally completed an apron that has been sitting in my UFO pile for ages. It's cute on it's own, but doesn't look super cute on me. Oh well, it'll still keep my clothes clean(ish) while I cook and bake, so I guess that's what counts. Sorry for the bad nighttime photography.

I like the fitted bodice and rounded yoke on this apron, but find the actual apron part is a bit short. Will definitely make it longer if I make another apron in this style.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kid clothes week -- day 1

Late last night (so late it may actually have been early today!), I finally got to my sewing machine and put in an hour of sewing. I used some scraps to make a pair of shorts for my youngest son. I saw a similarly patterned pair at Baby Gap for a ridiculous price, and tried to make a copy a while back -- unfortunately, they were on the brink of too small, so last night I made a bigger pair with the last of my remnant. This wouldn't normally take a whole hour, but after I finished, I realized the elastic I put in was way too short, and I had to re-do it. Apparently, my kids did not get the memo that they can stop growing so quickly!

I'd hoped to match the pattern lines a bit better, but I literally had only threads of material left, so it just wasn't possible. I'm not sure what I'll be sewing tonight, but both boys definitely need more shorts, so you might see a repeat!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers' Day bliss & a great blog find/giveaway

My dear hubby, recognizing that after nearly four years of not sleeping through the night, I'm a very tired and worn out gal, surprised me with a weekend away at a local bed and breakfast as a Mothers' Day gift. That's right, people: THREE WHOLE nights of peaceful sleep for me. Wonderful!

In my mind, I envisioned spending my daytime hours crafting in solitude. I even packed a bunch of supplies for several different projects. And how much did I get done? Nada. Zip, zero, zilch. I napped, shopped and read a book.

So, with my lack of productivity in mind, I'm now on the bandwagon to win this lovely table runner from Melanie of The Crafty Cupboard. I just discovered The Crafty Cupboard a couple weeks ago, but as soon as I did, I was hooked. I spent several evenings just going back over her blog entries, until I'd read them all. Great stuff. Anyway, here's the link to the giveaway details. I'd wish everyone luck, but I really want to win this one!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Freezer paper fun

Picture it: a three year old, a two year old, two one year olds, a bunch of freezer paper, t-shirts and fabric paint! That was our house this morning as I tried out freezer paper stencilling as a kid craft. It worked out pretty well, although the situation didn't lend itself well to in-progress photos (=

I sketched a few basic pictures last night and cut them out with a craft knife this morning. I had two kinds of fabric paint -- one set of paint markers, and one set of squeeze out dimensional paint, and set them both out for the kids. I've used the markers with my three year old before, but the younger kids did better with the squeezable paint and some brushes to spread it around. Here are the results:

The spider shirt has some other decorations...those are to 'cover' smears of paint that my son managed to get on the shirt outside the stencil. Next time, I'll keep the freezer paper big enough to cover the entire shirt surface. No matter, the kids all had fun.

Next up is some pictures of the early bloomers in my garden. I'm something of a black thumb, so I'm pretty pleased my bulbs actually produced blooms -- especially since the ground was already partially frozen by the time I got around to planting them last fall!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Thifty to the max

One of the things my husband likes best about me is that I'm what he calls 'low maintenance'. I don't get expensive haircuts, wear high-end clothes or require monthly pedicures. I think all that just means I'm cheap. Seriously, I'd rather toss all that potentially ill-spent money on my mortgage.

Anyway, now that the nice weather is here, I've been paying more attention to my sadly hairy legs. I detest shaving, but I don't like the hair either. Waxing is good, although painful, but I just can't justify spending more than $60 to temporarily remove leg hair from my knees down. Ya know?

Anyway, this morning I decided I can totally make my own leg sugar mix. So I mixed together 6 tbsp of lemon juice, 6 tbsp of plain white sugar and 2 tbsp of water into a pot and stirred and boiled it over lowish heat until it turned dark. It took about 50 minutes. After it cooled, I spread it on my lower legs in small sections and rubbed over it with strips that I tore off of an old bed sheet. And riiiiip! No more hair! Total cost? About 75 cents. Love it! I would have taken a photo, but my fingers were sticky, so I stayed away from the camera.

In other news, I finally finished the charity quilt I was working on. I stayed unadventurous with the quilting pattern, but I did learn a new way to miter my binding corners that turned out pretty well (binding is my quilting nemesis), so I'm happy to have a new skill. Photos to come -- of the quilt and of a couple other crafty endeavours I have on the go after a weekend of perusing other blogs for inspiration.

Happy Monday!