wip & etsy shop opening

I purchased these fabrics years ago in hopes that I would one day have a little girl.


I'm whipping something up, but it won't be for my wee girlies, rather I am planning on putting them in my etsy shop. Unless of course they get sold before I can do that ;) This is what I've put together so far.


It has a very "American" feel to me and is just in time for the big 4th of July celebration around the corner for my neighbors to the South. I'd better hurry, I want to have this and maybe others in the shop for Monday June 4th. Now that I've finally committed my shop opening to print I had better get working! 


japanese patterns

I finally dug into this lovely book (pictured on the right hand side), the mum & daughter tops & skirts just keep pulling at me. Understanding the pattern and how the book is set up took a bit of getting used to. I was very surprised by how the patterns are all laid on top of each other, it was very confusing. I was almost tempted to get my dh to take the book to his work place so he could have one his Japanese Students figure it out for me.  But I didn't and forged ahead. It wasn't so bad after all.  I started with making the pink top on the cover for my girls. It was just too pretty to pass up.

Since this was my first Japanese pattern and not being too sure (or confident) as to how things would turn out, I pulled out my vintage sheets to "practice" on. I am so glad that I did because the blouses are so pretty and gave new life to the delicate, yellow-flowered sheets of old.

It went rather well and I was happily surprised at how simplistic the pattern pieces themselves were, once traced. Basically once you get past the road map, things were fairly straight forward.


Peasant_top_short_sleeves_3    Peasant_top_girls

Nothing tops off this blouse like a nice set of braids. My wee girls ask me every morning to "have hair like Laura" (Ingalls) from Little House on the Prairie and I, their "ma" happily oblige. Oh and the other thing they love, love, love is their butterfly barrettes, can't forget about those.


Well I'm hoping to get a few outdoor things done this weekend as it has rained all week long. I'll also be trying to sneak some more Japanese sewing goodness in as well. Have a lovely weekend everyone.


wip update

This post is a long overdue. I posted quite a while back about something I had in the works with these blue & yellow florals.  I even provided little snippets of my progress, but then I neglected to show you the final product.

Blue_dress_girls    Yellow_dress_girls

I finished their dresses a couple of weeks before Mother's Day which gave me enough time to whip up a skirt for myself in a coordinating blue fabric. My skirt, a basic A-line, was easy peasy and took no time at all.

Mummas_skirt3_3 Mummas_skirt_2_3

The girls' dresses were a bit more work as I was using a combination of a couple of patterns plus making adjustments along the way.  In hindsight, I would have actually made the dresses a bit longer, my girls are amazons in training I think.  I am happy with how everything turned out and the girls' love wearing their dresses.  I also found this adorable crocheted trim for the girls' to wear as headbands, but they are resistant to that idea thus no photo.  Oh well.


Yellow_blue_dresses_5_smelling_the_    Yellow_blue_dresses_girls_2



long weekend

yes, that's what it was.  In fact I can hardly believe it is Wednesday already.  My dh was in MN this past weekend for work and I really am starting to dislike his travelling.  There was a time when I used to love it, but I think the 4 to 1 outnumbering on a 24 hour basis is making it all wear a bit thin.  He has compromised greatly and where possible keeps his trips to 2 days max.  I love him for that. Still his travelling takes it's toll.  The first day of his absence is always the same, you'd think I would catch on and do something about it, but no.  I feel grouchy, I act grouchy and then somehow miraculously I clue in around supper time to what is going on.  I then proceed to have a marvelous evening with the kids and the next day I am back to being "myself".   Poor kids, they even know the routine.  My eldest ds says he knows that "mummy is always a bit grouchy" on the first day of daddy's trips :(  Well hopefully if recognizing you have a problem is half the battle then perhaps this enlightenment is moving me in the right direction.  Either that or we have a "normal" mummy for at least another 30 days or so until the next trip *sigh*

On a happy note I should mention there are always some perks to his travelling.  I usually get him to pick up some items from stores that we don't have here like Ikea.
31332_pe120624_s4_2   28063_pe114621_s4_2

Or lightbulbs that retail in my city for $ 35.00 (plus 13 % tax) but are available in the US for $ 10.00.  I guess that's the difference between being from a country of 300 million versus 30 million.  Cheaper prices.  Anyway, he is home now, mummy is back to normal and strangely enough I did managed to get a fair bit of crafting in over the weekend even with the kidlets, strange very strange.  I be posting about it all over the next few posts. 
In the meantime I'll leave you with my Bob Villa moment.

I dragged out the tools and with drill, hammer, drywall plugs & screws I hung up a cute dragonfly hook set in my studio under the shelves.  Yeah, I know I still have to touch up the area of paint where I filled an old nail hole, but first things first. 

  That's crafting too right?


as promised

In keeping with many bloggers out there who seem to be putting up photos of their newly redone studios, I thought I would snap a few since:
a)  I have never actually taken photos of my work space
b) I have recently had to re-organize my area to make room for little people furniture
c) I thought it would be a nice window into my life
This is the shelf that hangs above the wee ones' craft/coloring table. It holds various scrap booking essentials such as pens & scissors as well as some items of sentiment, like the little hat I knit for my first baby girl; and various other items that have made their way into my home over many years. Most importantly it hold the crayons well out of reach from the girls at times of unsupervised investigating. Let's just say that I don't like washing crayon off my walls or furniture a gazillion times a day.

I used to have these two desks facing each other.  It worked for a while but something was always falling off the desk or little hands were helping to pull items down.  That's all okay except many of the items have pins and other unfriendly's attached to them.  I'm digging the L shape, and my dog just loves that he can sleep undisturbed under the table nearby.

Next to the L-shaped sewing centre is my computer station.  Above my monitor is my cork board featuring photos of friends and family.  I like having them all around me, it keeps everyone in my thoughts and nearby.

Another view of the business side of the room.  A place for everything and everything in it's hiding place.

Books, books and more books. 

The beloved closet which holds various items of sentiment and importance on the outside cork board as well as the hoards of fabric and other craft supplies neatly tucked away inside.


Finally I leave you with a glimpse of the three angels which watch over me and inspire me to create & play in my little space. They represent my three daughters. May Hope, Peace and Joy inspire you in your life today as you go about your day.


reflective month

May has become a rather craft-less month for me. I haven't had much studio time as I've been busy, busy, busy; cleaning, organizing, shopping & more shopping, playing outside and celebrating. It's exhausting just typing it out.
To top it all off I ended up clearing an area in my studio/office for a child sized picnic table so the girls could come color their little hearts out while I was in the room.

I had to readjust some of my working space, but in the end I think the room actually flows better and having the girls nearby brings many assurances knowing that crayons are involved.

It always seems that the reorganization of space brings about reflective moments and I've had loads of them this month. Though I've had no mind altering epiphanies as of yet, I'm sure one is on the horizon. In the spirit of reflection I thought I would take a self portrait through a mirror. A bit more of an accurate depiction of self than the last self portrait.

In the next day or so I will be putting up some photos of my studio so stay tuned.


happy mother's day

I thought I would dedicate this post to my sister Joan who passed away 2 days before Christmas of this past year. 

We went as a family to her church today to support her husband, son and daughter on Mother's Day.  My nephew participated in a dedication to mothers by saying some very intimate and wonderful things about his mum, my sister. 
Part of the reason I started this blog was to tap into the things in my heart, my children, my creative side and so many other elements of what makes me who I am.  I don't want to wait to do certain things until my children grow up, or I have more time.  I'm learning to live today and live each day to it's fullest.  It is not only good for me but for all those around me, especially my children.
My sister wasn't ready to leave her family behind.  I don't think they would hesitate to have just more minute or hour with her.  I think we all feel that way.

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful women of yesterday, today and tomorrow. 

"No language can express the power and beauty and heroism of a mother's love."

Edwin H. Chapin 


party update

It was a lovely party had by all for my sweet seven year old son. It was supposed to be an outdoor BBQ, but the dreary overcast weather brought us all inside for an evening of good food consisting of steak, chicken, pasta salad, couscous, more salad, shrimp, raw veggies, fresh fruit and delightful cakes. I really should have taken a picture, but I was getting over a whomping migraine headache so let's just say not all my faculties were in order. I did manage to grab a photo of the Birthday Boy, he was so happy and excited to be celebrating "himself"

My son B finds enjoyment in the simplest of treasures. When one of my sister's phoned me to find out if there was anything special he wanted for his birthday, the only thing that came to his mind was a big bottle of bubbles. He is just too easy to please.


To top off his pleasure, we purchased a 14' trampoline which delighted B beyond imagination. Many of our party goers also contributed funds to the trampoline making it one of the most popular group gifts by far.

My dh put it together and it is huge!


It takes up a good section of our yard on the west side, but so far has provided hours of jumping delight for all my kidlets. I really do need a picture of my kids in full jump mode, they are all having a blast.



droppings from heaven they are not!

Millions of little cankerworms are going to hatch in my yard and throughout our city unless we get a wee bit of frost.   It's a site not for the bug fearful.  The warm weather is to blame, though typing that out after a long cold winter seems more than a bit odd.  Yesterday's high was 31 celcius, that's 88 F for those who are imperially minded ;)  Everywhere I look in my back yard there are tons of little larvae just waiting to grow up into long green worms, which in turn, evolve into cankerworms.  All together now *yuck.*  I admit I like being one with nature, but having cankerworms dropping on my head or crawling all over my "stuff" is quite another thing.   Even the kids are getting a bit "bugged".  This is what we have been cleaning off our trampoline for the past 5 days. 


It's the kind of thing that makes my skin feel itchy.  I've been scratching all day.  I keep wondering how many are sitting in my hair, but my son assures me he can't see any.  I hope is looking really hard, *itch, scratch, itch*  My dh swept them all into a pile for a photo op. How sweet they are not!

After putting a call into our local yard centre, they basically said pray for frost or mix a solution of water, dish soap & oil and spray the yard down.   I decided to try both and from my end I spent over an hour spraying down my yard.  It's a tedious little exercise in futility I am sure, this is where I hope the prayer part kicks in.  How would one word a prayer like that "dear creator, please kill off your own creation..."   Interesting dialogue at the least. 
Anyway, today it looks like the "bugs," as Miss A & J refer to them, are not falling as much.  I hoping that is a good sign, though I'm really not up on my bug information.  At the very least the ritual cleaning of my outdoor stuff is coming to an end, just in time for sticky aphid season.  Uggh!



I took out a subscription a few years back to Reader's Digest.  I didn't think I would be getting much reading done with newborn twins beyond a few short stories so RD seemed the right way to go.  I still get the magazine and always beeline for the recipe section.  The Looney Spoons gals have a section of recipes that are featured each month.  In January they had a great version of hummus that I made yesterday and it was delicious.   
Here is the recipe:

1 can (19 oz/540 ml) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup light sour cream
2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp each salt and granulated sugar
1/4 tsp each ground cumin and ground coriander

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and whirl until smooth.


Serve with warmed whole wheat pita wedges or crisp vegetables for dunking (or both).

Makes about 2 cups. Enjoy.


i need to swing

I wonder if I was this determined.  I think my mum would probably say yes.   I admire the "determined" temperament of my daughters, even when it means we are facing a challenging moment.   I hope I continue to feel this way long after their toddler years have passed. 

Miss J yelled at me from outside into the house that she wanted to swing.  I told her she could, but first she would just have to wait until I was finished getting the last bits of my ingredients together so dinner could get into the oven.  She seemed satisfied with that response until I checked on her. 

There she was all contemplative and hard at thought with her apple in one hand while standing on the patio chair that she had dragged half way across the yard.  Determined, she proceeded to get into the swing.   

After seeing the urgency of her need (to swing), I succumbed to her schedule and helped her into the swing. 
Oh and about dinner, well, we ate late. 


being green

Laundry day is (almost) an everyday event in my home. Now with the warmer weather, it is a pleasure to be able to take it outdoors and hang things on my clothesline. I know I'm not alone

I don't have a big clothing line, it runs about 13 feet long at the most. Some days it is not quite long enough for a full load of clothing, that's when I bring out my portable drying racks. I do love laundry freshly dried by the sun. It makes me a feel a bit better about life and about doing my part in thinking green. Which reminds me, I wonder how my compost is doing this year.


babes & birthdays...

Yesterday my youngest son B turned 7 years old. We picked up a little cake at a local bakery to celebrate the day.  The real party will be happening on Saturday. A BBQ, the first of the season with loads of food, fun, family & friends.

A humorous boy
with a zest for all things. 
Your antics bring joy
your heart how it sings.

I love you and need you
Your ways remind me so
Of the heart of child
That is pure as the snow

Happy Birthday dear son,
You are growing each day
From the babe I once knew
To the chid who plays.

Now in all that you do
and all that you say
May you always remember
the love we have today

Happy Birthday Sweet Seven Year Old!

love mumma xoxo


at a stand still

This is the continuing saga of why my blog is so quiet these days.  In addition to outdoor living, we have also been house hunting.  Adding the twins to our home has brought not only a phenomenal amount of "stuff", but we are also in the early stages of feeling a little space challenged.   The obvious solution was to start checking out the booming real estate market trend in our city.  Wrong.  Prices are climbing and there doesn't seem to be an end in site.  The sad reality of what you can afford is becoming scarier year to year.  It's not a pretty prospect if you aren't interested in more home renovations.  Don't get me wrong, we aren't reno shy.  We have owned two homes and in both homes we have put a fair amount of muscle & money into the beautification process.  Our current home has by far been the recipient of the largest face lift.  But I'm tired.  I may have even lost my home reno mojo.  I saw a beautiful home yesterday, the bones (read: structure) were wonderful.  It backed onto a creek and so it had no neighbors behind, and only one neighbor on the south side.  It was wonderful.  The lot was larger than a standard city lot, the taxes matched the lot ;)  However, it was sooooo dated.  From the powder blue & rose wall paper to a different shag carpet in every room, it was dated.  Had it been a few years back I would have jumped at the chance to update that beauty.  Now a mum of 4, with homeschooling sons and toddler twin daughters, I get exhausted thinking about when I would have the time to do anything.  *sigh*  Earlier in the day we were much more excited about that home and the possibilities.  After a sobering evening alone getting the kids off to bed I had endless hours to think. 

With my dh now home we sit and the kitchen table and chat about the days events including the home we viewed and I look around at my home thinking: "our place is pretty cozy"..."we have already done so much work"... " with a bit of re-arrangement, we could make it (our home) work a little while longer."    And then we smile at each other...

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