I tried to write a post or two during the holiday season to keep you updated on our goings on.  It didn't happen and now I find myself on New Years Eve, attempting again, what has not yet come to me the past couple of weeks.  It's not that we haven't had a festive Christmas or plenty to gab about; it's not that I didn't spend the majority of December making, making, making and could post about that too; but for now I just feel quiet and reflective.  It's fitting really, New Years Eve is always a time of introspection for me.  Making peace with all things done and praying for grace for the year ahead. 

generations - bisavô (great grandfather)

Tonight especially we need that grace. A very dear man, my husband's grandfather passed away this afternoon suddenly.  Instead of planning for a new year, the family gathered together at the hospital to say goodbye to this beloved man.  He was a gentle soul with a tender spot for his family and he loved all
of us, that I am sure of.  You never had to wonder how grandpa felt on
that level because he so readily told you every time he saw you. At our last family gathering together my camera found his gentle face and made a point of memorizing it's lines and shape, not that it needed to ... because his memory is forever etched in my heart.  Grandpa you will be missed and always loved. xxx


we are BIG fans

mr. grinch

and it just isn't Christmas without a few rounds of whoville-opoly


you're a mean one

he's a mean one...that mr. grinch!


things I'm learning

Things are quiet here, mostly I don't have much to say.  My hands have been busy doing the talking lately as has my brain.  They have been conspiring together on how to finish, or at least cross off a big chunk of the renovation list.  They both agree that taking on too much before Christmas is not such a good idea.  So instead of doing too much we settled on painting the living room/dining room walls (twice in one week, since I wasn't totally happy with the first result - the hubby's a really good sport) to liven things up a bit. 

feeling green

Next we thought it would be good karma to make sure said living and dining room had baseboards & trim since they haven't had any since we have lived in this house - that's been since July 2008.  Today I hope to be sanding and priming said baseboards because the wee ones keep bugging reminding me to put up the tree and eek it's the 8th of December and I haven't started decorating yet. I'm not stressed, really.  Since living in this house I've learned that everything will happen in good time.  My previous "let's do it now" attitude has been shuffled aside in favor of sanity.  Though one may question the sanity of painting before Christmas??  ah, contradictions.


When we purchased in this house we saw a glimpse of what we could make it with lots of patience, thought and love - ingredients that with each step make this house a home.  Most days I feel we are making progress, albeit slow, but still progress.  There are a lot of parallels between renovations and raising kids, you start with a dream and then with a lots of hard work, over a long period of time you see things come together.  Most days I work steady on something and I can't help but think that there is something esoteric that I am building here...that I don't even fully understand but it will reveal itself one day. At least that's my hope. 

Happy Tuesday from my home to yours. xxx


parties and things

Well hello folks and friends! I've been laying low the past few days catching making up for my recent sewing spurt which left the kidlets wanting and the laundry piling. I love a good sew fest however all good things must come to an end, even if that end is temporary - I do have Christmas sewing that needs to be done, but I'm saving that for next week.


The weekend went off without a hitch.  It started with an artisan sale that I participated in with a couple of friends.  The venue was cozy and festive and there were so many talented artists and creative people all about the place. The business of the day was carried on admist the chit chat, new friends were made and it was lovely to see so many familiar faces.  A good experience all around.



sister and son

After the day's events I went home tuckered but quickly rejuvenated by the party preparation needing to be done to celebrate the J-man's 12th birthday!  I can hardly believe my boy is 12 now.  It seems like such a milestone. Indeed.



And so we celebrated him.  All of him.  And we continue to do so.  J-man you are wonderfully sensitive, a kind soul.  You are full of imagination, creativity, caring and the perfect big brother for this crew.  Your patience and thoughtfulness are admirable and I love you to pieces.  I'm so glad to have you a part of my life.  Happy 12th Birthday son.


Thank you friends and family for making my weekend so full of fun and love.  xxx


saturday's sale

Here is the information for those locals that have emailed me and commented. 

wcv craft sale

If you are in the area, come on out and support the local artisans.  Proceeds go to a worthy cause and it would be a great to get a jump on your Christmas shopping.  Hope to see you there!


busy bee

I'm busy like a bee in my studio sewing up piles of handmade goodness for a local artisan sale coming this Saturday.  And since I am only half way through the list of things I want ready for the sale, not to mention planning the birthday party that follows the next day for our resident 12 year old (...yes, I said 12 year old!!!), I'll continue in the photoblogging manner.  In the meantime enjoy some sneak peeks of what is on the cutting/sewing table.  Happy Monday!

linen surprise

linen surprise

linen surprise


bountiful gratefulness

Shh, let me share a secret with you.  I don't want to say it too loud just in case mother nature hears and decides to stir things up a bit.  I am loving the extended fall weather that we are having, mid-November and still no snow on the ground.  It's crazy wonderful. 

You know what else is great? Squash.  Every week the hubby comes home with a couple of them for cooking and so I've cubed, mashed, baked and souped them and still I am not tired of them.  How can that be?  Yesterday I baked an acorn squash for my lunch.  And since I'm in the sharing mood, it's quite simple really:

•• baked ••

Acorn squash

Wash one acorn squash.  Cut the ends so the squash will be able to stand up like a bowl in the oven.  Next cut it in half (cross section).  Pull out the seeds and gunk and set aside.  There will be a few stringy stragglers but don't sweat it, they all go down the same way.  Place in baking dish

Next drizzle a bit of olive oil - 1 TBSP; maple syrup - 2 TBSP; ginger - 1 TBSP over the two squash halves.  Bake for 50 minutes at 400, adjusting cooking time and temp for your oven.  In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add some nuts (walnuts or pecans) if so desired.

At this point you could roast up the seeds (separate them from the gunk) for a little after-dinner snack.  A sprinkle of sea salt in a shallow dish and you are all set. 

•• roasted ••

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that my kids don't really care for their squash this way.  They prefer it pureed in soup so don't be too surprised if your squash delight gets snubbed by the younger pallets. But really as long as they are eating it, it really doesn't matter what format.  Enjoy! 


bench monday

bench monday november

fall 2009

Fall, leaves, fall

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.

by Emily Jane Brontë



Let's hear it for new toys! 

sp •• flash ••

I finally broke down and did the grown up thing and purchased an external flash and remote for my camera.

sp •• remote ••

I'll be back when the novelty wears off, xxx. 


taking time back

I recently hired my son to do some babysitting for me twice a week in the afternoon.   It's a mother's helper situation, where I am still home but it gives me time to myself to do a block of sewing for a few hours in the afternoon without apology.  He takes care of the needs of the littlest ones and I pay him oodles of cash to do so, what a deal!

cast offs

Yesterday as I sat down in my make-shift studio, and after a hour passed, I noticed a pattern that keeps eating up my creative time.  administrative clutter - ick!  Somehow, most likely unconsciously, I've been using this precious time to organize papers and such, pay bills and generally deal with the clutter that surrounds me...twitch, twitch.  Paper really is my nemesis these days, I'm sure many of you can relate.  And while I've switched the majority of the household bills over to the eco emails somehow by the end of the week you would never know, paper is still making it's way into our home.  In an ideal world I wouldn't even allow paper work into my art zone but right now while we renovate, there is a limited amount of space.

wip •• bones ••

Once I realized what I was doing, I shuffled everything aside and turned my attention to the fabric, pictured above.  I turned the administrator off and instead worked on a new design that's been floating around in my cerebral hemisphere for a few months now.  There are still kinks to work out but I made some real progress on it's direction and I am happy with where things are going.

I realize more and more that I need my creative time, it fuels my right-brain and rejuvenates my energy.  I feel much more centered during my day and that helps me in so many unspoken ways.  I dare say it even makes me a better mumma...or at least a more creative one.  Confirmation came from the hubby when he said "everyone seems to have had a good day"...oh yes...a good day indeed.


what do you see?

I see:

• • children • •


• • color • •


• • creativity • •


I'm enjoying the bird's eye view of things on this end and loving how something as simple as an egg carton can spark the imagination.

bird's eye

bird's eye.

A big welcome to the SewMamaSew readers.  I hope you enjoy the tutorial and thank you ladies for the feature. xxx


halloween 2009

filled with:

•• lots of imagination ••



halloween 2009..

•• a ton of sewing for this mumma ••

halloween 2009

•• laughter and fun for everyone ••

halloween 2009.


When is your birthday?

half-pipe hat.

My hubby has his birthday on probably one of the worst/best days.  Halloween.  It's trouble for obvious reasons, we spend most of the day gearing up for good ol' trick or treating so "dad's" celebration gets pushed to the background.  Poor fellow.  On the other hand, once you get out on the streets, everyone is dressed up and celebrating so there is this great party atmosphere.  Too bad they weren't all celebrating him!  We never let that stop us though.  On top of all the preparation, we still try to have a nice dinner and a little cake for him.  The latter part, having cake, always feels a bit weird to me when I know we are about to enter the world of endless sweet treats, but it's his birthday after all. 

half-pipe hat

I have a few things on the go this week in planning for the weekend.  One of which is almost done.  I took some wool to work with me for the s-l-o-w times and knit up the half-pipe hat for the hubby's birthday.  He doesn't complain about much but one of his life beefs is that hats are never big enough for his head.  Uh huh, he does have a big head, I know first hand because I birthed his children ;)  Given that he always has trouble finding a good sized hat, I altered the pattern by adding an additional 20 cast on stitches. The hat is large, very large but I think he might like it that way.  He takes public transport to work and when winter hits, it's cold here, very cold.  He has to be bundled very warm during the commute and that means gloves, scarf and hat.  By the time he get's to work he says tight fitting hats give him terrible hat hair.  Yuck!  I already feel his pain, I hate having bad hair days.  Hopefully giving him a little extra room will help out with these issues.  I still have to finish securing the rim, tying in lose ends and then washing/blocking the hat.  Does anyone have any ideas on how to block a hat?  balloon? 

half-pipe hat..

The other thing on the go is the kid's halloween costumes.  I have 3 to make, the B-meister is recycling a costume he wore a few years ago, bless his heart.  As for the rest I have requests for a rabbit, flower and jubjub costume.  More on those later, especially the last one.  That's it for today, Happy Monday to you all and happy creating! xxx


the roles we play

closed in

So my peeps time to update you on what's been going on.  I've been a full time working girl for the past two weeks while my big sister (my boss) was away holidaying. Let me first tell you that I forgot how hard it is to get anything done when you are gone from the home all day.  Sadly blogging and crafting went by the way side.  My hat goes off to those of you who can juggle it all. 


As for my schedule, most days started early with me out of the house by 7:30 am.  That meant a 6:30 am wake up time, for those of you who are more familiar with me, you'll recognize that hour hasn't been on the schedule in a very long time.  But I actually surprised myself and didn't mind the early hour so much, made me even think that I could handle it on a more permanent basis.  Don't quote me though.

the best of both worlds

For the most part everything went fine at home, the kids were a bit needy by the end of the whole experience, or maybe that was me deflecting ;)  Thankfully my mum stayed close to keep them fed, watered and made sure they were working on their assignments. 


And what did I learn during the past two weeks?  There are drawbacks on either side of the stay-at-home/work full time option.  Being a stay at home (-schooling) mumma truthfully makes me crazy at times, then there are those nagging insecurities and doubts in my head about what I am accomplishing long term.  I often fool myself into thinking I would be ultimately fulfilled in a stylish pinstripe suit with an assistant and a name on my door.  Hmm, sounds lovely in my minds eye doesn't it?

at the basilica

But when I think about the things I'd have to give up I quickly realized that today, right now, is not that time for me.  I would miss the kids too much, the interaction with them during the day, being a part of their lives in the way that homeschooling allows. I would also miss sneaking in a little creative time each day without being consumed with how the next day is going to fly in my absence. 

my life

The choices I've made my life might be a little odd and non-conventional but I like it that way.  It's a life of slow paces and (mostly) happy faces with noisy kids all about.  It's not always rosy, it certainly isn't perfect - I'm their mumma after all - but it is an expression of what's inside my heart and mind.  And while I still get confused about my direction, I am certain that a life filled with love can never be far off the mark...and that mark for me is home. 


PS, the photos above are from the Basilica in our city that burnt down in 1968.  It was later rebuilt but some features of the original basilica were left as is.  I have some additional photos to show that I'll leave for a later post.  It's good to be back in this space, I've missed it.  xxx


just in time

We finished all that work I mentioned a couple of posts back and apparently just in time.  Phew. 

not already??

Can you guess who this is? 

not me

If you said me then I am going to run to a hair stylist this afternoon and have some issues taken care of.  No it isn't me, it's my dog Spencer.  He just had to investigate with me. He's a snow loving dog that's for sure.  In the winter when his hair is long, little snow balls attach themselves to his belly region like burrs.  Nothing like the fresh smell of wet dog the outdoors during winter. 


PS.  I just wanted to welcome all the newcomers from the Quilt Festival to this little space.  I know things aren't 'sew-crafty' right now.  I'll explain a little more next week about where I've been and my lack of craft.  For now make yourselves at home in my archives and categories.  And if you get a chance, please do leave a comment, your input is very meaningful and a highlight in my day and I love knowing where everyone is coming from.


quilt festival time

Yay! It's that time again. My entry for the festival is going to be a quilt I made and finished up in June. I love this quilt for a number of reasons; it's simplicity, the way the white fabric (also vintage) breaks up the diamonds, the patterned fabric has loads of orange which is fast becoming a favorite color of mine, but mostly I love this quilt because it is made of re-purposed vintage sheets which not only makes me happy, but also the earth.

vintage sheets

On their own the sheets probably wouldn't have made it to anyone's bed as a fabric of choice now that the 70's have long past, but incorporating the bright sheets in bits and spurts gives new life to something that would have otherwise made it's way to a landfill site. Given the age of the fabric, it is surprisingly sturdy and oh so very soft.

made from vintage sheets

Right now I have the quilt on my sofa table as a decorative table cloth. It cheers up my day when I see it and gives me hope on those days when I feel like I am never going to finish a quilt(s), like the three sitting on my table right now, ahem.

made from vintage sheets

The quilt pattern is the brain child of Rosebud's Cottage and was orginally published in the Quilts and More Magazine dated Spring 2009. If I could name this quilt it would be called "happy" because that's just how it makes me feel.

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