stop the presses

At long last I have put some items in my etsy shop.

lil' miss

I'm really happy with the way these pint size purses have turned out.  Actually they aren't that small, but a perfect size for a girl or even a big girl ;)   I have the measurements listed in the shop so go check them out!  The pattern is based on this purse that I made back in the summer.  I'm having a really hard time not keeping them all for my girls.  I keep telling myself I can always make more.  

lil' miss

'lil miss

It's been a real process trying to finish up these cuties since I started them last week.  The kids have all been sick and I haven't been feeling all that well either but perseverance paid off and they are completed. I really hope that this is the start of some type of semi-regular update, maybe once a month.

Well, I have some serious gift sewing to catch up on this weekend and maybe a bit more Christmas gift planning.  Can you believe that Christmas is right around the corner??   I'll leave you with that for the weekend, have a great one!! :)


i'm so excited!

Labels are in my button jar!


A label is sewn on!

shop update...

More to follow on this tomorrow!!


not this year

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

I really wanted to take the handmade pledge for this coming Christmas but it just isn't going to happen.  You see I need a new camera.  I've been operating with a point and shoot Sony DSC-P93 for the past 3 years, before that, it was strictly film.   I like photography.  I like taking pictures, lots of them.  I love shooting a variety of interests in particular my children.  But lately I am missing more shots than actual successful ones because my little ol' point and shoot can't take the pressure of children on the run.  My main needs are speed, lens and clarity.
I've come as far as I can with this camera and so the big ticket item that will remain on my Christmas, birthday or anniversary list is a digital SLR camera.  I figure things will probably work out in my favor, if not this Christmas, then at least for my birthday or anniversary next year.  After all, I turn 40 next year and we will be celebrating our 15th anniversary, two real biggies (don't fail me now hubby!)

I sure hope Santa (hubby) is reading my request here.  I've been a really good girl.  Okay, maybe a little naughty at times, but overall I'm a pretty good egg.  And just so you know in my heart I totally support handmade gift buying and receiving.  In fact most of the gifts I'm giving will be handmade.  Which reminds me, I've got quite a few things on the to do list this week.  I have to finish up my niece's birthday gift, get started on my nephew's gift and finish this other huge task I started last week that was interrupted by sick wee ones.   I'll be a busy girl for a while but first things first, I'm stepping out today for a few hours by myself to have my hair cut and sneak a Starbucks treat (not really on the detox recommended foods list).  I can hardly wait.  Maybe I should do a before and after shot, of the hair cut that is.  We'll see. 

Have a great day!


quiet monday

I am starting a blog post today called "quiet monday".   I basically want to journal our weekend in photograph with minimal print.  Mondays have a air of "back to business", I suppose it is from the Monday to Friday work week.  Sometimes I can get so focused on the week ahead that I forget to reflect on the days that we were all together as a family doing the things we love.  So here's my digital reflection:


brush strokes

brush strokes

finger painting:

finger painting

clothing line of art

too sick to join in:

not feeling so good

feeling better:

Miss A doodling

big brother reads to us:

corner reading



The kids have been sick this past week and all they want is their mumma.  All mumma wants, is to lock herself away in the studio and keep doing more of this.

more sneak peeks

When the wee ones aren't feeling well, things end up going very slow on the creative front, actually back burner is more correct.  I am really hoping the whole sick thing just passes me by.  I'm already feeling a bit energy fatigued.  I'm in the midst of an herbal cleanse and let's just say that the bathroom is my very best friend.   I know, TMI.

more sneak peeks

I'm progressing along and now I'm having fun with trim...

more sneak peeks

and thread...

more sneak peeks

I'll be taking the rest of the week to tend to runny noses and finish up this project and then hopefully I can get busy with some birthday gifts that are around the corner.

Oh and for all my American readers, Happy Thanksgiving!! Hope you have a lovely celebration with friends & family.  xoxo


early stages

I have a sneak peek for you. It is the fruits of my labor yesterday while in the studio. I  ironed, measured and rotary cut a ton of fabric. It's a tedious task but I like to think of it as a small part of a bigger picture. 

sneak peek

Delightful and much beloved Heather Ross fabric as well as some Michael Miller are the main prints. I can't wait to work on these today. Knowing that my hubby will be home with the wee ones makes it so much easier to hide away in my crafty space.

sneak peek 2

Yes, those are circles of fabric, they are a part of the project as well. Well, off to get some serious sewing done. Wish me luck!


our first snowfall of the season.

first snow fall......

The trees look stately and dignified as they huddle together to sleep for another winter. 

first snow fall....

There is something intrinsically beautiful about snow and the way the flakes flutter gently to earth blanketing all that was once green with a crisp white.  I admit that I love the snow in November and December.  It is as much a part of Christmas preparation for me as Christmas lights and decorating the tree. 

first snow fall

Our street, with it's tall Oak trees, attaches me to a past I've not known and years
gone by when horses and sleds would regularly make their way up
and down the road.  It's like a scene out of Currier and Ives.  Oh there is something romantic about those days.


Today I'll be keeping warm, knitting or making something I'm sure, with hot soup and fresh bread, and if we had a fire place it too would
be roaring.  Maybe later we will go outside and play in a bit of the
white stuff and enjoy the beauty of a new season.   Have a lovely day.


crafty blooper

It is so easy to post about the things we create when they work out.  But what about the crafts that don't make the blog cut?  Where do they go?  We don't usually speak of those ones.  I thought it would be fun to make a post of one of our crafts that didn't go so well and thus my craft blooper.  We set out yesterday to try our hand at freezer paper stenciling.  It's a great way to custom decorate up just about any piece of fabric in your wardrobe.  It also works for gifts and the possibilities are pretty endless.  When my mum was in the US last month I had her bring me back a roll of reynolds freezer paper, which is not available here.

I explained the details to my two ambitious crafters and the boys set out to create a picture that we were going to transfer to the freezer paper.   

Once done the initial drawing, they transfered it to freezer paper and then ever so carefully cut it out.  A butterfly and a stick man holding a piece of cheese.   

Next step is the painting.
Oh but wait this is where I notice a problem.  I noticed that there is a whole lot of bleeding through that shouldn't be happening.  You can see for yourself what I'm talking about.  At this point I took off the freezer paper because it was so obvious that something was not right. 

Definitely not the look we were going for, though the boys still think they look cool.  After I figured out where we went wrong  (I forgot to iron freezer paper to the back side to prevent bleeding).  We tried it again.  This time it had the same result *argh* only to realize I was using the wrong paint.  Duh?!  There you go, not all crafts end up working out as planned.   But I though it was a great teaching moment so I told the boys: "well guys, we've figured out two ways not to do freezer paper stenciling"  and mister J responded "keep moving forward". 

As for today we are heading out to our local art emporium to buy the right paint medium and later we will give it another whirl.   Perseverance must prevail (either that or I have to save face).  In the meantime if you want to see some fantastic freezer paper stenciling (done correctly), check out the flickr photos here  They are inspirational. 

I hope you have a lovely weekend, I'll try to get some photos of us stenciling the correct way for next week.  All for now, xoxo


more of that

I should have announced somewhere on my blog that my posts are going to be a week's worth of knitting. What is it that they say, 'hindsight is 20/20'. It wasn't my intention to only post about knitting this week, but that is where my interest is taking me of late; 'tis the season'.


So orangey, warm and fall, this yarn is really easy on the eyes to work with. I'm trying to soak this season up for all it's worth and even the weather has been cooperating. There is no snow on the ground and though we have experienced a few flakes here and there, the unusual warmth quickly chases it away. I'm smiling.

peace fleece

Peace Fleece is the name of the wool and you can purchase it here. Shipping to Canada is expensive ($ 15.00) so on the hubby's last weekend trip I got him to find me place to ship it (thank you if you are reading), $ 5.00 is much more reasonable. In the works is a tote and then off to the wash machine for a felting adventure. I'll keep you updated when it is all done. Happy Knitting ;)



I left early in the morning for a massage and chiropractic appointment. Ahhh, I love those kinds of starts to a day.  They don't come very often, but when they do they are delightful. After my appointments I came home for breakfast and a brief interlude with my family before heading out the door again. I'm trying to take a wee bit of time away, one day a week, for myself. Time to: not be someone's daughter, not be someone's wife, not be someone's mummy. A time to not be "needed" for a few short hours. It's becoming especially important now that we are spending more of our time indoors.

My recent trek took me to a local yarn store that I like to hang out at when I'm all alone.  When I go, I don't necessarily buy anything. Sometimes I just like to escape and dream about all the wonderful things I would make if only I had more time. It's a dreamy sort of thing for me, one that my hubby would chuckle about (when he dreams it is never has anything to do about sewing or knitting). Well I think I must have been really inspired because I purchased this lovely book called The Mirasol Collection by Jane Ellison.

The Mirasol Collection Book One

Oh my, there are so many delightful projects in this book that I want to do, really that I should do
Like this vest:


or this gorgeous sweater:


What I love most of all is that The Mirasol Project helps to support Peruvian children and their families. It is based on Fairtrade and for me knowing that a portion of every purchase of Mirasol yarn goes directly to the funding of a children's education centre in the Puno region, is especially meaningful, in an area where the illteracy rate is 95 %.  You can learn more about the Mirasol Project by visiting their website here

I was hoping to take a bit of time away to be rejuvenated and I think I was in more ways than one. Have a lovely day today. 


plum tuckered out

Is that phrase actually used anymore? Well whether or not it is in use, it is how I feel. I don't sleep very well when my hubby travels. Some weekends are worse than others.  This one fit into the "worse" category. I couldn't seem to manage more than 4-5 hours of sleep a night and I really can't function with that little sleep. I'm exhausted. Because of my tiredness we stayed close to home and did various things like: playing board games while (I) knitting to Christmas themed entertainment (a bit early I know but our lack of snow right now is compelling me).

wip hat

The sun came out in all her brilliance while I was knitting at the kitchen table. It was beautiful, comforting and warm. And what was I knitting? With available wool in my stash I went ahead and gave the Robin's Egg hat a whirl. It knit up quickly (big needles) but in the end I still found the pattern to be a bit big. Yes, I should have made a swatch but sometimes I am so very lazy that way.  I paid the price for that one, when the hat was almost completed I pulled it apart and started it over decreasing the number of cast on stitches from 80 to 70; with that change there ensued other changes in the pattern as well.  The final product fit well and I found a great vintage button to finish it off.

robin's egg

I attempted a self portrait here, but it doesn't look nearly as nice on me as it does on Miss A. She really wanted to try it on, finally something I knit she likes!!

robin's egg

But alas, it is not for her. I gave the hat to my mum who is always looking for the perfect winter hat to fit her head and keep it warm. She liked it too!


when the cat's away...the mouse will play

knitting books

My hubby is away for a couple of days. That means a couple of things: solo parenting & uninterrupted time reading some knitting magazines, as well as perusing through pdf. printed knitting patterns, one of which I found here. I love this hat and am seriously thinking of giving it a whirl this weekend, if I can find some suitable yarn in my stash. Either that or I'll be doing a bit more of this with flannel...

flannel mini 1

These are the squares that I was cutting earlier in the week. I can't wait to throw this in the machine and see how fluffy it gets.  This was supposed to be a baby gift, but I got side tracked and made a sweet mini quilt. I must focus.  

**Just noticed from the picture that a few more cuts need to be made. Off I go. *snip, snip* Have a lovely weekend. xoxo


not a complete waste of time

So when I wasn't being mumma yesterday, I spent the rest of my time on my computer trying to familiarize myself with flickr and work out a few custom CSS glitches.  I talked about the whole problem in yesterdays post *blah, blah, blah*   I did try what Beki said in yesterday comments and it worked like a charm.  The only thing was it was still bugging me that I didn't seem to have a choice if I wanted to blog my photo from flickr itself.  Well after much trial and error and CSS editing (it would have taken a programmer about 1 second to fix it - I'm not a programmer), I can now blog my photo - if I want to.  I won't have to cut & paste any html as I made adjustments in my layout.

Then it occurred to me that if I blog from flick r's site, I won't be able to control the time my post is uploaded.   {Ya surely have to know these posts are written the night before and they upload at the specified hour that I time it for.}  Back to Beki's suggestion, I will most likely just be copying and pasting.  I guess that means I wasted a whole ton of time today (glass half empty) or I learned a new skill (glass half full).   All depends on how you view it, the jury is still out for me.

And what are those socks you say?  Well, in the on-going saga of "use up that yarn", I started knitting up some socks for my wee girlies.  I just finished them up last night and will probably whip off a second pair after a break from this yarn.  The leg warmers were a no go with them and so far they don't look all that impressed with my socks either.  So why keep knitting for them you ask?  Well, it's really good practice, keeps my hands busy during a movie and I need to "use-up-that-yarn". 


testing 1, 2, 3

We have flickr...see the left column.

.flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }.flickr-yourcomment { }.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; }

testing 1, 2, 3, originally uploaded by littlebitsnpieces.

I blogged the above flicker photo and noticed this horrific border
around the photo and words underneath.  *yuck* 
I could get rid of the border by editing the
HTML, but then over a long period of time that would really get
tedious.  So for all you veteran flickr typepad bloggers out there, how
did you edit out the ugly black border?  Do you have a typepad pro
account?  In the helps section it said something about the "pro"
account will allow you to put a tag in the CSS to eliminate the
"padding".  But I don't want to upgrade :(  Is that the only way?
*cry*  Okay, enough of my blubbering.
The below photo is a typepad upload.  No border, but no link to flickr either.  Help....



indoor activities

It was snowing lightly here yesterday, a reminder that our outside season is over for another year.  Our days inside are becoming a regular routine now.   Homeschooling our older children plus twin toddlers means I need to embrace a more planned schedule.  One of the ways I see this working for us, involves a regularly scheduled craft time beyond just pencils and paper.   Today we did our first organized craft. 

It's a new medium for the boys and they are enamored.   They  started off with an original drawing, I guess we did have the pencils and paper out after all.  Transfered it from paper onto the fuzzy (sanded) side of the shrinky dink and then they proceeded to color it in.  Next step is cutting it out. 
I remember when Shrinky Dinks came out when I was a kid.  I think I may
have drove my mum around the bend a bit making her cook these things
for me.  Now it's time for the next generation.  Speaking of my mum,
she came in the room when we were watching the art shrink and asked us what
we were doing?  I quickly answered "shrinking our dinks".  She just
about choked on her tea until I explained it further.

After the items are cut out, you place them on a piece of brown paper bag which is on a cookie sheet.  Put them in the oven at 160 degrees C (325 F) for about 1-3 minutes.  Ours took 1 1/2 minutes to shrink.  Take them out to cool and press them lightly with a few sheets of paper to completely flatten them. 

They should shrink about 1/3 the size and be about 9 times thicker.  Notice the colors become really vibrant and concentrated. 

In the end we glued Master B's butterfly to a plastic ring so he could
have his very own butterfly ring. 
Master J decided to make his a
figurine by gluing his creation a "Sibleseed" onto a shrinky dink base. 

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