Archive for the ‘Things I Made’ Category

On Tuesday we found out our real estate agent had scheduled an open house for tomorrow (Saturday). We panicked. We wrote up a to do list to prove to her we couldn’t be ready. Our list was 3 pages long & this was after a week of solid work (by ourselves & anyone we could convince to help).

Well, tomorrow morning I have to run back to the house to put a last coat on the bathroom trim & pass a mop over a few of the floors. Everything on the list is done! Ok, I lie, we still need to finish up the deck outside of the kitchen but that was a task we knew we wouldn’t be able to finish in time.

Without the motivation of the deadline I’m not sure we would be at this point right now but I’m pretty damn proud of us.

We bought this house a little more than 5 years ago. At 140 years old it needed a LOT of work. I big task for a couple who could do little more than paint a wall & change a lightbulb, but with (a LOT) of help from friends & family & a can- do attitude we have made changes, some of them major, in every single room of the house.

People keep commenting that we must want to move back in now that everything looks so good & is finally finished (well, with an older house “finished” is kind of a loosely used word) but really we don’t. We are pretty darn proud of what we’ve accomplished, we’ve learned a lot & we’ve grown a lot.

We added a lot of blood, sweat & tears to the memories in those walls but we’ve also added laughter & good times. One of my favourite things about those drafty old walls was the sense of time & memory that breathed through it. Knowing that others were born & died, wept & laughed, cozied up through winter storms & threw windows open to warm breezes made me feel part of something more.

I will post some before & after pics but the after pics have yet to be taken & I’m too tired tonight to wait for them to upload anyway!


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Ok – I’m a little late in posting this but it’s been a very busy week (I’ll get to that later) but my little man turned TWO on Monday!!! It is crazy how fast time can go by.

A talented cake decorator I am not but the icing was delicious (my little man certainly thought so as that was the only part of the cake he ate).

It was a lucky coincidence that a few friends were visiting from out of town & could come over for a meal & little party. Combined with all the grandma’s & it was a pretty full house.

There were presents...

and cake...

and even a homemade crown for the little prince.

At two he is a pretty special little guy – although I am more than a little biased. Here is an excerpt from the e-mail I sent to our doctors in Costa Rica with a birthday update: “He is a joy to us (most) every day! At two he is 15 kilos (33lbs) & 92 cm (36”) tall with big hands & big feet. He runs & jumps & climbs & gets into everything. But he also loves to help us with everything from building the back deck & fixing to the toilet to vacuuming & baking muffins. He “talks” a lot but still has only a few words – I think we are at about 4 dozen in total right now – enough to get his point across. He is a very happy little boy who is usually pretty easy to live with. He has a wonderful personality with a sense humour that is developing with each day. In August we started potty training & it has gone wonderfully – we haven’t used a diaper day or night in over a month now, although I do my fair share of wet laundry!

Overall he has been very healthy with just a few colds, one case of roseola & a case of hand, foot & mouth disease all of which he weathered like a trooper.He is a wonderful eater – which brings envious comments from many other parents of picky toddlers (I realize I am VERY lucky here!) & he is still very much enjoying nursing.”

He was very pleased with his new wagon from his godparents.

We spaced out the gifts over two days to stretch out the interest & make it less overwelming for him. This was the last one - a travel carmat I made for him. The orange along the edge has pockets to put matchbox cars in & then the whole thing rolls up & goes with us.

We’re in New Brunswick now visiting friends so I will have pics from our trip up soon. Tomorrow we are going to the Hopewell Rocks on the Bay of Fundy – I am very much looking forward to that as last time I was in New Brunswick my plans to make it there were foiled & it’s been on my list of things I’d like to see ever since.

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This is why you're not supposed to wash whites with reds.

I only had a couple wet diapers & wipes to wash so I figured I’d throw them in a small load of reds. Now they are very much pink. I guess I should be happy it’s just Diaperbutt’s diapers & not Grumpy Bear’s dress shirts!

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This morning started out with a long call from my mother-in-law, truthfully a short call with her is not possible. She went on about how she needed more aprons for her work at the fruit stand ’cause she gets so dirty.

We decided to head over for the day to visit & on our way out the door I grabbed a pattern & some fabric out of my bag of extras.

Turns out that what I grabbed was an old table cloth that someone had hand crochetted an edging for.

Sitting out at the picnic table while Diaperbutt played in the baby pool I cut up the fabric, carefully salvaging the crochetted trim.

After carefully removing the trim I reattached it to the apron edges.

Once I got Diaperbutt down for his nap I settled in at the sewing machine & was able to get most of the sewing & ironing done before he woke up. My mother-in-law entertained him when he woke up so I could finish them up.

Two of the three finished aprons. Guess I should have pressed them when I finished.

My mother-in-law plans to add white pockets to the aprons to make them more functional (we were out of the red fabric to make the pockets).

For fun my mother-in-law put the first apron on Diaperbutt & he refused to let us take it off.

How cute is he?!

The highlight of my day had to be after we went home & I went to the gym. Besides a good workout I unexpectedly found a workout partner AND found out about an intermediate level powerlifting competition in November that I may very well sign up for.

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I have been terrible about posting lately – I just don’t seem to get enough time alone at the computer & Diaperbutt is everything but helpful when I try to open up my computer.

When Diaperbutt was really little I LOVED my ring sling. I made one for me & one for Grumpy Bear. He still uses his pretty regularly for hip carriers.

Here we are visiting La Paz Waterfall Gardens when my Mom came to visit us in Costa Rica.

It was so nice to always have his warm little body against me, we joked it was our magic sleep-maker as Diaperbutt could rarely stay awake for long in it. I had pockets in the tail so there was a spot for my wallet, keys & an extra diaper. The sling itself gave me a clean place to lie Diaperbutt down no matter where we were & more than once it provided the discreet space we needed to breastfeed.

Of course, when you find something that works well for you you want to share it with everyone!

I made this sling back in the winter for a friend. I tried a different shoulder type than I had used on our slings & liked it much better.

There are lots of great babywearing websites around & even some very informative youtube videos showing step-by-step instructions for every kind of babywearing device around. I realize now I probably wore Diaperbutt too low most of the time but it was comfortable for us & worked – with the next one I’ll have to play around with it more.

Pockets! Again a little different than what I had done with ours but I think this looks much nicer.

The hardest part about making the slings was finding the rings. Supposedly they can be found at “any local hardware store” but this proved to in fact be false. I try EVERY local (& not so local) hardware store & some specialty stores – no one had appropriate rings.

I sent this sling to close friends who just had a baby boy out east. Hopefully they've received it!

My Mom’s neighbour does some metal work & made these rings up for me at an incredible price. I’m a little bit worried they are too heavy but Grumpy Bear says I’m worrying for nothing.I’m planning on replacing the flimsier rings on our slings with these ones.

I like using woven fabric that’s not too heavy, although I recently saw someone else’s sling that was made from a slightly stretchy knit fabric. She said it was really comfortable so maybe it’s something I’ll try in the future.

Again with the pockets!

I’ve got another one planned for my  mother-in-law to bring to a baby shower she has been invited to. I don’t know the mother & I think I need to put together some sort of an information card on use. I’ll have to think some more on that.

I absolutely LOVE this fabric & can't wait to find another project to use up what I have left of it. Unfortunately I don't have enough for another sling.

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Ok – first off this is waaaay overdue – I tend to be bad about taking my pictures off of my camera sometimes. Sorry.

A friend’s little girl was turning two, we couldn’t make it to her birthday party but I still wanted to give her something special. I had seen these neat bags a couple years ago & was excited to finally get to make one.

The finished product - an eye spy bag!

It was harder than I anticipated to find a bunch of small items to fill it & I’m not sure that the beans were the best call – they made the bag much heavier than I had intended.

After getting my picture collage all set-up it turned out to be tricky to print. Next time I will size it properly so it prints perfectly on a 4x6 card.

It only took her a few minutes to figure out the game. Diaperbutt was very curious about it as well. Hopefully they’ll find it to be a useful distraction in the car (or wherever!).

She found the green soldier!

It is so much fun to watch little ones play together.

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It’s been a rough week here. Diaperbutt & I are both sick. It started out with just a bit of a cough & a sore throat & has sloooowly progressed to full blown fevers & misery.

In my own yuckiness I’ve been trying to find ways to keep the miserable boy distracted – the smallest things bringing my normally cheerful boy to tears. Nursing has not been as much of a comfort as usual as he is so stuffy that when he nurses he struggles to breathe.  At Christmas he had received this cute little train set as a gift.

Diaperbutt is all about things that hook together right now so trains are a big hit.

It has many pieces so I had not yet taken it out for him to play with (nice that he’s at an age where is memory is not quite perfect) saving it for a rainy day – our rainy day had come.

I'm sure this toy is not rated for use by children under 3 but...

In watching him delightedly play with all the little pieces (boy, does he like those little cars) I realized this toy was going to need a home to (try) to keep it all together.

Into a tunnel.

My Mom used to make all sorts of sweet little bags for things – she’s better at making felt shapes than I am but I think it is fairly obvious it’s meant to be a train. And I had exactly enough of this bright fabric for this project!

I absolutely love this fabric - I wish I had more of it for... well, I don't know what, but I do love the fabric.

Now – how to convince my boy that toys really can be put away as well as taken out?!

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