Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

EFL - Christmas Time is Upon Us

This year, in the efforts to put talents to good use, our family decided to handmake as many Christmas gifts as possible.

We framed paintings that have been done for years and never displayed, we knitted hats and matching mittens, we sewed baby blankets, made homemade cards, delivered baked goods and enjoyed the quieter times of the season.

However, in all the 'enjoying of the quieter' time, we got quite busy! Funny how that happens :) All our lovely homemade gifts were wrapped at the last minute, and very few photos were taken!

Here's one, just for fun - Mike's Handwarmers!

- 'manish' scraps of fabric (2 patterns x 2 pieces of approx 5" each)
- long grain brown rice
- 100% cotton quilt batting
- sewing machine
- needle and thread for hand-sewing.

Merry Christmas, everyone :)


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Meme: What Have You Knit

I don't normally do this sort of thing. Mainly because it reminds me how much I have yet to try that I want to try. But, what better way to get started than to make a list, and have it here.

Mark with bold the things you have knit, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.
Cable cast on
Mittens: Tip-down
Hats: Top-down
Hats: Cuff-up
Knitting with silk
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Twisted stitch patterns

Knitting with bamboo yarn
Garter stitch
Stockinette stitch
Mittens: Cuff-up
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns

I-cord cast on
Knitting with metal wire
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Moebius band knitting
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting

wo end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own hand-spun yarn
Graffiti knitting
Continental knitting
Combination knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Participate in an exchange
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting
Knitting to make money
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dyeing with plant colors
Dyeing spinning fiber
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars
Knitting with someone else’s hand-spun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener stitch
Knitted flowers
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn
Stuffed toys
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Free-form knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/arm-warmers
Knitting a pattern from an on-line knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Here comes Santa Claus, Here comes Santa Claus!

... Right down McBean Street :)

Hunter enjoyed the Richmond Santa Claus parade (so did his parents!). It's always fun to watch the floats, see the horses and listen to the pipers! Especially when it's not too cold.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Day to Remember

My great-uncle and I laying a wreath on Remembrance Day, in honour of my grandfather who passed away on October 2010.

In Grateful Memory of Those Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice


Sunday, October 31, 2010

NWN - Halloween

We have a "Toy Story" fan in our house :)

These days, we are fortunate to have someone who makes us smile.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Sorrowful Goodbye

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. October 20th, 2010, my dear grandfather passed away peacefully in his sleep.

He was a man filled with kindness.

He loved to create.

He made time for his friends.

He supported his family.

He lived for love.

He enjoyed the small things in life.

He was simple and honest.

He will never be forgotten.

HJM: September 8, 1912 - October 20, 2010 (98 years young)


Saturday, October 16, 2010

At Last!

I have FINALLY started knitting the Endpaper Mitts.

I've had these suckers in queue on Ravelry for 2 years.

The time has come, my friends, to twist and loop these two gorgeous colours into works of magic.

- S.R Kertzer On Your Toes 4-Ply (with Aloe Vera): 1 ball of "Carnation", 1 call of Sage Heather.
- Needles US1 (2.25mm) and US2.5 (3mm)

Can't wait for these to be on my hands.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

EFL - Baby Gifts!

Is it wrong to use chip bags as materials in a babies gift? Not if no one knows ; )

Made two "crinkle" toys for me nephew. The first, I made with an empty wipes package, and it was pretty crinkly. THEN for the second one, I used the Sunchips 100% recyclable bag. You know, the really (REALLY) loud one? The one so loud they needed to put a disclaimer on the packaging telling you why it was so loud? Ya, that one worked really well!

I'm not super at sewing in a circle. I really admire people who are!

Without further adieu, my nephews tagged crinkly toys!

And then their back-sides:

I love making things for babies.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Making Robots!

H.Bo has caught robot fever. We're not sure how it happened, but he LOVES robots. Grandma recently bought him a pair of robot jammies, and as soon as he got in them, he danced around the room singing "robot robot" to the tune of "twinkle twinkle".

So, for our "Make Something Monday" craft, we decorated our own robots!

I cut our three different robot 'bodies' from various leftover scrapbooking papers, and then random shapes from other papers. We picked our bodies and started to glue! This was also a very good opportunity to practice our shapes as well (ah, the tricks parent's play).

Hunter asked for most of the pieces by name: "Triangle, please" and so on. He even got the diamond right :)

We talked about the shapes, we talked about the colours, we even talked about the textures! He was a big fan of the 'spawkwy" white circle he got to put on.

Our end results!:
Hunter's Robot

Daddy's Robot

Mommy's Robot
(and yes, I realize my robot pales in comparison to the boys')

And while we're talking about robots, check out some other really cool robot stuff:
  1. Frugal Family Fun has this robot craft using recycled products (if I told you what she used, you wouldn't believe me, so go see for yourself!) --> Take the time to look through this website, it's so fantastic.
  2. This free Ravelry pattern for an R2D2 beanie is sure to make any Star Wars (or robot) fan feel warm and fuzzy!
  3. Adorable robot lunchbag from Chatpers - 100% certified organic cotton with a removable EVA liner. There's no way anyone would forget there lunch with this bag!
Have fun :)


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Parties, Baking and Yummies

This weekend was a busy one. I had agreed to help a friend of mine plan her daughter's "Dora" themed birthday party. I was busy making 36 cookies and 24 cupcakes! Unfortunately, I was so rushed (yes, I leave most things until the last minute) that I didn't get any pictures, but trust me, it was cute : ) As a thank you, my friend gave us a little bag full of roasted pumpkin seeds!

It's all the yummies without all the work:
Later, I made mini cookies! We made a few trains, some bears, a few pigs (which got eaten right away), the cutest hippos, and a couple dinosaurs. We had the 'animal train' vs. the dinosaur:

(L to R): Dinosaur, train, hippo, bear
After the baking dust had settled, it was time to get the farmer's market goodies in our bellies! I love Sunday dinner; it's my favourite time to sit with my family, enjoy their company, talk about our days, and fight with our son to eat. Other days, the fighting with him to eat isn't as fun, but Sunday's it OK ; )

Mashed potatoes, green beans baked with purple onion, boiled ham
P.S. trying to cut up his ham in the same shapes as the cookies did not get him to like the ham any better.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

To Market, To Market!

A few minutes from our house is a large, obtrusive shopping mall. We frequent it a lot, despite our best efforts not too. Mostly we go to the drug store there for baby wipes, diapers and bread.

This fall, for the first time, a farmer's market has set up shop in the mall parking lot every Saturday from 8:00am - 3:00pm. What a treat!

We've been there a few times this season. This time, we picked some of our favourites: potatoes, green beans, purple onion, and because it was the last week for them and I couldn't resist; strawberries!

H.Bo, or course, made quick work of those.

Happy Saturday : )

Monday, September 27, 2010

These are Apple Days!

This morning was dedicated to apples! Oh, glorious, glorious apples... Apple pies, apple crisp, apple sauce, apple juice, apple syrup... wait, what? That's right, apple syrup.

Luckily, in my lazy internet browsing one day, I ran across this little post over on "Sunny Side Up". It got my head racing. Apple Syrup - seriously, why not?

So today I set out trying it for myself. I sense another pancake day approaching quicker than I had initially intended!

And how do you get all those apple peels? You make apple sauce and apple juice. H.Bo LOVES natural apple juice. I boil apple chunks in a pot of water to get them tender enough to puree into apple sauce, then the leftover water from boiling is strained and frozen. No sugar added, and he gulps it down like crazy. Ahhhh, simple and satisfying:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fabulous Family Day

The weather forecast today said it would be sunny, cloudy, sunny, cloudy all day long. So, we took the good with the bad. When the sun was out, so were we! When it wasn't... we made do with tons of other things!

Our Fabulous Family Day started with homemade pancakes - Always a hit:

Then, miraculous, right when we were ready to get outside, the sun shone down - We were out the door in search of leaves. H.Bo (AKA: Hunter) was so eager to collect leaves that we filled the envelope up before we even left our yard! He's a very diligent little leaf collector:

The forecast didn't lie, we did end up getting cloudy/cold parts of the day. That's when we decided to go to the library. We needed to rotate our basket of books to represent the appropriate season. With the autumn solstice having just past, we figured we better get on it.

On our reading list these days:

The Very Busy Spider - Eric Carle

Terrific Trains - Tony Mitton & Ant Parker
Although not a 'seasonal' book, trains never go out of style in this house!

Dora's Chilly Day - Kiki Thorpe

Apple Cider Making Days - Ann Purmell

Then, to finish the day off, D, H.Bo and I headed out for dinner. We won't tell you where, but H.Bo got to wear moose antlers while sipping his chocolate milk : )


Friday, September 24, 2010

EFL - Making Airplanes!

Our boy loves crafts. He loves them in the morning, he loves them in the afternoon... He loves them in the evening, and underneath the moon!

He. Loves. Crafts.

Luckily, so does his mother! :) ...And his father has been known to get right in there as well (see "Making Robots" for further proof)

Today's adventure in Extremely Frugal Living was making airplanes. Material list?
- Toilet paper rolls
- Scrapbooking paper
- self-adhesive foam letters and shapes (thanks grandma!)
- glue

Hunter picked out the colours he wanted for his airplane -We were all rather stereotypical in our colour choices. Hunter and daddy did blue planes, mommy did a pink plane with white hearts.

After all was said and done with the airplanes (they were built, they were flown, and they were crashed multiple times!), Hunter wanted to continue playing with the foam letters/numbers and shapes.

We traced them out on to construction paper, removed the backing and let him stick them in the lines as he counted the numbers. He did an incredible job!

Until next time :)