December 22, 2012

My Favourite Breakfast

I love my baked oatmeal and orange juice for breakfast.  Since I recently stopped eating eggs and diary, I've modified a recipe I found at Lynn's Kitchen Adventures.  I use 1 tbsp of ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp water to replace each egg, and I unsweetened almond milk.  I've also cut way back on the oil and sugar in the recipe just to make it a little healthier.  It's yummy and satisfying and keeps me full all morning.  My kids also love it, so I end up making a pan every couple of days.

December 17, 2012

It's Christmas Time!

Here is our current Christmas tree.  The kids decided to make this paper one when we decided not to get one this year.

December 14, 2012

Cape for Madeline

This cape for Madeline is not flowery, but it does have pink!  It is made following instructions in the Audrey Cape tutorial and using slippery lining fabric as the outside and soft fuzzy knit as the lining (so it would feel cozy).  I attempted to use magnets as closures and it works - kind of.  Stronger magnets would be better.  The size was limited by my fabrics - a couple of inches longer would probably be better for Madeline - but this works.

August 20, 2012

Pajama pants

After much procrastinating, I finally made the pants Gideon has been asking for.  Using the design we made on Spoonflower.   I made them using the tutorials at Made , Ikatbag and Indietutes.

July 21, 2012

Circle Skirt

I'm always looking for ways to use my stash of fabric and for easy kids clothes tutorials.  I found one here, at  I modified it slightly by making the waistband from some ribbing that I found at the MCC thrift store. I could have made the waistband a little tighter.  I made it longer by sewing quarter circles together to make a ring and then adding that to the bottom of the circle.

July 2, 2012

Unknown Flower

So, 6 years ago, we were walking past the abandoned farm yard next door and saw some pretty purple flowers.  Paul went to pick some for me and came back with an entire plant.  When we got home, he stuck it in the freshly tilled dirt around our new maples.  We then forgot about it.  It has thrived!  Does anyone know what it is?  The leaves are long and narrow and a bluish kind of green and the individual flowers are 1-2" across.  It seems to be a perennial as well as self seeding.

June 29, 2012

I Finished something!

Gideon and I put our heads together and designed this.  Then I fiddled a little more and came up with this.


The cape is a cotton-linen canvas.  I drew a cape in and made it transparent.  The I resized the different images from the original design and placed the transparent cape layer over it.  When we were satisfied with the arrangement I flattened the image.  I did that for the rocket and the star and arranged them together on an image that would fit on one yard of the fabric (36"x52").  I uploaded the image to my Spoonflower account and ordered one yard.  When it arrived, I excitedly cut out the capes (adding a seam allowance) and sewed them together (with a button loop, and a hole to turn it).  I turned it right side out and ironed it.  Then, I topstitched all the way around and added buttons.  So it is reversible.  Gideon told me he wanted to have TWO  capes but I didn't have enough seam allowance to turn it all under nicely (though it could be serged I suppose).  I also think strong magnets would be better/safer than buttons to hold it on.  The next project just might be a flowers and butterflies cape for Madeline.

June 28, 2012

Practice pouches


I've been practicing.  I don't remember ever sewing zippers before.  I read a lot of tutorials and watched videos and looked at books and finally bought some zippers from the thrift store to practice on.  Both pouches are lined but not in a reversible sort of way. Gideon drew the designs on his fabric before I sewed it.  All the fabrics are from the stash I inherited from my Grandma.  I've got a long way to go to use it up, but I will persevere.

May 29, 2012


I recently found .  If you haven't heard of it, they custom print fabric.  They also have weekly design contests.  I was inspired by the Hand Drawn contest in early May.  I didn't win, but 42nd out of 500 isn't too bad for my first design.  Have a look at some of the great designs at   . You can also find my designs under the screen name Neetz.
I ordered a sampler of my designs to check the colours and I'm very happy with the ones on the right, but I had pictured the ones on the left as much smaller scale.  It's pretty exciting to get this.  Now, to decide what to do with the samples.

May 7, 2012


Here's a peek at what I worked on last week, with help from Mom.  (I love having Mom around)

We also spent a couple hours at the local quilt show on the weekend.  There are some fantastic artists around here.  We marvelled at the beautiful quilts and handwork that we saw.

April 13, 2012


Well, I had planned to make at least one more book.  Unfortunately, my fingertips decided to shed their skin.  One layer at a time.  Not dry, not itchy, just peeling.  So, my fingers are too tender right now to do anything.  Even typing is uncomfortable.  If anyone has any remedies, please let me know.  Anyway, hopefully it will heal soon and I can get back to ... whatever.

April 6, 2012

Here is the book I made for Madeline on the Lego frame.  All the same materials as the yellow one for Gideon. This time I glued the fabric to a piece of paper.  This made it easier to get the wrinkles and bubbles without the glue soaking through the fabric.  Then, I could glue the paper down to the cardboard fairly easily and the corners were more cooperative.
Here is the worst of it.  I didn't glue the spine properly and the first signature separated from the others.  The book isn't going to fall apart.  You can see the cords and threads though.  I'm going to try to glue it and hopefully not ruin the pages.

I think this took 3 or 4 hours to finish (spread out over an evening and the next afternoon).

April 4, 2012

I made a notebook!

As an experiment - after watching many Youtube videos - I decided to make a notebook.  I just used what I had on hand.  Printer paper, silk thread, woven cord, cardboard from a cracker box, scraps of fabric, glue and mod podge.  Most of these items are not exactly what is called for in the instructions so it probably won't last long.  Anyway, halfway through, Gideon decided he wanted it.  He seems to think that if he wants whatever it is I'm working on, then it must magically be finished - right away!  The sweater he is wearing is an example of me giving in (I'll show it on another post).  This time I persevered.  I finished the book and covered it using the steps outlined in the videos.  I'm pretty impressed with myself.  I think I'll make more.

April 2, 2012

I've found a new use for Lego!

In my latest phase - I've been studying bookbinding on Youtube (is that a legitimate study venue?)  Anyway, I did make a book bound with cords following some instructions I found.  It was a thin book, only four signatures of four papers each.  It took me an hour or so to sew it.  After I was finished sewing I thought  "there must be an easier way!"  So I looked around the internet some more and found an italian video that showed the same technique but he had a handy dandy frame thingamagig.  Wonderful!  I had found the easier way, but had no thingamagig.  So, after much thought, I played with some Legos and came up with this.  In the picture, I have finished 6 out of 7 signatures for a notebook that I've promised to Madeline.  While it is not perfect, it has some redeeming qualities that I must mention.
1.  It was free.
2.  It is easy to assemble and dissasemble
3.  It is endlessly adjustable
4.  It's parts can be reused in other projects
5.  It is colourful.
6.  It was 10 times easier to sew the binding with this thing than without it.

So there you have it.  My thingamagig.

March 30, 2012


Well, the calendar says Spring arrived last week.  I have a sneaking suspicion that we had spring and summer already and it is now midway through autumn again.  I've been slacking big time the last month - in everything.  I've mostly just wanted to curl up with a good audiobook and doze.  I did have a brief spurt of energy in early March when I cleaned out my clothes.  I tossed two small garbage bags and bagged up 2 large blue bags to donate somewhere.  Then I put my summer clothes in a foot locker thing and was able to get my dresser out of the room.  I haven't yet actually brought the clothes away ... but I have moved them around the house a couple times since.  I also went through all the books/magazines on our shelves and set aside a bunch to donate/toss and organized what's left.
my side of the room after the dresser is out, but before the magazines are taken off the bookshelf

February 1, 2012


Snow snow snow!
 I like snow!
 It's soft as a cuddly blanket!
 Snow snow snow!
 I like snow!
 It sparkles in the sun!
 Snow snow snow!

January 30, 2012

Sports Equipment

These drawings were done following the sports equipment tutorials from Shoo Rayner Drawing School on .

January 28, 2012

Art Club

Winkler Art Club - Jan 16/12
We did abstract drawings - I painted mine with watercolours.

January 26, 2012


I followed the tutorial by Shoo Rayner and this is the result.  I used coloured pens, then when I started painting (which is when I found out they aren't waterproof)  Still, I like the result.

January 24, 2012

how do you name a post?

Anyway - here's one I did a while ago.
Flower - ink & watercolour on watercolour paper

January 21, 2012

A horse of course

I bought some new markers and had to try them out.  They are quite nice, but I found the pastel colours were too bright.  In this drawing, I randomly chose colours.  Looking at it now, I can see the butterfly and the flowers are all too different.  A common might have helped unify them.  I also wasn't sure where to end the horse's neck among the vines.  After I took this picture, I coloured the background green, which certainly makes the horse pop, but because I couldn't blend, I'm not sure I like it.  I'll stick with watercolours for that type of thing.

January 19, 2012


This is the 'S' I drew for my friend's daughter.  It's coloured with gel pens that I bought at the dollar store, which I really enjoy working with.

January 17, 2012


Some zentangles that I found and tried out randomly.

So here are Oak leaves behind chain ropes, in front of a brick wall that I did a couple of weeks ago.  I think the prolonged fall may have influenced me a little bit

January 4, 2012


Perishky!  I have discovered a wonderful thing.  In case you've never seen perishky, this is what they are.  Like turnovers.  I filled mine with apples.  I got the recipe from the Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church cookbook.  There were 4 different recipes and I randomly picked one and tried it.  Even the kids ate them.  Then I made them again the next day.  I'll definitely be making these again.

January 2, 2012

Different doodles


Here are two pieces of doodles.  The top was done with black marker and highlighted with coloured gel pens.  The second was drawn with a silver gel pen and not coloured at all.  Gideon thinks the bottom one needs to be coloured.  Madeline thinks the top was better before it was coloured.  I think they are each different styles and to colour the bottom one would be too much, but the top one benefits from the shading and highlighting of the colours.