Friday, August 31, 2007

moby wrap


I received this Moby Wrap in yesterday's mail, and I LOVE it! (I ordered it, it didn't just appear in my mailbox.) I thought it would take quite awhile to get used to it, but it literally took 5 minutes. It is infinitely more comfortable than any of the many other carriers and slings we've tried, and Phillip loves it! At the aforementioned baby shower, I wore him in it for an hour and a half, and we were both comfortable and content. I don't find that I lean back the way I do when wearing him in a Snugli, for example, so that is easier on my back. The weight is distributed evenly, the fabric is incredibly soft and stretchy, I don't feel like I have to keep a hand up to support Phillip, it can be worn a zillion different ways, and on and on. I bought it directly from someone who was selling it on her own, but check out mobywrap.com for more info. We're travelling a bit this weekend, and it is number one on my packing list!

lemon bars & shower gift


I made these lemon bars for a friend's baby shower I attended last evening - they're one of those things I make when I'm taking them somewhere, otherwise I just might end up eating them all. Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar, divided
2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
1 cup plus 2 tbsp flour, divided
3 tbsp lemon juice
icing sugar

Steps:
Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter in medium mixing bowl for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until combined. Beat in 1 c flour until crumbly, and press into 8x8 pan. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until golden. In the meantime, combine eggs, 3/4 c sugar, 2 tbsp flour, lemon peel and lemon juice. Beat until combined. Remove shortbread base from oven and pour filling over it. Bake 20 minutes longer, or until set. Cool, cut into bars and sift icing sugar over top, if desired. Meyer lemons, limes, or any citrus fruit could be substituted in for the lemon. Yummmmmm!




And here are a couple of pictures of the gift tags I made for the mum-to-be. I thought they turned out quite well. In case you're curious, I included reusable and disposable nursing pads, a nursing canopy, and lanolin in the basket. All things I've found very useful!

messiness

I listened to most of an episode of Talking Books on CBC yesterday, as Phillip and I were driving home from my parent's house. "A Perfect Mess: the hidden benefits of disorder" by Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman was the book being discussed, and I think I would like to read it, if only to make myself more comfortable with the seemingly inevitable mess around me. I found it interesting that all of the guests described themselves as messy, as far as their workspaces were concerned - I think most people are, to varying degrees. One of the things that stuck out in my mind was that the universe was designed in an orderly way, but tends to chaos. Sounds just like my house! People fit into categories of truly neat and anal, peple having the appearance of neatness and order while the drawers are filled with mess (unfortunately, I think this is me) and messy people. I have two friends who pop to mind immediately when I think of people who have orderly minds. I find it interesting that one of them is also very orderly in her appearance and surroundings, while the other most definitely is not. I try to be orderly; I find it very calming. It's also nice to be able to find things when you need them, without a time-consuming hunt. While I love to have things organized, orderly, and easy to find, my mind is most definitely not. Especially these days, having the wee one around, I find it's like the jumble of tacks, elastics, erasers, post-its, paper clips in a desk drawer. Everything's piled together and it takes a bit of extracting in order to find what you need. Having said that, my desk at work is usually very neat, and I generally know where things are (paper clips are in one place, tacks in another). The car is tidy (canvas totes tucked neatly in the trunk), the bedroom is tidy, but I always feel as though I'm fighting "the mess", especially in the office-y room. These days, I'm starting to accept some of the mess, as I spend my time watching Phillip smiling and cooing. That makes just about everything better. At the same time, I can't wallow in clutter until he leaves home. Like everything else in life, I guess it's a balance; finding the right place on the continuum. Note the conspicuous absence of a picture accompanying this post; I'm not yet comfortable enough with my mess to share it with the world!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

embroidered bag



This is the great bag I alluded to earlier, which I picked up at Frenchy's the other day. I love it! I have another crafty thing to post about, but it has to wait until after a baby shower this week (wink, wink, SW!)

Monday, August 27, 2007

slept through the night!


This happy baby slept through the night on the weekend! 11 until 5, which I thought was great. Kind of a loose definition of sleeping through, but it works for me! MIL took this pic when they were here last week.

loaf pans



I found these loaf pans at an antiques place on Saturday, and I am in LOVE! They fit right in with the rest of the kitchen. It annoys me when places charge way too much for junk, and call themselves 'antiques' dealers when there's really a whole lot of junk and a few treasures. This place isn't as bad as some, although they were charging $10 for a commemorative civil (?) war musket trinet thingy which I saw at Frenchy's on Friday and would have been charged 10 or 25 cents for. Sheesh!

farmer's market

I went to the farmer's market on Saturday, and came home with lots of goodies, including these plums... Lots of tomatoes, for only $1.50...
and blackberries, yum!
I also came home with carrots and blueberries. Delicious!

sweet peas, etc.


Sweet peas. Ahh, they smell so sweet!

One of the types of clematis in bloom.

Echinacea, which Adam loves.

Roses climbing up a cedar tree.

My favourite August blooms - Black-eyed Susans.

fixing the street



I had to take this one sneakily... what's the ratio of people working vs. watching?

and, we're back!



It arrived this morning at 7:09. A bit early for my liking (I was jolted out of a dream about shovelling snow and washing a car with it), but it's very nice to be up and running again! I have a bunch of pictures and other goodies to write about so some more posts are on their way!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

frenchy's update

I'm taking some of my limited computer time to update you on a couple of things I found at Frenchy's yesterday. It was a VERY good visit (mostly because the cashier charged me next to nothing) and I found some terrific things. A fabulous bag, a set of new Mega Bloks, (wood ones - they're great!) a few outfits for Phillip... it was a half-hour well spent. I'll post pictures when we're up and running again.

Our new computer was shipped today, yipeee! With a free iPod Nano, special promotion for teachers, yeeeee-haw! I'm very much looking forward to properly catching up on everyone's blogs and posting some pictures and such... the computer should arrive in a maximum of 8 days.

Oh internet, how I miss you. I like to think I can do without, but it's difficult!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

thanks to a lighning storm...



there will be limited posts pending the arrival of our new baby, pictured above. Yipee, how exciting!

Our old computer fried in a fierce storm the other night. Really fried. So I'm sorry if I don't respond to comments quickly - it should arrive in about 10 days! I'm holding my breath. In the meantime, I'll have to go to the art gallery to check e-mails, so things could be pretty sporadic.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

and speaking of cute...

I picked a whole bunch of these Roger Hargreaves books up at a yard sale a few years ago, and we just rediscovered them on a bookshelf yesterday. These four are the cutest, in my opinion. And even the story of how the series came about is cute. According to Wikipedia, "The first of the Mr. Men characters is reported to have been created when Adam (Hargreaves' son) asked his father what a tickle looked like: Hargreaves drew a figure with a round orange body and long, rubbery arms, which became Mr. Tickle." I hope Phillip likes them when we start reading them with him!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

completed 'easy lap quilt'


It's done, washed, and I'm pretty happy with it! The display was inspired by this.

Edited to add: I was so excited it's done, I forgot to mention again that this is the 'Easy Lap Quilt' from Amy Karol's book 'Bend-the-Rules Sewing'.

owls

Oh my. Are these not the cutest owls you have ever seen? They're on a little outfit of Phillip's. I only looked closely at them yesterday, and I nearly passed out from cute overload.
Speaking of cute overload, I couldn't help posting this. That inquisitive expression is on the wee one's face pretty much all of the time when he's awake.

Quilt update: I am so very, very, almost done! I got some more of the border done, and I only have most of one side left! Hopefully it will be done today...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

garden goodies

Adam took this pictures of some goodies from our garden, which he picked yesterday. Mmmmm!

Friday, August 10, 2007

paint job

Eeeeew, so 70's. Came with the house.
Ooooooh, so much better!

The quilt top is done and the border is attached. I just have to hand sew the rest all around the back, which will take a little while. In my humble opinion, it looks great! I'll be sure to post pics when it's done.

And this guy had his 2 month checkup this week! He weighs 14 lbs, 3 oz! Holy smokes, he's doubled in size! I'm starting to get more defined arms from picking him up. He's waking up right now, so I'm off to feed him.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

august 7

sewn together

I got the strips done last night, and sewed them all together this morning while Phillip was napping. I'm hoping to get everything trimmed and at least ready to sew to the backing tonight; but there's really no hurry. I'm learning to enjoy the process more, and guess what? It's making for a better done quilt.

perplexing poppies


A whole bunch of poppies have popped up in the garden, and I'm not sure where they came from. I planted some standard red poppies, which there's no sign of, but this one, a purple one, and a tiny ornamental one appeared (those two lost their petals before I took pictures). Wherever they came from, they're welcome!

Also in garden news, I was eating my breakfast yesterday, and a ruby throated hummingbird appeared outside the window and stayed for several minutes, feeding at the nasturtiums. For me, hummingbirds are like amaryllis bulbs at Christmas. Putting out hummingbird feeders and having hummingbirds arrive is supposed to be a foolproof sort of thing. Growing amaryllis bulbs which are guaranteed to bloom is also supposed to be foolproof. Neither of those things seem to work for me, although much more complicated things do. Alas, at least I had one hummingbird sighting and some surprise poppies!

new profile pic

Monday, August 06, 2007

productivity


My quit plans have changed, since seeing Amy Karol's new book, "Bend-the-Rules Sewing". And as you can see, I've started! And what a mess I've made of the living room. I decided that I would probably get tired of tiny squares in the 'West Hill' quilt I posted about a couple days ago. Maybe I'll tackle it someday. I was visiting Ingrid the other day and had a peek at the her copy of Bend-the-rules, and ta-da! The 'Easy Lap Quilt' called my name. So I scooted off to Frenchy's yesterday to find some fabrics, and following a summer theme, this is what I've come up with. Some pieces were curtains, there's a sheet in there, even a chopped up Ralph Lauren pillowcase. I cut the strips last night while Phillip was sleeping, and I'm hoping to get the top put together today. Adam helped me with the layout - I hadn't thought of how much like composing a picture composing a quilt is, until yesterday. He was super helpful, and I love how it looks. Thanks, love!

Each fabric reminds me of summer in one way or another. The combination of blues, beiges, and whites is the beach - sand, water, sky, clouds. The striped ticking fabric pattern is what was on the old school mattresses at summer camp, the flower pattern reminds me of outdoor chair cushions at a friend's house, and the beige linen is, well, linen. What fabric says 'summer' more than linen?

I should warn anyone who might find the pattern and decide to make the quilt that there are three significant typos in the materials list - where it's supposed to say '14cm' it says '14m' (pretty obvious one) and twice where it says '144"' it should read '44"' (also obvious, but good to know). I'll keep you posted on how it's going.
Yay, the first raspberries have arrived! And holy smokes, check out the size of this one!
Ingrid made this hat for Phillip, and I adore it! Thanks, Ingrid! I think she called it an 'umbilical cord hat'. Cute! And the cotton is the perfect green. I admire Ingrid's knitting because she is so particular and makes things perfectly. I don't think I have the patience for nice knitting. Maybe that's why I prefer sewing - much quicker, and the machine makes the stitches nice and even.
And lastly, also when I was at Frenchy's yesterday, I found this shirt for Phillip, with the tags still on! It cost $1.10. Not bad at all, and the cutest thing is that pretty much Adam's entire shirt collection is this style, so they can match. Heh heh heh!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

groggy goose

video
I'm having a good time this afternoon while Phillip is napping, discovering some new blogs (which I'm excited to catch up on) and learning a few things about my own. Such as how to post videos - I thought the grandparents especially would enjoy this feature! This is the only clip I had saved (it's about a month old), and I haven't figured out how to edit it yet, so feel free to skip to about 20 seconds in - I love the wee one's stretches as he's waking up! It shows off his double chin, too. Thanks for bearing with me as I learn these new tricks!

Friday, August 03, 2007

swimming and summer treats


We went back to Ellenwood Park yesterday, and since it was so hot (29 here by the ocean - that's extremely hot for these parts!) we thought Phillip might like to be like his dad and dip his toes in the water. Well, we were wrong. The pout appeared on the way to the lake's edge, and things only got more distressing from there. "And get this stupid hat out of my eyes!" Turns out he had a wet diaper, which for him is the end of the world. Maybe he'll enjoy it more next time.
I have recently discovered the wonders of Chapman's frozen yogurt, and feel obligated to share some cool good tidings on a hot day. It tastes just like ice cream (so creamy!), but has 2.5 grams of fat per serving! Now, I'm not a dieter and never have been by any stretch of the imagination, but I know that's a whole lot better than regular ice cream. The two best things about it? 1) It doesn't leave you with that icky heavy ice cream belly feeling and 2) the flavour options! Caramel pecan crunch, caramel chocolate chunk, cappuccino, mandarin fusion... mmmm. A tad pricey, though - $4.99. But Adam can eat it, so it's A-OK with me.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

inspiration



I've been changing little things around the house over the past few days, and it feels great! I've made curtains and rearranged things... I found these letters at a dollar store almost two months ago and loved them. Only in the middle of the night as I was up with the wee one did I think of the perfect place to put them! Sorry the pics are so dim - Phillip was sleeping and I didn't want to disturb him.

I also found a pattern for my next big crafty project - a quilt. There are tons more free patterns here. I think I'm going to make this one just for me, as a trial run for one for Phillip. The idea is that I'm going to make in in true traditional quilt fashion - from scraps and remnants. Yay for recycling things into useful things! For now I love the bazillions of little squares - I may change my tune as I'm making it. The pattern makes a quilt about 4 feet by 4 feet - perfect for a cuddling blanket for reading a good book.

boggles, the boy who wore goggles

Ever heard of 'Doggles'? Well here's boggles, the boy who wore goggles.