Sunday, January 31, 2010

A is for Apron, B is for Birthday

 My daughter was invited to two birthday parties this weekend.  As a gift (both parties are for girls turning two) I decided to try out Skip to my Lou's "Child's Apron Tutorial", found here.  The apron is adjustable and designed so that the child can put it on herself.

The fabric I chose is a Blank Quilting textile, now discontinued.

Miss Lily wanted an apron as well. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough of the insect fabric left, so I used an old pillowcase from my fabric stash.
I love aprons! They are a great project, especially if you are trying to improve your sewing skills.  Lots of room to be creative and experiment.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bookshelf Makeover

I love pretty papers.  I am always trying to find different ways to incorporate them.  My cousin gave me this old bookshelf.  It was a sorry piece (but solid wood) and desperately needed a design intervention.

I primed and then repainted with two coats of Benjamin Cloud white (semi-gloss) - the paint was left over from another project.  I carefully cut the butterfly paper to size and applied it with Elmer's spray adhesive.  Here is the after:

The shelf is now used in one of the bedrooms to store (part) of the kids' book collection.

The butterfly paper is from Deserres.  They have a wonderful in-store selection. Most are priced at $3-4 per sheet.  Unfortunately, the collection is not online.  The project took just one sheet.

Here are some others papers I like.  Think of the possibilities.


The Papersource's collection is vast. Here's what I am eyeing today ....

And finally this Japanese number

Another spin on butterflies - Butterfly Migration

For another inspirational DIY, check out this great ikea hack with paper by Rita.

I am linking this one to Soft Place to Land's DIY day.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend,

Friday, January 29, 2010

Little Darling Collection

(Image via ebay)

Miss Lily loves Shirley Temple.  Do you see any resemblance?  Miss Lily had no hair until 2 years old, when suddenly she sprouted fair, curly hair. 

This was last year's Christmas photo.  In 2008, I took my girls on a 17 hour road trip.  In preparation for the trip, I picked up a portable DVD player and a copy of Heidi. I will ALWAYS think back of that trip and think of Miss Lily and Heidi.  She watched it 6 times and memorized the script.... "Clara", "Grandfather"....

 Miss Lily decided our 2008 Christmas card should be based on the film, Heidi.  So there it is. Since then, we have seen so many Shirley Temple films. My gal has encouraged me to explore an entire film era that for some reason I missed:  Little Princess, Baby Take a Bow. Blue Bird, ...

The Little Darling collection is available at Costco for about $58. 18 films and minimal packaging (3 sleeves). Admittedly, a little bit of a splurge, but we love it. 

You may be able to rent a few of the titles through your local library (we did, before a good friend snagged us this set on a Costco run).

Miss Lily's current favourite is Susannah of the Mounties.

P.S. Isn't this Japanese Shirley Temple fabric lovely (available at Emi Craft in Japan's Etsy Shop) ?

Have a lovely day!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Store Bought Pizza Dough

Kids' Pizza

Required Reading:

Please read the Gastrokid post on pizza dough.  It changed my life and the lives of the kids. [I loved the post so much I ordered the Gastrokid cookbook from Amazon.  Can't wait to experiment].

Sadly, we don't have Trader Joe's, but we do have Whole Foods.

Between you and me, I don't think it matters where you get your pizza dough, so long as it has less than 5 ingredients and you can pronouce each and every one of them.

The key for managing pizza dough is that you must let it sit out for a minimum of 4 hours.

Also, use corn meal on the pan or pizza stone. We use a Pfaltzgraff pizza stone which we picked up at an Ashley warehouse sale over 10 years ago.

We set our oven to 425 degrees F.  Gastrokid says 450 degree F and  many recommend 500 degrees F.  If that doesn't scare you, go ahead.

Preheat your stone for about 20-30 minutes.  While the oven and stone are heating, pat out your dough.

After about 20-30 minutes, {carefully} take the stone out and sprinkle some corn meal on your stone.  Then put your rolled out dough on the stone and apply your fixings.  Watch the pan/stone is hot!

Since we only have one stone, the kids use a silpat. Works fine.

Once the toppings are on, return to oven.  [We spread the Costco White Linen Marinara sauce on ours, I posted about it here].

How long?  This is the tricky part and depends on your oven.

Kids' pizza (i.e. the 1-2 topping variety, you know the one) only takes about 12 to 15 minutes.

Adults' pizza (3+ toppings) could take almost 25-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the crust and number of toppings.

Mummy and Daddy's Pizza

No leftovers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Liberty of London Collection arrives at Target on March 14th

I just saw this on Stephmodo's blog.  The Liberty of London collection forTarget collection arrives March 14th.  Oh I wish we had a Target.  According to the CBC , any Canadian expansion could take years.

Moved by Serendipity

(Image via Wral)

A few things to say. 

1. It's Wednesday and the day job and my ongoing goal to become a creative and attentive mum have collided.  I just noticed that there is a grey hair peeping through.  Dog and baby vomited, but not at the same time.  One of those weeks.

2. I posted about the OBX and Serendipity last week.  A very swell blogger, the Green CT Realtor (who has just become my friend!) pointed me to Hooked on Houses's post on Serendipity's move.  
Here's the scoop:
For years, Serendipity has been in danger of being washed away due to beach erosion.  The council declared it a "public nuisance" and its been on the market for two years.   New owners, Ben and Debra Huss, came onto the scene and financed the physical move of the house up the beach.  The movers - "Expert House Movers" - (who knew?), are the same outfit who moved the Cape Hatteras lighthouse onto safer ground.  Photos of the move can be found here. 

3. Don't you love a house with a name? I do.  After seeing Grey Gardens, I am once again thinking about a name for our house (other than "Chaos", which is actually the chocolate lab who lives on the corner).   One of my closest friends growing up had a house called "Rocky Ledge".  My grandma's family home in New South Wales is "Wahroonga" - means "our home".

Here are a few of my favourite famous named houses: the Breakers. Stornoway. Graceland. Wuthering Heights. Howards End. Green Gables.  Yasnaya Poliana (Tolstoy's estate - I will post on this in the future). Thornfield Hall. Any property in a Jane Austen novel (Norland Park, etc.).   In Toronto, we live near the "Maple Leaf Cottage."   I love a house with a name.  Best wishes to Serendipity in its new home.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Australia Day

KJ feeding a baby calf in the Australian Blue Mountains

Today's Australia Day and I'm half Aussie. I am thinking of my friends and family today.  Here are just a *few* Aussie things I love (and by the way this is a shiraz and Baz Luhrmann-free post).

(Midnight Oil via Amazon)

(Image via Amazon)

My daughter, dressed as Dorothy the Dinosaur, getting ready for the 2009 Wiggles Concert and below she is shaking Sam's hand in '07

And Dreamtime iconography and Aboriginal art

Happy Australia Day!

P.S. Have you seen Roots' International Collection? Love it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The SAGs

(via the SAGS)
Following up on this post, I rented Grey Gardens this weekend.  Amazing.  Drew and Jessica are superb.  Filmed in Toronto, just down the road from me at the Toronto Film Studios and no raccoons were harmed during filming.

Here's Drew at the SAGs (I preferred her look from the Golden Globes).

And Betty, thank you for being a friend...

And if you through a party
Invited everyone you ever knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say thank you for being a friend.

Address to a Haggis

Harriet Michaels: Do you actually like haggis?

Charlie Mackenzie: No, I think it's repellent in every way. In fact, I think most Scottish cuisine is based on a dare.
-So I Married an Axe Murderer
(don't you absolutely LOVE the scene where Rod Stewart's
"So you think I'm Sexy" is played on the bagpipes?)

So do you have a Burns Day Supper planned for tonight, complete with renditions of Selkirk Grace, the Address to a Haggis, and Auld Lang Sang?

According to the Guardian, the US is about to lift the 21 year ban on haggis.
Our family love all things Scottish, except the cuisine (the deep fried mars bars may be an exception).

At the altar, Mr. KJ wore a kilt and sang the Proclaimers' 500 miles.  When we were dating, I gave him a copy of Robbie Burns' anthology and over the years there have been a number of bottles of Talisker and Scottish dramas.   
If you like Scottish film, check out this post for the top 20 Scottish films.  While Mr. KJ is into the Local Hero/Braveheart thing, I'm a Trainspotting/Shallowgrave/Brigadoon kinda gal.

(Image from here)
However, you intend to celebrate, have a lovely Robbie Burns Day!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Valentine's Day Sun Catchers

Oh those folks at Wee Folks.  Their posts always inspire my weekend crafting.  I followed their simple instructions and now we have these beauties:

Krispy Kremes for Valentine's

All the Krispy Kremes closed in the downtown core (good thing too, I gained ten pounds while they were in existence).  But when I see these ....

(Seen on Be Different Act Normal, photos Via Krispy Kreme)