Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Family treasures: Old Star Wars Toys


Do you recall these toys?

My 36 year old cousin cleaned out his closet and found these old Star Wars toys.  He played with them in 1983 or so.

A Millennium Falcon


I think this is a landing craft

IMG_0710  Imperial Army AT-AT Walker


I was never a fan of Star Wars and haven’t seen any of the films in their entirety, it was just not my thing (as a kid I gravitated to stories which took place on earth, Nancy Drew and the like); however, the Star Wars stories were very influential and enjoyed by many people close to me. 

Lily will never forget the hot summer day when our car broke down and she watched Star Wars with her grandfather.    Lily is very interested in the Star Wars story and trivia. She also enjoys illustrating pictures from her Lego Star Wars Visual Dictionary.

After some deliberation, we decided not to keep these toys at our home and send them up to my nephew and said that she could play with them when she visited his house.   I thought Lily would be upset, but she was completely fine with that decision. She wrapped the toys and decorated the boxes with ewoks and everything was okay.

Have a great day!

PS If you like crafty Star Wars projects, I have a pinterest board called “One Crafty Star Wars”.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall Traditions: Planting Bulbs with my Girls


One of our traditions is to plant at least 50 bulbs every autumn.   Bulb planting is something I did with my dad as a young child and it is a tradition I carried on with my daughters. We usually plant in two stages on in early fall and one later.  It’s always interesting to see which planting does better.   Tulips are usually saved for a  later planting (less time for the squirrels to get them).  Yesterday, we planted crocus and narcissus.


Hard working little hands.


In May, when the bulbs are putting on their show, I like to take a annual photo of the girls around Mother’s Day. This photo was taken in May 2009. The daffodils were particularly vibrant that year.



Have a lovely week,

PS If you enjoy forcing bulbs for winter, Stephanie Lynn posted about a pretty paper white project.  There is also an informative article in the September issue of MSL (page 31-37) has an excellent article (summarized here) on using multiplier bulbs for mass plantings that were used on Martha’s bed (which involved planting 115,000 bulbs).



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Guest Sewing Project: Allergy Awareness Backpack Tag


I wanted to post about this project in case you or anyone you know has a child with a food allergy.   Blue Bear Aware is a Canadian company which sells allergy alert badges and wristbands.  My pal incorporated one of their badges into a luggage tag for her son’s backpack.

On the reverse of the tag  is a vinyl slot to slip in contact information and what to do in an emergency, use of epi-pen, health information, family physician etc.



{Sewing Notes: The construction of the tag is not overly complicated, just a little fussy to execute.  This particular tag has a button hole to thread recycled leather fastener through, but you could also use a grommet / eyelet.  Bias tape is used to sandwich all of the pieces together as the denim and vinyl made it too thick to turn inside out. Finished size is approximately 4 X 4 inches.}


I think this is a very useful tag.  When I work backstage at Lily’s ballet recitals there are a number of dancers with serious food allergies.  Although there is a nut free policy, I still get concerned.  This sort of tag would make the dancers’ with allergies’ backpack standout should I ever have to administer their epi-pen.

For more information on food allergies, I found this site and this site particularly informative.

{Neither my pal nor my blog have any affiliation with these sites or Blue Bear and this post is not sponsored in any way}.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Handmade Gifts: Tea Bag Wallets


I am always amazed at the generosity of sewing bloggers who take the time and effort to create and post tutorials on their blogs for free.   Whenever I attempt a freebie, I like to give a shout out.  This tutorial is by Christy over at Is it Naptime Yet?  If you have a tea drinker on your gift list, it is a perfect and super easy handmade gift that takes very little fabric.

My husband only drinks herbal fruit teas, so I  made one of these wallets to hold his tea stash when he’s on the road.


Open up them up and find a rainbow inside.


These wallets were made with two fabrics (denim and quilting cotton - Bistro by Deb Strain for Moda.)  I used covered buttons and instead of a fabric loop,  I used lingerie elastic (I really love that type of elastic for fasteners).

As a twist, I appliquéd  one of my cross-stitch samplers (I think the kit was from Black Sheep Wools).


Have a lovely week,
This project is linked to
Tip Junkie handmade projects


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Crafting with my kids: Recreating Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm


Hey folks, my friend  Carol is one of the four mothers behind a collective blog, 4 mothers.  Carol recently had a baby (her third!!) and extended an invitation to guest post while she and her new baby get acquainted.

I have a little post about something that has been in the “Lily & KJ craft head” for at least three years and we’re kind of proud of it.

If you like making messes with your child or even if you prefer to watch other people make messes with their kids, it would thrill me if you would click over here so we can discuss this (and I am not talking about the Furby). 


Thanks for reading and your support - you are the best!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Recreating a Dinosaur Dig at home

I am totally not into spooky Halloween decorations, but I wanted to post about this project because this is the time of year you can easily find bones.  My little one absolutely loves the dinosaur dig at the Royal Ontario Museum so I wanted to recreate a version for our home sandbox.

I found some bones in the Halloween section of the Dollar Store.  We also used goggles, plastic dinosaurs, and a paintbrush {to gently dust off sand}.
I wanted my older daughter to enjoy this well, so I turned the bones into flashcards with the names of the eras and names of dinosaurs on the reverse.
Everything was buried.
And the fun began.
This dig kept my  little palaeontologist occupied for a very long time!
This post is linked to

Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap 
 up           party!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Apple Picking, Slow cooker Dulce de Leche, and Harvest Moons

IMG_0620 This past weekend we had a chance to go apple picking.
  Apple orchards are such fun places to take photographs.
Our family likes this particular orchard because the trees are short and children can {quickly} fill a basket without any grown-up assistance.  There were four varieties ready for picking (Gingergold, Royal gala, McIntosh, and Empire).  We also enjoyed a tractor ride and 3.8 acre corn maze.  We were lost for about 30 minutes.  Someone decided to dress themselves (did you know that princesses only wear buttons in the back?)
Given that we have nearly 40$ worth of apples (yikes) I thought it would be fun to make some caramel apples. I tried making some dulce de leche in the slow cooker.  You just need to submerge an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in the slow cooker for 8 hours (on low). Make sure the can is submerged.  Buttercream Barbie provides the specifics here.  This recipe is so easy and the result is fantastic.
The girls dipped their apples in the dulce de leche and added some leaf sprinkles.  After dipping, we let the apples solidify a bit in the fridge. It was a hit.
IMG_0627Have a lovely week and be sure to look up at the Harvest moon tomorrow (this shot was from Saturday evening).
Tomorrow, marks the beginning of the Moon Festival.  In our neck of the woods, the supermarkets are full of moon cakes.
IMG_0400 Some of the cakes come with interesting knick knacks.
Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back to school

Lily is only in grade one. She doesn’t have a clue about the whole “back to school” shopping thing and I am very happy about that.  She picked out her own outfit.  A thrifted dress. The label is Zara, but I scored the dress at Value Village for $5, never worn. 
She wanted a belt for the dress, so I stitched up an obi-style belt with a Japanese fat quarter from my stash  (a little owl print – the fabric is from Kalisti Quilts, but no longer available).   {As for the hair, she insisted on wearing a plastic poinsettia cake decoration from our Christmas yule log}.
first day
She had a great first day, so I am happy about that too. I hope your “first day back” went well !

Monday, September 5, 2011

Crafting with my Kids: Cork and Walnut Boats

Ever since I saw Jonah Lisa’s cork boat tutorial, it has been on our summer bucket list.  Eager to fit in one last summerish project, we spent the morning making these little boats and brought them down to our neighbourhood beach for a test run.  We live about 3 km from the water so it’s an easy outing.
 I was hoping they would float (they did).
We repurposed a couple of plastic produce baskets to carry the boats.  I always find it intriguing how children enjoy a  “carrying case”.
We also made a flotilla of walnut boats.  Made by Joel posted a tutorial here and the washi tape idea is inspired by Hip Hip Hooray’s take here.  Really easy, but lit candles are involved.   Lily loves eating walnuts so she was especially interested in this project.

School starts tomorrow and new routines to implement (sigh). Wishing you a great week,