Monday, November 28, 2011

New Skills: Learning to Knit. Baby Steps.


I had one of those Carolyn Ingalls’ moments and I decided that I wanted to learn to knit dish cloths.  My husband wondered can’t we get these sorts of items at the dollar shop…hmm that’s not the point.  At our recent workplace charity craft sale one of my colleagues was selling knitting lessons.  A group of us have been meeting once week during our Friday lunch break and learning to knit.   It was timely because I was also able to follow along with Wee Folk Art’s newbie knitting series and tried out their dishcloth/ washcloth patterns.


So I have been busy and I have become a streetcar knitter - if I am fortunate to get a seat on the streetcar I knit to and from the office.




All of the yarn is 100% cotton by Bernat.

If you are aware of some easy knitting patterns that might be a step up from dish cloths, I would love to hear about them!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Joy & Happiness: First Sunday of Advent


Last night we attended the tree lighting ceremony at City Hall. I usually avoid crowded events, but the weather was so mild for a November evening and Lily had longed to go all day.  The tree did not disappoint.IMG_1391 We also enjoyed the Christmas windows at the Hudson Bay, lots of  little point blankets.





Our family has an adventsstake which is a traditional Scandinavian four candle holder.  This evening, we lit our first advent candle and Lily read the Advent Poem by the Norwegian Poet, Inger Hagerup.


I was so  happy to find an English translation of this poem at Fresh in Norway.  This is the first verse for week one.

We light a candle tonight
We light it for the happiness
It stands there and lights for itself
and for us who are there
We light a candle tonight
We light it for the happiness...

As Lily read out the poem, it was a good reminder to me that that I should try to incorporate more poetry into our daily routines. Makes everyone happy and it is fun for young readers. 

Next Sunday, in the Scandinavian advent tradition, is hope.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Star Wars Birthday Party


This weekend was my nephew’s 5th birthday.  My sister had everything under control, but needed my assistance stitching up ten Jedi robes.  We had a marathon sewing session on Friday evening with two machines going non-stop.  Simplicity 8874  was modified to create these robes (size 5).  The fabric was on clearance and/or thrifted and the pattern was found second hand so each worked out to about $2 (labour not included).

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Lily didn’t want to be a Jedi knight. She had her heart set on on being Wicket, an Ewok.   I created an Ewok costume by using two chocolate brown towels and this surfer poncho tutorial (by the Funky PolkaDot Giraffe). I added ears to the hood and put together a second terry hood out of some yellow terry. A couple of props (a walking stick and suede bag for treasures) and voila!  (It can now be reused as a beach towel).



Lily has a very interesting smile right now. She has lost so many teeth.


I decided to go as Princess Leia (minus the metal bikini).  I used the angel costume from Simplicity 9982 and two dollar store hair extensions.  I was going for this look.  I added a tin foil necklace (great idea over at the Long Thread).

princess_leia(image via)

Evangeline Hope reluctantly agreed to wear a white gown as well (Made By Rae’s pierrot tunic modified).  My nephew, below, bottom right is Obi-Wan.  Darth Vader in this photo is a cardboard standup.


The craft was a little snow globe, one of the projects in Bonnie Burton’s Star Wars Craft Book.  My middle sister was unable to come due to distance, but she put together all of the graphics for the invites and labels.

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A Jedi master played a number of games with the knights and there was some saber training  with Darth Vader and pool noodles.



A birthday is not complete without cake.  My sister found the R2D2 droid cake (from 1980) on ebay.  She had it shipped to Ottawa from New Mexico.


She took the special pan to a local baker who did an amazing job.


My sister also did a great job on the decorations.  She found a pair of men’s Star Wars pajama’s at Walmart and used the fabric to create a few buntings.  The table cloth was a Star Wars drape found at the Goodwill.




The Darth Vader treat buckets were found on sale after Halloween and make a nice balloon anchor.


It was a very special day to honour a very special little guy in our family.



Have a great week,


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tea Towel Projects

I have been wanting to post about a few tea towel projects because handmade gifts are on my mind and I think tea towels on their own or transformed are a fun gift which  can be easily personalized for the lucky recipient.  Recently, I was fortunate to find a 1972 calendar tea towel at Value Village.  I have been looking for a 1972 calendar tea towel for a long time (like almost 40 years…) to transform  into a pillow.  Here is the tea towel.
I didn’t have the courage to cut it up and change the size, so i used the full length, added a zipper, and found a perfect fitting Ikea down insert. 
The reverse is Michael Miller (Beatnik) fabric.
IMG_1205 I love tea towels. I have a little collection of linen souvenir tea towels from the UK and Ireland which are well used and loved.
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I have also been collecting  tea towel refashion ideas on my pinterest board.
My pal recently transformed a souvenir Royal Wedding Tea Towel into a stylish apron. Craft Stylish has put together a good tutorial on creating a tea towel apron here.  Another tip: If you happen to have the Amy Butler domestic goddess half apron pattern, the waist band and straps from that pattern often fit very well on horizontal souvenir tea towels. 
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Here is another example of another clever refashion.  She took a Glanta Ikea tea towel (a great buy at 2 for $4.99) into another stylish apron. 
The Glanta tea towel has a vertical print so you can cut it to the desired length and then add a waist band in a complimentary fabric. The left over fabric from the Glanta (which will now be plain white) can be saved for another project or made into a smaller tea towel like in the photo (this one used Sew 4 Home’s fancy retro border technique).
So I hope you enjoyed these tea towel ideas. If you have any ideas that you have spotted, please let me know so that I can add them to my pinboard.  Also, if anyone has an attachment to the year 1979, I would be happy to send you this 1979 calendar tea towel.  Just let me know in the comments by November 24th along with your email address or how to find you. The towel  is on the smaller size, but perfect condition and now prewashed. {If more than one person expresses interest, I will draw a name }.
Have a great day,

This project is linked to

and the Point of View Link Party.