what do you when it feels like winter in June?

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You make a beach blanket! It’s usually cold here on PEI this June. Most days we are still in fleece jackets and boots. Each morning we wake up to a dreary 10 degree day. We ‘re starting to feel pretty grumpy and are wondering how long this can go on!

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I decided a bright yellow happy beach blanket was just the thing to make us feel better. While cutting, pinning and sewing this with Ila on my knee, I couldn’t help but smile and think of all the beautiful days that will hopefully come soon and we can finally be outside.

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The only thing is Ila’s convinced that this blanket is for her and will not let it out of her sight. I think I will have to get back to my sewing machine and make another. I have plenty of time though, it’s still chilly outside…

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at least it’s sun-shiny inside!

an easy blanket for Ila

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I’ve been wanting to make a similar patchwork quilt for Ila like the one I made for Sosi a while back.  Sadly, it just hasn’t happened and I couldn’t see it happening anytime soon. So I decided to go for the easy road instead of no road at all.

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I went to the local Fabricville and picked out the least offensive fabric (sorry Fabricville, but I hate you). I quickly sewed it  to the rest of that amazing vintage chenille cozy blanket I have been saving. I then filled it with the same bamboo quilting batting I used for Sosi’s.

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I stitched on some cute buttons in an effort to make it a little more special (and to hold the batting in place ) . I think it came together pretty well. It will at least hold her until she gets her proper quilt like her sister’s… someday (I’m still hopeful, that’s good right?).

nothing

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This past week I’ve been sersiously knocked off my feet with a sinus infection. We’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing in this house while I try and get back to normal. I’m always surprised by just how happy my kids are to do nothing. I always think we have to do things for them to be happy, but some of our best times are sitting around here, doing nothing.

I found these amazing pop up scene books at a local dollar store (such a score!). We ‘re working away on the Fairy Garden(it’s amazing) one here, but there are so many more! They are illustrated by Clare Beaton, I’ve been a fan of her fabric work for years and was thrilled to find them… even more thrilled to have them this week. They have kept both girls busy (and happy) for days. (We photocopied the pages for Ila to “colour” and “cut out” herself and kept the real pieces for ourselves… she never knew the difference).

knitting makes my heart happy

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I’ve been in a bit of a knitting funk this last little bit, but knitting these little Valentine’s presents for the girls helped get me out of it. Now all I want to do is knit! The free pattern for them can be found here. (link via Soulemama ) I decided to not felt them, but did add eyes. 🙂

Now that I’m back in the swing of things, I’d really like to make this shawl over at 100% rain. I think it would be much more attractive than the ratty old fleece blanket you can usually find me wrapped up in these chilly days. Speaking of blankets… do you think I can squeeze one of these in too? (link via Dottie Angel)

paper plate portraits

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Sosi made these paper plate portraits of me and Paul. Paul is looking a little hairy, and I’m challenging my inner Annie. 🙂  I love them!

ila’s mini albums

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While there’s no doubt Sosi likes the little mini albums I made her last year, I’d have to say Ila LOVES them. She  sits and looks at these photo albums (that have  no pictures of her) over and over. It’s a little sad really.  So I decided for her upcoming birthday (!), I’d make her some of her very own.

I decided to give them to her early (maybe because she was sitting beside me as made them). As I explained what they were and that they were full of pictures of her, she just smiled so big and started hugging them. I can’t think of a better reaction to anything I’ve made.

button rings

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Sosi found my button collection the other day and we decided to make button rings after an intense sorting session (oh, she is my daughter!).

We used straightened paper clips (the coloured ones are best), wrapped them around a marker to make a ring, and slip the button on. Super simple and very fun.

sunshine sweater

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(photo taken by Sosi)

Summer is still being a bit elusive in these parts. So I’m very happy to have my “Swinging Stipes Cardigan” sweater finally finished.  Not only is it super warm and cozy (I don’t ever want to take it off) but it is impossible to be grumpy about freezing cold weather at the end of May while wearing this colour. I love it.

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(photo also taken by Sosi with my phone, during a super fun afternoon spent on the town with her this weekend.)

Oh, and french fries help with grumpiness too.

Little Green

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I’m not a great sewer. I’m a much better knitter, I understand knitting with everything right there in straight lines, and numbers… it’s straight forward. With sewing everything is inside out and backwards, so abstract. So when I find something I can make, I stick with it. That how I feel about the Lazy Days skirt (free pattern is here for downloading). I made a bunch last summer for Sosi and she lived in them all summer. I can’t imagine anything being easier to sew.

This weekend I found some time to bang out a whole bunch of these skirts for both Sosi and Ila (definitely inspired by the much warmer weather).  This green one is my favourite by far. The fabric was thrifted and the ribbon was in a stash that was handed down to me from a friend many years ago. They look like they belong together, and on her.

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summer, where are you?

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It is freezing here. It is sunny and green… but cold. I’m using that as my excuse for my lack of sewing anything for the kids’ summer sewing challenge. (I can’t imagine wearing anything summer-like, I spend most of the day wrapped in a blanket.) I’ve also been busy with a couple of exciting jobs which are eating up any free time I have. I hope to get the sewing kick-started soon though.

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I sewed the patch on those pants, does that count? I didn’t think so…

back into the swing of things

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We’re slowly get back into the swing of things here.

Poor Ila is taking the longest to recover. She’s sure had a rough month, being hit by 1 thing after another.

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but getting your world turned upside down by sickness sure makes you really appreciate the boring normal-ness of life. So that’s what I’m doing right now, enjoying the boring-ness… and trying to catch up on lost sleep .

crafting and pudding.

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Life is getting back to normal. Not only did I get to do some cooking (see the gobbled up bowl of spinach soup?? it’s rare that everyone loves something I make! ) this weekend, but I also got to do some sewing.

This is the first of 4 placemats I am planning on making. It is made from a thrifted linen table cloth and various scraps stitched on. I worked roughly from the pattern in Patchwork Style by Suzuko Koseki. I love it!

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I also made a batch of our favourite butterscotch pudding for our family Easter dinner (which I actually didn’t make it too… more on that in another post). I found this recipe in the February issue of Gourmet magazine at my local library (sadly this magazine is now out of print). If you like pudding, you have to try this recipe.  It is a great simple desert and only takes about 15 minutes to make.

Here’s the recipe:

Butterscotch Pudding:

serves: 4

Active time: 15 minutes from start to finish

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp cornstarch

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 heavy cream

2 Tbsp butter, cut into bits

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

*Whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 tsp salt in a heavy saucepan, then whisk in milk and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently, then boil, whisking 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vailla. Pour into bowl, then cover with butter wax paper and chill until cold, at least 1 1/2 hours.

See? so easy!

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little bunny

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My barn paintings have been put on hold while I have been tending to little ones. In times like these, when I find myself with no time to work, I always turn to knitting. Knitting can be done just about anywhere, sitting on floor playing lego or playmobil or holding a feverish clingy baby. It always gets me through, and  helps me to hold on to my sanity.

These bunnies were supposed to be Easter presents, but when you are knitting something this cute and fluffy right next to the person you are making it for, it  is pretty hard to hide it. This little bunny (pattern free from RebeccaDanger’s site.) is  a huge hit with Sosi. For Ila, I think I will make a Tofu dog (how can I resist that name?).

inspiration where you least expect it

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I have been doing a lot of research lately and dreaming about future projects. I wasn’t expecting much when I requested this book from the library, but was very surprised when I opened it and saw these gorgeous colour plates.

quiet moments

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I have a little 4 (almost 5) year old home sick with me. We made crayon cakes with her old crayons that have been sitting around for years. They were a bit hit, except for her hurting herself cutting the crayons (see the bandaid).

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These little cakes are great for making big messy fun drawings. I think we need to be making more things like this. I’m trying to teach her not everything has to be perfect. She can be really hard on herself sometimes. I wonder where she gets that from?

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