January 31, 2011


I've been tossing around the idea of making a book for the Rockstar and then Prudent Baby linked to this FABULOUS creation by Megan of mousehouse.

I can only imagine how much little Amelie adores her book, I could sit and stare at the pictures for ages and the sweet bits in the photographs don't have any personal meaning to me. I'm stashing this idea away for future use (a perfect gift for the wee man once he gets to a stage where eating and ripping paper isn't a high priority).

I love when I find a fantastic idea for a new project and it's even better when a fabulous blog is added to my regular reads because of it. Thanks, Prudent Baby!

Until my book eating boy is out of the paper shredding stage I think it's safest to stick with fabric and board books. I've been hunting for a site where I can order a custom board book and I found three decent options: My Custom Story, Custom Board Books and Hullabaloo Stories. Custom Board Books would be my first choice but unfortunately they are currently closed and there's no hint of when the shop will be reopening. I think My Custom Story is the best available option right now. The reviews are all good except for one minor detail: the words MY CUSTOM STORY are printed in big bold black ink along the spine of the book. I figure if this bugs me as much as it does others I can fix it with a little tlc.

The other option is for me to make my own book from scratch. I think I might try this first and if it's a total disaster I'll go ahead and order a custom book online. Have you ever heard of Bare Books?? Awesome site with inexpensive blank books available for purchase. Less than $2.00 for a blank 5" x 5" or 8" x 8" board book! There are great options for older kids as well: check out the blank comic books. Who knows when I'll get this project started, I'm hoping sooner than later though so stay tuned!

January 27, 2011

My Fav Three

This is my favourite submission for Iron Craft challenge four and it makes me A: want to finally get off my butt and try freezer stenciling, B: buy a Cricut or Silhouette (as if I didn't want one bad enough already) and C: try iron-on velcro! Where have I been? I had no idea such a thing existed and I HATE sewing velcro strips on projects. Hop over to The Modern Lady blog to read more about this project.

The Modern Lady Cup Cozy

Can't get over how cute this sweet little froggie is. It totally reminds me of Keroppi the Sanrio frog.

frog cup cozy

And there's this clever Cup of Tea cozy by Mrs. Green. The Pattern can be found HERE.

"Cup of Tea" Crocheted Mug Cozy

There are loads of great entries! Check them out in the flickr pool.

Fab Pick of Last Week

Absolutely in love with the head phone hats made by ESCAO Designs. Total Bohemian Princess Leia: L.O.V.E.

Just a little late

Late last week I received three emails from friends thanking me for the Christmas card that they had JUST received in the mail. I thought it was fitting to share it with you now since I never got around to it in December. Better late than never: HAPPY HO HO!

January 26, 2011

Iron Craft Challenge 4: Coffee Cozy

Quick and easy challenge this week which - considering our weekend - was just what I needed in order to get it done. No more disposable coffee cozies for me, this little lady will be tucked into my car and put to good use on a regular basis. What a great way to use up some of my fav fabric scraps!

January 25, 2011

7 Months?!

7 months old and visiting the salon already! The Rockstar has been rubbing his eyes non-stop thanks to his pesky bangs poking his little eyeballs so we took him in today to have them trimmed. He sat super still and admired his new do in the mirror when it was all said and done (a whole thirty seconds after the scissors started snipping). A comment was made by the owner of the salon that he has a total Brit Pop style happening and Emily (his stylist) said that she didn't want to ruin his look so she was only taking the bangs up a bit and we can visit in a few weeks for another trim. Yep, The Rockstar used his good looks and sweet demeanor to earn himself a free fringe trim: well done Baby Boy!

Another big month around here for the wee man. Rolling from his back to his front is his new favourite activity, I found him on his belly in his crib yesterday morning and he looked awfully proud of himself. He's back to sticking his tongue out and making lots of sounds. Oh and there are the kisses, can't forget those: he has started opening his mouth to give kisses. We are now attending Music Together classes on Tuesdays with Jess and Reid and The Rockstar loves it!! Mommy does too, it's a fun outing and it tires out a certain someone to the point where I can move him from his car seat to his crib without waking him (a task previously considered impossible). If you are a parent and have never heard of Music Together I highly recommend that you check out the program: it's a stellar music program with songs that sound like "real" music.

Seven months and better than ever! I say it every month but I can't believe how quickly time is flying by. We are loving every moment with the Rockstar, it's hard to believe because I truly believed he was as awesome as he could get the moment he was born but he continues to surprise us and is more amazing each and every day. We love you little man!! Happy 7 months!

January 23, 2011

Ribbon Love

Cute ribbon is almost at par with fabulous buttons in my books. I killed some time a few nights ago ribbon hopping on etsy and here are some of my fav boyish finds:

shop for Heroes
shop for Woodland creatures

Boys Boys Boys!!

Boys sign
Anyone who sews or crafts and has boys in their world will know that finding tutorials and projects for cute boy bits online isn't the easiest thing to do. There are zillions of adorable sparkly, ruffly, sweet girlie bits to be found but not so many awesome boy goods. This is where Celebrate the Boy swoops in and comes to the rescue. Last year over at Made there was a month featuring BOYS: loads of tutorials, giveaways and links relating to fantabulous things for mini men. Click here to see the archives and find lots of fab tutorials.

The only thing better than Celebrate the Boy's well laid out archives would be a second round of celebrating, don't you think? Well lucky us! Dana from Made and Rae from Made by Rae
are preparing for round two of Celebrate the Boy. I can't wait for February 15th to arrive so we see what they have in store for us!

Do you believe in miracles? I do now.

image source: valche's etsy shop

If I had any doubt in the existence of angels and miracles before I certainly do not now. Mike defied the odds and walked away from not one but two major highway accidents early Friday morning. TWO! Yes that's two totaled cars (our Lexus and a rental car) and three people including Mike who managed to leave two terrible accidents without any major injuries. Nobody was hurt in the other vehicles either: insane.

Thankfully neither accident was Mike's fault, not that I would be concerned if they were - that's why they are called accidents - but it's one less thing for him to think about. Reliving the second crash every time he closes his eyes - it involved a lot of crashing, spinning, rocking and three lanes of highway traffic speeding towards them while they were trapped in the car sitting in the fast lane - is enough for one person to worry. Adding guilty feelings to the mix is simply not necessary.

To think that things could have easily ended very differently... well I'm trying not to let my mind go there. I'm just grateful to have a very sore but able bodied Mike home safe and sound with us. Miracles do happen and we have proof: he is the love of my life and his name is Mike.

January 21, 2011

Another Milestone!

I can see the headlines now: January 20th, 2011 The Rockstar Rocks and Rolls! Yes folks, the wee man is on the move, he finally went from his back to his belly and as you can see Daddy couldn't be more proud. Of course Mommy was thrilled about it as well but Daddy wasn't present for the first roll from front to back so he was excited to witness the roll. Of course the fact that the main event took place while our baby boy was reaching for Daddy's work tags was the icing on the cake for Mike. And not only did he roll once but after the first roll he went back to his starting position and did it all over again! Congratulations sweet boy, Mommy and Daddy are very proud of you! (and a little afraid - we better get baby proofing)

January 20, 2011

Serenity Wednesdays

image source

I pledged (to myself) to find some 'me time' in 2011 and not feel guilty about it: so far so good. We are lucky enough to live in the same city as both Mike and my parents and both sets LOVE spending time with the Rockstar so finding someone to watch the wee man is not an issue. Did I mention how lucky AND grateful we are for this, because we do realize just how blessed we are.

Yesterday I was a total mombie after a long night with a terribly sad little shark who is teething - that Tooth Fairy better not cross my path, she won't like what I have to say to her - so honestly the last thing I wanted to do was get dressed and leave the house. Unfortunately we had our first swim lesson of the year at 845 am ARGH which went really well until the Rockstar dropped his face into the water and took a big gulp (I'm not sure who was more surprised, him or me), The remaining ten minutes of class was spent sniffing back tears (his, not mine) and chewing on a rubber fish (him, not me) while snuggling in the pool. Poor little guy was out of sorts thanks to those nasty teeth.

As if an early morning outing wasn't enough for one tired mombie, I had a yoga class booked for 330 pm. I could have bailed but I said I was going to try to be more active this year and I'm sure I'll miss another class or two somewhere along the line for a legitimate reason (being tired just didn't seem like a good enough reason to me). The Rockstar's Granny came to play with him and I stumbled out of the house...

Was it worth it? OH. MY. GOD.

Yes that's appropriate wording because it was a heavenly experience. It's not that I haven't been out of the house since The Rockstar made his first appearance on June 24th, because I have. It's just that I haven't been out for an extended period of time doing something purely for me that doesn't involve me talking to someone (keep the smart ass remarks to yourself big bro) such as a hair dresser or massage therapist.

It was by far the best yoga class I have ever attended and that's saying a lot because I loved my pre-natal yoga classes. The instructor is fabulous (she's a friend and colleague who I thought would be a wonderful yogi and she did not disappoint), the space is one where you are instantly relaxed just walking through the doors (same place I did my pre-natal and Baby & Me yoga), and the 1.25 hour class was exactly what the doctor ordered. I left that class feeling like a million bucks: I couldn't stop smiling and I felt fully rejuvenated.

Did I easily clear my mind and focus on the task at hand? Definitely not but I was conscious of the fact that my mind continuously wandered to The Rockstar, dinner, The Rockstar, returning to work eventually, The Rockstar (you get the picture) and every time I realized I was thinking of something other than my breath/my body/my being I pulled myself back into the moment and concentrated on me at that point in time. Wow, who knew an hour could make such a huge difference. It was another long night last night and although I was super tired today it seemed so much more bearable than it did yesterday.

I can't wait for next Wednesday! Thank you, Wendy!

Challenge 3 Favs

There were so many fabulous buntings submitted for the Iron Craft challenge this week! I'm thinking I'll create a post featuring my three favourite Iron Craft entries following each challenge. Hopefully some will include tutorials: two of the three I'm featuring today do! Yippee!

Alright so here we go: my favs from Just Bunt and then I promise you I won't type the word BUNTING for at least a week.

Amy from Glitter, Vinyl and Thread made this stunning pillow and bonus: it's up for auction! Hop over to this post on her blog and leave a comment with your bid to get in on the action.
All proceeds will be donated to the Queensland Flood Relief via Make It Perfect (worth checking out the master list here to see the loads of awesome bits available to bid on).


This magnetic bunting was made by Chrissy from Hickety Pickety and I think it's my favourite entry this week. Lucky us!! Chrissy created an easy to follow tutorial so you can make one of your own. I'll be revisiting this tutorial eventually so that I can make a mini bunting for the magnetic board that will be going up in my studio (once the room is painted and revamped - assuming this happens in my lifetime)

magnetic bunting

Yum yum YUM!! A bunting made of candy?! No further explanation necessary. Oh, but I should mention that this amazingly brilliant piece of work was made by Jeromina from Paper, Plate and Plane and if you slip over there you'll find a tutorial p.s. loving her blog

Edible Bunting (100% candy!)

Fabulous work ladies!

January 19, 2011

Ridiculously Cute

The Rockstar is to die for cute but this little snub-nosed monkey certainly gives him a run for his money.

That's it. I have no more to say on the subject, just had to share this photo that Mike sent to me because he is just THAT cute (both Mike and the monkey).

Flying High Baby Bunting

Iron Craft's challenge # 3 is titled Just Bunt. If you're a blog hopper I'm sure you've noticed the bunting trend: they are EVERYWHERE. I highlighted a few samples the other day but google "bunting" and you'll find a zillion more.

We've been planning to put our little Rockstar's name on the wall above his crib for ages so I figured I would knock that project off the list of TO DOs while completing this challenge. I found a sheet of cute little airplanes and clouds a couple weeks ago that the wee man was gifted from Grams & Papa last Christmas (2009: while still in my belly) and one little propeller plane was the inspiration for my bunting. Doesn't it look like it was built to pull a banner through the clouds?

I guess there's a bit of a travel theme happening with this bunting: a map, rocket ships, trains & trucks and polka dots were the fabric choices. Yes I do realize polka dots aren't really travel related but I ♥ polka dots so they made the cut.

Speaking of cut (insert laugh track here - yes I am officially a mom with the bad jokes and all) this super easy bunting provided me with the perfect opportunity to use my new pinking shears. They were a Christmas gift and it's ridiculous how much pleasure I get from cutting fabric with them. Rereading that line made me realize JUST how how much of a crafty nerd I am but I stand by my love of pinking shears dammit.

Can't wait to see what the other Iron Crafters have whipped up and of course I'm itching to find out what week 4's challenge involves.

January 18, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays: Banana Muffins

I have a bad habit of collecting old bananas and then never getting around to making them into anything. At any given time I may have a dozen black bananas looking nasty and taking up space in my freezer. I had a few creepy looking guys hanging out on my counter so I whipped up some muffins using this yummy recipe I found over at The Joy of Baking. Let's be honest, "whipped up" for me these days means it took me an hour to get the mix together but if you aren't running up and down stairs to calm a (supposed to be napping) baby and changing loads of laundry you could prepare these puppies in record time.

Love this recipe: taking the time to write it on a card in my recipe book which means I REALLY like it.

What You Need to make 12 regular sized muffins (copied from The Joy of Baking website with my notes in italics)

1 cup walnuts or pecans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (didn't have any or couldn't find it in my mess of a cupboard so I omitted this)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 ripe large bananas mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (whoops just realized I left this out. Yes I definitely was distracted)

What You Do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the oven rack in the middle of the oven.
Line a 12 - 1/2 cup muffin pan with paper liners or butter or spray with a non stick spray.
Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. I didn't bother doing this and they turned out FANTASTIC still
Let cool and then chop coarsely.
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts.
In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.)
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Bake about 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Place on a wire rack to cool for five minutes and then remove muffins from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Or gobble immediately after removing from the pan while downing a glass of cold milk

January 17, 2011

Buntings on the brain

This week's Iron Craft challenge is to make a bunting. I thought I was finished my project already but then Mike made a comment (he hadn't noticed a key element until I pointed it out) that made me rethink things and I'm now going to disassemble and fix it before saying it's complete. For me this is a big deal, I tend to take the easy route with my crafty bits and even if I'm not 100% happy with it I'll settle with a mediocre finished product just to be done with it. I want to stop that bad (for me) habit and this is the perfect opportunity to start.

Since buntings are running through my head I thought I would share a few cute tutorials I've found for those non-sewers out there who might want one of their own.

How About Orange shows you how to make a sweet little card with a teeny tiny bunting

Lil Blue Boo shares an easy no-sew bunting tutorial

A super cute Anthropology inspired leather bunting necklace tute over at Mandipidy

I lied, they aren't ALL no-sew tutorials. The last one involves sewing and it's not a tutorial but it's super cute so I had to share. A bunting quilt found at Little Birdie Secrets: LOVE this

Have you found any cute buntings online? Share them, please!

January 16, 2011

Fab Pick of A Couple Weeks Ago

These super sweet felted slippers are handmade in an artisan cooperate in Mongolia. They are far too cute for their own good and their cute factor would be off the charts if they were being modeled by the Rockstar (if I don't say so myself). I have added these to my ever growing baby bits wish list. Check out Satch and Sol - a lovely little shop where you can find a pile of lovely goods from fair trade artisan cooperatives they partner with.

January 13, 2011

Dodging the Draft

Iron Craft's challenge #2 was to create a draft dodger. You know the snakes or wiener dogs you've seen laying on the floor in front of people's doors to stop the wind from creeping in: apparently the official name is a draft dodger, who knew?

I made one for the front door, we need to replace the weather stripping and have been planning to do it for the past two years. This dodger should help keep the heat in and the cold out until we get around to it. Don't mind the less than lovely photo.

My dodger has an outside tube made of a heavy jean-like material that can be washed and the inner tube is easily removable and holds the beans which act as insulation.

I originally planned to have three little birds appliqued on my tube (think Bob Marley: "three little birds, sitting on my doorstep") but then I decided peek-a-boo circles were a better idea with this fabric. I still used some birds but there are more than three so disregard Bob.

I love that the little mermaid is checking out the birdies. Although you can't see her tail so really it just looks like a naked girl is checking them out: oh well.

There are some fantastic completed dodgers and you can check them all out in the Iron Craft flickr pool!

Iron Craft

Have you heard of Iron Craft?! Well there's little doubt you've heard of the Iron Chef so think Iron Chef but with crafts rather than food. Every week in 2011 those taking part are given a theme or pattern and asked to run with it. One of my resolutions was to make more time for me and of course that means finding time to sew or craft each week. A perfect solution: join Iron Craft! I'm a week late since I just stumbled across the blog a few days ago but hey, better late than never.

By no means can I match the talents of the crafty people taking part in this challenge but I intend to try to stretch my crafting limits and have fun while I'm at it.

Looking for a kick in the butt to get crafty?! Join the challenge!! You can use tutorials online to help you out with your crafts, just be sure to credit the creators: you don't have to recreate the wheel. Let me know if you decide to join in the fun and of course read this intro post over at the Iron Craft blog to find out how to officially join.

January 8, 2011

The Princess and the Pea

I stumbled across Sewing In No Man's Land in the summer and ever since she posted the Princess and the Pea softie tutorial I've been itching to make a princess of my own. I finally got around to it just before Christmas. The tutorial is fantastic: super easy to follow and yes it does take longer to choose your fabrics then it does to whip up this sweet little number. Isn't that always the way?

My niece seemed quite pleased with the finished product which she received as one of her Christmas gifts on Christmas eve.

I paired the set with this awesome version of the Princess and the Pea by Lauren Child. I chose this particular book by this particular author because of the fabulous pictures.

Photographs of doll sized furniture and paper cut characters: perfection. I ordered it off of Amazon and was was super pleased to find that not only is it visually appealing but Child has a lovely way with words. I could read this story over and over again and hope Neve does.

I must order a copy for myself and while I'm at it I think I'll order ALL OF HER BOOKS because I read a page from each of those listed on her website and now I need to read every page of every book. There are few things as satisfying as finding a new (to me) author who makes me want to run out and buy their entire collection.

January 5, 2011

Quick and Cute

My sister-in-law asked for a travel sewing kit for Christmas and I just happened to draw her name for stockings. I snagged a little kit for a dollar at Dollarama but it was absolutely hideous so I spent five minutes with my friend Google and found a fantastic little tutorial here for turning a candy tin into a sewing kit.

Of course it wasn't until Christmas eve morning that I finally got around to pulling the kit together and I only had one tin on hand (thank you, Mom) so I decided to take the safe route and leave the outside alone. Thankfully Sarah likes tea, and well... hopefully she likes bears in pajamas too.

I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for tins in thrift shops from now on, I'd like to experiment with scrapbook paper and mod podge on the outside: so many possibilities.

This is how the inside of the tin turned out. I was tempted to keep it for myself BUT that would be selfish and not very Merry of me.

I had a moment of panic when I realized I should have purchased bobbins for the thread because the little spools from the dollar store were too tall to fit in the tin BUT I improvised and used little pieces of cardboard with tiny slits cut in them to wrap the thread around - this worked out really well and in retrospect I should have included a few 'blank' cards for Sarah. Swapping the thread from the spools to the cardboard was what took the most time for this project. I was finished the tin in under 15 minutes and what took the longest was removing and resizing the pin cushion after I had already glued it in. If you make one I would suggest making the pin cushion shorter than I did - even after I took it all apart to cut it down a little it still caused the lid to stick a little when opening and closing.

Let me know if you end up making one of these puppies, especially if you mess with the outside. I'm curious to see what you come up with!

If I was 5...

I would want this dollhouse.

And if I was honest I would have left out the "If I was 5" and just said "I want this dollhouse."

Honestly this is the sweetest (in every sense of the word) dollhouse I have ever seen and it didn't cost $300 like the one I was eying in a children's boutique over the holidays (and that was for just the house). Hop on over to Darlybird (a new blog love) for more pictures and tonnes of tips on how to make a little house similar to this for your little people. I'm thinking a boy version may be in my crafting future.

Fab Pick of Who Knows When

I fell for this apron months ago: love the cut and the fabric is one of my more recent favs. I wonder if this style would be as flattering on me as it is on the dummy. Check out loads of sweet aprons in various styles in Creative Chic's etsy shop.

A Belated Happy Ho Ho and of course HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Another month gone with no posts, where do the days go?! I thought I would make time to post on a more regular basis but obviously that hasn't happened. I have a bunch of things to share with you: mostly cute tutorials and new blogs I've stumbled across on the iPod in the middle of the night while Kian sleepy nurses. I promise they'll be coming your way soon - if there's anyone out there still visiting my blog I'm talking to you. :)

I managed to complete a few little projects for Christmas and of course I've added a million more to my "TO DO" list. Christmas was the best ever this year: our Rockstar took all of the excitement in stride. He was his typical delightful little self at all of the family events and thoroughly enjoyed being spoiled by all of his grandparents, aunts (both blood related and pseudo), uncles and cousins. Here are my fav shot of the Rockstar with his biggest fans (his grandparents of course)

Of course Mike and I were also showered with goodies by both of our families and Mike went waaaaaaaaay overboard on gifts for me. I have a new point and shoot camera that is so small it fits in my pocket which means the Rockstar will never escape the Mamarazzi now. Here's a family 'self-portrait' taken with my new clicker:

Santa brought a super kickass highchair for the monkey boy: a SVAN. Absolutely love it, looks super cool and holds our little man perfectly (he tends to be swallowed in the classic plastic chairs because he's still such a slight guy).

On Christmas Eve the Rockstar turned 6 months old!! WHAT THE?!

December was the month of the roll! He's rolling from his tummy to his back happily now and will roll onto his side but has yet to roll onto his belly from his back, I'm sure it will happen eventually. Oh and Mr Man started sitting up by himself for fairly lengthy periods of time! Of course he tips over every now and then but he's really very stable for such a little guy.

A few days of a funny face (he looked like he was talking but no sound came out) led to "Maaamaaaamaaaamaaaa" and "baaaaabaaaaabaaaa" just before Christmas which was very exciting! We haven't heard much of it in the last week but that's probably because he's so busy "coughing" his "terrible cough" and sticking his tongue out (his latest tricks).

Ahhh yes and the big announcement: SOLID FOOD!! Cereal was a hit from the first bite, peas were hilarious (what a face!) but are now gobbled up without complaint, carrots have been introduced and are one of the most loved foods, prunes have solved our solid food belly woes and are enjoyed more each day and squash was introduced today and I think we may have a new contender for most loved food. Solids are our friend. We had a few rough weeks of sleep (another growth spurt along with too much excitement over the holidays I think) but the Rockstar is sleeping for good long stretches now and I thank the solids for that. We upped him to three small meals a day as of today when I fed him solids for breakfast (which doesn't normally happen) and this morning he had an hour and a half nap after just five minutes of rocking and cuddling. I literally dropped to my knees and thanks the sleep gods much to Mike's amusement.

New Years Eve was definitely not our typical shaker but we have started a new tradition which was wonderful: an evening with friends and the kidlets. I was thinking about it the other day and we have spent 9 out of the last 10 NYE with our good friends Colin and Jessy. They were blessed with a perfect little man just three months before us so they are in the exact same place we are which is really awesome. We spent the evening filling our faces, sipping some yummy bevies and (yes we are nerds) playing video games while the boys slept peacefully upstairs. Jess and I were out cold by 1pm and it was perfectly wonderful.

Did you make any new year resolutions?? Mine are simple: devote a little more time to ME and be more active. Two resolutions that are completely doable and go hand in hand. I went for a massage this week and have spent some nap time working on projects I've had on my 'want' list which means I've started working on the first resolution. I'll let you know how the second goes...

I hope all of you had a fantastic holiday season!