Monday, December 27, 2010

year of the rabbit

from: dosankodebbie
2011 will be the year of the rabbit. i lived in japan from 1989 until 1996 and the way that new year's is celebrated is something i really miss here in canada. it really is the equivalent to our hannukah or christmas or solstice (depending on what one celebrates). everyone sends out a ton of nengajo - new year's post cards - to friends and family. isn't this bunny post card cute?

everyone cleans their house in order to not bring old dirt into the new year. and i mean clean - like wash the curtains clean. so there will be some cleaning and organizing between now and december 31st. and on the first day of 2011 maybe some eating of soba noodles and mochi and sushi. definitely some sake drinking and relaxing with family.

2010 was pretty good to my family and i have lots of plans for 2011. happy new year and all the best in 2011.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

happy holidays

we are looking forward to celebrating christmas - the baking and making is done, the shopping and wrapping is done, the cleaning and packing are done. now to relax, eat some great meals and spend time with family. and i am really going to enjoy the last days of 2010. and looking forward to a fantastic 2011.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

making for me

from burda magazine sept 2010
i finished this very parka for myself just in time to wear it through the deluge today. vancouver winter weather demands a good long parka with a generous hood and deep pockets. i just couldn't shell out $400 or more so i was thrilled when i found this pattern. i bought all the fabric and notions at dressew for $45. not too shabby.
from burda magazine sept. 2010
 and yes, it is totally waterproof. i love everything i've made from every issue. it takes a little sewing experience and some patience to trace the patterns and follow the written instructions (few diagrams). but there are more than twenty patterns in each issue and a ton of craft ideas. i love that the local european delicatessen calls me when each new burda magazine comes in and they put it aside for me. they also make the most incredible handmade perogies.

Michael Kors
 now to get the new boots winterized and waterproofed. (i did save money making my own coat after all!)

i will now commence with christmas craziness. i'm so relaxed these days that i don't even know to panic yet. uh oh!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


i had every intention, as i do every year, of making a permanent advent calendar for the kids. and once again, we opted for the playmobil version, a big improvement over the cheap chocolate filled advent calendars at the grocery store. i really think that one of the fancy chocolate companies should market an advent calendar for adults. leave the toys for kids.

Friday, November 19, 2010

the end of an era

this is the well used back yard of our old place in 2006. we moved in on january 1st, 2001 and left on january 15, 2010. we started our time there with one kid and left with three. about the only redeeming feature of the whole place was that tree and the man-shed. (but we miss the neighbors and the neighborhood!). i drove by it yesterday and nothing remains but a pile of rubble - not even the beautiful old plum tree. i felt a little sad. is now snowing and i am so happy for insulation and double-paned windows. not to mention the view, the new neighborhood and friendly neighbors, huge garden, an office/studio, and finally, just enough room for us all.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

flopping on the floor

maybe it's all the years i lived in japan but i do prefer to flop on the floor. and now, thanks to pillow challenge week, we finally have nice covers for the two 40" square feather filled floor cushions. erin has a great tutorial on inserting zippers.
the boy got first flop.

Monday, November 8, 2010

pillow week: day one

ok so i didn't actually make a pillow today but i did brave ikea with a 3 year old. we got some much needed bookcases, a carpet, storage for sewing supplies and even some christmas wrapping paper. i jumped on the third fabric from the top to make a cover for the huge down pillows we have to flop on when we watch tv. the boy was pretty patient all things considered. that or he just really likes the ice cream at the end of the line up.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

most definitely fall

this is not our front yard (though we do have an ocean view on a clear day!). however, we have at least as many leaves both on the ground and in the compost bin. i miss the old days when we could have bonfires.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

pillow power

from Studio35
love this pillow - hand painted and embroidered and all the way from turkey.  are you going to play along with houseonhillroad? i can't wait to start sewing. the living room needs some sprucing up for fall and winter.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

the small object

from: The Small Object
i have been reading The Small Object Stenopad for a long time. today i finally got the chance to see some of sarah neuburger's creations in person at paper-ya at granville island and they did not disappoint. i will definitely be putting the journal on my christmas list and buying some of the stamps and stickers for a creative little girl i know.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010


available through Chronicle Books
my husband has taken the kids away for the weekend. i had some time today to prepare. which would normally mean: buy wine, magazines, and snacks and also to clean and tidy the house so that i could enjoy it all to myself in a pristine state. i only managed to get to the book store but they had the book i was hunting for - creative, inc. and i am enjoying it. the previous book, craft, inc. also has a lot of great advice.

my new computer is taking up a lot of my time. i love love love it. and i don't know quite how, but i managed to find all the data from our entire (and i mean entire) photo files and install it in the computer. i thought it was all lost forever. now to figure out how to get all the music from one computer to another without spending hours....

Monday, October 4, 2010


happy birthday super daddy. wikipedia has lots of interesting (very arithmatical and religiousy) things to say about the number. looking forward to 40 more years with you and our family.

Monday, September 27, 2010

happy birthday to me

from my front step this morning
what a great way to start the day! i feel like we've been celebrating for days. there is no way i am tired of rainbows....

my best girl drew this for me
and this is me  - note the matching doll. a far cry from my usual neutral palette.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

three down, four to go

day two: finding patterns and cutting fabric - the tights are from madebyrae and the kimono top is from weekend sewing by heather ross.

day three: sewing

the kimono knit fabric is from textile clearance house and the grey tights fabric is from fabricana. i will make myself a skirt from the same grey jersey and the remaining patterned knit jersey will become a top for myself. once kids clothing week challenge is over of course. my machines may actually need some professional attention soon.

what to work on tomorrow? maybe knit a matching hat?

Monday, September 20, 2010

one down, six to go

i could only manage something simple today for kids clothes challenge week. funny how your whole day can get messed up just by not setting the alarm clock the night before... there might have been a little yelling this morning.
the bib is from bend the rules sewing by angry chicken. made for new baby maya. i think i'll be sewing for babies all week - small items, quick, and i know of 6 babies born in the last few weeks.

Friday, September 17, 2010

halloween costumes

how cute would this be for baby's first halloween? maybe i'll skip the idea of making warm clothes for my preschooler and just get a head start on halloween costumes.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

i'm in

i am up for the challenge. the little one needs some warm clothes and i need to do something creative.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

stash buster = charity

from: Ten Thousand Villages
i really really need to clear out some of my stash. and what better way than to make bags and stuff them with school supplies for kids who really need them?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

back to routines

from nothingelegant on etsy

back to school for the teenager and husband today. my best girl starts tomorrow. back to routines, schedules, commitments. wouldn't this perpetual calendar be a great addition to command centre? there are a ton of other great goodies at nothingelegant. and it fulfills my lifelong wish for a 24/7 stationary store. oh how i love you internet!

Monday, August 9, 2010

trend: colour (or what i've been doing lately)

today's harvest. how spectacular is that? the one pink one is going on my plate. i grew it, i get to eat it.

and in other technicolour news, my best girl turned 6. this is the cake from her 'friend party'.
why yes, that is 60 litres of industrial strength jell-o. i will spare you the pictures of the cousins eating it with spoons, then their hands, then jumping right in. suffice to say that it eventually looked like a horror film and my kids had red legs for days following. the lawn has barely survived.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

making mistakes a la mc hammer

what a colossal mistake. colossally bulky crotch. i had intended to make loose linen cropped pants and even drafted the pattern, bought the fabric and notions, and did all my due diligence. where did i go wrong? well, i was seduced by a pair of sarouel pants in the may issue of burda.

instead of continuing on with my original pattern, i made the sarouel pants in linen despite the instructions which clearly stated 'cotton gauze'. so now i have a pair of well-made linen pants fit for a clown. or mc hammer at his peak.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

birthday suit - kids' clothing week

i finally found the cardreader.... these are the clothes i made for my little guy for kids' clothing week. that's the rear view of the shorts and the front view of the vest - both out of linen i had in the stash. the lining of the vest is from an old dress shirt of daddy's. the little guy just turned three and this was my present to him. the transformers are from his siblings.guess which present he liked best... transformers! more than meets the eye!

Monday, May 17, 2010

cardreader, where for art thou?

i sewed my brains out last week but my cardreader has gone missing. so i will have to take the pics and post this week. i had better get pics of the kids right quick - before they blow out the knees and get grass stains all over the clothes.
wanna bet the cardreader will be found under all the fabric scraps sitting under my work table???

Monday, May 3, 2010

middle of the beginning

and that's what i did on saturday. i pulled potatoes and weeds and made raised beds. if i bend over one more time i may never get up again...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

love : taxes

a cute calculator like this would make tax time a little more enjoyable. but only a little...

sibling love

when you are a five year old girl it is all about rainbows and phonetic spelling. she made this and taped it on her big brother's door: 'best brother in the world'. word or should i say "WRD".

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

beautiful burda

isn't this a lovely dress - perfect for spring. there is a european deli near our new place so i no longer have to make the long trek downtown to get burdastyle magazine. my sewing plans for spring include joining the kid's clothes making week. my goal is to make something for each kid and sew from my stash. the reward: make myself this lovely dress... maybe silk jersey...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

black beauty

came across this beauty in my search for a floor lamp. it's life size and about $7500 but it doesn't eat or poop, no stable dues, and would not cause my husband to have an allergic reaction. shipping is free and 'white glove service'. does that mean a jockey delivers? is this a gelding? i love it but the shade needs some dingle balls.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

spring decorating

the little guy is obsessed with cars. he sleeps with them, lines them up around his plate, hoards them in his pockets. i got him this wall decal for his room so he can drive his cars all over the ikea carpet and then up the wall. it's great because it is repositionable/reusable - great for a rental home.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

big changes

there have been some big changes since my last post. our rental was sold; christmas; new year's; new house; moving; painting; a sixteenth birthday; first haircut (gum bribe that backfired);
the olympics and paralympics; first disneyland trip; and now spring break. i now have a dedicated studio/office with a ton of natural light. and there has been some making, just a little, but making all the same.