Tuesday, November 30, 2010

tattletale



:: my youngest son came in to the kitchen the other day with that face....



...that face that clearly lets me know he is about to tattle on his big brother.

mum: "if you are about to tattle on your brother, I do not want to hear it right now. You need to go back and figure this one out yourselves"

little m: "mum...I am not going to tattle!", said with a very clear look of disapointment that I would even suggest it.



mum: "I'm sorry. Please tell me what you would like to talk to me about"

little m: "mummy...big A is tattling." (said with the whine of a century)

a tattle on a tattle. That's what I worked on today....


** now available in my shop! **

Monday, November 29, 2010

he needed that (well, we all needed that...)



:: he needed this hot cup of cocoa, and we all needed the crisp walk around the lake that soon followed.

:: Within a lap of running through the trails and discovering new dwellings, we were all living in a moment of happiness and relief. The stresses that can come with the unpredictable nature of the holidays were behind us, and instead we were laughing and just enjoying the present. My husband looked at me with this "oh man, how glad I am we are here" kind of look, and I quickly reached over and gave my eldest son a rub on the back.

:: We are still learning when it comes to figuring out all of the kinks that comes along with the way my son's mind thinks. What for many people can be a great excuse to eat massive amounts of food in the mid-afternoon, becomes a source of intense stress for him. To him, meals are at three designated times of the day, and having dinner at 2:30pm makes no sense. I had just finished cooking the day away, and wanting nothing more than to enjoy a glass of wine and enjoy the "fruits of my labour". Listening to the protests upset me, and admittedly made me resentful.
It was the holidays, and I just wanted to enjoy this nice meal.

:: Then I looked up. I looked up and saw somebody so tense and hurt. I could see his pain, and immediately understood. I should have expected this, and even more so, planned our meal time more appropriately. But I sometimes forget, as I think many of us do when raising children. It's definitely been a learning process, and although I pick up many ideas and suggestions, those same ideas and suggestion can get lost and you forget your way. You find yourself consoling a little body that cries out, "nobody hears me sometimes", and then you remember. He leaves the table having eaten only one bite, and you happily let him go knowing that when 5:00pm rolls around, he will be ready. And we we all be there to celebrate Thanksgiving with him.

(Although the nature of the holidays can bring about a lot of unexpected stresses and upsets, there are many tips out there on how to help your family create a fulfilling and memory loving experience. I have found many a helpful suggestion here ....)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

it just took an old key ring, a paper clip, and some wire...



:: i'm back at it again, and this time it's with that annoying hall light. I cannot pass this thing without expecting breast milk to start dripping from it's engorged shape, and like most of the other lactating ceiling lights in the house, it has become a source of annoyance every time I look at it. Similar to the sudden decision to re-do the dining room table, this light also became the victim of my impulsive way of thinking.


...using my "work with what you've got" philosophy, I was determined to figure out a way to change this lamp in a hurry before the little one needed picking up from school. The outside frame was taken off, and the dusty remains became the backbone for the new frame. (and yes. it did get dusted...just with a sock that I had in arms reach because I was too "lazy" to actually step down from the ladder and find an appropriate cloth)


... the IKEA lamp was given a good clean....(o.k. no it wasn't. I actually forgot until I installed the whole thing. I am impatient....but I swear I will get to it...)


..In order to make the lamp fit around the existing light fixture, I needed to take off the top support and clip a notch through one side. (think pac-man). The light was placed around the frame, using an old key ring, paper clip, and found piece of wire, and I thought it was done. Stepping back to take pride in my work, I soon realized the old light fixture had never been rid of it's "aged bronze" glory. So, the light was taken back down and the old fixture was given a good spray coating in high-gloss white.


...After a mad dash to the hardware store to see what now "had to be done" to finish the room, I managed to squeeze in just enough time to number all of the stairs (..and of course leave the 13th step blank...)


..ta da! Hastiness can indeed lead to perfection, no?

..Even if it does mean using an old key ring, paper clip, and scrap piece of wire

Friday, November 19, 2010

DIY: holiday door ornament



..I thought it might be fun to do a little ornament tutorial today, even though I am notorious for waiting until a couple of days before Christmas to start anything holiday related at all. Maybe this will give me that little push to get started, and hopefully eradicate my annual tendency to express mail everything at the last minute (maybe.....)



step one:: grab your favourite doors fabric (ahem...)





step two:: cut around your door shape, leaving as much white space as you can around the door.



step three:: Place your door on a slightly larger piece of fabric, right sides together, making sure to extend the back piece beyond the bottom edge of the door.

step four:: Sew the fabric together, making sure to leave the bottom section open. Trim any extra fabric from sides and top, and clip the curved seams.



step five:: Turn the door ornament right side out, and fold the bottom cotton edges into the body. You may want to thread a loop of floss through the top if you intend to hang this project. (or perhaps forgo this step to create free-standing doors for your fireplace mantle!)



step six:: stuff. (the corners are pretty hard to reach, unless you have the delicate hands of this dear lady. The back of your kid's paint brush will work perfectly to pull out those tricky little corners...)


step seven:: Stand the door on top of a scrap of felt for the base, and trace around the edge.
Cut out the felt, and attach it with a blanket stitch in a floss colour of your choosing.

step eight :: hang your lovely ornament, sit back, and enjoy a glass of wine.



:: this could also work well with the buses, no?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

oh.my.word.



(warning!: this is too intense for young children, so you may want to enjoy this once the kiddies have gone down for the night.) I also seem to have a problem sizing the film correctly for full view, so please feel free to visit here if you are having any difficulties.

..ever see something that is so amazing, you cannot seem to think about anything else?
I am in awe, and thought you might like to see what kept me glued to my seat. This is ,both aesthetically and emotionally, some of the most beautiful work I have seen in a long time.

..brilliant.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

free fat quarter for my followers!



..a fun little treat for my blog followers today...
...Order a book (includes illustrations)from my etsy shop today, and receive a free fat quarter! Just type in "free fat quarter" in your comments when purchasing the book, and I will include a fat quarter of mummysam fabric. This fun little treat ends at 11pm EST. Happy Wednesday!

Monday, November 15, 2010

working with what you've got....



..Like my approach to re-doing the dining room, I also find it fun to "work with what I've got" when it comes to textile design. It can be good to set limitations, and the challenge that comes with working this way can be a great asset for enhancing creativity. To be able to pull from one's own library of resources to create something new, is an activity that I find necessary to grow as a designer.



..It can be down-right hair pulling at times, but when it works....it works. It's good to change things up a bit, just like a freshly painted room or new arrangement of furniture can liven ones senses again. Images and ideas were pulled from different sewn images and earlier textile designs, and in the process new techniques and ideas for future projects were discovered.

..anyone up for something a little different?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where my distraction led me....



... How did I manage to pass by this table, eat at this table, vacuum under this table, fight at this table, laugh at this table, and draw at this table for four years and not notice?

..Four years of daily use, and only yesterday did I notice it. It was too dark. And according to my impulsive nature (yes. I still have yet to get behind that radiator to finish painting the living room), I had decided in a blink of an eye that it must go. I also knew that if my husband came home to yet another partially done "masterpiece", my days of tackling any future necessary transformations may be a thing of the past. I had five hours before he would come home......



..after priming the table a few times with a shellac-based primer (this was the scary part....no turning back....), I applied several more coats of Martha Stewart's pure white paint in semi-gloss.

..The chairs were replaced with old Ikea ones we had collecting dust in the basement, and given a new look with some of my mummysam fabric. (We hadn't used these chairs since our oldest was two, and wow. Taking off the old cushion was a similar experience one gets when taking a car seat out of the car. The grotesque amount of powdered cheerios, crackers, and dried up mushed bananas was quite overwhelming. I forgot how much mess those little fingers and mouths can make!)



...my favourite wedgewood pottery was brought out of the cupboard (mind you, only for this little presentation...these will be replaced with piles of homework, stickers, and older kid food mess...just let me indulge for a bit.)



...the rug was switched with my studio rug from IKEA, and two of the chairs were recovered a second time when two boys came home and "requested" the foxes instead. I finished the project just in time, and really like how it turned out. We are a family that use this table more for colouring and homework than entertaining, and needed a room that better fit that purpose.
And what do you know? I actually finished it this time. (except if you count the yellow dresser in the background...a previous project that got every side painted except the left one. With one push of the dresser closer to the wall, no one has noticed yet....)

...any projects in the works for you?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Charles Takes New York while I take on a dining table..




As I undertake yet another project, (this one involves the "sudden" need to prime over my entire wood dining table and hope that this new idea of mine works out...), I thought i'd share with you another little project that fellow crafter Alisa made after attending my craft night event in Brooklyn. Little did I know the transformation this Charles character would take, and even more so the adventures he would soon take!

I wonder what else Charles has been up to lately? (nothing suspicious I hope.....)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

eeek!



...eeek!
...I must say, I went a bit silly when this arrived in the mail today.....
I love how it turned out, and cannot wait to put it to good use. I have seven yards available in the shop, and would love to see what you come up with!

Monday, November 1, 2010

a sewing opportunity for you out there......

...I finally came to the realization that I need some help. I receive quite a few e-mails asking to see my Spoonflower fabric "in action", and although my intentions of making examples are nothing short of great, I have to admit defeat. (Besides, there is no way I would make anything nearly as lovely as this clutch bag from Jennifer Ladd!)

..I would love to include not only a sample project in my etsy listing for each particular pattern, but also a link to your own shop if you should have one. Full credit would be given, and hopefully this would be a great opportunity to send some more exposure your way...

...what do you think?


**Update! I have already received a lot of e-mails with some questions regarding this post.
The deadline is open, which should give enough time for those far away who do not yet have any mummysam fabric to purchase some and create a project. I will wait until I receive an image that I think best represents the fabric. If I receive a lot of submissions for one particular fabric, I will post an image on that etsy listing on a rotational basis. ***