Monday, January 30, 2012

hot lunch pouch

My friend needed a pouch to keep her daughter's lunch warm. I made up this little thing for her. And now....a wee tutorial...
I chose an outer fabric, liner and a middle layer that is a heat insulator type of thing. (sorry, I can't remember the proper name for it. Henceforth, it shall be named heat insulator.) I cut the fabrics 9.5x15 inches.

with wrong sides together and the heat insulator in the middle, I began to sew lines to quilt it.

I used the fancy attachment on my machine to help keep the lines straight.

After sewing a few lines, the back started to bunch up, so I turned the attachment and the fabric around to sew from the other end. Still the same problem. I think my feed dog was going faster than my top. I'm hoping to get a lesson at the store where I got my machine to learn a few things.

After a bit of trimming,

I cut the piece in half to get 2, 9.5 x 7.5 inch pieces.

I was trying to decided whether to use binding on the top and use velcro or whether to put a zipper up there.

I went with the zipper.

Broke a zipper on my serger while trying to make the inside neat. Boxed the corners and then broke a needle on my sewing machine. Did I mention that this project took way took much time?

Sewed up the sides, turned right side out.

A bit of ribbon in the zipper. There ya go, a hot lunch pouch.

Let's hope it works as well as the oven mitt she was using before!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Orzo roasted veg salad

I had this dish a few summers ago while visiting a friend in Nova Scotia. It is easy and brings memories of warm summer fun! Remember those times? brrrr here.

I cut up some zucchini, various colours of peppers for some happy, mushrooms, and grape tomatoes. If you have more veggies that tend to roast well, go for it. I forgot to add some kind of onion, sweet or green for me. I put cut veggies into a large bowl and seasoned with olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and garlic powder. ( I was being too lazy to go to the basement to get fresh garlic from our stash.) Put it in a roasting dish and into a 350 degree oven. I just check on it every once and a while. I don't like it too mushy as it will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven.

Oh, and the most bestest part of alllllllll... goats cheese with pesto. We have homemade pesto that I hoard. The goat's cheese gets it. It is also good on cranberry garlic bagel wafers. yum!!! Mix it up and put pieces into the orzo and roasted vegetable mix. it can be served cold, warm or room temperature.

Can I get a little personal here? Throughout my adult life, I've always had trouble with my belly. Many tests in university showed nothing. Over the years, the pain and symptoms would change and most recently, it has been bloating. So much bloating that even drinking a glass of water or a morsel of food would bloat me as if I was 6 months pregnant. And the pressure on the upper stomach, under the diaphram was intense. Last fall, I started drinking a a generous teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey in warm water 1st thing in the morning. All was well. I stopped doing it around Christmas time. This past week, the pain returned. I'm not saying the vinegar/honey thing sured me, but I forgot I had those problems.

This week, when the flare up returned, I decided not to just let it be and to do something about it. I decided to go gluten free. I stopped eating things with wheat. I went out and bought some gluten free bread, cookies, cereal and different flours to do my own baking. In a word, I dropped a load of $$$ to help my belly.

The next morning, as my husband was going out the door, he said, "google 'Yeast in the gut'". So I did. And the symptoms were more similar to mine. I ate gluten free bread and green tea for breakfast. I could feel the bloat coming on. In the car around lunch time, I had rice cakes. Full on bloat! It hurt. When I was chatting with Rafael's hairdresser, she said she had similar problems and that I should try Bio-K. I bought the probiotic in liquid/yogurt form rather than pill. I drank it in the car and as I was coming home, I could feel it working! BLESSED BE THE LORD! IT WAS WORKING!!!!! I could feel the rumblings in my upper belly and the bloat deflating. It was such a relief. And almost instant! And it lasted. I went to a house party last night, ate lasagna, cake, cake and more cake and a fruit punch with fizzy soda in it and was kind of ok. Much more ok than if I had not had Bio-K working for me. Before I went to bed, I drank a 1/4 of the small bottle of bio-k and all was well.

So here's my regimen, 1st day, one whole bottle. 2nd day, 1/2 bottle, 3rd and subsequent days, 1/4 bottle for maintenance. I'll see how that goes for the 6 bottles I bought and play it by ear after that. I'm curious to see how different foods and time will do to my upset digestive system. I'll let you know too if you want. I feel so much better. now, I can focus on the rather large and spreading muffin top at the gym!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yarn Along

I've been reading Ginny's blog, Small Things for some time now and would drool a little in awe on Wednesdays when she had the Yarn Along.
Like many, I get the knitting bug in the colder weather. I can't read a pattern, but wanted to make something other than a scarf. I enlisted my knitting fanatic friend ( I have many actually) to teach me how to knit socks.
She suggested a ribbed sock and let me raid her wool stash. I chose to go bulky to make the experience a little more positive by being able to knit it up faster.

But I was left on my own to try the next phase. Like I said, I don't read patterns (yet) and messed it up a bit. There are 4 needles on there right now. I have a feeling it was only supposed to be 3. I took the sock to my rehearsal last night. It's amazing how many knitters there are about. 2 came directly to me and started chatting it up. My eyes got that glazed, fear look to them. They recognized it and offered to help, but the rehearsal resumed.

The sock has been in my bag all day. Hoping it wouldn't unravel and that I would have a moment to sit with someone in the know. Not to be today.

So I'll just look at the close ups. Ain't it purdy?
Oh, the needles are from the stash my grandmother had. I inherited them. A great stash. Anything you need in there.

The book I'm reading, but not in the past week or more, is the Scotiabank Giller Prize winner this year, Half -Blood Blues

A good book. Not something I would normally go towards, but it's keeping me interested and letting my imagination grow.

And nice bookmark from Marie over at Soft Earth Art. I won her fall giveaway and she sent some extra postcards and book marks. lovely.

k, that's it for now.
have a good one,

Monday, January 23, 2012

Niagra Falls magic

This weekend, my father in law treated us all to a trip to Niagra Falls. We had a great time in the hotel overlooking the falls.
Here's the view from our room window:

It was early morning and the sun poked out for a few minutes.

It wasn't too cold, but it created lots of ice and mist. Magical.

Here's the view of the American Falls.

We also got treated to "Journey Behind the Falls" none of us had ever done it before. It wasn't as I expected, but interesting none the less. We were happy it wasn't summer with the lines, humidity and heat.

They have small portals to look out, just next to the falls.

Here's a look at the other side.

We travelled further along the tunnel to some openings.

The rushing water was amazing. It was behind the falls. It's hard to see with all the white, but it is water. falling. Over 1.5 million bathtubs worth of water falls every second. Now that's a lot of water.

Mind numbing, the facts they give you.

Incredible nature.

It was nice to see it in the winter time.
And it was a good weekend with family.

Have a good one,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

pluggin' along

I'm very late with a newborn present for my friend who's baby was born last fall. But I wanted to do something with a little extra oompf, as i know she will appreciate the extra time. I've decided to make a better version of my
Eensy Spider block

I'm taking my time and making extra stitches. I want this project to be for me. Not a rush to get something into some one else's hands and check it off the list.
Oh, and when you leave your camera lying around, you never know what will show up. Like I said, Club Penguin is big around here.

It's a raging snow storm outside. I don't know how long it is to last, but I'm home a lone, in the silence and warmth and will now go to my sewing room to create.

have a good one,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

some books

Some new books from the library for inspiration

I love this button calendar. that would take a bit of time and patience, but I can imagine some extra buttons with a bday cake on it or other holiday buttons.

I like the shape of this mobile. Worth a go for newborns.

This book has some fun things. But boy, would it take some time to make. All. Hand. Sewn.

I was trying to figure out how to cheat on some things, but nope, hand sewing would be better.

Yep, the library is great to check out some inspiration without committing to buying.
These days, I'm all about the quest for inspiration and a little short on actual doing. Maybe if I cleaned my room of the mountain of sweaters?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

fimo wizardry

My creative friend, Charlotte, of ta da! I made it!takes requests for birthday presents. Well, she did for me.
Club Penguin and Angry birds are big at our house these days. So I requested a little bigger than usual pendants of fimo. And when you add her magic hands, you get some cool stuff!

I don't want to say a lot about it all. I'll let her do it on her blog. So, click
here and see what she says.
( I'm putting this up before she has her post. I'll edit when she puts her post up to a direct link to it. Right now, you're getting her general blog)


Thursday, January 12, 2012


My boy turned 8 today!

8 Trips around the sun. 8 wonderful years of growing.
My sensitive boy.
My energetic boy.
My competitive boy to do his best in sports.
My running boy.
My boy who likes to dance freely to various musical styles.
My boy who likes to play video games.
My boy who likes to help cook.
My boy who likes to play with his sister.
My boy who says, "I love you" to his sister and draws her pictures.
My boy who stands still next to me, waiting for a hug.
My boy who has brought so much to our lives. A laugh, giggle, snort. Not always in that order.
Happy Happy.

Happy Birthday Rafael. You are much loved by many.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

dog puppet

Here's the dog puppet from Warm Fuzzies (see details in post below)

Bit pink isn't it!

Love that little fuzzy, bent ear.

Here it is hangin' with the cat. They won't be together for long. They're jammin' it up as much as they can.

I went and got myself into a musical production of Hello Dolly. I used to do musical theatre when I first moved here, but haven't done it since I met my husband 12 years ago. It seems kind of strange to go back into this. the last time, I was single, young, childless. Basically, just me, to do whatever I wanted, where ever. Now, 12 years later, I'm married, got kids and am just that much more grown up. Oh, and I'm over 40. Anyone else over 40 have that "I don't give a crap" thing goin' on? You know, your filter is not always on and you just don't care (within reason) what other people think. I heard it happened at 40. now I'm living it. Kind of liberating somehow. My husband got it too last year. He didn't understand what I was talking about. Now he does.
Anyhow, I digress. Point is, it should be interesting to be involved in something that will take up my time and take me away from my family on a regular basis. Show's in late March. i'll tell you more as we get closer.


Monday, January 9, 2012

cat puppet

Last fall, I made this

for a birthday present for a 1 year old. (Pattern from Betz White's Warm Fuzzies)
I've decided that it will be THE gift for 1 year olds. I seem to have a few of them in my life these days.
This one's for Caleb...A cool cat who started walking at 9 months! 9 Months! The third child. This little bitty thing, walking/teetering/falling/getting back up and going on again, 9 months. Too little to see if you weren't looking down! Bless his mama. My nerves would be shot! :}

Ahhh, look at that stitching and the fibres of the wool. Isn't it bea.u.ti.ful? It makes me feel calm. You too? Or am I just weird? ( please don't answer if you're one of my non-crafting friends who's eyes glaze over when asked about my new sewing machine! lol)

I made the tongue from 2 pieces of 100% wool felt. I sewed them together in a tongue shape, then cut it out from the rectangle.

He's a happenin' dude doncha think?

Next time, I'll show you the cool pink doggie from the same book.