Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Up, up and away!

If only these were real... I would love to take a ride in a hot air balloon. I am always fascinated by the pictures I see of a sky full of hot air balloons. Just go to Google and type in hot air balloon images and you will get more colour than you can imagine.

My kids have just gone back to school after having 2 weeks off for Spring Break. For the first week, they stayed home. And it rained. And rained. And then hailed, snowed and rained some more. We had little 20 or 30 minute pockets of no rain where I would shoo them outside for fresh air. But other than that, we were inside.

So, in order that we didn't just watch movie after movie (oh, don't get me wrong, there were plenty of movies that got viewed that first week!! But that's not ALL we did for the first week of Spring Break!) we did rainy day (week) activities. And the biggest project was our hot air balloons. On the first day, we did one layer of paper mache. The 2nd day, we did another layer. That 2nd night, after the balloons had spent all day drying by the vent, the kids got to pop their balloons and hear it peel away from the inside of the soon-t0-be hot air balloon. On the third day, we painted and decorated the balloons. For every step along the way, there were 4 of us at the table working. But for the last step, of adding jewels and a basket, etc, I had to work with the kids one on one. I put the embellishments on with a hot glue gun, so just one got to be there at a time.

Here are the finished hot air balloons. I love how they turned out, and now the kids will get to enjoy them in their bedrooms.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

There's still time to Sale-a-brate!!

Sale-a-Bration time is still on right now!!! Click here for more info.

Have you taken advantage of the great products in this year's Sale-a-bration brochure? Customers can choose a FREE item for every $60 purchased! Offer is on until this Saturday, March 31st.

Check out the Sale-a-bration brochure HERE - expires March 31st

To see the current Occasions mini catalogue, click HERE - expires April 30th

To see what else is new and exciting with Stampin' Up! right now, head over to my website HERE... there are always great deals at the Clearance Rack, and fun new designs with My Digital Studio.

News about the Current Idea Book and Catalogue.... Stampin' Up! is happy to announce a new catalogue schedule. More on that later, but I need to mention that this current catalogue will now be retiring on May 31st (not June 30th as is written on the back of the catty) so make sure any of your "must-haves" are purchased before the end of May to avoid disappointment. The full product line can be viewed HERE.

Happy Stamping!!

Another finish...

I found this list of quilting rules on Pinterest... I did my very best to follow them all, but came very close to breaking #1 on several occasions over the last few days! Straight pins are very dangerous... I bled a lot, but I think I was able to keep it off the quilt :)

Scott, my 9-year-old, has just moved into a room of his own. Up until now, he has shared with his brother. To celebrate Scott's new room, and as a birthday present from me, I made him a quilt. Before I started, I asked him a series of questions...

Do you like dogs or horses?
Do you like rainbows or camouflage?
Do you like boats or cars?
Do you like forests or lighthouses?
Do you like polka dots or plaid?

You get the idea...

He answered the questions, not knowing what I wanted the answers for. But while he was away over Spring Break, I did my best to find some of his choices, in fabric, to use in his quilt.

I cut out 8 1/2" squares and then cut them into triangles and sewed them back together into squares. Each pattern piece had a solid to complete the square... pretty basic, but then I spent a long time getting them in the right order. Gotta say, that part probably took me longer than it should have, and I am glad the kids weren't home because I used the entire living room to organize myself, and they would have wanted to play there!

Quilt front finished and hanging on the blinds. It stayed there for 2 days!!

I finished binding the quilt a few minutes ago, and put it on his bed. He has seen it unfinished and loved it. So yesterday, after school, he painted the artwork shown here, to match the quilt and decorate his room. It is using masking tape and acrylic paint, on stretched canvas. Pretty crafty guy!!

I had asked him to design a quilt the week before, and he did a striped design, which I incorporated on the back of the quilt. Originally, my plan was to quilt-as-I-go on these stripes, but after one trip across the quilt, I realized this was way too big for me to manage on my small machine. So.... I pieced the back in his striped design and then just tied the quilt afterwards. I think it will hold together fine. It has more of a poofy blanket feel, rather than a tightly quilted piece. I guess I have to pay more than $30 at the Sally Ann for my sewing machine if I want to be able to handle quilting blankets that are bigger than a baby blankie!

He also said he wanted his name on the quilt, so I used my Big Shot and alphabet die with some fabric adhesive sheets from SU! and ironed on his name.

Todd said he's next for a quilt!! He wants it in yellow. I think my pin-pricked fingers need a break... or else I need to find a thimble that doesn't make me feel clumsier than I already am!

My Husband... the chef!

I love it that my husband loves to cook and try new recipes that he finds. The latest delight is something I found on Pinterest, and when he saw this he said, "How does this whole Pinterest thing work?" I seized my opportunity, and created a "Recipes for Steve" board on Pinterest, which he has been happily pinning to ever since. And I have discovered that if I pin it, he will cook it. I love that so much!

Hasselback Potatoes. Try them... Tonight! You will love them. I want them with dinner every day. I don't think I would ever get sick of them. Thanks to Pinterest... we found them and have now tried them. Here's the original link to the recipe: Hasselback Potatoes

Steve did them on the BBQ and they were scrumptious!

Of course... if you give a wife a Hasselback potato, she's going to want some tasty cedar plank salmon to go with it. And if you give her that tasty salmon, she's going to ask if you have any shrimp :)
Yum. Yum. Yum!!!

I wonder what I should pin for Steve to cook tomorrow night! Actually, his cooking habit has become a weekend thing since he has been blessed with a job locally. I don't think I wrote another update since the Valentine post on him driving in Alberta. But he is back for the time being and enjoying his job of driving for a local garden business. He does overnight trips to the Interior of BC, Vancouver Island, as well as local day trips.

Monday, March 26, 2012

An Easter dress for Elise

My sweet little girl is quite a character. While some little girls are "girly-girls" she is the epitome of tomboy. I love it! She isn't afraid of dirt, she doesn't mind hand-me-downs and she won't be easily swayed by the latest fashion must-haves. However, we do run into some minor problems on the rare occasion that I really want her to dress up. Take Easter, for instance. It's a good dressing-up sort of occasion. But, Elise thought a pair of school uniform pants would suffice. I decided to put my mommy foot down, and say that, this Easter, she would wear a dress.

Have you heard of Pinterest? It's my new addiction. Well, I typed in a search for "dresses for little girls" on Pinterest and up came hundreds of dresses. Beautiful, elegant, totally-appropriate-for-Easter, kinds of dresses. She liked one. Just ONE! Out of about 300 in total that we looked at, she chose 1. I could have tried to find it in a store, but I just happened to have a metre of the same fabric (green gingham) in my stash, so I thought I would make it instead. The dress I made doesn't look exactly like the one she chose, but it was the same colour, and had no sleeves, so she said she liked it. And she said she would wear it for Easter.

It's not fancy, and as you can see, she has no trouble climbing on fences in it!

Easter isn't here yet, and I've already gotten her to wear it once! Maybe I put both feet down :)

These are a few pictures that I took of Elise in her new Easter dress after church yesterday saying hello to Papa's chickens... you see, this is also the sort of dress that you can run around the grass in, and visit chickens while wearing!

Here's a view of the back - I had a zipper all ready to go, and then I decided that I would rather put 3 cute little ties on the back to hold it closed than fight with a zipper. I've done zippers and they aren't a big problem, but I thought this was cuter.

We were in Victoria picking up our kids who had spent the week with Grammie and Papa for Spring Break. Elise said that if she had to have all these pictures taken, then the boys should be in at least one of them! They happily obliged me, and were so glad they weren't the main focus of my camera that day :)

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Another birthday gift

Todd's birthday party was yesterday... that post is coming soon, but I still have to get a few pics off of our phones before the photo story can be completed!

Today, Todd is at a party for one of the girls from his class. For this party, the invitation stated that it is a "$5 party" so he was to creatively wrap $5 and that was all he was allowed to give. We came up with an idea this morning to creatively turn $5 into artwork. I wonder if she will keep the coins like this, or if she will peel them all off to spend. Since the picture didn't look complete with just the $5, there is actually about $7 here, but I didn't care! Scott helped Todd make this art, and I think they did a great job!! They are attached with Stampin' Up! glue dots, which will just peel off when she wants to spend some of this money, and it is on a painting canvas, so she can technically use that again, as well.

I also thought she should have something more, and since her favourite colour is blue, I asked Todd if he wanted me to make up a tote to use as the gift bag, and then she can use that for a piano book bag, or whatever she wants to carry in it. I made it in less than an hour, just in time for the party!!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Teacher Birthday Present

Todd's teacher is celebrating her birthday this weekend, and she has often commented on the bags I make. So, I thought I would make her a teacher-y bag for her special day. I have seen lots of owl patterns around, but I'm not really one to follow a pattern (or a recipe, as my husband likes to point out!) so I drew a quick sketch up last night and then got 'er done! Just put the finishing top stitches on and took a couple pictures. Hope she likes it! I think it will make a cute bag to bring her books to and from school, or carry her marking in. The floral fabric is some of my favourite fabric that I bought a couple years ago to make a different purse called a Phoebe bag. I posted about that project HERE.


Back... I added a full-width pocket on the back:

Inside... 2 smaller pockets inside: