Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Granny-up Tutorial

How to Granny-up your old tee-shirt.
I have a problem with gaping neck-lines. (Probably from the way I nurse my babies. It's very destructive to tee-shirts.) So here's how I solved the problem. It requires: one old teeshirt; one old granny doily. (I love old granny doilies). A sewing machine helps, but hand-sewing would be almost as quick. Note: I apologize for the grainy photos.

First, lay out your doily and your shirt.

Fold the doily in half and sew along the straight edge.

Next, turn the shirt inside-out and lay the doily on the neckline, wherever you want it to go.

Pin it in place.

Turn the shirt right-side-out, to make sure the doily is where you want it.

Sew along the neckline on the outside, to secure it.

Here it is being snuggled-upon! No more gaping shirt front.

Here it is in another colour (it was only pinned at this point, so it's a bit flopsy.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Me and My Honey

...Just hanging out. Everyone else is on the floor with bad colds. We are drinking lots and lots of broth and ginger-fire-tea. My little marsupial is only happy if he is physically attached to me, so he is my Sling Baby night and day. I'll get back to you when we're feeling better! Be well, my friends!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Sewing

Stage one. Ripping. I take a seam-ripper to my favourite skirt. It is handmade from an old batik print. I will probably never find another one like it, and it is the Perfect Skirt. The scholarly gentleman likes to see me in skirts.
Stage two: I carefully lay out the pieces on a boring grey fabric that I will actually wear. The baby is extremely helpful:
Stage Three. Abandon previous stages and find sewing things for boys, who are clamoring for a project of their own. Nurse baby. Start bread. Read some stories on the floor. Oh my, look at the time! Clean up sewing project for the day.

I have resorted to making my own clothes, since I cannot find what I need:
Pleases the scholarly gentleman
Pleases me
Can be stuffed into a backpack
Can be removed from backpack and worn to Mass
Can be spit-up upon and washed hurriedly in the sink and worn for the rest of the day
Can be worn climbing a tree (with the appropriate underpinnings, of course)
Can be worn to my music students' classes
Can be worn the next day

Now that's not unreasonable, is it? Anyway, I'll keep you updated, and maybe you can send me pictures or pattern-links to your favourite clothes. What do you like to wear?

Friday, April 23, 2010


With the lengthening evenings, our gypsy side emerges. In the early evening, the scholarly gentleman and I pack children and a pile of sauerkraut and apples (a wholesome, but not entirely filling, supper) into the trailers, and we head up the Trail. The boys get a swanky ride, and the scholarly gentleman and I get real, grown-up conversation, without interruptions. Everyone gets tuckered out. Except him:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Art Supplies

While I don't really enjoy reading blogs that are all about things I've just bought, or worse, things I want to buy...I had to post this discovery, for you fellow mums out there. A whole pile of modeling beeswax! It's from the etsy shop twinkleofmyeye.

And while you cool mums probably make your own felt beads, I had to post this wonderful picture, from HeartfeltHandworks. Doesn't that just make you want to have sheep?

And finally, this inspiring stuff...homemade, natural playdough scented with essential oils! How heavenly. From mamaKs.

I am more and more intrigued by the counter-culture of home-based economy. Let's support these little businesses, and get our children's hands into the good stuff.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Friday: {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by the always-inspiring SouleMama.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rather Bland Thursday

Just showing off some of the baby toys I've been working on. (The soft-structure cube in foreground). I hope to put some into the shop soon. Baby not included.

Also, some Queen Anne's Lace on a little shirt....

...with scraps of linen. Oh, I couldn't be happier with this! Now I just need a daughter to fill it.

The rest of us are deeply engrossed in creative work. (Art so powerful it requires safety goggles.)

and some of us are just having a down day. Happy rather bland Thursday, everyone!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Picnic Season

There are so many things I'm dying to write about, so many wild, interesting, silly, beautiful things...But a single picture will have to do for now. We inaugurated picnic season, this weekend.
Note: that large, hairy leg is not mine.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy, beautiful, gorgeous Sunday, friends!

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Shoes

My husband and I were discussing the possibility of boycotting China-made goods. At least, I was talking passionately, and he was working on a paper. (Sometimes I think my conversation helps to focus his mind on his work.)

Anyway, Matthias needed new shoes this week. He had completely worn out his hand-me-down Robeez (little leather moccasins), which had survived 3 little crawler/climbers and were completely toast.

I went to a shoe store to buy a new pair. As I was pulling out my wallet, an awful, economizing, anti-factory sentiment came over me. (Robeez, a Canadian company, are now manufactured in China.) What happened, I thought guiltily, to my commitment to "make it myself, buy second-hand, or do without"?

So I went home and took a seam-ripper to the old, holey shoes. Voila! A pattern.

Then I rummaged in the basement for for that ripped-up leather jacked that my husband was using for book-binding, and discovered a little jack-pot of leather scraps.

I traced the pattern, and made...

A new pair! Here they are, after being worn for a day or two.

Actually I made two pairs, the first being a tad big. That's alright.

Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the process. I forgot all about the camera in the passion of the moment. Silly me.

But there are all kinds of soft shoe patterns out there, including this free one. Here's how it all looks from where I stand:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Busy-ness

Brown and black, popular Easter colours....

Feral children....

...difficult to catch on camera.

...and very shy.