Sewing Class: Fabric Buckets

Last night I ventured into the city for school.  Well actually a class.  I felt all the nerves of a freshman college student.  I signed up for an intermediate sewing class, Fabric buckets: 210 at Spool of Thread.  It was abit nerve wracking to put myself out there but I know this is the only way to get better at it.   I'm basically re-teaching myself from junior high home ec. class.  Let's just say it's been a while.  
The fabric buckets were time consuming but not difficult.  I had never worked with interfacing so that was new.  The instructor was helpful and gave useful tips I'm sure I will use in the future.  I only made one major 'oh no'.  I accidentally sewed the gap closed that was meant to flip the fabric to the outside.  Yup, I was the only one busting out the seam ripper during the class.  Not the worst mistake but we were in a time crunch so it slowed me down.  Surprisingly one of the hardest parts on the night was deciding on fabric.  I was like a kid in a candy store.  It took me over 10 minutes to pick two fabrics.  They have the most amazing selection. I would highly recommend checking it out.  Along with classes, you can rent a sewing machine by the hour to work on projects.  

The evening was challenging and what I needed. Small group with very hands on instructions.  Anyone in for taking a class with me?  I'm considering the 256: Zipper Pouches.

Will be making more of these lovelies in the future.  Picking out the fabric will be half the fun!

Dinosaur Birthday Party for my Five Year Old

Oliver is five.  Wow.  I can remember the day he was born so clearly.  Every detail etched in my mind.  It was a hard labour but a joyous one.  
Oliver is the sweetest boy.  Just a few days ago he spontaneously came up to me as I was wiping off the kitchen table after dinner, gave me a big hug and said 'you are so beautiful mommy."  I cried happy tears.  

The big dinosaur party for my new five year old was a great day.  I was pretty nervous about the weather but it turned out fine.  Cool but dry.  I can handle that.  Oliver had about 10 little buddies come celebrate with him on Saturday morning at the park.  I love celebrating birthdays and making sure my kids feel special on those days.  I wonder if it's because I love celebrating my birthday and always felt so special growing up. My birthday landed on a national holiday which meant that everyone had the day off, it was summer and their was always fireworks at the end of the day.  I always felt so loved and special.  And I want the same for my child.  Not just one day of the year but always.  

Oliver requested a dinosaur theme.  He had a safari theme the year before so I wasn't thrilled about the choice at first.  The thought of a typical brown, orange and lime green birthday wasn't doing it for me.  I needed to do something different.  I played around with some colours and I finally decided on grey, navy and leaf green.  I can work with that.

Everything came together nicely.  I'm a detailed person so I carefully planned a few key items.  Some of my favourites were the mini party hats on the dinosaurs, fossil dig in the dirt and candy jars.  Overall it was an easy party to plan and not expensive.  It's amazing the stuff you can find at a good dollar store.  

Because the weather wasn't looking great, I knew I needed to have shelter just in case.  We have a park close by with a picnic shelter but it doesn't have any tables or chairs so I was lucky to borrow some small tables and chairs from our church.  

I made a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing.  I found a new recipe and it was amazing.  The boys loved the chocolate rocks.

Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Buttercream Icing from The Kitchen Magpie
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 one ounce squares of melted then cooled semi-sweet chocolate
  • ½ tsp instant coffee
  • 1-2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 3¼ - 3¾ cups icing sugar

  1. Melt your three chocolate squares in the microwave, slowly and carefully until they are liquidy smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whip the butter in your mixer until it's light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the cocoa, beating until combined.
  4. When the chocolate is cool, add it to the butter. Make sure it's cooled!!
  5. Add the instant coffee to one tablespoon of cream, then add to the butter mixture.
  6. Now you can put in the icing sugar one cup at a time, beating until combined.
  7. Adjust the thickness/texture by using another tablespoon of cream, adding it slowly until the texture you want is achieved.

I had fun with the menu.  I bought things I normally don't [aka corn dogs and bugles] and kept it simple.  

Navy gift bags from the dollar store worked great for the goodie bags.  Each child got a dinosaur in their bag plus a dino sugar cookie, a fossil dinosaur from the dino dig and a mini candy jar.  I used white ink to stamp the kids names on the bags.

I cut out dino tracks from construction paper.

 Kids running carefree in the field.

 Auntie Lindsay taught the kids Red Rover to start the party off.

The mini candy jars were simple and looked great.  A friend gave me a bunch of empty baby food jars, I glue gunned the mini dinosaurs from the dollar store onto the lids and Trevor spray painted them.  Filled with candy and it was a perfect favour for each of the boys.

Dino sugar cookies were a great addition.  My no-fail sugar cookie recipe is on an early post from December 2013.  Found the cookie cutter at Scoop N Save.

Trevor hid this large dino egg in the forest for the kids to find.  Whoever found got to take it home.  Inside is a dinosaur that will emerge after a few days in water.  Egg is from the dollar store.  Pretty cool.

I had another activity planned but it failed.  I made mud dino eggs from a pin I found on Pinterest.  Forgot about them outside the night before and either a person or animal broke all of them open. 

This is what they should have looked like.

Here is the dino dig.  I order these small fossils on Amazon.  They came in a set of 12.  I hid them in the sand with scoops and then they had to dust them off with the brushes.

Unfortunately I couldn't keep the candles lit so Oliver had to pretend to blow out his candles.  Next time .... sparkler.

Cute little superheros.

Opening gifts after the party.  He was spoiled!

May 26th 2014: Oliver turns 5!  We are so blessed.  He brings us so much joy.

Oliver, Isla and myself went to Denny's for a birthday breakfast.  He ordered chocolate milk, spaghetti and mashed potatoes and gravy.  And he ate almost all of it.  

Oma, Opa, Auntie Lindsay and Uncle Kyle came over for pizza, cake and presents.  Here is Isla 'filming' as Oliver opens gifts.

Oliver got a new bike for his birthday but wasn't as excited about it as we had hoped.  We tried. I'm sure he will eventually like it.  

We all had a great day celebrating our little man.  He must have had a fun day because he slept till 10am the next day.  

The little things

This past week I scored a good deal on my local bidding site.  It's a site where you win some and you loose some.  I've got items that were great and some that I was truly disappointed.  You base your bid on a small picture and someone elses opinion of their item.  So you are always taking a risk but it can pay off.

This week I got an almost new, in the box HP colour print.  It doesn't sound that cool or fabulous but I love to print things off Pinterest for myself and the kids.  And to do it, I've been taking my UBS to Staples when I'm out running errands.  I have to drop it off and then pick up a day later when it's ready.  Doing this task with two small children is annoying.  They don't like it and I don't like it.  So this is going to save me trips to Staples, my children trying to eat the random suckers at the front of the store and paying more for printing then I need to.  Yes, I was thoroughly excited about my $8.00 colour printer.  

It's the little things in life.

Here are a few links to printables I adore.  You can find tons of great free printables on Pinterest.  Easy way to decorate your home, to give to a friend as a gift and encourage yourself when you need it .... I put mine on my fridge.

1. I Heart Naptime: Great DIY blog and a variety of different printables that let you get creative.

2. Craftaholicsanonymous: If you love to craft and have a craft room.  Which one day I hope to have!

3.Confessions of a Recovering Chocoholic: This is a great website for those that like to make lists and be organized.  I love to make lists and need to write everything down.

3. Yellow Bliss Road: Save this for September.  Great way to remember these milestones.

4.  Between you and Me: Cute yellow 'You are my Sunshine' printable.

5. Tried and True Blog: Free printable you can colour.

6. A little Umbrella: These are so pretty.  I've printed a few off because they are so encouraging.

7.Simple As That Blog: Simple and Cute.  I have a few of these in our playroom.

8. J and A and Co: Great bathroom or bedroom printables.  Again, used one in the playroom.

9. It's Always Autumn: This has a link to 20 different free beautiful printables.

10. The Handmade Home:  Just came across this blog and it's fantastic.  Lots of amazing printables from organizing your kids closets, gift tags to cute nursery art.

Enjoy getting organized, decorating your home and encouraging someone who needs it with these free printables.  

A Complete Project: Our New Entrance Chair

This project is a special one.  It's the first piece of furniture I refinished over a year ago.  I found it at a local thrift store.  When I found it, I didn't realize that it would take more skill and expertise than I had.  I contacted Deen at Revamp in Langley and she took me through a few projects and this was one of them.  I wanted to learn how to refinished furniture for myself but didn't know back then it would turn into more.  I'm still learning project by project.  This chair is a Morris Chair.  They were made between 1890-1930.  I'm not sure how old this one is but I'm sure it has a few years on it.  Once painted, I needed to redo the cushions.  This was where I was stopped in my tracks.  I knew I was beyond my skill level.  I contacted a friend to help but that is a lot to ask someone and she was willing to help me but I didn't want to take the chance of ruining nice, expensive fabric.  Not really a project to learn on.  The cushions sat for over a year.  I finally found some nice quality fabric at Hobby Lobby and was determine to get this chair finished.  A side note, I love Hobby Lobby and wish we had one closer.  I think I went about 6-8 times in one week while I was in Arizona.  With their coupons, I couldn't stop myself.  This past month I took the fabric and cushions in to a seamstress I have used before and had her make new cushions.  By far the most expensive part of the project.  I needed to source this part out and I'm glad I did.  As much as I wasn't thrilled with how much I paid to have the new cushions made, I can appreciate those who do have those skills I don't and feel they deserve to be paid for them.  As I start to do custom work, I need to realize I have skills and abilities that people are willing to pay me for.  So it needs to be worth my time and energy.  I appreciate when people see that and let me create for them. 

Please note: some pictures have a small black mark on them due to a error on my camera.

A wreath to match on our front door I made from burlap

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