Sunday, October 28, 2012

jedi - in the dress up box

It has been the weekend of parties for this wee fella. Good times. But i have to say...we are both pooped.

One was a starwars party and Jed's cousin's party at the local climbing wall was the very next day. His friends were dressing up for the star wars party and Jed hatched a plan to dress up too. I had to dig deep into my stash. I found some brown cotton jersey and got cutting the night before. I found THIS post outlining how to make a jedi robe which made the whole process super fast. Thank you Craftster and Tank Grrl! And i had a sudden flash of how cool it is to be able to sew and whip these things up. Gratitude. It's a beautiful thing.
 Serious business, this being a Jedi Master.
Love the moves. For someone who hasn't seen the Starwars movies yet, he is definitely channelling the force. But then his middle name is Isaac.
That look and the hand movement just gets me. (and you get a peek into my crazy closet)

Jed woke me up that morning all ready to go saying, "C'mon...lets go to Lenny's party mama!".
It was 5.45am.
Party started at 4pm.
It was a long wait.
Finally on his way...

These little dudes have all grown up together. Our paths don't cross as often as they did, but they are good friends and it is always special to see them together. They already talk about the 'good old days'...and they're five. Thanks for the good times birthday boy parents!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

leaves and sticks

 New leaf....
 Old leaf...
 ...and a project.
A new friend put me onto a great book: Playful Learning: develop your child's sense of joy and wonder. Written by Maria Bruehl, it has the subtitle: Simple activities to promote reading, writing, math, science and social skills in children ages 4 to 6. Pretty longwinded title but a darn fine description of it's contents. This book is a gem. One for the bookshelf, it's a keeper.

To make the books:
You need blank paper, a hole punch, sticks, rubber bands. That's it!
You thread the rubber band around the stick and feed it through the hole and through the other hole and onto the stick on that side...hereby securing the pages. Uh huh. Brilliant. Easy and a satisfying quick project for the kids.
So great to have blank books ready to go for the kidlets.

Such a genius idea. I am only a few chapters into the Playful Learning book...can't wait to see what else will unfold in the next pages. Thanks Zanetta for the book recommendation!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

summer sewing

{er, sewing geek-out disclaimer-Come back tomorrow if not that way inclined! xx)

I turned up at the Sew Fun retreat with a basketful of vintage fabrics from my stash and a book.
No clue what i was going to make. Yup, folks, i had lost my sewing mojo. Two disasters in a row and a very very disappointing market had me down.
But it turned out kinda fun to wing it.
The book was Simple Modern Sewing: 8 basic patterns to create 25 garments, by Shufu To Seikatsu Sha.

I have been ogling it, untouched, on my bookshelf since my birthday.
I used the cap sleeved top (7b) but didnt have quite enough fabric to put elastic in the sleeve hems so i put a wee tuck in which did the trick nicely:
 I especially like the binding method of finishing the neckline, so easy and so neat:

This book is a keeper. Clear instructions in english, simple designs that are easily tweaked to put your own twist on them, and FAST. I like that.
The finished summer shirt, in between crazily strong gusts of wind:


And, since i am currently procrastinating on making some Surf lifesaver shorts for the local market on Labour Day monday, i whipped up another shirt out of the same pattern. I used a soft polkadot chambray. This time using the binding method to finish the sleeve into a simple tank top. I shaped the back hem to be longer too. Feels kinda sneaky to be sewing for myself somehow. He he.

Two of my favourite creations:
Just love that wee man so much.

Friday, October 12, 2012

nest wonder

 I would have walked right past. Isn't it amazing what children see?
We checked back later and saw the mama bird sitting in the nest.
Jed couldn't believe his luck.

One of Jed's most treasured possessions is a beautiful blue broken egg shell. He found it several years ago and has often wondered what kind of bird hatched from it.
Tonight he compared his eggshell fragments to the photo we took of the nest and it's beautiful blue eggs with brown speckles. Blackbird!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

baby seal

Look who we bumped into on the beach.
Poor wee tired mite.
What you can't see is the heavy rain, strong winds and very very high waves.

I hope the mama seal found the little critter.
There have been a few sighted lately. Rumour has it that it's weaning season and this is seal tough love. Another rumour has it that seas are wild and they get seperated.
I don't know enough about seals to verify either rumour. I just hope the mama seal came to the rescue.
It reminded me of THIS
And promptly did a little 'whoa, was that really three years ago' sort of a spin-out.
Nothing like kids or a blog to track time for you, huh?!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

an owl in the making

I love it when the day gets hijacked by something that wasn't in the plan.
Like this owl for example.
We were learning about owls this particular week.
Jed drew an awesome one then had the idea to make an owl out of fabric.
Lunch could wait, the creative process waits for no meal.
We gathered a bunch of fabrics deemed 'owlish'. (Believe me, alot were vetoed, this was a guy with a vision - read, mama quietly shelving hers!) And pretty much started cutting.
In an hour Jed was stuffing it. We used sheepswool. He proudly sewed parts of it himself.
And this is the mess that happens when that creative flow is in full force. No doubt that's my boy!

Owl is much loved and lives on Jed's bed with the rest of his clan...Leaf, rainbow gnome and co. I love how Jed's room is evolving as he grows. Such a magical space and he so loves it. Before he was born i wrote in my journal about how i wanted his room to be a place of sanctuary, rest and joy to him. A place of his very own. It brings me much happiness to see that come to pass.
And you know...so many parenting expectations (even ones you didn't realise were lurking),well, different in reality. In good ways as well as the odd challenging one. So i am kinda basking in this one.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

channelling bear

So, a year ago a friend put a Bear Grylls Man vs Wild episode on for all the kids to watch while us grown up were eating pasta and drinking wine. Jed was the youngest of the boys by FAR. We don't do TV so i hadn't heard of Bear Grylls and i wasn't sure about it. But goodness me did he ever make an impression on young Jed. Let's just say i heard alot about Bear in the year that followed. I put Jed off from requesting his DVD from the library again and again. Then, much to Jed's delight...one day last week i had no resistance left (might have been the chest infection that i havent been able to shake for four weeks now!) and he proudly received a Bear Grylls DVD from his favourite librarian.
Bear Gryll's fever has officially hit the household. The man is pretty awesome and seems a truly nice dude.
And there is lots of this...climbing, bivouac making and attempting to catch fish in our bare hands Bear Gryll's type of adventures. I love it. I used to be staff out at the YMCA camp and am well versed in the outdoors survival stuff. I especially liked the challenging groups of teenagers. (Ask me about the time i got speared by angsty teen while eeling in the river sometime) Good healthy fun.
And i have a theory. In this discombobulated world where we are often cut off from the origins of our food, getting back to basics and finding the food and shelter you need does wonders for the soul. It's like you know, if it all goes down, you'll be okay. It's like a quiet underlying confidence you build the rest of your world on. Especially important for young folks i think.
And, the view. Oh, the view.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

heart and soul gardening

These past few years we've been sitting on the fence. About whether to stay in our glorious wee corner of the world, or move on. And so, i haven't thrown myself heart and soul into the garden here. We always have a garden of sorts going. Certainly the medicinal herbs i use and greens and yes, some years the garden has been amazing but often i hold back. I have been thinking about that. I think i would like to live differently. I mean, i dance like no-one is watching and sing like no-one is listening, so i figure i'll garden like i'll get to reap the harvest. Someone will. And what a gift that would be!
Jed is on it. He has planted his seeds. We got a little crafty on the plant pots and used toilet rolls. I cut slits in the bottom and folded them up evenly to make a base. Jed was convinced it wasn't going to work. Ha!
I reckon we can just undo the folds and pop these babies right into the ground.
We do have one little problem i need to address before planting day. The S word.
Uh huh. Slugs. We suddenly have a gazillion of the little beagles. They love the straw mulch it seems.
I'll have to get back to you on that one. It'll be an organic solution, a friendly to other critters sort of solution.
What exactly is beyond me at this sleep deprived point.
 It's just such a miracle isn't it? The whole seed germinating and growing milarky. It never gets old.
 The little faces light up in wonder. The older ones too come to think of it.
The seedlings in the back are from Weathersfield Organics. I bumped into the founder years ago at East West Organics and she made quite an impression. I like knowing who i buy from. It's the next best to growing my own or buying from the farmer's market.