Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's been a long time

It seems my posts always start this way, beginning with how it's been so long since I last posted. My excuse this time is I was taking a very much needed break from almost anything related to sewing pads~including my blog. My pad break is over and I'm ready to slowly get back to sewing up some pads, I actually have some almost ready to list, I had hoped to be listing them this very moment but we were so busy this morning that the snaps didn't get done, this afternoon for sure though. If all goes as planned they'll be in my shop by Monday afternoon.

We (not me really) finally got a start on our kitchen renovations, what a luxury to have a functioning window and more counter space. I've been doing so much extra cooking, oh and a dishwasher is a real treat. I do feel like a energy consuming monster with it though and still wash at least one sink of dishes a day to maintain my once a day dishwasher run rule.

My break from here hasn't been all true productivity, I've fallen so in love with all the wonderful support, creativity, and knowledge I've found in the blogs of other women. I do hope in time to start to share some knowledge back, for now here's a start with some finds that have been helpful to me...

~sew yourself the best skirt ever (seriously, I've made three of these skirts for myself and want one more from before our cottage vacation, I've LIVED in these skirts this summer. I should get pictures of mine posted)

~make big batch yogurt (I've been making my own yogurt for over a year, but in a rinky-dink little yogurt maker. The small batches meant I was always rationing the yogurt (who wants that!?) Now we have lots of yogurt and lots of smoothies and smoothie pops, it's the only way I can get plain yogurt into my kids)

~Amazing tutorials for little girls clothing, so many great resources here.

~and this dress, I need several for Rowan's fall wardrobe (yes, I'm thinking about fall sewing & knitting)

~one more thing...this waterfall hair trick is saving me this summer

there, I feel better or sharing I really need to sign up for Pinterest to store all my online wishes, there's sooo much inspiration out there!

I hope to be back soon but it's summer, kids are home, the kitchen needs more work, there's sewing to do, swimming, garden harvests too, oh and canning...I better get started on the relish this week.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Custom Minky and a Custom Wetbag

Here's another custom order, another really customized custom order. Often I learn so much from my customers when working on a custom order, and gather many ideas to better serve all of you! Here's the specifications on this one...

~each minky topped pad (these are 14.5" length) has a full body of PUL (rather than just the core backed as I usually do it)
~the customer want to be able to identify them as having PUL so I stitched an X on each wing.

The wetbag was customized too, using larger pads may you need a bigger wetbag too. This one is 10" x 10" and is my new dual zipper wet/dry style.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Over a month!

I do have visions and ideas to use this space more often, but I'm terrible at it so far. It's been over a month since I posted last. I've been really busy, that's my excuse I suppose. I've been making the choice to stay home more often, I was often running out for this or that and realized all these errands were not that necessary and were eating into my time (and budget-gas prices, especially for a 12 year old van OUCH!). So, I've been staying home much more, spending time outside nearly everyday and just making do with what we have on hand. Rowan is even enjoying walks in her stroller, I think for the first time in her life! There's been a lot of sewing going on because I've got so much fabric that I need to use it up, it's taking up too much space. I also went through my overflowing basket of clothing that I intended to re-purpose, it's been sorted into piles and I'm making my way through it.

I made these little boxer briefs yesterday and I'm so happy with how they turned out. They're made from a favorite jersey sweater I had (see photo below for the sweater story!). I was so happy with these boxers that I had Q put them on right after school so I could see if they fit well enough that I could make more. They fit him perfectly and when I asked him if they were comfy he said 'yes, everything you make is comfortable' <3 Can I also tell you that he's reading on his own now? It's been a journey but he's doing it, and I'm so proud...more importantly he is too.

This is the sweater I used for those boxers, it was a favorite thrifted sweater that lasted all through my pregnancy with Rowan and beyond. Then the zipper broke (should I be surprised?!). The quality and stretch of the knit was worth hanging onto though so I've been using it for some sewing projects.

I've been cutting into some of my vintage fabrics too. I've realized that they've been sitting in my fabric drawers for a reason-I'm attached to them. I made these Star Wars napkins and put them in my shop. They sold already which is really great because every bit of extra money is needed.

And these hankies, another new sewing project with more vintage fabrics.
Pads, of course. No worries I'll always and forever make these gems :)
There's been much more sewing too, peasant shirts for the little girl. I'm hoping to make myself a couple smock style aprons because they seem to be dreadfully practical for holding clothes pegs and protecting myself from cooking spills and muddy toddler rain boots (which also often have a skim coating of chicken poo). I'd really like to try sewing myself a couple jersey knit shirts for summer-it's doable right?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Yarn Along :: Gifted Knits

Joining Ginny again...
I came up with this simple pattern for wrist warmers/fingerless gloves based on something my mom described to me...I hope I got it right because these are for her birthday. I think I'll need to make some for myself too (must jot down some pattern notes as I knit the second!!) I wasn't looking forward to making these, but this is my kind of mindless knitting, isn't it perfect how all these stitches become something?
I'm still reading the same book! I'm still enjoying it but I'm ready to put a little more time and effort into finishing it because I've gotten some new books that are tempting me, plus issues of Small Farm and Harrowsmith to catch up on.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Glad for more snow

I know, glad for more snow? I am, it's true. I'm not ready for spring yet, I've got more inside organizing and rearranging to do. Diapers to repair, orders to sew, summer skirts and shorts to make (see I am thinking of warmer weather, just not ready yet.) Knitting can at least travel outdoors with me, but there is so much work waiting for us outside that there will be no knitting under a tree for a long time. First will be getting these girls contained, then the yard cleaning that needs to be done. (For now the snow hides that mess from me, thank you snow).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yarn Along :: pink!

Joining Ginny for another Yarn Along
It's been quite a long time since I bought or wore anything pink. This is my Mustard Scarf, it's almost finished and I realized while working on it this morning that I somehow have gained an extra 10 stitches?! I'm just going to keep on going with it though, I don't think it will affect the finished look (not while it's on anyways!). Next I'm going to knit myself a 'Ela's Favorite Hat' from One Skein Wonders 101 Yarn Shop Favorites. My mom knit me one of these hats for Christmas and I've loved the fit so much and I wear it all the time.

Bill thought it strange that I should be knitting hats and scarfs this late in the season but I know there's still more winter left here and I need something new, bright, and pretty to get through the rest of it.

I'm still reading Sisters in the Wilderness from my last Yarn Along. I've become so interested in the lives of Catharine Parr Traill and Susanna Moodie, a main reason is because they were settled right here in the very area of Ontario we live in, the struggles they endured are just unbelievable, heart breaking, and often inspirational.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Customized Custom Order

I wanted to show this custom order I just finished, it's been a while since I've sewn any of the hunk fabric up (I'm actually almost out of it!). These are all 12.5" pads but have a core more suitable for average to moderate flow (rather than heavy flow) and the customer requested PUL too.

I've got to get back to some nap time projects, Rowan's birthday is coming up in just a little over a week and we're planning a mostly handmade birthday, but I've got nothing done yet!

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Wet & Dry Bags

Aren't these pretty? They're also very practical. These are wet/dry bags, after having a couple of custom requests for these (and making myself one) I decided to add them to my Etsy shop.
The front zippered pocket is lined with cotton (great for storing clean, dry pads) the top zippered section is lined with PUL to contain messy stuff. And of course you can hang it.
Use them for your cloth pads, cloth diapers, and family cloth. This bag is going to be very handy when potty learning starts, and for the pool/beach.

Friday, February 11, 2011

11" size re-drafted (again)

While working on a custom order a few weeks ago (for some 12.5" pads) it occurred to me that it would be great to re-draft my 11" pattern with a touch more flare to it. I hope you like it! It's not a huge flare, the back flare measures just a smidge wider now at 4.5".
I have three of these new 11" pads to list in my Etsy shop, plus a few other pads. Rowan *just* woke from a much shorter than normal nap so the listings will show up a bit slower than I'd hoped, sigh.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Catch All Post

I know there's ends that need tying up here, things I said I would post about and haven't here goes. Get ready to be overloaded!

I said I'd post about my Waldorf doll making experience and really all I can say is make one! It's a fun and easy project. That said be sure to have a thimble and bandages before you start...don't be scared! I just found that while forming the head I cut/pricked my fingers a few times (who said crafting was easy?) injuries aside it is NOT good to mark your work with a little smudge of blood, so just get some band aids in case.

I used this pattern for the body, it's a wonderful pattern. Read it through a couple times so you know exactly what you're doing. This seller also just came out with a 16" doll pattern which I grabbed up. I used this tutorial for the hair (the pattern I bought also has hair directions too, I just wanted a different style).

This is how the doll has sat recently, unclothed and one sock is missing. Truthfully Rowan rarely reaches for her, though I'm sure there's still time for her to become a favorite.
Another picture of Rowan painting which is almost a daily event here. She's painting with Q-tips here, but all painting experiences usually end up with finger painting which is fine with me. She was moving her tray of paint and it tipped into her face (and hair) she then thought it might be good to try and lather some paint in her hands and rub it through her hair. A bath followed that night.

I posted in my last Yarn along post about my girlie Milo vest. It worked out just as I'd hoped and it was fun to knit some scraps up. It did take much more yarn then I'd expected. I'm adding my notes here because I would like to repeat it.
I followed the directions for the bodice section of the Milo pattern, though I shortened the bodice a bit (I used 9 month size).
-switched from size 7 needles to size 10's and switched yarn colour.
-k 3, M1 around
-knit 3 rows
-k5, M1 around
-keep knitting until almost desired length, switch back to bodice colour (but keep larger needle size) K1 row, P1 rown until desired length. bind off
It's soooo soft and snuggly (& warm!)
Now the flannels, I mentioned I'd bought some new flannels and I finally found my pictures of them. I'll be adding a few pads to my shop later this week (or this weekend) and there's a couple from these prints. I'll be showing you a new pad design soon too :)

Yarn Along :: the monster ball

Joining Ginny again, all this book and yarn stuff is addicting. This week I'm keeping it simple with some leg warmers for the little one. I'm loving the practicality of legwarmers and I think I might just spend this summer knitting many legwarmers for Rowan and a few for me too. The yarn, it's a HUGE ball of an acrylic that my step son picked out for me as a Christmas gift a few years ago. The blue colour has grown on me and it's actually nice to knit up, which is good because that's a lot of yarn. I'm thinking up more projects to do with it, cable legwarmers for my niece, maybe a Mustard scarf for me, then I'll retire the ball until I need to knit a sweater or baby blanket to gift.

I just got my copy of Radical Homemakers after reading about it on so many blogs. So far I'm enjoying it, I'm not far enough into it to discuss it but it's speaking to me. It's a book that I'm sure I'll always keep near by to refer to. I'm also reading Sisters in the Wilderness to continue on with my Susanna Moodie & Catherine Parr Trail reading.
Phew, that all feels so quick! I'm looking forward to peeking into some blogs this afternoon while the littlest one sleeps.

Monday, February 7, 2011

In Colour

"All the grayness outside has me looking for little spots of color inside."
Ginny from Small Things

We had a stomach flu make a trip through our house last week, we're all well enough now. I loved Ginny's idea of looking for colour so I'm still joining in, just a little later. I think I'll see the sun tomorrow (and I can hopefully get out of our snowy driveway!).

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another Yarn Along

I'm so enjoying Ginny's Yarn Along. I missed last week because I didn't want to bore readers with the same project and book for three weeks! I'm moving on though, a new project and a new book. I'm working on my second Milo vest, I'm changing it up though. I'm going to try to girly it up by making the bodice section a bit shorter and then adding stitches to make it fuller on the bottom, similar to a play dress. I'm also using up several yarns to make it a scrappy project. It seems that no matter how many scrapy projects I do (longies, sweater), there's still more bits of yarn to use up!

My new book is again a book that's worth picking up again, The Backwoods of Canada. When I'm done this though I need to catch up reading the few magazines we get.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Another Fun Custom Order

I Just finished this order today. It includes a large hanging wetbag and 12.5" pads and 8.5" pads. This order was a bit different because the customer had her own flannel shipped to me to use for the tops (I love the prints she chose, so bright and a great quality flannel too). I used all my other usual core and microfleece fabrics to turn it into some pretty pads.
I don't generally do this type of order (where fabric is sent to me) but I'll definitely be open to it in the future. And if you're wondering the left over fabric will get sent back to the buyer with her order. It all worked out just right, and the customer has been just perfect to work with.
She picked the wetbag fabric from my collection, I'll be adding one just like it to my shop sometime very soon.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A very cold morning

Here's a picture from our morning, can you make out the figures standing at the end of the driveway? The tallest is my partner Bill, the other figures are two kids with a blanket over them waiting for the school bus. They also had on all their winter gear but this morning it was so cold Bill went up with a blanket and stood to wait with them. It was about as cold as gets here this morning -28*c (or 18*f). Brrrrr. You can also see the hood of my van is up due to a battery that was too weak to start. Ahhh, winter. I'm thankful the sun is shining brightly at least!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Fabrics

I looked at my fabric gallery last week and realized that it's been very, very neglected. I went through and deleted a bunch of prints I no longer have and it's looking kind of bare (even though my drawers of fabric are over flowing-how does that happen?!) I blame my love of the remnant bin and my good intentions to make this or that for someone or another.

Anyway, I loved these two cotton prints and got some of each. They have a great vintage look to them, I wish I'd got more to make some curtains for my kitchen. I got two new great flannels too, I can't find the photos though so I'll add them next week. I'm so glad the local fabric shop is getting many more non-cutesy flannels.
This little set will go in the mail this week as a trade for some hand dyed yarn. Knitting is keeping me sane this winter so I just keep on going with it. This is an 8.5" pad topped with swirl dyed bamboo velour.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yarn Along

My first Yarn Along was so fun I wanted to squeeze in another. I did start on my own Some Cloudy Day leg warmers, I'm hoping to have them done by the first week of's been much too cold here for skirts even with legwarmers anyway so there's time to finish them.
I'm still reading 'Roughing it in the Bush' and soaking up all the local historical information. The youngest has taken to 'I Love You, Little One' and I'm also skimming over 'The Busy Toddler Book' for ideas to keep my own toddler busy (wishful thinking I'm sure).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Using the heat

I finally brought our drying rack up from the basement to start drying clothes by the wood stove. I thought this was going to be an awful chore but I'm finding it very easy. I've done lots of indoor clothes drying but as a family of five I thought it would be a major pain. It's not though, and I'm only using my dryer about 1x per 1.5-2 days. Compared to my normal 2-3x per day! Plus the dryer doesn't seem to be running that well so I was sometimes needing to run the dryer 2x for a load (not something this frugal mama likes to do!) Even the diapers go on the rack. I'm sure we'll see savings on our next electricity bill. I still use the dryer to dry all the diaper wipes, dish cloths, socks, and family cloth etc. Hanging all those little things would be a bit too much for me!

Our wood stove has paid for itself in less than a season, we're so happy that we (Bill) put it in. We've even got enough wood to get us through most of next winter too, it's a good feeling. We were shocked by our heating bills last winter. The furnace is original to the house (so about 30 years old) and it's electric. Our bills were just shocking, we managed to get through but the wood stove was a necessity.

Now, a quick stocking update...

I'm busy with custom orders, but I'm sewing them up as they come in, I'll add bits of stock to my shop here and there. I added some wool backed pads to my Etsy shop today and I've got a few more pads to add in the coming days but my computer is running painfully slow today so I need a break! Here's a peek at some :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Yarn Along!

This is my first time joining in on Ginny's Yarn Along. I cast on a pixie hat for the youngest, her hat from last year has gotten too small (oh my how she's grown!) This time I'm making up my own simple pattern, I'm not sure what the yarn is but I love how the colour is working up. I do know it's 100% wool and hand dyed by a WAHM on Hyenacart. I'm hoping to find the details on the colourway, pastels kind of scare me (due to the ease of staining) but add in some shades of brown and pastels no longer scare me! You can also see my first Milo vest, also knit for the youngest, she's so tiny though and I knit this too big so I'm going to try adding some stitches at the back to make the fit a bit snugger and add some length to so that it will fit her for much longer. It will be worth the work to have the vest fit longer. The Milo pattern was a great knit and I can see myself knitting many more.
Quintin and I finished Farmer Boy last night, we love these books and I can't wait to start on the next book in the Little House series. Rowan has been loving Good Night Harry. I read it to her two times and nap and bed time while she nurses to sleep. She was on a Red is Best kick but Harry seems to have won out for now. I've pulled out my copy of Roughing it in the Bush by Susanna Moodie. I can't remember the first time I read the book, it was years and years ago. Possibly even before Quintin was born. I don't often re-read books but it's like I'm reading this book for he first time. The struggles of emigrant families in a new and challenging reminds me that though life may seem rough at times I just can't imagine the struggles these pioneers endured and now as a mother myself the my reading of the book has changed again.