Thursday, June 18, 2009

Yummy Amy Butler Fabric!

Just the sight of these fat quarters makes me excited at their possibilities! I haven't quilted before, but after seeing Amy Butler's Daisy Chain line of fabrics, I knew I wanted to find a project to use them. I went to Tanell's Quilt Shop and the 2 owners were absolutely fantastic, offering advice and tips. I am planning on using the Turning Twenty pattern since it seems simple and uses 20 large pieces to create a large quilt.

Have you quilted before? Any tips or suggestions?

The first plants to come up!

So here is the first of many garden posts over the course of the summer. My friend Rhonda and I planted a garden a week and a half ago. We planted everything from potatoes, corn, peas and carrots to snap peas, cauliflower, broccoli, and celery. I was nervous about the amount that we were planting but she kept saying, "well, if you have the space, you might as well fill it up!", so we did.

The first few plants that we started from seed have emerged. The potatoes, onions, and radishes are poking through my very, very lumpy and hard dirt! I always think the first few plants are the most exciting, it gives hope to the possibility that maybe a few of the plants will grow.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rediscovering Sewing (and finishing a project in the process)

I have had this fabric for over 6 months now, with the intention of sewing a bag. I made a pattern from an EnviroSac. The fabric is Amy Butler by Rowan Fabrics. The pieces were already cut out, but my sewing machine (which was a fabulous hand me down from my hubby's, grandmas, second husband's, first wife (I know it's complicated)) didn't work and I had to take it in for a "tune-up". I picked it up a few weeks ago, but needed a distraction from a stressful day today and decided to see if it was now working like a well oiled machine. I whipped up the bag in about an hour! What satisfaction to finish a project, and so quickly! I'm not sure what I'll use it for, but who doesn't want another cute bag? I forgot how much I liked to sew, and it was nice to have it done as I have many unfinished projects around the house.

What unfinished projects do you have that you want to complete?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


For my graduation 2 years ago my wonderful hubby bought me a digital SLR (DSLR) camera for my graduation gift. I played around with it and took some photos, enrolled in a photography course which was excellent, and have continued to dabble in photography. I am really feeling that I need to step up my skills and take better pictures. I have seen checking out various websites and blogs for inspiration.

My hubby and I are good friends with Melanie Driedger and her husband, Justin. We got married 2 weeks apart 5 years ago. the boys were in each others wedding parties and Melanie took pictures as a behind-the-scenes photographer as a gift to us. Five years later, she has developed her skills and is a wonderful photographer with her own business, Melanie Driedger Photography, based out of Guelph, Ontario. Melanie and Justin were out in Manitoba last week and talking to them, you could see how excited they were about what they are doing and how focussed on "the experience" they give each of their clients. She does weddings, including destination ones (yay!) and other portraits. They are also starting with mini lifestyle videos, capturing the photo shoot and the dynamics of families and/or couples. Check out her website where she has beautiful pictures from her trip to Africa that are for sale (ALL the profit goes to the building project on their upcoming trip to Zambia). I'm currently wanting this one and this one too (oh and this one too). You can also check out her blog for her latest shoots. I guarantee you'll love her photos too.

Before and After: Let there be Light!

Ah yes, the familiar circa-1980's pendants. These beauties were in our front and back entrances until last week. I had been searching for some alternatives for quite some time, enlisting the opinions and help from many a friend and family member. I had few criteria, although the few stipulations I had eliminated more light fixtures than it included (but you only need to find one, right?) It had to be under $100 each and preferably closer to $50 since I needed 3 of them, less than 16 inches in height for door clearance, and it could not be a boob light. This is not the classiest description, but I'm sure you have all seen the flush-mount lights that are rounded with a "decorative" insert-metal-finish-of-choice-here finial. I had found a few options and really liked this fixture which met all of the criteria except for the price.

Well, my hubby and I were in Rona last weekend and found the fixture on clearance for 35% off!!! After a short deliberation, I flagged down the nearest stock boy and had him pull them out for me. I am debating returning to pick up another one to replace another unsightly fluorescent fixture in the office. A few days after buying them I installed them, by myself and without having to turn off every single breaker, and I love the quick update they have made to our front entrance. Don't you love a great deal?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Has it really been a week since I posted? (blush) I have a few projects that have taken up my time but here's a fun one.

I found this mirror at a local thrift shop for less than $10. I love the types of conversations that result in a thrift store shop. There are usually interesting and creative characters out shopping through others peoples cast offs. One lady saw the mirror and told me how I could fix it up. The gentleman at the till helped me pick a color and figure out that I could actually remove the mirror before painting the frame. We also laughed at the warning on the back of the mirror. Ironic, since it came with the wire already attached.

I simply removed the mirror from its frame, cleaned it, gave it a few coats of paint, and hung it back up. Actually, the cleaning was not so simple. It took an old toothbrush, sunlight soap, 1 hour of soaking in the bathtub and 4 rounds of scrubbing before it came was worth it though. Now it has found a new life and a new home in our back entrance.