Ice cream fever

We got a really big BBQ. It came in a really big box, which has now become our backyard ice cream store. It took the girls about 3 days ti demand pretend ice cream to play with. I obliged.

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valentine’s drop

Today being Valentine's Day, we have big plans: a ski date with my friend Susan from Our Journey To Mei Mei, and their kids, CL and A, and of course her fab husband Gord. I crocheted each of the girls a little heart using a pattern I found online last week. But this morning, it occured to me there would be a Toy Society Valentine's drop. So I grabbed a couple of shriken/felted sweaters and whipped up two little hearts.

We skied all day at their hill, Morin Heights, and right after lunch, we headed to the "bunny" hill, which is decorated with wooden cutouts (they put them on either side of the hill to force the kids to make turns by going to visit the cutouts)

All the girls agreed that Tinkerbells' winges were perfect for our purpose, so we hugn our little package on her wings. The girls acted like super-secret agetn while I took pictures. But the settings on my camera were all off and the pictures are way over exposed, so until I can try to manipulate them, you can't see the drop, just hear aobut it!

Hearts1 We hope they find a good home, and this time, we hope we hear from our finders!

Toy Society Christmas Drop: the Montreal Owls

This morning was absolutely freezing outside, but I convinced my girls to put on an extra layer and accompany me on my super-stealth mission of dropping my 4 owls. They were having a very hard time understanding the concept, peppering me incessently on the drive there with questions like:

  • Why are we giving them away?
  • Who's going to find them?

  • What if nobody finds them?

  • Do we have to dig them into the snow?

  • Will they be cold?

  • Why are we doing this?

  • Can we keep them?

  • Why mommy, I don't understand!

But once we got to Place Royale in Old Montreal and I told them that we were now super spies and had to make sure nobody caught us, they were very much into it!

Drop 1 was in fact the first owl I made, with it's little scarf made from the belt of a sweater that inadvertently felted in the wash (aka shrunk) We picked a little lit tree near the museum entrance and hung him in the branches.

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the second drop was actually Owl #3, which we hung on the other side of the staircase, on the fire hydrant. Even in the worst snow conditions, the hydrants are always shoveled and the red really stands out against the snow. I played with taking pics of hydrants last year in my photoclass and this particular one always stands out to me because it's sort of in the middle of the sidewalk and I'm always wondering how many people fall over it.

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The 3rd drop was on the side of the building, the street people would walk by when going from the one museum to the other. We tied him up on a pole and he started flapping about. I double checked to make sure he was secured and we got out of there before we were spotted!

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Finally, for our last drop, we actually left Place Royale just a little bit and crossed the street to leave our last little bird in the phone booth.

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Dumpling was absolutely frozen by then, but Beach Ball was still having a ball, this having been one of her two drops.

The pattern I used can be found here. But I didn't even bother printing it, I just opened it and enlarged it on my screen, then totally eyeballed it. I did add a base to mine rather than tighten the bottom, and as I made more, I made the shape more and more elongated, which gave me much nicer long beaks on the thick felted wool.

It’s Drop-Eve!

this weekend being the weekend before christmas, hundreds of handmade toys will be stealthly dropped by crafters around the world. Check out the map at the Toy Society Blog.

My little owls will be dropped tomorrow morning in Place Royale near my store in Old Montreal. It's got nothing to do with my store, but I chose the location for convenience and because it's very popular both with locals and tourists and I'm hoping they find not only good homes, but get found by people who will write in and tell us!

Come back tomorrow for pictures for pictures of the cuties in their  bags and at their drop site.

Crafty Season

Since I'm not spending my time writing about the nonesense in my life, I've actually found time to be crafty again.

It all started with the knitting gift exchange, which had to be home-made, but not necessarily knitting. I found the napkin ring tutorial from my old friends Sublime Stitching, and figured it was the perfect project for my friend R.

I used a bird design from my Doodle Embroidery book, and after I started, I decided to make 6 birds and 6 coordinating flowers.

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Believe it or not, I forgot to take a picture of the finished ones! I did tweek the pattern a bit: I made mine on a vintage pillow case and embroidered them all on the one piece before cutting them out. Then I decided against using the toilet paper roll, instead I used fusible interfacing to make it extra stiff.

And since we've been spending time at the country house, I used to felted sweaters (aka shrunken by accident) to make a few owls, who are going to be dropped next weekend as part of the Toy Society Christmas drop. More on that next week when I actually drop my little owls. Look how cute they are, one even has a scarf and is ready for the snow!

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Hooking away!

I am still addicted to Amigurumi. I bought a book of patterns at the book store, have been trolling the Net for free patterns and discovered the treasure trove of cool patterns, Etsy.

This is Gato, the Cat. He belongs to BB but he helped out with dinner tonight, Img_7340_1_2 he likes to cook. Though his name is Spanish, it also is French for cake (gateau), so that might be why.

He has a friend, Confetti, the Elephant. He also belongs to BB. She likes to count his spots.

Img_7345_2  I have in fact made several for Dumpling as well, but she would not lend them to me to photograph them. They are very busy playing in her room and couldn’t pause for a picture. I’ll have to try to take a picture of them at play at some point.

In the mean time, I attacked the first of the 5 Yo Gabba Gabba patterns that I bought from CraftyisCool on Etsy.

I started with Muno because he is only one color and it was very fast. Started him last night and finished today at Knitting group. I already made the head for Foofa as well. I have until next Wednesday to finish them all….

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I am officially a hooker

I almost wrote a post on Tuesday about how much I hated crochet and I just couldn’t figure it out. I should start by saying that I am extremely prejudiced against crochet. As a kid, the only crochet I ever came across were those got awful suynthetic yarn bumpy slippers and toilet paper covers that combined the aforementioned yarn and Barbies. I guess Afghans too. I hate the holes in crochet. So why would I try, you ask yourself?

Well, on my trip to Chicago this spring, I purchased this book. I thought my kids would get a kick out of the monsters and I figured it’s a hook and some yarn, how hard could it be. Ha! you are SO RIGHT! I went about to teach myself to crochet and in the process, almost made myself nuts. It seems all the instruction pictures show you how to single crochet on he first row (ie the chain) but they never how you the second row, so I could not figure out if I should hook into the front loop, the back loop, or as it turns out, both loops. Also, I was misunderstanding the single vs double crochet instructions and I was in fact not making single crochets but slip stiches…. in all my stitches!

I must have started and stopped the same project about 15 times. Finally I read and read every single instruction site and finally, these were clear enough for me to get it.

I have to admit, now that I have started, I can’t stop!

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I am currently working on the cat from this book.4391130122

And I am madly googling amigurumi. I like the animals, but I love the idea of making my girls some yarn foods to play with…. I fear I may quickly become addicted. It’s so easy to take with me, just one hook and a ball of yarn or two. Currently, my "kit" resides in the Repetto shoe box that Mrs. Figby left behind. It’s got a fold over flat with magnets to hold it shut…… and it makes me think of her, so it’s just perfect!

Have you made any amigurumi? Tell me about it….

Wishing you a crafty new year

So, I am holed up at the cottage, and the kids are already growing restless. The ski hill and new holiday toys aren’t enough to keep them buzy, and with no school and no babysitter, it is entirely up to us to entertain them…. ALL THE TIME!

A few months back, I came across the recycled cardboard kitchen on several crafty blogs…… so I ordered up the plans on Etsy a few days ago. I couldn’t search the country side for enough large cardboard boxes to make this, but 2 pieces of 4 x 8 corroplast from the building store, 1 exacto knife and a tube of No More Nails, and voila!

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Mine is a little wonky in places. I didn’t have a straight-edge or a proper ruler, but it works, and the kids are overjoyed, especially Beach Ball, who is very very much into imaginative play these days. So she promptly started serving lunch to Baby.

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Baby had her first meals propped up on a small rubbermaid drawer, with a stepstool as a table….. So today, I grabbed some of the scraps from my corroplast and using the same principles of slots and tabs, I made Baby a high chair….. it’s not very elegant, and my measurments need some work, but Baby is happy and Beach Ball is simply over the moon.

Kitchen_3 I know I could have easily driven to Walmart and bought a play kitchen for a little more than what the supplies cost, but it kept me busy for several hours, and it just seems more fitting to have a homemade one. I would seriously like to take another stab at it, with discarded carboard and the proper measuring/cutting tools. Or maybe I’ll stick to plastic corroplast and make an otherone for outside this summer.