Wow, what a week.

All has been absolutely silent on the homefront this week due to a series of mishaps and frustration...

You know how you sometimes read a friend's facebook status saying that they've dropped their phone in the toilet and what should they do to salvage their extremely pricey piece of soggy electronics?  Remember how you usually snicker while you're reading it, wondering how anybody could possibly be silly enough to let their phone take a nosedive...

Never laugh at that.  Karma will bite you in the behind.  Seriously.

My beautifully sunny Sunday turned sour when we returned home from breakfast with some friends and I managed to drop my phone... yup, in the toilet.  In fairness, it was in my shallow trouser pocket and it slid out on its own without me actually dropping it... but really it all amounts to the same thing in the end.

Strike one.

Mr Android spent more than 24 hours with his delicate insides exposed to the air and bouts of brutal hair dryer action (on the cool setting, of course), and I am happy to report that (so far, at least) he is working normally.

Thank goodness, because my husband just gave it to me for Valentine's Day.  A six week lifespan would be seriously unlucky for Mr Android.

Monday morning our internet connection decided to die... and it wasn't restored until TODAY.

Yes, that's right.  This (FRIDAY) afternoon we were finally connected once again to the grid.

It's just been one of those weeks for technology, I guess!

On a brighter note, in the absence of electronic entertainment, I managed to commandeer the upstairs guest room (recently vacated by my husband and his home office in his move to the new warehouse) and gave it a fresh paint job and a serious deep clean.

I finally have a work room again! 

The excitement of this room is indescribable.  I had a beautiful custom-built sewing room in my house in Canada (yup, the one destroyed in last year's flood) and I have missed it terribly.  Putting a new workroom together has given me a lift that I have needed since I watched my house being demolished last August.  Finally, I have a proper work space again!

And Mr Oliver Puss (aka Pussito) has reclaimed his spot, as you can see above.

Shots of my new room coming soon... I can't wait to really use it!

Happy Easter, Everyone! 
 
 
I've been meaning to make this tote for ages now, and last week I finally dove into my fabric stash and came up with enough odds and ends to make it!  There is such a great sense of accomplishment when you finally finish a project that you've been procrastinating over for a long time, isn't there? 

This little beauty is actually a mail bag--I swear, we receive more mail than anyone in the country, and I always go to collect it when I go for a stroll around the neighborhood with my Charlie Dog.  I'm all about multi-tasking, but we run into problems when I have Charlie's leash in one hand and my phone, mail bag, and keys in the other one.  If it is really hot and I'm wearing a skirt or shorts, I usually don't have a pocket to use, so I was in dire need of a multi-functional tote where I could stash my phone and keys as well as the mail.  And here it is!
I used a natural heavy cotton twill for the body of the bag and lined it with a pretty summery blue paisley, then added a contrasting stripe of the lining fabric around the outside.  I liked the blue paisley so much that I ended up using it as contrast for the handles as well, and placed them so they would be visible on the right side of the tote.
Inside I used a repurposed blue shirt pocket (my husband's old shirt has been reincarnated in countless projects now!) and also attached a long grosgrain ribbon with a key fob to attach my keys.
I had originally planned on using pink floral scrap fabric from Sophie Kitty's little tent, but when I went to cut out the lining, I realized that I didn't have enough of it for this project... so I had to set aside my crochet cutie flowers in shades of pink and purple and whipped up a few new ones in blues and peach with some embroidery floss I had hidden away.  My sewing and crafting stash never ceases to amaze me--I swear, I have things in it that I'm sure I have long forgotten!
I'm so pleased with this tote--I debuted it last week, and it makes my life so much easier when it comes to mail time!  I love the fact that it's kind of pretty and girly without being too 'every little girl is a princess'-esque.  I confess I have issues with that.
I have to admit that I've had a terrible time trying to photograph it...  the colors just aren't coming out true to shade, and every shot seems to look dull and lifeless.  Apologies for that.
As Charlie is my constant mail-collecting companion, when he decided to photo bomb my little snapshot session, I decided to include him--he gives this project his seal of approval!
Here we are in another week again...  what are you working on this week?!

Happy Crafting!
 
 
Any of you who have been with me for a while will be aware of my love of all things patchwork.  I have been doing a ton of projects lately that involve enjoyable ways to use up some of my fabric scrap stash, and this week I've completed two projects that I am so pleased with!

I have always loved playing around with a modified log cabin pattern, and I put that motif to good use in making a beautiful quilted pillow cover.  The backstory of this unassuming pillow is a turbulent one...  it belongs to a set of three comfortable feather pillows that came with our big 4-piece sectional sofa two years ago.  Sadly, the aesthetic of the pillow coverings just didn't match their comfort factor, and I kept hiding them away in a closet never to come out unless we absolutely needed them. 

Here it is, the before:
See, I told you!  The ugliest pillow covering ever made.  It doesn't even deserve photo embellishment.
So finally, after two years of procrastination and trying to decide how I wanted to cover those sad pillows, I pulled out my fabric scrap stash and went to work.  (Totally off-topic, but  I've been eating a lot of oatmeal lately, I chalk up my sudden burst of creative energy to that.) 

The pillow is 27" x 17" and I used 2" fabric strips and made a random pattern.  I confess that I ran out of scraps that were long enough to finish the last few rows of the patchwork, so I broke down and bought a couple of quarter yards to finish it off. 

It'll be our secret.
I used polyester batting and a plain cotton backing and machine-quilted (stitch-in-the-ditch style) the pattern.  I had some natural cotton twill kicking around, so I used that as the pillow cover's reverse side.  It's very durable and will wear nicely.
I am ridiculously happy with the end result--even though our household aesthetic is neither shabby nor cottagey, I snuck in my own little bit of rustic charm and it makes me smile every time I glance over at it... which I have been doing a lot since I finished it several days ago.

Am I the only crafter who does that?  Glances lovingly at their creations... leaves them out in a conspicuous spot just to be able to catch sight of them...?

I think not :-)

Happy mid-week-day everyone! 
 
 
No words are necessary here... is there any happier creature than a dog with a tennis ball?

I think not.

Charlie loves to chase a ball... sadly, he is not much of a retriever!  I end up being the one who goes and retrieves the ball to throw it for him again. 

This dog has it all figured out, my friends.

 
 
I've been seeing everyone's beautiful crocheted creations lately and it has inspired me to take ten minutes out of my day and whip up a cute little ornament of my very own.  I found this particular double flower pattern online and followed instructions that were more complicated than they needed to be, so I'm not going to bother sharing it with you, because seriously, I found it really confusing.  Suffice it to say that it involved making the smaller flower and flipping it over to create the larger flower on the back side...  It was not really to my liking, so I think for my future endeavors I'm going to wing it and come up with my own design.
I will however say that if you have a favorite crocheted flower pattern, this is so cute and easy!  I used MADEIRA silk embroidery floss mainly because I have a bunch of it in my stash, and it is the loveliest shade of dusty rose... plus the silky sheen is a nice addition.  You could use literally anything that takes your fancy--it's your party!  The center is a shell button and the leaves are from my fabric scraps.  Oh, how I love my collection of fabric scraps!  I whipped it together quickly and have a little round of brown felt attached to the back with a bit of hot glue.
I definitely plan to make a few more of these to use as brooches--very simple with the addition of a little brooch clasp sewn onto the felt backing.  This little cutie is going to grace my next project--coming soon! 

Happy weekend, everyone!
 
 
Wow, has it ever been cool here lately! 

Yes, I know I live in Miami, but when the temperatures drop to 5 degrees Celsius overnight, it feels just as cold to us as -15 feels to those of you living in the great White North! 

It has been so pleasant to throw open the windows and let the cool air rush through the house... to wear my slipper socks with jeans and a sweater.  

It's 'fresh air kisses' weather--when I was a little girl and had been out playing in the cold Canadian air, my mum would always throw her arms around me when I came back inside and put her cheek against mine for 'fresh air kisses'.  Now that I'm a grown-up I still think of her every time I come inside with cool cheeks.  My husband is now the recipient of this delightfully cool affection :-)

This morning Charlie Dog was shivering when he took his morning wander around the back yard, so I pulled out his velour 'Rocky Balboa warm-up hoodie' and bundled him up to go on our morning walk around the neighborhood. 
I can't resist that face, especially when he's all dressed up and looking so cute! 

He wouldn't sit still long enough for me to get a good photo without the leash, so I snapped this with my phone while we were out for our walk. 

You know the funny thing?  He doesn't mind doggie clothing.  He seems to know that he's just adorable when he's costumed!  Such a clever boy...

Happy Thursday!
 
 
I awoke to a lovely surprise this morning--Jamie over at Better With Age was kind enough to nominate me for a Liebster Award!  There are a variety of versions of this award floating around, but according to this version, it is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers who have less than 200 followers or  have been blogging for less than six months.  It's to show newer bloggers that they are appreciated and to help spread the word about new blogs.
I'm very flattered, Jamie--thank you!
The guidelines are:
1. You must post 11  random  things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions  your  nominator has created for you.
3. Create 11 questions of   your own for the people you nominate.
4. Choose 11 new blogs you  love and link them in your post.
5. Please leave me a  comment  on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so I can read your   answers!

I've done a bit of research into this award, and it has mutated quite a bit from its original form...  and there's also an 'Honorary Liebster Award' which is to tell another blogger that you appreciate their blog without any questions.  I'm going to answer Jamie's questions and give you 11 random things about myself, but I'm going to modify it from there and give one of my favorite bloggers the award without any guidelines. 
So... here goes:
11 random things:
1)  I am double-jointed (which is a misnomer, it is actually hyper-flexible)
2)  I do not eat meat (and yes, chicken and pork count as meat!)
3)  I am a coffee addict
4)  I am a huge animal lover
5)  I am an only child
6)  I have clutter issues--it drives my husband crazy
7)  I have a strong aversion to hard-shelled insects.  June bugs and cockroaches especially *shiver*
8)  I kind of regret not becoming a Vet
9)  I miss Canada
10)  I lived in Edinburgh, Scotland for three years.  I love Scotland!
11)  I get really excited about snail mail--especially little packages
The Questions:

1)  What do you do other than blog?
       
 I am a trained Historical Costumer for theatre (my specialty is 1750s women's) and I am also a Naturopathic Doctor.    Odd combination, I know.   I haven't been practicing for several years since I moved to Miami... at the moment I am working with my husband to get his new Coffee Roasting and Retail Warehouse up and running.  Who would have thought of a more perfect match for me than an artisanal coffee roaster?  Heaven!
2)  If you had an entire day all to yourself {no husband or  kids}, what would you  do?
        
I love the great outdoors--anything involving being outside... the beach, a walk in the park, gardening, you name it!  Sometimes reading a good book on the beach is just heavenly...
3)  What is your favorite guilty pleasure?  Could be a  snack, TV show,  etc. 
        True Blood--both the books (the last Sookie Stackhouse novel comes out in May... boo!) and the HBO series. 
4)  What is your favorite room in your house and  why?
        
I love our kitchen/dining/living area--it's all big and open-plan and I can putter around in the kitchen and talk to whoever is around at the same time.  It's fantastic!
5)  Do you like wine?  Or chocolate?  Both? 
        BOTH!  Red wine and dark chocolate....  mmmm!
6)  What is your favorite all-time movie?
        
Too many to name... but one of them is the BBC production of Pride & Prejudice (the Colin Firth version).
7)  What is your favorite all-time book you've read?
        Again, too many to name them all...  I read a lot :-)  Jane Austin to Charlaine Harris and everything in between!  One of my very favorite classics is 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.
8)  Where did you grow up?  Where do you live now?
        I grew up in a little town in Eastern Canada, and I live in Miami, Florida now.
9)  What kind of personality or what type of person are you? 
         This is a funny one...  I am probably best described by the words that Claudia over at Mockingbird Hill Cottage uses to describe herself--'I am a solitary person who is chatty'.  I am an only child, and I do not have a lot of close family, so as a result I'm quite accustomed to spending long periods of time alone.  I don't mind being alone but I can converse easily in a group situation and enjoy the company of others. 
10)  Describe a little bit about your dream home.
        This is a great question!  I would love to have an open-plan cottage somewhere by the water...  A happy spot with lots of flowers and plants growing in profusion in the front and back yards, with a wonderful big porch on the front to enjoy the outdoors in comfort.  A good-sized kitchen open to the living area, and a big studio on the top floor with skylights to be able to work in natural light.  I miss my sewing/work room in my old house in Canada so much... 
11)  Who is your favorite interior designer or decorator or  blogger?
        Again, this is a tough one because there are so many talented individuals out there that I really enjoy...  I gain inspiration from such a wide variety of styles and designers/decorators/bloggers that it's hard to pick just one! 
My Nominee is Anne at Counterpoint Corner--head on over to her lovely blog and say hi!  She has the most beautiful creations, and I always love to check in and see what she's been working on.  Her whimsical feltwork is inspiring me--I'm heading to Michaels soon to check out their wool roving! 
As for my favorite blogs--I have a list of my favorites at the right-hand side of my blog--take a wander through them and I'm sure you'll find something you like, and gain tons of inspiration!  I love seeing what others are up to!

Thanks again, Jamie, for the nomination--I am so glad that someone out there is reading and enjoying my posts :-)
 

Freedom

05/03/2013

3 Comments

 

I have been playing around with chalkboard fonts lately, and I love the words of Nelson Mandela... they are so very appropriate in today's world. 

So instead of a spring chalkboard printable, I give you a Freedom Printable.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!
 
 
All human beings are also dream beings.
Dreaming ties all mankind together.
Jack Kerouac
For ages now I've been meaning to attempt a Dream Catcher.  They're very common in my little hometown corner of Canada as we have a rich Native local tradition and share our corner of the province with the Maliseet people, who are well known for their outstanding handwork skills--particularly beadwork and basket-weaving.  Their Dream Catchers vary from very simple and traditional to large and elaborate sporting thread knotwork and beautiful beading. 
The basic premise of the Dream Catcher is that traditionally it is hung in a place above the sleeper's head in a spot where the morning light will touch it.  Bad and unimportant dreams are 'caught' in the web and in the morning's first light they dissolve away.   The good, meaningful dreams are concentrated and slide down the thread to the feather and into the sleeper's head. 
A lovely idea, isn't it?  Something all of us could use from time to time, I suspect...
I am a terrible magpie and tend to collect random everyday bits and bobs with the intention of eventually using them for various projects--so naturally I have a little collection of small plastic hoops that are perfect for this endeavor!  This hoop was clear plastic and is around 1 5/8" (4.2cm) in diameter.
I found a great online tutorial at Native Tech with good diagrams explaining  how to make a dream catcher, and I used a few odds and ends from my crafting stash to construct my little creation.   A strip of scrap fabric to cover the hoop, a length of silk embroidery thread for the web, a bead to represent the spider, and a little feather to tie at the end.  Super simple.
This is a great little project and would make a wonderful gift--click on the above tutorial link and give it a try for yourself!

Happy Creating!