Tuesday, 17 December 2013


Oh, I just love to find a good deal! I take my kids to see the specialist every three months. We drive about an hour and a half to get there, and across the street from the paediatrician is the Mennonite Closet, a thrift store. At our appointment in the summer I noticed this chair for $60.

Patience pays off. I loved the chair but hated to spend $60 when there were so many other things we needed more in our new house. We stopped by the store on our way to my brother's wedding and though it was still there the price had not dropped. Today I was amazed that the chair had not sold, and the price had been reduced to $40. We snapped it up and were thrilled when he sold it to us for $30. It has a new home in our master bedroom.

I always check the material bins when I am in thrift stores. You can find unique patterns of fabric that might be unavailable or just very expensive at the fabric store. Today I found 4 little bundles of material and the fellow at the store also reduced those prices.

We also got some wonderful old wooden skis that will add character to the bar-in-the-basement that we have planned. All in all, it was a nice day out as a family and the appointments for the kids went well. I hope you are finding ways to keep busy this winter!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Blue Jean Blanket Project

If you have children, especially young ones, you might understand how a project can be started and actually take years to complete. That is what happened with a blue jean blanket that I have finally resumed working on. My eldest son was a baby when I completed a different blanket and began cutting out circles of denim for this pattern. We were having company and when I cleaned up the guest room all the denim got piled in a heap. Then we had baby #2 and that room became the toddler room. So my denim and all thought of the blanket got packed away in a closet.

I have the space to sew again now that we are in our wish house. A few weeks ago I dug out the project and dove in head first. It is so refreshing to see my progress and feel like I am actually getting something done.

In the endless cycle of dishes, laundry, picking up toys and cooking meals, it is easy to fall into a discouraged feeling that every day is the same. Right now I am finding that most days are the same, but in a really productive and self-fulfilling way. I do want to be here with my boys. I enjoy taking care of my family and that includes all the mundane household chores that go with being a stay-at-home-mom. But as they play together more and are growing more independent, I am loving the bit of time that I spend sewing and using the creative side of my brain (without using play-do to do it!).

I saw the pattern on line years ago and loved the look of the blanket. I really like to use denim for beach blankets (sand doesn't stick) and most outdoor use. They are warm to sit on or cuddle under at a hockey game,a sleigh ride, or nice at summer events where you might need to sit on the ground or benches.

The pattern is circles of denim with smaller squares of multi-colored fabric. The circles are sewn together, leaving flaps of denim that are later sewn down to create almost a window-frame effect.

 As shown on the right, I even handstiched a few pieces of old pillow case to add a really homemade feel. I would say that I will have the blanket completed in a couple days. I'll show more pictures then!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Pottery Results

Recently I began taking a pottery class at the museum in town. I was lucky enough to have my mom suggest it. I really enjoyed having an afternoon to myself "built in" to my week, but mostly I enjoyed the experience of learning and creating.

I took a beginner's pottery class four years ago and ended up hand-building all of my pieces. I wasn't that happy with the glazes and I was disappointed not to have learned a bit about the wheel.

I did not conquer the wheel this go-around, but I'm happy to have a couple pieces that I will use. I also really like my hand-built plates. Unfortunately, two of the ones I made that would match those in these pictures were cracked. It is wise in pottery to never get too attached to a piece--the hardest part for me!

I really enjoyed this class and I can't wait to take another. I dislike driving in the winter and don't want to be out on the road so late at night, plus my mom will be busy with their calving season, so there won't be another until sometime next year. Have you had a chance to take up a new hobby lately, or return to an old one? Any major Christmas projects you are working on?