Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Hallowe'en!

It's fright night tonight and rather than a big, long, wordy, post, I thought I'd share our Hallowe'en decorations and let them speak for themselves.....

Silhouettes in the windows

If you can't have a "Lawnmover Man" because there is no lawn,
Make it a "Snowshovel Dude" (body parts optional)
Black Tunnel to the front door

Inside the tunnel during the day

Dropping Spider

This year's pumpkin crop

Inside the tunnel at night, with backlight.....
fog and lasers will be turned on this evening

Creepy, eh?

Pumpkin Carving! 

Must pretend to eat the guts

Who's that in the background???

Posed photo

What they're REALLY wanting to do...

Monday, October 29, 2012

There is no such thing as a Sexy Costume when...

Your child has the opportunity to choose your character. Such is this year's costume. Which is not only, NOT Sexy, but also NOT even female......

After last year's triumphant successes in the world of costume making (at least in my world), I was pretty excited to make the kids' costumes this year and was slightly disappointed when the told me they wanted to repeat last year's costumes (Eli is Link, from the Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, a video game and Chey is Yoshi, from various Mario games). Not to be deterred from my newfound love of homemade costumes, I asked Eli to choose my costume for this year, with the only stipulation that it be scary.

He chose Herobrine.

Herobrine, so I am told, is a character in the computer game "Minecraft" that currently all the rage. I looked at the picture and said:

"That is SO not scary."

To which he replied:

"Trust me. If you played Minecraft, Herobrine would scare the crap out of you."

I decided to trust him and planned my costume strategy.

My plan was simple. I found a box that was big enough for my head, purchased various brown spray paints, a couple of dot lights (the battery kind that you press and they light), some tissue paper and a teal T-shirt.

First, I painted the box with the lightest coloured paint (which was the same colour as the box, not sure why I didn't just skip that step). I then placed random square patches of 2" painters tape over the "face" of the box and painted a darker brown. I repeated this process (leaving the old tape in place until the end), until I had three colours of light brown for the face and a dark brown for the hair.

Once the tape was removed, I cut out a mouth (through which I can sort of see, maybe, kinda.... although I did walk into a wall when I was walking around the house, so it could be a rather comedy filled evening with the ice and snow and lack of peripheral vision and all) and two eyes. I then taped several layers of white tissue to the inside of the box where the eyes are and duct taped the lights behind the tissue.


I AM bringing sexy back to Hallowe'en......

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's definitely sweater weather

It snowed! On Oct 22nd! It snowed a.lot. and it's still snowing with no end in sight, so it's entirely fitting that I finished knitting a sweater yesterday and that I'm calling it my ski sweater.

I haven't been having much luck in my knitting lately. Everything I've knit in the past few months is "fine," but nothing has turned out quite the way that I wanted it to. I'm not sure what is going on, but my knitting mojo is off.

This most recent sweater is a perfect example. I choose a great pattern (Iridium by Lisa Mutch - ravelry link) and used my absolute, favourite yarn (Juliespins Silky 435 - ravelry link, a 50/50 blend of superwash merino and silk that feels like a warm breeze when worn), but it's not quite right. As a matter of fact, had it not snowed last night, I think I would be frogging it, because the yarn is to wonderful not to wear. The snow has given me an alternate perspective, however, and I've decided that it will make a fantastic. lightweight, warm layer, perfect for outdoor winter sports. What exactly is wrong with it you ask? (yes, I'm aware that only my few knitter readers might actually ask, but I like to pretend everyone hangs on my every word). It somehow turned out much larger than I intended. Now, this might have something to do with the fact that I chose a larger size than I would normally choose (I cast on for a 34" chest, not a 32".. one can dream).... It also might have been effected by the fact that , other than the set up rows, I didn't follow the pattern....... but most likely, it is due to the fact that my gauge is slightly off (1/2 stitch per inch to be exact, which over a 34" chest measurement adds 2.5- 3" depending where I measure). The combined result of these choices is a sweater that is approximately 36-37" which is pretty loose on me.....

It still looks OK, though..... particularly when I stand a certain way so that the excess fabric can drape properly...... so If I'm walking funny, that might be why.... oh... and it was chilly outside when I took these pictures which Is probably why I look like I'm gritting my teeth, rather than smiling.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Stop and think.

This post is inspired by something I overheard at school today (and yes, I did say something to the person who spoke and no, it wasn't one of my kids.... For once.....phew).

I need everyone to do me a favour.

When a kid throws a temper tantrum, or is overly emotional or behaves inappropriately in some way. Don't judge:

~ He/she could be having a bad day

~ He/she could have lost a family member

~ He/she might be going through a divorce

~ He/she might look like a seven, ten or fourteen year old, but actually be several years younger than you assume

~ He /she might be autistic or be on the spectrum

~ He/she might have ADHD

~ He/she might be gifted and have an intelligence to maturity ratio that is way off

~ He/she might have another special need or mental disorder that is not obvious

~ He/she might have any number of reasons for his/her behaviour that I have not listed, BUT

He/she is probably NOT a bad child with terrible parents.

And if you can't help but think it anyway.... Remember, nobody can read your thoughts, but everyone can hear you speak.

I'll hop off my soapbox now...Thanks for listening

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Making it work

Sometimes there are difficulties and hurdles to life and you just have to figure out a way to make it work. Tenacity, patience and creativity almost always win the day. If you can't figure out a way, think outside the box. Create something that works for everyone. Compromise.

Such is the way with Chey's wardrobe (What? You thought I was going to get serious or something?). Chey doesn't care about clothes. She doesn't like dresses, she doesn't like skirts.... and she hates princesses and frilly, girly things. I, on the other hand, had a daughter for a reason, damn it! She was to be my little dolly to dress as I pleased. She was going to wear all manner of frilly, girly items and she and I would be best friends, shopping for accessories, getting manicures and facials and gossiping over lunch.

She had other plans, however, and I had to learn to adapt (she does like shopping, but not for clothes. She loves antique stores though! ) I look for clothes that meet both of our criteria and sometimes she gets her way (her way is a souvenir T-shirt and jeans and she's got quite a few t-shirts that have deadly creatures on them) and sometimes I get my way (a toned down version of my way, anyway... I don't want her to hate me, or clothes).

And so, I was thrilled when I found a shirt in Anthropologie that was covered in foxes (her newest animal obsession .... she always picks the fringe animals to be obsessed with. Things that are hard to find in girl clothing. I have yet to find a shark on a girl's shirt, or a least not on a non-souvenir type shirt.) I thought it might make a cute tunic/dress for her and so I bought it.

It was perfect and she loved it.... except the neckline was WAY to big and it kept falling off her shoulder which is not appropriate for a seven year old.

Sad girl with a too big top

So I finally fixed it yesterday with my new sewing machine. I added a shirred band to the front and sewed in some elastic to the back. This was my first attempt at shirring and I think it turned out OK. I used elastic thread in the bobbin and had to futz with the sewing machine to make it work, but voila!

Cute, well fitting top...

Shirring on the front

A great compromise... which really means "I figured out how to trick you so that I can get my way," but don't tell anyone, especially not my kids or hubby.....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Even Better.....

My craft/studio room continues to evolve. I have now completed the other half of the room.

It looked like this last week:

I wasn't super happy with this side of the room. The other side of the room is so far beyond Awesome, that Awesome needs binoculars and night-vision to see it, but this side was rather blah in comparison. I fixed it though... now Awesome won't know which way to look because both sides are equally beyond Awesome's ken.

This side has:

2 Ikea Expedit 2x2 shelves mounted on the wall. The 2x2s come with mounting instructions, but I decided to put a rail below them for extra support, mainly because they were being mounted to look good and not on studs and a few drywall anchors are not strong enough for my complete comfort. We attached the rail on the studs and then set the cabinets on top of the rail and anchored them. I think they'll be more than strong enough for my needs now.

1 Ikea Expedit 2x4 against with wall with a desk attachment. Apparently, I'm not the only one who doesn't want leave this room and, as I don't like to share, I thought the kids needed their own desk.... Plus it'll be great for my future Drum Carder.... and as a cutting table.... and... OK, it's really more space for me, but I won't tell the kids if you don't. I also purchased some doors, drawers and purple baskets for the cubby holes. These now hold the rest of my yarn, my fibre and a few other bits that I didn't have proper space for. The room is so organized that I almost don't want to use it.

3 picture rails above the bookcase (which I already had).

The only problem I had with this whole redecorating scheme was that my 30 year old Singer sewing machine died when I tried to make some cushions to sit on (for TV watching).... You can't have a sewing room without a sewing machine.

So I fixed that to.

And now that my house is back in order from THAT mini-reno... must be time to rip apart something else..... Next week, maybe; I have some sewing to do first.