Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Happy St. Nicholas Day!! 
To celebrate this special day and the fact that we are almost at 200 "likes" on my facebook page, I am giving away this coat and scarf set for a 15 inch Waldorf doll. To enter please like my facebook page (if you haven't already), or follow me here on my blog and write a comment below. :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

my father

Yet able to admit fault

Yet able to patiently wait

Yet could only draw stick people

Yet tender

Lover of Christ
Yet willing to express doubt

Center of attention
Yet often a quiet observer 

Yet could listen for hours

Yet tender

Family man
Yet carried a burden for the world

This is my father. 

Don McPhee
born June 1, 1949
died November 24, 1997

I love you, Dad...and miss you so much. ox

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My wish for you today is...

...that "The winds will blow their own freshness into you,
and the storms their energy,
while cares will drop away from you
like the leaves of Autumn". 

poem by John Muir

My prayer for all of us is...

...that we will find time to rake the leaves, but don't forget to jump in them too!
...that we allow ourselves to laugh without reservation.

...that we have time to put our clothes out on the line but also to soak up the beautiful sun and feel the warm breeze they are swaying in!

 ...that we make time for play.

...that we take the time to really SEE each other.



Thank you God for all of your abundant gifts. Help us to appreciate more...to love more...to truly LIVE life to it's fullest... every single day. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Upcycled Autumn Scarf!!

I found this amazing tutorial from Refashionology on how to make a beautiful fall scarf from felted sweaters! I am dying to try it. :) I have a whole bin of felted sweaters that are just begging to be chopped up and made into something funky!

Here it is....

Isn't that gorgeous!?

Here is a link to the tutorial, if you would like to try making one for yourself. :)


Wouldn't that be a stunning addition to your fall wardrobe?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dad's Gourmet Potato Salad

My hubby has become quite the accomplished chef in the last couple of months since he's been home recovering from surgery. Here is one of his latest recipes...perfect for summer picnics and barbeques! Please note: It makes a nice big potato salad...so you may have to adjust quantities accordingly. :)

12-15 potatoes washed, peeled (optional) and cubed
8 hard boiled eggs chopped
1 c minced onions
1 c diced dill pickles
1 c chopped snow peas
1 chopped green, red or yellow pepper (or any combination of the three)
3/4 c olive oil
4 heaping Tbsp. mayonaise
1/4 c mustard
2 sprigs fresh dill weed, chopped fine
2 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 handful of chives, chopped 
salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes and the eggs. Chop the remaining vegetables and herbs and put in a large bowl with the potatoes and eggs. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Garnish with chopped chives. Chill. Enjoy!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Giveaway winner!!

A big congratulations to Ana Dolly Ramos who is the winner of the Canada Day doll sweater giveaway!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Celebration Giveaway!

Noro giveaway sweater, modeled by "Sadie"           

To celebrate Canada day (and the end to the Canada post strike)...I am hosting a giveaway for this doll sweater hand knit with Noro yarn! There are two ways to enter (yes, you can enter twice!)

1. "Like" my facebook page and enter to win the contest there
2. Post a comment here under this post.

The winner will be announced at 8pm EST on Canada Day (July 1st).

Best of luck, everyone!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

the simple things

I am joining Rebecca over at simple as that for her weekly photo challenge, in "capturing an image each week of the simple things in my life that make me smile...the little things and little moments that make me happy."

“With God, every moment is the moment of beginning again.” Catherine Doherty

*this photo was taken by my 12 year old daughter, Sophia.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


When my 18 year old daughter came to me and said "I need a dress for Spring Formal, and it's next week", I started to panic a little inside. We live 2 1/2 hours away from the closest shopping center, and with the price of gas as it is, I really didn't want to drive that far just for a dress. Besides, I hate shopping under pressure. Time was ticking...and I had to come up with a plan.

And then the "upcycler" in me kicked in and a lightbulb went on...I had an idea!  I remembered the dress that I had found at our local thrift store a few months back for only a couple of bucks, and teasingly, I asked my daughter to try it on. With good humour, she did. She loved the colour...and, of course, hated the style. :) It was many sizes too big...but that was to our advantage...more fabric to work with. We decided to do a "refashion"(I think that's a word). :)

We did some brainstorming together, found a pattern...

...and started chopping!

I sewed it up and waited for her to come home from school to try it on.

It was "almost right".

After a very late night of sewing, alterations...brainstorming...and more alterations....

...ta da! Isn't she cute?

Back shot

We even made a tie for her guy! It was really easy, actually...rather than starting from scratch, I just covered a tie that I had purchased for 25 cents at same thrift store. :)

I was so pleased to not have to make the long trek to the mall, or part with too much cashola, and she and her guy were happy to be decked out in their one-of-a-kind, handmade  "couture"!
The happy couple!

Friday, May 20, 2011


I am so excited about finally finishing up these dollies! With a family life full of hustle and bustle, I find it hard to find large "chunks" of time to just sit down and craft...so it takes me a few weeks of "a little bit here, a little bit there" to finally complete a bigger project like this one.  :)

These are made in honour of my four amazing, talented and beautiful sisters! I love you all. oxox

P.S. They are up for sale here in my Etsy shop Handmaiden Canada :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Yarn Along - knitting the Lanesplitter

 I am joining Ginny today at Small Things for her weekly Yarn Along. Here is what is in my knitting basket today...the Lanesplitter skirt!

I was diddling around on Twitter one day a couple of weeks ago and came upon a tweet that read something like this "catching on like wildfire...the Lanesplitter skirt"...or something to that effect. I clicked on the link which took me to this FREE pattern on Ravelry. I instantly fell in LOVE. I just had to make that exact skirt.

So I started browsing around on Etsy to try and find the Noro yarn I needed and came upon this fabulous shop colesier, where I found the exact yarn I was looking for, and at a very reasonable price. The yarn arrived in the mail a week later and I immediately cast on. It is a very simple pattern, actually, but the results are simply stunning!  I'm thinking ahead to the fall...with leggings...I think it will be very cute!

Lanesplitter Skirt

Now as to the book I am reading, "Weekend Sewing" by Heather Ross. I know, I know, it may look more "work related" than "for pleasure"...but believe me this book is not only informational...but truly inspirational. It is filled with gorgeous pictures more than 40 different sewing projects, includes well-written instructions and diagrams,  and even has the patterns tucked into a pocket inside the back cover! :)

Here are the two projects I think I'll try first..

Flower Girl Dress

Summer Blouse

Aren't they sweet?

Friday, May 13, 2011

nature's solace

I woke up yesterday morning with a list of "to do's" a mile long. I started to plod through my day with a heavy heart. Having just heard some sad news about a loved one's health, everything seemed to be that much more daunting. My daughter needed a prom dress sewn...my home-based business needed some attention...my couch was full of clean laundry to be folded...and my little ones needed me to be really present to them. I was overwhelmed.

And then I had an idea. I needed to find peace and where do I find that most often? Out in nature. I packed up my kids and went to our little "oasis" down the road...

A place where the children can roam free..

 ...shoes and tights discarded...

...no toys needed.

I sat on my favourite rock to soak up the beauty...to pray...

Ever so slowly, I began to feel peace again. I was able to let go of the crazy mind chatter, the list in my planner, the "I really should's" and spend quality time with my two beautiful girls.

How can you help but feel JOY, when you look at these delightful faces!!

Their playful exuberance was catching! Who doesn't like wading in the water and "squidging" sand between their toes. :) After about an hour of this (the blackflies started to find us), I was ready to go home and tackle the rest of my day...with my priorities back in order...with a whole new perspective.

Thank you God for the awe inspiring world you have created, but most of all for the beautiful people you have allowed me to share my life with. :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

my mother

She is a natural beauty
with a radiant smile.

She is a seeker of truth
with wisdom quietly leading.

She is a nurturing presence
with arms open wide.

She is creativity unfurled
with patience to guide.

She is a lover of nature
with a blanket on the river's edge.

Quietly praying

Ever loving.

I love you, Mom. Thank you for the gift of life.

Rebecca ox

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Trying Something New

This project was me "going out on a limb"...so to speak. I am typically the type of girl who likes to use a pattern and follow it to the tee...or maybe I should say I used to be. ;)

My husband is the opposite. In fact, I don't know if he has ever cracked open an instruction manual to anything! Having lived in older homes for most of our married life, with plenty of quirky, unforseen problems popping up all the time, this amazing ability of his to "think outside the box" has come in handy on many, many occasions. And his willingness to "just try" has inspired me to do the same.

This is one of such projects...me trying to "colour outside the lines" so to speak. After all, what is there to lose...really? In this case...it would be the cost of a sweater, found at my local thrift shop. No biggee.

So I found a cardigan/shrug that my 4 year old loves and pulled out the handy dandy tracing paper and started making up pattern pieces. Then I cut up this super soft felted sweater I had kicking around and after some cutting, experimentation, and help from dear old mom (I wasn't sure how to get the sweater edge piece to ruffle)...some sewing, trying on and adjusting, and...Voila!

Here's to not being afraid to "just try". :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

living their dream

When my in-laws decided to move from their cute bungalow on a quarter acre to an older home on a 100 acre farm, I tried to be excited for them...but it was difficult. My mother-in-law was approaching 60, and her husband not too far behind. But they shared a passion for horses, gardening, and the outdoors, and their quarter acre just wasn't cutting it. Their dream was to own a farm.

Being the "worrywart" that I am, I just couldn't help but think of the upkeep,

...the expenses...the long term. I thought it might be too much for them. They decided to take the plunge...and I decided to bite my tongue.

But this Easter...I finally got it. I finally understood why they did what they did.

It is what makes them happy.

And we get to "reap the rewards", too, so to speak. What other families get to do these things at Grandma and Grandpa's on Easter?

Muck around in a long driveway full of mud, and then have your boots washed out using a hand pump.

Go for a long, long walk...

...to a secret spot where Grandpa is building a little cabin from scratch.

Hang out with Auntie while absorbing the beauty and silence of nature.

Pet and ride horses...

...run and explore...

And even use an outhouse. :)

Beautiful memories made. And look how happy they are.

I'm so thankful they had the courage to live their dream.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Presenting the Tried and True, Nutritious and Delicious..."Breakfast Wrap"

If you're like me, you're always scrambling (no pun intended :P) for something to make the kids for breakfast that fills all the criteria...yummy, easy, and good for you!

This recipe was introduced to our family by an Italian bachelor friend (who must have learned how to cook from his "momma"). He was over one time and as the dinner hour approached, I started to panic a little inside. We were having a great conversation...but what the heck was I going to make for dinner? I started to reach for that proverbial "can of beans",but he stopped me, opened the fridge and started rummaging around and grabbing stuff. "Let me show you something", he said. I took a deep breath, swallowed my pride and let him work his magic. The knife was a blur, the hand gestures "a plenty"...and within minutes, a delicious, steaming hot "Breakfast Wrap" was placed before me! Who cares that this wasn't breakfast time...this was delicious, and I didn't have to make it...even better. :) He went ahead to make one for everyone and received rave reviews from even the pickiest members of the household!

This recipe has become a staple in our household. It is great for busy mornings, after school snacks, as well as impromptu "dinner parties". :)

Here's what you need:

1 egg
butter (or olive oil)
any combination of veggies (garlic, onions, mushrooms (I used Portabella), peppers)
grated cheese
*makes one serving

If you have kids like mine, the recipe is even simpler. All you need is 1 egg, butter, grated cheese and one tortilla :)

Here are the steps:

1. Saute veggies in the pan in butter or oil.

2. Lightly beat egg with a fork.

3. Pour into the pan with the veggies and move pan around to spread it out.

4. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the egg.

5. Place tortilla on top and press down firmly (careful not to burn your wrist...I speak from experience!)

6. Roll up and enjoy!

Isn't that easy?! And the beauty of this wrap recipe, as opposed to other ones, is that the egg stays inside the wrap, rather than in a pile on the plate. :)