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 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 home-based business needed some 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.. and tights discarded... toys needed.

I sat on my favourite rock to soak up the 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" 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 trying to "colour outside the lines" so to speak. After all, what is there to lose...really? In this 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". :)