Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Party in the Back


Hello ladies! I have been admiring all of your projects, and I’ve noticed a trend.  Spring is in the air!  Or, well, on our minds at least. We just got a few more inches of snow. Lucky us.  Nevertheless, Spring is coming, hopefully in the next month or two.  And that means one thing.  New wardrobes! Who doesn’t like a new outfit for Spring?  Especially little girls. So I thought I would sew something girly and frilly for spring. I wanted to make something a little different from what I’ve been sewing lately. This is what I came up with..

Business in the front…

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Party in the back!

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I’m pretty happy with it. I even made a rolled flower for the first time.

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I made it from a cotton seersucker, and yellow eyelet.  Unfortunately, the picture doesn’t do the colours justice.  I used Simplicity #5580, which is no longer in print.


The only changes I made were to line the bodice, and double the ruffles.  I used pale pink shell buttons down the front. I’m going to make it again in two coordinating yellow fabrics.  Happy Spring everyone!      Anne

I WON!!!


I am so excited. I can’t believe I won!  This never happens to me.  Lovely Rachel from The Life of Riley (you can pop on over to her cute blog and look around. I’ll still be here when you get back!)  hosted a giveaway for a necklace and earing set that she made herself.  I fell in love with it on sight, and hoped I’d be the lucky winner.  Now it is on it’s way to me!  Thank you Rachel!  Look at this loveliness…

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I’m already picking out outfits to wear it with!  Now I just need someplace to go….             Anne

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Can you believe it’s the middle of February already?  The days are just flying by.  And while I’m looking forward to Spring and warmer weather, I wish time would slow down a little.  So many things have happened in the few short weeks since the holidays, that I just need time to absorb everything before anything else happens. (good or bad!) I have managed to do a little sewing amongst the chaos.  And all of the fabrics I’ve used came from my stash, which seems to be never ending. I really have no idea where all that fabric came from.  Honestly, I have enough to rival the stock of a small fabric shop! It is way past time for me to take inventory of everything, but I just can’t motivate myself to do it.  But I’ll have to do it soon. We can barely move in our walk-in closet because I have so many stacks of fabric piled up. That doesn’t include the two triple dressers full, and the four large rubbermaid bins artfully hidden throughout the basement!  Ok, I admit it. I am a fabriholic.  I just can’t turn down a piece of fabric. Quite a bit of my fabric stash was given to me through out the years, and (blush) I just can’t pass up a sale. Especially when Fabricland has their buy one meter, get two (sometimes three!!) meters free sale.   Some of it I have no idea what I’ll do with, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of it.  Giving away perfectly good fabric seems like such a waste, and in some way gives me a feeling of failure.  I know that sounds silly, but I feel that each piece of fabric could be made into something, and I’ve failed to realize it’s potential! 
Before I ramble on any more, I’ll show you what I’ve been working on….

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I’ve been making bibs, burp cloths and matching taggy blankets!
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It seems to have become a new addiction…
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I thought I’d do something different, and made my taggy blankets round.
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Unfortunately, I took my pictures in a hurry at night, so they aren’t the best, but they get the point across.
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Close up  of flowers on the bib.
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They are all made with soft cotton on the front, and super soft minky on the back. I love the frayed edges! I’ve decided to call them my Shabby Chic Kids accessories, and I hope to add some items of clothing along the same lines. My own little clothing and accessory line, lol.
Before you think I’ve gone off the deep end here, I’ll let you know why I’ve made so many. Some of these will be posted in my poor neglected Etsy shop, and some of them I plan to sell at an Easter bazaar my friend Connie and I will be participating in this April.  So I guess that is my incentive to sort through my stash.  Maybe…   OK, OK, I’ll do it.  But if you don’t hear from me in a few days, please send in the rescue squad……

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What The…?


I have my own camera.  It is a niffty little purple Samsung, and I love it. I bought it just before my trip last September.  I keep it in a nice little case, away from harm, until I need it.  It generally lives on top of my dresser in the bedroom, safely away from kids and pets.  So obviously,  I am the only one to use it. So you can imagine my surprise when I downloaded my last batch of pictures and found this…

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My youngest son (he’s sixteen) loves picking up orphaned lawnmowers and tractors,  or anything with a motor really, and finding it a new home. He strips them down, repairs them and sells them at a profit.  Apparently the tractor was ready to go, and just needed it’s glamor shots taken!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I spent some time this afternoon sorting old pictures to put in my scrap book.  My daughter put it together and gave it to me for Christmas two years ago.  I was so happy to receive it that I cried. She had spent hours searching through old pictures to find what she needed. When she had chosen what she wanted, she had the newer colour pictures copied into black and white or sepia toned. She used the original black and white copies.  The book is of four generations of women in my family. The first picture is of the four of us.
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Hillary and I,  my Nan, and my Mom. 
The book itself starts with pictures of my Nan with my Mom as an infant. It continues throughout my Mom’s childhood and teenage years.
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Then on to her as a young mother to me.  There are pictures of me as a baby and young child, on into me with Hillary as a newborn. The rest of the pictures are of Hillary throughout the years, up to when she left for university. I will be adding more pictures of Hillary, until (hopefully!) she has a daughter of her own. I hope this tradition carries on, so that the future daughters in my family are able to have a living record of the women before them.
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite pictures of my mom. When I was a baby, Mom worked at a high end jewellery store downtown.  The store also sold fine china and figurines.  Royal Doulton was doing an advertising campaign at the time, and approached my Mom to ‘model’ one of their figurines. 
The figurine debuted in 1957, and was called ‘Southern Belle’.  Mom wore this gown for six days, eight hours a day. It weighed twenty five pounds,and was designed four a twenty four inch waist!  Amazingly, Mom styled her own hair every day. At the end of the week, she was presented a copy of the figurine.
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This, along with the scrapbook, will hopefully be passed down to future daughters!
Have a great weekend!  Anne

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Boston Cream Pie Cake?

Ok. I will be the first to point out that this cake isn’t pretty.  In fact, it may be the ugliest  cake I have ever made.  Of course, if I had taken my time, and waited for the ganache to completely cool and set, it would have looked much better.  AND, the chocolate would actually be on the cake, gracefully dripping down the sides. Oh well, better luck next time. And believe me, there WILL be a next time! This cake is awesome.  Well, here goes, a picture of my poor cake. (the faint of heart  may want to turn away now)
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See what I mean?  But, as you can see, it didn’t bother my family at all…
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They even scraped the ganache off the plate!  This was so easy to make, and tastes fabulous. This is what you need,
One golden two layer cake mix,  made using package directions
two vanilla pudding cups
Bake your cake and let it cool completely.
While your cake is baking, make your  ganache. It is super simple to do. All you need is one cup of heavy (whipping) cream, and one package of chocolate chips. (I used milk choc chips, but you could use anything you like. This recipe is also great made with white chocolate chips) Place the cream and chocolate in a medium sized GLASS bowl. Put about two inches of water in a saucepan and put the bowl on top, making sure the bottom of the  bowl is at least two inches away from the water. You are in essence creating your own double boiler. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring the cream mixture carefully. Be extra careful, steam will escape around the bowl, and can cause severe burns.  It won’t take long for the chocolate to melt. Continue stirring gently until all of the chocolate and cream are incorporated. Do not allow the cream to get too hot. Remove from heat. (don’t touch the bowl with bare hands! It is very HOT! Believe me, I found out the hard way!) Once the bowl has cooled, you can place it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process. Stir occasionally. 
When your cake is completely cool, place the bottom layer on your serving plate, and spoon the pudding onto the top of the layer. Spread it around so that it just reaches the edges. You can use as much or as little pudding as you want. Now. GENTLY place the second layer on top. push it down slightly, just enough for the layers to stick together. Obviously I pushed too hard. That’s why my pudding squished out the sides so much.   Now you are ready to spoon/pour your ganache onto the top. Let it drizzle down the sides too! You don’t want to miss a bit of it! If your ganache has set up a bit too much, just let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften.  That’s it! Hopefully your cake turns out prettier than mine. But, if not, at least you know it will taste great! Now I’m off to have another piece….

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When my daughter came home for Christmas, she brought her new friend with her. Meet Penelope!

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Now, any of you that have read my blog know that I have two rather large dogs.  I worried that poor little Penelope would be trampled in the stampede when my little darlings spotted her.  We took pains to keep her in the bedroom, making sure that the dogs didn’t get in. After a few days, my son decided it was time for the three to meet. At first, there was a lot of scrambling and whining, from everyone involved. You can imagine what the  bedroom looked like! We had been using it for storage while my daughter is away at school, so anything without a home had found it’s way in there. When she came home, everything was just shifted over to the side. Well. What happens when two large excited dogs and one small kitten end up in a room together? Chaos. Anything that had been neatly pushed out of the way was now all over the room. Fur flew like nobody’s business.  Surprisingly, Mercedes, the older larger dog decided to become Penelope’s protector. 

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She laid on the bed with the kitten between her front legs, and glared at anyone who came near. She would gently nudge Penelope with her nose and lick her fur. It was so cute!

Abby on the other hand, just wanted to play. Unfortunately Penelope had other ideas.

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Abby wouldn’t have hurt her, but Penelope had to show her who was boss anyway. So all in all the visit went better than expected.  I think Mercedes missed her after she left!

The other day my daughter sent me a new picture of Penelope. When my daughter came home from school, she couldn’t find the kitten. She looked everywhere in the house, finally going to the laundry room in the basement.  This is what she found.


That’s right. Penelope had somehow managed to get herself in with the rabbit.


She was very happy nestled in the cage, and the rabbit didn’t seem to mind. We just have to wonder what she’ll get up to next!