Saturday, July 26, 2014

Slashed Prices!

Have you visited the blog sale? Well, today I've slashed the prices. Go check it out!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I Made Something NEW!

I've finally finished a project that's been on my cutting table for months. David bought me the fabric for it for Mother's Day and I've had the pattern even longer. Thankfully, summer has meant that I get to have sewing time and I've been thoroughly enjoying it!

The pattern is The Iris Convertible Shoulder Bag by Canadian Designer, Celine of Blue Calla. I saw the pattern featured in the I Think Sew newsletter and knew I wanted to give it a try as soon as I did. I admit that it helped that it came from a Canadian designer, I love to support my countrymen.

I began making this bag in a different fabric that David had helped me choose, but the slippery nature of it and the straight stripes that refused to stay straight caused me to change my mind. Believe it or not, I found this fabric at Walmart in their pre-cut fabrics. It's a canvas weight and I'm really happy with the result.

The front pocket has a pretty little surprise under the pocket flap. The lace and vinyl trim is something only I will see, but it's a feature that I really like. It closes with a magnetic clasp and keeps my small items secure.

The vinyl was a challenging and fun new experience for me. Every needle hole shows and so you can't pin it or stitch rip and re-do. It's get it right the first time or you really notice! I'm really pleased with it. I took it really slow and payed very close attention to lining things up. It's recommended that you use a walking foot and I don't have one, so I had to trouble shoot certain steps. 

I lined the bag with a bold pink broadcloth. I like light coloured lining so that I can see into every corner with a glance and I like a pop and surprise of colour in every bag. The bag has a divided slip pocket and a zipper pocket in the lining. It's a very functional bag.

David found me this great rainbow zipper and I knew that I wanted to use it in the purse. It makes me smile every time I see it.

There are tabs on the side where I can attach a shoulder strap later, should I choose to do so. I'm not usually a fan of cross shoulder straps, so I may not do it, but you can't add those tabs later and I now have the option. 

PS I ordered my party dress and it's on its way! Thank you for all your support in my blog sale. I've left the blog sale post below and will keep it there for the time being. You're welcome to peruse and shop. I won't be showing you my dress until after the party, but I am pretty excited to have something pretty to wear.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Welcome to the Mama~Needs~a~New~Party~Dress Blog Sale!

Hi everyone. Welcome. I am nervous. I am putting myself out there and it feels vulnerable. As you know, my David and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary this summer and I "need" a new dress. Read:I wanna look hot for my man in a new dress! I thought I would give a blog sale a go in efforts to raise some money for the dress.

I have bags. I have lots of bags. My favourite thing to sew is bags and how many bags does one person need? I have 17 bags below for sale. They are all handmade by me, they are all used (some more than others) and they all favourites for one reason or another.

Pricing was difficult. David feels like I've underpriced them and I had a difficult time coming up with these prices. Things to consider were time, supplies, quality and the fact they are used (again, some more than others). Having said all that, if you are shopping and think "man, she's outta her mind!", please don't leave nasty comments, just don't buy anything. Deal?

How the sale works: Each item is first come first serve. Leave a comment or send me an email (mrsgingras at gmail dot com) with what item/items you'd like to purchase and I will either send you a paypal invoice or, if you are local, you can pay me cash in person. If you are not local shipping will be added on and I can give you an estimate for which items you are interested in. All items are made in a smoke/pet free home and, if washed, in scent free detergents. Feel free to ask any questions you might have and I will answer as soon as possible. BONUS: the first 7 customers will receive a free key fob!

Click on any picture for it to enlarge.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I just wanted to give you a quick "heads-up" that I will be having a blog sale this Thursday. I will be posting handmade items for sale as a mini fundraiser ~ Mama needs a new party dress sale! I hope you'll drop in and shop. See you Thursday 8:00 AM CST. First come, first serve.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer Rhythm

We want our summer to have a good balance of productivity and rest and fun. In order to help us accomplish that we have come up with a preliminary plan. Being our first week of summer break, we are in the testing period. Some things we considered when coming up with our plan what the fact that David is great with spontaneity and I'm great with a plan. We needed to find a way for both of us to enjoy summer and not be in a stressed out mood to begin with. With that in mind our summer rhythm gives a general outline of a main idea for each day of the week. Those ideas are not set in stone so to allow spontaneity, but is enough of a plan for me not to feel antsy and restless. I know what days we intend to stay close to home and what days we will be sure to get out and about. This should also help Abigail keep her expectations realistic. Abby is very much like her Mama, we don't handle busted expectations very well. I'm just learning how to have more realistic expectations and be flexible when things don't go as planned.

This is what it looks like, now I'll break it down. Sunday, we go to church which then runs pretty much straight into lunch and nap/quiet time. This takes us until late in the afternoon and pretty much straight into dinner time. Sunday typically is entire family quiet time, though maybe not as much in the summer. We, of course, are open to get togethers with friends, but that doesn't seem all that common for us on Sundays.

Mondays, I tend to want to stay at home during the school week as we pack our weekends pretty full of outings. In the summer; however, we can avoid retail and busy places on the weekends and do our outings on weekdays when more people are at work than not. With that in mind, Mondays will be our day to run errands. Yesterday, for example, we scheduled trips to the post office, grocery store, party store, the library and the bulk store. What we ended up going to the tire shop twice to have our flat fixed plus the other errands. It really took way more day than we expected, but since nothing else what scheduled, it worked out. 

watching the men working at the tire shop we were supposed to go celebrate Canada Day and our vanniversary, but with the rain and small children we've opted to try to see fireworks tonight (if there are any) and have an extra pajama van night. We'll amp it up with glow sticks and flags, so that should be festive. Our project for today was tidying/sorting/organizing the living room bookshelves and tv cabinet. It feels good to get those kind of things finished.

Wednesdays, we already have a regular Prayer Furnace spot and we thought we'd add parks and picnics to the day to round it out.

Thursdays are the days we'll plan larger adventures, things that are in our summer idea notebook like museums, mini road trips, festivals etc.

Friday will be set aside for dating our children and each other. It's been quite some time since I've taken Abby on a one on one day and I haven't dated my boys yet, so this will be nice time to have. I'm also pretty excited about dating my David. Hannah took a bottle at four months old and hasn't since, so I haven't had a childless date yet, but maybe we will this summer.

Saturday we already have a tradition of pajama van. This is where we put the littles in their pjs after bath time and we put on a movie for them in the van and go for a nice long drive. David and I get steeped tea and timbits from Tim Hortons and we have a mini date in the front of the van. Its a win for everyone. Actually, it's become a favourite time for me in the week.

You'll notice there is a lot of space in and around each day. This is intentional. We want time for spontaneity and time for appointments, friends or whatever else comes up. I'm not a fan of being interrupted, so this gives lots of time to get to "the plan" and still have room for interruption. It's a rhythm, not a schedule. It moves, it's flexible and I think it will work for us. 

By the way, we will be incorporating Mom's night out, Dad's night out, creative time etc. So far, Monday nights look like a go for sewing! This is exciting to me and though I got a late start last night, I got a decent portion of a project worked on. Woot woot!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

It's Summer Break!!!!

We are all pretty excited to be on summer break. Eight weeks of summer family time, who wouldn't be? If you follow me on Facebook then you've already seen these, pictures, but they are too funny not to share with those of you don't.

Abigail's last day of pre~school was on Thursday. I asked David to snap a few pictures of her on the front step to compare with her first day. Here she is posing on her first day back in September.

David didn't prompt her, this was just her doing what she does. I think I suggested what she could wear and I knew she would get her school uniform shirt that day. Cute right?

Here's Abby on her last day.

There is so much going on here that I want to remember. Let's talk about her outfit first. Abigail gets to choose (within guidelines) what she wears. Her school only required the pre-school students to wear a uniform shirt (the blue one). We require her to wear leggings or shorts if she wants to wear a skirt to school.  What you can't see is that she is wearing black leggings that are tucked into her socks under a grey skirt that is under her rainbow skirt. The grey skirt has carefully been tucked under her rainbow skirt except for a "tail" piece in the back which was equally carefully pulled out to be on top of her rainbow skirt. Next she is wearing a long sleeved blue shirt under her school t-shirt and topped off with her jacket. It was 30 degrees centigrade that day. The poor thing must have been cooking!

Abby grew considerably since September. I mean she looked so tiny and now she looks ready to conquer kindergarten next year. By the way on her last day she said to me "I wish it were fall!" Heaven help us. I told her not to wish away my summer.

I love that Abby marches to her own drum. She is a bit of a contradiction though. As she meticulously prepares how she looks, she worries that someone will laugh at her. How sad that she has already become self conscious? I tell her it doesn't matter what she wears or how she does her hair, she'll always be beautiful. I pray she believes me. I don't think I truly believed that when my mom said it. It's the thing for a mom to say, though, and I will say it as often as it takes! Abby will be required to wear full uniform next year, so I'll miss the colourful creative style, though she will have after school and weekends to express herself. Don't get me wrong, I am not anti-uniform. In actual fact, I love uniforms and I'm glad that she will wear one. 

We loved Abby's teachers this year. Her teacher is my friend and has blessed us so much with her love and support on some quite challenging days this year. Her teacher's assistant will sadly not be there next year, but we were equally blessed by her. I can't say enough good things about these ladies. This year was the pilot year of preschool at The King's School and they did amazing! 

I can't leave out the other half of year end pictures. We were so tickled by Abby's posing on her last day pictures that I asked David to humour me with a few of him. In true David style, he wouldn't be outdone by his girl.

A few mildly funny poses in honour of Abby, then the hilarious t-rex edition....

Oh how I love this man!!!!

We celebrated on Friday after David got home with rainbow cupcakes. Abby and I baked them and then we all sat down to decorate and eat them. Malachi in the middle of eating his said "This is an amazing day!"

Aren't those colours super fun!?

This picture is not touched up or has a filter added, they really are that colour!

We used Clubhouse neon food colouring. It was all the store had in stock and I wouldn't have chosen them, but I'm so glad we tried them, because they turned out so fun!

Micah didn't really decorate his, but he ate it quite happily

"Mmmm! May I have some more?"

It was a good celebration and we have so much more yet to celebrate! It's going to be a great summer!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Checking In

4 days until summer break! We are sooooo ready to have David home and for a new season to begin. Let's catch up and talk about what we're looking forward to.

  • Micah celebrated his 2nd birthday. We had a couple of friends over for a very simple backyard barbecue and pool party. I didn't do much for planning as I have a big party to plan for this summer and I think one big planned event is enough. For not having much of a plan, it turned out rather well. I think everyone had a good time.

  • I made a mini cake. It was cute and perfect for the birthday boy.

  • I painted Micah a t~shirt. His favourite song is "What does the fox say?". I thought the shirt was cute and he always tells what the fox says when you put it on him.
(I'm not sure why this picture is sideways~sorry)

  • We bought a small backyard pool for the summer. It's filtered which is nice and deep and large enough for us to climb in with the littles. I think it will be a great thing to have for our summer off at home.

  • I made David a shirt for Father's Day. I really enjoy freezer paper stencilling. The final product is so satisfying.

  • We have decided against going to Alberta this summer. It wasn't an easy decision, but now that it's made, I'm relieved. I can now go ahead and plan our staycation
  • We made a summer list~ish. David felt pressure to cross off each item on prior lists and it was never meant to be a "have to do" list, but a "could do" list. I wrote out a bunch of ideas in a pocket notebook for reference if we need ideas on any given day. 
  • We have a weekly spot at the Prayer Furnace. The first few weeks were a gong show with the children, but I've come to really enjoy and treasure our times of family prayer. There is something so sweet about hearing your children pray. They have no pre~conceived ideas about how to pray, they just say what they mean and mean what they say. We love to teach them about prayer, but they teach us just as much.

  • We visited a farm this weekend. The littles got to run free, explore, feed chickens and soak in the outdoors. I often think I've been in the city too long to really enjoy the country, but then I get out of the city and think "my heart remembers this". David came home happier and more relaxed then I've seen him in some time. We need to get out of the city more often.

  • I have Loved the last few Saturday mornings. They are slow and close and sweet. I will miss these times with my littles when life gets busier and as they grow.

  • I apologize for the duplicate pictures if you've already seen them on instagram. I love my phone and the convenience of taking pictures on the go often leaves our actual camera on the shelf. I do have plans for it this summer though.

  • What I'm looking forward to this summer: David being home, our 10th anniversary!!!, backyard play, projects worked on and finished, family coming for a visit (hopefully), celebrating our one year Vanniversary, lots of creative time, party planning and secrets (this blog will be hopping after the party) and whatever adventures we have in store.
  • I hope you and yours have a wonderful, adventure filled summer!