Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring is here!

Hello! I hope you are all well and finally enjoying spring, wherever you are. Today the sun is shining and the window is open letting in a delicious spring breeze. What a relief! I have a bit of crafty goodness to share today.

In honour of spring and the hope of it's coming, I redecorated my tree. Apple blossoms and butterflies seemed like a nice and spring~y thing to decorate with.

Behind the tree you'll see my new wall art. I simply cut out letters out of foam board and painted them with acrylic paint. You can't tell in the picture, but the "o" is metallic teal and quite lovely.

I have had fun over the last few days preparing a few packages for my prayer partner in Romania. My friend's parents are missionaries in Romania and have connected some of us gals to pray with a lady in Romania. We were invited to send little gifts to our prayer partners and since our missionaries are coming to Canada this month I put together three packages (to be staggered in their delivery) to send to my prayer partner. I don't know anything about her except her name and what she looks like. I do have a nice picture of her and a list of suggested things to pray for her. Many of the families are poor and in need of consistent jobs, firewood and food. These are basic needs that we take so much for granted.

I wondered what my friend would like. I wanted to give her pretty and useful gifts that aren't frivolous, but might make her feel special for having received them. Here's what I came up with:

The first thing I thought that would be pretty and practical was an apron. I sewed this one up with the waist straps adjusting the neck strap - super handy and cute. Then I thought, I could sew up a little zipper pouch to put it in and fill with little goodies. The picture below shows some of what I put in, but in the end it contained the apron, chocolate, a broach, 4 different flavours of tea, a letter with pictures of my family in it and a felt banner of butterflies and hearts. I used google translate to help me with the letter. I wrote it out by hand in English and then Romanian, sentence by sentence. 

The second package I worked on came with a sudden inspiration. A sewing kit is useful and could be made pretty. I've made these little potholder bags before. They're super handy and a quick project.
I then had fun filling it with supplies. (click to enlarge the picture) I filled two little baggies with buttons. One in rainbow colours and one in black and white. I filled another little baggie with rainbow coloured hair elastics, I use these to sew with all the time. I printed out some cute thread bobbins and wound some thread onto them.  I put in scissors, a stitch ripper, tailors chalk, zippers, lace and ribbon.

I also made a needle book, found the idea on Pinterest (of course) and it's genius!

The last package has a bunch of pretty little things. If it had a commercial wrapper on it, I covered it or replaced it with pretty paper and used google translate to label them. I whipped up another zipper pouch (why use wrapping paper when you can put it in something useful and cute?) and it contains 4 more teas, 2 packages of lifesavers, lip balm, hand lotion, bobby pins for her hair, a little note and a mini bar of my favourite bar soap.

"For your hair"

Don't they look cute?

 Abigail has also been getting her craft on. It started with a special picture for Grandma Ang on her birthday.

Abby didn't want Grandpa to feel left out though, so she made this...

"tell Grandpa that it isn't meant to be paper underwear with rhinoceros teeth, but it's meant to be a castle."
Now you know!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Checking In

Well, we're in the thick of flu season, but I figured I could sit at the computer while holding a little and give a small update. I don't have a lot of pictures to go with my update, so I'll entertain you with pictures of my littles.
  • Aside from the flu, it's been a bit of a crazy month. David went back to work after being on parental leave. Being our fourth, I've lowered my expectations a whole lot as to what I can accomplish the first two weeks, so we went into survival mode and we made it through.

It looks like Micah is about to give Hannah a "wet willy"

  •  Is there anyone out there not tired of winter yet? We have had spring fever for a month (at least).

Abby's getting into posing for pictures and Malachi is in his "uniform" super hero costume
    The Gingras littles' album cover
  • Hannah is three months old today! Wow! 

  •  April is looking to be a fun month filled with celebrations. I won't be hosting a party this spring like I usually do (there are plenty of fun events to go to), but David and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary this August and there are rumours of a party. This pretty much means that I have something to obsess over plan for months to come. I LOVE IT!

Poor Hannah... what happens when she doesn't see

or maybe she does know

  •  I am looking for a dress. I found a cute pattern, but I don't sew clothing. My David says it's time to get my feet wet in that department, but it's intimidating to me. I need a seasoned seamstress to coach me through the fitting process. I did find a blog sew-a-long for that specific pattern, so I might struggle through, but if you're reading this (in Winnipeg) and want to help, please let me know!

  • In actual news, the girls got their ears pierced a few weeks ago. It was a special sister date and they both did great.

Cold Saturday morning dance party (in their dancing clothes)

  •  David did some ingenious arranging in the living room. We needed to reclaim our third bedroom as a bedroom again, so the office and craft room needed to be evicted. I want to show you, but need to take some good pictures and that requires time to clean up better. It's been a disaster area around here, but I am slowly attempting to catch up. Hopefully soon. 

Happy (belated) St. Patrick's Day
Well, that's all for now. It wasn't all that exciting, but it's where we are right now. Hope you and yours aren't buried in a flu cycle and your snow (if you have any) melts!

Thursday, March 6, 2014


I have finally declared my first crochet afghan FINISHED!

I began last winter and I wasn't 100% sure that I would even have it in me to finish a large crochet project, but I did it! I was inspired by this afghan when I saw it on Pinterest I thought to myself "I want to try one like that. By changing stitches often I won't likely get bored with it." Not having $80 to invest in yarn all at once, I grabbed a skein of red that I had already and decided that I would use it up and when I ran out I would go buy another colour.

Teal came next, then hunter green dark purple, grey, fuchsia and orange. This is where I really began to like my work and became a little bit picky. The orange I bought I didn't really like how bright it was in comparison to the rest of the colours. I left it after only one row, though I do enjoy the contrast right there.

I also didn't like the first section of red I did. The colour was nice, but it was a different texture than the rest of the yarn I had used and it was bugging me. On a whim I ripped it out. This almost wrecked my afghan! I was freaked out for several hours as I tried to salvage what I had done. I managed to save the blanket and replaced the red with chocolate brown. The seam between the two colours is horrendous, but my "fix" turned out kinda pretty as I crocheted a thin row of lilac right over top.

Chocolate brown then red (in the same brand and texture of yarn), cornflower blue and lilac finished the bottom. After the orange came navy and light green to finish the top. I then did a single row of kelly green to begin a border and finished with the dark purple. The process of this blanket was fun for me. I loved making it up as I went. Somewhere in the new red section, I got a book, Crochet Stitch Dictionary and my rows became even more thought out and fancy. Up to that point I surfed Pinterest and YouTube to decide my next stitch and often learned new stitches for a change. My favourite section (for detail, not necessarily for colour) is the cornflower blue. I love how it turned out. I added a little heart to the corner and eep!

I've come a long way in skill since I first began and you can visually see the difference in the skill level throughout the blanket. It's also quite a bit wider at one end than the other, though blocking did help some. I am so proud of the project, though and won't change another bit of it. The lighting wasn't great for these pictures and so, the flash kinda skews the colours, but I couldn't wait to show you, so these will have to do. Just for one, I've added one with my newest model, Hannah...

I turned off the flash so I wouldn't blind her, so it looks really dark here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Checking In

Phew! I knew I had a lot to show, but this is almost ridiculous. Here we go, one more post to check in and be caught up!

  • Did you see my new bed on Facebook? Well, my David bought me a gorgeous bed for Valentine's Day. We always look in the "as-is" section at Ikea and this was a display bed for a ridiculous low price. It's been so nice to have our mattress off the floor as we've been without a bed frame for the length of our marriage.

  • We needed a sound buffer in our bedroom and so we ordered this area rug from Walmart online. We had it in the living room for the first few days while we waited for the underlay to come and now I want another for our living room. It's so fun and pretty and homey. The underlay came in yesterday and so it's now in our bedroom and I do love getting out of bed onto a carpet again.

  • So, Valentines weekend, we went to a family retreat. It was so much fun. I am part of a moms' group and we planned this weekend retreat. I got to do the fun work of the weekend which included the welcome gifts. You've probably seen the snowman kits from my last post. I also put in small jars of hot chocolate that I dressed up a little. There was a lot of goodies in that bag. It was super fun to put together.

  • David and I were also in charge of putting together a photo booth. We picked up these bare wood props at Michaels and I did a quick sharpie doodle on them to dress them up. We will have to do this again sometime. The weekend was plenty busy and there wasn't enough time or space to leave it up longer.

  • Our fourth little Gingras baby has been such a blessing to our family. The boys have loved her so much that she's caught her first cold. Despite that, she's doing well. Her 2 month doctors appointment was yesterday and she weighs a healthy 11 pounds 12 ounces. She outgrew the bassinet that we have borrowed and have moved her into a cradle and into the other room. Micah only lasted about one week in our room, so it feels a bit strange to have waited this long and yet, knowing she is our last baby, I was almost sad. Here she is with her new woobie. Abby still has hers and I love that it's such a special thing for our girls.

  • My David brought home these pretty flowers for me last week. Abigail is convinced that I have to share with her and Hannah any flowers that I get. I let her think they are ours, sometimes.

  • Hannah is a bit young yet for me to leave her with a sitter for long yet, so David and I are dating at home these days. Friday night I ran to the grocery store and bought some fancy desserts and some Tazo chai latte syrup. We made our own cozy spot in the living room (on our rug) in front of our fake fireplace, with a fake rain storm for ambiance along with some jazz music in the background. David read to me while I cuddled Hannah and worked on my crochet project. It was perhaps my favourite date that we've had in a long time. We just finished Illusion by Frank Perretti. It was such an intriguing story and I love how imaginative it was.

  • It's been a cold winter, but not without a few days of warm play weather. We had a nice time on the Monday holiday.

Snowman Kits

Have you seen snowman kits? I've been itching for an excuse to make some and when I got to do the welcome gifts for family retreat, it seemed like the perfect idea. I scoured Pinterest for ideas and basically followed this tutorial. David helped me with the math again, so that I purchased only the fabric needed.

Since I needed to make 12 and I was working in a budget, I looked for the least inexpensive way to make them.

I glued pom~poms onto small craft sticks for eyes, mouth and buttons and painted wooden pegs orange for the "carrot" nose.

I sewed felt top hats...too cute and a desired item for mat hat~loving boy.

I whipped up some tags, though I would maybe use them better next time to show what the kit included (in case there was question as to what each item was for).

 This was such a fun project, though next time I would work out a few minor changes.