Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Other Creative Endeavours

I often joke about having crafting ADD. It is not meant to offend anyone, just a way to explain that I like to try many many different kinds of crafts. I've dabbled in embroidery, scrapbooking, home decor of many types, sewing, print design, jewelry making and more. This month I've had the pleasure of working at my computer doing some design for a friend. After our family photo shoot this summer, I created a watermark to put on the photos for posting on the internet. Twila saw what I did and asked me to help her with her business card. Without further ado:

(as always, click on the image to enlarge it)

Just in case you wanted to know, that flourish is 7 different images put together! I don't know how real designers work, but in order to be able to manipulate the color and size of the flourish, I found several wing ding fonts and tried out each letter of the alphabet until I found the ones I wanted. I then rotated, twisted, shrunk or stretched until the shape came out right. The good news, Twila, is that this is a one of a kind original just for you!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Abigail's New Toys

It's Boxing Day here and Abigail finally gets to play with her new toys!

(sheer concentration!)

(enjoying the view from her new chair)

(a very happy little girl)

We Interrupt these Christmas posts...

I was reminded that I still haven't posted about Abigail's trunk! My sister generously handed down this family heirloom to my daughter and my parents shipped it from Edmonton and all of them filled it!

(this is me excitedly waiting to open the trunk)

( Abigail's trunk with Betty's on top)
(balloons left over from David's birthday)

I was so busy unpacking the goodies, that I don't have a lot of pictures, but I can certainly tell you what was in it! First of all, have I told you that my family has been collecting costumes for Abby's future tickle trunk? The trunk is full of costumes and accessories! What a treasure, indeed! Anyway, in the trunk was some great costumes including a gorilla suit, a baby lamb, a magician's cape and hat and several fun hats including a cowboy hat that belonged to Abigail's cousin, Ethan. So much fun. Also in the trunk was a smaller steamer trunk, which my dad picked up for me at a garage sale. I'm thinking that it will be Betty Bunny's tickle trunk (Abigail's stuffed bunny from Grandma Ang). Betty already has several outfits and accessories herself.

Did you see the fabric that I made Abigail's pj's and shirt out of? Well, my sister sent yards and yards of it! I squealed with delight and immediately made a list of things (in my head) of what I want to make with it. I've made a few things for Abigail, but I have a pattern for me that I think I want to try next.

Then there was old cassette tapes that we will convert to DVD when we get the technology, including a recording of me and my sister at the ages of 5 and 3 years old. There were also some other great memories included like my mom's tambourine (all three of us learned tambourine years ago). Abigail is going to love that! This post is a long time over due and with it my public gratitude. My appologies! I am so grateful and we are looking forward to all the imaginings that will take place in Abby's bedroom!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

"If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If God had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. When you want to talk, He'll listen. He could live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart. And that Christmas gift He sent you in Bethlehem? Face it, friend, He's crazy about you!" - Max Lucado
From our family to yours...

The Rest are a Surprise

Here's the last Christmas present that I can share here until next week as the rest are surprises. David knows about this as I had him try it on to make sure I got the sleeve lengths correct etc. This housecoat was a request from David and I was quite happy to comply. Now I want one, too. I'll have to work on that in the new year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Christmas Presents

You know those foam chairs with licensed characters on them? Well, I was given one for Abigail with the lovely Dora on it. I am not anti-Dora, just so you know, I just thought that this striped fabric would look way cuter... and it does! A little stitch ripping, tracing and sewing and it's like new.

Don't these kimono pj's look adorable on Abigail? I love how she looks likes she's in a kung fu stance here. Too funny! These were fairly simple, it shouldn't have taken me as long as it did, but they're done now and they fit!

Here's Abigail modeling her new Christmas top. I did have to adjust the strap length a little, but I think it's adorable!

Don't look too closely at the back, the check panel doesn't match up (I'm terrible at cutting a straight line) and next time I'll put more pleats in I like how the two are so close in the back.

And here is the layered daytime ensemble. I love it!

Monday, December 21, 2009

One to play in

Abigail has some very pretty and some very fancy Christmas dresses/outfits. All of which are very nice. I wanted her to have something festive that she could play in. This little number was originally going to be a dress, but through a happy accident it's now a shirt. She can wear it over a long sleeved onesie paired with blue jeans and stay warm. I'll try to get pictures of her wearing it. The dress tutorial can be found here.

Cutivity! (Cute - Creativity)

Well after losing a week of creative time to tonsillitis, I've made it up with some intense sewing time. It will be fun sharing my projects as I can. First up is Abigail's doll. I used this pattern again from Emily of Inside a Black Apple. I accessorized her a bit with a little lacy dress, knee-high socks and mary jane shoes. I love her!

(close up of her shoe)

We've been elved!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

For Those of You not on Facebook

this one is too cute not to share. David and I decorated the Christmas tree etc. while Abigail was napping and this is her initial response.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This Week In Winnipeg

It's November 25th and still no snow - that's crazy for Winnipeg! We did get a couple of previews, but nothing has stuck so far. We are planning on decorating this upcoming weekend and it just feels weird without snow. It will come soon enough and last longer than anyone wants, so for now, just enjoy! (I wonder if I could convince David to do first day snowfall chinese food again?)

On the crafty front, here's the finished scarf and a matching beret... though, I'm aware that it doesn't suit me. That's okay - it was fun to try. The scarf is simply a double crochet base with an increasing single crochet ruffle.  It's really quite long though you can't tell from the picture. It's cheapy yarn, so not very soft, but I love how it turned out. The beret is from this tutorial - though I used a smaller hook and added one extra row of increase to compensate.

David and I got to go out on a double date last night and it was so great. October was a bit of a crazy month and we didn't get  a sitter for date night the whole month, so we were blessed to enjoy the night out. We went to see A Christmas Carol in digital 3D and WOW, it was stunning! The story was bang on with the book, right down to some direct dialogue quotes. Of course, I wouldn't recommend the movie for children, but face it, if you know the story you wouldn't be quick to take your kids without a preview. 3D has come a long way since I was a little child and it was so real, you had to reach out and try to catch the falling snow.

David and I whipped up three more puzzles since last week, too. (two of them were only 100 pieces and then a 500 piece puzzle which was really quite a challenge for me).

and lastly, I just had an un-nerving telephone experience. I got one of those phone calls where you are asked a lot of personal financial information with no way to authenticate the validity of the company/person calling. I won't go into all the details, except to say that I had this company representative on my landline and the credit card emergency guy on my cell phone and my Abigail screaming in the background and it was a tense half and hour! I have a new credit card coming in the mail, my old one blocked and I finally just hung up on the other guy. I changed a dirty diaper while cradling my cell phone (on hold) and prayed for the peace of God to wash over all this mess. Thank God, all is well and there is peace in my spirit. Some days, I wish I just didn't answer my phone.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Some sewing and some shoulder to shoulder time

Well, this week was a little slow on the productivity, but I've finished the apron (Butterick 4945 view D)

Also, David and I spent some time doing 300 piece puzzles on our date night last night. David's really good at puzzles, I'm not, but we enjoyed ourselves. Ladies, this is a great shoulder to shoulder thing to do with your spouse - just remember not to talk his ears off!

Lastly, I've finished another great scarf - pictures on my next post!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm not Julia Child by any stretch!

For any of you who know me, the title probably made you snort your coffee out your nose followed by the phrase "no kidding!". No worries, I'm the first to admit that I'm not domestic, especially in the kitchen. There are three main reasons I don't like to cook.

  1. my kitchen is the size of a walk in closet (and uglier).
  2. I have normal ingredients in my cupboards and I can pronounce them all (most recipes call for weird or obscure things)
  3. I like to spend no more than one hour at a time in the kitchen and if I have to clean it first (which is usually the case) then I've already spent half of my alloted time in there.
These are my excuses. I think I would enjoy cooking if I took a proper class (of normal foods - nothing too fancy). I think I would also enjoy it more if I didn't have to increase my grocery budget by large amounts of money - this month we already went over budget and we didn't get anything out of the ordinary. Why oh why is it so expensive to eat healthier foods than junk?!?!

Now, having said all of that, I've had a few urges to improve in this area of my life. It's little things, really. For instance some cooking based movies I've seen lately, Ratatouille and Julie & Julia (which I loved and blogged about already). Maybe it was the ladies ministry fall event "Cooking with John Storey" that I attended at my church. John made it look so easy and I could pronounce his ingredients, too. Then I found this super fun cooking video blog, The Working Class Foodies - so good! I actually baked the apple cake that they posted and it turned out great. 

One thing that I've been doing that helps me out is a meal plan. It is now incorporated into my organizer and I do about 2 weeks at a time. This helps me to better plan my grocery list and I'm not trying to decide what to cook at 4 o'clock. I've written down a list of meals that we know and love and pull from that list, adding a new recipe now and then that I want to try. For example I am going to try this recipe this week from the Sobey's inspired magazine. I also tried a broccoli and cheese stromboli from the 2010 milk calendar that David brought home for me (available for free at Sobeys right now).

What's my point? I don't think I really have one, except to say that I'm getting better and if I can spend time cooking.... anybody can! Check out the many links throughout this post - some great resources!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Poor Neglected Blog

Oh dear! I never meant to leave you hanging this long. I so wanted this to be such a great post that I've shied away from my dear blog until I had time to do this right. Well, (head hung down) I am posting anyway with what I have. First things first. My 100th post giveaway... I had so wanted to put together such a delicious package and well, it hasn't happened yet. I have a few things put aside, but I've decided to delay the prize until it's so delicious you'll be drooling on your computer screens. (Well, at least really want to win!) I hope you aren't too disappointed. I am a little, but I'd rather do it right!

My sewing pile feels like a mile high and I don't even mind. At least I have a lot of variety to work with and won't be bored. I took some pictures of my works in progress to share.

My first crochet scarf on my favourite model.

payment for some amazing fabric... an apron
(this pattern is so cute, can't wait to see the finished product)

kimono pj's for Abigail (from Amy Butler's Little Stitches book)

Still to go: finish the above sewing projects, David's christmas housecoat, Abigail's christmas doll and chair re-con, diapers (this is never ending in Coralee's world), nightgown (for me) to match Abby's pjs and that's just the list of things I want to finish before Christmas. I've got a lot of work to do, but I love it!

In other news, we had an UP party for David's birthday and it was such fun! We showed the movie, ate food and even had a guest from the movie attend! (I forgot to get a picture!) Here's a picture of the little decoration we put together in honor of the day:

(it's the next day, so a little deflated)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Original Creativity

This post has been rolling around in my mind for the past week and a half. It was during my daily bible study and prayer time that it first began and then it was confirmed in a podcast sermon that I listened to online. Let me back up a bit...

 A couple of weeks ago, I learned a new craft. It's one that I had tried in the past and never could quite figure it out. I am always in awe of my friend, Patty~Jean for her work in this art form and recently my aunt, Evelyn began her journey in this craft and I found myself wanting to try again. Several Youtube videos later and much unravelling, I learned how to crochet! I used to say that the yarn arts were not my gift, something I had tried and failed at. I was so excited to actually be doing it. I couldn't wait to come here and say "Look what I did!" and I couldn't wait to hear my friend say "I'm proud of you." You might have noticed that this is the first time I've mentioned crocheting here and obviously didn't scream and shout right away. Well, conviction started entering my heart. How proud I had become of "my" ability. I began to think over previous posts where I was like "Look at me. Look what I did!"
"Oh, foolish Coralee! Who gave you the ability? Who was the original creator? Who inspires you to create?"

"Oh, Lord! YOU are gave me the ability! YOU were the original creator! YOU inspire me to create!"

(some of God's original creativity)

How can I brag about what isn't me unless I give all glory and honour back to the One who made me? I want to thank you all for your kind comments over the duration of this blog. I humbly accept them and say this,
"It is God, in me, who is the ultimate creative being. I am His tool and it is for His glory that I create."

(perhaps my favourite original creation)

The other area of conviction that I wish to confess is how selfish I've been with my gifts. Growing up my mom, sister and I would make handmade gifts and forget to make one to keep. Over the years the tendency was to keep all of my crafts - giving away less and less. Then I decided that 2010 would be a good year to possibly open my own online store. I could then sell my crafts and benefit financially, too. I'm not saying that this is a bad thing, but I do feel that I need to make time and goods for the benefit of others. Not just people who have lots of stuff and want more, but people who could really benefit. So, I'm looking for a charity or ministry to join where I can use my God given talents and abilities to serve. I don't know exactly how I'm going to balance it all, but I know God financial math is better than mine and I'm sure his time math is better, too.

And in case you'd like to see some of the Lord's creativity in me, here's a peak at what I'm working on from my crochet basket.

(details soon)

P.S. This is my 99th post, stay tuned for my 100th post and a little giveaway celebration!