Thursday, August 27, 2009

Borrowed Beauty

This is what is on my sewing desk today. I mean besides the mess. My friend lent me this serger and I am so in love!

I don't even know how much I can do with a serger - remember, I've only been sewing for a couple of years, but this much I do know... this was sooooo fast!

I did this pile...

... and this pile in under 2 hours, with a baby to attend to and lunch to make!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Precision Cutting!

I ordered this diaper fabric calculating that I should get 16 medium diapers out of it. With some serious math calculations and intense measuring David managed to get not only all of my medium diapers, but also all of my large diapers out of the amount I purchased! He saved me $160!!!

He measured out the height of the pattern and tacked a piece of yarn into the floor to use as a straight edge. He did this on both sides.

He then used my rotary cutter and cutting mat to cut along the yarn line, moving the mat four or five times to cover the entire width.

PUL is slippery and so he worked with great care to make sure that the strips were straight and not moved at all.

In the end he had about 1/2 inch of PUL to spare. Now that is precision cutting!

In case your wondering, I got the fabric here and I am using this pattern.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Anniversary Date Night

David and I planned well in advance for this date. I knew that I wanted to do something new and special for our anniversary date and we checked into all sorts of ideas. We finally settled on Jazz on the Rooftop at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The Brent Parkin Band was booked to play on August 13th (only one day away from our anniversary), so it would work out really well. We pre-ordered tickets for the concert through Ticketmaster and planned to pay at the gallery for the dinner.

Thinking a jazz event would be a nice classy evening, I bought a new dress (didn't get pictures, sorry gals) and some new shoes and gussied myself up for my hot date with David. Imagine my surprise to find myself eating corn on the cob and taco chips at dinner time. Not quite the menu I would put together with a jazz evening, but okay - at least it tasted yummy! I tried not to pick apart the evening - it can be difficult with my event management training. Even David thought a nice salmon dish would be more appropriate . Anyway, we enjoyed our dinner and non-alchoholic drinks (much to the surprise of the bar tender).

Surprise number two, the Brent Parkin band is not really a jazz band. I would classify them as blues or even hill billy rock, but not jazz. They hired the three horn players, I think, to squeak in as a jazz band. David and I enjoy almost all genres of music and we weren't at all disapointed! We did see some people leave early and I'm sure it's because of the lack of jazz. This band was amazing, though! We laughed out loud, clapped our hands and bopped to the music.

The weather, was perfect! It was a super hot day, but because of the high walls and the slowly setting sun, we had shade and even a nice breeze. Not a complaint in that department for sure.

We had such a great time that we are looking forward to next year! I'd definately attend this event again - with different expectations. I'm sure next year's anniversary date will end up being a different event, but Jazz on the Rooftop will still be on our radar for a mid summer's date night.

Oh, I had to show you my cute shoes! I have a couple of angry blisters, but that's not a surprise to me. I always get blisters with new shoes. I am assured by my sister, Crystal, that toe cleavage is a good thing. I wasn't too sure, but I do love my shoes!

Friday, August 14, 2009

5 years!

Today we are celebrating our fifth anniversary. In some ways it feels like we've been married way longer and in other ways, like it was just yesterday. I am so in love with this man of God and I am blessed beyond words to be married to him. Marriage in some ways has been nothing like I imagined and in other ways immensely better.

I was thinking about some our quirky things that have become our own little traditions. For example, when we kiss each other we kiss 3 times. If the 2nd and 3rd kisses are missed the other person will say "hey, 2 free!". "Free" being three mispronounced.

Another one is "first in bed". This has turned into a nightly tradition where it's a race to see who can be first in bed. The benefits of being first in bed include not having to turn off the light or set the alarm clock; however, for the most part, it's just so you can say that you're the first one in bed. Over the years this game has evolved with an elaborate set of rules that are still being adjusted as we go along. Since Abigail joined our family, we've had to add pause or time out rules so we can attend to her, then it's "game on". I'll save those details for another post. I want to record it to tell our children someday. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts and how it changes over the years. Will we include our children in the game?

On a more serious note, marrying a man who has the gift of counseling has been a wonderful challenge. Wonderful because I am learning how to communicate better and better. A challenge because it's hard work! He loves me through all of my messiness and our spins on the crazy cycle have gotten shorter and shorter. We have both become passionate about helping other couples with marriage - not because our 5 years makes us experts by any stretch, but because we long to see more people fight for their marriages and win. We've had the privilege of joining the Marriage Builders Ministry at our church. One of our most prominent tools that we have been using is Love & Respect DVD Seminar by Dr Emmerson Eggrichs. This is such an amazing seminar with such simple but marriage altering truths! We highly recommend it. In fact when my parents were struggling in their marriage and heading for divorce, they watched the DVDs and were reconciled. I've heard people say that only those people who have problems should go to counseling or marriage seminars. This statement is so false and frustrating to me. Your car runs better if you maintain it on a regular basis, right? You fill it with gas, change the oil, check the fluids etc. Why wouldn't you do the same for your marriage. If you get the opportunity to attend a L&R Seminar - do it! Your marriage will "run" better.

So much has happened in our little family in the short 5 years and I can't even begin to imagine where we will be in another 5 years, but I am looking forward to it! I can imagine, sitting on a porch swing as an old couple, holding hands and "drinking in" our surroundings. David, I love and respect you and am so proud to be your wife!

I've decided to post about our anniversary date separately - it was great and deserves it's own post.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Birthday Doll

This little cutie is for Abby's friend. Happy 1st Birthday, Emma! What a great pattern this was to work with. This is Emily Martin's doll pattern - generously free for personal use. I am so glad that I found this pattern, because this makes a quick and simple gift and there will be lots of parties in Abby's future. I didn't have wool felt, so I used craft felt with fusible interfacing and I stitched her face instead of painting it. (oh, and I enlarged it 200% instead of 150%) You could do some many little accessories or adjustments on this pattern and I would highly recommend checking it out!

UPDATED TO ADD: Emma loves her doll! I'm so glad.

UPDATED AGAIN TO ADD: Go check out my sis's dolls that she made for a family in the midst of the adoption process. Crystal did such a great job.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The story behind the car

So, what David didn't mention was that our beautiful new car was another amazing gift that we have recently received. A lovely couple in our church/Bible study group bought a new car and really wanted to bless someone in need of a vehicle with their old one. That was incredible in itself, but they had offers on the car from people and they turned them all down so they could give us this car! It was a bit of a process, first they got it safety checked and found out it needed a bit of work. Then they got the work done and the car rechecked. With the car came the offer to use their garage if we ever need to do some maintenance, help with said maintenance and and open door in general if we need any help with the car! What a huge blessing this car has already been! The fuel economy is great, it drives like a dream (according to David) and it certainly more than meets our expectations. This is how amazing our Lord Jesus Christ is!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Our beautiful new CAR!

Please welcome with me today, our guest blogger - my David!

Well Dave, what do we have for our next prize?
Well Bob, we have A new to you car. Her name is Lady Blue.

Born in the vintage years of the car industry, 1993, lady blue is a wonderful 4 door deluxe sedan. She heralds from the prestigious lineage of Toyota, from the Tercel family name.

But don’t be fooled by the name Tercel, she has plenty of trunk space, and seating

One of the wonderful features you will notice when you first sit in her, is that she has a great voice, with her built in after market Sony stereo deck. 2 accompanying 5.5” speakers, this lady has a voice that belts out the praises to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords with style.

To make the deal sweeter, her engine is in amazing condition, with only a small amount of oil consumption in her weekly workout schedules, which is more than we can say for our own fast food grease and oil consumptions. * Insert laughter here *

But this automatic shifting girl is even easier to get going, with her 2000’ Viper remote starter. Yes, she has a built in Remote Starter, from the makers of Viper. This girl will start with no issues from the Gingras apartment, and also in the cold, winter Winnipeg weather, as her block heater is top notch.

With her recent face lift and Rocket Guard across the bottom corners, rust is rarely seen, and even less noticed.

This Blue Lady came from one family of owners, and is ready for use today. Extra parts included in the trunk including the Hanes Manuel for easy repair and maintenance.

This great Lady can be yours Gingras, if, The Price is Right. (Not actually selling it, just added for fun emphasis and dialogue humour)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Simplicity 2551 Bag "C"

This is the pattern that recently sewed for a friend of mine who is having a baby any day now. She's not a traditional diaper bag carrying type of mom and I thought this would be cute. As I mentioned before, I didn't take a picture of her bag, but here is mine!

Do you recognize the fabric? I love it all together. The inside pockets aren't actually in the pattern, but I have grown to love pockets and put in my own. You can find a great zipper pocket tutorial here.

The great thing about this bag is that it's not too big to be a purse and not too small to be a diaper bag on the go. It's a great size.

The outside pockets are the full height of the bag and are great for bottles!

I used fusible fleece instead of pre-quilted fabrics - I really like fusible fleece and if it wasn't so expensive, I'd use it in a lot more projects. Oh and I skipped the piping on the pockets and I think it still looks great.

Date Night

For quite some time now, we've been redeeming our Airmiles for date nights. Up until this point it's been for movie tickets, but recently David ordered tickets to the Goldeyes game. We both really enjoy baseball and we often think to ourselves "Why don't we do this more often?" We even talked about looking into seasons tickets down the road. Last night was Luau night and concluded with fireworks. Now any of you who know David, know that he LOVES fireworks! So, for David and Coralee, this was the perfect date night. In the second inning, David turned to me and said "I hope we get to see a home run." Not ten minutes later - whamo! In the second inning! We were thrilled - there were 8 home runs in the game (7 Goldeyes - 1 Jackhammers). It was a super fun game to watch.

I was quite enjoying all the children around us. I kept imagining bringing Abigail and any other children we'll be blessed with to a game. It's a great family outing. Of course, it was a great night to have a babysitter, too. I did pretty good, by the way. Abigail has a cold and I knew she'd be a bit cranky for our friend, but I wasn't obsessively worrying all evening. I only talked about her a little bit. Not bad.

I wish we would've thought to take a picture of the scoreboard at the end of the game - the Goldeyes killed! (13-1) Oh, and see that "reaching higher" sign? It would have been 9 home runs, but one ball just nicked this sign and so it ended up being a single. Oh well!

As you can see, we had great seats, especially for freebies! 2nd row. We watched the away team warming up right in front of us. Crazy stretching happened!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lil Dippers

Here's a picture of Abigail and her friend, Emma on their last day of swimming "lessons" at the YMCA. We weren't allowed to take pictures in the class, so we settled for locker room pictures. Both of the girls seemed to really enjoy the class. Activities included songs/games like "What time is it, Mr Wolf?", "The Hokie Pokie", "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Alice the Camel". We also learned our front and back floats (neither of the girls liked the back float much), front and back "rocket ships", jumps from outside of the pool, blowing bubbles (or in Abby's case - licking the water) and kicking and splashing the water (Abby's a pro at this now and thinks it's just as fun in the bath).

Jenni and I felt like the girls needed a swimming badge for participation (the older kids all came into the locker room with their badges from the actual lessons) and so I made a couple of these ribbons that I designed a couple of years ago. [Side note: thinking of doing a tutorial for these... wondering if anyone would care?] I found a little whale to embroider on it and voila!

Here's Emma proudly wearing hers - how cute is she? I never did actually pin it onto Abigail (she went straight home for a nap that day). I'm thinking the girls are going to need some sort of display banner or sash or something for all their swimming badges. What do most people do for theirs? We'll have to come up with something anyway. Thanks, Jenni and Emma for a great time and for letting us post this great picture!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Our beautiful new coffee table!

Isn't she beautiful? Okay, this is one of the generous gifts bestowed upon us this week! I won't embarrass our friends who gifted this table to us by telling you who they are, but I quote from their card

"Please consider this not from the [insert family name here]'s, but from the Lord... Coralee mentioned her interest in a certain coffee table from Walmart - and it's a great one! Please enjoy it! (however, if you are interested in another one, please feel free to put this money toward the one you want - otherwise, this is the exact amount for the Walmart one)."

Isn't that the sweetest thing? Well, I love the "one" I mentioned and we picked it up right away. David says it looks like lawyer's furniture (meant to be a compliment). He also said that it might be too fancy for the rest of our furniture. As you can see the end's open to reveal 2 cube footstools and the centre piece flips over to reveal a hard tray for resting your stuff on. My favourite feature? The fact that I don't have to barricade it with pillows to keep Abigail's head safe. It's nice and soft to crawl around, into or suck on (since she teethes on all my furniture). Thank you, our friends! You blessed our socks off!

Stay tuned for more gift reveals coming soon!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Baby Love!

I realize I post way more pictures and updates about Abigail on facebook. I apologize to those of you who don't use facebook, I'm not trying to be exclusive - I think it's the ease of facebook and the profuse amounts of comment love that I get there! In any case, here's one of the latest videos I posted over there. Abigail is discovering so much that it seems like I have the camera close at all times. Here she is gurgling quite happily. Enjoy!