Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Catchin' UP

Just before Malachi was born I made myself a new diaper bag. I was on the hunt for one that wasn't a box and was cute, but functional. After surfing through flickr, I found this adapted Amy Butler Modern Diaper Bag. I have the book, but never considered the bag because it's so huge. The reduced size makes a much nicer bag (though it's still quite large). I did a lot of minor adjustments of my own and in the end, I like it. The exterior fabric is from recycled dress shirts out of David's closet. I don't know if I'd make this bag again, but it serves it's purpose.

In other crafty news... with a limited budget, but a desire to give some gifts, we made up some jar gifts. Of course we had to try out the recipe, and it sure is yummy. Layered bean soup mix... cute and tasty.

(These were wrapped in cloth bags as part of the challenge)

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Been a Busy 3 weeks!

Wow! Where do I begin? Here's the I-may-only-get-a-few-minutes-to-write blog post:

Malachi is now 24 days old... unbelievable!

My Mom had 2 weeks to visit and it's already over (insert sad face here)

 (Malachi as Baby Jesus in Bethlehem LIVE!)

Our church's production of Bethlehem LIVE! had 5,347 visitors this year  - Malachi was baby Jesus for 7.5 hrs in total and only missed 2 tours because he needed to eat... he did great! There's a great radio broadcast featuring this Winnipeg treasure here.

CLOTH DIAPERS (started over 2 years agoARE FINISHED!!!! This was a huge team effort. David cut, measured, purchased materials and got up early in the morning with Abigail so I could sleep. Mom spent many many hours sewing (including a couple of all-nighters!), also watched Abigail and Malachi so I could rest and even stitch ripped out my I'm-so-tired-I've-made-the-same-mistake-twice mishaps. Mom also purchased mis-measured (the few measurements I made) supplies and late night snacks. What started over 2 years ago is finally done and I don't see myself sewing any more diapers... ever!!!

(Late night sewing with my little helper)

My serger that David found at a garage sale for me last summer was serviced as a Christmas present and is up and running!! Now I just need to learn more than the basic function of it.

Malachi's birth story still coming, and might happen soon (now that things are slowing down... a bit)
  • We are hoping to move in the new year... hoping we can get into these apartments in February... in suite laundry - hello!
  • With all that's gone on this past month, I feel like I've already had Christmas - full of many many blessings!

I'll leave you with a family picture outtake...

... FAIL! (Twila, we need you!)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Welcome, Malachi

Proud to announce the arrival of and welcome...

Malachi David Gingras
born November 19, 2010 10:08 am
8 lbs 13.5 oz. 21 5/8"
St Boniface Hospital, Winnipeg, MB

(story to follow as soon as possible)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bethlehem LIVE!

We are at the beginning of our journey to Bethlehem. David and I have had the privilege of taking a pilgrimage to Bethlehem for the past two years and we've never had to board a plane. That's because our church, Gateway, brings all the sights, sounds and smells of Bethlehem here to Winnipeg. Bethlehem LIVE! is a free event is open to everyone. With over 450 volunteers, you will get the chance to experience the wonder and joy of the first Christmas. Journey with the wise men through Harrod's palace, through the town's temple and marketplace, stop by the busiest inn, travel through the surrounding fields and even to the very birth place of our Lord Jesus Christ and back to Winnipeg again - without the need of a passport.

Two years ago, I was pregnant with Abigail and thanks to a large sheet sang in the angel choir. David worked as a greeter in the front rooms for those waiting to take their own pilgrimage through Bethlehem. Last year, Abigail and I joined other babies and moms at the town well. We even sat in for Mary and baby Jesus for a few tours, while David was a roman centurion. This year, David, Malachi and I will be one of the three families who get to portray Joseph,  Mary and baby Jesus. We are looking forward to introducing our newest family member to serving in ministry.

Why do we do this? So many people take time at one of the busiest times of the year, because we believe that the world needs to know the truth about why we celebrate Christmas. It's an opportunity to bring hope to those who have none and renew the joy and wonder of what Christ did for us.

The Santa Clause parade can mark the beginning of your journey. There's a BL! float in the parade and shepherds will be inviting everyone to come to Bethlehem. If you are in Winnipeg and would like to take a live tour through Bethlehem this year, we'd love to see you there. BL! tour times here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nesting... a new concept to me!

Well, we are just over a week away from our baby's due date (Nov 21st) and I've been nesting like crazy. This concept was completely lost on me until recently. I had heard people talk about the phenomenon before and I always thought that it was just for people with lots of energy. Oh no! Apparently you can nest out of exhaustion, too. I am tired and I can't stop!

This week, David rearranged our bedroom to make room for the nursing chair and a bassinet. I finally sorted and put away the few boy clothes that we have (I haven't done any shopping for Malachi yet, as I want to make sure I don't buy too small etc). Last night with David's mathematical genius, we cut out all the size large diaper blanks (yes, I am still not finished, but Mom is coming to help me out - hooray!). I have a bit more diaper flannel to buy for soakers, but thanks to David's math genius, I even have leftovers from the batch I bought for mediums. Details here.

Today, David helped me to cut up recycled clothing into usable panels of cloth. I also whipped up a little hat for Malachi and a cloth bag for the baby shower gift I shared a few posts ago. Sorry no pics :( About the cloth bag... have you heard about the "Green Grocery Bag Challenge"? A simple and effective challenge that I'm very excited about.
The challenge is this:

Wrap your holiday gifts in reusable cloth grocery bags.

That’s it! By doing this simple thing this holiday season you will cut down on the amount of wrapping paper entering the waste stream, while also getting multi-use bags into circulation. Not to mention the fact that your gift recipients get a bonus gift that they can use all year long! It’s win/win for earthand your loved ones!
I love this idea. It's super fun to sew bags to give, but if you don't sew, skip the gift bag from the dollar store and go down their household aisle and purchase a cloth bag instead. Every store I know of sells some form of cloth bag at the checkouts and most of them are around $1. If you sew, but don't want to take the time to sew the whole bag, why not embellish a store bought one instead. I whipped up this little card to attach to each bag in explanation. (Feel free to use it if you want to).

More details and links to free tutorials here.

Tonight I made three Mexican Lasagna Casseroles (from this cookbook) to freeze and I hope to finish this post and get back to my sewing machine. I have a rare evening to myself (I stayed home from our bible study group - trying to avoid the cold bug before I go into labour). Abby's in bed and I have plans to make a pair of these.

Phew, I'm glad Malachi's almost due, because all this nesting is exhausting (even if it's a little fun!)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Baby Gender Announcement

David, Abigail and I are happy to announce that we are expecting a baby...


We are expecting Malachi within the next 2-3 weeks

New Baby Gifts

Our house group has grown by one since 2 days ago. Friends of ours welcomed their first baby to their family, a baby boy! Daddy is a pilot, so I thought that this little toy would be an appropriate gift. I also whipped up a couple different sized hats for him. Love these... will need to make more!

Airplane pattern here. Hat tutorial/pattern here and here.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Baby Dolly

Baby season has begun again in our church. I asked my friend what she would like for her daughter and she wasn't picky, but she had seen the dolly I made for another friend and thought that might be nice. So, I made this little cutie. Tutorial and pattern here... though this time I enlarged the pattern by 175% instead of the required 150% (my previous dollies are made at 200%, but I didn't have enough felt). I thought an apron would be appropriate, since my friend is a killer cook and I'm sure baby will learn her skills in time.

 (a little heart on the outside, because it wouldn't all fit inside)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Handmade Holidays

It's almost here... Handmade Holidays on Sew Mama Sew! I love November! Beginning November 1st and every day for the month, Sew Mama Sew blog posts great tutorials, handmade shops and holiday recipes. This is year number four and they say it's going to be the best one yet - hooray! Check it out!

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Creative Process

I've joked before that I have crafting ADD. Well, I thought I'd explain a little bit about what that looks like. I had a couple hours to myself in an evening and without having much motivation to do anything, I sat down and surfed some creative blogs for inspiration. I have files of inspiration, I have piles of things that are waiting to be created, but I still fuel my creativity as often as I can. So I came across a blog (and this is where I am sorry to say that I didn't bookmark any of my finds and therefore can't give you the links) and the author of the blog wrote about how she was excited to stumble across a tutorial for making a camera wrist strap for her point and shoot camera. Like myself, she had been drooling over all the lovely camera straps for the SLR cameras out in blog world and felt a little left out of the pretty camera accessory love. I clicked over to the link and thought... "that would take me like 10 minutes, I'll just whip one up real quick." I started to dig through my scrap bin and realized that if I made the strap in the fabric that I wanted to, then the bag that I was currently using as a camera bag wouldn't match. Why did this matter? Well, I always leave the strap outside the zipper so that the camera bag then also has a strap. Okay, so all I needed to do was to whip up a new zipper pouch for a matching camera bag. No problem. I found some coordinating fabric and started cutting. Then I decided to embellish it with ribbon and before I knew it, my David was arriving home and I had not only not made the strap, but now I was in the middle of a new camera bag. Laughing it off, I put it away for the next day.

Picking up where I left off, I finished the bag (with a few flaws, due to my impatience in putting it together). Then I decided that the strap I cut out wasn't as coordinating as I liked. Back to my scrap pile. Cut out and iron strap number two. I was almost finished with it, when I thought to check and see if it would fit over David's wrist. NOPE. Cut out and iron strap number three. The original tutorial used thin elastic cord, I didn't have any, but reasoned that I could use a hair elastic (I use these in lots of things for closures and they work great). I just about had strap number three finished when I realized that the hair elastic would probably too thick to feed through the tiny little slot on the camera where it goes. Sure enough, it was too big. Grrr! Now what? Well, this is when I took it to David for his advice. He's so logical and is often the fixer of my dilemmas. His solution, just use the new strap like a slip cover instead of a replacement. It worked so great. I just slipped the original wrist strap into the cover and sewed it in nice and tight. So without further ado, my new camera strap:

As the original blogger noted, it's very difficult to take a picture of your own camera, so I too, grabbed a mirror. Nothing spectacular, but it makes me smile and I think everything needs a little embellishment. For those of you who had to wait for a long time to receive a promised crafted item, now you can see why. And for those of you who are wondering if I get anything useful finished, Yes, I do. I just happen to enjoy the craziness of my crafting process and do not push myself to stick to an original plan. This often results in something off plan and fabulous!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall Decorating

I don't think I've shown you my living room wall. I thought that I was going to do something like this, but I like how it's become simple and has seasonal possibilities.

This was David's idea and I love how it turned out! We picked up a sale garland at Michael's and the leaves are clipped to my branch with mini clothes pins. My wheels are turning now for future holidays and seasons. We had gone to a pumpkin seller on the 1st of the month and picked up a pumpkin and a few gourds. David then carved us a Jimmy-o-lantern. Why Jimmy? Why not? Abigail loves her pumpkin and is often asking for the candle to be lit.

Now, you'll just have to imagine the smell of my pumpkin spice candle burning and the sound of Christmas music in the background. Yes, I said Christmas music... that's how I roll, Baby!

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Veggie Tale

I won another amazing giveaway! Jill at The Diaper Diaries hosted a Veggie giveaway and I must say that I was really hoping to win this one. My Abby loves Veggie Tales, though we only have a couple of videos. I was thinking ahead to Christmas and saw Jill's review of Sweatpea Beauty, I had decided that it would be a good one to maybe get for Abby. Much to my delight and surprise, I got an email saying that I WON! As an added bonus in the package is a little devotional book, and I've been hoping to find a little devotional book to read with Abby. I think this might be perfect... I'll let you know. Thanks, Jill!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Gathered Clutch for Me!

I'm off to ladies retreat this weekend. It has become an unofficial tradition to make myself a new accessory when I go on a trip. So, without further ado: My Gathered Clutch! Tutorial here.

(click on image to enlarge)

(crochet flower tutorial here)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Fall Update

Well, our holiday was wonderful. We spent one week on Big Whiteshell Lake with friends. It was a great week, though the weather was a little cooler than we would've liked. We tried to take the children to the beach and the wind was so bad, we couldn't stay. Our cabin was cozy, though and we had several nice little outings anyway. We were well refreshed and enjoyed our time immensely.

Our little bun in the oven is growing strong... some days I actually feel bruised on the inside from his strong kicks. We go for a fetal assessment on the 30th, just to double check on some fluid around the kidneys. Abby had the same thing and it went away on it's own with no concerns. Just a little tease: Yes, we do know the baby's gender, but we're waiting a little longer to share. Trust me, you'll enjoy it better this way.

On the crafting front: I am working on some maternity clothing refashioning. I've been blessed with many hand me downs, but unfortunately, I find certain items difficult to find a good fit. Right now I'm working on transforming a skirt... will show you when it's finished. I also finished another List Taker. I think these are perfect little notebooks for church or events like ladies retreat. I'll need to get some more interfacing, but I hope to make some of these to sell as a mini fundraiser for ladies who can't afford the cost of ladies retreat. I hope to sell a few at $15 each, donating $5 to the ladies ministry in our church. I have benefited so much from ladies ministries that I would like to pass on the blessing.