Monday, August 29, 2011

Welcome, Sophia!

I teach sewing, have I mentioned that here? Well, I have one student, the lovely Miss Sophia. I was thinking about how if you take dance or music, you have a year end recital. That is not so practical for a sewing student, so I decided that as Sophia's "recital" I would have her blog about her experience so far and her latest project. So, please welcome Sophia!

Hi my name is Sophia Nolan and I'm 11 years old I'm in grade six and I’d like to tell you about my project! I started my project in about May and finished at the end of August. But I started sewing classes in April and maybe a little bit before that I got my first sewing machine! 

What I started the project off with going to fabric land. There I picked out my fabrics and threads and I actually had lots of fun doing that. The colors I picked really suits my personality the bag does also!
And then we had to do all the cutting and sewing but really you might think that my project would be easy to make it was hard but I had lot's of fun with it. 

And one of the things I learned was that the seam ripper is your best friend in sewing. because I had to use that thing quite a few times on my project:) I also learned how to thread a machine and how to thread a bobbin and some times I even fix my mom or dad’s cloths. As I was making my purse I leaned how to sew so many different things like how to sew ruffles and buttons and how to sew Velcro. When I started my project I thought that the very end would be the easiest but really It was the hardest.

 and I had to get my teacher to help me on some of the parts at the end. My experience sewing was very interesting I got to learn so many things and I think I will cherish my first year of sewing a lot. I think that as  Mrs. Gingras and I were sewing I got to know her really well. and I just can't wait till next year!

I'd like to tell you the reason I wanted to learn how to sew. One of the reasons is because when I grow I want to be a fashion designer and I want to sew my designs not just design them! And the other reason I wanted to because of  my Grandma Woods she also gave some inspiration and I’m so glad she's in my life. And my project turned out really nice and I was very happy with it. 

 (Sophia shared some of her designs for me to show you - I would totally wear these!)

Now to finish this of I’d really like to thank my teacher Mrs. Gingras for showing me so many things about sewing and helping me come closer to my dream! I'd also like to thank my mom and dad for giving me the chance to do this! ~ thank you for reading :)

Isn't Sophia the sweetest? She's done a great job on her first big project! It's been my pleasure, for sure. Now readers, you know what to do, please leave some comment love for Sophia.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer List Check-In #4

We're moving along in our list quite nicely. The Summer List has been a fun tool to help us plan our summer adventures. My David's been checking out the list on his days off and trying to help us cross off as much as possible. It's been a lot of fun. Let's get to it!

  • backyard campout - thanks to our friends, the McQuades, for hosting us so nicely in their backyard and for supplying the equipment!
  • wiener roast - a double cross off since we did this at our campout

  • Anniversary date - we kept it simple this year, but it included dinner out, a nice long drive and a rock hunt (more about that later).

  • thrift store shopping - specifically for supplies for a play kitchen we're building inspired by this buld-a-long blog series (more on this later).

  • fireworks! - this wasn't actually on our list, but we've decided that it should've been and will be every summer. Ever since Canada Day, Abigail has asked to go see fireworks. We surprised her one night by waking the children up and taking them to see the fireworks that were shot after the Goldeyes baseball game. This has become a favourite Gingras family adventure.

  • midnight 7-eleven run - we stopped in for treats on our way home from seeing the fireworks. It wasn't quite midnight, but to Dolly it probably seemed like it.

  • build a sandcastle - Malachi "crossed" this one off our list (well, not really, but he played in the sand for the first time, so we called it done!

  • Tinkertown! - Abigail was quite impressed with this one, as we all were. Even Malachi seemed amused by watching the rides go round. I think we picked the hottest day of the summer to go, but we stayed hydrated and in the shade whenever possible. Both children were such troopers for missing nap times and we all had fun.

Believe it or not, this was one of Abigail's favourite rides - she's our little thrill seeker!

Monday, August 22, 2011

In the DIY Spirit

There's always a bunch of DIY mixes to be found online. Things like cleaners, lotions, soaps, lip balms and more. Well, this isn't a hard core DIY, but it's such a great tip, I thought I'd share it with you. One of the things we like in the kitchen is foaming handsoap. I don't know if you've noticed though, that you can pay a whole lot more for a whole lot less and you go through it pretty quick. Well, my David discovered a way to keep us well stocked in foaming soap at a fraction of the cost. The next time you buy a foaming soap, keep the bottle (that's half the trick). Go buy a liquid handsoap refill pack (we like the eco-smart refill pouches - less packaging), don't bother buying the foaming variety, just the regular handsoap. Pour the liquid soap into your foaming soap dispenser just under halfway, fill with regular tap water, twist the pump back on and give it a shake. Voila! Foaming handsoap!

Monday, August 15, 2011

7th Anniversary Art

David started a little tradition a few years ago. He purchased some artwork for our home in celebration of our anniversary. We had a low key anniversary this year in regards to gifts etc, but I decided that I could carry on the tradition of anniversary art in my gift to David. Now, it's been said that most gifts that are sentimental in nature end of being feminine. I have made it a personal goal to give masculine gifts that can still show sentiment. David's family necklace was one such attempt. Anyway, with a little computer design, some blank canvases, some Mod Podge and a little black paint here's what I came up with:

This first one was inspired by this on Pinterest. I liked the design when I first saw it and decided to do my own version. I had them printed on 11x14 photo paper from Wal Mart and I mod podged them onto canvas. This tutorial was my inspiration for this technique.

This one just kinda came to me. The picture of the birch trees was in my Print Shop program. I googled carved hearts images and found the heart image and then went searching for a font that looked like carved letters. Layer all together and there you have it. Sentimental yet not feminine. (At least I hope that's how it comes across).

(disclaimer: no actual trees were harmed in the making of this picture)

David's gift to me was sentimental and beautiful. In our first year together, he wrote me a fairytale about a flower and knight. The story was an allegory of our lives. This year he wrote me a new instalment of the story. It's beautifully written and I feel quite special having my own story.

Hooray for thoughtful, sentimental, creative gift giving!

Dress and Sweater Re-fashion

(excuse the dumb expression on my face)

I get a lot of compliments on my sewing. What people automatically assume is that I sew clothes. Although flattering, this hasn't been the case. I am not confident in this area, I think mostly because of sizing. In any case, I wanted to try some re-fahion type of clothing sewing. I figure all I have to lose is time. The first thing I did was turn my too-big skirt into a dress. I needed to make adjustments as I went, but in the end I made something that I'm not too embarrassed to wear in public.

Then I decided to turn a pull over sweater into a 3/4 length sleeve cardigan. Wool is not summer friendly, but it looked cute and I'm sure that I'll get a lot of wear out of this one. I googled cardigan re-fashion and read several blog entries on how to do it. I didn't really follow any one of them specifically, but I'm glad I researched it. I like how it turned out.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Checkin' In

{Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
 Ecclesiastes 4:12}

Hope you are all having a great summer so far. I can hardly believe how amazing the weather has been, not to mention the fact that there have hardly been any mosquitos!!! Surprised? Me too, especially considering this link I found. I am usually covered in bites by this time of the year and I think I've only had a couple bites the whole summer!

I have some random things that I wanted to share, so let's get to it.

  • SEVEN YEARS! That's how many David and I have been married! I am so blessed and so glad to say that I would choose him all over again if I had the choice. We read the scripture verse above during our wedding ceremony and it has been a foundational theme for our marriage. Without God, our marriage would easily fall apart. With God, I have an AWESOME marriage!
  • I recently started wearing eyeliner on a semi-regular basis. I've worn make-up since I turned 16 years old, but haven't worn much. I vaguely remember trying eyeliner in the early make-up years and found it such a hassle to take off that I never continued to wear it. Well, I still find it a pain to take off and I've noticed just how much eye make-up remover I go through. Well, when I saw this tutorial linked on Pinterest, I knew I'd have to try it. It works even better than the expensive brand name remover I was using and it's super cheap (I had all the ingredients on hand already).
  • I have been trying my hand at some re-fashion projects (pics coming next week). I "needed" a new outfit to wear on my anniversary date and dug in my closet for inspiration. I think I like what I've come up with and I'll share soon.
  • I've also made an anniversary gift for my David and I'm excited to show you that, too.
  • David and I have been taking a parenting class, boy oh boy! My recommendation: take a class before you have children, then you'll be ahead of the game. Having said that, there has been such great lessons and things we've been working on with Abigail, especially. It's hard WORK, but we are slowly seeing some fruit of our labours.
  • Heaping burning coals work! If you are struggling with someone, try doing kind things for them that they don't deserve (face it, we all need that) and wait and see what God does to change their hearts and attitudes toward you. I don't want to go into details here, just trust me and try it. Persevere!
"Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
   “I will take revenge;
      I will pay them back,”
      says the Lord.

   “If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
      If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
   In doing this, you will heap
      burning coals of shame on their heads.”

 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good." Romans 12:19-21

  •  I don't think I've blogged about it, but this summer we tried a new product to help reduce the insane heat in our apartment. We have a huge picture window in our living room that gets direct sunlight for 9 hours of the day. Last summer, with an air conditioner, we hit 30 degrees daily! Gila  Window Film has reduced the heat so much that on the days that I don't make it outside, I don't even realize that it's hot outside. So amazing!
Well, that's my random bits for now. I'll be back early next week to show you my latest projects, do a summer list check-in and perhaps share a bit about our anniversary. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

New Turtle Header

I was inspired by Dana at Made. Dana changes her header regularily and even posted a few tutorials on making your own. So, I decided it would be a good time to try a new one. What do you think?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Summer List Check-In #3

We've been having some great summer fun from our list! Recently we checked off the following:

  • Dessert at Pineridge Hollow (We actually went on our first date sans littles in 3 months and had dinner and dessert!)
  • Winnie the Pooh Movie (This was Abigail's first movie in the theatre! We had a great time on one of the hottest days of the summer)
  • Dollar Store Summer Hunt (purchasing supplies for other summer list items)
  • Build a sheet fort (well we actually used tablecloths - I tried to take pics, but can't really get a good angle)
  • Visit a "u-pick" farm (We went to Boonstra's farm for raspberries and to visit the petting zoo)
(date night at Pineridge Hollow)

 In other news, I got a great double stroller and it's been so great to get out with the children!

and just because I think the littles are cute....