Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NYC, baby!

So, I made the decision years ago that my 40th birthDAY would, in fact, be celebrated for a YEAR.  Why?  Because I am actually really excited to be 40.  I mean, why not?  I have my family and friends, a great home, a career and hobbies I love, so much to be happy about at this point in life.  My 30s were so much about building my family and career, that I feel like my 40s will be the time to reap the rewards of that hard work.  I became a mom about a week before my 30th birthday, which was celebrated by a quick dinner at a restaurant, where I basically couldn't sit comfortably and I milked through my shirt and dashed home in embarrassment, so...yah, I thought I was owed some fun for the Big 4-0 ;)

I am also extremely lucky to still be close with many of the girlfriends of my youth.  Five of us, who have been friends since Kindergarten, decided to take a trip to NYC to celebrate our birthdays in style, and to toast our lifelong friendships.

I had TECHNICALLY been to NYC before.  What does that mean, you ask?  Well, 8 years ago, I went with another friend to celebrate her 40th. She had recently moved to North Carolina, so I flew there to see her and her family, and she arranged a bus tour to NYC for us.  Did you know that North Carolina is really FAR from NYC?  Well, as Canadians, we really are not all that sharp about US geography so, um, we did not.  So our trip started with a REALLY LONG bus ride, made even longer when the bus broke down on the side of the road for 6 hours.  This was especially painful as I happened to be 8 weeks pregnant with LBNL, so was nauseous and had a bladder the size of a pea.  In addition, the bus tour was through a church group of extremely exuberant African American Southern senior citizens, who were the sweetest people ever, but who piped their homemade cheesy soap operas through the tvs and tended to shout "Hallelulia" and "Amen" approximately 47 times per hour.  It was quite the experience!

And the fun didn't end there- we arrived in NYC to catch the tail end of Hurricane Ernesto, which caused rain to pummel us sideways, preventing any kind of walking outdoors (which is how you DO NYC!), nor could we see through the windows of our city tour bus so....yah.  Not fun.

I digress.  But you can see how my life is a bit of a sitcom?

Anyways, this time?  I WENT to NYC!  And we sure did it right.

We shared some laughs with Rob Schneider at his standup show:



We saw amazing musicals:





 We had many cocktails:





We shopped:



We danced until the wee hours of the night, and then we did karaoke (check out my pit stains, dudes):


We even went here.....



...and did this:


So many awesome things happened.  And one of my favourites?  Visiting Purl Soho!!


So many pretty things....



And I brought some home with me :)


The stuff in my Purl Soho bag was WAY more expensive than what I had in that little blue box above, lol!  But I just LOVED being in there, surrounded by succulent yarns, soft and gorgeous Liberty of London fabric, the friendly staff, and all the inspiration! Heaven :)

So all in all, I would say this trip was FABULOUS and we are already busy planning our Big 5-0 return!!



Monday, September 29, 2014

Hi, I'm Kristie, I used to blog here???

It's been a while, peeps! How are you all doing?  Time flies when....you are busy as a bee, I guess ;)  Just thought I would pop in and say hello, and reassure you all that, yes, I am still living and breathing and even crafting!!  I am about to make the rounds on some of your blogs, too, and catch up a wee bit!

Summer went by in a flash of awesome and before I knew it, it was back to school.  The kids are at those perfect ages where they are quite independent and capable of doing so many fun activities,  but yet still enjoy hanging out with old mom and dad.  We definitely tried to make the most of that and have fun.  Look how big they're getting!



We did do a couple fun crafty projects at the lake while we were there.  One was a fireplace makeover by The Hubs.  Painted over the icky brass accents with a matt black fire-safe paint and voila!  Instant pretty fireplace!  The built in cabinets on either side of it are getting a makeover next :)




Our other project, and my favourite, was taking some paddles and painting them.  We added hooks and transformed them into a fun place to store life jackets and soggy towels in the screen room.  Wish I had better "final" pictures, because I seriously kicked some ass at this, I ain't gonna lie.  They are all cute and distressed and such.  But anyways, you'll get the idea:






Yah, it was a great summer :)


So much more to tell you about, including an awesome 40th birthday trip to NYC with girlfriends where I went to The Promised Land (aka Purl Soho), lots of finished projects, and then the EPIC trip to Nashville to attend Craft South with none other than Anna Maria Horner AND Heather Ross (I am still reeling).  I promise to be back to tell you about it soon, I do!!

xoxo Kristie

Monday, July 28, 2014

a pile of finished quilts for the cottage

Of course getting a new cottage last summer meant that I "needed" new quilts for every bed (and any other possible surface).  And it just so happens my girls have a pair of bunk beds in the "girls' room".  Four twin quilts were in order!

I decided to do coordinating but not matching quilts.  They will all be in one room so I wanted a bit of a colour theme but not looking too....orderly ;)  Keeping it carefree! So, I planned two quilts using Briar Rose for The Middle Child's bunks, and then two quilts in a variety of yellows, oranges, pinks and greys for the bunk beds for Last But Not Least.  I got 3 of the 4 pieced by last November's Loon Lake retreat....but then they sat...and sat...

Well,  while enjoying a lot of this over the past few weeks...






....I have managed to baste, quilt and finish these three!

Only one of the Briar Rose ones done, but here it is:



Did a bit of a lattice, and quilted it with an all over daisy and loop pattern.  Bound it in some Flea Market Fancy green seed print and made a simple but cute cottage label, just using a Sharpie.



Then it was on to LBNL's quilts.  I kind of favour these, I admit.  First, a granny square quilt with some stippled quilting:



Loved how the orange binding on this quilt matched the front and AMH back so perfectly.  Again with a label.




And finally, a fun equilateral triangle quilt!  Straight line quilting along either side of the seams for this one.



A happy yellow Kate & Birdie binding and one of my favourite backings...love those big pink flowers! And another label!  Go, Me! ;)




And here are the two coordinating ones together.  Love how they compliment each other.



Phew!  Now it's time to sit back and drink some wine and have a rest, wouldn't you say??  Back to the lake I go!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

finished knit: dragonflies sweater

I was so excited to put the last stitches into this sweater and finally be able to wear it.  Wasn't it considerate of Mother Nature to provide a cool and rainy July weekend for me to do so?  Well, at least this was a plus side!

The pattern is the Dragonflies Jumper by Joji, from Ravelry.  You can see all my notes on my Ravelry page here.  It is the first time knitting one of her patterns and I have already purchased another because I was so happy with the style and fit.  The design is so intricate and I just love it paired with this Plucky Primo wool (in bohemian blue).  The cashmere is this wool makes it so soft to the touch- such a treat to wear!



The pattern required more thinking than average, so this wasn't the best "social"or "tv" knit, but it wasn't difficult.  I did a few mods- the pattern called for a 2 stitch side band in garter, but I decided if it was there, I would make it more district by extending it to 6.  Also, I opted for 3/4 length sleeves so I can pair it with some cute bracelets :)



Love the look of this with a tank and jeans.  I think it is a pretty flattering fit and will be a real go-to piece for me!




Already have cast on the next knit!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day!

The weather didn't exactly cooperate this weekend, but we didn't let that stop us from heading to the lake and enjoying Canada Day festivities.  The fireworks were cancelled due to rain and wind but we still managed to take in the parade, fair, and even a quilt show!  And lots of visiting with family and friends.




Hope all of my fellow Canadian friends enjoyed some fantastic celebrations as well.  We are pretty lucky, eh?


Friday, June 27, 2014

teacher gifts

It's the last day of school today, so along with the sheep happens bag and yarn I gifted to one of my kids' teachers, I made a couple summer totes with some Anna Maria Horner "stacked" fabric in home dec weight.  This book-inspired fabric is the perfect choice for a teacher, wouldn't you say?



I accented the handles and lined them with a couple other of her coordinating prints.  Then filled them with summer goodies- a water infuser, some chips and Smarties (for helping make my kids so smart!) and a gift card for them to choose some summer reading.



I made the totes without a pattern, just sewed some rectangles together, made a gusset bottom, lined and added a slip pocket.  Sometimes simple is best!

Blogging will be sporadic for July and August as I will have 3 energetic little people wanting my attention on my days off!  Plus heading out to the lake for some family R&R :)  But,  I do hope to sneak in some regular sewing while I am there.  I have a stack of quilt tops meant for the cottage bunk beds that need quilting and binding!  Plus a couple secret swap projects that I plan to finish up.  So, hopefully some good things to show you once routine is restored. 

Wishing you all a fabulous summer (or winter, in the other hemisphere!).

xoxo Kristie

Friday, June 20, 2014

"sheep happens" bag: a tutorial

Awhile back, I picked up a set of some cute Japanese polka dot fabric, with some sheep in the polka dots.  Right away, I was thinking these prints would be perfect for a knitting project bag (or any type of project for that matter).

With the end of the school year drawing near, I have decided to make some gifts for my kids' teachers, one of which is a knitter!  I decided to use this fabric to make a drawstring bag, and give a skein of pretty sock yarn along with it.  I named the bag the "sheep happens" bag, and it turned out so nicely that I thought I would make a tutorial to share with you here!



The bag is made of linen and cotton on the outside, and is lined with cotton.  It is round bottomed, therefore can sit nicely on its own without toppling over, and the drawstring closure doubles as a handle.  It came together quickly, and is the perfect size for small projects.



And here is how you can make your own!


Materials:

fat quarter of linen or home dec fabric for outer
fat quarter of cotton for inner
30" of pretty ribbon, 3/4" wide
Thread, etc


Cut:

6" x 21" of sheep fabric
6" x 21" of linen, sub cut into a 4" x 21" piece and a 2" x 21" piece
11" x 21" of lining
two circles of 6.5" diameter, one of each outer and lining fabrics (I used a bowl as a template)






Assembly: 
NOTE:  I used 1/4 seams, not the traditional 1/2" for bags.  Because I am a quilter, after all ;)

1. Sew outer pieces, right sides together, along long sides such that the 4" strip is on the top, and the sheep piece is in the centre.  Press seams.




2. Fold outer and lining, right sides together so that short raw edges are aligned.
For lining, sew along short side to make tube.
For outer piece, do the same, but stop sewing 3" from top.  Backstitch.  Leave 1" gap, and sew remainder of side to top.  Flip to right side, finger press seams at gap away from hole, and sew short lines on either side of the hole to secure.  This will be where the drawstring ribbon exits.





3. Press outer and lining tubes in half, and then in half again.  Press along bottom edge to mark quarters.  Do the same with the circle pieces (see photo).



4.  Align circles with bottom of tubes, right sides together,  matching and pinning the four creases around the circle.



5. Sew circles to tubes, working fabric from tube along circle's curve and ensuring that all 4 pinned corners line up.



6.  Insert outer, right side out, into lining, wrong side out (i.e. right sides will be facing each other).  Ensure side seams for the outer and lining are aligned.  Pin, if desired.



7.  Sew along top, leaving 2" hole for inverting.



8. Turn bag right side out and press top seam.  Top stitch along top, close to the edge, to close the hole.  Also topstitch on either side of ribbon hole to make channel for the ribbon as shown.



9.  Turn edges of ends of ribbon over and stitch to prevent fraying.  Secure large safety pin to one end and insert into hole.



10. Using your fingers, pull safety pin along the channel until the ribbon emerges out the other side.  Tie ribbon ends into a knot.



Ta da!  You have yourself a Sheep Happens project bag.  Now go make something else to stick in it!!


Giveaway: 

Wanna win a sheep happens bag?  I am giving one away on Instagram today, Friday June 20.  Come check out my feed for details (kristieocd).  If you aren't on IG, leave a comment here before 3 PM (Central time) and I will enter you. Have a great Friday!