Tuesday, March 29, 2011


To make up for missing an adult party I hosted, Jay and I told Sadie we would have a Family Party the following day. She was super excited (as any 6 year old girl probably would be) and the next thing I knew there was a list on the chalkboard. Turns out all you need for a Family Party is a few key essentials - so it was easy to fulfill...and I love that baked goods is a separate item from desserts (aka daserts). We put together a Sadie and Milo playlist, danced around the house with balloons, and ate sushi and sweet things. It was awesome.

And speaking of lists, now that I'm back to reading regularly, I feel like I need to document what I've read because it would seem that I've hit that embarrassing age where you forget if you read that book or not. Also, sometimes it's nice to see a list to know that losing sleep for the sake of wonderfully written words is worth it since the sheer volume can be satisfying. But I don't want to do that here, and thanks to this post I've just learned about Shelfari.  Anyone out there use it and like it, or is there a better, less social-media like option for cataloguing such lists? Clearly I could just make an Excel sheet but that seems so dull. And colourless. And practically anti-technology.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

test vest

Ever loved a test version better than the real thing? I think that's happening to me right now, or maybe I just think Milo looks extra cute in these colours. But regardless of my test version love, one thing is true: I am almost done a new vest pattern! I wanted to offer more than one size this time, so I'm currently on my third version of this vest. The bonus to all this knitting is that Milo will be well stocked for at least the next two winters, but next time I'm working on a pattern perhaps I'll enlist a couple of test knitters. There are plenty of little guys out there who could use a vest or two, right?

As for this garment, I used wool from the sale basement at Romni - Rowan's Harris Aran, now discontinued. It was bargain priced, so perfect for a test. I don't remember what the aqua wool is, but that's the idea of this vest - using little scraps to make shoulder saddles. I'll save the rest of the vest details for the pattern post though, which should be written as soon as my blocked vest dries and a little boy I know survives another photo shoot. Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

9 years later

Before we moved into our house, we tore apart our one and only bathroom. That was 2002, and although it hasn't been a construction zone for these past 9 years, we never actually finished the room. The paint job was half done, one wall needed repair, and the first sink we installed kept rusting even though we'd had it reglazed.

I should stress that this is a very small bathroom (and yes, it has to work for 4 people). We don't have room for a regular size sink so the replacement search took a while. But we finally found a new sink that was small in depth, but nice and wide. There was no counter in the original bathroom so we installed an 8" deep chunk of pine (it had been a friend's outdoor step) that works very well as a surface for "things".

Another space saving trick was recessing a medicine cabinet into the wall before the drywalling was done - we can hide oodles of junk in there. We then hung a real cabinet above the toilet for more storage, painting it the same colour as all the woodwork so that it takes up less space visually. In the mirror in the photo above you can see a wall next to the cabinet that has a window in it. The original bathroom had nothing to enclose the bathtub - just a wraparound shower curtain. We put up this wall instead, adding a window so we could get light through and also make the tub space feel a bit bigger. Oh yeah, we have a smaller than normal tub too. Thank goodness we have shops in Toronto that carry small size European products.

The curtain panel is my most recent sewing project. I used the same linen that I'd made the shower curtain out of, but I really wanted to add a bit of colour since the whole room is basically white (Para New Cameo white for the woodwork, Benjamin Moore Collingwood for the walls). The single line of patches is just enough colour and it doesn't cross the too-cute line for Jay. But I think the key decision - the one that pulls the whole room together - is painting the door black. We intend to paint all our upstairs doors black, but this is only the second one we've completed. But wow, does it ever make a difference. I think the paint guys were afraid when I said the black oil paint I was buying was for our bathroom, but I'm so happy with it.

So there it is, a finished bathroom. So finished we can even have a little fun decorating. After staying at the Farmer's Daughter hotel in LA Jay was smitten with their vintage Kleenex boxes. Ebay to the rescue and now we have one which not only looks great, but keeps a Kleenex box off of our limited surfaces. All in all, a bathroom that I'm happy to keep clean.

And let's face it, at only 4 1/2 feet across, it doesn't take me that long.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

the car hoodie

Ordering knit fabric over the internet is a little hit-and-miss. Luckily my "this isn't what I expected" moments are generally offset with squeals of "this is way better than I imagined!" The mini car fabric is just one of those wonderful surprises.  Ordered from this Etsy shop, it is SO soft, quite heavy and unexpectedly double sided. Perfect.

I only ordered a half yard, so I really had to make it stretch. Because the reverse side is the solid car background, I couldn't resist using it as the cuffs and bands. I had thought I would use contrasting colours for the bands, but nothing seemed to look better. So I ended up with a fairly plain hoodie, but it seems so right. And I made it quite roomy so that Milo can get another year's wear out of it. It's too soft and sweet for only a handful of wearings.

Now on to some girlie things. I've been told cars don't cut it, but pink stripes just might.