Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween and Day #31 of Blogtoberfest!!

I did it!!  I made it through all 31 days of Blogtoberfest and didn't miss a single day!!  I'll finish Blogtoberfest with a little Halloween Celebrating! 
Our Bat pumpkin - Mr. Quiltapotamus did an amazing job with this as did the girls!

My Two Tinkerbells!! 
It was FREEZING tonight - -11C with windchill but it felt even colder so the girls had their full winter outfits on this evening.  Snow pants, winter jacket, snow boots, super warm mitts, and hoodies.  That would be why their costumes look a little off!  They have LAYERS on under them but at least they both stayed rather warm and had so much fun!

Mr C did not enjoy his Caterpillar costume very much and he isn't a big fan of the cold so he came out with us for a few houses and we brought him back home to hand candy out with Daddy.  He quite enjoyed that!! 

In a little over two hours Miss S along with Miss L's hour of trick or treating - the girls managed to bring home TEN POINT TWO POUNDS of candy....!!  I brought the bathroom scale out to see how much candy they got and I was blown away!! 

I'll go through it over the next few days and take the remainder to a local chairty.  We do NOT need ten pounds of junk food in our house!!  I'm glad the girls got to experience Halloween and had a good time, they don't need that much candy - me either!
Thank you so much for sticking with me for the 31 days of Blogtoberfest!  I am still hoping to continue along with blogging every day or at least as close to that as I can.  I have a full list of blogging topics and a few projects that I still need to share.
Until tomorrow my friends.  ;)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tidy it up Tuesday, Halloween Prep and Day #30 of Blogtoberfest!!

I wasn't going to do a Tidy it up Tuesday this week because frankly my house is in shambles - BUT after some self grumbling I decided to tackle our "other" Tupperware cupboard.  This one was even worse than the big one because it was such a small area that we OK ME was always resorting to the old 'toss then shut the door before everything falls out' method.  Since the first Tupperware cupboard looked SO good after I cleaned it and I'm tired of worrying that extended family members were going to open the small Tupperware cupboard and have a Ziploc tsunami I figured I had to clean the darn thing out. 

I learned a LOT from this purge - 1.  I had WAY too many Ziploc type containers, 2. holy crap did I ever have a LOT of Ziploc type containers!  3.  I am so thankful that we have blue bin recycling so I could just automatically toss all the extra containers in the recycling and not be temped to rescue them for another use and 4.  I am starting to {gasp} actually like cleaning....! 

I forgot to take a picture of the before - but trust me it would have probably scared the socks right off of you!  I did take an iPhone picture of the after and it just makes me happy looking at all that cleanness! 

Total subject jump but tomorrow is Halloween!!  The girls are each going out as Tinkerbell and Mr C is going out as a Caterpillar.  Little Man hates his costume so it should be interesting if he screams the whole time or if he gets into it this year like his sisters did at this age. 

We hit the store and stocked up on Candy - I hope its enough.....!  I heard from a neighbor last year that there were a TON of kids and they ran out of candy.  Plus since Mr. Quiltapotamus is working tonight I foresee a bit of candy snacking by myself while I get some UFOs worked on......but I didn't say that out loud!

Thanks for stopping by - Day #30 of Blogtoberfest is done and there is only one more day to go!  And on a totally awesome unrelated note, Christmas is only 55 days away!!! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Tooth Fairy Came to Visit Us - and Day #29 of Blogtoberfest

My dear sweet Miss S lost her FOURTH tooth yesterday - she only turned 5 in September and has already lost FOUR teeth (again, who said she could grow up so fast?!?!).

She and I were at a birthday party yesterday for one of her school friends and I kept getting her to wiggle her tooth since I really wanted it out today rather than it coming out tomorrow or the next day at school and having the possibility of it getting lost.  Yes I am one of those Moms that keep my kids teeth (or should I say that the tooth fairy lets me keep them) and I put them in her Memory Box.  My Mom did this with our teeth and I used to love looking at how tiny my teeth used to be.

Miss S managed to keep her tooth for the birthday party but on the way out to Grandma and Grandpas I asked her how her tooth was and she said it was wiggly - then right after she said that she got all excited and said 'my tooth is in my hand!!!'.

I didn't get a picture of her tooth in her hand since we were driving but I did take a picture of it in my hand - its SO tiny!!

Now my beautiful little girl gets to embark upon the 'gap smile' phase!

The Tooth Fairy made her rounds last night and brought Miss S a shiny new Toonie (our Canadian two dollar coin) in exchange for her tooth.  She was SO EXCITED when she woke up to find tooth gone and her money in her tooth fairy house.  So in her piggy bank the money goes and her tooth is safely with the Tooth Fairy (aka in moms jewllery box until I put it in her memory box with the others).

Day #29 of Blogtoberfest is done!  Only two more months and its done until next year!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sewing, Bowling and Family Dinner Sunday - and Day #28 of Blogtoberfest

Its a busy Sunday around here today! I'm trying to get the top of my Christmas Table Runner done before Miss S and I have to run out the door for her friends bowling birthday party.  Then after the birthday party we are heading out to the grandparents house for dinner and to pick up Miss L after spending last night hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa last night and today. 

That being said I have my machine set up in the nook, Miss S is waiting to help me sew and I'm off to spend some quality sewing time with my special little helper! 

Thanks for stopping by - have a great Sunday everyone!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Friday Night Sew-In 'Progress' and Day #27 of Blogtoberfest!

Wow - its October 27th already - and I've managed to stick with Blogtoberfest almost all the way to the end - only 4 more days until the end of this years Blogtobefest. 

Last night was the Friday Night Sew-In hosted by Crafty Vegas Mom and Handmade by Heidi and I was able to get a large majority of my Christmas table runner pieced together while texting back and forth with my step-sister, Sherry who lives a few provinces away.  Sherry has a Blog and does some pretty amazing stitching, her Etsy store has some super cute stuff, I'm really partial to the Owl Pillow Case.  She promised that she would teach me how to stitch (its not like I need another hobby, but I really want to learn how!!) and I will help her as much as I can learn how to quilt. 

Getting back to my table runner - I managed to hack up my charm square, piece it all together and I've got almost all the squares squared up - that's tonight's project.  Then tomorrow it will be more sewing and hopefully I'll have the top done in a night.  I think I might try my hand at some free motion quilting on this runner - its small enough that it should be easy to maneuver and I figure I gotta start somewhere!

I haven't laid the squares out in any kind of order to take the pictures, I was just lining them up to see how they are all going to look together - its super cute!  I used the Flurry by Moda Charm pack - and WOW is sewing ever easier when you don't have to cut a ton of fabric up to get your little squares that you have to cut up more! 
My cheat sheet to make sure that I was sewing the right rectangles and squares together.  Its amazing how easily it is to forget what I need to sew if I don't have a guide of some kind in front of me - or am I the only one that does this?!!

Friday Night Sew-In is over for October and I'm looking forward to Novembers Sew-in.
Tonight Miss S has been invited to her very first friend Halloween Party that she is super excited to go to - pretty quick the princess dress will be donned and I will be whisking Cinderella away in her Chariot (the van) to the party.  I hope she has a good time, its just for the kids and I will be dropping her off at the door and heading home for a few hours - shes growing up so much and so fast - I'm not sure I'm ready for this!!!  ;)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Whats in the Bag...?!?! And Day #26 of Blogtoberfest!

What could possibly be in the bag?!?!?!

It looks exciting....everyone wants to take a look! 

Could it be fabric, or pretty clothes, or a special treat....?

Oh MY!!  Its SCOCKS!!! Tonnes and Tonnes and Tonnes and Tonnes of mismatched socks! 
Enough to buid a pile and have a three year old jump on.....
(it doesn't take much to entertain my kids!!)

Time to get sorting! 
Mr C had his own idea of how he was going to sort the socks.  I kept having to tackle him, empty the bag and let him go on his merry sock hunting day.  Who needs candy at Easter, apparently all this little guys needs to be happy is random socks and a paper bag!  ;)

I had both the girls try to identify their own socks and I am working on teaching them to put their own clothes away.  I did wind up doing most of the sorting but I'm hoping they are learning along the way.   

Socks and clothes in general are the bane of my existence in my house (along with paper!).  With five people its amazing how quickly the mismatched sock bag/bin/bucket can get. I'm on a mission to make my house a home and with that I need to figure out better organizing ideas AND get into the purging spirit!  After I clean out the next two bedrooms I'm going to do one more sock sort and whatever is left over in the mismatched sock bag/bin/box will be getting tossed and I'll start the missmatch sock bin over again and hopfully it will be better contained.
On a sewing note - its the Friday Night Sew in tonight and you can sign up here for tonights sew in.  I'm hoping to get my Domestic Handbag quilt sanwiched this evening! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hand Warmers - and Day #25 of Blogtoberfest

I posted the other day that we had our first snow and the last few mornings its been pretty chilly walking from the van to the Kindergarten doors to drop Miss S off for school.  Its barely below 0C but the poor girls just aren't used to the chilly weather yet - Mommy either!!
I made some Bean Bags last year in July and it got me thinking - why don't I make tiny little hand warmers for the girls to keep in their mitts or pockets to keep their hands warm on the way to school in the morning. 
Enter - rice, old scraps of fabric and a microwave!! 
I didn't want to make the bags too big, since then it wouldn't fit in their puffy mitts (the insulated kind) but then I discovered if you make them small - they don't stay warm for very long. 
I decided that we could make some small ones - ones that would fit in the palms of the girls hands and they fit quite nicely. 

Thrown them in the microwave for 20 seconds and they toast up little hands pretty quickly!

These ones are pretty small, next go round I'll make some bigger ones out of some leftover flannel and I'll nuke those in the microwave for 40+ seconds and I'm sure they'll be more than roasty toasty for the girls in the morning - me too! 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Snow Day!! Day #24 of Blogtoberfest!

Old Man Winter has come to visit with a vengeance pretty early this year!  We woke up to this yesterday and got a little bit more during the day.....

...and yes we forgot to take the patio cushions in before it snowed...hopefully they'll dry out soon and we can take them into the shed before the next snow!

Miss L was quite happy with the snow after a few minutes.  It took her a bit to get used to the white stuff again after a summer of sunshine.

Miss S was SO happy to get outside and start digging.  Between sand or snow she is most happy when shes able to dig in SOMETHING!!  

I couldn't resist doing a snow angel - and when you are in super warm snow pants (that are my husbands since I couldn't find mine) and a really nice warm jacket its rather pleasant to be surrounded by so much soft fluffy snow.

Miss L and I decided to take a moment to ponder the beautiful snow whilst sitting in the kids chairs, she was amazed that I could fit in her sisters chair (and to be honest - so was I).  ;)  

Mr C was NOT impressed at all with his first snow experience.  It wasn't even that cold - only -7C or so, but he was horrified of the snow and pretty much howled the whole 10 minutes he was outside.  Perhaps we are going to have to rethink our family tobogganing plans this winter or at least make sure he gets lots of backyard practicing in before we take him to the sledding hill by our house.  

They are saying its supposed to be +10C or so by Monday of next week so this round of snow won't be sticking around for very long and for that I'm thankful!  Mr Quiltapotamus needs to put my winter tires on and clean out the garage so I can park in there again!  This whole brushing snow off my van when I have a garage is the ultimate in silliness!

Day #24 of Blogtoberfest is done - thank you for stopping by and I will see you tomorrow!

On a side note, I have changed the sizing of my pictures - is anyone having any issues with the sizing showing up on their screen?  I'd really appreciate any feedback.  Thank you so much!  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tidy it up Tuesday - and Day #23 of Blogtoberfest!

22 Days down and only 9 more to go until the end of Blogtoberfest 2012!!! 

I'm sure some of you can relate, or at least I'm going to convince myself that I am not the only one who's cupboards overfloweth....!!

Our Tupperware/bowl/Pyrex/corning wear/cutting board cupboard was totally out of control, but thanks to the addition of two HUGE new shelving cupboards (that I totally keep forgetting to take pictures of) I have easily 100% more storage in my kitchen - its lovely!!!!   I had the girls attempt to keep Mr. C busy while I attacked the Tupperware cupboard this morning, and after a really quick clean this is how awesome my Tupperware is organized now:

The before:
(if you are a clean freak - brace yourself!!)


It really doesn't help that Mr. C is going through that fun stage of taking EVERYTHING out of the cupboards that he can lift and scattering it around the kitchen on pretty much an hourly basis. My girls never did this - just the boy....! Needless to say I'm hoping that we can find the cupboard locks and keep the little turkey out so I can keep my cupboards cleaner a little longer!

Slowly but surely, I'm determined to make our house a home one cupboard at a time....  ;)

Thanks for stopping by, I'll see you tomorrow.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mind Jar - Tutorial

Pinterest - have I mentioned before how much I LOVE Pinterest!?!  I use it as a digital pinboard for things that I would love to create, make, bake, sew, do with my kids....but every once in a while (usually when Mr. Quiltapotamus is working nights) I get a little click happy after the kids go to bed and next thing I know I've been on there for an hour and have no idea where the time went!  There are so many cool things that people pin and a big one is Mind Jars, the most popular pin sources back to Here We Are Together although I found a few others just randomly clicking through some sewing/crafting blogs that I follow.  The premise of a Mind Jar is to help calm or soothe a child or adult.  I stumbled across these again last night and thought that my house could use one or two (or five like we wound up making!!!). 

Edited to Add:  I have had a few e-mails and comments asking what exactly a 'Mind Jar' is.  The best explanation that I have is they can be used to "calm the minds of children when they may be afraid, anxious or just having a rough day and need a distraction to zone out to."  I have been using it with the girls when they are getting a little out of control and have them shake the jar, set it on the kitchen table and wait until the glitter settles before they can get up from the chair.  By the time they have stared at the glitter for a few minutes they have refocused and aren't quite so wound up.  I have also tried to get them to tell me what colors they see (since we put different colors of glitter in each jar) and have tried to get them to watch a single 'grain' of glitter for as long as they can. 

Our Mind Jars
I read all the supplies on a few different sites and as usual thought to myself that I'll do it my way and see what happens!  I'm not a huge fan of measuring (which is funny since most of the quilts I do are quite meticulous, but that's probably why I mess up frequently!!) so I thought I would use the "eyeballing it" method and hope for the best. 

Mind Jar Supply List:
  • Jar - this could be plastic or glass.  I had three old spaghetti sauce containers that I was keeping for a future craft and two baby food jars kept for the same purpose.  I'll probably save a few plastic juice bottles and use those for Mr. C since he was starting to scare me with the glass jars so close to his teeth when he was shaking them.
  • Glitter Glue - I put in about half a dollar store squeeze bottle - so about 75mls
  • Light coloured Corn Syrup or Glycerin (I used the dark corn syrup since that's all we have in our house and I'm trying not to buy extra stuff if I can help it).  I didn't measure it - I put a good squeeze in and hoped it was enough.
  • Glitter (I used at least 2-3 kinds/colors of glitter in each jar) - use as much as you like - I think the more the merrier when it comes to glitter!!!
  • Hot Water (to fill Jar)
  • Dish Soap (everything I read said 4-5 drops, I threw a couple of pumps in and it worked well)
  • Food Colouring - a couple of drops should be fine - I went a little bonkers and put 7-9 in.
  • Whisk
  • Glass Measuring Cup
The first Mind Jar I made I threw everything into the jar, shook it up and called it a day.  Then I noticed that some of the glitter was clumping together which made me realize that perhaps a whisk might be a good idea.

Then on the second, third, forth and fifth go rounds of the Mind Jar I made a few changes and quite liked how it turned out and we had a pretty good little system down by then. 
  • I used HOT HOT HOT water, I put a 1 cup measuring cup a little more than 1/2 full in the microwave and nuked it for 4 minutes.
  • I put the glitter glue in the HOT water so the glue would melt (not sure if this is a good idea or not, but it worked for me!) and Miss S whisked everything together for a minute or two.

  • Then I put the Corn Syrup in the hot water/glitter glue mix - it was getting almost to the top of the measuring cup by then and whisked some more. 
  • I'm still not quite sure what the dish soap does but it was around this step when I put in a couple of pumps of our Method dish soap.   I used more than they said to but it seems to have worked well.
  • I then added the food coloring over the sink (because I'm a slob and knew it would get all over me and of course it did, I have the stained red and blue fingers to prove it!) and because I like really saturated colors I added like 7-9 drops.  2-3 probably would have worked but I really like it when the water is dark, also since I am using the dark corn syrup it would have changed the colour of the water so I needed to hide the brown tint a bit.
  • Then we added some glitter - this is a step that I would totally recommend doing on a damp paper towel or an old kitchen towel.  We used really fine glitter and it was getting EVERYWHERE.  Once we were done I was able to give the towel a quick shake in the garbage and didn't have extra glitter all over my house. 

Glitter goes everywhere - a towel helps keep it contained

  • After that we poured the measuring cup contents into the larger jar and I added more HOT water to fill it up closer to the top.
  • I put the lid on and we decided if we needed more color or glitter.  If we were happy with what we saw we added  more water and screwed the lid on.  If we weren't we added more of what we thought the jar needed and did a shake test to be sure.
Voila!  There you have it - a super simple, fairly loosey goosey tutorial on how I made our Mind Jars.  The green one was the first one I made and its SO pretty!!!

We went NUTS on all the glitter inside the red one - I think we had gold, red, pink, white and a dark burgundy glitter that we threw in.  This one had the most corn syrup in it as well as the most glitter so it suspends the glitter much longer than the other jars

These are the Jars after they have settled, the bottom left one is actually the purple one - it doesn't look all that pretty when its not shaken up but its probably my favourite when its freshly shaken.  You can see how much glitter is in each jar if you look at the bottom - the red one is CRAZY glittery!! 

Thank you so much for stopping by - please leave me a comment if you have any questions about the tutorial - I've never done one before and I hope you found it helpful! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Confessions and Quilt Tops - Day #21 of Blogtoberfest!

I have a confession - I LOVE starting a quilt, I love picking out a pattern, fabric, thread...the whole nine yards.  What I do NOT love, is the process of finishing a quilt!  I love the immediate satisfaction that I get when I get a quilt top completed and I can lay it down on the floor and admire how fanstic it turned out (nothing like tooting my own horn or anything!!).  Then its the quilt sandwich and the quilting and the binding that totally tend to drag on forever.  For me I know its because its all tedious work that takes hours but you can't really see much progress becuase its all so small. Since I have three quilts that are either at the sandwich, quilting or almost ready to be sandwiched stage I better embrace the tediousness and get cracking.

Speaking of quilt tops, I finished the top of my Domestic Handbad quilt the other day and I've been brooding over having to come up with a way to piece the backing (never had to do that on a quilt before becuase they are usually crib or lap sized quilts) and it was really stressing me out.  Well last night when I was brushing my teeth - I tend to have most of my lightbulb moments either in the shower or when I'm brushing my teeth - I had such a fantastic idea that I had to break out the quilt, backing and a few other things  (this quilt is a surprise so if your name is Tracy - STOP READING!) and figured out how I was going to piece the back.  I think its going to look fabulous AND its attainable for me to piece the back in one night which is always a plus. 

I wish I could post pictures of it but since its a surprise - I can't!!!  That being said I came across this picture online and had to share!  


I also got a tiny bit of work done on my Eye Spy quilt - that one is just a few squares away from being able from the top being able to be sewn together.  Then I get to start on the sandwiching and working on piecing the back of that one - and the nice thing about that quilt is since its for my kids I can take pictures and share that with you!

Day #21 of Blogtoberfest is over and done HOURS before most days!  Yeay me.  Thanks for stopping by, see you tomorrow.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Creative Stitches Quilt Show - and Day #20 of Blogtoberfest!

I think my blog titles keep getting bigger every day!  Oh well, I'm on Day #20 of Blogtoberfest and I haven't missed a SINGLE DAY!  Thats kind of a big deal for me and I'll take it.

Today a good friend and I took in the Creative Stitches Quilt Show and Sale in Calgary - quite a few LQS had booths and there were a ton from out of the city and a few from out of Province as well.  We talked to owners about fabric, sewing machines, long arm machines (oh how I long for one!!!!) and even had a pretty cool demonstration of a Cameo Shilloette paper/fabric cutter.

We saw some amazing quilts on display from Quilts of Valour.  I had never heard of them before today but was absolutely inspired by their dedication to provide quilts to injured Canadian Soldiers.  There were in between 20-25 quilts on sale and 12 were being sent off to injured Soldiers to help aid in their recovery and as a thank you for serving our Country.

I only had my iPhone on me but I did take pictures of the ones that I really enjoyed. 

I love the pinwheel-checkerboard patterns on this quilt and the hits of blue just pop.  So beautiful.

A beautiful flock of Flying Geese.

This one was one of our favourites - its so Canadian without screaming Canada.  The picture does not do it justice, it was simply stunning.  

This one does scream Canada - and for that I love it!  What a simple design with a fantastic impact and it was beautifully quilted as well.  

This one would have been perfect for a para-trooper, what fantastic fabric to honour a soldier with.  

Yet another quilt that screams Canada - and it was right up there with my favourites.  

I loved the contrast between this quilt and most of the others - it was much more subdued but still a strong quilt.  So pretty.

I thought the appliqued 'leaves' were neat on this quilt and it was long armed beautifully.  

This last picture wasn't a Quilt of Valour quilt it was just one set up at a booth but I thought it was a fantastic alternative layout for an Eye Spy quilt.  I haven't seen an Eye Spy set up with such large squares before and I think I might have keep this design tucked away for my next Eye Spy quilt I want to work on.  

Last but not least I picked up some pretty good deals on some fabric (but please don't tell my husband.... kidding!) and found a few charm packs of fabric that I had been eyeing online.

I got two charm packs each of Cuzco by Kate Spain and Flirt by Sandy Gervais as well as one pack of Walk in the Woods by Annela Hoey.  Now I need to figure out what lovely amazingness I am going to create with my beautiful new fabric.

And before I forget I need to do a majorly HUGE thank you to my Sister for watching all three of my kids this morning so I could go to the Quilt Show without the kids (and have a few hours of quiet shopping with a friend!) - THANKS Kelly!  

Thank you for stopping by - Day #20 of Blogtoberfest is in the books and I will see you tomorrow!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Trunk Show Pictures and Day #19 of Blogtoberfest!!!

Last night was our monthly Calgary Modern Quilting Guild meeting and as I promised yesterday in my blog post that I would show the amazing quilts that Cheryl Arkison and I tried my best to take pictures of EVERY SINGLE ONE!!  They are all from her book Sunday Morning Quilts.

I LOVE them all....what an amazing collection of quilts that she and her co-author designed and created.    I haven't got the book so I am unable to tell you what they all are called although I do remember some of the names but not all, sorry!  I am so buying the book next time we have our guild meeting!

And I apologize for how close up I was for almost all of these pictures - I was pretty much front row and was great for viewing but not so good for pictures.  

First up was this gem: Very mod and I love the unicorns in the middle row!

Next up was a very light quilt - I wish I remembered the name, it was so fitting for this quilt.  Beautiful!!!

I do remember the name of this one - Grass!  She does almost all of her own quilting and this one was so neat because she quilted 'grass' peaks in all the white space.  Very neat.

I remember the name of this one - Pyramid!  It was stunning - triangles scare me but she said that they aren't too hard.....I may have to attempt one of these!

Pyramid again but in a different colorway but using the same templates.

Such a bright and beautiful quilt!!  She does the neatest piecing technique and I cannot wait to get the book and learn how she does it!

This was a fantastic little quilt - I loved the applique!

I think that this was my FAVORITE!  I love how bright it is, I love the colors, I love the dimensions of it.....!  I - MUST - MAKE - THIS!!

There you have it!  The quilts that I remembered to take a picture of when Cheryl was showing them.  They were all so beautiful and I cannot wait to get the book so I can attempt to make one or more of these beautiful quilts.

Thanks for stopping by - Day number 19 of Blogtoberfest is DONE!  Tomorrow I'm off to the
Creative Stitches quilting and scrap-booking show at the Stampede Grounds and hopefully will take in a class or two with a friend!

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