Saturday, October 31, 2009


Yesterday John bought home four pumpkins to carve. We all sat at the kitchen table and got busy removing the slimy "guts" of these wonderfully plump, orange pumpkins. John created a preliminary sketch that then had to meet the approval of Elizabeth and Quinn. He then helped with the carving. (John is fantastically creative, having once spent the day carving a giant -think 300lbs plus - pumpkin for a local business). I kept mine "old school", traditional and simple. It mirrored the jack 0'lantern face on the burlap bag.

That evening, Elizabeth and I headed out to her school for a Halloween Dance that was remarkably fun. We saw inspired costumes from the children and parents alike. We went through a scary haunted house, ate popcorn and danced. It was great fun for a kindergarten girl and a tradition that I hope we'll continue.
We arrived home on that dark and rainy evening to find our four pumpkins alight at our door.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Well, I finished Elizabeth and Quinn's little vests just in time (thanks to Fiona for lending me a perfect pattern). They are being Jessie and Woody from Toy Story, a favourite movie at this time. Of course, cow print fabric would have been true to the characters, however, creative licence and the "reduced" wall led to better economic sense with orange corduroy and navy upholstery fringewhich seemed a wiser choice.

I made two star "sheriff" badges from the recycled burlap sacks and old coffee packaging. The burlap lends the perfect old world, rustic, wild west feel and they are easily attached and removed with a safety pin.

I also created two modest Halloween Bags (I always abhorred those carrying pillow cases ,the epitome of greed). Again, burlap was used along with a pumpkin applique that I created from free hand cutting scraps from remnants at my sewing desk. These were sewn onto the burlap then made into the bag. The ghost was some leftover quilting batting with two little eyes and a burlap mouth. They each have small handles - perfect for little hands. Now we just have to practice our "Trick or Treats".

Monday, October 26, 2009


Here is my latest creation (made on a wet Sunday morning when we could not get to the beach). It is a fabric bucket inspired from . I thought it would make the perfect receptacle for Quinn's many toy cars as it seems durable and has handles that he can easily use.

The exterior is made using my recycled coffee sacks - just love the graphic labeling on this heavy burlap fabric. I also love that these sacs are being re-purposed and staying out of the landfill. The interior is a very heavy duty cotton canvas that I also use to make canvas albums. Again, its natural appearance compliments the organic look of the burlap. This canvas is super strong and helps the bucket (which is about 13 inches high) keep its shape. I lined the outer and inner shell with quilting batting ,which again reinforces the shape.

I free hand cut a Euro look "smart car" from old coffee packaging and sewed it onto the burlap with a contrasting zig-zag stitch. This little car adds a graphic punch and subtly suggests the buckets intended contents.

The handles are made from canvas with some bold boy-looking ribbon detail. Quinn is pleased with his new bucket and he can easily stash his cars and take them from room to room.

This was a really fun and wonderfully functional project to make and I'll try some in different sizes in the future.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I love the garden equally in spring with its new delicate green mounds poking through the earth and the autumn when the plants are getting ready to hibernate for the winter (a short one on the west coast). Today we played in the leaves, explored our garden and ate the straggler cherry tomatoes that lingered on the once robust vines.

I was happy to see my new addition to the garden was in flower - a toad lily. It promised beautiful speckled flowers in a deep plum colour and it's tag did not disappoint. There were an abundant of miniature flowers facing the shallow October sunlight. Pretty pleasing.

On our walk we found seed pods from a nearby Beech tree. I love their roughness and spiky hair like fronds that ensconce the nut. The oak leaves are such a gorgeous mix of browns, tans, and burnt umbras alike. (I feel a leafy project coming on...).

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I get a lot of my inspiration from Nature. We found ourselves again this Sunday at the beach. The weather was very mild for the 18th of October - practically no wind and the seas glass like and calm. Elizabeth and Quinn waded in the water along the shoreline looking for treasures - shells and special rocks - occasionally throwing a rock or piece of driftwood into the ocean.

I was inspired by a washed up, hollow acorn. It made the most perfect tiny vessel for a pretty posy of lingering summer flowers.
The colours were muted hues of blue, green and grey infused with an ever so soft yellowy sun. We watched the sea birds and the ferry come and go along with the ebb and flow of the gentle tide. Beautiful and inspiring.

Monday, October 12, 2009


We spent another Sunday at our favourite beach. This time John had a rare Sunday off work and got to experience how we usually spend our Sunday mornings. It was a glorious, sunny day - quite blustery too. It was high tide so everyone was concentrated to the upper section of the beach adjacent to the lovely smooth logs that had inadvertently escaped from log booms and made to it to shore, giving us a comfortable vantage point to enjoy our snack and watch the ebb and flow of the little waves - "...the waves roll in and the waves roll out..." - Raffi.
I love how Elizabeth wore her "Thanksgiving" dress with its flowing taffeta and pink tulle underskirt. She paired it with her flowery gum boots in a true West Coast sense. I adore my eccentric little girl for this.
We ate apples, crunchy and fresh and watched the float planes, dogs, people and all beachy happenings.
John cooked a magnificent turkey with about a pound of herbs from the garden. It was succulent for sure. I actually helped prepare dinner (with help from Jamie Oliver) and made delicious roast potatoes with loads of crunchy bits and tasty carrots and brussels. Nana brought over a fittingly seasonal dessert of a tart apple flan. It was a feast for sure and for that I am thankful.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend everyone....

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Happy Birthday Quinn!!! You are now three. It is so fun to watch you learn new things and grow. You still love being at home the best plus going on walks and playing at the park or running on the beach.
Curious George makes you laugh and Fireman Sam and Postman Pat hold your interest.....briefly. So far you like being three because you get to eat whole grapes and use a big, china dinner plate. Ah, if only life could be that simple!
Enjoy your special year, my love.