Saturday, February 28, 2015

Winter Stations


It is the last day of February and I thought I would post a few photos of the warming huts that are on display at Balmy Beach. The beach life guard stations are temporarily transformed into warming huts. The project was as a result of an international juried design competition is called Winter Stations.



The fabric, above, acts as a swing.


This hut has a fire pit.


The shoreline is spectacular right now.  We have experienced the coldest February on record.



Looking forward to warmer temperatures. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Crafting with my kids: Lunar New Year 2015 Year of the Sheep, Goat, Ram

Today marks the first day of the Lunar New Year festival.  This year is the year of the goat or the sheep (as I understand it there is no distinction in the Mandarin language between these animals whereas English language has more categories).

For the last several years, my daughters and I have been crafting our way through the Zodiac.  This year we made sheep by painting on laysee / red money envelopes with cotton balls.
We cut the envelopes open along one long side and both short sides so the envelopes lay flat. The girls dabbed cotton balls in white acrylic paint on the envelope. 

[We have a large stash of laysee in a wide range of styles and shapes.  We like to use them in our CNY crafting (different examples here , here, and here).]
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The white painting is then embellished with black feature (legs, ears, nose, etc.).
The standing sheep are made from yarn, cardboard, and clothespins.  I posted about this Easter project nearly three years ago here.
Happy crafting and for those celebrating we wish you a very healthy and prosperous new year!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Textile Museum of Canada : Children’s Hats and Clothing from China


Lily is working on her fashion badge for Girl Guides.  One of her challenges is to study the clothing of children in three countries.   She chose China as one of her countries of study.

As part of her badge challenge,  we visited the Textile Museum of Canada which has a special exhibit “Good Beginnings Children’s Hats and Clothing from China”.  She was required to write down her own observations - she recorded the use of silk, vests, collars and hats.  She found (and was puzzled) that the display featured more clothing for boys than girls. She was interested in the use of certain animals or flowers to adorn the pieces.  Below are a few examples of the garments on display:




Above -  new year celebration hats.

IMG_1435It was a fun afternoon, but we came home to frozen pipes (!).   After the pipes were thawed, I was still inspired and stitched up these qipao / cheongsam doll dresses using this pattern.

The fabric for the pink dress is “little blessings” by Lakehouse.  The purple dress is “Chinese Lanterns” by Patty Young (Playdate collection for Michael Miller.) It is a sweet pattern, perfect for upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations!

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Happy Crafting and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Flag Day


This week is full of celebrations (Valentine’s, Mardi Gras, the beginning of the Lunar New Year). Today, we are celebrating the 50th birthday of the Canadian flag.   I thought I would share the flag we made from an old shutter. 



We primed the shutter and tried our best to paint the maple leaf on the raised louvers.   We plan to put up our shutter flag in our backyard this spring.  The leaf is not perfectly symmetrical, but it is the best we could do.


The Maple Leaf Forever! Have a great weekend.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Hockey Sweater


I have noticed an abundance of Leafs merchandise at the second hand shops (coinciding with a historic losing streak). This repurposing project has been in my mind for awhile.  I wanted to make a hockey jersey for my daughter’s doll, but the NHL does not license patches for sale.  Solution: a fan scarf! Fan scarves are generally less than a few dollars at the thrift shop and during a losing streak you might be able to get one for free.  This scarf is from 2013 and was $2.  It has two patches.


I then carefully cut out the pattern pieces using the Scientific Seamstress knit top pattern. (Instead of a hemmed edge,  I used ribbing.)


It worked perfectly. She is carrying my dad’s vintage Leafs stick signed by Howie Meeker.


Hope is very pleased! Happy stitching!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Melvis and Elvis


For the past few weeks, Lily has been involved in a “rhyme stew” poetry/rap workshop with poet Claire Caldwell. The rhyme stew crew were introduced to one of Dennis Lee’s poems from his brand new book “Melvis and Elvis” (first book in a decade!) and then had the opportunity to write their own original works as inspired by Dennis. Today, they performed on stage at the Revival Club in Toronto with Mr. Lee as part of this year’s Totsapalooza 7.


Judging from Lily’s expression, above, she was kind of thrilled about the gig… and so was I. I grew memorizing Dennie Lee poems and when Lily was an infant we attended a “lullabies and lap rhymes” class where I memorized the poems all over again some twenty five years later.

The event also featured Canadian illustrator / author Ashley Spires who read from her new book Edie’s Ensembles and talked about being a  “maker” and  her book, “The Most Magnificent Thing.”  Hope was pretty thrilled to meet Ashley in person!



It was a such a special day and wonderful opportunity for our family.

Enjoy the weekend!