Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

Sentimental Stitching

June 2nd, 2011 by zoe No Comments

My sister and I always loved visiting my Grandparents in Florida. As a child your memory grabs onto snippets of life that delighted you, unable to comprehend that those times will not last forever, you retain what suits your fancy. The memories of childhood usually contain the very best days.  It can be humorous as an adult taking firm account of things you remember: smells, treats, and novelties.  I imagine this summer, as four-year olds, my children will cherry pick their own first memories - only they themselves can decide what to hold dear, what to remember on their journey into adulthood.  In that way, memories are our first true life long possession.

In my mind lives the smell of Florida, the taste of fresh grapefruit picked off the tree in the yard, the all over pink of the bathroom with its fancy pink soaps you never used, the heat of my sunburns, the taste of Shirley Temples, and dinners at “The Club” where after a few drinks all the men at the table would break into song and sing.  And of course there was the cookie tin, out in the washroom.  The big metal tin filled with cookies my grandmother would bake in expectation of our arrival.  For two small girls not allowed sugar, this was a VERY big deal.  The cookie tin always sat on a sweet hand towel printed with hearts and flowers.  My Grandmother Pinky has passed but she lived to bake those very cookies into her 90′s. The cookie tin has since disappeared but the  hand towel remains.  It is faded and stained but I swear it still smells of Florida.  There is just enough fabric there for a special sentimental stitching project for my sister and I.  To honor the memories of an era of in our lives when we were  grandchildren and there were always plenty of Grama Pinky’s cookies.

Baby Robin Has A Grand Adventure

May 25th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

I looked out the window and I thought the child was playing with a frog, but the frog seemed to flutter a bit.  It was in fact a fat little robin chick!  Apparently having discovered a nest up in the rafters of the woodshed he had climbed the 7 feet of wood and SOMEHOW managed to smuggle the wee chirper out safely.  He loves babies and was pretty certain he could keep this baby bird as his very own pet,  “I’m its new Mama!”, he exclaimed.  The fat little feathered robin seemed pretty calm about the idea but none the less I managed to pop him back in his nest. I was doubtful from my childhood experiences of trying to save baby birds that she would make it through the night.  Amazingly the robin along with her two siblings seem to be thriving!!  Now the child on the other hand was quite upset, he kept trying to get back up the wall of wood to the nest.  So we used the computer as a resource to find out what kind of jobs a mama bird does and the little boy decided he did not want to collect 35 worms a day, or eat the baby’s poop to keep the nest clean.  So last night I couldn’t help but make him a nest and baby robin of his own.  I cut up strips of an old t-shirt to make “yarn” and crochet a thick little nest and stitched up a little felt robin that has its beak open wide.

I hope the chirping birds in your neck of the woods have found safe & quiet spots to hatch and brood!

Productive Procrastination

May 24th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

Now that I am closer to forty I have learned a few things about myself.

I love to fix things, oddly I love to fix things with the wrong tools, think Macgyver (if you were old enough to remember that ridiculous show). I could use a nail file and 2 paper clips to diffuse a bomb for sure.

I love things that have “some assembly” required – honestly a good job for me would be putting together BBQ grills for Home Depot all day.

I love making lists. And I seriously love crossing things off lists.  I will make the list longer just to cross things off that have already been done.

I also love to procrastinate.  Love it, hate it, love it.  But here is where the knowing myself better comes in – I know that from that procrastination usually comes something great.  Because sometimes creating all the time can become a chore, when I get into a productive procrastination mode I usually make something that has been hanging in my head for a while.  Something totally different.  So today when I said – ZOE, TIME TO BUCKLE DOWN AND SEW UP THOSE SWEATERS!!  Somehow I just didn’t listen, instead I dug some scraps of wood out of the basement, got out my cheap acrylic paints and whipped up these little hanging tiles for the boy’s room.  I haven’t had a chance to hang them because they are sleeping.  I guess there’s always tomorrow for the sweaters. And after all, I did actually sew the pillow and fix the chairs!

Make Cute Bean Bags

May 15th, 2011 by zoe 4 Comments

Little Bird Bean Bags are whipped together with the wool from a shrunken sweater and scraps of craft felt.  If you have patient child you could work on it together.  I made them with a cosmo, and an episode of Treme’ after the kids were asleep!  Something about them really appeals to kids.  When my boys were little it was hard to come up with games that toddlers could play or relate to.  One game they loved to play we called baby bird – we would create a nest with a blanket and they would chirp and ask for worms – these little birds are just waiting to be snuggled in a nest. Just waiting to be tossed in the air or juggled!  They also work as pattern weights – super fun to line up on the window sill in the sewing room or stitch up for a friend.

Please Invent a Sewing Machine Gym

May 15th, 2011 by zoe No Comments


Every movement in the rhythm of family life is fraught with the never ending quest to find the oh so needed, sometime elusive, constantly shifting balance.

Life and living with small children demands diligent and thoughtful behavior to combine the living breathing needs of all our family members with the need for personal space and growth for EVERYONE living under our little patch of sky.

Motherhood brings with it a truly amazing and earth shaking life shift that is wondrous and also undeniably daunting.  One is left after the early haze of nursing and sleeplessness to rebuild their vision of who exactly they are NOW.

Now that my boys are 4 – I can step back a small bit and look at creating balance.  I can find a bit of time to sew, draw, and get into trouble.  But there are never enough hours in a day to do all the things my head would like to design, paint and build – I dream and scheme lots.  The problem for me is that once I embark in all the artsy crafty things I need to do for my sanity – exercise often gets squeezed OUT.

And sure enough after a few weeks of crafty obsessive behavior my dear friend “muffin top” comes to town and it becomes a whole different kind of squeezing it all “in” —

Oh, to be ….  Balanced!

I sure don’t have any shoes like these but I know who I must have borrowed them from!


Fox Baby

May 11th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Last week this little fox was hanging out at my house getting all friendly with the ladies in the hen house now you can find him over at my

Captain Crafty Shop

Check it out, bits of this and bits of that made by me.