Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Door mod pop

Painting is over for now and I can finally get back to some serious sewing! I have started making a quilt, though this is actually to cover a patio door. It has been a little cold on the shady side of the house, so on Susan's recommendation I decided to make a window quilt. "A what?", you may ask. I was equally puzzled when it was mentioned, but after seeing a presentation on youtube, it made perfect sense. If quilts can keep us warm when we wrap ourselves in them, they should be able to insulate cold windows.

Since the quilt is for a door, I needed to find a patchwork layout that would work well with the narrow frame. In the end I settled for the mod-pop that has developed into a quilt along. By modifying and fiddling with the drunkard's path, the block turned out well enough.

Here is a "stained glass" pic of the quilt top.

I think it will suit the Ghanaian bedspread we are expecting with our remaining trunks. Now on to the quilt back.

Have a warm and cozy day!


Monday, February 25, 2013

Pouf seats for kids

Living with Punks has a great tutorial for a floor cushion/pouf for kids, that also includes some hints on piping. I had actually made these poufs before, but they were left behind in Bogota over a year ago because there was absolutely no room for them in our trunks, even without the stuffing! This time around I made them without the piping, because I did not have any thin rope/cord on hand. I think it worked out quite well, though the piping does make it more stylish and probably gives a better shape. Time will tell.

I had some nice durable IKEA fabric and some old jeans that were ideal for this project, which I thought would suit the nature theme for my little girl's room.

For my son, I recycled the dotty fabric from his nursery curtains for the edge and some denim for the top and bottom. Do you see the handles? Very practical for lugging around.

I made two per kiddy, just in case they have a little guest. At least that was my plan, but when I presented the poufs to them, they took each their polka dot one to their respective rooms and the IKEA nature ones went under the staircase behind the sofa, which has become a library book reading nook. Once again, just goes to show that things don't always turn out as expected.

Have an unpredictable day!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sherringham Lighthouse

We seem to be fascinated by lighthouses, perhaps because they are a novelty for us or simply because we feel they have some sort of majestic presence. In a little hamlet called Shirley, there is a lovely lighthouse called Sherringham that we love to visit.

It's a beauty, isn't it? 

We have not seen any seals or whales out here yet, but we hope to soon.

We love the rocky coastline and crashing waves - so dramatic.

Yeah, I am trying to be an artsy photographer with this shot... 

Have delightful day!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Under the boardwalk in Sooke

Though we live near the beach and there is such a lovely stretch of coastline, we have been dismayed by the lack of public access points to the beach. In Sooke they made a long boardwalk that partially makes up for it.

An old forest trail was boarded as well, so it could be accessible for all.

This one's feathers were not easily ruffled.  

Yes, rocks and water are still our kids' favorite elements.

Have a relaxing day!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Port Renfrew

Port Renfrew is the last town along the Southern coast of Vancouver Island. We were curious to see what lay at the "end of the world".

We were obviously there in the low season, as there was hardly a soul to be seen.  

Apparently it is quite the attraction for swimmers during the Summer months.

The totem poles are appealing to the artistic senses as well as the spiritual ones; very bold and dramatic lines.

Driving home and seeing this familiar sight. I never seem to tire of it.

Have a zen day


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Hanging ten at Jordan River

Having observed many cars with surf boards on their roof racks, we have understood that our coastline is popular among surfers. Last weekend we decided to follow the surfers to find their favorite spot. The weather was coldish, but that was hardly an obstacle for the enthusiastic die hards.

It would seem that surfers are very territorial and seniority decides where you can surf and who can have the best waves. I guess the guys up top were pretty low on the hierarchy.

In our ignorance we were expecting larger waves. The surfers seemed to enjoy themselves, so I guess that is all that matters in the end.

These surfers were using paddles. Isn't that cheating somehow? Hmm...

As always, my kids are very well dressed, in contrast to the inhabitants of the region. I am told that they  refuse to acknowledge the cold season. We have upon occasion spotted people in shorts and sandals when it is 39°F (4°C). In Norway, these "brave" people would be called Vikings. I was never a Viking.

My kids are great fans of water and rocks, so as you can see they have plenty to occupy themselves with. 

Hang ten, dude!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Fabric paint - a first for me

Our lovely new home has many large windows, for which my husband and I have yet to agree upon how to cover to keep out the cold.  Our bedroom is on the shady side of the house and I freeze at night feeling the draft come in. So on my last fabric shopping spree, I grabbed some thick canvas and fabric paint as I had decided I had endured enough cold nights.

The fabric paint was quite thick and I resisted the temptation to add some water to it. Next time I will try another brand and be sure to use gloves, as this was pretty messy. The plastic laser cut template was almost impossible to clean when changing colours, so perhaps using multiple freezer paper cut-outs is a preferable technique. Anyway, here is how they turned out.

Happily, my husband loved the result. Also they suit the colourful Ghanaian bed spread that is arriving in our trunks. Hooray!

But wouldn't you know it after some weeks with these curtains, my hubby has come to the conclusion that we need curtains for the whole house... and perhaps my curtains in our room are not thick enough... sooo we need to go back to the fabric shop... No complaints on my part, as I can use the curtains for the backs of pillows I have envisioned for the living room sofa, I got to try out fabric painting for the first time and I will get to stay warm in the evenings hidden behind my new curtains.

Have a strategic day!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Some tidbits from the neighbourhood

Just thought to show you some pictures of our area in Southern Vancouver Island, where there is no snow.... (a little jab at my former home out East). We really do feel very fortunate to have found this place.

The mountains in the distance to the right of the picture are part of the Olympic mountain range.

No ice here!

We are so happy that the kids love being in the outdoors, especially since it is not something they have been over-exposed to in the past. 

We can't wait for them to get older so we can drag them around on treks. Since the kids are not yet aware of our plans for them,  I guess in their case "ignorance is bliss", eh?

Have a sunny day!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Some first aid for the man in your life

Sorry for keeping you all on hold for so long. As you know, we moved into our new home mid-December and have been busy making modifications. My husband has been knocking down walls, while I have been mostly observed with paint brush in hand. I do not pretend to be good at painting, but using my grade 6 art class knowledge I got to work on some children's furniture pieces and had a lovely time! I just have one more painting project and I am done for a while. However, I could not abandon  my new friend Jane (aka Janome sewing machine) for too long, so I made a little sewing project as a little surprise for my husband.

He has been complaining about a shoulder ache (due to my slave driving perhaps?) and has been using a water bottle to ease the hurt. Unfortunately this particular basic water bottle does not have a cover, so I did a bit of Googling and found this lovely tutorial by Teresa Down Under that was just the thing, while also being inspired by this other water bottle cover by Rebecca Mae Designs.

I used ecru canvas and red cotton solid for the exterior, cotton batting to insulate and some excess bed sheet fabric for the lining.

Using a water soluble marker, I partitioned the pieces to help me with the straight line quilting. I wanted some sharp angles to make it more masculine, while also practicing this technique.

Needless to say, it was so much easier to quilt these little pieces compared to a king size quilt!

After the quilting was done, I cut around and sewed the pieces together by using the quilt binding technique. I tried and failed to sew on the double folded bias as was indicated in the tute. I think it looks neater the way I did it, though.

Here is the back where the bottle can be slid in, much like a pillow case.

And here is the front. I think it is rather amusing to have a first-aid cross on a water bottle, or is it just me?  The hubby has yet to see it, so don't tell him, ok?

Have a surprising day!