Friday, July 3, 2015

to market, to market

So this spring I got myself a sewing room (more on that later!!).  But in the process of moving my stash, I realized how much I had hidden in the bowels of every closet of my home!  Time to streamline a bit.  So I took all my very favorite must-keep fabrics and put them on the shelves, which left me with multiple containers full of "second string" fabrics that I needed to do something with.  While I plan to destash some eventually, I decided the best way to get rid of it was to sew it up!  So, along with a local friend in a similar fabric hoarding predicament, it was decided to sew stuff to sell at the Farmer's Market held Saturday mornings near our cottage. I have always shied away from making things to sell- I am far from perfect and not patient enough to make things so.  I figure if it is given for free, they can't complain, but when buying, a more professional standard is expected.  Plus I have a job already, and don't feel the need to turn a hobby I love into a business.  So Megan and I went into this with a mutual understanding that we would only continue to do this if it was FUN.

We had our first go at market last weekend, and FUN was definitely had.  The market is like a big social occasion- locals and cottagers all come out and mingle, get their produce, local farmed beef, baking, and there are tons of handmade goodies to peruse.  I think I got way more hugs than sales but that was awesome!!  So great to see friends, new and old.  Despite crazy weather (3 apocalyptic style thundershowers in as many hours), there was a decent turn out and we sold a good portion of our supply- enough that I have had to be busy this week generating more! The other vendors were very welcoming and we were well received by the shoppers.  A great day! 

Megan and I each had things we made for sale.  My contributions were:

coin purses
cameral strap covers
patchwork pouches
mesh laundry bags
fold up market totes

Of course if we were going to do this, we had to do so in style- we named ourselves "Dockside Handmade" and had a sign made, as well as some cute business cards that doubled as price tags.  And I had to find all sorts of fun containers for display-----go cute or go home!

And I had to make us each an apron from the pattern by Spotted Stones Krista from the Make It, Take It book by Poppyprint Krista! was perfect for keeping change, pen, phone, etc handy.

So if you find yourself in Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba on a summer Saturday between 10 and 1, be sure to drop in to say hi!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

the latest knits

I've been doing more sewing than knitting lately, but managed to eek out a few since April ;)  The first is my most favourite and memorable sweater ever- 90% of it knit with two broken arms!  It became part of my physiotherapy, the first stitches slow and painful, improving until I was flying along.  So proud of this one.

The pattern is called Square and Stripe by Veera Valimaki, and can be found on Ravelry. My project details are here. I loved the seam detail on the front, back and sides, and added one pink cuff for fun- I think it is my favorite part.  I used Plucky Sweater yarn for the first time and it is wonderful. 

Next up is another striped sweater!  This was made for the little boy of a good friend.  The pattern is free on Ravelry- the Little Coffee Bean Cartigan.  A sweet knit.  I used some vintage wood buttons I had been hoarding, with orange thread for a pop of color.

My latest finish is this flashy and funky Ring My Bell Cape kit from Wool and the Gang. Just a fun old fuchsia pink something-something to throw on over a t-shirt and jeans on a chilly day. It knit up fast with the chunky alpaca.  Excuse the late night bathroom photo on my phone, I never got around to taking a "real" shot of this one!

There seems to be a baby boom going on so I have a bunch of baby sweaters that need knitting!  What are your favorite baby go-to patterns?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Canada Day IG giveaway and SCHOOL'S OUT!

Hello friends!  Happy Canada Day!  I am feeling really lucky today.  The sun is shining, I live in a great country, have health and is good!  I am giving thanks with a small giveaway on Instagram of this perfectly Canadian mug, along with some red and white scraps.  Be sure to hop over there to enter, it's one day only!  I am "kristieocd" over there :)

The kids are really pumped about the start summer vacation.  Big G finished his first year at private school, and has "graduated" on to middle school.  It was a challenging year of change, but I am proud of how he persevered.  He made so many great new friends and learned a lot about himself.

The girls will be joining him at private school next year, too.  So we had to say goodbye to our elementary school yesterday!  So many wonderful memories and teachers we have had there.  To say goodbye, I brought in containers of homemade cookies and mason jars, that the girls painted with chalk paint (my new favourite thing) and filled with flowers.

For their teachers, I made these fun gift card holders with cards inside as gifts, along with some other treats.

(We also made a dance version for the dance teachers!)

For LBNL's teacher, who collects antique quilts that she has hung around her classroom, we made a mini quilt for her classroom wall.  LBNL chose the book pattern and all the fabrics, and I pieced and hand quilted it.  On the back there is a special message from LBNL. Her teacher was thrilled and said it would be special to her forever.  As she will be to us!

Lots more to share with you and hoping to do some catching up.  Be back soon (I promise!).

Thursday, April 16, 2015

a winner and a sale- go Jets!

The winner of the Make It, Take It digital book is....Jo!  I'll be emailing you.

Also, very exciting times in Winnipeg- the Jets are in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since they have returned to Winnipeg.  To celebrate, I am putting The Good Old Hockey Game quilt pattern on sale!

The sale will continue for as long as the Jets are alive in the playoffs. Here's how it will work:

Effective immediately, enter JETSROUND1 for 25% off.

If they make it to round 2, it will be 50% off; round 3 will be 75% off and if they make it to the finals, the pattern will be FREE!

So take your chances- do you believe??   :)  Go Jets!!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Make It, Take It blog tour!


Welcome, friends of Make It, Take It by Krista Hennebury, the fabulous crafty book about retreat-worthy projects! This is one of the last stops on the blog tour train, and so happy to be part of it and this book.  As with the other contributors, I will be giving away a digital copy of the book today, so for your chance to win, please leave a comment below about your favourite retreat experience.  Winner will be drawn on Thursday April 16!

My contribution to this book was the Knitwit Needle Clutch, hanging out on page 40.  This project is the perfect combination of both of my stitchy loves, sewing and knitting.

*image from Make It, Take It by Krista Hennebury, Martingale, 2015; used by permission. 
Photo by Brent Kane.  All Rights Reserved.

This clutch stays in my current knitting project bag and I have taken it with me pretty much everywhere over the past 2 years since I first designed it.  It really is handy!  Here is my own personal Knitwit Needle Clutch in Echino :) And my current sweater project that I hope to finish soon to enjoy for spring!

The inspiration for this design came from need.  (ha ha!  "Need" in the loosest sense....) I have one of those fabulous sets of interchangeable needles, and wanted to organize them in something a bit more stylish than the package they came with.  Thus, the Knitwit Needle Clutch was born! Using some fun knit-themed linen I had been hoarding for who knows how long, I made a fun organizational pouch with clear vinyl pockets to allow you to place labels to customize to your personal needle and cable collection.

There is a flap to keep all of the needles from slipping out the side of then clutch when closed:

It all folds up into a fashionable, compact and functional carrying case, with room for needed notions and such as well in a zippered compartment on the back.

If you are of the "bi-craftual" orientation and happen to make a Knitwit Needle Clutch, be sure to email me with a photo or tag me on instagram, I would love to see it!

So many wonderful projects in this book.  I hope you do enjoy it.  Good luck in the giveaway!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

a baby quilt for Koyuki

Koyuki is a baby girl, born to a longtime Japanese friend. A few years ago, my friend and her family visited us in the summer, and I gifted her a quilt.  She received it with more joy, wonder and gratitude than I have ever received- it filled my heart.  So of course when she had another baby girl in December, I knew a quilt would be the perfect gift.

I really went to town with the pink.  I love it- so soft and soothing.  I did a bit of an I-spy combined with a scrappy wonky star, using the centers as a showcase for fun novelty fabrics (including munki sushi!).

On the back I used one of my favourite prints ever, by Megumi Sakakibara.  Going through a bit of hoarder's separation anxiety about this but it is just too perfect a compliment to the top to doubt.

As my arms are still not very strong and pulling even a small quilt sandwich around to machine quilt was uncomfortable, I hand quilted it with Perle cotton.  I love how it adds to the softness.  Just one pass around each star and centre square, and one line dividing each block.  I did a triple row around the outer sashing.  Pretty.  The binding is a print by Anna Griffith, hand bound.

This will be winging its way to Japan shortly along with this ruffled (and wrinkled!) onsie that I just adore.  Oh, babies!

Monday, April 6, 2015

it's me again....

Just dropping in for my bimonthly update?? Is this what is has come to?

Well, to be fair, these past couple months have been more "interesting" than most.

It started with receiving results from a recent food intolerance test for Last But Not Least.  She has always had a sensitive stomach, but recently this has escalated, with frequent stomach aches and diarrhea, and it was time to investigate.  We expected a food allergy but were a bit gobsmacked by this:

Intolerant. To. Everything.  Let me tell you, trying to cook for a kid who can't have dairy, egg, gluten, rice, potato, sunflower, most nuts and more is a bit of a game changer.  No more fast food or processed foods, almost everything from scratch.  It has required a lot of research and time spent scouting out unusual ingredients like yucca root, arrowroot four, coconut butter and more.  But we have made it work. It looks like she is getting some relief from her symptoms, and we are having her tested for Celiac's disease as a precaution.  It is pretty time consuming but we are starting to find some alternatives that work for her.  Good times.

Next, it was off to a much needed holiday- Dominican Republic! Yay!  We enjoyed some of this...

...and a bunch of this...

...for about 2 days.  And then came this:

I am not kidding. I took a tumble over the tiniest ever step, fell hard on a marble floor, knocking myself out in the process even.  But wait, the story does not end there.  We came home, had it all re-examined, and it was actually this:

Which made me want to spend all my time drowning my sorrows like this....

...with the help of my kids, because who knew but it is really freaking hard to open a bottle of beer with 2 broken arms.  Among many, many other other things.  Please trust me on this and do not research for yourself.

So, that has occupied much of my time of late, to say the least. Two broken arms is not exactly compatible with my work as a dentist, so I have been off for the past 7 weeks as I have been recovering and, more recently, starting physiotherapy to regain mobility and strength in my arms.  Back to work later this week though!  Both happy to get back to "normal" and a bit nervous at the same time.

And in the midst of all of this "fun", life continues of course.  Luckily, I have the best friends and family ever who have been incredibly helpful with practical issues like driving my kids to and fro, making meals, or even helping me get dressed or comb my hair!  I am hoping I did not scar my 11 year old son for life by having the first bra he removed on a woman to be his mother's.  
Ah well.  Save that for the therapist.  And of course there was the emotional support, the laughs through the frustrations, sweet gifts from friends.  I am truly thankful for all of it.

While all this was going on, we have also been in the midst of a full blown renovation at the cottage.  Back in September, a leaky fridge hose resulted in all of the flooring needing to be replaced, along with some drywall, lighting and the kitchen counters.  So why stop there? We decided to to a full on gutting.  I came up with the brilliant idea to repaint all of our sturdy but dated oak kitchen and built ins with chalk paint.....which then became the job of the Hubs when I was rendered armless!  Ha! The show must go on! We went out for a few days over Spring Break to put it all together and this is what is happening so far:

Still a ways to go but it is coming together nicely!!  I will be sure to do a full before and after post once things are finished :)

Anyways, that pretty much brings you up to speed.  Crafting was more or less shut down until recently, when I started some short bouts of knitting and hand sewing as a part of my physiotherapy-  I actually had them write it on my instructions as proof to the Hubs that this was "work" for me.  It has been a wonderful thing.  I have a small finished quilt to show you in another post.  

In the meantime, I want let you know that a blog hop is underway for Make It, Take It! Each of the contributors is having a turn discussing their projects, and are giving away digital copies of the book. I will be back with my turn and giveaway on Sunday!  If you wold like to follow along, here is the schedule:

Blog Tour Schedule 

Friday, April 3 Blog hop kick-off at Poppyprint!
Monday, April 6: Berene at Happy Sew Lucky and Amy at During Quiet Time
Tuesday, April 7: Leanne at She Can Quilt and Felicity at Felicity Quilts
Wednesday, April 8: Martingale Inc. at Stitch this! (check out their Rainbow Round the Cabin staff party!)
Thursday, April 9: Krista at Spotted Stones and Krista at Krista Withers Quilting
Friday, April 10: Lynne at Lilys Quilts and Cindy at Live a Colorful Life
Saturday, April 11: Ayumi at Pink Penguin and Krista at Poppyprint
Sunday, April 12: Kristie at OCD: Obsessive Crafting Disorder and Christina at Sometimes Crafter