Friday, June 29, 2012

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Reading Soulemama's blog I was inspired by her {this moment}. She says,

"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."

In the busy hustle, bustle of life, this notion of a photo capturing a moment to pause and savor really appeals to me.

A Moment To Remember

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Busy Times

The last few weeks have gone by in a blur of running into the city for doctor appointments and errands, racing against the clock to get a little garden in that we'd hoped to do earlier but had no time for, and N's high school graduation!

I can't believe he's done school! Not sure actually how it happened so fast, but it did. What seems such a short time ago he was terrified of going to kindergarten and would make a run in the opposite direction the minute I got him out of the car at the school. Or if he got to the doors without incident the teacher would have to pry his little hands off of the death grip he had on me. His homemade Telletubby Poe hid in his little red backpack every day for the first few months (you know, because Poe might have been lonely if he'd stayed home by himself).

Growing up. It happens so fast!

In amongst all the running about and excitement I did manage to get some serious craftiness in! In knitting news, I finished a pair of socks. They're just a quick, simple pair of ankle socks, using some yarn I've had in my stash for several years now. The thing I like the best about them, however, is the fact that they are my very own, very first ever pattern. I'm working on getting the pattern ready with the help of a good friend, but in the meantime I'd like to show them off to you!

My "Follow The Leader" socks!

I also got a few gifts completely finished! The Confection Shrug for a friend's baby girl due soon and the Victorian Lace Shrug for a "birthday swap" I'm in right now. I made an Itty Bitty Baby Dress and a pair of matching bloomers to go with the Confection Shrug. For The larger shrug I made a simple pillowcase dress using the tutorial on Prudent Baby's site.

I've been sewing like a crazy lady too lately! A couple necessities for the boys...

Some new pajamas!

Some new shorts!

A couple new swim diapers (the first using the Aquarius Swim Diaper pattern and the second, which I like much better, my own design) and pocket diapers for Baby Boy!

And a surprise "4th of July" diaper for a friend's little fellow! (the little guy's three year old brother has dubbed it the "Captain America" diaper)!

I had some fun making a felt "lunch" and a cotton lined lunch bag to put it in for my little birthday swapee that I made the shrug and pillowcase dress for.

I also did some sewing for me!! Suddenly it occurred to me I had nothing to wear to N's grad dinner. I really hate shopping for clothes for me and I had a good length of a beautiful linen print a friend had sent in a swap last winter sitting in my stash. Using A Simplicity pattern I already had I made a new dress. I love it! It felt sophisticated enough for a banquet, but comfortable enough that I wasn't feeling awkward sitting through an eternity of long winded speeches and not great food.

My dress!

Feeling bold from my dress success I whipped out another pattern from my stash and set to work on a sun dress. Let's just say pride does go before a fall. The bodice was bikini worthy skimpy on top, suck in your gut fitted through the midriff and absolute-bloomin'-lutely perfect through the skirt. It's now a skirt. Full stop. I hate wasting fabric, not to mention the time wasted putting the whole thing together, but the dress would have hidden in the back corner of my closet, whereas the skirt was worn to N's convocation last night!

So, as you can see there's been lots going on here chez Prairie Girl! Busy times indeed! Next event up is Little Toddler Man's 3rd and my 41st birthday in a week's time. I love sharing a birthday with my little man! He's an amazing birthday present in himself and I'm guaranteed cake. What else could anyone ask for?

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Reading Soulemama's blog I was inspired by her {this moment}. She says,

"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."

In the busy hustle, bustle of life, this notion of a photo capturing a moment to pause and savor really appeals to me.

A Moment To Remember

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Reading Soulemama's blog I was inspired by her {this moment}. She says,

"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."

In the busy hustle, bustle of life, this notion of a photo capturing a moment to pause and savor really appeals to me.

A Moment To Remember

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mmmmmmmm... Donuts!

It all started this morning when I woke up at 5:30am, rolled over and thought, "mmmmmmmm. I could sure go for a Boston Cream Donut right now." Yeah. I know. I'm just odd that way.

The little voice in my head wouldn't let up with the donut business so at 7:30am I caved into the pressure. (I have a very insistent and persuasive inner voice apparently!). No. I didn't pack the boys into the truck and head into town to Tim Horton's if that's what you thought. I haven't gone quite that far over the edge yet. What I did do is pull out my bread machine (although you could do the dough by hand just the same as any other yeast dough). A few hours later the boys and I had a tasty treat for our late morning snack. Then Little Toddler Man helped himself to another tasty treat as an early afternoon snack, and tried yet again to snag a post super snack as well.

Toddler logic gets me every time! The early afternoon snack occurred while I was otherwise occupied for about 45 seconds. I heard some rumblings around the kitchen and next thing I heard was a sweet little voice ever so generously offering me a donut (it was a donut hole to be precise - from the bowl, up on the second shelf of the cupboard. GAH!!!!)

I accepted the offered morsel and enquired of my Little Man, "Did you have one?". "Yes, Mommy!" came the happy reply. Then I discovered the now empty bowl. This was the conversation.

Me: Did you eat all the little donuts?
LTM (looking as innocent as a newborn babe): No, Mommy. I saved you one!
Me: Yes, I know and thank you, but did you eat all the ones that were left?"
LTM: No, Mommy. You ate one of them.

Yep. All I could do was laugh. Toddler logic. You'll never win in a battle of wits with an almost three year old.

Anyways. In case you'd like to make some tasty treats for yourself, here's my recipe!


1/2 cup milk, warmed up (you don't want to give your yeast hypothermia after all!)
1/4 cup warm water
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
3 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp bread machine yeast

If using a bread machine add ingredients to the machine in order given and set on dough setting. If doing by hand, combine liquid, with 1 TBSP of the sugar, stir in yeast (If you're using regular yeast 2 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast = 1 TBSP or 1 pkg regular yeast, so you'll want to adjust accordingly). Set yeast aside. Mix remaining sugar, salt and shortening together, and once yeast has foamed up, stir it into the sugar mixture. Stir in flour, knead until smooth, then let it rise until doubled.

Once dough has risen or machine is done turn onto a lightly floured board and let rest for ten minutes. Roll dough to 1/2" thickness and cut out donuts using a donut cutter or, a round cookie cutter if making filled donuts. Let rise about an hour until doubled, then fry. Mine took about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes per side, but every fryer might be different so just turn them when they're golden brown. When done, set on paper towel lined pans to drain and cool. We tossed our donut holes in icing sugar when they were cooling, but the donuts and filled donuts got chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Glaze

1/3 cup butter
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup hot water

Cream butter, then combine all ingredients together until a smooth consistency.

Boston Cream Filling

1 pkg of instant vanilla pudding (4 serving size)
1 3/4 cups of milk

Prepare pudding as directed on pkg using the reduced amount of milk and chill till set. Make a slit into the donuts almost all the way through to the other side, then using a pastry bag fill with pudding.

I hope you enjoy these as much as the little boys and I did!

PS: that would be a picture of LTM trying to sneak another donut...
Me: What are you doing?
LTM: Nothing! My face isn't dirty!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

A Collection of Craftiness

I haven't posted much about my knitting or sewing adventures lately. I have been working on a few things here and there over the last few weeks (ahem, I guess I should really say months). I've had some successes, some mediocre results, but thankfully no downright failures in craftiness.

I've started knitting what I call a "distraction" project every month. A smallish item that I can finish in one month. It's motivated me to get projects finished and it keeps my mind busy so as not too dwell on things that are out of my control.

So far I finished my Abalone cardigan, a pair of monkey socks and this month I'm working on a pair of socks of my own design

The Abalone was a bit of a disappointment. I made it a bit too long and didn't do quite enough increases along the edging so it curls a bit. I haven't decided whether or not I'll keep it. I never managed to get a decent picture of it, but I'll share my sort of bad, taken in the mirror self portrait. (taken before blocking)

I love my monkey socks. This is the second time I've knit this pattern. It's so easy and intuitive. They'll have to keep till fall though. It's been far to warm for wool socks!

I'll show you my latest project another day, when there's actually something to show. In between I've also knit a couple of baby shrugs for some of my girlfriends little one - but haven't taken pics yet - and a special blanket square for a communal blanket project I'm part of right now.

The weather has been warming up beautifully so it's that time of year where new pjs are in order for the little menfolk of the house. Both tops are from Fishsticks Designs. Little Toddler Man's is the Charlie Tee and Baby Boy's is the Lap Tee. Little Toddler Man is crazy about anything related to building or construction so he was the happy recipient of a new pair with dumpers and cement mixers on them!

Baby Boy is crazy about monkeys. Could be because my nickname since birth for him has always been "Monkey-Roo" or maybe because he is a little monkey! So he got a pair of stripey sock monkey jammies. ('scuze the peanut butter on the pjs! That's what happens when you photograph something after a toddler who refuses to wears bib has eaten breakfast!)

The warm weather also had this momma wanting a new handbag for the season, so I whipped one up using some fabric in my stash. I love this bag! I even did a zippered welt pocket in the lining! I used the Pleated Bag tutorial from Deliberately Domestic.

I've been really annoyed with my ironing board lately. It's my own fault really. I somehow manage to have minor little disasters like the day I accidentally ironed some fusible web onto the cover. My cover was a mess. Scorched in spots, sticky, and falling apart. So I made a new cover. Isn't it pretty?

One of my favourite projects lately was another gift for a friend. I can't tell you how much I really love using Fishsticks Design's Austen Lee Romper pattern. I think this is the fourth or fifth time I've made it! This time I did a Superman theme for a super little fellow. Took me a few practice attempts, but I was really pleased with how the freezer paper stencil I did for the appliqué patch turned out in the end!

Baby Boy also got a new pair of training pants. He's showing an interest in potty training so I thought I'd better get going on making a set. So far I've made one to add to the two I'd made previously as my failed overnight reusable "pull up" prototypes. They work great as a daytime trainer even if they're a disaster for overnight use! (Told you. The kid is monkey obsessed!)

But what I've really loved sewing lately the most is diapers! First up was a Birdifull Stitches' Fattycakes pocket diaper. I made this one quite early in the spring, but I don't think I ever showed it to you. It's ok, it works, but not my favorite, although Baby Boy appreciates the pirate monkey PUL (my dislike stems probably more from my own sewing issues than pattern issues mind you.)

My latest three I LOVE LOVE LOVE! I started out by using the Whittey Bums pattern as a starting off point, then added some features I like from other diapers, a covered back welt pocket opening like the Bum Genius, leg gussets like Monster Pants (I used a great little tutorial from the Sleeping Baby site for those) and narrower wings to accommodate Baby Boy's rather pudgy thighs.

Did I mention I love these diapers? I'm a bit addicted to what I've morphed the pattern into!

So, that's what I've been up to crafty wise! How about you? Any projects on the go?

Now, you'll have to excuse me. I've been multitasking by cooking while typing this and breakfast is ready to be served! Mmmm mmmm good as Baby Boy would say!