Friday, September 12, 2014


Do you think it needs more pins?

The quilt is done, the quilt is done!   Unfortunately it wasn’t a triumphant moment as there were so many weeks ahead of it that I thought it would be finished by.  As soon as I did the last stitch, I let out a dull whatever and folded it into a large bag.  I didn’t tweet it, or Instagram it or even text the bride that it was done.  It’s done and ready to go to it’s new home so I’m happy.


What’s great about it being done is that I was able to re-arrange our living area a bit.  The dining room table had turned into the quilt display table and my desk area was a mess.  There was a record player, step ladder and other items in the way and it was difficult for me to craft in that area.  Now it’s organised (just need a shelf for a few items on the side) and I should no longer be using the dining table to sew while watching Netflix.  And we can now eat at the dining table on a regular basis.

Now that my sewing area is set up (I have moved 3 times in the past 5 years I think – and this is the first place in 5 years that has enough room for me to sew!) I have been much more interested in sewing instead of knitting.  It’s partly due to the lack of quality clothing produced today and also due to the abundance of options.  Maybe I’m just getting  old, but I’m looking for more classic fits instead of in style right now and I’m not interested in spending hours trying to find them in stores.  Yes, making these items will take hours and they may not fit exactly right, but I’m excited for it.  The more I do the better I will get at finding the right patterns and material.  My patterns are here, first off is the Belcarra blouse!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Driving Mr. Doggy

Mr. H and I recently joined modo car sharing.  Neither of us ever wants to own a car for many reasons that I won't get into.  This adorable beast came into our lives though, and what does this beast love as much as food?  Off leash walks in the bush.  Shame we live just outside of downtown Vancouver and there is only one off leash area within a few kilometers of our home.   If Josh were under 20lbs, I would sneak him onto busses or put him in my back pack and ride to the beach, but 95lbs is difficult to hide and impossible to carry.

A few weeks ago we headed up to Cypress Falls in West Vancouver.  An off leash, quiet trail.  It was a cool day and Josh had a blast.  The trail is short but all three of us were tired from it.  I highly recommend it for dog owners, quiet, tons of shade but if your dog is a water lover like ours, keep your eyes on them and for access points to the creek.  There are lots of steep drop offs and Josh almost took a serious tumble trying to get a swim in.

Tomorrow, we are off to Macdonald beach near the airport.  Another dog friendly area with great reviews!  It'll be a sunny, hot day and Josh will appreciate every moment of it.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Ex-squeeze me? Baking soda?

While reading the highly educational site, I came across a page with 27 DIY, 2 ingredient beauty supplies.  Most of them I don't ever want to try (lipgloss made with crayons?, yuck).  But a few of these caught my eyes and I have decided to experiment.

The first one I tried is the baking soda deodorant.  I maybe use deodorant two to three times a week, I seem to sweat the same amount if I'm wearing it or not so I don't really like using it that much as it ruins my clothes.  Years ago when I gave up the couch for regular exercise, I noticed that I would sweat more when active (not so much when inactive) but it was a cleaner sweat if that makes sense.  I also had my pits lasered quite a few years ago due to a never ending case of ingrown hairs and some armpit acne from waxing them.  There is much less smell now as I don't have hairs grabbing onto bacteria and holding it in (have you ever noticed a stronger smell when you forgot to shave for a few days?).

The obvious reasons for change is chemicals, a lot of chemicals that I don't know much about and don't want  them on my body.  There are the natural alternatives at stores but when I tried them it seemed like I sweated even more.  Plus, they are expensive for more trial and error.

My first batch is with lavender essential oil (partly because I had a lot of lavender, I'm really excited to try lemon) for the past week.  Applying seems a bit tricky, some of course falls on the floor, but since it's just baking soda it's not that big of a deal, it'll be good to get some on the feet.  I shower at night and apply it then and then once again when I wake up.  The lavender smell doesn't seem to transfer to my skin or clothes and it feels really fresh right away.  I'm still sweating a similar amount, but my pits feel cleaner, fresher.  They don't feel clogged like how deodorant can sometimes do that. 

I'm enjoying this alternative, cheap and healthy version (because even the health stores have ingredients that I can't understand on them).  If after more time this disagrees with me, I'll let you know.  After this week , I'm sold on it.

Update, I recently found this article, 101 uses for coconut oil.  Coconut oil is a product I have thought about introducing into our kitchen for a while.  Now seeing that it is a great binding agent for the baking soda, I will finally purchase some for our home.  I expect the application to be even easier.  PS, I'll let you know if it sucks.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

July Long Weekend

Hi Meghan, thanks for reading :-)
Mr. H and I packed up our car (we joined car sharing program to save money from renting cars and we also don't want to own a car), grabbed the dog and headed to the Okanagan for the weekend.  Canada Day was a Tuesday, so we took the Monday off and had a super long weekend.  It was a cloudy but hot and we sat around doing a whole lot of nothing and relaxing and chatting with the family.  We also picked a ton of cherries, 2 grocery bags full to be exact.  I have finished pitting them and putting them in the freezer - about 3 hours work.  Ma fingahs hurt, but they were free from my Grandma's tree!  We also got a few pints of raspberries from my mom's yard on the way out.  I will have free fruit smoothies for months!

The dog was stressed during the drive which sucked.  He was happy to see mom and dad but was even happier to get home.  It was like he started smiling when he recognised our apartment building.  He jumped out of the car and just walked/pranced in circles on the front lawn.  It was great for him to realise he's home - with us.  He's had a tough six months and I think the trip away for the 3 of us was great, we are a little family.

As for Mr. H and I, it was so good to get away.  It was our first time away since we moved in together 4 months ago.  Although we stayed at my parents we could feel our spark coming back (not that it went away really).  It was great for us to get out of our home for more than an evening and it rejuvenated us.  We talked about the past four months - Mr. H admitted the dog annoyed him for the first few months which made me happy that he could be so honest - and had a good ol' fashioned drunk talks about our future.  It's exciting and I can't wait for our next weekend away.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Two low blows, one weekend

Have you tried this beer?

It is amazing, I thought it would be super sweet, but it's like grapefruit pop.  Do you remember Western Family Pamplemousse?  It takes exactly the same.  It doesn't taste like beer but it is beer.  I finally found may tall can love.  After almost downing two of them last night, and boy did they go down fast, I thought to myself "you will be drunk soon" and right after that realised I had no buzz at all.  All I felt was not so thirsty and a need to go to the washroom but I still couldn't help but drink more.

I went to grab my 3rd and wanted to see how much empty tall cans give to the can collectors in Vancouver. Saw they would get 20 cents in Quebec and suddenly felt ripped off -  2% alcohol, 60% lemon juice and 40% beer!!!!!!!!!!  Yup, wasn't really drinking at all.

If you aren't in the mood for much alcohol and still want a drink, I highly recommend bringing this to get togethers, you will not have a hangover the next day.

Low blow part deux.  Laptops die on me, I'm like some of those who kill houseplants.  I think I go through a laptop a year these days.  I get viruses, it just happens.  I always go and back up important documents and all my photos to my external hard drive, but these days I hardly save anything to my computer and a few important (but not super personal) items are kept in google.  My current laptop became heavily infected a few weeks ago (thanks to Windows 8 not having a great virus protection program).  I quickly put all of the family photos that I scanned this winter onto my hard drive and made sure everything was taken care of.  A few weeks later, Mr. H restored my computer with Windows 7.  It's running perfectly and I worked on some blog posts.......

Where are my 2012 photos???????  Buh-bye Karl and Becky's wedding (thankfully some were saved on Facebook), Buh-bye Toronto, Kristen's wedding and Chicago digital photos (these were recently deleted from Facebook because I just don't want all my stuff up there anymore) and BUH - BYE to whatever the hell else happened that year (in digital photos).

Big blow weekend.  To soften it, I'll open my remaining can of beer juice and think of the new happy memories to build, such as apres walk cuddle time between my two guys :-)


Another project I’ve been working on is nearing completion. It’s a wedding gift but it’s almost 2 years late - that's right, their 2 year anniversary is almost here and I'm not done. I suck at completing something in time, even if I start 6 months in advance it won’t be done in time. I am the queen of slow, man. Anyway, I do have a few valid excuses, such as full time work with evening classes for 4 months then looking for new work and meeting Mr. H right away and becoming a teenager for one year. What's funny, I had two weeks all to myself before he moved in to our huge 2 bedroom apartment that was suppose to be put aside for finishing the quilt. HA, Ya right! Unpacking????? Buying new house supplies??? Those two weeks were over in a minute!

 My plan was to have the quilt done last Christmas but I was too hasty, I screwed up big time. It was time to start sewing all of the layers together and with my first row width wise I had already made my damage. I totally didn't look to see if the seams had lined up - sewing one oh one, me=dumb. It doesn't stop there, I started sealing that puppy up! I started even doing the half circle designs which was taking forever but I was so close to being finished. What made me realize that I had made a massive mistake? The fabric fiiiiinaaaalllly started puckering. It took near completion for me to see my mistake. Many hours (and many episodes of Friday Night Lights) followed with me bent over the quilt removing stitches. Not all was lost because I finished all 5 seasons pretty quickly and was able to focus on both tasks equally. Now it's pretty much summer and I haven't touched the quilt since. H and I finally have our home set up and I even sewed the other night, so I do believe this quilt will be touched very soon by human hands, seriously.

Buuuuuuuuut I have come to mistake number 2. Quilting one-oh-one, I sealed the puppy up, that is the last step! That made the puckering even worse :-( I figured this out while reading a quilters for beginners when I had nothing to read. Now I am back to undoing a lot more stitches and I decided that I am going to make the edge a different colour, so I went off to the quilting shop and picked up a blue.
 I think the quilt will be much better in the long run.


 I did show the blanket to the not so fresh bride and groom right before Christmas, they loved it. I then lied through my teeth to the mother of the bride about my fantastic attention to detail (she's a quilter as well) but how this time it just got me. Ha, and now because of Josh there will probably be a few dog hairs sewn into this quilt! I have learned my 2 big mistakes, go back through the instruction book if you haven't done something in a long time. And here is the blue that will go around the edge.