And now for Something Completely Different

Standard

Ok here we go on a bit of a tangent…

I’ve gotten all inspired this past winter, to make home-made soap. I had bought great bar of all natural hand crafted soap from a table at a fair.

I loved it ! !!

It was beautiful and smelled great, made my skin feel so soft. Next when we were on a family vacation in Tofino I picked up a sample pack of naturally crafted body lotion, bath gels and well a whole lot o’ stuff.  Now I’m hooked on artisan soaps !!

See I have sensitive skin, I get contact dermatitis from some dish soaps, laundry detergent, fragrances in lotions, make-up…the list goes on and on. So does my daughter and the boys most likely do too, they just have never been overly exposed to anything that isn’t formulated for sensitive skin. The crafted soaps are amazing for my skin. I went all summer with out an eczema outbreak ( I know kinda gross but a major yay for me all the same) So of course me being me I wanted to find out if I could make some too. And you know what?  turns out the amazing lady from Karma Suds (who I bought that first great bar from) teaches soap making ! she runs a whole on-line soap making school. But for us lucky peeps in the GRVD she offers classes in her studio!

So you guessed it, I took her class. And now I am obsessed!

Now I wasn’t thinking that this would become something that I would blog, so I don’t have good photos of that first cake of soap being cut or anything (I know how silly of me) I cut the bars small to share with my friends and family.

soap3

What I really loved about her class is how Rene taught us about special additives and creating swirls and artifing the soap. The end result is so lovely. This is what has caught my fancy too, making these beautiful looking cakes where the swirling colours are full of anti-oxidents or skin purifying agents. Everything is lovely and beneficial to your skin at the same time.

soap2

This one bar was made thinking of my daughter, each additive promotes clear skin and reduces redness.  And the fragrance used was lavender, lime with a hint of bergamot.

Since then I have made a second cake of soap all by myself at home. There will be another post soon about that.

New Adventures in Not Sewing

Status

My little BLOG here started as a place to document my adventures in sewing. To add to a community that has kept me company during my days home with my lovely (but at the time not so great at conversation) little boys. I have grown so much as a sewing momma mainly due to the great inspiration of the online sewing community. Being able to challenge myself, share it, sew along and watch others do the same. Are you feeling the love in this post yet ?!

As of late I am finding that my hyperactivness craftyness has been shifting away from sewing, towards new interests, things I may not have tried if I hadn’t been documenting my sewing here in this little space, where I can see it progress. So I have decided to widen the focus here to include some of the other ways I am keeping my crafty hands busy. There will still be sewing cuz I just love it. And there is a tone of fabric in my stash needing to be transformed in to stuff lol

So stay tuned for some new stuff that I’m all inspired about that isn’t sewing :)

Spring Break Lemony Goodness

Standard

Ok so the actual fun time was over spring break ( 2 weeks ago ) and I’m putting the post together just now. And there is even a long back story to this one too……

Last summer I was out with E on an adventure to get a few bedding out plants and he spied a Lemon Tree !! His need for the tree was so cute and sweet I was powerless. It came home with us.

who could resist that face?

who could resist that face?

You see my boys like lemons, that’s where the name for my blog came from. K is on a personal mission to find the lickiest lemon in the world. I love watching his cute face sour up when he licks lemons. So of coarse we needed that lemon tree to grow bright yellow goodness in our own yard!

What we didn’t know is lemons take a long time to grow and ripen in out northwestern climate.We moved our tree indoors in the fall hoping it would stay alive. The boys were convinced for a long time that I bought the wrong tree “I think its limes mom.” they would sadly tell me ready to give up on the dream.

Then this spring finally they were ready to pick!!!!

So we made Lemonade !!

lemontree2

Our little lemons were “really juicy” I was quite surprised it only took about 5 little bitty lemons to get enough juice for a batch of lemonade.

I noticed on the close ups thier hands look like big kid hands *sigh*

I noticed on the close ups thier hands look like big kid hands *sigh*

1/2 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed by excited children

1/2 cup simple syrup (1 part sugar 1 part water boil dissolve sugar and cool)

2-3 cups of cold water

chill and enjoy !

lemontree3

 

Bunnies Made by Boys

Standard

I was cleaning out some photo files on my PC and came across this project that never got blogged. One bored day last summer the boys and I made some stuffed bunnies out of old socks. They were feeling bored I was feeling crafty …. drum roll please….

Bunnies !!

We took old socks, drew out some ears (I do believe I used a you tube tutorial to show the kids the idea of it but 6 mths later have no idea who to credit) I did the ear part for them on the machine.

bunnies6

It was really cute watching them choose what sock would make the best bunnie for them. E chose a really fuzzy sock, it ended up being really stretchy too. K liked the maple leaf sock, he had learned all about our flag in kindergarten.

stuff stuffing

stuff stuffing

They had a good time and stuffed more stuffing then I ever thought possible into the socks.

bunnies5

Such busy little hands :)

The boys enjoyed making the choices of what buttons for eyes, and how big to make the arms and where to place them.

bunnies3

They liked watching the bunnies come to life with they work of their  own hands. They did most of the sewing up at the bottom, I hardly had to help.

bunnies1

looking like a bunnie now

After we were done the boys made homes for them out of shoe boxes. The bunnies still live in them, and E puts treasures that he finds in with his bunnie.

bunnies4

Little Black Shirt

Standard

I seem to have this on again off again flow to my sewing in the last while, and right now its on again. I have been puttering away at a few new shirts for myself. This one is another self drafted T-shirt, its a copy of a favorite of my wardrobe that is really looking worse for the wear.

the original

the original

new lil' black shirt

new lil’ black shirt

 

The material is made from a yummy knit I found in a remnant bin., It feels like a bamboo or cotton with spandex blend, or something oober soft and has a tun of stretch. I tell ya the Sundrop Studio in my town had got the best stuff in the discount bin, a lot of the fabrics are from really wide bolts too so there is a lot to work with.

The design is really basic a T-shirt with a cap sleeve and a bit of flair in the neckline. What I loved about the mother shirt is the neckline and colours. I tried to copy the cute neckline but it didn’t turn out :( so instead I tacked it up and made a keyhole neck line. The result is cute but not planned. I guess we call those things ‘happy acidents.’ And its part of my sewing adventure these things that go a bit wonky.

There is nothing to do about coping the colours though, black material was calling from the fabric stash, so its a black shirt lol. It needed a little something to add a bit of interest, enter contrasting thread.  I sort of have this thing with contrasting threads and the funny stitches all our machines have that no one uses. Using green thread I over stitched the shoulder seams. And then another stitch for the sleeve and hem.

blshirt

oooo contrast thread

 

As always since I’m long I added length so that the shirt hits where I like it, however I had a not so happy accident along the hemline. Serging the hem was a mess, the stretch of the fabric (i think?) made the stitching go all wonky, the tension was all wrong so the over-loops were all loose, I realigned the fabric and tried again…the result was no better. I mussed with it got frustrated, well when I looked at it it was all crooked and worse I had eaten up the nice long waistline. See I wanted this a little touch of contrasting thread in the hemline with the serger, and instead I ended up with a shirt that is few inches shorter than I like. In the attempt to salvage the shirt, I did a basic fold over hem, it is not strait at all, and really quite sad. Instead of a contrasting serged edge it is over stitched like the sleeve hem, and it looks fine done like that. Wished I had stopped my war with the serger sooner…sigh…then the hem would at least be strait.

the wiggly hem..at leadt it has cute green over-stitching

the wiggly hem..at leadt it has cute green over-stitching

So here is to honest sewing and learning as we go. I’ll still wear my imperfect creation, the hem can be camouflaged, the neckline is cute.

blshirt5

New Shirts

Standard

As Rainy January slipped in to rainy February I found a few days to sit and sew. I was able to finish 2 projects for myself, both of them are great every day shirts. It seems like a small feat but its has been tricky lately to carve out the time to sew. When I make the time for my crafty side it pays off on many levels, I’m more relaxed and can take things in stride a bit better and I have new stuff !

This was a new attempt for me, a reglan T that is my size. I have done the reglan thing with a super style hoodie for my boy, (check it out here) but never for me. I don’t even have one to copy :P what is a girl to do ? Well search blogs of course. I found a free one size reglan style T-shirt over at Dixie DIY (check it out here.) I have sewn one of her patterns before (click again … lots of clicking today) the perfect concert T and liked her easy to follow straight forward design.

sooper silly selfie, with an effect on the phone

sooper silly selfie, with an effect on the phone

The free pattern was not going to fit me, and was not really the fit I had in mind, so I frankenstiened up a pattern mix of Dixie DIY’s free pattern and a self drafted pattern I made up last year and loved (once more… you can see it here.) Starting with her original free reglan shirt, I placed my self draft pattern over top matching the armpits, I adjusted the length and shape of the pattern. Then I made adjustments for my smaller bust line and narrow build. I cut the pattern in half down the middle of the shoulder seam and overlapped it to take out about an inch. This step translates into about 2 inches since it comes off each side. Now that I’m trying to post and explain this I wish I had thought to take some quick snapshots. I was really worried that this step would muck up the way that the sleeves fit, but in the end it was ok.

reglan5

You can see here that there is a bit of an odd thing going on at this in between stage with out the neckline.The sleeves are higher and odd, I just trimmed it off rounding it all out. In hindsight I should’ve taken a wee bit out of the middle on the ‘fold’ say about a half-inch to help the neckline, it’s a bit too wide n’ scoopy. The oversight was easily camouflaged with a wide neckband.

bunchy armpit fit

bunchy armpit fit

And there is a weird fit thing going on in the armpits…its like the arm hole is a bit too long? So most of the photos the shirt wrinkles up in the chest all weird (the best shot was the bad effect selfie, my photgrapher today is only 3’8″) Again I put it up to the adjusting, next time I will possibly make the armpit shorter. With a few more tweaks I’ll have a good reglan pattern :) it is a great style to quickly whip up.

The other mistake is that I underestimated the length of my arms, the arms were too short. There was a moment of panic when I thought it would have to be a 3/4 length sleeve, not my favorite, instead I added longer cuffs. Looks alright almost like it was planned that way.  In the name of quick sewing I didn’t finish the bottom hem, here is a good shot of the long cuffs and raw serged hem.

reglan3
I think it is important to include all these imperfections, we put way to much pressure on ourselves. This shirt is not perfect, I already love how comfy it is. It has animal print and it fits long enough on my lanky frame, I know i will wear it imperfections and all. Its mostly why I don’t often finish the hem on jersey knit shirts…I can’t wait 10 more minutes to have them done!

see no one can tell its not perfect :)

see no one can tell its not perfect :)

 

halloween night photos

Standard

Here are the promised photos of our haunted home on Halloween. The photos are unedited strait off my pho2014-10-31 16.36.25ne. 2014-10-31 16.35.592014-10-31 16.35.412014-10-31 16.36.352014-10-31 16.37.372014-10-31 16.37.122014-10-31 16.37.07

These are taken as I was lighting the pumpkins, it was sort of dusk but not dark yet. Our fog machine was in the alcove by the door and added to the mood :) We had glow sticks around the dollies. Next year I will light the ghoul better.

Roof Ghoul

Standard

This year I decided to make a new ghoul for the yard. Its been a few years since I’ve added to my collection. I have often made a person to put under my car wheels out of old cloths, but wanted something more permanent.  Storage is always an issue so it needs to be collapsible, I also like the idea of placing it on a second story roof, so it needs to be light too. The solution plastic plumbing pipes and joints, from the hard wear store. It is light and can be easily disassembled.

The whole creature was created on around $10- $20. Starting with an alien dollar store mask (I forgot to take a start photo of the front but took one of the back post plastering)

hallog3

 I liked the elongated proportions but did not want the big almond eyes or bright gold colour. I grabbed it thinking I could paint it or something. It was a good stareing point. When I got it home and started raiding the paint supplies I found plaster strips. perfect !  With the plaster strips I was able to build up the hollows of the eyes, making the mask look less like an alien and more like a ghoul.

hallog4

Next I painted it, using a blue undertone to the grey instead of black to give it that specter like quality. The eyes needed to be accentuated since their size was changing. Egg carton was used for the pop out effect (i wish they were ping pong balls or at least rounded egg cartons, oh well its what i had around). The size of the mouth was also reworked a bit with the paint, by making the lips a bit wider and pulling them outside of the zones defined by the mask.  Lastly the entire face was covered by a shellack that is used to seal acrylic paintings, hoping to seal and protect my work from the inevitable Vancouver rain.

hallog2

The body frame is the plastic piping from the hardware store, a wig mannequin head, and some plastic bags with crumpled paper in them to add shoulder bulk.  Old dish washing gloves are attached onto the end of the pipes using elastic, to create awful grabby hands. Once the frame was made, burlap was draped over and tied into place with string and elastic bands. Then the black cheese cloth was added. And finally the wigs. I cut one up to create the illusion of really long ghoul hair. I attached it with some zap straps to the burlap, and a thick piece is also glued to the mask itself. The second wig is worn by the mannequin head. the effect is massive amounts of ghoulish hair, that should be able to move in the breeze of Halloween night.

hallog1

She is not out on my roof yet, because guess what …?  That’s right friends its raining ! I plan on puting her is a sort of sheltered spot under the eaves. I will up load a photo or two of the House on Halloween night, I promise.

hallog

So that is the last of the haunted craft storm posts. There is still all kinds of last minute touches going on here to the house and both Mr. Lemons and my own costume.  So Have a wonderful haunted Halloween. I’ll post some post holiday wrap ups soon (I hope)

 

 

I am a Robot ! Meep Beep Beep !

Standard

The craft storm continues here at our little house of lemons. With E’s costume, he wants to be a robot for Halloween. Not just any robot, “A big robot with missiles coming out of his chest!” Pretty tall order it seemed, until we realized he meant this guy from a family favorite Halloween themed video game Costume Quest.  I just love his idea, he’s dressing up as a kid in a robot costume. Too funny.

costumeQuest

The missile part comes from when the characters enter battle mode their costumes morph, and the Robot changes into this. when his special power is charged up he shoots shoots missiles at the bad trolls.

CostumeQuestbattlerobot

If you’re a gamer this is a great title to share with your kids, or are looking for a nice fun game for you kids, totally recommend it. Its a simple turn taking battles with world exploring. The main character has to save their sibling from the trolls, with the help of their friends and costumes.

Ok back to costume building…..

The challenge with this costume is our weather. We live in the Greater Vancouver area in Canada, so we get rain. In the winter its either raining, or just stopped raining or is about to rain. How would we do a cardboard costume in our climate?

Duck Tape !

hallor

and lots of it !

The whole outside of the boxes are covered in duck  tape, even the inside of the helmet.  The wings on the back as well as the front panel – where the missiles are – all tape. It was tedious work taping it all up, but E could help and feel that accomplishment of making his own costume. And it is totally water proof. He is so cute walking around in it !!

hallorobot5

The buttons on the front are mason jar rings covered with red tape, once again taped on. What I did to attach them all tidy like, was make a square of the silver duck tape, cut a hole in the middle about 1.5 mm smaller around than the mason ring. Insert the ring through the hole slightly stretching the tape around it, and press the square into place. It holds nicely both due to the stretching on the silver tape around the ring, and the little edge of the mason ring that catches ( so hard to describe and I didn’t take photos of the process.) Once in place I went around the side of the ring with a small strip of red tape, giving it a nice finished look and clean  line.

hallorobot2

The antenna is some sort of dollar store toy with a blinking Rudolph nose ‘taped’ to it. A mason ring was used again for the base. Mr. Lemons did that part, as well as the taping of the details on the back, all while I was out so I don’t know all the details of how the antenna was attached. There was tape involved for sure :P

hallorobot

The arms are dryer venting from the local hardware store. It’s very flexible and shiny.  To attach the arms I only had to pop the venting into the arm holes and it stayed nicely. hallorobot4

The beat part is that E loves it! He has been playing with it non stop through the whole creation process, making all sorts of sound effects.  Beeps and Meeps and missile launching sounds. I’m starting to think that the tape not only makes it water proof but has added some strength to the costume.

Here is the detailing on the back. E got really excited when he showed me the work that he did with his Dad “It has wings and everything!”

hallorobot3

He will be having a Happy Halloween !

FirePower Mario

Standard

Our boys want to be game characters this Halloween. K chose his favorite Mario. (E’s costume post can be found here) I was excited Mario wouldn’t be too hard to pull together, some overalls and a red shirt. I figured a trip to the thrift store, a box store for the hat and Ta-Da Mario. I was wrong. I combed the whole thrift store not 1 pair of overalls.

When I told K that I would be sewing his costume he was so excited because that meant he could be FirePower Mario.

hallomaroi2

The pants pattern is blank slate pants, it really is my go to pattern. I adapted it to make it fit big in the tummy, because our plumber friend is a bit tubby, and drafted the bib and pockets.  Some sneaky snaps were added at the sides to keep Mario’s tummy stuffing in. The fit turned out ok, it is a bit odd fitting on the sides and even with the snaps there is on odd Gap. But all in all I’m pleased with the way they turned out.

hallomario5

It was really fun it whip it all up, there was lots of short cut taking so it was fast and fun. The fabric is an old curtain so I could use existing hems for the top of the pockets. Pocket ironing and adjusting can be so tedious. The backs pockets are short cut city,  a close zig-zag stitch was all that was used, no ironing nothing.  lol it only has to last a day. The other great short cut was the straps, no ironing or folding there either. Its the top hem of the curtain where you would put a rod threw them. I trimmed it off zig-zagged the raw edge and voila straps. If you look close enough you can even see that the buttons don’t match lol.

hallomario4

The hat on the other hand … not so quick and fun. I found the idea intimidating. See I was concerned about the how Mario’s hat sort of stands up a bit, and its sort of  puffy. Having never made any hats really and thinking that interfacing or something would be needed to poof it up, I started racking my brain for a solution.  The idea was to cardboard and the glue gun and it would be easy. Like a construction paper crown but Mario-ized …WRONG :) …more like a demented chef had. So thanks to this nice YouTuber and her tutorial I sewed up a great little mario cap.

hallomario3

At the suggestion of a friend “Fire Power Mario ! cool ! what is he going to throw?” and since I am on a craft rampage at the moment, I decided why not make him a Fireball to toss. This time my glue gun was my friend. The fireball is simply felt and fluff and fun!

Also because kids in mustaches are fun, I want to share this crazed blurry photo. Little E is almost like a Wario in the back ground :D He randomly ran threw a few shots sporting his own mustache.

hallomariomen