Monthly Archives: October 2013

Play to Your Strengths

I consider DIY to be one of my strengths. However, today I was reminded, not for the first time, that this know-how does not extend to all categories of craft.

Sewing pillows. Good. Making headboards. Good. Re-finishing furniture. Good. Impromptu Halloween costumes…I’ll let you decide on that one.

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Charlie was supposed to be dressed up as Sofia’s precious “Lambie” (seen below with Sofia, Ladybug Girl). Borrowing the lamb costume from a friend didn’t pan out so I tried to improvise 30 minutes before trick or treating with some pillow stuffing and a headband for the resultant “Cloud-headed” boy (blueberry face not a part of the costume). FYI, we stuck on a pair of ladybug antennas and he went as “bug boy” instead.

Like I said. I need to stick to my strengths. Clearly.

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bug boy

PS. I think that birthing beautiful babies is a strength of mine. Does that mean I should keep doing it?

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Through Her Eyes

I have been going through a bit of an emotionally rocky time. These times often happen for no rhyme or reason and I pass through, unharmed, time and time again. My daughter is young enough to remain fairly oblivious of my mood changes during these times and for this I am thankful. To her all continues on the same and when I look through her eyes I see that no matter what life’s current circumstances are…

The world is a game. Life is an adventure.

Telephone poles are for climbing (unsuccessfully), puddles are for splashing in, roots are for jumping over, rocks are for jumping off.

Lines are tightropes to be bravely walked across and sidewalks are stages, meant for singing and dancing.

Bridges are inhabited by grumpy old trolls and the alphabet must be sung to gain safe passage.

Rocks are treasures to purchase chocolate twigs with, weeds are flowers to be picked and admired.

Everyone is a friend, regardless of age, to be greeted with a smile.

Cars have feelings and sometimes need kisses and coffee to make them feel better.

Through her eyes, the world is a very different place.

This sweet child has yet to be touched by grief or pain and embraces the world with innocence and curiosity. She helps me to see the good, the beautiful, in all that surrounds me. When I look at the world through her eyes I am able to let go of grief, pain, and worry. I am able to open my eyes to appreciate beauty, open my mouth to sing cheerful songs, and move my body to the carefree ring of our voices.

As we walk down the street, side by side, I am thankful for her perspective.

Thank you Sofia.

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Filed under From the Heart: Thoughts on Life and Family

Reinventing Shebajoux

Due to recent business endeavors (if you can call it a business at this early stage), certain aspects of my life have been falling to the wayside, blogging being one of them.

I have a pet project that I have been working on the last couple of weeks. I feel shy to share it with you at this early stage but here I go. I have recently been working to reinvent my Shebajoux shop on Etsy. Formerly, I made custom headboards to indulge my love of fabric.

Okay, it's beautiful fabric, but I like pattern!

Okay, it’s beautiful fabric, but I like pattern!

This turned out to be a stressful and time consuming endeavor, not to mention no one wanted fun fabric (solids, solids, solids), so I wasn’t fulfilling my desire to work with interesting material.

The premise of my blog’s name is that working with fabric is a soothing, therapeutic process for me. And so, rather than working on stressful, time consuming projects like headboards, I have decided to join the hordes of sellers on Etsy who make pillow covers. This is a great fit for me not only because it is quick and easy, but because I have so much extra fabric (not that that has stopped me from picking up more).

Beyond making simple covers I am planning on making full use of every scrap of fabric by mixing, matching, and generally making interesting pillow “art” for your couch. I have only worked on a few of these “art pieces” so far and though they are more work to sew, they are by far my favorites.

Have a gander if you’d like. I haven’t had a chance to “prettify” the look of my shop yet as I have been working hard to sew up an inventory of pillows but there are several to check out (the best are yet to come).

Recognize this fabric? It is left over from my Chairs for Charity chair. This one isn't posted on etsy yet.

Recognize this fabric? It is left over from my Chairs for Charity chair. This one isn’t posted on etsy yet.

Another reason I’ve been sewing up a storm is that I will be taking part in my first artisan market coming up in mid November. More details to come once I’ve confirmed my spot (trying not to chicken out!).

For me this whole process is both exciting and scary. Exciting, because I get to sew, working with whatever fabric I choose, and scary because I’m afraid of being a dismal failure. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not really about how many pillows I sell, or making the big bucks. There will never be “big” money in making pillow covers. Ultimately, it’s about the fabric. The process. If I allow myself to enjoy the process and not get caught up in the idea of a “business”, that’s when it is therapeutic.

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From Ugly Duckling to Charitable Chair

Time is up and all the chairs for charity have been delivered to the Passionate Home and await the bidding action to come next week. I write again on this topic to share with you the gorgeous picture photographer Steve Hayek took of my donation to chairs for charity.

The before picture

The before picture: Its fuzzy, but you get the picture. She’s got good bones but bad clothes!

This chair, which I bought for $15 of Craigslist, was a site to see with its chipped wood and pink velvet upholstery. It took a great deal of sanding, some wood filler, some more sanding, and four cans of ivory spray paint but I was able to give the chipped frame a classy new look.

The next step was ripping off that awful velvet and after a fantastic go around town looking for the perfect fabric, I decided on a rather unusual, two-toned, tweed-like violet fabric for the front, and a classic paisley for the back and piping. The Quality Sofa Makers, located on Fraser Street in Vancouver, donated their time and skill to re-upholstering the chair for me. I decided the front of the chair needed a bit more of the paisley to lighten things up so I sewed up a little throw pillow for the chair.

And voila!

Isn't she a beauty now! I'm a proud mama!

Isn’t she a beauty now! I’m a proud mama!

Visit the Passionate Home’s blog for a look at the gallery of other finished chairs and for more information on the bidding process starting next week.

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The Mom I Used to Be

I used to be that mom,

who wouldn’t dream of breastfeeding the baby just to keep her quiet

because

I used to be that mom,

who had her baby on a strict feeding schedule.

I used to be that mom,

who pumped religiously every morning in case I wanted to go out

because

I used to be that mom

who cried if I had to give my infant formula.

I used to be that mom,

who thought it was terrible to let your child watch TV

because

I used to be that mom,

who planned out the day with activities to engage her infant’s mind.

I used to be that mom,

who had a beautifully clean house even with a busy baby around.

I used to be that mom,

who rushed to pick up the baby as soon as she cried.

I used to be that mom,

and then I had a second baby,

and I took the stick out of my ass.

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Save the Date: Chairs for Charity

It may sound cynical but I believe that by nature human beings are selfish and tend to hold their money closely. Hence I think that auctions are a great way of fund raising. I know it’s easier for me to let go of my money if there is a pretty little something something in it for me (just being honest).

And so, if you happen to be looking for a special statement chair, don’t want to break the bank, and want to benefit a good cause, stop by the Passionate Home between October 22nd to 24th to take a look at the variety of vintage chairs that have been re-done and will be auctioned off to benefit the Langley Christmas Bureau.

For a sneak peak at some of the chairs check out the Passionate Home blog. If you want to take a look at my contribution check out Day 5: Chairs for Charity. The chair is finished and I’m anxiously awaiting for the professional photograph of it to be posted on the Passionate Home blog. Most people went for a beautiful shabby chic look but I chose to keep mine sleek and shiny to modernize the traditionally styled chair.

On October 24th the top ten chairs go to live auction. Yummy cupcakes and refreshments will be provided and it is sure to be a fun time.  I’ll be there (hopefully with my hubby on my arm if we can get a baby sitter) and I hope to see you too! For more information check out the advertisement below.

chairschairty

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Brewing Bug Beer

My house keeping has deteriorated significantly since I had my second child and moved into a home twice the size as my condo. Not fun to admit, but all too true. However, I was starting to feel really worried when I noticed I was living in a swarm of fruit flies. I mean, the kitchen is the one place I most often keep clean, come on!
My feeling of complete failure as a cleaner was diminished by talking with others who seem to be having some serious fruit fly issues. I mean, if even my mom has them in her impeccable kitchen, then it must be a real problem.

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Mmmm…take a look at that. Who can’t appreciate a good pale ale?
Oh wait, take a closer look…

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Look around the corners of the foam, those little black specks. Fruit flies. Maybe not so appetizing after all.
My decorating instructor gave me some simple instructions for concocting what I’m calling “bug beer”. Fill up a glass jar or cup two thirds full with apple cider vinegar (only this specific type of vinegar will work), add a couple drops of dish detergent, then fill the cup the rest of the way full with water being sure to create some bubbles.
I don’t know where she found the recipe but it works like a charm. They aren’t all gone, them some frisky fruit flies, but it did help! I drowned a good twenty or so in the last day, and there aren’t too many left. The cold weather will get the rest soon enough, but for now I’m thankful for my bug beer.

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Filed under At home, DIY Projects