Rainbow Art Party

Today was my sweet girls 5th birthday party!

Where has the time gone??

This is the second year we have had a birthday party with T’s friends and I’d have to say this one was A1!

T wanted to do a rainbow party and it was pretty easy for me to add art into the equation. Any excuse for children to create and I am there!

I made a bday wreath for the door.  I got the idea from my friend Lacey who made one several years ago for her oldest. I’m pretty sure she used smaller balloons and a TON more than I did but this mama was in the “get’er done” mode. So it’s just balloons pinned to a12″ straw wreath which you can see due to the angle I took the picture. I added a few curly pipe cleaners that I wound around a pencil and bob’s your uncle an instant party wreath. *Now I just need to work on buying a wreath hanger instead of tying it up with washi tape :)  I am resourceful if nothing else!

I bought a bulk pack of canvas from Michaels so each girl had a 12×12 canvas to paint and take home. Instead of making a picture I gave the girls strips of thin painters tape. They choose where to put the tape before the painting began.

Once they had finished painting and BEFORE the paint was dry we peeled the painters tape off and created a really cool mosaic art piece.

We also made stretchy bracelets with rainbow beads and beads with letters so the girls could spell out their names.

We had a slight problem making the knots stay put in the stretch elastic so here is a little help if you plan on doing this. Knotting Stretchy Bracelet 

The last activity was a treasure hunt in the backyard. These are always such fun and it’s definitely a highlight of a homemade birthday. Watching them run around pondering and searching for each clue is so much fun.

T opted for sandwiches, fruit and veggie for her party, so much better than pizza that they only take a few bites out of. They ate their fill of fruit and veggies, watermelon being the favourite, and then it was on to the cake. * I love chatting with kids while they eat. There are always some cute stories shared, opinions, likes and dislikes.*

Lastly lets talk about the cake. The cake is probably my favourite part of the birthday party. I’m definitely not the best birthday cake maker in the world but the kids think my shoddy creations are great *right now anyway* so I’m just going with it.

This year I wanted something pretty simple. I made a white cake and separated the batter into several bowls, each bowl being a different colour of the rainbow.

I baked the cake a week ahead of time and froze it until the day before. *Definitely key to my sanity come party day*

 I frosted it with white frosting, added stripes of smarties and volia.

Now would you like to hear the story of the smarties?? *groan* T and I picked up a bag of smarties at the store the week before her party. I had originally thought skittles but T discovered that smarties had ALL the colours of the rainbow plus pink and the skittles did not. We came home with smarties but when I was decorating the cake the morning of I ran out. Some stripes weren’t completed so I ask Moose to go to the store and pick up a bag of smarties.

Rule #1 NEVER ask a man to go to the store for something specfic!

I told him it was a BAG of smarties and they were on the top shelf in the candy aisle.

Rule #2 Even though you state EXACTLY where the product will be NEVER ask a man to go to the store for something specific!

He comes home, 15 mins to spare with a bag of other food and a clear plastic bag of BULK smarties lookalikes……

*cue steam rolling out of my ears*

They weren’t even the same colours!!!!

RULE # 3 No matter how specific or simple your instructions may be just go to the store and get it YOURSELF!

So the cake wasn’t what I had planned but I made it work as best I could considering what I had to work with.

The kids didn’t seem to notice and it still got eaten. There was one girl that picked all the smarties off and didn’t eat them….what is that? If I could eat smarties I definitely wouldn’t be leaving them on my plate!

Quite possibly my best party brain wave was asking NOT to bring presents. Instead we asked that each child bring a few dollars so that T could pick something from the World Vision catalogue for a family. So much better than being unloaded with tons of toys when the girl just wanted to have fun with her friends. She was excited to be able to purchase a piglet, 2 hens and a rooster!

We love you birthday girl!

So happy to be able to bring your rainbow party ideas to life but I won’t mind at all if you want to stay 5 for an extra year, you are growing oh so fast!!

PARTY!!! Wait what?? Party’s over?? Oh man!!

~ Molly~

Organic Cones

So I’m tackling boxes like a champ and getting through things but as you work your mind wanders….that is if you aren’t being asked to read a book, watch a bike show or chase someone.

My thoughts are wandering to my most recent FO.

Pattern: Indigo Cones by Aileen Ryder

Yarn: Sublime Yarns Organic Cotton DK

Mods: I added one extra chart repeat on the body and I didn’t turn up the corners as per pattern.

My Ravelry Project page

Indigo cones is a pattern that caught my eye from the most recent issue, First Fall 2014, of Knitty. It fit the bill for everything I wanted in a summer cardigan, light weight, airy with a more relaxed fit.

I bought a perfect skirt with cute bicycles on it in Primark on one of my trips back home to Ireland but I haven’t had the chance to wear it because I didn’t have a top to go with it. Shopping hasn’t been high on the priority list these days…

Then Little Knits had a sale on some Sublime yarn that I thought might work well with it so I bought a bag and hoped for the best. The yarn arrived, sat for a while and then Jane Richmond released the pattern Gemini. I thought it would be the perfect match for my skirt so I took it with me on a vacation because I was going to cast on and knit the entire thing while travelling…. well you all know how well I travel…. that didn’t happen. It marinated some more in the stash until I saw Indigo Cones and new it was “The One!”

Let me tell you this Organic cotton is so soft and wonderful to work with. I’m still having trouble believing it IS cotton. It has just the right amount of drape and feels wonderful to wear. Of course this is the part where I tell you it has been discontinued…… WHY WHY WHY! Always the way. I did find some for sale on Ravelry though so I may have to snap up some more for a future knit.

So back to Indigo Cones… I started this in June thinking it was going to be a quick knit. Now if you have been around these parts long enough you’ll know that lace and I have a love hate relationship. Everything was going well until I got into the body and it just didn’t seem to be growing, the more I knit the more I had left to knit. Finally one weekend I just decided that this was it, I was just going to plow through and “git r done.” I need a swift kick every now and then.

 Things really took off and I was done in no time. Blocked it took photo’s and …. meehh! I was not happy. The edges were rolling like crazy and I wasn’t satisfied with the placement of the button. It seemed to put on the neckline and make it roll too.

You can see in the pictures below from my first photo shoot.

So much rolling!!!

So not the look I was going for!

Back to the blocking board it went. I thought if I blocked it more aggressively it would sit better. It did sit better for the most of the photo’s at the beginning of this post but you can still see how the button pulls on the neck making it roll and and now that I’ve had it on all day we are back to looking like crepes again.

I definitely love the cardigan but the rolling is pushing me over the “I’m gonna go crazy if I have to pull on this one more time” limit. I need to find a solution and I’m hoping some of you can help. What would you do to fix this?

My mind is telling me, a more stable edging is needed. That I should pick up and knit a neckline then knit two separate button bands and sew them on. Thoughts?

Now just for fun here is an outtake from my first Cones photoshoot. What you don’t see behind the scenes is the little person who wants to be in EVERY picture mama’s in, nutella covered face and all. I don’t know how she ate that piece of toast but it looks like she just slapped the piece of nutella covered toast over her mouth… actually I wouldn’t put that past her either, she is a card. What cracks me up though is that we are standing in the exact same way…. Like mother like daughter much??

Daphne and Delilah

Thank you to all that entered The Scrumptious Collection giveaway!

The random number generator chose #11 Monica of Sweet Purls.

A couple of weeks ago T found this Rebecca Danger pattern I was working on. I kind of forgot about it for some reason or another but all that was left to do was stuff the baby monster, add eyes and seam the bottom. That seemed like a pretty easy task so at T’s prompting I finished him off and it has been a monster party ever since.

She chose to have no mouth’s on Daphne and Delilah because she was going to make them talk. She also had a photo shoot already thought out for them. *Can I just say I looove that she is thinking like this already ;) *

First she held each one up, ducking out of the shot, so cute!

Then they needed to have a picture taken with their suitcase…

and of course there had to be one of the whole monster family!

I’m so glad she asked me to finish this set off because clearly they are getting much love right now and I can check another WIP off the list.

Finger Mouse

I recently tested this sweet finger puppet kit by Victoria of Little Black Duck.

You may remember this crown and wand I won on Victoria’s blog last year.

Like everything Victoria does, this kit is impeccable. Everything is included to make your mouse *even the needle!* the only thing you will need is a pair of scissors to cut the felt.

I was a little hesitant to begin the cutting because as anyone knows felt and cutting can be a pain in the neck but Victoria includes some very helpful tips and a little bit of magic to ensure you get a perfect cut every time.

Once I started my mouse I just couldn’t stop until he was finished. I found the sewing very relaxing and I loved watching my little mouse take shape.

Not too shabby for my first attempt.

The real test of course was the kid approval…..

Check!

We named him Finger Mouse, anyone remember this show?

  This Finger Mouse talks!

 There are many other kits and patterns available in The Little Black Duck shop including this adorable set called Woodland Friends. Is that Hedgie not adorable??

 Each puppet is available as just a pattern, a singular kit, a group of patterns or the entire group kit!

Wouldn’t these kits be a great gift for a child just learning to sew? A mom to be? Grandma or Nanny to make for the grandkids? Preschool teachers? The possibilities are endless.

I think I would be much better at sewing if these had been around when I was little.

I must admit it is all I can do to keep my finger away from the purchase them all button!

 You can find Little Black Duck on EtsyCraftsyFacebook and of course the Blog.

If you like what you see you may want to head on over to Victoria’s blog, there’s talk of a free pattern…. just sayin.

 

Construction Update

Our first week of Construction went well, we accomplished a lot!

We dug up the driveway

and put in a french drain so the water will no longer pour straight towards the house. The water situation was what started the whole construction bender. Our front porch was rotting away as the water washed out the under side.

We dug  two more trenches to place sonotubes in for the new deck and porch.

Once those were filled back in we were able to get the concrete poured and set.

We had a very good fore*woman* keeping an eye on things for us.

Thankfully we got most of the digging done before T came home because once she got in that digger she didn’t want to get out.

She spent hours in there with daddy playing around in the dirt.

Next step: Hang the joices so we could frame some walls for the porch and small addition.

It’s coming along nicely but we still have a long way to go,

for my little house on The Ridge.

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny today for Yarn Along.

Knitting – I started a test for Elena of Anadiomena Designs. This one is similar to her Wild Vanilla pattern that I knit in the summer but this time with a fun kangaroo pocket that I think T will really love. T is finding most wool itchy at the moment, especially  Berroco Ultra Alpaca, hopefully she will grow out of this, but for now I’m going with Berroco Comfort and hope that it keeps the itchiness at bay. T chose the colour, it was the closest thing she could find to Robin’s Egg Blue, everything is about birds right now. I’ll tell you more about the birds another time.

Reading – T and I have been reading lots of Fancy Nancy. I love these books so much such a delight to read. Nancy has a big vocabulary which is great for my little book worm, she has a wonderful imagination and is filled with creativity. I highly recommend Nancy for your little book worms.

Reading or knitting anything fun today?

Kids Book Reviews

Recently T and I had the chance to review some kids books.

Sometimes its turkey, Sometimes its feathers by Lorna & Lecia Balian

This is a mixed media book, the backgrounds are actual photographs of things while Mrs. Gumm etc are all drawings. At first I wasn’t sure I liked this idea but upon reading it a second time I decided that it was pretty neat.

The story is of an old woman *and her cat* who finds an egg and decides to try and hatch it. A turkey hatches out of the egg and she plans to fatten him up to eat for Thanksgiving Dinner. Month after month the turkey eats and eats getting fatter and fatter. Mrs. Gumm is excited at the prospect of eating that turkey but in the end she decides that it would be better to share Thanksgiving with two friends instead.

This story is what I would imagine myself to be like if I hatched an egg and then tried to eat it after it was all grown up. Definitely wouldn’t be eaten.

A cute story about forming friendships and I guess it would be a good book for vegetarians too.

Thank you to Star Bright Books for providing me with a copy to review.

Luca Lashes Visits the Doctor by Nicole and Damir Fonovich

Out of the four books I’m reviewing today this was T’s favourite.

Luca Lashes is a series of rhyming books geared toward children to help them through fearful situations. You can visit Luca Lashes for more information on the series.

Luca is off for a visit to the doctor’s to get his shots, he’s a  bit fearful but Luca has something special to help him. Luca has long lashes that when he blinks twice makes him brave and strong. Learn how Luca’s Lashes help him through a visit to the doctor’s leaving him much braver than when he first arrived.

T really enjoyed the rhyming in this book and I think as a parent it makes for a pleasant read as well, especially when you read it over and over again.

There is also a “Suggestions to parents” page at the end of the book on how to make these types of situations easier for your child.

T gives Luca Lashes Visits the dentist two thumbs up. I’d definitely be interested to read some of the other books in the series that help children copy with these types of situations.

Thanks to Kids Can Press who provided me a copy to review.

Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters by K.G. Campbell

Ok how could I not review this book, a book about hand knit sweaters… I’m there.

Cousin Clara’s house is consumed by a crocodile so she has to move in with Lester’s family. All was going well, and Cousin Clara seems to occupy her time with knitting, and only knitting until Cousin Clara announces that she made Lester a sweater and it is hideous! Poor Lester suffers through sweater after sweater that Cousin Clara knits for him, each one suffer mysterious accidents.

This was a fun and quirky book for children and adults.The illustrations were fabulous,T loved turning the pages to see what the next sweater would look like.

 This book has language geared more towards school age children but that won’t stop us from reading it.

Thanks to Kids Can Press for providing a copy to review.

Food For A Fish by Kelly Pulley

I think this book was my favourite of the lot.

Much like Luca Lashes, this book rhymes and I am definitely a fan of rhyming books, they just seem to roll off the tongue.

This book retells the story of Jonah and the Whale in a humorous entertaining fashion that everyone will enjoy. I find Bible stories to be a bit dry but the fabulous illustrations paired with the fun rhyming scheme made this my favourite. I could definitely pick this book up at any time during the day and enjoy reading it again.

Thanks to David C. Cook publishing for sending me a copy to review.

THREE!

Someone had a birthday yesterday!!

My goofy girl is offically 3!

We had fun celebrating over the weekend with family.

We thought the party was over until T received a special package in the mail today.

I recently won a giveaway on Victoria’s blog which was perfect timing for T’s birthday.Victoria kindly wrapped it up in pretty paper and addressed it to the birthday girl herself.

She even drew some fun flowers on the package!

T enjoyed unwrapping layer after layer to before finally getting to the surprise.

The bubble wrap will be an endless source of entertainment for the next few months I am sure!

Inside was a gorgeous Felt Celebration Crown and matching Felt Heart Wand.

The crown is double sided making it very durable and sturdy.

A wide elastic wraps around the back of the head and  is covered in a co-ordinating fabric that really ties it all together.

Of course once she had the crown on she immediately wanted to put on her skirt from dance class to go with it.

A perfect match for her new dress up accessories!

Thank you so much Victoria for your gorgeous creation!

If you would like to make your own Felt Crown and Wand you should head on over to Victoria’s Craftsy page where you can purchase the pattern to make your own.

Happy Halloween

This year when I asked T what she would like to be for Halloween she immediately said

A Pumpkin!

Ok I thought a pumpkin will be easy…. until she said “I want you to knit me a pumpkin!”

ummmmm really???

At first I really was going to knit her a pumpkin costume but when we walked into music class and saw THE perfect pumpkin in her size for sale she forgot all about the knit one.

I did however make her a little pumkin top to go with it.

A simple little fascinator attached to a headband that worked perfectly.

I used Cabin Fever Northern Wool in the Pumpkin Colourway and a bit of extra cascade 220 held doubled I had left over from Woodstove Season. I whipped this up in about 20 minutes!

Of course there is no show without Punch…. eerrr Molly!

She has been in every Halloween photo so far so why should this one be any different.

Poor Molly wasn’t too interested in pictures this time…. it was around the time that daddy comes home from work and she was listening very carefully for truck. I see I will have to time my photo shoots around home time from now on!

 Now if you’ll excuse us we’re off to take this little pumpkin trick or treating!

Camping- Fall Brook Falls

Hey everyone its me Boss!

Last month mum and dad picked up this wicked trailer to go camping in and I think its totally awesome!

In fact I think its sooo great that I try my best to keep Moolee out of it….. *she’s the boss though so it doesn’t always work out in my favour.*

So this is our camper, a 1970 Prowler!!

We took it out for our second trip *mum will tell you about the 1st trip some other time* last weekend and it was so much fun.

We headed out on a short hike to Fall Brook Falls, home to the province’s largest waterfall.

It was a slippery trek getting to the Falls with all those beautiful leaves on the path,

but I led the way and of course had no problems.

The pictures don’t seem like much but….

when Uncle Neill got up close you could really see how huge it was!

I of course had to go inspect it myself!

I let T tag along too.

I was glad Dad’s Aunt and Uncle could come with us.

They are pretty cool and I like hanging out with them.

I went for a nice dip after all that hiking…

Molly the garden gnome of course stayed with Dad!

Such a beautiful part of the province that I can’t wait to sniff  I mean discover more.

More camping adventure’s coming up…