1am Wed. morning...wonder what woke me up...probably a firetruck or ambulance...have the bedroom sliding door open and the bedroom is cold/crisp/fresh/wonderful! but....street noise is part of living on a busy street. Won't take me long to get back to sleep once I'm finished my blog.

Tuesday was extra special...I got my first email from my 8yr old granddaughter Charlotte...now how special is THAT!!! Let the good times begin...(picture from last year)

I will be babysitting Jackson for two days next week while Karyn and Janis go to Edmonton for Carol's funeral. Charlotte will be at camp all week and Christopher will stay at his buddies place next door to where they live...everyone taken care of.

Back to bed for more sleep now...zzzzzzzzzzzz ..wonder what Wednesday holds in store for me...it's never boring in my life!

Getting ready for the fair ~ Projects 6-10

Sorry I haven't blogged much lately. Life has been very busy! We have had company(Ken's parents) for over a week (They left yesterday), More company over the weekend, we have been building a booth for the fair, getting all of our fair projects ready, picking berries as much as possible and just doing all the other normal things that we need to do.

Yesterday was a big day for getting stuff done for the fair. The picture above is a wreath that I made (decorated) using forest materials. Below is Mara's for that same category except in the kid's section.

My pictures that I had ordered finally arrived yesterday so I was able to frame up a bunch to take. I have around 8 frames with pictures in them. Above is a sample of a color grouping and below is my color picture of Jonathan.

And then we have Mara's Christmas decoration~ a little skier. We actually got more than that done but I haven't gotten it all photographed yet.

For Alyssa

Okay my boyfriend's nephews girl just had a baby girl this past June, so my b/f's mom has hired me to make outfits for the baby. The first dress started out as a romper but I made it into a dress instead. Here is the link to the pattern for the romper: http://danettesangels.tripod.com/patterns/pattern_newborn_romper.html
This next dress was actually a top. It was buttoned down but I turned it around and sewed the back shut. I got the pattern for this dress here:http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/janet-wolfe/1secgoinghome.html I did the whole pattern for the top then turned it into a dress. This is a onesie I made it was cool to make but kind of tideous and I will make it again. I tried to use the same color buttons that's in the yarn. The pattern for this onesie is here:http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/onesie-robin.html
Alyssa's father is in the military so I made her this outfit for her pics she had taken. The top and panties under the skirt can be found here:http://www.geocities.com/missmarlad/diapershirt.html the link for the diaper cover is in the link as well. As for the skirt I made that up myself with three rows of dc's then I just did v stitches the rest of the way and then added a shell border around the bottom.

Okay of all these outfits the booties are all made from the same pattern called 'Sockies' I got the pattern for them from here:http://www.geocities.com/gossgirl2/sockies.htm so far the outfits were loved by great aunt and Alyssa's mom.

luncheon food

Sad time in our family. My ex's partner Carol 65yrs old (in Edmonton) is hours away from dying.. my daughters were told to 'come now if you want to see her' ..so they flew out of Victoria last night (taking along Carol's oldest dearest friend Yvette..85 years old). They phoned to say she can't talk..that hopefully she can hear them talk to her...ALOT of drugs...in ALOT of pain.

Today I helped set up a luncheon for 100 people for a funeral for Steve's Mom.(67yrs.old) (I worked with him at Ford Canada). My daughter Karyn was going to do this but due to unexpected Edmonton flight..she asked me to take her place. WOW..that was alot of work but so rewarding. We worked our buns off and it looked so nice. YES, I wore a dress...holy cow..it's been awhile. (pictures above)...
Tonight is the Lantern Festival in Beacon Hill Park... going to go if it doesn't rain...

A slipcover story

Something that we haven't spent a lot of money on since we have been married is furniture. Furniture can cost a lot and we didn't really have a lot available to spend. But we have been very blessed with having used furniture given to us or finding stuff second hand. Not long ago our living room was looking in pretty sorry shape however, when my family came to visit they would groan as they sat on the couch, as it wasn't very comfortable and the couch and chairs were just looking frayed (see picture on right) and dirty.

It was time to figure something out. After much thought and shopping we did decide to buy a brand new couch. That took a ton of discussion. Ken and I basically like the same colors but the style we liked was quite different. So we compromised and found something that both of us are happy with. (A bit bigger than I prefer and a bit smaller and less cushy than he preferred.) It was an additional blessing that the one we ended up chosing was a hide-a-bed.
When getting the couch we kind of looked at chairs but I didn't really want a matching set (partly because then I think it just looks like you transplanted a showroom setting in your house) and also because the expense added up really quickly! Ken didn't like the idea of bringing a new couch home to sit with very old and rather ugly other chairs. The solution: Make slipcovers!

I had made a slipcover previously for this chair but last year my dear daughter (picture above) took a permanet marker to it, right in the middle of the back (not the back back ,but you know, the front back) and so I had taken it off (as purple doesn't look all the great on beige) and put it aside thinking I would just use the good fabric some other way.

I thought I would buy new fabric (possibly in dark green or a green and brown print) but when I went to the store I came up with nothing! Now what?
I did have some dark green fabric on hand that would have worked nicely but I didn't have nearly enough. So after some playing around I decided to have a layered look. I have green on the back (with green and tan plaid on the edges that is leftover from the curtians) and then again on the arms (to cover up some marker there) all of the fabric I stiched firmly in place. The chair doesn't look quite like one I would chose at the store, but it does look better and I think it might look kind of country style, which is kind off what I am aiming for. I also got done with using completely what I already had, which is very nice!

Our rocker was done in blue (which was a color we were getting out of this room) and had some stains, I have some more fabric (actually the slipcovers I had made for a chair that we decided to get rid of) which I was able to peice together to make some slipcovers for this rocker. This project was fairly easy and the lines are not very complicated.

I decided to do a strip of the green and plaid around to tie it in with the other chair (and to cover up some piecing that I had needed to do) and so this is a closup of the fabrics and the bow that I decided to have in the back.

I had a lot of fun working on this project. I find it so very fun to make my home a more pleasent place to be while using what I already have!

I have a little (pretty little) of the fabric leftover (all 3 of them) and I was trying to think of some way to use them in the room. Do you have any ideas? I thought about maybe a strip of the plaid around the bottom of the lampshades, or around the bottom of the chair slipcover or using the fabric to make a small quilted piece for on the piano or making a bow on a wreath or something. What do you think?

Here are some links if you would like to try making slipcovers for your furniture:

A boat ride

We had a fun time on Tuesday. We went to a small lake not far from us that has a peninsula in it that is full of Juneberry trees and blueberry bushes. Our goal was to pick a bunch of Juneberries. It was a beautiful evening but unfortunately there weren't a lot of Juneberries, it looks like many of them may have gotten frozen with the late frosts. Mara (above) decided to go wading and pick water lilies instead.
I did find this bush with quite a few berries on it. We didn't get a lot of berries but we did get some, and some is better than nothing!
Here is most of the group in the boat.
Ken and Jonathan. Jonathan got to try steering for a while which he found quite fun.
Granddad and Nana enjoying the ride.

Have you had any fun family outings lately? Please share. :-)

Getting ready for the fair ~ project # 5 ~ a bag

Jonathan's recent project for the fair was sewing a bag. He used some fabric that came from some sweatpants and also a sweatshirt. It is a pretty simple bag but it does have a pocket on the side and a strap to carry it with.
Here he is busy getting things cut out.
And busy sewing. This was his first time to try sewing on the machine and he figured it out quite quickly. (He loves working with machines!) He got to do a lot of sewing as we had to do some piecing with the fabric. He also got to learn about using a seam ripper as not everything went perfectly.
Mara is also working on a sewing project, but hers isn't done yet so you will just have to wait. :-)

Do you remember when you first learned to sew (if you do)? What was your first project?

Froggy went a courtin' and he did go...right to Charlotte's party!!!

Today is Charlotte's 8th birthday...the
party was a huge success...12 girlfriends came and joined in the swimming and painting and hiphop dancing (with an instructor!!)...these
little girls acted so mature for their young ages...
I was very impressed..so well mannered etc.
Christopher and his friend Aiden joined in a few things but were more interested in looking for frogs!! Jackson had a great time with all the people around. It was a perfect party.
Way to go, Janis..you are THE BEST Mom ever.

WFMW ~ Perennials

I love flowers and plants and I am also a busy wife and mother of 4, my solution that works for me is lots of perennials! They are so nice because you plant them once and they keep coming, over and over again!

When you buy perennials as plants they are usually a little more than annuals but over the long term you save a lot because you just buy them once and then you have them for years. Perennials can also be started from seeds which are usually close the same price as annuals. Sometimes they won't bloom the first year, so don't be too disappointed, just patiently wait til next year.

You can also often get perennials for free. As the grow they tend to get crowded and every so often they need to be thinned out in order to grow well. Also bushes like lilacs tend to send up little shoots all over that are generally mowed down. If you find somebody that has an old place you can nicely ask if they would mind if you got some starts from them. It is likely they would be more than happy to comply especially if you nicely help them thin all of theirs.

Over all Perennials have a huge variety to choose from, they come back year after year which saves you money and time and they are beautiful. That works for me!

p.s. you might find a lot of them on sale right now at stores as the planting season is basically over. It is still a fine time to plant perennials as long as you keep them well watered.
The generous man will be prosperous,
And he who waters will himself be watered.
He who withholds grain,
The people will cures him,
But blessing will be upon the head of him who sells it.
He who diligently seeks good seeks favor,
But he who searches after evil, it will come to him.
He who trusts in his riches will fall,
But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.
He who troubles hi own house will inherit wind,
And the foolish will be servant to the wisehearted.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who is wise wins souls."
Proverbs 11:25-30

Jackson lining up his cars on the ledge...

Jackson's can full of 'his cars' .

"Here Grammer..YOU line this one up for me"
"no problem, sweetheart!"

Monday I babysat all three grandkids for a few hours...
we had a very good time..Charlotte and Christopher
helped me so much.. Jackson loves playing with his
cars..it was alot of fun in the pool too.
Did I ever mention how much I love these kids!! LOL.

Blueberry picking

Yesterday we had a wonderful time going blueberry picking. Ken's parents are here for the week, visiting from Nevada, and so they got to come along with the kids and I when we went. We went on some state land near a little campground on the Mississippi River. The blueberries were just starting to be ready to pick so we are hoping to go back again at the end of this week. I had lots of fun taking pictures while we were there so I thought I would share them with you. Some beautiful harebells. These are one of my favorite flowers and there were a lot of them growing by the blueberries.
Sisters picking berries. Mara loved picking the blueberries. She didn't like it when we had to leave.
Granddad and the boys. They all worked at picking while Granddad told bear stories. They were so cute to watch.
The picker who doesn't save any for later.

Nana and Megan.
Megan found a tree with dead limbs to climb.

Sorry this picture is a little dark. We are showing off our berries. In all we got about 1/2 gallon. Picking wild blueberries is not for the faint of heart. They are very small and it takes a long time to get many and the flies and mosquitoes are quite prevalent. We loved our berry picking time anyway! It is so beautiful in the north woods and it is so fun to find berries that are incredibly good for you and yummy just free for the picking.

Have you been picking any berries lately?