cloth bag pillow project

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During the summer of 2012 we attended the wedding of some good friends of ours in Maui. Their favours for the guests were wonderful cloth bags filled with a local bottle of wine, coffee beans and lovely treats. I came across the cloth bag again this fall and it gave me an idea. Although super cute, seeing as it had our friends’ names on it, we thought it would be nice to gift it back to them for Christmas as a fun throw pillow.

The project was quite simple to do, but I think produced a great outcome. I simply took off each of the handles, turned the bag inside out, and sewed across the top opening leaving a small hole in which to fill the pillowcase with stuffing. After googling a how-to video on the ladder stitch, and redoing it three times, I finally nailed it. Continue reading

graduation tassel christmas ornament

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I saw this d.i.y. somewhere on Pinterest months ago and thought it was so smart. We have a number of graduation caps around the house that occasionally float from one box to another, with no permanent home as we don’t know what to do with them. That’s why this d.i.y. seemed like such a great idea to me. You can keep that token of hard work and display it annually on your Christmas tree rather than stuffing it into a box in the closet.

I took the tassel and 2013 pendant off of the cap, and fit it inside a clear glass Christmas ball. The pendant didn’t fit through the hole of the ball (I tried three different sizes), but I think it looks great hanging outside as well. After playing around with it for awhile, trying to figure out how best to secure the tassel, I realized that I needed to keep the top closure of the ball in order to provide something to hold the tassel tight and cover the glue. I cut out a circle from the middle of the topper that would fit the width of the tassel, and carefully hot glued the topper to the ball to keep it all together.

I think it turned out well, and now we can proudly display my husband’s amazing accomplishment on the Christmas Tree.

cranberry sauce sour cream muffins

I had a lot of delicious cranberry sauce left over after Thanksgiving dinner that my mom made from scratch. I’ve used it in muffins before, but decided to try a new recipe this time. This recipe from Minnesota Monthly has the cranberry sauce as the middle layer with brown sugar and cinnamon on top. Quite yummy, despite the mess. You can find the recipe here. Continue reading

doily dreamcatcher d.i.y.

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My current obsession is dream-catchers. To be more specific, making my own. There are so many beautiful hand-made versions on Pinterest, and here is my first try. Initially created by the Ojibwe people with a willow hoop and woven net, dreamcatcher’s were meant to filter out bad dreams and let only good ones into the minds of children. When sun rises, the bad dreams disappear. I had a dreamcatcher hanging from my bedroom window as a child, and now I do again. I also think these would make great gifts. The strings could be decorated with items that represent your interests, or you could use traditional decorations such as owl or eagle feathers which represent breath or air, wisdom and courage. Continue reading

groomsmen gifting

It’s nice to live with someone who understands my joy of crafting, and enjoys taking on some d.i.y. projects himself. My husband gladly put together these beautiful wooden gift boxes for his groomsmen himself – I am so proud! He stained wooden craft boxes from Michaels and filled them with a unique bottle of their favourite kind of spirit, an engraved cigar holder, and the boutonniere and socks they were to wear as part of our wedding party.

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autumn wreath d.i.y.

I put this wreath together last Fall and I loved it so much I’ve had it on my door for almost the entire year. The thing is, it was so easy to make… I should really be making one for each season.  I took a green foam wreath from the craft store, wrapped a thick ribbon around the entire thing, choose more ribbon in autumn inspired colours and then cut and tied them around the wreath. I love the mix of colours, the simplicity of the design, and the perfect roundness is lovely.

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quarry rock & deep cove

Yesterday my husband and I ventured to the jewel of the North Shore, Deep Cove.  It’s a cozy little town located at the base of Mt. Seymour, and it also lies on the shores of the Indian Arm which is a branch of Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver.  In autumn, the tree-lined streets glow orange in the sunlight and the sailboats, kayakers and paddleboarders fill the harbour with quiet activity.  It’s a very beautiful place to spend a sunny day, whether you’re out on the water, hiking the hills, or walking the streets.

We spent the afternoon hiking one of Vancouver’s most popular hikes – Quarry Rock. The trailhead marks the beginning of the famous Baden Powell Trail and the Douglas Fir and Hemlock tree forest is thick, but light seeps through the trees highlighting the creeks and mountainside. It was a beautiful, and at times strenuous 45 plus minutes of climbing up and down, and back up again.  The elevation is 100 metres and you pass over four different creeks before you reach the huge rock overlooking the Indian Arm and mountains surrounding the community of Belcarra across the inlet.  The view from Quarry Rock is phenomenal and I highly suggest checking out this hike if you’re ever in the area.

pie-making: take one

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I’ve always wanted to try making a traditional apple pie from scratch, crust and all, and when I recently purchased an apple peeler/corer/cutter I knew I was ready. The machine is awesome. I swear all I want to do is eat apples, and trust me, that’s a big deal. You’ve got to have the right kind though. The bag of Gala’s I bought for the pie are definitely not the kind you want to use with this machine if you want to eat them afterwards. Most of the Gala’s were too soft so they broke apart rather than were sliced apart, but they were still perfect for pie filling.

My all-time favourite kind of apples are BC’s own Ambrosia variety. They are seriously delicious! Anyways, I got up this morning determined to fulfil my desire to bake a pie. I made the crust, mixed up the filling, and as I was about to make more crust because I didn’t think I had quite enough for the top layer, I realized I didn’t have enough shortening, My amazing husband threw on this shoes and raincoat and ran to pick me up some more. The fact that the pie turned out is actually less surprising than my husband jumping up at the mere mention of my ingredient miscalculation to rectify the problem. He saved the pie – and my sanity. Continue reading

happy harvest

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I spent some time in the gorgeous dusk light this evening taking photos of some of my favourite new – and old – items. We received a beautiful Hudson’s Bay Company wool blanket with the traditional coloured stripes as a wedding gift from some wonderful friends and it inspired me to style a bit of a photo shoot. As it’s also very clearly now autumn in BC, I am now ‘allowed’ to start decorating with pumpkins, another one of my favourite harvest items.  The vintage lantern I picked up at an antique store in Fort Langley a few weeks back and have been itching to make it the star in my fireplace centrepiece. The last and perhaps most useful of these items is my new apple peeler/corer/slicer that somehow makes apples ten times more delicious and desirable. Finally ‘an apple a day’ may actually be achievable. Continue reading