Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Better Than a Chocolate Bunny

My sister-in-law gave me an Easter gift that was better than a chocolate bunny.
I know...Better than chocolate? Hard to imagine. But it was. Truly.

She took me to a place that made me smile.
A teeny-tiny little antique-haven, nestled in the basement of a local appliance shop.
This teeny-tiny little piece of the past has eluded us for more than 15 years.
We ate our Easter dinner with the family and then we snuck away.

Truthfully, I had noticed the handful of antiques in the old screen door, a distressed cabinet, a well-used butchers block.
But I had no idea what I was about to experience when I walked down those stairs.

This would be a great place to insert a photo, right?
Only...I was a bad-blogger and didn't have my camera with me. So sad.
On the other hand, it gives me a reason to go back...soon {wink, wink.}
So, you'll have to use your imagination.

Walk through the door with me, and you'll wonder about a heap of furniture waiting to be refinished.
You'll notice appliances in boxes and on the shelves.
In the background you'll hear the familiar sound of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Never-mind all that {although it certainly tells a story.}'re looking for antiques, remember?
Take a sharp right and head down the stairs and prepare to be wowed.
You'll be greeted with reminders of time gone by...enamel-ware; furniture; windows; metal gates; button, brooches and bottles; hats; chairs; wash basins...
Wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling...treasures galore.
And...nestled in the back...only noticeable if you look a lovely little lady.
The 'picker' she calls herself.

And as you talk to 'the picker' you realize that each of her treasures has been picked with love.
That drawer {that I thought would look lovely mounted on my wall}...oh, she's not selling that.
How 'bout the CBC Radio Hockey Schedule from 1947-48? Nope...not for sale.
In her words, "It's just one of those things." Well said.
Clearly, there are some things that are priceless.

As we chatted and listened intently {listening intently for me, looked a lot like wandering around the store picking up this and closely inspecting that...but I promise, I was listening intently} we discovered a few things we could not leave behind.

My sister-in-law found a chair and a thermos...a clock for the playhouse.
I brought home a thermos and intentions of returning for a time-worn wash stand.

And return I did...look at the little beauty I picked up.
A wash-stand circa a much simpler time.

The state of the paint makes me wonder what this old washstand has seen.
 To add to the charm, I filled a basket with quilts {mostly hand-stitched by Baba} and nestled the basket beneath my newest treasure.
From the bottom...
I purchased the blue-green lovely for just that reason...the colours are lovely. Aren't they?
Next up...Kieran's baby quilt, stitched with love by Baba. It was to become the beginning of something beautiful. Since Kieran, Baba has sewn a quilt for each of her grandchildren to treasure forever. 12 to date.
Above Kieran's is Elle's baby blanket. I can remember laying her newborn-self on that very blanket and snapping photo after photo.
Second to last is Ava's quilt. A rag-quilt so soft and won't last long in this basket!
And finally, a red and cream blankie that has wrapped many-a-baby.


My sister-in-law had me pick up this scale for her.
I'm not sure I can part with this!
Do you think I could borrow the pickers''s not for sale, it's just one of those things;)


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Making Memories

The past two days have been filled with family.
Filled will gentle reminders about the small things that are important.
Cousins giggling.
Long chats.
Late nights reminiscing.
 Egg hunting and chocolate eating.
Bike riding and long walks.
Morning coffee punctuated with cuddles from the kiddies.
Making memories.
Fall 2009
 Sending Happy Easter wishes from our family to yours!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Treats {tear into 'em}

That little furry bunny with all his peeps in tow is coming soon...and I have a feeling the kiddies are expecting him, even if mom's not quite ready.
Time to put the nose to the grind-stone and get.things.done.

If your house is anything like my house, you know about the scores of chocolate left behind by that darned sweet E.B.
That same chocolate that taunts you from the pantry.
You know what I'm talkin' about!
That's why, I don't think anyone will mind that I've scaled back on the chocolate-giving.
Okay...some mom's I know might mind...but I don't think the kids will;)

A little sneak-peek...
Yup...those are some bunny ears!
All you need to make some of your own are:
- paper {I used scrapbook paper}
- Smarties {or anything else that tempts your tastebuds}
- a sewing machine {mine doesn't know what hit it...used twice in one week? Unheardof.}
- templates {I used cookie cutters.}

It really is as easy as tracing the shape, cutting it out, stitching two pieces together, filling with Smarties and finishing the stitching.

That's it!
Sew easy.
Sew fun.

Little fingers will {literally} tear into these treats.
 Only four more sleeps!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

It's {Sleepy Owl} Party Time!

I want to back-up just a bit...
and give a little insight into why I chose an owl-themed party for my Ava.
She's a real girlie-girl. so a princess party would have worked.
Or, maybe a dog-themed party since she loves our Charlie so dearly.
So...why did the owl theme prevail?
Owls are wise. That's why.
And, Ava is wise.
Just ask her...she knows.
She knows that 3+4=7. Sometimes it's 6, or 2, or 18...but sometimes it's 7.
She knows that j.u.m.p. spells jump. Thanks Dick and Jane.
She knows that if she tiptoes across the hall she can sneak into our bed at any and all hours, and will never be turned away.
She knows just how to press people's buttons.
She knows that if you lose a tooth and leave it in a jar of water, the tooth fairy will dive in for the tooth.
She also knows that the colour of the water tells you the colour of her dress.
She knows to say please and thank-you.
See? I told you...
Ava is wise.

Her Sleepy Owl Party was today. {even though she actually turned 6 in January}
They coloured, searched for eggs, made finger-puppets, got messy with chocolate, munched and took the cupcakes and sleepy owls to go.
It was a hoot! sorry, couldn't resist;)
Grab a cup of tea and get comfy...this could take a while:)
The Sleepy Owl himself {I made each from made for easy sewing!}.
...and his parliament.
We enjoyed the owls' nests...even though real owls don't usually build their own nests!
Some of the goodies...sidewalk chalk and owls' nests.
Sleepy Owl cupcakes.

Cupcakes displayed on a dendrodisc {tree cookie}.

An impromptu bed in the living room begs to be somersaulted upon!
...and jumped upon.
Trying to decide on which sleepy-owl to call her own. Checking out the snuggle-factor.
But I l.o.v.e. them all.
Clipboards with activity sheets ready to go. Each guest's was monogrammed and jazzed up with some ribbon.
Those little hands remind me of how little she really is...but don't tell her she's little. She's SIX!
The birthday girl admiring her colouring.
As the guests arrived, they began to colour on the 'bed'.
Those same little hands crafting finger puppets.

Going on an egg-hunt...each guests found an egg filled with mini-eggs...then used them to make a sweet lil' snack...
Mmmm...chocolate nests.
Looks like I have another sleepy owl.
Everyone left with a bag full of goodies and smile!


I'm linking up...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sleepy Owl Party - Phase 2 it seems we've had our 2 weeks of Spring and Winter will return over night.
Carrying with her between 7 and 14 cm of snow.

 When I heard that forecast...after I muttered a few choice words under my breath...I had a flashback to the little ditty Mother Nature played on a party I hosted in January.
*fingers crossed that that doesn't happen again*

Weather forecasts aside...Our Sleepy Owl Party is just around the corner.
And...I'm running dangerously behind schedule...
But it will all get done...I promise.
And...if it doesn't, I'm the only one who will know;)

Over the years, I've gotten a whole lot better at planning parties on a shoestring.
I've even gotten better at reusing the decorations...
That's where this little project comes in.

My sister-in-law introduced me to an amazing blog.
It's my new love.
The author is Ashley Ann and she is a.m.a.z.i.n.g.
Photographer. Mother. Writer. DIYer.
Case in point...
Photo Credit: Ashley Ann Photography
 Let your eyes be drawn up to the bundle of goodness suspended from the ceiling.
Look at those colours and textures!
*and look at that palette bed...but that's another post entirely!*

When I saw those pictures, I decided to create a bundle of my own for our Sleepy Owl Party and then transplant it to Elle's room when the party's over.

I already had a stash of lanterns on hand from previous know...the ones before I got better at re-purposing the decorations?
I also had a few of Martha Stewart's pink tissue paper flowers lying around.
All I needed was flowers in other colours.

I set to work creating a few of my own.
All you need is tissue paper, fishing line and a whole lot of patience.
Fold the tissue paper accordion style and round the edges.
Find the centre and tie with fishing line.
Fan out the folds.
Separate the's where you'll need the patience!
The real beauty of these flowers...lies in this little fact...
Martha Stewart flowers = 7 for $29.99
my flowers = 3 for $1.00

Here 's the final {for now} may need a little tweak here, or a little tweak there.
 And so continues the party preparation!
Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring has last.

There have been two spring-sightings this week 'round these parts.

The first was when my little Ava came running skipping into the house squealing..."I found an ant! I found an ant!"
A sure sign of Spring.
The next sighting was a little less exciting.
It had something to do with the melting of the incredulous amount of snow that has accumlated in our backyard...a little to do with the fact that our backyard is graded toward our house...and a lot to do with the +10 degree temperature.
Any guesses...??

Yup, water in the basement.
A large pain...but a sign of spring nonetheless!

To celebrate the arrival of this very tardy guest, I made-over my mantel.
Which, if you will recall, is really our piano.
Book-page eggs...check out my tutorial here.
Spray painted twigs in my antique enamel pitcher.
Books stripped of their covers {PB inspired} and ceramic birds...
The whole picture.
If you'd like to see my mantel sweetened-up for Happy Hearts Day, click on the link.
How 'bout my mantel in all it's Halloween glory?