Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Apron Giveaway

Carrie of Sommer Designs is having an Apron Giveaway over at the Apronista Blog. If you would like a chance to win an apron (and you get to choose your favorite) leave a comment for them. If you create a link on your own blog you get an extra chance to win.

Check out Carrie's Apron's - they're almost too nice to get all dirty and greasy!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Pictured here are two felt craft projects I designed for the Girl Guides Craft night. This is a group of 20 girls aged 9-12. I was impressed with how well they executed the projects (many of them chose the Bat project which my friend designed - it was much more complicated). They did a great job and fun was had by all. Whew was I tired at the end!

Monday, October 29, 2007

new fabric and a little bit of inspiration

This is another piece of fabric that arrived in the mail for me last week. This time all the way from Melbourne Australia! The fabric was designed by Lara Cameron of Kirin Notebook Blog fame. This is my favorite fabric print of hers to date - but they are all fabulous. If you haven't already checked out her designs and her blog you should!

The other photo is my "inspiration board" It's not a great photo but the best I could muster the other day. I vow to work on my photography skills in the upcoming year. Especially for my jewelry, which is so hard to shoot well. Anyhow the inspiration board is a collection of images and colours that I thought might look great as bags or quilts. In truth I just like having it on my wall because it's colourful and nice to look at!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dreaming of Prints and Patterns.....in Blue!

This fabric arrived in the mail for me this week. It's some fat quarter bundles of Amy Butlers new Belle fabric collection. I'm designing a new patchwork duvet cover for my worn out down duvet. Our new apartment has icky pale blue walls in the bedroom which do not work with my colour preferences. In hindsight a should have painted the bedroom a warmer colour before we moved in - but I just wasn't up for it at the time. Now, instead I'm going to make a new cover that works with the blue instead of fighting with it like my current duvet cover which is an Indian Block Printed textile of olive green, sage and terra cotta. I can't think of a worse colour combo for icky blue walls. I grate my teeth every time I walk into the bedroom. This is one sewing project that cannot be delayed. My colour sensibilities will tolerate it! Now I just need the Wrought Iron Head Board I've been dreaming of to go with it...

Monday, October 8, 2007

Squash Soup Recipe

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving everyone! I thought I would share this festive harvest soup recipe today. It is very easy, delicious and nutritious.


- 1 butternut squash
- 2 leeks (thinly sliced)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 carrots (chopped)
- 4 small potatoes (cubed)
- 2 cups Chicken or Vegetable stock
- 3 cloves garlic
- salt & pepper to taste


- cut squash in half lengthwise and place face down in a baking dish with enough water to cover the bottom of the dish. (This is to prevent the squash from burning)
- add 3 peeled cloves of garlic to the dish (I find the roasted garlic adds a lot of flavor to the soup).
- Place in oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for approx 1 hr. or until soft.
- add more water if necessary while squash and garlic are baking.

- In a large pot saute leeks until soft.
- add carrots and potatoes and a bit of the chicken broth. Cook covered for approx. 10 minutes then add the remaining chicken stock. Cook for another 1/2 hr. until veggies are soft.
- When squash and garlic are ready remove from oven and add to the soup pot.
- Blend with a hand blender or regular blender until smooth.
- garnish with cilantro, paprika, sour cream or yogurt.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What colour of Orange are you?

I have nothing crafty to share today... Instead I thought I would let you know what colour of orange I am. Such random things we can discover on the internet! You too can find out what colour of orange you are.

I'm an apricot! Soft and sweet, over time you let your provocative nature shine through. You are definitely unconventional, but you don't broadcast it. You offer people a fresh perspective on life - so fresh that it can be shocking!

I'm not sure this is true, but fun none the less!

Just follow the link!


Saturday, September 8, 2007

back from a long break

Wow, my last post was August 4th! Summer just flew by this year. Most likely because August for us was filled with a 3 week visit from my mother in law. It was her first time ever stepping foot outside of Mexico. She absolutely loved Canada! We spent lots of time taking in the sights of Vancouver as well as a move to a new apartment during the last week. We only moved across the hall which I thought would be a breeze. Wrong! It took 4 days to move everything, set it up in our new space and clean the old one. My thoughts are not much into crafting at the moment but on where to hang all my pictures and various "stuff" I've collected over the years.

Today I'm posting a photo of my friend's son with his frog quilt! He really loves it and I hope it becomes his favorite "blankie". I can't wait to make more. I've got a big enough fabric stash to jump right in any time....unfortunately it will have to wait until I recover my sofa. First things first!

My mother in law is an amazing knitter. I had great plans to learn how to crochet granny squares while she was here but we just ran out of time....I'm still trying to figure out how to make basic loops. Oh well, at least I can sew just about anything!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Cat quilt

Here are some photos of my very first quilt. It was inspired by Owen & Weasel and I made it as a baby gift for my neighbours (Owen's owners) when their son Daniel was born last year.

I didn't want this quilt to be a traditional baby quilt, so I chose to use a more sophisticated colour palette of black, brown, beige and cream. I wanted it to have a "cat theme" without being too "catty" if you know what I mean....Both of Daniels parents are quite scholarly and academic - they have an entire wall of their living room covered with books! So, when I found the beige fabric with script as a pattern I thought it would be perfect. The brown I associated with coffee which was perfect because Daniel's dad was working part time for Starbucks while completing his Masters in Theology.

I was very proud of my first attempt at quilting and it inspired by second frog quilt which I have photos of a few posts below.

That's all for today. Have a happy and safe long weekend (we will be celebrating BC Day here in British Columbia on Monday)!


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Owen loves Weasel - a cat tale

This isn't going to be a crafty blog entry, because I haven't had any time this week to get my hands busy with anything other than preparing wheat free food!

Because I don't have any kids of my own, I can justify sharing a pet story with everyone. Six years ago our neighbours cat Weasel adopted us. She is a wonderful fat tabby cat with the most mellow personality. She is the kind of cat who always wants to be petted or picked up and apart from her relentless shedding and occasional bathroom neurosis she is the perfect cat. Eventually her owner moved to California to get married and asked us to adopt her. We happily agreed because by our account she had already adopted us way back.

Three years ago a new couple moved into the same apartment that Weasel came from. Along with this new couple came a frisky orange male cat named Owen. From day one he pursued Weasel with relentless energy! After six months of rejection Weasel finally gave in and let Owen into her life. Owen is a handsome cat on all accounts but what makes him unique are his blue eyes. For the past two years Owen & Weasel have been inseparable. One year ago last March the unthinkable happened - Owen's owners had a baby! Well he packed his bags the very next day and moved in with us as soon as he heard Daniel's first holler. We made room for Owen in our place because we really didn't have much choice. Owen had decided he would rather be with Weasel. Owen is not a mellow cat. In fact he is the complete opposite. Demanding and vocal - he will not take NO for an answer! Not even at 3:30 am when he wants me to get out of bed and pet him while he has a snack!! He has us very well trained. In fact I don't know how I will figure out my own schedule when he's gone because right now he sets it. Which brings me to the sad part of my story.....

Owen is American an his Visa runs out at the end of August. His owners are moving back to Seattle. I keep telling him and Weasel to elope so they can stay together. They could run away to Tofino and get married on the beach. Feast on wild salmon and such (no seriously). It's sad because I know his owners want to keep him. I don't even feel like I can broach the subject with them. It will be a sad day the end of August when they all leave. Weasel will be so lonely and we will miss Owen's demanding cries for attention and food. When he makes that same pleading face as Puss In Boots from Shrek, my heart melts and I give in every time. Yep, he's got me trained!

I know there are lots of other wonderful cats out there needing homes and this consoles me a little bit....we get so attached to our furry friends!

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Inspired by the movie Ratatouille, I decided to make this dish for dinner tonight. My husband and I are trying a 1 month Candida cleanse and it's really hard to find dishes which don't contain wheat, gluten or sugar. I thought of this dish because we saw the movie last weekend and really enjoyed it - Two thumbs from me for sure!

The dish got a thumbs up from my husband - another tough food critic (if you've already seen the movie), so I'll be adding this one to my dinner repertoire.

I used this recipe - the "Our Method" which takes the traditional French one, but cooks it all in one pot. Less dishes is always high on my list which is why I chose it. Oh - and last but not least, I served it on a bed of Lundberg rice (brown and wild rice mix). It has a yummy nutty texure and tastes even better if you cook it in chicken stock!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

prints and patterns

Last weekend I came across these rubber carvings I did about 8 years ago. Do you ever discover things you've made or designed and forgotten about because they got tucked away for years?....When you re-discover them years later you are surprised and impressed with the thought and skill that went into creating them. I hardly ever feel this way when I just complete a project. It's still too fresh in my mind all the technicalities that didn't work or weren't executed perfectly. (I went to design school where perfectionism is preached and expected). The good thing about 8 years later is that all those imperfections have long been forgotten and you can look at your creation with fresh eyes - and surprise! Then you realize the person you were back then and the person you still are, and hope to yet become is all in the same? Does that make any sense?! When I look at these carvings now, I can see the interest I had in the patterns and their repeats.

Six months ago I had an epiphany when I decided I wanted to focus on developing my design skills in the area of pattern design for textiles. I even went out and purchased myself this swanky new iMac computer to work on (which I am still learning how to use by the way)! I thought this was a "new" idea - something that I had just discovered as an interest. After looking at these carved stamps I realize it's something I've always loved, but just hadn't considered in the past few years. If anything it at least re-confirms that I am on the right path with this new goal....to become a fabric designer. Wish me luck as I have a LOT to learn - especially about computers and computer programs.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bag it!

Hello again! I've finally got a July project to post. Nothing too fancy just a new bag idea I've been playing with. This is the 1st prototype - and as most crafty sewers know - it's never totally perfect! My goal was to create a simple bag that wouldn't require interfacing. (I've nothing against interfacing, I just don't happen to have any at the moment).

I used fabric from Amy Butler's Lotus collection. I had originally planned to make a skirt with it, but in the end decided on a quicker project. The bag is fully reversible with bias binding on the handles. The other goal I was trying to accomplish with this bag was a shoulder strap that would stay put on my narrow sloping shoulders! I angled the seam at the shoulder joining area and it seems to work "sort of". It still slides if there isn't enough in the bag, but it does stay put when it's loaded full of "stuff". After finishing the first sample I've decided I want the bag to be bigger. It also needs a zippered pocket on the inside for my keys so that I'm not fishing around for them.

I'll post a tutorial on how to sew zippered pockets. I know some sewers still feel nervous about zippers but they really aren't that hard. Having done my time as a sample sewer of Outerwear clothing (which are full of zippers) this is one sewing technique I have definitely mastered. Stay posted for the tutorial....

I'm making a real conscious effort to cut down on the number of plastic bags I collect from grocery stores. I can't believe that cashiers still look at me as if I have horns when I tell them I've got my own bags. We are seriously clogging the earth with them....I'm just trying to do my little part.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Baby Quilt!

Whew! It's been almost a month since my last post. I've realized if I want to have a craft blog I need crafty projects which aren't so labor intensive. I suspect this might be why "doll" quilts have become so popular as of late.

I just finished this quilt for my friend's baby boy. I had intended this gift to be for him when he was born. As it turned out, he was one month early (I hadn't even started it yet) and then some family circumstances put all my craft projects on hold for a few months. Tonight I am delivering the quilt 1 year, 2 months and 23 days late. Luckily my friend Vicky is very understanding.

I used a combination of Amy Butler fabrics mixed in with some cute frog prints that I found on eBay. I was so happy to discover the colours were a perfect match of greens and blues. As I don't have a machine that does free motion stitching I had to improvise with stitches I could manage with my regular sewing machine. I think the stitches turned out ok but I can't wait for the day I get my own Bernina quilting machine!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Inspiration for a small Urban dwelling!

Well hello! This is the first official post from my new blog ChicaCraft! I'm so excited to be joining the blogosphere of uber talented crafty women - I've been lurking for way too long! It knocked me completely sideways when I discovered this blog world. Here I was feeling like the only 30 something woman who liked to make quilts and do crafty things with my hands.

I'd been searching for this community for a long time...It's funny how technology changes everything. I thought I should be able to find these people in person, where I live - but you know how hard it is too meet people in a large city. It's interesting how much more friendly and open we are on line. Can you imagine having some of these blog conversations on the bus or subway?! It would be great if we could.... Might make the world a friendlier place.

If you haven't already seen the latest copy of Blueprint Magazine, check it out! They have done a feature on Joelle Hoverson of Purl. If you don't know about her already she has two amazing stores in New York City; Purl (yarn store) and Purl Patchwork (fabric store). She also has an online store and blog. What inspired me the most were the photos of her small rental apartment. She has managed to create a beautiful living space, complete with quilting area. As an urban dweller I struggle to find room for my crafts in a 450 sq. foot apartment that I share with my husband, two cats and two bicycles! This article gave me a new resolve to keep working at my own setup.