Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Old Things

I love sewing - that being said I'm still just learning and more "fooling around" and having fun then really stressing over my skill level.
I prefer to do "subversive" sewing, rather than getting a pattern and paying for the fabric. Subversive sewing is just making something from something else. You'd be amazed what you can make out of second hand store clothing.
And not just women's clothing either! I have a top-pattern made from men's dress pants of all things - that I think would be neat! ^.^

In the picture above I had a pair of hole-y pants but I didn't want to throw them out just yet.
So I went to the local 2nd hand store and asked to buy their reject clothing (as I planned on just cutting it up and using the fabric) the lady gave me a garbage bag full of clothing that didn't quite make the cut - and refused to let me pay for it.
I shlepped it all home, washed the clothes and ripped open the inside seam of both legs of my jeans - giving me a flat piece of fabric to work with.
I then cut the fabric into patches and different shapes and sewed it right onto the front of the jeans using fun bright red and lime green threads.

I now love those jeans more then ever! :D

I also started making little plushies or toys, I suppose you would call them.
I found a book: "Cute Dolls" ~ Aranzi Aronzo
And loved the simple, adorable patterns. After making a few of his dolls - I started to see other little toys and could figure out how to make them from sight.

A few of my favourites are:

My little Onigiri plushies - I even have a little nori (seaweed) sewn on!
(onigiri is a rice ball snack common in Japan)

My little bunny
super soft from the flannel/polar fleece remnants I found.

My little Pocket Ninja
(I saw these at a popular toy store in the city and was shocked at the
$27.00 price tag. I decided to make my own ^^)

Today I was feeling rather creative as well, so I re-made some of my old t-shirts. I wasn't wearing them anyway so I might as well make them fun to wear again!

Sorry it's dark! I made some "iron-on transfers" and ironed them on! Nothing could be simpler. The first shirt I re-made was with this graphic. It's two lemons and one (with the medical hat and stethoscope) is yelling "Rescue! Rescue!" and the other lemon is in obvious distress.
Get the joke yet?? .....Lemon-Aid.. Ba dum ching! ....yeah corny I know. ^^

This one is onigiri again with different facial expressions. I wish I could tell you what the Japanese symbols mean - but I can't. Lol, I have no idea!

So that's what I've been working on today!
Now I guess I should work on some supper eh?

God Bless!

~ Jenny

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wonderful Surprise!

I walked to the post office to collect our mail, enjoying the nice sunny day - which got even better when I picked up a parcel sent to me from my mother.
I knew it was coming, but I had no idea what was in it! As I was walking I thought that maybe I should wait for Jeremie to be home before I opened it . . .but I was too impatient.
Eagerly I walked home and as soon as I could I ripped it open.
What a lovely surprise! Inside was a card from my mother, as well as a set of serving spoons, a magnetic pin holder and four beautiful place mats that she had found in Pennsylvania, and thought would look good with my dish set.

This really is such a handy package to get! Mom knew I hadn't any serving spoons yet, or place mats. Both I was looking for. And only last week I was in the local fabric store and contemplating getting a magnetic pincushion, I put it down though because it was 20.00$ and I didn't need it that badly!

Thank you so much mom and dad! I love the gifts very much!

I made buns and a loaf of bread today. The buns are for dinner tonight, and we needed bread in the house for Jeremie's lunches. Although lately I've been blessed enough to have him home for lunch, which is much more fun then eating alone, and I know he likes to relax at home before getting back to the sweltering work shop.

My mom taught me a great trick for separating the sticky dough into buns. I always had trouble pulling the dough away from the lump and trying to slice it away. But watching my mom, I learned that the easiest way, was to use scissors. It's cleaner, quicker and much easier then using a knife.

I've been writing letters to friends as well. I've always loved writing and I enjoy sending off letters or cards to my friends; and I know they enjoy receiving them. I wrote two last night and plan on writing more.
I have a love for stationary and own tons of different papers and card - and I really should start using them up I think.

Well it's about time to start that roast.

God Bless!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Yup. time to get the menu all planned out - which I did with the help of The Complete Canadian Living Cookbook!
  • Easy Roast Beef with Onion Gravy, fresh buns and boiled potatoes


  • Bistro Meat Loaf with mixed veggies


  • Crispy Baked Chicken with a garden salad


  • Fettuccine Alfredo with garlic bread


  • Whatever we happen to have time for! :)


  • Roast Chicken Dijonnaise with mashed potatoes and beans.

Today was a big clean day - I find my mondays generally are. But I got done everything I wanted to - my vacumming, dusting, bathroom and bedroom are all done, and my laundry is all caught up! YAY!
Tonight Jeremie and I'll will be heading into town to do some grocery shopping for the week. He likes to come with me and push the cart. He said his father always pushed the grocery cart for his mother when he was a boy - so he likes to help me that way too!
And I am not arguing, not after he sees the looong grocery list we have!

There's a new baby in the house, and no, it's not a baby.
Last Saturday we finally replaced the 5 year old computer, with a new faster model.

I know enough about computers but not too much ~ All I know is that it has the newest, fastest graphics card available right now and tons of memory. This is a huge factor because both Jeremie and I like to play computer games, and the old computer would just shut down when it got overloaded.
So I have a very happy hubby right now.
I'm pretty excited too - because we got an HP Pavilion we also got an all-in-one printer, scanner, photocopier deal.

That means I can start scanning in some of my drawings again and printing off photo's of my family, and lots of Henry! (my little nephew - he's a superstar in our family ;) )

It's nice having a quick computer again that doesn't lag or take forever to upload one photo.
I am very thankful for it.

God Bless!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dear Friend

A few days ago I had a wonderful visit with my Aunt Cheryl and cousin Laurel - they drove two hours just to come for an afternoon visit! I'm blessed with so many wonderful people!
They stayed for the afternoon and I took them to our favourite Mennonite restaurant, "Country Cousins" which they enjoyed immensely.
The best part of this restaurant easily is the Peanut Butter Pie - - It is sooo good and addictive! Since hubs couldn't be there, I bought one of the pies to take home. Just as I thought it was well received, and made a great snack to take to work the next day.

The weather here has been wonderful lately. After such a cold few weeks the warm sunshine feels so nice and Jeremie and I have been going for walks around the park.
I even made him stop so we could play in the park a bit - one forgets how much fun a simple swing set can be...especially when you get to be pushed!

Today I'm pretty excited - I get to go on a tour of where Jeremie works. He's a welder in a large manufacturing factory, and never having seen welding or any type of metal construction, I am excited to see what it's really like.
I'll head over in a few hours when he's on break so he can give me the grand tour himself.

I'm a little tired today, but that makes sense as I hardly got any sleep last night. I woke up abruptly at 1:30 in the morning - I could smell food, or more like something toasting or burning.
Of course I got up right away and went to the kitchen, sniffing all the way.
But no, the oven was cool, as were the elements. I unplugged the toaster and the breadmaker and still couldn't identify what that food-smell was.
I did notice though that the smell lessened as I went into the family room.
We never figured it out, but we assume it was the apartment above us, as our bedroom was the smelliest room.
I just turned up the fan and opened the window more and soon was able to get back to sleep.
....I think Jeremie might've stirred once during the whole ordeal. He's a heavy sleeper!

I'm looking forward to this weekend a lot - due to some technical difficulties during the Batman movie that we saw last week, everyone in the theater was given a free-pass movie ticket. So we're thinking of going into Calgary and catching another movie.
Not sure which one though . . hmm.

I've been re-reading my mushy Janette Oke books. I'm in the middle of "A Gown Of Spanish Lace" - they're cheesy and predictable, but I think every woman needs a mushy romance every so often. I like that Janette Oke is Christian, so I don't need to worry about content. I can just sit down with some iced tea and just float away on my romantic cloud. It's so unrealistic, but thats probably why I like it.
After I finish this book, I better read something with a bit more "meat" on it...hmm...I have so many books. (I had to unpack over 7 large boxes just full of books when I moved here!) As a Librarian it's a hard temptation to resist!
I think the next on my list will probably be "Memoirs Of A Geisha" by Arthur Golden.
Well I better get going,
God Bless!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Today has been one busy day!
It's absolutely beautiful out - not too hot and a nice cool breeze, perfect to hang my laundry out!
I stripped the bed today and washed them all, I was excited to get them on the line. This, I'm sure my mother passed onto me.
She has an obsession with fresh smelling, line-dried clothing; I don't blame her! My sister too likes to do . . . oh what does she call it?....Basically freeze the house.
Vanessa will throw open all the windows and the doors in -17 degree weather to get the house smelling fresh.
I always remember her bedroom being freezing, but now she can freeze a whole house! ^.^ Alas, this action too, I am guilty of.
I guess the habit just passes down from one daughter to the next.

I even was able to throw my duvet over the clothes line - for just a few hours of sunlight and fresh air.
I'm reading the most wonderful book: "Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House" ~ Cheryl Mendelson

It reads almost like a novel if you're interested in such things like keeping house. There is a whole chapter on "Sleep" and the details on how to do such things like, turn down a bed, air a bed, make the bed, etc.
It shows you how to do mitered corners on your sheets and how to keep the blankets and pillows free of dust and other allergens.
Oddly enough this is my sister and my favourite chapter - I think its because we both like to sleep a lot. ;)

Our bathroom still isn't finished yet, it's still concrete flooring and dry-wall. I found a huge difference though when I scrubbed the bathroom. It smells nice and clean and even I can ignore the dry-wall if it looks and smells clean.

I had a lovely visit from one of the ladies I knew in Ontario, she came with her husband to Calgary and drove out to see me for a visit! It was a lovely afternoon, she spoiled me with a bouquet of beautiful lilies. The visit was over too quickly though, and soon we had to say goodbye - it was so nice seeing a familiar face again.

Last weekend Jeremie took me to Edmonton, where he and I was well as my sister-in-law and her husband went out to see the new Batman movie as well as go visit "Fort Edmonton"

I had so much fun - it's about the Ontario equivalent to "Upper Canada Village" - which has all the actors and people actually working in the trade shops and stores. However, this attraction was huge. It had a large steam train that took people around the village.

The village itself was separated into centuries from the 1800's to the early 1900's.
All the stores and buildings weren't just for display purposes, almost all of them were real stores you could purchase things from that were in line with the century they were representing.

We went inside the fort and Jeremie and Brad (my brother-in-law) taught me how to play a game that was very popular, and first played by the natives.
Basically it was like lacrosse, but instead of a stick with a net on it, it was literally, just a long stick. The ball was two leather sacks, filled with pebbles, with a thinner leather thong attaching them.
The point of the game was to fling the "ball" from your stick, and for your teammate to catch it.
I wasn't very good at it, but it was a lot of fun to play!

I just found out tomorrow is going to be another busy day! My aunt and cousin are coming up for a visit! Whew! When I prayed that I wouldn't get lonely out here - God sure delivered! I don't think I've been this busy since before the wedding!
..Oop! Time to put the casserole in. I have a hungry husband about to be home!

God Bless!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mom's Christmas Sticky Buns ...In July

I have been making bread for a while now using my new lovely breadmaker. I decided that I would like to try making my mom's sticky buns.
She normally only makes these at Christmas, but for some reason I've been craving foods that remind me of home and family.
After a quick phone call to my sister I had the recipe.

Mom's Christmas Sticky Buns

  • Frozen Buns
  • 1/2 c. Butter or Margarine
  • 1/2 c. Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 pkg. Butterscotch Pie Filling (NOT instant pudding)
  • 1/2 jar Maraschino cherries with juice
  • Pecans
Grease Bundt pan. Add cherries and pecans in bundt pan, then place frozen buns in. Cream remaining ingredients and spoon over buns. (the mixture will not be runny, but thicker and can be crumbled over) Cover with saran wrap and let rise overnight.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes.
Place cookie sheet below bundt pan in oven to catch sugar - runoff.

Of course, remember to flip the bundt pan onto a tray so you can enjoy your sticky buns properly.
It's an easy recipe that everyone enjoys - I know hubs sure did!

I've made an amazing discovery this week, one of my friends from Church actually makes wonderful sculpted puppets. She loves fairies and fairyfolk and most of her puppets are of these wonderful little creatures. She lent me one of her favorite books: "The Faeries Of Spring Cottage" ~ Wendy Froud & Terry Windling
It's a lovely children's picturebook and all the illustrations are photos of the fairy puppets Wendy Froud created.

She is also accredited with the creation of Yoda from the Starwars movies!

As an artist myself, (well artist may be a strong word ;) ) We showed each other our work and it seems I've been commissioned to create an ink drawing of their dog - they offered me money for it, but I asked instead for one of her puppets as payment. She does sell them, but due to the materials involved, it can be expensive. So I found this a nice little window in which to perhaps get my own little fairy.
She was very happy to agree to that and said that she'd much prefer to trade art for art then use cash.

I am much looking forward to that, and I find myself more inspired to draw because I am looking forward to owning one of her puppets so much - - nothing like a little motivation to keep me going!

God Bless!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Settling In

It's amazing to me that only 22 days ago I was married. It's even more amazing that not even a month ago I was single, living in my parents house and living three provinces away from where I am now.
Thing have changed!
Living in the Prairies is . . . well different. I noticed of course the lack of trees, especially since I lived in a very wooded area in Ontario for many, many years.
Due to the small town I'm living, most of which is populated by Mennonites, I have not been able to find work yet - though that being said, I haven't tried that hard.
I'm enjoying falling into the routine of being a wife and keeper of the home.

The biggest challenge of keeping my home clean is my husband! As a welder when he comes home from work he is covered in black smears and instantly heads to the shower. But no matter how careful we are, these black smears always end up on the walls and doors and door jambs somehow.
They're easy to remove, but I still tend to follow his footsteps around the house once he's in the shower and wipe everything down again.

The storms here are also very different from the Ontario weather I grew up with. You can see this large dark ominous clouds rolling across the sky and you hear severe weather warnings including things like hail and chance of tornadoes.
...At this point I'm hiding in the house under the bed covers.

But through it all, I do love it here and I think I would love anywhere I am, as long as I'm with my husband.

~ Jenny