Thursday, 29 November 2012

Crochet Bow Hat

Our school just finished a collection of shoe boxes fill with gifts for boys and girls around the world. It's for Operation Christmas Child run by Samaritan's Purse and is such a blessing to us who are able to give to underprivileged children. We basically filled a wrapped shoebox with gifts for a child in a specific age group. 

My own kids helped me fill two boxes, one for a boy aged 2-4 and the other for a girl of the same age. After shopping around on Sunday, we had almost filled both boxes but there was still some room in the girl's. So, I made her a hat and scarf set.

I had my son try it on to make sure it would fit (my little girl was at school). He wasn't too happy about it...he's into 'scary' things at the moment, not pretty pink things. In the end, I snuck the hat on him and quickly snapped a picture. It fit.

I used a pattern from Vallieskids. It was a very quick and easy project. I fell in love with the "butterfly" that was near the edge of the hat. I altered it slightly to make it look more like a bow.

I crocheted the scarf without a pattern, with double crochets. I left an opening after I had most of the length so that the end can slide through and secure the scarf on the neck (does that even make sense??). I love it when my kids' scarfs do this so they don't fall off and I don't have to tie them. I wanted to make a similar "bow" on the scarf but ran out of yarn. I was lucky that the amount I had was enough to finish the scarf and I'll try the bow embellishment on a scarf another day.

I really enjoyed making this set and found it a nice time to pray for the little girl and boy who would be receiving our gifts.

I'm linking up to these fabulous parties!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Crochet Cup Sleeves

We've got two new items listed in our shop, Sunshine Makings. They are green and pink crochet cup sleeves. They very bright and cheerful, made by a bright an cheerful lady - my mom, of course! She blogs at Jerry & Kay

These are the best way to keep your fingers from getting burned and, better yet, they are a great help to the environment. Think of all those double cups and cardboard sleeves that won't be used when these crochet cup sleeves are used instead. They're also way cuter!

We've got two colors of the crochet cup sleeves in Sunshine Makings, but are open to special requests and all the colors of the rainbow. 

I'm linking up to these fabulous parties!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I am beginning my day with the smell of pumpkin pie baking in the oven and can't wait to eat some more delicious food tonight! I am so thankful for all that God has provided for us today and everyday: my children, my husband, my family, job, talents, opportunities, I could go on an on...

But for now, here are a few turkey themed crochet items & projects that I've stumbled across today:

Enjoy your turkey!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Sunshine Makings: new etsy shop

I am so excited to announce that my mom and I have just opened our Etsy shop: Sunshine Makings! This has been a goal of mine for the last two years and when my mom mentioned making some things for my 'future' shop we realised how special it would be to have a shop together. It is thrilling to have just pushed the key on my keyboard that sent the shop into existence. We would love for you to visit Sunshine Makings and share in our excitement.

For now, here is a peek at what we've got in our shop:

You might remember reading about my lavender harvest a few months ago. Well, I've used the lavender in these lovely relaxing eye pillows.

These cheerful mug cozies made by Kay (my mom) are great for keeping a cup of coffee, tea or hot cocoa warm.

Who can resist amigurumi? I love making these cute little animals like this little mouse and elephant that you may have seen here.

My absolute favorite is this baby blanket. It is so soft and I love the combination of colors.
I would keep it if I still had a baby. :-)

I hope you enjoy this small peek into our shop! I'll be announcing here when more items become available.

I'm linking up to these fabulous parties!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Pumpkin & Ginger Soup

King Damascus (otherwise known as Chong, my husband) helps out in our school & community garden which is where we got our jack-o-lantern pumpkins. We had one little one left and I've been saving it to make some pumpkin soup. Since our lives have been busy most evenings with work and other obligations, we rarely have a home cooked dinner together. However, things have changed this week and this pumpkin soup was dinner number 2 of 3 that we've had cooked in our kitchen, at home, together. That was the first leaf I put on our thankful tree.

I used a wonderful recipe from Riverford Organic Farms which is where we get our fruit and vegetable deliveries every week. I followed the recipe with just a few changes to meet our needs. First, I left out the milk. Second, I added a lot more honey than the recipe called for because we all have a sweet tooth. I also thought that might help my little girl eat it. She currently doesn't like soup.

Here's the recipe which you can also find here with the original honey amount.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 kg (2.2 lb) pumpkin, peeled, deseeded & diced
5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled & finely chopped
2 tbsp (10ml or 2 tsp) honey
1 ltr (34 fl oz) vegetable or chicken stock
sea salt & ground black pepper
sprinkling of nutmeg

Heat oil and butter in a large pan. Add the onions and cook on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not let the onions brown. Add pumpkin, ginger, honey and stir. Add stock, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Puree in a blender. Reheat, season, and serve with a sprinkling of nutmeg.

King Damascus loved it. Little guy liked it until he realized his sister didn't. Little girl hated it.

I also loved it and will be making it again with the other two pumpkins that are waiting in our kitchen. Maybe my little girl will like it next time!

I'm linking up to these fabulous parties!
fall link party

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

thankful tree made for free

I've seen thankful trees all on more than a few blogs that I follow, all over pinterest, and even have a friend or two with some sort of thankful tree in their home. At first, I must admit that I found the idea a little silly. Do we really need to have a tree for every holiday?? But after thinking about the real purpose of the tree and how it can be used to remind ourselves and our children to be thankful on a daily basis, and not just one day, I decided to get my kids involved and make our own thankful tree. 

I thought about different ones I've seen online, but really didn't want to spend any money on decorative crafting supplies, so I took a quick look around the kitchen and spotted an empty protein powder can. I've been making smoothies for breakfast since summer and have gone through quite a few cans. Some have been transformed into marraccas, some into drums, one stores my little boy's dinosaurs, and I was delighted to use another for the thankful tree. The whole method of making the thankful tree was so easy, kid friendly, and didn't cost a penny. If you'd like to make your own (it's not too late!) take a look around your own living space and see what you can upcycle. Here's how we did ours...

empty can/container
sticks from the back garden
small rocks from our gravel driveway
packing paper or any other paper ready to be upcycled
paper clips from or other bendy wire for hanging leaves
(my other idea was to modpodge with packing paper, but decided on paint in the end because it's more fun for my kids)

Easy Peasy Steps:
(1) Find a can/container.  (2) Arrange sticks & fill with small stones/rocks.  (3) Paint the can.

(4) Cut leaves out of paper.  (5) Write things you are thankful for on the paper.  (6) Poke a paperclip through the top of the leaves and hang them from the tree.

We are cutting out leaves and hanging them each night with something new for which we are thankful. It's nice to watch our little thankful tree grow leaves while the leaves outside continue to fall. 

I'm linking up to these fabulous parties!

fall link party
Nap-Time Creations

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Pinned It & Did It: Homemade Play Dough

It's getting darker earlier now, so it felt like dinner time, but we had a couple hours to kill before our actual dinner time. Making our own play dough was the perfect solution to my kids' boredom.

My Play Dough...

Play Dough I pinned...

                                               Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

The play dough is a fairly new pin and I didn't expect to use it so soon after pinning, but it was the perfect activity to do with my kids yesterday afternoon. And I'm happy to say with very slight modifications to the original recipe, it was a total pinned it & did it success!

The original recipe is on Favorites and Things. I can't remember how I came across it originally, but her play dough recipe post has a few recipes for play dough and other types of modeling clay. I'm sure I'll try some of her other recipes on another dark and dreary afternoon. For now, I'll share how we made ours with the small modifications. 

What you need:

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 tbsp oil
1 cup water 
food coloring (optional)
glitter (optional)
(the original recipe used 3/4 cup water)

Step 1: Mix flour and salt
Step 2: Add food coloring to the water.
Step 3: Gradually add oil and water to the dry mix.
(add more water to make the dough stickier OR more flour to make the dough less sticky)
Step 4: Add glitter and mix and squish until it's all mixed in.
Step 5: Play with your homemade play dough.

My kids had fun mixing the water and oil in with their hands. Squishy! We were low on colours so we only used yellow. The play dough was not very colourful from the yellow. 

This inspired us to make it more exciting with glitter! We love sparkly glitter! The best part of sparkly play dough is that the glitter stays in the play dough. 

Roll it...squish it...mold it. Make a snail and show your little girl how to make a snail. It's great fun for the kids and great therapy for me.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Pajama Boy

I finally completed another project that I had planned for KCWC. I made these cozy pajamas from some really warm fleece. So soft. He put them on right after I finished them and I miraculously got two pictures before he took off and started playing again. It was the middle of the day, but he kept these on until bedtime and then slept in them. I'm SO glad he likes them! 

I used a pattern from my mom for the top and made the Kickin' Back Sweats from Sewing for Boys for the bottoms. The top was a little fiddly, but the bottoms were so easy! I can't wait to make another pair of Kickin' Back Sweats for my little guy. 

Friday, 9 November 2012

Gone Fishin'

If you read my mom's blog, you've probably seen her posts (here, here, and here) about what she recently made for my little boy and girl. Here are the beautiful clothes on my beautiful kids...

Thank you, Nanny!

Now we can all go fishing with Papa at Christmas.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

WIPs and October catch up

It's been a busy week...too busy to blog! I was so busy with Halloween costumes last week that I could barely get pictures of them, let alone post about them. Now that October's over, I've got a minute to show a cute cowgirl and cowboy...

It's half home-made (chaps, denim vest, & orange blouse) and half from the closet & NCT nearly new sale. Both kids designed their outfits completely. I sketched them out as they told me so that I was sure I wouldn't get it wrong. They both loved their costumes and wore them to three different Halloween celebrations. By the fourth, they were tired of saying "Howdy" and went for their more typical attire as Cinderella (made by my mom) and Spiderman. I also managed to make a red riding hood cape, a wolf's tail, wolf hands, wolf legs, and wolf feet. Our floor was one furry mess after that.

I've also been busy with some works in progress...and doing some research on how to open an Etsy shop! I'm so excited about this. It's not open, yet, but it should all be set up soon! My mom and I will be opening our shop together. We like the name Sunshine Makings. What do you think?

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