25 March 2013

Sew Sew

I've mentioned before that it's been ages since I've last sewn. Well, recently inspiration hit and, bolstered by necessity, I've taken up this craft again. To ease myself into it I began with a simple project: tea towels.

I ordered the fabric from Dragonfly Fabric. They have a nice selection but I found the site annoying to navigate and the shipping took longer than I would have liked. Still I'll probably try them again. And it was better than going to a fabric store.

I washed and ironed the fabric.

My sewing space is a kitchen table we've set up in the basement, which I'm sharing with our printer :) That's my old Brother machine. I mean old as in former, not old as in aged. Despite having barely been used the machine had broken parts and was a major pain to deal with. Even though it has sentimental value as a gift from my parents I decided to get a newer, better, fancier machine...

Behold the Singer 'One.' I already love this machine. The Brother will be donated to Goodwill, where it will hopefully provide someone with training opportunities in repairing small appliances and then can be put to good use again. I think my parents would understand and approve.

After all the delays waiting for fabric, dealing with the problems of the old machine, and waiting for the new machine to arrive I finally got to get sewing!

I measured out the fabric and placed a pin where I needed to cut.

I just made an initial snip and then tore from there, magically ending up with my basic towel shape.

I measured one-inch from the edge, folded, and ironed.


Then folded again to contain the raw edge and ironed again. Pretty straightforward.

Pinned everything into place to make sewing easier.

And got to work! The weird thing was that someone outside was doing some kind of work with machinery that sounded exactly like my mom's industrial sewing machine. Every time I would pause I'd hear the machinery sound--it almost felt like my mom was sewing along with me.

Ta da! I never thought I could get so excited about a rectangle of fabric. But as I said, it's been a while. Also, for the first time I didn't have anyone to ask for advice if I needed it, so this is the first thing I've ever sewn entirely on my own.

I think it dresses up the stove quite nicely :)

I had enough fabric left for another towel, as well as enough to make a hanger for this towel.

The hanger works!

Now that I've returned to sewing, I'm hooked on it. I've got more fabric on the way and my next two projects picked out: a table runner and a tablecloth. I can't wait to get started and I'm looking forward to keeping you posted...

Photos by Whimsy Bower

21 March 2013

Canada Blooms

After years of dying to go to our local big garden show, Canada Blooms, this year I finally made it. And I'm so glad I did. I got to see some amazing things, talk to friendly and knowledgeable people, get inspired, and generally wear myself out. I thought I'd share a few photos...

Gnome amid beeswax candles (from the Toronto Botanical Garden shop). Because everything is better with a gnome.

This (and the next few photos) are from the floral/plant design & competition area





This Alice in Wonderland display caught my eye immediately :)

I love this artwork, made with natural materials



I don't know who thought an Elvis impersonator (in this case Roy Leblanc) was the right entertainment to have but he was actually pretty good (and afterwards he seemed to be selling plants at one of the booths!)

Various vendors, florists, landscape designers and other garden-related groups had set up displays and vignettes

A pretty backlit piece of artwork incorporating rocks



Copper fountain sculpture



I adore this floral display



Gorgeous Korean Hornbeam bonsai. A note (not pictured) let us know that it wasn't dead--just dormant.


"An ode to the humble maple sap bucket"--can you get more Canadian?

Another favourite area of mine was the children's playground. If I ever have a child I have some great ideas now...

Musical fun in the playground (the white tube things are drums and rubber mallets are included)

My only issue with the children's area--why would you include poisonous plants (for example, daffodils) in the landscaping?


Great slide

Sheridan Nurseries featured a nifty water feature made of an old-time fire cart

Framed sedum display (apparently not too difficult to make, although unfortunately there were no printed instructions on hand. But we were told to keep an eye out on YouTube)

Dragon sculptures in another brilliant display area--a Celtic-inspired garden

The pathways formed a large Celtic knot design. Very cool.

A cozy rock nook with a fairy peeking out (if you look very carefully you might be able to see her)

Hellebores were on display everywhere and I fell in love with this one: 'Pink Frost' (Helleborus x ballardiae). I ended up buying one, so at long last I have a hellebore! I'm planning on buying more hellebore varieties at upcoming plant sales but this one will always be special :)

There's way more to see than what I've shared here so if you're interested the show is on until the weekend (and your ticket also gets you in to the National Home Show next door). Check out Canada Blooms for more info.

Photos by Whimsy Bower