Let there be Growth!

Remember those little tomato plants? Well they have gotten pretty big and are bearing fruit! It's been a hard season for growing here in BC. We had weeks of rain (no surprise), and then a very hot and humid month. There are still some weeks left to keep the grown goin!

We are even getting some good peppers growing. Hurray! There is just something so satisfying about growing, anything! 

Second hand beads

A preview of my fun summer Upcycled Project. Click the link at the end of the post to see the process.

I really cannot complain. This summer has been nice. There have been quite a few lazy days. The kids and I have gone on long walks, sat at the coffee shop and just talked, explored local second hand stores and watched then re-watched the Back to the Future Trilogy. We also discovered Perler Beads!! (I call them melty beads) We found a huge bag of them at the second hand store. Now we are addicted:) Here are a few things we made

Of course I had to make something Star Wars themed. 
These are not my original designs. 
I glued old magnets to the back and they now reside on my fridge.
So my daughter wanted me to make her a SMALL cute animal. Well This hamster took me almost 2 hours and it is anything but small. 
My son wanted something made by me as well. He got this `creeper`from Mindcraft.
The pony was my favorite to make. I love the colours:)
My son made these. Both kids love Mindcraft and these are some of the tools.
If you would like to see an Upcycled project I worked on this summer CLICK HERE. If you like cats then you just might like this. I was inspired by a friend who draws cats quite a bit. 
Well only a couple weeks left of summer. Let`s all enjoy it! Next comes Autumn. That is my favorite season. I`m looking forward to wearing all my sweaters and sipping warm coffee. 

Sprung, has Spring

I am excited about growing stuff this year. Last year our little family wasn't in the best place for growing plants. I don't mean our physical surroundings but more our state of mind. We were still reeling over our big moves(Manitoba to Cayman to Nova Scotia to B.C). In order for me to be able to take care of plants the way they should be taken care of I need to be somewhat relaxed and comfortable. Well this is a whole new year and I am more than ready to get GROWING!

I found some upside down tomato planters at London Drugs for 4.00! So of course I got two. Tomatoes are one of my favorite things to plant. Those and Chives. I can't tell you how much I love being able to clip my own fresh chives for my guacamole recipe. Cheers to Kelly S for sharing that recipe with me almost 15 years ago. It's been a favorite of my kids for years.

We have a good little balcony and this year I'm using it to its full potential. It doesn't get much sun but I'm hoping the plants will get enough to flourish. I will update photos over the next few months and let you know how it goes! I've been known to kill a few plants in my day. I'm sure this year will be different. I hope.

Did you know?

Click on the orange words to see awesome links!
I've had a Reddit account for almost 4 months now. I never had anything to post until I got THIS from my boss. If you didn't know I am a pretty major STAR WARS fan so getting THIS was totally awesome.
I'm planning to create an entire photo album with photos of THIS visiting different places and having great adventures. I know that is easier said than done but I'm pretty determined. 

Have you checked out my STAR WARS upcycled bag on Etsy? Click here to see it.

Time for a change of Pink.... oh I mean Pace.

My daughter is going to a birthday party tomorrow and I of course dreaded buying yet another gift bag or wrapping paper that would conceal the gift beautifully and then in moments be destroyed and thrown in the trash. Eew.
I knew that the girl who is having the party LOVES Barbie. I means she really loves that doll. I forgot that some little girls play with toys like that. My daughter has always been the type to enjoy playing a game of pretend Star Wars or anything to do with animals. She has never been a big fan of dolls. That is until she had a play date at this friends house. She came home with some Barbie clothes and a doll and she was in love:) Well this post really isn't about all that.
We have been saving these juice bags for about a month now. We only needed 12 barbie bags for this project (which I'm calling 'Operation Birthday bag'). For the sides and bottom I used some old Caprisun pouches we have had kickin around for ages.
All right I have to go. It's almost Earth Hour!!! Time to unplug.

How I Upcycle coffee bean bags into usable tote bags

1 large tote bag takes 21 small coffee bags to complete. Here is a basic photo step by step of how I make it happen.
It all starts with a bag full of coffee:)
Use the coffee to make yummie drinks.
(yes I made these)

Take the empty bag and cut off the top. I do this over and over and over.
I pretty much hate this step
This step takes the longest. I have to lay out all the coffee bags and tear off each sticker. The thing is the stickers don't come off easily. In fact I tear off as much as I can then I have to use Goo Gone to remove the rest of the sticker. This is a messy and lengthy process. I tend to get little cuts under my nails from the sharp edges of the stickers and I dirty a lot of rags. Just to give you an idea of how long this takes, last night I worked on this step for about 5 hours and came out of it with about 60 perfectly clean ready to sew bags.
Step 5
This is what the bags look like once I get all the stickers off. In this picture I have already sewn some pieces together.
Step 6
This is what the front and back panels look like. There's a lot of lining up and measuring of the bags when sewing these parts together.
 Step 7 sewing
This is where I sit and sew and sew for hours. I will usually spend a full day doing prep sewing. This is where I sew the little bags together to make the panels or sides of the tote bags. Then I sew on the velcro and handles. I make sure I have enough parts for each tote and then sew the bags together on another day.
Here I am sewing the piece that covers the velcro. It just looks nicer this way:)
 Step 8
This is where I start piecing the all the parts together. Here is a bag with most of the sides put together.


Life takes over

There are times in our lives where things happen that we are not expecting. Christmas and the weeks leading up to it are always a busy time. This was very true for me and my family. We had a great holiday season and we were ready to jump into 2012!

On January 15th my niece was diagnosed with Leukemia. She is a bright and active 14 year old (Almost 15!). She has been fighting like a warrior these past few months. This has hit our family hard and we have all been focused on supporting my sister, brother in law and the two kids. You can follow their journey here. https://www.facebook.com/Bronwyn.vs.leukemia

I am jumping back into my sewing and upcycling. This past week I have found it relaxing to make some bags. I thought you might be interested to see my process for creating the large tote bags. In my next post you will see pictures and get some info on the whole process. Check back tomorrow!