Halloween – Garbage picker?

I stooped to a new low this week in my pursuit to make a milk bottle skeleton.  I went around my neighbour hood on the night before recycling day looking for milk cartons in my neighbours recycling boxes and I dragged Sasha with me.  Let me tell you that I have the best neighbours ever they actually wash out their milk jugs!!   The skeleton that you see hanging in the background of some of the pictures was made from 6 milk jugs and zip ties.  What an awesome almost free decoration, and fun to make too.  Here is a link to the instructions.

So I took the easy route this year and bought the kids costumes and did not for the first time in my life dress up for Halloween.  I put a lot of though into what I could be, but I just couldn’t find the time as I am nearing the end of my first semester as a graduate student to get a costume together.  But just because I didn’t have time to make the kids costumes didn’t mean that Sasha didn’t find the time to make his own!  He changed his mind every day during the last week, he was going to be a skeleton, monkey, dog and then a crossing guard.  He made his own stop sign with construction paper and a straw and I couldn’t have been prouder.  I can’t imagine what he is going to come up with next year but it looks like I might be off the hook.  There are a couple of pictures of Sasha in his dog costume too which he wore to the mall to trick or treat.

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All Decked Out

I love before and after makeovers especially when they are interior design based. When we moved into our house almost three years ago there was a rotting plywood deck hanging off the front of the house. The picture doesn’t do the rotting part justice. The deck was constructed of sub par materials; added to and fixed up on multiple occasions with a little TLC, rusty nails and duct tape. We lived with the deck as it was for the first year, but come spring the demo started.  The demo took about 30 minutes.

The before pictures:

There is an apple tree that dictated the size of the deck.  We love the apple tree and wanted to save it.  Here is a picture during construction; the apple tree is the little tree espalied along the front of the deck.

During Construction:

The footprint of the deck didn’t change because of the apple tree, but it was constructed with materials designed to be on the exterior of a house.  We lived with the deck as it was for the next year and the following year we built the garden beds.  Finally this year we got around to “decorating” it into an outdoor living space.  This project was three years in the making, and it’s finally done, at least for this season.

Here is the current state:

We are using the steps as a herb garden, and the best part is that we don’t need to put on shoes to grab a handful of herbs.  Sasha is very into gardening, and is helping to take care of the plants.  Logan on the other hand walks over to the garden every afternoon looking for bites.  I am using the garden as an opportunity to teach him colours, fruits and veggies.  If only I can stop him from eating green strawberries we might get some fruit.

This is where I will be planted this summer, but I might just have a little competition.

Keep crafting, creating and gardening.

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Working Out

I am working out, outdoors that is.  I am going to blog a before and after deck reno soon, but here is a sneak peak at some of the decor items for our outdoor living area.

You might wonder how I get anything done with 2 little kids sometimes I do too.  Making things is part of who I am, and by translation the kids are quite used to me having a project on the go.  Usually I have a little helping hand for a part of whatever I am making especially if the project is for one of them.  This is the foam that I used to stuff the deck bench cushion cover, and here they are jumping away.  They played with it, and on it for a couple of days while I was making the cover.  Once I had cut the foam to shape, they used the off cuts to make a tunnel and the moon.  Its amazing what their little creative minds come up with.  Sasha wants to help with everything, and there are so many little steps in the process that he can participate in, or he asks for the scraps to make his own creations.

Making of the bench cushion – my monkeys jumping and lying down on the job.


Here is the finished bench cushion, on the bench that my husband made. It’s great to be able to make projects with him as well. Now we are fighting over who gets to lounge on the bench in the late afternoon sun. Ah the luxuries of life.

For more details on the bench we got fantastic instructions from http://ana-white.com/2010/04/plans-simple-outdoor-dining-table.html. We adjusted the dimensions a bit to fit our space, but it was a great starting point.

I also made a pair of outdoor poofs I really don’t like that word it just sounds so poofy. I am open to suggestions on new names for these things. My inspiration for these poofs came from Target but the colours didn’t work for me, so I decided to see what I could come up with on my own. The great part about being able to sew fairly well is that you can make things exactly as you want them. The part that drives me crazy is that the fabric, foam, and stuffing cost more than what you can buy the finished products for and forget about costing my labour into the equation. Sometimes it feels like a conspiracy against those of us that like to make things. I did get the fabric on sale so at least it wasn’t that bad. For both the poofs, and bench cushion I used outdoor fabric and outdoor thread.  All have zippers so that I can remove the covers to wash them, a necisity with kids.  I have been sewing for at least 20 years so I can pretty much make up a pattern on the fly, if you can too please feel free to copy and enhance as you see fit.

Keep sewing, jumping and creating.