Thursday, May 31, 2012

Half Broke Horses

by Jeannette Walls

I have not posted about a book in ages.  I think the last book I read worth posting about was The Help and everyone and their dog read and posted about that - right? Although just before I read this book I read Sister Wives which was okay, I suppose I could have written a post about that but to be honest I had nothing worth saying.  I really love the show, Sister Wives, on TLC and it answered a lot of questions about the people in the show but it is not a general interest book by any stretch.

I was stumped at what to read so I posted on my Facebook wall for suggestions and got lots, hopefully enough to get me through summer, it is after all the reading season. Often when you read one book it leads you to another, so I should be good for a while.
Half Broke Horses was really good in the same way that The Book of Negros and Middlesex were good.  I have decided that I do have a preferred genre for books - I like stories about people.  Not people in space ships or solving mysteries but about their everyday lives.  Having said that, I don't mind a little science fiction every now then - I am fascinated with mystical creatures and time travel. Historical fiction is pretty great too when it is telling the story of the lives of people in during that time, real or imagined.

So, I don't pretend to be a book critic or even a book clubber with a lot of insight and analysis of the books I read so I am am not going to go on about it but I will say, that this book is worth reading. It is an interesting story with few twist and turns that leave you shaking your head in wonder at the way people lived 100 years ago and how spoiled people are now.  There is no big dramatic event and nothing that is going to make you cry but you might chuckle a little and also be left shaking your head at how amazingly simple things were.

I am going to read The Glass Castle next, I am glad I read this first - read them both and you will know why. 

Happy reading!

:o)  Tina

Monday, May 28, 2012

Little Owl for a Sweet Little Girl

owl purse
Instagram Version.  :o)
This is another sweater owl (I made a big cushion, three purses and 7 - 7" owls from two sweaters!)
owl softie
I will add the photos of the other little guy later,  this one is already listed for sale on Etsy.

A few weeks ago I was approached at a craft fair to make an owl bag for my friend's daughter, I finished it this rainy May long weekend and brought it out to her at work (my friend, not her daughter) the other day. She apparently loves it  - which makes me very happy!  It is such a complement when someone loves something I made - especially when it is something form my head.

girl with owl bag

I could make one for you too, all you need to do is ask.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday on a Saturday Afternoon

I looked forward to this all week and then when the day came I was really busy and didn't get to it!  So happy Saturday!!

the little things we do

1. The best surprise ever would be, a winning lotto ticket. Since CH and I never buy lotto tickets it would be an even bigger surprise! The best surprise that could actually happen? I would think a visit from my friend Surely who flew away to Europe 11 years ago in February and is living in England but is still dear loved and dearly missed... and who has been on my mind a lot lately; would be the best surprise.

2. ??? is my most favorite memory.This, like last week's #3 is pretty close to impossible for me to answer. I have been blessed with such a wonderful life, I can honestly not pick on favorite memory among the thousands of really spectacular ones.

3.The hardest, but most worthwhile thing I've ever done was leave H1. I know that seems terrible to say that getting a divorce was worthwhile - and belive me when I tell you that I am anything but proud of it BUT without it I would not have CH, Penelope, PITA and her clan, Mouth, GP... so many people who mean so, so much to me.

4. The best part of my day is crawling into my super cozy bed and drifting off to sleep while CH rubs my feet and legs with his rough feet. I feel so safe and content. I really love it.

5. Something I like that most people don't is mustard on my french fries. My whole family thinks I am like a circus side show with my weird food issues - and this is just the very tip of the ice burg! You know that scene in When Harry Met Sally with the pie? That is SO me. Seriously.  If you have not watched this movie - what the matter with you!  Download it and watch it tonight. For real.

6. Something I am willing to fight for is my marriage, my children, and my dreams. The last couple of years should be proof positive of this. Between CH's health issues and the down turn of the economy I feel like I have been doing nothing but fighting! Seems to be on an upswing... I had a job interview on Wednesday that I felt went really really well... don't find out until Monday. Crap, now I feel sick.

7. Something you might not know about me is that I am convince myself to be brave and strong so that I will be brave and strong. I believe in the power of The Secret and that positive thinking goes a long way toward positive results and toward, of course, toward feeling positive.

Well, that's all she wrote! Have a super fabulous wonderfully exciting weekend!

:o)  Tina

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stumbled Upon #? Who the Heck Knows

Nag just told me about this website - why didn't I already know about it?????

There is no Pin-able image on the website, so you are just going to have to trust us and click here. If you love colour - you will love this!

:o)  Tina

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yellow Bird

I had been thinking about my next bag design and then the other night I was watching We Bought a Zoo with my shorties and suddenly, the vision was there.  Black velvet with a red bird.  I decided on the shape and got to work once the movie was over (at 11 - I am a night owl and so are my shorties.  Don't judge us!)

So I got busy cutting up the velvet jacket (sorry no picture, I forgot AGAIN) I suddenly thought - red is too over done (especially for me), I am going to use yellow. I had some really nice yellow fabric that I needed a worthy project for.  Last night when I was getting ready to put the bird on, I realized that it needed a little something to sit on, a floating (in a perched position) bird just didn't sit right with me.  I decided to free motion some tree branches in a subtle variegated grey.  I love how it turned out, and  listed it on Etsy, the price is higher than I normally charge for a bag because I want whoever buys it to love it as much as I do.

:o) Tina

Monday, May 21, 2012

Stuff I've Made

The other day I made new fabric labels to sew onto my finished work (temporary ones until my friend Krista gets a logo done for me) and  Nag, asked with surprise "Are you sure you want to put your personal blog address on these?".  Well, you know me, I started to think. And analyze, just a little bit...

This is what I came up with...

It might have been premature but you have to start somewhere, right?  I want to develop my personal blog and my person sewing into something. Something that is me and profitable - at least a little bit. It seemed like the logical thing to do at the time, since the labels were for thing I personally sewed. My sewing is about me - my blog is about me.  Perhaps it is the kick start I need to really get my blog to the level I envision for it.

I recently opened a second Etsy shop which I have linked to the page tab Stuff I've Made for Sale, I have two Etsy shops - one for the Sugar Shack and one for me. If you want supplies (fabric, notions, thread, etc.), kits, patterns designed by people other than me then you want to visit the shop's Etsy page - if you want something I designed and/or created - you want my Etsy page - or you can come here for all of that and a little of the other stuff.

After the last couple of years and how difficult things have been for the shop and for my family, I have lost a little love for Sugar Shack Quilting, although with the new location and the new things that are happening I am starting to get it back.  It is kind of the the teenager in my family (not to say that one loses love for their children when then become teenagers!!) - I hope when it is an adult it is fully functioning and can take care of itself - at least financially! Maybe cause me a little less heartache and stress. ;)

So, short story long (I am really good at that!), I am going to try, really hard, to talk about my creative side and not just my emotional side on my blog a little more often.  Starting today - new pages are up!

:o)  Tina

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday

girl smelling tulip
Penelope sitting still for 10
seconds so I can take her
picture. Literally 10 seconds.
Happy Friday! Thank Goodness these blanks are a little more cheerful (and I did not lose what I wrote, having learned my lesson to SAVE often! I suppose re-learn is more accurate.

I have a had a busy week. Last weekend was un-blogable - I was so busy with Silver City Days with CH, the Shorties, Mother's Day, etc.  Took a couple of great photos of the carnival and the park I was relaxing in while the shorties went on rides, check them out on Instagram.

We took it easier than we ever have on a Silver City Saturday and it went wonderfully.  We even made it to the fireworks - which we don't always due to being too tired from.

On Sunday we had a delicious brunch buffet at Cafe Americano - a little restaurant / coffee shop in our lovely little downtown.  While we were there an elderly gentleman gave my kids $20 for the fair.  They were so excited - Penelope especially as she had been begging us to go on more rides the whole time we were at the restaurant. It was so nice.  Random strangers practicing random acts of kindness.  :o)

Sunday evening we went to PITA's for a BBQ.  It was her last birthday ever (29th ppfft).  The food was excellent again, by the time I went home I felt like such a hippo.  I ate more on Sunday than I usually do in like three days!

photo memory quilt
Blocks for the memory quilt I have been commissioned
to make for my Aunt who is actually my second cousin's wife,
on my Dad's side.  (That one is for PITA - who is under
the impression that distant cousins don't count. :p)
Monday...  eeck...  CH and I had a bad parenting moment.  We were both really tired and sore and we did not drive our kids to school.  That's right.  They stayed home from school because neither of us could get it together to take them - or get them ready for that matter.  Stupid car accident did not pair well with the fair!!

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - Soccer, Smokies AGM, Piano, Soccer, sewing memory quilt blocks for Friday until 3 am....

This weekend will most likely be just as busy as last, although Saturday night is the only day that has a plan at the moment.

So, on with the blanks!

fill in the blank Friday
the little things we do

1. Something that is very near and dear to my heart is, my family of course. I place a lot of importance with my family - not only those who live in my house (or once did) but also the extended family - my parents and in-laws, my Aunts Uncles and cousins.  they are all very important to me.  I have always been very attached to family and have tried to teach my kids to be the same.

2. Today is good cause to celebrate. Any day everyone is above ground, healthy, and content is a reason to celebrate!

manning park Rhododendron forest beautiful British Columbia
Photo from Birding by Shantzy, you can see more lovely photos
of the Rhodos there.  It is really beautiful and worth checking
out if you are driving through Manning Park in the spring. 
3. The most fun I ever had was... I have had SO much fun I honestly can not pick one thing. When I was 19 (20 years ago!!) I lived with three of my friends for about 5 months and it was non-stop fun.  Seriously.  We never stopped having fun - well I didn't anyway. The summer of 1995 I drove from my home in North Vancouver to Christina Lake every weekend and it was really really fun as well - lots of quality time with my Grandma on what would be her last summer and lots of party and beach time with my friends. Specific days? Probably days with Surely. We once went on a road trip from Vancouver to visit the Rhododendron Forest in Manning Park.  It took us two and half hours to get there and 14 to get home.  The two full on family vacations that CH and I have taken the kids on were also really fun.  Both times we visited some of my amazing family and the beautiful Pacific Ocean.  I honestly cannot pick one thing or one time.  I have been blessed in the fun department - possibly due in part to my ability to always see a silver lining.  I can think of a couple of times that I ran out of gas or the car broke down and it ended up being really fun...

4. True friends are the ones where no topic is off-limits and you can always pick up where you left off even if there's a time lapse between visits. The people who understand you and accept you - the good and the bad - and love you unconditionally.

5. Something that makes me terribly happy is quality family time (like most of this last weekend). I LOVE LOVE LOVE spending time with CH and the shorties (especially at the beach or camping which is coming up soon!! Yeah!!).

6. A good way to spend a sunny day is SITTING ON THE BEACH!!! There is no other acceptable way to spend a nice sunshiny day. Well, I suppose swimming or waking at the beach are okay too. :o)

7. My favorite celebratory food is turkey - well stuffing and gravy, really but you can't have one without the other. My Mum make the best turkey, gravy and stuffing in the Universe. Hands down no contest.

Well, that's the blanks!

Have a super fabulous weekend!

:o)  Tina

Friday, May 11, 2012

Not So Filled in Blanks

The Blanks this week were a little down and I am feeling up but I did them anyway - and then I hit a few keys that somehow took me off of the post page and all was lost and I am not (although my answers where sometimes witty and charming) going to re-write them.  So, dear reader, you are left with this,  another example of why PITA calls me Tootie!  

Have a super fabulous weekend - I know I will!

:o)  Tina

PS  Nag and I went thrifting yesterday and this is what we got for $12.50.  95% of which will be reconstructed into something spectacular to be sold on Etsy and at the craft fairs we venture out to.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Toot Toot (But Not the Kind You Think)

This is me with PITA- I am the taller one
with the enormous double chin and the
perfectly smooth, thank you very much,
hair. Toot Toot.
PITA has taken to calling me Tootie because I like to "toot" my own horn.  It's true.  I sometimes do - but only when it is something worthy of a toot.  It is not like I go around bragging and talking about how great I am all the time (I really don't - I am so not like that) - it is only when I am proud of something or happy with how something turned out.

For example, my hair on picture day.  LOVED it.  It was so smooth and shiny.  I have wavy, light brown hair.  Until I was about 30 I had pin straight medium to dark blonde hair - it has been adjustment to say the least and because they are so much harder to come by now, I really LOVE a good hair day. (PITA straightened it and my friend Jessie coloured it for me a few days before so it was not all me.  I am a firm believe that you give credit when credit is due and will not ever take credit when it is not mine to take!)

I also toot my own horn on an regular basis, somewhat indirectly, by talking about how awesome my shorties are.  How beautiful, smart, kind, considerate, and funny they are.  They are so freakin' amazing. I made them that way (although not single handedly) so, Toot Toot.

Another thing I toot my own horn about is sewing.  I am good at, and I have been designing things from my head a lot over the last year or so and I get excited.  I just cannot help myself.  So the other night, I started an Etsy shop to list some of what I make for sale.  I listed an owl bag at 11:30 at night, it sold by morning.  Can you say Toot Toot?! I am pretty excited about that.  It is such a compliment when people buy the things I create, a pattern or a finished item, it just feels so good! So Toot Toot - and THANK YOU!

The fair is in town this weekend for our annual Silver City Days festival.  I am hoping to get some good pictures of all of the colours and lights and the excitement the shorties are bound to be exuding.  I am also looking forward to Mouth having some fun for a change rather than spending all of his time in his room playing video games. Jerk.

:o)  Tina

An Army of Owls

I took a weekend and went on a bit of an owl bender. The store across the street from the shop donated a bunch of upholstery fabric scraps and this is what I did with some of them. They are all listed for sale on Etsy - unless they have already sold!  :o)

:o) Tina

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Photo Shoot!

My Shorties (The Little Man, Penelope
and Mouth)
We (the Ihas family minus John plus a few PITAs of various shapes and sizes) had profession photos taken on Sunday.  You can see them all here (while you are peeking, you may as well like the page!), but these are a few of my very favorites.

Me and PITA together.  <3
My pretty little PITA looking all calm, cool, collected and beautiful.
One of PITA's little PITA's - looking ready for trouble as usual!
The littlest member of our family - LOVE this baby.  You might remember him from this post.
CH and his "big" brother - who just happens to be PITA's Dad.
PITA's hockey guys.
My kids and Noah goofing around.
A little more serious this time.  :o)
Awww.  It looks like we actually like each other.  Well, I guess we do sometimes.
This is everyone but PITA's Dad who had to leave early to fix a roof or some other  such reason.  From baby Hayden, Trevor (PITA's husband) Penelope, me, CH, Noah, The Little Man, PITA, and Mouth.  <3
Pretty awesome, eh?

:o)  Tina

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Shorties

Source: via Tina on Pinterest

Poor guy.  His brain is always super charges and he really is quiet - relatively speaking as the rest of us talk entirely too much.  <3

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Homemade Washi Tape and Some Really Cute Butterfly Magnets!

Ah ha!  Day 27!  Woot Woot!  I just realized how badly I dropped the ball on the photo a day thing....  Maybe I should try harder.  I do love to take iphotos (is that a word - if not it should be!)

So, today Nag and I made goody bags for Penelope's birthday party this evening.  This is the pin I used as my example.

These are ours. With homemade washi tape!

Thank you Nag for taking care of the eyes and the antenna.  Crooked works great and I would have spent hours trying to get then perfectly straight and even.

The washi tape was fabulous - this is what I did to make it happen.
homemade washi tape
I looked for some small print napkins from the Dollarama.  They had lots of pretty napkins but nothing with a small print so I opted for stripes in Penelope-ish colours.

I then separated the layers - there were four, I thought there were two so I did a strip of tape and then had to redo it.  Live and learn.

After the layers where separated there was only one that was patterned - the others were plain white. I took double sided tape and put it perpendicular to the strips and smoothed it down.  They I cut it to the width I needed it to be for the clothes peg bodies of the butterflies, peeled the paper off of the tape in small sections and cover the clothes pen all the way around, snipping the open ends and tucking it in.

They turned out great and I LOVE the idea of homemade washi tape.  It is way stickier than the washi tape that I purchased from etsy.

Anyway, off to do other things.

:o)  Tina

Fill in the Blank Friday on a Saturday Afternoon

I actually started this yesterday - Friday - but got busy and did not get a chance to come back and finish it. I went to the doctor, went for a blood test, and then went and got my hair done for the first time in like 18 months.  Cut and COLOURED! My hair has been slowly getting darker (turning form blonde to brown) and lighter (from brown to grey - or maybe white) for the last few years and I was really feeling like it needed some lift.  It is a big deal for me.  I have only coloured my hair (as an adult) twice before and one of those two times did not go well. At all.  This time it is fabulous!

1. My bedtime routine includes, sewing until I am doing it with one eye closed (or open?) and then dragging my tired bum up the stairs to the bathroom for the usual and then up the second set of stairs to the most comfortable bed in the universe for some foot rubbing from CH if he makes it in before the 3 (literally) seconds it takes me to fall asleep.

2. I am really crabby lately. I was aware that I was maybe not my normal cheerful(ish) self but I did not realize that it was worth intervening - PITA and Nag had a spur of the moment intervention with me the other day. Where would one be without friends like that - and the open-mindedness to accept that they love you and are trying to help?  Thank you ladies for attempting to snap me out of it - we will have to see if worked!  xxo

3. I can't stand mean people and gossips because they tend to be spiteful as well mean and gossipy. It does not mesh well with my sensitive, over imaginative nature.  I am a Pisces, enough said.

4. My idea of relaxation would be .... relaxation? I am not sure what that is exactly...

5. If I had an extra $50, I would go buy some comfy shoes. Silver City Days is coming up next weekend and my feet are already telling me to forget it!

6. The best thing about a bloggy friend is, well I don't know, because I don't have any yet. Aren't I pathetic? :o(

7. A recipe I've been dying to try is this cored and stuffed potato thing I saw on a cooking show over at my Mum and Dad's. I have been searching for the recipe online ever since. I need a recipe to follow, unlike sewing where it is only a guide, I follow recipes to the pinch.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I just uploaded a whack of images to the shop's Facebook page - mostly stuff I made.  Some stuff PITA and I made together.  I accidentally deleted the whole page last week and am having to start from scratch - which might be okay because it can be neat and tidy!

Have a look - I would love to know what you think of my work.

:o) Tina

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Sweet 7

This is her on November 26 2005
Crawling around and already the mess maker she will become!

I can't believe she is 7. Where did the time go? She has always been so good and easy I wish that time would slow down. I hope everyday that she will always be the angel she was then and the angel she is now.

Happy Birthday Penelope. You are the glue that stuck this family together - the common thread.
We love you so much and look forward to another fabulous year!

:o)  Mummy