April 7, 2013
there are other pants-to-bag tutorials online, but as far as i know, this technique is an original. i’m not up for preamble tonight, so let’s just get to the good stuff!
a word about pant choice: look for straight legs! also pants made out of thinner fabrics. we eventually sew through several layers at a time with this technique, so avoid the denim! pockets aren’t essential, but they’re free “oopf” for your finished project, and are referenced many times in this tutorial.
step one: cut above the pocket. make sure that you leave plenty of room above the pocket, because as you’ll see in the next step, we need to have room to sew up there.
time to flip the leg! turn the pant leg inside out, but not all the way (top left). then you’re going to take the hem of the pants, and fold it over, enclosing the cut raw edge inside. did that make sense? try it– it’s not as confusing as it sounds! then sew the top fold down (so you’re sewing around the very bottom of the hem of the pants, just above the top of the pocket).
at this point you have a tube, with the right sides of the fabric (camo, in this case) on the inside and outside of the tube.
turn the tube inside out! the pocket is now on the inside of the tube. go ahead and sew up the bottom so i can stop calling this bag a tube!
boxing the bottom! so fun to say, so fun to do. use these pictures for reference:
top left: cut out a square on both bottom corners. mine is about 1.5 x 1.5. to save measuring on the second corner, use the waste square and trace it.
top right: open up that square!
bottom left: and pinch it against the bottom.
bottom right: sew up that corner!
at this point i like to give everything a nice crisp ironing. the new seams relax, and the box-bottom is more defined. ps: YOU’RE DONE THE HARD STUFF!
if you use this tutorial or have any questions, please let me know! i’d love to see the finished product. also, i don’t need two of these bags. i made the first one for elliot, and the second one to show you how it was done. the second bag is for sale for $10- just msg me if you want it!
update: the bag sold possibly less than a minute after i posted this. sorry!
March 19, 2013
the time has come for me to go public: i have ibs.
what now? haha… exactly.
ibs stands for irritable bowel syndrome, and is really doctor speak for “i dunno”. ibs is what you get diagnosed with when every other possibility has been eliminated. i don’t have cancer, crohn’s, colitis, celiac… any of those ugly C-words. they don’t know what i have, so it’s ibs.
i started getting unexplained abdominal pain in august. i’m the annoying type of patient who waits until life can’t go on before visiting a doctor. the pain was spreading and intensifying, and there were days where i would just lay in bed like a lump in the fetal position, clutching my torso and wishing that the pain would stop long enough so i could go to sleep and be free from hurting.
i’m not trying to dramatize what i’ve been going through, just trying to be honest with you and possibly help out someone else who may be spending hours googling a diagnoses for themselves. so… ibs. you probably know one or two people who also have it, but their symptoms are nothing like yours. you can google it, and find a slew of symptoms that you have, and just as many that you don’t have.
i wasn’t joking when i said that it’s how doctor’s label unknown abdominal pain. it can be frustrating when you’ve had a horribly painful week and you confide in someone: “yeah…i have ibs” and the healthy, happy other half of the conversation cheerfully exclaims “me too!”.
my symptoms are pretty limited: PAIN!!! and i fall into random narcoleptic comas without warning. true story: i fell asleep at your wedding reception, natasha.
to treat my ibs, i’ve been on an elimination diet for about 2 months. i had to eliminate alcohol (not a big deal)/caffeine/fatty food/and dairy. the idea with an elimination diet is that you can eventually reintroduce foods to see what your body reacts to. so far none of the above has been able to come back into my life, and the list has grown to include soy, carbonated drinks, and excess amounts of sugar.
you care, right? haha…. i know this is really personal and uninteresting stuff and if it’s completely irrelevant to you, feel free to skim to the end, and i’ll post something more reader-friendly by the end of the week!
if you’re still here…. i’ve got some recipes & tips for you! i’ll be adding an ibs section to the category cloud of this blog, so you can find all of the stomach-friendly foods that i’ve been testing and enjoying. here’s some stuff to get you started:
almond milk! essential. i’m not at the point where i can drink it straight yet, but on my cereal and as a milk-replacement in baking, it’s been a life-saver!
earth balance butter-substitute. so here’s the thing about substituting dairy: i’ve been a “clean eater” my whole life. i don’t like products with ingredients that i can’t pronounce. i really couldn’t reconcile the fact that eating fake chemical ingredients was better for my innards than real butter and milk. thankfully my vegan sister introduced me to earth balance! it uses natural ingredients, tastes like butter, and it’s good on popcorn, potatoes, and bread. mmmm… bread!
this recipe has been so good to me! i substitute in the almond milk (as suggested in the recipe), and use olive oil for the butter. it’s so tasty! if you’ve never made bread before, make this anyway! you have to start somewhere, and when you’re so limited with your food intake, eating comfort food like this is like finding hidden treasure.
i’m certain that i could never ever ever give up eating bread! i don’t know how people do the gluten-free thing, and i would be so devastated if i ever had to cut that out of my diet as well!
there are a few other recipes that i’d like to show you guys, but they require posts of their own. i don’t normally fish for the comment love, but i’d really like to hear from you if you’re on a limited diet and have any tips/recipes/or stories to share! even if YOUR ibs isn’t MY ibs, it’s nice to know that there are others among us!
March 9, 2013
this week was wonderfully full! lots of time with friends, and lots of time with my family.
there’s no denying that when i started instagramming, my blog posts became less frequent. instagram IS blogging! so if you follow me on there, and you follow this blog, then i apologize for the repeats, but i really only have one life so there’s bound to be duplicates.
let’s get to it!
and sometimes you just need a date night! actually i could pretty much ALWAYS use a date night with my awesometastic husband. shawarma from pita deli guarantees a great time. and fyi: i ate all of my shawarma, and i ate it before derek finished his. i’m a machine!
dates with anne always make my heart melt into goo. so much love for this girl! check out her fashion sense and her little thumbs-up. she actually picked this shot out of the many we took as her favourite. while elliot was at a friend’s house, the chickorita and i went skating. she took a big a fall on her hip, but after some time on the bench with a first aid kit, she was back on the ice battle-crying “because i have determination!!!!” the declaration may or may not have been influenced by the He-man and She-ra marathons going down in this house lately –”i have the power!”
how do you guys give your kids opportunities to earn money? we did myjobchart.com for a while, but got out of the habit of using it somehow. about 6 months ago we decided that the kids needed to take things up a notch responsibility wise (like turning off lights, or flushing the toilet…simple but necessary life skills), so we came up with the coin system. every time they do something they’re supposed to do (hey, you hung up your coat!) without being asked to do it first, they get a penny in their jar. they have a chance to earn more than 1¢ if i ask them to do a special job (change the laundry loads for me, empty the dishwasher….) but i pay them in pennies. at the end of the week they count out “one for God, 9 for me” and take their tithe to church or clubs, and the remaining total gets written down on my phone/”bank account”. then we start all over again the next week. it’s been working well for us, as it’s a small reward for doing what’s right, a way to earn money for going above expectations, and ways to learn to tithe and save.
this week i decided that their boring old mason jars had proven their effectiveness, and could handle a more permanent look. so i banged some slots into the tops, and modpog’d some colour onto them.
it can’t all be playing with friends and dates with family! i woke up this morning (i use the word “morning” quite loosely here) and decided that i wanted to be productive! i had made pretzles for a fondu party that we went to last night, and elliot was crazy about them! unfortunately for him, i took them out of the house and he had to be content with cereal for supper. so i made some more today, and while i was at it i decided to make tortillas, ice cream, and fudge. some people were asking for recipes for these things, so here’s a list:
dairy-free, sugar-free strawberry banana ice cream (which tasted amazing!)
tortillas (i use my mom’s recipe, but here’s a similar one)
terry’s chocolate orange fudge (i used my mom’s toblerone fudge recipe, but used a different chocolate treat).
there’s my week! it was busy, but not too. full, but not over. and the time was quality, which is really the only way to spend it.
March 3, 2013
i have this COMPLETELY ERRONEOUS reputation that i’m good at everything. it’s so embarrassing. i’m really awful at a lot of stuff! a friend once remarked “is there anything you can’t do?!” after i’d used a credit card to unlock a door. i replied “there’s tons i can’t do, but there’s very little that i won’t try.” i had read “picked the lock with a credit card” in several books, and decided to give it a shot.
everything skill that i have was once something that i wished i had. they say that “necessity is the mother of invention”, but it’s also the mother of “skill acquisition”. and “curiosity” can be the dad in this family analogy.
i was talking to a friend on the phone yesterday, and she mentioned that i was “so good at everything”, and yeah… flattering. but really, truly, false.
i’m not really going anywhere with this, other than to clear my name, and to maybe step it up a notch in my writing discipline.
i haven’t written on here in so long, because it’s been so long. that’s just how i function. so here’s the first step in getting back into my writing habits, and maybe less great at procrastinating.
December 15, 2012
when i was a kid i loved christmas, because i loved sneaking and snooping! i totally turned into a super spy as soon as the christmas tree went up, and i spent tons of time looking under beds and into the backs of closets. i’d unwrap gifts and expertly rewrap them to keep my misdeeds secret. sometimes i’d take a toy out of its packaging and play with it for a while, before sealing it back up until christmas morning.
i was so good at my surprise face.
when elliot announced that he’d been snooping in my studio the morning after i’d stayed up late sewing gifts, my surprise face was authentic.
he had been so extremely close to finding his gift! i listened, horrified, as he told me all about the “half used bag of stuffing” that he’d found and “the cut up pieces of felt” that he discovered INCHES away from the blanket that his gifts were hiding under.
after i’d picked my wits back up off the floor and quickly wrapped the gifts that he had almost found, it dawned on me that my kid was MY kid. oi.
some of you have heard me complain about how elliot found his kindred spirit in the calvin and hobbes comics a couple of months ago. he’s had his best friend “cheetah” since he was one, and the calvin & hobbes characters are such a perfect fit for the two of them.
look how little my boy is there! also how stuffed cheetah is. elliot has loved cheetah from the moment he received him, and they’ve done absolutely everything together! so when eli read calvin and hobbes for the first time and realized that there was “another” kid just like him with a stuffed-yet-real pet cat, and a HUGE sense of mischief, he was hooked. it wasn’t long before anne became “suzy” and water guns were being squirted all over the house. he drew pictures of nagoobians, and i think he said i was an alien?
as much as i don’t enjoy elliot going crazy mcnachos and emulating calvin, i do realize that it is partly my fault. i didn’t read calvin & hobbes when i was a kid, but i’m pretty sure i didn’t need any help with my impishness (i once tried to convince my youngest sister to jump off of the railing of a second story deck because “you’re really adopted, and your alien parents are here to bring you home, but you just have to believe and jump first”). it’s pretty clear to me that i’m getting back what i gave to my parents and sisters (and friends, and teachers, and babysitters). so this christmas i’m super excited to give elliot this:
i know my exasperated mother said more than once “i hope you have a kid just like you!” and i’m so glad that i do!
December 4, 2012
the kids have been extra specially naggy this year about getting christmas decorations up, and my house is the most festive that it has ever been! we actually have four different types of advent calendars on the go this year, and we even started them on time, which is kind of a big deal for us.
one of the advent calendars is a small wooden house with numbered doors, and behind each door is a small piece of paper with an activity written on it. so far we’ve had:
- buy a toy for a child in need
- make the house smell like christmas
- write letters to santa
- take photos for christmas cards
i found a ton of ideas on pinterest and by googling “advent calendar activities”. it’s super-easy to find 25 that’ll work for your family, and we’re spending time together enjoying the holidays in a small way each day.
here are my kids posing for their christmas pictures! messy haired and a little juice-moustachey, but completely loveable and excited about the christmas season.
November 17, 2012
when i announced that i was going to cut my hair, there was a lot of feedback. seriously, who knew y’all cared so much?
as promised, here are some before & after pics. mostly before, because i’m horrible at posting pictures of myself, and it’s much harder to hide my face when i’m showing off the short hair.that’s the long stuff!
i mean, i get that long hair is beautiful and difficult for some people to obtain, and therefore i’m a nut job for wanting to get rid of it all. totally understandable. i did enjoy having long hair. at least once a week a stranger would compliment me on my hair length, and the long braid was a very useful weapon (and fly-swatter) from time to time. however i find that most people don’t know what it’s actually like to experience long hair woes, so lemme give you a few of my gripes:
- burning the end of my braid on the gas stove was almost a weekly occurrence.
- discovering that i’d accidentally tucked my hair into my pants. awkward.
- hair getting stuck in the car door,
- … house door,
- … cupboard door.
- hair getting sat on by the person next to me.
- hair being used as a leash (yeah, that NEVER got annoying!)
- having to braid it every single night before going to bed.
- and my biggest complaint: never being able to wear it down because of the aforementioned consequences.
however, since i did this:
- wear my hair down
- put on my coat/sweaters/backpacks/camera bag painlessly. nothing getting stuck in zippers or underneath straps.
- wash my hair with the teeny tiniest amounts of shampoo…
- …and showers take like, A MINUTE!
- feel air on my neck?
- i stepped on the scale and was down 3lbs. woot!
- and mailing off the 24 inches of braid to be made into wigs, felt pretty fantastic too!
ps: hair done by my fabulous sister, desiree. she’s a stylist in niagara and i’ll hook you up if you’re looking for someone!