Friday, April 26, 2013

Statement Necklace

After seeing about forty billion "statement necklaces" this spring (if what we've been having in these parts could be called spring...), I decided to make one for myself.

I've had these sparkly blue beads kicking around since I was in high school, if you can imagine back that far. They belonged to my great aunt, who passed all her jewellery onto my mother. I inherited all the costume stuff, including a string of these beads, and have been trying different things with them ever since.

Now that I seem to be back in the swing of things blog-wise, I'm going to try to kick it up a notch and start including photo tutorials with these crafts. It's all very well for me to post pictures of my projects, but if I'm not posting a how-to for the odd newbie crafter out there who might stumble across my little blog and want to try something simple, what good am I to anyone? I think we all know by now that if I can make something like this, so can your pet gorilla. All he needs is a little instruction.

Stay tuned for some life-changing tutorials, and have a great weekend!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tote Bag

My project for this week was a tote bag. Since having kids, my purses have slowly gotten bigger and bigger. Now I can't leave home with anything smaller than my kitchen sink.

It's pretty basic. I did put a couple of pockets on the inside and on the front, but they're so lopsided and terrible-looking, I was too ashamed to take a picture. Nonetheless, it's a roomy and sturdy bag, and it used up a little of my fabric stash. If I carry it with this side out, I don't think it screams "HOMEMADE!"

And on a completely unrelated note, that 70's faux-wood paneling you see behind the bag covers the entire length of the entryway to my house. Key party, anyone?

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Well, my plan to post a craft project every week has already gone awry. Unfortunately, the most artsy I got this week was when I created this little masterpiece:

Yes, it's a barf bucket. I was hoping to make it through this winter with no stomach bugs, but Firstborn hurled all over the living room floor on Thursday morning, and then proceeded to keep absolutely nothing down for the rest of the day. His appetite is still a little low, but the hourly requests for more video game time tell me he is now on the mend.

On the plus side, I became the last person in North America to discover Costco this week. Heaven help me.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


I just have one knitting project to share with you this time. And technically, it was 99% finished two weeks ago. But this week, I finally got off my butt and spent 30 seconds adding the final finishing touch: the tag. Here's my first attempt at a knitted Paddington Bear:

I've been trying very hard not to buy any new craft supplies since the new year because, like most DIY-ers, I have a craft room in my basement that is bursting at the seams. This has presented me with a few challenges and forced me to get extra creative with what I have. For this project, I didn't have toggle buttons, but I did just happen to have two wooden beads that were approximately the right shape. I'm happy with the way it turned out.

And just in case you could use a good laugh, I've been sharing these old clips with my family and friends all week. This guy taught me early in life that anything can be hilarious, and that laughter is infectious. I could watch his goofy pranks all day and still laugh every time.

Long live Harvey Kneeslapper!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Autism Awareness 2013

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. For some of us, every day is autism awareness day, so welcome aboard!
Now that I've been living with this for a while, it occurs to me that after years of taking, taking and taking some more from professionals, books, the internet, other parents, and the knowledgeable people at the health food store, perhaps I am finally in a position to give something back. A strange and audacious idea, but we've come a long way around here!
When RB was 2 1/2 and still not talking, I started getting a little nervous, so naturally I googled the problem. And always, when you google “speech delay” the first ten sites that pop up diagnose your child with autism. So I kept an open mind  and started clicking on links. Every site I looked at gave me the same handful of signs to look out for: speech delay, lack of eye contact, lining things up, repetitive rocking, inability to smile socially. At that time, aside from the speech delay, RB exhibited none of these other symptoms, so I shrugged my shoulders and figured he'd talk when he was ready.
There's a saying that if you've seen one child with autism, you've seen ONE child with autism. As it turns out, RB had lots of symptoms, just not some of the super-common ones. If I'd known what to look for, he'd have been diagnosed sooner. And he's not alone on this. So I'm going to share, for the benefit of anyone trying to puzzle this thing out, some of the lesser-mentioned warning signs that my own child exhibited:
  • Seeking out or avoiding sensory experiences (Poop smearing! Lucky me...).
  • Not seeming to know how to play with toys, or just not being interested in them.
  • Doing things that are dangerous, without any fear for his own safety (Leisurely solo walks down the side of the highway. Yeesh!).
  • Excessive climbing, or wandering in circles.
  • Attempting to escape the home or classroom to go on solo adventures.
  • Problems sleeping through the night.
  • An excessive inability to accept being told “no” when he wants something (AKA perseverative behaviour).
  • An unusually high tolerance for pain (Dancing barefoot on broken glass, while bleeding and laughing his head off. I kid you not.).
  • Sudden little bursts of energy that have to be physically let out.
This list is, of course, to be taken with a grain of salt. Many perfectly normal toddlers will do a few of these things, and certainly if you look closely enough at anyone on the planet, you will find symptoms of autism. Still, I hope I've done my part to raise a little bit of awareness today.

Autism is not what you think it is.