Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Creativity: Hoo loves you?

I am getting ready for my birthday party on Saturday. There will be about 12 kids there which is going to be awesome. It's going to be all about them. We are going to play games, do crafts and I am planning on telling some stories.

I have really come to embrace my role as an aunt. Being an aunt is not a consolation prize for me, it's not second best. It is the best! I get to be there for my nieces and nephews in a different way than their parents can. It's a real privilege. So all that to say I decided to make owl favors with candy in them for the kids.


I found the idea on my friend Mel's blog called Needle and Nest Design. Check out the tutorial here.

I got craft paper from the post office to use for the owls.

I sewed up the edges of the owls which worked great.

Then I painted the owl with some white paint and then illustrated the owl with a sharpie. 

Here is my friend Lisa and I making the owl's. It was a blast.

William was at my house tonight which was awesome!

I just love my nieces and nephews. I can't wait to see them on Saturday!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Creativity: Reupholstering Chairs

After my success with reupholstering my ottoman I was itching to try something else. I have been looking for kitchen chairs to reupholster for a bit but nothing was working. Then my friend Becka facebooked me and said she had some chairs that she got for free. They are perfect and you will see why. They weren't that hard to reupholster. I just had to unscrew the chair pad and rip of the material. Then I stapled the new material on. I found blue damask material for $4 a meter.

Here is the finished product.

Here is the original. 

This is why they were a perfect. They match the table!

I feel so blessed to have new chairs. Its hard sometimes living in a rental because you don't have complete say over the decor. I try my best though to make it homey and I hope my roommates appreciate it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Social Justice: Language

Today I had four hours of meetings about poverty issues in Peterborough. I am at the policy / decision making level for poverty issues in this city. It's good work and work that I feel called to. But there can be a disconnect to those living in poverty when you are at that level.

What I am realizing through these meetings that we need to be careful about language. I work for Community Living Peterborough. It was drilled into my head there that you don't say an autistic person or a down syndrome person. You say a person living with autism. I needed to correct someone today that instead of saying poor people we need to say a person living in poverty.

Why is this important? It may just seem like semantics. I think we need to be careful about how we label people. This person living in poverty is so much more than just poor. They may be creative, or struggle with a disability or be a son or daughter, a mom or dad. When we use derogatory statements like "poor people," we can make sweeping judgments about them like they are lazy when in fact they may be dealing with a debilitating disability.

One of the challenges we are having with the Mount project is that the most vulnerable people (those who are homeless or in bad housing) are often the hardest to house. Why is that? Well I am just learning this myself but from what I understand it is for several reasons. One is that they lack resources. People who receive Ontario Works only have a $295 shelter allowance. There is very few housing providers that can afford to house people for that amount.

Another issue with housing the most vulnerable is the fact that addiction issues often times but not always come along with living in poverty. Those living with mental illnesses are often prone to addictions cause quite frankly they just want something to help them feel better. This is my non- professional understanding of addiction. So along with addiction comes safety issues for people who may be using drugs or other substances.

Our challenge as the Vision / Governance group for the Mount initiative is how to we create a community that is thriving and includes people living in poverty. We aren't going to get it right all the time and I know this. But I think it begins with little things, even in the way we describe people who live in poverty. Lets choose our words wisely.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Family: Playtime with William

Yesterday I went to the park with my brother Michael and my nephew William. We had lots of fun.

Have a great day!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Creativity: French seams

It was suggested by a friend that I try doing French seams in the inside of my tote bags. Essentially it means that you don't see a raw edge on the inside. I went to the university of Youtube and found this video on sewing French seams.

The tote is just little but I think I will give it to a friend as a lunch bag or whatever she wants to use it for.

Here is what the inside looks like with the French seam. It is nice and tidy with no raw edges.

The next thing I am going to try with tote bags is how to box out the bottom of the bag.

Happy Crafting!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Family: Snow day with Auntie

It was a snow day here in Peterborough, ON along with the rest of Ontario. We have piles of snow, so much that my roommates are making a massive fort in the backyard. I spent the morning with my nieces and nephews which was loads of fun. We made crafts, played in the snow and made a fort (not as big as the one being built outside.) I just love these little ones.

 Ivy making crafts
Desmond and his toothy grin

We played outside and had lots of fun. 

Desmond was determined to fit inside!

 William my other nephew kept running away from the camera.

Khora and Anika were there too but I didn't get pictures of them. What a great day had by all. It was an Auntie's day. Auntie Melody, Auntie Andrea and Auntie Laura all loving on these little ones.

I love being an aunt!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Creativity: Reupholstering an Ottoman

I am so excited! I reupholstered my first piece of furniture. My roommate had this ottoman that she was going to sell on Kijiji but I kind of started using it. I thought it was really ugly so when she asked me if I wanted it I said no. That was until I realized I could reupholster it. I already had a piece of fabric that was perfect for it. Below is the finished product.

Below is the ugly orange cover that was on it. I think it was quite the transformation.

I didn't know where to start so I called my sister-in-law to see if I could bring the ottoman to Hamilton in a big suitcase and have her show me how. But she said that Youtube was probably my best bet. So I went to the university of Youtube and found this video. She showed me how to do the corners by tucking them underneath and then stapling them on the bottom (see below.)

I seriously did this project in less than half an hour. Once I understood the process the execution didn't take long. For my next project I want to reupholster some dining room chairs.

Happy Crafting!