Monday, 7 November 2011

Little Projects, Big Projects and things in Between

Anytime we tackle something, whether it is big or small, it is a project. This week held it's share of projects for sure. For our family there are three things from this week that stand out. A fun new cross stitch, a trip to the museum and FINALLY getting our bed upstairs.

Little Project

I'll start here as this is the one I want to talk about the most...

Early in the week I found a cute pin on Pinterest (if you don't know this site you must check it out, it's virtual bulletin boards where you can "pin" almost any picture from almost any page). Anyways, I saw cute pin of a cross stitch. I followed the pin back to it's source and found it to be a very easy and adaptable pattern.

I hadn't stitched in a long time, over 5 years, and I could actually recall the last time a stitched a stitch, May 24th, 2006 (during my induction the day before my first child was born). I did though recently clean out my sewing basket to make way for the perfect project when it presented itself. Well, it presented itself in the form of a "family portrait" where you stitch all your family members.

I love that the pattern was printable and FREE and very customizable so I was able to have a lot of fun with it and add some of our own personality/flair to it.

If you would like to check out this pattern for yourself click here. It should be no surprise though that this gem of a pattern was found at

Once I printed off the pattern sheets it was time to get down to business. By business I mean picking colours, arranging a hoop and deciding on placement.

I decided that I would put all 5 family members and our dog and our cat onto this particular cross stitch. I started with myself in the middle so that would give a centre starting place. I then decided on the placement of the rest of the family.

I worked with 14 count Aida cloth and for all cross stitches I used 2 strands of DMC floss and for all outlining backstitches I used one strand. Everyone stands 2-4 squares apart from widest point to widest point. The order in which I stitched was Mamma, Daddy, Vik, Max, Eve, Cat, Dog, Name. I did the outlining for each character as they were completed.

Personalizing this cross stitch was a lot of fun. I am quite pleased with all the little hidden things in there that I know about. Some of these are: Daddy is wearing a shirt that says "Rock" with a lighting bolt on it, Vik is wearing his favourite red "Mario" hat, Max has a little cow lick and the colours on Eve's dress match a sleeper she has.

For the pet's hair, daddy's and mine I also used 3 strands instead of 2. I figured it would give a little more dimension to it and it allowed me to get a bit more creative. I have some light blond highlights so I used 2 strands of brown and one of yellow. For Daddy I used 2 strands dark brown and 1 black. For the pets I used three different shades as they are mixed hair colours. It's the little details like that which made this the most fun for me.

A few other customizations I made were on the heights of everyone. I added a row in Daddy's legs and as well in Vik's. I then took away a row of Max's legs and then a row each in Eve's dress and legs. This was crucial, otherwise all the children would have been the same height and well, that just wouldn't do.

Upon seeing the finished project as well you may be able to distinguish that there are three different skin tones represented. I, of course, am the lightest and Daddy is the darkest and the kids are a tone somewhere in between.

If you do decide to tackle this project you will find that the main pattern does not include a pattern for the letters. I, of course, went to google and found this Cross Stitch Writing Tool. You choose your font, tell it what you want and it creates the pattern for you. Very cool.

TA it is in a frame. Not a very good frame though, this is mostly to keep it safe from little hands. Ideally I want a frame with a nice mat so that the picture can be nicely centred.

Medium Project (a.k.a. project museum)

On Saturday a mummy group friend and I got together with our brood of children and hit our local museum. I LOVE this museum. It has a little bit of everything, rocks, dino bones, history and my favourite dioramas galore.

There were some ups and downs to the adventure but all in all it was a great time. Max had the most trouble as the reason why I love the museum, the life size dioramas, was the reason I began to really dislike it. Max wanted to get out of the stroller and climb up on each and every one. Other than that it was a very fun time.
See those guardrails really aren't enough to keep culture hungry preschoolers at bay.
Highlights were the polar bear, the underwater room, the bat cave and visiting the nonsuch (a big ship the kids can go onto-but not really for kids so again, bit of a tease there). I didn't get any pictures on the nonsuch because I was too busy making sure Max didn't fall overboard or wreck any of the old delicate rope.

The whole thing took about an hour and a half which also meant an hour and half of cardio pushing my stroller around. The best part of the day however was at night as Vik was drifting off to sleep he pops up and says, "I really had fun at the museum mum, I liked the polar bears and the sun and the boat". Right there. That is why I do what I do and why it makes me so happy.

Evelyn and Mamma hangin' out at the Museum

Big Project...Operation get the bed upstairs

Although this project took less than an hour I call it a big project because it required power tools. Anything requiring power tools in my opinion is a big project. 

Back Story: Our house is old, the stair way going upstairs is very tight, narrow, small, etc. A queen box spring would just not fit. We ended up making do for the longest time and eventually got rid of the box spring we had. Great grandma Sanford though gave us a mattress and an uber nice bed frame at the end of August. Since we couldn't get it upstairs it sat for just over two months in our downstairs hall...

...cue in yesterday. It was rainy so Daddy didn't work and he had his skill saw at home so he got to work cutting out parts of the stairway ceiling. It was a tight fit but WE DID IT!!!! We got the bed upstairs and set up. Seriously, it was one of the best sleeps I have had in a long time. The bed is also crazy high up, especially since before it was right on the floor.

 I LOVE MY NEW BED!!! Sorry for yelling, but really, it is a great bed and I'm so happy to have my hallway back. 

Now I just need Daddy to close up the hole in my closet floor from doing this project and we will be all set. This is just one of many fall/winter renovations to take place. I am looking forward to Daddy slowing down work a bit more and being home with us. 

Sorry no pix of this project. My room is definitely not picture ready.

Well, there you have it, three projects from our busy week. All making me equally happy.

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