Felt Friends

My friend Anna asked me yesterday to post some of my felt creations, so this morning I went digging through Sym’s room to find as many as I could.

Original Little Symmie

This is an old/terrible picture, but this is the first felt toy I made for Sym, the original Little Symmie, made from a very simple pattern I designed.

Original Little Taylor

The original Little Taylor, also from my own pattern. He took six hours to make and a couple of months later he vanished completely. The picture is also bad, but if you view it full size you can see the little piercings I painstakingly embroidered with silver thread. Yes, I’m still bitter about him being lost/stolen.


A mermaid from my own pattern.

Blue Bunnies

Blue bunnies, made using patterns from The Cute Book.

Grey Cat

Grey cat, also from The Cute Book, but slightly modified. I also made a Siamese cat in a red coat but I can’t find it.

Two Tadpoles

Two tadpoles, both from The Cute Book, although I modified the pattern for the bottom tadpole.

Sailor Moon Dolls

Sym’s Christmas present last year, Sailor Senshi dolls. These took so long to make, each doll is a different height and has different hair and shoes, requiring separate patterns for each one. ANd so many little details! The cats were also very fiddly to make- Diana (the grey kitten) is only 1″ tall! This year I’m going to complete the set by making the Outer Senshi and Tuxedo Kamen.

Felt Family

The felt family I made for Sym’s birthday this year: new Little Symmie and Little Taylor, and a Little Mommy as well! I used the Sailor Moon, Sailor Chibi Moon and Tuxedo Kamen patterns for the bodies and made new patterns for the clothes and hair (and beard!).

Doe, a Deer

My most recent felt friend, the little doe I made a few weeks ago. The pattern isn’t quite right but it’s a start!

There are a couple more in Sym’s room that I couldn’t find, a weird purple unicorn from a pattern that needs a lot more work, and a really nice ladybug. If I can find them I’ll edit this post to add them in.

As you can see I usually prefer to make my own patterns, but if you’re just starting out some good books are The Cute Book and Cuter Book from Aranzi Aronzo.


They are full of cute, simple patterns and easy instructions. Sym made this “Cuddlies” rabbit from The Cuter Book last night with only a little help from me, although we elected to draw/glue the face rather than embroider it (she doesn’t quite have French knots down yet. Actually, neither do I!).
Sym's Cuddly Bunny
Here are some other books I have, I find they are great for inspiration and Sym loves looking through them!


Felties by Nelly Pailloux, and Zombie Felties by Nicola Tedman and Sarah Skeate.


Cute Dogs: Craft your own Pooches by Chie Hayano, and I just saw there’s another book, Cute Pups: Canine Friends and Accessories, which I’ll have to get!


Cute Stuff, Cute Dolls, Fun Dolls, and Baby Stuff, all from Aranzi Aronzo.

Happy crafting!

Things Change

It seems that every year there’s a time when I have a huge turnover of clients, and that kind of happened today- two of my full time clients gave notice, or rather, gave NO notice, forfeiting their deposits. Now I have just one little girl full time, and four kids part time, who come 1-3 days a week each.

On one hand it sucks, I’m kind of annoyed that these families schemed together like this (and I know they did), and a tiny part of my brain is bugging about money. That part really wants to get bigger and louder, but I’m not going to let it. I’m going to look at the positive side of this: my work day is about to get a lot easier!

1. The kids (and one of the sets of parents) were kind of high-maintenance, needed a lot of attention and had tons of drama.
2. The kids both go to morning preschool, but on alternating days, so I’d have to drop off & pick up one or the other every day, taking all the other kids with me, which was always a huge production.
3. With them gone, I only have two to four kids here. Less kids = less work, less work = less stress, less stress = happier me!

Impulse Shopper

Sometimes I think I should be allowed into stores, because I invariably come home with stuff like this:


Caramilk liqueur. I don’t even know what I’m going to do with this (or conversely, what WON’T I do with this) but I had to have it.

Cherry Chip + Sprinkles

Slightly smashed box of Cherry Chip cake mix (which I’d never even heard of) and red sprinkles. I’ll use these to make doughnuts.


FLUFF. Enough said.

In non-weird food news, yesterday I picked up these two felt craft books: Zombie Felties and Cuter Book. TBH I make my own patterns 90% of the time but I can’t stop buying these books!

Felt Craft Books

Also you may have noticed in my recent webcam pics that even though I said I was going to take down all the birthday party decorations, I just took down the streamers and left the tissue paper pompoms. I just loved them so much! However, it’s just about Christmas decorating time so last night I finally took them down. I didn’t want to just throw them all away, so instead I decided to put them up in the naproom.

A New Home for the Pompom Flowers

Finding a new home for them gives me an excuse to finally make the yellow and purple ones I bought tissue paper for but never had a chance to make, and also frees up the living room ceiling for Sym’s and my Christmas crafts. We’re doing perler bead snowflakes, red/green/white paper bunting and white and silver tissue paper pompoms!

White & Silver Pompom

Rooms to Live In

My apartment is very “open plan,” with the kitchen/dining/living areas all one big awkwardly shaped room. In my current set up, the living room area is sort of tucked into this smallish nook, which is cozy but a little cramped. There is a larger area which has never really been finished- it used to be the library until I took down all the bookcases to make room for the piano, so now it’s more of a music room/office.

Current Set Up

For the past couple weeks I’ve been thinking of switching the main functions of these rooms, and I finally have Taylor on board (his biggest concern seems to be getting speaker stands, guys are so weird!). In this potential new set up the current living room would become a small shared office area for Taylor and myself, with two desks on one side and a wall of storage on the other. The new living room would still have the piano, plus new bookcases, as well as the couch and tv and Taylor’s crucial speaker stands,

Potential Set Up

I think this could really work! With the way it’s set up now there isn’t really room for bookcases anywhere, or a desk for Taylor, or end tables to put your drinks on when you are watching tv so that you don’t have to put your glass on the back of the couch and knock it off about three hundred times in a row (luckily this has only happened with things in capped bottles, empty wine glasses and cups of water), this would solve all those problems. So now I just need a week off and a bucket of money to make it a reality!

Christmas Wishes

Christmas Wishlist

1. Love Me Tender Cookie Cutters, and 2. Matryoshka Measuring Spoon Set, both available at Urban Outfitters; 3. Fox & Forest earrings, from Joanna Rutter; 4. Disaster Life Trading Cards, from The Disaster Life; 5. Neverending Circle Scarf in Cloudy Day, from Ylaine; 6. Reproduction “Victoria” Chair, from Wire Home Furnishing; 7. Custom Specimen Ring (similar to those pictured), size six, from Specimental Design

Just putting this here. In case someone sees it. Who knows, it worked for my Kindle!

365 Days


Yes, it’s been one whole year since I started this blog, how exciting! To celebrate I took this staid image from the internet and gave it a sweet Blingee makeover.

Since it’s the end of November again, that means it’s time to start making near-daily Christmas posts. Taylor already bought some disgusting booze-nog:


“Made with genuine Kentucky Bourbon!” Sick.

And soon I’ll be putting up my tree, which is turning into a huge dilemma for me this year. Since about 2002 I’ve had the same white artificial tree, first with blue ornaments and then red & green. It was pretty cheap and the years have not been kind, and it’s looking scraggly these days. I wanted to rent a live tree from Evergrow, but you can only keep them for three weeks, and since we’ll be out of town for five days it doesn’t make sense. Why pay all that money for a tree you only get to look at for two weeks?

I figured the most logical thing would be to just use my same old tree for another year and get a live one next year, but the thing is, it’s so sparse these days that to make it look nice I have to wrap a hundred or so feet of white garland around it. The white garland is really static-y and I think it’s what’s causing my lights to blow out every year, so like, that’s not safe! I’m pretty much decided that I’ll get a new fake tree, to use the years we’re not home for Christmas, but I can’t decide whether to get a new white one, or get a green one instead.


I was also tempted by a purple one I saw the other weekend but I would have to buy all new ornaments, so I’m practicing my restraint.

Another thing I want to do is start some more holiday traditions that aren’t necessarily centered around Christmas Eve/Day, since every other year Sym is at her dad’s and every third year we go away at Christmas. One tradition from my childhood that I brought back last year was the Christmas Elf, who will of course be making a visit this year. He or she has already picked up a sweet little fawn figurine and book of glittery fairy stickers to tuck into Symphony’s shoes with some candy and treats, date tbd.

A tradition I definitely want to start is having a champagne and doughnuts tree-trimmimg party. I read about it in the December issue of Real Simple but that doesn’t make it any less awesome of an idea.


I’m also making a pre-emptive New Year’s resolution to not be such a tree trimming control freak. Every year I try to get everyone to help but every year they quit in disgust because whenever they put an ornament up I immediately move it to a better spot. This year I’ll wait until the day after to rearrange everything, haha.

Another thing I want to do is MORE NUTELLA. Nutella everything! Did you know that there is a World Nutella Day? There is, and in 2011 it’s on my birthday. When I found out I immediately celebrated by making Nutella hot chocolate (for Sym) and a Nutella americano (for me).

Making Nutella Hot Chocolate & Americano

The red mugs are new; Taylor wanted some smaller ones for coffee and I insisted on a colour that would help flesh out my dish rainbow.

Nutella in the Mug

I just put a teaspoon of Nutella in each mug before adding the hot water/espresso/hot chocolate powder.

Nutella Americano

I was worried this would be too sweet but it was actually more hazelnutty than chocolatey!

Sym + Nutella Hot Chocolate = :D

Finally, lest you think I’ve been focusing on dog paws & boots and neglecting their human counterparts, last night I went down to B2 on Robson Street and bought Taylor a pair of Sorels. Partly because I’m nice, and partly because I was tired of him being crabby about having cold wet feet.

Taylor's Boots

It’s been hard for him to find boots because of his enormous size 13 feet, so I just asked the sales associate to bring me any Sorels in a 13. She came out with just one box and I had a moment of panic when I thought it might be this mysteriously $500 pair, but happily that wasn’t the case. Of course, after I bought them all the snow melted over night, but isn’t that always the case?

Snow Day*

*not a day off due to snow, just a day which happens to be snowy

Let’s start with last night, before the snow. Taylor had worked a fifteen hour shift so he slept all evening so it was just a Mommy and Symmie night. I was too lazy to cook a real meal so we had Scoobi Doo-aghettis and popcorn in her room while watching iCarly and How to be Indie. I know, I know. Mom of the Year, right? Sym had on a cozy cold night outfit so perfect I had to put it on her lookbook.

Symmie Ready for Inside

Doubled up stripey sweaters, pink reindeer waffle leggings and Sumi slippers? It shouldn’t work but somehow it’s awesome.

Of course, her outfit this morning was a little different.

Symmie Ready for Outside

Yes, it’s snowing Vancouver today, but not like that sad amount last weekend. REALLY snowing. I got up earlier than usual to walk Georgie so I could shovel my stairs and the path before the daycare kids started arriving, and I’ve already had to shovel them a second time! Oh, and in spite of my sign the maintenance guy or some other “helpful” person chucked salt all over them again! I don’t understand how they don’t understand what happened when you just dump salt on top of snow- it melts in to water, which, when the salt is used up or IDK shoveled away with the rest of the snow, turns into ice, therefore negating the only purpose of the salt: de-icing! Anyway after I shoveled a second time (I actually use a small dustpan to do it since using a snow shovel in such a confined space is a hassle), I used Kichou’s old retractable leash to put the sign somewhere they can’t help but see it!

They Can't Possibly Miss This

Now we’ll find out once and for all if they are actually illiterate or just unobservant.

The Cost of Doing Business with Cats

Suicide Cat
Claire on Saturday, after getting all $180 of her bloodwork done

The vet called me yesterday with the results of Claire’s blood & urine tests from the weekend, and they weren’t great. She’s gained a bit of weight (1.3 pounds since she was diagnosed) and while her blood sugar has come down a little it’s still too high, as well as being way to low at times throughout the day. Plus, she still has a lot of sugar in her pee. idk she’s a fuzzy mess, basically. Because of the points of low blood sugar the vet didn’t want to increase her insulin dosage, so instead we’re switching her to a different kind of insulin. People insulin.

All My Insulins
Lavender must be the universal colour for diabetes.

On the left we have Caninsulin, for dogs and cats. It’s made from pigs, and costs $10. On the right is Lantus Insulin, for people (and also cats). It costs $70. ARGH. Plus $40 for all new syringes, great just great. The upside is that not only is the new insulin is clearly way bigger, but I also give her less of it at a time, so maybe it’ll even out? And since I’m now getting her meds from the drugstore I don’t have to pay the $15 fee for the sharps box. So it’s all good, right? Right.

She loves me.

Please! Do Not Salt the Stairs!

As I mentioned in my dog boots post, at the first hint of snow my neighborhood goes crazy with the salt. I don’t like it, and I especially don’t like it when they salt my stairs. It just ends up getting tracked into my house and making a mess and really? If there was a lot of snow I could just shovel the stairs. It started snowing a little today so, like every year,, I made a sign:

Signs Everywhere

… Aaaaaaaaaaand two hours later:

Salt Anyway

See all that blue and white stuff that isn’t old dead leaves? Yep. Salt. Sigh. All the time I spent making my awesome sign and APPARENTLY our maintenance dude (not the creepy one, a different one) is illiterate. Now I get to go out in the cold and sweep it all up! Fortunately,

Proud in her Boots and Hoodie

DOG BOOTS. And as you can see, there really isn’t any snow outside anyway, so why all the salt???

Also, I left a bag of trash outside today and we were visited by some Night Ninjas, now in the day!

The Daytime Night Ninja