A few months ago on tumblr (WHERE ELSE???) I saw this digitally altered version of a picture from one of my etsy listings…
I actually appreciated it because the person who did the altering credited/linked back to me properly, but I always wondered if people would see it and think it was real. I guess they did because recently someone messaged me asking for a mini version of it. I explained that while I couldn’t make something identical I’d do what I could, and I have to say I’m pretty happy with the result.
mini “♥Feminist♥Killjoy♥” banner in black/indigo/sapphire/violet/fuchsia gradient
This week the “D” in DIY stands for “Download.” I’ve made a new page for all my DIYs, you can find it here or linked above the header.
I’m on a big kick right now to finally get some art up in Gwen’s room. I’ve ordered a couple things and I’ve got plans to make a couple things. I’ve been looking for an alphabet poster, but I couldn’t find one that I liked enough to spend a bunch of money on (especially once I factored in shipping costs). I decided to just make one myself and I’m going to share it with you! Mine is dark green but I’ve also made a light version, and as a bonus for cursive haters, Helvetica versions of both as well.
2. Print the poster out. You could do this yourself if you have a decent printer and want a smaller poster, or have it done for you. I had mine printed out at Staples and it was easy, cheap and fast. (note: the posters are 18″ X 24″, which is the smallest size Staples offers for poster printing.)
3. Hang it on your baby’s wall and get alphabetizing!
If you print out an alphabet poster I’d love to see it ~in action~, so please leave me a comment with a pic or link, tweet/instagram @taniewanie with the hashtag #unicornparade, email me or post a pic on the facebook page! Or if green isn’t your thing I can also make these available for download in other colours (upon request).
Last week I posted that I was going to start going on walks on the Seawall with Gwen in the mornings, and I have to say so far it’s been a big success (in spite of the weather turning to crap). I’ve gone every day it hasn’t rained in the morning, even when I didn’t really want to. Gwen was really good on all these walks, on the big walk I had to stop & feed her a couple of times, as well as perform some ~al fresco~ diaper changes, but she slept through the majority of all three.
Sunset Beach to English Bay
This is the same route as the family walk we did on Good Friday. It’s pretty short, which was perfect last Tuesday because I had to be home by nine-thirty. Since Sym was at her dad’s I left the house before eight, and actually met up with them and walked Sym to school before heading back up the hill. total distance (including to & from the Seawall from my house): 3.5km
English Bay to Lumberman’s Arch
This is the big walk, the one I always used to do with Sym and wasn’t sure I’d be able to do yet. I decided to try it on Wednesday, and it was actually a breeze (although I learned some valuable lessons about drinking a huge coffee at the start of the walk and forgetting to eat breakfast). I also did this walk yesterday (Monday).
total distance: 10.5km
Sunset Beach to Gastown
On Thursday it was supposed to rain, and I was worried about getting caught in a downpour with a grumpy baby, miles from civilization. I chose this route because instead of going around Stanley Park it goes around part of the city, but it’s actually my least favourite as it mostly passes marinas & condos (boring). I did come off the Seawall pretty close to Taylor’s office, so I was able to meet him and walk home together, which was nice. total distance: 8km
What I Did
This weekend was almost entirely filled with one thing: tearing my dining room apart.
When I was still working the dining room (really the “dining corner” in my open-plan apartment) was strictly for the daycare kids. Little kid table, little kid chairs, cupboards full of little kid toys and little kid art on the walls.
After my maternity leave started the dining room found a new use: JUNK STORAGE. All the boxes and bins of things I didn’t know what to do with cluttered up the space, and when I added in a grown up-sized table and chairs it just became even more crowded and messy. I’ve been developing a lot of nebulous plans on ways to make it into a better looking and better organized space for adults AND kids once I go back to work in the fall (unless we win the lottery in the next five months, fingers crossed), and this weekend I decided to just GET TO IT.
I’d already made a little progress- in addition to painting the table & chairs, I’d had Sym empty out all the cupboards daycare toys, throw away anything broken or damaged and put everything else in a single bin that’ll go out to the storage room until September.
On Saturday I went through the kid craft cupboard and threw away everything crappy (ie everything but a stack of coloured paper, a box of 64 crayons and some pompoms). Once all the cupboards were empty I moved them out of the dining room area- one is going to be painted green and moved into Sym’s room, the other I already sold on craigslist for a cool $25. I also took down all the drawings on the walls. Once I was done I had almost a clean slate of a room…
The downside being that I’d actually just moved most of the stuff into the living room.
Anyway, now that the room is cleared I’ve been filling all the holes and dents in the walls in preparation for painting. I’m going to do it the same light yellow-green as the living room, and mount a couple Expedit shelves on the walls as fauxdenzas. Right now they are being bookcases in the office and are full of Taylor’s comics, but I moved the huge Lack bookcase out of Sym’s room into the hallway (which is why I’m painting that one cupboard green for her room) and Taylor is going to move his comics there. It’ll hold sixteen comic boxes, plus it has space on top for our board/card games, freeing up more shelf space for video games. I’m also going to be making Taylor a SUPERDESK three meters long and streamlining my side of the office to just one desk and fewer shelves. Basically there’s a whole furniture moving/rearranging/repurposing thing going on around here!
On Sunday I continued spackling holes in the walls and also the ceiling, as I decided it was time to say goodbye to my rope light chandelier. About half the lights had burnt out and it wouldn’t have gone with my new plan for the dining room. I ended up putting the old fixture back up, but without the hideous shade so for now I just have a bare bulb hanging from the ceiling.
LOVELY. I’m planning on buying a simple shade and also maybe covering the cord and painting the base because WOW even without the ugly shade that fixture is still ugly!
What I Ate
All the work I’ve been doing around the house didn’t leave a lot of time for doing much else this weekend, least of all cooking, but I did make a pretty good dinner on Sunday night. Usually I don’t make anything as it’s just me, but Sym came home early from her dad’s and I woke Taylor up and forced him to eat.
This was just a store-bought potato & leek soup that I zazzed up (yes, “zazzed” is the scientific term). I have a problem with the texturelessness of most store-bought potato soups, so I diced up a potato into 1cm squares and boiled them before adding them into the soup to make it more interesting and then topped it with cheese, bacon and green onions.
What I Watched
On Friday night we spent family night watching Wreck-It Ralph, which we all liked. Taylor did feel like it was manipulating him via childhood nostalgia, but I didn’t play video games as a kid so I didn’t have that problem.
One thing we need to work on for family night is TIMING- we started the movie at a totally stupid time and had to pause it in the middle for half an hour to give Gwen her bath and put her to bed.
Also, today Gwen is five months old! So far she is celebrating by refusing to have her afternoon nap.
Taylor told me that she almost rolled over from her front to her back this morning, which would be a great milestone for her to reach today. This whole rolling onto her front, getting stuck and frustrated then barfing and rubbing her face in the barf is getting pretty tiresome for all of us. I also wouldn’t mind if all the teething & drooling she’s been doing for the last couple months actually showed some results ie TEETH. You can do it, baby!
This has to be my laziest of lazy links posts EVER. I spent so much time out of the house this week that I’ve barely even been online, which is good for my health and stuff but not so good for blogging!
I kind of love this paper bag lantern, it might be the perfect project to replace the slowly dying rope light chandelier in my dining room.
• t-shirt (or onesie, sweatshirt or other item of clothing)
• teddy bear stencil*
• card stock
• exacto knife
• fabric paint
• stencil brush (a round brush with firm bristles and a flat tip)
• plastic cup
1. Wash and dry the t-shirt according to the washing instructions.
2. Download the teddy bear stencil and print it onto card stock. If you need the bear larger or smaller simply change the size percentage you print it at (at 100% the bear is about 7.5″ tall). With an exacto knife, carefully cut out the GREY parts of the design (body, top of head, arms, feet and nose). For the eyes and mouth you can either cut out the ones I designed, draw and cut out your own design (see the stencil for some inspirational ideas!), or leave it plain and freehand a face afterwards.
3. Put a piece of cardboard inside the shirt (to prevent the paint from bleeding through to the back) and tape the stencil in place. If necessary, trim the outside edges of the stencil.
4. Pour a small amount of fabric paint into a plastic cup. Dip the stencil brush into the paint, and starting in the middle of the stencil with a small amount of paint, begin to fill in the design. You should use an up-and-down tapping motion to apply the paint- dragging the brush back and forth across the shirt will cause the fabric to pull and stretch, and can force paint under the stencil, which would give your bear a distorted appearance.
5. Once you’ve finished filling in the bear, leave the shirt to dry for about 15-30 minutes, then carefully remove the stencil. At this point you can use a regular paintbrush to fill in any spots that may have been missed with the stencil brush, or freehand a face if you didn’t stencil one. Don’t worry if your edges aren’t perfect or your bear isn’t totally filled in, it will still be very cute!
6. Allow the paint to dry completely and wash & dry your shirt according to the fabric paint directions.
I used a white t-shirt and black paint (ie the most BORING combination on the planet) for this project because it was what I had on hand, but I think this bear would look cute in/on all kinds of different colours! If you use this stencil to make something for your little one I would love to see the results, so please leave me a comment with a pic or a link to your bear shirt, tweet/instagram me with the hashtag #unicornparade, email me or post a pic on the facebook page (I hope I’ve given you enough options, haha)!
This is my very first stencil design, so I hope you all like it. If you have any ideas on how I could improve any future stencils please let me know.
*This stencil is free for personal use ONLY! Please don’t use my design to make products to sell, that’s stealing & rude as hell.
The first spring/summer that I lived in this neighborhood I had a little ritual I’d do with Symphony (who was about 18 months old at the time). Every morning after breakfast we’d get dressed and I’d take her for a walk around the Seawall in her stroller. We’d head down to English Bay (stopping to grab a snack for the walk) and go around Stanley Park, past Second and Third Beaches, Siwash Rock and under the Lion’s Gate Bridge. We’d go as far as Lumberman’s Arch, and then we’d cut through the park towards Lost Lagoon and come out at Georgia St and head home. We’d get back just in time for Sym to have lunch and her afternoon nap.
It’s one of my fondest memories of her toddlerhood, and when I was pregnant with Gwen I was very much looking forward to starting a similar ritual with her, and after our family walks on this weekend I have extra impetus. Usually I wake up in the morning with terrible back pain, the sort of pain that makes it difficult to even lift my baby out of her crib, but on Saturday after our walk I woke up with hardly any pain at all, and it was the same on Monday. I obviously need to get out and be more active, and since I’d rather eat glass than start going to the gym again, restarting my morning mommy & baby Seawall walks is the best plan.
Now that spring break is over, as the nice weather holds Gwen & I can walk Sym to school in the morning and then continue on to the Seawall from there. I doubt if I’ll be able to tackle my old route right away; it’s about 11km and I’m SUPER out of shape, our weekend walks were only about 4km and I was pretty toasted afterwards. We’ll see how it goes, I guess. Anyway, the more often I walk the better shape I’ll be in so the further I can go!
These are the only pictures I have from one of these walks, on a day (May 15th, 2003) that turned crappy and started raining so instead of going all the way around I cut back to Lost Lagoon from Second Beach. Sym and I were such tiny babies then!
Where I Went
On Good Friday and Easter Sunday we took family walks around the Seawall. On Fridasy Sym was at her dad’s so it was just the Taylor, me and Gwen, but on Sunday it was all four of us.
If I’d been using my brain I would have asked someone to take a picture of all three of us in our navy/cream sweaters. OH WELL.
Again, I didn’t get a picture of all of us, but pics with me & both my girls and none of us looks terrible? A PRIZE MORE VALUABLE THAN GOLD.
What I Did
You would think that, being 36, I’d have this Easter celebration thing sorted out, but one holiday is all I can handle and tbh I’ve really been focussing more on Christmas for the last few years. I wish we could have an Easter egg hunt like we did when I was a kid, but owning sneaky dogs means we can’t do it indoors and sharing a backyard means we can’t do it outdoors. The Easter Bunny understands this and just leaves baskets of treats & toys in the girls’ bedrooms. Sym got candy, a plush Hello Kitty dressed as a lamb and a new shirt, and Gwen got a couple toys, including this fantastic lamb that I’m obsessed with.
Both girls received orange shirts with little hand painted bunnies, cleverly rolled and tied to look like carrots.
I told you, I’m obsessed with the lamb!
What I Ate
I had all these big plans for making a fancy Easter dinner, but due to some problems at the office taylor had to work almost the whole weekend, so in the end there wasn’t really any point (plus I forgot to go grocery shopping…). Instead we just had BLTs and lemonade, and it was probably better than any fancy dinner would have been (and less clean up, too).