Saturday, October 31, 2009


It's halloween again! It seems like it's only been a few weeks since last halloween.

The costumes this year were based on a Pinocchio theme, as you can see. I really loved how the costumes turned out, but I have to admit that it was a lot of effort, and probably not really worth it, if I'm honest. Luke had a meltdown when I was putting the face paint on his hair, and I almost thought we would never get out of the house. However, the kids looked adorable, and we had fun at the MASA carnival.

Luke enjoying his popcorn. He just enjoyed watching what was going on and joining in with the games (including pumpkin bowling, cake walk, fishing pond, and colouring)

Many people thought Lainey was a skunk, which I can completely understand, because I forgot to add a tail. Oh well. If they could just put two and two together they'd realise that she was Figaro.

Unfortunately, Trev was working, so he couldn't come with us (what a surprise!) but we have some fun stuff lined up for the coming holidays, so it's okay.
By the way, you can really tell winter is on it's way. We had a nice snow storm last week and it's really quite chilly. But not so chilly that it keeps us inside- we still get out to play once or twice a day. You have to when you live in a little apartment, unless you want to go bald early!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

bonkers about conkers!

Have you ever collected conkers? Or better still, had a conker fight? Conkers are the fruit of a horse-chestnut tree, and are one of my favourite autumn traditions.

We always used to go gathering them with dad. He would throw sticks to knock them out of the tree, and the kids would gather them up. Apparently nobody does this in America, because the tree I went to had hundreds of conkers, already open, on the ground! So I didn't even have to lift a finger- Luke did all the work (and loved every minute of it)

I really want to have a fight, but I keep getting my needle stuck in the conker, so I haven't got it threaded yet. But until I do, I can enjoy the sight of these shiny beauties in my home, reminding me of my childhood.
On another's the apron I made for my Trev's mom for her birthday. Not a great photo, I know.

And finally, just because I can't resist. And who could resist those cheeks?!

The dress turned out ten times better than expected. If only she'd keep the headband on...

Friday, October 16, 2009

autumn fun, and hats.

Autumn is so beautiful. I've always loved it. I think I appreciate it even more now that it's pretty much the only time of year that the temperature is just right for being outside.

Yesterday we decided to make the most of a lovely, sunny afternoon, by getting out and enjoying a walk in the Logan Canyon. We originally planned to do an easy stroll along the riverside, but changed our minds and went for a more challenging hike up to the wind cave. It's a cool kind of rock arch, quite high up. Trev's friend Rajendra came with us, and we talked about the differences between American and Indian cultures. It was lovely.

Here we are near the beginning of the 2 mile trail.

Rajendra carried Luke for quite a bit of the way. He needed something to slow him down- his great long legs meant that one of his strides matched about 5 of ours (mine)

I carried Lainey for most of the way, but near the top, I just got so tired...I think you could barely even tell I was Trev took over for a while.

We made it! And yes I am a little red in the face. So out of shape. But we enjoyed gorgeous scenery from the top and were refreshed by a cool wind.

Look at these colours. Just beautiful. I just love the colour combinations that nature comes up with!

Okay, now let me just promise that I am not going to be a crazy hat lady who posts pictures of her hats every day. Just one last time, though... here are a few of my finished pieces.

This one is for a friend's baby. I used anew pattern and the sizing was off so the one pictured didn't fit the (week old) baby. I am making the next size up for her.

Just experimenting with colour here- what do you think? Okay, or too....clashy?

And this last one is extra warm because the yarn is a wool blend (but it's soft not itchy)

That's it for hats for a while. On to other things from my ever-growing list of stuff to try. How will I ever find time to try everything?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

She is a girl, after all...

I've started to get so excited about dressing Lainey up. I'm sure you've been looking at my pictures of her and thinking 'why does Sian dress her so plain?' or 'Why does it seem like she's always dressed as a boy?' I think it's taken a while for me to realize that you can really have fun with a girl, and there are so many cute clothes and fabrics out there. Like this funky fabric that I found on clearance a while ago. I think it was under 2 dollars for about 3/4 yard.

I decided to make a dress, since that's what Lainey is lacking at the moment.

And then I made a matching hairclip, to go on her headband. I love how the clip turned out! It really echoes the pattern on the fabric. I found out how to make the flowers using this tutorial.

The pattern is Simplicity 4243. It was quite easy to make, the trickiest bit was applying the binding to the armholes. Apart from that it was simple. I have another one of these dresses cut out and ready to go, in a different fabric.
Girls really are fun!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

pjs to pjs

For Christmas last year, my lovely sister Sophie gave me some cute froggy pyjamas. I loved them and wear the bottoms frequently, but I never really like to wear the tops- they're always too warm and I prefer a t shirt.

Then one day, I got the idea in my head to turn it into pjs for Lainey. There wasn't enough fabric for trousers so I just used green flannel to make those. I used the buttons, hem and cuffs of the original shirt.

I did make the sleeves up and they came out a little long. Better than too short, though, right?

American West Heritage Center

While my mum was here, we took a trip to the American West Heritage Center, which is right here in Logan. They have various different activities at different times of year; our intention was to enjoy a walk through the corn maze.

We obviously picked a good time to go because we were the only people there. I'm not lying- there was no one else in sight and we had everything to ourselves! Perfect for a trip with toddler and baby :-)

A kind employee started up the 'train' just for us and we went around the spooky track several times.

Then Luke got to have his first solo pony ride. The little pony was so cute and just his size. He seemed slightly bewildered at first but he loved it!

Then on to the corn maze. It was a perfect day for it. Nice and warm but not too hot. A beautiful blue sky as a backdrop to the beautiful, tall, green stalks of corn. The maze was a little longer than expected but we had a pushchair (stroller) for each of the kids so it was okay. (Just working up an appetite for our yummy dinner at Sizzler later that night)

Mum wondering which way to go.

Map reader Trev feels confident in his navigational skills. Actually he was quite impressive.

Lainey being her usual adorable self.

After we completed the maze, we decided to have a quick look at the super slide. I couldn't resist- it looked so fun! I probably should have tested it by myself before going down with Luke because you do get very buried under the hay at the end, but he didn't seem to care. He became a super slide junkie and went down with each of us in turn.

Mum took a little extra persuasion, as she was wearing a skirt. But I knew she really wanted to try it out :-)

Before we left, we checked out the little goats in the petting area. They were just adorable!

All in all, we had a really fun afternoon. Thanks for treating us, mum!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Combining blogs

For a while now, I have been keeping a separate blog of all my 'crafty stuff'. I have now decided to combine my blogs together into just one. So, you will start to see more of my little projects on here.

I have been so inspired by crafts and cooking that other people do, and I would love to pass on the ideas. I found that nobody was really reading my other blog and it felt a bit pointless.

If you think this is a bad decision, please tell me! I will see what responses I get. I've imported all the posts into this blog so if you want, you can go back and look at them.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Luke crafts!

Look at what Luke and mummy made! We've hung them in his bedroom window for all to admire!

I just downloaded some shapes (you could draw freehand) traced them onto thick paper and cut them out. Then Luke got to work painting them. He didn't completely cover them, so I went over the white bits with crayon. Mounted them on coloured paper, and all done!

If you are looking for fun ways to involve your children in crafts, I have found The Crafty Crow to be a great source of ideas.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

playgrounds with nanna!

At the end of September, we were blessed with a visit from my mum. She flew from Kansas, where she had been visiting my step-sister Jane and family. We were so excited to have her here and tried to make the most of it by getting out and doing some fun things.

We visited Logan's little zoo, which is one of Luke's favourite places. They have some little monkeys near the entrance, and as soon as Luke saw them he got a huge smile on his face and walked around clapping and laughing for a few minutes! Here you can see Luke and nanna trying to spot the turtles in the water-

There is a playground attached to the zoo, so we played there for a while.

In fact, the weather was so lovely that week, we spent quite some time on various playgrounds.

I will be posting more about my mum's visit, I am just breaking it down into smaller chunks. Both of the kids are poorly this week, so they need me more.
PS. The kids have quite a few 'grandmas' (Trev's grandmas and great-grandma are called their grandma as well) so that is why we chose to use the name 'nanna' for my mum. It's kind of an english term, so it fits perfectly, don't you think?

dishy dishy!

Hardly groundbreaking stuff, I know, but I do feel a tinsy bit proud of my first dishcloth. It's a cool wavy stitch that I learnt (basically knit one row, then the next row you knit, slip, knit, slip etc. Knit next row, the knit knit slip, knit slip knit slip etc. And repeat!) So easy!
And the back of the cloth comes out all nubbly and textured, which I'm sure will be effective on those left-from-last-night dishes which I seem to find in my kitchen quite frequently these days.
If you are interested in making your own, just google 'knit dishcloth patterns', you will get lots of sites to check out. Or how about these knitted dishtowels? I think they look just lovely, and I'd love to know how absorbent and practical they are.