Thread and Wood

Christmas for us and our extended families does not usually include gifts- something that took me a while to get used to but that I now greatly appreciate. With family descending for the first time for the holidays however, our niece and nephew in Ottawa took time out of university studies/coop work terms to craft some beautiful handmade things. I was the recipient of a wonderful hand embroidered fleece hat from my niece (a hat that has saved my bacon more than once this cold winter) and a hand lathed pen from my nephew made of tulip wood.

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By the end of our gift exchange, everyone had received a hand crafted ballpoint pen, fountain pen or mechanical pencil tailor made for them. Jeff’s pencil is the curvy one in mahogany third from the left below and my pen is on the right.

Life On Van Island

Life On Van Island How many 22 year olds do you know spend their spare time developing such skills?




Another Kitchen

MondayFor Christmas, I designed and Jeff built this play kitchen for our niece and nephew. We’re quite proud of our efforts and I particularly love that we used wood from our old kitchen cupboards to build it. I think a certain pair of young chefs enjoy it, too.

Life on Van Island Life on Van Island

Life on Van Island Life on Van Island

O, Suzanni

MondayI fell in love with a blue and green five Suzanni print fabric six years ago. I tracked it down and bought it. It sat in my office/sewing room for five years. Three weeks ago, it finally became cushions. I don’t know why I was so scared to tackle this particular piece but I’m so glad I did.

While trolling Home Sense in Abbotsford in mid June, I found the blue and white striped cushion on super clearance. Thankfully, my hunch that they would work together was right. I still have a chair to recover and a few more cushions to sew but life is slowly being breathed back into our living room following the renovation! It’s amazing how much personality fabric brings, and how certain fabric patterns make me happy. Is there fabric that makes you happy?

In the Pink

Last weekend, while on the mainland, we met our new niece. The day before we left, I decided she needed some additions to her wardrobe with custom embellishment. With a bit of ribbon and a few butterflies, here’s what I cam up with. I love my nephews dearly but it turns out that sewing “in the pink” is great fun.

DIY Wedding

Here are some more photos of the wedding we went to last weekend. I was pretty involved in the preparations (from doing all the flowers to helping the bride pick out a dress) and Jeff created the ingenious cardboard tube vases that held the flowering branches at the outdoor “altar” and did 101 other tasks behind the scenes. Here’s what we helped create:

The part that made me most nervous – making the bride’s bouquet. It was a rustic hand-tied bunch of white hydrangeas, Queen Anne’s lace, pink and green lisianthus, purple scabiosa, cream stocks, ivy and lime green puff balls. Against the bride’s eggplant purple dress, it was very pretty and I was very pleased with how it turned out.
What kind of boutonniere do you make for a groom allergic to most flowers? A green one. Thankfully, it looked great against his purple tie and shirt.
Jeff’s aunt, another cousin and I made the centerpieces out of thrift-store clear glass vases, greens from our gardens, mystery purple flowers from my garden, pink tulips and yellow ranunculus. The mantle was simple – just votives and ivy.
The groom cut wood disks for under the centerpieces. My mom sewed table runners out of sheer curtains the bride found at Value Village. A trunk from our maple tree (trimmed several years ago and stashed in the garage) became the place cards. And the wedding favours? S’mores ingredients for the bonfire that happened after dinner.

The groom fabricated the fantastic cupcake stand out of wood disks and a brass frame. The cupcakes were from Lynne’s Lovecakes in Chilliwack and they were delicious. The icing was the best icing I’ve ever had – light, smooth, not grainy and not sweet. They tasted as good as they looked.



The bouquet wilted during the heat of the wedding but perked up once it got back into water. It survived our day-long trip to Ikea and got home, 2 days later, looking fairly fresh.


I don’t have pictures but we also did two huge arrangements of Solomon’s Seal, pink snapdragons, green bells of ireland and a mass of other greens for the front of the “altar”. It was great fun… and I’m happy it’s over!