Thursday, July 31, 2008

Making a Kilt

I attempted to make Liam a kilt today. I hauled out the fabric, which my sister had gotten for me at a yard sale some years ago. It's Royal Stewart, which anyone can wear, regardless of your family or clan. I was nervous to try it, because I haven't ever made a Kilt before, but I figured I could try, at least!

I used my handy dandy measuring system. (red yarn, cut to size for his waist, hips, and length)

Liam and Wally were both, for some reason, completely excited that I was doing this project. Ryan and Kyle were most insistent that they did NOT want a "skirt" made for them LOL. They did watch each step with great interest, though.

Wally was a bit a of a nuisance, sitting on the fabric, rucking up my carefully ironed pleats and hem. Maybe he recognized his Scottish heritage in the red tartan fabric. Maybe he wanted his own wee kilt or something. Maybe I'll make him a scarf to match Liam when I am done. Liam took some of the leftover fabric and wore it like a great kilt, just wrapped around and fastened with a belt, as you can see in the picture of him pretending to iron the hem.

I hand sewed the hem, which took about an hour. I made a 3 inch hem, with 3 inches tucked up under, so as he grows taller it can be let down, at least 6 inches, which I highly doubt he would ever need. I also doubled the under apron for extra pleats as he grows. (There's Wally "helping" again) this is when I had a few pleats hand sewn in:

I made 18 1 inch pleats, which I am VERY happy with, but even though I narrowed the waist as I sewed, it still is too loose on him, and I am not quite happy with how it fits him, so I will play with it some more, but for all intents and purposes, it is finished. It took about 3 1/2 or 4 hours, start to finish, hand sewed, no pattern. The waist slides down on him, as you can see, even though I added an extra 1/2 pleat, so maybe a touch of elastic in the waistband will help. (hidden well, of course)

I am quite happy with the pleats, though. They are flat and even and hang nicely.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Fascinating subject, I know, but it's on my mind at the moment, so here we go. My hand mixer died a few months ago. It had been a wedding gift, and lasted many years and served me well. it was similar to this, but this isn't the one I had:

So, when mine finally bit the dust, my Mom bought me one at a thrift store, which whirred away beautifully until you put the beaters in the batter. Then, dead still. not a single turn would come out of that mixer. I am now mixer less, with the exception of a TRUE hand mixer! I found an old egg beater at a yard sale, it's a true antique, much like this one in style, but with a red wooden handle and turning knob.

It's great for beating eggs, but forget cake or anything else.Eggs turn out beautifully light and frothy and tasty when I use it, but cakes, well, it requires far much more effort than I feel a cake is worth hahaha.

I am dreaming of a lovely red or pink Kitchen Aid mixer, which would magically whip up dozens of chocolate chip cookies, wooden spoon and arm strength free, make pastry without worry, and spew out cake batters at an alarming rate. I've been looking at them online and daydreaming about how lovely one would look on my kitchen counter, and forgetting that they cost hundreds of dollars and the practicality in my case just isn't there, for the amount I would use it. I just look at how pretty it is and and say "I want, I want".

However, I know the reality will be that I'll go to Zellers and find one that is reasonably priced and use it for the next 15 years or so, which will turn out cakes and cookies that taste just as delicious as if I'd made them in a sleek, shiny, expensive mixer.

maybe I'll find a pink one.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Plums, Plums, everywhere

Sometimes, I am downright asking for trouble. When I did my grocery shopping, I saw bags and bags of overripe plums in the discount bin. So, Smart me, little miss domestic dreamer, thinks "Oh, I'll make plum preserves!" and I procede to load my cart with two big bags of lovely red plums.

FFWD to late at night, and I was still in the kitchen, ladleing out plum jam and heavy syrup into preserving jars, screwing on lids, and waiting for those "POPS" that mean the jar has sealed.

and the cleanup, oh, the cleanup! somehow, little red spots of jam were EVERYWHERE!! But I finally finished, and cleaned it all up, and now the jam looks so pretty, all lined up in the sparkly jars. I hope this does not lead to other moments of insanity, when I see the beets in season, or the pickling cucumbers......

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kyle's Ant farm

Kyle got an ant farm for a christmas gift. He sent away his money for them, and has been waiting impatiently ever since. The ants arrived on Friday~ all curled up in balls, dead. They'd been mailed more than a month before they arrived! poor little ants :( and poor Kyle, who had been waiting all this time for his ants! I called the company, and they said they'd send him replacement ants for free, as soon as the weather is a bit cooler. Hopefully, they come more quickly this time!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Not so proud to be a Canadian

Most days, I am a happy Canadian. I love the country God placed me in~ the people, the scenery, the food, the freedom. However, lately I have been not such a proud Canadian. Canada's highest civilian honour is the order of Canada
described by the Order of Canada web page as
"The Order of Canada is the centrepiece of Canada’s honours system and recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. The Order recognizes people in all sectors of Canadian society. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country. The Order of Canada’s motto is DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (They desire a better country)."
This year, one of the recipients is a well known murderer. He has slaughtered thousands and facilitated the holocaust of millions of Canadians by ripping them from the womb where God placed them.It is sad to realize that this man himself is a survivor of the German holocaust at Auchwitz, and yet he propogates "safe" abortions, where you can "rest and relax" after "the procedure". I wonder does he realize that he himself is the man who is flicking the gas switch as it were?
He is a convicted felon, having been arrested in 1969 for opening an abortion clinic in Montreal. He boasted in 1973 that he had performed over 5,000 abortions.
The day that Canada rewards this atrocity is the day that I am no longer a proud Canadian.
You can add your name to the petition to say NO. Stand up and show that the Order of Canada isn't for murderers and felons!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Scottish festivals and Family stuff

We wen to the Embro Highland games on Tuesday for Canada day. Well, Liam, Kyle and I did. We had a great time, but I forgot my camera in the car, which was with G and Ryan, so no pictures :(.

The boys got to help shear a sheep with a 100 year old sheep shearing device, which looked much like the one seen here but with a hand crank. They got to put the wool in a huge sack, and keep a bit as well as had a bracelet made from the wool. The man shearing said it really wasn't worth keeping sheep, because one sheep produces about 8-9 lbs of wool, and wool is only worth 15 cents a pound. Kind of sad, because when we purchase something made of pure wool, it is waaaay more than .15 a pound ha ha. The man also told the children to pat the sheared sheep, and told them that the oil they felt on their hands is what made the sheep worth keeping, since companies make skin creams and such with that oil.

Today, Kyle, Liam and I went to the Kincardine Scottish Festival. Where my camera would not even turn ON, although this time I remembered to bring it! It worked perfectly fine after the festival, though. Ryan and G don't enjoy the festivals like we do, so they go off and do their own thing. Liam was thrilled that we found a discount booth , where he got a "real" Scottish bow tie for only twenty five cents! So, he was wearing his "kilt" (a thrift store kilt, not the one in the other post), his "sporran" (a leather indian pouch) a dress shirt, tall socks, dress shoes, his bow tie and a black eBay sunhat. Quite a picture he made! In fact, he made SUCH a picture, that I was approached by a woman from Ontario Power asking if she could use him as a model!! She took a few shots of him grinning his big tooth missing grin by the Ontario Power booth and I had to sign some release forms.

We tried the cabre toss, where Kyle had HIS picture taken by a photographer from the newspaper, so he'll be in the paper. I got toasty burned, and oh so tired, but had a great time, although someone stole our money within the first five minutes. I was pretty upset about that, because I only had that cash and nothing else, for drinks and such while we were there. I am just sooo thankful that there was only money in that pocket, and nothing important like drivers licenses or something!!

On the way home, we stopped in Goderich for some beach time. It was gorgeous out and the boys had fun splashing and throwing rocks.