thrifty & nifty threads: upcycled fashion. #1.

Here's a fun new feature - showing you the crazy sewing/upcycling projects I do around this nest. 

Take this fairly hideous, garish, colourful floral shirt for example.
There was no way in heck I was going to wear that shirt... no sir.  
But a second look at it, and I thought 'maybe a flouncy floral skirt would be cute for summer'.

A snip.a stitch.a stretchy waistband. and seconds later - voila!

Then, just to maximise the upcycling experience (and drag my daughter in on the fashion fun)... I sewed her a simple vest from the top half! 

Two outfits for the 'slice' of one... yee-haw.

(Don't worry, I probably won't make Azriel wear that vest again.... unless she's going to be singing with the Von trapp children.) 

Don't you just love to take something thrifty and re-purpose it into something nifty?

 I sure do!
Upcycling mama,
Mel ;o)


slide.show.sunday. take 37.

Hi friends!  How was your weekend?
Here's how ours went:
 Hudson hugs...
 Sibling puzzle playing...
 baking muffins... again and again... mmMMmmmmm...
 clothing swap with the blogger ladies... like sweet Des here holding our chunk o' hunk!
 ...trying on my 'swap' scores.
Family.dinner.saturdays... celebrating a special Grandpa/Great-Grandpa's birthday!

Fun fun!

Gotta run,
Mel ;o)


April showers ~ bring many hours...

...tucked into our dry lil' nest.
Yes, this week if it wasn't raining, hailing or snowing... it was mainly overcast. 
How do you deal with cabin-fever?
Azriel and I usually read. bake. dance. watch kid's shows. colour. clean.... throw a tantrum

Here's the latest 'play project' we discovered.  Since Azi always loves digging in the sand... I figured for 'the price of rice' I could create an indoor version.
She enjoyed burying her toy animals in the large bowl of jasmine rice!

Having a larger dish under the bowl helps catch some of the flying grains... though you're bound to have a constellation on the floor too.
Small 'scooping' cups and spoons add to the fun as well.

Any creative projects you've enjoyed lately?

We're looking forward to this weekend's forecast of sun.sun.sun!
 Have a great one, friends.

Mel ;o)


personal style [outside the box]...

Me and my girl.
We can have quite a hoot together... especially when I'm getting her to help bring in the recycling box - and she chooses to jump in and hide from "noisy trucks". 

I hope I can inspire her to not take herself too seriously...
...to jump out of the box in a cookie-cutter culture.

I know that's what my mama did with me.
She was remarkably patient with my wild personal style... growing up as a tom-boy I wanted to shave half my head.
She let me.

I wanted to wear a tuxedo to grade 8 grad.
She shopped with me for the blazer.

I always wore my baseball cap - even after a haircut.
She didn't protest and force me into ribbons. 

Even now I tend to feel most comfortable (and crazy) in unique threads.
Though, if I was a good wife, I would burn this vest.. it's the one thing Ben really hates to see me in!  
I just had to wear it with my new 'Aladdin' pants I got.... love them!

(Side-note: remember that brooch I'm wearing?.. it was one of my first d.i.y's I posted over a year ago).
All that to say, I hope you, and I.. and our children.. feel free enough to step outside the box.
To not strive to be fashionistas... just be fascinating.

The 'surface' looks so much better when the soul is shining through.
So you - be you.
And me - be me.
And together we may inspire others to be free.

(Bet you didn't know I was a poet!).

Mel ;o)


Shop the Nest: [fox brooches]

 Maybe it's my tawny mane,
(or the photo-shopped whiskers)... but I'm feeling pretty foxy lately!

Introducing the newest addition to my Needle & Nest Shop:
The foxy lady brooches
Each of these foxy lady is a hand-made combination of cottons.felt.and brown vinyl backing.  They also have a brooch clasp attached to the back.
$15 Cndn. (PayPal button in right side bar under "donate").
FREE shipping! 

 WARNING: They may bring out your rabid wild side!
If you're interested in these beauties give me a shout:
*They are handmade to order.. so delivery is 2-3weeks.*
Keep it foxy ladies,
Mel ;o)

Shop the Nest: [doily earrings]

Hello friends!
The next addition to the Needle & Nest Shop are my doily earrings here.
 The doilies are about 2" across and very light.
They tend to flutter around your earlobes like a happy butterfly.

To purchase a pair simply contact me:

They are $7 Cndn - my Paypal account is in the right side bar here under "donate".

FREE shipping!

(Next shop update is coming this afternoon... 
hint: brooches for your wild side.)

Delightfully doilied,
Mel ;o)


so predictable...

Yes, I'll admit it.
I'm a sucker.  
Heck, I'm downright predictable when it comes to certain delights. 

Like this darling teacup... with a bird on it?!
Sure it holds like an ounce of tea (and I tend to enjoy a good litre at time) but it has a bird on it, friends.. a bird!  
Yes, predictable me.

If you know me at all by now, you probably know a few other weaknesses of mine too.

Anything to do with owls, mushrooms, tree or feather motifs... I'm in!
Incorporate some wood grain, turquoise, lace or doilies... I'm delighted!
Follow up with a chunk of chocolate... I'm drooling

This is what kills me when I go in a place like Chapters Indigo and they're selling every element that makes me go weak in the knees.
For someone who 'prides' them self on being a sort of unique individual it's scary to see how pigeon-holed I am by corporations... ha!  Shoot.

This is a major reason I don't like to go shopping.
I know I'll see something that just craves adoption... and despite the moths taking up residence in my wallet... I'll justify to the death my need for said object.

The only things that keeps my splurge-impulse in check:
+ my ben  

...I won't ever purchase anything that seems wasteful/extravagant (this 'tweet' mug was on sale for $1.49.. easy to justify buying that one)!

...I also won't buy stuff that I know will make Ben cringe and say "where are we going to cram that into our house?".  You may recall his hilarious rant about these issues.
Oh, the joys of a hoarder creative collector marrying a minimalist!

All that to say, I know stuff is just stuff...
...and 'he who has the most toys wins  still dies without them'.

My joy isn't rooted in possessions.

But these small and simple pleasures are a delight nonetheless!
How about you?  What gets you weak in the knees?

Mel ;o)


she put the 's' in mothering...

The 'sweetness smother'.
This goes down every.single.day in our nest.

I think Hudson even tried to create a defense mechanism here:

Azriel doesn't seem to get the hint that he's allergic to her constant cuddles.

It's a wonder siblings survive each other!

Sneezy & Squeezy's mama,
Mel :o)


slide.show.sunday. take 36.

Hi there, friends.
Another weekend has come and gone...
so here's the snapshots:
 We told the kids we were going 'adventuring'...
 Azriel was happy since that included a maple lollipop and bubbles... Hudson just slept through it all while we breathed in the beautiful countryside.
 Beautiful is also seen in the spring buds peaking out of the trees on our front lawn.
 Finally getting around to the final coat of 'spring green' on our doors too!
 Then... you guessed it... family.dinner.saturdays up at the in-laws.
..and maybe it's just the wine talking, but I think these are the most gorgeous souls I have laid eyes on.
Our Azriel.
Our Hudson.


Hope your weekend was gorgeous too?!

See you on the flip side,
Mel ;o)



 Confession: I used to think I was pretty 'together' 'swell'... alright, a downright 'fantastic' person.
Then, I got married.
Then, I had children.

Nothing quite holds the mirror of 'reality' up to my face as much as these factors.
In their eyes I see where I fall short so often... as a wife.. as a mother.
No, no... this isn't a woe-is-me post... I'm trying to say how important they are for helping me grow and find a better balance in my day.life.heart.soul.

This guy.  My ben.
He knows me better than I do it seems.

This week's example:
I was all amped up to take part in a fast-approaching craft show.
(Trying to test how quickly I could 'bounce back' from having a newborn and toddler in the nest... and still pump out my crafts for sale).

Ben was graciously sceptical.
We had a lengthy discussion about the feasibility of such a venture currently.
I believe he may have used the words "manic"... "obsessed" ..."fabric and projects all over the house"...
Yes, my creative side is like a wild dog that wants to tear into a project and toss it everywhere.
(This blog is one way I can 'toss it a bone' by giving it a creative outlet for the day).

My artsy side was having a hissy fit.
"I wannnnt to do this show"!
"I just need an hour a day to craft... really"!

But, he knows me.  He knows how it will consume my every spare moment.

Then he said it.
"We all have our passions.hobbies.interests, babe.
But, we chose these kids... they're our priority".


For being the cougar in this relationship, he trumps me with his wisdom!

I knew he was right.
But the artist in me was still trying to bark for a mistrial...' we need to reconsider the evidence'.
I needed to leash it in.
I needed an epiphany... and it came:

"I want to err on the side of presence"!
I declared.

I want to 'err' on the side of being more present with my children right now... then on trying to prove I can fill a craft table.

Years down the road, they won't remember the cool 'stuff' their mama made...
 they'll remember if I was present or not.
**Yet again, a disclaimer:  I'm not saying I need to give up being creative.. I'm still crafting at a 'sane' pace (and aiming for a fall/winter show hopefully).  I think its a good example to be crafting with/amongst the kids.... not to the exclusion of them. 

"To err is human;
to forgive, divine"
Alexander Pope

I'm so grateful His divine hand uses these souls to guide me in grace.

How do you find your balance?

Seeking to be creatively present,
Mel ;o)


you're still my sunshine...

 "You make me happy when skies are gray..
 You'll never know dear, how much I love you...
 So please don't take my sunshine away...
My Mom said I used to holler this song at the top of my lungs as a child.

I think I should start singing it out again.
For even on the days when this two.ddler is a raging tempest, or a moody cloud... I can't help but see that silver lining, that sparkle in her eye... and I know:

she's my lil' Miss Sunshine.

All aglow mama,
Mel ;o)


colour me: in wood & clay...

 Yes, my crazy creamsicle hair is fading into a soft tangelo tone it seems.
(That's the pain of using reds - they never last, but they never quite disappear either).
So I like wearing navy to punch out what little colour is left here... but I do plan to dye it again!

Anywho, I just wanted to show this delightful brooch I bought recently!
I was hunting around Etsy for laser-cut wood brooches (since I've adored them for months) and found this sweet one: fairy girl sipping tea on a toadstool... yes, please!

Kit Chase has lots of sweet woodland illustrations on her site too.. I'm such a sucker for woodland creatures... I should just pack up our house and live in a tree, really.

Sometimes I treat myself to goodies from my own shop too (since I'm not a far walk, and I charge a pretty decent rate for myself)... so here's a neck.clay I kept for me.

There's still some available if you're interested - shop here.

Dressed in wood & clay,
having tea time with the fairies,
Mel ;o)

recent stitchery: [I'm fawned of]...

 Here's a quilted hoop I made for a special lady's special day.
She's a local businesswoman. doula. mama. blogger buddy o' mine...
and one her past blog posts inspired this project for her.

Miss Desiree Fawn - a lover of quilts.tea.doilies...and of course, fawns.

Hop on over to her blog and give her some birthday love!

Mel ;o)