confessions [of a mama]. part 4.

Well here comes the stink post.  I need to 'air-out' some of my issues with diaper.cloth diapering.  Those of you lucky enough to not face these issue are welcome to jump over to a 'fresher' post for now :o)
This post is inspired from yesterday's fiasco.. (you may have seen on my Facebook status)... wondering why my daughter wasn't napping I went in to find her stripped naked.. shirt and cloth diaper on the floor.  Grinning ear to ear, and yes, she peed her sheets!
So this is it, I am trying to get diligent and use cloth diapers more with my 19mos. toddler daughter again.  I used them in the past... and then got 'stocked up' on Pampers, add in some laziness, apathy, frustration.. and well, the disposable diaper stuck around.
Now that summer is back, and I envision fresh cloth diapers sunning on the clothesline, I decided to phase back.  I'm hoping this encourages my gal to start potty-training soon.  Can I just admit how much I loathe what this new phase will be like... I don't know, maybe you already have held your baby over a toilet since they were 2 weeks old - but I am not a fan of the idea.  I would rather wait till she can tell me she needs to go 'potty'... so we aren't both hanging there staring each other down, waiting for something - or someone - to be moved. :o)

Alas, I am no expert in the ways of cloth diapering though.  Here's my 'bin' [an ol' Mr.Sub bucket that made her diapers smell like pickles no matter how much I first cleaned it!].  Lately I'm giving lil' Annie Oakley's borax a try here... to help with the cleaning.  Can I also just say how much I dread opening that bucket?  Sure I rinse the diapers before they go in.. but I swear, ghouls still come flying out.  I'm smacked with the smell of... let's just say... 'low-staffed old age homes'.  Ugh.

Okay,this is the nice part. Fresh air, sun-bleached diapers hanging softly.  I am sure they, too, love the view. the freedom. the light of day.
So there you have it.
Have you succeeded in the diapering dilemma for your home?
Any potty-training advice.mistakes.ideas?

Help a mama out,
Mel ;o)


confessions [of a Mel] part. 2.

 The day is winding down.  This dishes are done.  Last load of laundry on the line.  The windows are open to recieve the cool (finally!) night breeze.  I am reminded again of one of my 'dangerous' delights...  my confession: I love walking at night.  Mind you, I rarely do anymore.  Call it motherhood, or a protective husband... but it's rare, and I miss it.  I just love how dark and still the night air is.  I love how quiet and deserted the sidewalks are.  Sure, I live in the city, but the night helps blanket everything and everyone into stillness.  
I used to work late nights at a youth drop-in.  I would get to walk (or bike) home around midnight.  This was probably quite arrogant.stupid.reckless of me I know - and I would say that to any other female going home alone at that time - as my friends and family often said to me.  I guess I naively assumed that anyone who would attempt to 'jump' me would be someone I know from the drop-in centre... haha.  Anyways, I must confess.. I still miss night walking.  
These cool quiet nights keep calling me out to them.... but I think I'd rather tuck in here with my husband.
Nite night!
Mel :o)

D.I.Y upcycle pet food bags... into baby bibs!

 A year ago this was my pudgy princess.. 7 months old and enjoying her first strawberry!  This was also the first 'upcycled cat.food.bag bib' I had made for her...(and that cougar looks hungry for strawberries too, I'd say).

 Flash forward to today.. my gal is now 19 months (gulp!) and sporting the latest bib I've made for her... and you can now watch.learn to make it here as well.  Disclaimer: this cat food company is not sponsoring this 'ad'... nor do i promote such exorbitant spending on cats. ;o)

 First you have to wrestle an empty dog.cat food bag away from your furry friend (these need to be the plastic not paper bags).  Tinderpuff is holding vigil here for what she likely assumes to be her last meal again... And there's my collection of empty food bags - how Scottish am I?!

 Grab a bib you currently use.. 1. trace it over the food bag sheet.  2. cut an extra one out of fleece to line the back and sides of bib (allow and extra inch for seam fold after).  3. cut a small 'pocket' for front of bib (with ribbon to hem top portion of pocket).

 Sew the ribbon or bias tape along the top edge of your bib pocket.  Then sew a straight line joining the pocket to the bib front.  (I like putting the fish just out of reach from the cougar).

 Now stretch the fleece to create a border around the entire bib... zig-zag stitch helps here.  When sewing up around the neck-line I like to cut down the centre to create a little 'collar' and reduce tension on the fabric.

Attach some velcro (or snaps.or magnets).  Allow quality inspection by the boss.

And there you have one more fun.fast way to upcycle crazy clutter around your nest.  If you want to order these specific bibs.. feel free to contact me!  I know I have a soft spot for cougars (since I guess I am one... baha.).  My husband is going to roll his eyes at that one.  
Have a craft-tastic day.
Mel :o)


slide show sunday. take 3.

Friday night my guy Ben and I snuck out for a quick date.  Our daughter was sleeping over at her grandparents... and we had gone to our College & Careers group... and then grabbed a quick drink after at my 'sweet spot' Black Honey Cafe.  This 'dirty duck' was fun for me to stretch it's neck and hear music play... though not as fun for my man... or other customers. 

 Speaking of fun... our daughter is hilarious. Here she is testing what she would look like with glasses.

After breakfast with my folks saturday, my mom and I hit the streets (like the rest of the city population) and went to the annual BIG Gilmour St. yard sale. 

 My first score was a sweet lil' tin for my daughter's room.  Cost. $0.50.

 Sweetest find of the day!  Three vintage Pyrex bowls in robin's egg blue.. woo hoo! Cost. $3.00.

Over to my friend's Caren & Desiree's sale afterwards.  No, I don't bowl, but this bag was a lucky strike.  The love-owls were saved by sweet Caren for me... and I love them.  Though I do believe my husband may have used 'knic-knack.grandma.clutter' all in the same sentence when he saw them.  I need to find more 'hiding places' for my hoot collections. Cost. $3.00.

'Exhausted' from my wild spending of $6.50.. I came home for an afternoon nap.snuggle session with my daughter Azi.

 Once my husband came home from work it was time to head up to his folks for 'family saturday dinner'.  A beautiful afternoon to explore the gardens there... with their dog - Hazel.

 A forgotten bench under a weeping willow... photo-shoot.

 Hiking through Jackson Park in my 'sexy' boots, and gathering some branches for my bird mobiles.

 Not only did I discover my dream house... a handsome nomad was wandering past too.

Roast beef. potatos. gravy. bread. corn. peas. yams. wine.. oh my!

Gathering lilacs to tuck into every corner of our home... sweetness.

Add to those fun memories of this weekend... this morning:  I'm walking my daughter to church in her stroller and I hear "Hey baby!!" as a car drives by... just as I start to think ('maybe I still got it')... I look and realize it in fact is a young girl yelling... at my baby.  Great.
To mark the historic occassion of my daughter's first drive-by 'cat call'... we got poutine and a hot dog on the way home (ok, I was just hungry).

Happy Sunday friends,
Mel :o)


the giveaway winner is...

Today is the big day!  One lucky reader gets to take home some of my handmade creations.  Thanks to all of you who joined up with my blog, and to those of you who took the time to post some profound and priceless comments about what you would do if it was your 'last day'. I had a lot of fun doing this birthday blog giveaway contest. So without further ado...

 Yippee for Jolene!  My husband Ben was the name drawer from a bowl of all your names... so you can thank him for picking you.  :o)  Now all you have to do is e-mail me: needleandnestdesign@live.com or facebook me your mailing address... and which combination of prizes and painting print you want.  Woot.

I would love to mail you some sushi too based on your comment... better yet, I would love to share said sushi with you... MMmmMMMMmmmmm!

There you are friends, thanks for joining in on the fun, and stay tuned tomorrow for another edition of slide show sundays.
Nite nite,



No, I didn't enroll my daughter in a women's softball league. 
Yes, the party is in the back - and business is up front.  
Somehow my baby is still rocking out a mullet hair-do here.

I gave Azriel her first haircut a few days ago... she wasn't impressed, neither was I.  She kept twisting around to try and assess what was being done to her.. so needless to say I only scored a few little locks of her golden hair.  The baby-mullet lives on. 

The only way to deal with said mullet currently is to put it up in cute pig-tails, but that's not much of a hit with Azi either.

You'd think she would want to mimic her mom .. who wears her hair up constantly to compensate for a terrible - mullet.making - haircut of her own!  Yes, I too struggle with my own hair issues.  I have cut my hair for years - often doing the reverse mullet - long in front.short at back thing.  But as of late I have decided to simply ignore my hair. string it up each day.or tuck it under a cute hat... and hope it figures itself out eventually.

How about you?  Does your hair hang low.. or do you tie it in a bow? ;o)
*Last day to enter the birthday giveaway contest... I'll announce the winner tomorrow night!*

confessions [of a mama]. part 3.

[Source: Etsy]

Yep.  So that pretty much summarizes my outlook on life most days.  But I was thinking this morning just how lame my eating habits would really be if not for my daughter.  You know how it is... if you're the only one home isn't it so much harder to think it's 'worth' putting together a good meal for yourself?  When my husband is home, sure, a great meal.  But on my own... it would likely be another peanut butter and nutella sandwich, thanks.

And here I am ... eating chocolate biscotti for breakfast - don't worry, a glass of milk too.  I have to eat it while my daughter has her morning nap.. or she'll come over like a hungry seagull and chirp 'coodie??'.  We even have to feed her a 'healthy' breakfast first... and wait till later to eat Corn Pops or some other such fluff.  This seems a bit ridiculous - we care for her health more than our own.  It was like that when I was pregnant too... eating way healthier - for the baby's sake, not my own.. sheesh.  

So what's your worst food confession?  I think the most ridiculous thing I ever ate out of laziness.apathy. was taking leftover stir fry.. and wrapping it in a pancake.  My husband - then boyfriend - thought that was pretty low... even for me.

Now, if you want some real inspiration for good eats check out these friends' yummy blog.

*Remember, only 1 day left to enter the birthday giveaway contest now*

Off to find something healthier to assuage my guilt now, 
Mel :o)


D.I.Y upcycle your tablecloth into a skirt!

Hello friends!  Here's one of my latest sew-fast projects.  I mentioned during my past slide.show.sunday post about making a skirt from a tablecloth... and this is it!  I thrifted a round lace tablecloth and quickly whipped it up into a big, flouncy skirt.  I know, I'm laughing at myself for this one too... it is teetering on the edge of ridiculous in my books - but it was still fun and worth a quick tutorial for any of you who dare. ;o)

 It makes for such a pretty tapestry... I want to drape it over everything.
Grab a round tablecloth.  Measure your 'largest' posterior part (so the skirt will fit over it) and cut that size out of the centre of your cloth.

Once you have removed centre 'waist' hole.. feel free to model it on your head.  I hear it's all the rage.

Fold over a good inch of fabric around the waist and run a loose zig-zag stitch.  You'll have to keep compensating for the curve of the hole and excess fabric as you sew.  Leave a gap to then thread some elastic cording through.  Test the size of waist by wearing.. then stitch elastic together.

Throw your own fashion show... and don't forget how fun it is to spin in all this fabric!

I do so love the lace edge touching down to my toes... or in this case my 'wedding shoes'.

 I just can't get enough of the lace.doily delight lately... so I wore my thrifted lacy shirt and doily brooch (remember that tutorial?) as well!  I felt so holey. baha.  Sorry, if you want a real laugh.. I was reminded of that hilarious Carol Burnett Show skit doing the spoof of "Gone with the wind".  Granted, my outfit was pulled from a tablecloth - not the curtains!

Sorry the image quality isn't great.. but you still catch the funny dialogue!
Hope this one again inspires you to upcycle the things in your life that need to be re-delighted in.

*Remember.. only 2 days left to enter my birthday giveaway contest!* 
Have a great day,


inspired by Morris again.

[Source: kingdom of style]

 Oh William, I love your style.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again, William Morris is one of my favorite textile artists.  I especially love the lines in this piece, the richness of the indigo blue against the golds.. and the unfinished quality of the overall look. 
I dream of leaving an illustration this 'unfinished' in parts.. but I find it soooo hard to know when to stop the fine-tuning of a creation and just let it be.

This image above would have to be tacked onto my inspiration board and encourage me to try, try again.

Want another inspiring moment from Morris?

"Have nothing in your houses
that you do not know to be
or believe to be

Thanks William, I'll keep that in mind as I root through this nest and purge what isn't deemed useful or beautiful.

Hope you found some inspiration for your day too friends,

* 3 days left to enter my birthday giveaway contest! *

Mel :o)


fragile beauty.

 Sweet blooms, found here.  
My folks have a beautiful crab apple tree... and I managed to snap some shots the other day while it was showing off.  You may also recognise Azriels' shirt from today's earlier tutorial
Like most flowering trees at this season.. they come out in splendour, saturate the air with their sweetness, and fill the blue sky with delicate petals.  Only days later however, those petals now cover the ground.  How fleeting its moment in bloom.
This reminds me to be grateful once again.  To hold those delicate, precious moments of beauty each day, and savour their sweetness.

We could have wallowed in discouragement today.. as my husband had his dream of a summer career slip through his [injured] fingers.  Sometimes pity parties seem like such an inviting scene.  I want wear an Eeyore party hat and sit on a dung hill... and mope.  But it's a pretty nasty.stinky.hopeless place to stay in.
So we found some beauty to fill this day.  Sweet moments at the cafe by the lake.  Grabbing some new blooms to put into our front garden.  Being grateful for more moments together now that my husband won't be working as much.

Yes, we even got some Gerber daisies - one of my favorites.  So the fleeting beauty of flowers reminds me once again to hold onto the good, even when it grows up out of life's 'fertilizer'.
 "For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away" James 4: 14
 Savouring the sweetness in the midst of some sorrows,
Mel :o)

* 4 more days left to enter my birthday blog giveaway.* 

D.I.Y upcycle shirt into toddler vest/dress!

Here's the next do it yerself edition.  I like these projects because they are fast.simple.upcycling.fun!  Yes, in the time it takes for your lil' one to have a nap.. you will have whipped off a sweet new dress.vest.outfit for them.  This tutorial is a response to one of my past posts seen here [I just need to create a photo instructional] seen now:

Grab a funky shirt.sweater. or cardigan from your local thrift store.  This unique shirt was only $1 at our Y's Buys.  Or.. raid your closet for 'cut-me-downs'.

Yes.. that old shirt will become this sweet dress / vest thing... I promise.  However, I can't guarantee your lil' one will look quite as adorable as seen here [but I may be biased] ;o) 

Ok, here we go!  Grab a shirt that currently fits your kid well.  Place over larger shirt... and cut to size [leave an extra 1.5" for seam allowance].  You'll likely have to trim off the bottom of the shirt too for 'vest' styles.  I left mine longer to act like a 'dress' option.

Flip cut shirt inside out and pin the arm holes [to sew an edge around arm].  Yes this is exactly what I was referring to in my post about cat-attraction to my projects... sheesh!
Anyway, once the arm holes are sewn, pin down the side seams and sew shirt along both edges.  Fancy folks would be 'serging' during these steps... [jealous!].

This step is optional, but I chose to add some extra sweetness by sewing in a lace belt.  You would simply put one strip inside across the 'back' of shirt [while shirt still faces inward] and then cut two other strips to tie at the front.  So easy... even I can do this!

Now your lil' one can have a unique custom outfit.  Thereby being the rival of everyone else in the sandbox with their "Dora" and "Elmo" manufactured shirts. ;o) 
Yes, dress them wild. Dress them weird. Start young.. that's our motto.  Ok, not quite, but I still love seeing her run around in what I whipped off for her.

Happy upcycling!
Please post pictures or links of what you come up with too, I'd love to see it!

Mel :o)

*Remember.. now there's only 4 days left to enter my birthday giveaway contest!  You can enter here.