Thursday, July 25, 2013

a consideration on equality

This is my boy.  He turns 4 today.  His favorite things are trampolines, kayaks and tools.  He loves trucks and lego and action figures.  But he also loves my little pony, princesses, baby dolls and baking.

A little while back I made a tutu for my daughter.  After finishing it, Bugaboo asked for one too.  I'd like to say I gave it to him right away, but I hesitated.  I could see no good reason for him to not have one, because there isn't one.  So I made him a tutu.

He loves it.  If something so simple could bring him so much happiness, how could I have not wanted him to have it?

The actual issue is on a different level entirely, because if I want to raise him to be a man who sees women as equals, how can I not let him play with 'girl things'.  If we start pointing out what is for girls and what is for boys at an early age, how can they not see themselves as suited for some things, but not others.

In school I wrote a paper on gender as a social construct.  Since having a little boy and a little girl, I know I was, to a degree, incorrect.  They really are different creatures.  They have different ways of thinking, and while all kids are unique (wildly so), there are noticeable and predictable trends of 'girl' vs 'boy'.  That doesn't mean they can't do the same things, just that they will probably find different ways to do them.

As a feminist who sometimes struggles with my decision to be a stay-at-home mother, I want my children to grow up to be happy with themselves for who they are, not because of which social gender stereotypes they are or are not conforming to.

So, while girls and boys are not the same, you can't teach them to think of each other as equals unless you treat them the same.

I was impressed by actor Dustin Hoffman's insights into inequality.  While preparing to film Tootsie, he started to ask himself how he would have been different if he had been a woman.  I ask that of myself when deciding something for my children; would my decision be different if he was a girl?  If so, than I am making a mistake.

Women, as a group, are not given equal rights as men, but at the same time, a girl who plays hockey, or builds with lego is praised, while a boy who wants to do ballet or play with baby dolls is at best tolerated.  There are scores of great children's books showing brilliant strong females, but where are the stories of sensitive, delicate boys?

My ramblings don't really have a finite point, I'm just circling around the thought that no man would think of a woman as equal when they're told they cannot do the same things as a child.

So, while the thought of nail polish on my little man goes against my grain, I'll not let that be a decision that leads him to be an adult who would hesitate letting a woman do a man's job.  Or vise versa.

Happy Birthday Bugaboo.

*This was originally meant to be a post about tutus entitled "a foray into frills", but this felt more important.  Also, please notice that I avoided saying "men treating women as equal" and instead put "thinking of women as equal".  Oh, and I highly recommend following the links.  Just a suggestion.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

rip sweet hp (and hello summertime!)

So, after 5 years, my sweet sweet laptop has died.  My darling hubby is a bit of a mr-fixit, and I knew it was over when he suggested I start browsing the lappys and tablets next time I was at the store.  It's serious when even he doesn't think something's salvageable.  So I've stolen onto his system (which is much more tech-y and password protected and overwhelming than my cute little setup) for this little update, which is basically to say that while I'll try to keep things up to date, computer-type things are on tenuous ground for now.

 I'll keep on sewing (and knitting, and painting, and gardening, and camping, and kayaking, and having picnics on the beach, and perhaps this forced 'summer break' is not such a bad thing) though.

Have a brilliant summer!

*my children are oddly safety conscious; it was their idea to wear their life jackets in 6 inches of water, not mine.

Monday, July 1, 2013

beach time baby!

Happy Canada Day!

And while it's officially been summer for a week or so we are finally feeling it!  I've been wanting to make some of these up for a while, so I'm happy to finally have gotten a chance to do some up and take them for a test run.

Woohoo, beach ponchos!

Actually, I was thinking more of a pool poncho.  You see, after swim class, we normally warm up by sticking our toesies in the hot tub (my guys are too little to be jumping in entirely) and then I try and wrap them up in our towel as best I can.  The towel doesn't really stay on them well and always gets wet, so I made up some towel ponchos.  Unfortunately, Bugaboo got an ear infection so we missed the last swim class, however, these work just as well at the beach or waterpark.

Bugaboo wanted a dinosaur...

(he makes a pretty good dinosaur, stomping along the beach)

And for Little Bean, I decided a jellyfish (she's pretty easy going).

Hope they get lots of chances to use them this summer!


Monday, June 17, 2013

things are growing in the garden

I am usually impressed by how fast things grow here (out west), but this is a new record.  The garden we planted mid-May is growing hearty and already making an appearance on our dinner plates!

Now, anyone who has grown radishes before probably would have known this, but I was amazed.  These ones are a variety that can grow up to the size of baseballs, but I don't really need that much radish in my life.  I'll probably let a few get that big, but just for the photos.

My little helpers are really loving it too.  They do most of the watering and some of the weeding/thinning out (mostly the thinning out where it doesn't necessarily need it, but oh well).

Marvelous, aren't they!

Also, our gnomes (who usually live in our garden, as glimpsed here, or behind us in the first photo) have suffered an accident (at the hands of Little Bean, she may be small, but is far from delicate).  While they're awaiting repair, we have a flamingo friend taking their place watching over the garden.  I'm calling him Havelock, the Predatory Flamingo.  This is Bugaboo's impression of him:

I have an unusual love for tacky garden ornaments.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

hot stuff!

Hopefully you remember my chef attire I made a few years back.  They get lots of use, even played the role of a last minute Halloween costume.  Well, they normally get used in the real kitchen, but the kiddoes also have a play kitchen, and I felt they could use a pair of these:

They're extremely simple to make, other than how bulky they are.  Making a tiny little thumb out of material that thick was annoying.  I lined it in a white towel I bought at Walmart, which was super cheap, and then sewed a diagonal checked pattern before stitching it together.

However, they are dearly loved (Bugaboo hovered over me the entire time I was taking the photos, waiting for them back).  Plus the fabric is adorable!  I may or may not have bought enough for me to make an apron for myself out of it.  Photos to follow if that ever happens.

The technique needs a bit of perfecting, but they do the job.  Now my little chefs' fingers will be safe from imaginary burns.

PS - I have just noticed that I have not actually said what those are.  They're an oven mitt and a little potholder, just in case it's not obvious.

Monday, May 27, 2013

bow-tie lepidoptery

These are what I've been sewing up for fun lately.

Cute eh?  Little shadowboxes full of bow-ties. Or just bows, I guess; the 'tie' is optional.  And since I had my very fist fancy schmancy business fair to trot them off to (very small scale, but still lovely), I got to try my hand at a little lepidoptery

Now, I had meant to get a nice photo or two of the display I had set up, but to be honest, I was a little frazzled that day, and it just didn't happen.  Hopefully I will remedy this next time I get to go out among people and show off my wares.

Bugaboo is the kind of kid who wears ties, often of his own volition, sometime for no reason at all.  He's really big on costumes and accessories.  He wore his tie the whole morning (of the business-fair thing).  He even snatched a cape from my display to pair with it (he's cuter than my mannequin anyways).  He looked a bit like a tiny magician; perhaps I need to look into top hats.

Bow Ties!  A whole happy pile of 'em.  Now, however, I do have some actual work to do (took the week off for visitors, now it's time to play catch-up).

Oh, one final note from the business fair; my 'Wandering Seamstress' Geocache is hidden in my display.  It was spotted by one cacher, whether or not it gets logged...  I'll give a heads up next time she's out and about, ready to be found, until then you can check her out at the geocaching website, with TB46K8T for a reference code.


Friday, May 17, 2013

oh so fancy

I'm extremely excited to be sporting my new logo!  Isn't it marvelous?  Many many thanks to Vanessa of Sea Salt Design!

Monday, May 13, 2013

bluebells and bucket hats

While this past Mother's Day weekend it rained (Happy Mother's Day!), for the last week or so it has been simply glorious around here.  We're talking summer weather in May!  So we have been outside as much as we can stand it.  Now, I burn to a crisp in no time at all, but the kids seem to take more after their Daddy and have more resistance.  Either way though, we're rocking the sunscreen, cover-ups, shade tents and most importantly, hats.  I have to say I'm fortunate that both my kidlets are good hat wearers.  Bugaboo is big into fedoras right now (he calls them his 'orra-fedoras', no clue why).  My little bean still lets me choose what she wears, so she's been sporting this little number.

I love it; it puts me in mind of a little bluebell.

It's simple enough, so I've started making a few of my own.

I'm tempted to add a little green stem on top, but I haven't given it a try yet.

I've had a friend mention she really likes the style and if I could find a way to tone down the girly-ness, she's love to see some for boys, but while I'm still working on that, I've stuck to good old fashioned bucket hats for the little lads.

Fun stuff!  If I do get some good results out of my schemes and alterations, I'll be sure to update!

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Now this has been a fun little thing I've been working with of late.  Appliques!  Well, probably not by-the-book ones, but I'm loving throwing a little character or image on a project.  It started with flags.

  I wanted to make something for Bugaboo's snow-forts we built this winter (and because flags are fun).  While I was at it, I made a few extras.  They weren't perfect, but I really loved how they turned out (considering I really had no clue what I was doing).

This one for my little Bean,

and this one for Bugaboo.

Well, then I had a birthday gift to make for one of Bugaboo's friends.  I figured something 'super-hero' would be good.  I had wanted to try finger puppets, but I didn't have any felt on hand and they weren't starting out the way a wanted, so they evolved into bean-bags.

I loved making them, and giving them too!  Bean bags are a lot of fun.

And then I had another birthday boy, so I tried it again.  It was a little harder to pick something for this little guy (he's only 2, so not as obvious what he likes).  I was thinking cars or trucks or some-such, but I wasn't really feeling it.  They seemed a little boring.  I'm not much of a car person, but I do have one love in the automobile world; Super cars.  Bright, colourful, fast, fancy, oh yeah.  So I picked my five favorites, (a shiny penny to anyone who can tell what they are):


That would be a Caterham, a Shelby Cobra, a Koenigsegg, a Veyron and a Zonda (do I owe anyone?).  I've also been working on some animals, but a unique selection isn't so easy to come up with.  Any suggestions?

My method is simple.  I draw what I want.  Then I stick heat-bond onto the different colours of material I'll be using.  I transfer my drawing over to the material (or just re-draw it), and cut out all the fiddly bits.  I iron it onto my main fabric, and then I just have to sew along all the seams.  Actually, the sewing is the hard part.  Especially with anything that has a nice even curve to it (like wheels), or teensy-tiny bits.  However, I'm getting better at that, and I'm loving the outcome!