Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Come for a cuppa and a browse!

Apologies (once again!) for my few and far-between posts over the past few months... I promise to make an effort to update more often. I'll even make it my new year's resolution. Between the day job and photography jobs and crafty jobs and a baby-turned-toddler who loves to pick off laptop keys, my time on the interwebs at home has been brief!

I'm happy to say, though, that Mushy Peas is taking part in a holiday shopping event this weekend! Along with some other crafty mamas and lovely ladies, we'll be at the Christmas Shopping Event at 17 Julieann Place (off Logy Bay Road) this Saturday and Sunday from 10am-6pm. Come and check out a great selection of Newfoundland jewelry, soaps, candles, stained glass, aromatherapy products, purses, scarves, etc. etc. etc. from small businesses like Cosmos, Top 'O The Hill Glass, and others. Come for a cup of tea and a poke around...sure to be fun (and no fights for parking spots).

As for our booth, we'll have cloth diapers, fairy tutus, pacifier clips, bibs, baby legwarmers, sweater pants, mittens, and so on and so on and so on...

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Merci beaucoup!

A big THANK-YOU to those who bid on the Mushy Peas baby basket at the Bridges to Hope fundraiser at The Sheraton Hotel in St. John's Friday evening! To the generous soul who won it: hope your little one enjoys snuggling in the blankets and cuddling the little kitty. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Birthdays, Bollywood and Baby Teeth

These are the things that have made me an un-blogger over the last little while! Ten days ago, Baby M. had no teeth. Now he has two. Teeth coming in that quickly made for a cranky baby that needed constant snuggles (and gripe water, and a little Tylenol). He's back to his usual cheerful self now, though, and likes to rub his tongue over his new teeth (so cute). Now we just wait for the next ones! His little friend, who's a week younger than him, has seven teeth, and got FIVE of them within a month, poor little darlin'. Gah.

I've been taking Bollywood dance classes over the past few months at the gorgeous Wild Lily Dance Centre, which is run by two lovely ladies (and amazing bellydancers), Lori and Vanessa. Unlike the usual ballet-hip hop-ballroom dance schools, Wild Lily classes feature what the ladies call alternative and cultural dance styles, yoga, and hula-hooping. The school is about to move to a new location, and tonight is the last student showcase at the current studio. Our Bollywood group performed in public for the first time last weekend, at the Multicultural Women's Organization of NL's food and craft fair at the Holiday Inn, and are performing two routines tonight... we're all kinda nervous, but looking forward to it. The costumes alone are reason enough to want to take part- they're super colourful and beautiful.

There've been three birthdays in our family over the past few weeks: my little niece and her mom (my sister-in-law), and my sister, who turned 30 and finally got the birthday she's been waiting for since she was 12 years old. Seriously, she's always dreamed of being in her 30s, the little weirdo. I have a thing about birthday cards, and any other store-bought cards - it takes me a long time to pick them out. I can't give someone a card just for the sake of it; it has to say exactly what I want to say, or else I buy a blank one and write something myself. Over the last little while, I've been making them like I made Ian's valentine: sewing the card and envelope from fabric, and embroidering the front of the card. I did little unicorns and rainbows for my niece, a chihuahua for my sister-in-law, and a cute little 1950s-style waitress carrying a cake on a tray for my sister. For my sister's birthday present, I made her this:

It's made with Rae's Buttercup Bag pattern (I'm a licenced seller of these purses now, yippee!). I had gotten my sister to tell me her favourite colours (blue, green and black) and found this pretty fabric... the difficult part was that it was a landscape, not just a repeated pattern, so I had to make sure both sides of the purse were cut in the exact same spot. Ian actually measured and cut the strap for me while I was cutting other pieces, and did his best to get "the most butterflies in as possible" (his words. Cute.). Anyway, the bag comes in a small and medium size, is fully lined with a reinforced strap, and has an interior pocket and a magnetic clasp. If you want one, I can customize colours and patterns.  I was thinking of enlarging the pattern and using a zipper instead of the clasp to make a diaper bag- what do you think? 


Lisa was the winner of the Munkeh in the last Celebrate the Boy giveaway, and Kerri won the legwarmers. Drop me an e-mail with your address when you get a chance, ladies, and your packages will be in the mail ASAP. Since Dara (Readily a Parent) was the only other person to comment (and a good friend), I'm sending her a package, too. :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Apologies and Legwarmers

When I was really small, I had a book that I kept at my grandparents' house called "Wilma's Busy day," and my grandmother still laughs about having to read it over and over. It was about Wilma Flintstone, who spent an entire day trying to get a bath, but as soon as she put a foot in the tub, she'd get interrupted by the phone or the doorbell or something. I had a Wilma week this past week- I tried to do a blog post at least a dozen times, but as soon as I'd sit to write it, Baby M. would need me or the phone would ring or I'd realize the time and have to be somewhere in 15 minutes. Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry!


Since the cold weather arrived (months ago now), I realized something I had no reason to even think about before, but it drives me crazy... why don't they make tights for little boys? It first occurred to me when Baby M. was christened, and I was looking for something for him to wear under his christening gown. We ended up going with a pair of plain beige Baby Legs to keep his little legs warm. Since then, there have been lots of times when we've gone for walks or it's been particularly cold when I would have loved to put some kind of legging or tights on Baby M. underneath his clothes to keep him warm, but I've yet to find any boyish tights in this city (I did buy him a pair of plain black ones, though). When I lived in the U.K., tights for little boys were an everyday common thing in kids clothing stores, and my nephew has a bunch of pairs from Ireland, so in the end, I found some cute pairs online (both striped; one gray and navy with a panda on the bum; the other green and brown with a lion).

In an effort to avoid spending $20 and up on baby legwarmers for her boys, my sister came up with a super easy and cute way to make them from a pair of long adult socks, which you can find in boyish colours and patterns (my sister, by the way, could have her own crafty blog if she wanted to, but says she'd have to call it "The Half-A**ed Crafter" since she has limited patience... LOL).

Here's how to do it:

Find a pair of knee socks- they're easy to come by at Wal-Mart or the dollar store.

Cut off the foot part at the ankle, just above the heel.

Cut out about a 3.5-inch section in the middle of the foot part.You won't need the other two pieces.

Fold the foot section in half widthwise, so you have a ring like this:

Put the ring on the end of the sock, the two raw edges at the bottom and lined up with the raw edge of the sock. If there's a pattern on both pieces, match them up as best as you can. A lot of patterned socks have a solid colour foot, so you won't need to do this.

Without turning the sock inside out, sew along the raw edge. Then turn the ring part - which is now the cuff - down.

If you like a wider cuff, cut the piece of the sock foot longer than 3.5 inches.

Et voila! Easy-peasy legwarmers that your boy can wear underneath pants to keep his legs nice and snuggly (I had to interrupt a very important phone call to snap this pic, as you can see). :)

For the end of Celebrate the Boy month, I'm going to do two giveaways: one for a pair of baby legwarmers, the other for another Munkeh! Leave me a comment telling me the best part about being the parent (grandparent/aunt/uncle, etc.) of a boy and which prize you'd like to have, and I'll use the random number generator again to pick two winners on Wednesday at 5pm (3:30 pm ET). If you want a chance to win both, feel free to leave two comments. :)

For me, the best part about being the mom of an adorable little boy is being able to watch him grow and learn... it's amazing to see him go from being born without the ability to focus his eyes properly to a baby who amazes me every single day with something new and brilliant he knows how to do. Of course, his little baby cuddles are the most awesome things, too. :)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

"What am I going to do with him?" asks Andreae

You've read about Andreae here a bit (you've maybe even found my blog through hers, called With the Crickets), since she's a longtime friend I admire very much. She's a veritable crafty/kitchen/literary goddess; no easy feat when you're a mother of two (and one of those is under two years old), with just 11 weeks before you become a mother of three. She's a real butter pecan, this girl... so sweet, she agreed to be a guest blogger for me, as part of my boy celebrations.

While there's technically only a day left in Celebrate the Boy month, I'm stretching it out for one more week, since I was a week late in starting. There are two more giveaways left, and one is another Munkeh, so please stay tuned. For now, though, for your reading pleasure, here's Dreae...


Before my son was born, the only child I knew well was my daughter, who is about as girlish a creature as you will ever meet. She loves princesses and fairies and bunnies and ballerinas and sparkly things. She is shy and she bites her nails and she's very smart but doesn't always speak up. She likes running races against herself, but refuses to compete with others. And if it seems like this is pure socialization, let me tell you that she's been this way since she way born, much to the amazement and bemusement of her women's-studies-degree-almost-finishing mother.

And then along came the boy. I knew he was a boy as soon as I knew I was pregnant, and began saying to myself, "What am I going to do with a boy?" By that time, I knew all about girls, or at least about one particular, archetypal girl. But a boy?

And what a boy he is. Here is a child who will climb on a chair to get onto the radiator and perform a perfect downward-dog pose with his feet on the windowsill and his hands on the dining room table, before my horrified eyes. And he's only seventeen months old. When I prevent him from standing on the piano or licking electrical outlets or throwing his blocks through the cat door and down the basement stairs, he actually yells and stomps, and when he's quite put out he'll get on his hands and knees so he can smack his head on the floor and then look at me accusingly. Since he's never spent any amount of time with anyone but his immediate family, I can say for sure that this is not learned behaviour. I've never once gotten on my hands and knees and smacked my head on the floor in rage. Never once! When he's annoyed and I hand him some toy or a sippy cup or whatever to distract him, he'll hurl the thing to the floor, and if he doesn't think I've reacted with enough pity and concern, he'll pick the thing up, look right at me, and then hurl it to the floor again.

And yet, he gives the most enthusiastic hugs, throwing his arms around my neck and hanging on with all his might. He hugs toys, too, and kisses them, and insists that I do the same (then he throws them on the floor, but at least there's hugging first). He loves his sister fiercely, and insists on coming with me to wake her up every morning, kissing her before making off with some choice item from her stash of jewellery or her spangly dress-up clothes.

While his sister was talking up a storm at his age, my boy's vocabulary is limited to "mom-mom-mom-mom," "da-da-da-da," "sis-sis-sis-sis," and "deh!" said the way you would say, "there!" after having accomplished some small feat. Placing something heavy on the coffee table: deh! Handing one of us a shoe from the shoe rack: deh! Pulling clean laundry items, one by one, on to the dirty floor: deh! Deh! Deh!

He torments the cat. He runs away when I try to change his diaper. I make towers from blocks and he smashes them, yelling triumphantly as he does it. He eats all day long and scales every vertical surface he can. He pulls hair and snatches eyeglasses. He flirts with the ladies in shops. He sneaks chocolate. Every day, he amazes me and breaks my heart a hundred times.

He's someone about whom other parents remark, "My goodness, he's such a boy?"

What am I going to do with him?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tutorial: Baby Boy Birth Announcements

Hand-making cards is something I would love, love, LOVE to be able to do. I've tried, tons of times, but can never get them the way I want them- they always end up looking a little too scrapbook-y, not to mention I'm rubbish at cutting straight lines. When I first saw the cards Meghan, whom I know through a friend, had made, I was in awe- they were Christening invitations, and were gorgeous. I've since seen Christmas cards and birth announcements she's done, and they're unlike anything you could ever find in a card shop. Her style is minimal, classy and beautiful.

I had already asked Meghan if she would do a guest blog post for me for Celebrate the Boy month when I saw her display at the Get Baked! art exhibit a couple of weeks ago. This lady did a series of 99 beautiful cards, all with a cupcake theme: some were sparkly, some had googly eyes, and some were even SCENTED like vanilla cupcakes! Needless to say, they went over a treat (get it? Gah, sorry :P), and during the slower times of the show, the other artists persuaded Meghan to give us a mini card-making class.

For this tutorial, she's chosen to show us how to make a baby boy's birth announcement - no straight cutting required! - and says the same technique could also be used to make birthday party invitations. I've already got her booked to make Baby M.'s birthday party invitations... six months from now.

Meghan has her own blog,, and her fantastic hobby is also her day job, since she's store manager of The Paperie, here in St. John's. Without further ado, here's Meghan...(click on each of her photos to see the larger version)


Hi everyone, I’m super excited to be a guest blogger this week on Mushy Peas! I guess you might like to know a little bit about me… my name is Meghan and I’m addicted to stamps. Luckily I am able to feed this addiction by working at The Paperie, our very own locally owned and operated scrapbooking and rubber stamping store right here in St. John’s! I have been making handmade greeting cards for the last seven years and three years ago I made my first attempt at baby announcements for my friend Ally.

At Ally’s first baby shower I gave her a little IOU for birth announcements but last year I got a bit more creative for her second daughter and created two portfolios with 12 blank announcements in each one. Here’s a masculine version of Ally’s baby announcements that I created especially to “Celebrate the Boy” this month!

This first picture shows the finished set. To create the portfolio to house all the announcements I used the handy-dandy AccuCut die-cutting machine at The Paperie – see the step-by-step picture tutorial on my blog. I decorated the cover of the portfolio using a few layers of cardstock and rubber stamps. The little ark image was a rubber wood-mounted stamp by A Muse Artstamps which I stamped on a scrap of white paper and then punched out using an Oval paper punch. I coloured in the image with Copic markers and adhered to the front of my portfolio with 3-D foam tape.

The phrase “Boy oh boy” was an acrylic stamp which came in an A Muse stamp set with a bunch of coordinating stamps, as seen in the picture above. Unlike rubber wood-mounted stamps, acrylic stamps are mounted on a clear acrylic block so that you can see exactly where you’re stamping – this is handy when you’re trying to get exact placement. All colouring and stamping should be done prior to assembly with double-sided tape.

Here’s what the inside of the portfolio looks like…

I printed the wording on all of the cards before folding them and adding the image to make things go a little quicker…

Here’s what the finished announcements look like, inside and out….

These announcements are so great to have on hand for a friend's shower. They can be decorated in any colour and if the sex of the baby is unknown you could always go with a yellow or green colour scheme and just say “We’re proud to announce the arrival of our new baby!” Search the Internet for inspiration when trying to come up with the wording – the possibilities are endless. And if you’re not feeling particularly crafty, you can always give me a call!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

That's Mr. Cutie-Pie to you...

This is Baby M.'s newest cousin, Ethan (the owner of the hat below), wearing a Mushy Peas onesie we gave him for Valentine's Day. Sweetheart!