Pictures From the Weekend : Three Reasons to Celebrate

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Here we are on Tuesday, following a 3 day weekend. Before I barrel right in with the recap of our weekend, I want to say that I hope you had a good weekend too, regardless of how many days you had off!

As the title suggests, we had 3 reasons to celebrate – (1) Valentine’s Day on Saturday (2) Our friend Andrea’s recent Birthday, and (3) A Public Holiday we celebrate here, called Family Day.

We’ll begin with Saturday, Valentine’s Day …

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^ I made the Printed Cotton and Felt hearts a couple of years ago, shown here. ^

Nick got up before I did and was in the kitchen when I started down the stairs. ‘Wait … Don’t come down yet’, I heard, along with the sound of tape being pulled off the spool and gift-wrap being folded. So, he had clearly not been listening when I’d suggested that we forego any fancy Valentine’s gifts this year.

It was a good thing I’d spent the better part of Friday evening making a couple of batches of his favourite snacks, some Caramel Popcorn and some Nuts and Bolts.

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^ The recipe for the Caramel Corn is here, and for the Nuts and Bolts here. ^

He got me a beautiful heart shaped box of Godiva chocolates and a really neat pen (he knows I love pens). And a cute card that said ‘And They Said it Wouldn’t Last, Jerks’ on the front. The message on the card was pretty accurate, because we think people were doubtful when we got engaged, a mere 3 months after first meeting on a blind date. That was over 16 years ago and here we are still going strong, so I’m happy to say that we got lucky in the game of love.

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^ The pen is called a Construction Pen, and has a ruler printed along it, a stylus on the end, a tiny screwdriver set hidden under the cap, and a level.

Nick found it at a local shop that he really likes, called Valhalla Cards and Gifts, located at 791 Queen Street West. He always gets his greeting cards there, and many gifts too. (See the pen company Troika’s site here) ^

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We spent the morning in the kitchen, each doing one of our favourite pass-times : I was at the table making things and he was at the stove cooking. I made a birthday card for Andrea, featuring a picture of a robot because she especially likes them, and a gift bow to match the paper I used to wrap her present.

Nick was making two kinds of sauce for the pizzas he would be making us all for a late lunch. One was pesto and the other tomato, both made from scratch. He had already used the bread-maker to make the wholewheat dough, which was resting in the fridge.

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^ Homemade Pizza Sauces: Pesto and this Tomato Sauce.

Andrea arrived at around 2, bringing some heart-shaped cupcakes that she made. We sat talking and having a glass of wine in the kitchen.

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^ I failed on the photography-front this weekend, as far as taking a good shot of Andrea went. I wish I’d gotten the lighting right on that one with the great smile. Nick had just said something funny and we’d all burst out laughing, just as I snapped the shot. ^

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^ The card was made using the instructions in this post, and the directions to make the bow are in this one, although both were modified a bit from the original instructions. ^

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^ BFFs! The felt and sequin heart tutorial is here. ^

Nick got Andrea some Godiva chocolates too. We also gave her a pair of flannel pjs and some Body Shop Body Butter.

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Nick assembled the pizzas, using all the good stuff – pineapple, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, pieces of tomato and Mozzarella cheese on the tomato sauce one, and artichokes, olives, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and zucchini on the pesto sauce one.

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^ Duelling Cuteness. (Those are Andrea’s raccoon socks.) ^

After dinner, we watched some movies on Netflix. We had originally talked about going out dancing, but it was so darn cold out, and we were so darn cozy inside, that we decided to leave the dancing date for a future get together.

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Sunday …

Andrea slept over, so we hung out talking most of the day. We sat at the dining room table, which gets wonderful sunlight during the day. It almost made us forget that outside it was ‘freeze your face off’ cold. Eventually we go a move on, with Andrea heading home. I popped over to Shoppers Drug Mart because they were having a ‘spend your points event’ in their beauty department. Spending points means free stuff, and the event meant more bang for each point. (I’ve shown you some of my hauls from Shoppers before (here, for example), and will show you what I picked up this time in a future post. That little walk to and from the store was enough for me outside, so the evening was spent playing a bit of Xbox.

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Monday, Family Day …

Family Day is a relatively new holiday, having been introduced in 2007. People don’t exchange Family Day cards or anything like that, or follow any set traditions for this day really, unless, of course, they’ve created their own traditions for the holiday. Basically, it came about because Canada had fewer statutory holidays than most of the rest of the world, and it was decided that the people could use a holiday in February, to break the stretch between New Year’s Day and Easter.

We had a fairly laid-back day, reading, eating good food (Nick made some delicious pasta), drinking (Sinner’s Tea? yes please!) and playing more Xbox (It’s so fun! We both really like it so we take turns).

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^ I love this vintage sheet with a French Toile print that I found on ebay a while back. ^

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^ An important member of our family! And Sinner’s Tea, recipe found here.)^

And that wraps up this post about how we spent this holiday weekend. I hope that wasn’t too much of the colour red and heart shaped things for you!

Thanks for dropping over,
xo loulou

Posted in Dinner Details, Hanging out at Home, Holidays : Valentine's Day | 3 Comments

Handmade Hanging Heart Valentine Decorations

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As the saying goes, makers gonna make, so I felt the familiar pull to do some hand-sewing this past week. As a result, there are a few new little things hanging around our home right now, in honour of Valentine’s Day tomorrow — these Felt, Sequin and Bead Hanging Heart Ornaments.

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felt heart sequins and beads handmade valentine decoration puffy heart ornament

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I had only intended to make one but once I began I kept on going because, well, I really like stitching on felt!

Each took about 45 minutes to make.

There are two styles of hanging heart ornaments, one a flat circle with a heart in the middle and the other a puffy heart.

Let’s begin with the Heart Within a Circle :

Supplies : Felt in two colours, some sequins and seed beads, some light cardboard, like that from a cereal box (you’ll be encasing it within two layers of felt, so the ornament will stay flat), a slightly larger circle to use as a pattern to trace onto your felt (I used a coaster), a heart-shaped pattern piece made from paper (if you need help making a perfect heart shape, there are some photos in this post that will help), a piece of ribbon or embroidery thread about 7 inches long (that will be the hanger), and a needle and thread to match your background felt colour.

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What to do : Cut two felt circles from you base colour 4 1/4 inch across and one heart 3 inches tall.

Cut a circle from the cardboard that is slightly smaller than the felt circles, about 4 inches across.

The nice thing about working with felt is that it sticks to itself making it pretty easy to sew pieces together. So, place your heart on one of the circles and attach it by poking your needle through, threading on a sequin and a bead and then poking your needle back through the hole in the sequin and the two layers of felt. Do this all around the edge of the heart. The method of attaching the sequin and bead is the same as that described in this post, if I haven’t explained it well.

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Fold the ribbon or embroidery thread in half and knot at one end. Stitch the knotted end to the top of the back side of one of your felt circles. Using a whip-stitch begin attaching the two circles together. When you’re about halfway done, insert the cardboard circle between the layers, and then finish stitching around.

Now for the Puffy Felt Hanging Heart :

Supplies : Felt in one colour, some sequins and seed beads, a bit of stuffing (cotton balls would work), and a needle and thread to match your felt colour.

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What to do : Cut out two felt hearts about 3 3/4 inches tall.

Attach the sequins and beads (as described above) to one heart, in the shape of a heart, about 1/2 of an inch from the edge of the felt.

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Fold the ribbon or embroidery thread in half and knot at one end. Stitch the knotted end to the top of the back side of one of your felt hearts. Using a whip-stitch, attach both hearts together, leaving about and inch through which you stick in your stuffing. You only need a bit of stuffing to make it slightly puffed up. Finish stitching around the edge.

Each took about 45 minutes to make.

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Hang them here and there around your home, on door knobs or cabinet handles, or make a number of them and attach them to a ribbon to make a garland. They look very pretty after dark and especially in candle-light because the sequins catch the light and look sparkly.

Thanks for dropping over. I hope you have a great Valentine’s Day, if you celebrate it.

It’s a three day week-end here (in honour of something called Family Day, which coincidentally fell near Valentine’s Day, lest you get the impression that Valentine’s is a public holiday in Canada!). We’re having an extreme cold spell here though, with warnings to stay indoors if you can, so we probably won’t be going out any more than we have to. Our friend Andrea is coming over and we had toyed with the idea of going dancing, but we’ve changed our mind. Whatever we get up to, there will be pictures and a recap next week. Until then, stay well (and warm, if you live in these parts!)
xo loulou

Posted in Embroidery and Stitching, Holidays : Valentine's Day, Making Things DIYs | 4 Comments