Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Son is a Brain Tumour Survivour - A Message From Him

For a change today, I am using the words of my 8-year-old son.   He has lived only a short time, but has  a colourful (and sometimes scary!)  life story to tell already.

Here it is in his own words:

Hello. My name is Bryn. I am 8 years and I love LEGO. When I was six years old, some doctors found a sickness in my head. It was a brain tumour the size of a big orange. It was stuck in between my brain and my cerebellum and it was crushing both of them. So, that same day I had a 7 hour operation to take the bad lump out.

 It took a long time for me to get better after the surgery. I stayed in the hospital for lots of days then stayed home from school for 2 months. I needed a lot of therapy to help learn to use my “new“ brain. I had to practise going up and down stairs and walking on a line. My mommy made me take lots of naps and we had SO many visits to the hospital to see lots of different doctors.

 I feel much better now and I am excellent on my bike! I am still a bit sad because the tumour made me blind in my left eye. Also, my hands don't work very well and I have trouble printing, cutting and drawing. The doctors can't fix this now, but hopefully someday they can. 

Many kids get brain tumours and things don't turn out so well for them. I have met lots of other brain tumour kids who can't walk or speak or have cancer. I am lucky that I can run and walk so my family and I are walking in the “Spring Sprint” for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. TEAM BRYN has raised thousands of dollars in other years and we want to do it again this year. 

Here is Mommy and I at our first Spring Sprint in June of 2011, 3 1/2 months after my surgery.

We raised over $1000  that year.

In 2012 we raised over $1500!!

This year I am hoping for $2000 to help brain 
tumour patients and their families.  


(Mommy and I baked these for a bake sale at her school.  The nice teachers she works with said my baking was delicious and gave us lots of donations!)

Thank-you so much for you donation!

Love and hugs!

Bryn and Bronwyn

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Well-Loved T-shirt Becomes Pretty Hoop Art

Today I spent the  morning in our daughter's room, up to my elbows in paint, turning her room from...... a lovely shade of...

It's all part of the "re-decoration" of her bedroom that I told you all about HERE.

The room is slowly coming together and I hope to be able to show you the completed project in a few weeks.  Until then I will have lots of little projects to show you, all part of the new colour scheme.

And here is the first!

Afton grew out of this pretty little tee-shirt 2 years ago.  

I loved the strawberry embroidery and pretty gingham ribbon detailing so I couldn't bear to send it off to charity as I do with so many of her clothes.  

Instead I held onto it in hopes that I could use it in some way. And today I did!!

Here are crafty bits for today's little project:

~ a wooden hoop
~ ric rac
~ gingham ribbon
(and I used a glue gun, too!)

First I cut the tee-shirt into a small square that would easily stretch into my wooden hoop.

I glued the fabric to the back of the hoop, pulling it snugly.....

....then cut off the excess using sharp scissors.  

Unfortunately the tee-shirt had a small stain on it. To cover this I folded up a piece of matching gingham ribbon into a bow and glued it over the stain.  

What an easy-peasey fix!!

To finish the edges, I glued some white ric-rac to the back of the hoop so that the ruffle-ly edge could be seen at the front. 

(I burned myself several times doing this, but it was worth it in the end!)

Doesn't the hoop art perfectly match  this strawberry angel I bought for our daughter last summer??  Cute as a button, huh?

One decor project done, several to go.  

Bit by bit, Little Lady's room is coming together.

Keep checking in - I am sure I'll have something else to share within the next few days!!

Hugs to you and yours,


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Watering Can Centrepiece and a Lesson from my Daughter

While out thrifting with my daughter we came across a rusty old watering can.  It was pretty wrecked up and far from pretty. 

She asked to buy it.  I said no right away. 

 "It's not very pretty, Afton."

"I thought we could make it pretty.  Maybe plant flowers in it."

I smiled and brushed her off.  I've got plenty of pots at home for that. Who needs a rusty old watering can...?

We came home with lots of "treasures" that day, but no watering can. 
And boy did I regret it.  

She was right.  We could have made that watering can pretty.
All it needed was a wipe-down and something lovely inside it.
Then it would have shone again like it was brand-new.

Kind of like this silver watering can that I paid way too much for at Michaels later that week. 

I wanted to make a spring centrepiece for my dining room table and this watering can vase was  perfect for my plan and vision.

So I bought it.

Looking at it now, it's probably too new and shiny.  It was hard to take pictures of it  because my reflection kept showing on it.
It's too "glitzy" looking - so silver that it looks "blinged" out.  Not my cup of tea at all.  

I guess I've just learned the hard way that I should trust my daughter's instinct.  She was right.  The tarnished old watering can would have been perfect for "pretty-ing up."

Next time I am trusting her.  
She has gift of creative imagination and I should never doubt it.

What have you learned from your children lately??

Hugs to all,


Afton's Crocheted Poncho

Yikes! It's been a whole week since I blogged! Oops! Oh well - sometimes real life gets in the way, doesn't it??

I spent the weekend away at my sister Stephanie's house in Ottawa. It was lovely.  I was kid and obligation free and the 10 hours I spent quietly on the train were absolutely dreamy!
I'll post more on that later in the week....

But before that I can't wait to show you my latest crochet project:

One night in Michaels, I found that my favourite yarn was on sale.  I had no idea what I wanted to make, but after a few minutes of colour mixing I remembered the crocheted poncho pattern I had recently "pinned."
Project picked --- a stripey granny poncho for my 7-year-old daughter!

Do you like the colour combo?
Buttery yellow
Acid green
Watery teal
Medium mauve
& White

Not my typical mix, but pretty none the less!

Does she like it?  For sure!!

If you ask her, her favourite part is the group of crocheted flowers on the front. 
Hmmm....that might be my favourite part, too.

Afton is a little bit artsy, just like her mommy.
She, too, likes to spend her time in creative endeavours (her bedroom is proof of that - yikes!!).
But yesterday she took advantage of the sunshiney weather and hit the pavement- literally.

How about some life-sized ballerina art for the driveway?
Doesn't every driveway need that?

If the art is this darn cute - I think so!!

Much love and thanks for visiting!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fabric Flowers and Searching for Spring

It finally feels like spring here! Hurray!!!
  The kids went coat-less outside after school today and now, hubby and I are enjoying the Toronto Blue Jays game on the TV with the windows open.  
Spring has sprung!!

Not to be outdone with nature's blossoms, my daughter Afton and I worked together on making a few fabric flowers to wear pinned to our outfits in the next few weeks.  

We followed THIS TUTORIAL and mixed together a variety of pink and yellow prints. We also modified the instructions for a couple of flowers to see how they would turn out.  

We LOVE them and have worn them out on several occasions with many a compliment ensuing!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My husband, Kevin, is currently working on getting his Masters in Education.  He spends countless hours reading, researching and writing, on top of time spent teaching school and caring for our family.

  In order to give him some quiet "work" time, I try to take all three kids out on the weekends --- and everyone wins! Kevin gets his work done, and the rest of the family gets an adventure out and about!!

This past weekend we headed for a local nursery in search of spring --- flowers, ponds and wildlife!

Afton REALLY liked these planters, complete with their own birds!

She is a big fan of pink (as if you couldn't tell) and wanted one of these for our front door.  

Camden disagreed.  He prefers the yellow!

In the pond section of the nursery, Camden was gleeful to find a floating crocodile amongst the Koi.  

Bryn and Camden were both disappointed that there were no fish outside in the ponds yet.  Sorry boys - still too cold!!

Now let's be honest- the boys' FAVOURITE part of the nursery visit was this guy - a Frilled Lizard who seemed to be quite interested in the boys, too!

These are called English Daisies.  They come in 3 shades of pink.  I think I  NEED some!!

And who doesn't love an orchid??

Pansies by the table-full!

And PINK....

in every...

shape and shade!!

I'm looking forward to a weekend away.  I am taking the train to visit my sister in Ottawa for a few days.  Kid-free and obligation-free.  I couldn't ask for more!

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Hourglass Table Topper

Happy beginning of the week!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.
I had the most relaxing weekend I have had in weeks.  
I had not parties to plan,  no big dinners to prepare for and no parties to attend.  
It was low-key and relaxing.  

On several occasions I said to my husband, "I feel like I am wasting my time." All this free-time and nothing to show for it.  

He reminded me that is what "relaxing" is all about.  Rest, relaxation, no deadlines and no cares in the world.  

Wow.  I hadn't relaxed in so long that I had forgotten how to do it!!

I did sew for pleasure though.  My favourite colours, a new pattern and no time frame.

This is what I came up with:

I had pinned THIS TUTORIAL ages ago and really wanted to give it a try.  I am relatively new to patchwork and I really wanted to learn how it to do it RIGHT.  Allison Harris' step by step instructions are clear and easy to  follow.  Lots of tutorial pictures really help, too!

I used a charm pack of  "Coquette" by Moda Fabrics and paired it up with some crisp white.

I had hoped to use an aqua binding on the edge and  I bought a package of it at the fabric store in a nearby town. However, somewhere between paying for my purchase and arriving home, I LOST this binding and had to settle for the white I had in my craft stash.  Bummer. Oh well. The white looks good, too,  I guess.  

It's fairly small, but is the perfect size to settle in the centre of my dining room table.

Some lovely little birds came to visit.  

After they left, my latest bunch of tulips took over.  
Don't they look pretty with all those pretty pastel shades in the background? 

And speaking of flowers, I grabbed one little pot of runuculas at a local greenhouse today.
It amazes me that one plant can grow flowers in several different shades at the same time.  This plant had flowers in 2 shades of red and one in pink.

 Who know what the other 2 buds hold in store....

Thanks for popping by.  
Please make sure you are following me on Bloglovin'.  There is a link at the top of my blog.

Hugs to all!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Springtime Mantel

Happy mid-week everyone
Thanks for stopping by my little part of blogland. 
 I am so happy to see so many new followers in the last few weeks. 
 And the comments - I read and cherish each and everyone, so thank-you for leaving them!!

Today I want to show you my.....

I took down my bunnies and Easter eggs yesterday and switched to more "seasonal" decor instead of holiday-oriented. 

I stuck with the pastel theme because, quite frankly, it makes me pretty darn happy!!   Who doesn't like a shot of pink on these early spring days??

Oh yes -- and flowers!  Lots of them!!
My youngest, who is 4, said I had a  "garden" on my mantel.  

Sounds good to me!!

I stole the birdhouse out of my daughter's bedroom.  It had been there for ages and I thought maybe it needed to be in the limelight for a few weeks.  

( In fact, the faux lavender is hers, too.  I wonder if she misses it? )

Are daisies a spring flower?  Probably not, but I like the different texture they add.  

The tulip votive holders are from Michaels.  A buck and a half each, I think.  

Hello pink hydrangeas!!  How I've missed you this winter.  

They are calling for a snowstorm tomorrow here in the Toronto area.

God help us, NO!!

I am SO ready for the tulips, daffodils and green buds of spring.

I guess I want the world to look like my mantel.

Is that too much to ask??