Where you can find me now

Hello all 50 of you!

You may be wondering where I am, and what the heck I’ve been up to. I am still quite active on the interwebz, just not on the blogging front. I really want to put the time into it, but, let’s be real. The kind of time I would require would involve me winning tonight’s 100M Lotto Maxx draw.
I do find myself spending lots of time on Google+, and that appears to be the place where all of my content is merging. One stop shopping, if you will. Share goofy things, crafty things, vintage-y things. You know, the usual.

So, I’m Michelle Axbey on the G+, and I’m Barbamomma on the Pinterest, if you’re interested in seeing what’s inspiring me these days.

Check ya later!

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Did you know?

Did you know?

Originally uploaded by Shanghai Cowgirl

One cow = 500, 412 gummi bears.
It’s a fact!

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Catching up on crafting – Summer 2011


This past summer, Ni had an on-again off-again fever that had us perplexed. Eventually, we realized that the blanket she demanded sleeping with was way too hot, elevating her temperature and keeping it there. So. Weird. I did what most frantic mothers would do… I made her a quilt, and one for Monkey as well. It’s just a thrifted Ikea crib sheet with an old baby blanket as the batting. I guess technically, this is my very first machined quilt! I used this tutorial as a reference and it turned out swell, easy-peasy.


This is an Amy Butler pattern that I won years ago and finally got around to making. There are three bags, this being the biggest, and I made two sets – one for my sister and one for myself. I can’t say I like Butler patterns, I often find myself thinking that the directions are overly complicated for what you need to accomplish. The end results were sweet, and I use this bag everyday.


This isn’t the best picture, but here’s one of the three pirate skirts I made at the end of August for Bean’s Pirate Birthday Party. Have you been to Filth Wizardry’s website? – she’s brill. If I was a stay-at-home-mom-blogger, I would totally be her and build Millenium Falcons out of recycled materials for the girls. Instead, I work for The Man and make these super simple pirate skirts. We can’t have it all.


Finally made a new robe, based on my own kimono I’ve had for decades. I used some Anna Maria Horner flannel I bought years ago for some other purpose and it’s perfect. Sadly, I still can’t part with the old one, as I have many memories of both Lu and Ni’s births and newborn days spent in it. Maybe a tiny wall quilt?


Hexie needle books made while visiting Tina.


More hand quilting.

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Anti-squabbling tricks – sewing cards


Sewing cards=quiet ride home!
Lu verdict: “These are awesome!”
Ni verdict: “Good. Why are they painted? Mr. Sunshine is hard.”

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Thamesville Photowalk

One of the perks of my job is that I have a boss who encourages his staff in their creative endeavours. Sadly, this does not mean that I get to sew drapes for the office, but it does mean that I get to sometimes do some photography.

We were in Chatham recently and the opportunity arose for the Work Wife and I to go on an impromptu photowalk.

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The Osoberry Bag tutorial review

After taking a hand quilting class in August, I decided I needed a bag that could hold my quilting frame. I settled on the Osoberry Bag by FoxFlat and used some Ruby Star Rising fabric.

Can I adore this fabric anymore than I do? No. I cannot. It is my all-time favorite fabric, and I didn't even know that I could have a favorite.

I also lined it with this nifty lined paper fabric (get it?) and added about two inches to the pattern dimensions in order for the bag to be able to accommodate my Q-snap.

So, besides the fabric, what do I think of the bag? In a word – great. Great to stitch up, great to use. I use it way more often than just for carrying quilting projects.

The pattern is unique in that it’s a hand-drawn illustration, which is brilliant. Very clear diagrams and written instructions really does make this a quick-ish bag to make. This one took me about a day, mainly because I was increasing the size of the pattern pieces and fussy-cutting everything, which are two things I don’t usually do, and I am happy with the results. I think if I make another, it’ll probably take me half the time.

Overall, definitely my Perfect Bag Tutorial so far – perfect for the advanced beginner!

PROS: Excellent instructions in pdf for easy printing and referencing when sewing.
Designed as a reuse/stash-busting project.
Solid construction with minimal effort and sewing skills.

CONS: Seam allowance not referenced (Katie quickly put it in the comments)
Drafting pattern (or drawing onto fabric) might be intimidating to beginners.
Doesn’t have a fastener, if that matters to you.

WISHLIST: Nothing! The reigning Perfect Bag Tutorial champion!

Next up: The Market Bag Tote.

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Toronto Ukrainian Festival kicks CNE’s butt

Blanked out height restrictions means that even Tiny can go on the largest, highest and fastest ride. Yes, that’s her tiny hand peeking out on the left hand side.

Cheaper rides means going on more rides which means happier kids.

Quiet parkettes off Bloor Street means stress-free noshing of many, many perogies while the kids run around safely.

Tiny donuts inspire Jake.

It was also perfect weather – sunny and cool.

At about one third of what we spent at the Ex in August, both the kids and parents had a good time. And, being a stones throw away from the grandparents’ for naps doesn’t hurt either. Next year we’ll skip the Ex entirely and save the money for more perogies.

More photos of the day, including the prerequisite dancing Ukrainian girls, here.

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