a little holiday cheer

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The dinner table at my Mom's -- I love her red wine glasses!

We're off to a friend's house tonight to celebrate the big '09 but I wanted to share a few pics of my handmade gifts. This year I made the same thing for everyone -- pillows! My little sister gave me the idea -- she's moving into a new apartment in a couple of days and wanted some new pillows for her new place. The pics I took of her pillows didn't turn out for some reason but you can kind of see what I made through the fuzz.

The second set is for my other sister -- I wanted to give her something fun to brighten up her living room.

And finally -- a set of pillows I made for my Mom. I think they look perfect with her couch!

That's it for now! I hope you all have a wonderful New Year celebration. See you in 2009!


Happy Holidays

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays everyone! I'm at my Mom's house now for the holidays where I'll enjoy lots of turkey and sweets. There is A LOT of snow here in Eastern Ontario so maybe I'll do a snow angel or two too.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year!


a little obsession

Monday, December 15, 2008

Can I tell you how "busy" I've been in the past little while? I say "busy" because all of my "free" time has been used up with a little series of books written for teenagers... Ok I'll just come out and say it: I'm obsessed with the Twilight Series of books. There's something about a vampire love story that really makes my heart flutter. I told C not to give me the books -- it's just the worst time of the year to be head over heels with something other than sewing (don't the Cullens know I have Christmas presents to make???). Ok enough of that.

I have been sewing I guess. A week or so ago I did my first ever little craft event. I offered to set up a table to sell my stuff at the market bazaar at work to help raise money for United Way. Although there weren't a lot of people passing through, it was a really great experience because it got me out of the house and away from the computer. The best part was to see people I knew from the office "You made all this stuff?"

The Clara Clutch

I managed to sell a few things, but I still have lots left so I've put it all up in my shop. I can't really guarantee it'll get to you by Christmas, but if you're reading this from Ontario you'll get it for sure (some of you may even get personal delivery from moi!) And to keep with the theme of the original purpose for making these things, I will be donating 10% of all sales to United Way until after Christmas. How cool is that.

The Zoula Zip

View the rest of the items here

This week I'm dedicating my time to making the rest of my gifts for my friends and family. There isn't A LOT to do (who am I kidding) but it is still stressful (really, I love the pressure). I'm not sure if I'll get back on here before the holidays so if I don't -- Happy Holidays! I can't believe it is here already to be honest with you -- it really crept up this year.

later gaters

a house, a rockstar bride and a paris bag

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Well hello there!

Wow it has been a while, but I've been quite busy! In the past little while my husband and I have bought a house and sold ours! It has been a whirlwind to say the least. Currently we live in the east end of Toronto and we happened to find a house closer to Mark's work in the west end so we took the plunge. But that meant getting our house ready for sale. Since we live in a little bungalow, the preparations weren't too bad and we managed to sell our house in a matter of 4 days. Pretty crazy, especially in this "economic downturn" (ugh I hate that phrase more than anything....sooo over used.)

Anyway now that the house is sold I'm back to sewing (and making a mess of course). I've been happy with the response to my etsy shop -- well not in sales in the shop, although I did sell all my totes, but more in custom orders! The latest order was a revamp of The Paris Bag. Rockstar Bride is a gal I lived with in uni and she has started her own event planning business "Hot Pink Petticoat" on the side. Oh and did I mention she just had HER OWN rockstar wedding? Pretty fun. Anyway, I really love this bag... RSB wanted something that was bright and matched her new pink logo, but she also wanted a splash of black. So we melded together two vibrant Anna Maria Horner fabrics for this fun tote she'll have for all her work.

The best part? It's reversable!

As for other projects, this Friday I'm helping out with a Market Bazaar at one of our offices. I'll have a little table where I'll be selling colourful totes, zip pouches, coasters and clutches and 10% of sales will go to United Way. I'll have pics next week on that. Right now though, I have to get to work (my real job!).

Happy Tuesday.

a tisket, a tasket...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Aren't these the cutest little things you ever did see? Well I think so. C gave these to me last night as a thank you for making her so many things over the past while. Little does she know I actually consider her my quality assurance manager, so I call it even. These are from Jenn Maruska Design -- the bag is a little sweetie called a "tasket" and then there is a pin cushion and a needle book. I just love them. Thanks C!

On Monday, I managed to get some napkins made -- something I've been meaning to do for a while. I'm calling them The Gold Leaf Napkin set for some reason -- really it was the first thing that popped into my head. I tend to do that a lot. I love this fabric -- it's Anna Maria Horner's Shadow fabric in Ivory from her Drawing Room line, which really looks sharp (yes I just used the term 'sharp') with crisp, white dinnerware. They're in the shop as we speak.

Oh did I mention that I did a spinning class today for the first time in say, four years? YA.... I almost died. The class started at 6:45 and I was one timbit away from leaving at 7 - no kidding. I honestly don't know how the hell I managed to get through it. I think the fact that Obama won kept me going. I kept telling myself that if Obama beat all odds to become President of the United States... I can do this measly spinning class. Anyway I finished it and now I'm not sure I can get out of my seat.

Great, now I have that song in my head....

Obama Mama

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ok so this isn't craft related, nor am I American, but I'm pretty interested in the election results tonight and I thought this was the coolest way to keep track:


the kate bag

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Another sister tote! Named after my other sister Kate, this tote is a big one (Kate is only big in height I assure you!). I used more of the same fabric I used on some of the napkins I made for Christmas last year.

I love this fabric and really I was thinking of keeping it but I realized that I can't keep them all. The Kate Bag has one big strap that sits across the chest and has a cute little button on the outside. There are two pockets on the inside. This one is in the shop.

Happy Sunday!

the stacey tote

Thursday, October 23, 2008

She probably wouldn't want to have her name on the 'net but I needed a name for this tote, so I named it after my sister Stacey. Oh well! ;)

This tote totally didn't set out to look like this, but I think it turned out rather cute if I do say so myself. It has Anna Maria's Branching Out fabric on the outside (you know the one I'm obsessed with???) and Amy's green Full Moon polkas on the inside. There's a little pocket in there too to keep all your small goodies. This one is in the shop .

Has anyone ever been to Accent on Toronto? We went last night and it was really funny. I was crying, I was laughing so hard. I kinda felt bad for the woman beside me... I think I noticed her every so politely inching closer to her friend and away from me. Anyway it was a good laugh so you should go next year.

later lovelies!

just coney

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Well last night was a blast and the silent auction was a hit. It turns out that my good friend AV ended up with my tote which is good because I didn't actually get around to making the accompanying zip pouch after all, so now I can give it to her when I make it.

We're spending the day outside today because it JUST gorgeous out. We cleaned up the back yard and found a gazillon pine cones so I decided to put a some in some pottery and vases I have to bring some of the outdoors in the house. I can already smell the pine cone yumminess.

I'm being summoned to get off the computer -- it's just too nice to be inside. We're off to Chudleigh's for a hike with my sister-in-law and her family. I can't wait to get out on the trails.

Happy Fall!


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Well it seems people love the frenchies! And although I can't sell them according to the fine print of my frenchy pattern, I made one for my friend's sister out of some extra fabric I had from the other frenchies I made this year. I also made one for my amazing photographer friend who is out in BC so Jenn I'll be shipping it out to you on Monday!

Have a great weekend y'all. I have a busy day ahead of me. Right now I'm waiting for the fabric store to open so I can get a zipper for the zip pouch I'm making to go with my tote for the secret auction at the reunion tonight. I've already delivered the tote so I'll have to sneak in with my action moves and slide the zip pouch into the tote before anyone bids (hopefully someone bids!). At noon we're off to see some friends who had a baby a little over a month ago and then the reunion!

later gaters

happy turkey day

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's Thanksgiving up here in the big C, so I wish all of you a wonderful weekend. I will be having my fair share of turkey dinners (3!).

Take care and enjoy this beautiful weather we're having!

oui, oui à paris!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

C is off to London and then Paris this week with her family and needed a bag to bring all the essentials with her. I made this bag...I'll call her Paris... out of the same grey fabric I made my first Frenchy. It's lined with Amy Butler's grey Lacework fabric.

I brought it out to the movies for a test drive the other night (has any one seen Tropic Thunder?? I think I have a little crush on Ben Stiller now...) and it held up quite well... even with my water, wallet, snacks, camera & lip balm, so I think it'll be perf for the big trip!


mmm beer.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Has any one else noticed it's getting colder earlier?? I'm not a big fan I have to say. Really, it's still so nice to go outside but I find myself staying put indoors for some reason. I think it's because I need to get some new fall clothes... yes need and I need some socks.

Yesterday at lunch I went outside for the first time in weeks (ok I'm exaggerating) to do a little photo shoot with my latest tote: The Taylor Creek Tote. I'm so obsessed with this fabric and it's perfect for this weather. This one isn't going in the shop though.

A couple weeks from now we're having the 45th reunion for our unversity residence - O'Keefe House . I lived in this small little residence downtown Toronto that at one point in time, was owned by Eugene O'Keefe (ever heard of Carling O'Keefe beer??). I lived there for four years, as did my husband, so we're heading there for the reunion. This little tote will go into the silent auction to raise money for the Ted Brock Recognition Award. Ted was a stand-up guy who was asked to look after the house for a year or so but ended up staying there for 35 years or something crazy like that...

This weekend is one of very few that I'm doing nothing! I'm excited to get back to the gym after my dumb soccer back and hamstring injuries, and I already have a nice list of sewing to get done. What are you up to?

Happy Friday everyone and I'll see you soon...

bump up the jam

Monday, September 29, 2008

The title of this post is dedicated a bit to my goodlife class that I miss dearly. I've been out with a bad back for a few weeks and haven't been able to go. I went to the gym for the first time today and gazed into the classroom longingly at all the bodypumpers pumping away to pump up the jam (gotta love that hair and green spandex...)

But I suppose the title is really about the latest project that I did for C a few weeks ago. She really does keep me busy, that girl!

C wanted a bumper pad for her daughter's crib and I took the challenge. She didn't know what fabric she wanted for the longest time, but she knew she wanted something to match her Dwell bed skirt. She decided on Amy Butler's Lime Full Moon Polka Dots after she threw the bag I made her into the crib one day and liked the look. (It also looks pretty cute with the coriander pillow I made her awhile back).

I'm really happy with the turn out -- but I likely won't be making another one until the time comes from my own little ones... these things aren't as easy as they look to make! But it was fun and I'm happy that C keeps me sewing for practice.

welcome to lealou's house

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Well it's up! I spent the past month or so sewing, taking photos and writing descriptions for each item and had lots of fun doing it. Even if no one buys anything I had so much fun getting back into sewing I can't wait to get back to the sewing machine to make more.

I have to say I had the most fun writing the descriptions... people might think I'm a bit crazy naming my pillows and totes after parts of East York where I live but that's ok... I like it here and why not promote it?

For this first batch of sewing I used a lot of Anna Maria Horner fabrics... her new Garden Party line is so bright and vibrant and really I can't stop looking at them. I just LOVE her Drawing room volumes print which I used for my tote. I also used a couple of Amy Butler's print's although they're a bit springy! It's so dreary here today that a little punch of pink is just what I need to tell you the truth.

Thanks again to my sister for creating my very cool banner and to my cat for staying away from all the stuff I sew... also thanks to M for vacuuming up the little threads he finds all over the house every week...

So here we go! here's a little taste of what you can find in the shop:

The Taylor Creek Cushion
Named after the little creek near my house - this pillow reminds me of the crispness of fall...

The Relish Cushion

Named after one of my favourite places to eat in East York, Relish Bar & Grill... it gives people in the area something different than the every-day mundane.

The East Lynn Cushion

This cushion reminds me of a park with it's bright colours so I named it after East Lynn Park down the street from me...

Springtime in the City Cushion

Sure it's not springtime, but I know I will be wishing for it once the first snowflake hits the ground, so I made this bright pink pillow to add a touch of spring to those cold winter months.

The Stacks Tote

This was my favourite project -- I LOVE this fabric and want to keep the tote for myself... I made the handles a bit too long but I tied them up and think they look kinda cute now...

I'll be updating the shop as I figure out what to up up there next so keep a look out... also I have a cute baby project I made for C and Rowan a couple weeks ago... I have to get C to take some pics when she gets it set up...

Happy weekend! I'm off to the in-laws and then to visit some good friends tomorrow north of the city.


it's coming!

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm working on the last bitsy details of my etsy site and I should have it up and running tomorrow at noon. Be sure to check it out then!

Happy Friday!

Getting TUFF

Friday, September 05, 2008

As I mentioned this week, my sister has a film in the Toronto Urban Film Festival this week and now is your chance to see it and vote! Below is a description of the film and festival in her words. Enjoy and don't forget to vote!


Ok, so you all know about the Toronto International Film Festival happening this week. But underground there is a hipper, quieter, simpler festival happening called the Toronto Urban Film Festival. The films are silent, 60 second pieces that play in rotation on subway monitors over 10 days. My entry is titled ‘Gayla’s Garden’, inspired by and featuring Gayla Trail masterfully edited by Beau Dickson, and shot and directed by yours truly!

So, if you are in the subway this Sunday, look up to the monitors and you may just see it playing. It will be in rotation throughout that day.

You can also see it here and VOTE:

Cheers, and happy Autumn!

my sister is so talented...really.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I asked my sister eS to design a banner for me for my blog and my new shop and look what she came up with!

Now I've just got to figure out how to get the little sucker up on this site!

Oh did I mention she also has a film in the Toronto Urban Film Festival again this year? More news on that Friday.


my cat made me do it...

Monday, August 18, 2008

-flash the cat-

...ok not really, but I blame him for lots of stuff around here so why not this?

I've bit the bullet and made a commitment to launch an etsy site for September 27th! yes I know, I know you haven't seen much sewing from this girl lately, but I just looked at the post-it that I stuck to my wall eons ago and it says "Open Etsy Shop Sept. '08" so I guess I better do it right? I'm going to start off with some pillows and we'll see what happens next! Stay tuned y'all!


hopefully the rain will stay away today

Saturday, July 26, 2008

This week we had a deck built out back -- there was an area of the yard that dipped down after we stepped out of our house (on three shakey steps that I wiped out on 2 weeks ago) that was full of mini, annoying rocks that stuck to our feet and stabbed our toes when we walked on them. After that area is our back yard which we love...

We really wanted to find a way to bridge the gap (ahhh a term we love to use in the corporate world... all too much). So M got some of his peeps over (who just happen to have a little side gig making decks) and they built one in 4 days. AND...we...love...it. Seriously, but guess what, I don't have any pics yet. I have before pics, but those are boring. We got a little mini outdoor loveseat and table too so I'm just going to fancy it up a bit and then I'll share pics. But I love that I'm sitting out here, on my computer, sipping coffee on a breazy saturday morning.

But really, even if we didn't have the deck I'd be sitting out here any way likely sitting in the annoying little rocks... because I don't feel like doing anything else. I've already been to the gym this morning where I think I pushed myself way to hard. I don't think I'll listen the next time the instructor tells us to put more weight on our bars if we've been coming to the class for awhile. I almost cried three times it was so tough. She keeps saying we'll thank her for it soon but I'm not sure about that right at the moment.

I also went to a new market after the gym to check it out - I had $8 dollars in my purse and they wanted $5 for parking so I whined and asked them if I could give them $3 instead because it was my first time. They obliged thank goodness because then I wouldn't have had enough for my yummy lettuce, chard, dill (smells so freaking good) and purple scallions.

ANYWAY enough of this ranting -- I'm sitting out here contemplating what to do next for the day, which looks like it's going to be cleaning the bathroom unfortunately. We're heading to a BBQ later and I just hope the rain stays away at least until later on in the night when I will have had a few vodka tonics and I really won't care what the skies deliver.

Happy Weekend Y'all!



Saturday, July 12, 2008

At Christmas you might recall I decided to make my Dad a blanket for his gift. I bought some cozy, furry, bubbly fabric for one side and fleece for the other. I almost gave up right away because the darn fabric was so hard to work with -- so slippery! So I opted for fleece only... M said it was looking like a baby's blanket anyway. Well I'm off to a baby shower today and for the gift I decided to attempt another blanket with similar slippery, cozy fabric.

It didn't start off so hot -- I'm impatient with certain things -- I just started sewing, barely pinning this slippery sucker into place. It didn't go well so I threw the thing out the window and stomped out to the back yard to pout. Time moved on and I realized I didn't have much for my friend's gift so I decided to take another stab at it, but this time around I carefully pinned every inch into place (I definitely need more pins!) so that nothing was getting away from me this time.

It worked and I'm pretty happy with the outcome. I call her spotty: fun mint green and taupe polkas on one side with the furry, cozy yumminess on the other. I made it quite a bit bigger than other baby blankets I've made because C says it's nice for Moms to sit on their blankets with their babies when they go to the park!

It feels so great to be back sewing again -- I have a rather large list to pick away at so hopefully you'll see more pics over the next several weeks.

Happy weekend!


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

do you ever leave the house with nothing on you? no purse, no id, no phone... nothing. I went for a walk today at lunch to return my book to the library and all I carried with me was the book... it's good to disconnect sometimes.

unsettled weather

Friday, June 27, 2008

the weather here in Toronto has been weird to say the least but I was happy to get a few really nice days where I could just veg out back and read my new book --------->
Consolation is a very cool book that flashes back and forth from Toronto 1855 and Toronto 1997... it's neat to read about the streets and scenery and know where they are exactly... anyway good read.

today I'm off to play in a golf tournament with M's family -- they have these reunions every 2 years and since I've been with M for 10 years this year I thought this was my 8 reunion but he said that didn't make sense so now I'm thinking it is my 6th who knows -- they kind of all run into each other... it should be fun regardess of what number it is. We get to eat lots of yummy italian food and play bocce and stuff -- hopefully the weather holds up.

I can't believe I'm talking about the weather....

Since i haven't been sewing (my machine is still in the plastic bag [yes plastic egad!] from when I brought it to the shop) I thought i would show you some random photos from our trip. We took 1700 photos so I hope you have some time... :)

That's me above in St. Peter's Square -- I was checking out the insane line-up you had to stand in to get it...

a street scape on a walk (of many) in Rome

pretty courtyard -Rome

awesome pic at night of Ponte Vecchio - Florence

looking out from our apartment in our villa in Poppi

poppies -- everywhere!

ok that's all I've got for today -- oh - I wanted to tell you about the new feature I added a couple days ago -----------------> I started a Twitter account so you can see what I'm doing every second of the day! :)

ps- my cat is driving me crazy right now! he wants to go outside so bad but I won't let him because I'm leaving for the day... poor Flash!

have a great weekend!

white wedding and a range rover

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

ok so I promise I'll start sewing...soon. I'm in love with the outdoors right now and I kind of knew it was going to affect my sewing productivity. I'm thinking of investing in a very long extension cord to bring out to the backyard -- it's not a bad idea.

I wanted to share a few more pics from my wedding - the first I think would make a pretty cool ad for Range Rover ;)


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