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We are going into the city tomorrow and I don’t think either of us will be able to resist buying crates of plain onesies. I can’t think of a more satisfying ten minute craft.

This is Kohitsuji-chan from Aranzi Aronzo. I used the image from a postcard from my friend Maiko in Japan. She also sent me the mug and it’s a miracle that I’ve had it for a few years now and haven’t broken it.

This time around I was very careful to cut the transfer paper very close to the image so it didn’t leave lots of shiny remnants for maximum cuteness!

I am loving not being exhausted all the time.  I have a blueberry pie cooling in the kitchen for heaven’s sake! I’ve also had time for knitting while watching season one of Damages and making gallons of smoothies and mocktails.  Good times! I hope you all had a great weekend also.  Don’t be shy to say hello. It’s been a bit quiet around these parts and I miss reading what you all have to say.

I am officially on maternity leave for the next year!  I could not be more excited.   Work had not been so sunshiny for me and I am so glad to be able to go to sleep and not worry about what a jerk student did or said or what to do the next day and to be able to get up in the morning and not breath shallow stress breaths. Now I can really dive back in to making great things.

My first project turned out to be a bit of a disaster but I fell pretty amused by the whole affair.  I saw this tutorial for spiffing up t-shirts with bleach via the Make + Do blog and I thought it would be a great way to bring some maternity tops back from the junk heap.  For some reason every t-shirt I have gotten from Thyme maternity has ended up with strange grease spots after one wash. But just the ones from that store.  I looked like I was manning a chip truck all day.  Super gross.

First, I tried the stencil method on a dark purple long sleeved tee.  I copied a stencil from Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing for Baby onto freezer paper and blotted the bleach on with a rag.  The only problem was I wasn’t so careful and ended up with bleached blobs on the rest of the shirt.  Plus, the freezer paper didn’t hold up to the bleach and the design ended up less than crisp.  So, I soaked the whole thing in the sink with bleach hoping it would dye evenly.

Not so much.  But still fairly wearable.

T-shirt number two is the most epic of all the fails.  I thought I would daintily draw a heart on with a squeeze bottle as the tutorial author did.  The bleach flooded out of the bottle, soaked through the thick newspaper lining and left both sides looking more like a boob window than a heart. Ugh. I don’t even want to share this but in the name of learning from my mistakes:

This one’s definitely going back in the trash bin.

For some reason I didn’t abandon the nozzle method completely and thought I’d have more precision with the  pink nightmare under my belt.  I went for a wispy fern design on t-shirt number three. I got this:

Not totally heinous but the random dots of bleach on the sleeves and back hardly speak to a professional hand.

This is not to mention the fumes that probably shrivelled the poor fetus’s developing lungs and the little dot of bleach I got on the good t-shirt I was wearing. You can’t win ’em all!

I thought I should take a little break from all the baby knitting mania and make something for myself.  I’m a big fan of the Socks that Rock and Crosswalker combination and so I went for number three.

The yarn is medium weight in the January One colourway.  I won it from Cara almost two and half years ago now.  I don’t know if I would have chosen it for myself but knit up I absolutely love it.

I have been on a big magic loop kick since discovering that I have a gap in my dpn collection and this is my first pair of socks using that method.  I wouldn’t say I’m a total convert but it’s neat to get a new skill under my belt.

And with that all of my skeins of sock yarn have been used up! Glory be!  I of course have many, many leftover bits and bobs that I may use for baby socks but the burden of the huge stash is lifted. Phew!

I think it may be obvious that the coinciding of my first trimester with the first semester of school left my creative life a vague past memory.  As school and morning all day sickness settled down, however I slowly returned to doing the things I love.  Unfortunately, one of the last pursuits to get any attention from me was cooking and baking.  I always told myself that when I did get pregnant all of my bad eating habits would be a thing of the past and I would be a totally responsible, quinoa-eating, yoga-practising mom to be. What actually happened was I would crawl home from work, collapse on the couch in front of the tv and call Chris at work demanding that he bring me nacho chips and queso for dinner.  Poor, malnourished little fetus.

Over the last few weeks I really feel I’ve gotten back into the swing of things. One major dietary victory was kicking my recent secret shame, a raging Pepsi addiction.  Pepsi is like a religion here on the reserve and I was bowing down to it’s sweet shrine on a much too regular basis.  Then I read in the newspaper about a new study suggesting a link between pop and pancreatic cancer, you know the cancer that kills everyone who gets it, and I finally decided I needed to kick the habit.

I also felt a little more energetic at the end of the day and started making bread again.  I’ve been lazy about finding a better storage method than a Ziploc freezer bag even though I totally know that plastic is not a great choice.  I read Amanda’s post about searching for her own solution and her research suggested fabric was the way to go.  Less that twenty minutes later, even with totally screwing up the drawstring’s buttonholes I had a bag of my own, just like some fancy French lady.

I love it in the towelling that I bought at Fabric Depot when I was in Portland. The twill tie is a lesson in why you should always save everything forever because I believe it came from a pair of my pyjama pants.

I would be lying if I were to say that it stays as fresh as it does in plastic but we tend to cut the loaves in half and freeze one and use a lot of the bread for toast so it’s really not a big deal.

Chris also got me this book for Christmas and when I read it this week I realized I need to stop being so lazy and be a lot more cognisant about where my food is coming from.  I had been pretty vigilant about buying organic dairy from humane farmers in Ottawa when probably the best health food grocery store in the city was two blocks away but there are a lot more food choices in an urban area.  Here I’m lucky to find milk that hasn’t expired already.  But it’s important to me that any farms I support are treating their animals humanely not only for the animal’s sake but because the alternative is making people sick from pollutants they produce and diseases that develop so rapidly in such an unnatural environment.  So, we’ve decided to only buy organic dairy when we have access to it and if we can’t get it we go without.  All of this is a long way of saying that I made a vegan cake for Valentine’s Day that even had whole wheat flour and no refined sugar and it was super delicious and did not turn us into dirty hippies.

The recipe is from Peter Berley’s The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen.  A lot of his recipes are actually vegan and they’ve all turned out really well.  This cake had a healthy dose of cinnamon that I think made all the difference.

One of the necessities I needed to tick off my layette list turned out to be the easiest.

Some Avery t-shirt iron on transfer sheets and a four dollar Joe onesie from Superstore was all I needed to make this infant the envy of her peer group.

I of course immediately considered the iconic Aladdin Sane cover but had to stay true to myself and go with my favourite cover image from Low (not my favourite album however).

The most difficult part by far was using Photoshop to cut out the album background and title.  Man I hate that program!

Now I’m kicking myself for not buying several dozen of these onesies so she could sport every Bowie album and movie cover. Well, maybe not The Hunger.

*From one of Chris’s favourite Bowie songs Kooks, which has some pretty adorable lyrics.

It occurred to me recently that I am going to have a baby real soon.  You would think this would have been a dead giveaway:

30 weeks. Same dress as 16 weeks for easy comparison.

So far things have been pretty breezy.  My blood pressure is excellent, my growth is right on track, I have no heart burn, hemorrhoids, nosebleeds, itching, contractions, infections, mood swings, varicose veins, swelling, stretch marks or weird dreams so it’s easy to forget that there is much work to be done.

It dawned on me that for quite a while I had been thinking of things we needed and immediately crossed it off my shopping list thinking “I can just make that.”  When I actually sat down to compile a little list of all these necessities I was just going to whip together I had to laugh at my ambition. And then I had to get to work.

First up: baby wipes and washcloths.

I am going on maternity leave in two (baby jesus willing) short weeks and that means my access to a serger was limited.  All I needed to do was teach myself how to use one and voila! Baby cloths. The wipes are just two squares of flannel serged together.

And the wash cloths are a piece of flannel and a square of hemp terry cloth from this Etsy shop sandwiched.

The flannel and terry didn’t work quite so co-operatively as the layers of flannel alone, as evidenced by the slightly ragged edges but where these are going they don’t need to be perfect. The flannel is the too pretty Valori Wells Flower Stripe Vine.  I got twenty-nine cloths of various sizes out of a yard of each colour. Not too shabby!

I know these wouldn’t have been pricey to pick up but these took no time at all and they’re way cuter than some print with anthropomorphic giraffes floating all over them. The only downside is now I want to serge everything in sight.

The stash busting / baby knittingpalooza continues with a pair of sassy baby pants.

This here is some Wollmeise Sockenwolle Twin in Rosenrot which you may remember from these too small socks.  The pattern is from Drops although I must warn you that the six to nine months size claims to require 150 grams of yarn, which is exactly what I had but as you can see I ran out of yarn before I could do the ribbed cuff and had to resort to a picot bind off. Let’s hope the baby has my stubby legs instead of Chris’s stilts.

My camera loved photographing this yarn as much as my old one did.  If anyone has any good tips on photographing red I am still all ears.