Monday, December 28, 2009

Castle Awesome - The Big Reveal

How the devil was your Yuletide? Ours was SUPER fun times. With PIE!

I finally put the last bloomin' stitch in the last bloomin' crenelation of Castle Awesome on Christmas Eve. The delay was because it was either take a break and make something else or toss the whole damn stinking thing down the garbage chute. On fire.
So I made some Very Weird Things, pics of the which will be posted once the Very Weird Things have been handed out as gifties.

As soon as I had finished the castle my sweetie decided that a photo shoot was in order, here's how that looks in his head:
Yup. Stormtrooper, Boba and a sand person. I LOVE it.

And here's what it looks like sans Lucas
That is Fred 2.0, notice his hair (mane?) and hoofs. And slightly skinnier neck. He's built for speed.

And here's the big reveal:

The longer version is HERE.
Opening gifties and lounging around and watching the bear poke his presents happily was HEAPS of fun. Also fun was how Crazy excited my sweetie was in the run up; Christmas eve he planned the big tree/present reveal with military precision and he wrapped all the Bear's presents so they were easily OPE-able by small monkey paws.

On Christmas day itself he rustled up a roast beast and trimmings and was ALMOST gracious about the catastrophic buttock kicking both he and I received at Monopoly.
Seriously, it was a brutal. Our chum Ian handed us our collective ass, but it was almost as if my sweetie had particularly angered the Monopoly gods by pooping in their knicker drawer. He was in jail 6 times. And he had a grand total of two properties. TWICE.

Present wise, I scored some very pretty earrings and a lovely sweater but more importantly, I had the BEST time with my boys AND my sweetie isn't back at work until after New Year's.
Oh and hey! did you see our tree? If not this is what it looks like:
and it smells yummy. OK. Done now.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

blow baby blow (updated!)

Ladies and Gentlemen!
For ONE night only The Messy Couch Cafe PREEEEEE-sents....

Teddy "SHORT PANTS" Filby-Thorne and his blues Harmonica styling!

I thanks you.
That was yesterday.
This was this morning:


Should I be calling the Julliard School or what?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It Really IS a Wonderful Life

Last friday, before I got embroiled in a weekend of battlement-sewing HELL (ok not hell, but man, I am sick of crenellations) I went to the movies.

With Britt. To see It's A Wonderful Life at Bloor cimena. It was funtimes squared.
Firstly, It's A Wonderful Life is magic. I love it so much. I managed not to cry like a baby from start to finish but DUDE, it was a near thing. This is my very favorite part:

It SLAYS me. "I know you feel bad Mr. Gower..."

Secondly, The Bloor Cinema is pretty magic too, it's a hundred year old picture house in delightfully creaky repair and the folks who run it are LOVELY.
We went to the Winter Gala performance of IWL and there were cookies and cakes, eggnog and cider and reindeer/movie trivia games. The audience weren't afraid to sigh and laugh and and wolf whistle in the right places, which I LOVE, other people's responses are my favorite thing about going to the movies.

And lastly I got to dress up. I happen to have made Vogue pattern 8615 and it has this vintagey vibe to it. So that's what I wore.

My very favorite thing about the dress is the back.
I also threw some VERY RED lipstick on; which, you guys, SO far out of my comfort zone. I felt a bit like the Joker but it kind of worked for the occasion; of course the whole thing made a little less sense at the Green Room bar afterwards... but after a couple of drinkies I really didn't care. So yay for Dark Rum.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Castle Awesome Residents - George

This is George.
George lives in castle awesome.
He likes pie, long walks on the beach and pie.
He dislikes smokers and cats and smoking cats.

Castle Awesome is thisclose to being ready to go under the tree. I am ridiculously excited. And by "ridiculously excited" I mean totally sick of sodding blanket stitch and seriously considering burning down the actual Bolton Castle.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

You Guys! The 'Lympics!

I love the Olympics. Love love love them. Even the winter ones. Even the politically contentious ones. And they're going to be in Canada (again) and REALLY soon!
Which meant that the Olympic Torch came to the T.O.!
One of the super awesome things about living in the heart of the city is that things happen RIGHT HERE. So, they're easy to get to (or even look out of the window at).

The Torch relay route was right down Yonge st, not 100 meters from us and would be culminating a few blocks away in Nathan Phillips Sq. So when our chums Tracy and Andrew asked if we wanted to go see it with them I was all "HELLS YES!"
Lovely, kind and generous Tracy knocked on the door this afternoon with gifties. She had hunted down pairs of the official Olympics mittens for my sweetie, Teddy and me. They are red and toasty and they have a maple leaf on them and they are LOVELY. And did I mention red? I like red.

Teddy yelled "MITT" and jammed his daddy's pair on. They come up to his armpits; he strutted around patting things with his giant and hilarious man-hands."mittmittmitt".

There's a chance I have too much time and too much crazy on my hands.
Watching my bear telling T-bone "mitt mitt miiiiiiitt" made me think
"Hey you know who has hands? And who also, I bet, totally loves the 'lypmics? T-BONE that's WHO."
So I made t-bone some red mittens out of some of the felt I compulsively bought yesterday (see I knew there was a reason I needed it).

And lookit, here's those two waiting for the torch.

and here's ANOTHER one of them:

and here's a close up of T-bone's mittens:
So, we waited at the end of our street, watching the lights getting closer, Teddy waved to folks like he was running for office and pointed "PLANE" at the helicopters.
Then UP the road came a bunch of protesters. Chanting "No ol-ym-pics on stolennativelands!"
Bless their little cotton socks. They held up the Torch for an hour and made me nostalgic as hell for when I was a rock-throwing protester myself (le sigh, it's been a while). They were very well behaved and the police were light-handed and relaxed. We weren't sure if the flame was being diverted so decided to trot down to Nathan Phillips sq and wait there. So off we went, chatting to a bemused Texan tourist.
We cut through the Eaton center to warm our toesies up (it was minus 11 out there) and as we came out of the queen street exit there it was! Rounding the corner, chap running with Torch. I went "EEEEEI!" and whipped Teddy out of his cart. We watched as it whistled past and it was... kind of magic.
It's so shiny. Pretty in reality and as an idea. I felt surprisingly moved, and our timing was serendipitous ( I love when that happens). As we got to the square the chap who had carried the Torch was leaving still holding his torch (though it wasn't on fire anymore) and I snapped a quick shot of him.
Doesn't he look like he's had a good night? We definitely did and now I CAN'T WAIT for the games to begin. Bring on the giant crazy ski jumping and the pretty twirly ice dancing. T-Bone and Teddy and I have our mittens ALL READY!

Cocktails at 9AM

1. Select Shaker

2. Shake3. Test and serve.

Making mama a martini. 3 olives, just threaten it with the vermouth.

Ok. Fine. I haven't actually let my kid loose with the hooch. (Though yeah, that is a giant paper-mache pickle).
My genius sweetie gave the bear a free promo boston shaker to play with.
I was torn between recoiling in horror (booze! marketing! addiction! MY BABY!) and laughing a bit.
Funny won.

But it easily might not have. As kids our live-in grandmother drank in the mornings. Straight whiskey in a fancy coffee cup (I guess mugs aren't ladylike?) and I remember being frightened and grossed out by her addiction. Also bored to tears. You know how folks get repetitive when they're drunk? Well yeah.

OK.This was darker than I intended. Hey look at my kid! and booze! tee hee!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Teddy Hearts Antiquities

My birthday giftie from my mama was membership to the R.O.M. The Royal Ontario Museum. I LOVE the place. In fact I am a big fan of pretty much all museums (even the tiny bizarro ones with someone's lint collection).
But the R.O.M is a p'ticly good museum. It's just had a massive revamp, and a new wing built. I feel weirdly proprietorial about the new wing, because I watched it being built. When we first arrived in Canada in October '06 the metal frame was going up and I watched it grow every day as I walked to and from work. I was unconvinced, it was an ugly baby, all pointy and awkward, but by the time it's shiny skin went on I was madly in love.

I watched it go from this:
To this:
Photo Credits Jcoop on flickr and Here

It turns out that The Bear loves the ROM as much as I do, we try and get there once a week, even if it's just for 20 minutes. I let him loose (with the priceless artifacts) and he is squeallingly enthusiastic about everything; he particularly loves the fishies and the bear and eagle ("BEAR! BURD!") in the foyer.
Here he is cooing over a pottery horsie:
NO mama, it's a HAN dynasty burial piece. Obviously. GAH!

and copping a squat by a pavilion:
and playing in the playroom:
My pictures are pretty lousy, but The Bear actually got paparazzi'd by a tourist that day. The chap asked and I didn't mind but it's brought up some interesting points of view amongst our chums.
Folks seem to be divided between "well he IS cute" and "dude, kind of creepy".
I am mostly in the first camp, but I think that it's not so much that he's cute (though I believe he is), it was more the completely rapt expression on his face. I don't think I have ever been as enthusiastic about anything as Teddy was about the little arctic fox that he was staring and woofing and cooing at when the tourist took the shot.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Castle Awesome Update

As promised, the update on Castle Awesome.
So far I have got the inside all sewn up, some plastic cut up and a drawbridge made.
And Ivy, I have some ivy.
Interesting fact, my sister has the baddest embroidery skills in town. She totally totally does.

ME? Not so muchly, my embroidery has a touch of the maximum security prison about it; actually, maybe cons are awesome at the embroidery on account of all that free time. Who knows.
Anyway, here's the progress:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Felt? It'll Never Withstand the MIGHTY Trebuchet!*

You guys can keep a secret right?
Want a sneak preview of what I'm making my bear for Christmas? O do say yes! 'cause A'ly I'm dying to tell someone and two'ly if you have any super-clever ideas now would be the time to pony them up.

I'm making a felt castle. With a drawbridge and turrets! I snaffled the idea from here (isn't she clever? Yay for her!)

My version is a bit bigger, and instead of using cardboard I'll be using plastic, (because I hate the environment, though ironically, the felt is made of recycled plastic bottles).

I'm basing the basic shape on Bolton Castle, which I have renamed CASTLE AWESOME in my head. It's a late 14th century stone quadrangle fortress and it looks just like a castle should.

So far mine looks like this:
Um, if you squint you can think of it as a post-siege castle. Heh.
But come back tomorrow, I'll be posting a picture a day as I go along. What I have made is THIS fellow:

He is Fred, the majestic charger. And he's MAJESTIC dammit and pose-able! He has a pipe cleaner skellington. Eventually he will also have tack. and eyeballs.
He's all my own design (could you tell, on accounta the bizarro?) and If you too have need of a majestic charger I'll be throwing together a tute over the next few days and if I'm feeling racy there will be a PDF.

*Such a nerd.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Say what, kid?

I just wanted to talk a bit about how my kid communicates and how totally freaking hilarious I find it.
When Teddy was tiny I would sign to him (yeah, I'm that mama, feel free to punch me). We're not talking deep philosophical conversation here, just the basic stuff, bottle, hungry, drink, sleep, down. So, with a few words he got the sign first and then couldn't be bothered to learn the spoken word for AGES (the lazy bum).

Now he uses the words he knows strung together in different ways to describe different stuff. (Instead of learning new words... the lazy bum)

"CUP", cup can mean "hey, can you pass me my cup" or it can be used to describe ANY body of water; from puddles to the lake to the antarctic ocean on Planet Earth ("peng CUP!").
"Cup" and an open-handed pat on the head means "dude, it's hella rainy out here". A "FFFFISH cup" is an aquarium, naturally.

"Down" means up. Teddy will hop from one foot to another pretending to climb up your leggie and repeating downdowndown. Until you're all "Bear? Do you mean up?" then he nods vigorously and says "UP", but it's ALWAYS down first. Always.

"Bum" (which is totally my favorite) can either be a tail, say a squirrel's, horsie's, Dilly's or a dinosaur's, he's not fussy. Or it can be his dipes; horrifyingly enough he recognises the Pampers logo and nods "bum" sagely at it. Bum can also mean "my bum needs changing, but instead of letting you change it I'm going to run away squealing, could you chase me please?".

"Bag", firstly there's the obvious, bag means bag, but more bizarre is the fact that Daddy goes to "bag" every weekday. Teddy will remind me a few times during the day that "daddy bag". I guess because my sweetie takes his bag to work everyday? But really, who knows. Here's the bear wearing the daddy bag in question.

The way the bear talks now kills me. It really does. I love it so much I almost don't want him to get to big boy speech. But APPARENTLY purposely delaying your child's development for your own amusement is one of those "serial killer" breeding things. BOO. I can't shut him in closets or dress him in girl clothes either. So disappointing.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Super ! Awesome! Magic!

I have been making STUFF, after ages of not making ANYTHING.
Stuff like a ridiculous t-shirt for my bear.

Our Dollar Store had Lands End t-shirts for $2. They're all thick and lovely so I snaffled a couple with a view to doing some freezer pencil stenciling (heaven forbid my kid wear a plain t-shirt). But then I spotted some iron-on letter transfers. I was all "AH HA!" right there in the store, causing people to edge away from me slowly.

Wondering what his shirt says? It says:


of course! Yes it's silly, but it cracks be up every time I see it. And dude, magic IS super awesome. Also it 's a nice time saver, when folks are all
"Hey guy! How you doing?"
Teddy can point to the applicable answer.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The BEAR Flu

So, the bear had the flu, here's what happened, recorded for posterity.

When we got home from the shops/digger adventure we all snuggled up on the couch and had some dinner. Until the bear's temperature went from normal to 39.6 degrees in twenty minutes flat. I was after 7pm so I called the urgent care docs and they were all "off to Sick Kids ER with you".
So that's where we went. Us and every parent in Toronto with a runny nosed child.
We waited for two hours to see the triage nurse. Who bumped us down to the urgent care center. where the wait was going to be another 3 hours minimum. So we made the call and brought the bear home. Dosed him with Tylenol and put him in bed. I checked on him every hour, on the sodding hour.
In the morning he was a very tired kid and at about 11 am his fever spiked again and wasn't coming down with Tylenol. I felt completely racked with guilt, and all second guessy about the decision to bring him home. We packed him into the cart and were headed over to Sick Kids again when Andy suggested the Walk-In Clinic down the road. I figured it couldn't hurt to try them as it was on the way.
They were great. We didn't even stop in the waiting room, they were all "we don't want babies sitting in here with all the sick people" so we breezed past the lineup and were seen in less than 5 minutes. The very sweet doctor took a look at Teddy and said essentially
"Uh, Guys? Don't freak out, but this looks like H1N1. Have either of you been sick?".
We nodded sheepishly and I could practiaclly hear my sweetie thinking HAH! I told you I was actually sick.
The doctor told us there was no point in giving Teddy tami-flu and that Tylenol and Ibuprofen, liquids and rest were what we should be doing. Which made me feel slightly less guilty about bringing him home from the hospital.
He was a stoical little fellow (way less whiney that his daddy). It took a couple of weeks but we're all of us better now.
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