Froo, the (bossy) fashion designer

My pride has been slightly wounded. Froo did not like the chiffon geranium dress I made her for Kids Clothes Week. At all. Admittedly, I was crushed. I still love the dress and I am trying to convince her to wear it to her preschool graduation. We’ll see.

But what I am really proud of, quite unexpectedly, is Froo’s ability to convey the exact dress she wanted me to make for her. She even drew a picture:
Fashion Designer Froo
This was how she described it: “I want a dark pink dress, really dark, with white ruffle sleeves, but I couldn’t draw the white sleeves because the paper is white, so in my picture, they look black. I also want a white ruffle trim on the bottom. I want the white ruffles to be like this (she drew scallops in the air with her finger). Can you help me write, ‘I want a dress like this’ on my paper?”

That is why there is an uppercase “I” on Froo’s drawing. I almost cried. My little Froo is a fashion designer. I humbly complied to Froo’s request. How could I deny her the actualization of her imagined dress?
Fashion Designer Froo
For Froo’s dress, I used the Kate’s Dress pattern by Lily Bird Studio, previously made here, but in size 6. I really love the simplicity of this pattern. The fabric is Kona cotton in Pomegranite. I used an eyelet trim for the ruffle sleeves and hem that I bought at Jo-Ann. 2 yards was just enough to embellish this dress.
Fashion Designer Froo
The buttons on the back are shaped like tiny rosebuds and complements the eyelet floral embroidery.
Fashion Designer Froo
Froo was really happy to wear her dress. It was picture day at preschool today–I’m not sure if it’s an American thing to take a school photo at the end of the school year, but in Canada, we’re accustomed to taking one at the beginning of the year. In any case, she wouldn’t wear tights or a cardigan with her dress, even though the wind was crazy today.
Fashion Designer Froo
Fashion Designer Froo
It was also free choice for show n’ tell today, so she took her LEGO Duplo giraffe to preschool.
Fashion Designer Froo
Then we had another photo bomber incident, thus ending our short photo session.
Fashion Designer Froo
Next time I make Froo a dress, I am going to ask for her input. The white and dark (dark) pink combination is not one I would have paired together myself. (It’s also very difficult to photograph–my camera didn’t like the high contrast and the pink appears much brighter than it should be). Somehow, it works. More importantly, I have a very happy daughter who is proud to wear the dress her mommy made for her.

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Sunshine Day & Viewfinders

Pretty Yarn
At the beginning of the year, I wrote a post about crocheting granny squares and wanting to learn how to make the Sunshine Day Afghan with my mom. So I bought the pattern, a crochet hook and some pretty yarn. The yarn I’m using is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. It’s incredibly soft and I love the soft muted colours. Here is a photo of our (my mom’s) very first square:
Sunshine Day Afghan Square
Sooooo pretty. I have absolutely no confidence that I can make one myself. I thought of hiding the yarn in my mom’s suitcase so she can take it back to Vancouver and crochet it for me.

My mom was able to interpret the pattern (with absolutely no help from me), and she drew up a diagram for me to follow. I really should have taken a video of her making one. Exciting stuff.
Sunshine Day Afghan Squares
I’m pretty sure my yarn will stay in the same bag until I see my mom again. She left this morning and I can’t say I’ve retained a single thing she taught me. I’m not a very focused student! During this visit, we took turns teaching each other–my mom got a new iPad, so I taught her how to set it up and use it. She’s a much better student than I am–she’s already addicted and ignores us while watching Korean dramas.

During one of Boo’s naps, I made an iPad cover for my mom. I gave her my old iPad Smart Cover (I had to switch to the Smart Case because Froo & Boo are not so gentle), but it doesn’t quite protect the iPad when toted around.

The case is pretty much one rectangular piece, folded, with edges sewn and snap buttons. It’s padded with 2 layers of fusible fleece. The fabric is by Melody Miller, Ruby Star Rising Viewfinders in Pink. I’ve been saving it for awhile now, waiting for the perfect opportunity to use it.
iPad Case in Ruby Stars Rising Viewfinders iPad Case in Ruby Stars Rising Viewfinders
The iPad case is lined with a fat quarter from Jo-Ann and the snap buttons are hand stitched.
iPad Case in Ruby Stars Rising Viewfinders
Froo picked the decorative buttons to put on the outside, directly over the snap buttons on the inside. They are the same heart buttons that I put on her fall cardigan I made for KCWC fall 2012.
iPad Case in Ruby Stars Rising Viewfinders
My mom left for Vancouver this morning. As she was packing, she put a pen inside the case and felt that it was too bumpy and worried that it would scratch her iPad. So I took the iPad case and ran to the sewing machine to add a small elastic ribbon loop. I got the idea from the notebook I was using for the crochet pattern (in the photo with the crochet hook slotted into the pen holder).
iPad Case in Ruby Stars Rising Viewfinders
iPad Case in Ruby Stars Rising Viewfinders
It’s amazing how you discover that you are drawn to certain colours when the lovely things surrounding you match without realizing it.
iPad Case & Sunshine Day Squares
My dad & little brother are still here, until this evening (remember I told you about miscommunications?)–I should go and see what they’d like to do! I’m sure my dad is bored–he is already addicted to Go (baduk in Korean) on the iPad, which is no longer here since my mom left this morning.

My Birthday

My Birthday
You know when you’re a mommy when your daughter says she wants to make you a birthday cake, so you pretty much end up making your own birthday cake. Except I don’t have any round cake pans so I made birthday coconut cupcakes. My cake batter is based on this recipe (with half the sugar and reduced oven time, about 25 minutes) and the cream cheese frosting is adapted from this recipe (halved, without coconut flakes and coconut extract substitutes the almond extract).
My Birthday Coconut Cupcakes
My Birthday Coconut Cupcakes
My Birthday
My Birthday
My Birthday Coconut Cupcakes
The frosting isn’t pretty–the ziplock bag that it was in burst, but it doesn’t really matter because it was dangerously good. De-de-de-de-licious!

I had a great birthday today! My parents & little brother are here celebrating with me, Froo gave me a card that she made at school and Boo was able to say, “Happy Birthday, Mommy!” Since we’ve been super busy, the hubs said I could buy my own gift. I don’t know about you, but I found that really romantic. The stars were aligned because this purse that I pinned over a year ago, reappeared on the Kate Spade Surprise Sale that ended today. I was able to get it at a 60% discount! Woot woot.
Kate Spade - All Aboard Ship Clutch
But here is the gift that I’m really excited about:
My Birthday Present
Thanks umma & appa! I can’t wait to start using it. I’ve already killed my magic bullet and the bella blender I’m using now is dying a slow and loud death. The secret to yummy smoothies: frozen grapes–nature’s sugar and thickener.
My Dad & Me
My parents are leaving this weekend. I’m not ready for them to leave. I like having them around and Froo & Boo love playing with their uncle Sammy. I’m also in the process of learning how to crochet from my mom. A post is in the works for the project we’ve been working on.

Today I turned 35. Last year, I celebrated my birthday with my family at Tropika, my favourite Malaysian restaurant in Vancouver. We were just getting ready to move to the San Francisco bay area at the time. So much has happened and I’m happy with how everything worked out. I’m looking forward to baking more of my birthday cakes in the future!

Happy Mother’s Day, Umma!

Happy Mother's Day!
Through a series of comedic and untimely miscommunications, my parents & little brother arrived the day after my sister and her family left. They’ve also managed to squeeze themselves in before my in-laws are scheduled to arrive at the end of the month. We have a full house!

Despite my initial bewilderment as to how this happened, believe me, I’m still confused–I’m really happy that my mom is here for Mother’s Day. I’ve always appreciated everything she’s done and the mom that she was and continues to be for my sister, brother and me. She is also a loving and caring halmoni (grandma in Korean) to Froo & Boo.
Froo & my mom
Froo, me & mom
If I had time to make my mom a gift, I would have. Growing up, my mom was always busy at the sewing machine, or knitting, or crocheting some project that was intended for a member of the family. She would have had an interesting blog. The last time I was at my parents’ house, I scanned a couple of photos of her work.

Starting with this dress:
Happy Mother's Day
I will forever associate a dusty rose shade of pink with my mom. This is my all-time favourite photo of the two of us.

This next outfit was one that my mom made when she was a newlywed. I remember using the EXACT same pattern for my Grade 10 sewing project. I used a floral print crushed velour and lengthened it to a knee-length dress. There are no photos of me wearing it–thank goodness. I still feel awkward looking at photos of myself during my high school years.
Mom & Dad
This photo was taken when my sister and I were little toddlers. We were living in Calgary at the time and visited Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. I think that’s when my parents decided to move to Vancouver. I remember that aqua shirt–it was lightweight and had a raised pattern of stripes and dots woven into it. I was shocked when my mom told me she made it because I was convinced it was store-bought.
Mom & Dad
My mom made my sister and me a lot of dresses. She made us Halloween costumes, too. I remember one year, my sister and I were both Raggedy Ann dolls and she knit us yarn wigs for our hair. It’s a shame we don’t have a photo. My mom made my sister’s and my matching dresses. I brought the pattern home with me, so you might be seeing a new dress on Froo in the future.
My mom, sister & me
This last photo is one of my bridesmaids and me on my wedding day. My mom made all of the dresses in a gorgeous midnight blue smooth satin. The draped halter dresses have a plunging back. Super sexy. I borrowed my sister’s dress afterwards for a Christmas dinner party once and received many compliments.
My wedding
In a way, I think I like blogging because I want to continue the legacy of my mom’s efforts to make handmade goodies for her family. Without photos of the beautiful garments she made, I need to rely on my memory, which is turning into mush these days.

In about 5 minutes, I am going to show my mom this post. She doesn’t read my blog. For all the mommies, I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day! For all the non-mommies, we are all connected as women–whether we care for pets, plants or the people in our lives–we nurture life. Let’s continue to encourage one another, because life is hard and best lived when we love freely. I’m off to give Froo & Boo a big squishy hug! xoxo

My niece & nephew are here!

I’m so excited to show you a photo of my niece wearing the roses & chambray dress I made for her during KCW:
Roses & Chambray Dress
This baby girl LOVES me. She is so full of smiles and watches my every move. Probably since I am always staring at her! I can’t stop giving her animated winks and sly smiles to get a reaction out of her. She is the sweetest baby. I’m soooo happy that she is here with us.

My babies were never as big as my niece. She has really grown since I last saw her at Christmas! She’s 7 months old, wearing a 2T dress. Love it. Love the rolls–check them out:
Roses & Chambray Dress
I couldn’t let my adorable nephew go unoutfitted by me, so I quickly made him a pair of shorts as well. This time I used Modern Meadow by Joel Dewberry. I’m always drawn to the colour aqua and the white herringbone print has an uneven hand-drawn quality to it.
Shorts for my nephew
The placement on the back pockets turned out much better on this pair.
Shorts for my nephew
A detailed look at the orange stitching:
Shorts for my nephew
So what happens when your mischievous boy puts random spools of thread in your shopping cart at Jo-Ann without your knowledge? Especially colours you wouldn’t choose yourself? (Ie. Orange. My favourite fruit, my least-favourite colour.) I’m not sure about you, but I ended up going back to buy matching piping and called it an example of serendipity. I was going to use white, which would have blended into the white herringbone print. The orange just pops.
Shorts for my nephew
I am definitely going to make a pair for Boo. Since our little boys are in fact, little boys, a pair of shorts takes up less than a 1/2 yard of fabric. Awesome value.

We spent a relaxing morning at the park today. I brought my camera with me because I wanted to catch a shot of my nephew wearing his new shorts. He is a fast little booger. I love him to bits.
Nephew in shorts
I managed to catch him by surprise a couple of times:
Nephew in shorts
Nephew in shorts
The park is always more fun with amazing company.
My sweet niece
Boo on a swing
Niece & Nephew are here
I am going to miss my niece and nephew when they head back to Vancouver! Froo & Boo have been very busy with them. Froo has been especially protective over my niece and will order the boys around. The boys will play–running around and jumping over the baby, until their heads are drenched in sweat. Ew.
Froo & my niece
My sister & me. My best friend growing up. Now our kids are growing up–in different cities and countries, but it’s my hope that they never grow apart. Sniffles…
My sister