25 April 2009

Robot Fabric Designs

I stumbled upon Spoonflower recently. Where have I been!? They print custom fabric for you with your own designs. You just need to upload a jpg of your work and voila! I'm sending in two test pieces today. If all goes well, I will get each one back, on fabric, in an 8" x 8" square, in less than a couple of weeks. Then I can have it printed in a repeat on ... well ... meters! How exciting. There are endless possibilities.

So here's my first crack at fabric design.

Robot Garden [8" x 8"design for test swatch]

I worked carefully to make sure it will work in a repeat as well ...

This one may make a nice set of hankies for a wee guy I know ...

But it should also work as a repeat too.

UPDATE: now available at Spoonflower.

Robot Fabric Tests Arrived
Our Little Guy is 5!
Shiny Collage Robots

16 April 2009

Freshly Upholstered

Hubs inherited these wee pieces of furniture and we've been meaning to update them for some time now. Over the years they have become hard, uncomfortable and frayed. Here we are trying out some new fabrics on for size at a local upholsterer.

Would love to tone down the flower motif ... a lot [or actually completely!].

Look at that sad colonial-style foot stool with its sagging, poofy thing on top. Ugliness.

Oh, that is so much better. A little faux leather does the trick I think. And it was a good decision to loose the poofy thing on top. I really like the clean, simple lines on top that contrast with the more curvy and interesting bottom.

Oh, and these swishy, clean, velvety stripes make me so happy. Bye-bye tiny, needle-pointy flowers.

And my favourite ... the Spud-sized gentlemans chair for his room.

15 April 2009

Victoria: High Tea and Wee Things

1. The Tea Room at the Empress Hotel
721 Government Street, Victoria

Tea at the Empress is the real deal. It's dress up time. It's scones, finger sandwiches, and biscuits. On a 3 tiered serving tray. And tea of course. At 5 years old, we thought that Spud might be a bit young to appreciate a high tea experience. And we've done it before ourselves, on a pre-baby trip here. Everyone should do it once, I think. So we'll be back. They have afterall, gone to the trouble of offering a darling menu for the wee princes and princesses too. Check it out, it's too cute.

Seatings once a day. Reservations 250 389 2727.

There are certainly less expensive places to experience an English afternoon tea in Victoria so if the Empress is too dear for you or too stuffy ask at tourist information for some nice alternatives.

2. Miniature World
649 Humboldt Street, Victoria [in the Empress Hotel]
t 250 385 9731

I have to say I was a little skeptical of this one. But Spud really enjoyed it. With something like 80 different miniature dioramas depicting everything from outer space to medieval Europe it kept him interested for almost an hour.

It also boasts many large doll houses, one of which is among the largest in the world. And, a highlight for Spud, was the train that travels across Canada, starting in Vancouver and ending in the Maritime provinces, in the day and the night.

3. Rogers Chocolates Soda Shoppe
801 Government Street, Victoria
t 1 800 663 2220

Rogers Chocolates is an institution and should not be missed. And they've opened an ice cream shop across the street from the Empress ... so that's handy!

Victoria: Visiting the Animals

14 April 2009

Victoria: History Tour

1. The Provincial Legislature
501 Belleville Street, Victoria
t 250 387 3046

A quick peak in here meant Spud spent about 15 minutes exploring the halls and staircases noting the mosaics, the stained glass windows and the many photos of days gone by.

2. Royal BC Museum
675 Belleville Street, Victoria
t 250 356 7226

This is one of BC's finest museums and a must-do.

Highlights for Spud:
Walking around the replica First Nations longhouse ...

walking around in the "olden days" ...

A little stroll through the forest scenes ...

and by the seaside ...

The woolly mammoth on the other hand, spooked him a bit, and was carefully avoided.

3. Ferris' Grill + Oyster Bar
536 Yates Street, Victoria
t 250 360 1824

After a long afternoon of historical trekking, a little West Coast style seafood restaurant may be what's in order. The upstairs is more upscale. We dined downstairs where it’s more casual and gorged ourselves on on variously prepared oysters and spicy seafood stew. Small and cozy and family friendly, this spot offers good valued kids menu as well.

Victoria: Visiting the Animals

13 April 2009

Victoria: Visiting the Animals

1. Red Fish, Blue Fish
1006 Wharf Street, Victoria
t 250 298 6877

This gem of a restaurant is just a trailer on a wharf. But don’t let its simple appearance fool you.

It’s the perfect spot for a spot of lunch. Especially if the weather’s nice; grab some great fish and chips and pull up some stools and have lunch right on the dock.

Venturing away from the traditional fish and chip fare will treat you to some interesting seafood options with a fusion flare.

2. Beacon Hill Park
On a nice day this is a great place to tucker the wee ones out. This 200 acre park includes a petting zoo and a great playground.

3. Bug Zoo
631 Courtney Street, Victoria
t 250 384 2847

A definite highlight of our trip to Victoria. All the bugs are alive and well [unlike a museum where they are cured and pinned]. The ‘tours’ are continuous and conducted by enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff who gave us all good reasons to appreciate bugs a bit more. Spud had a bit of a one-sided 'conversation' with this leafy guy ...

Kept his distance from this guy ...

And voluntarily agreed to hold this one! An African millipede, the largest in the world.

My boy never ceases to surprise me.

4. Pagliacci’s
1001 Broad Street, Victoria
t 250 386 1662

Assuming you’ve worked up an appetite from an afternoon at the park, Pagliacci’s is where you will find super fine pasta in a very kid friendly environment. This restaurant is a must do for any visit to Victoria. We had a mini birthday celebration, special child friendly food requests, and spilt milk ... and it was taken in stride with a smile. It’s a very popular spot with the locals, even mid-week, so arrive before 5 pm to avoid line ups.

12 April 2009

10 April 2009

Photo Friday #10

First a little walk ...

Then a little more ...

And then the parents have a little quiet time in the cantina down the beach enjoying fried whole fish and a cerveza.

I wish I had a picture of that too.

For other travel pics, check out my favourite family travel site Delicious Baby. Or go there to share your travel photos on Fridays too.

07 April 2009

Our little guy is 5!

Officially. Wow. There's no denying it anymore. The candles are blown out and everyone has gone home.

It was a super fun day for us and we are grateful to have so many great friends and neighbours to help us celebrate.

Highlights for me ...

The weather! That's some blue sky that we haven't seen in these parts since the 90s. Well, it feels that way.

And we totally lucked out and booked this space ... for free!

Oh, and that we got to spring M-O from storage for a bit. I kind of missed him.

Battling, voice-activated robots ...

Hubs' cake skills

And the wee bots crafting, the robot snacks, and cyber juice.

Turtle spotting was a bonus!

All-in-all. A great day for us.

Party favours
Robot Party Song List
Our Little Guy is 5!
Robot Picnic Cups
Robot Picnic Invite

Jungle Party
Jackson Pollock Party
Indiana Jones Party

Party Favours

Inspired by the message in the WALL-E movie, we gave each guest a wee plant to care for.

Also a little sucker and a mini bottle of bubbles, just for fun.

Eve Cake

And Daddio makes the cake.

And last week he made a practice cake!

This shows how he made an adjustable round cake pan into an oval. You know, just a little drilling.

And playing with fondant for the first time.