Saturday, October 30, 2010

All eyes on the HPI..

OK folks we know that sales are down big time compared with last year. We know that listings are also down and so list/sales are robust.

MOI is still around 6 months +/- though and higher in some areas (see Larry's site).

The average pice and median in these circumstances mean very little. If wealthier buyers are still in the market or the homes sold are the cream of the crop, then both these numbers will be up.

What we will have to look for is the HPI to see which way we are trending.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Music Sheet Wreath

I thought that I was done for the week, and then I got a little inspiration. I am not sure if you have visited Miss Mustard Seed, but if you haven't, you need to make your way on over. She creates some of the most beautiful pieces. So while looking at her blog yesterday, I ran across her Christmas tree.
She does a lot with sheet music, and everything she makes with it is BEAUTIMOUS.
I decided it was high time that I try to make something with sheet music. This is what I made yesterday during naptime.
I don't have sheet music, but I do have some old hymnals that haven't been used in years. I found one that was in pretty bad shape, and ripped it to bits. I knew that I would want to keep this wreath up year round, so I had a light bulb go off....
The center of the wreath is removable. I cut out a chipboard circle, and decorated it with the Halloween scrapbook paper I bought the other day. I even got to use my Cricut:o)
On the backside of the circle, I put a little velcro.
This is what the wreath looks like without the centerpiece. 
I guess I gotta head out to Hobby Lobby and get some more scrapbook paper so I can get to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas centerpieces.
Next, I am going to start making some ornaments with the left overs from the hymnal.
Check the side bar on the right to see the parties that I am participating in.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


These are the pumpkins we carved last weekend. We didn't go to a pumpkin patch and pick these out...we went the easy road and stopped by Fresh Market and grabbed their 3 for $10 deal....we're cheap, what can I say? We thought that the kids would enjoy getting to carve pumpkins, but as soon as the hubs pulled the top off the first pumpkin, and we heard a unanimous "EWWW", we knew that we would be doing this ALONE. Which was fine b/c we got to carve some really cool pumpkins, if I do say so myself:o)

We were trying to carve pumpkins of the characters that the kids would be dressing as for Halloween, but we couldn't find a template for Jessie, so these were the templates we chose. I carved the Buzz pumpkin... with a dull knife. 
He turned out pretty good for not having good tools. Hubs, the engineer, headed to the garage, grabbed his safety glasses and his Drimmel tool, and began to work. He finished the other two pumpkins before I got mine done. Ya'll, that's the way to go when carving pumpkins:o)
Didn't he do a FAB job? I think so:o)
Yesterday we spent the day at home b/c E had a tummy bug. He seems to be fine now, and hasn't had any "episodes" since before lunch. Hoping it was one of those mysterious 12 hour bugs...We did our best to keep S.R. away from him...we really don't want any sickness on Halloween. The kids are really pumped about it this year:o) 
I hope that you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!!
See you back here on Monday!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jessie Hat Tutorial

Today I am sharing a quick tutorial on how to make a Jessie hat. I am going to go ahead and apologize for not taking better pictures. I got so excited during the process that I forgot to take pictures along the way.
Anyway, the supplies you will need.
Cowboy Hat(I already had one left over from E's b-day party, but they have some at Hobby Lobby)
Red Spray Paint(if the hat isn't red already)
Red Yarn
Needle and Thread
Yellow Hair bow, or yellow ribbon
1" White Grosgrain Ribbon
And the really thin ribbon...not sure the size on it. 
Hot Glue Gun

I started out by spray painting the hat. I don't have step-by-step pictures. I just laid the hat on some newspaper, and sprayed a few coats on. Top and inside the brim. I didn't worry with the inside of the hat b/c no one will see that part.

Unwind the yarn and decide on a length for the ponytail. Remember to leave a little extra on the length because you will be braiding the ponytail. You will also need to decide on the thickness you want it to be.
Once you have figured out the length and thickness, tie the top off with a small piece of yarn.
Trim the bottom, so that there aren't any loops. Find something to lay on the yarn, and section the yarn into thirds. Start braiding.
When you are done, take another small piece of yarn and tie the bottom off.
The next step didn't get a picture either...sorry:o/
You will sew the braid to the inside back of the hat. You will want to use coordinating thread if possible. Just make sure that it is in there securely. After you have the braid sewn in, take the grosgrain ribbon and wrap it around the crown. Use your hot glue gun to secure the ribbon.
After that is all complete, it's time to sew in the thin ribbon. 
When sewing this in, make sure to leave it "loopy."  Such a funny word;o) When you have made it all the way around the hat, slide the needle thru a little piece of the brim on the underside so that you can tie it off. The picture shows you what I am talking about.
Tie a small little knot and trim.
Add a yellow hair bow at the bottom of the braid, and enjoy your little one in all of her cuteness:o)
See that pumpkin? I'll share the other pumpkins we carved tomorrow...They are awesome!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Whistler Sales up. 9 sales in the week to Oct 17th

But with some hefty price reductions. One sales was 20% off the list price and was the lowest sale for the complex going back to 2003!

I follow
THIS site for Whistler info.

I have never met or spoken to Dave, but he seems like an up-front guy on his blog. Here is a snippet of his last post:

'Next was also renovated 2bed/2bath townhouse in Glacier’s Reach. 16- 4388 Northlands Boulevard sold for $405,000. It was viewed as an real bargain by many Whistler Realtors. It had been listed as high as $669,000 at one time.'

That's a slice of nearly 40% off list price!

Note to OK, Victoria and Vancouver listing agents - if you want to get sales going again- cut the prices. BTW if you are looking to buy in Whistler- get the red pencil out and don't be shy about haggling!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Be careful what you wish for in case it comes true....

So goes the saying, and it may be very true about our RE.

There was a real eye-opening article in the Globe and Mail (hat tip to Paul B who posted the link at Vancouver Condo)

It illustrates just how dependant we have become on the RE circus in Canada, thanks to the relentless pumping of the last decade..

That has dramatic implications for employment and consumer spending levels – and for an economy that has grown accustomed to relying on housing-related spending for about 20 per cent of its gross domestic product.

20% is no joke. According to the article we are already contracting with sales down 45% from last year and prices at last year's levels and housing starts are down 20% too. So what would a contraction mean? Well it would mean major job losses, especially amongst construction workers, and Real estate agents and renovators. the problem is these fields do not have skills which are easily transferable to other areas.

Luckily Canada is not a one trick pony. We have wheat and oil and gas and gold and commodities galore. Hopefully the housing contraction will not happen at the same time as a commodity slow down or we could get into trouble pretty fast.

Lucifer's children

What is it with these banks? One by one their economics departments are coming out with reports on how over-leveraged Canadians are and how much trouble they could be in with either a small rise in interest rates or a drop in the economy. They put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the over-priced housing market, with Vancouver coming in for special mention again and again.

And yet..these same banks are coming up with ever more creative ways to squeeze Canadians into debt. Remember 'You are richer than you think', remember the Bank of Montreal ads where the guy uses home equity for holidays.. how about TD!! and the cash-back mortgage! That is exactly what they were doing in the US before the bust.

Don't the idiots in the marketing department talk to the economics department? Maybe they don't - maybe they have different mandates. How about the old guys pulling down the multimillion dollar salaries at the top. Shouldn't they be looking at the reports and call their mortgage departments and say..."hey Frank go easy on the home equity-porn ads'.

Maybe they don't spend enough time off the golf courses and off the boards of directors of other companies to actually run their businesses properly.

Or maybe they think the tax-payer will just pick up the losses via the CMHC.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Toy Story's Jessie Costume(edited)

Complete Outfit:
Posting How-to for hat tomorrow. 
Just wanted to share how CA-UTE S.R. looked:o)

Ya'll, I am so excited with how S.R.'s costume is turning out. For the past 3 months, S.R. has been talking about dressing up as Jessie for Halloween. E is going to be Buzz, and I purchased his costume a month ago b/c I knew that it would be sold out soon. I kept looking for a Jessie costume, and I never saw one. I finally looked on Target's Website and they had one....for $35! I Don't Think So! And it was UGLY.
So for any of you gals out there who has a little's a tutorial on how to make your own for less....WAAAY less.

Materials Needed for the Shirt:
Long Sleeve Polo Shirt(mine came from Target for $4)
Yellow Fabric
Blue and White Felt
Heat Bond(from Walmart)
Red Fabric Marker(or Sharpie)
Red Ric Rac
Sticky Back Velcro

These shirts are in the boys' section at Target. I got a 4T. It is slightly long in the arms, which is perfect.

To start out, you want to remove the buttons. (My apologies for the brightness of the pictures. I was doing this at night, so I had to use the flash.) If your button holes are too large like this one, go ahead and use a zig zag stitch to close it up.
 Next you will want to place the velcro where the buttons and button holes used to be.
If you squint, you can see the velcro;o)
Pretty easy so far, right?:o) Now you will want to grab your yellow fabric and heat bond. We will be making the yellow cuffs of the sleeves. 
Measure the width of the bottom of the sleeve, just above the cuff on the shirt. Add a 1/2" to that measurement. Decide how long you want your cuff to be. I made mine about 4". 
Cut your Heat Bond the dimensions that you measured out and lay on your yellow fabric. You will want to leave enough room to fold the fabric over once you have adhered the heat bond.
Follow the instructions for the Heat Bond. 
Once the fabric has cooled, cut around the edges where the fabric was adhered.
Now you will want to cut off the cuff on shirt. It will make it easier to sew the yellow cuff on.
Back to the yellow cuff. With Right sides facing, sew a 1/4" seam allowance on the edge.
Here comes the tricky part. And I hope I get this right:o) Take the RIGHT side of the cuff and the WRONG side of the sleeve and match raw edges. Sew a 1/4" seam. 
Flip the cuff out and fold it back on the sleeve. Press, and stitch in place.

Next are the buttons. You can use blue or grey felt for this, but all I had was blue. You will need to cut out 3 different sized circles. I cut a 2", 1.5" & a slightly more than 1" circle. If you have a circle cutter, it makes this task really simple. 
Use these circles as your patterns. The Largest and Medium circle will be the buttons for the front of the shirt. Cut 2 Blue Large Circles. Cut 2 Medium White Circles.
Cut the same amount for each from the Heat Bond. Apply the bottom circles first and then the top. Since felt is a little thicker, you will need to hold the iron down a few seconds longer for the heat to penetrate.

For the cuffs of the sleeves, you will use the Medium and Smallest Circles for your patterns. Same steps as above, just make sure to apply on the BACKS of the sleeves.
Go back to your yellow fabric. You are going to lay the fabric on top of the shirt and trace around the neck and sleeves. Use a fabric pencil if you have one. Make sure to make the points down at the bottom of the breast.
Cut along the lines that you traced and you should have something that looks like this.
Once you have it the way you want it, cut out more Heat Bond and apply it to the back of the fabric. Lay it back on top of the shirt exactly where you will be ironing it in place, and grab your scissors again. You need to cut a slit where the shirt opens up. Now iron in place.
Use the square side of your ironing board to make things easier.
We're almost there....
Grab your pencil again. This is the part that may scare some of you....Free Hand time;o) I used a picture I found online of Jessie and just free handed the squiggly red lines on the yellow. Use a pencil first and then go back over it with your red marker.
The pencil lines show up a little better on this picture.
Once you have the lines where you want them, trace over them with the red marker and it should look a little something like this.
Next, sew your ric rac along the bottom edge of the yellow.
And that's it for the shirt. 
In all I think the shirt cost about $6-$8. Thankfully I already had some of this stuff.
Now for the Cow Print Chaps.
Jessie's are attached just below the hip bone, but I made these to go all the way up to the waist.

Materials needed for the Chaps:
Cow Print Fabric(1/2 yd for 4T. Can get this at Walmart)
Black Double Wide Bias Tape
Pattern for Pants(Front side only)

Cut out 2 FRONT pant legs from any pants pattern
Stitch seam along crotch. Press seam. Sew bias tape all the way around edges, except for the waist line. Just outside edges.

Next you need to fold down the waist to make a the hole for the elastic. I folded down 2". Turn under the raw edges and press. Stitch the seam.
For the belt, I used the left over Bias Tape and a 10" piece of elastic. I sewed the bias tape on either end of the elastic. Run the belt thru the opening at the waist. Stitch ends to secure.
These cost around $3.50 to make.
So for less that $12, I made this super cute costume..
 Easy as pie and now you can have some pie since you saved all that money by making your own:o)
If you have any questions on this tutorial, please feel free to email me. I am not always clear on my instructions;o)

On Monday, I will share with you all the hat that goes with this costume....Ya'll have a great weekend, ya hear!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Very big list/sales today

I guess Larry was right when he said he saw some more buyers coming in.

So what do we make of this all?

Maybe the bulls are right. Maybe the combination of low rates for ever, Mainland Chinese investors, limited land, Retirees from out East, Booming penny stocks (I know some local mining guys who have made several $Mill this year), lots of highly-paid professionals will keep a bid under our property for ever.

Hey it is possible. I had always expected a 30-40% correction and in Spring 2009, I said that we may have just got that with the combination of lower rates shaving 20-25% off mortgage payments and prices dropping 15%.

Was that it?

Now we just go onward and up-ward.

What about Fraser Valley and the OK and Victoria and Whistler? Do they play catch up or does the buying move back out to them instead of the slump moving toward the centre?

I wish I could answer that question. I frankly expected buyers to go on strike here as they have elsewhere in the Province, but that wasn't the case. I expected prices to start a quick downhill slide, and that has not happened- though our local celebrity Realtor, Bob Rennie is already complaining that the HST and Campbell are ruining the housing market!

Ruining! We haven't even had a proper correction yet!!

Must RE only ever go up?! Are we so precariously balanced that even when it stops going up, we have to gnash our teeth and wring our hands? Apparently yes!! Today it was the TD's turn to weigh in with warnings. 10% of us are on the verge of catastrophe and it is all because of mortgage debt and the blame is 100% at the feet of the B of Canada and Government. They are the pushers who enabled this to happen.

What about the poor folk who are waiting to buy? Are they lesser Canadians? The politicians keep talking about helping young and poor Canadians buy a home. The BEST way to help them is let prices drop to affordable levels. Stop meddling! Stop dropping rates and insuring mortgages for a start.

OK so is this a capitulation post. No it isn't. But once again I am baffled by the market and once again I am willing to quit or at the least go on a hiatus from blogging IF (Chad get you pencil ready):

October shows up with:

Lower sales
Higher MOI

..and higher HPI.

because they do not add up and there is no point blogging about Alice in Vanderland.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More Rearranging

Here's a question for you....what do you guys think about an ottoman coffee table? I am thinking that the ottomans upstairs are going to have to be replaced soon b/c someone's hubby keeps sitting his behind on ours and has squished it to bits while playing XBOX....I need something soft b/c the kids are usually jumping on the couch up there.
Anyway, I told you guys yesterday that I went on a rearranging spree. I have had some issues with S.R.'s room. It was starting to feel a little lot cramped. I did some fanagling, and this is what happened.
Her room is so much more spacious now. I moved her dollhouse bookshelf into the closet. The closet door had to be removed b/c the kids kept leaning on it, and it came loose from the frame. I think I am going to leave it like this and maybe hang some curtains from the inside?? Sounds kinda fun to me;o)
Since S.R. doesn't have a dresser, we have to get creative with storage. Some of her clothes are in the baskets on the shelf, others are hanging on the right. Poor thing needs some winter clothes!! It's starting to get a little chilly here, at least in the mornings, and she doesn't have much.
This area hasn't changed much other than moving the roadside chair to this corner. 
Her room WILL have a new paint color soon....I just have to figure out which color. I am so tired of these creamy yellow walls....they are so BLAH!
I didn't want to leave little man out. These are some things that have been added to his room over the past few weeks. I left the lay out of his room the way it was b/c his room is finished, except for 2 more pieces, (and they have to be made). 
A yard sale lamp for $3. Very masculine I think. Hubs wanted it for his office...HA!
And another addition...planets mobile. Thanks to Papa and Gia for this one. E. was so happy to have some planets hanging below the stars on his ceiling.

His room is a little dark, but this is a larger view with the planet mobile. I think it looks great!

Have a fabulous Tuesday!!