December 23, 2010

The Joy of Mail

 The mailman has been paying us lots of visits lately.
Look what arrived for Amelia yesterday! My good friend Julie told me she was making a stocking, but I had no idea what it would be like. I LOVE it!!! Look at the kitties...and the snowman! Amelia will be able to keep this forever, I'm so excited. Thank you Auntie Julie. :)
 My knitting group is doing a knit along in January and is making the February Lady Sweater. I've never made a sweater for myself so I'm pretty excited (we'll see if I can actually get it done!). My mom got me a KnitPicks gift certificate for Christmas (and permission to use it before Christmas) so here's one of the things I got. I'm going to use this "Wool of the Andes" to knit my sweater. I've already started, but I've only knit about 5 rows...ha, we'll see if that sweater ever gets done.

And in the same order, I got some gorgeous sock yarn and this book.

Trisha and I got together last week and we went through the patterns in the book and decided on a scarf for this yarn. I haven't started it yet and might not get to it until next winter. I think it'll be a gorgeous scarf anyway. By the way, Trisha and her family babysat for me so Nick and I could go see the new Harry Potter film...thanks Trisha and co.!!

And for those of you who are interested in baby pictures, here's the latest.
Yep, I made the jumper and she does have a great big glob of slobber on her chin. Who wants a picture with a bib? This is Amelia at 11 weeks. I hear all the time in my baby group that things get all magical at 12 weeks, 5 days to go. haha

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

My pumpkin hat fits!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I slept 7 hours last night so you know what my mommy's thankful for.

November 22, 2010

November Update

Whoops! I forgot I had a blog, I guess it's time for an update, haha.

Well, things are pretty good around here. Amelia will be 7 weeks old tomorrow! Wow, time flies.

She's about 9 pounds now & learning new things every day. Tomorrow she'll meet her Auntie Veronica and 3 of her cousins for the first time, we can't wait.

I haven't had much time to sew or knit, but I did start an afghan a few weeks ago (thanks to Trisha). Here's how it's looking...

I'm actually a bit farther along than this, but I don't have a new picture. It's practically dark here right now so there's no point trying now. (There's snow on the ground too!) The free pattern for the afghan is here. I decided to go crazy and try a different color scheme, I think I like it so far. And here's Trisha's version, so pretty. I try to knit a row every night or so. At this rate I could finish by the time Amelia starts school.

Though I haven't been sewing much, I did make it out to a quilt show this weekend (thanks to a very proud daddy who pushed the stroller and chatted with all the nice ladies at the show who wanted to know all about the baby). I picked up a few treasures.

These toasters will make a great coupon organizer some day.

And what about these retro prints? I bought them with coupon organizers in mind, but I may have to keep a little for myself. :)

Miss Amelia will enjoy this alphabet panel & matching print. The panel is narrow so I can either make it a wall hanging as is, or add to the sides and make a quilt. Maybe I'll decide by the time I get to this project.

And here's a little something for me. You can't tell from the pattern but these fabrics will make an adorable snowman wall hanging. They had a sample made up at the show and I was hooked by the red & aqua. It'll be great in my dining room some day.

I guess that's my update. Hopefully as Amelia grows, I'll find more time to blog and sew. Have a great Thanksgiving in the mean time!

October 20, 2010

Thanking Misses Kwitty and some baby pictures

Look what arrived in the mail the other day!

Not the shelf, the adorable banner with Amelia's name on it!! I've been waiting for the sun to shine in her room to take a picture, but it just isn't happening. Misses Kwitty made the birdy banner and I absolutely love it, Amelia does too.
Thank you Misses Kwitty!! (sorry, the picture doesn't do it justice)

Oay, so now I'll bore you with lots of baby talk. Amelia is doing well. She's been to her first doctor's appointment and has surpassed her birth weight. We're very proud. :)

She's so small that she nearly never gets a chance to wear something girly, none of her clothes fit yet. She's spending most days in side snap shirts & pants. She got all dolled up for the doctor though. 

Here you can see miss Amelia hanging out in her fancy rocking chair. She digs it! Once we got her home I quickly whipped up about 6 flannel receiving blankets with my stash and serger. We get a ton of use out of them, especially at night when she's wrapped up like a burrito.

She looks so funny, but this swaddling business really works!

October 09, 2010

Two Weeks Early

Hey! Guess what? I have a great excuse for not posting lately...I had the baby and she was two weeks early (just like I'd hoped she'd be).

Say hello to miss Amelia Jane

Here she is about 10 minutes ago, keeping me company while I look at my emails. She arrived on Tuesday morning in a flash! My water broke at 12:30am & she arrived at 7:00am. I think that's pretty quick (and lucky).

We're all doing great so far. Amelia's only 4 days old so I'm sure her easy-going nature is just a tease for now. Ask me how I feel in another week, haha. But really, she's great! :}

October 03, 2010

Finished Enough in the Kitchen

Oh my gosh! I forgot to show you what's going on in my's almost done. Certainly done enough for me for a while. yay!

Here's where we started last year around this time.

The left wall was the worst part. The door next to the fridge and the lack of usable cabinets was such a pain. Not to mention the inside of all the cabinets was the original particle board from the 60's. I'll just say "gross" and leave it at that.

At my last update, it looked like this (scroll down a bit).

Here's how it looks now (minus a few things on the counters). The room feels about 10 times larger and there is so much cabinet space that I can't even fill it! *sigh of relief* We've got a small island in the center now that really helps when you take something out of the fridge etc. And later we'll add another section of floor to ceiling cabinetry (just behind where I stood to take this photo) that will serve as larger storage and a pantry. I can totally live without that for now. I'm just so happy to have a new, clean kitchen.

Here's my favorite part! The baby bathtub, haha. No really, I love my new sink and faucet with no mysterious grime. Even better, the cabinet below it doesn't smell like an old folks home.

And we got it all done with time to spare before baby #1 arrives.

October 01, 2010

The Never Ending Diaper Bag

Perhaps I shouldn't say "never ending" or I wouldn't be writing this post. Let's just say it took me a while to get the darn thing made, but here it is:

Of course I made my own diaper bag, I mean, c'mon! haha
It's a version of a design I sell in my shop, altered to suit my (assumed) purpose. I don't make a lot of these because they take for-ever! I mean it. There are so many pieces to this thing. I must have spent the last month making this bag but I'm super happy with the result.

I started with these 2 laminated cottons from Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane collection. I saw them in person and I loved the weight. For laminated fabric, it's really drapey and lightweight. I got about half a yard of each of these and added a yard of the leaf print later when I saw it on sale at a local store. It's a good thing too because I used almost every last inch of fabric.

Doing the math and cutting layout on this bag was really hard and I was so worried I wouldn't like it in the end. I had originally planned for the whole outside to be striped so it wouldn't look too girly (for Nick's sake). Obviously that plan went right out the window because of a lack of yardage.

 I wanted it to have short handles so I could carry it off my shoulder (my back doesn't like uneven distribution of weight, you won't see me with a baby sling), so the shoulder strap can be removed as needed. There's also a magnetic flap to close the top of the bag. When it's empty, the flap seems way too long, but I'm sure it'll be perfect once the bag is packed with gear.

Each end of the bag has a pocket with elastic at the top. I also used some super strong magnetic snaps to tuck the ends together, I just like the way it looks. The d-ring is where the shoulder strap attaches.

 And here's the inside. All of the pockets are lined with PUL, so everything is waterproof and/or wipe-able. I already had the PUL to make some cloth diapers, so it was an easy choice. There's a big slip pocket on the back side too, I hope this is enough pockets! I included a couple of places to hook onto as well. One side has a small ring to clamp to and the other is a clip. Don't want to lose any important toys!

If you were wondering what those extra stripey bits were, they're another set of strong magnetic straps that attach the diaper bag to the lower part of my stroller. It just seemed like a good idea to hang it from that bar that goes across. The straps snap down inside the interior pockets if we're not using them. (It's a Baby Jogger City Select, in case you're wondering. I'll probably tell you more about the stroller once I start using it. We got this one because it easily converts to a double and I hope to have another baby as soon as I can.)

So there you have it, way more information than you ever wanted about my diaper bag. :D The laminated cotton was intimidating, but easy to work with. I did use a leather needle to sew it, those layers can get pretty thick. There's also a layer of fleece behind both the main bag fabric and the lining to give it some stiffness along with a hard, removable base to help keep the shape.

Now, bring on the baby! I'm so ready to meet her and my back is just getting worse by the day. I'm hoping to will myself into labor this weekend since my doctor's on call and I'm technically full-term. 37 weeks and 5 days (2cm dilated). I always thought I'd get HUGE when pregnant, but my body has proven me wrong. Thank you, body. Now, please start wiggling your fingers or praying or whatever you do so that I'll go into labor!

September 22, 2010

Handmade for Baby

My baby shower was a couple weeks ago and I wanted to share some of the beautiful gifts we received for little BooBoo. It was a small gathering but I'm happy to say that most of the gifts were handmade!

Trisha made this sweet quilt. I'm so honored that she gave it to me, she actually worked on it at my house! haha I really love it. I want the baby to enjoy it, but I'm also thinking about hanging it on the wall in her room for a while so we can see it. Thanks Trisha, I really love it!

And from Trisha's daughter, these gorgeous baby bracelets. Remember the stitch markers she made for me? These are even more special because they're made from beads & crystals I used to make my wedding jewelry. They'll be a wonderful keepsake for the baby.

My friend Alejandra knitted this adorable hat and blanket. I love the color of that blanket and the hat is just too cute (and, I'm told, it will even stay on).

My cousin's girlfriend Sanya came all the way across the country to be with us that day and the gifts she made are to die for. Look at this adorable hat and booties. Just beautiful!

Sanya also made this lovely gown and hat. These are just amazing and I'm so touched that she spent so much time for my little baby. If I didn't have to take the baby home in a car seat, she'd be wearing this home for sure.

Christina couldn't make it to the shower but she sent along this cute bunny to hang in baby's room (I've reserved a special place). His body is cross stitched and his little tail is beaded. Isn't he sweet?!?!

Christina also sent me some birthday pressies (my birthday was this past Saturday)...she really knows what I like.

I can't wait to make these cookies! Thanks so much're so thoughtful. :)

I'm so lucky to know so many crafty people! I've been chipping away at my craft list lately too, here's the latest...

A very soft knitted blanket, just riddled with mistakes. I suppose no one will notice as long as I don't lay it out flat.

And just finished today:
A reversible hoodie made from an old Butterick pattern I had laying around. It only took me the afternoon to put this together.

I finished this little scotty dog a while ago, just didn't get a chance to share it. He's so cute, isn't he? (If you want to see both sides, click here.)

And (just for Trisha) because I refuse to dress up a newborn for Halloween...

In one evening I knit up this sweet little pumpkin hat. She can get her picture taken in it but I'm not taking her trick-or-treating. ha!

There's more where this came from but I'm a bit behind in the photo department.

September 12, 2010

Ready to Occupy

It's been ages since I posted, but I've been so busy with crafty projects that I just wasn't ready to show you anything. Now I am!

I had my baby shower yesterday (can you believe it!?) so I was working hard to get the baby's room in order for the girls to see it. Here's how it's looking so far. (I apologize for the bad lighting and color in the photos, it's a tough room to take pictures in).

The colors are a little washed out, but this is the view from the doorway. There should be a shelf above the dresser/changing table, but that hasn't made it's way onto the wall yet.
 Both the dresser and the chair are from IKEA. I hope to add some rick rack or fabric to the chair at some point but I'm not sure if that project will take place any time soon. The rug is from Land of Nod, the crib is a hand-me-down from a friend.

I made the bumper out of the giant pile of fabrics I told you about before. Did you know you could buy a pack of precut crib bumper foam at JoAnn? Me either. It's nice & sturdy so I don't have to worry about it smooshing down too much when the baby gets a little bigger. You can't see it well in this picture, but the skirt is a blueish floral with a rick rack trim & a layer of flat eyelet underneath (same as I did for the curtains).

Here's a closer look at the bumper. I got the idea for the x's from Schnibbles Times Two (you can see the quilt on the cover of the book). I always knew I wanted patchwork for the bumper but wasn't sure how to do it. I made the x blocks first & then added the gingham border to get the pieces to the right size for the foam. It was a very tricky project, but I'm happy with the result. The opposite side is vertical striped (you can kind of see it in the photo above).

I knew for a long time that this was the dresser we'd be using. It just seemed like the perfect size to use as a changing table and the drawers are huge! It's from the Hemnes collection at IKEA. I told you about the knobs I ordered (dreamscapedesigns on Etsy) in a previous post, I really love the way they add a little fun to the dresser. I used a set on the closet doors too. Nick wants to build a sort of tray thingy for the changing pad, but I might just change that plan to some really strong Velcro (we only have 5 weeks!)

Another thing I knew I wanted was the alphabet. I labored over how to do this for a few weeks. I could make my own, but who has the time? I love these, but the color scheme wasn't right and I thought they'd be too white on that white panel wall. The set I got, I had seen in lots of places over the last couple years. I ended up purchasing them from Amazon because they had the best price. I got the teeny clothespins from Amazon too! I just used little nails, very thin ribbon to hang the cards on & thicker ribbon tied in bows to cover the nails. When baby gets big enough to reach the cards, this wall will likely change.

And here's the last big project I made for the room. I had this adorable honey bun laying around and thought it might be fun to use it as the top for a mobile. Naturally, I wanted to make whatever would hang from it. I labored over this project for a long time too. I couldn't decide if I wanted flowers or animals or what! In the end I bought a crochet pattern from Amy Gaines and changed things a little so I got the animals I wanted (I had to have a monkey in there!). It was a chore to get the critters to hang right (and Mr. Pig still isn't cooperating), but they're pretty good now.

Here's a better view of the frog & pig. I loved this was easy to follow and super quick to make. I may have to make some more of these little guys with rattles or bells inside.

And now some Etsy love. I bought 3 prints from different Etsy sellers. I used a nice textured piece of scrapbook paper as a mat for this card from Belle & Boo.

I couldn't believe this could be any cuter in person than it was online, but it is! It's from When Guinea Pigs Fly and hangs above the dresser on the right. I don't have a photo of the 3rd print I bought from Trafalgars Square, but it hangs to the left of the dresser in the same frame as this one (also even cuter in person). I love Etsy!

And last but not least, another item I didn't make but I really love:

The lighting in my house is awful at best so I needed to add something near the chair. I found this lantern at a local toy shop and fell in love with it. I'm not into princesses as a general rule, but this thing is just too cute and the colors are perfect! I used a fixture I had laying around from IKEA and a dimmer switch (also from IKEA). At least I can turn it on pretty low if I need to. And yes, you can get dimmable cfl bulbs, yay!

In the end, I'm happy the room is pretty much ready for baby BooBoo and I like the look. One of the comments yesterday was that they liked how it's not too "matchy-matchy", that's a huge compliment in my book. I don't do matchy-matchy.

Now, I just need a baby to live here....I'm so ready. This has been an amazingly uncomfortable pregnancy for me, my back is so done (but I know it's worth it)!

August 10, 2010

Summer Treats

In an effort to not do another wip post, I thought I'd show you some food instead. I guess it's still something I made, but I was in the kitchen this time and it wasn't for the baby! haha

We finally got around to having a little backyard barbecue a few weeks ago. The weather was beautiful, plenty of people came and it was a wonderful day. I, of course, made way too much food and because of this spent most my time in the kitchen forming hamburger patties because I was behind schedule (sorry about that to those who were here).

I only have pictures of the treats to share with you, I hope you don't mind.

I dug into Martha's Cupcakes again and made the strawberry cupcakes. I went with regular buttercream instead of strawberry. Not being a strawberry fan (and probably the only one on earth), I felt the strawberry on strawberry would be too much! As usual, they didn't disappoint. Nick thinks these might be his second favorite cupcake ever (right behind Martha's maple cupcakes ~ yummmm).

 I also made a batch of marshmallows. It's just ridiculous how easy they are to make! I added a little English Toffee candy flavoring to them & it was just enough to give them some pizazz. These were a hit too, there were only 4 left at the end of the day. No one wants to be the person who takes the last one, right? Here's the recipe I used for the marshies. It's worth buying a candy thermometer if you only ever use it to make your own marshmallows. They'll shock & amaze your friends too.

That's all the food photos I can share, I didn't manage to take any other pictures that day (so typical). The macaroni salad from Cook's Country Magazine (my FAVORITE magazine ever!) was so good time.

Here's my next cooking project:

 Did you know there was a whole book dedicated to Whoopie Pies? {drool}

Now that I've actually located a bag of graham flour, I'm going to attempt the graham cracker whoopie pies.

 Wouldn't it be fun, and a lot of work, to use your own marshmallows for these? Now that's domestic!

I won't be rushing into any baking right away, we've started phase 4 of the kitchen remodel. I want this done before the baby gets here or it'll never happen!
Actually, this should be complete by early next week. All we need now is the new pantry, some tile and a nice new floor. Movin' right along!

Oh, and I finished that little crocheted sweater. Told you I could crochet a sweater way quicker than I could knit one. :) hehe

Pretty good, eh? Only one crafty photo in the bunch! Hope you're having a nice summer too.