Saturday, November 19, 2011

New Arrival

Yes, he's here.

I know its been a little while. Two months, to be exact. Its a little baffling how much time a new baby takes up. Add it to a house with a busy two-year-old, a part time job for me and sometimes crazy hours for The Man and mix in two dogs, and time gets away from you.

Kent Daniel was born on September 19th, one day after his due date. Thankfully, there was no on-again, off-again labor this time, and he was born just 8 hours after labor started. We had an even quicker delivery this time - just an hour and a half after arriving at the hospital. Good thing we live pretty close. He was 8 lbs, 2 oz and 22" long and he's perfect. I'm in love.

These days, I waiver between ignoring everything else and enjoying the ridiculous amount of time spent nursing him, and stressing out about my work not getting done and the house being a giant mess.

Big brother has been alternately adorable and incredibly aggravating. He's getting his two year molars and starting to be interested in potty training. He has gotten up at all hours of the night and rarely stays in bed the first time he's put in there. This is new. He's always been the perfect sleeper. Now he sleeps with a baby gate on his door, both to keep him in at night and to give me a little extra sleep in the morning. This is all temporary, I hope.

The little guy is only waking once a night to feed, so I can't complain. I feel like we're already through the rough start and we can move on. I cope so much better with enough sleep.

I don't imagine I'll be ambitious enough to get any quilting done anytime soon. I've really had the urge lately to make a ripple afghan of some sort (here, and here) although, I don't know why, or when I might have time. I also have a quilt that I've been hand quilting for ages. Maybe over Thanksgiving I can get some work done on it.

My latest obsession is photography, which is natural, I suppose, since I am at home with two little munchkins who are getting bigger every day. The Man told me I can get a new camera for my birthday/Christmas and I'm excited about that. I am hoping to buy the Canon EOS 60D. My Rebel has done well, but it is 5 years old and I'm excited to upgrade. I took a class from nicole's classes last January, so hopefully I've made improvements over the last year and can continue to improve. I've been shooting in manual since the class and I feel like I've gotten the hang of it. I really just need to practice, since shooting a really fast moving target (aka toddler) isn't easy!

So anyway, that's what is going on in my life right now. Perhaps I'll be back every now and then. We'll see.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

More Washcloths

Last night I finished up another stack of washcloths for this little one. He's still not made an appearance. I'm starting to feel like he never will, even though his due date isn't until tomorrow. In the meantime, I keep my hands busy making things.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Baby Wraps

Instead of starting my post with a photo of a newborn baby, I should point out that this is not my baby or photograph. Ha ha!

Found these wraps at the PropShop on Etsy recently and decided to try making them for this new little kiddo. It is super simple and I feel a little silly that I bought a pattern to make them, but whatever. It turned out just like the photo. They are so soft.

Since the stitch is so large, they don't really hold a shape, but as a wrap for a photo, that works just fine. You can tuck it in around them and it will stretch to fit as you need.

This first one is made from Moda Dea Dream yarn in Pecan. Its my favorite. Nice and neutral. It was done as crochet. Its really just that you need a very large hook. Nothing difficult. I found it hard to see my stitches though, since they were so large and the yarn is fuzzy.

The second one is Moda Dea dream in Leaf, I think. I did this one as knit. I had the super-large needles already, so I wanted to try it that way. It was easier to knit, since there's really no missing stitches when they're sitting on your needle.

I had to search around for the yarn a bit, because it seems to be discontinued. In fact, Moda Dea doesn't even exist anymore, does it? Its too bad, because its so lovely and soft.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Striped Pixie Hats

I made these awhile ago from a pattern I got from Etsy. I don't have any pictures of them on, cause the Little Man doesn't leave hats on very long and of course, the other little man isn't here yet. But the idea was that perhaps I could get a photo of the two together wearing them. Wishing thinking, I'm sure.

But it was interesting to learn how to knit them. These two were knit on regular needles and sewed together. I don't like sewing knitted stuff up - mostly because I don't know that I'm doing it right. But since these hats won't get a lot of use, it will be fine. I just procrastinated on finishing them for a long time because I was too lazy to sew them shut. Sad, I know.

Anyway, I'm stockpiling a few ideas and trying to think how I'd like to photograph the little guy when he makes his appearance. I'd love to hire a photographer, but I don't think I can justify it. So I will try my hand at it myself. I've got a few other things made up, like this, although I'm not sure if I'll be brave enough to try it. I guess it depends on how big this baby is when he gets here! Ha!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Yet Another T-Shirt

Found this black t-shirt in the clearance clothes at Target the other day and decided to grab one and make another shirt for the Little Man. The Man wears a lot of black and adding the dog to it made me think of him. Its a Belgian Malinois, in case you're wondering what kind of dog it is rather abstract, isn't it?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


One of these days, I'm going to get it added to my side bar or something, but not today.

I am on pinterest now, if you have any interest in seeing my pins. I'm avoiding looking around too much, because of the time suck factor, and using it more as my personal inspiration board. There's so much fabulous stuff on there, though!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

New Dresser for the Little Man

We switched the Little Man to a toddler bed a few months ago, so that he could get used to it before his little brother arrives. It went very well, except that the little monkey who never gives up now has an entire room full of distraction that he can use to keep from taking a nap. Sometimes this means his room is a disaster twice a day. Oh well. He does great at night and he entertains himself fairly well during his "nap," so I will be happy with that. The Man keeps reminding me that I can't make him sleep, and he's right.

We also needed to get him a new dresser because we planned on keeping his original dresser together with the crib, since they match. We had a hard time finding anything that we liked, or rather, the right combination of price and quality.

So we bought a toddler bed that we liked from Amazon and went ahead and decided to go cheap and bought the Hemnes dresser from Ikea to go with it. Since they don't match anyway, I wanted to try painting it. I did it a few weeks ago, and it wasn't really very fun to maneuver around my big belly. It took a few hours per coat, since I painted the insides as well, and I put on 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint that I think was supposed to be self-priming.

I am really liking the paint color in his room. I wanted to use the London Fog (the gray I've been using in the bathrooms and on his little stool), but while it looks plenty dark enough on the walls of the bathrooms, its really pretty light on the stool. So I went a couple shades darker and used Plymouth Rock instead.

We'll see how well it really holds up to the little monkey over time. Its already got some chips here and there and the some has rubbed off on the drawers because, quite frankly, the drawers don't fit perfectly. I like the dresser overall, though. Hopefully he won't try climbing in the drawers, because they will never hold his weight!

Anyway, hooray for progress! I just feel like I need to move some stuff on his wall now, but we'll see. Probably won't get around to that. Baby number 2 is due in three weeks!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Here's another freezer paper stenciled t-shirt that I made for the Little Man a while back. Its a stylized version of the Pittsburgh skyline found here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Leftover Curtain Fabric

And this is what I did with the leftover curtain fabric. The other print is Gotcha Gray also from Premier Prints and it is a twill. They have lots of other colors as well. . . wonder what I could possibly need them for?

Dutch sneaks in the picture for the sunshine.

Our couch pillows were looking really awful, but the inserts were feather and still nice, so I made some new pillow covers.

They definitely need to be removable and washable, but I hate how an envelope back pillow always seems to gape open in the back, so I decided to put in invisible zippers. I've never done that on a pillow before, and when I tried it on The Little Man's bean bag, it worked okay, but not perfectly.

This time I found several different YouTube videos to see how its done, because none were completely clear to me and I can never understand the product directions on traditional sewing supplies like zippers or patterns (is that just me? I consider myself intelligent and the sentences read like some other language altogether). Anyway, it worked and it was easy. They aren't quite invisible because I didn't buy the special Coats invisible zipper foot and just used the one that came with my machine, but they're darn near invisible. Good enough for me!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Porch Pillows

We bought rockers for our front porch this summer, and I was feeling like we needed some pillows to go on them. I was sorta leaning towards buying the Sundial pillow from West Elm for out there, but decided against it, because it was just too much after paying for shipping. I'm pretty sure that these will be on the ground fairly often, as the front porch is an outdoor play area for the Little Man.
Sundial outdoor pillow in Papaya from West Elm

So, this is what I did with the fabric from the Little Man's old curtains. I made some pillows for my porch!

This is a much better use for that shower curtain fabric. I like it much better as pillows, and since its "recycled" fabric, let him throw them on the ground if he must!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Curtains for the Little Man

I finally found the fabric that I wanted to make curtains for the Little Man's room. Yay! I believe that its been a year and a half since we moved him out of my office (his nursery) into his own bedroom.

I tried out some all white grommet top curtains at first, and they were just too plain and boring. Then I found a navy shower curtain with a printed ivory design on them that I thought might work if I cut them and reconfigured them into panels. You can see them in the bookshelf post. They ended up being to dark and too skimpy for my taste.

I was hoping for a chevron print that I could use, but I never could quite bring myself to buy the ones that I found. They have a nice blue or yellow or brown at, but I what I wanted was gray. Pale gray.

Well, then it occurred to me that those are all Premier Prints fabrics. So I searched for Premier Prints and found their website. I am such an idiot. How did I not know these existed? I've actually used several of their prints before when I made all those aprons for Christmas several years ago. Ta da! Their Zig Zag design comes in the perfect Ash/White print. (I'll save you the leg work if you happen to want this fabric and tell you that the cheapest place that I found it was here, btw.)

I ended up buying 8 yards of fabric, so that I would have some extra, because I love it. I was trying to figure out how to cut it the right length, so I ended up folding it in half and laying it out the length of my living room/dining room and just using a measuring tape. Of course, the Little Man decided not to nap that day, so I had to get him up while I still had the fabric laid out and was trying to double-check my calculations before cutting.

He put on his rain boots and his 8-ball bike helmet and was riding his trike up and down the fabric like it was a runner just for him. He was saying "Wheeee!" and going back and forth and stomping around in his rain boots. He was in rare form and totally cracking me up. I was laughing so hard and trying to capture him on video to show The Man. Its a wonder I even cut these things right.

So here they are . . .

I'd never made curtains, but I wanted to do it right, if I was going to spend so much money on fabric. I wanted fully-lined, professional-looking curtains. I found an excellent tutorial here. I bought drapery lining at JoAnns. I don't know much about linings, but it was heavy enough and soft and about middle-of-the-road price. I learned how to make a blind hem on You Tube. Awesome. They turned out perfect!

I am so happy with how these look in his room. They are perfect! I'm nearly finished with it now. I wish I knew of a better way to store all his stuff, but this is how it is. We've already swapped his crib for a toddler bed, and now we need to swap out a new dresser for his changing table/dresser. We've already got the dresser, and I painted it last week.

Now I just have to get my act together and get my office ready to be set up as the nursery again. I'm getting concerned that number two is coming sooner, rather than later, so I need to get things done. Seriously. I'm not ready.

Oh, and if you happen to like this fabric for curtains, but don't want to sew them - lookie here. Someone is selling custom panels on eBay.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Step Stool

A few months ago, I saw vintage step stool plans posted on Ana White's blog and I decided that I was going to make one. Myself.

We have an old "rustic" stool that was The Man's when he was a kid, but its not very tall. The Little Man uses it all the time and drags it from counter to counter in our kitchen, depending on where the action is. I figured we will be needing more stools around this place and I would like something cute. You never see cute stools in the store.

I figured this one would do the trick and get him up a little bit higher.

I convinced The Man that I was really going to do it, so we bought some lumber. It cost more than I was hoping, but what I bought was enough for a stool and half, probably. I even convinced him to carry up his miter saw out to the back patio for me.

The first afternoon I attempted to use it, The Man was already gone for work and the Little Man was supposed to be napping. I couldn't even figure out how to unlatch the dumb saw. I sent him texts and he tried to explain it to me, but I couldn't find the latch for the life of me. I had to cover it back up and wait for him to show me how. Sad, I know.

The next afternoon, however, I got most of my cuts made and realized that some of the lumber is too wide for the miter saw. Oops. Had to wait for help again. We ended up cutting through one side and then the other with the miter saw, because we don't have a table saw. It worked.

The next afternoon I had free, I needed a jig saw to cut out the sides. I found the jig saw in the garage, but there was no blade in it. I texted The Man again and he told me where to find the blades. Found them, but I couldn't figure out how to get them in the saw. I even googled for the manual and couldn't find one online, so I had to wait for help again. Ridiculous.

Anyway, I got everything all cut out and The Man helped me figure out the screws and stuff that I needed and he showed me how to pre-drill the holes and screw it all together. Yay!

Anyway, this is turning into a ridiculously long explanation, but my point is that it was actually pretty simple to make. Obviously, I had no idea what I was doing, but I did manage to make it all by myself. Which means it is easy.

The paint color is Benjamin Moore London Fog (my new favorite gray/taupe color) that I used ages ago in our basement. I love the color, but it didn't occur to me that there would be little dirty footprints on it at all times. Oh well.. I was going to take different pictures of it, but why? This is exactly how the stool is going to be used and what it will look like in my kitchen.

Now I'm thinking I could use one that is maybe a tad wider for the sink in the bathroom. . . but with only 6 weeks to go before the second Little Man is due, when would I do that? At least this time, I know how to use the tools!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Second Babies

So its true what they say about second children not getting the same attention. I'm already not paying the same amount of attention to this little guy. I'm working on it, however.

I wanted to make him a blanket of his own, but I can't find any different yarn that I like at JoAnns. I really should find a real yarn shop with nice yarn, but who has the time? I found this gray on clearance at JoAnns the other day, so I bought all they had and made him a quick blanket out of it.

I used the same seed stitch as for the washcloths and the same crochet hook as well (N). Hopefully it won't get all wonky-looking with a loose stitch, but I wanted it to be soft and drapey and honestly, it was not enough yarn. I needed a large stitch to make the blanket big enough. Its not quite as big as I would have liked, but it will be a good stroller-sized blanket and work well while he's little. And its nice and soft.

Now I need to make him some washcloths of his own! Soon . . .

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Another T-Shirt

I'm enjoying the whole freezer paper stencil thing. If I had any more good ideas for designs, I think I'd do more. I picked up this t-shirt and some red shorts for the Little Man at Once Upon a Child and decided to do a lifeguard shirt. It just seemed to go with the outfit. Since he is two, I added the "swim at your own risk" to be funny.

My little paleface looks good in red, I think. It seems to be his favorite color.

He got a new toddler bed recently so that we can use the crib for the new baby (the switch went very well, by the way - yay!) and we didn't want to make the switch at the last minute and let him feel like he gave up his crib for the new kiddo. Anyway, since he is now free to climb in and out of his bed at will, he's been getting in his dresser and emptying things out and spreading toys and diapers and clothes everywhere. It never fails, though, that he finds the two red shorts he has. If anything is pulled out of the dresser, it is a pair of red shorts. Sometimes he brings them back to bed with him. Why? Heck if I know . . . it must just be his favorite color. That's all I can figure.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Houndstooth Quilt

I mentioned awhile ago that I had made a baby quilt for my sister for her baby shower in January. The shower was a bit last minute (my sister only makes it home twice a year), so I didn't have a whole lot of time to work with. I saw the houndstooth quilt on Vanessa Christenson's blog and decided to make one like that.

My sister went traditional in the nursery and its completely done up in pink and white, so I did the quilt in the same colors. I didn't buy the pattern, because I figured the block was easy enough to figure out on my own. It took me a little tweaking to figure out the size of the strips to cut to make the block size that I wanted, but I got it and it turned out nicely.

I was too tired to remember to take a picture of the quilt before I gave it to her. How lame is that? Pregnancy does that to me, I guess.

Here's a bad picture from the shower, though.

I can't locate any specific instructions for making the houndstooth block at the moment - I don't remember what blog it was that I got them from, but you could pick up V & Co's pattern if you don't want to figure it out yourself.

I also saw a post awhile back at Camille Roskelley's blog with a ruler that would make the block as well. I should find this ruler somewhere in case I ever want to make one again.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Catching Up {again}

I know I said I was going to try to start posting again, but surprise surprise, it hasn't really happened! But I have a good excuse.

We are expecting again. Our second little boy is due in September. I'm sure you know how it first too tired to do anything, then too busy trying to do everything and then too tired to do much again.

I have been doing some things here and there, though. This is a project that I made for the Little Man for Christmas. Its his very own monogrammed bean bag. It turned out nicely, but it was more of bear to make than I expected, though.

I Googled for free bean bag patterns for awhile before I settled on one. I wish I could remember where I got it from, but I can't. Its been awhile. I just picked one that seemed as if it would be big enough. I made an inner bladder for it out of muslin so it could be washed and of course, this means that the outer cover needed a zipper.

I've never really understood zippers and I've only attempted it once or twice. I ended up buying a couple zippers before I finally got one that would be appropriate. I think it was a parka zipper or something ridiculous that I had to buy in order to get one that was long enough. I found a tutorial for a hidden zipper and it turned out well enough.

Then I picked out bean bag fill. I wanted to buy the tiny little beads so that it wouldn't smoosh down completely over time. Well, I can't say I recommend what I settled on. I bought the Poly-fil Micro beads. They're expensive, but I didn't figure it would take too many bags. We bought them at Joanns one bag at a time so that I could use coupons on them. And each time, I would carefully dump the bag in, make a HUGE mess, and realize that it wasn't going to be enough. Seriously. I can't remember for sure how many I bought, but it was waaaay too many. Six at least. They cleaned up easily enough, but they were everywhere.

I sewed up the muslin and the outer bag with a regular stitch and went over that with a zig zag stitch as well, hoping that would ensure that the bag would be leak-proof. I monogrammed Jack's name on it (that part turned out well - yay!) and stuffed the bag.

Well, the bag has been loved and enjoyed by both the little man and the dog since then. It of course, has needed to be washed by now. I took it apart in the basement, since it felt like there were stray beads inside. There were. Everywhere. There is about an inch long opening in the bladder. How? I have no idea. I tried to vacuum them out of the cover and then I gave up and put it in the washer. After the washer filled, I fished beads out by hand as best I could.

Its been sitting in my basement now for months while I get around to sewing it shut.

Long story short....I think I'd recommend plunking down the cash to buy a monogrammed bean bag elsewhere. Or don't use micro beads. Maybe shredded foam? This project was way too expensive and messy and aggravating. I did actually buy the pattern for a Rollie Pollie from Dana-made-it and perhaps sometime I'll try it again with another fill. Someday. When I recover from my annoyance at this one.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Time In Between

Life gets away from me, I guess. I'm not sure if I should just drop the blog altogether or start blogging about more of my personal life. It doesn't really matter either way, I suppose. I just have very little time to really create much any more. Oh well.

I do have something to show you. I've been itching to try freezer paper stenciling for awhile now. I bought freezer paper a year ago or more (ha!) and bought some plain t-shirts for the Little Man over the winter and I've never gotten around to doing it. No good reason why, other than I can't seem to settle on a design.

But I finally sat down and did it last week. I figured if I didn't do it now, he'd grow out of the shirts I bought! I started with a white & navy t-shirt that I found at Once Upon a Child for $1.50. Can't beat that. I bought some Jacquard textile paint at JoAnns (months ago), because I read somewhere that it was good paint. And here it is:

I think the design could be a little crisper. I wasn't sure how to long iron the freezer paper on, but I think perhaps it should have been a little longer than I did. It turned out pretty well though, and the navy paint is nice and dark. I haven't washed it yet, so hopefully it lasts as well. After it dried, I put the little H on the front. It was actually super easy and didn't take too long, either.

In case you don't know how to do it, here's the short version. Cut your freezer paper to 8 1/2 x 11" and tape the corners to a sheet of printer paper. Print your design on the paper side of the freezer paper. Take off the printer paper and cut out the stencil with a cutting mat and exacto knife. Iron the stencil to your shirt with the plastic side down. Make sure its on there well, but don't burn your shirt. Put something inside the shirt (I used cardboard) to keep the paint from seeping through and paint on the design. When the paint has dried, peel off the stencil and heat set the design with your iron. I turned the shirt inside out and put a cloth on top of it so that I wouldn't burn the shirt, because that is something that I would do. Voila!

I tried another shirt as well. This one has a more detailed design, but it worked perfectly. I found a black and white Superman logo online and added the type to the bottom. It takes awhile to cut out the tiny letters, but it wasn't bad. I ironed the stencil a little longer on this one and it is nice and crisp. I put this design on the back as well, because this shirt has a pocket on the front. I'd rather have had it on the front, so next time, I'd pick that pocket off and put the design on the front. Otherwise, its great. I have to go find some more shirts and designs to paint. This was rather fun!

Monday, February 07, 2011


My little sister is expecting her first baby in May. We had a baby shower for her a couple weeks ago with rather little notice to prepare. I wanted to make something for her, so I started with these washcloths again (like I made for my little one). I used the Nature's Choice Organic Cotton yard again because I like the texture and softness of them and I think they look so nice brand new. They work up nice and quick and you can get 3 per skein of yarn.

I've used them now for more than a year and a half with my little guy and the only problem is that they don't look as nice as they do when they're brand new. They don't stay perfectly shaped and there is a little bit of pilling. I don't mind, though, because they are still quite a bit softer than any baby wash cloths that you normally see.

I did make her a quilt as well and failed to get a picture of it. How pathetic is that? It was rather rushed and I was just happy to have it done and completely forgot. I'll find one and show it to soon.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I decided a few months ago that I wanted to learn to knit for real. There's so many YouTube videos that you can watch to learn this sort of thing, there's really no excuse for not trying it anymore if you want to.

I've actually known how to cast on and do a knit stitch and bind off for ages. One of these days I'll do something that uses more than just that, but I decided to start with the classic simple scarf.

This is for the Little Man. Of course, he has no intentions of wearing it. I've tried to put it on him, but he doesn't even leave it on long enough for me to snap a picture of him. He likes to drape things around his neck, though, so perhaps if I leave it out where he can get at it, he'll eventually try it out.

I made it double length, thinking I could fold it in half and pull the ends through, making it harder for him to remove himself. Not so much. Clever little bugger. Oh well. I successfully made a scarf. Except that the edges aren't so neat. I'm not sure what to do about that. Should google it. There must be something out there to help, right?

I also picked up this book. Perhaps I'll try something from here next.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bookshelf for The Little Man's Room

I'm going to just jump right in and start all over again here. I don't know that I really have time for blogging, but who does, right?

So I'm trying to think of things that I've done in the past year that I could post about. Funny thing is, there probably aren't many.

But if you happen to remember waaaay back last year when I posted about a bookshelf under a window that I saw in Cottage Living (I think), well, here's the update.

I did get The Man to build them for me. I happened to find Ana White's site not long after I saw that picture. She posted plans for a very similar shelf, so we modified it a bit, but its basically the same thing.

What are we doing, Dad?

Hey, its just my size!

The Little Man has loved his bookshelf, so it was well-worth putting up. He has easy access to his books - he can see most of them and can reach them all. Being the control freak that I am, I put them all back in the same place and he knows where to find the one he wants. Ha! I have since added a couple big storage baskets underneath the shelf for his toys, so it works out well in such a small room. Unfortunately, there's still too many toys in the room, but what can ya do?

It's based on Pottery Barn's Collector's Shelves, so if you don't have the inclination to build yourself one, you could buy these. They're pretty cheap to make, though.

**if you're anything like me, Ana White's site can be a huge time suck! You were warned!