Sunday, December 20, 2009

Spread the News

MckMama's having a giveaway!

I know my brother is a big fan of Adobe's Lightroom software, so when I saw MckMama's giveaway for a brand new copy of Lightroom I knew I wanted to enter into the fun... even if I'm just one of thousands and the chances of me winning feel pretty slim. ;)

If YOU want to leave a comment for an entry of your own (or blog about it for an extra entry ;)), go read her Lightroom giveaway post!

Thanks, MckMama!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lighting the Advent Candle

On Friday Matt informed me that our pastor asked us to light the Advent candle this week. What a sweet thing to get to do as a family during Asa's first Advent season!

On a very unspiritual level, I wanted something special for Asa to wear. We have an outfit for Christmas all picked out and ready to go. But I didn't want him to wear his Christmas sleeper for church today. I have been wanting to try to make him a jon jon/shortall. He has some cute ones, and I think they are oh-so-sweet on little baby boys. Whenever I have looked for a pattern for that type of outfit I have only seen patterns for bigger boys (toddlers), never for infants. After making a decent enough pair of pants by tracing a well-fitting pair he has, I thought I could probably piece a jon jon together by tracing the one he has that I like.

And so I set off to make a Christmas jon jon sans pattern! Ha! I was afraid I might have bit off more than I could chew (as I started sewing Saturday morning). BUT, I spent many feedings thinking through each step and picturing it all in my head. I found some sweet, rich, jewel-y green thin wale corduroy to go with some Christmas tree cotton I had (for a little insert, like if it were smocked across the chest). And miracle of miracles, Asa napped well enough on Saturday for me to trace his short summery jon jon and turn it into a pattern for a long, Christmasy jon jon.

I only had one major mistake where I initially sewed the legs together instead of stopping at the inseam. Other than that, it went really well! I even got the rise correct, which is what I usually have trouble with if I'm not using a "real" pattern!

There are a few things I would change, of course, like I accidentally cut the top piece of corduroy with the weave horizontal, but it is vertical for all the other pieces (didn't realize I made that mistake until it was all done). But it doesn't look bad. I would make the straps thinner also. But I tend to overestimate seam allowances and such when sketching my own patterns. I was SO excited to go look for cute buttons, too. I was hoping for Christmas tree buttons, but the only even wintery thing I could find was some snowmen. The colors kind of clash, but I can always switch out the buttons if I find some great trees.

Without further ado, here is my creation!

I think Asa will wear this again for our Christmas Eve service. :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Craft Favorites Friday, late edition :)

So I knew it was bound to happen. I did not get a Craft Favorites Friday post up last week. I think there was too much anticipation in our house over the arrival of G-Pa and G-Ma later that day. :) Or maybe it was that my little birdie has been waking after shorter stretches at night, calling for his momma bird to come feed him. Our 4-5 hour stretches have slipped to 3-4 hours, and that little slip is making a big difference as it continues to drag on for over a week. He's just so busy learning new things, like sitting all by himself (he doesn't even need to tripod anymore!), exploring spatial relationships, and disliking that Mommy can step away from him.... even for just a second. ;) I digress, today I got to try a project I've been wanting to try for a long time. It could not have been easier, so I hope you'll be encouraged to give it a whirl, too. :)

Homemade Baby Legs

There are LOTS of different tutorials for making your own baby legs on the internet. Just google it if you don't believe me! But I happened upon this one from Little Birdie Secrets, as it's a blog I follow anyway. Even though I have a baby boy, I am a fan of baby legs. I think they are utterly ADORABLE on girls under little dresses and skirts, but my little man can use an extra layer on his legs now that it's chilly. I imagine they might be nice when he starts crawling as well, as used alone there would not be any pants to get dragged down over his little bottom as he scoots around. We live in Florida, so it doesn't get too terribly cold. The joke is that winter is February 12. ;) Okay, so it's a little longer, but not long enough to warrant the purchase of realllly wintery clothes. We just layer it up when the cold week or two arrives. :) We're not to "real" cold yet, but it IS chilly enough that Asa's little legs get cool at night, even with warm jammies. His pant legs also ride up when he's in my mei tai carrier, but baby legs keep his legs covered even when the pants get hiked up. It's GREAT! My husband calls Asa "flashdance" when he wears them, but he is excited about the new patterns (argyle in particular) of baby legs our baby boy will be sporting for CHEAP thanks to this tutorial.

In fact, here's a picture of him modeling a $2 pair of knee-socks-turned-baby-legs that I picked up at Walmart. See??... cute!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Ornament Wreath

Here is my version of the ornament wreath in my last post. It was super easy to make, and I love the mix of metallic, matte, and glittery ornaments. :) It cost me about $10 or so in boxes of dollar store ornaments (Dollar Tree, to be specific). I want to go through my stash and find some wider ribbon for the bow, but I'm very pleased with how the wreath turned out. I give the project two thumbs up!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving edition of Craft Favorites Friday

I hope your Thanksgiving celebration was a sweet time with family and friends to truly realize the BOUNTY of God's blessings in your life.

This will be short and sweet, but here you go... :)

Get your house ready for Christmas with this ornament wreath tutorial from Eddie Ross. I am in the midst of creating one on my own, Dollar Store ornaments and all. :) It's very simple and so far is turning out quite lovely and sparkly. And CERTAINLY more affordable than the ones you can buy in a store. :)

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more Christmasy crafts. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Magnet Board

My sweet friend's birthday was approaching, and I wanted to make something special for her. When I came across a tutorial over at craftynest for a fabric covered, framed magnet board I really thought I could tailor it to her liking. It seemed like a fun little something she could post verses, pictures of her adorable twins, or other fun notes on.

I know she likes pink, so I picked out some fun pink fabric and some coordinating fabric to cover the magnet board. I played around with a couple of ideas. I considered trying to make a city skyline from the coordinating fabric because she used to live in and loves NYC. I wasn't sure if I could really get it to look like a skyline though, so I made a monogram instead.

Without further ado, here's the finished product!

the little black square are magnets

a close-up of the monogram

Friday, November 20, 2009

Craft Favorites Friday

Welcome back to Craft Favorites Friday!

To start us off this week, we have something for the little ladies. :)

Little Girls' Fleece Jumper

This is another tutorial from Smashed Peas and Carrots. I love the silhouette of the jumper, the over-a-shirt-and-pants look, and I have to admit, I love that it has buttons. I have been eyeing buttons lately and trying to think of projects I can make for Asa that have buttons. So far I have come up with... overalls. :) But here's a toasty and cute jumper for the little girl in your life. :)

Next are some Coasters

Check out the tutorial for these coasters from Beneath My Heart. It would be so easy to coordinate this with decor in a particular room, a holiday, or personalize with a monogram. With just a few supplies, a couple steps, and a little time you have a GREAT gift as well!

Corner Bookmark

I thought this simple and sweet bookmark was definitely worth passing along. I like the "x marks the spot" embroidery, but you could also embroider with a monogram or other little design. The tutorial at Kootoyoo uses a magnet to keep the bookmark on your page. This would be a sweet addition if you plan to give a book as a gift! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I finally did it...

... I posted a year or two ago about wanting to make my first quilt. Well, I can check that off my to do list.... 2 years later. :) I began making wonky log cabin blocks for a quilt for Asa before he was born. Then he came. And as any Mom knows, time takes on a new dimension with a baby in your life! I realized I would never finish if I kept piecing the blocks. NOT that they are so difficult to sew. It's just strip after strip. But I was having trouble getting them to come out in the end in a way that squared up well. I put the project on hold while I loved on my newborn. :) Now that he goes to bed by 7 and naps 3 times a day, I have been able to get back on it. I decided to go for a strip quilt instead. I found my inspiration and got to work. I found a few more fabrics to round out my strips, and I sewed the quilt top in 2 days. I probably could have done it in one if I'd devoted all Asa's naps to the quilt, but alas there are dishes to be washed, laundry to be done, floors to vacuum, etc. :)

I need to trim the edges, actually make the quilt sandwich, and choose binding, but I am very excited to have the top done! I found a possible premade binding I might use. Is it weird to use a fabric for the binding that you did not use in the quilt? Also, those blocks I already made? I'm going to piece them into the back so they are still used. :) I am hoping to have it done in time to give Asa for Christmas (shhhh, don't tell him ;) ), but we'll see if I really get that done. I also needed to decide how exactly I want to quilt it... stitch in the ditch? Vertical lines like my inspiration? How do you think they kept the lines so straight for that? I am excited to see how it all comes together in the end. Until then, here's step 1! :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Friday Feature

So you know how I said I am finding LOADS of amazing crafting ideas on the internet? I thought I should pass along some of those ideas and some of that inspiration to you! So, I decided to try a new Friday post--Craft Favorites Friday. Now, with my little man at home with me I cannot promise I will never miss a Friday. But these ideas are just too good not to let you know about them!

Without further ado, here's my first Craft Favorites Friday!

We have all seen those child harnesses meant to keep a "runner" close to Mom and Dad. While we all want to have perfect, obedient children who would never dart away from us, reality does not always live up to that! This tutorial from Cupkateer shows you how to take a stuffed animal and turn it into a harness to help you keep your little one out of harms way. TOO cute. I love that it's so customizable in that you can use any stuffed animal. I love her tip for where to find backpack-like strap adjusters (let me know if you know a better source). And I love how simple it looks. I haven't tried it myself yet as Asa can only roll away from me. I can still keep up with him at the moment. ;) But I will definitely be storing this idea for when our little guy gets a bit older!

Toilet Paper Pumpkins (sew-less!)

I thought these no-sew pumpkins were super sweet. They would be easy to place throughout the house, showing off some of your favorite fabrics from your stash. But after fall has passed, you can add the fabric back to your stash and make something else with it! I love the re-use factor. :) These look really simple and would even be easy to make into an apple earlier in the fall with reddish fabrics. :) Check out the tutorial at Smashed Peas and Carrots.

And lastly, the Outlet Cover Makeover

What a simple and clever idea from Little Birdie Secrets! Again, this would be easy to personalize to coordinate with decor or a favorite character, etc. You could even let your child paint something and then glue it on the outlet cover. You'll want to make sure the decoration doesn't make it so your child can pull out the outlet cover or make the outlet too enticing. But if you can jump both those hurdles, you can have some adorable little outlets at your house. :)

So there you have it, the first installment of Craft Favorites Friday! I hope you find something that inspires the crafter in you!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

First Doll

I have seen a couple dolls lately that I thought were very sweet. Then I decided, "Hey, I could try that." I drew my own pattern and kind of worked my own way through it. I will be making a few changes to my next one... the head isn't exactly round, I will add more hair features, shorten the neck area, straighten the torso/dress, and use less wide elastic in the skirt. BUT, overall, I think it's not half bad, especially for not having any directions and making it all up on my own. :)

Without further ado, here she is (minus a face... haven't settled on that yet)!

(it's not really as crooked as this picture makes it look)

After I settle on what to do for a face, this will be my first drop for The Toy Society! :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Here comes...

...crafting! At least, my brain is SWIMMING with crafting ideas and inspiration! I was thinking the other day how COOL it is to get so many crafting ideas on the internet. There are countless crafty ideas I never would have thought of if I hadn't seen them online! Thanks to all the crafty bloggers out there! :)

On top of collecting a million crafty ideas from blogs, I received several crafting books for my birthday last week. I cannot wait to dive into them! I can now create with the guidance of Applique Your Way, a pre-0rder of Button and Stitch, Softies, and Hand-Stitched Felt, while listening to Paul Baloche and Christy Nockels. Yesssss! :) Thank you to my sweet husband and wonderful family. And thank you, my baby boy and hubby, for letting me do it all while wearing a personalized version of this (with Asa's name and birthdate on the back)! I LOVE it!!

I am really excited to get crafting. I feel like I could start a 100 projects, but I'm trying to finish what I already have started. Stay tuned soon to see one of the completed projects--my first toy for The Toy Society! :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Machine Applique

Asa had a friend's (actually, 2 friends, they are twins) birthday party to go to for the first time 2 weeks ago. Not even 4 months old and already partying. :) I wanted something special for him to wear. The party theme was Sesame Street (Elmo in particular), so thought about an Elmo shirt. Then I thought about something birthday inspired. I really liked that idea, but there are no more parties on the horizon before I figured he'd be moving up to the next size of clothes. Lastly, I thought of something Fall related. Aha! If I made a fall-themed onesie, he could wear that several more times before it's too short. :)

So off I set to decide what kind of fall item to feature on the onesie. I consulted Matt :), and we were choosing mostly between a tree with fall leaves or an acorn. We both liked the acorn better (and it reminds me of my niece), so an acorn it was!

I went through my scraps (many of which are actually Joy's scraps that she passed along to me) and found some adorable blue flannel with squirrels and acorns and little trees on them. That, I decided, MUST be the nut part of the acorn. Then I found some sweet white on brown polka dot scraps. They were screaming, "Acorn hat!" :)

I had never done machine applique, and there are several things I would/will do differently next time (I can't wait to try it again!). But without further ado, here is Asa's acorn shirt (and party hat courtesy of Taylor & Wesley). :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

or Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Our little pumpkin :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Diaper Changing Wallet

I have to admit, I really do like my SkipHop diaper "wallet." Everything you need at your fingertips. If I'm running a quick errand, I could always just grab it (as opposed to the whole diaper bag) and go!

Then I came across a crafty version and decided to try it myself. It seemed simple and straight-forward enough. And most importantly, Asa is now sleeping enough for me to even remotely consider pulling out my sewing machine and starting a project. :)

Without further ado, here is my changing wallet... actually it's not "mine" it's going out to someone special very soon!

(yes, I made the velcro match perpendicularly on purpose, so it would still match up and close no matter how full you make the wallet)

(minky for the actual "changing pad" part, and it has quilted batting between the layers of fabric to make it a little extra cushy)

(it has a pocket for diapers and a pocket for a travel wipes case)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Baptismal Gown

Just a few pictures of our little guy actually IN the gown I sewed (with Mom's help!) for his Baptism. He was baptized about 2 weeks ago on September 20. We are so thankful for the blessing of this covenant baby :) and PRAY that God will draw him to Himself, that he will walk with God all his days and be faithful to Him. Since Asa is such a long and lean baby, I added ribbons to each side seam so I could tie back the excess fabric. We think he looked awfully sweet! :)

(Asa woke up right as I passed him to Rob... and he wasn't too thrilled about that) :)

Friday, September 4, 2009


Sorry for the absence from the blog again. Asa hit another developmental "growth spurt" and has been a bit needy in the areas of attention, cuddling, playing, singing, snuggling, etc. :) I think we're on the downhill slope, so hopefully I'll have 2 hands free soon. :)

While I have a second though, I thought I'd tell you about the onesies I have made for his monthly "birthdays."

I started by designing a logo in Photoshop:

Then I altered it so I have a logo for each month and a special one for 1 year. :)

Next I bought some inkjet printer iron-on paper. You flip your image to a "mirror image" and print (so everything is reversed left-to-right). Then you just iron it onto your article of clothing! I've made two so far.

And my husband made a tshirt themed for our alma mater when his company had a day for everyone to wear a shirt for their favorite team. It turned out really well.

I had seen logos like this on boutique onesies, but I had 2 factors I considered: #1 I'm sure I can make that cheaper. #2 How do I know for sure what size Asa will wear for each month? This way I can make the logo exactly how I want, when I want, what size onesie I want, etc. It's been really fun. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Asa's birth announcement

In the weeks before Asa's birth when I had begun my maternity leave, I started playing around with some ideas for a birth announcement. I had SO much fun trying different ideas and learning some new techniques in Photoshop, including downloading/using brushes and harnessing the power of layers. :)

Here is what I came up with for the announcement (his room is decorated in a woodland forest animal theme, and I made the owl on the announcement in order to coordinate with the owl in his bedding):

And then so everyone could see his sweet self, we made this photo collage and had it printed through Shutterfly--for the same cost as a normal 4x6! :)

We love our little guy and praise God for him! :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Baptismal Gown

Back when I got my embroidery machine, I started dreaming of making a baptismal gown for any child(ren) God would add to our family. We considered using the gown my brothers and I were baptized it, but in the end I hoped to be able to make something for our kids to use and have the option of passing down.

I found a great pattern during one of JoAnn's super pattern sales and stashed it away. The closer Asa's arrival came, the less likely it seemed I would get it sewn before he was born. I just hoped I'd have time some time after he was born! Then he took his SWEET time coming, and Mom and I had all this extra time on our hands! We made a prototype out of muslin to learn the quirks of the pattern, and then we ended up having time to make the real thing, too!

We also made "under armor" for the gown, as Matt says his son will not wear a slip. :)

It was a really sweet thing to sew the gown with my mom and to know Asa and any other children we are blessed with will be baptized in this gown--sewn with lots of love and prayers! And he will hopefully be wearing it next month. :)

How we pray for you to walk in the ways of the Lord, Asa, that you would do what is right in the eyes of the Lord and love Him with your whole heart all your days--just as God's Word says of your namesake!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Long time no write

I guess I underestimated how all-consuming these early days with Asa would be. :) But such sweet days they have been!

As you might imagine, I haven't done much crafting. I don't produce much.... other than milk! Ha! :)

I did recently cut a bunch of scrapbook paper to make a mini photo album. I have been wanting to cut it for weeks, and I finally got to last night! Asa hit the 6 week growth spurt and it started slowing down yesterday. He is over the eating-every-second-of-the-day hump and now on the downward slope of SLEEEEEPING to make up for all the sleep he skipped frantically eating all day long and refusing to nap in his hyper-alert state. :) Anyway, during his first stretch of real sleep I got to cut out my papers. And today I got to sort them into coordinating sets. I am excited to show you when I have it assembled!

I also cut out some little corduroy pants, but I haven't sewn them yet. I'm not sure how they'll turn out. I used a pair of pants that fit Asa well as my pattern (adding seam allowance, of course), so it's really an experiment. It would be so fun if they turn out!

And I WILL still tell you/show you about his baptismal gown. And lastly, I found a really cute travel diaper changing organizer (kind of like the skip hop changing wallet) at a nearby boutique. I had eyed it before, hoping to use it as a pattern, but I didn't want to pay full price. I found it on clearance over 50% off and snapped it up! I'm excited to try one out and hopefully have a fun new baby shower gift to make people. :)

Lastly, I'll be sure to post some updated pictures of our sweet baby boy. He is seven weeks old!! I can't believe how fast the time is passing!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A picture to tide you over

2 weeks old and sweet as can be :)

I'll post about the baptismal gown soon, and also our birth announcements after they are sent out. :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

He's Here!!

Asa arrived Tuesday, June 23rd at 12:39 PM after 36 hours of induced labor. He weighed 8 lbs. 3 oz. and is 22 inches long with a full head of dark hair. He was definitely worth all the work to convince him it was time to come out! :)

We are taking it easy, especially thanks to my parents' help this week. :) Here are a few pictures, since I anticipate crafty updates being rather few and far between for awhile. I WILL post about the baptismal gown Mom and I sewed for Asa very soon though. It was one of the things we did to pass the time during Asa's two week "extra" stay in the womb. :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's About That Time...

... the hospital just told us to come in at 11:00 tonight (in one hour!) to be admitted and get this show on the road! Stay tuned....

Almost time!

Unless labor begins sometime this afternoon, we are supposed to call the hospital this evening to see if there is a bed available, and if so we will check in tonight to begin prep for an induction. Asa should be here by tomorrow night! Just wanted to give a little update. :) If everything goes smoothly, we are hoping to come home by Wednesday. No guarantees on an update at that point, but we'll try for a picture and stats. :) Please pray! :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Still waiting...

Well, Asa was due June 10, but it is now June 15! Silly me, I really thought he'd be here by the 14th or 15th. He'll have to be a speedy baby if he wants to make the midnight cut-off for that "mother's intuition." :)

But, we've waited all this time, what's a few more days, right? It IS kind of humorous to watch the days tick on. We have a countdown on my google homepage that's been counting down to June 10 since we found out we were pregnant (Sept. 30), and actually before that we had a countdown for over a year when we were wanting to try but God was telling us to wait. That countdown started at 408 days, then we had the pregnancy countdown when He so graciously created this little life, that was 280 more days. Almost two years of praying for and anticipating this one special day (and a lifetime of days to follow). Wow. Now I've switched it to a "count up" showing how many days we are past the due date.

If he doesn't come by Wednesday, we have another biophysical profile and a check-up. And I imagine they will set a date to induce (the 22nd or 23rd if everything is okay). We are hoping and praying we won't need the appointment Wednesday, much less an induction date!

My mom is here now (she drove down Friday) waiting with us. It is SOO nice to have her here and KNOW she will be in town for Asa's arrival. She is also great at thinking up random errands to run while we wait. Hopefully the rest of the grandparents will have a reason to head down SOOOON!!! :)

We'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You are!

... just in case you are wondering, Asa is due tomorrow but there is no sign of him coming yet. :) I am actually feeling really well and still sleeping and napping. Today I even ran several errands--the pet store, the craft store, and two grocery stores. :) I also sewed 1/2 dozen cloth napkins, put away all the groceries, emptied the dishwasher, and folded a load of laundry. We're just waiting for him to made his grand debut!

In the meantime, check out these ADORABLE name letters our friends had made for us! :) They match his bedding PERFECTLY! I just can't wait til the little guy is in HIS room with HIS letters. :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

For real

Yesterday I sewed my nursing cover. It felt very "real" to be making one for ME and not for someone else. How crazy is that? I found the front fabric online on clearance. At the time I ordered it I wasn't sure what I would use it for. When it came and we found out we were having a boy, it just seemed right for the nursing cover. The back material I found at JoAnn's.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I just still can't believe it's for me! :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Asa's Mural take II (complete!)

Please read more about this project in the post below, but I went ahead and finished up the mural this afternoon. Here are pictures of it completely complete! :)

the tree, with its little friend the raccoon :), and a bin of toys

our "carved" initials

Looking up at the leaves and branches

Matt insisted (in the nicest sort of way) that I "sign" my work like a real muralist :)
(don't mind the baseboards... they'll be replaced eventually anyway, though not anytime soon--don't worry! We're not completely crazy!)