Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Moments

Happy Monday! I'm going to tell you some personal stuff. It's what I do on Mondays around here.  

I'm going gray. At my temples, which is all distinguished and kind of sexy if you're a man, and a huge pile of crap if you're me. I was supposed to be far older and richer when this happened. It's ironic that I spent my entire childhood praying that God would make me a mousy brunette (and turn my dog into a dalmatian while He was at it), and now I'm mourning the fact that convincing red hair color is pretty much nonexistent. 

This has become especially important to me since having my daughter, who is also a redhead. I want to look like her mother and not endure years of, "Where did she get that hair from?" My mom heard it so often that she would make jokes about it, and I think I was about six when I told someone, "My mom says I get it from the milkman!" You can imagine how well that went over, and the huge talking to I got about it!  

So, red hair in a bottle, that doesn't look like it comes from one, please, Internet! Someone get on top of that? I'm not getting any younger here! Right now I kind of have to pull my hair back for it to be seen, but I have no idea how quickly this stuff progresses.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I have never spent so much time quilting in my life! I really wanted to somehow try to explain why I was still working on this project (and I am probably less than half finished), and decided that a picture is definitely worth a thousand words in this case. I took this photo in black and white, and very close up so that I can show what I'm working on without really giving too much away! 

So what is it? It's about a two inch wonky square, where none of the sides touch any other shape. It means I'm stopping the machine after every two inch (some are bigger, some are smaller) square to cut thread tails for burying later. Ugh! I LOVE the look of it so far, it is seriously wonderful in the scale of the whole quilt, but it also means that I am nowhere near done. Loads of handwork, loads of machine work..the top was simple to piece, so I guess this is my trade off. I am going to be so sad to send it away when it's done! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Moments

I'm going to go a little retro today. 

I did say a little! I can't believe this photo was taken almost six months ago! It seems like so much has happened and it can't possibly have been less than a year, while simultaneously it seems like there is no way my baby is nearly that old! 

I made this page during one of the Speed Scraps on the My Memories Facebook page. It's something you just cannot do with paper scrapbooking and so fun. You get one step at a time, and usually about ten minutes to complete a step, but it really isn't timed. All of the steps are listed in a page at the end so you can go back and complete the challenge whenever! For this one we had to use a patterned background paper, one photo in black and white or sepia tone, two different shapes, a title longer than three letters, a word art longer than three words, and a small heart. Seriously simple, but also cute, and it's amazing how different the pages looked when we were all following the same rules. 

(Sometimes they don't turn out so cute. Mine last night was a disaster, but I only wasted a few minutes of time and not that last scrap of my favorite paper or anything!)

Speaking of My Memories, they were featured on Lifetime Television recently and are doing a great promo to go along with it! Right now they have a free trial version of the software (should you decide you want the full software my discount code is here in the sidebar) and a free photo book, with a video tutorial for how to put it all together! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I hate..

Working on things I can't share!

I have been busting my butt on a seriously cute, fun quilt. I'm at the quilting stage now, and I'm going way out of my comfort zone with a detailed pattern..and I just wish I could post a picture! However, it is far more important to me that this gift remain a complete surprise.

Also, I got a baby shower invitation this week. You know what that means! I have the best idea! Now to see if I can turn it into reality...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Moments

I'll be keeping it short and sweet this week. I have a gift for someone in the works, and I'd like to get it finished and off in the mail so I can show it to you all! It is killing me not to share! 

This Sunday was the Museums Free 4 All in Grand Rapids. We thought it would be a great way to spend the day, and it was, but also exhausting and in no way did we make it to all four museums (the kids were a little disappointed as they both love the Public Museum). 

We parked our car and literally were on the sidewalk when the church bells started ringing noon (the Sunday opening time of all the Grand Rapids museums) and we were approximately guests number 505-510 of the 600 person capacity Children's Museum. Wow! 

I got two new favorite photos. One for each girl. This is Victoria's, and I have to say I love the three headed smile. She was inside of a prism shaped mirror. Really fun! 

And this is my new favorite photo of Caroline. A strange woman was behind me taking pictures of her kid, when she kindly stopped to make mine smile without me knowing. Such a great face, and boy was I surprised when I turned around to see what she was looking at. (I had thought maybe it was her dad, but nope!)

Gabe was kind of being a stinker. He has piles and piles of Legos at home, but what's more fun than playing at a Lego table with ten other kids? We had to drag him to different areas, trying to get him to experience something he couldn't play with at home. He grudgingly stood inside of a giant bubble, but then moved on to more and more places to build. Eventually he did bust out of his comfort zone. 

After the Children's Museum, we moved on to the art museum, which is just as enjoyable as you imagine it being with kids. "This is boring," from Gabe and "I have been here once. Let's find my favorite sculpture so we can leave," from Victoria. Though they both did eventually warm up to it. For Gabe the boredom was mostly that he couldn't see, being around three feet tall. Once his dad picked him up and he got a view of the paintings and sculptures he wanted to see all of them and ask a million questions. Victoria's questions were harder to answer. Upon seeing a lamp set up on a little square box shelf with a little roped off area in front of it, she turned to me and said, "How is that art?" (No one ever show her this piece!) Yeah, I don't really get it either. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Just playing, maybe

I'm well aware that it's past time for Easter projects, but I just found out about this one when I saw this table topper in the finish links for Amy's Challenge. So I clicked around and found the instructions

I didn't follow the instructions, but I LOVED the designers idea for using the almost never used decorative stitches on her machine. I had an idea that used much larger eggs and I got out my Brother (I've been using my Kenmore for months because I thought my Brother had a timing issue..turns out it just needed to be shut off and turned back on! Gotta love computerized sewing machines!) to play with it. 

I think I can see why she used the size eggs that she did. Those stitches get longer and longer (the very bottom one in my pic) but not any wider. I think they get lost on my bigger egg, but how much? Do I scrap my idea completely or re-work it to use her smaller eggs? Or is it fine? 

I'm still not completely sure if I'm going to do this now and get ahead of the game, or wait until next spring and pray I remember what it is I wanted to do. Hmmm...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The diaper

After three attempts at taking photos of the diaper I made in three different lighting situations and on three different colored backgrounds, I have determined that I'm not going to get perfect coloring on these. 

This is probably closest to the actual coloring, but the yellow is still too green and the blue/green color on the background (lining fabric) is not green enough. ::Grumble::

If you've been to JoAnn or The Hobby Lobby recently you have probably seen the Babyville products, even carries them now! My mother-in-law decided to see what the hype was about and bought a three pack of PUL each for me and her, and the cute matching fold over elastic and label packets for each of us too! 

I made the sham pocket flannel lined diaper from the Babyville book in a size small slim. I had all of these ideas on what I wanted to make first, combining what I thought were the best parts of each diaper pattern. I decided to follow my own advice though, and do the pattern as is the first time out, with the exception of the added gussets. That breastfed baby poop is scary stuff, I wanted the extra barrier. 

The "soaker" pattern was kind of a pain. It says that you can either serge, zig-zag or turn and top-stitch and since I don't have a serger I decided to go for the second most professional type finishing option. Yeah...the soakers (or what my husband called that maxi-pad type thing) are four layers of flannel and two layers of cotton batting. Hard to turn and top-stitch! And one of the patterns calls for two of these sewn together down the center! I may get brave enough to try it though. 

I have yet to actually use the diaper for more than a photo shoot, which she refrained from soiling it for. I'm curious to try though and see how this works out before I cut into the rest of my PUL. I figure even if this doesn't convert me to full fledged cloth diapering, at the very least I can use it at the beach this summer and save myself a ton of money on those cheap, do-nothing swim diapers. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Monday Moments: Tuesday Edition

Since I was busy entering Amy's challenge yesterday, I thought I'd throw some Easter scrapbook pages your way today! 

Do you know what I love about digital scrapbooking? I made these layouts Saturday night, not having any idea if I would have any photos to fit them, and not having to worry about it because I can just hit the delete button! No wasted supplies, just a little time..but thankfully they did work out, and now my Easter is scrapped just two days after the holiday! (Though I might add in a date to Caroline's page and change that orange paper on Gabe's to something  in a springy yellow.)

I don't know if you can read my journal tag, but Gabe named the colored eggs and called them his friends! Now all eggs are friends and he has to be reminded at least once a day not to play with his "raw friends" lest he make a huge, sticky mess! I'm thinking I need to invest in some wooden eggs to decorate so he can get this out of his system...

I threw together a bunch of kits for these. I know there are a few Mye De Leon things in there, some freebies I got from Just Jaimee and the adorable bunny, chick and eggs came from this element kit. As always, if you'd like to do your own digital scrapbooking the link to the software I use and a discount code to purchase it is in my sidebar! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Two finishes!

I posted last Monday about entering the Challenge over at Amy's Creative Side. My goal was to finish the dress I started for Caroline, and I'm happy to say I did it! Want proof?

The dress is made from Simplicity 2668, and if you read my previous post about it, you can see what I meant about how huge it is! Though Caroline slightly exceeds the minimum height and weight for the 6 months size, I would not consider this fitting, at all. Which is a real bummer because not only is it adorable, she loves the bright, high-contrast colors. She does nothing but stare at and reach for this dress if it's in sight. I guess we'll try it on again in June, sigh

Big accomplishment for me, this was the first item I actually tried to machine sew a zipper in! (If you've been following for a long while, you might remember that I made a Halloween costume with a zipper a year ago. I was actually so nervous about messing it up that I hand stitched the whole thing in!) 

It's not perfect, especially that little gape in the middle there, but it opens and closes all the way, and I'll only get better from here!

And lastly, if you are visiting from Amy's blog you may have seen me comment that if I finished with time, I was going to try my hand at a cloth diaper. I had the time! I think it's so cute, but all of the pictures I took of the parts turned out funky, and I certainly can't show you the lining while the baby is wearing I'll leave you with this adorable photo of chubby baby thighs and a promise that I will get some better pictures and post all about it in a couple days! 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Challenge week 12

Amy's Creative Side

Alright! Up for grabs at Amy's Creative Side this week is a cute bundle of pink fat quarters..if you can complete your goal. Mine is to finish Caroline's dress. I have actually made some progress on it since I posted last week, so it should be doable, but you never know with these kids! 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Great beginner patterns!

After I posted my progress pictures for Caroline's dress on my personal Facebook page, my friend Allison commented that she really thinks she could, and would like to make dresses for her little girl. I figured there are probably more people like her out there, so I went digging around for an inspiration post. 

These two patterns are adorable and super simple with no buttons or zippers. A great place to start! Simplicity 2377 is the cutest, I think, but only comes in sizes 3-8. However, 5695 has a really similar construction and comes in two size variants 1/2 (the equivalent of a 6-12 months) -2 or 2-4. I think it would look really close to the photo version in the older girls pattern if you changed out the middle tier of version A or B to a coordinating print..and hello, cute hats! 

And it wouldn't be an inspiration post without some crush-worthy fabric. First up, two prints from a collection I'm so in love with right now, Fly a Kite in Teal Circles and Red Damask. 

Another great collection, Children at Play these prints would make an adorable (but not over the top) whimsical dress! Pictured in Pink Pinwheels and Soft Pink Meadow.

And for a similar feel to the dress I'm working on, in fabrics from the same manufacturer, Michael Miller, Citron Gray Giraffe Love and Tiny Gingham and Orchid Gray Charcoal Tiny Houndstooth

What do you think? There are, of course, a million cute kids clothing tutorials out there for free, but if you truly want to learn how to follow a manufactured pattern these would be great places to start!