Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Liebster You this much!

I think I was supposed to write this post a lot more quickly than I actually did :)  In my own defense... it has been WRITTEN for a few days now... but the text ended up all mixed up somehow, and when I attempted to fix it, I unlinked all the links.  And there are a lot of links in this post.  So I had to go back through, find the lins, and re-link all the un-linked links.  So they would link again.  Because they were un-linked.  Link link link.  Have I said it enough?

But I digress....

A little while back (let's not do the math!) My friend Jen passed on the super-dee-duper small blog award... The Liebster Award to me! No lie, it made my day.  I think what I wrote on her Facebook wall was something along the lines of, "You win the 'my favorite person of the day award!  Woohoo!!'" I've seen a few bloggers get this over the past few months, and I kept wondering if it would ever find it's way over to me. And now, thanks to my fellow sewing addict Jen, it has!

Random fact:  The German word for love is Liebe.  I took German for 5 years, and spent 3 weeks there my senior year of high school.  Most of my friends (all the awesome ones, anyway) also took German, so we spoke it out of class as much as we spoke it in class.  So the fact that the name of this award appears to originate from a German word makes it even more appealing to me.

Wait.  Did I go off track again?  Let's blame it on lack of sleep.  :)

Here's the deal with the Liebster award:

1) Thank the person who gave you the award and link to their blog.

2) Choose 3 – 5 blogs with less than 200 followers and pass it on.

3) Display the Liebster Award on your blog somewhere.

So here I go....  Liebstering away!

1. I was Liebstered (I feel dirty writing that, but I swear it was completely platonic!) by Jen at Sew Frustrating! I've known Jen for so many years that it seems like it just can't be actually possible. I'm not really that old, am I? We were actual letter writing pen pals back in high school - we used pens and envelopes and stamps and sent things at the POST OFFICE! :) My sophomore year of high school, my best friend and I somehow convinced our parents that we should be allowed to take the train 2 states away to visit Jen for a week, and stay at the house of people we had never met. Ah, the good old days. Now, thanks to the amazing internets, we have been able to stay in touch when we probably wouldn't have otherwise, and have both developed a healthy (ha!) addiction to sewing. Once upon a time we talked about boys and beanie babies, now we threaten pattern makers who force us to understitch our pockets! Jen has been chronicling an amazing Breyna costume on her blog that inspires me to tackle things more complicated than I think I can do! Really, it's awesome work. I also love seeing her latest and greatest PJ pants! When all else fails, make some pants!

2. A lot of the blogs I'm a devoted reader of have well over 200 followers. A few have uner 200, but I know they've gotten the Liebster already. So without further delay, here are 3 amazing blogging gals who have no idea I read every post, but totally deserve this award:

Kate's Stopping Spree

The premise of this blog: A woman who loves loves loves to shop decides to take on the challnge of going an entire year only purchasing essentials. I first came across this blog in February... and after reading her (at the time) most recent post, I went back to the first one and read it all from the beginning. My husband wishes I was doing this. Heck, *I* wish i was doing this. I like to shop... a little too much. It's my go to activity when I get some time to myself... but I definitely don't always need to be doing it.  Here's a link to Kate's first post, where she outlines the why part of the stopping spree... a post I can totally relate to...

Painted Butterfly Studio

I first found Julie's blog by way of her etsy shop. Super cute sppliqued tees, and some gorgeous little dresses. On her blog, she shares snippets of her life with kids - 3 pretty darn adorable ones - with her lucky readers. I've loved watching the nursery projects she's been working on this past year - this quilt especially!  Craft projects and cute pictures of babies?  I just can't get enough of either, so it's no surprise I love seeing a new post come up from Painted Butterfly!

Crissybell's Musings

This blog is full of Oliver & S goodness. That makes me happy in that I get inspiration to try different patterns, different color combos, different fabrics. I haven't actually used most of these patterns myself, but someday I will :). Some of my faves:
Ombre Ice Cream Dress
polka dot family reunion dress, ladies... how does it feel to be written about by someone you don't know? It was a little strange to write those, knowing that they would be read by the bloggers themselves! (Probably. I hope. Please?)

3. Button! It's over there on the right somewhere! Woohoo!!

And, because I feel weird writing a post with NO PICTURES... here are a few pictures of my cutie pie daughters:

Sister love, face paint, naps at the fair.  HAPPY.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blankets blankets everywhere...

Some weeks it might seem like I don't get much done in the sewing/crafting/cooking land.  When that happens, I'm usually waist deep in a pile of minky dot, ribbons, and fusible interfacing.  Baby blankets!!!!

My Etsy shop can go from no hits for weeks to 100 in a day (who the heck knows why - Etsy is a beast that few understand), meaning up to a dozen orders at one time.  Pile on top of that the multitude of baby showers I've been invited to this summer (read: baby shower invite = free blanket!) and I've decided to just start buying minky dot by the bolt!

Some new twists:  different colored minky, flannel backs, some awesome custom color combos, blankets secured with a headband for little girls to be.

I love having loads of blankets to work on at one time.  Once the girlies are tucked into their beds (which is a longer process some nights than others!), out comes the ribbon box, the bag full of fat quarters in every color of the rainbow, the iron I've gummed up the bottom of...  Oh wait, that last one is a little less glamorous sounding.  I really should get my own craft iron and stop making hubs clean the iron every time he needs to iron a shirt for work. (Pshaw!)  Or maybe I'll get HIM a new one! Does that sound as hilarious to anyone else as it does to me?

The only thing that is decidedly NOT fun about making these blankets is that it is SUMMER, people!  I'm spending muggy and hot summer nights swimming in piles of a fabric described as "Soft and Cuddly!"  Can you say WARM?  Slightly.  But worth it, when I imagine all the tiny little fingers, toes, and soft little bums that will enjoy their blankies...

I truly love finding out the name of every little lady or gentleman that is going to receive a blanket!  Names I had never considered, names that remind me of someone, names that are nice and long and allow for lots of rainbow-y goodness, names that have no curvy letters... (Some nights I think I might start charging extra for names with lots of curves in them.  I don't really mean it, but it takes a lot more concentration to sew around an "O" than it does a "T"  Not all blankets get photographed.  Some mornings I'm just putting the finishing touches on one when shipping time comes, so it goes from my hands to the USPS' without ever seeing the flash of my camera!  Some names that didn't make the collage:  Sophie, Madrid, Hollis, Myles.  

I just made this custom order -  a puppy themed blanket for a little guy names Connor.  It came out pretty dang cute (dang = new favorite word), and I'm thinking about adding it as a selection in the shop.

 Speaking of selection in the shop...

These are the blanket colors I currently offer:

light blue, light yellow, light green, pink, and white.

These are the colors I'm considering adding:

light purple, very pale pink, bright purple, bright blue, teal.


A few orders lately have been sent with hair accessories for little girls... using the headband as a tie for the blanket adds a fancy little touch that I kind of love.  Maybe bowties for boys?  

So yeah.  Go visit my Etsy Shop!  Do YOU have any suggestions for blanket options you'd like to see?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Playing with clouds

Cloud DOUGH, that is!  I found this pin on Pinterest (where else?)  You use 8 parts flour to 1 part baby oil (So 8 cups of flour, 1 cup of baby oil, or change amount to suit your needs!), mix it up with your hands, and you have this moldable, crumbly, powdery, super-soft play stuff to have fun with!

It feels powdery in your hands, but when you squish it together like you're making a snowbal, it mushes and holds shape!  We made little "sandcastles" using teacups, funnels, and other small kitchen items.  And, as you might've guessed, we added GLITTER!  Why not, right?  I add glitter to anything I can, really.  :)

It is, in fact, quite messy.  That doesn't bother me, but be prepared!  It doesn't stick like regular playdoh would, though, so all it takes is a minute or two with the vacuum and you're all set for your next activity!

We put a lid on ours to save it for later - seems like a shame to throw it out after one use!  This is one project we do only while Miss Lucca naps, though.  She will eat ANYTHING... and I'm pretty sure I don't want her ingesting baby oil!  

I love sensory activities!  Anything you can stick your hands right in and scoop, pour, pile up... that's right up my alley.  

Another reason this particular activity jumped out at me:  Raina has been interested in (among other things!) clouds lately.  It started as wanting to know at any given time if it was going to rain.  Then she thought EVERY cloud meant rain... so we started talking about the different types of clouds, weather, all that good misty stuff.  We got a couple books out of the library, inspected the humidifier mist, even found some old Bill Nye the Science Guy (!) on YouTube.  Now, I'm not sure THIS has anything to do with actual real clouds, but it was a fun tie in, and we talked about clouds a little while we did it - mostly what we thought they might or might not feel like.

I'm pretty sure Raina is going to ace science when she's older!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tank to Twirly Dress

A month or so ago, my boss gave me the day off.
Meaning:  hubby told me to get the heck out of the house and spend an entire Saturday by MYSELF!  Of course, that meant coffee and shopping!!  

In the Gap, I found this cute bright pink flower tank in the girls clearance section.  40% off of $2.99.  Um, how could I leave it there?!  Even though it's still too big for Raina as a shirt, I knew I could make it into a dress easily.

I cut a hugely long piece of fabric, probably 5 times the length of the shirt bottom.  I wanted it to be extra twirly.  This fabric was from the clearance section at JoAnn's, and has been in my stash for a while now.  I love that it is SO bright and cheery.  It goes perfectly with the big bright flowers on the tank.  I ruffled it, sewed it on, hemmed it... and threw my hands up in victory.  

Huzzah!  A twirly whirly dress, all from clearance goodies!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Because I have lots of free time (bahahahahahahahaha!), I offered to make some custom yellow pants for a little girl who loves yellow!  Looooves yellow.  Really, the offer was honest and I offered because I love sewing cute pants, and I love the idea of sewing a collection of yellow pants.  At this point, I've made so many dresses for Raina that I feel like I should take a break before her closet starts fighting back at me with those tiny pink hangers... so a new little person to sew some things up for was just what the sewing machine ordered!

I had a brain flood of one million yellow two legged ideas.  Pockets.  Treasure pockets!  Appliques. Ruffles.  More ruffles!  Does she like ruffles?  Do I finally have an "excuse" to buy the Oliver and S Sailboat Pants pattern?!  Cuffs.  Pockets.  Must look through stash.  Must go to fabric store.  So much fun!  I love sewing pants!

I did not buy the Sailboat Pants pattern.  Boo, I know.  I decided that the patterns and pants sewing knowledge I already had were enough for now.  The Sailboat Pants require button holes, something I'm still not confident with, and this was not the time to be messing around with button holes.  (It was a time for RUFFLES!)  But I did manage pockets, a faux fly, a button loop, cuffs, a matching top, polka dots, and did I mention ruffles?  Man, I hope she likes ruffles :)

Wait, you want to see whole pants, not just pieces of pants?  Right then.

Outfit #1 is a shirt and pants SET.  What?!  Yeah, I did that.  They're made from a citrus-y cute lemon and orange print, yellow cotton, and yellow polka dot.    I scalloped the bottoms of the pant legs and the shirt, because I've always wanted to do that.  So I did.  I can check that off my sewing bucket list now! My intent was actually for the top to be totally reversible, but that didn't happen.  Way more hand sewing than I was looking for.  Plus, I wasn't sure how to handle the back button closure with it being reversible, so it's a one way shirt :).  Making it just one side also allowed me to add a cute pleat at the top with a little yellow button.

The pants can be worn solid yellow, or folded up with a cuff so you can see the citrus print lining!

 Pant #2 is a print smorgasbord!  I used all the yellow prints I had on hand - the one I had the most of became the legs of the pants, and the others I patchworked to make ruffles for the bottoms of the legs.

Pant #3 is another pair of my beloved treasure pocket pants!  These pants are rad, and you're probably going to see them again and again!  The front and back panels are solid yellow, and all contrasting areas are yellow and white polka dot.  There's a fun yellow button decorating the faux fly waist.

And pant #4... ruffle pants!  Super easy.  I made Raina a purple pair that she loves.  The fabric is stretchy and so comfortable.  It's a little tricky to sew them, since you have to be sure all the ruffles are laying flat as you go.  Otherwise, they get pulled into the seams randomly and you end up with some wonkiness.  The nature of the fabric makes the waistband look a little wacky, too.  I suppose you could create a separate waistband from a jersey or cotton fabric.... but I didn't think of that til it was too late!  :)


And THEN, because I noticed I had some fun and random yellow things around, I thought I'd make it all a little more fun.  A while ago, I read a post on a blog about a girl whose imaginary friend sent her a package with notes and trinkets from his travels, and how incredibly awesome it was for her to get it.  I must have stored that away somewhere, because it all came back to me... and I thought, "Wouldn't be awesome if this little lady received a surprise package of happy yellow goodness in the mail?"  YES.  It would.  (I have no memory of which of the many blogs I read this was from.  Anyone?)  Out came the paper and stickers and glitter and felt and ribbon... and I added all this fun to the mix:

A package from the yellow fairy.  How cool is that?  I hope it makes her little day!