Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Craft-tastic Tuesday - Blogger Neglect and Other Projects

I have been a bad bad blogger lately, haven't I?
Sorry for all the neglect, I had intended to post a tutorial or atleast a look at my sons Halloween costume but here we are early December, it's kinda late now (plus he stained it with chocolate!).
So I have been busy crafting, and life in general. It is hard to motivate yourself to write a decent blog post when you are running on your third cup of coffee, four hours of sleep and last nights dinner (I really should eat something) but I am doing it.
My DIY Christmas keeps shrinking and shrinking, before you know it it will look no different than last year. Eek, I haven't even started my baking yet. Last year, I had all my shopping done the day before Black Friday, this year I have hardly started. I really need to get my ass in gear.
I wont be posting any tutorials today, which I am sad about as it has been too long. Today I need to go fabric shopping, and I have an "appointment with Santa" to pick out some Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers. So today you get to see a few photos of the kids pajamas that I have been sewing.
All of the pajamas that I have been making used patterns from the Sew Fab Pattern Bundle that I bought earlier this fall. It has easily paid for itself now.

This one will be Greg's, I am contemplating red cuffs.

Greg will be getting Best Harem Pants and a Vintage V-Neck. Joseph will be sporting Fancy Pants Leggings and a Vintage V-Neck. Meara will be sporting Sadie Grace Nighties. It's going to look like a reindeer puked Christmas onto my kids! Joseph tolled me that was gross but I keep saying it.

Not sewn, just started pining and got excited. Love the bum panel!

I am also going to post some gorgeous custom diapers I made, cause, why not!
I made this for a local mom but I wanted to keep it. So pretty. Luckily I could make more!

This beauty is available in my Etsy shop

Did I mention the crawling?
Wow, you know baby is tired when the alarm clock is blaring next to her and she snores right through, why can't I do that :(
Sorry, sidetracked there.
Diapers, yes I have been drooling all over WAHM made Hybrid Fitted Diapers for weeks and weeks but knowing how to sew makes me hesitant to spend 25-45 a diaper, even though they are ridiculously perfect. So I am heading to the fabric store for fleece today. Also, Meara may have 30+ diapers already, but when I found a WAHM selling these on Etsy for $12 plus shipping I bought some for under the tree.
Now she is awake. So cutting the writing short and I will feed her while adding photos to this post. Thanks for stopping by to read my ramble, more rambling soon.
I couldn't find Meara's finished Jammies photo so I will leave you with this random shot of Joseph from last Halloween.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

new friend bundle - gDiapers

Just a quick one today.

This is an amazing deal on the gateway drug of cloth diapers so check it out. If you buy please use my code new2878Glover so I can win cool prizes.

These diapers are super cute, travel friendly and very versatile. I like to save the disposable inserts for longer outing so that I am not coming home with a diaper bag overflowing in dirty diapers. Just flush or toss.

Get a great deal on gDiapers with my coupon code: new2878Glover. Shop here:


Friday, November 15, 2013

My Argument Against One Size Diapers

I love cloth diapers. I am ridiculously proud of cloth diapering, and every time I sew a new diaper I fight the urge to shamelessly post it up all over my social networks. In fact, I fight the same urge every time I buy a new diaper too (just ordered some size 2 Thirsties, eeeek!). I have an eclectic stash of fluff. My stash consists of all kinds, home sewn, store bought, pockets, AIO's, Hybrids, Contours, Fitted, Prefolds, Flats..... What is missing from my stash? One size diapers.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Christmas Sewing Officially Begins

When I first learned to drive I didn't want to drive for very long. I would get tired of it quickly, finding it almost mentally exhausting and with sewing I feel much the same. I think it is for this reason that the projects I choose tend to offer that instant gratification of a project that come together quickly and finishes in a single sitting. When I started with diapers I could only sew one or two at a time and then I was done. Not a second more would be spent doing anything sewing related, well except during early labor, I sewed up about 7 diapers that morning.
I also have a tendency to remake all those patterns that I love. I have made near a dozen pairs of yoga pants for Meara. So I am feeling a little nervous right now, as I have chosen a bit of a bigger undertaking and I suspect it may take me a few afternoons in the sewing room to pull it all together, but of course it will be well worth it. The Amaryllis Dress, which was released this week in Pattern Anthology's Winter Wonderland bundle, is that bigger project. It is a gorgeous and reversible dress. Perfect for Christmas, don't you think?
Yesterday I spent about an hour wandering Fabricland and looking for that perfect fabric. Sure, I could order online and get a good deal, but I felt for this it was more important to feel the fabric and see it before I bought it. I needed to know I did have the perfect fabric.
I chose a beautiful cream cotton plaid with grey, pink, metallic gold, and blue in the colors. It has a casual feel that is still dressy. Because I wanted the dress to have a pop of color to it I chose the subtle blue in the fabric to be the main color on the reverse side. I had one of the associates help me pick out the perfect fabric to match, a teal blue crepe (I think, I neglected to read the info on the end of the bolt) with body and a subtle shimmer. This dress is gonna be gorgeous!
Today I am pre-washing the fabrics, and assembling my pattern pieces. I will try to get to cutting into the fabric today too, but since I am trying to finish a pair of Sadie Grace Nightgowns I already cut, I think it just might not be in the cards. Meara would have to let me have that much time for me. Dream on!
So, the nightgowns are actually the first Christmas gift that I have sewn so far. One is done and the other is just waiting for me to sew it up. I decided to use up some of the Crib Bedding fabrics that I had left on this project and to make a generous size 2. Meara is such a big little girl.
In terms of the DIY Christmas Project, I am realizing that I need to scale it back. I can't realistically sew that much in less than 2 months. So, now I am going to call it, minimum one hand made gift per person on the list, and most of that gets covered by the Christmas baking. Maybe I can sew up several Pajama Eaters for the nieces and nephews, maybe.
Well, I have spent enough time online, onto the sewing room and the many projects that await!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Photo Friday - Halloween

Halloween ended up being one of those hectic and dramatic days for me. I think that is probably typical of most moms. I had stayed up late the night before baking some 109 sugar cookies so the boys would have something to share with their classmates at school. Greg, the one whose class actually had a Halloween party, lost his cookies in the mudroom and never got to share them.
I was a bad Mama, because I didn't finish Meara's costume before Halloween, no instead I stressed out all day trying to make it work, swore at my failed ballet slippers and she ended up in a tutu we already had, some leg warmers I quickly made out of a pair of socks and voila, lazy ballerina suit.
I am so glad that that is over, now I get to stress out over Christmas, hooray!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sorry, I Did it Again

So, I find myself suddenly two weeks with out any blog activity when I had promised some Halloween crafting posts among other good intentions. I have been busy, and not just with the list that I had posted.
When you learn to sew it is like owning a pick-up, everyone wants you to move, er, sew for them. So I haven't finished any costumes yet, I have set a deadline for myself of tomorrow for Meara and today for Joseph.
It is that time of year, moose hunting season. I don't hunt, nor does Dan, but Dan is a meat cutter so he works like mad from now till Christmas with a rare day off to recover. Dan's days off are for Dan, so even if I plan a post for that day, if he is off I will make sure he gets priority. So that is one small part of the excuse. I wont bother with it all. It has been a long few weeks.
So what is new? Well, I don't have to go back to work until the start of February (gotta love the Canadian Maternity/Parental leave program) and it is a few months away but still fast approaching. I have begun looking for work, I think it is time for a change and would rather not go back to my old job. I even had my first preliminary interview about 20 minutes ago by phone, yay!
Then comes that big headache, I need childcare. I hate that part. I really do.
Finding good childcare is never easy, it is emotional, it is stressful, and sometimes I would rather just let the personal finances go to hell in a hand basket and stay home with my kiddlets. But being a stay at home is not a realistic option, so childcare will have to be sought.
That said, I have an even longer list today so I am going to get at it and try to get some child care connections worked out.
Have a happy Tuesday and I will get a Photo Friday post this week for sure, since there are Halloween pictures to be shown.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

These be Busy Days

It has been a busy week for me. Last week my Nana came to town so there was plenty of visiting, and then we celebrated Thanksgiving with a big family feast at my sisters, and then had another smaller dinner the next day for Dan's parents. I spent yesterday between housework and grocery shopping.
Sometimes life can feel like a great big to do list. This week my list is looking a little something like this:

  1. Write a blog post since I have been silent a week
  2. Chores chores chores, got dishes laundry and floors (at least I got the garbage to the curb already!)
  3. Put together stationary swap package so I can get in the mail by Monday
  4. Finish putting snaps in diaper inserts that have been sitting in the sewing pile at least a month and list to Etsy
  5. Finish sewing Jill's Birthday gift
  6. Sew Meara up some booties
  7. Sew Joseph up a ghost Halloween costume
  8. Make Meara ballet slippers with matching tutu, leggings, headband and top for her Halloween costume
  9. Clean up the sewing room so I can start stocking my Etsy shop for the holidays
  10. Stock Etsy shop for the holidays
  11. Sew up a few Christmas gifts so I can say I have it started BEFORE the end of October
  12. Put together some kind of Tutorial or craft post for Tuesday
  13. Find some time in my daily routine for a small work out of some kind
  14. Childproof the living room as that girl really wants to crawl
  15. Actually finish at least half of this list
  16. Turn a year older on Saturday and enjoy myself a little
So, I will try to sneak in another post somewhere between now and Tuesday but if I do it means I am procrastinating on something. Well, I better get at it, I have never known my list to complete itself.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mama Wants to Play Dress Up

Please wake up now sweetie, mama wants to play dress up.

This is the Brindle and Twig yoga pants pattern again, only this time I just had to add ruffles.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Craft-tastic Tuesday - My Stash is Ahhhhh!!!! In Need of Help

This is most but not all of the quilting cotton portion of my stash
In some ways my fabric stash is small, I have been sewing for less than a year, it is young. And it is not. There is no balance to it, no rhyme and no rhythm. My tiny space is often taken over by the mass of fabrics everywhere.
I have bins of apparel knits and wovens, yet I barely sew any clothing. Just a few baby items so far. But I am drowning in fabric that would be perfect for my wardrobe. I really need to get brave and selfish sew.
Most of my stash comes from my Gram, who was great with a sewing machine, and made a lot of her own clothing. Every time I pull one of these fabrics from the bins I think of her and I wonder what her plan was for that fabric. Sometimes I have a good idea what she may have intended and sometimes it is less clear. I feel it is really important to use these fabrics and use them well.
I have the same Autumn skin tone, as my Gran called it, so though not all these fabrics have prints that I would have chosen for myself, they are in colors that suit me well and I will feel comfortable in. My Gram also bought multiple yards at a time so I know I have enough fabric to work with.
It is time now that I try to make use of these. I can drool over fabrics at girlcharlee.com all I want, but I need to make room in my stash and master new skills before I overload myself. So what I am going to do is post one fabric at a time and ask you, my readers, for suggestions of patterns and advice. Please help me find the right project for these wonderful fabrics that do have a lot of meaning for me. These projects can be anything from clothing for myself, siblings, and children to items to dress the home.
I will post a few photos once a month, and a description of the fabric. I will tell you if it is a knit, about its drape, if it is synthetic or not and answer any questions asked and I hope that in the comments you can suggest great projects and help me.

Octobers Fabric Selection
Here is what I know:
Type - Knit
Colour - Bright Red
Stretch - 2 way 30%
Weight - Medium  to Heavy weight
Pattern - Solid red with a diamond pattern woven in
Content - Appears to be mostly cotton
Comment below to help me find the best use for this fabric, I think this would make a great fall sweater, but I don't have a pattern in my size.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sassy Stationary Swap 2013

I am addicted to parcels. No seriously, those wonderful little bundles that the mail lady brings by, it doesn't matter how mundane their contents, I just love them. This weekend, I packaged up an Etsy order to send off on Monday morning and it mocked me all weekend long. I just wanted to rip that package open. I have a problem. So when I heard about the Sassy Stationary Swap 2013 being hosted by Marisa of Burlap and Bananas I just couldn't resist.
Do you know what I love more than parcels? Cutesy note pads, notecards, pretty papers and pens that make writing feel like bliss. So what could be better than sending off a few of my favorite things to receive a parcel of more of my favorite things? Okay, maybe I am a dork.
Anyhow, I thought I better spread the love, so if you want to join the fun, visit Sassy Stationary Swap 2013 and send Marisa an email with your full name and address.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Just a quick one today. Because If I write it, I have to do it. Right?
Well, we shall see how that turns out.
My head is full of Christmas. Sewing gifts, crafting gifts, baking gifts. I am just overflowing with festive thoughts. By the time the stores start playing those tunes I am gonna be so sick of it.
Oh well.
I am trying to make the DIY Christmas Project a blog-able thing with out spoiling the surprises on anyone's Christmas gift. I have no idea how just yet, but I am going to do it.
The plan I have so far is that some of the gifts I make that could be for anyone on my list may get posted, hopefully as tutorials. As for gifts that the recipient would know have got to be for them, well, maybe I will pre-write the tutorial to be posted for Christmas 2014 (but then post them early mid year, in a fit of too lazy to write a tutorial post). Can't I just post, SPOILER ALERT at the top of every post?
Well, my family are already used to receiving baked goods every year, and I feel okay with them knowing what in advance, so I wont hesitate to share what I am baking as it happens.
OH NO, just realized that I am over due for a Craft-tastic Tuesday, better go work on that for next week. Oops.
Well, happy crafting anyways :p

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Trouble with Baby Books

Meara's birth announcement, printed through Snapfish.com (and I still have a few that haven't gotten to their recipient yet, oops)

Well, normally today I would be posting a Photo Friday but I haven't taken a photo in 2 weeks. It seems that now that school is in there aren't as many photo ops for the boys (they seem to be sleeping over with Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents every weekend) so most likely Meara is going to continue dominating the Photo Friday posts for a while. Since I don't have photos to post for you today I have decided to write about a related topic instead, the Baby Book.
We all start our children's baby books with the greatest of intentions, but I think most of us seem to peter out somewhere along the way, and we end up with incomplete books, half the milestones recorded, and lots of blank pages. Oops.
Joseph's baby book is a little sparse, it starts out good, but somewhere around month 8 it just stops. When I had Greg, I swore to myself I would do better, My sister in-law had given me a calendar to record his milestones and I thought that would help with the completion of a baby book, but nope, again, towards the end of Greg's first year, the pages are again blank. I had to come up with something different for Meara. No more browsing and searching for the perfect book, and not completing it. I am doing this one right (so far anyhow).
Enter Snapfish.com, I am doing it online, and creating my own entirely unique book just for Meara. There are definitely a few positives to this approach:

  • The baby book only contains the info I want it to
  • It will not have any blank pages
  • If the original is ever lost or destroyed I can order a new copy
  • It is easily edited and tailored

This seems to be the ideal approach for me, I scribble on our calendar little notes about her weight and milestones as they happen, and every month I sign in and add the new info and write a little note to her about how she has grown for that month. If I want to add more info it is easy enough for me to go back and do so, and it will always look neat and tidy. I am going to leave a blank page to glue an envelop to for a few keepsakes, and take photo's and scans of some of the other keepsakes so that it is all incorporated into her book. I have all the cards from the shower and the hospital to possibly scan and turn into a collage for the book too.
I am loving this idea so much that when I am done I may just redo the boys baby books for them too.
I chose to use Snapfish for this project partly because I have been using Snapfish for years, and partly because they still seem to be the most versatile yet affordable photo printing site. They do have a Canadian version of their site, but I prefer the American site, the shipping is higher but the options are greater.
How do/did you handle keeping your baby book(s) up?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Baby Feeding Ideas

I do believe I promised a baby food recipe not too long ago and I had intended to share a baby cookie recipe with you. Unfortunately I don't yet have the recipe quite right so I don't want to share it until I have worked it out. Baby cookies are a little tricky, getting one that doesn't crumble too much, or break off into large pieces so that your baby isn't at risk of choking. So instead of cookie recipes I am going to share a few clever tricks I have for feeding your baby homemade food at every feeding.
Meara has been eating solids for around a month now and I still haven't cracked open a jar of store bought food. In fact the only thing that she eats that is store bought is her Baby MumMum cookies, and her cereal. I haven't really had to put much effort into this either, it has been ridiculously easy. And I am not entirely against jarred baby foods, in fact I think if we all started eating that way we'd be a lot healthier. Baby food is probably one of the few times you will not see unpronounceable words in the ingredient list. The jarred carrots that I do have from Heinz (I have these from the baby shower memory game) only list Carrots and water on the label, nothing scary, so why should I put all that extra effort into making my own baby food? Because I can, because for the price of 2 cans of carrots I could make 12, because I know how fresh it is, because I can control the whole process and that is just a few reasons.
Would you like to know how I make feeding only home made food so easy? I have picked up a few tricks and came up with one that I think is quite ingenious.
So here are my tips for feeding your baby homemade food right from the start with out any hassle.

  1. Feed your baby what you are eating whenever possible. Having peas as a side dish, puree some for baby. You should try to separate your babies foods before seasoning. This is the easiest way to feed your little one and as the teeth come in and your little ones tastes expand you can offer up the full meal, spaghetti and meatballs, roast beef with potatoes, carrots and gravy, burritos, there are so many possibilities.
  2. Spend an afternoon making simple purees and freeze them. Applesauce is easy, just peel, core, slice and put in a pot with some water and cook till you can mash them into a smooth sauce. You can put your sauce through a sieve or the food processor to ensure it is good and smooth but that isn't necessary. Having a stash of purees in the freezer ready to go will make meal time a snap for those days when your dinner isn't so appropriate for baby.
  3. This is my ingenious tip (at least I think it is) for freezing that baby food. Dixie Cups! When I went to freeze my batches of baby food purees I realized that the ice cube trays just weren't going to cut it, I had too much food, and then getting them out after was a real pain in the what now . So I spooned all my purees into Dixie cups (left over from summer Popsicle making with the boys) put them all on a baking sheet and froze them. After a few hours, when they were fully frozen I placed them in large freezer bags that I labeled with the contents and date made. But this idea gets even better, these are very easy to transport, when I went for dinner at my dads, I folded the top down, and popped the frozen puree into a small wet bag (not used for diapers, don't worry) with a bib and spoon. Voila, dinner! All you have to do now is tear off the paper and heat (I don't know how microwave safe the Dixie cups are as they do have a wax coating to make them waterproof).
  4. Make up small batches of quinoa flour and oat flour to add in place of rice cereal if you run out. Oat flower is just ground oats (my blender has a grinding attachment) and quinoa is toasted in a pan and then ground. Very easy to do, you could even add a little dried milk powder to these to up the nutrients (or just mix with a little formula, I use all those free samples, because I really hate breast pumps). 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Craft-tastic Tuesdays - Crib bedding Series 4 of 4 - Crib Sheet

This is the fourth post in the crib bedding series.

This is the finale here. I have finally completed my crib set and though I have a few small projects left on my list for Meara's room this is the end of the Crib Bedding Series. I hope that these posts might inspire a few nice bedding projects for you.
Because I happened across The Insecure Quilter's Piped Crib Sheet Tutorial which is exactly what I had in mind for this project, I would like to encourage you to read this tutorial as well before tackling this project. I took a lot of inspiration from Jamie's tutorial but there are a few small differences in the way our sheets were constructed, but our product is the same.
So with out any more of the blah blah, here we go!

1 1/2 yards prewashed cotton for top panel
1 1/2 yards prewashed cotton for side panels
6 yards of piping (I probably used less but this is what I had estimated for the project and feel free to make your own)
1 yard of 1/4" braided elastic (you can use your preference for elastic here, I just had this on hand from my diaper making)
Basic sewing notions

You may want to buy a larger cut for your fabrics because once mine had shrunk and I cut off the fringe from washing I had exactly the length I required. I was lucky it didn't shrink more than it had.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Craft-tastic Tuesday - Crib Bedding Series 3 of 4 - Crib Skirt Tutorial

I wanted an adjustable crib skirt, and for Meara's crib I only needed to cover the front. I had a lot of options  (pleats, ruffles.... etc.) but I decided to use this as an opportunity to practice some new skills and go with a more simple look.
I wanted one more chance to practice using piping before working on the sheet, so I decided to apply piping to the edges of my crib skirt. And since I thought using the mushroom fabric might make things too busy I decided to go with a solid purple to match the blanket and use the mushroom for an applique.
So with out any more chit chat, enjoy the tutorial.

2 Yards of solid cotton for front
2 yards of cotton to line the back
3-4 yards of  piping
2 pieces of medium weight fusible interfacing for each applique, at least one inch larger on all sides
Cotton Print fabric for applique
Snaps, Velcro, buttons, ribbon ties or what ever you plan to use to attach to your crib.
Basic sewing notions

I decided to go with a finished height of 21" (cut 22") and a finished width of 52" (cut 53"). I also used a 1/2" seam allowance for this project.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Photo Friday - Starting Kindergarten

So, this week Gregory got to meet his Kindergarten teacher, and he was dressed for the affair (although the photos were taken a few days earlier, because he left the hat at Auntie Nikki's last weekend.
Meara is really starting to love her solid foods (cloth diapering just got gross!). Later this week you can look forward to a baby cookie recipe, and the next installment in the crib bedding series, but for now, enjoy the photos of my kiddlets.

Looking like quite the gentleman, tipping his hat for the ladies.

She is growing so fast, six months next week. Makes me sad.

Joseph, doesn't ham it up for the camera like he used to so this week you get a best of collage.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Little Toilet Talk

Today is the first day of school. The kids are all excitedly returning to classes, meeting up with old friends, making new ones and I am preparing to foster a new relationship with new teachers. Having a child with a special need, no matter how small, requires good communication with his teachers.
A few years ago while my son (for his privacy, I am not attaching his name to this post) was in Kindergarten, I had to accept the reality that there was a reason I was still trying to potty train my 5 year old, and it wasn't him being stubborn. He was having accidents of the number 2 variety. I had searched online for answers and all I could find was other parents asking the same questions, nobody had answers. It was frustrating, it was lonely and it was embarrassing.
Well, I had to do something and I was certain it was just a behavior thing, so in my attempt to access mental health resources I spoke to a social worker and she told me, before you seek out mental health care you need to rule out physiological causes. Why had it not occurred to me before that there could be something wrong? So off to the family doctor we went, and then we waited impatiently for my referral to the pediatrician, Dr Adlam.
Taking my son to Dr. Adlam was eye opening for me, one of the first questions she asked was if he had been diagnosed for ADHD. He had seen a child psychologist through his preschool for a developmental screening, as he was in the supported development program as a result of a speech delay, and what the psychologists report had said was that my son had been right where he was supposed to be across the board with the exception of his attention span. Dr Adlam's question really wasn't a surprise, although this was another thing that hadn't really crossed my mind as a possibility. She asked me to give him a daily dose of LaxADay, to help get things moving.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Craft-tastic Tuesdays- Crib Bedding Series 2 of 4 - Minky Blanket

This is the second post in the Crib Bedding Series

Well, the first thing I did when my fabric arrived was start on this blanket and quite honestly, this was the one part of the project I was most scared of.
I started out thinking this was going to be easy. Then I read, and I read, and I read blog posts about how to sew minky blankets. Next thing you know, I didn't really want to make this anymore. The more you read about sewing minky, the more fear you will gain. This blanket was so ridiculously easy, I had to laugh at myself when I finished for ever having doubts.
Minky is not something to be scared of.
The advice I will give is to make friends with your pins and a basting glue stick (or spray, or tape). I had no trouble sewing and I didn't even use my walking foot (we aren't friends yet). My fabric didn't shift or bunch, and the basting worked so well that I figure I may not have even needed the pins (don't test it though).
So, without further ado, here comes the tutorial...

Materials Required for this project:
1 1/2 yards of 42" quilting cotton
1 yard of 60" wide Minky Fabric in a coordinating colour
Basting Glue Stick or similar product (optional)
Pins, thread, and basic sewing notions

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Monkey's Bum Grand Opening Giveaway!!!

So, I started my Etsy shop, the Monkey's Bum late in July and I have slowly but surely been plugging away at filling it with products. Now that I have been at it for a full month and I have got some product in my shop I decided it is time to really get the word out.
This is my grand opening, and what better way to start than with a giveaway.
This is a giveaway for a $20.00 store credit to my etsy shop, the Moneky's Bum.
Help me spread the word, and get my business running by entering my contest. Good luck!
But I am not done yet! For the extent of the giveaway you will also be able to use the coupon code GRANDOPENING for a 20% discount on a minimum $10.00 purchase.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Craft-tastic Tuesday - Dealing With a Temperamental Sewing Machine

Since I am still waiting on my Norwegian Woods fabric for the bedding series I decided to talk today about all the cursing and groaning that has been heard coming from my sewing room this last week.
I am still pretty inexperienced with sewing, so I have a lot to learn, when it comes to loose, loopy stitches, or knowing what stitch length and tension I should be using. It is trial and error for me. I didn't take sewing and textiles in school, as I was in the concert band instead, so all of my sewing knowledge comes from my mom, my step mom, a few books and of course the internet. Probably not the most thorough of educations, but I have been learning a lot and rather quickly.
I few months back, my step mom gave me her old serger, and after I let it collect a thick layer of dust, I finally braved up and learned how to use it. This meant, reading through the manual, threading, and rethreading (yes, cursing too) until I got it running smoothly, and then rethreading again because I still didn't know what I was doing. And, I still don't know what I am doing with that machine, but I can thread it pretty quickly with out referencing the manual now, that's something.
Not long after I started acquainting myself with the serger I decided it would be a good idea to read through my sewing machines manual and properly acquaint myself with all of it's functions as well. This time marked the end of a lot of my frustration at the sewing machine. I was no longer completely clueless as to how to adjust tension, or understanding some of the issues I have had with my stitches. Things have run much smoother for me in the sewing room since then, well, until last week.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The DIY Christmas Project

Christmas 2007, visiting Grandma's house
I know, it is only August, but I am once again, way ahead of myself (and possibly a little late to start this). Yes, Christmas, that is what is on my mind. I am challenging myself to DIY my gifts for everyone this year.
Honestly, it really isn't much of a stretch, I already bake all the gifts I give to my extended family, I just need to find a few good gift ideas for the immediate family. But, I am one to go overboard, and I may get to blame Pinterest for making me want to DIY a little more for the extended family.
I have a Pinterest board to go along with this post and I would love a few ideas to add to it.
A little more info about my giving style. I have always made a point of giving my children a pair of PJ's to look good for Santa in, on Christmas Eve. This is a tradition I enjoyed as a little girl. Santa is the one who gives the toys in my household, I give gifts of reading material, clothing, and other necessities. I don't think it will be to hard to DIY most of the kid gifts, however, I will still buy the books. Dan is going to be a challenge, I have no idea how I am going to do with his gift, this is where I am most likely to cheat, but I will try my darnedest. I have, for several years now, given baked goods as gifts to my extended family, this has taken a lot of the stress out of Christmas, no more stressing about the hard to buy for family members, or how I am going to come up with cash for everyone's gifts. Baked family gifts is just easier, and I love doing it. This year, I am going to make fabric applique Christmas cards, and I will try to come up with something small to go with the baked gifts, something a little more personal. And, lastly, I have been buying toys for the children on my list in the extended family and close friends category, they will be getting something DIY as well.
The ideas are spinning in my head, maybe a kids crafting party for my kids, their cousins, and close family friends to make a few simple gifts? This is going to be fun.
And a challenge!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Photo Friday - Sibling Love

A little late, but here I am posting at 10:30pm photos of the munchkins. And, I have gotten smart, it is much easier to look at a few collages on here than to scroll FOREVER through dozens of photos. Enjoy!!

Meara's first Arrowroot cookie. You don't mess with the cookie.
I have happily gotten a chance to take several photos of both boys cuddling with their sister. I love the way she looks at her brothers, such love.
And last but not least, look at this girl, 5 months old, above 20 lbs and just growing up. She is going to start crawling soon, I am both  excited by this and sad. I want her to be my little lump forever.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Starting Solids

Meara's first food, barley cereal
My little girl is ready for solid foods, hooray!
There are so many rules about first foods and it can seem a little overwhelming. According to the World Health Organization you shouldn't offer solids until 6 months of age, but I am going to follow the advice that I think came from Today's Parent, that you need to do what feels right as a mom, and if your baby is ready sooner, than go for it. Another recent change to the suggested first food is that you should offer meat to replenish your babies iron supply.
You know what, I am just throwing out the rule book. It is a headache and this isn't my first rodeo. I didn't  add only one new food a week with the boys, they started meats around 9 months, had their first foods at 4 and they are still happy and healthy. Time to do this the way I want to (with input from Daddy of course).
We have already offered Meara some barley cereal, that I am not sure if she liked it or not but she took a few bites before losing interest.
Today, I picked up some butternut squash, apples, pears, sweet potatoes and kale. I am going to make a few purees, some with the cereal and some without. I am going to avoid buying baby food, instead opting to serve Meara what we are having whenever possible, and using my purees when our dinner isn't suitable.
I bought this food mill from Cheeky Monkey so Meara can eat dinner with us. I used the same one with the boys and it is very convenient.
I am going to post a few baby food recipes later this week and I would love it if I got a few suggestions of recipes to try as well.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Craft-tastic Tuesday - Crib Bedding Series - 1 of 4

At days shy of 5 months (how did that happen so fast?), we finally have Meara out of her cradle and into her crib. She absolutely loves her crib. Probably because now, she can roll around and it is a  lot comfier to be on a mattress than that thin cradle pad.
The Skip Hop Complete Sheet
I needed sheets for the crib, and after deciding I didn't have appropriate materials on hand  I came across the beautiful Complete Sheet by Skip Hop and thought, "I want to do that." Me, being me, I decided that she needs a nice matching bedding set. So of course, I have fallen in love with a nice set of coordinating designer fabrics, the Michael Miller Norwegian Woods Collection. I have ordered four 1 1/2 yard lengths from Etsy seller Spiceberry Cottage for a pretty good price and I have at least designed in my mind what I will be doing.

I have ordered 1 1/2 yards each of these four fabrics from Michael Miller's Norwegian Woods collection
Today's post is more a list of links and inspirations and a telling of my plan. This will be a series of posts as I put my crib set together but I have a feeling I will be posting the tutorials with an increased frequency (weekly, rather than biweekly) because I am just to darn excited for this.
I have decided not to make a bumper pad as I find them unnecessary, they are a SIDS risk, and after a while they become a climbing hazard. So meh to bumper pads, I will be sewing a sheet, crib blanket lined with minky, and a crib skirt (possibly pleated).

 Details after the break...

Friday, August 9, 2013

For the love of Cloth Diaper Sewing...

I thought I might share a link to show just how easy it really is. Mami's 3 Little Monkeys: Wazoodle Pre-Cut Diaper Making Kit Review
And don't forget to enter the Wazoodle Giveaway also on this blog.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cloth Diaper Linings - Is Stay Dry Better

I will add a few links to this article and some punctuation later, my computer is on the fritz apparently

It has been a frustration of mine lately that often when I am getting up in the night to feed my daughter, she has leaked through her diaper, through her sleeper, and right on to her bed. When you have to fully change your child, and her bed in the middle of the night, it interferes with sleep for you and your child. Sleep is very precious to me. I make sure she has plenty of absorbency in her night time diapers, and I try to change them before this happens, when I can, but often times, it has already happened when she wakes for her first feeding. I believe I have found the cause of this frustration in the stay dry lining of her diapers.
This is a very common occurrence in her Happy Heinys and a few of the diapers that I had sewn using microfleece. I guess that means that the microfleece really works, because she stays feeling comfortable and dry until the diaper is so full that moisture has started wicking out by her thighs, and then she wakes. So no more microfleece at night.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Photo Friday - Backyard Fun

It has been a hot one out there lately. We, here in rip bum, have been facing sunny days in the 30C's, and may I remind you that in this climate a hot summer day is the low 20C's. So, we have been a little uncomfortable in this heat and eating way too many freezies.
This past week, we had a short lived lemonade stand (Carissa came and invited the boys to her backyard pool and that was the end of that) and the next day it was back yard camp out, and plenty of water play.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Craft-tastic Tuesday - Etsy Pattern Review - Brindille and Twig Baby Yoga Pants

photo from the Brindille and Twig Etsy shop
One of her more trim fitting diapers
Well, I have been very very busy sewing but that didn't add up to another tutorial this time. I have sewn up a few gifts so I can't give the surprise away just yet, instead I have decided to share a story about Thursday and finish off with a review.
It all started on Thursday morning when I again became frustrated with Meara's pants. Being a cloth diapered baby we had a common problem - Bubble Butt. Her pants are hard to put on, even the larger sizes. I usually hold her by the waistband and jostle her into her pants. A dressed Meara looks a little silly, her pants are only fitted to her diaper, and no matter the inseam we always have to roll up the legs, and turn her around and the diaper will play peek-a-boo.
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