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.

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