Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kid's Christmas Gifts... need. more. time.

I started to make my lists today for gifts I need to make and buy. I know there are a lot of people who are so on top of things that they did this in September, but I'm just pleased that I'm squeaking in a few days before December.

There are so many fun kid gifts that I want to make, but they won't all get done without hiring elves or something. I've sifted out my favorites and thought you might want to see. Really, you can never have too many handmade gift round-ups.

1. Paratrooper Softies by Chez Beeper Bebe
2. Rollie Pollie chair, pattern at MADE
3. Kid's Drawing Case from The Long Thread
4. Little Lamb Pillows, The Purl Bee

1. Felt Mail from Lu Bird Baby
2. Mail Bag from So Much For My Plans
3. Play Stove by frokenskicklig
4. Roll-Up Kitchen Playmat at Balancing Everything

1. Counting Bean Bags from Chez Beeper Bebe
2. Quiet Book ideas at Homemade by Jill
3. Art Smock by Prudent Baby
4. Barnyard Playmat at The Crafty Cupboard

What other kid-goodies do you plan on making this year?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Travel Fabric "High Chair"

It's more like a child harness than a high chair. But it works! I love love love it when sewing can easily meet an immediate need. We are flying to Florida on Monday, and I made this in an effort to minimize the number of large child accessories we have to lug around.

The tutorial is here, which I found from Homemade by Jill's version. I just wish I had made that bottom piece a few inches longer. It's fine, but he's pantless here so it will probably just barely reach over the strap part when he has pants on. Also, the tutorial says to use quilted fabric or batting in between layers, but I did neither. I think whatever kind of non-stretch cotton fabric you have on hand would work just fine.

 Here it is from the back of the chair. (Ignore the "cushion pile" in the background, that's a daily occurrence at our house.)

I think I'm also going to add a couple more strips of velcro for extra reinforcement. Knowing this kid, he'll probably figure out how to get out of it a day or two into our trip. Then he'll just wander around at Thanksgiving gatherings, mooching from various family members like a less annoying, more adorable schnauzer. Well, it might still be annoying, but his parents are the oblivious type that assume everyone else loves him nearly as much as they do :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bacon Makes Everything Better

I don't really have weird cravings when I'm pregnant, more like temporary food obsessions. I fixate on eating certain food items over and over for a week or two, then I never want to see them again. Right now it's Chex Mix and sandwiches. I'm thinking I won't eventually be repulsed by sandwiches because they lend themselves to such delicious variety and creativity.

Here's one I made last week and happened to snap a picture of cuz it just looked so durn fine.

From the ground up, hummus, arugula, tomato, apple, bacon and feta. The next day I made one with just hummus, apple, bacon, and muenster cheese. It was good, but not quite as epic as the first one.

Then for dinner that same day I made a grilled cheese with sharp cheddar, apples, and dijon mustard. This is apparently Tyler's ultimate grilled cheese as told to me by a fb friend, but his has bacon. I shouldn't have skipped the bacon, of course.

Some others I want to try:

For next Friday, obviously. Recipe here on Food52. (Which is a pretty cool site by the way, they run a recipe contest each week featuring a different ingredient.)

Fried Green Tomato BL(A)T which I would have to make at my mom's house because I love her fried greens way too much to face the disappointment of attempting my own.

Cranberry-walnut chicken salad, maybe on some of the brown bread rolls from Outback. Yes, I would go to Outback just for that but I guess I'll take a bloom to go if I must. From the beautiful smitten kitchen.

And for dessert, Strawberry Grilled Cheese.  With angel food cake and brie? Um, yes please. Maybe with bacon too :)

sigh...I'm so hungry all the time.

Monday, November 15, 2010

But Spiderman Doesn't Wear a Cape...

Our downstairs neighbor and good friend Elie turned 4 yesterday. Every time she comes over to play with Hendrix she pretends to be several different superheroes, so I knew I wanted to make her a reversible cape. Lately her favorite is "black spiderman," which I don't know if that is really his name, I didn't catch the second spiderman movie. And yeah, he doesn't have a cape, but I don't think I'm ready to tackle the full spandex leotard yet.

 Hendrix models, as he tries to tear into her other present. (BTW, does anyone else get unreasonably insecure sometimes about giving a handmade gift and feel the need to supplement with something store bought? I don't know why I do that, because people always really appreciate their handmade gifts. And I'm canceling out the benefit I have of not having to buy crap from the store. Dumb. Anyway, just wondered if I'm the only one...)

The pink side for "Super Elie."

I roughly followed these instructions, as I did when I made this cape about a year ago. But when I posted about that cape, I failed to write about the lessons I had learned in making it, which is a big reason I even blog about this stuff- so I can remember and learn from my mistakes.

Anyway, the thing I failed to mention to myself was to use interfacing when appliqueing a stretchy knit onto another stretchy knit. Luckily, I realized that after doing the E side, and added interfacing to the back of the spider side, which would have been a total disaster without it.

Today's crafting soundtrack: Well, Jonsi of course. But also, a little group called Mountain Man that we saw open for him. Look them up on itunes, they are mesmerizing.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Epic Date Night (Jonsi!!!)

Nick and I are headed to Columbus tonight to see this incredibleness-

I could not be more excited. We have loved Sigur Ros for years and used a lot of their music in our wedding. We saw them at Bonnaroo a couple of years ago, and that was hands down the most amazing live show I've ever seen. I'm gonna go ahead and say it's kind of a magical experience... and I hate when people use that word, but it is appropriate. I'm thinking tonight's stage show will even top that. And besides all that, I'm feeling somewhat like my old self and I am actually wearing real clothes and makeup. Very exciting.

Here's more about the uber-creative stage and video production if you're interested:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I made a couple of bags this week for good friends. I didn't want to charge these lovely ladies, and since they are both makers of things as well, I suggested we barter. How very Oregon Trail of us.

For Olivia, I made this bag (which I'm totally spoiling for her since she hasn't received it yet)

And I'm going to get this adorable print from her shop:

And for my newlywed friend Jessica, I made this bag

For which I've already received a large jar of her honey:

That's right, she keeps bees in her backyard, and harvests (is that the right word?) their yummy TN honey herself. How cool is that? It's delicious. (Although I'm not supposed to eat it right now, I sometimes have to sneak some.)

So this makes me think about the whole swapping thing. There are lots of us bloggers/etsy-ers who make things, and would also like the things that others make. Does anyone know of any sites set up for organizing swaps? It would be nice if you could put a handmade item out there, and also let people know what kind of thing you are looking to swap for, whether it be art, supplies, edibles, or other specific handmade items. Once you have a taker, you could organize the rest on your own terms. I'm sure there is something like that out there. If not, maybe we could just make our own? Suggestions? Thoughts?