Friday, January 28, 2011

Baby by Sukie

I remembered the other day that I had bought this little book of iron-on transfers over a year ago for a onesie-making baby shower I threw. Then I remembered that none of the transfers came out very well at the party. So I decided to try again because the designs are real cute. And because I really wanted to make a little something sweet and quick for baby girl.

The problem is, they don't turn out nearly as dark as you think they will. It says to press down the iron with at least 30 lbs. of pressure for 5 minutes, but you really have to do it five minutes and then about 3 times longer than you think you need to on top of that. Luckily, pale colors still look cute on baby onesies. (Speaking of which, did you know Target now sells their colored onesies individually for $2? Including that lovely gray.)

This one came out the best, I think because I did it directly on the t-shirt material. But as you can see it's still not nearly as vivid as the original transfer. 

This is the book. There are a lot of woodland and animal designs, and then a bunch of weird stuff too. But I like it, maybe I just need to practice my skills a few more times. Anyone discovered any tricks to use with these types of iron-ons?

Today's crafting music... It's been Adele all week, never get tired of her voice. That and a crazy dance mix I made for Hendrix. He gets his little guitar and asks for "wock 'n woll!!" It's pretty awesome. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vintage Kids Patterns

Some friends gave me about 50+ of these old sewing patterns from the 50's thru the 70's that had belonged to their mother. I finally got around to looking through them the other day. I really need to learn how to use this type of pattern, because they are aDORable. Especially now that I'll have a little doll girl to dress up. I guess that is the downside to learning to sew from the internet. If there isn't a picture tutorial involved, I might get dizzy and whirl into a semi-conscious stream of profanities...

But just look how cute some of these are.

Girl in green: "Wally Banks said my knee socks were tops during geography!"
Girl in blue: "Oh you are such a lucky duck! I was betting on Wally preferring harlotans, so I went with bare ankles."

Boy in blue robe: "Wowie Charlie, your mom sure makes the best berry waffles in town. Thanks for inviting me to your astronomy sleep-over!"
Boy in red robe: "Well I'm glad you enjoyed it Roger, but I'm afraid you won't be invited to the next one. You wouldn't stop singing Conway Twitty in your sleep. We're more of a Merle Haggard household."

 Girl in Indian costume: "Gee Suzanne, I thought my Halloween costume for this year was good, but your blue Q-Tip costume is much more original!"
Suzanne: "Thanks! I love dressing as household items- last year I was a tissue box cozy with an embroidery of Elvis' face!"

Monday, January 24, 2011

LBB Hoodie

So I bought this Lil Blue Boo hoodie pattern probably a year ago, and just got around to making one this weekend. It was so fun to make something new for H out of three old tshirts.

Of course I couldn't get him to hold still for pictures, but you get the idea. I didn't mean to lop quite so much off the octopus thingy's head (an old threadless shirt), but I still like the way it turned out. The only tricky part about the pattern was attaching the hood. I had to pick out part of the seam, but that was mostly because of my own lack of common sense. Easy fix. I love the colors, and he loves wearing it because it has a "pott-et." If there are two things this kid loves, it's pockets and brushing his teeth way too many times a day.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Winter Boredom Buster #2: Small objects.

Last night I raided the craft/ office supplies to see what could keep us busy before bedtime.  A pack of 50 multi-colored pencil erasers was a HUGE hit. I gave him the box and 4 plastic cups and he went to town for at least 20 minutes. 20 MINUTES! Even after that he would come back to them every so often. He would pick them up one at time and put them in one cup, then dump them into another, then stack the cups, then shake them out all over the floor. Really, I don't know why we got him any toys for Christmas, I can think of lots of household supplies that would work this well. Colored tape, plastic spoons, staples....wait.

I realize some people might think those erasers are not big enough for a less-than-two-year-old to play with. But he really doesn't put things in his mouth much anymore, and of course I was with him. Also, you may be thinking, "gosh they have a lot of loose wires hanging out." But I promise those are much farther under the console than they look and he can't reach them. Anyway, no reason to defend baby-proofing philosophies. We honestly never did much of it. We just tried to train him well and watch him closely. Boom- baby proofed.

While pencil erasers are great fun, I am painfully missing warm weather and evening sunlight. I cannot wait to take a walk or play in the backyard again. But it's not happening any time soon- this morning was 3 degrees. Ugh.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter Boredom Buster: Window Paint

I went to Joann's to stock up and spend a couple of Christmas gift cards the other day when I spied this little window paint marker thing for a couple bucks. In this, the middle of January, I'm always looking out for little things to do indoors to keep the toddler in the house busy, even if just for a few minutes. I need to put together a box full of them or something.

He liked the idea of getting to paint on the windows, and especially liked getting to sit in a tall chair to do  it.

Here's a great post on Ohdeedoh about 5 little winter activities like that to have on hand. I'd really love to try the painter's tape all over the walls, Hendrix would love that. What other simple things have bought you 15 minutes of indoor fun?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Felt Food- Fresh and Lazy

I had a bit of a felt food veggie frenzy this afternoon.

Corn with removable husk, a giant eggplant (which Hendrix has never seen and probably won't in this house), tomato, cucumber, some carrots, potatoes, broccoli and summer squash. 

I didn't really use tutorials, I just looked around at some pictures of what people had done and then made it up. You can find a lot of inspiration right here. I decided I wanted to knock out a whole gaggle of veggies quickly, thus I didn't have time to follow directions and definitely didn't have time to hand sew. So that became my main guideline. I did everything in a pretty lazy way- machine sewed without turning and never worried about matching thread. The only one I did have to turn and hand sew was the tomato. 

I used a couple special stitches on my machine for little touches like the rows of corn and eyes on the potatoes.

This play kitchen was H's big Christmas gift and he loves it. We did get a little bit of play food from Ikea, but I always knew I wanted to try making a lot myself. Now I can't wait to make more. I think pizza and dessert need to come next- I mean, who am I kidding with all these veggies? 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Trying to get girly.

It's time to get into gear and start making/planning/shopping for baby girl's room. Since I'm sitting here doing nothing but blowing my nose every 20 seconds, I started fabric shopping for bedding and such.

Perusing around Hawthorne Threads, I came up with a color scheme I love for right now- gray, yellow, and kind of a plum/ fuchsia shade. Not sure why this combo sticks out to me. Well, I always love yellow and gray, and I think the plum comes in because I don't really want to go the bubble gum pink route just because it's a girl, but I also don't want to banish the whole pink family. Plum is bright and bold and girly, and any other pink items she is sure to accumulate will still work with it.

Anyway, I might change my mind, but here are some options in that colorway:

I need to keep the gray option pretty neutral because we may move the kids into a room together and use that fabric to tie it all together, like for the curtains. I'm definitely loving the idea of fuchsia houndstooth.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Beanbags- a classic.

I remember loving the beanbags at preschool. I think anything you are allowed to throw is good by most kids. I made Hendrix a set of these for Christmas and they turned out really fun.

Of course, H doesn't know his numbers yet, (although he can count to "one, two, one, two, twooooo!") but we have fun tossing them into this elephant storage bin from Target. And when he's older it will be a fun way to practice numbers and simple math.

This is the last handmade Christmas gift I have to share. In fact, I haven't sewn a thing since the week before Christmas, but I'm itching to make some cute little baby girl things. Right now I have some sort of gorilla flu, so I doubt that will happen this weekend. Nick and I are both sick so my mom hopped in the car this morning and drove 5 hours to take care of us for a couple days. Nanas are the best.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Look what's coming to MY neighborhood!

I am pretty durn excited about this one.

Sewn Studio is opening up here in Oakley, right on Madison Rd. in February.

It's going to be a modern fabric shop, plus sewing studio with classes. I've never taken a sewing a class before, but I'm totally going to take them here. How very studious of me.

(pics from their FB page)
The space is right next to one of our faves- Redtree Gallery. But now they have swanky signs and window graphics all up. I only found out about it by driving by, and I'm pretty sure I about swerved off the road. Wait, no I didn't, that would be irresponsible behind the wheel. I would never do that. 

Please go here to follow them on FB and Twitter, especially if you are a Cincy sewer. If you aren't, well feel free to be jealous this place isn't moving in a few blocks from you. 

(P.S. Did any of you locals used to go to St. Theresa's Textile Trove in College Hill before it closed? I really liked that place and I feel like it left a big crafting void around here. But I'm very sure this place is going to be even cooler.) 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Family of Monsters

Back in the fall, my friend Carrie asked me (commissioned me) to make 8 monsters named after her kids and all the other grandkids in her family. It was in the middle of my very gross first trimester days, so it did not get started on until just a couple weeks before Christmas. She wanted to give them to her parents for Christmas so that each kid would have their special monster always at Grandma and Grandpa's house when they visited- such a cute idea.

It was very fun designing some new faces and writing their little descriptions based on some of the kids' characteristics Carrie had given me. Here's the whole bunch-

I had hoped to make multiples of each and get them in the shop before Christmas. Here's the thing about having an Etsy shop: You have to keep making things in order to keep selling things. Revolutionary idea, I know. But you can't just open your shop and let it sit. And I didn't when I first opened. I kept listing and relisting pretty regularly. I had big plans for diversifying my products and price-points and all that stuff the emails from Etsy tell you to do as a seller. (I still get those emails. I used to read them, now I delete them immediately. Yet I haven't unsubscribed from them because I know that someday soon I want to be motivated again and start reading them. Isn't that silly?) But after getting pregnant again, I guess I kind of lost interest. I do enjoy making a few things to sell and having people appreciate that, but I really enjoy sewing for gifts and for my kids and occasionally even me. And I never expected to try to be one of those sellers featured in a "quit your day job" article, but it would be nice to just make enough to take care of a bill or two each month. Anyway, I know I'm totally rambling now, but I was just wondering if any other half-assed Etsy sellers out there could relate to the ebbs and flows of motivation... But I guess that is one nice thing about the way Etsy is set up- everything is already there and ready for me when I decide to get selling again. And it will sit and wait when life/apathy gets in the way again.

Hey, did I tell you guys yet that I'm having a girl?!? I don't think I've mentioned it here, but yup, it's a girl. We are pretty excited about that :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Kid Cushions

For one of H's Christmas gifts, I made him one of these cushions so that he could have his own little seat in the living room. It's a really great tutorial, especially for trying piping for the first time. The piping seems like a pain when you are doing it, but it's totally worth it and makes things look so much more polished and store-bought.

I used a super-fun fabric from Ikea that I've had forever and didn't know what to do with. I think that guy on the mountain is actually THE lonely goatherd. 

Making the long side strip fit to both circles was a bit tricky, but nothing you can't handle. I ended up having to add a little extra strip of fabric to make it fit, but it looks fine. I think it was just because I didn't have a compass to make my circles with like the tutorial recommends.

The handle is good for toting around and beating your dad with the pillow. My last recommendation would be to add more stuffing than you think you need. I wish this one had just a skosh more. I also made a cute girly version for H's little girlfriend that was brown zebra print with pink piping, but I forgot to take a picture.

Here he is on Christmas day, enjoying Toy Story with his new elephant Mr. Tibs while we packed for Nana and Papa's house. 

 I'm pretty sure he would have asked Santa for one, but he was too busy planning an exit strategy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The post where I have nothing of substance to say, but you might laugh.

I guess I've taken a bit of a blogging hiatus, only partly intentional. You see, we have not had internet at our residence for the past three weeks or so. Well, we never really did, but for the past 2 years, we have used a semi-reliable random wireless signal that has suddenly disappeared. So whenever I am annoyed that it is gone, I remind myself that we were worthless moochers in the first place. So now I am saying hello to you from Panera and we are working on figuring out how to get legit wireless without also getting cable and a landline, neither of which we want.

But the holidays were a good time for a break anyway. Ours were joyous and wondrous and jolly and every other adjective that might make you think we have the perfect little family.

I do have more Christmas gifts and handmad-y-ness to show you eventually, but no pictures for now. So instead, I will share with you this completely random story from my husband's tumblr. I came across it again today and remembered how much I love it. It cracks me up every time I imagine the tangible awkwardness. He also wrote it in probably the best way possible. Enjoy:

The following is a true story which details events that transpired on the 10th of November in the year 2010. It all happened at the music club d.b.a. which is situated on Frenchman Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. 
10:30PM - I am seated near the window with my friend Nathan. I look outside and see a guy that kinda looks like Phoebe’s canadian-gay-ice-skater-husband from that one episode of Friends… I think he was also that one guy from Joyride.
10:31PM - IMDB on my iPhone.
10:32PM - It’s Steve Zahn. Not sure if it was him or not… He’s gone now, so I guess I’ll never know.
10:35PM - I see Steve Zahn or his doppelgänger at the bar. 
10:36PM - I walk up to the guy in question:
  ”Are you Steve Zahn?”
  ”uuh….. Yeah…”
  ”Wow! That’s crazy man! Cool!”

10:36:20PM - I realize that, besides that one episode of Friends and that shitty thriller/horror movie Joyride, I don’t know anything else that Steve Zahn has been in… I’m not going to tell him he’s awesome, because he isn’t… But I can’t just say nothing and walk away… I mean, his self esteem has to be perilously low as it is.
10:36:30PM - I finally craft a statement that adequately expresses my appreciation for his career and simultaneously extricates me from this awkward situation:
  ”I dig your shit, man.”
10:36:35PM - I walk away, confident that I have made a new friend. However, I do have a moment where I think, “I wonder if my new BFF Steve Zahn was annoyed to get approached in public?” But then I convince myself that He probably was just ecstatic to get recognized within 2 minutes of walking into the bar.