Friday, April 29, 2011

Easter Outfits in the Hospital

Easter morning in the hospital didn't turn out to be such a bad thing. The Easter Bunny brought our baskets straight there, which was nice of him. And mom and dad got to be lazy while all the grandparents got Hendrix dressed and took him to church. Well, I don't know if it's called being lazy when you've been up every 3 hours in the night. Either way, the doctors were eager to let people go home so they signed off on Elsie and I both, and we were home by early afternoon. I'd say bringing home the sweetest brand new little girl is a pretty good Easter.

This is what my neurotic self was working on last Thursday afternoon, the day before we were supposed to report to the hospital for a c-section at 6am. It probably would have made more sense to be packing so I wouldn't be up until 12 doing that, but I have priorities. 

The seersucker shorts I made using MADE's pants pattern, and I lined them with an old gray t-shirt. The bow tie I made like Prudent Baby's version, only I put velcro on the band instead of one of those fancy tie slides. Shirt and shoes are from Target.

Elsie wore the first dress I made her, but I didn't get any great pictures of them together. 

Alright mom and dad, this hospital hallway photoshoot is lame. Let's eat candy. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oh hey, I had this baby.

Elsie Morgan Rider was born on the morning of April 22, 8 lbs 4 oz, 20.5 inches long, healthy as can be. She has her mother's very low-maintenance personality, and her father's mouth and chin. More pictures to come...

Also, if you are interested in seeing the impromptu "maternity shoot" we did a couple months ago, go here. I can't wait for our kids to be totally embarrassed of us.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Ok, it's not really my giveaway, I just wanted to catch the attention of all you giveaway whores out there :)

The giveaway is here, on the brand new Sewn Studio blog!

It's for fabric designer Jennifer Paganelli's new book "Girl's World," which has 21 projects to sew for girls. It looks pretty durn fun.

All you have to do to enter is follow the new blog and comment. But even if you aren't a local here who gets to have the immense pleasure of shopping at Sewn, you should follow their blog. It's going to have tons of project ideas, round-ups, pretty inspiration, and news from the fabric world. Do it.

In other Sewn news, I just signed up to take a 6-week modern quilting course there, which I'm pretty (extremely) excited about.  I've never had the balls to make a quilt, I figure doing it with a few other crazy sewing enthusiasts will help motivate me. It's taught by the very talented Heather Jones. Just look at these amazing modern designs she has made:

Welp, I'm having a baby tomorrow morning, so I don't know when I'll see you here again. Try not to miss me too much, and when I come back I promise to show you more adorable baby girl pictures than you can stand. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

3 Boy Shirts

So have you seen the little solid and striped tees Target has right now for $5? I bought a bunch and have been having a blast dressing them up, mostly with a stack of mine and Nick's old tees. Mucho-score-age. 

First up is the obligatory "big brother" shirt. We parents sure love to put things on our kid's clothes that they won't understand. And me, I like to abbreviate things to make them even harder to understand. I even thought about making it say "bro-ham" or "brosef" like Jack Black calls Will Ferrell in his little Anchorman cameo. But that would have just confused most everyone and made our parents and grandparents question our moral bearings and worldviews...Hendrix is just going to like it because it has "shark attacks" on it. 

The words are freezer paper stenciled, and the wave part is a graphic that I just painted real quick. Just lying, it was already on another shirt. Then I slapped on a couple sharks.

This shirt you might remember being modeled on game day. The thing is, sports team apparel for kids is WAY expensive. Much more than I would ever pay for an article of clothing that is going to get popsicle stains all over it, or maybe even puked on. I found a Reds shirt at a thrift store a long time ago and put the logo from it onto this shirt about 6 minutes before we walked out the door to head to the Reds game. (p.s. That day was their first loss of the season so far. We always seem to have that effect on them.) 

This last shirt didn't turn out exactly as planned. When Nick saw it he said it looked like something Randy Savage would wear. (?) Then he asked if I was a promotor of Chevron now. (Don't get him started on the system.) The technique is inspired by this shirt, which of course looks perfect and cute and easy to pull off...

But only the top green chevron part is curling up to achieve the desired effect. After some quick pondering, I figured out that this is because I should have sewn the other two chevron panels opposite side down. Knit t-shirt material always has a side that curls up on the edges you cut into... D-oh. 

Maybe it will still curl up the more times I wash it, who knows. It's still his favorite color and cute enough to play outside in. I'm just glad the poor kid got something made for him in the midst of all these dresses and pink things. Just two more days until we meet Elsie Morgan! Squeeeeee!!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Picnic Day

Last Thursday was absolutely the most perfect weather possible for a lunch at Sawyer Point by the river. One of those days you wish you could pack in a bag for when you need it again.

In an effort to miraculously morph into a mom-of-two who is actually organized enough to make it out the door on such an occasion, I immediately assembled a "picnic bag" to be ready for the rest of the summer. In a big blue Ikea bag in our closet sits our clean Disney blanket, the styrofoam airplane, a couple of bubble accessories, a soccer ball, and a magazine or two for me. This may not sound like much, but I really am the most unorganized person, so I was proud of my little picnic bag idea.

How else do you genius mothers out there manage to leave the house, or even (is it possible?) make it to where you are going on time? This is really probably my biggest worry about having two kids, since in two whole years of having just one, we have never made it anywhere on time. Nick and I had one of our pretend arguments the other day about which of us is more at fault for this. I think we decided that we are just those people. You know, the ones that really annoy the prompt people with our irresponsible tardiness all the time. But I'm not saying we can't change...

So tell me, what are your kid-moving tricks??

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter: Baskets, Grass, Eggs... and Neuroses

Hi, my name is Jessica and I have a problem. I can't leave well enough alone. Why did I get caught up in this unnecessary Easter basket makeover project the week before having a baby? Who knows. Sometimes making things just gets a little compulsive. I'm sure some of you can relate. This craft blogging thing is really one big support group for a very neurotic bunch. It feels good to admit.

I found these baskets for the kids in the dollar section at Target. They are not spectacular, but really are a pretty cute find. They didn't need a makeover, but in my neurotic state I decided they did. 

I was inspired by Delia Creates to spray paint them. Her painted gray baskets look awesome. I had this yellow paint that didn't work for another project. Turns out it didn't work for this one either. So no thanks, I don't want the Easter baskets looking like a fungus-infected toenail. 

Thankfully, I also had some red paint leftover from this project. At first, I thought I wouldn't like it because it's not exactly the most Easter-y color. But after I made the gray liner I loved the color combo. It's a manly basket. And I was actually smart enough to leave the girly one nude. 

To make the liners I just used the old ones as a pattern to figure it out and added the bias tape trim. And even though it was completely unnecessary, I do love the way they look now. Hopefully, they can be used for many more years. 

Now a word about Easter grass. It's evil. Everyone knows it. Does anyone even buy that stuff anymore? You end up still finding pieces of it around the house in October. Good grief. But my baskets are quite deep, and goodness knows I'm not filling them with that many goodies. I need some kind of filler. 

We recently got a new coffee maker that uses special filters, so we have about 200 of these lovely unbleached ones sitting in the pantry. 

DIY it:
1. Take 3-4 filters at a time and separate the edges out, but keep them stacked. 
2. Cut between every second ridge, leaving about an inch of uncut area in the middle.
3. Bring the fringy stuff together like a flower and staple at the bottom. 

Fluff them up and it only takes a few to fill up a basket. I used five of these quick clusters. And the best part is, they are in units that are big enough to locate and dispose of. They won't be migrating around your home well into the yuletide. Well, unless you have the kind of home that appears on Hoarders or something... then you really should find a support group, the non-virtual kind.

Now the baskets are ready for the kids' bunnies and a few small treats. We just need to decorate some eggs. I'm thinking we'll try this method. How do you do your eggs?

Friday, April 15, 2011

On the Interwebs

Gorgeous Lace sculptures

On my list to do with Hendrix: Bath paints.

I NEED to make this.

Super fun game mat.

With nice weather here, I've been thinking about what I can DIY to spiff up the back yard. How cool is this belt lawn chair? (linked from PB)

Have you noticed I've been linking to the cardboard box projects a lot lately? Here is another amazing one my friend Liv made with her 2 year old son. Go look at all of it because it's awesome.

I finally took all the cardboard inspiration and started working on a fun box project of my own last night.  It might turn into a small series of how-to posts for you, and I might even do that responsible blogger thing where I get them all ready to share with you ahead of time and auto-post them during my baby bliss/recovery week. Could I even BE that on top of things? I don't know. Not that I feel any pressure to post the week after baby comes, I just think it might be fun to pretend I am that kind of plan ahead blogger. And I need a project to keep me sane until next Friday.

Enjoy your weekend everyone! Make something fun.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dress a Week #7

This week's dress is actually a couple of matching skirts. One for the lovely Lily, nearly 2, and one for my little Elsie. They are future BFFs of course.

This one I made the MADE way- I know, do I look anywhere else for kid's clothes instructions? Not really.

This is the one for little lady, and since I didn't really know what size to make the waist elastic, I cut 2.5 inches off the end of an orange tshirt sleeve and made that the waist band. The problem is, it stretched out some in the process of sewing it on and now it looks pretty big.

But then I realized that I can just measure her this summer and turn that orange part into a casing for elastic that actually fits. Problem solved.

The fabric is Moda Chrysalis Release, which I got from Sewn.  But you can get it here.

I think this will be the last installment of a Dress a Week. If I have any extra energy for sewing while I wait for this baby next week, I will need to sew up some shorts for H. He really has none and it's getting pretty warm around here. (Halleloo!)

Which reminds me, will you be participating in Elsie Marley's Kid's Clothes Week? I may be completely kidding myself that I will be able to spend an hour a day sewing that soon after the baby comes, but I gotta have goals, right?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How To MacGyver Some Cupcake Toppers (or fun with Post-its)

I don't know if I mentioned we were having a party for H's second birthday this past Sunday. Well, we did and it was super-fun for the all the kids because it was at a nice playground on a sunny day and there were pizza and cupcakes. What more does a kid need?

Me, being very much with child, I did not have huge amounts of energy or expectations for cutesy extras surrounding said party. But, in my mind a kid's party at least needs some kind of banner marking the honoree, and something dressing up the tops of the cupcakes. Those two simple things go a long way in dressing up the celebration, so that was really all I attempted in that vein.

Lacking money as well as energy, I was determined to use only things I had on hand already. I went to print out some cupcake topper freebies, only to discover I needed new ink cartridges. Hmm, not going to spend $50 on that this weekend. So I came up with this little Post-it note version, which worked well with his favorite colors green and orange.

With the sticky part on the left side, insert your toothpick in between as you fold the paper down. I cut a little length off. I then added stickers that spelled out "happy birthday."

Turns out, Sunday was WAY too windy to set cupcakes out on a nice display or even bother with my little flags, so we just kept them in the box. Turns out, cupcakes are still delicious without any paper decor on top. Oh well, I still thought it was a good idea when you don't have access to a printer.

Obviously, it was also much to windy to hang up a banner outdoors, but luckily I only made it say "Hendrix" and nothing pertaining to his birthday, so maybe I'll still put it in his room for a while.

Yesterday, he and I had a little more fun with the pad of post-its. It's almost like he was trying to make a message.... crazy huh?  :)

Moral: When crafty cutesy plans fall through, it doesn't really matter. Also, sometimes it's fun to stick paper all over the wall. (Like this.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Help my Friends, Help Yourself this excellent album.

So, if you are not a big music fan, you can tune out this post, but if you are a person who loves to discover new music, then you should definitely check out Damion Suomi & the Minor Prophets. 

I know, I know, everyone has a friend who is in some band, but I promise, these guys are for real. Yes, I tend to love them because I've known a lot of them forever and they played at our wedding reception (mostly same guys, different band.) But I would love their music even if I didn't know them. Or if I knew them to be a bunch of bastards. Good thing they aren't. (p.s. My husband sings background on a couple of the songs on the album.)

The album was just released today and it is already #8 on iTunes singer/songwriter chart. It's inevitable that they will move higher than that, but I'm doing my part by spreading the word here. Plus, I really want them to at least move above that silly Steve Martin bluegrass album. (WTH Steve?)

You can also buy it and listen to samples on Amazon. Which is very cool, it just doesn't help my Steve Martin mission. 

Also, if you really like music, particularly live music, you should catch them on the tour they are currently on-

Actually, first watch how much fun they are live on this video, then see the tour dates here to see if they are coming near you.