Friday, May 11, 2012

Kindle mayhem

Instead of vintage Pyrex for Mother's Day, I find myself begrudgingly receiving a Kindle Fire. Yes- sounds whiny and ungrateful but there are special circumstances that allow for my poor behavior. You see- I already have a Kindle Fire. Or rather - I did have one until Tuesday night when Jasper (our 8 month German Shepherd) sniffed it out and ate it.

Yep- ate the case, shattered the screen and chewed off the anti-glare coating. After googling German Shepherd rescues for a few days I had resigned myself to using the library all summer and not having zillions of books at my beck and call. Oh the humanity.

Then Dave decided to wow me and surprised me with a new Fire last night. Yep- it worked. I nominate him the Best. Husband. Ever. I did not even get a lecture about where I had left it- though I know he wanted to give one.

Tonight I found a tutorial here (http://www.cloverandviolet.com/2012/03/kindle-cover-tutorial.html?m=1) for making a kindle case- since mine was destroyed in said dog incident. So after the beasties went to bed I snuck down to the craft room and actually sewed. Shocker - I know.

I used the measurements from the tute- but did not piece the top. I attached a hex-y flower I made last summer to some fun script fabric for the outside. I added that hole-y hard plastic that people used to make Kleenex box covers out of inside the interior pockets to hold the shape. Don't know the real name but you know what I mean - you use yarn to "sew" and decorate it. Except me. I use it for structure and strength.

A vintage button and a bias tape loop act as the closure method- and work great. I don't think this case would protect my kindle if I were to drop it - or say, if a hungry dog got a hold of it- but it makes me feel better to have it wrapped up and a bit protected. Oh- and it is cute too!!



Friday, April 6, 2012

Crafting on the go - Craft #1: pretty bobby pins

New plan- craft and blog in bursts while chauffeuring around the beasties Seems there is no time (or energy) to sit and craft. Instead I am finding bits of inspiration on pinterest and kicking out a quickie craft. I have been meaning to doctor up some bobby pins forever- but a trip to the dollar store and finding my glue gun today made it happen. Harper even got one- despite not having enough hair to make it possible, er, necessary.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Harper Hoot-y Halloween

I was ready to sew costumes for everyone this year. I had it in my head that I NEEDED to hand make all 3 kids a costume. Then Griffin decided he wanted to be a Field Biologist. He has all the gear already, so no costume was needed. Next, Rowan opted to be a baby...so 1 pair of feetie jammies (from Target - no way was I going to attempt that) later and a quick gathering of Harper's gear and she was ready. Harper, being currently unable to articulate ideas (in English anyways) was then stuck being the only one I sewed for... and thus the recipient of an entire blog post.

Please bear with me on the pics. Harper is having a messy cold - so if she looks boogery, now you know why. I was able to snap these right after her second nap today and thought maybe she was on the mend. Alas - I don't think so.... as you'll see on the last pic.

I had originally wanted to make a Princess Leia costume for Harps. I saw the cutest one ever on Crafster (here)... but after 2 failed attempts at drafting a pattern for the dress, that idea was thrown out. I hemmed and hawed about running to a store and buying a costume (this was Saturday) but after a little blog surfing and some Pinterest time, I decided on an owl for her costume. Not just any owl.... but Hedwig (from Harry Potter, in case you have not read the books umpteen times or watched Harry Potter Marathons on multiple occasions as we have). And not just any Hedwig, but a Shabby Chic one... with ruffles and lace for feathers. It all came together in a very short period of time, even while feeling like crud.

The mask was inspired by these ones.... so cute and quick! It is designed to be worn as a mask over the eyes or on the forehead -which is the only place Harper is tolerating it.

The dress is made up of layer after layer of thrifted ruffles and lace, sewed onto a tank dress (I used this pattern as a starting point). Instead of bias tape on the shoulders, I opted for ribbon and vintage buttons. I am hoping that this dress could stretch into Thanksgiving, maybe with this bolero? Link

The cape is lined with cream corduroy and the outside is burlap and thrifted chenille. I sewed elastic on the corners to attach to Harper's wrists so she could show her wing span - and look more bird-like instead of super hero. Hopefully this will also keep her warm - it will be COLD tonight!!

Did I mention we don't feel well today? Harper or myself? We are a mess. I got about 2 minutes or cooperation for these photos and then tried to clean up her messy nose. This is how the rest of the day has gone... I need a nap.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Babies and Puppies....

Dave took the bigs to the "land" to explore and dig and get dirty. That left me home alone with Miss Harps- of whom I took a zillion pictures to try to fully capture her 9-month-old-ness. She is trouble - into everything. She (along with all other babies, I know) seems to instinctually know what things she should not touch (electric cords and outlets, phones, computers, remotes, etc) and gravitate towards them. I'm sure it has much to do with the fact that Dave and I use these items (er... too frequently?) and she'd like to see what the draw is. I played around with some photoshop actions (very fun - from here) on her pics - here are the results.







What made the weekend more challenging than just chasing a 9 month old was the addition of Jasper Fox Thom. Rowan got the best 9th birthday gift ever last weekend - a 7 week old German Shepherd pup. He is adorable - but like Harper - very interested in items he should not be. Like baby toys, nuks, yarn, books, blankets, my ankles, etc. Here is Jasper (yes - I doctored this pic too). He is adorable. Puppy and baby - seriously too sick.



While I was kept very busy with these 2 this weekend, I was also kept up late letting dogs outside and rocking unsleeping babies. Mixed into this time (now I can't remember when it actually occured, it is all a fog), I did some minor projects. Mostly things I could do without going into my craft room and using my sewing machine. All the projects were either Pinterest or Blog inspired - so many great ideas out there, so little time!

First up, I added doilies and buttons to some pillows I've had in my entry way forever. The pillows are straw/raffia like and can't really be washed. I tacked on some doilies made by my step-grandma and thrifted buttons. Before, they were just "eh". Now I love them....



Next up, I nailed a big old window frame from our cabin remodel to the wall. With the addition of some dry erase markers - voila, a white board. I'm trying hard to get organized- including planning and remembering things on or before they actually occur. Hopefully this helps. It is also a message center of sorts for the mornings that Dave gets the kids out the door. I can write notes to them in one central location and hope that at least the literate children will find them :)




Last, I saw a cute idea on Pinterest of adding script to a lamp shade. All it takes is a sharpie and something to say. I used a book Dave gave me on our first Christmas together - it is a "poem a day" book. I found poems from each of our dates of birth and wrote lines from them on the shade. The lamp and shade were originally thrifted - love the green, jade-like glass on the lamp. I like it better now - though I am constantly finding flaws in my handwriting. I think some black trim may need to be added to the top and bottom of the shade to really finish it - but I'll live with it a bit for now as is.



As an "apple doesn't fall far..." kind of story, my mom did the sharpie lamp tutorial first. I had saw it in Pinterest but with so many thoughts and ideas bombarding me in that minute, I scrolled right past it Hours later, I was face-timing her so she could see Harps and she showed me her lamp. Hers is quite cute, so it is really she that I copied/flattered with my own version.


I'm exhausted after our weekend - even after a decent nap today with Harps. You know that there must be a master plan when you see how much trouble puppies and babies can get in - but all you can focus on is how damn cute they are...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pumpkin and Pinterest





The idea of putting Harper in a pumpkin was forwarded to me by my Aunt, who saw it on Pinterest. Then, because I had to catch up with the times and join Pinterest myself, I spied the adorable hats on there as well. I managed to whip up the hats (from the GREAT tute here) and carve out the pumpkin... but relied on the Brooke and here amazing creative genius to do the actual photos. Oh - and I relied on her to provide the adorable, witchy model as well!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Owlies

In the crafting world, I think owls are a bit passe. (How would I know? I've done minimal to no crafting for the past 9 months -since Harper was born- and only baby sewing for the 9 months prior to that!) Lucky for us, my almost 9 year old and just turned 9 month old don't know or care YET about "trends"- so we made up a few owl stuffies for cuddling and loving.

Harper's owl was made by closely following a pattern in Aimee Ray's Doodle Stitching. I forgot how quick and easy this comes together (I made a few way back). I had wool felt in the stash - though I did not use the colors in the book. The wool felt was sooo very nice - much more sturdy and forgiving than craft felt. The kids named this owl Jr.

Note: Harper didn't name him - though she did drool and chew on him. That is love, for sure.









For Rowan's owl I loosely followed the same pattern - though the main fabric on hers is flannel and it is obviously much larger. I cut out felt for the eyes and nose - and did not embroider on the feathers or outline. Rowan named her owl "Sir Hoots A Lot". Hmmm... it is funny (to me) that she is naming this after a character in the movie Bedtime Stories, not the 80's singer/rapper. Ha!





Sir Hoots a Lot and Jr making nice.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Time flies...

Yes, time does fly when you are having fun... but it seems to do so more just by living a rather chaotic life. The bigs are back in school and we are now running to religion classes, Cub Scouts, Basketball and Wrestling on any given weeknight, Harper is a crawling maniac and into EVERYTHING, Dave is nearing the end of his MBA program and work is crazy busy of late. None of this is meant as a lament, but more my own rationale as to why it has been so dang long since my last post.

Has there been crafting? Well, a smidge. Not as much as I would like, but some quickies here and there. I jumped onto the Pinterest bandwagon and am falling in love with the Internet again. So many projects, so little time :)

For now - here are some recent photos. Sewing/crafting projects will be posted SOON!








Brooke just took family pics of us. As usual, her talent is awesome, and I have to admit my kids are pretty dang cute too...















After loading the next pictures, I realize how pitiful they look next to Brooke's shots. So, please - disregard the poor quality/composition (and other photographer-type stuff) of these next shots :)

Here is Rowan tending the fire at the cabin...




Here are the bigs on their first day back at school


And a quick one from Griffin's birthday party...


Friday, August 5, 2011

6 months later....Baby Smocket

Really, it is almost 7 months since Miss Harper Adelia joined the family. It is hard to remember life before she arrived - she is so dang much fun. That fun has caused an impromptu hiatus from my sewing, crafting and dabbling, granted, but I am sure this too shall pass. Just yesterday I had exactly 30 minutes to craft. Yes - 30 minutes. Harper is sleeping through the night like a champion, but her daily nap(s) are iffy. I know I can usually count on a half our out of them, but nothing longer is guaranteed. After getting her down yesterday, I quickly grabbed the homemade Smocket passed to us from Brooke, traced it on new fabric and sewed it together. Then, because one must coordinate, I frantically searched my patterns for Dana's Diaper Cover pattern, gave up and reprinted it and threw a matching diaper cover together as well. Honestly, I was closer to 32 minutes all said and done, and only that because my sewing machine and ironing board are set up in the dining room, but I managed to finish just in time for her to hungrily wake from her nap. Here is Harps in her new digs....








I promise she is happier than those 2 photos would make her appear. Here is a smiley one with her big sis.



For the patterns, I made Harps the 12 month size diaper cover (yes, she is quite large - above 95% for her age) - and extended the top about an inch, since I only found 1 inch elastic. The smocket, as I stated earlier, was traced, but I know Brooke eyeballed the pattern and free hand sized it down to fit her V. It is pretty forgiving with the tie straps. The fabric on the side showing (it is reversible, but I have no shots of the back yet) is Tina Givens' Olivia's Holiday. Love it- it has been waiting in the stash for the perfect project, and this was it.

It is hard to just blame Harper for my crafting recess. The kids being out of school is also contributing - We've been having a blast entertaining at the lake - lots of great people, such good food, so many delicious cocktails - it has been fantastic! We had Harper's 6 month photos taken at the lake. Yes, Brooke did it again. Her ability and talent leave me in awe. Here is the link to the pics, but I'll share a couple....can't help it.










Leaving the sewing equipment in the dining room was a small bit of strateg-ery on my part. I'm hoping that having my gear where it can be accessed quickly and painlessly will prompt some more quick projects. We'll soon see - my list of sewing "to do's" took no hiatus, so it is ready for me to get moving.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Quick Change Trousers

There is some humor in including the word "quick" in the title of this blog post. Returning to sewing post baby has been anything but. Partly due to wanting to hold this little one 24/7, partly due to big sibs demanding their fair share of attention and partly due to my craft room being a place where chaos reigned. Lucky for me, the wee one is starting to become a tad more regularly scheduled - meaning she is routinely laying down twice a day. The duration of said naps is up for debate, but I can look forward to a little down time each day. After a roller coaster spring, it is finally warm enough for the bigs to play outside. Finally, my grandma came to visit and demanded we do some heavy labor. We decided to tackle the craft room - and now it is a thing of beauty. All these lead me to some time and room to sew -Hooray!

This weekend - while Dave was fishing at the cabin with "the guys", I managed some time to sew a couple pair of "Quick Change Trousers" from Anna Maria Horner's Handmade Beginnings book. One pair for Miss Harper, and a pair as a "thank you" to a friend of my Aunt who gave me her portable baby swing.


Here are the pair for an almost 2 year old boy - the fun part being that they are reversible...so they are really "two for one".

Back side of the pair- love the contrasting panel.



Here is the front of this side.



If you turn them inside out, they are light blue (maybe a little "scrub-bish") with a green contrasting panel on the backside.




Here are Harper's pants- the inspiration for the red side being the girl pair photographed in the book - loved the red/yellow combo.






(back)





(front)

And the reverse side....




(front)


(back)
I used all thrifted/vintage-y fabrics for Harp's. I made her the 9 month size - a little long now, but should be perfect in a few months.



Harper also got a huivi from a fabric scrap. She was holding one over her face while I sewed, so I quickly hemmed it up and added a "bow" to make it girly. She looks ridiculously adorable - in a silly way.



Drat -her foot got the close up here - but her blurry face is funny!

C'mon - you can see why I've dawdled getting back to sewing, right??

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Almost on track...

I swear I'm getting ready to get back on track to real life. It has been a long extended baby moon at my house. Hard to do much of anything while this little one has captured all our hearts. She is the smiliest little thing - and anytime you smile at her you are sure to get one back at you. What is a mom to do, but spend hours then encouraging the smiles?

I'm blessed to have a fantastic friend to document Harper's early days. Brooke did another photo session of her at 2 months just before we left for spring break. (full post here). I don't know if it is the extremely talented photographer or my absolute bias for the model, but I LOVE love love these pics. Here are some to share...









Remember when I made this hat? She is posing in it here along with Dave's childhood bear Junior. So dang cute!


Back to work next week (Boo! - part time, but still Boo!). I actually end up being more productive domestically when I'm working part time outside the home. Odd, huh? Guess that is the chaos that is my (our) life! Plan to see some sewing or crafting posts soon...for now I'm back to cuddling.