December 25, 2011

Harry, Ron & Hermione

Here's a little gift my friend commissioned me to make for her son. He's 8 and he's obsessed with Harry Potter. She saw this picture while browsing Pinterest and wondered if I could recreate them.

My answer was an immediate "YES!" I'm a Harry Potter fan too, so these were a no-brainer. I think I smiled happily the whole time I was making them.

I pieced together fabric to make the scarves. I used felt for their hair. And, I freezer painted the glasses, scar and freckles.

Each of them have black buttons for eyes. They also have zippers in the bottom and are stuffed with a pillow insert.

Didn't they turn out so fun? I kinda wish it was socially acceptable for me to have these pillows on my own bed. Merry Christmas, friends! Enjoy!

December 23, 2011

Bedroom Completed

I brought out the duvet cover and down comforter last month, which finally brought my bedding set all together!

I'm not sure if you remember, but I sewed my duvet cover last April. Not too much later we moved and I sewed my summer bedding & pillows in September. Finally, in November I was able to bring the whole set together for the first time.

I even bought flannel snowflake sheets (although mine have two-toned gray snowflakes) for a super steal at Target last year. They're totally cute with the set.

Right before Thanksgiving my mother-in-law helped me paint our bedroom. I chose "knitting needles" from Sherwin Williams.

I was really worried about a monotone bedroom - as you can see I have zero color in the room. But, turns out, I really love it. I may add a pillow or two throughout the year, but surprisingly I think that's all it needs.

Lastly, here's a close-up of my dresser just because. Actually, I had to brag on my dad who made that beautiful jewelry chest for me. He made three others for my sisters and sister-in-law too for Christmas last year. Incredible, right? I have amazingly creative parents. But, funny that they wouldn't admit it themselves, I'm sure.

December 18, 2011

Christmas Pajamas

Here we are in year number two of our Christmas pajamas tradition.

One of my favorite traditions from our childhood was our Christmas pajamas. Mom made each of us jammies every year to unwrap and wear on Christmas Eve night. I'm starting the tradition with Jude and having fun with it. (see last year's)

This year I picked out this adorable flannel with whales. It's SO cute. The traditional look of button-down flannel pajamas wins me over every time so I couldn't help myself. I even added some piping to the cuffs just because.

My friend Angela and I made these together. She was making a pair for her niece. Let's just say the pattern was a bit more complicated than I anticipated and we were up until the wee hours of the morning finishing these. I'm not sure if I'll ever pick up the pattern again, but thankfully the pajamas turned out.

Look! He got poked by the tree. Too funny.

We went upstairs where there was better light and he started playing a game with me where he would give me a big grin . . .

look away . . .
then give me a big old sweet smile again. Funny boy.

The jammies are wrapped up now and under the tree waiting for Christmas Eve. Only 5 more sleeps.

December 16, 2011

A New Coat for Jude

"A New Coat for Jude" makes me think of this book from my childhood. It sticks out so prominently in my mind yet I don't think we even owned it. Is it familiar to anyone else?

Anyway, over Thanksgiving my Mom showed up with this new coat and hat for Jude!

She prepared me ahead of time that she had "out done herself", which is saying a lot since my Mom is the most talented sewer I know. But, she wasn't kidding! This coat is quite honestly the cutest thing I've laid eyes on - minus, of course, my fabulous husband and darling son. Did I need the disclaimer?

You might have to click on the pictures to see them a little larger. The details are absolutely stunning!

Somebody in blogland recently said that the difference between girls and boys clothes is in the details. Boys clothes tend to be plain in fabric choice, but make up for it with interesting additions like snaps, extra pockets, etc. It's so true! See these shorts, for example.

The bands on the back, shoulders and sleeves totally take make this coat sing!

And, here's the kicker . . . do you see that lining? Oh my. It makes it cozy warm for our cold winters and adds such a touch of dressiness without losing the masculinity.

I love everything about it, Mom! What an honor to have these beautiful pieces to pass down to my kids. I'm overwhelmed by your talent! Thank you!

December 7, 2011

Where Have I Been?

Wow. You can tell when my life is going 100 mph because I suddenly vacate this little bloggy space and give no inkling as to if and when I will return. Well, I'm back. And, watch out, because winter is upon us in Iowa and with extended time inside I might be back with force! I've got a lot of catching up to do!

Over the Thanksgiving week we were lucky to host my sister Emily and her husband Cory AND my parents! It was really really lovely, life-giving and, I'll admit, somewhat exhausting. But, I loved it! It was especially fun to show off our new house and have our guests stay right here with us.

In preparation for their arrival my awesome mother-in-law helped me paint my guest room, bathroom and master bedroom. I'll be updating you with pictures of those rooms. They're finally at that "I think this is pretty well done for now" stage, so I'm ready to show off some pictures. In fact, I don't think I've shown any pictures of the new house here yet, so I'll do what I can to show you some snippets here and there.

For now, though, here's a little bit of our Thanksgiving . . .

Em & Cory with Jude.
When we get together we can't help but match our clothes occasionally. Our husbands shake their heads at us, but we think it's really funny (and awesome).

I made my first turkey! This one I made on Monday for a feast at the local Boys & Girls club. I used this recipe both that day and on Thanksgiving. The turkey for Thanksgiving wasn't nearly as pretty. Luckily I had my dad on hand to carve it. I'm not sure if I could have rescued that one quite as well. Tasted good though.

Table set for 11. Emily and I had fun digging through my storage bins of home decor items to put the whole thing together the day before. It's a mash up of random stuff, but it worked!

Here's the Thanksgiving turkey after it was carved. A "before" picture just wasn't worth it.

After dinner and before dark a few of us went on a walk around the neighborhood. It was a beautiful evening!

Here's my mother-in-law, my mom, Jude and me. What fun to all be together!

And last, but not least, a darling picture of my dad and Jude. Plus, a sneak peek of the hat and coat my mom made! Yep, I said that right. She made it! You'll be amazed. More on that to come after I take a couple more pictures of it.

October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

What a great Halloween! I conned Jesse into carving pumpkins with me last night. We made yet another trip to a different farm to pick out pumpkins for both Jesse and Jude. Luckily when you live in Iowa "the farm" is only 10 minutes in one direction or another, so it's easy to fit three different farms into one season.

We got to carving those pumpkins as soon as we got home. Jesse went for a new design this year by carving the outline of a leaf based on the Molson Canadian logo - I have no idea where these ideas come from so don't ask; I'm just grateful that he joins me! I, on the other hand, went for the scaredy cat and the angry jack o lantern.

Here's our doorstep all ready for the big night! Those pumpkins greeted about 350 trick-o-treaters tonight. I've never seen such an array of fairies, princesses, ninjas and spidermen.

Our friends Ang and Craig came over to join in the festivities. Jude helped give out candy, and I loved every minute of it!

Of course my very favorite part, though, is dressing up this little guy. Oh what fun I have. This year we went with Woody from Toy Story. I was so giddy about dressing him up that I started and finished his Halloween costume at least a month ago. I've been looking forward to it ever since!

The leather boots were in a hand-me-down collection we received awhile ago and the hat came with Pete the Horse. So, the outfit was destined from the beginning.

To complete the outfit I purchased a dress shirt from a thrift store and dyed it yellow. Then, I sewed the little vest out of a cow print and made a tiny bandana that could tie underneath his collar. Lastly, I rounded it out with a badge and a pair of jeans.

Just look at that tiny little cowboy! Makes my heart melt.

And, just in case you are starting to think it's all "puppy dogs and ice cream" around here . . . this is how our photo shoot ended. I think he was upset about me trying to get him to wear his hat . . . but, honestly, it's hard to say. Who knows. Really.

October 24, 2011

Snail Mail

Last week I was sending some quick notes off to my Mom and sister. Sending a white sterile envelope didn't seem right when it was going off to people I love so much. So, I added a little twist.
Envelopes made from Google Maps! Isn't that fantastic? I got the idea from Pinterest. Are all of you also wasting your evening hours on Pinterest too? It's crazy.

Anyway, I looked up directions from my house to theirs in Google Maps. Then, I zoomed out on the large map and took a screenshot. I pasted it into a Word document and cropped/resized the picture until it was 5 1/4" wide and about 10 1/2" tall. I centered the picture and printed it.

Then, I grabbed this envelope template, printed it, cut it out and laid it over my Google map. Trace, cut, paste and done. Totally easy and adorable.

Speaking of snail mail, I received this lovely gift in the mail from one of my favorite people this week! She knows me so well. In fact, I had just put this book on my "want" list after seeing these pants.

(Did I lose you at that last blog for a little while? I found it recently and I'm so glad I did. She's quite inspirational and her son's name is Jude! How fun is that?)

Anyway, I'm giddy every time I open this book and I can't wait to get the projects started.

October 21, 2011

Feather Your Nest

A lovely friend of mine hosts an event called "Feather Your Nest". This is the second time she and her friends have done this. They clear out one of their houses and turn it into a shabby chic boutique filled with handmade goods from the people they know.

I never thought I would sell any of my things because I'm on of those who sews and creates for my own thrills rather than to make any sort of profit. Plus, it's really hard to make a profit on an item that took you 3 hours to make, but is only worth about $15.

But, after Kristin asked me I thought I would jump in. Why not? So, I made up some labels, tags, etc. and went to work. I made fabric flower rings in apple green, teal, gray, coral and steel blue.

I made three pairs of cloth shoes in sizes 9 months, 6 months and newborn.
I made three bibs (my own pattern) - one bike pattern and two silverware bibs. Look familiar?
For the first time, I made three pillows from this inspiration.
I also made three little tutus. Those were fun to make again. Unfortunately my pictures weren't great, so I'm not including them in here.

I sent the stuff off this week. If they sell I'll be donating my profit to our church's campaign - A Better Story. Donating the profit makes the long hours/small pay off worth it in the end. We'll see if it sells!

October 14, 2011

Enjoying Fall

We're having incredible Fall weather around here. Last weekend we did our best to soak it up. And, what's a better way to do that than visiting Iowa farms? Nothing. So, we did two in one weekend.

On Saturday we did the pumpkin farm. We had three older children staying with us and this was the perfect destination for entertainment. They had it all - bounce houses, haunted cornfield, hay ride, pumpkins being shot out of a canon, farm animals and of course - a pumpkin patch. We had a great time. In fact, it was so hot and lovely I actually wished I had worn shorts! That never happens in Iowa in October!
The next day we visited a friend's family farm. They were in the middle of harvest and we got to ride in the combine. I'll admit - I totally enjoyed it more than Jude did!
If you look really close Jesse and Jude are in the combine together. Can you see them?
We even took a little drive in an effort to appreciate the Fall foliage. Got a picture of my boys together. Sure do love that combo.
And at the end of all this there is a crafty project to show off. That doesn't surprise you, right?

When the kids and I returned from the pumpkin farm we painted our pumpkins with acrylic paints. I saw this idea of the bats on a white pumpkin in a magazine article my mother-in-law gave to me. Now I can't remember the magazine. Anyway, it was fun to pull out the paints and paintbrushes and create on the fly with the kids.

Won't be long until we're carving pumpkins now. Halloween is on its way!