December 22, 2012

A Little of This and a Little of That

Ahh! Here I am back at my computer with uploaded pictures and enough energy to write a little. Feels good. As of last week little miss is sleeping through the night! What?! I know. I know. I didn't think it was possible at 2 months either, but it's happening and I am a better person because of it! She's doing a solid 8-10 hours. Crazy!

She started smiling about two weeks ago. What a joy! There's nothing like that first smile that helps get you through the sleep depravity, screaming and poopy diapers.

Yesterday we were just talking about what a good baby she is.  That was a mistake because today she gave us a run for our money. Wow. Lots of screaming around here. Hopefully we get back to "good baby" before we travel for Christmas. We'll see.

I've been fitting in a little bit of crafting/sewing here and there during the last month - mostly because it helps to keep my head on straight. It tends to be my little escape from the more responsible things in life (i.e. dishes and laundry)

Two weeks ago I designed Christmas cards/birth announcements. I sent them off to to get color printed. The price was fantastic and the quality was just what I hoped for! I cut and folded them this week and finally got them sent on Thursday. Hopefully they will arrive to their destinations by Christmas.

We had a blizzard roll through on Wednesday night. So, we got a couple of days with Jesse home from work. Yay! With a little extra help with the kids I spent a bit of time putting Ellie's memory book together. My mother-in-law purchased a book from the same etsy shop where I purchased Jude's. The books is a perfect combination of scrapbooking and journaling - not too much of either. I love writing down my thoughts about pregnancy, anticipation, arrival, etc. I look forward to the day when I get to read through them with the kids too.

Lastly, I have to share one of the coolest gifts ever! A gal from our church gave us this gift:

snowman accessories! How cute is that? It came in this adorable bag:

We tried to go outside today to put our new gift to use, but the snow was a little too dry. Plus Ellie was screaming, so the timing wasn't quite right. Hopefully we can use it soon!

I totally recommend this gift if you still need a creative idea for a family. The contents of the bag include a scarf, a hat (not pictured), two buttons for eyes, five buttons for a mouth, a carrot, a pipe and a heart. The buttons and the heart are attached to short dowels that can be poked into the snowman so they stay in place. I might be late to the party, but I have to say I've never seen this idea before. It's SO cute!

October 23, 2012

She's Here!

Our sweet girl arrived on Thursday, October 18 t 8:32 a.m. She was 7 lbs 12 oz and 20.5 inches long. It took us about a half hour of staring at her to decide on her name - Ellie Ann.  We chose Ellie just because we like the sound of it. We think it's perfect for her. We chose Ann because it's special to us on both sides of the family. Ann (with no "e") is Jesse's Grandma's first name and my twin sister Emily's middle name.

We arrived at the hospital at 6:00 a.m. to prep for c-section and we were in the operating room by 8:00 a.m. The anaesthesiologist was fabulous and kept my nausea to a minimum. I felt good (well ... as good as you can) and alert throughout the surgery.

At 8:32 a.m. the doctor pulled her out and we heard her cry for the first time. The beauty of that sound made me cry. She is such a blessing to us!

My recovery is going really well - even better than last time.  I have my Mom in town for the next two weeks helping to keep some level of organization and normalcy to the household.  She is so good at playing with Jude, cracking jokes, driving us around and keeping the laundry and the dishes going. It's really nice to have her here.

I took a few pictures of miss Ellie today. I'm definitely no photographer, but I enjoyed snapping pictures of a new little model. (Jude is probably enjoying the break too.)

Speaking of Jude . . . he is adjusting pretty well so far. He is mostly oblivious to Ellie's presence in our home.  He has at least learned her name, which is a step in the right direction. At first, he was calling her "Bennett", which is Emily's new baby's name.  Apparently all babies are named "Bennett". In a rare moment yesterday I did spy him make a brief stop near the swing where she was sleeping (while he thought no one else was looking) and gently pat her on the chest. Made my heart melt.

The rest of us can't stop snuggling her and kissing her. We're thoroughly enjoying our new little addition.

October 15, 2012

Room is Ready

Today I finally feel ready to show off little girl's room. There are probably little details here and there that I'll be adding, but it's as ready as it will ever be to hold and comfort a new little life.

This is the view from the door. The color scheme is coral, orange and yellow and the main fabric in the room is a dark coral linen. I'm kind of obsessed with this fabric. If I wasn't using yards of it for the crib skirt, glider and changing pad I would be draping myself with it and wearing it everyday. The depth of the color is fabulous. And, of course, you can't go wrong with linen.

The crib is a recent craigslist purchase - I really love the style.

We're borrowing the glider from our fabulous neighbors. I just need to recover those cushions. (Good thing Mom comes into town tomorrow!)

I made the crib skirt using this tutorial. The crib bumper is the same one I made for Jude (so classic - I knew I would love it just as much the second time around). The knitted blanket was a lucky garage sale find - it's so cozy and cute.

This is the view our little one will wake up to every morning. I think I should hang them over my own bed. They're so cheerful and happy. I purchased the Martha Stewart coral pom poms on sale at Hancock. Then, I made the yellow and orange in the same dimensions to match.

This is just a funny idea I had in my head around the same time I was spending time in my garage painting poppies. Essentially it's a combination of a 1x6, 5 beer bottles and some coffee filter flowers. I like what it adds to the room - makes me smile.

We got lucky and got this lovely dresser on craigslist.  It even came with a mirror that we'll be using to replace the one in the bathroom. Two birds with one stone - love that! I painted the dresser yellow and added the new hardware.

This is the same mobile I hung in Jude's room. I found some paint chips in my color scheme and changed the mobile to match the room. After I completed it I wasn't so sure about it - the ombre effect I was going for didn't turn out like the vision I had in my head.  When Mom was in town, though, she convinced me to hang it, and she was totally right. Plus, the changing table is the perfect place for it.

The other side of the room houses a whole bunch of books and my favorite piece - the poppies painting. The painting is rather heavy so it makes the most sense to hang it over the bookshelf (rather than the crib or changing table).

On the bookshelf is a series of Childcraft books given to us by Jesse's Grandma. They are fabulous! Not only are they beautiful they also have vintage-y cool stuff inside.  They're kind of like encyclopedias for kids. I really love flipping through them. I hope little girl will find them fun to read someday too.

And the rest is just a hodge podge of pregnancy/parenting books, children's books and a tiny little "love" print I made last week.

We're so excited to welcome our new little girl. I can't wait to snuggle her, kiss her and tell her how beautiful she is. Only 3 more sleeps!

October 9, 2012

Super Why

I'm so excited to show off the Halloween costume I made for Jude recently. This year we were deciding between Cat in the Hat, Curious George and Super Why, which are all of his PBS favorites right now. Although, Super Why is the less commonly known of the three characters he truly is Jude's #1 favorite right now - he calls him "Tu-Wa Why" - so, we're going with it.  Only parents of other preschoolers will know the character, but that's okay.

He makes a good superhero, doesn't he?

I'm proud to say I made this little outfit for $7.50. Pretty good for a Halloween costume, right? I started by printing out the logo and then traced the main shapes onto blue and white felt. I top-stitched them onto the front of the shirt and then added yellow stitching for the "star" effect.

I used my homemade long sleeve tee pattern for the top and the "everyday leggings" pattern from Growing Up Sew Liberated.  What I like about this costume is that minus the eye mask, cape and underwear it's really just a pair of pajamas that he can wear all winter long.

The eye mask is just two pieces of felt top-stitched together. He refuses to wear it so far - we'll see if he comes around by the time Halloween is here. I'm not banking on it.

Can you tell we've already got a lot of raking to do? This is only just the beginning. And, lucky Jesse, I'll be of zero help this year. Poor thing.

Jude's enjoying the leaves in the meantime. What a sweet, funny boy.

The cape is my modification of this tutorial. I don't really like the collar to the tutorial's cape, so I just made some binding out of the blue knit and sewed it to the top. Easy peasy.

The "underwear" didn't come out exactly as planned - it's a little poochy. But, I'm too lazy to go back and fix it. I tried to follow the guidelines of an online tutorial, but it didn't totally work out. Seems like the sizing is just off. Oh well. He's still rocking the superhero-ness of it all.

"Who’s got the power?
The power to read.
Who answers the call for friends in need?
Super WHY!
Super WHY!"
He’s the guy, he’s Super WHY!

October 8, 2012

Birthday Backpacks

I love this pattern! There is something about a toddler wearing a backpack that makes me smile. I've made three of them recently, but only photographed these two.  (Lazy with the camera again!)  The first one (no photo) I sent along to my darling little niece, Jane, who just turned three.  I used a fabulous DwellStudio pink and green animal fabric in home decor weight and lined it with pink polka dots. Turned out so cute!

These two were sent to my little nephews, Thomas & Matthew, who just turned two and one. I used leftover gray linen from last year's bedding project. I printed out the letters and then used the freezer paper painting method to add them to the backpacks.

I lined them with a steel blue gray and I'm loving the combo - so sleek and simple for little boys.

Happy birthday, kiddos! We love you so much and wish we could have celebrated in person with all three of you!

October 7, 2012

Christmas in October

The amount of sewing going on around here is a little ridiculous. I'm pretty sure that the term "nesting" this time around really just means "excessive sewing with knits". Sure there have been bouts of sorting clothing, decorating her room and scrubbing hard water stains with a toothbrush, but I'm telling you the other 90% of nesting is done at the sewing machine. Here's one of the latest projects: matching Christmas pajamas.

If you've been around this blog for a little while you might be aware of my now three-year-old tradition of making pajamas for the kid (now kiddos . . . yay!) to wear on Christmas Eve. (year one) (year two) A couple of months ago I got illogically concerned (i.e. crazy pregnancy hormones that make you do and say semi-ridiculous things that seem perfectly normal at the time) that I might not feel up to making jammies once little girl was here, so I decided it made the most sense to make these in the middle of August. Seriously, pregnancy makes your brain weird.

I came across this totally cute striped knit at Goodwill.  It's quite flimsy and delicate.  I'm not sure how long these will hold up, but it's so classic and lovely I couldn't help it. There was just enough to whip up a newborn nightgown and some two-piece pajamas. I should have taken a closer picture of the nightgown because I added some tiny little gathers to the front center. (I'm so lazy with the camera sometimes . . . maybe if you click on the picture and squint your eyes you might be able to see it.) Anyway, it turned out really cute and girly - I love it!

Then there's the place where I had to sew up a hole in the top of the shirt because I hacked it while trimming the neck ribbing. Oops. Can you see where the second stripe is misaligned? Nice.

So, here's the belly at 36 weeks. We're getting close now!

September 29, 2012

Upcycled Tees

I've been sewing almost exclusively with knits around here recently. I'm having way too much fun! This was the first of the knit projects I took on this summer.

I originally painted a small gray t-shirt back in the day. (Love that skyline!) It was too small over time, so I cut it up for Jude last summer and finally finished it a few months ago. The length was too short this year so I added a scrap white t-shirt hem to the bottom.

He wore it a lot this summer. I made up the pattern so my neckline and arm holes are a little wonky.  Eh.  Oh well.

Next up was a light blue, textured cotton t-shirt I picked up at a garage sale this summer. The color was just too fabulous to pass up! I turned it into a long sleeve tee (my own pattern) for fall/winter wearing. It's been perfect to pair with both summer shorts and fall khakis.

This is his new "cheese" face.

What a cute kid ... cankles and all.

Jesse just cleaned out his closet, so we've got several long sleeve tees in the queue too. Stay tuned.

September 23, 2012

Puppy Jammies

I'm still here! I have plenty to write about, so I hope to get some blogging done this week. This week marks 36, which means we have only three weeks to go! (I'll be having a scheduled c-section at 39 weeks.) I'm getting bigger by the second. Note to self - I should take a belly photo soon.

I've been puttering away. The weekends have been lazy and perfect for a nesting pregnant lady. I feel guilty that I'm not out "doing" anything, and I have to keep reminding myself that I'm enjoying myself just as much by staying home and preparing this place for change.

The project list has varied from necessary nursery finishes to ridiculous projects that I'm wasting my time on but can't seem to help myself. This one falls into the latter category.

Remember the puppy print from Bennett's gift? I had extra and couldn't help myself but make a pair of jammies.

I made up the t-shirt pattern based off a pair of jammies he currently has. I had to finagle the size of the neck opening a bit (i.e. finish it, hold it up, laugh at myself, cut it off and try again), but other than that it came together easily. The pajama bottoms come from Sew Liberated's "everyday leggings" pattern in her book, Growing Up Sew Liberated. I added cuffs to the bottom, which make them more pajama-y and less girly (I think). Jesse hasn't made any snide remarks, so I think I succeeded.

By the way, I'm totally getting better at sewing with knits. It's crazy fun to have the stretchiness working to your advantage and not hanging all loosey goosey. Amazing what a little practice can do!

August 29, 2012

John Deere Room Tour

After many months I finally have a toddler room to show off! Sometime last year Jesse mentioned he would like to do a John Deere inspired bedroom for Jude. That's what I get for marrying a corn-fed Iowa boy whose family has a long history working for John Deere. It's a good thing he's cute.

The John Deere theme scared me because all I could imagine were images like this and this. Bless those people and their John Deere love. I just don't get it. So, I tried my best to stay true to the theme, but dial it down a bit.

I started by painting the room in gray stripes. Yes, they are the same gray stripes you're seeing everywhere these days. I like them. They're allowing me to have a kid-friendly look on the walls without overwhelming the room in yellow or green.

Adding the crates was fun. I think they add a nice rustic farm look while still being functional.

The lamp is from his nursery - I just painted it yellow. The globe was a $3 find at a garage sale this summer. I spray painted it's stand in oil-rubbed bronze.

The chalkboard is my favorite garage sale find ever. This baby was only $9 and I bought it about two blocks from my house. I made my sister-in-law carry it home with me. Poor thing. There's nothing like walking through your neighborhood trying to act normal while carrying a HUGE chalkboard. It was totally worth it. Someday I might sand and stain the stand.

Yes, we did get the green and yellow into the room, don't worry. I painted the letters on the wall. The light fixture was already conveniently in place, which made it a fabulous place to hi-light the logo on the wall. Jesse wanted to use the 1950s logo. So, I made up a process of printing out each letter, tracing them onto the wall and taping around them in order to get them on the wall. It was fairly time consuming, but worth it in the end.

I need to add some more Iowa or John Deere knick knacks to the second shelf and we'll likely switch out the dresser at some point. Slowly but surely.

We got his twin bed from Jesse's brother and his wife. They're donating it to us for the time being. It's a perfect toddler bed because it is so close to the ground.

I put together the bed skirt using the crib skirt pattern from Amy Butler's Little Stitches. It's just plain kelly green. Then, I used a sheet set to put together the comforter and sewed in a piece of the same kelly green that I used for the bed skirt. It's not quite done. I need to quilt it and bind it, but I hate that part so I might wait for Mom to come into town to motivate me to finish it.

I'll also add a pillow to the bed that has the John Deere logo on it. That will help bring the theme to this side of the room.

Oh, and lastly, here's the laundry hamper I picked up at TJ Maxx. I love it. Emily bought the same one for Bennett's room and after I saw hers I just knew that it would be perfect for Jude's room. Isn't it cute?

You know you're 30 when you get excited about the style of a laundry hamper.