Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sewing craft (that doesn't actually involve sewing!)


I came across this idea here a few weeks ago. I thought it was absolutely darling but figured it would be awhile before I could do it. Well, today I happened to be near the large Joanns down south and my friend was watching the kids for me, so I used the chance to pick up some plaques that were on sale and scrapbook paper too.
This one's my favorite. :] It was a cheap, fun project, and a nice change from actually sitting behind the sewing machine! I would have hung them up, but I figured Katrina wouldn't appreciate my hammering on her wall at 11:00 at night. So that will wait until tomorrow. I plan on hanging them in my little sewing corner in the living room.
Oh, so I found my memory card! It was in my pocket. So, I apologize to Katrina for wrongfully accusing her of stealing it!

One more thing--I found these almost exact same thing on Etsy for $30 a plaque or $100 for all four. Yeah, I'm serious. I paid about $8. So if anyone wants this same thing, I'll save you about $90 and make it for you, k?


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Playhouse

I guess I'm just in a bloggy mood (and Daniel is taking another long nap--I think it's a new habit!) so here's another one. This morning I took the kids to meet their Nana and Aunt and cousins at a playhouse in Philly. It's called the Smith Playhouse and none of us had been there before. It's free, and has both indoor and outdoor portions. This place was awesome. It had every cool toy and playground equipment you could think of! The biggest downside was the heat, and the building isn't air-conditioned, so Katrina had the reddest face. Daniel lasted about two hours and then he was done. As soon as I pulled away he conked out.

I used to get really stressed over driving to Philly by myself but it's not as big of a deal now. On the way home I even took a roundabout way and enjoyed the scenery and big houses. I'm proud of myself for getting to know a lot of back ways. I still won't drive around the city, but I can handle a drive to the zoo or somewhere else just off the highway.

So what to do tonight? Hmmm. I have a Kohl's gift card but haven't used it yet because of the drive and the kiddos. I think it would be craziness to try to take the kids with me but I'm really feeling the need for new clothes. I need new shirts, undershirts, a good pair of shorts or capris... Sigh. I might just have to keep waiting until Adam can come and watch the kids.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pajamas, Pajama!

Bad news--I lost my memory card for my camera. I distinctly remember taking it away from Katrina and putting it on the changing table. It's not there now, so she must have found it and taken it somewhere. This is super sad, especially because I just figured out how to take the thing off the end of the lens that was giving the picture a shadow every time I used the flash. It only took me a year to figure out. :]
Today we were playing in Katrina's room. She has very distinct opinions on what she wants to wear (usually a dress) and sometimes on what she wants Daniel to wear. Actually, I think I decided to put this coat on him.
He loved it!

Nom, nom, nom!
And what was Katrina wearing, you ask?

Only the coolest hat this side of the Mississippip, her winter fleece coat, and her Easter dress. Stylin'.
Tonight I decided to finish Daniel's pajamas that I cut out and started sewing maybe two weeks ago. I bought some really cheap knits off the clearance section of fabric.com. They are both thin, but one is super thin. I figured it would be great for some summer pajamas.

It's the same pattern I used for Katrina's cow and hippo pajamas. I remember how much trouble it gave me the first time I used it! It involved at least two calls to my mom and then Adam's mom had to point out what I did wrong so I could take the stitches out and fix it. This time it was a cinch.

Here's a close-up of the fabric. Not the coolest fabric ever, but cute still. It's actually not yellow, but white, that's just the cell phone camera. The biggest problem is one that I actually did anticipate, but still hoped wouldn't happen: the fabric is so thin that even with two layers of fabric and a layer of interfacing, when the snaps are put in, it strains the fabric too much when I try to unsnap them. So I only have one set of snaps in and I'm trying to come up with a solution of what to do with the rest. Velcro? I wish I had plastic snaps. They're used in diapers and I've thought about buying the snap pliers, but it's $30 and now that I've made so many diapers with velcro I won't get as much value from them. For now I'll probably just sew in velcro into the pajamas. But not tonight. It's 11:00, and I'm ready for bed.

Lefty or Righty and a few other things

I keep expecting Katrina to settle into being right-handed, but it has yet to happen. She continues to use her utensils in both hands when she eats. I think she favors her right hand most of the time, but I honestly don't pay attention very much. For some reason I think it would be really cool if she were left-handed, mostly because I associate left-handedness with creativity. But you know what would be even cooler? Being ambidextrous! Yeah, I think she should just be ambidextrous.

Morning #1 of no tv went well. I don't like lying, but tell Katrina that the tv is broken is so much easier than telling her that she can't watch it. She just accepts it and moves on to play with something else. I did decide to allow her to watch Toy Story or another movie on the computer if she wants to (so I can get a break from constant playing!), but only one each day. We used that up this morning. I think this evening I'll try to pack everyone up and get us out of the house. Hoorah for breaking the tv addiction! Now if I could just break my internet addiction...

So my embarassment is complete--I have had three phone calls from people asking me if I'm all right after our church display. But more than being embarrassed, I'm just grateful people care. I had a friend bring me dinner and groceries last night, so I can put off my big shopping trip until payday, and then another sister really wanted to help me so she's coming over to watch my kids while I do that shopping trip solo later on this week. It's so nice to have people care. And while it's easier to say: "No, thanks, I'm fine," I understand what it's like to be on the other side and really want to help, so when this sister told me that she and her young son had a goal to do some service every week, I decided, why not? I have been dreading this shopping trip and with her help it will be much easier.

This week, as soon as my correct pattern arrives in the mail (I bought it too small, unfortunately), I will be working on two pioneer dresses for my friend. I also have a few finishing touches on another cycling jersey but those need to wait until Adam gets home. I have two pairs of pajamas cut out for Daniel that I keep putting off but I really need to finish because he's busting out of his current pajamas. I also found a project that I want to do next that I'm super excited about. I have a nice long list of projects but sometimes I find something that I want to do so badly that it immediately gets bumped up the list. I will be making my own version of this wall hanging. I just absolutely love it and the symbolism. I've been wanting some sort of religious art in our bedroom and I think this will be perfect. I will be using my own wedding colors and I bought some bridal satin (because I don't want to cut up my dress!). I've never quilted with curves, so it will be challenging and fun. For the center I want an embroidered Salt Lake Temple, so I will either buy one of those handkerchiefs at Deseret Book or I'll try to master the art of embroidery just well enough to embroider my own.

I love, love, love doing new crafts! It always takes me 20-30 minutes to fall asleep at night, so I sit there planning out my crafts. Of course, then during the day, when I actually have a chance to work on them, I often am lazy and things get put off far more than they have to. I tend to craft in spurts. It's just so much easier to be lazy! Tonight I'm really going to try to finish one of the pairs of pajamas, or even both, since I don't think they're that difficult.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ugh

It was like a perfect storm: I woke up ten minutes late and we ended up ten minutes late to church. Adam is camping today. We had to sit in the foyer until the Sacrament was passed, which meant Katrina wandered around having fun while I held Daniel and whispered at her to come back. After the Sacrament we went inside and the room was packed because apparently the two Valley Forge wards are having their building fumigated today. The only place for us was sharing the front row. My visiting teacher scooped Daniel away from me, leaving me with just Katrina. The front row is the absolute worst spot for her because it is right next to the stairs. Sure enough, I had to take her out three times because of stair-related tantrums. Daniel was fussy too, so my vt was outside walking him. A big problem with taking Katrina out is that by the time she's in the foyer, she gets distracted from the reason she was crying and then when we hold her on our laps while she cries, I guarantee she's mostly mad that she can't get down and the reason she got taken out of Sacrament meeting is completely lost on her. I tried to talk to her about staying away from the stairs each time (because she was climbing up onto the stand and talking to the bishopric) but then she headed straight to them each time. Finally I had it. I told her the next time she wouldn't listen to me we would go home and she wouldn't get to go to nursery. By this time I had a big headache. Well, she lasted longer, but five minutes before the meeting was over the whole cycle started up again and so I packed up our bags, picked her up, and grabbed Daniel from my friend in the hallway.

I know this sort of thing happens to everyone, but I feel bad for giving up. I also try to not get embarrassed when I have to take her out repeatedly, but today I couldn't help it. I just felt like such a failure. And I'm not asking for everyone to tell me "you're not a failure!", because I know I'm not, but I just need to vent a bit. We've been dealing with this with Katrina for nearly a year and it felt like things were getting better. But today she had absolutely no concept of "talk quieter, use your whisper voice, be quiet, stay away from the stairs, be reverent, hush sweetie, stay by the bench" etc. It really feels like she should be able to get it by now, and that I'm doing something wrong. It's also the reason we normally sit in the back row, away from the stairs, and close to the door, so the whole ward doesn't have to be distracted when I carry her out screaming. Everyone tells me "oh, this is such a hard age," but none of the other kids her age are like this. And I've seen them in nursery, they're normal kids, not all little angels, which makes me think it's my parenting strategies that are not working.

I was so upset that when we got home and she immediately headed to the remote and asked for the tv, I decided to implement our plan for cutting down on tv, even though I was going to wait another week. I went over and unplugged the tv, and then told her it was broken. My goal is to keep the tv "broken" for an entire week. I don't know if I can mentally handle it, but I think it's necessary. I have some lazy parenting habits and I want to break those habits and break her reliance on the tv while she's still young. Before Daniel was born she only watched an hour a day, half an hour when she woke and half an hour before bed. After a week or two of no tv, I might try letting her watch in the morning and evening again, but maybe not. I'm still undecided on whether she can watch movies on the computer or not this week.

I also did a big no-no and got mad at her and punished her when she pooed in her pants. Usually I don't make a big deal, I just change it, encourage her to use the toilet next time, tell her it's gross and she agrees. This time I got mad and put her in time out. Sigh. This is going to be a long week.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New bag

So I bought the fabric for this bag yesterday, cut it out during naptime, sewed all the pockets and pieces last night, and assembled it today during naptime! There was a crazy thunderstorm going on and our lights kept flickering. Adam came home and said that his coworker who lives near us had a tornado go down his street and knock a tree over onto his house. Crazy!

So here is my bag! Overall I am satisfied. It was fun to design and make. I got the general look from this bag and others like it from that seller on Etsy.

The sides snap and unsnap for a smaller or larger bag.


Here's a little pocket for my keys or cell phone. It needs velcro or a snap though.


A little slit pocket for my wallet and chapstick.


Okay, so the inside is really not this bright, but it didn't show up well enough without the flash so I had to use it. It's a much prettier red. I used ripstop nylon because I really liked that in my last bag. I also used leftover foldover elastic from making diapers because it's so much easier than making an elastic casing. Unfortunately I only had green.

It also has stroller straps, which will be so awesome. I need to add snaps still but there wasn't time because the kids got antsy.

Here is said antsy child.

Yep, he's a cutey.

Here it is stuffed with my things. Plenty of room for the cloth diapers, the sippy cups, snacks, extra clothes for my pottytraining child, and I can even stuff in even more stuff.

So there you go! Hopefully this one will last me longer than the last ones!

I will be sharing this with Show N Tell at Blue Cricket Design. Strut Your Stuff at Somewhat Simple, and Sew & Tell at AmyLouWho.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

All through the night...

After a series of sleepless nights and increasingly difficult days for me as a result, Daniel slept eleven hours straight! I couldn't believe it when Adam's alarm woke me up at 7 am. Then the milk everywhere and the extreme pain reinforced the fact that he had gone to bed at 8 and only woken briefly when we came to bed. I am still basking in the glow of seven hours straight of sleep! I hope this happens again soon, as in, tonight! And every night afterwards! Maybe we'll actually be able to move the kids in to their room together! Whew. I better not get too excited lest tonight be like two nights ago--waking up every two hours.

The main reason I haven't been posting in awhile except for my crafts is because each day is a haze of sleepiness, cranky Daniel, yelling Katrina, hours of tv, and me feeling listless and lazy. I already feel better today, which shows me how important continuous sleep is. Adam and I are trying to get to bed at 11 or earlier every night, which we failed at last night because I was sewing another cycling jersey for him. But if we can be in bed at 11 and Daniel sleeps until 7 or so, I think life will get much better for me, my perpetually trashed house, and my kids and husband who haven't been getting decent meals each night for awhile.

Today has been interesting--I took the kids with me to Joanns this morning, which was difficult as always, but I got some fabric and was able to get it all cut out during Daniel's nap. Daniel slept an hour and a half for his nap, which is a rare occurrence! Since we all got up earlier this morning I put Katrina in bed at noon, and she fell asleep quickly and woke up at 2:30, which is when she often goes down for a nap. Luckily she is having fewer tantrums than normal. Also, I figured out a trick for keeping Daniel happier for longer--stripping him down naked! He never really liked laying on the ground until I started doing that. I'm hoping he'll start rolling around more and maybe even trying to crawl.

So I hesitate to tell you tonight's sewing project, for fear you will all roll your eyes at me. But I will anyway, since I'm very excited about it. It is-----a diaper bag. Yes, I'm making myself yet another diaper bag (the third since Daniel was born, if you're counting!) because although I loved the most recent bag and Adam though it was super cute, it wasn't holding up to the job. It's good for short to medium trips, but I can't really stuff it with more stuff if I need to. So I'm going to create a bag that takes a lot of inspiration from this bag on Etsy. Don't worry about that other bag--I really like it and plan on making more and selling them on Etsy, so it wasn't a waste of money. In fact, each of these bags have cost me between $15 and $20, so they're not exactly bankrupting me to make. And the skills I am learning are so helpful with my goal of selling things on Etsy in a few months.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

I was so excited about today. I have a history of being pretty lame with birthdays and other celebrations, so I really wanted to spoil Adam. However, he bought some rollers last week for his bike and so I told him that was his Father's Day gift. But then I got him stuff anyway and finished a project I had been planning for awhile: this tie!
It was super time-consuming. My fabric didn't arrive until Friday, so I had to work on it all last night while Adam was in the other room averting his eyes. It involved lots of ironing and handsewing. Here is the link to the pattern I used. The pattern calls for cotton fabric and two kinds of interfacing, but instead I bought some silk off of Etsy (so hard to find silk that would work for a tie!) and used the interfacing from one of the ties Adam didn't want anymore.
Adam is picky about ties, but he was very happy with both the color and thickness, and super appreciative of the work I put into it, so that made the awfulness of our children all day worth it to me! :]

This was the rest of his present--a bucket Katrina and I decorated at playgroup, candy, soda, a spoke wrench (that made him happier than anything else because I voluntarily went to a bike store and bought a tool for him), and a tie that the kids helped me decorate. Apparently Daniel has reptile hands. Adam wore the tie today to church. :]

This darling girl peed on me during a tantrum today, which cut short our meetings.
This little boy was fairly cranky. Which is normal. Sigh. Adam spent his Father's Day accutely reminded of all of the challenges of fatherhood.
Anyway, Happy Father's Day to my favorite fathers, my own dad, Adam, and Adam's dad, as well as the other men that inspire me, like my brothers!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Six month visit

Daniel had his six-month checkup today. He seems to be just perfect, as the doctor always says! He is almost 18 pounds, and is in the 50th percentile for weight and head circumference, and 68th for height. I asked about teething and she said his bottom gums look a little swollen. Could that be why he has been so cranky the past few days? Who knows with Daniel. Today was actually a really good day for him. He also seems to be consolidating his naps to just two a day instead of three, so now that I've realized that, maybe I can avoid some of his crankiness. We went to playgroup today and that was really nice to spend time with other ladies and make a Father's Day craft. Plus, Daniel is always really happy when we go to new places.

I decided to try some alternative teething remedies. I have heard some great reviews of amber teething jewelry for babies, so I bought a necklace for Daniel and a bracelet for Katrina (because she will pitch a fit if he gets jewelry and she doesn't). The theory is that the succinic acid from the amber soaks into the baby's skin and it's a natural pain reliever. The necklace is made so that the beads are all knotted separately, and even if it breaks and the baby eats a bead, they are small enough to swallow and not choke on. And if the necklace gets stuck, the clasp separates to keep them from strangling. Anyway, it gets here in a few days and we'll try it out.

So I have some good news. My friend who commissioned me to make her yoga bags is now paying me to make her pioneer clothing for the trek she's going on with the youth next month. I'll be making her two dresses, a bonnet, bloomers. This should be a little tricky for me because I'm not used to making adult clothing from patterns. The pattern says it's not a difficult pattern, so I hope that's true. I'm going to try to finish the rest of Adam's cycling clothes this week before her pattern arrives in the mail. I had to turn down her friend who also wanted clothes, though, because I think I would have a hard time with the pressure of all those clothes. I'm just not that great of a seamstress (really!) and it takes me awhile to figure out new things. I still feel a little bad for saying no to someone, but I think I'll be happier just concentrating on one person's stuff. I feel really honored and happy that someone wants to pay me to make them stuff. Every new project increases my skills and rounds me out as a sew-er. Sew-ist. Whatever it is I am!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Birthday Bug Quilt

Well I have finished my nephew's birthday quilt! He turned one on Sunday and we celebrated it on Saturday. I didn't have the binding done for his birthday, but I've just now finished and decided to take some pictures quickly before I had to get the baby from his nap.
Katrina decided that it was an awesome new blanket to sit on and I had a really tough time getting pictures without her in them.
Here it is! I got the idea from this Wonky Squares Quilt on Etsy. My sister-in-law and mother-in-law picked out the fabric, and the main fabric they picked out had a bunch of little squares with bugs. I cut out the squares and appliques them onto the quilt front. I added a little square of batting behind each applique to make them stick out a little.


The back of the quilt is just as fun, or more so, than the front! I decided to make bug appliques with minky and satin fabrics. I found some ladybug minky fabric online and just had to buy some.
Isn't it so cute! The quilting was a little tricky--I had to quilt around the appliques on both the front and the back. It makes for some cool patterns.





I was worried about how this quilt would turn out but now I love it so much that I'm sad to give it away! I'm so glad it's going to my family members and I'll get to see my nephew grow into it.
I will be sharing this with Show N Tell at Blue Cricket Design. Strut Your Stuff at Somewhat Simple, and Sew & Tell at AmyLouWho.

SYS Thurs