Friday, December 31, 2010

A special baby quilt

This finished baby quilt is a particularly special quilt, as well as a difficult one to make emotionally. There was a little girl in our ward born a couple of months ago. From the very beginning she had health problems, and she ended up only living a little more than a month.
I wanted to do something for her parents to remember her by. During their struggles I really wanted to help but wasn't even able to make a meal for them because they cancelled that service the the day before I was scheduled to make one so that the mom could return to cooking, which was therapeutic for her.

I considered making a stuffed animal with the baby's name embroidered on it. But to be honest, I couldn't really get into that project. I still wanted to make something, I just wasn't sure what. I talked to my mom to brainstorm, and we agreed that something soft and cuddly that they could hold when they wanted to think of their daughter would be a good thing. I decided to make a quilt, because I definitely know how to make those!

I needed inspiration, and I needed to be able to do the project quickly because I didn't want to delay in giving it to the parents. So I looked on Etsy for ideas and found this darling quilt. I used those same ideas and inspiration in this quilt.

The back is a super-soft minky toile. The front is flannel, minky (from Joanns and Minky Delight's clearance section), and "snuggle fabric", as Joanns calls it. I decided against chenille like in the original, because I kind of hate the feeling of chenille, not sure why!

I used medium loft batting and wow, it's a thick quilt. I also sewed it up like a blanket instead of a quilt because I didn't have enough fabric for binding, and I like how it turned out. I still quilted it like a quilt though. The heart were done with my free motion foot. I've never used it on my new machine, and I really like it, but I still kind of boofed them up a bit. Not too badly, though!
It's about 30" square. I was originally planning something smaller, but the design kind of grew and grew.
I will give it to the mom and dad on Sunday. I'm a little hesitant. A lot of love and prayers went into this quilt, and I hope it helps their grief rather than causes them more grief. It's hard to know what will help people. But I definitely felt impressed to make something for them, and this is what came out, so I just have to have faith that the Lord will use my skills as a way to help them out.
I hope everyone has a Happy New Year. I have plenty of new goals and resolutions and I hope I can start off the year well. Next week stay tuned for another quilt for my brother, possibly some diapers, and a purse for my cousin.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas at our house

I tried to narrow down some pictures to post on the blog, but it was too difficult. So I've uploaded a picasa album and those of you who are bored or who love us lots can look through them all. I included pictures of Katrina playing in the snow this evening as we got a post-Christmas "blizzard."

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Christmas 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas Eve!

When the kids went to bed, we had minimal Christmas decorations up and only the little tree that fits on our dining room table. We stayed home from New Jersey today because Daniel developed my cold, congestion and coughing and all, plus a fever. I'm feeling mostly better, but have a hoarse voice. Daniel was fairly miserable. So we stayed home, he napped a lot, we played, ate Indian food, and watched a Christmas movie from Adam's childhood on PBS that told the Night Before Christmas and the Nativity story through marionettes. Both kids went to bed easily, with Katrina alternately parroting, "Santa coming over," and "NanaPoppop house." Then we got to work!
I think the kids will be suitably wowed! The effect is of course cooler when the lamps are off, but you get the idea.
Santa delivered stocking gifts.

And the tree is happily surrounded with presents.
And I included a picture of some of our other decorations because I really like them. I love my trees. :] I was supposed to buy one last year and this year but haven't really gotten around to it. But I will catch up and eventually have one for each of our Christmases together!
Now we are happily sipping hot cocoa with our room illuminated only by the lights of our tree, watching that classic Christmas movie, National Treasure 2. Okay, maybe not the most festive of movies, but we watched Muppet Christmas Carol earlier. :]
Tomorrow I will post pictures of the kids! Have a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

OK, done

I heard yells today from their room, mostly Katrina saying, "help, help!"
I guess she was cornered.
My wooden dolls are done! I finished the faces, which is my absolute least favorite park. Thankfully they weren't nearly as difficult this time. I have better paintbrushes and I wasn't nearly as concerned about getting things perfectly representative of the original person.

From left to right, Adam's mom, Adam's dad, nephew, nephew, Adam's sister, her husband.
They still need the final glaze but I will wait until I am positive the faces have dried completely.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A couple almost-finished gifts

I got most of my homemade gifts done in November, but there were a few stragglers. I made blocks for Daniel but didn't have enough orange fabric so that block didn't get sewn until today. I still need the hand stitch it closed.
Lots of fun fabrics.
And for my nephew I'm making more wooden dools like I made for Katrina. I've got all the easy stuff done; now I just need to do the faces.

Katrina has been sitting with me while I paint, painting her own pictures with acrylics. She loves it. I had two extra balls for heads and she had fun painting them. I should have taken a picture!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Almost Christmas!

I love this time of year. I am very excited for Christmas. Of course, there is still a bunch of things to do. I'm glad I finished a lot of gifts back in November so that I could concentrate on my Etsy shop in December, but now I have to rush to finish those gifts that I didn't finish. Sunday evening I was knocked flat by a cold. Yesterday was miserable and today is even more miserable. Adam luckily bought me sudafed this morning, otherwise I would be a pile of mush crying while the kids ran rampant. As it is, they still have been running rampant, but have actually been very good today. I dozed for about an hour and a half earlier, right around lunchtime, and they just played and watched tv and didn't complain at all about being hungry, which was unusual. I feel better now. And it's always nice to have the kids happy rather than crying. Daniel has been crying a lot lately, which makes me think his ear infection didn't go away. Hopefully his happy mood today means it's gone.

So now I just am trying to get the motivation to do anything. I would love another nap, but that will keep me from sleeping tonight, so I'm avoiding that. Maybe I'll wrap Christmas presents so we don't have to do those all Friday night. Or, here's a novel idea, maybe I'll go eat some lunch.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm still here

I'm still here. Nobody is sick! I've had orders every day for the last week and that makes me happy. :] I've sent off all the the Christmas gifts to family across the country. Tonight was a Relief Society activity that I helped plan, so having it over is nice. Tomorrow we are seeing Harry Potter! I have one purse almost completed and ten more business card holders in production. I have a t-shirt quilt for my brother to do. I have a quilt for my sister for next month. I have six wooden dolls to paint. I have treats for the neighbors to wrap up and deliver. I have presents for Adam' family to wrap up. I need to wrap all my kids' gifts. I have one lone orange foam block to finish sewing for Daniel's present because I didn't have enough orange fabric before. I have patches in two pairs of pants to do for my brother. I have an apartment that is messy again even though it was really nice and clean just a couple days ago. I have supplies coming in for a new line of product for my shop that I'm super excited about and I can't let distract me from my other responsibilities. I've got a husband who is completely bogged down with responsibilities at work. I've got three musical groups that I'm in with multiple numbers to perform on Sunday, all that need practice.

Whew. You may not hear from me much for awhile. Oh, and if you're interested, my bags are being featured over at Storibook Design and they are giving away several things, including a business card holder from me.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Variation on chicken enchiladas

I made a variation of my normal chicken enchilada recipe the other night and I want to record it so I can remember it in the future (recipe cards mysteriously disappear when Katrina is around).

Normal recipe: Mix together chicken, cream of chicken soup, water, onion, green chiles or enchilada mix (or both). Layer with corn tortillas and cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, leave in oven for 30 minutes.

New variation:
-1 family size cream of chicken soup
-1 cup sour cream
-little bit of water (not much)
-onion
-bell pepper
-tomato
-enchilada mix
-1 tsp chili pepper
-can of green chiles
Layer together with corn tortillas and cheese. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or so. Yum.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Playing Catch-up

The kids and I got out the door at about 8:30 this morning and didn't get home until after noon, so now that it's 2:00 and both kids are finally down for afternoon naps, I'm ready to curl up under my blanket, update my sadly neglected blog, and relax.

I think the last time I updated I had pinkeye? Well, the pinkeye is gone, nobody else caught it. Adam recovered from his stomach virus, I performed in the Messiah. I came down with the virus, Adam's mom had to come and take care of me while I recovered. Daniel screamed all that day and I suspected he had an ear infection. We took him to his year-old appointment and found out he had an ear infection in both ears. Everyone now is relatively healthy (fingers crossed).

So, let me talk about Daniel. He is a thriving and happy one-year-old. He was 20.75 lbs (18th percentile), 30.75 inches (78th percentile), and I can't remember his head. 26th percentile, maybe? Anyway, he's a tall skinny boy, apparently. I knew he had lengthened out, but didn't realize how much. Two inches in the last three months! The doctor said he is doing great. He pulls up on things a lot, has one word (happy, or "ha-EE!", though he also loves babbling mamama, dadada, and occasionally ah-choo), army crawls everywhere, loves throwing balls to us and retrieving them, and when he isn't sick, entertains himself fairly well by himself. In fact, I usually put Katrina down for a nap and leave Daniel on the floor in her room playing for a few minutes before I move him to our room for his nap. They get along so well.

He still can't feed himself, and so the doctor agreed with me calling Early Intervention. In all other areas he has slow and steady improvement, but he really needs to be feeding himself. So I'm going to call them.

I have some pictures. The first is Daniel in his crib. I promise he wasn't crying before I ran for the camera, but seeing Mommy leave the room set him off.


Katrina kissing him.
Yum.
Katrina has a really hard time lately getting to sleep before 2 for a nap. We'd prefer she woke up at 4 so that she goes to bed more willingly at 8, but she likes to take three hour naps, so that means we're always waking her up around 4:30, and she lays there like a slug or complains loudly when we try to get her up. Yesterday I gave her lots of time to wake up, turned her light on, talked to her from the other room, and finally went in to bug her while she stubbornly kept her eyes closed.
See her little garden of bunnies? Katrina has about eight bunny rabbits. I have no idea how we accumulated them all. Actually I do. I think most of them came from Easter. But she loves them and they often nap with her.
What finally got her out of bed was the sound of Daniel creeping down the hallway. For some reason, she perked up and started yelling, "Baby coming, baby coming!" I don't know what is so intimidating about him coming, but sometimes when he comes down the hallways she gets all frantic and tries to close the door on him. But who could close the door on this face?

He's a cutie these days!
Katrina gets attached to strange things. She loves the quilts I make. She calls them blankets and likes to sit on them. We've started sitting on "carpets" (usually handtowels) recently during Family Home Evening because that's what they do in Nursery during lesson and singing time and we want to help her get more used to sitting in one spot. Well, when I took out this table runner last night that I made last Christmas, Katrina was thrilled and wanted to turn it into a "carpet" to sit on. Then she decided it needed to go in front of her spot at the table.
I've been slowly sewing when I can. I've started offering card holders in my shop. Here are a bunch awaiting snaps.
See the picture in the left top corner? That is one of our family pictures. I can't remember if I mentioned that fiasco, but it was crazy and neither kid wanted to sit still. Somehow we managed to get a few good pictures. Adam switched out the pictures in the frames last night. That one used to have a picture of Katrina as an eight month old. Well, when she saw it, she was thrilled. She kept holding it and saying, "Picture of ME!" She stuck it on the floor and danced around it. Finally, she brought it to the table, stuck it directly in front of her placemat, and ate dinner with the picture staring right at her.
Well I either need to find my snaps somewhere under my mountain of craft stuff (my sewing area is exploding but I have nowhere to expand to), work on the leather rivets that I spent all morning looking for (I sold my basket weave purse from my shop but I wanted to put rivets on the handle it to make it more secure), or nap. Napping is starting to look like it will win! Oh, but I also need to get in a shower and wrap up Christmas gifts for Utah family members, wrap up the basketweave purse to ship, practice violin for a musical number tonight, and a few other things.
Oh, one last thing. My oldest brother has been dating someone for over a year, but I have never met her. It turns out she was going to be in town for a business trip, so two days ago we all got together for dinner. Katrina was fairly mild (she has almost always been an angel when going out to eat), Daniel was tired and hungry and done about five minutes in. Besides him, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and I was so glad to meet her. They will be getting married soon and I am so thrilled for them.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pinkeye, Parties, and Puking

(Lovely title, I know).

Wednesday I developed pinkeye. All evening I spent with my eyes irritated, watering, and gunky. In the morning they were glued together. I was able to go to the doctor and get some eye ointment, which stinks to put on because it makes my eyes even more blurry. 48 hours later I still have pink eyes. They are also mildly irritated. Less blurry at least, but I still feel like my right eye is messed up. My prescription has definitely changed and that worries me, because I didn't notice any difference until now.

This morning we woke up with a full day ahead of us. Messiah practice, visiting a nut shop, seeing Santa, and Daniel's birthday party were all on the list. However, Adam woke up puking. He's spent all day on the couch, has drunk a few ounces of powerade and that's all. I obviously couldn't go to Messiah practice, so I'm fairly worried about tomorrow. I really need all the practice I can get. I ran around a lot at midday doing errands, and finally decided to go to New Jersey by myself.

I also have to make invitations tonight for a Relief Society Christmas party, so I stopped by a couple places with the kids before getting on the road. Finally we arrived and had the party. It was lots of fun. Daniel was fussy at first, but eventually ended up having fun. Katrina had lots of fun running around with her cousin. The cake was The Snowman, which is one of our favorite movies.
The cake and tower of presents. Daniel shares his birthday with his grandmother, and his great-grandmother had a birthday this week too, so we had a grand celebration.
Eating a yummy dinner, grilled cheese sandwiches (perfect for a one-year-old) but made with fancy cheeses. Yum. Plus some awesome soup and tomato snowmen!
Close-up of the cake. Mr. Snowman cracked a bit when Daniel's cousin accidentally knocked him over, but he was patched up and still quite darling. Katrina has been talking about birthday cake for days. She remembers that we had cake at her aunt's birthday last month.
Daniel eating his cake and ice cream very enthusiastically.

Surveying the gifts.
Turtle pillow pet.
Blanket from my parents.
Bongos.
Hammering with his hammer.
Playing the bongos.
The party was great. It was a shame Adam missed it. He is still pretty out of it. Tomorrow should be interesting.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Funny Story

So Daniel has a problem sometimes with falling asleep at bedtime, waking up, and then staying awake for a couple of hours. Tonight he woke up when Katrina came to bed and kept babbling for awhile. I wasn't surprised and just left him in there. Well, at 10 he was starting to get fussy, and I went in to check. I had to groan when I saw under the door that their light was on. We usually remove the lamp so Katrina won't turn it on. As I walked closer the light snapped off, and when I opened the door, Katrina was laying in her bed. I picked up Daniel, and then Katrina told me there was a big mess. I said, "you made a big mess?" and she answered, "Mommy clean big mess." Ha. Well, I turned on the light, and sure enough, all the lotions and diaper creams from the changing table were laying in the corner. And trust me, we have a lot of creams. The funniest part was that there were also several washcloths laying around smeared with cream, as if she had tried to clean up her mess. I immediately called Adam and went to feed Daniel.

Adam cleaned her up. There luckily wasn't anything on the carpet, but Katrina and her clothes were covered. As Adam was putting everything away, Katrina insisted on helping. :]

I have had a crammed day, and I haven't even left the house. Lots of Etsy stuff to do. Between now and Sunday I have tons going on, with the Messiah and bag-making and stuff. In fact, it's 10:45, but I'm going to sew for another 45 minutes or so, even though I'm super tired. I just need to keep working hard.