A short post lacking in detail as I try to wrap up posting my 2009 projects.
New Traditions December 24, 2009
I love decorating for the holidays. I have my favorite decorations that I look forward to uncovering out each year – the cross stitch santas, handmade paper holiday cards too pretty to throw out that I’ve framed, special ornaments, the crocheted Christmas tree angel. To me, these items bring up fond memories of family members and celebrations gone by and these items are now like old friends whom I get excited to see even before we open the storage crate.
L’s first birthday is just a few short weeks before Christmas. As we prepared for her FIRST birthday party (YEAH! She’s ONE!), I wanted to create a special decoration that could be pulled out and displayed year-after-year. I’ve loved the birthday buntings that I’ve seen on Etsy and around the web and decided to create one of my own.
I purchased a Fabric Central Refresh fabric bundle on a whim awhile ago. I fell in love with the nature prints (leaves, flowers, butterflies) and the color palette of soft blues, greens, and browns. The colors are a little mature for a first birthday, but I think that its quiet sophistication will help it “age” over time.
I cut the letters out of white fabric that I had in my stash. I ironed on paper backed fusible web and then traced letters which I printed out to use them as a stencil. I ironed on and sewed around each letter on the front half of the bunting before sewing together the front and backs together. The finished size is about 4.5″ x 5″. I finished the banner by sewing each letter on cotton bias tape 1′ apart.
I’m really happy with the finished product. It hung in our living room for a whole week before L’s party and I became more excited to celebrate the milestone birthday each time I passed it. I’m excited to have this project completed and in our stash of decorations. I know that when we pull this out each year that I will fondly remember L’s first birthday and be amazed at how she’s changed.
Happy 1rst Birthday, L!
Dear Santa December 17, 2009
I know it has been years since I wrote you a letter listing all of the wonderful things that a girl could ever ask for. It’s been so long, in fact, that I’m not sure snail mail is even delivering to the North Pole anymore. I trust that you are a technology wiz and will find my little wish list here in blogland. See, I really want very few things this year. I could ask for a new sewing machine or a dedicated sewing area, but that doesn’t seem reasonable to ask of you right now. I would, however, love to make a quilt this upcoming year. See, I have this vision of making a quilt for our living room – one for every winter holiday. My ongoing project.
I spied the L’Amour fabric by Sandy Gervais over at the Fat Quarter Shop and I think it would be perfect for a Valentine’s Day quilt. Isn’t it pretty? Can’t you imagine snuggling under a quilt made of this fabric one cold February night? I’d really love to have find the L’Amour fat quarter bundle under our tree on Christmas morning. I know, I know, Valentine’s Day is not your holiday, but I thought I could start with this one while I improve my skills and search out the perfect fabric for a Christmas themed quilt. So, what’cha think? I promise I’ve been good. Very good! I promise to set out cookies and milk for you and a carrot for Rudolph like I did all those years ago.
PS – L looks forward to hanging her stocking, reading ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, and waiting on the top of the stairs until you’ve finished your good work – it will be her first Christmas doing those things!
L wearing the pair knit by my mom (left) and the original pair knit by my great-great aunt (right)
This pattern has a bit of family history to it. My great-great aunt knit a pair of these booties for me when I was born. My mom loved these booties because they were the only thing that I couldn’t kick off my wiggly feet. I dressed my Cabbage Patch Kid in these booties throughout my childhood. Somehow, despite my using them as doll clothes, my mom saved them for when I had a baby and they were still in excellent shape. Last fall, before L was born, my mom looked high and low for the pattern and she was able to find it thanks to Ravelry’s pattern database. She gave us the original pair from my great-great aunt as well as a new blue/green/purple variegated pair she knit. I can attest that these booties are kick-proof, a definite sanity saver to a new parent. We dressed L in these booties almost exclusively last winter and into the spring.
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet – 1 skein each of colorway #10 (blue/maroon/dark green) and #13 (blue/pink/purple)
Needles: Set of 5 size 3 dpns
Size: 0-3 months
Gifts for: Baby Boy PSC and Baby Girl AGM
Modifications: On the blue pair I continued the 4 row/4 row knit purl pattern on the top of the foot so it continued the whole way up the booties, just as my great-great aunt had done on the original pair. For the purple/pink pair I made eyelets on a diagonal across the top of the foot and spiraling up the leg. I liked modifying the details for each pair – it not only makes each individual, but it also kept me interested! Hopefully these booties are helping to save the sanity of the new parents this winter.
New Parent Sanity Savers December 8, 2009
Most of our friends got married around the same time. So, as expected, we find ourselves at the start of a baby boom right now. And with numerous expectant first time parents comes numerous baby showers! I have found that my ideas of an appropriate baby gift has changed since becoming a new parent and, thus, I now give everyone my “New Parent Sanity Saver Kit” containing a swaddle blanket, booties (details to follow), and burp cloths, as well as the frequently overlooked but very useful diaper bag items (stain remover, pad of paper and pencil).
Wanting to make the items a bit special and individual, I’ve been having fun creating burp cloths by dressing up your standard cloth diaper, which we found to be the softest and most absorbent of all of the burp cloths we used.
I added the animals on each of these using the same technique as I did for L’s nursery art, sewing around each before attaching the panel to the burp cloth. I did find that the size of each diaper differs ever-so- slightly, making measuring each one separately a necessity.
For the third set I used scraps from a coordinating project (to be discussed here in the near future) and pieced them together in a faux quilted look.
I hope the recipients enjoyed this personal touch. I know that at least one set has been put to use. Thankfully these are a pretty quick project and therefore easy to whip up for a baby shower.
Reentering the blogosphere December 2, 2009
The last time I posted was July? Really? That doesn’t seem possible. I recognize that my blogging has been sporadic at best this year, especially since returning to work after maternity leave months and months ago. Being a new and working mom has left me with little time and energy to be creative. When I do find the time, though, I’d rather be crafting than blogging about crafting. I hope that you can forgive me. I do find a little bit of time most evenings to cuddle up with my project du jour and I’m finding plenty of inspiration on the web and Ravelry. And, with a backlog of projects to blog about, there should be regular blog posts to look forward to in the weeks to come! Stay tuned for the coming attractions…
As a side note: Sew Mama Sew is kicking off the Season of Giving by hosting a Giveaway Day. They coordinate one day where anyone with a shop or blog can give something away. It is amazing how many creative people there are in the world! Take a moment or two to enjoy clicking around the participanting sites. Who knows, you may find some inspiration for your next project.
Beach Safety July 9, 2009
Hello out there!
I haven’t blogged in so long that I’m not sure that I still have readers (did I ever have readers?). Having a (now) 7 month old in my life has really slowed down my crafting and blogging about my crafty endeavors, yet has put sunshine in my life in so many ways. Never-the-less, I have been (slowly) working on some projects that I will share shortly. And, despite my disappearance from the blogging world, I have been READING blogs. That is a lot easier to do than finding the time to write about your own crafting adventures.
One of the blogs that I regularly read is that by earthchick. She annually reflects on the day that her cute little son disappeared from the beach to be found buried in the sand (alive, thank goodness!). He had fallen into a hole dug into the beach. I actually discovered her blog shortly after she first wrote about this event, which tore at my heart. It tugs at my heart strings even harder now that I have a baby of my own to look after.
I feel as though information about water safety is everywhere and in the forefront of everyone’s mind when visiting the beach. Apparently sand hole collapses are more common that one may believe and the majority of them result in death. There are a few things that you can do to prevent such a tragedy from occurring:
1. When you arrive at the beach, always check for nearby holes left by others and fill them.
2. Do not dig holes any deeper than knee height of the shortest person in your group.
3. If you dig holes, fill them before you leave (the hole earthchick’s son had fallen into had been left by another party).
4. Make sure that the others that you go to the beach with know that holes and trenches dug into the sand can be dangerous and that they should let an adult know if they see any such holes.
Hopefully by spreading the word around the blog-waves we can prevent a tragedy from occurring.