Friday, April 29, 2011

Cone of Shame - Part Two

Okay, so remember this?


She's had her stitches removed and it's healing well.  I took the cone off her yesterday because she was doing a good job of leaving the ear alone and was constantly bashing the $#*&^ collar into everything - including my legs.

But what's even more pathetic than our dog Sophie in an E-collar?


Our cat Otto in one.  A couple of weekends ago he was acting odd and we took him to the vet who confirmed our suspicion that his bladder was blocked.  It was so bad that they had to (boys, you might want to skip the rest of this sentence!) remove his penis.  Yup, the berries went when he was a kitten, and now the twig is gone too.  Dave had several moments of silence in his honor.  Even after the penisectomy (not sure what else to call it...), it was still touch and go because he wasn't able to empty his bladder on his own and his kidney function was really poor for a bit. 

He's home now, and in the collar most of the time.  We have to take it off for him to eat, and then we try to give him some time without it but he keeps on trying to lick his nether region so back on it goes.  Say it with me now - poor, poor Otto!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Prize Sponsor - Artsy Tina!


Okay Ladies (and of course any gentlemen who care to play along), the prize sponsors who have been rolling in so far are amazing, but I am super excited about this one - she's one of my AXO sorority sisters and she's incredible!



Tina is an elementary art teacher by day, but she's so talented and keeps crazy-busy all the time with photography, murals, and custom canvases.

Yup - the Arden canvas is for my daughter - and I'll be ordering another for Baby #2!

Tina has agreed to make a custom name canvas which will go to our grand prize winner!  You give the color palette, theme, and name and Tina does her thing - amazingly well!  I had a crib bedding set and she matched the theme and colors perfectly!  If you're interested in a custom name canvas and don't want to rely on being the winner - leave me a comment and I'll put you in touch with her.
Feel free to grab a button from the sidebar to help promote this fun competition series - let's get the word out!

Prize Sponsor - Dear My Kids Easy Wear


Amazing prizes are rolling in now!  I'm so pleased by the responses I'm getting!  Here's your next amazing sponsor:



 
Karen from DMK Easy Wear Etsy shop responded that she would love to give out 3 patterns to her shop -ah, but how will the winner choose just three?  The winner of the Mother To Be - Maternity category will have that difficult task!

Dandy Boy's Shawl Collar Cardigan, Me & Mom Super Comfy Wide Leg Cropped Pants
Ruffled Wrap Pinafore Dress, Trendy Unisex Pea Coat
Dear My Kids will show you how to make simple yet trendy and elegant, proving that making clothing for kids doesn’t have to be too complicated!  Dear My Kids also has a blog featuring patterns, giveways and promoting Etsy shops.

The winner will be able to begin creating cute clothes for their new little bundle of joy - be it a boy or a girl - or even a Me & Mom matching outfit!  Feel free to grab a button from the sidebar to help promote this fun competition series!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mother to Be, Being, Been - Prize Sponsor Sew Sweet Patterns


Things are starting to get exciting for this competition!  I'm getting some great responses from prize sponsors, and have some superstars lined up to provide inspiration to get your creative juices flowing.  Here's your next amazing sponsor:


Angi from Sew Sweet Patterns Etsy shop responded that she could certainly provide a 3 pack of sewing patterns - the winner will have to make the difficult choice from all the amazing patterns in the shop - there are way more than three that I've got my eye on!  The winner of the Mother Been - Postpartum category will reap the benefits!

Elsie Dress, The Boys Shorts
Sophia Tunic Dress, Goldie Dress

Sew Sweet Patterns specialize in clothes patterns for girls, dolls and even a few for boys! Each computer drawn pattern includes step by step pictorial instructions, a glossary of sewing terms and ALL sizes listed in the description of each pattern.

So once you're done making something for your Mommy body, you can make something for your little one with these amazing patterns!  Feel free to grab a button from the sidebar to help promote this fun competition series!

Mother to Be, Being, Been - Prize Sponsor Lil Boppers


I've been contacting prize sponsors to reward the contestants in Mother to Be, Being, Been and the first responder was Lisa from Lil Boppers!


Lisa at Lil Boppers Etsy shop makes handmade baby burp cloths, eco friendly breastfeeding pads, bibs & more. She's agreed to provide a set of nursing pads to one lucky winner in the Mother Being - Nursing category!

WHOLESALE Washable Breastfeeding Nursing Pads Eco Friendly -  20 Pads

These adorable pads are washable and resuable breast and nursing pads in cotton with soft and comfy flannel.  There are 4 layers total - 2 layers of 100% cotton flannel, 1 layer of warm and natural cotton batting and finally 1 layer of 100% cotton. This makes the most absorbent pads and they wash up the best.

So start dreaming up your designs for maternity, nursing, or post-partum fashions!  Feel free to grab a button from the sidebar to help promote this fun competition series!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mother to Be, Being, Been at A Jennuine Life


Are you pregnant and needing to expand your maternity wardrobe?  Are you nursing and tired of expensive or ill-fitting nursing wear?  Or have you recently had your little bundle of joy and are trying to hide the post-partum pooch?

Beginning on Mother's Day, May 8 - A Jennuine Life is hosting a competition for Mothers to Be, Being, or Been where you can link up in weekly "trimesters" under maternity, nursing, or post-partum projects for a chance to be one of nine (get it?) finalists.  The finalists' projects will be voted on, and the winner will receive some fabulous Mommy prizes!

I'm lining up some amazing inspiration pieces from notable bloggers and working with sponsors for the prizes.  This is going to be really fun, and I'm excited to be hosting my first competition!

Feel free to grab the button and display on your blog to promote the competition!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Getting Ready for Easter

Yesterday we had a pretty activity-filled day.  In the morning, Arden and I went to Target to get all of our Easter supplies.



Then after nap, we "Egged" two of our neighbors!  This is a fun idea similar to Boo'ing where you hide treat-filled eggs around their yard and then leave an egg carton with a fun poem explaining what's up.  I'm personally not a fan of the chain letter aspect of some of these, so I omitted the part about passing along the treat - here's how my poem went:

Look at that! You’ve just been EGGed!
But do not be alarmed.
We came, we dropped, we ran away…
Your house, it was not harmed.

So what is this before you now?
Just an early spring surprise.
Be quick and look around your yard…
Twelve EGGs lay in disguise.

A secret friend has just dropped by
To share some spring time treats.
Days ‘til Easter aren’t much more…
Aren’t surprises sweet!


Arden had such a fun time hiding the eggs - she kept saying "Happy Easter" and "bye-bye eggs" when we were hiding them.  We missed seeing one neighbor gathering her eggs but she called the next day to thank us.  For the other Egging we got to watch the neighbor kids hunting them down, though there's one by the back door that we can see from our breakfast nook that they missed!


After we Egged the neighbors, we came inside and dyed our eggs for Easter.  Arden does a pretty good job of leaving the dye alone and I cover her up with a bib, so no major messes with this activity.  The hardest part is to keep her from dropping the egg from great height and cracking them while splashing the dye all over!

Are you doing any fun Easter activities?  Do you let your little ones dye the eggs?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Every Occasion Dress - Banded Apron


If you missed the first post for the Every Occasion Dress and the Ruffled Apron - check it out here.

This totorial is for the second of the two interchangeable aprons - the Banded Apron.  This one is even easier than the Ruffled Apron since there is no gathering involved.

Every Occasion Dress - Banded Apron
Skill Level - Beginner
Items Needed -
Fabric - 1/2 yard main fabric and 1/3 yard coordinating fabric
Coordinating thread
Buttons
Sewing machine
Iron

Dimensions given are for a 2T apron.  Adjust accordingly to get desired size - though the dimensions would probably work well for a pretty good range of sizes.  Sew with a 3/8" or 1/2" seam allowance; keeping the same allowance throughout the project.  I used a 3/8" seam allowance.

1.  Cut Fabric - My cuts were 7.5"W x 6"H for the top, 6"W x 7"H for the bottom, 2 pieces cut 4" x 25" for the sash (cut angles at the edges to make an angle for the end), and several 1" strips for the bands around the bottom and top.


2.  Sew Top and Bottom Bands - The photo is labeled Do As I Say Not As I Do because I overthought this step for this version and changed the order of attaching the bands thinking this would work better.  It didn't.  Press your 1" strips in half with wrong sides together (WST) and sew to the top of the top piece and the bottom of the bottom piece with raw edges aligned.  Finish edges.  Trim bands to line up with the outside edges.  Press bands to the outside of the pieces.

3.  Sew Side Bands - Since I had to get a bit creative with mine since I did it out of order, there's no photo for this - sorry.  Open one end of your pressed 1" strip and fold 1/4" inside then refold it closed.  Align this edge with the bands attached in step 2's outside edge of the piece and align raw edges as in the Top and Bottom Bands in step 2.  Repeat with all four sides.  Finish edges.  Trim the bands to line up with the inside edges.  Press bands to the outside of the pieces.

4.  Finish Edges and Topstitch - Finish the edges of the bottom of the top piece and the top of the bottom piece using a serger or a zig-zag stitch.  Topstitch close to the edges of both pieces.
5.  Make Sash - This step is pretty self-explanatory, so no photos.  Sew the short straight sides of the two pieces together with right sides together (RST).  Press the seam open and then with RST and edges matching, sew from the outside edges to near the middle leaving a gap for turning and then continue sewing from near the middle to the other edge.  Turn right side out through the gap , press, and topstitch around the entire sash near the edge; closing the opening left for turning.


6.  Attach Top and Bottom Pieces to Sash - Pinning from the top and lining up the inside edge of your finishing stitches with the topstitch line on the sash, attach the top and bottom pieces, making sure the centers of the sash and both pieces are in line.  Stich in place over top of the topstitching on the sash.


7.  Add Buttonholes - 4.5" apart from center of the top of the apron, and just below the toptitching.  Normally, I would add a little interfacing behind since this is only one layer of fabric, but it's only holding the top of the apron up and I didn't think it was needed.  You can add the interfacing if you'd like.


Button the top part to the dress and tie the sash around your little cutie's waist and you're all set for any occasion!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Every Occasion Dress - Ruffled Apron


This tutorial has been a long time in the making!  This dress was from my final entry in Project Toddler Runway - The Personal Challenge.  I was able to get a friend's daughter to model the dress for me, but in order to use her, I had to rush the construction of the dress and the aprons and wasn't able to take photos for a tutorial.  When April from Wildflowers and Whimsy approached me about doing a giveway for her Spring Fling, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to make another dress and get the photos for a tutorial.


I decided not to do a full tutorial for the dress, since I covered the construction of the collar and sleeves in the tutorial for my Arden Refashioned Shirt Dress


There are a few main differences - I used a back closure (originally I did buttons on my version, but it turned out to be difficult to get on and off, so I switched to a zipper for the giveway version - much easier!), so I had to split the collar in the back, I made it an a-line dress measuring about 18.5" long, and then added a 2" ruffle at the bottom.  You'd want to keep the fabric for the dress pretty simple to keep your options open for the aprons.


Then, to attach the interchangeable aprons, I added buttons to the front 4.5" apart and just below the collar.

So here goes with the first of the two interchangeable aprons - the Ruffled Apron:

Every Occasion Dress - Ruffled Apron
Skill Level - Beginner
Items Needed -
Fabric - 1/2 to 2/3 yard
Coordinating thread
Buttons
Sewing machine
Iron

Dimensions given are for a 2T apron.  Adjust accordingly to get desired size - though the dimensions would probably work well for a pretty good range of sizes.  Sew with a 3/8" or 1/2" seam allowance; keeping the same allowance throughout the project.  I used a 3/8" seam allowance.

1.  Cut Fabric - My cuts were 6.5"W x 7.5"H for the top, 9.5"W x 6.5"H for the bottom, 4" x 45" for the sash (cut angles at the edges to make an angle for the end), and strips 2.5" and 1.5" for the ruffles on the bottom and top.


2.  Round Ouside Edges - of your top and bottom pieces.  I used a drinking glass to do mine, using the larger circumference to cut the larger rectangle, and the smaller for the top or smaller rectangle.


3.  Ruffles - Create your ruffles by pressing the strips (sewn together as needed) wrong sides together (WST) and running a gathering stitch along the raw edge.  There are many ways to ruffle; I did mine using the longest stitch on my machine and changing the tension to 7.  You could also run a basting stitch and hand gather, or use a ruffling foot.


4.  Pin Ruffles - Matching raw edges, pin the ruffled strips to the outside edges of the right sides of your top and bottom pieces.  Stitch in place; stay stitch at beggining and ends.  Finish the edges using a serger or a zig-zag stitch.


5.  Press and Topstitch - Press the ruffles to the outside and topstitch close to the edge of the top and bottom pieces.

6.  Make Sash - This step is pretty self-explanatory, so no photos.  With right sides together (RST) and edges matching, sew from the outside edges to near the middle leaving a gap for turning and then continue sewing from near the middle to the other edge.  Turn right side out through the gap , press, and topstitch around the entire sash near the edge; closing the opening left for turning.

7.  Gather and Finish Edges - Finish the bottom edge of the top piece and run a slight gather along the top edge of the bottom piece; finish this edge.


8.  Attach Top and Bottom Pieces to Sash - Pinning from the top and lining up the inside edge of your finishing stitches with the topstitch line on the sash, attach the top and bottom pieces, making sure the centers of the sash and both pieces are in line.  Stich in place over top of the topstitching on the sash.


9.  Add Buttonholes - 4.5" apart from center of the top of the apron, and just below the toptitching.  Normally, I would add a little interfacing behind since this is only one layer of fabric, but it's only holding the top of the apron up and I didn't think it was needed.  You can add the interfacing if you'd like.


Button the top part to the dress and tie the sash around your little cutie's waist and you're all set for any occasion!

UndertheTableandDreaming

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ugh...

Sick Pregnant Woman

As if having a cold isn't bad enough, having a cold while pregnant really blows.  I've got a real doozy going and since the remedies at my disposal are limited to Sudafed, Tylenol, and cough drops, I'm feeling pretty miserable with a deep cough, sinus pain, runny nose, and congestion.

I had big plans to begin sharing a tutorial for the Every Occasion Dress since I finished up the giveway version yesterday and took all the appropriate photos along the way.  We'll just have to see how I'm feeling tomorrow since I'm planning a really early bedtime tonight.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Knitting for Baby


Since I spend most of my spare time on the sofa anyways, I figured it was about time to start knitting for baby #2 due in October.  (I'm not a very fast knitter!).  Since we won't know the gender for another couple of weeks, I thought this pretty teal would work either way.  I had a medium grey in mind, but I think this will turn out even prettier!


I want to make another one of these - I know, this one is gender neutral also, but I want this baby to have something that was knit for her/him specifically as well.  Plus, this one was a little larger, though it fit Arden from about 9 months with sleeves rolled up until around 18 months.  I want to make one that would fit at around 3 months or so.


The pattern is from Debbie Bliss' Simply Baby and it's the Cable Yoke Jacket.  This has been an incredibly versatile jacket, and has traveled all over the place and was usually stashed in her diaper bag in case it got cold.  I made two other sweaters, a hat, and socks from this book, and they all turned out great!  It's a prerequisite of mine that if I'm going to buy a book, there needs to be at least three designs I'm dying to make in it.

So... is it early nesting, or have I been inspired by Comfy Sews vs. Cozy Knits going on over at luvinthemommyhood and on her new site for the series Versus?  Hmm...  You decide!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cone of Shame

If you've seen the movie Up, then you know of what I speak.  If you haven't - what are you waiting for, it's really funny for adults and kids alike!  Anyways, many of the characters in the animated movie are dogs that can talk through translators on their collars, and one of the dogs has an e-collar which is referred to as the "cone of shame" throughout the movie.  Hilarious!


We are having our first experience with the cone of shame at our house.  Laser and Sophie were playing chase in the yard Sunday night and Laser bit Sophie's ear, causing two cuts and a missing chunk out of her right ear.  Let me tell you - floppy dog ears bleed a lot and it gets everywhere when they shake their heads!!  I had blood spattered across my face, on the wall, curtains, etc.  I'm sure I'll be finding little spatters for quite some time.

Ears and tails are apparently among the worst injuries for dogs - they're loose and can be re injured easily.  With the ear the blood supply comes from the top, so they had to trim away all the damaged parts, effectively performing the same surgery as an ear crop - though a much smaller portion.  She spent one night with her ear bandaged to the top of her head in addition to the cone of shame.  She was not a happy camper, as you can see in the photo.  It's pathetic how she runs into stuff and looks around all bewildered.


Arden is fascinated with Sophie's cone and "boo-boo", trying to touch her and kiss her.  One side benefit of all of this is that I think we might have gotten the point across to Arden that biting is not nice.  The explanation to her goes something like "Laser bit Sophie and gave her a boo-boo and she has to wear the funny hat and is sad.  That's why we don't bite our friends."


Today we got the bandage removed and Sophie seems a little happier without that.  You can see the healthy chunk out of her right ear in this photo.  She'll have to wear the cone for 10-14 days, so we're supposed to have the sutures removed on the 20th.  It's going to be a bit of logistics until then, as we can't really have Laser and Sophie together outside because she's supposed to have only light activity and leash walks and Laser doesn't at all understand that she can't play (nor apparently that he's the reason).  We also don't feel comfortable leaving them together in the house while we're at work all day, so we'll have to confine one of them to the basement - I vote for Laser, since he's the weenie who caused all this grief!

A little background on Sophie is that she was a rescued dog we adopted in 2008 before Arden was born to be a companion for Laser.  She was billed as a Lab/Great Dane mix, but she's likely purebred Lab - just from a tall and lanky breed line.  She had been wandering around during the winter apparently starving and started hanging around a nursing home.  They started leaving food for her and eventually got her to come close enough to be caught.  She's a super sweet girl, but the only non-retrieving Labrador I've ever run across.  This might explain why nobody was looking for her - if she was meant to be someone's bird dog that had no interest in bringing a bird back, she might have been left or allowed to wander off.  She has this amazing vertical leap - literally head high to my husband's 6'5".  We'll go to pick her up at daycare and she's just bouncing away behind the 3' tall x-pen ignoring that she could easily clear it if she wanted.  She's pretty high-strung in certain situations; bouncing up and down when we try to put the leash on for walks.  She also doesn't bark - she "whoops".  She's also super snuggly and I'll grudgingly admit she makes a very nice nap buddy (I hate that she gets on the bed sometimes.  I'll kick her off, but Dave just lets her get her snuggle on.).

So, anyone having any challenges in their life right now?  How're you dealing?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Big Girl Bed


In preparation for baby #2's arrival, we ordered a toddler bed to free up the crib for the new nursery.  It arrived a couple of days ago and I put it together in the evening while Dave was putting Arden to sleep.  The plan was originally to wait a little bit, but we had shown it to her a couple of times and she seemed excited about it, so I decided to try it out at naptime today.


Immediately she started putting all her dolls and bears "to bed".  Her hand is right over a naked Albert Einstein doll - yes, my husband really is that uber-geeky!  He has a lab coat and a little diaper with E = MC2, but Arden tears off his clothes every time she asks us to dress him - along with the Sophie doll at the end.  Somehow it seems profane to have a nude Albert Einstein around the house, or am I just being silly?


Then she covered everyone up - very securely, and patted them down just to be sure!


Checking to be sure everyone is still there!


And then crawling in and checking it out for herself.  I think she likes it!


So as I'm writing this, she's upstairs with Daddy getting ready for bed.  We'll see how she does, but the crib is still right next to the toddler bed and we can just move the mattress and all the bedding over if it looks like she's going to have trouble.  We have a couple of advantages in this process:  1.  She naps on a cot at daycare, so she's used to sleeping without a crib, and 2.  She's always been a pretty adaptable kid - travels well, and does well in new situations once given time to take in new surroundings.  She slept for her usual length for her nap and when I heard her rustling about, she was just starting to get up and out of the bed.

Part of me is so super excited that she's growing up and I'm so proud of her for doing so well and part of me wants to keep her little and sleeping sweetly in the crib forever.

I might sneek upstairs and take a couple of shots if she's asleep and update this post - we'll see how she does!

How about you - have you transitioned your little one to a big kid bed?  How did it go?
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