Monday, April 30, 2012

Shirt Rescue

Remember the shoe rescue I performed on a pair of adorable ballet flats that wouldn't stay on Arden's feet?  Well, it seems I have a thing for saving nautical-inspired items from Old Navy...

I really wanted to participate in Elsie Marley's Kid Clothing Week Challenge, but you know I've been up to my eyeballs in nautical signal flag banners.   I did take an hour or so to whip this up, and so now I bring you... Shirt Rescue!

This great navy and white striped shirt has seen better days - the sleeves and neckline were stained and I couldn't get them out no matter how hard I tried.  Plus, the sleeves were pretty short on my little sprout.

So I grabbed some red fold over elastic (FOE) and red felted wool from my awesome February package pal Ellen from Creative Passage and got to work!

I cut the sleeves and the neck binding off, cut the neckline lower and used the FOE to enclose the raw edges.  Then I cut an anchor out of the felted wool and applique'd it on.  I like to break all the appliqueing rules out there and just pin and sew without any stabilizers cuz' I'm wild and crazy like that!  So far, it's always turned out pretty well.  Of course, now I just jinxed myself...

I also whipped up a cute headband using scraps from the arms, some of the felt and FOE and a couple of buttons.  But SOMEBODY won't try the outfit on to take pictures - something about it not being warm enough to wear a shirt without sleeves.  This is coming from the girl who was pretending to go swimming by stripping off her clothes and putting on a diaper cover I was packing away.  Maybe I can bribe convince her to do it in the next couple of days.

Linking up to these great parties:
Mondays Making the World Cuter Monday – Making the World Cuter Just Something I Whipped Up – The Girl Creative Party Blog Made By You Monday – Skip to My Lou Do It Yourself Day – A Soft Place to Land Craftastic Monday – Sew Can Do Making Mondays Marvelous – C.R.A.F.T. Market Yourself Monday – Sumo’s Sweet Stuff Creative Me Monday - The Southern Institute Tuesdays I Made It Without My Hubby – Shanty 2 Chic Sew Cute Tuesdays – Creative Itch Anything Related – All Things Related Tot Tuesdays – My Delicious Ambiguity Tute-in Tuesdays – Oops, I Craft My Pants Take a Look Tuesdays - Sugar Bee Craft Edition Shwin&Shwin Wednesdays We Did It Wednesdays – Sew Much Ado Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice - Seven Thirty Three Show & Tell – Blue Cricket Design Show Me What Ya Got - Not Just a Housewife Your Whims Wednesdays - My Girlish Whims Thursdays Strut-Your-Stuff – Somewhat Simple Make It, Wear It – The Train to Crazy It’s Stinkin’ Cute – Sew Stinkin’ Cute Show Off Your Stuff – Fireflies and Jellybeans Making It With Allie - What Allie's Making Now Pinspirational Thursdays - The ArtsyGirl Connection Fridays Furniture Feature Friday - Miss Mustard Seed Weekend Wrap Up Party – Tatertots and Jello Feature Yourself Friday – Fingerprints on the Fridge Friday Fun Finds – KojoDesigns Weekends Check Me Out Saturday – A Vision to Remember Show and Tell Saturday – Be Different Act Normal Sunday Scoop – I Heart Naptime Sunday Showcase Party – Under the Table and Dreaming A Pinteresting Party - Tutus & Tea Parties Sunday Roundup - A Rosie Sweet Home

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Friday, April 27, 2012

I Pinned It! 4.27.12

Happy Morse Code Day!  This day remembers the birthday of Samuel Morse, the inventor of the Morse code.

What? You were expecting I Pinned It!?  It's coming, but I wanted to share with you a little hint about one of the products I'm planning to add to my Etsy shop - Morse code pillow covers.  With the popularity of the nautical signal flag banners, I thought these would be a fun decorative item to stock.  I'm planning to make a few ready-to-ship items saying things like "SIT" or "DREAM" and then also make reserved listings available. 

What do you think?

Okay, so now onto cool stuff around the interweb...  I haven't had much spare time for pinning this week, so pardon if it's a bit light  *** Please, please, pretty please, click back to the source before pinning any items from this post***

I spotted this fab nursery stats pillow while daydreaming how my banners will look when listed at One Kings Lane.  Super cute!  They do lots of other cool stuff, too.

Who doesn't love an adorable (and easy) mini dessert?

Sorry folks, that's all for this week.  I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with flag production and then there will be the fun of Blog-A-Pal-Loosa coming up!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Document Baby's First Year in Photos

In case you missed my guest post over at A Vision to Remember, here it is!  I had fun rounding up all these ideas to share.
I have two beautiful daughters (not at all biased, am I?) and I've enjoyed taking photos of my girls to show their changes and development over time.  I thought it would be fun to round up a few ideas to capture baby's first year in pictures:

{Same place, different size}

This is the method I've chosen to document my younger daughter Hadley's growth, and pretty much how I did it with my older daughter Arden.  With Hadley I take her picture on the same quilt I made for her each month.  I had a happy accident at first and now show her in similar clothing for each quarter.  I'm excited to see the full twelve photos in just over six months from now!

Katy from No Big Dill has been picturing her little boy Drummer (after five girls!) on a large-scale calendar each month.


And on Mom*tog, little Kennedy has her picture taken by her photographer mom Drew each month in a chair with balloons representing the passing of the months.  Super cute!

{Same clothing, just a little more snug}
Get a cute 12 month onesie and start taking pictures each month from newborn to one year - a good friend of mine did this with her daughter, and I think she can still get the onesie to snap at three!  She's a mighty mini so this may not work as long for everyone, but it is a neat way to capture progress in pictures.

{Label it}

There are multitudes of shops selling labels to put on a onesie for monthly pictures - some friends of mine are fans of PickySticky.  Just stick a sticker label on a onesie, and snap a picture!

Miranda from One Little Minute had a great idea to document her pregnancy with a shirt stenciled with 40 weeks and a weekly photo showing her progress.  After she delivered her adorable little boy Eliot, she upcycled the shirt into a romper.  I love this idea - and I could see it translated so nicely into a 12 month onesie numbered 1-12 and marked off each month in the photos!

{What an Imagination}

Adele got creative when her daughter Mila fell asleep on a purple sheet and thought she looked like a fencer.  She took that spark of inspiration and created adorable vignettes of what she imagined her daughter might be dreaming.  The series of photographs became so popular, she received a book deal and When My Baby Dreams became available in January.  There's a calendar in the works as well!

{A Picture a Day for a Year}

For those truly motivated people out there, how about taking a picture every day for a year?  A bit much for me, but this resulting video is super fun to watch!

I hope you enjoyed my little roundup and I hope you are able to capture wonderful memories of your little's growth and development!

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Little Like Alexander

Today I'm feeling a little like Alexander from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  Hubby Dave is out of town and bless his heart, he boarded the dogs so I don't have to deal with them and they don't have to be satisfied with yard time instead of a walk for several days in a row.  But it just feels like every little annoying thing that could go wrong in the last 12 hours has done so:
  • The "off" switch on Hadley's monitor stopped working, so I spent 20 minutes taking it apart and diagnosing a tiny piece of plastic which had broken, and wouldn't go back together with glue.  So, I tuned both girls' monitors to the same station which leaves them both sort of static-y.
  • I've been standing at the cutting dining room table working on nautical flags for long stretches of time and my right hip and back are very unhappy about that.
  • Hadley is teething something fierce which means she's waking up more than she normally does.  She's such a good-natured baby that once I deal with her teeth she's not upset, but she plays with her pacifier and babbles loudly, keeping me awake even longer.
  • Arden woke at 6:15 this morning and could not be convinced to go back to bed, so instead of getting 20 minutes to get myself ready and fed and all my bags (computer, pump, milk for daycare, purse) dropped in the car, I got to entertain a preschooler.
  • Hadley woke early as well, so I had to grab the closest clothing and try to feed her with Arden practically sitting on my lap.  Hadley's been very distractable while nursing lately, so she didn't finish and I had achy boobs until I got to work and pumped.
  • During drop off at daycare, I was talking sort of animatedly with Miss Jackie and somehow tweaked my neck.  Yes, I can injure myself while talking.  I'm just that skilled.
I know there are way worse things than a litany of annoyances, but I'm really hoping my day improves.  I'm most of the way through a giant cup of coffee and I might even see if I can grab a nap around lunch time so keep your fingers crossed.

On the flag front, I've got 20 banners completed, and another 20 backs cut.  I got the final quantities and dates from One Kings Lane and they're fine with 40 banners by May 7, but if I can get another 10 they'll take them as well.  That extra 10 banners was a pretty nice weight to have lifted off my shoulders.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

I Pinned It! 4.20.12

** Don't forget to play nice and click back to the source before pinning any images from this post. **

I try not to feature too many projects from "the big girls", but this Sweetheart Dress from Shannon at luvinthemommyhood is just too sweet to miss!  L-O-V-E the heart cutout on the back!  Backless on a little girl is just soooo adorable in my opinion - maybe that's why I love my girls in pinafores so much.

The pictue is from Our Best Bites for a dessert wonton, but Things That Sparkle used the photo as an inspiration to make little nuggets of heaven from crescent rolls, Nutella, and cinnamon sugar.

These pina colada pops look amazing, and only 117 calories apiece!  These could be fun to make while we're in Florida visiting my parents...

Are you beginning to see a trend?  I mostly pinned stuff to my Sweet! board this week.  What's that saying about me, maybe I'm a stress eater?

And leaving off on sweet note of a different flavor - this sisters shot is definitely on my shoot list in the imminent future.  How cute is this?
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Guest Post at A Vision to Remember

Today I'm guest posting over at A Vision to Remember during Bobbie's maternity leave.  I thought it would be fun to round up a few ideas to capture baby's first year in pictures, so go check it out!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Checking In


Some news I'm excited to share is that I'm going to be participating in a group giveway!  See the cool animated button above and on my sidebar?  A group of bloggers got together and formed a bit of a Blogger's support group called Blogger's Unite and some of us are going to host giveways for 14 days in May from the 6th through the 19th.  Keep an eye out for it - it should be full of a great assortment of goodies since there are all kinds of bloggers participating.  If you're interested in donating a prize in exchange for promoting your blog or shop, let me know!

And on the flag making front a.k.a. Flagmageddon - I'm hangin' in there, folks.  I have another batch of flags almost done, which brings me up to 20 banners or 80 flags.  I'm hoping I can get a couple of days or parts of days dedicated to production and jump ahead a bit.

On the days I work it pretty much goes like this - get home from picking girls up from daycare/preschool, get dinner for Arden ready and Hadley spoon fed, hubby Dave usually gets home right about time to sit with Arden while I get Hadley ready for bed and breast fed.  Then I work on flags from about 7 PM until 10 PM when I get bottles ready for the next day's feeding and pumping.

On days I'm home I can usually get a good hour when both girls nap to work some more, and a few minutes here and there while they're occupied or Hadley is napping.  I've found I can sew or turn flags without a problem while Arden is around, but I can't really cut the pieces out - she's way too interested in the rotary cutter and mat.  Then the evenings are the same with a good chunk devoted from 7 PM until after 10 PM since I don't have to get stuff ready for the next day.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Production Line Sewing

I mentioned the other day that I've learned a few little tricks while sewing in volume for a wholesale order of my nautical flag banners.  Some of these are completely no-brainers, and others maybe will save you some frustration if you find yourself sewing a lot of something like for a craft show or other event.

1. Work in batches.  I know, not rocket science but there's the whole economy of scale aspect where you aren't moving one item through the whole process.  But, we're human so I would say work in manageable chunks or batches so you don't end up going insane doing one thing over and over and over and...  I've been doing 10 banners at a time, or 40 flags, and that seems about right.  Plus, then you're not trying to find space for 400 of something, and you're not wrecking your back cutting for hours on end.

2. Cheat.  This one I may have learned the hard way.  By putting a couple of pieces of tape on my quilting ruler, I don't have to remember that I'm cutting 3.8" x 11".  I don't like my seam ripper any more than any of you, so I'll take some tape on my ruler.

3. Take thinking out of it.  I needed to start and stop with enough space to get my hand in for turning, so I put more tape on my sewing machine to remind me where to start.

4. Wind an extra bobbin.  Every time I switched thread colors, I would wind a second bobbin so I didn't have to rethread my machine when the first ran out.  Now I finally understand why there could be a market for those sidewinder thingies.  Still not enough of an incentive for me to get one, but I get it. 

Sort of along with this tip is to finish all the pieces of one thread color before switching to the next. 

5. Cut corners.  I had one piece that needed to be 5.5" x 5.5".  Hello, new 5.5" x 5.5" quilting square.  I'm still cutting strips 5.5" wide and then using this baby to cut them down to squares, but it saved me a little more time.

6. Press.  This is another one that goes without saying, but pressing makes such a huge difference in the quality of a finished product.  I press before and during cutting, and again after turning.  If you're sewing a project with seams, you should press each seam as you go.

7.  Do what works for you.  I sometimes shuffle tasks a little if I've been sewing or cutting for too long, so I can sit on the sofa and watch a program while turning and pushing corners.  I'll set little goals and if I'm starting to go batty sewing I'll step away or do a different task for a while.  Like writing a post for my poor neglected blog.  Now back to the grind!

Do you have any tips you've learned for sewing large quantities or a big project?

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Friday, April 13, 2012

I Pinned It! 4.13.12

**** As alway, please click to the source before pinning any images from this post.****  I've made sure the link is to the source post.

If you need an invitation to Pinterest, leave a comment with a means of contacting you and I'll invite you to the party in a jiffy!

I'm a runner so I understand wanting a snazzy way to display your medals.  My hard-earned marathon medals and a ton of others are all in a jumbled heap, and that's just a shame!

How cool are these shelves that become stairs to reach the top from design student Danny Kuo?

I have a similar mixed media embroidery project planned that I would have had done already except flagmageddon came into the picture which rearranged my priorities.

Yum.  Easy.  Two of my favorite words.  Dave can just drool and eat his veggie burger while Arden and I enjoy this.

Add this to my mile-long list of reasons I need to re-learn to crochet.  Oh, wait!  My Mom said she'd teach me when we visit next month.  Problem solved.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter 2012

As proof that I stepped away from flag production to celebrate Easter with my family, here are a few from an egg hunt we took Arden and Hadley to at our local state park and then dying eggs at home later that day.  I have more photos from Easter morning with baskets and another egg hunt at our house as well as a visit to my brother's house for yet another egg hunt, but those are still in the camera.

Did you hear that some egg hunts had to ban parents from the course so there wouldn't be problems with aggressive adults?  Insane.  Parents were allowed to walk with their kids but asked not to handle the eggs.  The older kids were on their own but were on a different section.

That's Erwin in the background.  We have three cats, two dogs, and two kids three and under.  It can get cra-z at times!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Flagmageddon 2012

I'm up to my armpits in nautical flags.  If you missed it - read here about my huge deal (to me) with One Kings Lane.

I've learned a bit about production line cutting/sewing for large quantities, so I plan to share some of my new skills.  But for now, I'm too busy!  I have 40 flag fronts sewn.  That just leaves turning, pressing, topstitching, cutting holes for grommets, putting on the grommet, and tying the jute twine. .... and another 160 flags after that!  Dave has started to refer to this as "flagmageddon".  Quite accurate.

My PINK party is featured today on the Birthday Blog.

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