baby stuff

felt finger puppets

12:28:00 AM

I made some felt finger puppets a few years ago for my nephew, and my cousin was interested in the pattern so she could make some for her darling little boy. I thought I would post the pattern here for anyone else who may be interested. (Print without changing the size.) I also made three of the frogs (with added spots) for Jack so we could sing the "Three Little Speckled Frogs" song. He loved it.

I didn't go into any detail about how to do the stitches. You can find specifics on embroidery stitches here.

This is a perfect project for Christmastime. You can watch one of your favorite Christmas movies AND make Christmas presents! Talk about efficient. :)

Speaking of favorite Christmas movies. Have you seen Christmas in Connecticut (1945)? Not very well-known, but I'd call it a must-see.

UPDATE: I have made a pattern for a giraffe finger puppet too. You can find it here.


Ornaments on the tree

1:11:00 PM

One of my favorite Christmas traditions in our family is putting the ornaments on the Christmas tree. My mom has given me and siblings a beautiful keepsake ornament every year and it just makes me happy to pull out my box, pull out each ornament and think of all the memories associated with that ornament. It's a great way to reminisce.

Our ornaments have truly been our treasures. When we had special friends come over, my sisters and I usually showed them two things- my mom's awesome vintage dresses and our own special ornaments. They were good friends to let us show them our special things. We probably talked on and on about them as I do to you. :)

I've recently noticed that I'm really leaning toward bird ornaments as of late. It seems that at least a third of my ornaments are birds, and I love it. This cardinal is a particular favorite of mine. My mom gave me and Rob one each either last Christmas or the Christmas before.

I wrote about some other favorite ornaments two years ago when Jack was Rose's age (time flies), if you care to see.


probably a rambling post

5:57:00 PM

(A picture taken as I write this post. Yes, I did dress up today.)

So, I've been thinking a lot lately about what being a mom does to you in the fashion area. Remember when you were a teenager and your mom would get you a shirt, and you'd say, "Mom, that is so mommy-like/old looking/not cute etc..."? (Mom, you only did this on a very few occasions--I know you have great style.) But I guess that's what I'm talking about... I understand now! For a lot of my my life I have been able to get dressed everyday. I have been able to choose the perfect outfit if I had time. I did my hair and make-up often enough (note: I have never been consistent on this.)

Now, it takes SO LONG to get out of the house. I think it will get better once Jack can dress himself and I can get the drill down. Seriously though, my list before leaving the house only requires that faces are clean, diapers are changed and clothes are on. I only need to be dressed and not looking like I don't get very much sleep. I feel like I'm behind on the times. I'm usually very fashion-conscious and at least know when I'm having a dress-down or dress-up day. My dress-up days now only require make-up and earrings.

I even saw a shirt the other day in the thrift store that looked pretty matronly and said to myself, "That's cute. Maybe I should try it on." Then I remembered I was 24. What is happening to me?!?! I still feel like I think about design in general, but it is all for interior design and kid stuff.

My darling friend Debbie posted about an awesome bun hair-do she wore last week and provided a link to a fashion blog: The Daybook (truth be told, I did not know fashion blogs existed, but why wouldn't they?). Suddenly I realized that I wasn't really paying attention. Sure, I'm noticing awesome vintage clothes because, yes, I only watch movies from the 30's, 40's and 50's, but I'm not sure I have a good grasp on what's in right now. Especially in the hair department. My aunt showed me the new way to curl hair a few weeks ago and I realized I am clueless. I did my hair today, and I am very confident that it would have been the brand-new cool thing when I was a Freshman in college. But I am still not sure if it works for 2010. Am I going to be one of those moms who has a mullet or poofy bangs for 20 years? Is the bob thing over? I hope not because I love bobs. But really, I don't even know anymore.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading about things that aren't supposed to matter. ;)

cool finds

recently starred round two

11:50:00 PM

I don't know if any of you even like these kinds of posts, but I love posts like this from other bloggers because I can easily see cool stuff without having to search very hard. So here we go--round two of what I have recently starred in my google reader:

Ginger Cake: I love ginger anything dessertish. I'd love to try this.
Incredibly cool table: I guess I didn't catch the post Gabrielle initially did about this table, but I think it's awesome.
Cake Stand: Looks like I could do it myself and I'd like to try it. I think the scallops are the ends of those wide popsicle sticks.
Thanksgiving activities: I love these little coloring activities for Jack.
Gorgeous scene: I think I'd be okay with seeing this in real life.
Butterflies: I'm hoping that someday Rose will be into tea-parties. I'd like to have one like this.
Scandinavian design: I'm really loving this look right now.
Yellow sweater: This is beautiful. My sister has picked up knitting and has made some extremely beautiful things as well. I will see if I can show you.
Outdoor Party: Love. These. Chairs.
DIY Pinatas: Great idea!

Okay. Thanks for letting me indulge in telling you what I think is cool.



Oh yeah

3:37:00 PM

I realized I didn't update you an any more Halloween events. Well, there weren't really any. For the first time I can remember, I didn't dress up this Halloween. I was sick. Bleh. Next year, I will dress up.

Hope you all had a happy and healthy Halloween! Anybody looking forward to Christmas yet? I'm pulling out the nativity this week. In my dreams, I want to make some version of this:

I spotted it at Anthropologie, but I can't find it now... probably because it's so beautiful, it sold out.


Dream Kitchens

3:28:00 PM

What do each of these pictures have in common?

Ha, now that I have gathered them all together officially, I realize there are many similarities. Aside from light vintage looking cabinets, wood floors and either grey or butcher block counter tops... I was originally referring to farmer's sinks.  The other day, Rob told me that the only kitchens I like are ones with farmer's sinks- which is true. There is something so bold, simple and beautiful about them. Aren't they charming as well?

Well, I guess you know what my dream kitchen looks like right now. We'll see if I change my mind by the time I can actually have a dream kitchen of some sort.

Do any of you have practical experience with farmer's sinks? That's my only worry. I do need practicality along with design.

By the way, all the photos posted were found via Vintage Home except for the last one- that's from an excellent book called "Nest for Two, Creating a Harmonious Home" by Allison Serrell.


dress up

kid's halloween 2010

4:15:00 PM

Welp, it's Halloween again. This year, I had big plans to go all out and do an Alice and Wonderland theme. A while back, a friend of mine suggested that I should make a Queen of Hearts costume. I've been thinking up costumes for months, but sadly, the idea of making four really awesome costumes completely intimated me.  Maybe next year...

I started on the Alice costume for Rose a month ago, and when I realized how involved each costume would be, plans changed, and I evaluated my options. I decided she could be Little BoPeep (and Jack could be a sheep or Woody), Little Miss Muffet (spider), Dorothy (Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion), Gretel (Hansel), Little Red Riding Hood (Wolf) or Raggedy Anne (Raggedy Andy). I figured that gave Jack enough options to pick what he wanted to be. He picked Woody. So here they are- Little BoPeep and Woody.

The costumes were fairly easy. Luckily the bases of the costumes were clothes we already had. The only thing that gave me some trouble was Jack's hat. I got a blister on my thumb from it, so Rob kindly finished it up. I took pictures of the process. If anyone would like the tutorial for the hat for the future, leave a comment, and I'll work on it.

Pinafore and Bonnet: cotton Dotted-Swiss fabric
Mary Jane Shoes: pattern found here
Pink Jumper: from the closet

Hat and Holster: brown vinyl and tan yarn
Vest: cream canvas, black felt and brown yarn
Scarf: scrap red fabric
Shirt, Jeans and boots: from the closet

Now, Rob and I just don't know what we'll dress up as. I'm sure Rob doesn't care that much, but I must dress up. It's Halloween!


pumpkins and leaves

4:32:00 PM

It's one of those chilly blustery fall days where all I want to do is stay inside, snuggle with my babies, and drink hot chocolate. I love fall.


baby stuff

Rose's blessing

9:34:00 PM

Rose was blessed a few weeks ago. It was a very special day. We had a lot of fun with the friends and family who came.

A while ago, Rob's sisters went to visit his parents who are on a mission in Paraguay. They sent his sisters home with this dress- a beautiful gift for our newly born Rose. We used it for her blessing dress and I'm so glad we did- in a way his parents were with us on that special day.

Rob's mom said the treatment done to the fabric on her dress is uniquely Paraguayan. It is called "apoi" (I think?). Isn't it beautiful?

sewing projects

Sewing Tips

12:21:00 AM

After a year in the making, I think I finally have put down enough information that I can introduce my sewing tips blog to you. See the button? (on the right)

Okay, I'm a little excited.

Now, Rob has read through every single one of the posts (yeah, he's a great guy) and says that he understands them, but I know I talk sewing all the time so he may know more than the average person, so if you have any questions, please email me. I want things to be clear and concise.

I will be updating it periodically with new terms and how-to's. If you have questions about something I haven't covered, email me so have a little direction.

So, hopefully if you're reading a pattern and are not sure what it's talking about, maybe this can help. I know patterns are hard to understand.

Thanks for reading!


baby stuff

make your own college sports team logo applique

3:43:00 PM

So, it's football season. You want to show that your family has team pride by sporting your favorite team's logo. You get you and your husband a t-shirt for a reasonable $5-$10, now it's time for the kids. You find something perfect and then check the price... $25 for a baby onesie? are you joking? And no, they are not.

Have you had this experience too? I knew there had to be a better way, so with recycled t-shirts, I came up with a much cheaper solution.

BYU Logo Applique (yes, that is our team. Go cougars!)

  • simple printout of college sports logo
  • small squares of stretch knit fabric in your college colors (I just used old t-shirts)
  • matching thread
  • scissors
  • a lint roller or masking tape
  • some clothing item to attach the finished applique to

Step 1: Lay out your background piece, top piece and paper. Pin it all together. (It stays together better if you press it before you pin.) The BYU football team logo is below. So I laid out white fabric for the background and navy for the top. I'll call this the "window way." You could do it the other way around if you wanted to. That way can be the "other way." :)

Step 2: Stitch 1/8 from edge of print out. (Think ahead. You're going to cut the fabric on the line, so you'll either be stitching on the outside, "window way", or inside, "other way", of the logo depending on the order you laid your fabric out.)

Cool huh? Remember, you'll want to change your needle to a nice new sharp one after this if your next project is with taffeta or something. Paper dulls needles.

Step 3: Fold and tear on perforated lines.

Step 4: Cut away the fabric 1/8" from edge so the contrast show through.

Step 5: Clean off all the little threads.

Step 6: Cut away bottom layer.

Step 7: Stitch onto clothing item. I just stitched around the white background.

If you are a Ute, thank you for putting up with this. I commend you for making it through the post. :)



2:53:00 PM

Custom Random Number generator

This program will generate a random number between two numbers of your choice.

Enter a lower limit:  1
Enter an upper limit:  6


Random Number: 1    

The winner is Tessa (She's my lovely sister.) She said:

"Count me in! I would love a stack of thank you cards."

For those of you who commented, I can send you a PDF of some thank you cards to print off if you would like.

Thanks for all the kind comments!

cool finds

recently starred

12:03:00 PM

I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite and beautiful "recently starred" items from google reader. Enjoy!
The picture of Baby Rose is only applicable because she is the most beautiful thing. (Excuse the mama pride- I know, your baby is the most beautiful. ;) )

  1. "That Winter Afternoon" from Posy Gets Cozy. She's introducing her new designs for felt Christmas ornaments. She also includes her designs from past years. They are so charming.
  2. "Tiny Victorian Cottage" from Design Mom. Please let me stay there forever!
  3. "REAL PARTIES: Preppy Beach Party" from Hostess with the Mostess. I like all the crabs
  4. "Fair Photos" from Posy Gets Cozy. Reminds me of the charming country fairs I went to growing up. She sure know how to capture charm with her camera.
  5. "Fall Reading List" from CraftPad. She's got quite a list. I'd love to read along too.
  6. "Hey I can Do That Baby Shoes" from Just Another Day in Paradise. Yes, I want to try. Mary Janes are my favorite.
  7. "the leather purse" from I Am Momma- Hear Me Roar. Okay, awesome tutorial, and really cool purse. There is a leather shop close by, I think I will try it.
  8. country porch from Vintage Home---Folio. What a beautiful thing to be welcomed to. P.S. I've been looking at rugs a lot lately, and I think I love that one. 
  9. pretty dresses from Vintage Home---chaussures de ballet. So gorgeous.
  10. cake with berries from Vintage Home---snippet and ink. So beautiful, yet simple.
 P.S. The giveaway ends in three days. Comment if you want a chance to win!

200th post = GIVEAWAY

10:30:00 PM

I can't believe this is my 200th post! It kind of crept up on me this time.

This time, I will be giving away personalized custom business cards for you (or your husband) or thank you cards, or whatever thing like that.

I must warn you that I am NOT in any way close to being a graphic designer. I just like to doodle in Illustrator and don't really feel like/have time for sewing right now. So, yeah, just so you know... I want to have fun for the 200th post too and sewing isn't going to do it at this time.

The winner will receive about 30 cards as well a PDF file to print them off. We'll work together to come up with something you like. So, leave a comment if you want some cards.


cool finds

what women did in the 1940's

3:54:00 PM

Yesterday I watched one of my very favorite movies: "The More the Merrier." It's about a girl in Washington D.C. who decides to rent half of her apartment out to help relieve the housing crisis during WWII. She accidentally gets stuck renting it out to a funny old man (Mr. Dingle) who then rents half of his half of the apartment to a "high-type, clean-cut, nice young fellow"(Joe).

I had to share with you a few craft/design related things along with some funny dialogue. It's fun to have a peek into the cultures of different decades and I especially love the '40s.

First up- In the '40s girls made their own beautiful dresses:

Scene of Dingle trying to convince Connie to rent out the room to him instead of to a woman.
Connie: ...I've made up my mind to rent to nobody but a woman.
Dingle: So, let me ask you something. Would I ever want to wear your stockings?
Connie: No.
Dingle: Well, all right. Would I ever want to borrow your girdle, or your red and yellow dancing slippers?
Connie: Of course not.
Dingle: Well, any woman, no matter who, would insist upon borrowing that dress you got on right now. You know why? Because it's so pretty.
Connie: I made it myself. 

Next up- sunbathing on the roof while knitting. I'd like to see a girl do that now-a-days. Do you notice something else? Yes, she is wearing long sleeves. That's one way to avoid a farmer's tan.

Next: She made rag rugs too!

Scene of Connie "meeting Joe" and trying to kick Dingle and Joe out of her apartment.
Connie: Who are you? How did you get in here?
Joe: Well, I live here.
Connie: Since when?
Joe: Since this morning.
Connie: You don't by any chance happen to know a gentleman by the name of Mr. Benjamin Dingle do you?
Dingle: Meaning me, Miss Milligan?
Connie: Yes! Meaning you. What do you have to say for yourself?
Dingle: Have you met my friend, Joe Carter?
Connie: I just met Joe Carter.
Dingle: Oh, fine fella.
Connie: Mr. Dingle, answer me this. Who was it, located and leased this apartment? Who was it, made the landlord to repaper and repaint, and who was it, bought furniture and drapes and made rag rugs and considers this apartment her own?
Dingle: You.

I wish I could share all the funny lines with you because it is a really funny movie. You should just go see it.


make your own curtain valance

5:02:00 PM

We've realized the need for a bit more privacy in our kitchen so I decided to make a valance for the mid-part of my kitchen window similar to the valances in this kitchen:

via: Country Living
note: I would totally not mind having a kitchen like this.

I put together a tutorial on how to make a valance, but there is a really nifty hemming technique that can be applied to all curtains and, in some cases, even clothes.

Step 1: Measure your window and buy a curtain rod (and fabric, if you don't have it already).

Step 2: Figure out the size of each valance.

For the width measurements:
  • Go to your window and figure out how tall you want your valance. Example- 10 inches
  • Now, you'll need to account for the top edge and bottom hem. Measure the tip of your curtain rod. Example: 2 1/2 inches. Add 1/2 inch to that. Example: 3 inches
  • Now decide on your hem depth. Example- 1 inch (pretty standard). Add 1/2 inch to that. Example: 1 1/2 inches
  • Add your height, top edge and hem measurements. Example: 14 1/2 inches. This is your new height measurement.

For the length measurements:
Now take the measurement of the width of your window. Example- 48 inches. Now decide what you want your valance to look like- Modern? Vintage? Over-the-top frilly? Okay. For a modern look, you'll want your valance to be straight and flat- no gathers. For a vintage look, you'll want a little gathering. For a frilly look, you'll want a lot of gathering. Here's the math:
  • Modern look: add 1 1/2 inches to total width. Example- 49 1/2 inches.
  • Vintage look: multiply total width by 1 1/2 to 2. Example- 72-96 inches. Advice: I'd stay closer to the 1 1/2 side of things unless you're using really light weight fabric.
  • Frilly look: multiply total width by 3 or 4. Example- 144-192 inches.
Okay, so now you have your measurements. Example: 14 1/2 x 72 inches.

*Note: if you want a two sided valance like the one pictured, divide the length measurement by 2. Example: 14 1/2 x 36 inches. Add another 1 1/2 (before you divide) if you are doing the modern look. (Example: 14 1/2 x 25 1/2 inches) 

Phew, that's enough math. Sorry.

Step 3: Cut rectangles from fabric and press lengthwise edges in 1/4 inch.

Step 4: Now press top and bottom edges. For the top, take curtain rod measurement and add 1/4 inch. Example- 2 3/4 inches. Divide by two. Example-1 3/8 inches. Press top down this measurement (1 3/8 inches). Press bottom hem up 1 inch.

This handy tool pictured is a seam gauge- perfect for this type of measuring.

Step 5: This is the nifty trick for hems. It makes for a very clean edge.
Fold fabric up backwards from what you just pressed, so you can see the 1/4 inch underturn. Pin along edge.

Stitch 3/4 inch from edge.

Trim corner.

Turn right side out and make the point pretty.

Step 6: Fold in side edges 3/8 inch and then another 3/8 inch. Sew in place along edge.

Step 7: Sew top edge in place along edge leaving an opening on each side for the rod to go through.

Now you're done! I would show you more than this but my kitchen is not fit for a design blog.

Just picture in your minds a dirty looking 1970's cheap kitchen. An ugly black swamp cooler in the window and walls that needed to be repainted 10 years ago. The window frames a lovely chain-link fence, dried up weeds and a creepy looking back of a house with a creepy new shed-like thing that may or may not be used for illegal purposes (note: I really don't know- just speculation.) Yes. This is my kitchen. And yes, there is an improvement. No dishes in the sink due a dishwasher (yay!).

But, aside from all of this, I must sheepishly admit that the main reason I'm not showing you a picture is because I did not follow step number 2.

P.S. I'm actually beginning to like the chartreuse stove and oven that also belong to my kitchen.

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