Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One man's trash is another woman's treasure

My in-laws were in town this past weekend. It's always so much fun when they come into town because there's never really a game plan, we just go with the flow and fun stuff always happens. This time, and we took advantage of their time here by eating too much, watching movies, and one of my new favorite things - going garage saling! I knew I liked going garage saling before, but I think I love it after this weekend.
My mother-in-law and I were as prepared as you possibly could be for our adventure. The night before, we went on Craig's List and looked up local garage sales in the area, then we mapped out the ones we really wanted to go to through Mapquest. In the morning, we woke up at 6:30 am, ate a healthy breakfast, packed umbrellas in case of thunderstorms (well, my mother-in-law did anyway, my pregnancy brain made me forget mine) headed out to see what we could find.

We had planned out 11 different stops, but on the way we were lucky enough to find others near our planned destinations, so we probably ended up going to 17 or so. I was exhausted by the end since we were out for 7 hours (with a stop to Hancock Fabrics and Chick-fil-a) but it was so worth it, we found tons of great stuff!!

A cute decorative box that is now sitting on top of my kitchen cabinets.....

some fun pictures of different veggies to hang in my kitchen.....

some shirts for myself that I found for $0.50 each (!!)...

some cute prints that I'm planning on refashioning into clothes for Haley...

....and one of the best finds - a Little People barn for Haley that we found for $2.00!!

She LOVES the little barn, it makes sounds when she opens the stable doors and presses other areas on the barn. Unfortunately, the set didn't come with a horse so as you can see, her My Little Pony is standing in for now. I also found 2 shirts for the hubby ($1.00/shirt - brand new!) and packages of Pampers diapers for 1/3 the price I would normally spend at Sam's Club. The total amount I spent was about $35.00 for everything. I'm never shopping at another store again (until next week anyway.)

What fun things have you found while garage saling?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The verdict is in!!

Just a quick post to tell you that I had a check up today for Baby #2 and had an ultrasound. We found out we're having a boy!! I wasn't expecting to find out for sure today, but I was hoping.

Even though I'm only 14 weeks and 4 days, the ultrasound tech was very sure of the gender. To quote her, "oh it's definitely a boy" so that makes me feel better knowing I can go out and buy lots of boy things without wondering if she was making a wild guess about the sex. I have no boy-themed fabric, what am I going to do? I guess this is a good excuse to go shopping at Hancock Fabrics :) I mean after all, the little boy needs a Steelers themed room, right? Right.

Baby boy lounging. He looks so much like Haley's profile at this stage in her gestation. I suppose most fetuses look like this at 14 weeks though :)
The money shot. Here he is in all his glory!

The name is yet to be finalized, but we're leaning towards Connor Lee (Lee after my husband's dad). I don't know, I guess nothing jumps out at me like the name Haley did.

Care to throw out some suggestions? No fruits, vegetables, or names you would give a puppy, the kid has to go to school one day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pocket bib tutorial

My 15-month-old has decided that she would rather feed herself nowadays. While that's a good thing, that means a lot of finger foods end up on her lap or on the floor (and somehow not on the mess mat that I placed to catch everything!) When she started feeding herself, I bought her a pocket bib (easy to wipe off bib with a pocket to catch falling food). The bib has been great at home, but when Haley goes to daycare, the poor girl who watches her has to deal with food everywhere so I knew I needed to get at least one more. I went to Babies R Us to buy another pocket bib... and then I saw the price - $9.99!!! I knew I could definitely make a cheaper one.

Introducing the Dollar Store Pocket Bib!

I made this bib from a vinyl tablecloth, some bias tape, and some velcro, all for probably under $2.00. And you can too!
You'll need:
  • Vinyl tablecloth with flannel backing - don't get the kind without the backing, they're usually too thin to work. I got mine from the Dollar Store
  • 3 inches of velcro and backing
  • Double-sided bias tape (or you can make your own with scraps like I did)
  • A bib to trace for your pattern
First, take your bib and trace around it leaving 1/4 inch around all sides for seam allowance.(Be careful you don't make your seam allowance too much around the neck, I made that mistake -you can see in the picture -and had to trim it some to make sure the neck hole was big enough.)

Once you have your bib traced, cut it out carefully, making sure not to tear the vinyl. For my bib, the Dollar Store table cloth was too thin, so I had to cut out 2 bib shapes to make sure my bib would be sturdy enough.
Next, place your sample bib down on another piece of table cloth and trace around the pocket area, making sure to leave 1/2 inch or so extra on each side of the bib (you want the pocket to be quite a bit larger on the sides because it needs to poke out some to catch the falling food.)After tracing, cut out carefully.

Now, you need to line the top of your pocket with some bias tape. If you don't have any, you can always make your own by measuring the top of your pocket and cutting a 2" wide rectangle of fabric. Fold the fabric down the middle and iron in half, wrong sides facing, then open the fabric and iron each side in half wrong sides facing. You should have something like this:

Tuck the top of your pocket into the cleft of the bias tape and sew a straight line across, encasing the bib in the bias tape like this:

Now, pin your pocket onto the right side of your bib pattern, making sure the shiny part of your bib is on top (and if you had to double up on your bibs for strength, place your 2 bib patterns together, wrong sides facing and then pin the pocket on top). Next, take your bias tape and line it all around your bib, making sure to pin it on well. If you have trouble lining the bias tape around some of the corners of the bib, clip the inside of the bias tape a little bit where it meets the corner so the tape can curve better. Sew in a coordinating string color around the entire bib, making sure to backstitch where you begin and end to anchor your stitches.

Last, cut out 3 inches or so of velcro and backing. Pin the hook part of the velcro (scratchy side) on top of your bib on the left side (where the baby's right shoulder would be) and sew securely around. Attach the loop part of the velcro (soft side) on the back of your bib to the neck strap (see below).

And you're done! Now all you need is a baby to put it on. Luckily, I happen to have one of those :)

Enjoy your mess-free meals! Well, less messy anyways :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Oh what a weekend

Baby girl was sick this weekend with a 100 degree temperature and who-knows-what. This is what we did all day:

Snuggled on the couch and watched lots of Dora the Explorer and Spongebob (I had to stay glued to the couch with her or else she'd cry, needless to say the "Backpack" song was stuck in my head all day)...

Read "Baby Animals" about 20 times. She should be a pro at what sounds baby animals make after that marathon...

Typed on the keyboard her Yaya and Papa Bear gave her...

And blew lots of "bub-o's." Look, I got a smile!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's a snap!

Lately, I've discovered how great old clothes can be. You know what I'm talking about. That bag of clothes sitting on the floor in your closet that you've been meaning to give to Good Will for the last 3 months. Or maybe it's that one shirt hanging in your closet that you haven't worn for almost a year but you just KNOW you're going to wear it soon. Maybe next week. Or the week after.

Yeah, those old clothes.

I have a bag of those too. They're mostly odd t-shirts or sweaters that haven't seen the light of day in a looooong time. I dug into that bag a week ago and realized something. Even if I don't like a shirt, why not make it into something I DO like? Novel idea, huh?

Prudent Baby has a ton of great tutorials for kids and babies from clothes to toys and books. It's one of my new favorite blogs! I found a great tutorial for the "Snappy Toddler Top" and modified it some (they have a downloadable pattern on their site too, which really helped.)

I liked the idea of the collar and snaps, but the t-shirt I had to work with had this funky line sewn down the front and the back of the shirt (part of the reason why I didn't ever wear it.) I knew I wanted to cover it up somehow, while still making it cute, so I decided to add some ruffles! When you have little girls, ruffles are pretty much a must, right?

Here's a few pictures of how my shirt turned out. (Sorry if some of the pictures are kind of blurry, I caught my little model in the middle of play time :)

So dig out those old clothes and see what you can make!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Crayon roll

As I was browsing around the blogging world looking for fun crafts to make, I found another great tutorial on UK Lass in US for a crayon roll.

I've wanted to make one of these for awhile (even though my daughter would rather eat the crayons than color with them), so when I found this tutorial and had the exact amount of flannel that I needed left over from my recent blanket-making escapade, I decided to try making one myself. Here's how it turned out:

This is such a cute project, and so easy! It took me about 1 1/2 hours to do, and I think it'd be faster if I tried making another one now that I have it down. The roll holds about 29 crayons (odd number?) which is plenty for a kid who needs some variety when coloring. The best part about the crayon roll is that it's portable (and personalized!), and there's no more loose crayons in the car/diaper bag/purse. All of them are displayed for you or your little one to choose whatever color you need, then easily stored for another day.

I love this project, too bad Haley doesn't get the whole coloring thing yet....the crayon roll will be waiting for her when she finally gets it down!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Silky blankies

When my daughter was born, my cousin sent her these adorable handmade flannel and satin blankies that she absolutely adores. She cuddles up to them at night, and won't leave her crib in the morning without reaching down and grabbing both blankets before she allows herself to be lifted out of bed.

My little 5 month-old niece, Lena, is now at the age where she is grabbing onto everything in sight, so my sister-in-law wanted to know if my cousin was still selling the blankets on her Etsy shop. After going online, I realized that she had closed her shop, but I thought it would be an easy enough project to tackle myself.

I went to Michael's and found 2 adorable patterns (1/2 each) and some pink satin material (1 yard.) I also picked up a few assorted ribbons to attach to sides of the blanket to give Lena something to play with as she cuddled with her blankies. After some measuring and pinning, I came out with 2 adorable blankies, and fabric to spare! I'm hoping a few pregnant friends of mine have girls so I can make some more :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

T-shirt refashion

I am really excited to tell you about this one! I have been really nervous about attempting to make clothes in the past because I can be such a perfectionist that I get frustrated and stop working on something if it doesn't go the way I planned. Somehow, this turned out just how I planned!

I have a bag of clothes I've been meaning to give away to Goodwill. They've been sitting in my closet for about 4 months now (procrastination much?) After finding this "Easy Breezy Tank" tutorial on Craftiness is Not Optional, it looked like something I could try. Having never made clothes before, I was feeling adventurous and up to the challenge. After digging around, I found one t-shirt in my clothes bag that I thought would work.

And that's how I turned this:

into this:

Since I didn't have a template to go off of, I simply took one of my daughter's 18-month old tank tops and laid it on top of the green t-shirt. Then, I traced around it with disappearing ink (adding an extra 1/4 inch on all sides for seam allowance) and pinned the shirt so that I could easily cut around it, giving me my front and back pieces. I followed the tutorial above for the most part, but I didn't make the elastic neckline. Instead, I made my own bias tape (just as the tutorial explains how to do for the straps) and lined the front and back of the neck with it.

After finishing sewing and lining the shirt, it didn't seem quite finished. I knew I wanted to add an embellishment to it, so I decided to make a cute flower decal, but I didn't want it to be typical. I started by tracing a pattern for a petal. I cut out 8 flower petals and lined them up in pairs, overlapping the edges some. I then took a needle and thread and sewed all of them together by sewing several small stitches on the bottom (flat part) of each petal. After they were all joined together, I pulled the thread and all of them bunched up nicely. Then, join the ends of the end 2 petals by making a circle, and make a couple of stitches to join the 2, like this:

From there, I pinned the flower to the tank top, sewed around the entire perimeter, then added a large button in the middle to finish it, and voila! Instant cute baby tank! The entire project probably took me about 4 hours, but it took a little longer with constant interruptions thanks to bedtime and an active toddler. I am so happy with how this turned out though. I will never throw another t-shirt out again!

Monday, June 7, 2010

More stackable rings

I have an adorable little niece, Lena, who unfortunately lives 13 hours away. She's about 5 months now, so she's been getting more interactive and beginning to chew and pull on everything, as babies do. When Haley was little, I made her cute cloth rings with ribbon on them in different patterns and styles. She loved to chew on them and accessorize by wearing them as bracelets (usually accidentally :) I also made a wooden stand for the rings to go on, which I painted with acrylic paint, so that when she was older, she could learn how to stack them.

If Haley had stackable rings, Lena needed some too. Many people don't realize that, when babies are young, they don't see the full color spectrum for a few months. They like to look at the colors red and black the most because they have the best contrast, making them the most interesting. Luckily, I love fabrics in black and red, so I had a bunch to work with.

It was fun finding different ribbon to work with. Babies love the texture of ribbon, and many times the toys and blankets that have ribbon on them are super expensive. This project was made using lots of fabrics in fat quarter sizes and an assortment of ribbon. The most expensive part was probably the wooden parts and dowel screws (I got the wood pieces at Michael's and the dowel screws at Home Depot.) My hubby helped cut down the wooden rod since power tools and I don't mix.

I hear that Lena loves the rings and gnaws the living daylights out of them. If anything, they make great teething rings!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Happy 12 weeks!

My little kidney bean is 12 weeks old! I can't believe how much he/she has grown, even in the last 6 weeks since I got to first see him/her. The doc says everything looks good and development is right on track (aside from the fact that the little kidney bean is measuring 2 days larger than the estimated due date.) I'm so afraid that this baby is going to be the size that my husband was when he was born - 10 pounds, 12 ounces - yikes!!! I still hurt just thinking about it....my poor mother in law, God bless that woman.

My stomach is beginning to show even more and more lately too. It's so true that you show more with the 2nd pregnancy. I feel like I look as big as I did when I was 5 months pregnant, even though I've only gained 2 pounds so far. I know I'm not that big yet, but my body is definitely responding early this time, probably because it's done this already once before. I can't wait to find out the gender! I'm hoping they'll take a sneak peek in 2 weeks when I go back to talk about the "c" word....shudder....I'll have to tell you more about that later....

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Black Apple dolls

Recently, I realized that it had been way too long since I had made something, and my need to craft came back with a vengeance (as you will see over the next few days :) After browsing through the awesome (and easy!) crafts on Martha Stewart's website, I found this adorable pattern to make a Black Apple Doll, and knew that I had to try it. It was kind of perfect timing since a friend of mine had a daughter who was turning 4 today, so it was pretty much a sign that it was meant to be :) After I finished the first doll, I had to make a second for another friend with a little girl who will be turning 4 in 3 months. Now, I'm kind of addicted to this project and will probably end up making a whole family for Haley and Baby #2 in the next few weeks.

For someone who has only ever made maybe 2 stuffies, this project was really easy, AND I didn't have to buy anything extra. I already had a bunch of loose fabric and scraps sitting around. and the only other thing I needed was stuffing and acrylic paint for the face (which I already had as well.)

I think she came out really well for my first try! The head is a little square on one side where I had to whipstitch the head closed after I stuffed the doll, but besides that, I'm really happy with her. I half expected the first doll to turn into some kind of lumpy monstrosity, but seriously this project was so easy and it's great for gifts. And, I just love the little smirk and rosy cheeks on her face :) This is also a really great project to personalize. I added the flower in her hair and a little pocket on her dress. If I was feeling more adventurous, I would have tried to make her some jewelry or little boots, but I didn't want to ruin a good thing.

Now I have to see if I can wait 3 months to give my other friend's daughter her doll....ugh, I don't know if I can wait, I'm terrible with surprises!

Friday, June 4, 2010


Oh boy, it's been too long since I last posted. These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of doctor's appointments for Haley and I - ear, nose and throat doctor for Haley to fix her ear issues, OBGYN for me to check up on the rapidly growing little bean inside (new baby pictures to come!) - and also some new crafts I've been working on that I'll have to post in the next few days.

I told you in an earlier post about how Haley has had problems with her ears for months and how she has been on a ridiculous amount of antibiotics to clear everything up. Unfortunately, the ear problems have continued (despite 5 rounds of different antibiotics and a set of shots) and she had to have surgery to get tubes put in her ears yesterday.

While I wasn't looking forward to my daughter going under the knife, I just wanted all of her sickness and ear problems to go away finally. She's been such a trooper through all of the sickness she's been dealing with lately, I don't know if I would be able to handle everything as well as she has. After taking her to a specialist, the doctor told us that Haley didn't have ear infections, but that she had a ton of build up fluid and general yucky stuff built up in her ears that was making her hear as if she's hearing under water. I had been wondering why she had suddenly stopped calling me "Mama" and started referring to me as "Baba" instead, and the doctor explained that that was how she heard "Mama" pronounced because of all the built up fluid.

So yesterday, I helped load Haley in the car with her pj's and blankie, and said my goodbyes as my husband took her to the hospital for surgery. I know getting tubes is a pretty standard procedure for kids her age, but the word "surgery" can be pretty scary sometimes, especially when it's concerning your child.

I had to pick my mother-in-law (who Haley calls "Yaya") up from the airport as Haley was having the surgery, but my husband called right after to let me know that the surgery went well but that Haley was confused and groggy from the anesthesia. It was hard to hear her pitiful cries in the background, but good to know that everything went well and that the ear issues are (hopefully) cured for good.

Haley stayed home with Yaya yesterday and today so that she can recover in her own bed in the comfort of her own home. I know beyond a doubt that she's getting spoiled completely (she already got a bag of clothes from the family in Pittsburgh - thanks guys!). She's been sleeping a lot the past couple of days, which is expected, and while she's still been very clingy and whiny, I know she'll be back to her normal, happy self any day now.

She even called me Mama this morning :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails