Feeling Pinspired!

I feel like my crafting goes in drips and drabs – some weeks I’m sewing and creating every night, and other weeks I’m passed out on the sofa early every night.  The past few days fall more into the former category rather than the latter.  I’m in a crafting group on Facebook and we’ve decided to do monthly challenges.  The first challenge was to create something from a pin you’ve had on Pinterest.  We had a few weeks to do this – but of course I didn’t start to do anything for the challenge until Saturday night!

I was kind of held hostage by my job this weekend – the details are boring so I won’t go into them, but I was on call for work and had to be available all weekend for a big project go live that kept getting pushed back.  Anyway, I only mention that because it forced me to not be out and about, so I was able to focus and get to work cleaning up my craft room.  I’m still far from done organizing in here, but it’s a start and I now have some clutter free spaces where I can get busy crafting!

I bought some Michael Miller Super Hero flannel fabric and coordinating orange minky dot fabric about a year ago.  I’ve been intending on making a blanket for Max, like the one in this Prudent Baby tutorial I’d found a couple years ago.  I’ve made a few of these blankets before as gifts, but never made one that would stay here!  This is pretty typical for all of my sewing projects, actually…  So I was pretty excited to finally getting around to sewing a Super Hero blanket for Max!

 

This is such a cozy blanket with flannel, minky dot, and satin blanket binding!

This is such a cozy blanket with flannel, minky dot, and satin blanket binding!

The minky dot is super soft and the weight of the flannel makes it incredibly cozy.  I may need to make one in adult size for me!

The minky dot is super soft and the weight of the flannel makes it incredibly cozy. I may need to make one in adult size for me!

I really love this fun Super Hero print!  Max seems to like his blanket already too!

I really love this fun Super Hero print! Max seems to like his blanket already too!

I’m kind of obsessed with how cute and cozy this blanket is.  I want to make at least two more for Max in other fun flannel prints and colors – one to keep in each of our cars!

I took a day off from crafting on Sunday, but I doubled up my efforts tonight!  Not that I really have some sort of goal of a project a night, but just go with me here…  Anyway, so tonight I was staring at a bunch of socks that I picked up at Target for Max without noticing that they didn’t have skid-free grippers on the bottom of them.  Since we have hardwood floors throughout our home, Max is like Bambi on ice without gripper socks.  So, feeling inspired by I Am Momma Hear Me Roar, I decided to fix the socks with some puffy paint grippers on the bottom!

Here are Max's DIY Gripper Socks.  I tried to stick with simple patterns, since the tutorial I found advised that larger designs tend to crack after a while.

Here are Max’s DIY Gripper Socks. I tried to stick with simple patterns, since the tutorial I found advised that larger designs tend to crack after a while.

So now Max had a new carseat/daycare nap blanky, and some new gripper socks.  The kid was making out pretty well thanks to Pinterest!  But I’d finished up with the socks so early – way too early to go to bed.  So I figured that since I still had a lot of time to craft tonight, I’d knock out another project that’s been on my to do list for a while.  Now that Maxwell isn’t a tiny baby anymore, he’s kind of outgrown most of his towels.  He had a couple of larger towels – given to him when he was born and at his first birthday – but for the most part his towels were getting pretty skimpy on the little man. A few weeks back, I figured I’d do something about that.  Since I’m too cheap to buy him some big kid hooded towels from the store, I decided to DIY one for him like in this Prudent Baby tutorial.  (Can you tell that PB is one of my favorite crafting blogs?)  I bought the towels that I’d need a few weeks back and they’ve been sitting in my craft room since I brought them home and washed them.  The tutorial was super easy and super quick, and about a half hour after starting Max was the proud owner of a pretty amazingly cute bright orange big kid size hooded towel!

A DIY'd big kid hooded towel!

A DIY’d big kid hooded towel!

The hood is trimmed in a fun "fast cars" and transportation themed flannel.

The hood is trimmed in a fun “fast cars” and transportation themed flannel.

I can’t wait for after Max’s next tubby when I can wrap him up in this oversized-kid-size cozy hooded towel!

Maxwell made out thanks to mommy’s Pinspired crafting.  I’m not sure what the next month’s challenge is, but I hope that I can work some projects in that I’ll get to keep for myself!  I really would like to make myself a new bag, so hopefully I can try and work that into whatever the next crafting theme is!

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Max’s 1st Birthday Party

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We held Maxwell’s 1st Birthday Party yesterday afternoon and it was so much fun!!  Max had lots of friends and family around him to celebrate and he really seemed to have a great time!

I had a lot of fun planning and prepping for his party!  I focused on the dessert table, and I think it turned out fabulously – exactly how I’d pictured it:

I sewed the pennant banners using leftover pennants from when I made one for Max's nursery.  I cut the letters out out of flannel using my Silhouette Cameo.

I sewed the pennant banners using leftover pennants from when I made one for Max’s nursery. I cut the letters out out of flannel using my Silhouette Cameo.

On the dessert table was: red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, shortbread cookies shaped like mustaches, marshmallows on striped straws dipped in blue colored chocolate and sprinkles, a red velvet with cream cheese frosting smash cake, and some red candy (Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, and Swedish Fish) and some fun non-sweets-treats that guests could bag up and "shave" for later!

On the dessert table was: red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, shortbread cookies shaped like mustaches, marshmallows on striped straws dipped in blue colored chocolate and sprinkles, a red velvet with cream cheese frosting smash cake, and some red candy (Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, and Swedish Fish) and some fun non-sweets-treats that guests could bag up and “shave” for later!

I really had a lot of fun incorporating some fun mustache details to celebrate “our little man”!

I cut out these little mustaches for cupcake toppers using my Silhouette.

I cut out these little mustaches for cupcake toppers using my Silhouette.

When I saw mustache cookie cutters, I knew I had to have them!  These shortbread cookies were amazing - definitely tasted "like butter and magic" as the girl who I'd gotten the recipe from promised!

When I saw mustache cookie cutters, I knew I had to have them! These shortbread cookies were amazing – definitely tasted “like butter and magic” as the girl who I’d gotten the recipe from promised!

"I MUSTACHE you to do yourself a FAVOR and bag up some treats to SHAVE them for later!"

“I MUSTACHE you to do yourself a FAVOR and bag up some treats to SHAVE them for later!”

Even the tables got mustached!

Even the tables got mustached!

Our guests even got into the mustache spirit!

Mustachioed!

Mustachioed!

Of course there was cake – and Max loved it!

Getting ready to sing Happy Birthday

Getting ready to sing Happy Birthday

Eating cake!

Eating cake!

Cake is good!

Cake is good!

Cake feels cool on your fingers, too.

Cake feels cool on your fingers, too.

Cake monster!

Cake monster!

The kids had fun playing with the ball pit (a kiddie pool – pink was all Wham could find lol! – filled with plastic balls), dressing up with the photo props, and playing with balloons.

OK, this ball pit is fun! Emma found a mustache balloon Not sure what they were doing here, but it's cute!

Max had so much fun in the ball pit, in fact, that he didn’t want to get out of it, so he opened gifts from the ball pit!

Opening gifts in the ball pit, which was too much fun to get out of!

Opening gifts in the ball pit, which was too much fun to get out of!

Opening gifts in the pink clam ball pit lol!

Opening gifts in the pink clam ball pit lol!

Gift opening chaos with the kids - which was really fun!

Gift opening chaos with the kids – which was really fun!

We had a lot of fun and were so happy to be able to spend some time with our family and friends eating cake and drinking some beers or juice!  We’re so thankful for the outpouring of love for our little guy – it was really a great way to celebrate all of us making it through the first year!

Max’s Baptism

Maxwell was baptized this morning at the 9:30am Mass at St John the Evangelist Church! We had a wonderful morning starting with his baptism during mass at our beautiful church and followed up by a small gathering of family back at our house. We began a small-but-big-enough-to-make-a-huge-mess remodeling project in our kitchen only a few weeks ago, which caused us to be working on the house right up until the very last minute – and then there was still cleaning and cooking to do! So there was definitely some stress leading up to this morning, but fortunately that didn’t spill over into today and we had a fantastic day!

Max was such a perfect little guy during mass today. I was a little nervous about how mass would go, considering he’s really only sat through an entire mass once before! I was also nervous about this morning because I scheduled the baptism about two months ago and when I talked to the church secretary then, she mentioned that the day was technically blocked off in their books, but since it looked like practically the only weekend that would work for us, she’d make an exception. I kept imagining we would show up this morning only to be told that they didn’t have us on the schedule! Of course they were ready for us today. The priest brought Max down the aisle during the processional and invited parish members to trace the sign of the cross on his forehead and Max did so great – he smiled at people and was perfectly comfortable letting Father Bob take him! He even tolerated the holy water on his head and really only cried a little after the priest went back for a third pass over his head. We were so proud of our little guy! And since we’re blessed with such a large immediate family, we had quite the crowd at church this morning!

I made Max’s baptism outfit – white stretch corduroy pants and a vest with a bow tie – and I think he looked pretty dapper today.

Back at our house, we had more food than we could fit on my table and counters – and with my younger brothers and nephew in attendance, that was a good thing! We had a great time celebrating with our family today and we are so grateful that we were able to do that! Of course not everyone could be here (and we were really pushing the limits of being able to fit in our small house!), but we know that those who weren’t with us physically today were sending good thoughts our way and were with us in spirit!

December Already?!

OMG it’s December.  OMG I’m going to have a baby next month.  OMG I could actually have a baby *this* month.  OMG.

So this is pretty exciting!  On top of it being, you know, “the most wonderful time of the year”, we’ve also entered The Final Countdown to Baby’s arrival!  (You know you have that epic 80’s song stuck in your head now… and if you don’t yet, click here.)  There has been a lot of preparation going on in our house.  Alex has taken care of the cleaning portion of nesting lol!  He wanted to have Thanksgiving at our house this year, and said that he’d do all the cleaning in preparation for it.  Now, he usually does a lot of the cleaning, but not *all* of it and I think that’s because he just wasn’t aware of what *all* the cleaning really meant.  So I printed out Martha Stewart’s Weekly Cleaning Checklist (along with her Monthly and Daily checklists) and he ran with it.  In fact, he asked me if I could print it out weekly so that he can reference it while he cleans during the week.  Have I mentioned that he rocks?  Oh, and he also took it upon himself to completely organize our linen closet – which was a *mess* and was on my list of things to try and get done for forever.  So now our deal is I’m going to set up an Automater task on my iMac to print the weekly checklist at the beginning of every week and I’ll put it on the fridge.  As we get stuff done, we’ll each check the things off that we got to during that week.  Since he’s home more than me (and will be home alone more than me after Baby comes since Baby will have Full Time Daycare available), he’ll be doing the bulk of the chores and he’s cool with that.  Also, again, I just need to say that he rocks.

I’ve been focusing on getting what we need to be ready for Baby and on preparing the Nursery.  There are only a few things that we still need to get: a crib mattress, a diaper pail and liner (we’re doing cloth diapers), a garbage can, some basic baby/first aid supplies, a breast pump and related supplies (which I’ll buy in January with next year’s Flex Spending), a breastfeeding pillow (the My Brest Friend is my choice over a Boppy) a pack and play (not an absolute necessity, but I’m told they’re useful), a Rock and Play Sleeper (for Baby to sleep in next to my bed at first), and some onesies, no-scratch mittens, and socks that Baby can use right away.  I’m waiting for my registry completer coupons to make any purchases, so hopefully they should come pretty soon!

Things are coming together really well in the Nursery!  I’ve gotten a lot of projects done over the last month or so.  I made a changing pad cover from a Prudent Baby Tutorial:

My DIY Changing Pad Cover, from a Prudent Baby Tutorial

I also made curtains from another Prudent Baby Tutorial:

My DIY Curtains, from another Prudent Baby Tutorial

This past weekend, I made slipcovers for my glider cushions, using a tutorial from Our Happy Family:

Glider Before

Glider After!

I also made a blanket that we can use when Baby is old enough for a blanket in bed – it will work as a coverlet for the toddler bed when we convert the crib to one.  I used a tutorial from Gus and Lulu, but I changed it up a bit, inspired by an image that I found online and pinned to Pinterest:

Pennant Bunting Blanket!

A few projects in one picture: curtains, glider slipcovers, crib skirt, pennant bunting blanket.

I’ve got a flickr set created with pictures of all of the progress in the Nursery and will continue to add to it as I finish things off in there.  I only have a one more sewing project that I definitely plan on doing – a pennant bunting to be hung above the crib.  I’l be following a tutorial from Your Home Based Mom and I’ve already got the pennants all cut and ready to go:

Pennants all cut and ready to be made into a bunting for above the crib!

The only thing stopping me from getting that done right now is, I’m not sure how big/how many buntings I’ll need.  I bought a Wall Quote to go above the crib, and it hasn’t shipped yet.  I’m not sure how big it will be and how I’ll position it above the crib, so I’m kind of waiting for that to be here before I sew the bunting.  Luckily, the bunting should come together *very* quickly, so it’s definitely a project I’m OK with pushing off till the very end.  Here’s the wall quote:

Wall Quote for Above the Crib

I’m really happy with the way that my projects have all turned out so far!  Things are really coming together in the Nursery and it should be pretty much ready for Baby really soon!

Speaking of soon… I realized the other day that my doctor had changed my due date.  It had been January 17th, and apparently sometime when they were doing a ton of Ultrasounds between 16 and 26 weeks, they moved the date up to January 13th.  That’s really not a huge difference, but since it’s a change in the “right” direction, I’ll take it!  That means that I’ll be 35 weeks at the end of this week.  35 weeks is a pretty big milestone because it means that you’re 35 weeks along and have 35 days until your due date – OMG!  Also, since they moved my due date up, I’ll be considered full term a couple days before Christmas instead of a couple days after Christmas.  This means a couple of things for me…  It means that if Baby decided to come that early, they wouldn’t try and stop labor since I’d be technically full term.  It also means that, since they’re concerned about my Blood Pressure (which has been on the high side), they might consider inducing me if my BP gets worse near the end.  Any time after that full term date would be considered fair game in their eyes for inducing me if they needed to, so it could possibly end up being that I have a baby before the end of this year – how crazy is that?!  I’m not counting on that, though.  I’m hoping that my BP doesn’t get worse and that I can carry Baby until Baby is ready to come out – whether that be before or after his or her due date!

So with all of this Baby prep going on, you may wonder if we’ve gotten anything done for Christmas.  I’m happy to report that we have!  We’re approximately 30% done with our Christmas shopping, and have a good idea of what needs to be done to complete that.  Since it’s only December 6th, I think we’re pretty well on target to finishing shopping without a good deal of stress.  We’re also 100% done with our Christmas decorating – so that rocks!  Unfortunately, we’re 0% done with Christmas cards… but that’s not a huge project, so I should be able to get that done this weekend.

So yay for December!  It may be a really busy month of preparation for Holidays and Baby, but it’s going to be a lot of fun!!

28 Weeks – Exciting Stuff!

I’m 28 weeks along this week and into the 3rd trimester – I can’t believe I’m already in the home stretch of this pregnancy!  I also can’t believe that it’s already the end of October… The last two months of the year always fly by because of the holidays, so January will be here before I know it!  And considering Baby will be full-term a couple of days after Christmas, who knows?  I could end up with a Baby before the end of the year!  Scary!!

I’ve had lots going on this month!  We got our first gift off of our Baby Registry – our crib!  Aunt Barb in Texas sent it to us and we were *very* excited to get it set up in the freshly painted nursery!  It even inspired me to finally start my sewing projects.  I finished the Crib Skirt a couple of weeks ago and I’m really happy with the way it turned out!


I love the way that all of the colors look together so far in the room!  I’ve started the curtains – well, I started them a week ago and they’ve been sitting in my sewing room waiting for me to get back to them.  I really need to get a move on!  I need to do the curtains, the window shades, and the covers for my glider cushions.  I think I originally thought that I’d have them all done by the end of this month, but that was not to be… I’m now hoping that I can get motivated enough to do them in the next three weeks and at least have it all finished before Thanksgiving!  I really need to focus and get this stuff done before Christmas Season really gets underway!

Beyond the nursery, I’ve been preparing for Baby in other ways.  I read “The Happiest Baby on the Block“, which I borrowed from the Library and copied the DVD companion too (don’t tell!).  It has a lot of useful sounding tips on how to keep Baby calm in the first 3 months and from what I hear they work!  While I was at the Library last night, I borrowed “The Organized Mom“, which I picked up because while I was flipping through it I saw it gave specific tips and floor plans on how to best set up a nursery, “Creating Your Birth Plan“, which I’m hoping can give me a not-too-biased overview of all of the options out there when it comes to giving birth so that I can get and idea of what kind of birth experience I’m hoping for, and “Laugh and Learn about Newborn Care“, which is a DVD which goes over things that are taught in the Infant Care class that is offered at Bellevue that we couldn’t sign up for because of conflicts with Alex’s schedule.  I told Alex that I got that for us to watch together when I got home last night and he totally rolled his eyes at me, but then I caught him reading the back of the DVD case later, so I think he’ll tolerate watching it – LOL!  I bought “One Year to an Organized Life with Baby“, which has weekly assignments (which I need to catch up on since I bought it so late!) on what you should do to organize your house, finances, and baby prep needs.  I’m looking forward to digging into that book because this is the one time in my life when I haven’t felt overly prepared and organized for the big event coming – I think I’m avoiding thinking of the scary stuff and I need to stop!  To that end, I’ve made appointments to visit a daycare and a pediatrician’s office – two things that we need to decide on soon!

The other big way that I’ve been prepping for Baby is car shopping!  When I bought my Subaru Impreza in 2008, I thought that it was a car that could grow with me – it was still a small car, which I was hoping for because I was so used to driving my Beetle, but it had a hatch back that I thought would be big enough for baby gear.  Unfortunately, I had no idea how big car seats are.  When I started to shop for car seats, I realized that getting an infant seat, and later a rear-facing convertible seat, in the back seat of my car was going to be a *tight* squeeze.  So I started doing research on a new car.  Well, not a *new* car, but a new-to-me car.  I’d bought my Subaru brand new and I definitely loved having a brand new car for the first time in my life, but the second you drive it off the lot it’s a used car.  And since I wanted to buy something bigger than what I had but not increase my car payments at all, I figured that going for something used was probably my best bet.  I Googled, “Best Compact SUV” and found a listing on USNews.com for the best affordable compact SUVs.  The Toyota RAV4 came in at number 1 and the Honda CR-V came in tied at number 2.  I did a lot of research and narrowed my choices down to those two options.  Alex and I went to a dealership this past Sunday that had a 09 CR-V and a 09 RAV4, both in black, and both with around the same number of miles.  We test drove both of them and I decided on the RAV4.  We were able to work out a deal that I was happy with and on Wednesday, I picked up my new car!  When I got in the car and drove away from the dealership, the Baby started kicking a lot.  I said, “Oh, do you like this car, Junior?  I hope so – I did this for you!” LOL!

The other fun thing we did this weekend was the Firefighter Appreciation Mass and awards brunch afterward hosted by the SPFA.  Alex did a reading at Mass (and he really had a tough one where he had to say Thessalonians a million times) and he did a great job.  At the brunch afterwards, he got an award along with his partner for a save they had at a fire on Stanley St earlier this year.

Overall, it’s been a busy month – and especially a busy week this week!  I’m really looking forward to this weekend because my baby shower is tomorrow!  So exciting!  It randomly snowed yesterday and I guess there is snow predicted for tomorrow, so I hope that doesn’t deter anyone from coming!  I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone!

The days are just flying by…

Nursery Fabric Ordered!

The aqua is about the color of the walls - the black and white chevron is for the glider cushions, the red and white polka dots is for the crib skirt and window shades, and the bright owls on lime is an accent fabric that I'll use to bring other colors into the room.

I ordered the fabric – well most of it – for our nursery today and I’m psyched!  I went with the black and white chevron fabric for my glider cushions and I’ll be picking up red and white polka dotted fabric for the crib skirt and window shades at Joann’s – just as soon as the “Keepsake Calico” goes back to regular price so I can use a 40% off coupon on it.  I picked out “Bright Owls in Lime” as an accent fabric for the room – I think that it looks a little dark in the screenshot above and that it will be brighter in person.  There’s a lot of brown in it, but I think it still goes with the black, red, and white pretty well and will let me pull in other colors into the room.  I’m planning on using it as part of the changing pad cover, part of the curtains, and I have a few other ideas for small accents – fabric cubes for storage and a little bolster pillow for on the glider.  I’ll use the scraps along with some coordinating scraps or fat quarters or fabric remnants that I can pick up for cheap at Joann’s to make a cute pennant banner to hang on or around the crib (not sure about the safety of the “on the crib” idea, though it does look pretty cute in my inspiration room).  I love the owls and the idea of adding all those bright colors as accents into a mostly Tiffany blue, red, black, and white room, so I’ll use some of the other bright fabrics I’m planning on picking up for cute (and hopefully quick!) projects like owl book ends, and an owl mobile.  I also love that red runs through everything and I’m hoping that we can get a some really cool fire truck accents for the nursery as well.  Owls for Mommy and fire trucks for Daddy.  I’m hoping that the overall feel of the nursery comes off as eclectic and bright and fun!  I can’t wait to really get started!

Works in progress… or soon to be…

So last weekend when I made my Snoogle cover, I realized that the days of me being able to spread out my fabric on the floor to trace patterns and cut would probably be quickly coming to an end.  I don’t have much of a baby belly yet, but there’s one there and even with the not-yet-large one that I do have it’s already becoming uncomfortable to be sitting on the floor bending and reaching.  So I figured that I better get a move on with any sewing projects I want to get done!

So tonight I started the Margaret Sling Bag by Oh, Fransson!  I’d love to give a link to the tutorial, but she’s permanently retired it, so I can’t.  Here are a bunch of completed ones from her Flickr group.  I downloaded the pattern and tutorial about a year or more ago and it’s been sitting in my DIY notebook in Evernote since then waiting for me to get around to it.  Well, since I was less than enthused about all of my bags recently, I decided that there’s no time like the present!  I had some great fabric left in my stash to use for it too:

Twirly Flowers by Premier Prints - a canvas material that I'll use for the outside of the bag.

Hummingbirds by Michael Miller - a quilter's cotton that I'll use for the lining of the bag.

So I got started on that project tonight.  I have the pattern pieces cut from my fabric, but I started that late and just cutting out the pieces took longer than I expected, so I had to stop for the night before I got too far into the project.  Ah well, it’s a start!

I’ve got a ton of projects that I want to do for the nursery… I want to make a crib skirt using this tutorial for a pleated crib skirt.  I’d like to customize a pull-down roller shade using some fabric and this tutorial.  In front of the shade, I’m torn between plain white panels or DIY-ing some cute but cheap curtains like those in this tutorial.  I’ve got fabric all picked out to recover my glider cushions – probably will make some slipcovers, but this tutorial is very inspiring!  And I’m thinking that I’d like to make a custom changing pad cover, like in this tutorial.  I’ve got a ton of other ideas collected from around the web that I’d like to try (crib sheets!  mobiles!  basket liners!) but those are the big ones.  I spent some time this weekend seeking out fabric for these projects and I ended up with some winners:

Nursery Fabrics - the large red polka dots will be the crib skirt and shade cover. The small I might use, might not... The black and white chevron will be for the glider cushions. The aqua is very near to the color of the walls.

I’d like to find a cute print that pulls in some other bright/bold colors as well… but nothing was striking my fancy this weekend.  Now I’m in the waiting game of trying to figure out exactly how much I’ll need of each kind of fabric and ordering it when it’s the most on sale…

Looks like a lot of sewing in my future!  I hope it all comes out alright!  Also, even though I haven sewn a stitch yet, I feel pretty accomplished for having picked out the projects and fabric to go with them!  Exciting!