Jan 31, 2011

it pays to be organized

I finally organized my closet a few days ago and now I'm kicking myself for putting it off for so long. We have one big shelf above all the hanging clothes and I'm always tossing clothing up there if I find out-of-season stuff in our tiny little dresser. I mean, literally, tossing things up there. They land anywhere they please. It didn't even cross my mind that there might be anything up there that I would want or need right now. Imagine my surprise when I found 5 thermal shirts, 2 sweaters (one sorta dressy, yes!) a pair of jeans, and a skirt that all fit. Woohoo! It feel like I just got a load of free clothes! I wear thermal shirts all the time in the winter so I can't figure out how I completely erased them from my memory. It's nice to have them back. I don't love the jeans, the waist is too big so they aren't the most flattering but they'll do considering I only have 2 pairs that I ever wear! The skirt has a slit that goes too high which is probably why I tossed it up there to begin with. I already have an idea for that; I'm going to put some pleated fabric in the slit to add a little something and make it more appropriate.
Oh yeah! I nearly forgot: I found a nightgown too. Like, granny style, long sleeve, floor length, up to my neck. My bridesmaids had a pj party theme for my bachelorette party and that's what they gave me to wear! It's satiny with a flannel-like lining. I was going to bring it to Goodwill but then I spotted Adrian's lovey and *LIGHTBULB!* I'm going to cut it up and make a few loveys with it. I hope he likes them!
Speaking of Adrian...

I got him out of his crib after naptime and he was so snuggly. That's usually the only time of day he'll let me snuggle him but today it lasted for a whole 10 minutes. That is a long time for him and I loved every second of it!

Jan 28, 2011

Just Something I Made: A cheap lesson

Okay, so I really try not to criticize my work too much. But, this one, I just couldn't help. I love the idea of this shirt but the outcome wasn't so great. It's frustrating that it didn't turn out just right but on the other hand, I look at it like this: it was a 50 cent lesson.

Before (I hope to finish the remaining 2 shirts by next week.)

On a whim, I ran into Salvation Army between grocery stores last week. I can't remember what I was actually looking for but I ended up walking out with 4 men's shirts--all for around $2.00. I saw this tutorial a while back and was inspired to make my own shirt. Or rather, Adrian's shirt. I simplified it (or at least, I thought I did) and made my own pattern out of one of A's shirts--just a regular crew-neck tee. I didn't take a picture of the first shirt (it's dirty right now) but it was a simple orange, striped pattern. I made it very basic, a short-sleeved, crew-neck tee. The only problem was, I popped a few stitches when I tried it on Adrian and once it was on, the neckline seemed a little too baggy. I was already starting to see the beauty of the envelope-style neckline from the tutorial...
So, for the next shirt, I thought I would try adding a button. That way, it would fit easily over his head and the neckline could stay smaller. I copied the way everything was laid out on the original men's shirt, minus the collar. Agh! I don't know if it would have been easier to try my own thing or not. My stitching ended up being all uneven because I couldn't get the fabric to come together just right. Maybe I should have started with something simpler! 

The buttonhole was the last step. I had never made one with my sewing machine so I looked it up in the manual and put everything together right, or so I thought. It probably took me 6 hours before I finally got it right, it turns out I had missed one more attachment piece. Once that was in place, it was very simple, I lined up the machine and pressed the foot control until it was done. Easy peasy! Except, when I went to rip through the center, I snagged some stitches. I 'fixed' that but it looks really sloppy now and I still didn't figure out how to do it better. My practice buttonhole turned out pefectly! Anyhow, I'll probably be cringing everytime he wears this shirt but, again, it was a 50 cent lesson!

I love how the sleeves turned out anyway, I used the edge of the original sleeves. I still have 2 more shirts to upcycle, and plenty more waiting at the thrift!

Jan 27, 2011

My Duh-duh

I've been meaning to do a post about Adrian all week and I'm finally getting around to it now. I started reading a book which is the biggest reason I haven't been getting anything done around here. The fact that I haven't been getting anything done is reason enough as to why I don't read very often anymore even though I'm a total bookworm.

I feel like so many things are really starting to click for Adrian. He was been copying words more and more, it's amazing how quickly he is able to make different noises now. The other day, as we were riding in the car, that song was on that goes something like 'na, na, what's my name?' and pretty soon I could hear him saying 'na, na...na, na.' Oh man, I guess we need to be careful about what he hears now! It's good though, of course, now when I read his animal book to him he can actually repeat the animal sounds which he never really did before. And when I teach him body parts he learns them really quickly-eyes, ears, hair, hands, etc. It might be a while before he says anything other than 'mon' when he refers to his drink. I don't know where he got that from. It reminds me of my sister Emily's Brady; he referred to his drink/milk as 'dinna.' That always cracked me up because it sounded nothing like milk, or drink, or cup. Now, my kid says 'mon!' And, he has to have a drink every 2 1/2 minutes. We forgot to bring his sippie to bible class one evening and he was like a broken record throughout the entire service, 'Mon, mon, mon, mon, mon, mOOOn, mon, mon, MOOONN....' Of course, even if we had had it, he would have taken a tiny little sip, pushed it away, and went back to what he was doing. But to hear him, you would think he was dying of thirst! The first thing I hear every morning, the sound that wakes me, 'Mon, mon, mon...heppa, mon, mon.' I'm trying to get him to say 'Mama' before I get him out of bed, I'm much rather wake up to that! The thing is, a few times I actually put him to bed with a sippie full of water and he still wakes up asking for it and usually ends up throwing it out of his crib. He even says 'mon' right before he picks up his cup to take a drink. Needless to say, it is so wonderful to be hearing a bigger variety of words from him!

He's also in shoes, he clomps around in our shoes or tries to put shoes on our feet. 
He is really attached to his lovey. Not so attached that we can't go anywhere without it, in fact, it always stays at home. He likes to drag it around all day. 

Legos are pretty awesome, for building things, making a mess, or the obvious one, talking on the phone. He takes two longer pieces and uses one like a phone, the other like the phone cradle. It's interesting to see considering that Jeff and I only have cell phones. He has seen regular phones before at Grandmas or at his friend's Grandmas but I didn't realize he would remember them. And the way he talks on the phone...he uses anything and everything. The best ones so far were a banana and one of my high-heeled shoes. You would think all I ever do is chat on the phone! Seriously, I don't, although, I do talk to Jeff once or twice a day during his breaks.

He answer either 'k' or shakes his head when Jeff or I ask him a question. Usually, when I ask if he wants to go n'night, he says 'k.' Oh, and that really melts my heart. He is so good about going to bed so long as he's ready. I sincerely hope he keeps that up.

He throws toys all the time. Or whips them really. At me, at the wall, where ever. He does it when he gets frustrated. He tries to do something that his little hands just aren't capable of doing and he gets so mad. He throws toys other times as well, at those times, I think he's just trying out cause and effect. This boy has quite the temper. He has been showing us his temper tantrums lately over every little thing. He cries and runs around. It's kind of funny to see.

We walked to the library a few days ago and as we were walking out the door Adrian found his sled (we have it leaning against the wall just outside the door) and was trying to pull it down. I took that as a 'I want to go sledding' so we pulled him in the sled instead of using the jogger. He was so good the entire way there, he stayed in the sled the whole time. When we got to the library, I helped him get up so he could walk (he has all his snow gear on) and went to open the door. I hit him right on the forehead with the door. He fell flat on his back. Ugh. I felt horrible! At the time, I though I hit him square in the nose so I was expected blood to start squirting out. Luckily, it was just his forehead and he was fine within a minute or two with a big goose egg starting to form. He wasn't really sure what to make of the library at first; there was another little boy playing with the toys in the children's area but he was too timid to play for the first little bit. Halfway back home, Adrian bailed out of the sled. It probably took another half hour to make it home with him walking so s-l-o-w-l-y and stopping to play in the snow banks. It was definitely worth it to see how pumped he was when I plopped him halfway up a bank and he was able to wiggle his way down on his bum.
Oh man, sorry this is getting long. I haven't been posting much about Adrian lately so I feel like I need to catch up. That's all for now!

Jan 24, 2011

As Promised...

I finished my skirt on Saturday. I didn't end up adding extra panels of fabric, I was able to pull the entire skirt apart (even the zipper!) and make the seam allowances a little smaller. I had left them really big to leave room for error. It worked but I'm still debating whether or not I'll keep the skirt for myself. It's still just a bit smaller than I would like. Luckily, the church was so cold on Sunday so I ended up keeping my coat on the entire time anyways.

I started with this shirt. Yeah, I swiped another piece of Jeffery's clothing for myself. (I did ask for permission!) I picked this out years ago when it was on clearance at Elder Beerman. I don't think he ever wore it.

It now looks like this:

It's pretty wrinkly, I took these pictures after church. It's probably slightly looser than it looks with all the wrinkles.

Now that I've learned a few things about making a skirt from a shirt, maybe I'll dig through Jeffery's clothes and find another...

Jan 21, 2011

Just Something I Made...

Or didn't make as it happens!

Grumble, grumble. I still have so much to learn about making clothing! This skirt has been a pain in the rear. And speaking of rears...it barely fits over mine! I was adjusting the waistline to fit me and completely disregarded the fact that it still needed to fit over my rather substantial hips. So, now it doesn't. Well, it does, but I'm not really up for wearing tight-fitting skirts.
I started this skirt on Tuesday or Wednesday night and it was going great until I got to the zipper. I wanted to do a hidden zipper in the back. It took me 8 tries to get it in right, and it looked great. Then I completely changed the top of the skirt and guess what? Half of the zipper got pulled out. I can hardly wait to put it back on! Now, since I made it too small, I need to add extra fabric which I really do not want to do but I guess this is a 'make it work' moment!
I'm still hoping to get it done before Sunday so I won't dread getting dressed as I do every other Sunday.
I WILL have pictures on Monday. Even if it means no sleep tonight!

Jan 20, 2011

a few things

>Sometimes I don't capitalize any words in my title because I don't remember the correct way to do it.
>That goes for a lot of my grammar actually...
>Jeff and I are going on a date tonight! I'm so excited! We don't get out often enough and I recently talked to another friend who wanted to switch babysitting with someone else. Now I have 2 people to call if I want to go out without Adrian!
>I had another appointment with the chiropractor this morning. Adrian cried the entire time. Again. I can't wait for him to warm up to that place! I have a few sore spots today on my neck and back which is to be expected since my entire spine is being realigned. There is hope for a straight spine for this lady!
>I am currently working on a skirt that looks similar to this. I am hoping to get it done for tomorrow's feature!
>I am thinking about going to a workshop set up by Lanni Lantto next month. Except, now I'm not so sure, I just saw that the time is 1-3pm which is my little dude's nap time. I'll have to see if I can work something out. They meet three times.
>I fully plan to convince Jeff to go thrift shopping tonight. Do you think it will work? We still have Christmas money to spend and we have been looking for a bookcase. Wish us luck! (Well, wish me luck, first!)

Jan 18, 2011

I have really been slacking when it comes to blogging. I blame it on this cold that won't let go. People around here have already had it and say it lasts for 3 weeks. Yippee, just 2 1/2 more weeks to go! Or not. In fact, I think I'm going to kick its butt long before then. Just you wait and see. My methods: raw honey, raw garlic, eucalyptus radiata and tea tree in the humidifierier, plain yogurt sweetened with raw honey, and no coffee. Mostly no coffee because it didn't even taste good but I suppose that is probably a good thing to avoid when you have a cold. Yes, no, maybe? I actually just started raw garlic yesterday but I honestly feel better today. At least the sinus pressure is gone.

Anyways! I finally finished the belt I was working on. I was really struggling with this one for some reason, it took me 3 or 4 tries just to sew the d-rings on. I love it. I wish I was more disciplined and maybe Adrian could have a super sweet belt instead of having to list them all on Circle Boutique!

That was my last set of d-rings so I'm not even starting another belt until my next order arrives. Which doesn't make any sense by the way because the d-rings are the very last step. I just like to have everything in my hands so when I'm done I can photograph it and list it right away.

Shoot, I showed you this belt so now I have to make something else by Friday! Oh wait, that was the whole reason I started that feature...;) Not that I don't have projects to get done!

Jan 14, 2011

I have been making toddler-size belts for Circle Boutique lately. At a very slow rate. For all the ideas I have, I should have somewhere around 327 belts listed. I have no excuse, really. Today, I started working on one and was almost finished and realized my stitching tension was off so I had to rip everything out. Here's just a peak:

Since we aren't feeling so hot over here I gave up for the day. I'll finish some other time. Perhaps tomorrow. Maybe tonight. We shall see.

BTW, Adrian is still loving the johnny jump-up. For about 30 seconds at a time anyways, then he starts frantically and repeatedly asking 'hep' or 'uppa.' Like now, gotta go!

Jan 13, 2011

So far this week:

We filed our taxes!
Jeff had a sore throat that has now been passed to Adrian and myself
Adrian has been unusually crabby--probably because he was getting sick
I am exhausted--also due to this sore throat stuff
I've been to the chiropractor. My tailbone has been out of place for over 2 years now and I'm finally getting it back to normal! Adrian gets scared every time we go, I think he believes the doctor is hurting me. He did better today than he has in past appointments, I think he would have been fine if he wasn't feeling sick.
We tried parsnips for the first time. Exciting right? They are in season so I gave them a try. I roasted them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. They were okay, similar in taste to pumpkin seeds, oddly enough.
Adrian and I went sledding early in the week, he loves it! Snow in his face though, not so much!
I went to bible class by myself because my boys weren't feeling well. I had to work in the kitchen and some of the other ladies on my committee couldn't make it so I didn't want to miss it.
I was an auntie one more time! My sister Sara had a baby girl--oh wait, that was last week. Close enough!
Adrian clomped around in his boots. A lot. He can't put them on by himself so he is always asking me for 'hep, hep.'
I fixed a problem with our computer. It has been heating up very quickly when it's open and the fan is constantly blowing. Last night, I had it on for about an hour and it was so hot it felt like it could burn my skin! I checked hp's website and after downloading updated BIOS (whatever that is) it has stayed cool.
Adrian has played in his johnny jump-up. Yeah, I'm serious. I keep it under the couch so it's handy if babies come to visit. He found it one day last week and he keeps asking me to put him in it. He jumps and spins. What a nut!
I was told that I may inherit 5 million dollars from a 'relative' in some republic. I just needed to send him all my personal information to get things started. That was on a facebook friend request.
I neglected my blog. I'm hope you noticed. I think I'll be back tomorrow. Maybe once I wake in the morning I'll remember whether or not I made anything this week.

Jan 11, 2011

Etsy Taste Test

Have you tried Etsy's Taste Test? I'm always checking out Etsy for ideas and inspiration as well as the chance to be completely awed by the talent of some people out there! But, if you have ever done the same thing you'll know how overwhelming it can be, Etsy is huge! The Taste Test generates an enormous list of items that suit your taste. It has become my latest obsession. Here are a few things it found for me today:

The Craft Pantry

Bed Buggs Boutique

Yorktown Road

The Vintage Supply Co.

Tippy Thai

Jan 7, 2011

Just Something I Made

I guess I have mentioned this enough times so it's probably time to show you Adrian's tee pee! 

I had an itch to make one ever since Jennifer started talking about making one (although, she wants to make a really big one outside that will fit all of her kids). Then, a few months before Christmas I was trying to come up with a 'big' gift for Adrian. I was thinking about climbing toys or tunnels, something down those lines. I searched Amazon but all of their stuff is so brightly colored with red and blue and all sorts of colors I didn't care for. Plus, they were expensive!! I threw out the idea of a climbing toy pretty quickly because let's face it, where would I store that in our little apartment when we had overnight guests? So, sticking with the idea of something collapsible, I shot on over to fabric.com to see if they had a tee pee pattern. I got lucky, they had one! To make it, I would need PVC pipes. Kind of tacky hey? Oh wait, that's what I used! We searched and searched for wooden dowels to use instead but by the time December 22nd rolled around I just wanted to be done. I picked up the last of my materials from Home Depot and Jeff and I worked together to finish it up. We had to sand the red lettering off the top of the pipes and Jeff drilled the holes. Somewhere down the line we plan to use sticks found in the woods and get rid of those pipes. It works for now!

Adrian has been having so much fun playing in his tee pee and I'm sure it will just get better with time as he discovers all the things he can use it for and all the stuff he can bring into it! BTW, I put those pillows inside and later in the day he brought them all back to the living room. 

 This was super simple project (unless you try to find wooden dowels in the right size...) and I might just make another one someday if we have a whole slew of kids. It's literally a bunch of straight lines. The hardest part was working with this fabric because it's kind of swishy. Uh, yeah, I'm not sure how else to describe it. Slippery? Yeah, that's probably a better word! The long seams are a little off but that's okay! The best part is, the entire things collapses as thin as the poles so I can tuck it in a closet of under a bed if I need to!

Whoops! I almost forgot to show you the 'before' shot of the apron I gave to Gretchen!

I bought this at a garage sale one time when we were visiting Sara and Jennifer with the intention of resizing it for myself. When I was up north a few weeks ago, Gretchen mentioned that she needed an apron. Lightbulb! I got to work and after resewing the entire thing 17 times I came up with this:

Shorter bottom, narrower top, and halter-style strap. I hope you like it Gretch!

Jan 6, 2011

In no Particular Order...

A few pictures from Christmas with our families. (Although truthfully, the majority of my pictures are from my mom and dad's house because I forgot my camera there every time we went to visit Jeff's family. I'll have to steal their pictures from facebook...)

I bet you never knew we had an elf in the family....

Dan the Man learning some more facts. He loves to read. He has read the Harry Potter series so many times that he can tell you the titles to all of the chapters! Seriously, quiz him next time you see him! 

My Dad and Jen's husband Mark held a few 'jam sessions.'

This is Kendall, Amanda's little girly. Or "Di-da"  to Adrian.

This was Christmas Eve, Grandma (my mom) gave all the grandkids jammies. This was pretty late already and Little A was pretty worn out. It looks like Uncle Brett was more excited about this gift! 

Jennifer gave her kiddos a vintage telescope (also on Christmas Eve). They were so excited!

Rather than getting a gift for everyone, our family exchanges names every year. This year Danny wanted Brett's name so bad (as he does every year, I'm sure) and he got lucky! My mom let him choose the gift and he thought Brett would just love to have a Lions fan mask. (Check out Aapos face in this picture.) Brett is pretty good about getting Dan fired up about things, Dan was pretty proud of his gift!

This year, we switched the name exchange up a bit. Girls and guys were seperate and the girls handmade their gifts. We have some pretty creative people in this family! I don't have pictures of all of the gifts (Jennifer and my mom have more pictures from Christmas). Kaitlin made this dolphin for Molly using felt. She has quite the emerging talent, we are all wondering when she will open a shop on Etsy!

This quilt for my mom was made by Sara who also makes the bibs, burp cloths, and pacifier clips for Circle Boutique.  (If you haven't seen those yet, check them out, she uses some really fun fabric!)

I upcycled this apron for Gretchen. I'll show you the 'before' picture tomorrow. 

When my family gathers together, we are all about the games. These next few shots are from Guesstures, if you'll notice the clock, that would be a.m., not p.m. This is my big brother Wade, I'm not sure what his word was here.

I have no idea what Keeks is laughing about here but I love this picture because it reminds me of all the laughter this game provides!

We were playing for quite a while with Dan before we realized he never had a turn. Boy did we miss out! He has always been an entertainer and he didn't dissappoint! He really gets into his act although, we did have Gretchen help him out a few times so he didn't get stuck on the same word. Like when he had 'muzzle' and started flexing his 'muscles!' 

Dan, Jeanie, Carter, Aapo, and Nikayda opening gifts on Christmas morning.

Adrian and me trying out his teepee for the first time. (More pictures of that tomorrow as well.)

And some point on Christmas morning, Adrian left the crowd to figure out this slinky.

With Grandma.

Kendall with my dad, Papa Freddie. Or just Papa.

Spaghetti face playing with Auntie Jenny (Jeff's sister) in the cardboard box playhouse.

Aapo, Nikayda, Jeanie, and Jeffery. It really struck me when Keeks said these kids (Aapo and Nikayda) are old enough to play games with the bigger kids now. My, how fast they grow!

Carter playing with a balloon he got in his stocking.

Was that enough pictures?? I think those were all of the decent ones I had.

Until next time!