Category Archives: Craft

Mini “Gingerbread” houses

With all the sickness and warm weather, it hasn’t seemed much like Christmas around here.

So here is my latest attempt to get into the holiday mood: cookie cottages. And I think my first attempt came out pretty cute!


I basically followed Martha’s directions, including making her royal icing, and I think that was helpful with construction. And it wasn’t too hard to make.

There are other blank ones in the background, going to try to have JJ and one of his good buddies decorate them tomorrow.

After doing one, it is kind of difficult! Certain requires more coordination and patience than a 2 year old might have. So I suspect there maybe more candy consumption rather than cottage decoration, but that’s ok. I think it will be fun and cute! And I have back-up gingerbread men to decorate.

Messy Morning

Today is the first day in a LONG time that I have been alone with both boys – usually I have my mom here or someone here to help me… but I chose to give an alone day a try – why not?!  Lots of people deal with 2 (or more) babies all alone!  I can do this too! (I am hoping if I repeat this enough, it will become true)

Usually, I try to do an outing (pool, music class, Children’s Museum, etc) with J in the morning, and then the afternoon doesn’t seem so hard to handle.  I knew a morning at home would be somewhat challenging.  So I decided to make it our messy morning!  After little Sailor went down for his nap, we started with finger painting:

J may have started out a bit slowly, but he ramped it up and evolved finger into feet painting, which was just fine as we were using washable paint outside:

[on a side note, I hear that when kids turn 2 they start losing some of their baby fat, that they start getting more lean – boo!  I love J’s adorable chunky feet!]

Once he was tired of this, I brought out the “messy” bin.  Here are it’s contents:

2 of the trinkets were from recent birthday party favor bags (water gun and red monster thingy), the spikey ball was one that we already had, the bottle with the beads in it I made last night (glued cap on, of course) and the shark and bigger smooth ball were new (bought on sale at Targ).  After one entire can of shaving cream, this is what JJ got to get really, really messy with:

And he really enjoyed it! (I also put the water on – pointing up with the “shower” flow selected, so he could get wet and wash off his hands and trinkets)

He loved the bouncy ball – and even the little spiky ball (despite the fact that it was recycled and he has seen it a million times).

J loved squishing the shaving cream, but then wanted it off his hands  immediately!

Based on the length of his nap, I think messy morning was a great success!  I think it was great to be outside and doing things that were very tactile. And the water is always fun for J – after I hosed everything (and him off), I filled his water table, which he always likes.

All of this activity took all of an hour.  Which I guess is pretty good.  Quick, but tiring.  And good thing it was quick, as Sailor woke up early from his morning nap, so we had to go tend to him.

I already have some new ideas from friends and off the blogsphere for my next “alone with the boys” morning.  Maybe I really can do this all by myself…  Well, mom gets here Sunday, so at least I won’t have to try again for a while!

Crafts I have been up to…

Way back in May, I finally finished the reverse applique t-shirt for JJ – I even took pictures along the way, in hopes to get a tute up, but oh well…  the shirt came out well and J seems to like it:

There are lots of new babies, arriving or soon to be arriving!  So I have definitely been busy with my standard handmade baby gifts.  I love my light weight seersucker blankets with rounded corners –  so much so that I almost feel bad for all the fall / winter babies.  I’ll try the rounded corners with flannel – maybe I will love that a lot too!  and recently I have been obsessed with light blue and red!

I have been getting so much use out of my Silhouette SD cutting machine that Yarbs gave to me for my bday!  I love it – and I have barely delved into the depths of it’s capabilities! I created my first decoupaged frame – and I LOVE LOVE LOVE how it came out!

and for father’s day, I hosted play group at my house with a fun craft gift that we all made for the hard working dad’s in our lives.  It was chaotic (11 ladies, 10 toddlers and 1 baby) – but fun!  I wish I could do more group setting crafting – it is fun!

I made “sets” of cut outs (#, Dada, random shapes) and had the ladies bring pictures of their little ones.  The pictures were placed in the “a”s of Dada. The “1” was created with finger prints of their little one – connected to make the 1.

Everyone really enjoyed it and it was fun that they got to leave with a gift for Dad!

I even got a little scrapbooking in – as part of a 2nd birthday gift to Mustang, a friend JJ has know since JJ was  weeks old!  I loved looking at all the pictures – the boys have grown so much!

I’ve also done a few other things that I haven’t taken pics of – which I should have (and some that I can’t share just yet), but I figured I should document all these projects, as I am finding lots of other projects to add to my list!  Mainly using my Silhouette – fun times!

So many projects…

… so little time!

Recently, a huge portion of my spare time has been dedicated to my sister’s 40th bday gift.  Not that she is hard to shop for, but what do you give a girl who has everything?!  Anyway, I had noticed at Christmas that she and her hubs were still using the felt stocking that she and I had made for them about 10 years ago.  Then and there I decided I was going to make her a new stocking for her bday.  Then I realized I couldn’t just make her one, and not a matching one for her hubs, so 2 stockings to the project list were added.

When I started to make the stockings, I used a template off the internet.  It was kind of small, but I finished 2 stocking.  I was talking to Boom and he was all, Most stockings are too small.  You need to make sure the stockings you give Yarbs is nice and big (like the ones his mom made for us).  So back to the drawing board (and I have 2 completed stockings – hough a bit smallish – if I ever need them).  This is the final product:

I really love how they came out, and I think Yarbs like them too!  and I love the color scheme – Yarbs loves pink, so this was perfect.  and her hubs is not afraid of a little pink, either.

And we have friends that are having babies out the wazoo!  I have started buying parts of baby gifts, as I can’t make as much as I would like to!  Anyway, last night I finished the handmade part of  a baby gift for my great friend Coco.  She just had a adorable baby girl!  She loves yellow (our bridesmaids dresses were bright yellow!) – I really like how it all turned out:

I liked using the bias tape (hand made by moi) on the blanket also on the burpie – really ties it all together!  Hope she can get some good use out of it all.

And for PoPo, who is still far away, JJ (again) was saying PoPo and pointing to the door!  He misses her so much!  Here they are  – waiting for her to come back!

Quick Project

I’ve had the idea to make a “First Birthday” poster for Jack ever since his birthday party – and today I finally did!  I used most all of the photos from our photo booth – and actually edited every photo (with the help of Pioneer Woman‘s Photoshop actions).

I really like how it turned out!  I think it helps that everyone is standing in front of the same backdrop – so even though people are wearing all different colors, all the pictures kind of “go” together because the backdrop colors are the same.

It was so fun to look through all the photos again – I remember at the time thinking Baby J was such a big boy, but looking back, he was just a baby!  I guess he is still a baby – just a bigger baby than Little Sailor.

Can’t wait to get it printed and framed!

No Rest for the Weary

Brady Gaga update:  There is actually not too much to update.  As of Monday, I am 1 cm dialated, but that really doesn’t mean too much. BG has until 730am on March 24th to arrive on his / her terms.  At that point, the doc will be going in to retrieve him / her!  Let’s all hope s/he will be ready to come out before then!

However, I have made some progress with some of BG’s items-to-be-made:

Here is his / her 5th and final receiving blanket – yellow seersucker with kelly green bias tape edging.  For the record, gingham edging on the bias is SO cute!  Much cuter than just cutting the gingham straight.  I used a whole yard of gingham to make real bias tape, so I have lots of it now…

Many thanks to Dana for her excellent tutorial!  It really wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.  (I also want to try my hand at making basic pants for JJ with this other tutorial of hers.)  I seriously don’t know what I would do without all these great tuts out in blogland (probably have a lot more free time – hehehe)!  Many thanks!

And I have made the edging, cut the back and inside of BG’s monthly picture bunting blanket.  The big news is I finally sewed all the actual buntings onto the front of it!  Had to iron them all down (since I actually fused them to the front fabric) and then machine applique them on 2 sides.

The tops of the buntings will be covered with bias tape that matches the fabric for the name that will go across the top of the blanket.  All that will have to wait until BG’s arrives – so everything that I can do I have done for this blanket.  Which is good.

And JJ and I are still up to our usual shinanagans…

Playgroup fun:

(Jack is getting a haircut today – his baby mullet is getting to be too much!)

Hanging out with friends (and large safari animals – JJ loves Ginger the Giraffe!):

And of course enjoying the great weather at our neighborhood park (our lovely home-away-from-home):

Last week was great since Boom took Friday off and we got to spend time together for 3 straight days!

The only issue with the nice weather is that the parks in the neighborhood get totally packed and chaotic!  There are people who drive in (probably takes them 20 minutes!) to use my neighborhood parks.  Which is kind of annoying – you’d think they’d just use some parks out where they live.  Sigh – oh well.


Another peek…

I have really been enjoying JJ’s first year book I made on Blurb.  I think the other ones I print I want to add the weekly pregnancy photos of myself (what else am I going to use them for?) that Boom and I painstakingly took as sort of a prologue…

One of my favorite layouts is the photo booth pictures!

(These are 2 pages from the book.)

I love how it looks and really love the photo booth concept!  Hopefully at every birthday I can have a different “photo booth” that compliments the theme of the birthday party.  Who doesn’t love a photo booth!

Anyway, I want to use all of the photo booth pics (I could only put a portion of them in the book layout) to make a poster for JJ’s room.  Winkflash, although it doesn’t have the best user interface, often has great daily sales (for instance, the other day they were doing a sale on 8×10’s for $0.75, so I bought 23 🙂 and I have seen where they have their 16×20 or 16×24 posters on sale for just a few dollars (not that they will break the bank full price either).

Just a couple more things on my craft list of things to do (the poster, and also creating the pregnancy picture prologue)….

Deadline Crafter Strikes Again – Full Sized Apron Complete!

One of Boom’s sisters turns the big 4-oh at the end of this week.  L is really kind and into baking, so I knew I wanted to send her some baking cook books (I picked this one and this one, since she is a gluten-free girl).  But I also really wanted to make her an apron – but as you all know, I really didn’t need another project on my plate.  I was planning on making a quick half apron, but decided that a full apron would be much more useful.  So I had to find a tute – and a quick one, at that.  I came across this tute – many thanks to Mandy/Sugar Bee blog – it fit the bill exactly!  Cute, and quick.

I think it came out quite well!

I even made some adjustments to make it even quicker – here are my changes:

1) I added the top trim measurements to the top trim fabric and the waist trim to the lower measurements – and then finished the edges like a napkin, except on top section’s bottom edge that connects to the lower portion.

2) I sewed the ribbon right onto the front of the fabrics – so the “waist” ribbon enclosed the top sections raw bottom edge.

3) I also omitted the ruffle at the bottom and pocket (inadvertently on the pocket – just forgot to make it and once I remembered, I had already wrapped and packaged up the apron to be mailed).

I thought about using ribbon for the neck and waist ties, but I didn’t.  That would have saved some time as well.  This is what works for me for turning out long tubes of fabric (like the ties):  pin a safety pin on one end of the tube.  Use a chopstick to push the safety pin to the opposite opening – then just push the fabric over the chop stick – right side out.  It works like a dream!

I think this apron probably took around 3 hours to make from start to finish – which is very good considering it is a full apron and it is detailed and cute.  I had to split it up over 2 days, but in  a pinch, one could certainly do it in a single sitting.  Very good for such a deadline driven crafter as myself!

Here is the hubs begrudgingly modeling the apron I handmade for his sister!

I mailed it off today – maybe she’ll get it on her actual bday!  I hope she likes it and appreciates the hard work that went into it!




Onesie Project completed and Happy President’s Day

This weekend, I was able to craft a bit for Brady Gaga – and finally got his / her monthly photo onesies finished!  It wasn’t a hard project, per se, but it just had a lot of steps and took some time.

First, I designed what I wanted to numbers to look like – nothing too elaborate, but I wanted something more than just a painted number.  So I came up with dotes around the number in a circle, but that ended up not working, so I did just a circle with the number inside.  Then I had to print out all the numbers and circles onto freezer paper – then cut out – for my freezer paper stencil.

Here’s everything ready to be assembled:

This is when I realized I should have asked my sister if I could have custody of the Slice when she was in India.  That would have been helpful – then I would not have had to cut everything out by hand.  And I also have decided I could truly benefit from a Silhouette cutting machine – it is pretty high on my wish list 🙂 as it can cut paper and fabric!  Anyway…

Then I ironed on all the numbers and circles onto the onesies.  Here are all the prepped onesies – I just had to put a little piece of parchment paper inside the onesie before I started painting.

Here is a onesie in the middle of the painting process:

And here is all of the onesies after being painted, drying.

And here they are in all their glory, after I peeled off the freezer paper and heat set them all:

I really love how they turned out! And they are all organic cotton onesies, which is great.  I would like to figure out how to do this concept a little quicker, so that I can make it as gifts for friends.  I am thinking that maybe the Silhouette could really help me out in that respect.  Maybe a fabric number applique instead of the paint?

I know I only have 0-11, for month 12, Brady Gaga will wear a normal outfit, like JJ did in his monthly photos.

And here is the little man himself, wishing everyone a happy President’s Day!

(I love his outfit, I think it makes him look like he went to the U!)

Reverse Appliques on my mind

One of JJ’s Christmas gifts from my sister was an Amy Tangerine reverse applique t-shirt. It is adorable and whenever he wears it, I always get many comments on how cute his shirt is! If you can’t really tell from the picture, the tie shape is cut out of the t-shirt and then a piece of fabric is stitched to the fabric, creating a reverse applique.

I think I can make something similar. I would use lightweight interfacing (what I use for all my machine applique-ing) to keep the applique cut out crisp and securely adhered to the t-shirt material. Maybe I’ll create a tute! Dare to dream…

Between the quilt I need to make for Brady Gaga and the onesie project, I need another project like I need a hole in my head. But this had been occupying my mind all day yesterday, so I am thinking I really should do it. And a little friend of ours is turning 2 in a few months – she might be the perfect recipient of one of our first reverse applique t-shirts!

For those who think JJ never cries or fusses, these next couple pictures are for you! He was in full on melt down mode before music class yesterday – not quite sure why, probably a little tired. But he ended up being fine for class – just was really feeling bad for himself during our little photo shoot:

Yes, he is resting his head on the stairs! Poor, poor boy 🙂

WAHHHH! WAHHHHHH! He really wanted to hold the camera, but then I couldn’t giggle and capture this wonderful moment 😉 He is such a faker – once I let him hold the camera, the waterworks and drama immediately shut off.

Bubs – you are a piece of work! I love you so so much!!!!