Christmas Advent Calendar

I love decorating for Christmas! Unfortunately my tiny apartment can’t hold very many decorations, so they are kind of all crammed into odd places, hoping they will be seen, but not touched by a very helpful toddler.

I was a few days late getting this one done, but I love how it turned out! Even though Decker has no idea what we are counting down for, I still wanted to make an advent calendar that he could help me decorate.

IMG_4017

I found this idea on Pinterest from A Bright Corner. She has a pattern you can buy and a link for many of the ornaments. I made up my own pattern, used some of the ornament templates, and then drew up the rest on my own.

All of the ornaments are made from felt. I fused them together with medium strength Heat-N-Bond to make them more sturdy without having to sew those tiny pieces together. I did some basic hand embroidery on some of them, and raided my moms craft stash for fun accents to decorate those little ornaments.

IMG_4034

I love how it turned out and so does Decker! (a little to much as he want to put them all on at once!)

Halloween Costumes 2015

I have more hobbies than I have time for, which sometimes puts blogging pretty low on the priority list. But I have some fun things I am working on that I wanted to share!

The beginning of October Decker discovered Curious George and just can’t get enough of it. As Decker was running around our house like a crazy child Nick commented that he kinda looks like Curious George. And then I knew exactly what our family was going to do for Halloween.

IMG_3936

Decker was so excited to be “Monkey” and of course to go around and get candy. Nick was a good sport and dressed up as “The Man with the Yellow Hat” with a bit less enthusiasm. I love having our family go as a theme but didn’t want to put a ton of work into my costume, so Decker and Nick would be the main focus. I found this awesome pant suit at DI and decided I could fit in as a Safari Explorer.

IMG_3939

These costumes were so easy to put together! I found mine at DI, borrowed a hat and binoculars from Nick and was set. I found yellow pants, shirt, and tie at DI for Nick. I drew black polka dots on the tie myself. The Yellow Hat was the hardest part. I wrapped paper into a cone and stuffed it into a witch hat to make it stiff. Then I wrapped and glued yellow fabric around the hat and brim. This took a LOT of time and I would figure out something easier if I was going to do it again. For Curious George I used this pajama pattern. I put the zipper in the back instead of the front and stopped the legs at the bottom instead of adding the footed part. I drew my own pattern for the monkey feet with elastic to go under Decker’s feet.

Overall I am so happy with how our costumes turned out this year!

Baby Shower Ideas

I just realized I haven’t posted in FOREVER! And it’s not because I haven’t made anything. It’s because I have been so busy making things that I haven’t taken the time to blog about any of it. So I finally decided to do a quick post about my most recent project.

Baby girl clothes are my favorite to sew. They are so cute and tiny, don’t use much fabric, and there are so many ways to change up a pattern. But since I don’t have a baby girl, I don’t get many opportunities to sew cute girl things. So when my sister-in-law announced she was having a baby girl I got excited. That meant a baby shower and baby showers mean a chance to make lots of cute little outfits.

My sister helped me dig through my bins of fabric (I think she was in shock at the amount of fabric I have…) and search through my patterns and come up with some cute ideas.

Our first idea was a simple peasant dress with a ruffled diaper cover. I cannot stand to see a baby in a cute dress with a diaper hanging out. So for me diaper covers are a big deal. I found the pattern for the peasant dress at Sew Much Ado. It is such a simple pattern and so easy to make. For the ruffled diaper I used the pattern from Dana Made and just added a few ruffles across the bum.

IMG_3760

Next I decided to make a romper. I absolutely love seeing cute chunky baby arms in the summer. And a romper is the perfect way to show them off. I bought this pattern from an Etsy shop but it doesn’t look like its available anymore.

And of course cute outfits need accessories. So I made a simple matching headband and some cute little shoes using this pattern from I Think Sew. Two super cute outfits done 🙂

Then my mother-in-law asked me to make some gauze summer blankets. I had used these for my baby and loved them in the warmer weather. I had found the tutorial at Make It and Love It (my favorite tutorial blog) and it was so easy to follow. I had extra fabric from these blankets and decided to make a few more dresses.

IMG_3772

For these two dresses I based the top part of the dresses on the peasant dress pattern. For the aqua dress I made a simple bubble skirt and added a cute bow. For the purple dress I made three tiered ruffles. These were both simple ways to change up a basic pattern. And of course they both needed diaper covers.

IMG_3762

After all of this I couldn’t get enough of cute baby girl clothes so I kept going……

I made another romper, but this time I used knit fabric and mixed patterns together. I used the romper bottoms and the peasant dress top (adjusting the top to fit the bottoms). I also added snap tape to make diaper changing easier.

IMG_3753

Feeling the need to see more cute baby skin, I decided to make another tank-top style top. I shortened the peasant dress into more of a shirt length, added flutter sleeves, and made a simple pair of knit shorts based off of a leggings pattern. And of course I needed to make a cute knotted headband to match.

At this point I thought I should be done, but then I saw one last scrap of fabric…and decided to make one more. Again I used the peasant dress pattern shortened to shirt length, and added leather sleeves. Then I cut up and old shirt to make leggings trimmed with leather to match the shirt. I finished the outfit off with a leather bow headband.

IMG_3776

All of these outfits were quick and easy to make. I probably could have made a bunch more (I definitely have enough fabric and I’m sure my sister-in-law wouldn’t have mind, you can never have to many clothes right?) but I decided that I really needed to finish the thousand of other projects piling up and the bottom of the bed.

Baby Finger Paint

 

IMG_3675

Decker has been so busy lately! We have been taking advantage of the warmer weather (but wishing there was snow) and going outside every day, and that boy still has more energy than our little apartment can handle! So today we went through the Pinterest board again and decided to try out finger painting. I remember my mom letting us finger paint with pudding as kids and we loved it! But I am trying to help Decker learn that not everything gets to be eaten, so I wanted a baby-safe, but not tasty paint.

I found this recipe from Powerful Mothering. It was perfect! So easy to make and I used the neon gel food coloring so we got amazing colors this time!!! This recipe made a LOT of paint, so after I colored it I separated it into three different trays to save some for another day. (These are the Baby Bullet trays I use to store homemade baby food.)

IMG_3681

I set Decker in the bath so that he could paint the sides of the tub and so we had easy clean up. You could easily do this activity in a high chair, but I didn’t want Decker to think this was a snack. He was a little unsure at first probably wondering “where is all the water mom?” but eventually he figured out what we were doing.

 

IMG_3683

Can I really make a mess mom?

IMG_3685

What is this stuff!?

And of course he had to see how all of those bright colors tasted.

IMG_3686

Hey that’s not bad… 

IMG_3719

Don’t you just love that little tongue hanging out!

IMG_3698

 

He loved squishing that paint between his little fingers, but he wasn’t so sure he wanted Mommy painting it on his belly. This paint had such a good texture and consistency. As I was showing him how he could scribble his fingers in the paint I was so tempted to jump in and join him! This activity kept him busy for a whole 30 minutes. And then we ran the bath for a super easy clean up! This is an awesome activity for so many different ages!

Sensory Play-dough

My little one year old is BUSY! Everyday he wanders around exploring everything he can, which isn’t much in a tiny two bedroom apartment. And some days it is so hard not to constantly tell him “NO”. No you can’t get tangled in daddy’s computer cords, no you can’t grab everything out of the trash, no you can’t put anything in the toilet…..He of course has tons of toys to play with, but this boy gets bored fast. So I decided to come up with more activities I could say “YES” to. I am not a big fan of “screen time” especially for babies, and with a mom who is a preschool teacher I knew I wanted learning activities, not just something to entertain my kid.

IMG_3614

I looked on Pinterest for activities for one year olds and quickly put a board together with tons of fun activities. Sensory play is so important to help children develop so I wanted our activities to focus on multiple senses.

Today was the first time we tried a planned sensory activity and Decker loved it. I had read about lots of different recipes for play-dough and finally decided to go with one from “Fun at Home With Kids”. This baby-safe play-dough was easy to make and safe if babies put it in their mouth. Which of course Decker did. However it did NOT taste good. Which I wanted to help Decker start to learn the difference between meal time and play time. However that did not stop him from constantly tasting it…

IMG_3643

At first he really wasn’t sure what to do with the play-dough. I showed him how to smash it down, press cookie cutters into it, and squish it between his fingers. He just wanted to eat it.

IMG_3612

Eventually I got him to drop pieces into the muffin tin, which he proudly clapped about.

IMG_3639

He kept trying to walk across the play-dough to let me taste some (I about gagged it was so gross) so I decided to let him play in it naked so he wouldn’t get it stuck in his shoes. He wasn’t so sure about it on his toes at first but eventually he dove back in, literally.

206

Overall the play-dough was a huge hit. We played with it for about an hour and would have kept going if I hadn’t had places I needed to be. Of course the fun different colors I had made eventually turned into one green blob, but he still liked seeing the different colors at the beginning.

The dough was slightly greasy and the colors weren’t as vibrant as I wanted. I’m sure some of that could have been the amount of food coloring I put in. The longer he played with the dough the stickier and greasier it got. But after being in the fridge for a while it got firm again and was ready to go for another day. This recipe worked well, but I will probably try a few other recipes to try and find the best one for us.

Blackberry Birthday Cupcakes

Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me! This weekend was my birthday, the big quarter of a century, now I feel old birthday. So I made cupcakes. (And yes I also went to The Sweet Tooth Fairy and got my free Birthday cupcake!)

IMG_3603

The Best thing about making your own Birthday cake/cupcakes, is you make sure you get EXACTLY what you want. And this year I decided I wanted Blackberry Cupcakes baked in cute pink liners with blackberry frosting, blackberries, and pink sprinkles on top. So that is exactly what we had. And they were delicious.

 

IMG_3605

 

I found this recipe in the recipe book “One Sweet Cupcake by Janell Brown”. This book has so many delicious recipes! Its almost as great as pinterest! 😉

Although these cupcakes were near perfection I have decided that I like cupcakes with fillings best. Next time I think I will add a blackberry custard or something to the middle of these.

Crochet Santa Hat

I LOVE Christmas. I love the homemade treats, the lights, and the giving. I love the excitement of something new and seeing that excitement in others. One year as a little girl, all I wanted for Christmas was a Santa Hat. I’m not really sure why my heart was so set on it, but it was. And I was ecstatic when I got it and I wore it almost every year after that. So this year I new that my sweet baby needed a Christmas hat, because he is my perfect reminder of selfless giving.

IMG_0535

I thought finding a crochet Santa hat pattern would be really easy, but I couldn’t find one the right size or right look, so I designed my own. I wanted this hat to be one that could fit him for MANY years so I made a child size pattern. It is big on my one year old and even fits me when stretched out. For a smaller fit you could just crochet a bit more tightly.

IMG_0540

Enjoy! and Merry Christmas!

IMG_0545

IMG_0547

Crochet Santa Hat (child size)

  • hdc: half double crochet
  • dc: double crochet
  • ch: chain
  • sl: slip stitch to join
  • *repeat what is in the stars*

Tail:

  • Begin by making 6 hdc in magic ring. sl to join (6 hdc)
  • row 1: ch 2 in same space as join. 2 dc in each st around. sl to join(12 dc)
  • row 2-6: ch 2 in same space as join. 1 dc around. sl to join (12 dc)
  • row7: ch2. 2dc in same space as join, *dc in next 3, 2 dc in next* sl to join(15 dc)
  • row 8-12: ch 2, dc in same space as join and each one around, sl to join (15 dc)
  • row 13: ch 2, 2dc in same space as join, *dc in next  4, 2 dc in next*, sl to join (18 dc)
  • row 14-17: ch2, dc in same space and each one around, sl to join (18 dc)
  • row 18: ch 2. 2 dc in same space. *dc in next 5, 2 dc in next*, sl to join (21 dc)
  • row 19-20: ch 2. dc  in same space and each one around. sl to join (21 dc)
  • DO NOT WEAVE IN END! Continue on to hat.

Hat:

  • Round 1: chain 2, dc in first 6 st, 2dc in next, dc in next 14. join, chain 2 (22 DC)
  • Round 2: *2 DC in first, DC in next*, repeat around, join, chain 2 (33 DC)
  • Round 3: *2 DC in first, DC in next 2*, repeat around, join, chain 2 (44 DC)
  • Round 4: *2 DC in first, DC in next 10*, repeat around, join, chain 2 (48 DC)
  • Round 5: *2 DC in first, DC in next 11*, repeat around, join, chain 2 (52 DC)
  • Round 6: *2 DC in first, DC in next 12*, repeat around, join, chain 2 (56 DC)
  • Round 7: *2 DC in first, DC in next 13*, repeat around, join, chain 2 (60 DC)
  • Round 8-10: DC in each around (60 DC)

 

Fur Edging

  • I used Bernat Pipsqueak in Whitey White
  • Attach at the join mark from the previous round.
  • Row 1-4 – Chain 1, hdc in the same as the chain stitch and hdc around (60)
  • Join with a sl and weave in ends.
  • POM POM –
  • Wrap the yarn around your 4 fingers approximately 30 times. The more times you wrap it, the bigger it is.
  • Tie around the center of the wrapped yarn – make sure it is tied TIGHT (I like to tie it
  • a few times just to be sure!) Then cut the ends and trim it down to your
  • shape. Secure pom pom to the top of your hat, and you are done!