Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Merry Christmas





























I realize that everyone else is totally over Christmas, but I have so many cute photos I wanted to share anyway. My kids got some pretty exciting gifts this year and I love the pics of their reactions. And the baby-eating-wrapping-paper photos are always highly entertaining! One of the great things about this year is all the snow we had in December, it really helped the Christmas mood.
We had a great time with all of my brothers and sisters and their kids here for an all-day present opening odyssey. There are so many of us it seriously takes all day. Can you tell from the pictures that I was up until 4 AM?!I know, it is obvious! I think that is the latest we've ever stayed up before. Now that I am an adult the giving is definitely my favorite part of Christmas, making and buying things that I know people will like, esp my kids. One of the best things about being an adult at Christmas is that instead of being sad when it's over like when you're a kid, you can enjoy it and also be glad when it is all done because it is so much work!
And yes, that is an Elvis CD my four year old received! He loves Elvis music!
I am sad to report that so far my Christmas all year round crafting and gift making is so far not going very well. Not going at all really. I'm really going to try to do it though! Feb is a new month, I will have to plan to do at least one project then. Hope you all had as fun a Christmas as we did.

Dishtowels




I made a few of these dishtowels for Christmas gifts. I really liked this project because it was quick and easy and I think they are really cute. They are a nice way to use some novelty kind of fabrics that you love but don't know how else to use necessarily. You can get at least two towels out of one fat quarter of the print fabric, or maybe three depending on how long the print part of the towel is.
I'm not sure if I remember all the details of how to make them, but basically they are made from muslin and some of your favorite cotton print, and a little trim. Muslin is really cheap so it is a nice thrifty project. I measured a dishtowel I already had to get the length and width but you could really do that however you want. I measured out the muslin, minus the amount of the print I wanted to use at the bottom for the front piece, and then the cotton and used the rotary cutter to cut all the pieces, and even them all out to make them straight. Don't forget to allow for the seam allowances. I was going to do just one layer but then realized that the seam would show in the back, so I decided to make them two layers. So, the layer on the back I just cut to fit the size that the front layer turned out to be, and it is solid muslin. Anyway, after I sewed the bottom print fabric on, then I sewed the trim onto the seam where the two pieces meet. Then I put the two pieces right sides together and sewed all the way around leaving a small hole. Then I trimmed the fabric esp in the corners and turned it right side out. Then I poked the corners to make them sharp, and then ironed it. Then I sewed through the trim, and then all the way around with a zig zag to close the opening. Then just iron it all down and fold to look like a dishtowel. I hope those instructions make sense, you can probably figure it out just by looking at the pictures anyway. I love the ones with the rick rack and I really liked the way the red zig zag looked against the white cloth. These were fun and quick to make, my favorite kind of project, and you could make a whole bunch to liven up your kitchen with whatever fabrics you like!

Monday, January 28, 2008

And the Award for Nerdiest Christmas Gift Goes To....


My brother, the neurologist!

Under the Nile




Through a friend I discovered this great company that makes a variety baby things, like these adorable little cloth veggies and teething dolls, called Under the Nile. All of their products are made of Egyptian cotton and are really high quality and safe for babies, and pretty affordable too. Best of all they can be easily machine washed. (I'm always amazed at the amount of baby toys that say they can only be surface washed. Like that is enough for something that gets spit up and maybe even pooped on!!) I just love all of their products. They are so useful but also adorable with their cute little embroidered faces and stocking caps. It might be hard to tell on the pictures but my sister got her baby a broccoli that is so cute, and the tomato and gnome dolls are sweet too. Basically you can't go wrong with these toys, in my opinion You can find them on the Under the Nile website or other ones that sell baby things. I'd say that my baby's favorite is the string bean. Of course her favorite things of all are the remote, cell phone and my keys!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Art Bag



I made this little art bag for my niece for Christmas. I didn't have a pattern or anything, I was trying to copy this little cotton bag I bought at Old Navy a while ago. Because of this, if you look closely at it, you'll see that the sewing is a little wonky. I kept messing with it until I got it to look ok. If there is one thing I hate, it is ripping out stitches and redoing stuff! I filled this bag with a drawing pad, colored pencils, and Mr. Sketch markers for a girl who likes art. Did you have those in elementary school too? We called them the "smelly markers" and I loved them! I used to just sit and smell each one. They had smells like cotton candy, cinnamon, blueberry, lemon, watermelon. That is a really strong childhood memory for me, sitting in class drawing with Mr. Sketch markers. I'd get them for my kids, but due to past inappropriate coloring episodes (like on walls, furniture, etc.), markers are banned from my house! Maybe someday they will be allowed again and I can get us some new smelly markers.

Pillowcases



Some of my favorite gifts my kids received this year were these pillowcases made by their Nana. They love them too! I'm hoping she'll give me a little lesson when we go to Arizona next month.

Girly Christmas




I can't tell you how much fun I had buying GIRL things for Christmas, for the first time ever! Even though she was only four months old on Christmas I just had to buy her a doll of course! I have been drooling over these Hop Skip Jump dolls for almost two years and decided that a baby girl's first Christmas was the perfect excuse to get one. These dolls go on sale and you literally have to be waiting ready to click on the one you want the second it shows up on the screen, and she always sells out in minutes. I bought mine earlier in the fall, well before Christmas and was so excited about it! Never mind that it is more for me than her! I love the style of these dolls, they are made with such great quality hand craftsmanship. This one reminds me a lot of a book I had when I was little called "Elizabeth." It is the story of a little girl who gets a cloth doll for Christmas and is unhappy about it, and tosses it aside. The doll looks just like her, and I think from the story you can tell that her mother made it for her. She is jealous of her bratty cousin's doll who is mechanical and does all sorts of tricks like turning somersaults. After a while she gets her cloth doll out of the back of the closet and starts to play with her. "Elizabeth" the doll becomes her best friend and they go through all the seasons together, eating blackberries in summer and playing in the snow together in winter, and having lots of adventures. The cousin's doll breaks before too long. It is a sweet story with adorable illustrations. I loved it for many reasons when I was young; the pictures, the adorable story, the fact that her dog was a collie (I had a sheltie growing up), and the fact that there was a lot of pink in the book! A few years ago I decided to look it up and realized that it was out of print. I did find a copy and it was being sold for over $100! Not in very good condition either, and it is a tiny little mini-sized book. I'm glad I still have my copy even though the spine is gone and you can see the threads holding it together. I know I'll be reading it to my little girl and I hope she loves it as much as I did!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sistahs






My sisters are awesome people and some of my best friends. I'm so glad that even though my little gal doesn't have any sisters, she has these sweet little girl cousins to grow up with and be like sisters to her. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my sisters and I would have three baby girls all in the same year! But here they all are to prove it. We had great fun when my sister came from Utah for Christmas and these three cuties got to be all together for the first time!

Christmas Kids



Of course I had to show you the baby in her Christmas dress. And can I just say that it is nearly impossible to get a good picture of five children!