Sunday, October 24, 2010

Baby Theo

Baby Theo arrived on Wednesday morning and Mom Dad & Tess are all still busy gushing over him. After only 6 hours of labor he made his debut weighing in at a hefty 8.7 oz. We were told by the nurses that our "little" boy was the biggest baby on the floor and I think (I might be partial) the most squishiest smoochest baby ever. We've only just gotten home and it's apparent that this little guy is as hungry as he is cute, lucky for us he is sleeping well and when he's awake he spends his time cooing and looking around at his big new world. For the last 9 months Matt and I have been anticipating his arrival wondering what Theo would be like and words cannot express how much MORE he is - even in our expectant imaginations we could not have have predicted the overflow of love and happiness we both feel. Our journey as a family just got bigger and better. Welcome to the world baby Theo.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Zoo Boo Day

In anticipation of a distracted Halloween we are taking every early opportunity to dress up and celebrate the magical season early. This past Friday Daddy took the morning off and we ventured to the zoo to partake in the annual zooboo. We originally put together this fairy costume a few months ago to attend a themed birthday party and T ended up wearing the outfit for about an hour.I wanted to get some additional wear out of it and Halloween is the perfect opportunity. It had been killing me that I didn't made a new costume for T but she was plenty excited to dress up in her fairy costume once more. My blue fairy looked like a dream walking around the reflecting pool and among the suspended pumpkin. This was our second year to zoo boo and the first time that Tess was able to pick up on the fact that other kids were dressed up as well.Oh so much fun.

Fabric Dye
Coat Hangers for wings
Dyed Panty hose for wings
Dyed Leotard
Dyed Fake flower
Satin Ribbon

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Well... still no baby yet, however I was some what reassured today by an magazine article that said "no pregnancy has EVER gone on indefinitely". I was beginning to have my doubts. We finally got some pictures of the soon to be occupied baby nursery. Since we are about to start a major house renovation I was on the fence about putting any effort into a temporary space knowing that for the most part the little guy would be sleeping in our room for the next few months. In the end Daddy & I both decided that with just a little effort we could convert a tiny room we used for storage into a sweet space for our little guy. Long term plans were to move him into our current room once the renovation was completed since we will be getting a larger bedroom, but after seeing how charming his little room came out we may just keep him there for a wee be longer. My favorite part of the room is the Rube Goldbergeque mural on the wall I think the whole space is just perfect.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Halloween Fun

Baby is due this week and trying everything I can to keep my mind off the fact that... BABY IS DUE THIS WEEK. Despite all efforts to will him to come faster he and mother nature are taking their own sweet time and going the distance. I have been taking everyone's advice and enjoying these last precious days of being a threesome. Getting out and about is challenging but staying at home with a toddler can be enough to drive anyone crazy. Tess has tons of energy these days and we have been trying to squeeze in some seasonal fun while the weather has been so lovely and while Mommy still can. Last weekend we headed off to the pumpkin patch and picked out a few choice gourds and when we got home we were all still in the pumpkin mood so we... painted mommy's belly to look like a big ol' jack-o-lantern and took some fun family pictures.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Robot Mobile

Count down just 15 days before baby arrives and I finally got that baby mobile finished. It was a quick, easy and inexpensive project that really helped to complete our mini baby room. My nesting tendencies are in full swing but because we have a renovation gearing up I have been reluctant to tackle any house projects and it's driving me kinda crazy. To keep my mind off of the need to "fix" everything I have been working on making frozen meals to stock up the freezer and trying to sneak in a few more sewing projects. Sitting at the machine with this huge belly is getting to be a bit of a challenge so any projects tend to be quick and easy ones. The mobile was a two day project that I worked on in mini sessions. The first day I sewed and stuffed the little felt bots and the second day Matt helped me hang the fishing line to the silver painted embroidery ring and attach it to the ceiling. I really didn't get a great shot of the completed mobile the room is very small and hard to photograph but I think this weekend I will try again to get some pictures of the finished nursery. I used my bag of fabric scraps to crate this mobile so my only expense was a $3.49 embroidery ring, sure pays to keep those little scraps around.

Fishing line
Silver spray paint
Embroidery ring

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Simple Baby Quilt

It's been a crazy few months. Getting ready for baby #2 who arrives in just 4 weeks while managing a toddler has made for a busy busy summer. I've been battling with mommy guilt over the fact that I have been so involved with T that I haven't spent the same attention on preparations for baby 2. By the luck of the draw (coming second) baby #2 is going to be getting left overs and hand me downs from his big sis but there are a few things that I wanted to make just for him. I was set on making a baby quilt and a (not yet tackled) room mobile. I have never quilted before and so for my first attempt I wanted something simple yet stylish. I found inspiration & great how to techniques online at Purl & on You Tube. The only thing special I had to buy was a quilting foot that enables you to sew multiple layers together without the fabric slipping. I started with batting or pinning the three layers of fabric together with safety pins then proceeded in sewing zigzag lines of different threads across the short length of the pinned material. I did this repeated and changed colors with each pass until I "felt" the quilt was "done". The last step was to trim the edges and attach binding material around the edges. My total budget for this project including the new sewing foot was $22.00 and total time was about about 3 1/2 hours.

Cotton batting
2 contrasting colors of cotton material
Several thread colors
Safety pins
Quilting foot

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tess 2nd Birthday

Finally posting some pictures from Tess' second birthday. We spent the week in Sanibel Florida with extended family at our yearly family beach retreat and ended the week with a birthday celebration for Tess. She is such a lover of the zoo that we thought we would bake cupcakes and decorate them with some of her favorite animals. Matt and I spend a few hours the night before coloring and shaping the fondant animals and first thing in the morning we baked off the cupcakes and decorated them with the critters.We topped the white cake cupcakes with buttercream icing and then colored store bought vanilla Duff brand fondant from Michael's. They tasted amazing and were really fun to make... Tess wasn't sure if she wanted to eat them or give them all names and play with them.

Duff Brand Fondant
White cupcake mix
Zebra cupcake liners
Wilton Buttercream icing
Gel food coloring

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Little Step

In just a few months Tess is will be turning two. I can't believe how quick these years have gone by and how big she is getting. In these next few weeks my plan is to work on several crafts that will hopefully serve as a reminder to me of these special "little girl" days. There are many pre-assembled kits for making baby prints that can be picked up at craft stores but we wanted to control the materials so that we would be able to make the same stepping stones every year to mark her birthday. We got all the materials at the local hardware store and spent less than five dollars on everything and we have left over for next year. We started out by mixing concrete as per directions and once ready scooped the mixture into the plastic plant liner we used as a mold. Next we rubbed olive oil on Tess' feet and let her press lightly into the concrete. To finish it off Daddy scribed TP2 to mark her birthday and we let everything dry for 48 hours before removing the liner. You can embellish with stones and marbles etc but we are saving that for when Tess can decorate them herself...that's for next year.

Quickmix Concrete
Plastic plant liner
Olive oil
Mixing container
Stir Stick

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Welcome Bear

This past week a very dear friend of mine welcomed her second child - a daughter named Georgia into the world. I can attest that if she is anything like her mom the overall population of amazing people just increased by one. We wanted to make something special for her so Tess and I decided on sewing this sweet little mama bear. This was my first attempt at this little stuffie and although somewhat harder to construct than our previous monsters she came out pretty cute. Here is a pic of the final outcome and of us wrestling the bear away from Tess so we could pack her up for her trip out to San Francisco. Welcome Georgia. We can't wait to meet you.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dressing Tess

Growing up I can remember my mother bemoaning the fact that when she was my age she was forced to wear clothes sewn by my grandmother. I heard countless stories about how she would swap clothes with her friends on the way to school and inevitably get caught wearing the "wrong thing" when school photos came out. Needless to say I grew up never wearing a stitch of handmade and by the time I was in the 9th grade I was shunning department store duds and hitting the racks in at local vintage shops. I loved finding one of a kind dresses. I cherished garments made with exquisite tailoring and details, clothes that were created with care and in many cases homemade.

I have said in the past that one of my parental missions is to bring homemade into the lives of my children. I want them to value the process of making and also the rewards that come from creating something from scratch that is uniquely their own. Hopefully they will grasp the notion that something made with love and care is infinitely better than anything you can buy at a department store.

Here is my first attempt at making a dress for Tess. I have to say I find sewing difficult and making a dress this small was a huge challenge for me. Admittedly my sewing skills are very limited and anything beyond sewing a straight line is way beyond me but I managed to sew, rip out and re-sew enough to finally finish my first garment. Despite the struggles I am still determined to keep practicing and hope that by the time Tess goes off for her first day at school she will proudly be wearing something Mommy made.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentines Cookies

I tried making sugar cookies once back in high school and they were so awful that it has taken 26 years before I would attempt to try again. I still remember putting in all that effort to end up with wonky, saltly cardboard cookies that went straight from the oven into to trash. This time I was determined to find just the right recipe, meticulously measure everything and hope that my baking luck like myself had matured and mellowed. I found a great recipe for cream cheese sugar cookies over at Blonde Designs and a royal icing recipe at Martha Stewart that I modified by adding some lemon extract and fresh lemon zest. I prepared the dough a day in advance and let it chill overnight in the refrigerator then the next day while Tess was napping I proceeded to bake them until the edges were just barely brown. I saved the decorating for later that night after we put the little one to bed. Here are the final decorated cookies. I must say they turned out much better than my first attempt, so good in fact that I'm thinking of revisiting some other teenage disasters to see if some of those might have gotten better with age as well.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Handmade Valentines

Growing up I always remember loving Valentine's Day, it was always such a mystery over who who sent what card and who wrote what secret message. I always cherished the special cards, the ones that didn't look like the boxed cards that I always passed out. I never did make my own Valentines growing up, our house was not the most creative back in those days, I guess that's part of the reason why I now make such an effort to try and incorporate handmade into Tess' life. I still love Valentine's Day, not the store bought, gift required, obligatory token of affection but the sweet simple gestures of love that make me feel all warm and fuzzy. I wanted Tess to have a hand in the card making so I laid our several sheets of red construction paper and made a template so that she could apply her paint dipped finger in just the right place.

white finger paint
red construction paper
small envelopes
circle paper punch
ink pen with white ink

Friday, January 29, 2010

Candle Making

One of the best things about working on a product launch is taking product photos which usually entials the client sending lots of product samples. On some projects we might get a bunch of boxes, or packages of soda but every once in a while we get great things like chocolate, like cookies, and cosmetics. On this occasion we were working with amazingly great smelling Aveda aromatherapy oils. When we were done with photos we had all this product left over and on a whim decided to try our hand at making soy candles. With a little bit of internet research, 10lb of soy wax, a double boiler, three dozen glass containers and some luck we ended up with some pretty sweet smelling candles that we gave to friends as holiday gifts. Not all the candles turned out perfect, we had to scrap a few but for the most part we had a great time, learned something new and found a use for all the incredible Aveda product we had left over. Here are images of the project from the raw product to the poured candles to the boxes we custom designed and printed to the final candle all wrapped up and ready to go.

100% Soy Wax
glass candle containers
Aveda personal blend oils
candle wicks
double boiler
Uline blank boxes
spray Paint
rubber Stamp