Monthly Archives: September 2010

09.30.10Waiting for the night

Is that a song? I swear it is. Anyhoo I am waiting to do some night photography for my olive can make over tutorial… getting warmer at a guess yet? But the kiddos are sleeping or at school and I was finally able to try and find some labels etc. for our christmas cards and I stumbled on a website and HAD to share it, Paperwink

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I love how classic and clean their website is and their prices are FABULOUS! I have always wanted my own return label stamp but could never justify the outrageous prices, combined with the fact that we move every few years but this is TOTALLY worth not dooming my hand to arthritis. I think I am going to go with this one:
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I originally wanted a more expensive one but then I saw their personalized notebooks and thought if I got a stamp on sale maybe I could sneak in the 3 pack of personalized notebooks.
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I am ordering our cards this weekend and very happy that I won’t be hand addressing them again. Now I can save my hand for hand written notes! Wish me luck with the night photography as I am AWFUL at it.

09.29.10Um, is it really 11?

I had such good intentions for our first day in Timor. I have tons of things I am dying to sew (Italy is an inspiring place) and I have one HUGE project coming up (think wood, saws, nails, lace, silk etc ha!!) When I went to bed last night my head was swimming and I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning. Well Evie couldn’t wait to get up at 2-4:30am and the boys felt the same way from 3-4am. This morning I rolled out of bed and opened my door to see bright sunlight on the water, uh oh. It was 11 in the afternoon!!!! All 3 of the cuties and I had slept in until 11!!! Finn had totally missed school and Sawyer was about to if I didn’t get my bum in gear. I had to shake everyone awake and make a made dash lunch. After grocery shopping in the pitch dark (darn power cuts), throwing away the expensive food in our freezer we had airfreighted in from Aus due to a 9 hour power cut while we were gone and rounding all the cuties up again I didn’t get a chance to get to anything, boo. And I was totally going to do a tutorial on how to make your hubby’s these smashing outfits:

Ha! Okay I am totally kidding, those were two of the vatican guards. Da Vinci designed their uniforms, how cool is that? You are wearing art! I wonder if he would be a clothes designer if he were born today, seems like there is more money in that these days. With clothes like these:
I am sure Lady Gaga would be his number one client! Okay anyway sorry I just had you show you those :) And this one will help you get to know me a little better:
That is me climbing up the TINY staircase to the top of St. Peters Basilica. So tiny you need to haul your bum up a rope! I was dying laughing. The last time I did something like that I was 7 months preggers with Finn and carried Sawyer up the rope to the top of Blarney Castle. Aw man can you tell I am jet lagged I am totally babbling! Needless to say I have made everyone stay up super late tonight so that we are righted by tomorrow. Combine that with another rousing game of Hopscotch
I am telling you it was intense
AND turned into a brotherly brawl
and required a good scrubbing of the feet that nights
and possibly another hot chocolate tea party (smattered with my sarcastic comments about drinking hot chocolate in 90 degree heat) and I think it will be a fun day! Plus I have my first halloween tutorial to share with you, here is a totally obscure hint:

09.24.10The {Free} Tulip Pants Tutorial from Heather

Heather from Featherty Sews , found HERE. Was kind enough to work super hard on the following tutorial, complete with a pattern whoot whoot! (Even when her desktop was working against her) Totally brief aside, when I get home I am planning on offering a tutorial on how to make your own digital patterns using only Photoshop, no expensive programs. Good idea or lame idea is my query? You just have to promise to still think I am at least a little cool after you see how easy it actually is and promise to still read my blog every now and then when everyone else catches on to the easiness ha! Thank you Heather for overcoming the death of your desktop to bring us these A-dor-able pants!

Welcome to the official tutorial for the Tulip Pants pattern that you can download for free HERE. This post includes the details on materials needed and the step-by-step instructions, but I wanted to show pictures for those of you who learn better that way.

I made these out of babywale corduroy. It’s super soft and moves really nicely. Just remember when working with corduroy that it has a nap, so you always want to cut it out with all of the pieces pointing in the same direction. I don’t know if I chose nap up or nap down, but when I run my hand down the leg, it’s rough. That way the color pops better! I usually start making these pants by preparing the pockets. For this version, I put gathers in the open edge of the pocket and then backed it with a little piece of Anna Maria Horner’s voile. Sew right sides together, clip and turn. Press and topstitch the “hand” edge.

Gather along the top of the Lower Front pieces and the Lower Back pieces. Pull gathers so the bottom piece is the same width as the top.

Sew each Lower Front to Upper Front, and Lower Back to Upper Back, right sides together.
Attach the Yoke pieces to the Upper Back pieces. For this version, I pressed the seams up and top-stitched then 1/8″ from the edge.

Attach the pocket pieces to the front of the pants, topstitching along the bottom edge.
You can see the inside of the pocket lining in this photo.

Sew right front piece to right back piece at the outer side edge, right sides together. Then sew in the inside leg seam. Repeat with left leg.

Turn one leg inside out, stuff it inside the other leg and stitch up the crotch seam from front to back. I added a faux fly in this pair. I’ll be doing a quick-tute on how to put in a faux fly in a few days. Cut your ribbing for the waistband. I cut mine one inch smaller around than the width of the waistband I’m working with, and five inches tall. Stitch the sides of your ribbing together and fold in half, WRONG sides together.

Lay the ribbing band onto the waist of the pants, right sides together, and stitch almost all the way around, leaving a gap to thread your elastic.

Thread the elastic through the middle of the ribbing, all the way around and attach it by zig-zagging the ends together.

Stitch the last bit of waistband shut.

Hem the legs, and you’re done!

Seriously how cute are these! I bought a pair just like them for WAY to much at Nartjie before I left the states. Now I can make as many as I want for Evie in lots of fun colors. & I LOVE the idea of soft cord, to bad my ginormous hips prevent me from pulling off a pair myself.

09.22.10Princess and the Pea: A softie toy tutorial

I love love love this little softy. I think it is just so cute.

It is sitting on Evie’s changing table right now and she loves playing with it while I change her which is heaven compared to the leg wrestling I usually have to do :) And the great part is that it is so fast and easy to make! Detailed instructions and the pattern I used can be found in”More Softies” (hyper linked) one of the fab books I talked about in THIS post. A friend promised to bring me back one from Aus next month and I am thinking of maybe doing a giveaway because it had such cute stuff in it! You can purchase the American edition HERE for a steal of a deal. All right lets get hoppin!

What you will need:
A small piece of fabric for the face (if you use muslin I would use two piece stacked on top of each other. I just used left overs from my Bonjour Evette doll.)
Some felt for her hair, for the pea, and for her collar
Six different rectangles of fabric for the mattress
A small piece of fabric for the pillow and sleeping bag (on mine these are not the same fabric but there are no rules!)
A button for her dress
Embellishments for her hair (if you want, mine is from a strip of felt flowers I bought at Walmart forever ago)
Embellishments for the mattress (again totally optional, mine are from Material Girls in UT)
Needle and thread for eyes, lips and for sewing her little noggin’ shut.
Velcro (if you want to make the mattresses stick together, suggested and such a good idea)
Sewing machine
That sounds like a lot but I swear it is super easy once you have them all gathered. What was hard for me was figuring out which fabrics I wanted to use for her mattress’s. I kept having to walk away from my scrap fabric collection and come back again. Finally I settled on these:
Then I had to pick out a fabric for the princess’s “dress” and I went with a big polka dot print. I think this process would be a lot easier if you just head to the fabric store to the quilting section and see how they have the fabric already all matched up for you ha! Alright so once you have your pattern pieces cut out, (face of fabric, hair and collar of felt, dress or body of fabric) you are first going to sew the hair to the face. It will lay on top of the square of fabric for your face coming almost to the bottom.
You only have to sew from one side up over the square to the other side. You do not need to sew up around the hair (You can see my stitching in the picture if that was confusing, which it probably was ha!) Now connect your fabric you cut out for the “body” or dress by laying it right sides together with the face and sewing along the raw edges. Flip it over and topstitch what you just sewed.
This is a back view (you don’t need to serge it by any means)
Now for the fun part, the eyes and mouth. Once again I marked mine with a pen (it would be nice to have fabric chalk or something but a pen works fine :))
Thread your needle with the color you would like for the eyes and sew over, as neatly as possible, the marks you made for eyes. Now switch over to the color you would like for lips and sew over your lips mark.
Now you can sew on her collar (and any other embellishment, I put a little lace type thing on top of the felt collar) and once that is attached sew on your button in the center of the collar. Now we are going to sew her up! Fold your princess in half lengthwise and you are going to sew from the top down and across the bottom (leaving the top un sewn)
Now flip her right side out and pull the corners out with your unpicker so they lay nice and flat.
Grab some fluff and stuff it down into the princess through the hole in the top
Once you have stuffed her to your liking, thread your needle with matching thread. Tuck under the raw edges of her hair (I folded mine so that her hair goes up in the middle a little) Pinch it together and sew it shut.
She should now look like this:
I decided I wanted something in her hair. At first I tried a ribbon tied in a bow but I am awful at typing bows so it didn’t look at that great. While sifting through my random assortment of ribbon I found a small length of this felt flowers connected by raffia that I bought at walmart forever ago. I cut a flower off and attached it to her hair.
Your princess is now all done!
Now it is time to make her mattress’s. Grab all the fabrics you decided and your scissors. I used my princess to Gage how wide and long I needed them to be. I made mine about 2 inches longer and wider then the princess. Keep in mind when cutting that you are going to need to fold them in half and sew them. I would also attach any sort of embellishment you would like on your mattresses a this point. I thought little tassel things would turn out cute:
Also if you would like the mattresses to stick together you can sew corresponding long strips of velcro down the center. Then your princess can stack and re-stack them as she pleases with out them always toppling over. Once you have your squares cut out fold them lengthwise in half with right sides together. You are now going to sew all the way around leaving a small opening where you will be able to turn them right side out. Once you have sewn and before you flip them right side out I would trim the corners (making sure not to cut your sewing) so that the edges will lay nice and flat
Once you have done that flip them right side out. I decided to iron mine but that is optional. Now you are going to stuff them with fluff through your little opening. these are mine all stuffed
Once you are done filling them with fluff you can sew closed your little opening. At this point I decided to sew my mattresses together. (If you went the Velcro route you can skip this) You definitely don’t have to do this and for an older little girl I probably wouldn’t so she would play with the mattresses as well. But Evie would just walk off with once and end up loosing it, so for now mine are sewn together. I just did a few long stitches that went all the way through the mattresses.
Now take the fabric you selected to make her little sleeping bag. Finish off both raw ends by hemming them
Then sew along both raw edges and the bottom.
You can decide wether to attach her little sleeping bag to the top mattress or not :)
Now you can make a little pillow the same way you made the mattresses if you so please. I think it makes her look nice and comfy when all tucked in.
Now for the Pea. Cut a circle of green felt (I did a HUGE one first and had to size it down). Thread your needle with green thread and sew large stitches all the way around the outside edge of the pea. Keep the needle attached and place a little ball of fluff in the center.
Now pull gently on the tread so that it tightens up around the fluff
Pull the thread until it is completely closed around the fluff and stitch it closed. Now place your pea in between one of the bottom mattresses.
I didn’t sew mine in but Evie has already figured out how to pull it out and shove it in her mouth :) That is when she is not trying to pull of the button on her collar (make sure this is sewn on really really well if it is for a small child and do not let them sleep with the doll unless they are old enough not to eat buttons, or jut don’t attach one if it makes you feel better.)
So there you have it! I just love all the color and how happy it looks. If you would like to see more by the designer you can check out Sarah Bowe’s blog at Enjoy making it! I probably won’t be posting again until next week. I know this is meant to be a crafty blog so I don’t want to inundate you with pictures from our trip. Have a lovely week and weekend!

09.20.10Still Going Strong!

Hi guys! We have been keeping busy busy busy here. I thought I would give a super quick update about what we have been up to. I tried to do family pics this last week so I can get the Christmas card goin’ I thought I would share a sneak peak:

My fav of Sawyer:
Finn was a DOLL and there are to many that I love:
Although this one is hilarious because it is totally his personality
Evie was so excited to be wandering around and taking it all in.
I really wanted a good one of her smiling so Daddy gave her some tickels
I love the look of anticipation on her face:
I have THE worst luck when it comes to our own family pictures. Nothing ever seems to go smoothly. As soon as we got in the car it started lashing rain. We drove all the way into downtown Rome and sat in the car saying we would give it ten minutes to stop. Thank heavens it lightened up enough to run out to the bridge. The boys LOVED playing with umbrellas
We were quiet the spectacle and had a bit of a crowd watching the boys spin around (and I was probably pretty entertaining trying to run around in my dress trying to get pictures of all of them)
This was the only family picture that really turned out okay. It was just to busy (totally thought the rain would drive people away) and the kiddos had been cooped up for too long in the car, but it looks okay :)
Today we headed out and did this:
IMG_2108Crazy and fun but really hard being away from all 3 cuties. No one ever talks about how gut wrenchingly hard it is to be away from your children for the first time. I was crying in the airport, such a baby. It is only for a few days and there is really no way they could have come to Cairo with us and I know they are having a blast with Grandma and Grandpa but still, its hard. Am I crazy? I am also so so so excited to share this tutorial with you:
I have everything ready to go but won’t have internet access again until wednesday so check back for the fun pattern and directions. Oh it is so cute!
I LOVE it, definitely my favorite softy yet. Thanks for letting me take a little break and gush photographically about the cuties!