Monday, May 31, 2010

Like trying to hit a puppy by throwing a live bee at it

I realize that all babies are busy and on the move but I feel pretty
confidant that there has never been a more wiggly girl than Catie,
specifically when it comes to diaper changes.

I've started to dread them but being necessary the other day I headed
up to get the job done. I place her on the change table and before I
even take my hands off her she's rolled over. So I turn her over and
try to quickly hand her a toy. She's allready half rolled so I get her
attention and show her the toy. She takes it, throws it overboard and
rolls over. At this point I'm trying not to be frustrated.

She's discovered that the ends of her change table are great to crawl
up on so I thought maybe if that option was gone things would go
better. I move her to the floor where she immeditely rolls over to
climb up the shelf of her table.

So now I'm really frustrated and the diaper isn't even off yet! She
still has pants on. I put her back on the table (a little less
lovingly) and before she can move I put my hand firmly on her hips to
stop her from turning... so I'm not happy about things, this isn't
going well and what does she do next? She starts to giggle.

Her giggle makes me giggle and lighten up a bit. The diaper was
eventually changed and instead of ending up annoyed I just think she's
even more adorable even if she is the most wiggly girl there ever was.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Double Stoller Re-cover

Posting has been a little light this week and will probably continue to be for the next little bit.  I have a bunch of projects planned but they were all put aside as I worked furiously, obsessively, painstakingly on Michelle's stroller trying to get it done in time for her to take it home.

Michelle is in Edmonton for the summer and hating her stroller so when she decided to come home for a couple days we figured we could fix it for her.  The original plan was to have lots of time and work on it together but the modified plan involved much, much less time and me on my own.  Overall the project was a success but I have learned that I won't take on any more time sensitive jobs, it takes most of the fun out it.  These before and after pictures just might make all the difficulties worth it.  I was incredibly grateful that I had practiced on my stroller first.

The before

The peach was especially hateful and I feel you can't quite grasp the ugliness of the alphabet print from this far back so here's a close up.  This picture shows the alphabet and the plaid that you can see at the top of both seats.

I was asked for pics while I was working on the last stroller but I hadn't taken any and figured this time I would but I only managed to take one, there just wasn't time for any others.  So here it is, this is one of the sunshades all carefully taken apart.  From here I used the pieces I was replacing as a pattern to cut out my new fabric.  I then re-assembled the pieces and used the original trim to finish the edges.

The more I review the pictures the more the late nights seem worth it.  The $6.00 seam ripper made a world of difference.

As usual this re-do is far from perfect and we may need to do a little touch up when she's back but it's so far ahead of where it was that she was thrilled and I'm confidant I could tackle another.  Here's one last photo to showcase the pretty new fabric.


She grows up so fast!

In the last couple days Brad and I had been feeling like there wasn't anything in our house that Catie could play with independently.  She would pull herself up on everything but fall and get hurt so we had to follow her around everywhere which is fun to do occasionally but not all the time, so I called up our awesome neighbors and borrowed this table for Catie.  She LOVES it and plays with it obsessively.  This morning she was exhausted and ready for a nap but she just stood at the table whining.  When Brad picked her up she squirmed to get back to the table only to stand and whine some more.

She's currently teething working on her top two, today she fed herself 6 Cheerios which have previously been too small for her to pick up.  As we played peek-a-boo with a blanket this morning she pulled the blanket over her own head and then pulled it off.  We marvel just about every day about how she's such a little person with personality and we're loving it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cheese Face

I always think that people posting food pictures of their kids is gross, yet somehow it's not so gross when it's my own.

I'll understand when you don't appreciate the cheese mustache but it makes me smile.
And just try not to love those bottom teeth!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thumbprint Pendant

I found a really cute tutorial a while ago and really wanted to make one so using my Michael's coupons I bought what I needed for less than $4.  I then waited for a trip to Calgary where my sister-in-law and I made them together.

We used some white polymer clay and kneaded a small amount until it was soft.  We then took our clay and rolled them into small oval shapes and pushed our girls thumbprints into them.  I had first decided it would be cute to use Catie's right thumb since this is the one she sucks and it's her favorite.  I hadn't taken into consideration what damage constant thumb sucking at night does though and my first imprint looked a little like a tiny 80 year olds.  It was cracked and funny looking so I rerolled and used to the left thumb with much better results.

Once we had imprints we liked we poked holes so they could be threaded on a necklace and then we baked them in the oven following the package directions and these were the results.

I love that I can carry around a little imprint of Catie all the time and I like that it's so unique.

The only downside being Catie always wants to put it in her mouth, I guess she thought I used the right thumb :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mother's Day Flower

This was the flower I was given for Mother's Day, I'm going to do my best not to kill it but I'm not sure it's chances are very good.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ironing Board Update

One day we'll own a house and one day I'll have a sewing room.  Until then I have a large dining area right off my kitchen, this serves the dual purpose of eating and sewing.  Since it sits in my dining room everything is very visible, the result has been me feeling the need to turn every day sewing items into show pieces.  This has led to such projects as the, We Built This Shelf and most recently Ned the pincushion.  This next project was the other one I'd had in mind as I headed down to Great Falls knowing it would take a long piece of fabric.

I wanted a patterned fabric that would compliment the shelf, the pink box (which I have since washed and it looks incredible.  My Mom took one look and said, "Oh, the lid is see through?) and the place mat that sits under my sewing machine (you can see a picture of the fabric here).  When I picked up this flowered  fabric my Mom thought I was crazy but she hates most fabric I choose anyway so I took that as a good sign.  Hopefully now she sees how they tie in and thinks it's as cute as I do.

Following Sharon's inspiration I pulled out the spray paint and turned my boring white legs into luscious buttercream.  Using the old cover as a guide I cut out my new fabric, sewed in a casing for my rope and then spent the next couple of hours trying to insert the stupid thing.  My fingers are sore, I bent multiple safety pins and I unpicked and re-sewed half of the cover but the thing finally made it where I wanted so I could cinch it tight on the board.  I did this project while Brad was away and I think I'll be happier if I retie the rope when someone is here to hold it so it doesn't loosen at all.  I then used my lovely new ironing board to iron out the creases in the cover.  I love the way it turned out and perhaps this will encourage me to iron clothing a little more often (okay, let's be honest... ever.)

The only sad part of this project is that by the time I remembered I hadn't taken a before picture I had already taped up the board for painting.  This picture will have to do, you ca see it leaned against the wall in all it's awful glory.  The padding was so thin I would occasionally get grid marks on my projects but this has been replaced with something much nicer.

Bouncing with Daddy

Nobody makes her smile like her Daddy

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Glue Gun Case

This was the first project I took on with my new sewing machine and it's also the first project I thought up and created my own pattern for.  It's certainly not perfect and has many flaws but it gets the job done (it looks much better in the pictures than it does in real life).

I wanted a pouch to keep my glue sticks and glue gun together and I knew I could come up with something.  I considered making the standard boxed corners but I wanted it to have a cute rounded base.

I had a little difficulty working with the piping, it's big and the pouch is small so it was awkward but it turned out okay.  One of my sewing weaknesses is thinking through how to sew my project correctly so once it's turned the right way I have the seam going where I want, this project was a huge test of that but after only a little unpicking I got it to do what I wanted.  I'm pleased that there are no seams on the inside and the pound on snaps added the finishing touch I wanted.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stroller Re-cover

This was a project I had thought about doing a while ago and then dismissed it because it seemed too difficult but Michelle really wanted to re-cover her's so I decided to tackle my stroller in preparation.  Her's is a double so it'll be more difficult but I'm now convinced that we'll be just fine.  This project was the main one that encouraged the Great Falls trip with Mom and I was so pleased with the fabric I found and the price I found it at.

I carefully took apart all the pieces of my stroller, cut out new fabric and re-assembled using the original seam binding.  It looks so much better!

Here's the before and then a bunch of after shots.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Needle Book

 Needles have no place in a pin cushion.  They get lost and disappear until the end comes out the bottom and pokes you.  I've felt this for some time now as my needles have to be constantly rescued but I like to have them handy so I've dealt with the annoyance.  The creation of Ned has changed this though.  Ned is a place for beautiful pink pins, not long needles so I pulled up a solution I saw once.  This tutorial was exactly what I needed so I started on my own needle book.

I used the double needle feature of my sewing machine for the trim and I'm really happy with the detail it adds.  I LOVE the button that it's closed with, thanks Grandma! 

The needles slip inside and there's another page underneath this one if I feel the need to spread out even more (I didn't have all these needles in my pin cushion but since I have the space I added a bunch).  It makes me want to hand stitch often so I can admire this beauty.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pink Pins and Ned

 I pulled out my beautiful new pins and went to add them to my lovely tomato pin cushion that I've had since home ec. and it detracted so much from their beauty I couldn't stand it.  I pulled out all the other mismatched pins but it didn't help.  There was only one thing to be done, I needed a new pin cushion.

I did some searching and came across this beautiful hedge hog pattern and I was hooked.

Ned really came to life once his quills were inserted and he looks so handsome on my red shelf.  I'm having so much fun just enjoying my pin cushion, silly as it sounds.  I believe in beautiful things and he adds such a perfect touch to my creating space.

(Yes, I named my pin cushion.  You would too if yours was this beautiful and Ned just seemed appropriate.)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Becoming a Mother (long and rambly)

I've been a mother for 8 months now and I've been loving it but on Saturday I did something that turned me into a true Mother.  I drove all the way to Great Falls to go shopping for fabric.  I had a list of projects I wanted to complete but they were going to take a large amount of fabric and they were going to be too expensive so Mom and I drove down.

We had the greatest time and I loved spending time with her.  We shopped for fabric, clothes, shoes, clothes for Catie, smelly lotion and more fabric.  I spent far too much, she spent just enough and it was an awesome day.

I've been especially grateful for such an amazing Mom lately, specifically she has made it possible for the sewing to continue.  As I mentioned in the bouncy chair post my sewing machine decided it was finished and would not work properly unless I had some work done on it.  The machine was free as it was a hand me down and is old.  Paying to have it serviced wasn't really an option so I considered buying a new, second hand machine.  I even found one that looked okay when Mom came up with an even better solution.

She found my Grandma's sewing machine in her basement and gave it a whirl.  It sounds amazing, it's in great condition as Grandma had it serviced every year she owned it.  I should have been thrilled but I took a look and this machine is seriously old.  It's one that's screwed into a table which I don't have room for and it was really old.  It was a free solution though so I was prepared to take it home and let it grow on me, I'm sure I would have loved it eventually but I was having a hard time being excited.  Once again Mom came up with the solution, she instead will keep Grandma's machine since she hardly ever sews and she sent me home with hers.  As an added bonus she's lent me her serger indefinitely.  This is a plan that I could get on board with and I'm thrilled with the new machine.

One draw back... my first question was, "Does it use metal bobbins?"  Sadly it does not so the 48 I have are now completely useless to me.  This temporarily took me back to having only one bobbin but I fixed that problem by picking up 12 new ones today.

I look forward to tackling my long list of projects and I'm so grateful for a Mother who would do anything to make me happy and so freely gives of anything she has if she thinks someone could use it.  She's my best friend and I'm so glad I'm close enough to see her often.  I love that Catie knows her well and look forward to the fist time she calls her Granny Cathy (what we call her behind her back :)

A happy end note, I was able to find a happy home for my old machine and bobbin, I handed it down to someone willing to fix my beloved Hobby 303.  I wish Amber happy sewing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day

This was my first real Mother's Day and the day did not disappoint. At church the men all sang to us and it was lovely, my favorite part being how still Catie sat during it. I also came home with a lovely flower.

While we're here in Lethbridge being poor students we've scaled back a lot of celebrations. Birthday gifts are minimal and for smaller holidays like Valentine's Day and our Anniversary we don't do anything. I was sure to tell Brad that Mother's Day is not a skippable holiday though and he did such a wonderful job.

He bought my the best present (there were multiple but one stands above the rest). He bought me these beautiful, pink, pearl head pins.

I'm thrilled with them and had a hard time paying attention to anything else. He included some really cute ribbon (I was very impressed that he picked it out himself) and a new knife for the kitchen. There was also some chocolate.

He's the best husband I could have hoped for and I'm grateful for him every day. Somehow I was blessed with the most beautiful, delightfully well tempered girl who is a joy to mother and I have a nearly perfect husband to go with it. I can't believe how blessed I've been with our little family and I look forward to Father's Day so I can make Brad feel just as special.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I found this on a friends blog and loved how it described just how I'm feeling about these projects I've done lately.  At least it makes my obsession feel validated and worthwhile :)

I have a bunch more projects to share I just haven't got around to uploading my video but stay tuned.

Monday, May 10, 2010

More Bows

I go to a Mom and Tots group every Thursday where we mostly just sit and visit while the kids play but this week instead we made some cute hair bows.  Everyone pooled their resources and we all came away with something we were very happy with.  The best part was I was finally able to finish the flower I'd been trying to finish.  Thanks for the fun and the alligator clips!

Bouncy Chair Re-cover

Never have I worked on a project like this. It should have been a simple copy of this project that took a long time but turned out great and wasn't super difficult.  Read below for details on this beautiful disaster.

I had a baby shower to go to and wanted to give something really nice.  I thought back to what I liked the most when Catie was new and it was definitely the bouncy chair that we used all the time.  Since Michelle and I had re-covered ours and they turned out great I figured this was the perfect opportunity to make a really cute gift.

I found a cheap second hand bouncy chair to start and the fabric practically jumped off the shelf it was so perfect.  Armed with the necessary tools I got to work.  I very carefully unpicked the old chair so I could use the batting and backing fabric and then I cut out all my new pieces.  I pinned and started to sew and it wasn't very long before I ran into issues.

I have this sewing machine that I love.  I feel lucky to have it as my brother took his co-worker's old machine, he didn't even know I wanted one and at the time I didn't know I wanted one either.  It sat mostly unused for almost two years but lately it gets used just about daily.  I'm aware of how important this machine is to me so I try to oil it regularly and take good care of it.  For some reason this project proved too much for my trusty Hobby 303.  I spent hours fiddling with issues and called my Mom multiple times and when that failed I called my sister-in-law just as many times.  It seemed like as one problem was fixed another crept up.  I finally called it night at 1:00 am when my last needle broke.

I got up early and headed to Walmart for new needles with some new resolve to make this work.  My resolve was not enough and eventually I had to call a friend and beg the use of her machine.  So on the one hand my project is finished and adorable and on the other hand my sewing machine seems to be out of commission.  Now comes the question of, to try to fix or to buy a new (to me) machine.  Decisions.

But let's celebrate the beautiful new project and admire how lovely the chair is.

Thanks so much for featuring my bouncy chair!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Completed Quiet Book

I realized the other day that I hadn't ever posted pictures of the Quiet book when it was all bound together so I figured it was time to do that.  I decided it was also time to fix the first binding.  I'd used button holes like I had planned and since I was so terrible at them I had my sister-in-law make me some.  They were lovely and I thought they were exactly what I wanted until I put my binder rings in and I was really unsatisfied.  I just didn't like the way it looked.  I thought about it for a while and finally decided that grommets was the way to go so I picked some up at Walmart.  The reason I'd settled on button holes was because I didn't want to pay for the grommets but they were well worth the $6 (I had to buy the tool as well).

In my recent crafts I've used both pound on snaps and now grommets and I've decided that anything that uses a hammer and a special little tool adds such a finished look to the product.  I've been so satisfied with both projects and I think they look a lot more professional because of the snaps/grommets.  I'm now starting to look around for more projects they can be used on.  The only thing that would have made the grommets more successful was being patient enough to wait for a day that didn't have severe wind warnings.  Twice I had to chase after pieces and I think my cow finger puppet was a casualty.  It can be remade though and it feels great to have it completed.

In case you didn't catch the first round of the quiet book I've linked back to those posts you can see the each page.

The cover - I love this fabric
The back page has a pocket so any loose pieces can be put in there in a hurry (I thought this was a great idea but I've never actually used it).

Here are the links to all the pages I've made
Page 1&2 - the Tree & the Bee
Page 3&4 - the Goldfish and the Button on Letters
Page 5&6 - The Barn and Dress up Catie
Page 7&8 - the Tent and Red Light/Green Light
Page 9&10 - the Mailbox and the Dress

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Door Stop

Catie found the door stop the other day, so cute.

(Sorry about the sideway video.  I forget that the iPhone can be turned sideway but the camera needs to be turned the other way, you'll just have to turn your neck.)

Hair Clips

I had some things to return to Michael's the other day so I headed over with my 40% off coupon just in case.  I have a hard time passing up the coupon so I wandered to see what I could find.   I walked past the silk flowers and noticed they were 50% so I grabbed some real cheap pansies.  I've been wanting some new flowers for Catie and this seemed like the perfect time. 

When Catie was born I thought those huge flowers were dorky and she only wore little ones but now that she's grown and has a significantly larger head I think they're adorable.  She doesn't have very many big ones though so I've been thinking about new ones.

Using my 40% off coupon I picked up some decorative Brad's for the center and this is what I came up with.

I'm going to make one more but I have finally exhausted my alligator clip collection and I must buy more, both for me when I'm doing my hair and for more clips for Catie.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Catie loves her exersaucer, there are lots of fun things for her to do in it.  It has different heights so as she grows she can be pulled up higher so it grows with her and she's already been moved to the second level.

Brad and I decided the other day that she was ready to be moved up another level but apparently it was a little premature as her legs dangled and she couldn't touch the floor at all anymore.  We had a good laugh before lowering her down again.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Catie Video

I just discovered that when I download photos off my camera the videos has been saving somewhere else.  This is a video I took a couple weeks ago to show how well she gets around.  She moves even better now but I still thought this was adorable.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Glider Chair

Aside from the shelf we built this glider chair is the best project I've done so far and I'm really proud of the results.

In our Lethbridge house it was time for a nursery for Catie and I've spent a lot of time making it nice in there.  I love that room but there was one big piece lacking and that was a chair.  We didn't have anywhere to sit so all feeding was done in the living room.  At one point when she wasn't very old we decided that her bedroom was starting to be an unpleasant place for her, she'd cry when we went in because the only thing she did in there was sleep.  In an effort to change that we started to feed her occasionally in her room but that meant we had to sit on the floor.  Sitting on the floor at 3 am is not so much fun and the in-room feedings didn't last long (though it was long enough to achieve our goal of helping her enjoy her bedroom).

We started looking on Kijiji for a chair we could buy but I quickly learned that second hand recliners are grossly overpriced, especially when they're brown with green flowers or something equally as lovely.  I had just given up on ever getting a chair when my sister-in-law found this gem on Airdrie Swap and Buy for $20.  I wanted it immediately and could envision the re-covered seat I was going to make for it.

I wanted to keep costs low and was initially concerned about how much I'd pay for fabric.  Every piece I've bought yet has cost around $16 a meter which is far too expensive when I needed 4 meters.  I decided to try Ikea and it was such a great idea. They had lots of cute, heavy duty fabrics and the one I chose was only $4.99 a meter.

This next idea is brilliant and the only way the chair ended up being reasonably priced.  I knew that the cushions were really thin and I was going to have to beef them up a bit but I wasn't sure what to do that with.  You can buy foam at Fabricland but it's seriously expensive, like $25 a meter expensive. One day the solution came to me, I stopped by Value Village and picked up what I thought was an egg carton mattress for a bed.  Turned out it was really three big chunks of foam not one piece but it worked well enough for this project.  I padded both sides of each cushion and only one side needed to be pieced together out of two chunks.  Then I used my spray adhesive to stick them on.

I knew I wanted to use piping, luckily my Mom knew I'd need a zipper foot to sew the piping on.  I didn't have one but was able to find a generic one for $4.

Lastly I knew I hated the sea shell pattern on the top cushion and I figured I'd replace it with tufting in the form of cute, fabric covered buttons.  Two things, fabric covered buttons are ridculous and one of them had to be secured with hot glue.  I wouldn't be surprised if the other two follow one day.  Second, if you plan on doing tufting invest in a long needle.  I was too cheap and couldn't be bother to get one when I realized I'd need it so Brad got a really good workout for his fingers as he squished the foam together so I could get my regular size needle through all the layers.  The stitches on the back aren't as beautiful as they would be with a long needle but I'm satisfied with it.

I'm calling this chair a huge success though and I love it!  Here is the overhauled chair.

Catie and I now have an evening routine where we sit and rock in the chair while she eats her bedtime snack.  The chair is super comfortable and I love the time we spend together there.

Question... I'm considering adding padding to the sides like this, what do you think?  Should I add arm pads or leave it as is?

Second question... I'd love to paint the chair but it seems like it would be really difficult to get all the bottom pieces painted well.  Anyone have any experience painting a glider chair?