Friday, January 28, 2011

Woohoo, weekend!

Happy weekend, everyone!
G and I are headed up to New Hampshire & Maine this weekend. A little business to take care of (more on that later) but mostly getting some unexpected but welcome time with family & friends. Although, the 15 degree temperatures are not something I'm looking forward to!

Good thing I love sweaters. 
And carbs.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Hand Cut Chenille Baby Blanket

Ever since I saw this idea on one of my favorite craft blogs, Made via this post. I immediately decided I needed to make my own. So I searched the blogosphere, and found a great tutorial on another great craft blog, The Aesthetic Nest. For the full tutorial I reference below, click HERE.

One of Greg's long time friends is going to be a dad in a few weeks, and I thought it was the perfect excuse to try this out!

The mom to be told me she had chosen an animal theme for their new baby girl's nursery. I'm pretty sure she actually said zoo or jungle...but I can't remember now which. Either way, I found this fabric at Joann's and thought it would work great, with pink and lavender but not too girly.

I followed the tutorial almost exactly as written. Basically you take a square of cotton, and 3 squares of flannel & quilt together on the bias.

The quilted lines you sew end up being channels of flannel (haha..sorry). This part took A. LONG. TIME. But just find a Say Yes to the Dress marathon on TV and time passes a wee bit quicker. Before you know it, you are done the quilting, and ready to cut.

As expected, my 4 layers shifted quite a bit during the quilting process, and so I had to even up the edges quite a bit. As a result, my blanket turned out to be more of a rectangle than a square...but still very much the same effect. And babies don't care about geometry.

The directions talked about a chenille cutter to cut your rows of flannel. I had never heard of one...but can see now why I would want one! Scissors worked fine though, despite the painfully stiff hand after. I was very paranoid about cutting the front fabric, so I cut super slow. Might be a reason for the rigor mortis. 

Here is my blanket after I had cut the flannel and binded the edges. The directions said to cut your store bought 2 inch satin binding in half and make a skinnier binding. I wanted less work a wider border so I used it as it was out of the package, uncut.
Then you throw your almost finished blanket into the washer & dryer, and wait for the fraying to do its magic.

Aaaaand....voila! turns out all soft & cozy, just how babies like it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Auntie's Girl

A few months ago I made this dress as a Christmas present for my sweet princess niece. 

After much twirling & dancing about, I think she liked it...

If the twirls and turns weren't proof enough, later in the day she turned to her father and said "I'm not Daddy's girl anymore, I'm Auntie's girl." My brother didn't share the sentiment, but my heart swelled about three times its size.
More dresses where that came from, my sweet girl!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

American Girl Knock-Offs

If you have or have ever been a girl under nine, you must have heard about the American Girl Dolls. I think the whole idea is great. I had one of the dolls as a little girl, and it was a very cherished present of mine. My Mom packed mine up with all of her accessories, and saved it all these years. I somehow ended up with the trunk of goodies here at my house. Which came in handy. (More on that later.) I love that little girls are still enjoying these great dolls!

My sweet niece Alexa and I spent some quality time during our Thanksgiving visit together with the American Girl Doll website. She was showing me which outfits she wanted for her doll for Christmas. You can also get matching doll and girl outfits. It's all very cute.

This is what she picked out. Zebra! (She's a spunky one.)

Now as much as I love the American Girl organization their prices are a bit over my budget. So why not make my own?
So I did.
With soft, cozy corduroy...great for cold days.
And satiny purple ribbon..

My very own AG Doll came in handy for the photo shoot. She, who was affectionately named "Chuckie" by my husband, got her own homemade leggings. 
 Lexa got a $4.99 pair from target. God Bless Target. Amen.

(Please ignore that "Chuckie's" zebra stripes are vertical...
I refused to buy more fabric so had to use the scraps I had left.)
A girl & her doll...a perfect pair.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wall worthy bulletin board

I have newly discovered how much I love a clean looking fridge. Since we moved into our rental home, I hadn't put anything on our fridge - no magnets, pictures, papers. Nothing. And I like it. A lot. It really makes the kitchen look cleaner. And oh how I love when things are clean.

So where to put all that "stuff" that used to be on the fridge? How about a small bulletin board to put up in our laundry area, which is just off the kitchen. Being in a rental, I am really trying not to buy anything to fit this space...since we plan to buy a more permanent home in the next year. So I went "shopping" around my house for ideas.

I had this frame, which the glass had broken out of years ago. For some reason I kept it through our million moves. (So unlike me!) But it was the perfect frame to upcycle into a bulletin board...

I also found a package of cork tiles, which I bought a few months ago at the craft store for $3.97. I can't remember why I bought them now...but at less than $4, who cares!

I took the cardboard out of the frame to use as a guide, and placed it over 2 of the tiles. I tried to make the seam of the tiles centered in the middle...

I wanted to hide the seam, so I wrapped a piece of ribbon around the tiles where the seam was, and hot glued it in place on the back. To even it out, I repeated the ribbon a third towards the top and the bottom of the frame.

Now just put it all back together!

Add some homemade felt roses & some cuuute kiddos...and you have a {super cheap} wall worthy bulletin board! (And a clean fridge!)

Linking to Blue Cricket Design for a Show & Tell Wednesday Link Party!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ikea, how I love thee!

Hello old friends. I should probably acknowledge the fact that I haven't posted anything in like 8 years. I have many excuses. Exhaustion? Laziness? Bedridden with sickness? Visiting family & friends? Christmas chaos? Traveling? Laziness probably wins.

But I have better things to talk about. Because I feel in love. With Ikea. I know I'm totally behind the times with this one, but I had yet to make it into one. But it was worth the wait, let me tell you!

A little background story. My husband and I have 2 dressers. One is not appropriate for any person of the age of 5 to use, which I have conveniently hidden placed in our closet. The other is my college dresser which I bought at a yard sale for $7 ten years ago. Convincing my husband that we needed to replace either was like convincing Jillian Michaels that Little Debbie Snacks are good for you. But somehow, I did. (The former, of course.)

Traditional furniture stores and their somewhat "stalker" sales people kind of make me cringe. Which is why we set off on our maiden voyage to Ikea in search of a new dresser for our bedroom. We meandered through the store, stopping to look at, sit down, test out, & examine all the pieces in the showroom. The store is really set up like a maze, but it's very smart, in that you don't really ever feel lost...but you end up looking at everything they offer, even if you didn't want to. We were there for bedroom stuff, which in order to get to, you have to head through the living room, kitchen, etc. areas. I didn't mind. And not one sales person will bother you, pressure you, or stalk you. Genius.

And then half way through the store-maze they conveniently put the Ikea restaurant. Which is genius. Because at this point you are basically thinking...if only I had a snack to keep me going. And I must say the Swedish Meatballs are SO. YUMMY. And my husband and I both ate lunch for less than $8. When has that ever happened? (Never.)

The moral of the story is that we found our dressers. Yes, not ONE but TWO new dressers! They were such a great deal that we decided we might as well get two. We chose the Hemnes 8 drawer dresser and the Hemnes 3 drawer chest to come home with us:

Images from

So I think we all owe a big thank you to the Swedes for bringing us IKEA, my new Hemnes dressers, and all 20 of those Swedish meatballs G & I shared for lunch. Yum, yum, yum.