Sunday, December 27, 2009

Things I’ve learned in the last few weeks.

*My son’s coat is really slippery.
*When we have all the jackets and coats on our door hanger, they all fall off.
*Having slippery coats at the top of your stairs is not a great idea.
*Trying to walk down the stairs in the dark is also not such a great idea.
*Sliding down a full flight of stairs is not as fun as when I was 4 and did it on purpose.
*And it results in a really nasty bruise all over your behind.
*I cry a lot when I’m pregnant.
*Being at the point where I have doctor appointments every 2 weeks can be a blessing, especially if you don’t feel your baby for 7 hours after falling down the stairs.
*I’m in love with medical technology.
*Unborn babies, just like the real ones, magically stop having any problems once you get to the doctor.
*According to the old wives tale about heart beats, I’m having a girl (!!!)
*The old wives tale is only 50% accurate - same as anything else :(
*Bruised behinds and squats are not compatible.
*Even when you’re married and a mommy yourself, nothing feels better on a hard day that to have your Mommy give you a big hug.
*That spending 6 hours in the car will make your bruised behind hurt again.
*That my dad is the best grandpa ever.
*If both you and your hubby don’t get home until 4:00 Christmas eve, trying to cram the dozen or so traditions into those 4 hours will make everyone cranky.
*That all your hard work can be worth it when you see your daughter twirling around in her “tattoo”, so happy because Santa remembered to bring a doll - and that doll even has a “tattoo” too!
*That my girl comes up with really strange names (her doll has been dubbed “pink smells flowers and roses”, and yes, she actually uses the whole name each time. I think she needs a nickname!)
*That every single thing in a stocking makes my kids happy - even the 10th roll of smarties.
*That after 6 years of Christmases together, when your hubby finally gives a very thoughtful gift it will make me cry.
*That my hubby really is just cute.
*And he’s capable of being really truly thoughtful when he wants to be.
*That slowing down and not stressing if Christmas is perfect helps it to be much more perfect.
*That falling down a flight of stairs will make your hubby paranoid about you walking anywhere.
*That if my hubby is paranoid, he’s a lot better at remembering to offer to help, follow through with the offers, and even do things without being asked.
* That I”m officially bigger front to back than side to side so turning doesn’t make it easier to fit in a small space.
*That the latch on our shower is really poky.
*That a poky latch leaves a nasty belly scratch that can hurt like the dickens.
*That getting a scratch from your shower makes you feel really really stupid.
*That at 8 months, if I’m absolutely beat every day by 4:00, I’m trying to do to much.
*That maybe I need to learn to not try to do everything myself.
*That I’m surrounded by love, joy, and peace, I just need to recognize it.
*That life is just plain good.

What have you learned recently?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh don't I wish

I know I've mentioned before that I really want a new computer. The relic we are currently using is full, and slow, and driving me crazy. So I just have to try to win this one.


My own laptop. Pardon me whilst I wipe the drool from the keyboard. (Sorry, whilst just HAD to be in this post at least once today. Because it's just that kind of day!)


Of course, there are over 1000 entries already. But here's to dreaming, right?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ta Da!



Wow. This was the most labor intensive gift I've ever done. Of course, most of my gifts have been either store bought, or at if homemade something that I've done before and started by July. I am so happy how she turned out. It honestly wasn't as hard as I worried it might be, but it's not the easiest craft in the world.

My hardest part was all the different places I had to look for instructions. Since I'd never made a doll before, it was a bit confusing. I decided to put all the links I looked at/needed here in one place, along with what I actually did and tips for other first time doll makers.

Stuff I bought:
1 bag poly fiber stuffing
1 crib sized cotton batting
3.5 oz skein brown cotton yarn
3 inch doll needle
1 pk tea bags

Stuff I used but already had:
1 old trouser sock
embroidery thread
size 5 kids white turtle neck shirt
old shirts
newborn sized clothes

Total cost of all supplies: $11.74 (of course I have enough stuff to make a dozen more dolls now!)

The head is THE most important part for this type of doll. I used THIS tute, THIS one, and THIS picture set to really understand what to do. The first one is the one that gives instructions for that adorable nose. I honestly needed all three - each one explained just a little different to make it better. When I actually complied the doll, I used the picture one the most since I could see what to do for each step. (in case you are wondering here's the link for the dollar store version - great picture, but no instructions!)

I used an old trouser sock for the inner "stockinette" that they talked about. The doll skin is all from a white turtle neck shirt that I tea dyed skin colored. Dying the shirt worked perfect.

* for the first timer: Plan on doing the head at least 3 times. Just keep reading the tutorials. They do a great job of explaining, but re-reading them helps a lot in understanding what to do! My first 2 times I tried just regular stuffing-IT WON'T WORK! You just can't get it firm enough. Then I went and got Cotton batting. I think regular quilt batting might have worked, but I didn't want to spend more money to not have it work. The sleeve from the shirt was perfect for the outer skin layer.
* The cotton batting was super hard to go through with my 3 inch needle. I wish I could have found a 5 inch one. I ended up using a regular needle and just going through the top of the head (you can actually see a little bit of the string through the skin, but life isn't perfect!)

The only place I found a body pattern was that second tutorial. Her pattern was fine, but I didn't do my head as big as hers. So after I got the arms sewn on, body stuffed and almost put on, I realized it was way out of proportion. Which meant I got to rip it all apart and make it smaller. Actually, in hindsight, I wish I would have made the doll a bit bigger - it would have helped with the clothes part. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

THIS picture set was the best instructions I found for the hair. It does use crocheting, but it was really easy, and the whole head is covered. My 3.5 oz cotton skein was plenty for my doll. I think it would be enough to do two full dolls.

I think making the clothes ended up being the hardest part of the whole thing. I couldn't find online free patterns that actually worked anywhere, especially not for the size doll I had. I tried to just design my own based on my dolls proportions. Um, let's just say I'm not going to be a professional tailor any time soon! I did make 1 dress from a library book that was pretty good - but again, had to do a lot of changing because of the small size. Actually, the best and by FAR easiest way was to grab some old newborn sized clothes that I never really liked and re-size them for the doll. Way easier than trying to make those tiny sleeves!

So there you go. That's my first timers look on making a doll. I did the head about 5 times, the body twice, the hair once, and between once and 4 times for each article of clothing (grumble grumble!) Was it worth it? Well, I guess I'm going to have to wait until Girly-Lou opens it up on Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

grrrrr

THIS

+


THIS

+

THIS

=

One not so happy Mommy and one REEEEAAALLLLLYYY hard to clean mess.


The crazy thing to me is he had to pick our outrageously textured colored walls, and not the amazingly smooth white ones 3 feet away.

And yes, I do believe he's going incognito with those too cool shades.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The first diaper bag I've ever actually drooled over

Actually, I'm not sure if that's true. If I was anything like my kiddos, I bet I drooled and chewed my mom's bag. But this one is for sure drool worthy.

Check this out: Mrs. Smith's Diaper bag


Features lots of space, all the extras like a key fob, places to hold your junk and the kids, etc. But the most brilliant thing of all: it's like two diaper bags on top of each other - WITH A DRAWER! Ack! I love it. I could actually find stuff this way.

Give away a day is giving one away (wow, that's a redundant sentence!). If I don't win, I think I'll make Hubby buy me one for my birthday!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fun little kid bag tute

Today, in an effort to actually be able to save my scrapbook (kind of an important step!) I was dejunking our hard drive. (man I wish I could just spring for my own computer!). I found these pictures to make cute little bags for your kids. I really thought I'd already posted this tute, but I couldn't find it on my blog, so I guess I never did!

Supplies: one sheet of stiff felt (from your favorite craft store) - I think it's about 11 x 17 inches, but I honestly don't remember any more! I know I found mine at Hobby Lobby for something like 80 cents
permanent marker
sewing machine
Time!

Ok, please remember that I did this LAST November, so the exact details are going to be a bit fuzzy!

The bag is sewn with the seams on the outside (since felt doesn't fray, and it's cute that way!), with 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Step One: If you like patterns, make one out of paper. (for me this means a bit less measuring)
My measurements:
handles: 1" x the width of the felt (11inches?)
Front and back: 6.25"x7"
Side panels: 3.25" x 7"
bottom: 6.25" x 3.25"
I cut the handles out first, and then arranged the rest of it like this:

If your felt is different, just adjust accordingly!
cut everything out:


Step 2: If you want something cute on the front, draw it on with the marker.

Step 3: Attach the handles to the front and back. I like to do an "x" and then a square around it for a bit extra stability. THIS IS ON THE OUTSIDE of the bag.

Step 4: with a 1/4 inch seam, sew the bottom to both sides.

so it looks like this:

Step 5: Now sew the front and back to the bottom:

Step 6: Sew the sides to the front and back. This step is a bit tricky at the corners, but just keep working with it, it really will work! Trim all the extra strings.

And Ta Da! a cute little bag, just the perfect size for church, for 79 cents and 20 minutes of your time.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

*Warning: serious time suck alert!

So we're sick here in Euless land. Glorious head colds abounding. My plan was to put the kids down at 8:00 and then head to bed myself.

But first I wanted to check a blog . . . .

Oh. Dear. Me.

Have you ever been to Sew Mama Sew? I found their site last year. If you like to sew, or like new ideas for sewing type crafts (with some crochet/knitting thrown in), they are a great source.

Right now they are doing a give away day, where hundreds of crafters are giving away stuff.

That is not an exaggeration. There are three posts worth, each one has a crazy amount of stuff.
So instead of nursing my cold in bed, I just sat and entered a bajillion contests. I'm tempted to take a picture of the HUGE pile of tissues I went through, but I don't want to gross you out.

It took me just over 2 hours to go through the whole list (What? The kids are in bed and Hubby is flying. What would you do with that much free time every night?). All the contests are open until Dec 6 for those of you not crazy/bored/obsessed enough to sit for 2 hours going through posts.

There are seriously some AMAZING offerings in the crop. But thank heaven for tabbed browsers! I'd open about 10, but usually ended up only entering one of those (Because who really needs a tea bag wallet?) It was nice to just look at what was offered and say "I WANT THAT" or "Ooo pretty, but what would I do with it" or "um, yah, I'd want that out of my house too!"

Because I really don't need a bajillion fat quarters of fabric. But some of them are rather tempting!
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