Wednesday, June 15, 2011

baby thoughts

I finished it! And with perfect timing on my part I might add. What you wonder? The BABY BLANKET! The one I started knitting for my brother-in-law's baby-to-be seven months ago. She is now almost two months old, so yeah, I'm a little late but, we are going to visit them (and the rest of our families; yay!) over the next two weeks, so yeah, squeaked it in just in time! Oh, also, having a fun summer sweater knit a long starting today might have been the extra motivation I needed. Either way, yay me!

Oh, and here it is:

It was an easy enough pattern, I just didn't realize how long it would take for me to get through it. Any experienced knitters could probably get it done in a few weeks, or a new knitter with more time for that matter. However, it's done, I'm finished yay!

Oh, and speaking of baby gifts, here's a thought: what are some fun, useful handmade gifts? Well, I've been to a friend's baby-shower a few weeks ago, and had a few of my own back when I was pregnant with Bugaboo, and feel that I am therefore qualified to offer you this list of some of my favourites (to make and receive)!

  1. baby towel - a friend gave us one, all it was was a regular towel with a ribbon of hot-air ballons along the edges, and it's lovely. There are a lot of other ways to snazz up a towel too, adding a hood, and monogramming are other suggestions. Very useful either way.

  2. top-knot hats

  3. blankets or quilts

  4. baby-bottle-cozy - you know, something to keep the bottle warm.

  5. diaper clutch - think teeny-tiny diaper bag. Basically, any cute purse just big enough for a few diapers and wipes.

  6. change pad

  7. receiving blanket/burp cloths

  8. soother clips

  9. baby clothes/diaper cover

  10. teddy or doll

If you're wondering, I made my friend's little one a dress. Sadly, I never took any pictures but I found the pattern here on Made by Rae and it was wonderful, although I might adjust the lining a little bit to cover some of the seams on the inside more if I make it again.

Oh, also, no matter the gift, the best way to wrap it is in a receiving blanket. Just one of the cheap gerber ones from Walmart that come in three-packs (or more apparently). You can just never have enough of those things (whereas we still have a box of once-used baby gift bags that we are slowly giving away).

Well, with that I'm signing off for a while. My little boy is growing up more everyday and I need to spend some serious summer-time fun with him! More crafts in a few weeks! (well, maybe a blip in the meantime).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Celebrate The Summer Boy: Day 5 - Shorts!

Ok, so I'm a day late, but whatever. We went camping! First time with the little guy and it was a blast.

Back on topic; DAY 5! I have successfully created something summery for my little man for every day of this mini-summer-edition of Celebrate the boy, and man, am I pleased with my self! For day 5, I give you shorts, but not just any shorts, Flat Fronted Shorts with Pockets!

The pattern is by Dana of Made, the co-genius behind celebrate the boy. The pattern was a little odd to follow because it was an addition to an addition, the pockets to the shorts to the flat fronted pants which were a new version of the basic pants. However, if you have access to the interwebs, it's all simple enough. Also, my cheapy-cheapy theme (or it could be my reduce-reuse-recycle-theme) continues as these were made from a ladies flannel shirt I got from a clothes swap earlier this week. Boo-yah!

The little bum pockets were already on the shirt, and I sewed them shut so they wouldn't fill up with sand/rocks when he's playing. They're comfy-cozy soft because they're flannel, and they are nice and cool because they're cotton. Oh, and they look awesome!

Well, I hope to have at least one post this week, but I'm definitely feeling a bit sewed-out, so I'm taking a break. Yay summer!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Celebrate The Summer Boy: Day 4 - On The Rocks T

Today's project was a mix of simple and challenge for me. The idea and materials, very easy. All I did was take an old shirt of mine and mini-size it for my little guy. The challenge: I am again faced with my old nemesis, knit fabrics.

Ok, so it wasn't that bad. Basically, I have a shirt from a rock climbing event, that was never really my colour, but I've always liked. I chopped it up into a smaller size using one of Bugaboo's t-shirts as a guide. I tried to use as much of the existing structure as possible, like the hems on the sleeves and the collar, which made it a lot easier than my strong man tank. Because of the logo I couldn't use the bottom hem, but that wasn't much of a concern anyways.

All in all, not bad I'd say!

Bugaboo seems to like it too.

...cute kid, eh?

Well, with only one day left of this crazy week, I've got some sewing to finish up. Hope tomorrow's post will be sweet!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Celebrate The Summer Boy: Day 3 - Summer Jammies

Woohoo! I'm loving the progress I'm making with this 'project-a-day' week. However, the downside it that I'm having a hard time photographing everything. That brings us to today's super simple post. Great project; fast, easy and money saver, but I don't have any pictures of it actually being worn! I'm just too bleary eyed to remember to get a photo of my little man in the wee hours of the morning. Whatever, I have another, even more amazing project (that I did not have any hand in making) to showcase as well. Yay, two for one, here we go.

Firstly, jammies. My little man is a skinny-minnie-miller, so he always outgrows things in length before he outgrows it around. Too easy. So what I've done is taken all his 1T size jammies that are too short and lopped them off into shorts and t-shirts. Save a little money on new jammies and it literally takes about 5 minutes to do, max.

(my 'before' and 'after' pictures are of different sets of pjs that both got the summer-treatment. Can't find the guitar ones anymore. Silly laundry.)

Now for the good stuff. It may not seem summery, but check out this super awesome poncho knitted by Grammie!

He loves it, and while it's still too big, he NEEDS to wear it (he gets testy about shoes and sweaters for some reason; everything else he could care less about). It's perfect for our Canadian summers, especially early in the morning, out playing in the yard before the sun has really warmed things up.

Thanks Grammie!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Celebrate The Summer Boy: Day 2 - Strong Man Tank

I love love LOVE this tank! I'll be honest, it was very difficult for me to work with knits here, however, I did it and I'm pleased with what we've got. I think one of my favourite parts is that I started with a $3 Joe Fresh T-shirt; yay clever me!

I saw it done by Muthase on elsie marlie's Kids Clothes Week Challenge, and was awed. It is so clever (and so perfect for my skinny little man)! It's a little cool outside today, so we took all of our pictures indoors (...ahem...please excuse our messy house).

(this is his "strong man pose")

Well, without too much more to say, here's a few more pictures!

(apparently he's having a Dr Seuss day)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Celebrate The Summer Boy: Day 1 – Picnic Pack

Wheeeeee! I'm so excited that Dana of Made and Rae of Made by Rae have decided to throw an extra little dash of their super awesome Celebrate the Boy series into the summer. Honestly, that's what got me into blogging in the first place. And while I was more than willing to wait until next March to join in the fun, a summer mini-series=woohoo!

So for my marvy little man, I've got 5 fun sunny new projects! Here's the first, which I will admit I did up a few weeks ago, but it is for my boy and it is for the summer, so it totally fits the bill.

Basically, here's what it is. They have in the last month opened three new parks in our subdivision (we are lucky, I know). Anyhow, I've noticed a little hole in our lives which could be filled with a sewing project (oh joy of joys!). Having a almost 2 year old boy, snacks are what make the world go round. But the park isn't really an easy place to let a little guy eat, because he like to put things down and tip containers over etc. Sadly, our Loopa bowl was loved to death (still planning on ordering a new one), so we needed something. For a while now I've been wanting to make one of these:


It's a toy pack that folds out to be a playmat. Made by Amy of Sweet Magoo's genius sister.

Well, why can't it be a snack pack that doubled as a picnic cloth? It can! I simply added a layer of waterproof material between the cotton inside and outside (so and spills don't leak out, or any yucky from the ground gets in) and voila!




And he loves it! He brings it everywhere we go, and wants to wear it all the time.

clip_image006So I'm gonna make up a few more in different colours and trying different types of waterproofing. We'll see how it works out. Also, while some might notice the potential for gender neutrality here, let me tell you how hard it is to dig up some 'boy' fabric in our local 'little-old-lady' fabric store. I'm very excited that my #2 (still under construction) might be a girl, because the floral and cute vintage-type fabrics are bountiful, however it's slim-pickings for them boys. Well, this is what I call a success, and am sewing away on a few more.

Well, with 5 projects on the go (not to mention the Summer Sweater Knit Along starting up soon; gotta finish that baby-blanket first!), I have some serious sewing to dive into!

PS I'm listening to Newton Faulkner right now, and he's wonderful. If you enjoy Jack Johnson at all, or just appreciate some snazzy guitar playing, I highly recommend him.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

my crazy life - spring cleaning

It's only a few letters difference. Actually, I sometimes abbreviate it to mcl when I'm making note of things and didn't even clue in at fist that I was reading it as 'crazy'. Oddly enough, today has been slow and easy, which is really remarkable considering I've kept a two year old cooped up inside all this rainy day. He's probably still played out from yesterday, which was bright and sunny and indeed intense (but in a cheerful way).

Ah, my point. Well, it being spring and all, I'm in the mood to talk about spring cleaning, and what better time for a massive re-organization clear out clean up than moving time. Wait, before you read too much into that, yes, we're moving, but probably not until this fall, so it's easy to start talking about all the work because I don't have to actually do any of it yet. Along those lines, I was thinking that now would be a great time to organize all that work. And so it begins. I won't chronolog it all here, but from time to time as interesting point come up, I'll be sure to mention them. These are my first little pearls (I'd say of wisdom, but that is yet to be tested); probably will be my mission statement (jargon is one of the few elements of my business degree that I still get to use day to day) throughout the process.

(Not my kitchen, but it should be - I found this on Pinterst, but can't find it again to give you a link, sorry)

  1. Create a purpose for every space, and a space for every need.

  2. Have a specific place and use for every piece of furniture.

  3. Decorate with things you really love, not just space fillers.

Simple, and perhaps a tad obvious, but like most things that when you've actually written them down I'm seeing how much of my home now doesn't fit with this. I think I've found a good place to start.

In other news, my May Special Delivery has finally been mailed out, and it was quite a challenge this time. My original plan was to bake some sugar cookies and fancy them up like no body's business. However, while it started well, I was about halfway through the icing when things just stopped working out. I had cheap Ziploc baggies so I couldn't use them to pipe with, which meant I had to use actual piping tools, but I only have 3 so I had to keep switching colours and it was wasting a lot of icing and not really coming together. So I scrapped that idea (oddly, my husband didn't seem to mind having to eat the cookies for me) and decided good old fashioned chocolate chip cookies would be a treat enough. Plus, I have a recipe for Browned Butter Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies I've been wanting to try. Yum. Sadly, these did not make the cut either because there's a threat of a postal strike, so I didn't want to send anything that might spoil if it gets left on a shelf in some warehouse for too long.

What I ended up with was my happy old fallback, sewing! I should really just stick with this one anyways, so fast, so easy and so much fun. My February and March SD were both sewing projects, firstly a coffee cozy (so you don't have to use the cardboard ones at Starbucks, or wherever) and then a knitting needle cozy (to hold all your needles; also, I love cozies, can you tell? I'm pretty sure I could come up with a need for them for anything).

Well, without too much blabber (oops, too late), I made her a little purse, from the pattern by Made by Rae, here. I skipped a few of the fancy bits, but I like it. I definitely recommend browsing Rae's patterns if you're into sewing; lots of good stuff in there.

Oooh, and the last thing I wanted to mention is that I've been thinking of selling some of my sewing projects, and tags and labels would be really nice for this, but I have no idea what to put on them. It has to be boy-girl neutral, as well as not clothing centred. Tall order, I know. However, I'll keep thinking and hopefully soon I'll have a clearer vision and maybe even some ideas.