needless to say, my poor little craft blog (and much of any semblance of crafting, as well) has fallen by the wayside of the full-time job that is feeding and nurturing this little bundle of life we have named kenna.
it's hard to believe that almost three weeks have passed since her arrival, and christmas is suddenly on it's way again! i'm having a hard time getting into the swing of christmas this year... i suppose as a result of new-parent exhaustion, the neverending demands of breastfeeding, and the sad sigh i feel each time i think of christmas last year. despite the sweet distraction of my own little baby girl, the difficulty of the first christmas without my mom is certainly not overshadowed.
i don't feel like it's really christmas... a celebration i used to get really excited about feels like just time to "get through" this year, and i hate that. but i can't seem to work up the energy emotionally or physically to put up decorations or make stockings as i very badly wanted to. we do at least have a tree up, but that's only because matt was so great about taking care of getting it done. even so, it is only a pre-lit tree- the box of ornaments sits cold in the garage. one preparation that used to be pure joy at christmas- taking out the ornaments and savoring the memories each one holds- is now intimidating for fear that it will be just a little too heartbreaking to bear.
we ordered our christmas photo cards from shutterfly again this year, and i love how they turned out. i don't think i'll ever get tired of taking or seeing photos of my beautiful girl. my continuous goal will have to be to take the verse from our cards truly to heart: "and this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. he who has the Son has life!" 1 john 5:11
after a rather long pause to order polka dotted bias tape for the binding, progress is back in motion on the baby quilt, and it's almost done! i'm so excited to see how far it's done, and it feels so good in my hands just bunching it up to carry it around, i know it's going to be the perfect quilt to snuggle up my little wee one in. i hope it's the kind of quilt i have to peel the ancient threads of away from my daughter when she goes off to college...
i added an appliqued handwritten quilt label on the back for posterity and so baby K will know the significance of why i wanted to make the quilt for her:
starting to sew on the bias tape binding! i went vintage so that i could get brown polka dots, and it wasn't easy to come by! current bias tape is so boring, but i didn't want to take the time to make my own. thanks to my stubbornness however, and my absolute desperation to have the brown polka dots on the edges, i did discover how obnoxious it is to refold and re-iron single fold bias tape instead of using double fold... not recommended!
as soon as i can get the rest of the binding done, it will be all finished. even the batting i used was inherited from my mom. it's already so soft and snuggly feeling, i can't wait to see it finished!
***edited to add: i wrote this post 3 days before going into labor. i finished the quilt literally the day before the baby came!***
my nesting instinct with this baby on the way finally reared it's head at my crafting... which resulted in my getting several things made! in a matter of about 3 hours yesterday, i managed to try a new craft, make a bib for our baby, and make 3 bibs for our nephew which will be part of his christmas present! i even got them photographed just in time before i lost too much sunlight (always a frustration if i'm not totally on top of my game... many times i end up making one day and photo-ing another!). here are the spoils of the day:
and an embroidered k wall hanging, inspired by an m that i couldn't justify affording instead of making myself:
my next plans for before the baby get here are to finish the quilt and i've also bought fabric to try to recover the cushions of my second-hand glider rocker. the fact that this could even be possible is only because of this tutorial where i'm still not sure how she makes it look so easy! i haven't started that one because it's just so intimidating! any suggestions are welcome. i'm definitely not planning to do anything tricky like a zipper or tufts, but still... intimidating.
why is it that i have yet to, until today, discover the ease, simplicity, and pure joy of fabric covered buttons? i don't remember at the moment what it was that inspired me to try making these little wonders (except perhaps these adorable clips or this enticing mix) but i have found one of those delicious craft epiphanies where you want to make stacks and stacks of something... and who cares if you don't know what to make with them yet?
i had so much fun i even got inspired to make a tutorial! it's so easy that really you don't need 7 steps, but i was having a blast, and i love a super-detailed tutorial... i hate it when you feel like you're missing a step!
fabric covered button tutorial:
step one: purchase an obscenely cheap button starter kit set and extra refill sets if you like (got mine at hobby lobby for $2.99 and $1.99 respectively. having a refill kit on hand is highly recommended- see step 7 for details ).the starter kit will have one blue plastic tool (pusher) and one white plastic tool (mold) and the refill kit is just the metal button backs and fronts. my starter kit also included fronts and backs for 4 buttons.step 2: cut about 1.5 inch circles of the fabric you'd like to use. there is a pattern on the back of the package, but you can eyeball approximately how much you'll need based on the size of your button (these are 7/8 inch buttons that i used). think of all the scrappits of fabric you love that you'll no longer have to waste!
step 3: center your fabric circle right-side down over the white plastic mold, and gently hold it taut with one hand. with the other hand, put your button top (the smooth side down) on your fabric circle and push gently down into the mold, making sure the edges all stick out around the button top like a little skirt.
step 4: now you're ready to add the little button back. if you plan to glue the finished button onto something, you'll want to pinch the little metal loop off with some pliers at this point. if you plan to sew the buttons onto things, make sure you keep the loops!step 5: make sure all the edges of your fabric are tucked carefully under the flat button back (loop side up), and center the button back over the white plastic tool. you'll want to push the button back in until you hear a slight snap, either using the blue plastic tool or with your thumb (or a pen cap or any other tubular item that suits you). when it's all the way snapped, the button back should go all the way into the white plastic tool until the fabric edges are visible.
step 6: turn the white tool over and pop the button out like you would play dough out of a mold. you have a button!
step 7: squeal with glee and imagine all the lovely things you want to attach them to! immediately make 10 more...
orange is such an under-appreciated color to me, until it comes out in full-force in the fall! it's not usually a color i am drawn to much, but i can't seem to get enough of it this time of year, especially as the leaves start changing and the pumpkin creme candies come out in stores!
and a little puppers who loves the outdoors! (although not so much a fan of the wind in the mountains):
(funny that you can't even tell i'm 8 months pregnant in that sweater, hmm...) happy fall!
we decided to run away from home for the day on saturday, with the dog and a few projects to work on in the car in tow, and went up to the mountains for the afternoon! the fall leaves and colors are so gorgeous this time of year, i can hardly stand it. i've been trying to be better about using my time to finish up projects no matter where i am, and i've noticed that i've had lots of car time recently that is not being put to good use! so, instead of working on embroidering several quilt squares i brought with me, i finished crocheting a scarf for the shop and then got inspired to make a hat for myself.
i started off about halfway through the 2.5 hour trip, very ambitiously thinking it would be great to have a cute little new handmade hat to wear for the pictures we would be sure to take when we got up to the top of the parkway. if i hadn't been winging it on the pattern, and made it much too wide like a not-quite-right beret, and ended up pulling literally half of it apart and redoing it, i might have finished it on the way there!
as it was, i had almost finished it when we got back to the house that night, and all it needed was a finishing chain stitch around the edge. i do almost everything i can get away with in a double crochet stitch because it is twice as big, and i tell myself twice as fast, but i think a nice little chain stitch around the edge just gives it a finishing touch. i also did a darker brown stripe along the bottom to contrast the really pretty taupe of the hat.
next up is a matching scarf with the leftover yarn of both browns, and of course, some green thrown in the mix and another hat for my husband in a dark brown with a green stripe! i have no idea where the pattern originally came from, but this is the simplest hat i've ever tried to make, the same one i used to make a baby hat a few months ago (i just added the giant flower on top for fun). to make it adult sized, i just upped the thickness of the yarn and the crochet hook size.
so, if i can just hurry up and finish matt's hat, we will all three have matching hats for the winter!
my inspiring things! i'm always amazed at the wealth of incredible things people are thinking up and making... what a wonderful era of great design and handmade loveliness to be living in! here are some things i've come across recently that just whet my oh*i *love*that! appetite:
(apologies for not better crediting the pictures... they came from all over the place!)
a beautiful beautiful beautiful birthday banner! i've been wanting to make one of these for a long time, and came across this one while randomly browsing around for something else. it's even in my favorite colors, pink, brown, and green, and looks to be patchworked with amy butler prints! what could be better? i also adore the look of this table in general... i think this is how i imagine K's first birthday looking next year... pink juice boxes especially!
the whipup.com website banner with so many wonderful dots, i just can't stand it! i had just seen a beautiful dot quilt in real simple magazine
and thought how cool of a design it would be, especially to use up lots
of scraps and non-matching fabrics that you can't think of what else to
i'm also really inspired, for some reason, by text and numbers and
anything nerdy such as notebooks and pencil rolls. it never occured to
me that such things could become a cool design element of your home in
the most random places! (and yes, i really would do this if we had hardwoods!) both pics thanks to red shoes!
and last but not least, pretty much all things amy butler... her prints are just so lovely, they really honestly make me happy to look at them! i've been a bit focused on the lotus quilt pattern on her website, and i envision all of the following as throw quilts on my plain tan couch!
some may say that mid-october is too late for christmas planning, and some may say too soon! but i've been bitten again by a bug that i think gets me pretty much every year... this probably being the least likely i could pull it off, with a new baby due on the last of november... a christmas with all handmade presents!
(and of course, handmade wrapping. that's most of the fun for me. my name is lindsey, and i'm a crafting overachiever).
now, for my family members that may actually read this blog, don't get too excited. the inspiration running high now, but is sure to come crashing down with the 3rd feeding at 4am with spit up all over me and when the choice becomes- create lovely handmade gifts for family or take a shower... the shower will win.
but it's still nice to plan, even though i said the same thing last year and it didn't happen. apparently this is something that must be started in january/february to be finished by christmas!
here are the ideas so far:
- roll-up crayon/pencil holder to inspire creativity on the go for little nieces or nephews.
(picture thanks to mary made me on flickr)
- notetaker/coupon/list organizer for busy ladies in the family:
(picture thanks to selmaoglinea on flickr)
ok, so there's only two, but they're simple enough and similar enough in construction that i may actually get them done (one of these days!). if nothing else, it's always fun to start thinking christmas!
i'm trying to keep confident that i have not bitten off more than i can chew in attempting to make my soon-to-be-born daughter a quilt. i think a large part of my apprehension comes from the very large and impressive example that my mom set for me and that i feel, in part, that i should live up to even though i know even with the experience she had in quilting, i may never quite reach. she made her incredible works of art look so easy, and she did them for the pure enjoyment of making and giving them away, usually.
so, though much more simple than what my mom could have whipped up in her spare time, i am attempting a quilt. and i really think i can do it! the part that might not quite happen is having it done before the baby comes, although it is high on my get-done-before-she-comes list.
the quilt started with an idea... having ladies at my baby shower write a one-word prayer or blessing that would be then embroidered and pieced into a quilt, wrapping the baby in prayers.of course, being a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl, with no regard for silly things like patterns or measurements, simply blocking and putting together this really simple quilt has become a challenge!
you can tell where i've started to machine-embroider some of the words... good thing i like my quilts a little wrinkly-looking, like they were washed and dried on the clothesline! there are several left to embroider, and i'm realizing that if i want them all to be legible, i'm going to have to do a combination of machine and hand-embroidering.
the most recent thing i've done is start adding some of the blocks, figuring out what fabrics i want to use and if i have enough of it available (i'm making it all from fabrics of my mom's, to give K a memory and connection to her nana). i ended up having to go back over and re-embroider some of the ends of some of the letters to be sure they don't unravel.
so this is the state it sits in right now, with only a little over 6 weeks to go until this baby is here! i'm also feeling a bit of pressure, because i found out about this baby quilt competition from make-baby-stuff.com, and think it would be awesome to enter. but since the deadline is november 1st, i don't see that likely to happen.
i am trying to keep it as simple as possible to get it done quickly... even though i had this fabulous quilt binding tutorial from the lovely heather bailey, it was still worrying me and i'm not sure how well i can handle that part. instead, i'm going to use an even easier turn-it-inside-out and stitch-the-edge-flat method from amy butler's lotus brick path quilt, one of the free patterns on her website!
believe it or not, i'm still making progress at unpacking/organizing/making something other than a mess of my craft room... both my stuff from the move and the things i inherited from my mom. i've been sort of charting how far i've come by the big bookshelf that i had earmarked for all the fabric from mom (something i've never really experienced organizing before, since mine has always been scraps or smaller pieces like fat quarters... now i have actual yardage to deal/work with!)
and here it is this week with some of the fabric starting to get organized:
i moved some of the clear plastic boxes to my desk that hold the items i use regularly (stamps, adhesives, ink pads, and punches) because honestly, i got lazy and tired of having to get up and go back and forth each time i needed something! (my desk and the bookshelf are on opposite sides of the room- not that far at all, but still).
and of course, there is still a huge rubbermaid tote and a half in the garage, full of fabric and other crafty goodness, that must come out and be organized! it's still on my pre-baby to-do list, so i'd better really get to work, seeing as how i only have 6 and half weeks left!
at least all the surrounding boxes on the floor are unpacked and put away, but that's only thanks to overnight guests having to stay in this particular room (my studio doubles as a guest bedroom when need be).
back to work!
(as my mom used to say).
i think more resolutions for a new year hit me around october than january, because i love the season so much. when the grass gets that little chill and the apples are crisp on the trees, everything just feels so fresh and new.
i'm also fairly convinced that this blog will be the end of me... this momma of three (with one more on the way about the same time as us) seems to be able to accomplish more making in one afternoon than i probably have listed on my 'long term crafting goals' list, buried somewhere underneath the boxes of craft things i still need to get put away from the move (mainly fabric). she simultaneously appeals to my perfectionist side by inspiring me to a new level of not only getting things done, but doing them well and so as to surround your family with handmade loveliness (everything from bathmats to handknit baby blankets)... but also makes me feel like these things can get done with out the must-get-it-done-now frenzy of a to-do list, and can calmly make my house more of a home full of cozy handmade memories.
i envision a house full of little ones making their own button and string projects while i make them each baby blankets and birthday crowns and bookbags... yet i can't even seem to use these numbered days of first baby on the way/no kids/no job to get something productive done.
so what do i do? i make a list!
things i plan to accomplish in my last 8 weeks of pre-child life:
- make baby K's quilt of wishes from her baby shower. i have a heartbreaking stack of quilts my mom started that i don't know how to finish without potentially ruining, and i don't want to pass that on to K. i had everyone at her shower write one wish or blessing on a square of fabric, and i plan to embroider them and then quilt the squares into a crib quilt.
- make the squares i have that were pre-cut by my mom into a couch snuggly blanket. this will be accomplished in the most easy fashion i can think of, and finished quickly so as to be enjoyed! (which may mean that i quilt it over an old store-bought blanket we already have. so be it).
- the last two huge rubbermaid totes of fabric inherited from my mom will be emptied and organized onto my shelves so that when i go to make a project, i can simply stand in front of a shelf-full of fabric, make my choices, and go sew!
- finish listing everything i currently have made into my ellebee studio etsy shop and keep things organized so that they can be sent out quickly and efficiently! i have so many lovely things that i'm excited about sharing, and i know at least a small time of some sort of maternity leave is inevitable coming... must be prepared!
- last but not least, i'd like to finish geting things together to realize my other two shops-in-the-works studio supplies and petite bee (both coming soon!), stocked up and ready to go! this will require getting several baby projects finished for petite bee as well, so hopefully i can use some of this baby fever productively!