Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This Made My Day!

It's the little things in life that really make me smile.  Is there anything cuter than these two girls?

Their sitter, Gloria, must have used promises of candy to get them to sit still long enough to perform these miracles with their hair.

Not only did Haley get her first pigtail, she got FIVE!  I'll fall asleep with a smile thinking of my cuties!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sewing in a whole new way (at least for me)

Who knew that:

  • My sewing machine could stitch through cork board?

My guest bedroom sewing room was crying out for a bulletin board that could be used to remind myself what projects I wanted to create next.  I found this really cool tutorial.  The last step is to sew through your fabric and cork using a zipper foot.  I had my doubts, but after some cussing seam ripping, I finally got the hang of it.
Practice board that my lucky sister will receive

  • Wonder Under can be used to adhere fabric to cork board?
The cool tutorial also called for ironing Wonder Under to the cork like so:

It started smelling like burnt cork for just a minute or two...But, the finished project turned out really cute!
Message board for myself

  • Belen, New Mexico has a really cool vintage fabric store?

Did you notice the green and blue trim used in my board?  I found it at Bernie's in Belen while on a shopping excursion with my mother-in-law.  It was stocked to the gills with all kinds of vintage fabrics and notions.  Just wait until you see the loud and obnoxious 70's polyester fabric!  I have FIVE yards just waiting for the perfect project.  The next time you find yourself in Belen, you must stop by Bernie's, even if you don't sew or craft.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's a Love/Hate Relationship

Oh, IKEA, how you tease me, with your cheap prices and your unusual style!

You helped furnish Bryon's apartment when he was temporarily transferred to Austin.  We stocked the whole place for under $300. But, the "metal" you used to make the pots, pans, utensils, and silverware was so flimsy that it bent with the first use.

Your beautiful blue mega-store is like a beacon to all that pass by.  That place you have up in Frisco, Texas is bigger than the whole town I grew up in.  Unfortunately, everyone within a 180-mile radius gets sucked into your vortex, causing the population in the store to swell to double that of my hometown.  This small town girl can't handle that many people in one place.
Step into the light
IKEA, you are so good to my friends.  I go to their houses and admire their cool stuff.  When they break the news that their awesome decor came from you, my heart sinks knowing I will never find that particular item again.
(Unless it is the ubiquitous POANG chair that exists in 78.4% of homes, mine included)

And, so, it comes to this.  My cousin Wendy had these perfect step stools:
And, of course, when I found out they were from you, IKEA, I just knew my chances of finding another one were slim to none.  I was willing to take that chance just to drop my now-potty-trained kid off in your "Smaland" to play while my other munchkin and I searched for the cool stools.  

Yet again, our love/hate relationship reared its ugly head.  Shelby was two tiny, itty-bitty-but-oh-so-huge inches too short to ever see the inside of "Smaland", so I was stuck hauling both kids around your ginormous store.  

Two hours later, you managed to sell me two stools (score one for me!), eight yards of fabric, and four different Swedish toys that my kids will play with for all of 12 hours before they fall apart.  You also managed to feed all three of us for only $11 (including a "princess" dessert) and let us use your restroom FOUR times.  
Pretty fabric, but will it wash well?
Who knew $1.99 finger puppets could be so fun?
Time for the puppet show!
So, IKEA, with today's successful shopping adventure, our relationship will go on.  In the future, try to make just a little more commitment to your manufacturing so that your merchandise will last a little longer than it takes to write a blog post!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wake Me, I'm Dreaming!

It was a long weekend.  A VERY looooong weekend.  One of those weekends where we all have a meltdown at some point.  Potty training, back pain, freezing rain, broken promises of sledding, and teething wore us all out.  Just when I think I have reached my parenting threshold, a day like today comes along to remind me that I do love my kids afterall.

Haley woke up at 7:00, and she actually snuggled (!) in bed with me for a solid hour.  This little girl hasn't snuggled with me for more than 15 seconds since the day she was born.

When Shelby rolled out of bed at 8:00, she and Haley played "tea party"  for quite awhile.  I had a hard time getting a decent picture because they both were so into their pretend playtime.  

In fact, they played for so long that I had time to sew some goodies for my sister's desk.  Being a Spanish teacher, I figure the Day of the Dead fabric will go well in her classroom.  So my seams don't line up and the inside of the pencil holder looks like it ate a sour grape, but it was fun making the bias tape and piping.

Also better today has been potty training.  I decided to quit asking if it was time to tinkle and just let Shelby come to me.  So far, so good!  Lucky me gets to go to Chuck E. Cheese once she fills up her sticker chart...
One last high note of the day is the recipe I found online this morning (http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/chicken-creamy-corn-potatoes-90081.aspx).  I'm actually excited to try this one tonight, as cream cheese is one of my favorite things of all time!  I'll definitely be trying lots of recipes from the Philadelphia cream cheese website.

And, in conclusion, after proofreading this post, I have realized I need to get a life when recipes, bias tape, and tinkling make me happy!

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Quilt is Coming Along...

Emily and I finished up steps 3 and 4 in our little quilt along series.  Check us out:

Finally got the chain stitching down!

Emily's quilt + 1/4th of the border

Adorable...until you are trying to sew, and she won't move!

Monica's top

End of step 4 (about 5 hours total so far for Emily and I)

I am having a ball learning to quilt and can't wait for the next session!

Public Television, My New BFF

Before kids, PBS was a channel we never watched.  Now, it is one of our favorites, with Sesame Street and Word World being recorded every day.  Those Word World writers are so creative, making objects out of letters.  Just check out that adorable pie:

Watching Sesame Street has brought back so many memories for myself.  I grew up with Snuffy being Big Bird's imaginary friend.  Now, everyone knows him.  Some of the old songs (1-2-3-4-5...6-7-8-9-10...11-12 by the Pointer Sisters) end up on the new episodes, and I just love it!  Even my old favorite, the Tweddle Bugs make an appearance now and then.

The biggest change from PBS 1978 and PBS 2011 is the internet.  Moms, have you checked out www.pbskid.org?  Miss Shelby L-O-V-E loves it, especially the island link.  We reached a milestone this week when she finally learned how to work the mouse.  She spent well over an hour tonight, with her cute pudgy legs propped up, exploring the website and playing the games.  I couldn't even snap a decent picture since she wouldn't take her eyes off the screen!

Just be glad I don't know how to download videos off of my new camera yet, or I would be torturing you with a 38 second video of a toddler putting together a virtual puzzle!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What's Up With What's For Dinner??

Notice that new gadget in the right column, titled "What's for dinner"?  My witty friend, Rita, came up with the idea.  Her New Year's Resolution is to "Be a Better Meal Planner".    In an effort to inspire each other, she is posting what is for dinner at her house.  So, I'm going to attempt to post "What's for dinner" at our house each night also.  I'm sure 99% of you really don't care, but maybe it might hold me a little more accountable to planning decent meals around here.  

And, as I am finishing this blog post, I just realized I left my frozen pizza in the oven 4 minutes too long...maybe I should change it to "What's for lunch?"!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

And How I Spent My Evening....

 Most of the day was spent listening to screams of "Just put a diaper on me, Momma."  I am determined to win Standoff at the Pfaff Powder Room 2011!
While Mom was busy fighting the good fight, Munchkin #2 was busy seeing what she could get into.

And after they were both tucked in bed, I got busy making a baby gift for our new niece, Isidora, born 12/31/10.  Congrats to Bryon's brother and family!  I had seen this great tutorial and couldn't wait to get started on it once I found out the name  Here's the sample I was going for:


 Unfortunately, Little Isidora made her appearance two weeks early, so I got started on it a little late.  Such is life... 

You can read the tutorial for yourself, but here are the changes I made:

1.  Letters printed in Cooper Black font size 500, printed in outline.  
2.  I traced the letters onto wax paper using a sharpie and then traced a second set about 1/4" inside the printout to use as a pattern for the batting to stuff the letters.  I used two thicknesses of batting.
3.  Forget hand sewing!  I used my machine to stitch them together.  If I was a more experienced sewer, I could tell you the name of the stitch I used.  At this point, it is known as "#14".  

Felt + batting + batting + felt waiting for #14

The perfectionist in me sees some flaws....
Hopefully the colors with match her nursery!  The felt is from www.heatherbaileystore.com and comes in a handy pack.

I would love to hear your thoughts on my little gift!

The finished product

Monday, January 3, 2011

How I Spent My Morning

It's that time of year again, time to make my New Year's Resolution(s).  One is to potty train my oldest daughter.  I won't bore you with the details.  The second is to sew something new every month.  January is a quilt.  Being January 3rd, it was time to jump right on in.

My co-worker, Emily, bravely volunteered to do this with me.  Here she is cutting out our strips:

our cheat sheet (extra scribbles thanks to some kid)

After we got it all cut out, somewhat to our instructions, it was time to sew!  I just love hearing my little machine go to work.

Notice that white circle thingy trying to hide under the machine?    Rookie mistake...
Seams sewn folded like that are bad.  Time to get out the seam ripper!

After two short hours, we had 8 fun squares.  Emily is the perfect quilting bee companion!

Emily's squares

Monica's squares