New skirt is done!

And I am so proud of myself!  It was a bit more of a challenge than I was anticipating, but I love the finished project and plan to make a few more so I have a summer wardrobe.  I started out with a pattern of course.  What I was not expecting was that the sizing on the pattern was a bunch of lies!  Lies I tell you!  Sadly, I am not a small person, but I swallowed my pride and dutifully bought a pattern in the size that I wear.  Ok, ok,  it was one size smaller, so sue me.  They didn’t have it in tub-o-lard size.  When I got home, I decided to check my measurements against the pattern measurements.  Imagine my surprise when my tush was 10 inches larger than the pattern.  Seriously.  I don’t even know how that is possible.  Never one to be deterred by such frivolities as a lack of a workable pattern, I pressed on.

I did a bit of math and redrew the pattern.  At this point, it wouldn’t lay on the fabric like I wanted (stripes should go up and down *not* side to side) so I redrew it again to make the a-line a bit steeper.  Then I remembered that my waist is smaller than dress designers think it should be given the size of my tush and I decided that since I was making this pattern I might as well make it fit me.  A bit more redrawing later and I had a pattern that I thought would work.  At this point, it seemed wise to make the skirt out of some cheap dollar-a-yard fabric we bought years and years ago first to see how it fit before cutting up my pretty fabric.

I sewed up the sides and tried it on.  Um, yeah, it was enormous.  Maybe they were on to something with this whole sizing thing.  I had Michael pin it and then had a moment of panic over how I was going to get it off.  In the end, it went over my head without disturbing the pins.  I cut off the excess, sewed it up and tried it back on.  After Round 2 of pinning, cutting and sewing, I had a template that fit pretty well!  It’s very loose so that it can fit over my head.  This had the added benefit of making it super comfy.  Plus, no zipper or elastic required!  🙂

I turned it inside out and laid it out on top of my nice fabric.  Then I just cut along the template.  This only really worked because in the initial pattern the front and back were exactly the same.

I sewed up the two sides and tried it on.  Lose, but comfy.  My kind of skirt.  🙂  Next up was the hem and I dithered over this for a while because I wasn’t really sure how to go about doing it.  I’ve seen my Mimi hem things before though, so I decided to just press ahead.  She continually measures the hem as she is ironing it.  This seemed like a pretty good idea to me, but I couldn’t find a ruler.  Necessity is the mother of invention.  I marked off a line on a scrap of chipboard and used it as a gauge.

I turned the hem under twice as instructed, pinned it and then stitched it.  Then I did the exact same thing for the waistband.

Et viola!  I have a skirt.  The only thing left was to get some awesome shoes for it.  When my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I told her that I wanted wildly impractical shoes to go with this skirt.  I love them.  I may not be able to walk tomorrow, but I don’t care.  🙂

Toddler Art Group

We went to a toddler art group today and it was awesome!  It took a while to make the paint, but the kids didn’t seem to mind a bit.  They were having a great time in a baby pool that had been filled with gravel.  Genius.

It took a bit of tinkering to get the consistency right.  We finally decided just to leave it a bit gloopy and chalk it up to a sensory experience.

We also decided to add a bit of food coloring to the paint to make it a bit brighter than the koolaid alone.

Then we stripped the kids down to their diapers.  Kate was indignant at the thought of being in public in just a diaper.

You win this time kid.  I suppose you can paint in your clothes.  It’ll probably wash out, right?  Then we turned the kids loose outside.  Our lovely hostess taped some big sheets of recycled wrapping paper down on back porch and the kids went to town.  We parted the paint into cups to make it easier for the kids to handle.

I was so impressed with Kate’s use of the paint brush.  We aren’t civilized enough to have paint brushes around here.  She actually managed to avoid getting any paint on her dress!  We had such a great time.  Hopefully we can make this toddler art group a regularly scheduled event!

Project Life and Sticker Fun

So I decided to start my Project Life project yesterday.

That really means that I started it today, I just used pictures and a story from yesterday.  Good thing Kate loves stickers so much.  We sat down and had some quality mama/ baby scrapbooking time.

Here’s my sticker tip.  Now maybe this seems painfully obvious to everyone else, but I had a eureka moment over here when it finally occurred to me.  Peel the background of the sticker sheet off and throw it away.

Kate demands to do everything by herself and stickers are no exception.  She would get really frustrated though when she couldn’t get the sticker off and needed my help.  I’m not going to lie, it was frustrating for this mama too.  It’s hard to get any scrapping done when Kate is demanding a new sticker every 2 seconds.  We worked this system out while I was working on my December Daily album.  It’s awesome.

Now, moving on to the actual content of this post.  🙂  So I realize that I’m only one day in, but I am *so* in love with this kit!  I could easily have just stuck in a 4×6 photo and a journaling card, but I decided to jazz it up a bit.  We went out to dinner last night and Michael took a few pictures on his iPhone using the hipstomatic app.  Love the filters!  Only problem is that they are 4×4 not 4×6.

No worries.  The kit includes some extra patterned paper.  Add a bit of ribbon and a metal embellishment that has been looking for a good home for years and I’m calling it good!

I used one of the bifold journaling cards so I could write a bit more since it’s my first day.  Added a few of the included arrow stickers and used the date stamp.  Man this stamp is crisp.  Almost makes me want to go back to rubber stamps.

And yes, I realize that it’s folded backwards.  The cards are double sided and I liked this side best even though it’s supposed to be the interior part.  Don’t judge me.  🙂  Then I trimmed down a picture of Kate from dinner and included it in one of the small spots for journalling cards.  Here’s the completed “day.”

I’m thinking I might have one post a week dedicated to the previous week’s layout.  Thoughts?

 

Fall Scrapbook Page

I would love to say that I’ve been super productive while Michael’s been out of town, but I would be lying.  🙂  I did manage to get one layout done tonight after Raptor went to bed, but I had to cut the scrapping short since I’m running out of cardstock.  That and the fact that the battery died on my laptop which was really cutting into my trashy TV viewing.

I was so in love with this paper last fall.  Of course last fall I was scrapping summer pics and couldn’t use it.  Now I really want to start scrapping spring stuff, but I hate being so far behind in Kate’s book.  It’s a vicious cycle!  I guess I’ll just have to pick up the pace Seriously though, I still think this line is really cute.  This is a pretty simple layout, I just layered the patterned paper.  Most of the photos are still 4×6, but I cut the ones in the center down to 4×4.  I even ::gasp:: cut one photo in half.

I use post bound albums so the photos still line up pretty well.  I can totally see the appeal of 3 ring binders, but I like 2 page layouts too much to make the switch.  I do make it a policy never to cut a person’s face in half though.

I love the matching ribbon and rubons.

Project Life

I made a lot of progress on the skirt this weekend, but I was derailed by our lack of an ironing board.  Usually I just iron stuff on top of a towel on our kitchen island, but I don’t think that’s going to cut it this time.  All that’s left though is to hem the top and bottom!  More on the skirt later.

Michael gave me my birthday present early since he’s going out of town and I am thrilled!  I have been wanting Project Life for a *long* time.  Like almost a year and a half.  I couldn’t believe it when I opened the box from Amazon and saw this:

Squeee!  It so awesome.  All of the components are well thought out and of a very high quality.  He picked out the turquoise one and it’s gorgeous!  Here’s the binder.

And the page protectors are super thick.  It’s luxurious.  🙂  The idea is that you take a picture every day and then they go in these divided page protectors.

Then you journal every day on the cute little cards and fit them in the page protectors too.

At the end of a year, you have a really awesome “scrapbook” that showcases the every day memories.  I’m probably most excited about being “forced” to write something every day.  My birthday is the 31st and I’m going to start the project then.  I can’t wait!  I keep pulling all of the components out of the box and playing with them.

Your Mission…

Should you choose to accept it, is to turn this piece of cloth

into a skirt this weekend.  Oh my, what have I gotten myself into?  🙂

Tutu Addiction

I have a tutu addiction.  No seriously.  I have just finished making my 7th tutu for Kate.  Um, yeah.  She’s only 20 months old.  I have also bought her no fewer than 4 tutus.  Honestly, there may have been more.  I’ve kind of blocked that from my memory.  🙂

I love this tutorial and I have modified it over time to make it work as Kate has grown.  This is actually only the second time that I have followed it as written.  The first was for Kate’s first Halloween when she was just shy of 4 months old.  She looked ridiculous.  Understandable as the tutorial was for a size 3-4T.

Good lord.  Maybe I should rename this post “When tutus attack!”  It looks like I just set her down in a giant vat of tule.

Hey, at least it’s tasty.  And that sure is one cute baby.

I made my second tutu for her first Christmas and I made a few modifications that made me much happier with the overall look of the tutu on a younger baby.

So cute!  I almost can’t stand it.

I’ll walk you through the tutorial and then I can describe the modifications that I made along the way.

First, I bought 2 yards each of 2 colors of tule.  I found some really yummy patterned tule at Joannes and I’ve been itching to use it.  I left it folded in half as it comes off the bolt, then I folded it in half once more lengthwise and once width wise so I could cut it quicker.

I cut it with my mom’s rotary cutter which I have stolen borrowed.  I love this thing.

Once you have a pile of 3 or 4 inch wide strips, you cut them each in half if you are making a tutu for a toddler.  When Kate was 6 months old I cut them in 4ths.  When she was 9-14 months old, I cut them in 3rds.  Now that she’s 20 months old, I cut them in half.  She’s a very tall 20 month old.  If you’re cutting them in half, you should just cut them along the crease they already have from being on the bolt.  I gather up a few at a time in my hand to speed things along.

The directions call for layering 3 strips of tule for each knot.  Up until this tutu, I’ve always tied the knots on in a single layer.  Tripling them makes for a fuller tutu which looks great on a toddler but ridiculous on an infant.  See above halloween costume.

Either way (layered or not) fold the tule in half.  Then smoosh (yes that’s a technical term) the tule together.

Make a loop around some elastic and pull the tail through the loop.  Her directions on how to do this are actually probably way clearer than mine.  Rest assured that it is much easier than it sounds.

Wrangle your toddler for a “fitting” and add loops as necessary.  Don’t freak out if you run out of tule.  You can spread it around a fair amount and still have it look good.  Once you’ve decided you’re done, cut the elastic 2 or 3 inches from the last knot on either side and sew those puppies together on your sewing machine.  Use your zigzag stitch.  You can also handstitch it which is what I did when I was still cowering in fear of my sewing machine.  Cowering ends today!

Hmm…  The victory dance may have been a bit premature.  That is one hell of a knot.  I have no idea what went wrong there, but never fear!  Tule can cover a multitude of sins.

Victory is mine!  Now just loosen one or two of the knots and slide them over the part where the elastic is sewn together.  Et voila!  Raptor is peacefully sleeping at the moment, so pictures of her in her pretty new tutu will have to wait.  I have grand plans for it involving a photo shoot in the bluebonnets.  Get excited.

For now, here a picture of it on one of her dolls.  Doesn’t Bitty Baby look smashing?  🙂  It looks a bit more like a dress than some of my previous tutus, but I think that can be attributed to the patterned tule which is less stiff than regular tule.

Since I used patterned tule, I didn’t add any ribbon trim to this tutu, but that can be quite fun.

Just scootch the tule out of the way, and loop a piece of ribbon over the elastic.  I left it as long as the tule on one side and just long enough to be stitched to itself on the other side.  Make sure to stitch it to itself and not to the elastic so that you can scootch the tule and ribbon around to make it even.

 

Busy Busy Weekend!

We had such a busy weekend that not much crafting got done.  I did manage to get to the store and buy some supplies for a new project.  More on that later this week.  Here are some cute pictures of Kate at the park to tide you over.

It was a windy day and she had a blast looking at all the kites people were flying.  Notice the new batman shirt.  She was thrilled.  That’s my girl, either wanting a tutu or a superhero shirt.  There’s no in between.  🙂

The swings are always a favorite.

She’s turning into such a little girl.  I feel like her toddler days are slipping through my fingers.

 

Colored Water Fun

It was such a pretty day yesterday that Kate and I decided to play outside.  I stumbled across this awesome blog a while ago and have been wanting to try out the idea for mixing colored water.  Kate had a blast and it was super easy.  Win! Win!

I got a few tupperware containers and put water in them.  Raptor found the addition of one drop of food coloring to be super cool.

We had one big tupperware container that she could pour the little ones into to see how the colors mixed.  She ended up using it mainly as a place to discard the water.

Mixing yellow and blue to make green was by far the most dramatic color change.

I was a bit worried that it would stain her clothes, but it was so watered down that it wasn’t an issue.  Kate was totally enthralled in this activity.  We will definitely be doing it again!

 

 

 

My Answer to Traditional Baby Books

I decided to forgo a traditional baby book for Kate.  I figured I love scrapbooking so I’ll just keep a really detailed one.  Understatement.  I had to split her first 12 months into 2 separate books and they are still way too big.  Her second year books don’t seem to be shaping up to be any smaller either.

Of course this did leave me with a dilema.  Where could I write down things like when she got each tooth?  It’s not like I’m going to make a scrapbook page for each tooth coming in.  (Largely because she wouldn’t open her mouth and let me take pictures of her teeth.  I totally would have done a scrapbook page about at least the first one or two.  Especially because her teeth came in out of order and she looked like a little jack-o-lantern with checkerboard front teeth.  Too adorable.)

Then I hit on the idea to include a calendar layout each month.  That way, no matter how much or how little ended up in the scrapbook for any given month, I would have a detailed record of what we did every day.  I thought it would be a really neat thing for her to be able to look back on as an adult.  I had planned on only doing it for the first year, but now I can’t stop.  It’s a sickness I tell you.  It’s a good thing they are super simple.

I cut 2 strips of patterned paper 2 3/4 inches wide and adhere it to the outside edge of 2 12×12 sheets of cardstock.  For this layout I’m using some really yummy Christmas paper.

Then I cut out squares that are 2 inches by 2 inches.  One sheet of cardstock will yield 36 squares which is more than enough for a calendar.  I generally only cut off one or two squares from the last strip so that I have some paper left over for the title.  Usually I use a coordinating cardstock, but I’m running low today so I had to improvise.  I went with a lightly pattered paper from the same line as the edge pieces.  Once I have a nice stack, I draw a line around the edge of each square and write down what we did that day.  Be sure to include first teeth/ words/ food etc.

Then I glue them down in a calendar pattern.

Now, you’ll notice there is a blank spot to the left of the calendar blocks.  My husband wanted to take a photo of Kate once a week for her first year of life.  (She was born on a Wednesday so every Wednesday we took a picture of her on this giant orange beanbag that we have.)  This seemed like the perfect place for the Wednesday photos!  We stopped doing the weekly photos when Kate turned one so now I use that space to include random pictures that end up on her blog but that I’m not going to scrapbook.  Usually they are camera phone pictures.  I turn them all landscape, make a collage in Picasa and then print them out as a single 4×6 print.  Then I cut them apart and adhere them to the layout.  It’s the perfect way to showcase some “random” photos that don’t warrant a page of their own but that you still want to include.

Next up is a title.  Usually I cut them out with my cricut, but sometimes I mix it up a litte with some chipboard letters or Thickers.  I particularly like the foam ones.  Of course I am always missing one letter, in this case an E.  The solution?  I put a chipboard star in place of the E.

Last up is something to jazz it up a little.  Maybe a rubbon or some more chipboard in the extra square?  Or some ribbon?  How about both.  🙂