Friday, December 10, 2010

Melissa's 30th Birthday

Ok, I have both kids asleep. I'm going to hurry and make a post before one, or both wake up.

My great friend Melissa turned 30 this November. Luckily, I'm younger than her, but still panicking a little because 3-0 is coming up for me next year. I'll deal with that later....

I wanted to make her a cake because I haven't made one in awhile and there was something I wanted to try. I know that her favorite color is blue and her favorite flavor is pumpkin. Ok, a blue cream cheese frosted pumpkin cake. Not the most popular flavor, but hey- it's her birthday!!

I liked how it looked. I had trouble frosting it and ended up with waaaay too much cream cheese on it. Next time, I'll make sure my cake has more time in the fridge first.

Isn't she cute??

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Wrapping Paper

I am lucky enough to be home with Jake and Max 4 days a week. Because of my goofy schedule, I am actually home with them for 6 days in a row. It works out well because by the time the 6th day rolls around, I'm ready to send them to "school." : )

We need something to keep us busy during the day so someone (who will remain anonymous (JAKE!)) stays out of trouble. This week we made Christmas wrapping paper for our friends' gifts.

I saw the idea on some random website, but instead of using white paper (I have none) we used grocery bags. And instead of hanging the pictures on the fridge, we used it to wrap gifts. The idea was to use pine branches as paint brushes. So I ran out in my pajama pants and slippers and clipped two little branches off our poor little tree.

This was fun, cheap, and kept him entertained for oh, about 15 minutes. That meant enough wrapping paper for 3 gifts (only finished 2 for the picture). But that's perfect for what we need. I love that he's proud of the wrapped gifts under the tree. He points to them and tells everyone he MADE it!! That's my boy!

Peek A Boo Bags

This is not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination. I have seen a ton of tutorials for these bags and never really thought I wanted to make them. But while in Seattle, I bought one for Jake. They are actually really neat little bags! There is a list of items, and you sift the bag from side to side looking for the object. You can play little games like find three objects that start with A, or race to find things first. Since it is a quiet toy, it is great for car rides and church. Heck, I've even sat and played with it!

So of course I had to copy it. I made 5 bags total to give as gifts. The necessary components were pretty easy to come by. Sturdy fabric (I used corduroy- some use fleece so you don't have to worry about fraying), vinyl (a shower curtain liner), charms, white pellets, and matching thread.

The bags themselves were easy to cut and sew. I double stitched the edges so the contents won't end up in a little throat! The pellets were in the doll section of the craft store- I'm not really sure what they use them for. The charms were harder to find for a reasonable price. I ended up using little erasers from Nobbies. They came in a huge bag which worked out well for all of my little bags.

I stitched in strings to tie the instruction card to. For that, I took a picture of all of the objects in the back, shrunk it down, and printed instructions on the back. Office Depot did a fine job of laminating them for me. I'm pretty pleased with how the cards came out. I can't believe they only took me one try!!

I'm very happy with the bags and I think they will make great gifts. I guess we'll see...

Oh, and this is what happens when you leave a camera laying next to your project. A two year old finds it!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Halloween 2010

The theme this year? Wizard of Oz!

It all started when Suzanne found a lion costume for Zoa. Well, I remembered that I had a Dorothy costume given to me, that I loaned to Lilah. Emelia, all of a week old, was Toto. This left my boys to be Scarecrow (Max) and Tin Man (Jake).
The scarecrow costume is what I started first. I had this great idea to make the shirt from scratch. Yeah. That didn't go well. I was a little upset. I sewed a collar in, elastic, a zipper into not one but TWO shirts. I gave up and bought a used green sweatshirt at a consignment sale. Sizing is not my strong point. The hat went similarly. The one in the picture (a little too big still) is my third attempt. I'm really proud of the headpiece. Not only did it fit well, but it kept is fat little cheeks nice and warm!

Jake's outfit is the second attempt. (I'm not Jenny Two Tries for nothing) I found some metallic fabric and thick interfacing to make body piece. The pants were simple and quick (thankfully). I had a grey sweatshirt for underneath already and I spray painted a funnel for his head. Mom supplied the hatchet which we trimmed down and spray painted as well.
The "coat" stayed together with hot glue and velcro. I had these grand intentions of sewing every piece together, but I'm glad I decided not to. I would have been very very frustrated. I'm happy with how he looked, but at times he was so uncomfortable. The thing didn't really bend well and certain embellishments started to fall off. Next time I design a costume, I'll have to take his activity level into consideration.

They were so dang cute! Max only made it to a house or two before he needed another meal, but Jake went up and down the whole block! I think he had a great time. His favorite part was ringing everyone's doorbell!

All Time Favorite Project

We have a very cheap table. There is no sugar coating it- it was a Rod Kush Special. It took several hours to assemble from about the size of a shoe box. BUT, it is an awesome sized table and it works for what we need it to. Besides, we knew we would have kids and they would destroy all of our belongings.

Well, the cushions are cream colored and Jake is now a toddler. A bad combination. I did plastic covers, I did towels, I tried lots of stain removers, but these cushions are showing their wear. Not to mention, we have lots of friends with children and it doesn't seem like that trend will slow down anytime soon. Stains are bound to happen.

My solution? Recover the chairs with cream colored vinyl. Heck yeah. I know that your legs might stick to it in the summer, but man oh man- it is so easy to clean!!
Can you tell the difference? Neither can the people who visit. Until they go to clean it of course...

Every day that my son spills something on those chairs I exclaim, "Best project ever!"

Gone So Long

I know- I have not posted in quite some time. What bothers me the most about this is that there are two people I know that regularly check back to see if I have posted- I'm so so sorry!!!

In my defense I had a baby, finished another semester of school, and went back to work. Adjusting to life with two kids is much more of a challenge than I anticipated. I'm lucky they happen to be such great kids. Life has again found some sort of routine and Mike and I are settling into life as a family of four.

I didn't stop all of my projects- so there are some that I will share with you hopefully over the next week. Enjoy!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Max's Place

Here are a final few shots of the nursery all ready for Max. I have two months, but I nest early I guess. Not to mention, there are several other projects that need to get done before his arrival. Hope you like it.

That last one is the Max doll from the movie Where the Wild Things Are. Jake calls him "Baby Max." I'm so excited!

Ahhh, the artwork!

Did you know my husband was an art major in college? He was. He liked installation art and painting, but he realized that there wasn't much of a future in creative art and graduated with a graphic art degree. Much more reasonable, although he doesn't use it. Go figure.

The awesome part of this is the free artwork for the house. I request it, sometimes it gets done. The problems arise when I request a specific piece of artwork. Something like what I had planned for the nursery. You would think he'd be all over that, but sadly no. It takes a lot of coaxing and work from me as well.

I can't say he didn't help- he did. In fact our friend Maria helped too. So here is what I came up with- not Mike- but he helped me execute it. So THANK YOU, HUNNY!

And his name is...

...Maxwell "Max" David Kolker

We will now have a Jake and Max in the house. When trying to decide on another boys' name (remember, we had all girl names chosen) we went back and forth. We tried out a few, taught them to Jake, and listened to him say the names. It was hilarious! His obvious favorite was Max- he said it all the time, and without prompting. So "Baby Max" it is.

Here is his new crib and bedding. I made the crib skirt from this awesome seahorse fabric I bought online. We did a "fish/underwater" theme for his room mostly because I loved Heather Ross's collection of fish fabrics. Too bad she retired her prints- they got expensive! So rather than the goldfish I first wanted, we ended up with a variety of sea creatures!

The crib sheet is flannel that I washed, dried, serged around the edges and put elastic on the ends. I didn't even make a casing for the elastic, I pulled it tight as I zigzaged down the middle. I had no idea how very very simple a crib sheet it. If you need a quick gift, this is an easy one!

The Chinese lanterns above his bed are supposed to be reminiscent of bubbles. I stole that idea from the Internet, and I like how it turned out. A non traditional mobile! The crib mobile is an aquarium themed one, and thanks to the awesome consignment sales I got this one for $6! It plays ocean sounds, can light up, and the fish move and blow bubbles. Jake thinks it's awesome, so that's a good sign.

Next post- more nursery....'s been awhile.

I admit, I've been a little overwhelmed with school. HOWEVER, the semester is OVER!! Yea! Here's what we've been doing, that I haven't posted on.

After visiting a wonderful daycare that had a direct nature focus, I realized that I needed to get Jake involved in some of the things I grew up with. I take for granted that I was raised on a farm, and I wish we had the luxury of exposing him to the outdoors on a daily basis, but the reality is we have to make do.
Our first step- a garden! Since I don't really have the space for a planted garden, we did a container one. I decided on green beans, lettuce, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, mint, cilantro, and green onions. High reward foods. I'm hoping that if he grows it, he'll eat it. He already loves cherry tomatoes and strawberries, and I'm hoping he loves the rest too.

He loves loves loves spraying the plants with his "waterer." It keeps him busy for a good half hour. I didn't even know that some of these things could be grown in a container. I hope they turn out. If anything, Jake has gotten a lot of fun out of the experience.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Very Own Nursing Cover *second try*

I fell in love with this fabric. I had no idea what to do with it- I originally thought it would be an outfit for a friends baby, but selfishly, I kept it all to myself.

One item I could not live without with Jake was my nursing cover. I found an awesome tutorial at Make it and Love it (see first try post) and put my own spin on it. Then, I made a cute burp cloth to match. I'm very pleased with how they turned out.

This one is not reversible, like the tutorial I looked at. It's pretty lightweight too. The one I made for a shower gift was very heavy, but appropriate due to her having a fall/winter baby. My summer baby and I will be nice and cool under this pretty cover. It also takes up less room in my diaper bag.

Why the purple diaper bag you may ask? Because since I have to carry it around, I wanted a bag I liked. Boy or girl makes no difference- it is essentially my purse anyway. I love this Timi & Leslie bag- Mike got it for me for Christmas. Don't worry. The boys will get the therapy they need! : )

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bibs for Boys!

I needed to make a cool boy project to get myself psyched for a house full of boys. While at the fabric store I found the sweetest food material- on sale! I originally saw them awhile ago, but decided not to buy. I never stopped thinking about what great bibs they'd make so.......

I made 8! Yes, 8 in one day! Mike occupied Jake for me- I think he knew I needed some good crafting therapy. Thank you Mike.

Again, Jake refuses to pose so his stuffed rat, Mousey, inherited the job. Disgusting? Yes, but the little guy just LOVES Mousey!