Wednesday, January 27, 2010

projects with fabric

SUCH a welcome break from pixels, I have to say.

First, so happy so many of your liked Away We Go too! I have another lesser known recommendation you might like: The Go-Getter. Add it to your queue.

Now then.

Back in the beginning of the year when I first became a seamstress (HAAAAA), I found myself at the UCC perusing their books on sewing. I was supposed to be walking before breakfast while Brock was running, but shopping and latte sounded better at the time. And I ended up with 2 lovely books by Lotta Jansdotter.

Simple Sewing and Simple Sewing for Baby (obviously).

So excited about these books. So excited that I found myself buying fabric remnants on Lotta's site approximately 3 hours after I purchased them.

But I did actually make things from my scraps!

Coasters! I am currently restricted to things of the rectangular persuasion, but I am getting better.

Draft Snake! I went three dimensional over the weekend. Very satisfying. But we have approximately 10 old leaky windows in our house and only one snake to block the drafts. It moves from window to window.

Okay, actually I made a pillow over Christmas while I was on my bunting kick. So I've don't 3-D before. But still. I can't believe how satisfying it is to make things. Even though they are mostly squares.

I have all sorts of plans for making baby bloomers and things when we find out what kind of baby we have.

Only two more days of work at the office. Then I can indulge my nesting impulses to the max.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

away we go

Has anyone else seen this? We watched it over the weekend and it was so cute. I swear we didn't have it at the top of our netflix queue because it happens to be about a young-ish couple preparing for their first baby. Didn't even realize that's what it was about. But that of course made me love it a little bit more.

It's sweet and funny and has a great cast... and the alternative parenting portion of the movie is HI-LARIOUS.

And the whole soundtrack is Alexi Murdoch. I like him, also contributing to my enjoyment of the movie.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Our baby shower

Was this weekend. Which makes this whole thing seem very real! Melanie and Sky threw us such a cute shower. And I think even the dudes in attendance had a relatively good time.

Little blocks and pretty garlands (made by Amanda) strung about. I have the blocks up in our house now. And I'm definitely using the garlands for decoration in the baby room.

Lots of delicious food. Though for the record this photo was taken before the table was completely full and finished.

And our new family of onesies! Melanie bought a whole basket of them in all different sizes and had people paint them for us. Isn't that so cute? There are some gems in there.

Like the bull rider motif courtesy of my brother. (the buckle says "PBR" which he has assured me means Professional Bull Riders association).

That should be a good one if our baby is a girl.

And Melanie and Sky devised signature champagne cocktails called the Brock-tail and the Kris-tini. I can't remember exactly what was in each, but they were delicious. There was A LOT of champagne being sipped.

T-minus 4 weeks.

Friday, January 22, 2010

baby announcements from alee

Somehow I missed that when Alee & Press launched her new site, she also launched an entire line of baby announcements. Er, birth announcements? Still new to this, obvs.

We are massive fans of Alee over on 100LC. Her typography is so lovely. And she always has such nice details.

I think I'll probably end up making our announcements but it's v. v. tempting just to order some of hers.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

orla inspiration

I haven't visited Orla Kiely's site in a while. I snuck over this morning hoping against hope that she'd come out with a line of diaper bags. No luck. But I did find a bunch of LOVELY things.

Like stem towels? We might need those in a very bad way:

Good inspiration for "nursery" colors too.

Maybe one of these bags would make a good diaper bag?

But they probably don't have pockets for diapers and bottles and whatever else constitutes a diaper bag.

Random but persistent thought:

I need to redesign my blog. BAD. I'm so sick of blogger. Maybe that will be a postpartum project for me in betwixt late night feedings?

We are soaking wet here in LA but I get to wear my rain boots with little elephants on them so I'm happy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Things are a wee bit hectic at the moment. I'm frantically trying to wrap up work for the time being, and prepare for our new little family member, and find time for self (for relaxation and things) in the middle of it all. So not much to share this week, but there are some things going on.

Like painting. Poor Brock. He asked me 6 months ago if I wanted to paint the front bedroom before the baby came and I was like No no no, it's FINE how it is. I like the warm grey color.

Until 2 weeks ago when I opened my eyes on a Saturday morning and the first words out of my mouth were, "I think we need to paint the front bedroom." Oopsies. But it's so much nicer now!

It's been so dark and rainy it's been hard to get a good picture, but the color is a light robin's egg sort of blue. Wishing we would have gone one shade brighter, but too late. I'm sure this will do.

And I'm in the middle of a few non essential sewing projects

There's something about piles of little clipped corners that always get me.

It's been pouring rain here for the last few days, which is really nice. We are desperate for rain in California. But still couldn't resist bringing home a few bunches of wiry looking spring yesterday:

Daffodil season is so great. Cheap colorful flowers in every room possible. Still on the look out for anemones. Isn't it their time of year yet?

So yep. I feel like I had lots of other things to report, but perhaps not. More soon.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

on mobiles

Guess what you guys get to do for the next 4-5 weeks? Help me decorate our front bedroom/office/craft room/baby room!

I'm on to mobiles this morning:

Because lovely reader Kaley sent a link last night to that cute birdy one in the bottom left corner.

But what about my very favorite flensted hot air balloon one??? We already have another flensted mobile in our bedroom that I LOVE, but I've been planning to buy the hot air balloon one for over the changing table. We clearly need mobiles in every room of the house.

Some people say you need the spinny musical one because baby likes that better. But I have to say, when I was in Georgia visiting Laura and little Judah he was pretty taken with just a plain ceiling fan.

Flensted hot air balloons on Design Public
Flights of Fancy softies on Parasols Boutique
Migration mobile from Sundance
Oras Wall mobile on Modern Nursery

So now I am debating. Do I go with my original plan or make a last minute POTENTIALLY LIFE ALTERING change?

I so hope I start thinking about other things once the baby is here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Diaper cover advice

I know there are a number of you out there who have already been through the cloth diapering process so I thought I'd enlist your expert advice in one of many areas I'm a little uncertain about. The diaper cover. Or soaker. Or whatever you call them. I feel like cloth diapering comes with an endless list of nuanced terminology that I haven't caught up with yet.

So. Our plan is to have some pocket diapers, some fitted diapers and a lot of prefolds. Mostly because I'm not sure what we'll like and what baby will like. And prefolds are sooo much less expensive than buying an entire set of the more modern options. Though, side note, even buying the more expensive cloth diapers seems WAY less expensive than buying disposables. You just have to fork over a lot to get you started. Kay and one more note on the pro-cloth diapering front. I heard this statistic that in the first year of your baby's life you will fill your entire house with disposable diapers. Um, if that's not enough to convince you to at least TRY the reusable option, I can't image what is. Think about how many landfills are full of JUST diapers. Scary. Anyway.

With prefolds there's still the question of the cover. And I really don't like the plastic raincoaty ones. Plus word is that wool is naturally antibacterial and better all around. That's just the word, mind you. I don't know from experience or anything.

So which covers do you all use (if you use them) ?

Here's a selection of the top contenders in my mind:

LANAcare wool diaper cover
Isme Vimse wool wrap
Happy Heinys wool snap cover
Little Beetle wool snap cover
Disana organic merino wool soaker
Babyology wool soaker (in stripes!!! I need stripes)

Pretty much all of these are available on Green Mountain Diapers actually.

LANAcare seems to be a heavy favorite around the internet, though they are more expensive. But how many do you really need? Only a few right? And I'm thinking we'll get a mixture for this first round so we can see what we like the best?

Any wisdom on the subject would be much appreciated. Also, in the summer isn't wool too hot? Just curious.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

gift baskets... the semi DIY way

I am very in love with giving big baskets/bags full of homemade goodies for the holidays. There's something so satisfying about seeing all sorts of treats wrapped up in their own packaging waiting for someone to taste. This year wasn't an exception, but I did take a slightly different, slightly less labor intensive route.

I realized while I was trolling the farmer's market in December that there are plenty of really nice goodies and ingredients for sale, grown and packaged by nice local farmers, that people would enjoy just as much (arguably more depending on how successful your baking goes) than strictly homemade things. I still made a handful of treats, but I combined them with some of my favorite things from the market.


Chestnut Poundcake (wrapped up in parchment and baker's twine for cute factor)

Picked from the backyard:

Bay Leaves

Purchased from the market:

Smoked heirloom tomatoes
Chili Garlic pistachios
Heirloom beans

Plus in this particular basket (for Carol... hi Carol!) I added one of those cute 2010 tea towels from Hello Handmade.

I don't think I'm ever going back to making everything myself. This was is so much more manageable and so much more interesting. AND so much more reliable. I made pear vodka one year and it fermented. Always nice to give people rotten gifts.

And nobody would be sad to get a pretty basket some time OTHER than December... but I never remember to give these during the rest of the year. Mental note: baskets of treats make good summertime birthday and fall housewarming presents too.

More bunting

My dear friend Jessica's baby shower is today. We're due 3 days apart. Isn't that so fun?

I went on a bunting tear while we were up in Mammoth (you can make a lot of flags when you're not snowboarding), and here's a little peek of the set I made her:

(That's a wooden dear head in the background, FYI. We're not hunters or anything).

Hers turned out soooo cute. I attempted to steer clear of pink, but turns out that's not possible when you know you're buying fabric for a baby girl. But I mixed in some nice neutrals and oranges and blues too. It is manageably feminine set of flags.

Those in the background are the ones I made for our baby. I seriously had the entire living room of my parents' house up there strewn with flags. Everyone was a collective good sport about the baby shower themed New Years.

Also, I LOVE my new sewing machine. Love love love love. I feel oddly complete as a mother-to-be now that I have one that I can reliably operate on my own.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The outside version

Of our can't live without teepee.

Over a sandbox??? Very close to genius.

From Pacing the Panic Room. Thanks Emily for passing on the link!

Must make for 2010...

the year of the child.

I've started a bookmarks folder for all the awesome kiddie projects people post around the blogs. It's getting full. Already. But for sure we're making this for the summer. HOW CUTE would that be in our backyard??? With lights?

(we couldn't possibly fit it in our house, unless we sold all of our living room furniture).

Tutorial on Smile and Wave, via A Desert Fete.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

unreasonably cute kids clothes


Magugu Toto. Handmade kids clothes in old fashiony styles. Like little sundresses with bloomers. I will never get tired of bloomers.

Le wow. These are cute enough to make me reeeeallly hope we have a girl. If not I will buy a few outfits anyway and stash them somewhere in the hopes that we eventually have a girl. Especially the aqua one on the bottom left. SO cute in person.

And baby quilts. I have nearly purchased the animal one 3 different times. It's on sale. CANNOT PASS IT UP. But my mom insists that people want to give us things for baby so we shouldn't buy a bunch of stuff. But clearly no one will give me such a cute simple quilt for the bargain price of more than half off.

I found the line at Parasols Boutique at Leaping Lotus in Solana Beach. I'm generally not a huge fan of Leaping Lotus, to tell the truth. I'm sure they have plenty of nice things but it's soooooo full of stuff I get overwhelmed. I'm not sure what possessed me to go in this time, but clearly it was to find these clothes in a tiny sliver of a shop. It took all my willpower not to buy something.


I am torturing myself.

But now I've shared. Perhaps one of you will buy one of these little jewels for your existing babies. I will try to feel good about that when I check back in 6.5 weeks and everything I love on the site is gone.

Wait, I need to also say that I fully realize the joys of parenthood are not measured in how cute your kids clothes are... but still. Can't we indulge ourselves everyone once in a while??? For the most perfect little dress with bloomers? Or just one teeny animal quilt?

Friday, January 1, 2010

welcome new year

2010 is going to be a big year for us. I can't believe it's actually here, to tell the truth. It seemed so far away last summer. But now, here we are. Or here I am.

Almost 33 weeks, with not much in the way of maternity clothes. Especially not the snow-friendly sort. May I present my best attempt at bundling up. It turns out that no matter how many layers of pre-pregnancy warm clothes you put on, they don't add up to a maternity snow jacket.

If I hit my due date exactly, I have 7 weeks to go. 7 weeks. Sometimes that feels like a reasonable amount of time. Sometimes it's terrifyingly close. We have a long list of boy and girl names narrowed down to 4 or 5 on either side. No clue what we're having. EVERYONE thinks it's a boy. Especially well-meaning strangers who can't control their urge to play oracle. Which means I've sort of convinced myself that we're having a boy too. But she could be a girl. The best part is baby already knows.

I was my mom's first and 4 weeks early, and I can't help wonder if he or she will come early too. It's all part of the mystery isn't it?

I'm just going to warn you all that this blog may start skewing more towards baby stuff temporarily. It's pretty consuming when you get this close, you know?

Happy 2010 you all. I hope it's a bright, inspired year for everyone.