Monday, March 30, 2009

bsg distraction

So Hulu FINALLY put up the BSG finale. AH! I baked brownies and got the vodka out of the freezer in celebration. However, I also know from watching BSG in the past (never while pregnant or with a newborn) that a little distraction can be very helpful in alleviating the intensity of some of the melodrama. I was watching with Chase, who is sort a natural deflator of artificial tension in any environment. If I watch anything by myself, rather than with Chase, I am 500% likelier to cry. Sad but true.

So I had Chase, and vodka, but with 3+ years of investment in these characters, I felt like I might need something extra to get through the end. Also, it helps if I don't have to stare at the lame CGI centurions.

Anyway, these little cupcake bags from this tutorial were the perfect craft:

Simple, fast, and I had everything on hand. Um, yes. I did have hot pink felt and zippers at my house. Shut up.

I got to look down at the important times to thread the needle, or place the zipper, or whatever, so I could not be watching the screen. It gave me the distance I needed. So thank you cupcake bags.

I don't know who they'll go to. Probably the next girl in Wren's class with a birthday. Or my sister. Whoever sees them first.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

freezer paper onesies

My BFF Kelly just had an enormous baby boy. I am supposed to go visit sometime soon and I am REALLY excited. I can't wait to meet him. They waited to find out whether they were having a boy or a girl, so I wanted to make a boyish present, now that I know.

I made some bird stencils when Jane was a baby, for her onesies, and I had fun doing them. They're fast, and pretty, and the next best thing to screen printing. I dream of screen printing, but we have zero space for it now. For the new (9 LB!) baby boy, I went with camping, sailing, puppies, bikes, and robots. All pretty gender neutral, in my opinion, but what do I know- I'm a feminist.

After watching me attempt to draw a bike about 20 times, Chase finally helped me out with this awesome shirt, which ended up looking more like a jersey than a baby onesie.

I dyed the material bright yellow before I did anything else, because a brand new white onesie is just asking for it. In my house, they hardly ever survive the first wearing. And I used navy blue fabric paint, although it ended up looking black. Which is okay, because it was only after I got home that I realized I had chosen our high school colors. Ah... congratulations? Go Bulldogs?

Anyway, I like the way they turned out. And that robot might end up on a few more items of clothing around here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

bathmats and waffles

There's Wren chowing down on some weekend waffles. She's picky with dinner food but she LOVES breakfast. Bacon and Eggs, waffles, tacos, "pant cakes," (Wren is very wary of silent 't' words, and tends to overcorrect, where she suspects they might exist) muffins, french toast, cinnamon rolls, scones. I guess I actually feel the same way about breakfast, only I'd add migas and the hashbrowns my dad makes, which Wren is not so crazy about.

And here's my crafting-for-necessity offering. I am so tired of not having a bathmat. That's an old towel, with the binding made from an old sheet. It looks super wonky and there's no non-slip stuff on the bottom, but I think it counts as a bathmat. Hurrah. And that's Jane's reindeer antler towel, hanging on the kids' towel hooks to the right, in case you were wondering.

Birthday Skirt

I made the lazy days skirt for Wren, for her birthday. It was a great pattern, super easy and FREE and I see a lot more of these little skirts in our future. Wren wanted hers to be extra long, "long enough to touch the floor so you can't see my feet." That's not actually that practical, for preschool day-wear, but I did make it a good bit longer than I would have otherwise. She really likes it, and I think the pinkish butterfly fabric was a good compromise between Wren's preferences and my tastes.

I made her a swing smock too, but she hasn't really been into that much. Maybe the next time we paint something...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Helpful Sisters

My sister Anne came over the other morning to bring Chase some cedar posts for a project he's working on. In between stories about the life of a park ranger ("and then I zipped the baby mountain goat into my hoodie and was belayed back to the top of the ridge") and the life of a soon-to-be NOLS intern ("I guess I'll just have to buy a 4 season tent. How cold does it get in Wyoming anyway?") I drafted Anne to help me make a mobile.

First we made some cranes, using this tutorial mostly, and then we gathered some sticks, and then I made Anne attempt to wrestle the whole thing into place.

It was a tricky placement, because it had to be lower than the ceiling fan, but high enough that Jane couldn't grab the birds from her crib. This necessitated all kinds of knots and cursing and dizziness from holding our arms over our heads for 30 minutes. At one point, the park ranger offered to go retrieve her knot manual from her Bronco. This was after she'd offered superglue, and needle nose pliers.

We are very different people.

I love the finished product, and so do Jane and Wren. Jane yells "BUDS!" when she looks up in her crib, and Wren, who has been having all kinds of trouble getting to sleep lately, says she likes to look at them with her flashlight at night.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Birthday Girl

With a bejeweled crown from Bea. Wren's birthday party was fun and low-key, in her Grandad's backyard. Her only requests were for a strawberry cake, and Cinderella to come. I couldn't secure Cinderella, but I think Wren had a great time anyway.

I'm putting up a few pictures from the party, the rest are on our flickr page.

Zoe and Ava are taking a break, watching some bubbles. Zoe came home early from a camping trip and my mom told the story of her first summer camp experience, where she hated it so much that she tried to hitch a ride home on the Baird's Bread truck. Stubbornness runs in our family.

Poor little sister. It's hard to watch your big sister open a whole stack of presents that are definitely NOT FOR YOU. Luckily she had Nana, and lots and lots of cake and ice cream to console her.


One of those weird vignettes I find throughout the day-

Belle is surrounded, somewhat threateningly, by a bunny family and a storm trooper. If I were her, I might be a bit concerned.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Gift Bags

These are the party favors for Wren's birthday. I sewed the little drawstring bags from an old curtain- using this tutorial but at a quarter of the size.

I have never met a kid who didn't like having their name on stuff, so I cut out first initials with pinking shears, and put them on with some self-adhesive backing. The bags have little blank books we stapled together with pretty paper Wren picked out, and a box of crayons.

Waging the war on plastic junk in gift bags since 2009. That's me. Not really though- Wren LOVES everything about the party favors she's gotten in the past- the little bag, all the tiny new toys. And if she knew it was an option, she would much rather give her friends anything from the princess party favor aisle in Target than these lame curtain bags. But she doesn't know. She probably will by next year, so I'm taking my chance. Long live the curtain bag!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

fourth wave feminism

My mom tells me what I was like at Wren's age, "three going on thirteen" and completely convinced that "ladies wear dresses." Even though my mom of course wore jeans every single day. Now I wear jeans every day (more or less) and Wren changes out of pajamas and into a dress or skirt first thing in the morning.

At her preschool they had a dress-up day- "what do you want to be when you grow up?" Of course Wren wants to be a Princess Mama.

So she wore a Cinderella T-shirt and a little red sling, with a baby in it. I remembered dress-up day approximately 10 minutes before we were supposed to be out the door, and so this sling was a last minute affair, made with scrap fabric. I'm happy it came together fast and has held up so far. It's getting a good bit of use, and I really should have made one a long time ago. Wren would have loved this when I was actually carrying baby Jane around in a sling all the time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Around the House

Princess Wren, eating pizza on a pillow. Jane and Wren dragged pillows in front of the door to watch the thunderstorm earlier this week. Janey's wearing an old sweater I felted and made into a diaper cover. Those are really easy and cheap to make, and actually seem to help cut down on diaper rashes, since they breath more than the PUL fabric in other diaper covers. Kind of a hassle to wash though.

I made yet another elf hat from the Amy Karol book for Wren. It was supposed to be for her birthday, but I had to try it on her, and of course couldn't take it away after that. In that picture it's still waiting for its flower- Wren chose blue and yellow felt with a blue button, because she's "Bluebell the fairy." She has some of the little banners I'm sewing for her birthday party spread out on the floor around her.

And there's Jane, making a huge mess as usual. She's in a terrible mood this morning- probably more teeth coming in.

She's as fierce in sadness as she is the rest of the time, so our neighbors probably think we're beating her, what with all the screaming. I know it's so obvious, but still- kids are different! Parenting Jane has a lot of the same challenges as Wren at this age, but some things are just totally different. For instance, one of Jane's stock of words is "toot," and she is always looking for a way to use it. Having an older sister has clued her in extra early to the whole "pooping is funny" line of humor. She is always listening for toots, and exults in running in the room to point at the tooter and yell "TOOT" and fall over giggling. It's awesome. And of course she thinks it's pretty hilarious when she is the guilty party.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Promised blue legwarmers for Jane, in leftover cotton/wool blend.

Please ignore the filthy filthy rug.

I'm currently sinking under homework and housework. This coming weekend has been on the calendar for months and months as Spring Cleaning/House Fixing, and in spite of all the prep time, we are currently underfunded, underprepared, and under-babysittered for such an extreme undertaking.

In addition, my classes are pretty rough at the moment. I like school a lot, and it's certainly fun to engage my brain every now and then, but I could do without the looming deadlines and stress headaches I remember so well from... well I guess from the whole rest of my life. I mean, school was all fun until about the 3rd grade, right? That's when it started sucking for me anyway. Screw you, times tables.

Also, it seems like everyone I know is celebrating some big step in life worthy of a handmade craft item. Hurray! Could we maybe talk about putting that wedding/baby/graduation back a month or two? I've kind of got a pile up going on... No? Well, think about it mkay? This is HAND QUILTING we're talking about here, and there's not enough trash TV in the world to support this amount of it.

I love making stuff. And sometimes, when I'm feeling overwhelmed, I know the only thing that's going to knock me out of blue-ness is sitting down and making something. I made Wren a hat this morning, and she stopped everyone in the grocery store to talk about it. Radical.

However, much like school work, and actually, everything else in life, (except gestating children) it's better without a due date.

So that's why there has been (and will continue to be for a bit) less blogging and more doing.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dinosaur, Dinosaur!

Janey has been sick for the last few days, and we've spent a lot of downtime snuggled up on the couch or the bed. Reading, like many other things in Jane's life (eating, cuddling, petting the dog...) is not a low impact activity:

If you think that is intense, you should try looking at cute overload with her sometime. Be prepared to defend your computer screen from vigorous pointing.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bea's Birthday Presents

Wow so this has been a crazy weekend, with a kickoff on Thursday night at Phil's when insanity possessed me and I said, "Gosh it's been almost a whole year since we got the Barfing Flu..."

Yeah, I know. For real. So obviously Jane started throwing up this morning, which at that point just capped off a weekend of crazy. My mom and Grandmother came to town, my cousins Nell and Leah were visiting (woo!) There was an enormous grocery list (hey are anyone elses' groceries insanely expensive?) a bike hutch to build, I had two big homework assignments, and two big crafting deadlines, and also Bastrop apparently caught on fire.

Anyway, Wrennel and I went to Bea's first birthday party, definitely the high point:

Wren's modeling the Swing Smock, from BTRS, by Amy Karol. It was maybe the simplest thing ever, although I made it way too big. I always just end up eyeballing things and that means it's probably going to fit Wren, not whoever it's supposed to.

The same thing happened with the hat, which is actually the same red as the pocket and trim on the smock, but my house has funny light. Okay fine, I am not awesome at taking pictures. And I couldn't talk Wren into modeling again, so poor naked Baby Sophie had to do it. I'm not sure where her clothes went...

Actually, since the one year old in question is cracking the 95 percentile in head size (woo! above average!) this hat is not ridiculously big, just pretty big.

It was a great party, and we had a wonderful time. Happy Birthday Bea!