Monday, October 31, 2011

She's literally wearing a poppy smock!

Sure, I enjoy being incredibly frugal and barely scraping by as much as the next guy, but sometimes it just feels good to be frivolous. Like using three pilfered Taco Bell hot sauces on my burrito instead of two, using actual bubble bath instead of dish soap in the kids' bath (what? it totally gets them squeaky clean), or turning the heat on before November 1st...but I went a little crazy this time.

I made my daughter a linen dress. So, some of you may be thinking what's so crazy about that? And, really? Three TB packets? That's excessive.

Let's discuss the impracticality of linen for a moment. It wrinkles like crazy. A second in the car seat? Wrinkled. Sliding around on the floor pretending to be a snake? Wrinkled. And because of said wrinkling it really should be ironed after washing. But, in reality, I have three kids so very little gets ironed. And I like things spicy, so yes, 3 packets. But I had a yard of soft, red linen just begging to be made into a dress for my little boo. I used a vintage pattern from my stash (it's a bit of an addiction really) and made this:
I liked it but it was really missing something. Some sort of...zing! So I painted it. I've been following this amazing blog No big dill for a few years and admire her creativity. I also love the way she embroiders "no big dill" on a lot of her daughters' clothing. It really fancies things up. She also painted a dress (couldn't find the precise post) for one of her girls. So I totally stole the idea. And I LOVE it.

I dragged the kids out for a photo shoot. Well, boo had a photo shoot and the boys mostly threw rocks at each other and bickered about whether we should have french toast or pizza for dinner.
OMG. Those chubby little fingers.
I painted poppies on it. It's literally a poppysmock. Rad, no?
I wanted to name my baby Penelope just so I could call her Poppy.
But instead we named her after my manfriend's grandma.
Isn't she a peach?
I love this teal wall with her red dress. She loved the dandelion.

What? It's fiber.
Enough, Old Lady.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

To my Neice on her Sixteenth Birthday

I'd like to give you the world, or a car, or a smooth hundred dollar bill, but most of all, I would like to give you the ability to see clearly.

I want you to see how incredibly amazing you are. You are unique of spirit and heart. You are filled with grace and drive in a way that is uncommon among adults, let alone girls becoming women.

I want you to look in the mirror and see clearly what a beautiful creature you are. You are an individual with style and taste and there is no reason to look like the other girls when how YOU look is perfect. I want you to like what you see. I want you to LOVE what you see. I want you to see what I see...

I'd love to be able to give you the ability to see clearly the obstacles in your path so that you may make the wisest choices and avoid unforeseen hurts along the way. See men that may hurt you, and walk away from them. See friends who don't wish you well, and walk away from them. See what it is you want and walk up to it and find a way to get it.

I want you to see the choices before you and choose with gusto. See that there isn't always a RIGHT or a WRONG choice, but just a choice. Whatever choice you make, make it boldly and with zest. Be your own best advocate and not your own worst critic.

See in you what everyone else sees.

Love you,
Do you remember your sixteenth birthday? What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Because I love you. And they were free.

OMG. I googled Sweetest Day just to confirm that it was, in fact, a made up holiday and this is what I got.
But mostly because I love you.

In honor of Sweetest Day (which is totally a made-up holiday in which you're supposed to buy things for your lover) I gave my manfriend 9 scratch-off coupon cards from the grocery store. I know! I'm a giver at heart. I didn't even scratch them off first. In return, he let me go watch Dancing with the Stars at a friend's house. Because that's the kind of love that we have for each other.

I don't even know if he won on the scratch-offs, but that would totally be like him. Just to prove his love, you know? And I suppose a little bit because of luck.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cut Chenille Baby Blanket

Sometimes I make things to sell or give away and it takes all my power to actually put it in the mailing envelope and take it to the post office. This was one of those projects.

The blanket is made with a Art Gallery fabric that I purchased back when I made Boo's bedding. (We try not to call her Big Baby anymore because her brothers started calling her that and we felt it might be detrimental to her self-esteem later in life.) I purchased just a yard of it thinking that I would make a blanket or something to go with the crib, skirt, bumpers, duvet cover, and sheets. But after all of that I was just done sewing for awhile. I've lost the fabric in my stash a few times, but when it resurfaced I knew what it needed to be made into. This gorgeous cut chenille baby blanket.

The process is time consuming and labor intensive, but not particularly challenging. I used a tutorial found at Aesthetic Nest, only I don't have a chenille cutter. So I just used scissors, but taped over the tip of the bottom blade so I didn't accidentally poke through the printed layer.

The project essentially involves sandwiching layers of fabric together, then quilting them together with miles of straight stitches on the bias.

Then you flip that bad boy over and cut through all but one of the layers to create the "chenille." Add some blanket binding, wash it up, and you're done.

Boo loved it and of course it matched her bedding perfectly...but this one's shipping out today. Sigh.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Easy Vegetarian Lasagne

This is my go-to meal that I take to friends and relatives when they have a new baby. It's delicious, it's easy for me to make and mom to heat, and it's vaguely good for you. Pair it with some garlic bread and you're good to go. I brought it to my cousin-in-law (is that really a term?) when she had her baby awhile back and her mom has been gushing over it and asking for the recipe ever since. Since I'm super on top of things I'm going to get that right to her. It's only been 20 months or so. No big.

P.S. I totally cheat and use a jar of spaghetti sauce. Ragu actually because it's crazy cheap and delicious. And no one will know unless you tell them. Or write a blog about it.

16 lasagne noodles
4 ounces of fresh spinach, chopped
1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
1 small onion
16 ounces of ricotta
4 C mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1 jar of spaghetti sauce of your choice

1. Cook noodles according to package directions, drain, and rinse with cold water.
2. Saute onion, garlic, and artichoke hearts in olive oil until onion is see through. About 5 minutes.
3. Spray bottom of 9x13 pan so your lasagne comes out smoothly later.

4. Layer noodles, sauce, cooked veggies, chopped spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella. I use my hands to spread out the ricotta because it's sticky.
I left out the artichokes because there's no way Thing 1 would eat that.

5. Repeat. Each layer uses four noodles. When you run out of noodles, you're mostly done.
6. Top the lasagne off with a little bit of sauce and mozzarella. I find it hard to ration appropriately for the topmost layer and sometimes we don't get any goodness up there. Sad face.

7. Cover with tinfoil and cook at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove tinfoil and cook for 5 minutes.

Super yum. AND miracle of miracles, everyone ate it. Even Thing 1 who is super picky.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

DIY Feather Earring Tutorial

I've been coveting all manner of fancy accessories that I've been pinning on my painfully addictive pinterest lately. Today I decided to DIY some feather earrings. It was super easy. And guess what? I made a tutorial so YOU can make some too. I know. I give and I give.

Here we go:

I started with some feathers from Joanns. These came in a bunch together with a couple other odd pieces. $4.99 less 40%

Cut them to the length you desire. Remove a few of the fringies so that you can wrap the top.

Fish hook earrings and 26 gauge copper wire.

I also decided to use some wooden beads that I had from a broken necklace.
Cut two pieces of wire about 7 inches long.

Put the beads on.

Fold your wire in half, creating a loop at the top.

Insert wire through jump ring of fish hook earring.

Twist, twist, twist. The jump portion has a tiny open spot that you'll want to close with some pliers.

Slide that whole wire contraption down through the beads until your earring is about the length that you'd like it.
Add a dab of glue under the bottom bead. I used Gorilla glue, but whatever floats your boat.

Twist the wire a few times under the bottom bead, up the back, under the second bead, and then continue
twisting it all the way up until you run out of wire. I had some extra feather part that I just cut off.
Do it again so you have a matching set.

This is what I look like in my bathroom mirror. Hot, no?

Boom. Now I'm rocking it.