Hair Accessory Hanger for Nursery

05/30/2016

I saw this idea on Pinterest a while ago and thought it looked pretty simple. Like most Pinterest projects, it took a lot more effort than I expected. I’m happy with the outcome though.

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Steps: I bought a frame from Goodwill for about $1 and threw away the glass. I sanded it a bit to take off the coating over the wood stain, and then painted it with three coats of craft paint. I cut some strips of ribbon and hot-glued them inside the back of the frame where the glass had been sitting. I pre-drilled all the holes for the tiny cup hooks along the bottom and hammered a sawtooth picture hanger onto the back.

Full tour of our Double Nursery for Almost Irish Twins.

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I’m a Sewing Machine

03/18/2015

I sort of wish I could nudge my nesting urges toward cleaning out the pantry or dusting and vacuuming but all I really want to do is sew baby-related things. Some of these things are for Isaiah. (I wrote about the paci clips, storage bag for the crib, door latch silencer here.) I’ve also been making lots of things that I intend to sell and/or give as gifts to friends. I’ve made a bunch of jersey knit nursing scarves (and haven’t photographed any yet). I’ve made 7 bandana bibs and have several more in the works. These pictured are small/newborn size.

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I’ve made two pairs of suspenders and have supplies for several more in various colors.

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I’m working on some prototypes for outfit sets (pants, hat, mittens/socks) for newborns made from recycled 100% cotton jersey. Here’s my first set. I made two hats because I’ll probably make a few matching sets and a few mixed pattern/color coordinating sets.

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In the coming months I’ll be getting high quality photos done of these projects with models (for scale) and then they’ll be up for sale in my Etsy shop. I figure it will help to fund the unpaid time of work for my maternity leave. My job, like many, doesn’t offer any paid time off. I can take up to 12 weeks off with the FMLA but I have to use up all of my vacation and sick time first and it’s unpaid. Yaaaaayyy… Back to sewing I go!

I’m open to suggestions and requests if you have any ideas or if you’d be interested in purchasing something in the next few months. I recall several people mentioning the door latch silencer. I’ll put it on my list to make more.


Crafting with Ali

02/24/2015

I love art and doing crafts. I always have. It’s such a joy for me to see my daughter loving art, too. She got a big bucket of craft supplies and a booklet of ideas for Christmas. We’ve been having fun working on these together on these cold, dreary winter days. I’m looking forward to the days she can do these projects more independently so she can work along side me while I work on my own craft projects. But in this stage, I’m just delighted that she’s having fun and getting creative with these projects.

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When our buddy Termain was visiting one evening they sat and did art projects together for a while. He’s an art lover too.

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One day I was able to get almost an hour of sewing projects done while Ali played with Play Doh nearby. Glorious!

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Sewing for Baby Boy: Pacifier Clip, Pacifier Storage Bag, Door Latch Silencer

01/15/2015

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Pacifier Strap & Clip

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I bought these mitten clasps last summer when we had little Firefly but I never got around to making him a pacifier strap before he left. This was very simple to make. I cut a strip of cotton fabric, folded it in half with right sides together, pressed open a seam allowance on one end, sewed the sides together and cut off the scrap close to my seam. The only difficult part was turning the little thing right side out. Once I did that, I pressed it flat with an iron. I sewed a small piece of elastic into the open end, closing it off. I folded and pressed the other end of the strap and sewed in around the mitten clasp.

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Since it was such a pain to turn the strap right side out, I decided to make a second one using ribbon left over from the suspenders of his coming home outfit. This one was even faster but I think it would have been better with wider ribbon.

Pacifier Storage Bag (inspired by this)

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I could have made a simply bag but I happened to have this cotton pouch saved from a recent purchase of a queen sheet set. It’s a bit bigger than needed for pacifiers and paci clips but that’s fine. All I did was make two equal lengths of brown ribbon and sewed it onto each side of the bag. Pacifiers will be easy to locate at rest times and when baby boy is bigger, he can reach into the bag himself if he needs one at night time.

Door Latch Silencer / Soft Close Cover (inspired by this)

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I used hair elastics like the inspiration link above but I found them very difficult to sew through. Next time I think I’ll just use elastic.

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A Coming Home Outfit for Baby Boy

01/06/2015

coming home from the hospital outfit for a baby boy

 

In my excited anticipation of Baby Boy’s arrival in April I decided to start putting together an outfit for him to wear home from the hospital. I bought some black-and-white striped ribbon and sewed it onto a white onesie with faint blue stars to look like suspenders. I paired it with gray paints, no-scratch mittens and a hat that I made last summer for Firefly. I also made the bow tie for Firefly for a photo shoot. The onesie and little blue socks are the only pieces I didn’t make. Nothing inspires me to sew more than a new baby! Next up is a baby blanket.

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Christmastime is Here

12/23/2014

The tree has been trimmed. The lights have been strung. The cookies have been baked…and many of them eaten. Christmas is my favorite thing about winter. The warm glowing lights. The crackling wood in the fireplace. The cozy clutter of decorations. The family time. The advent…the waiting…the anticipation. (Increased this year by the gift of discovering our baby’s gender on Christmas Day.) The dressing up in red, knit and boots. Celebrating the birth of Jesus and all that it meant when God came to walk the earth in human form. (Increased this year by the kicking baby in my belly reminding me often of Mary, young and scared, carrying the most important baby in the world.) The excitement of a small child over every element of the holiday season.

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Mother-Daughter Christmas Fun

12/16/2014

Jason’s been traveling a lot in December (but is now home through Christmas. Yay!) So Ali and I have been enjoying lots of holiday festivities together. On Saturday we went to Cheekwood Art and Botanical Gardens to see reindeer and check out the craft activities. We spent a long time making a Christmas tree our of sticks, pipe cleaners, paper, glue and beads. The cookie decorating was quite delicious!

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On Sunday our church had their big Christmas program, which means special music, candlelight service, and lots of kids dressed up in adorable outfits gorging themselves on cookies and candy canes. Alianna was quite proud of her freshly painted nails.

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That evening Ali and I went to our next door neighbor Elizabeth’s house for a Latke Fest. I’m pretty sure that was the first Hanukkah party either of us had been invited to and it was great! Lots of tasty treats and nice people. I brought Elizabeth a dozen eggs to thank her for informing us and helping to wrangle our chickens when they escape our yard.

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Baby Inspired DIY

06/24/2014

I’ve been storing an olive green sheet for years, planning to sew it into a baby sling. Slings are great for a tiny newborn, which we’ve never had until now. In fact, Firefly is too small for our Infantino baby carrier or Moby wrap (or the ErgoBaby carrier I’m drooling over!). I found this sling tutorial via Pinterest and whipped up a sling for Firefly one Saturday afternoon. It’s perfect for him and I love the color.

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While I had the sewing machine pulled out, I decided to sew some baby tube socks and mittens for the little guy using upcycled old socks. His little hands and feet are so small that baby mittens and socks dangle off of him. I used this trusty tutorial from Made By Joel, the same one I used 3 years ago for baby Alianna.

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I love these ones made from a pair of Jason’s socks that got holes in the bottom. Baby business man socks. I’m tempted to pull socks out of Jason’s sock drawer to makes some more…

I spent another afternoon nap time sewing Firefly some baby pants from shirt sleeves. (Just like these upcycled pants like these I made for Ali.) They’re fairly easy and free if you have some old sweaters, sweatshirts or long-sleeve shirts you don’t need anymore. Jason had a striped hoodie that shrank in the wash—so much that it didn’t even fit me. I’ve been hanging onto it for such a time as this. I made Firefly some pants with room to grow since they’re really too warm for summer in Nashville. I also made him some lightweight pants from two gray long-sleeve t-shirts that I was no longer wearing. Since the pants turned out pretty well and I still had a lot of shirt leftover, I made him a hat and a pair of simple tube socks. The socks are perfect for his tiny feet but I’m guessing they’ll only fit for a couple weeks until his legs get more chubby. I’m glad I didn’t have to spend a penny on them.

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Ali’s Favorite Toys at 2.75 Years Old

04/15/2014

A friend with a child a bit younger than mine was wondering if I could share about some of her favorite toys, particularly things that will hold her interest for longer than 5 minutes inside when the weather isn’t conducive to shooing the little ones outside for an adventure. (Click any of the blue text for links to purchase if you’re interested.)

Play-Doh
It’s amazing how long the squishy, colorful dough can keep Ali’s attention. She sometimes mixes stickers and toothpicks into the dough, and definitely jumbles the colors. It’s cheap and she’s having fun so I try not to look. Our biggest challenge with play-doh is reminding her to put it back into the containers so it doesn’t dry up.

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Glow-in-the-Dark Bracelets
At a playgroup one time I overheard the other moms talking about doing glow-in-the-dark baths for their toddlers. What?! I had to find out. It’s simple: give your kids a couple of glow bracelets and dim the lights. Suddenly, bath time is fascinating. This is often the reward at the end of a good day… sometimes it’s just to give mommy a break. I’ve never tested it but I think she would play in the bath with glow sticks until the water got cold. Sometimes I can find 15-packs in the dollar spot at Target. Amazon sells 100 for $9.

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Watercolors
Ali got some paint-with-water books for Christmas, but honestly her favorite thing is to just make abstract paintings on plain white paper. I’ve always been a lover of abstract art so I find each of her creations to be masterpieces worth hanging on my office walls. This pack of Crayola Washable Watercolors is my favorite. Last summer (when she was turning 2) we only painted outside. Now that she’s approaching 3, she paints at the kitchen table strapped into her buckle booster. I have the paper on a placemat and I use a heavy mug for the water. Clean up is pretty easy with a damp cloth. She uses some of my old higher quality paintbrushes.

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Potato Heads
I’m sure you are all familiar with this classic toy. I don’t have much to say except that it gets a lot of play.

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Play Kitchen / Tea Set
Jason and I both drink coffee and tea (respectively) several times throughout the day so Ali is used to seeing us with a mug of hot liquid. I think it’s for that reason that her tea set gets so much play time. Sometimes I let her have real tea in her cup, which she loves. Usually it’s imaginary tea: sparkle tea for me and chocolate tea for her. This was my first Green Toys purchase. They’re all made from recycled food-grade plastics and have a nice tactile texture. I found a play kitchen for Ali off of craigslist.

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Play Food
We have crocheted food handmade by Ali’s Nana, cloth breakfast food and vegetable sets from IKEA, and some second-hand Melissa & Doug wooden play food. Ali loves to practice her chef skills slicing apart the M&D Cutting Food set. I’d definitely recommend this to a friend.

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Ball
I think this is a given at any age but it’s always good to have a good bouncy ball around. While it’s not usually an independent activity, Ali and I have spent many rainy or cold days playing soccer or catch. On her first intensive day of potty training when we spent hours in the kitchen, soccer was a life-saver.

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Again, this doesn’t need much explanation. It got a ton of play time from age 18 months-present 2.75 years. We just moved it outside a few months ago. It used to be in our den/playroom. I stalked craigslist until I found a good deal on one that hadn’t been sun-bleached outside.

Play Tent/Fort
There are lots of options for this one. Drape a blanket between two pieces of furniture. Turn a big cardboard box on it’s side. (Pictured below: Ali and her BFF Jaron in the box fort in his bedroom.) Buy a play tent. Or do like I did and make a playhouse out of a sheet that fits snuggly over a card table. I only get this out when I’m desperate and it always works to keep Ali busy for a while.

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OUTSIDE TOYS

Diving Toys
This is also not an independent activity because it requires supervision but this is an addition to my list from Buzz last summer. We spent many, many hours at my parents’ swimming pool and these Cars diving toys were a big hit with both kids. Buzz’s mom bought him a set last summer and I plan to get Ali some for this summer. I’m praying she’s tall enough to stand on her toes in the shallow end like Buzz was last summer…

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Water
A wading pool. Water guns. A watering can. A bucket and a hose. Whatever you’ve got – toddlers love experimenting with it. Dumping, splashing, drinking, blowing bubbles, etc.

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Bubbles
I make my own bubble solution. Ali is starting to get the hang of blowing bubbles with a bubble wand at this age. (And Buzz was doing it last summer at this age.) Last year, she relied a lot on the battery operated bubble gun. She also has a bubble mower that gets a lot of playtime.

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Bring on the Christmas Cheer!

12/04/2013

I started listening to Christmas music back in early October thanks to Jason’s new album. (It’s seriously fantastic. You should buy it!) The Sunday before Thanksgiving we put up our new-to-us Christmas tree and the rest of our decorations. It was so much fun to have Alianna’s help this year. She’s old enough to leave the fragile decorations alone for the most part, too.

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My Granny’s Shiny Brite ornaments from the 1950s get a special spot up on the kitchen counter.

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The rest of my Shiny Brite and Trim Time collection of vintage ornaments go on the aluminum tree in the dining room.

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I made a stocking for Bee (on the left) similar to Alianna’s stocking, out of an old wool sweater. I still don’t know if she’ll be here for Christmas but I can take off the initial and reuse the stocking in the future if she’s not.

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The past few years we’ve only done the mid-century silver tree and vintage ornaments but Jason suggested a more traditional tree this year. I’m really loving this giant tree with it’s warm lights in the corner of our living room. The crackling fireplace makes it all just heavenly.

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