Monday, March 2, 2015

Family Photo Series {Intro: Location Fun}

About a year and a half ago, my sister-in-law and her husband were moving to a different country for two years (only half a year to go before they're back!). Thus, it was definitely a good time for family pictures! 

My in-laws decided to forgo the professional photographer, and instead we used my DSLR with a tripod. We would rely on me and the graphic artist married to my other sister-in-law. I was nervous!

We all had different ideas for locations and back drops. Dan was the one who thought to use a granary on one of the old farmsteads on their land. It took a little convincing of his mom and dad to embrace the rustic backdrop, but I'm so glad we took the pictures there!

In the next several posts, I'll chat a little about location planning, clothing attire, arranging people, and about how the graphic artist and I worked together to take what turned out to be pretty decent family pictures :)

I'll also share about what I learned through the entire process... which is a lot! 

Taking your own family pictures is definitely not for everyone... and it definitely wasn't the easiest thing I've ever done (especially since the group included a 6 month old and a sick kindergartener)!

Overall, I hope you enjoy this little series :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

More February Finishes for Ev

A few more February finishes... it's been a good month for finishing up a few small projects that have been in my pile for awhile.

This was my first time sewing the Lulu Dress and Top from Cino. Here's a link to the pattern. I've had the pattern pieces and fabric cut out for a few months now and I was getting nervous about sewing the elastic casing with the knit fabric. Thankfully, I was worked up over nothing! This pattern was a quick sew... especially since I didn't hem the skirt :) I love making play clothes out of knits - they are a lot faster to sew than cotton clothes without all the hemming and seam finishing that you need to do with cotton!

This is the dress and cap-sleeve version... grey interlock from JoAnns and a blue, sparkly knit from Hancock. It's big on her now, but should be great by the time summer rolls around... 

Both knits from Hancock - the blue is very thin. I used the sleeveless top version of the pattern. This should be perfect for playing my parents' lake cabin! The top fabric is not as stretchy as the interlock, so it may not fit as long, but it should still work for most of the summer.

You've already seen this dress - it was E's Birthday dress for my ALYOF February goal. I finally took the time to try it on her and take some pictures. It fits and it should be perfect for her birthday in a few months. She loves the shoes I recently found for the summer. They have "bows" on them, haha ... aka flowers...

And finally, here is the purse I made with some of the skirt scraps and leftovers from the solid fat quarters. I had the ribbon and the pom-pom trim in my stash. Those pom-poms were not fun to sew, so I was happy to use them up! 


This isn't a WIP post, but I just wanted to see how the old list and the updated list compare. I love feeling productive!

  • 1 baby quilt needing binding (done!)
  • 2 baby quilts needing quilting then binding (progress: quilting done with one half way done with binding and one needing the entire binding)
  • 1 lap quilt needing quilting then binding (on the back burner)
  • 9 baby quilt tops needing backs (done! Now, 3 of them need to be basted before quilting and binding... the other 6 will go on the back burner)
  • 2 cotton Easter/Spring for E that are part-way done and one matching "purse" (done!)
  • 2 knit dresses for E that have been cut but need some sewing done (done!)
  • 1 pillow top ready for quilting and then needing a back (back burner until those 3 baby quilts are done... can you guess what my March goal will be?!)


On a final note, we recently took the crib out of E's room! Her big girl bed was already in her room, but we took out the box spring, so the mattress is just sitting on the floor between the bed frame. She has slept great at night so far with her naps being decent.  We are so glad we started this transition when we did... once we started thinking about it, we're glad we don't have to fight the summer sun at night. Her room is pitch black at bedtime, which I'm sure helps her fall asleep without being lured to play in her room. So far so good! 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Two Dresses are DONE! {ALYOF}

My February ALYOF Goal has been reached!
My goal was to finish two dresses that I had started for my daughter.
The goal post is here and I was number 83 in the goal linky party.

Here is the dress I created for E's upcoming birthday. 

The bodice, sash and skirt lining fabrics are all from my stash, as were the buttons and the ribbon. The skirt patchwork came from a fat quarter bundle I recently won (from The Intrepid Thread through Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday... post here). It was one of those prizes that I just had to cut into right away :) 

The pattern is the free Party Dress from The Cottage Mama. (I made two of these last year - link!).

The second dress I made is being reserved for Easter (most likely she'll be wearing a long sleeve shirt and tights under it!). Both fabrics and the ric-rac are from my stash. The pattern is another free pattern from The Cottage Mama - this one is called the Summer Picnic Dress. 

I started the photo shoot by using an old school desk to hang the dress on. Well, this desk is usually E's snack desk... She jumped right into the middle of my shoot and gave me this look when she realized that she wasn't going to get any snacks right that second. She makes us smile :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

WIP Wednesday and February Goal {ALYOF}

ALYOF February Goal: Finish two Easter/Spring dresses for E! I have a little bit of a start on them, but I still have quite a bit to do on them. The scraps from sewing the patchwork skirt are to be made into a pillow cover and a purse. That fabric was recently won in a giveaway, and I found matching fabrics for the bodice, sash and skirt band. The other dress is from stash fabrics. Both patterns are free from The Cottage Mama

Then, there are these... 9 baby quilt tops that I finished last month. Four are spoken for as I have several friends who are expecting. The others will be kept on hand for future friends' babies. With our #2 on his way, I know I won't have as much (if any) sewing time and I want to be somewhat prepared!

Do I even dare mention these? Two baby quilts ready to be quilted. One for our Gus-Gus and one to keep on hand! These need to be quilted before I can baste the four quilts needing to be done, as I don't have enough safety pins for all these quilts I need to work on!


So, I've updated the WIP list that I started last December... lots of fun still to be had :)

(a list that does not include projects that have fabric pulled but haven't been cut into yet!)

1 baby quilt needing binding
2 baby quilts needing quilting then binding
1 lap quilt needing quilting then binding
9 baby quilt tops needing backs (then quilting and binding)
2 cotton Easter/Spring for E that are part-way done (and one matching "purse")
2 knit dresses for E that have been cut but need some sewing done(!)
1 pillow top ready for quilting and then needing a back

Monday, January 26, 2015

January Goal Finish - Two Monikered Bags {ALYOF}

I finished them! 
My January Goal was to finish these two baby bags. 
#29 in the ALYOF Goal Linky Party  

Lincoln and Chase now have personalized bags that they can eventually carry around with pride to the library or to church or just around the house. 

The main change from the usual bags was that I decided not to use any denim in the handles. It made it a lot easier on my machine! Each bag has one pocket on the back and one on the side... plus a corduroy one on the inside. 

The fabrics came from a variety of sources... most of them came from Instagram's #thegreatfabricdestash last winter. The striped red and green fabrics were winnings from Benartex giveaways, the other red, the blue and the bandana fabrics were from my stash.. and the green and the safari were from my mom's stash :)


You can see other Monikered Bags that I've sewn here and here...

Monday, January 19, 2015

E's Room Finale {Beware: long rambles!}

Finally, a post all about E's room makeover. It was the first room that we've painted... and even though there are more rooms that I want to paint, that just hasn't happened yet. 

A little at a time. A little at a time :)

Anyways, the main reason that we needed to paint E's room was because it was very much a boy's room before. Those dinosaurs may have only been on one wall, but oy! I believe they are painted with chalkboard paint, and if you look closely enough, you can still see their outlines after being painted, but there's enough stuff on the wall now, that you would probably never notice.

I chose the almost-white-cream-color because I love the idea of white walls, but I know that with the cherry wood trim and cabinets in this house, I doubt I could ever pull it off. This cream is the next best thing! I cannot wait to use it in other rooms to brighten things up! (the main color in the house, which included two walls in E's room, is a much more yellowish/tannish/beige... I want to get rid of it!).

You can see above that the walls used to be a dark brown below the bright green. I chose a aqua-ish blue. Much to my dismay, there are three bedrooms in this house that have chair rails. Now, I love the idea of chair rails, but they only put it on two of the walls in those three bedrooms. If I'm going to do chair rails, they'll go on all of the walls or none of the walls. So.... now we have the joy of trying to match detail and color. I wish the previous owner would have left some information on their trim purchases!!

But enough about paint... you remember the wall art from a previous post... 

... and that I hung a quilt on a wall... and painted my old bed...

Well, here is E's new desk/vanity! It used to be mine when I was little... and it used to my mom's before that. When I was little Mom painted it white with yellow tops and blue horse stencils. When I was in middle school, I repainted them white with some blue/pink/purple sponge details on the top. It was time for another refresher! The main color is a shade away from the walls, and the pink is a fun pop! I first found the spray paint for the handles and then matched the paint for the top and bottom to that. (Same story with the dresser below).

 The chair came from a thrift store. It was a dollar. I originally passed on it, but then I told my mom about it, and she went and bought it for me, ha! I painted it black when I had it in my old apartment. But, to make it fit perfectly in E's room, I painted it a shade away from the blue paint on the bottom half of the walls.

 Here's the dresser, and you can see where we need to find the chair rails still! The mirror was a wedding present that I spray painted the same as the bed. 

Overall, I love E's room!!! Now, it's time to start thinking of Gus-Gus's room... only a few months left!

Monday, January 12, 2015

E's {Future} New Bed

I love "stealing" from my parents :) 

Although E is still not quite ready for the twin bed, I figured it just made sense to move my old twin bed at the same time that we moved everything else to our new house last summer. If it's any consolation, at least I left my parents the twin bed frame and mattress that I used in college!

Before setting this one up, however, I needed to spruce it up!

Mom originally took this bed out of an outbuilding at my grandmother's farm (a hired man had used it at one time, I think) when I first needed a twin bed. At that time it was red... then Mom painted it white... then I repainted it white and changed the flowery details. This time... I was going for a more deeper, striking look! (but first, I needed to use a little steal wool to smooth it all down).

Here's the color I chose! I LOVE IT!

I covered up a wall in the garage, opened the garage doors and went to work. Of course, I was limited to nap times and after bedtimes, but it was still a pretty quick project.

As you can see, we decided to set it up in E's room, even though she's still sleeping in the crib. I didn't want to move it around too many times (even with just setting it up once, I still have to go and touch up a few chips!), plus I figured this allows E to get used to it before she actually sleeps in it. 

I love how the purple looks next to the pink and blues in her room... the next post is a review of everything in her room, along with a few notes about her dresser and desk! I finished the quilt last spring, and never imagined that it would be used for E's bed. I plan on making a new one eventually that is longer and wider, but for now, I think this one works fine!

We may not hang out on it every day, but it's safe to say that E loves her future bed :) 
Hopefully she still loves it when it's time to say bye-bye to her crib!