Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Recap

Can you believe Christmas is over?! I can't!

It's very strange being in a warm climate for Christmas and New Years. Christmas has always meant winter, bundling up in blankets, sipping hot beverages, wearing scarves and gloves! Here in New Orleans it is 75 degrees outside. That's right, P and I wore shorts and t-shirts to the park last week. People here have poinsettias OUTSIDE! In KY, we had to wrap the poinsettias in plastic just to walk from the car to the house to keep them from shriveling instantly. People here try so hard to make things look "wintery" with evergreen wreaths and garlands on the front of their houses, the problem is that all of it has been scorched by the burning rays of the sun so now the evergreen is a strawlike yellow. At the mall, they decorated with fake snow around the bases of the poinsettias which were planted in the ground (outside). Yes, it's all a big winter charade here. Folks wear gloves, scarves and heavy coats when it hits a chilly 55.

This year, we traveled to Kentucky for Christmas. P needed really warm clothes so I decided on these corduroy longalls for Christmas day. I wanted knee patches for fun decoration, but also because I knew he would be crawling around all over the floor playing with new toys, cousins, Papa and my brothers. I love fabric covered buttons so I added those as well. 

The back of the overalls have a little buttoned belt. 

Here's P enjoying some Christmas morning brunch! Well, he was enjoying the fruit anyway. :)

Grammy and Grampa (and Santa) surprised P with a slide, he was in heaven!

 It ended up being beautiful and warm on Christmas day. We played outside and visited the horses and cows.

We had a great Christmas this year! The one damper was that P had a bad cold and on Christmas Adam (that's the day before Christmas Eve :) he woke up from his nap with his poor little eyes all red and weepy. He was pitiful! Thankfully we were able to get him on some antibiotics that night so he felt a million times better by Christmas Eve. I'm praying that he didn't pass it along to the cousins who are visiting Disney this week. By this week hubby and I were able to laugh about it, W even wished me a "Merry Pinkeye Christmas."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cozy Hat for Chloe

A couple of weeks ago when my sister Chloe visited New Orleans, she saw a hat at Urban Outfitters that she really wanted. She ended up not going back for it so I decided I would make one for her Christmas gift. It's a really pretty green color (it looks a little washed out in this picture, it's super bulky, Lion brand yarn) and it was crocheted (10.0 mm hook) with a double strand. I came up with the pattern as I went, I'll work on writing it out and maybe post a pattern or a tutorial. 

I decided for a little something different that I would line it. I used a soft, stretchy jersey that I had picked up on the $1 table at Hancock's sometime oner the summer. 

I used a zig zag stitch so that it would stretch comfortably.

She likes it and I think it looks really cute. It's super warm and really comfy feeling, I also like that it keeps your ears warm. Merry Christmas, Chloe!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lots of sewing

So I've been doing some sewing, making a few gifts (although blogging about them seems like a bad idea since a few of the recipients might get a sneak peek). Here are some safe ones. Christmas morning PJ's for Baby P. When I was growing up we always had special Christmas pajamas. It was a fun tradition. I had a pattern in mind so I just sketched out the pieces using some of P's clothes as size reference and came up with this.

It's made out of a soft flannel. They are so cute on. When my husband, W saw them, he said "They're so old fashioned, you should add one of those flaps on the back." He was referring to the kind of flap in old-fashioned, cowboy long-johns... hmm

He likes them! This was the "squat test." Anything for a toddler has to have enough give so that they can squat easily :)

Here are the Christmas overalls I just finished up for someone on Etsy, I found a lady here in New Orleans who does monogramming in her home. I think she did a great job! I want to monogram some of P's clothes now.

I am super excited this year because I have a little lady to sew for for the first time! She's only 7 months old so I know she's not surfing the web. Here's what she's getting. Spoiler alert for her mama :).

It's a photo book like P's but I've learned a few things from the first round. I got much better plastic to cover the pics and I got to use girly patterns!! FUN!

This little lady is also getting some Christmas pajamas, I got to pick out sparkly buttons and use ric rac. You can't use ric rac on boys, this was a treat.

These three little ones are going to look super cute together on Christmas Eve! Remember the Santa Suit for my nephew, HERE.

Last thing! Since we aren't going out of town for Christmas, we didn't do a tree and lots of decor. I decided to do something super easy but festive for the door. I cut out lots of felt circles, stacked them in groups of three and sewed down the middle (one pile after another) to make a garland.

I've seen lots of easy felt garlands like this, but I thought using several layers of felt would give it a little dimension, they kind of "flare" out. Fun and easy!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Think it Through Thursday

I've been quite the absentee blogger this week! Santa's workshop has been in full swing, along with filling some Etsy orders and running around shopping and getting ready for our church's service of lessons and carols...not much time for taking pics of what I've been making. Assuming I have some sunlight tomorrow, I'll be back with some new stuff tomorrow!!

Just because it's Thursday and the Christmas season, here is a verse I love from Hark the Herald.

"Hark! The herald angels sing:
'Glory to the newborn King!'
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!'
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies.
With the angelic host proclaim:
'Christ is born in Bethlehem'
Hark! The herald angels sing
'Glory to the newborn King!"

God and sinners reconciled! What joy! How much we have to sing about this Christmas season!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Baby Blocks Tutorial

When Baby P was born, I really enjoyed recieving gifts that were functional and cute. Toys are fun to decorate a nursery with and it's a bonus if Baby can play with them once they get a little older. I've seen soft, baby blocks and baby blocks tutorials all over the place. They are simple to construct (beginning sewists could make them) and you can make them elaborate (with embroidery or monogramming or applique, stenciling, you name it...) or as plain as you want. These particular blocks were a gift for my friend C and we used them to decorate the table at her baby shower.

These blocks or cubes have six sides (dust off that high school geometry, yo).  I did 3 plain sides (orange, yellow and gray) and 3 decorated sides. Shapes, animals and hand embroidered patterns. These blocks would be fun for babies who are just learning to grab at things, when they're really interested in patterns and contrasting colors...

(ignore the fact that there are just two of each of the colored squares, you need three each, I had already pieced together part of one block)

Here's what you need for a set of 3 soft baby blocks: 
1) 18, 6 x 6 inch squares of fabric (solids or decorated to your taste) and any other materials to decorate them-scraps of fabric, embroidery floss, sure that they are perfectly square

2) fusible fleece, I backed every square with this, it gives the blocks a little more structure.

3) polyfill (about half of a medium sized bag, I lwanted them stuffed relatively tightly so that they keep their shape)

4) Thread, scissors, machine, all "les accoutrements" of sewing :)

This square is backed with a piece of fusible fleece and I sort of "quilted it," this gives it a little texture.The other appliques are just backed with fusible interfacing. See THIS POST for tips and tricks to applique and THIS PAGE for animal templates.

Lay out the squares of each block in a cross like below. (just a heads up for later, I left my opening for turning/stuffing between the yellow and gray squares--that was the bottom back corner since the "front" of my blocks are the animals)

Now just start seaming the blocks together, taking care to leave about 1/8 of an inch unsewn at each end (be sure to forward and backstitch securely). See picture below. If you don't do this your corners will look wonky and misaligned.

They turn out all nice like this when you are done.

For the last edge--I leave a space open on the back bottom edge--sew in about an inch from each corner and then turn right sides out. Stuff the block with polyfill through the small space you left open. Be sure to stuff polyfill into the corners. Now, turn raw edges of your opening to the inside, pin and stitch the opening closed. This seam will show, but it isn't distracting if you use matching thread.

That's it!!

Christmas Weekend in KY

I always enjoy the gifts from my girlfriends, but this year everyone was extremely creative! C made her own sugared almonds and gave us these adorable vintagey, Christmas hand towels. S found cute Christmas oven mitts and stuffed them with Christmas goodies (and an awesome, owl handtowel). B ordered cool, fabric covered earrings from her sister (who owns an Etsy shop HERE) and Ashley gave us fun metallic make-up pouches with earrings, perfume and nailpolish.

I made these pouches from Noodlehead's Scrappy Make-up Pouch tutorial but I added zipper tabs (from HERE). I definitely recommend adding these, the finished product looks more polished. The hand embroidery was inspired by Aimee Ray's Doodle Stitching.

This was a really great way to use up my little scraps, it's fun to find small pieces of patterns that I was crazy about but only have a teeny bit left. The back and sides are muslin-one of my favorite fabrics to work with--and everything is reinforced with fusible fleece. You can see I definitely gravitate toward the reds and teals. 

If you want to see more pictures, take a look at Ashley's post HERE!

Dutch Blitz!! We always go home from girls weekend with sore fingertips and hoarse voice from all the rounds of Dutch Blitz and charades. We have so much fun making up our own charades (lots of inside jokes and hilarious animal impressions--B pretending to be a grizzly bear might have been a highlight of the weekend). I highly recommend it. I will just give one disclaimer, red wine and blueberry beer do not help when it comes to games that require quick fingers.

Yes, we ate an entire 9 x 13 of B's famous bean dip for lunch. Along with some sharp cheddar, crackers and very small glasses of wine :).

It was a great weekend! Can't wait for our next one, I'm already thinking up some new charades.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


So I mentioned that I was busy making homemade yeast rolls on Thanksgiving, but I didn't follow up with how everything went and the visitors we had!

My parents and youngest brother and sister came to New Orleans for Thanksgiving! (My other brother and his wife were with her family this year.) We were very spoiled to have everybody travel so far to see us. We ordered Honeybaked Ham and turkeyand made all the other dishes. Brussel sprouts with bacon and chevre, Paula Dean's "Ol' Country Stuffing" complete with mushroom gravy (I highly recommend this recipe, it was fabulous), spicy cheese grits, yeast rolls, and coffee with bailey's for dessert since we were very, very full.

The weather was beautiful so we got out and about and showed them some of New Orleans. Way too much good food and beignets...

It was a great Thanksgiving! I can't believe it's only 17 days until Christmas. That thought makes me a little sweaty and nervous...lots to do.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Baby, Baby!

My dear friend, C, is having a baby! Last weekend, a bunch of friends and church family got together to throw her a shower. There wasn't really a theme, but there were lots of bright colors, sort of a vintage feeling and we used "clotheslines" and clothespins to decorate (along with some handmade tissue decorations).

The big poms on the windows were just simple tissue paper rounds, with two small slits cut in the center and a piece of wire run through them and twisted together securely. Then I just pinched the front few layers of tissue together to hide the wire and give them a pretty, round shape. We hung clotheline down from each pom and clothespinned a few cute baby items to them--tiny socks, hats, burp cloths, embroidered onesies. All the shower helpers brought things to contribute.

One of the ladies helping with the shower brought the gorgeous flowers, she used mason jars with three bright gerber daisies and colorful marbles. They were so fun and playful!

We used little school slates, toys and tissue paper toppers to liven up the table. If you'd like to make the tissue poms here's what you need.


These are my family's secret recipe sugar cookies. We dusted them with edible,pearly luster dust for a little glam :), you can find it at Hobby Lobby and Michaels.

Here's me with my sweet friends H and H and C (of course). H and H have little ones pretty close to Baby P's age, we always have lots to talk about and tons of fun together.

All the ladies in the picture above (except B on the far left, she was my college roommate), are high school friends! Can you believe that?! We are going on 12 years of friendship! After the shower we had a fun, girls weekend and exchanged Christmas gifts. More on that tomorrow!!

Last thing...just a closer look at some of the things on our clothesline.

H made some really adorable burp cloths, I did the appliqued onesies (the templates for the animals are on my "downloadables and printables" page). I also found a great pattern for crochet booties from "Two Girls Patterns" on Etsy: the Sailor Boot pattern.