"For I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made in You...You make it Beautiful Somehow"

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An Easter Suit For The Little Man

Last on my list of things to make before Easter...a new outfit for Jack for Easter Sunday.

I have noticed lately that you can find a TON of cute Easter outfits for little girls...but it seems like the little men of this world have been forgotten. The selection for little boy clothes always seems to be pretty minimal.

So, I decided to go ahead and make little man an outfit myself. This is my second attempt at making this suit for Jack...you can see my first attempt here...and I am so pleased with the way it turned out!

The vest and pants are made out of a pair of my hubby's dress pants that he can no longer fit into.

The vest is lined with black satin from an old robe of mine that I never used.

I just love re-purposing...don't you!!!

His entire Easter outfit cost me a total of $0!
Let's see...
Fabric for Vest and Pants- Daddy's old dress pants
Fabric to line Vest- never been used robe
Buttons for Vest- Salvaged off of Daddy's dress pants
Elastic for Waistband of Pants- already had on hand from a while ago
White button up shirt - given to us by a wonderful mommy in our church
Hat- bought at a thrift store by Jack's Hunny (Grandma)

The only thing I really need to finish off this look is a pair of dress shoes; and a tie or bow tie (which I plan to make out of fabric I already have on hand).

All in all a pretty amazing deal for an Easter outfit!

And doesn't he look handsome!

Easter Dress...Errr...Skirt

Next on my list of things to make before Easter...a dress for my self. A little while back my hubby and I had the best date ever - a trip to Hancock fabrics :-). While we were there I picked up a few patterns for things I knew I wanted to make...I normally don't care for patterns all that much but they were on sale...4 for $5...I just couldn't pass that up!

This would be my first real attempt at using an actual pattern in about ten years (my first being an Easter dress I made for myself when I was thirteen). I quickly remembered why I don't care for patterns that much. I don't know all of the technical words that are used and had to look up most of them to understand what I was supposed to do! Plus alot of the instructions were difficult to "decode".

But....I persevered and finished the dress.

I love the color of it. And the way the top fits.

However...after putting it on I am not completely thrilled with the way it all looks. It is an empire waisted dress so it kind of reminds me of the maternity clothes that I am so happy to finally be out of!

After adding a yellow ribbon to it I think it looks a little better but I am still not really excited about it.

So for now I am putting the dress aside and am going to work on it a little more later.
With the blue dress not being what I would call a success I was left with nothing new to wear on Sunday. Which is really not a big deal, but then the other day I stumbled up this fabulous blog. Her art (which is completely inspiring me to get back into painting mode) and tutorials are beautiful! While perusing her tutorials I fell completely head over heals in LOVE with her petticoat skirt!!

I knew immediately that I HAD TO HAVE ONE!

So I made an "emergency" trip to the fabric store to pick up some extra muslin fabric to get started right away. The fabric only cost me $6 since it was on sale at the time :-)

In her tutorial Alisa leaves all of the edges of her fabric raw...which I really do love the look of...however I decided to go ahead and hem every edge of the skirt (I was a little afraid of putting all that work into it and then it fraying to much and getting ruined). If I would have left this step out...it would have only taken me half as long. She also has an elastic waistband...but since I had an extra zipper already at home and no elastic I decided to go with the zipper.

I was really surprised at how easy the skirt was to make!


(This is my attempt to take a picture of myself in the mirror with my camera phone...lol)

Actually I love it so much that I am going to have to make one more...I am thinking of using the blue fabric from my original Easter dress :-) Maybe I will leave the edges raw with this one...I also think that I am going to assemble the skirt first and then sew on the ruffles that way it is a little more "flowy" (pretty sure that isn't a word).

If at first you don't succeed...try...try again...right?!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Gone Hunting...For Eggs!

I have been sewing up a storm lately! With Easter quickly approaching I had a few outfits in mind that I just had to make. I knew I wanted to make Jack an Easter outfit, an Easter dress for myself, and a shirt for Jack for the big Easter egg hunt on Saturday.

I decided for Jack's Easter egg hunt shirt I wanted to try a freezer paper stencil...you can find a great tutorial here on how to properly use this technique.

So my first attempt at this technique was not what I would call successful. I wasn't positive what I wanted his shirt to say or have on it...but I knew I wanted an Easter egg on the front. So I decided to paint that on first.

Now freezer paper stenciling seems like a very simple process, and in fact it was...but for whatever reason my attempt did not look good! I may have bought the wrong paint...maybe it did not dry well enough...I am not sure. What I do know is that I need to practice more!

So after the egg I decided to scrap the freezer stencil for now and went to plan B...Applique...

I love to applique!!! I find it to be very quick and easy...and love the way it looks!

...here is how Jack's Easter Egg Hunt shirt turned out...

Here is the quick rundown on how to make your own Easter Egg Gone Hunting T-shirt...
(Sorry I don't have any step-by-step pics...I got a little carried away and forgot the camera!)
You will need:
1 T-shirt any color of your choosing
1 T-shirt for the letters....or you can just use left over scraps from another project
2 different colors of ribbon (or as many colors as you choose)
1 Disappearing ink fabric pen (not sure if this is the "technical" name for it)
Sewing Machine
(optional) Heat & Bond or Wonder Under

Next go to your computer and print off the words GONE HUNTING to use as a template.
...or you can just free hand the letters like me (I still don't have a printer). You can also print out a template for your egg at this time...or once again just free hand it.

Now you will want to cut out your template letters and egg and trace them onto your accent fabric. Or...it you don't have a fabric pen you can pin your templates onto your fabric and just cut them out that way.

The next part is optional....and is something I only do when I have a big piece of fabric that I am going to applique on since this tends to be so time consuming.

...so next you CAN... take your Heat & Bond or Wonder Under and trace and cut out each of the letters and egg and follow the directions on the packaging to attach the letters to the shirt.

...or...you can simply pin the letters to the shirt and sew around the edges like I did. A lot less time consuming!

Now for the design on the egg...I simply cut out four strips of ribbon -two white and two green. Then pinned them around the egg and sewed around the edge of the egg to keep them in place.

Finally I sewed the egg on top of my botched freezer paper stenciled egg.

I can't wait for him to wear it now!!! He is crawling all over the place so it will be interesting to see what he thinks about crawling around outside :-) a little dirt and grass is supposed to be good for little boys right?

...then again it probably won't be very good for his pants...but maybe then his grass stained pants will give me some incentive to try this Knee Pad Pants Tutorial I have been dying to try.

Later this week I will be sharing Jack's Easter Sunday Outfit...only a few more details and it will be done! :-)

Have a WONDERFUL week!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Editing My Spring Wardrobe...

I have been having so much fun thinking of new ways to refashion the clothes I currently have in my wardrobe.

Today I am going to share my latest, and favorite shirt refashion.

Here is what I originally had to work with...

This is a sweater I bought about a year back at Target. I really loved it...then. But looking at the way it fits now...it is just slightly too tight and the bottom hits at just exactly at the wrong spot... a spot no one would want to emphasize. But I still loved the color and the top fit just perfect.

So I took out my scissors and machine and got to work.

...and here is what I ended up with...

I decided to make a shrug :-) To begin I cut off the ribbed bottom folded it in half and sewed it back on to the shortened shirt. This helped keep the bottom from being too loose and gives it a little more stretch.

The buttons on the front actually came from the side of the shirt...a weird place to have buttons. So I just cut off the fabric strip and sewed it on the front. This saved me a ton of time since I didn't have to sew new button holes! (...and I abhor sewing button holes!!!!)

Next I shorted the sleeves and re-attached the ribbed bottom portion to the sleeve so that it gave it a little puff.

At this point I was starting to feel much better about the shirt, but it still didn't feel finished. So I attached four doilies to the top to give it a little more visual interest. (I got a full bag of these fabulous babies in one of the three boxes of fabric my mom gave me the last time I visited her!)
I simply pinned them on where I wanted them and stitched them on with my machine.

I am so pleased with how it turned out!

Jack's St. Patty's Day Shirt

I have been loving making clothes for my little man! Well St. Patrick's Day rolled around and I decided to whip up this cute little shirt for my little cutie so he could avoid being pinched.

However, he has those adorable chubby little cheeks that you just want to squeeze any way!

I picked out this fabric for him because, I hate to make something that he is only going to wear one time...seams like a waste of my time. Plus, this fabric was just too cute (and on sale!) to pass up in the store :-) ...those are monster trucks on his shirt...in case you were wondering.

I made this fun shirt using MADE's 90 min T-Shirt tutorial, yet again. You can see the others I made for him here.

These shirts are so easy to make...that is all except for the part where I have to attach the sleeves. I'm not sure if I just don't have the pattern right or what...but I have resorted to stitching the sleeves on with a running stitch first. This allows for me to take it apart with my seam ripper much easier!

Of course, I then get the sleeves even and sewed on just the way I want...and I realize that I have sewed them on inside out...when it is 1 a.m. all you can do at that point is take a deep breath grab that seam ripper and get back to work. Otherwise I might be tempted scream...and that would leave me with one crying baby and one unhappy hubby...and I am pretty sure the neighbors wouldn't appreciate it much either!

One thing sewing has definitely taught me...PATIENCE!

Another new challenge for me was working with ribbing for the very first time. That stuff is NOT easy to work with! I am sure there is some trick to working with it...but I guess for now I will just have to keep practicing. Good thing my motto is "Completion not Perfection"!!

Hopefully, in this case practice will make perfect, because I still love to make these shirts...until then I will keep practicing my patience as well :-)

So here he is once again in his new adorable shirt...

...being his adorable self...

Don't you just want to pinch those chubby cheeks!!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

It Is Never Too Early To Start Learning...

My son Jack is only eight months old...actually I say only but I can't believe he is already eight months old!!!!! Time is going by so fast! He is already crawling, pulling up on the furniture, attempting to "cruise" around while holding on to the furniture, has his first tooth, and can say Mama, Dada, and Baba!

I love each and every stage! Every milestone he accomplishes is so precious. One of the best things is to watch Jack accomplish something new...and to see the look of pride on his face! It is so cute that he just knows he did something great.

It also makes me and my husband so proud when we are the ones who teach him how to do something new. Like how to put his ball in the top of the castle so that it rolls down and comes out the bottom. It only took him one or two times of watching us do it to steal the ball out of our hands and try it for himself :-)

I am very much a pro-homeschooling person...I'm sure this has a lot to do with the fact that I was homeschooled through out most of my jr. high and high school years. Now, don't get me wrong, I think the public school system can be good, even great. I am actually almost done with my elementary education degree so that someday I can be a public school teacher. However, for my own children I am leaning toward homeschooling them. This is an issue my husband and I are still praying about.

With that in mind I want to start working with Jack to prepare him for preschool, kindergarten, and beyond. (Of course I would do this regardless if he would be homeschooled or attend public school) Now with Jack only being eight months old it is very hard to find any kind of book or curriculum that gives lessons that you can do with a baby or even a very young toddler. Most of the books out there would be way beyond his ability to perform or even comprehend.

Tonight I am extremely excited to say that I have finally found a book that I can use to start teaching Jack NOW :-)

The book is Slow And Steady GET ME READY by June R. Oberlander. This book is WONDERFUL! It has 260 weekly lessons that are for birth-5 years old!
I had heard of this book mentioned on another mommy's blog, and had seen it when I was working at Mardel. So after hubby and I sold a ton of our movies this past weekend I finally decided to go buy it.

And I am so so so glad I did!! I cannot wait to start doing each of the activities with Jack starting first thing tomorrow.
Whether you are planning to homeschool, or send your child to private or public school it is so important that we help our children discover a love for learning. To help them discover what their strong points are, and to help them in their weakness. Plus, we as parents get the bonus of that wonderful feeling of pride and joy we get from teaching our children how to do something. Like I said before...I love that feeling!

So tonight I will leave you with this last image of total cuteness!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Time For A LITTLE Girly Moment

There are so many adorable ideas out there for craft and sewing projects for little girls! However, since I don't have a little girl of my own there wouldn't be any point in trying them out right now.

But since these projects I have been seeing lately are so stinkin adorable and I don't want to just wait till I have a little girl of my own...

I have decided to start trying them any way...and give them to my wonderful girl friends who do have little girls. Remember the summer dress and the little blue dress...proof that I just can't wait any more!

So when my good friend's little girl Zoe turned 1 I jumped at the chance to make something a little more girly!

I have been very much in a quiet book making mood that I decided to make a more girly version of it for Zoe. :-)

So here it is...Zoe's Quiet Book...done the girly way...

...lift up the flowers to see..

Mommy, Daddy, and Zoe looking at me!

....lets fly...

...up...up...up...to the the pretty sunflower!

....hello again to our barnyard friends!


...pick the apples one by one and count them as you put them in the basket. Do you have enough to make a bushel??

... untie the ribbon to revel...

Clothes! Time to play dress up :-)

When you are done put your clothes away and practice tying the ribbon!
....Do you know how to spell your name?

That's right...Z...O...E! Button the letters on as you say each of their names :-)


Once again I got a ton of ideas and inspiration for this quiet book from Homemade By Jill's blog...here and here is where you can get some more ideas from her...plus templates!

It was so fun to get into the girly groove for a little bit...now back to thinking up some new pages for my little man's book :-)

The pages and covers are made of cotton fabric and all of the details are made out of felt. Plus a couple of buttons, velcro, and ribbon. For the photos on the flowers I simply printed them out on my computer, cut them to fit, and modge podged them on to the felt. I am hoping they hold up okay. If I do something with pictures or paper again I think I am going to laminate them and hot glue them down.

Have fun creating your own girly version of a quiet book!!

Spring Is Finally Here...Sort Of...

It was finally starting to feel like spring...the sun was shinning, the birds were singing, and you could actually go outside with out a jacket...it was wonderful!

And then it snowed last night! UGH!

Now, I really do love snow...

but only in December, January, or maybe even February. But come March I am sick of the cold and ready for spring!

So to celebrate the fact that it is supposed to be spring I have started pulling out a bunch of my long sleeve t-shirts, cutting them up, and turning them into spring worthy attire :-)

I have about five or six long sleeve shirts that are pretty ill fitting and boring. The sleeve are too short and the fit is too wide. Plus did I mention they are boring!

Solution....cut off the sleeves, take in the sides, and add some pretty!

Here is the first shirt I have finished....
...and a close up...
For the pretty on this shirt I cut up a white t-shirt that has lost all shape and wear-ability. I cut three thin strips. Two of which I pinned to the shirt and stitched right down the middle of them. I turned the fabric a couple different ways to give it kind of a crinkled/ruffled look. For the flower (which you can't see well at all in this pic) I put a running stitch in the top of the fabric and gathered it to make a ruffle. Then kind of rolled up the ruffle to make a rose shape sewed the ends together and sewed it on to the shirt by hand.

I also added some length to the shirt with some of the white fabric. This gives it the "layered t-shirt" effect without the bulkiness of layering.

SO EASY! ...and I LOVE easy projects! This one only took me about thirty minutes!

I AM Momma- Hear Me Roar's blog is where I first found the idea for the pretty on this shirt. She has a little more detail and a different twist to her shirt which is super cute!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"New" Dress For Lil Sis

This past weekend my hubby, son, and I got to visit my family in Texas...

I always LOVE spending time with my parents and FOUR sisters! -yes a family of five girls....no boys except for dad...needless to say that when I had my son I had no clue what in the world I was supposed to do with a boy! I am quickly learning though ;-)

From Top: Andrea, Miranda, Erica, Me, and Lil Sis (Emma)

My mom is extremely crafty and artistic...it is where I would like to think that I got my creativity from. The last few times I have seen her she has purged her fabric supply and graciously donated it to me! So WONDERFUL! This time was no different...I got three full boxes of fabric, lace, and doilies!! My mind has been going ninety to nothing thinking about everything I want to do with it all!

So while there and going through all the fabric...my mom started talking to me about fixing a few of my little sisters clothes that were becoming too short or had holes in them. She showed me a simple blue dress that had an unfortunate hole at the top near the neck, and asked what we should do to fix it.

I immediately began digging through the boxes to find something to hide the hole and make the dress a little more than just a simple blue dress...

I ended up finding some pretty lacy ribbon...

and here is what I came up with...
Lil Sis showing off her "new" dress for me. Don't you just love those glasses and big eyes!!!

For the ruffle on top I simply put a running stitch in the top and the bottom of the lace and pulled the thread so that it gathered. Then I pinned the lace to the top of the dress and stitched over the running stitch at the top and bottom.

...and that was it...easy peasy. The hole is fixed...and Lil Sis looks so pretty!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010


I finally finished Jack's quiet book! Yeah!!!
I loved putting this book together. I was pleasantly surprised that I also LOVED all of the hand sewing parts of it.

The pages are made of cotton and all of the little details are made of felt. I also used book rings to hold it all together so I can add more pages later.

Most of the concepts in the book are a little...okay a lot over Jack's level...but I just couldn't wait that long to make this for him! Besides...he still loves the book...mostly to chew on it - he is teething after all...what else would you expect him to do with it ;-)

If you want some more ideas for quiet book pages and even templates for some of the pages go to Homemade by Jill's blog. Her blog is amazing!!! Tons of ideas and inspiration! and definitely where I got the inspiration and ideas for Jack's quiet book :-)

So here it is for your viewing pleasure...


Is that a little red bird up in that tree? He wants to say good morning Jack!

Lift up each ray of sunshine to discover a surprise...time to learn our shapes and colors!

Oh...and don't forget Jack Jack...


What is that hiding being those barn doors???

...it is our friends the cow, chicken, and pig!

Time to put on a puppet show :-)

What sound does the cow make??? MOO!!!
What sound does the chicken make??? CLUCK!!!
What sound does the piggy make??? OINK!!!

...now it's time to feed our barnyard friends...

Lets go to the garden and pick some veggies...

You can pick corn right off the stalk, carrots right out of the ground, and lettuce leaves.

Oh and don't forget to say hello to that cute little red bird again!


count it down...3...2...1...

Fly all the way to the moon and back...and practicing counting forward and backward while you do it :-)

Time to play with fishies...

Play peek a boo with some friendly goldfish and a playful turtle. Move them around in the fish bowl...

All of the fish, the turtle, and the numbers are attached with velcro. Go ahead...move them around where ever you want :-)


Okay buddy...daddy needs help fixing up the house...

Get out your tools!

With a hammer, screw driver, and saw my little man can fix just about anything ;-)

Time to check the mail box....

You've Got Mail!!!

Can you read your mail to mommy?

and look...it is little red bird's friend...blue bird :-)


Quiet book front cover...kept it simple for now.

Back cover has a pocket to hold any little extras I decide to make for the book -extra puppets, numbers and fishies for the fish bowl, tools for the tool box, and letters for the mail box!

I am really excited to start thinking of more of my own original ideas for pages to add to this book and maybe even make another one!

Coming soon....a girly version of the quiet book...stay tuned!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Am NOT A Runner...

Six weeks ago I was sitting in our church nursery with my son and a friend waiting for church to start. I do not remember how the subject came up but we began discussing getting in shape and losing weight.

Now when you are pregnant gaining weight is a GOOD thing. You are supposed to be able to eat what you want, when you want it! It is all for the baby's well being... right!?!?


that theory was all fine and dandy then...I wanted the big round belly! However, I clearly wasn't thinking about the months and years that would follow my son's birth and the consequences that would come with eating what I wanted, when I wanted it. Looking back now I can clearly see that I SHOULD have said no to the second and third bowl of ice cream at night before bed - yah- it was that bad! I'm am pretty sure now that the eat what you want when you want it rule applies to broccoli and apples...not so much brownies and ice cream.

Now I am sure the six weeks of bed rest there at the end of my pregnancy only made matters worse! But I do have to fess up...I was to blame for the significant amount of weight I gained during my pregnancy.

Here is the progression...

Me at 19 weeks...weighing in at 155 lbs


Me at 39 weeks...weighing in at 220 + lbs :-)

Now don't get me wrong...I still think the preggo me at 39 weeks looks beautiful! I was pregnant after all...I had an excuse to weigh that much then! And you gotta love that beautiful round baby belly :-) I know I did!

But the me after baby...weighing just a little under that...not as pretty.

For six months postpartum I tried to eat kinda good and exercise a little but the weight was going no where!

So there I sat with my friend talking about how much trouble I was having losing the baby weight -can you really call it baby weight though when the baby is out??

She then mentions that she is doing a program called Couch to 5K. Now any one who really knows me knows...I AM NOT A RUNNER!! I just cannot run. Sure I can do the elliptical machine at the gym..but when you are talking about hard core for real running - can't do it!


This baby weight was driving me CRAZY! Why would it not come off! I was desperate to try anything! I missed all of my cute prepregnancy clothes!

She began explaining how you only have to do it three days a week, and that the first week you only have to run for 60 seconds at a time and then you get a break and can walk for 90 seconds.

'hhhmmm'...I thought to myself...'I can run for 60 seconds!!!'

She explained that she was only on week two and would do the program with me. Then in April we would run a 5K together. A pretty simple plan.

So I took the plunge and agreed!

Now...sixty seconds sounds easy right?



I thought I was going to die that first run! But I had agreed to do this with my friend...I had some one to be accountable to...'oh man! what have I got myself into!'

So I kept going.

Each week got a little harder and a little harder. Some days I thought I was going to die; and others I was surprised to find I did it without feeling like I was going to pass out!

NOW...I am on week six and LOVING IT! Like I said before...I have NEVER been a runner. But now...I am running a mile or two at a time! ME! The person who almost died when running for 60 seconds!

I am amazed and so excited about this program! And I actually find my self looking forward to my next run.

Since starting this program I have lost a total of 14 pounds! I still have about that much left to loose still...but hey...it is working! And I feel GREAT! Plus... I can run 2.3 miles and it almost feels effortless!!!!

I still have three weeks to go and I am so looking forward to each and every run.

So look up the program and GIVE IT A TRY! If I can do it...you definitely can!

The Blog That Started It All

Up until about three months ago I have never even heard of such a thing as a "craft blog". I had no idea there was this wonderful "world" on the internet full of great projects, ideas, inspiration, and FREE patterns.

So today I am going to share the website that introduced me to the world of craft blogging :-)

I absolutely love this site! It has TONS of ideas for mamas wanting to make things for their little ones :-)

On this site you will find:
free toy patterns
baby food recipes
baby clothes patterns
how to sew a baby sling
DIY Nursery decor Ideas
Diaper Bag sewing patterns
...and SO MUCH MORE!

I found this site just before Christmas and used a lot of the ideas and patterns they provide to make wrap around skirts and purses for Erica, Miranda & Andrea (my lil sisters).

and family dolls for emma (my little little sister).

I am going to be adding to her collection over time...as we add more hubbies and babies to our family :-)

I loved making these dolls. And each doll only needed a 1/4 yard of fabric to create!

This website was also the first place that taught me how to make clothes for Jack without a pattern...once I found the tutorial on how to make baby pants I tried it immediately! -we currently don't have a printer so I had to free hand my own pattern- but it was suprisingly EASY PEASY to make them.

Now I don't have a little girl... but I do have two friends who do. So I decided to try one of the dress tutorials on this site and give them as presents :-)

-can't wait till I have a little girl of my own to make more!

This website has endless ideas!

A few of the ones that are still on my "to do list"...

A Diaper Bag

Bean Bag Toss

Wooden Blocks -I LOVE this idea! Especially since we don't have a lot of money to buy wood blocks :-)

Freezer Paper Stencils

There are plenty of ideas to last quite a while...so now go forth and get creating!!!
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