Thursday, November 18, 2010


Trying to solve the problem of no thanksgiving decorations, but I think it would do us well to keep it up all year round. 

This year I'm thankful for...

My family - immediate, extended, in-laws, etc.  they are all great.
Healthy kids
Good friends - new and old, near and far
A nice warm home with way more stuff than I need
The opportunity to stay home with my kids
My hobbies - while I have way more hobbies than time life would be so boring without them
Good food, especially the leftovers
That my family loves leftovers as much as I do
The built-in God given creativity of kids
My life, and the season I'm in. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sights of Fall

Pumpkin patch, apple orchard, CSA bounty, felt acorns, wool leaves, watercolor acorns, and bundled baby.  Just a few of the things that make Fall my favorite season.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Caleb's Nursery

 It all started with this fabric.  I bought it a few years ago at a thrift store.  My intention was to resell it on etsy but I fell in love with it and had to keep it just in case someday we had a boy in our house.  When we found out we were indeed expecting a boy I pulled it out eagerly, ready to design around it.  I didn't have enough yardage to make curtains out of it so I needed to find some coordinating fabrics.  I searched and searched to find something that matched the dark blue fabric and wasn't too themey, but still cute.  I was about ready to give up on the whales and just buy new fabric for inspiration and start from scratch, when it occurred to me I might already have something that matched.  (Duh, should always try that first, right?)  Luckily I had saved the curtains from Sydney's nursery and they matched perfectly!!  Even better, the windows and closet are the same size in their bedrooms so I didn't even have to sew anything! (We didn't find out what we were having when Sydney was born so the nursery was gender neutral - it didn't last long and I switched the curtains out for girly ones!)
So, here it is!  Let me walk you through it a little.  The whale fabric became the crib skirt.  You can see the striped curtains in this photo.  I took apart Sydney's mobile and made whale themed softies to hang from it.  It plays the Winnie the Pooh theme song, which doesn't make much sense but Caleb doesn't seem to mind!  
Above the crib is a white shelf (cheap from Ikea) that holds some art I made for the room.  It was inspired by some adorable art from Land of Nod, which was a bit out of my price range and missing the whales I really wanted.  I made this using mod podge, tissue paper (for the water), other scraps of paper for the whales and boats, and some acrylic paint for the background and waves.  It was really simple - no skills necessary!  The canvas was my only real expense and I got it on sale at Michael's for about $3.

This corner is to the right of the crib.  By the way, both the crib and changing table we got when Sydney was born, the crib is from Target, the changing table my dad built for us.  Above the stuffed animals is a frame I decorated with sea shells.  It is supposed to have sheet metal in it so we can use magnets to hang pictures and also write messages with dry erase.  Two months later it still isn't done,  but someday.  Below the frame is a string with clothespins (spray painted white.)  Sydney uses this daily to hang new art she has made for her baby brother.  The green hanging cage in the corner is an Ikea must have to hold the ever expanding collection of stuff animals in our house - do those things multiply on their own at night or what?  My one big splurge in this room was the rug.  I bought it from at a local fiber arts festival for $40.  It's woven from recycled denim and will no doubt last forever so I'm calling it a good investment!  Above the changing table is this grouping....

The square frame should have pictures in it by now, but doesn't.  The tree art on top is from this amazing site.  The house shelf I decorated with scrapbook paper, a map and some other odds and ends.  Sydney has a similar one in her room that I redid. 

And finally, here is the other corner of the room.  My grandma gave us the glider, which I have to say I am surprised how much we have used.  I sewed the slipcover for the footstool, which was orginally found for free on garbage day many years ago.  The lamp, tray, blanket, green box, etc. was stuff I already had around the house.  Although I didn't specifically keep track, I'm pretty sure I spent less than $100 redoing this room for the baby.  I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  It has a really cool and calm feeling that I love.    

Friday, September 24, 2010

Still Here...

Hello!  Can't believe almost 2 months have passed since Caleb was born and since I posted here.  I'm hoping to jump back into blogging.  I've definitely missed it!  I started this blog not long after Sydney was born, and now I'm feeling the urge to continue it for the same reasons.  Motherhood can be tough sometimes.  I think the part I struggle with the most is missing the sense of accomplishment I used to have.  Now everything is undone 5 minutes after I finish it - changing the baby, feeding the baby, doing laundry, doing dishes, cleaning up toys...nothing seems to last!  Hopefully my blog can document for me and you the small projects I've work on, the ideas that inspire me, even the books I've read (see new sidebar addition.  Turns out nursing a baby provides ample reading time!) 

Can you believe it's Fall already?  It has felt like it here since the first of September, so we've had a little time to get used to the idea.  I love the colors and scents of fall and the inherent need to just be cozy this time of year.  I recently harvested the only things I was able to grow this year - herbs.  I've got them all drying in the garage, except for the basil which was made into pesto right away and frozen.  There is nothing like the smell of pesto in the dead of winter to make you think Spring is just around the corner.  We've been freezing a lot of stuff around here to "get ready for Winter." Sydney loves to imagine us holed up in our house all winter like Laura and Mary.  We might live out on the prairie like the Ingalls, but really the grocery store is open all year round!  We frozen a lug of peaches, made several pounds of apples into applesauce and made my favorite pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.  Not all of those made it into the freezer I guess, but we tried!  I would have loved to can stuff this year, but my husband made me realize this might not be the year for it.  I guess I need to learn to accept that having a newborn means not everything on the list is going to get done.  And life goes on in spite of an unchecked to do list.  Hopefully I will be back here soon.  I've got lots of pictures of Caleb's nursery that I want to share with you.  I love how it turned out, and especially love that I did it all on a budget!  See you soon...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Baby is here!!!

Caleb Bruce arrived Wednesday, July 28th at 8:52 am.  He is 8 lbs. 5 oz and 20 inches long.  Our family is having a great time getting to know each other!

Monday, July 26, 2010

More Nature Stuff!

Nope, no baby news around here just yet.  Soon, hopefully soon!  In the meantime we've been growing some beautiful Monarch butterflies.  Sydney and her cousin each found a caterpillar on July 3rd.  We brought them home and before we knew it that had each formed their chrysalis.  A couple weeks later two beautiful Monarch butterflies emerged. 

Hard to see much in these pictures....the orange cup still has a little green chrysalis at the top, the red is just after the butterfly emerged.
We are using this book as our guide. 
The Family Butterfly Book It's got great instructions for care as well as a nice listing with pictures of different kinds of butterflies.  We've checked out every possible library book on butterflies and this is by far the best.    We've already had a discussion about the rather short life span of butterflies, so hopefully Sydney won't be tramatized if they don't make it very long.  She's already planning her specimen box!  (Yep, pretty sure I have a little scientist on my hands here.) 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Back to Nature :: Summer Fun

I've been trying to spend as much time with Sydney outside as possible this summer.  Probably something to do with my quick approaching due date (which in my head equals the end of fun as we know it.  I know that's not true, it's just going to be different!)  Last Friday we made a sailboat out of willow branches from our yard.  We have a huge willow tree in our backyard that loses branches daily.  Gorgeous tree, annoying branches.  So we put a few to good use. 

The idea was from the amazing Maya of maya*made.  I love her blog and her simple style.  Sydney helped with the "design" and my husband and I did the rest.  She was really excited to see if it would float so we headed over to the river to try it out.  A smaller body of water would have worked better, but it did float.  She was thrilled and wanted to hurry home and make a whole fleet! 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Out in the yard

Nothing too crafty going on around here!  We've been spending a lot of time working outside, enjoying the beautiful weather.  Luckily I have my #1 helper with me!

The one thing that grows the best in my yard is mint.  Don't you love the little tags?  Head here if you would like some for yourself! 

This probably seems really weird, but this is the first few shovels of our very own compost!  Isn't it beautiful?  We live in the land of hard sticky clay soil.  It begs for a little compost mixed in every year.  We started our compost bin several years ago, but never took any out until now.  Aside from a half decomposed avocado shell, it looked great!!

Hope you all have great plans for the long weekend.  Our schedule is pretty full, but I'm hoping to fit in a lot of relaxing!  Stay safe!

Friday, May 21, 2010

One Trick Pony

It seems my creativity is limited these days to zippered pouches.  Here are four more I made for teacher gifts for the last day of preschool.  They are all the same - lemon print with small sunscreens inside.  I'm sure teachers always get the same stuff every year, but I figure who can't use another zippered bag?  Sydney was excited to hand them out and they were well recieved. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oops!  Sorry for the long break.  Here's what I've been up to...

Making cards for thank you's, birthdays, mother's day and graduations.  This seems to be the only picture I took though!

A very fun weekend of shopping and eating with the girls!  This was only the first day!

Enjoying the first of many beatiful veggies from our CSA.

Enjoying the beautiful weather with my girl.

Eating way too much ice cream.  I'm pregnant during the summer, what do you expect? :)
Be back soon!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Raffle Starts Today!!

Head over to the Healing Maggie Grace to enter the raffle today.  Among the fabulous prizes is a book I am published in, Pretty Little Presents!  Can't wait to see who wins (secretly crossing my fingers it's me!)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

my small part

A heartbreaking story with a miraculous ending.  While praying for my dear friend Teresa, I've been working on this picnic quilt to donate to the Healing Maggie Grace Raffle that some sweet ladies have put together.   

Please visit the Healing Maggie Grace blog frequently and if you can please buy a ticket or two or three to help Teresa as she continues to heal.  Isn't this what is so amazing about our blog community?  Coming together to help someone we call friend, even though we've never met.  I love it!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Multiplying Pouches

I seem to have an overabundance of zippers.  Odd, I know.  I can't pass them up when I see them at thrift stores or garage sales.  I remember making a fleece vest for Sydney when she was a baby.  I was so proud of myself and how inexpensively I had produced a wearable garment.  Until I went  to buy the 7" seperating zipper the pattern called for!  So now in my quest to never buy a zipper retail ever again, I snatch them up second hand every chance I get.  My last score was a gallon size ziploc full for $2.  How could I pass that up? :)

Anyway, all that to say that I had too many zippers and needed to use some up.  Hence the multiplying pouches.

I've made a few to give away for prizes at our knitting group...

And a few for myself to use (the other one is already in my bag!)...

And three for baby use someday (a diaper & travel wipes container fit in here)...

And there will probably be more.  I've learned these are much faster to make it you do several at a time.  With all this practice zippers hardly even seem scary anymore! 

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wedding Quilt

Some close friends of ours got married in March.  Do you ever struggle with gift giving at weddings?  Should you stick to the registery, give something personal, or just give up and stick some cash in a card??  I decided that since we were close friends I could forgo the registry list and do something personal.  Plus both the bride and the groom are in their 30's and well established, so I wasn't worried that they desperately needed that cake pan I was going to buy them.  So I made them a quilt!

(Sorry in advance for the bad photos...this was just moments before I shoved it in a box and walked out the door to the wedding!)

The design was inspired by about 10 different quilts I found on flickr.  I knew it needed to be modern, and I wanted the blue/brown combo somehow.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and they liked it too!  That's always the scary part, isn't it?

My sister was kind enough to quilt this for me on her quilting frame.  And she even hand sewed the binding for me!  She did an amazing job - I love the free form swirls.

So, did I make this all with stuff I had on hand, saving me tons of money on a gift?  Well, no.  But I'm pretty sure I still spent less than I would have on a store-bought gift and hopefully they will enjoy it much longer than that cake pan.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Hi there! I'm alive! Sorry for the ridiculously long blog break. Lots going on around here and I just seemed to lose my blogging voice in the middle of it all. Then once I was gone for so long, it was hard to really get back into it. But hopefully I'm back. I have lots to share!

First of all - our big news - we are expecting a new baby at our house! And it's a boy! I am due August 10th. We are all very excited.

So, on to the crafting!! I finally made it into my craft room on Monday. I threw open the windows and pulled out some fun springy fabric (vintage pillowcases) to make a small tote for Sydney. She has been crazy about drawing pictures lately, mostly nature inspired things like birds, bugs, trees, etc. So I decided to make a little tote to carry some colored pencils and a drawing notebook with us on trips to the park, the lake, or just the backyard. She loved the idea and the fabric, and insisted on a pocket on the front.