Monday, August 29, 2011

Coffee table before & after

Remember this little guy?  Of course you do!  I just posted this before shot a couple of days ago.

Coffe table - before

I picked him up at an estate sale for a mere $3.  Yup three whole dollars.  

And with one child free weekend, some white paint, Mod Podge, and fabric from my stash, my little thrifty find was transformed into....


The cutest darn coffee table you've ever seen!


After sanding, priming, and painting the legs, I cut a piece of fabric to fit the table top and glued it down with Mod Podge Hard Coat.  It's actually still not quite finished, as I have a couple more coats of Mod Podge to apply to the surface, but aside from building up a good topcoat it's pretty much done.


And isn't this fabric just fantastic?!  I found it at Hancock's not too long ago for a mere $4 a yard.  It actually looks suspiciously similar to some of these Orla Kiely prints, with some variations.  Unfortunately there is absolutely no information on the selvedge (it's printed edge to edge), so it stands to remain a mystery....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Open for Business!

Even though I've still got 4 months before this baby gets here, I have been in major nesting mode lately - which I have been quite enjoying since it never really kicked in when I was pregnant with Phoebe. 

I guess I just keep thinking that if I don't do it now, then it will never get done once I have two kids.  Plus, I might as well use all of this energy while I have it.  I remember all too well how I felt last time during my 3rd trimester! 


So we've been doing lots of cosmetic work on the house lately - painting, making curtains, rearranging rooms, hanging pictures, and refinishing some recent thrift store finds.  I can't wait to show you the final reveal on the dresser above - including the amazing price I got it for!  Here it is all sanded, primed, and ready for paint.


This little table has gotten a new paint job, and I just need to pick out some fabric that is going to cover the top.


To go along with the nesting, I've decided to put a few things in my Etsy shop that has been sitting abandoned for way too long.  I'm still not quite sure which direction my shop is going to take - be it quilts and other handmade goods, custom orders, vintage finds, or fabric destash (particularly vintage sheets :), but I'll add a few things here or there until I get a better idea of where it's going.


This quilt was actually made over a year ago as a gift, but it didn't end up being large enough after I used up all of my Jenean Morrison's Moondance line.  However I think it would make a perfect baby quilt and playmat - especially for a boy or gender neutral nursery!

Kona Challenge Quilt

I'm also putting this little gem in the shop as well.  I love it to death, but we seriously just have more quilts than we know what to do with around here.  I'm sure it will find a great home with someone who will really treasure it!

I hope you all are having a great weekend.  Wish me luck in the coming week - we've decided it's time to break Phoebe of her paci, so I'm hoping we can all make it through in one piece!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A wedding gift - only a year and a half late


Most of my friends and family have come to learn that if you get married or have a baby, you're probably going to get a quilt from me as a gift.


Hopefully they also understand what goes into making a quilt - and the fact that I tend to jump around a bit when it comes to projects - and they may not receive their quilt in a timely manner.  For not-so-newlyweds Chris and Nicole, that means about a year and a half after they tied the knot. 

Thankfully they're still happily married, and I hope to get their quilt in the mail to them this week :)


I raided my out of control scraps for this quilt, and combined them with a trio of greens and yellows that I thought looked nice together and pieced them to each other on the bias.  For the binding, I used the leftover solids (all Kona, but I can't remember the exact colors).


I quilted straight lines 1/4" on either side of the patchwork strips, and the backing is a large piece of vintage sheet with some of the solids pieced in (that I didn't get around to photographing since the mosquitoes ate me alive in the 5 minutes I was outside to take these photos).


What's next on the list?  Quilts for two more wedding couples that haven't received their gifts yet, of course!

20 Weeks

And in other news, this past week I hit my halfway point in my pregnancy.  Twenty weeks down, twenty more to go! (And we still can't agree on a name, lol!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bedroom Redo

 We've been putting off decorating the bedroom since we moved in last December since, let's face it - we're the only ones who hang out in there anyways and we wanted to get to the main living areas first.


These swatches have been hanging on the wall above our bed for about the past 7 months and I figured I might as well get started on it now since my motivation is directly proportional to how big my tummy is.

These are pictures from before we moved in (ie. not our stuff), but our bedroom is a super weird setup since the previous owners knocked out a partial wall between two bedrooms.  So our furniture is staggered between the two rooms,  and we have one of the doors blocked off with a dresser just because there are so many kooky angles to the "room" that there are no other good place to put it.

We're still working on what to do with all of the furniture, especially since we're turning the far wall into a small corner for the new baby, but at least I finally got some decent colors onto the walls!


This is as much as a sneak peak as I can give so far since there is currently junk covering every other square inch of the floor.  But we finally decided to go with Winter's Day from Martha Stewart (gray) for the majority of the room with an accent wall of Realm by Behr (deep blue).  

About a million years ago I ordered a bolt of Heather Bailey's picnic bouquet in lagoon from Pink Castle Fabrics (my favorite print ever!) and finally got 2 out of six curtain panels made.  Next step - painting all of the window, floor, and door trim - a task I despise with all my being, but ends up being sooooo worth it in the end!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pesto Production

First of all - thank you so so so much for all of the wonderful name suggestions!  A lot of our top choices were brought up and some great new ones to consider.  We'll just have to wait and see... we keep changing our minds by the day!

I don't know about you, but we've got a bumper crop of basil this year.  I've already made about 6 batches of pesto, and it still just keeps growing taller and thicker.


So I set my little farmer to work this afternoon picking as much basil as her little heart desired.  This is such a great job for the littlest of kids, because you don't have to worry about them picking the "right" part of the plant or harvesting anything under or overripe, and the leaves get so nice and large that they're easy to get a hold of.


She was utterly thrilled with her task.


After filling up our entire colander (and leaving the plants looking like they weren't even touched :),  we set to work making pesto using the following recipe.  I'm not quite sure where it came from, but it's the one my mom always uses, and it tastes delicious.
1/4 cup almonds or walnuts
2 T pine nuts
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 T softened butter
1 cup firmly packed basil leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Throw everything in a food processor or blender - except the olive oil - and process to combine.
Then add in the olive oil and process until smooth.  

Pretty easy, eh?  It can be refrigerated for about a week, and freezes wonderfully.  I make tons and tons during the summer so I can eat it all winter long.  And seriously - I eat pesto on everything.  On top of salmon and chicken, in grilled cheese sandwiches, as a pizza base, in pasta (of course), and I like to mix it half and half with mayo to use on turkey sandwiches.  Mmmm....


If you don't have any basil growing where you live, feel free to come over here and take some off our hands!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Name our baby please!

I am incredibly lucky in that my mom just happens to be an ultrasonographer.  So while my "official" ultrasound isn't until Friday, I got to find out a couple of weeks ago if this baby is going to be a boy or a girl.


We got a big wave showing off all five fingers from this little GIRL!

I'm so thrilled that Phoebe will have a sister to grow up with, because even though my own sister and I fought like crazy, she is my best friend and most dear person to me in the entire world. 

So now I've kicked into planning mode, trying to figure out what we're going to do with the nursery situation - I'm planning on them sharing a room down the road, but would still like to set up a small little corner in our room for the first couple of months.  However, Phoebe is still in her crib and sleeps wonderfully, so I really don't want to rush getting her into a big girl bed.  But if I don't have a crib, it seems pretty pointless to set up a nursery, don't you think?  I'm going back and forth between being practical, and wanting to create a cute little nook just for the fun of it :)

Another item of big discussion has been what we're going to name this little girl.  We already used our favorite name on Phoebe of course, so we've got about 7 or 8 different contenders in the ring.  Something pretty, not trendy...  We really like vintage names.  

Any suggestions that go well with Phoebe?  I've been scouring Nameberry like crazy!

Think they'll look alike?

Do you think they'll look alike :) ?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A cake for my own birthday girl

To be honest, I have been so burnt out on baking lately that I really wasn't looking forward to making Phoebe's birthday cake - especially since I had just made 2 dozen cupcakes for a small playgroup birthday celebration for her just the day before.  But I knew that I would feel like a terrible mother if I spent all this time making cakes for strangers, then totally bail on my daughters own birthday.


So I kept it reasonably simple.


Phoebe loves all things fish and we spend lots of time watching Finding Nemo, taking field trips to the pet store, and most of bathtime is spent pretending she's a fish swimming in the ocean.


Everything on the cake is fondant, including these little guys that I hand sculpted until about 1:00 in the morning the night before her birthday.


I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.  Now if I could only find someone to do all of the baking, frosting making, and stacking of the cakes and leave just the decorating up to me, I'd be a happy camper.


Phoebe's only request for her cake was that it was "schockalate", so I think she was pretty excited to see that she got some sugary fishes too.


Here's the birthday girl herself before gobbling up fishy number three.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Two Year Old

I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that I am a mother - let alone a mother to a two year old. 

12 Months of Phoebe

There's so much I could say about this wonderful little person - about how much she has changed my life, changed me as a person, and brought more joy to her daddy and I's life than she will ever know - but it would probably fill up more posts than blogger would allow.

Phoebe is Two!

Happy 2nd Birthday Phoebe!  You are so loved!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

More sewing with knits


This isn't my first time sewing with knits, but I definitely don't have as much experience or skill working with them as I do with wovens.  However once you have kids, you realize that they are just so much more comfortable wearing soft, stretchy knits (heck, so am I!) than stiff, itchy cottons.  So I'm trying to branch out a bit.


I've had the Sweet Pea Pilot Cap pattern bookmarked for the past year an a half and I finally got around to making it.  This is a gift for a sweet little boy who is turning one in just a couple of days, but Phoebe was kind enough to model it for me.  Actually, she liked it so much and threw such a fit when I made her take it off, that I started working on another one for her this afternoon.

I just love those curls poking out from under the hat!
The pattern was written by the incredibly talented Meg McElwee who blogs over at Sew Liberated.  I also just picked up Meg's latest book, Growing Up Sew Liberated, which is stuffed full of fantastic patterns for more knit clothing and other goodies for kids.  I only buy craft books if I plan on making most all of the projects, so I promise you - this is a good one!


But back to this pattern - Super super easy, involving only three pattern pieces and a long strip of 1x1 ribbing.  This pattern was written for use on a sewing machine (no need for a serger), and she gave lots of great tips that I will be using in my other knit projects. 


Even better - the entire hat is made out of repurposed clothes pulled from my own closet that I don't plan on wearing anymore.  They look much better on her anyways.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A finished project - finally!


I feel like I've been sewing in circles this summer.  Constantly starting new projects, but never seeming to finish anything.  Projects for commission are always a little different, of course, because you have much more of an incentive waiting for you at the end - in my case, more money for fabric, lol.


I posted some earlier progress on this project here.....


....and you can see my first Soft Book of Colors that I made for Phoebe here.


See any scraps that are your particular favorite?



I seem to have kicked myself into gear this week, because I'll be back shortly with a project I just finished today that has been sitting in my to-do folder for years and I am so so so pleased with how it turned out!  Now I just have to get Phoebe to sit still for a photo shoot.