Jul 30, 2009

Keeping Cool

Here in the Pacific Northwest we have been having a huge heat wave. Yesterday and today have been hotter weather than I've ever experienced!

I haven't had much energy to do much work. (I am so behind right now, I don't want to think about it! I haven't even organized some vacation photos to share yet... I'll get to that soon!) We ran a lot of errands these past couple days. My car has air conditioning, unlike my house, so it was a nice escape! While at home, though, we survived on otter pops, ice water, and this:


Jul 20, 2009

Leaving on Vacation

Last night, my sister took me to see Death Cab For Cutie!!

They are one of my favorite bands. This was their last concert on their whole tour, and it was awesome!
They are amazing live. This is the 3rd time I've been to one of their concerts. The first was many, many years ago, when they were playing at a little local event... they were pretty new, not very famous yet. But I loved them from the start. Here is the last clip of the last song they sang (before the encore):

It was a great night! We even just happened to sit with one of my best childhood friends, my next door neighbor when I was growing up! I hadn't seen her since we were kids, so that was fun! I'm so glad my sister and I got to have this night together, I'll always remember it!


We are leaving soon on our summer vacation... camping for the week! So, I've got lots of packing to do today. I've got a notice up in my shop letting everyone know that their orders will be shipped/custom orders started in one week when we return.

Also, I've been getting lots of traffic to my blog from people searching for a free sandwich wrap tutorial. As it turns out, people want a photo tutorial of the whole process, to make things easier for the new seamstress =c) I'm happy to do it, and I'll work on it when I return! I'll also show you how to make the little snack bags. Hopefully it will be just in time for getting ready for back-to-school!

I'm outta here! Have a great week!

Jul 12, 2009

Custom Orders Galore

Thanks for all the comments on my re-usable snack bags and the sandwich wrap tutorial! Lots of people mentioned that I should sell them in my shop. I just wanted to let you all know that there are dozens of great sellers on Etsy who already make these- just do a search, if you want to buy some. I probably won't list any for sale any time soon, but I always welcome custom orders :)

Speaking of custom orders, here are some that I've recently finished or am working on now:

A set of six custom bottle cap magnets.
Isn't this a beautiful family?! I love the little boy's smile, on the bottom left. So cute!

These twin Beau Bunnies are for brand new twin boys named Paul and Luke. They are in the NICU, doing well, and these bunnies are keeping them company!

Another order from the same person- the two Dinos are for the twin boys also. Plus, a bunny for a special gal named Rachel!

This batch of super cute Messenger Owls was completed a couple weeks ago! I had fun with all the color combinations! Just so you know, if you order 5 or more owls, you get a discount- you don't have to own a store or anything!

These horses are a new item I'm working on! They're the only two I've made so far, but I am hoping to make more for the shop soon. I am open to custom orders on them, though! The pattern is by FunkyFriendsFactory, the same place I got the Ellie Elephant pattern! These horses are so cute, I'm very excited... I've loved horses since I was a little girl! The soft furry mane and tail is especially endearing...

And finally, here are some elephants that I'm working on! I know, tons! The top two are actually completed as of today, and off in the mail tomorrow. The middle left one is a custom order, but the other three will be available in the shop.

I'm going to go watch a movie with Jer now. Kade is in bed, the house is quiet, my work is done.... it's a great evening!

Jul 11, 2009

My Little Fishie

Kade has been in swimming lessons for a long time. Almost a year, I think. While he loves them, he was always stuck in the first level, because he HATED going under water and jumping in. He got water in his eyes once and screamed so hard that the life guard came running over, sure that he had broken a leg or something.

Last week, Kade's cousin invited us to go swimming on a very hot day. I took the opportunity, while I was actually IN the water with Kade, to try and get him to go under water. I couldn't convince him though. I was about to get out of the water when, out of the blue, Kade dunked his head, all on his own! To his suprise, he discovered that he LOVED it! I couldn't get him to stop! The trick, for him, was wearing goggles and pinching his nose. The next day (4th of July) he was at another cousins house, and was in the pool for hours, happy as a clam! He was so cold and his lips were turning blue, but he didn't want to get out.

I now call him my little fishie. He has been in swimming lessons every day this past week, and has shown so much improvement! He jumps off the edge all by himself now. He does sitting dives. He back floats on his own. He goes under the water so much that he gets in trouble for it! Only a week ago, he was the boy clinging to the edge of the pool, afraid to let go, determined to keep his face dry. Just look at this picture and you can see how excited he is now:

He is most excited about getting closer to being able to swim with his cousins, all on his own. Every time during lessons when he does something he is proud of, he gives me his little version of "thumbs up":

(I've tried to teach him to use his thumb, but the finger just wants the job so bad, and besides, it's cute!) He has gone from, "I can't do it," to, "I did it!" It makes me so happy to see him gain that self confidence. Go, little fishie, go!

Jul 8, 2009

Reusable snack bags + free tutorial for a sandwich wrap

Last week, Kade went to day camp. I packed him a lunch every day, and realized by the end of the week that I had used at least 8 plastic ziplock bags! Next year he'll be taking lunch to school, and if I use that many baggies every week for a whole year.... wow. Lots of money wasted, lots of plastic bags in the garbage. So, I decided to make him some reusable snack bags.

(Chocolate milk is there so you can see how big they are)

I have made two sets so far (SpongeBob and outer space) and will probably make one more. They are the same basic size as the snack size and sandwich size ziplocks. They have tabs to make them easy to open, and velcro all the way across the opening.

The inside is made out of PUL (polyurethane laminated fabric)- it is soft and flexible, waterproof, washable, and safe*. I got mine at Kids in the Garden- she is very reasonably priced, and you can buy by the inch! You could also use oilcloth, or just regular cotton fabric.

After I made the snack bags, I decided to try and make a sandwich wrap. The boy I nanny uses them every day at school, and loves them! They hold everything in nicely, make a nice clean place mat for his food to sit on, and also work for crackers, apple slices, cookies, etc. So, I sat down and drew out a little tutorial for myself (I have to figure stuff out before I start sewing, or who knows what I'll end up with!), and here's what I came up with!

(Once again... chocolate milk was easier to show the size than making an actual sandwich!)

Cute, huh?! The great thing is that all three items (2 snack bags and 1 wrap) only cost me about $5, total! I love saving money! And I feel good about reducing (even if only by a little bit) the amount of trash we throw out.

Here is my little tutorial for the sandwich wrap. Now you can make some for your kids too! :) I don't know how to attach a PDF to my blog, so just click on the picture to make it bigger, and save it to your computer if you want to.

So there ya go! If enough people want me to, I'll also do a little tutorial sheet on the 2 sizes of snack baggies. I hope the tutorial makes sense, if you have any questions or if anything is confusing, just let me know :) Enjoy!

* There is a lot of conflicting information on the web about whether PUL is food safe or not. From all my research, I have decided that I am comfortable using it for my family. PUL is plastic, so if you don't like saran wrap, ziplock baggies, etc. coming in contact with your food, PUL might not be a good choice for you. PUL is also not to be heated up, of course. As with anything else, do your own research and come to your own conclusions about whether or not to use PUL.

Jul 7, 2009

Sneaky Little Ninja

I was doing laundry one day and I found a tiny, 1" tall ninja at the bottom of the hamper. He's pretty brave for such a little guy. Very sneaky too. I hid him in Jer's shoe. When Jer found it, he stuck it on the computer desk peeking out from behind the speakers. Here are a few more places this Sneaky Little Ninja has been found lately:

Up on a high shelf full of vases and jars, hiding right inside a small glass bottle near the back:

Amidst the leaves of my Snake Plant:

Balancing on top of the frame holding our engagement photo:

I wonder where he'll turn up next...