Friday, April 13, 2012

on my bookshelf : winter 2012

LOTS on my bookshelf these days (too many?).  I will leave out my boring grad school textbooks.  These are being read or in my queue!
* * I saved the best for last so make sure you read to the end!! * *

One Hundred Names for Love : : Diane Ackerman
Really interesting - the story of a woman whose husband had a stroke, and his road to recovery (true story).  A little hard to read - because it would be such a sad situation!

The Happiness Project : : Gretchen Rubin
As if I need help being happier! 

Brain Rules for Baby : : John Medina
A follow-up read to the original Brain Rules (remember this post?) which I loved - tons of info about how the brain works....this one has fascinating info about child development and what's good for raising geniuses.

The Book Thief : : Markus Zusak
It wouldn't do much for my credibility to let you know that I only realized this was a young adult book when I was half-way through reading it...but it's true.  It was written in a really interesting way though - the story of a German family hiding/housing two unique individuals during WWII.  Really great book.

The House at Tyneford : : Natasha Solomons
Another book about someone hiding out during WWII.  Also a love story - *swoon* !

The Kitchen House : : Kathleen Grissom
A young girl works in the kitchen house as an indentured servant...her story of trying to find where she belongs as she grows up.

Room : : Emma Donoghue
Just started it!  Don't know much about it!

The Hunger Games : : Suzanne Collins
I actually reread this before seeing the move - I read all three books in the trilogy about a year ago.  Who hasn't?

Half Broke Horses : : Jeannette Walls
Oh. my. gosh. Loved, loved, love love love love love loved this book!  I read it in about one weekend.  The author, Jeannette Walls, is telling the story of her grandmother's life--from the grandmother's perspective.  Reasons why I would put this book on my list of All-Time-Favorites:
1. True Story - huge points here
2. Hilarious Characters - wish they were my relatives
3. Hilarious Scenarios - you will not believe the craziness this woman got up to!
4. Even though it's hilarious, this woman went through some real rough times.  The awesome thing about this book is that at the same time it's not a downer.  The main character is a tough old biddy!

The Glass Castle : : Jeannette Walls
Just started it - same author as above.  This time it's story of the author's own life.  Wish I could shut myself into a room for 24 hours to read it all at once!

Any readers out there have suggestions for me?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

art with Oliver

 I got to hang out with Oliver this morning, and he helped me get started on the next project for Henry's room.  We made drawings of every member of our family.  Sounds like no big deal right?  Well, do you know how big our family has become?  Let's see, we have...
Grandma Mary
Grandpa Mike
so that's what Baby Henry will look like!

 Oliver drew like a champ.  I expected him to lose interest after two drawings or so, but he did most of them!  Then I went over his drawings with ultra-thin sharpie, and finally we colored them in with colored pencils (this is when he finally decided he was done).

Stay tuned for the next phase of this project...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

adventures in vinyl

 Sometimes I have to rely on my Etsy customers to give me the push to try something new.  For example, last week one of my fabulous customers asked if I could make the pockets of my jewelry cases from clear vinyl, so one could see the contents?  Well, why not?  

Turns out it's super easy to sew with vinyl!  I really like how they turned out, how about you?


 Ready for delivery!

Monday, April 9, 2012

easy cradle sheet

I hope my previous post didn't indicate that I'm above Pinterest or anything, because man do I love it! I've been pinning sewing tutorials and tons of baby ideas. I used this tutorial to make a sheet for the mattress of this little cradle that's been passed around my family!

I started with this adorable fabric (part of the splurge mentioned here) : Tree Stripe in Shroom (Monoluna Circa 52) :

The tutorial was for a crib sheet, but this mattress is obviously not as large as a crib-size mattress! So I just modified the pattern by cutting a rectangle that was 5 inches longer on each side than the mattress. (Yes, I do realize this mattress is pretty funky-looking, but like I said, it's been in the family. It's family funk.)

Then I cut a 5"x5" rectangle from each corner--this makes the mitered corners of the fitted sheet. This is super easy because you can just fold the large rectangle into fourths, then cut the rectangle from all four corners at once. Brilliant! (just make sure you don't cut on any folds)

You basically sew the corners together, make a casing all around the unfinished edge, and insert your elastic (see the tutorial itself for more detailed instructions). Boom! Fitted sheet! I have to admit that I'm a little embarrassed that I haven't known how to do this until now.

By the way, did you notice the cute little friends in the corner of the cradle? The teddy bear was a birthday present from Jamie last year when we still had our baby secret, and the other little fella is an extra special softie made especially for Henry by his Auntie Sha Sha! Love!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

happy easter!

 Happy Easter!  It is a gorgeous, Easter-y day in Seattle. Highlights from the day...
Brunch with friends & family

 Mimosas for those lucky enough to be able to have them...

 Emily and Opal looking adorable as always.

 I made these little Easter "baskets" for party favors...they were supposed to be big enough to put a small terra-cotta pot with a plant inside.  But since this project started at 5pm last night and I bought the pots (crossing my fingers) this morning, it didn't quite work out because they were just a bit too small.  Oh well, they were plenty big enough for holding candy!

Happy Spring!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

H is for...

 Henry! That's what we've decided to call our sweet baby boy.  Today I made this wall-hanging for the nursery.  It's been swimming around in my imagination for a few weeks and it was #1 on my to-do list today!  Not to brag, people, but no Pinterest was needed here...this one was all me!

I started with a 18"x18"canvas - on sale at Joann's when I bought it!  First I sewed on the big "H".  I just printed an H on paper, trimmed it, traced it on gray fabric, and used Heat Bond Lite to adhere it to the background fabric in right spot.  Then I used my sewing machine's zig-zag stitch to sew it down.  (The Heat Bond Lite really helps to keep clean lines and prevent future fraying - love that stuff!)  Then I printed and traced "enry" onto the background fabric (I always use these fine point water soluble markers for marking designs before embroidering...the marks disappear immediately when you apply a damp cloth.  Magical!)  Then I stitched it with dark gray embroidery floss.

Same thing with the yellow whale...which doesn't show up that well in the pictures, but you can see it better in real life!

Then I wrapped the whole thing tightly around the canvas, using a regular stapler to tack it into place...

 ...and finally, gave the back a finished look by hot gluing (new hot glue gun!  Can you believe I didn't own one for the last 10 years?) a grosgrain ribbon all along the back edges.

Ta Da!

a baby quilt

Time for some sewing for baby!  I went a little crazy a few weeks ago ordering fabrics.  I couldn't resist this color palette... "Gone Fishin'" from the Storyboek collection for Birch Fabrics (plus a few others):

 Turns out I bought enough fabric for about 2 king size quilts.  So one smaller-than-crib-size blankey is a good start, right?  Here are some in-progress shots, because I happen to love the look of the inside of a quilt!
 (side 2- pressing)

(side 1 - putting the layers together)
 (attaching the binding)

Finished! Don't get too excited, this didn't happen all in one day. :)

Now the rocking chair is ready to go!