Thursday, December 12, 2013

18 to 22 months old

Need a toddler fix for the day?
I've got one to share! And in the photos, you can never hear her cry.
Which means you also can't hear her laugh or blow a kiss "mmwah!"
So just imagine that it's a whole lot of loud, with cuddles, some baby slobber, toothy grins, and running around like a wild keep up with the big kids.
That's the Clara gist.
We just love this girl.
And I can't believe that in 2 months she will be 2 years old!  What?
I miss the monthly updates I did the first year of her life, so I had to recap this snippet in time.  Because it's fun to go back and see how she's grown.

And today, she's miss independent. 
 [who still needs her paci]
who loves to wrestle with dad, jump on the trampoline, and wave hi and bye to anyone (or anything) she sees.
 She's into everything.
And I'm having that a-ha realization, that if you have all your kids close together in age, it's chaos at the start but then they begin to play well with each other.  And they're into the same toys and projects at the same time.  At least that's how Lucy and Owen are (21 months apart).   And it's fabulous.  But then there's a 4 year gap between Owen and Clara.  And of course she wants to be like them, and gets personally offended when I tell her no.  So I spend a lot of time moving things around the house to places she can't reach, and doing small activities with her while the other kids are in deep-play with something that she might "mess up".   And such is life.   In a couple years, she'll keep up with them.

Thankfully the big kids try to include her when they can.  And Clara can hang out on the trampoline with them like a cowboy on a wild bronco, bouncing and flopping around, and loving it.
For now she's just in that transition from baby to kid.
Gone is the 12 month old:
Arrived, are the chins. 
And a whole lotta hair! help her look like an almost 2-year old, I chopped off the mullet and gave her a bob.
We all love it! 
What a difference a year makes.
 I sort of miss the whispies hanging around her ears and neck.  They were fun to play with.
But she's still the same Clara she's always been, with the goofy faces.
She's just got a "style" now.  And that's really fun.
 Here's the old 12 month recap.
Here's our little monster today.
Thank you for making our life better Clare bear.
We love you!

Read about the first year here:
1 month
2 months
3 months
4 months
5 months
6 months
7 months
8 months
9 months
10 months
11 months

Monday, December 9, 2013

and then they made their own ornaments

and my heart grew three sizes that day.
My kids are pretty much enchanted by the new Frozen movie.
Okay.  I am too.
Are you?
It's just so adorable!  The music, the characters, the story line, Olof!....singing about the Summer.
We might need to see it again.
Because the kids can't stop thinking about it.  

The other day Owen had a great idea, "hey Mom, we should make Frozen ornaments!  All we have to do is draw them, glue them to a box, then cut them out!"
You're right! 
That's all we have to do.

So he drew Olof.  And Lucy drew Anna and Elsa.
And they turned out great!
We cut up old cereal boxes and taped twine to the back....similar to Cereal Box frames and Wrapping Paper Tags.
But these were entirely their creations.
Is there anything sweeter?
 These are the moments that make parenting totally worth it.
And now my three favorite ornaments didn't come from the store.  They came without ribbons, boxes, and bows. And they hang on our funny little tree that sits on a table, for one more year.  I think by next year Clara will be ready.
Until then, it's been a Christmas present to myself to not say "no no touching" all month long.
 Thank you kiddos for the Christmas reminder that....

Friday, December 6, 2013

TUTORIAL: Wrapping Paper Tags with FREE Printable shapes

Tis the season to be Merry!
And among the wrapping and presents and bows are some of my favorite trims: the tags.
On Christmases past---when feeling lazy---I've written the kids' names right on top of the wrapping paper and called it good.  But this year, I'm making tags ahead of time!  So I'm all ready to go!   
And guess what, these are really simple and don't take much time.

They're the grown-up version of the cheap wrapping paper tags you made as a know, where you cut a rectangle from the same paper used for wrapping the gift, then folded it in half and taped it to the gift?

Well we're still using wrapping paper.  We'll just classy it up a bit.
I've got 20 sheets of black + white shapes for you to download HERE and then print to your home computer.
Check the 1-inch marker to see that you've printed properly.
The shapes come in two sets:
• With TO and FROM printed on the back.
• Plain and simple so you can write what you'd like on the back!
So print your shapes and grab your favorite wrapping paper (just another excuse to buy more, right?)
Then turn on your favorite Christmas tunes or movie.  I've been listening to David Ian's Vintage Christmas albums and absolutely love both.  Plus he's got a really cute video that'll put you in the tag-making mood.
Okay.  Here's what you do:
You can tie the tag directly to the gift or tape it to a box.
OR, attach a bit of twine at the top for another pop of color.
• You can print the templates to standard paper weight or to cardstock. Both work great.  I made all of these with standard white paper.  If you can't print to cardstock at home, send the pdf document to Staples or Office Depot and they can print for you for little cost. 
• Make sure you glue to the BACK side of the shape templates.  And glue all the way to the edges of the shape so the wrapping paper adheres well.
• When you cut out the shapes, try not to leave any black lines behind.
• It will take a few minutes for the glue to fully dry.
• If your tags start to curl, gently roll them back in the other direction.

Of course the beauty of some wrapping paper is that it's filled with cute designs and illustrations.  So if you have a paper with fun printed shapes and characters, use those to create tags!....
Just write a little message on the back and you're ready to gift.
OR, give the tags as gifts themselves!
I love it when my friends send fun trims, ribbons, twine, cute things like that.  So package up a set of tags in a cello bag and gift it along with a roll of wrapping paper.  How fun would that be?
Happy gift-giving!
 May it all be merry and bright.

Friday, November 29, 2013

the Baby Doll Basket PATTERN is here!

Get your sewing machines ready.
We're making doll baskets!

Baby Doll Basket PDF Pattern - $6
Add to Cart

And kids, dolls, and softie toys everywhere will be happy.
Make one for Christmas or a birthday.
Give them as a gift to nieces, nephews, and grandkids.
These baskets are soft and plush with a bit of batting inside.  And they're great for girls and boys.  My son is always looking for a cozy spot to put Woody the cowboy to bed....or for a make-shift Death Star for the Angry Birds.
If you've got a toy that needs a special spot, we've got the pattern.
Here are the details....

 • This is a 36-page PDF document, which means you download it after payment to your computer. The pattern is not physically mailed to you.  After purchase you are sent a link for downloading the pattern to your computer (this is sent to the email address attached with your paypal account).  Please note that the link will expire after a few days!  So when you open the download pattern link, make sure you save the pdf file to your computer so you always have it for future use.
• The file size is 2.8 MB
• You do not need to print every page, only the 12 pattern pages.  
• Also included is a printable 3-page cheat sheet for sewing reference.
• Pages print to standard 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper (for printing outside of the US see below)
• Pages are pieced together by trimming along the border, matching them at the markings, and taping together.  I’ve tried to make this as simple as possible with detailed instructions in the pattern itself.
The Baby Doll Basket Pattern comes in 3 sizes:
SMALL: fits dolls and toys 12-14 inches
MEDIUM: fits dolls and toys 14-16 inches (such as "Bitty Baby")
LARGE: fits dolls and toys 16-18 inches (such as "American Girl" or "Our Generation" dolls)
The pattern combines colorful photos and illustrations with very detailed instructions for sewing a Baby Basket, with a basket mattress, pillow, and simple doll blanket.
And we don't leave out any bits of info!  If you like our tutorials, you'll love this pattern.

The pattern is aimed an Advanced Beginner +


Printing in another Country (outside of the US)
The pattern was created for standard US printers but should work for other countries as well. There are measuring rulers on the side of each page (in inches) so you can see if you’ve printed to the proper print size. The pattern images do NOT print to edge of the paper…so I recommend printing to your standard size paper, checking the ruler, and matching the pattern pieces up as outlined in the instructions.

And….that’s it!
Ready to sew baby baskets?

Baby Doll Basket Pattern - $6
Add to Cart

• Instant payment is through Paypal
• E-check payment through paypal will delay your pattern download a few days.
ACCOUNT. This email address is where the info about your purchase and
download instructions will be sent.
• You will receive a few emails confirming your payment and providing info about downloading the pdf pattern to your computer.

 Happy Sewing!

Lining fabrics used in this pattern are FANFARE by Rae Hoekstra.  Visit made by rae for more info.