my sister and her husband had been able to watch their cutie of a niece for close to 2 years before deciding (with a third baby on the way) that it was time to give up babysitting. what a blessing it is for family to be your watch your babies for any amount of time- MY! all the genuine love and attention they got to give their niece! so, it only made sense that they would send her off to day-care with a special present: enter the "nap mat". basically, it's a sleeping bag, kiddie sized, with a cushy pillow and a soft blanket attached. they got it embroidered with her initials but still wanted to go the extra mile and asked me to do a little something, too.
here is what i came up with based on their request:
hand stitched, ironed on, felt animals and her name. the animals are even cuter when you realize that each one represents little alex and her cousins.
i'll call this design "the aristocat" style since it resembles the disney movie character to the left. for the record, i'm more than ok with that.
i've recently become interested in the "30 before 30" list. mostly because i stumbled across this one blog that had it and i was all "I NEED TO DO THIS". needless to say, i'll probably never actually write a 30 before 30 list...maybe by saying that just now i've made it a little more likely i will JUST to prove myself wrong...hmmm.
anyway- if i had one it would currently have TWO items crossed off. the first being to make my child a homemade halloween costume and the second being completed just yesterday...cue pictures!
these pictures may confuse you. my goal wasn't to have the cutest baby in the world who likes to pretend play with a pull-string puppy toy. if i had enough foresight i could have been crossing that off my nonexistent list too. however, my true dream was to make clothes for my baby. CHECK!
a friend of mine and i went half-sies on a PA fabric 50% off coupon and this adorable shirt was the by product of that shopping trip. we both LOVED the fabric - she made a headband and i made emily a shirt. i honestly can't believe it turned out this cute. i'm considering having her not wear it today (which is rainy and miserable) so i can save it for a day where can properly show it off properly.... or maybe i'll just have her wear it everyday for the next week.. or till she grows out of it? ..forever?!
i'm not the type to be patient enough to take pictures during my process so heres my brief description: i took a shirt that emily already owns and used it as a pattern to trace onto paper. then i cut that into the different sections + made a few adjustments and used that as my template. sewed it all up (which took a couple of hours) and it surprisingly fit like a glove! perhaps if and when i do this again i'll take step by step pictures and ruin the magic for you.
and since i know you've never seen enough heres a link to my instagram page where you can see just the shirt by itself and other up to date happenings in our world. (sorry you'll have to request an invite - only those not afraid of commitment allowed)
i made this diaper cake for a good friend of mine. i was pretty sure her nursery theme was something to do with woodland creatures at the time but now that i look back on it i'm not really getting that vibe from this cake as much as i remembered. i thought that the spirally diapers were reminiscent of logs of wood? ANYWAY, the shower was thrown by friends and they requested i make an encouragement tree to go with it. so i planted it right on top. i added a cute mini banner some paint chip birds and the letter D for diapers JK...D is also for their last name. She chose to cloth diaper so this was just a tiny little cake of newborn size to get her through the first couple of weeks. the tiny books you see came in a box set that, at the time, were my daughters #1 go to for slobbering. i'm a big believer in giving something you know that you use and love too.
Also- protip: if you're going to make a diaper cake i suggest this spiral way of doing it. 1. it saves you A TON of time and 2. its considerate of the mom-to-be too, since she doesn't have to unwrap every single diaper. just cut the ribbon and WAH-LA! deconstructed diaper cake!
i love being invited to showers. it gives me a chance to go hunting for a new project i've never tried before. i pretty much always make something new and personalized for the guest-of-honor and probably a handmade card to go with it. have i mentioned that i'm in love with the process and product of wrapping a gift too? unfortunately, i usually am too last minute to put as much time on that as i'd like to. anyway, when i went hunting for my latest inspiration i found this idea. it was for a organization system/file/box to hold all of the future baby's paper stuff. i was all "hey ricky why don't we have one of those!" and he was all "uhh we do. its called a filing cabinet"...."oh". still, i thought this was a great idea and something unique to give amongst the cute baby onesies and typical registry items at a shower. PLUS the women labeled it "the best baby shower gift ever!" i mean who could top that?
so here is my file i made ^
i got the file box itself from target mainly for the blank canvas effect and the pretty chevron design on the inside. (chevron- so hot right now) the future mom's nursery theme is all about the birdies so i went with it. i drew with a white paint pen that conviently came in a pack of 2 from michaels. seriously, those pens don't last long. i drew multiple frames around the box with the idea that she would stick pictures of her adorable children in there too.
so its like "a thing" to make a chalkboard about your baby on their first birthday...exhibit a, and exhibit b-a zillion. it's a super cute idea and i'm glad i stumbled upon it before my daughter's first birthday so i could totally plagiarize/customize/use-it-tize? it for her.
i designed the whole lay-out for emily's on the computer first and was mighty tempted to add some sort chalk texture to it, print it, frame it and call it a day. BUT, i didn't. i did print it out as a reference to look at as i painstakingly copied every detail with chalk onto a board sprayed with chalkboard paint. of course i had to make mine "not big and obnoxious" so as to make myself feel like i wasn't being all showy. mine was about 11 x 14 and this made the process time consuming, tedious, difficult, and frustrating. have you ever tried to write tini-tiny fancy font words with a blunt piece of chalk? lets just say i used LOADS of wet q-tips as my erasers. i think by the time i was done (many hours later) i had gone through an entire box of them. also, the table looked like there was chalk shrapnel exploded all over it from my on-going quest for a sharp point. i said to myself "if i ever do this again it SHALL be bigger!" but i did LOVE the frame i got for it and it turned out great so alls fair right?
well, as it turns out- i did get to do it again! three more times actually. two of my friends requested one for their baby's and i volunteered to make one for my niece. it was really fun to design them according to the theme for their party AND every one of them was significantly bigger than my first attempt which made things A LOT easier and more enjoyable.
for the first two i, again, designed them on the computer first and then took to the board with a fully laid out plan. however, for my niece i just winged it! i didn't really have a choice since i did it the night before the party (but i think it turned out just as good).
if you'd like to tackle your own here are the materials i used:
- matte board, poster board, or foam board for the base
- chalkboard paint in a spray can
(i'd do a couple of light layers- so what you spraying it on doesn't warp too much)
- chalk... duh. you could also add some colored chalk. that would be fun
- q-tips and a small bowl of water for your life-saving erasers
*i used illustrator for design mine on a computer first but a sketch would work fine also
This past summer my sister, Julie, and I bonded over throwing my other sister (in law) Jenn a TINY shower or as i like to call it a "sprinkle". (I could pretend like that was my creative genius but apparently sprinkles are already a THING and no one would believe me.)
Anyway, we divided up the duties and spent way too much time on facetime talking over the details which really just means we repeated ourselves several times while our babies ran around in the background occasionally stealing our ipads and canceling our call. I never made a diaper cake before so i volunteered for that in addition to these lovely e-vites, some extra flare, a banner, and the cake toppers. I can't claim anything on the wonderful matching plates and cake tower and the DE-LISH cupcakes themselves- that was all Juls. So feast your eyes on all the details of our "When it rains it Pours" Sprinkle for our well deserving sister- Jenn.
i'm probably the only person in the world who dreamed about the halloween costumes they would create for their one-day-future children. when we found out we were pregnant its one of the first things i thought about/looked forward to/put way too much pressure on getting perfect. For weeks i would ask ricky what he thought we should make emily for halloween. i took polls amongst our relatives, floated potential ideas to any one who would listen. finally, i arrived at THE PERFECT costume! Emily would be, for her very first halloween, a lima bean! to clarify, a can of lima beans, but still SHE WAS A LIMA BEAN! I googled it- she is from this moment on the FIRST can of lima beans on the internet and certainly the cutest. (if you haven't make the connection- our last name is lima. pronounced "LEEMA" as my former students used to spell it. like the capital of peru.)
i should say that halloween itself is not a holiday that i'm IN LOVE with. really, i love it just for the fact that you can dress up and have candy. i hate horror movies and anything dark so i just ignore all the goo and gore for the fact that I LOVE CANDY AND COSTUMES!
If, upon googling "best cutest unique amazing baby costume", arrived here and would also like to make your child a can of lima beans (or any veggie really), here are my materials:
- fabric. i bought the silvery fabric for can and green stuff for the beans and hat. the rest came from scraps.
- stuffing for the beans of course. you could really gut some old stuffed animals but thats sad so you can find this stuff at a fabric craft store. i got my at JoAnnes.
- boning. you know, the stuff that holds your strapless dress up or you maybe what you find in a bar. i got this at my local PA fabric outlet but they would have it at JoAnnes too. I used this to create the frame of the can. I realized afterwards that i just needed two loops at the top and bottom.
- stiff felt. this i had laying around an was perfect for the lid. i covered it in fabric and although it was kind of floppy still worked. I used boning to get it to tilt up a little and connect it to the main costume.
- mini shopping cart and fake veggies- if these weren't borrowed from family i don't know if this costume would have been as ultimately amazing as it was. they were the icing on the cake!