Monday, December 26, 2011

Hooded Dress

Finally finished another project for Z. I was really excited to make this dress because I picked up my early Christmas present on Black Friday: a serger! This is a game changer, folks. :) I love that I'm able to cleanly finish clothing with overlock stitches. And make rolled hems. And sew knit fabrics. Yay!!

Here is the dress!





Sunday, November 20, 2011

DIY Circle Scarf

So a lot of people have been wearing these circle scarves from American Apparel. I think that they're super cute, but a little expensive at $28.00. One thing that's great about them is the multiple ways you can wear them (although I'm not sure that i would wear it as a dress or a shirt...).

Anyways, I had some jersey fabric that I picked up more than a year ago, so I thought that I would put it to good use and look for instructions on how to make the scarf online. As usual, google did not disappoint. I found a great BurdaStyle tutorial here. Here is the finished product!


And pics of a few of the ways you can wear it. Forgive me for the poor picture hands shake when taking pictures!




This is a simple project that took only about 30 minutes to complete.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ruffle Dress!

I finished my third sewing project for Z! I picked up this purple fabric and pattern this past summer but never had a chance to put the dress together until this weekend. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. One thing that's great about this pattern and the coat I made previously is that, due to the lining, both the inside and outside of the piece looks finished and clean.

This was my first time attempting a ruffle. I think that if I make this dress again in the future I will make the ruffle a little bit thicker, and in a contrasting color.



Apparently, yesterday while the hubs and I were out enjoying our date night, Z after going number 2, communicated with her grandpa (using gestures, pointing and grunts) that she needed to be changed. She pointed to her room where the changing pad is, commanding that her grandpa follow her, then proceeded to walk into her room, lay herself down on the changing pad, and wait for her grandpa to change her diaper. This is amazing considering that, for the majority of her diaper changes with the hubs and me, she is writhing as if in pain. It usually requires both the hubs and me to change her together. He holds her down while I clean her up as quickly as possible.

The hubs is very excited about this new development bc he thinks that it's an indication that she may be ready to be potty trained. I've been waiting for her to do the same thing with me today, but no luck yet. :p

On a different note, I really have to do a better job of recording some of the funny/adorable things Z has been doing these days before I forget. Especially when it comes to milestones like sleeping through the night (it took 6 long months before this happened), crawling (in July), walking (she started a couple days before her first birthday), feeding herself snacks (she started this only in the last month)...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Yarn Wreath

I have seen pictures of various wreaths made out of yarn on several blogs recently and fell in love with one that was created by Take Heart. The link and diy instructions to her wreath is here.

It looked like a project that would be simple and easy to complete in a short amount of time. Which at the time was perfect for me at that moment--it would satisfy my craft craving during a busy season where I didn't have much time for crafting. I'm happy with the way it turned out!

wreath close up-vintage


Sunday, October 16, 2011

New blouse for Z

So I decided to try sewing a blouse for Z as my next sewing project. I used another pattern from ManiMina and less than a yard of fabric that I bought months ago but never had a chance to use. Here is the finished product!

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I've also started making hair pins for Z. So much fun and so quick to make. Here is a red one that I put together to match with her blouse:

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There are so many different ways to make felt flowers. Here is a pinterest page that posts links to several different felt flower tutorials. You can also find more tutorials here and here.

Here is Z in her new outfit!

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In this picture, Z is also wearing a handmade vest that was handed down to her from her auntie S. S's grandmother knitted it for Auntie S when she was close to Z's age.

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The last two photos were taken at Spring Valley Park in Schaumburg, IL. It's a 135 acre park/nature sanctuary (with hiking trails and a lake)/working farm (complete with pigs, cows and horses) in the middle of the suburbs. I grew up close to this area and never knew this park existed! It's a beautiful park, and a great place to take the kids for a few hours on a beautiful day. (And it's free!) Z, the hubs and I, made the trip with my cousin and her husband and had a great time.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Z's First Road Trip

We survived our first road trip with Z this past weekend. Our little girl has already done quite a bit of traveling--she's been to California, Florida and Hawaii. But those were all via plane, and those trips also took place before she became fully mobile (a walker). So I was a bit nervous about how things would go. We were making a trip to Memphis, and Google maps told us that it would take just under 9 hours to get to our hotel. That seemed like a really long time for a squirmy one year old to be in the car. And I was right. It is a really long time for a one year old to be strapped in a car seat.

There were a few things, however, that I prepared beforehand in an attempt to make the trip as smooth as possible. My "toddler road trip stash" included the following items:
  • iPad with Dora the Explorer episodes and Finding Nemo. (We try to avoid exposing Z to TV, or any screens for that matter--but desperate times call for desperate measures).
  • Toys. Lots of toys. These include traditional toys, as well as items that babies sometimes like even more than toys. For example, Z likes to play with a lint remover roll because she likes the stickiness of it. Go figure.
  • Books. Z likes this animal book where the animals are actually fuzzy.
  • Food. There are these Gerber Graduates puffs that are seriously like Cheetos for babies. Healthy? I don't think so. But like I said before with Dora and Nemo--desperate times call for desperate measures. And Z really likes the baby cheetos.
  • Music. Preferably kids music that is upbeat. I recommend CDs by Hullabaloo and this CD.
  • An entertaining auntie. Lucky for us, one of my good friends went on the road trip with us. She worked hard to put on a show for Z. Complete with singing and dancing.
These things got us through the drive there and back. We also tried to stop every couple hours, which made a big difference. But because of the frequent stops, we tried to make the stops as brief as possible. As a result, poor hubby did not get to try out "The Only Home of Throwed Rolls" for lunch (and have rolls thrown at him) on the trip back. The wait was too long (30 minutes)..which I thought was surprising for a restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Sorry, hubby. Maybe next time.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Z's Fall Coat

I could easily spend hours and hours reading diy/crafting/designing/decorating blogs, watching hgtv, or perusing etsy...ooh-ing and ahh-ing over all of the cute/creative/amazing items made by talented crafters. I've always been inspired by these artists, and secretly wondered if I could ever be that crafty. Over the years, I've found myself going through these phases where I would really want to focus and become an "expert" at one kind of craft. I've tried knitting and scrapbooking for example. But the desire soon fizzled (either because I was unhappy with my efforts, or because I realized how much time it takes to invest and become proficient in any craft).

Recently, though, maybe it's because I have a daughter now that I can make things for, but I've gotten on a sewing kick. I bought a sewing machine a couple years ago, and used it to make curtains for my bedroom and Z's nursery..but this past weekend I tried my hand on sewing clothing--a simple coat for my daughter. And it was so satisfying!! :) Maybe because I got it done in one day (with the exception of cutting out the fabric a couple nights before), and maybe it's bc my mother-in-law, who is a fantastic sewer, was there to answer any questions, but it was a lot of fun , and now I think that I'm a bit addicted!

I used this pattern from ManiMina on etsy. Here is the final product!

And here it is on Z:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Firm Foundation

I just read the daily devotional I receive via email each day from Our Daily Bread. The devotional, and the story about the little girl and the cars made me realize that I need to start laying a firm foundation now, even though Z is only a year old.

Here is the devotional:
These words which I command you . . . you shall teach them diligently to your children. —Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Before she was 2 years old, my granddaughter Katie did something that would make any grandpa proud: She began to recognize cars by make and year. This all started when she and her daddy began spending time together playing with his old collection of toy cars. Daddy would say, “Katie, get the 1957 Chevy,” and she would pick it out of the hundreds of tiny cars. And once, while he was reading a Curious George book to her, she climbed down from his lap and ran to get a miniature Rolls Royce—an exact replica of the car pictured in the book.

If a 2-year-old child can make such connections, doesn’t that show the importance of teaching children the right things early on? We can do this by using what I call the FIRM principle: Familiarity, Interest, Recognition, and Modeling. This follows Moses’ pattern in Deuteronomy 6 of taking every opportunity to teach biblical truths so that children become familiar with them and make them a part of their lives. Using their interests as teaching opportunities, we repeat Bible stories so they become recognizable, while modeling a godly life before them.

Let’s give the children in our lives a FIRM foundation by teaching them about God’s love, Christ’s salvation, and the importance of godly living. —Dave Branon

O give us homes built firm upon the Savior,
Where Christ is Head and Counselor and Guide,
Where every child is taught His love and favor
And gives his heart to Christ, the crucified. —Hart

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Be Thankful

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thess. 5:18

I am thankful for my God.
I am thankful for my husband.
I am thankful for my daughter.
I am thankful for my parents (and parent in-laws).
I am thanful for my siblings (and my sibling in-laws).
I am thankful for my church.
I am thankful for my small group.
I am thankful for my job. (Even though I complain about it all the time.)
I am thankful for the home that I have.
I am thankful for my friends.

Our Determined Little Z

Z just turned one a little over a week ago and I still can't believe how quickly this year has passed. It's so exciting to see her grow and develop, and I love learning more of her personality. But all of the changes also emphasizes how precious each moment with her is, and how she's never going to be little bitty baby again. These days, whenever I see a newborn baby, I find myself surprised at how small they are! And then I remind myself that Zoey was that little just a few months ago...

Recently I've started to learn that Z is quite the persistent, determined little girl. This is a great quality to have, in my opinion. But, boy, I think that the hubby and I are going to have our hands full. :p For instance, there was the time when I put Zoey down for the night, and then clicked on the screen of our video monitor to check up on her a few minutes after I left her room. That night, she surprisingly stopped crying after only about 30 seconds, and I wondered if she was sleeping already. But when I turned on the monitor, I saw that she was sitting up. But her head was drowsily bobbing up, down, and left and right. She was obviously very tired, half asleep, but seemed to be wanting to fight falling asleep completely very much. Every so often she actually would fall asleep, which would lead to her falling down to the laying down position...but the impact woke her up just enough so that she could prop herself back up again. It was hilarious to watch.

I thought that the cycle of bobbing, falling down, and then propping herself back up would only last for a few minutes, and then she would finally give in to sleep. But Z is a persistent little one! She continued to do this for about 20 minutes. Then the hubby came home from class and I filled him in on what was happening. We then watched the monitor in awe/while giggling as our little girl continued to resist sleep for another 20 minutes or so. Finally, hubby decided it was time to go into Z's room and help her out a bit. Here is a video clip of her wobbling in her crib:

There was also the time a couple weeks ago, when we were at my parent's house the day after Z's first birthday party. Hubby and I were cleaning up the kitchen and needed our hands free. So we put Z and Milo the Pug in the family room (where we could see them) and created a makeshift barrier with a couple of ottomans. There were a few inches between the ottomans, and although it was possible for Z to get past the barriers....she would need to squeeze. We didn't think that she would actually try to do that. Boy was I wrong. Hubby and I watched as she wriggled and wrangled, and huffed and puffed, and tried with all her might to get past the barriers and crawl over to us. All the while, she looked straight at us with this intense look of determination! And then she got through to the other side! She was so proud of herself too :) We were pretty impressed as well.