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: