Monthly Archives: May 2011

My Favorite Things… Part 2

I know you all have been on the edge of your seats for #2, sorry to keep you waiting.  The story behind this book is a tear-jerker which makes this gift even that more special.  We’ve talked about baby E several other times in our posts and she is a special little girl.  Unfortunately,  baby E never got to meet her Daddy because he gave his life to fight for our freedom five months before she was born.  I wanted to give E something special and baby-proof to remember her hero by.  I brainstormed for weeks and came up with this idea.  This is the project where I discovered printable fabric.  It changed my life!  I didn’t have a pattern for this book, but basically followed the idea from one of the boys’ cloth books they had around the house.  Each layer has batting in between it to give some extra padding.
I printed off pictures of Baby E’s dad (and mom) and framed them so that eventually, after being washed, they would ravel around the edges.  I loved finding pictures that really exemplified his personality!I loved making this book for Baby E and only wish it could have been under better circumstances.  


Green Thumb? TBD.

Here’s our little garden my husband and I planted – little might be an understatement: 3’x3′

Basic stuff…cedar wood we stained, nails, manure/peat moss/top soil mix, and plants!

From top to bottom, left to right:

Carrots, sugar snap peas, beets

Garlic, pickling cucumbers (on their way out), pole beans

Romaine lettuce, spinach, some other type of lettuce

In another area of the yard we have 12, that’s right – TWELVE – tomato plants. I thought I was buying 1 of 3 different varieties, but I bought 4 of 3 different varieties. Needless to say, we will be eating a lot of tomato salads and canning lots of salsa in the fall.

The lettuce looks about ready to pick after googling, “When to pick lettuce from garden” and watching a few YouTube videos. Thank goodness for YouTube. The rest? A giant experiment. My 11 month old son loves petting the leafy things and has tasted the dirt already…he thought a carrot looked ready to pull today…teachable moments.

I hope this year’s “crop” proves fruitful and produces a minimal amount of frustration that we’ll want to expand next year. For this summer, however, we’re content to watch pods form, shoots creep from the dirt, and beets’ push their shoulders into view.

These are a few of my favorite things…

I was at a marriage seminar today and we talked about the 5 Love Languages.  I love the book, by Gary Chapman, check it out if you get a chance.  Anyways, the question proposed was “What is the best gift you’ve ever received?” It got me thinking about what’s the best homemade gift I’ve ever given (from my perspective of course!).  Hands down, these two gifts are my top hand-made gifts that I’ve ever given.

What is this?  This, my friends, is a kid’s size chalk bag for rock climbing. I made it for our neighbor’s son who was not only big into dinosaurs, but also into rock climbing.  I loved making this bag.  I used this tutorial and shrunk it down a little for it to be suitable for a 4 year old.

The inside was fleece and the top of the bag was a brown corduroy. A secret bonus was that aside from the dinosaur fabric, all other fabrics were upcycled from other baby clothes that my son had recently outgrown.  

excuse the thread scraps stuck to the fleece here!

What about you?  What’s the best homemade gift you’ve ever received?

To Be Continued…

Car Seat Organizer

Cars…they are so hard to keep clean.  Especially with little ones added to the mix.  Being in the Army, we’ve had lots of friends move and usually parts of that move require long car rides.  One of our dear friends was moving, and also celebrating his birthday shortly before the move.  I thought this would be the perfect send of present.  

Notice that it really just a large rectangle with pockets sewn on, Easy-Peasy!  I made sure some pockets were big enough for coloring books and some were small enough for cars and little toys.

Here it is stuffed with goodness!  All the road trip essentials!


Teacher Appreciation Bookmarks

Last week we sadly attended our last BSF group of the year.  They have such a great children’s program and have taken care of my boys so well.  It’s amazing to hear the songs that they sing…think 2 and 3 year old singing Holy, Holy, Holy at the top of their lungs on the baseball field, the lessons they’ve learned, and the joy they had attending BSF each week.  I am truly appreciative for all they have done, and continue to do in our life.  As a little thanks, I made the teachers each one of these bookmarks.  I found the tutorial over on Skip to My Lou and it was a quick and easy project to do.  The most difficult time for me was choosing which fabrics went well together.  (my constant dilemma)  The rosettes on the top of bookmarks will probably find themselves on the top of more projects of mine!

I included a cheesy note in with the bookmarks and had the boys sign their name.  A great gift for any reader in your life. I’m having some camera difficulties so please excuse my pictures for the next few posts!

The Best Kind of Garden

I love(d) making cupcakes…the d is on that because I haven’t made any in a long time, but something about the size of them made it seem more manageable. MamaSnod helped me overcome my fear of cakes, but I still don’t feel right making one without her. Plus my sister-in-law makes stuff you see on TV so that’s kind of intimidating. All of that to say…cupcakes are happy.

I made these in 2009 for a friend who loves to garden. Everything on the cupcakes is edible (except the toothpick on the shovel, of course). It took a long time to assemble everything, but it was a lot of fun! My favorite part was doing the leaves for the lettuce and radishes. They’re cereal flakes that you dip in melted green chocolate and let dry – how creative! The book I got the idea from is SO great – Hello, Cupcake! (and it’s follow-up, What’s New, Cupcake?) They have the cutest cupcakes and it’s designed so that you don’t have to have all the gear – anyone can make them with time and a little creative juice. (Side note…do you ever wish there WAS such a thing as creative juice? I’ve wished for that so many times.)

As I’m feeling kind of burned out on knitting right now – again, wishing I had some of that juice – I need SOMETHING to do so maybe I’ll make a batch of cupcakes. I’m also thinking about taking a beginning sewing class because MamaSnod’s stuff is so dang cute…it’s kind of irresistible. Also on the doc-it is to plant an actual garden; we’ll see if that happens – should we do it together Snod? We can compare notes on here.

And I’m sorry, readers, that I’m not a cool photographer with a nifty camera; I apologize on behalf of your eyes. With that, happy May!