Stalled. That is exactly how I am feeling right now. At least, creatively. I sit here at my work table staring out the window and listening to the rain patter against the pane, wasting precious nap-time freedom. I cannot get excited about any of the projects I currently have going, nor am I interested in starting something new. Everything is “Meh” to me. Soon, too soon, I will hear the rustle of stuffed animals and the babble that will turn into shouts of “Mom” over the monitor and I’ll be summoned back to the world of diapers and board books, cheerios and sippy cups, puzzle pieces and sticky fingers. Why am I wasting this precious time? Oh creative Muse, please push me forward and get me out of Neutral while I still have this moment to call my own.
I’ve been meaning to share a bit of what I ended up doing for Joseph’s birthday party. For those of you that follow me on Pinterest, you might have noticed that we were having a “Friendly Monster” theme. I had an overwhelming amount of ideas for what to do. After considering the limited amount of time I had available, I distilled it down to these few things to focus on.
I made an “Adopt A Monster” bin, having each child bring home a little guy as part of the favor bag. I fell in love with this idea when I first saw it, and knew that if I only did one homemade thing for the party, this was it. I already had this pattern, and they were fairly quick to make. I decided to use fleece that I found in the remanent bin at JoAnn’s, however, these would be just as cute in different fabrics.
I also made up the “Monster Eggs” bags. I got a ton of jelly beans -yes, I picked out all of the black ones! – and portioned them out in glassine treat bags. Then I took some card stock and stamped the lettering on there, added a sticker, and voila!
I also made some of the garland to hang using this simple tutorial. I bought some tissue paper on clearance and used some yarn I had already on hand to string it up. Shawn and I got them all made in one evening watching TV. I was so happy with how it looked and it cost me pennies!
Last but not least, I printed out each of Joe’s monthly photos and used spray adhesive to attach them to some canvases I got on sale at the craft store. Shawn and my dad hung them all for me using 3M hooks. I actually still have them up for right now, I love looking at them.
All this being said, I really could have gone overboard on the craftiness. I think that is a side effect of Pinterest, all these wonderful ideas and beautiful photos, you get to the point where you think you are crazy if you DON’T make a million individual cupcakes and matching paper drinking straws to your homemade origami napkins. These are the things that I wanted to do, however I also augmented my decorating with store bought banners, balloons, and used fabric yardage as a table cloth. I also farmed out the food to a caterer (pasta and italian beef sandwiches) which cost less than buying everything and making it myself, not to mention saving me from a mental break down in the kitchen the night before the party while I wept into the spaghetti sauce. (Ahem. . . it’s happened.) I also ordered his cake from a bakery. I was getting where I was panicked about making it “perfect” and Shawn looked at me and said something along the lines of “You’re nuts, order a damn cake.” Thank God for that man. It was delicious and adorable and I didn’t have to freak out trying to make the monsters “cute enough” or that it would list to one side like a drunken sailor.
All in all, I was super happy with the party. All the people we love were there to help us celebrate Joseph’s first year and that is all that really mattered.
I decided a few months ago that I wanted to make another quilt for Joseph for his birthday. As you may remember, I made him one for when he was born and I wanted to carry on the tradition.
I decided to do a simple patchwork pattern and use the remaining fabric I had from Shawn’s old shirts and added in some blue chambray that I had laying around. I like that it goes well with the one I made before but is a bit more casual and “boyish” looking. I think that it should fit his crib perfectly for when we eventually convert it to a toddler bed. I backed it in green minky that I had left over from Roz’s quilt and did a scrappy binding with the last bits of the shirt fabrics.
My favorite part of this quilt is that I incorporated the shirt pockets into one row! I kept imagining Joseph hiding his little cars or action figures in them as he went to bed. Is that cute?
***Enough with the photos, mom!***
I originally planned on making this quilt for my mom back in Wisconsin. I was going to take another quilting class and this was the project quilt. I purchased the fabric and pattern, then they ended up canceling the class! Honestly, I was a bit intimidated by the pattern, having never done flying-geese blocks and so much piecing before so i put it off in my “to do” pile of projects and moved on to other things. Eventually, I got up enough courage to tackle the project while I was still pregnant with Joseph. I worked on it here and there and finally got it finished n time to give it to mom for Mother’s Day last year.
I used some lovely hand-dyed batik fabrics for it in colors that my mom really loves. The green print has fern leaves in the pattern that you can’t really get from this photo, but I used it for the backing as well. These aren’t necessarily something that I would gravitate to, but I think that it was perfect for mom.
I have to admit that I struggled a little on this one. Those geese triangles were killer and I don’t think that I was accurate enough with the cutting before piecing them together. You can see here and there where they were eaten up a bit. I think that I learned a lot from this pattern and I’m considering trying it out again at some point. The good thing is that mom loves it and could care less about the imperfections. That my mom, finding the good in something and being able to gloss over the bad.
I’d thought that I’d share some of my recent small sewing projects that I’ve done lately. This first one came about while I was playing around with some scraps in my fabric bin one day and decided to make myself a little “mug rug” for in my studio. I’ve seen a million of these made on other blogs before, so I just improvised with what I had on hand after deciding the approximate size I wanted it to be. Finished, it ended up being about 9″x13″, just the right size for a cup of coffee or small snack plate. It came together super fast, I completed it during one of Joseph’s naps!
I hate to admit it, but I really needed one of these. I am a bit
clumsy sloppy unaware sometimes and will knock over my drink while working at my desk, or I’ll put it on a shelf, only to forget about it completely. This gives me a designated spot, keeps things tidy, has held up to several washings, and it bring a little more color into my space. Perfect.
Here’s another little project I whipped up one day during nap time. I made some blocks out of some pink scraps I had laying around and then used them to make some half-square triangles (HSTs) along with some left over white fabric I had on hand. I then figured out the pattern and stitched it up. The finished size is approximately 14″x19″ I’ll be hanging it on the wall in my studio for right now, but I might eventually make it into a throw pillow.
***forgive the atrocious photos. February in Ohio is as gloomy as they come, so the light was terrible. . . . not to mention I was too lazy to press things beforehand.***
I was sitting here thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to show off some recent projects that I made? Then I realized that I didn’t photograph ANY of them. Ugh. Normally, I am fairly good about getting a shot or two of a finished project before giving it to the recipient. Recently, however, I have failed miserably.
I overlooked several projects at Christmas: a knitted hat for my nephew, two pairs of socks for my mom, and a made a quilt for my younger sister Ashley, none of them photographed. I partially redeemed myself by getting a quick shot of Mikey’s and Roz’s quilts.
I just gave our friends a hand-knit receiving blanket as well as some bibs and burp clothes that I made and, once again, I didn’t take one finished photo. Blarg! I was really happy with how they turned out, too.
I vow to be better about documenting my projects more and sharing them with you. I actually have a couple of small things that I’ve done recently that I haven’t shared yet, so I am going to find the time to get some decent shots of them and put them up here. Now, if I could only find my camera charger. . . .
Here’s the quilt that I made for my sister, Rozalyn. I modified a pattern that I saw online, making the internal blocks larger. The majority of the fabric I used was left over from Lucy’s quilt. Roz really loved the colors and fabric when I showed it to her, so I knew that she’d be happy with this one. I added the espresso micro-dot fabric to tone down some of the pink. This came together fairly quickly since I already had some of the fabrics cut into squares and strips. I backed it with green minky that matches the colors from the front of the quilt. I also used this machine binding technique that I found on Pinterest. It looks great with the accent color in the binding, but was a bit time consuming. I might try it again when I wouldn’t be so crunched for time.