Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Spot Of Cuteness

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Coat hangers and "fwoggy" umbrellas are the epitome of style around here. 
So, what's the strangest thing your kid's been sporting recently?

Friday, January 29, 2010


Just a random list of funny munchkin sayings and conversations...

An early morning conversation:

"Did you take my gee-raf?"
Very suspiciously, "Did you take his head off?"
Smiling, "No."
"Did you take his eye?"
"Ha. No."
"Did you take his ear?"
"Did you take his nose?"
"Uh. No."
This went on and on until we got to legs.  Then the interrogation was mysteriously dropped.

Idea is now randomly placed in front of many nouns....idea house....idea get the idea.  ;)

Randomly stated, "I just threw da wolves out of da garden!"   Along the same lines but at a later date, "I just panked da man out of da garden!"  Panked means spanked...I have no idea where he picked it up, but he's obsessed with "panking".

My mom has prisms hanging in her kitchen window, and in the morning there are rainbows all over the place.  A few days ago, Levi was showing Nanno how to "get" the rainbows.  Of course, you "pop em on da head!"  He said this as he smacked rainbows all over the kitchen.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wedding Updates and Munchkin Attire

So far almost everything about this wedding has been ridiculously easy breezy.  Lots of wonderful people have volunteered to help out doing everything from taking pictures to lending serving pieces to helping set up.  My dress and shoes were found in record time.  Even the blood tests went smoothly...if you know me you know this is a miracle.  It's so rare for someone to find a vein in my arm without extraordinary amounts of pain and often digging.....seriously, people, blood work is something I dread like nothing else.  But this time it was quick and painless.
So, things have been falling together with little to no effort....except for the invitations and the flower girls' dresses.   Oh. my.  The invitations deserve their own blog posts, but I'll keep it short.  Thanks to a very wonderful family friend they got done.  Now, I just have to mail them!  I know, I'm a tad behind on that one.
The dresses!!  Who knew it could be so difficult to find little girl dresses?  Maybe I just don't know where to look, but the selection was so terribly slim.  And, EVERYTHING was January!!!  Do little girls not need sleeves in the middle of winter?  I did finally piece together two outfits. (I should probably break in here to explain that there is a pair of sisters who are very close to my heart.  I couldn't pick just one.)  Anyway, with a little sweater shopping, which was oddly also difficult in JANUARY, mixed with a little craftiness I finally came up with something that I like. 

Dress 1:  This is for the oldest sister.  This dress is not as gold and shiny as it looks in the photo.  It's actually a very pale champagne.  I didn't have to do anything with this one except find a sweater.  I so wish I had taken pics while the girls were actually in their dresses!  They were so darn cute. 
Dress 2:  This is the dress that required the most work.  I couldn't find matching dresses or even dresses in the same color family.  I couldn't even find less dressy dresses. This shopping experience left me hoping that I have all boys because I obviously can't shop for girls.  Anyway, this was the original not the wedding color...
To minimize the purple impact, I added a blue sash.
And, of course, a sweater.  I am still kind of shocked by how difficult it was to find sweaters this time of year.
The sweater was embroidered with two of these...
I covered them up with two of these felt appliques with button centers...

And for those of you who are wondering what Levi (the ring bearer) will be wearing...

And, yes, he will be wearing pants with slacks to be exact.  I know something a little nicer would have matched the flower girls a tad better, but getting him into something nicer would have sent my head spinning...not to mention his.

So, three munchkins in the wedding party should equal to totally upstaging me.  I can't wait!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sweet Dreams

Anyone up for some hammered eggs?

2010-01-24 levi asleep

Note the drenched in sweat look.  I promise I don't have the heater turned up too high.  This little munchkin just sweats like it's going out of style.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Ring: Sort Of

Stephan happens to be a very smart man.  When he asked me to marry him there was no ring involved...just the question.  He wanted me to pick out my own ring.  See...told ya...he's smart, huh? 

So, I looked at rings.  And, I looked at rings some more.  And, I kept looking.  They were really pretty, but I just didn't want any of them.  I've gotten used to toddler chasing, dish washing, laundering, and digging in dirt without any ring to worry about.  Honestly, I like it that way, and after all of that looking I decided I wanted to keep it that way.

But, don't think Stephan got off light on this one.  Instead of an engagement ring I opted for an engagement sewing machine....a Bernina to be exact.  I'd sewn on a Bernina before and thought I had landed in sewing heaven.  When I started considering what I really, really wanted instead of a ring, a Bernina was first on the list.

I knew it was meant to be, when we totally lucked out on our trip to the Bernina store.  We got there during the final days of an incredible sale.  Their Activa 230 was marked at nearly 1/2 it came with two upgrades that made it nearly identical to the Activa 240.  Stephan still wanted to make sure that this was the Bernina of my dreams and not just the price tag that I wanted.  It totally was.  And, I'm totally in love....with the man more than the machine...I swear!  Ha!  And, Stephan keeps telling me that I'm going to have to walk down the aisle holding my engagement "ring".  What a picture!

We ordered the machine immediately, and although it's in the store one of the upgrades is on back order.  I hope it gets here soon.  I have all sorts of plans for this baby!

As for my lovely, 12 year old Singer, I'm thinking about taking it in to be serviced, and then putting it away to be my new/old back up machine.  I currently have a cheapo machine as a backup.  It's destined for Craig's List.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

More Barn Photos

A trip to the barn was one of the first places I took my new camera.  I posted my favorite picture here, but I thought I'd share a few more almost favorites...


And, yes, the barn has a porch.  The people who built it used it more for parties than for actually horses.  Levi thinks it's wonderful.  I'm sure someday it will be a shock to find out that most barns don't come equipped with porches.

Friday, January 22, 2010

He Cooks With Felt

I  started making felt food a couple of months ago.  I was going to make something here and there until I had a little collection put together as a surprise for Levi.  Wedding plans got in the way, so I set aside the two eggs and almost finished orange slice.  Of course, I thought I set them aside where little munchkin hands wouldn't find them....ha ha....


Levi totally doesn't give a rip that the orange slice isn't finished.  In fact I think he might have lost it already.  The eggs were definitely his favorites.

The eggs are really so stinkin' easy to make:

~Fold a piece of white felt in half.  Cut out an amoeba like shape (if you aren't confident in your amoeba cutting skills then just go for a circle or oval).  You should have two matching pieces.
~Now cut a smallish, orange felt circle for the yolk.  You want it to be in proportion to your egg whites.
~Blanket stitch the orange circle to one of the white felt pieces using yellow or orange embroidery thread.  Leave a small opening and lightly stuff with cotton.  Finish blanket stitching until closed.
~Now sandwich the two egg white pieces together yolk facing outwards.  Blanket stitch all the way around with white embroidery thread.
~Voila!  Your little chef is ready to cook up some eggs...

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oh. My. I'm Glad That Ended Well

Our day got off to a good start.  Levi and I met Stephan for breakfast and then headed to pick out wedding bands.  Levi ran around like a crazy person the whole time, but still it was fun.  And, one more thing got checked off of the wedding to do list. 
We went our separate ways...Stephan to work; me and Levi to run an errand before heading home.  Our errand went smoothly.  Levi even calmed down, so I didn't have to chase him around the entire store.  It wasn't too long before we were happily headed home.   Sounds like a nice morning, huh?
It was...until I managed to lock Levi in the truck in our driveway.  If anyone finds my brain floating about please reign it in, and ship it back. My parents weren't at their house, and I couldn't find any spare keys, and nobody was answering their cell phones, and my dad's secretary told me that he had just left the office that very minute to head home because he forgot his wallet...thank the good Lord in heaven, but his office was still half an hour away, and my sweet little fella was trapped in the truck totally not understanding why he couldn't get out, and yes, I seem to be going for the world's longest run on sentence.  My apologies to my English professors who really tried so hard.  So, I flagged down the neighbors, and four men came over and crawled all over that dang truck and stuck coathangers in it every which way they could, but those locks wouldn't budge.  Levi was briefly entertained by what I assume he perceived as a bunch of crazy people.  But, the tears eventually started falling, and the poor munchkin kept telling me he wanted out.  And, y'all I felt kinda helpless standing there telling him that I was sorry.  Anyway, finally my dad drove up to the rescue with a spare key.  When I pulled Levi out of the car he was sweating, and it was uncomfortably warm in there.  I knew that cars heated up quickly, but it was only 60 F outside on an overcast day.  I was really surprised.  If this ever happens in warmer weather I'm breaking the window.
To recover we spent the next hour or so cuddled up on the bed watching Happy Feet.  Levi calls the penguins "ping-wings."  Luckily, little munchkins are wonderfully forgiving, so no grudges against his mean mama's lack-o-brain.  I think I might go curl up in the bed next to him and join him in a nap.  Napping sounds good right about now.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sweet Dreams

I bet HP didn't know they were going to make a little boy's day when they sent his mama a computer.  Levi found some of the packaging from the new computer, and his "idea house" was born.  Don't ask me what an idea house is.  So far I've seen it feed a giraffe and apparently house one as well.  Then of course the "gee-raffe" and the "idea house" had to take a nap...
Levi and his idea house
Note the lack of covers.  After his initial night of covers, he's begun to waver back and forth.  Sometimes they are a must have and sometimes he acts like I'm killing him if I even suggest them. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Racking Up

I'm pretty sure that I currently classify as one of the luckiest gals in the world.  On Christmas eve I got an email from Ken at Daddy Forever saying that I was the "potential" winner of an HP Touchsmart 600 PC computer.  The word "potential" definitely made me wary, so I tried very hard not to get excited.  I emailed Ken with my info, and received a couple of emails in response.  Still, I held in my "potential" glee.  And, then along came the Fed Ex man...on Friday to be exact.

New Computer

Oh. my. stars.  This thing is so freakin' lovely and wonderful and incredible.  And, it had impeccable timing because that old, nearly broken down computer you see next to the glorious new one, it was on its very last leg.  I had no idea how I would replace it if and when it died...especially since I went and bought myself a camera instead of saving my cash for an inevitable computer crash. Smart. 
Friday evening Stephan came over to put my lovely new baby together for me. From past computer experiences, I was positive that I would need help.  And, then I watched as he popped it out of the box, put it on my desk, plugged it in, and pressed the power button.  Presto! It was ready.
Despite yesterday's whining about technology overload, this thing is actually really user friendly.  Everything is neatly laid out, and it even has a nifty little tutorial to walk you through everything.  The coolest part though is that it takes up exactly the amount of space you see above.  There's no big box to shove under a desk and bang your toes on.  There aren't 50 cords to find plugs for...just one...yet it still holds way more info than my previous ancient computer, and it's so much prettier! Did I mention that you can touch the screen?  Hence its name.  Honestly, though, I still prefer the keyboard and mouse, but the touchscreen is definitely a fun feature.  Oh, and the size of the screen!  The fabulous and large screen makes my day.  Stephan and I don't have a t.v. between us.  We really don't want one...except for those occasions when we just want to chill out and watch a movie.  This is perfect for that.  The screen is big enough to actually be able to see it from the comfort of a couch or bed.  If I wanted to watch movies on my old computer, I had to sit in a chair really close to it which is not terribly relaxing. I love, love, love my new computer.  Thanks a million to HP for giving me this beauty!!!  And, if you're in the market for a swanky, new computer I would definitely recommend this one.

As if that wasn't enough to count me as Miss Lucky, there is more still.  Tonight I kind of melted down a bit.  Okay, so I melted down a lot.  I think it was the sleep deprivation induced by my determination to figure out photoshop.  (Note to self: Go to bed early tonight.)  Anyway, Levi pulled a whole bunch of stuff off my kitchen counter thus adding to the extreme mess that is (or was) my house.  I was tired, and already annoyed at what trying to move has done to my normally liveably tidy house.  So, when cookie cutters and hot chocolate mix spilled on the floor topped off by Levi asking for water and me realizing that I'd packed all but three dirty glasses, I might have started crying.  So, as I was putting Levi to bed, Stephan cleaned up!  Seriously, this is the scene that I saw when I walked back into the kitchen...

Stephan moving

Stephan cleaning

He even did my dishes...and made it so I could walk through my house without tripping...and packed up some more of my stuff...and then he told me to relax.  All of this after spending part of the day painting our new bedroom to be...notice the paint on his arms (which should be blue but looks like white?).  I do believe I've found myself a keeper.  This new year is off to a good start with a new computer, a camera, photoshop (even if it gives me fits), and the most rockin' awesome fiance this side of the mighty Mississippi.

P.S. I don't normally freak over spilled anything, but living with piles of boxes is starting to get to me.

New Technology And A Photo

So, I got this new camera; and I won a new and swanky computer; and thanks to my sweet parents I now have photoshop; and my brain is on serious overload trying to figure out how to use it all.  (Thank you Erin for your tip on flickr and uploading photos...although that was a whole new universe of learning as well.)  So, after a ridiculously lengthy time spent on this lovely and wonderful brand new computer of mine with all of this crazy technology that I never thought I'd own, here's what I finally have to show for it.

 I know I sound ridiculously ungrateful.  I'm so not.  I feel incredibly blessed by all of this.  It's just a tad overwhelming to try to figure it all out and still get sleep.  Oh, yeah, and plan a wedding and raise a two year old (whose new favorite response to absolutely everything is "Or not!"). 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oops! And We Have A Winner!!!

So, I managed to remember to pick a winner, and to contact her, and to get her info to Laurie from Crawler Covers.  What I totally failed to do was let y'all in on the secret.  Sorry, guys!!
So, here we go.  The long awaited announcement.  (Thanks, Yana, for reminding me...the wedding brain has got me!)  Drumroll, please...

The winner is Melodic Mom!!

Congrats!  Thanks so much to everyone who participated in my first giveaway.  Y'all made it extra fun!


My wonderful parents gave me photoshop for Christmas, and I only just installed it.  I'm overwhelmed yet totally hooked all at the same time.  With all the new technology in my life (more to come on this subject) I think I might just be on technology overload...sort of like a kid with too many toys.  What do I do with all of this stuff....and these buttons and mysterious features?!!! 

Anyway, I spent way too long playing around with two photos tonight...oh, yes, just two little photos.   So after hours of plugging away at this thing, this is all I have to show for it...

Ummm...could someone please tell me why these photos won't upload???????  Did I do something wrong? Are the files to big?? Can I shrink them??  Aaaahhhhhh!!!

I think I'm just going to go to bed now.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Will I Ever Stop Counting?

Levi is gone for his third night away with his dad.  I wonder when I'll lose count or when I'll just stop keeping up with it.  He seems to be quickly adjusting to the new arrangement, and he even seems happy with it.  Which is surprising considering his initial reaction to spending the night.

I've been wanting to make something special for Levi to take with him on these overnight visitations.  I thought about making a regular old softie, but he has plenty of those.  Then I thought I should make him a star because, oh, my, he is crazy about stars.  But then I remember a project for a family heart in Amanda Soule's lovely book Handmade Home.  So, now he has a stuffed heart...with a star...and a pocket....

It's made from a thrifted red cashmere sweater, a scrap of white cotton, and some scraps of felt. 

Amanda suggests putting little notes inside the pocket for traveling family members.  However, Levi is a bit young for that.  Instead I put a favorite photo of the two of us (with an "I love you, little bear" written on the back of it).  Other things I'll be stuffing in the pocket during these pre-reading days:
~Tiny softies (maybe a little star or a small bird)
~Mama made drawings
~A tape or voice recorder of me reading a story or just saying "I love you"
~Maybe even a little, tiny bit of candy every so often

Any other ideas?

Warmth...Glorious Warmth

What a relief it is for "warm" weather to finally come our way.  We've had some record breaking, very lengthy freezing weather lately.  And, this southern gal does not do well when the temperatures hit the teens.  Seriously, how do you northern ladies do it?!!  When it gets below freezing I go into hibernation mode.  Poor Levi did not understand why his mama didn't want to go outside, but y'all it was soooooo cooooold...teeth chattering awful kind of cold.  And, I know some of you gals brave below zero temps.  Y'all are probably laughing at me right now, but hats off to you.  I'm just not made for it.  Since warmer (40s) temps have arrived lengthier periods of outdoor adventuring have been reinstated.  Levi is incredibly happy over this, and quite frankly so am I.  There's only so much to do in a house with a two year old whose driving desire is to be outside.
Since the onset of "warmth", Stephan and I have been hitting some playgrounds with Levi, and oh. my. what fun we've had.


Do you see that blue sky?!!  What a sight for sore eyes...and the warm sun!  Oh, it's been so nice.  So, how's the weather where you are?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wedding Crafting...Maybe

I've been experimenting with some wedding craft ideas.  I'm not sure where all of it's going, but I thought I'd give y'all a little sneak peak. 

What kind of crafty endeavors are y'all up to?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sweet Dreams

Do you see anything odd about this picture?

Well, yes, there is a stuffed Santa.  Since it's way past even Epiphany I have no excuse for that one...except that when cleaning up the Christmas decorations, I inevitably forget a few.   But, Santa is really beside the point.  As is the small stuffed dog being squished under Levi's arm.  Have you spotted the real oddity yet?....look one more's the covers!  Levi actually wants to be covered up now.  This child has refused blankets (and socks) every night since he was a few weeks old and decided swaddling was for the birds.  "No cover.  No cover." is an often repeated sentiment around these parts.  And, then one day, "I need cover."  Oh. Okay. Like mommy forgot that one or something.  Sigh.  I think it's the two year old in him.

Side note:  That Santa peeking out of the corner graced our couch every Christmas growing up.  When my mom tried to chunk it, I had to intervene.  Which is funny because I downplay the jolly fat man with Levi, but there's no way I'd ditch the Santa pillow.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Barefoot Tutorial...Game Bag

*This tutorial was featured on Craft Gossip and One Pretty Thing*

As an Epiphany present I made this game bag for Levi.  On one side is a matching game and on the other is tic-tac-toe.  The bag holds all of the pieces, so it's handy for on the go play.

2--12 x 12 in pieces of felt for the bag body
1--20 x 2 in piece of felt for the handle
2--9 in pieces of felt for the gameboards
Felt scraps for the shapes (I also used some fleece scraps)
Embroidery floss (if you don't like to hand sew this could be entirely machine stitched)

Step one: Cut out all of your pieces.  For the bag and game board see the sizes in the "Supplies" section.  For the matching game I used 9 shapes: a square (which Levi calls a helicopter...go figure), a triangle, a doughnut (also called punkin' pie around here...he's still not over his October pumpkin obsession), a star (Levi's favorite shape in the universe), a flower, a kidney bean, a circle, two parallel rectangles (I call this one shape even though technically it's two), and a single rectangle.  For the matching game shapes you'll need to cut three of each.  For tic-tac-toe I simplified things by using blue squares and yellow circles.  You'll need 10 squares and 10 circles.  My largest shape for either game was 2 1/4 in squared.

The below picture shows the matching game pieces after they've been cut.
Step 2: With contrasting thread, sew an even grid onto the two game board squares.  The grid lines should be spaced 3 inches apart creating 9 squares.  This can be either machine or hand done.

Step 3:  Pin one of each of the matching game pieces to the center of each grid square on the matching game board.  Applique in place.  I used a blanket stitch for this.

Step 4:  Using a blanket stitch sew together the remaining shapes for both the matching game and the tic-tac-toe games.  Before finishing off each of the shapes, stuff lightly with fiber fill.  You should end up with 9 stuffed shapes for the matching game and 10 for Tic-Tac-Toe,


Step 5:  Center each game board onto the 12 x 12 pieces for the bag body.  Pin in place. Blanket stitch the game boards to the bag pieces.
Step 6: Place the bag pieces wrong sides together (game board sides facing outwards).  Pin.  Blanket stitch along the two side edges and the bottom of the bag, leaving the top open.

Step 7: Fold the handle piece in half lengthwise so it becomes 1 in. wide instead of 2.  Pin in place.  Blanket stitch along the raw edges (one long side and two short sides).

Step 8:  When sewing the handle to the bag you want to make sure that the bag will lie flat in order to function as a game board.  Sandwich one end of the handle between the two layers of the bag body close to the blanket stitched edge of the bag.  Stitch all three layers together.  I did two rows of stitching to reinforce the handle.  Repeat on the other side making sure that the handle is free of unwanted twists before you stitch the other side down.
Step 9: Fill the bag with the game pieces.  Since Levi is only 2, I left the tic-tac-toe pieces out.  I figure the bag can grow with him, and when he's ready for tic-tac-toe then I'll hand over the corresponding pieces.

This bag has turned out to be a hit.  Levi often requests to "make it" which I suppose is his way of saying "match it".

He also just loves to carry the shapes around.  Apparently, a furrowed brow is necessary for this job...

If you make one of your own, I'd love to hear about it. 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Boys And Their Tools

A sure fire way to keep a little boy entertained:

Step 1: Hand over the tool box...

Step 2: Let him dig around to his heart's content...
Step 3:  Keep smiling even when he points a screwdriver at you, grins, and announces, "I fight mommy!"  Really, where do they come up with this stuff?  What happened to fixing me?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pattern Finding

This handsome fella' needs a new hat.  I'm fairly certain the one pictured above is the only one he owns, is on it's very last leg (think strings dangling off).  And, it's not even wool.  I definitely question the true warmth factor.  So, I'm on a mission to a) figure out how to knit with double pointed needles (Yes, I am very afraid!) and b) knit this man a hat.  Here's where I need some help...I'm on the hunt for a good (a.k.a. easy) man's hat pattern.  Now, I know I have some very crafty readers who must have some experience in this realm, so pretty please leave me some links and/or book suggestions.  And, if you're not crafty with needles then you can still cheer me along.  I'm going to need it.  Have I mentioned that I'm scared of double pointed needles?  Well, I am.  Irrational, I know.