Saturday, June 26, 2010

A smorgasboard of Ava pics.

Why yes, my daughter IS eating graham crackers off the floor. And yes, we DO feed her. Father's Day!
Ava took a dip in her new swimming pool (Thanks, M & G!)

She LOVED it. She is a beach baby, much to her papa's delight. My parents were up for the weekend, and we had a great time. Look at those adorable thighs!

Good news about Ava's hair-dos. I'm getting better at them! Here she is rocking the pig tails.

And here.

AND here.

Ooo, and here's her VBS costume! I had some extra material leftover from mine.

Doesn't she look so ancient Egyptian?

Heh, this picture depicts how sometimes Ava's bibs can make her arms look a bit...short.

There! An Ava fix for you!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Now headlining....our kitchen island!

Hey, lookee here! No, above the giant fur cleaning ad (seriously, how often have you seen people in Wausau wearing furs. How can you make a living doing that?) .....

It's our kitchen island featured in You Magazine! (a publication of the Wausau Daily Herald) I think it's a women's magazine. It doesn't say that on the cover, but all of the people on the "board" are women, so I think it's safe to assume. My friend, K, saw the island and asked if she could write a how-to article about it. It was really sweet of her and she did a great job with the article. It was fun to be interviewed and see it in print. And I'm really glad they didn't use the picture with ME in it!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's In the Bag...

I can't believe that I just sewed two bags. I took fabric and out of this fabric a bag appears. I'm not claiming they are any GOOD, but they serve the intended purpose and this is still boggling my mind! I can do it!

I used the book Handmade Home by Amanda Soule Blake to make them. There were challenging parts, such as dealing with the blasted bobbin, and figuring out how to make button holes (the machine just does it FOR you! Even my ancient one!) I wanted to make a bag to replace the above lovely plastic one, which has been my place to put the multitude of bibs and washcloths that clean up mealtimes. Babies have a way of exponentially increasing one's laundry, no?

This is the one I made! I think it looks much better. I had some sturdy canvas material, which I figured would hold up well. I didn't make the cloth balls hanging down that the book suggests, but I did make a pocket on the front. For color. And I used hem tape that I found at a thrift store (5 packs/$.26!) for the straps and drawstring.
Here is the other bag I made. I made it to hold Ava's cloth wipes, which are currently getting hopelessly mixed in with all her diapers. When baby is on the changing table and you realize you need another wipe, you want to be able to get to it FAST! Hopefully this will facilitate such speed.

I would definitely suggest checking your local library for Handmade Home. There are a LOT of cute ideas for practical things you can use around the house. They aren't too complex, and some of them don't even use a pattern, such as this one. A good confidence builder!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Our Big Girl. I Refuse to Call Her a Toddler, Though.

Guess who turned 1 last week? Nope, not me. Nope, not Mr. Wonderful....Yes! It's Ava! Some people refer to 1 year olds as "toddlers". I can't bring myself to do it. After all, she doesn't toddle yet. I still have time!

We had a celebration with my side of the family over Memorial Day weekend. We had a great time of watching the Bird go through the rites of passage that come with a birthday for the first time. She was really excited about the wrapping paper and the gift bags, really confused about people looking at her and singing in a big group and entirely unsure about the frosting and cake. The party was resplendant with my sister's far superior birthday cake. I didn't try to compete last week with my birthday cake, but I did try a pretty easy cake. I'm not a baker, and I've never made a birthday cake before, but it was fun!

Ava was a pretty cool customer when it came to trying her birthday cakes. Here she is:

With the proud parents:

I used a paper pattern to cut the 9x11 cake into a number "1".

ps. if you buy Red Hots in the cake decorating aisle, they cost about 10x's more than if you walk two aisles over to the candy aisle. It's a crime, really.

And for your visual pleasure, my amazing sister's amazing bird cake. Holy confection perfection, Batman!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Very Trix-y

I like to think my decorating style is like the tortoise from "The Tortoise and the Hare". It seems like it is taking forever to do some of these projects, but slow and steady wins the race!

This little project was inspired by Kimba from her "good enough" mudroom. I really love chalkboard stuff, and I thought these chalkboard tags could help us organize our little mud-space. I could have bought pre-made chalkboard tags at Joanne's for about $1.50/3, which would have been a steal. BUT I found a cheaper, greener option on another blog.

I cut these tags out of cereal boxes. I think I used that receipt as a template. Then I used chalkboard paint on the glossy side of the cereal box. Otherwise it'll soak in too much and curl it. They still curled, but straightened out as they dried.

You know the drill: two coats of chalkboard paint, let it cure for 24 hours and then cover the surface it with chalk and erase before using it.

Then I used some scrapbook paper to cover up the non-glossy side of the tags. I attached the tags to some baskets I got at a rummage sale for $.25 each with some jute twine.

Sorry for the awful lighting. I think the baskets will be great for mittens and hats this winter. Also, there will be a lower shelf to put them on eventually. :0) Pretty good looking cereal boxes, eh?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Raising the Bar

I tried an experiment this week. I am a devoted Nesting Place reader, and have been intrigued by her window "mistreatment" expertise. I have really no experience in and hardly any opinions about window treatments. I only know that I hate the 80's balloon valances. Seriously.

So when Mr. Wonderful first put up our curtains and said "where do you want 'em?" I was not sure how to respond. I mean, they go above the windows, right? So they have looked like this for the past couple of years (broken shades and all): There's Mr. Wonderful now!
There's me waving in the reflection!
Since I read that curtains should be hung high and wide so as to let in as much light as possible, they have been staring me in the face. All. Winter. Also, those leaf thingys seemed too redundant.
So this week, (with some help from Mr. Wonderful) I rehung the curtain rods. I didn't know exactly where to put them, so I picked 4 inches from the ceiling and about 4 inches from the window moulding (I think 5 inches on the small window). Totally arbitrary. I didn't have to go quite THIS far.
I also super-glued the broken shades. Eventually I'd like to get some bamboo shades, but for now, I just made it work. I also got rid of one of the curtain tie-backs. I dunno. Like I said, I'm pretty clueless. But I DO know that I like the effect much better. And it has stopped them from taunting me with their low-ness and mis-placed-ness. so I've got that going for me. Which is nice.

The windows look bigger, no? If you know of any other good online resources for window treatments, let me know!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Easy Upgrade

We have a windowsill right in front of our kitchen sink, which I love. I like being able to look out the window while I wash dishes (no dishwasher at our casa), and it provides precious horizontal space for us. It was cluttered for a long time, and I wanted to try and clean it up. For some reason, clutter affects my brain. Sooo anyway, I saw a blog (forget which one) where they used a soda bottle (pop bottle for you Minnesota peeps) for their dish soap. It was sooper cute. I saw this bottle of lemonade for sale at Aldi (super cheap grocery store chain that we shop at) and thought it would be great for this project. It was around $2.50 I think. I got the top spout at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I got 10 for $5 and I had a gift card, so it was free.

Speaking of which, if any of you Wausau readers want one, I've got 9 left. A gift from me to you! Just let me know.

And I splurged on my FAVORITE dish soap, 7th Generation lavender and mint. Sounds like kind of a weird combo, but I love it! I love it better in a pretty bottle though.