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December 18, 2011

DIY: Church Themed Color Wonder Pages

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Have you ever wanted to have church related coloring pages without having to worry about your kids ruining their church clothing?
There is a website that makes church related coloring pages called, Green Jello with Carrots. On Friday's they have Freebies where if you buy 5 dollars you will get something free, the post the deals on their blog.
Another thing that I love and for me is an absolute essential part of having a little boy is Crayola Color Wonder Paper and markers. Because Ryder (or one of his little friends) can mark where ever they want to (walls, tables, clothing, etc.) but the color only shows up on the paper.

Yesterday I decided to experiment and see if I could print one of Green Jello with Carrots images on color wonder paper without it creating any problems? And it totally worked!
This is the picture that James and I did together.
  1. The size of the Color Wonder Paper that I had was 8 by 10 so on my printer I set the paper size to 8 by 10. Then I scaled the image to fit on an 8 by 10 (on the program I was using their was just a check box to scale the image to the size of paper, otherwise you might have to resize it yourself).
  2. I put a single sheet into the Rear Feeder Tray of our printer. 
  3. I set the print quality to fast because I didn't want it putting too much ink down. 
  4. James grabbed it out of the printer and we enjoyed non-messy fun. 
I am really excited to see what sort of fun coloring pages I can make for Rhett. I might even take some pages from the Friend.
December 16, 2011

Its begining to look a lot like Christmas

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The anticipation of Christmas keeps building and building. Even when it snowed early in November I couldn't help but be excited. I started listening to Christmas music. Actually I've probably been listening to Christmas music off and on since June.

Just so you understand, my Grandma was an avid Christmas fanatic. During the holiday season nearly every room in her house shouted Christmas and also her entire front yard. For Mother's Day and her birthday everyone would give her a new car for her train or another ornament or even a cuckoo clock that played Christmas music each hour. Growing up around this couldn't help but instill a love for the season.

I love the music, the magic of the lights, and the spirit of giving that comes with Christmas. My grandma liked the classic music like Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong and my mom always played Kenny G. Therefore I love the relaxing holiday music; Modern renditions of the original classics rarely make me excited for Christmas.
Family traditions are another exciting part of Christmas, and my favorite thing about having a fairly young family, is that we are still in the midst of creating traditions. We don’t have very many yet, but the one we do have is going up into the mountains and pick out a Christmas tree. I can’t tell you how magic this is.
The trees may not be nearly as full as those from a tree farm, but each one is so unique. Most of them have pine cones on them which just adds to their beauty. It’s so good to get out in the fresh air and be in the midst of the splendor that God has created. Spending time with family is also a major plus. And once all the trees are picked out, we haul our trees back to the main road and have a lunch of hot coco and chili. It really couldn’t be any more perfect.
Well when I say it couldn’t be any more perfect, things could probably be a little better thought out. Although it was amazing, I decided that next year when we have two kids, I will definitely take a sled to haul the young ones in. It was really tiring to walk in snow over a foot deep, on un-level ground, carrying a toddler, and being over halfway pregnant. Snowshoes might not be a bad idea either. Power Shoes was helpful when he could be, but they needed his muscles to help take trees on the mountain to back on the path. So in all my good planning on making sure the family was well dressed and well fed, I ended up being shortsighted in the whole logistics of it. I’m sure that most of us will be short sighted on one thing or another as the biggest holiday of the year approaches, but it’s important to laugh while in the midst of our trial and learn from it in the future.
Now we have a beautiful tree in our home that just welcomes the holiday spirit. As we’re getting ready for Christmas, it’s important to remember what it’s really about. It should be a time where families are brought closer together, where people can realize their gifts and share them with others, and where hearts are warmed even when hands may be cold.
I am so glad that we have a tighter budget this year so that Christmas can be more homemade and from the heart. It will make it easier to focus on the giving all that we have and emulating Heavenly Father’s gift to the world and finally, the ultimate sacrifice of the Savior.
December 11, 2011

Al & Power Shoes Family Pictures

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I love taking pictures and I especially love taking pictures for my family and friends. One of my favorite photography subjects is Al and her sweet daughter Kayleen. Here are some of the pictures from our Christmas Photography Session.

December 11, 2011

Easy Girl's Minky Quilt Tutorial

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Minky (Minkee) is usually out of price range ($20/yrd-$25/yrd) for our little family, since my husband is the only provider and he goes to school full time and works part time. Even though it is out of our price range that never kept me from wishing that we could afford it, especially since lately Rhett has been going through a stage where he loves soft things.
One day a few months ago I got an e-mail from our neighborhood craft store saying that they would run a 5 hour sale of $10/yrd. I decided at this point, that one of the presents that would be under our tree would be a travel minky travel quilt for each one of the kids. This was my first experience sewing on Minky and I would be lying if I said sewing on Minky was super easy.

After seam ripping several times I figured out what works best (at least for me):
1st: Double check to make sure your two fabrics are exactly the same size (because it is hard to cut Minky sometimes the people cutting the fabric haven't cut it exactly straight or even with each other).
2nd: Line up the right sides of your fabrics together and stretch out each one of the corners so that the fabric is as tight as possible.
3rd: Pin the sides opposite to the salvage edge together with a 1" inch inseam (because these should be exactly the same width. You will want to put a pin every 1/8-1/4" so that your fabric doesn't slip. It may seem like a little much but it is easier to over pin than seam rip.
4th: Once your sides opposite of the salvage edge are put together then you will pin together the salvage edge sides, leaving a 1 1/2 inch hole in the middle of one of the edges for you to flip your blanket right side out.
5th: Sew the salvage edges together making sure to leave the 1 1/2 inch hole for you to pull your fabric through.
6th: Clip your corners on your blanket and then turn the fabric right side out.
7th:  Pin your hole on your blanket shut and then sew around the outside of the blanket using a 1/2" seam.
8th: Enjoy a nice comfortable blanket. Slim Jim took advantage of the fact that I had this blanket out for picture taking one night. The next morning he said something like this, "Man that Minky blanket is pretty nice for watching TV with. It is really comfortable." I guess he didn't mind the girly colors too much, it has had me thinking about making one for a throw for the couch.....maybe next Minky sale.
Total cost of this project: $25 + tax
Retail cost for a Minky blanket: $125 + $17.95 (Shipping & Handling)

Even though this project cost a lot more than most of my projects usually do it is nice to save over a $100 dollars! Very budget friendly project.
December 07, 2011

Last Minute Sewing Helps with Pre-Birth Pregnancy Stress

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I am reaching the end of my pregnancy (anywhere from 3-6 weeks now) and I am feeling a lot of tension in my life, every little thing makes me frantic. I think the unknown of not knowing when or how she will come is the main part of it.
I thought I would be less concerned with it than I was with my son because this time I am a S.A.H.M. and last time I was working full time at a small company and the only full time employee in my area. Even though there isn't the same stress as what if I go into labor while I am at work, will I know when it is the right time to leave.At the time Slim Jim was suffering from a lot of panic attacks, I wasn't even sure that he would be able to be there for the delivery without having a panic attack. Luckily it really went well, everything worked out. Rhett was born scheduled C-section (because of his enormous size and the fact that I had made zero progress towards labor) on a Friday afternoon. Slim Jim, My mom and Slim Jim's parents were able to be at the hospital before, during and after Rhett's birth.
Pregnancy at 34 weeks (graphic from BabyCenter). Our little girl is being stubborn though and her head is not down, she is laying across me.
This time the stress level is similar but the situation is different. This time I am trying to think how to get her here at the most convenient time for everyone (during Christmas break) and I am a little scared of my birthing options, VBAC or C-Section.
I have heard positive and negative stories for both. My mother-in-law attempted a VBAC with her second and the baby got caught on the scar tissue on incision line, from Slim Jim. After laboring she ended up having to do an emergency C-section. Then her 3rd she successfully completed a VBAC and she said it was way more painful recovery than a VBAC.
I have also have friends that have felt so empowered by there ability to labor and birth naturally, after the evasive procedure of a C-Section.
One of my doctors is really positive about V-BAC's. The other doesn't like them for people with big babies. Both have the rule that the baby can't be larger than 8 lbs. 6 oz. if she is going to come VBAC. Rhett was 9 lbs. 12 oz. at 39 weeks and 2 days. I don't know if the ideal size will be easy or hard for me to reach with our little girl.
The positive of having a C-Section is I already know what to expect mentally and physically. And the physical part of it is really what worries me. Slim Jim goes to school full time and works nearly full time as well, which leaves Rhett and I home together a lot. I know that after a C-section you are limited to lifting the weight of you baby for the first 8 weeks. Which will be fine for the first 2 weeks when I will have a boat load of help, but it is the next 6 weeks that worry me. Slim Jim will be busy at school/work and Rhett, little girl and I will be home alone. Rhett will need to go "Yucky" (his word for going potty) and he will need help getting up on the toilet or getting his underwear on. Or Rhett will have one of those moments where he will need me to drag/carry him somewhere and I will be unable to do it.
What I really probably need to do is prepare myself for the worse case scenario and plan for the best. I guess the worst case scenario would go something like this:
I go to 40 weeks at which point they induce be because the baby is getting to big. I am in labor for a long time and they decide after several hours of pushing that they are going to have to do an emergency C-Section. Because they don't have enough time then they have to put me all the way under and Slim Jim and I are unable to witness the birth of our daughter. I wake up groggy and in a fog and in a lot of pain because my doctor forgot to prescribe my morphine after surgery. I end up loosing a lot of blood and have to stay for a few extra days.
I will go home from the hospital to find that Slim Jim is incredibly busy with school/work. At this point we will go into survival mode (begging favors from friends and neighbors) until I recover.We won't freak out if the house is far from perfect. We will eat frozen or prepared foods that aren't super healthy but we will survive. Slim Jim will take his clothes to the dry cleaners to get cleaned.
I guess the truth of the matter is that I won't really know how/when things are going to go down so don't worry about it. I wonder if I can keep myself busy enough I don't have to think about it either. I have a few projects that I am sewing up the next couple of days but after that I think I will be making 1 of these:
Hospital Gown picture and tutorial from The Crafty Cupboard
 And make a couple of these to match, for keeping the hair out of my eyes:
Double Sided Headband picture and tutorial by Happy Together
Then I will pack them up with the take Home from the Hospital Outfit for baby in the new diaper bag that I made following this tutorial from Make it And Love it:
2 in 1 Stroller Diaper bag picture and tutorial by Make it and Love it.

December 03, 2011

Cuddle Soft Blanket with Satin Ruffles

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I am so pleased with how this blanket turned out. The best part of this quilt it was made with scrap material from her blessing/christening gown and cut fabric that I found in the remnant fabric bin at JoAnne's. The story behind this quilt is that I had gone into JoAnne's to grab some printed canvas/outdoor upholstery fabric to make a diaper bag out of (that project will be posted soon). I walked by the remnant bin and found 1 1/3 yards (just short of 48 by 60, standard crib quilt is 45 by 60) of The Cuddle Soft in Remnant bin. At 50% of the current price I couldn't pass it up.
I did not take pictures as I went since I was making it up as I went, but encase you would like to make a similar one I have written down the process in the greatest detail as I can think but if you have any questions just leave a comment on this post and I will try to answer it. 
When I unwrapped it I was so pleased to find that it was nice and soft on both sides, so instead of applying a back to it I decided to put my ruffling foot to use and ruffle up some satin. I cut my satin in 3 inch strips and then sew the strips together (I think I did 8, because I knew I would loose length in the ruffling process and wasn't sure how much I would end up needing). I then ruffled my strips so that there would be a pleat every 6 stitches with a depth of 4.
I then folded the Cuddle Soft fabric horizontally and vertically so all of the outside corners would be lined up. I then pinned them so they would stay in place while I cut. I then I place a large plate over the top of the corners and traced the rounded shape. I then removed the plate and cut all of the layers at one time (this gave me a nice rounded edge to work with.
After that I then lined up and pinned the raw edge my ruffled satin  to the raw edge of my cuddle soft, with the satin laying on top of the right side of the Cuddle soft. I then stitched the satin on with a 1/2 inch stitch. When that was all attached I wanted to be able to cover my raw edges on the backside. So I cut (6) 1 1/2 inch strips of satin and sewed them all together. I then pinned and sewed the raw edge of the satin strips to the raw edge of the ruffles and the cuddle soft, with a 1/2 inch inseam. I then ironed the satin down and folded the satin edge around the ruffle/cuddle soft inseam (at this point you should have no raw edges showing). I pinned it so that it would stay down and in place. Then I lined the satin edge with the left side of my presser foot (most pressure feet have a right and left line that you can follow, it is half way between where the needle comes down and the edge of the presser foot) and had my thread come down in the middle. I then kept my hand tightly stretched across the fabric so I wouldn't have any puckers. DONE!
The Cuddle Soft Blanket will be so nice and comfortable to wrap our sweet baby girl in and the fluffiness of the cuddle soft fabric and the smooth silkiness of the satin ruffles make a complementary contrast. The white ruffles also help anchor the bright colors of the bright hearts. One of my favorite parts is that it is totally budget friendly.
Fabric Regular price: $17.32
My Cost for Cuddle Soft Fabric: $5.13 (50% of the current price, which the fabric was on sale for $7.79/yrd instead of the $13/yrd)
My Cost for Satin Ruffles:  Less than $1 because I made my own binding and the fabric I used I got for a $1/yrd.
Total Cost of Blanket: $6
December 03, 2011

Coming Home: Extra Long Receiving Blanket, Matching Dress and Headband

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The matching floral fabric for the Coming Home set was some that I purchased at Walmart before we found out we would be having a little girl. I had gone to the fabric section to purchase another print and when I saw it I knew I couldn't be without it, though I didn't know what I would use it for.
When we found out that we would be having a little girl joining our family, I immediately turned my eyes toward a ruffling foot for my sewing machine. My mom was so sweet and decided that she would get it for me for an early Christmas present. The dress is the first project that I used on it.

For the dress I used the Sweet Little Dress (3M-5T) from leila & ben. I am not being paid for endorsement of this pattern so know that this is my true opinion. I think that this pattern was the best 10 dollars I could have spent on a pattern. The instructions were really easy to follow and you can easily have a finished dress in an hour or two (the second and third time went much faster). I also love that you can choose to use a contrasting fabric on the sleeves for a completely different look. I also love that they send the pattern as a pdf file so that you can just print it off and cut it down to the size that you are making.

The dress top
Love the petite little ruffles.
I wasn't sure if the 3-6 Month pattern would be true to size or a small enough to make for a newborn, so I experimented. The 3-6 Month pattern was a true to 3-6 Month size. To make it new born I took 1/2 of an inch off of each of the sides and from the bottom and made the neck elastic 2 inches smaller (the pattern called for 15 inches of elastic so I did 13 inches). I followed the pattern's instructions for assembly with my adjusted pattern.
The ruffles are not part of the orginal pattern but I was playing with my ruffling foot and thought that ruffles would add a sweet touch to it. To make the ruffle, I used my ruffling foot and set the foot to do a mid-deep pleat (4 out of a 1 to 8 range) every 12 stitches. I did a small rolled hem on the bottom of the ruffle and then sewed right sides together on the ruffle and the dress bottom making for a nice finish. Then I pressed the seam flat and top stitched on the skirt so that the ruffle would stay down.

Cost of the Dress: $3 for fabric, $10 for the pattern but I plan and have used this pattern more than this one time. 

With my left over ruffles from the bottom, I made a casing by folding it 2/3 of the way over and ran 13 inches of elastic through it.
For the roses I cut strips of felt and rolled them and tacked them with thread. Then I laid the three roses out and decided which order they would go best in. Then I tacked them onto the headband with thread.
Cost of the Headband: $0, Everything I used from this project was leftovers from another project.
With my son I always loved the extra long receiving blankets my mom made for him. They were the perfect swaddling blankets, worked great for draping over the carseat when he was sleeping and large enough that I could modestly nurse about anywhere. I think the double layer flannel receiving blankets are great for the cold days, but sometimes you need a lighter blanket than that.
The blanket is made by sewing two 45" by 45" pieces together, it has flannel on one side and the same material on the front side. To make this blanket I sewed my right sides together with a 5/8 inch seam (leaving a 1 1/2 inch hole on one of the sides so that I could turn it right side out). I then clipped my edges (here is a great tutorial on clipping your edges) so that I could get really pretty corners. Then I pressed my blanket so that each one of the seams would be nice and flat then I sewed around the outside of the blanket with a straight stitch at 1/2" and 1/4".
Cost of the blanket: Between $6-$7. I bought my flannel when Walmart was running a $2/yard sale.
November 30, 2011

Cookie Day

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Ryder intensely licking the beater
Little Balls of Dough
Showing the perfect form for inserting cookies into the oven.
I think this picture proves that Ryder is as big, if not bigger cookie dough fan as his mom and dad.
Oh so yummy, look at that melted chocolate perfection.
The end result

I love this recipe it always turns out the perfect, cake like cookies. Here is the recipe just in case you want to have your own Cookie Day.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 cups Shortening
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
18 oz of Chocolate Chips
3 tsp. Vanilla
3 1/2 cups Flour
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

Cream shortening, sugar, and eggs. Add remaining ingredients. Bake at 375 degree F for 8 minutes (set your timer for 6 just in case your oven cooks a little hot).
November 30, 2011

Sewing Projects to Come

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Extra Long Receiving Blanket: This blanket is double layer flannel (perfect for cold winters in Eastern Idaho). The extra length on this blanket makes it ideal for swaddling a taller baby.
Coming Home Set: A matching set Extra Long Receiving Blanket, Dress with Ruffles & Headband

Cuddle Soft Blanket with Satin Ruffles: Super soft fleece found in the remnant section and finished with scrap satin to make a cuddly crib sized blanket.

Girl's Spotted Minky (Minkee) Travel Quilt: This soft quilt is perfect for traveling and the Minkee fabric makes it perfect for every season.

Owl Minky Travel Quilt with Satin Quilt Binding: Fabric selected by Ryder (2 years old) and the soft textures of this quilt will make it perfect for long trips in the car. The bright colors are sure to mask any spills.

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