I used the t-shirt dress idea. It's a gift for one of Mr. Crafty Ave's work friends so I used all new fabric. I picked up a pack of baby onesies and a 2 pack of jersey knit baby blankets to make them. I was inspired by Jill's version with the fabric flower over at Homemade by Jill.
For the big sister I made a similar dress using a bigger shirt.
They look so cute side by side. It kind of makes me wish Beri would have a little baby sister so I could dress them in coordinating outfits. I know I've mentioned the Make it and Love it fabric flower before, I love, love, love it!
Whenever I make a gift for one of Mr. Crafty Ave's friends I ask him for some input. He usually gives me a jokey freezer paper stencil idea (like this). That's how we ended up with "I'm a WIG" onesie. I'm told it's a work joke and WIG stands for Wildly Important Goal. I hope it's funny...
My parents are hip, they read my blog. I found out last week they were disappointed to see I changed my main picture from a winter scene of 'crafty' ave to a collage of sewn things. Well you just can't please everyone...
Mom, Dad, this one's for you. (I'm such a good kid!)
Food. Hmm, where to start? That's a question that's been swirling around my head for the past few months. It seems lately that everyone I know is thinking about food. I know people who've started blogging about it, I've had long talks with friends about how to eat better, how to lose weight, be healthy, teach our kids better food habits, considering the 100 Mile Diet and menu planning to eat better and save money. I've been influenced by all that. I don't know if society's moving towards this or if I've just finally hit the age group that cares more about health and food and kids.
Here I am and what to do about it? We don't have a great track record eating here on Crafty Ave. Sure Loo ate tons of vegetables when he was a baby and then one day I realized they were getting pushed to the side of his plate. I am addicted to Coca-Cola, like maybe seriously addicted. A couple friends of mine actually staged an intervention when I was in University trying to tell me I had a problem, I think I laughed hysterically at them, but maybe they were onto something. My favourite sound is the sound of a can opening. I don't eat breakfast. And gradually over the past couple years dinners veggie-less dinners were popping up, chicken fingers and fries, fish and rice. Somewhere in there the word McDonald's entered Loo's vocabulary. Even though it's cute to hear him say Dingledonald's, it makes my stomach turn each time he says it. I could use about a hundred excuses, pregnancy, baby, work, another pregnancy, another baby, but they're just that. Excuses.
I was inspired by Micheal Pollan and a couple of his books, In Defense of Food and Food Rules a year ago. Really inspired. Then I put them back on my book shelf and gradually forgot what I had read. Then I was re inspired last summer when we thought Beri might be reacting to milk and soy in my diet. For the first time I was forced to read food labels in order to avoid these ingredients. What the what? Soy is in everything! Everything. Just try to find a processed food that doesn't contain it, it's tricky. My diet was seriously restricted.
Last month I dug out my Pollan books and reread them. There will never be a perfect time to start a food makeover for our family. So I decided this time we'll act upon his Food Rules and see where it takes us. I have all the rules echoing in my head every time I eat or make a meal for our family.
Another reason to change how I eat. This kid copies everything I do.
In order to remember them this time I copied down each rule and we've posted them in our dining room. I don't like how it turned out, maybe I need a coloured matte for the frames or bigger font but they're staying in the dining room anyways so they don't get buried somewhere waiting to be perfected.
We're trying our best to follow them. My plan is to focus on one each week and try to practice it and make it a habit. For the past three weeks we've started a few basic steps.
Limiting processed foods. The only non whole foods* we've brought into the house lately have been tortilla chips, flat bread, pasta, cereal, granola bars, salsa, and spaghetti sauce. ( I know that sounds like a long list but compared to what we were eating it's not.) Last week I cut spaghetti sauce out too. We're slowly going through the other processed foods in the house that we won't replace. Things like french fries, frozen pizzas, boxed meats, salad dressings and other sauces.
Trying my best to make each meal at least half vegetables. Making grains and meats the side dishes. Using proper portion sizes for pasta and smaller than normal portions for meats.
We have a big container of cut up veggies that we can use to snack on or add to meals that don't have enough vegetables already.
Planning our dinner menu each week.
We'll see what happens. We've just started so we're pretty gung-ho. I'm going to try to post an update each week and some of the food rules we're incorporating. I hope we'll end up in a happier healthier place. We very well could end up back where we started but only time will tell.
* I can specifically remember a time a few years back when a friends boyfriend was talking about eating only whole foods for a cleanse. And I remember having to ask what whole foods were, that's how far away of a place my food habits are coming from!
And YES I am still sewing away. I've been really busy actually finishing up projects for friends, for some newly born babies and gearing up for a favourite little man's birthday. The problem with gifts you see is that I can't blog them until they've been gifted... I hope to get at least one project in the mail tomorrow!
I've had this idea in the back of my head for a few weeks now. When I saw that this weeks CSI Project was $5 or less it was just the kick in the butt I needed to do this project. It didn't cost me a penny, I had everything I needed on hand. Old pictures frames, scraps of scrapbook paper and a wet erase marker. That's it! You can find it all at the dollar store for about $3.
Here's the super simple instructions, if you saw the picture you might not even need to read this part... Take a 5 x 7 frame and cut out a piece of paper to go in the frame. Next take the glass out of the frame and place it over a quote you like. Then trace the quote through the glass, an easy peasy way to have professional looking results. If you have good handwriting you could freehand it, I don't. Plus I found it fun to play around with fonts and sizes before settling on what I would trace.
I traced right over my computer screen. I'm lazy environmentally friendly so I do that a lot instead of printing things, but if you want to be kinder to your computer you could print it out on a piece of paper and it might be easier. Dry erase markers would work too but I prefer my wet erase cause they don't smudge when you accidentally touch the glass.
Done and done. The most time consuming part of this activity is choosing quotes, but the best part is you can erase the glass with a little vinegar and water, tomorrow, next week, whenever. Then it's on to your next favourite quote, saying or poem.
Got three dollars and five minutes? Make your own and display something inspiring.
Aside from the obvious (family, friends, sewing, cheese cake, baby giggles), is there anything better than a mailed package arriving on your doorstep?
One of my good friends reads my blog (woohoo!) and after this post she mailed me a bag stuffed full of old t shirts to sew with. There were some real goodies in there too. It was fun to sort through and see what she sent.
I was more inspired and excited than I thought I would be seeing her old shirts, some I remember her wearing years and years ago. Even though she explicitly said I didn't have to make her daughter anything, there's no way I couldn't. It was really enjoyable to piece them together and decide what to do.
I want to keep it a surprise but here's a little sneak peak. I'm about 80% finished and hope to have these upcycled garments in the mail soon.
Here's another clue. When I finished one item I tried it on Loo, to make sure it would fit over a two year old head. (Little kids and their giant heads!) He loved it. He started twirling around the room and when I took it off and told him it wasn't for him he said "but I loves it!" and ran away from me with it in his hands. It cracks me up to be reminded how sweet and innocent he is! Why can't little boys have fun clothes that they can twirl in?
Oh and if you're one of my awesome friends who didn't send me their old clothes, not to worry. My craft room is just about to explode with pre-loved goodies, I'm good for awhile. Not that I'd ever turn anything away ...
With the best of intentions (even though my crafty little heart was breaking) I took Beri shopping the other day to pick out some slippers for Loo. I always do that. Neglect to bring the kid I'm buying the shoes for, so of course the nifty orange and blue plaid 'indoor shoes' I bought him didn't fit...
Later that day I picked Loo up from his visit with Grandpa and we went to return the shoes. And pick out rain boots. I mistakenly let him try on the boots first. It was love at first sight. They have teeth! He wouldn't let me take them off. I showed him all the options for 'slippers' while he cried (loudly) "I just wants boots, Mom."
I tried to give him choices. "Yes, Loo. We're buying the boots, they can stay on your feet. Now do you want to also get these shoes or these ones?"
Didn't work. He started to cry more, "No, they just want to stay here."
So we bought the boots. And inside my crafty little heart broke into a smile. I was going home to make slippers!
I used a this tutorial from Leafy Treetop Spot. I have to admit the thing that sold me (besides the free printable pattern in Loo's size) was her brilliant idea to use dimensional paint on the bottom to make them 'grippy'. She made dots and a Spider man symbol. Brilliant. But no, I haven't made it that far, ha!
The best part? He actually wears them! The Diaper Genie refills are safe to serve their greater purpose, and we're both happy.
I also inadvertently found a new project. Remember just the other day a goal of mine was to sew something for me? I found this men's to women's shirt refashion and I'm trying it out. I promise I'll show you even if it turns into a big ole' train wreck.
Beri was born into a pretty sweet situation. Being six months younger than Georgia, she gets a lot of hand me downs from My Girl Thursday. Like this shirt...
I love the colours. I love the embroidery. I love it. It's in high rotation but it wasn't an "outfit". I always had a hard time finding the right pants to go with it. It usually got paired with purple polka dots.
I added a few scraps of t shirt to the bottom and voila. Another comfy cozy dress for Beri.
Now to figure out how to make one for myself! Just kidding. Kind of.
How nice was it to finally be able to get some pictures outside? Fantastic. Too cold for Beri in her dress, but it can't be that much longer. My hopes are up even though we woke up to a sprinkling of snow this morning.
The past few months all these ideas for the upcoming year have been floating around in the back of my head. Things to do and accomplish. So in order to remember them and be a bit accountable here they are:
Include something hand made with every gift our family gives this year. I'd say we currenty average about 80%.
Not buy any "new" clothes for myself, Loo or Beri. (Thrifting and sewing it is!)
To eat better, more on that another day.
Get over my fears and learn to sew a zipper and some button holes.
Make myself at least one piece of clothing.
Learn how to do some elastic shirring to make some cute summer dresses for Beri.
Save up for a serger??
Learn to take better pictures and stop relying on the Auto function.
Learn to can fruits and vegetables.
Start a vegetable garden this spring, mostly from seeds.
Learn how to cut Loo's hair. I've got the clippers almost mastered but I need to learn to scissor cut.
Continue finding and replacing our cleaners and personal products with more natural ones. Do you ever look up products on Good Guide or Skin Deep?
Make that trip to Nova Scotia we talk about every year.
Another great thing about Celebrate the Boy month? ( I know, I know it's over... I'll stop mentioning it sooner or later.) I loved all the guest posts and tutorials which led me to blogs I didn't know about, like Kojo Designs. When I saw this dress I knew I had to make something similar for Beri, I was just waiting for some time to sew for her.
To me this is the perfect baby dress. I used a super soft and comfortable hand me down shirt that fits her perfectly. I love this shirt and she wears it a lot even though it's really plain and doesn't scream 'baby girl' (although maybe that's why I like it.)
Adding the blue and grey transformed a boring old shirt into a super cute dress.
It even looks cute with the leg warmers I made her last fall.
Perfect for a grumpy little teething nine month old with a double ear infection who wants to