Category: craft

Mar 09

Special baby. Special gifts.


I never thought I’d say that I was happy to see my baby get bigger. But I am (just a little bit). Owen is finally fitting into this adorable personalized appliqué outfit that he was given at birth.

He was given some really sweet handmade gifts that I have to share with you. The first one was made my my sister-in-law, Micah. She is extraordinarily talented with both felt appliqué and chain stitching (among MANY other things). It’s amazing and beautiful and I absolutely ADORE the pieces she has created for my children. (See more here and here.)

Another sister-in-law, Casi, is super talented with needle and thread as well. She made Owen this stripe blanket that I think is extremely sweet. I love the raw edges – I am a sucker for the texture and dimension that they add to a handmade item.

My friend, Mandy, made him an “O is for octopus” onesie that is pretty darn cute as well. Get one (in the letter of your choice) here!

And lastly, below are the other two onesis that Micah made. See what I mean about the chain stitching?!?!? Crazy patience.

I just love all the crafty, inspiring people in my life!

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Feb 20

Choo choo, Graham is two.


Our son, Graham, turned two last week. Because he is in love with trains right now, we threw him a train-themed party.
train birthday cake and table

I had this dream of buying a fabulous cake so I wouldn’t stress myself out about making/decorating a cake. But when I started price-checking cakes like I wanted, I quickly retreated. So I whipped out my trusty old cake mix boxes and got to baking. The cake didn’t turn out anything like what I wanted, but I was still happy with it. I used cookie crumbs and chocolate frosting to make a track around the perimeter for his toy trains to sit on.


I also threw together a larger train car for snacks. I used shoe boxes, covered them in brown paper grocery bags and made the wheels out of rolled up strips of black felt. One of the cars had wheels made out of some vintage coasters.

We also had some sugar cookies made by a friend of my mom – and I was so happy with them! Adorable! My favorite was the RR crossing sign and the stop light. We used these as party favors for the kids as well.
train party cookies
For low cost decorations, I made him a birthday sign out of cardboard and reused our 4th of July pennant banners. I made the sign to match the party invitation that we mailed out. He was really funny with his invitation – he carried them around the house and called them his “tards”.
train invitation
Graham absolutely loved his day. He loved all the attention and all the snacking. He was super excited for presents and told each giver “than-too” after he unwrapped. We even had a difficult time pulling him away from his new toys to blow out his candles. But once he got to it, he was thrilled to hear his birthday song and huff, puff and blow his candles out. He was so darn cute doing it that we let him do it a couple more times.

Happy second birthday, Grahamser. It’s been two sweet years – here’s to many more!

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Feb 14

One sweet day.



Lilah had her very first Valentine’s party at preschool last week. So one evening, we sat down and made valentines for all her classmates. I had seen an idea for matchbox valentines recently, so we went with that. They turned out to be an easy project and she enjoyed the process. Especially filling the boxes with the candy.

For the last few years, we have made pink heart-shaped pancakes on Valentines Day morning. So, of course, I continued the tradition today. The kids LOVE pancakes, so at least I know they will have full bellies.

Owen is barely fitting into his valentines shirt today. This boy is getting so big! He is two months old now and is in the 85% for his weight. At his check-up, the doctor called him a “tank”.

I hope you are all having a sweet day!

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Nov 20

The quilt that almost wasn’t.


In my family, it’s a tradition that each new baby that comes along receives a handmade quilt. Between my mom, my great-aunt, my SIL and I, we have always gotten it done. When my niece, Ela, was born in July, we hadn’t even STARTED a quilt for her! Since then, my mom and I have pulled it together and taken turns to finally finish her blanket. We’ve had several mishaps along the way, but alas, it is DONE! Just in time for winter!

The quilt pattern is called Argyle Dreams (by Jackie Clark). This is the third time I have made this pattern and I still adore it! I absolutely love the frayed, unfinished edges and big diamond argyle pattern.

Ela Sue is nearly four months old now and getting sweeter by the minute. She loves to smile, but, despite all our silly attempts, is really stingy with her giggles. She is the youngest of three and gets LOTS of attention from her older brother and sister.

This morning, I had the pleasure of babysitting them while their dad worked and their mom ran in the Turkey Trot run. (Way to go, Jenny!) While I was there, I snapped a few pictures of them. I can’t help myself – they have the most beautiful eyes!

Jak changed clothes about six times while I was there. In this photo, he is a cowboy getting ready to go to the farm.

My kids and their dad are out of town this weekend and I am in full-on nesting mode here. I have been cleaning, organizing and sorting since they left yesterday. Which means that this baby can come ANYTIME!

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Oct 26

A new hope chest.


My mother’s side of the family has been working to sort thru some of my grandma’s belongings, as she is living in an assisted living home and my uncle and his wife are moving into her old house. Lucky me, I got dibs on an old chest that she had. It is a beautiful piece and still has the 1941 paperwork stapled to the inside of the lid.
As a child, I remember pulling old mementos out of it, such as her 1947 wedding dress, and straining to imagine that era. My mother always had a memory chest too, a “hope chest” as we called it. And as we grew, it was filled with little pieces of our past. Like our first pair of shoes, our baby blankets or my girl scout sash with all my hard-earned badges.

I had already started small “hope chests” for my children. So when I got my grandma’s chest, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. But it didn’t take long to decide that it would be the perfect home for all our photo albums, which were currently stashed here and there. This inspired me to develop some sort of system for organizing all these photo albums.

One night, with the hubby out of town, I went through each book and jotted down what was inside. I used the digital files on my computer to determine the date range of each album. Once I had a rough chronological order of them, I numbered them.

I used metal-rimmed tags and a circle punch to make the number labels. And I stuck them on with hot glue. Here’s to hoping they stay on!

Taking, sorting, printing and organizing pictures is a huge task! Often, I only print photos once or twice a year. Many times I have questioned why I go thru all the trouble of printing and storing them at all.

My mom always kept photo albums and I LOVED looking thru them. Especially as I got older. I can’t imagine not having those albums to share with my husband when we met. Pictures can really share so much about your past and I am hoping my children appreciate it as much as I do. We’ll see if I can maintain my system and not get too far behind with all the pictures we take…

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Aug 16

Old.

This summer, my husband, my brother and his wife are all celebrating their thirtieth birthdays. (Thirty?? What? My husband is turning thirty?!?!? When did we get this old?) Of course, I am happy to celebrate with them as I have two more years before I hit that milestone.

Together, we all threw a party to help the three of them through this. Of course, good times were had by all. But I have to tell you the story of the cakes.

The damn cakes.

First of all, let me tell you that I was determined to buy the cakes, not to make them. For two reasons. One: I know very little about decorating cakes and have been “winging it” through each of my kids birthday so far. Two: I didn’t need that added stress in my life. However, when it turned out that my kids were going to their grandparents for a few days and I saw what the bakery wanted for three separate birthday cakes, I changed my mind. I thought, I’ve got plenty of time. I’ll just use a box mix and do something simple. No problem.

Right.

I made these cakes the night before. Mistake number one, perhaps? And, I used frosting from a can. Mistake number two? We’ll just say that Martha would not be proud of my cake decorating skills. Oh well. At least they tasted good. Didn’t stop me from eating two pieces today. (Hey, I’m eating for two, remember??)

But I do have to tell you that I did learn one thing in the process. I always get really frustrated when baking the layers of a cake because they always bake with a raised dome in the middle. Which I then have to chop off and discard (read: eat while waiting for cake to cool). But I feel like this wastes cake and my layers aren’t as tall as I want them after I level off the lump.

So, I googled it. And it turns out that I wasn’t the only one who was devastated by the dome. All it takes is some old wet towels wrapped around your cake pan as it bakes. Who knew?? I guess the moisture keeps the outside cool so it doesn’t cook as fast as it normally would. Follow these directions and you’ll get a perfectly level cake. Worked for me six times.

At least something worked.

Anyways, clearly the party was still a blast without beautiful cakes. Life is not about perfect cakes. Life is about good friends and good memories. Here’s to thirty more years of that with three of my favorite people in the world. Happy Birthday to Trever, Jenny and Brady! Love you guys!

Oh, and to explain the “23” atop Jenny’s cake:
What woman wants to openly admit their true age, right? For this reason, I taught my daughter to say that her mommy and Aunt Jenny are “twenty-twee” whenever prompted. In fact, according to her, I turned 23 on my last two birthdays!! Love you, Lilah!

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Aug 08

Babies on the brain.


Our world has been revolving around babies lately. With the arrival of our niece, Ela Sue, a couple weeks ago and with the beginning phases of preparation for our newest (due in December). Phase I = name research, moving Lilah to a room downstairs, mental preparation for being outnumbered by children.

Also, I have been making baby gifts out the wazoo lately. Nothing new and different – just more baby books, burp clothes, blankets, etc. But I thought I’d share a couple of my favorites. Both of these were made custom for the colors that the baby’s rooms were going to be decorated in.

The first was for Brady’s cousin’s daughter. Her name is going to be Sylvie (cute, right?) Her room is going to be decorated in turquoise with accents of hot pink. It is actually a vintage bird theme, but I never could find any bird fabric with those colors. :(

The second was for an old friend from high school is adopting a baby boy. His room is getting decorated in blues and grays. How cute is that? I LOVED the gray with the blue. Made it so much more modern.

Makes me wanna get to work on our baby’s book. First step – convince Brady to learn the gender at next week’s sono. I won’t hold my breath.

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Jul 06

The Fourth, firecrackers and floods.

Happy 4th to everybody! If you live anywhere near me, you probably had the same Forth of July experience that we did: WET. A couple months ago, we had booked three nights in cabins at Cheney Lake for this holiday weekend and were very much looking forward to it. Might as well have stayed at home because we didn’t even ONCE get in the water. It rained and rained and rained!! The rain wasn’t too big of deal for the first day or so – we made the best of it by playing cards and games of washers and french darts in between the rain showers. But by the third day, Sunday, we were tired of it. So when the water started flooding the campground we were in, we bolted. Sad, but much better to be back on dry ground. So we celebrated my baby brother’s 16th birthday (16!?!?! What?!?!) at my folks’ house.

We still had a great time + we got to light fireworks, which were prohibited at the state park. We even painted faces and got some decent pictures of the little kiddos. They were all kinds of cheesy, which was a nice change!

Next up, a week of birthdays (Brady’s, mine, and hopefully a new Krehbiel baby!) and four whole days with no kids! Brady’s kind parents are keeping them for us…Yay!!!!!

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Jun 16

Wichita Quilt Show

Prairie Quilt Guild Quilt Show

Every other year, our local quilt guild holds a quilt show. Two years ago was my first one ever and I thought it was really cool! If you are even a little interested in sewing, you will appreciate this event – I promise! I have been looking forward to it for quite some time – the quilts on display there are so beautiful and the talent involved is so apparent. I just wanted to pull them down from the display and snuggle up! There are also dozens of classes, tons of shopping and a raffle for an amazing quilt valued at over $3,600!!

**If you go – Be warned, do NOT touch the quilts! I didn’t know last time! However, there are gloves provided – of course, that kind of takes the fun out of touching.

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Jun 04

Three.


A few weeks ago, my baby turned three. Not so much of a baby anymore. Although you wouldn’t know it by the incessant amount of hardcore whining, fit-throwing, diaper-wearing, milk-drinking that still goes on around here. But she does do her fair amount of “big girl” things as well. Like wearing big girl pants all day. Or sleeping in her big girl bed.

For her birthday, she wanted a little mermaid party. Easy enough. I put on my party-planning shoes and whipped up some super simple invites. They were supposed to look like a mermaid tail, but I’m not so sure that’s obvious.

For the party, we planned a swim at the YMCA, dinner, cake and digging for seashells in the new sandbox she got for her birthday.

And the kids got beta fish as party favors. She named hers Flounder and surprisingly, she is still alive. Even though Lilah wants to feed it about a dozen times a day.

The cake was fairly simple to make. Turned out kinda sloppy, but Lilah never noticed. I bought the topper and the little sugar flowers at Cake Stuff and had no major problems, aside from the incident where Lilah stuck her little fingers into it the first time she saw it.

Her birthday party landed on Mother’s Day, so we were also celebrating that. My SIL, Jenny, and I decided it would be a great idea to have a portrait taken of the four grandchildren and give it to my mom. We took the kids to Portrait Innovations and it was NIGHTMARE. That’s all I will say about that. Any more details, and I’d need to start another post. However, the photo turned out great and Mom loved it – so mostly worth it.

Happy Birthday, Lilah! Here’s to many, many more years of giggles! Love you!

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