card making :: popping in by waffle flower

popping in by waffle flower stamps

It seems to be that time of the year again where more than a handful of friends (including one of our daughter’s teachers) are expecting babies to arrive anytime soon.  I played around with the “Popping In” stamp and die sets from Waffle Flower Stamps to create a couple of super cute cards, and our daughter made something to give to her teacher too.

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digital scraps :: from this moment


A digital scrapbook layout – my first in a very long time!  Since she’s been born, I have already accumulated a ton of photos of our daughter.  I know this isn’t a traditional scrapbook layout using real paper and glue, but I’m hoping it’ll get me back into scrapping.  I already have so many ideas for pages in my head but I thought I needed to at least start from the beginning with the day that she entered our lives before I jumped ahead to the present day.

I used the lyrics from Shania Twain’s “From This Moment” song with the photo of the instant I met our little baby girl. 🙂  What’s great about being a rookie at digital scrapbooking is that you can find a lot of free templates to use online (like this one) where you just add your photo and change the papers (which you can also find for free on some sites).  I like the idea of using strips of different (scrap) pieces of patterned paper on a layout like this so I think I’ll try transferring the idea to a real scrapbook layout (hopefully sometime soon) too.

Supplies used:

Shabby Princess:  Piece of Cake blog template challenge #3
Designer Digitals:  Andrea Victoria Mod Bebe Girl paper pack #3, #7, #9
Designer Digitals:  Maplebrook Studios Colbie paper pack #2, #6
Computer Fonts:  CAC Shishoni Brush (title) and Seraphic Organism

knitting :: tummy warmer baby sweater

I am in love with this baby sweater pattern!  I found it on Ravelry and decided to try it out since it’s knit in one piece (I hate seaming!) and I liked the look of the buttons on the shoulder.  It’s knit from the top down and the honeycomb pattern along the bottom was easy to figure out once I got the hang of it.

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knitting :: baby hat and socks

As you can see, I’ve been on a knitting spree lately.  Thank goodness the carpal tunnel in my wrists has dwindled down enough so that I can get about an hour in before the tingling begins (compared to ten minutes before).  Luckily, too, I managed to find this super easy baby sock pattern that is worked from the top down and with the option to make the heel and toes in a contrasting color.  I made these two sets for two coworkers who are expecting baby boys this winter – hopefully this cashmerino yarn will help keep the little ones warm!

On the socks:  I did the top-down version and where it says to knit around until leg is desired length, I knit 10 rows.  When you get to the “sock foot” part and it says to work in stockinette until the desired length, I did 2 rows.

On the hat:  The hat is the umbilical cord pattern from the “Stitch ‘n Bitch” book.   I started alternating the yarn colors so that I would knit 2 with the gray, 2 with the green, 2 with the gray, etc. (while carrying the other strand along the way) and then do the opposite on the next row. I like how it kind of looks like little hearts!

Again, two very simple patterns to work with and I know I’ll have to crank out a set for our little girl very soon too.

knitting :: first baby sweater

It’s definitely not perfect (don’t even let me get started on pointing out the imperfections) but it’s the first baby sweater I’ve knitted for our anticipated bundle of joy.  It’s my second time working with this pattern after making one earlier this year for a friend’s baby.  I really like how simple the pattern is to follow and that it’s all knit in one piece.

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size does matter

In this case, we’re talking about knitting needles and yarn weight.  [Sorry folks if I lead you to believe this was going to be a dirty post.  🙂 ]   Back in the day when I worked at a craft store, I taught a few people how to knit (and a couple of my coworkers at my current job over the past couple of years too, come to think of it).  One of the key things to explain to someone who is new to knitting is the importance of using the same type of yarn that a specific pattern calls for.  Of course, there are other terms such as gauge and tension (here I go with the nerdy-knit-talk) but that’s a whole different discussion.

The other day I went online searching for a cute and relatively easy baby sock pattern.  I came across this one and decided to try it because it was from the top down, it didn’t have any tricky stitches I didn’t already know how to do, and I loved the texture of the ribbing in the final product.  For those of you knitters/crafters out there who know me and my fondness for Debbie Bliss cashmerino yarn, you will probably not be shocked to find out that that’s the first ball of yarn I reached for to make my first pair of these cute socks instead of a ball of fingerling weight yarn that the pattern called for.  And for those of you who were my past students, you’ll remember that it’s the yarn label that tells you which size needles to use, right?  In this case, I used size 8 double pointeds and decided to make the newborn size in the pattern.

I don’t think this is a good idea if you really wanted newborn sized socks.  Unless your newborn is born the size of a 3-year-old.  Then maybe.

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benjamin’s album

Part of why I craft is because there is a particular joy in making something for someone else.  I love seeing the excitement on the recipient’s face when I tell them that it was handmade — it makes doing selfless tasks like this uplifting and in some ways inspirational, even if I’m the one doing the making.

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it used to be a tablecloth

Another baby sewing project from the Lotta Jansdotter “Simple Sewing for Baby” book that caught my interest was the wipeable baby bibs made with oilcloth or laminated cotton fabric.  However, I didn’t have any oilcloth or laminated cotton fabric on hand so I thought I would search online to see if I could order a small piece to try out first.  Turns out that 1/2 a yard was the smallest amount I could get but by the time you added shipping, it was like paying double for it.  Ho hum.  Well, maybe that idea will have to be put to rest until I can figure out if there’s a local fabric store that carries oilcloth.

Then the very next day, I was strolling through Target and stumbled upon this super cute tablecloth with utensils all over it.  I thought, “This is a little too noisy for our table,” and then started to walk away when I realized that wait!  It’s got a slick surface on top.  <Turn package over>  What?  It’s wipeable, you don’t have to wash it to clean it?  Hmmm … this just might work!

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sewing :: first baby dress

For my birthday this year, my super thoughtful husband shopped from my Amazon wish list (have you made one yet?  You should check out their universal registry button.  Awesome.) and bought this Lotta Jansdotter book of patterns for me.  I added it to my wish list the minute we found out we were expecting hoping that it would motivate me to use up some of my fabric collection on something useful: cute baby clothes and toys.

Of course, instead of rummaging through my fabric bin at home, I picked out a pretty cotton fabric at Gather Here (and used a great coupon by the way) to make a simple pinafore style dress as my first project.  Fast forward to a hot and humid Saturday where it was about 20 degrees cooler to be down in the basement and voila!  My first sewn baby dress completed in about 4 hours:

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thousand layer cake

This may look like an ordinary cake, and that’s just one of the many things I love about it.  You see, it’s anything but ordinary.  It’s extraordinary.  It’s a fabulous creation.  It was what held the secret of whether we are having a baby boy or baby girl.

I hear you, I hear you … “Whaaaaaat??”  How could a cake hold a secret?  Oh let me just tell you, my friend.

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