Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I'm Working on It

Currently, there seems to not be a lot of time for this whole blogging thing, let alone all the other stuff I should be doing in my life.

However, I want you to know I am working on some great (hopefully) posts for the blog over the next few weeks. Once I get back into the groove of it, I hope to keep the momentum going.

Here are some posts I'm working on currently for you all:

DIY Pirate Costumes for Mom and Baby

100 Days 100 Blocks Quilt Challenge

Quilt Pattern Reviews

Yard Sale Find Upgrades

Indie Clothing pattern reviews

Converting a Toy Guitar into a Working Ukulele


and much more!




I hope.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Randomly on a Saturday

And just like that it's been two months since I last posted.

It wasn't supposed to happen like this, but you know, life with a baby. And now a full time job.

Yep. I started back at teaching pre-k and I love it. I forgot how much I love being with those kiddos and how much fun they can be. They can be crazy, but they are still super fun.

So: Randomly on a Saturday. Here's 5 Things About Me.

Why only 5? Because I need the rest of the list for other posts like this...

1. I LOVE sushi. It was the hardest part about being pregnant.
2. I used to be vegetarian, for 5 years. I still lean toward it.
3. The thing I miss most about Utah, other than my family, is the snow.
4. I never received any formal or informal sewing training until I was 22.
5. Nailpolish is one of the beauty products I have to have in my house. I don't necessarily have to use it, I just have to have it.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Road Trip Tip!

When I was a young child, we did road trips. Places like Yellowstone, Vernal Utah (dinosaurs people), and Disneyland. You can log a lot of hours in the car during a vacation, and if you have young children it can get rough for everyone!

Here's a tip that my mom implemented with us children, that I plan to implement in the future with Monkey and any siblings that may happen to be in the picture as well.

Boredom Bags


Yep. You heard me.

Before I get further into this, you have to know the essential factor in these actually working. It's that Mom and Dad control the bags. Why? Every family has at least one child who is still working on self control and will have eaten all the treats and used up all the stickers in the first hour of a trip and spend the rest of the trip whining and annoying their siblings, and parents.


What is a Boredom Bag? 


It's a bag full of things to distract and occupy your children during the hours in the car.
It can include special treats like favorite candy or snacks. Small toys. And books! Whatever you think will buy you some sanity while the children are playing with or eating or working on the item you passed back.

So, every hour or two pull out a new item and pass it back. See how long you can last before passing out an item, because you don't want to give out everything too fast and be stuck without a way to distract the kiddos on the return trip!

Bonus Tip: Come up with a code phrase to use with your spouse if YOU need a break. Use the phrase to let them know it's time to pull over at a rest stop, or to find a park nearby, so everyone can get out of the car. The children can run off some steam, and you and your spouse can take turns going to the bathroom or even just having a few quiet minutes to yourself in the car.





Now, I really hate when people try to upsell you on something after hyping up stuff. But I honestly think that this company has a lot to offer when it comes to this sort of thing. I recently became an Usborne Books & More consultant. I am currently running a Road Trip Boredom Bag Special for anyone! Your child will receive at least 5 books in their boredom bag, just let me know their ages and interests, I can find books for every age through high school.  I will send you a list of books to approve, and once you send payment your books will be on their way!

Send me an email to order your boredom bags!

You can also order just one or two books using my direct website: c6650.myubam.com 
 If you do order, please know that we really appreciate your support of our family! My book selling is part of our journey to becoming debt free, and we are grateful for every penny we receive. Thank you!

Happy Travels!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Stashalong

Well friends. Here we are.

As is always the case, I didn't intend to go as long as it's been without posting, but it happened. Of course it did. I have a baby for heaven's sake.

We have been doing some re-evaluating and a lot of praying. Once again, I have decided I need to cut back. So, for now we are going to pause the Stashalong.

I don't mean to be throwing a pity party here, but it has been rough on me to try to set up such a big project and feel like I am talking to the wall here. Maybe in the future, when I get things rolling along smoothly I will pick it back up again.

As I start into this new, unexpected, phase of life, I do hope to have more time to blog. Cutting out everything that I am cutting out is going to take a good solid month, since I have some obligations to fulfill before stopping various activities. But my whole family is very hopeful that where I am headed is going to be best for all of us because it's what's best for me is what's best for us.


Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Special?

I set out the challenge for the stashalong this month to use your special item. The one that you are saving because, well... it's special.

But as I went through my stash, I realized I don't feel like I really have any special fabric that I'm saving. Same with yarn. So I plodded on and started using up some scraps for the 9-patch a day challenge ( check my Instagram to see them!).

As I finished up with scraps I dug out some jelly roll strips. I gazed at them a moment, and placed them back. Then I realized it. Those jelly roll strips are my Special. Not because I treasure them, but they needed the perfect project and 9-patch just wasn't going to cut it.

So I set out on a quest to use those jelly roll strips. I found two projects that I felt were executable, and went ahead with the first one.

The key here was I didn't hesitate. I didn't give myself a couple of days to decide if it really was the perfect project for them because that's what got them languishing in the stash in the first place. I picked the pattern and started cutting away. I don't even know if I have enough of the base fabric that I need to actually complete the project, but that's not important.

What's important is that I am using my stash.

How's it going with your stashalong projects? I'd love to hear what everyone is working on!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Our Bedtime Routine

We have a baby. A baby baby, not a fake baby. (I know  a lady who calls a two year old a baby, and another one who thinks an 8 year old is still a baby. She really means it too.)

We follow the on-demand, attachment parenting style. When she cries for food, I feed her, even if she ate half an hour ago. If she needs to be held, I hold her. All day. And all night (it can be rough). Because that's what she needs.

But this does not stop us from having a bedtime routine. And a very strict, solid bed time. You see, even with the attachment, and on demand stuff we've got going on, I still think it's important to get your kiddos on a schedule. How we did this was watching for cues as to when Monkey is tired. Babies will usually get tired around the same time every day, and we set our schedule accordingly. She let us know when she needs bedtime, so we ran with it.

The Routine

Pajamas and Disposable Diaper
Read from Chapter Book (we are currently reading Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, a favorite of mine)
Nursing
Get in Sleep Sack 
Read, in the same order every night: 
Snuggle Puppy
The Going To Bed Book 
Night Night Forest Friends
Prayers
Lie in crib- sing You Are My Sunshine (sometimes)
Go to sleep (hopefully) 


No Bath? 

You will probably notice that bath is not part of the bedtime routine for us. Babies have very sensitive skin, and having a bath every night can do more harm than good, especially when they are newborns (less than 4 weeks old) if you or your spouse have sensitive skin as well. Since Monkey is not mobile, she doesn't roll around in dirt or get food all over her, we have no reason to bathe her every single night. So we don't. 

If it's a bath night, we do it before pajamas and diaper. Side note: we cloth diaper most of the time, so her getting a disposable and a change of clothes lets her know it's time to sleep. 

A Chapter Book at 4 months Old? 

Yes. While I was pregnant, I read chapter books out loud to the kiddos in my class at summer camp. I decided to keep it going with her after summer camp ended, and kept reading out loud to her, still in-utero, to finish up the book. I read scriptures out loud to her in the mornings too. 

The key to reading a chapter book out loud to your infant, is to follow their cues. Some times I get a paragraph out before she's done. Sometimes, I get two whole pages done. It's just a matter of what kind of mood Monkey is in. 

What is a Sleep Sack? 

It's... a sleeping bag for babies. Basically, it's a sack that zips up the front and has arms. This way baby can be warm, since you should not use blankets in a crib, and still have freedom to self soothe because they can move their arms and hands to get a binkie or suck their thumb. We only use ours for night time sleeping, not naps. This is just another way to cue our baby that it's night time and we expect her to sleep longer. 

The Same Three Books... Every Night? 

Again, yes. They are bedtime based books, so when she gets older she will understand what bedtime is, and why we read those books at bedtime. The same exact books, in the same exact order make the routine just that, Routine. She knows that when we pull out Snuggle Puppy it's almost time to get in the crib and sleep. 

If you think a few months old is too young to notice things like this, well, give it a try. I can tell you that on nights when Monkey is not very tired, the bedtime books come out and she freaks out because she does not want to go to bed!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

How to Make Bias Binding

Working from stash is like a game to me. I love going through it and seeing what pops out and what suddenly goes with what.

I had some terrycloth in the stash, and I don't remember why I bought it or what I had in mind for it, if I even had a project in mind for it. But I found it around the time I realized we had no towels for Monkey to use, so I thought I would make it into a towel for her. I contemplated how to best do that when another fabric, some left over from a skirt I made, jumped out at me.

It MATCHED the towel perfectly. I decided to create some bias binding for the terrycloth, thus eliminating any hemming or serging.

I don't really remember where I learned to make bias binding, so I decided I'd go ahead and document the process for you all in the hopes that it will help at least one of you in the future.

The Benefits to Making Your Own Bias Binding

The biggest benefit I can think of is: You can make binding that is super cute and matches perfectly whatever project you are working on. I usually see just plain, solid color bindings in the store. While those have their purposes, sometimes you need a patterned binding because you have a solid item. 

You will never run out! As long as you have stash, you have a supply of binding. 

If the store is closed because it's super late at night and you're sewing because it's the only time you have to yourself, you can still finish a project because you have your own supply of binding. 

Here We GO!

Materials

A square of fabric- if you have a rectangle that's ok, just make it a square!
Scissors (or Rotary cutter)
Sewing machine
Iron

Now, I'm sure there's some math equation that we could use to determine how much binding you will end up with based on how much fabric you start out with, but math and I have a tolerable relationship. When it comes to sewing, I have a talent for looking at something and knowing if it will work or not, so I just plow ahead. If in doubt, make more than you think you will need! 

We start out with a square of fabric. If you have a rectangle, then measure and cut it to be a square. The bigger the square, the more binding you will end up with. I made two squares from this stash fabric and have a lot left over from the project I used it on. 



Cut diagonally across the fabric. You will end up with two triangles. 


Move one triangle to the other side of the square. Confusing right? You want to end up with a trapezoid. Look at the previous picture and note where the white selvedge  edge is. I moved that piece from left to right. So, the left side of the original square is now touching the right side of the square. 

Sew these together and press the seam open. 


Now is where some math comes in. I wanted a thicker binding. So, to get a 3/4 inch binding I cut 3 inch wide strips. Double the width you want, then double again. (1 inch binding: 1x2=2, 2x2=4. You will cut 4 inch strips) 

Measure the width of your binding and mark it on the fabric. You mark all the way across, lining up your ruler with the original top (or bottom) of your square. Do this down the entire piece of fabric. I ended up with five lines across mine. 


Next, line up one side of the first line with the top of the fabric. This will offset the top and bottom as pictured above. Sew the seam  and press open. 

Note that the lines will not perfectly line up. I've never gotten them to. This is where we kinda fudge it and hope for the best. 


At this point, you, if you've done it right, can trace your finger along the lines you  marked and not have to lift it off the fabric. They should make a spiral around the fabric. 


Grab your scissors and cut. Cut along the line you marked. You will end up with one long strip of fabric, cut on the bias. 




At this point, I pressed the entire strip, seams open. Just because. 


You may end up with little triangles hanging off the edge of the nice straight strip. Don't worry about them. 


You can cut them off. No harm done. 


Now, we get to do a lot of ironing. Fold the strip in half, wrong sides together,  and iron. If you had a 4 inch strip, you now will have a 2 inch wide strip (double thickness).


Next, fold one of the raw edges up inside the fabric to the center line you just ironed. Iron it. 


Finally, take your other raw edge, fold it in to the center line, and iron it. 


If you unfold the center iron (the first one you did) the two raw edges should meet in the middle. The inside looks like this. And you will have bias tape!

Ta da!

Alternate Cutting




I don't know why, but I find this easier, even though it seems to take some more sewing. It really doesn't, and I don't have to mess with my scissors.
Marking lines to cut is optional here. I just take my ruler and rotary cutter, and measure and cut. Instead of ending up with one long strip, I have several small strips. 
I sew the edges of the strips together to get one long strip, and then proceed with the ironing. 

I think  I feel like it goes faster because you eliminate the marking step, and the scissors. I think the scissors just take longer than a rotary cutter does.


Finish Up

And there you have it! How I make bias binding. Stay tuned to see the finished item I used this binding on in a future post. 

Did you try this? How did it work out? Share you questions, comments, and PROJECTS with us!