Gingerly Made: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hayley Grace

Hayley Grace
6 lbs 12 oz, 20 in

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Updated Vases

We've had these simple little bud vases for eight years now. I had bought them for part of our wedding reception's centerpieces. Since then, I've maybe used one or two a couple of times. Mostly they sit in our storage area.

With the arrival of our awesome craigslist find, the Cricut, I wanted to try out some of the cutie-pie options on some of the cartridges. So, I cut out some of the fall images in white vinyl and put them on the vases. I like the silhouette cutouts better than the solid image; at least for this project anyway.

Then I took some kindling out of our kindling box and filled up the vases, or maybe I should say let Caitlin fill up the vases. Set them on the kitchen table, add a couple of votive candles, and it's a great autumn decoration. I think I might do this project again with more vases (we have 11 total) for Christmas/Winter. Maybe some snowflakes?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Easy Change Photo Board

How many times do you have a favorite photo you want to put up somewhere, but then a few months later, want to put up some new favorite photos. I know I'm not the only one whose favorite pictures change with every new download from my camera. Or you get photos from some family or friends that you want to display, but don't really want to frame? Most of mine end up on my refrigerator, which is cluttered enough with my weekly meal plans, Caitlin's magnetic alphabets, and other junk.

Again, browsing pinterest, I came across a really great project for a photo board. You can easily put your pictures up and change them out because they are attached using mini-clothes pins. I love it! It keeps my refrigerator looking less cluttered and actually displays the pictures way better than if randomly stuck on the fridge. It looks good with or without photos too. So you don't have to worry about it if you don't have any pics you really want to display at the moment.

The tutorial over at Lil' Luna - All Things Good shows the message "Count Your Blessings." You can change that if you want to "Family," "Friends," "Love," or whatever. I chose to keep "Count Your Blessings" because I like it best. That message leaves your board open to whomever you want to put up there.I figure that anyone I want to display on that board is a blessing to my life while not necessarily 'family' or whatever other category.

The board we used feathered a bit when hubs cut it. Even after sanding, it still didn't look crisp enough, so we put the frame around it. That's was Eric's brilliant suggestion. He has those every now and then. (wink, wink) And my Cricut was heavenly when it came to cutting out all of those letters for the message.

This project took longer than I expected it to take mostly because I had to wait for hubs to have time to do the cutting, paint and let dry, decoupage and let dry, glue on the photo boards and let dry, then add all the pretty embellishments. But I think it was worth it in the end. I'm loving this!

Monday, October 17, 2011

A New Toy

I know I was seriously slack in posting last week. I've just been trying to clean and organize the house. It's been slow going because of my waning energy and because it seems like there is so much to do. I've also been slow about crafting lately not only because I've been focusing on the house, but also because I've needed to get a few supplies to finish some projects on the table.

To help with my projects, I've really been wanting a die cutter. I just love the things I see out there created with these cool tools. I've researched and priced many different types. I didn't want a hand cranked cutter, but also didn't want to spend a ton of money, and so decided on the small Cricut. It was on sale too. But of course, the store carrying it sold out the very day it went on sale. I learned later that they are on sale because they are being discontinued. No wonder they didn't restock them and call me for my raincheck. At least, that's what a sales person told me. Don't take that for absolute truth because I don't really know. Anyway, I found a couple of Cricuts on craigslist. Can I just say that I love craigslist!! I ended up spending a little more than the small Cricut was on sale for and got the Cricut Expression plus 3 extra cartridges besides the ones that came in the box!! Whoo hoo! Apparently the lady I got it from had only used it twice, so it's practically brand new.

I've already been playing around with it and using it to finish some projects that were on the table. I could have finished some of these with out it, but it made it go so much faster. So stay tuned. I'm going to be showing these off later this week. And hopefully, the next time it seems a little quiet around here it will be because we are in the hospital finishing #10 on my Projects List.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


We are now officially at 36 weeks and waiting. Our ultrasound last week revealed that our little girl is a little over 6 pounds right now. At this point babies typically gain around half a pound per week, so if we go full term, she will be about 8 pounds.

Up until this point my 'nesting' has come in the form of crafting. I know I won't have as much time to do those things once the baby arrives and I really want to make as much as I can for Christmas this year. So, for probably the past month I have been spending every moment that Caitlin was napping working on some kind of project. The only problem is that I'm the type of person that likes to switch things up regularly. I like to rearrange my furniture, start new projects, get new ideas, update my routine, etc.

While I'm still having lots of fun with my craft projects, I have seriously slowed down in my crafting fervor. Now I'm beginning to focus on the colossal mess I've created with my crafting or at least with my household neglect. I've made a list (yes again) of things that I want to get done before the baby arrives. The problem is daily maintenance and my waning energy isn't allowing me to get to the big things like scrubbing the base boards. Pacing myself is the key I suppose, but like with everything else  I tend to be gung-ho for a while and then burn out.

I have thus far been getting clothes for the baby in the closets and cabinets, putting up Caitin's too small clothes in storage, cleaning the blinds and window sills around the house, and trying to organize the multitude of baby gear. I had forgotten just how much stuff you have with a baby. There's bouncy chairs, high chairs, swings, bumbo chairs, boppy pillows, play mats for the floor, playpens, basinets, various baby carriers, car seats, strollers, diapers, wipes, and more. Our house already feels full with Caitlin's current stuff now we are adding in all those things that used to be in storage. Where to put it all???

And even though the house isn't ready, I am. Caitlin came two weeks early according to the doctors. Personally, I thought she was right on time. Knowing that she came early makes me want/expect/hope that this one will be too. In the meantime, I will try to distract myself with more cleaning and crafting.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Butter Bean Jar

We are so blessed to have wonderful ladies in our church who teach Sunday School and watch the nursery. Before I get into talking about the butter bean jars, let me just say "Thank You" to everyone at our church who volunteers their time and invests it in my little girl! You'll never know how much it truly means to me.

One lady in particular has kept her in the nursery most Sunday mornings and again for 2 hours every Wednesday night. Caitlin has absolutely fallen in love with her. She is an adopted grandmother for sure! She and another lady who began helping her out on Wednesday nights are so loving and have the best lessons for Caitlin's age!

The Wednesday before last it was Butter Bean Jars. The girls (it's Caitlin and another girl her age) put soil in a mason jar and planted butter beans. Three in a jar and right up against the glass so you could see it grow. We poked holes in the lid once we got home and watered it. It usually sits on our kitchen table so we can observe it while we eat breakfast in the morning. The kitchen was just a little too sunny to get a good clear picture though, so I moved it - that's why it's on the floor in the photos. Caitlin and I both have enjoyed watching it germinate this week. In fact, they are doing so well we really need to re-pot them. I'll probably give them another couple of days to finish poking theirs heads out of the soil before re-potting though; make sure they are a little stronger.

Yesterday these awesome ladies moved the girls up from the nursery to Mission Friends (the next age class). I think they now have another friend or two to be in class with them. I'm so excited for Caitlin to be in class and not just the nursery, but I think what excites me most is that these two ladies moved up too. Caitlin loves them so much!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Top 10 Projects

If you follow this blog regularly, you know I'm a list person. I can't function without lists. Well, maybe I can, but it's pitiful when I try. I have so many projects that I want to do and some I must do, I thought I'd make a list of the top 10 projects I want/need to get done.

Most are things that I want to make for someone for Christmas. Yes, at 35 weeks pregnant, that's where my head is. But notice projects #9 and #10; some are all about our new arrival too. But truth is, getting Christmas presents made before the baby arrives is strangely how my nesting is manifesting itself. I guess because I know I won't have the time or wakefulness for awhile after she gets here.
  1. Count Your Blessings Photo Board
  2. Homemade Hopscotch Game
  3. Nightgowns for Caitlin
  4. Over the Shoulder Bag
  5. Learn How To Make Purse with Handles
  6. Crocheted Dolls - 1 Cutie Pie Baby Doll, 1Toy Dog
  7. Bear from Simplicity Pattern
  8. Wall Hooks for Laundry Room
  9. Get House Clean
  10. Have Baby
I'll keep you posted on how each of these 'projects' turn out.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blueberry Redo

A year ago we tried planting blueberry bushes. I suppose I should say that we planted blueberry bushes. The planting was successful, the growing was not.

We planted in the spring, and put peat moss around the bushes to help the acidity in our soil. What we didn't know was that peat moss pulls moisture away from the roots and blueberry bushes require lots of water anyway. So, on top of the moss keeping moisture away from the bushes plus a bad drought that summer, the poor bushes shriveled and died. Ugh.

Eric has ordered three new plants. All are supposed to be great southern varieties; one an early producer as well as a mid-season, and a late season producing plant. We planted them last week hoping that a fall planting will help give them plenty of time to develop strong roots before the heat hits next year. Keep your fingers crossed, hopefully these blueberries will make it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Toddler Tool Belts

As part of my get ready for Christmas before this baby arrives and I don't have time to make Christmas present escapade, I have made some tool belts for some of Caitlin's boy cousins and friends. Boys are the hardest to make homemade presents for. At least it seems that way most of the time. Anyway,
I found inspiration for these child tool belts at Make It and Love It and One Hip Mom. Aren't they adorable?

The idea is to put play tools in them, but really this pattern could be used to make a craft or garden apron for your little one as well. *I tried to take a lot of pictures to include, but apparently I did not take quite enough. Some of the instructions with each picture are multi-stepped, but I think easy enough to understand. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or comment below. 

You'll need:
18" x 13" piece of fabric for back
12" x 13" piece of fabric for pockets
3" x 7" piece of fabric for hammer loop
3" x 45" piece of fabric for tie
(although in hind sight, you might want to sew two lengths of fabric together to make a longer tie - this length works, but doesn't leave a lot of extra room after you tie it around your child)
1. Start by taking the back and pocket fabrics, folding them in half so you have an 9 x 13 back and 6 x 13 pocket piece. Iron flat.

2. Fold hammer loop width in half and iron flat.

3. Sew down length of hammer loop. Leave short ends open. Inverse. And then top stitch over lengths.

4. Fold hammer loop length wise. Sew to pocket fabric. Make sure the loop is facing inwards - it will stick out on the side later.

5. Top stitch your pocket fabric along the fold.

6. Open your backing fabric and place pocket fabric (still doubled) on top. Mark 4.5" and 9.5" on your fabric and sew straight lines through pocket fabric and the opened back fabric to make your pockets. Stitching should extend from the bottom to the top of the pocket fabric and meet the top stitching. See picture above for reference. I sewed each line twice to give it some durability.
7. Fold open backing over your pockets.

8. Stitch around edges leaving a hole so you can inverse. I also trimmed the corners to make sharper corners after inverting the fabric.

9. Invert and iron flat. See your hammer loop sticks out now.

10. Top stitch around sides and bottom.
11. Fold tie in half width wise and iron flat. The fold edges into fold and iron again. You'll end up with 1/4 the original width.
12. Fold the end under too and iron.

13. Find the center of the tie and also the tool belt. Line up and tuck the tool belt into the fold on the tie. Pin belt and tie in place. Sew down length of tie.

I had bought a yard each of green felt and football patterned flannel. With those two yards of fabric, I made four tool belts. Now I just have to find the toy tools to add and finish off these presents.
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