Getting back to the swing of things

After a week of craziness, I'm getting things back to normal around here. Last week a friend of mine miscarried what would have been baby number 5, on a rainy day. It was so emotional and difficult to watch her go through it. I wanted to give her something just to let her know that I was there if she needed anything. However, I'm not a fan of real flowers for a moment such as this... they die. How sad is that? I just don't like to give them as a gift for a sad situation. So, I made some that would last! This was our "rain" themed craft for the day as the kiddos helped me with it.

I simply used a similar process as that of the flower party lights and attached them to floral wire. I then arranged them and stuck them in a small bud vase. Nothing big. Just small, pretty and sweet. I snapped this picture in my car before I dropped them off to her. Don't they just brighten the sad, dreary sky behind it?

And on the light side, the other day I opened my cupboard and this is what I found.

This is what happens when you are a mom of three little boys. "Scary" things find their way in little cupboards and corners to frighten Mommy. It just made me smile and I had to share. So adorable.



Yesterday we savored the time thinking about the sky and the beauty of it all. Seriously, isn't it gorgeous? After we talked about it for a few minutes, we dove right into a craft.

Paints were the kids medium of choice. I don't always let them paint (I hate the mess and desperately need to get over it!), so they took the opportunity to do so!

My oldest, Caden, decided that there definitely had to be a sun on his picture. He used the cardboard tubes and his fingers to paint it. I loved that it wasn't perfectly round. His response, "the sun shines everywhere."

My daughter, Alanna, immediately thought of the blue sky and the clouds. She loves to look at the clouds and find shapes, so that was inevitable. Her sense of color and adventure when it comes to blending is amazing.

The best part of Alanna's art was definitely her hands! If you get past the mess, isn't it really pretty? The shades of blue that she managed to get all over her hands (front and back) all from two colors just amazed me. beautiful.

The end result of their pictures. Love them.

My third child, Abram, sat back and colored a picture while Eli, the youngest, sat in his highchair enthralled by what the others were doing. He was so content just sitting there. So cute.

Today's theme is rain because it is raining here in Wisconsin. We're going to make the best of it and make something having to do with rain. I also have a few things I'm working on that I will be posting soon.


The Beauty Around Us

I went out to the craft store tonight without kids or the husband, more for a break than anything else. On my way home, I was pondering the idea that Dan and I feel God wants us to learn contentment. That's a rough lesson when Dan is out of a job and my photography business is slow this year. I have been handling it very well, but contentment seems kind of far off. Then, I looked up to something as simple and every day as the clouds. They were big and puffy. The ones you just want to fall into. Beautiful. Peaceful. Isn't Gods creation just gorgeous? There is no better artist.

That's when I decided on a new plan for the week. Taking time to enjoy the simple things with my children. I want them to grow up and be content in the things around them. So, this week you will see lots of crafts for children to help them savor the beauty around them. What a great lesson for us as well! It might get messy, but isn't it worth it?

Care to join us on our adventure this week? Tomorrows theme is "the sky" because that was my inspiration for the week.


A Very Busy Week

This was such a busy and exciting week! Remember the carseat cover? You know, the one that I was going to have finished last weekend? I ran into so much trouble with it. I didn't take proper notes as to where some of the elastic was originally attached. So, I had to track down a friend who had the same seat and ask her to take photos of the specific piece of elastic so that I can finish. Needless to say, I will be finishing that (or at least working on it) tonight, even after getting up at 5:30 to go to my nieces dedication. Hopefully I can keep my eyes open for awhile.

While the car seat cover was on hold, I did manage to do a few other things. It was my sons 6th birthday recently and we had a bowling birthday party for him. Now, those of you who know me at all know that I go all out on birthday parties. The big, elaborate, handmade cake. The decorations, invitations, games, and party favors are all planned out. Not this year. Caden wanted it to be simple. Me. Simple. It was a challenge for me, but a much welcomed break. So, I made him the cake he wanted, invited the friends with a phone call as it was last minute, and managed to find cheap bowling party favors at walmart. wow. easy.

I also found some time to make some new curtains for the bathroom we are redecorating. Rather, decorating. We are renters. Not home owners. Renters. Much to our own dismay. I have refused to make this place home because we have dreams of buying our first home. Now that my husband has lost his job, I figure it just might be time to settle in and get comfortable for awhile until my photography business gets rolling full time.

I just made simple curtains with a ruffle sewn to the top, just near the bottom. I did so by cutting two strips that were double the width of the curtains long and simply hemming the edges over with a double fold and then gathering both sides of the strip. Then, I top stitched both sides of the ruffle down. Easy and very cheap.


Guest Post

I did a guest post for Chris at pick up some creativity. Check it out here.


And the WINNER is....

With the names all down, paper cut and and pieces folded....

It's time to pick a name!

And the winner is.....

Congrats Lora!!!

I hope you enjoy the picnic tote! I couldn't have picked a better winner had I tried! It's time for a babysitter and a date with the husband. May you find time to rekindle the romance!

Thanks to all who entered!


My first GIVEAWAY!!!


Ok my dear readers! It's the very first giveaway! So, what is it that I'm giving away?

The Romantic Picnic Tote!

You will get the blanket as well (place setting and sparkling grape juice... haha... not included)!

To enter, just leave a comment with your email address. The winner will be picked at random and contacted via email Sunday July 11th! One entry per person!


Infant Car Seat Cover Tutorial

Car Seat Cover Tutorial

This tutorial is going to be set up in a couple of parts. I would have finished this part of the tutorial if I had purchased the right bias tape, but I didn't. So, I'm posting this much for now and I will show you how to attach the last step, the bias tape, this weekend. Next week I will post the last part of this process.... the visor, hood, whatever you call that thing. :) In this tutorial I am showing you the process with a chicco car seat, but the same process can be applied to ANY infant car seat. It's just a matter of being a tad courageous and trying it. what's the worst that could happen? It doesn't turn out and then you buy a new one from the manufacturer, right? That's not the end of the world, is it? For all you know, it will turn out amazing and your time will be well spent. I would say this is an intermediate tutorial. but only because of the button holes (the holes for the straps). Just practice on a scrap piece of fabric. It just takes a few times to get it down. But most people are not going to stare at the craftsmanship of your holes... they'll be so amazed that YOU MADE IT!!!! So give it a try!!!

You will need:
1 yard each of 2 contrasting fabrics (more for the hood later on) so, 2 yards.
sewing machine
heavy duty machine needles
seam ripper
bias tape (buy the same size as the one already on the car seat
a sandwich bag to hold all the little pieces

1. The Old cover
Get out the old, ugly carseat cover.

2. Something to keep you entertained (if sewing isn't enough:)
Turn on the bachelorette episode you missed the other night and get ready for some fun!

3. Marking pieces.
Label all of the pieces on the car seat cover.

4. Get out the trusty seam ripper.

5. remove hardware.
Remove all of the little pieces that are used to attach your cover to the car seat and put them in your sandwich bag so you do not loose them. Some car seats do not have these, but my combi and this chicco one do.

6. Remove bias tape.
Locate all the elastic parts and start removing the binding that is covering the elastic. Be careful not to rip the elastic. If this is still in good shape, you will be reusing this later. If you need new elastic, you will have to put your cover back on the base and figure out how long of a piece of elastic that you need to keep it tightly on your carseat. This shouldn't be too hard to figure out. Just take your time. If this is something you need to do and you need some help, let me know if you have questions.

This is how it will look once you have removed all of the bias tape.

Once you have the bias tape off, mark where the ends of the elastic are attached on the BACK of the cover. If you mark it on the front, you won't know where it goes when it's time to attach it. Then, it's a really big pain to figure out where it was (trust me... I've done that). Then, remove the elastic.

7. Taking it apart.
Locate the seams on the back of the cover that look like this:

This is what you will be ripping apart.

With your seam ripper, make a small hole in the seam.

Then, with your hands, just pull it apart. This part should be easy but if it won't pull apart easily, use your seam ripper. But these things are thick so pulling it apart won't destroy it. At least, it hasn't for me.

8. remove any unwanted parts.
Chicco car seats have this cord right where the baby's head will eventually press against it. That just does not look comfortable to me, so I removed it.

When you take the cording out (the red piece), you will be left with a hole. just top stitch this down. You can do so now, or later. but don't forget.

9. The pieces.
Once your pieces are apart, you should have something like this.

You will have more or less pieces depending on the brand of your cover.

10. The Fabric.
Now you get to use your fabric... here's what I have.

11. Tracing and Cutting
Decide where you want your fabrics to be. I put the flowers in the center and the dots on the outside pieces. Then, lay your fabric out, face down. Put your pieces on top, face down. Then, either trace it with a parking pen, or pin the pieces down (I didn't, but you really should take the time to do this step) and start cutting them out.

12. Start Sewing.
Use a straight stitch to sew your new fabric to your old pieces. Do this with all of them.

Trim the edges on all of the pieces so that the new fabric matches up with the old piece.

13. Sew any crease lines.

There will be some lines on some of the pieces. They look like this:

See the line down the fabric a few inches from the bottom? That's the crease line. Your cover needs to be able to bend here. So, to help it do so, just top stitch on top of that line.

14. The button holes.
Don't fret this part. It really looks worse than it is. If you haven't done it before, just get a scrap piece of fabric and practice. You will need that dusty manual for your sewing machine to figure it out.

First, I pinned my strap holes shut. Then, I just top stitched around it to hold the hole closed. Use a long stitch so it is easier to pull out later (which you will probably be doing). I didn't, but you should! It will save you the hassle that I had! :)

This is how the top will look. It doesn't need to be pretty.

On the top of the fabric, mark the length of your strap hole. That way, when you're making the button holes, you know where to start and stop.

Once you are done, you will have this. See where that straight stitch is showing? Grab your seam ripper and pull those out, being careful not to pull out the stitches for the button hole you just made.

Now, insert the seam ripper in one end of the strap hole and slide it across to the other side. Don't cut your seams... do it gently. I didn't have one, but you could use a razor blade to have more control.

It should now look like this. Just take a small pair of scissors and trim it to be a nice clean edge.

15. making the hole for the strap adjuster.
Some covers may not have this. This is where you pull the strap to make the shoulder straps tighter.
First, cut an "X" in the middle and pin the pieces to the back.

Do a zig zag stitch around the edges.

Once you're done with that, flip it over and trip the pieces down.

16. Assemble!
Now, the fun part, and a bit difficult. Make sure the needle on your machine is a heavy duty needle. If not, it's just going to break often.

Pin two pieces together, right sides facing.

You will be able to see where you pulled out a straight stitch (I couldn't get a good picture of it). Do a straight stitch there and then a zig zag stitch around the edges... or, if you're more lucky than me, use a serger. Either will be fine.

You can kind of see both stitch lines on the above picture.
Do this will all of the main pieces except the un-padded ones that pull to the side and back of the car seat.
You should now have this:

17. Sewing the side/back pieces.
Now, working with the un-padded pieces:

Now you need to sew the back pieces together. right sides facing, sew all of the seams the way you did in the other steps. straigh and zig zag stitches.

You should have one long piece once you're done.

I didn't sew it in a complete circle until I had it all pinned (next step). You could if you wanted to though. I just wanted to make sure everything would match up.

18. Attaching the side/back pieces.
Pin the long piece to the cover.

Once you have it all lined up, sew the bottom seam shut, closing your long piece that you just pinned on. Then, sew the pieces together with a straight stitch and a zig zag stitch.

Now you should have this:

19. Attach elastic.
Pin the elastic down and sew the ends down a few times.

Now you just need to add bias tape around your edges. Then, do the same process with the visor. Take it apart, recover, and sew it back the way it was.