Friday, September 30, 2011

Finn's Quilt

Here it is!  Finn's baby quilt.  I am in love with this quilt & am so happy that I finished it before he was born!  I started out with the idea that I would make a patchwork quilt out of solid squares of fabric.  Then I saw this tutorial for half square triangles by Christina of The Sometimes Crafter and I knew that I wanted to try it out!

Now this quilt is not at all perfect.  I can see where many of the squares don't link up or the stitching is the complete opposite of straight, but I love it anyway.  The color combination makes me happy & it totally shows my love for triangles right now.  It's modern & crisp & colorful & awesome. 

I hope Finn likes it too.  His own quilt, made by hand by his mama before we even knew him.  :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Guest Post - Smile and Wave

Hi, I'm Rachel Denbow from Smile and Wave! My husband, Brett, teases me about taking pictures of pictures. I've been documenting my favorite Instax photos by photographing them on top of vintage fabrics for the last few months. It only made sense to recreate that concept in a photo frame and what better place to share it than on another vintage sheet lover's blog!

To make your own patchwork photo frame you'll need the following: A frame with glass and a cardboard backing, fabric scraps, low loft batting (or two layers of flannel), fabric for the backing, straight pins, a sewing machine, scissors, fabric glue.

Measure the size of your frame. I suggest something larger rather than smaller but it depends on how much fabric you want showing. Then decide if you want small or large squares. I cut mine to 3.5" x 3.5". I used a variety of my favorites for a colorful  effect.

Once you've decided on the arrangement you like best, pin them together in rows and then stitch them together. Iron the seams flat.

Next, pin the rows together and stitch them. Iron flat as you go.

Don't worry too much if your corners don't match up all the way. It's charming, right?

To get a flatter look, iron all of your seams in the same direction. This is what your back will look like.

Place your fabric backing down (I used a regular white sheet but if you decide to use a print, place it with the wrong side up), then lay the low loft batting on top, and finally your patchwork top.

 Pin them together with straight pins.

Stitch on either side of each seam starting from the center and working to either side. Remove your pins as you go. Trim your ends.

Center your cardboard backing over your patchwork, trim excess.

Center your photo (or photos) on your patchwork top and place just a little bit of fabric glue on the back of your photo and press it down. Place it in your frame and double-check that it's centered.

I painted my frame a minty blue once I decided on my fabric choices rather than the green and then hung it on the wall on Ruby's side of the room. If you want a more worn look, get your patchwork piece wet (before you trim the edges) and stick it in the dryer. Another non-sewing alternative is to find a cutter quilt and trim it down to size.

It's a sweet addition to a nursery and would make a thoughtful shower gift! Enjoy.

Thanks for having me, Candace, and congratulations on such a handsome little man!



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Guest Post - Hart + Sew

Hello! My name is Stacy Hart and I am happy to be stepping in for Candace while she spends some well earned time resting and cuddling her sweet baby boy! Congratulations!

The first thing you should know about me is I love all things children's vintage. I am also a wife to a handsome husband, and a mother to LM (3) and Lark (6 months), who are both blonde, blue-eyed dolls - one sports ringlets, the other peach fuzz and pixie ears. I stay at home with my girls and whenever I can find the time I work on my vintage children's etsy shop, and blog over at hart + sew where I give peeks into our lives, share craft projects and lucky thrift finds, and dress up my girls (and sometimes myself) in pretty vintage frocks.

My niece who is the same age as LM has a birthday coming up and I wanted to make something special to give her. I love to sew vintage patterns, and recently came across this darling 1920's felt cloche pdf pattern. With fall just around the corner I thought it would be the perfect unique gift!

Of course, I couldn't resist making one for my little girl too and it was so easy I just might make another! I had LM model them for me during a trip to the park on a warm day, but I can't wait to pair the hat with a cute pea coat and scarf when the weather turns cooler.

When I sew vintage patterns I like to imagine the sweet little girls many years ago who wore these same styles...and I'm sure they probably made silly faces while wearing them too!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Guest Post - Kiki Creates

Hi everyone! I am so happy to be here at Sparklepower today to share a fun little project with you while Candace is busy loving on her new little boy.

My name is Kiki from Kiki Creates, my little piece of blogland where I share projects, DIY, free printables and the inspiration where it all comes from. 
I, myself, have 3 little munchkins and am due with baby #4 in December, so you can probably imagine that I have baby on the brain!  One of my favorite things to take to a friend who has just had a baby is a jar full of treats..and not just treats for anytime but a jar of treats for those 4 a.m. wakeups that happen so often from the start with a newborn.  It takes just a few minutes to put together, but can give mommy OR daddy a little sweet treat for being up so early!

All it takes is a can buy one at the store or recycle an old jelly or pickle jar.  Pick out some special treats...and you can make it ANYTHING...if they don't like sweets try something else! Fill the jar:

And use the free downloadable tags I am giving you today to embellish it.  You can make it as simple as can be:

This one was simply printed on sticker paper:

Or as embellished as you would like:

On this one, I ruffled some streamers, ruffled some felt and sewed around the tag that I printed on paper. I made a strap for the jar from paper that has been punched on the sides.

Either way, you have a really fun and easy project to throw together to take to a friend who has just had a baby!

Thanks, Candace, for having me!  Congrats on your new baby!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

One Week

Not too long ago I looked like this sitting at my desk.   The view is a little different these days.  :)

Finn is such a good baby.  He sleeps so well & doesn't need to be held in order to sleep.  So he hasn't been in our bed much at all.  Which means that I've been able to sleep pretty hard.  Not having to worry about where he is in the bed.  I'm actually somewhat enjoying late night feedings with him.  Well, when I can keep my eyes open it's pretty enjoyable.  It's like my own little love fest with him.  I get to snuggle him & breathe him in while the rest of the house is quiet & still & it's pretty special.  I start feeling pretty mushy sometimes during those late night feedings.  I feel so full of love for my little baby & for my bigger babies & for my hot husband.  :)  I'm pretty sure that I'm the luckiest girl in the world.  :)

I am amazed at the human body.  I can't believe how quickly it heals.  I am feeling pretty good.  So good that I am taking less & less of my pain meds.  I still have to remind myself that I just had major surgery just over a week ago.  Sometimes I push myself too hard & I feel it later. 

Breastfeeding is a full time job.  Seems like that's all I do these days.  Breastfeeding has always been pretty difficult for me.  We gave Sadie a bottle pretty early on & it was impossible to get her to breastfeed after that.  She was no dummy.  She wanted her food the quick & easy way.  With Claire, I breastfed her for a couple months but she failed to gain weight.  They call it "failure to thrive".  So she switched to formula.  With Finn, I have been so determined to make breastfeeding work!  Luckily he's a good little eater.  I took him to the doctor last week for a weight check & he had lost one pound which is more than they like to see, so were are doing a little supplementing with formula.  I've been so worried that introducing the bottle will make him turn against me.  So far that's not the case & we are hoping that we can bump his weight back up quickly.

Some things I don't want to forget:

Both of the girls loved their big sister bags that I gave them in the hospital.  They took them to school the next day in their backpacks & wore their "big sister" buttons.

Sadie wants so badly for me to bring the baby into her class to show everybody.

Claire calls nipples "nibbles".

Whenever Claire is around Finn or holds him she says, "Hi Finney!  It' me, big sissy!!" and she kisses his feet & his hands & his nose.  I think she enjoys finally being a big sister.

Claire has been given the job of being my "bender".  She bends down to pick things up off the ground for me.  She takes this job pretty seriously & feels a real sense of being needed.  It's so good for me because I really do need a "bender".

We say that Dylan has the magic touch with Finn.  He can calm him down like nobody else...besides me.  I love that Finn knows both his mama & his daddy.  It is adorable to see Dylan with his baby.  He is so in love with Finn.

Dylan gets 2 weeks of paternity leave & it has been amazing to have him around.  I am so much less stressed.  Really wishing he could be around like this all the time.

I looooove having a newborn.  This stage has always been pretty difficult for me.  But this time around with Dylan here to help, I am less exhausted & enjoying this baby so much!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Guest Post - Life Made Lovely

Hello there Sparkle Power readers!  My name is Heather from Life Made Lovely, where I share about taking the life I've been handed and how I choose to make it lovely through design, vintage, family, and faith.   

For the last year or so I've been working at updating our little home to better reflect the people that live in it.  Things are finally beginning to come together, and the result is a space that feels more like my family and I than ever before.  In our home you'll find a lot of vintage, handmade and re-purposed items, all with a modern touch to keep things feeling fresh.

Today, I thought I'd share one of my favorite corners with you.  It's my workspace that now resides in our completely un-formal living room.  Our house isn't a large one, so we want to make a point to use every inch that we can, which is why we opted to ditch a formal living room space and created a reading/working space instead.  Every day, while my 2 year old daughter naps, I can be found in this space either working on a new design for a client, writing a blog post, or just staring at Pinterest. Regardless of what I'm doing, this new to me space keeps me feeling refreshed and inspired.  

home office space

My vintage three panel Korean Air Lines wall map is one of my all time favorite  finds.  I paid a mere $36 for it!  To keep little fingers (we have 2 little ones in our house) from ripping the seams of the map, we opted to finish it off with molding. This wall lacks a window, which made it a perfect home for my map, but also makes it a bit dark.  Adding a strand of twinkle lights to the space fixed that problem and brought in a dose of happiness and light.

corner office

My desk is made from a leftover piece of butcher block from our kitchen remodel and a pair of trestle legs from IKEA.  I found the chair at a thrift store for $5, painted it a modern shade of grey, and distressed it a bit.  With my pretty pillow from IKEA it becomes a perfect home office chair.

inspiration wall

I created the gallery wall over my desk by using prints from Etsy, my kids artwork, a print created by me, and some vintage bits and pieces.

storm trooper art

I love mixing vintage, industrial, handmade, and modern together to create a really personal moment...just like this.  My son created the clone trooper drawing when he was around five years old, and beside the fact that I LOVE how he drew it off center, I love how I can take something he made and turn it into more of a feature just by framing it in a simple modern frame and then adding a huge and chippy vintage frame around it to add it it's importance.  To make my 2 year old daughter's water color feel more important I framed it with a vintage frame I paid just 50 cents for.  

pretty desktop

Creating this useful space in our house cost very little money, but has made a huge difference in the way we use our home.  The room that used to be dark and hard to use, has now become a lovely space that the whole family gravitates towards. As a way to help spread a little lovely around, I've created a free downloadable print just for Sparkle Power readers!  Click the link below the image to download your own 8x10 print.  Enjoy!!

8x10 Free Printable From Life Made Lovely

Thank you for letting me share my little space with you and your readers today, Candace!  I hope you and your family are enjoying these precious first few weeks with your sweet baby boy.  -xo Heather

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Guest Post - 397miles


Hi! My name is Christine and I am the color loving lady (and graphic designer) behind the blog I share the blog with my talented lady friend, Jessica, who lives 397 miles away. I enjoy sharing all things I make, eat and am inspired by.

That said, I am a h u g e fan of gift wrapping and love to find fun and easy ways to spice up my packages. Just the other week I made this petite paper skillet for my husband’s birthday. In excitement for the arrival of baby boy Todd, this is a cute and colorful way you can liven up a simple kraft box for a lovely baby boy!


• 3 - 2.5” x 3.75” cover stock cards (I hand painted these cards but you can easily substitute with solid or patterned paper.)

• Hole Punch

• Twine (I used Divine Twine, an eco-luxe twine that can be found at Olive Manna’s shop.)

• Scissors

• 2” Vinyl Letters

• Kraft or white box (like this one from Etsy)


1. If desired, hand paint 2.5” x 3.75” cards. If using colored or patterned paper, skip this step.

2. Punch cards on top and bottom.

3. Measure all 4 sides of the box. Add additional 3” to total length. That will be the length to cut 3 pieces of twine.

4. Feed twine through punch and center card on twine.

5. Peel and apply vinyl letters to cards. (Vinyl is repositionable.)

6. Assemble by wrapping twine around box and secure with double knot on the back side.

7. Hand deliver or ship to loved one.

This little gem will be shipped to Mrs. Candace asap. Congratulations dear!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hospital Photos

You know how hospital rooms can be really difficult for taking photos?  Well, I didn't anticipate having such a wonderful big window in our room that opened up to allow so much natural light in.  So I had previously asked my sister, Heather, who is ah-mazing with a camera to come & take some photos in the hospital.  I really wanted to have some great photos of those very first few days with Finn.  I wanted to be able to remember in detail just how he looked in the very beginning & I knew that Heather would capture that perfectly.  She got all these amazing shots in a matter of minutes.  

I will cherish these beautiful photos forever.  These images are so, so special to me.  Love them!!! 

If you are local & are starting to think about family photos for holiday cards & such, you can book a session with my amazing sister now.  Check out her blog for details.

P.S.  Thank you for all of your sweet comments!  I am doing well & enjoying this baby boy so much.  I hope you are enjoying the guest posts as much as I am.  It is so hard for me to find time to blog with this baby + my girls needing so much of my attention.  So I am thankful that these super sweet guest bloggers are helping me keep things rolling around here!  Thanks, girls!!!

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