Friday, April 30, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge

I think Meg over at elsie marley is so cool. I adore her. She's hosting a Kids Clothes Week Challenge and you can read all the details about it here. It will run during the second week of May. It looks like there are a lot of people participating already. I am joining in as well & I've been thinking about what I want to make for the girls. There are a lot of things they could use: more summer pajamas, leggings, skirts... But summer dresses are consuming my thoughts these days. Should I find some patterns or just make up my own? Hmm....

Anyway, I think it will be a great way to share ideas & I'm super excited to see what everybody makes. :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I was lucky enough to be able to participate in a group phone interview with Thomas Balmes, the director of the movie BABIES, which comes out in theaters Mother's Day weekend.

After speaking with Mr. Balmes, I am even more excited to see this movie! He spent 5 years making this film! It follows four babies in four different parts of the world from birth to one year old. It was interesting to hear from him how hard it was to fit in some of the living rooms with his equipment & also to hear about some of the bonds that he formed with the families through this experience. Thomas has children of his own, and I also enjoyed hearing from him what he took back to his life & family after being away from them during the filming. One thing he mentioned was how technology fits into our culture. Sometimes it overcomes our family time & we're not fully there with our kids because we're focusing on both them & the computer at the same time.

It's not a big budget movie full of special effects, but if the trailer is any indication, it should be a very emotionally powerful & genuinely entertaining movie.

There is no commentary in the movie & the director wants the viewer to formulate their own questions about how our cultures differ & how we raise our children. I imagine that some thoughts may come up that just because some things are socially acceptable in our culture, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's the best for us & our children. I am hoping that after seeing the difference in the way I raise my babies & the way the babies in Mongolia & Namibia are raised, I will leave the theater with more conviction that my children do not need any more toys!

I'm really stoked on seeing this movie. I think going to see it might even be a Mother's Day treat to myself. :) Anyway, Here's the trailer one more time:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This Is Why I Sew

I didn't make this pillow for Claire initially. Actually, I made it to sell in my etsy shop. But when it didn't sell, I put it in her crib instead of re-listing it & it's been her "little pillow" from there on out. Her lovey. Her special comfort item. She hugs it every night when she goes to bed & carries around through out the day.

Little pillow has been well loved. One time we couldn't find her little pillow for a week & then it finally showed up in the front yard. It had been laying outside in the elements for a week. And it rained that week! It smelled like dirt.

Claire got sick a few weeks back & little pillow ended up going through the wash for the millionth time, but this time it didn't make it through very well. Claire couldn't survive without it so she's still be sleeping with it, stuffing falling out & all.

So I did a little cutting & stitching & re-stuffing & fixed little pillow all up. After doing so I tucked it next to Claire as she slept soundly in her bed. I couldn't wait for her reaction in the morning. The next morning she came out of her room, carrying her little pillow & running to me saying, "You fixed my little pillow, Mommy!". She felt so happy & I felt so happy & I couldn't help but think, "This is why I sew".

*** I am headed out of town for a few days with my Mom & my sisters. We're going to Women's Conference in Utah. Dylan will be holding down the fort while I'm away. Hopefully he'll have some funny stories to tell when I get back. :) I have scheduled a few more posts for the rest of the week & then watch out!! I have something exciting planned for the first week of May. :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Brand New Alphabet Posters

We've been wanting to offer a Sparkle Power alphabet poster for quite some time & Dylan has finally been able to design a really awesome one. Aren't they pretty? Available in the same six colors as the La La Love You Posters: pink, yellow, orange, lime green, light blue & aqua blue. Perfect for any nursery, playroom or kids bedroom. Now available in the etsy shop!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Giveaway - Skip Hop Bin-Go

I have another giveaway for you today through CSN Stores. This time through their Baby Cribs Plus site. They sent me a Skip Hop Bin-Go Large Storage Bin and Tote Bag in the sky blue color. I think this product is awesome because it's well designed & super functional. I was surprised at how much stuff I could fit in it. I could load up tons of toys & then the handles are really nice for then carrying the toys back to the kids room. I immediately thought how wonderful this on the go bin would be for carrying my packages to the post office.

I love that it folds up completely flat when you're not using it, but then sits open like a box without closing back up while you're filling it. Then you just grab the handles & take it wherever you need to go. Back to the kids room to distribute toys or to the post office!

Baby Cribs Plus is offering one lucky winner a Skip Hop Large Bin-Go in the color of their choice!

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. To enter please leave a comment on this post & be sure to leave your e-mail address.

Followers receive one additional entry. If you follow this blog in any way, please leave one additional comment letting me know that you follow. This will count as your second entry.

I will take comments through May 2nd. Good Luck!

Winner - Yoreganics Organic Laundy Sampler

The random number generator chose comment number 56 which happened to be Sarah who said:

Congrats!! Thank you to Yoreganics for the awesome prize. I wanted to mention that I tried the stain remover over the weekend. My sister-in-law asked to borrow my moses basket for her new baby. When I got the basket out of storage, I noticed that it had a spit up stain in the bottom of it. Which means that it got put away without being washed when Claire grew out of it oh, about 2 & 1/2 years ago!! I sprayed the bedding with the stain remover & tossed it in the washing machine. I was amazed at how much of the stain came out. It was still there but barely noticeable. I call that a miracle. :)

I'll be back a little later today with a new giveaway.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Claire!

My mini me turned 3 this weekend. We had a great family party. She's a doll. I can't get enough of her.

She's my super good dancer with great shoulder & hip action. My joker & singer. She feels safe within the rules. A little timid with strangers but not with us. She's starting to show this nasty 3 year old independence stuff, but still an incredible sweetheart with great fish face kisses & a genuine excitement over the littlest things that is just contagious. We love her!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

T-Shirt Nightgown Tutorial

Happy Earth Day! I love Earth Day & I'm really excited to share this eco friendly sewing tutorial with you today. :)

My clever sister-in-law, Lilia, came up with this great idea to make nightgowns for our little girls out of adult size t-shirts. So using t-shirts from your donate pile or ones that you've picked up from the thrift store, you can make some easy breezy night shirts for your little ones that are adorable & cost next to nothing. Plus it's eco friendly as you are giving something headed for the trash a whole new life & a whole new use.

I picked up this Bruce Woodbury t-shirt at Goodwill this weekend for .75 cents. I think it's awesome & hilarious because when I was a little girl we had a bunch of t-shirts from this local politician that we wore for pajama shirts. Remember that, my sisters?

Anyway, start with an adult size t-shirt. A size small works really well because the neck hole is smaller.

I was making this nightgown for Sadie, so I took one of her existing nightgowns & laid it on top of the t-shirt, folding the sleeves over like this:

Using the nightgown as a pattern, cut up the sides and around the arm hole openings.

Now you'll need to cut smaller sleeves out of the original t-shirt sleeves. We just free handed this. Cut a shape like shown below.

Just make sure the sleeve looks like it will fit the size of the arm hole plus 1/4 inch for the seam allowance at the underarm of the sleeve.

Next, with right sides together, sew the bottom of sleeves together & the sides of the t-shirt body together. Use a serger if you have one. Or check out this video on how to sew stretch fabrics without a serger.

Okay. Now turn the sleeves right side out & insert them into the arm hole opening this way.
Pin it in place. Then take it to the serger or sewing machine & stitch into place, removing the pins as you go along.

Turn your nightgown right side out. At this point you can leave the nightgown as it is, or you can cut a curve along the bottom like I've done here:

Then just serge along the edge to finish it up & you've got a cute, comfy little nightgown that looks like this:

Here are some others that I've made. They're not all perfect, but they look adorable on the little girls. They are light & perfect for summer. Not to mention super cheap to make & great for the environment!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

5 Things

1. The BFF posters are back in the shop. They've had a little makeover just like all the rest of the posters. Take a look at them all gussied up. :)

2. So I've put up a couple tutorials recently & I have another one planned for tomorrow. A super cool eco-friendly one for Earth Day. Writing a tutorial used to feel a bit overwhelming for me, but they seem to be a breeze now & I really enjoy sharing. Hopefully I'll be able to continue adding more. Do you enjoy seeing them here? Any specific tutorial you'd like to see? Please share.

3. It was crazy windy yesterday, so to get the girls to come inside I told them we could make a craft. I cut crowns out of an empty cereal box & let them paint them & glue on chipboard flowers & stars. I stapled elastic to the back. Just like we did with these ones. We haven't done anything like this in a long time. I felt like a good mom.

4. Claire is turning 3 on Friday & I've been having all kinds of crazy emotions & mood swings. I cannot believe that my baby is getting so big.

5. Do you guys know what my favorite color is? Just wondering if I've ever mentioned it or if it shows through. Any guesses? :)

Be back tomorrow with that tutorial!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Giveaway - Yoreganics Organic Laundry Sampler

I was contacted a little while back by the super friendly Kim of Yorganics. She wanted to introduce me to her organic laundry products & so she sent me the laundry sampler & a lip balm to try. Read about Kim's interesting story here.

The product that intrigued me the most was the soap nuts. They are dried fruit berries that fall from trees in Northern India & Nepal. Their outer shells contain saponin, which creates a natural soap when agitated in water. You just put about 5 of the nuts into a little wash bag, which comes with the sampler. Then you toss them in the water before you add your clothes to the washing machine. You can use the same bag of soap nuts for 4-6 washes.

My clothes came out just as clean with these yoreganic soap nuts as they do with detergent. There wasn't a scent to these & so my clothes came out without a scent. This is something to keep in mind, but this is definitely a feature that many would be interested in.

A little more info about the soap nuts:
- EcoCert certified organic, so no chemicals or pesticides.
- sustainable & biodegradable
- hypoallergenic, good for those w/ allergies, eczema & psoriasis
- works in all washing machines
- excellent for cloth diapers

I also used the Brightens & Whitens on my load of towels, because not only does it remove stains, but it restores absorbency because it strips detergent residue. I was pleased with the results. My towels felt great.

Then there was the lip balm. I fell in love with the lip balm. It is so, so smooth & makes your lips tingle just a little bit. I love it. You will too!

Giveaway details: Kim has been kind enough to offer one reader a laundry sampler as well as a lip balm! This is the perfect giveaway with Earth Day coming up!

In order to enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post.
Please leave your e-mail address, so that I can contact you if you win.
Once again, if you are a follower, you get an extra entry. So if you follow the blog in any way, shape, or form, please leave an additional comment letting me know. :)

Good luck!
You have until April 25th to enter.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mixtape = Love Posters

Dylan spent some time this weekend reworking the mixtape = love posters & we now have them available for sale in the shop again! We decided on three colors for these: charcoal gray, light blue & seafoam green. We're quite in love with these colors. They can be masculine or feminine & either way, I feel that they are really sophisticated. We're happy with the updates. :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Little Girl Leggings Tutorial

I asked your advice a little while back on the best brand of leggings for little girls. Well, a few of you wonderfully smart readers suggested that I make my own. Duh! Not even sure why that didn't even cross my mind. I am loving my serger & getting more & more curious about sewing with knits, so why not try?!

I decided to try a pair for Claire on Friday afternoon & I am so happy with how they turned out. I took photos along the way so that I could show you exactly what I did. If you've made pajama pants for your kids, it's the exact same thing, just with knit jersey fabric (or any other stretch fabric) & a skinnier leg.

I started with a pair of H&M leggings that fit Claire well. I laid them on the fabric. Notice where the folded edge is.

Then I cut around the pants about a quarter inch bigger along the length of the leg & an inch longer at the top & 1/2 an inch longer at the bottom.

Take the leg piece you just cut out. Lay it on the fold of another section of the fabric & use it as a pattern to cut another leg piece.

With right sides together, sew up the leg pieces.

Next, turn one leg piece right side out.

Insert it into the other leg piece so that you have the seams lining up & right sides together.

Pin in place & then sew together along the curve.

Now here's where my camera battery died, but I kept going. Sorry. At this point with the pants inside out, serge along the top edge, or waist of the pants & along the edge of both of the leg holes.

Fold the waist down one inch & sew it in place with your regular sewing machine to create a casing for the elastic, leaving a few inches open.

The waist will have a space for the elastic to go in.

The leg holes can now be folded under & top stitched into place. One of my readers suggested adding some stretch lace at the leg openings. I think this is a fabulous idea. I just didn't happen to have any on hand when I made these.

Using a safety pin on your elastic, thread your elastic into the casing at the waist. When you've got it through & the length that you want it, pin the elastic ends together & sew in place going back & forth with your sewing to reinforce it. Stitch the opening closed & you're done!

Try them on your little cutie & be proud of yourself.

I bought this knit jersey fabric either with a 50% off coupon or on a 50% off sale. It was under $4 a yard. I think I remember it being $3.50? I used less than half a yard to make these so they were cheap & quick. I'm excited to make more!
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