Monday, January 24, 2011

My First Softie

So, I'm sort of a freak when it comes to reduce/reuse/recycle and I ADORE using old things to make new things and I very much dislike throwing things away.  You may have noticed that what with the tshirt yarn rug and coffee ground body scrub I've blogged about... one person's trash is another's treasure!  So, I've decided to make "softies" for Mo using fabric remnants and Nate's old tshirts.  This is my first attempt and it looks a wee bit wonky but in all honesty, I didn't want it to look too perfect or typical, I wanted it to have a little personality: 

I used a super soft baby fleece remnant for the light gray body and the dark gray tummy is from one of Nate's tshirts.  I guess it's kind of a pillow/softie because I made it big and flat so he can lay his little babyhead on it.  When I was little my mom made me a patchwork dog pillow and I adored the stuffing out of it - I STILL have it and am very careful to keep it from disintegrating.  That sweet dog pillow/softie was made from little squares of fabric remnants my Mom had from dresses she'd made me... her craftiness definitely inspired me to try this little bear pillow/softie. 

Lucky for me the fleece remnant was larger than I'd thought so I made a little matching fleece blanky for Mo -- if we are in Colorado it will get a lot of use as a blanket and if we're in Texas then it will be nice just to throw down on the floor or couch to lay him on:
My Sis taught me this technique of cutting slits and tying knots to finish the fleece edges -- I'm thinking it will be perfect for little babyfingers to grasp and hold. 


So, since Mo's room will have a Noah's Ark / Jungle theme I decided I'd splurge on this awesome animal "totem" from Hobby Lobby (plus the 40% off coupon was a nice incentive):
It's made of metal and will look cool hanging on his wall... I'm really hoping Nate will let me either paint huge leaves on the walls or at least maybe I can find some giant leaf decals... I really want it to feel jungle-y and fun in his room.  I have no idea how old he'll be before he realizes what sort of decor his room has so I guess for a while the room will be decorated for me and Nate to enjoy.  :) 


Oh, and I made another pair of little booties, this time out of a natural-colored yarn speckled with mustard and teal flecks... they're a gift for some tiny babyfeet but I can't say for who because they just got dropped in the mail today and I want them to be a surprise!  :)

Aren't they sweet?!  So many booties to make, so little time!  This Spring there will be some serious babyfeet pitter-pattering around our families' houses.  With my sister-in-law's due-date just six weeks behind ours we're going to have some majorly excited grandparents and aunties and uncles around!   I CAN'T WAIT!  I've reached the third trimester (gulp) and feel like this pregnancy is flying by!  I'm just sooooo freakin' excited to meet this little boy. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesdays with Mo-baby

Well, I finished Mo's first pair o' booties with the new pattern from a really cute book, Simple Knits for Cherished Babies, a gift from Grace's Mom.  The yarn I used is the color "Teddy", a soft pale brown... I couldn't resist it:

These booties are SO DING DANG TINY!!!  This is the smallest size and the pattern gives directions for two larger sizes so I plan to make more booties in the bigger sizes too, can't have too many booties around!  :)


So I went out on a limb and went to a glass etching class/party that our pastor's wife was hosting.  There were about 25 women there, of whom I knew two, and I learned to etch the chemical way.  It was pretty cool!  It's easy and there's a lot of room for creativity and it could be a really great idea for gifts.  I kept it simple and made votive holders.  For these first three I cut long strips of contact paper and made the swirly design then painted the etching chemical over the entire votive holder, I think they turned out kinda cute:
For these two votive holders I used a "T" stencil and just etched the top half of the glass so there would be the contrast between smooth and etched (frosty parts):
These are sort of hard to see but I didn't have anything to put in the bottom of them to lift up the votive yet.  Today at Hobby Lobby i picked up some cool orange beads that I'll put under the candles then the "T" will be better illuminated - but you get the idea.   I saw the etching chemical at Hobby Lobby for $8.50 and it would last quite a while for small projects, I recommend trying it! 


Lastly, today Nate received an email from one of his Mom's old bosses from when she did some modeling and the sweet guy attached this picture of her modeling a "business woman".  I've decided she had a tawdry romance novel hidden behind that Wall Street Journal and was trying to keep a straight face:
For some reason this picture of Terry reminded me that essentially we are all here on this Earth to love each other... so let's get to LOVIN'!  xoxo  :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

100-ish Days Until Mo Can Wear Pants!!!

I'm totally fascinated by babypants right now.  They are SO FREAKIN' TINY yet still perfect versions of adult clothing.  Recently two friends have given Mo new pants and I cannot stop looking at them and imagining Mo's little fanny in the fabric!  These little monkey pants are from my friend Lara in Seattle:
and these wee babypants are from Grace:
There's a LION on the BUM!  Grace says I can get away with babypants with animals on the butt until Mo can look at his own butt and say "hey, why is there a lion on my butt?" This is a good rule to go by methinks. 

Since 2011 so far seems to be the Year of the Bootie for me (I've made two pairs of booties for girls at work and one pair of booties for cousin Heidi's new girl and one pair of booties for a friend in Denver and now am knitting Mo his first pair o' booties)... here's a pic of my new boy booties using supersoft leather laces for ties, a wee bit more masculine than ribbon I've decided:

My next project is to make blankets, burp cloths and bibs.  Here's the flannel for the blankets:
I've decided Mo would like a "theme' of Jungle/Noah's Ark... I'm really partial to animals of the jungle and woodlands but don't want to leave any animals out so I think Noah's Ark should just about cover the animal genre.  And since it feels like there's a monkey in my tummy right now I think the monkey fabric is especially apropos.  And I'm loving yellows that are warm and bright so I plan to back the blanky in yellow and make some burp cloths out of the remaining fabric.  I hear you can't have too many burp cloths.  :) 

Lastly, here's a pic of our two smallest babies sunning in our backyard... in January... 
People say these furry babies will actually have to be treated like DOGS once Mo arrives.  Pfft.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Winter Cozy Must-Haves

Ok, it's officially Winter and I'm enjoying the excuse to stay inside and drink tea and knit and cuddle with the pups EVEN though it's been in the 60s and 70s here.  I'm totally in "cold weather mode" and I love it!  I made a tummy-warming lentil soup a la Giada De Laurentiis and here's the recipe, it's a keeper:

Lentil Soup (serves 6)

2 T olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped 
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 pound lentils (approx 1.25 c)
11 c low-salt chicken broth
4-6 fresh thyme sprigs
2/3 c dried elbow pasta
1 c shredded parmesan

Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots and celery.  Add the garlic, salt and pepper and saute until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.  Add the tomatoes with their juices.  Simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.  Add the lentils and mix to coat.  Add the broth and stir.  Add the thyme sprigs.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover and simmer over low until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes.  

Stir in the pasta.  Simmer until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  

Ladle the soup into bowls.  Sprinkle with parmesan, drizzle with olive oil, serve.  


I got a fun book for Christmas put out by the mag Real Simple, 799 Uses for Old Things and there was a cool idea for a body scrub made from coffee grounds.  So I whipped up a pot o' decaf and put the grounds in a glass jar, mixed them with olive oil, sugar, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dash of vanilla extract and I tell you what... this scrub actually makes it easier for me to get out of the bed in the morning.  It is invigorating, smells of spiced coffee and leaves your skin super soft.  I'm completely in love.  
And I discovered something awesome recently for Winter skin: 100% Pure Almond Oil.  After my invigorating morning shower I gently massage two drops of almond oil onto my face and my skin has never looked better!  It soaks in so doesn't stay greasy, even on my nose, forehead and chin where I have oil problems anyways.  It smells lovely, won't clog pores and doesn't have all that other additive business most of our products have (and I got it at the grocery store for under $5):
Oh!  And here's a pic of the finished booties I knit for my cousin's new baby girl:
I'm thinking of adding hand-knit booties to my Etsy shop since I'm not all gung-ho on the jewelry making lately and am really excited about working with yarn this Winter.  My next project will be a babyhat for Mo with little bearcub ears.  I haven't found the pattern yet but I'm sure it's out there.  And then I really need to get on that diaper bag made from the fabric my bro brought back from Africa.  So much to do!  I love new projects and new beginnings in the new year!    Happy New Year!!!!