Monday, May 31, 2010

Projects again

I'm sort of hooked on making skirts for Caris.  They're so cute on her!  Plus, since Lynette inspired me to applique shapes onto t-shirts for her, I can make up a matching outfit (using stash fabrics and a purchased t-shirt) for under $5!

This is my favorite go-to hairdo for her.  French braid across the top to keep her growing-out bangs out of her face, to a ponytail, which I then braid, twist, curl or as shown here, put into a messy bun.  Quick and sweet!
After the skirt was done she looked a little sad about wearing it.  I wasn't happy about that but noticed that she was holding her Hello Kitty keychain notepad and asked if she wanted a belt loop on the skirt to hold it.  She definitely DID, and the skirt became an instant fave.

Once the skirt was finished, Graham petitioned me for a bag like the tote I had made Caris the week before.  We went through my fabrics and settled on a combination of denim, a surf print and a gray textured something or other.  I asked if he'd like shorter handles on his tote - I figured it would look more boyish that way.  He said no, that he wanted to be able to carry it like his "green bag" (a VERY old military style messenger bag).  Duh, why hadn't I thought about making him a messenger bag?

He said he wanted a "G" on the front and that he wanted it to be frayed.  I am so happy with the way it turned out!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

1st-time baseball

Canaan has been so excited for baseball season to start!  He's watched his siblings - well, mainly his brothers - play so many sports and he's been itching for his turn.  He's in luck!  T-ball has started up at last.  His first practice was last week, and I ate up all the cuteness.

Ohhh my gosh, baby boys stretching??  Is this not THE CUTEST??
Alif is his coach, which is probably at least part of the appeal - you know how Canaan loves his Daddy!
First try he hit the tee, second try he sent it flying.  GOOD JOB BUDDY!!  RUN! RUN! RUUUNNNN!
YES!!  You're on first!  Woo hooooo!! . . . oh . . . wait . . . you spied Mama.  And Mama's lap looked a LOT cozier than the windy, rainy field.  Who could blame you?  :-D


I tell you what, I have not sewn in a while!  I have so many fabrics, most of which aren't my style any more, and just so many sewing supplies all-around that are unorganized, that embarking on a simple project takes way more effort than I have the energy for.  Once I get going though, the creative juices start to flow and I go on a sort of sewing binge. 

The first projects were for this little cutie:

I started with this ballet tote.  She'd been asking me for a while to make her a ballet bag.  I assumed she would want a sort of backpack, but when I showed her a few she said that she had a bag in her head and that it was pink and it had two shoulder straps and her name and ballet shoes on the front.  Well hey, that's easy!  I found a tutorial and set to work.  The embroidery on the front took a while but I'm so happy with the way it turned out.

I had a really hard time with the fabric combo on this one, so I ended up using a mish-mash of fabrics Caris liked.  Here's the back:

 Here's the front when you flip it inside-out:
 After the tote was finished I sewed up a couple of skirts.  Here's one . . .
 She loves it!  Yay!  Sewing for children is the BEST.  They get excited about it, they know exactly what they want, and it always looks adorable on them.

Graham got in on the photo shoot action.  Pretty soon all four kids were doing somersaults and handstands all over the yard.

Here's another project that came together easily - a baby gift for my friend Chelsea's baby boy:

The front of the blanket is unbleached something-or-other and soft brown flannel.  The back is a gorgeous green-gray fine-wale corduroy that makes me want to take a nap.  The patchwork binding turned out really cute, but next time I'll avoid denim and corduroy in a patchwork binding.  My machine didn't sound super thrilled with the many, many layers - especially around the corners.  Anyway, a couple of cute monograms for the blanket and onesie made this a special gift that baby will surely enjoy.

A couple more finished projects to come once I upload pictures!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Like you, I'm sure, I kept seeing Swagbucks mentioned all over the blogosphere.  I'm not quick to jump into new programs because some of them can be very time-consuming and despite the promises, not offer much in the way of actual payout.  So I watched from the sidelines and finally, toward the end of March, I jumped in.

Since March, I have accrued $35 in gift cards to Amazon while spending virtually no extra time on the computer.  Here are my tips, in case you'd like to join too.  (Disclaimer: that link will give me credit for your joining, and I will earn along with you for your first 1,000 swagbucks.)

1) Join!  It's free, quick and easy.

2) Search like you would with Google, but instead, use your Swagbucks search engine.  It's my default search engine in my browser, so any time I need to learn about something I just search it through Swagbucks.  A few times a day, a happy little box pops up, telling me that I earned points for my search.  Yippee!

2) Download the Swagbucks toolbar.  It's not a big deal.  It will put a small toolbar at the top of your browser and you can use it to search, it shows the running total of how many Swagbucks you have, and you can also receive mail from The Swag Guy (TSG) with codes you can enter at for extra points.

3) Subscribe to the Swagbucks blog.  Codes are often posted on the blog.

4) Subscribe to the Swagbucks Twitter feed.  Same thing - contests and codes are posted there.

5) Join the Swagbucks Facebook page.  You can get help there from experienced Swagbucks users to help you with any questions you might have.  Also, if you check the Facebook page and see lots of "thanks TSG!" messages, you know there's a code posted somewhere.  (See #s 2-4.)

6) Pretty much every website I visit, I go through swagbucks.  This adds a couple seconds to the process, that much I'll give you.  Instead of just typing into my browser, I'll type Old Navy into the Swagbucks search bar, then click on the Old Navy official site.  It's the same as doing a search, and it's probably how I get the most points, just because I visit Facebook 18,921 times per day and well, I'm bound to get some search points for at least a couple of those visits.

7) There are TONS of prizes available, but it seems like the general consensus is that the $5 Amazon gift cards are among the best.  You can use them all at one time if you want to, unlike some of the other gift cards available.  I'm planning to use mine for Christmas goodies.  Right now I'm averaging a $5 gift card about every 7-10 days.  Not bad for just using the internet as usual!