Thursday, December 9, 2010

Antique Baby Sleigh

My Grandma Haney (most of you know her as third-person Grandma) recently moved down to Alabama, and the only thing I asked for from her house was this antique baby sleigh. It's not a family heirloom; she bought it at an antiques auction. I thought it would be perfect to decorate for Christmas, but I wanted it to look like it fit the time period. I had the idea of filling it with greenery and wrapped presents, but finding the right wrapping paper was difficult. I searched online for retro, antique or reproduction paper with no luck. My mom suggested scrapbooking paper. I found lots of great choices at a local scrapbooking store in Huntsville. The thick paper was more difficult to use than regular wrapping paper but I made it work. I had the idea of cutting a piece of fleece to drape on the sleigh like a blanket, and as a finishing touch, I included a stack of envelopes with our name and address on the top in brown copperplate calligraphy. I had the perfect empty spot for it in front of the bay window in the library. It fits with the room perfectly.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Butter Cookies

My recipe for Butter Cookies is delicious; I'm posting it here so that I can link to it on Facebook for someone. I've been making these every Christmas since I was 12. The recipe is from my old babysitter. I think about and miss her every time I make them.

Butter Cookies

One recipe makes about 25-30 cookies.

Mix together

1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg

Stir in

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Chill dough. Roll thin. Cut into shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheets (I line my baking sheets with parchment paper. You can reuse it for all the batches.) Bake at 425 for 7-9 minutes until delicately browned.


1/4 cup butter, softened (1/2 stick)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk

Mix together butter and powdered sugar. Beat in vanilla and milk. (I use an extra tablespoon milk so it's not too thick.)

Note: These cookies freeze really well. You can freeze them already iced. Put wax paper between layers in an airtight container and freeze up to a month.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Baby Shower Pics!

Thank you to everyone who came to the baby shower!

Feathered Friends

This is my new favorite knitted toy. I love these little owls! The pattern is from Susan B. Anderson and can be found in the current holiday issue of Knit Simple magazine. (The reversible squirrel/hedgehog is from the same story.)

I love that you can make this owl in any color combination you want. Heinz says that it looks like they're wearing little sweaters, ha.

Cozy Pillow

Before the baby shower last week, I made a slipcover for a little pillow to put in the 100-year-old little rocking chair. I used some of the flannel fabric that I had so that it would be extra cozy. This slipcover probably took me all of 20 minutes to whip up.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Napping Pillow

A napping pillow used to be my go-to baby gift. But I don't think I've made one since I learned how to knit baby hats. But I realized that I needed to make one for the nursery. The back is the same argyle as the crib skirt.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Christmas Nightgowns

I'm pretty sure my niece, Lili, doesn't read my blog, so I think it's okay to post a sneak-peek at her Christmas present. We're getting her an American Girl doll, and last weekend I remembered how my Grandma Haney made dresses for my Cabbage Patch Doll. You can buy outfits for the American Girl doll on their website (for $30) and ones to match their owner (for $60). I thought that it would be cuter, and cheaper, to make my own. So I got two Simplicity patterns and some Christmas flannel fabric (which I am in love with) and made these for Lili and her doll. The bottom hem of Lili's nightgown was plain, and I liked the gathered ruffle so much on the bottom of the doll dress, that I added one to Lili's to match.

Sewing doll clothes is my new addiction. Jo-Ann's and Hancock's had patterns on sale this week, so I bought almost all of the doll patterns they had. I hope I have time before the baby comes to make a few more outfits for Lili's new doll.

Alex's New Forest Friend(s)

I just finished knitting my first reversible toy. It was a lot of fun to make. This hedgehog turns inside out to make...

this squirrel.

I love the squirrel's bushy tail! The toy is nice and squishy and I think it will be a lot of fun for Alex.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fabric-Covered Lampshade

I ordered this owl lamp for the nursery from Target. It came with a black shade though, which was weird. So instead I got one from Jo-Ann's that is sticky and comes with a pattern so that it could be covered with fabric. I really like the pop of green on the lampshade against the blue wall. I debated between red and brown rick-rack and finally went with the brown.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


More than a month ago I ordered an owl mobile to match the nursery. I found a seller on Etsy who handmakes baby mobiles out of felt in really cute shapes. She made this one to match the colors in the fabric I'm using. The tree in the center is perfect to go with the room too!

She also made two little owls to be the pulls at the bottom of the ceiling fans in the room. I had to replace the football pull that was on there.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More Decals!

I added some animal wall decals to the tree scene. They're from Pop and Lolli and the best thing about them is that they're repositionable. They're easier to apply than traditional decals. I got an owl and bird set for the trees and clouds, and a forest animal set to put underneath. There are a lot more that I haven't used yet that I'll be able to put around the room. They are super fun!

Heinz asked why so many of them are wearing glasses. My answer is that it shows that it's okay to wear glasses and it's nothing to be ashamed of. I was the first kid in my class to get glasses, so I'm sure Alex will be too.

Tree Pillow

I am a big copy-cat. First I made the book slings that Katie made, then Ribbit, and now this tree pillow. I love how it uses up little bits of scraps. I would love to make some to match my living room. The tutorial is from here. I love how it goes with the tree theme in the room.

It's a Glider AND a Recliner!

Last week the chair I ordered for the nursery came in. When I first started looking at chairs, I wasn't sure what to get since I didn't know if I'd want a glider or a recliner. Then I happened to find one from Little Castle that's BOTH! Besides being both, it's cheaper than the ones from Pottery Barn, and it comes in tons of fabrics. Pottery Barn didn't even have a single fabric that was brown. There are several retailers in town; I got this one from Buy Buy Baby because I was able to order it with 20% off coupons.

It's really comfy, but I think it works more like a rocker than a traditional glider. And once I'm done using it in the nursery, I can put it in our bedroom for a seating area. Although I think that Alex may want to use it as a reading chair for a long time to come.

Wall Decals

I ordered some more wall decals from Dali Decals. There are a lot of tree decals out there, but I really loved this one because of the circles. It made it seem more childlike and playful. Then for underneath I got a green shag rug to be like grass. I got it from Rosenberry Rooms. It's supersoft, not like shag carpeting from days of yore.

p.s. The clouds are from Dali Decals too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Meet Ribbit

I've been working on a baby sweater for next fall, but I decided to take a break and knit some toys for the nursery instead. First up is Ribbit. This is a free pattern by Susan B. Anderson on the Spud & Chloƫ site. This was a fun knit, and the coolest part is that the frog body is a tennis ball.

I had 12 appendages to sew on. This is the first one I did. It makes Ribbit seem, well, punk. It definitely belongs in my Sarcastic Crafts collection.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I made three standard pillowcases in the Hooty Hoot fabric collection for when Alex gets a big-boy bed. The one on the left is flannel and the other two are regular fabric. They didn't take very long to make.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Look What I Found!

Awesome, right?

It's especially cool because it's on vinyl. I need to get out my old record player.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Travel Diaper Pouch

I saw this tutorial last week and I just had to make one for me and for a friend. Katie had some leftover scraps from the quilt and pillows she made for Julia, so she gave me some for this diaper holder to match. I didn't use any of my matching fabric because I thought it would be a good chance to use some other cute fabric in my stash.

They were easy to make and I learned some new techniques as well.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Curtains Are Up!

Heinz just put up the curtains in the nursery. They were the first thing I made for the room, but I had to order special rods that stuck out far enough from the wall because of the new blinds we had ordered. I was going to do white panels with tiebacks underneath the valance like I did in the guest bedroom, but I decided it wasn't necessary and that I'd keep it more simple in here. For some reason, I really love vertical stripes for a valance.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Book Slings

A couple of days ago I made these book slings for the nursery. My friend Katie made one for her son earlier this year, and I filed away the idea. When I started planning the nursery, I knew I had to make some using the fabric collection I had picked out. The tutorial is from Penny Carnival. They didn't take very long to make, and they would have been even easier if I had used one big piece of fabric like in the tutorial. I realized that my print would show through when it was doubled, so I lined the inside with a cotton solid. That ended up being a bonus because I now have extra of the more expensive prints.

I love the concept behind this, which is that it's easier for toddlers to find their favorite book when you can see it face-out instead of trying to find it from a bunch of spines on the shelf.

p.s. Yes, the bathroom is VERY green!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sewing for Baby

I've finished two sewing projects for the nursery now. First, I made curtains. I can't show those yet because I had to special order some rods today that would extend past the new blinds we ordered.

This is the crib skirt. It was a lot like making curtains: you just make panels and sew them onto a sheet of muslin. I still have to serge the seams (or I may just use pinking shears). The pattern is from Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones. Right now the mattress is at its highest. Once we lower it, I may have to tuck the bedskirt underneath the mattress or something.

I like how the panels look modern and aren't frilly. The long side has two panels plus an insert in the center underneath. The directions said to make panels for all four sides, but why would I do more work than I had to? So I just made panels for three sides.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Something Old, Something New, and Definitely Something Blue

We have already been working on getting the nursery fixed up. The walls are painted, which is a huge relief. And there are already a few pieces of furniture in the room.

First is this little rocker, which I used when I was little, and my dad, and my grandma and her siblings. Since my grandmother's oldest sister is almost 91, it's safe to say this is at least 90 years old. It's the only old furniture that I don't mind using. My grandma tried to get me to take a 100-year-old wicker baby carriage to use, but I declined. I think this rocker will be cute with a little pillow in it.

Heinz already put together the crib and changing table for me so that I can plan the decor for the room. Draped over the crib are some of the fabrics I'm using in the room. I'm almost finished making the curtains and then I'm going to start on the crib skirt.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Penn & Teller

Heinz is in Las Vegas this week at a work conference. He really wanted me to go with him, but I have a lot of freelance work to do this week, and my personality type makes me feel agitated if I try to travel the week the magazine closes. So I opted to stay home, which Heinz is never going to forgive me for. Because he missed out getting picked to do a trick onstage with Penn & Teller, his favorite magician/comedy duo. Heinz was sitting in the front row, and Penn went up to him and asked if there was someone with him who could call his cell phone. Apparently giving your number to the person sitting next to you wasn't good enough, so he didn't get to do it. The trick is that they take your cell phone and hide it and it reappears sealed in a bag, inside a fish frozen in a block of ice, in a box sealed with duct tape, underneath someone's chair in the audience. But the coolest part is that they turn on the videocamera on your phone, video you with Penn & Teller doing the trick, and leave it on the whole time so you then know how the trick is done. I hope Heinz can forgive me some day. At least he got them to sign his program and got his picture taken with them. Oh, and he got to hear Teller talk.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Knitting for Baby

Yes, yes, I have a blog. No, I haven't felt like updating it in quite awhile. Mainly because I didn't have much interesting to share. But now with a little one on the way, I'm busy making plans. I painted the nursery this week and finished knitting this Buga Baby Bunting tonight. It's the hardest thing I've knitted so far and I'm proud how it turned out. I can't wait to see a little baby in it! The background is the back of this quilt that Katie made for the baby.

Here's the pattern picture. My favorite part is the little foot sticking out.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I Need One of These

I saw this on a recent episode of the Big Bang Theory. I think I need one. It's a t-shirt folder.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Projects

I am motivated to work on a bunch of projects. Here's the lineup.

1. Card making. I am going to make big batches of cards to use for the rest of the year: Mother's Day, birthday, and Father's Day. I may even start to put together design ideas for Christmas cards. I started a prototype of my all-purpose birthday card for the year.

2. Get rid of a bunch of stuff. This one scares me. I've set my DVR to record Hoarders to help me be unsentimental about giving stuff away. My parents saved most of my childhood toys. I'm not sure if I'm going to try to sell some of them or just give them away and get a tax write-off. Maybe a bit of both.

3. Sewing. I'm not as scared by this as I once was since I've already made a few projects. I want to make some pillows and a quilt for the guest bedroom first of all, and then I have some other projects waiting.

4. Knitting projects. These are ongoing as I work on them as I veg and watch TV in the evenings.

5. Digital preservation of slides and negatives. I recently bought a slide scanner (that will work with my Mac) so that I could scan in slides for my dad. It will also be great for a lot of our photos that are predigital. Then I'm going to make a movie on Apple's iMovie for my dad of the trip he took to Europe when he was 17. I also need to digitize some records of the trip to include in the movie. I'm hoping that I can work on some cards in the craft room while these slides are scanning in.

I'll be posting my progress!

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Best Popcorn

Some time ago my dad gave me this used popcorn popper. I tried it once and kinda forgot about it. Then recently Heinz read this article in the New York Times about people at a popcorn plant getting sick from inhaling the chemicals used in the butter flavoring. (The danger is inhaling the chemicals as the popcorn pops, not actually eating the flavoring.) So Heinz made me throw away my microwave popcorn. I hesitantly got this popper out and realized how easy it is to use. It doesn't need oil or anything. You just pour in up to half a cup of kernals and plug it in. That's it. And the popcorn is tender and fluffy and tastes so much better than any from the microwave. The popper is cheap on Amazon and it has great reviews. I highly recommend getting one.