Monday, September 21, 2015

Patiently Waiting and Passing Time

Ahhh... I'm still so pregnant, lol. I'm not due until Tuesday so I'm not surprised especially considering Josie's stubborn older sister didn't grace us with her presence until she was 6 days overdue. Part of me is glad she's still baking away as my internal voice is screaming "We're not ready... we're not ready!!!" but physically, I'm so over it. My hands stay numb, my legs hurt, my tummy is huge and sore and Cecilia thinks it makes a great cushion for jumping on. Whew, it's rough!

But aside from that, to pass the time since I can't sleep, I've been working on some things for the etsy shop and I'm trying to increase the amount of "boy" stuff I have listed. I'm a girl mom so I have a bad tendency to make mostly feminine things. I'm working on doing better though. In fact, I'm finishing up some Ninja Turtle, Mario, dinosaur, and airplane themed suck pads tonight... or this morning? It's 3:00 am.

But when I get a little restless and need to give my sewing machine a break, I've been playing around in PSE some more. I made some cute little sewing themed images the other day so I figured I'd share those. Feel free to use them for personal stuff if you'd like... just right click and save!

Until next time!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Things That Happen When I Can't Sleep: Photoshop Edition

As I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy, I'm finding it harder and harder to sleep. Between being generally uncomfortable thanks to a huge belly and a kicky baby and the numbness in my arms from carpal tunnel, sleep has become a bit of a challenge. So last night, as Cecilia went to bed at 8:00pm, I decided to go to sleep early since I was exhausted. It worked great... I was out by 9:00!

But then I was up by 4:00... nice. So with nothing better to do and tingly arms, I started messing around in photoshop elements to see if I could learn something new. This is how I learn to do anything... I just mess around with it until I figure it out myself or I find some lovely online tutorial a smart person put together. Three cheers for smart people on the internet!

One thing I've been trying to figure out is how to make repeating patterns that don't look so repetitious so I can order custom fabrics. I found this great tutorial on YouTube by Bari Ackerman. It was really easy to follow and in the last hour, I made my own "half drop repeating pattern" using a random doodle I did a few days ago and then I made a few color variations. Here's the scan of the original drawing...

And here are the patterns. They're not perfect, but it was my first time and they came out decent enough. I don't think I'd use them for fabric (at all, lol) but they could make a cute little laptop wallpaper or something.

So that was pretty easy and a lot less intimidating than I thought it would be! I can't wait to put some things together with actual plans instead of just a random drawing. And feel free to right click and use these for personal stuff if you'd like. 

Until next time!

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Few Random Things

Time for a pregnancy update! I promise, it's a lot less exciting than it sounds... I'm still pregnant as ever and we have about two and half weeks until Miss Josephine's due date. The husband and I went to the doctor on Monday and I had an ultrasound done since my belly is measuring big. They were worried she might be getting to big but luckily she's in the 63rd percentile so we're just a smidge above average. No big deal at all. Other than that, I'm pretty exhausted thanks to chasing Cece and her wild self and then I'm just really uncomfortable. I didn't gain weight with Cece but I have this time and it's so different. Even my butt has gotten huge... I've never had a butt and it's weird.

Also, I want to give a shout out to Patterns for Pirates... my leggings are made from their Peg Legs pattern and they are pregnant lady love since I can't wear real pants anymore, lol. I've made a couple of pairs of the leggings and a dress using their Boundless pattern. They're super easy to print out and they have great instructions! Definitely a 10/10... would recommend. The dress is not maternity so it looks funny at the moment but it has pockets you guys... glorious, glorious pockets. I think this is going to my post partum kick-around dress!

In preparation for L&D, I've been trying to keep active to work on my stamina but man, it is getting hard! Cece is precocious as she can be and needs A LOT of stimulation to wear her out so we've been going on play dates almost daily with our local SAHM group... except for this week. I've been so tired, we've stayed home mostly and have only been out on one solo adventure to the science center. We have a play date tomorrow so she'll get some good play time in. Which she needs because she never sits down... see...

Speaking of my SAHM group, they are holding a silent auction for a local family with a baby boy named Lathyn. He was diagnosed with an extremely rare illness called Dyskeratosis Congenita which only affects 1 in a million people and has no cure. To help, I donated a gift set that I made that includes wet bags, a tote, suck pads, and a taggie toy and so far it only has one bid but the auction runs until the 12th so hopefully it will get more bids. If anyone wants to help with monetary donations, they have a fundraising page set up on YouCaring. Their family is has been through so much and his medical care has been so costly... they need and deserve all the help they can get.

I think that's all for the moment. We're on baby watch so the next time I update, it might be a birth announcement... I can only hope, lol.

Until next time!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Cecilia's Grrrr-riffic First Birthday!

My first born just turned one and I still can't believe it's been an entire year! In that time she has developed quite the personality and she lets me know what she does and doesn't like. And one thing that she definitely likes loves is Daniel Tiger! I like him a lot too and he isn't annoying like some other kids' shows... I'm looking at you, Caillou. Plus, the little songs about handling emotions and problems are already proving helpful in combating toddler craziness.

So in honor of her love for Daniel, Katarina, and the gang, we had a Daniel Tiger themed birthday party. I started off thinking I was just going to pop into my local Party City and buy some DT plates and whatnot. I was so wrong! There's basically nothing out there pre-made for Daniel Tiger which was such a bummer. So, enter Mommy and her Pinterest addiction to the rescue.

I started with a birthday invitation I whipped up on Photoshop Elements using images I downloaded from PBS. The polka dot pattern at the top and bottom are part of a scrapbooking set from Shabby Princess called Sweet Sprinkles. The color scheme was born from there.

I decided to make cupcakes for our guests since they're less mess and easy to hand out. Plus, Betty Crocker brought Rainbow Chip frosting back so that just had to happen. To decorate them, I whipped up some toppers by making and printing off images that I cut out with my Cuttlebug... yeah, I still have one of those, lol. I taped the fronts and backs together and hot glued them on lollipop sticks. Easy peasy!

For the goody bags, I made tags that said "Thank you for coming!" using the same method and tied them onto the bags with bakers twine. Since most of our kid friends are 3 and under, I gave them little mini board books and bubbles. I didn't want my tween niece and nephews to feel left out so I made them their own bags and gave them nail polish and water squirters, respectively.

I did manage to get an actual personalized Daniel Tiger banner from Zulily so that was pretty cool.

And PBS has some neat DIY tutorials and printables which is where the idea for the trolly came from. I forgot to put the yellow box on top and I didn't realize it until we were already setting up at the park. Oh well... no one knew but me, lol.

And, of course, I had to do the first birthday chalkboard. I already had the board and I bought the chalk markers at Wal-Mart.

For our party supplies, I hit up Hobby Lobby, Dollar Tree, and Five Below where I stocked up on green, pink, and orange plates, napkins, cutlery, table cloths, bowls, etc.

Then, there was the awesome smash cake. I thought about buying a bakery made cake but they're ridiculously expensive and it was going to be destroyed anyway so I opted to make it myself. I used Cecilia's Daniel Tiger figurines and just used some green frosting to make grass on a plain white cake with vanilla frosting. For some color, I added a few flower shaped sprinkles where I meticulously picked out the pink, orange, and white ones. The Happy Birthday banner was made in Photoshop and I just printed it off and tied it to straws.

And last but not least... my favorite thing I made. Her birthday outfit! I'm so mad at myself for not getting good pictures of her in it but I was so busy being hostess, I didn't even think to get my camera out. (Shout out to my sis-in-law for getting most of the pictures in this post!) I used the colors from Shabby Princess's scrapbook set and made a fun bubble pattern. Then I ordered custom fabrics from Spoonflower. The dress and the bloomers are made from patterns from Mama Can Do It and I just love them! I also made matching necklaces for the two of us and a little pennant banner for her high chair using the leftover scraps. During the cake smash, I took her dress off and we put a t-shirt on her with an iron-on from Hobby Lobby that read "I am 1" and it just happened to be pink and orange! On a side note, I'm planning on doing a little photo shoot of her in her dress this weekend as long as her cold clears up... the poor kid is a snotty little mess right now.

I planned on doing a simple cookout for the food and when my dad got word, he volunteered to do all of the cooking. He did an awesome job and there was a ton of food! Burgers, hot dogs, chips and dips, potato salad, beans, fruit and veggies, chili, slaw, all the fixins! It was delicious and no one left hungry! (Dad is the big guy in the blue shirt... that's my bro-in-law that he's talking to.)

So, there you go... Cecilia's first birthday! I couldn't have pulled it all off without my family and friends. They were adamant in helping with everything at the party and reminding me of how pregnant I am, lol. They're pretty awesome. Looking back on getting everything ready beforehand, it does seem like a ton of work but I really enjoy making things and if I wasn't working on this stuff, I'd be making something else during nap times anyway.

Until next time! Ugga mugga!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pattern Storage Perfection

I don't know about you guys but I absolutely love printable patterns! They make sewing projects so simple especially when there are detailed tutorials included. I'd much rather spend $5 or $6 on an etsy designer's work than picking up a discounted Simplicity or McCall's pattern for $1.99. Not to mention, a number of amazing bloggers offer up their patterns for free. (I also think that this is a great way for beginners to experiment a little bit before investing in more complicated patterns.)

That being said, I have downloaded A LOT of patterns and I print them on card stock so I can use them over and over again. Sounds great in theory but then I realized I had an organization problem the other day while I was trying to determine which bodice went with which dress bottom. It was a mess! I eventually figured it out but I spent a good 30 minutes getting all my patterns in order. Then I had an idea... I decided to make a binder for all my printed patterns including the info on where they came from so I can always get back to the tutorials if I need to. Genius! Why hadn't I thought of this before instead of just piling them in my desk all willy-nilly?!

So, I picked up a pretty new binder and matching subject dividers on one of my many trips to Target. (Does anyone else still get really excited about about back to school gear even though they've graduated many years ago?) I almost bought the plain cheap'o stuff but then remembered I'm a grown up and I'll probably have this binder for YEARS sitting on my shelf in my little sewing corner... might as well get something that's pleasing to the eyes!

Ooooh, pretty flowers!

I already had a ton of page protectors from Staples at home that I used to tuck each of my patterns into. Then, using Photoscape, I made little cover pages to slide down into the bottom of each sleeve so I'll know exactly what's in each one. I included a picture of a finished project, where it came from, and wrote what size the pattern is cut to since I have multiple sizes in some things. You could do full pages but I opted to cut them into thirds to save on paper.

A Cecilia + Jo original... it was drawn instead of printed but you get the idea.
Once I got that completed, I slipped everything in the binder and I realized I had yet another problem. The page protectors were just as wide as the dividers so I couldn't see the tabs. Grrr! That irked me soooo bad!

Which led me to a little mini project involving card stock, double sided tape, a hole puncher, and my paper cutter. Yes, I really am that obsessive about things! The above picture of the inside of the binder was after I fixed it but here's what I did to make it work. 

Tools of the trade.
To make my tabs fit, I just cut regular 8.5x11 card stock in half long ways, folded it, and slid the dividers inside just enough to cover the existing holes and held them together with the double sided tape. Then, I trimmed the edge to get the desired width and punched holes using another divider as a guide. And last but not least, I put my label maker to work to whip up some adorable little category tags... they have flowers. :)

I think it came out perfectly and it only took about 15 minutes total. Now all my patterns are at my finger tips and ready to be used on a whim!

Until next time,

Monday, July 20, 2015

Scrapbooking Without the Mess

I love to make scrapbook pages and before Cecilia came along, I'd make them with actual paper, stickers, die-cutters, a Cricut... the whole nine. Post baby, I don't have the time to dig through all my tools and supplies to make pages the way I used to. Not to mention, clean up is a hassle.

So, I started fiddling around with Photoshop and made some cute and simple digital scrapbooking goodies. It's been about 8 or 9 years since I made anything like that so there was a bit of a learning curve before I got my groove back... once I did though, I was zooming along and made a ton of stuff.

With my new little collection, I started making some pages for Cecilia's first year book. I'm no where near finished but I wanted to share some of our "month by month" pages so far. I plan on making many more with details of her first holidays, family gatherings, play dates, and so on.

I can't wait to add the rest of the pages to complete our album. Instead of doing the standard 12x12 size, I'm printing them off myself on high quality photo paper with the size adjusted to 8x8 and I bought an adorable little turquoise-blue photo album from Hobby Lobby. Some of the pages are divided into four 4x4 squares. I instagram a bunch so I plan on channeling my posts for a lot of our day to day memories I want to add.

I just really love how easy and customizable doing scrapbooking digitally is, not to mention how much cheaper. (I cringe when I think about how much I spent on scrapping stuff over the years!) There's also the added bonus of being able to start over if something doesn't look quite right without wasting paper and embellishments. And then, there's the ability to walk away if Cecilia needs me without worrying about locking away scissors and other random sharp and pointy objects. Anything baby/toddler safe gets extra cool points from me any day!

On a side note, I'm not super tech savvy in some areas but once I can figure how to add some of the elements and blank pages I made to the blog so they can be downloaded for you guys to use, I will definitely do that. I'm going google some fancy-shmancy YouTube tutorials... they save lives, lol.

Until next time!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Has It Really Been NINE MONTHS?!

Yeesh! Well, this is awkward...

Please forgive my absence! I know I haven't updated in forever but me oh my... how things have changed in the past nine months! The last time I put up a post was when I shared Cecilia's birth story back in September. That little baby is no longer a squishy little newborn but a full on TODDLER. I kid you not! She's 10 and half months old, walking, chattering, and being a downright little stinker. Check her out... I feel like I just had her!

As for me, well... I've been exhausted. Not just your run of the mill "I have a baby" kind of tired but pregnant lady tired. Yep. You read that right. I'm pregnant again (!) and I'm actually pretty far along. I'm coming up on 28 weeks and this little bundle is due to arrive in September when Cece will be all of 13 months old. We were surprised as you are! So much belly...

So, about that new baby on the way... we're being blessed with another girl! Her name is going to be Josephine (we like those old-timey names!) and we've been calling her Josie for short. She's not as punchy as Cece was but I definitely feel her moving around in my tummy pretty regularly. Maybe she'll be a little more relaxed than her big sis. (I can only hope! lol)

So far, this pregnancy has been pretty uneventful which is good. It's been so much different this time around since my situation is completely different. With Cecilia's pregnancy, I was working in an office so I was sitting for 8 and 9 hours a day and Pete wouldn't let me carry or lift anything... not even a solitary grocery bag. This go round, I'm chasing and carrying a 25 pound kid all day, every day and Pete's relaxed a lot more. I even get to do wild things like take out trash and carry laundry baskets up and down the stairs. Cece and I also go on lots of adventures... swimming, the science center, the park, play dates with our friends we've made through our Mommy and Me group. We stay busy! (Which is probably why I'm so tired!)

But with all of that said, I've finally gotten into a good flow (for now) so I've decided to start working from home making and selling some of my arts and crafts. I'll be able to make a little pocket money and if I get too overwhelmed or need a break, I can do my own thing and not worry about answering to a J-O-B so that'll be nice and manageable. (Look for "Cecilia Jo" coming to an Etsy shop soon!)

I guess the only other things to mention are my husband and our dog. Pete's doing great and he's been the best Dad to Cecilia... she's a Daddy's Girl through and through. He helps me around the house a lot which I know is a blessing! I mean, a man that does laundry AND irons? *~Rawr!~*

And we still have little old Roo... for now. I'm kidding! She's such a pain in the butt but we love her and she isn't going anywhere. She just has a bad habit of barking at the littlest sound and is constantly waking Cece up from naps. (ugh!) The baby gets her revenge though... the dog is terrified of her and will run the other direction if she comes anywhere near her. The only time those two get together is if Cece is strapped into the high chair and throwing bananas overboard... then they're best buds because food.

So that's it... to summarize: Cece is growing like a weed, Josie is due in September, husband and dog are doing great, and I'll be selling some homespun goodies. Life's pretty good... what can I say?

Until next time,

- Kim