Saturday, April 30, 2011

High chair transition

I came across this sew project for a travel chair. It looks like a cross between a high chair and sitting alone on a chair.

I wonder what is the age range for using one of these things? Ella sure doesn't like being confined to a baby seat, and she is way too spoiled when we prop her in our lap when she gets fussy.

My only concern is that many restaurants don't have a standard seat, and it wouldn't fit.

What other options are out there?

Friday, April 29, 2011

All the animals at the zoo, look like YOU

Today was Ella's first visit to the Honolulu Zoo. Actually, any zoo -- or anywhere with more than three types of animals at one time.

I took off to watch Ella, and Ryan took off to spend the day with us! It was a nice early birthday present to have a "Family Day" with my two faves :)

Ella's cousins also came with us.

Even though the zoo is under construction (building a new Elephant Habitat) and there were a limited amount of animals (one of the rhinos is sick, we saw it hooked up on an IV and a car with veterinarians drove up!), it was a lot of fun!

Ella and the Elephant

Daddy and Ells

Ella's favorite part seemed to be the petting zoo. She was so brave, she walked right up to a goat and started petting it, then she walked over to another goat and touched his head! It was too cute.

We're all exhausted. I think it's time for bed!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Living lasagna

Like I said yesterday, today is Lasagna day!

It's amazing how macadamia nut "cheese" tastes like ricotta, and how you can get complex flavors with basil and sun dried tomatoes. Yum!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More raw veganese

The "pad thai" I had the other week was so good, I decided to try other vegan dishes. Today I went with Vietnamese Salad Rolls.

Call me a crazy, tree-huggin hippie, but I liked it! I don't normally like mint in food, but it added a delicate freshness to every bite. The won bok instead of rice wrappers was winner. and the SAUCE. I want to put it on everything? How on earth did they get all those ingredients to taste like a peanuty, savory, spicy dressing is beyond me. I saved the extra sauce to smother all over my dinner (at the moment, I don't know what's for dinner-- other than leftover sauce)!

Yum! And tomorrow I'm planning on having vegan lasagna?!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Real time

If you notice, the past couple days have posted later in the day, with tonight being the latest.

No, it's not an attempt at being more honest, nor am I running out of topics, we've just been really busy.

Easter weekend was hectic, and work has been pretty chaotic as well. I'm off for a few days at the end of this week and the start of next to watch Ells, so hopefully I will be a little more diligent with posting.

As an inspiration for the day: how's this way cute dress over at Little Big Girl Studio?
I know what I'm sewing for Ella next!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Raw Vegan UN-cooking

This isn't the first time I've heard of this concept. A couple years ago, I came across a cookbook and I thought the author was crazy. Now this lifestyle seems to be everywhere!

This is from E-licious Dishes. Kaffir Miso Pad Thai. It's pretty much a salad, but it has these oddly addicting sea kelp noodles, realSALT cashews, and a really good dressing.

For $8.50 a pop, it doesn't look filling but when you unpack it. Wow!

This isn't even half the salad. It didn't even cross my mind that it was vegan. I don't think I would give up meat, processed junk food, and the like -- but this was a great alternative, and it was pretty D-e-licious!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

It was EGGstra-terrestrial!!

As usual, we played some crazy games. They were Easter-modified versions of Minute to Win It games.

The first game was a modified Jingle in the Trunk. The object was to bounce Easter eggs out of a basket that was constructed to only allow one egg out through a narrow hole, at a time. The second game was a modified Face the Cookie. Moving a peep down the forehead, across the face, and into the mouth.

I have some pictures, but I'm sure my family would appreciate them not becoming property of the internets and seen by everyone in the world.

Anyway, we had some fun dyeing eggs. Ella made one. No picture. It was dropped, twice. And thrown on the ground. And stepped on. Yeah. That was enough dyeing for her. We'll try again next year. Although she did a pretty awesome job of dyeing both of us green! Yes, like my alienegg. So, I colored a bunch:

We had a pretty good turn out and it was not bad for a last minute Easter dinner! We had prime rib, crab legs, portuguese bean soup, shrimp scampi, and pork adobo. Mmm, I'm content and ready for my food-coma!

The prime rib was pre-seasoned by way of Costco. Derishus! Ryan did a pretty great job of carving it. :)

Hope all your Easter was fun, too!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Ella and I are spending the day cooking and doing crafts. We made lumpia and coffee jello with mocha tapioca, and have since been working on her name-letters for her first birthday "thank you card".

I'll share some recipes later, but until then... don't get too J after you see the letters. I'm almost done. Still need to make an "A", but we have to head out soon for dinner with my grandparents.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Judas kiss

No, I'm not upset about anything and I don't feel betrayed. I just figured that with it being Good Friday and all (and you know how religious I am, I'm not), it would be a segue into blogging about lies and betrayal. Don't get your panties in a knot, I'm not talking about the serious, hurtful kind. I'm talking about online identities.

The internets are filled with lies.

I could post things here and you wouldn't know if I'm telling the truth or it's some false reality I've conjured up. It's like Brad Paisley - Online. I could say that I drive a Maserati and have a black belt in Karate, too. See, I actually know of someone that has a Masarati coupe and I could totally take a picture of it. Then, to make it more believable, I would post it on a weekend, and a casual caption like, "Lazy Sunday. Washed and waxed."

I'm not saying I lie in my posts, but if I were, what purpose would that fill? I'm blogging because I like writing, and it's a motivator. Even though, in this point of time, I have ONE FOLLOWER (thanks, Ryan), writing this blog keeps me accountable. I'm sure it's probably more effective with other blogs that have thousands of followers. Regardless, one or one thousand, someone is reading.

However, I might not be telling the whole truth. I used to put bloggers on a pedestal because they managed to have eventful lives and the time to blog about it. I've found that the trick to blogging is to write posts ahead of time and schedule them to go up daily or more frequently. Sure there's something new everyday, but that doesn't mean it was written that day.

Another trick that I've observed is that some bloggers carefully break apart posts to allow for maximum breaks and still achieve satiety. It's those posts that come in a series, they keep you coming back for more: Frock by Friday, I'm sure talented people can make a dress in one day (or in some places 50), but by breaking it into 5 parts, you have 5 unique posts to keep your blog active. And Once Upon a Thread or Free Pattern Month, having guest posts are also a cheat because you don't actually come up with the post, other people do -- and hosting a series of them means a whole lot of unique posts. Don't get me wrong. I love following both of those bloggers, but only after struggling to did I realize there are ways to keep up the blog without having to give up the primetime line-up.

Here's what inspired this post:
For Easter, we bought our nephew a cute, felt-crafted, R2-D2 shirt. The shirt, along with other gift items are just piled in the corner of the room. In the pile, I saw coordinating shorts and slippers that are actually part of another outfit intended for our other nephew's first birthday. I laid everything out and thought if it were for the same person. it would be a cute match-up. So, I took a picture.

I wanted to blog about it, but my only follower would know the truth in the picture, despite the story I probably would have invented to go along with it. I didn't say I wasn't lying, either. Really, though, I'm not.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter memories

When I was younger, Easter weekend was fun and event-filled. I'd head off to my grandparent's house Thursday evening and spend Good Friday and Saturday with my dad's side. We'd eat yummy local Japanese food, decorate eggs, and play my aunty's crazy game inventions. Sunday, I'd head home in time for Easter Mass. Spend all day with my mom's side dyeing eggs and have the hardest Egg Hunt EVER, with the traditional glazed ham, oven-roast turkey, and fruit ambrosia.

At lot has changed: the "working world" does not observe Good Friday, I still spend Saturday with my dad's side, same food, new games. Sunday no longer includes Mass (not that I'm rebelling religion, I just seems like the right thing to do. If I can't go, with a positive attitude and be willing to get something out of it, then I really shouldn't be there), and instead of a grand hunt and feast, the day is spent with our immediate families with either a brunch buffet or small potluck with fruit ambrosia.

This will be the first Easter since my dad passed away, and it will be Ella's first ever. Of course I'm happy to spend the holiday with her, but I can't help but feel a little sad. It's like those bad breakups -- where you can't go to a restaurant because you had a memorable date. I feel like I can't celebrate Easter because my dad isn't there to pull a nylon stocking over his head and go around cracking everyone's beautifully decorated eggs (one of my aunty's crazy game inventions). But, it's Ella's first and it should be memorable. She won't remember it, but I will.

Hoppy Easter weekend everyone!

Basket for Ells, mommy, and daddy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

So many streamers!

And that's not including the two "design" streamers: magenta with white dots and black and white zebra print.

I told you it'd be colorful. Time for some ruffles!

Ryan took a look at the ruffle tutorial from my previous post and said "OHH that's what you're doing. What are you going to do with them?"

Centerpieces!! I bought a bunch of colorful beach pails with shovels. I picked the girliest, pink lemonade-y matching sets that I could find, and plan on having the ruffles go around the pail in colorful stripes. Of course, it's totally not practical for taking to the beach -- but we're not beach people.

The pails will be filled with colorful candies and snacks, wrapped in a clear cellophane, and tied off with a bunch of birthday balloons.

A combination of three: (1) Happy 1st Birthday mylar, (2) of Sunshine Yellow, Orange Peel, Magenta, and Pretty Pink latex baloons. I should've just bought a bunch for fun, and Ella could have had them. Ahh well, we'll be able to take photos at her party in a month -- A MONTH! Ells will be ONE in a month!! Too fast, too fast.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Color coming soon

I had an inspiring moment last week when I saw a tutorial at Lorajean's Magazine. The moment I saw the pictures from the blog, I KNEW I had to somehow incorporate it into Ella's birthday decor.

Off we went to Party City. There was a buy one, get one sale on streamers, so I ended up buying a whole lot.

No picture today, but I promise I'll have something tomorrow *wink.

Monday, April 18, 2011

More planning

We have an appointment with the banquet hall to make the arrangements for Ella's party.

We have to choose the room decor, select the entrees, decide on bar options, and book a hotel room.

Going with her theme, Pink Lemonade, I'm hoping they have a dark pink color for the napkins. I'd be okay with a pastel yellow or green, too.

We have to select 2 entrees, but it's so hard to decide! The food at Hale Koa is delicious, and I'm hardly ever disappointed. Hopefully, Ryan will be the firm hand and not let me add an additional entree. Good thing we decided on < 100 guests. Otherwise, I might elect for a carving station!

Another tough decision is the bar. I know it's a First Birthday, and probably shouldn't include a bar. Realistically, the amount of underage attendees is in the single digits and we're in Hawaii. Beer should be in the buffet line.
The buffet includes coffee and tea, but I wonder if we can just do a beer and soft drink host bar? I'd hate to make people pay $4 for a small diet coke.

Lastly, the hotel room. It would be Ella's first time in a hotel, so I'm not sure how well she'll take it. I'm just thinking about logistics, it would be great to have a room to store the center pieces and favors and not have to rush between the house and the party, and back. It'd also be good to unwind after the party and get to hang out in Waikiki, which we hardly ever do.

This blogging stuff is great! Gets all my thoughts out so I'm less likely to forget something. Hopefully.

Update: We were not able to book a hotel room. Due to the timing, they're completely booked! ..and there's a waitlist! Oh well, I guess we'll just have to figure something else out. I'm so glad it's a holiday weekend. I couldn't imagine having to stress out so much and have to go to work the next day.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Recipe: Thai Beef Salad

Last night, we were in charge of bringing a salad dish. I turned to a gift we received from our wedding for guidance: Simply Salads by Jennifer Chandler.

Ryan really likes Thai Beef Salad and it's always his pick for appetizer if we're having Thai food - dining in or take out!

Thai Beef Salad
Serves 4 Dinner Salads

1 pound flank steak
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 shallots, thinly sliced crosswise into rings
1 tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro
1 tbsp coarsely chopped mint
1 bag (10 oz) hearts of romaine
1/2 c coarsely chopped unsalted, roasted peanuts
1/2 c dressing*

Place steak in a shallow dish. Reserve 2/3 of dressing for later. Pour remaining 1/3 of the dressing over the steak, turning to coat. Cover, refrigerate, and marinate 1 to 2 hours.

Heat grill. Remove steak from marinade, shake off excess. Discard the marinade. Seaon steak with salt and pepper. Grill until medium rare -- approximately 4-6 minutes on each side. Slice thinly against the grain.

In a large bowl toss together the sliced steak, cucumber, shallots, cilantro, and mint. Add the remaining dressing to taste, reserving some to drizzle on the hearts of romaine.

When ready to serve, divide the hearts of romaine equally among plates and drizzle the remaining dressing. Generously spoon over the warm steak mixture over the bed of lettuce. Garnish with the chopped peanuts.


1/4 c freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 c fish sauce
2 tsp dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes until the sugar has dissolved. Makes about 1/2 cup.

I'd go with less shallots next time, it was a bit over-powering. Otherwise, it was pretty tasty!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

More birthdays

As I mentioned a few days ago, we're celebrating a few birthdays this weekend.
Also in that post, I mentioned it would be a slow craft week. It definitely has been. Although I may have wanted, I ended up not making any gifts, so we had to go shopping.

This first gift is from LeSportsac. My sister's friend, Shari, just got an iPad2 and will be taking it with her on her trip to China for an externship. I obviously could have made a messenger pouch to custom fit the dimensions, but she leaves in less than a week and I'm still not all that confident with my sewing inventions.

This second gift is a decorative, multi-use strap. Shari's sister, Mona, does a lot of traveling and she always has some tote with her. According to the advertisement you can use the durable strap to connect pieces of luggage for travel, a wristlet for your keys, or even for everyday use and hang your purse to a shopping cart as you shop for groceries!
That is definitely useful. I am guilty of leaving my bag on the seat next to Ella, where it can be stolen. But when possible, I do try to use the buckle to attach it to the cart. At least, to prevent someone from snatching my purse and making a hasty getaway.

I hope that over time, my skills will improve so that I could just create these things from scratch. Although, I'm not sure time can improve my creativity? How would I even know to make them in the first place?!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Yay, UPS, you found me

Guess what came in the mail?

If you read my blog, you'd know. But since I have no "followers", you are probably reading these posts in reverse order, so you wouldn't know yet. Unless you guessed by the previous posts (my future, unwritten posts) what I might be referencing. Or, you really do follow me, discreetly. Which, by the way, is stealing my tactic -- although, not with blogging as I do that "publicly" -- I meant stalking. Kidding!! Or am I? Hahah.

So what was I rambling about, now? Oh yes, my delivery! Anytime UPS delivers my package, I can't help but be happy.

I had one really bad experience with UPS about a year ago, and I still haven't forgiven them.
They delivered my package, on time, correct street, wrong state. At the time, we were living on Queen Street, which is a common street name, like 5th Avenue or Center Street, but in an address, you'd think the city, state, and zip code would be the dead giveaway. What's worse, is that UPS tried to be sneaky and swap the delivery date on me. I actually saw the tracking that said it was on-time, and "Out for Delivery" in Texas! I don't know which TX delivery route swings by Hawaii, but it must be the longest route ever and I would hate that shift! Needless to say, after the failed delivery attempt the arrival date tacked on 2 extra days -- as if that was the date all along, I received my package.
So I'm happy for yet another received parcel!

Can you tell I'm stalling? Ok, I'll get on with it:

I received my Epic tool, letterpress combo kit, and a bunch of accessories! I'm still waiting on a few more, but enough to drool over for now.

I played with the flower die-cut and made an inkless letterpress (is it just called "embossing" if there is no color?) with scrap paper. Nothing exciting yet, but I will try it out and share the details!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Unfinished projects

I mentioned in my previous post that I was going to dedicate a post to the first purse I ever wanted to make. This is that post.

As you can tell by the title, the first purse I ever wanted to make, never was made. I saw it on this typepad blog in 2009. I was so excited because my coworker gave me a fuschia bridesmaid dress that I knew I was going to scrap for the lining.

I went online to buy my fabric for the exterior. I didn't know the difference between fabric types, so I made my purchase based on the screen shot: a tweed like fabric and damask pattern. The tweed was fine, but the damask turned out to be laminated cotton -- mistake #1.

I ironed -- mistake #2 -- and cut everything out and began sewing the pieces together -- mistake #3. I ended up with the major sections of the bag: the exterior, lining, sash, and accessory button.

And I never put it together. Since then, I've started and finished many projects. Just never got around to completing this one.

I think I should set a goal. Or incentive, rather, I cannot start on my Buttercup Bag until I finish the Tea Clutch.

Mistake #1: Laminated cotton is not meant for elegant style bags. Maybe a table cloth, a baby bib, or a lunch bag -- but it's not pretty when it's on a dressy clutch.

Mistake #2: If you iron laminated cotton, it should be at a low setting on the wrong side, perhaps even with a guard to prevent the laminated side from melting and fusing to your iron board.

Mistake #3: When working with laminated cotton, you cannot make mistakes. Just like satin, it will show the puncture holes of the needle. I made a LOT of mistakes, the tweed and cotton combination was way too thick for the tension on my machine and I popped a few needles.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Slow week

I probably won't have much time to craft this week/weekend. My sinuses are congested and it's difficult to focus, let alone do the three-dimensional imagining needed for projects. That and community service on Saturday for the Hawaii Foodbank. Then we're celebrating birthdays for my sister's friend and her sister (we're all close, so it's like my own sisters' birthdays). I still have to come up with gifts. So maybe crafting is necessary? I just need to find the energy. Sigh.

I want to make this purse. It's been on my list for some time now. It's the second purse I've ever wanted to make (will post later about the first). Although, in my current state, if I start this project, it will end up like the first (ha, inside joke, I really need to post about the first attempt).

I have these fabrics:

August Fields by Amy Butler are a home decor fabric

I love the thickness and think it would make a durable bag that's more pliable than canvas. I'm in a bind because I originally wanted it to make zabuton (floor seat cushions)for the living room. I may need to find a fabric that speaks only "purse". Otherwise I may get stuck and want to save it for something else.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Finished: Pillow Case Dress

As part of Ella's First Birthday Thank You card project, I decided I wanted to create one of her outfits myself.

I saw this Pillow Case Dress on a blog a few days ago and bookmarked it. Call it a coincidence, but I saw a very similar one this past weekend in a local boutique. From the moment I saw the price tag($52), I knew I had to make it.

It's similar to a dress pattern my sister made for me when I bought yardage from my class' Carnival design. I used the dress once, on one of the days I was a chair for Hamburger-Ewa. Don't get me wrong, it was a cute dress. I'm just not into Hawaiian print, ever.

So the online tutorial is intended for a bigger kid. I decided to create my own pattern based off measurements from a few dresses she already wears.

I wanted it to be about 19" long, 12" at the chest, and 17 at the bottom. So, I added for seam allowance and divided by half, then sketched out a dress pattern, and the cut pieces.

I wanted the bottom hem to be a different fabric (an actual pillowcase), so it took me a while to pin together and figure out how to sew it.

I sewed the front and back pieces, right sides together, taking care to line up the bi-color hem.

I finished the edge for the arm hole and tacked down the extra fabric where the front and back pieces were attached. I created a half-inch hem at the neckline to string through the decorative strap I made with the 1/4" bias tape maker.

Here we have the finished dress:

It turned out really cute! Check it... I actually made my own (freehand modified an existing) dress pattern and it works.

Monday, April 11, 2011


My office does activities to raise money got the Hawaii Foodbank. In the past, we've made our own versions of food fear factor, food relays, and minute to win it challenges.

This year, we did a bake sale, another food challenge, and had a can-struction event. Can-struction is harder than it looks. We had a size restriction of 4' x 4' and 5' tall, usually they're set up in malls. It was tough trying to find something to fit in that space and to figure out how to build it. I think we all did pretty well.

Here are the different groups:

Etch-a-sketch, minus the knobs

Ummm, I don't know?

How about some pie?


Radio Flyer

Spam musubi, Oshinko maki, Cucumber maki, and Green leaf decoration

And finally, my group's:
Sake & Sushi Set

Great job to all the groups!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A special thanks

I love to create stationery items, especially if it's for Ella.

I think Thank You cards are the most important types of stationery, and it's extra special if it's customized.

After my baby shower, in anticipation of Ella, all gifts were acknowledged with a beige card cutout of her name, with a pink or sage die-cut of a butterfly beneath the cutout. Since then, I've continued to use the Ella cards in various cardstock.

It really does add a personal touch to a handwritten note of gratitude!

Now that she's a year old, I want to change it up and do a special card. Her name is short enough that I have this idea: I want to craft each letter of her name, photograph her holding each letter in a different outfit, and combine the pictures to spell out her name.

I have about a month and a half to get it done. I better start working on it!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Finished: Changing Pad Clutch

The first nursing cover I made was definitely a draft needing revision. I didn't know how to sew on bias tape, made the straps too long, put the corset boning on funny, etc.

I was following instructions, but in sewing personal items, you learn they need to be made for the person. In subsequent versions, I added terrycloth pockets; figured out how to hem the edges nicely; allowed the recipient to choose between a D-ring strap, tie strap, or elastic neck band; and learned how to reinforce the edge around the boning. It was a while before I could say I was genuinely happy with the final product.

Here's one of my latest versions with matching hospital gown (made for a very good friend's baby shower gift):

Her theme for her baby was "Owl" prints, so I found this very cute Owl print and a contrasting Granny Apple print. I also made burp cloths using these two prints and a third print with pink and bright orange swirls. Hopefully she got full use out of the gift (and may be interested in helping me network when I decide to make a business out of my crafts.

Anyway, with this mentality that "practice makes perfect", I know there is a lot I could improve on. But, not bad for a first attempt:

See the little one testing it out? She was actually busy playing with her piano bench, which she uses as a mini table to hold her cereal snack. You know, just her height to grab a quick bite between shaking her baby booty. I had to lure her to lay down with a snack (see her hand in her mouth), she immediately rolled over and made a bee-line back to her bench.

It's a good thing I put a little bit of batting to add cushion. The floor couldn't have been very comfortable, and those pull down changing tables look just as hard. In future versions, I plan to make the pocket into a pillow, the strap in a better location for better weight distribution when hooked on to a stroller, and possibly a better means of securing it in a clutch shape.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Awaiting a special delivery

For the past two weeks, I've been itching to treat myself to something fun. In my Dashboard, See Kate Sew posted a giveaway for an Epic Letterpress. I was hooked, that is what I wanted. I entered the contest, but unfortunately did not win. She did, however, post a promo code to receive 20% off a purchase from Lifestyle Crafts.

Ryan insisted I treat myself. Secretly, I believe he wants an excuse to treat himself as well. Anyway, I held off on it. $135.99 is a BIG treat, even down from the original $169.99. Ryan said I should just use the promo code since it's available. I restrained. Hey, you never know when ShoeDazzle might come up with a pair that I can't live without and make the switch from browser to monthly shopper. By chance, I stumbled onto Amazon and saw that the combo kit was on sale for $86.76! That's 49% off the regular price.

After telling Ryan, he insisted even more. He actually told me, "Stop talking and do more buying. Might as well get everything you want." Lucky me! I ended up getting the Letterpress combo kit, 4 printing plates, 4 different ink colors, cleaning cloths, and a flower die-cut set. All for the price of the regular price + S&H.

I can't wait to get my box; I'm so impatient. If only Hawaii wasn't so far from the mainland.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sewing can be noisy

When I was a kid, I remember falling asleep on the floor of my dad's den surrounded by rubik's snakes, slinkies, and Lego. He would be tinkering around with his 386, unscrewing this, and overclocking that. Clicks and beeps were my sure way to sleep.

Years later, in high school, my mom retired and began sewing gift bags and quilts late into the night. Her crafting room was adjacent to my bedroom, so I would hear the murmur of the television and the rhythm of her Singer. Sometimes I couldn't sleep if she wasn't nearby or I couldn't see the sliver of light beneath the door.

Fast-forward 10 years (haha, it's reunion year, so it really has been that long). I have my own little girl to play at my feet while I work. The only difference is she needs silence to sleep. When she goes down for the night, so does my sewing machine.

In other news: Happy Birthday to my father-in-law, 71, today!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Starting a new project

Gasp! Yes, that is correct. In the downtime of planning a birthday bash, I'm taking on new projects. It really is a lot of work to be a blogger/crafter! I need topics to blog if I want to be a blogger and I need projects to craft if I want to be a crafter. Two birds, one stone.

When I was pregnant in 2009-2010, I was inspired to pull out my sewing machine and start making my own items. Maternity and baby items are so costly and have a limited set of patterns. So, I made my own hospital gown and nursing cover. I received so many compliments, I felt flattered! Trust me, for a pregnant woman/post-partum mother, that feeling is gold.

I wanted others to feel flattered, too, so I started making the nursing covers for friends and co-workers as shower gifts. I even expanded to matching burp cloths! I reserved the gowns for close friends, making an entire matching set.

This project is to expand on my baby items. I will be making a changing pad clutch.

Changing pads are useful for laying baby down when there is no clean surface or when you don't want to take a chance that baby might soil whatever is below. Public changing areas are filthy! You don't know who else was using it or when was the last time it was cleaned. I always put a changing pad down so Ella does not come in contact with the surface. If it's especially dirty, I'll use a disposable changing pad beneath the one I usually use.
I like to have a few, so I always have one when I wash the others. What's the point of having your own 'clean' pad if you don't keep it clean? Hopefully, this will be easy enough to make a bunch and can be gifted as a set in itself.

So far, I only have the pieces cut:

In sewing terminology, is there a word for having everything prepped like in cooking's mise en place? Oh wait, nevermind. In sewing, you're supposed to cut out all the pieces first.

I have other things going on this week, so I will post updates as this project progresses.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Upcoming celebration

With Ella's first birthday less than two months away, we've been busy planning her party.

I planned my own wedding, but I think my investment (personal and financial) was greater then, and things were getting done in a timely way. Now, it's a much smaller scale and less formal, so I've been procrastinating -- a lot.

I had this brilliant idea that I would do a "pink lemonade" theme, inspired by a dress at Gymboree.

Do you know how hard it is to find summery, citrus-inspired craft supplies?! I settled for ordering the invitations through Sam's Club Photo. What a deal, 100 for only $25.00! Granted I won't be using all 100, it was still much cheaper than ordering them through the more popular online vendors(our Christmas card was about $80, for 75 photo cards...). There is less selection for the layout and colors, but luckily, I found one perfect for the color scheme AND there was a "1" incorporated in the design of the card!

In true Ryan and Randi fashion, we're doing giveaways at the party. However, this will be Ella's first giveaway. We're not sure what we're going to give out, or how, but the first prize of the party will be with a secret QRCode insert to be included with the invitation:

I know this picture keeps popping up, but it's so darn cute! Ella is a really goofy kid and makes this squinty face immediately after a 'nice' smile. It's as if she's got a sneaky inside joke. It took us forever to catch it, well, between her 'nice' smiles and bashful head tilts. Sigh, a ham like her mommy.

Ryan helped me with the QRCode. I'm still working on the website and form, but I have a few days before we send it out.

For our wedding reception, I recall we gave away desktop calendars, a luggage scale, a Coca-cola mini fridge, a handful of other things, with the grand prize being an iPod Shuffle. I think we may have a Shuffle again, or maybe a Fenix compact LED flashlight? Gift certificate? I need to think about this more.