Monday, August 31, 2009

(No) Baby, (Almost) Bean Bags, and (Mixed Feelings About) School

I have so much to say today!

Baby first: she was due yesterday. She is not here yet. Phooey. I'm going to see the doctor in a couple of hours for my weekly appointment. Hopefully something magical will happen.

Secondly: If you are waiting for the bean bag tutorial please don't lose faith in me! I kind of had no idea anybody really saw or even liked the t-shirt bag tutorial until some of you mentioned it to me in person or I heard through the grapevine, so I wasn't in much of a hurry to get the bean bags done. Then today after our morning walk Kelsey asked me when I was going to put up the bean bag tutorial and I realized that people read my blog who don't leave comments. Anyway, so if you are one of those lovely quiet people who are sitting around with your t-shirt sleeves waiting to learn how to make wonderful alphabet bean bags with them, I promise I have not forsaken you! I'm just not done yet. But I'm close. And I'm a heck of a lot closer since Jenny donated a bucket full of pinto beans (from 1973) to the project. Thanks Jenny! Perhaps I'll finish those today and then the rest of you can all enjoy pinto beans on your floor as well.

Third: School started today! ("If I knew your name and address I would send you a boquet of newly sharpened pencils." I didn't really know how to fit that in to this part, but that's what I always think of when school starts. I think I'll skip sniffing tape though. "I'm sure you have no idea what I'm talking about." Okay, okay. I'll stop having a conversation with myself now.) Well, I know a lot of you moms out there have already started your children back in school, but I'm talking about my husband being back in school. BYU's fall semester started again today. I have two feelings about this: 1. Whoo-hoo! Another semester under way; another semester closer to being finished! 2. Bryan has homework again. Lonely me. Also, let me just say that, while I am extremely glad that I graduated already and am done with college and having to hike to class and worry about getting homework done, I am a little bummed that I don't get to enjoy the rush of starting a new semester. It's fun to get excited about all the things you're going to learn. Perhaps, though, I'm even more bummed that I didn't get to buy school supplies. Anyway, I think I'll just be satisfied to keep learning from reading books and fun crafty things from blog tutorials and such. Oh, and learning how to keep another human being alive.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

It doesn't feel like a Saturday yet

Well, Bryan was lucky enough to get to shadow an optometrist today from 8-12, so it just seems like a weekday to me so far (wake up to Bryan kissing me goodbye as he rushes out the door, get up and look at blogs for a while, think about working on my sewing project). I am going to work on my sewing project (the bean bags, of course), but I thought before I did that I'd share a couple of other things I've made lately for all of you to enjoy.


First of all, here's a fabric flower I made for my sister-in-law Lisa for her birthday last week. You can find the tutorial for it here on Little Birdie Secrets. It took a little longer than I was expecting, but it was still pretty quick and easy. I had originally planned to sew it onto a bobby pin, but the flower was heavier than I thought it would be, so I sewed it onto a sturdy hair elastic instead. I think it turned out pretty well.


I had already wrapped up the homemade soaps we got for her at the Provo Farmer's Market (It's still going until the end of October!) in this fun little box, so I topped it off with a piece of scrap fabric for the ribbon and tied the flower to the top. Oh, and I also made a matching tag by sewing a scrap of fabric to the top of the card. So easy... especially since the sewing machine and all the scraps were out on the table anyway!

Secondly, here's another flower I made from this tutorial at Yoonie At Home. (It may take a minute for that page to load if you just clicked on the link, fyi.) This flower really was as fast and easy as it seemed. The most time-consuming part was cutting out the pattern pieces. Then you just pile them all up and sew through the middle! The best part: no seam finishes and no ironing! These two things are always a major plus for me in crafts since my sewing machine and iron live tucked away in the back closet when they're not being used. There's just not enough space in our apartment to keep them out all the time anymore. Anyway, I used an extra (fake, of course) pearl bead in the middle instead of a button. It just seemed classier for this one, especially since it was going as part of a wedding present for my friend (the one who I gave those millions of t-shirt bags to). Once again, I sewed this flower onto a sturdy hair elastic instead of a clip and I tied it onto the handles of the bag as a finishing touch to the wrapping job. (Sorry, no picture of that.)

Well, that's all for now. I've been taking pictures along the way so I can share a tutorial with you on how to make the alpahbet bean bags I've been working on, so you can look forward to that soon!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

T-Shirt Bag Tutorial



I saw the instructions for this on Martha Stewart. Click here for her directions. The directions given there will suffice, but I thought I'd try and give something back to the wonderful world of blogging craft tutorials by taking some step-by-step pictures of how I made some of these bags myself. I tried making a bunch this morning to give as a wedding gift for my friend who got married today. I think they turned out nicely. Enjoy the tutorial!


Scrounge up some old t-shirts. Size small works best, otherwise the bags just end up being huge. I didn't have any t-shirts laying around that I wanted to get rid of, so I went to DI and got all of these for $1 each. I was going for fun t-shirts in a variety of colors.


Start by turning your t-shirt inside out. Next, I recommend pinning the bottom hem together. I was going to just wing it and I was glad that I had pinned it once I started sewing. Sometimes used t-shirt hems like to pull and curl kind of funny, but I had no problems with them pinned together. Another reason I recommend pinning the hems together before you sew is that almost all of the t-shirts I used were slightly longer in the back (probably from people pulling their t-shirt down) and so it looked a lot nicer matching them up ahead of time.


I love this picture of all the colorful shirts. They're all pinned, just waiting to be sewn together at the bottom.


Now that you've turned your t-shirt inside out and pinned the bottom hem together, sew a straight line along that bottom hem.


I just lined up my presser foot with the surging on the bottom hem of the t-shirt. So easy. After you do this, turn your t-shirt right side out.


Next, use a medium size bowl to mark a larger opening. (You'll line the bowl up over the neck hole.) Martha Stewart richy-pants says to use a washable fabric pen. That's completely unnecessary. I didn't have one on hand (and probably wouldn't have used one if I did). I just grabbed a permanent marker and traced around the bowl. Then, when I cut the hole out I cut just outside the line so the permanent marker would be cut off with the neck hole. On the t-shirts that had fun prints higher up on the front or back I just moved the bowl and marked it accordingly. As if anyone will ever notice that some of your bags have a slightly different size opening.


See?


After you cut out the neck hole, cut off the sleeves along the arm holes. Now you have handles. Your bag is finished! Ta-da!


Close-up of another finished bag


Close(er)-up
(I love the picture on this shirt.)


The pile of finished bags. Perhaps I got a little carried away, but I loved how they all looked together and I couldn't bear to break up those wonderful colors!


Since this was a gift, I wanted them to look nicer than just a pile of old cut-up t-shirts, so I rolled up each one with the coolest part showing and tied it with a ribbon.


Pile o' t-shirt bags


All the t-shirt bags ready to go in the gift bag (a little ironic to put them in a paper bag, I know, but I had to wrap them up nice enough to take to a wedding reception).

I had a blast working on this project. It was SO fast and easy. It would be a great first sewing projects for kids to start learning how to sew on a machine and cut out fabric. Also a great idea for enrichment or young women's activities.

Good luck making your own t-shirt bags!

P.S. I think I'm going to make bean bags out of the left over sleeves. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Silly Me

Here I was trying to hurry and get the apartment clean and get things done before the baby came and now I'm sitting around with nothing to do but wonder why my body doesn't want to go into labor... and thinking about eating Oreos with chunky peanut butter. Mmmm. Here's a bit of what I have done the last little bit:

-copy and pasted a ton of craft ideas and recipes from blogs
-finished reading the entire Little House series
-read the first two books in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (so funny, by the way. I recommend them for a fun afternoon read if you're looking for a laugh.)
-listening to Pandora a lot
-playing a lot of computer solitaire and text twist
-go on walks with my sister and our friends here in the quad
-go on college campus visits with my sister-in-law Alison (Hooray for the BYU golf carts and the free ice cream at UVU!)
-went to the canyon for a fun picnic with some extended family last night
-went to a family reunion last week
-celebrated my sister-in-law Lisa's birthday- woo woo!
-sewed a birthday present for my niece who turns three soon
-made soap for a family night activity on Monday

I've been trying my best to keep busy so I don't go crazy, but it's getting hard to think of things to do. For better or worse, I'm not super interested in starting projects that I can't finish in a day. I have this phobia of starting a huge project and being in the middle of it when I finally do go into labor and then coming home with a new baby to the apartment being a huge mess, not to mention an unfinished project. Although I have considered doing this just to test the power of irony, hopefully getting labor going. Meh. Anyway, today is definitely a solitaire and Pandora kind of day since I have NOTHING planned until Enrichment tonight. Thank goodness for that. And for Oreos. Speaking of which, I've got to go. Think happy going-into-labor-right-this-moment thoughts for me!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dear Baby,

Ollie ollie oxen free!

Love,
Mom

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Making A Longer List

After my wonderful in-laws headed out to the family reunion this morning (Bryan and I are going to join them later, don't worry) I got sucked in to the blogging world of crafts...yet again. As usual, I blame my amazing crafty friend Lindsey and her list of crafty blogs. So if any of you have secretly been stealing ideas off of my list of crafty blogs, you will be happy to know that it is growing. :) Now we can all waste more time with our copy-and-paste-tutorial addictions!

Also, just thought I'd point out this little beauty that I ran across today- a fabric dollhouse. How lovely!

Oh! And I promise to post pictures soon (we need to clear off the memory card before the baby comes anyway), but I actually made a fabric flower from this tutorial for my sister-in-law's birthday yesterday. I sewed it on to a hair elastic. I think it turned out rather cute, if I do say so myself. And I do.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Funny Post

I read this a couple of days ago when I was sifting through the crafty blogs I like to keep tabs on and it made me laugh. I showed it to Bryan and now at random times throughout the day I keep thinking of, "TAKEN: can of beets." Haha. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks it's funny. Probably. Anyway, I just thought I'd share the joy.

Also, speaking of crafty blogs I like, this one has had some really great, easy tutorials this week. I think I might make some torn paper flowers today. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Am Excited To:

-have my baby girl to come out of me!
-not be pregnant anymore!
-have my body back to myself!
-be skinn(ier than I was before I was pregnant... relatively soon after giving birth, I hope)
-go on walks with my baby in the stroller in the crisp fall weather
-play dress-up every day on an unsuspecting, helpless little girl who will have no say in the matter
-go on vacation! (Not that I have any planned, but just the thought of going somewhere more than an hour or two away is very exciting to think about. I feel like I have been under state of Utah arrest. If I had known this baby would be going nowhere so close to her due date I definitely would have left the state this summer. Oh well.)
-make trips up and down my three flights of stairs without being completely winded
-exercise
-wear long-sleeved shirts
-wear sweatshirts
-wear sweaters
-wear my cute shoes!
-have a wardrobe with WAY more variety
-never look at my maternity clothes again (until I'm pregnant again and feel a sense of gratitude for them once more. Probably by then I'll fool myself into thinking they're cute again.)
-eat a normal amount of food and be full for a normal amount of time
-only go to the bathroom a handful of times a day
-have an appetite
-be able to bend over and pick things up in two seconds instead of two minutes
-start working on Christmas presents
-decorate for fall!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Nothing to Report

Well, I am 38 weeks pregnant as of today. I went in for my weekly check-up at the doctor's office today and he confirmed what I was already pretty sure of: this baby girl is not about to shoot out of me anytime in the immediate future. I'm not dialated at all, not having any contractions, etc. etc. I am having some lovely lower back pain accompanied by some Braxton Hicks contractions, but that's about it. Just thought I'd let all of you wonderful people eagerly waiting out there that you'll have to keep waiting a little longer. The doctor said we wouldn't even really talk about inducing until a week after my due date (August 30th), so I'm just sitting tight (very tight!) until then.

Speaking of this baby girl coming out, if you'd like to be able to see pictures of her when she's here and you haven't already given me your e-mail address, please do so so I can invite you to our private family blog. (See the posts below for details.) Thanks!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Important! Please read!

I'm so glad you all want to look at our baby when she's born! Hopefully she's cute and fun to look at. Anyway, I am trying to get everyone invited ahead of time, but in order for me to send you the invite I need gmail addresses (or whatever e-mail address you'd like me to send the invite to) for the following people:

Callie C.
Sarah and Adam M.

If your name does not appear on this list and you'd like to be invited and you haven't already left a comment on the note below, please let me know you'd like to be invited and give me your e-mail address. (If you did already leave a comment on the note below and your name is not included here that means I was able to scrounge up your address- yay!)

Probably nobody really wants to leave their e-mail address out in the open here for everyone to read, so you can either send me a message on facebook with your e-mail address or you can shoot me an e-mail at my business account at sammyjaybird@gmail.com and that way the rest of the world won't be able to spam you to death. Thanks everybody for your support! Hopefully this baby girl comes out soon!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Baby Lewis

So I've created a (private) family blog for me and Bryan so we'll have a safe place to post pictures and info about our family once our baby girl is born. If you'd like to be invited so you can see pictures and stuff when she comes please leave me a message or something so I can send you an invite. Thanks!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Take THAT!

I know a lot of you have been worried about my recent experience with the box elder bugs in my apartment, so I thought I'd give you a little update to set your minds at ease. Yesterday evening Bryan set out on a box elder bug hunt/ extermination in both bedrooms and was successful (so far as we can tell).

We had noticed before that when you look down into the window track (of the windows in both bedrooms; they are identical) you can see a little hole full of dirt and muck. We had suspected that this was where the bugs were crawling in, so Bryan covered the hole with tape a week or two ago. The bugs were still getting past the tape somehow, but this confirmed our suspicions since the tape had dead box elder bug stuck to it. Yuck.

So last night Bryan went to more fully inspect the situation and see what else we could do. In the end, the process went something like this: Bryan cleaned out the hole with his finger as best he could, thought that they might have laid egg sacs in the holes, vacuumed out the holes with the use of our vacuum and a funnel, poured soapy water down the holes (thanks for the suggestion, Whitney), then melted a candle and poured the wax down the holes until they were completely blocked up with wax. The result? No bugs last night! And no bugs (dead or otherwise) littering the window sills this morning! We'll keep watching the holes and see how things go, but I think we may have solved the problem. Hooray!

The one piece of bad news is that I didn't actually get a whole lot more sleep last night than I did when I was being tormented by the box elders. The doctor says he thinks I'm still a few weeks away from delivering and -sad as it is-I think I agree with him, but I find that I am waking up more in the night to go to the bathroom or simply because some part of my body hurts. Last night when I tried to get up to go to the bathroom I had to scoot off the bed before I could sit up because I had a sharp pain in my tummy every time I tried to move. Ugh. So, for the second day in a row now I am basically sitting around the apartment with the lights off trying to catch up on rest.

P.S. I was going to include a picture of a box elder bug, when I googled it just now the pictures were making me feel way too squirmish, so I closed the page. Sorry. If you want to see pictures you can google it yourself. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Box Elder Bugs: The Bane of My Existence

Despite the fact that Bryan and I keep our windows and doors closed all the time, these stupid creatures find their way in anyway. We think there must be a way they're tunneling in through the bedroom windows because that is the area where we find them most. Usually we just find our window sills littered with dead Box Elder bugs (so gross), but every now and then I will happen upon a live one.

A couple of weeks ago I had one such encounter in the middle of the night when I woke up to one crawling on my face. Luckily I killed the little sucker in the process of flailing around to get it off, but it was none too easy trying to fall asleep again after that. I jerked around every time I felt the slightest movement, which was fairly often considering I have long hair and a fan blowing on me all night. That left me rather skittish for a few days, but after no other encounters I finally calmed down again.

Then last night it happened again. I had already woken up twice during the night to go to the bathroom (ugh) and pretty much all I wanted in life by the time 4:00am rolled around was to keep right on sleeping. Unfortunately, I was awakened once again by the sensation of that terrible flutter of the Box Elder bug wings. I appropriately freaked out, brushed off my pillow several times, turned on the flashlight I keep next to my bed to look for remains of a dead bug somewhere (which I didn't find), and then rolled over on my other side to go back to sleep. But as soon as I rolled over it happened again! This time, sadly, I was facing Bryan and when I was flailing around trying to get the bug off my face I accidentally hit Bryan in the face. So then both of us were up and I could NOT get back to sleep. After about ten minutes I asked Bryan to turn on the lamp and inspect the window sill to see if there were any more. When he got up I saw a live one perched on his pillow. He gave that bug the smashing it deserved, checked the window sill for more (there weren't any), and then went to dispose of the terrible thing. Well, it's like I said about having long hair and a fan blowing on me all night. I didn't fall asleep again until around 5:00 or 5:30am. I think my eyes are still a little puffy, but I guess nobody can tell because the rest of my face is pretty puffy these days too. Sigh.

Before we go to bed tonight we will most certainly be sealing all of the window edges with mailing tape or something in a greater effort to keep the bugs out and away from our precious sleep.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Martha Stewart Richy Pants

Ugh. So I love Martha Stewart crafts because they are always (usually) so stylish and fresh-looking. However, they tend to make me a little crazy because the materials involved are often very expensive or very hard to come by. Oilcloth, for example. I found a really cute Martha Stewart pattern yesterday when I was poking around, but it calls for oilcloth. No problem, I thought, I'll just get some at Jo Ann's. Except Jo Ann's doesn't carry oil cloth. Neither does Hancock Fabrics. And the tacky little fabric store we passed on the way home and checked at had one roll of oilcloth, but it was the ugliest stuff I've ever seen and was pretty depressing to look at compared to the delightful little patterns Martha was showing off. Sad, sad day. I did just find a ton of really cute oilcloth when I googled it just now and it's only about $7 a yard which isn't too bad since I need less than a yard, but I'm too depressed to buy it online now. And I want to make it today.

The moral of this story:
Butterfingers is easy. Oilcloth is hard.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Introducing the Crafty Blogs

As you may have guessed from yesterday's post, I've been a little bored lately. Or I've had a lot of free time anyway. After the thrill of Text Twist wore off (kind of- heh heh) I started doing more productive things like reading the next book in the Little House series (I finished The Long Winter in almost a day- ironic), going to the twisty slide playground with my sister and her cute kids, and... dun dun dun... getting addicted to the copy and paste functions here on my lap (i.e. laptop).

My friend Lindsey is always doing crafty things she found on other blogs and then blogging about them and it has finally gotten the better of me. Today I spent at least an hour just now looking through a lot of the craft blogs listed on her blog, copying and pasting the tutorials I like. I also spent way too much time on Etsy the other day copying and pasting pictures of things I'd like to try to make. (I now have a treasure trove of felt play food ideas, if anyone's interested.)

Copying and pasting is good for me for two main reasons:
1. It makes me feel crafty without having to actually attempt the craft right that moment (i.e. fulfills the craving).
2. It makes it so I can actually find the inspiration/ tutorial again when I want to get down to business. I am admittedly an internet idiot and often have problems trying to navigate back to a page I was at two minutes ago. Finding a page I was at two days ago is pretty much a near impossibility for me unless I mark it somehow or happen to get really lucky.

Some of the tutorials I was most tempted by when I was poking around today were the quiet book tutorial, the letter bean bag tutorial, and the baby crinkle squares tutorial. (I just want everyone to be appropriately impressed that I just found all of those links again. Ta-da!)

Perhaps after my meeting (that starts in a few minutes) I will come home and be crafty in some great way. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I'm Bored

Any (good) ideas?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Stylish Sammy Jaybird

Check out the hair clip on this cutie! That's Sammy Jaybird all right. I just got the pictures back from a photo shoot done by Marcie Jessee Photography and I love them. Check back on my Sammy Jaybird blog soon for more adorable kids in my own personal designs.