Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What next??

Nearly all the "must do" items on my before Liv gets here to do list are done. But I can't stop now... not when nesting is in full swing and not when this is my last opportunity for sewing uninterrupted by breast feeding, seemingly never ending diaper changing, and the overwhelming desire to spend hours on end just cuddled up with my little bundle of sweetness. So will you help me decide which project to do next? I'm finishing up the curtains for the nursery and I have one more bootie to go to match her coming home from the hospital outfit, but when I'm done with those I'll get started on whatever the general consensus is. There's a poll in the right margin. Here are your choices:

* I have all the materials to make a messenger style diaper bag, I just haven't felt terribly excited about the project for some reason... and I have a diaper bag already so I don't HAVE to do it, but I was planning on it.

* I have an idea for some artwork for the nursery. It's pretty simple, it'll be a painted canvas and vinyl decal.

* I'm planning labor mostly in the water, like I did with Elle, so I have my own clothes to wear during that time, but I'll need to get out of my wet clothes when I get out of the water and those hospital gowns are terribly convenient despite how ugly they are. So, I'm thinking it would be nice to make my own hospital gown out of cute fabric... who knows, if it's really cute I may even wear it those first few days at home.

* I have some burp clothes from when Elle was a baby (she didn't spit up that much) and I don't totally get the cute burp clothe thing in general, but I do need to have a few more burp clothes on hand and have plenty of scraps I could use, so I figured I may as well make some rather than buy them.

Thanks so much for weighing in! Who knows, if Liv holds out to her due date, I still have a little more than 5 weeks to work on projects, maybe I'll make it through them all. Your input will at least help me decide the order :)

Featured Etsy Seller - LazyTCrochet

This month's Etsy Bloggers featured seller is LazyTCrochet

I LOVE this wispy clouds crochet fringe scarf! It wold be perfect for Florida winters when it's not cold enough for coats, but you still need something to take the chill off.

Or how about this great apple green cloche?! It would add a perfect punch to a black trench!

Stop by Lazy T Crochet and check out all the beautiful crocheted accessories!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Office Reorganize

We're in the process of turning my sewing/crafting studio into a nursery for our soon to be new baby. I feel very fortunate to still have some space available to move my sewing/craft cabinet out near the table in the “great room” (those of you who’ve been to our house are probably laughing… there’s not much “greatness” to our main living space, but it’s not exactly the kitchen, not exactly a dining room, and relatively open to the living room, so I’m going with “great room”). I have a big cabinet that has housed 2 different sets of covered boxes in various sizes that I’ve picked up at discount stores here and there. I decided that since I was making the sacrifice of my entire room I should ease the blow a bit by getting all new matching boxes for my cabinet that will better utilize the space that is available in the cabinet. I ordered a total of 25 boxes in different sizes from The Container Store and managed to fit every sewing/crafting/Elle Belle business supply that was not only in the cabinet previously, but also everything that was in a two drawer file cabinet, a floor to ceiling book shelf, and my machine itself… it’s amazing what a difference the right storage containers can make! I downloaded a cool free font from dafont.com to add a stylish touch to the labels. Finding all my supplies has never been easier or looked this good!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Kimono Booties

I’m always amazed by the wealth of craft knowledge to be found on blogs! I keep a catalog of tutorials that grows on a weekly basis. Latest to be pulled from the file: kimono booties! I made this little set from Home Spun Threads' tutorial to match the ruffle butt onesie I made for Liv. My only revisions were that I shrunk the pattern by 10% so they would be newborn size and I did just one layer of felt for the soles (although I wouldn’t suggest that unless you use a thick/substantial felt). I also used fusible fleece in them which gave them some body, but it also made them a little bulky and they didn’t want to turn really smoothly, so I may try my next pair with a little heavier weight fabric and no fleece. They’re not perfect, but they’re so cute and tiny I think it makes up for it :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I usually keep my blog posts craft or at least creativity related, but I thought since we just had pictures taken and the last blog post that pictures of my family made it into they were looking forelorn and a bit smug (the Etsy Widower post) I would post these as a more accurate portrail of where we're at these days.
And since I'm treading in personal territory anyway I thought I'd take a minute for something that's been on my mind lots lately. As I get closer to my due date I've been thinking more and more about the actual labor and delivery. I honestly couldn't have asked for a more wonderful birth experience than I had with Elle. It was amazing and I attribute a large part of that to having had a drug free, natural childbirth. There are so many reasons I chose natural childbirth, I could go on and on about all the advantages (and do any time someone is rude enough to make comments like "are you crazy" or "you know you don't get an award for that" when they find out that I purposefully didn't have an epidural) but lately I've been considering why more women don't know about the options that are available to them. So many women don't know what is happening in their bodies during and after labor and delivery, or what shots/tests/procedures they'll give the baby immediately following the delivery, or even what a midwife is and the choices they have with regard to all of that. I hope that some day more Doctors will at least have conversations with their expectant Moms about the body's natural processes during childbirth and how that's impacted by the medical intervention that's so common these days. I understand natural childbirth is not for every women, and I respect women's decision to have the birth that they choose, but I don't think every women even realizes she's making choices about the process they're about to go through, choices that will affect them and their infants beyond just how much of the contractions they'll feel. I've read some really great books on the subject, I'd be happy to refer them to anyone who's interested, just leave me a comment.

stepping down from my soapbox... for now ;)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Car Seat Cover

When we registered for baby items while I was pregnant with Elle, there was only one car seat at Babies R Us that was specifically “girly”. These days you can find some pretty cute girly stock car seats, but why buy one of those when you can design your own?! I’m in love with this Anna Maria Horner fabric from her Good Folks line! I knew I wanted to use it for something I’d get lots of use out of, and the car seat definitely fits that bill!

The next time I mention making something without a pattern, someone please remind me that I really don’t like that! I took apart the cover that came on Elle's car seat and used it as a template to make a slip cover with the new fabric. I used fusible fleece on the back, added additional foam padding to the seat itself, ran elastic along the edge, and used my manual button hole maker (I guess that’s what you call it… it’s where I select the stitches from my machine that make each side of the button hole and I control the length of each instead of it being determined by a button you set in the button hole foot) to make the openings for the straps. The hood is the pink fabric on the outside and lined with the black and white print. The head support insert and the lining on the strap covers is made from super cuddly soft white "minky" (I figured I could be impractical with the white since she'll only use it for a little while). It ended up coming out well, but second guessing myself throughout the process and constantly wondering if there’s an easier way to do things was frustrating. It’s one of those projects that I’m glad it’s done, happy with the way it turned out, but wouldn’t want to make another!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Free Family Film Fest

Florida Summers are always hot hot hot and being 8&9 months pregnant this year isn’t going to make it any cooler! Elle and I usually spend the majority of our time in the pool or in the air conditioner. One of our favorite air conditioned spots… the theater! Regal Entertainment does a Free Family Film Festival where they show G & PG movies in the theater through out the Summer on week day mornings for FREE. The million dollar popcorn (I bring bottled water with me) seems a lot more reasonably priced when you don’t have to buy tickets too :) Click on the graphic above to see if the Regal theater in your area is participating.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Coming Home

I fell in love with this white eyelet trimmed bubble suit I found online and decided I had to have it for Liv to come home from the hospital in:

The catch is that it's $50 + shipping and I would still need a bonnet (this Florida sun is ruthless!) booties, and possibly a blanket. I was having a hard time justifying spending that much on a size newborn outfit that she would only be able to wear a couple times.

But once I've found THE thing I want I just can't get it out of my mind, and this bubble suite was haunting me. I haven't sewn much in the way of clothing... I don't know why but my mile long "to make" list just doesn't really include clothes. But, I figured since the bubble suit is so loose it shouldn't be too difficult to get the fit right. So, I searched pattern book after pattern book for virtually the exact outfit I saw online and finally found the New Look pattern 6794 which was surprisingly close. Here it is, what do you think?

I had fun making the outfit and learned a little trick for making elastic casing with bias tape that I used on my next project, the car seat cover. But the best part is that I made the bubble suit and the bonnet and have enough material left over for a set of matching booties for $25 total!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Etsy Widower Comments

We've had so much fun with the Etsy Widower article! Some of the comments other Etsyians have left on the post are hilarious. Thought I'd share a few of my favorites (click on the shop names to link to their little Etsy addiction):
*Before I get into that just wanted to mention I'll be back to my regularly scheduled blog posts this weekend. I'm thinking Liv's coming home from the hospital outfit is up next :)

blynkenandnod ROFL! It's so true! I need to show this one to my own poor widower. Happy Father's Day, boys! (You've earned a day off from Etsy, I think) (if only I could get myself to give that gift...)

cozycottagecreations Hee hee! That was fabulous - I love the part about the fabric pushers. I'm emailing this to my husband so he'll know he's not alone. And hey, if that support group gets started up, feel free to convo us the meeting time!

worksofwhimsy Sometimes my husband will convo me to get my attention. Yup, my name is Linda, and I am an Etsy addict. I love all the funny Etsy items featured!

somewhereinntime OHHHH, has he been talking to my husband who thinks I'm addicted to this too and when our power went off last night we actually had to talk to each other :)

CollectionObsession Love this story! I told my hubby last night that I need to add some listings, and he said something about priorities and housecleaning. Huh? And he sometimes even wants to use the laptop and I have to sulk till he hands it back to me.

humblebea I haven't laughed so hard in a LONG time! This is fantastic, I can't wait to have my husband and kids read this... just as soon as I remove the pins from my couch...

bylynnkrestel oh i hear you! i feel bad for my family all the time - just not bad enough to find the cure!! go etsy!!!

OccasionallyBrill I don't even have the excuse of selling, and my husband comments all the time that if I love Etsy so much, why don't I marry it? I feel for him. Sort of. Wait, I think the front page has a new treasury up.

annashoub I am writing from the great etsy beyond. Please contact my husband and child. I think they need a sympathetic shoulder to cry on.

apiecebydenise What a cute article! At some point with a "new baby", she must have closed the laptop at some point in time ;o)

pogoshop So funny! Believe me, we all understand. But I beg you, don't name the new baby Etsy just to get long lost mom to notice the poor little thing.

budpnq I've sent this to my husband so he will know he's not alone in his grief. Sometimes, I really miss the guy.

postroadvintage ..my house is orphaned too! those dishes get so lonely in the sink all day with nobody to wash them! thanks for the good laugh!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Etsy Widower

My Doug wrote this article for the Etsy Blog in honor of the upcoming Father's Day. Soooo super excited they published it! I'll attach it here, but it's "prettier" on Etsy since Blogger is layout challenged.

A Dude's Perspective: Life as an Etsy Widower
Story by ellebelleonetsy Published on June 4, 2009 in Etc
Photo by ellebelleonetsy
I never dreamed I'd be a widower at age 35...an Etsy Widower, that is. My wife, Stacey, is survived by me, her husband, and our two daughters: Elle, age 3 and our new baby, Liv, due this August. I fear they will both grow up as Etsy Orphans. My only comfort is in the hope that others will hear our story and at least take solace in the fact that they are not alone.

(Oh, I should clarify, my wife hasn't died, I lost her to Etsy.)

Stacey has always been "crafty," and for years I've been supportive of her artistic endeavors. When she found Etsy it seemed harmless enough. We were excited that she would have a venue to share some of the things she's made that make being a mommy easier and more fun for her, like slings and cart covers. So, she opened the Elle Belle shop.

I've come to the conclusion that this site should have come with a disclaimer. I should have been warned — maybe a call, at least an email to the family members, something like "Beware, Etsy has been proven to be extremely habit forming."

I really underestimated the power of Etsy... the allure of the endless diversity of crafts, the variety of search methods, the vast network of like-minded artists. At first my wife was sewing and crafting just on weekends, but before I knew it, the arm of our couch became an impromptu pincushion, our vacuum clogged with strands of discarded threads, and she would even bring the laptop to bed to be with Etsy.

Looking back, I should have seen the warning signs. She had a whole different vocabulary. All conversational roads led to "listings," "treasuries," "tags," and "gift guides." Not only was the home page of every computer in the house set to Etsy.com, but I think I even noticed her mood change following that spiraling string of fellow crafters and customers who hearted her shop.

I'll never forget that fateful day when I overheard what was to be one of Stacey's last conversations with our daughter, Elle. She was trying desperately to convince our three year old that helping Mommy sort a box of mixed up ribbon was a fun way to spend an afternoon. But I realized the end was near when she couldn't even run a quick errand without visiting the fabric pushers or one of her thread dealers.

Stacey is in a better place now. She's gone to be with her adoring customers, loving fellow members of the Florida Etsy Street Team, and the Etsy Bloggers. She still haunts her vendors, too. I can tell from the charges that mysteriously appear in our checking account for designer fabrics, stabilizer, and crafting tools. She lives on through her tireless efforts to keep up with custom orders and dedication to her blog.

I appreciate your heartfelt condolences, and ask that in lieu of cards and flowers you send fat quarters, ribbon, and embroidery floss. Stacey would have wanted it that way.

Our daughter and I are getting along as well as could be expected, I guess, although we're worried about how the new baby will take it. We appreciate your support and want you to know we wear our Etsy Widower and Etsy Orphan shirts proudly in solidarity with all the others who share our loss. Hey, come to think of it, maybe my daughter and I should open an Etsy shop and sell those things. What's the worst thing that could happen?

Tub Teas

Elle and I made tub teas for Mother's Day gifts this year. It was so easy to put together, the perfect little craft for a 3 year old to help out with, inexpensive, and everyone (including this Mommy) seemed to really like it, so I thought I'd share.

I lucked out and found a soap making supply warehouse that's local, Florida Suncoast Soapworks, but you can check out their website. I picked up 16 herbal bath tea bags (for .12 each) that you seal with a hot iron & 2 ounces of lavender flowers (for $1.70), but you could use whatever other small fragrant flower you like... chamomile would be nice. The only other ingredients you need are epsom salt and sea salt, which you can get at the grocery store (sea salt with the table salts and epsom salt with the bath products). Here's the recipe:

4 cups of Epsom salt
2 cups of Sea salt
2oz of lavender

Have your little one scoop, pour, and mix all the ingredients together. Then scoop 1/2 cup of the mixture into each tea bag. Mommy can seal the bag shut with a hot iron and waaa laaa!

We stacked three on top of eachother and tied them with ribbon & a handmade tag for a few special Mommies we know. For Grandma we found a decorative box at a discount store, bought some special tissue paper, and included 6 teas for her. We even had a couple left over for our own bath time!

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