Christmas Eve magic

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When I was a kid, I remember waking up Christmas morning to a pile of gifts under our little tree and wondering how on earth my brother could sleep in, knowing he had all kinds of packages waiting for him!

I would sit at the kitchen table, sometimes eating breakfast but usually fidgeting and wishing I could go pinch my brother out of his slumber so we could get at the presents.

(Can I just say how much I wish that was MY tree?)

And then once he finally pried himself out of bed, I would launch myself into a paper-tearing frenzy, until the floor around my feet was a mess of ribbon and bows and torn wrapping. I loved it, and I have nothing but fond memories of Christmas as a child. My parents didn't do much in the way of Santa or traditions, but they still made it special for me in the best way possible - a lot of love.

Fess up - who's wrapping the last of their gifts this Christmas Eve?

*raises hand* Guilty.

The way our paychecks fell this year (with me jobless), I had to buy the last few of my gifts today at Walmart. Thankfully it wasn't too crazy, as I was fully expecting a madhouse! But I got all the ingredients for brunch with my family tomorrow - more on that in tomorrow's post! - and two cheap men's shirts for scarves. I originally wanted to stencil on them like I did in this post, but I got crunched for time and I decided to find another Pinterest creation instead. And I found something really fun and easy, and best of all, no sewing!

I made mine into an infinity scarf while parked in front of my tv watching my recorded X-Factor finale. I also only used once shirt as opposed to three or four, but it was so easy and looks so cute that I may dig out a few old shirts this weekend and make one for me. I'll get some pictures of the finished deal tomorrow on my giftees, it's way too dark in my house right now, hah!

I hope everyone has a wonderful night, enjoy the time with your family this weekend!

Daddy is for flying

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So last weekend we took our Christmas photos for this year. A little belated, but very much anticipated. As the photographer, I am always behind the camera so I rarely end up in photos. Thanks to my jobless state (I started my new job Monday - more on that later), my friend Ana offered to take our portrait this year. She is a genuinely kind soul, and she also has a soft spot for Micah - she put his photo on the cover of her quarterly magazine back in spring.

We took the photos at a park near our house, one that is normally beautiful, but thanks to the snow and rain the past week, just looked sort of brown and sad. It didn't deter Ana in the slightest, and she still took some absolutely amazing shots that seriously love.

Can my kid get any cuter? I know I'm biased but seriously...he is adorable. I love my family.

When was the last time you saw a sewing fail?

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If you never have, I'm not surprised. Who wants to post stuff they made that didn't work out? After all, the way to keep people coming back to your blog is to show how incredibly awesome you are with your sewing machine.

Me? I'm not afraid to admit I am a total novice with my sewing machine, despite how very badly I want to be brilliant. You remember this post, which I wasn't able to finish because my white thread went awol? Well...I found my white thread a couple days ago and spun out those two shirts in record time. Micah was with my dad that day so I wasn't able to try it on him until the next morning.

Epic. Fail. I won't even share pictures because it's just ridiculous. I haven't tried the white shirt on him yet, because I am a tad disillusioned, but the green and white striped one was just sad. If you recall, I took it in from the middle, both front and back, because of the deep v-neck. Despite taking out a total of 4 inches, the neck is still too wide. If he was a girl I'd put it on him with a tank top under and it would look like a ballet top. That tells you exactly how wide it was. It touched his shoulder bone on each side .It dipped down the front of his chest to an indecent level.


Let's move on to something a little more happy, shall we?

I am a part of a Christmas gift exchange this year with a group of online mommies I have grown close to over the past two years. They are the best for venting and sharing my mommy worries and woes, and my happiness. We are very close and share photos of our kiddos every Friday, with what we call BPF (Baby Picture Friday). I love these ladies. So when one suggested doing an Elfster exchange, I was all for it. The best part is that I drew the name of one of the members that I don't know terribly well, so I had to get creative for her gift and really start chatting with her, and figure out what she was into.

Being the Pinterest nerd that I am, I went straight to browsing my saved DIY projects. And I found two things right away that I had always wanted to make for myself that I thought she might like.

The first was this awesome camera strap cover. You can find a million variations of this tutorial, but this was the first one I found. It called for fusible fleece, which is not something I had on hand and I was far too broke to go pick some up (can I just say how excited I am to be starting my new job Monday?), so I winged it using plain white flannel on the inside. It was super easy, I didn't even really follow the tutorial. I sewed together three cut pieces of pretty printed cotton, then lay a piece of white flannel the full width of the cotton on top. Sewed them right sides together, turned it inside out, and then ran a careful stitch around the open ends to hem. Easy.

The second gift I made her was a variation on this tutorial for a very simple scarf. I decided to make mine into an infinity scarf, so I bought a men's XL shirt and cut it straight across just under the armpits. I didn't even sew the top edge since jersey curls up nicely.

I left the bottom sewed hem to add some weight, and to clarify top and bottom. Then using freezer paper and my exacto knife, I cut out a stencil that says, "I <3 my DSLR".

I ironed the freezer paper shiny side down onto the shirt in two parts so I could use red for the heart and yellow for the text.

I didn't make the paint thick so that it looks faded and broken-in. (The other two in the picture are ones I made for other people for Christmas. A super quick project, I couldn't resist those shirts on sale!)

You can't see the design very well once it's on if you drape it around your neck twice, but it still looks cute.

Have you made anything from Pinterest for Christmas?

The woes of well water

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For two days this week my house has been without water. We briefly got it working last night with a space heater and let the water trickle all night to try and fix the problem...but then this morning it was frozen again. Now at 10:30 we have no water still. So. Incredibly. Frustrating.

So since I am a few days behind in my crafting thanks to the wonders of well water, I thought I would jump in here with The Vintage Apple and do a Pinteresting Wednesday. You can find me on here on Pinterest.


It is all about Christmas on Pinterest right now. You can't view a single board without finding some cheer.

Source: via Allie on Pinterest

(Can you tell that food is my favorite part of Christmas?)

Christmas lights are definitely a big part of Christmas to me, and it makes me sad that my neighborhood has very little lighting going up. So I live vicariously through others online.

And of course...SNOW. Beautiful to look at, not so much fun to deal with personally. Hah. Of course, my view is slightly jaded now.

This makes me want to have a Christmas party!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous week full of Christmas cheer!

Yeppar's Sailor Jacket is a huge win

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Back in September I got a refund on something I bought on Etsy, and so I took that opportunity to buy something fun that I otherwise would not have justified. So I went pattern crazy and bought three really fun patterns for Micah. I had owned my sewing machine for all of ten minutes and just dove right in.

Sort of. I kept forgetting I had the patterns every time I went to the fabric shops. Nice.

So when I got a $25 gift card for an early Christmas gift, I took it straight to Joanne's and went crazy! I bought the material and notions for 5 projects, including the Sailor Jacket from Yeppar.

I absolutely loved this pattern, I cannot speak highly enough of it. (No, she didn't pay me!) It was very straight-forward and easy to understand even for the newbie that I technically still am. I had some assistance with sewing on the sleeves from my sewing master mom (thanks mommy!), but otherwise it was all me.

The coat is fully lined with soft flannel, so it's warm as well as cute. The outer is a dark brown cordoroy, so it should hold up to typical toddler boy shenanigans. I was also able to get every single thing for this jacket on sale. The cord was in the sale pile for $5 a yard, the flannel half off to $7 from $14, and the buttons came in a pack of 6 for $2, for a total of $14. And since I bought it with a gift card that I didn't personally pay for, it was basically free! You can't get a coat like this off the rack for free, hah.

I'm really very proud of this project.

And for a toddler, Micah was surprisingly excited about it. When I held up the finished coat and asked if he wanted to try it on, he said, "Ok. On? Put on? Go outside?" He was an extremely willing model, especially since it meant we got to outside, his favorite place. He posed happily. I figure I better enjoy this, since in a few years he will likely stop being so compliant to wear mommy's sewing.

He will also likely stop making this face soon, so I better document it. It's my favorite!

NaNoWriMo...and blatant baby bragging

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Have you ever heard of NaNoWriMo? Basically, it's an excuse to get yourself to park in front of your computer and crank out some creativity. November is National Novel Writing Month (who would have ever thought we would have a whole month dedicated to that?) and it is a 30 challenge to get you to write a 50,000 word novel.

I tried it last year. I made it to about 14k and fizzled out. I had a 7 month old baby at home and not much time or energy, considering my day started at 5:45am and ended around 8pm. I was a total bore in those days.

Now that I am not working, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try again and hopefully get some good work done. So far? Stuck at 14k...again. But I have time! (Watch me try to crank it out in two days on the 28th. That's just how I roll.)

On a more fun note...Tuesdays and Thursdays are when I get to stay home with Micah (my 19 month old son) and play like crazy all day. He stays with my dad Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and my husband is home on the weekends. So those two days are all about us. We play, stuff our faces full of mandarine orange slices and broccoli pasta, and visit stores just to play with stuff. Today was one of those days.

And when I have some free time during naps, I try to make something that will make him excited when he wakes up. Since he is on a train kick (specifically Thomas, but any train will do), I whipped up this with my Silhouette and some of my handy-dandy freezer paper.

My little Halloween bear that should have been an Ewok.

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At the beginning of September, Jessica of the incredibly awesome Running With Scissors offered a free pattern up for a handful of people to test. I got lucky and was one of the first ones to email her, so I was chosen to sew it up. And she sent me the coolest pattern ever.


As a tester, I printed it out asap and started examining it. At the time, I was fully a novice at sewing. I had owned my machine for about three weeks and had never actually sewn from a pattern before. So far all I had under my belt was two pairs of pj pants for my son, with patterns drawn from existing pants that fit him. I was completely and utterly confused for some time after printing and piecing together the pattern, and I fully admit...I cowered and ignored it for a lot longer than I should have. I was petrified that I wouldn't be able to do it. Also around this time, I was let go from my job, so if Micah was going to get a costume at all, it would have to be this one.

Finally in the second week of October I decided I need to put on my big-girl panties and start it. On a random trip to the dollar store I found an off-white blanket made of super soft, fluffy material for $8. It was far cheaper than any fur material at the fabric shop, so I bought it, went home, and started working. And working. And working. Even though I made good progress and the pattern was easy to follow (Jessica is awesome!), I was super slow. And only partially because of my lack of knowledge. The material was a NIGHTMARE. It fluffed everywhere, it completely covered my sewing foot as I went along, it got tangled up in the foot, and I couldn't see my stitches at all. The material I bought to make a hood - because this was supposed to be an ewok - somehow ended up being so narrow I would have to sew two pieces together to make it, and in my frustration, I sacked that idea. I also realized when I was about halfway through that I had forgotten to buy a zipper, so I dug out an old footie pajama from Micah's newborn box and made it work. It was blue. Sigh.

But finally, through trial and error and lots of irritation, I ended up with this.

Micah loved it, and I could not have been happier.

The Case of the Missing Thread

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Don't you hate getting started on a project, getting about halfway through it and then finding out you're missing some vital element you need to complete it? ARG.

I found this tutorial on Pinterest awhile back and hadn't had an opportunity to try it out until today.

Several months ago Walmart had some sort of crazy clear-out of a bunch of their clothes, pricing them down as far as $3. I wandered the racks, determined to find something that I could reconstruct. As someone that had not really done much with clothes at the time I wasn't sure what I was looking for, but everything in my size range didn't seem to have much potential. So I glanced through the Small to Medium size range for something I could use in scrap projects, and I found these two beauties.


Please ignore the wrinkles. I refuse to iron something that I will just wrinkle right back up again!

When I saw the striped shirt I thought of Micah right away. I love stripes on babies and in a size Medium I knew it wouldn't require much to make it fit. The moon and cow shirt was also obvious for him because he loves the moon and points it out every chance he gets, plus it wasn't too girly. So I brought them home and promptly forgot about them for about two months. Good job, slacker!

Today I had a bit of free time so I dug them out and brought along a new shirt I just bought for the baby to use as reference. I lay them out on my dining room table and started pinning them. For the green shirt, the neck was way too wide for an 18 month old, so rather than just pin up the sides to take out the excess, I pinned up the center to bring in the neckline.



Then I pinned up the sleeves, leaving some room for a small cuff.


I also pinned down the top of the shoulders to bring in the neckline even more and to help narrow the arms. It was about this time that I realized I should have turned it inside out, hah. So I turned it inside out and repinned, then I cut off the bottom at the length I wanted and cut off the sleeves to where I pinned.


And since I am an overachiever, I also pinned up the cow shirt. I put a row of pins down the sides and inside of the shirt sleeves to take it in. Of course, I also realized I didn't turn it inside out again. I think I'm having an off day.




And that's as far as I got because I realized I had no white thread. What a day I'm having. Stay tuned for the finished project!

I can woo you with food first, right?

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Because who doesn't like to think about what they're having for dinner, even if it's 7am and you just got to work?

My interpretation of this, except I used wide lasagna noodles instead of won-ton wrappers, and Italian sausage instead of ground turkey. I also made them in huge muffin pans, rather than your typical cupcake-sized ones. My dad brought the salad and garlic bread. Easiest dinner ever.

And welcome to Pinteresting Mommy, my new blog. As one of millions that have become addicted to the new internet wonder known as Pinterest, I created this little space to talk about the things I found on Pinterest and tried to make/create/eat. Lasagna? Only the tip of the iceberg.
You can find me on Pinterest using the link on the right sidebar, or click here.