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Archive for July, 2010


It’s probably no surprise that I couldn’t stop once I got on a roll with my sister’s shower presents.  Yep, I went right on ahead and made a whole bunch of cuteness for my own little one (due in just 3 weeks!).

I’ve had this fabulous Kashmir by Amy Butler fabric kicking around for maybe 2 years.  It’s apparently out of print now, so lucky that I nabbed 3 yards of it way back when.  So much for whatever I had planned to make for myself with it.  It’s a sure bet though, that this handy little diaper bag set (again, most patterns are from Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing for Baby excepting the little travel wipes container that was a mostly-successful  improvisation) will get way more use than whatever skirt or shirt this lovely fabric was originally intended for.

It isn’t super-clear in the photographs, but there is a collection of little velcro pouches to fill with whatever little baby doodads are needed at the moment and slip into the diaper bag.

When I was proudly showing off my collection of home-sewn goods to my husband, the question arose,  “Why do you need all of these little bags?”

“For putting various baby things in.”

“Isn’t that what the diaper bag is for?”

Sigh.  The concept of organization is completely lost on my husband who would gladly throw the bare baby essentials in a ziplock bag, toss it in the car and call it a day.  Regardless of the necessity of my various organizational compartments however, I’m thrilled to have my own happy little bag to tote my baby boy’s things around.

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…taking inspiration from SouleMama in celebrating {this moment}.    There are no words to this Friday ritual.  Just a sweet and simple moment from the week to remember, cherish and absorb just a little bit longer.

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In keeping with the woodland theme of my sister’s shower, I was delighted to find this fabulous fabric at a discount fabric store.  It happily turned into a diaper bag (à la Lotta Jansdotter in Simple Sewing for Baby– an already much-used resource around here).  A little pocket friend (pattern also from Lotta’s Simple Sewing) is snuggled into the front pocket and attached with a ribbon.  That way baby can play with little blue stuffie during a diaper change, but stuffie has less of a chance of getting left behind at the park.I always liked to have my “fancy” burp cloths handy when Eli was just a little pup (who spit up all the time…) and I was out and about.  They were a cinch to make with some scraps of fabric and a stack of diaper prefolds.  What’s better than practical and pretty?A diaper bag needs a changing pad, obviously.  To have it be a matchy one out of the same snail & mushroom fabric is a nice bonus in my opinion.Lotta’s bib pattern in Simple Sewing is for a single-sided bib made out of oil cloth.  I decided to stick with cotton fabric for these.  You can’t wipe them down in the same easy way, but you can throw them into the wash.  The bibs are reversible (bonus!) and lightly quilted.
By now it is painfully obvious what a dork I am about matching, but in my defense, it is so much fun to see how much baby gear you can make out of 2 yards of fabric.  Still going strong with the snail fabric, I used a baby pants patten from Anna Maria Horner’s Handmade Beginnings (love that book!).  Tiny.  Matchy.  Cute.And some appliqued onesies round out Erica’s matchy little baby collection.  I fell deeply and totally in love with the Spotted Owl fabric by Alexander Henry.   Jeff commented that my beloved owls looked a little angry for baby gear.  But honestly, I think that’s what I love so much about the fabric.  It has happy owls and studious owls and goofy owls and grumpy owls.  It’s just so refreshing to me that they’re not all just happily having tea with butterflies or something.  Or maybe it’s just that this mama has some reserved compassion for grumpy owls….

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Sister Erica is pregnant with her first baby and due in early September.  We recently threw her a woodland-themed baby shower.I designed a little woodland animals line and set to work with all the paper goods for the party.  These cupcake toppers were the perfect size for topping little tea sandwiches and mini-cupcakes.Guests could choose from one of four designs (or take one of each as I made up a whole bunch!) of bookmarks to take home as a little party favor.For Erica, I made up three sets of woodland thank you notes.  We wanted guests to be able to do something a little crafty while at the party.  So naturally onesie-decorating was a good bet.  I enlarged my slew of woodland animals and cut out cardstock stencils of each.  I was concerned that they might not hold up over many uses, but they turned out just fine and the finished products were so darling.It was a sweet little gathering with plenty of iced tea and cucumber sandwiches and earl grey cupcakes to boot.  Erica was showered with woodland animals in a myriad of forms and her baby’s nursery will surely be a woodsy and magical little haven.

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…taking inspiration from SouleMama in celebrating {this moment}.    There are no words to this Friday ritual.  Just a sweet and simple moment from the week to remember, cherish and absorb just a little bit longer.

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This was the best little salad to come through my kitchen as of late (and with all of the greens abounding out there, there sure have been a lot of salads). It’s a nice creative take on taboulleh.  Yum.  It happened the way so many good recipes happen.  You take a bunch of random stuff out of the fridge, the pantry and the garden and you let inspiration dictate the rest.

Here’s a very rough recipe for my most happy accident:

Make up a cup or two of bulgur (I like to toast it in the pan a tiny bit before adding the water).  Chop up a head or two of baby bok choy, mince some red onion and roughly chop up a good handful of kalamata olives.  Throw in a can of garbanzo beans.  Add a few tablespoons of chopped mint and basil.  Mix all veggies and herbs together with the cooked bulgur.  Add a couple of tablespoons of dressing (I made mine with olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and a splash of champagne vinegar),  season with salt & pepper and dig in.

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