Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Come to me,
all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Jesus' words take on a new
and very literal meaning
as baby time

makes me smile
just how applicable
it is.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

nursery nook--complete

As you know if you've been reading my blog for a while, I've been steadily working on Sweet Pea's nursery nook (it's not quite a full-blown nursery since it's not quite its own room). I was finally able to put the finishing touches on it last week! The prints Tomorrow No. 4, Oak Reading Room, and Through Cherry Tunnels by Naokosstoop were the inspiration around which I planned all the decor, and I couldn't be more pleased with how everything came together harmoniously.

The cedar chest under the prints was a high school graduation gift from my grandparents years ago. A vintage monogrammed handkerchief protects the surface from scratches from a lamp from Benjamin's bachelor days dressed up with a brand new shade. The vintage sage green chair is a garage sale find from several years ago. On it are the decorative pillows I made just for the nook.

The green and blue bumper pad and sheet go perfectly in the hand-me-down crib which rests underneath my hand made mobile, and the coordinating quilt finishes the ensemble. Late afternoon when the sun streams through the windows and ruffled curtains, tinting everything faintly golden, is my favorite time to be in the Nook, though I'll frequently find myself there dreaming sweet baby-related dreams at other times of the day too.

[finally a good photo of the mobile!]

Hurry up, little Sweet Pea, your own nook is ready, and we're eager to meet you!

Linking up with Studio Sneak Peek today even though this wasn't a Friday post...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

the next installment of my personal owl fad

I have had a mini personal owl fad going on starting in about November. I really have been enjoying the recent owl comeback (I think I've even squealed about an owl item or two, and I'm not usually a squealer). I've held myself in check about them, though, because (1) I don't want to conform so closely to a current fad that I end up completely dating myself and (2) moderation in all things (even cute lil' owls) is healthy.

After making and admiring owl baby shower invitations for my friend, though, and appreciating all of the positive feedback I received (even Benjamin proclaimed them to be "so cute!"), I started thinking about the adorable owl baby toys I've seen on several blogs and wanting to make some of my own. The idea fit in quite nicely with my need to keep busy so that I don't begin to fret about Sweet Pea's eminent arrival. I made two last Saturday--one for Sweet Pea and one as a gift.

After consulting several tutorials I found through a Google search, I made up my own pattern. I based it on a few favorite ideas in others' tutorials (I can't remember whose or I'd link up to them) and a few ideas all my own.

The wings flap and are crinkly, and two small jingle bells in each of the owls' bodies make a pleasant, soft noise. Plus I added little ribbon feet and tried to use various textures of fabric to add even more interest.

With links slipped into the top loop of ribbon, these two little owls are just waiting to entertain their new little playmates without slipping to the floor!

In the meantime, though, Brother finds them charmingly appealing and is more than willing to give them a test run...minus the drool and spit up, thankfully. : )

Monday, July 25, 2011

nursery nook--quilt

My last piece of hand made decor for Sweet Pea's nursery-nook has been a small quilt (about 40 inches square) made from scraps left from the pillows, curtains, and bumper. Stress and time management made it imperative that I keep the design simple. It was so hard to keep myself from getting carried away, but in the end I stuck to simple, six-inch squares arranged randomly to accommodate the uneven number of squares in each print. Oh, and I couldn't resist one little bunny applique. : )
I'm pleased that I stuck to a simple design. Not only was it a wise, time-efficient choice, but it also really makes the most of the richness of the prints and the texture of the squiggly quilting.

It truly is a scrap quilt. I pieced the back from wide leftover strips and six inch wide pieces left over from cutting the squares. The binding is made from pieces of three different prints since there was simply not enough red to bind it entirely in red like I originally planned. Even the batting inside is in four different pieces! I can't help but feel pleased with the efficient way I'm using up my materials.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

yard sale show and tell

This morning I had a lot of fun going to a few yard sales and our local farmers' market with Mum. I'm delighted with my finds and thought that I'd like to play show and tell tonight.

vintage olive green lamp (yes, it works!)-estate sale-$1

I fell in love with the graceful olive green base and its delicate white designs but was planning on changing the lamp shade. When I brought it home, though, Benjamin expressed that the part he liked most was the shade, while the base made him think of an old lady casserole dish (not exactly his words, but that was the jist). It makes me laugh how our perceptions and tastes are different. He has very sweetly agreed to have it in his house since I like it so much, and I have decided not to change the shade after all. I love being able to work together!

two vintage frosted glass candle holders-estate sale-5¢ each

blue mug crafted by a local artist-farmers' market-$5
green mug-estate sale-50¢

vintage smuckers canister-estate sale-50¢

(not pictured)
like new Old Navy dress for Sweet Pea-yard sale-$1
soft moccasin shoes for Sweet Pea-yard sale-$1.50
vintage brown pyrex mixing bowl (like this one)-yard sale-$1
set of two tiny shovels and a tiny rake for the boys-yard sale-50¢
head of fresh butter lettuce-farmers' market-$2
chocolate covered cherry cupcakes for the boys-farmers' market-$1.50

total spent-$14.60

I'd say it was a great day for yard sales even though I didn't really find many of the things I've been specifically searching for!

Friday, July 22, 2011


This week I worked on these cute little guys. Several ladies from our church are teaming up to throw a baby shower for a friend who is due in September. My contribution is making and mailing the invitations since that's the part I can easily do before Sweet Pea's life-altering arrival. I had a lot of fun using a borrowed owl punch to transform ordinary paper scraps into cute little feathered friends.

I made a whole parliament of owls, each one unique! I can't decide weather they looked cuter as a group or as individuals perched on the pink zig-zag stitches ornamenting each invitation.

Linking up with Studio Sneak Peek today.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jeff and Katie's reception

After their wedding, Jeff and Katie had a beautiful outdoor reception. There was a bountiful dessert buffet, wedding cake, dancing, and no rain!

cutting the cake
(they were sweet to each other;
I think the only bit of misplaced icing was a tiny dab on Jeff's nose.)

They toasted with Mountain Dew, Jeff's beverage of choice.

Little Man got to escort the bride to the dance floor.

lovely couple

Little Man loved blowing bubbles at the reception. I thought he looked like quite a dashing little gentleman in the vest I made for him (even better, he acted like one!).

It was such a beautiful, joyful day. As I said before, I was thrilled and honored be be able to be part of it and hope that it was just the first of many, many beautiful days Jeff and Katie share.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Jeff and Katie's wedding

Once again it's hard to choose just a few photos to share from Jeff and Katie's lovely wedding, but posting the nearly hundred that I got of just the ceremony and decorations (not to mention all of the portraits) would definitely be overboard.

My dad performed the ceremony.

The wedding party
(That's Little Man looking a little confused on the front row.)

bride and bridesmaids
(there was another photographer in charge of taking the guy photos)

This is the first wedding I have ever been part of that the guys were as excited about getting photos of their shoes taken as the girls were. Of course, most guys' wedding shoes aren't this cool either.

Little Man with his adored friend, Jeff.

Mr. and Mrs.

Off the the reception!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Katie's bridal portraits

Please bear with me as I indulge in a few days of somewhat belated wedding photos from my friend Katie's wedding on June 18. Today I'm going to share some of the bridal portraits we squeezed in at the very end of the day. I was going to share only one or two, but Katie is such a graceful and beautiful subject with such control over what she looks like that I manage to get tons of good photos in just minutes, resulting in far to many favorites to choose just two.

It was a windy day, and after battling the gusts for a while we decided instead to embrace it and make the most of some wind-blown veil shots.

I don't think there's anything quite like helping to capture and document a friends' joy on her wedding day. I feel so honored to have been included!

Monday, July 18, 2011

crabby pets

We are not really pet people. We have allergies to pet dander. We don't like the time investment, smells, exertion, and expense associated with most pets. The benefits just don't seem worth it. However, on our last trip to Utah (where there are decent pet stores), I rather surprisingly and spontaneously decided to research and purchase hermit crabs for the boys.

Little Man was on cloud nine. He kept exclaiming, "I'm so glad we're getting a pet!" His eager excitement (and the crabs' lack of smelliness and low maintenance) make it all worth it. I'm finding the littler critters fascinating to observe, and I've been enjoying learning about and caring for them with the boys.

Did you know that hermit crabs breathe through hardened gills, so even though they live in the air, they get their oxygen from water? This makes it important to keep their environment humid. They love to climb and dig in the sand and bathe in salt and fresh water. One of their claws is bigger than the other. Hermit crabs, in spite of their name, are social little creatures and do best in groups of multiple crabs. And they chirp. Yes, I'm truly enjoying observing them.

This is Little Man's crab, Ortho. Little Man was very decided about naming his crab Ortho from the first time I asked him about it in the pet store. I'm not quite sure where he came up with it, but it's pretty cute. (The close up pictures of the crabbies are actually a little disturbing...sorry. They're much cuter at their actual 2 inches.)

And this is Brother's crab, Chica. That's the best we could make out when we asked him what he wanted to name his crab. He seemed pretty happy about it, though, so we must have guessed closely enough.

Little Man very conscientiously helps give the crabs fresh water and food.
I love this photo even though it's sadly blurry;
it just captures his joy and pride in being a crab owner so perfectly.

If you look closely in the front of the aquarium on the right side of this photo, you can see Chica. Brother was so excited that she was doing her daytime sleeping in a visible location. He was exclaiming "Hi, Chica! Hi, Chica!" over and over and pointing her out to me.

So far the only thing I regret about our new hermit crab pets is that they're nocturnal, so the boys don't get to enjoy them as much as I do. Hopefully this happy state of pet ownership continues!

Friday, July 15, 2011

bridal hair accessory

My dear friend Katie got married on June 18th. I can't believe that I haven't blogged about it yet! After all, I was one of the photographers and have many beautiful images to share. Plus Little Man was the ring bearer, and I am very proud of how handsome he was and how well he behaved. I think it's one of those times that I have too much to share and don't know where to start.

About two hours before the rehearsal, Katie came to me with scraps from her wedding dress alteration, a rough sketch of a hair accessory that she had been dreaming of, and a request for advice on how to make it happen. I immediately envisioned exactly how it needed to be put together. After making sure she trusted me enough to just leave it in my hands, I sent her on her way to take care of all the other important details she was juggling.

I started with a base of white felt attached to a comb to which I added layers of bits of lace and tule from the dress as well as two white feathers. Then I added a satin flower and a sheer (organza?) flower also from dress scraps. A few antique buttons from my collection became the perfect finishing accents.

Much to my relief, her trust in me was not unfounded, and she was delighted with my creation. I have to admit that I was proud of how it turned out, perfectly coordinated with her entire "look."

Katie was a beautiful bride; I must share more photos soon...

linking up with Sneak Peek Friday today!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

nursery nook--bedding

I always thought that when I had a girl I'd decorate her room in green and pink since I love that combination. The art I fell in love with, though, mandated something more original. At first I thought I'd try to piece together a nursery set as I found items that coordinated with the colors I wanted. As I searched, however, it soon became obvious that if I was going to get what I really wanted I'd either have to spend hundreds of dollars or make it myself.

And so make it I did. One of my friends says that it's a very sweet thing for me to do for Sweet Pea. I don't know, though, if it's sweetness or merely stubborn determination to get what I want.

Over the last few weeks I have made a white crib skirt out of the same white fabric as the curtains, two flannel crib sheets, and a bumper. The crib skirt and sheets were pretty basic, but the bumper required a bit of planning. I ended up using a second-hand breathable bumper as a base which I covered with my preferred fabric.

I love how well the pretty green and blue prints work together. I'll truly enjoy decking Sweet Pea out in little pink outfits, but I'm so glad that her room is decorated in cool, soothing greens and blues. I'll enjoy being in it much better than I would have enjoyed being in a riotously pink room.