28 December 2009

I've been working on lots of projects lately - many of them Christmas gifts that I've been excited to post about but wanted to wait until I actually gave them away so it could still be a surprise for the recipients. :)

Anyway, the gifts have been distributed and now I want to show you some of the cool stuff I've been working on. (This will have to be a two-part post since I am still yet to photograph some of the gifts. I need to go to my sister's house and photograph the things we made for their family sometime this week.)

So, without further ado - here are a few of the projects that have been keeping me busy:

:: A pincushion for my mother-in-law! I used Heather Bailey's free online tutorial and scraps from Hazel's quilt which is all from Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks line. This was waaay harder than I expected - especially threading the ribbon through the middle to tuft it. Whew!

But isn't it lovely? If only I had it in me to make one for myself too!

:: Softie Dolls for some little girls I adore. This project was a lot of fun - but also pretty tough. I have to say though that there are few things more satisfying than successfully machine stitching all those pretty hairlines! And picking pretty fabric combinations for each girl was really fun too!

I used this tutorial created by Nicole Owens at 60 Piggies. She is so creative and I loved getting to give her design a whirl. I definitely plan to make a special doll for our girl before she's born.

Oh, and I ordered the wool for these dolls at Lit'l Brown Bird's shop on Etsy. It came all the way from Singapore, but the colors and quality of the felt was worth the wait. I wanted it to be soft and cuddly since I was using it for dolls and it is definitely that.

:: Ryan made coasters for my sister's family out of a tree limb from our backyard. He soaked the wood in bleach to take out the yellow color and tied it with a pretty ribbon to make it lovely.
These may be one of my favorites - perhaps because all I had to do was wrap them.

And that brings me to...

:: Wrapping it all up using one of Ryan's Christmas gifts from last year. Remember the Stendig wall calendar my Mom bought him? Here is a photo of it in our office:

Well, we saved all the months and got to use all those big sheets of paper to wrap up our Christmas gifts this year. So pretty!

Apart from making gifts and wrapping them up, we have also been busy with two other very important things:

:: Taking care of this busy three-year-old (who is currently on the sofa with his Daddy enjoying reading The Cat in the Hat with his new Tag Reader).

:: And growing this baby girl! I'm 29 weeks now, with 77 days to go (but who's counting?). I have to say about being pregnant in the winter that my belly sure does get chilly sticking out there so far with very few things big enough to cover it!

Hazel measured just right at my midwife appointment this morning, by the way. This girl is right on track to be a healthy, very active part of the Myers family! Praise God!

Like I said, I have a few other projects that I'm really proud to have completed these past few weeks, but I need to photograph them in order to share them. I will work on that!

Until then, I have to say that I'm having a fantastic time planning a boy/girl nursery for our kids. It's a really fun design challenge to make something lovely, feminine and masculine all at once without going the primary color route. I love a good design challenge!

24 December 2009

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear, shall pierce Him through;
The Cross be borne, for me, for you:
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh;
Come peasant, king, to own Him.
The King of Kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise, the song on high,
The Virgin sings her lullaby:
Joy, joy, for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

-What Child is This?
Verses 2 & 3

Christ is born, friends!
Merry Christmas, indeed!

19 December 2009

... Complete with the obligatory (and adorable) trying-on of Daddy's glasses.

We're a bit out of pocket this weekend while we visit our family in the North, but I had to share this funny photo of our guy.

Advent cheer, friends!

09 December 2009

Yes, we'll be hearing it again soon and we're just so excited!

This morning Oliver and I sat down to a project for his little sister with a pack of gorgeous felt from the folks at TheDailyPincushion and a online tutorial for Heather Bailey's BittyBooties (and some creative inspiration from LaLaShoes as well!). Oliver helped me choose the colors then busied himself with my scraps while I got to work.

I made the tiniest, most darling little baby booties I've ever seen.

Yes, I said "darling".

Aren't they, though?

I battled with the machine for a good long time before concluding that handstitching really was the way to go. Less fuss. Less headache. And a little hand-made touch is nice!

I think she'll be pleased,

don't you?

*If you're looking for some quality felt in brilliant, lovely colors (and that doesn't cost $4/sheet!), I found this shop last week on Etsy and was thrilled with what they sent me. You can choose 10 colors of 9x12 sheets (from nearly 60 color choices) for only $9! And, they're quick to ship! (And no, they're not paying me to say any of this... I was just really impressed and love to pass on a good find to my awesome readers!)

Looking forward to that sweet pitter-patter!

07 December 2009

(And for the record, it was worth the wait. I enjoyed a bacon-apple panini and Oliver downed a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Yum!)

06 December 2009

We took Oliver for his first haircut yesterday.

Yes, he's three years old. Yes, he just has a bit of hair. (In fact, when he sat down in the chair he looked at the barber and informed him, "I don't have much hair.") But, that bit of hair was starting to get whispy and fluffy around his ears - something that is cute and endearing on a 5-month old, not so endearing on a 3-year-old.

I expected to be nervous or nostalgic or something, but I was cool. (Yes, I'm so cool.)

We took him to Dave's Barber Shop at The Factory in Franklin. Wouldn't have it any other way - we love Dave and his family and can't imagine anyone else giving Oliver his first haircut! (And poor Dave had a lot of pressure on him - if something were to go wrong, it'd likely take another three years for it to grow out!)

Dave did great (we had no doubt), Oliver sat admirably (and excitedly!), and Mama and Papa were the proud/nervous/excited parents who photographed the entire event.

Yes, we do that. A lot.

Here we are, waiting our turn.

More waiting. Dave's Barber Shop is the place to be!

Ready to roll.
(And yes, Oliver requested a tie for the occasion.
He likes to dress up from time to time.)

He couldn't stop smiling.

The end bit took a little help from Mom and Dad
- the buzzers tickle and make it hard to sit still.

The finished product - no more whispys!

(This is really our family portrait - see me in the photo too?)

Thanks, Dave!
We'll be back in three years for the next trim!

03 December 2009

We received our first Christmas card of the season today.

It was addressed:

"Dear Ryan, Raechel, Oliver and Hazel,"

What a sight!

It made me really happy to see our names all in order together!

And I was okay with it - it didn't make me sad - it made me really glad!
I don't worry that Evie's not included. I know Evie doesn't need Christmas cards either.
She gets the best end of the deal - she is with Christ!

Anyway, it was fun to see our little family all written out. Like a little Christmas present!

Merry Christmas!

02 December 2009

10 bits of interest from the Myers home this week:

1. I had a midwife appointment today. It went really well! I am measuring exactly where I should be and Ryan had no trouble finding Hazel's heartbeat on the dopplar. She moved quite a bit once he found her (as she has proven that she is prone to do!), but she sounds healthy and happy and we are just pleased as pie!

2. My appointment was in the exam room. The one where my midwife told us that Evie had passed. I knew that someday we'd probably have to go in that room again, but I didn't expect it today. It was hard, but not as hard as I thought it would be. It helped that some of the furniture had been moved around. It also helped that the appointment went so well with lots of good news. I have so many memories from the short time we spent in that room. Time helps. Furniture rearranging helps. It still hurts though.

3. We set up Hazel's crib last week. Pretty early, I know. We set it up in an effort to make it feel more real that this time a baby is actually coming home. I'm very used to being pregnant - but I've only ever brought one baby home. I really have a surprisingly hard time remembering sometimes that this pregnancy is actually going to end in a living, breathing, crying, eating, healthy baby! It's not just going to end and be over. This time it's just the beginning!

(sorry the lighting isn't great -
I just took the photo a few minutes ago and it's dark here at 4:38...)

4. Setting up the crib was exciting. We even put some tiny clothes in there and one small diaper - it's fun to see these little things and it really helps me focus on our Hazel.

5. I also completed my quilt this weekend! Can I just shout out a serious thank you to all of y'all who helped me out with tips and suggestions and such? Seriously. I'm so grateful! It went well and I have to say that maybe my favorite part was the hand stitching on the binding. It was really satisfying!

6. I made a book wreath this weekend too using this online tutorial. Yes, this does mean I destroyed two books (I chose The Great Gatsby and Dr. Zhivago). But, feel like maybe "destroy" is too strong a word. Shall we say, "repurposed"? Anyway, I didn't want some trashy novel wreath hanging on my wall. This way, you can actually look at the wreath and remember bits from The Great Gatsby! (I've never read Dr. Zhivago - I just had to use it because I rand out of TGG and needed another book the same size.) It was a fun project!

7. When I tried to feed Oliver ravioli at Buca di Beppo last night he emphatically reported, "I do not like rock-n-rolli!"

8. A friend of mine asked me to make two more Ragamuffin Skirts for her nieces for Christmas. I had to say yes (partly because they're adorable!) and I'm enjoying the fun project. Brings back fond skirt-making memories. :)

9. Ryan is in the kitchen making dinner while I write this. I believe he's making Lemon Chicken Piccata from Ina Garten's cookbook. I married a pretty good guy!

10. We are LOVING getting into this Advent season. We've had fun this year digging into older or lesser known Advent traditions and giving them a try. For example, we are celebrating for the first time this year Klopfelnacte or "Knocking Night". On the 4 Thursday evenings during Advent our family will be going from door to door visiting our friends and neighbors in a sort of opposite of Trick-or-Treat manner giving gifts, food and such away. Tomorrow is our first night and we're really looking forward to it!

Digging into these older traditions has been a really fun way to help prepare ourselves and our hearts for Christmas and to keep our focus where it should be this season.

Alright, that's my 10 bits!

Oh, and for a bonus, here I am on Sunday at 25 weeks!
Can't see much of the belly with my cardigan on, but you can definitely tell it's there!)