31 January 2010

Summer of 2008
Oliver was 20 months old.

I just want to snuggle him.

Yes, I'm at the part of my pregnancy where I'm feeling very nostalgic about my baby boy that is growing up too fast. It makes me want to savor every tiny baby moment I get with Hazel all the more.

Man, they grow up fast!

Because I received two requests for arrow- and quiver-making instructions within 10 minutes of my Robin Hood post (and because I'm snowed in on this lovely, icy, Sunday morning!), I'm posting a quick tutorial!

How to turn your 3-year-old into Robin Hood:

1. Buy two 1/4"x48" dowel rods at your local hardware store.
(I believe this cost well under $2.00)

2. Pull the Jokers out of the nearest deck of cards (who needs em anyway?)

3. Cut each rod into 3 15" lengths (to make a total of 6 arrows - you'll have about 3" leftover)

4. Cut each Joker into quarters, then shape each of the quarters to look like fletching
(shown below)

**For the next two steps you'll need to use a Dremel tool with a rotary disc attachment (if you don't have a Dremel, I'm not sure what to suggest - Ryan is the woodworker in the house and he's at the grocery store right now - good man, eh?)

5. Mark on your arrow the length of your fletching and Dremel out a slit for it to slide through.
(shown below)

6. Also with the Dremel, make a notch at the back of the arrow for your arrow to rest on your bow (I'm sure there are more technical names for some of these things...)
(shown below)

7. Now slide the fletching (card) into the slot, secure it with some Gorilla Glue (or whatever glue you have around the house) and let it dry.

8. For the quiver, a Lays Stax can works great because it's plastic and durable. Just take the label off (make your own label/crest on it if you like!) and with a sharp knife, cut two slits in the can wide enough to run your strap through. (We used a ribbon belt for Oliver because it's adjustable - I'm sure you could use other things too!)

So, there you have it - a quiver and six arrows
for the cost of two dowel rods and a can of chips!

The boys have planned to do something about the tips/heads of the arrows, but so far the weather has prevented us from venturing that far away from our house. We're thinking some small foam/styrofoam balls and a bit of glue could do it. Any other suggestions? (Y'all always have great ideas for stuff like this in my comments - I love that!)

Oh, and the bow is not homemade. It was a gift from Oliver's Grandma and Grandpa - I think you can find them at WalMart and they come with three arrows with suction cup tips. (These arrows broke really quickly which is what necessitated our little wooden arrow project!)

Oh, and I'd love to know if you do this project. I always love to see!

Blessed Sabbath, friends!

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."
Psalm 127:3-5

All day. Every day.

Oliver is Robin Hood.

A very handsome Robin Hood, if I do say so myself!

Homemade arrows and quiver compliments of a fun Friday morning project with Daddy.
(Who knew a Lays Stax can, a couple of dowels and some playing cards for fletching would bring so much joy?)

30 January 2010

Does a big pile of fresh fabric ever just make you giddy?

27 January 2010

Yesterday Ryan had a funny dream.

In his dream he was eating lunch at a a little deli in town and Michael W. Smith was sitting next to him, also enjoying lunch. After humming "Friends are Friends Forever" to himself, I picked him up on my way home from running errands and as we drove we saw Ben Folds walking down the street. The next morning he found himself at the same deli working and eating breakfast and sat one table away from the Newsboys.

What a strange dream.

Except it was real. And it's just another one of those funny things about living in a suburb of Nashville.

We got a kick out of it because when he told me, it sounded like he was recounting a dream.

Anyway, I'm a dork. Just thought y'all would get a kick out of it too. :)

26 January 2010

Yes, indeed, folks! The search was successful! I should have known my camera cord would be in the most chaotic room in the house - the one room that didn't get a good, deep cleaning this weekend.

Yes, my sewing room is a mess right now. I'd show you a picture but I'm too embarrassed. It's on my to-do list for this afternoon. Until then, anything that anyone in the world has lost is probably hiding somewhere among my piles of fabric scraps and projects. I need to learn to just assume anything lost is probably in that room. I'm so embarrassed.

But for now, I'm just sitting back, cuddling with my sweet, prodigal camera cord.

(Thank you all, by the way, for the great suggestions to buy a card reader! I had honestly never thought of that, but I think it's definitely a great way to do it! I think I may just take that suggestion too! It sure does pay to have savvy blog readers! Of course, I'll probably find some way to misplace that as well...) :)

Anyway, on to the big unloading-of-photos ceremony!

If I may, I'll begin with photos of two of my favorite little people enjoying an unexpected couple of snow flurries yesterday afternoon. We decided to take a walk on the trail behind our house. There's a river back there that the kids love throwing rocks into. (And yes, that's Oliver's current smile-for-the-camera face. We're working on it.)

And now, onto a few projects I've been working on for that little girl in our life!

I've been trying to figure out ways to be frugal and make our baby boy things work a second time around for our baby girl. But, you know I want me some pink for Miss Hazel, so this navy blue car seat just wasn't cutting it for me.

Nothing wrong with it, and certainly no reason to replace it. Just too blue:
(I wish I'd taken the photo before I took the hood off. Man.)

I used the hood as a guide and used the boning from it for this new, lovely lady hood:


But can I say for the record that this was a LOT harder than I had bargained for. I ended up having to put four darts in it to make the curve which was a bit tricky. Then, after I thought I was finished, I put it on and realized that the fabric was to light and it was really too bright inside - too much light was coming through. So I decided to line it, which meant I had to do the whole dart thing again for the inside piece AND those darts had to match the first four. Ugh.

I also made matching strap covers (and learned a valuable lesson about trying to sew through sticky-back velcro - VERY BAD!). I love how they turned out - I even did binding around the edges for a nice touch, AND the patterns on them match up when they're on!

By far the simplest part of this project was this little head holder (I don't know what they're called). This took less than half and hour and turned out great first try!

I think Hazel will be very cozy in here!
Oh, and the blue seat liner was the one I used for Oliver. I bought it at Pottery Barn Kids and I think it works just fine with the fabric I decided on. Turns out there IS such thing as too much pink! :)

I also made a Ragamuffin Skirt for our girl in a 6-12 month size. (Which is right when she'll be learning to crawl, so maybe a skirt with a big bow in front isn't the smartest idea?).

Oh, and I tried my hand at a few handmade bibs. I never liked the bibs Oliver had, and have never been a big fan of the ones you can buy at the store with all kinds of sassafrass sayings on them. I just wanted a few simple yet interesting bibs with now words or princesses on them.

These were probably my easiest, most satisfying project of all because they were so quick to make and turned out beautifully.

I just traced one of Oliver's dirty old bibs onto some pattern paper (you can buy it at JoAnn's) and used the pattern to cut out pretty fabric for the fronts and chenille fabric for the backs.

Then I stitched them right sides together, leaving a small, 3" gap for turning them right side out. I inverted them, pressed them, then did a top stitch around the edge, closing up the hole I'd left.

I just bought velcro (NON-sitcky-back!) this morning, so I'll sew a bit of that on each of them later today.

Aren't they nice? I know I'll probably make a bunch more, but for now, I'm happy with a few to get started! (I also made some smaller ones from one of Oliver's smaller bibs that turned out great. I just don't have photos of those.)

Another simple baby-boy-to-baby-girl project I did was this quick switcharoo from a boy pacifier clip to a pretty girl clip.

Original blue ribbon:

Snipped the old ribbon off and stitched some pretty pink ribbon on. Quick upgrade!

And, of course I have to share with you an updated photo of the BIG project:

32 weeks!

Now do you all feel tired and sort of secretly hope that I don't go so long before unloading my camera again? I know, it was a lot of information for one post! I'll do my best to be better at keeping track of my things and keeping my messy sewing room a little more orderly.

And, for anyone who is counting: We're down to 48 days (6 1/2 weeks) to go!

Thanks for sharing with me in my grief, my joy and my occasional crazy! I've really appreciated all your encouraging comments and emails over the past few weeks - y'all are wonderful!

25 January 2010

...but my camera cord is.

I feel like my right arm is cut off. I just can't bring myself to post without photos for some reason.

It's been lost for 4 days.

Tomorrow I'll be holding an all-out man hunt.

Well, camera cord hunt.

I'm going to find you, little cord. And when I do, I'm going to put you to work.

And you look out too, little blog. When I find that doggone cord I'm going to put you to work as well.

Everybody just look out.

Well, not you guys. Just, you know, my inanimate belongings.

In the meantime, keep calm and carry on, friends! I'll be back in action soon!

Provided I have a successful hunt.

If not, beware the wrath of the emotionally unstable pregnant woman. :)

18 January 2010

Our sweet Evie girl lived 212 days from her conception to her death.

212 short but precious days.

212 days we will never forget.

212 days that will shape us forever.

212 days we sometimes wish so badly we could have back, if just for a moment.

212 gifts from her sovereign Father to her and to us.

We would say there were too few, but the truth is, there weren't. She lived not a day too many or a day too few. Our sovereign Lord ordained these days for her before the mountains were born and before He formed the seas.

Still, we ache for more. And, we ache to have those days back again. And we find comfort in the innumerable days we have ahead with her in paradise.

Tomorrow, by the grace of God, our precious baby Hazel will live her 212th day.

We will encounter the day in this pregnancy that we said goodbye to Evie Grace in that pregnancy.

It is a milestone.

It's a happy milestone. Perhaps a little bittersweet as we remember the events that unfolded in those days then.

But mostly, it's a day to celebrate God's gift to Hazel.

And so is day 213 and 214 and every single day that God gives to her.

These days are precious. Every one of them. And because we have tasted the grief that comes when the days stop, we are all the more aware of the sanctity of each day we and the ones that we love are given.

The Lord has blessed our family abundantly! Tomorrow, our Hazel will live her 212th day! And in total, He has given to Ryan, Oliver and me 21,211 days!

They're not just numbers. They're gifts! Like talents to be sown!

Teach us to number our days, oh Lord!
To give thanks to you for our daily gift of breath and to use it for your glory!

"Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.

Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn men back to dust,
saying, "Return to dust, O sons of men."

For a thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.

You sweep men away in the sleep of death;
they are like the new grass of the morning-

though in the morning it springs up new,
by evening it is dry and withered.

We are consumed by your anger
and terrified by your indignation.

You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.

All our days pass away under your wrath;
we finish our years with a moan.

The length of our days is seventy years—
or eighty, if we have the strength;
yet their span is but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass, and we fly away.

Who knows the power of your anger?
For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.

Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Relent, O LORD! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.

May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands."
Psalm 90

14 January 2010

**Update - I just checked the shop and now there are only two left! I'll try to get some more up tomorrow. Fun!

I've been busy the past couple of days in my sewing room. (I honestly think Hazel recognizes the hum of the sewing machine because literally every time I sit down to stitch she starts to do these big, happy rolls).

Have I mentioned that I love her?

Anyway, after I made that little ruffle bum onesie last week I've been receiving requests for more! Some of y'all have asked me to make and sell things I make. And while for some things (such as items made from not-for-commercial-use tutorials or things that just take a LOT of work) I have had to decline, this is something I've found I really like to do. And so, I'm saying YES!!

I've spent the last week honing my skills a bit - learning how to make things really great - and having a great time with color and fabric combinations. Now I have a big stack of adorable onesies that are available to y'all if you're interested. (And, honestly, if you're not - it's cool. I wouldn't hate it if I had to keep them all for myself!) ;)

So, if you're interested, my Etsy shop is no longer bare (as it has been for the past several months)!! Go take a look and see if there's anything you like. I priced things lower than comparable shirts are going for because I like y'all. Oh, and all proceeds go toward me feathering my little Hazel Wren's nest. Nothing terribly noble - just doing what a mama loves to do!

Also, none of the shirts currently come with ruffles on the bottoms. If you want me to add them, just convo me ("convo" is Etsy slang for "initiate an online Etsy conversation with me") and for an additional fee I'll smack some ruffles on there!

And now, I'll leave you with a few shots of my little works of art!

13 January 2010

I am thinking tonight of some dear friends.

Two families we love dearly should be saying hello to their new babes this week and instead they have already said heartbreaking goodbyes. I am sad with them. And I hope with them. And I remember their sweet baby boy and precious baby girl and am thankful for their little lives.

Our God is faithful, friends. So faithful to redeem - to turn our grieving into dancing.

I love these words from the prophet Isaiah:

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61:1-3

Missing your sweet babes this week, friends.

10 January 2010

As Ryan was helping Oliver get dressed for church this morning Oliver asked eagerly, "Do you think I should wear a tie? And maybe a belt?"

That boy knows a special occasion when he sees one. And, he can make any occasion special.

He came running into my room minutes later sporting his handsome blue bow-tie and critter belt telling me all about the ensemble he and his Daddy had put together.

I didn't have the heart to tell him that the shirt he was wearing was really too small.
Honestly, so are the pants. I just can't keep up with those long arms and legs!

I love that we have such a happy, enthusiastic kid! He wears every emotion he feels on his sleeve (which means deep grief and drama if his banana breaks in half or his waffles are served to him too soon before his yogurt), but I love it. It's who he is and I know God is going to use him and all his enthusiasm for His glory.

Praising the Lord on this Sabbath morning for my precious little boy who finds delight in so many parts of life, who loves to snuggle his Mama and chat lovingly with his baby sister in my belly, and who makes me laugh out loud over and over and over. What a precious gift!

09 January 2010

At least we know the biggest and the littlest won't be thirsty!

08 January 2010

**Note: To be clear and fair - yes, they are technically different onesies. It never occurred to me to photograph the original onesie before I dyed it because I had no idea I'd be blogging about it later. Instead, I photographed a similar onesie for visual purposes. I do apologize for not being more clear about that. But, I assure you that I did dye and applique the finished onesie myself. :) Y'all have keen eyes!

**disclaimer - these photos were taken with my camera phone, so I apologize for their poor-ish quality. I just knew that if I didn't take the pictures now, I'd never get around to it and this is totally worth sharing!

On to the onesie:

So, back in October when we found out we were having a girl I dug out all of Oliver's white and light blue clothes and burp cloths and gave them a good long bath in some RIT dye. (So far I've only used the fuschia and green and I love them both!) The clothes dyed beautifully and I was able to repurpose a ton of boy stuff for our little girl!

So this morning, I completed the transformation of one onesie from this:

to this!
(Oh, yeah, that's even fuzzier than I thought. Really sorry!)

With this on the bottom:

That plain white onesie was sad and honestly a bit stained. The pink dye took care of that, then just applique on a little "h" and stitch some ruffles on the bum from scrap fabric and voila! An adorable, girly, personalized top for a little girl that took less than 30 minutes (minus the dying, of course). Now we can just pair it with a cute pair of baby legs and she's all set to go!

(Oh, and not that I'm counting, but 65 days to go!!!)