Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Little things...

... make life lovely.

My sweet husband went grocery shopping -- no small feat in itself -- and also brought me these. They weren't on the list.




Owen napping.




Sweet gifts that come in the mail from Etsy friends.



Check out those monkeys!!!

And vintage montees -- from the 1920's! Can't wait to put these to use....

A deep and heart-felt Thank You to all of you for your sweet cards, gifts and most of all, prayers and support.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Our little one is here! And another surprise...


Our newest Monkey arrived Wednesday afternoon! His name is Owen Thomas, and is perfect and healthy. He weighed 9 pounds, 1 ounce, and is 20 inches long.


This is the first time I got to hold him.


He has lots of hair -- and it's the same color as mine!

One more surprise....

His delivery went very well. This child is no stranger to giving his parents surprises, so he had to give us just one more as he made his debut into this world. Owen was delivered via c-section. Moments after being lifted out of the womb, my doctor lifted the baby up over the surgical drapes so I could see him. The anesthesiologist further lowered the drapes for better viewing. My dear Owen took full advantage of the moment, and peed -- right into my face. As many of you know, in a c-section, your arms are secured out to the side, and you are absolutely unable to move -- or shield your face from a little shower. The anesthesiologist also was showered, and he and I both laughed and yelled that Owen was indeed peeing on us. The doctor didn't immediately move the baby, as he didn't understand what we were shrieking about. The entire OR broke out in laughter. It was generally agreed among the staff that out of the hundreds, no, thousands of babies they'd all delivered, they had never seen that happen. They would always remember this delivery. Of course, I will, too.


He and I came home yesterday. He is eating and sleeping. My husband, kids, sisters and in-laws have been taking very good care of me and baby, so I am resting and recovering nicely so far. Thank you again for all of your well-wishes and prayers. I'll be back in touch soon.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A thank-you, and some last minute sewing

I just wanted to say a quick thank-you to all the sweet and funny comments on my prior post! I think I am over the initial shock, and over the last couple of days, have focused on getting ready for the little boy. He won't be wearing pink -- we now have some blue (and neutral) outfits for him to wear. He has some bedding, but not the full layette that I would like. There will be time for that later. (Not that he would notice the difference, anyway!) We don't have any names chosen for sure, although the front-runners are Owen or Aaron. But we'll just have to see him to know for sure what his name should be. I'll keep you posted!

Some last minute sewing....

Yesterday, I decided I wanted a new toiletries bag to take with me to the hospital. I'd been eyeing one of those adorable box bags, but didn't have time to order one. So I did a little searching, and found this amazing tutorial on how to make your very own box bag! Fun, easy, and addictive!

This first bag is mine, made from Amy Butler Forest fabric that I've had in my stash for quite a while. The inside is just some cheap quilting fabric I picked up last week. The zipper is one I bought at the thrift store (a huge bag of zippers for less than a buck.)

This second bag was made for my oldest Monkey. She chose the fabrics and zipper -- I think she did a great job! (Actually, all my daughters chose their own fabrics and zippers, and did very well.) My sister sent me this awesome fabric for a Christmas present. The inside fabric is from a reclaimed pillowcase I found at the thrift store. Zipper from the thrift store, also.

This next bag is made from Alexander Henry's Calaveras print, and is lined with reclaimed fabric from the ugliest, largest muumuu known to man, picked up from the thrift store.

This bag looks misshapen in this photo, but it's really quite boxy. But Monkey 3 loaded this bag to the gills the second it came off the ironing board! It's holding mp3 players, wallets (yes, multiples of both of those,) another zipper pouch, a journal, and I forget what else. These are pretty roomy, and hold a lot of "essentials."

This bag belongs to Monkey 2. I used Michael Miller's candy dumb dots, and again with the muumuu lining... so cute!

The tutorial was pretty easy to follow, and these bags are fun to make. If you decide to try the tutorial, you might want to try a couple of alterations, which I found make it a tiny bit simpler...

--In Step 2, use a zipper foot when installing and top-stitching the zipper.

--In Step 4, when the tutorial says to measure 1/3 the width (etc.) -- don't worry about that. Just sew across the entire end. It won't make a difference either way, and sewing across saves time and frustration.

--Also in Step 4, when you're measuring the corner triangles, use a quilters ruler, and just use the perpendicular and 45-degree angle markings on them to make a triangle the size you want. I made my triangles 2 inches tall, and 4 inches wide. All of my triangles were the same size and in the same position because I used the ruler.

--And don't be afraid to try different handles!

OK... now I'm ready to pack for the hospital.

Friday, April 18, 2008

It is STILL quite a shock to me!

I went to my doctor yesterday for a routine OB check-up and a sonogram to measure baby's size, fluids, heart rate, position, etc. My c-section is scheduled for next Wednesday.... less than a week away. The baby and I are healthy and doing fine. All's well.

During the sonogram, the technician was chatting with me and the Monkeys (they were there to see the sonogram) and asked what we were having. "A girl," we all answered, as that was the diagnosis we received at our 20 week and subsequent sonograms.

"Ummmm...."
I don't think it's a good thing when a sonogram tech makes that noise.
Then she brought up this picture on the screen.




Even my untrained eyes recognized what those are. And I knew that those don't grow on baby girls. We are having a BOY.

My kids mimicked my facial expression for me later. It was complete shock. I think there are still traces of that shock there now.

My mind immediately went to the 50+ pink, frilly outfits and onesies I tore tags off of last weekend. And washed. These are just her newborn and 3 months' sized clothes. The larger ones are packed away.



There is one lone sundress I can return, just because I hadn't gotten around to washing it yet.


But I have to say I'm happy this baby is a boy. My two youngest Monkeys are boys, and I had imagined all three of them rolling around, playing their rowdy boy games all together, and being close friends. Sure, I'll be stepping on legos and Hot Wheels for a few more years (as opposed to Polly Pockets and Pet Shop minutia) but these years will pass quickly, and my house will be one day be quiet and tidy. And I'll miss my babies and the mess.

Oh -- another good thing -- I procrastinated making the baby girl bedding, and only made the sheet. I'm thankful I didn't finish that task!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My last tote for now, a happy discovery, and sewing one's finger

I just finished up another tote -- my last tote until May. I am happy with the way it turned out, but sad to say it is the last of this cute Asian-inspired fabric.



I'm also a tiny bit sad that this is the last tote for a little while, as I have a (a-hem) small-ish pile of very cool fabrics to make more totes with. I'll have plenty of designs in my head by the time mid-May rolls around.

I made a fun discovery just now -- I was browsing through The Storque's latest articles, and found one of my totes in this article! I'm so excited! The article features clutches and bags made from recycled materials. This coffee bean bag is very cool. My thistle tote shown in the article is already sold, and I can't make another one... no more thistle fabric!

I'll be posting more tomorrow... my daughters and I have a date to sew some felt food tonight -- FUN! They all love hand-sewing and crafting. The oldest three also like machine-sewing. Well.... the oldest recently soured on the whole sewing-with-a-machine experience. She was sewing a pair of gauchos for herself, and somehow sent her fingertip under the needle, and it stabbed through her fingernail, and out the other side of her finger -- narrowly missing the bone. We all just stared at her finger, run through with a needle, stuck under the presser foot. "Was this even possible??" ran through my mind. My second-oldest daughter shattered the shocked silence with a blood-curdling scream, and I ran and lifted the needle from her finger. I don't have an industrial machine. I don't have a particularly strong machine, either. But apparently sewing one's finger is possible, and can happen. Take heed.

P.S. Oldest Monkey is fine now... .just a little leery of the sewing machine needle.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Only a few more additions before she's here

According to my Due Date Countdown widget, I have only 14 days until my littlest Monkey arrives. I think I'm going to have to take a "maternity leave" from my Etsy shop before then. I wasn't planning to slow down until around the 22nd, but my doctor says the little one may not wait until then. I know that babies come on their own schedule, and that really, she can come any day now. However, all seven of my other Monkeys have arrived several days past-due, or had to be induced around the actual due date. They liked it in the womb, I suppose. But with this pregnancy, I was counting on having the time between then and now to get my list of Most Urgent Tasks completed. How silly of me!

I am planning to keep my shop open while I am "away." My sweet husband will be handling the orders and shipping, but I won't be adding any more new additions until at least mid-May.

I have several things I need to make for the little one, before she arrives:

  • crib bumper
  • crib skirt
  • car seat cover
  • diaper bag
  • mobile
  • felt food gift for jealous toddler Monkey 7, from Monkey 8, of course

YIKES. I have finished a sheet for her crib. One sheet. I've purchased (or was given) several others that will match the imaginary bedding I have in my mind. And OOOH I can't wait to finish and show you that bedding -- the pink with the tiny goldfish. The sheet is adorable!

A few additions to my shop:

I finished this tote yesterday. It turned out much cuter than I had imagined:


A couple of wallets were finished up, including this this Agatha Christie novel wallet:

And this (very young) Jack Nicholson wallet, from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest:


I also made this needlebook a few nights ago:


It is made from a very soft recycled wool sweater, and has three "pages" for needles, and a little pocket for tiny scissors.

I'd better go and get busy! I have another tote in the works, and four ipod cases ready to be pounded... but the pounding will have to wait until tomorrow. I don't want to wake the Monkeys.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A milestone for me, and two new items

I never would have thought I would sell 200 items when I opened my Etsy shop back in June. Tonight, I reached that milestone! I am so excited and happy! More than that, I am thankful. Thankful for my family, who always encourages me, and thankful for all my sweet, inspiring customers that helped me reach this goal. Hugs and blessings to you all. Oh -- and my 200th customer will be receiving a little extra goodie with her order! :)

And now for the new items....

I finally finished the thistle tote this morning:



I am pretty happy with how it turned out. It's very perky and bright!

I also finished this Mixed Berry Cupcake pouch today:


The colors of the wool remind me of mulberries and raspberries. This pouch will fit a Slivr or Razr cell phone (as well as many other models), and several ipod models, as well.

I am working on another tote -- a black one -- and hope to finish up tomorrow morning. I also have a couple of wallets to list tomorrow.... any Jack Nicholson fans may want to tune in to see it! See you then!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

ETC First Monday Sale begins tonight!

It's that time again, folks! The first Monday of the month has finally rolled around, and it's time for some amazing sales and offers with the Etsy Texas Crafter's street team!

Many team members will be offering BOGO deals, %-offs, freebies, and other steals. Here's the link to all the fantastic sales:
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5555249.

I will be offering 20% off your entire purchase (excludes shipping) -- beginning at midnight, CST (1:00 am Etsy time.) Be sure to drop by my shop tonight and tomorrow.... there were a few new additions last week, and more still to come tomorrow, throughout the day.

This will be re-listed some time tomorrow:



Yummy!

And these were listed just last week:

April Showers pouches, for iPhones and smaller models, such as the Slivr or Razr, and many of the ipods.

And there's another goldfish!

I'll be back very soon...... I have to go finish a tote now. :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Use what you have

I have been working on my felt items in the evenings, with my oh-so-swollen feet propped up. I use a tray to hold all my necessary tools and supplies. I set them on my lap. Except my lap has disappeared, and I can hardly reach the tray. So, my belly stepped up and provided a nice work surface.



I did manage to crank out a few new pincushions....

I must be craving ice cream. This one is called Sew Cool ice cream. Incredibly dorky, I know. I couldn't help it.

Here's a Raspberry Cupcake pincushion:


It's a much brighter pink than I usually use, too. I like it.

I do have some very sweet fellow crafters to tell you about, but it will have to wait. Time to put my feet up!