Subscribe: Out of The Crayon Box
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
baby  birthday  christmas  day  love  make  marilee  much  paper  party  picture  pink  project  red  time  week  year 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Out of The Crayon Box

Out of The Crayon Box

My show and tell blog for the things I do outside of the classroom.

Updated: 2018-03-06T04:03:45.839-08:00


Last Minute Changes & Decorations


I am learning to be very flexible as a mom. I had planned to have the party at our church. They have a lovely parlor and kitchen area. It has plenty of tables and chairs and a huge stone fire place. There is plenty of parking. I was looking forward to showing off my church.  About an hour before the party as we were just setting out, my friend called to tell me that all the roads leading to our church were being closed for the Hollywood Christmas Parade. This annual event had escape my notice during the 8 years we lived just a block away. How I missed this huge planning snafu I can not say. However, there was literally no way around it. So in an instant I changed the party to our apartment. I quickly divided up the guest list and we each called and emailed our respective friends. I backed the start time up one hour to give me time to clean the apartment.

And, everything came together beautifully! Many guests had cancelled due to illness- was nobody spared the 24 hour stomach bug? Other friends were trapped on the other side of the Hollywood parade. So my guest list was much smaller and more manageable. Perfect for a home party.

This pretty tissue flower came from the 99 Cent Only Store. It was leftover from Easter. I just replaced the eggs with a Matryoshka.

I filled my Christmas door box with party blowers and quickly taped another Matryoshka over the reindeer.
This summer (OK six months before her party) I found this scrapbook pad by Martha Stewart at AC Moore. I instantly fell in love with the vintage look of the patterns and the teal, aqua, red and pink colorway. So this paper was used in all of the decorations. For the banner I covered a $ store banner in scrapbook paper. It is held together with brass brads. I love it and plan to swap out the Matryoshka dolls for Raggedy Anne next year.

Ikea had the perfect pale aqua napkins. I made paper napkin rings on the computer to again tie in the theme.

We used photos of the birthday girl and a tall desert table for the rest of the decorations.

I had streamers and a balloon garland planned, but it was not to be. No matter, it just means that I am extra prepared for next year!

Matryoshka Birthday Party


When Marilee was about a month old my mother in law nicknamed her "Dolly." Since then, not a week goes by without someone commenting that she looks like a doll or is a doll.So naturally a doll themed party was in order. I started pinning Raggedy Anne and Matryoshka doll party ideas.  I love both themes equally, but the gift of this dinnerware sold me on Matryoshka for this year.

I am going to blog one feature of the party a day. That way it will be manageable enough to actually complete.  Today I will start with the invitation.

A quick google seach of Matryoshka invites will result in lots of really great ideas and even a few free downloads. Seriously, one thing is cuter than the next. I used several ideas from these searches for inspiration, but ultimately designed the invite all by myself.

 When I found this picture in my camera, I knew it had to be a photo invite. Creating my own invites also taught me a thing or two about digital scrapbooking. For starters, I purchased this digital clipart of matryoshkas. Then I also downloaded several freebies from Sahlin Studio.  Paying just a few dollars for the matryoshka clip art allowed me to make lots of small party elements and keep the same few doll images.


I created the picture in Pic Monkey. First I uploaded the background image from Sahlin Studios. Then I added overlays of all the other elements. Finally, I added the text.  Then I uploaded the whole thing to Snapfish and ordered postcards. I was able to order just ten. Those folks who don't use email, the grandparents and her godmother all got a hard copy. Eveyone else got an email evite.

To save time and money I used  To customize the evite, I used PicMonkey and specifically the "overlays feature" which even allows you to upload your own overlays. Doing this allowed me to establish the theme while still using a fairly limited template from the evite program.

Using evite was pretty successful and I would do it again. Having a few hardcopy invites was also great. So I did appreciate that I could order just ten postcards.

Stay tuned for other party elements.

My Baby Turned One!


There are so many things I could say about Marilee and how time flies and all that, but I find myself at a loss for words to describe this year. I wish I had blogged it more so I could look back. Sigh. No matter how neglectful I have been of this space, I wanted to document her first birthday.
Since her birthday was the day before Thanksgiving, we had a small little dinner with the grandparents at Shakey's Pizza. I bought her one cupcake and she loved it. Not sure if any actually got into her mouth, but she loved playing with it. I loved that Shakey's carpet got ruined and not mine.

We also had a lovely party with friends and I want to document that as well. But, it's off to work for me for now. Thank you blogging friends for your love and encouragement over the years. My cup overflows.

Hello Again!


Yikes! Four months since my last post. Well, you know a lifetime has happened. During our nearly six year journey with infertility I used to think about all the things I could blog about once I had a baby. All the beautiful little dresses I could sew, the nursery, the funny and sweet things the baby did. Going back to teaching at 10 weeks pretty much kicked my crafty butt. Just one day into our summer vacation we embarked on a three week tour of NY & NJ to see friends and family. Lots and lots of friends and family. It was an awesome trip. So yes, it's summer, but again, no time to craft or blog.I guess the biggest news is that Marilee can crawl! We left for NY on her 7 month birthday and the very next day she started crawling. She crawled for the first time to my grandfather and it was a miracle. So back in 2005 my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. Wanting my future child to know him, we actually started "trying" earlier than planned. We even hoped to surprise him with pregnancy news at his 80th birthday party that year. Ha! Let's just say I have learned a lot about control and timing in the last six years.My grandfather used to say, "If you are worried pray, and if you pray don't worry." Wise but very challenging words. I wish I could say I followed that advice. Oh sure, I pray, but I also worry plenty. Fortunately, many others prayed for us too- including some of you dear friends!  The cancer came and went, and came back again. Then I was told that he was starting to have memory problems. And, like the rest of us, he just wasn't getting any younger.God truly does know the desires of our hearts and this summer Marilee crawled for the very first time to her great-grandfather! It was a moment I will always treasure. He was an excellent coach and spent a lot of time on his hands and knees demonstrating the proper form and offering encouragement. Encouragement indeed! The picture says it all, they are buddies!On my husband's side of the family, Marilee met dozens of relatives at a huge family reunion. She poured on the charm and was a perfect baby Betsy Ross. We had a wonderful traditional small town 4th of July. Best of all we even got to see Great Aunt Kate who was born just 100 years and 11 days before Marilee.We also had lots of time to get to know our two nieces who are each 16 months old. It was the first time we met either of them and watching our girls play together was an incredible sibling bonding experience for both Cliff and I.Other updates:I am still nursing. Surprised to say that I do love it. It has overall been a great experience. I am both ready and sad to start a slow and gradual weaning process. For many reasons it's time, but I just can not believe how fast this year is whizzing past me. Someone on TV mentioned that there are only 3 1/2 months left in the election campaign and I nearly started crying because that means I only have 3 1/2 months before Marilee turns 1. That simply can not be accurate? I did love co-sleeping for the most part. There was nothing sweeter than watching my babe sleep and wake up together as a family. It also worked pretty well for me to both nurse and sleep at the same time while working, but gradually she began to drink less and less pumped milk from a bottle and rely on the night feedings more and more. By the end of the school year we had regressed to feedings every two hours all night long. The last week of school she went on a bottle strike. In addition, when I would nurse her down, I often fell asleep myself. I would wake at 11 or so having "wasted" my whole evening and all my free time. While traveling our accommodations, schedule, and the fact that she could crawl made co-sleeping mostly impossible and unsafe. So we strapped her into a swing, stroller or "rock and play sleeper." This worked pretty well and set the stage for transitioning to her crib.So we crib trained her this past week upon our return home. It was absolutely horrible and just fine at the same time. The key [...]

Reading Nook


We have this strange little corner nook in our living room. When we first moved in, my father thought it was just crying out for a statue. Lots of ideas were suggested, but we left it blank until this weekend. It took me two weeks to get some ten minute Ana White $10 Ledges built, but they are done now and I am thrilled with the results!
I have made a bunch of these ledges and I love them all. They are easy, affordable, and quick. Especially true if you don't have a baby afraid of the drill. Imagine that! My kid afraid of the drill. Maybe it's for the best. Probably so.

I got the idea for the planter thing from this pin. The adorable lamb rug is from Aunt Piper via Red Envelope.
Of course, I have all sorts of geeky teacher plans to thematically arrange the bookshelves. In the meantime, board books it is. 

I think she likes it!

Tired Little Rabbit



Little Bunny Foo Foo is all tired out and so is her mama. Parenting "Duh" #432- Time off from work does not mean free time anymore!

We enjoyed a pretty quiet Easter, but the week before hand was a bit hectic. I tried to accomplish a long to-do list saved up since Marilee's birth. (I told myself, "April break, I'll get that done during April break.") Of course, you veteran mama's know that the word "break" is well, no longer applicable. So, I have a bunch of half finished projects.

Also in the mix are a few "pins" that were complete busts. I'll share those tomorrow.
In the meantime, we are going to walk down to the grocery store to pick up some 50% off Easter candy. I am looking to use it for Marilee's baptism which is coming up in two weeks. In just one week the first set of grandparents arrives! Whoo hoo! Send in the reinforcements!!

Happy Easter!


The story of Easter is the story of God's wonderful window of divine surprise. ~Carl Knudsen

Getting My Crafty Feet Wet


So, it's not so easy to craft with a baby. I know that many of you are probably thinking, "Duh!"With so many blogs named things like "While She Naps" and "Nap Time Crafts" etc... I kinda thought there would be more time. Maybe if I had a designated space to craft in, it would be easier. Much of my craft energy is sucked up just thinking about the time it would take to set up and clean up. That's when I just say, "Nah" and go on Pinterest instead. The weekends fill up so quickly now too. It really is a whole new world. I knew it would be. I just didn't know in what ways.Anyway, I have made three things lately that are blog worthy. Probably even worthy of their own posts, but as they say, "Those were the days."Project 1. Cookies for my niece Ava's first birthday. My sister in law stayed home this year. Awesome opportunity! No paycheck. Womp, womp, womp. So when first birthday time came around I offered to help with the party in lieu of a birthday toy or outfit type gift. The cookies that I made were the party favors.This was a whole family effort. Cliff watched the baby while I worked pretty much round the clock. Marilee did get in on the action during some of her feedings though. The party colors were pink and purple and timing was perfect to get Easter m&m's for the "cherry" on top. I had grand packaging ideas courtesy of Pinterest.  In the end, I stapled the bags shut and hot glued a scalloped cut out over the staples. I mailed out 60 of these babies and only 11 broke in transit. Not too bad. My SIL needed about 40 for her party.Project #2 My other niece, Elle, also turned one this month. (Both nieces are only a day apart in age!) While I would have loved to do something just as grand for my little Elle, I simply didn't have the time or energy.I decided to give them something sentimental. The inspiration pin:Source: via J on PinterestCute right? There are so many changes in the first year that I thought it would be great to capture them in one place. Also, what do you do with all the cute snapshots other than put them in an album? I wanted those little moments to be available for more frequent glances.Here is my version:I am not even going to apologize for the photography. It is what it is these days.I chose a shadow box frame. I used the scalloped punch that I already had and mounted the photos with thick mounting stickers that stand out a bit. Elle's room is pink and white, so I used pink and white scrapbook paper for the background. I had planed to make a flower for one space similar to the star above, but I couldn't vote any of the pictures off of the island. This Auntie loved them all too much.Sleeping, crying, the little hands. I know I want to remember all these little things!I spy a Molly Monkey! Yes, it turns out it's a favorite!This project was quick and easy to make. I lifted the pictures from my brother's flicker and facebook accounts. That took the most amount of time. The rest was a breeze.Project #3 hardly deserves to be called a project. It comes from one of those pre-printed panels and was sewn together in minutes. Although, I would like props for dragging out the ironing board. That thing hasn't seen the light of day this year.I was super psyched to find this panel because Marilee is going to a birthday party this weekend and I needed something extra for the gift. My colleague volunteered at the LA Zoo for quite a while and was especially involved in the new elephant exhibit. So this is perfect for them.I had emailed my friend about sizes and such and she told me:They like primary colors and especially spring green. The baby is thin, so elastic waistbands are a must. They prefer gender neutral stuff and they love animals.Source: via J on PinterestI am pretty excited about the gift. I found this adorable spring green panda sweater at Crazy 8 and paired it with some b[...]

A Quick Note of Thanks


Sara made us this wonderful quilt that looks like a piece of notebook paper.
I think it's safe to say that both Marilee and I love it!
What makes it extra special is that we had picked out her name years ago after we were first married. That first year here in LA I had to take a bunch of classes to get my CA credential. During the dull moments I would write all our initials, and write out her name dozens of time. Cursive, print, you know, just like in high school. Only I was 32. I have to dig up those notebooks. I bet I could find the pages.

So, in other news, this Tuesday feels like it should be a Friday already. Nothing serious or bad, just seems like I've already put in a full week. How about you?

Mama Can Multi-Task


 I read somewhere that a woman's brain becomes more flexible after having children because of all the multi-tasking.
Who's the Cake Cookie Boss now?!  Sixty cupcake cookies for my niece's first birthday. Ready to be shipped to NY.

Nouveau Decor


Binder clips and links. Fresh new look daily.

For the Love of a Mobile


Marilee is at the stage where she will look at a mobile for a good 10 to 15 minutes. In my world that is a lifetime! Naturally we want to have mobiles all over the house. We were gifted a crib mobile with a music box, so we moved this mobile to over her changing area.

I saw this idea first on Pinterest and wrote about making one here. It's terrific because the breeze from our heater makes it move and twirl quite a bit.

Recently we set up a pack and play in the office and I wanted to add a mobile in there as well.
The Michaels dollar aisle yeilded some cardboard birds and some assorted wooden shapes. Then this Sunday we were given a present with such beautiful wrapping paper I was completely inspired.(image)
A little Modge Podge, paint and wrapping paper and we were in business. I do plan on adding some ribbon to the embroidery hoop as in the mobile above, but otherwise I am quite pleased. Most of this was done while nursing so that alone is an accomplishment!

I go back to work tomorrow and I am feeling pretty good about it. Cliff is going to be the modern stay at home dad and I think he is looking forward to that new job too.  Mostly, I feel incredibly blessed to have a good job in this economy and a sweet family to come home to.



Here is the last of my Picnik projects.  Remember they are closing down the site on April 19.
This is a repost from February 2010.

Family Fun Magazine has the best ideas! This month two ideas for Valentines grabbed my attention. The Google Eye Valentines and the scratch off Valentines.


Since both ideas were stellar, I decided to combine them and do both.

I took a close up picture and edited it in Picnik. In Picnik I added a Valentines boarder and "sticker" with text. The text on the heart has pun filled messages such as "Eye think your great!" Puns are so great for my English language learners.  Then I had the photos printed at Walgreens. Next, I covered the heart "sticker" with clear contact paper and silver metalic craft paint mixed with a dab of soap. The easiest part was adding the google eyes. I got these great stick on google eyes at Michaels. They came in assorted sizes which just makes everything even sillier.

"Eye" think they will be a hit with my pupils.

Update: Yes, they were a hit. In fact some of the students kept them in their pencil boxes. I think as teachers we sometimes forget to be silly with our students. They really do love it.

Favorite Picnik Projects Before They Close


This week I am going to repost some of my favorite projects using Picnik. I believe their last day is April 19. There is time to make any number of projects if you don't delay.Anyway, this post actually comes from my old school blog, My Many Colored Crayons. This was one of my favorite projects ever. Enjoy!Portrait of a Drug Free Future!It's Red Ribbon Week at OFS and this year we are celebrating with a door decorating contest. I have a slight problem with bragging about the Crayons and today is no exception. Check out this door!! See our Red Ribbon bracelets? The little "red ribbons" contain student writing on why they pledge to be drug free. I think it has a good chance at winning!And, I really want to win which is silly since the prize hasn't even been announced.I was inspired by a portrait project in this month's Family Fun magazine which unfortunately is not linked yet. However, their project had multiple steps and involved acrylic paint. It just seemed a bit complicated when multiplied by 25 students. Last week was the Hispanic Heritage Month Dance. This week is the book fair and OCR testing, so teaching them how to draw a self portrait was out of the question.My version of Cheater Self Portraits used few supplies and worked out well for fourth graders with little experience with water colors.Here's our tutorial for Watercolor (Cheater) Self Portraits:Supplies:drawing paper cut to 8.5" X 11"water colorsa digital picturea computer with internet access1. Take a picture with your digital camera. I think a close up or a relatively simple scene would work best. (This picture is not of a student but, from an ad.)2. Go to Picnik and upload the photo(s) for free! Choose their "create" menu and then scroll down the special effects until you find the one that is called "Pencil Sketch." Apply that effect to your picture.3. Print the picture out on the drawing paper. At work I have access to a laser printer. At home I used an inkjet and I found worked well even with water colors.4. Paint the picture with water colors. Less is more. It's nice to let a little of the print come through. It makes the details like a nose, much easier.I gave my students two copies so that they could practice controlling the paint and mixing colors. I am pleased with the outcome. It took two hour long sessions to complete.Update: That was the post from way back in 2009. Naturally, we did win the door contest and the prize was a new Connect Four game. Sweet! Later I went on to make another watercolor of my colleague's daughter. I thought it came out super cute. I had always planned on making several others as Christmas gifts for various people. And, of course, now I want one of my own kiddo. I wonder how many I can get done between now and April 19?[...]

Custom Kleenex Boxes


I may have the most photographed baby in the world. At least up until 2 1/2 months that is. Once I return to work next week, I doubt I will be playing photo studio quite so much.

Anyway, last year I signed up for some special promotion whereby Kleenex would sending free tissues to a friend.  I like mail and I thought that would be a sweet surprise for a friend so I joined in. Since then, I get Kleenex promotional emails. Most I delete without a glance. However, I happened to open an email telling about making custom tissue boxes. Goodness what a sucker I am!

(image) $5.99 for the custom tissue box and another $5 for shipping. Friends, I just spent $20 on Kleenex! These special tissue boxes will be delivered to the Grandparents. Hopefully in time for Valentines Day. Come to think of it, I didn't even look at how long they took to make and ship! Watch, it's six weeks or something! Oh well. Both our parents waited a long time to become grandparents. I guess their noses deserve some special treatment.

Since my husband and I both love a good pun, the pink heart reads, "I 'tissue' were here!"

Speaking of Kleenex, (and who knew there was so much to say?) have you tried the new cooling Kleenex?
I saw a supermarket display of these with a free sample. My friends they are actually cold. The tissue has menthol or something in it which makes them cold. They feel really good on a sore nose. Expensive compared to the store brand I normally buy, but quite the treat.

By the way, Kleenex did not pay me or reward me for this post, although the should because I just spent $20 and well over 100 words on tissues! Oy vey!

Last Chance for Picnik- Pictures into Embroidery Transfer


Did you hear? Picnik, the free photo editing site associated with Flickr, is shutting down on April 19, 2012.Boo hoo! I love that site and use it a lot. Of course, I never did pay the $28 for the premium membership. So, I guess I am part of the problem. Sigh. Anyway, until April 19 all their premium features are now available for free! This week I decided to feature some of my old projects using Picnik.Here is a post from May 2010.I really love the Sublime Stitching patterns by Jenny Hart. Her motto is "Not your grandmother's embroidery!" There are so many fun patterns. The flickr group is loaded with eye candy. This Etsy store, Sew Lovely Embroidery, also has wonderful modern designs.However the other night I had the itch to stitch right then and there. You know how it is when an idea strikes! So, I came up with my own way to convert a picture into an embroidery pattern that was simple enough for me to do.This pin up cowgirl was my starting photo. I found the picture on Google and uploaded it into Picnik. Then under the "Create" tab I clicked on "effects." Next I chose "pencil sketch." And the result was the photo below.From there, I clicked on the "Edit" tab and chose "Exposure." I moved both the "Exposure" and "Contrast" settings as far as I could so that it would look like an even simpler drawing.The result was this. Notice how most of the background is gone now and the details are sharper? This was good, but I knew I wanted it even simpler. So, still in Picnik, I chose the "Create" tab and went to stickers. I used the rectangle under "Geometric"  (and slid the color to white) to cover up the fire and the photographer's name. Then I went to text and added the "Dinner!" Finally, I downloaded it to my computer and printed it out. I was very careful to print it in "mirror image" so that I could use Citra-Solv to transfer my pattern to the fabric.To do the Citra-Solv transfer I photocopied my print out and taped the photocopy print side down to my fabric. I used regular old scotch tape. Be sure not to cover any of the design with tape. Then I took a paper towel with a bit of Citra-Solv on it and rubbed it all over the design. Lastly, I burnished the paper by rubbing the entire design really hard with the edge of a spoon.Voila!I had a lot of fun changing up the colors for this design. Here is the finished project:Update: Since this process worked so well, I went on to create this Texas tote. You can see that full post here. [...]

Packing Away the Pink Christmas


Farewell pink and white Christmas tree. You were splendid. Normally I am a bit melancholy while packing away Christmas decorations. This year, the new year holds so much promise and excitement. Hello 2012!

Merry Christmas!


This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone."
~ Taylor Caldwell (1900-1985), English novelist.
 Our Christmas card photo.

My parent's Christmas card photo.

And, a month later, one chubby elf.

Wishing you a joyful Christmas! 

Tummy Time Fun


Our beautiful girl is one month old. Here she is having a wonderful time at her check up. She is now officially 9lbs 7oz which is just over two pounds more than she weighed at birth. We are so proud! And, since I am breastfeeding I am pretty dang proud of myself too. For real.

Anyway, while I was pregnant I started a "pin board" on Baby Activities.  Today we came up with an activity that I actually consider blog/pin worthy. While at the doctors we discovered that Marilee loves the crinkly paper on the exam table. So, we decided to recreate that fun at home with some parchment paper. It worked great. The waxy side was actually a little bit "grippy" on the bench and the paper side was slippery enough for some good play time. Now she had two parents inches from her on this padded bench. Otherwise, I would definitely do this on the carpet.

(object) (embed)

If I waited to post this until I had a chance to edit that rough ending out, it would never get posted. Warning this video contains delicious baby toes.

My Awesome C- Section


11-19                                                               12- 2My mom just left on Tuesday, so for the first time in two weeks I have had lots of alone time to think about my birth story. For a while there I was too busy with the happiness, the nursing and the laundry to be reflective. I want my story to be out there because it is really hard to find C-section birth stories online. Here is my birth story. It's an awesome, happy, mostly painless c-section story. My official due date was Dec.2, but because of all my other surgeries I was scheduled for a c-section on 11-22-11. We were so excited about the date because it is a palindrome and we are nerds. On Sunday 11-20 we made plans to go to Ojai (small quaint town 1 hour away) for a sweet "last day as a couple" date. We were both a little nervous about going so far away, but Ojai is a really special place to us. It's where we have gone following every miscarriage for some peace. It's sacred Indian land and I swear it is the most peaceful place I have ever been. Anyway, Sunday night I went to bed and Baby Z was doing flips upside down and sideways. She was so active! Cliff asked, "Is there anyway she can bust out?""No!" I reassured him.Well, at about 1:00 am I sat up in the middle of a dream and said, " I have to pee." That's when I felt and heard a pop and was flooded. I told Cliff, " I have either REALLY peed myself or we are having a baby!So much fluid! Gross! Anyway, I called my doctor who was fast asleep and didn't know who I was. He told me to go to the hospital and wait until my contractions were so many minutes apart when he would come in to catch the baby. I didn't bother correcting him because when I got to the hospital I figured the nurses would set him straight, which they did.At the hospital they hooked me up to monitors and we tried to sleep. Well, that's a joke because hospitals and sleep are incompatible. Eventually I started having contractions and although I was only 2 cm dialated they were less than a minute apart. They weren't too painful, but I did have to breath through them. Cliff had not yet been to sleep, so he was desperately trying to catch a nap. I decided to have an epidural so that I would be able to sleep. I thought Cliff might sleep better if he knew I was pain free. After all, I was having surgery anyway, there would be drugs so why be a hero?Well, the epidural didn't work at. all. But try to convince people of that! Not too easy. Finally the anesthesiologist was poking me with a toothpick and asking what it felt like. "Um, it feels like being poked with a toothpick."At about 6 am my primary OBGYN showed up. He ordered a spinal and friends it was MAGIC!!! Loved it! A warm blanket of mercy!Soon my other doctor showed up. I was so filled with joy. Here were my two docotors, who've held my hand in some very dark times, there to deliver my baby. It meant so much to me that they both could be there for something good too. It was very celebratory. We joked and laughed and before long they announced that her head was delivered.I asked if she would cry and they said, "soon." Just then came the shriek of all shrieks. Glass shattering! Whew! She was loud! God love her! This baby has always kicked [...]

Happy Thanksgiving!


Help me decided:
Which should I nibble on first?


Or burrito?

Never mind. Today is a day for feasting, I'll have both!

We are home. We are well. More details to follow.

First Thanksgiving Outfit- Inspired By Pinterest & Project Runway


First Thanksgiving Outfit
Originally uploaded by Jane Little

So, here I am just two days away from "D-Day!" With nothing but tons of time on my hands, I have been trolling Pinterest and watching Project Runway online. It's really kind of crazy. Also, I cleaned out my craft closet last night which inspires me to craft like nothing else.

Looks like we may be home in time for Thanksgiving. There were two adorable Thanksgiving shirts I pinned. However, the images are gone now. I guess people are cracking down on pinning.  I guess I can see why, on the one hand. It can be annoying to be copied. On the other hand, the people who are going to copy are not the same people who are going to buy anyway. Like me for example, I am not going to buy a Thanksgiving outfit because I am going to have a baby in two days and it wouldn't get here in time anyway! LOL.

Also, because I can make it myself in less than three minutes, in the size I need and with scraps I have on hand.

So imagine these cute t-shirts with simple turkeys with ribbon feathers.

I just happened to have this little brown cap that says "Got Candy?" on the back. It is for a photo op with my mom who 1. loves candy and 2. bought stock in Hershey's. I got the hat and matching onesie at the dollar store and all I want out of the outfit is this one picture with grandma.

But, I figure this cap can be reversible since we won't be going anywhere anyway.

The cap is too tiny for ribbon loop feathers and frankly too tiny for embroidered details. So I used snips of ribbon and painted the face on with a toothpick. Then remembering Tim Gunn's rant about glue guns on Project Runway, I decided to glue gun the whole thing together.

I tried to color match to this swaddle blanket I picked up at Goodwill just because it had Thanksgiving colors.

So there you have it a first Thanksgiving outfit.

I can hardly wait!

Due Date- One Week Away! Pink Christmas


With just one week to go, I decided it was now or never for Christmas decorating. I had my heart set on a pink Christmas and fell in love with this pink tree from K-Mart.  However, Cliff wasn't too sure about a pink tree. (I think since all the baby stuff started appearing he has been a bit on pink overload.) The $65 price tag was  more than I wanted to spend. I am sure it will go on deep discount later and I might be tempted to pick one up at that time, but I didn't want to wait. Then one night I was in Target and I browsed through the Matthew Mead Holiday magazine.Gorgeous! It was just the inspiration I needed. He featured a white feather tree with pale pink tissue paper flowers tucked in the branches. It was then that I knew, I would be very happy with this white tree from Walmart for $25 . I happen to be flush with pink tissue paper from my showers. They were easy to make and fill in the gaps where you can see the pole very well.I am very happy with it.   During the 80's and 90's I amassed quite a collection of Cherished Teddy ornaments which are perfect for a pink tree. Cliff's parents picked up this Fisher Price ornament at their factory store. The classic stacking rings were Cliff's first present to me when he was just 4 and I was only a week old. Yes, we go back that far. Actually, I had quite a few pink ornaments. It was so nice to leave the majority of my Christmas decorations behind and do something new.Then, I hit the jackpot at Goodwill today and found this adorable deer. You know I am out of the blogging habit because I totally forgot to take a before picture. But, you have all seen a realistic looking ceramic animal before. Props to all of you who can spray paint these figurines to perfection. I am far too impatient. My coats were a bit thick and drippy. Hard to tell though because I used semi-gloss paint which is a bit more forgiving. Anyway, I love this pink deer. Tonight I am working on the mantle. More pictures to come![...]

Finally Getting My Creative Mojo Back


I must be nesting, because at long last my creative spark has returned. Oh sewing machine, how I have missed you!


Back in August I thought I would get a jump start on Christmas. I wanted to have all my Christmas done before the baby came. You know, just in case it's really true what everyone says: "Your life is going to change!"

I also wanted to use what I had on hand to save time, money and energy. So I decided on I Spy books for my 8 month old nieces. Well, without much creative energy it was a real drag. I got a good start, but it wasn't too much fun and seemed endless.

Then my mojo came back last week and well, here you go!  Soft color books!

Each color has a big picture with some interesting textures and an I Spy page.
I tried to use as many interesting textures as I could. Mass producing things isn't really my thing. I get easily bored and prefer to mix it up. So, I tried to pick a few personal things for each I spy page. For example, my niece Ava loves to see her brothers off on the school bus. So her yellow page has a school bus. Meanwhile my niece Elle's book has a John Deer tractor in honor of our Grandpaw.
Cliff was really patient with the mess I made making these. He also requested one for our own daughter.  Yes, I did make one for her too! I figured it was now or never!

These literally took months to make, but I think the end result is worth it.

Halloween Update #2: Extravagent Generosity


This picture makes me so happy. Just the thought of sharing our coat rack with a wee one is thrilling, but this little pink "jacket." has a special story.

It was an eventful Halloween morning when a young Crayon we call Red arrived.

 This was our conversation:

Red- "Hey Mrs. Little, I got you a baby present for your baby!"

Me: "Thank you Red, that was so nice of you."

Red: "Yeah, my parents told me I could have money for a baby present or a Halloween costume and I chose to get you a baby present."

Me- (Stunned.) "Wow! Thank you that means a lot to me. That was really generous of you, but what about Halloween? Do you want to go in the costume box and get a costume?"

Red: "No. I made a costume. With the left over money from the baby present, I bought a really cheap sheet and made a ghost costume. Wanna see it?"

Me: " I sure do."

He proceeds to pull on a traditional ghost costume much like the Peanuts Gang wore, except it has some simple sleeves.

Me: "Wow, Red, that is really cool. How did you make the sleeves? Did you use staples?"

Red: " Nope. My god-mother came over and helped me sew the sheet like this to make sleeves. And, I drew the face with marker because I didn't want to look like those mean guys who wear sheets. Do you know about those guys?"

Me: "Yes, yes I do. I assure you, that is a terrific ghost costume. I am so impressed! This gift is super special to me!"

This month my pastor has been preaching on extravagant generosity, but once again my Crayons were the real teachers. I am so impressed with both Red and his parents. In this day and age, they certainly didn't have to bankroll both a teacher gift and a Halloween costume. By giving him a choice, they fostered his financial skills and his creativity. I am truly humbled.