Friday, December 19, 2008

Ellie Has a Little Lamb

...that took Aunt Chelsea 9 hours to make.

It sure is cute though.

Lesson learned: Martha Stewart's patterns aren't for the first-time toy maker. They lack clear instructions and need more visuals.

{or maybe I'll do the chicken next time}

That being said, I might make another one. Bigger this time. It's too hard to sew halfway felted cashmere when the pieces are itty-bitty.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Holiday Decor for Next Year

Will include one of these {or maybe a few of them}. Wouldn't these be cute using kid-sized hangers for a few smaller wreaths?

You can find the simple tutorial from Eddie Ross here. So simple!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What a Crock!

Can you believe this?!

I've Broken My Handmade Pledge

dammit. I know there are still 7 or so days until Christmas but there's NO way I can get everything finished/started/finished in time. At least not to the caliber of gifts I like to make.

So now I'll have to start on these gifts for next year. The ones I did get finished were for my nieces and nephew. To be honest, Ellie's isn't done. I just dried the cashmere sweater {gasp! I know!} I'll use to make this for her:

Not sure yet? Here's a closeup.

How cute, huh? and hers will be done in off-white felted cashmere...that's one lucky baby! I'll have to take a few pictures once it's finished.

Here's what I made for Jack from this idea. Obviously I used it as a jumping off point.

Ryan gave me the idea to spell his name. In the future, I'll sew on the felt letters before I sew the fish layers together. Instead of a dowel I think I'll use a tree branch {still need to procure} for a bit more authenticity ;)

For Callie I used this idea and decided I'd make her The Three Little Bears.

I think the little vest and the apron are a couple of the cutest things I've made.

Do you know how hard it is to find the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears that contains the porridge, chairs, and bed AND has cute pictures? It's impossible. I wanted them to all fit snugly with the book in this case that I recovered {the inside wasn't cute nor very clean} so it looks like I need to type up the story and make a little book{let} for her myself.

Does Baby Bear need pants/shorts? I can't decide.

So what's new with the Alexanders....Ryan and I both have similar callings in our ward. He's a teacher in Elders Quorum and I'm a teacher in Relief Society. I know, try to contain your jealousy.

I don't really like being a teacher, but I guess I'm doing an alright job. Then again, I could have a much more involved calling. I only have to teach 12 times a year, IF that. Unfortunately, we can't plan our lessons together because we teach different Sundays of the month. Bummer. I learn a lot, though, and I'm sure I receive extra blessings. hehe.

We're going to see The Nutcracker performed by the Kansas City Ballet on Friday. I've never been to a ballet and I'm really excited. Just what we need to add to the holiday spirit, I think. When Ryan and I were engaged we went to a performance of The Forgotten Carols in Provo and I really wish we had the opportunity again. It's such a great message. I'll still be happy with The Nutcracker, but it's not the same thing, if you know what I mean. I think I'm starting to blabber on now. I'll stop.

Hurry, look at this picture of our Christmas tree to distract you from the word vomit.

Ooh. ahhh.

And a few more images from around the house.

Oh! I almost forgot. So I started a monthly craft day. Every second Saturday of the month {with the exception of this next January and February - those will be on the 3rd Saturdays} whoever wants to come to my house and watch movies and have snacks and work on projects can. This month's was last Saturday and I got most of Callie's dolls done then. In November I worked on a bag for my sister in law's birthday gift. Craft Day is something I've been talking about doing for over a year and I finally did it. It's so much fun to just hang out with other girls my age and create. I'm thinking I need to start another blog with craft inspiration and ideas. We'll see.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Who Can Teach Me How to Knit?

Because I want to make this blanket:

And you can get the pattern here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fourth Picture of Fourth Folder

just happens to be a Christmas picture. go figure.

I have 4 of these hanging on our Christmas tree. I made them last year for an ornament swap and made a few extra to keep. They are so simple and primitive, but they don't match the rest of the ornament style of our tree {which is more glitter and glamorous - I like shiny things}.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Vacationing in Utah

I love hanging out with family for the holidays. My family is pretty hectic and stressed, but so much fun {I think}. Ryan's is a lot more laid back and less formal but still a ton of fun, just different.

Wednesday: woke up at 5am so I could hurry and shower, do my hair, get packed {I left that until morning of - waiting for laundry} and in the car at 6am. Our airport in KC is about 50 min away and our flight left at 8:30. Get to Utah at 10:15am and hang out with fam for the day.

Thursday: Thanksgiving Day was pretty casual as well. I think most of us slept in until 9 or 10am and then just had breakfast as people got hungry. Mom had the foresight to cook an extra turkey the night before, so we had 2 turkeys, 1 ham, and 26 mouths for dinner at 4pm. {Surprisingly we didn't even touch the 2nd turkey until today!}

Friday: Slept in until 9:30, got showered and started running errands. Started cooking and baking and setting up for baby shower at 3pm. Baby shower was at 6pm - I totally should have planned for an extra 2 hours. I should have started baking at 1pm. Oh well, now I know. Baby shower until 9ish. So much fun. {See separate post}

Saturday: Today we woke up at the crack of the crack of dawn to get ready for 8am family photos. My BIL Chris is reporting to boot camp (Navy) on December 15th and since he signed up for 6 yrs, it's going to be a LONG time before we're altogether again. Also, Napril {the collective} live in Hawaii and probably won't be seeing much of the fam unless we head out there or something brings them here. Anyways {tangent} we got some hilarious photo ops in but of course, since they're an arm and a leg at the studio for each print, decided to just stick to the nice traditional ones.

Some of the family is at the movies seeing The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, but I am really not into sad movies and would have rather had a few hours here at the house relaxing.

Tomorrow is church and more family time and then bright and early Monday morning we head back to Lawrence and to our puppy!

I hope everyone has had a fabulous holiday and been blessed with reasons to be thankful.

April's Baby Shower

I had so much fun and so many creative ideas for this shower. I just wish I could hone my time management skills to the point where I'm not rushing about and thinking "if I only had another hour..." and actually was able enjoy everyone's company.

So here are the decorations. I'm just going to post photos w/short descriptions. Feel free to ask me questions on how I made things, where I sourced my materials, etc.

preparations: cupcake baking cups and individual cupcake bakery boxes

18" pretty pretty stars

Mustached Women = hilarious. This was actually a game {we didn't tell the guests it was a game until we had a winner} and Grandma Alexander and Elise won the prizes.

napkins and silverware

fabric banner {bunting} and half the pom-poms I wanted to make and use. I should have done them all on Thanksgiving Day when I started them

closeup of fabric banner

Stuffed Strawberries. These were the favorite food of the night.

The rest of our food: cream of broccoli potato soup in mini bread bowls. I kept it WAS the day after Thanksgiving, after all.

My favorite part.

Here's one close up {or 2}. I LOVE this illustration from Belle & Boo. I have both a cowboy and an indian. I tried to do a baby/retro cowboys and indians theme.

{excuse this photo - it was snapped with my phone}
These are the favors

and the guest of honor opening some gifts

It was a HUGE success and I had so much help from everyone setting up and getting things made. What a great way to spend an evening.

Saturday, November 22, 2008



Baby Things

This is before I added the snappety-snaps

I made these for a shower last night for a little bebe. These are different than ones I've made in the past for a few reasons. This time I made my own pattern {I know, right?} and added fusible stabilizer. Also, last time I backed them with minky. Minky is fabulously soft and cuddly, however it's ridiculously expensive and difficult to sew. I found a simple alternative in natural muslin/ticking {can't remember which} that is less than $4/yard.

The cute little appliques are made out of felt and warm&natural batting. They were a well-loved gift at the shower so if you've had a baby in the last little while {or will be shortly} plan to receive a bib.
my favorite one

The last picture is a sneakety-sneak peek of most of the components of April's baby shower next Friday.

Gotta go! We're off to see Twilight!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Busy Week

I'm feeling bad I haven't updated more often. This week is really busy. Wanna know what's on my list?

*finish baby shower decorations/preparations/favors {I'd say I'm 75% done, but I'd rather overplan}
*figure out prizes for baby shower games - any ideas? Evonne? Shannon?
*make about 12 baby items for gifts. Most of my friends have had/will shortly be having boys in the last couple of months
*mail said gifts - most of these can wait til after Thanksgiving
*a different baby shower on Friday - MUST have baby boy gift ready
*Enrichment on Thursday
*bake 3 dozen cookies for Enrichment
*dinner to family with new baby on Thursday
*work an extra hour and a half every day this week to make up for next Wednesday's absence {we'll be travelling to Utah!}
*find someone to watch Thunder for 4 days

Luckily the baby shower this Friday isn't the one I'm in charge of. I have another week...but really, not so much since I want to mail the stuff to my in-laws for the party.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Our Four-Legged Child

Since we're flying to Utah for Thanksgiving {and it's next week} I thought I'd look to see what requirements there are for taking Thunder with us.

I'm sad to say, it will cost us $300 if we want to take him for those 4 days. Not happening. So now we have to start looking into boarding services and/or beg, plead, trade with people we know {which is limited to Ryan's schoolmates and our ward} to watch him.

That's not the worst news. In December we'll be gone for 2 weeks and flying Southwest. We can't even PAY to have him come with us. Not an option.

So what are we going to do?

Even if we board him in a kennel it's going to be 2 weeks. {I'm surprised at how sad I am - I cried}.

It's like leaving your baby with strangers.

*Update! I found a solution that works for us. We had to cancel Ryan's flight and rebook him on an airline that would allow Thunder as a carry-on AND it's $100 each way, so a FAR cry cheaper than boarding him in a kennel {I called around this morning - it would have been $300 for those two weeks} AND we get to have him with us! Hooray! - Now, any kind soul in Lawrence want to want to watch him for Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Anniversary {of sorts}

Three years ago today, the most wonderful man in my life asked me to marry him. Many of you have heard the story before, but the details are getting fuzzier the longer it gets from the date. I actually think it was the night of the 10th, but since it was past midnight, we've decided it was technically 11/11.

Ryan and I had been dating since Sept 12th {well that was our first date, at least} and had so much fun together. After a few weeks he'd been going through a rough time and it manifested itself in the form of an uber-grouch. Of course, this didn't bode well with me. I sometimes felt I was being a nuisance and therefore found validation of my fabulousness elsewhere {in the likes of a couple different dates}. What?! I needed to feel pretty and it wasn't happening. But quickly Ryan overcame whatever issue it was and I decided I really really really liked him. Actually, at this point I knew I loved him but {hell, no} would not be the one to say it.

To be completely honest, I was smitten after the first week of hanging out. I may have even come home and told my roommate that I could marry him and be the happiest girl.

{I have a problem going off on tangents - I'm a terrible story teller}

So after a week or two of returned bliss, Ryan had just finished his late-night shift at Heritage and come over to my house. Since it was after curfew {shhh!} all my roommates were asleep and we were able to cuddle/spoon on the couch and makeout without roommates getting grossed out {It was G-rated, people!}. In the course of the conversations we were having, he let it slip that he thought he loved me. only think? {yes, I actually said that} Anyways, not 3 minutes later he said he could see himself marrying me and I said I could see myself marrying him. Bada-bing, bada-boom, we're engaged. He's the love of my life. We have huge fights and hard times, but they're worth it. They make us stronger and make me, especially, appreciate what a wonderful man he is. He's so patient for putting up with my crap. And when I say crap, I mean both material possessions and emotional drama.

I made a wish {remember, 11/11} and it came true. Don't forget to make one of your own today.

This was one of the pictures we didn't use in our announcement. {mainly because it's almost pitch black outside}

Sunday, November 02, 2008

{insert creative title}

Just a bunch of pictures from the weekend.

Inspired from Martha's brain cupcakes.

The pumpkins are from Michaels. They were just plain white and then I painted silhouettes on them. I actually wanted to do a negative space one, but liked this better. I figured if I kept them simple black and white I can keep these around for Thanksgiving. I picked up the candlesticks from a yard sale for $1 {for the pair} and the candles from a party store. The bones {that's what's in the center under the glass between the pumpkins} are from the Dollar Tree. The WICKED {witch} banner/garland is made of chipboard triangles {really really easy to cut} and covered in a layer of black paper and patterned paper. The round black part to them is just a black streamer that I straight stitched and gathered into a circle, tied it off and glued pre-made letters in the center. I just used glue to attach them to the pom pom fringe/trim that I picked up from the fabric store. I love this candelabra. It's the first time I've actually used it but I've had it for a year or so. I'll switch out the black candles for white ones and keep it around.

Added this for next year's decor {target - after Halloween}

and a cool tray and ice bucket from the last yard sales of the season {that I'll be attending anyways}

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yes, it's 2am and I'm blogging

With all the intense politics, this is refreshingly fun and made me grin ridiculously big

Then again, it IS 2am and things always seem funnier in the wee hours of the morning.

These kids are from the Ron Clark Academy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Things are freezing here. We had to finally break down yesterday and turn on our heater. And then we endured about 30 minutes of that burning plastic smell you get when you turn on the heater after a good 8 months of non-use. We really love our little town. I think it's the perfect mix of city conveniences and enough charm to call it a town. I've fallen in love with it. The Autumn weather here is breathtaking. I'm one who likes to throw open the windows and let the crisp air fill the house and just snuggle under a blanket and lounge in sweatpants, but Ryan finally got cold enough to shut the windows and turn on the heater. The only downside to the Fall is the midday rainstorms. It will be a beautiful day and then BOOM! it's pouring. And it lasts for a good 4-5 hours, turning the once-clear sky a solemn gray and hiding the sun for the rest of the afternoon.

This afternoon we were both sitting on the couch, each busy on our laptops {which isn't unusual} and we got a streak of spontaneity and went to a pumpkin patch. I was on the hunt for some white pumpkins and some lumpy-bumpy gourds and we found out one place had a hayride and a few activities for kids. It was ADORABLE. Everything was so picturesque. We ended up with about 9 pumpkins {I know, right?!} and only spent about $2 on each, which compared to the grocery store price of $4 each, is a steal! Plus, I'd never been to an honest-to-goodness pumpkin patch and it was a fun experience.

We're hosting a Halloween party at our house on Friday. It's kind of an odd situation how it came about, since we're not the ones throwing the party. One of the couples in our ward is having one but I know our house is a lot bigger than most and offered it for the night. Now I'm going crazy with things I think HAVE to be in order before next Friday and prioritizing. {Like my yet-to-be-finished Halloween banner for my mantle}

Remember this post? I've decided I need to busy myself with service and selfless acts, which also includes something I love. I'm throwing {with my MIL} a baby shower for April when we're in Utah for Thanksgiving. She's going with a retro/vintage cowboy theme {unless it's changed} so I am using that as a jumping off point. Oh, the ideas I'm coming up with! I've already ordered a few things which are a little more kitschy, but with a few modifications they'll fit into the theme flawlessly. It's the details that take something from good to fabulous, right?

{my favorite little pumpkin - the stem reminds me of a broomstick and a little bit of a witch's pointy hat}

Oh, and I'm proud of this bow I made. I was in a hurry and found tulle before I found my ribbon so I grabbed it and cut off a HUGE piece, doubled it on itself and then used it to tie up this wedding gift. I had so much left over on the ends {which I anticipated} and knew I wanted it pouffe. Here's what I ended up with. I love it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My New Light{s}

I have been looking - no, not looking but SCOURING - for over a month for a vintage schoolhouse light. In my search for milk glass one night, eBay helped me become obsessed with finding the perfect replacement for my dining room light. I missed the one I REALLY wanted by 8 minutes back in September and kicked myself for weeks about it {the fact that I still remember it was 8 minutes should be the clue} until tonight. I FOUND another one {or two} that I love. This first one {above} isn't technically considered a schoolhouse light. It's more art deco. But the cool thing is that it's a restored 1930s original light. Fabulous, huh? I'm an eBay sniper so I got it in the last 6 seconds.

This one I almost freaked out over. I kind of squealed and said, 'oh-my-gosh-oh-my-gosh' a few times. The seller miscategorized it and put it in the Art Deco section, thus missing the crowd on the hunt for schoolhouse lights {and there is a crowd - I know because they keep outbidding me, me hearties!}. I asked the seller a question about the diameter and size of the fitter but being too impatient to wait even a day I went ahead and used the Buy It Now option. Double score.

I'll probably put whichever one I don't use for my dining room back on eBay. Yay!!! <---you can tell I'm excited because I NEVER use multiple exclamation points - it drives me nuts.