March 30, 2012

What was...., Is now....

 It was random lamb's ear growing in my yard....
 And now it is flourishing in a pot on my front steps.
That was real yuck....
And is now a little better with paint. I know I still need to do something about that missing door there to my shed (but, it's still better!). Maybe I'll dig out our circular saw soon....
 And what looked like this...
 Now looks like this today, complete with my newly planted vertical garden! Amazing what a little paint and some new soil will do! I made my raised bed with scavenged railroad ties and stones from my yard. Then I bought and added 600 pounds of dirt. I still will need more. This week I planted carrots, snap peas, romaine, and spinach.
 And this half-dead pussy willow tree in my yard....
 is now gone, thankfully. I think it looks better as a stump! (P.S....A professional team did this....I don't own a chainsaw. well,!
 And my once-vacant, non-inviting porch....
 Now is an outdoor living space. I added a rug from Menards, 3 window boxes from Joann Fabrics (clearanced from last fall), a repainted and recushioned bench (my mom found it at a garage sale for me last summer), a black chair (donated from a friend), 2 wooden crates (donated from my sister...thank you!), and a pot with dirt for Nathan to dig in!
 I like how my bench turned out. Sorry I was a little lazy to take a picture of it before...but just picture with me: stained redwood and vintage yellow and green vinyl floral covers. This is way better I tell you! I used clearanced outdoor fabric from JoAnns for the front of the covers, and plastic tablecloths for the backings. I mixed 3 paints I had leftover (cream, yellow, and black) to make a gray toned paint, and used it to paint 2 sides of my shed and this bench.

And some other updates from the Hoover household.....

 I planted seedlings inside, of which many decided to come up already in just days!
 I spray painted a scavenged (out of our neighborhood last fall) ladybug sandbox for Nathan, bought sand at the hardware store, and shovels at Walmart. So, for $21, Nathan has a refurbished sandbox and toys! Now you can't beat that! Who says ladybugs can't be a manly blue color? : )
 And if that weren't enough in the last few weeks.... I've made a bunny shirt (above) to go with Nathan's Easter pants, and a fabric Easter basket too. Miffy will make an appearance on his mommy-made t-shirt! More to reveal of all that on Easter!

 And what about selfish sewing for me? I'm turning these two patterns.....
 And taking this old halter type dress.....
 And making something new for summer. As you can see it hasn't gone perfectly so far (as none of my projects do that I rush through), but it will be done soon. Not sure if this will be my Easter dress, or if I will make time to sew a different one. It all depends on how motivated I get... Haha!
And, my little man has learned to eat with a spoon! Meal time is so much fun now! I do love it! I just want to "eat him up" all the time!!!

The countdown is on!.....Daddy ( wonderful husband) is coming home in a about 45 days! Wow! That's certainly a far cry from the original 400 days we looked at when he left! We are thankful to the Lord to have him home again soon, and are extremely grateful to all of our friends and family who have been praying and supporting us!!! Love you all!!!

March 19, 2012

Things I've Sewn Recently

 Now, when I say recently sewn, I mean over the course of the last two months. But, nonetheless, I've spent a lot of time in my sewing room during naptimes and late evenings. But, I've enjoyed it all and made some great items! This first project I did in February, when it was still cold here (and not in the 70's, as it is now). Remember me making Nathan pants and a hat HERE out of this recycled Express sweater? Well, after reading THIS post on MADE, turns out I had enough left over to make a baby sweater for Nathan! I left the "Express" tag in it....haha. When I had felted the sweater last summer, the neckline shrunk to the perfect size for my, even easier to make!

 And yes, I did take him out for a bit to show him off in the sweater and matching hat! So fun!

My next project was making jammies for my niece, Lilly, for her birthday (In February). I had bought THIS book in January, and this was only my second project attempted in sewing with knits. My collar should have stretched out a bit more, and I'm not super proud of my sewing job here, but it was a good go at it, I think. The little princess loves her jammies, though, I think.

 And this was my first project from knits out of the same book HERE. The fabric was all from JoAnns.

 And I completed a second pull-up trainer using THIS pattern. The first one leaked overnight, but this second one worked! Yea! I just have to finish making the leg holes a little tighter. This second one may have held more liquid due to me switching up how I made the inner soaker. To make the soaker, I layered one layer of cotton, 2 layers of Zorb material, and one bottom layer of PUL. A bit thick, but it held. So, I may either continue with this method, or switch to trying hemp/cotton blend liners (if I can ever track down this fabric in yardage).

 I just realized that if you aren't familiar with sewing or cloth diapering, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. Sorry about that, but I hope you will read on anyways  : )!

 And then took off of THIS Pinterest idea and made this pillow for a friend's son. Loved it!!! Click HERE if you want directions on how to make one. This project is perfect for beginning sewers!
 The felt letters come off and pose as a fine motor skill for older kids.

 And when I saw these pants on THIS blog, I absolutely fell head over heals over this pattern! So, what happened? I ended up buying the pattern HERE, and have made two pairs already:
 One as a present (above) (All fabric cotton, from Ikea); and one for Nathan (below) (fabric from Annette Tatum: "Banana Diamond"). This is part of his Easter outfit this year.

 And, lastly (I think), bibs made from upcycled garmets using Lotta Jansdotters bib pattern from her book HERE.

I have been busy, as you can see....and with other non-sewing projects as well. And, so, what I'm saying is..... I'd rather be doing the crafts, and the art, and the sewing, and mainly playing with my little boy. So, you may notice a change in my blog posts, as I make my time more about my family, and less about well-planned-out blog posts. I will still try to post all my done crafts, but the posts will just be fewer.

I love you all for reading, and from what you tell me, you enjoy seeing what I create. If I can bless others with giving my projects away as gifts made with love, then I feel I'm using my talents wisely. I know I can't do it all, or do it well, but I do want to honor the Lord with my talents and my time as best as I can. So, thank you all for reading, and stay tuned once in awhile. There's bound to be a whole lot more!

March 12, 2012

A Carrier Cover

 Since I made one of these for Nathan before he was born, I have been in love with this idea! I used mine all. the. time. The cover kept my little guy warm, kept rain, wind, and the sun off his face, and became one of my favorite sewn items I used for him. This one was made for a friend, and obviously for a little girl. And, I love how it came out!
 How this project came together was really a blessing from the Lord, really. When I wanted to make it for my friend, I had all of the matrials, even the flower and buttons! The project all came together so quickly, that I was even amazed.
 The flower, at this point, was just a hair clip from Hobby Lobby, but I liked how cute it looked as a girly accent in the corner!
 And i got to use one of my fancy edging stitches to topstitch around the cover. So cute!
 Here is the stitch detail up close.
And, before I make you think I'm so wonderful....I'm not. This design I copied from this tutorial HERE. And HERE was Erin's first cover that I fell in love with! It's very simple to make for anyone...It's one yard of fabric on each side, corners rounded off with a dinner plate, topstitched, and 2 pieces for the ties that are rectangles with velcro. Even if you are a beginner sewer, you should try this!

I used flannel for the top, purchased 2 years ago at JoAnns, and white microfleece for the underside, also from JoAnns.

And because I apparently never posted photos of the carrier cover I made for Nathan, here it is (pulled out of our basement storage...wrinkles and all....haha..:

fabric here from Ikea. Where else? : )

March 8, 2012

A New Pillow & Friend

My friend, Johanna, told me about this idea a while back to make a pillow with a front pocket to hold a toy.  I loved the idea so much, and ended up creating THIS one, as my first, for a sweet little girl!

Well, guess what? The idea took off, and I had a request for one for a boy. But it needed to be something different. So this is what I came up with.

Same dimentions, same pocket in back to hold a blanket for future sleepovers, and what "toy" did I make to go inside the pocket?......

A drum set.

All the material is from Ikea (that's my favorite place if you haven't discovered that yet : ) ). The drum fabric was found upstairs in the kids textiles, the red backing from the marketplace fabric counter, and the blue pocket on front was cut from a pillowcase they sell. The drum is made of a yellow washcloth from Ikea, while the white and blue fleece on top is cut off of Ikea's throw blankets.

And, I like it very much! Now to do one for Nathan, well...someday : )!

March 3, 2012

New Slippers for N and Mamo.

We have wood floors and ceramic tile in our kitchen, and both can get very cold in the winter! Because my little guy is walking now, I wanted to protect those cute little tootsies from the cold, while allowing his new walking skills to remain unhindered. I pulled out my trusty slipper pattern, traced Nathan's feet, and, slippers!

He loves them! And they double as an extra cuteness factor!
And his "Mamo", or grandma, got a pair too! Same pattern, just made larger. And the best part, this pattern is free and easy to make..again, and again, and again!