March 29, 2013


 #1. Birthday Crown. Remember how I was inspired this past year to begin a "birthday tradition" for
       Nathan? The goal on his birthday crown, was to add a special icon or logo to represent every
       birthday he has. I had the privilege of starting one for his friend, Mauricio, recently. Mo had a Dr.
       Seuss 1st birthday, and a FARM themed 2nd birthday. Both were astounding and so much fun!
 I again, used a felted sweater (that I felted/shrank from the thrift store) for the gray crown ::  I used 2 layers. I hand-drew The Cat In the Hat, and cut him out (carefully) out of a dozen pieces of felt, glued them together, and stitched him on by hand. I used a black sharpie to color on top of the white fleece for his face and body.
 For the barn, I printed out a picture I liked online of a barn (clip art), cut it out, and then cut the same pieces out of the felt. I used embroidery floss to define the doors and to signify which birthday the barn was relevant to.
 And this adorable turquoise fabric I used on the back elastic band, and underneath the front monogram, was a fat quarter print from Riley Blake that I picked up at our wonderful, local sewing boutique.

 #2. A Bento Box Lunch Carrier. This was so fun to make for the first time! My friend, Sidney,
       generously loaned me her new book, Oliver + S, Little Things to Sew. It has such great ideas in it
       to make for our little guys! I just adored this portable cover for a kid's (or any one's) lunch box.
 As you can see, it folds up on a plastic storage container very nicely, and when unfolded, makes a
perfect picnic lunch tablecloth for itself!
 The best part (I think) is that it's waterproof & washable. I discovered this AWESOME fusible (iron-on) vinyl at Jo Ann's that can be ironed to any fabric, making the surface vinylized (is that a word???)! It's awesome! You don't even have to sew to use this stuff! Say your kid has something you need to waterproof.....well, just get some, iron it on, and voila!!!! Waterproof/washable! And it comes in matte and gloss (although I thought the matte came out pretty shinny, but oh, well).
And if flipped over, this is what it looks like. Love how it came out, and I can't wait to make N, or me, one next!

 #3. A simple project I made Nathan a while back, but didn't blog about... a drawstring bag to hold all of his PVC pieces to build with that Daddy made for him. So simple, but fun! I used an old sheet and THIS easy pattern for the bag, freezer paper stencils for the motif.

 #4. (x3): On to Steven! He's made some pretty AWESOME paper crafts lately, and I had to share them with you! This first one is two separate models he handmade of "Toothless" from the movie, "How To Train Your Dragon". The one on the right that's laying flat, he actually built white, and then painted the whole thing with watercolors. Amazing!
 This is an Army plane, a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk. The propeller actually spins! All of his models are made 100% out of white card stock. All the fine details he puts into these just blows me away!
This is his most recent build.... A WWI plane, with Armour Truck. This plane is a DH-4, and is quite an important part of American history. The DH-4 was made by the Dayton-Wright Company (in U.S.), and it was the only American made aircraft flown in combat during WWI (for just short of four months). After the war, many DH-4s were converted to become the first air-mail carriers.

 Steven's model fits in the palm of your hand. The spars are actually thread strands that he dipped in glue, let dry, cut meticulously, and then glued each little strand within the wings, and to the tail. I mean, come, on's impressive! And the propeller spins on this one too!I'm quite giddy!
 And, yeah,...that last touch...can you see it? He added real plastic to the windshield on the truck above! Wow! I've looked over his shoulder and he's currently working on Captain Jack Sparrow's Sailing Compass (which will really & truly point North, if I know my husband!). Such a fun (and free : ) )hobby he has! Such a talented man, didn't I tell you!!!


#5. My "Knitting" Sampler. I know. It's rough. But, it's my first one!!! Yea!!! I practiced casting on, a knit stitch for several rows, purl stitch for several rows, and a stockinette stitch (which is alternating rows of knit and purl), before binding off. Not too shabby for my first try. And because it's just the right size, it's become another dish towel for my daily use.

 My friend pointed out on Facebook a good point.... I didn't really mention in my knitting post, where I learned these basics. And I should really give credit to the book I followed to help me learn these which is:

I've had this book a long time, and feel it does a very good job with words and pictures of how to get started in the beginning. However, had I not had this, I think I would have turned to YouTube for my beginner lessons on how to knit. They would have done just fine. Sometimes it just helps to see it.

So, should I/ dare I jump right into my baby blanket knitting project now? or, maybe a little more practice first, perhaps?  

Hope you've enjoyed what we've MADE recently!!!!

March 27, 2013


 An introduction to KNITTING. I am a sewer. That's no surprise to you by now. I sew about every day,...well, almost.  Last fall I bought THIS book, even though last fall I WASN'T expecting, and NOW I am. Crazy, backwards. I know this. I brought the book back out yesterday and oogled at all the pretty pictures about things I can only dream of making written in a highly coded language that I don't understand at all yet. 

My last (and only) attempt at knitting was about 6-7 years ago, I think. I knitted the length of a potholder in "knit-only" stitch, and then set it aside. I guess I still thought sewing was faster. 

I established yesterday afternoon, about 2:30ish, that this will be my first knit project to tackle out of this book, that is...if I can figure out how to really knit this time, for real. A baby blanket for our baby #2 to be. It might even be this same turquoise and cream color scheme which. I. LOVE.
 About an hour later I had learned and practiced two different kind of casting on methods, (thumb-over & back loop) and successfully stitched them, ripped them out, and did it again, many times. I even had a real "AH-HA!" moment out loud (sorry, husband!) when I figured out the needling motion to the thumb over method!
 Practicing and practicing:
 And after a few hours, I have a few rows haphazardly on there. But, it's a start. I'm sure I will very well enjoy better calling my close friend and her mom to give me much needed help on this new knitting adventure! I have a basis to start, but I will need Sidney & Nancy's help real soon no doubt! I'm so glad they are so willing to help me out!!!

And now today's focus will be on learning the purl stitch and hopefully the stockinette. Ooh, this learning of new things can be fun, but, oh, so challenging and fearsome. 

Fighting a respiratory cold this week, and have officially declared that there will be NO official Easter outfits sewn for N and I as originally planned. The 6" of snow we got here in Ohio this past Monday was quite a surprise, and kind of put me off my warm-weather-Easter-thinking for now.  My Easter outfit instead this Sunday, will probably encompass a jean skirt, some tights, boots, and several warm shirts. Brr! That's okay. Easter is early. And since it's NOT about cute outfits, eggs & candy anyways, it doesn't matter. We will be excited to be with family and celebrating that Jesus has Risen! Praise the Lord!

and, P.S., if you actually remember things that I say on here, I haven't forgotten about the free shorts/pants pattern coming soon for your toddler in a size 2T. With all this snow, my head has been in the clouds still, but my pattern direction making/PDF creating is reaching a finishing's just later than I originally planned. So, you don't mind, right? It will be a great feature to put on here to officially welcome spring (hopefully soon)!!!!!

For now, I've had the adventures most recently of hemming a pair of beautiful flowing pants, a plum prom dress, making a liner for an upright laundry basket, tailoring a flower girl dress to fit a 2 year old just right, and then will be onto designing and copying this debutant gown for a friend's 4 year old in the Netherlands. I see a home business starting up, don't you? Will you help me support my fabric & craft buying addiction by letting me fix up and alter YOUR stuff for low rates? A Joy2Sew facebook page on it's way. Yes, sir. I'm open for business, with prices to soon follow. 

Have a blessed day!!!!!

March 23, 2013

Going Vintage + Closet

Steven and I have really gotten into "antiquing" this past year. Our passion probably stems from watching too many antique shows on PBS....Ahem. (aka, Antiques Roadshow, Market Warriors, and American Pickers on History channel). We really like the ginormous outlet type antique malls, but pretty much frequent several local shops. This past Wednesday we found a three tier jackpot for Nathan with some great vintage toy finds.
#1: Teach a Tot Magnetic Board/ Dry Erase Board by Holgate, circa 1969. So fun. A great find for $4! It even came with a lot of magnets! N loves it! I looked it up, and you can still order your own here off Etsy or Ebay for less than $15.
#2: An awesome metal bucket filled with vintage clothespins. If you are close friends with us and our son, you know his favorite toys are not really toys at all. His picks lately (or usually): the non-working real iron, kitchen hand mixer, and any type of cord. I can just see him using all these clothespins outside this summer on his own clothesline Mommy must put up for him. : )!
#3: My favorite and his: A Sears Vacuum cleaner for kids, circa 1976. It takes a D cell battery and has a light suction. This kid adores this item!!! He is so enthusiastic about cleaning the whole house now, and is "proud" when he sees the dirt he's collecting. What a kid! I just love this about him! Vacuum away, Nathan! Sears doesn't sell this model anymore, but it looks like you can purchase a kid-sized Dyson from them now. Ours was only $5., and Steven did a little tweaking and soldering to get it back in working order, but it was well worth it!
And a closet (last one) update: the BEFORE of my to-do closet list: 

And the AFTER, finally done. I completed it in the next 24 hours after I posted my original closet post. Picked up the Ikea-like shoe holder and pop-up laundry bag from Big Lots, for just $8 each. I used 2 shelf hooks as my wall purse hangers, and made a quick loom for decoration.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

and just in case you haven't been on my facebook page lately, we have some BIG news to share:
I'm due sometime in mid-November. So exciting!!!!! What a blessing from the Lord!

March 21, 2013

Closet: Before & After

 Well, here is an almost completed project that has made a lot of headway. My original boast on facebook last week was to embark on this project and complete it in three days. I almost made it, but the closet mounting on day 3 went a bit haywire for me. My husband had to come to my rescue, fix my mistakes, and finish the job (cause I then injured my back). Sigh. Sometimes it just doesn't go as planned..., but WHAT A PROCESS!
 what the closet looked like BEFORE. Go ahead, say it with me, "Oh, yuck."
 DEMOLITION with a super duper 2 year old helper!
 Prying off one of those side closet 2 x 4's, gave me quite a surprise!!! I found a section of exposed plaster and lath (throughout our whole house unfortunately), AND it was not flush with the rest of the wall. Oh, yeah. That's definitely a home from the 1930's.

We had an extra sheet of drywall in the basement, so I cut a piece to fit the lath area. The next step was to then use JOINT COMPOUND everywhere, on every crack, and surface. I used half a GALLON, at least. Literally. Then, after it dried, it was time for:

 Man! Within 30 seconds of me getting out our electric sander in that small, 3'x5' space, there was at least an inch of dust covering EVERY surface in the room. It wasn't pretty. Though the bedroom door was shut, and a towel at the bottom door crack, the dust still escaped into my hallway, kitchen, and living room. Very messy. I spent the next few hours cleaning up, washing everything in the room, and mopping. My least favorite part of any project: clean-up. But, the next day, we did the fun part:

 That Saturday morning I started to paint, I learned of a free quart of Clark+Kensington paint available at my local ACE Hardware. Cool! Such perfect timing! I threw Nathan in the car in his pajamas, me without makeup (a first!), and headed to ACE and got some free TURQUOISE paint. I got white at first, and then went back to the store later on to have them tint it to a more FUN closet color, "Grace Harbor." The primer+paint combo definitely seemed on the thin side to me, but it turned out to be just enough for my little closet. Next up:

I hung two whole racks and made several good sized holes in the plaster wall, before I realized my measurements were off for the closet system we bought. I was pretty tired, angry, and "done" with this project now. There was some door slamming and a good break away. Just about the time I had cooled off and was about to try it again, Steven showed up at home early from work. He definitely came to my rescue as my knight in shining armor! He is so very handy, and it took him about 2 minutes to fix my closet errors and turn the whole project around! Yeah for husband (and a HUGE thank you!!!)!  On day 4 of the 3 day project I hurt my back somehow, and had to take it very easy for the next week. So, Steven finished the closet for us. We just love it now! Oh, the organization, the shelves, the space!!!! Love, love, love!              

What our closet looks like now (above), and what I still need to fix & finish on it, now that I'm doing better (below):
 Let's take a look at that before (embarrassing), and after (relieving) again, shall we?
Um, yes. Better, right? I thought you'd think so too. Now to get to those few small little things and I'll be sure to give you an update when I'm finally done. The closet was a huge step (and relief) for us to complete. Now for this spring, I've been working on a very exciting project for our bedroom: a new quilt and bedding solution! Here's a sneak peek: 

March 15, 2013

CTB. day #5 Pilot Overalls

Overalls. Such a cute look for boys. I completed this project for Nathan in tribute to my Grandma, Louise Yoho. She loves to sew as much as I do, and so she's always on the lookout for fabric and items she knows I'd like to sew. Last summer, during one of our visits together, she gave me THIS pattern she found at a garage sale and the above pilot fabric. I was VERY thrilled for the outstanding pattern to fabric combination this would make! I cut it out this past fall, but just got back around to putting it together this last month...just in time for summer! So thankful for my Grandma's kindness, and for her keen eye for such cute things!

And I love this outfit now for N. I'm really breaking out of my past comfort zone and trying to be more comfortable with COLOR. Mixing red and blues and yellows??? I never would have thought. With a little blog looking around to see what's happening in boys fashion, a little peek into the mini-Boden catalog (LOVE!), and working up the courage to try new things, I'm starting to just love it!.... And trying to get into the color scene myself. I'm working up to mixing colors, but mixing prints like a stripe with a floral will take a lot more time to grow on me. laugh. Ahem.  I was so thrilled with Nathan's new overalls, that I wanted to try different color combinations.....


So, which do you like better? The overalls paired with the red and orange tee, or with the yellow stripe? I'm still deciding myself... Seriously, though, I'd love to know what you think! Are you "at home" with color? Do you dare mix? 
N's new tee, came graciously from his awesome Uncle and cousin so close by! Thank you, Uncle Pete and Lilly for the fabric donations! Nathan will love wearing his new shirt, especially knowing its from a part of you two! And....not to be too repetitive, but the shirt pattern is again Rae's flashback skinny tee. My sister says I'm addicted to making them. I think she may be perfectly right!
And because there was a lot of holding that needed to happen this morning during the photo shoot, Mommy got a cameo appearance in some photos. I just love you, my little guy! I love making you clothes to wear! It's like giving you a piece of my creative heart. 

Celebrating OUR boys can be so much fun and so rewarding. When we celebrate them, we see and show them the value we place in them. Even more importantly, it shows them their worth that is rooted in Christ. So, how can you take time today, this week, to celebrate the BOY(S) in your life? Do you have time to play with them, spend time with them, make a call, write a letter? 

Life truly has so many things to celebrate. I hope you will choose to celebrate in your own way today. 

I hope you have enjoyed my "CTB", Celebrate The Boy, series this week as much as I have! Thank you for reading, for your encouragement, for your lovely comments! You all are so wonderful, and give me the motivation to keep doing what I love!