Sunday, June 24, 2012

DIY Onesies, AKA, My Feelings Toward Pinterest

I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. My crafty artsy side loves pouring over the DIY projects thinking, I could easily do that... or, I could totally do that differently. The logical side realizes that I have way more craft ideas than time. I look at Pinterest images, ponder how I could use them and then add them to my to-do list. Yes, that's correct. I add crafty, for-fun items to a list of items that continues to grow and stress me out. When I have a few nap time minutes to tackle a to-do list item I find myself analyzing over which is more important... load of laundry, lesson plans, thank you notes, create cute storage boxes for magazines (that I don't have time to read) using cereal boxes, wash the dog. Clearly storage boxes are what I decide to tackle. So I find myself eating bowl after bowl of cereal so that I can make them into trendy little boxes. Luckily, the mass consumption of cereal has lead to the load of laundry being unnecessary since I now can't fit into the dirty clothes and must buy pants to fit my cereal increased waistline.

It happens time after time. For example, I'm newly home from the hospital with my newborn baby and she's sleeping. By all standards I should be sleeping too.... or, I could check Pinterest. And that's where I see them: freaking adorable monthly onesies for your baby to wear so that you can photograph her growth. And I'm hooked, I HAVE to make them. I start my sketches and send Brent to Babies R Us the next time he makes his trek across the bridge. After receiving the onesies I get to work. Ignoring the laundry pile, uncooked meals, crying baby, ok, just kidding. But you get the idea. Life stopped, and I blame Pinterest. As it turns out, they were very easy to make, so I thought, I should post a DIY!

Therefore continuing the cycle! I saw them on Pinterest, and voila, not only do I feel the need to create monthly onesies I add in complete DIY instructions so that I, too, can post on Pinterest and have some other pinner avoid their to-do list by creating. It is a vicious cycle.

These onesies are super easy and fun to make. I am only making three at a time so that I can be sure the size is correct. (Who wants to see a 9 month sized baby in a 3 month onesie?)

You need the following materials:
- Plain, pre-washed onesies
- Various fabrics, look at colors and patterns that work well together
- Wonder Under Fusible Web
- Scissors
- Puffy Paint

I started with a simple design that could easily be changed each month with just a number substitution. Feel free to one-up and make your's harder, whatever floats your boat. From there I picked 3 fabrics that could be used for each month. Again, I like a simplistic color scheme, you feel free to do as you see fit. I placed my drawings on the fabric before cutting so that I had enough material. (Knowledge learned as a middle school art teacher.)

The next step was to apply fusible web. I could give you directions for how to do this, but since it's on the package that seems silly. I always use Wonder Under on any of my projects. I think it is the best. (So maybe they should send me some free samples for promoting their product.) After the material was cool I began the process of tracing my design and cutting it out. At this point I think I'm suppose to insert helpful tips, such as turn the design over before tracing and use sharp scissors. The next step is to arrange the design and iron it to the onesie. I like to arrange the entire design, then take everything off leaving only the very bottom piece and iron that and let it cool. I repeat the process again, assembling the whole design, removing all but the one next to the bottom and iron. Tedious, yes. But that way I can continue to make sure it all fits and make changes as necessary. Rush through it if you prefer half-assed craftsmanship. It's up to you. This could be your last step, the webbing will hold for the 10 photographs you are going to take of your precious baby. Or, clean the edges using puffy paint. I think the paint makes it all stand out better. Let it dry (please! No one wants a puffy paint smeared baby) and you're done!

While I have your attention.... how cute is she?!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

DIY Cherry Blossom Cards

Make your own Cherry Blossom Cards

Water down brown paint so that it drips when you lift your brush out of the paint. Drop a dot on the edge of your paper, and then use a straw to blow the paint in the direction you want your limbs to go. Ball up a scrap of paper to dip into a light pink or white paint and then dab onto the paper as petals. Make the petal center using the end of a brush dipped into a darker pink paint. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Paige Marie

Brent and I welcomed our first child, Paige Marie, on Friday March 23! Needless to say, all focus has been on Paige. She has successfully wrapped us both around her finger and we're okay with it. Prior to her arrival all of my art focus had been on creating works for her nursery; which I would have finished had she not decided to make an appearance 2 weeks early. (Okay, I may have finished the wall hangings only, since I haven't started the other 3 pieces yet.) Luckily she hasn't noticed the lack of wall decor, or at least hasn't complained about it. I'm hoping that with the help of a more scheduled eating routine and some day time napping (insert sigh of relief here) I'll get the pieces done, and maybe even get a few others started too!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Monthly Mosaic: 2/12

February was a busy month, but unfortunately, not busy in the art studio. I did get some work done piecing one of the nursery wall hangings; Daisy lounged around like one of Picasso's models; Bayside Youth Ballet performed Peter and the Wolf; I began hand stitching the wall hanging; and the dogs cuddled.... a lot. And I cuddled with them..... a lot. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

DIY Button Blocks

Button blocks, similar to these, hit Pinterest like crazy a while ago and I thought they'd be adorable in the nursery. In my first ever (bare with me!) DIY post, I'll show you how I made them. You may have a different way or idea, but hopefully this will be a starting block!

Materials Used for Button Blocks:
- Plywood Blocks (I used 10 inch squares)
- Pieces of Fabric for Background (I used 12 inch squares)
- Pieces of Batting (I used 12 inch squares)
- Pieces of Fabric for Front (I used 13 inch squares)
- Ribbon, 12 inches long
- Pencil
- Ruler
- Staple Gun and Staples
- Buttons
- Fabric Paint


1. Cover the back with fabric:

( I wanted to cover the back of the boards. You could decide to skip this step.) Cover by placing the block in the middle of the fabric and stapling the corners. (I placed the entire thing on top of another piece of plywood to provide more pressure and stability.) Staple the middle sections and then fold down the corner edges and staple them again.

2. Cover the front with fabric:

Layer the fabric and batting by placing the batting on the block and then the fabric on top of that. I stapled both at the same time, repeating step one.

3. Attach ribbon to hang the block:

Use a ruler to make 2 marks that are 3 inches from the side, and make 2 marks that are 2 inches from the top. Draw a cross where the 2 and 3 inch lines meet. Lay ribbon over the lines. (I left a pencil under the ribbon to give some slack for hanging. It was Brent's idea, I have to admit.) Staple the ribbon on the line, fold it over the staple (back towards the center) and staple it again. Trim excess ribbon.

4. Draw letters: 

Use a pencil to draw letters onto the block. Draw the letter free hand, or, use a computer to create and print letters to trace.

5. Buttons:

Attach buttons to fabric by painting the letter with tacky glue and placing the buttons on the fabric. I found it helpful to thickly coat the glue (and it dries clear.) Allow to dry over night.

6. Fabric Paint:

Use fabric paint to neatly outline the buttons. Allow to dry overnight again.

Read the fine print: I decided to use glue for the following reasons:

- It hangs on a wall far from where my child will be able to pluck off buttons and swallow them.
- It is for a nursery and will be on display only for a few years.

Had I wanted a sturdier or longer lasting piece I would shave sewn the buttons. This is a decision you can make on your own! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Monthly Mosaic: 1/12

January's Monthly Mosaic:

My favorite images from January... Snow in West Virginia; Homemade cake from my baby shower; The dogs fell off the couch; Baby button project (more images coming soon); Working on baby quilt while looking at the lake; Starting first baby quilt; Sharpened smencils, my favorite; One of MANY beautiful sunrises I've seen in the mornings.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Nursery: The Furniture

This will be a quick post just to update our nursery's status. Because I haven't posted any pictures since the painting was finished I've gotten lots of questions about what we're doing next...

We are so, so lucky. Our friend, Jessica, was done with her crib and glider and gave them to us. They are beautiful and took all the pressure to find them off us. 

The dresser is from my college apartment, refinished by Dad. We're going to get a changing pad to put on top so it will double as a changing table.

I like to call this the reading nook :) Our basket of books is full and I continue to buy and receive more. Maybe another day I"ll get on my "Importance of reading to your child" soap box, but for now I'll just say I love reading to my baby. (And yes, I already do.) 

And last here is the general color scheme. Green and pink, with a little yellow. Two weeks ago I started her artworks and will start posting pictures as soon as they're completed!

If you missed the first 'installment' of our nursery, check it out. Nursery: The Beginning 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Snowmen Bottle Caps

Coming in July!

These cute (if I do say so, myself!) little bottle caps will be available this July! Made as gifts for the holidays, I'm in love and will be making them again this summer. Keep them in mind as you make your Christmas plans for next year!

(See how I'm trying to create excitement by not letting you have them for MONTHS? Nice, huh?)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Morris Family Christmas Card Decoded

Alright, the answers you've been waiting for, err... the answers you've thought about maybe once or twice, err... the post you're going to look at because the New Year's Eve hangover is leaving you quite unproductive today and you are destined to have a day of face booking, blogging, or internet browsing. Either way, here are the answers to the holiday card!

2011 was a pretty great year for us, as we learned we were expecting a baby girl (1). I also changed schools, and am teaching at Thomas Hunter Middle School (2) in Mathews, while still teaching dance (3). Because of the constant exhaustion between pregnancy and new job, Brent has taken on the role of ' Brent, can you just do everything?' He makes my lunch and breakfast every morning (4), cooks and washes dishes (7) and has repainted our entire upstairs (8) with the help of some great friends, family and #9. When he is not doing one of those things, he has perfected the art of reminding me how much money we are spending on the baby (6). (I like to counter by reminding him how much money we are saving from wine.) 

Daisy Mae still needs to shed a few pounds (5). Unfortunately, she was there for me every time I couldn't finish a meal during the early months and has taken to following me around anytime I have what appears to be food. (Jokes on here when it is really a prenatal vitamin!) Toeby remains close enough to see what is going on, but far enough to remind us that he is aware that a baby is coming and he is not at all pleased. He was a great help to Brent while painting though (9), always near enough to paint containers, roller trays or wet walls to track a little somewhere. One day I'll learn to keep him outside while we are painting, but to be honest I think its funny when he has a green tail. 

We were lucky enough to visit quite a few places this year, but we lumped several of them in to two main trips. In January we left VA with some great friends and headed to Colorado (10) to ski and meet up with another college friend. I could write an entire post about the dos and don'ts of traveling to CO, but it wouldn't be right without help from Dan Mazzio. The important thing to remember is that in the end we were all allowed to leave the state, although some had to promise not to come back. 

For our fifth anniversary, we took a warmer trip. (This was in the original card design. I drew a button on Brent that said, "I survived 5 years." Meaning, of course, survival of living with me for five years. The Crosses are the only others who can make that claim, and I'm sure there were times when it was questionable just how long they would keep me around. The fact that Brent has made it for five seems like a big accomplishment to me. After looking at the design however, we thought it looked a little like I was saying he was a cancer survivor and took the button out. I bet you weren't expecting random trivia in this post.) Anyway, back to the trips. For our anniversary we took a trip that started at Emerald Isle (11) for two days with the Scatchard family. This was especially nice of them, because they're my brother's inlaws. They have no blood relation to us, but allowed us to crash at their beach cottage for a couple days while we were in route to Myrtle Beach (12). After a few nights in Myrtle, we headed to Charleston where we spent the remainder of our anniversary trip (13). We made it back home, spending an entire day in the car together, another reason Brent should get a badge- I'm not the best car companion. 

We stayed home for a few and then headed out again, this time on a Northern escapade. We hit NYC (14)  for a couple days while staying with Brent's cousins who were nice enough to let us use their home as our personal hotel. After the city we went to Philly (15) to stay with another set of Brent's cousins. It was here that I was first 'outed' as I continued to turn down alcoholic beverages that everyone else was partaking in. Being highly unusual behavior the cousins caught on pretty quickly. This trip ended in NOVA with a Dornin family reunion at Spring Garden and a trip to see the Nationals play (16). Our summer finished with an annual Nags Head trip with the Morris family (17). From here we decided we should probably stay home and focus on numbers 1- 9 again.

So that's the real story. I'm pleased to say that my mother, Nan Cross guessed the most accurately. (Granted, during all of 10 - 17 she had to keep numbers 9 and 5, so it is good that she knew where we were at those times.) Too bad for her that I can't award her the price since she already got a set of the new wine charms for Christmas. I think she will understand though, and hope that the fame of this prestigious award will be enough for her. 

This leads me to the creativity awards. A few entries had us rolling with laughter. 

Amanda Goyne has a creative approach. What she doesn't know she makes up, usually with something grossly inappropriate. In fact, I have scanned her email to find SOMETHING that I can post of her answers and am coming up with very little. 

I can include these parts, but please be aware, these aren't her entire statements. I still had to edit large chunks of writing:

3. Slippers or as we refer to them in the south, house shoes. I'm assuming this is to represent how insanely swollen and grotesque your feet are now, or will be very soon. Don't worry, they will go back to normal after you give birth...

5. One of your dogs, I don't recall the name right off, but soon you won't be able to either. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that your new human baby will replace your canine offspring; it's just that sleep deprivation does a number on your short term memory.

8. A can of green paint. Most likely this represents the blatant disregard most Americans have for our fragile environment and your life long mission to encourage friends and family to "go green". It's a little preachy for my taste, but it's your card you silly hippy you.

9. The other dog. Pansy or something

And that is it. The only four answers I can post on the Internet with a clear conscience. The rest I will save for blackmail when Amanda is interviewing for future guidance counseling jobs.

Dan and Lisa Mazzio combined to turn in a more accurate, but just as enjoyable post. More of their answers are post-able, but here are my favorites:

3. Ballet slippers because you teach ballet and also because those shoes allow you to move quietly around the house so that you dont interrupt Brent's Fresh Prince time.

8. This is for when you repainted upstairs and Steven helped you because he is required to work when he visits you.

9. This is Toeby with paint on his feet and tail because he is also required to help you with projects, only he is slightly less talented at it than Steven (slightly).

12. These are flip flops and they definitely say something. Lisa thinks they say MB... I said maybe M8 or MIB. I think its probably MIB - I am guessing those are the flip flops you bought to wear to the premiere of Men in Black 3. If not, well, thats ridiculous.

17. Ok so its possible that 11 was just because you like to go to the beach and that this one is for Emerald isle. Lisa also believes it is a surf board because Brent (Michael Westin) surfs whenever he is near the water - I don't necessarily agree.

Their confidence in the closing of their entry had me intrigued,

Damn you guys take alot of trips. The next year's Christmas card is gonna be bare comparatively. Lisa says next year the ornaments on the tree will be boobs, cribs and diapers. Can you go ahead and award us the win on next year's card now?

allowing us to make these final decisions:

Nan Cross, Most Accurate
Amanda Goyne, Most Creative
Dan and Lisa Mazzio, Automatic Winners for Next Year 
(although we'll still have the contest simply to increase daily page views to my website)