crafts: Kaylee’s birthday banner

With only 2 months left until Kaylee’s first birthday bash, planning and crafting is in high-gear. We already booked a spot at the same forest preserve where we got married, which lends itself well to a woodland theme. It will also allow us to use several of the crafts we made for the wedding. Needless to day, I have lots of projects going on at the  moment. The first one is Kaylee’s name banner that will go on the food table. I have been meaning to make this for a while now to replace the paper name sign above her crib which will be its permanant home.


There are a ton of tutorials online you can use if you’d like to make one of your own (like this one, or this one). The concept is simple enough, triangles and bias tape, so I ended up just winging it. Mine is made from the same fabric as her quilt and bedding, plus a linen backing and bias tape. I drew a few different sized triangles on plain printer paper until I found the one I liked best. I used Word to find a font and printed up her name on paper then used the pieces as a template to cut out the felt letters. I then attached the letters to the fabric with various colors of floss using a blanket stitch. Then it’s mostly simple sewing, turning, and ta da – a finished banner in one weekend. The rose was hand-made by a friend.

My hope is that this will be something we can use for her parties for years to come. And, it will give her a nice keepsake to take with her someday.


Crafts: baby blocks

My quilt group got together to make baby blocks for the newest edition to the library family. They doubled as a gift and shower decoration. We (mostly) followed the pattern in Amy Butter’s book, little stitches for little ones. It called for the blocks to be filled with foam, which you can purchase by the yard at Joanne’s (it cuts up easily with an electric knife). We used 3 inch foam rather than the 4 inch, because it was cheaper. Everyone in the group made two blocks each and we ended up with a nice little set. Then I got ambitious and made a full set for Kaylee with some of the left-over foam (we had a ton left over). 

In this simple version, I just cut out 3.5 inch squares of fabric and sewed them together by machine (right-sides together) with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, leaving a gap large enough to turn right-side out and stuff the foam cube inside. I ended up using fabric glue to close the gap rather than hand stitching it shut (I’m terrible at blind stitching and don’t feel like taking the time to practice enough to get better right now). It’s a great project for scraps. I used the left-over fabric from Kaylee’s quilt so they match everything else I have made for her. I also added a bits of plastic from a wipes refill to some of the blocks to give them a nice crinkle sound when you squish them. Every block is made up of minky,  linen, and cotton fabrics for contrasting textures. I’ll be honest, the blocks  are not fun to make and require a bit of wrestling to get them to turn out right. It took me about 2 weeks here and there to finish them up. Kaylee likes to shake and chew them and knock down the towers that we build. We like to throw them at her head (they’re soft, and it makes her giggle).

She’s Growing Up

We lowered the crib mattress over the weekend since Kaylee has learned to sit up on her own. Much to my dismay, we also had to put the bumpers back in because the first thing she did when we put her in was get her legs caught up in the bars. Even though this had never been a problem before. Go figure. She also ends up cramed into the corner while she sleeps now, even though she starts out somewhere in the middle with tons of space.

Kaylee’s Room

I finally got around to posting some of the details of Kaylee’s nursery. I was hoping to get some nicer pictures, but lighting has always been an issue in her room. And, while  it has quite a happy hue in person, it doesn’t translate well despite my bag of Photoshop tricks. Take a peek here or click on the tab labeled “Kaylee’s Room” in the menu above.

things i love: Ebay and fisher price flutterby crib soother

One of the babies I used to sit for had a fisher price ocean wonders aquarium crib soother – it was magical. I knew I wanted something similar for Kaylee and I was all excited when I found out about the flutterby version…It perfectly matches bird/forest theme of her room. Not to mention the seriously cute factor. The baby birds fly in a circle while one of them is trying hard to leave the nest as the mommy bird looks on. It also projects a happy sun, moon, bugs and birds on the ceiling. unfortunately we were about 9 years too late to purchase it new. Enter Ebay!

Kaylee loooooovvveeess it. She can turn it on by herself and now that she can sit up in her crib, she likes to sit and talk to the birds while patting on the window. This was the first electronic item I have purchased from Ebay and I am so glad I took the chance. It looks practically new, works great, and was only $16, less than half the price of a new crib soother.

Crafts: doll bed set for Kaylee

I finished up the doll bed set I have been working on for Kaylee.  The bed is from Ikea which I sealed with beeswax and plan on covering the screw heads as soon as I get a counter-sink bit. The bunny is a Miyim organic toy we received as a gift (which I highly recommend. very cute, well made, great company, and organic).

The quilt matches the one I made for her for Christmas (which disappointintly, is not holding up very well and already needs a few repairs)

I made a mattress (which is really just a pillow), a mattress cover, two pillows and cases out of matching fabric – more of the stash from Paris.

Here you can see what everything looks like apart

Kaylee looks so tiny next to it. She seems so big lately, it is nice to see her in perspective once in a while so we remember that she really is still just an itty bitty thing.

tucking bunny in

before taking everything off to chew on a little

crafts: first project on new machine


I made a doll quilt and pillow set to match the quilt and pillow case I made for Kaylee. It was a nice little project to get some practice on my new sewing machine. Now we just have to run out to Ikea to pick up a doll bed. The Viking is sooooo much different from my Brother machine – it is super smooth, has a ton of power, and you are literally in control of each stitch.  I can understand why they are so pricey now that I have given one a whirl.

In other crafty news, I bought material for my next quilt project; a sawtooth pattern that will become a birthday gift for our niece Emily. It hasn’t arrived yet, but here is a taste:

Her room is pastel pink & green and she loves yellow. I had a hard time picking it out since I tend to be drawn to either muted colors or monochromatics rather than pastels and flowers. Since I had to order it in 1/2 yards, I’ll have a bunch of leftover fabric so I  also plan on making a pillowcase, matching doll quilt and pillow, and getting her a doll bed too. Possibly, if I have time left over, I’ll make her an outfit or two for her Olive doll too. I have until October so I think it is totally doable.

the nursery: name wall

I finally got around to putting her name on the wall above her crib. It was a really simple project. I just picked out a font I liked in Word and printed it out as one letter per page. Then I cut around the letters, glued them to scrapbook paper and cut around again the add a border. I used double-stick tape to attach the letters to the wall because I wanted to be able to take them off again later.

I had a few extra butterflies left over from the tree wall so I added them around her name. Im happy with how it turned out. Here’s a closeup:

reviews: crib bumper

My best advice about nursery gear is skip the crib bumper. It is at the top of my growing list of things I thought I needed that turned out to be completely pointless and/or impractical.

Changing the crib sheet is my least favorite parenting chore, for me it rivals taking care of her worst diaper blowout. You pratically need to take the entire crib apart just to get the job done. I ended up leaving the crib bumper off after the third change in a week. Yes, the same bumper I labored over for weeks and just had to have to ‘complete’ her room. In reality, it’s just such a pain in the ass to deal with at 3 in the morning after she’s erupted formula all over the sheet, let alone dealing with the planned weekly changes.  Plus, with the bumper on we couldn’t see into the crib to check on her witha glance from the doorway. Unless you have a child that is dead set on ramming their forehead into the rails, you probably don’t need one anyway.