Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Slacker, Slacker!

Ugh! I've been a negligent blogger lately... And I really don't have a valid excuse, other than A) my pregnancy drained me of all my crafting mojo, and I am just beginning to recover some of it, B) the last couple of months have been complete insanity that involved traveling to Texas (with my kids) and to Hawaii (with DH) and two visits by my parents, C) work has been awful--I don't really know why, considering that I'm only teaching one class this semester, and D) although in the past couple weeks or so, I've returned to crafting with a vengeance, all I seem to have time for is the actual crafting itself--not writing about it!

So...just a couple of my recent projects:

I wrote a pattern for an adorable giraffe hat, which can be found on my other blog:

2) I knit a cardigan for my soon-to-be little girl using the Maile pattern on What to Knit When You're Expecting. I LOVE how it turned out. 

3) I knit myself a shrug that is far too small for me at the moment because I've put on a significant amount of weight (eek!). I love the shrug, so it will definitely be motivation to lose the weight after Lady Penelope is born. 

4) I knit a little cardigan and matching hat for Penelope, and although I wasn't terribly pleased with the yarn's color scheme, I think the end result looks okay... 

5) I finally finished writing the pattern for the Stereostyle Hat, and I need test knitters and crocheters!

6) And finally, I finished the Ratchet and Clank hats, but I don't yet have the pattern written... I'm working on it! 

And my final excuse for my very long absence from the blog-o-sphere... Well, I'm easily distracted:


Friday, October 28, 2011


Wow.  It's been a while.

I guess life has gotten in the way of daily crafting time, although I do have a new, super-amazing, custom order {from my etsy store...www.thecaffeinatedmommy.etsy.com} to share about!

A custom hospital gown for Mom and and matching, personalized infant gown for baby!

I must admit: I was T.E.R.R.I.F.I.E.D. to start the gown.  Seriously terrified.  As in, it sat there for 3 days after I had cut the pieces, before I would start sewing.

In hindsight, the baby gown with all its detail {and small size} was much more of a challenge.  But it was in my comfort zone.

You see, until this project, I had never {EVER!!!} sewn anything from a pattern.  And I do mean ever.  Ends up, it's not nearly as hard as I was afraid of, and I am super psyched with how it turned out!

There's no step-by-step on this one.  I modified it a bit, but the original {FREE!!} pattern was found here.  I shortened it to her specifications and modified the width - not as big as possible, but on the bigger side - to allow room for her pregnant, or soon after delivery belly.  The shoulders have 4 snaps down each arm for easy medical/breastfeeding access, and the back has a tie at the neck and one mid-back.  I didn't add the pocket the pattern called for nor did I include the "button holes" for heart leads, etc. 

I used my double needle for sewing the trim on which gave it an awesome, finished look. 

For the baby gown, I started with a Newborn sized onesie, and cut off the bottom.  I used a soft, black jersey material for the gown part, used thin elastic for the bottom {3/4 the diameter of the material} and sewed it all together.  For the initials, I used the same material as Mom's gown, with black behind it as an outline.  Heat 'N Bond-ed it together, and then stitched it on.

I am super {and yes, I know I need a new adjective!} excited with how it turned out!!! 
I love the details, how the black trim with the double stitching makes it look completely professional, and I hope Mrs. C is as happy with it as I am!  {I'll update with pictures if/when she sends me some!}

Monday, September 12, 2011

{Random} Tip Tuesday

I love the Tip Junkie's link-up party on Tuesdays, and while I don't have any tutorials or terribly cool projects to share, I thought I'd show a few new additions to my home {and routine} I find pretty creative...and quite helpful!


Purchased at Michael's for under $1, it now keeps little hands out of the row of drawers in the kitchen.
The bottom 2 drawers house all my plastic baggies, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, etc.  They were sooooo tempting, and soooooo much fun to pull out and leave all over the kitchen floor.  Drove me crazy!  But, I didn't want to spend $$ on the child drawer locks, and wasn't quite sure how I'd keep all 4 drawers closed {and for those who think I can't count, what appears to be drawer #2 and #3 - from the top - are really 1 deep drawer}.  For under $1...DONE!  And, if we weren't in a rental house and I had a painted/color-coordinated kitchen, it could easily be spray painted.  I've thought about painting it red.  We'll see.

Okay, Tip #2: Easy sippy cup clean-up

Why I didn't think of this earlier??!  We have the nifty little baskets that hold the nipples for bottles or sippies, and in theory, they're great.  But also, it's a pain to sort through everything to find the nipple that goes with the correct cup, since we all know they're never interchangeable.  Alas, an easier way!
 Unscrew the lid, pop the nipple out of it, and stick the nipple INSIDE of the cup/bottle!!
It goes in and comes out easily, yet won't fall out on its own.  Turn the cup upside down, place on the top rack in the dishwasher, and the next morning {at least at my house}...VOILA!  A clean, sanitized sippy and there's no searching for the correct nipple.

Sometimes the simplest things make me the happiest.

Okay, and last but not least, a yet-to-be-tried, but-in-theory-it's-AWESOME!  I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

So....our 3 year old sleeps pretty well, plays in his room before he goes to sleep as well as (most mornings!) when he wakes up.  Once he moved from the crib to the big boy bed, we had a little issue with him coming out of his room.  So, we {humanely} started locking him in. {we have a doorknob cover on the inside of his door so he can't open it.}  It's worked great.  He could care less it's there, plays in the mornings, and then lays down on the floor, looks under the crack, and sings, "Mom-my. Come get me." when he's done.  Again, he doesn't care.  Husband, however, apparently does.  He's mentioned several times recently that we need to take it off...yet he's long gone for work when G comes sauntering out of the room at 6:15.  A little too early for this Mommy.

Anyway, he's 3 1/2.  Obviously he can't tell time yet, so saying he can't come out until ___ time won't work.  In some magazine (???) I remember seeing these cute little nightlights that you could set the time, and when they turned off the in the morning, that was the child's sign it was okay to get up.  Cute, but $$. 

And I'm cheap. 

So, that got me thinking.  And gathering supplies we already had, so this project has cost me nada...especially important in case it's an epic fail tonight.
Electrical tape, a nightlight, and an outlet timer. {if your nightlight doesn't have a light sensor, you can omit the electrical tape}
Cover the light sensor with the electrical tape {so, in theory, it would stay on all the time}.

Next, set your timer to the current time, and then choose the times you want it to turn on and off.  For this model, you push down the "buttons" when you want it on, and leave the rest of the "buttons" up.  I have it turning on around 8:30pm (bedtime, give or take) and turning off at 7:30am.

Then, plug it in:  

And then plug in the nightlight:
Probably not as cute as the model I saw in the magazine (really wish I could remember where I saw it...) but hopefully it will work just as well.  For a WHOLE lot less money.  Even if I had purchased all items necessary, it would probably be under $7...but already having them on hand makes the FREE even better!!

Update:Well, while last night started off great - he was asleep in about 10 minutes.  Nearly unheard of on days he takes a nap.  And he seemed excited that there "weren't any more shadows"...hmmm.  Don't know what that was about...he'd never mentioned shadows before.  Anyway, so he slept all night like a champ...until I heard his door open this morning.  At 6:06.  AM.  Apparently we didn't get the whole "it's not time to get up until the light is off" thing.  Sigh.  So, we'll try again tonight.  With the door knob child proofing back in place.  =)

I'm linking to:

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Creative AMnesia?

JuliaStitches openly admitted she's recently lost her "crafting mojo".  Apparently I have, too.  Maybe it's a reduction in caffeine?  Or just a crazy 14 month old keeping me on my toes every waking moment?  Despite the lack of posting, there have been a few projects ongoing in my house. 

I've already shown you Blueblanket:
who is still very loved (and in one piece!).  Yay!

 Because I obviously have a complex and don't want son #2 to feel inferior because he doesn't have a Mommy-made blanket (I'll blame it on my MiddleChild syndrome...).  ANYWAY...I decided to pretend I actually knew what I was doing and spent a ridiculous amount of time coming up with my own pattern.  I liked the lines and squares from "blueblanket", but wanted it to be a bit different.  It obviously doesn't have a name yet...you know, since H doesn't really speak much at 14 mos...but I was very pleased with how it turned out:

My only predicament now is that it matches G's bedroom better than H's.  Aghhhh!!!  What to do??!!!


Let's see....all 3 big boys (my oldest and JuliaStitches' 2) have their own personalized superhero capes:

AND, since we're a terribly cool team, she thought up and I produced.....

(Unfortunately for photographic purposes, said superhero belts combined with capes make you entirely too fast and unable to stand still for a photo-op.)
{capes and belts can be purchased at: http://www.thecaffeinatedmommy.etsy.com/}

Um...let's see.  I've also made a few more bibs for my etsy site...including some football ones:

I love pictures of happy {and absolutely adorable!!!} customers!!

I'm in the process of coming up with a "Boo-Hoo" boo-boo owl (he has rice in the bottom and once refrigerated, can be used as a cool pack).  He'll be super cute...I'll post pictures when I'm done with him.

And, for the same customer/friend, I've also just completed a bouncy scarf...another item she found on pinterest and asked if I could replicate.  It called for elastic thread - which, honestly I didn't even know existed!!  She doesn't have it yet, but here's to hoping she'll like it.  I think it turned out cute!

So, this post makes it appear that maybe I don't have Creative Amnesia.  Maybe it's just blogging amnesia.  =)

Thursday, August 25, 2011


My eldest son received an adorable, blue crocheted blanket as a gift before he was even born.

For approximately 2 1/2 years, he and this blanket co-existed peacefully in his room, never really taking notice of one another.  Until one day, a love was born.

While he never took any of his "lovies" out of his room (well, rarely), he always had them present while sleeping, and sometime around his 3rd birthday, this included being covered with "Blueblanket".  There was always the bedtime routine...books, prayers, cuddles, etc.  And then comes time for Mommy to leave the room. 

We pull the sheet up.  Then the comforter.  And then, Blueblanket tops it all out.  Usually he'd be out from under everything within a few minutes, but it always had to be done. 

All that to say, Blueblanket went everywhere with us and was washed, on average, probably 2-3 times a week.  And (rather quickly) started to show its age.

At first, there were a few small holes strewn about the blanket.

Most of the time, I could gather the strings and tie a rough knot  to keep it from continuing to unravel.

Every time dear Blueblanket came out of the dryer, he looked a little more rough.

Until one day, I knew something had to be done.

Poor thing was downright pitiful!
I had learned to crochet back in high school, and somewhere in the great abyss of my childhood bedroom closet, there remains an unfinished (and, if memory serves me correctly quite...um...colorful) afghan.  Life happened, I went off to college (where I'm sure it was completely un-cool to crochet) and I forgot how. 

BUT, with help from my cohort, Mrs. JuliaStitches, this old(ish) dog relearned a trick, and picked up the crochet hook once again.  3 weeks later, many "re-dos" and unraveling of squares, and Blueblanket was replaced, with...
well, its name is Blueblanket as well.  But its a new and improved version! 

And I'm pretty damn impressed with myself!!!

I used a different stitch for each color, and I quickly learned what "Check Your Gauge" means.  Just ask JuliaStitches.  There were moments it wasn't pretty.  Like, 3" difference in square size not pretty.  But I love how it turned out.  I love lines.  And squares.

Alas, it may not be perfect, but a certain someone loves his new Blueblanket:

And, yes, these pictures are completely posed, but he really does go to sleep like this every night.  Just without the Smurf in his hand.  That could be painful in the middle of the night.