Monday, March 26, 2012

Trying to Garden

****I really do NOT need to be blogging this week! We've got just a few days and then we are heading to the beach! That means, I've got to clean this house from top to bottom, pack, and do all of our other normal things within the week, too!****

However, I say "TRYING" to garden, because really, I'm not very good at it! When, I was pregnant with Cai, I got the *crazy* idea that I was going to build a raised bed vegetable garden. Not wanting to let his crazy pregnant wife down, Hart built me a raised garden bed and I tried my hand at gardening. I did NOT have much success. I kind of choked it out to be that we just didn't have good soil, even though we had a raised garden bed with soil that we have purchased added to it.

Don't get me wrong...we did get SOME fruit, but it definitely wasn't very productive like it should have been with so many items planted in the garden bed!

The next summer, we had an infant and gardening was NOT on my radar at all. Our raised garden bed got turned into a compost pile that we pretty much neglected, not even taking kitchen scraps out to it anymore.
I bring you to present day where I have a toddler that wants to be outside pretty much constantly, playing and riding, and swinging.
At first, I didn't really know what to do with myself. I mean, I played and swung, and dug in the dirt, too, but after awhile, I needed something else to do. I started looking at our back yard and at the weeds and the areas that need work and got my gloves and shovel.
The last few weeks, I've added some scrap fabric lighting and plan to do more with our outside living space, but I also have had the urge to try ONE MORE TIME to plant some vegetables and see if we can do better this year. I realize all the "pro-gardeners" already have their beds ready and even planted already, but we aren't going to let a little bit of a late start get in the way. We have quite a long growing season anyways!
I went to the library yesterday and checked out these 5 books. I think I've figured out our problem areas from 2 summer's ago and we are ready to try again! When in doubt, I'm sure the Complete Idiot's Guide to Gardening will HAVE to help, right?

Keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lost Keys... Giveaway Winners!!!

I had a BLAST reading all 40 of you comments for the Lost Keys Embroidery Shirt Giveaway! They made me laugh and honestly, feel so much better! Thank you so much to everyone who entered! I always feel bad for those that don't win! Seriously! I want everyone to get something fun! I was trying to figure out how the best way to figure out the winners, thinking Random.org would be the way to go. Hart told me that in this case, I needed to give you the benefit of your probability odds, so I wrote all your names down and put them in a hat and Hart drew out the winners! So, you all got an equal and fair shot right from the hat! 

I am happy to announce the winner of this sweet Chic Owl Embroidered Shirt goes to:

Lynn Marie Wood

Who said:
My mom brought back a cameo necklace for my daughter when she was traveling in Italy. I lost it and I asked my sister to borrow the one that my mom brought back for my niece. Guess what? I lost that one too.
Girl please

Congratulations, Lynn Marie! Please send me your email!

And The winner of the red BOY embroidered shirt of your choice is:
DAWN
Who said: Recently, a friend and I hosted our own booth at a local craft show. The first thing to go wrong that morning was that I took off with both sets of keys-meaning my husband and son would be stuck at home all day. My plan was to set up our table and then run the keys back to them. When we got there to get the table and merchandise out of my trunk, it was jammed! We had to hurry to get our table set up but couldn't get everything out of the trunk! My pregnant friend and I had to lay the seats down and pull everything out of the trunk! ;/ Somewhere between pulling boxes and tables out, my eyes somehow got lost! So now, not only were my husband and son stuck...but I was stuck also at a convention center in the rain! After lots of searching, praying, getting tips from the husband, I found the keys jammed far in between the seat! Whew-what a day! Too bad this is ONLY one of my lost keys stories! :)
Congratulations, Dawn! I'll send you an email shortly!

Thanks to everyone who took time to enter! I'm very grateful and you guys made this so much fun, I think I will have to do another giveaway soon! 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

1st Birthday Parties

I have some talented party planning friends! There's something about Southern women... we KNOW how to plan excellent birthday parties, baby showers, and wedding showers. I'm pretty sure half of the parties you have seen on Pinterest have come from sweet southern women! Ha!

Micaiah's two best buds turned the big ONE recently! Parker and Thatcher had ADORABLE party themes: airplanes and a "little man bow tie" party. I can't help myself, but try to take pretty pictures of their work!

Parker's "This year has flown by..." Airplane party:
Parker's daddy built that awesome airplane structure for over the food table! Complete with what looked like a vintage airplane cake topper, adorable cupcakes, and a great assortment of tasty treats!

I seriously had to just stand there a moment and enjoy the hand-made beauty! Some of my other favorite photography shots of the day were these:

 For some reason, I love taking pictures of the things people wouldn't notice normally. Like this tray just off to the side...
 Or this laughing action shot that just makes me want to laugh, too!
 Parker had the same reaction that my niece had on her first birthday! It was so cute!

Well done, wouldn't you say?

Thatcher's 1st "Our Little Man is turning ONE!" bow tie themed party was just as adorable and put together! 
Hand-made bow ties as party favors, "frat-tastic" fruit, peanut butter and jelly sandwich sliced as triangles and put together like bowties, bow tie fettucine alfredo served for lunch, along with an adorable banner and cute plates... you've got yourself a little man party in need of little well dressed men...
 Don't you worry... we brought them!
 Thatcher's 1st cake experience was HILARIOUS... at first not sure what his crazy parents were up to...
 After the first taste, it didn't take long before he basically WORE it!!
 I loved my little well dressed man in his daddy's red bow tie he wore as a boy!
I'm thankful Hart's mom saved cool stuff like Hart's red bow tie!

Don't you think these parties were amazingly well done?! Two cute themes to be added to Pinterest! Who's going to pin them? 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Covert Robin Sneak Peek

There's been a gift exchange party going on in the online sewing community called the Covert Robin. It's a secret gift giving swap where someone has you and you have someone else. In April we will all start revealing what we got and have our person guest post on our blog...or at least that's how I THINK it works... Anyways, I can't reveal much to you now, but I'm getting ready to send mine out. Here's a sneak peek!
I hope I didn't give away too much! Ah! Get excited someone with an L.... I'm going to the post office soon!


the covert robin button


***Have you entered this week's BOY/GIRL embroidered shirts giveaway yet!? ONLY ONE MORE DAY! Be sure to do so by Saturday March 24th, 2012 at 10 am!***

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Button Down Refashion to Tank Top

***Have you entered this week's BOY/GIRL embroidered shirts giveaway yet!? Be sure to do so by Saturday March 24th, 2012 at 10 am!***
This refashion was so fast and easy! Seriously I did it during nap time! It honestly felt like I was making a 5 year old a pillow case dress! Which come to think of it, go ahead and use this to make your 5 year old a pillow case dress! I will be wearing it like so...

I was so excited that I didn't have a refashion craft fail that I ran up the street to my friend Jee Jee's house, who is a professional photographer, and asked her to snap some quick shots of me in it! We actually forgot that I shoot in JPEG because I am lame, so it's killing JeeJee that her RAW images look so dark in my editing, but it's okay, right... Thanks, Jee Jee for taking my pictures!!!
This tank top is really easy to make! I had a slightly too big women's Ralph Lauren button down. I never liked the way I looked in it. In fact, I think my mom got it at a yard sale or something. Now, I feel like I will definitely be wearing it! My inspiration for this came via pinterest.
When I actually clicked on the image to be taken to the actual link, lo and behold SMASHWORKS did the exact same tutorial, I had in my mind to do already! She actually used a men's dress shirt. 

Want to make this shirt from a women's button down?
Let's do it! 

First I turned my shirt inside out and laid it flat.
Then, I cut off the sleeves and right around the collar.
Then, I cut off the shoulders to make it straight across the top.
Then, fold 1/4'' and iron then fold it again 1/4'' and iron. Do this around the arm pit holes. Pin in place.
Sew a straight stitch around the arm pit holes.
Next, sew the other arm pit together and you are ready to work on the casings for your ribbons. Fold your piece 1/4'' down and iron. Then fold again 1/2'' and pin.
Sew right along the edge of the folded edge to create the casing.
Do the same for the back casing. I actually used the shoulder seam as a guide for mine, so you can definitely do that if it helps!

Now, since I was naptime crafting and I needed this project to be quick, I did NOT create my own matching strings. SMASHWORKS actually talks more in detail about that, so use her tutorial if you want to do that! I actually used pre-packaged bias tape in red. I folded the ends under and sewed the sides together!

My bias trim was about 45'' long. I wish I had made it 50'', so my bow could have been a little bigger! If you want no bow, do less!

Attach a safety pin and thread it through your casings. Use two bias tapes if you want two bows or one longer one for just one bow on the side.
And your done!
Or the 5 year old pillow case dress view...
If you want to belt it, you can use some more bias trim tape wrapped a couple times around like mine or another belt of choice. It doesn't really matter if your a mom, because most of the times you are holding your little one anyways!

Hope you enjoy'd that! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Poor Neglected Adoptive Families!

***Have you entered this week's BOY/GIRL embroidered shirts giveaway yet!? Be sure to do so by Saturday March 24th, 2012 at 10 am!***

Let me say Sorry to the Carrolls and to the Fergusons! They are my two adoptive families for this year and I must admit it is March and I don't even remember the last time I mentioned them on here! Yes, sorry! You guys are awesome! I do admit that I have been a little caught up in our OWN adoption, but NO excuses to my poor neglected DBS families!!!

One of my goals for starting this here blog is to help others and particularly to help families adopting orphans. It's a beautiful thing. Adoption! These two families are SO fantastic and you can find some information on helping them raise necessary funds on their own blogs, as well. I believe they have buttons on their blogs that you can donate straight to their adoption funds if you feel so led.

The Ferguson's are adopting domestically a baby girl and they are actually PAPER PREGNANT and waiting! While we are praying baby Ruth will get here by Easter, we know God's perfect timing is just right, they are busy raising the money they need! They have been doing all kinds of fund raising including a garage sale that raised over $1200!! and Maria has been photographing families for donations in the upstate of SC. Their blog Cinco Mariposas is here!

The Carrolls amaze me, too! They already have 4 beautiful children and are adopting TWO MORE from Africa! They know for sure that Children are blessings from the Lord! They are currently almost done with their home study and then will begin their Dossier to send to Ethiopia! We are praying for the Lord to bless Chann's business ten-fold so that Kylie can stay home next year with all 6 kids! They will be fund raising in different ways, too, so check out her blog Rhema for updates!

You may ask why this is important...well these are two families that you can see TANGIBLY how God is working to bring them children into their loving homes that would otherwise never experience the love of a family or have parents. You helping these two families will help give at least THREE orphans a home. That's three less than before you read this post! It could be $5. It all helps! I have raised by myself $50 for each of them through giving a portion, usually around 10%, of all of my sewing money towards helping them. And I will be stroking those checks very soon and mailing them to them! I'm very excited to see how God is taking what I sew and using it in tangible ways to help others! It's a joy and I love it!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lost Keys... Embroidered Shirt Giveaway!

*****GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED 3/24/12*****
I went to Wal-mart today in search of some of the items I needed to make my own homemade laundry soap and homemade dishwasher detergent. What I DID NOT REALIZE was that my sweet child would not only play with my keys, but lose them inside of that HUGE STORE! Literally I had EVERYONE searching on their hands and knees for my keys for over an hour. Nothing. A sweet lady from my church happened to be shopping there, too and she helped me search and search. Nothing. Finally, I called Hart to come and get me, because my fussy baby needed a nap. I used his extra keys to get me home.

I completely searched everything AGAIN and when I dumped out my diaper bag, my keys fell to the floor.

SERIOUSLY!?! 

Really. To be honest, both me and Mrs. Cress looked through my diaper bag, probably a total of 3 times each. WHERE my child managed to hide those keys, only God knows.

All I know is that the moral of the story is NEVER NEVER NEVER let your toddler play with your keys as a distraction in a public place EVER. Did you hear me? NEVER!

So to distract myself from the fact that all this took place on a rather calm and beautiful Monday, I've decided to do a giveaway to make us all feel better! How does that sound?

When I was looking for my keys, I picked up some plain toddler shirts, Garanimals brand. Girls size 18 Months and a Boys size 24 Months.

Remember Naomi's Chic Owl Shirt I made for her? That's the girl version you could win!
And because Boys are way cool, too, and should NEVER be left to play with car keys.... I picked up a Red shirt that I can embroider a whale or elephant or something like that.... like the shirt I made for my son's little friend's birthday party a couple weeks ago...
Birthday Dog Applique shown above, but you can pick whatever I have available. I don't care! 

Okay! Sound fun? So the details of how to enter...Make sure you tell me BOY OR GIRL for each separate comment entry and leave me your email address in your comment so I can get in touch with you! Entries...
  1. Leave me a comment telling me a story about how you lost something and if you ever found it or what happened to help me feel better... 
  2. Become a follower of this blog and leave me a comment telling me you have.
  3. Blog about this giveaway on your blog linking back to this page and leave me a comment telling me you have. (So, I can check out your blog, of course!)
  4. Like Designs By Sessa on Facebook for a separate entry, leaving me a comment that you did. 
  5. Follow me on Pinterest and leave me a comment telling me you did.
So that is FIVE ways to enter. You have until Saturday, March 24th at 10 AM to enter! You don't have to do all five. Don't do more than five and MAKE SURE for every entry you say "BOY or GIRL", so that I can differentiate between the two. There will be ONE BOY winner and ONE GIRL winner.  Got it!? Go enter! U.S. residents only, please... I don't want to ship something to England! Sorry!

Happy Giveaway Day!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Scrap Fabric Lighting in an Outdoor Space


Have I mentioned that my son LOVES to be outside? This fact has had me outside a lot lately and I'm becoming more of a gardener {insert laugh} and have a desire to constantly improve my backyard as a living space. We love our hammock and have plans at some point to put in an outdoor patio, but until then, I really am trying to find ways to be creative with what we have and enjoy God's creation! 

Originally, I put up a bamboo "room divider", because our neighbors decided to park their ugly broken truck right next to our fence! I was sick of looking at that and their ugly half-painted garage. This is the before photo... (even though they finally moved out recently and took their truck with them!)
Our outdoor space is still a work in progress, but now it looks like this:
The newest addition is the scrap fabric lighting! Some people make quilts with their scrap fabric... I make crazy outdoor lighting that kind of resembles a wind sock!
I was really inspired by my new Love for Textiles book that Ikea sent me. In it, they really try to inspire you to use whatever textiles you have to create a space you love and it has an emphasis on outdoor spaces. So, move outdoors! Another aspect that they encourage is to forget the perfection! A quote in the book is "Perfectionists, look away now!" I decided to lay my perfectionist tendencies aside for this project and just go with however I felt in the moment using everything I could from my linen closet. I did feel a little hippy-ish hanging some rope and fabric from a tree, but I really love it! And who cares if it doesn't last forever...I'm sure I will have more fabric scraps to use up eventually!
It was pretty simple to make to be quite honest.

I started with a strand of lights I got at a yard sale for .50 cents! Pretty sure they are my friend, Kitty's previously...
You will need:
- A strand of garden lights or Christmas lights
-scrap fabric pieces that are approximately 1.5 inches wide by 20'' - 45'' in length, enough to go across the length of your strand of lights
-scissors

Snip one inch into your fabric scraps, then rip the pieces apart. Take your scrap fabric and tie it around your strand of lights.
Continue until you have enough fabric pieces hanging across your strand. Enlist some help, if needed!
Once you've finished that, you can hang it up wherever you want!
If you want to hang it up between two trees, then you need some rope. Long enough to wrap around your two trees. My amazing husband got up on a ladder with a sprained ankle for me this afternoon! He's amazing like that! He strung up some rope across our two trees. I think he just wrapped it around and then nailed it into the tree to secure. Nothing fancy!
We weaved the rope through the strand of lights to keep it on the rope.
Stretch it out, then knot the ends of your strand of lights around the rope at the ends. Then, use a few more fabric scrap strips and tie them around the rope and the strand to secure.

Now, if you are wondering why I don't actually have them lit up...well, I had everything for this project EXCEPT the proper length outdoor extension cord, so we will have to purchase one of those soon. For now, we will just relax a little...
Hope you enjoy'd it, too!