Sunday, September 30, 2012

V Shares - She Shares (2)

My heart hurts for those children I cannot see. Those children that could one day be mine, but more for the ones that never will be. Those children that have experienced hurt and pain and trauma and abuse and starvation, that need a mommy and daddy to love them, but so much more than that too, they need the redemptive work of Jesus. We all do. None exempt. Grace and Jesus, Jesus! 

I finished Kisses from Katie at midnight last week. I went into my kitchen to get a late night snack and fell to my knees. I just started sobbing right there on the kitchen floor. Crying for those kids right now in our world that I cannot touch or see that are starving, hurting, abused, sick.

I know, it's crazy. Why should I care so much about children I cannot see?

You see, that's the question that has robbed me of caring for so long. I wrote them off. They weren't in front of me. They were easy to forget. Still are sometimes in my world of plenty.

But it does not mean they do not exist. It does not mean we need to forget them. It does not mean I ignore them next time I hear of someone trying to help world hunger or reach them one at a time. We are all busy, but we can all say yes to helping. Yes! To making one small difference knowing it's enough for the moment.

God sees them. He knows them each by name. He knows which one of them will one day be a part of my family, and I will not stop loving them all, because right now knowing that just one will one day have a mommy and daddy that loves them is enough to motivate me to pray for all of them, to love the ones I cannot see, to cry tears over them that should be shed. I will not stop caring, because God never stops caring for us.

He sent his only son to be broken, to die, to be hung on a cross, crucified for my sin, for your sin. It did not stop there. He took that sin and brokenness and he redeemed it, because he loves us messed up folks so much. He rose again (what power!) and is seated at the right hand of God the Father and is pouring out grace upon grace upon my head, their heads, your head, and it covers us, redeems us, his blood washes us whiter than snow. It's God's way. His foolishness. His perfection.

We are currently adopting through DSS. It's taking what feels like forever to even be labeled 'approved' and we have NO idea how long it will be before we can bring our little(s) home. It's been almost 2 months and we are still waiting on DSS to move, but God is in control. He will surely do what is HIS ultimate plan and it will be good, so, so good. Pray with me for those children that need homes, love, care, and more... both domestically and internationally and do more, somehow, today! But rest, in God's grace knowing He is the perfecter of all. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Guest Post at 2 Little Hooligans

Hi guys! Today I'm over at the fabulous Christina's blog, 2 Little Hooligans, guest posting about how I added a collar to her hooded vest! You'll have to see what I'm talking about here!
 Perfect in time for Fall, and I love her free vest pattern pieces! Christina is a sweet blog friend... I like her! :)

Easy Peasy Toddler "Sleeve" Sweatpants

I often find fabric in huge XL men's t-shirts or light weight knit sweatshirts. After they have likely been mutilated, they look like collars and sleeves only... know what I mean?!
Being way too thrifty, I can't just throw the sleeves away... so they become toddler pants! Easy peasy toddler pants! I know I'm not the first to think of them, but they really are so easy to make, why not repurpose those sweatshirts and give them new life?
Pretty adorable, right?

All you need is some elastic and the sleeves of a sweatshirt. That's it. Measure your kid's waist and leg length and keep those measurements in mind, before you do step 1.

Step 1: Cut off your sleeves so they are straight across at the top and the same size. Add 3 inches to your child's length measurement for the waist band.
2) Cut open the inner leg seam about 8 - 9 inches. I would cut a little more for cloth diaper booties.
3) Pin up the open seams, matching up your crotch areas. Sew together.
4)Fold over your waistband and pin. Sew leaving a 2 inch opening to thread the elastic.
5) Thread your elastic through with a giant safety pin and sew your elastic together.
6) Close up your 2 inch opening and  you have pants!
And for my husband's help when getting Cai dressed, be sure to add a ribbon tag in the "back", so that he can easily know which way is BACK!

Other items made from these $1.47 sweatshirts have been:

My beach cover-up:
 Batman Cape

To think, I bought 4 sweatshirts for $1.47 at Old Navy. I've made 4 pairs of toddler pants, a beach cover up, and a batman cape and I still have a little more left to use! I think I will be sad when they are really gone!

Another blogger who found the same deal as me is Kristen at Skirt as top! She made this cute O+S Sailboat top out of these same sweatshirts from this last Spring!
And I've had someone who's emailed me saying how she ran out and got her sweatshirts for $.47 cents this last spring and made her own baggies! Wishing I could remember her blog right now, because I think she actually made some sweatshirt toddler pants, too! (Maybe that's where I subconsciously stored this idea from...?)

Anywho... 4 sweatshirts and endless possibilities are all amazing in my book! How about you!?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

White Sheet to Marshmellow Puffy Vest: PR&P wk3

This week has been crazy! In my spare time, when I haven't been dealing with a sick child, returning emails for my job, or dealing with dog pee under my dining table on the rug (UGH!), I've been busy turning a white sheet into this outfit for Cai.

This week's Project Run and Play challenge was to turn a white sheet into an outfit for a child. There was NO way on this green earth that I was going to head into Fall sewing something out of a normal white sheet for Cai. Too summery and thin for a cute boy outfit. That left either jersey or flannel, and I found a jersey knit Hanes full sized sheet in my mother-in-law's linen closet. SCORE! She didn't mind if I took it and cut it up.

Next, I knew my outfit couldn't just be white. So I dyed everything after I cut it out. This took some planning to figure out what pieces should be blue, green or white.
My first time dying everything was interesting... I ended up not using the gray that I bought, because it came out purple. I had to re-dye my navy pieces, because they came out purple, too. Not good since I was sewing for Cai, but 2 dye baths later, I had my colors.
I pieced things together, lined it, used the wider hem to make a button down placket and as the collar.
And I stuffed it, laughed when this was what sewing at my machine looked like...
Literally it was a pain in the behind to sew. There will be no tutorial folks... it is much to hard for me to even begin to explain to a beginner. SO sorry! But you think that's alright, right!?
I made coordinating lined pants, using the side hem of the sheet as my tie.

The goal for me this week was to challenge myself as a sewist... take a white sheet and make an outfit? Well, I did, and it was fun, and now I'm tired and need a break! ha!
Have a great night!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Guest Posting at The Train To Crazy: Cowboy Cai!

Good morning everyone! Today, I'm over at Andrea's blog, The Train to Crazy, explaining how I made Cai's Cowboy outfit, fur vest and chaps, for the Hand-made Costume Series! Please go check it out!
(Photo taken by my sweet friend and photographer, Photos by Jee Jee)
Yep, I'm the crazy mama who dresses her kid like this for his 2nd birthday... don't you love it?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

James Dean Fashion Icon PR&P Wk 2

Project Run and Play is in full swing. I'm loving watching some of my sweet blog friend compete this season! Somehow it makes it a lot more fun "knowing" who's designing! Last season, my 'Taking Home My Baby Bumblebee' hooodie won as a sew-a-long winner for Project Run and Play's Earth Day challenge. It was a lot of fun to be chosen. Not that I think this week is a winner week compared to what's already in the flickr pool (how's that for some amazing self-confidence!), but I wanted to complete a look for a boy that was fun, simple, and comfy wearable, while meeting the challenge. I love PR&P, because all of us need to grow as sewists and this is a great way to do it! 

This week's challenge is to choose a favorite fashion icon and make a childrens look based on the style of that icon. I chose James Dean.
For me, James Dean represents typical cool male fashion in jeans, a plain tee or plain v-neck sweater, and then also when he wore his typical curved glasses, which still influence glass and sunglass wearing style today.
I put his glasses on the v-neck which I down sized from an old Zara sweater of mine that I purchased while I was freezing cold in Spain during college. Traced out his glasses, hand embroiderd around in white to make them stand out a bit. I translated the black and white imagery of the day into my outfit and photos, and kept it cool, comfortable, and modern at the same time.

I love how it turned out.
 Cai really enjoyed having some "tea" outside! I think making these little photo shoots play opportunities is the way to go! He even made some for ME and shared it! Such a sweet boy!
Be sure to check out the amazing-ness this week of the flickr pool! There's even a Kate Middleton in there which I adore!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cai's Cowboy Party: Setting the Scene & Party Details

(I totally forgot to watermark some of my photos, so please if you pin or use them, please give credit where credit is due by linking back here! Thanks so much!)
Setting the scene for any party is fun! I enjoyed making a 'no sew' cowboy banner by clothes pinning bandanas folded in half with a cowboy hat between. Both items were from the Dollar Tree and each child got a cowboy hat with a hand stamped personalized touch and a bandana as a favor and to wear at the party.
The stamps were from Hobby Lobby. They gave them the perfect touch and people thought they were actually etched into the hats at first glance.
I also used this hand stamped idea on the cake napkins.
Right out front of my mom's house, is this precious old barn and Pixie, the horse's, pasture.
We set some dried corn out an an antique milk stool for our guests to feed to the animals.
I loved having a western theme, because you can just use what you've got! Broken basket... perfect! Chipping wood stool? Good job!
 Everyone really enjoyed getting to feed Pixie! Pixie is a little too wild to ride, especially for young kids, so feeding her was a much better plan!

Other than that, we had a tractor in my mom's front yard that her sweet neighbors let us use for the day. The kids LOVED driving it!
Especially my own cowboy... Besides corn hull toss and the kid's playing with Cai's big barn, that was all we had time for! It was just enough!

Because we fed everyone lunch! Easy peasy, hot dogs, chips, cold watermelon, home-made squash relish and pickles (made by my grandpa)! Yum!
The food tables were kept super simple. I mean they are for food, right!? I just threw a multi-colored hand-made vintage quilt over the food table. The cupcake table had angled bandanas. I just worked with what I had. My favorite food item twist were the "cow tales" candy. Also from the Dollar Tree. They have a great selection of "older" candies. All paper products, the checkered plates, and napkins were from there, too. The cowboy cupcake toppers were from Hobby Lobby for $1.99. Seriously. That was just too easy and I didn't have to make them. My favorite "splurge" was buying bottled cokes and rootbeer.
They were served in this antique wash basin and stand that I got from my mother in law.

I seriously had the most hilarious time making cupcakes from scratch. I followed this perfect vanilla recipe from Glorious treats! The fist time I made a batch, they came out and fell. I contribute that to not letting my oven heat up enough. I used store bought icing and they came out so pretty the second go around!
 I used bandana cupcake liners from Hobby Lobby. But then, I ran out of icing. Note to V: Piping icing uses up a lot more icing than normal... buy extra, because homemade icing didn't exactly work out...
Those are some UGLY cupcakes!!!! Is that not hilarious!? But, I just went with it, because I'd rather have ugly, still yummy cupcakes than not enough cupcakes. Also, note to V: wait to sprinkle peppermint candy on the day of... otherwise it melts into the icing overnight.
Cai's cupcake turned out cute though. I bought these western candles at Hobby Lobby, too. I couldn't choose just two, so he got all four to blow out and enjoy!
Uh, huh, "dee-wish-ous", as Cai likes to say!

Add a little country music to the ambiance and you've got yourself one heck of a 2 year old cowboy party! It was so much fun! And like I said... I really did actually hold back. I'm not lying!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cowboy Cai Party: the intro

 Our son, Micaiah turned 2 on Friday. Saturday we had his birthday party. We invited all of our closest family and friends and enjoyed an absolutely beautiful day celebrating.

My husband and I are so blessed by God to have this precious boy as our son. At two, he is serious and dramatic. He loves his mama more than anything. He is strong-willed and exuberant. He is silly, when he wants to be, and knows exactly what he wants. He is adventurous and independent. He loves animals of all kinds, and is very cuddly. He is creative and smart.

My parties are the most pinned DBS items on Pinterest. It's sort of crazy to me. I still get several repins throughout the week of my brother's engagement party. I really don't strive to make them that amazing, especially because I am always doing them as cheap as possible. I love picture perfect parties, but to be honest I knew I needed scale back this year, because I don't want my children to EXPECT (read: feel entitled to) amazing parties EVERY year, and well, I can go a little extreme in this area. The result: I still went over the top for what a 2 year old should have at his birthday party, but I promise you, I did NOT spend a lot of money on this party. Or I tried not to.
What: The Theme was "Cowboy Cai" or western/cowboy.
Why: The motive behind choosing that theme was that our gift to Cai was redoing/repainting my husband's big wooden barn toy (like a "doll" house) that his dad (Pops) had made for Hart when he was a little boy. We wanted to give him some more animals to go with it to play with in the years to come. It was a huge HIT among the kids! They all played with the animals and tractors.
Where: My mom and step-dad hosted his party at their house, carport mainly. It was the absolute perfect place to have it. They live right across from a barn and horse pasture, right down the way is a large lake. The neighbors let us feed their horse, Pixie, and Molly the goat, and parked their tractor in her front yard, so the kids could "drive" it.
 Seriously, it was a blast!

This week, I'd love to talk all about the party details. I will start with some images to set the "scene" and next week on 9/21 I will be sharing my Cowboy Cai costume over at Andrea's blog The Train to Crazy for the Handmade Costume Series she is hosting. His outfit was over the top. Really. I am not kidding. My favorite highlight of the whole day. I can't want to share!
Can't wait to share more with you all! I hope you will come back for more!