Monday, May 30, 2011

Introducing Charlotte Rose

Charlotte Rose is here!
8 lbs. 10 oz.
20 3/4"

My sweet baby arrived and has a name: Charlotte.  This labor lasted longer than both of my previous labors combined.  But in the end I still got my healthy, beautiful daughter.  I'm absolutely smitten.

My mom is here cooking and cleaning, spoiling us rotten, and getting in as much snuggle time as I'll let her.  (I can't get enough of my baby, either, so I'm trying to share.)  My mom also showered us with handmade gifts for our sweet baby.  She made the afghan and hair band Charlotte's wearing in the photo - aren't they adorable! - plus plenty more crochet gifts that I'll get to show off later.

This little girl already has my husband wrapped around her little (and I mean little) finger.  I think he's having more fun putting her in all of her girly hair bands and such than I am.

For now I'm going to enjoy my baby and my family.

'Til later, Rachel

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baby Girl's Nursery: Crib Bedding

There's something calming about white.  Combine white with feminine details like scalloped eyelet trim and this crib set becomes a restful haven for my little girl.

I made all three pieces of the crib set: bumper, skirt, and sheet.  The crib sheet was so easy!  I can't believe I never knew about this.  I actually made two sheets - the one pictured is made with quilter's cotton.  I made a lavender flannel sheet as well.  Here's getting the word out, moms - if you're having a baby, pick your fabric and I'll gladly make a set of crib sheets as your baby gift.  Not only can you pick the most snugly soft fabric - or go with whatever style floats your boat - these sheets fit much better than the store bought sheets you have to muscle over the mattress corners.  If you're the DIY sewing type, I took the best from these two sets of instructions: HERE and HERE.  I used the measurements and French seam instructions from the Michael Miller tutorial, plus the all-around elastic idea from Dana's Made tutorial.

The crib skirt is made from white cotton eyelet.  Not only does the sweet scalloped edge mimic the scalloped pattern stenciled on the nursery walls, a prefinished edge means no trimming or hemming.  Beautiful AND easy.

The eyelet fabric was 45" wide (on the bolt).  One edge is scalloped.  The rest of the fabric is embroidered with tiny polka dots.  Since I only needed about 18" from the scalloped edge for the skirt, I had enough of the polka dot fabric left over to cover the outside of the bumper.

I made the ties using packaged quilt binding.  (It's essentially EXTRA, extra wide double fold bias tape.)  I cut the length I wanted (about 22"), turned under the short ends, stitched along all four sides, then sewed the finished tie to the bumper.

I made the bumper using these foam inserts from JoAnn.  I've read good reviews about them all over blogland.  So far so good from me, too.

The photo above shows not only the ties, but the piping I made and attached along the top of the bumper pads.  To make the piping, I covered cotton piping cord with prepackaged extra wide double fold bias tape, using the same brand and color that I used for the ties.

There you have it.  Crisp and clean with just the right pop of color to coordinate with the lavender walls.  Hopefully my little girl will love sleeping in it as much as I love looking at it.  :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Baby Girl's Nursery: Wall Art

Last night Ben and I finished hanging the wall art in Baby Girl's nursery.  This was the last big thing I wanted to accomplish before her arrival.

I promise I'll post pics of the crib set and rest of the room soon.  :)  Consider this a sneak peek.

Also notice the stenciled scallops on the wall.  Yes, my husband is amazing.  He stenciled 250 scallops, give or take a few.  Once he hit his stride he could paint 10 per hour.  Yes, 10 per hour was the fast version.  So yes, he spent forever paining.  And yes, I love it!

The most meaningful piece of art is this trio of necklaces.  From left to right, you'll see my first string of pearls.  It was a gift from a dear family friend.  He is Chinese by birth, but developed a close friendship with my maternal grandparents, who sponsored him and his family to help them immigrate to the United States. We now consider Daniel and his family part of our own extended family.

Hanging on the middle necklace is a diamond pendant from my paternal grandmother.  I don't remember a time when Nan wasn't battling one of life's demons.  Her last years were spent fighting breast cancer, then lung cancer.  As a child from a poor family, she never thought she'd own anything as valuable as a diamond.  I'm especially flattered that she gave such a treasured heirloom to me.

The silver locket on the right belonged to my maternal grandmother.  She passed away last summer after 91 years of life.  There's so much to say. For the sake of posting this sometime this decade, I'm going to move along.

Next is this shadowbox.  I painted the frame silver, then covered a piece of white scrapbook paper with Prima flowers.  The flowers came dusted with iridescent glitter, which adds such beautiful dimension and subtle sparkle.

Buttons, pearls, and knockoff diamonds - what's a girl not to love?  All three pictures in this post show the background paper as a much brighter green than it really is.  Hmmm...maybe it's just not a good lighting day?  Very few are here in the rainy Pacific NW.  Anyway, I arranged dozens of white buttons, pearl brads, and tiny white flowers with rhinestone centers into a heart shape.  Attaching everything took less than an hour.  Not bad and totally worth it, eh?  The frame was a clearance find that I spray painted silver.

Finally, we have this pair of sparkly, beaded butterflies.  You'll have to click on the picture for a close up.  The butterflies are ready-made scrapbook embellishments - gotta love easy!  Yet it still adds just the right touch.

Stay tuned for the crib set!

Take care,  Rachel

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Super Teacher

Making gifts for men can be so tricky, can't it?  Brighton has a male teacher this year.  I never know what to give as teacher appreciation gifts, Christmas gifts, and such for men.  Food?

Fortunately Brighton's teacher is a big super hero fan.  Or at least that's I assume from the dozen superhero action figures dangling above his desk.  So for a superhero-lovin' teacher, we have the Super Teacher Shirt.  The teacher's last initial is B, hence the Super B.  I'm sure I'll aso be making a Super B shirt for Brighton...and maybe even Ben.

To make the Super B symbol, I first adhered the yellow knit fabric to the t-shirt using Wonder Under.  I added the red fabric on top, also with Wonder Under, then zig zag stitched around the edges.

I also made a Super B card to coordinate with the t-shirt.  I found a diamond shape in my Silhouette library, then welded a capital B to make the symbol.  Paper from Stampin' Up! (Real Red, Pacific Point, Yoyo Yellow).

Thanks for stopping by!