August 20, 2014

Unwanted


A couple of months ago, Little Guy started using a blanket as a cape. He hadn’t shown interest in wearing a cape before, so I was amused at his newfound interest. And then, of course, I got a sewing idea. I would make him a cape! I was quite excited about it and tried to get Little Guy excited about it as well, but whenever I mentioned I could make him a cape, he told me he wanted his “blanket cape,” which he would then clutch around himself and run away as if I were going to rip it from his little shoulders. 

But I persisted. I found an easy pattern for a double-sided cape and kept talking it up to an unimpressed child. Even as we wandered around the fabric store he kept saying, “I don’t want a new cape!” The only reason he allowed me to put fabric in the cart was because it had trucks on it. So we got home and I feverishly went to work at my sewing machine. A little while later I presented it, glowing with pride, to my son. Now, he’s an honest child, and I think he was breaking it to me gently as he said, “NO!” and ran away. I was devastated. I knew that I was the one who wanted it, not him, but I thought he would at least like it when he saw the finished product. Which you can see here because Husband was able to coerce Little Guy into wearing it for five minutes:



And then he never wore it again. It’s currently hanging in his room looking cute, yet forlorn. A castoff even before the new-fabric smell wore away. Not long after, he stopped using a blanket cape altogether. Yes, I learned my lessons. One was that new isn’t always better. Another was that I need to really consider if a new project is worth it or even wanted (by someone other than myself). 


But I could make a cape for someone else…right?? Yeah, you saw that one coming. My niece turned three this month. She enjoys dress-up much more than Little Guy does, so I thought I’d give the cape one more chance. Here’s the outcome:




I really hope she likes it. But if not, it’ll look really cute as a wall decoration.

August 5, 2014

Newness


It's nice to be back blogging, settling in to our new home by making big messes in the kitchen, and planning new sewing projects. Do you remember the Christmas boutique I participated in last year? Well, I get to do it again this year and I am very excited. I even went to the fabric store yesterday and picked up some awesome fabric for bags. See?


I plan on selling my standard tote bags, and am brainstorming for another item to sell that would be a quick project. I was thinking fun fringed or shirred fleece scarves. I'm also considering making some drawstring backpacks out of Frozen fabric. I still haven't seen that cursed movie, though I'm so sick of it, and I hate that style of backpack, so two things I dislike should go great together. But they would be easy to make, and I know Frozen stuff will sell well to desperate mothers frantically trying to find anything Frozen for their kids for Christmas. Yep, that's me, taking advantage during the giving, sharing, and selflessness of Christmastime. Ha. 

June 14, 2014

Whirlwind to Tornado


I don't like leaving my blog silent for over a month, but this time it was inevitable. In my last post I talked about living in a whirlwind, and if April was a whirlwind, then May was a tornado. Somewhat out of the blue, Husband and I decided to move. In one week's time, we found a house, went under contract with it, listed out current house, and went under contract. [pausing to catch breath] Husband and I have moved once before in our married life, and I hate moving. As organized a person as I am, I would rather throw everything into a truck without rhyme or reason instead of painstakingly wrapping and boxing up every item in our house. Fortunately, our new house is only five minutes away from where we currently live, so an unorganized jumble of household goods falling out of the back of a truck might not be so unrealistic.

A few days ago I packed up all my sewing supplies. I almost cried, which is silly, considering I'm going to see them again in a couple of weeks. But it's like when someone you love goes on a trip, and you're sad when they leave even though you know they're coming back soon. But before I fastened the cover on my sewing machine, I made one last project so I could do a patriotic giveaway on my Facebook page before July 4th rolls around. Here's what I made:



Two adorable little bags! And you can win one! I've been meaning to post all my giveaways here as well as on my Facebook page, but I haven't made the effort. Sorry, all you non-Facebookers out there. These bags are 10x7x2 and are made out of soft quilter's cotton. They are lined with the same fabric the handles are made out of. So if you'd like to win one, leave a comment saying if you want the cream one or the blue one (or either). Winners announced tomorrow, June 15. Giveaway sponsored by me and open to U.S. residents.

If you don't know about my Facebook page, visit here and make sure to "like" it to find out about future giveaways: https://www.facebook.com/catchsomesunshine. (Sorry, no extra entries if you post here and on Facebook.)

See you on the other side of the Big Five-Minute Move of 2014.

May 6, 2014

Solace in a Whirlwind


April was full of stressful, emotional highs and lows. I'm glad that month is over. The only times I had a calm mind were the precious few moments I was able to sew, those moments that were wedged in between everything else that was going on. Remember the diaper bag I made? (You can read that story here.) I wanted to make something for my friend's twins, and since they will be enjoying their first July in a couple of months, I wanted to do something sweetly patriotic.


Can I get an "awww," ladies and gentlemen? These onesies are newborn size, so they are teeny tiny. The girl's star has rounded corners and sweet red flowers, and the boy's star is more pointy with a more masculine (yet still cute) plaid. I'm sure the tots will love them and thank me profusely by spitting up all over them multiple times.

March 20, 2014

Three Dreaded Words of Mommyhood: “Enjoy every moment.” Why I don’t, and why I’m totally okay with that


I live in an area with lots of young families. We have almost 40 kids on my little street alone. With so many 20 and 30 somethings, there are always pregnant women in the neighborhood and at church on Sundays. I go to baby showers and see lots of Facebook posts about pregnancies and births. So, inevitably, I often hear and read those three loaded, dreadful words of mommyhood: “Enjoy every moment.”


I hate those three words. I cringe every time I hear them. I feel for the new mother, who, on top of everything else she has to think about, now has to think about enjoying every moment and subsequently feeling guilty when she doesn’t. Doesn’t a new mom have enough to worry about? I think that most of the people who sweetly say, “Enjoy every moment,” fall into three categories: 1) They are old and have selective memory about raising their own children; 2) They don’t have kids; and 3) They feel guilty that they aren’t enjoying every moment with their own children, and desperately think if they say it enough it will come true.


Let’s try an experiment. If there are any fathers reading this, you go home from work and ask your wife if she enjoyed every moment of her day with your four rambunctious children, and then see if she doesn’t haul off and sock you. Men do not say those three words. Men are wise.


Do I enjoy every moment of being a mother? HECK, NO. The first six months of Little Guy’s life were horrendous. He wasn’t a good sleeper, I didn’t know what to do with him, and I had minimal movement and maximum pain from a slow C-section recovery. I wasn’t about to laugh heartily and enjoy the moment when my baby cried in hunger because I couldn’t produce enough milk. I didn’t feel like grinning when he had five colds in four months. I wasn’t celebrating when, on my birthday, all I did was lie on the floor in the baby’s room and cry.


“But that was a bad situation,” you might say. “Surely you enjoy every moment now that he’s older.” And again I say, HECK, NO. Little Guy is two. He clears out every item in his dresser and declares, “Mommy clean it up!” He throws things. He screams. His favorite word is “no.” Don’t get me wrong; he is generally a sweet and good boy. But he has his moments. And I’m expected to enjoy them? Well, I don’t. And that’s okay. Let me repeat: THAT’S OKAY.

God didn’t put us on this earth to live a perfect life of rainbows and butterflies. We’re here to have challenges and trials, to have successes and learn from our failures. Having children does not make us exempt from trials; in fact, it increases them. And you know what? Having bad moments I don’t enjoy helps me enjoy the good moments even more. I don’t enjoy it when Little Guy is sick, but I am extra happy when I hear his infectious laugh when he feels better. I don’t enjoy his tantrums, but I really enjoy his excitement about playing ball with his dad post-tantrum. I admit I don’t enjoy kissing Little Guy’s 574th “owie” of the day (Mother of the Year Award right here, people), but my heart goes pitter-pat when he shyly looks at Husband and me and says, “Family.”


Without the bad, I wouldn’t enjoy the good as much. I don’t necessarily like the bad times, but I appreciate that they make the good times better. So to everyone out there with bad moments—married or single, old or young, with children or without, in school or not, working or not—don’t be like me and get mad when someone tells you to enjoy every moment of your current situation. Just smile and say no thanks. It’s okay. We all have some awesome moments coming our way.

March 13, 2014

Making a Diaper Bag


Recently, my friend Lindsay (who's expecting twins, bless her), asked me if I could make her a diaper bag. I was flattered and somewhat terrified, but I was excited for a new challenge. I was unsure about where to start, but after some discussion about what my friend wanted, we decided on a tote-type bag with a PUL (polyurethane laminate) lining, complete with fun pockets outside and in. I didn't have any kind of pattern, so basically I was flying by the seat of my pants. (Incidentally, what the heck does that mean?) I ended up taking four different patterns and meshing them all together, hoping it would come out the way I wanted. And I think it did. 

The front of the bag has two pockets, one for a pink binky and one for a blue binky.



The inside is made with PUL, a laminated fabric that is often used for cloth diapers. Other than that, I'm not sure what it's used for besides making sewers learn new swear words. This stuff is a beast to work with. Here we have a large zipper pocket and three open pockets.


And the surprise on the back? Detachable (and adjustable and padded) backpack straps.



My friend requested these for those times when she's got a baby carrier in each hand. I don't blame her. I don't want her to throw out a hip or something. I thought these would be the hardest part of the project, but they were pretty simple to make. I know they are very popular these days on those inexplicably overpriced Petunia Picklebottom bags (or, as I like to call them, Pansy Cucumberbutt), so I studied those and made them the same way.

Overall, I'm happy with how the bag turned out. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that something I made will help out a little with two sweet babies.