Saturday, May 7, 2016

Little Houses Made Of Ticky Tacky

Is this a stoop?  Or just a front door / entry?  I don't know.  What I do know is that this sad sad entry stoop was plain and uninspired.  I live in a cookie cutter neighborhood.  Every time I drive down the street to my house I hear that song.  It goes:  "Little houses, on a hillside, little houses made of ticky tacky, little houses on a hillside, little houses in a row....." It was sung by Malvina Reynolds and is called "Little Houses".  It was the theme song to the show "Weeds".  Anyways, this space needed some personality.  I added a flower pot that I've had loitering in the backyard.  But, most importantly I added this awesome wreath!

Made with a dollar store foam 8" wreath and paper pinwheels. I just used straight pins and some hot glue to attach the pinwheels.  It only took 2 hours or so. The paper pinwheels took a while to cut and fold.  Wish it was bigger, but hey... it was what I had on hand.

I'm thinking lots more wreaths for different seasons is in order.  Don't you just love color in a boring space?  I know I do.  I'm happy every time I walk up those cookie cutter stairs now.

New Addiction - Coiled Baskets!

These seem to be all over the Internet right now.  I got addicted to these almost a year ago now.  I've made dozens (literally) since then.  My boys have many on our shelves of toys and I made 14 for Christmas gifts.  I just love them.  Easy and satisfying to make.  Not to mention pretty to look at and totally practical. 
This last basket got an addition of fabric. Why didn't I do this sooner! I can't get over that pop of color.  Such a great use of all my string scraps of fabric that I've got in spades over here.  This particular basket is using reproduction 1930's washboard fabrics left over from a quilt I made a few years ago.

More of these to come.  I'm planning on three smaller ones for the boys Safari Ltd. Toob animals.  We are desperate for some separation of species. I've noticed that I need handles on all baskets in the playroom.  It just seems to make it easier for little hands to carry.  Especially these larger baskets.

I also just want to mention that I get my cotton clothesline on Amazon.  $10.00 for a 200ft piece.  It's a steal!  I usually get one large basket and a few smaller ones.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Cloth Diaper Review - Alva Baby & Kawaii Newborn

It's been a long time since I've reviewed or discussed cloth diapers. I thought now was a great time to do it!  We've just had our 5th baby.  He's 11 weeks old and just the most perfect thing ever!  If you've read my blog you know that we started cloth diapering with our 3rd child.  I sewed all his diapers myself and did some reviews here about my favorites.  When we moved to Spokane 2.5 years ago I decided to not cloth diaper our 4th. With the move happening so close to his birth I knew I wouldn't have time to make any and honestly I just didn't want to deal with cloth in a brand new house.  Big mistake! When we found out we were pregnant with our 5th I knew I wanted to start cd'ing again.  Our now almost 2 year old was showing signs of wanting to potty train so I got out the few cloth diapers I had. Our cloth diaper stash at this time consisted of 6 Kawaii diapers, 2 Medium Fuzzy Bunz, and a few of my pockets from cloth diapering Cael.
 AlvaBaby OS Pockets from Amazon.  This is two 6pc sets. One in the "Boy" colors and one in "Neutral" colors.
The last month of my pregnancy was supposed to be my "sew everything up" month.  But, a car accident rendered me to the couch for most of my last month and no sewing was done.  Thus, an alternative had to be found.  I ended up finding some size small gdiapers at my local children's consignment store.  I used some stuffers left over from previous diapering years.  I also found online a whole host of new "cheap china diapers".  I researched some and decided to try some AlvaBaby OS pockets.  So affordable and they come in a whole host of super cute prints and lovely solids. I purchased 6 (I think) for us to try on our toddler before baby arrived.  They have a USA warehouse and shipping was free with my order. When they arrived they looked almost identical to the Kawaii diapers.  The PUL seamed a bit thinner and I liked the bamboo inserts that I chose.  They washed up good and I really liked them.  We also purchased a diaper sprayer and it made it sooooo much easier to deal with toddler diapers.  If you don't yet have a diaper sprayer get one.  Get one now!!!
 Current stash for baby Henry.  (some not pictured as they are dirty) The far left 4 rows are all AlvaBaby OS Pockets.  The 6 minkies on the far right are the Kawaii NB OS Pockets.

Fast forward to 3 weeks post partum and I found that I didn't love the gdiapers.  They just didn't work well on my son.  They are awesome cloth diapers, just not right for me.  I'm a OS pocket girl.   I also saw that we were using our pockets on our toddler more than I thought we would. I tried the pockets on our newborn.  He was about 9 lbs or so.  The Kawaii baby diapers just seamed chunky and huge.  The AlvaBaby diapers fit much nicer so we decided to invest in more of those.  I ended up purchasing 3 - 6packs on Amazon of their OS pockets.  One boy colors, one neutral colors, and one boy print pack.  All came with two microfiber inserts each and were under $36 a pack!  Amazing deal!  They arrived and somehow Amazon had messed up my order.  Instead of the boy print back they sent and extra neutral colors pack.  Amazon refunded my money and said to "keep, toss, or donate" the diapers that were sent wrong.  Seriously!!!! I kept those babies and went to the AlbaBaby US website to purchase some prints.  I really wanted those prints.  I purchased some cute pocket prints and decided to try a few AI1's as well.  The AI1's that are cut the same as the pockets are awesome.  The ones that have the different style tabs and rise setting are terrible.  Stay away from those!
Baby Henry 10.5 weeks old and 15 lb.s 6oz. AlvaBaby OS Pocket diaper on the smallest rise setting.

 Alaina & Henry. Henry is 9 weeks old and just under 15 lb.s  He is wearing the Kawaii NB OS Pocket.  Medium rise setting with room in the waist velcro tabs to grow.
Henry in Kawaii OS NB Pocket. He's just over 14 lbs. here.
Another lucky find at the local children's consignment store were 6 Kawaii Baby NB Pockets.  I didn't know such a thing existed!  They were just $3.99 for 3.  So I purchased the 6 and brought them home.  All I have to say is AMAZING!  Where have these been for my past 3 babies?!  They are cut trimmer and are of course smaller all over.  Love Love Love them. (I'm adding that I've since looked on the AlbaBaby website and they to carry a NB pocket.  I bet I would love those just as much)

In conclusion I'm going to say this.  I've tried almost everything in the cloth diapering wold over the past 5 years. (I've never owned big name brand expensive pockets as they are out of my price range) If doing cloth all over again from the start I would purchase at least 14 NB OS pockets from either AlvaBaby or Kawaii. (maybe even 28) I would then also purchase 24 - 36 OS Pockets from AlvaBaby.  Would I sew my own stash? Probably not.  With the china diapers being so affordable I don't think I could make them for any cheaper.

*I know there is huge debate online right now about cheap china cloth diapers.  My opinion is this.  The big US brand diapers are lovely and I'm sure they are worth every penny. But, many simply can't afford them.  I think the china brand ones are still better for the environment, baby, and my pocket book.  These things make them better than paper diapers any day of the week in my book. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Milo, 198 Yards Of Heaven, A Knights Costume & Baby Booties

I'm still knitting like crazy.  During all my "spare" time.  (I say spare very lightly because as any busy parent knows, there really isn't any spare time.  I sneak knitting time when the boys are happily playing in the yard, or in the evenings when all the kids are finally down for the night, or when I'm in a waiting room or on a car ride.) Anyways, I've started much but only finished a few simple things. All links go to my Ravelry page in case you want yarn, pattern, and size specifics.

First is a Milo.  I'm actually making two.  One for each boy, but I've only started on Cael's.  He's 4 now, but I cast on the size 3 as that is what he is measuring out to be.  I'm going with a grey theme for both. Cael's will be dark grey on top with grey and a multi grey stripping all the way down. And, instead of doing a cable I'm going to do a half linen stitch.  I think it'll blend the sold and multi really nicely and just give good texture.  For Liam's I'll either do a dark or light grey top and I'm going to incorporate some teal multi in there somewhere.  Most likely a stripe.  And, his will have the half linen stitch as well.  He will be an 18m or so.  He's a big guy!
198 Yards of Heaven.  And, it certainly was!  Right now it looks like something a toddler would wear.  It's soooo tiny.  I added extra to the lace edge.  I still have a wee bit of yarn left to use on a trim on matching fingerless gloves.  I'm going to block excessively and hope for a nice size to just wrap around my neck.  The yarn is sinful.  I've had it for over a year and I was just waiting for the right project.  The colors match my new coat perfectly so it was a pattern/yarn/garment match made in heaven.
I've cast on another for my MIL for Christmas.  I think she will love this as she wears lots of scarfs and things.  I'm going to do an extra repeat of the first lace pattern and extra to the bottom lace as well.  I know I'll need more yarn, so I'm thinking a purple to match as the bottom lace.

A Knights Costume.  This is for Cael for Christmas.  It's a "chainmaille" tunic and hood.  It looks a bit big and stretches like crazy.  But, I think it'll work and goodness knows kids grow fast.  We will get him a wooden shield and paint it blue. (probably from etsy) And I'll make him a sheath to hold his wooden sword that he has.

Baby Booties for the Babe.  He is getting so big. Fall is definitely here and he needs some warm booties.  I tried this pattern and altered it to use worsted yarn.  I was off in my calculations (shocker there!) and it's not going to fit him until next winter.  So, I'll finish the other one and cast on again in the smaller size for a fit that should be good now.

I have so many knitty plans for the next months.  I'm bursting with ideas and excited to have so many things already done for the holidays.

*On a stash note: I'm not sure if I ever posted here that I wanted to use mostly stash this year.  It was kinda a new years resolution.  All my knitting has certainly waned my collection of yarn.  I'll need to look at exact pounds used.  But, I do know this.  I'm down 1.5 drawers and at least 1/2 of a large rubbermaid tote.  That is crazy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Just Catching Up

Summer is in full swing here in our house.  July and August are always crazy months around here.  The garden is doing awesome.  We are eating fresh veggies out of it every day.  I'll do a post on that another time.  The kids have been busy visiting family and hanging out with friends.  Alaina started marching band at the high school. (it still boggles my mind that she's starting high school....) So, she's gone Monday through Friday during the days until school starts.  Rachel has been reading like crazy and crafting.  Cael has been bug hunting and playing with the neighbors. Liam has been crawling, babbling, and just generally being very very curious.  And, he has his first tooth!  Curtis just started a new job. Yeah!  And, me... well.... I've been just trying to keep up with everyone else.  I've been canning summer goods, running kids around, holding a teething baby, looking for bugs, doing house chores and knitting every chance I get.

That's what I really want to post about today.  The knitting!!! I've finished more socks and some other goodies.  I'm knitting dish clothes and matching dishtowels for Christmas gifts.  I finished a pair of socks, two bandana cowls, a fat robin and nest toy, three star child mini dolls, and started some more things.
 Bandana Cowl For Aunt Megan.
 Bandana Cowl For Aunt Shannon.
 Bellatrix Socks
 I Beleaf Socks (I call them Falling Leaves Socks)
 Fat Robin And Nest
Some of the dishcloths.

I have to take photos of everything else still.  More to come soon!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Garden Update June 29

The garden is in bloom.  Everyday I'm finding new treasures coming up.  It is truly amazing how much this woman planted.  I'm sure I've pulled many lovely things that I thought were weeds.  But, you would never know by how much is growing now.  We've just had 2 days of heavy rainfall.  Cael and I were going stir crazy so we headed out into the garden when it looked dry enough.  It was very cloudy so the photos could be better. 

Here is an overview of the yard coming down from the deck.  I don't think I've taken pictures from this angle.  The vegetable beds are to the right behind the tree in the photos.
Here you can see the many mint bushes, Oregon Grape bush, Juneberry Bush, and many other things everywhere.
Here you can kinda see the veggie garden beds to the right with tons more folliage everywhere.
The veggie patches.  There are currently 4. I just added in the one on the far right with the teepee style branch trellis made with willow branches from the bushes that we massively trimmed up.  I've just planted sugar snap peas in there.  Also I planted some beets and cauliflower in front.

Here you can see the spaghetti squash (left corner) the yard long beans and green beans in the bed and the zucchini in the left. They are all coming up, but not fast.  I think these need more sun.  Which we are now thankfully getting.
 The rock area with lots coming up.  My Calla Lillies are doing great!  Bonus picture of my sweet boy!
 The lettuce area.  It's doing great as is the Kale.  I also planted some spinach mustard behind the lettuce and it's already up after just 4 days.
Finally some flower and bushes.  I know the bottom left is Yarrow.  But, I have no idea what the other 3 are.  Do you?

I'm loving this garden.  So many surprises.  I've found more mint (I think it's spearmint) and cilantro growing in a weird place and lots of beautiful daisys.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Just Like Me

These kids of mine have changed so much. Seeing our family Christmas photo reminded me of this. I couldn't believe how much Alaina is looking like me. She's always looked so much like her dad.

The other day I learned what a selfie is. Really! This is something that's been around forever, but now has a new special name.....yeah...anyways I was sitting trying to knit when Cael climbed in my lap. My camera was next to me so I grabbed it and took this.
And this
And this
And this
Take that! Photos of me with every one of my kids. I'm always the one behind the camera so finding a photo of me with a kid is crazy few and far between. I love seeing how much of me is in each kid. Same shape or color of eyes, our chins or cheeks. Boy do I love these babes of mine.