Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July - The Month Of...

Clothes making!

Jon and I have both dabbled in clothes making a little bit with Halloween costumes and such, so to say that this is something we have never tried before is a bit unfair. But we had never made THESE things before! So it still counts :)

Since Kate's birthday was approaching, I really wanted to make her a dress. I didn't document this process as closely as we did Jon's project, but you'll still get the idea.

I took a picture of the fabric before I started, but it's on our other computer and I'm too tired to go get the file. I'll let you use your imagination. It's just basic red with white polka dots :)

and here is Jon's fabric that he picked out for his project:

For Kate's dress, I started off looking at a dress she already had in her closet and based my pattern off of the simple ruffled skirt sewn into a lined bodice.

I measured Kate around the waist and from her shoulders to her tummy so that I knew how big to make the bodice. I always cut two layers of the front out first and then cut two back left sides and two back right sides, so that they will overlap a little bit when the buttons are sewn on.

The skirt has a front and a back that I make 2x as wide as her waist so that it will gather nicely. I also cut a slit in the back, double fold and sew it so that it will overlap with the button flap on the bodice.

After sewing the top shoulders together, around the neck, and sewing up the sides, I pinned in the skirt and sewed it into the bodice

I decided with Michelle O'Keefe that Kate's dress definitely needed some more ruffles along the bottom. We stopped by Beverly's and got this cute trim to sew along the bottom edge.

We also added 3 cute decorative pearl buttons on the front.

Then I cut out some little ruffle cap sleeves and sewed those into the unfinished arm holes.

 And here it is all finished! Ready to go for her birthday this weekend :)

Jon went along with our polka dot theme and picked out this reverse green and white dot for a necktie. Since he wears dress shirts and ties to work now, we thought his fashion design students would be impressed.

I found this tutorial online (through Pinterest) and it seemed pretty simple!

Jon cut out the pattern pieces

and we had to do some creative folding for the bias because we bought the fabric before looking at the measurements on the tutorial.

Jon pressed, pinned and cut out the pieces for his tie.


Following the instructions on the blog he ironed on the interfacing, pieced it all together and sewed up the edges.

So proud of my fearless sewing guy!

Jon then pressed and pinned the lime green lining fabric on the inside, but he wasn't too excited about a hand-sewn slip stitch so I did that part :)

Then he pressed in the edges (and you would fit in your heavyweight stabilizer here) and pinned the center together so that I could do the final slip stitch by hand all along the back.

It turned out pretty amazing!

Overall the tie was super simple to make and the tutorial was very well put together. I'm glad that I know how to make Jon ties now! Ohhhh, the possibilities for coordinating family Sunday outfits are endless...

July's exploration = successful!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Camping

 A couple weekends ago we went camping with our awesome friends, the Hoopers!

We were really glad we could spend some time with Summer and Riley before they move to Utah for LDSBC at the end of August.

Jon and his family have camped at Plumas Eureka State Park every year since he was born, so we make a trip up there at least once every summer. It was fun for us to learn that Riley is actually from the area! So he knew the towns already.
We set up camp and just chilled. It was so nice just to be in a peaceful area!

Kate had her own camping chair this time - passed down to us from her cousin, AnnMarie.

Kate really enjoyed Summer and Riley

She is so happy and social. She really takes well to others and shows off her pearly whites whenever possible.
While camping we ate roasted cornish hen and potatoes, cobbler, eclairs (we made them over the campfire - so genius!) and steak foil packs. I could eat camping food all the time :)

We went to the museum, where Katherine checked out the foxglove:

and she got a new book called The Graeagle Bear to add to her collection. We checked out the blacksmith, walked to the old stamp mill, and went into Graeagle one day for ice cream and wandered the little antique shops. (We were really roughing it, as you can see.)

 We took lots of naps and read books. On Sunday we went for a "leisurely walk" to Jamison Falls...

which turned out to be a booney crashing adventure through downed trees and overgrown trails. It's usually a little bit of rough terrain, but Jon and I hadn't been to the Falls in a couple years. I guess they've had some harsh winters!
Summer and Riley were awesome sports and even helped carry Margo along when the logs were too big for her :)
We spent a couple hours at the waterfall, ate snacks and took naps.


Kate enjoyed her camping buddy, Margo.

Margo's wet paw prints:

We're so glad that we have been able to enjoy this summer in our favorite parts of nature! Kate is a great little camper already. On to more summer adventures!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Kate @ 11 months

Baby Kate is a whirlwind of joy. She turned 11 months old on July 3rd!

She loves to babble and will stick her tongue out quickly like a lizard making "labul-labul-labul" sounds over and over again.

Sometimes when she is babbling or talking to herself in her crib, she will randomly have fits of giggles. Apparently she finds herself very entertaining :) I love coming around the corner to find her reading to herself.

Kate is very interested in faces and loves to explore mouths. She will touch noses and try to pull on our teeth. Maybe she will be a dentist someday??

She is starting to reach out for us to hold her and pick her up (from her crib, from the floor, when she wants to change being held from one person to another). I absolutely love those little hands reaching for me! There is nothing better.

Kate started swim lessons in June with our friend Bay.

 The first lessons were a little more challenging as mommy practiced lifting Kate and setting her face down in the water gently so that she could learn how to hold her breath. Kate was such a trooper, but didn't like the cold! She much prefers the spa where we warm up after our lessons. It feels just like the bath!

Kate is a quiet observer and loves to figure out how things work. She is very repetitive and will watch where the sounds of things come from and look up at the spring of her bouncer to see how she is able to go up and down.

I love it when she discovers something new, or crawls over to the piano and plays under the piano bench, touching the underneath side of it or playing with the pedals and then looks at us for approval and smiles :) She seems to like to know that we're happy with her.
She is a tiny girl - already very petite. She eats great and LOVES food! But she must burn all the energy when she is crawling, because she is almost a year old and still only in size 2 shoes :) She is growing great and always seems happy, but is definitely on the smaller side for length and weight. We love our little girl!

Kate still sleeps through the night, going to bed at 8:30pm and waking up around 7am. Even while teething she has been an absolute doll! Our only complaint is the excessive drool ;)

Kate can pull herself up to a standing position when she is holding on to a chair or coffee table. She doesn't seem to have an interest in walking yet, but she LOVES to stand and has great balance!

Kate and Margo are best buddies. Margo will bring her toys over and Kate will pull on them or drag the rope side to side across the floor while Margo gently pulls on it. They are great at keeping each other entertained! Kate will LEAN over the edge of her high chair or peer over the side of the couch to see Margo. My favorite recent experience was when Kate got herself onto her tummy and reached her little hand over the edge of the couch cushion so that she could stretch her little fingers out to touch Margo. It is so cute!

Kate will smile and kick her legs when she is excited and sees someone or something she recognizes. She is starting to recognize voices too and will shriek with excitement when she hears a grandparent's voice, even if they haven't yet come into view.

She loves to play peek-a-boo and thinks it is GREAT when we say HI to her over and over again! She is learning how to wave and loves to shake her little hand at people.

Kate definitely likes to express her opinion and throws herself back if she is unhappy or not getting her way. It works out ok when she is strapped in her high chair or sitting on our laps, but I know one of these days she will throw herself back and get a surprise when there's nothing but carpet to catch her!
She is also getting into the stage of biting and pinching. I know she doesn't do it to be mean. She will grab for things (like our arms) and pinch as she opens and closes her fingers to feel. She has 6 teeth and seems to have a few more coming soon, so she loves to chew on anything that comes her way. Which includes our fingers or arms if they cross her path when she rolls around on our laps. We are gently teaching her "no" and will set her on the ground when she is being uncooperative, only resuming our meal time or activity once she has calmed down.

Kate makes us laugh every day! We love to hear her wake up from a nap and tap her pacifier against the crib or talk and giggle at her animals before we go in to see her.

She also scrunches her nose when she is smiling at us or REALLY likes something - like peaches!

Kate is not a thumb sucker, but she does LOVE her pacifier. She will pick it up and put it in her own mouth if she wakes up a little early in the morning and puts herself right back to sleep.

Her funniest noises are her growling  (we don't know where she got it from... maybe the dogs??), her gurgling and her Darth Vader breathing. She only does this occasionally. I think it's because she knows it makes us laugh :)

Fourth of July was great fun!

We spent time with friends and Aunt Beth was in town, so she and her bestie, Sarah, came with us to watch fireworks :)

Kate had earplugs in and didn't mind the fireworks at all. She stared in awe at them with her mouth partially open and even reached her outstretched hand to try and touch them a few times. We enjoy seeing her discover new parts of the world!

Only 2 weeks to go 'til our little girl turns 1!

Monday, July 1, 2013

June - The Month Of...


This was an especially fun one for me and a project that I looked forward to for a long time. I have ALWAYS wanted to make a quilt, but I have been so intimidated.

The best part was that of all the fabrics we carry at Beverly's, there was a collection that I was particularly excited about and had my eyes on for years, so when it got pulled last month for an upcoming sale, I knew I was going to have to make something fabulous with it.

We decided it was best suited for a Family Home Evening blanket.

The idea to make an FHE blanket came from a talk in sacrament meeting a couple months back. A new family in our ward was speaking, and the mom had all these adorable and awesome family ideas, so I wrote them all down! One of my favorites was making an FHE blanket, so that on your weekly family night, the kids all sit on the special blanket, which gathers everyone together and makes it into a little game. Plus, how cool is that to have a special handmade blanket JUST for family night?? Sold.

First, Jon and I browsed Pinterest together to find quilts that we liked the looks of. I wanted to make sure our quilt was something we both loved to look at and work on.

Then I searched for Easy/Beginner Quilt Patterns. I especially loved this lady's links. I had more hope for the project to turn out well when she said:

"Your first quilt should be a project that you'll finish with ease -- something that will make you say "bring on the next quilt." All of these quilt patterns are a good choice for beginning quilters, but I write all patterns with detailed instructions, so be sure to browse the website for more -- you might be surprised how many quilt patterns look difficult, but are actually quite easy"

Bring it on, quilting!


Well, here we are. 11pm on June 30th. The last day of the month.

Our quilt pretty much looks like this:

On June 13th we had a pretty good run of cutting out strips and measuring... then Jon turned into a quilt ninja.

At least we did a lot of good prep work! I'm glad that we can keep working on it over this Summer. June turned out to be a lot more crazy than anticipated.

So, for the month of quilting - FAIL. But that doesn't mean that the project has died. We will follow up when we come back around to it :) Looks like we just needed a little more motivation on this one.