Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Four years!

It's been four years today since Nick and I got married. Yay! Here are a few of my favorite pics from the events four years ago.

...and we're still going strong.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

R&D - leggings

I've been working on a bigger leggings pattern (2T-4T). I'm finding as Jo grows that she doesn't get much bigger around the waist, but her legs just get longer. That means that I can't just take the baby leggings pattern I've been using and enlarge it. Toddlers (for the most part) have a very different body shape than babies. So here we go.

I'll be trying the leggings on other babies besides Jo, but for now she's our only "fit" baby. This is the first try.
For the 2T size I need to add to the length in the leg and also to the rise in front and back and then they'll be perfect!
 Jo gets treats when she models for me. Maybe one day she'll do it just because she wants to help me out...
The top is a pattern I'm work-shopping as well. I think it's super cute. Also working on a 3/4 length sleeve for Fall.
Wahoo! Back to work.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Shibori + kimono top = super cute

 I tried photographing my shibori results, but just plain fabric doesn't look as great as finished least that's my opinion. Plus I have new patterns that I'm trying out. So I whipped up this little kimono for Jo.

I'm pretty excited about the fabric. I even washed it after I made it and nothing bled! Woohoo!

Jo likes wearing Nick's bike helmet.
She also likes bananas.
Then she wanted to pose with the little child form. I don't know if you can see it, but she has her arm around the mannequin.
So there you go.

Later addition to post: I don't think I mention it here, but I hand-dyed the fabric myself. Yay!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fun with Shibori -- Part 3 -- The Reveal

I said that this would be a three part series, but I'm actually only doing a partial reveal today. Sorry, folks. I haven't had a chance to photograph all of the fabric that we dyed and hopefully will be able to do that next week. In the meantime, here is what the process looked like after the dyed pieces sat in the sun for about two hours.

I opened our test piece up right away just to make sure that it looked the way I wanted it to. It did.

Then I started rinsing the other pieces (still bound).
 Still wearing gloves, of course, as the dye wasn't completely rinsed out yet.
I love the way this red piece looked as I was rinsing out. Kind of like a heart or a placenta. Gross? Yes. And also kind of cool. 
After rinsing until the water ran clear, it was time to remove the bindings. This was the fun part...sort of. It was pretty meticulous work to snip all of the little bindings, but still mildly contemplative. I actually really like small meticulous tasks -- it allows my brain to stop thinking for a bit.
I only snipped one hole in the fabric...
So after I cut off the bindings I washed the pieces in the washing machine with a little bit of detergent.

Woohoo! Next up: you'll finally get to see how it all turned out. Finally. I know. It's about time. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fun with Shibori -- Part 2 -- Dyeing

As promised, here is part two of my shibori experiment: DYEING!

I had to make sure we had the right tools: bowls, measuring spoons and cups, plastic bags, rubber gloves, etc... My mama had given me dyes from Dharma Trading, but you can get them a number of places.

 Apparently I was really excited about this project.
Be very precise with measuring. My handy dandy book gave us basic amounts for different color saturation levels.
Grace, my lovely assistant, stood by and carefully monitored the process. 
Notice the kiddy pool in the background? That's where we soaked the fabrics before dyeing. 
Grace became an expert at measuring and pouring water. 
Then the fabric goes in!
 Have to make sure the dye distributes properly. That sounds super official, right?
It looks like this when you take it out. Kind of weird looking. 
 Look at this determination!
After we dyed, we put the fabrics in a plastic bag (one bag per dye color) and set them in the sun for a few hours. The waiting is the hardest. 

Part 3: The Reveal is up next!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New looks!

I'm trying out a new pattern that I got from my mama. Here are a few looks with the top, skirt, and pants that I made to all go together. OMG, I just made toddler separates!!

I think I would actually like these pieces in my size...

Monday, July 1, 2013

Fun with Shibori -- Part 1 -- Binding

I haven't posted in a while -- life has been a bit crazy. So now that it's a brand new month, I'm back up and running, and I think I'll start it all off with a three-part series. Yep, that's right. I have a three-part series for you all! Here goes. 

On my trip home to Iowa last month I had some time to play around with shibori. What's shibori?

Shibori (according to Wikipedia) is a "Japanese term for methods of dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, compressing it or capping." You may know some of these methods as tie-dye.  

I had this handy book that I'd been dyeing to read. Yes, that was a shibori pun...It was a great primer and walked me through basic binding and dyeing techniques. 
I had also stocked up on cheap cotton muslin and lawn fabrics. I like to scope out the remnant section for deals. My mama happened to have some string for binding. Hint for next time: get kite string that doesn't break.  
I started off with a pattern called the Spider Web. It's really basic, but still looks super cool.

Everyone wanted to help! Fortunately, there were plenty of fabric pieces.
 This is Grace's spider web binding.
Here you can see what our bindings look like before dyeing.
 Apparently, some bindings are considered art. Grace considered hers a hat.
Another method of binding is called capping. You take a small pebble or bean under your fabric and bind tightly around it. We used dry black beans. The book recommends mung beans. The binding at the base of the bean will eventually create white space since the dye won't be able to access the fabric at that point. 
The last method I really wanted to try was folding and compressing the fabric. I accordion folded my fabric and then wrapped it with string. I was supposed to compress the folds with two wooden blocks, but I didn't have I worked with what I had. It ended up looking like this when I was done. 
And here ends Part 1. Next up: DYEING!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Oh man...

I have so many posts to catch up on. I actually have drafts for over five posts and just need to finish them. More soon about my trip home to Iowa with Jo, shibori, our move, an acting class I took, and more fun.

I've been doing lots of sewing lately. Trying out new patterns (R&D) and making clothes for Jo. I'll leave you with this picture of Jo in one of her new tops. Her face just cracks me up.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Gross?!?! Part 8

There's no doubt about this one, guys. We had a dog poop in the back of my car yesterday. It was totally gross. 

The good news is that today after getting it detailed, my car hasn't been this clean since we bought it. #winning

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Stink Eye

Jo head-butted me last week. Hard. So hard that it took my breath away. Little monkey. She didn't mean too. She was really excited and just happened to slam the back of her head into my brow bone. It didn't swell or even hurt...until later.

Baby girl didn't want to nap, so I drove us to the fabric store in the burbs. Of course she fell asleep in the car so I sat in the parking lot for a bit while she slept. I went to blow my nose and all of a sudden something popped in my head and I couldn't see out of my left eye. What?!? I know. Weird, right?

I looked in the mirror and my eye was super swollen and puffy. It looked like there was a little intertube of air in my eye crease. I freaked out. Called Nick. Called my eye doctor. Didn't cry.

My eye doctor said that it was possible I had broken an orbital bone and air from my sinuses snuck into my eye socket. I needed to talk with and see an opthamologist. She couldn't see me until the next morning, but didn't think it was an emergency. I was only slightly relieved. (Turns out nothing was broken).

In the meantime I didn't want to drive home so asked Nick to come early from work and pick us up. I mean, I was only seeing out of one eye. One time I played volleyball in highschool with one contact in. Needless to say my depth perception was slightly off so there was no way I was going to drive on the highway pirate-style with a baby in my car.

While we waited for Nick we bought a little fabric and watched a little Yo Gabba on the iPad. Nick arrived, drove us home, and I started to ice my eye.
It didn't look great the next day. Did I mention I had a callback audition for a commercial? They asked if I was allergic to something. I explained that my toddler head-butted me.
At least it wasn't black and blue...I guess.

One week later and I'm back to normal, which is great since I was slightly worried that I would look like that for the rest of my life. I'm told this is the first of many child-inflicted (although accidental) injuries.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

At home

If you didn't know, I quit my day job to spend time with Jo, among other things. You can read a little more about it here. As excited as I am to be able to really focus on my life and my family, I'm also a bit nervous. I've been working outside the home for most of my adult life. What if I get bored? What if I don't have time to do things I need to do for myself? What will Jo and I do all day?

And then I do what I remind Jo to do when she's freaking out. I take a deep breath.

Monday I still had a sitter, so I was able to catch up on a few things that needed to get done, like go to the dentist. No cavities. Yay! Yesterday, Jo was sick with a really high fever and a weird cough, so needless to say the day was spent mostly on the couch or in bed snuggling or sleeping. Today was the first day with nothing planned and Jo was feeling much better, although she still frequently requested to snuggle (her new favorite word).

We got up this morning and ate breakfast and did a little packing since we're moving this weekend and watched a little Yo Gabba Gabba and did some laundry and then even cleaned up the kitchen. I looked at the clock and it was only 9am. Yep. There was so much day left. We managed to fill it with playing and reading and errands and more packing. I was even able to crank out some of my own stuff throughout the day too. It was a good day.

And there was one moment that stands out for me when we were sitting on the couch reading. Jo was in her snuggling position which means she sits on my stomach and leans against my legs. She thought it was hilarious to put her feet on either side of my face, take them away, and put them back again. She laughed and laughed. And I laughed and laughed.

And I realized that I was seeing parts of her that I have never seen. Of course I spent days and days with her at home for the first six months of her life, but since then it has really only been at night and during the weekends. I haven't really had the time or energy to just sit with her and just be there in the moment. It was like we were communicating on a different level. And I was aware of that. And I loved it.

I took these pics the other day when Jo insisted she drink her "coffee" in her diaper. On the radiator.
I was playing around with the manual settings on my camera so she looks quite cherubic.