Monday, November 24, 2014

new in shop: baby or toddler headbands

Remember those fabric scraps I used to create name art in C's room? Well, there were a lot left over. Since they're all designer fabrics and super cute, they had to be put to use! And, since my babies tend to be bald for a long time, headbands are one of my favorite baby accessories. 

If you know me IRL and have a baby girl, expect a few headbands from me as gifts. They are way too fun to make, and I can't get enough of the great color combinations in my fabric pile and elastic collection.

If you have someone in your life with a darling baby that needs a stylish flair, head over to my Etsy shop and pick out a set for the lucky lady. 

-- because outtakes are a nice dose of honesty, here's what photo shoots really look like in our house! Toddler climbing, toddler falling, baby thinking "it's so fluffy!", toys everywhere, you know, the usual. --

aaand back to the cropped version. :-)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

a birth tale, take two

 Remember how I predicted that delivery would be different the second time around? I was totally right.

As zen as C's birth experience was, O's was zany.

It was a Saturday like any other, going out for donuts, wandering around town, home for lunch and naptime. Later we went to the mall to let C burn energy running around, and I began having contractions. Really small ones, 30 seconds long, a minute apart.  They were so minor, I thought maybe they were just Braxton-Hicks. Eventually it became apparent that I might actually be in labor, so what did we do, go home? No. We went to the grocery store because I had no food for C to eat while we were gone. Then when we got home, did we immediately prepare for the hospital? No. I thought we should take our dog for a walk before we left and called the midwife . The contractions still weren't a big deal, so I remained casual. So casual, in fact, we even tried to fit dinner in before we left!

The switch from casual contractions to serious contractions happened really quickly, and it became evident that we needed to leave *now*. C was placed in the loving care of her grandparents and we were off. We checked in at 6:17 and O was born at 7:15. I pushed for 11 minutes. Instead of a long, relaxed labor, it was a short, intense labor. The contractions were so strong I could practically feel her moving downward with each one. The urge to push was so strong and prolonged, I actually cried. There was no time for a water birth, there was no time for anything!

As different as the labors + deliveries were, the common denominator was the excellent care of my husband, midwife, and nurses. The adrenaline rush of delivery lasted for days, and I felt incredible. O slept for the first two weeks of her life, and I felt like a rockstar, totally capable of mothering two small children.

Then she hit that six-week mark. And I realized C + I were still living a toddler schedule, not fully respecting O's need for more + better naps. And remember how I said #2 would get more snuggles? She really does, because that's how she prefers to doze off. C's been a champ adjusting to this new routine and has amused me more than once with her mommy imitations.

There are days that I miss the simplicity of one child and question the wisdom of having two so close together. I keep hearing it pays off in the long run, so I'll hang in there until then! While in this moment I don't know when/how/if ever I'll get O to fall asleep on her own, or when/how/if ever I'll get C potty trained, what I do know is that I totally love both of my crazy girls. Though occasionally I want to run away, when we share smiles or laughs, all is right with the world. God certainly gives good gifts.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

now available: minneapolis neighborhood map

Just to remove any doubts that my husband and I are nerdy: after one of our date nights, we wandered around the neighborhood looking at the cool architecture. When we couldn't figure out what the place once was, we went into the adjacent [and coordinated] library to discover its origin. Tucked into the back was MN history, including this map. In order to research further, I snapped these photos and then realized - what great inspiration for my own map! I was already using a Bodoni-esque font, so this map served to give me some further typographic ideas.

Since then, I've gone from one child to two, and somehow that has made me slightly more productive creatively. Not entirely sure how that works, but I'm really excited to share our map with others!

One of my favorite things about hanging a map in your home is the way it invites you to leave your mark. I can see other people placing a heart where they fell in love or made their first home, or having friends sign their names in their respective neighborhoods. We use ours to record our weekly date nights, and it's fun to reminisce the different evenings we've shared around our varied city.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

fabric scrap name art

In preparation for our new baby girl's arrival, we moved C into her own "big girl" room. Once again, I got to decorate a room prior to having a baby, but this time it wasn't a nursery! 

Knowing we were going to have two girls, we decided C's room should definitely be girly. Someday they'll share that space and fill it with giggles, so it had to be lively and fun. I decided to paint the walls yellow, a bright, neutral color, so we could play up bright colors throughout the room without being overwhelming.

Initially I wanted the color scheme to be pink and orange, but after my husband shot down every bedding choice I suggested, I had to give it up. Turns out he doesn't like bright orange...only burnt orange...which is neither bright nor girly. We eventually found a bedspread that we liked, went with the color scheme of pink and teal, and decorating continued.

In the future, our girls will be in bunk beds, but until then C gets to own this space. And if she owns it, the room should bear her name, right? [When the girls are sharing, I'll make another one for O and their names can hang above their respective beds.] I wanted to bring in more of the fun fabric scraps that I used on the opposite side of the room, so I grabbed some tagboard, spray painted a Goodwill frame, and created her name wall art. 

Step 1: Print out your child's name, position it on tagboard sized to fit your frame, tape in place, and cut out the letters.

Step 2: Choose your scraps and tape them behind the individual letters.

Step 3: Turn the whole thing over and check your work.

Step 4: Turn it over again and use a hot glue gun to secure the fabric, outlining each letter with glue. Work in small areas at a time; the glue dries fast! Trim the fabric once you're done.

Step 5: Retrieve any missing counters for your letters and hot glue them in place.

That's it! What other things have you done with fabric scraps?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

artist feature: wayfaring art

With the baby now due in 1.5 weeks [not that anyone's counting...], my husband and I took the opportunity to have a little "babymoon staycation" last month. While C hung out with her grandparents, we stayed at a hotel downtown and enjoyed our city, doing things we haven't been able to do much since C came along.

The first night found us dining at Modern Cafe in NE Minneapolis, where we stumbled upon Art-A-Whirl. Turns out we picked just the right weekend to tour hundreds of artist studios and see lots of great work.

I have a certain weakness for journals, and today's featured artist really tempted me to add to my collection. Wayfaring Art is her name, and handmade leather-bound journals are her game. You really need to check out her gallery to see the breadth of her work. The earrings shown above were simply too irresistibly cute not to share! Her full-size journals have a great earthy, rustic vibe. They feel like something a backpacking traveler would carry around, recording their discoveries and experiences.

Those in the area can see her in person at the Edina Art Fair this weekend, or she's on Etsy, too.

Seriously. Doesn't every bibliophile in your life need those earrings?

Monday, May 12, 2014

mother's ring for mother's day

My dad’s parents lived 4 miles away from me when I was growing up. In country miles, that’s 5 minutes. As a result, we spent lots of time there. My grandma was a crafty woman, and taught me to knit [unfortunately that lesson was forgotten, though re-learned in college], taught me to create plastic canvas masterpieces and small works of embroidery, and even let me paint [remember those country geese hanging out on doorways?]. She was also a master gardener, and with a farmyard full of landscaping, she had her hands full.

Our church was a few miles past her house, so each Sunday I would not sit in my parents’ pew, but instead take my place next to Grandma [the spot *between* our grandparents was reserved for my older sister]. Often I grew fidgety and would turn my attention to my grandma’s rings. She, of course, wore her wedding band, but she also wore a mother’s ring. With six children to represent, it was quite full. I would repeatedly review which gemstone belonged to which month, and which gemstone belonged to which child. So began my fascination with mother rings.

After my husband and I were married awhile and began discussing having children, I knew what I wanted someday: a mother’s ring. The hitch? I’m not particularly patient, and what if we have a lot of kids? I’ll never get that ring! Fortunately, the trend of stackable rings arrived and with it, the answer to my dilemma. Instead of waiting for a full set of birthstones all in a row, I could stack individual rings as the children come along! Wonderful.

Thank you to Laurel Treasures for my beautiful set, and I hope to be ordering from you again very soon. Five more weeks to baby's due date!

Friday, April 4, 2014

dirty dozen + clean 15 printable

Remember back in October when I told you about a creative burst, the Dirty Dozen Grocery Tote? Well, the watercolors are back.

Since we're not yet in farmer's market season, it was time to create the complement to the "Dirty Dozen" list and illustrate the "Clean 15" list. That way, when you're at the standard grocery store with limited organic options, you know which fruits + vegetables to heads towards with a clear [meaning low pesticide residue] conscience.

You can purchase your own Clean 15 Budget Tote from my Zazzle store, or print a wallet guide [shown at top] from my Etsy shop.

on that note

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