Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rapunzel Dress

I have finished making Gwen's Rapunzel dress for Halloween!

It was challenging, since this was my first actual clothing item ever and since I couldn't find a perfect pattern that I liked, I opted to combine 3 online tutorials to get the job done... but, I certainly learned a ton and had fun doing it! Gotta admit, I'm glad it is finished so I can do something else. I got sore sitting at the sewing machine for a couple hours 4 nights in a row. How do you 'professional' seamstresses do it? ;) One of the best parts of the project was that I was actually using fabric remnants from a dress I had made in HS for a Medieval Christmas feast musical concert I sang in. So I only actually spent 6 dollars (pink ribbon, pink sparkly bead details, elastic, and velcro) on the entire project!

The bodice tutorial I adapted from this Cinderella dress tutorial. It was perfect, except I didn't use stretchy knit, so the neckline wasn't as smooth and simple or easy as she makes it look. Because one of my fabrics turned out to be itchy , I also had to improvise a partial lining (after I'd already sewn the thing I decided I better put in a lining so I wouldn't have to listen to her complain), which looks terrible since I was just making it up as I went along, but it gets the job done. and it is on the inside, so looks don't matter, right?  :)

The sleeves I wanted puffy, so I adapted this puffed sleeves tutorial. It worked great, except the tutorial doesn't give all the dimensions an inexperienced person like me might desire. I had to guess. I got lucky. :) It also doesn't explain how to attach to the body of the clothing, so I had to look that up. But overall, the best puffed sleeves tutorial I found online. Of course, I added the pink ribbon stripes.

The skirt I wanted as full as possible. I was going for a circle skirt so it would be wonderfully twirly, but didn't quite have enough material. Remember I was using remnants, so I just combined the fabric as best I could. So, almost a circle skirt. I adapted this tutorial for a twirly skirt here, adding an improvised lining here too.

I still have to make the braided yarn hairpiece with flowers in it, but that shouldn't be too hard. I'll finish it closer to Halloween, I think. Now I just have to make Caroline's peacock tutu and headband, finish sewing my diaper bag, and start&finish sewing my Thanksgiving advent calendar and I'll be finished with my queue of sewing projects! I hope to get all but the advent calendar finished before school begins in September because I won't have as many nights to work on things when I'm supposed to be doing homework.

Oh, and I have to convince Gwen that she doesn't want to wear 'the pretty purple dress for me?' until Halloween... yeah, wish me luck with that one!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Score a FREE clothing item!

Thredup: a gently used clothing website. Kind of like shopping goodwill online.
I had never heard of this website before, but by signing up today through a friend's referral link, I scored a cute FREE shirt for Caroline. Because if you sign up through the referral link, you get 10 dollars credit that can be applied towards shipping too. So as long as your item is 4 dollars or less (which is easy to find), you should get the item to your door completely free! Like this Disney skort for 3 dollars you could have for FREE!

So while I can definitely shop for cheap clothing at Volunteers of America, and frankly won't shop this site all that often because of shipping, I'm not going to turn down FREE clothes. And guess what? If YOU sign up following my referral link, we BOTH get 10 dollars credit! So.... here's my invite:

Go check it out. Sign up if you like (cuz I won't complain about 10 dollars!). It's a deal!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Indian Run Falls

Indian Run Falls-- We spontaneously decided we wanted to explore a local trail on Saturday. As soon as we got there and piled out of the car, it started pouring. We hunkered under the small 'pavilion' with the map at the trail head, but decided to go for it anyway. We ended up really enjoying the trail. Gwen wanted to run around each observation station and she delighted in 'posing' for the camera. After she got over her initial fear of the rain and we made it to relative 'cover' under the canopy, Caroline was fascinated by all the trees and enjoyed touching their textured bark. Then she overflowed her diaper and went commando on the return walk. Eric got peed on. Lol. 

and a funny video you'll enjoy:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

a Dear Friend of Faith

 Caroline wasn't sure about the whole 'sit-in-the-flower' thing...she's giving me the look...

Great times at the zoo with my dear friend, L, and her her sweet kiddos! Love you so much, girl! I won't embarrass you on public blog-o-sphere by telling the whole world what an incredibly sensitive and inspiring friend you are... okay, so maybe just a little bit. :) Because the world needs to know what a beautiful woman of faith and hope you are! You could see the positive in the gloomiest situation, the glimmer in the most abrasive of people, and the divine in the most mundane of daily routine. I am a better person because of you. and someday, maybe I'll be just a little bit more like you. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Meet Fearless and Scaredy-- Role Reversal

Gwen really loves the Bunny Fountains of Ballantrae Park. This time she was not even scared of the HUGE water when all the fountains come on full blast! She ran around IN it when that was happening! She also enjoyed trying to sit on the fountains (which kind of looks like she is going potty) and *yuck* trying to drink.

 Caroline, on the other hand, doesn't want anything to do with the fountains. She cried and clutched me and bit my shoulder if we even got close to take pictures of Gwen. So once I had some shots of the fearless one, the scaredy and I sat on the sidelines playing with a bowl full of water. Splashing in a bowl was Caroline's fun take on the Bunny fountains! It is kind of funny because in all other aspects of our home life, Gwen is the nervous, scared one and Caroline is the uninhibited, brave one. I guess the water creates a role reversal for my girls!

 In the end, they both ended up having a great time!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Neighborhood Park

Talkin and Walkin and of course Throwin some SERIOUS Tantrums!

Caroline is 16 months! I had to document her current development because she has hit some huge milestones this month and is really growing up so quickly...

First off, Caroline's walking has taken off! She walks everywhere now, even on the uneven ground in our backyard. She runs in the house and tries to run outside, but often loses her balance in the grass if she gets going to quickly. She likes to chase balls. When she grabs them, sometimes she'll just carry them around, but she also loves to kick and throw.

She loves splashing... and on this particularly warm evening after Gwen was already in bed we went outside to enjoy the evening...and she ended up in the pool with her clothes on. She was so happy, we just let her play!

 She loves to play chase and get tickled or given a ride. Eric spends many an evening chasing her around and around the 'circle' from kitchen to dining to living room back to kitchen! She can't get enough! She'll start giggling and run away from you, then hang back with a coy grin to see if you're going to be goaded into following after her... and usually we are bc she is just irresistible when she's in a good mood! If she's having fun, she'll exclaim "WhEEEEEEEE!" it is super cute!

Of course, when she's NOT in a good mood, you do not want to mess with her. She is a masochistic tantrum thrower, slamming her head on the ground, thrashing her entire body...she always hurts herself and then cries more. But she hasn't learned her lesson yet, because she still does it....daily. Sometimes (like the third hour of church), she'll throw back to back tantrums with only brief content periods for as long as an hour. That usually means she is exhausted. She sure knows how to punish everybody around her if she's having a grumpy time.
 Now that her hair is longer, you can see she does have some curl in the back. But it grows out straight in the front, so I wonder what it'll be like when she gets older? Curly or not? Maybe just slightly curly?
Caroline's diaper is ALWAYS full. I have to change her hourly or she will leak out and pee all over the floor or the lap of the person she's sitting on. She hates it when that happens. She drinks a ton. I mean a TON. 24 oz of milk a day isn't enough to satiate her thirst, so we offer her water to the tune of about 40 oz. Yes, you read that correctly. She consumes an average of 8 8oz bottles every day, about 64 oz of fluid. Now you know why she pees so much. the negative: we have laundry issues, diapers make up an expensive part of our budget, she wakes herself up in the morning when her diaper is saturated and her clothes are soaked, and sometimes we think she'd eat more solids if she weren't so full of liquid. The positive: she is well-hydrated, her kidneys work great, and her pee is not stinky. :)

She is trying out tons of sounds, just chattering and talking to herself constantly. She has tons of new words that vaguely resemble the actual word, but really are only decipherable because they are accompanied by the sign or context. Milk, shoes, grandma, grandpa, mommy, daddy, Gwen, car, poop, diaper, ball, book, cold, hot, beets, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, zucchini, cheese, no-no, and help are some of these "words" that she'll attempt to verbalize. Some are more intelligible than others!

Her signs have really taken off this month too. In addition to the signs listed above, she signs: please, thank you, sorry, doll, book, phone, bear, sleep, bath, blanket, pjs, shoes, socks, hat,  flower,  airplane, train, bus, boat, cold, hot, cat, frog, dog, turtle, fish, monkey, horse, bird, duck, porcupine, bug, outside, cloud, sky, diaper, poop, wash hands, more, all done, eat, drink, water, peach, apple, bread (meaning sandwich), cereal, strawberry, pear, watermelon, pumpkin, cheese and crying. and though she doesn't usually sign these back to me yet, she recognizes balloon, bubbles, yes, friend, share, happy, smile, coat, and goat. I love that she is eager to learn new things. She doesn't perform, though, so I can never get her to show off all the signs she knows. You'll just have to take my word for it. :)

Well, there you have it! Our lil girl is officially a "toddler"!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Latest Creation

I know this is far from perfection, but you know what, I'm pretty proud of this largish 28 x 21 in oil painting. From a photo I took up in the Wind River mountains. It is actually one of the only oil paintings I have. (long story, but one whole semester of my best oil work got thrown out because of a mis-communication at the HFAC. that was a VERY sad day for me). Anyway, you might recall a post a year ago where I documented starting this painting. (click here and scroll down for a couple 'work in progress' photos). Well, after a year of it just sitting in the kitchen, I made it a goal to finish it for our new home. Ta-da!

and someday, when we can afford to have it framed, it will grace the wall of my living room. But I really want the framing to be nice, so I'd rather save up for it then get something cheapo. Til then, I guess it can keep on curing in the garage. :)

please excuse the quality of this photo. There's definitely some glare, especially in the sky. taken from my phone.