Friday, April 29, 2011

Easter 2011

Here are a few pictures of Minnie at Easter.

I found an egg!
Thank you for my bear Auntie Debbie!
What is in here Gramma?

Darcy's Birthday

Minnie's friend Darcy turned one last week, and Minnie went to her birthday party!
When we got the invitations a few weeks ago and they were jungle themed, I called up Briar and asked if she'd like a dress for Darcy to wear! I used this pattern again.
Minnie would dump the eggs out of the basket and Darcy would put them back in.
Hi pretty girl!
Minnie wanted some alone time.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

2011 Thing a Week - Week 17 - Longies

So adorable!
I made them using this pattern, and my Ravelry project page is here. The yarn is some undyed BFL Aran from here. Every once in a while my knitting group will get together, usually at Maureen's, to dye some yarn. This yarn was dyed a few months ago, and I told Lesley I would like blue, purple, and pink. I'm still deciding how I will put together the pink with the rest of the blue and purple for another pair of longies.

One change I made was to knit flat for the first inch and then join in the round. After 2.5 inches you pick up and knit the cast on stitches with your stitches on the needle, creating the casing for the elastic. The pattern tells you to knit in the round the entire time, and then not pick up all the stitches to leave a hole for the elastic. This bothers the perfectionist in me, so I changed it! I used the tail from the cast on to sew up the little hole after I added the elastic.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Trip to San Francisco

We headed out to San Francisco to see Lao Ma (great grandma in Chiu Chow Chinese)!
After visiting and eating friend chicken legs we headed out to Golden Gate Park to enjoy the weather. We hung out for a while by the Conservatory of Flowers.
They were looking at some puppies playing.
"I love you Daddy."
"I'm going to get you!"
Serious face time.
Hover baby!

While we were at the park Leng checked his phone and saw that our friends David and Ryan were over at the Japan Center. They came over and we took them on a driving tour of The City. The only pictures of them with Minnie are on Ryan's phone. Oops!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2011 Thing A Week - Week 16 - Monster Face

This was so quick to make, and so cute!
I got the pattern here. One change I made was in cutting the pocket. I wanted to waste as little fabric as possible, so after cutting the first two circles I simply overlapped one circle onto the already cut fabric. I did not cut it straight across. This makes the pieces pocket crescent shaped.
The pattern pieces did not print out as big as I wanted, so I just eyeballed them and cut away.

Some of the scraps from cutting out parts looked like good pieces, such as the long mustache (from the bottom curve of the hat), the grey beard (from the grey hair), and the bushy eyebrows (from the spiked hair).

I had fun playing with it! Maybe I need one Minnie needs one...

Friday, April 15, 2011

2011 Thing a Week - Week 15 - Birthday Invitations

For this week I made Minnie's birthday party invitations. I can't believe she's already almost 1!
I had a really tough time figuring out the invitations. It was the same for the baby shower. I have an idea in my head but can't find it anywhere. I decided to keep with the ocean theme since I love it, and Kelly is excited about designing the cake. Of course, there are no ocean-themed invitations that you can just buy. Since I am a procrastinator I couldn't have them printed from a shop and mailed to me. I had to come up with something on my own. I couldn't find any ocean stamps that weren't way more than I wanted to pay, and I couldn't find any sea animal scrapbook paper, so I was at a bit of a loss. There will be a lot of invitations and I didn't want to spend a lot of time or money on them.

Then I remembered that I could make my own stamps. We went off to the store to buy some foam so I could design some stamps. Instead I found these bags of little foam sea animals, which were perfect!
I drew lines in pencil so that you could recognize the shell better. It didn't make much of a difference but I'm still glad I did it
I love the smile!
I sketched a few 1s before deciding on one. I cut it out of the foam paper and remembered to glue backwards so it would stamp correctly.
Leng cut some wooden blocks of leftover wood and I had some stamps. The smaller ones I added to some pill bottles.
For the paint I already had a bunch from my plans of painting sea animals on Minnie's bedroom walls. That didn't happen (yet!). I mixed up some colors and watered them down a bit so they would stamp easier.
 I painted the colors on and stamped away.
I need to take pictures while the sun's still out.

Vernal Pools

On Sunday we headed out to Splash! to check out the vernal pools. My Gramma and I have been wanting to check it out for years. We even drove out one year and got lost.

If you don't know what a vernal pool is, here's a little explanation. They occur in areas where there is a layer of hard rock that prevents water from being drawn deeper in to the soil. The water stays close to the surface, and in lower depressions pools will form. These pools have tadpoles, fairy shrimp, and other small organisms. As the pools dry up the wild flowers come out. Many of the plants and the pool organisms are specific to vernal pools and can be found no where else in the world.

We will need to head out again in another week or two. With the late rain and cold weather there weren't many wildflowers out. I did get to see a lot of tadpoles though!

I don't remember what these were called.
One of the invasive species. This is all over the area.
Later in the spring the water will dry up and this will be full of flowers.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our trees

We finally snapped some pictures with Minnie and the flowering trees in our front yard. Enjoy!
We should have taken this two weeks ago when there were more flowers.
She pulled off a flower and tried to eat it.
Hi sweetie!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Boiling Diapers

So I had been talking with my friend Tara about the necessity of prepping cloth diapers. To do this, you can either wash them multiple times on the hottest wash you have, or boil them for 20-25 minutes.

The reason you need to to this is that machine thread is oiled to make it go through the machines easier. This is why often clothes will feel very soft when you purchase them, but will feel less soft after they have been laundered a few times.

I prefer the boiling method to prep cloth diapers, even though it takes more work on my part. It takes less time and energy, and you get to see why it is necessary to do this.

I have a pot that I use for crafts. It is no longer used for anything we will be eating. I use it to dye yarn or clothes, or prep diapers. I fill it about 3/4 full of water and set it to boil. Give it a squirt of soap.
Add the diapers and let boil for about 24 minutes.
Remove diapers and look at the gross oil left behind.
Wash the diapers in hot water and tumble dry. You may want to do an extra rinse cycle if they still seem a bit soapy.

Compare the two pictures.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2011 Thing a Week 14 - T-shirt Dress

So last night I used this tutorial to make this:
There were a few hiccups to this plan. I was originally going to use my blue shirt to make her a dress. However, Leng had recently gotten rid of a bunch of white t-shirts and I figured I should use them up too. I decided to applique the design from my shirt but use the white shirt as the dress. I can use the rest of the blue to add some applique shapes to other clothes. I am full of plans.

Another setback was that the white shirts needed to be washed. I couldn't even start working for two hours after I got all excited! I folded three loads of laundry while it was washing, so it was probably better that I couldn't start right away. Housework gets pushed aside when I am on a crafting binge. Too bad this crafting binge has lasted for three months. Sorry, family.

I wanted the design to go over the side of the dress, rather than across the front, so I couldn't add it until after the dress was put together. I like to make easy things difficult. The jersey of the blue shirt is very thin and much more stretchy so it was difficult to work with. I pulled out some stabilizer to use but after I finished I realized that I has used totally the wrong stabilizer. I wanted the kind that you leave in, since I was sewing it between the two layers. I managed to use the kind that you have to remove, that is meant to use with embroidery or at the bottom of multiple layers of fabric. So the dress looks cute for the pictures but I will need to re-do the applique.
Original shirt and pattern.
I cut from the side because the back was crooked.
Fabric cut out.
I should have realized something was wrong when it wouldn't stick to the white shirt.