Monday, November 28, 2011

Pinterest success!

Awhile ago I expressed my desire to make this cute baby hat that I found a link to on Pinterest...

Well, I made it!  I got an old shirt from a thrift store, (washed it in steaming hot water of course!) and assembled the hat last night.  It was hard for me to get a good photo of it without a baby to model it but I tried my best! 

I am very pleased with myself over sewing looks excellent and there is not a pucker or bulky seam to be found!  Also, things with linings always intimidate me so this small lined project was good for my confidence.   The final step was making a button hole, which I haven't done in years and I have never done on my current machine. project.   I plan on making a matching blanket one of these nights. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I can't believe the delightful long Thanksgiving weekend is over already...I had to post this photo from Thanksgiving weekend last year to articulate that I am thankful that the weather is really nice and there is no snow (yet).  

This was taken at a tailgating event during the playoff game that took place over Thanksgiving weekend last year.  Look at that snowbank!  Ugh!  It was almost 60 degrees outside this is hard to believe how different each year can be.

Justin and I spent Thanksgiving at his mom's house in Grand Forks.  We stuffed ourselves and watched TV all day while tearing through the 5 lb. bundle of Christmas shopping ads from the newspaper.  That evening we drove around town to check out the people waiting in line outside of various stores who were set on scoring some Black Friday bargains.  That kind of shopping is just not my thing! (Yes, there are some kinds of shopping that aren't my thing...believe it or not...)

On Saturday we went to Fargo for a bridal shower for a soon to be cousin.

We managed to get a pretty decent group photo with the timer on my camera.  Some men even showed up at the end to join in the fun!  We shopped a bit afterwards and it was busy but not unbearable in the stores.  

On Friday and this afternoon I did some decorating around my parents' house.  My mom had already done the boring part...assembling the tree and adding the I was able to do the fun part and hang the ornaments!  This afternoon we hung our stockings.  My mom sewed these stockings for us starting with the Mom and Dad versions at the top back in the early 80's.  Mine followed, and now we all have them and so do some of my relatives.  Justin's fish and Kirk's tractor are the newest additions.  She was talking about how she wants to start assembling several so as new babies come she can just add names!  Sounds like a good idea to me!  I want to learn to sew them as well.  Pardon the clutter and debris in the background...that radiator is a catchall for damp outerwear and boots and gloves that need to be warmed and the other room is full of the decoration boxes from the attic.  Just remnants of life!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Decorations Continued

Ok...the rest of my decorating...I know everyone has been waiting anxiously to see this!  Haha I bet...

I have this cheap box of plastic blue ornaments from IKEA and they don't all fit on the tree.  If I ever have a bigger tree (or I should say WHEN I have a bigger tree) they will all fit so I keep them year after year of course.  I arranged them in a bowl and put it on a Fiestaware Christmas plate.  I love that Christmas Fiestaware...I got that tree napkin holder at a rummage sale this summer. 

Here is the nativity scene with an assortment of Christmas trees.  Some are from rummage sales, the small glass ones are ones from my grandmother's collection.  For years, my sister and I gave her a tree and a few years ago she started gifting them back to us as keepsake items.  I love them!  To the left is a stack of children's Christmas books given to me by my mom over the years. 

Those little boots are from Justin's grandma.  She had one for all of her grandchildren when they were kids and now that she has a small apartment and doesn't entertain everyone there on holidays she distributed them so they could have them in their own homes.  I was bestowed my own a few years ago! 

These are more thrift store finds...I know of several family members who have a large version of that tree with lights and birds on it and I was excited to find the mini version of it over the weekend!  Hopefully it will be joined by the big one some day! 

 I have been trying to commit to a Christmas card design...I love choosing ours every year and make several options online before ordering my favorite!  Here is a preview with one of our dud photos...I laugh every time I see poor Allan with his creepy flashlight eyes!

I hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving!  I am dying for some Stovetop and pecan pie and some olives and pickles in a divided dish! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Save Your Groans...

The early onset of Christmas madness is a popular topic every year.  Most people complain about it.  They are annoyed by Christmas music in stores and the fixation on Black Friday.  I don't really mind the store displays and shopping talk once November hits because that means there are only 7 weeks to fit in the shopping and holiday season planning.  I love Thanksgiving too, so I wish there were more store displays and TV commercials about that holiday.  I also actually like Christmas music (either you love it or hate it, it seems!  Justin doesn't even want to listen to it when we are driving places on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!)  and I love the atmosphere in stores during this time of year.  I also like getting people gifts and get kind of depressed when people blow it off as a waste of money, materialistic, stuff no one needs, etc.  It's fun!  Can't some things just be for fun?  So, I guess I am in between.  I don't mind Christmas stuff in stores once November rolls around.  I know it is out long before that but I just ignore it until then. 

So, there may be mixed feelings out there when I say that I put up the Christmas tree this weekend!  It is fake so there is no need to worry about the dehydration issue.  I had a few reasons.  One is that I am never home so I wanted to get it done when I am home.  Next time I am here it will be December so then everything will be done already.  Also, I have a 1/2 off discount from Shutterfly that expires on Wednesday that I want to use for Christmas cards.  We have ZERO...yes, zero...good photos of the two of us from this year that weren't taken at a football game or skiing.  And, if you recall (which I am sure most of you don't but I remember!) we have used both of those themes more than once since our first card in 2007.  Also, I wanted a photo that would showcase the pregnancy for those relatives who haven't been able to have the pleasure to see me in person. 

So we are going to try to take one tonight in front of the tree.  Hopefully we can get a good shot.  Otherwise it is going to be a collage of Allan photos because he is one subject that I have hundreds of photos of from the past year!

This is Allan's third Christmas with us.  Every year he is pretty interested in the tree but not in the way people think cats would be.  He doesn't want to climb it...he likes to chew on the branches.  It is really weird.  Also, he likes to play with the ornaments so I just put the cheap plastic ones near the bottom. 

Here he is, already wanting to start knawing on those branches!

I left it up without any lights or decorations for awhile so he could check it out and hopefully lose interest. 

As annoying as he is when he goes in there it leads to some cute pictures!

Here is the finished product!  It is impossible to get a good photo of a tree with lights with my camera...I tried every setting and they all look bad.  I tried at night and during daylight.  During the day that window causes problems and at night it is hard to capture the twinkle of the lights. 

Here are a few of my favorite ornaments...

I think I feature this little tree last year.  It has been around since I was a little kid.  I picked it out at a craft show or some Christmas store with my aunt.  I vaguely remember it.  It was always on our tree when I was growing up and now it is on my tree!

I have many Coca-Cola ornaments...It is probably the marketing but there is something festive about Coke.  Even as I decorated yesterday I was wishing I had a Coke in a festive holiday can with polar bears or Santa on it to drink.  Also, the packaging is read which makes it perfect for Christmas.  I like this mini bottle because of its cute little hat! 

My mom gave me two of these springy trees a few years ago.  I have quite a few blue ornaments.  I can't say I have a blue theme though...the tree is kind of a mess...there are green and red beads, lots of Santa ornaments that Justin collected as he was growing up, and many oddballs that don't fit with any theme.  I guess that's how a tree should be!  Those store created theme trees are beautiful but I prefer the fun assortment of memories that we have! 

Awww...this one will always be a favorite although it hasn't been around for too long.  I don't want to think of the year when I unwrap it and wish he was still here! 

I set up a few other displays around the house but this is getting long so I will share them in another post.  Hopefully in a few weeks you will be seeing our fabulous Christmas card in the mail! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

6 months

Here I am, beginning Month 6.  The time was going fast and now it is kind of lagging.  Ever since that first ultrasound when they told me I was at 18 weeks instead of 20 it has seemed slow.  I get these reminders every week on my phone from about my weekly progress and they are all two weeks ahead based on their due date calculator so it was like no progress was made for those two weeks.  I am really growing out of clothes now though.  I especially am noticing it because the T-shirts I wear after work (and to work if I am feeling really casual!) are now too tight and very unflattering!  I am pretty much out of all non-maternity shirts now, althought that tunic thing I am wearing in the picture is non maternity.  It is basically a shapeless sack, though, so it still works.  I might have been imagining things but it felt like it was getting tighter throughout the day today!

I have been trying to get some excersise every day, although exercise hasn't been the same as it used to be.  Now I consider an after work tear around the mall as exercise!  I still love swimming laps when I am home to use my Y membership but that is not nearly often enough.  I bought a prenatal yoga dvd at a thrift store a few weeks ago and I have to say that it wasn't really my thing.  The dvd has routines for every trimester and the ones for the 2nd include workouts for purposes such as back pain, winding down to go to sleep, and morning sickness.  I chose a workout called "energize".  Well, if they call that workout an energize workout, I don't want to know what the relax and sleep workouts entail because it was so dull that I completely spaced out immediately.  Imagine sitting crossed-legged on the floor upon some sort of thick foam block with rolled up towels under your thighs and behind your back for support (huh?  People are not that huge in the 2nd trimester!).  Then imagine some woman saying lame things like "relax your eyes" and "let your awareness drop from your head to your heart" and directing you to breath and flex your back muscles.  I thought maybe this was the warmup and waited for it to pick up but it never did.  Hmmmmm...OK...I am afraid to say it was way too boring for my tastes.  I exercise to get my blood flowing and to feel stronger and I think reading a magazine on the elliptical machine or listening to music is much more relaxing sitting on the floor and trying to "let my awareness drop from my head to my heart..."  Haha I think this dvd might be in my next bag of thrift store donations!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Obsession Continues...

Well, I am a full blown Pinterest fiend now...I made my first project last Friday night...scarves.  The original source is from this blog...

This is the result...I bought two yards of knit in Bison colors and made four scarves.  If you click on the link it is easier to see the braided detail.  They were very very easy to make and the sewing was minimal and everyone thought they were cute! 

Meanwhile, my sister experimented with a few Pinterest ideas that caught her eye as well...she baked some sugar cookies that had green swirls and also rice crispy bars that looked like party confetti.  She has been intrigued by the food ideas on the site. 

I didn't have anything too time consuming on the agenda on this Sunday so I have been finding myself browsing around on Pinterest and making my pinboards. 

Here is a link to my boards...

I used to love taping everything, such has programs from school concerts, newspaper articles, cards, and many other mementos into old fashioned scrapbooks (not the fancy photo "Creative Memories" type of photo scrapbooks, which I have also come to enjoy making).  This kind of reminds me of that. 

Here is the newest thing I want to make.  It is for baby boys!  The original pin came from the blog  It contains directions for making a vintage looking hat out of flannel (specifically 2nd hand flanned shirts from a thrift store, which is right up my alley).  There is also directions for the matching furry blanket.  This is her photo.  I always feel wierd using other people's photos online so I am making sure to direct everyone where to find the original and not take credit for anything that isn't my own work.  If you look at the link there are cute pictures of babies snuggled up in the blanket and hat.  Very adorable. 

The hat is alike a boy version of the very feminine sun bonnets my sister and I wore as babies, minus the ribbon, eyelet, and ruffles of course!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Discovery

I have found a new way to distract myself and suck hours from my life as I sit on the couch every I needed that in addition to, babycenter, and of course the always reliable Facebook.  It is called Pinterest...I insist that you look at it.  It is a website that lets users create inspiration "pin boards" with things that they find or add themselves that they like, want to try, have made or want to make, or just like!

I have seen other ladies (it is not a women's website but it seems to draw in many more women!) that I know exlaiming over Pinterest on Facebook in relation to everything from weddings to cooking to crafts.  I finally looked at it.  Oh my...oh my...ideas everywhere!  For everything!  If you roll the cursor over the "everything" link at the top you will see all the categories.  So far, my favorites have been the DIY and crafts and the home decor categories although I just looked at it for the first time yesterday.  I quickly glanced at the pets link and found it to be enchanting as well.  I signed up for an invite last night and haven't recieved my email yet...please don't forget about me Pinterest!  I want to make my own pin board with stuff I like and want to try!  Maybe even stuff I made myself and then other people could pin my creations on their boards!  Since I don't have an invite yet so I don't have my own board, here is a sampling of a few (a few...I could have gone on indefinitely...) things I liked on there.  I am adding the name of the site the pinboard linked to because I don't want to be a thief. 

Originally from you look at that!?  This caught my eye because it just so happens that there is a vintage tub like this in my parents' attic.  It is gigantic and I always thought it would be very fun to bring it back to its' glory.  Imagine the color possibilities!

See the website on the photo...these are appealing and cozy!  I think you could put a sweater on anything and make it cute!

Pinned Image Homemade mice cat toys made from thrift store menswear fabric!  Allan would love these. 

Pinned Image This makes me want an old library card catalogue

in a bad way!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Opening Weekend 2011

It was the opening weekend for deer hunting (with a rifle) this weekend in ND.  I did what I usually do and went to meet Justin at his cousin's farm.  The weather was pretty warm and the deer were not showing themselves they way they sometimes do.  It seems that the horrendous winter we had last year was hard on the deer population.  I love a fun "class B" weekend.  The chili dinner with friends and family on Friday night, crowded bar later on Friday night, roaming around outdoors on Saturday (where a buck emerged from the grass right in front of me only to meet his demise seconds later) and the lefse making at my mom's house on Saturday afternoon added up to a lovely weekend.  Oh, and there was the "smoker" on Saturday night...if you are not familiar, a smoker is an event, historically attended only by men but now open to women, where you buy a ticket, get a meal, unlimited booze, and the chance to win some big prizes.    If you go back to my opening weekend post from last year, you will see my mom's big win from last year's smoker!  Also, there are plenty of gaming opportunities including blackjack and other card games, a wheel of chance, and dice games.  The proceeds are used for the purposes of the volunteer fire department and the event is held at the fire hall. 

This was my first time at this event.  Fortunately for me and my current condition, the smoker became smoke free recently!  The stogey fog has lifted!  The lone smokers had to smoke outside!  I was unsure about attending this sort of event sober because it really is an all night booze fest with no set ending time.  Apparently some guys stay up all night!  I was concerned that I would be the only sober person there and I think I was.  I know no one else was reaching for the O'Douls that was stashed way in the back of the one of the refridgerators!  It was enjoying talking to lots of people I grew up with and pretending my O'Douls was something else when I learned that I had won a wheel spin!  I had purchased a $10 chance and ended up winning $100!  Yeeaaaahh!!!!  Then my brother-in-law won a 50 inch TV!  I guess this event is lucky for our family.  I later ended up losing $9 while playing dice but I played for about 2 hours so I thought losing $9 wasn't so bad.

  The next day my mom went into the no man's land otherwise known as the attic and dug out our old bassinette.  I have no idea where this thing was stashed because I have rummaged around in the attic plenty of times over the years and I can't remember seeing it.  It was a mess.  Back in 2003, the roof was shingled and alot of debris and dirt fell through the bare boards of the room when the old shingles were removed.  My mom cleaned most of it up but this thing was so out of the way that it got overlooked.  Fortunately, it cleaned up nicely and the sheet and skirt were protected in a bag.  Apparently my grandma made that skirt for my aunt back in 1990 when she had her first child.  The bassinette was originally purchased for me and was used by me and my siblings and three cousins as well.  The mattress is so tiny!  I am going to get a new mattress...I researched it online and there are many varieties, from a very basic version to a fancy organic hypoallergenic version with the same measurements still available. 

In international baby related news, there are rumors that Princess Katherine might be pregnant because she has been captured on film holding her abdomen protectively like in the photo above.  Also, she turned down peanut paste (whatever that is...maybe it is like peanut butter).  Oops...I have been eating peanut products through my whole pregnancy...

If the rumors end up being true this will be so great!  My kid will be the same age as the royal baby!  I can check out Kate's maternity clothes and try to copy her look (if such a thing is possible wearing clothes from Motherhood Maternity and Old Navy and dresses from the 80% off rack at Kohls).  If she is pregnant she better stop following that outlandish diet that everyone was talking about before the wedding and start chowing down on some high calorie foods because she is so skinny! That baby will rob all the protein from her muscles and the calcium from her bones!

Oh, back to deer for Justin brother-in-law on Justin's side got a buck on Saturday and so did my roommate/brother-in-law Kirk.  Justin's friend shot a doe on Saturday as well.  I will spare everyone the bloody deer photos.  They don't really bother me but they are not my favorite things to look at either.  I know people who aren't around hunting sometimes find them kind of disturbing so I will leave them off of here. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Another Quilt

Here is my most recent quilt.  It was a baby quilt for a friend that Andrea commissioned me to make.  We gave it to her for a shower gift over the weekend (and I finished at the last minute!).  The baby has been born and is a girl but when I started we didn't know the gender yet.  The colors were Andrea's idea and the pattern was mine. 

I tried shoot this photo to avoid showing the dog debris in the yard but that chewed up frisbee got in the shot in the corner!

The back is a soft fuzzy fabric!  It was very nice...I was sad to see it go but the mom and baby liked it so it was worth it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ultrasound #2

This morning I had a follow up ultrasound since the technition couldn't get a good view of the heart last time.  I was excited to see how the little guy was looking a month later...well, I am happy but not surprised to report that there is indeed a heart in there complete with the four necessary chambers!  I wasn't too worried since we have heard the heartbeat at each appointment but it was still good to see.  It is the strangest thing to see the baby moving around in there...oh, and it is still clearly a false alarms in that area...pending any issues the next appointment will be in 6 weeks and will entail an all morning glucose tolerance test to screen for gestational diabetes complete with fasting for 12 hours and guzzling some sort of nasty concoction full of sugar!  I have heard from other women that this test is not the highlight of anyone's prenatal care experience...I am dreading the fasting the most. 

The ultrasound technition printed a few pictures in addition to the set we received a month ago.  It seems that every hospital but ours has some sort of digital version but we just got prints (instantly made but still not as good as a digital copy!) so I thought I would scan them.  Well...I am distressed to report that something is not right with my scanner...the scans look like this...

I don't know what this is about and it has me worried...a few months ago I scanned and printed a few pictures for Justin and it worked fine and that was the last time I used it.  At first I thought there was something about the ultrasound prints that were unscannable but I tried a normal photo as well and the same thing happened...sigh...technical difficulties can suck hours of time before you know it...I have to leave soon so I am hoping that the sometime effective "turn if off and don't use it for awhile" trick will work.  It has worked for my sewing machine and ipod before!

Anyway, I resorted to the very advanced method of taking a photo of the photo with my phone and sending it to my computer...

Hello baby!  I have the cute feet shots as well but those photos are in Fargo right now.

Allan is fine.  I was putting away a few two piece swimming suits (hopefully just for the winter and not forever!) in a plastic under bed storage container.  This particular container is stuffed full of swimwear, ski socks, long johns and other seasonal items and the lid pops off easily.  I was confused when I reached under to grab it and saw that clothes were spread out around it.  The lid was off and there was a flattened area in there like it would look if a kitten had been sleeping in there...what a brat!