a room for little ones

I’ve been meaning to post photos of the kiddos’ room since, oh… November of 2013? I figured I better take some photos since inevitably Gracie will move to a toddler bed in the next while.

I feel very sentimental towards their tiny little bedroom, and I know it will be a sad day to me when we move them to the slightly larger guest room. And while their room is never as tidy as it is in these photos, this is how I choose to picture it in my mind’s eye.

I love how the light floods in the window in the morning.

IMG_1199Luke’s corner, complete with the birth announcement that my mom made; Ian’s badges from his boy scout and eagle scout days; the quilt that I miraculously made for him when he moved into his bed; and the IKEA wall pockets that he has ignored or knocked off the wall since we got them. Yes, I could take them down… but then I’d have to fill in the holes in the wall. 🙂IMG_1200I love this cheerful little spot, and someday I will miss seeing the cloth diapers all stacked and ready.IMG_1203

IMG_1204Gracie’s corner is sweet – I made the little trio of woodland animals before Luke was even born, and I convinced my mom to embroider another lovely birth announcement for our girl.IMG_1206And the stork that I made – it has been plucked from the sky many times by curious little hands, yet still survives.  IMG_1210I love our IKEA Expedit systems (we have 3 throughout the house). IMG_1212And the room wouldn’t be complete without some amazing family photos from Evantide Photography.IMG_1213I still have the Noah’s ark hanging that my mom made for me – it was over my closet growing up, and now it’s over my kids’ closet. Next to it are two baby bibs that my oma embroidered – the bottom one was mine, and the top one was given to my mom’s best friend when she had a son. My mom’s friend was so kind to give it to me when I had Luke (and yes, I totally cried when she gave it to me). IMG_1225

So that’s their room at the moment. I know they won’t be little forever, but I sure am treasuring this time while they fit perfectly in this tiny little room together.

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the last of luke’s nursery

Sigh. The day finally came when we decided to move Luke to his “big boy bed” (aka teeny toddler bed).

We had talked about doing it on a week when Ian was working an earlier shift, so we’d have a good amount of time for an extended bedtime routine if we encountered any difficulties. But when we looked at our calendar, we realized that most nights we had commitments that were going to push bedtime back anyways. So we made the switch kind of spur-of-the-moment on a Sunday morning. Which was for the best, since it didn’t leave me time to be overly sentimental about “his last night in his crib” and whatnot. Which I tend to do.

Anyways. We did it – Ian put together his toddler bed and we re-arranged all the furniture so that it fit. Luke and baby sister will be sharing a room, so we had to be creative about fitting everything in a small room. But it will be cozy and cute and Luke is really excited about sharing his room. Once we’ve settled everything in and decorated, I’ll share some photos. But don’t expect it before December!

I loved how Luke’s room was for the first couple years of his life. When he was born, we had a bare skeleton of a room – a crib with no mattress, and a couple dressers. Hey, when you have an adoption come through after the baby is already born, you don’t exactly have time to nest before bringing him home! So it took a couple months to come together, but it was a sweet room that worked well for us. And honestly, the style of the new shared room won’t be that much different. If there’s a theme to the room, it’s probably a woodland theme, which I still love. But I wanted to remember what Luke’s first room looked like.

I loved his little crib area. I designed his birth announcement, and my mom made it with her mad crewel embroidery skills (I’ve already given her baby girl’s design to work on!). My mother-in-law got those super cute animal prints from a local artist – Luke still loves to point out the animals and make up stories about them. The little collage area over his dresser is a modge podge of fun little crafted or thrifted goodies. Both the dresser and the lamp is from my childhood. The lamp also plays a lullaby and the crib figurine rocks when you wind it up (it totally freaks Ian out, but I love it).

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This room gets some nice light, and it was nice to have his changing table under the window. The stork always looked great there – I’m excited to be adding a new heart to it soon! To the left of the window is a photo of Luke’s first father’s day (only a couple weeks old) and a bib that my oma made for one of my mom’s best friends when she had a baby boy. When I had Luke, she was so sweet to pass it on to me. I absolutely love it. I don’t have a full photo of it, but my mom made the Noah’s ark hanging above the closet. She made it for me before I was born, and it always hung in my room growing up. That’s probably Luke’s favorite art in the room since he’s obsessed with Noah’s ark. 🙂

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This side of the room is fun – I made the trio of woodland animals before Luke was born. My BFFs made the little raccoons and twig tree for my baby shower. The good ol’ IKEA expedit has served us well, and will continue to do so!

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So that’s the grand tour – I did say his room was small. 🙂

And here’s a photo of the big boy in his new bed. I made the quilt for him – my first since the lap quilt I made in high school home ec! It was actually a remarkably smooth process, and Luke loves it. Overall, he’s adjusted well to his new bed – bedtimes are great, naptimes are usually fine, though he definitely uses his freedom to get up and play for a few more minutes before settling down. We are thankful for a kiddo who generally likes to sleep, so we try not to get too worked up when we have a shorter or skipped nap day.

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I’m excited to put together their new room… once that nesting instinct kicks in, I guess!

introducing… the little tidbits of joy shop

So remember how I said I had an exciting announcement? Well, I know a bunch of you were hoping it was baby news and yes, that would be way more exciting! But not yet. However it is a sort of birth… I’m officially selling my crafts now!

It’s super exciting and crazy. I’m freaking out a little.

If you live in the Bellingham-ish area, you should come to my very first craft fair! I’ll have a booth with my friend Corinne (who is selling her awesome Christmas ornaments – let me just say that there are seashells and glitter involved with some of them!) at Hillcrest Chapel’s Arts & Crafts Fair this Saturday, Nov 3, from 9am-4pm. Not only are there a bunch of great vendors every year, but a portion of the profits goes to the church’s Adoption Fund that provides grants to families that are adopting!

But that’s not all! I’ve also opened an Etsy shop.

It’s really just a sneak peak at this point – I’ve only put a few items in there since I am keeping most of my stock freed up for the craft fair this Saturday. I’ll be adding more items soon, so stay tuned!

Here are a couple glimpses of things I am selling…

Head on over to my shop to see the other items.

I’ll have some other goods available on Saturday at the craft fair, so I hope to see some of you there! I’ll let you know how it goes and keep you posted on my shop happenings. But for now, I’ve got to get back to my crafting frenzy!

embroidered animal abc book

embroidered animal abc felt book alphabet felt book

Back when Luke was still a tiny newborn, I got this idea to make a felt animal alphabet book for him. As with many of my crafting ideas, it simmered in the back of my mind and my excitement about the project grew more and more.

embroidered animal abc felt book alphabet felt bookembroidered animal abc felt book alphabet felt book

I finally started making the book at the end of January. I would pick it up when I could – embroider an animal here and there throughout the week. I completed the book at the beginning of May. And since I couldn’t wait to give it to Luke for his birthday, he got it on his 11 month birthday. 🙂

embroidered animal abc felt book alphabet felt bookembroidered animal abc felt book alphabet felt book

It was really fun to choose the animals. I threw in some less common creatures, like the nautilus, which is one of my faves. I used a couple of my favorite books (Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection and Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book: Make a World) for pattern ideas – though I just eyeballed them, I didn’t trace them or anything precise. There were some animals that I didn’t have cute patterns for, so I just googled them and came up with my own rendition. At the end of the post I’ll give the list of what patterns I used. I made the smart decision to buy the pre-cut felt letters, which saved a lot of time. The only downside was that they are pretty thick and also have adhesive – so my embroidery needle would get very sticky after each letter.

I’m so happy with how it turned out, and Luke seems to enjoy it too! His favorite animals to touch are usually the elephant and the panda. I love seeing him play with the things I’ve made for him!

Here are the close-ups of each page.

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Animal patterns:
Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection: B, C, D, E, H, J, O, R, S
Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book: Make a World: A, F, G, M
My own creations: I, K, L, N, P, Q, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

diy valentines decor

Thank you, Dollar Tree, for having the exact little sparkly hearts I was envisioning.

Happy February! Every year I forget how busy my job is in January. It is always such a relief when February arrives and I can breathe a little easier (figuratively, but also literally – I had a lame cold the last two weeks of January. I’m still relishing Luke sleeping through the night most nights – ticks me off when a cough keeps waking me up!).

So far, February has started out amazing – the weather has been gorgeous (sunshine, nice to see you again!), Luke got to see both of his grandmothers last week, and I’ve gotten in some small crafting projects. I also like being able to slow down and enjoy the small moments, like peeling carrots for Luke’s food while he played next to me in his jumper this morning. Now he’s watching intently as Ian makes some cookies.

Valentine’s Day is only a week away, so I thought I’d post some pics of my super easy DIY decor.

I made this yarn-wrapped wreath a couple years ago when we were still remodeling our house, so it must have been quick. The foam wreath is the more square variety (that they happen to sell at Dollar Tree). I just wrapped her up in yarn, embroidered a little felt heart and called it good.

yarn wrapped jar valentines diy valentines decor

I just threw together this little ensemble. I had the ideas floating around in my head, and this is what emerged. I’d like to add something more to the mason jar… maybe some flowers from a certain special someone? 🙂 I wrapped the mason jar in yarn awhile ago and figured out the rest a few days ago. Fun fact: the “Love never fails” was stenciled with my Tupperware stencils from my childhood.

diy valentines decor yarn wrapped jar heart garlandIt’s fun coming up with seasonal decorations for the half wall between our dining area and the piano room. I put in some simple scrapbook paper into the photo frame, set out some candle holders and hung a heart garland.

yarn wrapped jar felt heart diy valentine decorSo remember these yarn-wrapped jars from Christmas? Yep, took me about 5 minutes to cut out some felt hearts and tie them to the jar with some yarn. I’ve seen lots of mason jars with doilies and paper hearts tied around them on pinterest and other blogs, which is definitely cute, but I didn’t want to have to buy doilies so this worked for me.

yarn heart garland diy valentines decorThis yarn heart garland was inspired by a mini-version that I pinned here. Again, I didn’t want to have to buy supplies (the thinner yarn and smaller crochet hook) so I just used the heart pattern and used some regular yarn I had on hand. Then I used a yarn needle to thread a piece of yarn through the backs of all the hearts. The hearts crochet up super fast – maybe 5-10 minutes? – and so this was a quick, easy project too.

There you have it! Some little valentines crafts to decorate your home, enjoy!

luke’s birth announcement wall hanging

crewel birth announcement wall hanging embroidery

Even before Luke came into the picture, I knew that I wanted a handmade birth announcement to hang on his wall. My oma (my mom’s mom) had cross-stitched one for me, and I wanted my baby to have one made by his or her oma. I love my mom’s crewel embroidery, so I wanted her to embroider the announcement. The only catch was that there were few patterns or kits to be found, and nothing really impressed me. So I decided that we would just have to make our own design.

crewel crewel yarn emboridery

I got out Aimee Ray’s Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection, which has so many cute patterns that fit my style, and perused her collection of woodland critters. The awesome thing about the book is that it comes with a cd of the digital files, so you can resize, rotate and tilt the designs exactly how you want them. I came up with a good layout, printed it off, then traced it with a washable marking pen onto some linen.

The main difference between crewel embroidery and traditional embroidery is that instead of embroidery floss, you use crewel wool yarn. That presented the next problem – none of our local craft or yarn stores carried any. Luckily, there is this great store in Yakima, WA called the Wooly Thread, and they carry all of the colors for great prices. We ended up getting a few of the seasonal packs, and it was perfect. I marked the pattern with the color numbers, and it was all set for my mom to take over!

  crewel crewel yarn embroidery

We had no idea how long our adoption process would take, or how much notice we would have before baby arrived, so I told her she better get started! She spent some time working on it on our annual Leavenworth getaway weekend, and then did bits and pieces here and there. And as it turned out, only a couple months after completing our paperwork, we became instant parents! With the pressure on, she finished it in time to give it to me at my family baby shower last fall.

It turned out SO great, even better than I expected! Though my mom would never admit to being crafty, she is awesome at crewel embroidery, and I’m so happy she made this for Luke. It looks great in his bedroom too!

nursery birth announcement wall hanging embroidery woodland

crewel embroidery birth announcement

Are there any sentimental things you’ve made or want to make for your kids? I love this tradition and plan to have one for each of my kids, if we have more – so don’t get too comfortable, mom, there may be more to do! 🙂

owls to love

Man, owls are seriously the new hedgehogs in my life. You may recall I’ve mentioned my owl obsession before. Well, it’s only grown bigger, because I got a bunch of owl gifts for Christmas! So fun!  [I am still a huge hedgehog fan, in case you were wondering. In fact, woodland critters in general make me happy.]

I also made a few owl gifts this Christmas, including these little felt ornaments from the pattern in Fa la la la Felt:

I really love crafting books, because they do the hard work of coming up with a good pattern and I get to do the fun stuff – the details! The pattern called for buttons, but I only had some beads. And I switched up colors and stitching details too.

Luke was very interested in trying to grab these, so I decided to make him a little stuffed owl. He always gives a big smile when we pull it out, so I’m pretty sure he’s an owl fan too (it may have something to do with his woodland-themed room, I’m not sure…).

It makes my heart very happy to see Luke enjoy his first mama-crafted toy. I’m sure there are more to come.

What do you think? Are owls the new hedgehogs, or will my prickly friends make a comeback in the mainstream market?