Mar 31, 2015

Weekly Goals - March 31st

Two days late and I'm still not as organized as I'd like, but it's something, right?
  • Finish packing all birth supplies
  • Paint whiteboard frame, hang up
  • Finish baby gym
  • Earn $35+
  • Clean windows & mirrors
  • Sketch
  • Make budget for April
  • Start compiling items for photo journal
  • Make and freeze a batch of rolls


Mar 29, 2015

Bump Photo - Week 37

It's been a while since I updated with a bump photo, and I realized last night that not many more opportunities may exist.  So, while I still have a bump... I might as well post it.

I'm glad to have come this far, and I'm hoping the next couple weeks go by fairly quickly.  While I'm sure having a newborn around is going to be tiring in an entirely different way, I'm starting to feel tired of being pregnant.

You may have noticed that I've slacked off on posting weekly goals - I may get a new post up today, but I'm not sure.  Dylan's work schedule may finally start getting back to normal soon, but even so my own sporadic spurts of energy/exhaustion make it difficult to follow the schedules I've tried to set for myself.  The fact that we've been dealing with poison ivy/poison oak rashes for the last couple weeks isn't helping anything, either.  On that note, I have to admit that I'm hoping Nutella doesn't arrive until that's cleared up completely -- even if it isn't contagious, it's not something I want to be dealing with while caring for a newborn.  Or while giving birth.  Ha.

Mar 22, 2015

Sketch! {Book Review}

Sketch! The non-artist's guide to inspiration, technique, and drawing daily life
by France Belleville - Van Stone (Author's website: http://www.wagonized.com/)

My Thoughts:
I've always loved to draw and color, ever since I was capable of holding crayons in my fist.  Even when I was young enough that my attention span was generally quite short, I would manage to sit contentedly for hours putting pigment on paper.  I took several years of art classes while in grade school, and then another short, week-long stint of art lessons in high school, but in the past couple years I've rarely drawn much of anything.

When I saw this book was available for review I was hesitant, as I've read other books on sketching which basically just encourage you to copy the steps the artist author has laid out.  While those types of book are helpful, I've never been one to really enjoy just copying another person's work step-by-step, as the feeling of accomplishment is so much higher when I just copy the finished product or draw what I actually see.

This book, however, isn't such a guide.  In fact, I would say that it is more inspiration and encouragement than it is a guide, even though it has a good bit of advice on what to do and what not to do.

The clear message of the entire book, which resonated strongly with me, was the encouragement to simply draw.  Not to make a masterpiece, not to worry too much about methods or equipment, but to simply enjoy the process of drawing.  And I think this is just the encouragement I need at this point in my life.  While I want to learn better methods of drawing and perfect my sketches and add more skills and techniques like cross-hatching to my repetoire, I really need to get back to my child-like love for simply putting down lines on paper.

What this book is not:
If you're looking for a book giving paint-by-the-number sort of instructions, then this book will leave you feeling disappointed.  It isn't a book telling you how to create an incredible work of art.  It is a friendly kick-in-the-pants reminding you that you'll never be a great artist without drawing and sketching a ton of pathetic "failures".

It does have inspiration tips from the author about some things she's learned the hard way (for instance, what paper doesn't work with certain pens) but it isn't a step-by-step method giving instructions on what exactly you have to do.

My rating:
This book not only contains a message I needed to hear, but it is also stuffed full of the author's own inspiring sketches.  Some of them are incredible, others are just squiggles -- but seeing the imperfect drawings is sometimes just as helpful, if not more so.  Even if you personally aren't interested in sketching, the eye-candy alone would make it an interesting book to peruse.

Therefore, I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Note:
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Adding to My Diaper Stash - Newborn "Daddy Flats" and Covers

 After reading in several places that one-size diapers really aren't suitable for newborns, I decided to add a few smaller covers and such to my stash.  I've got a few packages of 'sposies for the first couple weeks, but after I run out of those I want to delve full-time into the world of cloth diapering, and I'd hate to find that I haven't got anything which fits well enough to use for the first couple months.

The white diapers are sort of a cross between fitted diapers and prefolds - you can find the tutorial I used here: http://www.adventuresinfluff.com/2011/08/how-to-sew-your-own-recycled-t-shirt.html

The covers are both AI2-style and they both have snaps.  The one on the left was made with regular elastic, and has gussets, a double row of snaps, and an umbilical cord snap.  The one on the left is simpler, being made with FOE and a single row of snaps (and no gussets or cord snap).

You can find the pattern for the cover on the left here: http://prefold2fitted.blogspot.com/2015/02/newborn-small-tuckable-cover.html although it doesn't include instructions for gussets - those I added myself after browsing a couple tutorials online to get an idea of how they work.

And the pattern for the cover on the right: http://prefold2fitted.blogspot.com/2012/02/one-size-foe-cover-pattern-template.html


Here's a photo of both covers snapped at the largest settings.  (The top photo has them at the smallest.)  It looks to me as if the cover on the left will have too short of a rise long before the widest snap setting would be needed, so if I make another like it I might leave off the snaps on the very edges.

In terms of sewing time, the FOE diaper definitely was faster and easier -- but I'm thinking that the double row of snaps and the gussets might make the other diaper more functional.  I guess I'll find out for sure in a matter of weeks... it's hard to believe that tomorrow marks the start of week 36 of pregnancy!

Mar 8, 2015

Weekly Goals - 3/8

Goals From Last Week:
  1. Finish reorganizing craft supplies
    Done.  I have a feeling that the current way things are organized is temporary, but it works until I have a better method.
  2. Sew baby tunic
    Not done - but I did sew a baby hat and a wet bag for cloth diapering.  So... I'm not worried about the unfinished tunic.
  3. Earn $30
    Not done.  Again, crazy schedules kept this from happening.  C'est la vie.
  4. Work on customizing diaper bag
    Done.  Have a I mentioned that I don't like hand sewing?  No?  Well, I don't like hand sewing.
    I had plans to add lots of stuff to the bag, but ended up mostly just removing little ugly spots and adding a single zippered pocket to the front before calling it done.  Perhaps I'll have more inspiration later and add more to the bag, but not now.
  5. Wash sheets
    Done.
  6. Make new housecleaning schedule/system
    Started. 
  7. Start seriously planning curtains and wall hangings
    Done.  I'm finally starting to feel like I have a sense of direction for how I want to decorate the rooms in here.

Goals For This Week:
  1. Freezer cooking
  2. Earn $20+
  3. Start sewing baby gym
  4. Trim hair, try out two new hairstyles
  5. Start planting garden
  6. Out of town trip - midwife appointment & visit Joann's fabric store
  7. Do one thing to improve home decor
  8. Sew a new maternity top

Mar 2, 2015

Baby Clothing

As promised, here are the photos of stuff I sewed for baby last week.   I was chasing daylight while photographing them, so these aren't the most stunning pictures ever, but they do the job.

 I know I already posted photos of this little dress, so this photo is here to show off the little diaper cover I made from this pattern: http://www.danamadeit.com/2010/08/the-perfect-diaper-cover-tutorial-and-free-pattern.html

 Another baby gown.  Pattern: http://thismamamakesstuff.com/tutorial-rockin-baby-gown-t-shirt-refashion/

 Circle skirts: http://www.danamadeit.com/2012/04/celebrate-baby-tutorial-and-pattern-little-baby-circle-skirt.html

Another circle skirt, as well as a onsie made from a pattern improvised by me.  (The color is more pink and less orange in person.)

Another Little Geranium top, shortened a bit this time to make it a tunic.  ( http://www.made-by-rae.com/2013/01/free-little-geranium-dress-pattern/)

Leggings: http://gotosew.com/2014/02/free-baby-go-to-leggings-pattern/

Mar 1, 2015

Weekly Goals - 3/1

Goals From Last Week:
  1. Sew 3 items of baby clothing
  2. Done.  Actually, I got more than three items sewn.  Hopefully, if I find the time, I'll post photos...
  3. Exercise 4-5 days of the week
    Eh... not really done.  I did move around more, but didn't really exert myself.
  4. Earn $35+ this week
    Not done.  I started out well at the beginning of the week, but a crazy schedule and the fact that I got a cold during the end of the week resulted in my earning something like $15.
  5. Tidy & Organize craft & sewing supplies
    Partially done.  I'm actually in the middle of this as I type.  The couch is currently filled with piles of fabric, and so I'm going to type this up quickly and then get back to that project...
  6. Purchase car seat
    Delayed.  I had this in my cart and everything, but at the last moment realized that I could use a Swagbucks gift card to pay for it if I waited a week or so.
  7. Finish reading Economics in One Lesson
    Not done.  Bad, Hannah.
  8. Clean paint splatters of floor
    Not done.   Bending over that far is already challenging right now, as even tying my shoes makes me feel nauseated.  Add to this the fact that I have a cold... 
  9. Repaint wall in kitchen
    Not done.  I'm removing this from the list, because every time I think about doing it I question the necessity of it.  Now I think the need for a second coat was simply my brain playing tricks on me.
Goals For This Week:
  1. Finish reorganizing craft supplies
  2. Sew baby tunic
  3. Earn $30
  4. Work on customizing diaper bag
  5. Wash sheets
  6. Make new housecleaning schedule/system
  7. Start seriously planning curtains and wall hangings