Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Rose by any other Name...

Lily, Rose (Ellie the Elephant) and Violet
--and cute Clara in the backround pushing the stroller much too close to me for me to get her in the shot
I said there was a story behind the flower names, so I thought I'd post this cute picture of all 3 dolls and tell the story. Way back when I was pregnant with Sophia, just after we found out we were having a girl, we started the name game of trying to agree on a name. Phil and I have always had much different opinions on girls names. Just to give you an idea, it came down to either Sophia or Melia (taken from the name Amelia). Two really different sounding names. Anyway. On the weekend days that Jakob woke up early (which is every day), we would have him crawl into bed with us and sometimes we would have him come up with names for his little sister. I remember that some were crazy ones taken from characters in books and his imagination, but the one that got the best laugh was when he suggested the name "Rose". Not a bad sounding name, until you put it with our last name and say it fast. It starts to sound like rose bud and images of 'Citizen Kane' flood my head. When Jakob suggested it, the first thing we did was say it together with our last name and then we started laughing and couldn't stop. I just remember how good it felt to have a good, long, belly laugh. And of course I could never think of using that name without getting a case of the giggles, so we never seriously considered it, but Jakob was set on it for a long time...really until we told him we settled on Sophia 2 days after she was born.
Fast forward 1 1/2 years, Sophia was getting her first Magic Cabin doll for Christmas and Jakob again said that we should use the name 'Rose', after all, she had red hair. So Rose it was and then she went back and named her yellow haired doll 'Daisy' (she's not in the picture and is the only non-Magic Cabin doll she has). When she got her dark haired doll, she picked the name Violet (our yard was always full of those in Spring time and Sophia loved to pick them). When it came time to name Clara's doll of course we had to come up with a flower name and we already have a name picked out for her second doll that will come in a year or two. So that's the story of the flower names. I also have to say that I'm so glad I have been picky about the gathering of dolls. Sophia has her 3 dolls all hand made and loves them very much. She still cuddles with them at night, dresses them up and pretend plays with them. Clara is already doing the same and I'm going to try my best to limit her dolls to the ones I've made for her.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Other Two

Now time to tell what I made for the other two. Jakob got the book cover and Sophia got the quilt. While those two projects were fun in their own way, these two were especially fun, because I was bringing something to life in my own way.
Clara has been sleeping and using one of Sophia's Magic Cabin dolls on loan for a couple of months now. It was decided way back in the summer that she would get one of these dolls for Christmas, so Sophia was happy to make a temporary loan. After finally deciding on the coloring of the doll, which went through many changes until I finally decided on something similar, but not quite the same as the one she was borrowing, I ordered it. The kit arrived and sat...funny that this is the one present that I knew I was going to make way back in July, but it was the last one I made. Baby Lily, as she has been named by the older 3 (all of the dolls have flower names...there's a story behind that) was made in a couple of late nights the week before Christmas. I went with the 'Anne of Green Gables' look. Clara loves her. Here she is opening her Christmas morning:
And here she is lying on the quilt that I made to go with her. Again I used some pieces from another embroidered pillow cases.
For Ethan I went with felt animals. He's been asking for some and I think he really liked these. He got a rabbit, squirrel, beaver, robin, cardinal, turtle and penguin. (The basic critter pattern was created by Valerie, the turtle pattern was from a book I checked out at the Nashville Public Library...I know I wrote the title down somewhere and just can't find it and the penguin pattern I think I got from Valerie as well, but I think she got this one from somewhere else)
Can you tell these are all from the same pattern? He's declared the squirrel his favorite.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Christmas PJs

Clara in her Christmas pjs. She got a longish shirt/short night gown and pants.
These are not the greatest pictures and I really should have taken some while they were wearing them. The one of Clara is the best I've got. These were my 'really alter the pattern and make up the pants pattern' pajamas and they turned out really cute. I found the fabric at House of Fabric in Nashville one of the times they were having their 75% off remnants sale. It's this great cotton/lycra mix which meant really fun ruffles on the edges (no hems, just stretch and zigzag!). Their dolls also got a night gown. For those of you with Magic Cabin dolls and who still use the clothes patterns that came with it, if you use the stretchy fabric you don't have to leave the back open. It made it rather easy, no hems and just one casing for the neck elastic.
Sophia just got a nightgown and boys just got pajama pants. This year I said I would probably just buy them (cost wise it's about the same since I try to get the softer flannel), but they really wanted me to make them, so here they are.

Sibling Gifts from Kid #3

I think fleece is a good fabric to learn to sew on, so that's what we went with. She really wanted to sew. For the oldest, she made an ipod case (simple drawstring pouch).
For the next brother, she made a pokemon pillow. She sewed the circle, stuffed it, cut the little fringes and glued on the pokemon face she drew and cut out.
For her sister, she made a doll blanket (more on the doll she got from me coming soon). She sewed a zig zag around the edge and the cut the fringes.

Sibling Gifts from Kid #1

A pillow case for his brother (he really likes making these and sews them himself).
A backpack and painted numbers for the youngest sister. She loves backpacks and he said he wanted to help her learn her numbers. While we were at the craft store coming up with a gift idea (he originally wanted to do a block puzzle with 6 different pictures, but they didn't have enough blocks), he saw the letters and said how cool it would be to have his initials. I had to smile because the other gift had already been made.
The other sister got a piggy bank he bought. Not homemade, I know, but the idea to encourage her to save was good enough to get me to let him buy it (it's green and glittery).

Sibling Gifts from Kid #2

Hair accessories to his sisters--fun ribbons, flowers and scrapbooking brads. This is what we did on the day he stayed home sick.
He painted his initials for his older brother to hang on his wall. He was very picky about the colors, making sure they were his favorite colors.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Crafting for the Other Budge Brood

There is something about homemade gifts. I feel like I'm giving a piece of myself or in return, receiving a piece of someone else. I love that feeling and I find myself trying more and more to make homemade gifts. This wonderful family also got a manacala set from Togo, but I wanted to give them each something and stay in budget. Here is what I created for each of them: For the ever so talented mom and manager of 6--an apron made from the embroidered portion of a pillowcase my grandmother had embroidered (my oldest sister got one of these as well, I just forgot to take pictures of everything I made for their family). The pillowcase was beyond repair and I wanted to somehow use the embroidered part. I thought it made a nice apron bottom because the lace was already in tact. Plus she got two felt ornaments.
The oldest, who happens to be a boy, got a book cover. While my oldest put his to use right away, I'm not sure what the nephew thought of his.
Next comes 4 girls so I made them each a skirt and matching hair accessory. I had a bunch of tan poplin sitting around, but I wanted to make them each individualized as well and keep it simple, using up what I had around (successful, except the elastic--4 skirts uses a lot). I used the lazy day skirt idea in a couple of different ways and then added some fun embellishments. First up, elegant and refined meets up with a little girly--after all she is turning 12 this year. The bottom of hers is a black on white print, cut on the bias, trimmed with pinking shears (an early Christmas present to myself which I found many uses for during my holiday crafting crunch), and then gathered using 2 different runs of a gathering stitch. You just gather, pin, sew in between the 2 runs using the lazy day concept (treat the ruffle as the ribbon) and then pull out the gathering stitches. I ran the extra up the side of the skirt a little and put a black velvet bow on the top of it (lousy picture, I know). It also has another velvet bow on the upper right leg area. Her hair accessory is a length of brown bias tape with a flower on it made out of little circles pinched/gathered together and then tacked on(I got this idea from Valerie, so if she passes on the link I'll pass it on too). I used some more of the black on white fabric and plain black. I then added a little black button in the middle of the flower.
Second was for the very classy and stylish minded sister. She's usually the one out jumping on the trampoline with the boy cousins, but she's the one that likes to have her hair done and asks if things match. I think polka dots over flowers when I think of her, so polka dots it was. I just used the lazy day ribbon idea with 2 inch wide brown with pink polka dots gross grain ribbon and then made a bow to put on the upper right leg area. The hair thing is some of the extra pink polka dot ribbon turned into a head band. I just used one of the clear, rubber bands that get kind of stretchy and sewed it to the ends of the ribbon.
For the third I went with simple but elegant. This girl has one of those Audrey Hepburn faces and she is a simple kind of girl. I took purple lining fabric, cut out strips on the bias and did the same thing as I did for skirt #1. I then used smaller strips to make the rosettes. They turned out a little harder than I thought they would be, so they are a little wonky, but still pretty. Her hair thing is a purple flower glued to a ribbon covered clip with a glittering stone/brad stuck in the middle (scrap booking brads are great for this kind of thing).
Finally the youngest, something really girly. I used light green brocade trim instead of ribbon and then ran it up the side for the flowers stem. The petals are various pink and white scraps cut out with pinking shears and then sewn on to resemble a flower. I added a button in the middle and the hair clip is covered with the same green trim and a matching button attached.

Here's a close up of the flower.Finally for the youngest, a very active 2 year old boy. He got an eye spy beanbag with a lot of stuff to find. Hopefully that will keep him still for a couple of minutes.
Here's the list. I really liked the orange on grey look.


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