Thursday, February 24, 2011

Naptime is Craftime {The Big One}

We are a few weeks away from celebrating this…..


And I really can’t believe it!  When did an entire year just fly by?!  I don’t know how we lived through the first few months, but we did.  I think we came out on the other side thankful and more aware of the miracle of life. 

I have been pouring myself into planning her party.  I am thinking, gingham, pink, purple, yellow, just gingham sweetness.  For craftime I appliqued her first birthday shirt, using gingham fabric, wonder under, and my growing sewing skills.  Luckily for me, #1 is all straight lines, so that made appliqueing a bit easier.

I also just finished this sweet doll for Ellie Clare


Don’t you just want to pick her up and play with her?  I am in love with her stripped tights, and her tutu skirt.  This was my first time knitting a doll.  I got the pattern from this great book.  It is the same book I used to make Bradley’s snake. 

Here are some of the knitting tips I learned along the way…

  1. Seaming is time consuming when you are knitting dolls and toys.  It took me a few nights to seam together the doll and Bradley’s snake.  you have to make sure the strips line up in the back, and the colors of the shirt are going to seam up together or it is going to look funny.
  2. Embroidering the face, and the mouth were a lot more simple than I thought.  I just looked up “making a French knot” online and found a few YouTube videos showing how it is done.
  3. I got advice from my knitting teacher about her hair.  She suggested running it in groups through the sewing machine to keep it together.  That way if Ellie pulls on one piece it won’t come out.  After I sewed together the yarn in groups of ten pieces, I attached it to the doll with embroidery thread.
  4. I made the hair a little bit longer, that way if it gets lots of abuse or starts to fray I can trim it up later. 

I hope you will link up some of your crafty goodies!!  Grab my new “Naptime is Craftime” badge if you want when you link up!


Naptime Novels

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Little Something for Everyone


The dog bit is now healing, and life continues as normal.  I am out of my Sunday funk, and knee deep in running around for the week.

On Monday we started swim lessons twice a week for four weeks.  I really want Bradley to feel super confident in the water when the pool opens.  The first lesson was a bit dicey, but we got through it.  There were some tears, but after a pep talk, he recovered and I think really enjoyed it.  It is amazing how hectic adding an activity two nights a week can make your life.  I have been prepping dinner before we leave, and trying to make sure we still eat early once we get home.  Ellie would prefer dinner was served at 5pm…it just isn’t going to happen most nights!  Pictures coming soon…

I finally got my act together and made some blog badges.  What do you think?  Grab them up on the side if you would like!  I am going to make a special “naptime is craftime” one too!  The first one is 150 px by 150, and the second is 250 by 250!


small crib badge


<textarea cols=”15″ rows=”4″ wrap=”virtual”><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Naptime Novels" /></a></textarea>


white badge

<textarea cols=”15″ rows=”4″ wrap=”virtual”><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket" /></a></textarea>


Speaking of Naptime is Craftime, It is Tomorrow!!  I know I have seen a few great bloggy posts about wreaths, and creative birthday parties, are you going to link up?  I will be sharing my knitted doll for Ellie’s first birthday.  She is finally done, and the cutest thing I have ever seen.

Here is my other little project for the week, Photography class tonight….

Photography Class vs. Amateur Photographer vs. Aperture






Wide Open Aperture above (f 1.8), Higher fstop below (f 6.3)….



Then capturing two people in focus (f 5.6)...



Link up tomorrow to show off your crafty goodiness!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

One of THOoooose Days


You know the days that just don't go as planned.  You are in a funk and you just can’t shake it. 

You are excited for the weekend, and it goes Ok.  A birthday party, a lunch date with the bestie that you haven’t seen in forever, a trip to babies r us.  All happiness and sunshine.

Sometimes, I don’t know why, but I get in a funk.  I am crabby to Chris.  I run around the house like a maniac, wiping every crumb, cleaning every dish, and complaining about the state of our affairs.  Sweet hubby retracts invitation to go on a nature walk with the kiddos.  Takes him by himself, and leaves me in my funk.  I just have those days sometimes.  I guess the kids do too, so we are all entitled every once in a while.

Then as the fog starts to clear, and I decide that a run in the crisp air is just what I need.  I take off through the neighborhood.  “I’m just going up to the light and back.”  From our door it is 3.1 miles.  perfect run in a short amount of time.  Then a dog on a leash decides he doesn’t like the way I am running, I guess.  He jumps up and bites my arm.  Not kidding.  It really happened.

Everyone is fine.  Arm is bruised, welted up, and sore.  But fine.

I think it mainly scared me, and made me glad that it wasn’t little Ellie in her stroller, or something worse.

One report to the animal control, and all is going to be ok.

But, when it is all said and done, Chris and I both found it pretty funny, that after my moody day even the sweet poodle dog decided he didn’t like me.

Maybe he could tell I was in a funk?

Off now to conquer the never ending playhouse…two walls done, two to go…

send me your crafting juju please!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

From the Recipe Box {The Easiest Meatloaf Ever}

I found this recipe for meatloaf in a magazine a few years ago.  I have tweeked it a few times, and it is always a hit!  Even with Miss Ellie…

You only need six ingredients, it doesn’t get much easier than that!

You will need:
Ground Turkey or Ground Beef  roughly 1 1b.   (I have made it with both and they both are just as yummy!)
1 cup of Italian Cheese Blend
1 2 oz. envelope onion soup mix
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups saltines ( about 4 oz.), finely ground
1 cup fresh parsley chopped
1/3 cup water

Throw the cheese, soup mix, eggs, water, and parsley in a bowl, along with your meat of course!!
Put a big handful of saltines in a zip lock bag and…..
crush them up!
combine it all!!
make loaf and cook for 40 to 50 minutes at 400 degrees….

in a large bowl combine the beef or turkey, soup mix, cheese, parsley, eggs, and saltines.  Add water and combine.  Transfer the meat mixture to a baking dish and form into a 9 inch loaf.  Bake until cooked through, about 40 to 50 minutes.

You can also add BBQ sauce to the top, cook for 25 minutes, pour the sauce over the top, and return to the over for 15 more minutes. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hello World, It’s Me Clare

I have been working on sharing more of myself .  Three years of blogging, and I have put a lot out there to the internet world.  Some of it good, some of it definitely sad, but most of it silly and happy…

Recently I have been sharing more and more of the crazy crafting projects I work on at home.  I have gotten a lot of comments asking me, how do you have the time?  I guess I just don’t watch very much TV any more.  I used to never miss an episode of American Idol or The Bachelor.  But, now not so much.  There are still a few things I try not to miss, or watch while I am knitting.  For the most part, once the kids are in bed, I am working on stuff around the house, knitting, sewing, or crashing in bed.

I am in love with creating things.  Big or small.  I love the feeling of accomplishment, knowing that I did it myself.  I have started sharing it with you, and now I have put it out there for the internet world too…

Have you heard of Craftgawker??? It is such an awesome place for inspiration.  Beautiful crafts, artwork, photography, and tutorials.  So much for this craftaholic to gawk at! 

I submitted my Burlap and Blue Wreath post to craftgawker, and it was accepted, YAY!!

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I am hoping to get more crafts accepted on craftgawker soon!

my craftgawker gallery


Recently I told you about my Birdie Wreath

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Well it just got featured on this website!  You can direct link to the project here.

I have been reading craft gossip for a while, and finally took the plunge and shared my project.  Yay!!


Wow, so that sums up my internet experience to date! I will let you know what other things come my way!

Happy Crafting peeps!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Many Hats


blue ellie

I thought this blog title was fitting considering the many hats I feel like I am wearing lately.  Trying to remember everything as a mother, and trying to be a great wife, sister, friend, daughter, you get the point.  We all feel pulled at times.  Am I doing enough?

I have been working hard on Ellie’s birthday projects.  I have promised myself that all hand made gifts for her will be done by the beginning of March.  That way I can spend March finalizing the food, cupcakes, and details for the party.  I was on a roll until I started working on her card table playhouse.  It is quite detailed and sucking the craft wind out of me.  I will finish, I will finish!!!

I walked around yesterday with this feeling that I was missing something.  It was a dentist appointment for Bradley.  Whoops.  It feels even worse when the doctor is your friend.  Again, back to the too many hats thing!!

Tonight Chris is going to see his beloved Duke basketball team, and I am off to photography class.  Babysitter here we come!     


We had a wonderful Valentine’s day here.  Complete with roses, Spiderman backpacks, and hanging hearts.  Bradley was over the moon excited about Heart Day.  Daddy came to school for the big PARTAYYY.  Bradley came home very excited.  A box full of sweet notes from friends will do that to a four year old. 




We have had a break in the weather here. Just warm enough to do some of this...


and some of this...


Bradley has definitely caught the crafting bug. He is very creative! After riding his plasma car for endless hours around the house, he made this:


It is a stoplight from the roses box from Valentine's Day. Awesome, isn't it?!

ellie hat

I will leave you with Ellie in her many hats.  She was given the three knit hats from my Aunt Nancy, and the gorgeous hair bow from Aunt Kim.  Kim found it in New Orleans, and I love it!

Good Luck with all of the hats you wear too! 


Monday, February 14, 2011

Project 365 {The Slacker Week}


I was doing so good with my 365 project, and then the kiddos got sick, and I was sick.  I am determined to keep it up and try to pull my camera out every day.  These past two weeks have some missing days, but I think I got some great pics too!  

My favorite pic from last week is our little friend Jack blowing out his birthday cake…amazing shot!

This week would have to be Ellie’s little photo shoot for her birthday party invites.  I could just eat her up!

44/365  Her First Ride with Big Bro


2/13/11  We have had a little break in the weather here.  So we took the kids over to the common area for a ride in the jeep.  Ellie got to ride for the first time, and I think big brother felt extremely proud.

43/365 Scooting Around


2/12/11  Some weekend fun.  Scooting around the house with big brother.  Bradley seems to come up with ways to include Ellie in his play.  This is my favorite one so far, except for Sunday night when she fell off.  Guess we need to work on keeping her on the scooter!

42/365 Tutu Much


2/11/11  Ellie and I had a little photo shoot on Friday morning for her birthday.  Let the countdown begin, she will be one in just a few weeks!

41/365 Birdie Wreath



40/365 Pick Me Up


2/9/11  Learning to crawl before nap time is hard work.


39/365 Eyelashes


2/8/11  Baby boys eyelashes.  Enough said.


37/365  Bath Time


2/7/11  Bath time in our house.  It doesn’t get much cuter than this…



36/365 Higher Daddy


2/6/11  A beautiful day in the beginning of February.  A perfect excuse to swing.


35/365 Turning 4


2/5/11  Jack and Gigi’s fourth birthday party



2/4/11  I finished my curtains friday night.  I know this picture is cheating, but I had to remember the moment!!



32/365  Ellie vs. Spiderman


2/2/11  Ellie and Spiderman meet for the first time.  I don’t think he likes her.

This week I will do better!!  I promise!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Heart Sunday

ellie bday

Just a little birthday shoot extras to make you smile on Sunday!

It has been a lovely weekend, and I can’t wait to celebrate Valentine’s Day with Chris tonight!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Naptime is Craftime {Birdie Wreath}


I finished this wreath a few weeks ago, and got it hung up (thanks Chris!!).  It is so adorable, and I wanted to share it with you.


I found the pattern on this awesome website called Spool
You can find the pattern on the right hand side, called Bird Pattern.  I also bought a fabric bundle from them.  I found them here.  They have lots of fun fat quarters, in so many shades.  It was hard to pick!!
Then I made the birds on the sewing machine.  The patter was easy to follow, and it was a great little project for a new sewer like me.

Then I bought a branch wreath at Joanns.  It was really cheap, maybe $10 or so, and some little pink flowers from Michaels.  I hot glued all of the flowers on the wreath.  I grouped them two or three together, in little patches.

Then I hung up the birdies by sewing a piece of fishing wire through their backs.  Chris and I hung it up over Ellie’s crib using a simple hook and some more fishing wire.  Making the wreath level was a bit tricky, but we figured it out.



It is so much better than this cheap mobile I had on her crib, and it goes with her bedding.  She loves it, and gets excited when we walk into her room and see it!

I also finished this sweet little doll for Ellie’s Birthday next month.  What do you think??
I linked up my birdie wreath with these linky parties...

Creations by Kara