Thursday, December 30, 2010

The latest belly bulge and curtains...

It's been a while since I've posted a current belly shot. So here are a couple of blurry shots. Are you ready? I'm HUGE...





And we just found yesterday that this little boy is already 5.5 pounds and estimated to weigh at least 8 pounds. Ay Caramba!!! He's coming out of me! Wow. But of course we love the fact that he's big and healthy =).

I am now 34 weeks and this has been my favorite part of pregnancy so far. I love sitting and watching my belly move. And it's rare that I'm sitting down without my hands on my belly, feeling his little feet and elbows roll around. It never gets old. Never. ever. This is the first time I've really understood how much of a true miracle life is and how evident it is that we come from a Creator. I am continually humbled by the fact that God chose me to bring forth another life, I feel so inadequate.


Well, I still can't find my camera, but I wanted to show you the nursery curtains we just hung. I took a pretty sorry picture using the little camera on my computer, but you'll get the basic idea:



I changed my mind on the nursery fabric after looking at it for a few days, so I mailed it back. It was too loud and the colors were too much. I love bold colors, but I think I love them most when they're acting as accents, not the main color scheme. When I found this natural linen fabric with the seagulls I knew immediately it was perfect (and perfect for our budget, as it was on closeout for $3.50 a yard). I used blackout lining behind the panels so it will actually block out light. Eventually I'll make a ruffle on the bottom with another fabric. (And eventually I'll take a good picture so you can see the entire curtain panel and not just the corner).

For the past few years I've been using copper plumbing pipe and plumbing fixtures in lieu of curtain rods because I love the industrial feel of it.



And after staring at this fabric for days it still made the cut, so I'm going to use it for the crib bed skirt:



I've been working on a bunch of little projects and I'll post pics very soon...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The blog behind the blog

So sometimes it’s easier to just abandon my blog for a month or two, instead of spending the emotional energy to sit down and write about what’s “really” going on, you know, the blog behind the blog. Today I just wanted to post more pictures of my nesting endeavors and spare any explanations, but I had a change of heart because I want to be authentic and transparent for the first time in a while. And I think that I‘m resurfacing mainly because I am coming out of the fog of life’s happenings.

First of all, we moved into a new apartment about a month and a half ago. I was six + months pregnant and unable to move and lift and rearrange whatever I wanted to. I felt like a caged tiger (which at one point landed my tush in labor & delivery with contractions/false labor, but that's for another day). Anyway. I really was a happy tiger and so relieved because it’s been a year and a half since we’ve had our own space. You see, we moved in with my in-laws for what we thought would be three months, while we closed on a house, and then Stephen was laid off. Three months turned into 18. This was one of the hardest times of my life. I didn’t have the know-how to blog or write about it at all. It was hard for several reasons. Firstly, I am the domestic-artsy-homemaker type and pretty much always have been. Living in some else’s home (who doesn’t share my taste or my way of doing life) was really hard, it forced me to let go of my preferences (which I didn’t always do graciously) and it felt impossible at moments. But more than wallpaper or frozen dinners being an adjustment, watching my mother-in-law’s health rapidly decline and my father-in-law come to a place of utter ruin was the most difficult part of living with them. My mother-in-law, Linda, was diagnosed with PSP (Progressive Supra Nuclear Palsy) about four years ago and her brain has been shrinking gradually since her diagnosis. With this particular condition she loses daily life skills every few months. She has now reached a place where she cannot feed, bathe or walk herself. She also cannot open her eyes in a way that’s natural or communicate with ease. And my father-in-law, Jerry, is losing his right arm. They’ve been married for 43 years. They had a little JOP wedding as soon as Jerry returned from Vietnam and haven't been separated for more than a few days since. After we moved out Jerry realized that he didn’t have what it took to care for her by himself and he had a real breakdown. We have since stepped in and today is the day we are placing Linda into a skilled nursing facility. This was a hard decision for all us to come to, but it was time and it is what’s best for Linda and everyone else. And this entire process has reminded us that heaven is our reward, the real gold at the end of this rainbow, and our life on earth is but a vapor. And yet even in the midst of it all, life is something we are celebrating, as we are all eager to meet our little Gideon.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”
Job 1:21

So while there isn’t garland and stockings hanging from my mantle this year, there is a new life being formed in my belly and this is the silver lining. God chose to juxtapose the loss of one life with the beginning of another. That’s amazing to me. And today we’re focusing on what we’re grateful for and the fact that we do still have Linda and her mind is still present and we have a little happy, healthy baby boy on the way. And life and death is something only God can begin and end and we trust His timing and His goodness.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

DIY Folded Felt Flower Pillow

I made this pillow recently (as I happily procrastinated between packing and unpacking and cleaning and organizing and laundry...):









You will need:

1)   2 yards of felt

You can buy 2 yards of medium quality at Joanns 
or
3-5  18" squares of high quality felt from Felt on the Fly
*The main difference between the two is how it will wear over time (and the price of course).  
The medium quality pills, the high quality has very little pilling.  I vote high quality if it's in the budget.

2)   Glue gun with lots of glue sticks

3) Olfa circle cutter (unless you are gifted at cutting your own circles)

4) Sewing machine (if you're making a pillow & not just the flowers)





I've been wanting to make a felt pillow ever since I this one online like a year ago:



But for the life of me I couldn't quite figure out how to mimic those roses (however, now I think I might've discovered how they did it). So, when I saw a similar style in this post I got busy immediately (and yes, ignored the packing that had to be done). Here's my how to (which includes a couple "cheaters" tips):

Cheaters tip #1, Olfa Rotary Circle Cutter (which I bought at Joanns with a 40% off coupon). SO much time and frustration saved with this gadget:



Fold once (I put a dab of glue in the center, my others cheaters tip):



Fold twice (& put another dab of glue):



If you're not using glue, this is where you sew.



If you are (like me!) glue again in the center of the second fold



Find center & measure even borders to form a square (I use tailors chalk to mark my square):





Cheaters tip #2, The fine tipped glue gun. At about this phase I ran out of patience with the sewing of each rosette (yeah I think I made it to 3) and resorted to the glue gun (don't judge). And I don't think I touched the sewing needle after that.





After much gluing (and tender finger tips) here's the end result:



And I'll post more pics when it's stuffed and happy on my couch.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

We've moved

Well we moved this past Sunday and we love our new place. It's an apartment nestled among a lot of trees (a rarity in Dallas) and it's really quite and residential here, as opposed to clusters of apartments and shops. We still don't have internet (I'm sitting close to the window, borrowing the leasing offices connection), so it will be a while until I check back in here. But for now, I leave you with the color scheme that I dreaming up for our living room (found at one of my new favorite places loonymag.com).



It's so fun to nest again. Although moving should be rated at the top of stressful experiences. It was funny, when the movers were bringing up our boxes I kept saying, "Is that the last of them?" They would laugh at me and say, "Nope." And the boxes just kept coming. I don't remember accumulating so much stuff. How?! My mom flies in next Saturday and I am so looking forward to her visit. I feel like I need her "nesting hands" right now. We will definitely sew a lot (and organize).

Monday, October 25, 2010

They've arrived...

Some for nursery, some for our new craigslist couch, and some will double as covers for our dining chairs. I have to play with colors (and bring in other fabric) before I decide...




And here's a sneak peak of what I'm working on currently:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Maddie Kate Banner


Here's the banner that I was commissioned to make this summer. My good friend Beth (also the photographer at our wedding) gave this as a gift to her best friend Casey at the arrival her new little Maddie Kate. Beth had hoped to snap several shots of the banner (with you guys in mind, of course), but due to hospital happenings this is the only shot we've got right now. More to come...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How did this happen?...

I noticed today that I am now walking with a slight waddle. And things are too short. This happened like overnight...



And are you guys sure that babies don't just split your belly right open and crawl out? Cause it feels like that's what's about to happen. It's already so tight. And four+ more months of this growing belly. Tell me I can do this. I guess anything is better than my first trimester. Anything.

Another word on polish. I found a new pale pink that I love. I spotted it on our leasing agents nails and I asked her, "Did you go and get a manicure last night?" (we had just seen her the day before) and she said, "No it's just this new polish." And she pulled this out:



Sally Hansen "Shall We Dance". So I bought a bottle at Ulta (with my $5 off coupon). And I really like it, it does look salon worthy. And I want it to at least look like I had it professionally done. I typically do my own nails & toes (though I love manis & pedis) because I would usually rather buy a shirt or something on sale for the price.

My parents ordered me a few bits of fabric today, mostly for Gideon's nursery, but also a few half yards to recover our cool hand-me-down dining room chairs. I will post pics when the goodies arrive. But here's a sneak peak at Gideon's first two fabrics:




Also, my appetite is picking up. I was really pleased with the fact that I haven't eaten much more than I would not pregnant. Until now. I now eat breakfast (cereal & banana typically), snack (sandwich), lunch (grilled chicken with a side or something similar), possibly a granola bar on the way home and then a full dinner later on. It's like I'm now packing in an extra meal and if I eat light for lunch (like today I had a cup of soup and an order of California Rolls) my stomach literally starts to hurt a couple hours later until I fed it (or rather until I feed this little boy). So I now get the "truck driver" comments ladies. Now I'm with you...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A cheap facelift...

I bought this maternity shirt today for $3 from a garage sale. Replaced the buttons with some vintage ones I had in my box. My goal was to make it look sorta Anthropologie-like.



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Evolution of the Belly...

12 weeks


16 weeks


20 weeks



It's a BOY!!! His name is Gideon (and he's starting to tap inside his mommy's tummy).

Sunday, October 3, 2010

More pictures from Alaska...

We went to visit our friends Daniel and Melissa Bunker in Homer, Alaska. You can see what's called the "Homer Spit" in the background. It's where all of the boats dock and a lot of fishermen come to fish for Halibut. Isn't this place beautiful?



Our precious friends: Daniel, Melissa, & Caleb Bunker









We had such a great time with our friends, fishing, eating, boating, and talking. Of course the highlight for me was a couple late night talks with Melissa =). I miss her! Fishing was fun, very chilly, but fruitful as we brought home 90lbs of Salmon (and yes, Stephen has already made his first batch of yummy smoked salmon dip).

I felt like I was in another country. It made sense to me that America bought Alaska from Russia in the 1800s. It felt reminiscent of my trip to the Northern Caucasus mountains. Melissa took me to an amazing coffee shop called Two Sisters and I ordered my first latte in like five months. It was made with locally roasted organic coffee. Amazing. We brought home two pounds and I already sent one to my dad (my number one fellow coffee lover). For me, this cafe took a nod to my Californian roots, it could easily belong in San Diego. Everything was fresh and interesting. And their flavor combinations were delicious! And yes, I'm enjoying food again...woo hoo! The "two sisters" were clearly foodies. Okay, enough about the coffee shop. (except one more thing, I ate a brie and tomato croissant that melted in my mouth.)

We took several really good videos but I can't get them to load (I've tried three different times). Hopefully the Techy Prince will come to my rescue again.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thoughts on homemaking....

So I've been making a mental list of all of the things I was to learn in my upcoming career as a Household Executive. Here's what I got so far (feel free to add your .02):

1) Learn to make the following from scratch:

Sushi - Y'all I'm in love with sushi rolls (I think I'm Asian on the inside). If I could have them every other meal I just might.


Cinnamon Rolls- I baked them out of can this weekend and it's just not the same (this one could be dangerous).

Sweet Sticky Rice - This stuff is divine.


Pecan Pie - Stephen's favorite

Green Tea Ice Cream - I love the texture.

(Can you tell my my sweet tooth has returned?)

2) I want to be able to sew piping on the edges of pillows, like my blogger friend Alyson has done so well here:



and actual garments like these:





3) Breast Feed (I hear this is a HUGE, initially excruciatingly painful, accomplishment)

That's all for now. This list will grow...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

All about fishing...

Here's what one does in Alaska:



I caught the first (and ahem biggest) fish of the day:





Stephen's fish just looks bigger:




55lbs of Silver Salmon:



Mmmm caviar: