Saturday, February 20, 2010


I wanted some non-permanent markers (the permanent ones go through paper and even card stock) for a little project this week. So, we picked up a small package of Crayolas and thanks to the washable features, I figured it was time for Abigail to have a go. This is her very first drawing. She had a lot of fun and only got a little bit of marker on me, on her and on the table. I cut a slice off to make a birthday card for a little friend. This also prompted me to pull out some crayons today and she had some time to color in a coloring book.

David and I have some scripture memory homework for our post-Encounter class. Here's the project that I wanted the markers for. (Romans 8:1-2, 6-9)

We took a family trip to the Forks on Wednesday. There is a little shop in the marketplace that sells t-shirts and inside the shop is this big stuffed bear. The store clerk said that most kids scream and cry when they see it, but not Abigail....

Her crying started when it was time to leave the bear behind. She hugged him for so long!

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Encounter Bag

Are there any other artists who decide the day before an event that they need a new [insert handmade item here]? This has happened to me several times. It's been jewelry several times (in fact I made a necklace in the car on the way to an event once). Bags and purses are the other thing I make on a sudden urge. So, Thursday evening, I decided that I needed a new bag to take on my Encounter weekend. I cut out the fabric (thankfully the pattern pieces were already cut out) and on Friday, in between Abigail's naps etc, I made this lovely bag.

The front and back are the same, so I put some of my Emily Martin buttons on one side to differentiate between the front and back. I like to know which is which for fast item recovery when I reach inside.

The pattern has four pockets on the inside. I think that this is too much pocket for this bag - if I make it again I will eliminate the two from the middle section. I might insert a zipper pocket instead - these are always nice inside a bag! This bag has already seen much use and as you can see is quite a mess right now. 

Oh, this is Simplicity 2551 view A. Instead of pre-quilted fabric, I used interfacing on most pieces.

Here's a close up of those lovely buttons. 

For any of you who might be curious, Abigail and I did just fine away from each other on our first weekend apart. She is fully weaned and it only took 2 weeks! I am proud of the way she handled herself and myself for not giving in to her cuteness! Abby started walking the week after her birthday, too and she's been super fun in her little discoveries. She is now feeding herself quite a bit and is so proud of herself. With some of her birthday money, we picked up this video - a great video and we've put it to good use already.

yummy noodles followed by yummy yogurt!

Kisses for the baby in the mirror - mwah!

The Encounter weekend was amazing, too, by the way. It was definitely worth the fight to get there!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Last Birthday Party Post (at least until next year)

What's a party without party favors? Well, this party wasn't only to celebrate Abigail's first birthday, but also to honor those who've taken on the role of her family in the absence of her biological family. I decided to make marble magnets, put them in handmade boxes with a thank you letter. They added a nice touch to the table and were given away as people left.

The marble magnets were from this tutorial (I used this glue [from Walmart] for the paper and a hot glue gun for the magnets).

The boxes I made using this tutorial. They were fun and easy and I have all my scrapbooking papers to use! The letter I shrunk to fit on 8.5 x 5.5 paper and folded to fit inside the boxes.
Of course, we have to include some pictures of the birthday girl!

That wraps it up. Her party was a lot of fun and she is so well loved and blessed. Thank you for all the birthday wishes for her. We are looking forward to another year of this cute face!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Birthday Decorations Part 2

There were many spur of the moment crafts involved in Abigail's party decor. Things I stumbled across in blogland and thought "I have the supplies to make that!" So I did! The first spur of the moment item is the "the Easiest Heart Garland. Evar" from Rae. Another minimum effort maximum impact kind of craft. I cut out the felt hearts while talking on the telephone (sidebar... if you don't have a headset for your phone, go to Best Buy or whatever electronic store you shop at and get one. They are so great for social multi-tasking! Seriously - go!). It took maybe 10 minutes to sew it up and it was done. I love it so much that I ended buying more felt to make another one. I had used up almost all my stash (though I skipped some colors that I didn't want to include).

(Mom, there's her mirror on the door)

It really is easy! You could cut out other shapes to make it appropriate for other occasions... stars, ufo's, circles etc. I'm always on the lookout for future boy party ideas, too.

Another spur of the moment craft was out of necessity. I had plans to make these candy cane hearts to top the cupcakes. I bought a big box of candy canes and when I finally opened them I realized that they were red, white and green! Yuck - not the look I wanted at all. They were lopsided too and wouldn't even work if I could live with the green. So, I had to come up with something else to decorate the cupcakes with and it had to be something I had supplies for already. First I thought I could stick in the top of each cupcake one of those little drink umbrellas, I have a package somewhere. Of course, where they are no one can tell. That won't do, how about pinwheels? Yes! That would work and I have paper and brads and a glue gun, plus the lollypop sticks that I had bought for the candy cane hearts. Two nights before the party I started cutting out squares and making pinwheels. The only disappointment (for a couple of guests) was that the pinwheels didn't spin. I didn't care - they looked cute!

(click on image to enlarge)

Abigail didn't care that they didn't spin either!

Birthday Decorations Part 1

The largest pieces of party decor were also the most talked about at the party. That would be the tissue paper pom poms. I've seen these sprinkled across blogland and knew I wanted to give it a go. I went to the dollar store and bought 5 packages of tissue paper and armed with this tutorial I was ready. I should mention that I didn't bother taking out 2 pieces of tissue paper from each package, I just made it with all 10 sheets. They look nice and full!

The first one, I was careful to make crisp creases in the accordion folds and proceeded to tear the whole thing quite nicely. I wasn't too discouraged, I just needed to work out a strategy. Pom pom two turned out better (I didn't press my creases at all), though I tied it lopsided. I knew I had it then and with patience and a few more packages I got it!

These are fairly minimum in effort and maximum in impact... my favourite kind of decoration!

I had one guest ask (for her daughter) if I would make them for her wedding when she gets married!

Next came Abigail's heirloom bunting or pennant banner or whatever you call it. I've been wanting to make one of these for Abby's bedroom and her party was great motivation to get it done.

I didn't use a tutorial, just made it in the way it seemed logical. The triangles are a mixture of vintage embroidered table cloths and pillow cases as well as few pretty flowered pieces of fabric that matched. The ribbon is handmade 'bias' tape (though not cut on the bias) with crochet trim all along. I called my mom to make sure that I got the credits correct. 

These were embroidered by my great great Grandma Martin, she also made all the crochet trim.

These were embroidered by my great great Granny Evans.

These were embroidered by my mom.

When talking about the decorations David said about this banner "this is the one I'm most proud of!" Isn't that sweet? I love that I can have these priceless pieces to pass on to Abigail!

Monday, February 1, 2010

the Angry Turtle's New Look

(drawing by Rick Koppanyi)

I will be posting bday party pics this week, but I had to show you my new header! I commissioned a friend of mine to sketch an angry turtle for me and while we were visiting during Abigail's party (in a matter of 10 minutes) he handed me this sketch. Too funny! I scanned it and added some text and voila!

I also updated the background via the Cutest Blog on the Block again - a new year needed a new look! Welcome to the new and improved Angry Turtle!