Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The arrival of boy #4

You may have guessed the reason for my absence the last week or so... our baby arrived!  William Hirschi Jackson was born on Thursday, March 22 at 1:04 pm, weighing in at 7 lbs. 15 oz.  We feel more than blessed to have little Will join our family.

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As is expected, along with a new baby comes the need to let certain things go... so I may not be posting too much on here for the next little while. Instead I will be feeding, changing and snuggling my little one :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A rainbow of cards

The first day of spring was calling out for an art project at our house. So we got out the watercolor paints and made "rainbow cards." We started out by painting rainbows, then I showed the kids a few different techniques and let them do their thing.


I always end up liking their paintings more than my own! Mine tend to be more methodical and thought out. They just go for it.


After they dried, I used the paintings to make cards. Now we have a fresh new stack to be used for birthdays, anniversaries, and thank you's... and I may just hold on to a couple of my favorites :)


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Diaper changing pad

An exciting new item for this upcoming baby (due in 1 week!!) is a changing pad. Another creation by my friend Hilary. I'm surprised I never carried one of these around with the other kids, but it will be perfect for diaper changing when I'm out and about and is small enough that it can be folded up and stuck in the diaper bag.


The size is 18" x 24", which seems about right. One side is terry cloth and the printed side is from the "A Walk in the Woods" Collection by Aneela Hoey. I love the print and that it's not blue! We have plenty of blue things around here.


Now all I need is a little body to lay down on this. The constant diaper changing is about to begin :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

From pants to shorts

Over the winter we slowly built up a small pile of pants that had holes too big to mend. It's unavoidable with boys. John comes home from school with a small hole in his knee, I'm lazy and don't make him take the pants off right away so I can patch them, and by the end of the day the hole is all the way across and starting to rip up his thigh and down his shin. So the pants go in the pile waiting to be turned into shorts.


With the warm weather we've had lately, this project was calling out to me. I essentially took scraps of material or old clothing, used them to make bias tape, then sewed them around the bottoms of the shorts.


Now we're all ready for this beautiful weather!


Joe was feeling left out of the photoshoot :)


You can go to the HBfabrics giveaway post from last week to see who won!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

HBfabrics giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed.

Today I'm excited to bring you a giveaway from HBfabrics! Hilary and Chris sell designer fabric out of their home. Hilary also has her own line of products (Hilary Brooke Collection)... totes, wallets, iPhone and iPad cases, pack-packs, hooded towels, kids belts and ties... all made with beautiful fabric. In her own words:

Hilary Brooke Collection started out after I got together with a good friend and she taught me how to make a diaper bag. I was hooked! I quickly learned that many other women had the same desire as I did to have a bag that no one else had! That is when Hilary Brooke Collection began. I started buying fabric in bulk and filling up our formal dining room with wall to wall fabric. The small bag business quickly turned into our fabric store (HBfabrics) and Hilary Brooke Collection. I joined forces with my husband Chris and now we both love to find great fabrics and patterns and we continue to fill up our home with lovely fabrics and my own creations for HBC. We enjoy shipping great fabrics and unique handmade products out to our wonderful customers.

HBfabrics can be found online, on Etsy and on Facebook.

HB Collection-products

Today they are generously giving away a Charm Pack—42 squares from the "Ruby" line by Bonnie and Camille for Moda Fabrics, PLUS 2 yards from this line of your choice (valued at $27 + shipping!). It can be any combination in 1/4 increments... for example, 1 yard of one fabric and 1 yard of another, or 2 yards of 1 fabric, or 1/4 yard of 8 fabrics and so on. Oh, the possibilities!

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Could there be a cuter line?! Can I enter the giveaway? :) I'm in love with these colors.


Here's how to enter:

Simply "like" HBfabrics on Facebook then leave a comment on this post (one entry per person, please).

The giveaway ends Sunday at midnight. Winner will be announced Monday morning. Good luck!

And the winner is...

Ellen! Congratulations!

The diaper bag

I've used the same plain black diaper bag since John was born, so when my friend Hilary said she wanted to make me a new one for this baby I was thrilled! And let me tell you, Hilary isn't just anybody. She and her husband started a company (HBfabrics) selling designer fabrics out of their home, and Hilary even has her own line of products (Hilary Brooke Collection) that she sells online and on etsy. But for this bag she used an Amy Butler Pattern, the Sweet Harmony Tote. I couldn't love it more.


Hilary let me choose the fabrics I wanted the bag to be in from her shop. I went with Full Moon Polka Dot Slate and Wallflower Sky from Amy Butler's Lotus Collection.


Thanks Hilary!
Check back tomorrow for a fabulous giveaway from HBfabrics!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Easter Egg garland

So maybe I'm jumping the gun here, but with the warm weather we've had I just couldn't help getting out the spring and Easter decorations... all 2 of them :) We put on the kids Easter pillowcases then made a garland with the Easter eggs we've decorated over the years. Every year we blow out a bunch of eggs and come up with a new way to decorate them. It's fun to look back and see what the kids have done. We started by simply drawing on eggs with permanent marker. The next year we cut up different colors of tissue paper and mod-podged them on, and the year after that we cut out pictures of things that reminded us of spring from magazines and mod-podged those on. This years eggs are yet to be decided...



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Babysitter notes dry erase board

I got this idea from a small boutique in our town a few months ago. A dry erase board for babysitter notes. Why haven't I thought of this before?! Brilliant. You write all of the information that isn't going to change right on the paper, then stick it in a magnetic frame and use a dry erase marker to write what time you should be home and any special instructions (what to have for dinner, bedtime routine, etc.) If there's an emergency or if the babysitter has a question, she can simply refer to this.


Feel free to print mine, or create your own!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Jeans bucket

I've been eyeing these fabric buckets lately (also found here and a pattern found here) and knew I had to make one. They combine my love of sewing, organizing and repurposing all into one perfect project. I used some old jeans of Pete's for the outside and one side of an old blanket for the inside. I basically followed the tutorial found on Design Sponge and then added handles.


For this large of a bucket I started with 13"x13" squares (oh, and I also used batting to help the sides stay a little stiffer... but I won't get in to that, it complicated the project quite a bit). If you're going to make a bucket this big just make sure to use fabric that is fairly stiff so that it will hold it's shape.


As I was sewing the bucket I didn't know exactly what I was going to use it for, but quickly thought it would be the perfect place for all of our stuffed animals that needed a home.


You better believe there will be more of these sewn up in the near future! Smaller buckets for the kids for Easter and buckets filled with diapers and baby essentials for baby gifts are now on my list of projects.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Nesting: mobile and nursery

Daniel came down from bed earlier this week with some toys strung together with a shoelace and told me it was for our baby. He was all too excited. Looks like it's not just me anticipating the arrival of this little one! That gave me the idea to help the kids make something for the baby. Since we've never had a mobile above the crib I thought that might be a fun project, so we got to work.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Family Wheat Bread

We finally used up all of our bread from last month, so had another bread making day. This time we went with honey whole wheat. I let all three kids join me on this one so they could each make their own little baked goodies.


I love this recipe I received from a friend of a friend a few years back.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tutorial: reusable food bags

I have slowly been collecting the transparent, plastic bags that sheets, toys and other things come packaged in. Never throw these away! There are SO many different ways to use them (an obvious one being to store other toys, art supplies, or clothes in.) I used a few of these bags for the windows in our table fort, and have been meaning to turn a few more into reusable food bags for quite some time. I was finally forced to when we started running low on sandwich bags, and I was determined to not buy anymore. Lately I have noticed how much waste goes out of our house, and how many things get used once only to be thrown away. So this is one (very small) attempt to "reduce" and "reuse" (which, in my opinion, is even more important than "recycle"... but more on that another time.)


I plan to use these bags for any dry foods (crackers, cookies, etc.) and continue using small plastic containers for the more messier foods that would be harder to rinse out (like apples or oranges). But we'll still keep a box of sandwich bags around... they're nice to have when sending people home with cookies or to use when traveling, but hopefully with these bags we can cut back a little bit.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The greatest gift you can give your children...

My grandma used to say that the greatest gift you can give your children is the gift of each other. My mom spoke at her funeral last summer and included those words in her talk. Grandma always encouraged her girls to have a lot of children. As our boys are growing up, interacting more with each other, playing, wrestling, laughing, and yes, sometimes fighting, Pete and I often talk about how true those words are! It makes me so happy to watch these little ones grow up together. And with our move away from family and friends, I have watched them become even closer, having to rely on each other for friendship and security. Nothing makes me happier than to see my boys sitting side by side reading books, playing Legos, getting their dinosaurs ready for battle and laughing over silly things. They give each other something that no one else can. It's hard to believe we'll be adding another little boy into the mix in the next few weeks. I can't wait.

The boys
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