See Ya Later Alligator Easter Basket

When looking for an Easter basket last year, it struck me that there weren’t many options for boys. That might be a bit of a mischaracterization — there were LOTS of baskets, if you were looking for Spiderman’s head or Captain America’s shield or something sports related. (Not casting aspersions at superheroes — I’m a big fan!) But I couldn’t find anything that was cute, without being frilly and obviously intended for the princess set. It took very little effort to DIY something sweet and personalized.

Elliott's Gator-y Easter Basket

Here’s the before — nothing wrong with it, just lacking a bit of imagination.

Elliott's Gator-y Easter Basket, Before

The cute alligator print was from JoAnn Fabrics, as was the basket (40% off coupon!). I don’t have a big technical writeup for making the liner, because I just made a rough match of the liner that the basket came with. I did swap out the ruffles for basic pleats.

Elliott's Gator-y Easter Basket

Little ties to keep everything in place.

Elliott's Gator-y Easter Basket

And what kid doesn’t love having their name emblazoned on everything? I happened to have access to someone else’s embroidery machine at the time, but this could be done just as easily with letters cut out of felt, hand embroidery, or even iron-on letters that you can buy at the craft store.

Elliott's Gator-y Easter Basket

All ready for the Easter bunny!

Elliott's Gator-y Easter Basket

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World of Warcraft Diaper Cake

It’s always an adventure exploring fandoms in diaper cake form, so I was excited to tackle a World of Warcraft themed cake for a friend whose wife is expecting their first baby this month. I kept it fairly small and simple, and hoped that he would ‘get’  it, even if no one else at the shower did. It was a hit!

World of Warcraft Diaper Cake

Like our Star Wars nursery and the Harry Potter diaper cake that I made a few years ago, I didn’t have much luck finding WoW baby items, so I made do with some DIY instead. Knowing nothing about this game meant that lots of research was required, from funny bib ideas right down to the exact fonts used in the game.

I used my embroidery machine digitize fonts and logos to make three custom bibs. Unfortunately I was in a rush and didn’t get a chance to take pictures before it was assembled. The first was a twist on the ubiquitous “Green Linen Shirt” available in the game.

World of Warcraft Diaper Cake

The second reads “Home is where the hearthstone is.”

World of Warcraft Diaper Cake

And lastly, “For the horde”!

World of Warcraft Diaper Cake

The plush murloc (an in-game baddie) was an eBay purchase. You really can find anything on the internet these days! Washcloth lollipops and travel sized toiletries rounded out the cake.

World of Warcraft Diaper Cake

Cellophane and a custom gift tag completed the presentation.

World of Warcraft Diaper Cake

Come one, come all!

People aren’t kidding when they say your child’s first year flies by. I feel like we just brought our baby boy home, but last weekend we celebrated his first birthday!

Any and all party planning credit needs to be split with Pinterest. I pinned the stuffing out of this party.

First up we have the birthday boy as a ringmaster, greeting guests at the door.

Elliott's Circus Birthday

Here’s the most finished shot I have of the party spread. Too busy enjoying myself to get a final picture! The canopy is from IKEA (MYSIG), as is the red striped fabric (SOFIA).

Elliott's Circus Birthday

The banner is made from scrapbook paper, white cardstock, and ribbon.

Elliott's Circus Birthday

Staples transformed raffle tickets into a festive chain garland.

Elliott's Circus Birthday

The marquee number one is made from posterboard, foam core board, and string lights that I already had. 

Elliott's Circus Birthday

I’m so happy with how the decorations turned out! Lots time spent during naps and after Elliott’s bedtime brought it all together.

Elliott's Circus Birthday

My mother in law made this beautiful and delicious cake for the occasion. I was blown away! Can you believe it was her first time ever working with fondant?

Elliott's Circus Birthday

These yellow carnation “popcorn” arrangements were one of my favorite details.

Elliott's Circus Birthday

Paper straws and daisy lids transformed canning jars I had on hand into glasses for the pineapple lemonade punch.

Elliott's Circus Birthday

The popcorn maker was borrowed from my parents. I made a mini popcorn bar with candy and savory snacks to mix in. Word to the wise – use coconut oil. It tastes like it came right out of a theater bucket!

Elliott's Circus Birthday

Popping action!

Elliott's Circus Birthday

I ran paper bags through our printer to make custom popcorn bags. Still can’t believe that worked! I was sure this was going to be a failed project.

Elliott's Circus Birthday

There’s chalkboard inspiration to be found all over Pinterest. Here’s my attempt, with black foam core board and metallic markers.

Elliott's Circus Birthday

Paired with polka dot balloons!

Elliott's Circus Birthday

I bought some circus-y clipart on Etsy and blew it up for decorations. Printed on cardstock, trimmed, and mounted on polka dot cardstock.

Elliott's Circus Birthday 

Elliott's Circus Birthday

I used the same clipart (and a Husqvarna Designer SE) to embroider a custom onesie for Elliott. The buttons and bowtie are repurposed from a teeny tiny tux he wore at four months to a black tie event.

Simple hand sewing is about the only thing I have energy for today #sickdaysewing

I think he looked smashing! And not just because he adorably slathered himself in cake.

Elliott's Circus Birthday

I even made a little party hat, which was soundly rejected by the guest of honor.

Elliott's Circus Birthday

Here’s the $2 photo booth backdrop I made from crepe paper and painter’s tape.

Elliott's Circus Birthday

We took photos with a camera on a tripod, and I used PhotoFunia’s photo booth tool to make the authentic-looking strips below.

Elliott's Circus Birthday Elliott's Circus Birthday Elliott's Circus Birthday

Elliott's Circus Birthday Elliott's Circus Birthday

All in all, a wonderful day with wonderful people. Happy birthday, Elliott!

Don’t Feed the Plant!

These days I’m happy to be busy mom-ing, but every now and then I get the chance to indulge in something crafty… mostly during naps and after bedtime! I managed to find time to make E his first Halloween costume this year.

My husband was good enough to make it a group costume! They went as Seymour and Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors.

Audrey II & Seymour

For the body of the costume, I used a pair of pajamas that fits as a rough pattern. Everything is made of fleece.

Audrey II & Seymour

For the hat, I used McCall’s #6812 to start, then added leaves, lips, teeth, gums, and an elastic chin strap to help keep it on his little noggin.

Audrey II & Seymour

Inner workings of the hat.

Audrey II & Seymour

The treat bag is made from felt and decorated it with a fabric marker.

Audrey II & Seymour

E was a great sport walking around to a few neighbors. Mostly he got a kick out of hanging onto fun sized candy bars.

Audrey II & Seymour

Between the thrift store sweater vest, dollar store glasses, and fleece for the baby’s costume, we only spent around $25.

Audrey II & Seymour Audrey II & Seymour

Boo!

A Quilt for Baby Clare

A Quilt for Clare

[Yes that’s a quilt on a quilt. Kind of like sewing Inception.]

A coworker and his wife welcomed a baby girl on Valentine’s Day, and I wanted to make them a little quilt as a gift. Unfortunately, I think I may have overestimated my post-baby free time… This quilt, which I would normally be able to crank out in a weekend, was completed in fits and starts over about eight weeks. So glad to finally put the last stitch in!

A Quilt for Clare

Materials: Front – charm pack of ‘Good Fortune’ by Kate Spain, white quilter’s cotton; Back – ‘Farmdale Blossom’ by Alexander Henry, selections from solids charm pack; Binding – grey quilter’s cotton

A Quilt for Clare

A Quilt for Clare

It’s always fun to personalize, especially when you get to use a Husqvarna Viking for the appliqué. Unfortunately, it was only borrowed. Sort of like renting a Ferrari for the weekend. That machine is a-ma-zing! Fortunately it’s my mom’s, so I have the opportunity to borrow it from time to time…

A Quilt for Clare

Since babies are pretty much the best photo prop, here are a few shots of E doing some rigorous quality testing. Thanks, boo.

A Quilt for Clare

A Quilt for Clare

Now I’m set to make a quilt for E… nap-willing, of course. I’m thinking about a more involved version of my train quilt, with a lot of fussy cutting and a circus theme. By my calculations (zero free time – two broken machines + need to buy a new one) it should be complete roughly in time for his high school graduation!

I’ve never been so happy to have no time to sew 🙂

Boy Oh Boy!

He’s here! Our incredible, adorable son arrived on January 14th, and I’ve been happily ensconced in Mommy-dom since then. Here are a few pictures of him donning some handmade duds — including his first piece of clothing ever, as he got cleaned up for his big debut.

Crafty + Baby

It’s tiring work, being born!

Baby + Crafty

All the nurses loved his dino hat…

Baby + Crafty

Ignore the wet hair in this shot. On the positive side, it’s proof that I got a shower that day!

Baby + Crafty

It’s been almost seven weeks, and I finally had time this weekend to pick up a crochet hook again. My first project was finishing up these booties that I started a few months ago. They had been languishing half-finished in my sewing room for quite some time, and I wanted to finish them up before he outgrows them!

Crocheted Lion  Booties

Pattern: Lion House Slippers by TwoGirlsPatterns on Etsy

Crocheted Lion  Booties

Crocheted Lion  Booties

Crocheted Lion  Booties

I’m enjoying the peace and quiet as he naps, so no modeled shots for now…

The force is strong with this one…

After weeks of work, our little guy’s nursery is finally complete. And not a moment too soon: I’m due in a week, and we’ve already had one exciting (but baby-less) trip to the hospital. I couldn’t be happier with how it all came together. Without further ado… enjoy zillions of pictures of a tiny nursery in a galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Toy Box from Andrea & Sonny

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Bunting

Star Wars Mobile

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Light Saber Lamp

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Star Wars Nursery

Paint: Martha Stewart Living Driftwood Gray, Home Depot

LED star ceiling kit: Weidamark

Crib: Baby Mod ParkLane

Changing table: IKEA Expedit with drawer and door inserts, legs, and knobs

Dresser: IKEA [discontinued]

Glider: Little Castle Crown Reclining Swivel Glider from Target

Paper lanterns: Plain from Luna Bazaar, Death Star from ThinkGeek [sold out]

Prints: James Hance, aswegoArts Etsy shop, some DIY

Frames: IKEA Ribba, assorted sizes

Mobile: DIY

Bunting: DIY

Quilt: DIY

Crib Skirt: DIY

Boppy Cover: DIY

Upholstered initial: DIY (might make a tutorial for this at some point…)

Changing pad cover / crib sheet: Land of Nod

Light saber lamp: DIY

Closet shelving: Rubbermaid HomeFree series closet kit

Curtains: DIY, fabric from Spoonflower

Under the Sea

I found out recently that the hospital where baby boy will be making his debut offers photography on site to capture a few quality photos before we head home. Usually I’m a huge shutterbug, but it’s a big relief to know that I won’t have to stress about getting a really great photo while we’re there.

The photography service recommends bringing a special blanket of some kind for the photo shoot. I realized that I’d need to throw something together if I didn’t want to bring the R2D2 quilt to the hospital with us. Luckily I had a charm pack, a little bit of backing yardage, solid white and a large enough scrap of batting on hand. I used them to put together this little car seat quilt in a weekend. It’s a great size for a newborn, and will be useful later to tie on to his seat to ward off the winter chill.

Carrier Quilt

Pattern: Sophie Car Seat Quilt (free from the Moda Bake Shop)

Fabric: Moda’s ‘Odyssea’

Carrier Quilt

Along with his first hat, I think it will make for some great pictures.

There is a little embroidered label on the back, but it’s personalized so I won’t share it quite yet. We’re keeping his name under wraps until delivery day!

Carrier Quilt

In other news, the Lizzy House fabric that I had picked out for curtains has had its release date pushed back to January… necessitating a plan B. I searched high and low and finally settled on this molecule print from spoonflower. Not cheap, but I actually like it better than the print I had originally set my heart on.

Curtain Fabric

I’ll be making a roman shade for the nursery’s one window, as well as full length curtains to replace the metal doors on the closet. It will be great to have this last item ticked off of the list for the baby’s room! Can’t wait to share some pictures of the finished nursery.

Showered With Love

A few weeks ago, my mom and sisters threw an amazing owl-themed baby shower to celebrate the upcoming arrival of our son. It was a great party, with wonderful guests and a liberal dose of crafted decor and details.

It seems that a few of our guests got into the handmade spirit as well. I was touched to receive some items lovingly made just for our little bambino.

First up is a sweater from my best friend from my days at Penn State. Not only is it adorable in its own right (elbow patches! teeny pockets! shawl collar! Squee!)… It’s all the more special to me because I taught her how to knit back in our dorm days.

Gramps Sweater from Abbey

Can you believe this is her first finished sweater? I was blown away.

Gramps Sweater from Abbey

Next is a suite of blue baby gifts knitted and crocheted by the mother of another close friend. The matching sweater, hat, and booties are too cute!

Sweater Set

Soon to be filled by little feet…

Booties Close Up

She also made a beautiful crocheted blanket, which has already taken up residence in the nursery.

Crocheted Blanket

Last up is a huge surprise from my twin sister and brother-in-law. They’re well aware of my obsession with James Hance’s ‘Wookie the Chew‘ line that is dominating the nursery decor. They picked a few of my favorite prints and wood burned them onto a toy box. Here’s the front…

Star Wars Toy Box from Andrea & Sonny

…the top…

Star Wars Toy Box from Andrea & Sonny

…one side…

Star Wars Toy Box from Andrea & Sonny

…the back…

Star Wars Toy Box from Andrea & Sonny

…and the other side. They left it unstained as yet so that we could pick a shade to match the room.

Star Wars Toy Box from Andrea & Sonny

I can’t get over this lovely toy box. Such a clever idea, and I’m amazed by the work and craftsmanship that went into it. It is the perfect finishing touch for the room. I know our little guy will cheerfully stuff his toys inside for years to come!