Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Entering Adulthood?

You'd think that maybe by now I might feel like a "grown-up". Did getting married help me think of myself as such?...Nope. Graduating college? Nope. Being of a mother of (almost) 3 kids!?! NOPE. Odd....

Odd that is what has finally made me feel the first mark of adulthood:

Yep, we bought a minivan. A 2006 Honda Odyssey. The last car we bought was before we got married and it has served our family well, but alas loyal little Hyundai just couldn't fit 3 car seats in the back and still have the doors shut so we finally surrendered.

We wanted to buy private party (for cost purposes of course- we were paying cash), but after searching for weeks with no luck we concluded we'd just have to go hit up dealerships, starting this past Saturday. To our luck, this was listed Friday morning and was ours by that evening. Its a nice ride and was a company car so its in great shape with just 48K on it. We aren't wild about the color, but we're over it :). The kids really like it too, can you tell?

So, here's to adulthood!-Whether that's a good thing or not, I haven't totally decided :).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rare photos.... BEWARE

A while back I intended to make a post on some Maternity dresses I made myself in November, but was seriously pouting over the finished product photos :)- Ha, I've said it before, pregnancy doesn't look good on me.

Well, whatever, I'm letting them loose anyway. Here's to honesty: I'm 35 weeks pregnant, 45 lbs heavier (gasp, I know), exhausted, out of breathe, whiny, "uncomfortable" (in pain would be closer to the truth), and completely and totally elated and excited to meet this little one, I can hardly stand it! There you have it. Now here's to photos you are lucky to see :)...

Retro Knit dress: modeled at 31 weeks preggo
Made from simplicity pattern 2956. Only altered to be maternity and added a ruffle on the hem.I can't take myself seriously, sorry...

Navy Dress: modeled a 24 weeks preggo (or so)
Also adapted from simplicity pattern 2956. Well, basically the sleeves are from the pattern, I altered the bodice almost entirely and did my own maternity friendly skirt.
Mini-me's Navy Dress (she posed first :)):
No pattern, but used a knit dress of hers for size guidelines. What you can do with a little extra fabric... I love her dress

Now here is what happens when you forget to pre-wash your knit and grow 10 weeks more pregnant (not a favorable combination I might add):

Navy Dress revisited: modeled at 35 weeks preggo
Since I failed to pre-shrink my fabric, I had to add some lace trim to the hem to make it suitable to wear again...
Mini-me's is still darling. Even better shrunken up a bit :)... Ah cute girl. Makes feeling like a whale all worth it :)...

Oo, and I have a bunch of that retro knit leftover and of course Elyette wants another "mini-me" dress. Any ideas?

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Name Game

Tell us your preference... POLL to the RIGHT------>

As pregnancy goes, many have asked us what we plan to name this little girl due to make her appearance in 5-6 weeks (we're hoping she follows suite with her siblings and come is 5). Truth be told, we have NO idea.

Names have come in and out of favor and of course we don't all agree on many.... I liked Amelia or Myra, Elyette wanted Cinderella, Boz just didn't want Amelia and stopped liking Myra... The three of us discuss this regularly.

Elyette's probably been the biggest and most creative contributor with a range of name options. She wanted to name the baby "Elyette" for some time, but we finally convinced her that would be confusing :). Then she thought of Katie-Anna, Coraline (we were sorta digging this one, but due to the movie couldn't convince ourselves), and Cole (like after her friend Nicole she said, but just Cole- cute).

Now she's back to trying to name the baby after herself somehow, by coming up with variations of Elyette. Since Saturday she's been calling the baby "ElyeJ" (her spelling suggestion, said like "el-ja") and thought we should call her "jella" for short. haha... well, she possibly won a little on that one since Boz of course, having a nickname for name himself, HAS to have a nickname for everyone (hence Slim and Dude) and has been blank with this little one so far. Well, thanks to Elyette's "jella", we may have a winner....oh boy.

As for the name I plan to call her... and everyone else, we'd like to take a poll. It likely we won't have just 1 name till her birthday when we meet her, but we thought it'd be fun to see where the favoritism lies. Here's the list of names we all can agree to like thus far:

Charlotte (Charlie for short)
Amelia -Boz, you don't use the name anyway :)

Cole (one for Elyette, different spelling maybe :))

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Etched Glass Silhouettes

There are a lot etched glass tutorials out there, but I thought I'd add ours to the mix: Etched Silhouettes.

We made Christmas ornaments from beveled glass rectangles, but you could also easily do this on say a mirror, vase, candle holder, jewelery box, anything glass really. I think they make awesome gifts (FYI: V-days just around the corner!... although I think they are perfect for Mother's/Father's Day).

What you'll need:
-Glass object to etch
-X-acto knife
- Contact paper
- Etching cream
- Old paintbrush/sponge piece/Popsicle stick, etc. (to spread the cream with)
plus a pen or pencil and a camera

Step 1: Take photo
Take a picture of your subject with bright back lighting.
In a photo editing program (we used photoshop) bring up the contrast on your photo. (We did a bit more to clean it up, but its really can do fine with little to nothing... as long as you can see it well enough).

Size the photo to fit your glass object and print.

Step 2: Trace Silhouette

Place your contact paper (still intact) over your printed silhouette image and tape it down.
Using a pen or pencil trace your silhouette onto the contact paper. In order to see the silhouette you'll probably need some back-lighting. You could place it up in the window and trace, but for more precision, and it was nighttime :), I improvised by placing a glass cutting board over a desk lamp that I sat in my lap and traced out on that (WARNING: The bulb got hot and made the cutting board hot so I did periodically have to stop and let things cool).

Step 3: Cut it out
Once you're satisfied with your tracing job, position the contact paper onto your glass object. Peel the paper backing of the contact paper and carefully place it on the glass object and smooth it out well! The nice thing about glass, unless you're doing this on a mirror, that you can turn it around and check the back for bubbles.

Next, start cutting. Carefully cut around your silhouette with an X-acto knife. For small tricky spots, but sure to cut IN toward the center of the silhouette since you'll be peeling this part away anyway.
Using a pin or tip of the X-acto knife, carefully pull up the edge of the silhouette and slowly peel it away. Use the pin to get up any small pieces left behind. Hold the silhouette back and make sure it actually looks like the person your etching :).

If you are adding a name do this next using the same method as the silhouette. Since we made so many of these and the text would have been quite small, I bought custom made name stencils for $1 here, to save my self some labor and pain. If you are doing your own text, keep it simple! Curly cues, lots of serifs, etc. is just asking for trouble.
Cover as much of the glass object as you can to protect it (with tape or contact paper).
Again, double check the back for bubbles.

Step 4: ETCHING!

Once you've placed and peeled your text, covered the glass and everything looks satisfactory its time to etch! Be sure to use a well ventilated space, protect the surfaces your are working on and wear gloves.
Shake your bottle of etching cream. Slather on the etching cream using an old paintbrush, sponge, Popsicle stick or something else you don't mind trashing. Make sure you have a good thick layer covering everything. Leave the cream on for 5-10 minutes.

Now I tried a few methods of brushing it on, like, moving it all around while its etching, but I found that if I just brushed in on in one basic direction and let it sit it came out smoother (but then it could have been just my cream- it did seem rather clumpy).

Step 5: Rinse and Dry

After 5-10 minutes of etching rinse the cream off thoroughly with warm water. FYI- Don't freak out if it looks like it didn't etch at all, you won't see the etching when its wet. Pat glass dry and peel off the tape and contact paper to reveal your masterpiece!

and DONE!