Thursday, December 31, 2015

Baby Footprint Art

Wow it is hard to believe that this is my last post of 2015!  It has been a hard year in many ways especially with the loss of both of my grandfathers and my husband's best friend but the shining light of it all has been my pregnancy with my daughter and her birth this past July.  I am looking forward to a great 2016 with our newly expanded family!

Today's post is about the gifts I gave Lyla's grandparents and father for Christmas.  I knew I wanted to give them framed prints from Lyla's newborn photo shoot but I also wanted to throw in a personal touch with Lyla's footprints.  I didn't take any photos of the acquisition of the footprints because I had my hands full enough trying to prevent paint from getting everywhere.  I put some newspaper under her Bumbo seat and then stripped her down to her diaper and changed her into a disposable.  She sat in the Bumbo while I painted her feet with tempera paint and got the prints on paper.  I tried handprints too but since she is in the phase where she wants to grab EVERYTHING it was pretty much impossible to get a good one so I quickly gave up.  It would have been a real struggle to get as many prints as I needed for each gift so I decided to just get one good set and scan them into the computer.
Then I was able to open the prints in Pixelmator and remove the background by using the magic wand tool (the process is the same if you have Adobe Photoshop).  I then saved the image as a Portable Network Graphic (png file format).  Now I had a set of footprints that I can use over and over again.  I can even put them in her digital baby book as stickers (I'll tell you more about that in the future).
Next I opened up the Silhouette design software and imported the footprints.  I made sure to resize the prints to original size.
I was then able to rotate them and make them into a "V" for the word "love."  I made a box roughly the size of a 5" by 7" photo and then used a font called South Rose to spell the rest of the word. I used the shape fill and line color windows to get the letters the way I wanted them to look.
I had selected a mix of landscape and portrait oriented photos from her newborn photos for the gifts so I had to make art in both orientations as well.  Finally I opened the registration marks window and added registration marks so that I could use the print and cut feature.

I found these two-photo frames at Michaels.  I love how these simple and meaningful gifts turned out! Hopefully these will give you some inspiration to make your own footprint or handprint art. You may have noticed that I put her footprints inside a heart on the above photo so that is another idea for you.  I will be back in 2016 (wow that seems weird to say) with the next post in the Sewing for Baby series on making baby skirts!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Hot Chocolate Mug Gift Pouches

Sometimes I am on the ball and churn out several posts within a week of each other.  This would be one of those times.  Today's project was actually one that I came up with last minute.  I realized about a week ago that I should probably give Christmas gifts to the staff at Lyla's daycare.  So (*this will come as a big shocker*) I scoured Pinterest for ideas for simple, inexpensive gift ideas.  I decided that I wanted to do some sort of hot chocolate gift. Then I found this design from the Silhouette Design Store and I instantly had my idea planned in my head.
I liked the Santa design but I quickly discovered that the only red card stock that I had was kind of a pinky red that seemed more magenta than true red.  I did however have some lovely blue card stock, white card stock, and kraft paper so I started to figure out a design.  I decided that I would make the mug pouches blue and use the kraft paper and white card stock for accents.

I started by making some embossed snowflakes on kraft paper and then cutting them out.  This probably would of been a good application for PixScan but I was under a time constraint so I just opted to cut them out by hand.

During my first year of marriage to my husband, I decided to make Christmas cards since I apparently hadn't had enough card making despite the 180 invitations that I had made for our wedding.  I learned about embossing and decided to invest in the supplies to use the technique on our Christmas cards.  You can use any stamp to emboss.  You just need embossing ink, embossing powder, and an embossing drying tool which is similar to a hair dryer.
I love watching the powder change to liquid as the tool heats it up.  It is kind of similar to heating up the sugar on top of creme brulee with a kitchen torch.
I then used a shape that I already had in my library to create a message embellishment for the mugs. The larger background piece was cut out of kraft paper.  I used white card stock and the print and cut feature of the Silhouette to make the top piece.

One I had all of my pieces cut out I put everything together using glue dots (until I ran out of glue dots and had to use scotch tape).
I then placed a packet of Swiss Miss cocoa, a snack sized Ziploc full of mini marshmallows, and a candy cane in each pouch.
This would make a great simple gift for anyone to show your appreciation of them.  It could also make a great favor for a party.  Let me know what you think of my latest project!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Infographic Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas a few days early!  This week I sent out Christmas cards so I wanted to write a short post on our Christmas card and Christmas letter.  I used Shutterfly for our Christmas card as usual. Last year I couldn't find any designs that I loved on Shutterfly so I shared how I created my own card design with Pixelmator in this post.  This year I found a design that was perfect so I didn't need to create my own again.  O Holy Night is one of my favorite Christmas carols.  In fact you may remember this art project that I created last year that used words from the carol.  I loved the blue color of the design too because it works so perfectly with the blues of our shirts in the photo that I chose for the front from Lyla's newborn photo session.  By the way, I want to give another shout out to Josette Hayes of exposures by j. linnea for taking this and all of Lyla's lovely newborn photos.  I look forward to many more photo sessions with her!

This year I decided to include a Christmas letter with our cards.  Sometimes, I just type some info on the back of the Christmas card itself but someone I follow on Pinterest was pinning infographic Christmas letters one day and I was intrigued.  I knew it would be fun to use my Pixelmator software to create my own infographic letter so I knew it was something I had to do.  So without further ado here is my version of an infographic Christmas letter:
I chose to use red and teal as my pops of color.  The best part of completing projects like this is the opportunity to use some of the fonts from my vast collection.  I have a serious problem with downloading fonts people! The house and heart were shapes available in Pixelmator itself and I found the U.S. map and other graphics on Google.  I just used the pen tool to color in the states that we visited this year.  Hopefully you will find some inspiration from my latest project!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Monthly Baby Photos: An Update

So back in September I wrote this post on the photos that I would be taking of my daughter each month.  I was inspired by the vintage travel elements in her room to make a vintage travel setup for her monthly photos.
You may remember this sweet photo from her one month shoot.  Well she is now 19 weeks old and will turn 5 months on Christmas Eve.  Where is the time going?!?  Anyway, she has had 3 more monthly photo shoots since that September post so I wanted to share with you what the last 3 months looked like.

You can see how much she has been growing and changing! Here are my favorite shots from months 2, 3 and 4:

I think each one captures some of the milestones that she has reached each month.

Over Thanksgiving break, I decided to get started on the digital baby book that I am making for Lyla's first year.  In the future I will make sure to work on each month right after it happens because doing 4 months at once was a lot of work!  Here is a sneak peek at what the pages with her monthly photos look like:
I am using Mixbook instead of Shutterfly for this project which I will explain in the future when I write a blog post on it.  I am so excited with how the book looks so far but I have got a lot more things to put in it!

Well I hope you enjoyed the little update.  I hope to have a post on another sewing project soon.  I also have a post on Christmas cards and our new style of Christmas letter waiting in the wings so keep checking back!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Owl Baby Costume

Well I intended to write this post several weeks ago but I am finally getting around to it.  I went back to work at the beginning of this month so it made my life a little busier and blogging got pushed to the back burner.  If you know me then it is no secret that I love owls.  My classroom has owls everywhere and I have many items around my house that feature them.  It is probably not surprising then that Lyla was an owl for her first Halloween.
Owl Costume Supplies
  • plain white long sleeve onesie (you could use short sleeve to if you live in a warmer climate than I do)
  • felt in various colors-I wanted a more realistic look so I chose shades of brown and cream
  • jewels
  • feathers
  • stocking hat
I started by cutting the "feathers" from felt.  I laid them out on the onesie before attaching them with hot glue.
I added some real feathers with hot glue to give it some extra oomph.

One side note-don't put any too close to the face if your child likes to chew on things (that's pretty much all babies 2 months and older).  I ended up ripping a few of them off when she wore it on Halloween. The next step was to make the owl head.  I started by making a pattern on a piece of paper.
Then I cut out eyes.  It turns out that the caps for the Medela bottles were the perfect size for the eyes.

I cut out a beak and eyelids and glued them all onto the owl face.  I used some pink jewels for the eyes.  I know, owls don't have pink eyes, but I just couldn't resist.
I then glued the face onto a stocking hat.
Finally I added some feathers to the top of the head.
I had visions of taking adorable pictures of her in her costume when I took her 3 month pictures on Oct. 24th but unfortunately she hated the hat.  When the hat was off she was perfectly content but when it was on she fussed.  Oh well ha ha!
This was about the best photo that I could get.  Look at the look she is giving me!  "Mom, what are you doing to me?!?"  The brown pants are a pair of leggings that I made for her which can read more about in this post.  I bought the adorable crochet booties from this Etsy shop.

Here is one more picture for you.  She was definitely not thrilled about that hat!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sewing for Baby: Leggings and Matching Headband

I am happy to be back today with another installment of the Sewing for Baby series.  Today I am sharing a post on leggings with a bonus portion about sewing a matching headband.  A few posts ago I talked about our experience with cloth diapering so far.  You can read that post here.  I am happy to say that cloth diapering has been continuing to go wonderfully for us.  I am not looking forward to having to buy disposables again when she goes to daycare starting next week.  One of the deterrents for cloth diapering for some people is the fluffy bum that the diapers create.  I think it is adorable but it does occasionally make finding pants that fit challenging.

When I found a free pattern for Baby Got Back Infant/Toddler Leggings by Lauren Dahl from Baste + Gather, I knew I had to try making a pair (or 7).  I mean the name alone is awesome enough. Basically the pattern has an extra piece in the bum area of the leggings to allow room for the fluffiness of the cloth diapers.
Any stretchy knit works great with this pattern.  I have made 3 pairs so far all with fabric from Girl Charlee.  Here are the fabrics I have used:
Black Red Cream Buffalo Plaid Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric
Feathers on Silver Peony Cotton Jersey Knit Blend Fabric
Dark Chocolate Brown Solid Ponte de Roma Fabric

I made a pair with the feather fabric first but I made it in the 3-6 month size and it was were way too big for her (she will wear it eventually).  I cut the pattern down to the 0-3 month size and made a pair with the Ponte de Roma fabric next.  I really liked using this fabric because it has such a nice weight to it so in the future I plan to make more pairs with it.  This pair was still a little big and quite long. With the buffalo plaid pair I shortened the legs slightly, adjusted the rise of the paints so they weren't quite so high, and made the leg openings narrower.  Even with having to make adjustments, these leggings were very easy to put together.  Every baby is different so having to make some adjustments is expected.  You don't need a serger for this project but I loved how professional it made the leggings looks.

For the headband, I loosely followed this tutorial from The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood blog.  I cut the fabric to the measurements in the tutorial and cut a point on both ends like in the tutorial.  Instead of zigzag stitching the headband I just serged the edge leaving half of one of the points open.  I turned the headband right side out and top stitched the opening closed.  Lastly, I just tied the headband and voila, it was done.

I love the two photos above because they show just how obsessed she is with her feet.  In fact, as I am writing this her daddy is holding her and she is bending forward and drooling on her feet.  She wants them in her mouth so badly!

Next up on the blog: Lyla's Halloween costume which includes the leggings that I made with chocolate brown Ponte de Roma fabric.  Here are the other posts in the Sewing for Baby series:

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