what i’ve been doing

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what i’ve been doing

Lately, I’ve been keeping myself pretty busy in the world of crafts. One of my co-workers is having a baby! So I have been hardcore putting together things for her baby shower! I didn’t want to go all out, because I didn’t want to overwhelm her, but I came up with a few simple gifts and gestures that I wanted to share with all of you.

The thing I spent the most time on, was a book of “advice” from all of the people in our office. I had everyone send in a piece of helpful advice, or a quote that they liked, and I complied them all in to a little book. The following is an example page from the book.

It was very simple to make! I bought a block of scrapbook papers that were “It’s a boy!” themed, and then I cut a bunch of 5″x5″ squares. I taped the wrong sides together with picture squares so that there would be a design on both sides. Then, I got some plain papers and cut them in to 4″x4″ squares, and wrote the advice on them. Then stuck them to the pages with picture squares. Then! I wanted to have a corresponding picture with each piece of advice, so I went crazy in target, taking pictures of patterns, baby wipes, baby books, little shoes, blue things, etc. I proceeded to instagram all of the prints (I LOVE INSTAGRAM) to give them a neat look, and printed them out. If you want an exact size, I would recommend using postalpix. However, I’m the most impatient person in the world, so I used the collage feature on the Walgreen’s website, and had them printed to my local Walgreen’s. I cut them out, and put them on the pages with the double sided sticky picture squares. Then I embellished everything with some washi tape. (Finally had an excuse to buy some!) Lastly, I punched holes in all the pages, and put them together with some binder rings.

NEXT! For decorations, I decided to make a cute little pennant garland.

This was also relatively simple to make. I wish the picture was better so you could see the color scheme, but I’ll show you a better picture at the end. What I did here, was go to my local fabric store, and picked a couple remnants of fabrics that I liked. Along with some scraps I already had on had, I had a good variety of fabrics. I cut a bunch of pieces 4″x9″. And I made a pennant template with a piece of cardboard just so I could line everything up. I folded the fabrics right sides together, so I had a 4″x4.5″ shape. Using the template, I traced the template and cut out the triangle. I bought a spool of some kind of cotton material that I think you’re supposed to use for filling piping on pillows or some some other purpose, but I liked its rustic look. From there, I folded each of the triangles back the other way, and got to sewing. I sewed it all by hand, so I didn’t have to either a) seclude myself in my sewing room, or b) drag my sewing machine out into the living room. Sometimes it’s just easier that way. Anyway, I think it turned out pretty cute!

Continuing on… In case you guys couldn’t tell, I didn’t take pictures of all of these things to blog about, I took them for my personal reference, then decided after the fact to share them– hence the random things in the background and the poor quality.

NEXT! A diaper cake. Classic baby shower. I’m sure there’s probably a million tutorials for these guys out there, but I’ll tell you the technique I used all the same.

So the bottom layer is diapers, the top is burpcloths and washcloths, and then there is a pacifier topper. For the top layer, I individually rolled each item and tied them with curling ribbon– just so they’d all keep their shape. Then I arranged them all in to the most round shape I could get, and carefully tied a ribbon around them. Luckily, using my hands and my chest and my chin and my upper arms, I was able to make this happen. The same can not be said for the bottom layer of diapers, though it’s what I originally attempted to do. I wanted to keep it fairly small, so I started arranging the diapers in a spiral pattern. This worked nicely until it was time to make a circle. I got a piece of ribbon I had laying around in my ribbon basket and tied it in a circle. (anything would work, string, a giant rubber band, zip ties, you pick) This way, I was able to slide the diapers in around the edges creating the spiral shape while simultaneously packing the middle to make it sturdy. After I got it the size I wanted, I tied the pice of decorative ribbon around it before sliding the other ribbon off. Then I just placed the “cake” in the middle of a piece of ribbon, slid the pacifiers on the ends, and tied a bow. Very simple once I figured out what I was doing.

LAST PRESENT! I made this cute little elephant. His trunk is kind of funny looking. But he turned out okay.

He was not easy to make, and this guy is my fifth attempt. Seriously. The first guy’s ear fell off, the second guy’s legs didn’t match up. The third guy’s tail was sewn inside of him. (This is my trademark mistake.) With the fourth guy, the “minky” fabric or whatever it’s called with the little dots (what his ear is made of) got all stretched out and he was all saggy. SO! Fifth attempt gave me an elephant. With a crooked trunk. However, compared to all the previous mistakes I had made, the dumb trunk was the least of my concerns– plus it adds character. Or something. If you have any questions about what I did, please e-mail me or comment below. I literally free hand cut an elephant shape sewed it up and stuffed it. It should have been way easier than it was.

FOR THE PARTY!

Because I wanted to make this a fun baby shower, I decided to carve a watermelon baby carriage. HAHAHH! This was hysterical. It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be, but I was in my kitchen with a watermelon, a giant knife, and giggling to myself about the absurdity of it. It took me forever to find an oblong watermelon. They were all perfectly round. Since when are watermelons perfectly round? I remember back in the day when they were huge and oblong and ideal for carving into baby carriages. I digress. I found one. I got my sharpest knife, and sliced a chunk out of it. Then I kept slicing until I got the shape I thought would look best. Then I proceeded to scoop it out with an ice cream scoop. Too much fun! Makes such a neat scraping sound. Not the point. After I got it all hollowed out, I tried to decorate it, using zig zags, which ended up looking like vicious teeth. I cut off the points and ended up with the weird shapes you see in the picture below.

At least it didn’t look like it could eat the baby anymore. For the handle, using the part of the watermelon I cut off, I trimmed it until it looked oval enough, and cut the middle out and attached it with bamboo skewers. The wheels are oranges cut in half with bamboo skewers stuck through them. Then I filled that jank with fruit salad and had a party!

I know– it looks a little sad– but I think it was perfect. It wasn’t too over the top, a lot of people came by and enjoyed our decorations and read the book of advice, liked the pennants, ate the cake, etc. I think overall it was a success. At the DOT, anything out of the order, no matter how small, can make a big difference.

So that’s that! Baby shower completed! I’ve also semi-completed my collage wall I blogged about here. I have two more pieces I want to add, but can’t decide where they should go. Major thanks to my husband for helping me hang everything! And helping me decide where to put what. FYI- you see all those websites and helpful tips and tricks about using templates to get the perfect design for your wall– I didn’t do any of that. I picked a piece and started hanging. That’s just how I do things. I think Matt was cringing the entire time, but I think it turned out great. It’s pretty much exactly what I was going for– so I can’t complain.

Except now I’ve got the fever, and I already want to start changing stuff around. I’m still on the hunt for things to go on the wall even though it’s almost completely full! I must stop! That’s why I’m really excited about the piece in the middle with the strings on it. I made that so we could add and remove things as we please. Ticket stubs, bar coasters, stickers, postcards, etc. I think that’s probably my favorite part of the wall. I decided to add it up there, so that Matt could put things on the wall, too. Though he helped me pick everything out, I felt like he needed a changeable space of his own. He has yet to put anything up there. (The items you see were put there by me to encourage him.. no go.) If you’re curious– It’s just a picutre frame with no back and no glass ($.89 at Michael’s in the AS IS section.) I used the prongs on the back that hold the cardboard on to wrap baker’s twine around. (Finally an excuse to buy baker’s twine!) Luckily for me, the prongs weren’t lined up evenly, so I could go from the top prong on the left to the top prong on the right and it didn’t look like a straight line. Which adds to the fun of it, if you ask me. Then I bought teeny tiny clothespins. Like.. half an inch tall teeny tiny.. to attach everything on to the twine. YAY!

Okay guys– I’m really sorry for the long post, but I thought you guys needed an update on what’s been going on in my world. Hope you liked what you saw. If you have any questions at all, just e-mail at allrainydaysarentgray@gmail.com, or leave it in the comments. Thanks so much! We will resume normal posts tomorrow!

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