Monday, December 10, 2012

Still Alive!

Wow!  What a six weeks it's been.  The girls have arrived and are healthy and happy.  They both tipped the scales at about 6 pounds.  Hard to believe I was carrying almost 12 pounds of baby.  Bibs are definitely at a premium around our house and surprisingly, I have a new found love for Wheel Of Fortune!  It's practically the only thing on tv without questionable language or violence.  I know the girls are not absorbing it yet, but I guess it's never too early to start creating good habits.
I have managed to do some holiday decorating.
Here is this year's tree and some outside decor.

The tree skirt hasn't been located yet.  There are still some things that aren't perfect and I've learned that, as a new parent, I just have to be okay with that.
Hope you are enjoying your holiday season.  We are counting every blessing this year and taking in every minute with our new little additions.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Getting Closer...

I finished the 2nd coming home outfit for the girls.  It is the same patterned fabric, just in a different color scheme.

I have also made them headbands to go with each of their outfits.
I can't believe that I really have everything done that I wanted to get accomplished before they arrived.  I am feeling prepared...that is, until they get here.
On the other hand, there is someone else who is not so thrilled about the addition to the family:

Cricket is having a really hard time believing that this whole thing isn't about her.  Every time I open the door to the nursery, she jumps in the recliner.  Overall, I think the doggies will do just fine with the twins.  They will have plenty of time to get used to the strange new bundles causing all the noise before the girls are mobile and can start terrorizing our four-legged family members.
Errands to run today!
Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Squeezing in Some Last Jewelry Projects

Before we got lucky with the baby project, I started my business, Charmed Life Jewelry.  I am still doing a few projects for people here and there.  After all, hand-stamping jewelry doesn't require much physically.  So, it's been easy to do a few pieces, and I do enjoy it.
I finally finished two different necklaces and will be delivering them today.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Two By Two

Two by two, the animals are showing up in the nursery - well, at least the giraffes are here!  These little creations were sewn by one of my aunts for the girls.  I can't imagine the time that it took to make these little critters.  I can hardly sew a flat piece of fabric to a sheet!

The appliqued circles are the same fabrics from the quilt that my mom made for the twins.

My aunt commented on how she thought the giraffes were a little cross-eyed because the eyes were put on before the head was stuffed - but I love them just the same.  They are adorable.

One has a blue/green tail and mane made from embroidery floss and the other has a pink tail and mane.

Lots of work went into, when will the twins arrive?!?!?!?
Happy Saturday!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Guess How Much WE Love You!

When I think about all the preparations that have gone into getting ready for the girls, it makes my mind spin.  Not that we will ever really be "ready," but it just to get the ball rolling took an act of God...literally.
And, there have been so many projects that have been handmade for them - and not just by me.  I will never be able to tell them how much they are loved.  Even before they arrived.
The most recent addition to the nursery was a toy/storage cubby that my dad built.  After he finished the ladder shelf, he started on the storage cubby.  I wasn't really sure where I would be putting it because when there are two cribs in a regular size bedroom, they take up the majority of the space.  But, as it turns out (and as I'm discovering) two babies require A LOT OF STUFF!  So, we cleared some room in the closet and since their tiny little clothes only hang down about a foot from the rod, we were able to scoot the cubby into the closet and use it for storage in there!

 It will be great for storing all sorts of things.  You can see that it's filling up fast, but the best thing is that it's just basically keep stuff out of the way and organized.  And, it also has adjustable shelves so that if I need more or less room, I can move the shelving accordingly!
Today, my goals are to finish the 2nd coming home onesie and work on the headbands for their pictures in the hospital.
Tomorrow, I will post another handmade project that is adorable!
Happy Friday!

Monday, October 1, 2012

33+ weeks...I think I can, I think I can!

I'm counting down the days until I hit 35 weeks...and that date is 10.11.12.  By then, the girls should be
about five pounds and I'm crossing my fingers that their lungs will be developed enough so that they don't have to spend much time (if any) in the NICU.  All of this reminds me of when my brother was born...I was only 6, so I really don't remember much detail about that time, but he was also born at 35 weeks.  And, he's pretty normal - from what I can tell, anyway!
I know it's best for the girls if I can hold out as long as possible, so I have been busying myself with small projects that help the days to pass.  This morning, I packed the my hospital bag.  Although, it's tough to plan what to pack because there are still plenty of things that are "unknown".
Things that still need to get done include putting together the 2nd bouncey seat and installing the carseats.
I have also been obsessing over newborn photos and what the girls will wear in their hospital photos.  This morning, I tried my hand at creating a onesie gown for the "going home" outfit.  Early on, I thought the idea of a special outfit for the day we bring the girls home was absolutely ridiculous.  I mean, really...who will see what they are wearing under the swaddling of the blankets they will inevitably be wrapped in?  However, it seems I've succumbed to the new mommy sickness of not being able to resist every cute baby item I lay my eyes on.  Pinterest and Etsy are not helping this.
So, I followed this super easy tutorial on the Banana Bear Blog and in a little more than an hour, I had this:

The tutorial is easy to follow if you have some basic sewing skills.  You hardly need more than a half yard of fabric, so it's a pretty inexpensive project compared to what you would pay for it already done.  I made a few changes to the project...I decided to skip the ribbon on the waist because I wasn't sure how it would look after it went through the wash.  The instructions also say to cut the onesie off where you sew the fabric on, but I decided to keep it intact.
And, the Amy Butler fabric obsession also continues...

Happy Monday!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

With Love, From Grandma (& Amy Butler)

Two weekends ago, I had another shower to celebrate the upcoming arrival of the girls.  There were about 30 people who attended the shower and I am still humbled by the generosity of all of our family and friends - especially in these hard economic times.
Of course, every new mom begins to realize that the necessities are just as important as the nice-ities.  Especially with two, if the buying guide says you will need 8-4oz bottles, that means 16 at the least (I'm factoring in that with two new babies, there will be little time to wash, so extras may be needed!)
But, then there are gifts that are given that have nothing to do with need, although they MAY serve a purpose.  They are a reflection of the love that is already waiting for the twins.  My mom spent many, many, many hours at the pedal of her sewing machine, working on this "project" - that's what she affectionately called it.

All the fabrics are designed by Amy Butler.  And, it was all hand cut, laid out, pieced, sew and even hand-quilted.

This is a closeup of one of the 9 squares that make the quilt.  Every single one is different.

We have pretty much everything that we need for the arrival of the twins.  And, I keep telling myself that the stores will be open after they get here - so if there's something we've missed, we can certainly go get it!
Yesterday, I did some final work on the nursery including putting up the monitors and making the pom-pom mobile - or what resembles a mobile.

The pom-poms are super easy to make and there are lots of tutorials online to follow.  I used the Command hooks by 3M for a removable way to affix them to the ceiling.  What you can't see is the mess of fishing line that is holding them all together.  Another thing to check off my list...which is a good thing, because I am pretty much immobile right now and have a feeling it won't be long until those little ones make their debut.
Happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

30 Weeks and Counting...

Well, this is what 30 weeks looks like...

 Even with two little blessings wiggling in there, I've managed to keep the gain to about 30 lbs.  I still have at least 4 weeks to go, but I'm feeling good that after they make their big debut, I won't have a huge uphill battle on my hands as far as the weight loss goes.

The crib skirts are FINALLY finished.  I'm not gonna lie, they were a labor of love - if we are so lucky to have a 3rd, I doubt that there will be a custom crib skirt.  Some of the time was dedicated to fixing mistakes and now that I know how to go about it, the next one might be easier.  But, I can understand why the complete bedding sets on Etsy are priced at $300+!

I used a tutorial from Positively Splendid for inspiration, but I ended up kind of doing my own thing as I went along.  Her measurements for the amount of fabric you would need are spot on though.

After cutting all the fabric (with the help of my mom, might I add) I was in Target and this caught my eye:

This ready made bedskirt, turned the right way, was almost the exact measurements I needed.  So I thought to myself, "Self, why would you spend time making this, when you can buy it off the shelf for $12?"
This is what it looks like unfolded:

The lighter part in the middle is what stays under that mattress.  So, I basically measured the depth I would need and cut it horizontally so that I had one piece that had 3 sides and one piece that had only 2 sides.  Then, I bought a plain full size sheet like the one I used to make the curtains, and attached that so it was the front piece of my second crib skirt.

After trying many different versions of ruffling, I went to JoAnn's and bought elastic and sewed the fabric directly to it.  I found this the easiest way to make ruffles.
And then, everything got attached:

The quilting hoop idea I got from Pinterest.  It's a great way to make inexpensive art that goes with your decor.

It's so nice to have it all done!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nursery Furniture - Done!

A few weeks ago, I posted that I was working with the new (atleast to me) Annie Sloan chalk paint.  When my mom and dad moved two years ago,  they were getting rid of a lot of stuff they had accumulated over the time they lived there.  And the nursery furniture that my brother and I had used was destined for the junk pile.  But,  I thought I might be able to repurpose it in some way, so we stored it in the spare bedroom until a few months ago.  Here is what it looked like before...

It was very dark brown and highly lacquered with brass hardware.  Clearly, something had to be done.

The great thing about the Annie Sloan chalk paint is that there is no sanding, priming, stripping or prep.  That's right.  You just get your favorite paint brush and get after it.  Here is how the mirror looked after the new coat of paint:

Here is the chest of drawers all finished complete with hardware.

And here is the changing table (no before picture, but it was the same dark wood, high lacquered finish and brass hardware).

This hardware was perfect.  I found it at Target and ordered it online.

The only pieces of the furniture that we didn't have (and I probably wouldn't have used it anyway because of safety reasons) was the crib.  I ordered two from  They are located on the East Coast and after I placed the order, they called to make sure that I really did want to order TWO cribs.
They will convert to toddler beds and then eventually full size beds.  I am finishing up the crib skirts (pictures to come) and then we need to buy the mattresses.

This is the ladder shelf my dad just finished for the room.  It's a great way to store necessities or toys or burp cloths.  It's exactly like the one featured in Pottery Barn right now - only made with love, which is so much better.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Lots of Growing...

There is lots of growing going on around here - both in the size of my belly and in the level of my anxiety.  Yesterday, I made the 26 week mark.  Hard to believe that I have only 3 months left, at the most, before the girls will be here.  I think we've finalized names for the most part - although we're really not sharing our final decisions.  The ones we've considered but I'm pretty sure we've eliminated include Jillian, Guiliana, and Alexis.  Those were favorites at one time, but we've come to like others better.  The funniest thing I think I've heard is, "you'll just have to wait and see what they look like before you decide names."  Hmmm.  Well, they are identical.  Does that mean we're supposed to name them the same thing?
I would say I have really enjoyed the last month or so.  I was having some back pain, but went to see a chiropractor and after the adjustment, Baby A, who had been breech for about 2 months flipped around.  Within a week, my back pain was gone!
And, the fun of shower planning has started.  Here are a few pics that were snapped last week.  I don't think I look very big here, but I feel big.  The doctor says I'm measuring right where I need to be - about 4 weeks ahead.

My friends at Paper Source are throwing me a shower on September 16th.  They have been so funny about the planning - it's all so secretive.  I am so lucky to have friends that are sharing our joy.  The invite was designed by Jenna Blazevich.  Mad talent - for real.  Her lettering style is so beautiful.

The girls are growing like weeds.  At my last appointment, they weighed in at about 1.5 lbs each - only varying by about 40 grams.  Baby B was up the night before enjoying a dance party between 3am and 5am, so when the ultrasound tech had the probe on her, she gave us a big yawn.  Amazing.

Like I said, the girls will be here in no time, so nursery prep is in high gear. I couldn't find any window treatments off the shelf I liked.  What to do?  Make your own!  But, I needed something easy peasy.  So, I settled on this tutorial posted on Positively Splendid.

Next came the arrival of fabric by Dena Fishbein.  Kumari Garden to be exact.

And then, after I picked which fabrics to use, I washed them.  Then, there was lots and lots of this...

And then, there was lots and lots of this...
And then, there was some of this, but if you do all your prep right, it's easy as pie...

And then, there was lots of running around to different stores to find the perfect hardware that was big enough for the window.   And then, there was time spent marking, and leveling, and drilling, and mollying (my least favorite part), but alas, THE REWARD!

There is actually a pink tie in the ribbons, but I couldn't get it to show in the photos.

And, they are perfect to me.  More to come including a crib skirt tutorial from the same blog, Positively Splendid.  If you ask me, it's positively fabulous!
Happy Friday!