Hello there! I want to send a big thank you and welcome to all the visitors my little blog has had this summer from the Country Living website. I was so honored to see my Yellowstone included in the “14 Gorgeous Camper Decorating Ideas” article, and was overwhelmed (almost to the point of going into hiding!) by the traffic my site garnered for a couple weeks. If you are here to read about my Yellowstone, you can click on this link to get only trailer-related blog posts. I’m hoping to post new camping pictures soon, but I admit we’ve not taken it out even once all all this beautiful summer. My third baby has not been the greatest sleeper, and somehow we’ve just not found the time. Maybe I’m just worried to break the glass on the windows that finally got replaced? I’ve got fall camping plans percolating in my head, and will be sure to share photos here. In the meantime, I’m feeling weak and guilty for not having taken her out–make me an offer, and maybe I’ll sell and start over. 🙂
In spite of our lack of summer camping we’ve still put a lot of miles on the children this year. Last spring I got frustrated with my kids turning every small trip or homeschool field trip into a “gimme gimme” occasion in even the smallest gift shop. I don’t usually indulge them, but they still beg (and annoy me). I noticed most tourist site gift shops sell scouting-style patches embroidered with their logo, and that they are usually reasonably-priced. I sewed a canvas tote bag for each child, and used my embroidery machine to add their names. Then we started collecting patches on excursions and field trips, and now much of the front of their bags are filled up, ony 6 months later!
These bags have served dual-duty in providing something for us to look for and purchase in gift shops, and holding the sundries (water bottle, snack, sunhat, etc.) that each child needs on our trip. We wrapped keepsake keychains around the straps and I used this handy fabric glue to adhere the patches.
I made this dress from the “Pretty as a Picture” pattern in Anna Maria Horner’s book Handmade Beginnings. I made the 6-9 month size. I used an old blue sheet to provide the fabric for the “picture” panel, then embroidered flowers and the REM song reference, because of course my baby will be such an REM fan, right?
This is the dress from the back; I left the panel empty. I liked this pattern; it was simple to follow and the front panel idea is fun and holds lots of possibilities. I was thinking it would be a cute way to showcase older sibling art made for the baby, either scanned in and printed on printable fabric, or done in permanent marker on a light fabric. I didn’t do the French seams called for inside the skirt because I was serging the skirt seams anyway, but otherwise I followed the pattern faithfully. I’m not sure what season it will be when my little one wears this size, but I felt like this dress could be worn as a layer in chilly weather or on it’s own in spring or summer.
This project was the only one I managed to photograph of a whole stack of tote bags I made a couple months ago. I bought several yards of a lightweight canvas and used the dimensions of a purchased tote bag that was hanging around here to guide me. I made totes for all the employees who work for my husband at his law firm, embroidering the firm logo on one side (thank you to Hanni at the Sweet as Lemon and Honey shop on Etsy for making the embroidery file!) and the employee’s name on the other. Then I made a couple child birthday gifts, one of which is shown, by doing the same tote bag but adding a child-appropriate embroidery bit and the birthday girl’s name. These were such nice, quick thank-you and birthday gifts that I’m sure I’m going to be reusing this idea again. The totes go together quickly and are always useful, no matter the recipient’s age.
This is certainly not the most exciting project I’ve ever blogged about, but it sure is useful. Each bedroom in my house is equipped with a laundry hamper. My usual laundry strategy is to fill great big TJ Maxx shopping bags with the laundry from the hampers, haul it downstairs, then drag it back up (clean) in the same bags. I have about six of the shopping bags and they are really just the right size for the job and have well-placed handles. The problem with them is that they are not very sturdy–the seams break easily–and I end up with empty plastic TJ Maxx shopping totes hanging all over the bedroom doorknobs, looking cluttery.
Rather than replace these falling-apart shopping totes with new store-bought ones I decided to just make some nice, sturdy ones just for the purpose of laundry. I bought pretty blue canvas fabric and sewed six new totes to the same dimensions as the TJ Maxx bags. Then I embroidered their purpose right to the front of them, so they won’t run off to get used for something else. Finally, I hung a hook on the back of my bedroom door to house the bags not currently in use so these won’t clutter up my doorknobs either. Now my when piles of unfolded laundry collects in my bedroom it will look so much cuter!