Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2 Years Old | Cute, Funny and Fabulous

In less than one week my baby will turn 2 years old! I will admit that I am struggling with my oldest transitioning out of toddlerhood. I love toddlers. At their first birthdays it was more of a celebration of "Yay we survived the first year!" As much as I loved them at that stage I think the toddler years are magic. I love that Hanny is turning two... but maybe she can slow it down from here on out :)

The girl one wasn't loving the outdoor birthday shoots (even though it was 0 degrees in JANUARY!) - practically summer. Instead we attempted them indoors today.


I had such a hard time picking outfits. I could have chosen like 18 but she was only willing to allow 1. I can't get enough of that fur vest.


She looks so short and smooshy here. She is neither.


Toddler Photo Tip : If you have a "runner" as Hanny would most definitely be put them on something where they can't escape but makes them feel special and like a big kid. I had the boy one sit on the fireplace in my room first to show her how cool it was and then asked him if Hanny could have a turn. She then was most pleased to sit on the fireplace on not run away.


Another tip: Give them a prop to keep them occupied but that you don't mind having in the shot. My kids share my love of vintage cameras and so we use them a lot in photo shoots.

Another thing to note is that I did all of these blue wall pictures in about 3 foot wide space. You don't need loads of space. 


 Due to the nature of my first child (outgoing and hilarious) I kind of expected that my second might be quiet and settle somewhat in her older brother's shadow. Thankfully she does nothing of the sort.


Hanny is thoughtful and kind. She is such a nurturer and has the most gentle touch.


Beautifully complimenting that is her fierce and passionate nature. She is fearless and she leads in that. At this age it is most often her brother that draws from her strength. She will tackle the intimidating rides at the amusement park and make the boy one feel safe. I dropped them off at a friends during my hair appointment the other day and Kai asked, "Will Hannah be there to protect me?" So cute and so true to their relationship.



Hanny is vibrant and hilarious. Her and her brother make each other laugh constantly.







Beautiful girl I pray you always know how stunning you are and who God made you to be. You are a daughter of the King. You have a royal anointing and the fierceness of a lioness. I pray you always stay fearless.


Monday, January 30, 2012

DIY | Love Notes Photo Pillow

I'm still quite enamored with the whole printing on regular fabric with a freezer paper backing thing. If you missed the how to you can get up to speed with this tutorial.

With Valentine's day approaching I decided to make a "love notes" pillow.


I recently put all of my "Christmas money" into purchasing an iPad 2. We LOVE it.  One of the apps I purchased was Notability. It is a great note taking app where you can actually hand write notes, add pictures, make diagrams, etc. I pretty much just let my kids scribble on pages :)

One day though I wondered if there was a way to send the "notes" to my computer and thus print them... onto fabric... see where I'm going with this?

Of course there is a way. You just hit email.

I sent it as a pdf. Excuse the messy-ish handwriting, I wanted it to look like scribbled love notes and it's hard to hand write with your finger :)


I printed the "note" onto the freezer paper backed fabric. My initial thought was to cover the majority of the pillow in a patchwork of notes but then I decided to make a bigger pillow and ended up choosing a picture for the pillow as well.

The English one took this pic of the tall one and I shortly after we had the girl one. It was a mini date for us. Fun times :)



 With both printed out I cut them into patches (rather than using just one 8.5 x 11 piece of fabric as the cover.)


Using the same material that I printed on I cut another 16 x 16" piece and started arranging the notes, the picture, a doily and other pieces of coordinating fabric on top of it.


 Once I was happy with the arrangement I started sewing the "bottom most" layers on which in this case was the yellow polka dot fabric. To sew the picture and note patches on I used a zig zag stitch right on the edges to prevent fraying and because I liked the look of it.

The doilies are tricky to sew at times because they bunch and stretch. It did pucker my pillow a bit but helped when I sewed an "x" though it. The floral is a print from a vintage sheet that I cut out and zig zagged on.

With everything sewn on the front I cut a piece of 16 x 16 grey corduroy, placed right sides together and sewed the pillow leaving an opening at the bottom for turning and stuffing.


After it was stuffed I used a hidden stitch to close the opening and chucked it on my ever growing collection of bed pillows.






The "sunshine" quote has special meaning for us. I started "liking" the tall one when I was in grade 9 and he in grade 11. We'd flirt at youth group and in the hallways at school and though I only lived 3 blocks from school he'd rumble up to me half way through my journey in his 434 blue Chevy and offer me a ride home. I of course always accepted. My friends gave him the code name "Sunshine" and would write notes asking "How is the sun shining today?" or leave voicemails wishing me a "very sunny Sunday." When he rumbled up in the truck they'd start singing, "I've got sunshine... on a cloudy day!"

We started dating in my grade 10 year and here we are 15 years later, ridiculously happily married with two children we adore. My whole life has been pretty sunny :)



 Though this really wasn't my initial vision for the pillow at all, it does make me happy and I think it looks pretty "sunny". I'll still likely try out a version that is just "notes".

I'm thinking that the tall one wouldn't be overly thrilled to receive a frilly pillow for Valentine's day but it's a cute romantic piece of nostalgia for the bedroom. The possibilities for variations are literally endless when you don't restrict yourself to the 8.5 x 11 format and work with pieces.


If you've made or make a pillow of your own using the freezer paper technique please share, we'd love to see them!

~ Monique



Friday, January 27, 2012

The Boy One

February is a busy month for us. More specifically the second week of February is very busy. The girl one was born on February 6th and the boy one on the 11th. To make it even more fun they have two other close friends born on the 11th and 13th.

I pout a little bit that for the rest of my life I will never get to throw a backyard birthday party outdoors, utilizing our party sized deck :( I will inevitably be renting venues and trying to find space for all the amazing people that help celebrate our kids.

Another consideration is that I also usually have to do the kids birthday pictures indoors because normally my camera lens would likely freeze shut in the -30 to -50 temps we'd usually have. However, the Lord has blessed us this year and this last week it hit +7 in January!!!

The snowfall was so beautiful last night that I dragged the kids outside for a 10 minute mini shoot this afternoon before all the snow would blow off of the trees.


I have another shoot or two in mind and will definitely need it as the girl one wasn't super cooperative.


When shooting the boy one I've learned to wait for the "in between" expressions. His silly faces and "cheese" face are great. But it's the "in between" expressions that reflect some of the most beautiful parts of his personality.



Sigh... I love him.



He is such a sweet boy.


I spend a lot of time talking to God about who my kids are and who He created them to be. It's imperative for me to know in order to know how to parent them wisely. 

My son feels a lot. In seeking the Lord in this, He has been very clear that Kai feels the heart of God and that is a large part of his calling and gifting. He will hear the heart of God, he will feel the heart of God, he will move with the heart of God.








My son is captivated by the story of Samuel in the Old Testament. If you're unfamiliar with it, Samuel was raised in the temple under Eli the priest. As a young boy God called out to him in the night and after finally recognizing it was the Lord, Samuel answered, "Speak. I am your servant, ready to listen." God spoke and from then on Samuel lived and operated as a prophet.

Kai asks to read the story of Samuel multiple times a week. We've been having good conversations about what it means to hear from God. He already does. He will insist we need to pray for a friend and he'll be spot on. We will have been praying for somebody and later in the day out of the blue he'll inform me that we need to thank Jesus because he's answered our prayer and I find out later that he had.

Little boy, I pray you keep listening just like Samuel.










Tuesday, January 24, 2012

DIY | Crochet Heart Headband

I pinned this adorable little heart garland from Julia Crossland. It is so cute and I thought the two-tone hearts would make great headband embellishments. Julia does a fantastic job of the pattern and has many pictures to accompany the tutorial. Click on the blog name above to get the pattern for yourself!



I had the girl one model the headband for pics even though this headband and it's twin are on route to two special little girls as an early Valentine's gift.




To attach it to the headband I just ran a bead of hot glue along the band and stuck the heart to it. If I wanted to be fancier or hold it's shape better it would have been a good idea to glue a felt heart to the back of it, sandwiching the headband between the two.


Cutie little girl and her bear - always together. I love that she still sort of fits in her doll stroller :)


Turns out that these charming hearts are so addicting to make that I'm making the heart garland that the tutorial was initially for as well! Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pugged

Since my brother and I moved out and left my parents as empty nesters they have replaced us with dogs. Poncho (male pug) was actually added to the family by brother and somehow in my family we all end up owning each other's pets (it is how we came to own our chocolate lab Molly). The parents then adopted CoCo (like Channel, not chocolate) and travel North America with their two little diva babies.

Things got a little complicated though when in spite of all their efforts to prevent it, Poncho knocked up CoCo. Poncho is apparently quite the stud and rather than CoCo delivering a typical first litter of 2-4 puppies she delivered 7 - in a Semi truck. Two unfortunately were stillborn but she had 5 thriving little pups.


These 5 little pups were dropped off in my kitchen last week as my parents drove through town. Yes, in this picture there are 6 but the front middle one is their stuffed toy they like to snuggle with. Que the melting...


We've had these little characters for almost a week now...


Don't be fooled by their cute faces. This is normally what they are doing - attacking my feet! I have to shuffle around the kitchen with at least 3 puppies dragging from my slippers.


The girl one likes the puppies and isn't afraid to boss them around.



I'm learning that little puppies can make you feel like a horrible person. If I walk by their box and don't let me out or don't give them a little snuggle, they look at you like this. Or worse, they prop themselves up with their front paws on the box and look at you like this.


 This little dude is Frodo. He's the male runt of the litter and he's feisty. His personality makes me laugh daily and he's proven to be the brains of the operation as well. He's a master at escaping.


 They are seriously so cute. It almost makes up for all the poop and pee I have to clean up on their training pad. Almost.


I love their natural instinct to play. That's all they do. They sleep, play, eat, poop, play and then sleep some more. Their antics of batting each other around and pouncing one another is hilarious.


Not gonna lie, they also chew EVERYTHING. Living or not.



Here they are conspiring as to how they will attack my toes next.


"What? I'm not about to pounce you."




 Judging by the paws I think this is Jethro.


This might be Millicent. She's a doll.




This has been my week. Dealing with these 5 babies and my own 2. No I will not be keeping one - which means there are more for you!

Mom and Dad can deliver anywhere from Saskatoon to Regina, to Winnipeg or Brandon, to Estevan and to Calgary!