Tuesday, 13 June 2017

DIY Floral Mobile

DIY Floral Mobile

Oh hey, look! I made a thing!

Don’t get me wrong, I love the current season of life that we’re in, but it’s nice once in a while to break up the continuous breastfeeding/nappy change/school run/cook and clean, with a little creativity. Of course creative inspiration always strikes right when I settle down to breastfeed (the Pinterest app on my phone may have something to do with that) – but it was nice this week to smash out one of those ideas that has been lurking round in my brain for a little while now.

I wanted to make Sophie a floral mobile. If you’re a long time follower of this blog you might remember the hot air balloon mobile that I made Pipi. Man, I’m a sucker for a theme, aren’t I? But I like a theme in a subtle, non over the top way (basically the opposite of the themed rooms in Extreme Makeover Home Edition – if you remember that show?! “Move that bus!”)

Anyway, this time around I seem to have loosely gone for a floral/ bohemian theme for our baby nook area – inspired in part by our Alphabets & Animals prints, Sophie’s Fox and Swan name banner and the Nani Iro floral mat that I made for Sophie. (See photos further down this post for the Alpha prints and name banner.)

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This mobile is pretty simple, but I’ll give a basic ‘how to’ for those that are interested. I used the inner ring of an embroidery hoop and bought faux flowers and leaves from Spotlight, my local craft store. I choose the most realistic one that I could find. I went for the less is more philosophy and initially had less, but added some more greenery hanging down to add interest for Sophie to look at. (After all that is the purpose of a mobile, is it not!?)

I wound the greenery around the mobile and tied natural twine at four even points around the hoop in quite long lengths which can be trimmed later. I used the twine to most of the securing but also used a bit of hot glue too. I attached 4 faux peonies using the hot glue gun on the outside of the hoop at each of the four points where I’d wound the twine. (Before attaching I cut their stems off.) … And that’s pretty much it, I attached it to the ceiling by tying the four lengths of twine at the length I wanted and used a command hook to dangle it from.

… This is the view from below…

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… And above (cue arsty photos) … peekaboo Sophie!

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And while I’m here, I thought I’d share a bit more of our room/ Sophie’s baby nook…

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Of course this blog post wouldn’t be complete without a little bit of Sophie spam, so here you go – in the words of Maui, “you’re welcome” – unless baby spam isn’t really your thing, in which case I wonder why you are reading a blog post about baby mobiles, but anywho!

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What are you making at the moment?

I also have plans to try my hand at a macramé wall hall hanging and get a bit of sewing done too!

Thanks for reading,

Jen x

Friday, 19 May 2017

{Sewn} Two bunny-themed projects

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As I neared the end of my pregnancy with Sophie, I seemed to lack energy to both sew and blog – but when I went overdue, I regained a bit of my sewing strength (after all, I needed to do something to pass the time and take my mind off the weeks of persistent braxton hicks contractions that I was experiencing!)

In the lead up to Easter I was inspired to make a couple of bunny themed projects. In our house, being Christians, our focus during Easter is the cross and the empty tomb, rather than bunnies and chocolate, however I’ll take any excuse to sew a theme (especially a cute animal one) and I’m not one to turn down chocolate, either!

Anyhow, I made these cute bunny baby shoes for my new niece who was born about 3 weeks before Sophie and just in time for Easter. (I already have visions of sewing matching outfits for our two girls, whom I’m sure will be firm friends as well as cousins.)

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The pattern I used was the Wild Things Baby Shoes by Twig & Tail and the fabric was bits and pieces from my stash, including some vintage embroidered linen that I’d been given (for the ears, insides and backs – see above photos); and some blush pink corduroy which I’d picked up from a Facebook destash page at some point (and previously used to sew the girls these dresses.)

This is my second time making this pattern, having previously made these shoes here.

The second bunny themed project that I made was this mustard yellow top for Isabelle. Doesn’t she look delightful in that colour? I think it really brings out her sunny disposition… but then again, I think this girl would look lovely in anything.

The pattern I used is one that I’m very familiar with, having sewn it many, many times before: The Street Smart Sweatshirt, by Little Kiwi's Closet and the beautiful fabric was gifted to me by my friend Elza. Thank you!

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Right, that’s another couple of previously unblogged projects that I’ve now managed to catch up – now I feel that I can move on to making and blogging new projects…. including a little something that I finished the other day using this fabric…

More soon!

Jen x

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Thursday, 11 May 2017

Sewing for Sophie

Sewing for Sophie

As I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t do as much sewing whilst pregnant for Sophie as I did when pregnant with Pipi… actually, correction – I sewed a HEAP of undie orders, but not that much baby sewing.

But I did manage to sew a handful of things, including the little whales romper below.

The pattern I used is the Summer Romper by Brindille & Twig and the whales fabric is from Elvelyckan Design. I made the size 3-6 month size for some reason (Sophie will fit this when we are still in Winter), however with a merino and tights underneath it will still work well. I also plan to make heaps more of these in a slightly bigger size for Summer!

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The next couple of things that I ‘made’ both involve fabric from Miss Matatabi and kind of cheating! … As in all that I did was edging! I ‘made’ this gorgeous Nani Iro play mat/ quilt by just simply sewing bias binding around the edges of this pre-quilted fabric. (I did this project whilst a few days overdue with strong braxton hicks!)

Secondly, I ‘made’ the wrap that Sophie is wrapped in below by sewing first hemming and then sewing a delicate pom pom trim (from Spotlight) on the top and bottom edges of a gorgeous piece of cream triple guaze fabric  (I left the side selvedges au naturale).

Incidentally, do you like my birth announcement photo? Here a few tips if you’re thinking of doing something similar:

  1. Make sure you spell your new child’s name correctly before you excitedly post the photo to all your social media accounts! Ops! (Clearly the below was my second and corrected attempt!)
  2. If, like me you’ve chosen a name for your child with an extremely large number of vowels and you run of the letter blocks with the ‘i’ on them, not to worry – just get creative and use a ‘j’ for one of them, sneakily hiding the tail of the j under a soft toy rabbit’s ear! Problem solved!

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Although when pregnant with Sophie we weren’t 100% sure of her gender, we did have some inkling that she might be a girl – so I did sew a couple of more feminine things, including the swan playsuit below.

I used the Little Kiwis Closet Flutterby Playsuit Pattern (3-6 month old size) and the beautiful swan fabric is from Art Gallery Fabrics, which was a small scrap that I had leftover from the Twig & Tale blog tour that I participated in last year. I had some cream swiss dot fabric in my stash that I used for the flutterby sleeves.

DSC_0043-001DSC_0047-001 The first baby project that I sewed while pregnant (and one that I've already blogged) was these little bunny shoes (pattern: Wild Things Baby Shoes, fabric: assorted vintage stuff from my stash). See original post for more details, if you are interested.)

I’ve since made a pink pair of these shoes for my new little niece, which I’m sure will get blogged in due course.

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The last bit of ‘Sewing for Sophie’ that I’ve done; and the only bit (yet) that I’ve done since having her (honestly, I’m already having sewing withdrawals and have a growing ‘to sew’ list, so I can’t see this hiatus lasting long)… is these baby washcloths. (Spot the polar bears??!?)

They were made using a double gauze by simply cutting and overlocking the edges in a manner of around 20 minutes or so. (I made 6.) A quick, easy and practical sew.

I used to have this fabric in a pink colourway (from Miss Matatabi), but this scrap was scored from a facebook destash group I belong to.

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I can’t wait to get back behind my sewing machine soon and sew floral dresses, bloomers and lots of other things too!

What are you sewing at the moment!?

Jen x

Monday, 8 May 2017

Glasses Review for Optically.co.nz

Recently, (in a stroke of perfect timing) I received an email from Optically.co.nz (an online glasses retailer) asking if I’d be interested in reviewing a pair of their lovely glasses. The timing was perfect because I’d just broken a pair of glasses and learnt first hand that it is NOT at all ideal to not have a back up pair! (Let’s just say that going to the movies and driving at night is not the best in your prescription sunglasses while you wait for new pair of normal glasses to arrive!)

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Anyway! I was pleasantly surprised by huge range of products that Optically.co.nz have! (Over 3000 products in stock!) There are so many different styles in both prescription sunglasses / standard eyeglasses and they cater to all price points. Their website boasts of “New Zealand’s lowest price. Guaranteed!” and prices start as low as $9 including your prescription lenses. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, you could choose to splash out on one of their still competitively priced, designer frames (including Dior, Benneton or Gucci – just to name a few!) There really is something for everyone.

The website is very professional and super easy to navigate. I simply searched under 'Womens glasses' styles, narrowed my selection down to a few styles I liked (this was easier said than done, because I liked a LOT of the frames) and then I was able to virtually ‘try them on’ my using a handy feature on the website which super imposed my selected frames over a photo of myself! After much deliberation I chose the Jorgio JO1302 C4, as pictured below. I provided my prescription details and the process was finished as easy as that!

My new glasses arrived very promptly in the mail and I absolutely love them! The quality is great and overall I had a very positive experience with Optically.co.nz. Their service was faultless!

Jenny glasses

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So if you’re in the market for some eyeglasses or prescription sunglasses then perhaps take a look at Optically.co.nz! They also have a 100% money back guarantee, which means you can shop in confidence, knowing that if they’re not quite what you were after then you can return them no worries!

Thank you to Optically.co.nz for kindly providing me with these lovely frames! (And thanks also to my 8 year old, Noah for kindly taking these photos!)

Jen x

*This content was sponsored by Optically.co.nz and the frames were provided to me for the purpose of this review – however all views and opinions expressed are completely my own.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Sophie Evangeline

Long time no blog, eh? Yeah, I’m all about quality over quantity these days, and I’ll think you’ll agree that this is a rather special blog post.

Let me introduce you to the newest member of our family, Sophie Evangeline! She arrived at 6am, 2 weeks ago today on 22 April 2017, weighing 7 pounds 10.

She has slotted right into our family and we all are quite besotted with her!

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I sewed a few things while pregnant with Sophie (which I hope to post about soon), but much less than I did when pregnant with Pipi. However, I hope to make up for that in the next few months (time willing of course!) I already have so many sewing plans that I can’t wait to undertake… but for now I’ve been easing into being a Mum of 4 (!) and have been soaking up newborn snuggles and snapping LOTS of photos (as you can see!)

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…And if baby spam is your thing … then you can find heaps more of it on my Instagram page … @mendandmakenew !

Jen x