New Bloggy Home

New Blog Home

I’ve been keeping a little secret for about a year now.

Wow, how time passes.  I have wanted to get a dot com for years but the natural one to get which is thenestingspot.com was owned by a subsidiary of a certain internet provider and to get it from them you had to pay insanely high fees.  It really seemed like a racket.  Anyway, by chance I happened to check on it last fall and saw the spot was up for renewal and thankfully we were able to stealthily nab it.

I waited until after the craziness of the holiday season to try and figure out how to make a website for it.  Web page stuff is still pretty big and new to me so it took months before I found a format I thought I could use to do what I wanted and around May I finally got it in decent shape.  And then I got busy with other stuff and it has sat there.  I’ve been hesitant to tell everyone because it never feels quite ready.   But after doing a couple other things recently I think it’s time to make the move.  So, if you follow me in a reader like Bloglovin or Feedly etc. please take a minute to change your feed to www.thenestingspot.com.  If you are already a subscriber to my blog through WordPress then I’ll move you myself later today.  Hopefully all will go well and you won’t even see a big change. If you have any problems please let me know.

If you haven’t subscribed before a couple of ways to do it are: hit the RSS button at the top right corner of the new blog.  Or sign up in the right sidebar of the blog page to get an email sending you each new post.  Or go to your own reader like Bloglovin and search for The Nesting Spot.  Both blogs will come up so make sure to follow the correct one.

The site is still pretty simple and I’ll try to change and update the look as I figure out how, but for now it is clean and has the necessities.

I am posting a tutorial on my daughter’s Halloween costume today so please be sure to pop over!  It is also part of a Halloween craft link up so you can check out the other tutorials as well.  I will also be listing my 2014 ornaments this week and will notify you on there as well.  So please jump over and take a look and follow along!

Baa Baa Black Sheep

little lamb

Over Labor Day weekend I spent the evenings sewing two stuffed animals for two different babies.

The first one was for a sweet little girl that was born a few weeks ago.  She is the first girl in a household full of boys.  I had seen the free pattern for a little sheep recently by Abby Glassenberg for Sew Mama Sew and had pinned it on Pinterest to remember it for later.  (I have a bunch of great free patterns for stuffed animals pinned on there!)  I figured this could be a great time to try out the pattern.  It looked like a simple pattern that wouldn’t take too long but is also super adorable.

little lamb

I really enjoyed making this little lamb.  It was fun picking out the fabric and really making her my own.  The one that Abby made has embroidered eyes, nose, and mouth but I really wanted to use safety eyes.  And I just embroidered a little nose.  That is one of the great reasons to sew, you can customize things just the way you want them.  I also tied a ribbon around her neck to add some color.  I added a bell on the ribbon too which looks cute and is fun to hear ring but I told the mom that if she doesn’t want to hear it or worries that the ribbon is a choking hazard she can always just take it off and save it for when her daughter is older.

little lamb

little lamb sewing pattern lamb face

I hope the little one who received it will have fun playing and snuggling with her.

reading to little lamb reading to little lamb

little lamb

If you have never sewn an animal before this would be a great one to try.  It’s free,  so if you just completely fail (which I don’t imagine you would) you aren’t out money on the pattern.  There are good step by step instructions and photos which help you along the way.

Abby makes gorgeous patterns and in fact the other animal I made is one of  hers as well from her book Stuffed Animals.  I’ll show you that one next week.

And while we are talking about her patterns.  She just made one for Wild Olive.  It’s a free pattern for a flying squirrel and it is the cutest thing I’ve seen in a while!  I definitely have to find a reason to make one soon.

 

And So It Begins

insides of elephant ornaments

Well, it’s that time of year again.  No, not back to school or the winding down of summer, it’s time to be making Christmas ornaments.  If I don’t start making them at least by mid summer there’s no way I can make them all in time so that they are ready for the rush once October and November hit.  With more homework now that my oldest is a big first grader (WHAT?!)  and with the birthdays of my youngest turning 2 at the end of this month and my oldest turning 7 in November, and with making Halloween costumes ahead of time so they can be shared on line in time, and Thanksgiving, and tons of family coming over to stay with us over the next few months, well, I just have to pretend it isn’t 100 degrees outside right now and get into the Christmas spirit.

One thing in my favor is that I am finally not pregnant, nursing, or dealing with the sleep issues of a newborn so I have high hopes that everything will get done earlier than ever this year.  I’ve gotten in a good pace these last couple weeks so I just need to keep it up so I can enjoy myself during the holidays instead of being holed up sewing.

This year I am introducing some new animals to my collection.  They are a whale, bear, dove, and sheep.  Plus my ever popular elephant and rabbit will of course be available.  I still have some of my classic shaped ones, octopi, and moons available as well.  My hope is to get them made and photographed to be listed this month.  There are some very organized people in the world who already started contacting me about ornaments back in July.  Wish I could be that on top of things.

I hope you all had a relaxing summer.  I loved not having the structure that comes with school.  We could keep the kids up a bit later if we wanted to go do something fun and not worry about waking up the next morning to be somewhere.  There were also no lunches that had to be made ahead of time and I didn’t have to wake the little kids up from nap to pick up brother from school.   It is nice having the house a bit quieter now that there is one less child in the house during the day though.

We did a bit of traveling this summer.  My husband is a youth and college minister at a church and so summer is his busiest time.  He is usually gone a good bit of it with going to camp and multiple mission trips and retreats etc.  This year though the camp had extra space and so the kids and I tagged along and stayed in a separate motel like room.  It was a bit hard at times trying to keep them happy with us all in one room.  And I didn’t want them to change the experience for the youth but we got in a groove and had a fun time.  I also got to go on a trip to West Virginia with the high schoolers which is my first trip away from the kids since my oldest was 8 months old.  We drove through Mississippi so we could leave the kids with my parents and then kept on going to West Virginia.  It is such a beautiful place.  Everyone was so friendly.  It is always so interesting to travel to different places and see how people are so similar but also so different.  And to also see if stereotypes are close to reality.  We helped one church paint their old sanctuary (with super high ceilings) that has now become a youth room.  They had told the youth 7 years ago that they’d paint those old paneled walls but haven’t had the chance to do it, so it was nice refreshing that space for them.  We also helped a tiny church in an old coal camp do a little backyard bible club for some neighborhood kids.  It was all a lot of fun and hard work.   I’ve missed getting to go on these things.  The kids had a great time too and got to see all their grandparents at some point which was nice.

So, we survived all that and now are settling into our new schedule of being in school.  And it’s to the grindstone I go with all these little ornaments.  I also just sewed two stuffed animals as baby gifts that I’ll be sharing here soon.  I already gave one away and next week will give away the other.  I was on top of things and actually got photos taken of them this time before I give them away.

*The picture at the top is a look at the inside of my little elephant ornaments.  It’s a view not usually seen by most.

 

So, did you have any adventures this summer?  Are you glad to be back in the school routine or hating it?  Have you done anything creative lately?  I’d love to hear!

Baby Gift Idea: Crib Art

Awhile back, my mom made another gift for our littlest, William.  It is a bumper of sorts to put in his crib.  But it wasn’t made for the reasons bumpers are usually made, it’s like a piece of soft art for him to look at while he’s stuck in his crib.  She thought it would be a fun way to introduce some animals to him.

I thought I’d show it to you since the idea of it wouldn’t be hard to recreate.

animal bumper artFor the purposes of taking pictures I hung the bumper on the outside of the crib but normally it would hang on the inside.  Although, it could actually be used on the outside as well for the child to look at while they crawl around the room and learn to pull up on things.  This would be especially good if there was already a bumper being used in the crib.

My mom used different background fabrics for each animal but if you wanted to keep it simple you could use just one long piece of fabric cut the width of the crib.  Sandwich some batting in the middle of two pieces of fabric and you’d have your background.

As you can see the animals are basic silhouette shapes and then just sewn on with pretty stitches from a sewing machine.  You could do this by googling animal silhouette images.  Then just print out the shape and use it for a pattern.  Another idea would be to use fabric that has images on it that you like.  You could cut out those images and then sew them on.

Some of the animals also have a few details that are embroidered on.  See the pictures below of the butterfly and the cat.

To attach it to the crib there is ribbon sewn into the seam of each end to tie around the rungs.  I would recommend putting  in at least one more in the middle as well if not a couple to keep it from drooping.

You can really do as little or as much as you want with a project like this.  Even a beginner could have fun playing with the machine to see what they can do. Part of the charm of a handmade item is seeing the little imperfections and signs that it was made with love.

animal bumper art bird squirrel butterfly fish cat

The Nesting Spot…for Mockingbirds

A little mockingbird, which also happens to be the state bird, made it’s nest in the japanese yew by our front door.  We don’t use our front door most of the time so it went unnoticed for awhile.  And then when I did see the nest it looked empty from my angle.  My husband, being taller, could see that there were actually three little eggs nestled inside.

It was fun having the ability to watch the nest because usually the nests we find are all up high.  I took pictures of the eggs and the babies about a week apart.  About a week after I took the one of the babies I peeked again and they looked pretty much the same.  So I thought I’d come back in a few days to look again but when I did they were already gone!  Amazing how little babies can grow up so fast.  Although the days of having 3 little ones of my own can seem very long at times I am glad they won’t be leaving our nest so quickly.

The first picture is of the momma.  Some birds are very protective and aggressive but every time we came near she would fly up to a nearby tree.  It surprised me that she’d leave her babies like that but maybe she thought they were hidden better without her sitting there.  She’s definitely keeping an eye on us in that picture making sure we don’t do any funny business.

I also thought it was fun that her nest had three little blue eggs like my logo.

mockingbird

mockingbird eggs mockingbird babies mockingbird babies

Gift Idea: American Girl Doll Sleeping Bag

american girl doll sleeping bag tutorial

We have friends who have twin girls who recently turned 9.  I have seen the girls a few times with American Girl dolls and for their birthday they asked to go camping.  So, I thought, why not make the dolls sleeping bags of their own so that the next time the family goes camping the dolls can get in on the fun too?

I did a quick search online to see what else had been done before and to find out the dimensions needed for 18″ dolls.  I came across a few sites but used this one as my main resource.  I followed the dimensions but didn’t follow the directions completely.  Although, maybe I should have since mine ended up being a bit bulky at the bottom corners.

american girl doll sleeping bag tutorial

Basically, I cut out my two rectangles, sewed around the edge with right sides together.  (I used fleece for the inside and cotton for the outside.)  I turned it right side out and then folded it in half so that the fleece was on the outside.  To sew the open hole closed (that I used to turn the bag right side out) and turn the long rectangle into a sleeping bag all in one motion, I just tucked in the fabric at the hole and then sewed along the edge of the bag from about half way down and then across the bottom.

Then I just turned what now looks like a sleeping bag right side out so the cotton fabric was on the outside and it was finished.  I think the version I linked to is probably less bulky the way they did it but if I read the directions correctly it seemed you would see the raw edges of the seams on the inside of the bag which I didn’t want.

To help visualize what I just wrote here are some very basic drawings.  Hope they make it a little clearer.

sleeping bag tutorial step 1

sleeping bag tutorial step 2sleeping bag tutorial step 3

For the pillows I cut two rectangles of fleece 5″ x 6.5″.  And you just sew around the edges with the fabric right sides together.  Clip the corners, turn right side out, stuff, and then do a ladder stitch to close the opening.

I am pretty terrible about putting off sewing things until the day before they are given (even though I may have planned it and gotten the supplies well in advance) so this was a great project for that since you can’t get much easier than sewing some rectangles together.  The hardest part for me was finding some fabric in my stash that was big enough and I thought might fit their personalities.  The twins are very, very identical in their looks and general preferences but their dolls are not so I decided to give them different looking sleeping bags.

sleeping bag for 18 inch doll

To spruce up the look of the bags with a practical way of keeping all the pieces in place when not in use, I also sewed a piece of elastic in a loop (to figure out the size needed I just put the elastic around the rolled bag and pillow with a little bit of overlap) with a pretty flower on it.  If I had had my thinking cap on I would have sewn the elastic into the bottom seam of the bag like a real sleeping bag (like I showed in the instructions above) so that the elastic would always be attached and not get lost, but I didn’t think about it until I had finished the first one and I didn’t want the bags to be different in that way.

I cut out a flower and leaf from felt and made yellow yarn pom-pom and hand sewed them onto the elastic to hide where the two elastic ends met.

american girl doll sleeping bag diyI thought they turned out very cute and I loved the extra detail of the flower on the elastic.  It really made it look extra special.  I didn’t have a doll to try them on so I hope they fit, but hopefully they were fine.

This is a great sewing project for beginner sewers.  Please feel free to ask for any clarification if my instructions weren’t clear.

Does your household have any American Girl dolls in it, or other 18 inch dolls?  Have you made anything for them?  What are some other ideas that are cute and easy to help accessorize them?  My daughter is a bit young for them but I’m sure there will come a point when she’ll be into them.

 

New Print and New Size

I finally finished the latest print I’ve been working on!

I love having tangible ways to share love with others.  It is wonderful to be able to tell those you love most how you feel with words and hugs but if you can’t see them everyday to do that, a beautiful picture can be a great reminder of how you feel.  This would make a great Mother’s Day gift.  Or it could be hung on the wall of your nursery.  It’s been hanging up at my house for the last week so I could take pictures of it and I’m really loving it.  The colors are so happy but also soothing at the same time if that is possible.  It may have to find a permanent home here or be given to someone who needs a little extra love.  You can find the print here in my shop.

I have other big news.  I am finally offering 11″x14″ sized prints!  I can make any print in the shop that size.  Just purchase this listing and let me know which one you want.  I am very excited to finally be able to offer this.  When I got my own printer last year I got a large format one so I could sell larger prints.  I had put it off because of the extra expenses that come with offering another size, but no longer!  I have two 11″x14″ prints over my kids’ twin beds and the size is nice and substantial, especially framed with a mat.  You can see the size in the picture below.  I leave a white border on my prints to make it easier to attach it to a mat.

11x14 size

I plan on offering an even larger size soon, so be on the look out!  And if you just can’t wait, feel free to contact me about details.