I love baker’s twine! Who’s with me? It is so pretty and can be used for so many things. Confession: I’ve never actually owned any before because I’ve been waiting for the right moment to buy some. I wanted to pick a color that would go well with my shop to use in the packaging of all my items. Normally, it wouldn’t take YEARS to make this decision but this is no ordinary baker’s twine. Oh no, it is 3,400 yards of it!! No, you didn’t read that wrong…Three thousand four hundred yards! Craziness. It is sold at wholesale prices from Country Clean Paper Supplies. Now, you may be thinking that this large amount must cost a fortune, but you’d be wrong. It is only $9.95 (plus $8.20 shipping)! For those of you who have never priced baker’s twine this may not sound that awesome, especially when the shipping almost doubles the price, but if you were to buy that many yards of twine from the people who sell it in smaller quantities it would cost you about $240! Of course a benefit of buying it in smaller quantities is that you can get more colors and not have a giant spool of twine to store, but if you think you would use it for a lot of projects it is definitely a better deal! There are 10 colors to choose from along with regular white twine as well. I can’t wait to order mine and get it in the mail so I can hug my giant spool of twine. It should last me for a very long time! Here are a few of their colors.
Do you love baker’s twine? What projects do you use it for? Got a favorite color?
This is something I should have written about years ago, but I wasn’t writing the blog yet when I got this gift so I’ll use that as my lame excuse as to why I am just now getting to it!
When Audrey was born I received a very special package in the mail from one of my good college friends, Brandy. She is so very talented and can do any craft she puts her mind too. At one time she had opened a shop on Etsy but life with 3 girls, work, and school took precedence. Such a shame too because her knitted items are beautiful. Anyway, I was so thrilled when I opened the box to reveal two beautiful hand made blankets. They are probably sewn from a muslin cotton that she hand-dyed (the bottom right photo above shows the beautiful color variations in the cloth). One is purple and the other is pink. On the corner of the pink one is the most precious little bird that has been hand embroidered. It was done with variegated floss so that the image has a subtle variation in its colors. Audrey’s room had a sort of garden/bird theme to it when she was born so it was just perfect. She was also born in March in Texas which means HOT months were ahead so these light weight swaddle type blankets were awesome. I loved that she had made them just for my little girl.
The blankets alone were so thoughtful that they were a perfect gift unto themselves.
But just for fun I thought I’d pair it with some other items to show other gift ideas as well. Handmade gifts are always extra special and are the ones that become family heirlooms, but if you aren’t the crafty type that doesn’t mean you can’t give handmade. This little bunny below is from the etsy shop, Yarnigans. I just love her hand knitted items. One day when I learn to knit; maybe once the kids are grown and I have more time, I would love to buy her patterns for making these adorable animals. This little mermaid is just so perfect.
But I digress, I found a little basket which of course could be used by the recipient afterwards for holding toys, diapers, etc. I rolled up the two blankets and tied a ribbon around them making sure that the pretty bird was showing. I added a few board books because who doesn’t love a good book? And last placed the bunny on top. You could put a pretty bow on the basket and give it as is.
And if you wanted extra credit you could give some personalized art for the new little one. How about a print like this to add to the mix since it matches the bunny? You could even have a bunny embroidered on the blanket if you wanted them all to match.
And of course you could customize these things to match any nursery. I have lots of animals to choose from in my shop. If you don’t see an animal available that you’d love to have then let’s talk. I’d love to be able to help you!
Have you hand-dyed a blanket before? Have you ever ventured into doing embroidery? You can do a lot with knowing just one or two different stitches. With the tutorials online it is so easy to learn.
It’s been too long since I’ve highlighted any of the great shops you can find on Etsy.
Today I thought I’d show you my diaper bag from Tippy Thai! You can see it sitting on William’s changing pad in his room in the picture above.
Back when I first had Josiah I picked out a bag from Babies R Us. Although nothing amazing, it did the trick for my first two kids. It got pretty beat up though and when I found out I was expecting a third I decided since I wouldn’t be buying anything new for the baby I would buy myself a new bag. I was so disappointed by the selection out there though. Everything looked cheap, way too girly (and I want my husband to be able to use it) or babyish or was way too expensive for my taste. So I started to broaden my search to look at all types of bags. I ended up purchasing this bag from Tippy Thai. I had actually bought the purse I use from her a couple years ago. I have been very happy with it and knew her work was excellent.
One of the great things about her bags is that she makes them especially for you, so you can customize them! You can choose from many color options so I asked her about making my bag gray on the outside and yellow on the inside. She asked if I’d be interested in making it out of nylon instead of canvas so that it would be water resistant. I wanted the look of canvas on the outside but thought that the nylon on the lining was a good idea. I wasn’t sure if it’d be too much to ask for two different types of fabrics but she said it was no problem. Tippy also said she’d sew in extra pockets to hold bottles on the inside of the bag for no extra charge since she knew I was going to use it as a diaper bag. I was really impressed by her customer service and speed at which she replied to my questions. It took 9 days for it to be made and shipped and then it arrived 3 days later – not bad since it was coming all the way from Thailand!
The craftsmanship of Tippy’s bags is wonderful. They look completely professional. There is no way I could sew a bag to look that good. The size of the diaper bag is perfect for me. It has plenty of pockets and room to shove all the stuff I carry around with an infant. It has a nice long (removable) strap so I can hang it around my stroller’s handles. I love that it is manly enough for my husband to use without feeling weird and I love that it does not look like a diaper bag so that when I am no longer needing it as one I can use it as a regular bag. An added bonus is that I am supporting an artist who does great work! It felt great to be paying the same as I would for a substandard bag from the big box stores and mine was made specifically for me.
My only complaint is that the “mustard yellow” fabric is actually more of a pumpkin orange. It doesn’t look bad so I didn’t worry about it- it’s just not what I was going for originally. I don’t know if it is a translation thing or what. I had seen some other comments in her feedback questioning the yellow but the way they described it I didn’t think it’d be a problem. So, just know that if you are wanting yellow you might ask her about it first.
Please take a look at Tippy Thai even if you aren’t needing a diaper bag. She has over 100 beautiful bags and purses in all colors. I’m sure I’ll be going back to her again when I need my next bag or purse.
In December my son had his first loose tooth! We were shocked. It seemed so early. But I guess it is within normalcy…he is 5. It’s just that he isn’t in school yet so it feels young.
I had pinned this little tooth fairy pouch a long time ago for the day when we would need it. Well, even with it taking 2 months for that tooth to come out…(the boy wouldn’t let us near it)…I still didn’t manage to make it in time. And then on our recent spring break trip his second tooth got loose. This one only took a couple weeks before it came out. And, yep, still no cute little tooth with wings to hold it in. Now in all fairness we didn’t even end up needing it the first time since he woke up and his tooth was GONE! I was so bummed. We had spent so much emotional energy on getting that first one to come out and then nothing to show for it. Who knows if he swallowed it or if the tiny thing will show up one day behind his bed. Thankfully, the tooth fairy does take notes that explain why there is no tooth. She will even send one back with a dollar coin and encourage the boy to wiggle it a little next time.
Well, this past week I spent a few hours in a surgery waiting room and it was the perfect project to stick in my purse and keep my mind busy. It was so easy and fast. I also loved the tip on how to make the smile. I highly recommend making it. Now it is ready for when the next one comes out.
Recently Ken took some of the students from church on a backpacking trip on the Appalacian Trail for Spring Break. Since he was driving east, the kids and I came along and stopped off at my parents’ house for the week. Ken’s trip went well but was very wet and cold. And as much as I like roughing it and being outdoors, I wasn’t sad about missing being absolutely freezing. Being with my parents was awesome because I had so much help with the kids and got to enjoy my mom’s wonderful cooking.
My parents’ yard is filled with pine cones so I suggested to my son that he approach his papa about a business proposition. He offered to pick up the pine cones for a penny each. So to one little boy this bag is as good as gold.
It really is a win win for everyone since my parents hate picking up the unending pine cones and Josiah gets exercise and payment for his hard work. And of course little sister wanted to help too…and she didn’t even get paid.
The end total when all the cones were added up? 215 cents! Well, he got paid with a bill and coins…not all pennies. The poor kid thought he was now able to afford the expensive lego kit he’s been saving for. Unfortunately, he’d have to pick up about 5,800 more pine cones for that!
Long post ahead! I am finally getting to put up some photos from our New Years Colorado trip. We went to Colorado Springs, CO. This was a surprise trip for my husband for his birthday which is Dec. 28th and also to say thank you to him for helping me/putting up with me during the holiday rush that happens with my shop. It was a lot of fun planning it and we had a great time. It was also a fun challenge to bring along the 3 little ones. Three big goals for me were to find a place where the kids would see snow, a mountain, and also ride a plane. We did all those things although I wish there had been a bit more snow on the ground.
You can click on the photos below to make them larger if you want more detail and also to see the full caption. I always have dreams of all the fabulous pictures I/we will take of the family and the places we go but then life happens with kids and we are lucky with what we get. We also had a certain little girl knock our camera off a table earlier in the month which broke our lens that could get wide angle shots so with the lenses we had left I was unable to get any good shots of our hotel room or anything nearby. Thankfully, Ken gave me a replacement lens for my birthday so we can once again get wide shots. To see an example of what our great room was like you can go here. We had a double room with the 2 queen beds and a crib…it is similar to the first picture shown except a little bigger because of the two beds. The bathroom area was also HUGE. It was like the size of a normal hotel room we stay in. The hotel doesn’t have free breakfast but we bought cereal and milk and used our fridge in the room to keep breakfast cheap and simple. Having the fireplace was awesome. I loved being able to turn it on and off with the flip of a switch. And we could leave it on all night if we wanted. We would definitely stay here again.
The flights went fabulously. Poor Audrey lost it when we got to CO because she was so tired from traveling and it was her bed time. But otherwise they were champs. In fact, it may have helped us get a better deal on our rental vehicle. We were just going to rough it and squeeze all 3 kids in carseats in the back of a full sized car to save tons of money but the rental guy wanted us to upgrade to a minivan which is so much more costly. Ken was able to haggle with him and get the price WAY down. So, we got to enjoy the room of having a van for only a little bit more. But back to the flights…I think there is a good cop/bad cop thing on the flights with the flight attendants because we experienced that every time. There was usually one pretty impatient with us trying to get all 5 of us seated. We had to strap Audrey’s carseat in the seat because we didn’t want to check it and so that took an extra minute…which we were kindly reminded that the plane couldn’t take off until we sat down. Duh. It seems growing up that they used to let families board early to take care of things like that but this was not the case – we were usually almost last to get on. So, we just tried to stay calm and go with the flow. The plane was always able to take off – although there was the one time when they had to stall the plane on the runway to de-ice it and then of course Audrey who was newly potty trained said she had to go. The pilot let her go to the bathroom but then of course she sat on the toilet and didn’t go! So, the whole plane got to wait on us for no reason. Thankfully no one knew that she actually just wasted their time and were very gracious.
Since our trip was very quick and we had 3 small children we didn’t cram a ton into our days. We rode the cog railway up Pikes Peak which was fun. I had ridden it as a kid and thought that the combination of a train ride and going up a mountain should be pretty fascinating to the kids. We weren’t taken to the summit but this allowed the trip to be a little shorter for our young ones. If you ever do it I would recommend buying a seat for everyone (well except lap babies). It was too cramped in the beginning with Audrey on Ken’s lap but since the train wasn’t full on this trip they allowed us to change seats on the way down which they normally don’t let you do.
We also visited the Garden of the Gods which was the view from our room. It is free and the rock formations were really beautiful. We began to hike part of it but our poor kids were worn out and I think the altitude wasn’t helping. So, we had to turn back after a little while. We did drive around it and get out to climb the rocks though which the kids loved. They also have a great little visitor center with some educational displays plus the kids’ favorite – the two souvenier shops. Speaking of altitude…I think me nursing was the culprit to my altitude sickness. I have never experienced it before but kept getting really bad headaches this go round. They say you are supposed to stay super hydrated to avoid it but I guess I wasn’t able to drink enough.
Our last night was new years eve. I think I went to bed at 9:30 pm!!! I haven’t gone to bed that early in months! But we had to get up at the crack of dawn to be at the airport for our 8 am flight. Thankfully the kids were all tired and were able to go to sleep faster that evening. So, even though it wasn’t a super exciting new years eve, it was great to get some rest. It was also a sweet way to start out the new year with the whole family in a far away place. It’s a great way to set the tone for 2013 and get out of the rut of normal life.
The view from our room.
Our hotel room buddy. He/she lived right outside our patio.
Rockin the snow gear.
Poor girl just wanted to make a snow angel. She tried any place she could.
Throwing snowballs. You can see that the snow is so dry that it wasn’t sticking.
The favorite part of the trip for the kids was playing in the snow.
Snug as a bug while the big kids play in the snow.
Enjoying our train ride.
On the cograilway going back down Pike’s Peak.
At the Garden of the Gods.
Serious man hiking.
The whole reason we took this trip…to put Will in this insanely cute bear suit.
At the Garden of the Gods.
The air was so dry that Audrey’s hair looked like this the entire trip.
Hanging out with a buffalo.
This is what we found the morning we had to leave. Before this the kids were having a difficult time sleeping next to each other.
Have you traveled with little kids before? Got any recommendations? If you have any specific questions about how we did part of the trip with the kiddos just ask.
This is a post I wanted to have out right after the new year but kept getting delayed. But better late than never! I thought it was fun seeing all the names I was given to make ornaments with. It seems to be an interesting indicator of what names were popular for babies of 2012. Now, this is totally not scientific for many reasons one of which is because some of these names were actually for babies born previous years. Most of them are new baby ones though. Also, some of the names I’m sure are shortened versions of their formal name like Will instead of William, but I just typed what they wrote, which is also why some of them have a middle name included. And you’ll notice that some names are the same except one letter off…that isn’t a mistake, there were lots of close variations. There were also some names from foreign countries which is why some might seem more unusual – although some of the most unusual are from the US.
Seeing this list made me very glad we have a cat named Jack which prevented me from naming William that. As much as I love that name, I wouldn’t want him to be in a class with 5 others! Of course, William is also a popular name but apparently with people who buy personalized ornaments Jack was the top!
So, without further ado, here’s the list. I didn’t want to make this post a mile long with names so click on the pictures to see the names larger. Do you see any that surprise you with their popularity? Do you see any new favorites?
Speaking of baby names, here is a FABULOUS site for anyone looking to name their baby or who just likes talking baby names. It is www.swistlebabynames.blogspot.com. It is a great way to get unbiased help when having trouble finding the perfect name. And now even though we already have our baby name I still go back and read it all the time. I love seeing what others are thinking about for names. And it is great to see that we weren’t the only ones struggling.