Month: March 2010

Sewing Ideas for Baby – Some Practicial, All Beautiful

If sewing is therapy to you, like it is to me, I encourage you to create some needed or not so needed items for the little love in your life. 

Let me share a few of my baby-inspired-creations with you.

Here is the Easter dress I made for Monet…

Can you believe she’s only 9 months old?

Below is a before picture of a mobile we received as a gift for Monet’s room before she was born.  I didn’t like how it clashed with the room’s decor so Josh and I gave it a makeover.


As an infant, Monet absolutely loved this mobile.  The dark color of the birds and the way they contrasted with the rest of the mobile really helped in catching Monet’s eyes when she was young.  Monet would lay under this thing and coo sometimes for ten minutes straight.  This was a lifesaver on those mornings she woke early and I was scrambling to get things ready so we could get out the door on time.  And even though she is older now, she still enjoys it!  I think she likes it because she knows it was given some TLC from Daddy and me.

Dear friends made this beautiful blanket, each making one block of the quilt.  I will always cherish this gift deeply, and as Monet gets older, I will tell her stories about each block, along with the kind thoughts and past stories that go along with the person who created it.
Currently I have a friend who is pregnant and she too has decided to do a blanket like this for her baby.  This is how she described it in an email, Rather than color schemes or themes, we’d like to have a quilt made by all the people we love and who we know will be part of our child’s life.  It is something that could turn into a bed time story, telling him about all of you and covering him up with your love.”

What a beautiful idea!  Yes?  

Some other more practical ideas include: burp cloths, towel with a hoodie for after bath time, boppy cover, crib bedding, sling, diaper bag, etc, etc, etc.  Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing for Baby: 24 Easy Projects for Newborns to Toddlers is a great place to start if you would like to try some neat baby projects. 

How about you?  What have you made for your little loved one?

P.S.  Wednesday, March 31st, is the last day to enter our “Baby Giveaway”.  Share the love and spread the word.  You can enter up to five times.  Good luck!

Baby Giveaway

To closeout our baby series, we are going to end with a fabulous baby giveaway.  It’s been fun strolling down baby lane, but we at The Artists’ House are excited to get back to “art talk” next week.  For all you new parents, or friends and family of new parents, I hope these posts have been helpful.  

Drum roll please….

We have not one, not two, but three fabulous gifts for you.  And here’s what you could WIN…

Lacey from Lilacs and Lollipops, she was mentioned yesterday in our Etsy Direction, is donating any, that’s right, any HideAway nursing cover from her shop.

Don’t you love her fabrics?  These coverups are a must for nursing mothers.  Let’s just say that mine was a lifesaver the first time I flew home with Monet.  She nursed four times as I sat next to a complete stranger on a tiny plane; poor guy, I really felt bad for him.  You can read about Monet’s and my Great Adventure if you want.  

Now back to this wonderful giveaway…

In addition to the coverup, you will also win TWO screen-printed onesies, a frog and a fish, size 6 months and size 12 months, from our Etsy shop.  

And we’re still not done folks.  You will also WIN a fabulous pair of Organic Baby Legs to go along with the cute onesies above.    
These Baby Legs will grow with your baby, fitting him/her for years.
How do you win?
You can enter to win in one of FIVE different ways, or increase your chances of winning by doing all five of the submission choices below.  
But, please note that you must enter in a separate comment for each entry submission.  

1.  Leave me a comment.  Please remember to leave me with your email address so I can contact if you win.
2.  Become a “Follower” by scrolling down and clicking on the “Follow” button in the right sidebar column.  Already a follower?  You’re automatically entered again.  Just remind me by leaving another comment.
3.  Make an announcement about this Baby Giveaway on your own blog, Facebook page, or Twitter about us.  Then post your comment below with the link to the announcement.
4.  Make an announcement or leave a nice comment about The Artists’ House Blog or our Etsy shop on your own blog, Facebook page, or Twitter about us.  Then post your comment below with the link to the announcement.
5.  Leave me a suggestion, sharing with me one thing you hope to see on our blog in the future.
The giveaway closes on Wednesday, March 31st, at 11:59 p.m. (mountain time).  The winner will be contacted by email.
Good luck!  
And thanks again to Lacey, from Lillacs and Lollipops, for donating to this giveaway.

Etsy Direction + Plus A Few Good Friends

Here’s a few more great products shared with you on today’s Etsy Direction, Baby Style
Hooter Hider from Lilacs and Lollipops
Custom Baby Crib Bedding from Mellissa’s Boutique

Hats from I’ll Be Yarned
 I also wanted to share with you the work of two dear friends of mine, both amazing artists
Heather, from HT Designs, creates beautiful baby announcements, thank you cards, shower invitations, and much more.  Check her out! 
And last, but NOT least, Erin Stoll from Erin Stoll Photography, takes the most amazing pictures.  It’s worth the drive to small town Seward, NE.
Can you believe all the amazing talent!?  I’m now inspired to go work on a few projects of my own.  I hope you enjoyed today’s direction!

Amazon Help – Great Books For Parents and Child

Mommies and daddies to be, here are a few great parenting books I would physically toss your way if this computer screen would cooperate and let me.

Do you like to sew?  Here’s a great book to keep you busy while you await baby’s arrival.
What are you going to read to baby?  How about this…
Hush Little Baby By Sylvia Long is a great book.  I read, or rather sing, this book to Monet every night.  It instantly calms here.  I love watching her legs kick with excitement and her face light up with a smile, as I rock and sing with her in the evenings.  This book is absolutely precious!  It’s a different variation from the original song.  It focusses not on buying baby stuff, but rather comforting baby with banjos, hummingbirds, and much more.  Check it out. 
Children’s books are my absolute favorite.  I could list another fifty or so, but I’d rather hear from all of you.  
What books do you love to read to the little love in your life?

Product Review – The Products and Companies I Now Love! + The Unmentionable Must Haves

I Heart…
Avent bottles over Born Free because while they are both BPA and leak free, Avent has fewer pieces.
I Heart…
Miracle Blanket – Baby Swaddling Blanket because this blanket is a life saver when it comes to calming a baby and getting sleep.  This swaddle blanket, unlike others, keeps your baby swaddled.
I Heart…
Oxi Clean because one scoop in your wash, one spray on a stain, and your clothes stay looking new, stain free.  It really is amazing!
I Heart…
iHome alarm clock speaker system because it makes for a great white noise player now and this hip product will grow and still be useable as baby gets older.
 I Heart…
Medela because they are and have always been BPA free.  Also, their pumps are affordable and reliable.  Mommies, you need a breastpump if you plan to nurse your baby beyond 3 months.  Monet, who is nine-months old, has had no formula, ever, and I contribute that to this wonderful company.
I Heart…
Lansinoh products because they truly are the best.  They are a little more expensive, but trust me, the other products are inferior.  All breast-feeding mommies need Lansinoh’s Lanolin cream, milk storage bags, and disposable nursing pads.  I’ve tried maybe seven different brands of nursing pads and Lansinoh’s nursing pads are the only ones that don’t leak.  Thank you Lansinoh!

What products and companies do you heart?

Tackling the Superstores – What really needs to be on your list?

I was genuinely scared before Monet was born, and it was this factor that caused me to act a little crazy sometimes.  Josh had his moments too.   See our former blog post for an explanation.  Things That Cause Spousal Arguments – Registering For Your First Baby.  I was scared about what kind of mother I would be.  I was scared about the balance I knew I would need to find between work and being a mom.  I was scared that when she arrived, if I wasn’t perfectly prepared, my life was gong to spin out of control.  And in hind sight I guess that was all kind of silly.  It’s funny how we’re capable of figuring things out once we are placed into those types of situations for which we try to prepare but never succeed.  Sometimes the moments we most fear, turn into the most beautiful things in our lives.  Monet is a perfect example of that.  

So, before I get to the list of things you really need, I first want to give you a few rules to consider while you await the little ones arrival.

Rule #1:  Relax, you will be amazing parents.  And all the questions that are stirring around in your mind, well, don’t worry, time will answer them.

Rule #2:  Realize that you don’t really need a lot of stuff.  Some of it is nice, but when the baby is first born all she/he needs is mommy, mommy’s milk, diapers, blankets, simple clothing, and a place to sleep.

Rule #3:  If you are overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you feel you need, or don’t really know what to try, consider buying second hand at stores like “Kid to Kid”, or on sites like craigslist.  Also, reach out to friends and family to share baby items.  Often we can’t predict what we need since our personalities and the babies personalities sometimes decide that for us.  Some babies love swings, some babies don’t.  Some babies like to be rocked, some don’t.  Some mothers swear by slings, and some babies can’t stand them.  And the list goes on and on.  So, maybe try things out before buying them new.  

Rule #4:  Keep in mind all the free samples you will be receiving.  Use the samples and see what products you like before you buy more.  I bought stuff with the mentality of wanting to feel prepared.  But in all reality that idea is just a myth.  Monet ended up being allergic to the big bottle of lotion I purchased for her.  I should have just used the samples and bough more after I realized what I liked.

Rule #5:  If you think dual purpose for some of these items, it may help to eliminate needing so much stuff.  For example, you don’t need a co-sleeper and a pack-n-play.  A lot of the pack-n-plays are set up to also be used as co-sleepers or bassinets.  Another dual purpose item for us was using receiving blankets as burp cloths (once they got dirty, obviously they went straight to the hamper). 

Rule #6:  KEEP ALL RECEIPTS AND DON’T THROW AWAY PACKAGING UNTIL YOU ARE SURE YOU PLAN TO USE AND KEEP THE ITEMS!  I wanted to get the baby’s room perfectly put away so I often took things out of their packaging assuming I would use them.  In hind sight, this was a huge mistake.  Can you imagine if we had a boy and not a girl like we had planned?  Once Monet arrived, I then realized all the stuff we didn’t need, and I wished I could have exchanged those opened unwanted items for things we actually needed.

Click on the Target’s baby registry checklist link to find a very detailed list of items superstores like Target recommend you get.  I’m going to take their recommended list and personalize it some with the experience I have had with being a mom.

This is a product made by Safety1st, it’s called the Ultimate 30-piece Nursery Collection.  Thirty!  This is actually a pretty great kit, better than most I’ve seen, and yet at the same time it’s a great example of a product most parents think they need, but in all reality don’t.  I have not found myself using hardly any of the items that are offered in this kit. 

(Note: I’ll talk more about specific product brands and make a few recommendations tomorrow.)

Here’s a generous yet practical list of what you need…

  • crib 
  • crib mattress 
  • waterproof fitted mattress pad (2)
  • fitted crib sheets (2)
  • co-sleeper 
  • blankets (3) 
  • changing table 
  • waterproof changing pad cover (2)
  • changing table pad
  • baby monitor 
  • hangers 
  • rocker
  • boppy with cover
  • night-light 
  • white noise player or music player
  • bodysuits (6) 
  • sleepwear (3)
  • booties/socks (4-5 pair) 
  • receiving blankets (3-6) 
  • swaddle blanket
  • infant or convertible car seats 
  • extra base for infant car seat (if multiple people will be driving baby around on a regular basis)
  • diaper bag 
  • stroller or travel system 
  • infant carrier or sling 
  • baby swing 
  • jumper 
  • books
  • few simple toys
  • bottles, bpa free (2-4)
  • bottle nipples, bpa free (size 0 for infant and size 1or 2 for when they get older)
  • pacifiers, bpa free (2)
  • dishwasher basket 
  • breast pump 
  • nursing accessories (pads, cream & storage bags) 
  • bibs (3) 
  • burp cloths (6-8) 
  • diapers/wipes 
  • diaper rash cream 
  • infant bathtub chair that collapses
  • baby wash/shampoo 
  • rectal thermometer 
  • brush
  • comb
  • baby tylenol
  • vaseline
  • stain remover
  • gift cards, gift cards, gift cards…
So what did I forget?  I would love to hear from other mothers, fathers, grandparents… what would you recommend all new parents must have?

Congratulations Kristi!!!

Though I’m sad to say that no one got it 100% correct, the roll of the die has determined Kristi as the winner of our Busy Puzzle Matching Game.  Kristi’s valiant effort at the Busy Puzzle has earned her a sterling silver pendant from the Artists’ House Etsy Shop.  Congratulations to Kristi.  For all you other readers out there, stay tuned and look out for the next giveaway from The Artists’ House.

Calling all Etsy bloggers…

Fellow Etsy Bloggers,

Do you, or someone you know, want to participate in an “Etsy, Spring Clean, Blogging Ring Extravaganza”?  If interested, this is what you will be participating in…

A group of Etsy bloggers will take turns and each “spring clean” one loved item from there Etsy shop and on to a fellow Etsy blogger.  The Etsy blogger, next in line in the ring, once they receive the item from the previous participant will write a blog review of the item they received, attaching the list of Etsy blogger participants to their entry.  They then will “spring clean” one item from their shop on to the next Etsy Blogger in line.  This pattern will continue on until we loop it back around to the start, hopefully making it all the way to summer.

Here are the rules…

Once your participation is confirmed and you know the Etsy blogger who will be receiving and writing a review on your “spring cleaned” item, you must mail the item from your shop so that it is received by the fellow blogger in 3-5 business days.

Participants must agree to write a blog entry, concerning the item they received, on the date assigned to them.

The item that you “spring clean” must be a LOVED item from your shop that’s value is $25 or greater.

To participate, you must agree to include the list of Etsy blogger participants in your blog post.

The participation deadline ends Tuesday, March 23rd, 11:59 p.m., mountain time.  Please send me an email if you would like to participate.  I’ll only be accepting 50 participants so don’t delay.  Please include your name, email address, home or work address where you want to receive the “spring cleaned” item, your Etsy shop url, and your blog url.

Once you’re signed up, you can expect to receive emails from me with directions on what steps to take from there.  I’ll also send out the list of participants along with assigned blog dates.

I can’t wait to hear back from you,

Joshua & Angela Flicker

Etsy Direction – Baby Style – Five Things All Mothers Should Have

Today I’m going to point mothers, expecting mothers, people who know expecting mothers, and people who know mothers… Ok, who doesn’t this apply to then?  I’m so silly.  
Anyway, here is todays Etsy direction…
Amazing shops, full of amazing baby goodies.  Here are five things all mothers should have…
1.  Cute Onesies
2.  A “Lovey” blanket
3.  A One-of-a-kind Baby Quilt
4.  A Hip Diaper Bag
5.  Cute Shoes
These items are just the tip of the iceberg.  You really can find so many beautiful and one-of-a-kind items on Etsy.  

A Friendly Bug

This little guy was hanging out in my garden beds yesterday while I was planting cold crop seeds.  I must add a random comment here and say the weather was absolutely spectacular yesterday!!!  
Instantly this beetle had my attention.  He kept following me around, almost like he was trying to talk with me.  I couldn’t stop looking at him.  Is he a friend?  Is he a he?  Maybe we should avoid that question and keep this pg rated.  Anyway, my main concern was whether or not he was going to eat all my seedlings once they come up.  Look at those pinchers.  Nah, he seemed too nice.  I bet he eats other bad bugs, mice, cats, maybe small dogs.  What do you think?
I absolutely love bugs these days and find myself wanting to sew them on anything and everything.  

And it looks like I’m not the only one loving bugs these days.  I stumbled across a new graphic design artist today.  She is selling these cute lavendar bags on Etsy.
What do you think?  Should bugs be allowed to hang out in the sewing room?  Or just the garden?