Infant Car Seat Covers

During the past week, I've been busy sewing custom orders including infant car seat covers. The recipients of both of these covers are expecting girls which sent me in search of pink fabrics.

The first has a beautiful floral print on the outside with a complimentary solid pink on the inside.

The second cover has an elegant brown damask print on light pink background. The inside is solid brown.

Halfway through I discovered a flaw in the fabric print. It affects only a small area just behind the handle. Enough that I didn't want to send it as custom, but also small enough that you almost wouldn't see it. Thus, I finished it and am listing in my Etsy shop at a discounted price.

Thankfully, I had enough of the print fabric remaining (and I've checked it carefully!) to make a second cover and complete the order. Sewing that is next on my "to do" list.


Friday Freebie: Mini Golf 2 page

This month, I'm sharing a 2 page 12x12 template based on the layout in yesterday's post. It features 16 layers including photo & paper masks with shadows. It's free for personal use only.

Click here to download the Mini Golf template


Have you missed one of my previous digital freebies? Click HERE to find them. And, don't forget to subscribe to my feeds so you won't miss future freebies!


mini golf

Inspired by the new Fore mini kit from Pink Trike Designs, I made this 2 page layout of our mini golf fun while on our beach vacation with friends last fall. So funny watching three 2 year old boys "play". ;)

Supplies: Fore mini kit by Robyn Meierotto; Favorite Things alpha (recolored) by Gennifer Bursett; Easter Fun elements by Agnes Biro; Celebration kit by Rhonna Farrer; Century Gothic font.


Wordless Wednesday: Life Imitating Art

Wordless Wednesday


5k, the layout

While the memories are still fresh, I decided to scrap the race. This is the first "me" page I've made in a very long time! :)

I loved finally playing with Karla Dudley's protectors. Almost like paper scrapping again as I "tucked" things into the pockets. The photostrip I created by putting together a few shots from Instagram. Behind it is a partial list of the official times.

In the last 24 hours Allison & I have lightly touched on the subject of doing another 5k (just when I said I was done!), but ... on a flat course in the fall. So, we'll see.

Supplies: Neutral Cardstocks by Audrey Neal; DHD's Digital Scrapbooking Day 2011 collaboration kit; Design 365 starter kit by Deena Rutter; Right Now papers & elements and Protectors Set 1 by Karla Dudley; I Love Boys elements by Robyn Meierotto; Just the Way You Are and Teletype fonts; Instagram photos - Earlybird filter.


Briar Chapel 5k

I confess, as pumped as I was Friday night about the race - I was equally nervous Saturday morning. The nerves seemed to disappear once we arrived at Briar Chapel. I left Trent & Dylan as I searched out registration. I joked with Allison that this is the first "modern technology" race I've ever been to. My dad ran for years and, back in those days, the race officials pulled the bottom part of your bib off after you crossed the line. This time, I had to figure out how to attach a chip to my shoe so the computer would automatically grab my time as I crossed the finish line.

With my Mom in Chapel Hill blogging friends, Allison & Katie, before the race

After everything was settled, I gave another "see you in a bit!" to Trent & Dylan who were hanging out with Allison's husband & sons as well as our blogging partner, Katie, cheering us on. Then Allison and I joined the group of runners assembled at the starting line. We were about midway back, chatting and listening to the starting info then suddenly, the entire group began to move forward. It was interesting watching the sea of motion around us as some runners started fast and others (myself included!) a bit slower.

Allison & I are all smiles starting out!

Determined to keep our pace and retain energy to carry us through, we started off slowly and chuckled a bit as some of the runners pushing little ones in jogging strollers passed us! Kudos to those folks. It was hard enough pushing Dylan during my training, but no way on the hills in that race course.

Just before mile marker 1, Allison picked up speed and got ahead. I felt like I had a good pace going where I was and my asthma was giving me a little trouble so I stayed back. I kept moving though. The sun came out just after this which was a disappointment. Although a fairly cool morning, the temperature difference when the sun hits you after running a mile and you're moving uphill - not pleasant! I was wishing for more clouds! :)

Our 3 "littlest" boys waiting to cheer us as we crossed the finish line!

The toughest parts of the race were definitely the hills. Allison put it best afterward when she said it wasn't so much that they were steep, but that they were long and just kept going. My training had been outdoors on a greenway. It's not flat, but definitely did not have inclines comparable to the course. These proved tricky for me and my lungs so I slowed it down.

At the finish line.

As I rounded the final turn and saw the finish line ahead, my family and heard the cheering - my old high school running days hit me and I kicked up my speed. I pushed myself with all the energy I had left to make it to that line. My official time 32:57. I was a little disappointed hoping to come in closer to 30 minutes, but at the same time, proud of my accomplishment. I spent 16 weeks training to get to this point. At the start of which, I could only run for a few minutes at a time. The hills got the best of me, but truthfully, not that bad. I did it. I achieved my goal - completing a 5k.

Post race - we did it!

I haven't officially decided what's next. I do feel like the last few weeks have shown me that I'm not a runner anymore. My joints, especially the knee I had operated on, just aren't the same and it's clear that my asthma is definitely a factor. I do plan to continue working out. I may even continue to use the Ease into 5K app. I like the earlier weeks with the interval training. Beyond that, I'm undecided. Whatever it is, I'm confident now that if I approach it like I did this challenge, I'll conquer it as well.


On the Eve of the Race

Back in January, I shared that I had begun training for my first 5k. I hadn't run competitively since high school following knee surgery. I hadn't run for fun since the end of college, start of my career. I hadn't kept up with a consistent workout routine since I took the AquaMoms class by Healthy Moms when pregnant (yes, that would be 3 years ago!).

Day 1

That said, I set about this goal after my good friend & blogging buddy, Allison, suggested we try it as a Fitness Challenge for our "other" blog home - Notes from a Mom in Chapel Hill. It was our New Years resolution. I started on January 2nd and, since then, have tracked a lot of miles (walking & running) using the Ease into 5k app on my iPhone. Dylan has been fantastic about accompanying me on most of these journeys strapped into his jogger stroller. (Watch out, he now sings "I workout" to LMFAO's song - so funny and how can I not be inspired especially when he tosses in "Mama workout"?). I've tweeted about my workouts and shared weekly updates here. I've bought a foam roller and am using it regularly (hello, sore calves and IT bands!). Basically, I've been doing my best to stay motivated and achieve this goal.

entrance to part of the greenway where I've trained

Early last week I was a bit nervous after being sidelined due to allergies. My head was a congested mess and, coupled with my asthma - running was not an option. I started back up slowly on Wednesday. Then Friday I managed my first full 3.1 mile run and officially finished the 8 week program in the app (yes, I took the "ease" part literally as I trained. Repeating days as needed). I had another great run on Sunday and did pretty good yesterday afternoon (my one recent run with the jogger stroller - wow that weight makes a difference!).

I'm feeling ready and excited for tomorrow. After 16 weeks of training, race day is finally here.

Linking up to Fitness Friday.



I'm having fun digging back through photos. This particular day definitely deserves a page. Plenty to celebrate: His great grandparents 65th wedding anniversary. Their first time having both great grandchildren visit (his cousin wasn't quite 2 months old here). Birthdays - his great grandfather's and mine. 

Supplies: Cupcake patterned papers and Cut it Out clipping masks by Robyn Meierotto; DHD Digital Scrapbooking Day 2011 blog hop collaborative; Apple Orchard patterned papers and Toolbox Mists v1 by Gennifer Bursett; Stitched Felt Alpha by Miss Mint; Century Gothic font.


Wordless Wednesday: Lucky Find

Hipstamatic app, Jimmy Lens, Ina's 1969 Film

Wordless Wednesday


Egg Carton Caterpillars

Between the gift of a new BIG copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar (which came with a small plush caterpillar that literally fits through the holes!) and a visit to a new local art reuse center, Dylan & I were inspired to make caterpillars.

  • Egg carton
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic paint & brushes
  • Pipe cleaners (wire cutters to cut in half)
  • Googly eyes & glue (optional)

First, I cut the top off the egg carton and then cut the bottom into two long pieces - giving us each a caterpillar "body" to work with (I enjoy these crafts too!).

Then we used red and green acrylic paints to add color. For all his desire pre-project to paint, it didn't really capture Dylan's attention very long. His was a minimalist caterpillar. :)

After the paint was dry, I used the scissors to punch small holes in the head of each for the antennae. I cut one pipe cleaner in half using needle nose pliers (they are also helpful for pressing the ends to reduce any sharp points). We formed a 'U' shape with our half and pushed it up through the holes giving us nice fuzzy antennae.

Finally, we added a little dot of green paint for the nose and glued on googly eyes.

Very simple, fun craft. And, amazingly, they both survived several days including being played with!


Family Photo: Fall 2010

I used this month's Blueprint challenge at DHD to help inspire another page from 2010. This one is of our church photo that September. Amazing to see how much Dylan has grown since then!

Supplies: April Blueprint Challenge template by Jen Flaherty; Vanity Fair - Persimmon patterned papers by Jen Allyson; Claire patterned papers by Karen Funk; Summer Picnic stitching by Sara Schmutz; Home Matters and Felis brushes by Karla Dudley; Weathered Frames freebie by Celeste Knight; Flight Path elements by Audrey Neal; I Love Boys elements by Robyn Meierotto; Commercial Script BT and Teletype fonts.


splish splash

I've set myself a goal to finish Dylan's 2nd year album by his 3rd birthday. Thus, I'm digging out some old photos of fun events I want included. This batch came from a day at the pool & sprayground with a few playgroup friends in July 2010.

Supplies: March Blueprint Challenge template by Jen Papadimitriou; Gidget papers by Gennifer Bursett; Giggles & Grins papers by Karen Funk; Splish Splash kit by Rhonna Farrer; Teletype, Arial and Janda Everyday Casual fonts.


My Cowboy

Dylan's imagination has really kicked in over the last month. It's been so fun to see. One of the ways we've been encouraging it is playing dress up. I've put together a small collections of hats and costumes into a mesh basket from Ikea. One of the hats is a cowboy hat. To help him dress as one of his favorite characters, Woody from Toy Story, I made him a vest to go with it using some fabric leftover from the chaps I made for my Jessie costume last Halloween.

I made the vest a little large to allow for growing room so he can hopefully enjoy it for a while to come.

He's also been sneaky about not wanting to have photos taken at times. It took a lot of work to get these couple with my iPhone! (Including bribing him with the lollipop seen in the 2nd shot. And, yes, he's wearing the shirt I made for his second birthday party last summer! It still fits too!) Hoping to get some better photos soon with the DSLR.

Supplies: Alova Print-Pony fabric; Coats & Clark thread; Wrights bias tape.


Easter Bunny 2012

Our playgroup has managed to get together the last two years for annual Easter Bunny and Santa photos. This year it was looking good and then schedules, illnesses, etc got in the way. So, rather than our massive pile on of kids and moms, this year it was just Dylan and one friend.

We timed things perfectly so we were early to the mall with no wait. The photographer was very nice and gave the boys time to visit with the Bunny and get comfortable before sitting with him(?) for a photo. Although, the moms bribing them with a train ride afterward might have helped too. ;)

Supplies: Blueprint #6 by Gennifer Bursett; Design House Digital's Spring Menagerie collaboration kit; Miss Mint's April Morning & Kindergarten Crafts kits and Hoppy Easter elements; Hop by Sara Schmutz; Spring Time by Laina Lamb; Easter Fun by Agnes Biro; Daily Birdie font by Audrey Neal.


Shaving Cream Paint

I love the amount of projects you can do with food coloring beyond, well coloring food! Dylan loves to paint and finds the larger tub in our master bathroom exciting. So on a rainy afternoon, I let him have messy fun in there. I filled a small muffin pan with shaving cream and added food coloring.

Then I gave it to him along with a brush and bubble bath. He had so much fun with it! He dipped the brush, painted the walls. Dipped the brush in the shaving cream and then into the bubble bath.

Then I showed him he could use his hands too and we both had fun smearing it all over the tub walls. Finally he dipped the pan under the water to see what would happen.

This fun art project turned into quite the little science experiment for him. I love that he enjoyed it so! He's already repeated it once with his dad's supervision and I'm sure we'll do it many, many more times in the future.


Easter weekend recap

We had a busy three day, holiday weekend. On Friday, Trent went to Chapel Hill to help his dad on a few projects around the house. Meanwhile Dylan & I joined friends for an Easter brunch and egg hunt. This was his first egg hunt with candy in the eggs. Oh, his face when he realized there were treats in the eggs! He paused after his first egg wanting to open it and get to the candy. I had to encourage him to move on and find more eggs first!

That evening he enjoyed the attention of Trent as well as from my dad, step-mom and step-brother who stopped by for a visit. He and Grandpa George played a game together.

Trent had brought home a basket of Easter goodies from his parents. We gave it to Dylan on Saturday to help spread out the fun. His favorite thing - a small plush green bunny. The bunny was even added to the collection of plush toys he sleeps with (Seahorse, Scout, Kermit, and SkippyJon Jones) which is high priority. ;)

Supplies: Stuffy Collection Template #2 by Tiffany Tillman; Masking Shapes Pack #1 by Lori Whitlock; Doily Set by Agnes Biro; Fresh kit by Audrey Neal (recolored 2 papers); Batik Regular and Brush Script Std fonts.

Yesterday, in spite of both Dylan & I suffering from allergies, we did go outside first thing to hunt for eggs. He spied them from the windows upstairs in our bedroom and couldn't wait to get out there. He even passed by his basket of treats on his highchair tray, never spotting them, as he headed for the door. It was so fun watching him run around grabbing the eggs and dropping them into his basket.

He finally discovered his basket when it was time for breakfast. He was so excited about the "big" chocolate bunny and hugged the book the Bunny left. Then he unwrapped the gift from Trent & me - the Muppets movie - and he was even more excited. He's been talking about that movie since we saw it during our Thanksgiving trip to Virginia. With allergies keeping us indoors with a box of tissues, we popped it in the DVR and had a family movie day.


Dying Eggs

Dylan and I have been getting our craft on this week including dying Easter eggs. This was Dylan's first time doing so. I debated with myself for a few weeks whether or not he was old enough. Now I'm very glad I went ahead and bought the kit! We only used half of the colors and 6 eggs, but he had a great time.

I set up outside on his picnic table. The weather was perfect in the shade on our patio and it helped limit mess. ;) I gave him 3 bowls with dye in the them and showed him how to dip the eggs. Then he pretty much took over.

He dipped them in one bowl, or two or all three. Some went to the drying rack and then back into the bowls again.

Here's our final result:

Truthfully, I did finally interfere with his creative process a bit and suggested some were done. This was simply to prevent them all from ending up brown! He really liked dipping the eggs in ALL three colors. And while 'gentle' isn't still fully comprehended, we only had one cracked egg (the back right) so it was a very successful project!


Easter Bunny Plaque

Last year, Dylan & I made this cute bunny plaque to hang up at Easter:

Instead of painting his entire hand, I painted just the palm and the pointer & ring fingers to create the head and ears. After the print dried, I painted his thumb in pink and helped him place it for the nose. The eyes and whiskers I painted using a small brush. Finally, I finished the plaque with Mod Podge and a picture hanger on the back.

Supplies: wooden plaque; acrylic paint; brushes; Mod Podge; picture hanger.


Mad March Competition - Final Round

Here's my entry for Round 6 of the Mad March Competition at Design House Digital:

The challenges are over, but the competition won't wrap up until the end of the week.  ** The winner is being decided by votes here. ** Limit one vote per person, per day through Friday, April 6th (does require free account at DHD).

For Round 6, our layouts had to meet the following requirements:
  1. Use 15 different kits, but…
  2. Use kits from exactly 6 different designers
  3. Karen Funk - Photo Frame Clusters v2, For the Boys patterned papers, Genuinely You elements; Audrey Neal - Daily Birdie font, Family Tree patterned papers; Fei Fei's Stuff - Of the Essence - Add On kit; Miss Mint - Traffic Jam, Twinkle Toes & Daditude kits; Robyn Meierotto - Kraft Day Fun elements, In Stitches - Bright Basics, Today word art, Clearly alpha, I Love Boys elements; Jen Allyson - Picket Fences kit.
  4. Use a blending mode - trio of arrowheads located at bottom of journaling on right hand page.
  5. Use an advertisement as the starting point for your page - BHG's Chill & Grill - "tossed" look of photos with white borders. (see image to right)
  6. Use a title of a book as your page title - "Honk Honk! Beep Beep!" by Daniel Kirk (children's book)
  7. Use orange as an accent color - stitching and ticket.
  8. Duplicate a photo, but use different crops of that photo - trio of b&w photos.
  9. Alter an element - altered color of ticket to orange.
  10. Do an extraction - my son's head in trio of b&w photos.
  11. Use the words “Mad”, “March”, and “Memories” in your journaling, but not as one phrase
  12. Following a visit to see MawMaw and PawPaw, we took you to Burlington City Park. It was a gorgeous March afternoon - perfect for outdoor fun.
    The last time we came, you weren’t quite a year old. Now that you’re a ‘big’ two and a half, you can finally ride the kiddie rides. We had 5 tickets so after a ride on each, we let you choose which 2 to ride again. This was great until we were out of tickets - then you were a bit mad you couldn’t ride the planes again. Next time!
    Memories of you laughing and eagerly running from ride to ride will always come to mind when I think of this day.
  13. Do a two-page layout, but… - Check
  14. One page’s background must be a photo - Check
  15. Weave an element behind and in front of something else - orange stitching at trio of arrowheads on lower left corner on left page.
  16. Create a shape (using custom shape tools) and use it in three different ways - arrowheads. Used as masking for patterned papers on left page, as 'K' in title and as brush next to journaling.
  17. Incorporate a strong diagonal line into your design - on right hand page, arrangement of photos/title and white space.