Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Report on TV-Free Mondays

Remember when I told you how Chuck and I were going to experiment with not watching TV one night per week? Well, the first Monday it didn't happen because it was just too soon. We needed time to accept this. The next Monday we did it. And it was hard. We were bored. Thankfully we were saved the next week by my parents. But we couldn't expect them to live by our crazy rules. Especially during March Madness. Last night, however, we jumped back on the wagon. We knew we had to have something to keep us busy. What did we find? Homemade quizzes on Facebook. That's right: soon you'll be able to take a quiz written by yours trulies, c and e. Be watching friends!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Desperately Seeking Advice

Now that Rhett has crossed the threshhold into the forward-facing car seats, I find myself stymied. The main reason for this is that we have three cars in which Rhett regularly rides: mine, Chuck's, and the babysitter's. Do we need to buy three car seats: one for each of the cars? Or two seats: one for me and one for Chuck/Mary? Or even just one, and we all share it? For those of you with these next-step seats, how easy are they to switch between cars? Do they have bases they just click into? Or do they require a fireman to adjust them every time? Any advice on how we should handle this?? Please???

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Habitat for Hubanity: Pug Stickers

When I saw these stickers online, I knew I had to have them. And now I do.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Birthday

Technically, he didn't turn 1 until 6:29 p.m., but we didn't care; we've been celebrating since he woke.  And neither did he, especially since he really has no idea that today was any different from yesterday. Although, maybe all the people staring at a naked him as he ate some weird, brown, soft food for the first time hinted at it.  (But the hat definitely did not contribute to any weirdness; we make him wear those all the time.)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Birthday Banner Tutorial

In preparation for tomorrow's big day (!), I made this banner. I like my fabrics, but don't love them. I guess I'll have to make another for Christmas, or Halloween, or both.
I also put together a tutorial, but only after the fact, so there are no pictures from along the way. Feel to ask me any questions!

Seven fat-quarters (or quarter-yard cuts of seven different fabrics) for the flags
One-quarter yard of fabric for the letters
3 yards double-fold, extra wide bias tape (
Note: I made my own bias tape following directions found here. This is only advisable if you want a color or print that you can't find in the premade bias tape packages.)
One-half yard of muslin for backing
1 yard of 17”-wide
Heat ‘n’ Bond (can be found at JoAnn or other fabric stores; it’s sold in a package)
Thread the color of your bias tape

  • Wash and iron your fabrics.
      Create letter appliqués
    • Cut 13 rectangles (sized 3 1/2” x 4 1/2”) from your letter fabric. Cut them such that the tall sides (the 4 1/2” sides) stretch from selvage to selvage to make sure you have enough fabric.
    • Cut 13 rectangles of the Heat ‘n’ Bond just slightly smaller than the 3 1/2” x 4 1/2” rectangles you cut from your letter fabric.
    • Attach the Heat ‘n’ Bond rectangles to the wrong sides of the fabric rectangles following the directions on the package. You should then have 13 pieces of stiff fabric.
    • Cut out the letters from here and here. You don’t need to cut them out exactly on the lines. Just loosely around the edges will be fine.
    • Pin the letters right-side up to the right-side of your stiff fabric rectangles. Now cut them out on the lines. You’ll need to do this twice for the “h,” “a,” “p,” and “y.” You should now have all thirteen letters spelling “Happy Birthday.”

      Sew Flags
    • From the muslin, cut fourteen (14) 5-1/2” x 8” rectangles.
    • From each of the seven flag fabrics, cut two (2) 5-1/2” x 8” rectangles.
    • With right-sides together, lay one muslin rectangle on top of one flag rectangle and pin to secure; do this to create fourteen fabric “sandwiches.”
    • For each fabric sandwich, sew (with 1/4” seam allowance) down one long side, turn 90 degrees and sew the bottom, and then turn and sew up the other side, backstitching at each end. This should create a sewn line in the shape of a “U” with the top open.
    • Trim the bottom corners on each piece to reduce bulk.
    • Turn each piece inside out and press. Make sure to get the corners as pointy as possible.

      Attach letter appliqués to flags
    • Set your flags right-side up on your ironing board. Position the letters where you want them on the flags and iron on the letters. Again, refer to package directions for more instructions on this step. Note: Since there are two of each flag fabrics, I did mine in abcdefg-abcdefg repeating fashion. You can do yours randomly, of course.
    • You can use scrap fabric to create a cake for the flag in between the two words. Or you can leave it plain. Follow the same directions for attaching rectangles using the Heat 'n' Bond.

    • Attach bias tape to banner
    • Lay out flags on the floor in order. I lined mine up along the tops and separated them only slightly.
    • Unwrap the bias tape and find the center. Put that center between the letters “b” and “i.” Pin the tape to the tops of the flags, with the tops of the flags sandwiched between the folds of the bias tape and shoved into the bias tape as much as possible. Note: Bias tape generally has one side that is longer. It’s up to you which side you’d like facing out, but I recommend sewing on the shorter side as it will ensure that you catch the back of the bias tape.
    • Sew the bias tape to the flags. (See note above.)
    • You can cut the bias tape to adjust the length to what you want/need.
    • Hang for the next birthday and enjoy!

    • Wednesday, March 18, 2009

      Made By e: Recent Projects

      Here are some thing I've been working on recently.

      Wall quilt for the basement which matches the fabrics in these window treatments.

      A lunch bag for Rhett on my work days:

      When the weather was nice for about, oh, a week, we were leaving the doors and windows open.  Our front door won't stay open, however, so I made this door stop.  Of course, since the day I finished it I haven't been able to use it because it's been too cold.  Come back spring!  (Thanks again, Cam, for that fabric.)

      Bruno's crate cover.  It was covered in two sports blankets that just weren't making me happy.  This, however, totally does. In person, it doesn't look as canvas-tentish as it does in this picture. It's a nice sage green.

      Monday, March 16, 2009

      Habitat for Hubanity: Basement Bathroom

      When we bought our house last year, we loved that our house had two full bathrooms, but didn't love the masonite covering all of the walls in the basement bathroom. Nor did we love the cement floor in the shower in that bathroom. But as that bathroom is rarely used, we knew we could leave it alone for a time.

      When my parents decided to come visit over Rhett's first birthday, we knew we couldn't expect them to wear "shower shoes" while showering, that is, unless they were showering at camp. Nor could we expect them to trek up and down the stairs just to take a shower (remember, they're OLD). When my bad memory told me the shower walls were cement as well, I thought we could just tile the shower and not worry about the masonite walls for the time being. But when Chuck reminded me that the everything was covered in masonite and that it would be nearly impossible to redo only the shower, we knew we had to (1) redo the whole thing and (2) get someone else to do it (see #1).

      When sitting on the toilet in that bathroom, the wall on the left was, for lack of a better term, "squishy." This made us uncomfortable. What could be lurking on the other side of that wall? Why was it so squishy? We were scared (but not as scared as when I lived in Orem and thought a homeless man was living in my spare bathroom). And given this economy, we were afraid that if we brought in a crew that we didn't know, they'd give us a great initial estimate, but once that squishy wall was opened, well, that estimate would triple. So while it's not something we normally do, we asked a member of our ward, who does this for a living, to do it. We felt that not only would he do good work, but that he'd be honest about the squishy wall. Enter Allen.

      Well, after nearly four weeks (not because it was that big of a job, but just because) we have a finished bathroom with real (!) walls (not one of which is squishy) and a beautiful shower! We love love love it and are so glad to not have to wear shower shoes.

      Look at that horrible masonite!

      And that shower door?! Yikes.
      Understand the need for shower shoes now?

      Drum roll please....

      Friday, March 13, 2009

      A New Experiment

      I can't remember where I read it, but it sounded like a great idea: for one night a week we do not turn on the TV.

      Ever since Rhett's appearance, Chuck and I have certainly cut back on the TV watching. That doesn't mean we don't watch a lot of TV now; I only said we "cut back." So when I read this I thought it would be great for us. It's only one night a week, and really, we have TiVo, so how hard can it be?

      I first pitched this idea on Sunday and brought it up again Monday. We agreed that Monday would be a perfect day for going TV-free. Of course, we weren't mentally prepared for it to start that soon. We'll start next week. Anyone want to join us?

      Wednesday, March 11, 2009


      If anyone can give me one good reason for a person doing this to their car, I'll send you a prize:

      Monday, March 9, 2009

      Mom Goggles

      Seriously, I can not find one thing wrong with this boy.  And believe me, I've tried.  Even when the doctors give me his percentiles and his head is much bigger than everything else, I can't see it; rather, I see this perfect baby boy head.  I look for other things that might make people say (behind my back of course), "Gee, that baby is not cute," but I just can't see how anyone could say such things.  The boy is perfect.

      Saturday, March 7, 2009

      Made by e: Hobby Horse with Matching Pants

      On a blog I follow, I saw that they made a stick horse.  When I saw it, I thought it would be perfect for my nephew Miles' fifth birthday today.  As his birthday approached and I started thinking about it, it just got more and more daunting.  The blog left out the hardest part: how to make the actual horse!  Do they think that I'm an artist?  Sheesh!  So I enlisted my design staff (cough, cough, Chuck) and he and I worked a mock-up and then this final version.  Because I'm not going to mail and entire broom stick nor a stuffed horse head, we'll have to see how it all comes together.

      I then made some cowboy bandana pants to match.
      Happy Birthday Miles! We love you!

      Friday, March 6, 2009

      Breakfast Club Mutt

      Remember the movie, "The Breakfast Club?" Of course you do. It's shown on TBS at least once a week. In response to Mr. Vernon's request to write an essay answering the question, "Who do you think you are?" Brian pens this essay:

      Dear Mr. Vernon:

      We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But, what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, and a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question?

      Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club.

      Chuck and I were talking about this movie at dinner (we find ourselves frequently quoting it to one another) and I asked him who he thought he was? Like Brian, we came to the conclusion that we are both some sort of Breakfast Club Mutt. But in what proportions? Chuck certainly has a lot of the brain in him, but there's definitely a little criminal, as well as the others. I, too, think I'm mostly the brain (there's just too much logic in my head to leave room for much else), but certainly the others exist inside me. What about you? Are any of you completely deficient of one of them?

      Wednesday, March 4, 2009

      All-New Friendly Friend Game, Part 2

      (This one will be an instant version of this game.) Here's the question. Would I rather my child be overweight or have an average intelligence? Think for a moment before looking at the answer...3...2...1...

      Average intelligence. Hands down. Chuck and I were recently discussing this and I was shocked at my answer.

      Yes, I would love if Rhett turns out to be smart. Chuck and I think that we are fairly intelligent beings and really appreciate intelligence in others (although the really dumb ones can be quite hysterical at times, as long as they're not driving). We even find smart to be sexy. We have smart friends, some smart family (ha), and in general, like to be around smart people. However, people with average intelligence have done great things. Having an average intelligence might teach Rhett to work that much harder. Maybe he would appreciate his strengths more than others with whom things come more naturally. And since he'd have average intelligence, he'd be where most people are: in the middle.

      But being overweight puts you in a different class. During the school years, being overweight can so severely affect your self-esteem that, I believe, it can influence some serious decisions made during those years. It can affect your choice of friends, your level of involvement in school activities, your relationships with everyone, not to mention your health. I just think it's dangerous, both physically and emotionally.

      Certainly we're doing everything we can for him to have a healthy body as well as a healthy mind. We've read to him since he was born, but also make sure he works his body (the walking has helped with this). School will be his number one priority, but we both want physical activity to also be an important part of the entire family's lives. But if I had to choose, well, you know...

      What about you? If you feel like you have average intelligence, would you trade it for a genius-level IQ if it meant you had to be overweight? And if you feel like you're smart and overweight, would you dumb yourself down for a slimmer you? And what is your choice for your kids (as if you really had the option for choosing)?

      Monday, March 2, 2009

      Talk About In Like a Lion...

      Even though it's March and I'm ready for spring, I'll take five inches of snow anytime Maryland wants to throw it my way. Especially if it means a day off for Chuck (which, of course, it does).