To Do list

I’ve been working late for the last few weeks and my knitting and sewing backlog is suddenly ridiculous.

(Of all the dire problems to have, right?) The two pairs of fabrics on the left are for lightweight summer overalls that I will start as soon as I come up with a pattern template. (Suggestions are welcome, too, if you know of cute options that are roomy enough for cloth diapers.) I love both of them. Those turtles and the brown fabric will be reversible, in my mind’s eye. 🙂

Arts & Crafts

A project that I’ve been meaning to try for months: freezer paper stenciling. I’d done a ton of printmaking in high school and then none since then, so this was a fun treat, and way simpler than silk-screening, etching, or linoleum blocks. This was a first attempt – pretty good so far. I’m still slightly dubious that the color will hold, but I’m enjoying the results for a bit before I try a test wash.

I’d spent a while several weeks ago combing the internet for good sample images, and now I have a great backlog. It was a fairly speedy process (about 45 min, probably? Though of course there were interruptions) and the individual steps (tracing, cutting, ironing, painting, peeling, and ironing again) were each quick and satisfying.

If the color holds, then I’m all excited about the possibilities – the number of cute boy onesies drops off precipitously at 12 months, but with a not-really-crawling-yet baby, onesies are still so much more practical than shirts. Many of our go-to stores so far only have onesies with polo collars (odd choice, I think. Our baby, at least, is more chin than neck at this point). And I’m not such a fan of baby clothes with words on them, which limits the options ridiculously. I’ve found a bunch of great options, but only on boutique online sites or etsy – love that look but the prices are daunting. The ones I used for this project are four packs of Carters onesies than I found for 50% off plus a coupon, so they come to about $2.10 each. I was pretty delighted about that. I have three more in the 12 month size to decorate soon – still deciding which designs will win.


The homemade activity gym is a huge hit. In the last week, H has started fussing to be put down (neat!) and can spend ages kicking away and looking around. The addition of toys to admire, talk to, and bat at is a huge plus in his book:

(If you click for the big version, you can see both hands and both feet are just a blur of motion.)

I just used ribbons with slip knots to suspend the toys, and in some cases added little plastic rings from the set Kevin’s parents gave us. It works quite well, and took all of about four minutes to get the toys on the bar — exactly the length project that I seem to have time for. The quilt he’s lying on was a wonderful handmade gift from friends of my parents, and I cut the top bar slightly longer than its width.

It’s amazing how long he’s happy lying there — this morning it was long enough for me to make and eat oatmeal, fold diapers, straighten up a bit, and drink half a cup of coffee before the shine wore off and he was ready for some food and a nap.

Definitely makes life a little bit easier, plus a sky-high adorable factor. 🙂


H has still mostly been in the newborn sleep phase where none of the stretches are that long and he sleeps best when he’s being held. Not great for craft projects or for blogging. However, in the last week, he’s actually started napping during the day in his bouncy seat or next to me on the couch, and I’ve been stealing moments here and there to get some sewing done. (note sleeping baby in upper left corner!!)

My aunt sent him a mobile several weeks ago with black and white patterned cards — I’d read how much babies enjoy high contrast black and white, but it wasn’t until we saw him in action with the mobile that we realized how utterly captivated he was by that sort of visual. So intent. He can watch them for twenty minutes — such a long stretch in baby time. I’d mentally been nodding and smiling whenever I read about the black and white, but it hadn’t sunk in until I watched him. So when I was picking up the CSA bag two weeks ago, I went to the craft store next door and picked up two high contrast black and white fat quarters. Not my typical buy, but H was mesmerized by them (no sewing even needed).

During the naps, I finally had a chance to start pulling them together into stuffed cubes, with nice black and white contrast for him and log cabin colorfulness for me.

He’s still more into looking than holding (though he’s started reaching and batting in the last week and a half) but given his early interest, I think these will end up counting as a success.

More baby projects

H has been so happy in the bouncy chair for the last few days, watching things happen and trying to suck his thumb (still evading him — he can get his hands to his mouth but that thumb won’t stay in a suckable position). I took advantage and started fashioning him an activity gym out of spare PVC in the garage while he oversaw my progress.

The plan is to cover it in fabric and dangle interesting things from it for him to bat at. 🙂 Nice to have a free and easy-to-disassemble/store version of the $$ commercial products.