oliver + s. teddy bear carrier

I adore this teddy bear carrier pattern from the Oliver + S book Little Things to Sew.  The pattern was very easy to follow and sewed up quickly.  I used fabric from Laurie Wisbrun’s Brrr! collection and bought the perfect companion polar bear teddy to match.  I have to admit that my daughter hasn’t actually worn the carrier very much lately, but the 90 degree temps we have been experiencing may have something to do about that.

I love how nicely it crosses in the back, creating a perfect fit.  The print I used for the straps, by the way, is my most favorite print from the Brrr! line. I’d love to own it in a million other color-ways.

The pattern calls for a small pocket in the front.  I decided to skip it in order to preserve the cute polar bears that are scattered across the fabric.  I also made a messenger bag from the same book and the pattern was phenomenal.  I know that a lot of other bloggers say the same thing but it is worthy of repeating.  I love Oliver + S patterns because the projects almost always manage to teach me something new.  I am so glad I own it — it is one sewing publication that won’t collect dust on my shelves.

hop!

I almost never post photos of the kids anymore, but I couldn’t resist this one.  {My mom made my daughter’s adorable dress.  You can’t see it here, but the fabric has the greatest simple geometric print.}  The Easter Bunny who visits our house every year was so much fun.  Hop hop hop!

Happy Easter!!

proud {and maybe just a little bit excited}

You know I must be excited about something when I decide to post THREE {!!!} photos of myself, with my kids, all lined up in a row on the internet. The reason for all the excitement is because my mom recently renovated her beautiful 162 year-old colonial home and has turned it into a bed and breakfast called the Greenspade Inn. It is located in my hometown, just a half hour drive south of Boston. Her website gives a nice, succinct history of the house and the many amenities the Inn has to offer, so I will not repeat what she has already written so elegantly. However, I will tell you what she is too modest to share herself.  My mother was born to be an innkeeper. She is welcoming without being intruding, an amazing cook, and is meticulous about maintaining a beautiful homestead and gorgeous surroundings. This new venture is a dream come true and it has been so enjoyable to watch it unfold.

Congratulations Mom!  We are so proud of you and are thrilled that everything is going so smoothly already. The Inn is stunning. I can’t believe I grew up there!

escaping to winter

We skipped out on the torrential downpours that plagued most of the Northeast this weekend and traded up for a few wet-flurries and lots of slope-side fun. Our Little Guy clicked on a new pair of skis for the first time and after two short lessons was rocking the magic carpet slope. I think his favorite part was riding up the chairlift. That and the obligatory cups of hot cocoa, of course. Oh, and the jumps. He was all about the jumps, which were performed while skiing down a small slope between my legs and in the safe embrace of my arms. Little Miss was as thrilled as can be to have the complete attention of two doting Grandparents. And Mom and Dad were grateful for some ski time with siblings and friends in a happy world of winter white.

one

My precious baby girl. Are all little girls this sweet? I suppose I can’t know for sure. But I really don’t think it’s possible. She turned one recently. And we are feeling extremely lucky.

She says Dada and Mama and she knows how to bark like a teeny tiny puppy. I swear she kind of sang along to the “Happy Birthday” song we sang as we ate French toast with special birthday sprinkles on her big day. (Lots of ba-ba-ba’s, anyway.) She has taken her first couple of steps, but isn’t a definitive walker yet. She waves and blows kisses and climbs any obstacle she can find. She almost exclusively likes to play with her brother’s toys, and she loves wrestling with him and splashing in the tub. She scrunches her little nose when she laughs. Makes you want to lean in and give her an eskimo kiss every time. She’s kindhearted. And patient. And just too good to be true.

She is a daddy’s girl. One hundred percent. She smiles biggest for him. Hugs him the hardest. Crawls faster when she sees him. They are a pair, those two. It’s a {beautiful} sight to see.

Happy Birthday sweet pea! Heaps of love to you, from all of us.

christmas 09

Christmas was really nice this year.  We did a little bit less running around and a lot more lounging* around.  We were treated to a beautiful pre-Christmas snowstorm and a very special surprise wedding on the 26th. (More on that later.) I’ve had the whole week following the holiday off from work to spend with my little gang, playing with them and their new toys. I’ve also gone out to breakfast alone with my best friend.  (Thanks Mom.)  And out to dinner with my husband and some friends for New Year’s Eve. I’ve even had a chance to sit down at the sewing machine for a couple of small spells.  All in all, a really great holiday week.  Hope yours was nice too.

*I feel like the use of this verb requires some explanation.  Aside from nap time, we are never really left to actually lounge.  Our kids are in that constant motion stage. When I say that I really mean:  we stayed in our pj’s and didn’t leave the house. Which is a pretty awesome thing in my book.

three

My little boy has gone and grown another whole year older. He turned three today. The sweetness that he brings to our lives is tremendous. He makes my heart feel so full. Just bursting. Who knew one tiny little person could be capable of making so many other people feel so intensely and thoroughly loved.

We love you right back, sweetie pie. You are a treasure. {XX and a really big hug.} Happy Birthday!

first snow

Just a bit more than a dusting to start St. Nicholas Day* off right.  He told me that he would need hot cocoa even before he put his coat on to go outside.  He ate lots and lots of snow.  A bit of sledding, a mini snowball fight with Dad, and a spin around the driveway in the front seat of the truck to try out the new plow. Don’t be fooled by the pretty holiday decor shots.  The photography is mine, but the festive touches belong to our neighbors.

*Do you celebrate?  The kids found a small gift in each shoe this morning.  No chocolate because we have that covered with the advent calendar.  I love carrying out this little tradition with my kiddos.  It is such a fun little bonus day.

group photo

What is it about kids and cameras?

When they are all by themselves…they take great {albeit serious} photos.

But if you try to get a bunch of them all in the same shot, it just…

…never…

…works…

out.

some vacation photos and some blather

I’ve had a million little blog posts floating in my head lately, but they never seem to make their way to this spot. Not sure why that is. Hmmm. Not going to try to figure it out either.

The photos are from an early September vacation on Cape Cod. We stay on the same beach every year. I won’t get into a recap, but it was a beautiful week. Best sunsets ever right from the front porch of the cottage.

This weekend was a quiet one at home. Apple picking with Dad; apple pie baking with mom. Playing at home and at the park. Visits with grandparents. Football watching. The usual. {Nice.}

All of my siblings will be home just before Thanksgiving. This means arrivals from Hawaii, Montana and Utah. It also means that I will get to meet my niece, Island Baby, for the first time. Oh, I can’t wait!

The kids are doing great. He’s talking up a storm. A very noisy storm. And she’s finally loving solid foods. It took a good two months before she really took to it. Just watching her shovel it in makes me tremendously happy. She’s sitting up and playing on her own. Every little step toward independence is bittersweet. Though to be honest, for this mom, it’s more sweet than bitter–but really only during the first year or so. I mean, I love my babies to the moon and back, but I am just not a true blue “baby” person. {I’m OK with that.} Both my mom and my mother-in-law are, and just watching them amazes me.

I am cutting out a quilt for the Little Guy using all 2.5 inch squares. Mostly blue and green tones. Some of my most favorite bits of fabric ever, with pieces of old clothing mixed in. I was having trouble settling on a design, but the recipient mentioned wanting to play checkers, so that did it for me. I’m inspired by this lovely number, but with Kona cotton charcoal as the solid. I am hoping to have it finished by his third birthday which is right around Christmas time. It’s the only crafty thing I feel like I need to accomplish this year. Just saying that feels good. Though I know I will likely want to {and will} do more.

I guess that’s a sampling of what’s been swirling around my head. I think I’ll stop blathering now. Thanks for checking in.

P.S. I’ve got a tutorial up next. The napkin rings from my last post. It’s simple but kind of fun. Back soon….