Tuesday, August 13, 2013

And then there were SEVEN!!!!

What? Wait. Did you say seven? Nah. No way. It can't be. But, it really, really is true and we couldn't be more delighted!


                                                                              Cassandra Jo
                                                                             August 7, 2013
                                                                                   8:12 am
                                                                                 7 lbs. 4 oz.

It all began last Tuesday night @ 11:30 pm.  By 8:12 am, Wednesday morning our arms were full of the preciousness of our beautiful little daughter. 20 minutes later, after a quick clean up, our bedroom was bursting with excitement and joy as the 4 older siblings and Grandma met Miss Cassandra. It was very special for the children to watch as Cassandra was being weighed, measured, washed and dressed. 

Sharing the joy of the first moments together!

Grandma gets to help!!! How special!

Cassandra's first spa experience...getting slathered with lotion from big brother!

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bonding with big sister

"Hey, Cassandra, the gang is here!!!" -Lynn Funte (midwife)
All cleaned up and dressed and ready to start living the good life.


It's 6 days later and we're still trying to soak up all the sweetness that belongs to this little lady.

We bless your name, O Lord......for you are so GOOD!!!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

My Latest (and hopefully last) Project

I don't have a large collection of pretty scarves.

My sweater collection is so slim that it actually fits in my closet.

I can actually make up a self righteous sounding little speech about the number of shoes in this house that are for my feet and mine alone.

I would describe myself as being frugal and practical, almost to a fault.

But I have this one rather childish obsession that I haven't quite laid down yet.

I like purses.

A whole lot.

Big purses. Little purses. Classy purses. Trendy purses. Hand made purses. Factory fashioned purses. Soft ones. Hard ones. Smooth ones. Textured ones.

Really, the only criteria I have for choosing a purse is the price. Remember, I'm frugal.

Ever since I had a few precious dollars to call my own, I've loved to browse purses. Most of my purchases have been made at garage sales or second hand stores. I wasn't even aware of further shopping options until I became an adult and realized that there were huge shopping places called 'malls' where many people bought one purse or one sweater for more money than I even had in my wallet.

I still love to browse purses. I do not buy nearly as many as I did in my former days. The two main reasons being that I married a sensible man who does not "get" why in the world I would want another purse and I also have a daughter who has caught on to some of my not so noble traits. She too, likes to collect purses. Together we're learning contentment and how to say 'no' even in our weak moments.

Well. A new baby seems like a valid reason to think of a new purse, right?? My needs are changing, the things I will be carrying with me everywhere will be changing. Yes, of course, I should be looking for a new purse.

Well. This summer did NOT include shopping for me. Suddenly about a week ago, I realized that I really do not have anything suitable to use as a diaper bag. One thing I failed to mention earlier is my dislike for diaper bags. Soft baby colors??? Nahhhh. That won't work. Big Disney characters all over my diaper bag?? Nahh. That won't work either. Typically I've found a large hand bag that I like to serve as my diaper bag.

So. I need a diaper bag/purse. I checked the thrift store. Dry. I checked another thrift store. Drier still. I looked at Kmart. Sorry, but I just not into those vinyl Disney character things, as cute as Pooh may be. Maybe I would use one if it was given as a gift, but I'm NOT going to spend my money on one. If you've been to one department store on a diaper bag search, you've pretty much been to all of them. I came home empty handed.

I made a simple handbag a little over a year ago that I used and used and used. Hmmmm. Maybe I should consider making a customized diaper bag for myself. Hmmmm.....

NOTE: My subject line now becomes a relevant issue!!

Browse pinterest. Lotsa free patterns and tutorials. And boy...I'm liking this whole idea more than I thought possible.

Next thing I know, I am at Joann Fabric's browsing their home decor fabric. So many choices. Colors are popping out at me from every angle. I don't want anything too babyish but I don't want to go too formal either. Hmmmmm. Finally after agonizing for at least a half hour this is what I chose.

After browsing pinterest again, I finally chose the style of bag that I wanted to make. This tutorial was wonderful. I would have been totally lost without it. I adapted it just a little to my own preferences, but for the most part I stuck pretty close to the instructions.

I will not lie{like most crafters do} and say, "It was as simple as falling off a log to whip that bag together". It actually did stretch my direction following skills as well as my sewing skills. I had fun making it, but it wasn't easy. It was one of those fun kind of challenges.

Am I happy with the results?? I think so. I haven't used it yet, so I'm not exactly sure how it will feel on my shoulder. Or how it will withstand the wear and tear that I know it will be get in the next year.

Even though I love looking at my finished diaper bag, I'm not exactly sure if I am enough of a "hip mama" for it. If you see my daughter using it for a book bag, you'll know that the "hip mama bag" and Shaunda never really quite got on the same page.

Why I chose to make this particular bag:
-lots of pockets.

-closed top (I don't like having my disorderliness exposed for the world)

-the entire bag can be thrown into the washer when it needs a good cleaning.

Things I would do differently if I were to make another one:

-this bag is just a bit bigger than what I prefer to carry around so I would probably down size by a few inches if I had to do over.

-I would use interfacing or something to make the the sides a bit more sturdy. The tutorial said not to worry about the interfacing if you were using fabric heavier than cotton. I used thick home decor fabric for the outside and the lining and I still think it could use a little more support.

-I would not bother with the zipper pocket on the back side. It was a bit complicated and I do not think I'll even use that pocket much.

-I would perhaps choose a fabric that does NOT have a white background. I'm a bit scared this one is going to look dirty 70% of the time.

All in all, I'm quite happy with my new diaper bag and very anxious to 'rock the bag'.