Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pinspiring Me to Reflect: Baby's Birthday

I have a Pinterest board that I call "For the Spirit" which has some inspirational quotes, thoughts, and things to remember on days that I'm feeling a little less than. I pinned the following item which originated from Quick Quotes, on a day when my house was particularly messy, I had fed my husband and I a frozen pizza that night, and my baby just didn't want to be put down:

And this is so true. My baby turned ONE last week. Holey Sheet. Where has the time gone? How did he get so big so fast? Right before his birthday, I got all nostalgic and misty-eyed, thinking about when he was born, and then when he was a squirmy little thing that could hardly hold his head up, or stay awake for longer than 45 minutes at a time. Now he's this close to standing on his own, starting to say some words, able to point to his head and nose, and showing us that he's soooooooo big!

This inspirational note really helps put things in perspective for me. I'm a full-time working mom. Being away from the house at least 50 hours a week (one-hour commute each way) leaves little time in the morning and evening to keep a little one fed, entertained, clean and well rested AND keep a house tidy AND get a home-cooked, well-balanced meal on the table.

When I returned to work after my maternity leave, I really struggled and stressed over trying to do all these things, and do them well. I had to accept that this wouldn't be the case, at least not while this kiddo is little, and needing so much time and attention from me and my husband.

Because we are away from the home so much during the week, we make it a priority to play, snuggle, and play some more when we are home on week-nights with the kiddo. Everything else gets back-burnered until he is in bed. My husband and I don't eat dinner until kiddo is asleep, we don't turn on the TV, don't do any chores, pay any bills, none of that, in order to maximize our time with our little man.

I've been thinking of how this year has changed me, how my priorities have shifted, how my pace has slowed down a bit, and how complete I finally feel with my life as it is, just like the rhyme we used to get embarrassed about whenever we had a crush on someone:

Full Disclosure: There is room for a second birthstone ring. Just sayin'.

I realized that while the year had been totally magical, I had lost my creative self amongst dirty diapers, exhaustion, work, and hours of sweet snuggles. It was time to find that girl again. So far it is going pretty well. Definitely having this blog to hold me accountable for actually doing stuff has helped immensely, and again I really appreciate any readers and followers - you keep me motivated to do more stuff.

But as I get my crafting legs back, I need to keep this inspirational thought in my mind - most of my crafting takes place during naps on the weekends or after bedtime during the week (the photo below is of a birthday Onesie that I stenciled the night before his birthday party, at like midnight). There will be time for crafting and sewing...for my baby will grow up so fast and I want to be as present as possible so he will look back on today and see a mom who had time to play, snuggle, and play some more.

ONE-derful! Sooooooooo big!!

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pinspiring Me to Blog: An Intro

Hello and Welcome to my new followers!! 

I have been out of town on a business trip for a whole week, and prior to that, my son had whatever daycare plague that was going around, so I have not been very active.  Because of all that, my crafting and Pinning has been on the back burner, so I figured now would be an opportune time to do a little introduction post.  But, in keeping with my theme, I'll tie it to Pinterest...

Most of you ventured over to my little slice of the blogosphere via my amazing sister's blog, Fab Rehab Creations.  Her blog is what got me thinking about how to fulfill my need for a creative outlet. 

I know a few things about myself, and one is that unless I am held accountable for something, I will rarely do anything.  For instance, the main reason I got my arse to the gym on a regular basis (prior to having my son) was because I was the instructor for 2 spinning classes a week at my gym.  I cannot say if I would have gotten to the gym that regularly had I just been a spinning class attendee.  Even moreso, since I had my son a year ago, I have not stepped foot inside my gym.  Not once.  I have been paying for our membership, and not taking advantage of it whatsoever.  Bad Leah.  This is just one example of how being accountable for something is one of my biggest motivators to do anything.

Once I had my son, I was so busy figuring out how to be a mom, and then how to be a full-time working mom, that my sewing (my favorite craft medium) totally fell by the wayside.  I couldn't figure out how to motivate myself to get back at it.  Then, a friend of mine got pregnant, and I wanted to make her baby something handmade, and I had a deadline (accountability), so I set to work making a baby blanket, and a ruffle-bottom onesie.  Sadly, this was pre-blog, so I don't have any photos of these sweet items.

When the Pinterest craze hit, I was hooked.  It is seriously Porn for ladies.  Food Porn.  Wedding Porn.  Craft Porn.  Fashion Porn.  Home Decor Porn.  Inspirational Sayings Porn.  I'll stop there so I don't get flagged.  And just to qualify, here's how defines "porn":

Now, don't get all "that's sexist!" on me.  I have a few male friends on Pinterest.  But it seems that the number of females that are active on Pinterest is significantly higher than the males.  And that's fine.

As I said, I was hooked.  So many creative ideas, so many pretty things, so much DIY that I wanted to try, so many things I found INSPIRING!  And that was the thing -- I was and am fully capable to try.  Master Yoda would be so disappointed in me, after all, he is the one who declares, "Do or do not.  There is no try."

So I have readjusted my views.  I am fully capable to DO this stuff.  Through this blog, I'm challenging myself to finish every project that I begin.  And I am using Pinterest as my platform of inspiration.  I'm starting with smaller projects, and learning as I go.  I'm following tutorials that have pretty pictures, and I am going to give credit to wherever the Pins come from.  Maybe one day one of the Pins will originate from this blog.  I can only hope so!

I hope you enjoy following me along on my journey to reinvest myself in the thing that I love so much - crafting!  And I hope that you find my journey (P)inspiring!
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pinspiring Me to DIY: Wedding Card Box

One of my dearest friends Dora is getting married this weekend.  Back in November, we were talking wedding details, and she mentioned that she couldn't believe she was about to drop $90 on a box for people to put wedding cards in.  I couldn't believe it either.  In fact, here's our conversation about this insanity:

Never fear, Leah will DIY this one.  Convo from 11/14/11

Now, my wedding was pretty bare bones when it came to details like this.  There was a basket on a gift table where guests could put cards for us.  I wasn't trying to dismiss her desire for a fancy card box.  I would have loved a fancy card box too, had I known about fancy card boxes back when I was wedding planning.  I just really felt that it was unnecessary to spend $90 on one (and based on her initial comment, she did too). 

So, with a committment and a deadline of 1/1/12 looming, I set out to make a fancy card box for Dora's wedding.  As always, Pinterest came to my rescue:

Simple and stunning.  I hope I can produce!
There were a few requirements that Dora put forth:

Eggplant, Ribbon, Lace, Sparkle Brooch(es)
Off to G Street Fabrics I went, with my shopping list.  Lucky me, I found a gorgeous, rich eggplant poly/rayon blend on the clearance table - $2.97/yard!  Then it was over to Michael's to purchase my first Hot Glue Gun, and some boxes.  The boxes I found were holiday themed, naturally.

How did I make it 33 years before owning a hot glue gun?
  I set to work carefully cutting apart the boxes just so.  Then it was time for the hot glue gun maiden voyage.  Dora did not specify that the inside of the box needed to be pretty...the guests wouldn't be able to see that part anyhow!

The inside of the top box.  The hole at the bottom of the top box is supposed to be there.

The top box (left) and the lid of the bottom box (right).
How the top and the bottom boxes will be connected. 

It looks much more professional with the lid on, hiding the holiday themed box inside!

I went searching for the perfect lace and ribbon.  Dora had provided me with two brooches that she was so-so about.  I found the most beautiful bridal lace, which I thought would be perfect alone (no ribbon), but I had to consult my client before I made that decision.  Happily, she agreed.  The lace I had selected was gorgeous enough that anything extra would be too much. 

By this point, my hot glue gun and I had become great friends, even though I had burned myself a few times -- turns out they are really hot!!  The lace was cooperative to being affixed to the fabric.

Lace Crush

I'm getting excited now!

I'm happy to report that Dora loves the final product.  And it didn't cost her a penny!  I can't wait to see my work in action on her big day this Saturday!
Fancy Card Boxes!

Congratulations, Dora and Carlo!  The fun has just begun!

Party All The Time

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