Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Seasons Change

Look closely, and you can see a worm in Mama Robin's mouth. 

Today marks the first day of summer. And, like clockwork, the last of our baby robins left the nest... almost like they knew spring was over and it was time to move on. 
We first noticed these four feathered babies when our small pup, Jack, became obsessed with a small pine tree in our backyard. He circled it and watched it like he was on the hunt. That’s when Cor spotted the nest.

At the base of this little tree was the only place Jack could be found since our friends hatched. We had to watch him closely to make sure he didn't harm the babes.
We kept the pups locked inside more during our bird time, but that didn't keep  them from bird watching through the window.

On it, rested a plump mama, with her mate always nearby. Then we got our first look at the babes at feeding time. They were so little. This was only two weeks ago.

Here, mama is tending to her very young birds. Such a neat photo to capture!

How much these little guys grow in such a short amount of time. Just yesterday, these four babes sat squished together in their small dish home.
1, 2, 3, 4... This is when we discovered that four babes called this little nest home. 

Then it was down to three in the nest, with the first adventuresome guy resting in a nearby tree after his first flight. 

It wasn't long before the nest was down to three peeps.

Number 4 decided to take flight. Here, he rests in a nearby tree, waiting for his next go.

And by this morning, only two babes remained. 

This was the last time I saw the babes in their nest. Down to 2. 

By the time I got home from work, the nest looked like this. Not a babe in sight. Just in time for the first day of summer. 

It sounds silly, but I was sad when I came home to an empty nest. But I'm glad the babes are finding their way in the world.

Part of me was sad to see our little empty nest, but I was also happy to know that they babies grew and were doing well. 
The last of our little friends now rests on the fence out back. Practicing flying from one part of the fence to the next. Every so often, mama stops by with some food and motherly advice. 

The last of the four birdies spent this evening flying from one fence board to the next, getting used to her new wings. 

Soon this last babe will be on her way and our baby-bird saga will be over. The seasons are changing. Life is progressing. And I know it may sound cheesy, but I loved this opportunity I had to watch some of that change with our springtime house guests. I wonder what the next season will hold around here... 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fast Father's Day Gift with Heart

Finding that perfect gift for Pop can be tricky. What do you get the guy who has everything? You can’t go wrong with a gift card, but some feel they lack that heartfelt touch... until now. Here’s an idea that combines the ease of gift cards with the heartfelt touch of a handmade gift. 
It’s an envelope mini album!  

Attach several small envelopes (you can even use the envelopes that come with the gift cards) together using scrapbook adhesive. Decorate the envelopes, and fill each individual pocket with a gift card to one of Pop’s favorite shops. 

This is a Valentine’s Day gift I made for Cor this year. He actually carries it with him, so you’ll have to excuse it’s worn exterior. 
I filled the first envelope with a special love note to my sweet, but you can just as easily fill it with some special words for dear old dad. 
This project can double as your greeting card. Simply fill the inside of envelope #1 with a special sentiment.

I wrote a little poem for each of the remaining panels. The words are clues to the gift card contained within that envelope. 
Cor love coffee beverages, so his first card was to Starbucks--an affordable option.
The sentiment reads: "To show you that I love you a lot, let's start the fun with something hot!"
Another cost-effective choice, I included a card to Cor's favorite fast food restaurant, In n Out. Yum!
The sentiment reads: "The way to a man's heart is the tum, and this surprise I know you'll find num."  
Who doesn't love iTunes? Cor used his to purchase apps, but this is  also a nice choice for the music-lover dad.
The sentiment reads: "To the cutest tech geek I've ever known, here's something to use with your iPhone."
Include a gift card for something you can do with your dad. I went with a movie card for Cor, as we love seeing flicks.
The sentiment reads: "I love time spent with you, Romeo; let's take a night to enjoy the show."
If it's in your budget, include a bigger ticket item in your last envelope. Cor loves shoes more than I do, so I knew Foot Locker was an ideal choice for him.
The sentiment reads: "Last but not least, one more special treat; a card just for those beautiful feet."

Get the Kids in on the Fun!
Here’s an idea! Do you have more than one child. Have each child decorate an envelope, and then hook them all together. That would make this extra personal and special. 
This project can come together in minutes, and it will make for a fun shopping spree for the man who means so much to you. For a quick how-to on connecting the envelopes in a slightly different fashion, you can watch my very first Studio 5 segment (don't judge me; I was a rookie), where I demo a similar project I created for Christmas. 

Happy Father’s Day weekend to all the fabulous papas out there!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Was it Intuition?

This and many other prints that I adore are available on the Skippy Designs Etsy shop.

Confession: I absolutely believe in intuition. Do you? 
Call it what you will. A voice. A feeling. Energy. A dream that feels like so much more than just a dream... Intuition is a way of feeling or sensing things. A way of connecting with yourself, others, and even a higher power. 
I think all of us are intuitive. Some just know how to tap into it better. I’m fortunate enough to have some VERY intuitive people in my life, and I love it! I, on the other hand, am still learning to understand my own intuition and how to hear it/know it.
What’s the point of this, you ask? Well, I had a strange encounter with my own intuition today. To the outside observer, it won’t amount to much. But it brought me some great, much needed joy. So, to me, it amounts to everything. Interested?

These prints are very similar to the ones discussed in my story below. You can find these amazing images at the Skippy Designs Etsy shop.. Love them! 

Here’s the story:
About a Year Ago: I visit Gardner Village and see this incredible set of printed canvases for sale. They’re pink. There’s a scrabble one. There’s a typewriter one. There’s even one with a bitty white dog on it. So many things that I adore! They scream “Megan.” Alas, the set is almost $200. This does not scream “Megan.” I leave, not to think about them again, until... 
6 Months Later: I visit the same store. The set is still there. I discuss my love for it with the clerk. She informs me it’s the last one. She also informs me it’s still $200! Dang. I want it, but I leave. I just can’t spend that kind of monies on an unnecessary item.
This Week: If you read my “C Word” post, you know I’m stressed. I’m tired. And I don’t feel too hot. More on this in a moment. 
* This Morning: I come out of sleep thinking about those prints. Pictures I haven’t thought of since my last store visit. Not only am I thinking about them, I’m very sure that I’m going to buy them today. I have no plans to go to Gardner Village today. And I certainly didn’t find $200 of spare change in my couch. But I know they will be mine. As I become more alert, the thought leaves me. 
This Afternoon: I’m in Target with a friend on our lunch break. We’re walking down the picture aisle. I ask her about another picture we both want. Another pic neither of us can justify spending the $ on. Neither she nor I have purchased it yet, either. “Oh well,” I tell her, “if we wait long enough it will end up here anyway.” As I gesture to the pics in the aisle, I notice it. Them. The pink, “Megan”-screaming pics! They ended up in Target! Now, they’re not on the same large canvas ones, but the prints are identical. And I love them just as much. I almost squeal with delight. Me, the sick, sad girl, is now so, SO happy! 
Later this Afternoon: I buy the art! And I love the art! And, guess what! My friend buys similar art. And she loves hers just as much.
Here I am, just after my moment of Target bliss. I was so excited that I asked Joannie to snap a picture of me with the art. 

And here's Joannie with her purchase. It's in a red color scheme and is equally as cool! 

Sure, you can call this coincidence, but why would I wake up and not only thinking about these pics, but knowing they’d be mine today if it weren’t for intuition? 
The funny thing about my personal experiences with intuition is that they’re so often random. I don’t know why this happened today. It’s not like a vision of the winning lottery numbers hit me or something. This is often how my intuition works, which makes it hard for me to understand or recognize. 
And the same kinds of things happen to my sweet mama. I hope she won’t mind me sharing that with you. Her scenarios are often as random and seemingly ordinary as mine. But it’s intuition. And intuition is so not ordinary. 
What about you? Have you had intuitive experiences? I always love hearing about them if you’re open to discussing them. If not, I completely understand. This is a personal thing, and it can be a sensitive subject. If you are up for a little chitchat, I’d also love to know how you recognize your own intuitive abilities. Care to share? 
*Note: All of this actually happened on Thursday, which is the day I wrote the post. So if you happened to see me today and think, she didn’t go to Target today, this would be why. Of course, knowing me, there’s a very good chance i’ll go to Target again the day this posts anyway. Not intuition at work; just me knowing myself and my predictable shopping patterns. ;) 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Handmade Bibs from Oilcloth and Laminated Cotton

Is it rib night yet? Because, boy do I have the bib for you! Make that three bibs. Bibs I made using laminated cotton and oilcloth. I’m super excited about this particular project, because it’s my first sewing project made from a pattern. Everything I’ve sewn up to this point, I’ve sort of made up. This time, however, I had a fun design to follow.

My cute new friend, Kirsten, who works at Material Girls Quilts in South Jordan, UT, designed this pattern. I saw it and immediately thought of another friend of mine, who was about to have a baby. Of course, that was months ago. Her beautiful babe is six months old now, but I suppose they still wear bibs at that age. Heck, I still wear a bib. ;)
Anyhoo, here’s the bib I made for little miss Claire. I hope she likes it. 

I had so much fun making it, that I decided to make a couple of others. Maybe I’ll use them on my own sweets someday. Or, if not, it’s always good to have a few handmade gifts on hand. 

Which one do you like the best? I prefer Claire’s, but most people have said they like the black and white one.
Want to make your own bib? Here’s how:
Step 1: Fold your laminated (or oilcloth) fabric in half and trace fabric on back of one half. 

Step 2: Cut out shape. 

Step 3: Repeat with cotton fabric, which will be used as back of bib. 

Step 4: Pin cut pieces together around edges and sew together using a zigzag stitch. 

Step 5: Tear cotton fabric into strips, pin those strips around bib (like hem tape), and sew hem to bib using a straight stitch. 

Note: Make sure you stitch an elastic to the top of the bib. This will act as your closure. 

Step 6: Create a medallion flower, adding a large button to the center. This is what your closure will wrap around to keep the bib on. Note: For instructions on creating a medallion flower, click here.

Had lots of fun making my first pattern project. Who knows, maybe I’ll get up the courage to try it again sometime soon.