Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cuddle Bug

I've been wanting a baby sleeping bag for my 9 month old for some time now, but being the sort of snooty type when it comes to fabrics, of course I had my eye on the $140 pure Merino wool variety. Yeah, right. Like I would actually spend that type of money on something he'll grow out of in a few months. So what is a snooty mom to do? Get out the sewing machine! And run to the local thrift store to see if she could find a 100% Merino wool sweater large enough to snuggle her baby.
And I did! Out of racks and racks of ugly, semi-ugly, do-able, and wearable sweaters, there were only 3 sweaters that were made of 100% Merino wool. Two of them had large holes in them. Thank heavens for J. Crew.
100% Merino wool is important, you see. It couldn't just be out of regular old wool, or a synthetic fiber blend. Only Merino wool is soft enough to wrap a baby, and the hypoallergenic fiber is naturally regulating to keep baby warm enough and cool enough, depending. Medical studies have found that babies and infants sleeping in or on merino settle more quickly, sleep longer, feed better, cry less and gain weight faster.
Plus, it is naturally flame resistant. Lucky for me, the one and only sweater that would work was in a color I could work with.
After researching the many sleeping bags on the market, I decided to buy a flannel fabric for an outer covering, and secure the openings with snaps for easy changing.
As a pattern, I traced a sweater that was too large for baby (minus the sleeves) onto some newspaper, and simply squared off the bottom to give him room to move his legs naturally. He can even still crawl when he's in the bag! But one thing he can't do is kick off his covers in the middle of the night and wake up too chilly.

What a fabulous invention! And I must say, I think my version is much better than the one I would have paid $140 for. I read a review saying that the wool was so thin you could see through it and it didn't quite get the job done. My baby bag is made from a high quality reclaimed sweater and is very thick and soft! Plus, I paid about $12 for the materials. And it's cute. So there. Most importantly, I'm hoping this will help baby sleep better and in turn I can make more fabulous knock offs of over priced goodies!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Infamous Bricks

For years we've worried about those blasted bricks. Although they made the perfect stage for a myriad of performances, and the handle to the wood burning stove made the best microphone, it was time for a change. Before I can remember, the stove in my parents' living room rested atop rows of ugly, oversized, white bricks with dark brown grout. These same bricks lined the wall behind the stove. I suppose it was in fashion at one point, but I'm not sure my mother ever liked it, and especially not when her children and now grandchildren were at constant risk of hurting themselves. Not to mention how badly they hurt our design sensibilities.

So, for Christmas this year, my sisters and I decided to pool our resources and come up with a better solution. The stove had to stay (what if the electricity goes out?) but the bricks DEFINITELY had to go!

Since my parents have a difficult time making decisions about such things, I created these sample images to give them an idea about wall color and mantle style. I didn't have any photos of the original stove and wall, so I searched the trusty internet for images that would be close enough. The stone tile had already been decided. We've been working on the project this weekend, and when it is complete, I will post pictures. Mom and Dad still haven't decided on a mantle, but they did pick a wall paint color. What would you choose?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

To Blog or Not To Blog

What do you get when you combine severe sleep deprivation, food poisoning, Christmas shopping, traveling hours by car to visit Mom and Dad for a few days, then traveling hours by airplane to visit another Mom and Dad for even more than a few days, then throw in some holiday parties and more trips to the store and long lines at the post office and on and on and on.....

Well, it equals no time to write any of these lovely blog posts. For an entire month. A month vacation from blogging is quite short, actually, when you consider that I used to post on another blog every 365 days or so. But now that things are starting to settle down in my life, I will resume. I wonder how all of these other people manage to find the time, however. I've only got one child! How did my mother do so much with seven of us?

Oh, Dear! My baby- who recently started turning into a toddler- has just tried to see what I am doing here at the computer and has fallen and scratched his poor head. Guess I will resume blogging a bit later!