Playing around…

I started trying to play around with the awesome camera my mom gave us for Natalie's baby shower. It's pretty incredible for taking portraits and there are definitely some of these that will end up as framed photos on our wall. IMG_3918 IMG_3920 IMG_3924 IMG_3927 I also managed to snag some shots of baby girl wearing some of the items I sell in my etsy shop so customers can get an idea of how they look.   IMG_3953 IMG_3958     Baby models are the best!

Baby girl’s first Christmas…

It was a really nice quite Christmas around here, perfect for baby girl's first one. My aunt came to town and we relaxed at home with all of new goodies all day. I hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas as well. =) I'm going to leave you all with a few photos from Christmas Eve/Christmas because, in this case, a picture is worth a thousand words. I'm definitely still learning how to use the camera, especially how the different lenses work and how to focus properly so these aren't perfect, but they give you a good idea of how our Christmas was. Merry Christmas! IMG_3888 IMG_3889 IMG_3892 IMG_3893 IMG_3895 IMG_3896 IMG_3897 IMG_3901 IMG_3904  

Etsy Shop: I finally pulled out the DSLR!

IMG_3885   Huzzah! I finally busted out the DSLR camera my mother gave us for our baby shower and started trying to really play with it. I took it on a test run by trying to take pictures of my latest felt food play set that I made for Etsy. I got the idea because my baby niece (is she still a baby if she turns five in two weeks?) used to LOVE playing with her tea set. The whole family got to enjoy cup after cup of pretend tea from her cute little face as she gleefully ran over and asked us if we wanted another cup.   IMG_3881   The set contains four tea bags with different colored tabs attached to the tea sachets by embroidery thread. Each one is filled with loose pieces of tea leaves in varying shades of green and brown that are secured to the felt bag by a piece of cream tulle to add detailing to the tea bags. IMG_3875 The macarons are made by gathering circle of felt together, stuffing it with fiberfill to get that proper puffy macaron shape and sewing it to another circle of felt. Do this twice and you have your sandwich cookie. The filling is made by attaching each side of the cookie to a piece of white felt, trimming to size and sewing the white felt circles together with a whip stitch. I finished the edges of the cookies by trimming them with a pair of pinking shears for a nice and crinkly edge.   IMG_3865   As always, the felt food sets are handstitched with cotton embroidery thread and crafted from eco-felt, an environmentally friendly felt made from post-consumer water bottles/plastic waste. IMG_3878

Thrift Finds: hipster toys!

It's become a long running joke at this point that I am definitely a hipster. I'm not quite sure how this happened as neither of my parents are particularly "hipster-y". I think it's just the inevitable blend of having spent most of my teenage formative years in Asheville, NC (a.k.a. land of the hippies) and then my early twenties have been spent in a very densely hipster-populated college town. In any case, while performing a most sacred hipster task (checking out the new Goodwill in town) I found a toy for Natalie! Admittedly she definitely won't be able to play with it for another ohhhhh...year? This is irrelevant.

IMG_0620.JPG It's wood! It's a train! It's educational! A trifecta of toy perfection has been attained. I thought it was pretty nifty to find a wooden alphabet train set thats in incredibly good shape for only $1.99. I snapped it up immediately. I was sad to discover, however, that this new Goodwill has decided to go through all of their house ware items before they are put on the floor and anything that is deemed in any way valuable is pulled to a section at the front of the store and severely marked up. It's disappointing considering everything that Goodwill sells is a donation in the first place, so why charge $50 (not kidding) for a 15 piece tea set that isn't even from a rare or sought after brand? They had a typewriter from the 70s that they had marked at $250, that's not a type. Two-hundred and fifty dollars. At Goodwill. Seriously. I did manage to find a cute canister in the housewares section.

IMG_0619.JPG Its not anything super special, but I thought it was cute and would go nicely to organize some of exploding craft supplies while still somewhat matching our nursery. Apparently it's part of a designer collaboration with Target and originally cost approximately $15, I paid $1. Score. Lastly I snagged something I don't usually pick up at Goodwill.

IMG_0618.JPG SHOES! Usually I ignore the shoes at our Goodwill because they charge a minimum of $5.99 for any pair - considering most of the shoes are in crap condition I think $6 is absurd. However, I was browsing through clothing and these babies were on top of a rack. Upon closer inspection I saw they were real leather, my size, incredibly comfortable and had almost no signs of wear. Done and done. Seriously, have I mentioned how much I adore thrift shopping? I have a friend coming to town Sunday morning and we have pledged to thrift our hearts out this week. Needless to say I'm excited, can't wait to show you all the treasures I find!

I made popovers, woah.

So, if you guys happen to remember, I went on a giant cooking spree way back when I first started this blog (in it's current form) in 2010). You see, I had recently moved to Arkansas to be with my then-boyfriend, but soon-to-be-husband and what else is there to do in Arkansas? Nothing, that's what. And so began my great cooking journey where I tried to teach myself how to cook and bake (turns I enjoy the latter more than the former) by meticulously making the recipes in Joy of Cooking. I particularly enjoyed making items that are not, generally, home made anymore due to the ease with which they can be purchased (dinner rolls, croissants, chicken stock, etc.). Since going on maternity leave I have been trying to reignite the fire for cooking and baking I used to know and I've been moderately successful. I have recently discovered that Alton Brown's show Good Eats has made it's way to Netflix, which means I can now begin binge watching it to my hearts content. I have a particular love for Good Eats because it's basically the Bill Nye of cooking shows and makes me think of how my grandfather would teach cooking and baking if that was ever his forte. Now with that huge amount of back story completed, on to the popovers! The other day I was watching Good Eats while getting some housework done before friends came over for early Christmas. This particular episode focused on, you guessed it, popovers! Now, I'm going to be honest, I know what shape a popover is but I don't recall ever actually eating one. They also seem incredibly intimidating because of aforementioned shape. How does that even happen?! But Alton (because let's be real, I'm on a first name basis, clearly) made it seem incredibly simple so I decided to jump in and give it a whirl.

IMG_0616.JPG TA-DA!! I did it! Success! These were later served with delicious Blue Bell vanilla ice cream (my fav) and fresh sliced strawberries. Yum yum yum.

Felt Food!!

Seriously. It is now my greatest obsession to make as realistic as possible food out of felt. Does that make me weird? Or is it more that I have now fully descended into mom-land? Either way, its pretty fun and I think the fruits of my labors have been more than worth it.

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I started by trying to tackle breakfast food, after all, it's my favorite meal of the day so clearly I would have fun making it, right? IMG_0592.JPG

Then I decided to try for something a bit healthier and with a bit more pieces involved. Whole wheat pitas with all the fixings and veggie chips complete with their own bag! And lastly I've started working on a new set that I'm pretty ridiculously excited about. I think it'll be ridiculously cute when I finally have it finished! IMG_0608.JPG This one isn't made strictly from felt as I incorporated tulle to help me make the mesh portion of the tea bag. I think it gives it extra charm. There's going to be more pieces to this set, but I have to finish them and then stage them in an appropriately hipster-y way for photos. Keep your eyes peeled for when I list this guy =) Things have been going fairly well in my etsy shop thus far, and I definitely still adore making cute baby goodies. =) Check it out: http://www.etsy.com/shops/atomicbaby Both of the completed sets retail at $25.

Thrift shop find and date night with the hubby!

So I know this isn't a super great photo of it, but I found the coolest dress at our local Goodwill the other day. Generally I don't spend too much time looking through the dresses at Goodwill because, at least around here, they charge $7+ for any dresses. Yikes! Especially considering most of the dresses you find are from Forever21 and similar big box stores where the dresses retail at $15 or so full price. Nah, bro, nah. Anywho, I happened to be walking past the nightgown/pajama area and spotted this gem hiding among the dated 80s polyester night gowns and rejected holiday flannel.

IMG_0613.JPG Again, sorry for the fail photo, the dress is currently in my laundry pile or I would try to take a better one. I can't quite tell how old this dress is, but based on the material, shape and pattern I'm guessing it's from the 60s? I checked for a tag and it appears to have been shredded/lost all it's print a long time ago. BUT! I can just barely make out the upper edge of a circle that I'm pretty sure is the Ladies Garment Worker union logo, which is generally a good sign that a piece is true vintage and not a replica. I completely adore the colors, a beautiful rich blue that almost leans teal that is accented by splashes of white flowers and stripes in burnt orange. There's a couple small gold metallic accents sewn on, as well as a bitchin' oversized diamond zipper pull on the front. It came with a matching belt that you can see in the photo, but when I wore it I paired it with a navy blue patent leather belt instead. The best part? While it's a little bit too big for me, if I belt it appropriately it gives a beautiful shape which means I don't need to alter it at all! Yay! In other news, hubby and I ventured out on our very first date without our baby girl a couple nights ago (thanks Shelly!) IMG_0610.JPG

We had an awesome time, especially because we got to show our support for a friend. IMG_0609.JPG Our friend Andy recently joined a band (The Melting Funk Pot) where he plays the trumpet. This was their first time playing a venue, a local bar called The High Dive. They were incredibly great - their band features an eclectic mash-up of instruments. Viola, keyboard, trumpet, bass, bongos, drums, guitar, and for a couple of songs maracas and a tambourine. They played primarily original songs, but they did grace us with an excellent cover of Michael Jackson's Billy Jean (and our friend even harmonized on some of the vocals, talent!) I finally got my keyboard working on my iPad again, so I'm hopeful this means I may post more lengthy blog posts every now and again. Till next time!