Thursday, February 28, 2013

Links and Such

Hi All, Happy Thursday and happy Links and Such post! I hope your week has been a good one? I'm pretty excited to kiss February goodbye tomorrow! See yah latah shortest but longest month of winter...! Enjoy the links I've been reading this week.

Pretty home accessories for spring
Giant list of indoor activities for kids
Easy way to Caramelize bananas and strawberries for a hot cereal topping
Inspiring Mary Poppins Doll, our daughter would flip if I made her this!
I like this Ceramic side table for next to our anthro chair...
Floral flats for spring, yes please!
polka dot iphone case
I need to buy this iphone tripod already- perfect for when my sister virtually babysits through facetime.
Want to knit this Eyelets in Tern wrap for spring in the pink color "Columbine", so pretty!
Looking forward to watching Parade's End on HBO this weekend!

What I've Been Knitting: A Toddler Pixie Hat

I have a few knitting projects that I've been meaning to share on the ol blog... The first is this great hat I made for our daughter this winter, she practically lives in it! I've knit this Drops Hat before as baby gifts so I was familiar with the pattern and knew that with a little tweaking it would be great to cover her cheeks on those crisp winter days! I knit the hat back in December and I call it her "Alaska Hat" since I made it specifically for our trip to the great North for Christmas. I chose a magenta eco wool and I knit it with two strands held together for added density and warmth. I then lined the interior of the hat with fleece to make it not itchy and to also make it extra extra warm. This hat was great for the super chilly temperatures of Alaska and has also been surprisingly useful this winter here on the east coast. Plus the point is pretty cute. Hopefully it will fit her big melon of a head next winter as well!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

NEW at GrayDayStudio: Original Wallpaper collage paintings

Yesterday I added six wallpaper collages to my etsy shop. They are original mixed media pieces that vary in size but all average around 12x12-ish.  I also added a Screen print called Family Portrait. PLUS all of my yarn garlands are now on sale as well. So hop on over and take a look around to see what's new.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Love Letter to Winter

I'm calling it! Even if Spring isn't officially here, this Monday is my last Love Letter to Winter! Come March I will start my new Love Letter to Spring series with the hope that it will bring spring's return that much sooner! So enjoy this last blog post of snowy scenes and have a great start to your week!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Post Maternity Wardrobe Wish List

I have a board on pinterest called Wardrobe where I "pin" clothes and ensembles that help me to visualize a more edited wardrobe... one that looks beyond the three maternity outfits I currently live in. Whun, whun... So as I look towards spring, to warmer weather, and to saying goodbye to my maternity clothes once and for all, I'm compiling a little wardrobe wish list on my boards Wardrobe and Gift Guide to Self. Here are a few staples and highlights from my wish list.

In general my wish list has a theme- classic pieces that are multi-seasonal and will last for many years. This Oversized Shirt by Zara is a nice top that can be worn during the day or dressed up should a date night be in my future! ; )

This Vintage Denim Shirt looks cozy and can be worn through a variety of seasons and paired with shorts, pants, and skirts.

Another great button up- is this Vintage Army Green Silk Shirt. I've resolved to only purchase vintage shirts in silk and cotton, no poly blends.

The Newsom Dress by Curator is another staple that would work through out spring, summer, and fall.

For spring I also need a transitional casual coat that is not a full on hiking rain coat, but one that I can throw on and perhaps still look put together and relaxed as I schlep two kids around. After doing quite a bit of research, this Parka with Collar Enclosure, by Zara is just what I'm looking for!

Now that I have a full blown puddle jumping toddler on my hands, my shoe closet could use a pair of easy to slip on short rain boots. These Aigle Rain Boots would be perfect for the rainy months of spring. They would allow me keep up with our daughter and help me to get out of the house on those rainy days!! ; )

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Links and Such

Hi All! Hope your week is going well? As I mentioned on Monday, we have been in full on potty training mode around here since last Friday. It's almost been one full week and I think she's got it down! only two accidents on the first two days, and since then she's a champ. Doing really well at school and at home! I'd like to take a little bit of credit for her success, but it's all her. She's pretty adaptable and loves the new responsibility and sense of pride. Plus she's now a member of a new club at school- the girls who use the bathroom! ; )

Anyway, that's our big milestone around here! Here is this week's Links and Such post, enjoy.

Knitting pattern: Baby top knot hat (knitting this for our second child...!)
Recipe: brie, apple, pecan crescent rolls
great shirt, for me
Travel: 10 insanely delicious things you shouldn't miss in Paris
A new board I started: Easter Basket Goodies, because it will be here before you know it!
Linen Pillow Cases, yes please
lovely large Vintage German Landscape
Kinda want a Zebra finch, but don't want the noise or responsibility... maybe this is the closest thing?
Nice round up of Gallery Wall- art hanging ideas
DIY: Utility Bucket Ottoman
Salt Scrub: a great way to clean your cast iron skillet (plus other spring cleaning kitchen tips!)

GrayDayStudio Shop Update: Yearning for Spring

I'm really looking forward to spring, it's the first winter where I feel myself growing very impatient... maybe the pregnancy isn't helping!? But all I know is I want to be surrounded by green leaves and feel the warm sun on my face. ... and so I'm starting to add a bit more color into my etsy shop. I've brought back two summer themed totes, Never Sigh When You Can Sing and Onward to the Sea and two screen prints How to Make a Pin Curl and Dive In.

Also new to the shop are a few colorful Neon garlands. Perfect for upcoming spring parties- be it a Bridal shower, baby shower, Easter, etc. 

They also look festive and add a bit of fun when draped in one's home office or in my case- the sewing area of my studio!

And remember use code 3GARLANDS for 10% off your purchase when you buy three or more!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Checking in from The Potty Training Front...

Hello there! Well I've been cooped up with our daughter since Friday, taking this long holiday weekend to work on potty training. Hooray! (eye roll) And she and I both deserve a medal, or a shopping spree. Honestly, it has been pretty seamless, its just booooooring and a bit frantic at times.  But as the husband and I suspected, she was very ready for this. In fact I would have tackled this over Christmas break if we hadn't gone to Alaska... since then finding a good chunk of time has been the only thing I was waiting for, that and a time when none of us were under the weather, which has been constant since the beginning of January.

ANYWAY, sorry to ramble, as you know I haven't had much contact with anyone else in the last few days!

What I know about Potty Training: First, I read this awesome e-book "Oh Crap Potty Training" by Jamie Glowacki. It was very informative, not to mention had me laughing out loud. She offers different approaches for different age groups, which was very helpful. And she also dives deeper into certain areas- IE: a whole chapter on poop! yippee! 

Jamie also speaks about signs that indicate if your child is ready to potty train. Basically- can they sing their abcs? Can they help out around the house? Etc etc... not to mention do they seek privacy when they need to go, or tell you when they need to go or if they just went. Essentially it's about giving them a sense of empowerment and self respect. If they can help you clear the table then they don't need to sit in their own waste. And so on.

Obviously I recommend reading the book!

Our daughter is doing great, as expected she understood the concept right away and actually does best when left on her own. IE: I would do the dishes and thats when she uses the potty. We've only had 2 accidents in the 4 days we've been at this, which is pretty awesome. I know one of them could have been avoided with a bit more planning. IE: I tempted fate to have her help me wash the dishes before she went on the potty. All that running water, so cruel! This isn't to say i didn't ask her to go, I had but well.... working on this with a 2 yr old can be challenging at times and a matter of wills.

So that's what I've been up to! I would take her out on more tiny test errands if our 2nd car wasn't in the shop. But she went out with her Dad on Saturday night and did great! The next test will be returning back to school on Wednesday sans diaper!  And then eventually we will night train and get her off of diapers completely. A pretty exciting milestone for parents. I'll report back!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Links and Such

Happy Thursday! Here's a little Links and Such post to peruse. 

Read Better: Five Steps to a more Balanced Media Diet
50 free or cheap Family Activities
Amazing Before and After, great vision!
interesting perspective on marriage after kids...
DIY paper fortune cookies
Cute set of hooks for our Daughter's room
DIY: dress up a switch plate with Washi tape
Recipe: Chicken tortilla soup in a crockpot- I made it this week and it's VERY tasty!
Free Printable: Valentine Puppets

This Year's Homemade Valentines

Our daughter is having a little Valentine, or "Love Day" Party at school today! since she is two this will be her first real introduction to this funky holiday... and I'm kinda excited about it in a weird way! ; ) For her party, the teachers sent home a blank pink card in a white envelope for the parents to make a special card for their child. We were also asked to send in 35 (!) valentines for her classmates!! I found this free valentine printable that was very toddler friendly, so I printed out the white version and signed our daughter's name on all 35! 

Above: is the card I made for our Daughter!

And the inside of the card. I knew an interactive card would be a hit and I had grand pop-up book like ideas, etc... but ultimately went for a peek-a-boo option. It was very fun to make. I used a lot of Washi tape and just happened to have these collage pieces in my collage stash! win, win. Wish I could see her open it!

And Peek-a-boo! 

(my printer is obviously low on black ink, hence the odd green, but it kinda works in a weird way!?

And my little 7 second "Vine" video I made of the making of this card.

And here is the Valentine I helped her make for the grandparents. Pretty clever, huh? I came up with the pun all on my own! ; )

Have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Handmade Bibs for our friend's new baby!

On Saturday our Friend's had their second child, a baby boy named Ryder! They, like us, waited until their baby was born to know it's gender, so upon this special reveal, that afternoon I got to work making a set of four boy-inspired bibs for both Ryder and his older brother. 

Back in the fall I purchased a little fabric remnant stash from Dory's etsy shop- Worthy Goods Textiles in Maine. All of the fabric really felt like my friend's taste and interests, especially the bikes! And I knew the car print with its scooter and vw bus would be a big hit with Mason (the 2yr old). 

The pattern is one my mom invented over a year ago when we both discussed how small and un absorbent most bibs are... Thus these bibs are very long and tuck in nicely behind the highchair tray. They have a towel lining on the inside for extra absorbency and are reversible, which makes them last a bit longer between meal times before they need to be washed.

And today we met Ryder, gave our friends a batch of Pappa Al Pomadora soup, and the bibs! It was really fun to hang out for a bit this morning. We tried to remember all those rules our midwives had for guests from our first go around. Bring something to eat, or offer to clean, and don't stay long! It's a little easier to stay for more than 20 minutes when it's the second child and there are two toddlers that are game for playing!

It was a fun visit and it will be crazy once our second child arrives and we all get together with 4 children! 

Congrats to our friends!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

That time we went sledding on Christmas...

I hope my New England friends are doing well after the big snow storm that hit them this weekend!? We only received a light dusting of snow and mostly rain... no sledding for us. But it reminded me that I've been meaning to share our little sledding adventure we had in Alaska on Christmas Day! Nothing like February to do so.

After our daughter woke up from her afternoon nap, we quickly headed over to Kincaid park to squeeze in some sledding before Christmas dinner. We met up with some friends who graciously shared their sleds with us and we got to see what our 2 yr old was made of!

Like typical parents, we assumed that she understood the concept of sledding and would be willing to go down a hill right away, sitting on her Dad's lap of course... foolish parents. She wanted to observe and take it all in. Plus I think she had to digest the snow she had just eaten off of the car's bumper, as you do. So she and Cameron ran behind our friends on their sleds up and down the hill, up and down the hill and repeat!

And then, just like that, she was ready. She made it pretty clear that she did not want to sit on anyone's lap, she wanted to do this by herself. And I was VERY impressed. There are always some areas where you want your child to express a bit more bravery- i.e. rinsing the soap out of her hair in the bath (what's up with that!?) and then there are other times and areas where they blow you away with their courage! Just shows that you should never assume anything about your child.

Here's a little video I took of her sledding, I tried to lighten it as best I could without over doing it... That's our friend Ben on the sled behind her with the light on the bottom... and Cameron ran behind her to make sure she didn't wipe out but mostly to keep her from cutting people off, as she did with Ben! (view it larger to see what's going on, and sorry about my finger getting in the way) Listen closely, you can hear Ben say "Oh she's getting aggressive!" She loved going over all the bumps her face would just light up and her posture was so straight it made for a funny combination! 

After she went up and down numerous times, I wanted to go down with her... you know create a memory, have a little mom-daughter time. yeah, NOPE! she really DID NOT want to sit on anyone's lap. Gosh I'm such a jerk! lol

So back to solo sledding she went.

It was a really fun little moment on Christmas. It was nice to play outside on a more "temperate" day, see friends, and to see what our daughter is made of!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Weekend Project: Knit Valentine Heart Necklace

Next Thursday is Valentine's Day, and our daughter's school is having a little party... this means I have to send in 35 valentines, including a very special one for our daughter.  (Excited to share the final product with you!) Although I don't personally obsess over this holiday, I have fond childhood memories and traditions that I want to pass on to our daughter. So I thought I would get started by knitting her a little necklace she could wear on the 14th! I followed this knit heart pattern for the pink heart...

And for the necklace I made a purple icord with my awesome new Embellish knit tool I got for Christmas! (knitting dork alert!)

Here's a little 6 second video I put up on Vine today of my knitting process...

In all I think this project took me 1-1.5 hours...? I thought about adding two other hearts to the necklace in different pinks and purples, and maybe a white...? But I think that many hearts might be too massive and bulky for her to wear comfortably. 

And this weekend I might sew up a few of these little fabric hearts, via Design Sponge. I'm playing with the idea of filling them with beans to turn them into hand warmers for little coat pockets... Have any projects you are tackling this weekend?

Have a great one!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Resources for Large Artwork on the Cheap

As I mentioned in my Toddler bedroom before and after blog post- I would love to have a large piece of artwork in our daughter's room above her dress up area.  It's a big area that cries out for something impressive... But since I can't afford to actually purchase something for the space at this time, I'm working with what we have and hung a small favorite print in the meantime. HOWEVER, if you are in the market for affordable large artwork, I've come across a few places that I would love to share with you!

Above: Society 6, who has an extensive array of iphone cases, also has very affordable large artwork! Like this Painted Pebble print. The 28x38 is $68! This would be my first choice for our daughter's room, something slightly graphic to balance out all the ornate illustrations. Plus this piece would grow with her and transition nicely to a teenage bedroom (not that I can think that far ahead!)

Some other favorites include the Saltwater Cure, 17x20 print for $60.

And if we have a boy, A Sailor's Life for Me, 28x40 at $45 would do just nicely!

Debbie Carlos also offers large posters for $50 through her Etsy shop!

Caravann Shoppe offers pdf files to print your own large scale posters, for $5.

And Apartment Therapy offers a little tutorial on printing large photographs for $13!

Monday, February 4, 2013

January Goal Project: Toddler Bedroom, Before and After

If you've been reading my blog this past January, you will no doubt be well aware of some serious nesting taking place all in prep for our second child's arrival in April and as we encourage our daughter's continued autonomy by giving her a special space that is more age appropriate- less baby, more toddler. Plus I tact this project onto the "January Cure" challenge from Apartment Therapy and deemed this my January Goal Project! And the best part is the full revamp was completed by the end of January! Hooray! You can read past posts of the ToddlerBedroom Here

And then follow me after the jump for more pictures and decriptions of our daughter's new room!

New Garlands at GrayDayStudio: Art Deco and Neutral Florals

The stars aligned this morning and I was finally able to list new garlands I made at the beginning of last month! The first set is my Art Deco inspired series. Made with recycled shiny wallpaper and alternating black paper. They remind me of NYC in the 20's or a trip to the ballet. Perfect to spruce up your office space or home decor!

My second set is a neutral series of garlands that speak to spring. With their blossoming wallpaper pieces and neutral tones, they are sure to combat the winter doldrums!

Shop all garlands HERE. and Remember to use code 3garlands for 10% off your order when you purchase 3 or more!


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