Thursday, December 22, 2011

Garden Updates

This might sound strange to some people, but if you read my other garden posts, you knew I have lots of orchids, and lots of them bloom in winter. Right now, I have 3 den., 1 catt., 1 hawaii blooming, and two more others ready to open any day now.
These two are about to open.

This is a strange one to me. For several weeks now, I have noticed a weird seedpod looking thingy growing out after a flower faded on my pink jasmine plant! I didn't know jasmine does this! Anyone has any idea what this is?

This last one is beautiful also, just totally out of season. My forthysia and winter jasmine normally bloom in Feb or Mar, when the winter is ending. But this time they got fooled by mother nature. We had our cold weather and first snow before Halloween, then two months of unbelievable warm weather. Lots of plants got fooled, some daffodils and plum flowers have been reported. Poor things may die next time we have a snow storm. I don't care so much of the forthysia, but I do hope my winter jasmine can survive!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Having Fun With Toddler

Little caterpillar is growing up so fast, learning a lot from daycare, which makes me happy and sad at the same time. I am happy she is enjoying all the activities, like finger painting, crafting, and singing and dancing. At the mean time, I am sad that I am not the one that teaching her those. Don't get me wrong. Even with all my education, I don't think I am qualified to teach toddler, since I don't know a thing when it comes to early education, and I am a very impatient person when it comes to teaching. And I am supposed to be bedresting, so cannot enjoy any exciting activities with her. But I promised myself I will at least try and apply all my crafty skills.

Yesterday, I took out some paper and paint, and did some fun finger painting with little caterpillar. It was lots of fun, I don't believe I ever did finger painting as a child. Kids growing up in China, at least during our time, you are told to follow strict rules, you cannot make a mess, you have to color inside the lines, and you are supposed to use painting brush not your fingers. So, you guessed, I enjoyed it too. We painted a nice xmas tree together, with lots of ornaments. It's drying on the wall, I will show it to you as soon as it's totally dry. But of course, I was not prepared enough, so got a huge mess to clean up. Even when I cleaned up immediately, some paint dried up on our dining table, so hard to get off! After some reading online, I learned that I supposed to put down some newspaper on the table first! We used so much paint, it was going to break the bank, I thought. So, I mixed some homemade fingerpaint following online recipes (3 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup corn starch, 2 cups water, food coloring). I didn't have food coloring, and little caterpillar never tried eating paints, so I just used the paints I have on hand. They look pretty good, I will let you know how their performance is.

Then while I was making some fun pillows, I all of a sudden thought of a puppet theater! Little caterpillar has 10 finger puppets (animal set from Ikea), and two hand puppets, and she loves playing them with me. Think how much fun it will be to playing them in a real 'theater'. This way, I can also encourage her story telling and pretend playing. The puppet theaters are so easy for me to make, I have so many fabric, ribbons and sewing machine. But I have no idea to make more hand puppets. Got to do more research on that. Here is just one tutorial I found. Will show you my creation later.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Scored Again!

Went thrifting this past weekend, and MAN, was I in luck! Here are everything I got, for just $24 and some changes. Can you believe that? It's about the price of one pair of those baby shoes, or that sweater dress!

I actually went to look for some nice bowls. We don't have enough bowls in the house right now. We are Chinese, so we use bowls rather than plates. Little caterpillar has been naughty, broke lots of them. So, I cannot really leave dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher, simply because we got nothing to eat out of. I am not running the dishwasher half full, wasting energy. Being pregnant and bedresting, I am not going hand wash them either. So solution? Get more bowls! It does not really fit in my declutter plan, but I have to survive this pregnancy first. I was so excited when I spotted these big IKEA soup bowls! I was hoping to find some of the smaller ones, I have seen one small IKEA bowl there before. Well, big ones will do just fine. And the $.89 price tag made it even sweeter.

Oh, I also found a small IKEA bowl, a CORELL cereal bowl, and 3 more cereal bowls. $.69 each!

Then some nice white mugs caught my eyes. Simple, yet elegant. And the best of all, all white. Then I found a stack of little plates, matching the mugs! All from JCP Home. Even though there were only 7 mugs, I still got 8 plates, hoping next time I will find the last mug. There were lots of IKEA plates too, but like I said we don't use plates as much, I just passed them by. The mugs were $.69 each, while the little saucer plates are $.35 each!

I already got some shoes for my baby boy, but when I saw the shoe shelves full, I just had to check them out. There were so many cute ones for a girl, but too small. What a pity! But my boy is not born yet, so I can buy any size I want. And just my luck, all 3 pairs were white tag, which means $1 each!!! Sweet! Just that one pair of Strike Rite retails for more than $40! Ha!

Also found this beautiful Old Navy sweater dress for my girl. Well, it's a little bit too big for little caterpillar now, but she will grow into it. It looks like brand new, and only $3.99! I also picked up a coral red cardigan for myself, white tag, so only $1!

One hat for me also, just $.99, and a super cute one for my girl, only $1.99.

This pair of GAP pants for my boy is only $3.99! So cute! They normally sells for at least $25 in store. I am not spending that kind of money for something my kids only going to wear for one season at best.

There you have it. All 24 dollars of them! Are you tired of my thrifting posts yet? Well, if I continue to find whatever I had my mind on, I will continue bragging about it. Kids are expensive, all the daycare cost and other activities, I have to save any place I can. How is your thrifting luck lately?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Commute Time Sewing

Since I am working from home now, I got to use my old commute time to do something I really like, sewing for my family.

Little caterpillar is growing up so fast, and lately she just wants nothing to do with the footed PJs (is that what they are called?), keeps saying it hurts! Maybe her feet are getting too big, even though the PJ itself still fits. So I decided to make her some new flannel PJ pants for this winter. I used the free kids pants pattern from Dona (MADE). She is the best, and this pattern is so fabulous, and fits my girl perfectly. Although the first pair I made was a little bit too big, the other three were perfect, just an inch too long.
This is the first one, made from one of my old PJs, with a big side pocket. I meant to make it wider, so more comfortable for my girl to lounge in, but clearly I went too far. Well, it will fit her in a couple of years.
This is the second one I made. I bought this small piece of remnant from Joann's lately, just enough for a pair of pants. Isn't it soooo cute? Love the little whales. If the remnant is bigger, I could have saved it for myself.
The third pair is made from a beautiful blue rose flannel I got years ago from yardsale. I was going to make a crib sheet out of it, but it is big enough for an extra pair pants for my girl. I sewed my label on the back of all of them. Stubborn joked these are brand name now! Ha! The last pair is also made from yardsale fabric. These fabric was about $.50 each, which means I spent less than $5 for all four PJ pants, plus enough left overs for some crib sheets. Don't you just love such a great deal?

I also bought a big piece of super soft winter fleece, with the cutest apple green polka dots. It was another remnant piece, only costed me about $5! I just rounded the corners with a small bowl as template, and zigzagged all around. Simple and quick baby blanket for my new baby boy.
I also started making reusable fabric diapers for my baby boy. Found this wonderfully simple tutorial online, and it says this diaper will fit a baby from 3 months to 2 year old. I just changed it a little bit, using a layer of flannel and breathable diaper fabric I got from Joann. It has this layer of plastic kind of thing on the wrong side of it, makes sewing a nightmare. These little diapers has an opening on the back, for the prefold inserts. Stubborn doesn't like the idea of using safty pins near our baby, so I just have to sew on some velcros. I can make one in 30 minutes, which is what I have in the morning. It will take me a while to make enough. Maybe I should just make some, and wait till my baby is here to try them on. And in case he grows up too fast, I can make some bigger ones. Let's see how long I can stick to this fabric diaper plan.