Thursday, December 22, 2011

bird sewing project

The other day I was shopping and came across these adorable 10 pack bird paperclips. I don't have much use for dainty paperclips but I got them anyway, knowing I could make something else of them.
Here is what I did:
M1.gently cut the paperclip off the back
2. hand stitch a hair clip on being careful not to stitch all the way through
3. continue steps 1-2 with all birds
Below are five completed.
I love how they turned out! They add just a little whimsy to Avery's hair. Perfect for baby shower gifts too!

Well, today has been full of cleaning and packing. We fly tomorrow morning. Pray that None of our flights will be delayed and all will go well. I'm not sure when I'll have a chance to post the next couple weeks but there will be pictures at some point so be prepared.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Santa came to our house last night! We asked him to come early since we're going to be out of town :) We chose today to open presents so the kids had a couple days to play with their new toys before leaving everything behind to fly on Friday.

Below is Andrew reading out all the things Elliot got last year. I think Christmas is good for Andrew's heart. He's been sending me love texts all day and he's so happy.
Instead of writing "From: Andrew" on every present he gave me Andrew wrote a different endearing nickname. Here are the things he wrote:
"From: Sugar Plum, Dream Lover, Steely Buns, "The" One!, Hot Stuff, Dream Boat, Mr. Right, and Hot Lips". It gave me something to look forward to and laugh about with each present.
The kids love everything they got (whew!) so it was a wonderful family experience. Every Christmas gets better with kids!

a Christmas story

Monday night was the Stapley Family's first annual Nativity play with the grandkids. It was Kristy's idea. Grandpa (my dad) was narrator, Nora and Garrett were Mary and Joseph. The kids were all shepherds, wisemen, sheep, and angels with DJ and James to fill out the nativity scene and help the kids, and everyone sang the hymns in between the narrations. It was seriously hilarous!

Pretty much nothing went right. Costumes were falling apart, Josie kept trying to kiss baby Jesus, the kids were all over the place, but I think that's what made it perfect. What family Nativity goes just the way you plan it? The spirit was felt and the message conveyed so ultimately the night was a success. Afterwards everyone ate yummy food. I made my first cheese ball (actually three) borrowing a friend's recipe and it was also a success. Does your family do a Nativity scene too?

This morning we're opening presents so the kids have a couple days to play with them before we head out to England. I hope all goes well! Andrew has been anticipating this more than anyone. He's such a kid when it comes to presents :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

apron sewing projects

Do we not all agree that Anthropologie has the most charming and unique aprons? For over a year whenever I go there are look at their aprons wanting to buy one I tell myself " Marilyn, why buy one when you can sew one and it will truly be one of a kind?". Daunted by the task of making one up to par with Anthro's I never tried. Finally I told myself it doesn't have to be perfect. I'll just start with a simple design and go from there. Below is my first attempt. I made it as a gift for my niece.
Pleased with the results I made two more. This time for Elliot and Avery and they picked out the fabric (red and green for Christmas).
Some how Elliot's ended up a couple inches shorter than Avery's but he likes it all the same. It was difficult making it masculine looking when he picked red fabric with hearts on it.
Now it was time to try to sew an adult size. Up to this point my first was my favorite - until I made this one. Julie was so kind to model it for me.
This was truly a labor of love but I'm so glad I challenged myself. The floral fabric was cut from a vintage sheet I thrifted and I used this apron as my design inspiration. I sewed it for Andrew's work party's white elephant so now I'll have to sew a similar one for myself. Now I know what I am capable of.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

urgent care and reindeer

Every time I sat down to work on a blog post this past week the computer froze on me and I had to wait for Andrew to fix it, but it's back to normal again. Now I get to play a little catch up.

Life has been so busy and exciting lately. We had a little scare and a visit to Urgent Care. Avery got her elbow dislocated while playing a little rough with her uncle. She went two whole days without sucking those two fingers! She's perfectly fine now so I don't have to worry about her traveling with an injury. Have your kids ever done that before? The more moms I talk to the more common it seems to be.

We have also been continuing our goal of doing something to celebrate the holiday with the family each day. One night we watched my nephews, Dean and Robinson, so they got to join us.
Andrew read some Christmas books which the boys really loved. Two of our new favorites are Snowmen at Night and Snowmen at Christmas. I'm thinking of getting them for my nephews and nieces for Christmas next year.
Dean, Robinson, and Jojo also joined us in making personalized reindeer drawings. It was exciting for them to watch how their hand prints became antlers. The past couple weeks I've learned that it's not what you do, it's who you do it with that makes life fun.

Monday, December 12, 2011

drawing me in

I have a soft spot for white or cream tops. These to seem to be calling for me. I love the scalloped edge on the first one and the second one would look adorable with a cardigan over. I've been on the lookout for a cute top with a peter pan collar for some time . . . Since these won't fit me for months I might just have to make me a similar maternity white top. Yep, I think I will - if I can find the time. Is there a certain style that draws you in?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

busy hands

Are you one of those people that like to be doing something with your hands while watching a movie? Well, this is a perfect craft for you.

I have caught the crafting bug lately and have been working on about 6 different projects. What got me started was an effort to make personal Christmas gifts, but I've extended my crafting to home decor and other things. I'll have to share some more of my projects later. What have you been making this year?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Celebrate every day

To make some new traditions and keep the spirit of Christmas alive in our home this year we challenged ourselves to do a family Christmas activity each day from Dec 1 - Dec 25. It could be a craft, service, Christmas movie, caroling . . . you get the idea. Some of the things we've already done were picking out a tree and decorating it, cutting out snow flakes, listening to my sister sing at the Mesa Temple, making sugar cookies (I used this recipe).
So far the challenge hasn't been finding things to do but doing it as a family. Andrew has been busy with school, but the semester ends on Tuesday and things will get easier. We are also very busy finishing up buying Christmas presents, preparing for our Christmas in England, and getting our home ready for my sister, Louise, and her family of three to move in while we're out of town. Lot's to do! On a side note, Louise just found out she's having a baby girl! She has a boy already so they're really excited! She's due a month or so after me. Challenge yourself to do something a little extra this year to make the season more happy, fun, or spiritual.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Andrew's 31!

Happy Birthday Andrew, the love of my life!
I know it sounds cliche' but I honestly can't imagine my life without him. We've been together for over 7 years and we've come a long way. Being married to him is a piece of heaven on earth. Andrew's birthday is exactly a week after me. He may be five years older than me but I love having our birthdays close together. It makes the holidays even more special to us. Have a good one sweetie!