Monday, October 31, 2011


Happy Halloween!  In honor of Halloween I thought I would share my little DIY costume I made for Eli.  It all started when Stacey sent me this chicken costume from Etsy.  I thought it was absolutely adorable BUT for $75 there was NO way I was going to be buying it.  That is when I started to do my research on how to make my own and came across this Martha Stewart chicken costume plan.  I decided to use the basics from this plan and run with it.  I knew, however, that I would have to adapt since the costume was meant for toddlers and older.  The first thing I did was gather my supplies from Hobby Lobby.

2 feather boas, 1 long sleeve 3/6 month onsie, 1 short sleeve 12 month onsie, and 2 pieces of red felt. (Not pictured: white baby cap, white leggings and 2 pieces of yellow felt.)
I began by following Martha Stewart's design and placed the long sleeve onsie inside the short sleeved onsie and stitched the 2 together at the neck and legs leaving a small hole to stuff with batting.  I decided that instead of using batting which would be an extra cost I would stuff with grocery sacks which I had an abundance of if you remember this post.

The stitch job was nothing special aka really crappy and took me about 30 minutes.  After stitching the two pieces together I hot glued one feather boa on to the front by going back and forth across the onsie and then did the same thing for the back.  About this time I was feeling pretty proud of myself and my feathered piece.  That was until I tried it on Eli...the feathers were so dense and the onsie was so tight I thought he was going to asphyxiate on feathers trying to get it over his head.  Major fail...all I could think of was a headline that read "Homemade costume goes bad for Halloween".  I was just about to throw in the towel for the chick costume when I decided to give it another go.  This time I was not going to stitch the smaller onsie to the larger one.  This would give me much more stretching room to get it over his head and away from his face as I put it on.  

I pulled off the feather boas that I had previously hot glued to the stitched onsie and started over with the 12 month onsie (good thing the onsies came in packs of three!!).  I also decided that it would be easier to cut the feather boas into about 18 inch strips and hot gluing them piece by piece.  

I was on a roll, piece by piece I hot glued the chicken feathers in place but as the feathers became more and more dense it became difficult to see where I had placed the glue spot on the onsie when pressing the feather boa down.  So difficult that I actually missed the glue spot with the feather boa one time and got my finger instead.  A battle wound from the hot glue....

After crying over my burn and smothering it in Neosporin I went back to work, this time on the hat.  Using my red felt, I folded it in half and cut a wavy pattern on the fold giving me two exact same pieces.  I then hot glued the top of these together and stuffed each of the waves with little scrap felt to give it dimension and then hot glued it to the white baby cap.  

At this point I was thinking that I was finished.  I wanted to figure out something for his legs but my thoughts were to just find some yellow tights.

Eli was excited about his costume
Unfortunately, yellow tights could not be found at any local stores around me.  I headed back to Hobby Lobby and picked up a white pair of leggings, yellow dye, and some yellow felt to make the chicken feet.  I read the directions for the yellow dye but it stated to soak the fabric for 45 minutes...after about 10 minutes the leggings looked pretty dark so I took them out and washed them as directions indicated...I guess I got lucky because they came out the exact color of the yellow felt I had purchased.

All that was left to do was the feet.  I wasn't exactly sure how I would make his feet so I just started brainstorming and ended up folding the piece of felt just as I had with the red topper on his hat.  I drew out two little 3 toed chicken feet and cut them out giving me 4 separate chicken feet pieces.  I hot glued around the edges leaving the top for his feet to be inserted.  On the top piece of each foot I cut a slot so his foot could sit in it like a shoe and attached 2 pieces of velcro to fasten around his ankle.  I was in Atlanta when I finished this part and did not have my little red camera handy to snap some in between I am sorry if that part was confusing...hopefully you can kind of get the idea by looking at the finished product.  

I am pretty sure it wouldn't matter what costume I put on him, but I have to say he is the cutest little chicken I ever did see! ;-)

If you click on the picture to zoom in you can see the strap around his foot.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Puppy Love

It is FRIDAY!!!  Things have been busy busy in the Harper house.  Besides the little pink eye episode with Mark and Eli on Monday it has been a smooth sailing week!  Mark has been sick with a cold the last few days and woke up on Sunday with full blown pink eye in both eyes.  We had kept the baby away from him for the past week but when I picked him up from daycare on Monday it was apparent that the pink eye had got him in his right eye.

Yep, it was pretty nasty...but in about 24 hours he was back to looking like this:

By the way, I think I disinfected the entire house with Lysol about a trillion times!  Now that everyone is back to completely healthy things have been pretty routine.

Two nights ago, I had Eli on my lap while I surfed Pinterest (I know, I know...this is like my 5 millionth mention of Pinterest on this blog ;-))  It was Eli's wind down time before bed and he usually sits on my lap and plays with his blanket until he gets tired.  When I looked down at Eli this time he was petting Toby who was laying on the couch next to me.  It was so funny that I yelled for Mark to come in and watch and he captured this little video.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sew What

Well it has been awhile since I posted, but to be fair I forewarned in my last post that my trips to Atlanta put me a week behind.  We are home this weekend but will be taking another trip to Atlanta next weekend.  My grandma Taylor will be in town and we can't deny Eli from sweet great grandma snuggles. :-)

As for what I have been up to this past week...well I did what I thought was the unthinkable.  I brought home my mom's sewing machine.  My mom has tried to prepare me for sewing on a couple of occasions.  At one point I took a sewing class at the local fabric store and even made a pajama shirt.  That was about 15 years ago though and the only thing I remember from it was that when you start to sew, you go back and forth a couple of times to keep it from unwinding. 

I think one of my main reasons for never attempting to sew was the fact that my mother was so good at it that I thought I would never be able to fill her shoes.  It was also much easier to just simply ask her to do any sewing projects that came up.  I knew that not only would I not have to do it but it would be done flawlessly.  And although I am sure I will never be the sewing master like my mother, I realize that I unfortunately can't keep my mother at my beck and call for all my cute sewing projects I find on Pinterest. 

So this past weekend I got the guts to pack up my mother's sewing machine and bring it back to Warner Robins.  In less than 24 hours I had her out and threaded ready for my first sewing project. 

There she blows!
 I had found this bapron (baby apron) on Pinterest and was dying to see if I could do it.  I was pretty sure that since this would be my first sewing project attempted on my own that it would be a complete disaster no matter how easy the tutorial stated it was.  I was actually so convinced that it was not going to turn out that I didn't even dare take pictures in the middle of the project.  I didn't want any evidence of my "sure to be failure".  I also wasn't able to take pictures because once I started I didn't want to stop between each step and snap a photo.  I followed the steps on the tutorial exactly and although not perfect, was able to create this in two short nights.

 I used the left over fabric I had from the bedding Eli has in his room and carefully put this together.  This is far from perfect and I learned a lot from my mistakes as I went along.  I am super stoked that this actually came out well and may have worked up enough confidence to give sewing more of a chance around here.  I am pretty sure that I will have no problem making a rag quilt out of Eli's weekly photo fabrics that I have been planning once he has made it though the 52 weeks of his first year of life.  Eli aslo seems to really like his bapron. 

 He also says it tastes good...

I am planning on making him some more baprons out of more boyish fabric but haven't had a chance to do it yet.  This will make an easy DIY baby shower gift as well! 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Trip Home

So I have been awful with the blog over the past week...we made a trip to Atlanta last weekend and this weekend and that always puts me behind in everything for at least a week.  I will say though, I have been documenting things I want to post about...just haven't got to putting everything together yet.

So here is a visual documentary of part of our trip last weekend.  We got to watch Chase play in 2 baseball games.  He is really growing up and becoming very passionate about his baseball....who would have guessed that? haha

Even Eli enjoyed the game.  It was a little chilly so he was bundled up!

 All of that baseball tired out Grandma and Eli...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

No Hoarding Here

Have you ever watched the show Hoarding: Buried Alive on TLC?  Mark is grossly obsessed with watching this show.  It draws him to watch it in a "so disgusted you can't keep your eyes off" kind of way.  Episode after episode he watches and at the end he states every time "I will never let you be a hoarder...".  We are actually FAR from being hoarders but this terrifies Mark so much that it gives him anxieties to think about "stuff" accumulating at the house.  If you really want to prank Mark you should tell him that I told you it was ok to store all of your belongings in our attic for awhile.  That absolutely drives him crazy!  :-)

He has been troubled for awhile now that the attic was accumulating things and was an absolute disaster, but it was MUCH too hot to even discuss going up to organize it.  Luckily, with October came a much needed break from the heat.  With the high for the weekend in the 70's, going up in the attic wasn't actually a death sentence.  So Mark and I planned this past weekend to do a complete organization of the house.  We went through the things in the attic, the guest closet, and under the sink.  We have been very fortunate to receive some hand-me-down boys clothes and toys from friends and family (some of which were originally passed down from Chase!! ha), but all of these things were thrown in boxes and bags and desperately needed to be sorted through.

In order to get started, our first trip was to Lowe's where we picked out what type of storage containers we wanted to purchase.  There were several options from cheap recycled plastic to expensive storage containers with wheels.  In the end we settled somewhere in between.  We wanted lids that would actually latch because nothing is worse than packing up a box and picking it up only to have the lid pop up and storage container dumping all over the floor.  After some deliberation we settled on a storage container by Hefty.  The two biggest draws to this container were the easy secure latch lids and the clear containers.  Although we were labeling all the containers it is much easier to be able to see exactly what it contains at first glance (especially if you are trying to get to something in the middle of the summer and it is stored in the attic, time is of the essence!) 

The first project we tackled was the guest closet.  We use this closet as a sort of catch all from the rest of the house.  We have blankets, pillows, Halloween costumes, several comforters, Mark's dress clothes, pictures frames and who else knows what packed into this small closet.

Unsure of exactly where to start, I began taking out items one by one starting with Halloween costumes.  I love dressing up and going to Halloween parties/ festivals so we have quite the little collection of costumes from the past several years.  Taking each one out brings me down memory lane…
Halloween 2008

Halloween 2006
After carefully removing all the Halloween costumes I took inventory of everything we had and then folded them into one of the Hefty containers we purchased.  I also threw in our Graduation caps and gowns since they may make great costumes in the future…maybe a judge or something?  Another advantage to the clear containers is that I was able to label the container and its contents from the inside to prevent the label from falling off or permanently writing on the container.  In the end I had an organized container of Halloween costumes and a nice size dent in the closet.   I also went through all the blankets and comforters we had collected in just the past 3 years (I may have a slight compulsion with changing our bedding if you note the picture of the closet above ;-)).  In the end 3 different comforters were donated to Goodwill and by this time I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The only thing left was the small amount of craft supplies I had left over from decorating Eli’s nursery.  I had several rolls of ribbon, tape and clothespins that I didn’t want to fill up a desk drawer so I took this image I had found on Pinterest and came up with an easy organization method to hang in the closet.

With the removal of 3 comforters and all the Halloween costumes,there was tons of room in the bottom of the closet, so the workout equipment that had been holding a permanent spot in our living room for the past year finally found a home tucked away behind a closet door still easily accessible.

And there she blows…the finished closet.  You will notice Mark’s dress clothes are still stored in this closet.  This is because fur ball #1, Saydee, loves to climb up our clothes in our master closet in order to sleep in the top of the closet as shown here.  This was leaving Mark’s nice dress clothes with lots of little claw snags…so keeping them in this closet where the door is shut all the time is a much better  option.

With the closet finished, we turned to the attic.  We both dreaded what we would find up there since throughout the summer we had been throwing boxes up as fast as possible to prevent dying from heat exhaustion.  Mark took the venture to the attic and snapped some before pictures.  Behold the chaos…

Disaster right?  We have boxes of toys, twin bed mattress and box springs, boxes of college notebooks, softball coaching items, etc. strewn everywhere.  This was pretty much Mark’s baby…but I did climb up to the attic and sort through 3 containers of college notebooks, all of which I decided to toss.  I had been keeping them for over 3 years only because so much hard work had been put into those binders and I didn’t have the heart to throw them out yet.  That was until now…I realized I would never look at those notebooks again and there was no reason just keeping them around to collect dust, so out they went.  So Mark went to town organizing the attic into section and throwing out things he felt we didn’t need any more.  While he muscled out moving things around in the attic…I began to go through the hand-me-down clothes Eli had been given.

One by one I went through all of the clothes and sorted into piles by size.  Most of the clothes he received were actually pants from 12 months to 2T.  I sorted the pants and placed them inside another one of our clear Hefty containers.

And believe it or not, I actually had to start storing clothes that Eli has already outgrown…it is hard to believe that he has actually been here long enough to outgrow clothes!  I wasn’t quite able to fill an entire container with his outgrown clothes so I decided to keep this container in his room to finish filling as he outgrows some more of his little outfits.

 Mark had accumulated an entire truck load of items that either had to be thrown away or donated to Good Will so he was off to de-hoarding us while I stayed at home cleaning a very special walker Eli had received.  This car walker was actually Chase’s when he was Eli’s age and had been given to a family friend for her boys.  She returned the favor and gave it back to us for Eli.  It was in need of a lot of TLC but with about an hour of scrubbing it was in pretty good shape.

By the time Mark returned Eli was ready to try out his new toy.  This weekend he seems to have discovered he can yell and spent most of the weekend yelling like Tarzan.  It has been very funny to hear all the sounds he is now making.  This is just a tidbit of what we got to listen to all weekend while we busted our butts organizing and cleaning.

My last project I tackled while Mark continued going through the attic madness was the kitchen sink.  Another Pinterest find sparked this project for an under the sink makeover.  This is what our sink looked like before I tackled the project.

And this is the amount of grocery sacks that were actually squished under there.

 One of the fortunate finds of the day was the tension rod found in the attic.  I recycled this tension rod under the sink and with a little reorganization and encouragement from Eli, I was able to accomplish this:

Eli cheering me on
By the time all of my inside projects were complete, Mark had finished cleaning up the attic.  There are still a few things we want to do like purchasing shelves to put in the attic for all of our paint and such, but we will get around to that later.  Here is the finished attic pictures:

Whew, so that is how we spent our first weekend in October.  What about you, have you ever done a major organization/ clean up?  Does anyone else have a fear of hoarding like Mark or does anyone dare to admit they have a little hoarding habit?  We would love to hear your stories or better yet any organization advise!!!