Wednesday, March 11, 2015

DIY Painted Washcloths

You can't go further than two feet into the baby section of the internet without hearing how amazingly must-have the aden & anais swaddle blankets are.  I'm not one to argue - breathable, soft, stretchy fabric sounds lovely.  I'll probably register for some, but in the meantime, I wondered whether there were any DIY substitutes in the fabric world.

The internet said that Joann's cotton gauze fabric was pretty close, so I bought some with a coupon to try it out.  I started small (a ~9 inch square) since I didn't want to waste fabric if the painting wasn't working.
First I tried a rubber stamp method.  A quick brush of fabric paint on my stamp, pressed over and over onto the fabric.

(My picture quality is a little whack still - getting used to crafting in my garage now that we moved everything out of the now nursery room..)

Anyway, the stamp isn't too bad.  Not very crisp, but it has that homemade flair? Even the stamp is homemade! Haha. It's a green rupee from Zelda.

For painting attempt #2, I tried a paper cut stencil with a paint "pouncer".  Basically a foam brush you dab up and down to fill in the stencil. (Make sure you tape down the stencil so it doesn't wiggle around.)

Again, not too bad.  This one is the water bending symbol from Avatar.  It's quick, but don't expect screenprint quality in term of even paint and crisp designs.

Once the designs are dry, iron them from the backside of the fabric to set the paint (so it doesn't run when washed).  It'd be kinda lame if your washcloth was constantly running paint everywhere. :P

I added another plain piece of gauze on top and put right sides together, sewed it up and turned it right side out.  Iron it flat and add a top stitch to finish it off.
For the final test, I washed both clothes in the next towel laundry load, to see if they colors would bleed. No bleeding, and now they are nice and soft and ready to go for baby baths. Or something. Haha.

Now time to tackle a full sized swaddle blanket.  Maybe I'll just paint the border though? A 45" square of fabric is...quite a bit of painting...:P

Monday, March 9, 2015

Gender Reveal

Although we had planned to find out baby potsticker's gender, I was surprised how much of an impact the news actually had on me.  Being able to use a pronoun other than "it" really makes the whole thing seem a lot more real.  There's a human in there, not some alien lifeform! Or so we continue to hope. Haha.

Anyway, if you look up gender reveal ideas on the internet, there's only a million billion things that one could do.  I had to try a couple, cause how often does one get to do such things?  :P 

First, for Sak's overseas family, I made some reveal cards. What's your guess?

The sticker is peel-able!  Here's what they look like Daiso.

Did you guess? Here's the peeled card!

Haha! You had a 50/50 chance more or less. :)

I didn't really have a preference either way, but I was very excited just to know! Now we can begin seriously thinking of names. So difficult :P

Anyway, for my family I also made some gender cupcakes! (Mostly because I wanted to eat cake at the time =_=)
They were having a 40% all bakeware sale at Michaels, so I loaded up on food coloring and a tool claiming to make two toned cupcakes.
I made a batch of vanilla bean cake mix from trader joes, and dyed a section of it blue with food coloring gel.

I used bags to "pipe" the mixture into the foil cupcake liners.
Not too bad?
But after baking the whole thing mixed together. Fail!!
Well. whatever.  Maybe my cake batter was too runny or something?  Luckily I used foil wrappers.  Topping the cupcake with a good layer of buttercream icing should hide the blue (more of a green now?). 
And now, the fun part! Food coloring spray paint!  I don't bake often, so this was something completely new to me.

Yummy and pretty!

Anyway, as surreal as it sounds, we'll be having a son.  I wonder if he will be nerdy like us.  If he'll be into sports and the outdoors like his grandfathers and uncles.  If he'll love bargain hunting and photography like his paw paw.  If he'll like puzzles and be good at finances like his baachan.  Or if he'll be very theatrical like his aunt! 

Though most probably he'll be completely his own person, and introduce us all to new things. That should be exciting!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

1st Trimester Recap

I have killed the rabbit, so to speak, and I do want to talk about it a little.  So here's a recap of the first trimester:

This pregnancy has started somewhat typically - married couple goes on a big vacation (the last hurrah), then a lot of silence in the following months (what have we done?!).  Even though it was sorta planned, I was still quite surprised when my expired Chinese pregnancy tests came back positive - I just assumed it would take a while. But then, looking at the number of children, and (perhaps more importantly) the number of surprise-children in my family -  I should have assumed differently.

Chinese pregnancy tests are a good deal, as you can see.  I think I got these ten for a dollar something.

Going into TMI territory for a moment - on Thanksgiving I had a crazy unexplained blood gush while playing smash brothers on our new wii u, so I ended up telling my Mom that night since I was quite shocked and convinced that it was all over.  But it stopped as soon as it started, and weeks later at my first appointment there was, in fact, still a baby in there.  Just a head and a butt, really.
But I think it's a cute butt. Of course.

Around this time I was also offered the job position I interviewed for several months ago.  I took it after disclosing that I'd probably be taking off sometime in the summer, and the new boss was very understanding. I liked what he said - "If you're the right person to hire now, you'd still be the right person to hire a year from now" (Paraphrased).  I haven't worked out all the details yet, but I'll probably plan on taking the max time off (6 months) and then head back to work.

So I started that new job this week, actually, and I didn't have to move my physical location, which is nice.  Plus, we'll need the salary raise with this new savings-sucker coming along.

We announced to our immediate families the weekend before Christmas, Sak's family via Skype and mine through embroidered santa hats my mom had made with "grandpa", "aunt", etc. written on them.  My sister thought that the cat was pregnant at first. :P  Not sure how that works since our cat is..male. :P

At Christmas we told the rest of the family - my mom had come up with clever ways to tell my grandmothers - my favorite and most creepy was a baby shoe sewing pattern she photoshopped my head onto.  My head on the mom, and my head (from a baby picture) on the baby.  It was weird.  If I get the picture from her I'll post it.

I only really threw up once, but had pretty constant nausea/reflux/heartburn throughout the day, from weeks 7 to 15.  The nausea seems to have let up (hopefully for good) the past few days, leaving just the reflux, which is a lot better.  As for Sak, he was sick too, and actually threw up twice.  I'm still not sure if he was really sick, or just anxiety sick like he was when we first started dating. :P

Our 12 week scan was amazing. Baby potsticker (it's name for now) was flipping around like a sea monkey, and waving it's arms around in protest of the ultrasound wand.  The clinic gave us lots of pictures on a CD too, which is always a bad idea when the future mother has photoshop.
pot belleh!

baby is totally saluting here.
easier to see this way yeah? Ironman baby :3

So that's where we ended of the first trimester.  We'll find out potsticker's gender later this month at the anatomy scan, and hopefully I'll get to feel it move soon?  I have grand plans and project ideas for the second trimester, but am still working on moving my craft room down to the garage to make space for baby.  It's like a tornado of craft supplies and random action figures.  So much work.

I think our nursery theme will be anime animals, like totoro and luna and pii-chan and any other mascot or cute character.  Since that'll probably end up being pretty hodge podge, I'll probably have to find a basic fabric print to tie the room together.  Or something.  I still haven't even made curtains for the house we've lived in for the past four years, so I'm not too confident in my domestic sewing skills.

Actually, it kinda weirds me out that we spent more time planning for our wedding than we have for a kid.  A kid is arguably more important, and things we mess up now could possibly affect potsticker for life! Whee! :P  I guess we'll have to do what every other new parent does and learn as we go along.  And pray.  A lot of praying.