Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Crafty Business

So with The Crazy Kukla Boutique not currently taking orders, I've had time to make some fun things.  

This is my new favorite gift to make for a child.
It's a doll size Mai Tai carrier.

Jack used it for a kitty and Mr. Mouse.
And I had to pay him TEN DOLLARS to get him to try it on and let me take pictures.
He's quite an entrepreneur. . . 

The carrier is so cute - seriously just like one that the mama wears.

Jack pretended he hated it, but I knew he liked it.  
There may or may not be one of these going into the playhouse.

Tonight I finished a shirt and tutu set for a friend's little girl for her birthday party.  
It's a Candy Land party!

And, um, I totally made Jack try this on too.  He and Paisley, the birthday girl, are the same size and I needed a fit model.  No photos of that little gem.  :)

Next up?

Finishing up a sweet baby set for someone, and then a really, really cute project for the playhouse.  I seriously have to restrain myself from doing that before the baby set.  

And I'll leave you with something disgusting.  Katie's foot.

I'm sure you're thrilled I've shared.  Her cast, which you can see a tiny bit of in this photo, is gortex lined.  That seems to be sucking all of the moisture out of her body.  And she rubs this foot on something all.day.long.  Like it is her job.  It is so ridiculously dry and cracked and lizard like.  I can only imagine what it looks like underneath her cast.  We've been putting cream on it, but tomorrow I'm busting out the big guns and going for the coconut oil.  I sort of feel like that fixes anything, so I'm going to give it a run for its money with that foot!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My First Quilt! And Some Extras....

Most of you know I like to sew.  I have an etsy shop and a FaceBook boutique, both of which I've temporarily "closed".  Katie requires so much more care than normal while she's in this cast.  While I do my sewing after everyone has gone to bed, between working full time, taking care of my family when I get home, projects around the house, grocery shopping, etc. and the extra attention Katie needs, by the time everyone has gone to bed I do not have the energy right now to sit down and start working on sewing orders.  Do I think it will be closed forever?  Probably not.  I love, love, love making things for other people.  Do I know when it will reopen?  No, I don't.  I'm sure I will lose customers, but that's OK.  I will get new ones.  I would absolutely love for sewing to be my full time job, but it's not so I will do it when I can.  Does a closed shop mean I'm not sewing?  Um, no.  I'm just doing it for us right now, which I have not done for a long time.

Katie has had the Ikea doll bed for about a year and a half.  It came with a "bedlinen" set, which was horrible.  It was a tiny little flat pillow and a flannel blanket.  Cozy, no?  I want to start quilting, but didn't want to jump right in to a huge quilt since I've never made one before.  I thought a doll quilt would be a perfect place to start.  I used the pearl flower doll quilt pattern from The Cloth Parcel, and I left off the pearl flower.  The pattern was SUPER easy to follow.  It's one page.  Without distractions, this could easily be completed, from cutting through sewing, binding, etc. in two hours.  

I used a mermaid fat quarter bundle I had from Joann (which also has seahorses and a cute octopus fabric), a pink fabric with tiny white polka dots, an aqua fabric with larger white polka dots, a solid turquoise, and a very faint blue and white chevron.  The backing is a light green with tiny turquoise diamonds.  I had all of these fabrics already, so my cost for this project was zero dollars.  My favorite.  

I made the quilt and put it on the bed, and it looked pitiful.  There was no pillow, no mattress, nothing.  Just a quilt on a wooden bed.  So next I sewed up a little pillow.  I didn't take a picture of just the pillow, but it's just a white cotton solid that's roughly 10 inches long by 6 inches wide.  I measured the inside of the bed rails (12 inches) and just eyeballed it from there.  Then I used some of the leftover fabric from the fat quarter pack to make the coordinating pillowcase.  I still didn't love it, so I wanted to make a mattress.

Thank you Pinterest, I found a great tutorial on making the mattress.  I was planning to just get some foam and cut it to size, but I love this so much more.  It was MUCH easier than I thought it would be when I started reading about a hand tufted doll mattress with box pleats.  For real - less than an hour to make it from start to finish.  And I had everything already (fabric, quilt batting, and polyfill stuffing that I took from a pillow that had a tear).  These are about $20-ish on etsy, and I made mine for free with materials I already had and about an hour of my time. 

I'm in love with this little set.  And with quilting.  I can't wait to make another!  We're putting bunk beds in the playhouse, and they will be smaller than a traditional bed.  I'm considering making the mattresses for them with this method, and making some custom sheets and quilts to fit them.  

Please ignore the spiderman pull-up, naked child,
and Spongebob duck tape on her cast!
Little Mama liked the blanket a lot too.  She saw it and immediately pointed to herself and said, "Yea!  KK!," and asked for a baby.  Jack, her happy servant, went upstairs to get her a baby, which she proceeded to snuggle, wrap up, sing to, pat on the back, and feed.  This is HUGE.  This child hates dolls.  Hates them.  She's terrified of them and would spank them and throw them out of the room.  Loving on one and playing with it in an appropriate way is a big step for my little mama, and I was so proud of her.  I keep showing her this picture and telling her what a good mama she was to her baby, and she gets very proud and smiles.  I love my girl.  

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Remember what the playhouse looked like before?  We've started making some changes!  

Chris tore down the little wall that was in there and opened the whole thing up.  Clearly Jack was excited. . . 

We searched locally everywhere we could think of for some small windows.  We found nothing.  Like, seriously NOTHING.  I was so disappointed.  Then Chris found these adorable little windows and shutters online at readyshed.com.  They were very reasonably priced (about $28.00 for each window and about $13.00 for each pair of shutters) so we ordered four windows and four sets of shutters.  I just ordered window boxes for the windows too, and I can't wait to get them.

The windows and shutters arrived Friday, and we had fabulous weather yesterday so got started putting them in.

Jack was very helpful with the tape measure.  We got him his own yesterday evening, because he loved to measure. . . 

The windows are up, so I painted some samples to test my color choices.  The exterior will be the darker square, and the door will be the center green square.  (The door will be the same color as Katie's room.  It's Martha Stewart Sea Glass, and I'm still obsessed with it.)  We will trim the windows out, hang the shutters, and put up the window boxes.

Inside we've got tons of work to do!  The door will be made smaller and a window will be hung to the side of it.  That will give us five windows total, and the door will be a dutch door.  The goal is, obviously, to have a lot of air flowing through.  We also ordered a solar exhaust fan to help with circulating the air.  

We're doing bead board paneling around the bottom of the whole house, with a thick baseboard and a chair rail.  We'll hang a thin plywood above the paneling, and paint it white.  The ceiling will stay open, and we're painting it white.  The floor will be white with the same sea glass paint striped on the floor.  The back left corner will have bunk beds.  Katie's birthday party this year will be a playhouse warming party, so it will have to be done before then!  

Surviving the Spica: Halfway There

Oh the spica cast. . . we're four weeks and five days into the spica cast.  I have to admit, it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would.  Please do not misinterpret that to read that it hasn't been hard.  It has been.  Very, very hard.  But not as bad as we were expecting.  And the things that have been hard have been things that I didn't think about.

The hardest part has been Katie's frustration.  Why is she frustrated?  Um, hello.  She can't move.  Her ability to tell us if something hurts, is itchy, she's hungry, she wet her diaper, etc. is limited.  She has a cast from chest to ankle.  There's only so much Spongebob one person can watch. . . pick a reason.  More than the frustration though, it's been the accompanying behavior that's been difficult.  You can take the girl out of the orphanage, but you can't take the orphanage out of the girl.  She's back to hitting herself (a lot), slapping herself, spitting, banging her head, and just closing her eyes and sucking on her tongue when she's upset and frustrated.  This is like 100 steps backward in the emotional health department, and I'm hoping will quickly resolve when the cast is removed.

We aren't, however, letting the cast keep us down!  Katie's been front and center at Jack's ball games, cheering on every.single.person who is up to bat, giving them a, "Go boy!" or a thumbs up, and some loud clapping and "Good job!"  

We went to our sweet friend Winnie's yard sale to tell her see you later as she got ready to move to Austin.  We will miss her and her fabulous family!

Last weekend we went to Gatlinburg for Henry's birthday.  It's about three and a half hours from our house, and Katie did great on the trip.  We stayed in a great cabin in the woods, and we loved every second of it.

Jack drew this picture.  He's been very protective of Katie.  The kids were at my parents' house and Katie was in her wheelchair on the deck.  My parents went into the yard and Jack said, "GIGI!  Katie MUST have adult supervision at all times!"  Today they were outside with my sister at our house, and it started to rain a little.  Jack quickly flipped the brakes on her chair up, wheeled her around and hauled it back to the house yelling, "Katie's cast cannot get wet!  Katie, you have to get inside!"  Apparently our crazy protection of the cast has rubbed off.  :)

Girlfriend loves a sponge bath on the counter.  We thought she would hate it, but she's really enjoyed it.  Her favorite part is when we're done and she gets to roll over and splash in the water in the sink.  She's the cutest little mermaid I've ever known.

She's out of school until next year.  She's receiving her therapies (PT, OT, and ST) at home, as well as three hours of educational instruction.  So far, so good.  We're starting with a speech app with her speech therapist to help her be able to better communicate.  She really likes it so far, and she's done well with it.  PT has really helped her to be more confident and less fearful in her cast.  And we're continuing to work with OT on strengthening her arms and hands, improving her grasp, and working on her writing.

She had her four week post-op visit to Dr. S. on Thursday.  He was very happy with her bone placement and hardware, so we've scheduled our cast removal.  WOOHOO!!!!!!  We're set for May 29th, and we.will.be.ready.  Her skin on her ankle and foot at the end of the cast is so dry.  Seriously like lizard skin.  I cannot imagine what it will be like under that cast.  I think we need to pack our swimsuits and stop at the pool on the way home from that appointment!

As hard as it's been, our girl has been such a trooper.  She's had, for the vast majority of the time, a fabulous attitude.  She's handled this experience SO much better than I would, and we're very proud of our girl!