Thursday, July 31, 2014

road trip

My husband, daughter and I just got back from an epic road trip through the Southeast. Not only did we visit/drive through a whopping FIVE states that I've never been to before (Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida), we saw lots of amazing things and places in the process. Truly memories we will have for a lifetime.

Our trip started with a drive to Birmingham, Alabama, where we visited the Barber Motorsports Museum (for my husband!). I'm not really too into motorcycles, but the museum itself was amazing with ramps, a glass elevator and hundreds of beautifully displayed motorcycles. Like an art museum for motorcycles, actually.

Next we drove on to Asheville, North Carolina for a few days. We spent the first morning at the Wheels Through Time Museum (also a motorcycle museum... see a pattern here??) in Maggie Valley, NC. This was a completely different experience as the bikes were mainly left in their original state and displayed in a much more casual way.

The next day was our anniversary and we spent it touring the Biltmore Estate, built by George Vanderbilt starting in 1889. The estate is massive, spanning over 8,000 acres, and the house itself is like a castle. I especially loved touring the servants' kitchens and quarters in the basement of the house. My daughter loved seeing the chickens and goats in the farmyard at Antler Hill Village on the estate. We tasted Biltmore Vanilla ice cream and walked through the expansive gardens. If you ever visit, plan to spend most of the day, because this place is huge!

That night we had an amazing southern-inspired anniversary meal at the Tupelo Honey Cafe. Delish. I had the special Rosemary Peach Lemonade - strange at first but interesting and tasty!

Then we drove on to Jekyll Island, Georgia to spend some time on the beach. I must say, I was looking forward to this part of the trip the most, and it didn't disappoint. The beaches were gorgeous and the island is rather remote and isolated so there are very few other people around - this was my favorite part and I really wanted to experience a beach in as natural and untouched a state as possible, but my husband thought it was maybe a little too isolated because there were very few food/shopping/attraction options on the island (and this from the man who hates crowds with a passion!).

Anyway, we walked the beaches many times looking for seashells. This might be my most favorite thing to do ever. In my next life I will live on a beach. Or maybe sometime in this life, if I'm lucky. Baby girl loved the beach too (except for one afternoon we went out when it was too hot - she wasn't ok with that) and loved feeling the sand and the water. Twice in the evenings she even fell asleep in the baby carrier on my back to the sound of the waves. It was so sweet to feel her nuzzle her face into my back.

We walked through the historic district, saw the ruins of a house from the 1700s, saw the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, visited the Jekyll Island Museum and learned the history of the island (site of the first transcontinental phone call and the first meeting of the Federal Reserve!). We visited the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and were lucky enough to see a rehabilitated loggerhead turtle released back into the ocean. 


On our final day, we took a short drive over to St. Simon's Island and climbed the 129 steps to the top of the lighthouse. It's definitely more work with a 28-pound child strapped to your back but the views were gorgeous!!

Finally, we had to say goodbye to the sand and head home. After a grueling 2-day drive, we arrived to a 103 F day, and a hot house. The air conditioner wasn't running and it wouldn't turn on either. How's that for a warm welcome?  Luckily, the AC has been fixed and we are settling back into our home routine. As always, it feels good to be home and sleep in our own beds, but it's a bit sad to think that the vacation we have planned for and looked forward to for so long is over. It's always a little bittersweet.

Have you planned or taken any trips this summer? Where to? Or where do you wish you could go?

Friday, July 11, 2014

the best of times

I've been a little scarce around these parts lately, but that's because I've been on the most wonderful vacation. I just got back from spending two glorious weeks with my amazing family in the Midwest. Spending time with my parents, my sisters and even friends and extended family that I haven't seen in years was just what the doctor ordered. 

Other highlights included playing in the pool, swinging at the park, attending a family wedding, visiting a farm, playing with awesome "vintage" toys, and spending lots and lots of time with the people who mean the most to us. Thank you so much, Mom and Dad, for making this trip so perfect! We love you!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

easy infinity scarf

I found a pretty piece of knit jersey fabric in the remnant bin at JoAnn a few weeks ago and just had to have it! When I got home and looked at it more closely, I realized that it was a bit too see-through to make a top for my daughter - which is what I had originally been planning.

easy infinity scarf by dandelions and lace

So I thought about it for a little while and decided that it would make a perfect scarf. An infinity scarf! And the fabric is super lightweight - so perfect for summer.

easy infinity scarf by dandelions and lace

This was simple to make and took me less than half an hour to whip up. There are lots of tutorials online, but I based my scarf on the tutorials here and here. Basically, you are sewing the fabric into a tube and then sewing the ends of the tube together to make a loop. Easy peasy.

easy infinity scarf by dandelions and lace

I've decided to give this to my sister along with then Snappy Mani Pouch I shared last week. She's a scarf wearer (I'm really not, though sometimes I consider it!), so I'm hoping it will get lots of use! :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

snappy mani pouch

I sewed up a Snappy Mani Pouch - also known as a Snappy Manicure Wallet - for my sister's upcoming birthday. The free pattern is by Noodlehead on the Robert Kaufmann website.

snappy mani pouch by noodlehead, sewed by dandelions and lace

It's a cute fold-up wallet that can hold your nail polish and other nail accessories for a manicure on the go!

snappy mani pouch by noodlehead, sewed by dandelions and lace

The pattern was easy to follow and easy to sew. I'm happy for the most part with how it turned out... but really hoping my sister will like the crazy color scheme. All the fabrics were from my stash, so I was just trying to work with what I have.

snappy mani pouch by noodlehead, sewed by dandelions and lace

The only change I would make for the next time is when adding the top snap pieces, I would put nail polish in the pockets and fill up the pouch to get a better idea of correct snap placement. I added the top snap pieces where I thought they looked correct, and it turns out the that pouch gets a little tight when it is full. I should have put the snaps a bit higher but didn't realize it until it was too late.

snappy mani pouch by noodlehead, sewed by dandelions and lace

I definitely plan to make another one of these for myself - and you should too, remember the pattern is free! :)

snappy mani pouch by noodlehead, sewed by dandelions and lace

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

grey and gold nessie top

I'm back with another Nessie Top for my girlie. (Remember I made my first Nessie Top for Kid's Clothes Week back in January?)

nessie top by CINO, sewed by dandelions and lace

The Nessie Top is a pattern by Jess at Craftiness is Not Optional and I just love it for its simple-to-make, breezy-to-wear, comfy-fitting goodness. Oh, and she's wearing the puppet show shorts I shared last week - double handmade clothing win!

nessie top by CINO, sewed by dandelions and lace

This time I made the shirt with short sleeves (duh - Texas summer!) and upped the sizing to 18-24 months for my ever-growing child. I used the same grey and gold jersey striped knit that I used for my flop of a Plantain t-shirt a few weeks back. I'm giving the Plantain shirt to one of my sisters and she requested a matching shirt for my daughter so that the two of them could be twinsies in their matching handmade fabulousness. Photos coming soon!

Not much else to say except that this shirt goes together so quickly. Seriously, make a whole bunch. You won't regret it. 

nessie top by CINO, sewed by dandelions and lace

In other news... why has no one ever warned me about the trials and tribulations of squirmy toddler diaper changes? O.M.G. The amount of kid wrangling here lately is ridiculous, and Mommy usually loses. Not so bad with the wet diapers, but the others... ugh.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

more puppet show shorts

Surprise! I sewed a couple more pairs of Oliver + S Puppet Show Shorts for my daughter! I love the pattern and she has already been growing out of the 18-24 month pairs that I made her. Of course, I had to buy the pattern again since it is split into two size groups... this set goes from size 2T-5, so hopefully it will last a bit longer than the other did! 

oliver + s puppet show shorts 

I decided to be boring and make a denim pair and a navy blue pair. The denim I had in my stash from a couple of other projects, and the navy blue is a bottomweight fabric from the remnant bin at JoAnn that seemed perfect for shorts. It took everything in me to not add fancy trim and pretty colors, but I really wanted to make some shorts that could match just about anything. I might have to make her a light colored pair too! 

 oliver + s puppet show shorts 

The nice thing about these colors, though, was that I was able to sew them assembly-line style by using the same color thread for both. This really made them so quick to sew - even though I sewed two pairs, it definitely did not take twice as long. I am going to keep that in mind in the future when I make multiples of things. 

oliver + s puppet show shorts 

oliver + s puppet show shorts 

Another fun thing is that I am debuting my new tags! Well, they're not that fancy, but I kind of like them. Actually, I picked up a personalized fabric stamp from the Pick Your Plum daily deal website, stamped a piece of ribbon and then just sewed it on! Makes everything feel a little more official. I do plan to order some nicer tags someday, but until I decide what I want them to say these will work just fine. 

cool new tags!

I have a busy summer planned, but I'm going to do my best to keep posting at least weekly. I've finished some other fun projects that I will be sharing with you soon!