Tuesday, August 25, 2015

8.5 Months

Here we are at the stage where we want her to slow down a bit, so we can digest it. Coralie's almost 9 months already! My husband keeps saying she looks different to her every day. She's more mobile now and we get more feedback in the smiles department too! Teething has been hard, but we are now proudly displaying 2 bottom front teeth and the top 2 are coming through now. She's pretty shy in person. Whenever we go out, people approach us to first comment about her hair and then say how serious she looks! Last week someone said, "she's the silent, but strong type then." That was a new one. Here are some pictures; you'll see what I mean. These first 2 are her normal reactions to almost everything:

This is her 8 month picture with 8 friends out on the lawn. 
Taken at her grandparents' place in Brooklyn 2 weeks ago for her grandpa's 80th birthday. 

This one is from this past weekend. She loves swings!

I haven't played with paper in a long while. :T I'd really like to, but can never find a good chunk of time to do so. She's had skin rashes from the age of 2 months, so recently I started making my own body products for her to use whenever I can. It is starting to clear up, but we know she has a mild cat allergy. She had a reaction last week when Butters, the tuxedo cat, drooled on her. The cats only recently started to warm up to her and now they can't get enough which is making it tough for me to keep the skin contact to a minimum.

I also just started to meet with other moms in the Hartford, CT area. We moved here in January, so it has been a while. It's too bad the summer is ending because I think it has been really good for both mommy and baby to be around others.

Well, this is all I have time for at the moment. She's stirring from her nap now. I miss everyone on here! Hope you're all faring well. :)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Baby Update :)

Hi everyone, I'm sorry it has taken me so long to update. It has been one challenging period. Caring for a newborn and recovering is quite an undertaking! She was also very colicky all the way up until 3 months. Breastfeeding and bonding wasn't as easy breezy as I had once imagined. Now we have some eczema issues where I find myself watching her like a hawk, so she won't scratch! Everyone tells you, but you never truly realize the reality of it until it hits you in the face! It was a huge transitioning period for both baby and ourselves. On top of that, we moved to another state, Connecticut, a month after her birth and in the middle of winter! It was far from desirable as far as postpartum recovering goes.

We named her Coralie and she was born on 12/7/14 after 33 hours of laboring at home! I almost didn't make it to the hospital in time! Ha! Imagine that...

The home is still a mess as I find myself struggling to find a good moment to clean. When she's awake, my time is with her and when she's not she wakes up to the slightest noise. I'd rather not stir her since it takes an hr of rocking for her to fall asleep sometimes. I know it's bad to tiptoe around her, but I'm just too exhausted sometimes to want to deal with the consequences.

She's already 4 months. It's crazy how she has changed from birth. The first pic is day 2 and the second pic is from 2 weeks ago:

Yes...she was born with a full head of hair! She gets that from me. :D Aside from the eyes and eyebrows, she doesn't really share any of my features.

I've made a couple of cards since her birth, but really there isn't time to post things and each one takes forever to make. We travel a lot to visit family and friends (not exactly fun with a newborn) as our parents are pretty up there in age and cannot really travel. This basically sums up the last 5 months. :) Hopefully you're all faring well. I hope to get back into things in the near future. We will see!

Miss you guys out there! Enjoy the last day of April!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

You're Sweet Shaker Card Die Cut for Baby Shower Thank You

We are getting pounded with a lovely snowstorm right before thanksgiving. Up until now, we've been getting freezing rain and light dustings of snow. We're expecting about a foot of snow. I took my pregnant behind outside and carved out a path in the driveway hoping that the delivery men and Dimma won't get stuck later. Unfortunately, it is covered again. Boo...

Many of the people who are traveling for the holiday are already out of the area. We haven't planned anything, so we will just have a relaxing day at home...I hope. :) I am looking forward to dinner tonight though. For the last month or so I've been steaming and boiling all of my food and seasoning with just plain salt. Today, I will be cheating and making some tacos with ground turkey. Hopefully my body will cooperate or I will pay for it later. :D

Below, are the cards I have sent out to thank everyone who sent gifts and/or attended the baby shower back in Oct. I believe it was 14 cards in all. 

I drew inspiration from this card. "You're" was cut out, backed with acetate, and framed from behind with foam tape to create a compartment filled with glitter and sequins. "Sweet" was printed out using my photo printer. The embossed daisies were created using a Darice plate and the Cuttlebug. I topped off the petals with puffed glitter to create a sparkle to them. 

Wishing everyone a safe and happy thanksgiving!

Entered in:
-Inspiration Destination No. 9  Anything Goes
-The Crafter's Cafe #92 Thank You Card

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Personalized Alternative Wedding Guestbook Heart Petals with Stringed Names

This was what I made for guests to sign at my wedding back in April. It's an alternative to the traditional guestbook that I saw on Etsy. I decided to use the idea and make it personalized because I was on a budget. Also, I felt strongly about making something that I can then display as art rather than keeping a book that would probably go into storage sooner rather than later. Boy, was it a lot of work, but I was quite satisfied with the end result. The only thing I would omit are the smaller petals. It was hard to sign on because it was so tiny. I would also use stronger glue or not do a double layer of petals for some of the larger ones. I thought I would be able to get away with it by creating more writing space, but it turns out some of them started popping off because the spine didn't adhere well enough to withstand the wear and tear of people flipping through it.

My personalized touch is adding the stringed writing of our names with gold thread. This part was one of the most time consuming and took a lot of concentration. I don't know if I'd do that again anytime soon, but it did make it more special.

 I liked the coral/peachy tones coupled with gold, so I went with that. Gold is a favored color by Chinese culture, but unfortunately it wasn't enough to make my dad happy about not following tradition. Normally, we would put out a red handkerchief and have people sign that. I felt that it was tacky and what would I do with this napkin afterwards anyway?
This is what the poster looked like after everyone came through. I thought it would be fun to let it be colorful by leaving out pretty colored markers, but I believe permanent markers would've done a better job.

Sweet dreams,

Friday, November 21, 2014

Quilled Hearts and Tulip Fridge Magnet

I miss crafting a lot, but there just isn't much time anymore. I am having a great time looking back at these pictures though. Something about what these hands created that sometimes surprises me. We are a very talented bunch aren't we fellow crafty bloggers? :) 

Everyone tells me that it is absolutely normal to not feel ready for the baby. I think that part is the nerve wrecking part for me because I like to map out all scenarios beforehand usually. This is totally out of my hands though...at least I care, I know this much. I've never read so many books and general prep literature in such a short period of time post-college. lol I think for me 90% of the comfort comes from feeling mentally prepared and so the physical prep for the baby suffers greatly. I am only half packed for the hospital--shame on me. We have no nursery because we might be moving AGAIN. It's almost funny at this point how often we move. Anyway, I've been planning to load music into my phone to listen to in case I'm in the mood, but have still not done that either. I've been a mad lady doing laundry almost daily to keep things up as much as possible beforehand. 

I am already feeling bad for our cats. They're more needy than ever. I'm not sure if it's my hormones or they hear the baby, but all they do is snuggle next to me and cry if I move. They follow me into the bathroom and keep crying if I disappear behind the curtains to shower. I think I might have feline body guards. Many things will change and my dad isn't too happy to have cats near a newborn, so he will be more mean to them when he's around too--I'm guessing it'll be quite often. I've already seen it happen and the baby isn't here yet. I doubt I will have all of this energy to lecture my dad continuously later. I will have my hands full and can't physically be their FT cat mommy anymore. I hope they too will find a new normal eventually. 

My generation is very connected to people on social media and messaging. I've been staying away from that to train myself to prioritize tasks. I actually feel good being disconnected. My mind is more at ease and I have a lot more time to take care of other things; focus on myself. I didn't grow up with all of this technology right away, so maybe this is why I can do it without feeling withdrawal symptoms. I know I will be a better parent because of it too. Freely expressing myself to no one in particular on here also feels good because it feels more like journal writing from younger days. At least there's no commitment to chatting when I don't have time through this method. Feedback or no feedback, my voice will always be put out there and I don't necessarily have to delve into other people's drama when I can't put 100% of myself into it. Win-win for me. hehe 

Let me finish off this post by putting up more magnets...specifically, more blue magnets. Hearts and tulips <3

Wishing you a joyful weekend! :)

Quilled Owl Magnet

Feeling slightly better today, so I'm sorting through more craft projects to post. :D It's already snowed here a few times. I can't believe the cold is here already. The only thing I can wish for is that it won't be icy outside when it's time for me to head to the hospital. ;) 22 days 'til due date!

This is another quilled magnet that I gave away as a baby shower favor. It's an owl and originally I thought we were going for an owl theme for the party, but it never happened.
Stay warm my friends!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Quilled White/Peach Flowers Scrolls for Jenny (Welcome Baby Card)

My long time friend that I've known since 6th grade, Jenny, is expecting her 2nd child and is due just a week before me! She kept it low key throughout, so she didn't have a baby sprinkle or anything. I still wanted to give her something, so I got her a gift card and made her a card. We live so far away now, that I'm a bit sad that I can't visit her in the hospital afterwards. I'm wishing her a smooth delivery and recovery from afar! ;)
The pictures aren't so great because we lost our flash equipment during the baby shower. I apologize for the grainy images. 
Happy Thursday!

Entered in:
-Inspiration Destination No. 8 Anything Goes
-The Crafter's Cafe #91 Anything Goes

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Quilled Baby Shower Wooden Magnet Favors Baby Girl Feet and Blue Flower

I have more baby shower magnet favors to show you today. They've all been given out, but I'm trying to catch up with posting as always. :X

This one is of a baby foot and a simple heart.
This magnet has a lot of blue tones. I don't really think I had intentions of doing that, but it turned out to be okay. The wood is stained with different acrylic paints: baby blue, yellow, and white.
The side view of this magnet shows how I outlined each petal with white quilling strips.

So...this is week 33 of my pregnancy. I can't believe I'm almost there! I feel miserable and mostly have bad days now unfortunately. Both my energy and time are precious at this point. We are so far behind in getting prepared to welcome the baby, but with all of my illnesses there was no way I could put up a good fight and multitask. All I've been focusing on is trying to heal if possible. My goal is to deliver unmedicated. The US really likes to insert medical intervention and my body is one that usually suffers from this sort of input. The only problem is that lately I've been in so much pain that at times I can't imagine myself going through with my original birth plan. It's a possibility that I am somewhat saddened by. I hope to be able to cast aside all of the doubts in my head by the time she's ready to come out. 

I'm trying to find time to learn hypnobirthing. It's a bit late, but my thought is that even if I can't use it for birthing then I may be able to use it's application in other areas of life; breathing techniques are skills we can always use to help us calm down and relax. 

Here's to wishing for a smooth ride ahead. ;)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Quilled Purple Shooting Star Flower Flourish Fridge Magnet

It's week 29 this week! I think I felt my first Braxton Hicks contraction last night, but I'm not sure. It's gotten me to start thinking about packing a hospital bag!

The gorgeous fall foliage colors are passing through this region--I can't believe that fall is here already. I hope they stay put for another 2 weeks, so I get a nice scenic ride down to NYC for the baby shower. :)

Here is another fridge magnet that will be part of the collection of party favors:
The base of this one is a heavy cardboard flower that I found in one of my old collections of embellishments. It's already laminated with the purple paper and glitter. The only things I added were the star gems and the star shaped purple quilled piece with a flourish trailing behind it. I'd like to think of it like a shooting star, but I can't deny that my original intention was a purple flower. :X 

Good day to you all! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Quilled Roses Wooden Heart Magnets

My baby shower will be on Oct 11th--guess who volunteered with a lot of the crafts? That's right, me!

One of the things that I'm working on are various quilled magnets. I know they aren't standard baby shower favors, but it'll be one of the last projects that I'll be working on for a while so I wanted it to be something different, yet special.

The magnet bases are wooden cut outs of hearts. You can find these in your local craft store. The background was decoupaged with pattern paper. The 3 small roses also has a strip of ribbon going across it, much like a pageant ribbon sash. I added glitter as a top coat for the dual purpose of sealing it and making it pop a little.

Since I easily get bored with mass producing the same style when it comes to projects, I will be making all different kinds. Stay tuned for more quilled magnets in the coming weeks!

Yay for the weekend! Enjoy!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bridal Party Invites From Summer 2013 Boxed Banners

Happy Thursday everyone! First off, I'd like to thank Chana from 613 Avenue Create for giving my Wedding Thank You cards a spotlight today on her facebook page! How very exciting! :)

It appears as if I'm going backwards in time...from posting wedding thank you cards, to the wedding invites, and now I'm going further back to post about the bridal party invitations I sent out last summer. :X

I took a jewelry box and wrapped each of them up in pattern paper. I cut out scalloped circles and die cut a second layer that was printed with my message inside the center of each heart (Will you be my bridesmaid? 4.27.14). Each panel was strung to make a banner. From there, I taped either side to the inside of the bottom and top of the boxes. Once opened, it should give off a popping out effect when the lid is removed. The tops of the boxes were decorated with silk and paper flowers and finished off with a tag of each of the girls' names.
Lots of joy,

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Bilingual (English & Chinese) Letterpress Wedding Invitations

I have sudden urges to clean the house like a mad woman since becoming pregnant. Similarly, I have a desire to clean up my hard drive and reorganize. This made me realize that I need to play a little catch up with some older projects. This one in particular was my baby for a half a year from Fall '13 to Spring '14.
Dec 20, 2013 at The Arm in Brooklyn

From ordering paper and supplies, to the layout, to manual letterpress cranking and assembly...I dedicated 100% of myself. In pleasing my parents, I had to create both an English and Chinese edition--thank you to Jennifer Cheng for assisting me with your Chinese language skills. Also, thanks to Colleen Deng, I was able to ask for her help in filling in the rest of the blanks--reviewing the proofs, ordering plates/paper, and going through the whole letterpress experience for the first time. She took me to her favorite letterpress studio in Brooklyn and we along with a few friends pumped them out together over the course of a few hours. I'm so pleased with the final product and wish the pictures did it justice.

I would also like to thank my husband, Dmitriy, for allowing me to go crazy on this one! :D

Peace and happiness,