Friday, September 27, 2013


It's about that time of year...  CarlyMarie's Project Heal "Capture Your Grief" is coming up again throughout October.  Last year's photo journaling experience was amazing and I really enjoyed it every day.  I don't know if I'll do EVERY day again this year, but there are many days that I'm looking forward to.
If anyone wants to join in, here is the link and what CarlyMarie wrote out about each day to guide you through it. 

1. Sunrise: Just like last year, I thought it would be very meaningful for us all to capture the beginning of this journey and important month by us all getting up early to photograph the sunrise from wherever we are in the world. I know depending on where you are and what climate you are in that there may not be a sunrise, but if you can still get to a window, snap a photo of the morning.
2. Identity: What is your child’s name? Why did you chose that name? What is the meaning of their name? If they were born, what were their birth details. What were their features? Who are they?
3. Myths: Do you believe there are any myths about grief? You could write the myth on a piece of paper and photograph it.
4. Legacy: Do you believe your child left a legacy behind? It could be something very simple but meaningful.
5. Memory: What memory do you have of your child that stands out for you the most. It may be a positive or negative memory. When you think of your child what is the first memory that comes to your mind?
6. Ritual: Do you have any rituals to help get you through the day? Maybe it is a daily affirmation or prayer. It could be that you light a candle or recite a mantra etc. Do you do anything meaningful on special dates for your baby?
7. You Now: Where are you in your grief right now? How are you feeling? How far have you come? Are you wrestling with anything? Is your heart heavier or lighter now?
8. Colour: What colour/s do you represent your baby? Why that colour/s?
9. Music: This might be hard to capture in a photograph so why not post a youtube clip of a piece of music that reminds your of your baby/ies/child/ren. Why this piece of music?
10. Beliefs: Do you have a certain belief about what happens to us after we die? You might believe that we go to a heaven or you might believe that our bodies eventually turn to dust and that is the end of our story. Please feel free to share your beliefs whether they are religious, spiritual or not.
11. Emotional Triggers: What triggers emotions associated with grief for you? Is it the weather? A scent? Photos? Places? Holidays? Words? Certain people?
12. Article: Have you read an article about grief that you would love to share with everyone? Maybe it is something from Still Standing Magazine or a blog post from your favourite blogger or writer. Please feel welcome to share who wrote the article and how the article resonated with you and also the direct link to the article if it is online.
13. Book: Have you read a book about grief that helped you immensely in your journey of grief? Please feel welcome to share the book and links to where it can be purchased so others can find it.
14. Family: What does you family look like now? Is it just yourself carrying your child’s heart in yours? Do you have other children? A partner? A pet? You may not have what society perceives as a family but we all know that just because you cannot see any children, that does not mean that they are not a part of your family.
15. Wave Of Light: Today is October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Light a candle at 7pm to help create a continuous wave of light around the world for 24 hours. Photograph your light! Please remember to share your location for this day as well. Wishing you all a ton of love for this sacred day of remembrance.
16. Seasons: Share what certain seasons or holidays mean to you now. What season did your baby die in? What season were they conceived/born in? Etc. Do you dread those seasons now? Are they more meaningful to you because of your baby?
17. Time: How long has it been since your baby died.
18. Release: What do you want to let go of on this journey of grief? Is it fear? Guilt? Worry? Deep sadness? Regrets?
19. Support: Share about what has been the best support for you since the loss of your baby. Maybe it is a special friend or family member? A pet? An organization? What have they done for you? Where would you be without them?
20. Hope: Do you have hope for the future? What do you hope for those who will join this club in the future.
21. Honour: Is there anything that you have done to honour your baby since they died? Did you give back to the community? Make a conscious decision to live as beautifully as possible? Take on the role of helping others in your situation? Maybe you work as an advocate for breaking the silence for our community.
22. Words: Share your favourite quote, poem, song lyrics, scripture that you have found.
23. Tattoos/Jewellery: Do you have a piece of jewellery in memory of your baby? Or maybe a tattoo. Please feel welcome to share links too.
24. Artwork: Have you created a piece of artwork in the wake of your baby’s death? Or maybe someone has given you some artwork to honour your baby? Please feel welcome to share links to your own website or to other artists.
25. #SayItOutLoud: Say It Out Loud is The STILL Project’s famous hashtag. STILL is a feature-length documentary film project aimed at breaking the cycle of silence surrounding pregnancy and infant loss. If you could say anything out loud about your journey with grief with the death or your baby, what would it be? What do you want the world to know? Is there a cause that touches your heart that you want to raise awareness for?
26. Community: What does this community mean to you?
27. Signs: If you believe in life after death do you believe your child has ways of contacting you? Have you had any signs?
28. Special Place: This could be your baby’s place of rest. If they do not have a grave, maybe you have a special place that you associate with your baby. A place you go to, to remember them. Where is it? Why did you choose that particular place?
29. Healing: What has had the most healing impact on your life through this journey of grief?
30. Growth: Do you believe you have grown or are growing as a person since the loss of your precious baby? How? How do you see other people now? How do you see the world? Do you believe you have a higher purpose? Do you believe your baby had a higher purpose?
31. Sunset: To close this project and this month of BabyLoss Awareness I thought that we could all photograph the sunset from wherever we are in the world. If there is no sunset where you are, you can still take a photo of the early evening sky. You just need to be able to get to a window. Remember to caption what State/Country you are from and the time.

Friday, September 6, 2013


See what I did today?  Well, in the last HOUR!!

I am going to Comic Con tomorrow and taking some kiddos with me.  Keith was Obe-Wan for Halloween one year, and then Darth Maul another year.  Plus I just bought a Worf costume for him, too... just in case I could talk him into it (take off the sash and it is a Star Trek TNG engineering/science officer uniform... no Klingon makeup required).  So the boys have those costumes to choose from if they'd like to dress up tomorrow.  But little K2 had nothing to wear that showed our family's geek side.  Of course that didn't stop ME though!

While at Wal-Mart, I saw the Men sized geek shirts.  There was Sheldon saying Bazinga! or Green Lantern or Batman (which of course my little Superhero wanted desperately).  I love blue so I was drawn to the Superman shirt.  I bought it for a mere $7.50 in a Men's Small.  Then I came home and got to work.

I found THIS BLOG about how to make an old shirt into a toddler dress, looked it over, and realized that I could do this REALLY easily!

I found a dress of K2's that I really liked, though it's getting a little small.  But I liked the lines of it.

Next, I folded both the shirt and the dress in half.  I lined things up so that the front collar of the blue shirt could be used on the dress, and made sure I got ALL of the Superman emblem.
Then, I got out a dry erase marker and a ruler, then started drawing my cut lines on the blue shirt.  There needs to be enough space for a 1/4" seam PLUS, since the dress I'm patterning it from is a little snug, I gave it some extra space, too.  And I wanted it a little longer, so I did that, too.
I cut it out and began sewing.  Oddly enough, once I opened up the shirt, it sewed together nearly the same as the Taylor Gown that we just posted about!

I cut off some of the back collar from the blue shirt's scraps and sewed it onto the shirt.  I could have just left it on to begin with, but this was my first attempt at making an adult shirt into a kid dress.

Next, with right sides together (shirt inside out), I sewed the shoulder hem, followed by the sleeve hem (easier to do when you can still lay it flat).

Then, still inside out, I sewed the side seam.  Then I hemmed the bottom.

Turn it back right side out and this is what I had:

The fabric makes it look kind of like a night gown, but once I get some red tights under it and fix her hair so it isn't "I just woke up" hair, it's going to be PERFECT!!

So, yes, I am the coolest mom EVER!  I just made a dress for my toddler out of a men's shirt so that she could go to Comic Con with me!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


August was a pretty big month.  It started off with Seth's birthday which included a visit out to his grave.  We took balloons and flowers, and after dinner out we had cupcakes at home.  We took our two Molly Bears with us and the boys doted on them quite a bit.  Mitchell cradled and cuddled and Keith hugged and kissed.  They're both so very sweet with their angel siblings!

Next, I was able to send off a package to Granting Hope Ministries to help with some baskets and donations they were taking to hospitals to honor the 5th birthday of their angel son, Grant.  There were 25 outfits, most crocheted but some sewn, and diaper pairs included.  My dear friend, Stacy, included a couple outfits made specifically in remembrance of Seth & Taylor, as well as some sewn outfits that are just gorgeous.

Next up was sewing with the Mia Maids in my ward.  They helped sew LOTS of angel sized blankets (because a newborn sized blanket is just way too big for these babies)!  The girls did so wonderfully!  They completed 13 blankets, had 5 with top-stitching only to go, and cut another 6, plus cut several diapers, too!  All in all, for the month, we completed 24 blankets!

As if all this wasn't enough, there's still more.  Stacy and I created a new sewn angel gown!  There are two patterns frequently used.  One (the Tea Towel Gown under the Patterns tab) is absolutely beautiful with a back-closure (easiest way to dress an angel) but the sleeves intimidate me with my lack of sewing skills mixed with my perfectionist attitude.  I've made a few "shirts" that I never finished because I always stop at the sleeves.  Then, there's a second pattern (the Share Kimono Gown pattern) that is much easier in the way of sleeves, but it has a front-closure (harder for dressing angels) and a neckline that I am not so good at so I always send out the gowns to a neighbor-friend who serges the neckline for me.  I really wanted a back-closure gown that had short sleeves and where I didn't have to add on the sleeves to the rest of the body.  So, we created one!  The TAYLOR GOWN (after my little Taylor) was born!  I don't have to send out my gowns anymore!  I can now sew them myself!  Each has their place, we just added another option.  These pictures are ones Stacy did with scrap fabric as we tested the design...

Left:  Tea Towel gown (back closure, long sleeves)
Center:  Taylor Gown (back closure, short sleeves)
Right:  Share Gown (front closure, short sleeves)
After working long and hard on this, making several tests and changing a few things here and there, testing again, and dreaming at night about how to make the pattern better, I'm so excited to say that the pattern is ready for use!  Remember, my sewing skills are lame, I mean minimal, at best.  This pattern was made so that I could make it without having to have someone help me.  If I can do it, I'm pretty sure you can, too!  It is available to download by clicking THIS link, or you can go to Stacy's blog and see her beautiful workup of the gown HERE, or among our favorite PATTERNS.  This is the second pattern that I've been a part of creating.  The other was the WAVY BLANKET crochet pattern that I worked up a few months ago.  I'm really enjoying all this!  Anyway, more sizes to come soon, but this is a size bigger than we can easily crochet, so I hope you'll give it a try!

And still working....

For almost every blanket, there was a matching pair of diapers.  And then extra diapers, too.  My goal was to make sure each blanket/diaper set had a gown to coordinate with it.  I crocheted, and crocheted, and crocheted, and don't you know I'm still crocheting.
Pictured are 35 hats donated by Annette - my mother-in-law posted pictures of the diapers they were sewing and Annette asked what she could do to help.  Is that not truly amazing?!  To the left of the hats and scattered throughout the picture are lots and lots of diapers that my husband's parents and uncle helped sew, around 35 sets total, so 70+ diapers (lots of the fabric donated by Ashley who also cut patterns for many of them).  18 of the 24 blankets are also pictured, along with 2 no-sew hats, 5 Share pattern gowns, 15 crochet outfits - 1 small, 12 medium, and 2 large... plus one of my Taylor Gowns!  I'm fixing the collar on 2 more, but this works for now.

Total this month:

24 blankets (thanks EM 6th Ward Mia Maids)
70+ diapers (thanks Ashley, Shari, Milt, and Morey)
8 sewn gowns (thanks Brittany)
25 crocheted gowns
35 knitted hats (thanks Annette)
6 no-sew hats

Also...  I'm now 30 weeks pregnant and feel baby "Vash" kicking often!  This is my first experience with a baby who gets the hiccups, too!  Hubby felt her hiccups one day, the first he'd really felt this baby at all, and his face just lit up like you wouldn't believe!  He's so sweet and excited about this little girl!  There's still 57 names on our list (we start with every name possible and take names off - rather than seeing a name we like and adding it to a list) so don't expect her to be called anything but "Vash" for a while yet!  In the mean time, I'm crocheting a blanket for her, trying to get out all the newborn/0-3 clothes for her, cleaning up the car seat, arranging our bedroom for both the birth and a pack-n-play, and feel the testing kicking in big time!  She's around 3 lbs already and just under 16" long, according to the estimations various baby sites post.  She's a joy already and I'm getting very excited to meet her... though not TOO soon!