30 April 2014

So long. Farewell. Aufedersein. Good-bye.

I realized the other day, I don't need to write this blog anymore.  It's served it's purpose.  It's served several, in fact.  But it's not anymore.  I just don't need it.

I started this blog when Boo was one year old because I needed something that STAYED DONE.  Not just, my baby's diaper is clean for—excuse me—her diaper is clean again for the moment.  

Then I kept writing the blog because, well, I like it.  And also because I was worried that if I didn't have the routine of blog-doing, I also wouldn't make my projects, but instead would just ... burn brain cells (my husband's term for TV watching) on the couch every evening or something.

I'd really like to write a book.  For a while, this blog served that purpose—I was publishing something that people actually read.  But it's not a book.  I'm going to write a real book, send it to a publisher, and hopefully get it out on the bookstore shelves.

I still enjoy writing my blog, but I've decided that it's time to be done.  Coming to that decision was really freeing, actually.  The blog has served it's purpose and is now getting in the way of life.

I know I won't just do nothing now that I'm not posting it for the world.  But I will do some different things.  Now I have time to work on projects that will take a long time and not be blog-worthy, like organizing and editing my family photos.  (Which will be a HUGE project.  I shoot in RAW, which means that every photo needs to be processed.  By me.  It will take a while.)

Now I don't have to choose between finishing a project in time for my self-imposed blog schedule or actually exercising.

I'll probably write another blog eventually, but not this one.  (I'd like to write a blog as part of a group of bloggers.  I like doing everything on my blog, but I don't like doing EV. ERY. THING on my blog.  I think a group effort would be lots of fun, and easier, too.)

So this is my last post.  I hope you've enjoyed it.  I certainly have.  


22 April 2014

Hope You Had a Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!  I hope you all had a wonderful Easter Sunday.

Toddler's First Easter Egg Hunt | Jill Made It

We had so much fun with family!  Daddy's Girl had a great time at her first Easter egg hunt.  (She wasn't old enough to participate last year.)  She found lots of eggs, too!

Easter Egg Hunting | Jill Made It

My husband's cousin and her family came to visit, so Boo and Daddy's Girl got to meet their second-cousin for the first time.  The girls really hit it off; when I told Boo they were cousins, she said, "She's my cousin and my friend."  After having just met.  Awww.

Baby's First Easter Egg Hunt | Jill Made It

All the relatives who live nearby came over, so our girls got to play with this sweet little cousin, too.  And he got to have his first Easter egg hunt.  But he wasn't so much into finding eggs; he mostly just wanted to put the eggs in his mouth.

Boo Goes Easter Egg Hunting | Jill Made It

Boo got a Rainbow Dash doll in her Easter basket, and carried it around the whole time she searched for eggs.  She had me hold her basket after a while, but she didn't put down that doll!

I am so grateful for my sweet little family.  And I am grateful for Christ's atonement and resurrection, which we celebrated yesterday.  May we always remember Him who gives purpose to everything else.  I am grateful that, because of Him, we, too, can live again. 

18 April 2014

365 Patterns: Easter Edition

I don't know why Easter snuck up on me this year.  In my mind, Easter was always about a month or two away. Until a couple weeks ago, when I realized I had better get started on Easter preparations!

So last weekend, we bought Easter candy and goodies.  Grandparents wanted to get the girls their Easter dresses, so that's done.  And this past week, I made a couple more simple shirts for Boo!  I'll show you those later—I thought about making Easter-specific shirts, but then they're weird to wear after the holiday.  I made her nice summer play shirts instead. (Nope, Daddy's Girl isn't getting new play clothes; she has lots that fit.  It's the tragedy of being the younger child.  At least until she's old enough to know.)

And I made some Easter patterns.  I wanted to make religious patterns, Easter being a religious holiday and all, but without going the obvious route.  And there are some Easter eggs and Peeps thrown in for fun, too.  Hope you like them!

Easter Patterns:  Stained Glass Windows | Jill Made It

The inspiration for this pattern was the beautiful stained glass windows I saw in so many cathedrals the one time I've been to Europe.  (One of these days I'll make it back; that was a great trip.)  On a technical note, look closely at the glass—I used a new technique I've learned called Inner Glow. Pretty nice, huh?
Easter Patterns:  Honey did He Eat | Jill Made It

It's actually really hard to think of religious-themed Easter designs when you exclude the most common motifs.  My husband suggested honeycomb, because Jesus ate fish and honeycomb after he was resurrected (Luke 24:36-43).  

Easter Patterns:  Easter Eggs | Jill Made It

And for some non-religous fun, I love these Easter eggs.  They're just so happy!  And fast to make.  That's always nice.

Easter Patterns:  Pink Flowers | Jill Made It

I do like this pattern, but I don't love it.  It's pretty and useable (little girl's dress, perhaps?) but not terribly exciting or innovative.  I was practicing gradients again.  And made flowers.  Woo-hoo.

Easter Patterns:  Easter Chevrons | Jill Made It

Chevrons are cool.

Easter Patterns:  Easter Bunny Peeps | Jill Made It

Do you like Peeps?  I don't.  But the bunny shaped Peeps are pretty much adorable.  

Easter Patterns:  He is Risen! | Jill Made It

Finishing off this week's pattern set is my He is Risen! pattern.  I love how the text looks like shouting, and I colored the pattern like an old newspaper to emphasize the feeling. He is Risen!  Hallelujah!  Let everyone know so we can all celebrate together!  

Happy Easter to you and yours.

08 April 2014

Simple Shirt for My Little Goofball

Boo has a t-shirt that I just really really like the fit of.  So I copied it.  It's a simple two piece pattern—just a front and back, with no separate sleeve pieces.  If you're new to using existing clothes as patterns, I suggest trying this kind of shirt.  Or if you've been copying for a long time, I still recommend a shirt like this.  Who doesn't like near-instant gratification?

Jill Made It | Simple Shirt for Kids

Boo likes for me to take pictures of her for exactly as long as she wants, and that time is never very long.

Jill Made It | Simple Shirt for Kids 2

Today, our picture-taking window was really short.  She's a good sport, though, and I was able to cajole her into letting me take a few more pictures.

Jill Made It | Simple Shirt for Kids 3

Because, as adorable as this face is, this picture doesn't really show off her new shirt very well.

Jill Made It | Simple Shirt for Kids 4

  And I'd like a smile please?

Jill Made It | Simple Shirt for Kids 5

There we go.  Good job, Boo.

Jill Made It | Simple Shirt for Kids  with Pocket

By the way, did you notice we cut Boo's hair?  First time ever, excepting trimming her bangs.  Her hair hung all the day down her back, if you remember.  (If you don't—her hair hung all the way down her back.)  She finally got tired of having us brush out so many tangles, so after church one day—haircut time!  We love her new look!

04 April 2014

365 Patterns: Happy Rocks, Monsters, and Frogs, Oh, My

This 365 Patterns series has two purposes:  to keep me practicing Illustrator after my class ended, and to learn and use more skills.  Hopefully, my patterns will just get better as the year goes on.

365 Patterns:  Balloons

I love these balloons!  This is my first (successful) use of gradients, and I think they greatly improve the simple balloons.

365 Patterns:  Strawberry, Chocolate, and Creme Dots

Just simple dots.  But I like dots, so there you go.

365 Patterns:  Happy Rocks

I call this pattern Happy River Rocks.  The purple/yellow/blue color scheme just makes me smile.

365 Patterns: Camouflage Frogs

Do you recognize these frogs?  They came from the Tribal Frog Onesie I made for a baby shower present a few weeks ago.  I actually made the design on the computer before carving the stamp, so turning the image into a pattern was easy-peasy.  I love how, if you step back from the pattern a bit, the frogs turn into a camouflage pattern.  My husband suggested that this pattern would be great for little boys' shorts.  Wouldn't that be cute?

365 Patterns: Let it Go

Okay, not excited about this one.  Snowflakes.  Meh, whatever.

365 Patterns: Monster Scales

I do like this one.  I wanted to try a technique I learned for "spot detailing" (what the instructor called it).  I think this looks like scales—monster scales, since they're purposefully irregular.  :)

365 Patterns: Twisted Hexagons

Really simple, but I'd been wanting to do a hexagon pattern.  It reminds me of a quilt design I've seen.

On a completely different topic, is it getting to be spring for you yet?  I'm totally done with winter, so hopefully winter is totally done with me.  We've been having a couple warm days, then a couple really cold days...

01 April 2014

All Things Pretty Necklace Review

Who likes jewelry?  Pfft, who  doesn't like jewelry?  I just found about a new place for getting some beautiful eye candy.

Kitsy Lane Necklace Review 1

Like this lovely necklace here.  This is the Annalise Necklace from All Things Pretty.  I love the dramatic length of it, and the gold and pink look so nice against my dark blue shirt.

Kitsy Lane Necklace Review 2

And I just thought this post could use another picture.  Hi, me!  Now that that little bit of dorky-ness is out of the way, you might want to click over to their Pinterest board to see what other bits of sparkle All Things Pretty has to offer.  

Their stuff is seriously pretty.  They have everything from bold and dramatic to simple and sweet, modern to classic, super sparkly to understated.  

Disclaimer:  I was given this necklace for free in order to write a review.  All my own opinions, etc, etc.

28 March 2014

365 Patterns: Lots of Love

I decided to go with a theme for this week's patterns, so get ready for lots of love!

365 Patterns:  Hand Drawn Hearts

I like the hand drawn feel of these hearts; sometimes Illustrator projects can feel too neat and clean.  Wouldn't this pattern make for great wrapping paper?

365 Patterns:  Pink and Green Hearts

I wanted to make the green hearts to seem random, even though it's the same block of hearts repeated.    The trick is simply to start with a large enough block of pink and green hearts.

365 Patterns:  Valentine's Hearts

This, to me, looks like a classic Valentine's Day pattern, good for stationary, wrapping paper, or whatever.  Lots of use...but not terribly exciting.  And I just realized some of those hearts are doing funny spiky things...I'll have to look at the original file and figure out what's up...

365 Patterns:  Interlocking Hearts

Ah, interlocking hearts.  That's a little more fun.

365 Patterns:  Painted Hearts

For this pattern, I experimented with different brushes in Illustrator, something I don't do nearly enough.

365 Patterns:  I'll Love You Forever

This is my favorite of this week's patterns, and it was probably the easiest, too.  There are so many things I'd use this.  My favorite idea, though, is for a duvet cover.  Wouldn't you just feel happy every time you walked into you room?

365 Patterns:  Hand Drawn Hearts 2

(Sorry to be anti-climatic with this variation of the first pattern.  The numbering got off; it was supposed to be the first pattern, not the last.)  I like this heart pattern.  Not much more to say.

Did you like having a theme?  Is there any pattern/image you'd like to see me create?  I'd love to hear what you have to say!

21 March 2014

365 Patterns: Stormy Clouds and Sunny Flowers

For this week's patterns, I revisited some themes from last week, and added some new ones.

365 Patterns:  Random Citrus

First, I did another version of the Citrus Dots I did last week.  I like it.  Bright and happy.

365 Patterns:  Linking Ovals

This pattern was inspired by one I've seen recently.  Okay, it's just like the lining of our diaper bag, only with reversed colors.

365 Patterns:  Strawberry Blossoms

I was feeling like strawberries today, so this pattern turned into a lattice of strawberry blossoms.

365 Patterns:  Strawberries

And then the strawberries themselves.

365 Patterns:  Stormy Clouds

Again, sitting in choir, singing "Singin' in the Rain," I was inspired to make more rainy day patterns.

365 Patterns:  Happy Abstract Flowers

I was working on a flower pattern that was just not working, so I gave up on it (for the moment—I hope to get it figured out eventually) and whipped up this pattern.  I love it!  It's so happy and bright.  Who else is ready for spring?

365 Patterns:  Beachy Argyle

And lastly, my Beachy Argyle.  This pattern was harder than I expected, but again, it is an interlocking pattern, so I should have known.  I just expect classic patterns to be easier for some reason.  I did finally mostly get it.  Some of the stripes don't meet up quite right, but you have to zoom in really close to tell.

My favorite patterns of the week are, by far, the Stormy Clouds and the Sunny Flowers.  What are your favorites?  Any suggestions for future patterns? 

18 March 2014

Every Baby Boy Needs a Tribal Frog Onesie

Hand-Stamped Tribal Frog Onesie

So, you know I like to make, rather than buy, presents for babies.  I've made quilts (like the Finding Nemo Quilt and Elephant Quilts for Twins), burp cloths, and nursing covers.  Right now, I like decorating onesies.

Specifically, I like to carve custom stamps, and stamp the onesies.  I've made flower, crab, crawfish, seahorse, starfish, and now frog stamps.  It's so fun to make (and use) a hand-carved stamp.  I have another baby shower coming up, this time for a baby girl, so I'm thinking about carving a new stamp. What design to do...?

Hand-Stamped Tribal Frog Onesie 2

What do you like to give for baby shower presents?  What is the best baby gift you've received?

14 March 2014

365 Patterns: Raindrops and Daisies (and more)

Week 2 of my pattern challenge!

365 Patterns:  White Daisies

I really like this daisy pattern.  It's white flowers on a blank background, so I can make it in any color I feel like at the moment!

365 Patterns:  Raindrops (Singing in the Rain)

The choir I'm in is preforming "Singin' in the Rain" this season.  I was inspired.  I'm planning to make another pattern sometime with a little man dancing in the rain.  :)

365 Patterns:  Blue Design

Wouldn't this design be nice for curtains, or pillows, or a rug...

365 Patterns:  Blue Design options

These four patterns are actually the same artwork as #10, but tiled differently.  Cool, huh?

365 Patterns:  Yellow, Black, and White

I had too much fun with this one; I made it into seven or so color schemes.

365 Patterns:  Pink and White Houndstooth

I thought I'd try a nice, classic pattern.  That'd be easy, right?  Wrong.  This was actually really hard to get right.  (Probably because it's an interlocking, rather than just repeating, pattern.)  Finally got it, though.

365 Patterns:  Pink, Green, and White Houndstooth

One good houndstooth deserves another, right?  If you thought it'd be simple to just recolor some of the ... hounds teeth?...you'd be wrong.  But I do like how it turned out, and I'm glad I could figure it out.

365 Patterns:  Happy Citrus

Simple pattern today.  Just some nice, happy citrus to brighten your day!

Do you have any suggestions for future patterns?  I'd love to hear them!