Sunday, January 25, 2009

A little crafting for the little goober or babywearing diy

In my on-going quest to remain (some what) sane amidst the angst of waiting for a call from the agency. And with an incredible urge to research and prepare for all manner of parenting...I found some great baby sling/baby carrier patterns and whipped up a few to start us out.

Please forgive the overly warm photos... a little digital camera challenge.

Above Michael and our pal Teddy are modeling the lined pocket sling I made to Michael's dimension from Handmade-Adelaide-Baby. I made one for each of us. Michael's is a brown stripe (with orange and teal) on one side and a teal and indigo ikat fabric on the other. Mine is a poppy, persimmon and turquoise stripe on one side and a blue and poppy print on the other. And since all the fabric either came from my stash or from the sale table at the local fabric store we've really saved some money over the designer slings found at most baby boutiques. They are truly comfy and feel very secure. We'll see how we do with a real little one inside. We suspect a learning curve will be involved.

And below we are modeling our "minou-wraps" my interpretation of a very simple set of online instructions for a moby-type wrap.

I can no longer find the link but there are many sites with the basics for a baby-wrap style carrier. I bought 3 yards of an all cotton light weight t-shirt knit. Which is about 54" wide. I folded it in half down the length making a 3 yd by 27" panel. And cut the length of the fabric along the fold. Then I sewed the two pieces back together down one short side with a flat-felled seam using a short zig-zag stitch on my grandmother's old Singer. This leaves a lovely structured center seam which gives a little extra support and helps you to know where the center is when wrapping yourself in yards of stretchy fabric. On both wraps I tapered the tails for easier tying. Since these are t-shirt knits, they don't need to be finished along the cut edges. They roll themselves up a little and won't unravel. We've printed out some directions for different wrap style for various carries and have been trying them out. Check out the babywearer site for lots of great information on buying, making, trouble-shooting and the benefits of babywearing.

Our social worker and most of the books and sites we've perused for parenting tips and adoption tips, encourage baby wearing as an important step in forming healthy early attachment. We're looking forward to giving our baby carriers a try for real.

Now I'm off to finish up another pair of booties.

Sweet on a snowy day

What better on a snowy day than a warm bright kitchen and some good homey treats.

When we were little, my mother always baked when it snowed. I think some people around these parts even refer to it as "baking snow". I just couldn't resist with the white stuff piling up outside the window and me at home with time on my hands.

When we were feeling a bit pooky as kids, or needed a sweet little something, my mother would open up the cupboard, take out the ingredients and whip up lovely little vanilla egg custards in small custard cups. They made the kitchen smell heavenly, and with the hot water bath around the dishes in the oven, the kitchen got nice and steamy. ( A great place to give those sore winter noses and sinuses a break!) Well, since Michael had to work and was battling a bit of a cold, I hunted down this recipe so he'd have something nice to come home to. My mother's version used evaporated skim milk and I've replaced it with fresh whole milk.

Vanilla Egg Custard

serves 6

2 Cups whole milk (we use organic)
3 Large eggs
1/2 brown sugar (or Turbinado)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
cinnamon sugar for sprinkling (we use evap. cane juice instead of ultra refined sugar)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 6 custard cups with butter (or cold-pressed organic coconut oil) and set aside.

Whisk all ingredients together in medium bowl. Make sure you've broken up all the egg white and yolk. Mixture should be light lemon yellow and frothy.

Divide evenly into custard cups. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (optional). Place in 13" x 9" baking pan or other to hold all custard cups. Place on center rack of the oven and pour hot water into pan 3/4 of the way up sides of custard cups to make a steam bath for the little dishes.

Bake until custards are just set. About 40 minutes. Remove from water bath and cool or rack. Serve warm or chilled. Will last up to 4 days in the fridge if covered.


And since we couldn't just focus on dessert...

I pulled some of our own sourdough pizza dough out of the freezer, and we had this yummy calamata olive spread, carmelized onion, spinach and goat cheese pizza for supper. Nice!