Mama Doll, Dada Doll

I got my inspiration for this project when we were visiting various daycares. One of the daycare providers said that she asks all parents to provide pictures of themselves, so that the kids can look at their parents' pictures if they miss them. At that point, I knew I would include our pictures in Amelia's daycare bag, whether the daycare we chose asked for them or not. However, I wanted to give her something more durable than a printed photo (Amelia is notorious for tearing paper), so I decided to make a mama doll/dada doll.

I got printer fabric from the fabric store.

I printed out a photo of Marc on one sheet and myself on another sheet.

I ironed the prints to set the ink

I sewed the prints on duck cloth and then
sewed the prints together facing each other.
The bottom was left open so it could be stuffed.
This is what it looks like turned inside out.
It was stuffed with batting and the bottom was sewn close.

The finished product.

It's like I'm an action figure. Haha. Happy back-to-school!

Eleanor's 1st Birthday Peach Festival

Eleanor turns 1 and celebrates with a peach festival!

How did we come up with the theme? Worth (Eleanor's mom) didn't want a prefab birthday party so Ricci suggested doing a color theme. Somewhere along the way we picked up that Sam (Eleanor's dad) likes peaches. Peach is a color. It's peach season. Voila! a peach-colored peach festival.

When I said I'll take you through my party planning process on a previous post, I meant I'll show you the plan and then the finished product. Haha. I really meant to show a little bit more of what goes into it but time just ran away from me and my event co-planner Ricci. It was something of a mad dash to get things done the morning of the party. Shhh, don't tell our "clients." Haha.

Nothing beats a grand setting. I think this peach festival turned out beautifully in large part due to Sam and Worth's gorgeous backyard, which is Sunset Magazine-worthy. Check it out.

I designed the invitation, Sam printed, and Worth mailed them.

Welcome to the party!
Here's the sign I made an hour before the party. There's Sam on the grill.

This garland was finished and hung right when the party started. Talk about 'behind schedule.'

newborn, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 4 months, 5 months,

6 months, 7 months, 8 months, 9 months, 10 months, 11 months,

12 months old

Sam's grilled shrimp with peach salsa. Peaches and teriyaki chicken on the grill.

Ice cold sparkling juice and peach sangria are perfect for a sunny day.

Worth made peach water for kids and peach sangria for parents. Haha.

the dessert table

The peach filled cupcakes with peach icing were baked by Ricci, iced and decorated minutes before the party.
Happy 1st Birthday!

pretty baby and pretty mom

Eleanor's first cupcake

We think she liked it.

Favors. Please take one. Worth assembled the jellybean-filled popsicles.

Ricci ordered the peach cookies and berry boxes online.

Thanks for coming to the party!

Photo credit: Ricci Sylla

Sugarcane Toddler Dress

The colorful, indigenous textiles in the Philippines inspire me. I love that the fabrics support an ancestries old tradition; that they are made by artisans on antique wooden looms, not machines; and that those artisans are mothers supporting their families.

I bought several designs of fabric from Anthill Fabric Gallery in Cebu and a couple more from Silahis in Old Manila. I thought the bright, bold patterns would be perfect for Amelia. I couldn't wait to get home and start sewing!

This is me afraid to make the first cut

the first dress

the bib is reminiscent of tribal necklaces and pompoms add whimsy

I love how the 3-button closure on the back mimics the pompoms

To learn more about the weaving process, see Anthill's Weaver's Story.

A big thank you to Tita Annie Lim, co-founder of the Anthill Fabric Gallery social enterprise, for hosting and to my cousin Alessa Libongco, founder of Life After Breakfast and co-owner of Pipino Vegetarian, for taking me along!

Party Planning for a 1st Birthday Peach Fest

I'm helping my sister and her friend plan a 1st birthday party, which is coming in a month. And I'm taking you along for the planning process. This week I'll show you the table setup.

I love their summer peach festival theme! It's for a little girl and the theme is a perfect compromise between a baby party and an adult party, which is what 1st birthday parties really are. It's sweet, fun, seasonal, and delicious.

I won't ever recommend decorating every inch of a venue because you can drive yourself crazy setting up, it's going to cost more than you'd like, and no one wants to clean that up afterwards. The best way to have a wow moment is to pick 1 area and pimp it out. The dessert table is the best place to do this. I like to focus energies on making a variety of cute desserts and drinks and adding unique (i.e. not factory-churned store-bought) touches to make it special and memorable.

Because I'm a super visual person, I need to have a literal picture of the dessert table for a few reasons. First, it helps me make sure I've considered everything in planning the table. For this party, I put a ton of stuff on the first board that we gathered on our pinterest page. What you see here is the second board, which has been adjusted after we saw the venue and discussed with the planning committee (hehe). Second, having a visual becomes our checklist days before the party. Third, it can be a guide for someone outside the planning committee to help with setup. I created this on Illustrator because I like everything on 1 page and it's the program with which I'm most comfortable. What can I say? I like efficiency.

Next week I'll show you the chalkboard signs I'm making. I'm pretty excited about them.

Have a great weekend!

Modern Playhouse

One of my projects this summer is putting together Amelia's room and a decorating project inevitably comes with boxes. Lots and lots of boxes! (And I'm still waiting for a couple more before that project is finished.) I couldn't stand them taking up space in the house and hated the thought of throwing away perfectly good boxes. Amelia was climbing in, out, and on top of the boxes like she's not supposed to when lightning struck! I grabbed the neon duct tape and got to work.
I've been dreaming of a modern house for years and now I have a custom one. It's got 2 stories, a garage, floor to ceiling windows, cantilevered roof, an open floor plan, and green construction.
lots of right angles
lots of space for a pet
Initially there were doors, but the client kept tripping and couldn't drive her cart and doggie through. So we opened up the floor plan to accommodate the homeowner.
Happy Homeowners

Indigenous Textiles

During my last trip to the Philippines, I rediscovered how special its indigenous textiles are. They're too beautiful to be limited to placemats. I decided to have fun with them and ended up hand-sewing a vest and a pair shoes for my 16-month old daughter.
I bought this fabric from Silahis in Old Manila. They carry thousands of Philippine handicraft products, some new and some old. None of them are dated. It crossed my mind, as I was cutting the fabric, that it might be vintage!

Gilet made with Balud handwoven textile and neon lime thread. Balud refers to handwoven loom patterned with bands of tiny ikat weft motifs arranged between multi-colored warp stripes, made by the Maranao People from Lanao del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines.

My cousin Alessa gave me leather and this hand-woven fabric from Anthill. On a whim I decided to use them for these slip-on shoes. I think the neon thread is unexpected and interesting. The textile was turned sideways to make the triangle tribal pattern look like a whimsical row of bows down the front of the shoes. It was really hard to sew leather with just a needle!