Or maybe lollipop, lollipop, I can’t decide. Either way I’ve been singing both songs in my head since we took photos.
Let me back up a little bit, yesterday my kids school district called a snow day due to an incoming storm. However, you’ll see this was unnecessary when you notice a lack of snow in our photos. I understand they were erring on the side of caution because the weather can be unpredictable. As I’ve mentioned in the past both of my kids have special needs. One of those needs is speech therapy (my son has apraxia of speech, and my daughter is suspected to have it.) Wednesday is our speech day, typically it’s after school but because of school closures our speech therapist reached out to us inviting us to come earlier in the day as the worst of the storm was expected to come in the afternoon. (Still, not very eventful here. Although I’m not mad about it. I hate the cold.) We accepted this offer, at first, I was extremely disappointed to hear about this “snow day” as both kids missed Monday, and my son missed Tuesday due to illnesses. I didn’t want them missing another day of school and I honestly needed a break now that they were feeling better. Then with more thought I turned a negative into a positive, we could spend time together having fun (we also went shopping to spend some Christmas gift cards of theirs) and, bonus, I could grab some photos and video of their new Valentine’s Day tops.
I had Tayln and Ellie wear their V-DAY shirts to speech therapy so we could try to grab photos afterwards. Speech is about 15 minutes away and because of this I’m still learning that area. After speech I decided to scope out the surrounding area for a place that could make for a great background. Much to my luck just up the road was a beautiful pond with a gazebo overlooking it. I pulled into the small dirt parking lot and asked my kids what they thought. They both agreed that it looked fun, so we unloaded from the car and headed towards the gazebo. It was so serene, and I could see it become a sanctuary to just be lost in thought and enjoy nature. To add to the excitement there were a handful or two of ducks swimming around in the pond. My kids were both so tickled and this brought my daughter to forget why we were there in the first place and just wanted to look at the ducks. My son on the other hand was like, okay, we’re here for pictures can we do that first then enjoy the ducks? Because it’s still winter and it’s cold. These ducks must be fed by visitors often, as they continued to follow us wherever we went, my kids thought that this was the coolest thing. My son started spouting all the information he had on ducks, how the males are called drakes and they are the ones that are green and brown. The females are primarily brown with black specks. I was so amazed by his knowledge of this! Okay, anyway….
My son’s choice of fabric was this red and black multi-stripe from Raspberry Creek Fabrics which is part of the “For You” collection for Valentine’s Day 2023. I showed him the adorable panel that would pair with it and said yes, I now opt for the adult panels for Tayln. We chose French Terry for the fabric base to make sure he would be warm and cozy. I’m a sucker for Bow Button Fabric’s ribbing (see what I did there), so that is what I used for the neckband, cuffs and waistband. The ribbing she carries has a great stretch and recovery and it holds a press SO WELL! Sav’s sweatshirt from Greenstyle Creations is my all-time favorite slouchy sweatshirt for adults and kids. Tayln is usually between sizes in all patterns because he is extremely slender but also very tall for his age. For this pattern he was between size 7 and 8, I chose to make a straight size 8 since this pattern is already intended to be slouchy and oversized. When he first tried this on, he was unsure about it and in his words thought it “looked girly.” I reassured him that a girl or boy could pull it off and that he looked very handsome in it. This made him feel much better about wearing it. What do you think? Doesn’t he look so handsome and very cozy?
My daughter was a complete spit fire when it came to taking these photos. As I stated before, she saw the ducks and that was all she cared about. After my son finished his pictures, I pulled a lollipop out of my pocket to give to him as a thank you for taking pictures. (The pictures are for me; they could care less about them.) This caught Ellie’s attention rather quickly. “WAIT! YOU HAVE LOLLIPOPS?! I WANT ONE!” I reminded her that she would earn hers after some photos. She pulled herself together (somewhat) to take pictures. The idea of this soon to have a yummy lollipop brought a huge smile to her face while she proceeded to try and stand still but couldn’t help but jump up and down yelling “lollipop, lollipop, lollipop” over and over.
Ellie did not much care to pick out her V-DAY fabric, so I chose for her. I know she loves candy, so of course she’d love the Red Black and White Sucker Heart Print Fabric. This is also from the same “For you” collection from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. I again, chose French Terry as the fabric base (and also used the same ribbing as what I used for Tayln’s.) In 2021 I made Ellie a Hannah hoodie from Sonia Estep designs, which has since been discontinued. I used a neon fuchsia and carmine brushed French Terry from Fab Clique Fabrics and cut out a heart shape to make as the front pocket as I did for her hoodie last year. I also included elbow patches. Since then, I’ve decided to incorporate a heart applique to her Valentine’s tops.
I was initially so torn on which pattern to use for Ellie. Ultimately, I decided on the Janie top from Petite Stitchery Co. I considered making the panel a pocket like I did last year but decided it would take away from the elasticized waist in the pattern. After I cut out the pattern pieces, I took the front bodice and placed it face up on my cutting mat. Using a projector to cut out patterns is such a game changer and time saver (and it saves some trees), anyway, I like to open Cricut Design Space and add a heart shape design. With the projector I am able to project this image over my cut mat, the same as I do when cutting out a pattern. From there I play around with the sizing I want to use for the front applique. I am a visual learner so this helps me to ensure I will be happy with the final outcome. Once I decided on the sizing, I removed the bodice from the cut mat and centered the panel with the heart. (I still use youth panels for Ellie by the way.) Then I simply use my rotary cutter to cut out the panel. I was afraid that the panel alone against the sucker/heart fabric would blend too much so I cut out a slightly larger heart in black French Terry to separate the two fabrics. This also helped bring out the small hearts in the fabric. I write in more detail on this from last year’s blog post if you’d like more information on how I added it to the bodice etc. This will help me from repeating myself (I already do that enough as a mother, LOL)
I think that’s it for me for today! We definitely made some fun new memories yesterday and I plan to bring them back to this gem again. It’ll definitely be more enjoyable once it warms up. I also made a TikTok featuring some video from our shoot if you want to check it out! I hope I gave you fellow crafters some inspiration today, and if I did, please let me know because I’d love to hear! Always be true and always be you.
Until next time,
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