Friday, May 11, 2007

Knit: Lace Dress for Audrey's One Year Portrait

I wanted to make the perfect, classic, dress for Audrey's first birthday to have her portrait taken in and I think this is really it! This "Molly" Jaeger pattern is so beautiful. I actually bought the #225 (Scarves & More) booklet for the "Polly" pattern (little knit tank dress) but then saw this and added it to my mental list to do.

I love the single button in back, and the rich texture in the skirt. Looks like cabling but it's a bunch of yarn-overs and knits together.

I used a mercenized cotton yarn in a light taupe and matching satin ribbon. I had to undo my work a few times on the first side of this project but it got easier. I'm sure there are many mistakes but luckily the pattern obscures them!

My husband, David, took the above shot of Audrey as she accidentally tumbled down the hill. It is so perfectly summer and childhood and my little girl all at once. I love it. It's so beautiful. I plan to have Audrey's one year portrait taken in this dress, but really can't imagine getting a shot better than this:
This was the most ambitious knitting project I've tackled to date and it has really given my confidence a boost! I can't believe I pulled it off and I can't wait to do more.

Our little one-year-old in her dress:

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Party: Audrey's First Birthday

I can't believe we have celebrated Audrey's first birthday already! First birthdays are such an occassion worth celebrating! Hooray, this little girl was born a year ago! Hooray, I've kept her safe and well fed and loved for the year! Hooray, she is becoming her own little person. Fun to have her little cousin-twin, Kate, to share in the celebration too. I wonder how many years they will celebrate their birthdays together?

They wore their little matching pinafores and bloomers, and I'm glad I found some long-sleeved onesies for them to wear underneath because it wasn't really warm enough to go sleeveless. At least not in my opinion when it comes to baby attire (I'm all about snuggling and covering them).
Given the age of the birthday girls this party was really more about the adults. It was fun to have our families there to celebrate with us. I love backyard gatherings with family.
I mentioned before that I was inspired by the birthday dress fabric to go with the polka dot theme for the invitations and party, and so I continued it with an oilcloth tablecloth for the serving table. I have always loved oilcloth so it was so much fun to order yards of it. I used some different fruit and floral prints for the eating tables but this polka dot is my favorite.

I found some fun, bright red melamine lunch trays at Target and decided to use them for the party guests--mostly adults mind you. Thought it would be a fun through back and remind us that this gathering was really about children. But of course I also think these will be really fun to have and use in the future for the kids--easy for backyard BBQs.

We served my mother's recipe, "Kathy's Open House Salad," which is a spinach, chicken, pasta combination, breadsticks and fresh berries...

...and of course, birthday cake! I made this gumdrop mountain cake from an old issue of Martha Stewart Baby. I always have trouble with her recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream and yet I keep trying it. We had to keep sticking this cake in the fridge to get it to set up a bit while applying the gumdrops so they didn't just slide down the sides! But it finally worked and no one knew the difference.

Audrey seemed entertained by the singing and blowing out of her single candle, but she wasn't really a fan of the cake. That's what I get for keeping sugar away from her this first year!

The parents and our one-year olds:

Recipe: Kathy’s Open House Salad with Spinach, Pasta and Chicken

Equal Parts:

  • Fresh Spinach leaves (washed and stems removed)

  • Cooked Pasta—Penne or Bow-ties (cook and rinse; cool)

Add to Taste:

  • Poached, chopped chicken breast

  • Dried cherries (you can substitute dried cranberries or blueberries)

  • Toasted almonds, roughly chopped

  • “The Original Vinaigrette” from Le Parisien

    To poach chicken breasts, place chicken in pan and cover with cold water. Place on stove and bring water to a gentle simmer. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes more. Remove from heat and cool in water. Remove chicken breasts and chop.

    To toast almonds: preheat oven to 350-degrees. Spread nuts in one layer on ungreased shallow baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden.

    Combine all salad ingredients and toss with vinaigrette.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Sewing: Birthday Dresses for Audrey & Kate

This polka dot fabric was the inspiration for Audrey's birthday party. I think it looks so happy. Seems like a party to me.

I bought it to make these adorable cross-back a-line tops for Audrey and Kate to wear at their party but I also ended up using it for their party invitations.

I love this pattern. It's so classic and surprisingly it's Butterick 5439. Couldn't resist adding rickrack. What's a classic party outfit without rickrack?

Unfortunately the weather isn't predictably warm enough to wear a sleeveless dress in May so I went hunting for a long sleeved onesie to go underneath. It isn't really be the same, but I don't want my baby to be cold outside at her party--she'll just have to wear it alone when it warms up.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Crafting: Party Invitations for Audrey's First Birthday

I can't believe my baby is turning one! And I am so excited to celebrate!

I am barely getting these invitations out in time--luckily all the recipients are already planning on the party.
I don't scrapbook and I'm not a crafty card maker either, but I liked the idea of homemade invitations. (No one will mistake these for anything but!) So I used fabric from the birthday dresses--this darling polka dot--and created a cut-out of the number "1" for it to peek through. I felt pretty lucky about getting the double-sided home printing to line up front and back!
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