Feeling Crafty, Pt. 2

Car Seat Canopy

Since car seat canopies are all the rage these days, I decided that Morsel needed to have one. I found a tutorial online here, bought some fun fabric, and sewed this puppy up pretty quickly. It is a really easy project that could probably be done in an hour if you do things from start to finish in one sitting (which I don't). The best part is, the canopy coordinates with the car seat cover that I made as well.

Wipe Case Cover

One night while I was lying in bed not sleeping (that happens a lot these days), I started thinking about projects I still wanted to do. I have ample amounts of leftover fabric from various projects, so I thought I ought to make use of it to turn our not-so-cute Winnie the Pooh wipe case into a ridiculously cutesy custom wipe case. I used leftover fabric from the canopy, along with some ribbons and crocheted flowers I got from Stampin' Up to cover the case. The tutorial I followed is here. This project probably took me between 1-2 hours, but shouldn't have taken that long. I was being a little bit particular about lining things up and gluing the ribbon edges down. Really, it should probably not take more than 45 minutes to do. Of course, if you have a toddler like Eddie, you might end up re-doing all the gluing after he dismantles it.

Car Seat Cover

And now for the one you've all been waiting for... the car seat cover. Even before we found out that Morsel is a girl, I had thought about doing something to change up the look of our car seat. I had seen someone's car seat at church where they had made a slip cover for the seat, so I started looking for tutorials on how to do that. The problem with a slip cover is that it is not quite as fitted and, well, looks like a slip cover. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do when I found a great tutorial on Etsy (check out the shop here). I still wasn't sure if I had the sewing skills to pull it off, but once we found out we were having a girl, I decided to give it a shot. After all, I couldn't have a baby girl riding around in a blue and gray car seat... could I? I bought the tutorial and read through it 5 times before finally undertaking what I thought was a daunting task.

It turned out to be easier than I thought it would be. The toughest parts for me were getting the holes for the straps the right size and trying to sew darts to actually lie flat. I didn't really succeed in either, so don't look too closely. But the actual sewing was pretty easy. The seat itself turned out to be quite the circus of color, but I think it is cute, and will be even cuter with a little Morsel in it come January. Plus, thanks to my amazing foresight, the cover coordinates with the canopy (which, coincidentally, coordinates with the wipe case).


This Day in History

November 24

1784 Zachary Taylor is born, the 12th President of the United States. Taylor was the last President to hold slaves while in office, and the last member of the Whig party to win a presidential election.

1859 Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species is published.

1868 Scott Joplin is born, composer of the ragtime classic "The Entertainer."

1887 Victorien Sardou's play La Tosca premieres in Paris, but doesn't reach its full potential until the opera adaptation is juxtaposed with sexy Daniel Craig shenanigans in Quantum of Solace.

1888 Dale Carnegie is born, renowned self-help lecturer and author of How to Win Friends and Influence People.

1947 John Steinbeck's novel The Pearl is published.

1954 Air Force One, the first U.S. Presidential airplane, is christened.

1960 Wilt Chamberlain pulls down 55 rebounds in a game, an NBA record that still stands today.

1969 The Apollo 12 command module splashes down safely in the Pacific Ocean, ending the second manned mission to the Moon.

1978 Katherine Heigl is born, almost single-handedly keeping the chick flick genre alive into the 21st century.

1984 Dr. Harlow Smoot plans to attend the BYU-Utah State football game in Provo, informing Rene and Teresa Andrews that they can have their baby before or after the game. The Cougars win the game 38-13, but talk about the Cougars' undefeated season and national championship hopes are quickly overshadowed by the birth of Kristen Nicole Andrews.

Happy birthday, Kristen!


Sunday Snowy Sunday

As Eddie was climbing out of bed at 7:00 am on Sunday morning, I asked if he wanted to look out the window to see the newly fallen snow. He excitedly responded "yeah!" and sprinted across the hall into our room. After having to point out all the things outside that had snow on them (houses, cars, trees, etc.), he was so anxious to experience the snow for himself that he asked if he could "go out the window." For those who may be unfamiliar with the layout of our house, our bedroom is on the second story.

Once the window request was denied, Eddie continued to ask "wanna go outside?" all the way down the stairs, then burst into tears when we insisted that he eat breakfast first (chocolate chip muffins no less). So at 7:20 we were pulling snow clothes out of the closet, and by 7:30 Eddie and I were stepping out into the winter wonderland.

Kristen joined us shortly thereafter, as soon as she managed to zip her coat over her pregnant belly.

Eddie puts the finishing touches on our little snowman, and by finishing touches I mean he is about to topple him over.

This is pure snow! Do you have any idea what the street value of this courtyard is?

Of all the days of Eddie's life, this one was probably in the top 5 (minus the part where he slipped on some ice walking to church and bonked his head on the sidewalk). The morning did turn out to be quite lovely, and thankfully not as cold as we first feared. Still, I'm pretty sure Kristen and I deserve some sort of parents of the year award.


Sandwiches Unlimited

We are well overdue for another look at the local sandwich scene as my last post came all the way back in August of 2009. We've checked out so many places since then that I deemed it necessary to pull a few off this list to save for next time (expect that post to land sometime in early 2012).

Coronado Subs
2762 W 12600 S, Riverton

As far as I know Coronado Subs has very little to do with Coronado Island—other than sandwich names like "The Captain," and a few perfunctory oars and life preservers hanging on the walls—but who am I to nitpick? I have tried nearly everything on the menu in the short time they have been in business (maybe six months), and haven't gotten seasick once (badum).

The Italian Place
48 Federal Avenue, Logan

The Italian Place is a quirky joint with a confusing menu hidden on an obscure alleyway in the heart of downtown Logan. What's not to love about that sentence? One thing I'm curious about is its relationship with the Italian Place franchise with various locations in Utah County (which we have yet to try). They have the same basic logo, yet they utilize separate websites. Does anyone know the sordid backstory behind these apparent rivals?

New York Deli
36 N State Street, Preston

Our sandwich quest has taken us all over Utah, and now for the first time it has taken us to the faraway land of Idaho. And let me tell you, it was well worth the trip. These sandwiches are piled high with a half pound of mouthwatering slow smoked meat. And in the most lopsided fight of the century, the meat absolutely destroys the overmatched hoagie roll. But the real victor is the happy patron—stuffed silly, but with enough leftovers to get you through next week.

Port of Subs
177 W. 12300 South, Draper

Our second nautical-themed sub shop of this post actually just opened in Draper this week. Being the sandwich enthusiasts that we are, Kristen and I were present to take advantage of their generous grand opening offer of any 5" cold sub for $2. Port of Subs' gimmick of choice is slicing the meat and cheese to order right before your eyes. Why, you ask? To paraphrase the tagline adorning the wall of the restaurant, "because it's better." Any other questions?

San Gelato Café
11259 Kestrel Rise Road, South Jordan

When I first heard that Daybreak was building the SoDa Row shopping district, I loved the concept of our community having its own little "Main Street" (and secretly pined for a single screen art deco movie theater to complete this fantasy). Unfortunately, construction wrapped up right as the economy was tanking, so many of the storefronts are still currently vacant. So it's kind of like a bizarro old timey Main Street where the empty buildings are pristine instead of dilapidated.

Back on point, one of the first businesses to open at SoDa Row was San Gelato Café. Complimenting the large assortment of gelato flavors is the panini, which has a certain high-end flair (translation: it's kind of expensive—about $8 per sandwich). Normally I don't mind paying a little more for exceptional quality (see New York Deli), but the skimpy portions don't quite justify the high price.


I Wish

Don't get me wrong... I am extremely happy to be having a baby in two months. But, I feel that everyone is entitled to complain now and again... and if you're pregnant, you're entitled to complain daily. Besides, since all of Dave's current blog post ideas involve animal parades, I feel okay about taking the reins and posting a few things I wish I could be doing this winter.

Bending Over Without Gasping

I am really looking forward to being able to breathe properly in just two short months. Since the last time I was pregnant, I forgot how much I take for granted being able to tie my shoes, or put on my socks, or paint my toenails without having to pause to catch my breath.

Going to Disneyland

Maybe I'm just getting a little bit of cabin fever, or maybe it is because all sorts of people we know are either taking vacations or planning vacations right now. Whatever it is, I am jealous and I wish we could take Eddie to Disneyland during the holidays. Alas, it is just not practical for us to go at the moment. So we are hoping we'll be able to take a trip in April before Eddie turns 3. Still, that's 5 months away. I can only imagine the cabin fever will be much worse by then.


Even though I have only been skiing once (last winter) and couldn't walk for days afterwards, I had so much fun that I have been wanting to go again ever since. Now the ski resorts are opening and I am beginning to wonder if I'll be able to go this winter at all. Obviously, I can't go before the baby is born, but who knows how I'll feel afterwards. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will recover quickly enough that I'll be able to go at least once before the season ends.


More Cowbell

After my sheep parade post really set the comment board afire, I got thinking about another peculiar animal procession from my past. This one I witnessed several years ago while participating in the USU Summer Design Academy in Switzerland.

In the sleepy mountain resort of Leysin where we stayed, it was not uncommon for the still of dawn to be pierced by the clank of cowbells from a nearby pasture. But one morning, while making my daily pilgrimage to the local bakery for a warm chocolate-filled croissant, the cows got all gussied up with their finest decorative cowbells and floral headpieces and marched right through town. I'm sure there was a reason for this, I just don't remember what it was.

The following video, taken with my old digital camera, will give you a small idea of what this cow cavalcade sounded like. I'll give you a hint—it ought to wipe out any fever the Bruce Dickinson may be suffering from.

But this cow parade wasn't the only bit of bovine business I witnessed whilst in Confederation Helvetica—I was also able to take in some good old fashioned cow fighting. Not content to let bulls get all the glory, when the Héréns breed of cows in the Swiss canton of Valais are released from their barns each Spring, they lock blunted horns "without provocation" to establish the hierarchy within the herd. And the Swiss spectators that congregate on the mountainside are kind enough to bring along some cans of spray paint. Cows are very poor record-keepers after all.

A typical cow fight goes something like this—two cows butt heads, pushing back and forth for a few minutes until one backs down and is eliminated. Eventually the "last cow standing" is declared the leader of the herd and greatly increases in value. It's just about as awesome as it sounds, as you can see in another video.


Sheep Parade

We spent Halloween with Kristen's parents in Cedar City, but what we didn't realize was that our trip also coincided with the town's annual sheep parade—the "highlight event" of the Cedar Livestock & Heritage Festival.

What exactly is a sheep parade, you ask? Well, there's the usual procession of horses fertilizing the pavement, bag pipers playing the "Books of the New Testament" primary song, county beauty queens waving awkwardly, and strangers throwing candy at you.

But for the grand finale, approximately one thousand sheep are herded down Main Street, "providing an exciting glimpse of the Old West and its livestock heritage to spectators along the route."

Coincidentally, we were situated on the parade route right across the street from the old Cedar Theatre. I had already taken some shots of the Cedar earlier this year, but how many opportunities am I gonna get to photograph a theater with a herd of sheep charging across the foreground? It has quickly become one of my favorite Cinematic Utah images.


Carving Time

Kristen and I talked about carving pumpkins all through October, but by the time we finally made our way to the nearest pumpkin patch just a few days before Halloween, we were disappointed to find a pretty sad selection (and a whole lot of mud).

It took some searching (and wheelbarrow rides), but we did eventually find a few non-rotten pumpkins. Then once we got them home I battled a bad case of carver's block, but I finally settled on the house from Psycho. Meanwhile, Kristen carved a Morsel, and Eddie slacked off this year.