Whale Collection

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We created a large amount of whale onesies for Adel Quilting and Dry Goods.  There were so many that we have deemed them a “collection”.  They are sitting in the shop now, just waiting to be picked up by YOU!  Here are all the different patterns that were created.

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Just let us know if you want any of these recreated for your own little bug.  Of course, for our Iowans out there, just swing by Adel Quilting and Dry Goods for instant gratification!

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Come see us at Adel Quilting and Dry Goods!

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When you become a business, you start thinking about what your dreams are for yourself.  How big do you want to take this?  I’m old enough to realize that dreams change often.  The idea of Little Bug in the beginning was much smaller than what I am dreaming of now.  It’s exciting to think that maybe it will get even bigger than I’m imagining.

Ideally, at the moment, I don’t want my business to get so big that it takes away from the personalization.  When you purchase something from our business, you purchase something I made.  With my hands and love, most likely made while my babies are sleeping.  I don’t want to get too big to leave that feeling.

One big step in the right direction for our business is to be available for purchase at local shops.  We are in the learning stages of how to do this with everyones best interests in mind.  Recently, my very, very, very good friend, Willow, showed her mom the whale designs I made for her adorable twins that you may remember from an earlier post.  (Instead of saying best friend here, I went with 3 verys.  It almost drives home the point more, right?)  Here’s a photo memory:

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Her mom owns a quilt shop in Adel, Iowa called Adel Quilting and Dry Goods.  It is such a cute shop.  A true crafter’s dream.  Not only does she stock a lot of fabric, she also has a lot of little projects around for people like me that need to see examples and a blueprint before starting something of my own.  Honestly, I could spend most of my day in there.  Unfortunately, Tommy and Juliet couldn’t.

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Adel Quilting is the first shop carrying our designs!  You can get them now if you happened to be in Adel.  Or tomorrow if you can’t make it today.  Here are some photos of our drop off.  I cannot contain my excitement about having my designs in a local shop.  It is the next step for our little business with where we want to be in the future.  Our dreams are becoming reality.

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Stay tuned for our whale collection post so you can see ALL the cute whales that I pumped out for the shop.

St. Pat’s pics

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Juliet always looks a little unsure when Tommy is posing next to her.  Some day I am just going to film all the work it takes to get him to lay next to her, not move (too much), and smile.  It is hilarious.  At least I will think so one day.

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We meant to post these much earlier.  Whoops.  In all honesty, I’m happy I am posting them before March is up.  Isn’t the month of March dedicated to clovers and green?  Well, let the weather in on that, St. Patrick.

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These were our two main designs for St. Patrick’s Day.  I went back and forth about stitching around the clovers.  When I did the stitch on Juliet’s shirt it turned out a little…novice.  They were a sewing learning experiment and will be altered a bit for next year.  I will also be one year farther along with my sewing.

 

 

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I have a large amount of green fabric to change them around a bit, but I just love the clovers.  

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We are so lucky to have such cute babies model our designs.  These two belong to Jessi’s best friend, Willow.  Just ultra squeezable.  Do you love how they have matching leg poses?  Because we do.  

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We hope you enjoyed your green holiday as much as we did.  Babies just make everything more fun.  Now onto Easter!

 

The story of…our beginning

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Here is the full story of how Little Bug came to be.

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Let’s start with this guy.  Because he started it all.  These pics are a little old, but they are heartbreakers for me.

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When I got pregnant, I was teaching 5th grade full time.  Neil had JUST gotten a job for the next school year as a high school counselor.  (We are all about education.)  I was a part of a perfect team; I worked for a great school district that was able to afford a lot and support their teachers a lot.  I didn’t mind staying late and getting there early. Not too early, but earlier than most.  Things were good.

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We found out we were having a boy (via surprise cupcake filling) and decided on his name as soon as we found out.  Thomas Sterling.  Thomas after my dad and Sterling after my Grandad.  Most people (including us) call him Tommy.  Once we leaked (quickly) that the name had been decided on, the embroidered gifts started flowing in.  And I loved it.  I loved seeing his name in print.  I loved seeing it in stitches.  I loved the feeling of carrying a little person who already had things that were his.  Just his.  Not to be shared with future siblings.  (This isn’t really true since I just looked over at Juliet with her TSC initialed burp cloth.  It won’t be a fight for who wants it later though.)

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Neil commonly tells me when I tell him I like something, “I can make that.”  It is a running joke with us.  Most of the things I don’t doubt he can.  However, who has the time to make all the woodworking projects that I notice and want in the house.  When the hand sewn items started being opened at showers and friend’s houses, he looked at me and said, “Do you think you could make this?”

Ummm.  No.  First of all because I didn’t have a sewing machine and I was pretty sure hand stitching was a thing of my middle school home economics past.  And once again the time factor.  Second of all because I had never even used a sewing machine.  It felt like this foreign object that I didn’t know the language to.

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I went back to work for only one month before summer.  During that month I realized how much my life had changed.  I didn’t want to stay at the school once the kids left.  I wanted my baby.  Each night I spent about 2 hours with my son before bedtime.  They were frantic hours of getting dinner ready and preparing him for the next day.  After bedtime I was up grading papers.  The house was a train wreck, and it was never even that clean normally.  I felt anxious and guilty and unaccomplished.  All feelings that stress me out to no end.

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Something had to change.  I started rethinking the sewing idea.  Maybe I could learn to sew.  I would have to buy a machine, but wouldn’t that be a good thing to have anyway?  Maybe I could even start a little sewing business to make the items I loved receiving.

With Neil’s support, I bought a machine that also did embroidery.  We started dreaming up ideas together and talking about what this could become if we worked at it.  I spent the summer learning to sew and making different items for my friends that were having babies.  I got help from friends and friends of friends.  My sister’s future mother-in-law spent a Saturday watching my baby and helping me learn the basics of the machine.  A friend from high school became a helpful ear and business guide.  Suddenly, I was in the sewing world.  It wasn’t foreign anymore, and I actually started getting excited about fabric store visits instead of feeling overwhelmed and out of my comfort zone.

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I went back to teaching the next year, knowing it would be my last for a little while.  I love teaching.  I love 5th graders.  But it wasn’t fair to anyone to stay when I was so sad about leaving my son.  For the record, if my district allowed job sharing, I would have jumped at the chance.  But they don’t.  I tried.

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During the year, we were happy to find out that we would be expecting our second baby.  All of a sudden my leave length grew in size.  Neil and I talked about really jumping in head first with Little Bug.  By this point, our good friend, Amy, had created our logo, and we were looking into business legalities.

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We entered some craft fairs over the summer.  People were ooooing and awing over my projects.  Not just my mom.  (Who is our biggest fan.  Sorry, that spot has already been filled.)  It felt amazing to make something that someone wanted to give as a gift.  Or keep for their own gift.  I found a new passion.  Neil loves coming up with new ideas and meeting all those babies that come by our booth.

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Once Juliet was added into the mix in October 2013, we were happy to have gotten all our business ducks in a row.  Things get a little crazy with two kids under two.  For one thing, goodbye nice, long afternoon nap.  It has been so fun embroidering little things for her (poor second child didn’t get nearly the load that the first did) and learning how to do new, girly things.

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We didn’t decide on Juliet’s name, officially, until she was born.  We knew she would be a girl-via surprise cupcake filling again.  I didn’t even make one thing with her name on it until she was here.  Juliet Terese is named after my sister, Teresa.  It also helps that Neil’s mom is named Julia.  I think he got some inspiration for her name from that.  I’ll go ahead and admit in here that I was obsessed with Romeo and Juliet when I was 15.  Like, really obsessed.  So obsessed I just may have named my daughter after it.

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So now we are a family of 4 with  a real business.  We are small business owners!  I never would have guessed 5 years ago that I would have bought a sewing machine, and now we are the owners of a business that sews things for others.  Life is crazy and turns unexpectedly.

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Being a mom helps me know what I like and what I don’t.  Everything I make starts with a like/need from my own two kids.  I use the fabrics and styles that we like as parents.  More girl things are being added into the mix since I now have one.  The older Tommy and Juliet get, the more things I will be adding to our shop.  And that feels extremely satisfying.

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Practical, personal, well made, and eye catching are our goals.  We want to be a name you are excited to tell someone else about.  We want to be one of your own favorite things.

Birthdays

Birthdays are amazing.  They are this little treat in the year where you get to have whatever your heart desires.  Within reason.  If you have a family like mine, they allow you to be spoiled and take a whole week out of the year to celebrate.  When you have siblings, you know how important this can feel.  It is your special day.  A day to celebrate the miracle that is you.  (Isn’t it such a miracle?!  Yes, it has become cliched, but I can’t help but look at my kids in amazement so often.)  Thank goodness my sisters didn’t infringe on my month.  Then we would be having some real issues with sharing.  Being given a special week when you are one of three girls feels like the only birthday gift you need.  Almost.  I really have my sights set on a Kitchen Aid mixer this year.  Does 32 equal a mixer?  Yes, I believe it does.

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Our oldest baby just turned 2.  Sigh.  He is pretty delightful.  Two years went fast.  Sort of.  We managed to have another baby during the time.  Since she has been born, time has really sped up.  The white hairs have been growing a little faster.  If a white hair equals a baby laugh then just cover my head.  (Do you see all that snow?!?  Holy moly, it was a lot!  We love 4 days of the week being snow days.  Without kids they were reasons to sleep in longer.  With kids they are reasons to snuggle under the covers and have long days at home building Lego villages.  We are so lucky to be on teacher schedules.)

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Last year I wasn’t making onesies yet.  I bought an iron-on 1 and attached it to a white shirt.  This year I went a little more crafty.  He loves Elmo.  What 2 year old doesn’t?  When he was first born, I was very against all the commercialness of Elmo.  And every other character that is pushed onto kids from birth.  (Unless they are paired with a book.  In which case, I am in full support of more reading and tempting kids into books with cute characters.)

But then I downloaded the PBS Kids App (Do you know about this?  It’s free.  Just get it.) and let the obsession take over.  Kids are just drawn to Elmo.  I personally find him a little annoying.  Neil loves him.  I prefer Daniel Tiger.  (A little cartoon spinoff of the character from Mr. Rogers’s Neighborhood.  The end of the cartoon even gives a little nod to Mr. Rogers himself.  I couldn’t get through the last 5 minutes without crying when I first watched it.  Man I love Mr. Rogers.)

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Tommy actually likes Abby more than Elmo, but she is just a little too pink for Neil and me.  He has an Abby doll that talks.  He loves her.  So anyway, I made him an Elmo shirt.  When it was finished, I was pretty proud of myself for making it.  When paired with the number two it brings the shirt to an entirely different level than last year’s shirt.  I’ve been encouraged to use my embroidery machine to make the appliqués look a little more professional, but there is something really simple and handmade about the zigzag stitch around the shape that I love.

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I also made him this pillow since the fabric was too cute and unable to be passed up.  Stay tuned for the Angry Birds Star Wars pillow that will be next up.  My dad is to blame for Tommy’s love for Angry Birds.  And I will go ahead and blame him for Tommy’s crazy iPad obsession.  (Yes, I used obsession twice in this entry.  I don’t take the word lightly; we just have some serious addictions going on over here.)

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So here is my birthday boy in the finished product.  We went to Legoland.  He was in heaven.  Yes, he is wearing Elmo shoes to match.  Like I said, I just gave in to Elmo.

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Here are some pictures of a few numbers along with a small sample fabric options we have.  I cannot apologize enough about the poor photography skills I have.  I could not get these number to look right!

All the numbers can be added to any shirt for an extra special touch.  It really personalizes the shirt even more.  Like I said earlier, any way to make this day super special for your little one, we want to help.  And it only costs $2 to add a number.  We have so many fabric options; we are sure you can find your perfect fit!  Place your orders now for your special birthday baby!

Valentine’s Day

Since becoming parents, little holidays like Valentine’s Day have made dressing up an entirely different deal.  We used to get dressed up, go to dinner somewhere fancy, and stare lovingly into each other’s eyes.  Now we spend a month before the holiday looking for the perfect outfit for our little bugs to wear, get them dressed up, and stare lovingly into each other’s eyes.

When our relationship was new we always heard the older, more experienced couples tell us that our Valentine’s Day date nights wouldn’t last long.  We would tell ourselves that this was not going to be us.  We wouldn’t lose the romantic nature of our love.  Haha.  I am happy to say that we haven’t missed a Valentine’s Day date yet.  We have allowed our little guy to accompany us the last two years (his first V-Day he was only a week old and naturally slept right through dinner-you’re welcome table next to us).  Now that there are two, the date may be harder to lasso.  We wouldn’t dream of ruining dinner for those couples next to us that haven’t given up on the idea of Valentine’s Day.  Luckily, we have amazing moms that believe our children are the perfect Valentines.  True.

While it is easy to see the commercialized state that Valentine’s Day has become, it is also easy to make it an excuse for another romantic night out.  There can never be too many of them.  And it is easy to find a cute outfit for my little ones and snap a million pictures.  Go ahead and celebrate.  With your kids, with your partner, or (like us) with both.  And check out our Valentine onesies while you’re at it.

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This little guy couldn’t be cuter in one of our ties.  These photographers are the best at what they do.  This includes loads of cute baby pictures with perfect backgrounds.