Whales, Dragons, Gnomes and Sunshine!

August has been a busy month full of wonderful, creative customer requests! Check out some of the things I’ve made for folks in my Etsy shop, WooWho, over the last few weeks!

gnome hat with ears
gnome hat with ears

Rocket Ship Felt Birthday Crown
Rocket Ship Felt Birthday Crown

Star Felt Party Hats
Star Felt Party Hats

First Birthday Dragon Felt Crown

You Are My Sunshine with Rainbow Hearts Birthday Crown

Blue Whale Felt Birthday Crown

Face Paint Removal Tips

Everybody loves to have their faces painted, adults and children alike. But adults can be hesitant to be painted because they know the removal process can be tough! Here are a few tips for removing face paint gently and effectively:

My personal preferred method is to start with a baby wipe. If you start by splashing water on your face you’re going to create an incredible, smeary mess! Using a baby wipe, start from the outer edge of the design and wipe towards the middle of the design, with a lifting motion at the end. Fold your baby wipe and continue to wipe and lift paint off the face until you’ve removed most of the paint. Use more than one wipe if necessary!

Once most of the paint has been removed there are several directions you can go: cold cream, baby soap such as Johnson’s and Johnson’s, or baby oil. You know your skin, and your child’s skin, and what will work best for them. Some people have extremely sensitive skin and need something like Cetaphil – Cetaphil burns the heck out of eyes, tho, so be aware of your products! Choose what is safe for you, but be careful all the same!

Ponds makes an excellent, inexpensive cold cream that can be found in most grocery and drug stores. Once I have lifted off the majority of the paint I cover the area that was painted in cold cream! Doesn’t have to be much, a thin layer will do. Let it sit for 2-5 minutes, and using a soft washcloth or cotton pads, begin wiping and lifting the remaining paint residue off of your face. This is an extremely gentle method for paint removal.

Using a baby soap, simply wet and wash the face as usual, blotting dry with a washcloth and applying moisturizer as needed!

Baby oil is a last resort in my book! Apply as you would the cold cream, a thin layer over the painted area, and let it sit for a minute before using a cotton wipe or washcloth to wipe and lift the remaining paint from the face. However, after you’ve removed the paint you still need to wash your face! Baby oil leaves OIL all over the face! This can be an unpleasant feeling and can clog those sensitive pores.

So now you have no excuses! The next time you see a face paint artist get in line and enjoy yourself!

Party Add-Ons

Personalized Wings $16!

Planning a birthday party is intimidating. You want it all to be so perfect! Check out our themed party options, or maybe you just want a face painter, then make the birthday girl feel extra special with some of our extras! Pair personalized wings with a pretty pettiskirt for fairy and butterfly parties!

Pettiskirts MANY Colors $24!!

Pretty pom pom dresses perfect for the big day!

Available in many colors, size 2-7, $24!!!

Butterfly costumes will wow at parties and on Halloween!

Wings, Tutu, Hair Piece, Wand available in green, pink, and orange, $40!!!

Face Painting Kick Off

I am excited to announce Woo Who! is now offering face painting for your party or event! Convo me for details. 🙂

Want to see me in action? Head to the Iron Cactus at the Hill Country Galleria Saturday evenings! 🙂

Check out some of my recent work!

Black Fire Breathing Dream Dragon

Black Fire Breathing Dream Dragon

 

Cute 'n' Crazy Girlie Skull

 

One Eye Spider Man

One Eye Spider Man

 

Rainbow Face Paint

Rainbow Face Paint

 

Butterfly Eye Wings

Butterfly Eye Wings

 

 

 

You Are My Sunshine

Today was just one of those tricky days. The weather was tricky – cold and yuck. The kids were tricky – crabby for lack of exercise. And I was tricky – grumpy because cold, gray days make me want to hole up behind my sewing machine and stay there watching CSI reruns and stitching. I managed to load us into the car and we hit Central Market for muffins. I told the kids they could get what ever they wanted. Central Market has chocolate everything and I assumed a chocolate something is what the kids would choose – except today was tricky and my assumption was wrong. Hazel went for a glazed cinnamon raisin bun, and Walter came unglued in his excitement at getting a blueberry muffin! Armed with a freshly ground bag of coffee and muffins we returned home to watch Peter Pan and clean the kids’ room. Again my assumption that their room would be a nightmare was proved false. We had so much fun cleaning and organizing!!! Definitely the most surprising highlight of my day. I had accepted that I wasn’t going to get anything new made, when again, life surprised me with a little gift of time and I cranked out what I’m going to call the first of My Sunshine series.

Summer Day Felt Child's Crown

The circle in the center can either feature a large summer flower, or the initial of the light of your life. In my case this crown is going to feature the letter “H” for my darling daughter, and I’ll make her a summer scepter and skirt to match. This crown and scepter will be available in my Etsy shop.

Don’t forget to enter to win a mini- Heart Felt Garland from yours truly! Just “like” us on Facebook and visit my Etsy shop. Leave a comment on the link below!

https://woowhokids.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/heart-felt-valentines-garland/

Heart Felt Valentine’s Garland Tutorial and Giveaway

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. Yes, candy, flowers, and the idea that love is in the air is nice, but truly I love the color palette of Valentine’s. I love chocolate brown and red, pink, cream, and turquoise color combinations, and for me anything I make for Valentine’s can be used year round.

Recently I started working on a Heart Felt Garland. Unlike the felt circle Christmas tree we made using free hand cut circles, I prefer to use a die to cut out my hearts. The dies make the cutting out go faster, it ensures uniformity in size and shape, and its fun to do with kids. I punched out 100+ hearts with my four year old son. He’s super into mechanical things, and he thought turning the handle of the big shot and plucking the hearts off of the cutting mat was the coolest thing in the world! Whether you are cutting by hand or using a punch, cutting out a hundred hearts is time consuming, but we used it as a way to merge our adult and child worlds and spend time together.

Once I had my pile of hearts, I lined them up in the pattern I wanted to stitch them in. This is far faster than picking through the pile for the right size when its time to stitch on a new heart. (By the way, I’m using premium red felt. Premium felt is thicker than the regular eco felt, and the red is richer and deeper. The thickness of the felt gives the shapes structure. If I was using eco felt for this project I might do two-ply hearts. Doubling up on the hearts would give it depth as well as structure.)

Stitching the garland is easy! Make sure you have a good tail of thread at the beginning, and back stitch on the first heart as you would any sewing project. *Note – don’t leave too much space between the hearts as you sew! Regular sewing machines are not made to create thread chains as sergers are, and leaving too large a space between the hearts can cause your bobbin thread to jump and the machine to bog down. As you can see as my hearts run out the back of the machine, the tip of the first heart fits right into the cleavage of the next heart.

By the time I was through I had a heart felt garland length of 9.25 feet! 🙂 I’m going hang it from hooks around the ceiling of my children’s room. Like I said, I love chocolate brown, turquoise, red and cream. Up next is painting their walls turqoise, the bed chocolate brown, and the windowsills/door frames cream! 🙂

Would you like a heart felt garland? Of course they’re available for purchase in my Etsy shop, however after I finished my lengthy garland, I made a mini garland of large and small hearts measuring approximately 26 inches. It would be perfect to hang in a window or off a doorknob, and I’m giving it away!!! Please visit Woo Who! on Facebook and click our “LIKE” button! Then return to this post and leave a comment telling me you did. If you’ve already been to our FB and joined us, check out my Etsy shop and comment on an item in the shop that  you like and why! I love feedback. This give away will end on February 14th. 🙂

Family Gnome Hats Award Winning Costume!!!

One of my favorite things about Etsy is accepting custom orders. Customers have the most creative ideas. Check out this family:

 

 

Mama Gnome contacted me and asked for a family of hats and beards for all the boys. The baby’s hat has a beautiful red ribbon under-chin tie. The hats turned out super cute and they won first place in their costume competition!!! 😀 I’m so proud to have been a major contributor to their win. Aren’t they adorable?

p.s. Check us out on Facebook!!!

Halloween 2011 Huge Success!!!

This is the first year I’ve sent my kids out in hand-made costumes, and I have to say, I’ll never go back. We had more sincere compliments on their outfits than we’ve ever had!

Finn, the little gnome man in green is a visiting friends’ son. He’s been watching a lot of Kipper and now speaks with an English tilt to his voice! Love it.

Gnomeo

My Lil' Walt as Gnomeo

And my mito-star, Oliver in purple with his babysitter!!

We had a wonderful time. The kids got a *little* candy. Ya’ know, just a bucket or two, lol.

Anyway, Happy Halloween ya’ll. Like us on Facebook or check us out on Etsy!

Exciting Custom Orders!

I have been neglecting my blog posts. BUT with good reason! I’ve had a number of custom orders come through my shop that have had me happily chained to my sewing machine. I love custom orders. They give me an opportunity to create something new and possibly even a new item for the shop.

For example, a woman contacted me about a costume/photo prop set for her baby, and this is what we came up with!

Its sized for babes 9-12 months. The beard is attached to the hat, so the pieces work together to keep each other on the kids’ head. And the adjustable belt with faux buckle, so cute! Baby just needs a long sleeved blue shirt, brown sweat pants and some baby booties to be the cutest Gnomelet in the whole world! The customer who commissioned this is using the costume in a family photo shoot, and I can’t wait to see the pictures.

I’m a procrastinator. I love sewing and coming up with new items is awesome, but I will sit on an idea like a hen on eggs. Ideas need more than hard thinking to hatch, tho. They require action! I’d been wanting to do a Gnomeo version of the original gnome costume, but was having a hard time actually doing it. UNTIL a custom order came through. “My son wants to look JUST LIKE GNOMEO!” the request read!

Gnomeo Costume

I think I hit the nail on the head.

I’ve had several custom orders for family costume sets, and those make me the happiest, I think. How cute will this gnome family be at the neighborhood Halloween party this year?

The whole family has matching hats. Dad and two boys get beards, and the baby gets a hat with an adorable red ribbon chin tie! Very unique family costume.

So I’ve been stitching up a storm. And ordering business cards. AND I even have a commissioned order of my own: soon my Etsy will have an original banner and avatar set! I’m so excited to see it.

I’ve tried Etsy shops before, but this is the first time I’m truly doing something I love, and people are responding. Woo who! I’M excited! 😀

First Playdate for Oliver EVER.

Yes, it was truly Oliver’s first ever playdate. Any time we’ve had friends over to play they’re the friends of my older kids. Oliver can only do his best not to get stomped. This time, however, our company was a little lady with CP and she came just to play with him. I put a movie on for my older kids in another room and let our quieter children enjoy some personal time together. Oliver is two but at the developmental age of a 9-12 month old (it varies in the different categories) so he still isn’t playing “with” other children, but “next to” as is the m.o. of younger toddlers. But he was absolutely stimulated and excited to have another little person crawling around with him. He was intrigued to see his toys in someone else’s little hand. He noticed when she held his drum and went over to investigate. Their paths crossed as they cruised furniture and they stopped to regard one another for a moment. It was so lovely. Bless their baby hearts. My friend and I have not spent a lot of time together over the last couple of years. Having a special needs child is intense! Neither of us knew where our children were headed and we each had a variety of health concerns to deal with. It seems, tho we’re not out of the woods, that we’re in a place in our lives where we can relax and make time for these types of get togethers. Oliver is so much stronger I’m not terrified of germs and letting others touch his toys. And S. is stronger, too, not so fragile. In fact since she compensates for her lack of lower body strength with her upper body her biceps are almost as big as mine, and she’s only three! 🙂 We’re looking forward to the next time!

 

 

 

 

Love Is…

1. Waking in the middle of the night wet and smiling because the baby snuggled up next to you has overflowed the diaper again.

2. Using your arms to catch a four year old mid-jump while using your foot to catch the baby before they topple over.

3. Making them a healthy dinner and making them eat it.

4. Making them a lunch they’ll like.

5. Teaching them how to toast waffles, spread the butter and pour the syrup so you don’t have to do it.

6. Making homework into “private time with mommy” and therefore something they love doing.

7. Smiling through the spills.

8. Laughing at the absurd.

9. Holding them accountable for their actions while teaching them how to do it better next time.

10. Taking a deep breath and counting to ten when there is a next time.

11. Setting aside what you want to do so you can do what they want to do.

12. Dozing at the park while they run themselves into an early bedtime.

13. Getting them to school on time.

14. Saying yes when you want to say no.

15. Taking care of yourself, too.

16. Reading one last book.

17. Hugging one last hug.

18. Kissing one last kiss.

19. Tucking them in.

20. Saying goodnight.

21. Welcoming them in the morning.

22. Doing it all over again day after day after day after day.

Big Day Developmentally Speaking…

My son, Oliver, is two years old but functions between a 9-12 month developmental age. Oliver is technically undiagnosed, but extensive testing has shown he has mitochondrial dysfunction. Oliver receives occupational, physical, speech and feeding therapy,  has a therapy coordinator and a music class that we do together. Oliver turned two in July. It is SO HARD when a special needs child has a birthday. Their actual age is suddenly in direct focus, it can’t be ignored. Shopping for birthday presents is so frustrating. He is unable to do the things a child his age can do. Oliver can’t stack blocks, doesn’t put toys into containers, and he has no speech. But he’s happy! And adorable. We don’t think about what he can’t do on a daily basis, we focus on the little triumphs. Its just hard sifting through the toy store inventory trying to find things that fit him!

Generally Oliver will have a lull in progress before making huge leaps in his developmental skill set. We’ve been experiencing one of those jumps for the last couple of weeks.  Yesterday, Friday, we started the day with a Music Together Class. In our class are parents with children Oliver’s age. The kids run around on their chubby legs grabbing egg shakers and movin’ to the music. On the first day of class Oliver was very reserved and would have NOTHING to do with an egg shaker. Today, six weeks later, for the first time he picked up an egg, shook it, squealed in delight and dropped it. Then when it was time for the music exploration portion of the class, he crawled right into the melee of kids and instruments shaking a tambourine here and whacking a drum there. I was so moved. When a typically developing child picks up an egg shaker its no big deal. When someone like Oliver picks up an egg shaker its a G.D. miracle. It feels like insanity to be so humbled by such a small action. Then after music class we headed to feeding therapy where he did beautifully! His therapist tried some new techniques with him and he responded with flying colors.

Our lives are bursting with blessings, sometimes they are as small as an egg shaker. I have two typically developing children as well, and I’m thankful for my little Oliver being just who he is. My other children are loud, strong in will and body, and uncontainable. My Oliver is small and gentle and at two years old still the happiest baby I have ever met.

 

Just what ARE mitochondria anyway???

My son, Oliver, is one year old and is under investigation to determine what mitochondrial disorder he has, if he does indeed have a mitochondrial disorder. A couple of months ago he had a muscle biopsy. The surgeon removed two grams of tissue from his right thigh for testing. When the results were in we were told two things. One, that his muscle fibers were not bundling properly. A muscle is made of two types of fibers, conveniently labeled type one and type two. If you were to look at a cross section of a muscle sample you should see the two fibers equally distributed, so at a 50% mix. Oliver’s fibers are bundling at 60%/40%. This is somewhat mild. The second thing we were told was that everything else was at normal levels, but they wanted to do one last test. Why? I asked (later, of course, through a series of phone messages between myself and the R.N.) should we do one more test if everything was mostly normal? I finally got a response back from the geneticists R.N. explaining that while the mitochondrial activity levels were normal, he had more mitochondria than they would expect to find.

Mitochondria, hmmm, I remember making a cell cookie for a middle school biology project once, and I recall that we used some type of candy, jelly beans I think, to represent the mitochondria, but that’s about all that I remember. This post is to rediscover mitochondria and why they’re so important.

What are mitochondria? Google provided me with this succinct description: mitochondrion – A spherical or ovoid organelle found in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells, contains genetic material separate from that of the host; it is responsible for the conversion of food to usable energy in the form of ATP.

Mitochondria are the body’s powerhouses, the batteries if you will. Interestingly, mitochondria have their own DNA separate from that of the individual they reside inside of. Mitochondria were once a parasitic bacteria that has degraded over time until now its an integral part of our bodies and is passed on from mother to child in the egg. Even more fascinating, mitochondrial DNA can trace the maternal geneology back fifty thousand years and has been used to prove theories, such as we are descended from Neanderthals, false.

Facts:

Mitochondria contain 2 types of genetic material:
• mitochondrial DNA, which can only be passed on from the mother
• nuclear DNA, which is passed on from both parents

Autosomal recessive inheritance
The nuclear DNA in mitochondria is inherited from both parents (half from
each parent). Mitochondrial disease can be passed on only if BOTH the mother and
father are “carriers”. This means that they carry the mutated gene, but not the
disease – so they don’t have any symptoms. This is called autosomal recessive
inheritance.
When both parents are carriers, there is:
• a 25% chance of having a child with the disease
• a 50% chance of having a child who is a carrier like the parents
(has the mutation, but not the disease)
• a 25% chance of having a child that is not a carrier and does not have
the disease

Click to access MitochondrialDiseaseUnderstanding-lw.pdf

While I read many articles, Mitochondrial DNA and Human History from the Human Genome website (http://genome.wellcome.ac.uk/doc_WTD020876.html) was the simplest to digest.

But back to my original questions, what are mitochondria and how can I better understand mitochondrial disorders? Mitochondria reproduce faster than other human cells because they do not have a system check to identify mutated DNA. Because they don’t check, they reproduce faster, twenty times faster than other cells. One mutated mitochondria reproduces twenty times in X amount of time, and is why some mitochondrial issues do not manifest until adolescents or adulthood. It takes that many years for the original few defective mitochondria to reproduce to the level that they can impact their host.

What does this mean for Oliver? I have no idea, but it is a fascinating subject. If they’d told me in middle school biology that mitochondria are actually the remnants of an ancient parasitic bacteria that we now use to power our bodies I may have gone into genetics. Why do they keep all the cool stuff a secret?

Hazel’s Story On the Origin of Oliver

Once upon a time a little girl named Hazey was walking in the woods. As she was walking she found a deep cave. She went inside. Not too far, for she didn’t want to become lost in the dark. She saw a round rock. It was moving. Hazey got out her knife and cut open the rock. Inside the rock was Baby Oliver. Hazey scooped him up and took him home, for he was all alone and didn’t have a mommy or any family. Now he has a mommy and a brother and a sister and a daddy. He’s part of our family.

Oliver, Hazey found you “deep in the world” and loved you and brought you home to live with us. You’re now living happily ever after.

The end.

*story told to me by my four year old daughter one day as we were driving to the grocery story. it began, “mom, i found oliver deep in the world.” i asked a few questions and the story was so beautiful i had to share.