Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blessing the Belly

Years and years ago I learned about Mehndi from a little phamplet a middle school friend had.  I had seen it many times before on the hands and feet of primarily Indian women in Miami but I hadnt really known what it was. Back then Henna, the herbal paste used for Mehndi tattoos, was out of reach entirely so I used ink pens to design often intricate designs on my hands and palms. I dont remember where but I once read about Mehndi for the pregnant woman and was HOOKED. While I was pregnant with Iris I badly wanted to have my belly blessed with a Mehndi design and sought out an artist.  Unfortunately they were HIGHLY expensive. One of the women who knew an artist had smiled deeply and told me "Mehndi is good for the mother and the baby. Henna it draws all negative out from the baby, it is good. Good blessings for both".

Although I didnt get to do it during my pregnancy with Iris, I was lucky enough to have it done with Aeva. My good friend Kathryn whom was a month ahead of me in pregnancy had her blessingway the day before my babyshower and decided to have henna applied. Guess who got to do it? Yes ma'am! The night after my own baby shower, i got to have MY belly hennaed and blessed by Jess and Jessie. I then in turn hennaed them.

I cant say for sure but I really think that that Indian woman was right...the Henna drew all the neg out and I had the VBAC i was told would NEVER happen.

Naturally now that Jessie is carrying Jellybean (aka Lucy), I wanted to impart the blessing on HER

Designs for Jessie were SCATTERED. Somewhere along the line of looking for ideas she told me about her desire to have a tattoo with the Moon representing her,  the Sun representing Jere and a star to represent each baby. Most henna designs have flowers and birds and butterflies. I cant draw birds and Jessie hates butterflies and flowers.
So yea. Big issue.
Until i saw this tree design and i took off

heres Jessie, slightly uncomfy for the hour or so it took of sitting like so

I wish I had had a better applicator and that it hadnt been about 1 am because i wanted to add SO much more detail.
I must mention, right before starting, Jessie rubbed eucalyptus oil on her belly to help the stain adhere. Between that scent and the scent of the Henna, Jessie and I both felt more relaxed somehow, and we think it was due to the smell.

I wanted to add deeper roots but alas I was unable (no space there without smudging)

Can you spot the 4 family members?

She looked happy to me, what do you think?

There was a little bit of henna left so I marked myself with a tribute

The henna gets wrapped up overnight if its not fully dry (takes a couple of hours) and because of the peeling process. Ideally you want it to stay on your skin as long as possible before flaking off to get a deeper and thus longer stain but its not necessary. Some people prolong it by applying a lemon juice concoction.
Traditionally brides would get their hands and feet hennaed and the longer it stayed without fading, the better the relationship with their mother in law ( a very important relationship in that culture). Its said that some women even reapplied the henna secretly so as to impress their MIL. Beats having to cook and clean to impress ;)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Belly Cast


                                                                                                                             is Jessie
Im just introducing you to a ton of people arent i?
Well...Im sociable what can i say?

Anyways, Im conveniently located between Zepherhills, Fl and Michigan which in my favor means I get to have Jessie over at my house often since shes in Michigan more than most Michiganies. No. I dont care if theyre actually called Michiganites. Sounds like a rock.

In my crafty little big way I gave Jessie the idea to cast her very pregnant belly and let me paint it for her and set it up for Lucy's room.

We bought a kit and effectively tossed the instructions save for this step.
Honestly it was a waste of time. The strips were cut on the spot anyways.

This is Ana. SHE was tons more helpful than the pre cut strips of plaster. Bleh.

The next step was applying petroleum jelly all over Jessie's nude neck shoulders bosom and belly.

Pretty sure she could do it all on her own so I let her have at it.

Dipping (or sliding ) the strips carefully through warm water I applied them to Jessie's no-look spots.

I wanted to get them to look au natural :)

Candid. I. Swear.

Not quite sure why but when I asked Iris to get me a bandaid to cover Jessie's belly button piercing, she got me the only American Flag one in the house.

We both happen to be military spouses

Go figure :)

<~~~~Here is Emma

                                                                           and Iris ~~~~>

adding their own strips to Lucy's belly cast

It looks so cool and it hasnt even come off yet!

It takes approximately 3-5 layers to make the cast nice and solid, and 30-45 minutes to complete. Drying takes about 10 minutes and youll know when its done by how it feels. If it starts to fall off the skin, then its ready to be gently pulled away.
Ill warn you though! Make sure that although you dont want it ultra breezy where you cast, you DO need adequate ventilation and air conditioning for the Mama. Jessie got very woozy and pale whilst getting casted. A drink of water and a nice Ana to fan away the warmth got Jessie back to good and let us finish the cast without further issue.

Heres the finished cast!

It takes a few hours to dry but is hard to the touch pretty early on. Make sure that if you make a belly cast, it stays well away from anything that can harm it as it CAN and WILL crush easily in this stage. I also suggest you place it where its well supported from the INSIDE.

In a few days i will sand it smooth and apply gesso, paint it with acrylics and then seal it with a clear coat.

Ill post pictures when I do:)

Oh! see that little thing down at the bottom right? With left over strips I cast Emma's hand which i will cut the extras from and sand down for her to paint.

Ive never done this before but I love the idea.  You get to physically remember just how big and round and beautiful your baby bump was. You treasure it and your new baby will too, in due time <3

Friday, January 8, 2010

A day of FIRSTS!

Today didnt start out so well

School had an hour delay due to the non-existant inch of snow that had been predicted.
My crafting luncheon was cancelled
And Aeva was a very hungry baby (constantly nursing me dry)
But somehow it all turned around this afternoon. Right before going to get Iris from school I got a message from an old highschool friend with two little girls of her own.
Which is how I got my FIRST order for Lizabella Boutique!

I have never ever made these before but here they are! What do you think??
Here is Aeva modeling her personal flower headband

Just like those boutique ones huh??

But while I was out looking for hairbands to attach these cutesies to I couldnt find a single one id care to put on my own girls.

No problem ;)

A little fabric, a little cutting, some interfacing, baby elastic, sew-sew-sew aaannd

wanna know how it fits?

It looks so elegant! Im pretty proud of how simple it is and how nice it looks on its own:)

Oh right! The other firsts of today!

Well these Im both thrilled by and saddened over.
Today my little ladybug had her first tasting of food.

she had cereal...

And she LOVED it

But it doesnt end there.   Aeva is also teething and she isnt handling it well. We found that drinking ice water out of our cup (she refuses a bottle), tends to help her.

So she got her first sippy

She knows JUST how to use it...what am i gonna be good for soon?!?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


In our town we often find ourselves looking for new and exciting venues.

When youre a mother of two rambunctious kids...exciting takes on a new meaning. And this to us is Hobby Lobby.
After hitting up (and messing up) Atlanta Bread Company for bagels and coffe (read fuel and energy), Jen, Michelle and I went for a stroll through the first Hobby Lobby in our town.
We each only needed MAYBE one item.

didnt happen
I found material for little boy shoes I want to make and Jen found Cars (the movie) fabric but didnt know what to use it for.
Ofcourse...I did.

I wish I could say that I took pictures of us trying to figure out how to make a Lighting McQueen tote bag for Max, buuuut I didnt. We were too busy fighting Aeva who gummed everything, kicked the table, cried and caused general havoc.

We did however get this

Yes thats salvage as a hair bow. But look at the undergrowth of hair! Its like she has a natural mohawk. Gotta love that sweet baby though <3

Anyways, thanks to said sweet baby and a lonely papa at home I had to skidaddle early into the night and leave Jen with something resembling instructions and a type of guideline online.
As usual, Jen did not let me down:

Look at that smile! That tote bag kicks butt and takes crayons later! Speaking of crayons, Mr. Max can store those and his coloring books in it.

Put that in your bag and shake it!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Nook Sleeve

So as Im getting ready to settle in my bed and possibly start some knitting, I get this in a text:


Cute right?!
One of my favorite J-girls ( I have 3), Jess,  decided to take on the world of felt and hand stitching to create her very own Nook Sleeve.

This is her by the way, with hubby Tobias.  (yea yea i KNOW Jess cut her hair very short but this is one of my faves of her...and yep shes a photog too!)

And she quoted ME as inspiration! Aint it awesome?? Just makes me swell with all sorts of good feelings inside!
Now you may be asking yourself, what does Sherlin have to do with felt and hand stitching??
Heres what:

This is Jess's spunky daughter, Vivi (or rather the back of vivi's head), sporting a handstitched felt clip I made for her. Jess just LOVES anything punk and pink especially when its skull and crossbones. 
Im honestly thrilled that she has started to try her hand at crafts! And without me there to help, shes officially living up to the Need Not Know How philosophy (as Jen put it).
I miss Jess, Vivi and Tobias
When I first started this whole crafting thing I could run out my back door thru my yard and onto her back patio to show off my latest creation. But sadly for me (and wickedly great for them), the Air Force finally moved the McCurrys out to Keesler AFB in Mississippi.
If only they could have packed us up too : /

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mark this day!

  1. Feels like a long time coming but its FINALLY here! The day I start my blog about what I do best: Making things without any know-how.

First off I want to introduce you to the two ladies who for the most part inspire me to try:

Theres Iris, my flower, fashionista extaordinaire and expensive little gal to say the least

And Aeva, also widely known as ladybug. My living breathing craft display model.
Disclaimer: she is NOT as quiet as her buggy counterpart

Right around the time that Aeva was born, I got hit by a sudden urge to sew. For my birthday I purchased a used sewing machine sans manual, hooked it up and sewed up scrap fabric I found around the house. Lets just say that those poor projects will never see the light of day.

Now theres two main ladies I craft WITH, you can consider us as a whole the Need Not Know How Mamas;)

This is Jen

She is teaching me (ever so patiently), how to knit. I still have your needles Jen. Theyre temporarily confiscated.
Shes an incredibly talented photographer (many of the best pictures I have come from her).  
Im teaching her how to crochet.
Neigther one of us was really taught, so we live off of blogs, tutorials, YouTube, and magazines.
And do-overs....
Were both working on improving our sewing skills...but with two wild kids each, we hardly get our machines chugging long.
I have forever been a hater of fungus (aka Mushrooms) but with Jen's extraordinary cooking skills, I have started to each them. Willingly. *insert gasp here*

Meet Michelle

She never likes any pictures of herself, so tough nuggets lady...i couldnt find another.
Michelle is figuring out how to make wreathes with me in this picture. Pine scraps, hot glue, zipties (yes..zipties) and fake berries...I think we did a fine job:)
At some point, Michelle WILL teach me how to make bread. Shes awesome at it. Im....well...bread-making-challenged. I think I discourage yeast from making bread rise.
Im teaching her how to sew. And crochet. Shes such good sport :D
She also lets me try my rusty teaching skills out on her without her asking me to.
Oh and her youngest daughter is my back-up, real live, craft model. When she keeps them on...

So why the name 'Need Not Know How'? Simply because we wing it. Some times we fail but most always we come out with a pretty unique something. More often than not its because we dont read directions. Or atleast not fully...if we even have any.

So while I ramble along I hope youll find my posts to be entertaining atleast. But mostly I hope it inspires you to try your hand at something you have no clue how to make:)