Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A new project!!

I found this on Craigslist for $20. The drawers are off track a little and it needs knobs but it's sturdy otherwise.

I'm going to have the Hubby fix the drawers and tracks (he says it's easy to do). And then we're going to sand it and repaint it. Then I want to decoupage (modge podge) the top with fun scrapbook papers and get funky knobs.

It's going to be fabric storage!

So here's the BEFORE: (excuse the stuff around and inside it, this is the original owner's picture)




And I'll update with progress pics and "AFTER" when it's all done. I can't wait!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Woohoo! I won!

A while back I entered a contest on Heather's blog for a Thirsties Duo Diaper. Well I won! I'm pretty thrilled.

We've been cloth diapering for almost a year now. I love it. I will admit we do use disposable diapers sometimes, mostly at DH's choice not mine, but I prefer the cloth. We started out using pocket diapers - diapers that have a "pocket" for you to stuff an absorbent insert inside. Then we switched to fitted diapers with covers. And then we switched to prefolds, pins, and covers. Yeah I do it the old fashioned way now. But I'm excited to try out the Duo Diaper. We selected a Size 2 in Storm Cloud. If we like it, I may just get a few more.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I made our holiday card a while ago but hadn't thought to post it until just now.




I used Val's Holly Jolly kit. You can find it in her shops at GDS and Elemental Scraps. It's currently on sale, along with a lot of other things in her shop, so if you're in need of cute digi scrap stuff, definitely check there!

Please forgive me, I forgot what fonts I used! It's been so long since I really scrapped anything.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our stockings

I thought I'd post a closer picture of the girls' stockings. As I said before, these are handmade. My mother in law and I had made two in 2007, one for Brianna and one for Caylee. We picked out the fabrics and sewed them together and cut out the stocking shape for the front. Then I picked out what pieces I wanted for the appliques, traced, cut, steam-a-seamed, ironed forever and ever (at least it felt like it). Then I handed it off to my mother in law who put it all together. I wish I had a picture of the inside (I'll try to get one today). It's this nice soft cream colored flannel with little stars on it. The backs are green wool felt.



When Lillian was born, my mother in law helped me make another for her. Luckily she still had some of the fabrics we used so they pretty much coordinate. I love them.

Although next year I might make some using this fabric:

photo courtesy sewlovechristmas on etsy

If only the Hubby would let me do a pink, aqua, lime, red, and white Christmas! How fun would that be!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Decorating

I love decorating for Christmas. Pulling out all the things we've been collecting over the last 5 years, seeing things we've made or the kids have made, it makes me happy.

We don't have much in the way of decorations just now. Mostly we have inherited things from the inlaws, received gifts from friends, or made and purchased them on our own.

This is pretty much the gist of what we have.


Our (fake) tree. We can't have a real one in our townhouse, so we make do with this. The balls are blue and silver and they're SUPPOSED to be shatterproof (my 20 month old has proved they are not, as we're now down to 10 or so balls). There's my hubby's Hallmark Crayola ornaments on there too. These were his growing up. He got a new one every year. We have a few other ornaments, the girls' first ornaments (Lilly doesn't have one, hers broke :( so sad!), a family one, a military one from when Hubby was in the Army. Some paper ones the girls have made, along with playdough ornaments we made in 2008.

The stockings are handmade. My mother in law made Hubby's when he was younger and then she made one for me that "sort of" matches. The girls each have those large quilted stockings. I helped with this one, cutting and ironing and steam-a-seaming the different appliques. I love them.

The santa was a handmedown from my mother in law, as was that little basket thing. The gold tree I found somewhere, the candle holder was on the table at my stepsisters wedding, and the frame was a gift last year from Hubby's grandmother.

That's pretty much it. We did get a cute snowman figurine, a candle, some holiday kitchen towels, and a snowman on a metal star from my secret santa on BAM but they weren't here when I took these pics.

I can't wait for the post-holiday sales. I'm hoping to scoop up some cute decor for next year at a good price (and maybe replace some of those broken ornaments too).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bags, rolls, and more

Finally I have pictures to post! I've been busy sewing along and crafting.

In November, my big girls went to Florida with my mom and stepfather to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. The girls also got to see my brother, dad, and stepmother too. Since they were driving the entire way from New Hampshire to the panhandle, we were worried about keeping the girls entertained. I whipped up a few things for them to take along.

First I made these tote bags for them to carry their supplies in. I used this tutorial from Skip to My Lou. They came together so easily and so quickly using this tutorial, I highly recommend it.



I thought they might like some crayon rolls to go along with the notepads and coloring books they'd be bringing along. I followed this tute, another from Skip to My Lou. Sewing felt can be a bit difficult, as it gets bulky but these turned out okay for my first time. I don't own pinking shears, but I'd like to get some, I think I like the decorative edge much nicer than my straight one.



The girls really wanted chalkmats too. I wasn't truly up for making them, but my stepfather said he'd pickup some chalk for the girls if I put them together. So here's one of the ones I made (I can't seem to find Cay's monkey one). I rushed, this is sloppy, I'm hoping my next ones come out much better but the girls love it no matter how messy it looks. I didn't really use a tutorial for this one. I just sort of looked at other chalkmats online and guessed.



I made a few other things, but I have to wait to share them till after the holidays because they're gifts for people who checkout my blog.

We have, however, done quite a bit of baking. I dug out the "New Betty Crocker Cookbook", which once belonged to my mother in law and is not so new anymore. We got the recipes for gingerbread and sugar cookies, so we could make them all from scratch. Let me just say molasses smells really gross but in the end the gingerbread cookies came out really yummy. They smell like Christmas!

We didn't have any regular cookie cutters (I thought we did but they disappeared). So we used play-doh cutters! Haha! Not very festive, but we have more of a zoo in cookies than holiday cheer. Check out the alligator, dolphin, and giraffe!





And when we made the sugar cookies, we thought to try using our food coloring. It's the gel kind and it didn't work out so good. Next time we'll have to figure something else out. Of course Caylee wanted green cookies (which look a little weird) and the red ones came out more like marbled than anything else. But they're yummy!





That's about it! I hope you're having fun getting ready for the holidays and enjoying your family too!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lovin' on Etsy #2

*I think I like doing this lovin' on etsy thing. So we're keeping up with it this Sunday too*





1. Snow White Scarf by KitFig

2. Adult Size Cloche Hat with Removable Flower- Avocado Green and Black by MelsBellsClocheHats

3. Berry Stripes Cabled Wristwarmers by funkisockmunki

4. Headwrap - Salt and Pepper by scarfcity

I have the hardest time buying things for me. I think that's something that comes with being a mama. But it is nice to look. We've had some pretty chilly weather here lately and so I've been browsing, looking for cute and warm knitted things. Those wristwarmers would be perfect for when I'm on my laptop. And I'm in love with the idea of a white cable knit scarf. How cute would that one be with that headwarmer? And I have to say that I love the avocado green in that hat. I'm not typically a green fan but that color I love.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A new layout!

How lovely is this?! My wonderful friend, Val, created this beautiful layout for me. I had been so sad looking at the bland background, and completely disappointed at my pictures getting chopped in half. Look at it now! She used "Hoo Girl", a digiscrap kit created by herself and Kimi of Kimi's Kreations.

Be sure to check out Val's shops at GDS and Elemental Scraps

Thank you, thank you VAL for brightening my blog (and my day)!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lovin' on Etsy




1. Lacing Tree with Apple and Pear Wooden Toy by linenkids

2. Soft Cloth Ball by willowbaus

3. Custom cloth baby girl or boy doll by justplainbeckyw

4. Nadia's Sweet Shop Collection by NadiasPlace

I adore looking at all the fun little things the creative people on etsy make. I especially love handmade children's toys and games. I'd love to fill my girls' room with toys just like these.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hooray for FABRIC!!

I love getting pretty mail. It brightens my day. I ordered some fabric from a co-op and it arrived today. I thought it'd be here Monday so it was definitely a pleasant surprise.

I got yardage of a couple from this line

Amy Butler Lotus - 14 - Linen/Morning Glory


Amy Butler Lotus - 17 - Sky



And some from this line

Amy Butler Lotus - 17 - Cherry WallFlower


Amy Butler Lotus - 13 - Cherry Full Moon Polka Dot


Now I just need to figure out what I want to make with them....

Friday, December 4, 2009

I'm terrible

I know. I'm a terrible, terrible blogger. I just, get busy. And I'm addicted to facebook. Everyone I know (nearly) is on FB. So I keep updating on there and then I feel redundant when I come along to here. Not to mention between myself and my girls, someone has constantly been sick. Mostly me. Including today. So please, please excuse me, if you happen to follow my blog, for the delay.

Anyway! So I've been busy with different craftiness over the past couple months.
I have:

Made some bowholders and bows for some wonderful ladies:





And a few iSpy bags:


The iSpy bags are so fun. You push the pellets around until you find the items inside by bringing them up to the vinyl window. These are double stitched and reinforced as much as possible. I tossed these around my house with the hubby to make sure they wouldn't bust open.

I also made a gift for my sister (which I cannot post until after the holidays), a couple tote bags for my girls, chalk mats, and about a half dozen crayon rolls. I need to get pictures of the girls things up here. I keep losing either my camera or my camera cord, which really puts a damper on posting pictures doesn't it?

And so I'm going to leave you, I will be back, I don't know when but it'll be soon!

For now, here's a picture of my ladies, all dressed up in an attempt to get a good holiday picture.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's been a while but!!!!

I have some news! I opened an etsy shop!! You can find it here. It's still a bit rough around the edges, and I'm learning the site and how it all works so bear with me while I perform opening maintenance. :)

I'm running a sale right now - 10% off all bow holders, orders over $25 ship free, and a free set of clippies with every order. I'm working on some items to have "in stock" along with the custom listings. Hopefully everything should be looking a bit better by this time next week.

Among other news, I'm still waiting on my camera. It arrived and then we found it was still broken so off it went to Geek Squad who shipped it off again to Canon. I'm so sad without my camera. I've had to use the cellphone and it just not do anything justice with the lack of flash and proper camera functions.

I did manage to get the pictures of my beautiful oldest daughter's birthday party off of the memory card before we sent the camera itself back out for repairs.

The birthday girl, waiting for the party to start:


My middle child, reluctantly posing. Recognize the skirt? And the crown?


See this guy? My handsome nephew Braedyn. I love him and I miss him and cannot wait to see him this Christmas. He makes a handsome prince, no?


The castle pinata that would never break. Hubby worked so hard on this and only ONE kiddo (a 4 year old) was able to make a puncture in it. Eventually it fell down and the (40 pounds of) candy was dumped out for the kids to attack and devour.


Lastly, the 48 cupcakes I slaved over the morning of to complete. They had pink and purple centers and magenta frosting that I colored with food coloring. The 9ish year old boys were really excited to see who got what color cupcakes. Seriously. They were having a competition.



So that's about it. I'll have pictures of things I've been working on soon. I'm going to really work on staying focused on the blog and updating as I get things done. I'll try. Really, I will.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Being kind and generous - giveaways, raffles, and auctions

I've been really busy lately. I have big news and lots of pictures to post, but my camera is broken and we're waiting on the repairs to be finished. Until then I can't upload anything. And I'm not ready to share my big news...just yet.

So I figured I'd link you all to some exciting and sweet things going on in the virtual world.

First - there's a great raffle and auction going on to benefit a WAHM, Katie of Ewe Need It. On Fairytale Boutique, many mamas have donated their items and services for raffle as well as some auctions. All proceeds are going directly to Katie and her family. To quote from the listings,
"Katie's husband has cancer again and will be undergoing both testing and treatment in the coming weeks/months. Her family is struggling right now and we are all rallying together to help them! Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated tons by Katie and she thanks everyone for the generosity, love, and support."
Please go check out the shop. Maybe you'll find something fun for yourself or your little ones! I won the Oct 1st listing of a custom set of 3 mama pads from Happy Booty Boutique. I can't wait to work with that mama on those!

Next - head on over to Zakka Life. She's giving away tons of craft supplies courtesy of Elmer's. Paintpens, glue and more! Check it out, contest ends Oct 9.

Now why don't you head on over to Mommy of 1 and Counting and enter in the giveway for Girl Gotch. They're really cute, comfy little undies for little girls that are made more like boyish underwear, designed not to ride up or twist and bunch like typical girly undies do.

And after you've done that, sneak on by Stacey's blog And... So it Goes. She has a giveaway running through the weekend for a copy of chicks-n-chickens' Lullaby Exercises dvd.


That's probably enough stimulation there for you. Enjoy the rest of your weekend (ours is looking dreary and rainy indefinitely).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's a brand new (evening)

I'm so overwhelmed. I have so much to get done for my oldest's birthday party. She turns 5 tomorrow (!!!!) and her party is Saturday. We're sort of running with a homemade fairytale theme.

I stumbled across this great tutorial for making crowns at Balancing Everything. I thought to myself "Self, you can totally make those!" And ran out to buy 5 yards of felt in bright fun colors.
Here's the littlest modeling one of the first ones:




I got a whopping 6 done in one night and since then have lost my motivation. I needed to make about 20 more (well a few less but it never hurts to have extras). So today I whined (yes, I'm such a baby) to hubby that things weren't even close to being finished and he sent me downstairs to make more while he tended to our flock, I mean, children. The crowns are all slightly different, and they're all reversible, which will be fun for the kids. I'm glad we went with these instead of cheesy party hats but MAN! The work! The hours! Okay...I'm being dramatic.

Beyond the birthday stuff I've been sewing for others. I made 20 girly washcloths for a sweet lady that's thrilled to be having a baby girl after a couple boys.



and to go along with them, some korkers and clippies. I hope she loves all the girly goodness after being surrounded in a sea of blue and green!



And finally,
Frugal Family Fun Blog is hosting a fun giveaway sponsored by AllChildrensFurniture.com, who features more than just furniture (with items from kids chairs to toys and games). Giveaway ends Saturday, September 26th!



Now I need to stop stalling and get back to work. We've got to finish these crowns and put together a castle pinata which is proving to be just as big a task as the crowns!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hippos, blankies, and bugs - oh my!

My middle daughter had her orientation for preschool yesterday. This weekend I worked hard to put together a cute skirt from some yummy Ikea barnslig fabric. Cay loves hippos. We read books about hippos every day and she talks about them often. I think the word "hippopotamus" just sounds fun to a three year old. And of course her favorite color is green so what better way to combine the two than in this fun skirt? When I was all finished I realized I had tons of scraps and a bunch of fabric left over so I whipped up this headband using the ten minute tutorial that I used for the doll headband. She looked adorable, don't you think?

My silly little preschooler, can't help but be a supermodel somedays!

Last night I was feeling a little down. I had everything ready to put together Brianna's birthday dress and realized I needed interfacing. Not wanting to go out yet again, I decided to work on something else and save the dress for today (or this weekend, hopefully no later than this weekend). In the end I put together this simple comforter for the baby. It's made with Bubble Gum Giraffe knit interlock, batting, and on the reverse - I repurposed a white and polka dot sheet I found at the thrift store for just a couple dollars. It was full size and the polka dots match the ones on the giraffe fabric perfectly. I'm still new to the whole sewing on stretchy fabrics process so the knit bunched and puckered when I was stitching across at the end to hold the batting in place, but for a 17.5 month old little girl, I think it came out okay, yeah?


Any other mom's out there have little girls that love bugs? My big girls are fascinated by caterpillars at the moment. Brianna is learning about butterflies and everything that comes with them or is connected to them and she's passing that knowledge down to Caylee. Last night they found a fuzzy caterpillar on our back steps and had to set him (or her?) free in the yard.



Thank you for looking!! Please come back by soon!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Creativity without a home...

Our water heater busted on Sunday. We woke up to a flooded basement. Sadly a few of the girls larger wooden toys were water logged, as was a cabinet of mine among other things. Luckily it's all cleaned up, drained, and the heater was replaced today so we now have hot water again (you have no idea how sad I was when I learned I could not give nor take a bath).

You might recall my crafting area was in the basement. Thankfully nothing major was lost to the water, I did lose some scrapbooking supplies but nothing that can't be replaced.

Right now our basement looks like a basement. Things are stacked and moved and I don't have a craft space set up at the moment. I have to say it's really annoying. I keep thinking "Oh I can go make...oh no I can't". Not to mention we stored my fabric and ribbon in our bedroom. I keep finding long lengths of ribbon strung from my room to the girls' room. Ah the adventures of being a toddler mommy!

Since I can't sew, I'm "window shopping" online. Some things I'm in love with:

This and That From Japan at Etsy

How yummy is this shop? I especially love this Riding Hood print, and this toadstool print.

And Kasie happened to link me to Fat Quarter Shop And of course now I'm drooling over just about everything they have.

Namely...

Girl Animal Party I mean seriously, how fun is this? It would be perfect for some tiered twirly skirts for the little girls!

Along with this...

Be Merry
I would love to make some fun stockings, some twirly skirties, some stuffies. The possibilities are endless!


Not to mention I'd love to get these ones to make these Rag Quilt Letters.
Love U
On The Go
Sweets

I love the tutorial that Jessica of Happy Together posted on her blog. I think I want to make these for my girls for Christmas instead of the felt ones.

Ah! I probably should stop browsing before I accidentally click "Buy" haha. Hubby would not be thrilled with me at all.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I think I've got it!

My sister and I accomplished something big this weekend. We made a comforter for her to use in her dorm room. She fell in love with some rainbow hearts sweatshirt material I had lying around (begging to be used in my stash). She practically assaulted me asking for me to make her a blanket. We went to Joann's this Friday and got a ton of flannel (ie, 8 yards total) which was great because it was buy one yard, get one free on their cozy flannel solids (hooray for labor day sales!) and some batting and went to town.

We spent 30 minutes developing a "pattern" or as I've now dubbed it "plan of action". Hearts in the middle, red on the the sides for the front - blue in the middle, orange on the sides for the underside. We used both the sewing machine and the serger to ensure it was nice and secure. I'm pretty darn proud. It needs some more quilting to keep the batting from moving around but she'll be home again before it's time to wash it I'm sure and I'll get that taken care of in a jiffy.

Pictures


She's so thrilled (orange is her favorite color, FYI)


And to see both sides...


This monster is pretty heavy. My mom was concerned she wouldn't be warm enough but I'm not worried at all. I also whipped up a pillowcase to match (it's reversible - one side red, the other orange). I'm hoping she'll email me a pic of it all set up in her room so I can post it here.


In other news, I found this great doll on Craigslist for $15. It's an American Girl doll. I'm pretty sure she's Samantha, who was retired and is worth a lot of money (!!!) but we're giving her to C.J. who has wanted one because Brie has one for quite some time.

Isn't she gorgeous? The ad showed a naked doll but she came in this great little dress, with bloomers and an underdress too.



And with her new best friend, Brie's doll "Sara". We're having a hard time coming up with a name for the newbie. I keep suggesting Sam or Samantha. It's a no-go.

Friday, September 4, 2009

School days and an outfit to boot!

My oldest has started Kindergarten! Her first day was Wednesday and it was bittersweet. I cannot believe she's growing up that fast! It feels like I just had her yesterday, not nearly 5 years ago. So far she's doing well. A little shy but enjoying it. She loves recess, of course, and really likes when they read books. I wish I had taken a picture of her face when she told me they went to the LIBRARY! You'd have thought she said they went to the biggest toy store in the world! Haha! That's my girl, loves books!

Here she is on her first day of school:



I had wanted to make her this skirt and shirt for the first day of school, but I wasn't feeling well and didn't finish it till last night. It's my first real sewing, the first things I made that I'm proud of. The tiered skirt was hard. I used this tutorial for the skirt. The applique was just something simple to dress up an older shirt we had that matched the pink in the skirt. I used steam a seam stuff and then stitched over the edges. What do you think? Not bad right?



The top


The skirt


Action shot this morning


Thanks for checking it out :) I hope you have a great weekend!