Thursday, January 28, 2010

Followers favorites giveaway at Dress-up Drawer

I was very excited to see this fun giveaway. I was looking at Jessica's blog Happy Together today and she had posted that one of her headbands is up for a giveaway on The Dress-up Drawer!! There are also some other funtabulous items available for giveaway - click this button and check them all out!!

Dress up Drawer

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jeans to ruffle skirt

I'm positive I've seen this done somewhere else in blogland, but I couldn't find the post when I went to work on this project, so I sort of winged it. My middle one had a pair of jeans with a roughed up knee, it was pretty much non-existent. They were otherwise in good shape, and also one of my favorite brands of jeans for kids - Oshkosh. I couldn't just toss them!

So I grabbed some pretty pink fabric I had bought at a 50% off clearance sale at Jo-Ann's and went to town.

I wish I had thought to take pictures of the process, so this isn't really a tutorial, but the kids were actually being quiet and playing ALL TOGETHER!! which is a very rare occurrence, I knew I didn't have long to get it done.

First I cut the jeans off about an inch below the zipper. Then I cut 2 pieces of the fabric 3"x44" and sewed the ends together to make one continuous loop. I hemmed it real quick about a half inch then went ahead and gathered the top, using the ruffling step in this skirt tutorial here. I cut 2 more pieces, this time 6"x44" and did the same things - hem, gather, ruffle.

I placed the 3" ruffle right side against the right side of the skirt, matching up raw edges, then placed the 6" ruffle right side against the wrong side of the first ruffle. Sewed it all in place, backstitching a few times over places I knew would need it (like the front, below the zipper). And then I top stitched to help it lay flatter than it was. That's it! Easy peasy! Took about a half hour, including all the gathering and cutting.

Pictures? Okay, here's some pictures. She's calling it her Lovey Day Skirt. How cute!?



Don't you just love those pockets??

And on (with grey leggings...I don't know about this one haha)


Oh and a sneaky peaky of something I've been working on for DAYS and hope to finish tomorrow...or Friday we'll see!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lovin' on Etsy #5 - Shopping Local



1. Embroidered wallet in Reaching Leaves by LBaccessories

2. Cream Bloom Headband by littlehoneypies

3. Tri-fold Credit Card / Business Card Holder/ Wallet/ Keyfob by cassylaintotes

4. Pair of Russian Matryoshka Doll Organic Lavender Sachets by geschichtenvonkat

Supporting local crafters is important to me. I frequently type my home and nearby states into the Etsy Shop Local The above sellers are from New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pillows!! and some Thrifty Finds

I saw these great pillows the other day on Ashley's blog Make It and Love It. I immediately fell in love. Not only with pillows but also because I just got all that same fabric, remember? I have been so nervous about cutting into it, because I really do adore the prints, and because it's not cheap stuff to come by.

I do like that tie pillow tutorial a lot, but like I said, nervous about messing up such gorgeous fabric. So I decided to do something a little simpler. I used Candace at Sparkle Power's Super Easy Removable Pillow Cover tutorial. She doesn't lie. It's super easy. Each pillow took me 15 minutes, including all the ironing.

I picked up two 16"x16" pillow forms at Jo-Ann's yesterday. They were on sale 50% off so I got the pair for less than $8.

I'm trying to decide which couch they should rest on for now.

The brown upholstered one:


or the light colored microfiber:


I don't love either couch. If I had my way I'd get a new set that was a medium grey color but for now I'm stuck with these. Maybe I'll get some slipcovers. Except the light colored one is 92" long. Do they make slipcovers that big??

And now that I made these two covers without freaking out or messing them up, I'm totally going to try the tie pillows, tomorrow. During naptime.

Onto other things, my mom and I went shopping on Friday with the little girls. It was nice to have some time with my mom. I love her, even if we do butt heads like crazy. We're too much alike and yet very different at the same time.

We found this great little hooded jacket at Target for the little one. $6!! It's part wool, very cozy warm. When we put it on her, she said "I so pretty!" *wub*



We also stopped at a thrift store. They were doing a "stuff a bag" sale - whatever fit in the bag for $10. They had these satiny striped curtains hanging up in the back of the store, I think they were just decoration/hiding the ugly walls but I shouted to the guy running the register "Are the curtains stuffable?!" hehe I was totally (mostly) kidding and he said "Well, uh, we sell everything!" A few minutes later, after shopping some more, my mom hollered to me (we're yellers apparently) that I should find a way to get them down. The guy overheard her and said if I want them I can have them.



They look great in the girls room between their white/circle/dot curtains, don't you think? And I love how when the sun is on that side of the house the light makes the curtains shine on the walls and turns their room pink and orange.

Oh and a few days ago, the little girls and I went to Michaels to check out their clearance sale. I found this for $1. One dollar!!! I wanted to stick it somewhere so I pulled out another one of my chargers and it's on the kitchen table. It need a different candle inside, or something else. Maybe more of those marble things. Any ideas? I have to be careful though, the little one is still in the stick-everything-in-her-mouth stage.




*****

Heather of Mommy of 1 and Counting is doing yet another great giveaway! This time for Downeast Basics! Head over and enter!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

More new bows

I've been busy with a few orders on Etsy and wanted to post the results of my toiling.





I just love the aqua/pink/purple/white ones and the navy/light blue one. I love making bows for other people, especially when they come up with their own color ideas, because it makes me want to make more for my own girls. Of course, these ladies don't really need more bows at the moment. We have so many!

And while I was baking/curling/playing with ribbon, I decided to play around.



Love it.

I'm still working on a few things, will post them soon!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mod Podge!!

Except the Hubby thinks it's really stinky!! I bought myself a jug of the stuff because it's all over blogland and I figured it's time to branch out some.

I didn't want to start with anything that I owned that I would be worried about ruining. This is my first mod podging, of course. I remembered reading somewhere about turning a priority mailbox into storage for 12x12 scrapbook paper. I do get a lot of packages in the mail and had one of these boxes available. It's 12.5" x 15.5" x 3" in size - perfect for the paper.



I want to note here that priority mailboxes are free for use in shipping mail via the USPS priority mail. Please don't take a fresh box from the PO to make a holder like this. The only way they can offer these for free is if they're used the proper way - for mailing. If you RECEIVE a box in the mail, the way I did, then by all means go ahead and mod podge it up. Let's try to keep the postal rates down (no matter that they keep raising 'em on us).

Okay off my soapbox, this is what I made. I wish I had taken pictures of the process but I will when I make the second one. I made this one as the patterned paper container, and I'll be making one for solid papers.



I also made this set of lower-case rag quilt letters using this tutorial by Jessica at Happy Together.

I love how they came out, although I have to make more of certain letters, namely "i", "e", "l", "a", and "n" (letters in the girls' names).



The little one and I were playing with them today, and I "wrote"



Which gave me a fun idea for a project - I'll post them tomorrow!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Vintage Mini-Quilt Giveaway on Bright and Blithe

I have been spending the last few days being more mama than creative and in doing so, I've not had much to post here.

However, I stumbled across this lovely blog today. After perusing the past posts and drooling over her new shop, I decided Yes, I will enter that contest and wanted to post here to show you all and encourage you to enter too!

Look at this loveliness! Isn't it fantastic? I want it. But maybe we should fight for it, yes? Go enter! *click the image to find her contest*




And check out her lovely market. I think I adore those pillow covers

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I made a top - without a pattern

I got an idea in my head and just had to try it out. I want to note here that I don't have a ballpoint needle on my machine, which I'm told would have made things easier. Also it would have been nice to use a serger, but I don't have access to one for another week or so, so I had to make do with my sewing machine.

I wanted to make a shirt that would look good alone in the summer, or layered over a tee when it's cooller, for my daughter. I had this knit fabric I picked up super cheap at JoAnn's when I worked there and figured I should put it to use.

First I cut two trapezoid shapes out. I used another one of her shirts to get the basic shape I wanted, and cut it a little longer. I also needed some pieces to make the straps. Ignore the 4 pieces here, I ended up cutting two pieces that were 3 inches by 7 inches.




Next I lettuce edged the hem. I accidentally figure out how to do this by zigzagging the edge and pulling from the front and back. I knew how to do it with a serger, but am thrilled I can basically do it with my sewing machine.



Once the edges were done, I cut curves out near the top to make room for underarms. Then I folded the sides in and stitched down.





To make the straps, I fold them in half lengthwise and stitched down the side. I tried to use 1/4" seams. I then turned them inside out.



I attached the straps to the right side of one of the sides of the shirt.



Then I flipped the piece over and folded down the top, then stitched across. After that, I flipped it over and stitched across the straps one more time to make sure they were nice and secure.



I did the same thing to the other side and it looked like this...



Next I pinned the to shirt pieces right sides together matching up the arm holes and hem. I stitched down the sides and flipped it right side out.

And the completed top! (with a matching tee underneath)



After I finished I decided I really want to make these with regular cotton fabric. I think that's what is on my agenda this weekend :) We'll see!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Super Easy Baked Ziti!!

Remember my goal to be a better cook? Well I'm getting there!! I can proudly say I've made dinner almost every night the last week (minus 1 night the Hubby took care of it, bless him). AND every time I made dinner the girls ate it all and asked for SECONDS!! Doesn't that warm a mama's heart?

So in keeping with my plans, I decided to make baked ziti last night. It's beyond easy. Besides the boiling water/pasta part, it takes minutes to prep.

Here's what you need:
1 package ziti pasta (I used rigatoni last night because I grabbed the wrong box at the store but usually we do ziti)
1/2 jar spaghetti sauce
1 package shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
Grated Parmesan cheese

Step 1. Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain, pour pasta into baking dish.

Step 2. Pour sauce over pasta, as much as you need to coat it (we use about a half a jar, but you might like it more or less saucy. I go slow when I pour). Stir the pasta and sauce up.

Step 3. Add beaten egg to the pasta and sauce. Stir until it's pretty evenly spread out.

Step 4. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top. If you like a lot of cheese like I do, use a lot. If not just a thin layer will do. **I want to note here that my lovely Hubby used almost a whole bag of cheese on pizzas the other night, SO I had to substitute with cheddar. It was still good, just not the same as full on mozzarella.** Sprinkly Parmesan cheese over top just a bit.

Step 5. BAKE! 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and browning.

It should look like this:


All served up for the girls.


Note the green bowls. We have a problem here where I bought all these funky colored bowls. They fought over the green one. Green is my middle's favorite color. Apparently it's now everyone's. SO I saw these at Target for like $1.99 and knew I had to have them. So far no more fights.

So yummy and super easy!!

I'm posting this to Blue Cricket Design's Show and Tell

Swing on over there and check out all the amazing craftiness going on in the blog world :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lovin' on Etsy #4 and some other things of not so much consequence



1. Spectacle Dangle Earrings by AntiquatedPearl

2. STERLING SILVER NECKLACE WITH FRESHWATER PEARL by heartdesignjewelry

3. fairytale . silver . necklace by 87photography

4. Pearl Swarovski Crystal Mauve Bangle Bracelet by beadedjewelryforyou

Now that we're all done spoiling the kiddos with holiday gifts and cheer, I'm of the mind to spoil myself. Except I can't. The Hubby would prefer I wait until after Valentine's Day to do so (and yes, we're totally commercial when it comes to this holiday, no apologies here!). So instead, I'm posting some of my favorite etsy finds in hopes that maybe he'll swing by my blog and get some ideas. Of course, should V-day fly by without a trinket like these, I might have to get something for myself anyway. I hardly ever shop for me, really. I just pretend I do.

Anyway -

Remember the changing table I got? The one that was going to be my new fabric storage? Sadly, it has suffered a major catastrophe at the hands of yours truly. I tripped in the basement while carrying something very heavy and crashed into it, heavy object first, which really wrecked the table. It was very unfortunate. But I have found a new hope! Meet my next new addition!



I actually think I like this one better and I think I'm going to leave it as is for now. What do you think? Should I modge podge the top? I do think I'm going to change out the knobs but haven't decided what I'll change them too. Lots to think about.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Can you follow a pattern?

Because I learned that I can! Wow I'm impressing myself with my sudden increase in skills! (just kidding, I'm just glad I didn't hurt myself haha!)

I started this dress for my oldest daughter AGES ago, before her 5th birthday in September. Unfortunately I didn't give myself enough time to make the dress, the party favors, or anything else for that matter. So the pattern pieces were pushed to the wayside.

Until two days ago. I had found it all when cleaning out my craft space and the other day decided that it was time to finish it. I was a little worried that it wouldn't fit her anymore and would be a bit too big for the middle one.

Here's a couple pics. One from last night in the in between stages (do you like the way I changed up the charger display? I got a suggestion from Amanda to add some vintage beads. However I don't have any *sadly* so I used some of the girls' costume jewelry)



And today, all done, minus the zipper and a little embellishing on the front. Last night I still needed bias tape and then I realized "I can make some!" I talked to myself out loud a lot last night about bias tape, like "Whoever created this idea is a GENIUS!" and "Oh my gosh it really does stretch!" haha I was special last night that's for sure.



I'm thinking I might make one of those fun fabric flowers for the front, in hot pink to match the colors in the dress, with a spakly button center.

And I wanted to say we're all done with kojodesign's "I heart New Year's Challenge"!!

Yesterday I did the downstairs deep cleaning. My living room never looked so good. However, I forgot to take pictures and the Hubby was home today and claimed it as his domain. TODAY was the "overflow" or "rest" day and I decided to do both. The girls' room really needed some cleaning up and rearranging. The littlest one discovered how to get to the top bunk and we decided this just wasn't safe...so we took the bunk beds apart.

A quick before (there's a few things different in here now than before, this from when we moved in this summer, so there were boxes everywhere still).






And after hours of labor, and Hubby's strong moving skills:




I'm ALMOST happy with it. We cleared out some stuff but there's still SO MUCH! These guys are spoiled and they know it. I do have plans for some fun funky frames and decorations in there. Maybe some paper lanterns? We'll see :)


I joined the party here today:


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I can cook!

Haha! Well mostly I can follow directions without burning anything.

Part of my new year's goals was to be a better cook. I've had a lot of problems in the past of things not going well for me when I try to make a meal (like dinner!) and I really wanted to improve on that. The Hubby has been complaining that he does all the dinner cooking, I don't need that, now do I?

So the first thing I did was set up a meal plan for two weeks:
Mon 1/4 - Hamburger Helper, mashed potatoes, peas (easy night lol)
Tues 1/5 - Ultimate Chicken Fingers, garlic pasta, corn
Wed 1/6 - Sandwiches, macaroni salad
Thur 1/7 - Spaghetti and slow cooker meatballs, salad, garlic bread
Fri 1/8 - Leftover sauce with elbow pasta, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes
Sat 1/9 - Taco Bake
Sun 1/10 - Breakfast for Dinner - pancakes, bacon, eggs, toast

Mon 1/11 - Hot Dogs, Mac'n'cheese, corn on the cob (steamfresh)
Tues 1/12 - Tortellini with sauce, salad
Wed 1/13 - Brocolli Chicken Casserole, garlic bread
Thur 1/14 - Pizzas - BBQ for DH, sliced tomato and cheese for me, pepperoni for the girls
Fri 1/15 - Baked Ziti, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes
Sat 1/16 - Tuna sandwiches, baked mac'n'cheese
Sun 1/17 - Roast chicken, squash, potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing


Then I made a grocery list, organized by my grocery store's layout:
lunchmeat
cheese
rolls
lettuce
apples
bananas
cucumbers
squash
mayo
pickles
bbq sauce
bisquick
emeril's garlic parm seasoning
cereal
poptarts (for DH for work)
syrup
boneless chicken tenders
family size ground beef
roaster chicken
taco seasoning
bowtie pasta
elbows
spaghetti
sauce (2)
parm cheese
boyardees
pizza crust
juice
corn
peas
pepperoni
bologna
bacon
hot dogs
shredded pizza cheese
shredded mozzarella cheese
shredded taco/nacho cheese
large ricotta
eggs
oj
milk
sour cream
bread
eng muffins
butter
greek yogurt


I tried not to put too many "easy" cop-out type foods, so that I would be forced to follow the meal plan. I did include some simpler meals like the sandwiches and hotdogs, buts made sure to add sides that take time to prepare like the mac'n'cheese and the macaroni salad (we have a thing for elbows here).

Yesterday I had a bad day and couldn't handle the idea of a lot of prep work so I swapped the sandwiches for the chicken fingers. I did make the chicken fingers tonight and they were so good, my girls at it all and asked for seconds! So good, I'd like to share the recipe with you, which I found on the side of the Bisquick box!

Ultimate Chicken Fingers
Ingredients

* 8 boneless skinless chicken tenders
* 2/3 cup Bisquick baking mix
* 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt or garlic powder
* 1/2 teaspoon paprika
* 1 egg, slightly beaten
* 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Directions

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray. In 1 gal plastic resealable food-storage bag, mix Bisquick mix, cheese, salt and paprika.

2. Dip half the chicken strips into egg; place in bag of Bisquick mixture.

3. Seal bag; shake to coat. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Repeat using remaining chicken. Drizzle butter over chicken.

4. Bake 12-14, turning halfway through bake time with pancake turner, until no longer pink in center.

5. To freeze: Coat chicken in mixture. Lay flat on a baking sheet and freeze until firm.

6. To serve: from frozen, bake at 350 15-20 minutes per side.

These are seriously the easiest chicken fingers ever. And they taste so good! I add a bit more paprika than the recipe calls for, as well as a dash of garlic powder (just a bit!). When I drizzle the butter on top, I also sprinkle a little more cheese and voila! Super yummy dinner even the kids will love!

I have leftovers, which I'll be adding to a fresh garden salad tomorrow for lunch!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Two posts - one day!

Okay so I announced the winner of my giveaway and now I want to tell you about some other giveaways going on at some of my favorite blogs.

First, Is the amazing $75 Giveaway from Lisa Leonard Designs hosted by Traci of Beneath My Heart. The pieces are perfect for Mother's Day gifts, sweetheart presents, or to simply treat yourself!

I'm in love with this one, her newest style called "Heart Strings"



(photo courtesy Lisa Leonard Designs)










Heather of Mommy of 1 and Counting always has terrific giveaways going on at her blog. I recently won one!! I won the Thirsties Duo Diaper giveaway. It actually arrived in the mail yesterday and I was so happy for fluffy mail and even happier because I actually won something!

Of the giveaways going on now, Heather has The Cream Perfume Company giveaway. They've offered an item of choice to three of her readers. I think the Coconut Body Moisturizer sounds fabulous and summery - perfect if you need a sensory escape from the winter doldrums.

Over at Kojodesigns, Kristin and Jordan are giving away a set of 10 "iloveyou" mini cards by kojodesigns. These are perfect for Valentine's day, or little love notes for you to leave for your significant other, just to say "Hey, I love you."

So there you have it. Three more giveaways in the blog world. There are so many more too! Check out the sidebars on all the different blogs, so many list their favorite blogs in a blogroll, like I do here >>>>>>>
You never know what you'll stumble upon!

Giveaway Winner!!

Are you eager to find out who won the hairbows? I sure was too! I used a random number generator and the winner is:



KELLY!! Who said:
Oh these are adorable Kristan! I'd love these for my God-daughter!

Love the blog and the title!


I'm sending you a message Kelly! Congratulations :)

I'll be having another giveaway really soon! So keep popping in and checking out what we're doing here!

Monday, January 4, 2010

I heart New Years Challenge #5 - Strategize!

Number 5 on kojodesigns' I heart New Years Challenge is "Strategize". They essentially say to avoid failure you should break down your goals into realistic bits and pieces, create a strategy, a detailed plan of what you want to accomnplish.

And here I sit before you, strategizing. I'm strategizing my craftiness and my organization. I set bigger goals for my life in general a few posts back, but now it's time to get down to the knitty gritty and really think on what I want to get done. So here's my list:



January
- Begin and complete brainstorming for Lilly's 2nd birthday Polka Dot party (in April)
- Complete two craft-space projects to make it a more inviting and inspiring space
- Really start working on quilt for DH and I (goal - complete top by April)
- Follow two tutorials

February
- Complete two craft-space projects to make it a more inviting and inspiring space
- Begin and complete favors and decor for Lilly's 2nd birthday party
- Continue work on our quilt
- Follow two tutorials

March
- Sew Lilly's birthday dress using this great pattern by Pink Fig - the Cuppy Cake dress
- Continue work on our quilt, hopefully near completiong
- Complete two craft-space projects to make it a more inviting and inspiring space
- Research local professional quilters in hopes of finding one to quilt my quilt for me (I'm afraid I'll ruin it!)
- Start brainstorming ideas for Caylee's 4th birthday in June

April
- Lilly's birthday party!!
- Finish work on our quilt, set up with local quilter *hopefully* to have quilt "quilted" in May
- Complete two craft-space projects to make it a more inviting and inspiring space
- Begin and complete Caylee's decor and favors
- Follow two tutorials

May
- Have quilt "quilted"
- Complete two craft-space projects to make it a more inviting and inspiring space
- Sew Caylee's birthday outfit... haven't decided on it yet
- Follow two tutorials

I think I'll stop there. June will be crazy for me as will July. I'll update later on ;)

Just about ONE HOUR LEFT!! for the Korker Giveaway!! Enter now!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ahhh!

A sigh of relief, that's what that was. Tonight is the last night of school vacation. I am so looking forward to my one-on-one time with the littlest, as well as her nap time ;) so that I can get things done. Of course looking at my craft space, I was NOT feeling motivated to craft at all.

But then...I saw on KojoDesigns the "I heart New Years Challenge" and decided I might as well get cracking.

This is the before of my craft space. The holidays and change in seasons really messes me up. Things get put all willy-nilly, the kids invade the space, and it just gets yucky! *bleh*


And the afters. I sew, make hairbows, scrapbook, and paint, among other things down here. I wish it weren't a basement but it'll do for now.

Here is where I do my fabric cutting (someday, maybe soon, I'll have a nice big cutting mat, or a cutting table!!), my scrapbooking, painting, and bow making.


This plastic storage my parents gave me for Christmas. I labeled the drawers with spare cardstock and filled it right up. Notions, ribbon, patterns etc go here.


On the right here, you can see my mountain of scrapbooks and baskets/bins filled with felt, pictures, miscellanous scrapbooking things. The brown cabinet houses the girls' baby books, yearbooks, photo albums, shipping supplies, books, and candles (I adore partylite!) The white shelving is my current fabric storage..


These shelves will soon be replaced by this changing table redo


Here is where I sew. I have big dreams of an old restored farm table but for now I have these heavy duty folding tables thanks to my dad :)


And some inspiration from my oldest, she wants to be a fashion designer/interior decorator/teacher/doctor. Big dreams, little girl! Keep 'em alive!


The silver charger I got in a set of 4 for $1.25 at Walmart during their 75% off Christmas sale. I also picked up the tree for $1.75, the Wish sign for $1.25 and I already owned the partylite candles and holders. I want to get some bright funky pillars for springtime but we'll see. I also need ideas for where and how to use the other three chargers haha


So that's my craft space in a nutshell. I've done #1, 2, and 3 on their list for the Challenge. (Number 3 was done before now but I've been working on staying on top of paper for a while).

I just finished up #4 this evening. It's an apron for my middle daughter. She's not into ruffles and fluff so I made her a simple, bright colored apron. Instead of ties I did a velcro waistband. I saw it on someone's blog and now I cannot find it! If you came up with this idea PLEASE let me know! :)

It was really hard to photograph it without my models. They're asleep so for now these pre-action photos will have to do.




I really want to put some embellishments, maybe a green pocket or something fun on the front but I have yet to decide. We'll see.

Lastly but certainly not the least important, Disney of Ruffles and Stuff is holding an amazing giveaway! She makes such pretty jewelry, it looks so romantic. I'd really like some of my own *hint hint Hubby!* Run on over and check out her blog, and while you're at it, check out her etsy shop as well, Antiquated Pearl

Don't forget! Tomorrow is the last day to enter MY korker hairbow giveaway! Enter by leaving your comments on this post here!

Goodnight!