Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Vanity for Christmas

This year, Natalie's Christmas wish was for a "pink" vanity, mirror and bench. So of course, my hubby did everything he could to give her the gift. We found a 1920's vanity that had been primed and was a little bit beat up. We bought it on Wednesday before Christmas from a local antique shop and had the vanity and bench sanded down and painted by Christmas Eve. The edges were sprayed silver and then top coated pink, then sanded. That night we made a cushion for the bench and moved it into the house for the morning reveal. As a finishing touch, a spray of silver sparkle was added. Thank goodness my husband is a painter by profession and has the shop to do these kind of projects.

It was a huge hit in the morning when she spotted the bench under the tree. So fun to give homemade gifts!

Christmas morning!

The photos don't really do it justice, but I still wanted to share the finished project!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Homemade Christmas-We Whisk You A Merry Kiss-mas!

I found some cute ideas and sayings and decided this one from Shawna's Stampin Spot went well with my grocery bags. They were fun for the kids to help identify the letters we needed for the tag. They also enjoyed filling the whisk with Hershey kisses! I put them in the bags or tied them on the outside of the bag. I found the best prices at Walmart for the whisks.I sure find good uses for my Cricket!

Homemade Christmas-Grocery Bags

I decided to make some grocery bags for Christmas gifts. I used left over cherry fabric from Natalie's dress along with other food related fabric. The bag itself is duck cloth or twill type fabric and I used webbing for the straps. They went together quite quickly and I had fun finding items to put in them.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Homemade Christmas-Baby Block Toys

These baby blocks from Happy Together were so much fun to make. They flew together too. My son helped stuff the blocks. He is excited to give these to his cousin!

What fun this Christmas will be to give all these homemade gifts!

Homemade Christmas-Clutch

It is a DIY, homemade kind of Christmas this year. I loved this project from Happy Together and couldn't wait to try it out. I really want to try one with the flower look on the front. I also think little pockets inside would be awesome for my phone and lip gloss. I am anxious to come across the perfect placemat to make another one.

I do believe that the stiffer placemat work the best. I may still add a few buttons for decorative touch on the bright colored one.

Homemade Christmas-Wine Glass Identifiers

This project came about because I couldn't keep track of my own wine glass. I know you'd think this would be easy, but all of my glasses look alike too. So I made wine glass identifiers with beads and dangles. I had a few dangles from trips that I found a use for too.

They were easy to make and I attached them to a card with ribbon to display them and give as gifts. I made a set for keeps too, just in case I have company over to enjoy wine with again.

Tin Can Pin Cushions-Saturday DIY

With Christmas just around the corner, I am a busy little elf. I needed a new pin cushion and when I found this project on Design Sponge, I decided they would make good gifts too. It was so quick and easy, honest. I did a version of the Design Sponge project and these ones. I also found this site that has the "cutest pincushion" ideas ever. I hope to make the wrist pin cushion sometime. It seems so handy.

I can't wait to make more!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Countdown to Christmas

Time to Countdown to Christmas! 
This year a friend, Shannon J., gave me an alternative idea to the traditional advent calendar. This is one that really promotes literacy too, which is right up my alley. I wrapped 25 books, many of which I owned, and checked out the rest from the school library. I wrapped and numbered the borrowed ones so they'd be the first to be opened and went from there.
I saved my favorite book to be opened last, You are Special by Max Lucado. So far, the kids seem excited by the process and are excited to see what book will be next.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tinkerbell and Robin Hood Costumes

Halloween inspired a new sewing project. The kids wanted to go as Tinkerbell and Peter Pan. Hayden decided that the bow and arrows that Robin Hood carries were much more manly than the little knife or sword for Peter Pan.

Lucky for me, since the costumes were already made, the accessories were the only thing to swap out. Thanks to friend at work I was able to borrow arrowless arrows and a bow. I had the tube left over and added a rope with the hot glue gun to the top rim and drilled holes in the tube for the rope to slide through the bottom.

I did buy a pattern for the dress and shirt. I added a skirt made of tull and the rounded edges on Natalies front to look like the actual Tinkerbell. The wings came from Joann Fabric and were even green with sparkle.

Both costumes were a big hit!

Tinkerbell-Princess Birthday Cake

So this blog is a few months past due. Natalie had her 4th birthday at the end of September and I tried my hand at the doll cake. I used the Pampered Chef recipe and glass mixing bowl. This worked great because I could bake the cake in the glass bowl and it came out no problem. Here is the cake before I Tinkerbell was shoved down into the cake.
That is exactly what I did too. I took Tinkerbell (the doll of choice this year) and pushed her down in the middle.
I bought premade frositing for the skirt and added green food coloring to make it match the doll. Wax paper on the plate works well so that after I finished frosing and removed the paper the plate was perfectly clean. I also attempted for the first time using cake decorating tips. This was a ton of fun and I enjoyed trying various tips to make different designs. The frosting for this step I made from scratch so that it would be the perfect consistency and added blue and red food coloring until it was the right shade of purple. I did add some purple sparkles to the skirt too.
Natalie loves to have a theme for her parties. Where does she get that from? So this year's Tinkerbell, green and purple theme was a hit. The cake tasted great too. There was even extra cake for the next few days.

Fall Napkin Rings

Since Thanksgiving dinner was going to be held at my house this year, I decided to look for place card or napkin rings that I could make to add a little fall to the decor. I was tempted to put all the fall decorations away and get out Christmas stuff, but to my luck I came across a website that had felt leaf napkin rings. This was a ton of fun to make and didn't take very much time at all. The website with tutorial is http://www.merrimentdesign.com/.

The supplies I used were: green, yellow, and orange felt, scissors, thread in various fall colors, and ranom buttons.
Here is how it turned out:

I made enough for every place setting. The kids helped pick out buttons. Wrapped each one around four different styles of cloth napkins.

The other decoration that was used as centerpieces were glass vases filled with nuts, silk flowers and tied with a fall ribbon. So easy and so many compliments. Thanks mom for this one!

Here is what the table looked like all set for company.

Did I mention we had two yummy turkeys, sweet potatoes, stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce and lots of left overs to enjoy in the days since. Yummy!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back to School Count Down

My latest addition of Family Fun gave me a great idea for counting down the days until school. Since my son is about to start Kindergarten, I decided to try this one out. I knew he'd love to add the school supplies to his new backpack for school. The Family Fun idea is at this link; Count the Days. I changed up the tube idea and used what I had around the house. I had old mailbox sticky numbers (unused) and decorated paper lunch sacks with a few school related scrapbook items I had around. Now I can't wait for Hayden to see what awaits him each day.

So what is inside these bags?

Bag 7: A NASA patch and a coupon good for a new backpack and a promise that I will sew on the patch. The significance of the patch is that I bought it for him while I visited the Johnson Space Center over the summer and his new school is a NASA Explorer School!
Bag 6: crayons

Bag 5: scissors
Bag 4: watercolor sets
Bag 3: markers

Bag 2: glue sticks and a glue bottle
Bag 1: Pencils and a special note from mom and dad

In a few of the bags, I added two of the items so that I could start a basket at home with the same school supplies available for homework or projects. Hayden will know right where to look for the supplies to complete his work.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sweet Treats for the Kappas

Sweet Treats for the Kappas
Fall 2009: At least once a year I try to give the young women of my old sorority a gift on behalf of the local alumnae to either encourage them, welcome them back, or maybe provide them with a reason to do a sisterhood event together. Since Fall semester is about to begin, I've done a simple gift. I bought Tootsie Roll suckers and oatmeal craison cookies at Costco. I wrapped them with ribbon and made a quick pinwheel decoration to go on top. I can't wait to deliver these!

Fall 2008: Last fall, I put together a movie themed gift. I bought a basket at Micheals and added all the yummy snacks I would want to enjoy while watching a movie with the girls; popcorn, licorice, candy, etc.

I just hope I can get more inspirations from others to continue giving these great gifts.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sundress Woohoo!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Successful "Sewing Day" Project #2: Sundress

My second inspiration today came from Lil Blue Boo blogspot. A simple sundress idea and tutorial got me started and now at the end of the day my daughter has two of them.
Sundress tutorial

Since Natalie loves pink, I knew I had to make a pink dress, but struggled finding fabric that wasn't too grown up. To my fortune I found the perfect print.

It however, was not pink.

I think the dress with cherries has become my favorite, but of course I did find pink fabric and made her a second dress in her favorite color.

I also did variations to this project. I added the flower and button with removable safety pin and a bottom band to tie the whole dress together. I used the serger again rather than double folding (super quick). These were so easy and fun to make, not to mention to give to Natalie and see her bright smile.

Quick Apron

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Successful "Sewing Day" Project #1: The Quick Apron

My first inspiration today came from the makeitandloveit.blogspot.com site. I was in need of a gift idea for a wedding present. I found a pattern for just the perfect addition to the purchased gift (baking pans and kitchen utensils) along with a few of my favorite recipes. The quick apron tutorial seemed like a do-able project for me. The tutorial took me step by step through the process and I hope to make myself one too soon. I made the apron with a few variations. One variation was that I increased the main piece fabric to a full yard (36 in.) and gathered it. I then doubled up the pocket to make the inside look finished, folded it over and added a removeable (for washing) safety pin with flower and button to the front. One other variation was that I used a serger for as much of the sewing as I could to avoid having to fold and refold before stitching. This did save me some time, but I don't always have a serger to borrow. I can't wait to give this gift!