Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mantel Update

I have been dying to do something different with our fireplace mantel for a long time.  When we first bought our house, the plan was to use the front room as a formal living room and the back as a family room.  The three pictures hanging above the mantle were purchased with this in mind. 

Awhile back we decided to make the family room our playroom and sewing room, and the front living room became our family room.  The pictures no longer matched with the other decor in the room, which is more casual and country.  I did not want to spend lots of money, because then I am tied to what I buy.  I did have some prints I really like, however by the time I would get them all framed I would have spent a couple hundred dollars.  
The other night, while managing my time well, I found this picture on Pinterest
I am a huge fan of the tin/metal barn stars and thought this is something I could adapt to use year round. I headed to Pat Catan's today to stock up on stars.  I wanted all black and found that all the black ones were on clearance $5 or less!  Unfortunately, they did not have enough black ones but I did find some rusty brown also on clearance.  I figured I could just spray paint them.  Since we are on the verge of living on a houseboat and therefore I have no clue when I will be able to spray them, I decided to go ahead and hang them to see how it looked.

Once I had them hung I thought maybe I liked the brown and black combo and the wonderful Selina and Amy concurred, so they will stay this way!
 My photography skills are evidently lacking so the picture with the twinkle lights I tried to take did not turn out so well.  The one below is a bit better.
I am thrilled with how this now looks, and I did the whole thing for under $20!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

BOO Jars

I am an admitted Pinterest addict, in fact I can spend huge chunks of time on there just pinning away.  I am now making an effort to actually make many of the things I pinned, which is probably just my way of justifying my time wasting skills.  Back in the summer, I saw this pin for these Halloween Jars (you can find the tutorial here)
I immediately knew I wanted to do this, however I soon found that my Hobby Lobby and Pat Catans no longer carry the unfinished wood candlesticks.  I did not take a picture of the candlesticks before, however I they looked like they do now, just not painted:)  I wanted to spray the lids of the jars, however I have been sick and we have also had rain, neither of which are helpful for spraying.  So, I will either spray the lids black this week or they can easily be done for next year.  Here is what my BOO jars look like
 I realized after the fact that I forgot to buy the round pieces for under the candlesticks, and those are necessary I can now tell.  The jars are currently top heavy so I will need to pick up three of those.  I also chose to use my Silhouette to cut vinyl letters.  I am still on the hunt for unfinished finials for the top of the jars, I haven't found what I am looking for yet. 


Overall I am very happy with these and I think I will make another set for Christmas.  It is a very inexpensive project and so easy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Halloween Dresses

I absolutely love making seasonal/holiday clothing for Eleanor. I am such a big fan of different holidays, and I have accepted that I am too old for holiday decorated clothing! As with all clothing I make for Eleanor, I know I have a limited window in which she will wear what I choose. A couple of months ago my friend Amy and I were discussing a dress she wanted to make for her daughter Millie. Amy is wrong and thinks she cannot sew kids clothing, however that is a story for another day! I blogged about Millie's dress back in July, and when I made her dress Eleanor fell in love with it. I found the same Alexander Henry Ghastlies fabric in pink and ordered the Bramble for the collar, trim and ties. The dress is made using Carla Crim's Precious Dress pattern, which I also used for her first day of school dress. Here are some pictures of the finished dress, my camera need new batteries so excuse the picture quality








I also made her dress which was inspired by a dress I saw on Pinterest with a Jack o Lantern face. That dress was a pillowcase dress, however Eleanor will not wear pillowcase dresses anymore. So, I used the Carla Crim and SisBoom Cathy dress pattern. This fabric is from the Halloween section at JoAnn.



I drew a pumpkin face to appliqué onto the dress



And here is the finished dress



I still have quite a few skirts from last Halloween that Eleanor can still fit into. I plan on making an appliqué dress for Thanksgiving and Christmas also. I did have some other ideas, however she can really only wear them in October!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hot Cocoa Mocha

My friend Jacqueline on Twitter asked me to post the recipe I used for the Hot Cocoa Mocha recipe I made for my sisters baby shower favors, pictured here


I found the recipe in one of the Gooseberry Patch Christmas cookbooks. They come out with new Christmas volumes all the time, however the Christmas All Through the House Collectors Edition. There are so many different gift ideas that are easy and affordable. The Hot Cocoa Mocha is one of these recipes, so simple and easy. Here it is

3 cups of hot cocoa mix
1/2 cup instant coffee
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup mini marshmallows

Mix all ingredients except the marshmallows together. Mix 3 tablespoons mix in 2/3 cup boiling water. Mix can be stored in an airtight container or, as I did, packaged for gifts. I used small jelly jars and was able to get two servings in each jar. I did use decaf instant coffee for the mix because I know not everyone drinks caffeine, however if I were to make it for me I would definitely use regular coffee. Hope you enjoy this recipe and you should check out the cookbook!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Show and Tell

I am sure it is not only my child who is this way, however Show and Tell day at school is a big deal to Eleanor. She also gets to bring snack that day and be the star student. Really people, this is like Christmas Eve at our house. Last year she brought the same old stuffed cat every single time. He is old, dirty, and I embarrassed at how dirty he is. So, this year she wanted to bring her American Girl doll and she wanted them to have matching dresses. I have mentioned before that I love Carla Crim's sewing patterns. They are so incredibly detailed that they are so easy to get a perfect fit. Carla also includes with many of her patterns the pattern to make a match for 18in dolls, which fits the American Girl dolls. The pattern we picked was Carla's Portrait Peasant Top and Dress. I had made this pattern before as a top but this was my first go at a dress. I had a very simple brown with white polka dots that she picked. The matching hair clips and pins are a pattern by Violet Field Threads called the Rosalind Flowers. I have seen many of these on Pinterest and this one was the easiest for me. I made multiple sizes to use as pins and hair clips. Eleanor was thrilled with the outfit!
For snack, I had planned to make Kelli's confetti,
however I did not have candy melts on hand, just chocolate chips. The chocolate chips did not melt well and made a mess, so instead I just used popcorn and autumn colored M&M's. Here is my assistant while we made it.
It is her turn again in two weeks - she is already making big plans!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Picture Day

I don't know about you, however I never liked picture day growing up. Now that I have a child, I do actually enjoy it! We have never had professional pictures taken of Eleanor, I am just not one to spend money on things like that - I am sure I will come to regret this! School pictures are really the only posed pictures we have, so far I have been very happy with what I get for $30! Yesterday was picture day at Eleanor's school and I finished her dress and bow the night before. I really need to stop doing these things last minute! I used this fabric that I picked up at Hobby Lobby.




I used the Carla Crim Portrait Peasant dress that I mentioned in my previous post. I extended the length of the top to make it a dress. There is a pattern for a sash to go with it, however I ran out of time and it seemed silly to stay up late for something you won't see. Here she is posing before school









And for my own walk down memory lane, here is a picture of her picture from her 3 year old class, I do miss the curls





And here is her picture from her 4 year old class, she is so much more grown up here






Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Baby Shower

My sister is having her first baby, a boy, in December. Last weekend my Mom, Eleanor and I had a shower for her. I began searching back during the summer on Pinterest for ideas for the baby shower. Here are some of the ideas I came up with.
If you are on Pinterest, I have no doubt you have seen all the great yarn wreaths. I purchased 2 foam wreath forms, way too much brown yarn, and felt





I also used a really large Ball canning jar from Hobby Lobby, cut out the word Blessings using my Silhouette and added a ribbon. I then cut lots of pieces of paper for people to write blessings on for the baby.




For the favors, I used a recipe from a Gooseberry Patch book for Hot Cocoa Mocha. I put it in pint size Mason jars, cut a tag with my Silhouette and tied on a ribbon.



For the dessert, I made Mason Jar cupcakes. These are all over Pinterest and I love the way they look. I was not as thrilled with the way mine were, however they did turn out okay.



Here are some pictures from the shower



I did decide, the night before the shower, to make this outfit for Eleanor and to make a matching one for her doll. It was one of my more brilliant crazy ideas, however I got it done on time. I love this fabric, and I plan on using it again to make a Christmas outfit.




Tuesday, October 4, 2011

First Day School

I sat down about a month ago with plans on being so much better about keeping my blog updated.  Here I sit, a month later, finally posting.  I have so many posts to do, including a picture heavy one on our trip to Disney.  I have high hopes, again, about keeping my blog up to date.  So without further ado, what you all Amy have been waiting for. 
A couple of days after our return from Disney Eleanor started PreK.  This is her third year at the same school and she was elated to go back.  Eleanor loves wearing dresses and skirts, and in fact that is all she will wear.  I am also a bit traditional in the fact that I think a little girl should always have a new dress for the first day of school. As I mentioned here I found a great deal on some fabric I had wanted for a long time.  Here is Eleanor in the finished product, she was quite excited.

We are now 4 weeks into school and Eleanor is loving it.  I sadly am not a fan of her being gone for 4 days, however I might as well be getting ready for next year!