Thursday, June 5, 2014

TBT - Sewing projects for the littles

Baby's are the absolute best inspiration for sewing projects! In the spirit of Throw Back Thursday, I've compiled my top 5 most popular and personal favorite blog posts and tutorials of past sewing projects I created for my own littles.

Let's start with my all time favorite, the baby clothes memory quilt!

A close runner up is the perfect new baby gift, the crinkle corner tag blanket! My version is made even more perfect by including minky fabric that ups the cuddle factor exponentially and a crinkly corner that babies love.

Next up, a great gift for the pool parties this summer, the beach towel backpack.

There are not nearly enough handmade sewn goodies for baby boys. So these awesome appliqué onesies definitely make the top 5 cut on that premise alone!

From my roadtrip series, this photo I spy bag is an ingenious (if I do say so myself) way to keep your kiddos of all ages busy and a great way to get them familiar with family that they may not get to see all the time.

My littles aren't babies anymore but that just means they've inspired new big kid crafts and sewing which is pretty awesome too... next TBT I'll dig up some posts for older kid crafts to share!


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Screen Door Cork & Chalk Board Tutorial

We've tried out at least 3 different calendar apps in an attempt to keep all of us on the same page with our busy family schedule.  But sometimes low tech is the way to go.  I created this cork board and chalkboard from a screen door.  It looks great in the hallway and serves as a family hub of sorts.  I write our schedule for the week on the chalkboard side and pin any party invitations, school event fliers, chores, tickets etc. to the cork board side.  It was a fun easy project and it came together pretty quickly.

I picked up a screen door frame for less than $25 at the hardware store.  It didn't have any hardware or screen on it; it was completely unfinished. The least expensive sheets of wood I found were wood paneling for walls.  I just grabbed the ugliest cheapest kind they had and asked them cut it a 1/2 inch smaller than the door frame.  I also bought a length of narrow wood trim so I could add a little detail to the door.  You'll also need:
  • chalkboard paint & a foam roller
  • a jar of Martha Stewart Living crackle specialty finish & a plastic putty knife
  • cork - the hardware store only had really large sheets of cork but I found smaller rolls at the craft store
  • primer
  • paint
  • hardware to hang your board on the wall
Lay the sheet of wood panelling ugly panel side down and put the door frame on top lining up edges of the door with the edges of the panelling.  Using a pencil mark off the area that you want to be the chalkboard side.  Follow the instructions on your can of chalkboard paint to paint that side of the back of the sheet of panelling.  When your chalkboard side is done staple or glue your cork to the cork side.

Before you paint the door you'll want to add the trim.  I cut lengths that were the right size for that section of the screen door and glued them in with wood glue.

To give the screen door a weathered worn look I primed it, then spread the crackle finish on with a putty knife.  Once it was dry and crackle-y I painted over it with white paint.  To make all the cracks and texture show even more I dipped a rag in a darker paint (I used a blue that I had left over from another project) and rubbed that into the cracks in the finish. 

Now all that's left is to nail the panelling to the back of the screen door, add the hardware to hang it on the wall, and save that few minutes every morning not having to answer "What are we doing today?".

Monday, May 26, 2014

Ikea Doll Bed Quilt

Do you remember the Ikea doll bed I redid for Elle for Christmas?  

It was a fun easy little project and I made it 2 gifts in one by pre-cutting all the squares to make a doll quilt that would be a first sewing project for my 7 year old.  After laying out the pattern and lots of straight stitches sewing block after block into row after row, we pieced the quilt top together, backed it, quilted it, and bound it.  

Bedding befitting of any girly girl... even the ones whose elbows don't bend and hair is shinier than humanly possible.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Painted Burlap State Pillows

Did I mention we moved? Not too far... just across the county... but still it's kinda a big county.  So we've been finding all new favorite spots and settling into being locals in our new locale.  Hands down, our favorite new spot is an amazing architectural salvage store that repurposes vintage furniture (i.e. takes old pieces that are unique and beautiful but don't play so well with Pottery Barn/Ikea/anything made in the current decade and remakes them into something totally hip and awesome), Marcotte's.  Our most recent purchase at Marcotte's is a school room map of the United States.  The colors were perfect for my girls' playroom and since our family is spread out across the country it was a great way to demonstrate the answer to the question "can we go to grandma's house tomorrow?!".

Once we had the map hung over the couch in the playroom, the old typical pillows that came with the couch looked really... well old and typical.  Pillows are the most sewing 101 project ever and somewhat uninspiring but that wouldn't do for this fun space.  Taking a queue from the map, I decided to combine 2 great DIY crafts, freezer paper stenciling and painted burlap.

I started by searching the internet for an outline of each of the states the girls' grandparents live in (IL, FL, and VA).  I printed them and my 7 year old traced them onto freezer paper.

I cut the center of the states out and also cut little hearts to show the location of their hometown cities (keep the negative space for the heart cut outs too).   After ironing the freezer paper stencils (including the little heart over the city) onto the center of the burlap squares that would become the pillow fronts, I painted them with a foam brush and fabric paint.  

Once they were dry I pealed off the freezer paper hearts and ironed the heart outlines over the heart space so I could paint the hearts a different color.

That's it! The rest is just pillow making 101 (well except the piping which was a new endeavor for me, maybe I'll post a little tutorial for that some other day).


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Yoga Birthday Bash

 All the beautiful photos in this post were taken by Memories by Erin Leigh
I have a little yogi in my family.  My now 7 year old, absolutely loves going to yoga class and I love the physical benefits and the calm focus it brings her.  She was especially excited to share it with her friends at her yoga birthday party.
I designed a set of yoga flashcards for the invitation and the poster above that welcomed guests. 
We rented a dance studio at a local community center.  It was the perfect space for all the kiddos to stretch out and the parents got to watch the entertainment class from a bench along the wall.
The party started off with a yogurt bar.  The kids scooped yogurt and chose granola, blueberries, strawberries, honey straws, and sprinkle toppings to make their own yogurt parfaits.  
tutorial to come on the string art backdrop I made!
Honey straws from Peace Blossom Candles 
After everyone had their snack, it was time to bend, stretch, and twist!  The yoga instructor lead them through the yoga poses by telling stories and having the kids act out animal characters.  The kids had so much fun making fish faces, pouncing like cats, sitting like flowers, rocking their foot "babies" to sleep and the parents had just as much fun watching. 
yoga instructor from Kidding Around Yoga 
The parents enjoyed a treat of their own during class, Thai flower cookies.

We took a little break part way through class for a craft.  They decorated talking sticks with pipe cleaners, feathers, and beads; one of their own and they each contributed something to one they made collectively.  All the children sat in a circle and the birthday girl in the center.  They passed the talking stick around the circle and each took a turn saying something they liked about the birthday girl. 
 Elle's lotus top made by Ahpeele
The class wrapped up with meditation time and relaxation.  I don't think I've ever seen my 7 year old lay so still for so long unless she was asleep.
It wouldn't be a birthday party without cake... yummy cupcakes with yoga pose fondant toppers to be exact.
 Fondant toppers made by Two Suger Babies
All the happy yogis went home with their yoga mat, tied up with a ribbon carrying strap (tutorial to come!), and personalized water bottle.
It was so much fun for Elle to share the enjoyment she gets out of yoga with her friends and I'm happy to get to share the fun of planning this party with you! Namaste.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Best big kid gift ever!

Part of my efforts to be involved in my girls' schools and get to know the parents includes attending their classmate's birthday parties. I am perpetually in search of fun kid birthday gifts... preferably something easily handmade that inspires creative play and works for both boys and girls.  That's a tall order, but this gift meets all that criteria and doesn't cost a million dollars. Meet my official go to kid birthday gift, the fort building kit:

I found some inexpensive fabric shower curtains.  They worked great for this project because they have grommets along one side, which is useful for hooking/hanging the fort to things or using the bungee cords to attach it places.  I picked up most of the rest of the kit supplies at the dollar store:
a package of suction cup hooks
small bungee cords
a flash light (don't forget batteries!)
a package of plastic clips
glow bracelets
a length of rope (I found really cute woven pink rope at Jo-Anns in the trim section but they have rope at the dollar store too)

There's only a little bit of sewing involved in this project.  I cut 12" lengths of ribbon, heat sealed the ends, and sewed a little loop with long tails to each corner of the shower curtain.  The loops provide a way to hang the curtain over a bed post for example or you can use the tails to tie it to something like the rung of a chair.  I also put one loop in the center of the curtain that you can use to thread the rope through to keep the center of your fort aloft.

Lastly I sewed a quick easy draw string bag to keep it all in and made a tag so the birthday kiddo knows what this bag of crazy items is for.

Now my only worry is that I won't remember who we've made a kit for since I'm making them for everyone!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Yoga Party

I'm playing catch up after moving our family from the house we've lived in for 10+ years across the county & my Elle's 7th birthday party on the same weekend, but I had to take a break from the unpacking to post this little teaser for the party posts to come!
Photo by Memories by Erin Leigh
I'll be back with all the details as soon as I can find the floor under all these boxes in our new house!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Like, the coolest nails, like ever!

We were invited to an 80s themed birthday party... who would turn down an invitation to resurrect the most over the top style era of all time?!   

These rad splatter nails complimented my neon mini skirt, off the shoulder neon top, ripped tights and jelly bracelets perfectly!  I found a tutorial for this nail technique online but I I couldn't find any pictures of it on black nails and figured out a couple of tricks I thought I'd share with you.

You'll need: black nail polish, neon opaque nail polish in at least two colors, a straw cut into 2" lengths, scotch tape, a paper plate, and paper towel.

Start by painting your nails black.  I top coated mine after the black polish but you probably wouldn't have to do that step.

Using scotch tape, tape off the sides and along the cuticle of each nail on one hand.  I used one of those pre-cut pop-up tape dispensers which made operating with tape on my nails a little more feasible.

Line your work surface with several paper towels... it's gonna get messy.

Pour a little puddle of your neon polish onto your paper plate.  Pounce the end of your straw into the polish.  Now here's the trick - hold your nail about 10" away from you and blow through the straw with a short sharp burst (Like you're saying "two").  If you're too close to your nail, the air spreads the polish out too much and you don't get that drip/splatter look.  And if you don't blow sharply, you may not get any polish to come off the end of the straw at all.

Re-dip your straw into the polish between each blow.

When you're done with one color do the second, remove the tape, and then repeat the process for your other hand.

Top coat & get ready for all the compliments on your totally tubular nails!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Customer Appreciation Photos

I love it when customers email photos of their parties they put together with a little help from my party printables!  I had to share this one with you, it's a 1st birthday party Amy created for her daughter, Farrah.


Photos by Bella Vita Photography


Amy incorporated a lot of great ideas, starting with the beautiful cake.  I love the pink ombre icing! The medium size custom party hat picks from my shop and some "1s" were perfect toppers.  The smaller custom party hat picks adorned the cupcakes dressed in shiny pink foil wrappers.  The colored wire "Farrah is one" banner hanging behind the birthday girl's highchair is so creative and you can't get more fun than the highchair decked out with loads of curly ribbon! Happy birthday Farrah!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tea Time

We had a fun and somewhat busy summer. Elle has been in various camps and we've done several "family fun" activities on the weekends.  However, I think this summer will go down in history... well at least in my mind... as the summer of the gym and the tea.  Two major new developements have occured over the course of the last couple months 1) I started going to the gym every week day and methodically tracking the number of calories I consume and 2) my nanny introduced me to her addiction... tea.
#1 is not much fun at all, in fact, I wouldn't have even mentioned it if it weren't related to #2.  I have a pretty serious sweet tooth and it doesn't play nice with counting calories!  Enter, the nanny, her love for tea, and a really interesting site to buy tea from, adagio.  On adagio, users can buy tea but they can also make their own custom blends (some of them get pretty creative and make blends inspired by movie characters... like the Harry Potter ones you see above), design their own artwork for their blends label, and make their creation available to be purchased by other users.  With teas like chocolate mint cream, I feel like I'm cheating the system somehow by getting my sweets fix in tea every afternoon for virtually no calories.
I didn't post about this just to tell you how much I love the site and my new found sweet fix though... I wanted to share this fun project for "stained glass" jars that my nanny did with my girls. 

You'll need:
mason jars - one for each type of tea you have
Tissue paper in various colors
white glue
foam brush
First, they came up with a color scheme for each flavor of tea (like peach and white for a peaches and cream tea) then they tore bits of tissue paper in those colors, dipped them in water, applied them to the outside of the mason jar, and smoothed them down.  Repeat, overlapping the tissue paper just a little until the entire surface of the jar is covered.  Then paint white glue over the whole thing and let dry.  Lastly, once the tea you tracked online through the entire shipping process and waited for with bated breathe (that's what happens when these things get to addiction level) arrives, pour it into the jar, peel the artisan's label off the bag of tea, and adhere it to the outside of the jar.  Store your jars in a cool dry place.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Simply Yours Designs Cute Blogger Templates