Thursday, September 30, 2010

Being an Artist - breaking it down

My real life friend and real life artist Kelli of Red Marionette made this awesome video,  you should definitely check it out!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Fabric Covered Buttons & Giveaway

Disclaimer: I left my camera at a friends house and as much as I love love love my precious (a.k.a. my iphone) I'm clearly doing something wrong when it comes to taking pictures with it. I'll try to make suffering through these worth your while though with a little giveaway at the end!

Have you made fabric covered buttons before?  They're seriously easy to do and super cute... especially if you add an embroidered initial!  All you need is the button kit and a scrap of fabric.  There's a little half circle on the back of the package that you cut out and use as a pattern to cut your fabric circle.  There's also two little plastic pieces that come in the kit.

Smooth the fabric circle against the piece of the metal button without the shank, put it fabric side down in the bigger of the two plastic pieces, tuck the fabric in against the back of the button, place the 2nd half of the button over the folded in fabric and use the smaller plastic piece to press on the back of the button... you'll feel a little snap when it's attached.

Pop the button out of the plastic piece and waalaa!

You stuck it out through the horrible pictures and formatting (I have such a love hate relationship with Blogger!) you deserve a giveaway!  I love these covered buttons, there are lots of really cute uses for them!  Leave a comment here to tell me what you think I'm using the button I showed you for.  I'll make a set of 2 monogrammed initial buttons for the first person to guess correctly.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The week in bentos

It's always nice when dinner left overs work for bentos too!  This week Elle had leftovers in every lunch:

Wednesday she had 2 leftover perogies a piece of fruit leather rolled up, a babybell cheese, and two mini paper cups with chocolate roasted almonds, & golden raisins.  The red screw top container had sour cream in it to dip her perogies in.
Thursday was leftover corn bread, sweet gerkins pickles, almonds, a babybell cheese (with *smooch written on it in sharpie), fruit gummies, and a fruit leather ribbon with mini marshmallows on a peguin pick.
Friday Elle had left over coconut shrimp with mango sauce in the little red container to dip it in.  Carrots, fruit and nut trail mix, and ritz crackers with pepperoni, & cheese rounds.  The little silver bit is a vitamin C chew. The Hello Kitty container had ranch dressing to dip her carrots in.

So I thought this was funny... Elle and I had this conversation one afternoon this week after school 
Elle: Mom, one of my friends at school said she wants you to pack her a bento.  
Me: Oh, really? Why do you think she wants me to pack her a bento? 
Elle: She said it was because I get so much candy all the time in my bento, but I told her "no I don't! Only the chocolate on my almonds is bad for me, everything else is healthy and helps me grow big and strong and get smarter every day!"

Friday, September 17, 2010

Birthday Dress Tutorial

I think everyone secretly wants to be that cheesy family who coordinates their outfits… birthday parties are all the excuse I need! And while we’re at it, we may as well match the party too right?! Liv’s One Year Old in a Flash party was an easy one to coordinate with (I didn’t even have to convince my husband to wear a ladybug shirt this time!); we just went with the color scheme of teal and fuchsia. I wore solid pink, Daddy wore a teal polo, and I handmade the girls’ outfits. The colors in Patricia Bravo's Sugar line of fabric were perfect and the inspiration for this little dress I designed for the birthday girl to wear.

It was pretty easy, here’s the step by step if you want to give it a try:

  1. Measure around your little one’s chest, just under their arms (we’ll call this measurement A). Measure from their underarm to where you’d like the bottom of the dress (measurement B). Decide how wide you want the coordinating fabric at the hem to be (measurement C). Cut 2 rectangles of the dress fabric that are A wide x B-C+2 long. So for example, Liv’s chest is 18”(A), I wanted the finished dress to be 20” (B) long, and 3” (C) seemed like a good size for the fabric at the hem. So I cut 2 rectangles that were 18” (A) x 19” (B-C+2… the 2 is for the seam allowance).
  2. Cut 2 strips of the coordinating fabric for the hem that are A long x Cx2+1 wide. So from my example, mine were 18” x 7” (3x2+1)
  3. Place the two large rectangles right sides together and cut space for the arm “holes” at the top sides of your fabric… I just eyeballed it… if anyone knows the “rules” about how to determine the specific measurements for making a cut like this, please let me know and I’ll update these instructions. For now, here’s a little drawing for you to at least get an idea of what I’m talking about:
  4. Sew a ¼” hem along the top of both rectangles, starting and stopping at the cut outs for the arm holes.
  5. Press the strips of coordinating fabric in half, long edges and wrong sides together.
  6. For each rectangle and strip, match the raw edge at the bottom of the dress fabric with the raw edges of your pressed strip and sew the coordinating hem fabric to the dress fabric, using a 1/2” seam allowance.
  7. Using elastic thread in the bobbin, and a coordinating thread on top, start just under the top hem of the dress and sew multiple straight rows, ¼” apart, across the top of the dress fabric. The last line of stitching should be even with the bottom of the arm holes you cut. (DEFINITELY test sewing a few rows of the elastic thread on a scrap piece of your fabric. You can read about another project I did with elastic thread here). Do this step for both the front and back dress fabrics.
  8. Sew the sides of the front and back of the dress right sides together, stopping at the bottom of the arm holes. Be sure to match up the seam where the hem fabric meets the dress fabric.
  9. Now all you have to do is make some 1/2” binding from your coordinating fabric (if you’re not familiar, you can Google “how to make double fold bias tape” for lots of tutorials), encase the raw edges of the arm hole in the binding, pin and sew it, leaving enough on each end to tie at the shoulders and repeat for the other arm hole.

All the “figuring” was done for the tiered skirt I made Elle. I just followed the very talented LiEr of Ikat Bag’s instructions here.
Sometimes I miss the days when a piece of tissue paper was all it took to transform oneself into a super hero!

{Photos by Elemental Image}


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Thursday, September 16, 2010

My First Ever Party Printable for Sale!

Look what I did:
I'm super excited about listing my first ever party printable in my Etsy shop!  I've had lots of people ask me about the cupcake picks I did for Liv's One Year Old in a Flash party and now you can make them for your birthday boy or girl too!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The week in bentos

Lots of new yummy foods in this week's bentos:
Wednesday Elle had baby carrots, banana chips, a fruit leather divider & heart.  A wheat bread sandwich with roast beef and swiss cheese & super delicious organic gellatin free heart gummies that Elle's sweet Aunt Betsy brought her from Germany.
The next day was natural cheetos (read "no food coloring" yippee), a fruit leather divider, some golden raisins, pepperoni "ribbons" on skewers, cubed cheese, & Ritz crackers. The watermellon bag is a "Snack-A-Long" eco-friendly, reusable snack bag, the handiwork of Moja Creations on Etsy.  We love this bag!  It's lined in a water resistant vinyl so it cleans up super easy, and is the perfect size for snacks of all kinds... this day it was popcorn.  

For her last day of school this week, she had a roast beef and swiss cheese roll up (oddly enough, she ate it in sandwich form on Wednesday, but left most of the roll up on Friday), some dried fruit, a mini toasted bagel & a vitamin C chew "candy".  The Hello kitty box is a little divided "bento" with Palmers All Fruit for her bagel and some mini marshmallows.

Handmade birthday outfits coming up next!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Product Review Coming!

I've done reviews for the CSN Stores in the past and knew I could count on them to have the thing I've been hunting for to use in the party I'm planning for my Elle's upcoming 5th birthday!  What have I been hunting for?  It would give away the theme of Elle's party & it's not quite time for that yet, so you'll have to wait to see what CSN is sending me ;)  In the mean time, you can do a little hunting of your own.  It'll take you a while because they've got everything from cheap bedroom furniture, to step stools (I embellished this one for Elle's room), to cuisinart food processors (a.k.a. the best baby food maker ever!).  So check out CSN Stores and stay tuned for party posts coming soon!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Fancy Shmancy!

If you're like me, you depend on whatever blog reader you use to keep up with the blogs you follow and hardly ever read a blog from the actual blogger's blog page.  But, just this once, will you do me a favor and click through to check out my new blog design?!  I'm totally geeked out about it!  It's still something of a work in progress, but the best stuff is done!  Not only is the design so fancy shmancy compared to the boring brown super simple standard issue Blogger template I was using, but I've also changed my name.  I started this blog almost exactly 3 years ago (hmmm... I'll have to think of a fun way to celebrate my blogiversary), I was new to blogging, new to sewing, and relatively new to Mommyhood.  Perhaps my sleep deprived post-partum self couldn't see beyond the baby phase or maybe I just didn't suspect that I would actually really love blogging and it would become something more than just a passing interest.  Either way, Elle Belle Baby hardly encompasses the vast array of handmade/DIY goodness I post about here.  So welcome to my new space, {Elle Belle Creative}  No worries, the URL is the same, (I did have the forsight to set my blog up as need to change that!) so you don't have to follow me anywhere, you can keep your feed set to this spot.  

In addition to my new look and name, I now have a navigation bar... you know... so you can make sense of my "DIY ADD".  It's pretty self explanatory but let me know if you have any questions or see something amiss.  I also welcome any feedback or suggestions you may have for improvements!

Thanks for following, reading my ramblings, and leaving comments!  It would've been a boring, lonely three years without your input and inspiration!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One Yard Wonders - All Ages Classic Jumper

I wanted to make matching sister and brother outfits for a friend's baby shower & it's been a while since I've done a project from the One Yard Wonders book, so I dusted it off and found the All Ages Classic Jumper... it fit the bill perfectly!

The jumper was pretty simple to make, but has some nice finishing details, like interfacing on the front top panel, and buttons, so it doesn't look like you just whipped it up in an hour.  I used Michael Miller fabrics.  The floral print is a Sandi Henderson design from her Meadowsweet 2 collection & the trim & tie are dots in mustard.  I really love how flexible this pattern is!  The back has elastic in a casing, so if it's too loose, you could just take the elastic in a bit, & you can adjust the length with the button straps.  The finished dress is really versatile too since you can pair it with a long sleeve shirt in the cooler months and it would even work as a tunic or top as the little one grows.

I can't wait for Max to arrive so we can see him in his tie onesie with big sis Ava!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Week in Bentos

Thanks for the positive feedback about last week's bento post!  I think a regular weekly post would be a nice addition to the blog too, so here we go with this week's bentos:

One of our favorite weeknight meals is a rotisserie chicken from Publix, baked beans, and Hawaiian rolls. The left over roll made it into Elle's bento the next day (we're gonna be in trouble when Liv starts eating that forth one... all our left overs are really going to suffer once Liv starts eating a full portion, everything is made for 4!).  The little monkey container has a tiny banana spoon and I packed some butter in it for her to spread on her roll.  Next to that she has dried fruit, below that, little picks with cheddar cheese cubes and pepperonis, and a stack of sliced cucumbers.

Thursday she had her favorite flavor of sugar free apple sauce, country berry.  In her box was a slice of toasted cinnamon raisin bread, almonds, grapes, baby carrots, a fruit leather divider and the piece de resistance (anyone know how to make accent marks in Blogger?!?) a Babybell Cheese ladybug complete with fruit leather antenna and spots drawn with a sharpie.

Elle didn't eat many of her carrots on Wednesday, so I tried them again today, this time with Ranch dressing in a little red screw top container to dip them in and she brought home an empty bento box :)  She also had banana chips, fig newtons, cheese crackers, and grapes with a little pick thrown in for fun.

Do you pack lunches for your little ones?  What are their favorites?

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