11/30/11

the big 0-2


My son is two today. I know every parent says this but I will say it anyway. Time flies!

We had a traintastic day full of playing with trains and train presents and buying a new train and watching trains. It was quite a day! I'll spare you a play by play, but it was a great celebration. Perfectly full of presents and sweets and all the good things that a birthday should have.

I am so proud of my baby turned big kid. He is so smart and funny and just full of life. Two years down, and I look forward to so many more.

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11/29/11

stem stitching

Hi! I am over at 30 Handmade Days again, this time sharing a how to for the stem stitch


In case you have missed it, I have already covered what you need to get started in embroidery, the back stitch, and the chain stitch. Lots of embroidery to be learned.

In other news, guess who is turning 2 tomorrow? hint - it's not me. I am so excited for all the fun I have planned for the train obsessed birthday boy! I have baked cupcakes, hung balloons, and I even made train track wrapping paper. I'll share pictures tomorrow. They might be iphone pics because I plan on taking in all the time I can with my sweet boy on his fun day without lugging around a camera. Yay!

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11/28/11

brown paper packages

I am really trying to get ahead of the game this year and get my Christmas shopping done. Why? Let me tell you. Last year I waited until the last minute and then thought it would be a good idea to take Sawyer with me to the mall on December 22nd at about 5:00 at night. (shudder) It was terrifying.

This year I am trying to shop online and ahead of time so that I don't end up at Walgreens on Christmas Eve doing my shopping from that classy gift card rack next to the shelf of Snuggies and Shake Weights. Because goodness knows I will not be at the mall the week before Christmas.

Enough about the gift buying. The really fun part is wrapping. 


This year I am keeping it simple with brown paper and colorful yarn. I got a roll of brown paper from the office supply section of Target (it's with the mailing stuff.) For about $5.00, I have enough to wrap all of our presents.


The yarn is from my stash. This is a great way to use up small bits of leftover yarn. I just made some pom poms and simple bows.


No tags- I just write the name of the recipient on the back of the package. Simple.


The best part about this method of wrapping is that all my presents under the tree will match. Add any color of yarn, and the pile of gifts under the tree looks cohesive and pretty.

Plus, it's cheap. $5.00 to wrap everything? I'll take it. More money to spend on the good stuff.

So, I have three presents. Many more to go.

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11/26/11

november giveaway winner

The winner (chosen by random.org) of the Amy Butler book and fabric is:


 Congrats Jamie! I could not find your email address, so please contact me as soon as possible. I think I found you on twitter/fb, but I don't want to message the wrong person :)

Thanks so so much to all of you for entering. Stay tuned, because in about a week I will be announcing December's giveaway. It's going to be a fun one!

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11/24/11

thankful

Happy Thanksgiving! 

I hope you are all enjoying your holiday - cooking, eating, watching football, or whatever else makes up this day for you. We have had an absolutely wonderful day here. We slept in, made a fort in the living room, and watched the beginning of the Macy's parade. Then we went to the gym and had a nice long work out while Sawyer played in the childcare. We made spaghetti for lunch, and now Sawyer is taking a looong nap. No turkey for us, no traveling, no stress. It has been glorious. We celebrated Thanksgiving last weekend so I guess you could say we are off the hook today. I do believe that this is the way to go. It has been the most peaceful, idealistic family day that I can imagine. Just us three.

Even though we are not celebrating Thanksgiving in a traditional way, I do believe that there is so much value in the idea behind it. Although I strive to be thankful every day, today I am especially thinking about all the things I have to be grateful for.

Like piles and piles of laundry.
Because it means we have plenty of clothes to keep us warm and dry and comfortable. 

And even though I hate washing them, I am thankful for the never ending parade of dirty dishes. 
 Because it means we have an abundance of food and a clean place to prepare it in. 

Even though I think dreadful things when I trip over one of the many toys that litter the floor, I am thankful for this playroom. 
Because it means Sawyer has somewhere all his own to play and learn and make a mess and just be a kid. (Plus it means no toys in my living room. Yay!)

I am so SO thankful for this messy place all my own.
Because even though it is never clean and always cluttered, it means I have an overflow of things to keep my creative mind busy. It means I have a husband who has graciously carved out this space in our home. 
 
Of course I am thankful for so much. So very much. I have a lovely home, a healthy child, a good job, the best husband.... I could just go on and on. There is so much to be thankful for, even in the always-there-messes and the chaos and the stress of life. There is always something good. 

Happy Thanksgiving. 
I hope you all have so much to be thankful for today. 

Did you write a thanksgiving post? Leave a link in the comments. I would love to see.

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11/23/11

tutorial: stamped clay ornaments

Edited after being accused of stealing this tutorial: I wrote this tutorial for Craft Snob as a participant in her handmade ornament parade. I am just reposting it here on my blog. 

This post was originally posted on Craft Snob as part of her Handmade Ornament parade. You can see the original post here if you'd like. 
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I tend to lean towards a simple, clean style, so I knew I wanted to make an ornament that reflected that and would fit in with my home decor. I came up with these:


They are really easy to make, and would be a great craft to do with kids with different shaped cookie cutters and stamps.

Supplies:
  • clay (I used Sculpey oven bake clay)
  • round cookie cutter
  • straw
  • stamps
  • twine
Start by conditioning your clay. You just want to knead it in your hands until it is smooth and easy to work with. This is the longest part of the project, but it is an important one. If you don't condition your clay enough, your baked ornament could be brittle.

Once you have conditioned your clay, roll it out and cut into circles using your round cookie cutter. Christmas shape cookie cutters would also work great.

After I had my circles cut out, I used a clear doily stamp set to make impressions on my clay.


 Use a straw to make holes to string your ornament.


Bake according to directions, let cool, and string with twine.


 Simple and lovely.


Just a reminder - any cookie cutters/straws used for these should not be used for food prep again. You probably already know that. 

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Stay tuned for lots more Christmas projects coming up. I am trying to hold off for all those who get annoyed by Christmas before Thanksgiving. Personally, I say bring it on. I have been listening to Christmas tunes for a month, started my shopping, and I even got mocked by a lady at Hobby Lobby last week for being one of THOSE people who put up their trees early. It was very nice of her considering I had a 5 foot tree and a screaming toddler in my cart. Spreading the Christmas cheer early, I suppose.

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11/21/11

feather headband

I am so happy it is a short work week - Thanksgiving week! And for me it is like a bonus vacation because our family already celebrated Thanksgiving this weekend. So, all the cooking and cleaning is out of the way, and we get a short week with 4 straight days of relaxing family time. I plan to catch up on some projects, read, sleep in, and of course spend lots of time with Sawyer and Anderson.

I was able to get a bit done last week, so I have something lovely to share with you this week. 

I was at Kohl's last week and saw a headband that I liked. I didn't take a picture of it, but I filed it away in my busy little brain as something to try. Translation: it's a wonder that I ever thought about the headband again. But I did. I even looked it up online so you can see it too (here it is). 

And here is my prettier version. Sorry Kohl's.


 I don't have a tutorial, because you don't need one. I bought a pack of skinny headbands at Target. I bought a white feather from Micheal's and trimmed it to the size I wanted. Yep, you can trim feathers. I also got the rhinestone trim at Micheal's in the jewelry section.  Hot glue the feather to the headband and then hot glue the rhinestone trim on top. 


Easy. Really. I don't mess around with difficult projects these days.


It's such a pretty wintery little accessory.

Hope you all have a great week - safe travels and Happy Thanksgiving!

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p.s. Don't forget to enter my Amy Butler giveaway here. You have until Friday!

linking:
Tip Junkie handmade projects
homeworkThirty Hand Made Days

11/18/11

five things friday: sweets

I think it might be the holidays coming up, or maybe the fact that I have pretty much eliminated sugar from my diet, but I am having some major cravings for all things sweet. In fact, I have a whole pinterest board devoted to sweets.

For this week's FTF, Here are five recipes I want to try.
drool.
5 minute coffee cake in a mug

How to bake a heart into a cupcake

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Pioneer Woman's iced coffee

Monkey Bread muffins

Just a reminder, please click on the link under the picture if you want to pin these. Pin from the source when you can - it's just a nice thing to do. I just don't want to take any of the credit away from these talented ladies.

have a sweet weekend everyone! (see what I did there?)

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11/16/11

november follower giveaway

 GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED

Is it really already half way through November? Can't forget about my monthly giveaway for all of my lovely followers, now can we?

Remember my 27 before 27 post? Well, number 23 on that list was to purge my craft supplies. It's time to pare it down a bit and focus on the things I really love and am good at. One thing I am really not good at: sewing. Especially complicated things. I can sew a line, and I can sew on a card. That's really about as much as I can handle. 

So from my unused stash to your (hopefully) used one: 


An Amy Butler giveaway!

The book Style Stitches by Amy Butler as well as a yard of some lovely fabric of hers. (1/2 yard of each pictured).

Just look at some of the beautiful projects in this book!
I know you want this one, so here's how to win:

1. Mandatory entry: Be a follower of little lovelies.
Leave a comment telling me so. 
2. Bonus entry: Like little lovelies on facebook.
Leave a separate comment telling me so.
3. Bonus entry: Follow little lovelies on twitter
Leave a separate comment telling me so.

Please make sure your email is linked to your profile or leave it in your comment(s). This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only (books are heavy to ship!) and will end on Friday, November 25th at 10:00pm CST.

Thanks to all of you for being such lovely, supportive followers. Good luck!

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11/15/11

leaf garland guest post

I am participating in the Give Thanks blog series over at Whatever Dee Dee Wants.

I am sharing a tutorial for some simple Thanksgiving decor that I whipped up. 


Check it out here.

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ornaments!

I am over at Craft Snob today participating in her Handmade Ornament Parade. 



I'm sharing these little beauties. Come check out the tutorial and say hi!

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11/14/11

tutorial: felt monogram pillow

Happy Monday! I have another one of my guest posts for you today. This one was from the blog swap I did with Rachel from Maybe Matilda (see her post here). I am finally getting back into some creative time, so look for some new stuff from me soon. I have four or five things in the works right now, so it is just a matter of finishing a few things up, photographing, editing, and writing the posts. Okay, so maybe it will be a few days...

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I was the one who suggested to Rachel that we swap blogs for the day. I also suggested that we do our take on making the same thing. I may have also suggested pillows. (I sure do sound pushy, don't I?) What was I thinking when I suggested pillows? I only have myself to blame for the afternoon of frustration I had while working on this project. I barely know how to sew so I don't know why I suggested it. I should have just spray painted an existing pillow (isn't that what you do in blog world? spray paint everything?). 

I finally decided on a felt monogram pillow.


It ended up turning out ok, but lets just say I got friendly with my stitch picker thing. See? Not a seamstress, so don't expect anything technical here. 

I got this fabulous mustard colored felt at JoAnn's. It is sold on the bolt in the fabric section and is 35% wool so it is really sturdy. I cut out 2 14" squares, and another small piece to cut the monogram out of. 

To get the "pattern" for my monogram, I just used Word and picked a font I liked. 


When I had my letter the size I wanted, I taped a piece of paper over my screen and carefully traced it (you don't want to poke a hole in your screen). 


 No wasted ink, which is great since I only remember to buy ink for the printer about once a year. 


 Cut out your monogram, trace onto your felt face down, and cut out. 


Once you have your monogram cut out, pin in to where you want it on your pillow.

This is where I started having some trouble. It took a bit of practice for me to carefully stitch around the m and I got to pick out stitches four or five times.

I managed to get it mostly right, but see that last leg of the m over on the right? It is sitting just a little higher than the rest of the m. You live, you learn. Next time, spray paint. I am only halfway kidding...


 Pin your pillow sides together, sew, and stuff. 


It turned out really pretty, despite my issues. If you are a talented sewer, I bet you could finish this project in under an hour. I think these would make great newlywed or Christmas gifts. Easy, inexpensive, and personal. Perfect. 

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