Friday, July 29, 2011


Now that I have children, I am part of the cousin Christmas gift exchange.  We get to give to my cute little niece every year.  I decided to make a tutu for her.  A tutu is super easy to make and you really don't need a sewing machine even though I used one, or did I?  I might have just sewn it by hand.  Anyway, in preparing for this project, I read quite a few tutorials.  Here's a simple enough one on The Idea Room.  I bought tulle by the yard and found a great video tutorial that gives you a secret on cutting your tulle.  I used elastic and would recommend it over ribbon.  Make sure when you measure the waist to take about an inch or 2 off to find the measurement of your elastic band.

I needed to see how it was coming along half way through so I tried it on my boy.  It was so fun to watch him crawl around in that cute little thing.  It made me so excited for my little girl that was on her way!

And now it's finished!   If you want a fuller skirt, put more strips of tulle on.  If you want it puffy, make the strips shorter. 

When my girl was born, I whipped up a quick one for her newborn shots.  It really is that easy.

Embroideries for the wall

A couple years ago, I took up embroidery.  It was so easy to learn as long as you knew how to thread a needle, which I did.  So I was at Gardner Village during one of my trips to UT and they have a shop that sells embroidery patterns.  So I grabbed one and got to work.  

This pattern was a birthday gift from my mother-in-law.

And this one I actually stole from my mom.  It's really the first one I ever did.  I made it for a birthday present for my mother-in-law.  It was so fun to do because it gives you the chance to personalize it leaving room for lots of creativity.
Since then, I haven't done a whole lot by way of embroidery only because my projects have been a bit bigger and more time consuming.  I just finish a Nativity scene including everyone but the angel and camels.  I've been working on it for 2 1/2 years.  I'm really excited though because every year I would tell myself that I'll finish it by that year's Christmas and this year will be the year that is true.  Can't wait to get it framed so I can enjoy my hard work!

I have a whole drawer full of patterns my sister sent me that I can now get to...

Something Blue

My sister got married last February.  Since I wasn't there for any of her showers or preparation, I decided it would be fun to throw her a Bachelorette Party.  We went with the theme of the old adage, "Something Old, Something New, etc."  Each of my sisters and I took a "Something" and got her a gift she could use on her honeymoon or shortly after that went along with it.  It ended up being really fun!

My "Something" was Blue!  I went a little overboard because I just couldn't filter all the ideas that were coming to me.  But I had 2 ideas that required the old crafty in me to come out.  And so I present them now.

My sister loves her hair accessories and I was already in baby hair accessory mode so I whip one up in adult size.  
It was really easy.  I followed a tutorial I found on Craftaholics Anonymous to form the petals.  The only difference between the tutorial and what I did is that I made more petals and put them together a little off-centered rather than having them all centered.  Then instead of using a brad to fasten, I sewed on little pearls.  It looks more delicate.  Note: Something I learned from singeing the petals is not to catch them on fire.  It's a lot harder to get rounded edges.  Also, on this one it didn't show up but on lighter fabric, it definitely shows that it's burnt.  If you like that look than great but I don't.  The same tutorial shows you how to make a nylon headband.  Instead, I just sewed on some softer elastic that I got at JoAnn.  

When I got married, someone gave us a journal.  I was not sure what to do with it until my hubby and I talked about making it a couple's journal.  We would use it to write about our spouse and our relationship.  I have a husband who loves to write and make up poems and claims to be an AWFUL verbal communicator.  So he was very excited to be able to express himself to me in a journal.  So I made one for the happy couple.
I copied the idea from another Little Birdie Secrets post.  Yes, I love them.  Here's what I did differently.  They tell you to modge podge the paper on.  MP and I have an "on again, off again" relationship and at the time we were off.  So after trying to modge podge it on, some of my paper wouldn't stay stuck.  So I took some clear packaging tape and taped it all up.  I would've used contact paper for a seamless finish but I didn't have any on hand.  Then I hot-glued the ribbon instead of sewing it.  I really like the sewed look but I have not gotten that far in my relationship with my sewing machine.  We'll start sewing paper eventually but I don't want to push it.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


How is it that I, one who always has a book or 2 that I'm reading, do not have a bookmark.  I usually use the library due slip.  It helps me know how long I still have.  Well, I still needed a bookmark and found this tutorial.  Perfect!  

I was in charge of the crafts at our family reunion this summer and prepped a bunch of bookmarks for the kids.  Unfortunately, there was a lack in kids and I was left with a ton of circles and squares that needed some love so I put them all together and this is what I got.
The tutorial puts teeth on the bookmarks which is so cute because it looks like the monster is eating the book, but I was pressed for time and decided they were still cute without the teeth.

I also made a triangle bookmark that I didn't take a picture of.  I really like the ideas the tutorial gives on the triangle ones, but I think I like the squares better.

One last thing, when I made these, I actually measured and cut out a square one and a triangle one on thicker card stock and didn't fold them.  Now I just use those as templates to trace when I want to make one.  That way I don't have to measure every time.

Summertime = water!

We live in a very cold state, so when summer FINALLY comes around, we are itching to go to the lake or pool or just out on the deck.  We decided to get a kiddie pool to put on the deck because having 2 kids so close together means having naps all day long, at least until my girl grows out of her morning nap.  

We have a pathetic stash of water toys so I found this VIDEO tutorial and got to work.

I'm not looking forward to the day we have to put these away.  Maybe someday we will live somewhere closer to the equator.

Bibs that are cute AND durable

When I was expecting my first, a boy, my awesome and talented sister offered to make me a bunch of bibs.  We picked out the material and she whipped them up.  They were really cute, of course because I picked out the fabric, but they were also durable and awesome because they had buttons.  Totally child proof!  My almost 20 month old still can't get his bib off.  

So, upon having a girl, I felt I NEEDED girl bibs.  I got the pattern from my sister and pulled out my new and rarely used sewing machine.  I bought it in hopes to someday learn how to sew.  And I had made 2 things on it prior to this project but both times I had a highly experienced seamstress sitting right next to me the whole time.  So I pulled my machine out and got to work.  It was crazy how easy it was to make these.  The hardest part was figuring out how to do a button hole but that didn't take too long and before I knew it, I had 6 bibs!

I don't have the pattern on here, but if you read this and want it, I'd be happy to figure out how to post it and give you a tutorial.  Otherwise, enjoy the pictures!

Altering a tin and the best cookies ever!

One of my favorite things to do growing up was bake cookies.  It was so rewarding as a child to make something so sweet and delicious especially when you can eat the cookie dough while you wait for the others to bake.  My mom had a Tollhouse cookie tin that she kept all the cookies in and it was such a treat to open the pantry door to find that tin sitting in there filled with cookies.  

Now that I have a family of my own, I wanted something like my mom's tin to hold my cookies and Little Birdie Secrets had exactly what I was looking for.

And please do not underestimate the shortbread cookie recipe on the same tutorial.  Those cookies are a-MAZING!

Altered clipboard

I found the cutest tutorial for altering a clipboard and really wanted to make one but what would I use a clipboard for?  I own 1 clipboard right now and it sits in my desk draw holding blank notebook paper.  

Well, I still REALLY wanted to do this tutorial so I brainstormed.  One idea was a gift because if ever you find something you want to make that you wouldn't use, there's always someone you can give it to that will appreciate it, right?  But I did finally come up with an idea of how to use a clipboard and that is to hold my weekly menu.

Okay, enough of's the tutorial.  I went with a smaller clipboard but the rest is pretty by the book.  I really wish there were more uses for the old clipboard, at least around my house, so I could make more.  I'll keep thinking but in the meantime, don't be surprised if you get one of these as a gift from me.

Cake pops and other sweet treats!

You might've heard of these.  They were all over the place about 2 years ago.  I came across them on Bakerella while planning for a friend's baby shower and thought they were too cute not to make.  Since the shower gave me a perfect excuse to do it I went ahead and made the little cupcakes.  The cupcakes have a lot of steps to them and took a long time to shape and dip.  We put some on sticks and did some without.  I think they turned out perfect but if I ever have the occasion to make them again, I think I'll try something a little different.  Most of the rest of my ideas came from a post at Little Birdie Secrets.

A few ideas for next time:

-Make cake balls instead of cupcakes.  They will take a lot less time to form and dip.  
-Eliminate the stick.  Unless I'm going to wrap them individually to give away, the stick was not necessary and made it difficult to display without buying foam to stick them in.  For a party platter, balls will be much easier to serve.
-Try a different cake/frosting combo.  I found this list on the post at LBS:
  • Lemon cake/butter cream frosting with dark chocolate shell
  • Strawberry cake/strawberry frosting with white chocolate & dark chocolate drizzle
  • German chocolate cake/coconut pecan frosting with milk chocolate shell
  • Carrot cake/cream cheese frosting with white chocolate shell
  • Chocolate fudge cake/chocolate frosting with milk chocolate shell & white chocolate drizzle
  • Vanilla cake/vanilla frosting with dark chocolate shell
  • Red velvet cake/cream cheese frosting with milk chocolate shell

Besides cake pops, I have a few other cute treats that would be fun to try or that I have already tried and were fun.  Like this one...

At Easter time, I found this really cute idea to take marshmallows and spread the top with peanut butter, then dip them in chocolate and decorate.  You were supposed to use egg-shaped ones but I couldn't find them so I used normal ones.  (Sorry no picture and I can't find the blog it was on to credit the idea.)  I made them for some friends and now that I've tried it once, I have so many more ideas on how to improve them.  That happens to me a lot.  The first time around is usually a flop (and when I say that all it means is that it wasn't Martha Stewart perfect) and I learn a lot of things as I go.  One of the major things I learned is that your final result only tastes as good as the ingredients you use.  I have used a certain dipping chocolate for a while and it's been fine until I did these marshmallows.  I've learned that when doing candy, you want to use the really good stuff like Ghirardelli.
Little Birdie Secrets had this idea that would be even easier to do with marshmallows. 

Cookie pops are such a cute idea that I've been meaning to try for a long time.  Little Birdie Secrets sends you to Parents Magazine but unfortunately the link is outdated when you click on it.  I will try and explain how they did it to the best of my memory but please remember that I read this 2 years ago.  Basically, you take 2 Nilla Wafers and some caramel (I would probably use the candy caramels, like Brach's) or I guess you could do other things like peanut butter or marshmallow creme and make a sandwich cookie sticking the sucker stick in between the wafers.  Then you dip them in chocolate and sprinkle.  I love these!  When I try these, I will probably also leave out the stick only to save money but if you have them on hand, they would be some much cuter.  Don't you think?

Along the lines of cookie pops comes a family favorite.  These are some of the easiest things to throw together.  Jared was in charge of the March Madness prize at work and this was the prize.  You take 2 Ritz crackers and sandwich them with PB.  Then you dip them in vanilla/white chocolate.  We did orange instead for the occasion and melted milk chocolate for the lines.  They are so yummy and so addictive.  I love them!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The kids' bedroom

I have finally finished decorating my kids' room. We have a 2 bedroom townhouse and with 2 kids, there is no choice but for them to share a room. Having a boy and a girl presented a challenge though as far as having a fun theme that would easy to pull off. I tossed around a hand-full of ideas but couldn't settle on anything I loved. I finally threw out the theme idea and decided to make it a room about them. You'll see what I mean as you read on.

The room is a bright green that I've regretted doing since a month after we painted. But I have been determined to make it work since painting is a PAIN!

When I finally got around to decorating after we painted, I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with my little buddy and could only muster up 3 little wall hangings. You can find the post on what I did here.
We added blackout curtains to make napping easier. The curtains aren't so pretty and almost do the job so there is also a blanket hanging up. Oh well, that's a problem for another day. Maybe when we have a tax return coming our way we'll buy expensive blackout blinds and pretty curtains.

So my baby boy came and I found out I'm having a baby girl a year later. Once she arrived, the process really began to take off.

I decide to copy a friend and decorate a letter for each of them. You can find what I did here. Don't mind the adorable baby in the picture. She likes to hog the camera.

My next task was to make something to hang their towels on. I made them a hooded towel but I didn't want them in the bathroom so I grabbed some wood I had on hand, some clearance hooks from Target ($1.49 each), and some scrapbook paper. Glued the paper on the wood and attached the hooks. Pretty simple. Now I can moved the hooks without leaving behind huge holes in the wall.

My last project was a picture collage of some kind. I knew which pictures I wanted to hang so I ordered them from MPix and put them in some frames that I had on hand. The frames got a fresh coat of paint. I just didn't know what else it needed. My sister-in-law works for Uppercase Living and I found 2 perfect vinyl saying to go with the pictures. Once I ordered them, I grabbed some more wood, painted it, and slapped those babies on. I attached everything to wood so we can take them with us. The kids won't always have to share a room and they will be able to keep their wood signs in their own rooms.
What do you think? Not something out of a magazine, but definitely something I can be proud of. And I'm so glad it's done, for now...

Hair bow holder tutorial

Having a baby girl brings on a whole new meaning to the word accessorize. I mean, I never realized how much more we women have to own in order to look good. Because the pile of hair bows on my dresser was starting to get to me, I decided to jump on the band wagon and make a bow holder. It was super easy and pretty cheap.

Sorry for lack of pictures. Hopefully I don't confuse you too much. I think it's pretty self-explanatory if you look at the finished project but that's just me.

-Frame (I used an 8x10 because I had one but I recommend an 11x14 if you go buy one)
-Spray paint
-Cute Paper
-Hot glue and glue gun

1: Remove backing and glass from frame and spray paint your frame. Let dry.

2: Take your back and trace onto paper. Fit paper into frame and trim if needed. I had to trim mine only a tiny bit.

3: Decide how you want your ribbon to run- vertical or horizontal. Mine is vertical. Measure ribbon by running it from top to bottom of the inside of the frame and cut all your strips. Your ribbon should be at least 1/4 inch longer than the opening in the frame. The number of strips you cut will depend on how close you want your columns/rows of ribbon. Mine are about 1/2 inch apart and I thought 4 columns looked about right. I just eyeballed it though.

4: Turn frame right side down and place your ribbon where you want them to go. Then mark on the frame where each end of the ribbon is so you know where to place the glue.

5: Glue the ribbon on where the markings are. You want your ribbon to be glued to the part of the frame where your paper in going to sit so your paper can then go in as the background. Glue each end of the ribbon on pulling it across the opening of the frame.

6: Place paper in frame and put backing in place.

You are finished! Now go put those bows away because they have a new home.

New blog

Well, I wanted to start a craft portfolio. This is mainly for me, a place to post all the things I make without it taking up my family blog space.

Like most people who do crafts, I always have 20 I'm working on from those almost finished to those I have all the supplies sitting staring at me to those I just have in my brain ready to be started. I count that last one because they take up as much of my time as the others just thinking about how I'm going to do them.

So I have titled this blog Finally Finished It because well, this is where I will be celebrating when I finally finish it! Oh and there will be celebrating up the wazoo. So let's get started!