May 31, 2011

Magnetic Kid's Art Tray

I feel almost silly writing this post not knowing if you will think it is a pretty good idea or a little boring.  But since I made it for my girls I figured I would share it and let you be the judge.

May 29, 2011

Guest Posting at Yesterday on Tuesday: Knot Tied Fabric Scrap Garlands

Hi Everyone!  
So sorry there have been an orchestra of crickets on the blog! We just got back from having so much fun at Disney.  Aside from the hubs forgetting his license, having our stroller taken after 30 minutes at the Magic Kingdom on our first day,  scaring the daylights out of our girls riding the Peter Pan ride (really?), my Ella terrified that the tunnel on the "It's a Small World" ride was like the tunnel in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and literally panicked (we now fast forward through that part but I guess it left an impression)...it REALLY is the happiest place on earth. 

This is also my time to be crafting for the magazine so I kind of get focused on that and the blog becomes a bit silent.

But hop on over to sweet Malia's lovely blog ...Yesterday on Tuesday where I am guest posting to share two no-sew garland tutorials and all you need to know is how to TIE A KNOT! 
This one...
...annnnnnd this one!


I seriously love the easy ones.


Take a peek!

May 23, 2011

A Blog Freebie and Some News!

This is the word for our family today because our hearts REJOICE.  We have had so much to be thankful for, so many reason to cling to faith, and we love the opportunity to proclaim a testimony after traveling a low valley.  It is just so awesome to be able to tell all of you that...

Won't you rejoice with us?????
For those of you who don't know, my husband lost his job last August. He is a Business Analyst and awesome at everything he does and I could not be prouder of my man. When this all happened, it came at a bad time since we had just bought our first house 3 months prior after renting FOREVER.

But when my husband lost his job, he was hired for a new one a few months later only to have the offer rescinded. This devastated my husband more then losing his other job. You can read about our reactions to both here and here.

So today we are are so excited to share this news with you and to celebrate we are going to DISNEY WORLD! We have not told the girls yet but plan on doing that tonight and sending them on a scavenger hunt to collect Disney things and see if they figure it out.  It may confuse them since we just saw Toy Story on Ice yesterday and they kept telling people at church we were going to Disney World.  Cracked us up.

So you may not hear from me for a bit this week but I do have a fun tutorial lined up that I can hopefully schedule for some time this week.  I am hoping to do some kid focused stuff for the summer.  Perfect for the kiddies and grandkiddies!

As for my Mema...she is doing WONDERFUL. Her memory seems sharper and she is healing up amazingly.  They are beginning to have her eat downstairs again and go outside for fresh air (Thank You Lord).

Honestly, everyone is scratching their heads over how well she is doing.  But I am not. God is bigger than statistics, any disease, any obstacle.  I thank you for all your prayers and sweet words that uplifted me while my heart broke over my Mema. And mostly praying for a 91 year old woman you did not know but cared enough about to lift to God.  I will not forget such love from you. Four doctors told our family that she had 1 to 2 weeks.  Yet all they see is her getting better.  And I was able to talk to her, pray with her, and I am assured that her eternity is secure.

So thank you to all of you.  If you want to grab the rejoice image, go right ahead. Stick it on your blog or whatever you want to do with it if you like it.  I had an issue making it transparent and for some reason my software was not working so if you have a white background...go for it!


P.S. I wrote this earlier and never posted.  So now it is evening and we already did the scavenger hunt.The girls had so much fun! I don't think they quite get it.  Which is funny since they have been there 3 times already in their short little lives. :) We took a video and some pictures. We can't wait!

Take care sweet friends and thank you for caring about the little and the big things that happen in my life! 
XOXO!

May 20, 2011

Fabric Coil Coasters : I ♥ Green!

I have this thing about crafting useful things.  Pretty things that are useful make me exuberantly happy. Period. And I always want to incorporate fabric in my crafting if at all possible. 

Enter in:  These fabulous GREEN coasters.

I have seen this type of craft done with a sewing machine before but my instant gratification self...who is still frightened of her sewing machine...decided her pal the glue gun would be much more user friendly.  I am actually completely in love with the sewing version where you can make fabric bowls (how cool is that?) so here is the tutorial that inspired this one over at Craft Stylish.
For these particular coasters, I was feeling the color GREEN.  So I gathered as much green fabric as I could that would work together, cut them into thin strips, and grabbed a plastic clothesline purchased from the dollar store.  I recommend using the cotton ones (if you are sewing this, the sewing needle needs to go through the clothesline) but I am cheap wisely frugal and I figured this one would work just fine.  Plus...all the green would blend.
STEP 1:  
1.  Place a dot of hot glue on the end of your clothesline.
2.  Begin with a strip of fabric and begin wrapping.
3.  Wrap it on an angle to make it tight with no gaps.
STEP 2:
1. You will start and finish each individual strip with a dot of hot glue. 
2. I found it easier to wrap down the clothesline with each strip and alternated different fabrics for interest.
3. To start each coil you bend down the end and then begin creating a coiled circle around it.
4. I then coiled it up using hot glue as I went to secure it.
STEP 3:When you have it made it the size you need, cut your line on an angle so it will lay flat when you glue it against the coil. 
Now you are done!

Here are the finished coasters.
I like how they are each different and end up with a unique pattern.

Have a Sweet and Blessed Weekend Friends!

May 16, 2011

Sweet and Simple Project : Paper Tape

 Why, hello there pretty tape! 
I did not plan on purchasing you today yet I can assure you I can not leave you here on the shelf all alone. Would you like to become prettier then you already are?
Well fabulous.

Yep.  This was the conversation I had with my pretty new paper tape

It was one of those purchases that I HAD to have.  
And when we got home, I spied the curious hands of my little budding crafters getting a hold of my pretty tape. Suddenly, my brain went into fight or flight mode and I actually saw myself in slow motion with my mouth forming the word "NOOOOOOO!" as I leaped chairs and furniture to save my precious tape.

Something is seriously wrong with me. 
But I retrieved my tape successfully. And reinforced my high level of weird for my children.
But I knew the first thing I wanted to do with this pretty tape.
It would look lovely on a little recycled glass votive.
I save the glass after using the candles and pop them into the freezer. Then I can take out the remaining wax, wash it, and then reuse the glass votive part.
 All I did was wrap the tape around the glass making sure I started and stopped at the same place with each piece of tape.
So pretty and it matches my kitchen!
Sweet and Simple!  

This paper tape is from Martha Stewart called Vintage Girl
I am absolutely in love with japanese washi tape too and would be perfect for projects like these.

Here are some great sites to check those out too...
Kawaii Tape

Happy Taping!


My Mema Update:
First of all I cannot tell you how much all of your comments have  meant to me. Especailly your prayers. 
I was bummed that blogger deleted many of your precious comments when it went down because I was so encouraged by them and wished  you could read them to be encouraged too.  I normally respond by email but I have been so busy so please forgive me for that.

At this moment I am writing you from the house I grew up in.  Kind of surreal to be back in Maryland.  I have seen family I have not seen in a number of years and that has been so sweet.  My Mema is doing very well physically but mentally her dementia (which I never mentioned to you) is a bit worse.  I expected this but it has been very heart wrenching.  Emotions have run a bit high among all of us and a few times she has not known who I am which has never been the case for her thus far.  But she did know who I was when I arrived.  We think my grandmother may need a nursing home rather then assisted living so it has been very difficult coming to this realization on numerous levels.

But I praise God that she has no signs of pneumonia...her chest is clear!  And she is healing very rapidly and in minimal pain.  Hallelujah!
Even in her confusion she says things like..."I have had such a blessed life" or "I love my family or "this is the happiest day of my life." I think she was so happy to have all her kids in one place and 3 of her 7 granddaughters (including one of her great granddaughters) there to just love on her.



I am so grateful to God for putting you all in my life and caring for me enough to pray.  It is such an overwhelming blessing that I wished I had more words to convey my appreciation and love for you.

I wish I could give you more details but please pray for my heart. I will be here until Tuesday and I need strength, wisdom, and discernment.  I hate to be cryptic but I just need to be strong. So if you are thinking of it...please pray.

Keep being the wonderful friends you are.

May 11, 2011

Fabric Vine Part 2: Petal Flowers

I honest to goodness hope and pray that fabric flowers never go out of style.  I hope we wear them, use them in decor, and put them on anything remotely flowerable until I am old and grey.  My love of flowers and gardening grows each year but to be able to craft them from fabric or other materials simply fascinates me.  And they last which makes my joy for them truly complete.
This fabric garland makes me so happy.  When I made the leaf garland, I was not sure what kind of flowers I wanted to make or if I should even add them.  I am so glad I did! I love that the flowers make this so versatile.  From decor, to a party, to holiday decorating.  It is just so pretty.  And the different kind of flower possibilities make me swoon with delight!  Aren't I sappy over this thing?
I want to share with you how I made these flowers.  I originally got this diy flower pin tutorial from Momtastic. She used this petal flower to make a pin but I tweeked her tutorial a bit by making these flowers become removable by adding little twisty fasteners.

Here is MY tute...
To make this you will need: scissors (that cut fabric), a glue gun, several large and several small petals and a small felt circle. Cut out several large and small petals for your flower.
  Cut a slit at the bottom of each petal. It will look like it has little legs. :)
 Starting with one of your LARGE petals, cross the legs and hot glue them to your circle.  
This helps the petal stand up.  
I tried a zillion different ways to do this and this way works the best.
Do this all the way around with your LARGE petals.
Now start a second row with your small petals. Keep doing this until you get to the center and have the fullness you want. I ended up cutting out even smaller petals for the center.
Now you made a pretty little flower.  
I decided not to put anything in the center but you can definitely add a fabric/regular button,  pearl, bead or whatever in the center to give it a more finished look. Nothing suited me so I just left it the way it was.

Now for the backs...
You need all this stuff and your glue gun too!
Make a "U" shape with your wire and hot glue it to the back of your flower on the felt circle.
Add a little more hot glue and cover the center with your little felt square and you are done!
 Just fasten it to your vine like a twist tie and you will have a fabric flower and leaf vine.
 I just love it.  How about you?

On a personal note...
I actually need to ask you to be thinking and praying for our family.  My precious grandmother, my Mema, took a fall on Mother's Day breaking both her wrists and 2 ribs. She can not even feed herself due to her broken wrists. The following evening she was in her recliner since her bed made it too painful to breathe, and fell as she got up becoming caught in the opening between the chair and foot rest.  It is just awful. 
Sadly, our fears were realized today and she is now developing pneumonia. 

They are putting her in hospice and I am going to travel there alone in the next few days.   I just ask for peace and strength for all my family members.  And for my broken heart.  I love her so much and I will miss her terribly.  But I want to see her one more time.

Thank you so much for being my friends and always showing you care.

May 10, 2011

Fabric Leaf Vine Garland: Part 1. Yes. It's Another Garland.

Are  you getting tired of my garland obsession? I hope not.
It's just that there are a gazillion ideas running through my head all the time.  I truly can't help it. I love them and so I must make them. And blog about them.  I may need a garland intervention.

I think I am in birthday party mode at the moment. Party pretties and decorations are consuming me. I usually am like this by Spring of each year since my girls share a party having a birthday 2 weeks apart in the middle of Summer.  They love sharing their party (yay for me). And I love decorating and planning the theme yet this year they had other ideas.

Their OWN ideas.  Really?  This young?  Oh well. 

I figured I can get my fix by doing mini parties with one or two of their friends over the Summer.  I have visions of vintage tea parties, outdoor summer picnic parties, a girly glam camp out party.  These were MY ideas that were still fun but PRETTY. I simply like pretty things.

What do they want?  A bounce house or a slip and slide. And it is about them.
I am totally doing it but the fancy girl in me is very sad. But I know I can get creative. :)

Back to the leaf garland...
This one has been on my mind for a possible Etsy shop item. I like the versatility of using different fabrics and colors and then adding removable flowers to them too.
This idea came to me after I made the branch place cards.
All you really need is some coordinating fabric, twine, and a glue gun.
I happen to have these adhesive fabric fuse sheets on hand but double sided fusible interfacing works perfectly too when going a no sew route.
After bonding the two fabrics together, I free hand cut leaf shapes of small, medium, and large sizes.
First step is to create your vine by cutting a length of twine and then cutting small pieces for your "branches."
Tie each piece in a knot.  
I tied each one tight enough so it won't come undone but loose enough that they can slide on the vine to make it as full as I would like.
Add a line of hot glue down the lower middle of one of your leaves, and squeeze the bottom of the leaf around a branch creating a leaf vein.
I did not pay attention to which side of the leaf faced up to add interest and not one specific pattern.
The more leaves and branches you add to your vine, the heavier it gets.  It is not heavy at all for hanging but be aware that you will need to tie it to something in order to hang it.
 It is pretty easy and totally worth it!

Tomorrow or later this week I will share this with you with flowers that  you can add and interchange with it.
Have a fabulous day friends!

May 8, 2011

For those who may experience a bit of sorrow today...

I am incredibly blessed to be a mother to these two girls...
My Two Shades of Pink.
But I think this particular day holds special meaning for me since my journey to motherhood was a long and hard one.  I remember I would skip church every Mother's Day because each time during church the pastor would have all the mothers stand up to be acknowledged and clapped for. 

Oh, how I would ache to stand with all of these women.  I wanted desperately to call a child my own and finally have the title of...Mommy.

I would imagine the first time I would whisper those words to my baby..."Mommy loves you...Mommy's here."  Or the first time I would hear a child call me "Mama." And that child would give me the greatest gift because that title would be reserved for only me.

And as I spent a lovely day with my daughters who made me berry pancakes that were slightly undercooked, where I smiled and told them they were the best pancakes I ever tasted, I could not help but think about this day that may bring sorrow for some women.  Women who I can relate to in ways that bond me to them instantly.  Who feel a yearning so deep, so personal, so raw...that it brings emotions to the fore that they did not even know existed.

These are mother's who are waiting or aching for their children.

Their journey's are all unique and all their own.  Some are wading through the deep and sometimes murky waters of infertility. They are passionately seeking every opportunity to conceive a child.  A hope for a tiny little life to grow inside them.

Some are waiting for a child to adopt who has grown in their heart.  Who has been prayed for, thought about, and intensely wanted.   They may live in another country and their only connection is paperwork that is worn from reading over and over and a photo that is bittersweet to gaze upon since a "what if" may hang over it.

Or perhaps a child is a foster child, living in their homes, in their arms, yet the certainty of adoption still far off.  They love this child day in and day out yet not know if this will be the child to call their own.  Or foster parents who open their hearts and homes to children they know will one day leave. To a better place.  Or a worse one.

Or a mother who has lost a child. Who's heart is never fully whole again because the loss is so devastating and life altering.  That not just on Mother's Day but daily they live with missing a child they can no longer hold or watch grow up to fulfill their dreams.  

Today I am thinking and praying for you.  Since I understand your pain acutely. My story is unique and all my own.  And so is yours. But I feel a kinship and a sisterhood to these women where today may not be as joyful and easy.  I have never forgotten my journey nor grown less sensitive to what it feels like to be a mother aching for a child...in whatever form it takes.

So as much as I celebrate being a mom to my precious girls...I also want to say I am thinking of you courageous, wonderful women.  My heart is filled with love and prayer for you.

And at this moment I am standing up to recognize YOU. 

So much love and hugs to all of you!

May 4, 2011

Paper Bunting with Matching Cupcake Picks!

  
I love this paper!  
It screamed summer to me and I picture it outside for a summer barbecue, a casual dinner get together, or a little birthday party for either a boy or a girl.
 
 Oh, these colors.  So citrusy and summery.
  How fun is this yarn that looks like twine?
 
I think we need some matchy matchy cupcake picks.  What do you think?
You can use these flags for other things too...use them as a mini bunting, goody bag labels, or even on a food table (stick them inside a candy bowl of M&M's or treats).  
So much fun! 
I used lollipop sticks because I can not find white toothpicks.  
Do YOU know where I can find white toothpicks?
 Making this is really simple. :)
Just cut and fold each diamond shape to make a triangle and fold over twine, ribbon or string. 
Glue the triangles together from the tip of the point back towards the fold with craft glue.


Here is a template to make your own...
Click here to download


Enjoy!
Hugs and love sweet friends!