Monday, November 21, 2011

Thomas to a T (or in this case T-shirt)

My cousin has a little boy that is 2 months older than my middle son. He turns 3 in a couple of weeks. She asked if I could make him a Thomas shirt for his birthday party. This is what I came up with for them. All of the details on Thomas were individually cut out & appliqued/stitched on. I can't wait to see pictures of the birthday boy in it!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Custom Appliques

I love doing appliques for my kids and have recently begun doing some for other's as well. Here are just a few.

These first ones I made for a lovely mama in S. California. She asked me to make some applique shirts for her 3 kids. Her daughters needed tops for Halloween - a rainbow butterfly & a ladybug w/ purple spots. :) Her little boy wanted a new batman shirt with a cape (the cape is attached with velcro so it can come of if it gets caught on something). I'm so pleased with how they turned out!

Here are her 3 cuties dressed for Halloween - her little boy was wearing one of the boys original Halloween monster shirts that I had made a couple of years ago - I love it with his mini boden baggies too. :)

This pony shirt I finally finished yesterday afternoon to send to my friends little girl in New Orleans - this is a shirt for my bff's daughter - we grew up riding & showing horses together as kids and this horse even looks a bit like her new horse too. I hope it fits!

Now I just have to get this little package in the mail to them... including her bag that I posted about a couple of weeks ago! Whoops!

I've also got a really cute Thomas the Tank Engine #3 birthday shirt ready to stitch for my cousins little boy. Its turning out pretty cute too.

I am not sure if I ever really plan to do a set line in my etsy shop but if there's ever anything that you'd like me to create for you let me know & we can work together to create just the right thing! :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

sneak peak of something new

Just a quick little peak at one of the new projects I've started this week. I just love this vintage paper-doll fabric from Timeless Treasures. 

I have several more sewing projects that I have been working on for some friends & family members little ones & need to finish them up before I share them with you. But I'm excited about them - each one seems to fit their personality and favorite toys so well.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My favorite white cake recipe

** Disclaimer** I'm only a mom that try's my best to make cute & homemade birthday cakes! I'm not a pro :) So don't expect Cake Boss or Food Network Challenge quality cake decorating here! LOL! Seriously though I know there are amazing cake decorators out there & I'm not trying to keep up with them!

Years ago when our first child was baptized I wanted to make a cake for the after church brunch at our house. I finally came across an excellent website/blog with great cake baking tips & recipes. In the years since I have used this recipe many times as a base for cakes & cupcakes. The best part is that it is a "doctored" cake recipe - so you can use a box cake recipe & then add extra ingredients to it. Here are some fun ways that I've used this recipe from Peggy Weaver's Baking Corner

White Chocolate Cake from Peggy Weaver's Baking Corner

6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 box plain white cake mix (Duncan Hines)
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 325 Degrees. Place rack in center of the oven. Generously grease two 9-inch cake pans with solid vegetable shortening then dust with flour; shake out the excess flour. Set aside pans.

Melt white chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, place the cake mix, water, vegetable oil, and eggs. Pour in the slightly cooled white chocolate. Blend with a mixer, on low, for 1 minute; stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase mixer speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes; scrape down more if needed. The batter should look well blended.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans, smoothing it out with a rubber spatula. Place the pans on a cookie sheet, side by side in the oven.

Bake the cakes until they are golden brown and spring back slightly when lightly pressed with your finger, about 38 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run a dinner knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto a rack, then invert again on another rack so that the cakes are right side up. Allow to cool completely, at least 30 minutes or more.

Here are a few different ways that I have used this recipe

Baptism Cake

For this cake I also tried a Marshmallow Fondant recipe, Buttercream Frosting recipe, and Cake Boss's Seedless Raspberry Filling recipe. It was lots of work, but then I only had 1 baby. :) ** Also I think the fondant is lots of work, hard to do & everyone picks it off, so I haven't tried it again, though this recipe was tasty as far as fondant goes.

The next time I made cupcakes for Dominic's second birthday party. I did a variation of a rainbow cake. I used Wilton's food coloring and divided the cake batter into different bowls. Then spooned 3 colors randomly into the muffin tins.

It was part of Vincent's 1st birthday cake - a giant elephant! My wonderful sister in law helped me make this cute cake - we stayed up pretty late, but had fun! There was also a chocolate sheet cake and carrot cake in there too.

When Dominic turned 3 he wanted a Spider man cake- so I did this one and used Wilton's food coloring again to make it blue & red.

 Then again last year for Vincent's 2nd Birthday - only because his party was inside he got plain white frosting & cake. :) I also made the toppers with some help from scrapbook paper, my scanner, photoshop, a cricut & hot glue gun! Maybe sometime soon I'll show how to make your own? :)

See how versatile this recipe is? Its my go to recipe & the one I find myself sharing the most, so thank you Peggy Weaver!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A pleated tote bag

One of my oldest & dearest friends had her birthday last week. I've known for a while that I wanted to make her something for it. It was just a matter of deciding what. Well a few weeks ago I came across this great fabric at a fabric store - Pat Bravo's Hyperreal Garden collection for Art Gallery fabrics and I knew I wanted to use it. 
1 Yard of Lush Foliage Plum Cotton Fabric from the Pat Bravo Hyperreal Garden Collection for Art Gallery Fabric HG8401

I also had some great Joel Dewberry fabric to use for the contrasting parts. 
Fabric Joel Dewberry - AVIARY 2 -Lodge Lattice in Lilac JD46  - Free Spirit Fabric - 1 Yard Cut

After doing a search on Pinterest I found a really nice little tutorial for a Pleated Tote (or beach bag) from the blog Thimble Things I Make & Do - you can find it by clicking the name. :) Thanks so much for sharing your idea and writing directions! 

I made a few mistakes that I hope not to repeat again, but I hope that she'll appreciate the labor of love that this simple little tote was, I had previously never pleated fabric or used interfacing so those were learning experience. 

I did add a double pocket to the inside of the bag for cell phone/keys/lip gloss... in the tutorial she had an option for a zippered pouch but I like this a bit better - since I almost always leave those open. 

I can't wait to do my next one now! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bathroom redecorated for girls & boys...

When we bought our new house last year I was amazed to find that the kids bathroom was painted almost the same exact bright green as their bathroom at our old house. I was tired of it. I new I wanted something fun for the kids, but its so hard to find bathroom themes for girls & boys that is not fish, ducks or ocean... and none of those appealed to me really.

So after hours (seriously) of searching online for something cute, I finally headed over etsy to look for some fabric to make something myself.  I found this adorable set of owl fabrics by Moda - Its a Hoot by MoMo. I thought that the combination of blues, greens, pinks, etc. would work well for my daughter & sons. Plus its modern & funky enough to be nice looking for a guest bathroom too.
Moda It's A Hoot 10'' Layer Cake By The Each
I toyed with the idea of making the entire shower curtain myself. But then when I realized I'd need yards of fabric to do it and that I wanted to have some coordinating fabrics to do some other projects with. So this is what I came up with. I apologize that I can't make this into a tutorial to show how to make the shower curtain or some of the other projects, but this was done over the summer before I wanted to do this blog. :)

For the shower curtain I bought a plain shower curtain at TJ Maxx, then I added 2.5 yards of fabric (divided) + another Quarter yard of fabric in the dots


I used Mod Podge to adhere fabric to the light switch & outlet covers. It took just a little bit of time & fabric. :) Seriously it was fast - just had to let them dry between coats of Mod Podge. I loved Mod Podge during this project - but for what it is its not worth buying it at the store! Another fun little mod podge project was taking 3 of the $0.99 wooden plaques found in the craft section at WalMart and putting fabric on them, then I screwed robe hooks into each of them to use to hang the kids towels on - there's no other way to hang up towels for 3 kids in there. ;) We added a new towel bar for guest towels too. I found this recipe for how to make your own on Pinterest - click HERE to find the recipe & save yourself some $ to apply towards your next project. I know I will!

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I found this cute inexpensive light fixture and mirror at Home Depot. When I took down the ugly builders special bar of light bulbs light fixture and medicine cabinet I found that the medicine cabinet was literally screwed into the wall covering up a giant hole in the drywall and that the light fixture was cut horribly too. So I had to enlist my husband in my simple little remodel that I was supposed to handle on my own. Both of these items were under $50/each at Home Depot too!

While shopping at Pier1 recently I found a great set of Owl wall decals there were 8 owls, 4 branches & tons of leaves and it was cheap! Plus they are movable so if I made a mistake when putting them up I could fix it (easier than vinyl wall decals & lots cheaper too!).
Owls & Trees Wall Applique

Luckily the vanity, counter, hardware & faucet had all been updated before we bought the house so we didn't have to buy that. I just bought a kit with a towel bar, hand towel bar, and toilet paper holder to update all of those fixtures.

A few tips on the shower curtain:
Here is just an extra up close shot of the shower curtain. I pretty much cut it in half, then sewed the two halves together - creating a seam down the middle of the shower curtain, then I cut a long strip off of that about 6 inches to make the band at the top too. I did the same with the green dot fabric. I actually attached the fabric to the middle of the curtain & then folded it over on the edges to make some clean hems, but in an effort to make the shower curtain a tad longer & also to get rid of the bunching that kept occurring because I wasn't using any type of fusible interfacing I left the bottom hemmed, but did not sew the fabric to the shower curtain. Did that make sense? If you would like to attempt this & need help either leave a comment or contact me! I'm happy to help!

I still want to add a few pictures/photos to the room and use my extra fabrics to dress up some plain towels, but those projects can wait for now!

Witches Legs Front Door Mat

I am going to start this post by saying sorry I didn't get around to posting this before Halloween, I was busy making more tote bags & Halloween applique shirts for Gabby (my daughter).

I saw a really cute pin on Pinterest last month had witches legs on a front porch from a welcome mat. When I tried to click on it, it only went to google, so I decided to make my own Witches Legs Welcome Mat. I was able to do it cheaply too! Since I got the Halloween mat at Carson's for 75% off ($6!!) and the tights from Wal-Mart for $2.50 and everything else we already had at home (though if you don't have a pool noodle they are only like $1-$3).

1 pool noodle
1 Halloween Welcome Mat
1 pair of striped tights (I used girls size so they weren't too long)
1 pair of my black high heels
10-12 plastic shopping bags

How To:
1. Cut the noodle in half with a knife

2. Stuff the shopping bags into the feet of the tights (this way you can put them into the shoes, the noodles don't bend well enough to put them into shoes).

3. Put the shoes on the feet of the tights.

4.  Put the noodles into the legs of the tights.


6. Take it all outside to your porch lay the tights & shoes down & then put the welcome mat over the the top of the tights. :) EASY isn't it!?

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So now that Halloween is over run out to the seasonal clearance sales & get some tights & a Halloween rug to save for next year!!

We had lots of trick-or-treaters that really loved it, some of the younger ones kept staring trying to figure out where the rest of the witch was. ;)

What fun, new Halloween decorations did you try this year?