Monday, January 31, 2011

Blue and Gold Prep

Here is the rough draft for my Cub Scout Blue and Gold centerpieces.  I decided to make the fire a little smaller to save money on the wood.  If I have the time, I will add a third flame that is yellow.  Someone else is making the marshmallows and roasting sticks for me.  She is going to use wooden dowels, thick like the rod in your closet, and drill holes so the marshmallows fit onto the roasting sticks.  I am sad I don't have more time or I would have made wooden s'mores to go with the whole set.  We are making enough that each family can take one home.  

I did buy the felt pattern I showed you earlier, but figured the felt would be too expensive for as many centerpieces I needed.  I went with wood and made them go together like a puzzle.  My original plan was to make them puzzle-like so they can be taken apart and put away a little nicer.  Scott, however, says we should just glue them together and be done.  We shall see. 

Here are the pieces.  One flame from the top, one smaller one from the bottom, and an x made from landscaping poles.  I took one pole and sliced it down the center the long way.  Once the pole was halved, I cut it into the long piece and the two shorter pieces for the sides.

I had to cut two orange pieces for every one red piece.  We are making 15 centerpieces so that made 30 red pieces, 60 orange, and will be 120 yellow if I find the time to make them.  

Not bad!  They measure about 12" high and 10" wide.  I figure they cost me about $3.50 each to make (with donated labor and equipment :0)  That is because I had scrap wood I used for the smaller flames.  All together, I thought $3 was really good for the impact they will give us.  I will show you when I get all 15 together.  Wish me luck!
Next up are our Photo Cubes.  We made some last year and thought it would be fun for the boys to have one from every year.  I just finished the photos today so I thought I would show you.  If anyone out there needs a last minute idea for the Blue and Gold, this is really fabulous.  For one, you can just copy mine if it fits your theme.  For two, they are relatively easy to crank out many at a low cost.  One 4x4 board is about $8.  You can get around 24 cubes out of one board making them about $.33 each.  You add the cost of paint and the photos and it is a little more expensive.  This year I used photos for each side, 5 of them at $.13 each, making the photo cost $.65 each.  All together less than $.80 each.  Add the cost of paint and you are still in at less than $1 each.
The photo above is what I am using for the top, the photos below are for the sides.  I have to put the photos on a sheet like this so they can be printed, then cut to the right size.  I will order the prints from Costco, then trim right to the colored part.  The measurement is about 3 1/4" square.  I want the photo just smaller than the block.
This is my Eli's picture so I figured it would be ok to show on the blog.  I used the blank below for each boy's photo for one side, and the same blank for the den photo on the other side of the cube.
As always, I will have photos shortly.  Please do email if you have any questions!!!
If you think of doing the photo cubes, do not cut the cube to 4".  It will not be square.  You need to cut the cubes to 3 1/2" because the 4x4 is actually closer to 3 1/2"x3 1/2".  Also, you can usually get the guys at Home Depot or Lowes to cut those cubes for you if you don't have a saw.  I will tell you, may no harm come to me for voicing my opinion, I don't like the wood at Lowes, our Lowes at least.  The last three projects I have purchased my wood there because it seemed smoother.  The big problem was that their wood was still wet, or green.  It shrunk after I made my photo projects making the photos wrinkle!!!
Not worth the smoothness!!!
Check your store.  If the wood is wet feeling, extra heavy, or every board on the rack is bent and twisted, turn around and head to a different store.  It is SO not worth a whole project in the trash :0)

Anyway, see you soon.  So many projects, so little time!

You can download this and other B&G cube styles HERE with Dropbox!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Newest Sunday Skirts

Here are the first of many skirts that came from my fabulous Vegas Weekend.  I have decided to call the outcome of that weekend my “Vegas Collection” :0)  Sounds high fashion, now doesn’t it?

 I purchased this fabric last spring.  Yes, that is how long it has been sitting in my sewing area, already cut and marked for sewing.  I zipped it through my ruffle foot on my little Singer and Voila!  The girls have new “winter” skirts
 -please do notice the *LACK* of winter we are having.  

Also from the Vegas Collection is Madison's white petti skirt she wore under her "winter" skirt today.  I love, Love, LOVE the petti skirts under any twirl-ish skirt.  It just gives the lift to make them really full.  You would never believe that up until my Emmers was born, I was not one for ruffles.  However, we are all capable of change at some point or another, and that was me with ruffles.  Now I can't get enough of them.
At the baby shower I went to yesterday they had advice for the new mom in lu of games.  The biggest thing mentioned was to go girly with your little girls.  Take her to get her nails done, have tea parties and ruffles and bows.  I think I have that down now :0)

While I was at it I made these hairbows flowers. This really is my newest favorite flower.  Like I posted yesterday, 1 1/2 “ strip of fabric, melted on both long edges, running stitch with craft thread, then glue the gathered strip to a felt circle.  Smack a bobber in the middle and you have this FABULOUS ruffly flower I am totally enamored with.  I want one for my hair!!!  and I am not one to accessorize myself.  
These flowers are just too tempting!  Don't forget to twirl a little after putting it on... 

Here is Madison's.  

I love that Madison, although on the eve of being 13, still LOVES to match her little sister.  Emmalee LOVEs that Madison always has time for her.  Ems knows just where the trunk-sized box of nail polish is in Madison's room and knows that no matter when she pleads, Madison will stop anything she is doing to paint her fingernails :0)  To see the two of them giggling and whispering is so sweet to my heart.

So that is the first set of skirts.  I will work on getting the other skirts posted.  I have to choose my words and photo ops carefully.  Today I told Emmalee I was going to take a picture of Madison in her skirt and asked if she wanted to come along.  That was the most cooperative Emmalee has ever been.  When she knows the pictures are of her she takes off running and laughing in the other direction.  I end up with 12 pictures of her behind :0)

There are also 2 more baby showers this week.  You know about as well as I what I will be making for those.  Hopefully something comes to me soon :0)
Have a GREAT WEEK!!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Job Chart for the 2 Yr Old :0)

I realized my little darling was ready for a more responsibility so I decided to make her a job chart.  As you can see by the outfit change, we weren't able to get all the photos in one day, but it was really fun (when she was cooperating :0)

Emmalee has always loved seeing her picture everywhere.  I thought if we put her doing all of the things she would be able to identify each task even though she can't read it.  You would not believe the interest this job chart has sparked already!!!  She gets up in the morning, sees it on the fridge and can't wait to start.  My new rule is that she has to finish all the tasks before she can watch a show.  What a motivator!  Actually, she has been quite side-tracked and forgets all about the shows most mornings :0)  That makes me happy.

Baby Shower Quick Gift :0)

Look at me!  I’m Blogging again!!!  Thank you dear husband!!!  What a saint.  I am not sure how many times a computer can be resurrected before it is finally put out of it’s misery, but this computer has another thing coming if it even thinks of checking-out so soon! 

That being said, here is my project for today.  After being sick for so long I was running a little behind on my gifts for the baby shower today.  I will spare the gory details, but here is what I came up with.  

My sweet friend is expecting her first girl after years of waiting.  I wanted to give her something special to show even part of my excitement for her.  I made this personalized name plaque with an 8” piece of pine.  I painted it black, painted it lavender, then made a stencil of the name.  Once I had it cut out (I know, I should have bought a Silhouette cutting machine by now and had it do the cutting for me-next crazy money splurge ;0)  I stenciled the name on with black paint, then rough sanded the whole thing.  I had smacked up the board before painting, hitting it with screwdrivers and hammers to make it a little more random and rustic-that old-world classy look :0) 

With the sign painted, I decided it would be cute as a hairbow holder.  With all the flowers I made for the baby this morning, I figured it would be the perfect place to keep them all together.  Here are the flowers.  I used the melt-satin-circles technique for making these flowers.  The circle ones are 3-5 circles, each one slightly bigger than the last, layered on top of each other.  The bushy ones are a strip of satin, 1 ½” wide, melted on one side(I did run the other side through the flame too just to keep it from fraying).  I ran a running stitch on the end I didn’t want to show, then gathered, glued to a felt circle backing, and put the centers on.  

In the past I have been hesitant to melt too much.  I guess it is a personal preference thing, but after I saw my little cousins and how cute the melty spots were, I decided to go for it!  I really liked these.  After staring into a flame for so long you can't really see anyway.  Mommy-to-be seemed to like them more melty too :0)

The two bushy ones on the bottom were my very favorites, followed closely by Mr. Grey flower.  Mr. Grey flower was of a satin material that did not melt gracefully.  It caught on fire instantly.  The outcome was a more edgy, jagged look I really am digging.  If only I knew anything about why that one burned differently.  It came from a stash that only recently became mine so I don't know where to buy more.

Anyway, that was my project.  It seemed to go over well and was so fun and easy to make.  I love it when the parents already know the kid's name!  It makes it so much more fun to make them something!

OK, so I have TONS to show you but very little time so I will get as much on here as I can this weekend, back blogging days this week, then the rest will just have to wait til next week.  

Thanks so much for having patience with me and my cripple computer.  That is number one on my What-to-spend-the-tax-return-on list, a new computer...a fridge is number two...then just bills :0P  No fun, but still a relief!  What are you planning?  I hope it is a return and not a payment in your future :0)  Good luck and see you soon.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Very Sorry Attempt at CupCake Pops

I probably shouldn’t even show you these, but they took forever so I say it counts :0)  Honestly, the only cake pops I have really gotten to work were the ice cream cones- DARLING!!!  We started with very good intentions, then lost it all to time crunch.  I am getting a little sick of cake balls, so lately I have been using my Peanut Butter BonBons to represent the ball portion :0)

We patted down the BonBon recipe-yes I triple washed my hands :0)  Using a flower cookie cutter we cut out the bottoms and threw them in the freezer to harden.  You should note that Bakerella says to put them in the fridge-I am a rebel!  When they were cold, we dipped the sucker sticks in almond bark and stabbed the poor unsuspecting flowers, then threw them back in the freezer to set.

I use my recipe for Buckeye Balls as the cake part of the cupcake.  Both of those recipes can be found Here on my blog.  Now, if you notice, the top of a cupcake is not perfectly round.  We rolled those Buckeye Balls, then squished them a little on the freezer paper so they would look anatomically correct.

Here is the train wreck in a as few words as possible:  Dipped bonbons...stuck buckeyes on fresh chocolate...tried to keep balls from falling off...stood cupcakes on head hoping would help...tried to freeze again...What!?! Time to go!?!...Hurry! Dip in white almond bark...first ones very drippy...looks nothing like cupcake...forget it, just dip and go!!!  Oh, lets put M&Ms on top to see if it helps... Oh well, get in the car!  We can't get to the surprise party after the birthday girl!

The girls had fun making them even though mom went a little loopy and threatened to start swearing at the next ill-formed ball.  They seemed to think they tasted good too.

Happy 30th Birthday!!!  You don't look a day over 25.  
Now close your eyes and taste one of my cupcakes :0)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

UggH! Computer Problems!!!

Not only did I come home from Vegas with a virus, but my computer had contracted one too!  Scott said it was some kind of virus that when you type "Netflix" into Google, it started downloading the virus.  How frustrating!  I have so much to show you :0x  How can I stay silent so long??!?  I will be back shortly with a parade of posts.  I won't go as far as to say they will amaze, but it is quite the list.

Stay Tuned...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Shrek Green! Do I Dare!?!

Well, the madness has begun.  During a very small, very short burst of energy I decided to whip out the paint brush and put a first coat on this beast of a cabinet.  I am still not sure how we will get it in the house, but it is going to make it all the way around the backyard and in my craft nook if it KILLS ME!!!

Here is what she started like.  I had been naively looking at furniture stores, pretending not only that I would one day have the money to buy a new armoire, but that they would actually sell something I liked.  I must have been going to all the wrong stores because I did not find anything painted and rustic like I was hoping for.   
I was at Goodwill on half-price Saturday when I found this.  It was normally $100, bought it for $50!!!
Considering what I was willing to pay at the furniture store, that was a steal!!!  This started out as a cabinet with the doors that open and then pushed inside.  One hinge was broken off so the pushing feature didn't work anymore.  So not a problem for me.  I will just buy hinges to mount the doors on the front and be pleased as pie!

I had to do only a small repair on the top moulding. A little wood glue, tap a few brads in to hold the moulding up there, and we were ready to sand.  I sanded down the outside, then bought paint with the primer already in it.  Paint with primer- I will have to tell  you, the kitchen I made for Emmalee out of an old desk I painted with paint that had primer in it.  It is nice to skip the step, but I don't think it is quite as quality as if you paint the primer on, then the paint.  The problem with painting them separately for this project is when you distress the furniture, the white or gray primer will show.  I finally went with the paint/primer combo again to avoid having unwanted paint colors show through.

Not to scare you or anything, but this is my disaster that is awaiting the completion of my cabinet. 
I am still so sick and all I could think about while sitting there staring was how much I would like to put all of that mess away.  That was what spurred my painting spree Thursday morning.  I painted the cabinet a color I affectionately call "Shrek Green"  Scott thinks it looks great and I should leave it this color.  I have to admit, I kind of like it and wonder if it could work.

After letting one of the doors hang-out in the room for a day to see what the color looked like in different light, I think I will go ahead with my previous plan- a little crackly and then the same cream paint as I have on my other thirft-store furniture.  I thought about going bold, then decided I would rather go "ME" :0)

While I am out here in the garage you have to see this SEXY THING!!!
My new Scroll Saw!!!  I am more than totally excited!  My new clipy business has helped up pay some bills, but now I have something totally awesome that I will totally use!  This new Dewalt saw is deeper, stronger, with a wider plate and I even sprang for the stand!!! 

Don't you just LOVE IT!!!  I can hear sexy music playing as I look at these pictures :0) 
Da-da-da-da-Da-da, Da-da (again and again)

Isn't it GORGEOUS!!!
Now if I can just get over this blasted illness and get back out in the garage!
Wish me luck.  Don't worry though, I haven't forgotten to get those photos of the dresses and skirts I made.  They are still coming :0)  Check back next week!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Big Weekend In Vegas!!!

This is a shot of my messy table at our big crafting weekend last week.  I had SUCH a blast!!!  In exactly 48 hours of no children I was able to complete 7 sets of skirts, 2 apron dresses, 1 ruffle curtain, one ruffle seat cover, a flash-back to the 80's heart skirt, and worked on a valentine banner using a very steamy romance book I picked up from Goodwill.  I will have more on all of these projects later.  Unfortunately I also managed to pick up a bug that has landed me in bed for the entire week following :0)  I still hold true to my statement that it was TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!! 
I just have to say that Candice's house was absolutely adorable!!! 
The perfect relaxing setting for our sew-fest!

Here is that ruffle curtain.  I started this baby Friday night as project number 2. It took me until 2 am to finish.  I used 3 pink sheets-just enough for one side of the curtain.  I haven't decided if I will get more and do another side.  Emmalee's window in her bedroom is right next to the wall so I might actually work to use just one panel :0)  I will get photos of it up as soon as I have the strength to hang it :0)

Sneak Peek at my ruffle seat cover!!!  I am SO excited at how this turned out!!!  I am planning to make one for every chair in the house!  Finished photo later, but this project took 4 black t-shirts.  I need to go to Joann's and see how much it would cost to buy yardage for the project.  It just might be cheaper. 

I was super nervous about this man's dress shirt I was converting into a dress.  It was so incredibly that, a man's dress shirt I wasn't sure there was hope. 

However, once I shirred and cut out the pattern I was in love.  I put the buttons down the back this time.  I still have to make it to the store to buy buttons, again, when I feel better.  I kinda wish I would have left the dress like this.  It would have been a very dainty sundress.  I added an apron and embellishments.  More photos to follow...

This quilt was so not mine, and only one of the many that touched the tile floor for piecing or quilting.  My cousin made this.  She promised me the pattern and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Again, not mine, but How Cute Is That!!!  I did try and "stick" this pin cushion in my bag, but only managed a photo before it was taken back :0(  How cute!  I love the fabrics.  This is definitely a step up from my butter container I use for pins :0) 

My cousin's cute little daughter made three of these skirts.  I would like to claim them since it WAS my ruffle foot that ruffled that tulle, but I guess that probably doesn't count.  The skirts turned out SO CUTE and I was particularly in LOVe with the cute little fabric flowers she put on the skirts. 

Mads and I love to make the melted fabric flowers, but I have always made them as individual petals or circles.  These were made with a strip of fabric, melted then ruffled.  They turned out SO CUTE!!!

Lastly I had to put this armoire on here.  I was just enamored with the thing.  Mostly because I have a much less interesting armoire at home awaiting my decision on how to paint it.  If this would have fit in my rental car I would have taken it home :0)

I have so many cute projects to show you.  As soon as I can stand up long enough to get photos I will be just wait!  You will be as shocked as I am at how much I got done with 48 straight hours of kid-less bliss!

Novelty Print Quilt Pattern

I have had a hard time finding good quilt patterns for novelty prints the past couple times I purchased them.  I made up this pattern so tha...