Category Archives: Celebrations

One step at a time

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Here’s what is happening right now:

  • Tree is up and it is looking a little more festive around here.
  • Today is the last day of the Nutcracker performance which has consumed a lot of our time, but The Bee has immensely enjoyed being a part of. I wouldn’t be lying if I said that I was relieved it was over.
  • When picking her up from a night performance, I slipped in the mud and fell on one knee and one hand, which supports my above statement.
  • Birthdays are finished for the month, and we still owe Falafel her ear piercing present.
  • Christmas is coming and I am feeling incredibly unprepared, but am finding solace in the fact that everyone I talk to feels exactly the same way.
  • Keep reminding myself to take it one step at a time, and to try to be present because it is, after all, a present.

What is happening right now for you?

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge

Today I am participating in Deanna’s (from Sew McCool) 12 days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge.

Each of us had to come up with a Christmas project tutorial, and at the end of the 12 days, you’ll get a chance to vote for your favorite project and THE WINNER GETS $100.00! How very cool is that?

Without further ado…..

My tutorial is:

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This is a utensil holder for a place setting, but it would also make a fantastic gift card/ small gift holder too!

Let’s get started.

You will need:

The free Elf Stocking pattern (download here)

2  different fabrics approx. 8×11 each (2 pieces each)

small amount of stuffing (optional)

bells and O rings (optional)

Sewing machine (or needle and thread and more power to ya!)

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OK. I made the pattern fit onto one page so there is less printing for you.

You can trace the different pieces on tracing paper, or just cut 4 of the curly toed pieces and then trim the lining to the inner line.

You need to add a seam allowance to your heel pocket pieces (I would add 3/8″ all around it).

When you have all your fabric cut, you should have this:

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Now, grab those heel pieces. With right sides together, sew across the top (the part that faces the inside of the stocking).

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Clip around curves (I like using pinking shears) and flip so the rights sides are facing out.

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You can press it flat, and top stitch (optional).

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Now pin in place on the right side  of one of the outer elf fabrics and baste or stitch in place (close to the edge).

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Lay the other elf piece on top (right sides facing), and sew around the perimeter, leaving the top unsewn.

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Clip curves and turn right sides out (not pictured). Make sure that toe is completely turned out. I like using a chopstick and gently push.

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Grab your lining pieces, with right sides together sew around the perimeter, leaving the top unsewn along with a space on the toe.

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With right sides facing, slip the outer piece inside the lining. Make sure to line up the points on the top AND make sure the toes are facing the same way.

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Sew around completely. It should look like this. Make sure you clip or pink the edges to make those points nice and crisp when you turn them.

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Now pull everything out through the toe of the lining. This is the time you would take a small amount of batting or stuffing and stuff your curly toe if you wanted. I didn’t for mine, but I have for others. Either way they look pretty cute. You also want to get inside and turn those top points out with that chopstick. Once everything is facing out, tuck the raw edges in on the toe, and sew the toe closed (either hand sew, or machine- no one will see it).

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 Push the lining inside the Elf stocking. You can top stitch around the points (optional). Fold the top down.

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That little pocket is perfect for place cards, or even a note. Maybe a sprig of evergreen? Really, put your creativity to work!

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This one I did with no pocket, but added jingle bells using jewelry O rings. I just pierced the O rings through the fabric and hung a bell on each. Easy peasy. *Although, if using where small children will be, I would leave these off because they are most definitely a choking hazard.

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Place some silverware and a napkin inside and lay on a plate. Your table just got whimsical!

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and will come back to vote.

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge with sewmccool.com large

Don’t forget to visit all of the bloggers who are creating tutorials for the Sew McCool 12 Days of Christmas challenge! Voting will begin on www.sewmccool.com on December 13 and go through 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on December 20. The blogger with the most votes will win $100 – just in time for Christmas!

December 1

Ren @ The Inspired Wren * Stephanie @ Swoodson Says * Alicia @ Felt With Love Designs

December 2

Natalie @ Sew Outnumbered *Deby @ So-Sew-Easy * Ajaire @ Call Ajaire

December 3

Amy @ Friends Stitched Together * Maris @ Sew Maris * Gemia @ Phat Quarters

December 4

Amy @ How I Make Stuff * Michelle @ Falafel and the Bee

December 5

Beth @ Beth Jarrett * Jen @ Just Joshin

December 6

Lauren @ Molly and Mama * Krista @ Bee Quilted Beauties

December 7

Vicky @ Vicky Myers Creations * Deb @ Sprouting Jube Jube

December 8

Addie @ Addie K * Michelle @ Not My Tree

December 9

Ula @ Lulu & Celeste * Sara @ Made By Sara * Chelsea @ GYCT Designs

December 10

Nichole @ Bluebird & the Boy * Darcy @ Ginger House Designs * Shelly @ Coral & Co.

December 11

Amy @ Britches ‘n Bloomers * Kelly @ Kelly J Designs

December 12

Maegen @ Mae and K * Jess @ Gracious Threads * Jone @ Knot Sew Normal

Some Thankful Bloopers

I am sitting here in bed with a virus and laryngitis. Not being able to speak is frustrating.

BUT it does allow for lots of reflection and thinking (uh, and watching bad movies-which is beside the point). I wanted to take this moment to thank you all for visiting my humble little blog every day and leaving such lovely comments.  I appreciate every single one of them. You have become a part of my circle. Of my life. And I am thankful.

I am also extremely thankful that we took our Holiday photo before I got sick. So today I will share the bloopers. Because really, they make me laugh, and I am most thankful for these goofballs. Each one of them. After all, without them, there wouldn’t even be a blog.

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They even allowed me a few nice ones:

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Even though I am not feeling my best, I am so very thankful to be spending Thanksgiving with these strange folk I call my family. I love them so very much.

I hope you get to spend Thanksgiving with those you love, eating lots of food!

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Thanksgiving Toilet Paper Tube Napkin Ring tutorial repost

Today I am reposting a tutorial I came up with for making a napkin ring out of a toilet paper tube and egg carton. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, these will make their way to the table once again (yup we still have them and use them!).

Enjoy!

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Yesterday, I took part in another DailyBuzz Moms 9×9!

This time the challenge was to make a Thanksgiving Table setting.

I chose to make a very eco-friendly, recycled, and natural table setting using things I found around my house.

It’s all about simplicity.

First, I made these recycled napkin rings.

To make your own, you’ll need:

I used watercolor paints and hot glue along with yarn, popcorn kernels, and acorns. But feel free to use what you have!

I started by cutting the toilet paper tubes in half and tearing up the cups (roughly in half) of the egg carton.

Then I painted them. If you have children, this is where they can help out!

Allow them to dry completely.

Next, take two halves and hot glue them together. Then keep adding a piece at a time until you have a flower.

Hot glue popcorn kernels and acorns inside the flower.

Set aside.

I wrapped and hot glued orange yarn (that I got for free) around the toilet paper tubes. You can use any string you have, or none at all. They do look pretty great on their own, too.

Glue flower to the tube.

Insert a cloth napkin and you’re done!

I also left some without flowers for the men folk.

For the rest of the table, I gathered rose-hips and leaves, acorns, and even a dried wooden round that was in the firewood pile.

Cranberries in bowls add a sweet touch. I also whipped up a very simple tie garland using scraps of fabric that I had tied to a long piece of twine.

I had a few squash that I thought were really beautiful, so I added them to the mix!

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I chose to just have a lovely crocheted runner instead of a tablecloth. And leaves instead of place mats. I really wanted to show off the table I made (see? if you don’t have a large wooden table, you could always make one!) and showcase the food that will be there on Thanksgiving day. Two of my favorite parts!

Done!

I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial.

How do you decorate for Thanksgiving??

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I’m linking to:

Day of the Dead

We had a full week of celebrations, ending with Halloween mayhem all day at school and after school yesterday.

This past week, though, both girls also celebrated the Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos) too. They both wanted to wear something special to school on Thursday in honor of it. Falafel wore this dress that I made for her a while ago. The Bee requested a simple skirt made from some Day of the Dead fabric that I had in my stash (I mean, doesn’t everyone have that in their fabric stashes?). I love these requests and never seem to say no. I am happy to whip something up that will bring my girls joy. So….

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One quick, below-the-knee (her specifications) Day of the Dead skirt for my oldest.

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I actually made this with French seams because I find that it makes them hold up longer, and that little extra effort really makes it look so much more professional.

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She made a bunch of skull jewelry to match.

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She is wearing the shirt that I made for me (which looks better on her now).

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Then, upon seeing this skirt, Falafel decided that her doll needed one too.

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OK this one also has French seams, but seriously took a few minutes to sew up and barely any material.

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It was so easy and fun to sew that I really would like to make a whole bunch of these. I just need to think of a good reason now, because after all, how many skirts does one doll need?

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I feel like we just started the season of celebrating. I am limbering up for the next ones.

How about you? Have you made anything this week?

Happy Halloween

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~Happy Halloween~

I hope you all have safe and fun celebrations and get waaaay more treats than tricks!

Frodo and a Halloween Food Allergy Discovery

This year, I figured that I would base my costume on my short haircut and large feet and just be a Hobbit. Frodo Baggins, to be exact.

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The only parts that I made are the cape and the feet. The rest of the outfit was taken directly from Jim’s closet. For the cape, I used a couple of old stained table cloths from my husband’s job, and my cape tutorial. Adjusted, of course, for my adult size.

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Instead of using velcro or buttons, I left the two ends plain (just hemmed) and then put a ring and hair stick over it to secure the two sides {see sketch below}. A leaf pin out of clay would also be a good idea.

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Something like this. Does that make sense?

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For the feet, I used a pair of Jim’s flip flops (which fit me pretty well-yikes) and glued on a diamond-shaped piece of fur to both.

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So there you have it. I am dressed up, but not so far from normal, and I will be warm.

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I also want to share something I just read about and is very exciting to me as a person and a parent of persons with allergies! Halloween for someone like us (and apparently 1 out of 13 kids) can be a nightmare. I seriously dread the food part. Delia over at Delia Creates also has a small person who has allergies, and has written about this new and brilliant Halloween tactic to keep everyone safe while still having that trick-or-treating experience. The Teal Pumpkin Project (which you can find more info on here) is for kids with allergies and for those of us that just don’t want our kids eating all that candy. The Food Allergy Research and Education organization (FARE) are encouraging families that want to participate to paint a pumpkin teal and place it outside so people can see that your house is an allergy safe one. You then offer non-food items to trick-or-treaters so that kids of all kinds including those that cannot even touch the food they are allergic to, can get something too. There is a list on this website that helps you with ideas if you need any.

In our house, our girls have to trade in their candy for something from my prize bin (ie: book or sewn treasure or crayons, etc) which works well enough, but to not even have that candy to begin with (and to not have to get rid of it afterward) would be even better.

If we ever got any trick-or-treaters (which we never have) I know there would be a teal pumpkin outside waiting for them.

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Just something to think about!

BTW: No one asked me to blog about this. I am just really excited to share this brilliant idea with you.

Whatcha Workin’ on Wednesday

This week, my husband carved 2 very large pumpkins for work.

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Every year he does this. You can see a collection of past pumpkins here.

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So what are YOU working on this week?


Happy Birthday to our very own Strong Man

Ever year, on his birthday, my husband takes a photo, holding our girls. Both at the same time.

This may sound like nothing special to you, but at almost 15 and almost 9 our girls are not that easy to hold anymore!

Plus, you know, he ages every year too. Heh.

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BTW: The girls also make him a special crown every year too. This year’s was my favorite. It has a pretty little bow.

You can read about past years here, here, and here. Those are so fun to look at and see how these photos get more and more fun every year.

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To make things even MORE interesting this year, it was pouring down rain while we took these. If you look closely, you may be able to see the drops in some of the photos.

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Happy Birthday to you, my love. Each year you amaze me with your feats of strength.

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Halloween Costume Round-up and Link party

::I am re-posting the round up I did last year, and adding a few new ones from this year::

I like to look at the costumes I made from the year before, when embarking on the costume-making journey of this year. So I put together a little collection for you to browse, for inspiration!

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You’ll see there is a theme going here. If you would like to see any of the tutorials or original posts, click on the links below.

Hobbit Feet tutorial,

Merida from Brave

Harry Potter (or just magic) wands

Donkey Head

Hobbit

Little Red Riding Hood

Grey Wizard Hat/ Witch hat

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Rosie the Riveter

Vintage Vet

I would love to see your costume creations!!