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Friday, November 30, 2012

Advent Ideas!

Okay, this is what’s on my mind, so that’s what I’m sharing today. My mom and I were shopping at a boutique and came across some cute little elves. For $2. So we bought one and I’m doing the Elf on the Shelf tradition for the first time with my kids. I think they’ll love it! I first found this because I don’t have the book, (though I did borrow it from the library) and really like how she explains the elf, Santa, and Jesus.

I just finished typing up my letter! Then, I’ll wrap it all up to be delivered tomorrow! Over at A Small Snippet

Do you want more Elf on the Shelf ideas? I’ve rounded up a few. I’ll just give you the links:

This is a ready-to-print calendar, granted it’s last year, I’ll do a little digging for this year…

She has links to others, apparently some are quite risqué. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Another calendar. And one for this year here.

A site dedicated just to Elf on the Shelf ideas

TONS of ideas

Has my favorite one of painting their noses red and telling them to look in the mirrorSmile

Onto other ideas:

Over at I Heart Nap Time she did an advent calendar and gives 25 ideas of service to do with your family.

Over at Crap I’ve Made gives a huge list of ideas for advent calendars.

Here’s my advent calendar from last year that I need to pull out and go through and update.

This is one I’m trying to get ready before Saturday. You wrap up 25 different Christmas books and your kids get to open 1 a day. I’m throwing in a few holiday movies too. Fun!

Good luck getting your things ready for tomorrow!!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mesh Candy Cane Wreath

I’m probably one of the last ones in blogland to do this, but I finally made a mesh wreath over Thanksgiving. My MIL had stuff and so we crafted. Basically, you need mesh.
Mesh Wreath (1)
And pins that look like staples AKA fern pins.
Mesh Wreath (4)
And a styrofoam wreath form. I think it 12”. Each roll of mesh is enough for 2 wreaths. So cut it in half. Then pin one unfinished end so the ends are tucked up underneath and the mesh flips over the ugliness.
Mesh Wreath (2)
Then, I figured out where half was of all that mesh and pinned it down halfway on the form.
Mesh Wreath (3)
Then I pinned the other end down making sure it was hidden up underneath, and pinned the rest of the wreath down in fourths. Or quarters. Whatever.
Mesh Wreath (5)
Then I pinned down the last loops in thirds, making sure that I wasn’t pinning them all on top, some were on the side, some where on the inside. Gotta hide that form. You can wrap ribbon around your form beforehand, but white works with the candy cane look.
Mesh Wreath (6)
And then I kept pushing in the staple pins until I liked the overall look.
Mesh Wreath (7)
Now, I need to go to Hobby Lobby. Here's the finished product!
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Hand Towels

I have a confession to make.  I have a sewing/altering business on the side.  I’m up to my eyeballs in sewing for two weddings and Christmas gift sewing for others.  On top of that, I’ve got all of my own Christmas sewing to do along with all the other holiday busyness.  Oh, and I have five kids.  Did I mention that?

So, since we only had about ten followers last Christmas, I am going to repost my Christmas posts from last year.  I hope you enjoy them.  This post for Christmas Hand Towels was originally posted on December 7, 2011.

Christmas Hand Towels

…for the oven!

christmas hand towels for the oven

These little cuties will add some holiday cheer to your kitchen and keep your hands clean at the same time!  They also make great neighbor or teacher gifts!

Wanna know what I love best about these hand towels?  My 17-month-old can’t take them off the oven, and I’ve always got a hand towel “handy!”  Yes.  I am a dork.  Thank you for noticing!  :)

I actually inherited this pattern from my husband’s grandma who passed away earlier this year.  I had gotten a set for my wedding almost 12 years ago.  Only these were crocheted with a nasty mustard color with acrylic yarn.  The towels themselves were brown and mustard colored.  I didn’t love them.  Unless you were the one who gave them to me!  Then they were my fave!!  I didn’t like how the yarn washed up when it got dirty.  But, I used those bad boys until they were hanging by a thread.  Why?  Because they were practical.  When I found this pattern in Grandma’s stash, I was stoked.  Now I can make all kinds of cute oven hand towels with yummy fabric!  Sa-weet!

Okay.  Enough rambling.  Ready to find out how to make these adorable yet practical hand towels?  Me too.

You will need:

hand towels for the oven (1)

*two cute dish towels and two fat quarters. 

This will make four hand towels.  But, you can make as many as you’d like.  These would be awesome gifts for a bridal shower, Mother’s Day (oooh!  with your kids' handprints on them!), a wedding, birthday, Veteran’s Day, all the holidays, the possibilities are endless!

hand towels for the oven (2)

*buttons, scissors, thread, ric-rac, and any other embellishments

hand towels for the oven (3)

Cut your dish cloths in half to make two equal sized hand towels.  Oops.  I didn’t get a good picture of this.  Let me see if I can make one up in Paint really fast.

cutting instructions

Okay.  That wasn’t so bad.  After you’ve cut your dish cloth, run a basting stitch along the raw edge of the towel.

hand towels for the oven (4)

Now gather it up.

hand towels for the oven (5)

It’s time to cut out the tops of the hand towels.  Grandma’s pattern didn’t scan so well.  It’s very old.  So, lucky you!  You get another one of my Paint masterpieces!  :)

dish cloth pattern

hand towels for the oven (6)

Pin the gathered raw edge of the dish cloth to the bottom (flat) side of the fabric.  Make sure the right side of the fabric is facing up.

hand towels for the oven (7)

Sew it into place.  Take the second fabric piece and line it up with bottom part and the right sides together.  Stitch around it 1/2 inch in from the edge of the fabric.  Be sure to leave an opening to pull your towel through.

hand towels for the oven (10)

Clip your corners so that the fabric will press flatter.

hand towels for the oven (8)

Pull the towel through and use the scissors to get your corners perfect.  More on that here.  Press the fabric and top stitch around it.  Be sure to close up that little hole.

hand towels for the oven (9)

Add a button hole and a button.  Did you know you can sew a button on with your sewing machine?  Read about it here.

hand towels for the oven (11)

Don’t judge my ugly button hole.  The button hole attachment for my sewing machine is broken.  So, I had to improvise.  Here’s how I did it:

Measure your button on the fabric and draw a “button hole” onto the fabric with a fabric marker.

hand towels for the oven (12)

Not as pretty, but still functional.  Maybe I’ll have to ask Santa for a new sewing machine!  :)

hand towels for the oven (14)

Feel free to embellish your towels with ric-rac, ribbon, or whatever else.  Wouldn’t these look super cute with a ruffle on the bottom made from the same fabric as the top?  I think so, too.  In fact, I would have done that if I had a serger.  Raw terry cloth edges are messy, messy, messy!  I guess the serger is one more thing I can add to my Santa list!  :)

Well, there you have it!

hand towels for the oven (13)  Adorable hand towels that are perfect for gifting, using, washing, and decorating! 

I actually tried a pointed top rather than a rounded top on one of them, and decided I liked the rounded top better.  It’s all up to you.  I will be using these as gifts, and I found this cute little story to go along with the towels:

The Towel

At first glance, one looks at a hand towel and thinks, “Great, a towel, I need a new one.  The old ones are sure getting worn out.”  Have we ever stopped to think that for years, even thousands of years, the towel has not only been used to dry our hands and face, but for many other purposes?

Take for example, the mother who wipes the tears of a little child to soothe the physical and emotional hurt; the physician who binds the wound of a bleeding patient; the woman in her home wiping her hands as she moves from task to task; the weary traveler who wipes his sweated brow.
Remember the quiet night in a humble stable many years ago.  Mary, filled with wonder, lovingly wrapped her new baby, the Savior, in swaddling clothes.

Perhaps the most significant use of the towel was about two thousand years ago when our loving Brother took an ordinary towel in His hand and dried the feet of his disciples only hours before His crucifixion.  Yes, the towel is a handy item with a multitude of uses, but it also has deep symbolic meaning when seen in the hands of the Savior doing a work of kindness for his fellow men.

Please take this towel, knowing it is given with love, and do works of goodness with it, as the Savior worked goodness with His so many years ago.

~Author Unknown

Well, that’s it!  Go make one for everyone you know!!

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Coat Tree

How was your Thanksgiving? I really could have used a longer break, personally….Oh well. We got back late on Saturday, and before we started decorating for Christmas, I took a few quick pictures of our Thanksgiving décor. It was basically the fall décor with a few additions.

Thanksgiving Decor (3)

Yeah, there’s a Christmas tree already up…Oh well. Don’t you love the candy corn starburst?

Thanksgiving Decor (2)

Another angle.

Thanksgiving Decor (1)

This is straight on, but it’s blurry because I was not looking pretty so I was trying to hide from the mirror Smile

Wanna know what makes me happy? Fast, basically free, and big impact projects.

Meet our mudroom.

Coat Tree Redo (3)

Okay we don’t have one. This is the total amount of area I have to work with when you first walk into our basement apartment. So I asked my mother if she was using the coat tree from our youth, and luckily she wasn’t.

Coat Tree Redo (2)

It worked, but I decided to give it a little makeover to up the usefulness factor. I took off all the hooks and painted the whole thing black. Then, I bought 2 new hooks for the top, and used the ones that were there down lower, at toddler level. I also added 2 knobs below that for backpacks and dance bags.

Coat Tree Redo (1)

Shoes go in the basket, and are periodically cleaned and redirected to the owners room.

Coat Tree Redo (5)

Then, I added some vinyl letters just for fun, so everyone has a hook.

Coat Tree Redo (4)

Voila! It’s been working great thus far in our small entrySmile

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

What I Wore Sunday: Week 42

frame to match teal and white

…52 weeks of shaking up the wardrobe…

The Rules:

  1. Wear a different outfit every Sunday.

  2. Incorporate at least one article of clothing or accessory that was either refashioned, sewn myself, or handmade.

  3. Outfits can be worn more than once; just not the same way

This is what I wore Sunday:

week 42

I wore this with these cute boots:

polka dot skirt with boots

I really like this outfit.  Believe it or not, I didn’t buy this skirt off the clearance rack.  I didn’t alter it, either.  Or the shirt.  Shocker, I know.  What I did do was make the black undershirt that I’m wearing underneath.  It’s just a simple knit cap sleeved undershirt.  I also made my necklace and earrings.

Have you handmade or refashioned anything fabulous this week?

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Little Handyman Tool Apron

I mentioned on Facebook a while back, that I had this fabulous book called
This book is a lot of fun.  It has so many great ideas, and it also includes pattern pieces.  Anyway, I was wondering if it would be a fun or dumb idea to see how many handmade Christmas gifts I could make.  I got a positive response, so now I am re-stocking my fabric stash with one yard pieces of fabric.
For my first project, I used their Mini Craft & Tool Belt--kinda.  I tweaked my apron to my liking, so I’ll give you my tutorial, which ended up being very different from theirs.
Little Handyman Tool Apron
I wanted bigger pockets for my little handyman.  Theirs is also lined.  I had planned on doing that with mine, but then realized I could get two aprons (for Monkey and a friend) if I didn’t line it. 
Little Handyman Tool Apron by the Crafty Cousins
So, for my apron, you need:
Cut out two back pieces in this shape:
Little Handyman Tool Apron (2)
Cut out two more pieces in the same shape, only smaller:
Little Handyman Tool Apron (3)
That would be the brown one.
Next, cut out four square pockets in the same fabric as the back side of the apron:
Little Handyman Tool Apron (5)
Cut a 2” strip from the bias tape:
Little Handyman Tool Apron (6)
Use the rest of the bias tape for the waist ties.  Measure out what you’ll need for your little one.  Now you should have all these pieces:
Little Handyman Tool Apron (1)
You have a decision to make.  Do you want just one lined apron?  If so, then put the pieces together with the right sides facing each other.  Sew them together, but leave an opening so that you can turn the pieces right side out. 
Get it?  The two back pieces sewn together, the two brown pocket pieces sewn together, the four square pocket pieces sewn together…
Once they’re sewn together and turned right side out, press the pieces and topstitch around them.
If you’re going to do two aprons, hem or serge around all of the pieces; except for the bias tape.  FYI, I used my satin stitch rolled hem on my serger.
Okay.  Everything hemmed or topstitched?
Little Handyman Tool Apron (10)
Now you need to sew the 2” strip of bias tape closed.  Finish the ends of the waistband/ties.
Little Handyman Tool Apron (9)
Let’s work on the pockets next, shall we?  You need to do it in this order, or you’re going to be spending a lot of time picking out the pockets.  No fun.
Take the two pockets and the 2” strip of bias tape and pin them to the brown pocket like so:
Little Handyman Tool Apron (11)
Be sure to make the bias tape strip into a loop.  This is fun for hammers, wrenches, hairbrushes, or whatever else they want to use it for.  Pin everything down and sew it into place.  Leave the tops of the pockets open.
Line up the brown pocket to the back piece of the apron and pin it into place.  Sew around the outer edge of the pocket.
Little Handyman Tool Apron (13)
Let’s turn that one big pocket into two.  This is kinda tricky with that little center loop.  No worries.  I’ll show you how to deal with that.
First, find the center of the brown pocket and mark it with a fabric pen. pins, chalk, or whatever else you want.
Start sewing down that center line.  When you get to the loop, sew as far down as you can without sewing over the loop.
Back stitch then lift your presser foot, slide the loop past the presser foot, lower the foot and start sewing again.  Be sure you back stitch again.  Finish the center seam.
Still confused?  Let me show you how I did it with the pictures.  It should look like this:
Little Handyman Tool Apron (15)
Little Handyman Tool Apron (17)
Little Handyman Tool Apron (16)
Clip that little thread over the loop, and you should have this:
Little Handyman Tool Apron (19)
For the waistband/ties, find the center of the bias tape and the center of the apron. Place the top of the apron between the folds of the bias tape.
 Little Handyman Tool Apron (20)
Line them up, pin them down and sew them into place.
Little Handyman Tool Apron (21)
Little Handyman Tool Apron (23)
See the seam at the top of the apron?  That’s what you should have done.
Now your apron is finished!  Woot!
Little Handyman Tool Apron
For funzies, I sewed a decorative stitch around the pockets.
Little Handyman Tool Apron (24)
…and I made two matching aprons.
Little Handyman Tool Apron (26)
I hope Monkey likes his tool aprons!  Ssshhhh….don’t tell him.  They’re for Christmas!  :)
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