Archive for June 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

how to make a fairy princess ribbon wand

We're sure lots of you out there already know how to make those curled ribbon hair bows, but we thought we'd put a princess spin on it. Perfect for a fairy party or dress up.

Fairy Princess Ribbon Wand Tutorial

What you'll need:

*5 or 6 Dowels (we used 12" dowels)
*Hand-held drill
*Wood clothespins
*Cookie sheet and oven
*Assorted ribbons
*Extreme Glitter Paint from Plaid

Step One: Drill a small hole in one end of a 12" dowel. With the remaining dowels, use a clothespin to clip one end of ribbon to the end. Tightly wrap the ribbon around the dowel and use another clothespin pin it in place. Wrap all of your dowels with your ribbon.

Step Two: Place on a cookie sheet and bake in your oven for 20 minutes at 275 degrees.

Step Three: While your ribbons are baking, paint the dowel with the hole in it with glitter paint. We like Plaid's Folk Art Extreme Glitter. It's a transparent paint full of fine glitter that gives your project a little sugar. We painted it directly on the wood, but you could also paint your dowel with an acrylic paint and then finish it off with a layer or two of Extreme Glitter on top.

Step Four: Slowly unwrap the ribbon and cut to your desired length. Apply Fray Check or similar product to ribbon ends to prevent fraying. You can also heat set them with a heat gun or a flame (be careful not to burn yourself or start your ribbon on fire though!).

Step Five: Lay the ribbons out evenly and use a clip (I used a large salon clip from the beauty supply store) to hold them all in place. Take another thin piece of ribbon or string and tie all the pieces together. Double knot it.

Step Six: Run a piece of wire through the hole in your painted dowel. Then run the wire under and around the thin ribbon you used to hold the spirals together. Wrap the ends of the wire around the dowel so it will not move. If you want, you can also use glitter spray to spray the ribbons to make it even more dazzling.

That's it! Magical, isn't it?

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

cloudy day creations giveaway winner

Thanks to everyone who entered our Cloudy Day Creations giveaway. A special thanks to Dani for offering this wonderful giveaway to our readers. The winner of 4 bows or clippies of your choice is...

Michelle of Michelle Chappell Photography

Congrats! Please contact us at so we can put you in touch with Dani for your great prize.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

easy apple dip

I love apples. I also love something sweet to dip them in. A few years ago when I tasted this apple dip at my mother-in-law's house, I was in love. I asked her for the recipe and I was in awe of how easy it was. I have been making it for my family ever since and they all love it. It is perfect for anytime of year, but I especially love it in the summer and fall when we are doing lots of BBQs. Make sure you have lots of apples on hand when you make this dip, because they will fly out of the bowl!

Easy Apple Dip

1 (8oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat together until smooth and creamy.

See....I told you it was easy! Enjoy!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

easy ruffle skirts for summer

Can’t help it. This sunny weather makes me want to sew skirts and sweetie loves to wear them. Unfortunately, she doesn’t like to pose for pictures so a little M&M bribe was in order. I am in love with this free Oliver + S tutorial. It is so easy to follow and really quick to whip up. I decided to make it a bit more frou frou by adding some fun ruffles.

Basic Ruffle Instructions
Before adding the elastic waist to the skirt, I marked the skirt in 1 ½ inch intervals to help me see where to sew on my ruffles. I then took a contrasting fabric and cut them into 1 ½ inch pieces, selvage to selvage (about 44 inches). You need about two of these pieces per ruffle tier on your skirt. I then used my serger to finish the edges of my ruffles so they won’t fray. If you like the frayed look you may want to skip this step. If you don't have a serger, you can either zig zag or overcast stitch your ruffle pieces with your sewing machine.

Next, using my sewing machine and some tweezers, I scrunched up the ruffles as I sewed them down to the skirt using my marked lines. (This keeps your fingers out from under the needle!) Once the ruffles were on, I added the elastic. I made this skirt a little big for my girl because I want her to be able to wear it longer than a month—kids grow so fast!

Inspired by this tutorial from Pink Picket Fence, I decided to make a similar skirt using tulle. I cut my tulle pieces a little wider and I layered them for a fuller look. Again, I just scrunched up the tulle as I went. I love how full this skirt is. Either of these skirts would be super cool for bigger girls and adults, too!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

party poppers tutorial - 4th of july fun!

I love parties and I love celebrating. We often buy those little party poppers to add to the festive mood. They're fun, but I sometimes get bored with the little confetti or tissue paper crowns that come out of them (and sick of cleaning them up!). So, I decided to make my own. This way I can put my own prizes in the middle and make them really fun. These party "crackers" are traditionally used at Christmas and New Year's, but they would be really fun for a Fourth of July barbecue or as a birthday party favor!

Party Poppers Tutorial

What you'll need:

*Toilet paper/paper towel roll

*Cracker Snaps--I bought mine at my local Packaging Specialties store. (They have locations in Seattle and Redmond WA, and Portland, OR.) You can find them online at some packaging/party supply sites, like Olde English Crackers. They're about $4.25 for 25 crackers.

*Tissue paper


*Tape or glue

*Goodies to go inside the tube (candy, money, small toys, etc.)

1. Fill your tube with all the goodies. You can choose to put a small piece of tape over the openings to prevent them from falling out. I didn’t, but then I had to be really careful when finishing the party poppers.

2. Cut your tissue paper to your desired size.

3. Wrap the roll in tissue paper. Place the cracker snap on the outside of the roll after you wrap it in tissue paper. After some experimenting I found that the cracker snaps better if it is between the tissue paper and your card stock.

4. Cut your card stock to your desired length and attach to the outside of your roll. Glue or tape shut so it stays on.

5. Tie the ends of your roll off with coordinating ribbon. I used pinking shears to finish off my tissue paper edges, but this is not necessary.

6. Throw a fun party so you can use them! Get creative. This would be such a fun way to tell others you are getting married or you are expecting. I stuffed mine with dollar bills. My oldest daughter would like this much more than little toys or candy (meee tooo!).

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Monday, June 22, 2009

cloudy day creations giveaway

Here's another fun giveaway for you this week! Dani Cloud is the creator of Cloudy Day Creations, selling sweet hair clips and totally darling diaper cakes. She lives near us in Western Washington, so Mrs. Cloud really knows the meaning of "cloudy day!" It's a good thing her creations are so sunny. Here are a few samples. . .

Dani says she truly enjoys what she does and loves the things she makes. All of her bows and clippies are mounted on a double pronged clip. Each one has a non-slip grip to ensure that it will stay put in the finest baby hair. Buyers can request their items to be out on a french clip at no additional cost, which is perfect for thicker hair. For the bows and clippies that have crystals on them, she uses real Swarovski crystals. And all of her ribbons are heat sealed so they will not fray. Her diaper cakes really speak for themselves. She only uses name brand items to ensure they are good quality. They are a perfectly unique gift that any expecting mom would love!

Cloudy Day is bringing us some sunshine with a giveaway for 4 bows or clippies of the winner's choice. Just check out her blog and leave us a comment with your favorite item. Entries must be received by Saturday, June 27 at 11:59pm PDT. Good luck!

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Friday, June 19, 2009

father's day recipes

Father's Day is right around the corner and what Dad doesn't love to be fed a good meal or treat? I know my homemade cookies are what won my husband over when we first started dating. Hook, line and sinker--I knew I had him. He knew he would be set with good meals for life if he married me! You have a couple of days to plan your Father's Day menu, so we thought we would offer up a few great ideas.

Martha Stewart has these adorable cupcakes featured on her site right now. You can get the recipe here.

She also has these corn on the cob cupcakes. Don't these look so real (and adorable)?

Martha also has a whole section of recipes that are perfect for father's day. A lot of them are recipes for the grill. How perfect! I know my man loves a good meal straight from the grill. You can also find many Father's Day meal ideas at Food Network.

Another adorable sweet treat is from Kraft Foods (they always have great stuff). They have a recipe for a "Hole-in-One Cake". Although my husband likes golf, it's not one of his major hobbies, but I think I could easily adapt this cake to be a "fisherman's cake". Here is another great cake that would go perfectly with our shirt and tie card.

So, take a few of these meal and dessert ideas and run with it! Or, you can always just whip up his favorite of your homemade meals. How about breakfast in bed? You can't go wrong with that. I am sure the Father in your life would be happy with any of these ideas. Happy Father's Day!

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

last minute father's day shirt and tie card

We made this fun shirt and tie card last year at a play group, so I have no idea who to give the credit to for the idea! But it's a very quick and easy Father's Day card--perfect if you're last minute like me.

What you'll need:

*Solid color paper cut to 4" x 12"
*Coordinating paper for the tie
*The tie template offered here (see special printing instructions below)
*2 small buttons (try raiding your "extra button" collection)

1. Fold your 4"x12" paper in half for the card.

2. Click on the tie template above. Go to File, Print Preview in your browser's menu. Go to where it says "Scale" on the menu bar of the Print Preview screen and select 50%. Click Print. (This should work for most of you, but I'm not positive it will work for everyone--your tie should be about 4 3/4" long when printed correctly). Trace the template onto your coordinating paper and cut it out.

3. Adhere the tie to the center of your card about 1" from the top.

4. Measure 1" down from the top on the top corners of the card. Measure in 3/4" in from each edge at the 1" mark.

5. Cut a notch 1" down and 3/4" in (using your marks) on each top edge.

6. Fold the strip points in at a slight angle so the points meet. They should resemble a shirt collar. Glue down.

7. Glue buttons on bottom points to look like a real shirt collar. What a handsome card!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

hip kids clothes that you didn't have to make

We know not all of you out there sew. So we thought we could occasionally give some tips and hints for getting the same look as cool handmade stuff from other sources. We found this online retailer called R&S Avenue that features hip kids clothes. They have awesome designer kids clothes and edgier looks for little ones. Some of them are seriously hilarious!

For example, if you don't sew, you might like this alternative from R&S Avenue to the "ruffle butt" onesie tutorial I saw the other day over at UCreate.

Or maybe you remember our link to the rock 'n roll baby gown pattern from This Mama Makes Stuff. If the pattern seems too daunting, you can save your Black Sabbath t-shirt and get one here.

And if you loved our idea for making your own silly kids t-shirts with iron-on heat transfer material, check out this cool version.

R&S also sells cool kids items like Baby Legs, which we've shown you how to make, too. See, you don't have be embarrassed if you don't know how to sew cool kids clothes--your kids can still dress cool.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

oliver + s sandbox pants pattern

My son goes through pants so fast. Very few pants survive his rough and tumble play, especially the knees. Browsing through the clearance section of Joann’s one day I found a great deal on organic cotton and bamboo fabric. I decided to make him some play pants and thought these would be the perfect fabrics.

I used the Oliver+S Sandbox Pants pattern and whipped up a pair of “scooter pants” in no time at all. I love this pattern and thought it was so easy to follow. It is definitely a pattern a beginner could try out.

I let my son pick out a really cool bug print fabric to line the pockets. I think this is his favorite part. Now, he can say he has bugs in his pockets without actually having to have real, live creepy crawlies in there--thank goodness! Here are pictures. As you can see he was excited to try these “scooter pants” out and immediately got on his scooter. (It is too nice of a day to have him stand still.)

I also purchased the Sunday Brunch Jacket pattern. When I picked up the organic khaki fabric I also picked up some beautiful fabric for this jacket. That is still on my “to do” list. I am now a fan of Oliver + S patterns so I will definitely be doing this one soon.

If you enjoy sewing children's clothing (or any type of clothing, really), you should check out Oliver + S's schoolhouse presentation on their blog called Principles of Fabric Selection. The weekly blog posts will cover these topics to help you create well-designed handmade clothing:
  • See the child before the outfit
  • Think sophisticated and understated
  • Look at the supporting fabrics in a collection, not necessarily the central prints
  • Solid colors and neutrals can ground a bright, busy print
  • Be eclectic; don’t be afraid to mix collections
  • Look for updated versions of traditional prints
  • Tonal and two-color prints look very fresh
  • Approach juvenile prints with caution
The series just started a few weeks ago, so get caught up now and then follow their blog for more professional fabric advice!

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