Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Printable Easter Goodies

These two ladies posted adorable Easter Freebies on their sites.  Check out Lelan over at Hello, Good Gravy to get her printable seed packet tags.  I'm going to whip up some of these for the little ladies in my life for some non-sugar fun for Easter.

Photo from Lelan's Blog

Then head over to Erin's site, Leo on the Loose, for some coloring sheet fun.  Ava is at the age that she could color for hours if I let her, so I know these will come in handy the next few days.

Picture from Erin's Blog

So, so cute and such generous ladies for sharing their talents with us...for free!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tutorial: Fabric Flowers

Here is my version of the fabric flower.  I tried to make these directions as easy to follow as possible but ask questions if something doesn't make sense!

  1. Gather all your supplies.  My fabric strips are 10 inches long and 1 inch wide.  My strips happen to have a pinked edge from a layer cake I used for Ava's quilt.  If you want a finished edge use a piece of fabric that is 10 inches long and 2 inches wide.  Then fold the fabric in half length wise and iron your fold, so now you have a 10 inch x 1 inch piece of fabric like the below picture.

2.  Stitch along the edge of the fabric that will be the center of the flower using a gather stitch.

3.  Gather your embroidery floss tight and tie at least a double knot very securely.  Trim the end of your floss so that you can't see it. 

4.  You will be left with a cute little flower ready to be embellished a zillion different ways.

5.  Hot glue the button of your choice to the center.  You could also do a felt center or really anything to cover the center that tickles your fancy.

6.  Now is where you can make your flower into a clip, a pin, or even a ponytail holder.  I made Ava's into clips.  I bought my clips from Sally's Beauty Supply Store for about $2.50 for 12.  Hot glue your ribbon to the clip.  Glue and wrap the entire outside of the metal clip.  The ribbon also helps the clip stay in her hair.

7.  Hot glue your flower to the clip and you're done!  Super easy right?

Here are 2 of the clips I made.  The flower on the left was made with 10 inches of fabric and the flower on the right was made with 20 inches of fabric.  These are very forgiving flowers so go crazy and experiment with different lengths & widths.  You could make these with a wide ribbon, felt, etc.  The possiblilities really are endless.  Check out Katie's idea of using these to make a spring wreath.
Now go crazy with these fabric flowers and let me know how it goes!!

Monday, March 29, 2010


I have been so anxious to start quilting Ava's little throw.  The backing fabric arrived in the mail and I was waiting for the chance to get it all together.  While Ava was napping yesterday, I made my quilt sandwich using my cute little curved basting pins and had everything ready for the quilt-a-thon to begin.  I got my machine equipped with the proper thread, foot, and extended table.  I made my little trial sandwich and practiced my wavy pattern I want to use.  I got the thread tension issue worked out on my sample and was feeling really good about myself.  The key word being was...

I stink!  Working with a larger piece of fabric and manuvering that massive amount through the machine was a joke.  I have read countless tutorials on how to do this.  I would stitch about 10 inches and then check it.  It was horrid.  My little practice piece was so good.  What in the world am I doing wrong???  I tried about 4 different times but sitting and ripping out stitches was making my neck stiff.  Not to mention, I was super frustrated.  For now, I'm walking away for at least a full day. 

To make myself feel better, I made Ava a few yo-yo flower hair clips that are simple, fast, and instant gratification.  I feel better but every time I walk past the quilt I mumble at it.  Maybe I'll just wake up tomorrow and the quilt fairy will have gifted me with her knowledge and skills...I hope.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Easter Banner

I love decorating for the holidays and now that we have a kiddo it makes it even more fun to go all out. 

I wanted to make a banner to hang on our mantel, so I started with my monsterous pile of scrapbook paper in my closet.  I have a weakness for all things with crafty cuteness such as paper, fabric, fonts, etc.  I cut out 12 4x4 squares of various papers that coordinate.  I used my corner round punch to make them a little softer.  I then typed out "Happy Easter" on my computer in Word using this adorable free Kwekel font from Free Scrapbook Fonts.  It's a good block type font with a little pizazz.  The little chick clip art came from Discovery Education which I used a lot as a teacher.  I then cut each letter into a 3x3 square, rounded the corners and used double sided tape to afix the letters to the paper.  Hole punch each corner and pick out a ribbon to tie them together.  Ta-da!  You have a great springy banner to hang from your mantel, across a doorway or even a window.  Super cute, cheap, and adds a little color to the room. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Meet Simon

Here's the newest addition to our family, Simon.  We adopted him on Saturday from the local Humane Society.  Boy is he a cutie!

Last Friday, Steve surprised me for my birthday saying we would get another rabbit.  I had been dropping hints since Sweet Pea died but Steve did not seem interested.  Little did I know he had been doing research to find out more about a certain breed I had mentioned.  I had seen a few pictures of Lionhead Rabbits and thought they were adorable, so that's what Steve went looking for.  He talked to breeders and found out all about them.  I was thrilled.  I also couldn't wait to find one.  I'm very impatient that way.  I got online and saw that some were being adopted out on Saturday at a local Petsmart.  Needless to say we were there the next day.  Unfortunately, they did not have any but mentioned that the Humane Society got in a litter of Lionheads not long ago.  Off we went to check out the bunnies.  We had a tough decision because all three of the little guys were adorable.  Something about Simon was unique and different...other than his rad hair.  He was super sweet and outgoing.  Perfect for Miss Ava.  We couldn't pick him up until Thursday because he had to have his little boy parts fixed.  He was worth the wait though! 

We've had him for a little over a day now and he and Ava are the best of friends.  Ava keeps trying to give him books and other random toys.  Simon is going with it quite well.  Having a pet makes our house feel more homey.  Thanks for the awesome birthday present, hon!  I'm super glad we were able to adopt, too. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Four years ago today, I married my best friend.  Happy Anniversary, Steve!  I can't wait to see what the years to come have in store for us. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ava's Quilt

Yesterday I finished piecing together the top of Ava's quilt.  I was very disappointed with my results.  All my corners were not meeting up with each other.  I realized my error was in my sewing and not my cutting but I was not about to rip apart the entire quilt to restitch all the squares.  I laid the quilt out on the floor to take a look at it when Ava came rushing over and laid down on it saying, "Ahhhhhh," while rubbing her hands across the fabric.  She laid there for a good 10 minutes pointing to all the different squares and saying something important but what I'm not sure! 

That's when I realized it's ok that it's not perfect.
Ava is going to love it even if the corners of each square don't match up perfectly.  She's going to know that her mom loved her so much she *attempted* to make her something special. 

Now on to the quilt sandwich and the binding.  Both of which I have never done before and I'm sure won't be perfect either...and that's ok.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bunny Bowling!

Serious cuteness above, right? Ellen, over at The Long Thread, wrote up a great how-to article for Etsy last year for these colorful little guys. I'm running out of time to get these done for Easter this year but bunny's are in season all year. At least at our house they are! I love how their little ears stand up, too. This is also a great gross motor skill game for the wee one.

Yet another fun project to add to my ever growing "need to make" list.

Photos from Etsy and The Long Thread

Monday, March 22, 2010

Joining the Club

Last Friday was the big 3-0 for me.  I am the last of my close friends to turn 30.  It was not something that I was worried about or dwelled on or even fretted over.  It's just another year and another my mind at least! 

We had plans with friends to have a get together at our house and then head down to the Central West End to go dancing.  To my surprise, there was a Hummer limo waiting outside to drive us around.  It was a really, really fun night.  That made me realize how important it is to stay connected with your friends and do things together without the kids sometimes.  My husband planned a birthday for me that I will never forget.  Thanks Steve for welcoming me to the club in style!  Love you!   

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Feelings for Fabric

It's quite possible that I love the fabric that arrived in the mail for me yesterday.  I bid on this Moda Eden Layer Cake by Lila Tueller on Ebay not expecting to win and I did!  I was actually the only bidder.  There is quite a rush to winning something you really want on Ebay. I got the fabric for under what I was willing to pay and less that all other sites I had checked so that made the buy even better. 

I decided to make a throw for Ava as my first large project.  I thought a Layer Cake by Moda would be good because they are already cut into 42 10x10 squares with all the coordinating fabrics selected for you.  I fell in love with the Eden set and knew those would be great fabrics for her.  I am going to start cutting the pieces over the weekend using these instructions from the Moda Bake Shop for the Snuggly Layer Cake Throw.  It looks like an easy and cute quilt to start with.  I adore the Moda Bake Shop website.  If you are a fabric junkie and haven't checked it out, you should head over!!  There are loads of free "recipes" for all types of projects.  I'll keep you updated on my throw progress.  It should be interesting to say the least.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Christmas in March

We finally had our Christmas with my Dad's side of the family this past Saturday.  We were supposed to host here on Christmas Eve but Ava had a fever and therefore Christmas was put on hold. 

We had a blast.  Ava and her second cousin, Olivia, had so much fun together.  It takes Ava a while to warm up but once we opened Christmas presents there were lots of "wows" and "whoas" from those 2 little ladies.  We then had an Easter egg hunt for the kiddos followed by a crazy dance party.  Good times! 

Friday, March 12, 2010

An Etsy Easter

Lots of serious Easter cuteness these days on Etsy.  If only money grew on trees...or even bushes.
Adorable Bunny Hat from Hookaholic

Retro Bunny Cars & Planes Easter Basket from Twenty Little Toes

Yummy Easter Egg Cookies from Lori's Place

Printable Easter Cupcake toppers, etc. from Monkey Moo Moo

Felted Easter Chick from Bossy's Feltworks

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Book Club: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

So I've been reading this months book selection, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and I have to say that I'm glad it was chosen.  It was not something that I would have picked up on my own because I consider myself a pretty happy gal.  It's made me realize that there so many small ways to alter my thinking to put myself in a better mood. 

I've tried out several of her "theories" and found them to be simple and easy to do.  First step was getting rid of clutter.  That was a piece of cake for me because I love to declutter.  My closets are so much more organized now.  I just needed a little kick in the pants to get going.  Second thing I took on was gratitude.  I often take things in my life for granted.  I know this about myself and will openly admit it.  I don't tell Steve often enough what a great husband and dad he is.  I don't tell my friends how much I appreciate them listening to my stories and venting.  She talked about starting a gratitude journal and I immediately thought...ugh.  She goes on to say that she didn't like it either.  She found that she was dreading writing in the journal and it felt forced.  I know that is how I would feel without even trying it.  She mentioned that now she just mentally goes through all the things in her life she is grateful for while her computer boots up every morning.  This I knew I could do!!  I took it a step further and decided to pray every morning as my computer loads.  Taking that time to *thank* God for all the amazing people and things in my life has really started my days off on a high note.  The third thing I've done is really enjoy Ava and Steve.  I have completely lost my sense of humor with my husband.  I've become a fuddy dud.  He jokes and laughs and I remind him of all the things we have to do.  That's not least it didn't used to be.  I now make it a point to laugh with Steve everyday.  I enjoy the moments when Ava is covered in stickers from head to toe and has pink marker all over her shirt and hands.  She's only going to be this little for so long.  I need to savor every moment with her.  There are countless other nuggets of info in the book that I have tried and loved but don't want to bore you with. 

The bottom line is I think the book was worth the $15 bucks I spent on Amazon for it.  I know I have started to appreciate the people in my life a lot more and have made much more of an effort to act the way I want to feel...happy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dr. Jekyll and Miss Hyde

After John's funeral was over on Wednesday, we arrived home exhausted.  Thursday morning we woke up to a sick baby.  I just assumed she had an upset tummy from all the cookies that had been handed to her the day before at Sandy's house.  I was wrong though. 

Friday morning we woke up to a very sick baby and a sick husband.  This was the dreaded flu that's been making it's way around.  It was bound to be our turn sometime but I was still holding out hope that our flu shots would save us.  Steve was sick all day Friday and part of Saturday and I was sick only on Saturday.  Ava however is still sick.  I thought she was in the clear as of yesterday because she had not been sick since Sunday morning.  Again, I was wrong.  We woke up today to see that Ava had thrown up while sleeping...ick! This is day 6 of the little lady being sick. 

She has learned how to hold the trash can if she feels sick.  She did this all on her own, too.  It has been very interesting to watch because she is miserable one minute and as soon as she throws up she is tearing around the house happy as a clam.  That happiness lasts for about half an hour and then we're back to miserable.  I'm hoping she starts feeling better soon.  I don't know how much more puke I can take!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Looking for the Glimmer

Sorry to be MIA for a week.  Last week was long, sad, exhausting, and emotional.  Last Sunday Steve's uncle passed away.  John was 49 years old and for all practical purposes a healthy guy.  He went to the doctor because he wasn't feeling well after starting a new diet and was diagnosed with cancer on February 2nd.  On February 28th, John passed away quietly with his wife and siblings by his side.  John leaves behind his wife, Sandy, and his 12 year old daughter, Melanie. 

I haven't dealt much with death in my life.  Three of my grandparents died before I was born or when I was too young to remember.  My grandma is still here and will never die.  That's just how it's going to be!  Steve hasn't dealt with it much either.  To lose his uncle at such a young age was a shock and it all happened too fast.  I know he is in heaven and not in any more pain.  While I know this in my head, my heart can't stop aching for his wife and daughter.  His wife is amazingly strong and did a phenomenal job those 2 long days during the visitation and funeral.  His daughter, Melanie, was so strong too.  She was surrounded by her friends and classmates both days which helped take her mind off all the somber faces around her. 

Both days I was looking for that glimmer of happiness to return to them both.  Just a small inkling that they were going to be okay was all I wanted to see.  After laying John to rest and saying their final goodbyes, I saw the glimmer.  All the family and friends were at their house and Sandy's brother received a call saying that he won a new car.  There was screaming, jumping up and down, laughter, and more screaming.  It lightened the mood and brought smiles to everyone's face.  For those who knew John, this is exactly how he would have wanted his funeral to be.  Happy, smiles, no tears, and a new car!  Sandy and Melanie are going to be okay, it's just going to take time...lots of time. 

You will be greatly missed, John.