Monday, February 22, 2010

for a minnie lover

My friend up the street throws great birthday parties.  I have had the luck of sneaking in on a few of them for her kids.  She just threw a Minnie Mouse party for her 4 year old and it was so sweet. It made me want to dip my toes in to the birthday party arena.  I still fear that one a bit and usually just let my kids have a few kids over for a simple celebration.  She even made all the little girls red and white or pink and white polka dot skirts, gave them matching polka dot hair bows and mouse ears.  These girls were in heaven.  Knowing it was a Minnie theme, we decided to roll with that and make her daughter a Minnie outfit for a gift.  Inspired by another friend's appliques that she made for her daughters for their recent trip to Disney World, I added a simple applique to a white t-shirt.  Then, I made a quick skirt to match, pulling the lace trim off of a bed sheet I had inherited from my mother in law and adding a mini Minnie applique to the bottom.  I had a pair of black leggings I bought last year at the end of the season that matched perfect that I added to the outfit.  Hopefully, the Minnie lover will love her Minnie ensemble.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

new bag (it's awesome) and a few pendants

Melissa has come up with my favorite bag yet. When she showed me the March Bag a few weeks ago, I instantly wanted to make one and freaked out a little. I wanted to be her pattern tester. And, I don't really like to make bags. This bag is cool and I think I like the pocket in the middle the best. Oh, and the pleat in the front and the size and almost everything else. The pocket is like a sweatshirt pocket where it meets in the middle. Very cool. I also added a few Easter pendants and a couple initials to the shop. Go check them out.

Monday, February 15, 2010

the best party of our valentine's dinner - the tomato basil soup

I won't pretend it was perfect. The food was wonderful, but my children must have major cabin fever because they fought all during our Valentine's Day dinner last night. Ironic, huh? I had high hopes for it since I have put on a fun red themed dinner for the past 6 years for my kids and it has always been fun. Let's just say that it ended with several being put to bed early and me threatening not to do it next year! We'll see about that. There were a few high lights though. One, the soup, was my favorite food of the night. I thought I would share the recipe with you. It's for Tomato Basil Soup. I first had this soup at La Madeline in Dallas, Texas and this is my version of it.

Tomato Basil Soup

4 cups (8 to 10) tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped or 4 cups canned (the large can) of crushed tomatoes - I usually use the canned

3 cups tomato juice

2 cups chicken stock

12 to 14 washed fresh basil leaves

1 cup heavy cream (sometimes I use half and half - both are good)

1/4 cup sweet butter

salt to taste

1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

Combine tomatoes, juice and stock in a large stock pot. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puree, along with the basil leaves, in small batches, in a blender or use a hand held food blender right in the pan.

Return soup to saucepan if you used the blender and add cream and butter while stirring over low heat. Add salt and pepper. Garnish with extra basil leaves. Serve with your favorite bread.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

valentine party invitations

I made these invite for my son's preschool Valentine party. The font is used for the word LOVE came from dafont and is called cast iron. If you haven't been to yet, you should. There are some pretty awesome fonts there for free. The cupids are stamps from the Close To My Heart stamp set Struck By Love. And, just a bit of stitches around the edge.  It's super simple, but I just thought I would share.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

a big thanks

As I sit in my house because we have way too much snow outside, I have been able to read all of your comments. Thanks for all your kind words for the trinket keepers. Here are some answers to your questions and concerns:

1 - When you print directly on to fabric like I did on my inkjet printer, it is not color fast. But, there is a way to treat it so it will become color fast and not bleed when wet. Go here for directions. Thanks to the readers who directed me there.

2 - Someone has said that the General brand grommets contain lead. I wasn't aware of this. If that worries you, then you can also buy Dritz brand grommets in the sewing notions section at your local fabric store. I am pretty sure that they have 3/8" because I saw that size online. That size will have a big enough hole that the clip will fit in to. *Added note - Lowe's has a Stanley brand of grommets that should work too.

3 - I got my images for the ones I directly printed on to fabric from my collection of digital scrapbooking images. The one with the vintage toys that says "stuff" comes from KB and friends and is called Cameron's Toy Box. The train image is a freezer paper stencil. I just found a train image on the internet and traced the outside of it on to freezer paper. Once I cut it out, I just ironed the freezer paper on to the fabric and painted inside the stencil with fabric paint. Finding images (like the guitar and train) are easy and you can apply them quickly.

4 - Some of the words like "Pokemon Cards" are printed directly on to the fabric. Other ones like "Trains" I added later with an alphabet stamping set that I inked up with a fabric pen. That's easy to do as well.

5 - Have fun and I would love to see any you have made when you finish. Just email me a photo or send me a link to your blog.

Monday, February 8, 2010

trinket keepers tutorial

If your boys have as many collections as mine do, then you will want to mak at least a dozen of these. I find their little trinkets in the washer, dryer, their pockets, and all over the house. When they were really young they loved to carry their Thomas trains around with them everywhere we went. Then they moved on to dinosaurs, Hot Wheels, Pokemon cards, Bakugan, and Tech Decks. And, now my oldest son needs something to carry his iPod and DSi in. These are SUPER simple. The hardest part which is also the most fun is deciding what cool image, stencil, or applique you want to put on the front of each one. Here is the tutorial for the trinket keepers-

Here's what you need:(2)Outside fabric pieces (see below for the size you will need)

(2)Lining fabric pieces the same size as the outside fabric
3/8" Grommet kit - 2 grommet sets per pouch
carabeener - the spring loaded clip used to attach to belt loop or backpack

Sizes: For each of the little trinkets in our house, I have figured up the sizes of fabric that work best to hold them. You can always adjust according to what trinkets you have!
- 4"wide X 6"high = iPod, Pokemon cards, baseball cards, Hot Wheels, and Tech Decks
- 4"wide X 5"high = Bakugan, marbles, plastic bugs, plastic dinosaurs
- 5"wide X 6"high = Thomas the Tank Engine trains
- 6"wide X 8"high = Show and Tell and DSi

1. First, the fun part...Let's make the label on the front of the pouch. There are so many ways to do this. What I chose to do is print directly on the fabric, freezer paper stencil and applique. If you are printing directly on the fabric, you can buy fabric sheets designed for your printer or just back a piece of 8 1/2" 11" piece of muslin fabric with a piece of freezer paper the same size to give it the stability it needs to run through the printer. I got this idea from a friend and it works great. I am not sure if it is color safe, but we have no plans to wash these. You can go here for a tutorial on freezer paper stencils and applique is easy too. So, add your label and/or image in the center of the front piece of outside fabric. *Update - I have recieved a few ideas and suggestions that will help with making your printed images (from the ink jet printer) color safe and water resistant. Check here for directions and thanks for the help.

2. Now cut out your 4 pieces of fabric - (2) for the outside and (2) for the lining. I am using 4"X5" pieces in this tutorial which is perfect for the boys' little marbles and Bakugan toys.

3. Put your two pieces of outside fabric right sides together and sew around the three sides leaving the opening at the top using a 3/8"seam. Cut the corner edges off at and angle and turn right side in.

4. Take your two pieces of lining fabric and put them together with right sides facing each other. Sew all around the three sides leaving the top open and a small 2" opening at the bottom. Clip the corner edges and leave inside out.

5. Take your outside fabric and place it inside the lining. Right sides should be facing each other.

6. Sew all the way around the top with a 3/8"seam.

7. Pull the outside fabric through the hole of the lining. It will look like this photo.

8. Now tuck the 2"hole of the lining in and sew to close.

9. Stuff the lining back in to the outside fabric and top stitch with a 1/4" seam all the way around.
10. Mark the center from the side edges 1/2" down. This is where the grommet will go. Do that on both sides of the outside fabric since you will need a grommet set per side. Set grommets according to directions on package. Mine are General brand that I bought at Home Depot because I wanted ones that were big enough to hold the carabeener hook. The carabeeners are available at Home Depot, Lowes, Wal Mart and almost anywhere and come in so many fun colors.

11. Fill it up with trinkets and hook the carabeener hook through the grommets. It's ready to clip on to anything!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

freezer paper stencils

Ever since I figured what freezer paper stenciling was a few years ago, I have loved how dang easy it is. It's a lot of bang for you buck - especially when you buy the gigantic roll of freezer paper! There are a ton of tutorials out there, but basically you cut your image out of freezer paper with an exacto knife and iron it on the fabric you want stenciled along with another piece ironed in between the layers to stabilize it. Paint inside the stencil with fabric paint and peel the freezer paper away when it is dry. Very easy.

Well, now imagine it even easier. Melissa cut freezer paper 12X12 and put it in her Cricut and cut out images we used as stencils. Much easier than using an exacto knife. We all managed to get a few shirts made for Valentines Day and even a couple extra. Check out her blog to see the ones she made.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

shop update (again)

I have more initial pendant charms up in the shop. If you don't see the initial you want, just convo me and I can make the one you need. I am also listing some ball chain necklaces tomorrow.

Melissa has a new pdf pattern up in the etsy shop for the Sunday Bag. It is awesome. I have seen this bag up close and I love it. It has so much room and is so classy. Plus, she added some kits for the fabric scrapbook she made for the Moda Bakeshop last week. Grab the while they last.

Monday, February 1, 2010

check out rae and dana

Both Rae from Made By Rae and Dana from Made are teaming up to provide an entire month of posts just for boys.  These boys need this as far as I'm concerned.  I need this so that my dear boys are reminded that I love them a ton and can just as well make them a little something something like I do their sis.  Today Rae has a tutorial that takes a man's shirt and re sizes it for a little boy.   That means more upcycling.  Dana's making a shirt in 90 minutes.  Now, I wish it was the 60 minute shirt, but since I can get it done in the time my kids are napping (okay, I wish they were still napping), then I still want to give it a go.  Check it out and get excited for more all month.  I have something of my own that I am working on to help in this great cause and it will be up next week.  Let's just say it's super simple, but with tons of options!