Sunday, May 31, 2009

We're Having a Party (Check out the cakes)

Later this afternoon (after church) we are having a double birthday party for Champ and Anthony. Anthony turned 4 this past Wednesday (May 27) and Champ will be 9 next Sunday (June 7).

Here are the cakes...

Anthony wanted a black, Star Wars cake. (I didn't want to do the whole thing in black so I trimmed it in black.) I'm not very creative so I just used some Star Wars figures and then he will be able to play with them later. (Great: a cake topper and a toy!)

Champ didn't specify what kind of cake he wanted. He is really into Pokemon, so I thought of a Pokeball (that isn't too difficult, and still cute). I was please with how it turned out. I told him what I was going to do, but he and 2 of his brothers spent the night with a friend last night (so I could do last minute stuff - isn't she a great friend!?!?) so he hasn't seen it yet. I hope he likes it.

Since we are having 2 cakes at this party I made one chocolate and the other a yellow cake. (Yes, we will need 2 cakes...just immediate family - grandparents, 1st cousins, aunts and uncles, oh, and us too - there will be over 30 people here.)

Check out how we almost didn't have cake and how my hubby saved the day here.

You can check out more of my cakes by searching this site over in the right sidebar or you can check them out here, here, and here.

Friday, May 29, 2009


My Husband Rocks because he allows me to fulfill my dream by staying home with my children. It has always been my dream to be a mommy. When I was little, people would ask me "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
I would answer "A mommy."
People: "What about a nurse or a teacher?" [Note: My grandmother was a nurse.]
Me: "A mommy."

Well, what good is being a mommy if I can't do it full time? I don't want to work full time and be a mommy part time. That's o.k. for some (I even had to do it for a while). When we found out I was expecting Anthony, Frank started working odd jobs, side jobs, whatever he could do to pay off some bills. We had started doing the 'Dave Ramsey System' and he even cut some timber off our land and sold it. He did whatever he could so I could stay home.

Today was the last day of school and I am looking so forward to having all my boys at home with me for the summer. Thanks Frank. I love you for you being you, for loving me, for loving our boys, and for all you do. YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!

Porch Swing Cushion Part 3

Today is the final day for my 'Sewing a Porch Swing Cushion' post. I know that you are probably glad. I hope I haven't bored you too much.

Just so you know why I did this...

1. I enjoy it.
2. Cost effective. 1 cushion @ $11.87 (normally $21.99), 2 yards of outdoor fabric @ $6.74/yd. (normally $14.99/yd), hook & loop tape and thread that I already had on hand. Total cost of my custom made cushion $23.67. I found a custom made cushion - the same size as what I just made - on the internet for around $60.00 (then there was shipping on top of that).

I also wanted to be able to remove it (without a lot of hassle) for washing if necessary. I don't plan on washing it very much, but let's face it...I have 4 boys and the probability that it will get mud or something spilt on it is pretty high. I also made mine slightly loose so that if I did have to take the foam out several times that maybe the wear and tear on the foam would be minimal (no tearing or stretching).

Here is the box corner after we have sewn the sides and finished the edges and then turned it right side out. It will give it a nice sharp, crisp corner for the foam slab.

Next I took a piece of hook & loop tape and cut it into 3rds. I separated each hook piece from each loop piece. I placed one of each loop piece in the center of the hemmed edge and 1 on each side on the hemmed edge (right next to the hem) and sewed in place.

Slide your foam in the "pocket again and fold the fabric over so you will know where to place the hook side of your hook and loop tape.

I took the hook piece and 1 pin, just to hold in place until I reached my sewing machine. I was lucky that the stripes in my fabric made lining up the hook and loop tape very easy. Otherwise you might need to pin it more.

Here it is with all 3 pieces (both hook and loop sides) sewn on and foam inside. Let's see how it looks in the swing...

I like it. Now it feels great to sit in (not that I'm getting old and hard wood just isn't as comfortable as it used to be).

Part 1
Part 2

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Porch Swing Cushion Part 2

O.K. Now on to part 2. I could have done this in 1 post, but it would have been extremely long, so I chose 3 posts.

Now, after you have sewn both of the sides try putting your cushion inside the "pocket" again. If it is too loose, you can make it a little tighter. If it is too tight, now is the time to rip out your seams and do it again (later on it will be much more difficult). Keep checking your work. I know it seems like a lot of extra steps, but it could save you from tears and a headache later.

Still with right sides together and your foam slab in the "pocket", grab one of the corners that you have sewn.

Pull it back so you have a fold (so to speak).

Put a pin in the crease of the fold. Do the same 3 steps to the other sewn corner.

Take a ruler or straight edge and line it up at the pin. (Mine is a quilter's ruler and it is great for this because it helps to keep your angles correct.)

Draw a straight line with chalk or disappearing ink pen (I lost mine so I used chalk). Then sew on the line drawn. Do the last 2 steps to both sides. This makes a box corner. It will make more sense when the project is completed.

Finishing rough edges. Starting where you sewed the "pocket" for your foam slab...

...the part that is not sewn fold down twice and iron.

Then pin and sew. Do this to both sides.

We are almost there so tune in tomorrow for the final post on 'Sewing a Porch Swing Cushion'.

Part 1
Part 3

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Make a cushion for your porch swing Part 1

Measure your porch swing. Mine was 16 1/2 inches deep by 47 inches long. Get a piece of foam that size or bigger (I had to cut mine down with a serrated kitchen knife - pretty easy to do). Cover with batting.

Now for your fabric. If my fabric was 60 inches wide, I would just need to measure around the foam to find out the yardage needed (16 1/2" on top + 2" on front [thickness] + 16 1/2" on bottom + 2" in back = 37 inches). I will need more than that to allow for seam allowances and I want an overlap (so I can take my cover off to wash it). So I purchased 2 yards of outdoor fabric (I would rather have a little too much than not enough).

Now for the width of the fabric. My swing was 47 inches long and my foam was 47 inches long with a 2" thickness. I cut the fabric to 51" wide (from the 60" width fabric), that's 47" + 2" thick on the left + 2" thick on the right = 51 inches (that should leave plenty for seam allowance).

The edges that will be on the long side of the foam, turn under twice and iron, then pin and sew. This creates a "hem" to keep the fabric from unraveling later and it also gives it a much neater and more professional look.

This is my batting wrapped foam laying on the wrong side of the fabric.

I wrapped the fabric about 3/4 over the foam so I know where to pin it. Now measure how much the fabric overlaps the foam so you can turn your fabric wrong side out.

This is my fabric turned wrong side out.

This is my fabric turned wrong side out and pinned on the sides.

Here I placed the foam inside the "pocket" before sewing to make sure it was pinned right. Too much seam allowance and it wouldn't fit, too little seam allowance and it would be too big. It's a perfect fit. Now to the sewing machine again.

To be continued...

Part 2
Part 3

The Magic Number 4

Anthony is 4 today. It's hard to believe that is has been four years already (but he is making sure I don't forget). He is a joy to be around, lots of smiling and he has the most infectious laugh. He is irresitable. I love you and Happy Birthday Anthony!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Skittering Ladybugs

This is a dress that I came up with. There are 2 ladybugs skittering across the dress. The ladybugs are red and black (they leave a red and white gingham trail) appliqued on a navy and white gingham fabric. The dress is fully lined in solid navy blue. There are 2 red and black ladybug buttons at the shoulders.

This is a closeup of the ladybug buttons (sorry, it didn't come out too clear - I took several pictures and this was the best one).

This dress is posted on my Etsy site (see my button to the right). It will probably be a one of a kind because the ladybugs were a nightmare to do. (I did my own applique - the ladybugs weren't purchased). I am pleased with how it turned out, sometimes I get this great idea (at least I think it's great) and then it doesn't turn out at all how I had it pictured in my mind. This was exactly how I had it pictured.


A friend e-mailed this to me (not sure where it originated), but I really liked it and thought you would too. I remember one of my grandmothers always wore an apron and the other grandmother wore one quite frequently (always after church on Sunday afternoon while fixing the biggest lunch ever - there was always room for one more, no matter how many showed up). Thanks Mary, I love it.

The History of 'APRONS'

I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath,
because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and
they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for
removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even
used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks,
and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.

After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from
the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much
furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron,
and the menfolks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace
that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool.
Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that

I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron.

You also might like this.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Calling all moms!!!!!!

Hey moms, want to take better pictures? Lana has this GREAT post about taking pics of kids. Check it out here.

It's a real shame that Anthony (my 3 yo) can take better pics than me. Sad, but true. Oh, well, if he becomes a great photographer, then I won't have to. {Note: He took the pic of me kissing Rance (my 2 yo) in my profile pic, all I did was crop very little off of the right side of the photo.}

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Baby Shower Gifts

I made 2 sets of burp cloths (from cloth diapers) as baby gifts.

The burp cloth on the left has a navy and lime green (I just love those 2 colors together) ribbon that I stitched across the bottom and I embroidered the baby's name in lime green above the ribbon. The burp cloth on the right has a tan and light blue ribbon (I also like blues and browns together) and I did the first letter of the first name in tan (as background) and did his name in light blue.

The burp cloths here are done the same as the ones shown above with the exception of the tan and blue one (I reversed the colors of the initial and the name).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm a Winner!!!!!!!!!!

I just won the book 'The Five Love Languages of Children' from the Dr. Gary Champman blog. You can check it out here. I am so super excited. I cannot wait to receive it! Thank you so much to the Dr. Gary Champman team!!!!!!

Personalized Beach Towels

These 2 towels are for my twin nephews' birthday (Memorial Day). They are blue towels with orange trim and I embroidered their names on them in orange (to bring out the trim). I used a different font on each towel.

This towel is for another nephew (his birthday is the end of June). It is orange with green trim (name embroidered in green).

This towel is green with pink trim and matching pink, embroidered name. This is for Champ's teacher (end of the year gift). I thought with summer break coming up it might be nice to have a new beach towel.

This towel is for Lee's teacher and it is yellow with blue trim and blue, embroidered name. I hope they enjoy their summer (just a few days left until summer break is here).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Rice Packs

Today at our MOPS meeting (for our craft project) we made 'rice packs.' You can heat them up and place on neck and shoulders for a relaxing feel, or you can keep them in the freezer for a cooling effect. If you use cute fabric, it would be great for kid's 'boo boos.' I'm going to have to try this because my kids never let me put ice on a bump on the head, but they might let me do this.

You take a piece of fabric (doesn't mater what size, use larger piece of fabric for a larger pack and vice versa) and fold it in half (right sides together) and sew along 2 adjoing sides (leaving the 3rd side open), then turn right side out. Fill 2/3 full of rice. [As an added bonus, they added a pack of flavored tea to scent the 'rice pack.'] Then sew the 3rd side closed. You now have a 'rice pack.'

If you have fresh herbs, you could put some lavender seeds, or rosemary leaves, etc. in with your rice (in place of the flavored tea). Tell me what you think would smell great in a 'rice pack.'

You can purchase these (or a similar item) from a Spa Party (or earn it as a hostess gift), but isn't it fun to create your own. You can get the scent you want and the fabric that matches your personality.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I LOVE our local library!!!!!!!!!

Have you checked out your library lately?

Reasons that my family loves the library...
1) It's FREE
2) You have an almost unlimited supply of books (for FREE)
3) You can check out movies (for FREE) - our library allows you to keep movies and books for 2 weeks
4) They have summer reading programs to encourage children to read, especially during the summer (for FREE)
5) They sell used books (really cheap)
6) They have story hour (for FREE)
7) They have all sorts of activities (for young and old alike - book clubs, knitting circles, etc.) - for FREE
8) You can check out audio books (for listing to on long drives, during your workout, while you are on the computer or doing a craft) - for FREE
9) You can even download books from your library, through your computer for your I pod, MP3 Player, etc. (for FREE)
10) Oh, and did I mention that it's all FREE!!!!! (Great for any budget, but especially for our family of 6 living on one income.)
11) and much much more (for FREE)

Check out your local library today.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More Diaper Bag

This is a view of the front of the bag (including the handles). I used the camouflaged material for the handles, but for strength and stability I used webbing on the underside of the handles. I usually cover the webbing with the fabric, but this time I thought that I would use red webbing and not cover it to give it a reversible look.

This is the front of the diaper bag with 'Gage' embroidered on it.

The rest of the diaper bag pictures are here.

Diaper Bag

For some reason I can't get all of my diaper bag pictures on this post so I will post the rest on another post.

I made this diaper bag for a lady that I used to work with. It is a custom made, personalized diaper bag. She already had the camouflage fabric and requested it be lined in red with her son's name embroidered in red. She also requested a couple of pockets on the outside.

This picture is of the back of the diaper bag with the exterior pockets.

This is the red lining on the interior of the diaper bag.

I took a piece of corrugated plastic and covered it in the same fabric that the diaper bag is lined with. It will be placed in the bottom of the bag for a sturdier bottom. I used the corrugated plastic in case of a bottle/sippy cup leak (once wet cardboard would be ruined). I made the cover over the bottom removable (for washing).

I also (as an added extra - she didn't request this) made a removeable cell phone case.

I used red thread and a red button on the cell phone case to tie in with the diaper bag being lined and monogrammed in red.

The rest of the diaper bag pictures are here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Turn cards into postcards

I hate throwing away the cute cards that I get, but I can't possibly keep them all. So this is what I do, I turn them into postcards and send them on to someone else.

Take a card that doesn't have writing on the back of the front of the card (the left side of the inside on side fold cards, and the top of the inside on top fold cards).

Open the card and cut right down the fold. You can use a paper cropper (like scrapbookers use) or just use scissors.

You now have 2 halves of the card. Dispose of the "back" of the card and you are ready to use the "front" of the card. Turn the picture side (or front side) over and address the card and write a short message. Use a post card stamp (which is cheaper than a letter stamp) to mail it.

It is a great way to upcycle (great for the environment), you should have a ready supply of 'free' cards on hand to give out at any moment, and it is cheaper to mail (even better for your budget).

I read all of the cards that I get and immediately get rid of the envelope (recycle or trash), cut the cards as demonstrated above, discard the portion that's not necessary, file away the cute 'front' and I have post cards at a moments notice.

Have you done anything like this? What do you do?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I want to wish every mother, grandmother, mother-to-be, future mother and mother figure a Happy Mother's Day.

I want to wish a very special person Happy Mother's Day, my mom (I wish you were here). Maybe someday I will tell you more about her, but today I am a little weepy and I just don't think I can do it.

Happy Mother's Day to the best mother in the world. I love you and miss you!

Judy Stanton
January 19, 1946 - September 19, 2004

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pregnant Belly Cake

These are the supplies that I used to make the cake shown above. You can get them all at or your local craft store.

This is the 'Mini Romance Cookie Cutter Set.' I used the flower shape to cut out flowers from pink fondant. You could use blue fondant for a baby boy shower, you could also use a circle shape for polka dots on the cake dress (the cake that I saw actually had the polka dots instead of flowers).

This is the Mini Ball pan. It is like a 6 piece muffin pan (except they are rounded so that if you put 2 together it would make a small ball). I used 2 to make the breasts.

This is the Sports Ball cake pan. I used 1/2 (or 1 pan from the set) to make the belly of the cake.

I took one cake mix and mixed it according to package directions. Then 1/2 of the mix filled 1 pan from the Sports Ball cake pan and the other half filled the Mini Ball cake pan (all 6 compartments). After baking the cake, I allowed it to cool while I made my butter cream frosting. After the cake cooled, I trimed it up so it would sit level.

I placed the 'belly' cake in the middle of the foil covered cake board (I should have placed it a little higher), I then placed the 2 'breasts' cakes directly above and touching the 'belly.' I then iced them with the butter cream frosting.

I took white fondant (you could use any color or you could get white and tint it any color you like) and took a small part of it and tinted it pink for the flowers. I then rolled the remaineder of the white fondant into a big oval shape. When it was big enough I placed it over the iced cakes and trimmed the edges off (right next to the cakes at the top - see picture above), then flaired out near the bottom to give it a 'dress' look.

I took the pink fondant and rolled it out, I cut strips out of it to go across the top of the 'belly' for the sash of the dress. I used smaller strips to make the bow. Attach fondant to fondant with a small new paint brush and clear vanilla flavoring (paint the flavoring to the small fondant and place it on the 'dress' fondant). Cut out flower shapes and attach them to the cake in the same manner.

Very easy and very cute.

See more pictures here.
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