Sunday, July 17, 2011

Big Sister Little Sister Dresses

My niece just had her 2nd baby (I now have 2 grand-nieces, wow - that makes me feel old). For the baby I made the Reversible Open Back Dress and Fancy Ruffled Diaper Cover that I also made here.

Here is the back of the dress, showing the striped reversible fabric.

The fancy ruffled diaper cover.

For her older sister I made a pillowcase dress in matching fabric.

I love how I was able to find grosgrain ribbon to match the floral fabric that I used for the trim of the dress. Note: I heat sealed the ribbon edges to keep it from fraying.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Showing my Independence

It's a little late for Independence Day, but here you go anyway (better late than never right? - Nah, I don't agree either, just thought I'd try).

I made this Stars and Stripes Pillowcase Dress. I love the fabric because it looks antique-ish (I just made that word up, but it sounds good). The blue fabric has off-white stars in it, the red, striped, ticking fabric looks tea-stained, which gives it an aged look. A little girl could wear this any time, it doesn't just have to be worn on the 4th of July (but it does look Patriotic).

I love pillowcase dresses for several reasons...

1) The first is the history behind them. They used to be worn by peasants and poor people. They made use out of what they had. Nothing went to waste.

2) They grow with the girl. Since the ribbons can be tied tighter when she is smaller and looser as she grows, it is able to be worn longer.

3) The pillowcase dress can be worn as a top (this kind of goes with #2) when the dress gets too short. It can be worn with little bloomers, capri pants or jeans.

4) It can be dressed up or down depending on what you make it out of. Pillowcase Dress with lace trim in white with white leather patent Mary Janes makes a very cute Easter dress. Make it with a casual fabric and flip flops and it can be a summer play dress.

Here was a simple Patriotic table display. I had red and white dishes that I mixed up, I used red and blue bandanas for inexpensive place mats and napkins on a plain white table cloth. I had red and blue enameled buckets (Target $1 aisle) and American flags (Hobby Lobby half -off) about $0.25 each. Quick, Easy and Inexpensive!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Buckets of Friendship

A friend of mine saw the bucket (that is pictured next to the finished chair) here and called me to ask where I got it (just at the local Dollar Store) and she went to get some. Then she saw the buckets that I decorated here, here, and here and requested 3 (one for herself, one for her mother and one for a friend).

So this is what the bucket looked like when she bought it (you know, a BEFORE picture)...

And this is one of them finished (you know, an AFTER picture)...

It's hard to tell in the picture, but the bucket is lime green with navy blue lettering. I failed to take a picture of the other two, but one was burgandy with 'Welcome' in black letters and the last (but not least) was candy apple red with black letters.

I primed each bucket with a metal primer in white. Then I put several light coats of color on each bucket, allowing them to dry in between coats. While they were drying, I cut the letters out with my Cricut and when they were completely dry, I applied the letters. Makes a great gift!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

For a little girl

I purchased another pattern from You Can Make This. It is a skirted diaper cover. I thought it was adorable. Think how much that it would dress up a little onesie or a simple little T-shirt or plain top.

This pattern is by Monkeysbug Tee and Tie Dyed Diva, you can also get their stuff on etsy. I am a fan of theirs. I may even be addicted to their patterns (I have a huge long list of their patterns in my 'Wish List' on You Can Make This). You can see a couple more of their patterns that I made here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I AM Different

I am just like a lot of moms. We want our kids to be cute, dressed cute, cute hair cut, you know how it is. But I am different in this way...when they get old enough to want to dress themselves - I let them.

I have friends that have children that are pre-teens, soon to be teens and they still tell them how to dress. I'm not knocking that, but that's not me.

As soon as my kids want to dress themselves, I encourage it. Yes, they may not match, but that's o.k. with me. They are expressing themselves and learning. I just make sure that it is weather appropriate (that's where I put my foot down). I do have a couple of other rules also, the clothes must be clean and they must be in good shape (no holes, stains, etc.).

As you can see here, Anthony picked out his clothes - he has an orange striped T-shirt, a green and blue argyle sweater vest, and a navy clip on tie. He was very proud of it and yes, I let him wear it to church. I even told him (without lying to him) that he was very handsome (it really isn't the clothes that make the man - he is extremely handsome to me).

I know that right now some of you mothers are mortified. That's o.k. It takes us all to make the world go around. When people ask if they dressed themselves, I nod, lean in close and with a sweet smile I quietly explain that they have their dad's sense of fashion. ;o) (Just kidding about that last part - sort of.)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Sweet Little Something

I found these two adorable patterns from You Can Make This, I purchased them and made them with no one in particular in mind. My friend saw them while they were a work-in-progress when she came to pick up the burp cloths for Victoria. She said that she wanted to see them when they were completed, they were quite possibly going to go to Spain too, along with the burp cloths.

This is the front of the Reversible Open Back Baby Dress. I made it in Size 0-3 months.

This is the back. You can see a little of the reverse fabric.

This is the Fancy Ruffled Diaper Cover. Also in 0-3 months.

And this is how cute they look together. I love how the ruffles show in the open back of the dress.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

More Gifts to Spain

A good friend of mine (we just met and became friends 5 or 6 years ago) was born in Spain, but moved here when she was young. When she was a teenager, her family moved back to Spain and she stayed here.

Her cousin (which is more like a sister than a cousin to her) just had her first child - a baby girl and asked me to make some personalized burp cloths that she could send to her...yes, in Spain.

I think that is so cool!

It's hard to tell in the photo, but below the ribbon is brown rick rack.

To see the first gifts to Spain, click here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Shabby Apple

Dresses from Shabby Apple

Shabby Apple is having a great sale. Make sure you go check them out.

Shabby Apple has dresses and accessories for the every day woman, they have maternity dresses and dresses for little girls. Click one of the links below to go where you are interested.

Dresses from Shabby Apple

Women's Dresses from Shabby Apple

Maternity Dresses from Shabby Apple

Little Girls Dresses from Shabby Apple

I love the retro feel of this dress...

Check them out and let me know your favorite!

My Special Friend

All my friends are special, but this particular one is special because she and I have been friends since we were about 15 years old and we have never met.

Go, ahead and re-read it if you want. We are both 40 years old, have been friends since we were 15 and we have never met (we've been friends for 25 years).

You see when I took Spanish (my Freshman year in High School), everyone in Spanish class was required to get a Pen-Pal from Spain or Mexico. Balbi is my Pen-Pal from Spain. She and I still write, although it is now e-mails (very few hand written letters). We have kept in touch all these years. She writes more often than I do (I am so fortunate for her to not give up on me). I have good intentions, but life gets in the way sometimes.

It is very neat that she and I were both born in November (less than 2 weeks apart) in the same year in two different countries, became friends, and stayed friends all these years.

Well, Balbi just had her first child, a baby boy! Boy is he beautiful. He almost makes me want to have another one...ALMOST!

I made these burp cloths for Balbi and her precious new little one and mailed them to go over seas to Spain.

To see other things going to Spain, click here.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Waiting Place - Book Review

The Waiting Place - Learning to Appreciate Life's Little Delays by Eileen Button is not what I was expecting. By the title, I was expecting a book that would teach me to look around and smell the roses while I was waiting in a doctor's office, car rider line at school, etc.

The Waiting Place is basically a collection of Eileen Buttons memories. (It reminds me of the Chicken Soup books, but instead of a collection of many people's memories it was a collection of one person's memories.) I have to admit that I was disappointed at first.

Since I am a mother of 4 boys, the short stories made it easier for me to read. There was nothing wrong with the book, it just wasn't what I was expecting and wanting. As I continued to read though, I began to realize that I had been in many of the same waiting places that Eileen had been in (maybe a different state, a different time, with different people, but the same waiting place anyway).

I began to feel a connection with Eileen. She understood me because we had been in several of the same waiting places. Some of the things that she felt during those times were some of the same things that I felt when I was in my waiting place. I began to appreciate the waiting places that I had been in, in the past.

The book still didn't meet my expectations, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I think that I can look at things in my past differently (in a more positive light) and hopefully train myself to look at present and future waiting places more positively while I am in them.

I received this book for free from Book Sneeze for this review, but the review and opinions are my own.

I am Unstopable

Vocal Point (see below for more info.) sent me this product by Downy called Unstopables and asked me to try it. Well, I love it! The first thing that I really liked about it was the packaging... are able to smell the product without opening it. So in the store aisle, you know what it smells like instead of having to wait until you get home. (But you don't have to worry - it smells great.) I was sent the fragrance 'Fresh' it has a aqua colored lid.

My husband even commented on how good it smelled (without me prompting him - that is very rare). He said it even smelled good outside (when I had my dryer going - it is vented outside - and he was outside working he could smell it).

I am really into lavender right now and they have a fragrance called 'Lush' and it has a purple lid. I am really anxious to try it! Wonder if it smells like lavender?

I will give you a little warning. The fragrance it strong, so if you don't like that, you might not care for this product. However, I do like it. I want my clothes to smell fresh for days (I love to take a towel out of the linen closet and it still smell fresh and clean).

It comes in these little half-spheres that you shake into the lid (the product labeling tells you how to use it).

Then you pour them into your washer at the beginning of the wash load. Because you pour it in at the beginning (instead of the rinse cycle) the clothes are infused with the fragrance. This is also nice so that you don't have to worry about listening to the rinse cycle (or I have a Downy ball - and sometimes it doesn't release the fabric softener in the rinse cycle and I have to re-rise my clothes).

Unstopables is safe for High Efficiency washers, it is safe for all colors, all fabrics and all loads.

I suggest that you try it when you can (it is only available in select stores right now - but if you sign up with Vocal Point you can get a sample for yourself). They are having another sample offer coming up soon.

I am a member of Vocal Point and I am constantly getting free samples to try. I got a full size bottle of Downy Unstopables to try. They asked me to let my readers know what I thought about it, but it was not a requirement for the free product (I got the product regardless). If you want to become a member of Vocal Point you can do it by typing in this link (or copying and pasting) and signing up (it's free) .

MOPS Retreat

We just had our MOPS Steering Team Retreat this past weekend. That is our planning session. We work for about 24 hrs (with just a few hours of sleep) to plan our whole up-coming MOPS year.

It's pretty intensive, but it is also fun. We (the Steering Team) really get to know each other (which makes working together the next year easier).

As Coordinator for our group, I want to thank the ladies that are willing to take on the responsibilities of the ST and are willing to server other mothers and make MOPS possible. They also give up a weekend in the summer to plan the next year (thanks girls - I really appreciate it), plus so much more. So here is what I did for my ST.

I personalized buckets (using my Cricut) with their last name and crocheted a cotton dish cloth to go with it.

It's hard to tell from the picture, the colors of the buckets are cherry red, hot pink, teal, and country green.

I also personalized totes (embroidered their first name on the tote) so they could have something to carry their MOPS stuff back and forth to MOPS meetings, ST meetings, etc.

In the totes, I had their notebooks (used Cricut to make the cover). Each notebook had the title of their position, our theme for next MOPS year (starts Sept. 2011) and inside I had a pencil pouch with pen & pencil, a gift card, a coupon for a free hamburger, and post it notes. Inside each binder was the handbook for their specific position, our meeting dates for the next year, a calendar with all pertinant info (ST b-days, MOPS meeting dates, ST meeting dates, etc.) filled out and highlighted. There was paper for them to take notes at the ST Retreat and anything else that they might need. They should be able to use the notebook through out the whole next year.

I want my ST to know how much they are loved and appreciated. I have a fantastic group, otherwise I would not be able to be a Coordinator. They make my job easier. This is just a small token of my appreciation. There just aren't words to express what I feel for this special group of women.
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