Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 19 - 365 Days of Creativity

Friday I whipped up some of these fabric flowers from this tutorial. These are super easy and so adorable. My plan is to incorporate them into Chloe's new bedroom design.

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Chloe asked for her new room to be bright colors and she wants flowers. She loves flowers. (which makes me wonder why she didn't ask for a flower birthday party this year. Weird, eh?) Anyways, I found this tutorial over on Pink Paper Peppermints and knew immediately they were just the thing I needed to adorn Chloe's wall. Yes. You read that right. These flowers will drift down Chloe's wall as if the wind has blown them across her room.

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I needed some other bright colors though as most of the fabric in my scrap stash is pink. Hmmmm...wonder why.... *chuckle* So, I ran out today and picked up some other colors which I will fashion into flowers on another creative day. Ohhh...I can't wait to get this room finished. And I only just started. I've been storing up ideas for it for a few months and I am just now beginning to start all the projects. (she wants this room for her birthday) So, be prepared to see many more bright, colorful and super girly projects coming up in the near future.

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I am off to measure the kitchen for new cabinets, eat a delicious taco casserole and then it is off to Lowe's to order my brand spanking new kitchen. Wooo Hooo! This is going to be a busy spring!!! I must remember to create something this evening. While out this afternoon, I picked up some bright yarns with this pillow in mind.

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I am also loving what my friend Sarah did with a potholder pattern. Check out the pillow she is making. I am thinking of doing the same thing. I have so many more delightful projects and ideas tumbling about in my head but those will have to wait for some future posts. I am beginning to smell that casserole and I must quiet the rumbling of my tummy. Have a wonderful rest of your weekend.

Sharks?

Okay. So here it is. I am just going to say it, because I have no idea how else to present this information.

Chloe is having a shark birthday party this year
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Why? I have no clue. It's not that she likes sharks. She trembles when she sees them, quite literally. She refuses to watch them on television. I've tried. I figured if she wanted her birthday party to be centered on sharks complete with a shark birthday cake that she might want to learn about this particular animal. Nothing doing. She has absolutely no interest in them other than her 6th birthday party theme.

Why? I ask you...why?

Last year was princess. A little more understandable since she believes she is, in fact, a princess. It was the perfect party for her. But sharks? SHARKS? Not dolphins? (which she loves) Not sea animals? (which she also loves) I tried to think of things she loves and suggest those. Fish. Cats. Tigers. Elephants. Octopus. Nope. Sharks. SHARKS???

Well, I prodded and suggested and hinted and begged and coaxed and advised Chloe to throw a Dr. Suess party to no avail. Nope. I read Dr. Suess books every night for a week, two and three each night, emphasizing "Dr. Suess" as the author and adding in comments now and again like "Wouldn't that be fantastic on a cake?" or "that would make a hilarious birthday party game." I showed her images on google of spectacular Dr. Suess cakes. I even gave her an ulitimatum. "Today is your last day to change your mind. Once I buy shark supplies, you MUST go through with the shark party." She was okay with that. I bought a shark cookie cutter.

She loved it.

So, the other day I sat down to practice decorating the cookies. Think invitation here. Creative style. I will show you more as I work out the details.

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I traced the shark cookie cutter with Chloe's watercolor pencils so I could sketch my cookie decorating plan. Then I baked the cookies. An army of sharks.

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They got a little thin and a little overdone. I will do better next time with a bit more practice.

So, then came the royal icing. I did okay with the piping. I think I mastered that with the snowflake cookies. But the flooding technique obviously needs more work. I couldn't get the icing to flood. I went so far as to add about a cup of water to the icing to "thin" it out and I ended up with a royal mess (sorry for the pun). To get the icing to spread into the sharks, I had to use a toothpick and sweep it back and forth over the cookie.

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I think I will look for smaller black candy beads for the eyes. Those beads are a tad bit on the large size. I also ran out of patience with the lack of flooding my royal icing gave me so I skipped adding gills on my sharks. Better luck next time.

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I must be off now to get dressed and head to the store. I've got to get some supplies so I can create more things this next week. I am all about shark parties and bedroom makeovers this week. More on both of those soon. Have a fabulous weekend.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 18 - 365 Days of Creativity

Life is worth celebrating, don't you think? I love finding different things in every day life to celebrate. I believe God loves celebrating too. He was always commanding those Israelites to feast and sing and dance and celebrate for all kinds of things. They celebrated to remember where they came from. They celebrated to remember God and all that He had done for them. They celebrated to honor God and bring glory to His name.

Well, yesterday God finally gifted us with snow. Oh how excited my family was. (mostly James and Chloe but I could see a celebration opportunity before me so I was happy too.) I made the executive decision last night as sole academic instructor and vice-principal of Journey to Ladyship that if James was issued a code red today, we would skip school. Snow Day. Well, wouldn't you know it, but he was issued a code of another color. (I forget what color that would be...this is the military we are talking about and they have codes and acronyms for everything under the sun - and probably the sun itself) Anyways, this particular color code meant a delayed workday. Noon. Now how I can make Chloe "do school" while James is home and then play in the snow after he heads to work? Not going to happen. So, we took the day off anyway.

We celebrated snow today. While James and Chloe played outside, I took some pictures and prepared to make some snowflake cookies. Day 18.

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Now you may be thinking, "How could someone eat those?"

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Let me assure you, they will be eaten. Mostly by me, no less. No cookie will be wasted for artistry sake. Cookies were meant to be eaten no matter how beautiful they appear.

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Honestly though...I didn't think I had this in me. Who knew? Cookie decorating?

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And it was FUN! And creative! I really had a party in the kitchen making these. It was, however, time consuming. Very and extremely time consuming. 5 hours worth of time for those few cookies (and a few sharks but those will have to wait for another post because they pertain to a totally different topic of much excitement).

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I must now attend to a sugar coated kitchen before spending time with my darling little girl. We have a clubhouse to color tonight.

Day 17 - 365 Days of Creativity

Tuesday night (late night) I jumped right back into sewing so I could make this Imke knit shirt from Sewing Clothes Kids Love.

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The pink floral fabric has been hanging in my sewing room closet for who knows how long. I don't remember purchasing it...ever. I have no idea why I bought it or if I bought it or what the intention for it was. And there is quite a bit of it. Well, I decided it would be the perfect compliment to the Valentine skirt I made for Chloe. I just needed to buy some knits to add to it. Brown floral print for the collar.

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And pink stripes for the sleeves.

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Add a few appliques and voila...a cute knit shirt for Chloe.

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Chloe awoke Wednesday morning and headed out of the bedroom and gasped, "Ohhh! Is this for me, Mama?" She immediately wanted to put it on. A few moments later I heard loud cries and copious amounts of tears. The shirt would not fit over her head and her little heart was crushed. Here I made her such a wonderful shirt and she would never be able to wear it. Poor dear.

After reassuring her multiple times that I could indeed whip her up another shirt that would fit, her tears subsided and she perked up to say, "Oh. I can give this to Audrey. It will fit her." Oh my dear little Chloe. Always so thoughtful and generous. So, yes, we will give the shirt to her friend Audrey and Chloe will wear this one. Day 17.

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This time, to aid in getting rid of her bitter disappointment, I gave Chloe the option of switching around the fabrics for the shirt. Chloe liked the stripes for the bodice and the flowers for the sleeves. I liked her decision as well.

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Now I already permanently attached the appliques to the first Imke shirt I made, so what should I do now? I needed to make this shirt special,right? Well, I found some pink trim with little puff bobbles on it that I hand-sewed to the sleeve edges.

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A pink flower button next to the collar...

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...and a sweet iron-on transfer completes the shirt.

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This pattern is simply superb. You can do anything with it. I made the long sleeved knit shirt with it. There are options for a hood, panels under the arms for a wider shirt, flared sleeves, ruffled cap sleeves, short sleeves like a t-shirt...the sky is the limit with this pattern. You could totally transform this ultra girly shirt into a macho boy hoodie in a matter of a few hours. Can you tell that I love this pattern book? I absolutely love it. Be prepared for more to come soon from Sewing Clothes Kids Love.

(P.S. Chloe loves her new shirt and is, in fact, wearing it outside this very minute while she plays in the snow with Daddy. I now must be off to get dressed and join them, for otherwise we will have no photographs of our first major snowfall of the year. We can't let that happen now, can we?)

Day 16 - 365 Days of Creativity

Tuesday I ventured away from my recent sewing trend and painted glass with Chloe. (Art class for homeschooling) I just couldn't resist joining her in the fun. Day 16.

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We used glass paint and now are waiting a few days for the paint to cure before we varnish it onto the glass. I will have to get a post up on the homeschool blog to show you what Chloe painted.

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I was thinking that I should go back and get more of these candle holders and paint red and pink hearts on them. Then I could scatter them across the coffee table and set little tealights in them for Valentine's Day.

Day 15 - 365 Days of Creativity

Monday I wanted to add something extra special to Chloe's Valentine skirt. I started this skirt on a mission. I followed the mission guidelines all the way to the end and now Chloe has the most unique skirt I have ever made. Monday I crocheted a little heart to hide in between the skirt layers so only Chloe knows it's there. (And now the entire internet world as well. Funny how that works.) Day 15.

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Anyways, to add the crocheted heart, I sewed a loop of ribbon into one of the seams on the underskirt. As I crocheted the last round on the heart, I added a loop and attached it through the ribbon loop on the skirt. I told Chloe that this heart is hidden and only she knows it's there (she doesn't need to know that you all saw it, now does she?) and that it will always remind her of my love for her. My love was sewn into this skirt, just for her. Awwww....how precious! No, but really. She LOVED it. She even said as much when she said, "Awwwww. I love it!"

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I used this sachet pattern for my heart, substituting Red Heart Lustersheen for the worsted weight variety. I didn't want my heart to appear prodigious against the skirt so I figured the smaller yarn would achieve the look I desired. Of course, I didn't make the entire sachet. I simply made one side and added the picot edging around that. Super simple project.

But I didn't finish the skirt at that point. I needed to tuck in a couple of extra hidden embellishments for Chloe to find later. This idea came also from the book Sewing Clothes Kids Love. The author is the queen of embellishing. She mentioned hiding things in the clothes that the kids find as they are getting dressed one morning.

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This tiny heart button can be found on the ruffle of the overskirt. The easiest of the two hidden embellishments to find.

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Tucked up about an inch under the overskirt you will find this sweet little pewter rose charm dangling on the seam of the underskirt.

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I felt so creative planning and sewing this skirt. I actually sketched up a schematic for it with all the embellishments added before I purchased the fabric. It took me a few days to get it all together, but boy was it worth the wait. Now I just need to get a picture of Chloe wearing the skirt. But wait...there is more...but that would be Day 17 and I haven't shown you Day 16 yet...so you must wait. Let's just say, I completed the ensemble so she now has something cute to wear on top as well.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Days 11, 12, 13 and 14 - 365 Days of Creativity

Thursday I started crocheting some of the sweetest little thread hearts to embellish a Valentine skirt for Chloe. I crocheted a couple on Thursday and then one on Friday and one on Saturday. Sunday was spent sewing the skirt together. First I will show you the hearts. Days 11, 12 and 13.

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I saw this heart on a friend's blog but after searching around, I found out that she got the pattern from an old workbasket magazine. Well, I looked closely at her picture she had posted and decided I could wing it and get something similar. I was quite pleased with how well my hearts turned out. I am sorry that I don't have a pattern to share with you all.

So, I needed four hearts for the four gores on this skirt. Day 14.

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Details, details, details. I know that's what you all want. Am I right? Okay. I asked for a book for Christmas (okay...I asked for quite a few books, but that's beside the point) and I didn't receive it. (I did receive some others that I wanted just as bad though for which I am exceedingly grateful, by the way.) Well, I went ahead and ordered it from Amazon. Sewing Clothes Kids Love. I fell in love with the picture on the front and desperately wanted to make it. But when I received this book in the mail, this skirt called out to me from the page and said, "Oh Anna! You simply MUST make me for Chloe! She's going to love me." How could I resist a talking book?

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I love two things about this book more than anything else. First, the attention to detail. And she actually tells me how to pay that attention to detail. I love it. From the double top-stitching to take the skirt from homemade to handmade with a professional quality to the simple tips and techniques she sprinkles throughout the book. The second thing I love most are the embellishments. This book is all about the trims, appliques, ruffles and embellishments. Those are the things that add charm to the patterns. The skirt, in and of itself, would be quite a plain skirt. I added a ruffle to the overskirt layer and attached the four crocheted hearts to each gore. I added lengths of ribbon hanging from the hearts, some of which have beads or ribbon roses dangling off them. Chloe will have so much fun twirling around in this skirt.

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This skirt was exhilarating to put together. I don't know when the last time I had this much fun creating anything was, other than cakes...but you all know me and my affinity towards cake. To say I had a blast would be an understatement. And I learned some new techniques in the process. I have something else to show you regarding this skirt, but that will have to wait for another day and another post. Right now I hear the family downstairs playing Mario Bro on the WII and I feel as though I am missing out on a good time. I would rather be there than here so I shall go there and catch you all later. Have an uplifting evening and enjoy life. Do something that makes you smile tonight.