Dorothy and Glinda-FI

Once upon a time, a little girl named Dorothy lived a simple life in Kansas.

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She dreamed of visiting far off lands…

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lands beyond the rainbow.

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One fateful day a terrible storm came…

It’s a twister!

The tornado took Dorothy and her little house to a strange land called Oz.

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Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.

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Now, I *know* we aren’t in Kansas anymore.

Once there she discovered that her house landed on a wicked witch, freeing the peaceful Munchkinland people from her tyranny.

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Glinda, the good witch, took the wicked witch’s magical ruby slippers…

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and gave them to Dorothy.  The shoes would protect her as she traveled to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard.  Dorothy hoped the Wizard could help her to return home.

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Glinda told Dorothy to simply follow the yellow brick road and it would lead her to the Wizard.

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And thus began Dorothy’s adventures in Oz.

Dorothy

And there she discovered there really is no place like home.

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***

So, I realize Halloween was last week and I am totally behind the game.  BUT I still wanted to share the awesome costumes I made the girls this year.

Earlier this year I introduced the girls to the Wizard of Oz and they started immediately planning costumes for Halloween this year.  I hear lots of people talk about their kids not deciding their costumes until the week of Halloween and that it drives them nuts.  Well, mine seem to have memories like steel traps and once they decided on Dorothy and Glinda, there was no mind-changing.

Not that I minded!  These costumes were perfect for my girls.  Dinah was really excited about being Dorothy (because she loves to be the main character) and Esther loves any excuse to put on something pink and sparkly and poofy.

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For Dinah I drafted my own dress pattern based on the traditional costume from the movie.  It was really easy to make and my only problem with this was my own user error.  Somehow the bodice ended up 3 inches too small!  Of course, this was discovered only after I had already attached the skirt.  Sooo, I had some doctoring to do which included adding panels on the side of the bodice and cutting into the skirt some.  The result is a slight puffiness in the hips, but unless you were a real seamstress looking really closely it isn’t super noticeable.  And it is fine for a costume for a 4 year old.

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I also made her a coordinating blouse.  For this I used the Five and Ten Designs bodice pattern (size 6…it runs pretty small) and drafted a giant puff sleeve based on another random sleeve pattern I had lying around.

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I bound the neck and arms with white bias strips trimmed with blue ric-rac.  And put an invisible zipper in the back (so much faster than a million button holes and more practical for dress up).

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Esther’s Glinda dress was also based off the Five and Ten Designs bodice (size 2…that size runs a little big).  I narrowed the shoulder seams and created a sweetheart neckline.  The sleeves are a single layer of organza with elastic in the hem. I trimmed the bodice front along the waist and neckline with some sequin trim that I got at Joann.  I also made a couple sliver butterflies to attach to her dress (like movie Glinda), but they were really fragile and they both lost one of their wings.  Sad.

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The skirt is one layer of satin with boning in the hem to create a hoop skirt.  That is topped with 3 layers of organza.  In order to get maximum “fluffiness” I understitched the top layer of organza.  Basically this means that I lifted up that first layer or organza up and stitched it to the bodice close to the seam.  Doing this made that layer stand out a bit from the other skirt layers and made more the dress a bit more poofy looking.

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Glinda has a couple of props that I needed to make.  Her crown and wand.  For the crown I just went simple and cheap.  I just got posterboard, glued it together and lightly spray painted it with metallic silver.  When that was dry I used glitter glue (awesome stuff) and some gems to decorate it.  For the wand, I had Christian glue a wooden star from Michael’s to a dowel rod and then he used that same metallic paint to spray paint it.  I then bedazzled it a bit so it looked more like movie Glinda’s wand.

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For trick or treating last week our whole family dressed up as the Wizard of Oz crew.  (I’m the lion.)  It was really fun!

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And in case you were wondering about Miriam, she was “Black and White Dorothy” and she rode along with us in her tornado (aka stroller).  For her dress I just whipped my new favorite, the Geranium dress, out of some black and white gingham.  I’ll probably be trimming it with some color to make it more interesting.  I’ll share it with you all a later date…I’ve been making Geraniums up a storm and have a few in my backlog to share.

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Hope you all had a fun Halloween!  Looking forward to the Thanksgiving season, as I truly have much to be thankful for!

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H is for Halloween!

 

Cupcakes Close Up

Since Esther was only a few days old she has had the nickname of “Esther-Bear.”  She was a VERY vocal little baby and was always making growling noises.  I don’t know if that’s the reason, but she has always loved Winnie-the-Pooh.  As young as 18 months old she would “sing” the little Winnie-the-Pooh song.  So, I’ve known for a long time that we would do a Pooh theme for her Second Birthday.

Now, many of you know that Esther’s birthday is actually in December…so, why did we have her party in February?  Well, the week her party was originally scheduled for in December all three of us girls got nasty colds that developed into upper respiratory infections.  Sadly, the day before her party I just had to cancel.  I meant to reschedule for sometime in January, but there seemed to be a lot going on in January and it got pushed back to February.

Okay, first for some party details:

Party Space

This was our party space…we went to one of the smaller parks in the city so there was just the one pavilion with three tables.  But that was perfect for our little party.

Banner

I made a little pennant banner for our Esther-Bear.  I finally invested in some paper crafting tools, like a corner rounder and a scalloped punch.  Making decorations for this party was a breeze with those.

Food Table

And this was our food table…we served strawberry lemonade (which is one of our birthday party traditions) along with…

Veggies

Veggies from Rabbit’s Garden and…

Silly Ole Bears

Silly Ole Bears (aka Gummy Bears) and…

Hunny Combs

Hunny Combs and…

Tigger Tails

some Tigger Tails.

These were really easy to make and you can find a bajillion tutorials online.  Basically I got those Wilton orange candy melts, melted them and dipped my pretzel rods in.  I let those cool and then I melted chocolate and drizzled that over the orange.  I will say this…I totally used the wrong kind of chocolate.  I mean, it was tasty, but it didn’t really set up hard like the orange did.  We had to keep them frozen/cold right up until the last minute because the chocolate got really sticky.  I just used some chocolate chips we had on hand, but apparently that was not the right kind of stuff to use.  I suppose I need to use some sort of candy making chocolate.  It didn’t really matter…they were a BIG hit.  Adults and children alike gobbled them up.  So, I declare them a success.

And of course there were cupcakes!

Cupcakes

I will say that making these was my best baking endeavor ever.  I didn’t really do anything from scratch, but there were still really yummy.  I took two different batters (a butter yellow mix and a lemon cake mix) and blended them together.  The result was a tasty, moist cake with a slight lemon flavor.  For the icing we doctored up the canned butter cream icing with about a half a cup of creamed honey (we found ours at Trader Joe’s) and a quarter cup of cream cheese (just to cut the sweetness some).  These cupcakes were SOOO good.  They were light and sweet, but not too sweet.  Just perfect.

Cupcakes Close Up

Some other things that contributed to their success: 1) I actually measured out 1/4 cup for each cupcake, so they were nice and uniform. 2) I purchased appropriate tips for piping. 3) I researched some methods of frosting cupcakes so I could get the look I wanted. 4) I purchased the super cute bees from a confectioner on Etsy.  They were perfect and added just the right touch.

The other little cupcakes were a surprise from my mom.  She knew the theme and made those super-cute little cupcakes.  Basically they are little bears in a bathtub.  They were very yummy and had the surprise of ha Rolo candy hidden in the center.  Thanks, Mom!

For the favor bags, I just got regular red paper bags and I glued this image to the outside.

Pooh quote

At the dollar store I found Winnie-the-Pooh puzzles for the older kids and little Winnie-the-Pooh stamp sets for the little ones.  Each kid also got a couple lollipops, a bag of Teddy Grahams and a little bee magnet.  Of course, I neglected to get pictures of the magnets, but you can see a couple extras decorating the food table in the pictures above.

It actually ended up being a perfect day for a party.  We decided to have her party at a park and I am not sure I will ever go back to house parties again.  Even with transporting everything there and back, it was just so much easier!  We had wonderful weather (although a bit windy) and the kids had a great time playing on the playground and exploring the “Hundred Acre Wood.”

*Note…I feel kind of weird posting pictures of other people’s kids…so, you just get to see mostly mine.  But don’t worry…she did have friends there!

Waiting not-so-patiently for her party to begin.

Waiting not-so-patiently for her party to begin.

Sliding!

Sliding!

Whee!

Whee!

Swinging with her little cousin

Swinging with her little cousin

Just a girl and her bear.

Just a girl and her bear.

Dinah and her Granny off to explore.

Dinah and her Granny off to explore.

Getting ready to sing to our Bear.

Getting ready to sing to our Bear.

Digging into her cupcake

Digging into her cupcake

Post-cupcake frosting face

Post-cupcake frosting face

Dinah "helping" her sister open presents

Dinah “helping” her sister open presents

 

Happy (late) birthday, little Bear!

Birthday Bear

Thanks to everyone who was able to come!  We had a great time!

House Divided Wreath Detail

That kind of sums up Fall for our family.  Most people who live up north are pulling out coats and warm socks while decorating with lovely autumnal colors.  In Florida there is no Fall…it is October 1 and it was almost 90 degrees here today and there is no real relief in sight.  I always joke that the leaves on our trees don’t fall off until the new ones push the old ones off in the Spring.  And…in a college town Fall really means college football!

So, when it came time for me to take down my Summer wreath and put up a “Fall” one…my thoughts immediately when to doing a “House Divided” themed wreath.  You see, while I live near the University of Florida and am married to a Gator, I am a (proud) alumna of the University of Georgia.  And for those of you not from the South, ours is not a very friendly rivalry.  The last Saturday in October things get a little intense.

But, we make it work…our love conquers all. 🙂

I’ve been eyeing those ribbon wreaths on Pinterest and was waiting for a good idea for using one and this ended up being perfect.

I got 1.5 inch grosgrain ribbon in red, black,orange and blue.  I cut them all into roughly 10 inch lengths and finished the ends with little tails. And then I started tying…and tying…and tying.  Then I went back to the store and got more ribbon and tied some more.  Seriously…there is just about 100 feet of ribbon on this thing.

For the hanger, I painted our school initials and glued them to a white 1.5 grosgrain ribbon.

And now we can show off where our (divided) loyalties lie.

And, of course, I had to make my girls their “gameday dresses” this year.  This year I used the Oliver+S popover dress pattern.

For the Georgia dresses I put simple white piping at the yoke to give it some visual interest.

On the Florida dresses I used ricrac…doesn’t it look like little teeth?

I also used my embroidery machine to add the team logos to the band at the hem.  (I think I used the wrong kind of stabilizer, so just ignore the puckering there.)

The best thing about the Oliver+S pattern is that it is kind of adjustable because of the shoulder ties.  As long as the girls don’t grow sideways too much they should be able to wear these dresses again next year.  Bonus!

Also, I wanted to share my new trick with you all…I had a couple rubber stamps made with my logo.  So, now I can use fabric ink to stamp my logo onto little tags or the backs of garments.  I can even now include the size of the garment.  So fun!

Happy Fall to everyone!  And Go Dawgs!

 

Okay, ladies (or gents) that do machine embroidery, I need your help…what kind of stabilizer do you guys use for embroidery?  

Onesie Party

Last weekend I had to the pleasure of hosting a Onesie Making Party for my little sister and her soon-to-arrive baby boy. One of the things Amber was excited about from even before getting pregnant was this idea. She had pinned a few ideas from other parties and because of my crafty proclivities it was a natural fit for me to put it together. Amber really preferred the idea of appliqued designs on the onesies instead of painted designs so we focused more on that. Lucky for her, she has a sister, mother, mother-in-law and several friends who sew. 🙂

But, first things first…I wanted to put together some cute, printed invites for Amber to put in baby Benjamin’s baby book. I loved the idea of a onesie shaped invite, so I designed my own. Here is a quick overview/tutorial? of what I did.  It was very easy, but I had to cut it all by hand. (One day I will own a Sillhouette Cameo!)

First I designed my invites using Microsoft Visio, Photoshop and InDesign. I already had 5 x 7 envelopes left over from Esther’s birthday invites so I designed the base piece to fit inside those.

The little green onesie was designed to fit exactly over the words on the invite.

And then the little tie had flaps that I would stick through both pieces and would hold everything together. I printed them all out onto cardstock and cut everything out.

Next, I measured the placement of the tie flaps, marked them and used an exacto knife to cut slits in the all the onesies.

Once they all had slits I would paperclip each onesie in place on the base card.

Using the onesie slits as a guide, I made slits in the base cards as well.

The final steps were to insert the tie flaps into the slits, fold and tape them down.

And finito! I really love how they turned out.  They were a lot of work, with all the fiddly cutting, but I think they were worth it.  Now Amber has cute, one-of-a-kind invites to put in Benjamin’s book.

So, for the party…Amber and I had both been pinning applique onesie ideas, so I made sure to send all the invitees links to our Pinterest boards for ideas.  I also printed out a few of the best ones for reference during the party, as well some templates for some simple designs.

I set everything out, along with several plain white or striped onesies that I had acquired over the last few months.  I also pulled out all the boyish scraps I had.  And the party began!

We had a great time deciding who would do what, choosing fabrics, and cutting and ironing.

My mom was on a tear…her motto was “No naked onesies!” and she created several.

Amber’s mother-in-law, Kathy, helped Amber create all the numbers for her month-by-month onesies.

And my poor friend Anna was stuck at the sewing machine all night (she was the best at actually sewing on the appliques). She is awesome…you should check out her shop. A Good Home.

We eventually let her go and my mom and I finished up. 🙂

Benjamin got a lot of really cute onesies…I think 18 total (not counting the month-by-months).  Benjamin will be well outfited from 0-12 months!

(The picture above isn’t even all of them…you can see several in the “queue” for the sewing machine on the table.)

After the party and all through this week I used my embroidery machine to add the initials of each onesie’s creator. That way Amber would have a prompt to remember who made each cute little onesie.

Have you ever done a onesie party?  Have you ever embroidered or appliqued a onesie? Man, was it hard…especially the newborn  size…those are SO tiny.  Does anyone have some tips for future onesie decorating ideas?

Robes 6

…that would be me.

So, I ended up taking a longer break than I had intended from blogging.  Sorry to abandon you all, but life seemed to keep getting crazier and crazier.  And then the longer I was away the harder it was to come back.

The time away has given me a chance to think about where I want to go from here and re-evaluate some things.  I have some exciting plans in the works (if you “like” me on Facebook you got a teaser earlier last week) and the Fall always seems to be my busiest sewing time of year.  (Check out the “To Do” list.)

But, for now, let’s recap the second half of my summer.

The biggest thing that I did was coordinate our church’s VBS program.  We did a London Olympics theme this year to tie in with current events.  We had an awesome week!  We made the London skyline along our hallway and each room was a different area of London.  Our volunteers did such a great job that I wanted to share some of our work with you.

After VBS my family went on a much needed vacation.  We just spent a few days down in Orlando at my parent’s place hitting up some non-Disney things in the area, like SeaWorld and the beach.  Last summer I made a robe for Dinah with the Beach Robe pattern from Dana over at MADE.  My plan was to make another one for Esther, but just never got around to it last year.  I had a little extra time before we left so I went ahead and whipped one up for her.

Esther nice and cozy after a long morning at the beach.

Sisters in their robes (with their cute, preggo Auntie)

For both robes I used Ikea bath sheets.  I felt these were perfect because they were nice and absorbent, but not very fuzzy.  Dinah’s has held up very well through two summers of use.

Dinah was trying to make Esther feel better after her traumatizing rinse-off in the waves.

I love these robes…we have even been using them as bathrobes.

"With some on top and some beneath, they brushed and brushed and brushed their teeth."

Esther LOVES her robe...she gets so excited to put it on after bath.

I do have plans to make a couple more with long sleeves to be used for bathrobes instead.  Now that I have conquered my fears of bias tape I can complete one of these pretty quickly.  Dana’s instructions are really easy to follow and I definitely recommend her pattern.

More toothbrushing cuteness

And the final thing I have been working on is planning and hosting a onesie making party for my sister who is expecting her first little one in September.  I decided to make my own invitations for it and I will share how I did them and pics from the party in another post, since this one is already getting too long.

Thanks to those who are still around after my long break…hopefully I will be able to pick my momentum again soon!

What did you make this summer?