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?  

Early Summer Wreath-1

As I sit here and listen to the rain from Tropical Storm Debby, I thought I would share a fun summer wreath project with you.

I just love teal-y blues with red.  Don’t you?  I think it is just so fresh looking.  So, for my early summer wreath I wanted to use those colors.

I love the ease of doing a yarn wrapped wreath, but felt like yarn wasn’t quite right for summer.  Then I saw this on Pinterest and I knew it was “the one.”  Fabric wrapping!


I don’t have a full tutorial for you, but this would be VERY easy for you to put together.  Here is what I did:

1. I got one of those straw wreaths from the craft store.  Somewhere online I read a tip to use these instead of the foam ones if you are planning on just wrapping the wreath.  They are WAY cheaper and just as easy to use.  Simply leave the plastic wrapping on the wreath so you don’t have to deal with the pokey straw.

2. I bought a 1/2 yard of the blue fabric, washed it and then tore it into strips.  I love the softly frayed look the edges have with tearing versus cutting.  And believe me, you don’t need to be the Incredible Hulk to be able to tear your fabric.  All I did was clip a slit (to get the tear started) about two inches from the edge on the shorter side of the fabric and then pulled and tore.  It tore very easily and made the perfect strips.  A 1/2 yard of fabric was the perfect amount to get to wrap the whole wreath and to have a little bit left over for hanging and to add accents to your flowers.

3. After that I wrapped and wrapped.  I actually didn’t have to glue or anything.  I just overlapped the ends when I needed to add a new strip.  I also  did all my overlapping on the backside of the wreath so it wasn’t as noticeable from the front.  When I got to the very end I did use one small drop of hot glue on the back to secure the final end.

4. I made rolled roses of various sizes from torn strips of a couple fat quarters and leftover scraps from the wrapping the wreath.  There are a ton of tutorials out there on how to do this, but the short of it is: tie a knot on one end, wrap the fabric around the knot a couple times, twist the fabric and wrap again.  Hold the rose firmly and keep twisting and wrapping until you have the desired shape or size.  Hot glue the tail on the bottom and put a few dots of hot glue between your “petals” to keep the rose together.

5. I used pins to secure the roses to the wreath while I was determining their placement.  Once I finalized the design I hot glued the flowers to the wreath and removed the pins.

6. For the hanger I created a loop with one of my leftover strips by securing the ends with a dab of hot glue.  I determined how far down I wanted it to hang and then I tied it in a knot.  I did not glue the hanger to the wreath because I wanted options for how high or low the flowers would be situated.

And that is it!  A perfectly lovely summer wreath to adorn the door to even the messiest home.  (Gotta whitewash those tombs, eh?)

I hope all of you here in Florida can stay dry!  (and your children don’t go too crazy being cooped up!)  I wish we could some of this to some of my family out in Colorado!

Wreaths-Easter Cross

One of the things I love about Pinterest is that it actually makes me do many of the things that I was always going to do when I “got around to it.”  Looking through my pin boards always reminds me of my inspirations and gives me motivation to get cracking.

Currently I’ve been working on front door decoration.  I love the simple look of yarn covered wreaths and I’ve made a couple.  The first one was for Valentine’s Day/February.

Full disclaimer…I did not design this wreath at all.  I saw this one…

Source: via Harmony on Pinterest


…and loved it, so I made it.


After February I wanted to make a couple of spring/Easter wreaths.  I found this yarn with gradations in the coloring (in order to make a pattern while knitting) and I liked the idea of the mix of colors going around the wreath.  I chose to use purple, lavender and white felt flowers and teal ribbon to accent.

I love the colors…they are so fresh and springtime-y.


The last wreath I have made is my piece de resistance.  My Easter “wreath.”

Christian has been joking that it took me 20 hours to make this guy, and he isn’t far off.


All those felt flowers!


And some of them were really involved.  But the detail turned out great!

Okay, some more info…

1. For the yarn wreaths, I used straw wreaths.  They are half the price of the foam ones at Joann and work just as well.  I read a tip somewhere online (I can’t find the source now. Boo.) that said to leave the plastic covering on under your yarn.  Works like a charm.  The plastic keeps the straw from getting all crazy and it helps the yarn slide really close together.

2. I only needed one skein of yarn to wrap each wreath.  There was plenty to go all the way around a couple of times, filling in all the spaces and holes.  There was also plenty leftover.

3. Funny(?) story: Apparently my not-quite-three year old can use big scissors!  This discovery was made when she was found cutting up my yarn for my spring wreath.  Awesome.  Miraculously she did not cut herself or her hair.  I was able to still use the yarn…I just had to wrap it in 1-2 foot long segments until I got to the end of the cut up bits and was finally able to wrap it up normally.

4. All the felt flowers I found online.  I have tons of tutorials pinned on my board.  So many great ones out there, I didn’t want to re-invent the wheel.

5. For the Easter “wreath,” I used an old frame. I painted it white, distressed it and hot glued all my flowers on.  I found the wooden cross at Joann and painted and distressed it as well as adding the lettering “he is risen.”

6. I attached the cross to the frame using 1/8″ white grosgrain ribbon and my trusty hot glue gun.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I’ve got a TON of projects to complete in the next couple weeks.  Dinah’s third (can you believe it??) birthday is next week and we are having a big Peter Pan party, so of course the girls need costumes.  And then Easter is just right after that and I am making some cute Easter Elephants for their baskets and their Easter dresses.  Busy busy busy!  But you will get to see lots of great stuff!

Command Center-1

For awhile now I have been seeing what folks are calling a Family or Home Command Center on Pinterest.  The more I saw them, the more I coveted one for myself.  I loved the idea of a single space in our home that told us what we were doing or eating that week as well as where we could leave messages or display art work.

I started dreaming up what we would put in our Command Center.  I knew immediately I wanted a dry erase menu calendar, a monthly calendar and clipboards for storing things like Dinah’s take home sheets from Sunday School. I talked to Christian and we brainstormed a few more ideas: responsibility chart for Dinah, some sort of basket for Christian’s wallet, keys, etc., message board and a magnetic surface of some kind.

I was going to save up and piece everything together little by little, but while cleaning out the office/sewing room we found a $75 check that was never cashed. Bonus!  So, I used that money to complete our Command Center.


Here are the details:

First, I have a couple clipboards that I covered with scrapbook paper.  The paper was from a stack that I had sitting around forever and it ended up being the perfect colors.  I decoupaged the paper to the front of the clipboards and used a self-adhesive light blue ribbon to trim them up.  (Sorry for the picture quality on all the pictures.  The Command Center is in kind of a dark hallway and there is no way to get natural light in there.)


Just below that we hung a rail purchased from Ikea (BYGEL).  On the rail we have a little basket that is perfect for all of Christian’s pocket items, a couple of cups for our pens and a couple hooks for our keys.


For the cups I actually used soup cans.  I covered them in scrapbook paper and the blue self-adhesive ribbon.  Christian drilled a hole in them and we hung them with hooks on the rail.


Below the rail we hung a piece of galvanized steel.  (This was actually much more affordable than I ever hoped.  We got this 24″ x 36″ sheet from Home Depot for $9.34.  You can find it in the air conditioning supply section.)  Our fridge is stainless steel, which means we can’t use magnets on it.  I missed the magnets for displaying photos, birth announcements, invitations, etc.  So that is what the top part is for.  The bottom part we will get some fun letter magnets for the kids.


The other element that I made is our menu calendar.  My mom had an old frame in her garage that I appropriated (Thanks, mom!) and painted black.  Then I created a calendar grid on the computer and printed it out.  Using the scrapbook paper and the ribbon I put together my calendar on a piece of poster board that I mounted in the frame.  The glass makes the calendar a dry erase surface.


The other pieces are a monthly calendar, a dry erase message board with a pocket and note holder, the Melissa & Doug Responsibility Chart and a picture frame that will have a family picture.  (That last one is to fill an awkward space on the wall.)  We are also thinking about making a small chalkboard down at the bottom for the kids too.

Here is the completed Command Center…


Organizational heaven!  We completed the whole thing for about $75-80, which is really great.  We got some help in the free picture frame, but most everything else was very reasonably priced.

Dinah is already excited about her chart and Esther is excited about the magnets and Christian seems excited about his basket.  And me? I am excited about it all!


Now that the dust has settled from Christmas weekend I have a minute to breath and to blog.  I wanted to get this post out before Christmas, but I was working on gifts down to my Dec. 23 deadline and I didn’t want to disappear while we were enjoying family time.

First, I wanted to share a project from last year: our stockings.  Last fall I was pregnant with our second baby and I felt it was time to make our family stockings.  I grew up with a a crafty mom and we had super cute felt stockings personalized with our names.  I loved those stockings, but  I wanted a different feel for our family stockings.  I looked and looked, but I wasn’t thrilled with many of the DIY stocking patterns/tutorials out there.  Until I stumbled upon the Moda Bakeshop.  I love this site.  It has tons of free tutorials/patterns utilizing the Moda fabric pre-cuts (jelly rolls, charm squares, layer cakes, etc.) and I found the perfect pattern. The His and Her Scrappy Christmas Stockings.  I loved the shape and the scrappy look of the stockings.  And I thought the plain band would be perfect for embroidering our names.

Since these would be in our family for a long time to come I wanted Christian to have a say in the fabric chosen.  We looked and looked at lots of different fabric collections online.  The pattern called for a jelly roll so for simplicity’s sake I wanted to stick with collections that carried jelly rolls.  Christian tends to prefer more playful Christmas items and I lean towards the more traditional so a compromise was difficult to find.  We eventually settled on Makin’ New Friends by Deb Strain for Moda.  It was the perfect blend of traditional and playful.  And I actually had some foresight and made sure to buy enough fabric to make matching stockings for any subsequent children we might have.

I pretty much followed the pattern exactly…the only embellishment I made was hand-embroidering our names on the bands.  Here are the completed stockings…



(I should offer an apology for those photos…they are from last year and not great and I was too lazy to retake them by the time I sat down to actually insert pictures into the post…I promise I will be less lazy in the future!)

Okay, so now this year’s projects which are brought to you courtesy of Pinterest.  I only made a couple things in the way of new decorations this year.  The first was an Advent calendar.  My mom saw this one on Pinterest and had the idea for us all (my sister, mom and I) to make them the day after Thanksgiving.

A few details about them…mom got all the main components together and pre-cut all the pockets and brought them up for the project.  We used scrapbook paper and various stickers.  Each pocket contains a card with some sort of activity for each day December 1-24.  We worked and slaved ALL DAY.  Seriously, all day.  It was an 11 hour project.  I don’t think any of us expected it to be so long!  But, they turned out great!  Here is all three of ours…

I love how different each one is even with using very similar components.  We were all so proud. 🙂

And here is a close up of mine as well as some of my favorite pockets.  You can see I opted for uniform numbers on my pockets.  It is a sickness of mine.


I also made a couple of wreaths.

One for the front door and one made from live trimmings from our tree.  The one for the door was super easy.  I just wrapped it in this fun striped ribbon and made a bow.  I did want to personalize it, so I painted an “S” and hung it in the middle.


The live one was a bit of a trouble.  At first I didn’t think I needed to look up a “how-to”…I mean, I’m crafty, I should be able to figure this out, right?  Wrong.  I spent a very frustrating hour fighting with sappy limbs and trimmings and all for nothing.  It was hideous and I dismantled it immediately in a huff.  Christian wisely suggested watching a video or something to learn how (humph.) and so I reluctantly looked up some options.  I found a great video that made everything very clear, unfortunately I cannot find it again. Boo.  Anyways, it was like an “A-ha!” moment and my next live wreath attempt took maybe 20 minutes.  I trimmed it up with a simple berry garland.

The only other thing I worked on (besides gifts) is ornaments.  I made the girls’ yearly ornaments and I made some little ones for gifts for my fellow church staff folks and our community group.

I’ve been trying avoid owls since they are so trendy…but they are just so cute!  And I decided that having something trendy isn’t so bad for something that represents the year.  In 20 years or so when we unpack them we can say, “Remember when owls were so big?”

I wish I could claim that I made up these owls on my own, but alas no.  I saw them on Pinterest (of course) and I got the pattern from Juicy Bits.  I love how sweet they are!


The other ornaments I made I also saw on Pinterest (again) and they are actually a Martha Stewart craft.  They are simply tiny cookie cutters with scrapbook paper glued to the back and tied up with ribbons for the hangers.  They were really easy and turned out really cute.  (As a sidenote, I purchased a little 4×6 scrapbook paper matstack and it has come in so handy through the whole holiday season.  I used it to make a pennant banner for church, these ornaments, gift tags, etc. and I still have a ton of paper left!)

Here are some of my favorite ornaments…



I hope you and yours had a very Merry Christmas and I wish you a Happy New Year!

Coming in January 2012: Christmas gifts breakdowns, a pattern review or two and more sewing for the living dolls.