Monday, June 28, 2010

New Bag - July 4th Theme

I found this amazing star fabric on clearance at the end of last summer from I knew that I loved the fabric, but I had no idea what I was going to do with it. In true crafter fashion, I bought a couple of yards of it anyway. Thankfully, when it got here it was just as nice in person as it was on the site. I don't know what I was worried about. The site that I bought it from always has great stuff. No, I don't work for them or anything. Anyway, I don't usually go for theme purses, but the fabric is so pretty that I just couldn't resist. Plus, I had been mulling around a new pattern in my head. So here's to breaking tradition by making a theme bag and breaking in a new pattern!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's Party Time!

When I'm given adequate time (more than 72 hrs. notice) and lots of help (who likes to be expected to do all the work anyways), I love to plan a good party. My brother just turned 24, and he decided that he wanted to actually have a party this year. Well, we have a party every year, but it is usually just a family one. Since I put soooo much time, effort, and thought into this, I thought that I would post some ideas in hopes that it will make someone else's party planning a little easier. I really didn't find a whole lot of ideas out there for a non-alcoholic party. Most of these ideas are cheap, and they can be used for any age.

1. Choose an inspiration piece. We knew that we were doing a fiesta theme, but I had no idea how to decorate for one. So off we (remember I don't like to do this all alone) went to the party store. My mom and I found a pinata that we liked and it is very fiestaish if I do say so myself.

Our inspiration piece actually pulled triple duty. It inspired, made for a great table centerpiece, and later that night invoked lots of pinata fun.

2. Choose your colors based on your inspiration piece. This was an easy job for us considering the fact that there were some easy to find colors in the piece. Sure you can go buy a bunch of table and serving ware with a fiesta theme, but it's much cheaper and just as effective to simply buy table clothes in one color, dinner plates in another color, dessert plates in yet another color, cups in another color or a combination of colors. You get the idea. There are a host of things that you'll need and solid colors are a great option. Make sure that you remember to get plenty of streamers. They add some major color to any area with bare minimum costs especially if you get them from the dollar store.

3. Confetti is a pain. Use candy instead! We found same Starbursts in our colors and just sprinkled them around the same way that we would have done confetti. This actually went over really well. The guests ate all of them up very quickly. You can see the Starbursts in the first picture with the pinata.

4. Banners can be fun, easy, and cheap to make, and they definitely make a big statement. I've made banners before but never the night before a party. I wasn't sure that this one was going to get finished, but it finally came together in the wee hours of the morning. All you need to make a cheap banner is some construction paper and glue. Then all you have to do is decide on a basic shape and just go with it.

5. Balloons on a stick (for lack of a better name) can add some great, cheap height as well as color to those areas that still look a little empty after you've decorated. I actually stole this ideas from the Duggars. You know, the television show about the family with all the kids. Take a toilet paper roll or stack two on top of each other, tie some tissue paper around it, and stick some balloons in it.

6. Find a bucket or some sort of large container that can be spray painted one of the party colors and fill it with games and dollar store toys. We have never done this idea before at a party, but it was definitely the best party idea that I've had in quite a while. We raided the dollar store and Target's dollar section for some fun toys that would be new to everyone at the party. Since our guests were all in their early to mid twenties I wasn't exactly sure how this would go over, but apparently boys are never too old for parachute men and Nerf shooters. I didn't get a great picture of this, but the red bucket on the right hand side of the picture is what I am talking about. As you can see we put it in an easily accessible location that the guests could get to as soon as they walked in the door. By the way, this doubled as a great ice breaker. Most of the guests didn't know each other until they started shooting each other with Nerf type arrows.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Easy Peasy American Girl Skirt Tutorial

I have been taking notice of the topics that appear to be of particular interest to everyone who views my site. One of those topics appears to be American Girl clothes. So, I thought that I would mention that the Brambleberry Cottage blog has some great tutorials with my favorite being this super easy skirt.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Another Necklace

Since I didn't get all the pictures that I wanted yesterday of the necklaces, I snagged this one this morning. This picture should give you a better idea of what one of my more colorful necklaces looks like. Please excuse the random strings I was in a little bit of a hurry.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What Have I Been Up To?

Necklaces! I love making long necklaces. They're just so easy to put together. I personally use medium weight fishing line from the sporting goods store for my string which is basically the same thing as the expensive monofilament that you can get in any crafting or beading store. Yes, the fishing line may cost you more up front, but it lasts for practically forever. I bought mine about 5 years ago, and I have yet to even get close to running out of it. As far as beads go, I tend to start with lots of cheap black beads, and then I just add something a little more special to it. This keeps my cost way down, and usually it means that I can wear more than one necklace at a time if I'm in the mood to mix and match colors. For the necklace pictured below, my "special" beads are the big black ones. They cost me around $4.00. When I do a color, I usually like to use large crystals. They're a little expensive, but with lots of black beads in between the crystals, I just need a few of them. Sorry that there aren't any pictures of the more colorful necklaces. My camera decided to die.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tutorial: Clutch

Have you ever found that perfect tutorial? You know the one that is cute, well written, and most importantly the one that you absolutely have to use right away. Well, that's exactly what I had to do with the tutorial that I'm linking you up with today. The design is so unique, yet really quite simple. I am absolutely in love with it! So without further ado, I'm going to highly encourage that you go check out the Gathered Clutch Tutorial over at Noodlehead. While you're over there though, you'll probably want to check out the rest of her blog to. I know that I did.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lifesize Board Games

So, I'm teaching a group of kindergartners on Sunday mornings at church right now, and I needed a new idea for group time. I'm sure that this is not an original idea or anything, but my kids loved it sooo very much that I thought that it was worthy of mentioning. We played a life sized board game with review questions. This would be a great activity for birthday parties, Sunday school classes, and even school teachers.

All you have to do is laminate either card stock or construction paper. Then, lay them out so that they resemble a game such as candy land. So that there was no confusion, I did print start on one piece of paper and you win on another, but depending on what you're using this for and what age your using it for, you wouldn't really even have to do that. In my version of the game, there was a boys team and a girls team that alternated turns. When it was a team's turn, they would first have to answer a review question. If they answered the question correctly, they got to role the dice to see how many spaces they would get to move. You can use generic dice or you can get the large foam dice that some companies such as Oriental Trading carry. At the beginning of the game, each team chose one person to be the "playing piece" for their team. Be careful when allowing children to walk directly on the laminated pieces though. Laminating can be quite slippery especially when placed on flooring such as carpet. Another option is to hang the board game around the room using cutouts for the playing pieces. Either way, my group of kids seem to love it! I just wish that I had, had a camera with me for pictures.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Handbag Tutorials

Although my sewing machine has been in storage for a couple of months now, that hasn’t stopped me from finding projects that I want to do later on. Instead of keeping the ever growing list of handbag tutorials to myself, I thought that I would go ahead and post it for all to enjoy.

The Phoebe Bag
Bias Tape Tote
Anna's Diaper Bag
Tote Bag
The Keisha Bag

Aren't there are some amazing tutorials out there? Let me know what some of your favorites are!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Free Patterns: 18” Doll Clothes (American Girl)

Have you seen the free clothes patterns at American Girl Playthings? These patterns were originally published by American Girl for their 18” dolls, but now they are available online for free!! I used to dream that my grandmother would buy these very pattern sets and sew my doll up an entire wardrobe of fun things. Some of the patterns are a little dated which is great if you want historically accurate clothes. However, there is also at least one piece in each set that can be passed off as a modern day piece with the right material and possibly a little tweaking. Check them out here, and have fun!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Felt Food

I obviously didn’t get another tutorial posted before the end of the year. I would apologize yet again, but I'm sure y'all are tired of all that. I did get moved, but I have yet to find a decent place to set up my sewing machine so as of late I have had to resort to hand sewing. One of my new favorite hand sewing projects has been felt food. Don’t ask me why though because I have no idea what I’m actually going to do with this stuff once I get it made, but it sure is a lot of fun to make. If you want to make your own felt food, there’s been a Felt-Food Cook Along going on over at Helping Little Hands for a couple of weeks now. I can’t say that I’ve really used any of the tutorials, but I’ve looked at all of them. They seem to be accurate and very easy to follow. Alas, I started making felt food before the cook along ever started so I’ve just kind of learned how to do things as I went along (aka the hard way). Trust me there has been plenty of trial and error going on at my house. I wish there had been something like this when I first started making felt food a couple of months ago!