Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Costumes 2012

My goodness - is it already time?  This year my kiddos seemed very opinionated about their costumes.  G. is going to be a swamp monster on Halloween, but opted for a mummy for school parties.  This costume was quickly thrown together with left overs from his sister's costume!  I. was Athena, the greek goddess.  Little J. was a tiger.  M. was Izzy the pirate from Jake and the Neverland Pirates

M's hair was straightened using the best hair straightener.  Seriously, I was offered this up to try out and it has been great on my daughter's hair!  Missiko sent us the greatest package.  There is such a big difference when I take the time to get their hair nice and straight.  If you are in the market, it would be worth checking Hana Salon out.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Trick of Treat Bags

Although my kids LOVE carrying the plastic pumpkins to collect candy in every Halloween, this year I thought it was time for an upgrade.  I saw this awesome vinyl polka dot at Ikea and knew right away that I was going to make trick or treat bags with them.  Funny thing is, I was stopped at least 3 times from people loving the fabric but wondering what I was going to do.  When I told them, they told me I was a genius!  Who doesn't love that?

Each bag starts off with a rectangle cut about 18" wide and 42" long.  After I had sewn this, though, I thought it was too long and cut about 4" off the top.

I then traced a circle out of white felt - I used a salad plate.

I found a cute font (Addams Capitals - free from here).  I printed them out in a large size, traced them onto wonder under.   Don't forget to trace the image backwards!  Then this is ironed onto orange felt and cut out.

Iron your letter onto your white circle.

and sew your circle onto your bag.

I played around using decorative stitches and colors.  On some of the circles, I did have to make a little pleat.  If I was sewing for something fancy, I probably would have unpicked this.  These are for kids, to hold candy in - I think they will be fine.

Next, fold your rectangle in half and sew up the long sides.  I love using this fabric because it doesn't unravel and I don't have to finish the seams.

Pinch the corners - line the seam up with the crease of the bottom of the bag.  Draw a line across that is about 4" across and stitch on that line.

Don't be scared - trim that seam.  Do this to both sides.

Now your bag has a flat bottom that will stand up easier.  I folded over 1" from the top and double stitched it.

Lastly, you have to add handles.  My handles are scraps - 2" wide and 16" long.  I folded it in half (hot dog way - the long way) and ran several rows of stitching down.  I like using contrasting thread to make it stand out.

About 3" in from the side seam, I stitched the handles down.  I sewed a square first and then an X to really secure this handle.

Now - my kids can go collect their candy!

See how the bottom of the bag stands up now that we did that tricky seam?

If my kiddos actually can fill this up, I think I might be sick.  They are pretty positive it won't be a problem!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Grateful Sunday

Um. . . hi.  Is this thing still on? 
First off, I've emailed all winners of The Staying Organized Giveaway.  Please email me back and lets get this taken care of as soon as possible.
Secondly, my computer has gone kaput - so I am sharing with my husband.  The husband who works about 16 hours a day on his computer.  There is no computer around.  We are getting by with our ipods and ipads, but please be patient.
Thirdly, we took a break to Breckenridge.  Just us.  and it was perfect.

We are ready for Halloween.  Are you?

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I've already made a change to our hallway.  I added this mirror from Novica.  M. thinks it looks just like Rapunzel's sun and I think she is kind of right.  
NOVICA is one of the leading fair trade artisan websites. They work with National Geographic to give talented artisans around the world a place to express their artistic talents and provide access to the world market. They have thousands of top fair trade corporate gifts, accessories, jewelry and home decor items on our website.

My husband went straight to the Brazil section and dreamed about a hammock.    You could get lost.  Take a look around. womens clothing under $30, Balinese sterling silver braceletspearl chandelier earringswomens Brazilian belts,  or cotton shawls.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Staying Organized Giveaway

There are a couple of spots in my home that by looking at, you can tell exactly how busy I am.  One is our kitchen desk and the other is my closet!  I love organizing, I love sorting and labeling, I love throwing away.  Sometimes, though, life gets a bit ahead of me!

I was contacted by Chloe Wilson of GetSetOrganize.com to review her book, The Staying Organized Survival Guide.

You will have to read it, but let me tell you what a difference 15 minutes can make!!

3 Lucky readers will win their own digital copies of the book, which is available on Amazon for your Kindle, iPad, or you can read it on your computer!  Leave a comment and tell me what your "hot spot" is.  For an additional entry, post about this giveaway, or about this book on Facebook and leave me an additional comment! 

Good luck!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Hardest Working Hallway

Did you see?  My little hallway was at 320*Sycamore last Friday!   So so much fun!  I am re-posting it here!

When you walk in from our garage we have the teeniest little hallway.  I dream of having a mudroom, but that isn't going to happen with this house.  Clearly, though, the system we have isn't working.

Let me tell you what isn't working:

  1. The hooks are way too little and too close for the coats/backpacks/diaper bags.  The hook/board/thingy is starting to come off the wall.
  2. The shoes are just kicked off.
  3. The hallway is too short for the runner I put down there.  I have it folded at the end and I trip on it as I go into my laundry room.  Not good
  4. It's ugly.
So after talking it over with my husband, we decided that this was actually a hallway worth changing.  It has a pretty important job and we need to make sure it functions!  

Now look at it:

There are no windows and it opens to a garage, so it is very hard to get any natural light for pictures.  Sorry.

The most important thing we did was add hooks - and lots of them!  These guys aren't going anywhere.  My husband took strips of wood and routed the edges to make it look nicer.  The boards are screwed into the studs to ensure strength.  We chose big hooks on the top and little hooks on the bottom.  We staggered them for function.  My kids can easily reach the bottom row of hooks and there is no excuse for them not hanging.

I added the stripes because I wanted to.  I love them and it makes me very happy looking into the hallway.  While I was at it, I decided to paint the door:

Isn't it super fun?  I took out the runner and will list it on Craigslist.  We currently have nothing on the floor, but I'm hoping that might speed up our desire to lay down tile right here.  The shoes have been banned to the garage.  My father in-law-built cubbies out there a couple of years ago and we need to take advantage of them.  See the cubbies here.

Another favorite is the addition of a sensor light.  When we are coming in from the garage, my kids don't like walking into a dark home.  Then they stop at the door and we all get piled up while they wait for me to reach over them and turn on the light ( and you know I usually have my hands full of groceries, or library books, or  our baby!)  My husband was skeptical, but we now LOVE this light!

So for now, the dark dreaded hallway of doom has become the little hallway that could.

We've fixed our problems and gave it a little personality while we were at it!

Thanks Melissa for letting me share our latest project.  I totally believe if it isn't working, don't just live with it!  Find a better solution and make it work for you!  I hope to see you over at my blog, Ducks in a Row.  I'm trying to live a balanced life and you'll see a little of everything over there - decorating, parenting, exercising, organizing.  See you soon!

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fabric Flower Belt

I love belts!  I love that they can make jeans and a t-shirt into an outfit.  I love that they give my post-partum body and little shape.  I love that they can show a little personality.  This month, I am making a fabric flower belt.  I love the pop of color this gives to any outfit.  Perhaps my favorite part was mixing and matching fabrics and trying to find the right combination - there are SO SO SO many possibilities.  I made different types of flowers.  

Flower #1:

I free handed some flowers of different sizes.  I cut out 2 4" flowers, 2 3 1/2" flowers, 4 3" flowers and 4 2" flowers.  Then I stacked and turned the 4" and the 3 1/2" flowers:

Next, I folded the 3" flowers in half and also stacked and staggered them:

The 2" flowers were folded into fourths and stacked:

I quick hand stitched an X in the middle to hold everything together.

Then, I topped it with a fabric covered button:

I made another one with smaller flowers and topped this one with just a plain white button that I had in my stash.  

Flower #2:  
I cut a 2" strip of fabric that was about 22" long and folded it in half.  I used hot glue to glue it shut:

Next, I cut slits from the folded side to almost the edge.  The slits are about 1/2" apart.

Starting at one end, I rolled it up.  I dabbed some hot glue as I rolled to keep it together.

Then fluff:

For my belt, I used 2 of flower #1 and 2 of flower #3 and a third flower that I made using the same technique I did here.  I laid them out on white felt in an arrangement that I liked.  Then I glued them to the felt:

and trimmed the felt away so it wouldn't show from the front:

Lastly, I cut two strips of the felt about 1" wide and 2 1/2" long and glued just the ends of them on:

I made the loops so the ribbon could slide through.  This gives a little flexibility with the ribbon.  I wasn't sure if I would want the bow from the ribbon in the front of the back.  Now it can be either.  Also, you can switch your ribbon.

Tie it on and you are done!

It took me about an hour to make all flowers.  

My 10 year old helped and is choosing fabrics for her own belt.

I think it is a cute and perfect way to add some personality to your outfits!  

Thanks for reading!  I'd love for you to come see me at my blog Ducks in a Row!

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