Monday, September 26, 2011

It was my birthday yesterday!

Woohoo! Grandma babysat while my sweet, darling husband and I went to the casino across the state border. If you sign up for their player's club, they give you $25 after you earn 5 points on it, which takes you less than hour to do, so we got an extra $50 total from that. 

My husband is so funny.  He is never really thrilled whenever I talk him into going to the casino.  He thinks its stupid to pour money down a hole, I suppose.  I tell him it's like going to Chuck E. Cheese for grownups.  We live like 35-40 minutes away, and we probably go maybe 2-3 times a year.  However...when we do go, he's like a kid in a candy store and will not leave. He keeps finding more games to play. I have to drag him out of there. 

He also gave me presents on Saturday night.  First was that sweet wonderful card I mentioned earlier. Plus, he gave me a gift certificate for a pedicure (I can't wait!), an awesome new flour sifter (for cakes!), and a bottle of Olive Garden salad dressing (I swear I could drink that stuff :D).

And that wonderful grandma gave us $40 to blow at the casino!  We broke even and came home with $40, even though I was up like $100 at one point, I somehow decided to blow it all.  I blame the Yahtzee progressive slot machine.  Oh and we ate at Toby Keith's I Love this Bar and Grill.  The chicken fried steak is ginormous and comes with two sides, so we split one and each got a side.  It was yummy! 

The only disappointing thing was that a manager came over to talk to us and gave us free tickets to a show they were having, but it wasn't until 8 pm that night, so we couldn't go.  We had to get back to the kidlets close to 6.  Oh well...

It was a wonderful birthday!  One of the best I've ever had! 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mustache Paper!

We were at Michael's today getting feathers for Miss Em's art class, and we walked by the scrapbook paper and. Found this little gem, Mustache paper. Isn't it the cutest? She had to have it to decorate one of her notebooks for school with…mustaches. I can't wait to see what she does with it, lol!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I love this

My husband, Nathan, drew this adorable self portrait on the envelope to my birthday card. (I can't remember if I've ever said his name here or just called him "hubby.") I just love it! I'm not allowed to open it until my birthday on Sunday. It's driving me crazy!

I love the way he makes me things. I have flowers made from napkins and clay and all sorts of origami from when we were first dating.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thrift Store Art

So I found this artwork this weekend for about 75 cents at the thrift store. I love it! It's going up in the baby's room.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A little something I never posted

I always meant to post pictures of our wedding favors, but I think that a pregnancy and then an adorable baby got in my way. Well I found some of the leftovers while I was getting our wedding things for a shadow box I'm making for our wedding day and thought I'd share.

I decided on Hershey chocolate bars because you can buy them super cheap in bulk at Costco. And I could make these for next to nothing, which is about what we could afford. I planned a mixed media art design with vintage pictures and ephemera. I think the most expensive part was the flower stickers. I got the black pouches from Foilman. 

Our wedding had a red/black theme. So I watched for scrapbook paper sales at Michael's and Hobby Lobby to get the paper and cardstock super cheap.. Then I spent a few late nights cutting everything to size and gluing it all together.

 The back I created after looking at a few online. I printed it on white address labels. 

My favorite is this last one because the vintage couple looks like us. It's the one I'm putting it in the shadow box with our invitation and hubby's boutonniere.  I'll post later this week after I've finished it up.  I need some black linen like cardstock first.  

Look for my newest tutorial up later this week   I have to read a couple of chapters and take a couple quizzes before I can get back to sewing this week. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Toddler Sweater Coat Part 2

We're doing something weird with dinner. We defrosted some pork chops and hubby is soaking them for 2 hours in a brine to make them more tender and yummy.  Because of that, I had some time to finish up the sweater coat sew and show. 

Here is a close up of the sleeve.  I love the thumb holes.  Molly put her thumbs through them and immediately started sucking her thumb, which is odd because she is not a thumb sucker at all.  They were very easy to make, you just pull one of the pieces out of the serger's way to make a hole.  Funny, since every once in awhile, how many of us do that inadvertently when serging? 

Now here is a close up of the button placket.  I admit I was in LOVE with this turquoise sweater.  It was 100% cashmere and heavenly.  I tried to use it as much as possible.  I also loved the placket.  You can't see, but under button #2 it has a gathering that is just adorable.  I attached the placket when I attached the hood together at the same time. I attached them under the binding that goes around the entire edge of the coat.  Oh! Here you can see the waistband and the ties.  This way it's a little big now and we can tie it tighter, but as she grows into it, we can loosen the ties. 

Here is the back.  I made a shortened pixie hood.  I was afraid it would drag the floor if I made it too long.  It's really cute, especially when she has it pulled up over her head.  The front I made very wide and attaches fairly low onto the front of the coat.  I like how it's open, so if she's wearing a hat, it won't be too tight. 

This is the side view, so you can see the length of the hood.  To give you an idea of the size, I'm saying 18-24 months.  She wears 12-24 months size.  She's a tiny 16 month old.  She is always in the 5% for height and weight.  

And here is the little stinker.  I bribed her with rocking in the recliner by herself if I could snap a few pictures.  This was, unfortunately, the best one that gives an idea of the fit.  For the bodice, I used a nice black Banana Republic sweater in 100% italian wool with puffy sleeves in a size adult medium.  I felted it, and it shrunk down to probably around a size 6x.  Then, I put it on her and pinned it a more fitted size for her, and probably took about 4 inches off the width of the bodice and 2 inches off the sleeves.  I was able to keep the puffy sleeves, but you can't really tell in the pictures.  In real life, it's adorable with the puffy sleeves.

The Toddler Sweater Coat!

I Made this start to finish today! This is Molly's sweater coat. She would not sit still for pics so I put it on my baby mannequin. I made it from inspiration from the grown up versions by Katwise.
I am so pleased. It came out just lovely. It is made from upcycled wool, cashmere, and silk/wool blend sweaters. And it has thumb holes!!(Molly loves the thumb holes.)
I'll post more pics after dinner so you can see it all, including the adorable elfin hood and the back.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I feel as if I committed a mortal sin!

I'm working on the sweater coat for my toddler today. I cut up these beautiful wool and silk and cashmere sweaters. The hardest was the luxurious cashmere. It felt so wrong ;) (Wow, that pun was completely unintended, lol)

Friday, September 09, 2011

Stretchy Book Cover Tutorial

My eldest daughter needed book covers this year.  According to her teachers, it's a state law to keep textbooks covered.  And my cooler than cool daughter did not want the hideous paper book covers she was forced to put on her books during class.  Oh the horror!!  A couple years ago my ex bought her stretchy book covers that were between $3 and $5 a piece, but they were all too small for her ginormous middle school books this time around.  Apparently, there are these same stretchy book covers that are super sized, but they are even more expensive.  I, being the frugal sewing mama that I am, was hellbent on figuring a way around this. 

I took a look at one of these stretchy book covers and realized I could whip one of these out in a matter of minutes.  And then I realized I have this entire plastic tote FULL of dance lycras from way back when Miss Em was still dancing solos and I was making costumes that would be perfect.  So, she dug through and picked the fabric you see above.  I whipped up the book cover from cut to finish in less than 5 minutes, literally. It is made out of neon orange super soft velvet.  It’s heavenly and plush!  Then I thought, what a great tutorial for the beginning of the school year to share with you guys! 

Your time will be cut to bare minimum if you do this with a serger.  However, if you don't have a serger, you can still easily make these using the overlock or zigzag stitch on your sewing machine.  It's literally two rows of sewing and you're done!  Also, one yard of dancewear lycra is 60 inches wide, so you should get approximately 3-6 book covers out of 1 yd, depending on the thickness of the book. 

Guess what?  I already have a new tutorial lined up for next week.  It's an upcycled tutorial.  I can't wait to show it.  I have all the pics, just have to write the tut, which is the easiest part.  Can you tell how proud of myself I am?  I get so mad when I can't finish a project I have planned for weeks or months on end for my blog.

I think I'm actually going to be able to have a tutorial a week from now on while my creative juices are flowing.  I'm so excited!!  I don't know if this is just rewards for being my last semester of college, but my classes are so easy this time around with next to nothing in homework that I'm able to do other things besides read textbooks. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Thrift Store Score!

Today at the thrift store, I found a Hanna Andersson playdress for $1, a Hanna sweater for $2, a pair of practically brand new leather Keds in the baby's size for $2, and a Folkmanis puppet for 95 cents!! Woohoo!!

Do you know the beautiful Katwise sweater coats? Well I'm making kid versions for some craft fairs my mom is going to go to this fall/winter.  So, I've been scouring thrift stores this past weekend for sweaters.  It's funny, I have found more cashmere sweaters for $1.49 than wool ones.  You would think those would be more expensive?  But...oh so soft!! Hopefully in the very near future I will have a showing of Molly's sweater coat I'm working on ala Katwise.  (Don't tell but hubby wants me to make him one, too.  I'm not so sure...but we're talking about a man who bought a kid's hat with a giant stuffed duck on it at a thrift store and wears it in public.)

Anyway...You can do this too!  Being a stay-at-home mommy with only one income, hubby and I have become thrift store aficionados.  We buy our clothes nearly exclusively at thrift stores for both of us.  I once found a wad of cash in a pocket of dress pants I bought hubby at the thrift store.  My oldest is still a thrift store snob, but she's seeing the fun in it lately, especially when I can find her favorite brands.  The younger two could not care less where their clothes come from.  Mr E thought it was awesome when I found him a t-shirt from a Soviet airlines.  

The baby gets 100% of her clothes from thrift stores, and I exclusively buy boutique brands or nice brand names of stuff like Gymboree, Hanna Andersson, and the Gap.  You would not believe the stuff I find in thrift stores practically new.  Aeropostale, Abercrombie, Land's End, and all kinds of boutique brands.   

We have also started a little eBay biz with thrift store scores.  I found a Coach purse a couple months ago for $17, vintage Tupperware for 39 cents and sold it for $3, every Hanna Andersson piece I put on eBay usually sells with the BIN button.  Our best so far was a recent purchase of a vintage Peterson strobe tuner.  Hubby found it at one of our thrift store outings for $15.  He played with it for about a month, and then we sold it for $118. 

To do this, all you need is to specialize in a few things, so you can easily know your product and figure if what you want to purchase can be sold at a profit.  My specialties are baby clothes, contemporary and vintage sewing stuff, and vintage food stuff like Tupperware.  Hubby specializes in vintage electronics and musical equipment. I don't buy something if I cannot make at least 200% profit on it, minus the fees on eBay. 

A lot of times if we aren't sure, we use our iPhones with the eBay app and check "completed listings" to see what stuff sold, while we are in the store.  

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Art Girl

Why do I bother posting with my iPhone?  It messes this thing up all the time.  I'm now fixing this post for the last damn time, lol.

While waiting for diapers to dry at 2:30 in the morning last night, I made this for Mol's room. The kids each have a little "mommy" work of art on their walls so I felt like it was time for hers. I don't like how her name is, so I'm going to change it after I find this certain set of alphabet stickers in my stash today.
I think this little art doll is my favorite. I hand sewed the entire thing. I thought the orange hair was a little fitting because #1 Molly was born with red hair ( though it's now blonde) and #2 amazingly fir being a baby her hair is nearly identical to the styled mess if the doll. Lol!

Without the other kids on this holiday weekend, my next project is Em's apron tonight.

Friday, September 02, 2011

It had to happen eventually...

Since moving to the new house coupled with the fact she-who-must-not-be-named lives with her mother about 5 minutes away, I knew eventually we'd run into her.  Well....tonight was it.  After some wonderful alone time with dear hubby, we headed out to Freebirds around 9 pm tonight.  It was our first time there, and it wasn't as great as Planet Burrito, but it was fairly good.  We decided to eat outside and believe it or not, the atmosphere outside at 9 pm in hot Texas hell was actually lovely. 

It was just three of us--me, hubby, and the baby--as the other kidlets were at their dad's this weekend.  We sit down, I start feeding the baby.  Hubby gets the drinks and sits down and starts eating.  All of sudden a couple of people bust out the door to find seats out on the patio, too.  This woman walks past our table and starts looking for a seat.  I look up and realize it's HER!  I'm rather glad the look on my face was more along the lines of "WTF, you evil bitch" than a look of "shock and awe."  So I glare at her as she takes in me, the baby, and then realizes it's her ex-husband sitting with us.  She literally ran around the corner to the ONLY table out of our sights. It made me giggle.  The look on her face was priceless. I should have taken a picture. 

I look at my husband and say, "Um, I think that was your ex-wife."  He looks shocked and then he sees her brother and her mother coming out the same door to sit with her.  Then my dear husband says as loudly as possible, just as his former mother-in-law walks by us, "Yep, that's her."  Then we both start giggling.  

A little while later, the baby gets tired of sitting in the highchair, so I let her walk all around the patio with me.  When we turn to go back to our table I look over, and she-who-must-not-be-named is practically trying to crawl into her little plastic basket holding her burrito.  After being such an ass to my husband, she was such a scared little girl when I saw her. I couldn't believe it. 

After a little while, we finish, grab a drink refill and walk past their table to leave.  Hubby carries our sweet little girl on his shoulder past them with his head held high, completely ignoring her. I thought it was great.  It went much better than I anticipated. I figured the first time we saw her out, she would confront him or something. There's always next time, lol.