Early Fall

Okay, a reasonable person might be expected to believe that I had dropped off the face of the earth. In reality, the settling in to the school year along with various other unexpected occurrences has hit us like a freight train and blogging has gotten pushed to the back burner. But I’m here now! So I hope you’re ready for some pictures, because I’ve got a few to share.

This is a little half octagon table Nick and I refinished. Okay, it was way more him than me, but I helped a little. I am so terribly sad that I didn’t get a picture before he started tearing it apart, but trust me, it was UH-GLEE. Think sea foam crackle paint all over, and the veneer on two of the doors was badly damaged. That’s where he really impressed me – he smoothed it all out with Wood Bondo, and you can’t even tell it’s not original. The top was in good condition, so we just stripped, sanded, and stained it. We used a Rustoleum stain in Kona.

I shared this image over on Instagram. These lovely little banners were inspired by the one made by the adorable Bethany at Pitter & Glink. I made a cardstock template for my banners using my We R Memory Keepers Banner Punch Board, then cut two for each banner from dropcloth. I machine stitched them together with pink thread, then cut the words from htv using my Cameo. The font I used was Magnolia Sky, which is free for personal use. The flowers and bow are a variety of purchased and handmade pieces. I punched holes in the corners and added eyelets using my Crop-a-Dile Punch and Eyelet Setter, threaded in some random satin ribbon I had on hand, and knotted the ends on the front. On the back of each banner I hot glued a wooden skewer cut to size along the top to keep the banner hanging straight. The Create Beauty banner is hanging in my craft room (as pictured below), and the Be Kind is part of Lily’s gallery wall.

So this happened in late August. Sawyer wasn’t feeling well at all and we couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment, so I took him to the ER. By the time we got there he was having some breathing distress and they ended up keeping us for two days. We never did find out exactly what the problem was, but the best guess was that he had a virus combined with an allergic reaction to something that really hit him hard. Below is a picture of him hanging out with his buddy Chase, who brought him Play-Doh, cars, and snacks and spent some time looking suitably impressed with Sawyer’s grand tour of his hospital room.

Nick works for Lexus and they sent him this amazing gift basket, which was such an awesome thing for them to do!

Nick’s cousin got married last month, and we stayed at an amazing chalet near the wedding venue where they had this gorgeous handmade quilt on the bed. I’m in love!

We got to see Nick’s sister Kristin and her family, which was awesome. They live in Texas, and it had been over a year since we’d seen most of them. It was so much fun to get the kids together with their cousins!

Our Lily girl got baptized a couple of weeks ago, and she couldn’t have been more precious.

So those are a few of the things that have been keeping us busy lately. What have you been working on?
*There are no affiliate links in this post. I have not been compensated for using any product mentioned in this post. I just like to share what I have used in case you might want to use it too!
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The Christmas Season

Guys, I finally have my computer back! I’m so excited! It took forever, but it’s good as new now, and I can’t wait to get to posting again!

Did you guys have a good Christmas and New Year’s? Our New Year’s was less than ideal, sick babies and selves, and Sawyer threw up on me and Nick in literally the last 10 seconds of 2014. Yuck!

But we’re all better now, and our Christmas was great! I’ve got lots of things to share with you, but I wanted to start out with a few pictures I took this year.

These were from sessions I did with my niece and nephews.

Levi and Adelaide

Lawrence

This one was their Christmas card this year.

And here are a few from our little church Christmas play service.

Sawyer Ford (literally) Driving By
My Mom and Dad with all 6 grandbabies.
All the grandbabies in their Christmas pj’s on Christmas Eve.
A couple of the cowboys patrolling the range this year. They were all SO cute!

This was such a blessed Christmas season, and we have so much to be thankful for!
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Thanksgiving Outfits

Did you guys have a good Thanksgiving? Ours was wonderful! Phenomenal food, a truly wonderful time with the whole family together, and babies, babies, babies! This year the 5 and under set included Lily – 5, Sawyer – 2, Levi – 2, Lawrence – 1, and Adelaide – 6 1/2 months.

A few weeks ago my sis-in-law and fellow Pinterest addict Rachael and I were oohing and aahing over some cute little dresses online, and we decided that we should make matching Christmas dresses for Lily and Adelaide. Then we decided that we might as well go ahead and come up with something cute for them to wear for Thanksgiving. And if we were going to make the girls matching dresses, we couldn’t leave their brothers out. So we decided to make Sawyer and Levi matching turkey shirts. And of course if we were going to make them for Sawyer and Levi, their cousin Lawrence was going to need one too. And if Sawyer, Levi, and Lawrence were going to be little gobblers, then we certainly had to make one for Jackson, their honorary cousin. You can see how my crafting gets out of control.

So anyway, Rachael, my sis-in-law Leah (Lawrence’s mom) and I got together for a day of sewing, and we made dresses for the girls and shirts for the boys.

I made Sawyer a turkey onesie like this for his first Thanksgiving when he was not quite 11 months old. I’ve mentioned that he was a preemie, and while he’s all caught up now, for a long time he was very small for his age. I just have to show you what a ridiculously cute, tiny little turkey he was in 2012. This was a 3 month onesie.

Gah! Why isn’t he so tiny anymore?

Anyway, we decided to make peasant dresses for the girl with their initial appliqued on them. We followed this tutorial, and let me tell you: Mind. Blown. This was SO easy! I’m going to make tons of these! In fact, it’s what we’ll make for them to wear for Christmas too, and I already have the perfect corduroy pulled out to make one as a Christmas gift for Lily. And I plan on making a matching one for her doll. I also made one for my friend Amy’s little girl’s birthday, and I barely got it out the door without Lily claiming it, despite it being 3 sizes too small for her lol.

Please excuse the picture. I ran out of time to shoot it at home, so I snapped a quick pic of it laid out on the Jake and the Neverland Pirates coloring table at the party. 🙂

Here are Lily and Addie in their matching dresses and headbands.

It’s hard to see the monograms here, but Lily’s has an L and Addie’s has an A in brown corduroy just above the hem on the right side.

And the turkeys…

Want to see the back? Here you go…

Which of course quickly turned into this:

Not to worry, soon they were best buddies again. 🙂

The shirts were just purchased black t-shirts with turkey faces and feathers hand cut from eco-felt and just sewn on with a straight stitch. We even freehanded the pieces. Easy peasy!

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Presser Foot Series: Walking Foot

Hello all! It’s time for another installment of our Presser Foot Series! Today we’re talking about the Walking Foot. The walking foot looks a bit more complicated than most presser feet, but it couldn’t be simpler to use.

This is not a snap on foot. If your machine has a snap on adapter, you will need to unscrew it to install the walking foot.

There is an arm that raises, and you will want to fit the bracket at the end of it onto the bar you see protruding to the right of your needle.

And of course you will need to attach the side bracket around the main post and secure it with the screw that was securing your snap on adapter.

The way a walking foot works is pretty simple. Basically the arm at the top operates the levers inside the casing and they move these little white plastic grips that fit inside the grooves in the front of the foot. 

This gives you a set of feed dogs on top that move at the same speed as the ones on the bottom, and together they all work together to move your two (or more) layers of fabric under the needle at the same speed without shifting.

This foot is AMAZING for sewing multiple layers, like you would do for quilting straight lines or making faux chenille. It’s also amazing for sewing with slippery fabrics like minky.

For Christmas I made my month old nephew Lawrence a cuddle blanket from flannel and dot minky. I wish I could show you a better picture of it, but all those photos are on a hard drive that’s out of reach for the moment, so you’ll have to settle for this cell phone pic of Nick holding him wrapped in it just after the New Year.

Now he’s almost 8 months old, and it’s become the blankie, much to my delight. It was such a simple project that it doesn’t really call for a tutorial, but I’ll give you a basic point by point:

  • Wash and dry both fabrics to prevent uneven shrinking after sewing.
  • Cut both fabrics to the same size. Honestly I didn’t measure, I just squared the edges of one fabric and cut the other to match, but I believe it was approximately 45″ (width of the bolt) by 54″ (yard and 1/2).
  • Place fabrics right side together and pin.
  • *Optional* Round your corners by using a plate as a template and cutting around it with scissors or a rotary cutter.
  • Sew almost all the way around, leaving approximately 3-4 inches open on one side for turning.
  • Clip your corners and turn your blanket right side out.
  • Make sure your corners (if you have them) are well turned.
  • Tuck in the seam allowance on the opening you left and pin closed.
  • Topstich around the entire blanket, closing your opening.
  • Done!

At the beginning of May we had another sweet little addition to the family, this one born to Nick’s sister Rachael, who just so happens to be married to my brother Cary. 🙂 Precious Adelaide joined us after a longish line of grandsons, and I was tickled uh, pink to get a girl to sew for! Not that boys aren’t fun too, but hello ruffles and bows!

Anyway, I finally got a chance to make a blanket for her too. These are the fabrics I went with.

I made this blanket at night after the kids were in bed, and I had to deliver it the next day, so I didn’t have a chance to take it outside and hang it up for pictures, but I was able to snap a few inside.

It’s not perfect, but it’s very soft and cuddly, and the minky was SO much easier to sew using the walking foot!

Cuddle fabrics are generally on the pricey side, so I snap them up when I find them in the remnant bins, which is where I scored the sweet pink and white polka dot I used here. It was a serious win to find a remnant this large, and I had so much fun picking out a coordinating flannel, because I knew right away what I wanted to do with it.

A few weeks ago I found a yard and 1/2 of this fluffy orange Ultra Cuddle, and I paired it with this fun robot flannel. I made a blanket for Sawyer from them, and now he has to have his “Wo-bot” before he goes to bed. 🙂 Again, sorry for the night time kitchen photography.

I also made one for Taylor back at Christmas from orange and white chevron flannel backed with aqua cuddle fleece, but right now she’s wrapped up in it asleep. 🙂 I guess I’d better go back through my remnant bag to find something to make one for Lily too!

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Busy, Busy!

Guys, I know I’ve been scarce around here. I’ve got tons of things I’m working on, including photo editing, Etsy orders, birthday gifts for several family members, and gifts for the Craftaholics Anonymous Handmade Gift Exchange.

And uh, the laundry.

So I’ll be posting about all of those things as soon as I’m able (except maybe the laundry). But in the meantime, here’s a picture from Father’s Day of my dad with all his grandkids (including one cute little redheaded honorary grandkid) and their dads. Love you, Dad!

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Free Mother’s Day Printables

Mother’s Day is in two days, so I thought I’d try my hand at creating some free printable cards for you! It seems that most printables I come across for Mother’s Day are for Mom or Mother or Grandma or Grandmother. Nothing at all wrong with that, but I thought it would be fun to offer a few more options for you.

I call my mother “Mom”, but my grandmothers were “Nanny” and “Mamaw.” My husband Nick’s were (and are) “Nanaw” and “Grandmother”, and Grandmother is “Mimi” to the great-grandchildren. My mom and my mother-in-law are “Nanny” and “Nana to their grandchildren. My aunt is “Granny” to hers. I know that I’m surely leaving a few beloved options out, and it was always frustrating to me to not be able to find something naming my precious Nanny or Mamaw. So if you would like to use one of the printables and I don’t have one listed for your mom or grandmother, leave me a comment and I will make one for you.

Each of these are sized to print on standard card stock. Then just fold them in half to make a card. These cards are for you to print or share as you like – just please link back to this blog as the source if you share it on your blog or website.

My husband lost his mom to a short battle with cancer 15 years ago, the first year we were married. It was a devastating loss, and she left behind three children, the oldest of which was my husband, then 19 years old. At the time it was hard to see past the pain, but God had such sweet plans for our family. In His timing He blessed us with Brenda, Nick’s stepmom, and she stepped into a hurting family and took on the mantle of wife and mother. She is such a precious person, and I can’t imagine our lives without her. In her honor I also created a printable for you to print and frame. It is sized for an 8×10 frame.

Just click on the card/printable you want to open it in a new page at full-size, then right click and save to your computer.

Mother's Day Card18Mother's Day Card9Mother's Day Card19Mother's Day Card17Mother's Day Card16Mother's Day Card15Mother's Day Card14Mother's Day Card13Mother's Day Card12Mother's Day Card11Mother's Day Card10Mother's Day Card8Mother's Day Card7Mother's Day Card6Mother's Day Card5Mother's Day Card4Mother's Day Card3Mother's Day Card2Mother's Day Card1

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Crafty Birthday Party: The Activities

Fair warning, this post is going to be LONG. I planned a ton of activities for this party. And we got to almost all of them. We had planned to do Sharpie tie dyed shirts, but about half the girls forgot to bring a shirt to dye. We were also going to do nail polish pendants, but we really just ran out of time and energy.
We had the party at our church’s family life center, which was such a blessing and terrific for the space and amenities, but it’s not my favorite place to shoot pictures, so excuse the industrial background.
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We started out just letting the girls mingle and have fun. They picked out their party favors and chowed down on the food. A few of them had to come late, so we waited on the crafts until they were all there. My mom did such a great job with the food and decorations.
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I made this cupcake banner courtesy of inspiration found here.
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Gratuitous shot of my awesome nephew LB.

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              Taylor                                    Lily
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Sawyer

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After the food and presents the girls dove into Taylor’s monstrous collection of nail polish for mani-pedis. A couple of months ago I found a bunch of pedicure flip flops for like 40 cents a pair so I stocked up for the party.
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After the nail polish, the girls did chocolate facials. These were SO simple, just coconut oil and cocoa powder. They all said it made their skin super soft, and of course it smelled amazing! I had enough left to package some up to send it home as parting gifts the next day.
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While the chocolate facials were setting, I had them making lip balm.
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Then I let them dive into my bag of leather remnants, and they cut out leather earrings.
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Next they made Shrinky Dinks. This was maybe my favorite activity of the night just because of how entranced they all were by the process. Most of them had never seen them before, and they couldn’t get enough of them! Did you know that you can buy a 50 pack of the sheets for $22.00? Such a better deal than paying $6 for 10 sheets at the craft store!
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Then they painted little canvases mounted on magnets.
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Next up were bottle cap pins. Images purchased here, here, and here.
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Doesn’t that little hipster squirrel just slay you? That whole sheet of images was awesomesauce!
Next (yes, there was more!) I let them dig through my bag of satin remnants to make singed satin flower hair clips.
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The last activity of the night was the photo shoot. They were looking a little tired by this point.
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All of these accessories were found at the Dollar Tree, and we had enough scarves and sunglasses to send one of each home with each girl.
DSC_0561So this is what I look like at 5:30 in the morning after hosting a bunch of newly minted teenage girls! Keepin’ it real, folks.
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After that I put them all to bed and popped Frozen in the DVD player. The next morning I fed them fruit, pop tarts, granola bars, cereal, and milk. All in all I think it was a huge success!

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