Musings of a self-taught crafter

A, B, C – L turned 3! December 19, 2011

Filed under: 2011,General — blueberryblues @ 1:09 pm

Our daughter turned 3 this year.  Three years old!  And she was adamant that she MUST have a “letter party”.  She is currently obsessed with the ABCs and she did not waver on her choice of theme from the moment she came up with it (back in late October).  Thankfully, it was a fun little theme to play around with.  Unfortunately, I did not take many pictures of the details (we were having too much fun celebrating).  I did search around the internet and pin some of my inspiration in case anyone is interested in other ideas than the ones that we ended up using.

Since her birthday falls right in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we kept it pretty simple.  We decorated the fireplace mantle with framed pictures of her from birth right up to recently.   It was amazing to remind ourselves of the physical (and mental!) changes that she has been through in the last 3 years – she is definitely a little girl now!  We also incorporated some her most colorful artwork and a letter “L” bought at Michael’s that will be used as a decoration in her big kid room.  I also re purposed our alphabet magnets as a vase (similar to this) and added three gerbera daisies.

L surprised me and was REALLY excited to give out favors to her friends.  She requested that she go shopping with me for favors and she helped to personalize everything thing that went into each friend’s bag.  We added some alphabet themed items (stickers and pads of paper), but L picked out sets of markers decorated with characters that she thought each of her friends would enjoy (princesses, minny mouse, cars, toy story, etc) and we added in a few glow bracelets that we had around, which have become another of L’s favorite things since Halloween.   Thank goodness for dollar bins!  We placed everything in green (her favorite color right now) goodie bags and decorated the front with the first letter of everyone’s name.

I made a classic white cake from scratch  in the shape of an L using two bread pans.  In my experience, it is really not difficult or too time consuming to make cake from scratch and I think it has much better flavor than the prepackaged cake mixes.  Those mixes have their uses in the world, but we do not have cake often and when we do I’m happy to take the time to make it really yummy and decadent.  I mixed up some butter cream frosting, tinted it with 3 different shades of green and piped it on into little “flowers” until it was covered.  The cake turned out really cute and fit the theme perfectly, although one of the 3-year-old guests was concerned that there was a large piece missing out of side of the cake!

My favorite memory of the day has nothing to do with the ABC theme or our preparations.  The 3 year old kids came and asked to be allowed to go outside, and since that’s not something we can do often in early December we were happy to oblige.  The babies were left inside with our family while the parents bundled up their big kids and themselves and we went out to get some fresh air.  L and three of her friends decided they had to play hide and seek and that a parent needed to find them.  I love hide and seek at this age – they just don’t quite get the concept yet but are so eager to play. All three of them hid around the same tree, circling it and hiding their own faces.  It was priceless!

L received some great gifts, but she has been fanatical about this one, which happened to fit in perfectly with the party’s theme – it’s been interesting to see how stretchy we can all be each evening, especially after eating dinner!  A definite winner for anyone out there looking for a gift for a three-year old.

Note:  We do have a few pictures of her party to share and I will come back and edit this post with them when I have a minute to do so


Back from Radio Silence? November 1, 2011

Filed under: 2011,General,Sewing — blueberryblues @ 3:42 pm

It’s been embarrassingly too long since I last posted.  I could run through my long list of excuses about why I fell off the blogging bandwagon, but suffice to say it was not my priority while the rest of my life was.  I’ve been having too good of a time being a mother, a wife, an employee, and setting up our new house, among other things, to take the time to post here.  That’s not to say that I have not been crafting.  It’s slow going these days and I pick projects that I find relaxing.

I’ve recently gotten into quilting and sewing and have spent some time at the sewing machine reminding myself about how to use it.  Actually, I completed one of my favorite sewing projects just in time for Halloween festivities.

Our little girl is totally into dress up and playing princess these days and insisted on being “a green fairy” for Halloween.  I searched around Pinterest (have you heard about Pinterest?  If not, that’s information for another post) for a little bit until I found this pin (which looks incredibly close to the pattern that I ended up buying and using – there was no way that, with my beginner garment sewing skills, I could have patterned this by myself). This is probably the most appreciated project I have ever made – she does not want to take it off!  It will definitely be a well loved item in her dress up bin now and I’m happy I made it one size larger than what she currently wears so she’ll get the most use out of it!


Pattern: Simplicity Disney Fairy Pattern

Fabric: costume satin in green and yellow purchased at Joann’s.

The pattern includes instructions on how to make the wings, but I decided to save myself some time and purchase them from Joann’s instead. And seeing the amount of abuse they took through her multiple Halloween parties I’m happy I bought them on the cheap.  I did not use tulle for the under skirt and instead made it out of yellow satin. We could put one of her tutus under it if she wanted the skirt to have extra pouf, but I think it is overall more comfortable for her to wear without the tulle next to her skin.  I also made a long yellow satin ribbon as  a belt instead of the belt from the pattern.  I just made a long tube, closed the ends, and then basted it to the side of the dress so it would not fall down and would cover the waist seam. I did not make bloomers since she wore white leggings (it’s cold out there!).  And the satin was incredibly washable, which was great because she managed to get it dirty at each and every party.

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!  We went through a pretty bad snow storm (we live in the northeast) and lost a couple of trees in our yard, so trick-or-treating was postponed until Friday.  Instead, we enjoyed a quiet dinner lit by the candlelight of our jack-0-lantern (only one since we ran out of energy after cleaning up from the storm) and then played with the glow sticks in a dark room after dinner. That was actually really fun, so much so that our daughter asked to have the jack-0-lantern in her bedroom as she fell asleep (it was lit by a battery operated “candle”)!

I know that many of you continue to craft on a regular basis – I’m definitely inspired by much of what I see out there in the blogosphere.  Hopefully I can find a few moments, energy, and a few spare brain cells to document my projects on a more regular basis.

I linked this project up with Sherry, Katie, Ana, and Erin for the Fall 2011 Pinterest Challenge.