Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Birthday Gift From 2010

There are times when I'm working on so many projects that I'm luck if I take some photos and even luckier if I get around to posting them.  Which brings me to this lovely library book bag that I made last year as a gift for Ruby's friend Zoey.  I used a "sketch" for a 12x12 layout as a pattern guide.  I can't remember which one but I used it for my Spooktacular Layout as well.
Zoey's Book Bag
So, I had a nice canvas bag with some weird logo to start with.  (The logo would be covered by the pattern in the end.) Next came fabric and color choices.   I knew I wanted feminine yet not to girly cute... longevity was key.  A pretty book bag to please Zoey at age 6 to 96.  Some sparkle and some vintage.
Zoey's Book Bag
A fancy jean pants pocket to hold the library card, a couple different ribbons, and fabrics.  The olive green was from a flawed dye job attempt on a once white shirt.   I made the felt flowers and used a little embroidery to attach them.  Decorative and vintage buttons for embellishment.
Zoey's Book Bag
View of the other side of the bag.  A smaller version of the front design.  Colored embroidery floss as well as colored threads helped complete the overall look and feel of this bag.
Zoey's Book Bag
I'm still giddy, year later, about this project.  I'm thinking I really need one (or two) for myself! 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"School Daze" Layout

When I first saw the "Travel Light" paper collection by We R Memory Keepers I knew I wanted to do a double page layout of Mateo's Pre-K school year.  There's such a playful feel to this line with the stripes, dots, and color palette.  Thankfully I took quite a few school pictures during the year.  (Poor kid is the second child, I've yet to fill in his baby book.)
School Daze Layout
Sizzix Alphabet dies, chip board and Bazzil paper were used for the letters.  Circle Nestabilities and Fiskars circle squeeze punches were used to cut all the circle mats and circular photos.  School Daze Layout
Creative Imaginations epoxy stickers for just the right amount of word fun.
School Daze Layout
Now I need to go through Ruby's Pre-K pictures and put one together for her before the "summer haze" is over and we're into yet another "school daze"!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Alysse's Can-Can Skirt

Ruby went to her friend Alysse's birthday party this past weekend and thus another Can-Can skirt was made.   I'm able to sew one up quite quickly and easily now.  (Apparently I've made 8 over the past year and a half.)  Color pattern/choice is probably the most time consuming part these days.  For example, I tossed around a few ideas in my head until 24 hours before the party and then I started sewing.
Alysse's Can-Can Skirt
I finished the white base in a timely fashion, mid afternoon.  Ruffles... not so much.  I wanted to do rainbow but had less color variety than I thought.  So I was giddy when I finally stitched down this final combination of ruffles.  Partially because it was 11:30 pm and also because I had to unpick a whole ruffle layer to make the above work.  I had only so much of each blue to work with.  Eek!  I love the end result.  It reminds me of an ocean wave and as it happened the party was "Hawaiian Luau" themed. 
How cool of a coincidence was that!
Alysse's Can-Can Skirt
With Ruby hinting about "needing" another Can-Can skirt and my stash running low, I do believe there's a nylon chiffon order to be placed in my near future!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Party "Wild Kratts" Style

10/29/11 More Updates HERE.

Back in May, while on a walk, the topic of birthdays was being discussed by Ruby, Mateo and myself.  Ruby asked what a "golden birthday" was and that's when it hit me... Mateo would be having his this year!  So, I asked my soon to be 5 year old what kind of party would he like?  I suggested super hero to which he replied in a quiet voice, "Maybe Wild Kratts?"  O.K.  I'm thinking I can work with this, animals and such, no worries.  If you've never heard of the Wild Kratts go HERE.  It's like a pair of crocodile hunter brothers, animal planet and cartoon all mixed in one on PBS.  Great show, even I enjoy it.   So guess what... there is no merchandise currently available!  Now, I do like to DIY most things but not everything, usually.   So, here's what I did.   I checked around the blog world and found 2 that had done birthday parties.  Go Here and Here to take a look.  I took ideas from both.  Neither had an invite so here's what I made.   I searched images on line till I found one I liked and simply printed it off a few times.  Bazzill cardstocks, patterned paper from We R Memory Keepers "Furever Friends" collection and twine from May Arts.   Inked and distressed edges tied the card together with the Kratts logo.
Wild Kratts Party Invite
Now on to the sewing!   What would a Wild Kratts party be without "creature power suits"?  Mateo actually said, "You can do it Mom, you can make anything!"  No pressure.  I made a few versions due to the number of children and materials available.  My favorite was the black fleece and felt.  No fraying or finished edges required though I did on the fleece vest.  Just made everything a bit more crisp.  I used one of Mateo's tank tops as a quide for shape and sizing then made a slightly larger paper pattern for mas production.  I needed 10 vests total.  Zoiks!
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
After the first few black ones Ruby told me the girls vests should be pink.  O.K.  Since I was low on black fleece this was actually a good thing.  I also happened to have a pink v-neck t-shirt laying around.  Off with the sleeves, hemmed the arm hole, cropped the bottom, hemmed again and added the felt details.  Done.  The little black strip in the felt paw print is velcro.
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
Velcro was needed because... creature power suits require "creature power discs" to activate said creature powers don't cha know.  So on to discs.   Then plan was to earn discs by playing games and having some in the goodie bag.  I copied the cheetah and the firefly discs from HERE.  Then I made a sheet of plain discs. Yay photo copier!  I used a stamp from Hero Arts for the Monarch butterfly and finally freehand drew the worms and large mouth bass.  I laminated them for longevity and finally added the velcro on the backs.  Ten guests times five different discs equals 50 total discs.  Zoiks again!  (Mateo was all about playing with his vest and discs as soon as I made them, thus the funk on them in the pic below =:)
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
For the second year in a row a heavy down pour occurred right as the party started.  Thankfully it was warm and without lightning so lots of puddle splashing took place while the food was grilled.  Families were invited to this party so we grilled out hamburgers, hotdogs and had lots of fruit and pasta salads.  There was a little cake for candle blowing but all the guests had frosted sugar cookies in a variety of animal shapes instead for dessert.  Much easier at a BBQ style party.
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
After eating all the kids were given their creature power vests and the games began.  Everyone was given a cheetah badge before they played a game of "Cheetah Tag".  A streamer for a tail was tucked into shorts.  At the sound of go they all ran around trying to pull each others tails.  Even if you lost your tail you could still run and try to pull someone elses tail.  The game ended when all tails had been pulled. 
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
This was played a few times and helped burn up lots of excess energy.
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
To earn monarch butterfly badges party goers had to turn from their caterpillar state into a chrysalis and burst out as a butterfly.  This was done through cheap toilet paper.   The idea came from HERE.  Talk about fun, all the kids loved it!
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
Wrap, wrap, wrap.   Burst out as a butterfly!
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
Silly, good fun!
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
Here's a good shot of the creature power vest in action!
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
Now onto Goodie Bags.  I wanted simple and to include more creature power discs. 
So each bag had :   Animal Crackers
                              Gold Fish Crackers - Large Mouth Bass disc
                              Glow Stick Light - Fire Fly disc
                              Gummy Worms & Worm Slime - Earth Worm disc
                              A few animal shaped Silly Bands
Mateo and Ruby loved making the slime for their friends and it's so easy that I thought I'd include the video here.   This stuff brings hours of fun!

And now for a few confessions.
 I never took a group shot of all the guests.
I took a video of blowing out the candles but no pics. 
I never took a single picture of Mateo by himself on his birthday.
On the up side he told me, "This was the best day ever!"  And I find that when I'm really in the moment I often forget the camera.
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
Oh, and when it was time to go one little boy came up to me and asked, "Do we get to keep these?" 
As he tugged on his creature power vest.
 "Yes, it's part of your goodie bag."
Then he made a fist pump, said, "Yes!" and ran off yelling "Thanks!"
Definately one of my best days, too.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

                    Happy 4th of July!
Athens Fair
An oldie but goodie pic of my youngest Sis!  Captures how blessed I feel to live in this wonderful country.  Bring on the fireworks!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Birthday Gift For Zoey 2011

Ruby has a special lil' girlfriend in her life with whom make-believe, silliness, dancing and all round girly fun is enjoyed.  It's the type of friendship I hope she's able to have forever.   Zoey is sweet and special so when her birthday rolls around I can't help but feel inspired to make something to match her wonderful personality.  This year the invite Ruby received said the party was "fairy garden princess" themed.  I made a butterfly birthday card using Bazzil cardstock, Creative Imaginations "Bloom"  patterned papers and May Arts ribbon.  Hero Arts gems and stamp sentiment.  A Fiskars squeeze punch was used for the butterflies.
Butterfly Special Card
Now for the gift.  What says happy, free spirited and girly?  Why a Can-Can skirt of course!  I hadn't made one in the past year but still had lots of nylon chiffon leftovers so I simply needed to decide on a color.  Ruby suggested pink but I quickly realized I didn't have enough nylon chiffon for all the ruffles.  And then it hit me... I did have enough for a "rainbow" of ruffles!  To keep the colors bright I used white cotton for the skirt.  Dana's pattern is very user friendly and the skirt is cute even without the ruffles but I needed the "pizazz".  The real work came in the form of constantly changing thread color to match each ruffle layer.  I didn't want the thread to distract from the ruffles.
Zoey's Rainbow Can Can Skirt
Nine ruffle layers, whew.  So, so pretty, worth all the work.
Zoey's Rainbow Can Can Skirt
Next came a refashion.  Ruby wanted a new skirt for Zoey's party.  Did you know one lady's full skirt equals 2 girls long skirts?  Tis' true.  First, I took off one layer around the top including the waistband.  I then cut down the two side seems leaving me two separate pieces.  I sewed each piece back together thus creating the 2 separate skirts. Now for waistbands.  Elastic, some matching jersey fabric, and a bit of sewing round the tops and ta-da!  Easy twirling skirts.
1 Lady's = 2 Girls' Skirts
I did add a bit of decorative trim to the second skirt for some flare. 
1 Lady's = 2 Girls' Skirts Detail
We gave Zoey the second skirt so that as Ruby says, "we can be twins"!
Ruby tells me the party was soooo much fun and that Zoey loved, loved, loved her rainbow skirt.  Oh, and that I should now make her a rainbow Can-Can skirt as well.  A gift well done I'd say!
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