Saturday, May 28, 2011


Mistress Monstress was invited to her BFF's Pinkalicious Birthday Party this weekend, and since I can't do anything the easy way, (like going to Target and buying something pre-made off the shelf) I set out to create something for this special little girl without any sort of pattern to work from. What can I say, I like a challenge!

For those of you who don't know, Pinkalicious is a little girl who loves everything pink, so much so that she actually turns pink from head to toe (a diagnosis of Pinkatitis) after eating too many pink cupcakes. In order to turn back to her normal color, she has to eat a steady diet of green foods. There is an entire series of these books, Pinkalicious is followed by Purplicious, Goldalicious, and most recently, Silverlicious just to name a few. They are a must read for any self respecting toddler girl. There's even a musical on Broadway of this book. I just found this out today. But I digress, back to the birthday present...

...I had the crazy idea to make a Pinkalicious doll for Miss K. Did I mention that there was no pattern for such a thing? I made things a little easier for myself by starting with a doll that I am very familiar with making, the Mae doll from Bit of Whimsy Dolls. (One of my all time favorites!!!) I cannot say enough good about these patterns, they are SO much fun to make! Anyway, I freehanded the face using the Mae face for placement reference and the Pinkalicious book for design reference and combined a little embroidery with a little real life blush. Then I set off for the store and wandered the aisles with the book in hand to find fabric close to the story. Here's the end result!
For the big test, I held the finished doll up and asked MM who it was. When she promptly replied "Pinkawicious!" I knew I had hit the nail on the proverbial head! She was also instantly recognized by Miss K, so I'm going to mark this one down on the success column. Happy Stitching!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Teeny Tiny Re-Work

Ok, we've lived in our home now for about 11 months. I think we've come a long way, but I still wasn't happy with our great room. I liked the framework I had set up, LOVED our furniture, cabinetry, fixtures, and wall color, but I felt a little like something was missing...what was it?

Oh yeah. COLOR!!! We had a cranberry colored rug in the living area and a few cranberry colored throw pillows on the sofa and chairs, but other than that we had this:
Beige, Brown, Neutral...
I kind of felt like Knit Knots would live here. If you are a parent, you know this guy. If not, Google 'Imagination Movers' on Disney Junior.
Anyway, I really liked the cranberry colored accents we had going on, so I decided to run with it. We had the kitchen area of our great room accented with a great cranberry colored paint, (Caliente from Pottery Barn's color deck) to start with. Check out how my green pottery collection pops out now! Before, it just blended in with the wall.

Even the clock seems happier! :)
Next, we added some color in the dining area. DH wasn't all that excited about spending money on a rug for under our dining table what with us having three kiddos under the age of eight. We solved that problem in one of those ways that is so obvious many people miss it. We got an indoor/outdoor rug! They are more durable than indoor rugs, so if the kids spill it should come right up. Even better, outdoor rugs are usually significantly cheaper than their indoor buddies. This one came from Ballard Designs. (Love them, BTW.) I also added some red picture frames, a red vase I got on clearance at Hobby Lobby...
...and my plaque!
Overall I am loving the re-work, and for not a lot of cash I got a lot more warmth in the room. What do you think?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Family Plaque

I've always loved personalized things and objects that have meaning to them. In the past I've noticed really adorable family plaques and wanted one for our house, but didn't love some of the price tags that came with them. This one is listed for $80 and I didn't even like it that much! Anyway, I knew that I could do it cheaper and more in the style I was looking for. Follow along to make one for yourself for under $10...

First off, I got an unfinished wooden plaque at Hobby Lobby for $7.99. You can also use a 40% off coupon to make this project even cheaper, but I was feeling guilty for not posting a tutorial in a while. :) Paint the plaque your base color and let it dry completely. I did three coats with some leftover paint from Mistress Monstress's furniture. I would go with white or off white. You will see why in a minute...
Next, cut tissue paper to the size of a piece of printer paper and tape it at the top. Load up the number of sheets you will need in your printer. In my case it was three.
On your computer, type out The and Family in whatever font you want. Make it slightly smaller than your last name. Also type out est. and your year in the same font, even smaller than The and Family. Choose a second font for your last name, this will be the largest word on your plaque.
Cut out the words from your tissue paper as close to the edge as possible. Arrange them on your plaque.
CAREFULLY mod podge them down to the plaque. The tissue edges will mostly disappear when they are applied, leaving only the wording. Coat the entire top with mod podge for an even finish and let it dry thoroughly.
Once it is completely dry, attack your plaque with some sandpaper. You can sand over the wording, just not as hard as the wood. Make sure to expose some bare wood in places so the distressing will show up well.
Next take some scrapbooking ink, (I prefer brown) and cover all your exposed wood with the ink. If you find you have gotten too much on you can wipe it off with a baby wipe or damp paper towel as long as the ink hasn't dried completely.
On mine, some of the mod podge rubbed off which gave it even more texture. I loved the way it turned out! I also then took some chain, nails, and a hammer and distressed the entire front. It's a great way to take out aggression!
And here it is! I added a hanger to the back and hung it up in our newly freshened up great room (which will be in a future post.) I am completely thrilled with how it turned out, and am already looking forward to the next project!

Pink Hippo Party

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Staple of the South!

Ahhh, porches. I love porches, back, front, screened, open. One of the things I love about the South is the abundance of front porches and the rocking chairs that reside on them. Two rocking chairs were the first pieces of furniture we purchased after closing on our home last summer, and we lived in them for days. (Mostly because our furniture was in moving truck land, but I digress...) We love to take our coffee out on the porch in the early mornings, sit and watch our kids play in the afternoons, wait for The Professor's bus from school, or just wave to our neighbors and chat. One thing I did not love was my derriere falling asleep after sitting for more than 20 minutes, so I set out to make some cushions to alleviate that problem. My mom and dad came down for a visit last week, and mom gave me a tutorial on cushions. (Thanks Mama!) After several rainy days, I have finally been able to finish the cushions and throw pillows for our front porch, so now we can rock in comfort. Take a peek to see how they turned out!

The glider. Getting this piece of foam into the car was somewhat like wrestling an anaconda...
Our two rockers. This is one of my favorite places in the world to sit and read!
Just a little closer view of the fabric choices, I fell in love with the print on the pillows and built from there.
And just a warning, if any of the birds that have built a nest on the column on our porch poops on my new cushions, I will get a cat.
(And I really don't like cats all that much, so that's saying something.)
Overall I am thrilled with the way they turned out and am going to keep looking for a few more accessories to finish the bottom porch. When that is all done I am looking forward to working on our upstairs porch next. Yup, we have two front porches! I am in porch heaven here...

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Bed and Breakfast?

I'm fairly certain that our house is well on it's way to becoming one. One thing that I have found about where we live is that being in the South means a lot of house guests. Luckily, we love company. Unluckily, it means that sometimes I don't get to do as much crafting as I would like to! I've been working on some new cushions and pillows for our front porch that will hopefully be done in the next day or two, until then I'll leave you a few pictures of my view for Mother's day weekend when I took my three monsters on a mini trip with some of our best friends...

Mistress Monstress digging away happily.
The Professor found a hermit crab, I had to tell him that it was against the law to remove wildlife from the beaches of SC in order to avoid bringing it home...
The Professor and Bugaboo hanging out in a tide pool. One of the few times they weren't in the waves body surfing. I gave birth to three fishes!
Ahhh, a major perk of living within a few hours of the ocean...
See ya'll soon with the porch cushions!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Market Skirt and a Monogram

One of my favorite websites is called Made. Dana's simple instructions and tutorials make sewing easy, and several of her projects either use no pattern or show how to make your own. This is her Market Skirt, and I made it in a little over an hour. Then I took a $1 garage sale shirt and added a monogram, plus a pair of leggings Mistress already had and a pair of brand new shoes that I got at a consignment sale for $3. (They squeak when she walks!) So, for about $3 worth of fabric and a little time, I have an entire outfit that cost less than $10. Plus, I had enough left over fabric to make a matching one for her BFF. Shhh. It's a surprise!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Twos Aplenty!

I have a confession to make. Today was my first time in my craft room in over two weeks.

I know. I'll pause for a moment and hang my head in shame while you look on in shock at such blasphemy.

(Head hanging here.)

To be fair, there were two twos that kept me out of the craft game the last two weeks, namely two sets of house guests and two sick children. And in keeping with the twos theme, I jumped back with two projects for two of my friends. One was some monogrammed towels, and the other was four (yes, four) matching dresses for four special girls. (I'm sure you could work them into the two theme, after all 2+2=4!) Anyway, I'm posting a quick picture of the four dresses that I made today, tomorrow they will be boxed up and shipped off to Ohio where they will make their debut next weekend, and tomorrow I'll get back to crafting. I promise!!! And just in case you need a laugh, I used the Professor as a size model for the largest dress since he is about the same size as his buddy, Miss B. He was less than thrilled and drew the line at trying it on. :)