Halloween 2014

I’m also calling this year “The Disney Halloween” because the girls each chose to be different princesses, and Wyatt (still willing to be put in a costume of my choosing) will be a perfect prince. Introducing,

Belle, from Beauty and the Beast (aka Alyssa)

018The princess who loves to read…

019Snow White, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (aka Kylie)

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Watch out for that apple, my dear!

015And Prince Charming, from Cinderella (aka Wyatt)

336I did sew all three costumes again this year. I did not buy any patterns specifically for these costumes. For the girls’ dresses I used the bodice from their frontier dresses I made earlier this year, both with modifications to the sleeves and neckline.

For Alyssa’s full Belle skirt I wanted 8 bands of elastic going down, roughly 8 1/2 inches apart, so that is how I calculated my width, and for the length I just measured the length on her that I wanted, cut my bands of elastic to match and then stretched them as tight as possible and measured that. That gave me the length of the skirt to cut. I am still going to search around for a headband I like better for Kylie’s costume and then make the red bow to match. For Kylie’s sleeves I used this tutorial, and I used this one for Wyatt’s. His buttons on his jacket are real working buttons, but the belt and top collar are secured with velcro.

Finally, Russell and I will be joining in the theme and going as two of the seven dwarfs. Russell will be wearing a shirt with the name “Sleepy” and mine will say “Grumpy”. Pretty fitting for our family I think 😉

Reusable Christmas Bags

Two years ago my mother in law sent all of our Christmas presents in reusable bags that she had sewn. I immediately loved the idea! I had never seen it before and thought it was very cool. I didn’t do anything about it last year, but this year I went shopping after Christmas and picked up some fabrics at 70% off. I sewed up a bunch of bags in varying sizes, added some ribbons to tie and called it a day. There are lots of reasons I love this idea.

1- It is less wasteful! According to the EPA, household waste increases by more than 25% between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills. Ouch!

2- It saves money! I won’t have to go spend all that money on wrapping paper every year now, I’ll just be able to use my cute fabric bags!

3- They are easier to store! I hate those stupid wrapping paper rolls tumbling around in my closet. I simply put all the other bags into one fabric bag and set it on a shelf. They are easy to fold and store anywhere, really.

They also feel so old fashioned. I love everything about this idea and look forward to building our collection over the years.

I am not going to include a tutorial because I didn’t take any pictures in the process of working on them, but there are tons out there am I sure. Here is a picture of some of the finished products.

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Published in: on January 11, 2014 at 12:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Just A Couple Months Late

A couple posts ago (way back in Oct!) I showed you the inspiration behind the kids’ Halloween costumes. Well, I didn’t completely flake out because I did sew the costumes, I just never posted again to show you what they looked like.

As I expected, very few people knew who they were. Except for one man who corrected his partner when he said Kylie was Cinderella. He was the only one who knew Kylie was the Blue Fairy. Quite a few people thought Wyatt was the Mad Hatter, and well, like I thought most people knew Alyssa was Pinocchio. There was one person who asked if Alyssa was Peter Pan and Kylie was Tinkerbell when we were having their pictures taken. Seriously, people? Seriously…

So here they are in all their glory!

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As a bonus we won “Best Family Theme” at our Moms of Multiples Halloween party!

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Here we are about to go trick or treating. Wyatt did not want to take a picture, he was ready to go!

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Setting out (a little fuzzy, but one of the only ones of Alyssa)

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Kylie & Wyatt

Checking out the neighbors decorations

Checking out the neighbors’ decorations

Kylie was thrilled her want actually glowed!

Kylie was thrilled her want actually glowed!

And just to mess with you, here they are trying on each others costumes.

And just to mess with you, here they are trying on each others costumes.

So… Happy Halloween everyone!!! I am seriously going to try to post this in a more timely fashion next time 🙂

Published in: on January 9, 2014 at 1:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Halloween Inspiration

Halloween is right around the corner, and for the first year ever my girls have picked who they want to be themselves! At first when I asked them they would only say things they have been in the past and I had to explain to them many times that they got to pick something new this year… whatever they wanted!

Let me say, my kids don’t watch TV, and have only watched 2-3 movies ever (and over the course of multiples days.) They do know many characters including Elmo, Big Bird, Disney Princess, Thomas the Train, etc. from reading books.

About two months ago they decided that Alyssa would be Pinocchio and Kylie would be the Blue Fairy. And because I love a theme my Little Man will be Jiminy Cricket. Now, I firmly believe Alyssa is the only one people will recognize as what she picked. She will look like Pinocchio. Most people (unless they read this) will think Kylie is Cinderella, because of the color of her dress and Cinderella’s popularity. And frankly, in talking to most people not many actually even know who the Blue Fairy was. I guess that’s what happens when you pick a character from a movie made over 70 years ago… And Wyatt as Jiminy Cricket. Honestly, if I can get that boy to wear his costume I’ll be happy. He has been less than cooperative in helping me make and fit it so far. Either way, I think he will just look like a very fancy little man.

I do love that being a sewer I am able to makes all my kids’ dreams come true with their costumes. I don’t have to try to find some cookie cutter costume or spend an obscene amount of money on Etsy, I can just create for them. And as I look back at the costumes I made for the girls’ first Halloween… oh how my skills have improved. 🙂 Anyways, I don’t want to show off their costumes yet, and Wyatt’s is still unfinished, but here is a page from the book in case you need help picturing the characters.

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Published in: on October 11, 2013 at 3:18 pm  Comments (2)  
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A Quick Case

I apologize for my lack of blogging lately. Everything is fine here, so don’t worry about us, I just have been really busy. The girls requested (last week) that they each get a blue owl quilt for their birthday. That’s two new quilts in less than three weeks. On top of that I need to finish making invitations to Wyatt’s birthday party (Holy moly, can the Little Man really be almost one?!) which need to go out by the beginning of February since we might get some out of town guests. Oh ya, and we are making a family trip up to my family’s cabin in Big Bear, Ca too. Anyways, between the crafting and the home running and the kid raising, my blogging has fallen to the bottom of my list.

Sometimes when I get deep into the middle of a big craft project I like to break it up with something quick and easy with results I can see immediately. I needed something to start and finish during nap time. I had bought this fabric when I was shopping for quilt prints. It wasn’t on my list, but what just too cute to pass up. It matched the girls room perfectly, so I decided to make simple pillowcases with a contrast trim and for their beds.

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Want to make your own?

Start with two fabrics:

Main fabric- 26 in by 41 in. (if you are using a fabric with a specific direction like mine the short side should follow the print, and the long side should be perpendicular)

Trim fabric- 10 in by 41 in

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Line up the edge of your main fabric (wrong side) to the outside edge of your trim (right side) and roll your main fabric up about 1/2 way into the trim.

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Fold over the trim fabric, enclosing the main fabric inside and pin.

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Stitch and then pull out the main fabric.

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Press. Fold pillowcase in half and pin the right sides together. Yes, right sides together. We’ll be using a french seam, so there will be no raw edges inside your pillowcase. Sew along side and bottom using a 1/4 inch seam.

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Turn inside out and press open. Sew along the side and bottom, this time using a 5/8 inch seam. This will completely enclose the other seam living no raw edges inside. Turn right side out and press. Add pillow and enjoy!

Published in: on January 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Comparing & Coloring

I have twins, and they are identical too. This invites a lot of people to try to compare them to each other. It happened much more when they were babies.

“Have they both started to crawl yet?”

“Who is the better sleeper?”

“Do you have the same discipline problems with both?”

I get it. Twins are interesting and people are curious, but it makes me crazy. I feel like there can be so much pressure on them to do things in the same way at the same time. Since their little egg split these two are different people. They may save the same DNA but have different personalities and interests. It didn’t matter that Alyssa started crawling a month after Kylie, she ended up walking first. And so what if Kylie isn’t as good at catching a ball as Alyssa? She is better at drawing. And in a couple of years if one wants to do karate and one wants to take piano lessons then that just sounds perfect to me.

And just because I am a proud little mama, here is a picture Kylie colored yesterday. I think she did a pretty good job for still being two years old! She is getting better at coloring in the lines (all on her own, we don’t tell her she needs to!) and worked especially hard on Big Bird’s beak and feet.

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Published in: on January 14, 2013 at 12:56 pm  Comments (1)  
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When Santa Comes

I wanted to give a little preview of what it will look like in our home when Santa visits. I know everyone isn’t into the Santa thing and that’s fine. I also think it is a super fun tradition and we are totally going to let our kids enjoy it as long as we can. This is the first year the girls really have any idea about who Santa is. They do know he might bring them presents, but I am not sure they see him much different than they do Dora or Elmo. They have said they want to sit on his lap and touch his beard, so we will see after we make our visit in a couple of weeks. They want Boy, our Elf on the Shelf, to tell Santa good things about them, but that is mostly because they want Santa to say “Wow!” Anyways, I was thinking about what to do with the gifts he will be bringing for them. Should they be wrapped, or unwrapped? There are some people who feel very strongly either way. We always did wrapped, and unwrapping is half the fun, right? But it is clear that Santa needs a different paper from the rest of the family. His elves do wrap them all the way up at the North Pole, so there is no way they could borrow our paper. And since I was going to get something different anyways  I decided to make it special.

Just what should presents from Santa look like? Here is what I came up with:

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I decided to do classic brown paper. I mean the elves sure have lots of presents to wrap, to kids of all ages and both genders. Something pretty basic and simple seems like what Santa would choose. Red twine wrapped around and tied in a bow seemed like a perfect choice to add touch of Christmas color. Then of course it needed a stamp to say who it was from, an official Santa seal. I made this stamp using an eraser. Click here for the file. I obviously did a simple version of the letters since I was cutting it on a stamp, but you get the idea. And yes, it is supposed to be backwards, so when you stamp it it comes out correct.

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That’s it! Perfect for any good little girl or boy!

Published in: on December 5, 2012 at 8:12 am  Comments (4)  
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Lissie’s Lion

If you are a regular reader, you know I am amazed at my kids artistic ability. I have a new one to share today. Alyssa asked me to draw a lion for her right before I made breakfast. I did. Here is what my simple lion looked like.

A few minutes later she came back to show me her lion. Now, I do know that is isn’t an exact replica, and you have to really want to see it to even guess what it is, but I was so impressed with how she tried to reproduce what I had drawn. He has the circle head, the pointy mane, and a little detail for the face.

Either way, my kids love to express themselves through art, and I couldn’t be more proud of who they are.

Published in: on October 17, 2012 at 10:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Kylie’s Baby

My girls are almost two and a half, and  as you might expect for this age not much of their artwork is more than circles and scribbles. But, every once in a while you can actually see what it is that they said they drew. Case and point this picture Kylie drew of a doggie. I didn’t believe it when Russell first told me she drew that.

We had a similar experience the other day while we were Skyping with my mom. The girls were coloring in the background when all of a sudden Kylie lifted up her picture and told me she drew a baby. And sure enough, that is a damn fine looking baby for a 2 year old to draw!

I showed it to my mom and then quickly snatched it away from her to save for her baby book. Most of the time they just go crazy and color over things so much you can’t see what is used to be anymore, and I didn’t want her to mess up this drawing. We just might have a future artist on our hands. Which reminds me of a quote I read recently that I thought was funny.

“My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.” – Pablo Picasso

Published in: on August 2, 2012 at 12:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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My First Quilt

The first quilt I ever made was not for my son. It wasn’t for one of my daughters either.

It wasn’t a baby shower gift for a friend of mine. In fact, I have no idea who it will go to.

I do know she will be sick. I know she will be in the hospital for one reason or another.

I know this because I made it for Quilts for Kids.

And for the little girl who chooses my quilt, I hope it will help add a little smile to her face.

Quilts for Kids depends on volunteers to sew patchwork quilts which are then distributed to hospitals to comfort children with life-threatening illnesses and children of abuse. Can you sew? Do you have a little time you would be willing to donate? (I made my first quilt in a little less than two days, with all three of my kids around!) You don’t even have to buy or cut the fabric yourself. Quilts for Kids will mail you a quilt kit with the fabric already cut. Yes, you read that right! All you have to do it sew it, add the batting, and mail it back. Easy Peasy! And think of the how much it will mean to a little boy or girl who is stuck in a hospital bed.

Here is the link for your FREE quilt kit.

If you have extra fabric laying around, or prefer to purchase the fabric yourself here is a link with patterns and yardage for quilts they can accept. (No fleece or hand tied quilts as they can get caught on IVs) If you have never quilted before no worries! The four patch quilt is super easy and the kit comes with instructions. I do know I will be making many more quilts for them over the years.