Monday, November 29, 2010

A Little bit of Holiday DIY

Well, we made it through another holiday. I hope yours was wonderful and yummy! Ours was very nice. It was great to see family and just relax for a couple of days. Rory and I were a little under the weather so it was helpful to have a few extra hands around to take care of the both of us.

We extended our holiday visit with family an extra day to hold a craft day together. It was a nice break from all of the birthday crafting maddness I have been surrounded by lately. So I will extend the birthday interuption to you and share a little holiday diy project we worked on. I tried taking pictures as we went along but it was nighttime and they just didn't come out. So I will explain the process the best I can. It was very simple and very affordable.

Semi-Homemade Advent Calendar

(please excuse the poor quality of the photos)

What you will need:

-1 1/4 yard of wool felt for the backing
-2 - 1/4 yards of wool felt in two different colors for the pockets
-felt decals to decorate each pocket
-glitter fabric paint (i used two different colors)
-embroidery thread
-1/2 inch thick wooden dowel
-2 yards of fabric cord of your liking
-glue gun
-sewing machine

Please keep in mind that the measurements I provide are rather large, many that I found online have much smaller pockets. It was sized this way so that we can fit gifts big enough for a baby in each pocket. Feel free to adjust measurments as you see fit.

Step 1

Cut the large piece of felt to size, 46 inches long by 28 inches wide (I did not cut the width but simply folded the yardage in half so that it was stronger once gifts were inserted). Sew a 1/4 inch seem around the entire rectangle. Fold the top 3 - 4 inches over to the back and sew to create a sleeve for the wooden dowel to slide through.

Step 2

Cut 24 - 5 x 5 inch squares. 12 in one color and 12 in the other. I chose blue and green cause I don't really like red all that much and snowflakes can be blue right!?

After cutting your squares go ahead and decorate them. I thought about sewing them on first but then i was worried that I would make a mistake while decorating and have to rip it off, so do what you please but I decorated first.

This is the semi-homemade part. We found these felt decorations in the $1 bin at JoAnn Fabrics. We grabbed 4 bags of them (we still have a ton left over) and I glued them on to each pocket. You can use fabric glue for this part or just use the glue gun since you already have that out. I used the glitter fabric paint (also got these in the $1 bin) to write on the numbers and add a little sparkle to each of the felt cutouts.

Step 3

Sew the pockets on to your backing. Don't forget to leave the top of each pocket open! hehe!

Step 4

This step is totally optional. I used embroidery thread to add a lovely stitch along the border of the calendar. I think it looks nice with or without it.

Step 5

Before you add your dowel make sure that it isn't too long. Mine is, I forgot to shorten it while I was at my family's and I don't own a saw. Take your cord and glue it to the dowel. I wrapped it around the dowel twice and then sprialed it up the loose peice of cord for a little prettiness.

Slip the dowel through the sleeve in the calendar and glue the cord to the other end the same way you did the first one.

Step 6

Add all of the presents and surprise a special little person (or a big person, adults can have advent calendars too!!).

I think we spent less than $30 on this project and we have enough supplies leftover to make another one when our family grows again.

Happy crafting!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Little Thanksgiving Treat

With so many things that I am thankful for this year a list would simply be too long for me to write. But I must do a few shout outs.

I am most thankful for my sweet Rory coming into my life. We are celebrating our very first thanksgiving together and I have never had more to be thankful for, ever. She is my greatest joy, my greatest love and she gives the greatest meaning to my life.

TJ is a wonderful husband and works so hard that I must thank him for taking such great care of his family. We love him so very much and life would not be so easy and wholesome if it weren't for him. He takes very good care of us! Thank you for that and for putting up with all of my chaos.

To my readers and my customers, I am so very thankful that you read my musings. I truly enjoy having a creative outlet and when in doubt of what I do, I find solace in each and every one of your comments and emails. Thank you. My  customers, thank you so very much! You are the reason that I am able to stay home with my baby and watch her grow. You are also the reason I can be home and keep my creative needs satisfied. Making the jewelry that you love so much gives me great pleasure and provides me with a personal outlet. I love caring for Rory, but I need to have something to do for myself and making jewelry and other crafts fully satisfies that need. Thank you.

So as a thank you to everyone out there, I am offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders from now until Tuesday Nov. 30. And as a special thank you for those of you who read this I offer a 15% discount plus free shipping on your entire purchase just enter coupon code LOVELIES15 at checkout.

I hope you all have an amazing holiday and have as much to be thankful for as I do.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the admirable ampersand

I totally meant to post this a couple of days ago..ooops. Rory and I have been a little bit under the weather, first her and now me and with my mind wrapped around her party and the holidays I'm just all over the place and stuck in bed.

Anyway, a big thank you to RameOttone for featuring my dainty ampersand necklace in this totally cool treasury!

I don't know why but I totally have a thing for ampersands! I even have a small collection of letterpress pieces, prints and a few others.

Mission Macaroon and yet, another homemade celebration

A certain little girls very first birthday is upon us and I've been a very busy mommy preparing for it. It took me a while to settle on a theme for her celebration. And after going back and forth, many times, we chose owls, which only makes sense cause we are slightly obsessed with owls in this family. So after checking out every party store online and several in our area, I realized that purchased party supplies are just a little too generic for our crafty family. Therefore, we have yet another homemade holiday celebration upon us.

I have been a little absent from the blogging world as of late and it is because I am up to my elbows in party preparation and decoration making. Some of it has been fun, some has been a flop but we keep trucking and over the next two weeks I will be sharing some of my homemade decorations and diy ideas for you crafty mommies/non-mommies out there.

My first homemade celebration post is one of many to come on the subject of Macaroons. This is a several part series for many reasons. Macaroons are super tricky to make! They are also a rather popular treat among bloggers and etsians and pretty much the rest of the world cause they are just sooooo yummy and pretty! I'm not very good at baking, it's just not my thing. You should see what I do to brownies, yes the kind in a box, I kill them everytime. So that being said, you may understand why trying to make such a difficult treat is a big deal to me.

I did so much reasearch to find the right recipe. I started at your general go-to spots for recipes like food network,,, etc. I just wasn't finding a recipe that jumped out at me. So next I moved on to the blogging world and other less mainstream websites. After hours and days of searching, I decided to go with this recipe that I found through this lovely blog and used these helpful tips to perfect it.

For my first try, I accidently added the powdered sugar and almond mix to the eggs instead of the granulated sugar which was a big mistake and forced me to start over. My second try was quickly ended when my room temperature egg whites landed on the floor (thank you darling husband). But the third try was a charm! Those of you who have tried their hands at baking macaroons will understand that I jumped for joy when they came out of the oven with feet. And by the last sheet pan, I wasn't even burning them anymore! We only got a few unburnt cookies out of this batch but I now know exactly how to set the oven and time them (every oven is different you know).

Being the perfectionist that I am, I brought my macaroons to the cafe' I work at and had the pastry chef's give them a try and provide some constructive critisism. With their tips and some expereince under my belt I am headed off to try the next round. This time pink and purple macaroons to match our pink and purple owls! 

I'll be back with some more handmade birthday decorations soon!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gifts to Get for Her Who Desires Red

My sweet Scarlet ring was featured in a really fun treasury today. A big thank you to Whimsical Love for including my work in her treasures. I love this treasury because it is so different than the others my jewelry has been featured in, it's a little dark and seductive. I think that Scarlet fits in just perfectly don't you?

Gifts to Get for Her Who Desires Red


Friday, November 5, 2010

Dainty Ampersand Giveaway!

As promised, I am giving away a Dainty Ampersand necklace from Le Petite Pretty in celebration of 60 sales. I know it doesn't sound like many sales but I'm so very excited as I was not sure if my shop would even take off when I first opened it in March and it has.

When I opened, my goal was to sell 1 necklace a week (or rather 4 a month as I sold 2 some weeks and none others). I didn't want to shoot too high and be dissappointed but I knew I had to set a goal for myself. Almost every month since I opened shop I surpassed my goal and now that I have hit 60 sales I am setting a new goal for myself, I am doubling my last goal and now I would like to sell 8 necklaces every month. I'm a little nervous that I may not make that as I do not handle dissappointment well but there it is, for everyone to hold me to, my new goal.

Well, enough babbling on, here are the giveaway details and rules!

Simple, dainty little 1/2 inch brass charm hand stamped with the ampersand symbol dangles from a 16" antique brass chain.
To enter you can do any of the following things:
1. Become a follower (mandatory),
2. Take a peak at my shop and tell me what your favorite item is,
3. Tweet or Facebook about the giveaway,
4. Blog about the giveaway on your blog,
5. Fan me on Facebook,
6. Purchase anything from LePetitePretty and get 5 extra entries!

If you do everything above you can enter up to 11 times!!!! Isn't that fabulous!

Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry.

Ex. Blogged about giveaway

Tweeted about giveaway

ALL ENTRIES MUST INCLUDE AN EMAIL ADDRESS. If you are selected and you did not post an email address, the prize will go to the next entry selected. Contest is open to everyone, overseas too!

Contest ends Monday, November 15th at midnight.

Winner will be announced on Tuesday, November 16th so check back to see if you won!
Good Luck!

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Little Bumble Bee

I love Halloween, and though I didn't dress up this year, the festivities certainly made up for the lack of costume. We decided to celebrate out in the Berkshires with our family. We celebrated with a special pumpkin patch Halloween cake from Bread Euphoria. We made decorations, carved pumpkins and took a whole bunch of pictures. Rory received a fun gift from her grandma and her grandpa, auntie and uncle came for a visit. It was a cold, long day but a fun one that is for sure.

Here are a few pictures from Rory's first Halloween. 

She loved the leaves

Until she finally realized how cold out it was

And she refused to keep her hat on

Trick-or-Treat began at 5 o'clock, which is exactly when Rory decided to take a nap

It was so cold last night that it actually snowed! Oh yes, I said snow! I took a picture to prove it but blogger won't upload it. Even blogger isn't happy to see snow yet. 

We had a great 1st Halloween celebration! I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween too!