October 24, 2012

Sisters Baby Shower

My sister in law is due with her first at the end of this year.  Her sister is due soon as well and their mom decided to throw them a double Sisters Shower.  I can't make it to the shower due to hundreds of miles of Nevada desert between me and the party, but I got to do the next best thing...make decorations and invites for it!

Paper Ball chains from MADE.  So easy to make if you have a circle punch and can sew a straight-ish line.  I only "fluffed" the first few balls on the chain so they wouldn't get crushed in the mail.  

Welcome sign for the front door.  We don't know the gender of one of the babies yet, so we are going with polka dots in neutral colors.

Food labels.  I wrote out what I knew would be served (brunch, yum!), but sent a bunch of blank ones as well, just in case there were menu changes or additions.

Banner for the fireplace.  I didn't string it together for mailing purposes again.  It was fun to coordinate everything with the same polka dot theme.

 The invitations.  The girls' mom came up with the little saying at the beginning and I took care of the rest.  I've had the digital scrapbook paper and embellishment on my computer for while now, sorry I don't know the source.  I'm sure it was free though, I don't normally pay for digital scrapbook stuff.

 We also included a little insert with the invitation explaining group gift options and registry information.  I hope you have a wonderful shower Tiffany and Katie!  Wish I could be there!

October 23, 2012

Mini Halloween Pennants

Made these mini Halloween pennants for some "BOO baskets" to hand out last week.  They are a much smaller version of what is hanging on my fireplace, printed from HERE last year.  Still love them and love that my Mac can shrink these babies down so easily, then just hit "Print".

Happy Haunting!

October 22, 2012

Usain Bolt Halloween Costume

My five year old is severely autistic and is in a running away phase.  Considering he has little self preservation skills no verbal skills at all, it makes it very scary when he bolts away from us.  He has shown to have an uncanny ability to wait for the right moment of parental distraction to break away and he is FAST.  Kind of like the world's fastest human, Usain Bolt.  My mom thought up the idea to have Austin be him for Halloween, since he fits the bill so nicely.  I loved the idea and got to work.

Picked up a child's running shirt and pants (who knew they made them this size?!) and added a little vinyl.  I had to recheck a few times to make sure I spelled the country correctly, it just looks wrong to me...


And what is a world class runner without a racing bib?  I tried to replicate what was worn at the Olympics.  There will be another one for the back with a number on it instead of the name.  This is the perfect costume for my son, not only because it's so appropriate, but because it's loose, comfortable, and doesn't have anything on his head.  So many costumes have head gear and he won't tolerate it.  Hope you like it, buddy.....Ready?....Set....GO!

October 21, 2012

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1)The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Kate has been chosen by Hades (Henry) to save the world.  She must pass a series of tests in order to save her dying mother, and in turn, perhaps save Henry and the Underworld too.  The only problem is that someone is trying to make sure that Kate not only fails the tests but will die trying.

The premise of this book had such promise, I loved the idea and the opening characters were really good.  As the book went on, the plot became more and more flimsy until it kind of unraveled in your lap.  A good effort, just not enough substance there to keep me engaged in the end.  Don't think I'll keep reading these.

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October 20, 2012

Little Irish Girl Quilt

One of my son's autism tutors recently had her first baby, a girl!  Knowing that the mom loved her Irish heritage (her wedding colors were even orange, green, and white), we decided a little tribute to Ireland for the baby was in order.

I do realize if this was a flag it would be upside down.  I already gave her the quilt before I realized my mistake and couldn't retake the pictures.  Luckily, this is just a loose interpretation and can just pretend it's a color block quilt instead, right?

Backing was a simple yellow floral print.  We didn't know the gender at the time I was making the quilt, otherwise we may have thrown in a bit of pink here.

There is the correct way for the flag!  I quilted a lot of small width straight lines with a couple of wider strips down each color, for some visual and textural interest.

I'm not going to lie, it took a while to sew all of those lines, but it was a worth it in the end.  The quilt washed up beautifully and is super soft.

Congrats to the Nelson family!  Can't wait to see more pictures of their little Irish girl!

October 19, 2012

Book Review: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, #3)The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once again Percy, Annabeth, and their demigod friends are out to save the world from utter destruction.  Can they stop Gaea in time from fully waking and raising her giant army? Can the Roman and Greek demigods function together and work as a team?  Aboard their trusty air ship, the Argo II, the prophecy of the seven begins to unfold....

I loved this book and can't wait for the next in the series.  The only reason it didn't get 5 stars is that it wasn't quite as gripping to me as some of Riordan's others.  It seems to be the plight of the "middle of the series" books.  It's really hard not to have them come across as fillers for the books before and after them.  The plot did move along and we are making progress on their quest, but there wasn't a twist in this one like I have grown to expect.  Maybe there will be a double twist in the next installment to make up for it.  And I was completely wrong in my guess about how Hazel and Leo are connected.  There may be more to the story though, we'll see.  Can't believe we have to wait a year for the next book!

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Party Favors Using Disc Sleeves

I did a low-key baby shower for a friend at a local restaurant recently.  As a parting gift, I needed something that could be passed out and taken home without a fuss.  I saw a very similar version of this on Pinterest, but of course, now I can't find the picture or link because I didn't pin it, oops.  Lesson learned.  So, I didn't come up with this one on my own, but I wish I had!  I baked my favorite chocolate chip cookies, wrapped them in plastic, and placed each cookie in a CD sleeve.  A cute vinyl elephant on the front, a little sticker on the back that read, "Love you a TON, thanks for coming!", and we were good to go.  I'll probably do this again, it worked great and they turned out really cute.  Thanks Pinterest and photo link that I can't find!

October 18, 2012

Elephant Chevron Quilt

My dear friend, Stefanie, is expecting a baby any day now...we are so excited to meet their newest addition and I have a had a lot of fun scheming and dreaming up a beautiful nursery with her.  We were inspired by THIS and THIS, going with an elephant theme in grays, white, and yellows.  We don't know the gender of the baby, so we will finish the rest of the nursery with some teal or pink...I'll take pictures once the baby is here and we have finished decorating.

This quilt was so fun to make.  We found some gorgeous gray fabric that kind of looks like elephant skin, paired it with a monochromatic dot white and a pop of yellow along the edge.  I loved learning how to do rounded corners for the first time and made my own bias tape using THIS tutorial from MADE.  Love her blog.

Used a black, gray, and white toned thread and followed the chevron lines.  Sorry for the date stamp on all of these pictures, it's a new camera and I'm still learning the ropes.

The back is a solid piece of smaller scale gray and white chevron.

A little heat transfer vinyl in the corner so this baby knows which "auntie" loves him/her the best.

Outtakes.  Trying to get some pictures of the quilt with two of my boys holding it up.  My five year old, who has autism, wanted in on the action.

He actually confiscated the quilt for a while and snuggled in.  Hey, if he hunkers down for a good cuddle, then you know did a good job.  He is a bit of a blanket snob.

Packaged up and driving it over to the new nursery.  This quilt was so much fun to make....no more twin size or larger for me!  Baby quilts are the way to go, they are so much easier to handle due to their smaller size and you get to see the fruits of your labor so much faster.  Can't wait to make another one.  Congrats to Stef and family...we are waiting for the call from the hospital and the cell phone picture announcement!

October 17, 2012

Book Review: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

The DovekeepersThe Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The stories of four women during the Masada massacre in 70 C.E.  According to history, only two women and five children survived the Roman attack.  This is a fictional story from the Dovekeepers' point of view of how the events leading up to that horrific day took place.

I liked the descriptions and some of the relationships between characters.  I had a hard time connecting with any of the women though, they just didn't seem like real people to me.  It was graphic at times and littered with scenes of these "bold, resourceful, and sensuous" women in situations I just simply could not believe, at that time period, they would have acted that way.  It was almost like the author took the ideal modern version of today's woman and threw her into the 70 C.E. world.  I can see some of them being bold in life threatening situations and definitely resourceful... you had to be back then to survive.  The sensuous vibe was just too much, not realistic at all and created a disconnect with me as a reader.  It made the characters more fictional to me than real life.

I did enjoy the cultural references, descriptions were vivid and clear, and there were a few aspects of the story that I really enjoyed. 2.5 stars, not really interested in reading more from this author unless I get a recommendation from a friend.

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October 16, 2012

Angry Birds Game (Life Size)

Recently, I was in charge of a large activity for the youth of our church.  The 14 and 15 year old girls and I decided to do an Angry Birds night, inspired by THIS and THIS blog.  It was a lot of fun to put together and I think the kids had a good time too.

Reading the scripture trivia questions to earn point for birds to shoot at the other team's structure.

We had a Red Bird team and a Yellow Bird team.  One would be shooting the birds and the other team would build their structure with the pigs.  Then, they would switch roles.  Which ever team had the most points by the end of the night won.

 We asked our ward congregation to donate boxes a couple weeks prior to our event.  We had great response, with more than enough boxes to spare.

Our piggies were balloons with a couple of coins inside (so they wouldn't roll off the boxes) and some taped on faces.

Our sling shot and birds were a water balloon launcher and some kick balls.

It was a little tricky at first, but by the end of the night, we got the hang of the launcher and hit a few pigs down.

At the end of the night, the winning team got their choice of candy bar to take home and then snacks for everyone.  The best part was that everyone pitched at the end to collapse the boxes and hauled them out to the recycle dumpster.  Less than 15 minutes and everything was cleaned up and gone!  A big thanks to everyone to helped, it was a lot of fun!

If you would like more details about this activity, please leave me your questions in the comments section along with a way to contact you.  More than happy to help!

October 4, 2012

Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl: A Tutorial

I am familiar with T-shirt vinyl or heat transfer vinyl, but I have yet to delve into the world of specialty T-shirt vinyls.  There are patterned, glow in the dark, flocked, and glitter...probably more, but I just don't know about them.  The glitter vinyl sheets are much thicker than regular vinyl, so if you are using a cutting machine, you will have to adjust the blade depth accordingly.

Once you have your image (I cut mine with my Silhouette), how do you get it on the fabric?  Well, you're in luck, cause I took pictures along the way and I will explain it to you.

First off....supplies:

T-shirt vinyl image with plastic still attached

clothing item

clean, cotton cloth (I use my kitchen flour sack towels)

iron and ironing board

 STEP ONE:  Iron your clothing so there are no wrinkles.

 STEP TWO:  Place your vinyl image on your clothing.

Quick tangent:  You want to make sure that you place the vinyl image on correctly.  There is the vinyl image itself (the red, glittery Tootsie Pop Indian in this case) and the plastic sheet that keeps all the pieces of the vinyl grouped together.  There is a sticky side to the plastic and a smooth side.  When you place the image on your clothing to be ironed, you want the sticky side facing DOWN, touching the fabric and the smooth plastic side UP.

The picture above is with the sticky side of the plastic up...DO NOT iron it this way! You will iron the image onto your cotton dish towel instead of your clothing (not that I've learned that from experience or anything, ha!)

This picture is with the sticky side down, the correct way to iron it on your clothing.  You can kind of see the sheen of the shiny side of the plastic.


 STEP THREE:  Ok, once you've got your image placed where you want it and with the sticky side DOWN, you can place your cotton cloth on top of the image and press the iron firmly down on all the layers.

A few tips:

Turn off the steam on your iron.

Don't use the highest setting on your iron; mine is from 1-6 and I use about a 4, works great.

Press firmly without wiggling the iron around (it could shift your vinyl image) for about 45 seconds.

STEP FOUR:  Take off your cotton cloth and let the image cool slightly.  Slowly begin to peel the plastic off.  It should come off easily.  If any part of the vinyl is still sticking to the plastic, place the plastic back down, cover it up again with your cotton cloth, and iron that spot for a little longer.  Try 20 seconds or so and then see if the plastic peels easily.  Repeat as needed.

STEP FIVE:  Once the plastic is off completely, I replace my cotton cloth again and iron it once more for another 30 seconds or so.  It's probably not necessary, but it makes me feel like I'm really "sealing it in".

And that, my friends, is it!  Easy, peasy.  Wash on gentle cycle inside out and dry on low heat.  If any part of the image begins to peel up from the fabric, just get out your trusty cotton cloth, iron, and reapply some heat.  I have had great success with my regular T-shirt vinyl staying on my boys' shirts, they are pretty rough on their clothes too.  We'll see how the glitter vinyl holds up....  I'll let you know after a few washes.

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