Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mickey Birthday Shirt

The one picture I didn't get throughout the party was a good one of Grant's shirt.   My mom found this white shirt for $1 (SCORE!).  I printed Grant's name in Mickey font I downloaded from, slipped it under the front of his shirt and traced the letters with a water soluble quilting pen.  Then I just embroidered the letters.

I didn't have any black fabric and rather than go buy some I decided to be really thrifty and use one of the old t-shirts we had in our give away pile.  I used the Mickey head image from my Cricut to make the head.  I backed it with heat and bond and stitched it with my sewing machine.  I printed the 2 in Mickey font then traced it with the water soluble pen and cut it out of red fabric I already had in my stash.  I backed it with heat and bond, ironed it on, and hand stitched it to the shirt.

I had intended for the shirt to be a lot more detailed and a lot  more colorful but time constraints (since I actually forgot about finishing the shirt until the day before the party) forced me to make it a little more simple.  However I'm really happy with the simplicity of it.  Grant kept trying to look at the back of his shirt to see Mickey while it was on him, too cute!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 2nd Birthday!

My son's birthday party was this weekend.  Normally once a party or shower is over I feel relieved to have it behind me and start crafting for the next one but I'm really sad his 2nd birthday is over.  I was looking back on pictures of my little guy from his first year and started tearing up.  It seems like forever ago since he was born and yet like it was just yesterday at the same time.

We did a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme this year and I set a challenge for myself.  To have a birthday party with food, cake, favors, and decorations with a budget set at $50.  Why did I do this you ask,  it seems everything nowadays is getting bigger and bigger, that includes birthdays.  I've seen some on tv, talked to friends and family members as they have been in the midst of party planning and i've heard mentions of decorations alone costing over $60, cakes $80 or more and entire parties costing in the hundreds, my mouth hits the floor every time.  If there is one thing I want to teach my son as he grows up it's to appreciate simplicity and the value of a dollar.  I could have spent more than the $50 I alotted myself but why?  If I can get the party I want for Grant and have all the things I know he will love, why spend a fortune that could be put towards something else for him. 

For food we had a hot dog bar complete with all kinds of toppings for hot dogs, cheese puffs, pretzels, potato wedges,deviled eggs, bacon ranch pasta salad, coleslaw, iced sugar cookies, and chocolate peanut butter cupcakes I made myself.  Most of these items were purchased over the last couple months with coupons.  For example the hot dogs cost all of $0.17/package, the ranch dressing for the pasta salad was $0.39, and the sugar cookies were made from a Betty Crocker sugar cookie pouch I got for free.  I am so proud of the party I was able to put together for the small budget I set for myself and I can honestly say there was nothing I was wishing I had bought or done differently.

Now onto the party.....

Centerpiece #1: All the images were cut with my cricut and attached to kabob skewers with tape.If you don't have a cricut you could easily print similar images off the internet and cut around them.  The bottom is just a wide drinking glass I stuffed 2 sheets of tissue paper down in and then wrapped it with another piece putting a rubber band around the top to hold it in place.
Centerpiece #2: The table runner under this centerpiece runs the lengths of the bar and is just strips of crepe paper streamers sewed together.  If you don't have a sewing machine you could easily tape them together on the bottom and get the same effect.  I cut 1 1/2inch black mickey heads to scatter around the table runner and act as confetti, these were also cut using my cricut.
I loved this cupcake stand and the cupcakes on it.  The stand is 3 boxes (a Special K granola bar box, shipping box, and the lid of a copy paper box) wrapped in red wrapping paper from the dollar store and stacked on top of each other.   One thing I learned with the small budget challenge was to use what you have and make it work.  This cupcake stand is a perfect example of that. The black Mickey images were cut with my Cricut using the Mickey and Friends cartridge.  I made the cupcake toppers myself using red chocolate from Hobby Lobby and a Wilton squeeze bottle.  I piped them with the squeeze bottle onto wax paper, put them in the fridge for about 10 minutes then popped them off and put them on the cupcakes with the flat side facing out.
I used some items we already had to decorate like the stuffed Mickey and the frames that held Grants 2 year pictures and subway art. 2 board books I found at the Target dollar spot are placed on either side of Mickey.
I made the birthday banner out of cardstock and fabric.  I cut the cardstock pennants with my cricut as well as the letters.  Using those as a guide I drew a template for the larger fabric pennants to go behind them.  I used glue dots to attach the letters to the cardstock and I stitched the cardstock to the fabric.  I then made my own bias tape to attach them all at the top and stitched it as well.  I was so excited with how this banner turned out and how well it went with the party without screaming "Mickey Mouse".

I made the character images with my cricut. I adored the mickey/circle garland.  I used primary colored cardstock, cut the Mickey heads and circles out with my cricut them stitched them together.  The effect was perfect and Grant loved them.  I can say the only thing I hate about making homemade decorations is I can't bear to throw away all my super cute hard work haha.
I purchased this blue bucket at the Dollar Tree for the ice and water bottles.  I showed the water bottle labels I made here.  I don't buy a bunch of 2 liters of sodas any more because the cost tends to add up & in the end your left with half a dozen 2 liters 1/2 full, and they end up going to waste.  Instead I have started making a large pitcher of homemade strawberry lemonade and sweet tea.  I figure anyone who doesn't like either of those can choose the bottled water.
I used the Mickey/circle garland I made out of cardstock to drape each of the windows.  After draping them I felt they were too plain and I immediately thought of window clings.  I used to love those when I was a kid.  I used my cricut and cut Mickey heads in 7 1/2 inches and 4 1/2 inches and stuck them to the windows.  Grant kept walking over to the windows and pointing saying "Mi, Mi" (Mickey).  After the party I took all the small colored ones and stuck them on the wall next to my son's bed, he loved it.
I was trying to get a better view of the table runner I made with crepe paper streamers and confetti in the picture above.  We also used water bottles as balloon weights.  I forgot to tell my husband to get weights when he went to pick them up so we improvised.
 For a game we had Mickey Mouse bowling I made with empty soup cans and cardstock.  Grant loved stacking them up and throwing the ball to knock them all down.  He hasn't quite gotten the hang of rolling the ball.
I made treat bags for the 2 little guests we had.  I debated for a long time on what to put in them and eventually decided to put in Grant's favorite goodies.  So inside were fruit snacks, lucky charms breakfast bar, homemade tootsie rolls, and a Minnie Mouse board book (because both were girls).
I posted about the Invites here.
I had so much fun planning, preparing, and putting together this birthday and I couldn't be happier with the results.  Grant had a great time with people he loves celebrating his 2nd year and that's the important thing.
Happy Birthday My Little Man!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mr & Mrs Potato Head Costume

My original plan was to make my son a Popeye costume for Halloween.  I purchased the shirt and fabric for the sailor hat and muscles.  I cut & sewed the hat which didn't turn out at all like I wanted it to but I was gonna make it work, then cut and sewed what was supposed to be the muscles and realized I cut them out wrong.  I wasn't paying attention to what direction I layed the pattern on the knit fabric and there was no stretch to it so it hit the trash.  I hadn't bought enough fabric to try them again and decided I needed something a little simpler.

Enter, Mr Potato Head.  My son loves Toy Story and has since he was 3 months old... Yes you read that right, 3 months.  He used to lay on his play mat and sqeal and kick watching Toy Story on our little TV.  While watching it the other day I thought it would have made a quick, easy, and really cute costume for Grant.  When Popeye wasn't working I knew I had to go with Potato Head.

I free handed the body, eyes, mouth, nose, ears, and mustache and cut them out of felt.  After seeing how cute it turned out and realizing how simple it was to make I thought I had to make my niece, Sophie, a Mrs. Potato Head costume so they could match.

Here are what the face pieces look like:

If I was a really great blogger or a little more tech savvy I would have these attached to a PDF link so everyone could print them off.  Unfortunately I have no clue how to do that (wish so much that I did) so I uploaded them as pictures just so everyone could get the general idea,
In case you're wondering, yes I do know the above pattern is upside down, but with a nearly 2 year old by my side amazed by the noises my scanner/printer was making and wanting  to push every button on it, I was not about to attempt scanning it right side up.
To make the body I first did some measurements.  I measured from shoulder to shoulder, then from neck to how long I wanted to costume to be.  I made mine come to just above the knee.  I used a water soluble pen to make all the markings and the body shape, that way if I messed up I could easily erase my mistakes.
I cut the shoulder pieces of the body on the fold of the felt so I would'nt have to sew the front and back together at the shoulder.
Mrs. Potato Head's purse/treat bag:
I did not sew the front and back together at the sides because when I tried them on I realized they would be too constricting.  So instead I cut a piece of tan felt about 3 inches wide and 3 inches tall and stitched it on either side.
This made the costume very easy for the kids to run, play, and move around easily.
I didn't want to mess with buttons, elastic, or velcro on the back so I just made a 2 inch slit down the neck to make it easy to go over each of their heads and left it like that.  I really wanted these costumes to be as little fuss as possible for both me and the kids.
With 2 little ones running around both of these costumes only took me an afternoon (that's stopping and starting of course).  If the kiddos would have been asleep the whole time, or not so interested in what I was doing they probably would have taken a couple hours to complete which is pretty good considering I had to make the whole pattern myself.
I am so thrilled with how they turned out.  We took both Grant and my neice to Boo at the Zoo and they had a ball.  I heard a lot of people comment on how cute their costumes were.  Of course, knowing I made them, I was pretty proud of myself and my meager sewing capabilities haha.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Birthday Invite

I have been in birthday crafting mode all week.  I have quite a to-do list but I am determined not to have a repeat of last year, which consisted of me being up until 3am decorating.  I have no desire to do that this year.  So I have quite a few posts coming up full of birthday goodies.  The first being his invitations.  I've had it in my mind how I wanted to do his invites for a while and for whatever reason the procrastinator came out in me and I just got them finished.  I was very thankful I didn't have dozens to do because they took a bit of time.

I used my cricut to cut the Mickey head and attached it to the wrap with glue dots.  To make the wrap I had to measure each of the invites (because I wasn't smart enough to cut them all the same size) and added 1/2 inch seam allowance. 

On the invite itself I downloaded the Mickey image from the internet and just created the rest in a word document and printed it on white cardstock.  I stitched the white part of the invite to the colored cardstock, 1. because I didn't want to use any more of my glue dots, and 2. because I thought it would add something different to the invitation.

Because these weren't standard sized invitations I ended up having to make custom envelopes.  They weren't difficult, just a little time consuming.  I used a letter scorer (is that what they are called?), you can see it in the right of the photo below.  It came with my cricut supplies, maybe it's a bone folder, either way, doesn't matter.  I put the invite in the middle of my 12x12 cardstock, used a ruler and scored it so it would fold nicely.
As you can see above I cut the corners out so it would all fit together like an envelope.  Fold in the right and left sides, and fold the bottom up attaching it to the sides with glue dots.
Then put your invite in and use another glue dot to close the top flap.
I'm so thrilled with how they turned out and even more thrilled they are finished.  It feels good to be able to check some projects off my list.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Trick or Treat Goodie Bag

I'm in the process of making my son's Halloween costume and decided I wanted to make him a cute little treat bag to carry.  I thought it would be a simple, quick, stress free project since I've made bags before and they aren't too difficult or time consuming.  As soon as those thoughts crossed my mind I should have stopped myself and went to the store to buy one. 


I ended up screwing up on multiple steps which is why I didn't even bother with the simple bag tutorial I had planned, and ended up scrapping a few details just to get it finished and out of the way.   I think I was having an off crafting day, either way I'm glad it's finished and it will work for holding all Grant's little treats this year and maybe next year I'll get to make the cute bag I had planned.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Apple Spice Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

When I decided to take a trip to my cousin's (she lives over an hour away) I knew I had to take her some cupcakes.  She's never had any of mine and I've been dying to have her try them.  I knew I was going to make a fall flavor because I've been wanting to try some out for about a month now.  I decided on Apple Spice cake with caramel cream cheese frosting.  I used the caramel apple cupcake recipe and the caramel sauce recipe from the book Cupcake Diaries, by the girls of DC Cupcakes on TLC. 

I changed the recipe to a spice cake by adding 2t cinnamon, 1t allspice, and 1t nutmeg and otherwise baked them the same as the recipe in the book states.

I topped them with caramel cream cheese frosting (cream cheese frosting recipe with 1/4c caramel sauce added), caramel drizzle and chopped pecans. 

They were super YUMMY, I think this flavor is my favorite to date!

Friday, October 12, 2012

White Chicken Chili Chowder

My cousin gave me a version of this recipe (of course I had to change it a little as usual) a few years ago.  Her mother-in-law made it every year for her annual Halloween movie night.  Since it is about that time again and with cooler weather I want soups and stews more and more I thought I'd share this recipe.

White Chicken Chili Chowder

2 chicken breast cooked and chunked
1 can Rotel
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2c chicken broth
1 can great northern beans
1 can white corn
1lb velveeta
1 onion chopped
2T olive oil
2T butter

saute chicken and onion in olive oil and butter until onion is tender.  Add all other ingredients to pot and simmer until cheese melts and soup is heated through.

Here is a little forwarning if you're going to make this soup, it looks kinda grosse when you make it.  Everyone I have every made it for thought it looked grosse and hesitated to eat it, they also all thought it was going to be regular chili with chicken instead of beef.  It looks nothing like regular chili nor does it taste anything like it.  So if you make this chili chowder and think by the looks of it you may not want to try it, trust me when I say it is Oh so good and you will want seconds and thirds.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Winter Hat

I came across this tutorial on making a kids hat from an adult sweater last year when I first started getting into repurposing but unfortunately I didn't have an old sweater to use.  Recently my husband was forced (due to the fact our closet rod came crashing down) to go through the closet and rid his side of everything he didn't wear or want.  He had 1 heavy sweater in the mix and as soon as I saw it I knew it would be used for Grant's winter hat.

I used the tutorial mentioned above to get the general idea exccept I didn't put a bill on it, mainly because I didn't want to take the time to do it (I know...I'm lazy:)).

My husband actually had the idea to put the Tennessee "T" on the front.  I cut it off one of the other shirts he was getting rid of and stitched it right on.  I love how it turned out and I have to admit Grant looks pretty darn cute wearing it.  We went to the county fair over the weekend and he wore this hat and the scarf I made him.  Needless to say I was pretty proud.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cloth Napkins- A Christmas Gift

My cousin loves to entertain with dinners and get togethers.  She is not one to throw out some paper plates and 2 liter bottles of Pepsi and do things buffet style.  She held a Christmas dinner, of about 20+ people, a couple years back and we used regular plates, centerpieces, and the whole table was set with place settings.  Everyone sat down and the food was passed around the table.  It was really nice and beautiful.  I have not lived in the same state as her in a good 6 years and we have missed getting together, especially at Christmas time.  I decided this year I wanted to get her something special but with our limited budget I knew I would have to get creative.  One day it just hit me, monogramed cloth napkins.  I knew she didn't have any and she is one of the few people I know of that would use and appreciate them. 

I started looking into fabrics to make them (because why would you buy something you can make yourself? haha)  and found linen fabric at Hobby Lobby was, wait for it.....$18.99 a yard (mouth gapping open as I looked at the price tag).  I couldn't believe it nor could I justify paying that kind of money for napkins.  The other day my mom and I were at target and I randomly decided to go through their kitchen section (I rarely go through this section since their stuff is normally a little pricey).  As luck would have it I found this:

A 60x84 inch rectangle table cloth on clearence for $5.38 and the best part was the color was perfect.  Her kitchen is done in lemons and blueberries so the blue stripes will be perfect on the kitchen table.  I used a cloth napkin I already had as a template and cut out 12- 12x12inch napkins (and I think I can use the extra fabric to make a really cute table runner later). 
Normally when I do monogramming I use a water soluble quilting pen but because this fabric was so dark I knew that wouldn't work because I wouldn't be able to see the markings.  Instead I used a trick my friend Melissa taught me (except she taught me to use it with my embroidery sewing machine).  I printed the "B" on computer paper in the size I wanted then traced it onto a napkin.  next I baste stitched around the napkin square to hold it in place while I hand embroidered.  Here is what it looks like when you have it basted:
I used a satin stitch.
I liked how it turned out but using a satin stitch was going to take me forever and a day, and lets face it I don't have that much time to devote to one project.
So I used a basic embroidery stitch (havn't a clue what it's called, my Mamaw taught it to me years ago) and basically just stitched around the "B".
For whatever reason my mom and I both liked this one better.  I think it's kind of different from your typical monogrammed napkins.  I can't wait to give them to her!


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