Freezer paper fun

A couple of days ago I walked into Jet’s room and found that his tee-shirt drawer had detonated.  Apperantly he was looking for a particular long-sleeved dinosaur shirt.  Hmm, a perfect opportunity for a how-to-fold-a-shirt lesson!  As we sat on his floor re-folding, I came across a plain black tee that I’d meant to applique with an Angry Bird.  Jet commented that since his favorite Bird was the exploding black one, it wouldn’t really work on this black shirt.  True.  We bagan to brainstorm other options.  Jet suggested a snake with dripping green venom… um, okay. And then it came to me- freezer paper stencil!

After a few sketches, this one was finally approved as “scary enough”.

I cut the basic shape out of freezer paper, and ironed it on.  A few small repairs were needed.

Let the painting begin!  These are fabric paints by the way.

I tried to let him do it himself, but it was pretty spotty, so he let me help.

He thought most definitely the tail should be painted white.  I pursed my lips and grit my teeth to stifle the perfectionist crafter inside of me.   “Sure, that sounds good.”

 Before the reveal:

After the paint dried, the paper was removed.  Sweet.

Jet was happy with me handling the finishing touches.

First reaction, “Its not scary enough, there’s not enough green spit!”  Oh jeez.  Thankfully he got over it.  Here’s the back.  I did my best to blend toward the white tail.

Rockin it.

 That’s one mean snake avenger!  I love having a boy!  This one turns 5 on Saturday.  I can’t believe it.


Shirt to skirt

I may have mentioned before that my adorable mother-in-law, Arlene, is a bit of a shop-aholic.  Like everyone, she loves a great bargain, and like most grandmothers, she loves to spoil her grandchildren.  Every few months a package arrives that is packed with kids clothing.  Awesome, I know!  We can typically expect lots of graphic tee-shirts for Jet, and for Avery its girly-girl to the max!  I think it is fair to say that Arlene’s taste is sparkalicious.  In fact, she crafts in sparkles every day (I plan on featuring her work with Swarovski crystals in an upcoming post, look out.).   We love that her hairstyle is different every time we visit, often shades of purple!  You get it, she rocks.  Here she is with my hubby.

Anyhoo, following her annual trip to Taiwan, we never know what we’ll find in the package that arrives.  We get a kick out of the ruffles and bows on everything, and the odd little phrases that appear on many of the garments like, “happy lifes come around…” or “can you see the little ones?”

Sometimes there are outta-the-ballpark hits like an Angry Birds jacket for Jet, or this little get-up:

And then there are the misses:

I actually really like these pants, they are lined with microfleece on the inside.  Avery is clearly not a fan.

There was a gender ambiguous tee-shirt in the box this time, I think meant for Jet, judging by the size.  But he wanted nothing to do with it.  It was just begging to be turned into a hip little mini skirt for a sweet baby girl I know of.  I think the fabric must be interlock jersey (I am learning from Rea’s Kniterview series) because it is very sturdy with a nice stretch to it.  Below is the already severed shirt, I forgot to take a “before” photo.

The simple pockets are made from the one missing sleeve, using the hem as the pocket top.  She can “keep her weed in there” (I’m sorry I had to.  It’s funny because this is for a baby.) .  I included a tag for a more signature look.

I was imagining this skirt would fit a 6 month old, but I suppose I was a little off, seeing how easily Avery slipped into it.  Maybe more like 12-18 month size.

I picked a white onesie out of my stash, and made a little embellishment out of the leftover jersey.

I think this outfit will be worth waiting a year for, don’t you?

And now, since he doesn’t get much bloggy-love, a photo of the Jet-man with his buddy Sam.  Next project is for you kiddo!


Fit for a princess

My husband called me one day from work to tell me that they were having an employee furniture sale- (he’s the executive chef of a 48-room hotel here in Charlottesville that was once the home of (now deceased) Sir Bernard Ashley- as in the husband of the late fabric designer Laura Ashley).  When Sir Ashley sold the home in 1999, all of the furniture and decor was included- I’ve heard that at the time it was decked out in Laura Ashley everything… curtains, wallpaper, bedding, you name it. 

So you can imagine, there are lots of treasures tucked away in the attic of hotel today.  Anyway, the hotel decided to clear up some space by selling some furniture that didn’t really have a place anymore.  So Dean called with a few things he thought we’d like, and though it was hard to give the go-ahead without seeing everything, I knew he’d do me proud.  We scored 2 beautiful vintage wooden sleigh beds for $15 each, and a great old white desk for $30 (which has now become my spacious sewing table).  Seriously good deal if you ask me- good job Deano!

  I wonder if they actually belonged to the Ashleys or if that’s something I just like to daydream about since it sounds cool… hmmm. 

We finally set one of the beds up in Ellery’s room yesterday.  She calls it her ‘Princess Bed’ :).  Hey, whatever keeps her in it at night, right?! 


Ah… don’t even make me get into it….

So, for such a special bed, I decided this princess deserves a new bedspread… A quilt to be exact.  Made by… a-hem…ME.

Since I started sewing 2 years ago, making a quilt has been the last thing to interest me.  I don’t like busy geometric designs, I am not a pro at math, and between making clothes and having babies, I haven’t really given it much thought.  BUT, I’ve really started to become interested in making one after finding ones I liked on certain sites- my favorite blogs for quilt-spiration are this one and this one.  I love the simple, clean asthetic that they both have.  (go to their sites and then search for quilts to see the many beautiful ones they’ve made.)

So, I’m holding myself to it.  I’ve got a lot of scraps lying around- I’m going to make a Chinese-coin quilt, which I can use lots of little squares and rectangles for…. and then lots of white to break it up and keep it clean looking.  Plus, it’s an easy enough design for me to (hopefully) not screw up.

I’m happy with my color-scheme, especially since it reminds me of springtime- which is when my sweet girl was born.

I’ll post my progress as I go. 

Wish me luck-  I have no idea what I’m doing!


pretty good year

I turned 32 yesterday and had a lovely birthday filled with family, friends, frozen yogurt, 2 delicious dinners out (yup. I’m taking the “eating for two” thing pretty seriously) with my sweet husband, a couple of birthday cakes, and some very thoughtful gifts.  I like starting off the new year at a new age… it just makes sense to me.

I thought I’d recap my year with some favorite moments from 2011.

ellery’s new year’s resolution last january…


i watched as these two became quite the BFF’s:



this kid started walking just before his first birthday…and soon after began mowing the lawn (we live on almost 3 acres, so it just needed to happen).


in april, my girl turned 3.  and so began her love affair with tinkerbell.



in may, my mom made a dress for her that she still wears at least 3 times a week.


also in may: my nephew Sean was born!


we spent our summer evenings outside with popsicles.  grant learned all about sharing.


he also learned his big sister’s talent of rifling through the fridge.


unfortunately, we had to see my mother go through some serious surgery, followed by treatment for fallopian tube cancer.


i complained about how unfair it was.  she didn’t complain once. 

instead, she created her own head-scarf pattern and sewed like a mad woman all summer long.

and as expected, she kicked cancer’s sorry ass to the curb- if you know my mother, that wouldn’t surprise you one bit… and as of a month ago, she is in remission! even though she was pretty cute bald, her hair is growing in and she’s looking tres chic these days!


my chef husband and grant bond over a cookbook.  and grant’s favorite playtime activity?  playing with pots and pans of course.


i saw my shy little girl transform within a few months at preschool.  her teacher told me that she is the “class nurturer”- holding kid’s hands when they’re sad.  melts my heart 🙂


once i left the kitchen for 2 minutes, only to return to this…


we spent a lot of time with “the cousins” (minus baby sean who lives in chicago).


grant got into his first fight.

 he really is a lover though- the sweetest boy i’ve ever known… you can read more about “the kissing bandit” here.


i enjoyed seeing ellery’s little friendships grow, especially the one with “friend Caroline”


loved catching moments like this one- ellery and grant cuddled up while watching a movie.


i set up three separate Christmas photo shoots with the kids because getting them to cooperate was out of the question.

here are some outtakes.


the first try (told you she lives in that dress!)….


second attempt:


and third….


we had some decent success with the last batch…. here’s the best one i got!

I want to wish you all a very happy and healthy new year! 

I have a lot to look forward to in 2012, the biggest thing being a new little one in March- we are all excited for some newborn love- especially Ellery!  I will be purging a lot of stuff to make more room in our small house…. oye… and I hope to do some more sewing now that the holidrama is over!

 Thanks for reading our little blog… it keeps us on our crafty toes, and i hope it inspires you to make stuff too!