a pretty cool life.: November 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday

How was your Black Friday? 

Did you camp out in the Best Buy/Walmart/Macy's/fill-in-the-blank parking lot?

Did you find lots of bargains? 

The boys and I went to the fabric store, Michael's and the thrift store, had lunch at McDonald's and went home to listen to Christmas music and watch Toy Story.  It was great!

I'm also chipping away at that to-do list...my reusable market bags/Christmas gift bags are done! 

After reading lots and lots of tutorials and very nearly dismantling my LL Bean Boat and Tote with a seam ripper, I came up with something I really like. 

Really like.  As in, had to make a few extra for myself.  The one for you, one for me Christmas presents continue...

Do you like them too?  I've listed some in my shop!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm still here...

Just a busy little bee.

Of the many things I'm thankful for this year, going to my parents' for Thanksgiving dinner is definitely one of them. 

Okay, back to work.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another day, another apron

This time it's ruffles.  (Fabrics look familiar?  What can I say, I love red.) 

My front door has never spent so much time in front of the camera!  You can find this apron in my shop, too.  Enjoy!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Update:  It sold!  I'll make another as soon as I can.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I *heart* this apron

Remember when we went to IKEA the other day?  Remember that cute heart fabric I bought but didn't know what do with? 

Aprons, silly.  The answer to any mystery pretty fabric is always aprons. 

Now, I know what you're thinking: I went out and hired a professional model who wears Ugg slippers and dirty jeans and takes her 2 year old along to photo shoots. 

I get that a lot.   

I cranked out 3 of them last night...1 for a Christmas gift for a friend (is it you??), 1 for my shop, and 1 for myself.  (Can you tell my husband was out of town?)  And sadly, that's the story of my Christmas present life: 1 for you, 1 for me.

In other fun news, I've gotten tons of great feedback on my gumdrop wreath!  The one I listed in my shop sold the first day, Karla featured it on her awesome decorating blog, and I've gotten sooo many sweet comments and emails. 

You all know how to make a girl feel special!  I listed a couple more, and I'll keep it up as long as anyone's interested and I can live with burnt off fingerprints from the glue gun. 


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Goody goody gumdrops wreath

I love the way gumdrop wreaths look!  I'm planning on using these as part of the decor for my boys' polka dot birthday party next month, and of course they're cute enough to keep around for Christmas, too.  They were a breeze (and slightly addictive) to make.

Before I started, I did a little bloggy research on how to go about making a gumdrop wreath, and everything I found involved breaking toothpicks in half, skewering the gumdrops on the end, and jabbing it into the wreath form. 

Uh, no.

Don't bother.  Ditch the toothpicks and get your glue gun.  How anyone on earth has the patience to jab toothpicks into a tough, foam wreath is beyond me.

So trust me.  Do it with toothpicks and you'll be muttering mean things about me and your splinters all day long.   (Naturally, my 2 year old assistant was happy to pluck the "broken" gumdrops off and eat them once I decided to go the glue route.)

I bought 10 inch foam wreath forms.  They're the perfect size.  Not too big, not too small.  To start, I wrapped a piece of packing tape around the top to protect the foam from the weight of the wreath while hanging. 

Then I took a piece of floral wire, wrapped it around, and looped it to form a hanger.  Don't scrimp.  The finished wreath is seriously heavy!

Then I went to town gluing the gumdrops on.  I just randomly plucked them out of the bowl and glued each one on.  For a 10 inch wreath, I used almost 3 pounds (minus the, ahem, "defective" ones that found their way into my own and my 2 year old's tummy) of gumdrops.  This was the addictive part.  I couldn't stop gluing the candy on until I was done. 

This was also was a good test of my perfectionist, symmetry loving self.  It was very difficult for me to stick to random colors and not make an "even" mix! 

After I finished gluing, I sprayed the wreath with matte sealer to preserve it.  I don't know how well this is going to work, but I'd like to be able to save them and re-use my wreaths for years to come.  Hopefully this will do the trick.  Check back with me next December!

While the sealer was wet, I sprinkled a tiny bit of clear glitter on it.  It looks a lot like the sugar that covers the gumdrops, so it's just the right amount of sparkle. 

I looped a satin ribbon around the top of the wreath to cover up the wire hanger and glued it to the back of the foam wreath form.  That way, I can secretly hang the wreath securely on a hook, but get all the prettiness of the ribbon. 

I like my wreaths multi-colored, but I think it would also be very pretty to stick to just a few colors, or red and green, or maybe even all white.  Ah, the possibilities!

It probably goes without saying, but this is an indoor decoration.  Those pretty little gumdrops need to be protected from the elements!

I also want to add that although these look good enough to eat, they shouldn't be.  Glue and sealer will make for big tummy aches.  Make sure to keep your wreaths out of reach of little ones or anyone else who might not understand it's for looking, not eating!

If you'd like a gumdrop wreath for yourself, but don't have the patience or want to suffer the hot glue burns, I've listed one in my shop

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tshirts and crayons and wreaths...oh my!

You'd think I'd learn. You'd think after last time I'd skip Target and head over to Old Navy to buy the tshirts.

But I didn't.

This time I made birthday tshirts for my boys' upcoming party. The big 1 and the big 3. I can't believe it. Where did my babies go??

I finished them last night.  I made them the same way I made our nephew's shirt, only with numbers instead of an intial. 

How obvious is it from how I styled those shirts that I worked at Abercrombie for years?!

For some reason I just love that star on the back.

I'm nearly done with the treat bags for the party.  I made a set of crayons for each bag.  Each set has 10 crayons...each of my boys' names (4 letters each) plus each of their ages. 

10 crayons x 12 sets = a whole lot of melted wax. 

They're super cute, and I think they'll be a big hit, but it's safe to say I don't want to unwrap another Crayola for a long, long time. 

And my gumdrop wreaths are finished, too.  I'll share how I made them tomorrow!

I can't believe Thanksgiving is so close!  And with so much left to do!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chugging along...

I've had a major burst of energy the past few days.  That means great progress on lots of my projects for both Christmas and my boys' big birthday party.  (Yikes!  It's 1 month from yesterday!!)

The works in progress...

If anyone is interested in those silicone molds for crayons, I totally recommend buying them here.  I ordered them Sunday, they came on Tuesday, and without shipping or tax.  Score!

Have a great weekend and I'll be back to posting real projects next week!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Big day out: IKEA

I temporarily lost my mind this morning and decided to pack up my boys and head to IKEA.  We Chicagoans are so lucky; we have 2 IKEAs nearby!  I've been compiling my IKEA list for months and knew that I'd be better off going to get the little things I need for Christmas now, rather than battle crowds later. 

So off we went...

Our cart resembled the pick up truck on the Beverly Hillbillies by the time we were ready to leave.  2 boys + a carseat + plus a ton of stuff  = hell on wheels.

I couldn't help myself.  I could live here.

And buy every last bright, colorful fabric in the joint.

I've come to terms with the fact that I am the girl that pushes the huge car cart.  I swear I don't run into anything when I'm pushing it. 

So after we got home and I plopped my overtired shopping partners into bed, I got to assess the situation. 

Jars for homebaked Christmas goodies. 

Every red fabric they had for Christmas bags.

These are going to be for the centerpieces at the boys' birthday party.  More on that and how to make them another post. 

A few Christmas decorating odds and ends.

Not quite sure what I was thinking when I bought the bird tray or heart fabric, but I'm sure they'll find a home somewhere around here.

All in all, a great (and productive!) trip. 

But I really don't think the three of us will be going back anytime soon...I need to regain my sanity for a few months first. 


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