Super Fun

I am so thrilled at how well my custom super hero/prince/princess capes have been selling. They are so much fun to make and I just love putting fun fabrics together. Seriously, every time I finish a cape it makes me smile. I tried to narrow down the amount of pictures I put in this post, but it was super hard. If you want to see even more that I have finished recently you can check out my album by clicking here. And if you want more info on ordering you can send me a message or see my etsy listing.



Appropriate Title

Around our house we have a pile of old half flattened pillows. The kids use them for movie nights to make little pillow beds on the floor but I really just want to throw them all out. Enter Pinterest. I found a tutorial for making pillow mattresses. How could this not be the most perfect idea ever for my kids!

The tutorial comes from No Rest for the Creative, which is a perfectly appropriate title for my week last week trying to get these  made.  I originally came across her tutorial for the same thing only using knit fabric, but I really liked the idea of using cotton better.

They took me forever to make because I was being a super perfectionist, but I think you need to be if you want it to look nice! There is a lot of measuring long fabrics, sewing long seams and smoothing out and lining up. Not to mention my preggo belly kept getting in the way and crawling around on the floor all hours of the night didn’t do much for my pregnancy induced reflux. I could only work while the kids were sleeping, because they were gifts.

I found some perfect pillows at Wal-Mart for $3.97 each. You could go even cheaper at $2.50 for Standard pillows from Wal-Mart or even $.99 from Ikea, but Andrew encouraged me to get nice pillows since I put all the time into making them. The $3.97 pillows were technically Jumbo size but they weren’t stuffed full so they fit into the opening perfectly. (Ok, it took a little work to get them in, but they are so cozy and look great.) I adjusted the tutorial a bit so that Axel and Miracle’s mattresses each had 5 pillows in them. I looked like a bit of a crazy lady purchasing 14 pillows! I had two carts full.

I love that you can fold the top pillow under to prop up the top of the mattress. Axel even realized that if you roll the top three pillows it works as a perfect chair for gaming or sitting up to eat a snack.

Five pillows was a bit excessive for Miracle, but at least it will grow with her! I also found another tutorial from Southern Disposition on Pinterest that looked way simpler, but the finished look wasn’t as polished. Also, the way I did it was cheaper. But look at this cute idea for how to set up the same bed that we already have! Right now Miracle sleeps on top and Evangeline underneath, but hopefully that will change soon…

Princess Fort Bed Idea from Southern Disposition

The pillow mattresses are getting used like crazy which makes me super thrilled especially after all the time and love I put into them. Now I’m off to throw away a bunch of old half flat pillows… or maybe I’ll search Pinterest for some ideas of what to do with them! Have you been Pinspired lately?

I’m Crazy For You Valentine!

I used to not really pay any attention at all to Valentine’s Day. I feel like I have missed out on so much! This year since I am trying to add a little spice to life by acknowledging and celebrating all the little holidays I normally pass by, I have realized that Valentine’s Day is so fun. It is all girly and lovey and full of hearts and pinkness.

The kids and I made their Valentines for their school mates tonight. I’m not sure where Axel came up with that, but he kept calling them his school mates and I thought it was cute! They have so many Valentine rules… No peanuts (which I get) ‘but please know that even things like candy hearts and pretzels may have nuts’. And then they recommend healthy snacks for treats and even suggest that ‘things such as pencils and stickers make great treats’. haha. I’m fine with it. I like going from the norm and getting creative. Plus I really hate buying candy. I do however like eating candy.

A Little Hot Chocolate and Valentine Making

So I was thinking about what to do that would be fun and yet financially realistic and remembered how much they love crazy straws and decided that those would be perfect. I  created a simple Word document to make tags that say “I’m Crazy For You Valentine!” and then under that typed From: (insert name here). I also considered “You’re So Silly Valentine” but we liked the one we chose better.

Working So hard

Then we sliced them apart with my handy dandy slicer, folded, ran the glue stick over them and glued them to the straws. Being careful of course not to get glue on the straws and to put the tags on a middle loop so that they don’t slip off.  What I recommended to the kids was that they put their finger on the fold mark and then run the glue stick down the rest of the tag. That way they hold the tag in place while applying the glue and the middle stays free of glue so it doesn’t get on the straw.

This was such an easy, quick, inexpensive project! It requires very little prep and few supplies- most of which you probably have around already! My kids love it and Miracle (4 years) had no problem helping with the slicer (in a perfectly safe way) and  doing the gluing on her own.  They are excited to give their friends a fun gift with a silly saying that they made themselves.

Too Early?

I know New Years is still fresh, but the new me who remembers and acknowledges birthdays, special events and holidays is already working on Valentine’s Day. Normally I shun the holiday because of the ridiculous price of chocolate and flowers, but I intend to make it a fun day where our family celebrates all the love we have for and from so many amazing family and friends! I have a great list of ideas going on over at Pinterest but here are a few Etsy items to get you in mood!

Cookies from Queen of Tarts Cakes

Ornaments from Buttons and Glitter Boutique

Banner from Any Occasions Banners

Baby Hat from Fiddlestyx Studios

Wood Blocks from JN Designs

Handmade Challenge Wrapup

Remember my handmade challenge? I did it! All the gifts I gave for the year of 2011 were handmade. It was a crazy experiment, and I only wish I had put more time into it because I know I could have come up with some more awesomeness. There were so many ideas that I found that would have been so fun to create but with our busy family life, Andrew’s concussion, and several dress orders I was behind on pretty much everything.

(If you would like more information on any of these items, you can click the image to be linked to the original post, and for most items, free tutorials.)

I gave a lot of these (my kids LOVE theirs, and this is what they begged to give all their friends):

Bean Bags ($2 each or a set of 6 for $10)

and these:

Therapy Sacks ($8.50)

and a few of these:

Superhero/ Prince(ss) Cape ($20)

Chore Charts (No link here, $15)

Car Cozie

It was a lot of fun, and most everyone who received their gifts loved them. I don’t have pictures of many of the gifts that we did for Christmas, but the kids helped me make some painted canvases and coffee mugs for grandparents which was a ton of fun, and we also knitted a few hats together. (ok, ok, we are still working on them because we ran out of time. conner and caleb, your hats are coming!!!)

Of course lots of dresses (especially for my girls) and a few onesies and other items as well.

I almost forgot! Here is what I gave Andrew:

Guitar Pick Keychain ($19.99)

Becky was great to work with and super fast. I ordered way late and she still got it to me in time for Christmas. I had it engraved with a cute saying our family has “mostest mine i win” and I’m pretty sure Andrew really liked it.

I’m not giving up on giving handmade, but I will admit I’m excited to buy some gifts! More on my new challenge later!

(I didn’t mean for this post to turn into a sales pitch, but a girl’s gotta feed her family crafting habit. If you are interested in any of these items you can email me at lovealwaysxox at gmail dot com.) 

Ella’s Seventh

My sweet niece Ella turned seven last week. This girl has a special place in my heart. She was born just a few months before Axel and they grew up like siblings. They fight like siblings, but they also love like siblings. They take care of each other and watch out for each other.

When Ella was 2 she used to call me “Auntie Mommy.” How sweet is that? I wanted to make Ella a dress for her birthday but with VBS and the planning and prep that went into it, I just didn’t have time. Axel thought she would like make up which got me thinking jewelry and so we gave her a scrabble tile pendant from Maybe Kinda Crafty. As luck would have it, the scrabble tile actually had the letter E (for Ella) on the back so it worked out perfectly.

I know you can’t see the actual pendant, but it is bright and colorful, just like Ella.

Happy Number Seven Elle Belle!!


The Evangeline

I just absolutely love this dress. I’ll apologize right now for all the pictures in this post…

It doesn’t help that my model is so stinkin cute!

When I first started looking for dress patterns I didn’t really care for this one at all, but I saw someone wearing something similar and decided to try it out. I love it and everything about it! It is so feminine and lovely and the big bow on the back is dreamy.

The Evangeline was made from this tutorial from Sew Happy by Carrie and I was impressed with the tutorial and pattern, as well as the excellent communication from Carrie. Please know that the sizes do run large though!

The Evangeline. Sizes 18months- 5T. $35

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