Little Monsters

On Friday the 13th, my business partner and I co-hosted a baby shower for our friend Dawn. The theme was Little Monsters, based on this quilt, by Kellie at Don’t Look Now:
Dawn is decorating her son’s nursery with a quilt made from this pattern; and making window valances, a bed skirt and accessories to match.

We went all out with the theme, and we even made our first “diaper cake”… bought a pack of 36 newborn Pampers, rolled them, tied them with a small strip of fabric:Stood them on end, wrapped them tightly with a band of fabric around a plastic container (it definitely took FOUR hands to do this!), and made a second smaller layer atop the first:We bought the few “monster” themed baby items we could find, and decorated the cake with them:a bib, a monster onesie, a teething ring (I think it’s an octopus, but he looks kind of monster-like!), linky rings, and Cookie Monster and Murray Sesame Street plushies as cake toppers.

I found a “happy birthday” monster tablecloth that I cut the monsters out of, used Mod Podge to glue them to cardstock and added colored rings of paper around them to make them look like Kellie’s Little Monters. These served as table and wall decor, as well as decorated the food table. (I was glad I had the chance to recycle them for my nephew’s birthday party again the following weekend!)

My favorite decoration might have been the monster cupcakes I made and decorated the night before:I had a lot of fun creating all those different faces and looks!

Trina, my business partner, made this sweet banner that Dawn will hopefully be able to use in the nursery:
It’s appliqued, and uses some of the same fabrics in the quilt. It hung above the gift table, along with the baby’s Little Monster quilt:We had fun putting this together, and I think everyone had a good time at the party!

When you host parties, do you plan around a theme, food, decor and the works? Or do you just put out the food and drink and go with the flow?


Hello, Kitty!

A sweet little friend of mine turned four last weekend.  She asked months ago for a Hello Kitty birthday party (there she is with Kitty on the cake). Her Mom is my friend Tonya, the friend that helped me create my own 3-tier wedding cake.  You might recall the Princess Cake we created for her birthday in 2010… 

For her gift this year, I made her a Hello Kitty Princess outfit.  Started with a plain white tee from Target…some scraps of Lakehouse Fabric, white flannel, a little Heat N’ Bond Lite…

Lots of satin-stitching with the walking foot…


Lots of “stops” and “starts” with the Janome Horizon…

Lots of pushing the tee shirt fabric out of the way of the needle….

And a lavender tutu skirt added to the bottom…and we have a birthday outfit fit for a princess!

The tagless tees always show the printing through the shirt a tad, so I added one of “Kitty”‘s bows to the back of the neck to cover it up…

The finished shirt along with the cute party invite her Mom created:

I was glad I thought to use white flannel for Kitty’s head, because not only did it add great texture to the shirt, but I didn’t have to worry about the lavender stripes showing through white cotton!

We’ve had some unseasonably warm weather already this month–nearly 100 degrees last week.  That is far too hot for the actual kitties around our house; they didn’t have the energy to care that the other was laying a mere three feet away, or to even bother chasing each other around the house. 

I don’t like the heat, but it did make it rather peaceful on the homefront.  This week, the temps are down and they are back to their usual antics.

Pillow Talk

I made a t-shirt for last Christmas for my sweetie.  It read “I geek banjos”, the phrase was explained in this post, when I was still working on it.  Sadly, after one washing, the t-shirt was too small to be comfortable wearing.  I spent a long time stenciling that shirt, I wasn’t about to throw it in the donation pile!  So this Christmas it is being gifted to him, again, as a throw pillow:

Yes, I believe you can give the same gift twice, if it’s altered in between, right?!?  He’s getting a Kindle, too, so he isn’t exactly deprived…  The border and backing are this, BeBop by P & B Textiles: 

Appropriate fabric, given that he owns and plays quitars, banjos and mandolins.  It was a day for sewing pillows, I guess, made a pillowcase for a Christmas gift as well, out of some sassy cowgirl fabric that was gifted to me a last year:

Not too many handmade gifts this year, but it was a relief not to feel the pressure of getting a bunch of items made by Christmas!  Maybe next year, I’ll start early and make something for everyone on the list.  Then again…

Blast Off!

Made with scraps from last Christmas’
Rocket Men project
… an improvisational, Space-themed quilt for my nephew (who never got his own Baby quilt when he joined our family in 2008, so he gets a fun toddler quilt!)

I fussy cut scraps from the Prints Charming fabrics I used to make the rockets, and framed that out in various shades of blue… Then free-handed a rocket ship which I machine appliqued (raw-edge) after fusing on. The stars and the moon are also scraps from the Prints Charming line.

I tried a new free-motion quilting technique, trying to get a cloud, or atmospheric look behind the spaceship. What do you think?

This is what I put on the back, from the 2009 In the Beginning “Rocket Scientist” line:

I could not have asked for a better reaction…

That’s my sister, and baby Jonah immediately “cuddling in”! He did pause to pose with his gift, just like a champ, though!

The color roll his big brother received was a big hit as well…

He moved to his table right away to “get to work”!

See? This is why I love to make gifts!

Snow Day!

The midwest got slammed by a blizzard this week, Des Moines was blessed was 16 inches of snow, and today, in the calm after the storm, a temp of -3 degrees fahrenheit!!!! Brrrr! I was jumping for joy yesterday when I received news of my Snow Day…

An unexpected day off work = An unexpected day of sewing!

This photo is one I took on my way into work this morning, it’s alongside my car, a snow drift (not a man-made pile of snow) the black band at the bottom is the dashboard of my VW Beetle.

I sewed all day, never stepped outside, didn’t even get out of my pajamas all day. Now, that’s the definition of a good day, my friends. What did I sew, you ask? I finished the stockings that I bought fabric for LAST December….

They are made with red velvet (the real stuff), white fleece, and various bright Christmas fabrics, all from my stash, and most of them from Michael Miller. The Prairie Points were a fun way to dress them up without detracting from the velvet…

I lined each one with a bright, fun fabric as well…

I made my own stocking pattern, since I dislike the shape of many patterns I see. They need to be wide enough to at least squeeze a book or DVD down in there!

My sweetie thought I should embroider our names on them, but I didn’t want to go that far, so I found these little sterling silver photo frame ornaments and appliqued our initials, the frames hang just in front of the stockings on our hooks and really dress up the mantle!

There was another project I worked on after these, but you’ll have to wait to see pics of that one! Not quite finished yet!

Happy Holidays, a blessed Advent, and safe Winter travels to you and yours! And, to my readers Down Under, I hope you are enjoying your warm temps and spring blossoms!


Two little monkeys…

I showed you my Curious George birthday shirts on Friday, and thought you might like to see a few shots of the party…the gift table (I should have gotten a much better shot of this as there was much more to it):

My sister (the Momma) and I decorated monkey cupcakes and yellow hat cookies the night before the party (and sampled WAY too much icing)…

Don’t you just love those Apple Jacks for ears?!? My sister had a Ziploc bag she brought out full of cereal, on it in Sharpie was written “Do Not Eat: Monkey Ears”; that really tickled my funny bone. The cupcakes didn’t turn out as well as our prototype, and the black icing ran on the hats by morning…but did anyone care? Of course not…

Least of all these two little monkeys…

It’s hard to photograph these two together, what with them being 13 and 24 months old, every shot is an action shot! The biggest hits in the gift pile were two wooden puzzles and a hammer and peg set from my brother and his family (way to go, Lesley!) who gave the big brother there directions not to use the hammer on his brother…

I just love that chubby little paw holding the peg!

And I LOVE you, my sweet little monkeys! Happy first and second birthdays!