Noah’s Ark 5th Birthday Party

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My daughter is very into Noah’s Ark so when we asked what her birthday cake should be this year she exclaimed “an Ark!”  So we went about looking for an idea for an ark cake.  We were going to make a huge cake, shape it like a boat and put graham crackers all over it. I’m glad we didn’t!  This was so much easier, healthier and cuter!  My husband carved it and added some of their ark animals.  I can’t tell you how hard it was to find a big watermelon this time of year!  I went to every grocery store around and this was the best I could do. I guess $6 isn’t too bad for a watermelon in January!

We used bits of fabric on the table to tie in the rainbow theme.

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I went CRAZY with my Mom’s cricut and added animals anywhere I could. Dogs- Hot dogs, Duck-‘Quakers’, Cow-Cheese. We also had chips and macaroni salad.. didn’t have time to get too creative with those.

Drink: Lemon Lime Soda and kool aid ice cubes for some rainbow color.  We only mixed half the amount of water it called for on the kool aid packet and almost half the amount of sugar. As the cubes melted, the sprite was more and more flavored. YUM!

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Zebra Cakes

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Cauliflower and Dip

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Snake – Sour Gummy Worms – a big hit with the kids and adults alike.

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Animal cookies

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Giraffe necks – twizzlers            Polar Bear – Popcorn

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I wanted rainbow hellium balloons but didn’t want to spend much. So I got 1 multi color balloon pack at dollar tree that were missing the purple and then bought the purple at a party store.  I used white thread and tied them together and then taped them to the wall. Then hung ‘raindrops’  thanks to the cricut again with white thread from the archway. On the one side was each letter of her name and the other side, various photos of her.

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We also hung raindrops from the other archway.

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And a balloon ‘chandelier’ from the ceiling fan.  – Again, white thread tied all of the balloons together.

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Then animals down the chair rails!

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I was going to use small empty water bottles and let the kids fill them with skittles as ‘rainbow favors’ but as the days drew closer, her cousins got sick and were not going to be attending which took down the amount of children to so little that we decided the candy that we had at the party would suffice.

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One happy birthday girl!!!

 

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Shabby Chic 1 Year Girl Birthday Party

I did a lot of web searching for ideas for my 1 year old’s birthday party. I wanted simple, but elegant.  Her middle name is Rose, and I love Shabby Chic… PERFECT!!  The cake was SUPER easy to do and cute.  I used baskets from my house for the decor.  I also went to the Christmas Tree shop for the first time that morning and found a wire plate holder for $5 and then purchased the plates for $2 each. The huge glass goblets were a yard sale find for $1 each a couple of years ago and I keep them in the attic for just such occasions. I also purchased the plastic table cover by the yard at JoAnnes so that I could put my quilt under it.

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Cheese and crackers, little fishies and cupcakes.  I used an antique glass bowl upside down as the cake holder.

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I didn’t have a cricut to use for the lettering, so I found a font I wanted online and printed out the letters I needed in the size I needed them in. I then flipped my decorative paper over to the backside and put the printed letter paper on top of it and used a pencil to ‘trace’ the letter.  It left an indent on the pretty paper where I needed to cut it out. Just a word to the wise… if you are tracing on top of the front of your decorative paper, you have to mirror your letter or it will be the wrong way when you cut it and flip it. I used thumb tacks to hang the ribbon on the wall and then clothespins to hang each of her monthly photos from newborn to 1 year.

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Two big pots of chicken corn noodle soup and 4 loaves of homemade bread and butter….. YUM!  Then a crock pot with hot dogs for the kids and picky eaters.  Finally a use for my MANY mason jars!  Piece of masking tape on each as a name tag and a punch bowl full of lemonaid.  We bought frozen strawberries and strawberry daiquiri mix and mixed it with a little lemonaid and then froze them in long plastic containers. Then we floated those in the punch bowl to make strawberry lemonaid.

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One very tired birthday girl!

 

Ballerina Music Box Cake

Last year my daughter was very into ballerina’s. Angelina ballerina to be specific. So we surprised her with this music box cake with a photo of herself in a tutu as the doll dancer.

Again we made the fondant ourselves:  http://whatscookingamerica.net/PegW/Fondant.htm   It’s tasty and pretty easy to make.  It was two regular cake box cakes with icing in between and then covered in icing, with the fondant on top. We also put fondant on a piece of cardboard and my husband put skewers through the cardboard and into the cake to hold it on.  We used tin foil for the mirror and icing to attach it. My husband then piped icing on here and there to give the final touches. We printed the photo of her in her tutu and attached it to a thick metal wire and stuck it in the cake. She enjoyed ‘twirling’ her ballerina.

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Jonah and Nemo Birthday Cake

My little girl had a Jonah Birthday Party 2 years ago that was mixed with Nemo characters since that is her favorite bible story and her favorite movie.  We love to watch Cake Boss and decided to create our own crispy treat, fondant whale.  We made rice crispy treats like you normally do and then as it was still warm we molded it into the wale body. It took two batches and then a little time with a knife afterwards making it look more like a whale and less like the lochness monster! Then we smoothed buttercream icing all over it and carefully added the homemade fondant.

Both my husband and I have had our fair share of wedding cakes and do not like how the fondant tastes on cakes. Fondant is normally just meant as a pretty cover to cake and everyone peals it off and eats the cake.  We found a fondant recipe that is easy to make and uses marshmallows as the main ingredient.  We have used it many times since and love it. The lady that created this recipe has a great step by step guide.  http://whatscookingamerica.net/PegW/Fondant.htm

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We also used Buddy’s famous recipe for the cream cheese pound cake and chocolate gonache filling.  Just for future reference… don’t bother… just use a regular pound cake recipe.  It cost way too much for all of the cream cheese, butter, heavy whipping cream etc, was way too rich and I cannot begin to imagine how bad it is for you.  Then regular butter cream icing dyed blue and some brown sugar for ‘dry land.’ I stiched up a robe for their little fisher price man and added a ribbon belt. We were going to add blue twizzlers coming out of his spout but we forgot and then ran out of time.  This was actually a pretty big cake, the picture doesn’t do it justice.

Jean Pants be gone!

This one was a long time in the making.  I don’t recommend this for beginner seamstresses. I did work out some of the kinks as I went along, so it should go better for you! Now for the story…

A dear older lady bought this outfit for my older girl when she was a baby.

I loved the shirt…

and the little ruffle on the back pocket…

However I wasn’t too thrilled with how she looked in the outfit… like a little boy!  So I only wore it once on the older one.  Now the younger one fits it and I thought… oh well it’s chilly out today I’ll just put it on her.  No sooner do I leave the house for a walk when someone walking by decided to talk to my baby.  He said how cute my ‘little boy’ was!  I smiled and thanked him but thought… “Okay that’s it, the pants have to go!” But the outfit is so cute.

So I came up with idea…

One leg off. Then use it as a guide to cut off the other one

Pants legs-be gone!

Cut apart crotch section so it is no attached anymore – like a skirt.

Cut off excess material

Seam ripped it open

Iron it open and allow a little extra fabric for front so that it is a little wider… otherwise the back is wider.

Pinned together and sewing a strait line of white stitches

I bought teal thread that matched the stitching on the ruffles of the shirt.  One line of teal stitching up the front. I’m picking about things looking like they belong together.

My two year old found the pants legs and had to try them on!   LOL

Lookin good… now what??!!!

Pockets!

Ripped out one of the white seams

One teal and one white!  Coordination at it’s finest!  :o)

Trim bottom of skirt so that it is even

Yes, you know me….. gotta have that seam finished!!  :o)  I LOVE my serger!

So now I need fabric for the skirt part. I bought a little bit of fabric but it wasn’t worn at all and I really want the worn look to match the pants.  So I found this wrap around skirt that I was considering throwing away because it just never worked well for me.

Bye bye wrap around skirt… hello cute little skirt…. I hope!

I cut it around 4 inches longer than the skirt size and about 5 inches wide.

serged good sides together then sewed one line so that there is no chance that you will see the white serger thread

I double folded the piece and pinned it on both sides.  Here I will save you time…. DO NOT pin up both sides. You can cut it a little less wide because all you have to do is serge the other side. I forgot that you won’t see the other side and spent lots of extra time making it pretty.  Ooops!

Then make a really tight zig-zag on the edge to make it look like the ruffles on the back pocket.

Again… You only have to do this to one side, the other side will be serged.

Now… again…. I made a mistake, I originally put a regular gathering stitch here…. it ripped… you can’t gather this type of jean with regular thread. So… I consulted my husband who suggested I use kite string.  And since we have lots of that I zig-zagged on either side of the kite string and used that to gather.

You want to gather it on TOP of the jeans, not right sides together like normal. Gathering… pinning and then sewing it down with white thread.

Now… cut out another piece like before except make it about 4 inches longer than the other one and about an inch wider.  Do the same things to that tier that you already did to the first tier except this time you do want to put the pretty finish on both sides.

And then again zig zag on either side of that kite string again and use it as your gathering string.

Then gathering it on TOP again.  You kind of just have to judge where to pin it because you can’t really see the under side while you are pinning.  Just look once in a while to be sure your even.

There’s the white thread I used to stitch it down…. again… coordinating!

Now a white hem at the bottom to hold that underside hem firm.

And now… NO MORE MISTAKEN IDENTITY!

YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have make the waistline a little tighter. So it really isn’t this long.  Oh well.. she’ll actually get to wear it longer this way.

And the nice thing about having it full is that she can still be a little lady!

So yes, this was a harder project than expected.  It had lots of things I had to change around as I went.  But you can use this idea for many different pants and use different fabric etc.  Let me know if you have ever tried this and how it went!

From Onesies to Twosies

Okay, so my little girl is potty trained and I have lots of onesies in her size and larger.  So either I give them away or I let her wear them and help her every time she goes to the potty or let the back hang down like the old time pajamas flap!  So here is a quick easy solution…

Goodbye old flap!

Overlock (or zig-zag) the edges!

She is two so Twosies sounded appropriate!  LOL

Now she has a bunch of undershirts/Twosies for the winter months!

As I see the leaves changing colors it reminds me of this verse:

“Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”  Luke 10:2

Nursing Cover

I needed t make another nursing cover (also called a hooter hider) as a gift for a friend and thought I’d take photos along the way so that I could share it with you.

Supplies Needed:

30 inches of 48” cotton fabric

7 inches of flannel – can match or just be white

16 1/2 inches of nylon boning (purchase at any fabric store)

2 metal D rings  (or you can use 1 vest buckle)

Cut cotton fabric pieces…

28 1/2 x 36 1/2  (cover)

29 x 4    (long strap)

8 x 4      (short strap)

(If you are using the vest belt buckle instead of the D rings then you need to cut the straps 29 x 2 1/2 and 8 x 2 1/2) or they will be too wide)

Cut flannel fabric

7×7  (for wiping purposes in corners of cover)

Someone also suggested using terry cloth wash cloths in the corners instead of flannel. That works great too!  Be creative!

Okay  here we go…

Lay out your fabric (already cut for the cover) so that it is the longest side to side.  We will be pinning the edges on both sides andt he bottom and waiting to do anything to the top until later.  Start at the top of the right side and fold the fabric in 1/2  inch, then flip it on top of itself and pin it. So technically we have used 1 inch of fabric on the side.

When you get near the bottom corner flip it up as shown and then continue to fold in 1/2 inch and then flip on top of itself and pin. This will give you a nice corner edge.  Sometimes you may have to re-pin once or twice until you get it just right. But that is the beauty of pinning!

It should look about like this when you get it right. Continue pinning the rest of the bottom, doing the same thing to the other corner and then finish pinning the left side of the cover.

Fold the 7×7 flannel in half so that it looks like this and little by little slide out the pins and insert the half square under the pinned area so as to finish off the corner.  I usually just lay the half square in corner first so that I can see where it will end up and then un-pin and re-pin.

It should now look like this.

Now put a seam down along the entire hem  (all three sides)  that you have pinned. Remove all pins.

Fold down the top 1 inch and then flip over and pin to create the top seam. (this looks a lot like the sides and bottom  except it is 1 inch instead of 1/2 inch.

Here is the boning. I guesstimate where the center of the top of the fabric is and slide it in under the 1 inch seam that I have just pinned. Because the boning was on a roll it will be slightly bowed as you can see.  Just make sure when you pin it into that top seam that you pin it the direction that you would want it to bow when the Mom is wearing it or the cover won’t be very helpful.  You want the Mom to be able to see down to her child while they are nursing.  DO NOT pin the actual boning. Pin around it.  Now for the straps before we can sew the top seam.

I had a vest buckle and no D rings so I experimented with that for the first time and may even like it better than the D rings!  You do need to cut the fabric at the 2 1/2 instead of 4 inch for the buckle though.

On both the long strap and the short strap you need to do the same thing… flip it right sides together and sew it down the open side.  Then take a safety pin, clip it to the top and feed it back through itself so that you can flip it.

ON THE LONG STRAP ONLY… You will need to finish the one side edge.  I forgot to do this till I was almost done and then didn’t get a picture of it.  You just need to push a little fabric in on the one side and sew it closed so that it has a nice finished edge.

This is what the straps should each look like when you have flipped them. Sew a seam down both sides just so that they have a nice finished look.

We will now be pinning the long and short straps onto the cover.   I will show you in detail how to do that below but  I wanted you to first see WHERE to put them.. They will go on either side of where the boning is. DO NOT PIN THEM OVER TOP THE BONING

SHORT STRAP directions…  if using D rings then slide both D rings onto the short strap, otherwise slide the vest buckle onto the strap.  Then fold it in half and put the unfinished sides into the seam and fold up toward top as shown. Pin it this way.

LONG STRAP directions. … place unfinished side into seam and then flip it up toward top and pin as shown.

Sew a seam along the bottom edge of entire top of cover.  BE CAREFUL … DO NOT SEW THE BONING! There is enough room in there that you can slide it back and forth a little so that you do not sew on it.

Sew entire top side of seam… DO NOT SEW ON TOP OF BONING! Someone once gave me a great idea and that as to sew the edge of the boning into place so that it will not slowly move after many uses.  The only problem that is if you sew on top of the boning it is easily frayed on the inside and slowly breaks apart and begins to come out of the fabric in long skinny plastic pieces that tend to hurt like pins poking you!  So avoid doing ANY stitching on top of the boning.

Now it should look about like this!  You can hardly see where the boning is in this photo because I am looking down at it.  This is a really easy pattern that can be changed around a little here and there and really won’t change the outcome.

My friend using her gift for the first time.  I like how long it is because if it is windy I can tuck the edges into my skirt and still stay decent.

Other great uses:

-hang on front of stroller to keep sun off of baby

-mat to lay baby on

-hang over baby on beach or on sunny day

-blanket or towel (we went to a park and my 2 year old was playing in the water and I needed something to dry her off with)

-cover for my 2 year old when she is using her little potty in the car

I hope this helps!  Let me know if you have any suggestions on alterations of this pattern. I have added a ribbon with velcro to the inside before for a toy holder and also a pocket near the bottom for a pacifier. Takes more time to make though.  This cover normally costs anywhere from $20-$45.  So if you use a coupon for your fabric you could make this for right around $5!

Thought for the day…

The more you fill your mind with scripture, the more wisdom you will gain in your Spirit.  “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.”  Psalm 51:6

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