Hey there! I am beyond blessed to be the wife of Mark Andrew and the stay-at-home-mommy of Quinn and Morgan! I love to decorate, create things, and generally make life more beautiful! Come join me, and let's see what we can make today!

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Faux Fireplace

Bustle Dress

Hyperemesis(HG)

DIY Tutu

Boys Room Makeover

Glazed Cabinets

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Thursday
Sep012011

Singapore Dress

I have now made three dresses for Mo.  The first was the red, white, and blue bustle dress. Then I made the India dress.  The "Singapore" dress is the third dress I have made, and you will see it is very similar to the bustle dress.  (I just don't know how to make sleeves yet!)

I started with a tunic top from Singapore, hence the name.  (You can see the top in the India dress post.) It just didn't fit me right, but I loved the fabric, so I decided to use material to make a dress for Mo.  The first thing I did was grab a dress from Mo's closet and measure out an approximate skirt length.  I then took an old paper bag and cut out a pattern.

I cut out the front and back of the skirt, and sewed them together.

Then I took the top of a T-shirt (the bottom had a stain, so it was already in my "fabric-to-be-repurposed" pile) and sewed it to the skirt.

I don't have good pics of the next part.  The dress looked a bit unfinished, so I added a piece of narrow, grosgrain ribbon as a waistband, and then I added some yo-yo flowers to the top using fabric glue.  (I will show you how to make the yo-yo flowers soon!)

And here is the finished product.  This girl is such a nut!

Stand still, please!

Well, you can act happy about it!

Show us the back!

See my tape?  (For anyone wondering, that tape is there as part of Mo's physical therapy.  I have had several questions recently regarding Mo's therapy, and I think I will write a post about it...)

And I couldn't resist adding a couple of pics of Mo's first REAL day of preschool.  And, yes, I know the back pack looks enormous.  It's just a regular back pack.  When you put a back pack on a three year old who is a bit on the petite side, it is going to look big!

I honestly don't know what this pose is, but it totally cracks me up!

Well, there's my third dress (and Morgan's first day of school).  I am determined to learn how to sew, and my confidence (and skill!) is building with each project I try.  Have you tried something new lately?  I'd love to hear from you!

Enjoy the Son!

Friday
Aug262011

Laundry Room and the First Day of School

I used to have a very small, but clean and new, first floor laundry room.  Two years ago, we moved to an older home in an AMAZING neighborhood.  Not so amazing is the basement laundry room.  It's not really even a laundry room.  It's just a giant storage area with a washer and dryer.  Here is what it looked like before.

It's not the worst thing ever, but I spend A LOT of time doing laundry (can I get an AMEN!?), and I just wanted something a bit more cheerful.

I feel the need to put a little disclaimer up.  Something to the effect of, "This is the basement.  I do not have money to put into 'cheering up' my laundry room.  All of these items were something I already owned.  I will not be entering this into any kind of 'room makeover contest'. But it IS more cheerful.  And it was free."

With that being said, here is the laundry room now.

Soooooo much more cheerful.  And I Corinthians 10:31 is one of my life verses.  I thought it was very appropriate to have it as a reminder in such a mundane area of my home!

That was the laundry room--now time for some school pics!  Yesterday was a very big day in our household!  It was Quinn's first day of Kindergarten, Morgan's preschool orientation, and the 22nd anniversary of my mom's death.  {Thank you to all who called, sent texts/e-mails/FB messages, and lifted up prayers.  I am truly blessed!}

Even though it wasn't really Mo's first day of actually class, she was so excited to get her picture taken.  Big surprise. 

 

Mo loves her preschool and cannot wait to start.  What she loves most is all the dress up stuff!  I am in trouble with this one...

Quinn was not as excited to get his picture taken, and opted for a "thinking pose", and then a pic with Mommy.

 

Dude!  What are you doing?!?! That was my glamour shot!

Well, this one is okay... ;)

 

Here he is showing some of his classmates his Captain Rex keychain.  The girl in the white headband looks THOROUGHLY unimpressed!  Bahahahaha! 

And there goes Mr. Confidence.  Heading in to his first day of school.  Crazy!

I hope this has been a great week for everyone!  Anyone else have a kiddo that just started Kindergarten?  How did it go?  I thought I would cry, but surprisingly I didn't!  At least not until a very kind neighbor dropped off flowers last night...Thank you, Mr. Pittenger!

My son has afternoon Kindergarten, so I better finish this post and walk to school to meet him!

Enjoy the weekend and the Son!

Friday
Aug192011

Quick birdhouse makeover

Hey there!  I know I haven't posted anything in over a week, and that's because summer vacation is rapidly nearing it's end, and I have been enjoying every.last.second of it with my kiddos!  I do have a number of finished projects waiting for their turn to shine in a blog post, but the fact is, it takes me awhile to create a post!  This project, however, was really quick and hopefully the post will be too!

A few weeks ago, I picked up this lovely bench at the flea market.

It looks so sweet at the end of the dining room!  I set an old box with some random lovelies in it on top of the bench.

I wanted to add some more goodies to the bench, but I was looking for just the right piece.  Then a friend gave me this FANTASTIC birdhouse!

I thought it would look great on the bench, but it seemed a bit dark.  What do you think?

Well, I guess it doesn't matter what you think, because I painted it! ;) I sprayed the birdhouse with one, VERY LIGHT coat of Ocean Blue from Krylon.  Once it was dry, I sanded it a bit to make it look worn.

Now I think it looks much better!  How about you?  Seriously, this time.  What do you think?

Okay.  That was pretty quick!  We are off to enjoy the Son and the sun today!

Wednesday
Aug102011

India dress

My sister-in-law has traveled all over the world.  She lived in Berlin, Germany, for two years, and she is currently living in Singapore.  She has a really cool, eclectic sense of style, and she always brings me really fun gifts when she visits! 

Two of the many,many gifts I have recieved are pictured below.  (Sorry the picture is so crummy!  I took a bunch of shots and screwed up every single one of them because I forgot to check the camera settings!  Lesson learned!) Anyhow, the picture is of a tunic top from Thailand and a skirt from India.  I LOVE the fabric on both of these pieces.  Unfortunately, I am apparently a bit...curvier...than the average woman in said countries, and these pieces didn't really fit! 

I have been wanting to making something for Morgan using these fabrics, but I haven't been brave enough to try.  Until now!  I figured I didn't have much to lose, so I decided to make a dress. 

I forgot to take pictures of most of the process for the "India" dress, but I will give a brief explanation of what I did.  First, I cut a straight line from the top of the skirt to the bottom, ending up with one long piece of fabric.  Then I had to cut about 6" off of the bottom of the skirt so that Mo would be able to walk.  Walking is very important.  Next I measured out the width of the dress based on the width of a dress from Mo's closet.  After I had the right length and width, I hemmed the bottom edge of the skirt with a straight stitch, and made a seam down the side of the dress.  Here was the result:

 

Really cute, but she kept tugging at the top.  I was like, "Yeah.  Mommy doesn't really do strapless dresses either..."

So, I went back to the sewing table and made some modifications.  I took some yellow grosgrain ribbon and measured out some "straps".  I just pinned them where they needed to go, while Morgan was wearing the dress.  Then I carefully helped her out of the dress and sewed the ribbons where I had pinned them.  It was cute, but it needed something else.  So, I took a couple of pieces of ribbon and sewed them into an "X". You can see that process here:

Then I made some little rosettes out of a green tank top from the GoodWill pile.  (My GoodWill donations are dwindling, but I haven't bought any new fabric for several months!) Here is a tutorial on the rosettes if you are looking for one. I hot glued the rosette right onto the X, and then I hot glued the whole "flower" to a pin.  I then pinned the flower to the dress. (I did this because I thought the flowers would hold up better if they didn't go through the wash!)

And here is the final product:

The dress has a very full skirt, and it is GREAT for twirling!

Mo wanted to prove that the dress wouldn't slip, so she had to give a running demonstration! She cracks me up!

I am so pleased with this piece! All the materials were recyled, and now Mo has another one-of-a-kind dress!  I am going to keep practicing, because I think it would be LOVELY to know how to REALLY make some clothing.  For now I am sticking with my recycled clothing, but I bet it won't be too long before I am buying patterns and fabric!

Enjoy the Son!

Saturday
Aug062011

Chocolate Ganache Cake--Holly Style!

Awhile back I saw this recipe for Chocolate Ganache Cake.  The picture looked so delicious, but the recipe looked like it would take more time than I actually had.  Then, not long after that, I saw THIS recipe over at Homebody. Holly (that's her name, too!) calls her creation a Double Chocolate Torte.  I call it delicious! 

Ingredients list:

2 boxes of your preferred brand of fudge brownie mix

semi-sweet chocolate chips

butter

For my cake, I used the fudge brownie mix from Betty Crocker.  Thank you, Mrs. Crocker! That was easy!  (I baked my cakes in a round pan for about 23-25 minutes.  The box calls for a lot more time, but your cake will be too dried out if you bake it for the full 42 minutes!)

Be sure to line your pan with parchment paper.  I don't know why I have trouble cutting in a circle, but here is a tip that helps me get my circle right.  Well, almost right!  Press a crease in your paper all the way around the bottom of the pan...

...then pull the paper out of the pan, flip it over, and you will have a nice outline to cut around.

See?  Not a bad fit!

Be sure to oil the sides well so that your cake comes out of the pan nice and easy. Once your cake has cooled, flip it onto a serving dish, top side down.

For your frosting, you need about 2T of butter to 1/3 cup of chips.  I used 1 1/3 cups of chips and 7T butter. (I let my butter sit on the counter and soften up a bit before I used it.)  Melt the chips in the microwave for 20-30 second intervals.  Once the chips are completely melted and smooth, stir in you butter, a 2T at a time.  If it starts to get thick, don't worry.  Just keep stirring!  The butter will melt and it will get smooth.

Pour a layer of the chocolate on your first cake.

Spread the chocolate all around, letting it drip over the edges, and then layer your second cake on top--top side down again.

Spread the rest of your chocolate, and then refridgerate for at least 30 minutes. (This pic is before refridgeration.)

I was serving this cake for our small group last night, so I wanted to decorate it a bit.  I used some 1/4" dowels, fabric scraps and a little thread, a piece of ribbon, and I created a happy little banner.

As we were serving the cake, I quick handed a piece to my husband and cried, "Take a picture for the blog!" Some of our friends were laughing, but my dear husband knew I was serious, and he managed to get a quick shot before we devoured the cake!  Thank you, Babe! Doesn't that just look so yummy?!

Here is one more beauty shot of the whole cake, just because!

This was seriously soooooooooo easy, and it was SUCH a crowd pleaser! Try it for your next gathering!  I guarantee it will be a hit!

It is rainy and overcast here this morning, but I still plan to enjoy the Son--and the flea market ;) -- today!