December 12, 2012

Review: Camera Strap Cover



Wow! I can hardly believe there are only 13 days left until Christmas! Crazy how quickly time flies.  This year we are keeping busy with winter sports, and it has definitely made the Christmas season seem like its blowing by. 

This past weekend was all about Christmas shopping and crafting.  Both my Mother and Mother in Law are passionate about photography so I though they might like their own camera strap cover.  The local fabric store offers a daily fat quarter bundle deal, and they match up the colors so beautifully!  I was able to get a bundle of blues and purples, as well as a bundle of a pink and brown mix.


I found a great Custom Camera Strap Cover at Moda Bakeshop that I absolutely adore, even more so because the pattern calls for a charm pack. It isn't too difficult to trim down a fat quarter to charm square size (5x5).  The tutorial is easy to follow, and this is a great beginners pattern. I think the most challenging part of the pattern is matching up the seams. Fortunately this is the underside of the Camera Strap Cover, so it isn't that visible.  The camera strap cover shown above on the left is my version of the Moda Bakeshop camera cover.

After creating the first camera strap cover, I decided to modify the pattern somewhat and add a couple layers of ruffles to the top (shown above on right).  The solids are nice, but I think one of the brighter fabrics used on the top ruffle would have really made it pop.


In my next attempt, I found a great tutorial on The Cottage Home. I highly recommend this tutorial if your sewing skills are more in the intermediate range.  Her tutorial is easy to follow and works up great!  Since I didn't have any fusible fleece on hand, I substituted with a light-weight Pellon fusible interfacing.  This is a great product to keep on hand!  I also modified the instructions and serged the long sides of the camera strap as well as the ends so that there wouldn't be any fraying inside the strap.  Just thinking that if you were to have a few different Camera Strap covers, you might want to change them out every so often, causing the fabric to fray somewhat.

If you have any questions, or have created your own camera strap cover I would love to see it! Just drop a comment below or send me an email and I will be in touch!

Happy Holiday Crafting!

November 29, 2012

Christmas Decorating: Wooden Letters


A good friend of mine sent me a picture of a wooden letter she found on Pinterest the other day. She was wanting to know if I could make a large loopy bow for her.  Since I have been making boutique bow clippies, I figured the bow would be no problem at all.

What really inspired me was the wooden letter decorated for Christmas.  Now don't get me wrong, I have seen the monogram wreaths, and the wall d├ęcor others have made and posted on Pinterest, but something sparked in me and I just had to get my own letters to decorate.

Lets get this straight.... I love to make and create but drawing and painting are not my thing. Never done much of it, and what I have didn't turn out that well. So starting this I knew I was taking a risk.  So it was off to Michaels I went. I picked up some wooden letters ($3.00/ea), paint brushes, acrylic paint (on sale for @ $.89/ea), and some Sharpie paint markers in Green and White ($4.00/ea).

** Make sure you check which acrylic paints you are buying. I accidentally purchased the RED outdoor acrylic paint and I think that the base color didn't turn out so well because I used the wrong type of paint.

Here are the steps I took to create the NOEL display in the picture above.
 
1. Cover the wooden letters in RED acrylic paint. Apply 2 - 3 coats as needed, and allow each coat to dry in between.

2.  Make various size polka dots in GREEN and White using the Sharpie markers.  I found these to be really easy to use, and my circles came out consistent.  If you are experienced with painting, you could easily make the circles with the acrylic paints and a paint brush.

3. Add some small black dots between the white dots and all around the letters.

4. Once the letters dried I added a boutique bow to the top, and attached it by using a glue gun and a small piece of ribbon that ran around the bow and letter.  Click on the boutique bow link for a great tutorial by Supermom vs Me if you aren't familiar with how to make the boutique bow.



I stood the letters up in the window above our front door using the sticky pieces from Command Strips.  That way we don't have to worry about them falling on anyone's head.  They would also look great on a mantle, or even a shelf in the bathroom. 

The possibilities are endless! Create different words, or even just a monogram initial. Add them to a wreath, hang on your Christmas tree, or create for gifts.  Don't forget to explore other colors too!

If you decide to make some of your own, be sure to link up and share yours with us!

Happy Holidays and Happy Crafting!

November 12, 2012

Get Set for Winter with North Face

Winter is right around the corner and has got me thinking about what we need to stay warm this season.  Here on the east coast they are saying it supposed to be a cold one. Last year we were pretty lucky to have a mild winter.


I am sure many people remember the winter season we had a few years ago... even if you didn't live in this area you probably heard how crazy the snow was! I think at one time we had over 24 inches of snow.  That's for sure the most I have ever seen!



So, all thoughts are focused on the must have coat, footwear and accessories to stay WARM and COZY this winter.  What brands do you think of when you are looking for cold gear? Our favorite by far is North Face, the MUST HAVE brand to keep you WARM and COZY.




The North Face Denali Down Jacket is at the top of our MUST HAVE list.  I highly recommend this jacket for anyone looking for something light-weight and still keep you warm.  Not only is this jacket made with the famous North Face fleece, but also has down added to the chest, neck, and arm areas providing additional warmth. The collection includes styles for Men, Women, Boys, and Girls.  Children's jackets are $129 and Adults are $199.

The Classic Denali Jacket is another great option for Men, Women, Boys, and Girls in a variety of colors. The classic style jacket is a FAVE of the Teen's since it is so versatile.  Prices range from $79 for Toddlers, up to $199 for adults.

North Face also has a great selection of footwear. Whether you are looking for snow boots, hiking boots, or running shoes North Face has your answer.  Our TOP PICK is the Men's Ultra 105 GTX XCR Shoe.  There are two colors to choose from, the Alloy Grey/Sienna Orange or the Black/Pewter.  The shoe is made with waterproof and breathable gortex making it a great option for any fall or winter trail running.  North Face has developed a Torque Control™ platform for those who struggle with pronation. Now with the Torque Control, your low arches will be better supported and achieve maximum stability.  This style is only $120.00, very reasonably priced compared to competitor styles.

Make sure you add North Face to the top of your Holiday Shopping list this year.  North Face can be found online and at your local Dicks Sporting Goods, Nordstrom, and Macy's.

November 7, 2012

Gold Toe: Not your Average Sock


Anyone with a large family can probably agree that the worst part of doing laundry is matching socks.  And when you toss in many different brands of socks, it just adds to the fun!  That's why we are so happy to share Gold Toe socks with you.  Gold Toe has a great selection of socks for everyone!  They have styles for men, women, and children and the selections range from casual, sport, and dress socks.  Gold Toe socks feel and fit great! 

Our absolute favorite part of Gold Toe socks (besides they last a really long time) is the EZ Match system for children.  There are three sizes, and with each size there is an additional gold band around the toe box.  This truly makes matching socks so much easier, and takes the burden out of doing laundry. 

Gold Toe has you covered when it comes to the latest trends for boys.  They not only have the stylish Basketball Crew socks, but they come in several different color options.  We are sure that any boy who keeps up with his fashion trends would love the Basketball Crew socks with the added lime or pink.


For the holidays, we just adore the girls Dressy Turn Cuff Sock. These are such fun frilly socks that all little girls are sure to love.  The sock is not too thick, allowing them to easily be worn with a pair of dress shoes.

Head over to Gold Toe today to check out the latest socks today.  Gold Toe can also be found at JcPenney, Macy's, and Kohls nationwide.

October 24, 2012

Review: Ninja Kitchen Blender


If you are in the market for a new blender, I highly suggest the Ninja Kitchen Blender!  This is a great blender with lots of added features.  It is very strong and durable, able to take on some of your toughest kitchen creations!

The Ninja Kitchen System Pulse includes a dough blade, cookie paddle, and a standard blade.  It also includes two single serve cups, a smaller blade, and drink lids that can be used to quickly make a breakfast smoothie or (our family favorite) a milkshake.

So your thinking, what makes this blender any different from other blenders?  We decided to put the blender to the test and make a batch of cookies.


The cookie dough paddle works great to mix the dough.  It takes literally seconds to change out the blade to the paddle.  Once the blender is set up, add all of your ingredients into the pitcher.



The bag of Betty Crocker cookie mix fits perfectly in the 40 oz bowl.  There is just enough room for all of the ingredients.




To blend your smoothie, cookie dough, or pizza dough, simply hold down the lid.  There is no need to scrape the bowl edges, as the cookie dough paddle pulls the dough and mixes it all up very well.  Once the dough is mixed thoroughly,  you are ready to add them to the pan for baking!


We have tested the Kitchen-Aid blenders in the past, and have found that the plastic prongs on the base of the blender that break off.  Once they start to break off the blender will no longer mix.  We couldn't find any plastic parts that could potentially break off on the Ninja Blender.

There are five different styles to choose from, and the prices range from $99.99 to $169.99.  The Ninja Kitchen Blenders can be found at your local Costco Warehouse, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy's, and Target.

For more information, you can also visit their website at www.ninjakitchen.com.

October 8, 2012

National Fire Prevention Week - October 7-13th

This week is National Fire Prevention Week.  Every year many firefighters visit the local preschools and elementary schools to teach children the importance of fire safety.  They bring goodies to share with the children such as fire helmets, stickers, and coloring books.


 This year little Emma had a special visitor.  We were able to arrange for her Daddy to come and visit the class.  She was so excited to tell all her friends that her Daddy is a firefighter.


Were also able to arrange for a female firefighter to visit the class.  It was great to be able to share with the children that firefighters are both men and women.


One of the lessons they taught the children is that firefighters are people, and that they shouldn't ever be afraid if they were in a fire and someone approached them with all the gear on in the picture below.  As they put on each piece of equipment, they explained the importance of it.  Not only does the gear protect their skin from potential burns, but it also helps them to be able to breathe fresh air while they are in a burning building.


Although we captured some wonderful pictures of all the children in the preschool class, I decided it was best not to share those pictures due to the potential privacy concerns some may have.

If your child is not in preschool, or if you would like to review the information further with them be sure to check out the NFPA website, which can be found here:

http://www.nfpa.org/categoryList.asp?categoryID=2017&URL=Safety%20Information/Fire%20Prevention%20Week%202010

There are many resources and additional activities for the kids.

Be sure to check in with your local fire house to see if and when they will be hosting their open house.  Many stations have open houses with loads of information, games, moon bounces, and food.  I am sure everyone would have a wonderful time!





September 26, 2012

Bitsy's Brainfood ~ Smart Snacks for Kids


Bitsy’s Brainfood introduces the world’s first smart snacks for kids!  These smart snacks are designed as delicious treats that nurture kids’ bodies, minds and imaginations.  Not only are Bitsy's Brainfood a tasty and nutritious snack, but they also provide healthy and wholesome ingredients in fun flavor combinations that every little one is sure to like!  

Bitsy’s Brainfood encourages children to crave the right foods and makes learning fun with letter shaped cookies and a collectible sticker from Bitsy’s wacky superfood alphabet characters included in each box.  Boxes have fun suggestions on how to make snack time learning time by encouraging creative play with the letters and stickers.

 

Each tasty bite of Bitsy's Brainfood contains a "bitsy" of nutrients to help support kids' growing bodies and brains.  Fun combinations of kid favorite flavors include Zucchini Gingerbread Carrot, Orange Chocolate BeetLemon Broccoli andSweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin.  

Key Benefits
·         Excellent source of Omega 3 DHA, Vitamins A, B 12, B6, D3 and Folic Acid
·         Good source of iron and calcium
·         No GMO’s

About EduFoods, LLC
EduFoods, LLC. was founded by Alexandra Buckley Voris and Maggie Jones Patton, two new moms who shared a simple belief —healthy bodies and healthy minds are connected, and learning to eat smart should be fun.  Bitsy’s Brainfood is EduFoods’ first product to market, a mega delicious and ultra-nutritious line of Smart Snacks.  Whimsical and relatable characters Bitsy, Buck and Baxter know that eating smart and actually being smart go hand in hand.  With Bitsy’s Brainfood, snack time is smart time and more nourishing than ever!

Bitsy’s Brainfood products are available for just $2.49 at retailers nationwide.

For additional information on Bitsy’s Brainfood, please visit www.bitsysbrainfood.com

September 17, 2012

Kidorable Bath Towels & A Discount Code for You


As you know, we just love the Kidorable line of children's accessories.  We have featured them in the past, showing off the great collection of rain jackets, boots, and umbrellas in a variety of fun themes.  Now we are happy to share with you Kidorable's wonderful line of hooded bath towels.  There is a variety of styles to choose from, many of those that our children are already familiar with.


The Kidorable towels are a MUST for any little girl or boy.  They are so soft, and super absorbent.  Kidorable went the extra step to include a luxurious layer of velour with the terry cloth.  The hood is one of our FAVORITE features, especially with the winter months quickly approaching us.  The hood helps keep your little warm while all bundled up.  The front has a snap closure, which is easy for little fingers to button.

The towels come in two sizes, newborn - two years old, and three - six years old, and cost just $38 each.

If you haven't already considered getting a jump start on your holiday shopping, now is a great time!  We are happy to be able to extend a 20% discount off your entire order, between September 15 - 30th when your purchase includes a cotton hooded towel.  Just use code DRYOFF33 at checkout on www.kidorable.com to take advantage of this great offer.


September 10, 2012

Make It Monday ~ Easy Peasy Pumpkin Decoration


This week I am proud to share with you a neat little pumpkin you can make in about 15 minutes.  My mother-in-law taught me how to make this, so I would like to give credit where credit is due. This project is so quick to make, you could make several to share with friends and family.  Or make a few and display them around your house.  

Supplies

22 x 22 inch piece of orange fabric (or other color of choice)
8 x 11 inch piece of brown fabric for the stem
Roll of Toilet Paper
Embellishments - Buttons, Felt, Crochet/Knit leaves, etc.

Instructions

1.  Cut each piece of fabric to the desired size.  I have listed my dimensions above, but you can certainly alter them however you choose.

2.  Lay out the 22x22 inch fabric piece, and center the toilet paper roll in the middle. Begin by tucking in one end of fabric into the pumpkin. Continue tucking in the ends until you have covered the toilet paper roll.

3.  Fold the fabric for the stem in half. Fold the top corner down slightly, and then continue rolling the fabric until you have a cylinder shape.  Now add this to the top of your pumpkin.

Adding embellishments would make this even more fun.  Simply decorate by adding leaves to the top, buttons, or felt for the face.  The littles had a great idea to use a stick they found in the woods for the stem.  Love them!  I was  also thinking you could make a tall pumpkin by using a larger piece of fabric and covering a paper towel roll.  The possibilities are endless!

Once the fall season is over, simply unwrap the toilet paper roll and store the fabric pieces in a bag.  I keep mine stored with all of my fall decor so that I can easily find it when it's time to reuse them.

Please be sure to come back and share your version of the Easy Peasy Pumpkin!  I just love seeing how other people create!

This Make It Monday Feature has been posted on Get Your Craft On Tuesday on Today's Creative Blog.

September 9, 2012

Spring 2013 Nail Looks by butter LONDON


Earlier this week I shared with you a feature on Color Inspiration, and showed you where to look for the next season's color trends.  Today I am happy to share with you the Spring 2013 nail looks, created by butter LONDON's Global Colour Ambassador, Katie Hughes, and how you can achieve these looks at home.


ERIN FETHERSTON 
Overall Look: The designer's signature feminine style had a bit of an edge.  The collection consisted of flirty, feminine silhouettes with zippers, studs and texture.  

Nail Design: The models weren't wearing bracelets or rings because Erin wanted the nails to be the accessory for the hands.  Metallic nails mimicked the look of jewelry, lending itself to the ultimate eye-catching accessory. We used Lillibet's Jubilee, a silver metallic colour with a lilac finish that adds a feminine touch to the rock & roll vintage feel.
  
Details: The nails were naturally rounded for a feminine finish.

butter LONDON 3-Free Nail Lacquer Colours: Lillibet's Jubilee and The Full Monty


VEDA 
Overall Look: The collection by this cool NYC label featured leather textures, psychedelic prints and tie-dye hues

Nail Design: The nails were inspired by the tie-dye pieces of the collection, which we complemented with a bespoke Cosmic Nail, including a mix of mauve and olive with celestial effects.  

Details: Knackered was used as a top coat to give the nails a holographic effect. To add an edge to the look, a glossy black stripe was added for an unexpected geometric element.

butter LONDON 3-Free Lacquer Colours: Toff, Sloane Ranger, Knackered, Union Jack Black

KAELEN
Overall Look: Kaelen showed a powerful collection featuring designs with a modern 80's vibe.  Sharp lines with rock prints, lucite accents and pops of sunny neon yellow rounded out a mainly black palette.  

Nail Design: For nails, we went for a high contrast “Distressed Nail” using black as the base, a bespoke nude khaki was then layered in jagged strokes towards the bed. 

Details: For added dimension, we matted out only the black section, creating a dual-textured look full of disheveled luxury.

butter LONDON 3-Free Lacquer Colours: Yummy Mummy, Union Jack Black, Matte Finish Shine-Free Topcoat

September 7, 2012

Color Inspiration - Where to Look Now


If you are crafting or creating for littles, a great place to look for color inspiration would be your local shopping mall or many of the retailers online!  Whether you are creating hair bows, knitting a cardigan, or sewing a skirt, check to see what colors companies are using for the season.  The photo's shown above are from different retailers. You will notice that many of the colors coordinate with each other.

I have also shared the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 colors below.  Notice how these colors match up with the outfits shown above.  

From top right to bottom left:

1.  Gymboree - Berry Patch (www.gymboree.com)
2.  Tea Collection (www.teacollection.com)
3.  Hanna Andersson (www.hannaandersson.com)
4.  Gymboree - Woodland Friends
5.  Tea Collection
6.  Gap Kids (www.gap.com)

Everyone will just love how they can find garments and accessories that match some of the items they may have already purchased, and you will be sure to have the latest and greatest by consulting with sources first.

Another great place to find color inspiration is the Color Wheel.  The Color Wheel shows the relationship between primary colors, secondary colors, and complimentary colors.  There are a variety of ways to choose colors that create balance and harmony, or are visually appealing to the eye.  
  • Choose colors within the same color family.  For example, a light, medium, and dark shade of red.  These colors would be next to each other on a color chart or wheel.
  • Choose complimentary colors.  This would be choosing colors that are opposite of each other on the wheel.  For example, yellow and purple or red and green.

Want to get a jump start on the upcoming season and curious what the "IN" colors will be?  Hop over to Pantone, and discover the WONDERFUL world of color.  Pantone leads the way in featuring the "in colors" for the upcoming season and so much more.  Top fashion designers also share their "Must-Have" items for the season. 

Fall 2012 Color Trends


Spring 2013 Color Trends


Each year one color is chosen to be the "Color of the Year". This year's color is Tangerine Tango.  We just love, love, love this color.  It is so versatile for spring, summer, winter and fall.  Add this color to your wardrobe, or use it as an excellent choice for a pop-color in the home.

September 3, 2012

Make it Monday: Ballet Slipper Clippie



This week's Make It Monday feature is a Ballet Slipper inspired bow.  Mini-Me will be taking ballet classes in the coming weeks, and I thought it would be great if she had some special hair bows to add to her wardrobe.  


TOOLS & MATERIALS

3/8” wide Grosgrain Ribbon in White and Light Pink
1/8” wide Satin Ribbon in White
Alligator Clip
Glue Gun
Ruler
Scissors
PREPARATION

Cut (1) piece of ribbon 4.5” long to cover the alligator clip. 
Cut (2) pieces of Pink ribbon 3” long , (2) 2.5” long, and (2) 2” long.
Cut (4) pieces of White satin ribbon about 1" long for each piece.
Burn the ends of each piece of ribbon so that they won't fray in the future.




COVER THE CLIPPIE

Cover the alligator clip with the 4.5” length of ribbon. Start in the middle of the clip, between the top and bottom pieces.  Starting here makes it a little easier to center the ribbon, allowing the clip to hold the ribbon in place.  Add hot glue to the ribbon on the top side, and fold the long piece of the ribbon over the top.  Slowly continue adding glue and pressing down the ribbon to the clip until you have covered the clip with all of the ribbon.

Here is a picture of a clip done in a different color, showing how to continue covering the clip.   There is also a picture of the bottom of the clip to give you an idea where the fabric will end.  I find that it is best to leave part of the clip exposed, so that it grips the hair better.





MAKE THE SLIPPERS

Now lay down the 3” ribbon. Place a couple dots of glue on one end, and layer the 2.5” ribbon on top.  Place a couple more dots on the end of this ribbon, and set the 2” length of ribbon on top.  Now add some glue on the top of the smallest ribbon, and fold up the end. Continue until all three layers are glued together at the top.

Once both slippers are completed, glue them onto the clippie.  


The next step is to make a simple bow.  It is easiest to pull from the ribbon on the spool.  Simply make two loops, and tie them together. Just like you would teach a little how to tie their shoe.  We are just skipping the first step of tying here.  Adjust the loops as needed, then cut the other end from the spool. Burn the ends to seal them.




Glue the bow on top of the ballet slippers.


Now is the tricky part.  Take two pieces of the 1/8" wide ribbon, and create a cross (X) at the bottom end of the slipper. This gives the "laces" look.




Once the laces are added, the Ballet Slipper Bow is complete.  Hope you enjoyed the tutorial.  I always love to hear from you so please let me know how yours turn out, and if you have any questions!


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